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As soon as I put the helmet on I knew I was going to love it. It's the first bike helmet I've ever worn that actually fits and conforms to your head rather than just sort of sitting on your head...it's definitely a unique and great feel. What this does is it fits very firmly and secure on your head and there is absolutely zero movement even on the roughest trails.
The padding used is a notch above what I'm use to in Fox and Giro helmets, very comfortable. Since it's fall now and cooler I haven't had a chance to wear it on a hot day with lots of sweating.
The only drawback I've found so far is my Smith Pivlock glasses which have a rather large (tall) lense touch the brim of the helmet putting pressure on my nose and I have to adjust the helmet slightly backwards to compensate. Wish there was a tiny bit more clearance for the larger glasses many of us use while biking.
The primary reason I bought it is for more protection. I'm use to wearing full face MX helmets on the motobike and the speeds I sometimes ride on the MTB a flimsy XC helmet just isn't enough, and a full face is too constrictive for climbing. So, I'm hoping this is the best compromise of the two.
I love the loud metal gold flake too...I'm an X motocross racer so I'm a sucker for a fancy paint job which is what Troy Lee is known for.
I needed rain gear for a 240mi Durango to Moab 7 day ride and purchased this after reading tons of reviews on many different jackets. I knew I wanted a gore-tex (or similar) jacket to ensure waterproofness, and I was hoping to find a bike specific design.
This jacket performed BETTER than expected. It was super small and light-weight when rolled up in my backpack which made me very happy.
The last 2 days of our ride it was a complete downpour in 48 degree temps...the same rainstorm that later flooded Colorado after hitting us in the La Sal's outside Moab.
I was dreading riding in rain gear with fear of getting soaked and/or overheated inside the confined shell. To my surprise the gore-tex worked as advertised. Even though I was sweating and riding fairly hard I never felt wet on the inside, so it must have been breathing. The rain never penetrated the jacket and I was able to maintain a good riding temperature despite the conditions.
I'm really impressed with the latest generation of Gore-tex Active and I plan on buying the matching pants now!
Oh, and I agree with the difficult zipper comments, it's hard to get it started, but hey it was waterproof so I'll put up with a difficult zipper!
I use to never wear knee guards, but after a few crashes I decided to find some light weight guards I could throw in the camel bak and only put them on when I'm about to do a decent decent. I haven't crashed with them *yet* but as far as comfort while riding they are better than expected even when doing some climbing. I pretty much always carry them in my pack now if there is going to be any decent downhill on the ride...
My fav front tire is the Nevegal UST, but I'm always searching for a better rear tire. I just installed this one and rode 240mi from Durango to Moab over 7 days and it performed excellent on ALL the various terrain we encountered. For a UST tire it's very light compared to others like the Nevegal. So far I'm really enjoying this tire!
I experiment with a few different tires each year and on the front I keep coming back to the UST Kenda Nevegal 2.35. It's the most dependable tubless tire, amazing traction in most terrain, and it never burps or looses air. Other tires I've tried running up front like the Nobby Nic have too weak of a sidewall and when things get aggressive they burp air, and even come off the rim, which as caused a few over the bars crashes and a moderate shoulder injury. Put a UST Nevegal up front on my bike any day of the week!!