Sunday, May 3, 2009
Reviews: Bike Rack, Brakes, Grips.
Raxter Bike Rack: Old non-Raxter hitchmount 4-bike rack problems: 1) It held bikes by frame - with three carbon bikes, I didn't use the rack any more and loaded all bikes inside the van or coach. 2) Once all bikes were loaded on the rack, it was a pain to unload all the bikes if I wanted to ride the first one I put on. 3) It was a puzzle to actually get 4 bikes on the rack without having to loosen and turn the bars. Towels were needed to keep the bikes from scratching each other. New Rack Solution: 1) Holds bikes by the wheels 2) Easy on/off of individual bikes. 3) Allows for bkes to be shifted around so bars don't interfear with each other. 29rs, downhill, road, and MTBs all fit easily (witout any towels). 4) It is quick to assemble, I think it took us longer to figure out where to put the sticker than to assemble the rack (had we read the directions this too would have been a quick task). 5) The swing up version is great for stowing it (see picture) and takes just one second. 6) Mix and Match to get a personal rack. We have an extra hitch piece so the swing up 4-bike rack can be turned into two 2-bike racks. This is what you call versatile! Usually Todd and I are together and share the van and bike rack, we then need the 4-bike rack. However, this month we are each in different places. Todd took the van with a 2-bike swing-up rack and I have a 2-bike non-swing up rack. It takes only a few minutes to swap back and forth. 7) Support from Raxter is by far better than any other brand I have found. . . Magura Mag SL and SL Brakes: I love the way these brakes work, everything is quickly adjustable which makes it easy to swap wheels. The lever is easily adjustable and when the reach is adjusted in, it doesn't then pull in so far as to hit the grip. The brakes are powerful, solid, and have a great feel to them. I haven't had to bleed the brakes (any of the three sets), just cut the cable, don't let the fluid flow out, put it back together and it works perfectly, so easy, good directions. I have never had brakes whose cables I can cut (as often as I want) and turn around and race it, no bleeding required and without worrying about the cables pulling out. It is awesome to have that much confidence in a set of brakes. Again, the absolute best support of any brake/fork manufacturer I have ever used. (I'll review the forks in the next review post I do). . Ergon Grips and Carbon Bar Ends: These are my favorite grips and bar ends for both looks and comfort. I did run non-Ergon light foam grips and the lightest bar ends trying to save every last gram. Bottom line: for total of 88 grams more I can run some bling and be more comfortable . At this time I won't go back on the bar ends, I think I am faster with these. I thought I would get used to the non-Ergon super light ones, instead I found I wasn't using them simply because I didn't care for the shape/feel (so what was the point of having them?).