10 Products I Loved in 2023: Henry Quinney

Dec 14, 2023 at 20:35
by Henry Quinney  

Transition Spire

Yep, still good.

More information: transitionbikes.com


Canyon Neuron

Sometimes something can be good because it's comforting. Whether it's food or music or lying down on a comfortable mattress, the benefits are obvious. Othertimes, things can be spicy, challenging, or even hold a special allure as floorboards press into flesh and bone. The Canyon Neuron is in the latter camp. Was it the single most capable 130 mm travel bike I've ever ridden? Absolutely not, and to even compare it against something like a Forbidden Druid would be absurd. It is so much fun though, and I miss riding that thing around the dark blues of Squamish.

Price: £4,600 / €5,760 (as pictured)
More information: canyon.com


Scott Prospect Goggles

I don't really care for much when it comes to nice things. The cheap coffee is fine by me, and I don't need Kashima or wireless gears, thank you very much, but I do like to indulge when it comes to goggles. The comfort, optics, and wide field of vision on the Scott Prospect goggles are simply very good, and the novelty of wearing something very nice, almost luxurious to a prole like me, never quite wore off.

Price: $104.99
More information: www.scott-sports.com

03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder

Big Enduro Forks

I love riding "true enduro." What I mean by that is flat-out, horrible, long trails that brutalize both mind, body bike, and spirit. Over this last year I feel I've done more of this style of riding than ever and I am always so impressed by the latest generation of enduro forks. The Zeb is good, of course it is, but the Fox 38 and Ohlins DHX38 are simply exceptional. The composure and support combined with excellent tracking and sensitivity make me feel like the luckiest boy in the world every time I ride them. The Zeb feels just a bit more 'numb' to me compared to the keenness of the others.

Price: It depends.
More information: Check out the Ohlins review here, and a great article by Seb comparing the Zeb and 38. here.


Creekside Gondola

Don't come here. It's crap. Go to Whistler Village, all of you.

Price: Season and day tickets aren't available.
More information: whistlerblackcomb.com


Crankbrothers Mallet Shoes

2023 is the first full calendar year I think I've ever spent in clipless shoes, without riding flats once. A big part of that has been Crankbrothers pedals. The support, easy exit, and downhill-flat feel are so important to me. I genuinely think they're excellent and have just made my peace with wearing through cleats more often than I'd like. The shoes are excellent, and tick all the boxes when it comes to fit, features, quality, and dare I say, style. I love the little lace pouch, the adjustability of laces, the mid-flex sole, and the silicon grip on the heel. They just seem so well-considered.

I typically run the Mallet Es on everything but my downhill bike and I am as happy as a pig in shit.

Price: $150
More information: crankbrothers.com

Max Barron and Tom Richards

I work with a lot of great people at Pinkbike, but Max and Tom specifically this year have been a wonderfully fun presence in my life. At the start of the year, we decided to really have a run at videos, shaking up some aspects, and trying to commit to longer-form content, video essays, and a higher production value. It's been a huge learning curve for us all but they've dragged me along when I wasn't up to it, and let me explore my ideas with freedom and support, even if some of them were completely daft.

There's a special kind of person that you can tell the stupidest, silliest idea you can possibly imagine to and they just say "Well, let's try it". There have been some duds on my part, but there would have been 10 times more had it not been for the skill and care of these two.

Price: Two fancy coffees from special baristas because I "don't have a palate."


BYB Telemetry

I came into the BYB Telemetry kit at the right time. I felt that I had boxed myself into a corner with regard to setup. After a few years of bike reviews, I had gone just harder and slower incrementally. This probably reached its zenith when reviewing bikes that I didn't like very much, or I felt had an aspect of mass transfer that I didn't enjoy. My response was often to run the forks stiffer in an attempt to at least keep something, anything, consistent. Telemetry testing helped me climb down from this position, and fast. I questioned it a lot at the start but now I trust it totally and love the insight it provides. In some ways, it's a whole hobby in itself.

It's not cheap but it's a great tool for truly nerding out.

Price: €1.749,00
More information: bybtech.it


Mechanical Drivetrains

There is something so wonderful about the elegance of SRAM's quite frankly amazing T-Type Transmission, but I'm also a Luddite who doesn't even know how to properly use my own phone. While I know that everything will go electric, I'm not convinced it's a better user experience. In 10 months of riding in all conditions, I changed my gear cable once on my Shimano drivetrain and it was great. For the record, SRAM's made some great non-electric drivetrains too, and I'm not that keen on Shimano's electronic ones.

Price: Varies
More information: Linkglide Review


Life at the Ice Cream Factory

When I was in my mid-twenties I was struck with the hardest year of my life. It was all very exciting. Since then, every year has been challenging but as I get older I realise that's just what life is. There is no "hardest" or "darkest" but just the rollover of water on rock. Eroding. Meandering. Doing as it pleases. The only question is whether you get angry at the sand washing away from your beach or thankful for the new sediment being deposited there.

I have a lot to be thankful for. Don't get me wrong, there are some things I would perhaps not have felt so keenly or have had slightly differently (ten million dollars and a Peoguet Bipper if you're reading Mr Thurston) but largely I live a life of enormous privilege and being a taster at the Ice Cream Factory is a huge part of that.

Every now and then I'll eat enough ice cream that I'm sick. Or I'll make somebody angry by telling them that their choc-chip is neither the choco-ist nor the chippy-ist of them all, but largely life is pretty good. Some things came to pass in the latter stages of the year that made me question whether it was all for me, this old life on the internet, and I'm glad I asked those questions, because with the freedom to never eat a single scoop again in your life should you choose, then you really enjoy the wonderment of sundaes, sweets, and gluttony in all its glory.

Bring on 24, you bunch of crusty ol' seadogs.

Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
324 articles

  • 221 5
 Good work, Henry. I really enjoy your content, and your different opinions, partly because I have my own strong opinions. You have one of the more unique writing styles too, which I really enjoy reading. Keep it up. PS. X01 Eagle mechanical is the best drivetrain ever in my opinion. I've been really trying to like AXS but I'm struggling.
  • 66 2
 totally this. I agree with Henry on a lot of things, disagree with a few too. But it's only bikes, not life and death. I want opinion, something to think about even if I disagree, not mindless copy paste press releases.
  • 18 1
 @kiksy: agreed. Henry’s work is thought provoking with a bit of opinion and I love it.
  • 15 138
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Dec 21, 2023 at 16:07) (Below Threshold)
 He has awful writing structure, usually terrible takes, and it often comes across as pretentious trolling for clicks. But at least he's not boring.
  • 32 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: do you ever say anything kind (a throw off at the end of bitching doesn't count. Keep up the great work Henry!
  • 17 0
 Close to the money. X01/XX1 11sp is the best ever drivetrain.
  • 5 2
 I run both GX eagle mech and X01 eagle mech I can't tell a difference, both work wonderful
  • 7 15
flag Mtbdialed (Dec 21, 2023 at 21:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Dtwillow: I cannot believe you are goading me into defending DCA here, but......fk-it.....here goes!

journalists don't need fan boys, they need critics. it's what keeps them honest! Disagree, think the person criticizing is a moron(which by all accounts DCA is!), but maligning his critique for simply critiquing? no.....that doesn't help anyone that wants good writing, good jounalism and fair reviews. Henry, if he is capable, could and should, take all criticism and become better. Not all of it is valid of course, and likely most anything DCA says isn't, but it's not invalid simply because he said it.
  • 11 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Projection, much?
  • 2 1
 @Jockular: best shifting for sure, but Eagle has the range that I like so it wins. Don’t make me go back to 10-42t, haha
  • 1 0
 @Jockular: Yes and yes. What are you doing for 11x chainrings? I've been using Eagle rings and wondering if there's any downside to doing that.
  • 1 1
 I went back to XO1 mechanical from AXS on one bike. Once I get the chance I'll put XTR back on the other bike. I do prefer SRAM to Shimano mechanical, but I like the mechanical feels better than AXS. Also, tired of changing batteries.
  • 66 3
  • 51 2
 1 Pinkbike Product I Loved in 2023: Henry Quinney.

(I also loved Kaz, Brian, Matt Beer, Seb’s articles, Cathro, the non-mainstream treats in the Enduro test, the entire PB Racing team and their media, a whole host of staffers and contributors, and finally Levy’s final pod with RC chipping in).
  • 8 0
 Hear, hear!
  • 35 1
 As an American I believe it's my duty to tell you how non indulgent your banana split is. The Ben and Jerry's Vermonster is a classic. 24 scoops for 2024 would be a good start to see how far you can really push yourself this year.
  • 21 1
 That's SUPER American.
  • 8 0
 Better yet: come ride kingdom, Cady and Ranch and we will all go for a Vermonster challenge afterwards. That’s right, individual Vermonsters.
  • 8 0
 @pathopkins: I had to look this up. OMG that's 14,000 calories and 500 grams of fat per Vermonster and $35
20 scoops of ice cream (4 1/2 pounds!)
1 fudge brownie
4 bananas
3 cookies
10 scoops chopped walnuts
2 scoops M&M's
2 scoops chocolate sprinkles
4 big spoonfuls of hot fudge
5 scoops of Whipped Cream
  • 7 1
Mmmm yes please
But no bananas. None of that healthy crap for my fat American A$$
  • 2 5
 Ben & Jerry's is not american....It's British-UnileverWink
  • 5 0
 @sparcula: Nope they are a VT based company with factory and headquarters in Vermont.
  • 6 1
 @underhillz: Nope.

Per Ben and Jerrys website: "We’re guessing most of you know by now that Ben & Jerry’s is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, but we’re betting you’ve never met our independent Board of Directors…"

Per Wiki: "Founded in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont, the company went from a single ice cream parlor to a multi-national brand over the course of few decades. It was sold in 2000 to the multinational conglomerate Unilever but operates as an independent subsidiary."

The Factory, HQ, and Origin story were American, but they are foreign owned now by Unilever(NL/UK).
So, much like the Dutch Bucks from PON bankrolling Santa Cruz, and the Belgian InBev keeping Anhaeuser Busch afloat, the Dutch own your American Ice Creamery there Chap.

Sorry, Eh.
  • 1 4
 @KDix85: Congrats... You win. Not only are you technically correct, but you took the conversation to a place that's totally irrelevant. You must be a ton of fun at parties
  • 2 0
 @devinkalt: my wife worked at the scoop shop a couple summers and said that two groups did it every year. She only saw one guy complete it, and he did not look well
  • 22 1
 Concur, the Spire is a sick bike. Love mine
  • 3 0
 Loved mine, but Patrol works better for my 173cm giant frame
  • 2 0
 @rcwellie: I'm in the same bracket, and presumed the V3 Patrol would still be a good fit after having the first two iterations. Not disappointed in the least.
  • 5 0
 I probably would have gotten a Spire if they were out, but ended up building up a super Sentinel (165 rear with cascade link, 170 Zeb). It's pretty awesome too.
  • 1 0
 Can confirm, it is a fun bike, much more fun than paper would have you believe.
  • 1 0
 Can confirm I got a spire this year
  • 1 0
 @evanwoodard: Super cool for you!
  • 1 0
 @j-p-i: Just put Cascade Links on my Sentinel. You recommend coil or air shock to pair with new links and increased rear wheel travel?
  • 2 0
 @kilgore-trout: Coil! Just be mindful of the increased progression the CC link offers when selecting a spring weight.
  • 1 0
 @j-p-i: Much appreciated on the advice. I think I'd go with the Sprindex Coil so I can mess around with the spring weight without having to change out the spring. Cheers.
  • 1 0
 @kilgore-trout: something to keep in mind with Sprindex is their springs are progressive aswell. With the added progression from the CC link you may not like even more progression from the sprindex.
  • 2 0
 Yep, cant agree more, just got one earlier this year. They absolutely SHRED, been getting faster times then people on full on dh race bikes at national dh races on board my spire, couldn’t be more stoked on it
  • 21 2
 The best thing this year on this old rag is defo Henry and his opinions , because they are his opinions and I don’t think he would be upset if you disagreed with him
  • 1 4
 Except for the enduro fork thing... Seb Stott seems to have controlled his mind, or just given him a share of his Fox 38 marketing $$$
  • 19 0
 I, too, struggle to spell Peugeot
  • 12 0
 I'd love to hear more about the telemetry and the settings you end up on! I've ended up on slower and harder settings myself as well in a lot of cases... but I'd be curios what a fancy computer says.
  • 12 0
 What about denim riding costumes?
  • 9 0
 Good to have you on the site, Hank. Enjoying your practical approach to bike tech, the outfits, and the consistent butchering of America's god-given mother tongue. Keep up the good work, and enjoy the ice cream.
  • 9 2
 You’re much better off spending money on decent coffee, which is much, much better than cheap coffee, than on goggles, where there is no discernible functional difference between cheap ones and expensive ones.

I’ve been fooled into buying expensive goggles in the past on the promise of better optics, less misting, etc, but having tried most of the big brands I’ve realised that there is virtually no difference between cheap and expensive ones in this respect. They all mist up and get scratched in exactly the same way, 100% even uses the same lens in its various MTB goggles; only the frame differentiates them.
  • 2 0
 100% agree. And disagree. Spend your money on double lens goggles, not single lens ones. The extra 20 units of currency will pay for themselves 20 fold by not having your lenses fog up the second you stop riding.
  • 4 0
 I'm genuinely curious because I only use goggles for skiiing (on the bike I use glasses) - is there not a difference in the quality of the 'optics'? Maybe it's my imperfect eyes but it really makes a huge difference if the lens quality isn't great.

OTOH I guess that doesn't always correlate to price, but it often does - I've seen some cheap glasses with great vision quality, but not typically. In the ski world I've definitely noticed bad optical quality in goggles.
  • 4 0
 @number44: I’ve had Melon, Smith, Oakley and various 100% goggles and have never noticed any difference in optics or fogging. The only thing I notice is the price when I replace them.

The only caveat is that I only ever use clear lenses - it’s rarely light enough in U.K. woods to use a tinted lens.
  • 1 0
 Your welcome:
Smith Cascade classic (right?)
Double lens for 1/4 price
  • 1 0
 @Jprestidge: cool, that’s interesting. The tinting in ski goggles and sunglasses probably matters.
  • 8 0
 A properly set up Mezzer Pro makes the very very-good 38 feel like the Zeb.
  • 3 4
 So worse than a 38?
  • 4 0
 Have had AXS X01 for two years and four months and its worn out. Have to say this has been my biggest waste of money SRAMs warranty is for two years and they can't do anything £700 for nearly 2 and half years is really bad value if you're looking at it and thinking about taking the plunge really don't bother its not the game changer I thought it would be to be fair its not even a gear changer at the moment!
  • 2 0
 sorry for your loss.
  • 6 3
 Creekside has a bunch of machine built trails, but none of them are flow trails. Skid roads with banked switchbacks kinda. It does look like they have got some good tech over there now atleast. 4 of the same tabletops that don't really work doesn't count as a jump trail IMO.
  • 2 0
 Creekside has some blah trails but some are really amazing.
  • 6 0
 Went this year forgetting that Fitzsimmons was closed. It wasn’t a great visit until….
Made our way over to Creekside, and although I have no interest in the flow trails, the tech was fantastic

Actually, scrap that, it was absolute misery, and everyone should avoid at all cost.
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: yea, the flow trails aren't the best. But having some of the best DH/technical tracks in the park make up for them
  • 3 0
 @cretin82: Youre dead wrong, its all crap, blown out, brake bumps, Joeys on GT DH bikes everywhere, long lines, expensive food.........Absolute hot garbage, no sense in going
  • 2 0
 Creekside is trash. All the cool kids stay on the Whistler side.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: nah nah nah, I'll give it to you, this year was brutal because of Fitz being down. Any other year it's Supreme. You just need to know where to go Wink
  • 3 0
 I'm on my 3rd pair of Crankbrothers Mallet Shoes but that's the issue. I've found the durability a bit lacking. The fabric splits quite easily and recently the soles on both shoes split all the way across horizontally behind the cleat block. They're otherwise excellent.
  • 1 0
 Same deal with me. The Mallet-e's are a bit more durable. My Mallet's seems to split at the heel cup. Great shoes tho.
  • 4 0
 Thanks Henry, right back at you. It's been a really fun year making videos that are just the right amount of stupid. We will have you sipping on an overpriced flat white by the end of 2024
  • 2 0
 If you like the Scott Prospect googles, you should really try to the Scott Tyrant with the adjustable nose piece. No more feeling like the goggles are pinching your nose closed while you ride.
  • 1 0
 Really depends on your nose I'd say. I think something like that fits just perfect if it fits snugly without pinching. If your head doesn't resemble a bald crash test dummy with a symmetric and straight nose, finding gear that suits nicely gets a whole lot harder. So I suppose the Prospect goggles will still fit a good number of people just great, the adjustability of the Tyrant would be great for everyone else. Which could be me too indeed, so thanks a lot! I've broken my nose quite a few times so despite what they subject these dummies to, they apparently still don't resemble my head. I never had issues with Ryders goggles but when I moved on to POC, I recall I also felt as if I was getting less air. I got used to it and actually forgot about until I read your comment. So thanks again, will check that Tyrant someday!
  • 1 0
 No idea if there are rules against this but I can concur on BYB. Amazing tool. My son no longer races so DM if you're interested in buying. I'm in Whistler. if you're not allowed to pedal gear on here please accept my apologies.
  • 3 0
 Great one Henry, so far my favorite. When @henry you said the Zeb "feel numb " can yoiu please elaborate on that ? thank you, and Merry Christmas and a Happy new year Smile
  • 3 0
 You’re doing a great job at Pinkbike @henryquinney, bringing a bit of your own approach to everything you do. Keep up the great work, it’s appreciated.
  • 3 0
 I'm also a mechanical drivetrain 'luddite'. When SRAM or Shimano come up with an electronic drivetrain which doesn't need charging, then we can talk.
  • 2 0
 I love how many people either really love Creekside or really hate it. Sept 2024 can't come soon enough to find out first hand for myself.
  • 1 1
 The tech trails are fun in the wet, everything else blows
  • 2 1
That first paragraph in the last section about ice cream, very well written
I look forward to reading yours, and everyone’s ramblings next year.

Merry Christmas to all you wonderful bastards
  • 4 2
 HQ, you are my favorite PB'er since ML. one of these days you will leave, like he did. and we will all miss you. until then, keep doing what you do!
  • 3 1
 Thank you for being the person you are Henry. I for one, enjoy listening and watching the content you share with all of us. From one crustly ol' bastard. Bring on 1924.
  • 1 1
 Best end of year recap from a PBer (a pinker!) so far. And no surprise who its from. That said... The 38mm fork discussion. Was this ever had somewhere? I'm sure it's not a huge deal but I want to hear the Zeb's flaws if possible.
  • 3 0
 @henreyquinney the production on your videos is the best out there. Keep up the good work.
  • 1 0
 Last time I rode Creekside I grenaded a rear wheel trying to beat the lift. In fact that was the last day I rode a bike in Canada, which is too long ago now...
  • 1 0
 Hmm, enduro forks, Creekside, mechanical drivetrains? It's like Henry is inside my head. If he goes on about a love of imperial stouts, then we might be mind-linked.
  • 2 0
 Before you sell the spire you should try it with a dual crown at least. It’s so good that way.
  • 1 1
 I might have not liked you for minute there, but with "as floorboards press into flesh and bone" you completely redeemed yourself. Thank you, you deserve a Happy New Year now.
  • 4 1
  • 1 2
 Yep. Was gonna say what u said.
  • 2 0
 No one else get absolutely BAITED?! Making that Creekside Gondola forbidden fruit I must shred there
  • 1 0
 Not a fan of ol ‘Enry but I respect his right to cause consternation and generate opinion and his trick of doing a Crazy Ivan every so often
  • 1 0
 The only thing you can do is go dead. Shut everything down and make like a hole in the water...
  • 3 0
 you forgot solo riding.
  • 2 0
 I see @henryquinney out riding from time to time. I do not say hello. I envision him pretending not to hear and jumping into the bushes until I have safely passed.

Just kidding, I haven't actually seen Henry on the trails as he has already jumped into the bushes successfully.
  • 1 1
 You don't need to wear through cleats all the time. you just need to spend a ton of money on fancy Ti cleats! silca.cc/products/titanium-cleats?variant=39441748263010
  • 2 0
 Big fan of the ice cream section Smile
  • 2 0
 ‘Don’t come here it’s crap’.
  • 1 0
 I'm really happy with my axs transmission, but without a doubt, there isn't a better feeling drivetrain than xx1 11 speed.
  • 1 0
 interesting article. Who's the guy in the last frame though?
  • 1 0
 Ice cream factory better than Cows?
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney what are the tool straps on the spire and neuron?
  • 1 0
 Love your perspective Henry!
  • 1 0
 best product 2023: Shimano XT RD-M8000
  • 3 2
  • 1 0
 Bemorebikes stem?
  • 1 1
 Dewalt work goggles are amazing and inexpensive. Highly recommended.
  • 2 2
  • 1 0
 Hahaha i was going to say this. Last 2 times i had bad trips so im done with them myself
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