TIPS & TRICKS: SE HOODRICH
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You’re Going To Need A Pit Bull To Guard This

Most bike companies tend to build their bikes one of three different ways.  First, there are the companies who just want to put out the highest quality product regardless of price.  This is great, but the consumer base is limited and not all riders can afford the super high end products. Then there are the brands that focus solely on price but are willing overlook quality if it means selling a few more bikes.  Lastly, there are the companies that want to put out a quality product, but know that it has to be competitively priced and accessible to a wider range of people, and this is where SE falls into place with their 2013 line.  Over the past couple years, SE has taken huge steps towards raising the quality of their product, while keeping the prices within reach of the average consumer, which brings us to the 2013 Hoodrich; a bike that can make you feel like a baller even if you’re just hopping curbs in the ghetto.

GHETTOLICIOUS
Don’t let the name fool you, the Hoodrich isn’t something that you’d find parked out side a Circle K in the ghetto unless it had a pit bull chained to it.  This thing not only looks good, it is packed with features starting with a full chromoly frame with removable brake mounts, integrated head tube and seat clamp and a externally machined mid bottom bracket.  The SE Powerwing bars measure in at 8.25” x 28.5” and are full chromoly along with the fork which features tapered legs and peg sized dropouts. SE’s top load stem shaves the weight wherever possible and also features a recessed top load cap for a clean look.  The chromoly 3-pc cranks feature a hidden pinch bolt system for a cleaner look and are paired up with a steel 25t sprocket and a sealed mid bottom bracket.  SE’s nylon pedals provide you with a comfortable, grippy platform and Big Daddy’s signature Jackhammer grips help to keep your hands in place.  Everyone knows that in order to be hood rich you have to have a nice set of wheels, so you’ll be rolling on double wall rims with 14mm rear axle and 9t driver, along with Kenda Kontact 2.25” tires front and rear.  If you decide to keep the brake hardware on then you’ll be pleased to find some Tektro brakes with soft compound brake pads to help out with all those fufanu’s and lastly a one piece seat/post combo helps keep the weight of the Hoodrich down to only 25.5lbs.



TO THE GHETTO PARK
After checking over the specs of the Hoodrich it was pretty clear that it was built to withstand the abuse of the hood, so we wanted to test it in its natural environment.  We headed out to one of our worst local parks measuring about half the size of a tennis court, with the worst transitions and most awkward obstacles to see if the Hoodrich would really shine when the conditions were less than ideal.  After airing up the tires and double-checking that our stem was tight the session got started.  Despite there being puddles from rain the night before, we started ripping around the park and quickly got comfortable on the Hoodrich.  The Jackhammer grips felt comfortable at first touch, which helped make the bars and front end feel really good right away.  At 8.25” the bars were not too high and we felt the width was just right in their stock form, giving us plenty of room to throw the bars but still enough width to help us with spinning tricks like fakie 360’s.  Despite rolling though several puddles, the tires kept us glued to the ground and at 2.25” they gave us just enough cushion without being too big or bulky.  The geometry on the Hoodrich felt as comfortable in the air as it did on the ground allowing us to comfortably blast some tables and can-cans over a hip and despite our test rider usually riding brakeless, he couldn’t help but do a few fufanu’s and power skids around the park.  One of our favorite features of the Hoodrich was the stem; one because it didn’t ever slip on us which is a first for a test bike in a very long time, but also because the design and recessed top cap helping give the stem a clean overall look which just shows that SE paid attention to the details.  After a few hours of riding a park that we will hopefully not return to in a very long time, we packed up the Hoodrich and called it a day.

TOOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
Based on all the above information, it’s pretty clear that we had a relatively good experience on the Hoodrich.  While the bike rode great, unfortunately there were a couple small issues.  After about an hour of riding the back hub came a little loose to where it had a little bit of play in it.  This is most likely because the rear hub is semi-sealed so it does still require some adjustment and maintenance to make sure that it stays tight versus that of fully sealed bearing hub.  Also, around that same time we noticed that the 9t driver started to get a little bit of drag, just barely allowing us to feel it catching sometimes as the wheel was spinning.  Being that it began right around when we noticed the hub coming loose, we assume the two are related and are sure that with a little hub maintenance that both could be easily fixed.  It is most likely that the hub just wasn’t completely tightened or adjusted properly from the factory so it came a little loose and started acting up, so we’re not treating this as a deal breaker in any way.  Should you not want to have to worry about it and upgrade the rear hub, you’d be looking at a minimum of about $120 for something fully sealed, but again we don’t see this as a major issue and with a little regular maintenance we would be comfortable riding the stock one until it was worn out.

GHETTO FABULOUS
We have to admit, the SE really surprised us, but it’s clear by now that we were fans of the Hoodrich, and why wouldn’t we be?  The geometry felt great, with the top tube measuring in at 20.7” it will fit a wide range of riders from around 5’3” and up.  The rear end comes in at 13.75” and the head tube measures 74.5˚, meaning the Hoodrich offers a great all purpose geometry for a rider who doesn’t want to be limited to only one style of riding.  It’s simple graphics and color matching are done in good taste and not over the top, and the full chromoly frame, fork and bars give the Hoodrich a solid backbone, so shouldn’t have to worry about replacing these any time soon.  At $439, the Hoodrich comes in priced a little under some competitor’s bikes with a similar package making it a great deal and for anyone looking for a mid level bike to help build their skills and not have to worry about anything but having fun.



HEAD TUBE:  74.5˚
SEAT TUBE:  71˚
TOP TUBE:  20.7”
CHAINSTAY:  13.7”
WEIGHT:  25.5 lb
PRICE:  $439

HITS:
Solid frame, fork and bars
Soft grips
Nice stem

MISSES:
Rear hub may require regular maintenance

TAZMANIAN PARK PROBLEMS
CLICKING HEADSET, IN LAOS
AMERICAN OR MID BEARINGS
RIDER AREA VERSUS TOP TUBE LENGTH

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