Crank Brothers Cobalt Wheels Review

February 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Components

Out of the box I was super impressed with the look of these babies. Super bright blue rims with a cool new spoke design. The spokes are in two pieces that join in the center for tightening and loosening that gives the wheel a cool modern look. The hubs are definitely the highlight of these wheels, machined to perfection and coated with a shiny chrome look.

crank brothers cobalt wheels Crank Brothers Cobalt Wheels Review

I threw these wheels on the Thursday before the 12 hour race. The transfer took about an hour and I was amazed at how well the Maxxis tires set in the rim. The dual tension skewers further add to the look of the wheel which provides a super tight and stable fit.  Read more

Formula The One Brakes Review

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Components

Today’s review is actually a re-post of one found at As turns more focus on product reviews we have tried to identify others in the industry that we can look to for guidance.  Charlie at bikefix provides us with just that.  In italics below is a blurb about “who, what and why” and below that is the review.  Thank you to Charlie and the rest of bikefix for not only allowing us to re-post their review on our site, but for the excellent ongoing reviews that they provide!

why does bikefix exist? it was born out of the complaints of a couple of guys with what probably amounts to an unhealthy amount of riding different kinds of bikes all over the place. from the daily commute to epic backcountry hike-a-bikes, these guys just weren’t getting the kind of information they needed from reviews found in print or online. needing a distraction from the grownup parts of the internet, they decided to put their musings and criticisms into (virtual) print. while they have extensive industry connections, the vast majority of the equipment tested is bought with money out of their own pockets (and they’ll let you know if not). as a result, they’re particularly aware of value and durability- and understandably upset when things don’t work the way they should.

bikefix aims to provide unbiased, complete reviews that come out of direct experience not only with a particular product but also with its competition. we care where and why things are made the way they are. while we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, everything can’t be the best part/bike/jersey ever,- something we see far too much of elsewhere. every product has its high points and lows. by communicating these to you, we hope that you will be able to make an educated decision and find gear that us ultimately transparent- after all, it’s really all about the ride.

formula the one disc brakes 300x225 Formula The One Brakes ReviewI have been riding Formula Oro series brakes for quite awhile and I think they’re some of the best brakes on the market. When the Ones came out this spring and were billed as a Freeride/Downhill brake but with only a slight weight penalty (37g/wheel) over the top of the line Oro Puro’s, I was extremely excited to try them.

The One shares many similar design characteristics with the Oro series: a 2-piece lever clamp assembly, flip-flop levers, adjustable bite and lever reach, internal reservoirs, and the use of DOT fluid. The big changes are a forged one-piece caliper that fits a single 24mm diameter piston (2mm larger than the Oro), and a master cylinder that is specifically designed for Downhill and all-mountain riding. They weigh a claimed 383 grams which is very light for a brake designed for bombing downhills.

formula the one mountain bike brake lever 300x199 Formula The One Brakes ReviewThe set-up is easy and the 2-piece lever clamps and they seem to fit well with most shifter types. Formula says that the caliper design allows for pad changes without removing the wheel and while it’s possible, it’s much easier to do it without the wheel in place- especially given that you often have to reset the pistons (push them back a bit) when new pads are installed, and this would be very difficult (if even possible) with the wheel/rotor in place.

All the tech in the world is great, but how did they feel on the trail? Fantastic. They modulate well and have loads of power available if you need it. They rarely fade and then only the slightest bit on the longest downhills (in the French Alps). The pads seem to last a fair amount of time and they are usually only noisy after getting wet. These are very competent brakes and for the weight they should be on anybody’s formula the one mountian bike disc brakes 300x225 Formula The One Brakes Reviewshort list. That said, they really don’t improve on the Oros by a noticeable amount. Downhillers have been using the company’s Oros since they were introduced (especially the DH-oriented Oro Biancos) and doing fine. I know that The Ones are designed to handle heat build-up better and they should be more powerful than the Oros, but if they are, it’s hard to tell. It could just be that my middle finger is less finely calibrated than others’. The Ones are less money than the Oro Puros and about the same as the Oro Bianco’s so they’re still a very good deal, but I thought I should mention it. The One brake sells for about $290.00 per wheel, though rotors and adapters are sold separately for about $30/wheel (good if you’ve already got ‘em). For the cost conscious, Formula also makes the Mega which is a cheaper version of the The One (coming in at $170 plus rotors), but I haven’t tried it yet.


“Gearing Up” For Our Wheelset Reviews

August 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Components

We thought it might be fun to build some excitement for our upcoming series of posts which will review these high-zoot wheelsets.

Subscribe to our site so you’ll be sure not to miss out on the reviews of the wheelsets!

Industry Nine:ss cassette 600 300x199 Gearing Up For Our Wheelset Reviews

Industry Nine (I9) has been all-the-talk the past year or so. The guys who ride them swear by them. 3 month wait for a custom set – what?! Super stiff alloy spokes, 120 points of engagement, proprietary spoke and hub design, any anodize color you can image, tubeless or tubed…they sound too good to be true. Promises to be lighter, stiffer, faster, stronger than anything out there…


Ok, so not necessarily a wheel, but more a hub/transmission system the Rohloff speedhub gives you 14 speeds, the equivalent gear ratio of a 3×9 drive-train, but without the mess of derailleurs, dual shifters, extra cables, triple rings, and cogsets. You use only 1 ring up-front, so clearance on your bike is improved while maintenance is reduced. This is not the funky Toy’s-R-Us transmission system of old – this is a hardcore part that takes all-mountain rides and gobbles them up and spits them out… There’s two guys who ride Ellsworth Truths on the same trails I do. I run into them now and then. They both have Rohloff hubs and they swear by them – almost cult-like. With a Rohloff hub you can shift at a standstill, and even better, shift under load. The whole system is sealed (from shifter through hub), so there’s next to no maintenance for your ride. You can run a disc or rim-brake setup (who does rim brakes?!) and you can chose the rim and spokes for your personal set up.

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TAG Wheels Mountain Bike Wheelsets Are Indestructible

June 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Components

tag wheels sea otter 199x300 TAG Wheels Mountain Bike Wheelsets Are IndestructibleIf you were to take a poll of most bikers around the world, without a doubt one of the biggest fears you would find would be the fear of a flat down deep on a trail with no way to repair it. It makes sense; nothing in the world can ruin a kickin trail ride quicker than the loss of a tire, or even worse, a wheel. Most bikers carry a repair kit that can handle the occasional flat. However sometimes the flat is worse than can be easily fixed (pinch flats anyone) or the entire wheel decided to croak on you. With this in mind the guys over at TAG Wheels have decided to come out with some of the best wheels available.

I know there is a whole lot of techie mumbo jumbo about aerospace engineering and something known as the lost core molding process, but don’t let all that confuse you. What they really mean to say is that their wheels are damn near indestructible because they are made right. Basically their idea seemed to consist of interviewing my psychopathic nephew and following him on a couple of trails. When they learned that by observing him they could witness first hand the insanity a biker can inflict on their bike, they must have put their heads together and said “We can make something even this force of nature can’t destroy!” The final result is a wheel that to date my nephew has not been able to destroy.

So the wheels kick butt but what about flat problems. Well again semi scientific words like high impact, glass reinforced, composite materials let you know that they spared no expense in helping every rider meet the end tag wheels crankworx 201x300 TAG Wheels Mountain Bike Wheelsets Are Indestructibleof their trail with their bike in one piece. Again I figured they must have followed my nephew around to find every possible road threat to a tire. Again they made something near indestructible. I mean when was the last time you didn’t have to worry about a puncture flat? Admitted they still haven’t conquered the problem with pinch flats completely, but even these horrors are highly reduced compared to other wheels.

So okay with all this good stuff you got to wonder what the down side is right. Well despite the totally awesome wheels they offer, the one downside is that you are adding weight. The composite wheel alone weighs 1600g and the front hub 220g and rear 330g, so the total wheelset weighs 3750g.  However weight is a pretty small price to pay when you are looking at the fact that trails you have not been able to consider because of how rugged they were are now just a kick away. Admitted if you are doing a lot of hill climbing the weight can get kind of gruesome. So why not make a compromise? When you are doing a trail or just plain ride that weight is an issue, use normal wheels, but when you are planning on taking on a trail known for wrecking tires and wheels throw on the TAG Wheels and go nuts.

In the end the hobby of mountain biking is about seeing as much as you want to. Isn’t it a good idea then not to limit yourself because of fear that you might thrash a wheel or tire? Here at MTO bikes we believe on making sure everyone can reach their chosen peaks, so do so today.

Buy Now – Each wheelset comes with DT Swiss 440 freeride hubs and DT Swiss Skewers.  The other benefits are that the wheels switch out very easily to accomodate all axle diameters with simple end cap adapters.tag wheels at sea otter 300x200 TAG Wheels Mountain Bike Wheelsets Are Indestructible

FRX5 Front Wheel 100mm QR – $343.00
FRX5 Front Wheel 110mm 20mm Thru – $358.00

FRX5 Rear Wheel 135mm QR – $456.00
FRX5 Rear Wheel 135mm 10mm Thru – $456.00
FRX5 Rear Wheel 135mm 12mm Thru – $456.00
FRX5 Rear Wheel 150mm 12mm Thru – $487.00

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Call today to place your order, 770.676.6289!