Pinkbike Product Picks

Nov 15, 2013
by Matt Wragg  
Bliss ARG 1.0 LD Top

Bliss' ARG top is their take on a lightweight armoured jersey. At its core is their ARG polymer technology, which is similar to D3O in that it is flexible, but hardens on impact to protect the wearer. On their website Bliss claim that their material is both more effective in a crash and lasts longer than another leading compound (that they seem to be inferring is D3O). The ARG top is a 3/4 sleeve vest with armour plates sewed onto the back, shoulders and elbows. It is by no means a full armour jacket, rather a lightweight protector for someone who doesn't feel the need for anything bulkier, or, dare we say it, someone racing enduro where you spend a lot of time on the bike, but where spine and elbow protection is mandatory in many races. The main body of the protector is a lycra top, which opens on the right hand side and stays in place through its body-hugging fit and large stretch cuffs on the forearm. MSRP: USD $219.00 www.blisscamp.com

Bliss ARG 1.0 LD Top
The Bliss ARG 1.0 LD top is, as you can probably see, rather tight fitting, and not particularly flattering for an out-of-shape journo... With the medium size jacket we tested, and a 5'9" tester, you can see clearly how limited the back and shoulder coverage is. However, the elbows are much better, with the dot of protective material placed on the joint to cover side impacts.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThere is no denying how impressively light the ARG 1.0 LD top is. Being mostly made of lycra it unsurprisingly feels a lot like wearing a lycra top, which in terms of comfort is no bad thing. Both the zip and the seams are very well finished, they don't rub or chafe at all and the cuffs on the forearm don't restrict bloodflow too much. On the trail it stays in place well. In terms of the protection, we have two areas for concern though. Firstly, on a 5'9" rider, the backplate leaves an uncomfortable amount of exposed spine on your lower back - we would like it to reach down another three or four inches ideally. We also feel that the pad would be less noticeable on the trail if it were split into sections, rather than the single, large plastic piece here as there is a lot moving around on your back as you ride. Then there are the shoulder pads. We're not sure what they will actually protect you from, other than if you find yourself flying, shoulder-first towards a tree or rock. They offer no coverage for the front or rear of the shoulder, leaving the collarbone completely exposed. We have heard tell that a couple of the top enduro racers who use this jacket unstitch the shoulder pads and remove them. This said, while it does have its faults, we reckon this is the best lightweight protection option on the market right now. Nothing else is this light and comfortable, and Bliss have understood that riders in the market for this kind of top are looking for something as minimal as possible. - Matt Wragg



Lazer Solid State Glasses

Lazer's Solid State glasses are a no-nonsense set of riding glasses. One size fits all, from small to large. Their construction is a simple frame along the top of the lens and a separate nose piece that slots into the lens. They are literally a frame and lens, there is nothing excess here, which is reflected in the 34g weight. The lenses are made of shatter proof polycarbonate which Lazer says offers 100% UVA and UVB protection. They come in a nice little hard carrying case, with a separate cloth bag and three lens options included in the box: yellow, smoked red and clear. MSRP: USD $70.00 www.lazersport.com

Lazer Solid State glasses
The Lazer Solid State glasses are, as the name suggests, utterly simple, but are a decent set of riding glasses for the money.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt's hard to fault such a wonderfully simple product. We found the fit to be good, they stayed in place regardless of whether we were slogging up a long, road climb, or charging down a rough DH track. When we stopped they did fog up slightly, which is to be expected with any glasses you use, but they cleared quick enough when we got moving and the air started flowing through them. Lens changes were utterly simple and the way they lock into the lens is easy to figure out. While they may not have the refined feel of some of the high-end options, they certainly don't feel cheap and the arms are still as tight as the day they landed with us. - Matt Wragg



Mudhugger Front Mudguard

Mudhugger is a small company, based in the West Midlands in the UK, which means they have plenty of experience riding in wet, shitty, muddy conditions. Their front mudguard is a tough plastic piece that mounts around the arch of the fork lower, using four, small velcro straps to secure it in place. It extends about ten inches behind the arch and a couple forwards to stop water and mud spraying up from the wheel at you. MSRP: £18.00 www.themudhugger.co.uk

Mudhugger mudguard
Simple. Sturdy. Effective. There's little else we need to say about the Mudhugger.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe design for the Mudhugger is similar to several other options on the market, which are well-proven. Where the Mudhugger differs is that it uses tougher, more rigid plastic than its nearest competitors, which we like, and the extension forwards from the crown offers even more protection from spray. We have a preference for this style of light, low-key guard, rather than the overly complex moto-inspired options. The velcro mounting system was particularly good, it's reusable, so you don't have to throw away plastic zip ties every time you want to remount or reposition it. Out on the trail it did a great job of keeping everything out of our eyes and we experienced no problems with clogging either. - Matt Wragg





Must Read This Week

87 Comments

  • + 108
 Are those glasses enduro specific?
  • + 194
 27.5 specific
  • + 46
 I heard they only work with 29ers
  • + 94
 70 euros for safety glasses ...get a set of Bolle safety glasses and save your self 67 euros.
  • + 4
 Yeah, safety glasses that will scratch the first time you clean some mud off them and will also fog up way to fast.
  • + 3
 enduro specific.... hahahaha
  • + 67
 Yes enduro specific. My buddy tried them with downhill and mud went through them
  • + 2
 Nah , it's standard for most Bolles ( even the cheaper ones ) to have all the UV ratings and scratch resistant , fogging up wont be an issue since both side of the glasses are open giving no seal like goggles do that cause the that heat difference that causes fogging up.
  • + 33
 70 dollars is enduro specific.
  • + 19
 do they make carbon ones
  • + 52
 Is it available with only the left side? To make it stiffer.
  • + 3
 With Keanu Reeves as the model....the glasses must be of another dimension
  • + 4
 Yeah idk where you're getting that scratching shit... a $5-10 pair of safety glasses will usually have shatter/scratch resistant lenses. Plus there are TONS of cheaper clear glasses out there that DONT look like safety glasses. I got my Ryders pair for $20.
  • + 8
 @bkm303 But are they enduro certified...
  • - 3
 hey now straps go under the glasses... unless having them over the arms is the new enduro style?
  • + 2
 @fracasnoxteam now that you mention it, when I tried to enduro(TM) with them the glasses exploded and left me blind forever. If only I had bought the $70.00 pair Frown
  • + 1
 Before I could purchase a pair, the shop attendant asked what sort of riding I did. I heard the person before me say enduro and he was sold a pair, so went with that. Lucky!
  • + 0
 @bkm303 Just think a minute if you're underwear aren't enduro(TM) certified ! Sorry you're blind, but next you'll choose the right glasses!!!
By the way "freeride" used to really be a TM of ... cannondale. I do love my claymore but it's clearly not a freeride. (even if it saved my life last week, my biggest crash ever)
  • + 1
 I wear my normal spectacles when riding, and guess what? They don't get loose or fall off, whether I'm slogging up a long, road climb, or charging down a rough DH track. They also never fog up.
  • + 6
 Okay that's enough enduro for one day lads, the jokes will still be available to write tomorrow.
  • + 1
 The glasses have already been "Black Diamond" riding approved, I'm sure they will meet or exceed all requirements for Enduro riding. if not though - it is unsafe to wear them!
  • + 0
 look's like a trek session
  • + 3
 I use a pair of 3M safety glasses I bought at Wal-Mart with just a hint of tint & they look & work better than my $160 Spys. Name brand sun glasses are like iPhones or exotic cars. Crap that's artificially high priced 'cuz da name. If those Lazers didn't come with 3 lenses I'd shit & fart all over 'em, but 3 lenses for $70, I guess I won't bother pointing out how butt f*cking ugly they are & just say that it's not the worst price for a piece of plastic I've ever seen.
  • - 6
flag woodyc (Nov 18, 2013 at 16:04) (Below Threshold)
 Getting bored of the enduro specific / 27.5 jokes.
  • + 3
 @woodyc if you keep on reading them for 4 days after the news, yes, obviously.
  • - 8
flag woodyc (Nov 19, 2013 at 15:32) (Below Threshold)
 Give me a minute while I read them again retard
  • + 73
 Pinkbike, despite seemingly most people I do like your product picks however might be an idea to do a shootout for example the Mudhugger guard vs Muckynutz vs the Neoprene one that fits between the arch and crown. Three common types of grips, saddles ect. I just think it would be more helpful to readers to have more of a comparison if possible.
  • + 2
 Yes PB, just take a look at what BigBike do in France.
  • + 17
 I recently bought a front Mudhugger, and it is obviously more effective than both the RRP Neoguard, Mucky Nutz Bender Fender, but not as effective as the Dfender. However, it is much more aesthetically pleasing, and is I think the best compromise between looks and effective mudguard.

Between my brother and I, own and have used all of the mentioned guards. And they all work to a good extent, and it depends on the conditions. Last year riding downhill filthy tracks, getting to the bottom, having to keep a roll of loo roll in the uplift van to clean my barely visible goggles lens, and that was with the Neoguard. The Dfender is in a different league, and you only get a few droplets. But, it comes at the expense of looks, like it or not, but we all care to some extent.

Like I said, the mughugger is a great compromise, and you barely notice it on the bike, I drilled a couple of additional holes in it, so it sits tighter at the rear for a more flush and even fit between tyre and guard. I had to so it would fit my 888's neat.

Dfender>Mudhugger>BenderFender>Neoguard IMO. Would not be without some form of mudguard in the winter, or any season!
  • + 2
 Here's a helpful bunch of reviews for different mudguards: http://www.moredirt.com/bikekit/Grouptest---Mud-Guards-Part-2/3580/

There's a link to a mudhugger review too at the bottom.
  • + 4
 hehe Loo Roll...
  • + 3
 I put a Mucky nutz bender on my DH bike for the end of the season at Whistler and some winter shore riding. I am hugely impressed with it's ability to keep mud from being flicked up into my mouth haha, I'm sure I'll get one for the trail bike soon. Really like how low-profile it is. One unexpected downfall of the fender was it's tendency to get packed up with snow if I happened to find some.
  • + 1
 ...he means Bum Wad.
  • + 10
 I must be too British for you chaps, what-what?
  • + 1
 holy guacamole !! 60 quid for a mudguard (Dfender) you are taking the piss
  • + 2
 Tbh I got mine for £23 off eBay, with some patience.

It probably is the best, the others make it seem expensive, but there is much more to it in manufacture. Nearly everything MTB related is expensive. At least most of these mudguards are made in UK. Smile
  • + 4
 ...because sometimes English needs to be translated...

"taking the piss"
definition found online:
Taking the piss is a British term meaning to take liberties at the expense of others, or to be unreasonable. It is often used to mean taking the piss out of, which is an expression meaning to mock, tease, ridicule, or scoff. ...
  • + 2
 MAKE YOUR OWN!
  • + 7
 Pinkbike, please make an article about enduro specific protection.
A lot of the racers (Clementz e.g.) wear some kind of back and elbow protection, besides the odd knee pad.
I think we have seen every bicycle they ride in finest detail, but I´d be more interested in protection that enduro racers wear.

cheers
  • + 1
 so long as it isn't sold to us an 'enduro specific', but suitable for enduro or similar riding.
  • + 1
 That's exactly what I mean. What do racers pick out of the available stuff
  • + 6
 I'm still waiting on the new version of the bliss armour with the chest guard to come out. my dad uses the one tested here and loves it. here's a bit of advice though. Dont test how well the armour gel stuff works by slapping yourself in the face with the spine guard. it hurts.
  • + 5
 I hate riding with a full armor as it's too hot and I can't move as free as I want, though I don't exactly want to ride in a t-shirt. I got the O'Neal STV/Stealth Shirt. It's the best of both worlds. It's light, made of breathable material and offers some basic padding on the chest, a spine protector that's neck brace compatible and some removable shoulder and elbow pads (elbow pads only come on the L/S shirt). Same thing as Bliss and D30, it's made of material that hardens on impact. O'Neal's versions called SAS-TEC. Only thing lacking is better stitching. You have to be careful with it, but other than that I'd recommend that for anyone looking for a bit of protection, but doesn't want to wear a full armor jacket.
  • + 3
 Riding with an MX Roostguard. Massive back- and plate, shoulder protection, no upper arm protection.
Tight fitting protector shirts are hot and restrict breathing. Roostguards protect much better and less than half the price of Enduro stuff.

www.extremesupply.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/600x600/foxracing/foxracing_protection/foxracing_2012_airframe_blackwhite_chestprotector.jpg
  • + 1
 Looks heavy to me. Is it not?
  • + 5
 and I'm sure duct taping two mattresses either side of you would provide ample protection but It might not be that comfortable either
  • + 8
 A cycling industry fairy gets its wings every time a cheaper, perfectly functional solution from motorsports gets passed on by dudes who don't want to look like they are trying too hard to be safe.
  • + 2
 @kerberos: Actually very light, boilerplate beats softfoam/sweaty lycra. Biggest advantage is breathing and lots of ventilation..

@snfo: This is an upgrade to a twenty year old minimal AXO MX-roostguard. And that saved me many times. Generally MX is better value and better protection than Dh specific. Enduro stuff is mostly overpriced placebo and conforming to a certain style.
  • + 1
 have been using this one for a while now: thor sentinel roost guard, images.esellerpro.com/2189/I/597/11/Thor-Sentinel-Body-Protector-White-1.jpg it comes without the bulky shoulder pieces (that's a plus to me) and its really protective
  • + 1
 Thor look good. Do you slip it on or use the buckles?
  • + 1
 i use the buckles. they are really easy to use so i didn't even bother trying to slip it on
  • + 4
 Those look like generic 'safety glasses' that any light industrial workplace would use and would cost less than 10USD. Beware the flashy box and name.
  • + 1
 You're not wrong, reading MBUK this month, and they're reviewing glasses, the cheapest of which is £45 up to £195 for the daft priced Oakleys.

I use these ~£6 Bolle's, and have to say they are pretty comfortable and as clear as glass! http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000VDWMYI/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1A7ASPLKOD0I6
  • + 1
 Bolle safety are nice, I have a prescription pair that I use for machining and as a backup pair for MTB.
I mostly ride with contact lenses with oakley jawbone (gift). I won't give up my oakleys even if some bollé safety will be fine also.
What they lack is durability (PC glass are very prone to scratch) and VR tint.
  • + 1
 Protections stiched to lycra are not a good idea: lycra doesn't hold the protection very well during impact so it could slip.
Lycra is itself quite abrasive in fact, so when it slip, it rips your skin in the process.
Learn it the hard way with (very) light raceface charge protection (which I mainly use against torns and bush).
Better use dedicated protection with good padding and good soft fabric on the inside.
  • + 1
 I bought a Rutland Style V2.0, and it came with free windshield washer fluid. It also featured customisable contours and it works like a dream. Should be able to buy one at any auto parts store or gas station. Keeps mud out of my eyes and mud off the seals as well. Smile
  • + 1
 Like the look of of the other Top Comp Bliss shirt www.blisscamp.com/bike/bliss-arg-1-0-ld-top/a-21539 but do you think they will bother returning an email or replying to a question on Facebook about when it'll be available - it seems like they can't be bothered!!!!! Will be looking at a Dainese Rhyolite if that's an indication of Bliss's service levels.
  • + 2
 Hey Steve,

I´m really sorry but we haven´t received any emails from you so far.
The Bliss ARG 1.0 LD Top Comp will be available in a couple weeks. (2014 product range)

For further questions feel free to contact our PR & Marketing Manager Andy.
He would be pleased to help you out!
Mail to: AN@BLISScamp.com

Sorry for the "unsatisfactory" service. We try our best to replay every customer e-mail as soon as possible.

Cheers
  • + 1
 Hi there,

Query went in via the web form ages ago. No sweat however - LD looks awesome and I'll follow up with Andy (Just sent an email to Andy).

Cheers - Steve
  • + 5
 They're 650b and wearing them brings the trail 'alive'
  • + 4
 Pinkbike "Look like a dweeb" edition.
  • + 1
 www.chainreactioncycles.com/rockgardn-pangaea-riding-glasses-2013/rp-prod64730
I got these glasses different lenses just pop out to change had them for over a year and are awesome Smile
  • + 2
 I think pinkbike did a decent job with their product picks this time because I dont see anything from the usual whiners! It actually disappoints me a bit..
  • + 5
 I'll take BOS forks Wink
  • + 3
 Do you americans have any jokes or just 'enduro style' ones lool.every comment from a yank is just the same lol.
  • + 1
 Pinkbike product picks personify pathetic possibilities pilfering personal profits... I have no idea why that required alliteration.
  • + 2
 "and the cuffs on the forearm don't restrict bloodflow too much" ...with a picture of a guy with veiny ass red hands
  • + 1
 ..and with twig arms.
  • + 2
 $220 for a lycra top with not very good shoulder pads and not much back protection either... No thanks.
  • + 1
 The enduro banter is priceless I like the shirt but the grasses are kinda week. It's 2013 think space age!
  • + 1
 I looked at Bliss website - and they do have a version with additional lower back protection.
  • + 2
 Matt Wragg is a Dandy.
  • + 1
 Does the mud guard fits 29? If it's Enduro specific, I don't know.
  • + 1
 Racket ball glasses: safe, light, cheap, and don't fog up too bad.
  • + 1
 Just a tip, zap-straps can be re-used!
  • + 2
 Alien head mudfugger
  • + 1
 whats up with all thoses overpriced products...
  • + 1
 Does it only fit bos forks ? Wink
  • + 1
 Do you think the Bliss is better than the Race Face?
  • - 1
 Can't decide if i like the urge helmet ooooor those sweet enduro glasses more…. life is full of hard choices
  • - 1
 Looks like the shirt could have used a bit more R&D.
  • + 0
 Agree. It doesn't cover the kidney area at all.
  • + 0
 dat BOS.....
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