Pinkbike Product Picks

Feb 27, 2014
by Andy Waterman  
Tate Labs Bar Fly 3.0 MTB

Attaching a Garmin GPS device to your stem is a pretty simple process using Garmin's supplied mounts, so long as you're riding a cross-country bike with a long stem. On a trail bike, however, with 70mm or less of stem real estate to play, you can forget it: Garmin's bigger MTB friendly devices like the Edge 800 foul with the top of the steerer, or on shorter stems there's simply no room for the mount at all. That leaves you either attaching the mount to your bar - ugly, off centre, doesn't work great with riser bars - or looking for an aftermarket mount like this Bar Fly 3.0 from Tate Labs. The Bar Fly 3.0 clamps to the bar beside the stem and places a Garmin Edge series GPS device right above it. The clamp has been designed to be carbon bar friendly, sturdy enough not slip, and the computer interface to offer a very positive engagement with the Garmin. Tate Labs make the Bar Fly in the USA, and offers a lifetime crash replacement so you can use the “buy one and you're done” approach. MSRP $24.99 USD www.barflybike.com

Tate Labs' Bar Fly places a Garmin GPS device centrally over your stem, right where you want it for looking at on the fly. The lifetime crash replacement policy is great, too.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt's fair to say my Garmin has revolutionised the way I ride. I use it to create and follow routes in unfamiliar areas; I use it as a heart rate monitor so I can pace myself more effectively, something that was handy during last year's Trans Provence; and I use it as my link to Strava - it's more accurate than a phone and it means my phone battery is fresh when I need it. The only difficulty in the past has been mounting it with a short stem (I'm using a 35mm On-One El Guapo). Luckily the Bar Fly has solved that problem, placing the Garmin in good position, centrally over the stem. I've already made use of the crash replacement service - I crashed on an innocuous piece of mossy concrete in a transition stage at the Trans Provence, something wrenched at the Garmin and the mount broke as a result. It was replaced quickly, so no complaints there, but it's worth noting that the mount certainly isn't indestructible. For the rest of the race I carried the Garmin in my pocket and really noticed how much I missed having the information in front of me - when you've got a 10km road climb to the next timed stage, it's kinda nice to have something to take your mind off the monotony of pedalling. If you're a Garmin user or you're contemplating getting one, a mount like the Bar Fly 3.0 is recommended. - Andy Waterman





Specialized Rime MTB shoes

Clipless mountain bike shoes tend to fall into one of two categories: light, stiff cross-country race shoes or heavy, robust downhill shoes. Specialized's Rime was one of the first shoes that didn't really fall into either camp, and wasn't a commuting shoe either, but rather reflected what riders really needs a pair of SPD shoes to do: be stiff enough to be efficient and avoid foot pain; comfortable enough to wear all day (thanks to Specialized's body geometry and the Boa lacing system); grippy enough for hike-a-bikes (thanks to a Vibram outsole); and finally, they look pretty good – neither too disco-slipper racey or storm tropper bulky. Specialized describes the Rime as blending “the protection and great fit needed for trail riding” and “a perfect shoe for the modern adventure seeker”. Sounds good, but how do they fare in the real world? The Rime is available in black or white. MSRP $180 USD www.specialized.com

Much like Giro's Terraduro shoe, the Specialized Rime fills a gap between XC race and downhill shoes. The grippy Vibram sole makes hikes less awkward than they can be on XC shoes, and the well-fitting, lightweight upper combines with Specialized's Body Geometry insole to provide all day comfort.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesAs you can see, the shoes in the photo have had a lot of use and abuse. Over the last 18 months they have become my favourite MTB shoes, being used for everything from week-long bike packing epics, riding 100 miles per day, to lift-assisted enduro riding in the Alps and even commuting. Specialized's body geometry combines with the boa system and a nice synthetic upper to create all day comfort, the sole's stiff enough to feel efficient, while still making walking a breeze, whether you're heading into the coffee shop or scrambling up a slick, rocky trail. The cleat holes are well positioned, allowing you to get the cleat properly behind the ball of the foot (not always a given) and they're not so padded that when they get wet - which they do, a lot, here in the UK - they're able to dry out quickly. They're also quite roomy, allowing for the use of extra thick socks in the winter, while still feeling snug with thin summer socks. The Boa system has also proved faultless - it's a heavier duty version of the system on the RIme than that used on many lightweight race shoes. Given the amount these particular shoes have been used, they definitely win points for robustness. The Rime won't be the shoe of choice for cross-country racers, and won't provide the protection needed by downhill racers; for the rest of us who do a bit of everything, they're pretty much perfect. - Andy Waterman





On-One El Guapo Ancho flat handlebar and El Guapo Corto stem

British brand On-One is well known for its good value, no nonsense frames, but it's perhaps less well known for its aftermarket components. Those components continue the theme, with the 760mm wide flat handlebar and the 35mm long El Guapo Corto stem coming in at £29.99 and £39.99 respectively. The Yorkshire brand has been pushing the geometry envelope for years and aims this bar/stem combo squarely at riders of longer-travel 29ers who will appreciate a low rise wide bar to give extra leverage when cranking the bike over, and a super short stem to sharpen up the steering on increasingly slack modern 29er trail bikes. The 35mm stem weighs in at 127 grams and is neatly machined, while the 760mm bar is forged from 7075-T6 alloy, flat with a 9° backsweep and a sub 300 gram weight. The stem is also available in 45mm and 55mm lengths, and the bar is available with a rise of 20mm in either 760 or 810mm. MSRP for the bar is £29.99, stem £39.99 www.on-one.co.uk

Tuning your position on bikes with different wheel sizes can be an expensive process. On-One offers the budget El Guapo bar and stem in a range of shapes and sizes, with the stem going all the way down to 35mm. The width of the flat bar is good, but we needed to roll it a long way forward to get some upsweep.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWhen I first built up the 150mm travel Orange 5 29er I was using a 740mm riser bar and a 60mm stem. The front end was high and unwieldy - I wanted to go shorter and lower, but would 35mm be too short? The good thing about On-One is their components are a good enough value that experimenting with your set-up isn't going to cost a fortune. Switching to such a short stem did take a little getting used to; on descents it feels great, but on climbs, where the speed is low and there's less weight on the front wheel, you really have to think a bit harder about where you're going. You soon get used to it, though, and the advantages on descents make up for the necessary learning. Flat bars only have sweep in one direction, so unlike a riser bar that might typically have 7 degree backsweep and 5 degree upsweep, the El Guapo Ancho bars have only a 9 degree backsweep. That means you tend to run the bar rolled forward quite significantly to create some upsweep to compliment the backsweep. As a result, the decals, which are actually quite tasteful, are hidden on the underside of the bar, but at this price, that's not something we could really hold against On-One. Overall, the On-One's El Guapo bar and stem combo provide riders with a great value opportunity to experiment with their set-up. - Andy Waterman




58 Comments

  • + 76
 PB should like, review more DH stuff, but ya know, that's just what I think.
  • - 32
flag saxman2324 (Feb 27, 2014 at 21:25) (Below Threshold)
 But... What about Enduro??
  • + 24
 Totally agree. Get cam to do the product picks!
  • + 33
 ZINKBIKE!!!!!!!!^^^^^This one^^^^^
  • + 40
 We're a little snowed in right now, but you'll see more big bike coverage, including a pretty big test group, as soon as we're able to get back on them. There is some big DH bike news that will air soon as well...
  • + 28
 More rigid single speed news please....
  • + 22
 I hope big bike news does not mean last years bikes with wheels with an extra 1.5" diameter !
  • - 14
flag haledavies123 (Feb 28, 2014 at 3:47) (Below Threshold)
 pinkbike you gotta put a new guy on this or something theres not one downhill specific thing on here and everytime you put a dh specific item on here it gets the most interest and when you dont you get 300 people saying i dont want to see this crap. I am getting mighty sick of all this enduro and 650 b crap.
  • - 15
flag Lilshredman (Feb 28, 2014 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 Hey guys, where's my enduro specific sunglasses with a laniard?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy - Is there going to be an article on the new Sram-TLD team?
  • + 1
 ^boom, check the home page
  • + 1
 Yup, my psychic skills be paying off!
  • + 1
 Its winter typically not the season when downhill is very popular.
  • + 26
 It's great to see a small brand like On-One being represented here. They make some quality stuff for a crazy low price!
  • + 3
 They sure do. Should check out their Chunky Monkey tire range. I had two sent out from the UK to BC for ~$60, delivered in 7 days. The best tire for the price, weight and performance. On par with Spec Butchers, Conti.TK's and Minions.
  • + 6
 Those Rimes are awesome..... I've been wearing last years model for 2 years now. I have put them through pretty much what the author has and I can agree 100% with his take. I ride downhill in them at Snowshoe and Bryce, I ride my home trails in them where I'm hustling to keep up with hard tail roadies. I even use them on my cross bike.I took a REALLY bad wreck into a downed tree and my foot got wedged into the tree so hard that bark got wedged into the BOA system. Took me two days to knife out all the bark but once I did the BOA was working again, Just no ratchet sound, but still tightens and loosens fine. They are tough as nails. I've been wanting some GIro Chambers for downhill but I just haven't been able to justify the purchase when I have these.
  • + 1
 glad you like the shoes, but how have you been wearing last years model for 2 YEARS ?
  • + 1
 Because I think what he means is the 2013 model . Cause like the model for 2015 actually will come out in 2014 etc if that makes sense. They do it with cars so I think it's legit. Not 100 percent sure tho
  • + 2
 Exactly bikemore...... I was hoping I wouldn't have to explain that. My post was long enough as it is so I left hat off. But yea, I bought 2013 shoes in 2012.
  • + 3
 I also have the Rimes In fact I have two pair, black and white....I was afraid they might be discontinued so I planned ahead. Not a bad thing I can say about them. they look great, they feel great. Easy to wash, durable build, slight flex in the sole unlike the pure xc shoes, and the vibram soles are the icing on the cake. no clickity clack when walking and grip well when needing to hike it.
  • + 5
 I was joking to a friend yesterday about how it won't be long before we have random components that have nothing to do with wheel sizes being marketed as "650b-friendly" or "29er-ready" as sure enough, now we have bar/stem combos that help us dial in our bikes with different wheel sizes. Suddenly my joke isn't so funny any more.

I'm not taking a stab a On-One tho, those guys are pretty cool in my book. It's financially refreshing to see a company offering something that isn't priced thru the roof. It's more of an observation in how this industry is testing the waters to see how gullible & obedient little buyers we are.
  • + 8
 No rise bars are just more common for 29'ers to run. Pinkbike staff and testers prefer a shorter stem than most. You're really reaching to find a conspiracy that's not there….
  • + 3
 But he has a point and it is kinda funny. Like when they sell a webcam in a computerstore and put a sticker on it which says:"Skype ready". It boggles the mind, what were they thinking...
  • + 5
 I'm liking the direction clipless shoes are taking with stuff like the Rime and Terraduro. I don't mind my Shimano AM45, but they're pretty bulky, and heavy for all day pedalling...
  • + 1
 But they're so comfy, but yea, if I was out doing a all day XC ride I'd go something lighter
  • + 1
 I never really had an issue walking around in carbon soled xc shoes, maybe it just comes from racing cross but I can wear my Giro Guages all day and walk up slippery rocks fine. Are the other brands less grippy? I'm just wondering where this new breed of thick rubber soled light shoes came from... I can understand not wanting to wear am45s for a day, they're flexy as hell despite being comfy.
  • + 1
 No matter what or where I'm riding, I haven't found anything to beat 510 Falcons. They're the only cleat shoe that hasn't destroyed the sides of my feet after half an hour of riding. It's always cold here though, I might feel different in hotter conditions.
  • + 1
 (that being said, I may well try a pair of those Rimes to see if they're wide enough)
  • - 2
 Am45 may be bulky but bla bla bla bla bla!........ Bla bla bla bla blaaaa balance bla... Bleblaa bulibla... Molly molly molly! Bla... Walla walla bing bangblaaa blblblwee... Just can't...
  • + 3
 I don't fully understand that last comment at all WAKI.

Please explain. Are you just being a prick about people discussing there footwear preference? Or have fell asleep on the keyboard? Or is it something entirely different?

Cheers.
  • + 1
 No I wanted to have a thoughtful comment on "soft" shoes like am45 or Maltese Falcon and the sense of balance they give comparing to stiff XC ballerinas which are good only for pedalling.. But it would turn out just as any other bla bla bla I write here so given the fact that I could not resist writing anything, I just wrotebla bla right away.
  • + 1
 Ohhh! I see! Sorry mate, I was a little confused.
  • + 1
 I'm still confused...but I am also smiling. Well done Waki
  • + 1
 Anyone have any experience with the Mavic enduro shoes? I tried them on and like the fit, feel and lacing, but I'm curious about the durability. These Specialized shoes are on the top of my list though now.
  • + 6
 the "enduro specific" joke has become even more annoying than "enduro specific"
  • + 2
 Gutted that Bar Fly mount isn't available in a 35mm handlebar diameter version.

Luckily K-Edge do a stem mount that looks like it'll work just as well - has anyone used one of those? Keen to find out before dropping $65 to get one into the country...
  • + 2
 You should check out promount billet, they make a stem cap to hold garmins. Full cnc and works with all stems except direct mount.
  • + 1
 Excellent, thanks for that @cretin82! Had no idea they existed, and look perfect for my needs. A lot cheaper too.
  • + 1
 No worries! Cheers
  • + 1
 Yeah I have one of the PMB stem mounts. Cleans up the bars too. They're the ones to get.
  • + 0
 content3.vitalabo.com/upload/image/big/big_6677.jpg - there's an official Garmin mount that just works in my opinion.
  • + 1
 PMB makes the same one but full cnc. A littlest nicer and worth the extra cash imo
  • + 3
 The worst thing about buying on one stuff is getting on their mailing list. Do I really need 3 product emails an hour on one?
  • + 2
 Is there no unsubscribe option?
  • + 1
 I love new brands, offering products to many of us, the riders that usually we have to buy at low prices.
  • + 1
 Hmmm british brand, first one that comes to mind is Hope, and can't complain about them
  • + 2
 I agree cgalbreath, that stem would be sick in dirrect mount version tho
  • + 0
 Finally Enduro specific shoes, please big S release some Enduro specific socks
  • + 2
 they already have an Enduro model sock, they're tall
  • + 0
 Enduro socks? Enduro pencil and enduro tooth brush.
  • + 1
 there's no Enduro label on those shoes (and they already exist for several years) - I just love the endless rants...
  • + 1
 Feel the rhythm feel the Rime, get on up its overpriced shoe time!
  • + 1
 I have to get some Tate lab stuff. My name is Tate afterall.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy I'm still waiting on the pedal comparison, though
  • + 1
 So do companies just have to send you a product to get it onto this page?
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