Tag Archive for bike polo equipment review

Equipment Check: Modifide ARC 4 Mallet Head

2013-11-05 09.47.26

I’m not going to say I had anything to do with the development of the new Modifide ARC 4 mallet head, but…

Okay, I had absolutely nothing to do with it–though I’m pretty sure it addresses my concerns with the original Modifide ARC, and let me tell you why.

The original ARC was fantastic out-of-the-box, as you can tell from this review I did initially on it.  The mallet head had a great flat surface for striking, the hourglass design held in the ball and made ball movement feel more intuitive, and it made me want to say things like I was a Viking (really this just made me sound like the Swedish Chef, but whatever).

My month later review was a bit more reserved. The mallet head had “egged” on the open end (meaning it lost it’s shape and began collapsing), and it was getting frustrated with the hourglass shape sometimes ramping the ball up and away instead of capturing it on particularly wild passes.  I assumed that the shape of the ARC put additional pressure on the ends when putting pressure on the head, resulting in a collapse of the open end and, overall, a poor design.

My final suggestion was this: wait for a newer version.

2013-10-22 22.48.32Well, lemme tell you: a lot of people came after me after that point. A good amount explained how every mallet head “eggs” after a period of time, how the design was well though-out, and how much they loved their own ARCs. I saw a number of them being used at tourneys and when we visited other clubs for pickup, and I reconsidered my position. I put the ARC head back on my mallet and used it a bit more, and yes, even though it had partially collapsed on the side, it was still fun to use. I found myself steering away from it again, however, as I had grown so used to using the Unibody from Fixcraft

And then I met Steve (of Modifide) at Worlds, and he had a few of the ARC 4s for sale, and my own desire for cool shit won me over. so I bought one.

Build

2013-10-22 22.48.07The ARC 4 is a stout little fellow, coming in at 4 inches (as the name would imply) but weighing in just under a full sized 90 grams.  I resisted the temptation to drill it out, as I was concerned with such a small space to do so (between the middle ridge inside and the built-up walls along the outside). So I didn’t drill, and honestly I don’t think you need to. It’s heavier than my drilled out Fixcraft Unibody head/shaft, but not so much that I’m hurting my wrist.

2013-10-22 22.48.23

Visually, the ARC 4 looks well constructed and beefy. It barely squishes when pressure is applied, and seems like it could easily be used for home repair if not for the bike polo court.

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From the Horse’s Mouth: Tech Review of the Karl Bolt

The Karl Bolt (as I’ll dub it for the sake of the article,) is the least complicated and most “4 years ago” mallet mounting system in this multi-installment review.  I’m going to go over the materials needed, tools needed, and a quick how-to; along with my opinions on the system.  Let’s get started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials needed:

That one is pretty simple and straight forward.  You need a sturdy screw, preferably around 2.5-3”.  Done.

Tools:
A drill with a small bit to drill a pilot hole, and a Phillips head bit or screwdriver.  Possibly a hacksaw as well.

We’ll shortly get into the install, but first, a disclaimer: since all mounting systems require you to drill a hole for your mallet shaft and insert it into the head, I’m not going to cover that every time.  See my video if you have questions about that.  The Fixcraft Fix-Nut system is the only system that varies from this, so pay attention when I review that.

Install How-To:
With your top and bottom holes drilled in your mallet head, and your shaft inserted snugly, you simply drill a pilot hole near the top (shaft/handle side) of the head. What I aim to do is have the screw contact as much material as possible, with as little flowing screw place as possible. Once the pilot hole is drilled, use the Phillips bit to drive the screw through the head, shaft, and back through the other side of the head. If there is excess screw sticking out, cut or grind it off. Done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opinions:

I recently used this system on my go-to mallet at the Carolina Classic Hoedown.  A few of our club members use this system exclusively.  I can honestly say it is worth trying. The pure simplicity of it is attractive, and the minimal to zero cost is also attractive, especially if you’re already spending 30+ on a mallet build.  The head is held fast and snug, and even after repeated abuse it doesn’t loosen or move.

The only con of this system that I’ve seen is if you use a weak or short screw, eventually it will bend, and you may get some movement. In which case you unscrew it, put in a fresh screw, and you’re good to go.

There’s not much to say about this really. It’s the oldest method in the book, just modified slightly by placing the screw higher on the head to contact more material and resist failure.

Rating:

Overall, while I normally love things that are trick and fancy, I have to give this system 4 out of 5  NAH balls.  It loses  a ball because of bent screws after a while.  Try it out.

 

From The Horse’s Mouth: Tech Reviews

I love tech. I like gadgets, and expensive little things that do little tasks, and shiny new bike parts. I spend a lot of time with these types of things and talk about them way too much. So now I’m going to start doing some semi-regular tech reviews for the masses.

A review is pretty worthless without some sort of grading system. After all, you’re probably only going to look at the pictures. I’m going to score each product on a scale from 1 NAH ball, to 5 NAH balls.

 

 

A 5 NAH score means you should probably own/use/swear by this product.

 

 

 

A score of 1 NAH means that this product is all wrong, so unless you’re a true hipster and love the underdog, pass it up.

Mounting mallet heads has been very free-form, and thus far, there has been such a variety of methods that you could probably use a different style each time you build a mallet.  There’s a quest to find the perfect balance between simplicity, strength, and weight, as with all componentry.  I’ll try to touch on all three of these demands as well as some insight into things like durability, and ease of use.

My first review will be a comparison between 4 different unique mallet head mounting systems.  I will compare the following systems:

- Fixcraft ‘Fixnut’
-Fixcraft T-nut
-Beech Connector
-KarlScrew (more commonly known as a screw through the top).

Stay tuned – and let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like me to review in the future.