Pinkbike Product Picks

Sep 23, 2011
by Mike Levy  
Chromag Lynx saddle

The Chromag Lynx is designed as an all around saddle that will appeal to a number of different types of riders. It isn't a massive and overly soft couch that would quickly become uncomfortable during a long ride (too much padding and width can restrict leg movement, causing chafing), but there is certainly more to it than a slender and unforgiving cross-country race seat. The Lynx's firm foam padding is laid over a medium width shell, tapering to a round tail section that has been designed to allow the rider to easily get behind the seat, and it measures out at 280mm long and 135mm wide. The nose features more padding than many other seats, making it a good choice for riders who like to slide up to the front of the saddle during hard efforts. Titanium rails help keep the weight at a reasonable 265 grams, although there are plenty of lighter saddles out there. The Lynx can be had in either black or white natural leather tops, and retails for $99.00 USD. More info at www.chromagbikes.com


Chromag Lynx saddle
The Lynx saddle is one of the most comfortable that we've ever used, but ours did have a tendency to creak where the rails meet the saddle's shell.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWith the exception of possibly your chamois, it doesn't get much more personal than saddles. What works for a number of riders may not even be close to what you require in a saddle, but having said that I would put Chromag's Lynx at the top of my list of seats that work for me. The shape is narrow enough that it didn't chafe the inside of my legs, but finds that balance where it also didn't feel like it was about to cut me in half. Even long rides that push into the five and six hour mark didn't have me wishing for any other saddle. Everyone is shaped differently, but I was able to run the saddle level without any numbness or discomfort, even when hunched over and suffering up a long fire road climb. The Lynx's nose features more padding than you'll find on some other options and it turned out to be just the ticket for sliding forward on the seat during hard efforts. It needs to be said that one man's ideal saddle can easily be another's hell, but everyone in the Pinkbike office has been quite pleased with the Lynx. My single complaint would be a recurring creaking noise that emanates from where the rails meet the saddle's shell. A quick squirt of penetrating lube will solve it for a week's worth of riding, but it always returns. - Mike Levy



Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.4" tire

Maxxis' Ardent tire is available in a number of different sizing, compound and casing options, but it's their 29 x 2.4" model that caught our attention. The high volume tire uses an open tread pattern that should clear well in muddy conditions, as well as ramped center knobs to keep rolling speed high. The cornering lugs are laid out in a two stage arrangement, with the H-shaped knobs taking hold first, followed by the stepped and siped lugs that grab hold when the bike is really leaned over. The tire's 2.4" width clearly puts it into the aggressive trail and all-mountain category, but it's the EXO casing, a strong sidewall that is designed to stand up to abuse better, that will let those riders run it at lower pressures without fear of damaging the sidewall. The 29 x 2.4" Ardent uses a folding bead and weighs in at 902 grams on our scale. It retails for $67.00 USD. www.maxxis.com


Maxxis Ardent 29x2.4 EXO tire
The 29 x 2.4'' Ardent offers an incredible amount of predictable traction, but doesn't quite perform as well on hard packed terrain.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt has been slow to catch on, but riders are beginning to see the benefits of a high volume 29'' tire - riding a big wheeler doesn't automatically mean that you are a lycra clad XC racer! Many riders move to narrower tires when making the switch from 26'' to 29'' wheels, made possible by the improved traction from the differently shaped contact patch, but sticking with a high volume option can be an eye opening experience as to just how much purchase a tire can offer. Maxxis' 29'' x 2.4'' Ardent did just that. With the big meat under you it feels as if you really can't do anything wrong. Traction is staggering in all conditions, but it is how the big Ardent doles it out that really impressed me. There is no immediate on/off feeling, but rather a very gentle and predictable letting go of the tire when the time does come, making it very easy to control when things start to get rowdy. Rolling speed was also surprisingly good, enough so that I'd have to say that it carries more speed than many other smaller volume tires. While I have suffered a few pinch flats despite the tire's medium duty EXO casing, they likely would have occurred even if I was running a full on dual ply tire. Gripes? When pushing on hard packed terrain we could feel the tire's cornering knobs flexing over more than we felt comfortable with, making for a somewhat vague feeling at the bars. This likely isn't the tire for you if your trails are rock hard. At just a hair over 900 grams it is far from being considered light, even for a 29'er tire, but any aggressive riders who are considering the big 2.4'' wide Ardent will likely be okay with that particular tradeoff. - Mike Levy



RockShox Monarch RT3 shock

RockShox's Monarch RT3 shock is available in two configurations to better suit your bike and riding style; one that uses a piggy back for more oil flow (ideal for longer travel applications or aggressive riding), and the inline damper show here that is intended for cross-country and trail use. The air sprung shock features adjustable rebound, air pressure and the pedal assisting Floodgate adjustment, making it a simple damper to setup and understand, and anodized sag gradients on the air shaft help make finding the correct sag amount a cinch. It can be purchased with either a large or small volume air can depending on your bike and riding style, and different internal tunes are available to better suit the bike's leverage rate. The 165 x 38mm size weighs a scant 215 grams, and the shock retails for $291.00 - $327.00 USD depending on model. www.sram.com


RockShox Monarch RT3 shock
RockShox's Monarch RT3 did a great job of looking after the back of our Superfly test bike, but some riders may prefer a stronger Floodgate setting for sustained or smooth climbs.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe tested the Monarch RT3 shock on the back of Trek's Superfly 100, a 4'' travel 29'er that we've probably been riding harder than it's really intended for, but it has given us a great opportunity to push the compact RT3 quite hard. Setup couldn't be easier; start with your air pressure to set your spring rate (use the sag gradients for easy setup), followed by dialling in the correct rebound speed. That's it, you're done. The only other dial to fiddle with is the shock's Floodgate function, a three position lever that is a quick way to adjust the amount of compression damping while on the fly - from fully open for rough terrain, a middle setting for when you want to pump and carry more speed on smoother ground and a firm position that is ideal for long and smooth climbs.

The RT3 proved to be a great performing shock for those who are looking for a lightweight inline damper. The sag gradients on the air shaft made setup quick and easy, and the shock was supple enough on the back of our Superfly to do a good job of increasing traction on loose surfaces. Our test model was equipped with the smaller of the two air can sizes, helping it to keep from using too much of the bike's 4'' of travel. This let me run it a touch softer than I could have if it was equipped with the large can, proving to be a smart choice for aggressive riding. We really only have two grumbles about the RT3. First, we'd like to see its Floodgate lever a touch shorter. While it easy to flip with your gloved hands, it's also just as easy to hit with your knee while riding. This will also be bike dependent, with some designs amplifying the issue and some not having it at all. Our last complaint is that we would have like to have a firmer ride with the Floodgate fully engaged. Again, this will vary depending on the bike's needs, but the difference between fully open and fully closed on our RT3 was negligible. If you do find yourself looking for a firmer Floodgate setting RockShox or a local service center can easily modify this for you as well. While our white Monarch RT3 certainly looks great, RockShox has just introduced a version that uses a made in the U.S.A. carbon fiber air can. We want! - Mike Levy



Point One Racing Podium pedal

Point One's Podium uses a novel open body design that allows you to see the axle as it passes through the body. Four sealed bearings are used in total, with a large inboard bearing up against the crank arm. The axle itself is a hollow, custom heat treated 4140 chromoly steel unit that uses a zinc plating to resist corroding. The Podium's 100 x 100mm body is CNC'd from 6061 aluminum and features chamfers on the outside edges to reduce the chance of the bike stopping from a pedal strike. The body also uses a built in concave to help hold your feet in place, tapering from 13 to 11mm at its thinnest point. Sixteen hex head pins are used per pedal, threaded in from the opposite face to make removing damaged pins easier. The Podiums weigh 359 grams (w/ steel studs) and retails for $179.00 USD. www.pointoneracing.com


Podium pedals
The Podiums offer a confidence inspiring amount of grip, but turn a bit too stiff for use on a bike that will be pedalled for any length of time.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe've used the Podiums on downhill, all-mountain and even some cross-country rides and have come away impressed with how they perform. The grip provided by the 100 x 100mm concave platform feels spot on, not too much and not too little, and the sturdy traction pins have taken a beating, but are all still ready for action. The raised inner section that houses the large inboard sealed bearing had us wondering if we'd be able to feel it when on the trail, but it is invisible in use. The thin profile helps to limit the chance of pedal strikes, but the ones that have occurred haven't done much to faze the Podiums. We're happy with how the Podium pedals have performed, but they do have one drawback that we'd like to see get addressed before we'd consider them the best of the best: while they turn smooth, there is a fair bit of spinning resistance in the design. No, that may not matter for a lot of downhiller's or for those who are going to put them on their DJ bike, but anyone who runs platform pedals on their all-mountain rig will want something that turns a bit easier. - Mike Levy

Have you used any of the products featured in Pinkbike's Picks? Share your impressions below.


51 Comments

  • + 27
 The pedal is designed to have a bit of resistance so when you throw your foot down for a turn or something you know right where it is when you get your foot back on. There is only real resistance when you turn it with your hand, I'm sure no one can notice it from pedaling cuz add up your chain, wheel and crank bearing resistance and there's 95% of it.

You can't go wrong with the Podium Pedals!
  • + 7
 spot on, the clue is in the name "Point One Racing" and the fact they were designed by gravity racers, for racing...not for am or xc application.
  • + 5
 Friend of mine that races is on his 4th warranty pair!
  • + 7
 good warrenty also I see ;-)
  • - 6
flag bigburd (Sep 23, 2011 at 10:27) (Below Threshold)
 Hollow axles :/ Jesus fking christ ! They are way to thin to begin with ...
  • - 1
 gnarbar what's wrong with XC/AM application of these?
  • + 11
 Is the resistance "designed in" or is it there because of the four sealed bearings and the eight seals that go along with them?

There are some arguments for not wanting your pedals to turn free, dirt jumping being the one place where it does make sense, but I can't fathom why you'd not want them to spin easy during every other sort of use. I never have trouble getting my foot back on my easy turning pedals after taking it off for a corner.

Do you want the BB to turn stiff on your DH bike? How about your wheels? More resistance equals more wasted effort, even if it is a small amount. Why waste it in the first place?
  • + 0
 It's a nature of design - thin pedal means less reliability and more resistance. But it also means that it is easier to put power onto the pedal, the thinner the more it inspires to stomp on them hard. I felt it when I changed to thinner ones, some good skills coaches confirm it. It seems to me that you can't push over the the top with thick pedals (that have normal low drag bearings/seals) as hard as with thin ones, as you would just blow your foot forward making nice monster energy sign on your calf. I mean: because of pedal thickness not the rotation resistance.

I ride Xc on flats because I find them more fun, and most of all because I think it is a qualitiative approach to riding skills, rather than actual speed and performance. If I was after that I would be still riding SPDs. So I might accept a bit more of resistance as well Big Grin
  • + 2
 i'm pretty sure that if you look at the shape of a platform pedals and the physics of it, theres really no reason why it wouldn't rest flat when you take your foot off. Even if it can turn freely, it shouldn't be hard at all to get your foot back on it, it's not like the pedals is going to be resting straight up and down.
  • + 4
 I had a pair of point one pedals that were preproduction and they had no spinning resitance at all. They were nice because they were point one pedals of course but when it comes down to it, i would want a pedal that I know exactly where it's at on a real downhill. I don't want it doing it's own thing when my foot is sliding around a corner. It's that extra bit of insurance that is nice to have. A free-spinning pedal doesn't always wander when your foot is off but all of us have experienced it before and therefore it does happen in reality and not a happy little physics world where people don't take into account that your flying down a bumpy @ss trail that will move a pedal. The point is that the designer wanted some resistance and he even chose a specific amount with how tight the O-rings hugged the spindle. Brand new ones are extra stiff but they break in. And the reality of resistance in your BB, wheels and chain is that it IS there and will remain that way because everything has resistance.

Choose whatever pedal you'd like with as little resistance as you want but I know my choice is still better.
  • + 8
 come one Waki job you don't have the time to ride bikes, youre too busy ramming your opinions down everyones throat on PB all day.
  • + 2
 It's called waiting for rendering to finish...
  • + 3
 @mikelevy
you cant compare wheels to pedals. the amount of resistance in these pedals is barely anything. i like the resistance for downhill racing because the last thing i need to be thinking about is if my pedal is spinning and whether or not i will get foot on there comfortably. and how often are you worrying about the nano wattage it takes to turn that pedal on a downhill application?
  • + 2
 Dont most brand new pedals have resistance? If you frequently strip and regreese them they'll stay perfect! With that little bit of resistance?

You can always just over tighten the nut on the end holding everything on? Ha
  • + 1
 come one Waki job you don't have the time to ride bikes, youre too busy ramming your opinions down everyones throat on PB all day while you're " waiting for rendering to finish".
  • + 4
 I have had a pair of Podium Pedals for 2 years now and they do have some resistance. It was more pronounced initially and the drag lessend as the rubber o ring seal broke in. The drag in mostly static and not noticed while pedaling. The most important part is how well they work , better than any... other peadal I have tried in my 20+ years of mt. biking ,4 as a pro racer. Everyone I have met that has tried them speaks of the confidence and contriol they give. As far as reliability ,they are excellent especially compared to other fly weight and super low profile pedals out there. Most use bushings and have no concave. If you want indestructable go buy a pair of shimano mx 30 's . They will outlast all of us but don't work half as good. $179 is the lowest price for a precision american made pedal , its all made in house in San Jose Ca. made by bikers for bikers. They also take maintenance, as all bicycle products are supposed to and rarely get. I figure I should replace the bearings annualy and do on everything. They make a rebuild kit that can be sent to your door. Bottom line I won't ride any other flat pedals. Happy trails,
  • + 18
 The Point 1 Podiums have that resistance because they have great seals.
  • + 2
 love my podiums
  • + 4
 My PreRunners have resistance as well. Tight seals is a good thing.
  • + 2
 It's a problem for some whinnies who have no idea about pedalling. You win much more efficiency thanks to slim platform than you loose due to bearing drag. Furthermore most people riding XC/AM on flats don't care about "Tha Pa'fomance" anyways, usualy unconscious of the fact that depending on terrain, they actualy might be more efficient on flats than on clipless.

I might consider these when I wear out my wellgos B124s which also have certain bearing drag, but pedal way better than thicker body flats.
  • + 5
 My Poidums kick ass. I never even notice the resistance while pedaling, With the long pins traction is crazy good too much in my opinion. Plus they look tits.
  • + 1
 Have been using the pedals more that a year and i have been riding nearly 6 days a week for the past 6 months. These pedals are good real good. But....yeah there is a but....its bearings are just too weak and they can't stand wet conditions long. I have already changed 3 sets of bearings and waiting for my next bearing and spindle kit to arrive. The really need to work out the sealing for the bearings and keep the water out. Other than that i have no problems with it!!!
  • + 1
 The finish on my Chromag lynx lasted one weekend in the rain in south Wales. No graphics left anymore. It also rubbed the skin raw on the inside of my thighs after 1.5 rainy days in the saddle. If it weren't for that it would be very good indeed. Back to sdg for me though.
  • + 1
 Point 1 pedals are awful for reliability. The dirt gets in (via twice as many ways as any other pedal thanks to the open section in the middle) and the tiny bearings fall apart after a few months hard use. (Have you ever seen the size of the 3x outboard sealed bearing in these? Totally rediculous!) Even worse once they fall apart you will struggle to remove the 3x outer race's in them meaning they are now useless. Warranty please..
  • + 0
 I loved the feel of my Podiums, until the 3x outboard sealed bearings disintegrated without warning. The first I knew was the pedal fell off the axle. Checked the other pedal to see how the pedal should have been secured to find it's a small washer, and that one was also wearing it's way through the aluminium body. Luckily got a refund and I appreciate my Wah Wahs even more.
  • + 1
 switched from wellgo mg1 to podiums on both of my bikes. i really love them.
they have a long break in period till they run a bit smoother by hand. but who really cares? you're not able to tell if they run freely or not when pedaling, but you will be able to tell if a pedal comes loose or won't stay where you like to have it when taking your foot back on, after hard cornering
  • + 0
 Spunion has it spot on. I'm on my 2nd warranty replacement. They are the best feeling pedal out there but the bearings fail catastrophically leaving the races fused to the body making them nigh on impossible to get out without gouging the body and damaging them further. Poor show for a product that costs so much.
  • + 1
 I have rock shox monarch on my giant reign 1 and they never break down, never faulty, and have have never actually broken no matter how many times I have cased. They are the best back suspension shocks I have ever ridden
  • + 2
 I love my Chromag Lynx. And I want a pair of the Podiums. I thought they only came in raw or black. I like the red.
  • + 2
 And white. The red was custom. They look boss in red
  • + 3
 With a little bit of effort you can paint 'em to any color you want. Smile
  • + 4
 point1!!!!!!! yee
  • + 0
 I find my RockShox air suspension is absolutely useless at temperatures below about 8C. Fork stiffens up, and rear suspension sags hardcore in the cold. FOX FTW!!!
  • + 1
 most likely oil viscosity not the shock platform itself...
  • + 1
 well that explains the fork, but the rear shock? But they must be using lower quality oil than Fox. I also find that I have set the negative pressure in my Revelation so that it is almost to the point of sucking the fork down to get any sort of small bump compliance.
  • + 1
 hmm, i got rock shox forks and fox shock, tbh the last time i notice them stiffen up from temperature was at -15 degrees celcius but thats not realy comparable to 8 degrees, but i cannot remember them to stiffen up earlier, might be me tho...
  • + 1
 from a theoretical point of view it makes sense that it stiffens up cause the rubber on seals should get harder the oil should flow slower so on... doesnt explain the difference between fox and rock shox tho, maybe fox uses higher quality seals? maybe fox builds them in with higher space between seals n steel, i have no idea, you should google which oil makes sense at lower degrees and try it
  • + 1
 well, I will give RS the benefit of the doubt with this one as the sample size is very small (maybe 3 fox, vs 1 RS). I will see what happens when it is time to replace the oils and rebuild both the shock and the fork.

The monarch 4.2 is OEM on a marin attack trail, and the gate/lockout doesnt work, or at least it is not noticeable when I change from extremities. Long shot chance that that is just the way the quad link works, or that is how Marin sent it from the factory. But yeah, probably the worst was one ride I did in -10C, and the rear shock seemed to have lost lots of pressure.

But honestly, Fox is so good
  • + 1
 Is it just me or does the left pic of the Point1's make the axle look bent outta shape?
  • + 1
 Could just be the angle, but it does look a little squiffy..
  • + 2
 It's the angle and the taper of the axle that give it that look. That are true as the first day.
  • + 1
 I had Chromag Lynx saddles on 3 bikes. I am very pleased with comfort, durability and stylishness
  • + 1
 Nice! I run the Trailmaster on two of my bikes and love it.
  • + 0
 The Podiums wont fit in the crank holders on the shuttle trailers we use in WA, so I'm out :-P
  • + 1
 where is there shuttles in WA??
  • + 1
 I'm talking about WA as in Western Australia. If you're interested probably best to check out www.hucktoflat.com that's where most rides get organised over here.
  • + 1
 How about making a pedal that doesnt break the bank! $179!! Crazy!
  • + 1
 Tits - finaly we get some shift from ever present, sick and epic. Four letter words rule. dupa dupa dupa!
  • + 1
 I have been very happy with my Chromag Trailmaster, but have to admit that it creaks too...
  • + 2
 Epic Tits ?
  • + 1
 yea epic tits sounds balls... better than sick epic and definitely better than sick tits

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