Pinkbike Product Picks

Feb 21, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Dakine Derail Short

When designing their new Derail short, Dakine took a less-is-more approach, focusing on fit and durability instead of trying to see how many pockets and vents they could cram into one piece of apparel. Constructed from a double knit nylon / spandex blend that has been treated with a DWR coating, the Derail has a 15” inseam that places the bottom of the short below the knee, and the lower leg openings are designed to have enough room to fit well over knee pads. The waist is adjustable via a hook and loop closure on each side of the waist band, or by making use of the belt loops. There are also two non-zippered hand pockets and one zippered pocket on the right leg. Colors: black, charcoal. Sizes: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38. MSRP: $75.00 USD. www.dakine.com

Dakine Derail short review
The Derail's simple design and excellent durability make them a recommended choice for all-round riding.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe've been abusing the Derail short for nearly three months now, but they don't show any signs of giving up. The fabric has withstood multiple muddy rides, and even after all of the hours of grinding mud and grit into them they don't look any worse for wear. The DWR coating has worked well to keep moisture at bay on drizzly rides, allowing us to extend our saddle time before becoming completely saturated. The length and cut of the short is excellent, providing enough room for pads, but without being overly baggy. Most of our rides have been in cooler temperatures, but the fabric is still light enough that we wouldn't hesitate to grab them on all but the most sweltering days of the year, when we would go for something with more ventilation. We did have one minor issue, more of an observation really, and that's regarding the flaps on the rear of the short. These flaps are where a back pocket would be, but there's nothing under them - they're purely for show. It seems like a waste of resources and time to go through the effort to sew on false pocket flaps, especially on a short as basic as this. Other than that very tiny detail, the Derail is an excellent, simple short that's proven to be both durable and comfortable. - Mike Kazimer



Kenda Nevegal X Pro Tire

The X Pro is an update to Kenda's classic Nevegal tread pattern intended for usage on everything from loose to hardpack conditions, and uses a dual tread compound featuring harder, 60a durometer center knobs and softer, 50a durometer side knobs for cornering traction. It shares the same basic tread layout as the traditional Nevegal, but the shape of the intermediate knobs has been changed, with a hexagonal knob sitting where there used to be a square, siped block. The center knobs have changed shape as well, and are rounder and less blocky when compared to their predecessor. The UST compatible Nevegal X Pro is available in either a 2.1 or 2.35" width for 26 and 27.5" wheels, and in a 2.0" version for 29ers. We tested the 27.5 x 2.35" version, which weighed in at 780 grams. Price: $64.95 USD. www.kendatire.com

Kenda Nevegal X Pro
The Nevegal X Pro uses a dual tread compound, with softer durometer rubber used for the side knobs and a harder rubber in the center, a design intended to improve the tire's lifespan.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe were able to spend time with the Nevegal X Pro on a variety of trail surfaces, from the hardpack of Sedona to the tacky and occasionally muddy trails of the Pacific Northwest. As a front tire, there was a distinct lack of traction under hard cornering, and the rounder tread profile made it hard to find a solid point to push against, no matter how far we leaned it over. However, as a rear tire the X Pro performed much better, especially when paired with a wider, meatier tire in the front. It still doesn't convey that locked in, cornering on rails feeling that some riders require, but if you're comfortable letting the back end kick out once in a while it's very predictable. The tire seemed to work best in wetter trail conditions, where the intermediate knobs could dig in for traction. The open tread pattern, particularly around the center knobs, helped the X Pro shed mud quickly, a plus for the mid-winter conditions that prevailed during testing. The tread life and sidewall durability of the tire didn't give us anything to complain about either - after our time on them the center knob profile has rounded out and worn down a bit, but all the knobs are intact and there haven't been and cuts or slashes on the sidewall. Overall, the Nevegal X Pro worked fairly well as a rear tire, but aggressive riders may find themselves wanting something a little more confidence inspiring, particularly during cornering. - Mike Kazimer



MET Parabellum Helmet

MET's Parabellum helmet is unique looking, to say the least, and without its visor it wouldn't be out of place on the head of a rider in the Tour de France. But rather than spandex clad, skinny tire usage, the Parabellum is aimed squarely at all-mountain riders, with extended coverage at the back of the helmet, goggle compatibility, and a removable helmet camera mount that can be installed in seconds with one hex screw. The Parabellum uses in-mold construction around an EPS liner, and has 30 vents spread over the entire helmet. Instead of the typical cloth front pad the Parabellum uses MET's Gel O2 pad, which is constructed from 'thermo-stabilising polyurethane morpho gel'. That might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but the material was originally developed for the medical industry, and was selected due to its anti-microbial properties and claimed ability to channel sweat to the sides of a rider's head. Weight: 284 grams (actual, size M). Sizes: M 54 – 58cm; L 59 – 62cm. EN 1078 and AS/NZS2063 certified. Price: $200 CAD. www.met-helmets.com

MET Parabellum Review
At only 284 grams, the Parabellum is one of the lighter all-mountain helmets on the market.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotes Our first few minutes with the Parabellum left us slightly frustrated, due to the issues we encountered when trying to adjust the height of the Parabellum's retention system. There are three different positions that can be selected, but it was very difficult to get the plastic strap to slide freely in order to move from one position to another. The plastic is thin, and wanted to deform rather than releasing its grip to allow the lower portion to move. We eventually got it situated, but it was more of a hassle than it needed to be. Also, the plastic bottom portion of the retention strap angles slightly forward, which gives it a tendency to uncomfortably scratch the back of the head when the helmet is first put on. Once the retention system was in the correct place and the helmet was actually on it was much smoother sailing - the light weight and excellent ventilation was immediately noticeable, and the helmet stayed securely in place on the roughest of trails. Temperatures were fairly cool for most of our test period so we weren't able to see how the Gel O2 pad worked in scorching temperatures, but it still managed sweat well, and it wasn't any less comfortable than the cloth and foam padding most other helmets use. When we first saw the Parabellum the extra length of the visor had us worried it would impede our vision, but there's enough range of adjustment to get it out of sight. Still, we're not quite sure why the visor is as long as it is; it starts much further back on the helmet than what we're used to. The design does provide plenty of room to fit goggles underneath it in its most upright position, although something a bit more low profile would go a long ways to help the Parabellum's looks. In the end, although the Parabellum has excellent ventilation and is one of the lightest helmets in this category, it could use some fine tuning for it to truly be worthy of its $200 CAD asking price. - Mike Kazimer






59 Comments

  • + 27
 Will somebody in the design industry please apply to these helmet companies? So many coming out that look just terrible.
  • + 53
 What, you don't want to look like an alien?
  • + 8
 Although I agree with you, I have a kid in the neighbourhood that commute every day with IXS Trail helmet on and I must admit that I like it so much (helmet, not kid). Now I'm making plans to somehow lose/break my old Uvex so I can buy this new IXS. Big Grin
  • + 7
 so glad to see that I'm not the only one trying to break an Uvex just to get rid of it
  • + 57
 we look like twats with the rest of the gear that is worn what difference does a helmet make.
  • - 2
 Scott Mythic or Stego helmet. Feels great and looks great. I'll admit the new TLD A1 looks horrible with the graphics but I dig the new cleaner grey version they have out now.
  • + 0
 The Parabellum Hannah Barnes used looked really nice, it would also look good in just a plain colour. Why it needs that neon yellow thing in the back I have no idea
  • + 1
 I've got the new IXS RS and i think that's a decent looking helmet. I liked the Bluegrass Goldeneye too, but it's fit was not as good.
  • + 1
 just bought the IXS Trail RS myself. love it! this is pretty ugly though.
  • + 3
 I've been trying to be open minded but I gotta say I just don't click with most of these high fashion $200+ helmets. Most people I meet are sporting helmets around the $100 range so if the industry thinks they can double the price, I'd better look pretty damb cool if I'm going to spend that kind of money when my Fox Flux gets retired.

But that's a great idea, that industry is ripe for a talent infusion from other areas. I'd like to see what some of the Italian auto designers would do with a helmet design project. Mountain bikers are typically pretty open to new looks and thinking so it's not like we aren't being receptive to their redesigns, it's just that they haven't quite figured out that design that makes us walk in to our local shop with our wallets open. Hint hint industry folks....
  • + 2
 Welcome to old age. All of a sudden everyone is wearing stupid clothing and you're like WTF?
  • + 0
 You don't even have to be old. All you need is a brain that works.
  • + 2
 My Fox Flux looks stellar and feels great (i forget i'm wearing it), i just hope they still make em' when i need a replacement
  • + 0
 Will someone in the editing industry please apply to Pinkbike.
  • + 1
 i have
  • + 5
 at least on Hannah Barnes head, the Met Parabellum does look sexy: vimeo.com/82626018

@Pakleni: IXS Trail RS is a good option, but be warned: quite a few customers are dissatisfied because depending on the shape of your head and the size you need, you might not be able to wear goggles (front ends too low PLUS is shaped to be even lower in the middle section).

Also, I think the removable Helmetcam/Headlight mount makes a lot of sense!
  • + 0
 OK, after Hannah's video... maybe it's not SO ugly. But, on the other side, she could make even Sweet Protection Bushwhacker helmet to look desirable. Big Grin

And, thanks for the tip! Wink
  • + 8
 Are the helmet manufacturers making women repellent?
  • + 7
 WTF it only goes to size 38! What about us Clydesdales Dakine! Come on
  • - 29
flag chyu (Feb 21, 2014 at 1:29) (Below Threshold)
 Not mean to bash but if you are a mountainbiker and your waist still >38, you need to consider your diet or riding style seriously.
  • - 2
 I'm gonna go ahead and assume you weren't the best at math? And also, don't be a dick
  • + 13
 > = greater than....
  • + 4
 There's not to many companies that cater to us bigger riders. I use fox moto shorts for dh, and specialized goes up to size 42. And @chyu, you are a dick... Fat kid pride!
  • + 1
 Well since american retailers assume their customers are all fat (walmart and target in particular... they don't sell anything longer than a 34" inseam, but they do waists up to a 42... with only a 30 or 32 leg....so everyone apparently needs to look like the honey boo boo clan to shop there) why shouldn't dakine assume their customers aren't fat ?
  • + 9
 I ride to eat. Sometimes i eat more than i ride.
  • + 4
 chyu, im well over 230lbs and size 40 pants and im sure i could smoke you all day on the trails.ational champion rider bitch and i have a national champion jersey on my wall and you?
in canada we pick up women by showing them that bunking up with us men is going to be warm and cozy on the cold nights, im like a hollywood kingsize.
also when you go to the strip joint over here, the ladies like to give a lapdance to someone that can hold them up when they shake ass for you agressivelySmile
  • + 2
 @T-Lintz and all you other clydes, I'm a runt but I know a big guy who swears by Fly Racing kit, says it's the only stuff that has the sizes.
  • + 5
 That's good to know, thanks. I have to apologize to chyn, I get offened easily about my size; sorry dude. Being 265lbs/6' makes it hard for me in a sport I love so much. Pink bike should do a write up on bigger riders and what gear they can get from clothing, suspension set up, bikes, etc.
  • + 1
 Nice to see they even have 38's. Last time I looked at Dakine shorts they only went up to 36, and they were snug at best.
  • + 1
 We´ve been testing, the Parabellum since October 2013, we love most of it, but we ended up having the same issues as pinkbike testers had, we ended up hating the retention and height adjustment system. Met told us this issue might have been a preproduction helmet which is exactly the same as this one in PinkBike. When we mentioned this they mentioned they would be releasing an improved version of the Parabellum by Feb2014. We havent heard anything yet. At present it is a huge dissapointment, but it does have the potential to be the best helmet out there, that is if they solve these things.
  • + 4
 Yea that hat looks like the tip of Optimus Prime's robodick
  • + 3
 Why do all mountainduro riders require more back head coverage? As a neurosurgeon I`ve always pondered about this..
  • + 3
 From your perspective, as someone who probably understands brain injury better than anyone in this comments section, what does that additional coverage at the back of the helmet do for riders? Does it help reduce the chance of concussion from a backward landing?
  • + 2
 The Met helmet is awful, like said, scratches your head putting on and is just uncomfortable. Plus you look like something from Super Mario. Much better helmets out there.
  • + 4
 Pink bike learned quickly lol imgur.com/XdCI1s6
  • + 3
 The back of that helmet looks like its straight from Alien vs. Predator...
  • + 3
 I just wear whatever i have on, comfortable, easy, affordable.
  • + 1
 I liked the look of the dakine shorts until it said no back pocket. My wallet's pretty empty but I still like to bring it with me when I ride!
  • + 2
 Really? I could never ride with a wallet in my back pocket. But then again i stopped carrying a full wallet a decade ago and will never use one again - too bulky. I actually like the false flaps… riding gear that "looks" OK when not riding is a huge plus to me. If a pair of riding shorts can also double as a pair of casual shorts than I can stomach the stupid price tags the industry slaps on their shorts Smile
  • + 0
 yea the fox shorts I prefer have pocket flaps..I picked up a pair of sombrio without pockets/flaps and it looks weird without them haha wish they had faux flaps..
  • + 4
 I bet the reason the flaps are there is so they don't look like ladies' dress slacks. I think men's shorts would look weird without pockets or flaps.
  • + 3
 90% of mountain bike shorts don't have back pockets. I've literally never thought "zomg that guy is riding a bike in shorts that don't look like normal shorts!!!" and I worry about anyone who actually thinks this. Believe it or not, if looking as though you are not wearing bike shorts is a priority you can just wear normal shorts.
Faux pockets are lame. I'd love a pair of mountain bike shorts with real back pockets, it's actually the only pocket I don't notice stuff in while riding.
Same with the helmet actually. I wouldn't pay that much money for a helmet without solid evidence that it was safer because I have no issues with cheaper helmets, but the fact that people think it's so ugly just because it looks different are funny. All bike helmets look weird, get over it.
  • + 1
 ^^well there you go, to each their own.
  • + 3
 Nevegal, Nevergrip, Same difference.
  • + 3
 Dickie's no-rip work shorts... $15. They last forever
  • + 0
 Two years ago I'd have agreed with you. Saddle sores changed my tuneSmile I wear at least a padded liner now. Love my Dickies
  • + 1
 I own the Met Parabellum, I never had any trouble getting it to fit =S its probably one of the most comfortable hemlets I've used.
  • - 2
 I have had 2.1" Nevegal's on my trail bike, they rode nice, but I would get flats frequently, and also the rear tire's sidewall has probably 5 cuts in it from rocks. I switched to Maxxis Ardent 2.25" tires, and they worked way better, they rode just as nice as the nevegals, but without the constant flats. In 2013 I had 6 or 7 flat tires with the Nevegals, and only 1 with the Ardents. I would recommend the 2.25" Ardents for a great all around trail riding tire.
  • + 1
 Nice shorts. Those might be a good replacement for the old sugoi's Ive been thrashing for 3 seasons now...
  • + 1
 I really like the 1g Nevegals.
  • + 0
 If there's a helmet that redirects sweat better than the others, it will be my huckleberry.
  • + 0
 Give the Urge Enduromatic a look. Best sweat catcher I have found. Breathes like garbage tho so in theory it better. Great for cooler temps.
  • + 0
 once I have sweat dripping into my glasses it just starts ruining the ride.
  • + 1
 Bell Super... End of story.
  • + 1
 pretty hard to beat.. clean looks..super comphy and lightweight..gets the job done
  • + 1
 Totally agree! I have the black one with the white stripe. It has great protection and it breathes so well that even in a hot day i don't miss a XC helmet
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