March may be long gone, disappearing faster than you can get your legit ass dragged off a United flight, but it would be remiss of me not to circle back and unleash the inner bike tech nerd and indulge the closet consumer with a little bit of Dirty talk about equipment.
Not a Yuuuge month per se with the debut of new shit, but enough for some notable mentions, as well as an update on some other pieces of kit that have now had some more combat miles put on them. Also, a change in pace from a post where it sounds like every ride I do is life threatening or on the cusp of me melting down. Let’s get consuming.
Part 1 – New shit
Fox DHX2 Coil Shock
Wait, I know what you’re going to say: “Greedy cunt“, and yes, not many lawyers would line up to defend that charge, especially when you consider the embarrassment of Fox riches:
But this thing raises a lot more questions than it answers at the moment, especially if you’re an MTBR Forum conspiracy theorist, so allow me to try and ruthless slap about some of the obvious hands in the air:
- No, its not a pre-production shorter 2.0 DHX2
- No, its not long-shocking the Hightower (that’s a whole different topic)
- Yes, its the same set up Ratboy was running on his Hightower in Rotorua
- Potentially there’s a shim involved somewhere
- Yes, its got all the usual coil glory and hotness, but with a climb switch thrown in for good measure:
By now you’re as confused as I am with trying to work out 4 different tuning elements, but lets just say that thanks to the magic of Jordi at Fox, I’m getting to not only indulge my irrational coil fetish, but also recreating pretty much the identical Nomad 3 vibe on the Hightower, in fact the two are getting as close to identical as Swiss PRO twins.
The main difference is I’m running a 475 pound spring on the Nomad and a 500 pound spring on the Hightower, which I’m still musing over whether or not that’s optimal. I suspect I can’t go too much lower given the shorter stroke and the sag appears to be right on the money, so its a case of needing to log some more time on it. For those that love this and get it, some baseline settings that need work, I’m around 83kg’s with a stiffy:
- LSC – 19 from closed
- HSC – 19 from closed (Yeah, a little WTF)
- LSR – 14 from closed (Suspect this needs work)
- HSR – 14 from closed
Actual quote: “Ok, cunt, but how does it ride?“, I’m glad you asked! Well, at this stage comparing head to head with the Float X, the original shock on the HT, I would have to say it’s slightly more supple in the initial stroke, which as you can imagine was greatly appreciated in Rotorua with the wet roots. Other than that though I think at this stage I would say its slightly inconclusive, which is a big call from a frothing coil fan such as myself. Bear in mind my brain was exploding on race day, so I didn’t notice it that much, probably a good thing.
How fucking dare I? Well, I need to spend some solid time shuttle running this set up and dialling in the DHX2 with the correct LSC, HSC, LSR and HSR (Holy fuck, more acronym’s than a UBS Tax evasion PowerPoint deck) settings, then doing some solid back to back runs with the Float X as a comparison. Fuck, Wairoa Gorge would be good for that wouldn’t it?
Most importantly however, the spring colour matches the bike perfectly and let’s face it, thats why 70% of cunts buy these things, because they look fucking rad. I will say this for it though, which may seem weird, but that lock out switch is fucking excellent, much better than its fart box equivalent and whilst most rad MF’s scoff at the idea of a lock out, it was massively appreciated on those starfish quivering Rotorua Round 1 Tranny’s.
Get a grip tosser
You know I have about as much material to work with as Mike Pence’s porn collection when I’m referencing grips… But, given this is the main way we stay on our highly evolved ENDURO slay machines, its a rather under rated topic IMFO. But this is more about an evolution through Dirty Mega March III.
The month kicked off on the tried and much loved Oury Lock on grips… But a nagging phenomenon from Finale of the outside lock ring wanting to hate fuck the edge of my palm. Not cool.
This drove an irrational change to the Santa Cruz Palmdale grip, mainly as its Santa Cruz, mainly as I thought it would be maximum fuckwittery to go from a thick grip to one which is best described as svelte, or kind of the opposite to how Hugh Grant rolls.
My fingers can’t quite bring themselves to critique a Santa Cruz product with much gusto, but while I’m marginally more independent than Devin Nunes, I guess I can say these are as thin as a Dutch pancake and appear to wear faster than a set of SRAM brake pads in Tasmania.
How thin? So thin that at one stage on the Gorge day my left hand oddly came off the bar, not because I haven’t been using enough for wanking, but more due to the extreme thinness of the set up… Probably ok if you have tiny orange hands or just decent grip strength.
So, like a hairy grips Goldie locks, I moved on to the next option, convinced that I had possibly found grip nirvana. Translation – I saw them on Greg Callaghan’s bike and fan boy consumerism was activated, but here they are, the ODI Elite PRO lock on grips:
If you’ve been looking for a minor tweak to help trick your brain into thinking its going to transform your riding, then these are going to absolutely peg your sweet spot. The waffled top combined with the lay out on the underside is a great set up, as is the soft slightly flared end plug… Promise its not a sex toy, but that all ultimately depends on how brave you are. Helping you out in that department is the single clamp design, which like an F-35 pilot I was originally nervous about, but seems to be working well thus far. If its good enough for Greg…
Yet more ENDURO specific gloves
My big goal for this year is to go to an EWS round and not randomly panic buy a new pair of POC gloves. But given I was in NZ and those Wide Open GC’s happen to do a great job of promoting their wares, it would have been rude not to, especially as these are the new as fuck VPD 2.0:
Alarmingly these have no velcro wrist strap, which on initial inspection feels a bit like a bondage session without a whip. I mean, would these be ENDURO enough? Adding to this eyebrow raising over-analysis, the material outside the padded knuckle area is almost see through in its ventilation.
Somewhat confused and mildly aroused, I through these units straight into the deep end during Rots practice and race (possibly a cunt idea to debut brand new gloves) and my filthy mitts were rewarded with a palatialness that even a Slovenian mail order bride would appreciate. If you’ve never enjoyed a pair of POC gloves, because you already have a mortgage, then this is an excellent place to start.
Part 2 – Update time
Moving on from my subliminal anxiety about being able to hold onto the handlebar, its time to recap and update on some of the items that were new until they were involved in a sloppy gang bang dished out by NZ Enduro, Wairoa Gorge and EWS Rotorua… Who do I have to rim around here to get some dry riding?
Smith Squad Chromapop Gogs
So, I’ve had some more time with the Squads and they continue to be Richie Rude levels of mint, but I’ve struck a couple of cunt frown aspects during March. First up, either I’ve got muppet hands (highly likely given the theme of this post) or the lens can be a bit cunty to change… Not end of the world material, but also a few minutes away from a tantrum which includes swearing at an inanimate object.
Last time I frothed on these, I declared them essential “unfoggable”… But who knew that goggle fogging could be so complicated?! They first fell foul of the dreaded mist in Wairoa Gorge, a combination of the conditions and the exceptional amounts of froth.
I thought it a weird aberration, but it was then repeated a week later at EWS Rots, to the point where gogs were abandoned completely, thrust around my neck like a choker chain. So, I retract my earlier comments about these being “Unfoggable” #Fakenews #Sad. Although, I can’t help but wonder if the culprit here is actually the helmet they’re paired with, which appears to block the top vent… Segway!
Giro Switchblade helmet
Still a champ and definitely the helmet of the moment, unless you’re a Fox groupie and don’t like the idea of a detachable face guard. The love affair with the Switchblade rocks on through an extended honeymoon period and still respecting each other in the morning, but a couple of things:
- Its still on the warm side… And fuuuuuck it can absorb a lot of sweat, Transition 1 at EWS Rots was over an hour long, but it wasn’t very warm per se and I had about a litre to squeeze out of the front pad by the time I humped my way up there
- I was in the minority running the face guard at Rots, my logic being the guard may stop mud hitting my face and eyes, but the downside was stopping at the end of each stage to remove it and then attach it to the pack… Yes, enough cunting around that meant I was left like Lorenzo Lamas in the badlands, solo to deal with the Tranny while everyone else around me had fucked off to the next stage. Something to consider if you have abandonment issues.
Go PRO Session 5
Summary – Worst. Fucking.Product. Ever… You can read between the lines of the chaos behind the scenes at Go Pro in the media, which while it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, its pretty obvious there’s a nice dumpster fire creating that smoke. So far the Session 5 has a worse failure rate than Lil Kim’s ballistic missile programme, which takes a decent effort to out-cunt.
To date its been an orgy of fuckwittery, mainly related to its ability to go from fully charged to having no charge almost automatically. Add to that some very intermittent performance: “Hey, I’m working!” to be followed by “Haha cunt, Nah!” and then perhaps an hour later “I’m baaaaack“. Oh, then of course it refused to take a Firmware update (Yes, I tried all three methods)…
But that wasn’t the scary part, oh no… That moment came when after another random battery discharge moment to be dead flat, it started to get HOT. And I’m not talking hot like “Dude, your mum is a fucken MILF eh!“, I’m talking “Holy fuck, is this cunt about to explode and my burnt face is going to end up on someone’s Twitter feed?” I’m talking so hot that you didn’t want to touch it in fear of probable immolation.
Turns out I wasn’t the only person having this issue according to people losing their minds on the comments section of the Go Pro
go fuck yourself support pages. The fix? Buy a really expensive SD Card and reinstall the firmware. Low and behold, this actually worked… Well, it worked until the morning of the EWS Round, where the unwanted discharge scenario reoccurred. I suspect there’s a flaw in the coding which means if you connect to the Cuntphone app, it doesn’t then turn itself off, even after you turn the connection and camera off. Either that or its just totally cunted.
The latest Firmware is now out, so that hopefully helps (the version details referenced battery usage updates – No shit), so I’m going to persist and will ultimately send it back or smash it with a hammer and put it on the Gram. The latter would be significantly more satisfying.
Buy a Sony Action Cam or Garmin cam instead.
Shimano ME7 shoes
So I’ve now had the chance to fill these up with all sorts of different kinds of wet death mud all over NZ, and I’m pleased to report that like a German porn star they’ve eaten all the shit thrown at them and carried on without batting a ratchet. Most importantly, the sole is still attached to the shoe, so a massive win over their earlier cousins. After some massive days in the wet, not once did I even think about my feet or the shoes once, so what more can you ask for? Gold fucking star of radness.
And as for the obvious? Ahem? The updated Hightower review? Don’t worry, we’re not far off the magical 1,000km’s ridden hard deck and subsequent Dirty Rantview a good 12 months behind all the other reviews in the world, so stay tuned for that thrilling experience.