Its well established over 631 posts that I’m not PRO, in spite of my own fantasies and best efforts, but that still doesn’t restrict me from mimicking everyone I follow on the Gram and indulging in the ‘Offseason’.
Aside from being an even more slack cunt than usual on intervals and eating every high sugar content snack I can get my filthy mitts on, the best part about this imaginary offseason business is pursuing the notion that all your gear is fucked and clearly needs to be replaced for the upcoming ‘season’.
Key differentiation of course being ‘we’ have to ream our credit cards during this process, as opposed to big fuck off boxes arriving from Fox, Oakley, Shimano or whoever happens to bestow highly sought after goodies on whichever PRO you stalk on anti-social media.
But, the upside of self sponsorship is not having to be a cast member of the Lego Movie and sing that “everything is awesome” with new stuff, when you’ve told your mates otherwise… Bust out the authenticity, its time to cup and cough on some of the latest shit that has been acquired for Dirty 2017. Let’s see how they’ve been faring in the off season silliness.
Smith Squad Chromapop goggles
First of all, this is kind of a BIG deal… Real talk, this is my first non-Oakley eyewear product in… Hmmmm, 20 years?! I’ve been like an Oakley evangelist, except more extreme, 100% of that entire time, Yes, once upon a time I even thought Frogskins were a good idea for Mountain Biking. Holy fuck they weren’t… But lets face it, Oakley have had it pretty fucking nailed in the eyewear department in the last 2 decades. But then, recently these seem to have suddenly chromapopped out go nowhere:
Soooooo… What has triggered such scarlet letter behaviour? Water board me with peer pressure, but I started to notice at EWS rounds that almost everyone was running the Smith Squad gogs. When the majority of your wannabe peer group start to converge on a single product, theres a good chance its quality gear. Not to mention, as ENDURO as fuck:
The good shit:
- Zero fog – Like, seriously none. I even left them on climbing and not a spec of fogging. To be noted I sweat like a crooked FBI Director, so this is an impressive performance. The venting is insanely good and pretty much erases my number 1 dislike of gogs
- Widescreen – The view out of these things is massive, a significant upgrade over the Oakley gogs I have previously rolled with and probably even a step up on the beloved Jawbreakers as well… Holy fuck it feels treasonous to type that
- The pop – I haven’t done a back to back comparison with the fabled PRIZM lens yet, but the ChromaPop is right in the zone in terms of delivering awesome vision. What the fuck is it? Well, if we turn to the cunt in the marketing team, Brad, he would probably say: “ChromaPop filters two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion. By doing this the lens delivers greater definition, more natural color, and unmatched clarity to allow you to see more detail.” In other words, they’re just fucking good to look through when you’re pinning it
- Legit – Thank fuck I can no longer be the guy in the full face with glasses, a huge win given that was rooting the shit out of my Gram pics.
- This is a stretch given how awesome these things are, but I did get a little bit of nose pinching after a long day. I do have a massive hooter though, which I like to thing means there is some Italian heritage in there, but most likely I’ve just “Got a big nose cunt“, so take this point with a grain of salt
Do you need them? Oh FUCK yes, you need them more than you didn’t even know, they’re pretty much a must have. To be fair the only time your eyes will water with these gogs is when you see the price, 90% chance you gasp “cuuuuuuunt” within ear shot of a child when you do. But, they come with a spare clear lens and a soft case of course. Trick is finding them, it was an absolute mission that required employing a DNGC Affiliate. There is also likely something wrong with you if you don’t have a pair.
Go Pro Session 5
“Less is more” allegedly, which I guess works ok unless you’re talking about porn (all aspects) and front tire width. As such, I was rather intrigued to try out the new gPro Session 5, especially given my complaints about the infringement from a regular Go PRO on the Giro Switchblade mount. Actually, just like the Smith gogs, I really just saw all the PRO’s using these and well, hairy monkey see… But, it did help cut down the eyeliner intrusion:
However, its not all that straightforward I’m afraid… Oh nooooo… There’s a story here, but let’s start with the positive points.
The good shit:
- Mini me – I did appreciate the smaller size, especially under the Giro Switchblade visor. You can still spot the edge, but its a lot less intrusive than the usual camera, plus the styling is significantly cooler than the massive robot like feel of a Hero 3 or 4
- “Is this thing on?” – Gone are the days of staring at your mates asking the dick of all questions. The single button start and stop makes shit nice and simple
- Steady Eddie – The stabilisation functionality is clearly a massive upgrade on the Session 5, when I first watched the footage it almost has a gimbal like quality to it, significantly less shakey.
- The Epic fail – Go PRO recently fired 200 people, who I have to assume were the entire project team for the Session 5. On its debut I got about 2 mins of footage before it died quicker than the time I watched the fat sweaty guy in the office casually attempt to solicit oral sex from the marketing grad when she was filling up the printer tray… Like the Session 5, it didn’t end well. And not unlike the office sexual harassment guy, I persisted with the Session 5 only be let down a second time when, in spite of being fully charged it died after 10 seconds. Turning to the internet of hate, it quickly became obvious that A) This was a real thing B) I was not alone C) Trolling cunts are hating on Go PRO. As it turns out, reinstalling the Firmware seems to fix the issue of insane battery discharging. Since doing that I have had some success using it, but also some massively suspect interactions. I’m not convinced its actually fundamentally addressed and suspect it needs a full firmware update to a new version, but time will tell. Suddenly the Karma drone recall doesn’t seem surprising at all…
Do you need one? Ah, fuck NO. Well, not at this stage any way… I suspect there is work to be done to address the battery drain issues.
Shimano ME7 shoes
I was a massive fan of the Shimano M200 shoes, even when the first pair failed with the sole parting ways with the body… I was even a fan when the second pair did exactly the same thing. Great shoe, slight drama keeping the rubber side attached. Shimano’s solution? Call in the massive fat marshmallow French dude:
That’s right, time for Le Rubber, the first of many massive upgrades over the older M200, even when initially it doesn’t look like the differences are that glaring, they still have a gumboot vibe to them:
Perhaps the odd thing that takes some getting used to is the fact the ratchet system is on the top strap as opposed to the side of the shoe… Known as the reverse buckle system, yeah, its definitely weird the first time you go to put them on, especially as your whole life has been about having the buckle on the side of a cycling shoe. Its like if nipples suddenly got moved to the collarbone region:
The good shit:
- Diet – They are slightly lighter on the scales, but they feel oddly airy and dreamy, all while somehow also feeling sturdier. Basically the holy grail for a cycling shoe
- The palatialness – Straight from the first ride they were making love to my feet. No break in period, no hot spots, no weirdness. Its like paying for all your deviant foot fetishes to be seen to whilst you shred the mountain down. Initially I thought the neoprene around the ankle may be weird, but it’s just part of the overall recipe of goodness
- The funky buckle – Actually seems to work better than it sounds… Keeps the buckle in a safer position and its less likely to be cunted by gnar, something that did happen to me on the old shoe. You just need to re-train your brain
- Just basically awesome – I mean fuck, even the colour is DN compliant… What more can one ask for? Massive cleat fore and aft adjustment window too, which means you can ram those cleats back to get rad as fuck on it.
- Donut – Nothing to report at this stage, to be fair I am shooting my load a bit here both in terms of being premature, as well as waxing lyrical to the point where I can be dismissed as a Tokyo rice rocket fan boi. The real test for these shoes is long term and whether or not the French rubber will stay on… No pun intended.
Do you need them? Fucken Oath you do – Look across the ENDURO shoe market and its pretty “meh” to be honest, I can’t see many options that can stack up against the might of this new offering from the Rising Sun.
POC Resistance Strong gloves
Fuck, I’m getting desperate here with a glove review, but with Fox gloves now designed to fall apart after 3 rides, I had little choice but to set off and find a potential new mitt supplier. Actually, its not as fanciful as that, I just happened to be in my favourite bike shop in Finale and saw these, and like a magpie on meth I had to have them. Thank fuck the mint parts match the new Hightower:
The good shit:
- They go on your hands
- Excellent for ENDURO wanking
- Don’t fall apart after 3 rides
- Big knuckle padding makes you feel like a bad motherfucker
- Mint bits match the Hightower – Pretty much the most important aspect
- So expensive you’ll have to sell crack or blowjobs (or both) to get a pair
Do you need them? If you’re Blenki, then obviously not. If you’re Swedish its mandated by law, so yes. For everyone else that don’t fall into those two groups then probably not, I think you can get 2 x Pairs of TLD gloves for the same price, probably a better option for what is a consumable product these days.
Whilst on the topic of new stuff…
So, if you’ve managed to make it through this avalanche of rantviews of shit I happen to own, then your reward is everyone’s current favourite right wing cycling conspiracy theory: The myth of the linkage!
There are three groups of people out there right now: Those that think Landa is clean, those that think Orange Hitler will suddenly become a normal president and those that believe there is a new linkage out there for the Hightower to increase rear wheel travel by anywhere from 10mm to 80mm… Only the last group aren’t delusional fuck bags.
Sure, their heads have been exploding all over on-line forums over the mere mention of the existence of such a part, which has been glorious to watch given I’ve seen said linkage in the flesh (Shhhhhh cunt) last year, we can now thank Iago from the SC team for popping this gem on the Gram, which was on just long enough to grab this Russian Kompromat style pic of the LT linkage in question:
See, not fake news after all… Yes, that’s a linkage that should give either 145mm or 150mm’s of travel for the Hightower, depending on how your tinfoil hat is styled. No release date yet and yes, there is still a chance we’ll all be rolled over like a cheap Dutch hooker and smashed with a whole new model (Hightower LT?), but I am putting ALL my faith in this being an aftermarket part available pre EWS season #inJoewetrust, adding another 10mm of travel to the Hightower is both ball tingling AND terrifying… Why the fear? Simple:
It would assassinate the Nomad 3…
Gulp/Fart noise… Enjoy the rest of the off season everyone!