Pinkbike Product Picks

Sep 6, 2013 at 15:21
Sep 6, 2013
by Jordan Carr  
 
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Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox handlebar

Developed with help from French enduro superstar Jerome Clementz, the 750mm wide carbon fiber Truvativ BlackBox handlebar that bears his name offers a balance between ultra-wide but hefty downhill bars, and lightweight, narrower cross-country options. With 5 degrees of up-sweep, 7 degrees of back-sweep, and 20mm of rise, the Clementz bar features similar dimensions to the popular BooBar handlebar, but in a lighter weight, carbon fiber package. A standard 31.8mm clamp size works with most current stems, and they weigh in at a claimed 240 grams. MSRP: $198 USD. www.sram.com/truvativ

Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox handlebar
The Clementz BlackBox handlebar didn't make us go as fast as Jerome, but it is comfortable and light.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Clementz BlackBox bar offers a nice compromise between width, stiffness, and great specs. Previously, to get a 750mm width bar riders were had to choose from hefty, overbuilt downhill bars in order to get the width they preferred. The Clementz BlackBox bar fills this niche nicely with a claimed weight of 240g, and ours weighed in at 236g, or about 30g lighter than the comparable 740mm BooBar aluminum bar. Sometimes wary of carbon bar durability, the first few bad line choices eased our minds, and the Clementz bar has since been through a few OTBs while still holding strong in the clear coat department. Having said that, sharp edges did easily mar the bar's clearcoat finish while installing or making any lever adjustments, although it is nothing more than cosmetic. The 750mm width seems just about perfect for the average build rider looking to enjoy some extra width without feeling overwhelmingly wide and sluggish, the 7 degrees of back sweep sets the bars comfortably inward while 5 degrees of up sweep puts them in a nice comfortable position that provided control on high speed, loose sections or when the bike needed to be brought back in hairy situations. At $198 USD, the Clementz bars are on the high-end of the carbon bar market, but with a sensible width, reasonably low weight, and great durability, the Clementz bar is a great option for riders looking to lighten up their rig while still maximizing control and comfort on the trail. - Jordan Carr




POC Cortex DH MIPS helmet

Simple aesthetics and Swedish styling have kept POC highly sought after in the armour and protection segment of late, but with the brand integration and licensing of the MIPS protection system, POC has taken their popular Cortex full face design and paired it with the latest in helmet safety technology. Multi-directional Impact Protection System (or MIPS) consists of the helmet's outer shell combined with a plastic liner separated by a low friction layer that, POC says, allows a small amount of rotation in the shell relative to the liner when subject to an off-angle impact. This technology, taken from a process that occurs naturally within ones head upon impact, is said to show a significant reduction in forces transferred to the brain in such circumstances. POC has paired MIPS with their aramid-reinforced, carbon shell, and the finished product weighs in at 1000 grams (claimed), which is the same as the non-MIPS model. While the weight is similar, there is a price to pay for the increased protection, with the MIPs model retailing for $499 USD, or about twice as much as the standard Cortex helmet. www.pocsports.com

POC Cortex MIPS
The Cortex DH MIPS is expensive but it offers more protection. How much is your head worth?


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Cortex MIPS had a lightweight, comfortable feel without feeling too overbuilt, and after watching a few videos explaining the MIPS system, it is obvious that the proven concussion reducing technology offers added peace of mind on the rowdiest of terrain. Truth be told, we thankfully didn't get to test the system's anti-rotational protection properties with a head-pounding crash, but we believe that it is well worth the added coin. From a fit standpoint, though rather personal, the helmet offers a comfortable snugness that features a good amount of adjustability, even for those with oddly shaped domes. In warm weather the Cortex offer some ventilation, but not as much as other options that feature more openings, meaning that it is a bit hotter than some. With a claimed weight of 1000 grams - ours weighed 1035 grams - the helmet feels light on the head and is easy to wear during long days riding the lifts. At $500, the Cortex MIPS helmet is far from cheap, but if safety is high on your priority list or you have had one too many concussions in your past, the MIPS system is worth shelling out the extra dough. - Jordan Carr




Ergon SuperEnduro BA3 pack

More widely known for their ergonomic grips, Ergon has also been manufacturing uniquely designed packs since 2008. Aimed at the ever-so-popular enduro segment of the market, the SuperEnduro BA3 was also designed with the help of the Canyon Enduro team. Offered in two sizes, small and large, the BA3 features a 4-stage adjustable back length system for further personalization to fit almost any body type and size. A full 15L capacity also offers 2L of expansion to make carrying extra padding or clothing tolerable, even when unexpected. A front strap system provides a pocket for a full face helmet, and lower straps to accommodate kneepads as well. Four compartments make tool and food storage neat and tidy inside the pack, along with a separate pocket for a bladder and a contoured aluminum bar that keeps the water weight snug on your back. The hip strap features small pockets to keep tools, cell phone, or food accessible when on the bike, and the wide, elastic belt can be adjusted with a single hand. For increased visibility reflectors are integrated throughout the pack. Available in both black and blue options, the BA3 SuperEnduro retails for $129 USD. www.ergon-bike.com

Ergon
Like to pack for every eventuality? The SuperEnduro BA3 pack might be for you.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe phrase 'enduro-specific' seems more like a marketing ploy than anything else, but after a couple weeks with the pack, it is safe to say that many of the features of the BA3 are really well designed. Carrying weight with the BA3 was painless, even when the trail required lots of movement on the bike. Stowing a variety of important items in the pack was neat and organized, making trailside repairs efficient, and the waist belt pockets made important items accessible without having to remove the pack. What stuck out most on the Ergon BA3 SuperEnduro was the immense amount of adjustability, from two size options at purchase and four ranges of height adjustment within each size, the BA3 truly offers one of the most personalized fitting packs on the market. All this adjustment could lead to some over thinking when first setting the pack up, though, and it was difficult to find the sweet spot between different settings after compromising on fit with so many packs previously, but this is a good problem to have once fit is pinpointed. The raised back panels take a bit of break in time before they become soft enough not to be as noticeable, but once broken in they conform nicely. One minor issue we noticed with the BA3 was that when taken on and off numerous times on a ride, the shoulder strap support would sometimes work its way out, which due to its stiff feel, was difficult to maneuver back inside the shoulder strap. Overall, the BA3 SuperEnduro offers tons of great features combined with a very detailed fit adjustment system, and it fits and functions much better than expected. If carrying a lot of gear is high on your priority list, or finding a pack that fits well has been an issue, the BA3 SuperEnduro is well worth trying on at your local shop. - Jordan Carr



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96 Comments

  • + 53
 I'm sorry but $200 for a handlebar? I just don't see where all the money goes...

And yes I know, like all Rockshox/Avid/SRAM/Truvativ products, they'll be available on the net with -30%, but that's still a BIG lot for a handlebar. I'd rather get an Enve, made in USA, and no Taiwan ... I'll just stick to my 50€ Renthal bars thanks.
  • + 30
 Renthal FatBar Lite: 29 grams heavier, 10mm narrower, same rise, $125 less...I don't get it either
  • + 5
 Ploutre, just a FYI:

From an article about Enve, on BikeRumor:
"While the rims are all made in UT, their components are mostly made overseas for now. Some are made domestically, and Schiers says they’re working to do more here."

www.bikerumor.com/2012/05/17/enve-composites-factory-tour-inside-look-at-company-carbon-fiber-manufacturing
  • + 0
 Evil people with qualifications like MBA and other shit who managed to sneak in the mountain bike industry convinces them enthusiast manufacturers that we will pay for same thing which is marked Expensive.
  • + 2
 FYI they have shifted handlebar manufacturing to the USA. The article you attached is from 2012
  • + 6
 If I'm shelling out $200 for carbon bars, I think Diety or Enve is higher on my list.
  • + 7
 Or race face.... All of which are plenty strong just as light, and 1.5+" wider.

But sweet ad-copy regurgitation, pink bike.
  • + 1
 Helmet, bag and handle bars or a bike ..... Yeh just a bit expensive and not actually that light- the handlebars
[Reply]
  • + 28
 I think protecting my head is worth a 500$ helmet, but my wallet appearanty thinks otherwise..
  • - 44
 If you think you need to spend $500 in order to protect your head then there probably isn't much there worth protecting.
  • + 5
 a cheaper helmet will protect my head too...
  • + 2
 I think if your riding can justify it, it's like upgrading to a better fork, or getting it pushed. for me i don't do crazy stuff but i like the idea of a full face so i got an old THE T2 from jenson for $80... That being said if i raced DH i'd also have a neck brace and some armor...
  • + 5
 You may not need to spend that much but I think what hes trying to say is that if its really nice and its protective gear most of the time its worth it
  • + 1
 Oh i totally agree, i just wanted to throw my bit in and yeah...
  • + 1
 I just spent 500 on a mx helmet. Only spent that much cause the fit was amazing.
  • + 3
 Ive got the regular run of the mill 2013 Poc Cortex in white for sale.....$200...itll protect your head...and your wallet...Wink
  • + 3
 the POC cortex is the best DH helmet currently on the market in my opinion. It may not have the "bells and whistles" or fancy/goofy graphics other helmets may have (or the super cheap price point), but it makes up for it all in both functionality, safety and comfort.
A cheaper helmet will protect your head ,sure, but I can guarantee you it's no where near the build quality (or safety) of a POC. This much I can personally vouch for. I have an older model of the Cortex and since then no other helmet has satisfied me. Not a D2, or a D3. For me, it's the perfect helmet in absolutely every way.
You pay once for a helmet though ,guys. The 661 Strike may be only a handful of change but it's not going to save you from a concussion.
  • + 4
 Giro Remedy is working amazing and didnt spend over 150, im alright with that
  • + 2
 Looks like a pressure cooker, made in china and over priced, just like an iphone! .
bell full 9 trumps this . but in reality I would buy a Uvex full face helmet (at least it come with a "made in Germany" sticker!).
  • + 3
 okay, if your buying something for the sticker you should get your head examined.. tbh you guys(aibek) just dont think about what a company like poc went through to get mips tech liscenced. and for what? the peace of mind of mind that you will have something to protect you, that will actually work. dont believe me, look at the science.
  • - 5
 Nothing will protect you in a bad crash, been through a head on collision (with a car ) with my giro xen helmet, did its job and it only cost me 70$,
I tend to not hit my head on a crash , if you science guys crash head first you definitely need an over priced helmet.
when you survive a bad crash its pure luck not science !
  • + 1
 i get what your saying, ive had helmets ranging from a $50 kali to a D3 carbon and they both do the job pretty much the same except for the emergency pad removal on the d3, what were all getting at here is a $50 helmet vs a $600 helmet is the same protection wise but its easier to justify expensive safety gear versus say $200 bars
  • + 4
 I hate POC. good way to inflate all the mountain bike gear product. 500$.. wth
  • + 13
 So when TLD comes out with their basic composite D3 at $450, no one complains.
When POC comes out with a carbon MIPS Cortex at $500 everyone acts like they've just single handedly inflated the MTB market. I don't get that. Is it because they're Europeans? lol
  • + 3
 I agree, i could not afford it if it would not be on sale. Anyways I like the idea of Multi impact liner and the one time i did crash hard enough, MIPS worked as advertised - button pops out and you can see the inner shell is not in center anymore.
It is definantly hotter than "lightweight" better ventilated helmets(my 661 evolution was a lot cooler, but after i put POC on i could hardly say that 661 ever fit my head), and i think that they are still oddly sized. So if your head is not to big, you have enough to spend, like to sweat a bit and don't mind looking like a swedish light bulb, its the perfect choice.
  • + 4
 "$99 helmet for a $99 head" If you think all helmets are created equally you are WRONG! Quit your bitching about $500 for a helmet Shoei helmets are $700+ and worth every penny. I value my head to much to pinch pennys. You people will spend 6k on a bike every year but dont want to spend over $200 on a helmet!
  • + 3
 the rider who s spend 6k for a bike will probably spend 500$ for the helmet. BUT stop thinking everybody is rich, average class and poor people love ride too...
  • + 3
 I dont think everybody is rich but one the one thing I would not cheap out on is a helmet. when I started riding DH I did not have a lot of money but still spent $500 on a helmet and that was back in '04. If you did your research you would understand the type of foam and tests they go trough to protect your head as much as possible during a hard crash and how little the cheap helmets get tested and the denser foams they use. Then you would understand where the money is going. If you want a cheaper sport try climbing or surfing even running. DH is a dangerous sport protect yourself and be smart not cheap!
  • + 3
 Just bought my POC Cortex MIPS for $350 on Amazon. It's a really nice helmet. Its designed to be a multi impact one, so there is a shear pin in the top that breaks at a certain force allowing the MIPS to function.

Check you helmet after crash, if it's still good, put in a new shear pin and off you go. Came with extras in the box.

And those of you saying a $50 dollar helmet without MIPS will do just as good a job, well you're proof is hasn't Smile
  • + 1
 It's all about the fit on YOUR head. A 100$ helmet that fits perfect is gonna protect better than a 500$ helmet that isn't your head shape.
[Reply]
  • + 20
 Seems some comments on product picks are hard to avoid, such as: "My [insert alternative product name] is fantastic. Don't think I'll be spending [insert price] for a new one" or " [dollar amount] for a [bike part name]... that is [insert expletive]...I'll stick with my [insert product name] that I bought online for [insert price]" I love hearing about what is on the market regardless of whether or not I'm looking for the product or not. I'm sure each of these products appeals to someone, just because that may not be you does not mean it is a stupid post. If it doesn't appeal to me for whatever reason it's pretty easy to just keep on scrolling or move on without cluttering the comments with impulsive op eds.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I got my POC cortex dh helmet for less then a TLD d3 defiantly worth every penny, once you experience a major concussion that's something you never want to deal with again so spending some extra cash to greatly reduce your chances of getting a concussion is 100% worth it. And being loyal to your lbs might end up saving you some money in the end
[Reply]
  • + 6
 that pack looks great, but my camelbak has made me happy for years and shows no signs of quitting.
  • + 2
 I hear ya! Mine is going on 7years now and still like new!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Have had an Ergon pack for a couple of years and it's the only pack I found that really fits my 6'4" frame without riding up.

If you're a taller guy and have struggled to find a pack where the belt didn't end up above your belly button I strongly recommend you check Ergon out.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Surely the review for the bars is a little outdated? Maybe a few years ago the comments about bridging the gap between XC and DH would be right but nowadays when you have the Raceface Sixc bars (234g actual weight but wider at 785mm), Easton Havoc's etc that comment seems a little pointless. The Sixc's and Havoc's are both fully rated for DH, not some middle of the road genre (which I admit does exist). The Truvativ's are heavier than either the Sixc's or Havoc's while being a lot narrower and still seem to be claiming to be weaker. Are Truvativ saying their carbon design isn't as good as others or do they just not have enough faith in their own product. I could see the point in them if they were actually any lighter than the competition but, as I already pointed out, they are heavier while being narrower so really I can't personally see the point of them.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Just about to buy the Ergon BA3 but you cant buy it in Canada. The supplier here only sells grips. WTF???
  • + 1
 I changed my mind from evoc to BA3 immediately when I saw it at Eurobike show, that's really a sweet one, also the price!
  • + 2
 As a pack snob, I demand that my pack carry well. Too bad the unfortunately named 'FLINK' suspension system Ergon used to have on its packs never caught on (phenomenally engineered with a ball/socket joint that keeps shoulder rotation from affecting the fit of the pack as you ride, they were a ticker higher price than other packs, but didn't come with a bladder). They are the best carrying packs I've ever worn on a bike... I still peruse the interwebs looking for that straggler pack that someone posts. Storing up extras for when the ones I'm using now die natural deaths or can't be repaired.

Ergon, feel free to reintroduce the Flex Link packs any time. I'll buy several.
  • + 1
 Digital-Criminal: Canadian distributor has agreed to start carrying the BA3 Super Enduro starting after Interbike 2013 due to consumer demand.

Reverend: The 'Flink' packs are done here in the USA. There is 1 model coming back in 2014, but likely will not see the N. American market. Yes, great design, but too expensive of a price-point for the market and too expensive for distributors to warehouse. The new pack design (BX and BA) is similar on many levels; adjustable torso and articulating shoulders.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the response, Ergon! It is unfortunate that more people didn't get a chance to try out the Flink packs, worth every penny. Amazing how a little higher 'price-point' will drive people away from a product that actually works as advertised. Keep up the great engineering and thoughtful design. I guess I'll have to shop an European online retailer in future for packs...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Lots of complaining on both sides of the fence- well here is what I want to see:
1) A side by side comparison of the new helmet and new features with the old helmet and old features for all manufacturers
2) Show me the comparisons between a $70 option and the mega $$$$$ option
3) A side by side comparison of Bell, POC, Kali, DO REY ME and Tralala helmets - pad removal, construction comparisons, head saving tech explained side by side, weight comparisons - show that 500-700$ is better than the 70$ option.

In regards to safety and function I am true believer that you get what you pay for- however in 1993 I hit a cow at 25 or so mph, right square on the front shoulder while bombing down Payson Canyon road, Utah. I flew 10 or so feet into the air landing on my head and then proceeded to get trampled. The helmet was destroyed but my head was unscathed minus the concussion, which was bad but not life threatening- the other injuries were. The helmet was 1993 technology and today pricing isn't much changed for a similar helmet but technology is through the roof. Whats changed since 1993? Wow where to begin, everything it seems.

SO I ask whats changed in the last 5 years for full face helmets? The last 3 years? The last year? Whats driving pricing minus demand and what else???????

Just show us, educate us, be the neutral third party Pink Bike and lets see what manufacturers are really giving us in comparison to the old and new.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have the lower level POC Cortex DH Helmet and it is amazing. It is lighter than the MIPS and about half the price! I highly recommend it. The only advantage the $500 has is that it has MIPS which is for when you hit your head off a tree or the ground going 50 mph it will break apart but if you crash hard enough to activate the MIPS chances are you will probably be extremely broken up.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i don know whether is just me but would you really want some one else's name on your handle bars?
like with the sam hill stuff. i mean i like the guy but i dont see the attraction the name placement
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Blackbox to the public. Oooow
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i have a question for you guys. have you tried the POC composite Flow DH helmet? I tried both, and it felt like the composite was lighter than the carbon. it may just be me. if you have tried both, which do you prefer?
  • + 2
 The composite should be lighter, but doesn't have the MIPS feature. In theory the MIPS helmet is safer but heavier. 1035 grams is still quite a respectable weight.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Please review some products that I might actually buy. How about some $80 grips, or some $600 pedals? Maybe a pair of $250 riding shorts? Come on PB!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think pocs have always been ugly. My opinion. I also think its a European style vs us style. But to ea h their own. 500 is too much for a helmet though, IDC who you are.
  • + 5
 POC has a modern simplistic style to it. Some prefer wild all around designs like TLD, others arent a fan
  • + 1
 omg, that helmet better give me head at that price!
  • + 1
 That helmet is also designed to take crashes at 200mph+
  • + 2
 HONESTLY, no helmet is going to work if you crash at 200+ mph....
  • + 1
 Seriously have you not seen a superbike race. Those guys go over the high side at 150+ and walk away all the time. If you want to see crazy crashes look up Side car races they hit 230+ and wreck at that speed. YES IT WORKS!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice...'how much is your head worth?' The same crap spoken by marketing people. Your $500 helmet is made from the same material as a $100 helmet and made in the same factory in Taiwan. The extra $400 is a 'dumbass tax',
[Reply]
  • + 3
 $150 more than my current bar to lose like 100g? I'd rather just take a dump before I go riding thanks...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 @ploutre the ENVE bar is made in china, only select enve rims are made in the USA
  • + 1
 By "select", you mean all, right?
  • + 1
 Actually they switched production to the USA
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Poc should make a Martin Söderström Replica Helmet. That would be VERY cool!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Milk was a bad choice
  • + 1
 It's so damn hot!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So for $830, I get a handle bar, helmet and backpack, that's nuts! I can find a hell of a lot of other parts I could get for that money.
  • + 1
 Well for 830$ i can buy pretty good bike, used of course.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Haha $200 for handel bars I only payed £150 for my second hand DMR drone money welk spent
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have that POC MIPS helmet for sale..CHEAP an BRAND NEW--hit me up pinksubs
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  • + 1
 The POC helmet is just one of the best on the market but they don't have my size.
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  • + 0
 My old THE one carbon lid already has the foam layer that moves around inside the outter shell, glue came loose after multi liner cleans, FASION FWD or what??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Gotta pay to play.... looks like I'll be staying in.
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  • + 1
 Skinny jeans are for girls!
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  • + 1
 $198 for handle bars? I'll just stick with my stock bars.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Please make the industry stop selling this expensive crap.
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