Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Avid XO Trail Hydraulic Disk Brakes-First Impressions

On Sunday I had the chance to get out on the trail and give the new Avid XO Trail brakes a try.   Here are my first impressions of the new brakes:

The Ride:
-El Moro, Newport Beach Ca

-Bommer, Red Tail Ridge, Rattlesnake, Mach One, I Think I Can, Moro Ridge, Missing Link, Fenceline, Bommer.

We started out on Bommer, a fire road with a hill right at the start.  I have noticed my old brakes sometimes took a couple hills to get warmed up and really work, but the XO Trails were grabbing right off the bat.  From Bommer we rode Red Tail Ridge out to Rattlesnake.  Rattlesnake is a single track that has a technical downhill section in it.  Through the technical section I had more control of how the brakes grabbed than I have ever had.  I have ridden this section with Tektro mechanical disk brakes, Avid Elixer 3, and both Shimano SLX and XT brakes.  None of these felt as smooth or had the ability to modulate the braking force in this section that the XO Trails had.  The thing to these brakes have been the Shimano XT's (which are awesome).  The XO Trails lever pull is the smoothest I have used.  After Rattlesnake we went down Mach One which is a steep fire road that you cn generate a ton of speed coming down.  I was able to let the bike roll and still had plenty of power to slow down when I needed to.  We then climbed up I Think I Can and Moro Ridge to Missing Link and Fenceline.  I used the brakes in these flowing single tracks to really control my speed into and out of the corners and once again felt like I had superb control and flow.  The whole ride took about an hour and a half and in that entire time the brakes did not make noise once.  They were silent, strong, and offer great control.

I will continue to test and review the Avid Trail XO brakes over the next few months so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Avid XO Trail Brakes

So, last night I got a call from Brian at the shop where I work on the weekends (Two Wheels One Planet, Costa Mesa), and he told me that the Sram rep was coming down to switch out old model brakes on some of the bikes on the floor and that I could also get some new brakes to try out if I got my bike to the shop.  I was a little skeptical, but I still got my bike down there right away.  I was told that they would either be XX or XO brakes.

Today I showed up at the shop and sure enough the Sram rep was there and he was changing out brakes.  I spoke with him for a while and to my surprise my bike ended up on the stand getting Avid's brand new XO Trail brakes installed.  I had to leave before he was finished, so I thanked him and headed home.

The XO Trail is Avid's brake that follows close behind the XX model.  It is a four piston dual diameter caliper with their innovative lever pivot bearing.  Weighing in at just 340 grams they are a 50 gram improvement per brake over my Avid Elixir 3's.  As Avid says, "the new XO Trail was born to climb and engineered to descend."  Here are the spec's:

Weight340 grams
Lever MaterialCarbon Fiber Lever, Forged Aluminum Body
Caliper Design4-piston dual diameter, Forged 2-piece aluminum, Adjustable Banjo
FinishBlack Ano & Polished Silver
RotorHS1 (140mm rear)/160/170/180/200
PadOrganic. Top loading with Aluminum backing plate
FluidDOT 5.1
AdjustmentTool-free reach adjustment, Adjustable banjo, Tool-free Contact point adjustment
Special FeaturesTaperBore Technology, MatchMaker X Compatible
Pad / HolderAluminum
Intended UseXC/Trail/AM/DH
Rotor Sizes140/160/170/180/200
Tri-Align Caliper Positioning Systemno
Tool-Free Pad Replacementno
Speed Dialno
Bend Zone™yes
Stainless Hardwareyes
Retail AvailabilityAugust 2012
USD: $290

I can't wait to get these out on the trail and give them a good test!   

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Rubber

I have been running some heavy tires for a while and I like them, but when I saw these Continental Mountain King 2.4's come into the shop I decided to try out a new set up.  I was running Kenda Kinetics with a 2.6 in the front and a 2.35 in the rear.  With the Mountain Kings I am going to try a 2.4 in front and a 2.2 in the rear.  While I haven't been able to ride with these yet I can say that these tire dropped 3 lbs from the Marauder.  When I  combine this weight loss with the weight loss from the addition of Avid Elixer 3 brakes The bike has gone from 42.3 lbs to 37.1 lbs.  If these tires hold up they will probably become a permant addition, if they don't I will go back to the Kendas.  Look forward to a full review soon!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ryders Eyewear

Jeff Morgan

These are the Caliber Polarphoto sunglasses provided to me by Ryders Eyewear.  These glasses are specifically made with mountain biking in mind.  They are light weight, comfortable, and look great.  The lenses are shatterproof to protect your eyes.  They are also photochromic so the lighten and darken to instantly adjust to lighting conditions and on top of all this they are polarized to cut down on the glare.

Check out www.thedirtywheel.com in the next few weeks for my in depth review of the Caliber Polarphoto glasses, and check back here for my first thoughts on the Ryders Eyewear Shore Goggles!
I love my Shore goggles!!!!