Archive for March 25, 2013

Bike Check: Nico Paris and the Rustbelt Marco 26″

Nico Bike Check (7)

The Specs:

Frame: Rustbelt Marco 26″ – Size M. Bonus features: S&S couplers (courtesy of Alex Meade from Lexington) and Paragon sliding dropouts
Fork: Rustbelt Marco Disc
Stem: Thomson Elite X4 – 80mm 0°
Bars: Squarebuilt Polo Bars with Ergon grips
Brake Lever: Avid Single Digit 7
Nico Bike Check (8)Brake: Avid BB7 – 180mm
Rims: Salsa Gordo 32 spoke
Hubs: Surly Ultra New Disc
Tires: Tioga City Slicker
Cranks: FSA Gravity Gap Downhill
Sprocket: FSA – 36t
Freewheel/Cog: White Eno Trials – 22t
Chain: KMC Z510HX (1/8″)
Pedals: Time Strong Z
Seat: Charge Bucket (not pictured)
Post: Thomson Elite Setback

The Questions:



Previous bike? 
Eighthinch Scrambler.
Nico Bike Check (2)What made you upgrade/change?
I wasn’t really sold on 26″ bikes until I rode Lomax’s Marco a couple times at pickup. I was really impressed with how maneuverable it was and how solid the bike felt under me; it feels as though the bike wants to right itself. Given a grippy court surface, you can carve outrageous turns without the feeling that you’re going to jackknife.
How was your experience working with Lou from Rustbelt?
Lou is great. He’s a quality guy and he made sure that I got all of the little features I wanted. The only caveat with Rustbelt is that you’ve got to be patient because it can take a while to get your frame. Lou can also be a little hard to reach sometimes, but in the end it’s totally worth it.
Nico Bike Check (5)If you did the build again, what would you change?
I originally routed my brake cable through the headtube but that was a mistake. Even with Nokon housing, the lever feel was super squishy. I rerouted the cable and that completely fixed my brake issues.
I’d also probably get something cool laser cut in the brake bridge (definitely not something silly like my name, though)
Anything else you’d like to say?
I think Lou sold his soul to the devil because he nailed the perfect polo geometry. It’s not easy to describe the ride so holler at me the next time you see me at a tournament and I’ll let you give it a spin.
Editor’s Note: All photos (save for the one that is supposed to be Nico) were taken by my esteemed colleague, Zack of Bloomington Bike Polo fame.
Nico Bike Check (4) Nico Bike Check (6) Nico Bike Check (3)

Equipment Check: Modifide ARC Mallet Head

Modifide Arc Mallet (10)

One of the newest entries into the mallet head market, the Modifide ARC out of Toronto has quite a number of things going for it, and perhaps 2 or 3 things that aren’t going for it. Let’s discuss, shall we?

Out Of The Box

When this little honey first landed on my doorstep, I was immediately struck by how much work went into it. It’s apparent that this is more than just a tube with a cap on it. It looks like a piece of sports equipment. The tightening diameter heading towards the center intrigued me for two reasons: how would mounting be different, and how would the ball respond.

Modifide Arc Mallet (1)Modifide says the ARC weighs in at 93 grams and by golly, I got nearly the exact same weight measurement here in the US of A. I think that’s a first for any mallet head I’ve reviewed.

Looking on the inside, I can see that they’ve included the MILK style middle ridge and some extra material at both the capped side and open side of the mallet, with a lovely bevel to boot. I scraped the side with my nail, and noticed the Canadian UHMW does seem a bit soft compared to some of the other mallets out on the market, but I wouldn’t know what the hell that meant for play until I played – so that’s what I did.



Modifide Arc Mallet (6)Anyone who reads this blog knows I am not worth a damn when it comes to putting a mallet together. I readily admit this. I am fortunate, however, in having Horse live nearby, and he was more than willing to help me out. He is a big proponent of the Pittsburgh Beech connector system , and that’s what he used for the ARC. We were a bit concerned at first about the curve of the mallet, but it didn’t seem to hinder the attachment at all.

Horse mentioned to me that this attachment system seems to add a little bit of power to the swing (power is transferred directly to the mallet instead of absorbed my the mallet shaft/mounting system), so if I experienced harder shots, it might be in part due to the beech connector. All the same, the mallet felt like it had a great weight when attached (Fixcraft XT shaft), and the shape of the head just makes you want to crush things with it.

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