Nema Telonix shorts and Breather gloves
The Telonix is an al mountain short, made out of a tough but light and breathable fabric and equipped with several pockets and vents. The chamois is comfy and stays in place, you can completely take it apart from the short, allowing you to ride with another chamois or simply without (ouch!)
Great shorts, very nice to use, strong and with a good look. It quickly became my favourites, so I did ride a lot with it. I got a black and a grey one, the grey is in perfect shape, the Nema writing peeled a bit and the colour faded slightly on the black one… not bad after 3 months of riding and washing.
The Breather gloves are (as you can guess) very light and breathable. Considering the perforated palm I really though they wouldn’t last long… how wrong was I! It took me 2 seasons to finally go through them. Great glove, comfy, breathable and with loads of feeling out of the palm.
Hope Tech M4
I’m using those breaks on all my bikes, they are light enough for enduro riding yet powerfull enough for downhilling. The bucket load of options (rotors, braided hoses, etc…) and the Tech lever, with its adjustments, give you the opportunity to adjust it to your needs and preferences.
I love those breaks for their reliability (not one problem with the 4 pairs I had so far), great modulation making braking much more precise and finally, their gorgeous finish.
Anything bad? Err… they squeek a bit when wet!
A little tip, drop a bit of silicon oil on the pistons when you change the pads to keep them nice and clean of any pad’s dust, they will only brake better!
POC Joint VPD knee pad
As many others, POC is using a “intelligent” foam for these pads, they are moulding around the knees but get harder upon impact.
Very comfy to wear, they stay in place when pedalling and offer good protection, only downside, they are badly vented, it’s pretty hot in there!
Here are a few thoughts about the gears we are riding with, no technical/marketing descriptions here (check the brand’s websites for that), but the result of 3 month (at least) of riding by any type of weather…
Fiveten Freerider Zebra
For those who still haven’t heard about Fiveten, they are cycling shoes whom soles are made out of a special sticky rubber giving them a crazy grip over flat pedals… to the point that it made me swap my good old SPD for flats after 10 years of use !
The Freerider is lighter, more breathable and leaner looking then the Impact or Karver, I like to use them when there is a bit of pedalling involved. Good news is the side of the shoe is know one part with the sole, stopping it falling apart like on the firsts models.
My only” problem” with it is that the sole is not as stiff as the other’s models, making it a bit uncomfortable on very long rides. It does give a better feel out of the pedals though, those used to Vans type shoes will appreciate.
After 3 months of use there isn’t one stitch gone, brilliant!
Evoc Freeride Tour
Evoc is a German company offering backpacks with integrated back protector. The Freeride Tour is the biggest model of the range (30l), perfect for multi days rides or those who like to carry their whole tool box with them (like me). There are one flashy colour and one more stealth one per model.
The bag is extremely well thought out and built, full of handy pockets (tools, sunglasses, water bladder, etc…), integrated rain protection, sitting very well on the back… you can tell its designers rides!
Watch out for your pedals when carrying your bike on your shoulders, the mesh is a bit fragile, apart from that, it’s a tough one!
Gamut Dual ring
Last addition in the range, this system is designed to stop your chain jaming when using a double ring setup. Very light and well finished, the installation is very easy.
The bearings died very quickly (a couple of weeks) and I’m not convinced the step on the roller is very useful (the chain is grinding on it sometimes), but I didn’t lost my chain once and the quietness of it makes you forget it very quickly…job done!
I’m selling my trusty RFX, it’s an enduro bike with 6″ of travel, size L. The bike has been fully serviced, suspensions tuned et serviced by Fast Suspension, new gears, loads of Hope parts… here are the details:
Frame 2008 Rfx, Large, Sangria red (custom colour), new bushings, modified to run a non stop dérailleur housing.
Fork RS Lyric solo air, custom tuned.
Wheels Hope pro2 (new bearings),rims Mavic En321.
Brakes Hope M4, floating rotors, braided hoses.
Crankset Shimano XT with Hope bottom bracket, new rings, Gamut bashring.
Hope stem and headset, Easton Ea50 handlebars, Thomson seatpost.
Dérailleurs/shifters X9, new K7, chain, cables and housing.
Maxxis Minion/HR 2.35 single ply tires, only a few rides.
Price: 1800 Euros (was 5000e new).
Here is my new enduro bike.
The frame is a Turner 5.Spot, delivering 5″ of travel via the DW link. The geometry is pretty aggressive for a bike of this class but the most impressive is the stiffness of the frame, this bike is a real weapon on technical singletracks! The other massive advantage of Turner’s frame is the « journal bearings », no ball bearings on this frame… my former bike (a Rfx), lasted two years before showing some wear on the pivots, that’s twice longer than a « usual » frame!
The rest of the components have been chosen for their reliability to weight ratio, here is the list:
Frame: 5.Spot Large with ISCG tabs(should be standard in 2011)
Fork: Fox 36 Talas 2011 OEM
Brakes: Hope Tech M4, 200/180mm with macth maker
Wheels: Hope En Sp4
Crankset: XTR 170mm 22/34t
Transmission: Sram X9/XTR
Chain device: Gamut Dual
Stem: Hope Fr
Handlebars: Biotope by Neken (made in France!), 730mm
Seat post: Gravity dropper Turbo 4 »
Pedals: Superstar Nano
Tires: Maxxis High roller 2,35 2ply ST/60a
Total weight: 15kg
The first parts for my new enduro bike (more about that later) have started arriving. The first one to land in my post box is the new Dual ring chain device from the folks at Gamut (technical info here: GAMUTUSA), the quality is great, the part is supper light but still feels solid and the system is very simple which usually means “reliability”… more about it once it’s been bolted and dusted.
Evoc is a young german company, set up by lovers of the mountains and adventure, which offers different types of bags (including a great travel one for bikes). What really stand out are the mountain biking backpacks with integrated (and removable) back protectors, perfect for Enduro riding!
I’m curently skiing with the “Freeride pro”, the quality is excellent, it’s a great fit and the design is pretty cool.
Can’t wait to try the MTB version!