Reviewer Reports: Parenthood, Carbon Wheels, Convertible Helmets, & Forks (Ep.46)

Noah Bodman reviews the Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact Wheelset for Blister
Noah Bodman on the Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact Wheelset. (photo by Marc O'Brien)

Luke Koppa’s favorite Blister reviewer, Noah Bodman, is back on the podcast to offer his review of parenthood (he’s a new dad); discuss carbon wheels; Sweet Protection’s convertible full-face helmet; and a number of forks that Noah has been spending time on.



8 comments on “Reviewer Reports: Parenthood, Carbon Wheels, Convertible Helmets, & Forks (Ep.46)”

  1. Have ridden all forks Noah talks about except the Zeb and new Ohlins.

    EXT ERA > Manitou Mezzer >>> Everything Else.

    Next closest competitor is probably my Fox 36 with a RUNT and a custom tuned damper. But mezzer is still better than that fork out of the box (well, I did have the rebound revalued to speed it up).

    The ERA is mindnumbingly good, but not twice as good as the Mezzer as the cost suggests. Mezzer is absolutely the best cost/performance ratio in that it is cheaper than all the other flagship forks, and performs MUCH better.

    I will never go back to a single (positive) air chamber fork.


    • Oh, and I should mention that I’ve never ridden any of the Avalanche stuff….have heard their open bath dampers are insanely good. But if I’m going to end up paying double the price of the fork that I just bought in order to make it feel good…..well, I’d rather just buy an ERA and call it a day. Or buy the Mezzer and spend the extra $800 I saved on beer.

    • Better in pretty much every way. I also think the mezzer is better too.

      Regarding the ERA, some of that is the fork itself (damper is amazing, stiff and very low friction, etc) but a lot of that is just the nature of running a dual positive chamber fork.

      Again, I just don’t think I’ll ever return to a single positive chamber air fork. I just can never get them to be as supple off the top without compromising another aspect of the stroke (e.g. mid stroke support, not hitting a wall at the end of travel because of tokens, having to run an over damped setup to keep ride higher where I want, etc). And the converse – in order to achieve the proper amount of mid stroke support I like to keep me high in the travel without requiring excessive damping, the fork ends up having to be super harsh off the top on the small stuff. Either oversprung or overdamped.

      ERA, mezzer, as well as the RUNT all let you decouple these aspects a bit more so they can be set up independently.

  2. I’ve been back on the Mezzer Pro the last week or so, to re-familiarize myself with it after some time on the 38, and I’m still incredibly impressed with it. The Ohlins is a dual positive chamber design as well, and I’m pretty excited to see how they stack up. I haven’t been able to get on an Era yet, but we’re hoping to make that happen too.

    Like Noah said, I was planning on having the fork roundup out very soon, but then things lined up with Ohlins, so we’re going to hold of a little bit so I can include some thoughts on that too. Don’t have the fork in hand yet but it shouldn’t be long now.

    • No surprisingly the ERA is unbelievably easy to set up. I’m still at pretty much the recommended settings for air pressures.

      Mezzer pro on the other hand is for some reason way more finicky. It will feel like a crappy fork until you set it up right. Maybe it has to do with the relative volume of the air chambers but I found the mezzer pro incredibly sensitive to changes on the order of 1-2 PSI. Once it is dialed it feels amazing though.

      Contrast that to the ERA where I it is quite difficult to make the fork feel bad. Unclear what the difference would be since they both use similar dual air spring tech. But that is my experience.

  3. I am happy to hear this as I also thought the Mezzer was rather finicky to set up (and thus was afraid it would be the same with the ERA).

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