Check Out: Wide Italian Shoes, Fancy Computer Mounts, Alpinestars' First MTB Helmet, & More

Nov 21, 2019
by Brian Park  

Alpinestars Vector Helmet
CHECK OUT
November 2019
Big dreams. So full of hope.


A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is an occasional round up of everything our tech editors have gotten their hands on. Sometimes it's products we're doing long-term tests on, other times it's stuff we're stoked on but don't have time to fully review. And, sometimes it's crazy shit someone sent us unsolicited and we're having a laugh.






F3 Form Mount

F3 Cycling FormMount OTS

Features

• Super-light at 12.26g
• Garmin compatible, Wahoo coming soon
• Made of carbon composite
• Allows for wide range of angle adjustment
• Price: $39.95 USD
Learn more

bigquotesI'm not really a cycling computer kind of guy, but since Trailforks is now available on Garmin devices (shameless plug), I use one anytime I'm riding away from home. It's just so nice to be able to plan a route, send it to your Garmin, and then not have to stop and pull out your phone during the ride.

F3's FormMount OTS replaces one of your 5mm stem spacers and lets you position your computer over the stem (OTS). On shorter MTB stems, especially 35mm clamp ones, you do need to make sure the hinge doesn't hit the clamp. I think it puts the computer in a more readable position compared to the ones that mount directly to your top-cap, and I like that you can still install an EDC or SWAT tool in your top-cap with this setup. It's super light, and seems solid so far.
Brian Park

F3 Form Mount
Lets you position your computer at whatever angle you prefer.
F3 Form Mount
If you only ride steep and deep.

F3 Form Mount
Looking tidy.
F3 Form Mount
Their original carbon FormMount replaces your stem bolts and works as a light/GoPro mount. Its super clean out-the-front position doesn't allow for angle adjustments, so it's more at home on road bikes.





Sidi Dragon 5 Mega

Sidi Dragon 5 Mega Shoe

Features
• Mega fit is wider and taller for riders needing a higher volume shoe
• TechPro Microfibre PU leather upper is Made in Italy; Sidi says it's eco-friendly and high performance
• Sleek, light closure straps for a comfortable, secure fit
• Increased tongue ventilation for breathability
• Carbon composite sole is stiff & efficient, still walkable
• Replaceable outsole, straps, and dials ensure longevity
• Available sizes: 40, 40,5, 41, 41,5, 42, 42,5, 43, 43,5, 44, 44,5, 45, 45,5, 46, 46,5, 47, 48
• Price: $399.99 USD
Learn more

bigquotesAs a guy with wide feet and a high instep, I was excited to see Sidi launch a wide version of their Dragon 5 shoes last year. I haven't had a ton of time in them, but first impressions are they are incredibly comfortable for those of us with flipper feet. They're stiff, but still comfortable to walk in—definitely not quite World Cup rigidity. They might be a touch warm, but with cooler weather setting in it's hard to tell. They're also versatile; I'd use these for anything from trail riding to gr*vel grinding. The dials flip up for easy adjustment, and the release on the sides is intuitive. So far my only real gripe is that they were real leather instead of PU leather, but we'll see how they hold up.Brian Park

Sidi Dragon 5 Mega
The lugs grip decently. Clip clop in the coffee shop though.
Sidi Dragon 5 Mega
The dials flip up for easy adjustment.

Sidi Dragon 5 Mega
Lots of room for my 4E paddles.





Mission Workshop Integer Backpack
Top compartment for a change of clothes and other bulky items.

Mission Workshop Integer Camera Backpack

Features
• Padded, removable camera insert holds a variety of DSLR or mirrorless bodies with lenses, flashes and other gear
• Access via zippered front panel, quick-access side panel, or roll top
• Dedicated zippered laptop compartment fits most 15.5” laptops (including 15” MacBook Pro)
• Zippered internal divider allows camera compartment to be separated from top compartment if desired
• Fold-out secure tripod/stand pocket
• Arkiv rails on front panel and shoulder straps for expandability
• Hideaway zippered water bottle pocket
• 2 external quick-access pockets for chargers, keys, phone, wallet, lens caps, memory cards and other accessories
• 2 internal zippered mesh organization pockets
• Can be configured for roll-top or flap closure (roll-top can be used with or without velcro)
• Made of weatherproof HT500 nylon, YKK® AquaGuard® zippers
• Dimensions: H20" x W14" x D6.5", 1,450 cu. in. (24 L)
• Price: I don't want to talk about it
Learn more

bigquotesNot super mountain bike related, but I'm a bag nerd and thought I'd show you the pack that comes along on this crazy job. From scooters in Taiwan to missing trains in London to running around at the Field Test, I've been really impressed with the Mission Workshop Integer. It's got a ton of features I love, like the hidden stretchy bottle holder, and a really useful flip-out tripod holder, but it still manages to look clean and unassuming. It's the best tradeshow bag I've used so far.Brian Park

Mission Workshop Integer Backpack
Mission Workshop Integer Backpack
The stuff that comes with me to shows and camps.

Mission Workshop Integer backpack.
Been running with this setup for a while now. I keep headphones accessible through the side pocket.





Alpinestars Vector Helmet
Levy modelling the Vector Tech's distinctive lines from front to back. Putting the euro in enduro.

Alpinestars Vector Tech Helmet

Features

• Extended coverage across sides and back of head
• Internal frame for extra strength
• Available with or without MIPS
• 19 large vents
• Replaceable Quik-Dry anti-bacterial fabric liner pads
• 3-position visor allows goggle storage in top position
• Designed to accommodate sunglasses
• Available in 4 colors
• 390g weight (claimed, medium MIPS version)
• Passes EN, CPSC, and AS standards
• Adjustable dial sizing system
• Quick release buckle
• Sizes available: S (51-55 cm) / M (55-59cm) / L (59-63cm)
• Price: $179.95 USD ($149.95 without MIPS)
Learn more


bigquotesWith a strong moto heritage, it's nice to see Alpinestars continuing to expand their mountain bike offerings. The Vector Tech is their first MTB helmet, and it ticks a lot of the boxes: extended coverage, slip-plane technology, a quick-release buckle, in-mold reinforced "frame", plays nicely with glasses, etc.

One potential downside is that at 390g, it's nearly 100g heavier than the Specialized Ambush, my current favourite helmet. I'm not that sensitive to helmet weight, but you may be. I'm also not personally in love with the bold lines that extend from visor through the back of the helmet, but I'm the least stylish person in the Pinkbike office (and that's saying something), so who am I to talk smack?
Brian Park

Alpinestars Vector Helmet
Prominent wings extend down off the side to keep goggle straps more comfortable if you're going full enduro.
Alpinestars Vector Helmet
Good coverage and big 'exhaust' vents at the back.

Alpinestars Vector Helmet
That's one pointy visor.



129 Comments

  • 34 0
 Mike Levy wears Brian Park pajamas
  • 24 1
 575$ Backpack… What kind of material justifies this ? The HT-500 fabric seems like an internal buzzword for another more commercially available fabric… But the YKK aquaguard zippers are always nice and reliable… Still 575$... I don't get it.
  • 34 28
 You guys are looking at this all wrong. A high-quality $575 pack isn't that much when you're carrying around $10-15k worth of camera, accessories, and electronics. Would you rather risk all of that in a cheap pack?
  • 49 4
 @SlodownU: Your logic is kinda weird. I'm putting expensive stuff in my bag so the bag has to be expensive too - even if other equally-good (or better) bags are a fraction of the price?
  • 30 2
 I mean, I don't know if anything can justify a bag that expensive—there are plenty of excellent sub-$300 camera bags. That said, lots of people feel the same about bikes over $1000 as well... so who am I to judge? And the bag is really nice.
  • 14 17
 @nilswalk: How is my logic flawed? This isn't exactly a pair of $260 plastic sunglasses or pair of $250 shorts.
The bag has proven to be exceptional by a professional, and is designed to be resistant to wear, carry items that have a very high cost, can't get wet, and need to stay protected. If this was a bag designed to carry a raincoat and donut on a bike ride, then I'd call bullshit. With professional grade materials, you usually get what you pay for.
  • 10 1
 @brianpark: Makes sense. But bikes over 1000$ can be somewhat justified by the material and manufacturing process used. Welding an alu frame isnt cheap, and forming those tubes also requires really expensive equipement, carbon is a whole other beast in itself. Its just that HT500 nylon seems nice but at 575$ they couldl've went with kevlar reinforced fabric to prevent punctures and deflect bullets if you happen to say that you prefer a 29'' wheel.
  • 17 2
 @SlodownU: Your logic is flawed because you assumed that expensive contents require an expensive bag. They don't.
  • 1 2
 The reason for the Ambush Helmet to be lighter is not a good one. The inner belt that secures the head is almost horizontal across the inside of the helmet , versus one that extends farther back into the lower part of your head. The Ambush helmet secures the head the same way as a construction helmet does. Good only for the top of the head , but not safe when you hit the sides .
  • 6 4
 It's like going back to the argument about helmet pricing. Riders will happily spend $2-10k on a bike, and then whine about a $200-300 helmet.
  • 17 0
 @endurocat: I've heard this criticism before, but my head gets along with it pretty well. I do agree that there's a good chance the Alpinestars helmet is safer—more foam material = more distance to absorb an impact and make the transition between moving and not moving less abrupt.

That said, I did crash-test the Ambush this August by tomahawking through a talus field and spiral fracturing my humerus. The helmet took a good hit, but I didn't experience any concussion symptoms. Shit sample size and anecdotal evidence I know, but it definitely works for me.
  • 6 0
 Um, guys... We’re not supposed to be talking about it.
  • 12 1
 Expensive products get delivered in cardboard, foam and bubble wrap all the time. Expensive contents do not need an expensive carrying receptacle.
  • 5 17
flag SlodownU (Nov 21, 2019 at 9:39) (Below Threshold)
 @nilswalk: Fair point, put your expensive shit into cheap bags then, you paid for it, do what you want with it. If you have any expensive shit that is.
  • 5 1
 @2tall2ride the market justifies it. if the company misjudges their market or fails to deliver value, they go out of business. if they understand their market, consumers and deliver value, they profit and continue to provide good to the market place aka succeed.
  • 10 2
 @SlodownU: You mad bro?
  • 8 1
 @2tall2ride I'm with you man, I don't get it either. I bought a Lowepro completely waterproof camera bag for $200 ($272 after inflation) that I literally went wakeboarding with to test how waterproof it was. Passed 100%, completely dry inside and very buoyant. I've ridden street bikes, dirt bikes and mountain bikes with it. Had a couple get offs on the trail. My camera gear was well protected and never damaged. The bag is still in my kit working just fine after about 14 years. Kind of hard to see the 'need' to spend an extra $375 + - over the Lowepro or other quality packs.
  • 5 2
 Mission is headquartered in SF, where their stuff is also made. This alone essentially explains both the price and aesthetic. I mean, their bags are also nice as hell, so that's a factor.
  • 7 1
 @brianpark: As a total aside: wanted to thank you for how active you are in commenting on these threads and keeping up with your inbox. It must be an unbelievable amount of work to respond and you are always on top of it. Keep doing awesome work, my man.
  • 3 1
 @leego: Their flagship store in The Mission is a very impressive place and beautifully crafted product, but DAMN! Even my wife, who is a total fashionista, took one look at their price points and tipped back out the front door. If they were based in Ohio with the same stuff, it would be 50% less...
  • 4 2
 @leego: Bingo: hipster product from hipster-town for hipsters who need to bleed hipster-coin to feel exceptional. Premium pricing will alway find extrinsically-motivated conspicuous-consumers looking to prop up their self-esteem w/ big price tags.
  • 6 0
 I appreciate that the outrage over the backpack has totally hidden the fact that PB put a pair of $400 XC shoes in the list this month Smile )))))))
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: your logic is flawed exactly as he said it is.
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: BRB, putting my Canon 5D Mk IV in my Gucci clutch for safety.
  • 2 0
 No experience with this particular model but I’ve had a few MW bags(2 ramblers and a Fitzroy) and my current one is HT-500. They’re extremely durable without feeling heavier than a normal bag, offer water resistant packs with cycling oriented features, and have a killer lifetime warranty. I abused my first pack daily for 7 years (including all weather commuting, grocery runs, overstuffing the bag, etc) before a zipper seam failed. Emailed MW about a warranty, super painless process and they shipped me out a new bag and let me keep the old one as backup.

FWIW the most expensive pack I bought was closer to half the price of this one, but if it has the features you need I would trust the rest of the bag to be solid and reliable, and should an issue ever come up they have you covered.

Regarding the fabric, the HT-500 doesn’t perform any differently than the xpac/cordura bags imo, but looks nicer and can form a patina. That’s not to say the material justifies some huge premium, but if that sort of thing is important to you there it is. I’m sure there are many less expensive packs that work great too.

Just wanted to give a little first hand experience with the company as I mostly see people flaming them in here, and really wanted to emphasize how nice the warranty experience was with the company. Given the comment sections on some of the recent field test posts, I’d think good customer service is a feature worth highlighting.

Edit: forgot to mention the comfy straps but I guess that’s assumed at this price point
  • 1 0
 I do photography and have plenty of expensive lenses and two camera bodies. There are so many affordable bags that will do the job exceptionally well. There are things to spend more money on and things that you don’t need to. For example, I’m not going to put my expensive camera and lens on a cheap tripod. It’s worth spending the money on one that will not fail while your camera is several feet off the ground. Or tip over in the wind. In comparison to what’s out there this bag is pricier than what you would need to spend to get the same result.
  • 8 1
 For mountain bike photography, a front open camera bag is a no go. You don't want to set a the bag down in the mud, then have to sling it across your back. And then there's the price. Atlas, Shimoda, F-Stop, and even Lowepro offer excellent (foreign made) alternatives.
  • 2 0
 even Chrome Industries
  • 10 2
 From the article: "Not super mountain bike related, but I'm a bag nerd and thought I'd show you the pack that comes along on this crazy job." Smile
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: what about Burton? I rarely see them mentioned, but I remember they used to make good camera bags
  • 1 0
 Buddy of mine giving his "What's in my bag"/review of his Shimoda X70. More from a Snowboarding perspective but gives you good insight into the bags... not sure, but they might have an option more suited to MTB?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Sn-jZ8XPRY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2TXuRvsxXqfOsbntXy8oOeKWK5P_7cJBj7t46pwNhuv-m26s-fXvFK22I
  • 1 0
 EVOC makes a couple of camera bags that are really good! I use one and see them all the time at EWS, Crankworx, etc
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: the Burton F-Stop is actually the best camera backpack I've ever used (and I worked for a national camera magazine). It can be found for about 230 USD, and would be 500 if sold by a camera-industry company.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Don't fret-- it was a good inclusion. The odd reaction was simply b/c it's different; like opening up a photography blog and seeing $3,000 enve wheels... the readers would be like W the Actual Fk, do ppl really buy these?!?
  • 3 0
 @filmdrew: My problem is I need the bags to be shorter, so they don't bump my head when I ride!
  • 1 0
 @Circe: Ah, gotcha. Then check out their Zoom Pack. It's the shorter version of the Burton F-Stop. And it's often overlooked, so you can find it on sale more often than others. I'm sitting next to one right now as I type this Smile
  • 8 0
 I’ve been shooting for many years, in the weirdest locations, and I have to say, this backpack looks pretty weird and useless for the job in my opinion. Just another hipster bag if you ask me...
  • 5 2
 It's great for my needs, but I'm not primarily a photographer. My job means lots of airports, the occasional boardroom, trade shows, taxis, some photoshoots, etc... It's definitely a hipster bag, but I like that it can work in all those situations.
  • 9 2
 The Mission backpack for USD 575. Really?
  • 5 1
 yeah but it's made in small batches bro.

I seriously hope that's a typo and it's supposed to be $57.5.
  • 17 2
 Sustainably harvesting your money.
  • 23 18
 Made in USA by people making a living wage and a lifetime guarantee. $575 is the cost of using non-slave labor and making something that's not destined for the landfill.
  • 19 1
 Photographers say the same thing about $4000.00 bikes.
  • 31 12
 @teddancin: ah yes the USA. The country of fair wages and non-slavery.

Of course thats why lot of people got 3 jobs to afford living I suppose?

Backpacks made in the EU (where the workers automatically have helath insurance etc) will cost you less....
  • 4 0
 You could probably pick up a used 575 for less.
  • 32 4
 Having operated a sewing/gear manufacturing company for the last 15 years I can say that this made in the USA pack is not expensive. Instead, it's a reflection of how dirt cheap items made off the backs of marginalised people are. Think of a $100 backpack: take off retail markups, that's a $50 pack, take off company profit, it's now a $25 pack, take off shipping and materials cost and you're in the single figure dollar range. Do you want to make me a pack for $9? f*ck that. I"m obviously using "pulled from my ass" numbers, but you get the idea.
  • 4 2
 @nwarren: its pulled from your ass numbers but it's about right lol
  • 7 12
flag TheOriginalTwoTone (Nov 21, 2019 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 @NotNamed: It's nobodies else's fault if you choose to try and raise a family cashiering at McDdonalds.
  • 6 6
 @teddancin: still, if you don't think there is some outrageous mark up on this, you're kidding yourself. how many hours does it take to make? Or does living wage = dentist wage in the Workshop?
  • 17 22
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 21, 2019 at 8:58) (Below Threshold)
 @teddancin: Made in USA by not the nicest people who come do this country stealing jobs from God fearing people.

"Shaereff Grifford hwas the maen of Ghawd. One day he shot a maen. That man hwas traesspassin' on private laend. Lhard knows how hard the owhner whorked on this laend to put food on the taeble of his Ghawd loving familiae. Many mouths too feed... That poor soul, laid daed in the field for 3 days. Shaeriff had to chase another man and leave'em there. How long was it Daed, how long was it alaive, nobody knows. But it daen't matter now Shaeriff said. Turned out to be an illegal immigrant. Illegal or not - it ain't matter Sheriff saeid... it's deeaed. that motherf*cker ain't taking anyone's job Sheriff said... hamen we shouted...
  • 14 1
 @ReformedRoadie: I"ve been sewing professionally for around 18 years. I would estimate that pack would take me around 10 hours to make. So: 575 retail = 287.50 price that factory sells for = 143.75 cost for the factory. Call that $100 after materials/shipping /marketing (generous estimation) and you get $10/hour. Again, ROUGH numbers.
  • 7 1
 I have a Mission bag that's seen daily, all-season use for nearly 10 years. Traveling, hiking, biking, commuting, everything. I don't treat it well, and it still looks practically new. Not a single stitch has come loose. It'll probably last for many years to come. Over 10 years, it's cost me the equivalent of $25/year.

It's not a product for everyone. A USD 575 camera bag doesn't make sense for me. But if I had a couple grand's worth of camera gear that was important for me to carry around frequently and easily, something like this would have a lot more personal value.
  • 6 10
flag DRomy (Nov 21, 2019 at 9:08) (Below Threshold)
 @NotNamed: Respectfully, how about you don’t pretend to understand American socioeconomics, and I won’t pretend to understand Austria’s.
  • 6 0
 @DRomy: yes, he forgot to mention the 6 weeks vacation.
  • 2 0
 @nwarren: porcelain rocket?
  • 9 1
 @DRomy: yeah, he didn't even mention how I'm in debt from education AND healthcare. he clearly has no concept of our country
  • 3 1
 @jeffsworks: no, Alpine Threadworks. Porcelain Rocket is a rad dude making rad stuff!
  • 1 1
 Also its $575 USD for the black multicam colorway. Black multicam is trademarked and licensed out for usage. So it's actually $485 for the black, which is still expensive for a camera bag lol
  • 2 1
 @matts67: you know what I make in small batches?
  • 3 18
flag SlodownU (Nov 21, 2019 at 9:19) (Below Threshold)
 @NotNamed: No one gets three jobs here, they suck off the government teat, kind of like they do in your country.
  • 4 1
 @jeffsworks: even better - Alpine Threadworks! Check out his work. Quality and fit are 10/10.
  • 5 1
 Mission Workshop is growing by 200% a year. The formula works, and people want their bags.

It's like this:

POC sells a shitload of $500 travel bags to cyclists with $4K bikes.

Why can't people buy $485 bags for their $10k camera system?
  • 2 0
 @nwarren: nice stuff. I like the fanny pack. Plans on making any bikepacking bags?
  • 1 1
 @mmof it's made in the US, no way to get around the $. Look at the made in CAN Chromag bikes vs Taiwan ones...
  • 2 7
flag brncr6 (Nov 21, 2019 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 @NotNamed: I dont know a single person who has to work 3 jobs let alone 2 to live here in the U.S.A.
  • 3 0
 @jeffsworks: Thanks! No to the bike packing gear. I strongly believe that personally doing the activity you make gear for is a requirement to making gear that works. I don't bike pack. Who knows what the future holds. Porcelain Rocket is da man for bikepacking gear.
  • 2 0
 @ratedgg13: thanks dude
  • 1 0
 @DRomy: He also forgot to mention paternity time off.
  • 4 1
 @nwarren: oh shit, I really like your work. And yeah, PR does a really good job too.
  • 4 1
 @nwarren: This guy gets it! Cheap prices are often artificially low, usually at someone's expense, while "expensive" prices often represent what it actually takes to get a product in your hand without anyone getting shafted along the way.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Cheers dude!
  • 4 0
 @brncr6: His knowledge is based on an In Living Color skit where the Jamaican's got tree job mon. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opq8YCkFV9s
  • 2 4
 @teddancin: I call BS on this. The Timbuk2 made in San Francisco and for sub $200.00 is a more reasonable option. Same country, same labour and at less than 1/2 the price.
  • 8 2
 @MMOF: "Timbuk2 has continually designed and manufactured all its custom products in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood since 1989. Non-custom products are manufactured in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia."

Try again.
  • 1 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I am talking about their custom product.
  • 2 3
 @MMOF: what is your point? Don't you think that just maybe all those $200 made overseas bags are what help keep the company afloat?

If they were only selling the custom line made in the US and they were still in business selling at those prices, you might have a point.
  • 5 1
 @nwarren - do you do the performance satchel for the Transition Sentinel? Your stuff looks awesome. I'm in and from your comments on here I really appreciate the passion, thoughtfulness and philosophy
  • 3 1
 @snl1200: As a customer of his, he'll make a performance satchel for any frame! If he doesn't already have the template, you just send him a cardboard shaping of the space in your frame, and he builds it to match! The one he did for my old Rocky Mountain was a perfect fit, carried and absolute ton of gear, and didn't let any water or much in, even on the messiest of rides. I'll be getting a new one for my new bike this season!
  • 1 1
 @alexdeich: Education you CHOSE to get in the hope of earning more down the road, and healthcare you CHOSE to get to preserve/improve your life. Both excellent choices! But I’m dumbfounded when people complain that they have to pay for the choices that improve their lives. How about we be grateful that we live in a massive, diverse, difficult-to-govern country and yet still have all these amazing choices and opportunities.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Totally. I’ve used it twice, and will again in a few months!
  • 1 0
 @DRomy: that’s a rarity here, a lot more common in other countries.
Congrats. I won’t be that fortunate in 5 months myself when I could use it
  • 2 0
 @snl1200: Yes, exactly what @ratedgg13 said. I have yet to make a bag for the Sentinel, but you just make a template, pop er in the mail and I'll make it happen for you. Checkout my website for how to make template video, address to send to, ETc. Cheers and thanks!
  • 1 0
 @dratm: I'm with you. I've got the Mission Workshop Transit duffel. I bought it second hand (looked new) and still looks new. It can take everything. I'm expecting it to last forever. Was a great purchase.
  • 2 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Congrats to you, too! I guess the paid family leave is an upside for living in California...although I’d rather just save the money responsibly myself rather than pay the government in taxes to save it for me. No social programs are free.
  • 1 0
 @Bullit-Boy: LOL, sign me up!! ;-)
  • 2 0
 @brncr6: you should come to my town.
  • 1 0
 [Deleted]
  • 2 1
 @DRomy: quick question: who takes care of your kids? Just you and your wife? Grandparents, any maids, babysitters? How long were they per day at preschool?

Can you just leave work for a month or more? If yes, what kind of job do you have? Most people can't come up to the boss and say: I am taking 1 month leave in 3-4months. They will get fired.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: my better half visited Sweden years ago and asked why there were all these guys with babys and toddler around during the day...
The concept of paternity leave is foreign to the us.
  • 5 1
 @ReformedRoadie: if it is written down in the rules, employers and managers can plan replacement for the parent that will leave as long as they inform everyone in 3 months advance. Nobody suffers because of that. On the contrary. Also all these tough and reasonable men are forced to rethink how tough they are. Spending 6 months with two toddlers on your own, with your wife coming home for the evenings and weekends will change your opinion on a couple of issues... it was the toughest period of my life. I remember watching a documentary about climbers in Himalaya, conquering Annapurna in Winter, talking about how hard it is, how they miss families at home. All I had in my head at this point: you left your wife at home, alone with 3 kids for 3 months. Shut the fk up.. Smile
  • 1 0
 @nwarren: Well said man. True cost of things rarely comes up. Wasn't it Fast Food Nation where they figured all burgers really cost 35 bucks, all things factored in ?
  • 1 0
 @lightsgetdimmer: I doubt the cost of living is different then it is here in the the bay area.
  • 1 0
 @brncr6: yeah, I’m sure it’s comparable and it’s not cheap is my point.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Are you offering some free babysitting?! Wink
In the US, people are entitled to family leave for up to six weeks (or more) without fear of losing their job, which is great to have that job preservation to rely on (this is separate from paid family leave). My wife and I are both teachers. I was at home for the first two years when we had kids (all-time favorite “job” is being a dad), then we switched. She’s home full time now. There are free public and not-for-profit preschools available, but my wife is homeschooling for now, because (as trained teachers) we can. My parents live close by, which is a privilege because they give my wife a break for a few hours a couple of times per week. Not essential but so nice.
  • 6 0
 Fugly hockey helmet wanna-be. Slap a visor on that old CCM in your garage and get on the trails!!
  • 4 0
 The old Urge helmets used to take the cake for ugliest helmet ever, we have a new contender.
  • 2 0
 i'll save 400quid on those shoes and get me 10 pairs of ugly shits over sales. . ... .. because logic and economics . .. .. i dunno .. . ...
  • 6 0
 FWIW, I'm still riding my Sidi Dominators that I bought in 2004. They've seen heavy use every year. I've had to replace the buckles three times, but Sidi has kept parts compatibility for them the whole time. I've also had to take them to a cobbler. But the only reason I'm not in the market for these shoes is that my 15-year-old pair still works.

I can't argue that $400 shoes are worth it, but I can argue that I pay a lot more per month to wear 5.10's, where the rubber wears off every 5 months.
  • 2 1
 @Mtmw: it's that same awld story "not rich enough to buy cheap stuff" Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @Luis-Sc: he’s right though...made in Italy or Portugal might mean 2x plus the price verse made in China, but they last 5 times as long. For work/dress shoes anyway.
  • 3 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I don't disagree with him at all - I just can't afford a pair of $400 shoes myself
  • 2 0
 I still have my Mountain 5 shoes from all the way back from ~2004 that i raced in for about three years, gathering dust in my closet, always saying i'll be suing them again some day. I've decided to get back on the clipless horse and i'll be buying a set of SPDs and pulling the Sidis out of the closet.

I don't think i'd be looking at any other brand if i was buying new race inspired clipless shoes...
  • 2 0
 I think in a matte black the helmet would look nice. I agree that the lines look strange on it. Glad to see competition in the game
  • 1 0
 40 USD for a computer mount is a joke. You can buy those on Aliexpress for 3-5 USD with shipping. They might be not carbon but comes with a mount for Garmin and Bryton, OR you can use your original inner mount for it.
  • 2 0
 Another GOOFY looking helmet! Looks like 661 and Fox smashed heads together and Voila!
  • 2 0
 You can buy a Pelican case for $250 and that will protect your camera way more than this soft side thing.
  • 2 0
 Am I the only one thinking that it's a bad idea to put a plastic spacer under the top cap?
  • 1 0
 Nope. And isn't that handle bar on back to front?
  • 2 0
 @johnny4: Doesn't seem to be in the side shots of the mount.

It makes sense to brand handlebars facing the rider these days. GoPros and stuff...
  • 2 0
 Why would it be a bad idea? It's the stem bolts that hold the stem on securely, while the spacers are just there for preload. The "pre" part of preload is important here. I don't recommend it, but theoretically you could remove the top-cap and spacers after your stem is tightened down properly.

Also, it's apparently made of carbon rather than regular plastic. It looks like chop-fibre carbon, and I'd trust it to be as strong or stronger than a regular headset spacer.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: It's fibre reinforced plastic, it still looks injection molded rather than laid up, like we tend to think hearing "carbon fibre". The fibres are randomized in this case and have a lower volume percentage to the laid up option. Thus it behaves more like a plastic than a laid-up composite.

Yeah, the stem bolts hold it. But having a screw preloading it axially is much more secure and less prone to movement compared to just the stem bolts. After all, if you crash (even lightly, like it happened to me on thursday) the stem likes to rotate on the steerer. With the top cap removed besides rotating it will sure as hell also move axially as well. Once it's moving, the coefficient of friction is much lower than the coefficient of stiction was. Once moving, things like to move.

Even with general riding vibrations the stem should move upwards and release the headset preload if given the chance.

Putting plastic under the top cap is simply a no-no for me. I'd be interested to know what happens with carbon steerers and carbon stems, hell even with carbon spacers. I removed mine (it was the last carbon part on my bike, so of course it had to go Smile ).
  • 1 0
 @brianpark
i'm with you with the ugly bold lines from front to back of the helmet
  • 2 0
 I wonder if this helmet is the same as Anneke Beerten has been using for a couple of years now. You wouldn't have expected it to take them this long (from sponsored athlete to the consumer market) unless they had to revise it completely.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: i think it is the same!
  • 2 0
 Cool Tron helmet, uh I mean Astars.
  • 1 0
 Specialized Ambush helmets are light, yes, but I’ve trashed 4 of them. No more...
  • 3 4
 I agree that $575 seems steep, but would you put $20k worth of bodies and lenses in a $100 backpack and head out onto a muddy DH course to shoot in the rain?
  • 3 2
 If it's a good bag, yeah
  • 2 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL:

You come across as educated.
  • 3 1
 Its a fn bag
  • 1 0
 How can you be a "bag nerd?" That's like saying "I'm a real sink guy."
  • 1 0
 Or "I'm really into bicycles" for some people...
  • 2 4
 Form mounts...who rides with crap like this mounted to their rig? If you have one you ain't riding hard enough. Thse have no place on a TRUE mountain bike.
  • 9 0
 I guess Richie Rude isn’t a true mountain biker in your eyes? He should try riding harder maybe.
  • 1 3
 If I check my income, I'm actually a 1%er. Barely, but in the bottom of that range. And dammit, who can afford this stuff?
  • 5 1
 I just did a little research and being a 1%er depends heavily on how you break up the population (to be a top 1% 25-year-old you don't need to make nearly as much as a top 1% 40-year-old, for instance) BUT by all accounts even the low numbers are in the area of a quarter million a year. If you're making that much and can't afford this shit you are bad with money, my friend.
  • 1 2
 It's a rhetorical question. I guess the point is, I don't exactly hurt for money, but would certainly think thrice about spending that kind of money on a pair of shoes, for example.
  • 4 1
 @fullfacemike: There's a reason he is a 1%, and we just found it.

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