Pinkbike Product Picks

Jun 8, 2012
by Mike Levy  
Fyxation Mesa MP pedals

Fyxation may be better know for their lineup of urban gear, but their new Mesa MP pedal is said to also be ready for the mountain. They are designed around an impact grade nylon body that measures 18mm tall at its thickest point, and with a 100mm long by 94mm wide platform. Eight hex head pins per side work to hold your feet in place, with the six on the leading and trailing edges threading into replaceable nuts on the opposite side. This arrangement means that the pins and nuts are both replaceable if the worst should happen, but also that they are much sturdier than if they simply threaded into the nylon body itself. They spin on a two sealed bearings at the outer end and a DU bushing up against the crankarm, and use a cro-moly axle that can be threaded into the crankarm with either a pedal wrench or 8mm hex key. The Mesa MP pedals weigh 351 grams for the set and retail for $59.95 USD. www.fyxation.com


Mesa MP pedal
The Mesa MP retails for a reasonable $59.95 USD, but needs some tweaking before we give them full marks.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWhile many people warned us that the Mesa MP's nylon bodies wouldn't last long, they shrugged off rock strikes without any major damage. We got up off the ground from one major hit in particular expecting to find a shattered, or at least cracked, pedal body, only to discover that the impact didn't cause anything beyond some minor cosmetic damage. Score one for the Mesa MP pedals. The pins also refused to be ripped out, even though they were dragged over rocks on numerous occasions. While the nylon bodies proved to be able to brush off rock impacts, we did have one issue that seems to be down to the choice in material. An aluminum cap threads into the end of the nylon body, butting up against a spacer that acts as the shoulder for the outer race of the sealed bearing to ride on. The layout doesn't hold the body onto the axle, the pedal axle nut performs that job, but it does prevent the body from shifting in and out on the axle. And that is exactly what started to happen to our left Mesa MP pedal when the aluminum cap decided to push out of the threads in the nylon body during a ride. The pedal body can't come off of the axle, but the 3 - 4 mm of play in the body is very unnerving. They also don't provide nearly as much grip as some other pedals on the market. This is partly down to their use of flat topped hex screws - we far prefer open top set screws that have more biting edges and a smaller, but possibly less sturdy, diameter - but also because of the body shape itself. Looking at the outer edge reveals a bulge along its entire width directly over the axle (it sits at 18mm tall compared to 16mm tall at the leading and trailing edges), no doubt to allow room for the DU bushing and sealed bearings. Unfortunately, this bulge removes any concave that would otherwise be present on the body, greatly reducing that confidence inspiring grippy feel that is oh-so important. Fyxation could have compensated by spec'ing the Mesa MP with taller pins on its leading and trailing edges, therefore building in an amount of 'fake' concave with the pins themselves (this is something that you can do by purchasing inexpensive longer screws from your local hardware store). As they are, the Mesa MP pedals are not quite grippy enough for us, even with sticky soled shoes, and we'd like to see a solution to the end cap issue as well before we can recommend them. That is a shame because they are otherwise very competitive when it comes to weight and price. - Mike Levy




POC Trabec Race MIPS helmet

With extended protection at the back of the head and an anti-roadie sort of look to it, POC's Trabec Race MIPS helmet fits into the growing ''trail rider'' category of gear for riders who may be looking for a more casual appearance. Its skateboard helmet shape and simple graphics belie the amount of technology present, though, mainly POC's Multi-directional Impact Protection System (or MIPS). MIPS consists of a helmet shell and liner that are separated by a low friction layer that, POC says, allows a small amount of rotation of the shell relative to the liner when subject to an off-angle impact. This is said to show a significant reduction in forces transfered to the brain in such circumstances. An Aramid fiber layer is also employed to protect the helmet from being pierced, and its multi-postion visor can be adjusted to suit anyone's needs. You'll find sixteen vents in total, as well as a ratcheting band that features three different height postions on the helmet shell. It is slightly heavier than some other options, sitting at 375 grams for our M/L test helmet. The Trabec Race MIPS is available in XS–S, M–L and XL–XXL sizes, and either a mostly white/black or mostly black/white color combination. MSRP $200 USD. www.pocsports.com


POC Trabec helmet
Comfortable and offering plenty of protection, the POC Trabec Race MIPS is a great helmet for anyone who doesn't ride in desert heat.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThere is a fair bit of technology in Trabec Race MIPS helmet, but all that doesn't matter if the helmet isn't comfortable enough for you to want wear it. And while fit is always going to be a subjective point - what works for one may not work for another - the black and white helmet seems to be tailor made to our average sized heads here at Pinkbike. There are no hard spots that feel as if they need more padding, and the ratcheting band at the rear of the helmet provides even pressure without any awkward feeling load points. The Trabec helmet feels so comfortable, in fact, that it lacks that foreign feel that a new helmet sometimes has: it was nearly invisible from the get-go. It also stays level on the head over rough terrain without requiring the adjustable band to be done up overly tight, and the visor is flexible enough that we don't see it cracking anytime soon. That's the good, but what about the bad? The Trabec doesn't feel noticeable hotter on warm days compared to a lid with more vents, likely do to the sheer size of the openings on it, but we did find that there was a buildup of sweat that would be captured by the uninterrupted band of padding at the front of the helmet. While this could be considered a good thing - it did seem to act as a big sweatband - it would all of a sudden release the captured perspiration without warning, letting it come down and into our eyes. Doing back-to-back rides between the Trabec Race MIPS and another helmet revealed that this wasn't an issue with the other helmet's smaller, split padding up front. Is this a deal breaker? Not unless you live and ride in constant heat, we'd say. POC's Trabec Race MIPS is incredibly comfortable on our heads, and offers far more protection than a standard XC lid, both points that make it a great option for riders who don't ride in blazing heat year round. - Mike Levy





Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon bar

Our Bontrager Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon riser bar is built using Trek's OCLV construction to a massive 820mm/32.3'' width (they also offer a 750mm option that will suit more riders), making it one of the widest bars currently available. While that will clearly be too much for many riders, there are likely riders out there who will take the required time to get used to the gigantic width, and those who don't can simply cut them down. Their 9° bend and 4° upsweep is very close to the common 9 x 5 numbers that many bars use, but it's where Bontrager puts the bend, much further out from the stem clamp area than others, that makes the Rhythm Pro Carbon bar look a bit different at first glance. Clamp size is a standard 31.8mm, and the bar features a low, 15mm of rise. Bontrager claims a weight of 265 grams for the bar, but we weighed ours in at a lighter 242 grams, which is a competitive figure given how wide it is. MSRP $169.99 USD. www.bontrager.com



Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon bar
Is wider better? Bontrager's Rhythm Pro Carbon bar lets you find out for yourself.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSo, what does a 820mm wide handlebar feel like? A bit odd, even after doing our best to get used to it. Our trails are not overly tight, and we could actually get away with using the bar uncut, but the extra width seemed to have an adverse effect on how the bike handled. Our hands were unnaturally spread out and it felt as though it actually kept us from applying enough steering input when required - the old adage of wider bars slowing down a bike's steering taken to the maximum. That's not to say that there won't be riders out there who get used to and prefer the stock 820mm width, but we feel confident in saying that most will cut them down, which is exactly what we did, trimming them to 780mm/30.7''. Think of the 820mm wide Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon bar as being designed to be trimmed to whatever width you'd prefer, even if that number is still wider than anything else available, and you'll start to see why they make sense. If you don't see yourself needing anything over 750mm, the skinnier option that can also be trimmed down, will better suit you. The bar's finish has stood up very well, not looking like it has been in use for months on end, and its centering and angle gradients make it easy to consistently find the position that we prefer. Flex was a non-issue, even when at full width, and despite the somewhat odd shape when viewed from above, they actually put your hands very close to where they would be with any other bar. Much like other size dependent components, the 820mm wide Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon bar won't be for everyone, but it does give riders the option of discovering their ideal width for themselves. You might just surprise yourself. - Mike Levy






78 Comments

  • 79 0
 I think POC stands for Piles Of Cash.... Which is what you need when buying POC gear
  • 19 25
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 8, 2012 at 1:57) (Below Threshold)
 Nr1 It's made in Sweden where man-hour with all costs starts up around 70$. I like those Helmets, I really do, I might buy one in the future, eventually URGE Enduro-Matic. The rest of POC line for MTB is above average design with use of super expensive materials - there is no fine edge like Dainese body protection or TLD helmets
  • 30 1
 POC helmets are made in China, at least my Trabec has a sticker that says so.
  • 11 23
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 8, 2012 at 2:34) (Below Threshold)
 Really?! Ok sorry misinformed - fk that sht then! wohoohooo, no more mr nice... wonder if they care?

Is there a company that manufactures their helmets either in US or EU?
  • 12 4
 pocs helmet is trying to be an urge helmet
  • 8 1
 I dont really care where their stuff is made. It is the most comfortable and the safest gear I ever owned. I had some crashes in my cortex that would leave me seriously concussed.
  • 10 15
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 8, 2012 at 3:03) (Below Threshold)
 I choose Urge, I prefer marketing lines talking about environment not cosmo-technologies. Comfortable - depends on shape of the head (TLD fits me sweetly), safe? - do something about that crashing Wink
  • 5 0
 I originally bought the Urge helmet, but it didn't fit so I went with the POC.. guys with big heads should avoid the Urge helmet, POC fits perfectly. I agree with the padding it does seem to collect sweat and then dump it on you, I tend to wear a under armor skull cap on hot/humid days so that solves the problem for me. The POC is also a bit bulky-looking(notice there aren't any pictures of w/someone wearing it), but I dig the look, my first new non-DH lid in awhile and I love it. The padding also has some anti-stink treatment done to it, so it doesn't stink when the rest of your gear does after a long ride.
  • 1 0
 Alpina helmets are made in Germany still.
  • 2 0
 Urge are too shallow for a lot of people. At least their FF helmets. A large part of my jaw sticked out from it.
  • 3 1
 I'm not really down with the styling of the POC lids. I like having a super airated helmet (I have a Giro Ionos) as my XC/AM/SuperMegaEnduroAvalanche helmet. Lots of money for either one, but I find the roadie helmets are more functional. I'd rather have function over "mad steez".
  • 2 0
 yes POC are super expensive lol and i personally dont find them very comfortable, i prefer giro and fox helmets. actually even bell (however cheap lol) fit me reallly well :p
  • 2 0
 @ captainspaulding: I have a big head and my URGE Down-o-matic is the best fitting helmet I ever had, so wouldn't necessarily agree with you on that one.
  • 1 0
 Your head must be pretty short since my head isnt even an XL and its only a bit on the large side and 2-3cm of my jaw sticks under the helmet.
  • 9 1
 I got one of these POC lids and I love it... Great for all types of riding I do.... Nice and light and I have found it nice and cool in the hot weather (when I say hot weather I mean the one day of sun that we had this summer in the UK, remember?? It was a Sunday.. Aaah, was a great day) :0)
  • 8 0
 I have wide shoulders and am a bit large for a trail rider so having broom handle might do me some good.
  • 11 12
 It really will do you lots of good, especially in technical terrain.

I am really tired of people telling me the "won't fit between trees" argument - I ride XC/trail on 740 bars and know max 5 places in like 300km of trails around my place where I have to slow down to fit between trees and not a single one where I have to dismount. Stories of fireroad warriors about quiting races due to crashing into a tree, get some skills you quasi-roadie spinheads, if you wouldn't crash you would come 50th - at least you saved yourself some embarassement
  • 10 1
 Lol rage much?
  • 6 1
 he just needs to stop commenting
  • 5 2
 Why do you assume WAKI is "enraged" or angry? Must be youngsters who grew up with Barney The Purple Dinosaur as their image of what humans are actually like in the adult world.

I think WAKI is funny. You think he's angry. I think I'm correct here.
  • 1 0
 I agree WAKI, Gene Hamilton agrees that wide bars and short stems give much more control on the trail. I often thought that narrow bars for tight trails is good but, after reading his take on it, realize that is shortsighted thinking. He runs 32" on downhill and 30" on XC. I will be getting new handlebars before his camp and will purchase the 50 mm.
  • 1 0
 Holy! Thanks for pointing that out, although I'll likely skip using one...
  • 2 0
 Handy if someone like Shaquille O'Neil starts MTB'ing.
  • 2 0
 MTB Rule Number 1: Never endorse anything marketed by "Superstar"!!!!
  • 4 0
 I own the Trabec and agree mostly with what Mike says, however I totally disagree with his comments about it not being hotter. In the summer it's significantly hotter than a better ventilated helmet like the Fox Flux and the sweat issue is really frustrating. the minimal padding doesn't absorb much sweat before it's unleashing on your eyes and/or glasses. I've also had issues with the rear ratchet mechanism popping open on steep tech terrain from my pack jumping up and bumping it, that really should never happen and it's disconcerting to have a helmet flopping around when the going gets roughest. That being said, it's super comfy and great in cooler weather or when riding gnarlier terrain on the little bikes. For bigger rides in hotter weather though it will always get passed over for something like my Fox.
  • 2 0
 I've had that bag-hitting-helmet issue with my older Giro helmet... so annoying. Nothing like a helmet over your eyes when dropping into the gnarly. I'd say that it is really a bag issue, not a helmet issue though. Some bag just seem to pop up, while others can be adjusted to stay put. But yeah, if the POC used a dial instead of two ratchet buttons it wouldn't be an issue.
  • 2 0
 yeah it's weird, just really really sensitive to any touching/brushing against....hell I've even had it pop from clenching my jaw dropping into gnar! oh well, I still use it all the time cause it is really comfy even with its shortcomings.
  • 2 0
 My question to, well... anyone, is: If I wanted similar protection to the POC, but something that breathed better (since I live in Tucson, Az where its hot 8 months of the year) and wasn't as pricey as a POC, what are the best options? Anyone have a suggestion?
  • 8 0
 just get a giro hex dude. saved my life twice, and i'm now on my 3rd one
  • 5 0
 Giro Feature
  • 2 0
 661 Recon...
  • 2 0
 A POC without MIPS in it is waaaaay cheaper than the one reviewed.
  • 6 0
 Fox Flux is better ventilated, and has great coverage at the back, similar to the POC. And it's under $100.
  • 2 2
 smike, I agree. My Flux has great ventilation, coverage, style and price. At least POC changed their colors, eeek on the pastels.
  • 1 0
 Cool! Thanks alot guys. I got some options now. Smile
  • 2 0
 Another vote for the Giro Hex. It vents very well at lower speeds and fits great. It doesn't have quite the coverage that the POC has so maybe look at the Xen as well.
  • 2 0
 Sadly Giro stopped making the Xen, and released the Xar instead.
  • 1 0
 I have a 661 Recon, its light weight and well ventilated. Cost me 90 dollars at my lbs.
  • 2 0
 I would say top four POC substitutes are:

Giro Hex, Giro Feature, Fox Flux, 661 Recon

All under $100 i believe.
  • 2 0
 Those pedals are NOT made by or designed by Fyxation. They are a generic pedal that have been taken by many companies who have put their name on it. I'll give you a few examples of this pedal: Fyxation Mesas, Nukeproof Electrons, FireEye Soft Sweets and I'm sure that the list goes on. To be honest, the pedals themselves are actually perfect for dirt jumping as they are light because of the nylon body but still have metal pins for some decent grip. They are also super thin!
  • 4 0
 Lol yea got the at my lbs under a no name brand for $25! I laugh whenever I see them with another companies logo on them for $70.
  • 1 0
 Deity compounds and Black Opps to name some others that use this pedal
  • 1 0
 That sucks with the sweat pouring out like that on the POC helmet. In contrast, my Fox Flux somehow channels sweat onto the visor! I never really knew about it, since I developed a habit of wearing a bandana under my helmet, until I forgot it on an epic Santa Ana River Trail ride last summer; I was having fun squeezing out the sweat every so often, and seeing it gush and flow out and drip off from the front of the visor. My eyes are really sensitive to sweat and the sweat flowing out like that didn't cause any issues with interfering with my vision--sweat from my forehead, below the helmet, and eyebrows was another problem though.
  • 1 0
 I have the carbon riser bars... I got them for a sweet price (got to love having connections). I can't remember if they are 820s, but i remember saying that I would need to trim them. Still haven't trimmed them and they are great! So stiff. I have have had some pretty good biffs and they hide the scuff marks well.
  • 1 0
 Just got a set of the Rhythm Pro Carbon risers in 750mm width for my Nickel. 215 grams, 750mm wide, 15mm rise. Perfect numbers. Once you get over the weird look of the extra long 31.8mm area, you'll find that these bars perform as well as any other $100+ carbon bar on the market, at a decently-low price.
  • 1 0
 I bought a POC Trabec last year but ditched it pretty quickly. I found two problems with it that I never had with any of my Giro helmets:

1/ It is definitely hotter that anything with properly designed vents. The POC has airflow channels inside but the vents are just holes that don't actually scoop air. This scooping effect is especially important at lower speeds. I agree that the pads soak up sweat like crazy then let loose with a stream.
2/ The fit was weird for my head. I have a big head but it is shaped more like Bert's head than Ernie's head and the POC would slide forward on any rough trail even with the retention system snugged up pretty tight.
  • 1 0
 I use POC in MTB and DH. I some times meet the guys that develop their stuff and they always seem to listen to your ideas even if you are just some average joe! Trabec is for me the best helmet I have ever used! Love all of there products, a bit pricey but there is some serious man hours behind the designs! Once you buy a product of POC you will see where that money has gone! Piece Of Cake!
  • 4 0
 I would just get Giro Feature over the POC featured here.
  • 1 0
 At less than half its price, it would be a no brainer to don this brain bucket
  • 1 0
 was it just me or did most of those products look...really used??
  • 1 0
 +1 for the Giro Feature helmet, Iv had mine for about 3 months and its awesome fits great, has loads of protection and if your into enduro or just like to see were your going on long fast descents goggles fit perfectly.
  • 2 0
 @norcoking1234: that's a GOOD thing, right???
  • 2 0
 "even if that number is still wider than anything else available"

superstar.tibolts.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=72&products_id=532
  • 2 0
 Wow... that is really something. I think I'll pass!
  • 3 0
 WAKI, last helmets I saw made anywhere but China were UVEX out of Germany. Been plenty content with mine.
  • 8 4
 Haters gonna hate, but POC helmets are just plain ugly.
  • 4 2
 Sooo right!! That Lid is hideous!!
  • 5 2
 Right there with you. Looks like a vented, upside-down soup bowl with a visor.
  • 1 0
 Got the 820 bontrager bars on my remedy.not cut them down yet as they look wicked.gonna get some 750mm for the on one 456c as well .
  • 1 0
 riding the bonetrager bar on full 820mm without problems. on fast gnarly and rocky sections i like it even more than my spank spike 777evo or the 800mm nukeproof flat bar
  • 1 0
 Is the same bar that comes stock on the Trek Slash? I rode one briefly last weekend and found the width and sweep to be totally foreign and uncomfortable. Coming from a 685mm width MonkeyBar, I guess anything new-school would feel weird.
  • 3 0
 Why can't POC just call their three helmet sizes small, medium and large?
  • 1 0
 Good call.
  • 2 1
 That helmet looks pretty sweet though mentioning the availability of a non-MIPS version for less dough sure would have been helpful. Come on, PB.
  • 3 0
 I know, huge ball dropped. There is a Race, non-MIPS version, as well as a standard Trabec from POC. They cost less dough.
  • 1 0
 That helmet looks nice but jesus i cant afford it! Im using a 661 Comp Shifted its nice and good for everything!
  • 3 4
 Does anyone else make 820's? I ride Gravity Light 800's am 6'3'' with 3 foot long arms, think I could go to 820, but I'm not paying for, or riding on carbon, we all know aluminium lasts longer.
  • 2 0
 This WakiDesigns guy, isn't having that much luck commenting today...
  • 1 0
 I'm a skier and my helmets are poc, I trust poc and I hope to buy a poc dh helmet.
  • 1 0
 You don't need the trabec race MIPS to feel quality! Trabec race or even just the trabec is quality enough!
  • 1 0
 i think bontrager have just gone too far 800 really?
  • 3 0
 superstar do 915mm!!!
  • 1 0
 WTF! And how many people will buy them?
  • 2 0
 LAWL idk i think there for if you want nice wide bars and like to change widths- if you like to cut your own bars
  • 1 0
 POC - Piece of Cake, just like the logo looks
  • 1 0
 wish the helmet was affordable. I would love a good looking lid.

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