Long Term Equipment Update

by Brian Mullin on June 7, 2007

I have been using most of my new bike parts for about 3 months of pretty heavy abuse and I wanted to make my current conclusions and observations on these parts. These are my observations and opinions on these parts that are used on my bike and on my trails. So take anything with a grain of salt. Where the heck did that saying come from? I looked it up according to the Oxford English Dictionary “to take ‘it’ with a grain of salt” means “to accept a thing less than fully”. It dates this usage back to 1647. I weigh 150 lbs and ride with a fairly light touch. I have noticed of late that I am starting ride a bit harder and tougher then I used to, but I still cannot make any big dude comments with these parts since I am not a Clydesdale by any means.

Tune Speedneedle Marathon Saddle

The saddle pretty much feels as it did from day 1, meaning that it has not broken in and never will. My original blog Speedneedle entry goes into more detail on the saddle. The saddle is comfy for what it is but you better have some padded bike shorts to make up for the lack of deep cushioning. I have not observed any cracking issues where the rails are glued to the carbon shell. The only slight wear spot is on the nose of the saddle. My only real complaint with the saddle is that its a bit hard along the outside edge, it is not painful when moving around on the saddle by any means but it is not soft. Still a great investment for a light weight comfortable saddle. They are not the cheapest saddle around and they can be very tough to get a hold of one in the States but I still can state “Recommended”.

Alligator Serrated Rotor

I have 2 observations on the rotors. The first observation will be a using 2006 XTR Dual Control brake system and the second will be for Magura Marta SL brake system. Refer to my Alligator blog entry for detailed information.

Observation 1

I think my 2006 XTR brake system provided a lot of modulation but it lacked a bit in the power department. I was ready to move up to the next rotor size due to the weakness I felt in the XTR brakes stopping power. The Alligator rotors were a great performance enhancement. They never faded and gave me more modulation and power then I ever expected a simple brake rotor change could make. I did not feel the need to change the size of the rotor as much as I did before hand. And the increase in the ability to lightly feather the brakes in the rough is another treasure of the Alligator rotors.

I can still state “Highly Recommended”.

Observation 2

The Magura Marta SL are a very light weight brake system and have incredible stopping power, but they don’t let you feather the brakes as nicely when compared to my XTR’s. They are a real on or off brake and when they are on you stop on a dime. At first the Alligator rotor seemed fine and I had no issues. Then I started to feel a chatter in the front brake. You could even notice the entire front hub vibrating and pulsing. This was very annoying. The rear end didn’t display this as much but the front end probably oscillates with the front shock and acerbates the issue. I cleaned the rotors, tightened up the skewer and tried every trick I could think of but the issue still happened. I put on the Marta SL rotor and the issue did not happen.

So all I can state is “Jury is out on this one”.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 31, 2010 at 8:02 am

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Anonymous April 26, 2010 at 11:59 pm

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