Pinkbike Product Picks

Apr 6, 2012 at 0:05
Apr 6, 2012
by Matt Wragg  
 
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Renthal SR4 Chainring

Not all chainrings are created equal and Renthal have arguably more experience making chainrings than any other company out there. Making them for more than 50 years for motor bikes means that they know a thing or two about it. Lining one of these single ring-specific SR4 rings up next to an OE-type chainring you can see how thick they are in comparison, nearly twice the width of what you often find. Yet that doesn't mean they're heavy - the clever drilling keeps the weight of this 32t version down to just 38g (the 44t version is 82g). They're also pimp as hell, the quality of machining and finishing is top notch. Being Renthal, they are only available in this lovely gold colour, and we like that, it's always good to see companies with the confidence to do things in their own way - in this case it's choosing to stay out of the trend for offering kit in a technicolor vomit of "colorways". MSRP is $59.95 USD (£39.99). www.renthalcycling.com

Renthal SR4 Chainring
The Renthal SR4 32t chainring, what more is there to say? (Right) Just check out the quality of the machining and the finish.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWhat do we need to say about Renthal SR4 Chainrings? They're light, strong, durable, look good and are not over-priced. We've had one of these strapped to our Saracen Ariel test bike for the last year and can't report a single fault with it. Nothing less than a perfect piece of kit. - Matt Wragg



Troy Lee Designs T-Bone Kneepads

Usually Product Picks are reserved for new(ish) kit, but in this case we need to make room for something we're starting to consider a bit of a classic: the T-Bone kneepad. When you start to list the things that you want a kneepad to do, you come down to two things: protect your knee and stay in place, so that it can do that. Across the front of the pad, the big plate provides good protection from frontal hits, but it's the padding round the side that really makes them special. It's something that many companies seem to forget when they're designing knee pads, but those six foam pads make a huge difference for protecting your knees. To keep them in place they have a strap at the top and the bottom, rather than relying on the elastic. MSRP on these is $59.95 USD (£54.99) a set. www.troyleedesigns.com

Troy Lee T-Bone kneepads
Yep, they're definitely kneepads. (Right) Showing a bit of thigh to demonstrate that important side padding.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThis set here is replacing an older set of T-Bones that we've worked out to have been in regular use since 2007 - including two full seasons. After five years, the foam pads on the side have been shredded somewhat (rocky, Mediteranean trails tend to do that), the finishing at the top and bottom is starting to come away from the pad and they don't smell too great, but they still work fine. The simple system of two straps to hold them in place works as well as it did the day they came out of the packet, unlike many elastic-based pads that tend to sag and lose grip all-too-quickly. Out of the box they do need some time to bed in, a good few days riding before they soften up and take to the shape of your knee. Once they have you rarely need to adjust these or fiddle with their position. Sure, you will find lighter pads and some people complain that these are quite hot, and we can't argue with that, but if you get back to the two most important things you want a kneepad to do (protect and stay in place), these are still some of our favourites. Just make sure you try a set on as the sizing seems to come up quite small. - Matt Wragg


Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet

Urge were one of the first companies to pick up on the breed of riders who wanted to go out all day and pedal, but still go hard on the descents. Call them enduro, all-mountain or trail riders, or whatever takes your fancy. Traditional open-face helmets just didn't have enough protection, especially on the back of the head, yet full-facers aren't practical for climbing as even the best out there restrict your breathing too much. The Endur-O-Matic was born into this gap. At $99.95 USD (£79.99) they're good value compared to a lot of the other new-generation, trails helmets out there. www.urgebike.com

Urge Endur-O-Matic helmet
Urge Endur-O-Matic helmet
(Clockwise) For our money, one of the best looking open-face lids going (it's just a shame you can't say as much for me); The double-bolted plate holding the peak in place; The lettering around the peak vent; That all important protection at the back of your head.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesOut of the box the first two things you will notice about the Endur-O-Matic helmet are how light and well-finished it is. Holding it in your hand it is genuinely surprising that it weighs so little. You need to see one in the flesh to appreciate the little details, like the double-bolted plates on each side to retain the peak and the raised lettering around the peak's air vent. While the vents provide more airflow than you'd expect, this isn't a breezy XC affair and on hot days it does get a bit sweaty. However, the reassuring feeling of that extra coverage at the back of your head is well-worth the trade-off in cooling. If you do soak the pads, they pop in and out incredibly easily for drying and washing. Obviously we can't talk about this helmet without mentioning the way it looks - generally people love or hate Urge's helmets. Initially we will admit that we were in the dislike camp, but they've grown on us over time and if we were pushed now, we'd say this is one of the best-looking, open-face lids on the market. - Matt Wragg



Must Read This Week









73 Comments

  • + 73
 Wow, a product pick which is remotely affordable and related to what I would actually consider getting.
  • + 44
 what , you didn't like the protein drinks and iphone compatible gloves? XD
  • + 3
 Now the problem is that i cant choose
  • + 6
 All three are good. The 4th option should be all of the above.
  • + 4
 I still can't afford any of them, but if i saved up it would be the helmet!
  • + 3
 I quite enjoy my Urge lid
  • + 2
 I cased a 20' drop off with my urge enduro helmet, took a blow to the temple and snapped a wrist, wlked away with no concussion, went out and replced with another urge, won't use anything else ever would like that renthal ring
[Reply]
  • + 15
 it's a shame Renthal still does not have a distributor in Canada...can't even try their products...Go Chromag !!!
  • + 3
 you can order their stuff off of US sites...
  • + 9
 Or you can buy stuff at your lbs...
  • + 5
 i buy 90% of my stuff at my LBS, but if i cant get it. i will go online for a product i want this isnt sold there
  • + 3
 Any canadian LBS can just open an account with QBP to order them....
  • + 2
 "thank you for calling quality bicycle products. if you know your parties four digit extension feel free to dial it at any time. remain on the line to be connected to a representative.......... quality bicycle products this is (insert name)" "hey i need to make and ep order" "Ok! just so you are aware, now any shipment under 270$us will now be charged a 30 small package fee" " what the !@(#*&" Click.............
  • + 4
 how about pinkbike comes up with a rating system for the reviews.Maybe a 1-10 in a few key categories like QUALITY, VALUE, CUSTOMER SERVICE/WARRANTY, etc. it would make the reviews more comparable. these Renthall rings look good, solid review, but how do they compare to a race face, chromag or black sphire? btw great items this week, about time there were more affordable helmets in this genre, my old protec is heavy and the fit adjustment sucks.
  • + 0
 I know I could order them from a US bike store but would rather always buy at my lbs...in the end, it's just cheaper...I had a request made to Ian Collins (the Renthal bicycle division) and ask to give me a hand locating a canadian dealer...but he never even bothered replying...no need to look any further, I'll just keep my OSX...
  • + 2
 @trailchief I'm probably wrong on multiple accounts here but I've come to the conclusion that it's something they want to avoid. I've pretty much never seen reviewers compare products between eachother, here or elsewhere. I can't tell if it's to avoid any possible bias or if its not to piss off the brands who gets less favorable reviews but I find it unfortunate. As a consumer I usually have to chose between multiple products and when all you can find is reviews saying pretty much everything is good aside minor problems, it doesn't help me out at all in the end.
  • + 1
 Just to say that there is a canadian distributor for urge helmets and ita is one of the largest - cycles lambert
  • + 1
 Wow lol sorry missed the subject haha
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I would buy renthal if all their stuff wasn't gold, if they don't want to make colours, fine, but at least make a black version. IMO
  • - 3
 just repaint it...
  • + 7
 that gold is their hard anodising which will make that ring outlast any fancy colour ring out there. function over looks. thir bars could be something other than gold though, but for 50 years one colour has been good enough for them. theyu don't bring the bling, just performance
  • - 7
 most colored chainrings are anodized as well. so the renthal's color won't last any longer.
  • + 4
 you are dumb, its the type of anodizing which effects the longevity of the anodizing. and plus, you can get hard ano on different colours, i got my renthal ring hard ano'd black
  • + 6
 It's a Class 3 "hard" anodized coating, which is significantly more durable than the other, softer ano treatments that are available in lots of colors. Class 3 is either clear or black, but the clear obviously changes the color to more gold than the raw aluminum.
  • + 2
 this man knows his stuff. hard ano is used on moto, and thier sprockets/cogs take 1000 times more use than a bike
  • + 1
 Knarrr is right, normal anodisation will make the surface harder, but hardanodization (like boxer stantion) will make them super hard.
  • + 4
 i-eat-dirt just got taken to school!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Got both the Renthal ring and Urge Helmet.
The Renthal ring is designed a bit strangely as depending on your chain line and bolts you have to put it on "backwards" so you cannot see any of the branding. Not really a negative but if you're going to produce a pretty pimp part you want to be able to show of the manufacturer. Very light and beautifully made, my mate has managed to split one in half but we think he'd lost a few bolt's and Renthal replaced.

The urge helmet really does fit perfectly. Unlike a normal XC helmet that feels suspended by the internals, this fells snug all over with no pressure points or adjusters to either pull hairs out or get stuck under the loop on the top of my Dakine bag! I do take it off on longer climbs but as soon as you get any sort of speed, the vents work great. The sweat pad at the front works excellently and the straps adjust easily. As they said, it also feels a lot safer than a traditional XC lid. Unfortunately, as I'm tight I got the cheapest one I could find which is black and white or "Chips style" as my mates call it but the do some cool colour ways that pictures don't really do justice to.
  • + 3
 Renthal stuff is beautifully made (I've owned their DH bars and duo stem) but we've had problems getting the chain ring to work with a number of chain devices including the popular E13 LG1+ and DRS as the chainring is just too thick (in width) compared to comparable rings from E13 or Gamut, you end up with spacing /set up issues that stops the chain device functioning properly

real shame as I wanted to run a Renthal ring on my last custom build to match the bars and stem, but it simply would not fit, and ended up with E13 Guide Ring which is a good product but not a patch on the high quality of the Renthal
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Had an enduromatic for about a year now and it's THE best lid for XC and free ride. The quality is superb and makes you look like you pilot an Xwing on the side lol. Next buy for me will be a Downomatic for more vert riding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The urge helmet is a good looking helmet,the only problem i found with mine when i owned one was after removing the pads to wash them after only a couple of times they fell apart, this was caused by separating the velcro not caused by washing.Try the poc trabec race helmet, owned one for about 10 months now and have to say its in a different league, albeit twice the price.
  • + 2
 What I like about the urge helmet is that it's compact. It seems to rest close to your head. I tried a trabec and it looks like I'm wearing a watermelon, the thing is so wide... I understand that it's a question of preference but I have a hard time to imagine it looks good on anyone's head.
  • + 1
 Try wearing a Moto full face without a chest/shoulder pads, it looks like you are wearing a beach ball.
  • + 1
 Do you want to look good and be brain dead? Or cover your frontal lobe and be able to brag to your friends how you got away with that face plant! The Urge as modeled above, protects your front hair line and not much else. No thanks.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm a big fan of the Urge helmets!
I have a 2011 black & white and a 2012 luxe green Enduro-Matic's open face helmet and a 2012 green Archie-Enduro Veggie full face...
For comfort, weight and looks, I can't recommend them enough! Wink
(Ps: For night riders, You can't fit a conventional helmet light mount unless you only want to see 90 degrees to the left or right out of the corner of your eye. But, I've found the Enduro-Matic fits a velcro/rubber handle-bar type mount for a head torch perfectly and works a treat!)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Me and 2 mates have Urge Endur-o-Matic's started out with one dude having one then once we all got a look and feel, they started popping up all over the place. Got to say its the best helmet I've ever owned, apart from my D3!, its not as hot as people are making out vents work well. Ive never been in a situation where i thought my head was on fire.. highly recommended
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have them all. Renthal chainring is good, but Race Face colours are better TLD Knee pads are nice, but they can cut into the back of your leg, POC's are better. Urge Helmet is lovely, a little warm but very comfortable with great protection.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Urge helmet is awesome, as well as more protection it is so much comfier then the standard harness based helmets! Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Iv got a renthal chainring, bombproof! Lasted ages so far. Tbones are the pads I'm looking at getting. And my mate is getting the urge lid. More product pics like these dudes!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Helmets cool. Knee pads ard dope but baggy looking. That chainring is sexy and if it came in a 38tooth then I'm getting one.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just recieved my Renthal SR4 in 34t this week, will be bolting it up with a new chain guide as well ready to hit the trails over the easter weekend!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Where's the "I own all of the above, because they all rock" option?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Don't leave the Urge lid in your car. The heat will warp the visor. I really like the full black one.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The helmet looks sick, I'm planning to buy one of these soon. You can have also DH googles on it. Simply , just what I need !
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Love my Urge helmet, best helmet Ive ever owned by a mile.
  • + 1
 I bought an Urge helmet for skiing this winter, same shell as this Endur-O-Matic!!!! Best helmet I ever bought and I plan on trying their DH version now. They fit like a glove and lite!!! Price is awesome too for such quality product.
  • + 1
 I know, the first time I saw them I wasn't sure then I picked it up and was like wow, then put it on my head and totally sold.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have the chainring. It runs very smoothly and is the most durable I have had.. By far.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have had the Urge Enduro for about a year now and its been the best helmet by far.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have a renthal chainring, and it is THE best chainring out now. its the best
[Reply]
  • + 1
 yes but i want to try it on my head before i buy it, so i need to actually have it in my hands first
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i got a Renthal SR4, pimp as hell is an understatement!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've got a 36T Renthal ring, used, will get a 32 for my hardtail and 36 for the full sus soon Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Finally something I can actually buy, and is useful!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i like my T-Bones...
  • + 5
 Are they DH-worthy? I've been thinking of getting some since I no longer care about protecting my shins.
  • + 1
 I got a set of the T-bones ths winter, they cut into the backs of my knees and were very uncomfortable. And this was just shuttling DH, I would have been a bloddy mess had I been hiking or pedaling. I've gone back to 661 Kyle Straits. 2 thumbs down for the T-bones from me.
  • + 2
 the sizing a different with T-Bones than 661, so you may have had a pair that were too small. I've never had an issue with mine, I barely feel them when they're on and I routinely hike uphill for about a half hour and then DH. And yes, DH worthy for sure. Norby wears them in the new Coastal Crew movie, and he does some pretty great DH stuff...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice Urge lid but wear one in Australia outside the depths of winter and my brain would melt and run out of my ears...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Got the SR4 chainring on my Izimu, 36t, using a G2 sl chainguide, the chainring is super strong and bling as foook!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want a 30T to go with my 1X10. I think it would be perfect on an all Mt bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just wish renthal did one other colour: black!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it sais renthal 36tooth and its bent as foook
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that helmet is ugly as sin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 renthal chainrings bend like cheese !!
  • + 2
 are you sure your chainring says 'Renthal' and not 'Emmental'?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 For some cool, Euro circles and a visor, Urge charges you an extra $50 for your skate lid. Sounds like a deal to me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 good picks! All great stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 buddies got an urge and that helmet is perdy nice.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 where can i get the helmet in Vancouver?
  • + 1
 I ordered mine from chain reaction cycles last night before I read this. 92.00 taxes and shipping included. The 2012's are 132.00
[Reply]
  • - 3
 I have the SR4, I am on a sponsorship with renthal now and have all their products on my bikes. Love them to say the least. I have the SR4 on my TR450 and it is top notch!
[Reply]

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