Manafort Convicted

Former campaign manager and international person of interest, Paul Manafort was found guilty today of 8 counts of fraud and tax evasion.  Not bad, but considering he was charged with 18 counts, I’d say that’s not really a huge win.

Trump, who continues to praise the now convicted felon, Manafort, now holds the ability to pardon him.  Knowing that Trump is…  unpredictable at best, and completely insane at worst, we have to guess at what his next move is.  He clearly doesn’t care about optics, but even I cannot imagine that he’d be stupid enough to pardon Manafort.  Although every time I say that, he proves that he is, indeed, stupid enough.

Wonder what the actual contract looks like between Manafort and Trump?  What kind of terms did Manafort get for his continued silence.

Also in today’s news.  Michael Cohen pleads guilty also to 8 counts of fraud.  Top shelf on that list is none other than campaign finance violations.

While Manafort is sticking tight to his No-cooperation theme, Cohen is a bit less of a tough guy.  He’s about to sing like a canary.  He began by giving up Trump in court by stating that he paid off the two women (that Trump had an affair with) at the request of, then candidate Donald Trump.

In the end, it is very unclear whether or not either of these men will serve time behind bars.  After all, they have the Triple Crown;  They are white, they are rich, and they are corrupt.

Glove Review

In mountain biking, everyone has a preference and an opinion.  You’ll find opinions for just about EVERYTHING you could possibly put on a bike or put on yourself.  Sometimes you’ll get good advice and sometime you just get an opinion.

Gloves are just one of the items you’ll find where people have a plethora of opinions.  I’m hoping to curb my opinion with a little bit of experience.

This test came from a bad experience so it isn’t really a full test as much as a few observations on the these brands.  Of course we realize there are a LOT more brands out there, so this is a very small sample. And one of my preferences for gloves is knuckle guards. So each has some form of knuckle guard.

In the pool are Fox, Fly Racing, 100%, and Dakine.

FOX:

First up was Fox head (black & whit) version.  This was the first set I bought, and the reason for the review.

  • Comfort: They were comfortable on my hands. They didn’t bind or pinch anywhere and the seams weren’t intrusive.  I did notice that when I would wipe sweat off my brow that the added soft plastic bits would dig into my face.  So that wasn’t pleasant.
  • Durability: Horrible.  While they weren’t terrible as far as the wear on the palm-side of the glove, the suede wasn’t as durable as some of the others.  But that wasn’t the big issue. The first time I washed the gloves, they DISINTEGRATED. Anything that was glued on… which apparently is everything immediately started to peel off the glove.  (I do not machine dry them.  I wash and then hang dry.)
    This also destroyed the ability to close the gloves using the Velcro strap. The felt peeled right off.  Nice.  One wash.
  • Not only did it peel the plastic parts off the gloves, there was some sort of weird metal mesh that they used on the gloves for aesthetic purposes that I was digging out of my bike shorts for weeks. (shown below)

FOX:

Next we tried the very popular Fox Racing Dirt Paws.

  • Comfort:  Just like the last set of Fox gloves, these were very comfortable. They fit well, didn’t bind or pinch, and the seams (inside) were invisible.
  • Durability: Complete FAIL.  My wife tested these.  She gets ready for the ride, puts her gloves on and…  Riiip.  Yeah, the very first time she puts on the gloves, the gloves rip right on the seam (pictured below).  Are you kidding me with this crap?  Fox, what is going on with your quality?  Seriously.  Two sets of gloves, and couldn’t last more than a month?  No, we didn’t get to actually wash them…  so, who knows what’s going to happen then.
  • Needless to say…  We were done with Fox.

FLY Racing:

Next we have a set of Fly Racing’s F-16.

  • Comfort:  I wear a size large, but I found the F-16’s to be a bit small on me.  Some people like a tight glove, and if that’s the case you’ll like these.  They certainly didn’t bind, and the suede was in all the right places. The palms seemed thick enough and they did breath well, even for having the least amount of mesh from the others.  The knuckle guards did seem a little off, but perhaps I needed the extra-large size for this brand.  Also I prefer a little more wrist coverage.  But again, I may need the next size up.
  • Durability: The stitching is solid, the suede is doubled in those heavy-wear locations. We routinely loan them out when taking new riders on the trails with us.  No issues, even with multiple crashes and washes. Still going strong.
  • I’d get these again. Keeping in mind, I’d search for the next size up from what I normally wear.

100%:

Next up; 100%’s Airmatic

  • Comfort:  This was the only set I had an issue with as far as true comfort.  The stitching on these is pretty heavy, and there is this nasty little spot right between my forefinger and thumb where 3 seams meet.  This is also right where the handlebar sits when riding sections where it’s important to have a good grip. On longer rides this starts to irritate my hand. So much so, that I’d like to cut the section out.  Now, this only happens on my right hand, while the left seems fine.  So it could be that I received a bad glove.  But, I’m reporting them as I test them, so this is what it is.  Not comfortable.
  • Durability:  These are built well.  Everything is stitched, including the velcro.  The seams have been tugged on, stretched and crash tested.  The suede is thick yet doesn’t bind or pinch.  They’ve been through the wash and come through with flying colors.
  • Couple of other things I noted.  The velcro strap is difficult to grab.  The hook section is cut the same shape as the fuzz section, and both are stitched (which is normal).  When they are connected the two form an indiscernible unit that, even with your gloves off, is difficult to separate.  The second thing is; If you’re going to bother to make knuckle guards, make knuckle guards.  I’m not sure the little pieces that are glued on would actually help?  All that being said.  I still like these gloves.

Dakine:

Finally we have the Dakine Cross X.

  • Comfort:  The wife is testing these out.  And as soon as I can get her in here to write up her review, I will.  From what I can gather, she likes them?
  • Durability:  So far they seem to be holding up.  They’ve been put through a few rides and crashes and the wash.  No issues, yet.  One thing that does worry me, is the velcro straps are just glued on, much like the FOX gloves.  And while these have gone through the wash with no issues, I feel like it might just be a matter of time?

This concludes our mtb gloves review.  We understand there are many more brands.  This is meant as a quick review of the experiences we’ve encountered when working with these brands and styles of gloves.

 

Testing

Testing the post to see if comments have been allowed.  So far the process has been more than convoluted. With respect to the ease of use, there have been aspects of this build that quite frankly perplex me.

Politics

This is going to get ugly.  I’m just warning you.  If you have a problem with harsh language or strongly opinionated statements, just pass on this.

The Intrigue

So the wife was the first one to get a new bike.  We had been riding for while and it was becoming clear to us that her old 2008 Trance 4 was a bit cumbersome for her to wield around. We weren’t too serious about shopping but as it happened we found ourselves in the perfect situation to browse.

Santos, our favorite riding spot was having it’s annual Fat Tire Festival.  And of course, one of the main features of the event is Demo bikes.  A lot of manufacturers show up to pimp their goods.  One of those was Liv.

She hadn’t ridden a women’s specific bike before and was even a little skeptical if there was anything to it.  With a little bit of nudging, she took one out for a test ride.

She tested out the Pique and it was instant love.  Not too long after that, we had one in the garage.  We bought her the Pique Advanced 2.  And to be honest, I was a little jealous.  I had been riding a 2004 Litespeed Niota, which wasn’t a bad bike…  but it’s 2017, and I was getting tired of getting comments like, “Oldschool, cool man” and “Nice Retro…”  So yeah, when I hopped on her new bike, I had some bike-envy.

It was about 2 months later that I purchase my Trance Advanced 2. And yeah, I love it.  We’ve been on these bikes a little over a year, and we have been serious about riding.  So serious in-fact, that she’s been researching everything to do with mountain biking.  So it came as no surprise when she said, “I want more travel. Your bike has more travel than mine, and now that we’re riding harder trails, I need something a little more beefy.”

What could I say?  I couldn’t argue the fact.  She had a 120mm of travel and that was fine for almost all riding conditions, but she was starting to notice things.  And she was curious if the slacker head tube and extra travel would be more suited to our riding style.

But Liv didn’t have anything between the Pique and Hail (their Enduro bike) and she had test rode one of those and wasn’t too sure she liked it.  She had almost talked herself into the Hail when along came the Liv Intrigue.  New for 2019 line. Perfect! This may be the answer she’s looking for.  It’s more without being too much.

We’ll see.

Sci-Fi test

Eventually I’ll get around to all this…

Movies

  • Star Wars
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Alien
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Star Trek

TV

  • Star Wars
  • Cowboy BeBop
  • Black Mirror
  • Walking Dead
  • Anime+
  • Ink Master (oops sorry, that’s not Sci-Fi)
  • Dark Matter
  • Westworld

Books

  • Star Wars (you see a pattern here?)
  • Sanderson (more fantasy)
  • Hamilton