Any way I ride it, the Mezzer Pro IRT delivers the ride quality, features, stiffness, weight, and manufacturing quality to justify it's 1000 USD price tag compared to what the competition is bringing to the trail. Where comparables are bringing different takes on the same basic package, the IRT air system offers something unique. It's not about being something for everyone in a sea of options, but rather offering a level of tuning and performance that will appeal to many riders over the other options on the market.
MANITOU MEZZER PRO IRT FORK
With my settings dialed, in 160mm or 180mm configurations, the Mezzer is as good as any fork I've ridden. Maybe I'm a bit persnickety but it took me longer to get the fork to maximum performance. Once I had bracketed my settings, it delivers best in class traction bump absorption while standing high in its travel.
Hard on the brakes rolling through janky roots setting up for a steep rock section, I know the fork will push through and ride high, ready to absorb my poor line choices when I drop-in. It's not confidence inspiring to the point that I'm hitting additional features or noticing a jump in the speed I travel compared to other top-end forks. Instead I find myself more relaxed and flowing the unflowable more often than on other high-performance setups.
Thanks to IRT, the Mezzer is one of the few forks where I never play with my settings between slow janky Shore trails and some of the higher speed lines. On many other forks, I run a lot of LSC to resist panic-braking-induced fork dive on steep roll-ins but those settings will then feel harsh on faster lines. Once my settings were dialed I didn't touch the Mezzer between rides except to check my pressures.
HAYES DOMINION A4 BRAKE
The small details Hayes thought of like the reach adjustment location on the lever, the dead stroke adjustment hidden in the lever’s push rod and the Crosshair Caliper Alignment System shows the amount of time that they put into these brakes. And the consistent and reliable performance over the last several months has proven to me that the updates are more than superficial.
What really surprised me about the Hayes Dominion A4 brakes during the course of my review is that the brakes feel the same today as they did on my first ride. The lever contact point and modulation has remained the same time and time again. Every time I have pulled these brakes they feel the same: Same lever contact point, same pad contact point, same pressure, same braking power… This makes the Dominion A4 extremely predictable brake, which is something that I really enjoy in a brake, and as a rider over 200lbs who likes riding steep trails in the woods of British Columbia, that is not something I find in all brakes.
The Dominion A4 lever is comfortable with or without gloves and has incredibly smooth operation. As stated above, the lever rolls on ball bearings and it really makes for smooth actuation. The lever also includes an integrated reach adjustment dial that is tucked into the lever to protect it in the event of a crash. The lever adjustment is easy to use with or without gloves.
Hayes did a really great job with the Dead Stroke, lever feel and the lever action. The brakes start to engage as soon as there is pressure on the lever and modulation is great. Increased pressure means more braking power until the brakes lock up. As soon as the lever is released the brakes release and there is an audible click that can be heard when the lever returns to its original position.