Pinkbike Product Picks

Aug 24, 2012
by Matt Wragg  
Troy Lee Shock Doctor Knee and Shinpads

These pads are Troy Lee Designs' trail offering - aimed at people who want some protection, but not the bulk of a full downhill pad. Rather than a more traditional strap system, they use a textured strip at the base and Shock Doctor's X-Fit technology, which are internal bands of material that help keep the pad in place. Running down the front of the pad is a lightweight shell that provides protection for the kneecap and upper shin. $60.00USD www.troyleedesigns.com

Troy Lee Shock Doctor knee and shin pads

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesComing from heavy-duty downhill pads the fastening system is a touch disconcerting at first - they only make contact at the calf and the top is loose to minimise restriction to your bloodflow. However, once you head out pedalling this is fast forgotten as they stay in place remarkably well. If you only need light protection (it's worth noting that these have no side padding), then they are light and easy to wear all day. Our biggest gripe with them was the stitching around the top, there was a rough seam on our set and because the top of the pads move relatively freely it chafed uncomfortably on your kneecap. - Matt Wragg



Mapex Foss Innertubes

Ok, inner tubes aren't going to be the most exciting thing you're going to read about all day, but bear with us. The first thing worth noting about these tubes is that because they are made from thermoplastic they are 100% recyclable. Mapex also claim they are 30% lighter than standard tubes - a trail tube weighs 69g. What really interested us was the puncture repair system. Using their proprietary patches the rep was poking nails through the tyre and then popping on a patch like a sticker to repair it. www.mapex-bikes.com

Mapex FOSS Innertube details

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt was the unique way of repairing punctures that caught our attention - the idea of getting rid of all that faff of preparing the tube for a patch sounded too good to be true. Sure it worked on the exhibition table, but what about a tube that's spent some time in our dirty tyres? No problem, just a quick wipe of the area and the patch stuck fast. The tubes have a smooth profile, so there will never be the need to sand off a ridge to get a patch to seal again and for that reason alone they get our vote. If you're still using inner tubes, these really are an improvement over normal butyl tubes. - Matt Wragg



Royal Racing Crown Glove

The Crown gloves are Royal's entry-level glove. Aimed squarely at trail riders they are a lightweight glove with no protection either on the back of the hand or fingers. Despite being the budget end of their range, they have a quality-feeling synthetic leather palm, grippy material on the brake fingers and a microfibre wipe on the thumb. MSRP $25.00USD www.royalracing.com

Royal Crown gloves

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe picked these out of the Royal range over the more expensive options because we liked the graphics so much. They neither look nor feel like a cut-price option and so far they have lasted well. The lack of a wrist strap is a big plus for us too, although that's a matter of personal preference. One thing to note is they do come up a shade small and the mediums we have on test are a very tight fit. However, being tight does mean you can use an iPhone with them on. - Matt Wragg





82 Comments

  • 43 0
 im diggin the tubes and their patch idea. i got 6 flats in two days and a bike park and my patches didnt do a thing. im ready to leave the old tubes behind and try with a fresh start. thank you mapex
  • 15 2
 Not sure what kind of patches you're using, but try these, they are hands down the best. work every-time, first time www.parktool.com/product/super-patch-kit-gp-2
  • 7 6
 The foss tube can be also repaired with the use of a lighter. Just melt together the puncture hole area with the flame. it's that easy. They also seem to be more snake-bite prone than butyl tubes - win win
  • 1 0
 Yep, those patches are the deal. They actually stretch along with the tube, and they glue perfectly Smile
  • 12 1
 @ WAKIdesigns, i guess you mean 'less snake bite prone' cause if they were more prone to snake bites it would be a bad thing!
  • 11 3
 a yes yes sorry... especially important in Australia
  • 2 0
 yeah, those park tools patches are awesome. I've always been crap at patching tubes, but they make it a million times easier
  • 5 3
 riding the whistler bike park all season, not one flat. DH tubes and tires the only way.
  • 1 0
 Hey guys! nerver heard or Lezyne before? They have been doing this type of patch for standard tube for a while now... I'm using those at job (I'm mecanics) and they are pretty impressive! www.lezyne.com/products/tire-repair/patch-kits#!metal-kit
  • 3 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 24, 2012 at 6:47) (Below Threshold)
 I have never tried either Lezyne or Park Tools fast patches with adhesive aready on but I tried other ones and they allow only for getting home/trail head, I've had only problems with them. I usualy use normal patches requiring glue - yea it takes time and patience but they have never failed me.

And yea fade to black, take a breath and see beyond awesome, open your mind, osheee maaa dojo di khamaaaaa DH isn't the only waaaaay people of good will ride their biiiiikes, makarami miyasaaaaaa whoshi yuma kaaaaaaaaaaa
  • 8 3
 its called tubeless guys
  • 4 0
 waki - you're doing something wrong then. Park tools patches stay on for good. I usually stick a new tube in when I'm riding, repair when I get home and then put the repaired tube back in my bag ready for the next time I'm riding.
  • 1 0
 He said he has not tried.
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122 Yeah but when DH tubes run around $20/tube, things like this start to become really good idea to save $
  • 1 1
 Don't even waste your time thinking about buying one of these tubes. It is a taiwanese bull crap bogus! I had a pair of them on my enduro bike a while back and will never make that mistake again.

They're all fine untill you get a flat (just like any other other tube I guess). I took me quite some time to get the flat, but it was probably just because of 65psi and not these special tubes.
Once you get a pinch flat, you're done. They're impossible to fix. The patches are impossible to stick onto because of the "dirt" inside of the tire. So I tried to use the lighter to fix the hole as was promoted in the videos... ended up with a totally messed up thing which did not even looked like a tube anymore. Just try to heat a plastic bag with a lighter and you'll see what I mean.

The only good thing about this product is a fancy look and a lower weight than standard tubes.
  • 11 5
 Innertube? What is an innertube? Are those the things that came before tubeless? Seems like ages ago...I guess I kind of remember what it was like to get flat tires.

Plastic...rubber... if its a tube it has little place in my tires.
  • 8 8
 With all the respect, there is no nice way of putting it: Saying that tubes are obsolete due to superiority of tubeless systems, is plan ignorant, says a thing or two about your cornering skills, smoothness on the trail and experience with both systems.
UST, tubes and tubular have their place depending on use and location, there is not a single definite choice in equipment used for a sport full of variables like MTB.
  • 1 0
 70g for the tubes is excellent as well. Most road tubes run about 80g, Vittoria's race come in at 60.
  • 2 2
 have not used inner tubes on a mountain bike in 5+ years and would never use them again? obsolete technology...

tubeless tires (Specialized Control) with conversion kit (Roval Tape, Stan's valves and Bontrager or Stan's sealant) every time Smile


no problems and no punctures or pinch flats....

......and if I get anything random in my tire like a wood screw, nail or piece of glass (normally riding on the road to the trails)?

it has sealed every time I have removed the foreign object, with minimal loss in pressure (-10psi) which has allowed me to pump the tire on the trails, or complete the ride (if i forgot my pump), then ride home and worry about it later
  • 5 0
 what if (like me) you like changing your tyres often to deal with differing trail conditions?
  • 7 4
 hampsteadbandit - there are other issues than flats, like needing the compressor when fitting most tyres on most rims, like the tyre burping air in corners, like less stability in general = less confidence in corners, there is no pump track riding nor whipping on tubeless. Like heavy proper UST tyres, like most rims not sealing at all with certain Tubeless ready tyres (mavic UST & Conti). I run UST on my 6" AM bike and tubes on XC/pump bike, everything has its place depending on conditions
  • 3 8
flag Enduro27 (Aug 24, 2012 at 14:35) (Below Threshold)
 Ugh you are an idiot wakidesigns, its people like you that keep technologies like tubeless from progressing, a specialized control or armadillo tire will be light and tough and will seal on most all modern legit rims, if a specialized tire is good enough for sam hill, its good enough for you, you'll just have to suck it up that its not a minion and they make a tire for every possible disipline so im sure you can find one that fits your needs, also if a modern tubeless ready tire doesnt mount on your rims with a floor pump, get new rims or dont complain, they arent that expensive anyways. And if you are blowing tires off rims by "whipping" enhance your skills and learn to bring your whips back
  • 2 0
 I don't think tubes are as bad as Waki seems to think, however I won't run them, as I like to change tyres often, and I'm happy enough with regular tubes. I get a flat every so often, change the tube on the train (takes off of about 2 minutes) and fix it at home.
  • 5 1
 I have to agree that tubes aren't that bad... I'm always surprised how intense people get about one vs. the other. but I don't really see one way as being the only answer for everyone. I just raced at Downieville and had a tubeless setup that HAD been reliable for many rides just blow the rear tire clean off the rim at the top of the climb (32psi, within spec, still scratching my head why). Took me nearly a liter of my water and a lot of time to spit wash the sealant and sand/gravel out of my rim before mounting a tube. If you pinch flat a lot, tubeless will likely solve your problems. If you're like me and rarely flat a tube, and change tires frequently depending on conditions, a tube setup is just as good (and easier to repair on-trail, as in my downieville mishap). I also don't tend to patch tubes. I just buy new ones and always carry a spare. At downieville next year I'll carry 3 spares... that was a rough one.
  • 2 2
 tubes are pre-cambrian along with 8 trax and doobies
  • 1 2
 Enduro27 have you ever managed to do 10 laps in a row on a pump track?
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns

never needed a compressor to set up tubeless conversions, always used track pumps, it all about good preparation and pre-inflation set up?


I exclusively used Specialized Control Fast Trak LK with Stan's No-Tubes on Stan's ZTR Flow rims on my Banshee Rampants for pump track and dirt jumping, running about 50psi front and rear, no issues ever....

here's a short video showing my bike in action: www.pinkbike.com/video/147368

the old Pump Track at Esher Shore is one of the most 3-dimensional built with huge "G" out berms and lots of stunts to session including transfers, drops, wallride and 1/4 pipes, we would ride 40-50 laps back to back crazy fast as we got fitter and faster
  • 2 1
 I'm tired of this... not everyone uses ZTR Flows and if you take those tyres at that pressure to my trails you will push nearly every uphill (you might take those to Moab and rip it!) What's next? Clipless better than flats, 1x10 better than 1x9, 29ers than 26ers, Carbon than Alu, SLR than compact, Mac than PC?

Any more definite answers to take to the grave, feelin' everyone thinking otherwise is just a deluded stubborn prick not willing to use those obvious advantages you just found out? I know a plenty of great riders using tubes in all bikes from XC to DH, that have experience with both UST and tubes, even tubular XC tyres, but last time I was wondering what is the best ever this and best ever that I was fifteen,

done here
  • 1 0
 1x10 IS better than 1x9...
  • 1 0
 lol I have 2 pairs of ztr flows, both of which on each of my enduros, one of which being the new 29.1mm wide flow ex wheels (incredible)
  • 4 0
 I swear, people can argue about anything on Pinkbike....aha.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns

its not an argument about "what is the best ever this and best ever that"?

its a response to your comment to Enduro27: "Enduro27 have you ever managed to do 10 laps in a row on a pump track?"

my comment about tubeless tire conversions is that some of us have done more than 10 laps on a very demanding pump track...

and have used tubeless tire conversions for many years with great success and few problems, including overseas vacations in Europe and North America riding some of the roughest terrain, including DH races, FR sessions and Enduro races


I currently don't use ZTR Flows on my mountain bike, using Roval Traversee 29'er with tubeless conversion

if tubeless was such a pain in the ass, I would not use it, but its been a transparent experience that just lets me have fun riding my bike and not stuck on the hill fixing yet another puncture which was my experience of inner tubes, unless you ran heavy 2-Ply tires and DH tubes??

and even then I spent too much time walking down the fire road in Whistler after my dual ply Maxxis High Roller tire pinched my Maxxis DH tube on a Mavic EX729 rim, hardly a light weight set up, yet still prone to simple pinch flats, turning my expensive full suspension bike into nothing more than redundant equipment which required pushing along Frown


in contrast the following year at Whistler running Sun Singletrack rims with Specialized Clutch SX tires and Stan's No-Tubes, no walking down that fire road for me? and that is all I care about...

when technology comes along that creates a better experience "Riding" rather than "pushing" a bike with a punctured tire, I am all for that?
  • 3 0
 ok ok... Hampsteadbandit I appreciate your civil and apologize for loosing it. I use tubeless on my Nomad, for the reason of being tired of flats. I use Minion 2.5" 1 ply EXO tyres on Shimano AM XT ust wheels at relatively high pressure (otherwise buuuurp) And all of that is jolly good.

But I also ride a hardtail on which I use Schwalbe tyres (the thread that works fine for my local trails) on Mavic d3.1 ust rims, and despite some hard tries, tubeless system caused at least as much trouble as tubes. I have some rough trails here and tyres just twist and bend all the time. So I run superlight butyl tubes because I got tired of flats flavoured with ammonia from sealant... as soon as I keep reasonable pressures and stay smooth watching what comes under my wheels, I don't flat.

Maybe I should finaly try ZTR rims, but I just like eyelets and the price puts me off big time. Honestly the only people I've heard having no issues with tubeless are people using either ZTR rims or proper (heavy) UST tyres.
  • 1 0
 does anyone use slime anymore?
  • 1 0
 I still have an old beater MTB that has slimed tubes! classic!
  • 1 0
 I agree with Waki - tubeless isn't always better. There are some good set-ups that are fanatstic (generally a tubeless-ready rim, superlight tape, a tubeless-ready tire, and some fluid) but we're still a ways off from saying that tubeless is unequivocally better. Some tubeless combos are worse than using tubes.

Also, don't forget that the first solution to pinch flats is to run adequate pressure.
  • 5 0
 I can vouch for the TLD 5450 and 5550 Knee/shin and elbow/forearm guards. Been running them for a year now. They may be lighter and less armor than the Lopes guards, but in comparable crashes I've had, the 5450 guards stayed up better and gave more protection to the knees.

Coupled with the fact that TLD is a breeze to deal with over the phone....I'll be buying another set for sure when these are worn out.
  • 3 1
 Well i had Troy Lee Designs Lopes Knee and Shin protector but after i started to use it was super uncomfortable, the most that i have ever tried - but also amazed me that i got allergic red dots because i used it (the pain factor was huge too), i sold it and i bought an O'Neal Sinner Neon and it is just perfect finally with the SaS Tech technology (i tried like 10-12 knee protectors and all was uncomfortable before). My friend has also Troy Lee Designs knee protector and if he crash he usually has a damage under it, so this seems to be useless in the protecting area too. - After all with this experience i will never buy another TLD product.

As for the Royal Crown glove i use it now in Red in size L, first it was a little bit on the small side, but after one week of use finally it become more comfortable. I like to use it, but after one turn if you get it down to get some fresh air for your hands, you will have huge problems to get it back in your start of your next turn. Becouse if it will get a little wet you must go circles and try to pull it over you hands. The reason it is so hard it dosen't has velcro like my SixSixOne Comp had. I have to say, that my SixSixOne Comp was million times better than this Royal, but it was in season end sale so i went for this. The SixSixOne also had finger protectors that the Royal didn't have, also the SixSixOne didn't stripped in the first month while the Royal did. I don't recommend the Royal, but it was worth the price with this bargain but next time i will pay more for a SixSixOne or O'Neal with velcro, becouse it is pain in the ass to get back to my hands the glove.
  • 2 0
 The Lopes protector is not even remotely close to this product. What you experienced is an allergic reaction which has to do with your body. I have used these pads for about a year and they are the best value and the most comfortable pads that I have used. D3O technology is employed here and works just as advertised even for aggressive DH runs. TLD continues to offer some of the best products on the market. There is a reason that Pro riders that are not even sponsored by them, continue to purchase their products. Sorry that you had that allergic reaction. Keep shredding!
  • 2 0
 agreed! These TLD pads are the best I've ever had. I have been through multiple sets of pads and I am more of a minimalist when it comes to gear, just the essentials so these are great. I hate pads that are too big and bulky and limit your movement. Matt is right, no side pads but for me thats a plus because its just more bulk. I wear these because they're light and comfortable. I spend all day on the mountain in these and have absolutely no complaints. My goal is just to keep the road rash don to a minimum without sacrificing comfort and mobility and these are perfect for me!
  • 1 1
 Personally, and I know they fit different on everyone, I have found that Troy Lee's (not these ones specifically but a few other trail oriented offerings including the T-bone) seems have led to chaffing, as was noted above. The 661's have always felt more comfortable to me for trail use.
  • 3 1
 Knee pads good for street or a.m. Good luck on dh track with those. Those tubes are interesting and extremely light. Sticker patches work and been working fir years. Those gloves belong in the garden. Get real ones from mx unless you have money to burn replacing gloves every month.
  • 2 0
 i wore kyle straight knee only pads all season in the whistler bike park.
  • 1 0
 They actually work really well on aggressive DH runs. The knee pads are actually a little much for AM or street. I have a full year on them after knee surgery and they continue to impress.
  • 1 0
 Those Kyle 661 pads are awesome. Too bad 661 discontinue them.
  • 1 0
 They didn't discontinue them, they just renamed them since kyle strait no longer rides for them.
  • 1 0
 "aimed at people who want some protection, but not the bulk of a full downhill pad"

@shishka i'd say they agree with you. using stuff for its intended purpose is a novel idea.
  • 1 0
 MX gloves are bulky, don't breath well, and give terrible handlebar feel. On the other hand all of my royal gloves have been extremely durable, comfortable, and well thought out. Try it before you hate on it
  • 1 1
 Get the super light weight MX gloves. I've had my fox airlines for nearly 6 years and i still love them.

My friend got through a pair of 661 rajj's (sp?) in like 2 months. They're so thin you might as well ride gloveless.
  • 1 2
 Get mechanix gloves if you build and ride real trails. Any fox glove going to fall appart digging. My street knee pads are better than those, good luck riding dh with little knee gaskets.
  • 2 0
 Like i said, any real fox glove will be fine. My fox's are nearly 6 years old and they still feel great.
  • 2 0
 How do these compare to normal tubes or even latex tubes when it comes to pinch flats? What's the max size of the tire for these tubes? Really interesting, but need more info, please Smile
  • 1 0
 I have the blue Royal Crown gloves myself and love them!!! I have washed them a couple times and they haven't faded still look brand new. Yes they fit a bit on the small side but it fits perfect in my opinion best fitting glove I have tried over Fox, and Specialized
  • 1 0
 I really love my TLD KG5400 knee pads - the same as above but with a shorter lower portion. they aren't for everyone though because they dont have straps, but no-hassle system is what i love about them. Slip them on and forget about them. They don't move around that much because of the material touching your skin. very minimalist, if that's what you're in to. I will say that the harder pads protect slightly better, but the TLD's are some comfortable that you can wear them all day.
  • 1 0
 oh for anyone that cares, I have some of the gloves, they're pretty good. Not had them too long but they're comfy enough etc, and I don't see the point in armouring on gloves. The few I've had that have had some sort of protection on the knuckles haven't been anywhere near substantial enough to prevent any sort of injury - pointless.
  • 1 0
 I found a href=http://www.buyincoins.com>a nice site, where can buy good products, buyincoins/a>- a professional electronics online website, a href=http://www.buyincoins.com>what let you buy from China directly /a>without any shipping fee. There are Computer Accessories, iPod, iPhone Accessories, HDMI Video Cable, Laser Pointer, Card Reader, Headphone, Silicone Case and more Cool Gadgets.
  • 1 0
 I have the same problem with my tld 5450s, on the left pad, the stitching is off and is right above the sticky material, which is meant to grip, instead i get chaffed bc the threads allow movement
  • 1 0
 They're around 20$ on a site called dealextreme.com, yes the site is real and legit I've bought many things, it takes a while to ship free from hongkong...
  • 1 0
 I can vouch for dealextreme.com. Sometimes the prices look too good to be true, but it's legit. Great place for electronics too.
  • 1 0
 Hong Kong dirt cheap for camera equipment, i saved 250 us on a 600d
  • 2 0
 Dx is great
  • 1 0
 TLD Shock Doctor were EXTREMELY comfortable for me. Not xso comfortable when I fell down and they slid down my leg and then again. These pads Suck!! Had to buy launch pads.
  • 2 0
 FOSS is crap. Deal with it.
Destroyed 4 FOSS tubes in a month.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/8569809
  • 1 0
 Royal Racing Crown gloves. I have them. I love them.but they stink to high heaven! I ride a lot and wash them frequently, can't get the stink oooooot!
  • 1 0
 you can PB gets money or items for doing these recommendations everyone ive seen has had shit on it and they say they are really really good yeah ok cheers for that
  • 1 0
 I have the troy lee elbows, and I love them! These knee/shins are a little on the slim side for my liking though
  • 1 0
 I run Maxxis Ultra Lite tubes in my DH and XC tires and only had 2 flats this year, one on each bike. They only weigh 120g.
  • 2 0
 I've got a better solution to the tubes, Stans NotTubes.
  • 2 0
 Tubes? Can you cut these and get a lighter ghetto tubeless set up?
  • 1 0
 Those tubes are expensive
  • 1 0
 Im STOKED that those tubes are recyclable!
  • 1 0
 What bike is that guy sitting on in the picture? Holy heavy duty!
  • 1 0
 the tubing looks like an orange
  • 1 0
 Damn what kinda bike is that?
  • 1 0
 Went to go order the knee pads and they're not availible D:
  • 1 1
 And thay do have issues! They used to blow out when it's hot outside!
  • 3 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 24, 2012 at 2:05) (Below Threshold)
 Pic or BS... all road tubes do that (they're usualy inflated to 6+ bar), but MTB tube where pressure rarely exceeds 3bar?
  • 3 0
 No that's true. Air B latex-butyl blend tubes (the pink ones) used to do that all the time to me. Bike would be sitting in the sun, tire casing heats up, tube explodes. You pull the tire casing off and the tube inside is shredded / split lengthwise around half its circumfrence. Even when there wasn't more than 40psi in the tube to begin with. Panaracer's polyurethane tubes which are also a form of thermoplastic like the Foss tubes also had that problem, and also had the simple patch method. Essentially what these tubes are made from is the same sort of plastic as is used in air mattresses and waterbed bladders. And its the same type of patching method as for those things.
  • 1 2
 Your so full of hot air "deeight" . U must have some serious free time on your hands to write long boring comments on almost every article on this site. Such a bag of wind. A self declared expert on all that is bike.
  • 2 0
 Not everyone wants to go through life ignorant and living in a sheltered land like you beeone.
  • 2 3
 Surprised your response wasn't 4 or 5 paragraphs long. Thanks for takin it easy on me Gandolf.

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