The Next Best Thing

Adidas TERREX Trail Cross MTB Shoes
Adidas TERREX Trail Cross MTB Shoes

If you have just starting out in mountain biking its likely you’ve gone out and bought yourself a hardtail from your LBS (local bike shop) along with some basics such as a helmet, multitool, tyre levers and a pump.

I know I thought I had everything I needed at home as I had bikes of sorts, so must have all that I needed. I didn’t really but I had enough to get me started. Before long you will find excuses to buy new tools, fancy mini pumps, specific clothing and backpacks with more pockets than you think you will ever need.  Continue reading “The Next Best Thing”

Teva Links (why did they stop making them?)

Teva Links - Purple

Here’s a oldie from my other blog…

Teva – please make these shoes again!!

Buying your first pair of flat shoes for mountain biking is a big decision. Some people stick with skate shoes and it works for them; some walking shoes – they provide a stiff sole and are waterproof. But if you are going to buy a pair of shoes designed for purpose you are going to spend upwards of £80 and you will need to be sure that they are right. Read some reviews, try them on in your local bike shop. There are many choices and many opinions. Here is my 2 year experience with a pair of TEVA Links in purple with Spider Rubber soles!

I wont deny part of my decision making process was they had to look good, who doesn’t look good in pair of purple shoes?

Teva Links x 4

I have been wearing the pair pictured for over 2 years on all sorts of rides and in all sorts of weather including snow and typically British heavy rain. They are not waterproof the mesh above the toes will let water in and of course being typical shoe (under the ankle) height water and puddles find a way in. So we wont labor on this point – buy some waterproof socks.

Teva Links

They look cool and the being of rubber and leather construction with stiff plastic elements they are easy to clean.  The stiff Spider365 Rubber sole doesn’t have the typical tacky feel of some other brands but the PedalLINK grip pattern has mated particularly well with both the DMR and SuperStar Nano pedals that I have used. The toe and heel sections of the underside has some addition grip patterns for off the bike and will help when you have to get off and push.

The ShocPad cushion in the heel provides additions comfort and shock absorption – it also means that even with stiff sole walking in the shoes is really comfortable.

The fit for my size 9 has been perfect and with 2 years of battering they still look great today, complete with a few battle scars.

I have recently bought another brand of shoes (a spare set rather than a replacement) but with some suede paneling I try to keep them for the drier conditions and the Links are my favored choice for the mud and wet conditions because they clean easier.

After 2 years the pins on my pedals have begun to tear at the grip patter in a few places and I have had 1 or 2 pedal slip moments – however I am of the opinion that  I will get another pair of Teva shoes though it looks like they don’t make them in purple any more.

Actually they don’t make them at all anymore 😦

Muddy Teva Links

Moove Torque Flat Pedals

Moove MTB Torque Flat Pedals

Haven’t written a review for a while, but finally I have some new gear to share my thoughts on. Flat pedals are a pretty key part of your MTB set up: without them how are you going to rotate the cranks, to turn the wheels, to climb that hill, so you can come down again with a big smile on your face?

My Alpitude was crying out for a bit of bling and so what better way than to add some orange pedals. I will admit that my first stop was SuperStarComponents – having already had a more than satisfactory experience with their Nano Thru Pin Flats there was no doubt I was going to start with their pedals. However, no orange in stock! Time to moove on.

I had seen some favourable review of the Moove pedals and they looked pretty similar so I gave them a call and ordered a pair of the Torque Thru Pin Flats.

A few twists of an Allen key and they are fitted nicely and spinning freely. First impressions were the same as with Superstar – sharp grippy pins, mean my feet won’t slip but they are gonna hurt if they catch!

I’ve had a few rides now and combined with my 5.10 Freeriders the grip is as sure as I expected and had read. The fresh pins are even providing some much needed grip for my worn Teva Links.

Bottom line if you are looking for some pedals and £40 is your budget, give Moove a try – you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s the official word and a link to the Moove website:

Our best selling pedal. Large thin (17mm) concave platform pedal for better grip. It is possible to get a titanium upgrade version. Replaceable pins and bearings available. Torque Pedals (thru pin) Price is for a pair of pedals ie. 2 pedals.

Sealed Cartridge Bearings.
Durable rubber lip seals.
Replaceable pins. – See Pedal parts n our site
CNC machined for improved strength-to-weight ratio
2 x high quality DU bushings & 4 x sealed cartridge bearings
Body: 6061-T6
Platform size: 94 x 100 mm
Axle: CroMo
Weight of 2 pedals: 470g (with thru pins)

http://www.moovebikeco.com/torque-flat-pedals-thru-pin

Superstar Components Nano Flat Thru Pin Pedals

Superstar nano thru pin flat pedals

When asking for pedal advice I think 75% of the answers back suggested I tried Superstar Components. The Nano Flats seemed like a no brainer too, good price at sub £40, lots of great feedback from friends and they appear to win lots of magazine group tests.

The cynic in me occasionally doubts the 5 star or 10/10 review scores from brands that advertise heavily, but the recommendations from friends was enough for me to give the them a try. The only problem was going to be what colour! So I bought the Electric Blue ones and waited…

When you open the box the first thing that strikes you is the brilliant colour and finish. Picking them up they feel quality and sharp! Yes these are machined beautifully and the pins feel like they can’t wait to bite into your shoes.

After 6 months of use I can’t see why I would want to use any other pedal. Combined with a good pair of shoes (I currently have a pair of Teva Links and Five Ten Freeriders) the grip is fantastic. I was demonstrating to a friend a few weeks ago that I could lift my foot and the pedal was still stuck to my foot and I probably shouldn’t say this but I am yet to lose my grip and slip off these pedals with either set of shoes.

The technical details for those that are interested:
17mm at its thickest point
Platform size is 105x100x17mm LxWxD
Fully sealed cartridge bearings – Replaceable
Multi seal approach – Virtually maintenance free
Concave body
Replaceable thru bolts, easy to remove once worn from behind.
Weight:499g
Titanium axle equipped: 435g

http://superstar.tibolts.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=194

Decisions Decisions

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Us mountain bikers like to talk. We have established that and some of us like to talk more than others. Some also have very strong opinions and thoughts on various types of bike technology from tyres to brakes, and wheel size to gear ratios. I have few opinions – mainly because I am so indecisive. Maybe it’s a Welsh thing, we tend to be passionate about Rugby and Tom Jones, not much else. No matter what your musical preference, all Welsh people like a bit of Delilah.

So I have few opinions in terms of mountain biking technologies, brands and equipment probably nothing to do with my nationality but more my limited experience and exposure. I have two bikes and I like them both for their designed purposes. A full suspension trail bike and a hard tail 29er XC bike.

But there is one thing I would like to make a decision on but just can’t and that is the choice between flats vs SPDs…

Maybe they both have a place on my bikes?

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