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Ibis Ripmo XT Build with Upgrades

Ibis Ripmo XT Build with Upgrades

Enjoy some shots of this Ibis Ripmo with updates. BikeCo has you covered across the board with the best in MTB from Ibis, Mondraker and Yeti.

Cockpit Setup on Ibis Ripmo

Shimano and Magura brakes are the go-to for a vast majority of riders. Shimano have a bit more “instant” bite while the Magura offers more modulation. Don’t know what’s right for you? Chat with our team about your preferences and we can get you dialed in.

FOX Pro Tune forks by BikeCo.com

Custom suspension tuning is available on FOX forks and rear shocks. BikeCo’s proprietary Pro Tune services narrow the performance window of stock product to allow more finite controls and adjustment per rider. Size, ground speed, terrain and aggression help us get your suspension right in the sweet spot for you.

Shimano XT Build on Ibis Ripmo

Whether you’re shopping Shimano, like this XT build, or SRAM Ibis has a factory build for you. And BikeCo has all the parts to dial in your build. From your favorite brakes, tires or custom wheels we have you covered.

Industry Nine Stem with OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar

The most popular handlebar right now is the OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar. Designed to provide more small bump compliance without becoming “soft”. Shop the OneUp bar here and learn more about the details that set this bar apart.

Ibis Ripmo XT Build with Upgrades

In the market? Whether you’re looking for an Ibis Factory Complete, a build with some upgrades or a custom spec banger BikeCo.com is here to dial you in. Shop in-stock and in-bound Ibis, Mondraker and Yeti bikes from BikeCo.com!

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2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR with Upgrades!

2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon Custom Build

With the post-pandemic marketplace shifting a bit we’re seeing clients that would tend to go full custom now picking and choosing based on availability and then updating spec to their favorite bits. This 2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR with upgrades is a great example of that.

Typically there are two ways that riders utilize to get the perfect spec. BIkeCo will provide credit for the stock components which is a very popular way to do it for an upgrade here or there. The other way is to provide riders the components for them to resell on the take-off market or, in the case of this Foxy Carbon to rebuild a previous bike for sale.

The drivetrain including Cane Creek e-Wings titanium cranks, SRAM AXS wireless system and Hope brakes were all from a previous build and the client moved them onto the new Mondraker.

2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon Front Triangle Detail

2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon

Mondraker puts a lot of resources into putting out a well designed frame which takes advantage of the top tier carbon fiber spec and actual build quality. Not only is this look sleek and unique the design maximizes the stress flow and strength properties of carbon fiber to utilize a balance of rigidity and compliance which adds a big factor to the Mondraker trail feel. Oh, did we mention the frame design and technology produce a notably light product? Yup. That too!

In a world where many mountain bikes look the same the 2022 Foxy Carbon’s unique “X” behind the headtube quickly identifies the new Mondraker.

2022 Foxy Carbon Frame Detail forward X brace

Mondraker Zero Suspension

Mondraker’s Zero Suspension is designed to minimize chain growth allowing for your drivetrain to do its work, your brakes to do theirs while the suspension does it job.

Designed to be notably efficient even deep in the travel the Mondraker Zero Suspension is proven on race courses worldwide.

Foxy Carbon RR Rear Triangle Detail with AXS and Cane Creek eWings

As an enduro bike Mondraker knows you’re going to take this bike into fast, burly terrain and it’s ready.

The aggressive chain stay protector helps protect the beautiful finish of the Foxy Carbon as well as helps keep your bike quieter through the chunky stuff.

Mondraker Foxy Carbon Chain Stay Protector

Ohlins MTB Suspension

The 2022 Foxy Carbon RR features Ohlins suspension front and rear. As expected on a bike at this level riders will find easy tuning with a great range of adjustment on rebound, low and high speed compression.

A nice feature on the Foxy is a protective guard to minimize rock spray onto the Ohlins TTX 2 shock.

2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR Ohlins TTX Rear Shock

Custom Wheels

At BikeCo.com we build a lot of custom wheels. A. LOT. This rider prefers the silent hubs and the Foxy features Onyx Racing hubs. I mention this in part because every time that I roll a bike with the Onyx hubs I’m always taken aback or worried something is wrong since I don’t hear the freehub! Similarly every time that I pull a bike with moto brakes off the rack for photos it almost inevitably hits me in the shins when I pull the wrong bike to stand it up!

Onyx Hubs on Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR

Custom Wheels

At BikeCo.com we build a lot of custom wheels. A. LOT. This rider prefers the silent hubs and the Foxy features Onyx Racing hubs. I mention this in part because every time that I roll a bike with the Onyx hubs I’m always taken aback or worried something is wrong since I don’t hear the freehub! Similarly every time that I pull a bike with moto brakes off the rack for photos it almost inevitably hits me in the shins when I pull the wrong bike to stand it up!

Other build highlights include the Hope brakes which set off the titanium Cane Creek eWing cranks really well. This bike has Ride Wrap frame protection in key spots in both gloss and matte to match the finish.

2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon Custom Build

Foxy Carbon: 31 lbs

With Mondraker’s frame design and technology it’s typical to see the Foxy, Raze or Crafty come in lighter than many of the comparable travel chassis.

The Foxy Carbon is a bike that would be on the short list for riders looking at a Yeti SB150 or a 170mm front end Ibis Ripmo build. All three of these bikes are proven capable in EWS level enduro terrain. But, what makes these bikes somewhat unique is that all three are spirited enough to be a fun trail bike when you’re not out smashing the bigger terrain. The Foxy Carbon is a bike that would be confident and fun on your chairlift days but with a little less aggressive rear tire and possible another couple clicks of low speed compression on the rear shock is nimble enough to go out with your work buddies for the summer evening pedal.

In the market for a 2022 Mondraker? If you’re shopping a trail or enduro MTB you should be! Whether you’re looking at this Foxy or the smaller travel Raze, or the eMTB Crafty BikeCo.com has you covered.

Check out in-stock and in-bound Mondraker’s here and chat with our team about which bike and which bits are best for your build! (alliteration eh?)

Mondraker Foxy Carbon Top View
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Welcoming the 2022 Mondraker Lineup with Fresh Content!

2022 Mondraker Crafty Carbon

With BikeCo picking up the 2022 Mondraker lineup it’s been a really interesting opportunity to create a variety of new content highlighting the bikes.

2022 Mondraker Raze Carbon

For the incoming 2022 Mondraker Raze Carbon we used an image from Mondraker’s marketing and PhotoShopped in a variety of upgrades that our staff and clients would want to see.

Custom Mondraker RAZE comparison

Digital upgrades to the image included the new FOX Float X rear shock, Factory Transfer Seatpost and Magura MT7 brakes with MDR-P rotors.

Custom Mondraker RAZE dream build by BikeCo

These updates to the Raze Carbon’s spec are almost all coming together on our purchasing agent Mike’s build BTW…

Providing the Mondraker Raze a bit more “punch” in the rear with the Float X will pair well with the FOX 36 fork’s performance window. With Mondraker’s Zero Suspension design being so efficient, and the new FOX Float X having a wide range of adjustability and a 2 position open / firm lever the additional downhill performance comes with a very minor sacrifice uphill or when accelerating.

You’ll see Magura brakes on probably a majority of the bikes BikeCo.com puts out. With nearly equal popularity the Magura MT7 and MT5 brakes provide excellent modulation, confident predictability and low service requirements.

MDR-P rotors on the Mondraker Raze Carbon – this is admittedly a bit of overkill. They ended up on this digital image for a pair of reasons. One, they look cool as hell. Two, since they’re more substantial brakes it made the PhotoShop work a bit easier… Just cause I’m in marketing doesn’t mean I’m here to lie to you! Hahaha…

Two other bikes that we’re really excited to be offering through the Mondraker US distributor Zeitbike are the Crafty Carbon and the 2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon.

2022 Mondraker Crafty Carbon

The excitement for the new Mondraker lineup had us invest in some additional creative assets. We wanted to share the absolutely breathtaking lines and colorways in more ways than just images in the alley.

To introduce the Crafty Carbon RR we shot a video and stills with a new backdrop as well as lighting fixtures to try to compliment the bike with a less “sterile” or operating room feel. These are bikes that look mean and fast just sitting there. We thought a dark, moody vibe with the Mondraker colors would create some really interesting visuals.

Using a jib and gimble with a GoPro 10 we were able to capture some cool video highlights of the bike. Still images were used to add some visual depth to the video as well.

With the popularity of the 2022 Crafty Carbon we wanted to give riders even a little more to wet their appetites – so Joe and I went out to generate a variety of still and video content.

Shot with a combination of GoPro, DSLR, point and shoot pocket camera and iPhone video at The Luge the Crafty Carbon’s performance was highlighted well.

The same camera assets were paired with the Shure MV88 and Shure MV7 with a laptop for a public interview setting with BikeCo owner Joe Binatena discussing the finer points of the 2022 Mondraker Crafty Carbon including the BOSCH Smart System as well as how the Zero Suspension is an ideal crossover from MTB to eMTB application.

We were glad the public interview came out as well as it did – footage like this gives a great feel but you are at the mercy of the outdoors. The advantages of the candid feel versus a sound studio recording aren’t always easy to capture but with the Crafty Carbon video I think it’s a good balance.

2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon

Personally the Foxy Carbon and the Raze are my favorite in the Mondraker lineup. While I kind of gravitate to the Raze in terms of travel and application I have to admit that the combination of the lines and colors of the Foxy have me pondering the bigger travel bike!

Like the eMTB Crafty we wanted to introduce the 2022 Foxy Carbon in a way that would highlight the visual attributes of this enduro bike. Forward geometry is long, low and slack. The combination of the gloss and matte on the Foxy strike an attract balance as well.

We are still storyboarding the follow up content for the Mondraker Foxy – probably some riding shots, a few video assets and maybe another interview? Possibly a group review with a few of us who have trail time on the Foxy?

Are you in the market for a Foxy? What questions do you have that we can answer? Hit us up by email or webchat and let us know!

In fact, whether you’re shopping the 2022 Raze, Crafty Carbon or Foxy we’re here to answer your questions to get you dialed in.

From custom tuned suspension offerings, build upgrades like Magura brakes, revised cockpits, oh, AXS anyone – BikeCo.com has you covered in any of the 2022 Mondraker MTB lineup.

 

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Increase Support & Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance

Products and Tips to Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance

As your riding progresses your settings and preferences are going to change. Faster, more aggressive riding puts different demands on your equipment and balancing your setup with these changes will help you improve your riding experience. You’re likely to find you need additional support from the suspension. This is typically done with increased compression or ramp rate which can compromise some of your small bump compliance. Let’s take a quick look at other components and techniques that can add some of your small bump compliance back as you ride faster.

 

Faster tends to be smoother

Imagine a boat going slowly riding up a series of waves. Up each face and down the back. Then the next. It has a certain “rock” to it right? Well if that boat is able to increase the speed it can decrease the vertical motion of “rock” by not dipping all the way down into each trough. Like “whoops” in moto – skipping across the top decreases the vertical motion. Same with your mountain bike.

Now, should you just skip out of control across everything? Nope. But momentum is often your friend.

Increase Support and Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance Cornering

Why You Need More Support

How does your setup need to change with that speed?

Well you’re going to need more support. If you’re running soft suspension it’s going to do a couple negative things.

First, it’s going to tend to “pack” and stay deeper in the travel then it needs to be. This will actually create a harsher ride as the PSI has increased while still being too soft for the next concern.

Burying the bike… Really a bummer and frankly can be kinda dangerous especially if the fork is too soft and buries itself into a hole or the front side of a rock you’re trying to roll past. Front end stuffs, bike slows way down or stops, your momentum keeps going and you’re a lawn dart. No fun.

So as your ground speed increases its important to give yourself that additional suspension support. While you might adjust sag a few percent most of this support is going to be through low and high speed compression as well as volume spacing to increase the air ramp rate and support.

Increase Support and Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance Support Image with proper compression

But, I Don’t Want A Bike That Chatters All The Time

No, you don’t want a bike that loses all of it’s small bump compliance.

And, sorry, but for just a second I’m getting on my soapbox: a lot of suspension talks about “small bump compliance” as the travel between full extension (you’re bike’s in the garage) and sag (with you sitting on it). This isn’t small bump compliance to me. This is droop. Sorry I’m a car guy and when the suspension goes away from me, or droops down – well that’s not what I consider absorbing a small bump. It’s falling away until the weight catches up. So, for this, Small Bump is referring to bumps that engage the suspension travel past the sag point in compression, ie you’re riding and hit a small bump and the suspension absorbs it…

OK, back to my point.

So you’ve had to make your suspension stiffer, or less compliant, in order to have it be able to “punch back” at the terrain without diving in and out of the travel. How do you keep your teeth from rattling out?

There’s a handful of places to look at that you can find small bump compliance outside of the suspension.

Rubber is a Damper

Many of the more “grippy” compounds actually are designed to incorporate additional damping. A lot of our racers will run the MaxxGrip front tire to get just even that bit more compliance since their suspension is so aggressive.

Tire sidewalls are playing a bigger and bigger role in fine tuning MTB riding compliance. Heavier sidewalls provide additional protection as well as damping through mass and material properties.

More aggressive sidewall technology provides additional mechanical support assisting the tire’s “air spring” to support your weight. This tends to allow riders to run a lower overall tire pressure providing better tire compliance and grip.

And yes, the air in your tire is a spring. And like your suspension it as it is compressed the pressures rise. The tire’s mass and sidewall properties effectively are the damper on this spring force. A heavier, stiffer sidewall is going to help slow the tire’s air spring better. This will help minimize harsh “run through” or even prevent or minimize rim strikes (which man, you can feel those in the hands!).

Another product that can help with compliance are CushCore tire inserts.

CushCore provide three unique modifications to a tires performance.

First, it’s a mechanical damper for the last bit of tire compression prior to the rim. Think of a jounce bumper in a shock: it’s a compressible item designed to absorb impact prior to it hitting a less compressible, and certainly less ideally compressible rim…

Second it works as a volume spacer in your tire. Similar to suspension adding volume spacers allows a lower starting PSI to more quickly ramp up to the proper supporting PSI.

Third and perhaps most notable and at the same time kind of the hardest to describe is how the CushCore’s contact point lowers the sidewalls leverage ratio in many conditions. That’s to say that by putting pressure on the sidewall, or maybe support is the better term, it shortens the available length of the sidewall which allows takes away some of the mechanical advantage the ground can apply to it. Think of waving a ruler holding onto the far edge, then holding in the middle. Lowering the leverage makes a big difference right?

Learn more about Maxxis tire compounds, sidewalls and tread patterns here

Magura MT7 HC MT7 and MT5 Levers Compared

Top to Bottom: Magura MT7 HC, Magura MT7 and Magura MT5 brake levers. Shop the Magura and Shimano brake lineup here.

Brakes, Braking and Slow is Fast

Stay with me on this one, it’ll make sense. Bigger brakes will help your small bump compliance. Well, bigger, more powerful brakes and a bit of technique.

You’ve probably seen it on trail – the rider heading into a chunky section who gets timid, grabs a handful of brakes, stuffs the suspension 1/3 down into the travel and then is, at best, jostled horribly across the terrain trying to regain control? So two things wrong there.

One, momentum is your friend like we mentioned earlier.

Two, especially with your fork, grabbing a bunch of brake OR staying on the brakes too late just stuffs the bike into it’s suspension. Instead of hitting the chunk at sag with say 80% of the travel left (and at the sag PSI) you’ve gone in at like half travel, cutting down both the amount of travel you have left as well as making the bike way more harsh as it enters chunk. No good!

Sort of like how when you corner there’s a point you need to be off the brakes and let the bike roll in (ya, you can trail brake to a point – but you’re not like smashing brakes while trail braking or braking through the corner) anyhow, so you ideally have a point that you need to get off the brakes and let the bike reset its rake and sag before you go blasting through chunk.

This allows you to take advantage of the more plush suspension further in the fork’s extension, have more travel left to absorb the terrain as well as resetting the headtube angle, and therefor trail measurements as well. All good stuff.

Handlebars, Grips, Gloves and Hands

So frankly, the two tips above are going to provide you the biggest jumps in small bump compliance as you up your compression settings. There are a few places that you can get a bit more feel, and every little bit does help.

Handlebars

Carbon fiber has a unique balance of stiffness while being able to slightly damp vibration input. Really that’s the beauty of carbon bars. Being a bit lighter is great too, particularly high up on a bike where center of gravity makes a big difference, but the real draw is the feel.

OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar Shape

Carbon also can be manufactured in a variety of shapes that would be really difficult in other materials. This allows two advantages. Weight saving and performance tuning. Removing material where it’s not needed such as the Tag T1 Carbon Bar with ovalized bar ends is an example of both.

The bar that probably takes the most advantage of this is the OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar. With it’s unique shape the OneUp bar is designed to improve small bump compliance by eliminating off-axis material in the rise transition.

Handlebar Width = Leverage Rate

Handlebar width is important to how your bike rides.

Obviously you need your hands in a comfortable position that allows you a power position to push the bar into corners and pull the bars over terrain. We’ve touched on that in other blogs over the years.

In regards of small bump compliance you’re looking at the leverage ratio of your bar’s design as well as your final bar width. As you narrow your bar you decrease the leverage ration which increases the bar’s stiffness.

We’ve actually seen handlebar manufacturers try to push a “one size fits all” on some stiffer bars because if you lower the leverage ratio they become like teeth rattling stiff. We don’t all need to run 800mm bars. (at 6’1” I run 785 as a point of reference)

If you’re trimming bars it’s worth a look how stiff the bars start out. If you’re trimming towards the minimum cut widths it might be worth looking at a less stiff bar to start.

Shop our favorite handlebars here!

Grips

Some riders are big fans of the grips with a slight rotation designed into them. We setup some clients on those if they want them – but – we don’t really ride those in the shop.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of the grip rotating and taking away some of the feel when I really clamp down on the handlebars. There’s also a part of me that doesn’t particularly like having more moving bits than needed on my setup.

Gripping

Now I’m not saying you death grip the bar. Far from it. Letting the bar slightly rattle in your hands helps minimize trail feedback. In fact one of the tips from my younger brother years ago on really long descents like San Juan Trail he would pick his spots and push his thumb into his middle finger and literally let the bar bounce in those circles. I never wrapped my head around that really – but he was doing 50 and 100 mile races and keeping your body feeling good was critical.

While we’re on how you grip the bar, it won’t change small bump compliance, but if your brakes or controls are out of position and require you to rock your hands “up” or “down” the trail feedback is much more likely to cause pain when you ride.

Similarly if you ride in gloves that are too big and “bunch” up in your grip position you can expect discomfort in your hands.

Gloves with large contact pads tend to create hand discomfort. Rather than minimizing trail feedback the extra movement thick contact pads either creates hot spots or perhaps has riders gripping a bit too much.

Wrapping It Up

Ok. Eighteen hundred words. That’s a bunch right? So to wrap it up in a quick paragraph:

Increase your compression and ramp as you ride faster to aid support at speed. Remember momentum is often your friend. Don’t slam on a handful of brakes into the terrain features and pack the suspension up. Run tires with appropriate support. Hold on right, not necessarily always tight. Should I have started with all of that and saved you the read? Hahaha… See you on the trails – Nate@BikeCo.com

 

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2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR

2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR in stock at BikeCo

BikeCo is excited to partner with ZeitBike USA, the US Mondraker distributor to bring the top tier of the Spanish MTB and eMTB lineup to the US. Check out some details on the 2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR in the video and images below!

Like all of the brands we carry, as a US Mondraker Dealer BikeCo.com brings our clients access to the best in spec upgrades or swaps, the best tunes, setups and after sales service in MTB.

Featuring 150mm of rear travel and 160mm in the front the Foxy Carbon RR is a bike ready for the rowdy adventure days.

Rear suspension is controlled by the Ohlins TTX 2 air shock with adjustable PSI, Volume Spacing, Rebound, Low Speed and High Speed Compression.

Ohlins TTX 2 Air Shock HSC

The Ohlins RXF 36 M.2 fork provides riders with a 2 chamber air system, the main chamber as well as the negative, or Ramp Up Chamber.

Riders looking to increase support or bottom out resistance will increase their Ramp Up Chamber pressure similar to adding volume spacers.

Ohlins RXF 36 M2 Air and Ramp Up Chamber Mondraker Dealer BikeCo.com

The Ohlins RXF features Rebound, High and Low Speed Compression on the opposite leg.

Ohlins RXF 36 m2 LSC HSC and Rebound 22 Mondraker Dealer

2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR Detail Images

Enjoy a few shots that highlight some of the build details on the 2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR.

This bike features the ZERO Suspension with Ohlins fork and rear shock, Forward Geometry, a 12sp Eagle drivetrain and is exceptionally light thanks to the Mondraker frame design.

2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR in stock at BikeCo
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POC Standard, SPIN & MIPS Integra Explained

POC Kortal Race MIPS Integra

POC offers a lot of technologies on their MTB helmet lineup. Here we’ll take a quick look comparing the standard comfort foam, SPIN and MIPS Integra technologies.

As we showed in the video the major difference between a standard helmet and the SPIN option is the technology inserted in what we’ll call the “comfort foam” or “comfort pads”.

Rather than standard padding the SPIN (and MIPS Integra) feature an additional technology that improves the slight rotational slip plane designed to lessen impact severity.

Pinching any of these comfort pads you’ll compress the material. However, when you roll the materials between your fingers you’ll note a substantial difference.

The theory is additonal support in the SPIN and MIPS Integra design is designed to actually provide a small slip or rotation, extending the timeline of the deceleration and lowering the spike load of the impact.

Comfort Foam vs SPIN vs MIPS Integra helmet technology

SPIN comfort pad on the left and standard comfort pad on the right.

Below is the inside of a POC Tectal Race SPIN with the Spin comfort pad pulled away.

You can see that the SPIN pad mounts like a standard pad with velcro and sits directly onto the helmet’s internal foam.

MIPS SPIN mounting on foam

As a comparison the internals of a  MIPS Integra in the Kortal Race is shown below.

We’ve highlighted the edge of the slip plane that the comfort foam sits on.

The MIPS Integra’s comfort pad sits on this slip plane, connected by velcro tabs. The combination of the slip plane and the internal support / damping in the comfort pad gives riders another degree of protection in a crash.

MIPS Integra slip plane highlighted
MIPS Integra System : inside of a POC Kortal Race

If you jumped over from our Kortal Race review (or, even if you didn’t but want to read it!) you can find it here.

We hope this helped illustrate some technologies in the POC lineup. Having the SPIN & MIPS Integra explained is pretty simple, and should help you make the best choice of helmet technologies for your riding. We invite you to check out some other content or products here at BikeCo.com – the best in MTB.

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Getting a Grip: Ahead of Time is the New Just in Time

Getting A Grip Ahead of Time is the new Just In Time

I need new grips. The grips I love are allegedly not available for a year.

But the economy is dead, never to work again, in anyway shape or form? If you read the headlines it’s shocking we’ve made it this far. Don’t worry, they’ll tell you where the cliff is. Right, right, right past that next automated ad they’ve put in front of you (ironically, selling you something right?)

Pandemic changed things. True.

So did the blue trucks blocking the streets in every neighborhood. (I don’t have an account and I don’t use it but that’s something for another channel.

So did some family in middle America that was busy pricing out the little guys so cliché Americans could go use free scooters to navigate a megastore with a jumbo ultra super barrel of sugar. Oh, and you can get greeted by someone who has a lifetime of stories and probably did some important stuff but needs whatever micro amount of money is available to say hi to some snot nosed gamer walking straight past them. But, at least we learned you can copyright bizarre taglines about mountain sports in areas notably devoid of mountains.

Point is: the economy is dynamic, constantly changing and involves navigation. It is affecting us that’s for sure. But is it destroying a way of life? That’s a stretch. If the previously mentioned general pains in the ass to commerce didn’t break it not being able to access every whim JIT probably isn’t gonna break the economy.

So Get A Grip?

Ya. I want to get some grips. Mine are worn out. I thought I had another set in my toolbox somewhere, but guess not after search.

I’m particular and I really do love the WTB Padloc grips, I’ve pushed them a bunch over the years and I might be one of the few who do love em (people are intimidated of chamfering their bars or whatever).

Well guess what: not the most popular item? Read another way, not the most profitable item? Production got backburned it looks like. Can’t blame WTB – consolidate SKUs and get the most sought after product in front of your users. Makes total sense. Good on them frankly.

But I’m glancing at my distributors and I’m seeing April 2023. And I would guess that’s a pretty soft date and could be pushed back, if they’re made again.

Options and Choices

Well, I’m not going to be able to nurse these grips for a year. So, guess I’m looking at other solutions eh?

I could go deep on the web search and locate them somewhere else. And I might. If I do I’ll be shopping product name and manufacturer part number.

The part number probably isn’t super super critical with these grips as they didn’t have multiple compounds or whatever – but on something like a specific tire you’re looking for? MAN, I would be damn sure it hit all the boxes. Cause ya, I love the Minion DHF 2.5 front tire. But I want it in the specific sidewall and TPI that I want. And some strange mega-store’s spec of it with the cheap sidewall or whatever is beyond unusable and a huge waste of my time and expectation.

I’m also going to be judging the credibility of the resource that lists product as “available” for the same reasons. I don’t feel like dealing with the wrong product, or a week later being told it’s not available (sometimes things aren’t available, but credible sites can tell you really quick, before you’re waiting thinking its’ on the way to then being told nope, no dice)

So, picking your retailer is getting to be as important as picking your product. Well that’s good for quality retailers! We’re stoked to work with you.

Other Options instead of a Rabbit Hole?

What if I don’t want to play chase the part number around? Well looks like I’m comparing other grips right?

Personally I’m looking at the larger diameter Ergon grips as well as a couple other options our guys have brought into the shop.

Ahead of Time is the new JIT

So what extras do I keep around the toolbox? Here’s a current look, fresh from looking for my grips I thought I had!

Extra derailleur cable. I keep these around more to save the drive if I need one (I don’t work on-site every day so if I need a cable I’m going to a local cruiser shop or whatever)

Few feet of derailleur housing. See above

Derailleur Hanger.

Brake Pads. 2 sets, so front and back if needed.

Brake Fluid. Not sure if this counts as an “extra” so much as a quick maintenance thing from lever bleeds.

Front tire (Minion DHF 2.5). I keep 1 tire around just in case too. If I lose a rear tire I tend to put my existing front tire to the rear and the fresh tire in the front.

Chain. I’m leaning into the idea of putting together a full drivetrain but have found other places to spend money lately and haven’t done it just yet. Reading that I know I’m going to regret it if I don’t put a cassette and ring in my toolbox. Wednesday I’m picking those up hahaha…

Learning the new Economy

You know, I try really hard not to be a typical consumer about everything – I work hard not to get into the “need it today” mode unless I really do (or I want to go on an errand or whatever and whoa, I’m at my favorite haunt and just happen to end up with some toy for myself hahaha).

But some bits, like parts to keep my bike on trail, that’s super important to me and that’s where Ahead of Time is the new plan – and you’ll find them in my toolbox. I’m not hording tons of em – just the one I need.

So I guess I’m getting a grip on the new economy. In fact, I’ll be getting a new grip on the modern times – gonna go with the Ergons this time.

See you on the trails – Nate@BikeCo.com

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POC Kortal Race MIPS Helmet First Rides Review

POC Kortal Race Helmet Profile

Those of you who’ve been around the site for a while know I’m big on retiring helmets, even if they haven’t taken a impact. They’re made of a foam, exposed to UV, sweat, heat in your car, etc. Point is: it’s time for a new helmet and here are my first rides review of the POC Kortal Race MIPS.

Let’s start with a quick video blast to make sure we get maximum SEO points right? haha… Somewhere you don’t have audio? Well you can check out the video’s captions or read on – the blog goes a little deeper than the quick video.

POC Kortal Race MIPS

I was drawn to the Kortal Race for a variety of reasons. One of the major reasons was a handful of people I know ride this helmet and really like it. Frankly it’s kind of unusual for anyone to “sell me” on MTB products at this point (between being in the loop and jaded right?). But the BikeCo staff and a couple riding buddies made some great points on this helmet.

Fit

The Kortal Race fits a variety of head shapes. Sounds like cliche marketing eh? Well hang tight for a second…

Currently both my brother and I are wearing the Kortal Race. My brother has an intermediate oval head shape while I have a long oval head. How do I know this? We both rode Arai motorcycle helmets for a while and his intermediate oval helmets made my head want to explode. I would get crazy hot spots on my forehead. When I went to the Arai Signet X series (same manufacturer but different internal shape) I was fine and have used those for years.

POC Kortal Race Interior Retention

The internal retention on the Kortal Race is mounted across the forward radius and then located with the rear “catch”.  This accommodates a range of head length versus width sizes.

One of the most underused sizing options on enduro helmets is adjusting the rear catch’s vertical placement.

POC Kortal Race Sizing Tips

Adjusting this rear catch up or down will provide a notable difference on how the helmet “loads” and sits on your head. I like to set this just below the where my skull dips back towards my neck. I feel like this gives the helmet the best “catch”. Too high and it feels like it might pop off or is just weird. Too low and it’s uncomfortable. Adjusting this position generally results in a clear “ah-ha, this is it” moment.

POC Kortal Race Helmet quarter view shape

Finally on fit: I want a helmet with the most coverage I can reasonably get. Enduro helmets generally have more protection in thickness, possibly a bit less ventilation and tend to sit down “lower” on the back of your head. Yes please to all of these. I recommend enduro level helmets to all of my family whether it’s my wife riding her beach cruiser or my dad and uncle cruising around on their street ebikes. If you’re going to wear a helmet wear a helmet that gives you the best chance if you need it right?

MIPS

For a while I was in the camp of “well I have hair, and hair rotates” and didn’t really gravitate to MIPS helmets. This was also about the time they first came out and the MIPS system was kind of slammed into standard helmet shells. And it tended to be uncomfortable for me.

The last three years or so I have only ridden MIPS helmets. First, I’ve gotten a little bit more aware of improving my odds wherever I can. But most importantly as MIPS progressed helmet manufacturers were designing helmets around the MIPS system which provided notable comfort improvements.

POC Kortal Race MIPS Integra

The MIPS system is designed to improve a helmet’s rotational performance in a crash, essentially providing a coordinated amount of “slip” so to speak to lessen the blow. I assume this is based on “extending” the time of the impact, ie decreasing your rate of deceleration which lowers the G forces involved.

Long and short – modern MIPS isn’t a sacrifice for comfort and doesn’t notably increase the helmet’s overall weight.

MIPS Integra is essentially two technologies in this helmet. First, the comfort pads have a technology which provides additional support when “rolled”. Second, the comfort pad sits on a specially deisgned slip plane to allow a touch more rotation than even the previous POC Spin design.

You can take a look at a comparison of the SPIN and MIPS Integra here (don’t worry we provide a link to get back to this read!)

Weight

Like I mentioned in the video I’m not counting ounces. Not on my riding kit (which includes at least a pocket camera for animal photography if not more for work content). Not on my bike (my opinion: enduro level bikes shouldn’t be dainty – I want to ride home not push). And not in my diet hahaha… Ok, self deprecation aside so if weight doesn’t matter most places why do I care with my helmet?

POC Kortal Race MIPS Weight Size Large

Well I’m shopping helmets based on protection. But, if I feel like a helmet has equal protection to a similar model I’m going to ride the lighter option. Reducing the weight sitting on my neck, or pulling my head through corners has notable comfort benefits.

The Kordal Race MIPS helmet came in at 479g, or just a bit heavier than published (9g).

Ventilation

The POC Kortal Race has an expected level of vents and internal channels to direct airflow. The rear of the helmet has a more solid design compared to the top or front as is expected.

I’ve worn the helmet on a couple warm days already and it’s appropriate for the level of protection provided. I’ve also worn it on a couple cold mornings and using that as a comparison it’s not “the most” ventilated helmet I’ve ever had. (Cold mornings are easy to judge when its kinda miserable across your head if you have short hair.)

I’m not sure why, but my last few helmets I have been really interested in the visor. Thinking about it it’s probably after I tried the Smith helmet years ago with the like no-visor visor.

The visor of a helmet needs to be able to block the sun at reasonable angles. Many of my rides are sneaking off at the end of the day chasing sunsets so this is key.

Also, particularly on hot days, it’s nice when the visor can go up a bit further. Some riders love this for keeping goggles close at hand. I’m using it as a air brake to drive more ventilation into the front of my helmet… older and wiser eh?

Recco

Recco is essentially a reflector technology to aide finding lost people. Well, I guess technically to aide finding lost gear. If you’re lost keep the helmet with you.

I’m not 100% sure how universally updated the Recco search system is, but to quote a wildernress first responder I spoke with about some of these technologies for this blog:

“if it gave you 5% better odds in a bad situation you’d take that right?”

Ya. Guess I would.

The additional technology on this helmet doesn’t move the price point out of what I expect to pay for protection at this level so the additional Recco reflector capability is a bonus.

POC NFC by twICEme and Recco

You’ll see a couple things in additional to the Recco logo on the image above.

First POC shows this as a Large helmet. I think the boxes were like LXL or something kind of confusing. Go with the 59/62 below – if you’ve got a smaller head to smaller, if you’ve got a larger head find the larger option.

Also you’ll see the NFC Medical ID graphic.

Medical ID?

According to the insert with the helmet the NFC Medical ID provided by twICEme “stores the user’s vital info and makes it accessible in seconds using a smartphone. The info is stored locally on your equipment. No cloud service involved.”

You’re provided a QR code or can visit twiceme.com/getstarted to look at the app and how to get started.

Now, I might sound like a bit of an alarmist, or a bit late to the old “what info is digitally available” game. But, the idea of another app with who knows what access to my phone, image, data, microphones, cameras or whatever – and BTW, I have NO REASON to think this app would be anything but totally legit and with good intention – but, the ads on my ESPN viewing have grown suspicious to me as after texting a friend that I wanted to giant windmill backup generator (which I also hoped would keep the helicopters away just a touch more over the property, beach life right?) anyhow – on the F1 page I’m now getting ads for guess what? Giant windmills. I don’t have facebook and only have insta for work so I know some of my data is being scraped but come on. (sidebar, I got the most AWESOME ad on ESPN the other day. It was for a rescue lift, both man or equipment, for a helicopter. So, somewhere along the lines I searched something that convinced an algorithm that one: I had a helicopter and two: it needed a recovery hoist. I clicked through and found the pricing and everything on the site just to mess with their analytics. Somewhere some “market-eer” is saying see I told you! We got a live one!)

Anyhow, I was kind of reticent to sign up on anything additional. So I thought, well let me reach out to my wilderness first responders and see how prevalent this is and if it would improve my chances in an emergency.

Four calls. Four “huh? What’s that?” hmmm. I told them it was kind of like the medical ID on my iPhone. Paraphrasing two of them: not iPhone person. wouldn’t know how to get to that either.

iPhone Medical ID Access 2

One way to access medical ID on some iPhones is to start the shut down procedure by holding the top button on either side. Don’t hold them too long or it dials 911 I think. My phone shown is a 12 or whatever the one before the 13 is called.

iPhone Medical ID Access

You can also access the medical ID from the lock screen. If the phone isn’t locked I think it’s harder and I would try the method above to short cut it.

While I had my first responder people chatting I was interested in what kind of info might be helpful on these. We spit balled some like allergies, pre-existing medical conditions, that sort of thing.

Only thing I could come up with for me is I’m O neg blood type so I can donate to anyone but can only accept the same. Once they were done laughing that I’d watched one too many dramatizations of a transfusion in a helicopter or a van they advised me they doubted that it would be taken at face value anyhow.

We kind of came to the conclusion that IF you had preexisting medical conditions and allergies you might see some benefit from this technology – but you should invest in one of the road-id type bracelets too. Something you’re less likely to be “borrowing” and might be seen more as an identification.

They also all individually kind of went through some of the concepts of wilderness first response which seems to be stabilize and arrange transport. With the exception of extreme blood loss they reiterated a common theme I had heard years ago: try to stay calm and work through it with minimal panic. seconds probably don’t matter (bleeding aside) and minutes rarely do…

POC Aramid Bridges help miniimize penetration

one last tech feature we get a lot of questions on that I didn’t work into the write-up earlier:

Aramid Bridges

You know, I had to get out the search engines for this one. I found some interesting data at britannica.com/science/aramid

Essentially it’s a product similar to Kevlar which adds strength and some resistance to materials.

Is your helmet fireproof? ah, it’s got vents. Is it considered ballistic rated? ah, nah. So be careful on your search of it!

POC utilizes Aramid to help minimize the chance of penetration to the helmet in a crash with small and stiff impacts.

Overall Review of the Kortal Race MIPS Helmet

These sections on protective gear are always short for me. I’ve got enough rides on the Kortal Race helmet to know that the fit is good, ventilation good, etc, etc. Really the best “review” I can give on quality protective gear (since I’m not gonna be the one sacrificing my body to try to tell you about the results! sorry, you’re my people but there’s a line right?) anyhow the best review I can give protective gear I know to work is “I didn’t notice or think about it on my ride”.

Perfect. Anytime you’re struggling with or paying too much attention to your riding gear and not the trail well, that’s not perfect. So a “didn’t notice it” is like a 5 star review for quality kit!

Want to see more of the POC Kortal Race or other helmets we believe in? Shop the best in MTB at BikeCo.com – helmet links below.