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Product, Reviews

The Heat Is On

May 15, 2013
Most of the time we call him Dick Kruse for a reason, but sometimes Nick does cool shit; here is one of those times. Check out his thoughts on the new Fixcraft-DGel NAH Hard Durometer Tournament ball:
balls

It’s 87 degrees in Columbia, Missouri today. Aaron and I went out to the park to hit around and gee whiz, it was a sure reminder of what playing in the heat is like. There’s no such thing as a mild summer in the Midwest these days, is there? The idea of a 20 minute competitive game in the middle of the day at the qualifier doesn’t really get me excited, I have to say. Wah wah, Nick. Wah.

Anyway, before we left for the court Aaron grabbed the new Fixcraft-DGel NAH Hard Durometer Tournament ball that Sean threw him last time he was in Lawrence. We had it on the court along with a HOT ball from 2012 and the ‘Canadian orange’ as well.

As expected, around the 5 minute mark, the old HOT ball and the Canadian orange got mushy. We all know what it’s like – sucks, man. But the new Fixcraft Hard Durometer ball seemed to be holding up. As the others became unplayable, we pushed them aside and continued to pass around and work on a few things for about an hour. The new little orange guy remained pretty snappy. When leaving the court, I collected the balls and they were all warm to the touch. Squeezing each one in my hand, I could feel and see the difference. The ball was playable the entire time we were there, and considering the conditions I was really impressed with it.

I don’t mean this to be a conservative radio style advertisement where all the sudden crazy-dude is talking about the gold standard and giving you the phone number for how to buy gold coins and canned foods because “he believes there will be AN ECONOMIC MELTDOWN!!!” I just really think Sean and the Fixcraft crew have been working towards a solution for awhile now, and invested a lot of time into this ball. I am excited to see a real improvement come to fruition.

Although, maybe it’s some divine being’s way of leveling the playing field to prevent us here in Columbia from being TOO good (zing!), summer is surely settling in to sap your skills all over the northern hemisphere. Do yourself a favor and try these suckers out! I think they’re really tight!

-Kruse

Product, Reviews

A Complete MILK Review

April 29, 2013

Bike polo mallet

Review of the Simple 1.2 head: Their name for this head couldn’t be any more accurate!

Mounting MILK heads to Milk shafts is pretty much as simple as 1, 2, 3 (they even send instructions on how to do it). Put the shaft into one of the pre-drilled holes on the head, make sure the slot in the shaft lines up with the ridge on the head, put the screw through a pre-drilled hole opposite the shaft entrance, and screw down.

That is how simple it would have been if the shafts sent to us were long enough for me. Sadly, it costs extra to ship them at the length I need. Honestly though, this ended up not being a problem. Spending just a few minutes with a hand file, I was able to cut a slot into a Fixcraft LT shaft and it ended up working just the same.

I was happy to be able to review the 2.5″ Simple 1.2  head. I wanted to try out the head that put MILK on the map. After using it at a couple major tournaments, I have to say that I love it. These heads have the best wear I’ve ever seen. The design of the heads allow for more wear on the corners to prolong its life. With three different rotations, you can easily make this head last for a year or longer; through pick up and tournaments alike.

While shipping from Switzerland can be expensive, the longevity and simplicity of these heads are definitely worth the extra few bucks. They will last you longer than other heads on the market and take you a fraction of the time to set up.

Support these awesome Swiss dudes!

 

Reviews for the Ninja 1.1 head and both Shafts: The boys and gals at MILK must know how lazy I am.

Within five minutes, I took the Ninja head and TOUGH shaft out of the box, secured the head to the shaft with hex wrench, put tape and rubber stopper on top. Boom. My mallet was ready to go. I was lucky that the MILK crew cut the shaft exactly to my preferred length, which is the same length they cut shafts to save on shipping. (Shafts in paid orders will come longer than what we received for the review.)MILK bike polo

MILK NinjaBut you’ll definitely have the convenience of a mallet head already cut to 5 inches. And the convenience of having six holes drilled for three rotations. And the mounting equipment already secured in the shaft. Overall, you’ll experience the most convenient assembling process you’ve ever had with a mallet. This is where I see MILK’s prices worthwhile (shipping costs aside). I’ve said before that I’ll pay for convenience, and MILK’s stuff is the epitome of just that.

Not only is the product convenient to set up, it’s perhaps the best stuff to play with. The MILK folks hooked us up with a LIGHT shaft too, but the length was too short for Aaron. So my tournament mallet became the Ninja 1.1 with a light shaft. Holy hell, is it light. The head has been great on all kinds of surfaces, from tennis courts to partially-sanded curling courts. At the latter, there was a ton of dust on the surface, but a few pieces of hockey tape on the bottom kept the head from slipping without affecting my play.

MILK NinjaThe LIGHT shaft stood up well to the likes of some serious Midwest games. Dents are abundant and there’s a slight bend, but nothing that makes it unplayable. The TOUGH shaft is standing the test of time and hacks even better. Fewer dents have shown up and there’s no sign of any bend.

When the funding is available, I’ll be going for more Ninjas. But that begs the question: Why hasn’t MILK set up a U.S. distributor?

If nothing else, we would happy to set up a store for them :)

Until then, go buy MILK Products!

MIIIIIIIIILK!

Product

Fixcraft Product Drop

April 24, 2013

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After a long wait (it’s almost the end of April, come on!) Fixcraft has done a massive product drop of their 2013 line. Not only did they bring back some old products in new and improved forms, they also presented us with brand new items that we have been seeing sneak peeks of for months now. Old and new products alike, they are even for sale on a brand new website. Gone are the days of sharing a space on Blue Collar Distro, and forward into the future they march to stake their claim as the most innovative bike polo company in the biz. Here is a little taste of what is they are now offering:

100_20Disc120_20135_20Fix-Free

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  • Back are the 2500 and 2375Unibody heads, but this time in a slimmed down version. Both heads are now only 5″ long and come with one set of mounting holes pre-drilled, plus two secondary position marking holes. Both models are also made out of the highest grade virgin, impact resistant UHMW.

LT_20Poles_20Thumb XT_20Poles_20Thumb

  • Also back are the new and improved LT Ultra Lite and XT Extra Tuff shafts. Both shafts now come anodized for extra strength and on top of that, they come in four colors! The mounting end now comes pre-threaded (no more drop nuts!) to save time and weight. The end also is cut to fit the new Fixcraft Cleat, that we are all incredibly excited to try (sadly, we are still waiting on the Cleat).

NAH100Balls

  • Finally a ball that can stand the blistering heat of summer! This 100 A durometer ball is made to be played in 80+ degrees. According to the Fixcraft website, the ball was tested last summer all across the south, from Arizona to Florida, with rave reviews. If that isn’t good enough, Fixcraft is donating a portion of each ball sold to NAH. Support Fixcraft, Support NAH, Support Bike Polo!

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what can be found in the new Fixcraft webstore, so we strongly encourage you to check it out! If all of these new products aren’t enough incentive, then maybe a store wide sale is! Until 8pm tonight April 24th (Central Standard Time), Fixcraft is offering 15% anything and everything. All you need to do is use the coupon code FIXNEW to get the discount.

Product, Reviews

King’s Crown review

April 23, 2013
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Crown Nut web

Our review of the Milwaukee Bicycle Company’s King Crown has been long over due, but like I’ve said in the past, we like to make sure we thoroughly play with products before reviewing them. We want to make sure they hold up over time and live up to our initial reactions. Before even reading the reviews, I will say that the King Crown did hold up and it became one of our favorite products to date. When you first see the product on their site you’ll think “$11 for one screw and one nut?!? OMG R U 4 REAL?!?” but I promise you, it is worth your money. Here are our official thoughts:

Review 1: The King’s Crown is a pretty innovative little piece. I originally purchased mine to use on the Arena Alchemy head, but it’ll work well on any thin-walled head. I still have about 36 inches of old, uncapped St. Cago piping that will work perfectly with the Crown. It’s harAlchemy open enddly a complaint, but it can be a bit tricky to get my meaty fingers inside my mallet head to thread the crown on the shaft. It gets easier with practice.

I’d also suggest keeping an eye on the bottom of your mallet to ensure it’s not wearing so much that the teeth poke all the way through. I haven’t had this happen, but be cognizant of when you need to rotate your mallet head. Now that the piece comes in the Monohead complete package, it seems pretty worthwhile. My only other concern is the Crown outlasting the shaft. Once your shaft gets a serious bend, you’ll need another threaded shaft on which to put the Crown. So if a threaded shaft is spent, you can put the same Crown on a new threaded pole.

Overall though, I’d get another one. Hell, the Monohead package is a pretty sweet deal.

Review 2: Is it too late to deem a product as the best of 2012? If not, I’m going to go ahead and say that the Milwaukee King’s Crown attachment system is hands down the best thing to hit the polo market thus far. Most companies are just doing various forms of drop nuts which still leave the problem of the head loosening from the shaft and still leave the potential for nuts putting through the bottom of heads. MBCo reinventing of the wheel allowed for both of these problems to disappear.

I attached my King’s Crown to the first generation Magic Emerald (this head did not have a center ridge like the new ones do). It allowed for secure attachmenIMAG0642t without worries of the bottom of the head bubbling out or the nut pulling through the thin wall. MBCo only sent me one King’s Crown so when I tried to build up a second Emerald Head without the Crown, I had the hardest time. The King’s Crown was a saving grace in this instance.

One concern I could see popping up is that over time the teeth of the crown may poke through the bottom of the head. Natural mallet head wear could cause a tooth or two to start poking through the bottom (it hasn’t happened for me yet and I’ve been using my mallet on it’s first rotation for several months now) so be sure to check it and rotate the head as needed.

The only other concern that comes to mind is the extras that you need to buy with it. By this I mean that for me the King’s Crown worked so well because I had a threaded Milwaukee shaft that would screw into it. So for this crown to work it’s best you need to either order a threaded Milwaukee shaft with your Crown or buy a tool to thread the end of the shaft of your choice. Since some shafts come without the tapered end (i.e. MILK and Northern Standard), you are left a smaller market to choose from.

That being said, I absolutely love my Milwaukee shaft as well. It feels light and I’ve played many tough games in several tournaments using this mallet and the shaft has zero dints. The combo of the shaft, King’s Crown, and the new Small Mouth Head could put Milwaukee Bicycle Company back to the top of the bike polo market.

As Jim Cramer might say on Mad Money, DON’T BE AN IDIOT AND BUY NOW!

Product

MKE’s Small Mouth

April 18, 2013

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If you were asked to describe Milwaukee Bike Polo Club, the phrase “small mouth” would probably never even register in your radar. That is, until now!

Milwakuee Bicycle Company, in association with Ben’s Cycle, released their new Small Mouth Monohead today. Weighing in at only 83 grams, this head has promise to take over the UHMW market. Through many trial and test periods, MBCo managed to keep their head light but also include everything to make your head go the distance.

Even with the light weight, this head still measures out to be 5″ long and has a 2.5″ outer diameter on the business end for hard hitting shots. They were also able to add a center rib to prevent pull-through of the shaft and maintain longevity. Pull-through shouldn’t be a problem anyway, since you should order a MBCo crown nut with your head; those things are the best polo specific item in the market!

Not only are these among the lightest heads in the market, they are also among the cheapest! For only $20.99 + shipping you can own one for yourself.

Order one over on Ben’s Cycle website and change your polo game for the good!