All posts filed under: Review

Maxxis Ardent 29×2.4 Review

Tires make a huge difference in the ride quality of a bike. Whether you’re accelerating, braking or turning your tire choice determines much of what that action will feel like and how effective it will be. In this review I’ll be sharing my experiences with the Maxxis Ardent 29×2.4 tires. When I purchased my 2017 Specialized StumpJumper 29er it came with the Specialized Butcher up front and a Slaughter in the rear. To be frank, I was pretty much immediately unhappy with this combo. They didn’t roll very fast. I felt like I was never able to carry as much speed as I should have been able to. They were heavy, with each tire weighing in at over 1000g. And the Slaughter in the rear did not provide good climbing traction. So, I decided to experiment with running matched Ardents on the front and rear. The Maxxis Ardent is billed as an all purpose trail tire. It features ramped knobs in the center of the tred to minimize rolling resistance and larger, more squared off …

Rocky Mountain Vertex 24″ First Impressions Review

My oldest son is turning 7 this summer and growing like a weed, which means a couple of things. First, he will be old enough to race in our local WORS racing series.  Second, his 20″ Specialized RipRock with plus tires was starting to look a little small. So we started the fun of bike shopping for a 24″ bike. After much research and looking at youth specific brands like, Prevelo, Spawn, Trailcraft and Early Rider, we ended up buying an unexpected bike, the Rocky Mountain Vertex 24. The Rocky Mountain Vertex 24 has been redesigned for 2018 and the cost/build kit ratio is pretty compelling on paper. It features a Shimano Deore 9 speed drive train paired with a Rocky Mountain Microdrive 2PC 28T crankset. Shimano M315 hydraulic brakes provide stopping power. It also features a Suntour XCR LO Air 65mm fork. Hydraulic brakes and a real air fork were a couple of our requirements and the Vertex is one of the lowest priced bikes to provide both. The tires are admittadly a lower …

Light & Motion Taz 1200 Review

Dedicated winter riding usually means night riding. This winter I tested out the Light & Motion Taz 1200. Light & Motion has a few unique selling points that attracted me to testing out this light. First, Light & Motion is a US based company that actually assembles their lights in the US. They also stand behind them with a 2 year warranty. Design The Taz 1200 is a self-contained, usb rechargeable light. The USB charging port is on the bottom of the light and features a usb mini charging port with a gasketed cover. The port is easy to expose and get plugged in. The light includes two different mounts, a rubber strap for attaching to handlebars and a gopro mount. It features a waterproof design certified to a IP67 Rating. Which means it is tested to be fully waterproof in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. The body of the light is fully metal and is FL-1 certified on ANSI-NEMA testing scale for impact resistance. The light is heavy. Ringing in at 219 grams. …

Camelbak Podium VS a Regular Water Bottle

Many water bottles today look not that much different from the water bottles of 30 or 40 years ago. They have a pull-up valve, a cap and a bottle. Not much to write home about. It’s a simple but effective solution for delivering water to your mouth while riding. But can it be improved? The Camelbak Podium bottle attempts to take on some of the shortcomings of regular water bottle designs to build a better water bottle. I’ll give you my take on how well it has tackled this task in this review. Design Differences The Camelback Podium’s design is unique from the top down. At the top is Camelbacks self-sealing Jet Valve™ that uses the pressure of the water in the bottle to release the flow of water. This isn’t the same as a bite valve that you might be familiar with on hydration packs. You don’t need to clamp down with your teeth in order to open the valve. You also don’t need to pull on the valve with your teeth like you …

Cheap $17 Pogies / Barmitts: A Review

I currently reside in Wisconsin. This means that there are about 4 months out of the year with ideal riding weather. The rest of the year I need to make modifications to continue my MTB habit. One of the modifications for dealing with bitter cold is finding a solution for keeping my hands warm that still allows me to shift and brake normally. One of the most popular ways of achieving this is with Pogies, Barmitts, Handmitts, they go by a number of names, that fit over your bars and provide an all-encompassing insulating layer. With this outer shell of protection you can then wear light or even summer gloves that give all of the normal feel and grip on the bars. Usually, these barmitts cost anywhere from $70-$200. Meaning that only the most dedicated winter riders invest in these devices. But, I discovered a source that provides a similar feature set at a fraction of the price. Enter the “Kwik Tek ScootR Logic SLHM-1 Hand Mitts.” Don’t let the Amazon product shot dissuade you. …

January / February 2018 Review Preview

Welcome to a new feature on EverydayMTB.com. Today I’ll give you a sneak peek at some of the products you’ll see reviewed on the site soon! Consider this an ultra fast unboxing video of some of the stuff we’ll be checking out! If you want to check out any of the products right away, use the links below. Crank Brothers Stamp 3 Pedals These flat pedals will be replacing my Imrider pedals that bit the dust. They feature and all metal construction, 5 year warranty and a very large platform. Camelbak Podium Water Bottle I’ve never been a big water bottle user, but I had a hunch that might be partially due to using bad water bottles. I’m giving this higher quality water bottle a try. It feature a unique locking valve and flow system. Lezyne Side Load Flow Bottle Cage To go along with that new Camelbak Podium Water Bottle I’m trying out a side loading water bottle cage that will (hopefully) fit in my Stumpjumper front triangle. Skratch Labs Drink Mix More hydration …

Topeak HEXUS™ II Review

A good multi-tool is one of the most essential pieces of equipment in any mountain bikers pack. I have been testing the Topeak HEXUS™ II for this past season and I have been impressed. Features The Topeak HEXUS II has a folding design with two sides that store 18 different tools. The 18 chosen tools are very thoughtfully selected. In making trailside repairs and adjustments this last year I never found myself lacking the correct tool. The function list itself is impressive. Added Features Secondary chain link fence, Air release button Self-tightening tool Allen Wrenches 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 4 (2 pcs) / 5 / 6 / 8mm Body Engineering grade plastic Chain Hook Steel wire Chain Tool CrMo steel Functions 18 Screw Drivers #2 Phillips / Flat Head Size 9.5 x 4.4 x 2.6 cm / 3.7” x 1.7” x 1” Spoke Wrenches 14G / 15G Tire Levers Two engineering grade plastic levers Tool Material Chrome vanadium steel Torx® Bit T25 In addition to the shear number of functions, Topeak has thoughtfully …

ESI Chunky Grips Installation and First Impressions

I’ve always had the impression that twist-on type grips were only for weight-weeny xc riders who ride bikes that I would be afraid to snap in half. However, my friend recently showed up to the trails with a set of ESI grips on his new Trek Fuel 140mm travel trail bike. I was curious. After giving them the parking lot test I was convinced enough to pick up a pair to put on my trail bike. Installation One concern many people have with twist on grips is actually getting them properly installed on the handlebars. ESI recommends using rubbing alcohol as lubricant to ease installation. This actually worked like a charm. After installing the somewhat chintzy looking barend plugs the grips twisted on with ease. You can watch the full installation and my thoughts below. Initial Riding Impression I was replacing the stock specialized lock-on grips on my stumpjumper that seemed to have almost no cushion and transferred every vibration up into my arms. The ESI grips have much more damping. They are also bigger …

Imrider Polyamide Flat Pedal Review

The internet has opened us up to a world of products that you would never find in your local bike shop. Some of these products that come from no-name companies are admittedly, crap. Others however can a really good deal and allow you to save money to spend elsewhere. A product that I discovered recently falls into the latter category. The Imrider Polyamide Flat Pedals come from “Imrider” who I have been unable to locate a website, phone number or other contact information for. However these pedals are available on Amazon.com for about $20 so I’m not too concerned about making any warranty claims. Flat pedals need to have a few features. They need a well shaped platform and grippy pins that will hold onto your shoes. They also need to be durable yet light and have bearings that will allow them to spin freely. The Imrider pedals really check all of these boxes. The Imrider feature a plastic (polyamide) body with metal, screw in studs. These screw in studs do an excellent job of gripping …

Platypus Hoser 3.0L Hydration Bladder Review

Like many mountain bikers I wear a backpack with a hydration bladder on almost every ride. I find backpacks with water to be the most comfortable and convenient way to stay hydrated on the trail. A bonus is I never need to worry about how many water bottle holders I have on a given frame. The Platypus Hoser 3.0L has been serving as my hydration bladder in my Osprey Daylight pack that I most often ride with. At around $25, it’s an extremely affordable system. So I kept that in mind while testing. The Hoser has a very simple bladder construction with a handle on the closed end for easy carrying and easy to read measurements along the bladder itself. This handle has come in handy many times when lugging water round while it is out of the pack and I’ve even hung the bladder up in my van during long road trips for easy access. The opposite end features a screw top closure that has proven very durable and leak free. This screw top …