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4 5

I switched to these when I moved from the west coast (dry, loose) to the east coast (wetter) and wanted a good all-around tire that would roll well, still shed mud, and grip well. I also was hoping it would last a long time. I definitely got all that.

I have 1500 miles on a set of the 2.2 in protection and you have to look really closely to see any wear. The tread has barely worn down. I run them tubeless with Stan's and I've had one flat in that entire time which easily sealed itself. I'm amazed by how durable they are, especially given the weight (the 2.2s weigh ~730g, close enough to listed). No, they're not the lightest, but a flat will cost me more time in a race than weight. They are on the smallish side for a 2.2, but not terribly so. I also have a 2.4 and that's about the size of a 2.4 Trail King.

Oh yeah, I race on these. I use them for training and racing, and I'm happy with how they perform; they grip really well (with one caveat) but still roll fast. I hate Race Kings because they have no traction; these have much, much better traction but not a huge rolling resistance penalty. If you're really concerned about weight and rolling resistance and don't have slick conditions at all, go for the RKs, otherwise these allow cornering without wizardry.

Now the caveat: they corner well, once you get onto the side knobs. The weird thing is there's a "dead spot" between the center tread and the side knobs, meaning if you lean them slightly you'll wash out as there's no tread there, but if you lean them hard the side knobs hook up really well and they grip and corner great. Basically, you have to adjust your cornering style to lean hard through turns, maybe harder than you were before. That took a few weeks to adjust to, though once I did I stopped noticing the dead spot, I just throw into a hard lean and go right through it.

Overall I love them and have two sets. I run 2.2 front and back on full sus, 2.4 front/2.2 back on (sometimes rigid) singlespeed.


5 5

I'm not understanding why this helmet is at this price point, it's light (my L is 303g), it has good coverage, good venting in hot humid conditions, is extremely comfortable, I really can find no fault. I use it as my primary MTB helmet despite its "commuter" branding. I have other helmets that cost 50% more that have poorer coverage and venting and are heavier. This helmet really is a steal.

The only thing close to a complaint would be the visor is a little shorter than I would like, but it still keeps sun and water out of my face and stays out of my vision so I suppose it works fine.


4 5

There are two reasons to get an unpinned and unramped chainring: for singlespeed (SS) or single ring but multiple rear gears (1x). This is bar none the best chainring for the former, but not the best for the latter.

For SS, this ring is perfect. The tooth profile is perfect and high and keeps the chain. It comes in a ton of sizes and BCDs (so you can use it on your old 5-bolt cranks or on a CX bike as well) and it's just plain bomber. Steel is real in this case, it is hard and durable and just plain does not wear. There's a good chance it will outlive the rest of your bike. It's not coming off my SS, that's for sure.

For 1x it's not so good. While it's hard, it's not necessarily stiff. This is an issue because when you're in the largest or smallest cassette cog on your 1x your chainline is nowhere near straight and there's significant side load on your chainring. I found that when using it on my 1x9 bike in the extreme gears it would at best rub my chain retention device and at worst it would pull so far off to the side it's get stuck in the chain retention device and I'd have to stop and detangle it. I switched it out with a stiffer aluminum e13 Guidering and the rub was gone at either end. The aluminum is softer and wears faster, but it's stiffer than the thin steel of this ring.

Bottom line: if you're using it for SS, get it and you will not regret it. If you're doing 1x9 or 1x10, I'd instead recommend the Blackspire Mono Veloce, e13 Guidering, Salsa chainrings, or some other aluminum ring with a thicker body profile.


4 5

I've ridden two of these now on my 1x9 setup. The first wore out after about a year (~2000 miles; I ride and race a lot of dirt). It was still functional, it just had one tooth worn really far down. So durability is very good, but not fantastically unbelievable (unlike, say, the Blackspire Mono Veloce ring I've had on another bike for forever that the ano still hasn't even worn off).

Performance-wise it's a chainring, I mean what can I say? It's got a tall tooth profile for single ring use. I use it for 1x9 as I said and it works great for that. It still needs a chain retention device (I use a MRP 1.x), but it doesn't try to buck the chain under load at all, the chain retention device is mainly to keep the chain down while I'm bombing down really rough stuff as it's a hardtail and gets some bucking.

The reason I buy this and not just another Blackspire (which is functionally identical and has better durability) is the colors and tooth selection. Well, maybe not tooth selection personally (I use a 34T, but the Blackspire only comes in 32, 34, and 36 so you're out of luck for 33 or 35T), but the color aspect cannot be understated. I have a lot of red ano highlights on my race bike and the red ano chainring just looks so damn good, it's worth it to me to replace it once a year. Ok, so it's shallow, but if you look fabulous you ride faster. It's a fact.


3 5

For carbon shoes you absolutely have to have these, for CB, Look, and Time pedals (any style of pedal with narrow contact bars). I actually don't own any carbon shoes, but I still use these on all my shoes for two reasons:

1) Protect the shoe sole from wear due to a small contact point

2) Preserve free float

The second point is important to me; with the shoe shields the float is much freer on CB pedals than otherwise, as the wings can move smoothly on the steel plate and not rub on the sole (especially as grooves rub into the soul and restrict the float more). There really is a noticeable pedal difference and as I use CB for their free feel, having these to preserve that is important.

I give them 3/5 for two reasons: first, they do actually wear out (I pretty much replace them whenever I replace my cleats, about once a year or 4000 dirt miles), and second, these should be included with cleats or pedals because I really think they ought to be used with CB pedals for all shoes. They're cheap enough that it's not that big an issue, but I'd still like to see them bundled instead of those useless plastic shims CB puts in there now.


2 5

These stained my grips, they stained my kit, they just left black all over everything. They kept doing this for a couple months (through multiple washes) until I tossed them.

If they were super comfortable and grippy that's be one thing, but they weren't. The palm is kinda stiff and doesn't flex right and bunches, the fingers don't like to bend, and the grippy rubber came off the fingers after two rides and the material is not grippy without them.


4 5

After a nice crash really marred my hand a few years back despite wearing gloves, I don't wear half-finger gloves anymore, I only wear full-finger with decent protection even on road.

That said, these are perfect for it! They breath well and are grippy, but they've still got the back of my hand covered (and I've been in a couple crashes and tested it; much better than the thin spandex of road gloves).

What I like about these better than my other MTBing gloves is the gel palm; it's much more comfortable for road riding than the minimal XC gloves I use for MTBing. The gel is placed nicely and softens up riding on both the hoods and in the drops.

Unfortunately Fox has started going with glue for all their rubber attachment which prevents this from getting 5 stars, as it inevitably starts coming off. A couple minutes with a hot glue gun fixes it when it does, but it's an annoyance that wasn't there back when they stitched it.

They last a long time, I've had one pair go for nearly a year of almost-daily commuting (35 miles) and the detailing peeling up was the only issue. Palms are still bomber.

I wear XL in Fox and these fit. I wear L in most other brands though so you might want to size down.


4 5

These are very good thin-palm XC gloves. They breath well, they're grippy, and they still protect your hand in a crash. I bought three or four pair on sale for $15 and they're well worth that. Full price they're a little overpriced though.

I bought the white because though white MTB gloves are silly, I have colored ESI grips and I didn't want my gloves to stain the grips. So far so good, my pink and red grips have no trace on them. The white actually stays reasonably white too with semi-regular washing.

They last a good long time, probably a full season of riding or race. The velcro strap separated for me (velcro came off the rubber); I was disappointed to learn that it's not stitched at all, just glued. Two minutes with a hot glue gun totally fixed it though.

My biggest gripe is no soft patch on the thumb for nose wiping.

They fit the same as all the other Fox gloves I have; I wear XL in fox and these are true to that size. It's L for a lot of other brands though, so you might want to size up a little bit.


4 5

These seem to be perpetually on sale for $10 or so. They are well worth that price. Not sure I'd pay $30 for them though. Still, I bought three pair of these at the sale price and I'm happy with them. They're lasting longer than I expected, actually.

They're solid gloves, well made and comfortable. They have pretty much no palm padding, so you should like your grips. The backs of them are thick enough to protect your hand in a crash but still breath pretty well. The thumb wiper is always appreciated. The gray palms stain my red or pink ESIs much less than black palms do, though still a little bit.

While the forefinger grippies started coming off after about two rides, the clarino palm is grippy enough without them, I still have no brake lever slippage.

If you own other Fox gloves, these are true to that size. I wear an XL in Fox, and these fit just perfect. I'm a L in a lot of other gloves though.


3 5

These suffer from the same problem as most compression socks, and that's that they're sized for feet rather than calves. As someone with big feet (size 12 US/46 euro) and skinny little calves (14.5" diameter), that's usually problematic for me because I need large socks for my feet with provide pretty much zero compression for my calves.

I got around that with these by sizing way down, going with Medium. They actually fit my feet just fine (leading me to think their sizing chart is irrelevant) and provide a moderate amount of compression for my calves. They're not as good as my compression calf sleeves, but they're much better than other compression socks (Zoot and DeFeet) that I have.

They're stretchier than other compression socks, meaning they're easier to get on and off, but they still have managed to keep their compression and not stretch out after 6 months of hard use. Considering I got them for $10 on Chainlove, that's not bad at all (and I bought three more pair I have waiting for when these die).

So bottom line, size way down if you have skinny calves, and these are worth it if you can catch them on sale. Otherwise, it's better to go with either calf sleeves or one of the other compression socks out there that independently sizes calf and feet (or at least has a size chart for calf).


5 5

I don't use other grips anymore. I love these beyond belief. They're just so comfortable. I've used Ergons, just couldn't get them quite right (especially standing out of the saddle). ODIs just don't even come close. These are just the right amount of cush and grip. I haven't found better. I've got pretty big gorilla hands; if you have smaller hands the racer's edge 30mm ESI grips may work better; my friends with small hands have really liked them but thought my grips felt too big.

They're also apparently really lightweight. Like the lightest you can get. Personally, that doesn't matter to me because comfort is more important than any 100g, it will result in more speed at the end of a race.

These also look fab, I have them in different colors on each bike. They get dirty after a bit (especially if you wear black gloves), but a little bit of acetone cleans them right up (this was the recommendation from ESI itself).

They're reasonably durable, but a crash can ruin them. They're fairly cheap though; I usually have a spare set waiting in the wings anyway.

Not as convenient as lock-ons, but soooo much more comfortable. They go on surprisingly easily with rubbing alcohol (just wet the inside) and stick in place really well. Getting them off intact requires patience, but is doable.

For me, they're the perfect grips. I refuse to use anything else.

For what it's worth I've also met the owner (based in SoCal and goes to a bunch of the ProXCT races) and he's super cool and nice, willing to talk bike stuff for as long as you'll stand there and a knowledgeable and great guy.


5 5

This is one of the best SS cassette cogs on the market. It's tough and nicely machined. Weight is reasonable (though if you're that concerned then you're being silly). It's steel (as any SS cog should be) and wears almost negligibly.

What makes this better than most is the wide base (4mm) that does not chew up cassette freehub bodies, not even lightweight alu or Ti ones. If you have XTR hubs with the Ti freehub body, this is a must. There are others (Niner, CK) that have this as well, but they're much more expensive.

On top of all of that, it looks good. The larger cogs have nicely spaced drilled holes that probably shave negligible weight but just look cool. The blasted finish is nice and even and well done.

The weights (measured) of the cogs I have:
17T: 53g
18T: 59g
19T: 70g
20T: 77g
21T: 87g


4 5

I've used these almost exclusively for three years now in the folding version (and have tried the TNT version). They're my favorite tires for dry conditions. They roll fast, they grip and corner well, and they wear slowly (usually takes me ~100 miles before I even see any wear, barring a sidewall slash they tend to last me ~1000 miles). They're reasonably lightweight though a wee bit on the porky side for racing (actual weight of the folding comes in ~690g). They are a true 2.2" tire though, they fill out that whole volume.

There are a few caveats here. First, they really have to be run tubeless. They have a perfect traction sweet spot at about 26psi. More pressure than that and they don't grip anywhere near as well. Above 30 they're actually kind of bad. Below that they grip but are a little bit slower.

I use the folding for tubeless; I tried TNT and the bead was way too tight and was horrendous to even get on the rim. I've mounted the plain folding to Stans and Bontrager tubeless rims and run them just fine, never a burp. I've also used these in ghetto tubeless conversions and again no problems. They do not leak Stans sealant, they're great for tubeless (and as I said, pretty much have to be run that way).

They are semi-directional, with a "fast" and "traction" direction (printed on sidewall). I run "traction" up front and "fast" in the rear and prefer this combo.

Also, these are definitely dry tires. The tread is not deep enough to dig into mud and they also shed mud pretty poorly. I live in the SW so I shouldn't be riding mud anyway, but if you're looking for something to ride in both the wet and dry I'd avoid this. They're called "Saguaros" for a reason.


4 5

I bought this thinking that I'd use it trail riding; I've caught the odd branch or handlebar/stem in the chest and I figured a little extra padding wouldn't be a bad thing. I do climb all my own vert, so I wanted something that's not too hot and wouldn't restrict movement. This thing popped up on Chainlove at 70% off and I thought, why not?

I'm pleased with it, though not overwhelmingly so. It's a pretty good base layer with or without padding; the material breathes and wicks nicely. It does fit kinda tight; I usually go Small and this turned out to be snug. My 37.5" chest does put me at a medium in the size chart, but the Small isn't uncomfortable once it's on at all. If anything it's a decent compression layer. It's snug, but doesn't restrict breathing.

On the other hand, getting this thing on is difficult and getting it off is a total gang of laughs. It's not just that it's tight, it's that the chest pads make it really akward; you can't just fold it over your head like a normal shirt, you have to pull it straight off. If you're lucky, one of your friends will help you after they stop laughing at you for being stuck in your shirt.

In the end it offers the protection I wanted and doesn't restrict my movement or breathing. It's comfortable in a range of heats. It's spendy at full price, but you can get it on CL for a steal these days. In fact, I bought a second one.

I also discovered a bonus use for it: descending on cold days, particularly on road. The chest pads are a perfect extra layer on your front when you're going down a long fast descent; they're like built in newspaper or cardboard and keep the wind off your front but still allow the rest of you to breathe.