Review: Fox Sergeant mountain bike short

Fox Sergeant mountain bike short in camouflage
Fox Sergeant mountain bike short in camouflage

This is a guest post by Sara Tabana. Sara is one of our most dedicated riders and the founder of the group Egyptian Female Athletes. Sara is not only an avid mountain biker, but also a trail runner, scuba diver and rock climber! She knows quality outdoor gear when she sees (or in this case, wears) it.


Fox is known for their quality high-end forks and shocks, but they have a great line of mountain biking gear and apparel too.

Product description from the Fox shop website:

  • Shell: 98% Cotton / 2% Spandex
  • Lining: 95% Polyester / 5% Spandex
  • Inner liner features high performance RIDE chamois
  • Detachable inner liner makes it two shorts in one
  • Adjustable waist for perfect fit – no need for a belt
  • Rear stretch yoke for pedaling mobility
  • Stash pocket with goggle/sunglass wipe attached to elastic shock cord
  • Two cargo pockets, two hand pockets, two rear pockets, and a cell phone pocket
  • ‘Audio Interface’ with a custom pocket and internal cord routing for MP3 players

Fox Sergeant shorts, first impressions:

These shorts are great! They come in 4 colors but I went with the the camouflage pattern which I am fond of. The length and general fit is is very nice (just below knee, adjustable waist) and the cut if very comfortable. It has loads of pockets for small item storage (I especially appreciate the sunglass wipe attached to an elastic cord…very useful!) and a detachable chamois liner.

Fox Sergeant short in action:

But the best thing about this short is not the great looks, they also ride very comfortably. The 5% spandex provides just enough fabric stretch for pedaling flexibility. The short’s material is very thin and light yet has a feel of durability to it.

The detachable chamois liner is nice because now I can use the liner with other bikewear I have. The RIDE chamois is comfortable enough without being lumpy. The liner is attached to the shorts with a tiny clip on the inside, (the clip ripped the first time I put the shorts on though). The elastic bands around the lower end of the liner make the liner stay put throughout the ride, but the bands around can be a bit too tight, but not to the point of being uncomfortable.

Did I say that the pockets are grea?t! The cargo pockets have little circular magnets in place of the buttons, they just snap shut (very cool).

Fox Segreant short, final thoughts:

I give these shorts a  4.5/5. They’re made of a great material, look great, ride comfy and priced reasonably. (They’re on sale right now on the Fox shop website. The detachable inner liner is a nice touch but the elastic bands could be more flexible.

Oh, one more thing, these are guy shorts, or so they claim (foxhead). But I think they’re just as good for MTB chicks like myself =)

MTB Egypt rating 4.5

Get your custom MTB Egypt jersey!

mtbegypt-jersey

Friends,

Avid cyclists know that any self-respecting cycling group should have its own custom cycling jersey 🙂

MTB Egypt is having a limited number of custom jerseys made. The jerseys are fully customized with our own design and logo, which you can see a mock-up above and are made from excellent moisture-wicking and light material.

We will only have 15 jerseys made. Final cost is not concrete yet since we have to account for shipping and customs, but should be around $45 (L.E. 250)

If you would like to reserve yours, please let me know your size and whether you prefer short or long sleeve. You can also post in the forum here http://mtbegypt.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=30&pid=76#pid76 or email us.

8 out of those 15 jerseys are already booked by MTB Egypt riders, so if you want one you will need to let me know fast. Those jerseys are going to be awesome!

MTB Egypt rider profile: October 2009

nora

Name: Nora Mortagui

Age: 27

Where are you from?

Raised in Alexandria but currently living in Cairo.

What do you do for a living?

I work for a multinational in the human resources department.

When and why did you start cycling?

I started cycling in April, 2009 because I was looking to adopt an outdoorsy activity where I can continuously challenge my body & mind especially in a very male-dominated sport.

Road, off-road, or both?

So far, off-road, I have only biked on-road twice. But I am not biased to either.

Tell us about your bike(s)!:

My bike is a hardtail women’s edition 2009 GTw Avalanche 3.0. I just love it when guys see it and comment “oooh, but it’s so girly!”. Yea.

Favorite ride(s) (road or off-road):

Wadi Degla, so far J

Do you practice other sports?:

I regularly do aerobics, strength training & hiking but I’ll be willing to try anything else at least once.

Tell us about your cycling-related injuries/accidents:

Some time in the end of September 2009, I was riding really fast in the Wadi’s Canyon where I, as far as I can remember, attempted to jump a very small drop off at very high speed only to end up landing on the side of my front wheel, that got twisted, then I began swerving manically & ultimately flew off my bike, injured my right forearm from my palm to my elbow, where my palm turned blue then black, and pounded the triangular bone beneath my lower spine and hit the back of my head. After a month, I am still recovering from that fall but thank God for helmets!

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself?

Nah, I’m good.

Video: A typical ride in Wadi Degla

This is a short video showing a few sections from a typical ride in Wadi Degla. You’ll have to excuse the choppy, shaky video and the amateurish video editing skills. I used an “improvised” handlebar camera mount that I made using a spare stem, old inner tubes and a mini-tripod.

Enjoy!

Adjustable geometry frame technology and the quest for the perfect mountain bike

Push-button on-the-fly geometry adjstement on the Bionicon Golden Willow
Push-button on-the-fly geometry adjustment on the Bionicon Golden Willow (picture poached from BikeRadar.com)

The evolution of mountain bike designs:

As mountain biking evolved from riding modified cruiser frames downhill into a highly diverse sport with various disciplines, a

One of the early mountain bikes, circa 1976
One of the early mountain bikes, circa 1976

similar evolution followed in bike designs, frame types and suspension technologies to cater for the various riding styles and disciplines. One of the most interesting aspects of such evolution can be see in in the areas where the riding styles overlap. That is, while purpose-built bikes serve the goal of optimizing frame design, suspension technology and build spec to a very specific type of riding (such as ultralight bikes for endurance racing, burly big-hit rigs for downhill and freeriding), the widest spectrum of recreational mountain bikers mostly ride ” a bit of everything”, and as such would like to have a bike that rides a bit of everything (almost) equally well. Nowadays, there is a strong trend in the industry to build such bikes.

Continue reading Adjustable geometry frame technology and the quest for the perfect mountain bike

18 months with the 2008 Specialized FSR XC Comp

The 2008 FSR XC Comp
The 2008 FSR XC Comp

The Specialized FSR XC:

This is Specialized‘s line of entry-level full-suspension light trail bikes . It is the Stumpjumper’s little brother and is based on the solid and efficient FSR suspension platform. The FSR XC Comp is third in a line of four FSR XCs that share the same frame and differ in component specs.

This is a 4-inch travel (100 mm) bike, which means that both the front fork and rear shock have a maximum travel of 100 mm.

How we rode this bike:

We rode this bike on a weekly basis for about 18 months, tackling everything from killer climbs, ultra-steep descents, day-long rides, technical lines and the occasional jumps (plus plenty of hard crashes :)).

fsr_xc_riding

What we liked:

  • The frame: The FSR XC’s excellent frame has been continuously refined since the FSR platform was first introduced (more than a decade ago). Light enough for efficient climbing yet plush enough for a confidence-inspiring handling on the descents. This is also one of thos bike you could describe as “beatiful”.
  • Good component group. Decent mid-range Shimano Deore kit, Rock Shox Tora 302 SL (good but faulty, see below), and an X-Fusion rear shock and a bunch of Specialized own-brand components (seatpost, handlebars, grips, tires, etc). The Specialized/Alex rims wheelset took more abuse than I thought it would.
  • Excellent brakes: The hydraulic Hayes Stroker Ryde with 160 mm rotors (on our medium frame) really have a strong bite to them. They even might be too edgy for beginner riders.

What we disliked:

Aside with a problem with faulty fork that apparently plagued a whole batch of Tora 302s produced in 2008, there is really not much to dislike about this bike. It offers a sensible option for riders looking for their first full suspension bike, and even makes a great buy for experienced riders on a budget. The fully active suspension, light weight frame (for its class) and good component group makes it one of the best full-suspension trail bikes on the market.

Final thoughts:

The 2009/10 model have  slightly improved on an already excellent bike. It now offers slightly longer travel (120 mm), a new shock placement and has done away with the interrupted seat tube of the 2007/08 frame design, which posed a bit of problem for riders who need to drop the saddle way down for more technical descents.

MTB Egypt rating: 4.5/5 4.5