RIDE REVIEW: GIANT’S FULL-E +1, RIDING THE ELECTRIC BAND WAGON!!

2017 GIANT FULL-E+ 1
2017 GIANT FULL-E+ 1

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!!

THE BIKE!!

THE GIANT FULL-E +1 LOOKS LIKE ANY OTHER BIKE, BUT PACKED WITH A LITTLE EXTRA FUN.
THE GIANT FULL-E +1 LOOKS LIKE ANY OTHER BIKE, BUT PACKED WITH A LITTLE EXTRA FUN.

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.

FRONT AND REAR DERAILLERS, STANDARD SHIFTING LIKE A NORMAL BIKE, AND GETTING TO PEDAL YOUR HEART OUT.
FRONT AND REAR DERAILLERS, STANDARD SHIFTING LIKE A NORMAL BIKE, AND GETTING TO PEDAL YOUR HEART OUT.
GIANT'S NEW TRUNNION MOUNT REAR SHOCK.
GIANT’S NEW TRUNNION MOUNT REAR SHOCK.
GIANT MAESTRO REAR SUSPENSION WITH 140mm OF TRAVEL.
GIANT MAESTRO REAR SUSPENSION WITH 140mm OF TRAVEL.

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.

YOU KEEP THE GIANT FULL-E +1 GOING, BUT WHAT HELPS YOU IS THE GIANT EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERY.
YOU KEEP THE GIANT FULL-E +1 GOING, BUT WHAT HELPS YOU IS THE GIANT EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERY.
A WELL LITE DIGITAL CONTROL PANELS FEEDS ALL THE INFO YOU NEED.
A WELL LITE DIGITAL CONTROL PANELS FEEDS ALL THE INFO YOU NEED.
EASY TO USE ON THE FLY. GAINT'S RideControl EVO, GRIP LAUNCH CONTROL WITH WALK ASSIST, AND MINI USB CHARGER.
EASY TO USE ON THE FLY.
GAINT’S RideControl EVO, GRIP LAUNCH CONTROL WITH WALK ASSIST, AND MINI USB CHARGER.
IF THE BATTERY IS THE HEART, THE MOTOR IS YOUR TRACTOR. SyncDrive SPORT, 80Nm, 500W MOTOR POWERED BY YAMAHA. THIS WILL DELIVER SMILES FOR HOURS.
IF THE BATTERY IS THE HEART, THE MOTOR IS YOUR TRACTOR.
SyncDrive SPORT, 80Nm, 500W MOTOR POWERED BY YAMAHA.
THIS WILL DELIVER SMILES FOR HOURS.

THE RIDE

CLIMBING
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!!

DESCENDING
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.

THE WRAP

OVERALL I HAD FUN RIDING THE GIANT FULL-E +1. THE PEDAL ASSIST WORKED GREAT  IN ALL MODES AND THE BEST PART WAS THAT i GOT A HELL OF A WORKOUT. IF YOU HATE TO CLIMB, BUT LOVE TO DESCEND, AND WANT TO LOVE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME THAN THIS IS A WAY TO GO.
OVERALL I HAD FUN RIDING THE GIANT FULL-E +1. THE PEDAL ASSIST WORKED GREAT IN ALL MODES AND THE BEST PART WAS THAT i GOT A HELL OF A WORKOUT. IF YOU HATE TO CLIMB, BUT LOVE TO DESCEND, AND WANT TO LOVE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME THAN THIS IS A WAY TO GO.

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.

REVIEW WEDNESDAY: TIMBER MOUNTAIN BIKE BELLS

THE BEST LITTLE TRAIL BELL EVER
THE BEST LITTLE TRAIL BELL EVER

TRAIL AWARENESS

Have you ever been on your local trails and you’re coming around a blind turn and suddenly you have hikers or horseback riders.
Both hikers, horseback rider, and you have your eyes bugging out of your heads like Large Marge from “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”.
Hopefully yelling doesn’t start from the hikers, horse riders. You’re fast on your feet with the apologies for the surprise you may have caused.

Being heard on the trail can be a hard thing when on a multi-purpose trail. You have to take into consideration that others are so into nature, enjoying the outdoors like yourself they could not be paying attention. We all share a responsibility while being on the trial.
So, don’t believe that because you’re on your bike and you can hear the noise you produce that it could be heard down trial as well.

With so many enjoying the local outdoors these days, the trails are getting a little more crowded.

Being heard before being seen is important and what mountain bike riders have done in the past was to get mini cow bells or small fishing bells from your local Big 5, then attaching them to their hydration packs or bikes. You may find that one rider that wants to be heard so much that they sound like Santa Claus and his sleigh.
Whistles are another good way to be heard, but trying to put one in your mouth as your riding is not an option when bouncing all over, I once saw a company that made water bottle air horns. Now these were cool, but talk about loud and scaring the crap out of someone, got to say they were pretty cool, but wouldn’t last long.
So, you have some quick choices out there, from the little fishing line bells you get from the local tackle store, to the small to medium Velcro mini cow bells you can order online, however there is a better choice.

THE BELL

In comes TIMBER Mountain bike bells and they have taken mountain bike bells a step above the rest.
I met Chris an Liz Lacy at Interbike one year just prior to releasing the BOLT ON bell. I saw this thing and right away had to talk to Chris from TIMBER about it.
So, I wondered how a bell could be better, it’s a bell! Big deal! WRONG!!

This is a big deal, why? TIMBER Mountain Bike Bells mount to your handle bars in one of two ways.
MtnBikeRider.com tested both bells with countless hours of riding in all conditions and areas to see trail users’ response and the response in a high public use area. The results were unbelievably great.

The first is the TIMBER Quick Release bell that comes with two rubber straps that allow you to mount to the narrow part of your bars or the wide part of your bars.
The second is the newest addition Bolt-On model that allows you to bolt-on to bars 31.8 to 22.2.

THE QUICK RELEASE BELL IS A SMALL PACKAGE WITH GREAT CONSTRUCTION.
THE QUICK RELEASE BELL IS A SMALL PACKAGE WITH GREAT CONSTRUCTION.
PULL TAB O-RING ALLOWS YOU TO ATTACH TO YOU HANDLE BAR WITH NO PROBLEM AND THE RUBBER SHIM KEEPS YOUR QUICK RELEASE FROM UNWANTED SLIPPING.
PULL TAB O-RING ALLOWS YOU TO ATTACH TO YOU HANDLE BAR WITH NO PROBLEM AND THE RUBBER SHIM KEEPS YOUR QUICK RELEASE FROM UNWANTED SLIPPING.

Rubber shims included.
The Quick Release model has a partial nylon body and comes with two sized rubber rings for mounting.
Each ring has a tab to help you pull it onto the body’s hook. When you find the right spot the Quick Release bell holds great. Mounting is really super simple and what is great about this particular bell is it allows you to remove it and mount it on any of your bikes.
Let’s face it we never know which bike we want to take out for a ride in our quiver and being able to put this bell in your Hydro bag and pull it out at the ready is awesome.

THE BOLT ON TIMBER BELL AS YOU CAN SEE IS NICELY MADE. NYLON TOUGH BODY AND LEVER, BEAUTIFUL BELL, AND INCLUDED SHIMS FOR A GREAT FIT.
THE BOLT ON TIMBER BELL AS YOU CAN SEE IS NICELY MADE. NYLON TOUGH BODY AND LEVER, BEAUTIFUL BELL, AND INCLUDED SHIMS FOR A GREAT FIT.
MOUNTING IS EASY, YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMOVE ANY GRIPS, OR CONTROL SYSTEMS ON THE BARS. PULL IT OPEN A TAD AND SLIP IT ON.
MOUNTING IS EASY, YOU DON’T HAVE TO REMOVE ANY GRIPS, OR CONTROL SYSTEMS ON THE BARS. PULL IT OPEN A TAD AND SLIP IT ON.

The Bolt-On TIMBER Bell has a full body made with tough flexible nylon that tightens with a 5mm bolt. Use the proper shim, tighten it up on the handle bar and forget about it. You also don’t have to worry about the TIMBER Bell moving. Once it’s on, it’s on.
Now I do like this setup a tad better because I know it won’t be liberated by someone who thinks he deserves it more than me. It sucks while you’re in line ordering your Big Bear Yogi burger with Boo Boo fries after some hard riding only to come out and get your ride on and you see someone swiped something off your bike. Just not cool.

HOW IT WORKS

Now what has this beat over other bells, horns, and baby rattles is the fact that you can turn it on and off. Yes, this is the only mountain bike trail bell that allows you to use it when you want.
You don’t have to take you thumb off the handle bar to ring it or push a button to make it ring.
Sure using your thumb to flick a ringer or push a button may not sound like a big deal, but think of it this way. You flick the lever downward and the bell starts to ring.

This is what’s so ingeniously simple about the TIMBER Bell. You push the lever down and it will lower what TIMBER call the “internal Clapper Cable”, the ball will ring as you are moving.
After you pass those you wish to alert on the trail, simply use your thumb to move it to the up position and the bell is then turned off. EZZY PEEZZY!!

NOISE TIME!!!!

This is the other great thing about the TIMBER Bell. The noise it emits is very pleasing to the ear.
If you have ever used say one of the mini cow bells on your bike or on your hydro pack, you know this constant ringing is load and you will be heard a mile away, yes good and all, and I know this is what you want. At some point, I know you hate hearing this bell during your whole ride. It just kills your ride to the point of taking it off and tossing it in the pack to never be heard again, plus the noise has pretty much scared of all wild life within a 10 mile radius, and pissed off anyone around you.

SIMPLE TO USE AND A PASSIVE BELL SOUND WHEN YOU WANT IT.
SIMPLE TO USE AND A PASSIVE BELL SOUND WHEN YOU WANT IT.

TIMBER’s Bell sends out a nice (in their words) passive sound. It can be heard in a
200 + meter radius, which is great for all on the trail without waking the dead.

RIDE TEST

Using both the Quick Release and BLOT ON TIMBER Bells proved to never be any kind of issue when you needed to turn it on or off.
Of course, the Quick Release is easier to take on and off, this could be a plus to those with multiple rides.
Left or right side it worked well. I never experienced any movement when I used it. It didn’t slip when I pushed the lever up or down, thumb up there.
The Bolt On TIMBER Bell I like as you know due to not having to ever worry about it ever disappearing.
After you find the place where you want it on your bar (like the Quick Release close within thumb reach is best if you could) it was always a snap to operate.

ONCE YOU HAVE THAT GREAT SPOT, YOU'RE READY TO GO.
ONCE YOU HAVE THAT GREAT SPOT, YOU’RE READY TO GO.

I found that any time I would turn it on when I saw someone down trail, they had no problem hearing me coming. I even had one hiker thank me for not having an obnoxious sounding bell.
I don’t mind using it when I’m riding. I feel good about using it because it isn’t loud.
I wanted to see what kind of response I would have when riding the crowded boardwalk path at my local beach. Any time I turned it on, people would not be startled and move with no problem.

Just another plus using the TIMBER MOUNTAIN BIKE Bells. You can say this isn’t just for the trail.
No movement, super easy to install, fast to use on the trail without loss of control, and great construction.
Oh and one more thing, the Bolt On models threaded insert is made in the USA with a lifetime quality solid brass that won’t strip or wear out. Sounds good to me.
I have to tell you what the best part about the TIMBER Bell is, that’s the price.
These little babies will only set you back a whole whopping $20.00 bucks, yeah just $20.00 smack-A-Roos!!!

This is a super value if you ask me and I will be getting a few more for my other bikes as well.
Our hats off to TIMBER MOUNTAIN BIKE BELLS. Thank you for letting us review your products.

You can get one of these nifty bells by going to their website at mtbbell.com.

Evan Williams Bourbon Review

This past year I’ve gotten into whiskey. In fact for my 40th birthday I hosted a Cigar and Whiskey Social at a nearby cigar lounge. I don’t drink much, but when I want to relax I typically will bust out one of my favorite cigars and pour some whiskey in a small glass. I first discovered Evan Williams through some facebook post that I saw where it was rated high for a whiskey priced under $15. I later found it at my local grocery store for only $13.99.

Took it home, got myself a ice ball, poured it into a glass, lit my cigar and leaned relaxed on my patio. Alright so here’s the thing with Bourbons, I love the oakey taste. The oakier the better. I know that oakey isn’t a word, but if you drink this stuff you’ll get that woodsy flavor that comes through on your palette. That’s exactly what I look for. Then I look for how smooth it is going down. The last thing I need is to make a face when drinking this stuff.

So what I like to do is to let the bourbon sit in the glass and let the ice melt a bit. I find that a little bit of water, to me it enhances the flavor of the bourbon and leaves a cleaner mouth feel. Sipping on the Evan Williams a good experience. As much as I enjoy it, I think this would be best served as a mixing bourbon. One of my go to drinks is to enjoy it with some Coca Cola and about 1-2 shots of Evan Williams. But if I don’t have any soda, I’ll just sip on a little bit of it while I’m smoking a cigar.

Truthfully, this bourbon isn’t bad for less than $15. It’s a value bourbon and its the type that you’d serve to company and save the better stuff for yourself for later. Another thing I like to do with Evan Williams is I pour a shot glass full and place that in my humidor to help flavor my cigars.

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Review: O-tus Safe Sounds helmet speakers

O-TUS SAFE SOUND SPEAKERS
O-TUS SAFE SOUND SPEAKERS

“TRAIL JAMMIN”

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
NEAR EAR SPEAKERS

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

INSTALLATION

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.

FIND THE PERFECT SPOT FOR YOU SPEAKER PLACEMENT PULL OFF BACKING AND PRESS ON THE VELCRO
FIND THE PERFECT SPOT FOR YOU SPEAKER PLACEMENT PULL OFF BACKING AND PRESS ON THE VELCRO
IF YOU CHOOSE TO PUT YOU SMALL DEVICE ON THE HELMET THE SAME WAY AS YOU DID WITH THE SPEAKERS, PULL OFF THE BACKING AND APPLY TO THE SHELL
IF YOU CHOOSE TO PUT YOU SMALL DEVICE ON THE HELMET THE SAME WAY AS YOU DID WITH THE SPEAKERS, PULL OFF THE BACKING AND APPLY TO THE SHELL

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.

WEARING THE BELL SUPER 2 WITH THE O-TUS SPEAKERS AND iPOD SHUFFLE
WEARING THE BELL SUPER 2 WITH THE O-TUS SPEAKERS AND iPOD SHUFFLE

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.

O-TUS OFFERINGS

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.

Thanks to O-Tus for a great product to review.

Crown Royal XO Review

I figured I’ll come in and post something here and there about what’s been going on.
Well mountain biking is still taking a break from my life. But smoking cigars and drinking whiskey hasn’t. If anything I wanted to talk to you about one type of whiskey I had the pleasure of trying out.

I was recently enjoying some pozole at Art’s house. His pops came to visit and since this was a special occasion, Art busted out the Crown Royal XO. I’ve had Crown Royal before but never the XO. Well I was pleasantly surprised on how smooth it was. My goodness, this has to be the smoothest whiskey I’ve had to date. No harsh bite, just flavor and that warm feeling of the spirit of the whiskey coming into your body…wait, that sounded really sexual. Eh, who cares. You get the point right?

It’s smooth, it’s yummy and yes it will get you drunk, quick. As it should since it’s 40% (ABV 80 proof.)

The aroma of the XO was very pleasant. You can smell a hint of oak, the first sip allows you to taste notes of vanilla and fruits. Once you kick it to the back of your throat, you’ll then realize how smooth this whiskey is. 15800652_10210736770482993_3908246629634009378_o

Compete Energy Bites Review

 

What you see here is Compete Energy Bites. These little chews have 40 calories per serving, 2g of fat but most importantly, 135mg of caffeine. I was excited to try this product because I’m a big proponent for caffeine use during exercise. I believe that it helps your performance during your work out. I recently tried Compete during a ride through Santiago Oaks. I ate one chew mid-way through the ride and within about 15 minutes I already started to feel the effects of the product. complete energy bites

 

Here’s the nutritional chart:

One box of bites contains 6 chews and the price is $4.49. Which is relatively inexpensive compared to energy drinks like 5 hour Energy, Redbull or Monster.

During this ride, I only consumed 1 chew, which was plenty enough for what I was doing. Typically I’d down a Redbull or even a 5 Hour Energy before a ride. I typically will perform well with those drinks, but the problem I have with them is all the fluid in my stomach. Drinking Redbull or Monster can upset my stomach. Plus if I’m working extra hard on that ride, all that liquid sloshing around in my belly makes me feel sick. But with the Compete Energy Bites, I simply eat it and experience all the benefits that caffeine offers, without the sloshy belly.

Each bite is sealed in a foil blister pack to retain freshness. It’s the size of a Reisen chocolate caramel or one of those Snicker’s Bites. The taste is rather pleasant, but make sure you drink plenty of water to wash it down. In about 15 minutes I was feeling the effects. I become more talkative, felt like I could ride forever and I felt like I could conquer the world…all thanks to the caffeine!

photo 2 (7)

 

The Moe was feeling tired so I offered him his own Compete Energy Bite. He ate it and we kept riding. As we reached the top of the ridge, I felt strong! The Moe on the other hand didn’t. In fact he said the bite upset his stomach and he didn’t feel good at all.

One thing you have to know about me, I LOVE coffee. My threshold is not quite normal. I usually will have 2 shots of espresso at 8am, then another 2 shots around 2pm. Then when I get home, I like to unwind with a cup of coffee. That doesn’t even include the sodas I drink, so to say the least, I’m a caffeine addict.

photo 3 (5)

Personally I really liked Compete Energy Bites. It did wonders for me on my ride, but I can’t say the same for The Moe. With two different experiences that occurred with this product, I recommend you give it a try. If it works for you, great! If it doesn’t, give it away. It’s not like it’s a big commitment to get these bites, like I said, a box of 6 bites is only $4.49, that’s less than a Venti Latte at Starbucks!

photo 4 (4)

FTC Disclaimer

No Rinse Shampoo Review

I’ve been testing out the No Rinse Shampoo by No Rinse Laboratories, Inc. for some time and I figured it the review was long over due. Some background on why this product would be useful for mountain bikers. Well for starters, I don’t want to be stinky when I’m done riding. Plus we often go out to eat after we’re done riding. In some occasions, I’ll meet up with my family or friends after a ride and when I do, the last thing I want is for them to make a comment on my odor.

This is where the No Rinse Shampoo comes in handy. I keep this bottle in my gear bag that is kept in my trunk. After I’m done riding, I pour some into my hand or directly onto my scalp and try and build up a lather. Don’t think you’ll be covered in bubbles, the lather is rather thin. Once I’m done shampooing my hair or other body parts, I wipe it way with small towel. Voila! All fresh and so clean!

No rinse shampoo review

 

The shampoo comes out clear and has the consistency of watery hand sanitizer. Surprisingly, this stuff doesn’t leave you feeling sticky. I’ve used it on my arms, legs, chest, back and my balls. No Rinse Shampoo leaves you feeling clean, no residue or weird smells. In fact, the mild fragrance is pretty nice, not overpowering or “old lady” smelling. Make sense?

no rinse shampoo review mountain bike

A 16oz bottle of No Rinse Shampoo can be purchased at your local Walgreens for about $5.00. Trust me, this is totally worth it. Just remember to keep a small towel with you that way you can wipe off any excess once you’re done shampooing. I figure if this product is good enough for Astronauts during space shuttle flights, then it should be good enough for mountain bikers. Besides, this is way more eco-friendly than using baby wipes, right?! 

Review Disclaimer

 

REVIEW: MORSA DESIGNS MOUNTS FOR YOUR DEVICES

MORSA DESIGNS DEVICE MOUNTING SYSTEM
MORSA DESIGNS DEVICE MOUNTING SYSTEM

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.

SYSTEM MOUNTS

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.

CARBON COMPOSITE NYLON IS WHAT MAKES THE MORSA DESIGNS MOUNTING SYSTEM STRONG
CARBON COMPOSITE NYLON IS WHAT MAKES THE MORSA DESIGNS MOUNTING SYSTEM STRONG


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 FOR ALL YOUR DEVICES
MOUNTING ARM FOR ALL YOUR DEVICES

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.

SOLID ON THE TRAIL IN THE ROUGH
SOLID ON THE TRAIL IN THE ROUGH

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.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

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 info@morsadesigns.com or their website www.morsadesigns.com .

REVIEW- DAINESE BASANITE S/S JERSEY, HUCKER SHORTS, AND ROCK SOLID-D GLOVES

DAINESE 2015 DH / ENDURO GREAR
DAINESE 2015 DH / ENDURO GEAR

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.

THE GEAR

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

BASANITE S/S JERSEY
BASANITE S/S 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

HUCKER SHORT

HUCKER SHORT WITH LARGE AIR FLOW FRONT PANELS
HUCKER SHORT WITH LARGE AIR FLOW FRONT PANELS

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.

REAR LUMBAR STRETCH PANEL ALLOWS FOR GREATER MOVEMENT
REAR LUMBAR STRETCH PANEL ALLOWS FOR GREATER MOVEMENT

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.

COOL ZIPPER STASH POCKET FOR THAT BEER MONEY
COOL ZIPPER STASH POCKET FOR THAT BEER MONEY

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

ROCK SOLID-D PRO SHAPE KNUCKLE PROTECTION
ROCK SOLID-D PRO SHAPE KNUCKLE PROTECTION

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.

AIRPRENE UPPER, TOUGH HIGH STRENGTH SYNTHETIC PALM, AND TOUCH SCREEN FINGER TIP COMPATIBLE
AIRPRENE UPPER, TOUGH HIGH STRENGTH SYNTHETIC PALM, AND TOUCH SCREEN FINGER TIP COMPATIBLE

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.

OVERALL

WITH GREAT COMFORT AND FIT OVERALL DAINESE HAS HIT THE MARK WITH THE BASANITE JERSEY, HUCKER SHORT, AND ROCK SOLID-D GLOVES
WITH GREAT COMFORT AND FIT OVERALL DAINESE HAS HIT THE MARK WITH THE BASANITE JERSEY, HUCKER SHORT, AND ROCK SOLID-D GLOVES

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.

Pryme Trailhands Thrash Test

It’s safe to say there aren’t too many awful products for sale in the MTB industry. Quality varies from good to bad but different items cater to different needs and sometimes we just need the next cheap product to get us back on the trail. Everyone is constantly searching for that bargain product that stands out from the crowd and really shines in quality. Enter the Pryme Trailhands.

pryme 2

While these gloves look basic, I assure you that they were built this way specifically for function. The tops are a very plain gray, aerated, polyester with minimal branding or pannels. So they aren’t as flash as a lot of contemporary gloves these days, but that’s all subjective as some people really prefer the basic look. With only a thin layer on the top of the hand the glove maximizes the amount of airflow making these suitable for warm weather riding. There is also an even lighter, stretchy material that runs between the fingers of the glove which joins the top and bottom sections together.

The palm is a single piece of amara (synthetic leather) with a reinforcement pannel between the index finger and thumb for strength. The glove design is consistent between the top and bottom as they are striving for a minimalist product. The benefit is that you get a lightweight glove with a great feel for the bars while still retaining basic hand protection. And for the finishing touch, everything is held well in place by a velcro wrist closure.

I’ve ridden these gloves for miles and miles in a variety of conditions on my mountain bike as well as my dirtbike to see how they stand up. The gloves have a great, light feel when they are on, however the amara fabric is noticably stiffer than natural leather and other synthetics I’ve used. The feeling for the bars is still good and actually the amara fabric has proven to be extremely durable. Normally I’m very timid to adjust the pro-pedal knob on my Fox shock with flimsier gloves because the finger tips always fail first due to this. Try as I might, I’ve yet to see any undue strain on the Trailhands. The synthetic suede is very grippy by nature but I’m a big fan of gloves that provide some silicone for the braking fingers because, well, we are mountain bikers and less-than-perfect conditions are all too common.

I have yet to mention my absolute favorite thing about the gloves which is the thumb wipe. I don’t know why more manufacturers aren’t on board with this idea seeing that I require it every trail ride I go on. Have you ever gotten sweat on your goggles or glasses only to find that you are wearing all polyester from head to toe? It doesn’t really give a chance to ever get the lense clean again.

Everyone’s tolerances are different but my hands aren’t too susceptible to heat when I ride. As a result, I didn’t get to fully realize the breathability on the mesh fabric, however these were my every-day gloves all summer long without any troubles. I did enjoy the light material that runs between the fingers because I could completely feel the air rushing through as I rode. The whole breathable, minimalist aspect of these gloves is well acomplished.

So I had one goal in mind regarding these gloves, and that was to literally try to destroy them. I feel that many products are unfairly reviewed because when most people go to buy a product they want to know how it will hold up in the long run. Most reviewers miss this point because they simply don’t have the means to give everything this treatment. I tend to be a little hard on my bike and gear but these gloves looked sturdy right out of the packaging so I made sure to put them through the ringer. I used these for a couple dig sessions at the local dirt jumps and got them covered in mud. They hosed clean without problems. I used these for multiple trail rides and DH runs. The showed no signs of stress. I used these on my dirtbike and made certain to do all field maintenence while still wearing the gloves. They didn’t mind. I’d say that the only thing I never really did was crash in the Trailhands (surprising, right?).

After 6 months of extraordinary punishment these things look great. I can’t speak enough abouth how highly I would recommend these to everybody as a summer glove. I can’t really fault these gloves on anything because they are designed with a specific purpose. It would be entirely unfair for me to fault them for not being the best choice in winter, or for lacking burly impact protection. The Pryme Trailhands make perfect sense and with a price tag of about $20 this really is the stand-out bargain product.