Category Archives: MTB-accessories

Teva Pivot review – DH & All Mountain clip less MTB Shoes

Teva Pivot MTB Shoes - coloursThe nice people at Teva sent me a pair of their new Pivot shoes which I’ve had for a month or 2 now, so here’s some thoughts:

I feel the need to admit I’ve been a flat pedal user for the last 7 years. The last time I put spuds back on (out of curiosity), I lasted about 5 miles before it made my knees hurt! Getting old & all that… Part of this I’m guessing was that flat shoes soak up more shock than the usual SPD designs, so going back felt a bit harsh. The Pivots however, gave me no problems at all

Fit is worth mentioning – although a brand is likely to either suit you or not it’s handy to have some kind of reference point, even a vague one. So my other shoes are FiveTens which fit me nicely & are fairly generous I’d say. I take a Euro 45, so I asked for the equivalent. The Tevas are a tighter fit, narrower & more supportive, but didn’t take long to be comfortable

Teva Pivot MTB Shoes - coloursOne of the simplest but most useful features of these shoes is that the cleat bolts can go in from the outside or the inside. The inside fit doesn’t work with every system but it does work with SPD cleats. This means no more bits of gravel getting stuck in the hex fittings on the bolts with the obvious badness that follows! The other advantage of fitting the cleat bolts from the inside of the shoe is that you can bolt them up, clip the shoe into the pedal then loosen the bolts & set the shoe to the exact position & rotation you want. If it’s still not right after riding you can tweak it much more quickly & accurately than with other shoes

Plenty of thought has gone into other areas of the design too. They’re stiff & supportive when pedalling but are also surprisingly normal to walk in. What they’ve done is make the stiffening midsole plate shorter than in most shoes. Usually this would be the whole area of the sole but in the Pivots it stops before the toe end so there’s some flex for walking. They’re not XC race stiff, but then they’re not that kind of shoe. For normal riding they’re plenty stiff enough

Teva Pivot MTB Shoes - blackI like the Velcro lace cover. It’s not a look that appeals to all but I find on shoes without one when I tuck the laces down the side of the shoe to keep them out of the chainrings they inevitably come out at some point…

So, even though I prefer flats (must get round to trying a pair of Teva’s Link shoes at some point) if I do ride with SPDs it will be in Teva Pivots. They suit the kind of riding I do, which varies from messing about to long stuff & they seem better for trail riding than the plastic race shoes, as good as they are for their own purpose

Also I should say that the shoes came without any requirement to do a review & no pressure to say good things!

MBUK 100 most amazing bits of bike bling EVER

20130607-015611.jpgI posted the below (italics) on the Facebook page. I’ll be doing some individual blogs over the next few weeks on some of the products I think are the best or most important. If you have any suggestions for what you want to see first, Let me know in the comments…

MBUK’s 25 year issue just arrived along with a “100 most amazing bits of bike bling EVER!” booklet. Out if the 100 my picks are, in no particular order:

  • Easton Havoc Carbon bars
  • Shimano STI triggers
  • Almost everything Hope have made
  • Maxxis Minions
  • Middleburn RS7 cranks
  • Orange Five & 222
  • Pace RC100
  • Dropper posts (not necessarily the one they featured..)
  • Fiveten Impacts
  • ODI Lock-on grips
  • Fox Float RP23
  • Camelback
  • Club Roost original riser bars

 
Not really ‘bling’ but all good stuff! 
Anything missing or any of that list you’d like a blog post on?

Satmap Active 10 – final thoughts

Satmap Active 10 final impressions

Satmap active10 GPS unitSo, it’s a bit late, but I thought I’d better finish off the review.

Positives first:

  • Ease of plotting a route. For mountain bikers a big selling point is the ability to go out & explore, then plot a route back home from wherever you happen to be. This is great for MTBers as you can cover more ground on a bike & exploring will get you ‘lost’ more quickly than on foot.
  • Many people like to use a GPS to log their progress which the Satmap seems to do accurately. If you want a GPS for this purpose you might find the other features unnecessary,  but you might become convinced by the value of the map display
  • A major plus for bikers is the replaceable screen cover. There’s a fair bit of peace of mind knowing that if it gets scratched a replacement is cheap & available. I only used the unit in the dry, but someone who owns a unit told me that in the wet, moisture gets behind the cover making the display harder to read, so maybe some better sealing might be needed?
  • The unit has a tough feel to it which is big plus for MTBers.

Negatives:

  • The main negative I found is the battery level display. It shows as maximum for ages, but when the batteries run out there’s very little warning. A rechargeable is available and comes as standard if you buy the MTB kit.
  • As far as I know the screen on the unit is good in comparison to others, but I still found the display hard to read in sunlight. This is the case with most GPS units but one of Satmap’s selling points was that it was easy to read in sunlight.
  • Once or twice the map didn’t orientate correctly. On one route it caused a wrong turn.
  • I didn’t find the menu system that intuitive – although I got used to it. I guess that’s just me admitting I don’t like to read instruction manuals!
  • A minor was the bulk of the unit. It would be nice if any future versions were smaller or thinner. Crashes are inevitable at some point when mountain biking, and it’s not always possible to mount the unit in a way that would avoid damage in a fall. For some bikes maybe putting it on the top tube would work.

Personally I could see the attraction, but I actually quite enjoy map reading & I like to keep the skills up to scratch so I’ll stick mainly with paper maps. However a GPS unit is great for new routes where time is tight & you can’t afford to retrace your steps. They give you a definite position with no workings out.

If you’re after a GPS with OS Maps I’d say this is a good one to go for, some of the other similar models from other brands have some major disadvantages like no option to change batteries so if the rechargeable one runs out you’re stuck. Many just have to many dissatisfied owner reviews on the net.

Satmap Active 10 GPS – update

Satmap Active 10 GPS unit – review update

Satmap active10 GPS unitGot one of these through the post end of April by Special Delivery from the UK distributors. They were after feedback about the unit from a mountain biker’s point of view. There’ll be a full review after it goes back at the end of June, but here’s a few comments:

Battery power seems to be easily good for a day & a bit – so far hasn’t lasted 2 whole days with high capacity alkalines. If I owned the unit I’d go for the rechargeable battery (you can always keep AA’s as backup).

As with any device with a backlit LCD screen, the brighter the default setting the shorter the battery life. Also the longer the screen stays on before sleep the more battery drain …obvious to some, not so obvious to others. So far I’ve left the screen on a mid setting & about 30 seconds until the screen switches off. In bright sunlight the map is quite hard to read, but the waypoint pointer is much easier. As far as I can gather this is the same with all brands.

One thing I need to have a play with is the speed setting at which the compass switches modes. Sometimes at slow speeds, like on a steeper climb, the map flips 180 degrees or the waypoint goes a bit random. This can be a bit of a pain sometimes & send you the wrong way, but not for long. Still annoying though if you end up having to double back & it’s uphill… I have a feeling that altering the afore-mentioned mode change speed might sort this.

To me the unit is useful as a ‘get you home’ device. If I want to explore randomly, I can then switch the unit on to plot a route back. The route maker is easy to use & by all accounts the Satmap Active 10 is the only current unit with a decent one.
For a pre-planned route I still prefer to use a traditional map although I may be in the minority soon!

That’s all for now, more later.

Satmap Active 10

First Impressions of the Satmap Active 10 GPS unit

Satmap active10 GPS unitJust received one of these through the post by Special Delivery this morning from Satmap. They were after feedback about the unit from a mountain biker’s point of view. I’ve only had a quick look so far as I’m waiting for a map-card to show up. First impressions in no particular order:

 
Likes:

  • Replaceable screen covers
  • Easy to plot routes on the unit
  • …which allows it to be used without a PC
  • Personally I like the button control as opposed to touch screen
  • OS mapping
  • Really solid bike mount
  • Decent carry case
  • Appears to have good battery life, will report more fully later on

Dislikes:

  • so far, not much. The buttons do need a firm press though