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madpixl

madpixl

CT

madpixl

madpixl wrote a review of on December 23, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This jacket is so warm and waterproof. The fur is great to block wind, but can feel nasty when it gets wet. I don't like driving with the jacket on because its long and gets awkward in the car. It was great when I'd commute on the train into the city because it was super warm and city winds are the worst when you have to walk several blocks. I also used it for xc skiing in the snow storm a couple of years back and would just lay on my side in the snow when I needed a break. It was wayy too hot for physical activity though. Much better if you have to walk or stand around in arctic conditions. Like most high end north face products it still looks brand new after 4 years. It is best for people who refuse to be cold and aren't doing arial acrobatics. Good for night hikes etc.

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madpixl

madpixl wrote a review of on June 19, 2012

MIss my Heckler
5 5

Finding myself with a Blur LTc a Nomad and a Heckler and no money for parts, something had to go.... I had to sell my second and most perfect Heckler. I find that pedalling the heckler with its single pivot is much more efficient when hammering than the VPP. But the Vpp takes the edge on climbs and downhills as a stable floaty platform. The Heckler makes it easy to wheelie drop anything. It is so balanced and predictable and a great bike for someone looking to get to be a better biker. I thought I'd always have a Heckler, and someday hope to get another. It works best with a 140-150mm fork. I had a revelation, but a Fox 32 float or talas would be an upgrade. You can put 203mm rotors on it, and build it sub 25 lbs, or put a coil on there and hit some sh1t. VPP is overrated if the Heckler goes away the simple single pivot has its problems on the rollers with stinkbugging, but overall kills it in snappy and predictable rebound. Great great indestructable bike with a bottle opener as frosting on the cake. As soon as there's room in my wallet for three bikes again, there's room for the heckler in my stable.

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madpixl

madpixl wrote a review of on September 23, 2011

5 5

I had problems with other pads not staying where they belonged the cross strap design solves this. My first pair started looking awesome with dings and scratches from 3 years worth of riding rocks and roots, but the velro straps lost their elasticity in my garage over time. (that happens to all my elastic items stored in my garage for some reason). My second pair are just as good. I also like there is no sleeve or other excessive material to keep my legs hot in the summer. They stay cool, sty put are light and save your shins and knees. But you look like Darth Vader from the knees down. I hear they recently redesigned these to be cloth. They should not mess with perfection and add clothy heat just for a new model. That's okay though... to me it means I'll be able to get these on clearance and have my favorite pads for years to come.

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madpixl

madpixl wrote a review of on May 3, 2011

First ride...
5 5

The bike is extremely well balanced. In tight spots on quick ups and big-ups, I never felt overwhelmed by the longer top tube, and the front end comes up predictably when you want it to, despite the longer (than my heckler) chainstays. This makes it feel less squirrelly, faster, (though I do kind of like that snappy Heckler BMX type of riding), the ride with this overall is much more fluid - smoother and faster. It requires less effort to keep up with front runners on the trail.

Before I continue, I need to say that I am a bike part junkie and continuously swap parts and experiment with different builds, frames, and suspension combinations. Since 2006, I've had 5 frames, (six counting this one), every major shock from Talas to Maverick DUC, to Rock Shox Revelation to Marzocchi 66. (Fox is the best)...

...So though I'm gonna tear this bike apart and trade in and out all my parts till its 100% right for me, I must say that the default build is very nice. The only thing I would have to change to make it tolerable as my only bike would be the stem (personal preference is shorter). The rest is ready to rip.

10 speeds shift nice and smooth, though I did get chain suck, which happens to me always with new bikes due to the goop they put on the chain. I should have cleaned and lubed it more thoroughly.

The lower bottom bracket was a problem in the techs, as the bike was very bouncy over low speed rock hopping single track... until I flipped the low speed compression on the suspension to high speed and the suspension firmed right up. I imagine I have to adjust the air to my weight and all will be well. For the past few bikes I've used suspension that I don't want to adjust over varying terrain, I guess I'll just have to adjust to these many adjustments.

Planned mods: As I said, shorter stem right off. I like a bike I can wheelie drop off anything at short notice. A shorter stem is my solution.

Shorter crankset (eventually). (I'm 5'10 with a stubby 30" inseam) so 170s are the right length for me.

I'm going to lose the big ring and put on a bash as well. I ride rocky terrain, and never learned to bunny hop very well, so I just wheelie into any obstacle bigger than my front wheel at speed and hope (hop) for the best.

I trash most wheels and have gone overboard with the DT 2540frs as far as weight, (I could not hurt those beasts). But maybe I'm getting mellow, so now I ride the DT EX 1750s. Since I have 'em in my garage, I'm putting them on this bike.

Tires roll well. Brakes seem to grab too close to the bar as adjusted for my taste. I will move the levers out, and I do have a nice pair of 203mm rotors laying around. I need to check the fit.

I'm going to keep the 10 speed drive train for now, and the x7 shifters don't bother me at all snappy and accurate. My first 10 speed is okay so far.

The Fox parts are absolutely the best. The frame is killer beefy and well balanced, though I always hated cable runs that go under the BB (old Treks). I'll guess I'll give this one a chance, since keeping cables far away from the very cool Carbon seat stays seems like a good idea.

All in all I'm quite happy with the bike and plan on keeping it in the stable for quite some time.


UPDATE:

The longer chainstay is growing on me. While yes its harder to wheelie drop at first, I was surpised that my big ups got bigger as a result of the longer chainstay. Also my wheelies are less squirrelly for some reason. When I start amping up the speed on the babyheads and severely eroded trails, the fox 32 shows its superiority over my very nice rock shox revelation, as it continues to track the front wheel smoothly, where my revelation devolves into chatter and is less stiff and squirrelly, under the same conditions.

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madpixl

madpixl wrote a question about on January 27, 2011

Well this is a little out of sequence, but I bought these skis. I am a lifelong dh skier and snowboarder.... A 20 year mtber surrounded by hilly terrain for miles, (giant fields, jeep roads, ungroomed trails, some informal track powerlines, bike trails).... umm anything I should know before I clip in and take off?

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