Through the mill…. Ion – K_lite Zip

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Jun 252016
 

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Ion K Lite Zip Knee pads.

£74.99

These Knee pads from Ion are a bit different. First off you’ll notice that you don’t need to take your shoes off to fit them. Why? Well thanks to a handy and as it turns out sturdy zip up the side, you can put them on or take them off  by simply zipping or unzipping. Not only that but there is a handy little velcro tab to keep the zip out the way and stop it from undoing. Neat eh? A velcro band at the top means you can fine tune the upper thigh section too. Protection wise these offer a good balance as they sport SAS Tec soft foam and Power Aramid. This effectively gives you a hard shell and a soft impact cushion in one go. There are a couple of smaller EVA pads in the side too. The Snug Loop feature ensures a good fit and prevents shifting. There are many more features too.

But how are they riding wise? To start with i was concerned i needed a bigger pad as they are quite snug to start with. Ideally try before you buy. But after a good few rides they aren’t as tight but are still pretty good fit wise.  I was also concerned about the Zip fixture too as it looks a little on the small size. But worry not it’s still working fine and hasn’t failed once. You do need to make sure it’s engaged properly though.

I have found them pretty good all in all and i have knocked up some long rides in them too. They offer a good amount of protection and feel sturdier than my old Bliss Pads. I definately go for these if the going is going to be a bit wild. They are pretty light weight wise too.  I didn’t find them too restrictive either given that they are quite a heavy duty trail/enduro pad.  The styling is neat and a bit different from some other pads out there. The length is pretty much spot on. Not too long and not too short.

Now they have worn in a bit they are pretty good and well worth a look. I would definitely buy a pair again. They are packed full of neat and well thought out features that actually work and aren’t gimmicks. They are nicely unstated but noticeably different if you see what i mean. Well priced and a top pad for all your two wheeled shenanigans.

Just landed……Schwalbe, Stan’s and Sun Race

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Jun 172016
 

we are now well in to June and the longest day is not far off. Hopefully the trails will still run good for a while yet so we can test the latest goodies.

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New boots for the Trailstar. Thanks to  Dave @Schwalbe the proven Hans Dampf and Rock razor in 650/27.5 to put through the mill. The hans dampf is the Trailstar compound whilst the Rock razor is the harder wearing Pace star..

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Of course new boots deserve a new batch of sealant and Don @ Kustombikes we are sorted with the new every so clever and fast tyre sealant from Stan’s. The race Sealant is a more advanced and quicker acting sealant.

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And after giving the Praxis cassette a good thrashing we decided to see what Sun Race had to offer. It looks the cats whiskers and looks a bargain given that it’s a 11-40 range, ( They do a 11-42 in stealth black too). Thanks to Pat @Ison Distribution for sorting this out

Summer is here and with a few events lined up the latest offerings are in for a hard time. How will they fair?

Through the mill………….Ion – surfing elements apparel

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Jun 152016
 

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Ion Scrub Range – 3/4 Helium Tee

3/4 Helium Jersey £66.99
Short Sleeve version £59.99
L/S £74.99

 

This rather snazzy t is more than a tees shirt. In fact it’s a bit  more of a jersey with lots of clever tech included. I get to try out the 3/4 length version which is a nice balance between the long sleeve and the short sleeve. first off it’s light weight but durable.  it has a good close but not tight fit which is pretty comfortable from the word go. it does feel a bit like cotton but is much more clever in the fact it dries very quick. Ion claim and i’m inclined top agree it’s dries 4 times faster. ideal on a hot day.  it’s also well vented if somewhat subtly which is nice. A neat little pocket for a lift pass or similar (small change in my case or a credit card) is out the way and a neat way to stow lightweight bits.  It also has a Microfibre panel to clean your glasses although this has proved to bit a bit fiddly. it also has a system that is suppose to eliminate odurs a bit like a certain bamboo jersey i have reviewed before. However i found this didn’t really work and the Tee does get a bit whiffy.

It’s a different style to a lot of stuff so it doesn’t tend to make you look like a Power ranger. Which is nice at times. I like the style and it took me a while to work out what the writing says. Whips don’t Lie. I can’t argue with that as i for one can’t whip. This is a very comfy top and not too tight or too baggy and having the 3/4 length sleeves is nice. It comes in Olive and Night blue colours which also look pretty good too. there’s a range of sizes which can be found on the Ion site so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the right size. A brilliant top for the most part and one i tend to reach for more often than not.

 

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Ion Scrub range – Avic shorts

Avic shorts £103.99

 

Well if you have the top you have to have the shorts. like the top the shorts are pretty clever. They are more like a board short (Hence the Surfing trails ethos) and with velcro tabs and Drawstring arrangement you can be sure to get them to fit… well almost. I suspect it’d me but i do have to pull them up a bit from time to time. They are comfy and very light to wear but so far have proved durable. With 2 zip pockets you can carry a few bits including a mobile phone although i would check first. the 4 way stretch means they allows for better movement whilst staying very strong for their weight. They offer a bit of protection from wind and rain which is nice. they also feature a sanitized treatment and as far as i can tell it works.

Having worn these quite a bit I have nearly put them at the top spot of shorts to wear. Like i said i do tend to have to pull them up a bit but this seems to apply to other shorts ( A smaller size may help, so try before you buy if you can).  the Velcro fly and drawstring arrangement can make calls of nature a bit more of a challenge but no big deal. the lightweight is a nice touch and the don’t get caught up on Knee pads either. they really are a good short that you can wear on and off the bike. The too dry pretty quick which is is good too. Nicely styled and if you want they come in a  brighter Lime colour or a not so bright sea blue as well as black. Apparently the have reflective detail..

Through the Mill…. Renthal Ultra Tacky grip

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May 162016
 

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Renthal Ultra Tacky Lock-On grips

 £24.99 

cycling.renthal.com or all good bike shops.

 

We know that Renthal make some excellent Bars and Chainrings and a range of Grips. So when these arrived in Feb we were looking forward to trying them out. As the name suggests they are Ultra tacky, and they aren’t kidding. They are 130mm long with 110mm  of grip surface. They weigh in at 116 grams too. But that’s nowt new. What is, is the compound. It is stupidly tacky which does feel odd to start with. I mean how often has your grips been “Stickier” than your shoes? Not often i bet.

They are ideal if you don’t wear gloves, but they work well even if you do.  The result is a grip that means your hands stay on the bars even in the roughest deathgrip kind of situation and this being the UK means the same applies when it’s raining. Even when yours hands are sweaty they still work well. I have used them in most weather conditions and they are spot on. The Tacky feel is something I normally hate but I have got on with these really well as far as grip is concerned. The added bonus is that unlike normal grips that get slippery once they are worn is the the Ultra Tacky compound is ALL the way through so in theory they will still grip damned well to the point there’s no grip left. This we have yet to try. Wear wise they are pretty good and they do absorb the trail vibration well. I found that if I did a long ride they did get to feel a little firm, but this is partly due to having a slightly dicky hand. They do tend to leave a bit of a tacky feel on your hands after you have taken them off of the grips and no surprise they do pick up dirt and mud quite easy. They clean up well and so far are a sticky as day one.

They won’t suit everyone but if you need a grip that really does grip then these are well worth looking at. But get a feel of them first if you aren’t too sure. As for how well they will fair in the hotter weather and with my ability to make grips get tacky even when they weren’t we will have to wait and see.

TTM Just landed……Carbon Cycles eXotic Carbon riser bar.

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May 072016
 

 

 

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We had some rather trick and very light Carbon bars turn up thanks to Carboncycles. Part of the Exotic range. They have been fitted to the test bike and we’re going to see how they fair.

 

 

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How will they fair with me? We’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

Through The Mill….. Disco brakes

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May 072016
 

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Disco brakes Brake adapter

Discobrakes.com

£5.79

 

Sometimes it’s the little things that go unnoticed that need to be well noticed. Take the humble Disc brake adapter. Often ignored until you need to up size your rotor (Disco brakes rotor review) or change your brakes to some even more powerful. But there it is holding those calipers onto the frame or forks. Some can be rather pricey but not all. If you have followed HTN over the last couple of years you know we like a bit of a bargain. So when Discobrakes sent us this adapter we were rather happy. Not because it’s particularly bling like some but because it costs less that your favourite MTB mag. No really. But is cheap a case of “Buy cheap Buy twice”? Put simply, No. This little fella has been on the old DMR Sidekick for a while and has kept the brakes in the right place without any fuss. I’m not what you call slim either so it’s done what it should and will do for some time to come I imagine.

They come in all the popular sizes and a selection of colours to mix or match your steed. Be it front or back discobrakes.com has you sorted. They also do some more rather splendid bits and bobs too so give them a look and make you bike look bling without spending too much cha ching.

 

Who are you?…… The other fella from the telly- Mr Jason Miles

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Apr 232016
 

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In a office, sat in front of a computer sits a man who at first glance doesn’t strike you as anyone special. But he is. By day he is a IT guru sorting things out in the digital world in which we are part of. So it all seems like a run of the mill none too exciting sort of thing right? That however soon changes once he has left the office. The business suit is discarded and he take on his alter ego… He is Super Endurance Man.He has been on the telly with that truck fitter fella. They took on a World record and some. But there’s more to him than that. For it would seem he likes nothing better than a good old fashioned Endurance race. Whatever the weather. If you haven’t cottoned on as to who he is yet, then let us find out as we ask.

Who are you?

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