Pinkbike Product Picks

Jun 29, 2012
by Mike Levy  
Specialized Dissident full-face helmet

Specialized's brand new Dissident helmet employs a carbon matrix shell that keeps the weight down to a cool 1000 grams, making it one of the lightest full-face helmets on the market that also carries a ASTM DH certification. Thirteen forward facing vents (including the two small channels above the goggle opening) and seven exhaust openings at the rear of the helmet are combined with internal channels to create air flow, with each large opening covered by sturdy wire mesh. Inside you'll find completely removable padding that allows you to wash the stink out, as well as clever designed-in channels for headphone wires. As if the carbon helmet's bling factor wasn't high enough already, Specialized has spec'd titanium D-ring buckles on the chin strap as well. The Dissident is also the first mountain bike specific helmet to be compatible with Shock Doctor's novel helmet Eject removal system. An air intake connector is positioned discreetly at the rear of the helmet for an EMT to connect an air device, allowing an extremely thin air bag between the head and helmet shell to be inflated. This slowly pushes the helmet off of the rider with minimal movement to the neck, helping to reduce the chance of further injury from having to pull the helmet off. The helmet Eject kit doesn't come stock with the helmet, but it can be purchased online for about $60 USD and easily installed. On top of the usual certifications, it also carries a ASTM DH rating that means that its chin bar has been rated to take hard impacts without deflecting too much. Two colour options are available: DragBoat black (shown below) or Team Carbon, and sizes include small, medium, and large options. MSRP $350 USD. www.specialized.com


Specialized Dissident helmet
The Dissident a light, comfortable, and is compatible with the novel Helmet EJECT system.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThankfully, we haven't needed to test the Dissident's helmet Eject feature, but the system has been proven in motocross and other auto sports for years now. We did wear the carbon shelled helmet quite a bit and were very impressed with its comfort, though, with no hard spots or strange discomfort to report. Fit is always a very subjective thing, of course, but we were pleased with its comfort regardless. The medium sized helmet's fit is a touch snug compared to some other lids, even when broken in, but we'd still say that it is very agreeable. That cozy feel plays a part in how stable the Dissident is when getting rattled around on rough terrain - there was zero shifting of the helmet on our heads when in use. Despite a lot of talk about the helmet's impressive venting, we never really found it to be cooler than any other full-face out there, but certainly no hotter either. The Dissident weighed in at 1007 grams on our scale, but it is the helmets comfort that puts it at the top of our list when talking about full-face lids. The helmet Eject system compatibility also scores it major points. Factor in its $350 USD asking price, which is quite a bit less than some other carbon fiber helmets, and we'd say that the Dissident is a winner. - Mike Levy




Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes Fizz tablets

Anyone who is prone to cramping should pay attention because these small tablets are intended to prevent that horrible sensation of your muscles locking up, a feeling that can quickly have you writhing on the ground in pain. Sodium and potassium are only part of the picture when it comes to limiting the chance of cramping, with electrolytes also playing a large roll. Hammer Nutrition's Endurolytes Fizz tablets have been designed to provide a substantial amount of those all-important electrolytes in a concentrated form that surpasses what an energy drink can offer, but without the ingredients that your body receives from other fuels - each tab contains just ten calories and roughly a single gram of carbohydrates. Drop the dissolving effervescent tablets, one or two per bottle, into your water and drink on a regular basis throughout the ride. Available flavours include grape, peach, lemon-lime, grapefruit, mango, and an un-flavoured option for those who prefer a no taste. Each tube contains thirteen tablets and retails for $4.95 USD. www.hammernutrition.com


Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes Fizz
Prone to cramping? These tablets are the answer.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe were first introduced to Endurolytes Fizz tablets a bit too late - we were already cramping hard when a friend suggested that we drop some of her tablets into a bottle. While rescue was a few hours too late at that point, we made sure to pick some Endurolytes Fizz tablet for down the road. No, these are not nearly as interesting as shiny new bike components, but we have to say that it was likely the best money we've spent in quite awhile. After years of struggling to stop, or at least limit cramping (including drinking insane amounts of water, other supplements, and voodoo remedies), these small tabs are the only thing that we've found to be effective. We use them on nearly every ride that lasts more than a few hours, and we're convinced that they have been a huge blessing - we haven't had the slightest twinge of a cramp since, even on cross-country rides lasting over five hours. While we are huge fans of Hammer Nutrition's Endurolytes Fizz tablets, we also know that the majority of riders out there aren't as prone to cramping as we are. If that's you, count yourself lucky. But if you're like us and have ended laying on the ground in pain, we wholly recommend giving these small fizzy tablets a try. - Mike Levy




Five Ten Freerider Pro Danny Macaskill shoe

Five Ten's newest signature mountain bike shoe is based on their popular Freerider offering, sporting a casual look that won't have people staring at your feet if you wear them out with your normal, non-cycling friends. Despite their leisurely appearance, the black and blue kicks do sport some features aimed at keeping your feel feet safe while riding: a sturdy TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) toe cup adds protection up front, and a TPR (thermal plastic rubber) heel cup performs the same job out back. The soles are stiffer than what is found on some of Five Ten's other offerings, and they've added foam cushioning and an under-the-ankle cuff to the build. The uppers are manufactured with leather, and the lace holes employ metal reinforcement rings to keep them from pulling through down the road. The sole is, of course, Five Ten's sticky Stealth rubber. Men's sizes run from 2US (33EU) to 15US (49.5) in half size jumps, and a women's version is offered in 3.5US (33EU) to 11US (42.5EU) in half size increments. MSRP $134.95 USD. www.fiveten.com


Five Ten Freerider Pro shoes
Lighter than the popular Impact, the Freerider Pros are comfortable and stand up to abuse.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesOur Freerider Pro shoes have seen a lot of miles due to us running platform pedals on some of our all-mountain bikes, meaning that they have likely been put through far more abuse in the longrun than if we were using them solely for shuttle runs on the downhill bike. It is for this reason that we've become fans for the slightly stiffer than average sole that Five Ten has utilized, helping to prevent our feet from flexing over the pedals too much during long rides. They feel every bit as sticky as any other Stealth rubber equipped shoe despite that moderately more rigid sole, meaning that we never found ourselves wishing for more traction. They have also stood up quite well, not showing much wear from crank rub (our wonky ankles make for an odd foot position on the pedals, inflicting more crank rub than usual), and the stitching has proven to be robust enough to not be a concern. Sizing also feels spot-on, with our 10.5US feet fitting just right in the 10.5 Freerider Pro shoes. We like the fact that they are a lighter option than the burlier Impact Low model, but our only wish would be to see the mid-weight Freerider Pro feature a raised protective section that covers the inside of the ankle bone. At $134.95 USD, they are not inexpensive, but worth the money of you don't clip-in and are looking for a middleweight shoe. - Mike Levy






62 Comments

  • + 24
 my freeriders have lasted me ten times longer than any other shoe ive ever owned with 1000 times the abuse. five ten is certainly doing something right
  • + 0
 i have to agree, i wear my freeriders every day for for walking to and from school (3km) p.e. biking and everything in between and they are doing just fine. five ten defiantly make the best MTB shoes. on that note, for the specialized helmet id rather buy a TLD.
  • + 0
 pat school isnt 3 k from your house...
  • + 3
 1.5km each way. clocked it in my moms van
  • + 1
 i have a homie who rocks the specialized helmet quite well. not sure id spend that much...id just wait for an equivalent quality helmet to come up for uber cheap and snag that. but yeah...i rock the stealth rubber any day of the year
  • + 6
 I have bought a pair of the Danny Macaskill FiveTens and it's interesting there was no comment about the durability of the sole. I also have a pair of Impact Lows which are slightly over 4 years old now and they have been absolutely fantastic, now sign of wearing down at all! Yet I have already seen slight wear in my soles of the Danny Mac versions...here's hoping that they last long enough to warrant the price.
  • + 3
 Good point. I've had great luck with the soles of my Five Ten shoes in the past.. I have another set of Freeriders that have well 250 days on them (likely more) and they are standing up quite well. The Danny Macs show a bit of wear, but no more than expected.
  • + 7
 Completely agree on the raised section for ankle protection. I hope 5 10 is listening!
  • + 3
 I wish they would make a 5-10 thats a bit higher than thier current hightops , I have got a really shit left ankle and if my 5-10s went up just one lace hole higher they would off me so much more support. And yeah I do run a ankle support but every one I have tried has been uncomfortable , gotta put up with it though..
  • + 2
 I bought the Dissident helmet in April. I was stoked. I really liked it, comfortable, light and looks great. I like the understated graphics as opposed to some of the cluttered graphic packages on some of the other brands. At NWCup #3, I had a crash and smashed a hole in it. I had my bike shop contact Specialized about a crash replacement. The answer from Specialized, late November 2012 to get a new one. Really Specialized? November? My race season is over at the end of October.

I know kinda sh!tty calling you out on PB but do you want me taking my business somewhere else?
  • + 1
 The Macaskill have been holding up. After 3 races and tons of riding, they are solid. Grip is excellent, they're a great riding shoe, but the stiff last in the shoe makes these things hella uncomfortable to wear as standard shoes. So great grip and feel but too stiff to lounge all day in...
  • + 1
 2 years of sam hill´s 5,10 (wearing them daily) lasted me 2 years, and now holes are appearing in the sole. just bought this week a pair of danny macaskill´s for allmoutain, and they are great. 100gr lighter and more breatheable!! just what i needed for pedalling in AM. buying a pair of 5.10 will surely upgrade your skills, there are no shoe like that for plataform pedals!!
  • + 1
 There will be a dissident helmet as a raffle prize at the help for heroes race, tickets will be available to both riders and spectators so get your self racing or even to just come an watch, For more details visit www.cycletyre.com Or keep a close eye on pink bike
  • + 1
 Tried the Hammer Fizz tablets on my last long ride as I am one who begins cramping after long periods of exercise. Worked like a dream. No cramps. No lock ups. I'll be using these from now on. Thanks for the recommendation.
  • + 1
 These equipments are incredibly beautiful! but I don't have the money to buy it all. Regarding the cramping, I have a testosterone booster supplement to prevent it from happening because this supplement increases muscle mass that gives you enough strength to do what you want, but I'm gonna try this endurolytes. For the meantime, I am taking www.brinutrition.com/products/testosterone-booster.
  • + 3
 What an ingenious idea on the Speccy Helmet, and to top it off its a damn fine looking skid lid too. What else can you say??.
  • + 8
 Its not a TLD Smile
  • - 17
flag nouser (Jun 29, 2012 at 0:06) (Below Threshold)
 Let's start with it's made by Specialized, game over right there. I'd take a bell over it.
  • + 2
 Well, since Bell actually manufactures the majority of helmets on the market, I wouldn't doubt if the Specialized was manufactured by Bell. Now, the actual design of it, yes, is going to be quite a significant difference from the Bell Drop.
  • + 1
 I find it interesting that the dissident helmet "product pick" is also a main advertisement on the home page....objectivity in in product information or blatant product endorsement.....thoughts?
  • + 4
 Just because a manufacturer advertises on a publication, doesn't mean the publication can't offer an objective review. Otherwise, none of the magazines we read (online or print) would have reviews... or advertisements.
  • + 1
 @vernon Who gives a shit this is the best website in MTB history like it or not, that helmet is sick btw also vernon is sick bye
  • + 2
 I swear by the Fizz tablets. best hangover cure. works every time!!!! take one before u go to bed after a night of drinking and ur set to go the next day
  • + 4
 I like all three of the products... good job pinkbike
  • + 1
 4 sets 510's, every one of them fit for purpose, awesome shoes i want to be buried in my carpet baggers. like super cumffy slip slops, wear to work and bomb in, still walk in a pub in. best shoes period
  • + 2
 I got the Dissident recently, by far the best lid Ive had....and Ive owned a D3. It comes in XL too Pinkbike!
  • + 1
 I'm looking at getting a dissident lid how do you find the sizing on it in comparison to other lids
  • + 1
 I had the XL D3 previously and think the Dissiddent comes up a slightly bigger - but only by a small margin.
  • + 1
 Sounds like you've got a massive heed like me. Have you tried a Giro Remedy XL, and how does it compare to the Dissident/D3 XL?
  • + 1
 If only I could get the Dissident cheaper than a D3 Big Grin Sick lid for sure.
  • + 4
 I WANT ALL
  • + 9
 "AND I WANT IT NOW!" Just had a Queen moment right there.
  • + 2
 Those Endurolytes tablets are pretty amazing...and I'm not one to take supplements
  • + 0
 I laugh at the weight on the fizzy lifting tablets. It screams "For weight weeny XC lycra people". I know they aren't, but that prominent weight just made me think it. I'd use them on any race day for sure.
  • + 3
 Well, pretty much every packaged food item I can think of, from bacon to candy bars to ham has the weight printed on it somewhere. Like gravity, it's not just a good idea - it's the law.
  • + 3
 endurolyte fizz is good stuff. Such is Mango!
  • + 7
 If you like Mango try the Mango Tango energy bar from Mule bar. It's Mangolicious !!
  • + 4
 Lol
  • + 1
 have to agree with that there so nice
  • + 1
 I just finished off the Grapefruit ones I had grabbed at a race last year. Definitely help on long hot days. Time to buy some more! The nice thing about them is you don't need to mix like you do with powders.
  • + 2
 5.10 will be my next shoes for sure. Although, 661 Filters are still alive. Great stuff too.
  • + 1
 a review should be done of the fiveten maltese falcons. they looke awesome, becuase you can run clips or flats with them
  • + 2
 Fizzz man.. what more does life need?
  • + 1
 5 10 makes at least 3 other shoes that come in high tops, the impact high, the Cyclone, and Lineking.
  • + 2
 That's true, and I also use the Impact high tops for DH'ing on days that my ankles are acting up. I would still like to see a high top option for the Freeriders, though, because I like the fit and mid-weight feel of them over the other Five Ten offerings.
  • + 1
 I bought the Linekings for exactly that reason, I also own the Freeriders, impact low, and Minnars
  • + 2
 You have a lot of shoes.
  • + 1
 They put the raised cuff on the karver, which are great, though it would be nicer to see it on other types too.
  • + 2
 Been meaning to get some drink supplements for long rides. Thanks.
  • + 0
 so baisically the danny mac freeriders are just barons with feminine colors lol
  • + 2
 Shoes and fizz please...
  • + 1
 At last, PB product picks that are actually affordable!
  • - 2
 alot of these products just don't stand out to me, mainly because I don't have the money to blow on new helmets, bikes, ext... that's like an annual perches.
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