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4 5

Finally! Somebody made shorts with hard armor in all the right places. Too many other shorts have left my hips wide open to injury because the upper and lower pads were poorly padded and placed. I don't know what the gripe is with people being bothered by the tail bone section. It doesn't get in the way at all as long you aren't sagging these like an eager to get owned wangster street rat. Maybe if you're sitting perfectly perpendicular to the ground you'll get some discomfort, but if you're actually wearing these, chances are you'll be leaning forward in an aggressive stance. The mesh and thong like construction of materials is perfect and allows me to go freebird on hotter days. Be warned however, the material is so light and stretchy that after a while the crotch will slide back and forth with your legs as you pedal. If you've ever watched those cartoons with the little guy being chewed alive by the big monster and you can see the inside of the mouth as he's being chewed up.... well that what will happen to your junk if you pull these up too high. Get some chamois butter to help out. The elastic band on the bottom of the legs are really really tight, but they should stretch out over time. If they don't I'll be tempted to cut them open and sow in an extra inch of material, because after about five hours of wear your thighs will be begging for mercy. Also don't let anybody see you wearing these in the open, cuz that bright red star on the tailbone section is screaming, "I'm a piece of meat check out my ass!" Seriously Alpine Star, you're over doing it with the logos. No bad ass biker wants to be seen with a flashy bright red star on his ass, because that is definitely not cool. As I'm typing this, I've procured a sheet of sand paper to sand it out. If you want protection, nothing is better than hard armor. Bulky foam isn't going to save your ass from the corner of a rock or rail, only hard armor has what it takes to properly disperse the blow, and these shorts dish it out in spades.

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5 5

The picture doesn't do this monster justice. This thing is BEEFY and holds up my ridiculously overweight MTN bike like its a feather. The crowning jewel on this sweet repair stand is the no BS clamp that has a nifty quick release mechanism and near infinite adjustability. Just make sure you put some muscle into it when securing the height setup and clamp rotation, or else you may find your bike tilting away from you while you crank down on that pedal wrench. Don't be fooled by the triangular stance. It is completely stable and the stand itself is heavy enough to prevent it from being knocked over by clumsy family members and roommates bumbling around your work space. Don't bother with its supposedly "fold up for storage" feature since the legs require a wrench or socket for mounting and removal. If you're tired of crawling around on your knees and hunching over while working on your bike, this repair stand will make you proud to splurge a bit of hard earned cash on quality hardware.

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4 5

Everything you need to eliminate petty trips to the annoying LBS with their hotshot 19-year old know-it-alls is right here. Every tool for any minor to moderate repair job is included. Forget about those $20-50 repairs for a misaligned wheel or whacked out derailleur. With this set, you can be your own mechanic and save tons of money in the long run. You can install bottom brackets, change out wheel hubs, and overhaul your drive train. The chain whip and crank wrench will make excellent melee weapons should the occasional burglar break into your home. You'd better have a flashlight though, because the included tool box is made with black and dark blue materials, which makes finding the BLACK AND DARK BLUE tools a pain in the butt in anything but ideal lighting. However, if you're forking over 300 bucks for this set, you probably wont bat an eyelash to invest in a real tool box, in which case the Park Tool makes an excellent lunch box. If you're like me, biking through heaven and hell day in day out, this set is a must have. Just remember to save your Huck n Roll gorilla sticker for a real tool box.

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3 5

First things first, I have bony skeletor legs so many of my issues wont be a the same for average Joes or manly meat heads.

No matter what I do, these pads rotate outward about 45 degrees and leave my inner shins wide open to injury. This is most likely due to me being bow legged, and all pads of this type tend to rotate a little bit. Fortunately for me I ride through dense city traffic and really only have to worry about getting side swiped or rear ended. So it's actually beneficial in my situation that these pads like to rotate outward. Being skinny, however, these pads only contact my legs at the ankles and the top of my knee caps. There's an inch gap between my shins and the inside of the pads. It makes no sense that the shin guard is designed to stick out further than the knee section unless the forward arching of the shins are supposed to flex inward upon impact, absorbing the blow like a spring. I have some big footballer friends and not even their shins stick out past their knees. In practicality this design works quite well for crashes but is also very uncomfortable since the ankle and knee cap are the only parts of my leg making contact with the pads. It feels like a constant pinch on my ankles and walking around in these can be painful after a while. While riding, however, this is not an issue.

My biggest gripe about this product is the crappy stitching quality. These pads are designed to be ridden by highly mobile, hard crashing, muddy and dirty adrenaline junkies. However, POC has the stupidity to use SINGLE stitching to keep everything in place. The first month of riding these without crashing, the stitching has already started to come out. I find myself every now and then cutting off loose strands that are 1-3 inches in length and having to redo the stitching myself. Unless you know how to sew with a fine needle, this sorta thing will seriously bug some folks. I wear with these pads 5 hours a day, four days a week, so they will see more usage than most, but for over $100.... c'mon POC, this is just lame.

I also own the POC bone arm protectors and they also have the same problem with the stitching. For the price, the quality just isn't there and the design of the whole thing still needs a lot of work. These knee guards feel like $70 pads... 90 at most.

The most important thing I must note about these pads is that they do indeed protect you and keep on truckin. The highly adjustable strap system is the best one I've come across after owning Six Six One and Fox Racing pads. Anybody can find the right fit after just a few minutes of tinkering with the straps. Once you get the fit just right, they will not move up or down at all....NOT ONE SINGLE MILIMETER that's awesome it is. These pads absorb blows like Mike Tyson taking a punch from a three year old. You can slam your shin into a fire hydrant or street pole at 20 mph and keep ridin without a hitch. I don't know about sharp rocks, but you can be sure you wont have to worry about your shins or knee caps in almost any crash. The agility you gain from the articulating joints is second to none. At full price, these pads will not fit the bill, but if you wait for a sale then you should certainly pick these up if they're in your budget.

Until a company designs these pads specifically for slim jims, you're not gonna find a better or more secure fit... so get them

UPDATE: I got sideswiped by an SUV blowing past a stop sign at 25mph. Not a scratch on me except my left knuckles where I punched out the jerk's headlight. I walked away just fine thanks to my knee and elbow pads.

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