10 MTB Product Reviews from Helmet Hooks to Multi Tools


Today we’ll be looking at 10 products that
either directly relate to mountain biking, or provide utility for mountain bikers. None of these reviews are paid, but some products
were provided which I’ll disclose when applicable. With that, let’s get started. The first product is helmetor, which is a
helmet hook that I first saw in Syd and Macky’s van. The company saw the video, and sent me some
to try out. I noticed that they look kind of like peacocks. In testing the helmetor hooks, they seemed
to securely hold just about any helmet as advertised. The question is, why on earth would you need
a helmet specific hook? Why pay $10 for a piece of plastic when you
could use a screw or nail to do the same thing? Well, it’s not exactly the same. Helmetor holds your helmet away from the wall,
protecting your paint from trail grime. It also looks cool when there’s no helmet
on it, which is nice if you have a bike cave that you take pride in. But perhaps the most important benefit of
helmetor is that it secures your helmet, which is essential if you’re using it on a door,
or in a vehicle. So depending on your needs, helmetor could
either be totally pointless, or the answer to all your hopes and dreams. I decidedly like it. On to these knee pads sent to me by Kali Protectives. I tested both pairs in the shop, and enlisted
Felipe for a trail test since I can’t ride yet. Our findings were more or less
the same: these Mission knee pads are slim and comfortable, but shift around once you
get moving. Neither of us were that impressed. As for the Strikes, they might be the best
knee pads either of us have tried. This mesh rubber pad on the front of the strikes
is sure to collect lots of dirt and mud, but that’s a fair tradeoff for airflow. Better ventilation cuts down on sweat, aids
in evaporation, and makes for an overall more comfortable experience. Despite being slim and comfortable the Strikes
appear to have good padding and a very tough exterior. I also found that the shape of the knee cap
helps keep them in place, or maybe it’s the placement of the straps. All I know is that they stay put. The Strikes cost $85 and seem to be worth
it. They will be replacing my POC’s, which were
more expensive when I bought them. This season, I’m going to be serious about
always wearing knee pads without exception. Now for a few car products starting with this
seat protector I found on Amazon. You throw it over your headrest, it stays
in place with these little nubs, and contains trail grime with its absorbent terrycloth. There’s also an impermeable layer inside
to keep out liquid. When not in use these covers are machine washable
and easy to roll up. At $25 each I think they’re priced fairly,
but it should be noted that you can also protect your seat with a towel. Still, the adequate length, grip, and impermeability
makes them superior to a towel, and worth the money if you’re serious about keeping
your car clean. The next product is the soft topper, which
is a foldable cap available for most pickups. The reason I bought this was so I could travel
with my family and keep all our stuff out of the weather. Knowing that I’d have it off as much as
on, I chose the soft topper for its portability and ease of storage. It installs with these bed rails that fit
existing factory bolt holes, and from there you can pretty much drop it on and button
it up. The quality is great, it doesn’t flap around
in the wind, and it more or less works as advertised, but the Soft Topper isn’t a
fiberglas cap killer. There’s no way to lock the Soft Topper,
nor would it matter since you can just slice it. So this isn’t a good solution for contractors
with expensive tools, nor will it keep your mountain bike safe. Starting at $700, it is an affordable alternative
to a fiberglas cap, that you can camp in or just use to keep your stuff dry. And by request from hundreds of you guys,
I’ll give you a quick review of my honda ridgeline. A lot of you were flabbergasted when I didn’t
buy a tacoma, and instead got a family SUV like pickup hybrid: The Honda Ridgeline. I’ll admit that my impulsive and adventurous
side was craving the Tacoma, but my practical side won after test driving the 2017 Ridgeline. First of all it handled incredibly—way better
than your average pickup. It also had a more spacious interior, and
an impressive technology package. It had lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control,
smartphone integration, and like 8 million cup holders. These may not sound like things I would care
about, but I’m on track to put 35,000 miles on this thing in year one. I knew I’d be spending a lot of time in
it so interior, comfort, and practicality were my top priorities. At the same time I didn’t want a huge pickup,
or an inefficient one. But putting aside all of those things, I still
would have gotten the Ridgeline for one killer feature. Under bed storage. Every compact pickup has a back seat full
of crap, except for this one. Everything I need from tools, to gear, to
tie downs, to those seat covers, can be secured in this water tight compartment, leaving the
cab free for people and pups. So while the ridgeline is no tacoma, it easily
tows 5000 pounds, has all wheel drive, and is packed full of features that suit me better—even
though it has a honda emblem on it. On to the next product, the Matchstix. It’s a thru axle, it’s a multi tool, it’s
gorgeous, it’s $145 dollars. But are you really surprised? It’s made by Industry 9. Now i9 will never be for everyone, as they
choose to design, manufacture, and distribute all their products in Asheville using local
labor. That means you pay for it, but it also means
they employ people who ride the same trails as I do, it means they’re my neighbor, and
it means I’m a little bit biased. But still it’s hard to make excuses for
any product at this price point, so I’ll just give you the pros and cons. Let’s start with the cons. The Matchstix is pricy, we covered that. It also doesn’t flip out like a normal multi
tool, you need to muscle these bits out of a tube, which doesn’t seem very i9. The handle doesn’t have the most leverage,
and the tool is necessarily missing some of the larger bits that are impossible to fit
inside an axle. So the Matchstix won’t be for everyone,
but it does have some unique advantages. First of all it can’t get left behind as
it lives in your bike. The Matchstix may also be the lightest multi
tool period, as unlike other integrated tools, it replaces part of your bike. So once you subtract the weight of your old
axle you’re only carrying around an extra 25 grams. The matchstix also features an impressive
array of tools including a spoke wrench, a valve core remover, a chain tool, quick link
storage, and your choice of bits which are also machined in asheville. It’s also great looking, and available in
all the other colors you’ll find at the candy store. So for those of you looking for a beautifully
machined, lightweight, boutique multi tool that can’t get left behind, the matchstix
is pretty friggin nice. If you’re looking to save money, buy literally
any other multi tool. The only way I’d buy the matchstix is if
I broke or lost a maxle, and was already on the hook for $50. The next product is the Yi 4K+ action camera,
which I was hoping would be good GoPro replacement. It costs under $300, can shoot in 4k at up
to 60 frames per second, and features some pretty impressive image quality. In fact I used it to shoot a lot of this video. The touch screen feels like a smart phone—much
better than gopro, and the menu is more intuitive. The Yi4k+ also features a tripod thread which
makes it super convenient. But as an action camera, I think it’s lacking. The stabilization is weird to say the least,
the field of view doesn’t seem all that wide, and the microphone doesn’t do a good
job of automatically adjusting to input levels—something that even older GoPros are good at. Although it does change exposure quickly I don’t think
it does as smoothly as a GoPro, and note that the GoPro I’m comparing it with is two generations
old. Another problem is using it with a gimbal. If you place it right side up one of the mics
is right against the motor which picks up the sound. If you place it upside down the top mic is
then pointing right at the motor. The low light is also really noisy, even at
lower framerates and resolutions. It’s also worth noting that there aren’t
a ton of accessories specifically designed for the Yi. So for me, the Yi4k+ is a good camera for
the shop, or to use for third person shots. But it’s not replacing my GoPros. The next product is All Mountain Style frame
guards. These are universal frame guards made to protect
your downtube, fork, chainstay, and anything else that may take some pebble and rock impacts. Before AMS sent these to me, I had never heard
of them, but Felipe instantly knew what they were. I must admit, I was expecting a diagram to
show where all these pieces are supposed to go, and after consulting their website I was
just as confused. I should also note that my bike already comes
with guards for the down tube and chainstay, which appear to be thicker and more functional
than the ones from AMS. I found that to install the guards a heat
gun comes in handy, but still on a brand new frame I was unable to to work out all the
bubbles. Maybe these just aren’t for me. As for Felipe, he was surprisingly excited
about the AMS guards and very happy to replace the vinyl camo tape on his bike with this
tougher more refined armor. At $35 I think they’re priced fairly for
those who need them, but I wouldn’t want to experiment with them. I had the luxury of trial and error with these
samples, but it would be kind of frustrating to spend $35 and then screw up the installation. The next product is a bike stand that screws
into the wall. It looked a lot bigger on Amazon, and I admit
that I thought it was universal. I should have looked at the size. Yes it only fits road bikes, and $17 is steep
for a tiny piece of plastic, but I must admit I’m impressed. This review will be super short because there’s
not much to say about these bike stands, besides that they’re really clever and work well
if you have skinny tires. I’d love to build a mountain bike version
of this into my work bench, as this is a really convenient position for making cockpit repairs. The next product is not this Victorinox swiss
army knife, which is as beautiful as it is functional. This is the classic multi tool, with it’s
unmistakable design and signature click. So I should be forgiven for expecting a victorinox
bike tool to be like—well, a swiss army knife. This is almost like the Matchstix, but not
beautiful, compact, or integrated. In fact, it’s like 3 times the size of an
F10, which functions more like a swiss army knife than this does. Objectively speaking this isn’t a bad tool. In fact the quality is great and it has a
lot of leverage, but it’s poorly marketed. Victorinox could have made a swiss army knife
with bike tools in it. It would have been an awesome gift, and people
would have been happy to pay a premium for it just for the novelty. But this does not excite me. Sure with the tire levers it might be great
for roadies, but I don’t know. There are too many other great products out
there to recommend this since it’s really not all that interesting or novel. And that concludes our ten mountain bike related
products. If you want to know where to get any of this
stuff, just tap the little arrow below the video, or just use the Google technology. Also let me know what categories you want
to see more of. Integrated tool storage? Hydration? Put it down in the comments. Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll
see you next time.

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