About a week ago, I got into a bidding war on eBay for a new Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike. Normally these sell on BikesDirect.com for about $299. Since I felt that I was getting a good deal, I kept bidding. I won the auction at $220 shipped.
The bike arrived at my doorstep in 6 days and I was excited to put it together.
The bike was packaged nicely. Frame was protected by foam and other wrapping material.
Here it is on my stand. It also came with two different wheel tapes, the red one was already installed, then there was also a yellow set. I guess if I want to change things up a bit I could. Oh it also arrived with 2 rear cogs. The 22t was already on the wheel the there was a 18t in the box. I’m sticking with the 22t…I’m in no shape or form to try and pedal the 18t.
Tires were inflated to only 15psi and already it felt too much. I’m probably going to drop it down a few psi, let’s say around 12-13 and see how that feels. Bikesdirect.com claims it can fit up to a 3.5 tire. Since tires of that size aren’t necessarily cheap, I’ll live with the 3.0 for as long as I can.
Equipped with mechanical Tektro Novela disc brakes. I actually love mechs over hydros, so much simpler.
The no name bar and stem are going to be replaced soon. My T-Rex arms will need a 50-60mm stem and I usually go with wider bars, somewhere along the lines of 780mm-800mm. Besides having all that leverage will help with climbing on a single speed.
The color scheme on the Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike is a little too conservative for me. I may switch things up with different colored bars, grips and etc. I’m still trying to decide…once I get it installed, I’ll make sure I post an update.
I haven’t had a chance to get it on the trail yet since it’s been raining pretty good where I live. I probably will have an opportunity to try it out next weekend after it dries out.
It’s been years since I’ve ridden a single speed mountain bike, so I’m really looking forward to throwing up…oh yea that’s one of the side effects of single speeds…the hurling from all that exersion your put your body through. Fun times ahead!
So, a few months back when we were having all this rain, yeah SoCal had “RAIN”!! Can you believe it…
With all this rain we had it was hard to get out for one good day? You have to hit it before the rain came.
I was able to do some CX riding (Cyclocross all) with the bros, which lead to a slight trail mishap (injury story soon).
Well one particular Sunday a few months back was the window of opportunity to finally try out something new. I got a call from a friend of mine to come out a demo a new GIANT mountain E-Bike. I jumped at the chance to try this new bike out. The tech of E-Bikes has come a long way, but we still don’t understand the whole thing about E-Bikes. Throttle or pedal assist?
OPENING YOUR EYES TO NEW THINGS
We have never really crossed the gap of the mountain E-Bikes here at MtnBikeRiders.com and before I go into what the bike was like on the trail, I have to say a little something about this new market as well as what you will see in the future of MtnBikeRiders.com.
Not only will we do the standard stories of product reviews on mountain bikes and products, fun stories, and how to’s, you will see us bridging the gap into new niches such as Gravel bikes and mountain E-Bikes, and Cyclocross. Maybe even some Adventure Biking.
If it’s made for the dirt we want to bring it to you because playing on dirt is fun.
We also want you to know that we are not here to change your minds, only inform you as best as we can. Ultimately once you have done your homework, you will make the decision to what best fits your needs on the trail.
I know there are those out there that are fully against any kind of E-bike, no matter what it’s meant for.
After posting some pics and doing a live vid on our Facebook fan page (MtnBikeRider.com Facebook fan page / Please go and like) of the ride on the new Giant Full-E +1, I was kind of taken a back at the comments.
“You’re cheating!” “Its called a motorcycle!” “Really a motor?” “The motor does “ALL” the work and you just sit while it goes.” I was like, ” people relax!!”
That all being said, please keep an open mind and always go demo something new.
Remember, you never know till you try something new you might just end up liking it.
Hell I was never going to trade up my 26” bikes for that new-fangled 27.5 stuff or a 29’er (not for me, I’m height challenged). Now all my bikes are 27.5, see!!
OK, so let’s look into the 2017 Giant Full-E +1. For the most part, I say “MOST” because it is a mountain bike.
It has cranks, pedals, chain, shifters, gears, suspension, wheels, you get the picture.
The Full-E +1 is equipped with top of the line parts you would expect from any high-end bike for trail riding at this price range. Big names like, Shimano, Fox, Schwalbe, and Giant’s own parts to round it all out.
What’s the exception to this bike, well that would be the Giant SyncDrive Sport , 80Nm, 500Watt motor powered by Yamaha.
You could say this is the only thing that would be associated with a motorcycle is the name of the company that made the electric motor.
This as I said is a bicycle, you have to pedal it up hills, on straights, and wherever you would pedal any other bicycle. There is no throttle on it like some E-Bikes. The Giant Full-E +1 is a pedal assist motor. In order to get the benefits of the pedal assist you HAVE TO PEDAL!!! Yes pedal, so if you’re a lazy person wanting to sit and hit a throttle you’re out of luck.
Now the Full-E +1 frame is made with Giant’s ALUXX SL grade aluminum to give it a stiff ride, 140mm rear Maestro suspension with a FOX Float Performance DPS, Trunnion mount shock, front suspension is handled by a FOX 34 Float Performance, 15mm thru-axle, OverDrive fork that is 140mm. Sizes range from Small to XL.
The cockpit is setup with Giant’s own GIANT CONNECT handlebars, stem, seat, and Contact SL Switch Trail dropper seat post.
Wheels are again Giant’s own hoops and hub systems, with Schwalbe putting the rubber on the ground for you. Drivetrain and brakes are all Shimano XT, SLX, and M615 brakes.
Let’s talk about the heart of the dive system, I mean pedal assist system.
Giant as always does their homework and when they decide to bring out a new product, Giant makes sure it works the first time. This system works quite well, now I will admit I don’t have a lot saddle time on E-Bikes and coming from a moto background I do know power. This pedal assist motor feels really great when you’re pedaling your heart out up the hills.
The Full-E +1 is equipped with;
• Motor – Giant SyncDrive Sport, 80Nm, 500w, system powered by Yamaha.
• Sensors – Giant PedalPlus 4-sensor technology
• Display – Giant RideControl EVO, grip launch control with walk assist, mini USB charger
• Battery – Giant EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah rechargeable Lithium-ion
Now what is cool about this system is that you have three modes for the system on the display.
When you turn it on the display has ECO, NORMAL, and POWER. Each mode gives a different feel when you pedal. ECO mode has more resistance when in use, but when using ECO you save battery life.
NORMAL mode has better assistance and will of course use more battery. Hit that POWER mode and pedal the cranks you really feel the Full-E +1 go. This will use the most battery life of course.
One other great feature with the Full-E +1 is the button for the grip launch control with walk assist on the handle bar. This allows you to get off the bike and when you press the button the bike will go at a slow pace to assist you when say you have to go up a very steep hill (perfect when you have to “Hike-A-Bike”).
The Display also has a built-in rider computer to help track your miles and ride info. You also have a USB charge port for your lights, pretty nifty I’d say.
All in all this bike is laid out like any other, but with the pedal assist.
I wanted to go to a place where I could really use the pedal assist motor. I wanted to see if this was really all worth it or not
I was told by the Giant rep to meet out at “The Luge”. Now I hate riding there and if anyone in SoCal has ridden there you would understand. It’s one big fire road climb up, up, and UP some more. Not my cup of tea at all, but what better way to see how Giant’s Full-E +1 works.
Now this is the first time MtnBikeRiders.com has tested a mountain E-Bike on our site and the first time I have ridden a mountain E-Bike, so I really didn’t know what to expect.
After a quick going over the controls with Giant rep Mark Helms, it was really quite simple to operate the three modes, so off we go to start the climb on the paved road to the entrance of the fire road, climbing of course.
The first thing I noticed was how the pedal assist motor really helps on the climb. Mark Helms encouraged me to play with the power modes, Power Mode being the best and most fun and I’m here to say it was. You really got going in a climb.
Normal mode was not to bad either, you could feel the slight resistance in comparison to the Power Mode and it worked great on the climb.
ECO mode was a lot slower in the get up and go department, however pedaling in this mode would save the greatest amount of battery and you feel the burn (man I’m getting a workout here).
OK, “I LIKE THE POWER MODE” … The bike feels fast in helping you climb up the hill and I hate climbing PERIOD!!! The pedal assist motor made climbing fun and as we were able to pass some people riding up the trail I couldn’t help but feel a sense of resentment, or maybe that was guilt on my part. The funny thing I noticed was, when we would stop these riders would catch up to us within a couple of minutes (these were riders that were in obvious shape) and pass us by as we were resting.
We hit some steep hills a couple of times, again fun, fun, fun!! As Giant Rep Mark Helms put it, “Riding uphill on the Full-E +1 is like descending a fun signal track.” You are moving at a rate of speed that’s actually making climbing fun with all the benefits of getting in shape, this is exciting and makes me want one just for that fact.
Bottom line is, I liked climbing on this bike!!
Going downhill on the Giant Full-E +1 is no different than any other mountain bike, of course it may weigh a bit more than your average Enduro bike, maybe more like a Downhill bike and going downhill at speed was a blast. You really don’t feel the weight at all.
The Full-E +1 has great handling skills. You can carve the turns with ease, it handles the jumps great.
Giant put together a great bike with geometry that feels like a cross between their Trance and Reign, add the full active Maestro suspension with its Trunnion mount and you have one stable bike on the descend. 140mm of travel front and rear make for one plush ride.
The Shimano XT drivetrain worked perfect as always and the Shimano M165 hydraulic brakes took care of business in the stopping department. The Schwalbe tires did a great job of holding you on the ground and Giant’s cockpit made the ride solid with their own Connect stem and bars, Contact seat, and Contact SL Switch Trail dropping seat post.
OK, so I finally got to try out a top of the line mountain E-Bike and I have to say I’m very impressed with the overall ride, feel of handling, and performance of the system.
Now this was only a two-hour test ride and not a full “run it through the ringer” test review that we would normally do, I just had to see what it was like and see if its worth all the hoopla. We at MtnBikeRiders.com have not bridged the gap of the mountain E-Bike and with the advent of more E-Bikes being made and the prices coming down we want to keep you the readers up to speed on the newest anything made for the dirt.
So, what is my assessment of Giant’s Full-E +1. “FUN!!!” This is a bike plain and simple, you have to pedal it where ever you are going. The pedal assist helps to make the climb easier, but not really.
OK I may sound as if I am contradicting myself a little by saying an E-Mountain bike makes things easier. “SEE I knew it!!” Well no, it helps to climb faster, yes, go quicker on the flat trail, yes, however you are doing this by having to “PEDAL” and I mean “PEDAL” everywhere. So what’s the advantage of all this, well You’re now training or riding harder.
I found myself overlooking the speed and started seeing the benefit of an E-Mountain bike.
I got one hell of a workout just at the point of going anaerobic, yet was able to continue on. If we hadn’t stated our ride late I would have gone on longer to till I ran the battery out.
When asked how long the battery last, Giant Rep Mark Helms made mention with a full charge on his FULL-E, he took it out on a full days ride with a combination of a 6000 feet of elevation gain in total with a 37 mile ride with no problem. So depending on your mode your in you can have a great day of riding.
The next question is, do I need an E-Bike or can I do without. Let’s face the truth, when you’re ready to spend your hard-earned clams on a new ride and you’re looking at about the same price as you would spend on any high-end mountain bike without pedal assist, with bells and whistles ($5,300), you want to make sure this is what you want.
I can say from my short ride on the Giant FULL-E +1, I would for sure add this to my quiver of bikes.
If you are going to be purchasing your first bike and not sure what you may want go and try one out, you might just be surprised that you may like it.
Giant has two models, the FULL-E 0 SX ($7,700) and the FULL-E +1. ($5,300). Again as I said, these are priced at the same level as any high end mountain bike today and you are getting a lot for it in my opinion.
Thank you, GIANT BICYCLES and Mark Helms, for the great time on letting MtnBikeRiders.com see what your E-Mountain bike was all about.
MtnBikeRider.com readers, if you are interested in trying one of Giant Bicycles New E-Mountain bikes out, you can visit your local Giant dealer to find out if they have a demo on hand or go to GIANT Bicycles website at
giant-bicycles.com to see when they have a demo day come near you.
So, you like to rock out on the trail while you ride your bike with your ear buds in. You like the solitude of not listening to your friend telling you about every piece of flora and fauna as he’s riding along, or maybe telling you about his extraordinary bowel movement he had that looked like Johnny Cash flipping the bird.
Better yet what if he’s yelling at you to tell you that the trail ahead washed out and there is a huge 15-foot gap you can fall into.
Well fear not because O-Tus helmet speakers or what they call “Near Ear Speakers” are a great way to hear your trail jams without fully compromising your ability to hear outside noise and let’s not forget the fact that in most states having earbuds while riding a bike on the street is illegal and at some point, you will be riding on the street someplace.
NEAR EAR SPEAKERS
Now what is a “Near Ear Speaker” one will ask, well it’s quite simple. Instead of having the speakers in your ears the placement is near the ear. This allows you to be able to hear the surrounding noises that one would hear when riding without something in the ear to cut off important noise one may need to be aware of.
This being your friend yelling a warning, hearing a noise on your bike that may not be right, a car coming up behind you, or most important hearing an emergency vehicle.
Now I have never been one to want to have something in my ears to hinder hearing, let alone have music playing while riding, though this is nice at times and I have to say now that I have used these, I take my tunes with me all the time while riding. I love the fact that I am able to hear everything around me, even with the volume cranked up.
WHAT ARE THE FEATURES
The number one key feature to the O-Tus helmet speakers would be they do not sit in your ears like most ear type speakers for MP3, iPods, and Smart phones do.
They put out 15 watts of clear stereo surround sound near your ears. O-Tus also offers a Bluetooth controller that you can sync to your smart phone allowing you to be wireless with your phone too.
Other things to know about the speakers are the;
• Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
• Sensitivity: 108Db
• Impedance: 16ohms
This is made very easy, O-Tus provides pre-cut heavy duty Velcro pieces that you apply to the helmet in the proper positions suggested. Now depending on your helmet, you may have to shave a flat spot to have a good flat surface to mount the Velcro for the speakers.
There are some bigger pieces of Velcro in order to mount your MP3, iPod, or the O-Tus Bluetooth system on the back of your helmet. This is your choice.
I was using the small square iPod shuffle on a Giant Rail helmet I was reviewing, along with the Bell Super 2, and my XC helmet.
I mounted Velcro on the back of the helmet’s shell for the iPod and it was perfect in this area.
After routing the speaker wires to the back and into the iPod I was set.
Moving from helmet to helmet was a snap and never an issue.
ROCKING OUT ON THE TRAIL
As mentioned I have or was using these for a while with my XC helmet, then I installed them to a GIANT RAIL Enduro trail helmet till this latest review helmet was stolen last year at Sea Otter, along with the Bell Super 2R I just received for review.
“Hope you are enjoying my helmets and iPod you butthead!!”
The O-Tus speakers are, well AWESOME! I can hear the music at any level, moving the speakers from helmet to helmet is a snap.
If you need help you can go to the website, o-tus.com, where you will find full instructions on how to boost the sound to your Apple products, work the Bluetooth
I myself found the sound was perfect for me and at times had to turn it down just to hear who I was riding with.
I found the sound quality to be great where I placed the speakers on the two helmets I used them on.
The way I positioned my Shuffle on the back with the Velcro allowed me to higher or lower the volume or change the song with no problems.
The Velcro held the speakers and my iPod in place super, with no fails. Even on the roughest of rock section I never once lost my iPod or the speakers.
This is top notch in my book when it comes to a product during harsh trail use.
The thing I like the best about the O-Tus speakers is no long ear phone speaker wires hanging down to catch your bars. If you run the Bluetooth system, no having to route the wire in your shirt and out the top of your neck to your ears from your device.
Maybe you have your device in your shorts pocket, having the wires route from the pocket to your ears, from your hydration pack and when you remove your pack the ear phones get ripping out of your ears.
This is just a plain smart way to go and since using them (well sad now because I have noooo music now) and I am lost without my tunes.
This is a super way to be safe hearing you surrounding and still hear your mojo motivation music to get you going down or up any trail. Even if you commute by bicycle this is great way to rock out on the road.
The system comes in two colors, black or white. You can get just the speakers only or in a speakers Bluetooth combo, and the Bluetooth remote only
I have to mention that at the time of getting the speakers we only reviewed the speakers.
I do want to mention the features that come with the Bluetooth remote.
The Bluetooth is durable unit with;
• 3.5mm audio jack for Customized Otus Helmet Speakers!
• Remote control feature with Adjustable volume
• Talk on the phone or listen to music hands free.
• clothing clip.
• Working range is up to 10 meters.
• Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled phones
• Rechargeable life: play time is up to 6 hours & standby time is up to 130 hours
• Dimensions of product: main body is 53.3 x 33.6 x 9.9 mm
• Well designed and easy to use
If you choose the combo it will include with it;
• 1 x Bluetooth Headset
• 1 x USB Cable for charging
• 1 x Clothing Clip
• 1 x User`s Manual
• 1 x Set of Otus Helmet Speakers
COST FOR YOU TRAIL PLEASURE
Speaker – $42.00
Stereo Bluetooth w/ Speaker Combo – $75.00
Bluetooth – $55.00
AT THE END OF THE TRAIL
Is this worth it all, YES!! I was never one to use any device to hear music on my trail rides or when on a road ride (yes, I ride road to train as well was CX).
Especially on the street, I want to hear all thing around me, plus here in California if caught on the street while riding you will be cited, so why chance that.
Since using the O-Tus ear phones I love having music on my rides, I feel safe, and for the price it’s worth it seeing that some earbuds can cost upwards of $100 bucks and that’s just for the earbuds.
That’s seems just plain stupid to buy just a set of earbuds up to or over $100 bucks.
Check out the O-Tus ear phones and Bluetooth systems, I think you will love them.
And when we are able to review the Bluetooth we will let you know about it.
When you are at Interbike there is so much to see you just can’t help but look at or try to look at everything.
You will see some cool stuff and some stuff that makes you wonder what one was thinking when they came up with it in the first place.
You’ll see old friends and make new ones. One of the best experiences I like when going to Interbike is meeting some of the small guys that are driven by their passion and belief in what they are doing for and in the industry.
One of those such people is Miles Schwartz, founder and owner of MilesWide Industries. Just talking to Miles for the first ten minutes you feel his love for the sport of mountain biking when he explains all his products he sells, designs and manufactures.
MilesWide is located in Asheville NC where Miles himself can test his product designs first hand. MilesWide manufactures six items. Below I will talk about each one and their function.
BOTTLE POD & STICKY POD
The first up are this really great organizers for our bottle cage, hydration pack, or jersey pocket.
The pods are made to be water resistant and carry the essentials you need when on the trail. Made to be light weight they look to be perfect to fit in your pack. the Bottle Pod is a made to fit snug in the water bottle cage.
STICKY FINGERS-BRAKE GRIPS
If you have ever slipped a finger off your brake levers at that crucial moment of truth, maybe you were riding in the rain and couldn’t keep your fingers on the levers if your life depended on it, well worry no more. The STICKY FINGERS will make you worry no more. Designed from a durable soft rubber that slips over your brake levers, they will do the trick for you when you grip the binders.
DUCK FLAP-MUD FLAPS
I’m sure you have seen these before and they are a life saver when in the mud. Specifically designed to fit the fork or the rear area of your bike, you simply zip tie them on and go. The perfect item to have in the wet or that Enduro race these should be a part of any ride gear.
PANOWRAPS BIKE GOGGLES
These unique goggles are made to be super light weight and durable. Miles was so excited to show us these, that when he did I was blown away by them, yes they don’t look like the main stream goggle, but who says you have to wear what everyone else is.
I had mentioned they look like the old World War II goggles you would see the German tankers wear, they were super light and they did feel comfortable on the face. You could roll them up and literally put them into your pocket.
They come in clear, amber, and smoke tint.
NORTHERN LIGHTS LED BIKE LIGHT
Miles even make a cool bike light that produces 1200 lumens with a range of 1950 feet. The body is finned to keep the aluminum body cool, powered by 4 Cell Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries, and pack with holder you can either mount the NORTHERN LIGHT on your handle bars or your helmet, mounts are provided for both.
THE MAN BEHIND THE PASSION
Here he is Miles Schwartz a super nice guy that I see putting out some great gear for mountain bikes. Another great thing about Miles’ products is they won’t break the bank. MilesWide product start at $10.99 for the STICKY FINGERS and go up to $80.00 range for the NORTHERN LIGHTS. Not bad for being the little guy on the block.
If you would like to contact MILESWIDE INDUSTRIES you can go to their website at miles-wide.com
Thanks for the time Miles.
Well the door are open and we came for the whole week, so I hope you will find what we saw as cool as we did.
While walking In the Taiwan area I spotted a company called Juin Tech, they had this cool suspension mount for your phone, GPS, or POV cameras. I just had to get this and they were selling them, so I pick it up.
Stay tuned for a review.
HYDRATION FOR THE BODY IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT
PICKLE JUICE, fight the cramps of muscle fatigue?
Wearable Hydration that will increase hydration by 40%, could this be? QORE PERFORMANCE says it will.
This is a whole different way of hydrating the body by wearing cool packs on the body.
ISORIDE bars, tabs and hydration drinks for your sport needs.
GUTR sweatbands for when you are dehydrating.
If you sweat a lot and your goggles don’t hold the seat back or your on that long XC/trail ride and you hate when the sweat hits your eyes, this could be your ticket.
CAMELBAK GEAR AND HYDRATION DRINKS
Some of these may not be practical for ordinary mountain biking, but if you a a trekker with your mountain bike, Fat Tire bike, or you just want to pedal out somewhere for an overnight, HYDRAPAK bottles may have what your looking for.
A super tough collapsible water bottles will fit perfect in your pack or saddlebags.
GEAR & PROTECTION QUICKIE
LEATT was in the house showing off their new helmet and of course all there gear. From their well known neckbrace to their pads, body armor, hydration pack, and new helmet. Its clear to see LEATT is in the game for the long haul.
100% goggles, sunglasses, Aircraft helmet, and gloves are definitely cool as cool.
G-FORM had a great booth at INTERBIKE this year. With their pads being one of the lightest pads out there they have become one of the popular elbow and knee pads on the market.
Well here is just some of the products we saw at INTERBIKE 2015. There was so much to see and do, it was and hard to put it all on here for you to see.
Next we will be posting those products that deserve a little more time and explanation.
Allow me to geek out for a minute OK. “YES, YES, YES!!! Limited edition Star Wars helmets!!! Yeah!!!”
Now that I got that out of my system, Bell helmets will be offering two Super 2R MIPS equipped helmets, plus the Segment and Segment Jr with Star Wars graphics on them for a limited time.
Now you can have the SUPER 2R MIPS BOBA FETT helmet and go collect your bounty at the Enduro races or trails.
Why not be STORM TROOPER TK-421. You remember him don’t you, the Trooper that HAN SOLO and LUKE called into the Falcon to get his armor while on the Death Star. I’m pretty sure HAN shot first on that one, but we will never know.
You also have the SEGMENT Darth Vader black helmet with Imperial Cog on the side and for that Jr shredder check out the BOBA FETT BOUNTY HUNTER SEGMENT JR, or Millennium Falcon SEGMENT JR.
I have to say this is a first time I have ever seen something like this before and find it very cool for all the SW fan boys.
SEGMENT & SEGMENT JR
SUPER & SUPER 2R MIPS
Some cool colors for the 2016 Super 2R and Super will pop out at you. Aggression Blue, Matte Kryptonite, and Matte White/ Glacier Blue.
Bell is also doing the Joy Ride Women’s collection which will have the Super and Super 2R with a cool color.
Here’s a look at what you can expect from BELL HELMETS.
JOY RIDE WOMEN’S HELMETS
I love the Super helmet we reviewed when they came out and with the new SUPER 2R’s added quick release chinbar it makes for one versatile trail/Enduro helmet. Another thing that’s great, BELL did update the SUPER to allow you to purchase the chinbar separately if you want later.
Look for the BELL STAR WARS Limited Edition helmets other Bell Helmets at your local dealers near you.
Well as I descend upon Las Vegas and make my way to the 2015 Inter bike Dirtdemo, I saw fat tire bikes, cool bikes from the past, Mountain E-Bikes, and products galore.
The weather was windy, sunny, and just enough rain to make it just right, so here are some pics of the 2015 DirtDemo.
Fat tire bikes seemed to be the cool thing again this year.
Best way to travel goes to this guy.
OLD SCHOOL BIKES IN THE DEMO
DAINESE DEMOING THEIR GEAR
You won’t see to many safety companies doing a demo of their protection and I have to say it was great to see them out there. From what I gathered it was a hit and you can tell with most of their popular sizes checked out for most of the day.
MISHAPS & ODD BALLS
When at a DirtDemo you will have injury and that one guy that will reinvent the wheel.
HARD WORKING CREWS
When at a Interbike DirtDemo there is a no harder working staff then that of the bike companies. They are constantly moving bike in and out of there tents, adjusting bikes to fit their customers and hopefully potential new customers. For two days in any weather condition they are cranking.
A quick look at the hardest working people. Thanks guys.
Well there can be so much more, but we have Interbike to go see next. Hope you enjoyed.
We ran into the MORSA Company while out at Sea Otter this year and they were kind enough to give us some product to review. Now I’m a sucker for mounting kits when it comes to letting me put my POV camera, phone, GPS, or lighting systems on my bike in the best way possible.
The first thing we think about taking on a ride is our GoPro’s right, phones come in second (or first if you are a selfie addict), maybe lights third for that night ride, and if you’re on a long ride or say racing a point to point race like an Enduro you’ll need a GPS too.
Could it be the start of your bike’s handle bar area looking like that of an F-18 jet fighter cockpit? Clutter could be a bad thing, but we need our devices, can’t do without them, right?
So in walks MORSA a company out of Irvine CA. that designs, engineered, and manufactures their mount and adapters here in the USA.
An unusual name MORSA, it’s Italian for clamp or vise and the mounting arm does just that.
MORSA has made it simple by making the Mounting Arm which will mount on a 31.8 road or mountain bike bar, with four mounts available to you, you can mount a phone, camera, lights, or computer, the combinations you choose are almost endless.
The MORSA system is well thought out that it allows you to mount up to three items. I don’t think anyone can boast this. All the mounts are made from a strong CARBON composite nylon which this makes them light weight, durable, and shock absorbing.
PHONE CASE ADAPTER- If you’re familiar with ROKFORM phone cases for your iPhone, iPad, and Samsung Galaxy phones MORSA makes the mount to use the ROKFORM cases.
A nice solid twist and lock mount case which is outstanding when mounted.
It will let you mount your Phone or tablet out front or in the center in either horizontal or vertical.
Of course the ROKFORM case is not included, but the great thing is the phone case adapter is only $10.00 retail.
CAMERA ADAPTER- MORSA went with what works or should I say the most sold POV camera on the market for a simple mount, the GoPro quick release buckle that makes on and off fast. Shimano CM1000 and Garmin VIRB can also be used with the purchase of a GoPro Camera buckle.
Like the phone adapter it allows you to put the camera center and out front, face the camera forwards or backwards, rotate and slide the camera to get different positions, and mount it upside down or right side up. It’s all up to you.
Retail price for the camera adapter is $10.00.
CYCLING COMPUTER ADAPTER- Much like the phone adapter the mounting is about the same. Twist and lock. It will work with the GARMIN EDGE 200, 500, 800, 1000 Touring series, also with the MAGELLAN CYCLO computers.
Retail is $10.00, you kind of seeing where this is going…
UNIVERSAL MOUNT- This is the simplest of mounts because its round at a size of 31.8 like a handle bar, so it will mount just about all lighting systems or band type systems, even the CATEYE or POLAR computer can be mounted.
The Universal Mount allows you to put the lighting systems out front and center.
Retail price, yup you guessed it $10.00
MOUNTING ARM- This is the main part that is for all the adapters. A swing hinge mount goes around you handle bar where it’s clamped on. The arm will allow mounting one to two adapters cleanly for your devices in what position you need them to be.
Price for the Mounting Arm is not $10.00, but $20.00. Still a deal for sure.
WILL IT WORK FOR YOU
Why wouldn’t it, whether you are a mountain biker or a road biker the MORSA Mounting system is one of the most versatile systems out there that we have come across. It’s easy to use with your device placements. It’s all up to where and how you want your electronic toys mounted. I love that the MORSA system allows you to put your phone or GPS right in front of you so you can see the screen without taking your eyes off the trail or road.
The Camera and Universal mounts allow you just as much adjustment.
HITTING THE TRAIL
We were given one Mounting Arm, one Camera mount, and one Universal mount. I opted out testing the GPS or Phone mounts because I didnt have a GPS at this time or the type of phone required for the MORSA system.
Mounting the arm was a breeze, the whole system’s mounting is great and super easy to mount. The slots on the Mounting Arm allow you to slide your mount back and forth no problem and give you room for at least three items with ease.
Once on the trail I didn’t see any movement what so ever. This whole system was rock solid on the bars.
Once I found my sweet spot for the Camera mount it was a no brainier finding the optimum position I wanted for the GoPro, after all I do have to look good when on camera, a requirement in my contract.
You will notice in the photos that I moved the Mounting Arm down more than you would if you had a phone or GPS on you bike. I wanted to get a lower angel for the GoPro which worked great for me, the only time I had a problem was when my GoPro came loose, but that was me not tightening it down enough, not due to the mount.
Next was the Universal mount for my lighting systems. The Universal mount works great with either a clamp type light or light with an O-ring style setup, just like some bike computers.
The lighting system I chose to use was the GEMINI DUO because it has the O-Ring mount system. While going through the rough my DUO light would be the one to move under these conditions. The verdict, it didn’t move an inch. With all the vibration and hits my lights stayed on target at all times and I just love this.
When you look at a lot of the device systems out there that are made with machined aluminum or basic plastics you will see and find some great ones, but none that will give you the capability to have multiple devices and versatility at once with clean mounting.
I give MORSA high marks for this; the other thing that puts MORSA on my list of “a company for the cyclist” is the cost. You won’t feel set back an arm and a leg in the pocket book with the prices setting yourself up. All the adapters are $10.00 and the Mounting Arm $20.00, this is amazing.
Solid engineering, made in the USA, excellent materials, and cost that won’t break the bank, MORSA got it right.
We wish to thank MORSA for the opportunity to review their products, if you wish to contact MORSA you can by going to firstname.lastname@example.org or their website www.morsadesigns.com .
Well here I am again having spent a long amount of test time with some new gear and this time MtnBikeRider.com is putting some of Dainese new 2015 gear through the ringer.
Now we all know Dainese as the innovators of protection and in the last few years Dainese is trying to make a come back in the mountain bike arena. They’ve been upping their game with new pad designs, innovative Enduro packs and clothing designs.
When it comes to the protection side of things they have in my opinion done it better than anyone out there. After all they are the one’s who started it all and others fallowed, so when it comes to say jerseys, shorts, or gloves, can they stack up to the others who have been making the advancements in new innovative wicking materials or tough Ripstop nylons, will have to see.
I have always loved any gear I have received to test or even purchased for myself from Dainese.
For 2015 they pulled out the stops and really brought their game, so much so that in 2014 the Lapierre Gravity World Cup team was fully outfitted for DH battle as well as the Enduro team by Dainese.
I have to tell you it was great to see Dainese out there in a big way on the World Cup circuit like it used to be.
So what are we going to review, well why not review what the Lapierre team used.
Dan Walczewski of Dainese USA heads the Multi-Sport division and after a few conversations we were off to test.
Dan set us up with the BASANITE S/S JERSEY, HACKER SHORTS, and ROCK SOLID-D GLOVES.
The first thing you will notice is the color I chose, the neon yellow pops. All the colors in the three items stick out good, besides I figure why not look ultra-cool and go a little Valentino Rossi (for those who don’t fallow Moto GP road racing, he is the MAN on the track for Dainese and AGV).
BASANITE SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY
The BASANITE Jersey comes in short sleeve as well as long. There are four colors, red/black, neon yellow/black, white/black, and white/green, with sizing of XS – XXL.
The jersey is made of light weight polyester that is a technical fit. The BASANITE jersey has such a light feel that you wonder if you are wearing a jersey at all. I love the fit, not super baggy and not too tight. Great air flow due in part from the micro-mesh area panels on the sides of the jersey which really allow for maximum heat dissipation from the body which is a super plus on hot days.
I have worn this jersey on long hot rides climbing and descending, if it wasn’t for my hydration pack on my back cutting the air flow around to my back I would no doubt have been very cool all the way around.
I have to give the BASANITE Jersey high marks for its ultra-light feel, air flow, and great looks.
This is a great jersey to use for DH racing as well as an all-day Enduro race.
The retail price is $69.99
The HUCKER is the new DH short for 2015. The first thing I notice was the light weight feel to them, lighter then past Dainese DH shorts we have tested.
Now I don’t mind a heavy short because it makes me feel safer in the event of going down, but will they hold up to a fall in the rocks or gravel, read on.
So what makes these DH- FR (Freeride) shorts tough and light, well Dainese uses a tear-resistant Duratex Fabric that’s for comfort and ergonomics, elasticated inserts on the crotch and lumbar allow for greater movement of freedom while riding DH, Enduro, or your favorite trail.
The HUCKER doesn’t come with any padded liner as these are a DH racing type shorts which allows you to tailor the under short to your ride, for example DH I run the Dainese Performance Short that has hard shell protection on the thigh and tail bone and a soft protection Dainese short for light protection.
The best part about the new HUCKER Shorts is their breathability; four large panels bring in the air to cool off those privates. This is a super comfort when beating the heat and I give Dainese top notch marks for that.
Finish off the great attention to detail with the clean colors and logos, nice waste adjustment straps and a nifty little zip pocket for keys, beer money, or whatever tickles your fancy.
These are a great DH short or Enduro race short, Light weight to beat the heat and tough enough to save the tushy.
Sizes range from XS –XXL at a retail price of $109.99
ROCK SOLID-D GLOVES
Gloves have changed quite a bit from when I started racing DH and I’m a firm believer in knuckle, finger, and palm protection. Dainese has always made a superb glove of this type in the past, but even Dainese has gone the way of the thin racing glove. Riders seen to want that connection from the bike to the ground, sorry but I’m not buying it. Having some sort of protection is important if you’re doing a DH race or tackle a killer Enduro race and that being said Dainese delivered by adding PRO SHAPE to the ROCK SOLID –D, along with tech materials for breathability and toughness .
First let’s start with the obvious; Dainese is using their new proprietary protection that’s found on their new TRAIL SKINS knee and elbow guards called PRO SHAPE.
This is a unique honeycomb flexible structure that is made of Polynorbornene, a polymer that has remarkable shock-absorbing qualities for only being 6mm thick. The perforated structure allows it to breathe and ventilate heat and sweating.
You have roughly a 1” x 4” patch set across the knuckle area of the glove that will bend with the hand and offer that knuckle protection. It’s so good it has satisfied the EN 1621 standards.
A high strength synthetic fabric on the palm, an Airprene upper cuff that’s light and breathable, silicone printing on the palm for added grip contact, and the last great touch is that the finger tips are touch screen compatible to stop and take that great selfie of yourself on the trail or after the race.
Sizes range from XXS-XXL and the retail is $54.99.
While wearing the BASANITE S/S jersey and HUCKER shorts I really didn’t find any fault at all, I have to say they seemed rather perfect. All the technical features of both work great. Air flow, light weight fabrics, and great quality make these two products shine, however the one hurdle Dainese has to overcome is to be competitive with their pricing, especially with their jersey price. Other companies range start at $40.00 up to $50.00 bucks.
I have no complaints with the HUCKER shorts as the pricing is close to other competitors.
I did get to ground test these babies, though it was a small spill the fabric held up well, I just love the air panels as they really let the air flow in great.
With gloves I wear a medium, but after a previous test from another company I went to a small size for the ROCK SOLID –D, now for the most part they fit better when I dropped a size. My fingers were all the way to the tips of the gloves. This is a good thing; it offers a snug feel with no loose material on the hand.
Now the one issue I found was that the PRO SHAPE padding was positioned just a hair behind my knuckles and this could be due to the smaller size glove.
The PRO SHAPE molded well on my knuckle area, bending and moving on my hand well under riding conditions, however I did notice that my right gloves feel put a strain on the top of my knuckles after some time, but as I said this could be due to the size gloves I was wearing. I didn’t experience this on my left hand so much.
I would have like to have seen the protection moved closer to the fingers and run over the knuckles down each finger say ½” to 1” stopping before the first knuckle of each finger for that added protection.
The rest of the gloves materials were spot on in the comfort department and breathability.
Price wise I’m a firm believer in protection and if I have to pay a little more I’m OK with that.
Overall I would recommend the BASANITE jersey, HUCKER shorts, and ROCK SOLID-D gloves (check your sizing with them first). They look great, breath great, and wick the heat away great.
The other thing that puts Dainese on high marks is the “One Year Warranty” they have against material and manufacturing defects on all their products (of course barring crash damage). You can’t beat that.
If you’re looking for Dainese products ask your local bicycle retailer, visit one of three D-Store in the US, or go to Dainese.com to shop.
Thanks to Dan Walczewski , Multi-Sports Manager and Dainese USA.
If you recall we did a review on the BELL super helmet last year as a part of our Enduro product reviews. At that time BELL had not yet released the Super 2R or Super 2R MIPS. These are the latest in the All-Mountain / Enduro type line up for BELL Helmets along with the Super 2.
The Super 2R come as a standard foam type EPS liner with a In-Mold Polycarbonate Shell, while the Super 2R equipped MIPS steps up the protection in the shell. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. This allows for better protection to the head.
The key feature to both Super 2R helmets is that they use a detachable chinbar. This is great because it allows you to remove the chinbar while say climbing, put it in your pack, and then allowing you to simply reattach it back to the helmet with three clips.
The other cool thing is the fact that you get not just a CPSC Bicycle safety rating, but also a CE EN1078 rating.
BELL Helmets was quite busy at the Sea Otter Classic showing off the good.
Retail for the SUPER 2R is $200, while the MIPS equipped SUPER 2R retails for $220.