2007 Brodie Zealot
Words and photo by Sharon Bader Hardcore riders have been riding Brodie Bikes since 1986. Known for their classic hand-built cross country bikes, Brodie first delved into the freeride scene with the Holeshot, a worthy Shore hardtail that was a favourite among many riders. Brodie followed the burly trend with the Diablo and the 8 Ball. They’ve always had a bike that stayed close to their cross country roots with the Awl, but the Zealot is their first attempt to bridge the divide between XC and big 8bikes.
The Zealot is an all-mountain 6″ bike with a Horst Link rear suspension that has a slacker 68° head tube angle and a longer chainstay than the Awl (which did come as a longer travel bike in 2006). The bike is designed to descend, but has been spec’d with suspension that also makes it easier to climb. Component highlights include a RockShox Lyrik SoloAir fork and Pearl 3.3 rear shock, a selection of Syncros parts: the DS28 All Mountain wheelset, BHT 2.6″ tires, Syncros DH Race stem, Bulk 20mm riser bar, Derived seatpost, FR/DH Race leather saddle; Avid Juicy 5 brakes with an 8″ rotor, Truvativ Stylo cranks, SRAM X-9 rear derailleur and trigger shifters.
A clean and shiny Zealot, just waiting to get dirty and show what it’s made of.
At $3,699, this bike is about middle of the road in price point. The price is justified when you look at the burly frame, with nice welds and really cool purple colour that shimmers in the sunlight. The Lyrik fork with the Maxle quick release is super stiff, easily adjustable and plush. The Maxle is a GREAT idea whose time has come – no longer do you need a tool to remove the front axle to change a flat. The RockShox Pearl 3.3 is also very easy to adjust and very plush. The fork and shock combo provide a super stable riding platform, making a powerful and agile climbing machine as well as one that’s plush on the descent.
I have had a few Shore rides on this puppy and so far it has not disappointed. It climbs well, descends strongly and is not afraid of the techy gnar. I may switch out the 100mm stem to one that’s 90mm or less since the Lyrik sets the front end a bit high. Other than that, this has been a great climbing and descending machine so far. Stay tuned for the full review once I have a few months on the Zealot.
Suggested retail for the Zealot is CDN$3,699. Contact your local dealer for pricing info if you don’t live in the Great White North.
Harlot Houlihan shorts and Scarlet X-Knickers for ladies
Words by Denny Byrne and photos by Stuart Kernaghan
What is it about this Harlot Clothing Company product review for their Houlihan shorts and Scarlet-X knickers that gets me thinking about the Pussycat Dolls??
Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?
When the Harlot Houlihan shorts arrived, I was pleased to see that they were simple grey and black urban camouflage with red contrast stitching and embroidery. When I mountain bike, I’m don’t want to look like a cupcake decked out in pink and baby blue frosting. That being said, while the exterior design is not “girly”, the fit is. These shorts are cut like trendy board shorts that sit comfortably just below the waist, but not the sort typically designed for adolescent boys – these shorts are designed for women with sexy contours and a little meat on their bones.
The Harlot shorts, coming and going. Functional and fashionable all wrapped up in one camo package.
The Houlihans are made of tough polyester/cotton and feel as though they could withstand a lady-like tumble over the handlebars. They are equipped with a four-way stretch crotch panel for ease of movement and the seams are positioned where they will not rub or be bothersome when sweaty. The shorts come equipped with a zip fly, industrial snap waist tab with Velcro reinforcement, deep trouser-style pockets and belt loops in case you wanted to accessorize with a studded belt.
They fit easily over Lycra shorts for downhill riding, but you could also cruise around in them without your bike and still look cool. The inside panel of the 2″ waistband is silky and smooth – no scratchy labels or exposed stitching. Harlot president Jennifer Steketee points out that the shorts will fade in the seat with abuse, but that only makes them more unique to the user like an old pair of jeans. I’m curious to see how they hold up in the wash after a few rides and if there is enough air flow in the heat of the summer. First impressions – the company’s claim to create clothes with an eye on style as well as function rings true.
Shifting gears a bit, the Scarlet-X Knickers are made with 85% stretch nylon and 15% polyester shell featuring a Dryon ™ water repellent finish. They come in black or grass colour and have two back pockets, soft, stretchy side panels and an elastic waistband that offers supreme mobility and comfort. It’s nice to put on a pair of shorts with an elastic waistband that manages to hold your pants up without digging into your sides. There are no adjustments on the knickers, so you have to make sure the size fits you perfectly.
The Scarlet X-Knickers are long, but not too long. Light, airy, comfortable – what more could a girl ask for?
The knickers are equipped with a silky X-Static® liner and exclusive Harlot BCZ padding system which is a thin, flexible alternative to a traditional chamois. By the way, “BCZ” stands for Beaver Comfort Zone. Naughty. The X-Static ® fabric apparently provides natural anti-order, anti-static and thermodynamic properties which sounds all very high tech but I must confess, I’m not 100% sold on the liner set-up yet. I wore them as is, without an additional liner, for a medium-length cross country ride and I found the padding was insufficient.
When I tried them with an additional liner, I found that to be a bit bulky with too much padding (I know, I sound like Goldilocks). If these knickers came without a liner, I think I would wear them every single day because they are so comfortable and flattering. They are ideal for riding your bike across town to the gym or yoga class, but I’m not sure the fabric is tough enough for a trail ride. I can’t help but wonder, why bother with a built-in liner when you don’t really need one for a light ride and you have to double up for a real ride?
In terms of fit, the sizing chart on the Harlot web site holds true. I’m typically a size 8 and the medium in both the shorts and knickers fit perfectly. I like the fact that they use fabrics and materials from respected U.S. and Canadian companies whenever possible and that they continue to have their gear sewn and assembled in the U.S.
There are a number of Harlot dealers in the U.S. In B.C., Harlot is available at the Garbanzo Bike & Bean in the Whistler Village. The Houlihan shorts are available in sizes S-XL and retail for US$70 and the Scarlet-X Knickers are available in XS-XL and retail for US$80. Stay tuned to see how this Pussycat Doll in training and her Harlot gear do on the trails.
Harlot is looking to expand its dealer network. Give me a shout if you’re interested in carrying Harlot in your store. – Stuart Kernaghan
Tons and tons of padding to keep you safe. The fact that it’s see-through is an added bonus. Seinfeld Christmas card, anyone?
There are several layers of protection in the Unitux. The top layer is made of polyethylene (PE) strips that prevent puncture wounds. The high-density foam middle layer absorbs energy from impacts and spreads out the force. The bottom padding layer is more foam, this time perforated. It also absorbs impact, but also offers some ventilation. All of that is attached to a snug polyester spandex mesh jersey that covers the rider’s torso down to the waist and wrists.
Other features of the Unitux are the removable articulated spine protection, 6mm thick elbow and forearm protection, rib and stomach protection that consists of two layers of the PE strip and foam combo, and a multi-layered hook-and-loop kidney belt. The PE and foam layers are designed to move in conjunction with one another so they stay close to your body while you’re riding. The neck of the Unitux is cut low to avoid choking hazards; the chest piece that sits between the rib/stomach protection and neck offers protection against puncture wounds more than impacts.
Articulated hard back protection over foam, plus 6mm arm pads from shoulder to forearm.
Anything to say about Gear Shots #32? Lusting after the gear? Here’s the place to talk about it.