Thursday, November 19, 2009

PowerStrider CZ series: Part 2

Getting straight to it today. Here we are with my continuation of my review on the PowerStrider CZ series. If you have not read my initial impression I would recommend you do so before continuing.

But for those that have. I've made a brief video review in the video below. (Click the view original post button if you're viewing this from facebook) Please read a more detailed article following the video.

After getting some more in depth time on these powerstilts I have really taken note of their aspects that shine and the ones that leave you grumbling. Let's take a closer look at what I've discovered!

On one specific outing. I put on my powerstilts in front of my apartment. My end destination was the park across the street by the Mississippi River. I sat on the front step to my apartment building to gear up. I ended up struggling to get everything fastened correctly. I think I sat there for a good 5 minutes focusing on my foot straps alone.

Needless to say the frustrating nature of having plastic bindings was really becoming apparent. But after I put them on correctly, got up and went on my way. I was again very pleased with the weight of this set. They simply disappear on your feet. This made my quick jaunt across a cross walk, and down a small bike path to my end bocking destination very painless, and simply fun.

I ended up deciding to see how well they'd hold up in a serious jumping session. So I went at them for as long as I could. Again, very pleased with the fact it really seemed the height I was reaching was well OVER what I could on other models.

However, in putting some serious effort and work into the springs. I noticed something else fairly annoying. That again, went back to the bindings and now the foot pad.

I noticed that under heavy forces my heal would slide to one side or the other. This resulted in my landings being uneasy, unbalanced, and at times down right scary. This is due to a variety of factors.

The removal of the support rods.
The Removal of the plastic foot plate.
The Plastic Bindings.

In other models the support rods ended up holding my heel in place. I'd wedge it in there, and it would never move. By having room to move combined with the plastic heel of the foot pad. My foot never went anywhere. But with these I ended up at times feeling like I was walking like a duck. Even nearly clacking my springs together when landing. This was simply annoying!

I'd imagine that this could be rectified by tightening down the bindings even more so than normal on the rear strap. But again, the stock bindings are to frustrating. I kept having to sit back down after a few minutes to readjust so my heel would not slide.

I will admit that the new design certainly looks appealing. It's sleek, and sexy. But in use, I find myself already wanting to modify it. Deal breaker? Not quite, but something everyone should seriously consider before investing a lot in these? YES.

Moving along. I was very pleased to find that in my rough sessions. I did not have to readjust the cuff mechanism. Which had been a major worry of mine. They hold up great, and are very convenient to adjust for other users or to remove to store. This is something I hope other brands take note of. It seems to be in the direction of where others should go.

I absolutely love that the bushings are SILENT. I said it before in my last review, but the only noise I've heard while using these stilts. Is the noise of my hooves hitting the ground. I've been waiting for them to make a noise. But even after being rough on them. They remain completely silent.

However, I wish the nuts and bolts on this model could hold up to similar wear and tear claims. So far I've found myself readjusting and checking bolts after every use. Not out of good habit, but out of necessity. Because sure enough, after a couple hours I can feel something come loose.

In this phase of testing, I've had to tighten the hoof assembly on the spring. I've had to tighten the bolts from the support arc to the spring. I've had the stopper that's designed to keep the spring from bashing in the back of the foot pad come clear off. Due to the bolt coming loose.

Yes, it's good to check all your nuts and bolts after each use. But with other models, I've never actually had to adjust them as often as with these.

So to recap, the things that still shine to me are this;

The weight. They're light and feel great.

The height I can get. less energy for more height. Outstanding.

The no noise factor. No annoying CLACK CLACK.

The Cuff Mechanism works great. Adjust for yourself easily, then adjust them for a friend with as much ease.

Now the things that make me grumble;

The bindings! Cheap, annoying, ugh!

The slipping heel. Give me good bindings, or something to keep my heel from sliding around!

The nuts and bolts. I don't want to have to adjust these EVERY time I come back in from a session.

Now that I've had some time on these my opinion is that they are still a decent design. They are still worthy of maybe one day purchasing. The negatives aspects for the MOST part weigh less than the positives.

I get about another week on them before my review is done. I feel at this point that my opinion will remain the same. But time will tell all. Please come back here later for my conclusion.

And for an added bonus here is a video of XDbockerChris on them. Ignore the audio in this, it was windy so you can't hear anything I'm saying. xD

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