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Liked a comment on the item First Look: 2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak - Affordable Fun 10/27/2014 12:50 PM

Shit, I would buy that just to keep the components and then swap out the frame to get a real beauty going!!

Liked a comment on the item First Look: 2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak - Affordable Fun 10/27/2014 12:50 PM

The bike looks really great and it's nice to see Fezzari talked about. A couple questions:

Why not turbine cinch?
What's the expected weight? Can't imagine it being too bad as the spec is pretty dialed.

Liked a comment on the item First Look: 2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak - Affordable Fun 10/27/2014 11:54 AM

great price/value, and they got a proper XL size.

Added a comment about product review SeaSucker Mini Bomber Rack 10/15/2014 4:00 PM
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Well thankfully we're hauling bikes and not crap. Have you seen one in person? Have you tried it? Do you know anyone else that has one?

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This product_review has 3 comments.

Liked a comment on the item SeaSucker Mini Bomber Rack 10/15/2014 5:52 AM

I've been using this same one for about 6 months now without issue. I check the bikes and vacuum cups at every stop, but haven't even had a cup come loose. I have about 2500 miles on mine with 2 mountain bikes.

Added a product review for SeaSucker Mini Bomber Rack 10/5/2014 4:30 PM
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SeaSucker Mini Bomber Rack

Rating:

The Good: Versatile Rack (use on various cars and bikes easily). Can be mounted on roof, trunk, or hatchback without permanent attachment. Lightweight - Includes spare vacuum pad and pump and pump maintenance.

The Bad: $400 price tag. Does not include Cable Anchor.

Overall:

As with the other SeaSucker rack I own, I was initially very skeptical of securing my $5k+ bike to the car via vacuum cups. After some initial tugging and pulling HARD on a single cup that was attached to my roof, I instantly realized the power of the vacuum cups. Rated at 210 lbsof pull-strength per cup, the Mini Bomber has a total rating of 840 lb pull-strength which is mighty impressive in my mind.

Initial setup is quite easy and just requires a quick spray of the roof top to clean it of dust/dirt, and a quick spray on the vacuum cups before installation. Each cup only takes about 10-15 pumps to reach full suction power, and each pump has a white indicator letting you know that if it shows white, you need to add a few more pumps. SeaSucker includes two rear strap cups, a 5g Lube Tube for pump maintenance, and a spare vacuum pad and pump.

As stated above, installation takes only a few minutes and is very painless. I found that it is easier to strap the rear suction cup to the tire first so that you're not guessing on placement of the rear vacuum cup. There is no safety strap on the Mini Bomber in case the rack detaches, but with over 400+ miles of use I have not ran into any situation where the pumps lost suction, even with two mountain bikes on the racks for a highway trip.

I haven't found many issues with the Mini Bomber rack, other than wishing I had upgraded to the 15mm built in fork mounts so I would not need to use a fork-up each time. I also noticed that there is a noticeable whistling noise at speeds over 40 mph which gets annoying if my sunroof is open.At $400, the price tag might be hard to swallow, especially when most roof rack setups can be had for around $600 and can be used in winter months for boarding.

Being someone that has had bikes stolen, I was worried how a bicycle can be secured to the car to prevent theft. SeaSucker offers a Cable Window Anchor (sold separately for $30) so you can use a cable lock to secure the bike while you enjoy some post-ride margs. At $400 it would be nice to see this included with the rack.

Although I was worried if the rack could hold my bike at highway speed, I was quickly impressed with the SeaSucker technology and the strength of the vacuum cups. I have logged many highway miles with the Mini Bomber rack and have had no issues or concerns. Not having a permanent roof rack is a tough situation when trying to transport bikes, but the Mini Bomber is a great alternative if you can justify the price tag.

This product has 1 review

Added a product review for SeaSucker Hornet Rack 10/5/2014 3:49 PM
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SeaSucker Hornet Bike Rack

Rating:

The Good: - Easy to travel with - Front wheel stays on the bike - Versatile (can be used on different bikes and different cars). - Included safety strap for added security

The Bad: - Works best on hatchback style cars - Does not include Trunk Cable Anchor - Does not include additional suction cup to secure saddle to trunk. - Can only be used to transport one bike. - Have to keep a spray bottle + rag handy.

Overall:

Even though some friends said I was crazy, I put the Hornet through the paces to see if it matched SeaSucker's claims of strength and versatility.

At first look, I was very skeptical of securing a bike to my car with only two vacuum cups. SeaSucker rates each 4 ½” vacuum cup at 120 lb of pull-strength, but before loading up my $5k+ Devinci I decided to see how strong they REALLY are. After I attached the cups tolinoleumfloors, my rolling 5 drawer tool chest, basically any smooth surface I could find and pulled…and pulled HARD...I was convinced that these are strong. There was no sign of budging or loss of suction, even when I left one cup attached to my car window for 8+ hrs.

Installing the Hornet is as easy as SeaSucker claims. After spraying and wiping down my rear hatch window to make sure it was clear of any dirt/dust, I gave each suction cup a quick spray of water and installed the suction cups. Achieving full suction takes about 10-15 pumps, and each cup had a white indicator to indicate if the pump is losing any strength.After a few installations and figuring out the proper location for the cups, I can have the rack attached to the car in few minutes now.

The Hornet also comes with a safety strap that loops around the head tube and is built in with a plastic pegthat, when closed in the hatchback, secures the strap to the car for that added piece of mind

I’ve used the Hornet for over 300+ miles, included 3 highway trips up to Highland Mountain where I’ve reached speed of 80mph and have had no issues with the rack. I have only had a few experiences where the rack lost only a bit of suction after 3-4 hrsand only required one two pumps to reach full suction, but never experienced a complete loss of suction. SeaSucker includes a pump servicing kit as well in case you need to perform any maintenance (they have instructional videos on this)

The Hornet holds the bike by only the handlebar, but with any sort of driving on backroads or highway I quickly realized that bike needed to also be attached by the seat to the trunk as well. SeaSucker does not include an additional suction cup to secure the seat so this must be purchased separately unfortunately.

Since most people will head out on a ride with friends, the Hornet limits you to bringing only one bike. But on the other hand if someone already has a roof rack installed but no enough room for 3 up top, the Hornet is a quick solution to bringing along one more bike! Additionally, the Hornet could easily pack into luggage for a trip allowing you to attach it to a rental car once you reach your destination.

Being someone who has had a bike stolen off of locked roof rack, my first concern was how to properly secure the bike from theft. SeaSucker addressed this concern with Trunk Cable Anchor that can be installed between the trunk hatchback for use with a cable lock, but must be purchased separately for around $30.

One additional note, these racks thrive best on clean and wet surfaces. To use these racks, I keep a cheap $2 spray bottle and a few rags in my trunk.For someone who is looking for a versatile solution without permanently attaching a bike rack, or is looking for a rack that can easily be transferred between vehicles they own, the Hornet is a great solution at the fraction of the price of a roof rack. After getting over the initial skepticism of how strong the vacuum cups are, I have no reservations about using this rack for long trips and enjoy it's easy of use!

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Added a comment about product review Tested: Xpedo Spry Pedal 9/14/2014 5:33 AM
Added a product review for Xpedo Spry Pedal 9/12/2014 12:53 PM
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Tested: Xpedo Spry Pedal

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

Xpedo has been making mountain bike pedals for quite some time, and they are especially known for their more or less radical out-of-the-box designs. With the new Spry flat pedal, they look to offer one of the lighter and thinner pedals on the market at an affordable price. At just 260 grams and $79 for the pair, we were eager to put a pair to the test to see how they measure up.

Xpedo Spry Highlights

  • 260g per pair
  • Magnesium body
  • Cromo spindle
  • 2 cartridge bearings
  • 1 DU bushing
  • 28 straight pins per pair
  • Size: 106 x 100 x 11-mm
  • Colors: Gold, Black, Red, White
  • MSRP: $79

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the obvious first thing you notice is how ridiculously light and thin these pedals feel in your hand. At 260g PER PAIR, their combined weight is close to the weight of some single aluminum pedals on the market, and even lighter than some of the plastic pedal offerings out there. At just 11-mm thin, you'll benefit from that extra bit of ground clearance as well.

The finish on the pedals appeared to be of high quality and they spun buttery smooth in my hand. The 7 pins per side looked to be reasonably sized, but not long to the point where my shins would start to quiver in fear. The pins are not installed with an allen key, but with a tiny wrench which is included in the box. Xpedo also generously throws in an extra 10 pins for good measure.

On The Trail

As with most pedals, your shoe choice is a crucial factor when it comes to grip and comfort. For this test, I used my trusted, 3-seasons-old Five Ten Freerider shoes. My feet tend to sit a little more towards the outside of pedals when I ride flats, but thanks to the generous size of the Spry's platform I never felt like my feet were hanging off the sides. The Freeriders are pretty flexible shoes, but I also didn’t notice any pressure points from the pins, nor did I notice the bulge of the axle at all.

Mainly because of the slightly rounded shape of the pins, I was able to make small foot adjustments without having to completely take my foot off the pedal, even with the Five Tens. On XC trails my feet were rarely bounced around and they never left the pedals either (aside from the odd intentional foot-out corner), but on DH rides I was wishing for a bit more grip through some of the chatter. One additional aspect to note is that the pedals have enough resistance to not spin on their own, something that the dirt jumpers would definitely appreciate.

Things That Could Be Improved

I would like to see 1 or 2 more pins on the pedals, as well as a slightly taller and thinner pin option for those DH days. The Spry is perfect for XC and dirt jumping, but I felt like I needed just a little bit more grip for when things got hairy.

Long Term Durability

The first things to go on pedals are usually the pins, especially here on the East Coast where pedal strikes are common with a low and slack bike. I haven't had that many pedal strikes, but the Sprys have held up quite well to a few hearty run-ins with rocks. The large diameter pins that Xpedo utilizes have also proven very resistant to shearing. Additionally, I appreciate the fact that since they are removed and installed with a wrench, I won’t have to dig out old dirt from an allen insert when it comes time to remove them. The bushings are still going strong, spinning as smooth as a DJ’s turntable at an Interbike afterparty. The choice of lightweight magnesium for the pedal body does come at a price, as it is softer than aluminum. Based on my experience with the Sprys so far, I'd expect them to show a few more signs of wear compared to their aluminum counterparts after a season of DHing.

What's The Bottom Line?

If you’re in the market for flat pedals for your trail bike or dirt jumper, the Spry should be on your list of options to consider. In my opinion, Xpedo really hit a good balance of comfort, grip, and durability with this pedal, and at $79 for just 260 grams per pair, they are a very affordable and cost-effective way for those looking to shed a bit of weight on their bike as well. If it's monster grip for DH you're after, probably best to keep looking.

For more information, head over to www.xpedo.com.


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

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Liked a comment on the item Tested: Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Gloves 9/11/2014 10:03 AM

comfy and sticky, i've been riding these for 6months, no complaints. its like u dont have to hold onto the bars the Monitors do all the work, i dig 'em!!

Added a product review for Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Gloves 8/26/2014 1:34 PM
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Tested: Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Gloves

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

Lizard Skins looked to expand their product lineup of grips, bar tape, body armor, and frame protection with the Monitor 1.0 gloves. The aim here was to create a lightweight and minimalist glove with ample tech features without the added bulk. We grabbed a pair and hit the trails for a couple of months to let you know how they succeeded.

Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Highlights

  • Articulated fingers
  • Knuckle gussets
  • Seamless material integration
  • Clarino palm
  • Touch screen compatible
  • Available sizes: S-XXL
  • MSRP: $42 USD

Initial Impressions

The first thing I noticed on ride #1 with the Monitor 1.0 glove was the super supple and soft Clarino palm material. Clarino has the smooth feel of suede and the strength of leather, without the drawbacks of the real thing since it maintains its characteristics when wet or after washing. And since Clarino a tough material, Lizard Skins is able to make the palm super thin.The material along the top of your hand is equally thin and minimal which I personally enjoyed. Additional tech features such as gusseted knuckles and touch screen pads on the index fingers round out the Monitor 1.0 gloves.

On The Trail

Being someone with small hands, I really enjoyed the fact that the fingers aren’t too wide and that the material doesn't bunch up under the knuckles. The Clarino in the palm is one of thinnest and most comfortable I’ve experienced in a pair of gloves, it ALMOST feels like you’re pulling a Blenkinsop and riding gloveless. The material covering the top of your hands also breathes extremely well and I never noticed my meat paws getting sweaty even on hot & muggy summer rides. And for those that are concerned about posting your Strava times or Instagramming your ride, you’ll enjoy the touch-screen friendly index fingers.

Things That Could Be Improved

The Monitor 1.0 gloves have a Velcro wrist tab which you’ll either love or hate. I would prefer to have a slip on glove so there’s less bulk and no Velcro strap digging into the top of your wrist when your hands are bent. I found that if the tab wasn’t lined up perfectly, I could feel the exposed Velcro on my skin which is a slight annoyance. Lastly, the price point is a bit higher than most gloves on the market, and although I assume this may have something to do with the high quality palm material and the touch screen fingers, it still bears pointing out.

Long Term Durability

Despite stretching out a bit compared to the initial ride, the Monitors are still holding up quite well without any tearing or visible distress to the palm area and fingers after a few months of riding. All the seams and stitching still look new and the only real sign of wear are the missing rubber grippers on the finger tips. They wore off after a few rides, but to be honest I’ve almost never come across a glove where this doesn't happen.

What's The Bottom Line?

I really enjoy the fit, comfort, and breathability of the Monitor 1.0 gloves. My current arsenal of gloves has been relegated to storage in favor of these until they will become too worn out for riding. If Lizard Skins could drop the price a bit they would get a bump in our star-rating, as it stands now they have themselves a real contender in the glove market - but one that comes at a premium.

For more information head on over to www.lizardskins.com.


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

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Added a comment about product review Tested: Giro Cipher Helmet 8/11/2014 7:56 AM
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The GoPro Mount snaps in and is quickly removable!

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Added a product review for Giro Cipher Helmet 8/8/2014 10:01 AM
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Tested: Giro Cipher Helmet

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

by Justin Schroth

Giro has long been in the head-protection game in various action sports, producing some of the best technology and features available for riders today. With the Giro Remedy being a crowd favorite for many years, Giro now looks to further step up their game with the new Cipher, aimed at the DH and Enduro crowd in need of a lightweight and well-vented lid at a price point that won’t break the bank.

Giro Cipher Highlights

  • Integrated P.O.V. camera mount
  • Tool-free, bolt-on visor
  • Channeled ventilation at browline
  • Emergency removable pads
  • X-Static® anti-microbial padding
  • D-Ring buckle system
  • TuneUps™ audio speaker pockets with O-Snap™ cord management
  • Fiberglass shell with EPS liner
  • Custom injected gaskets around goggle port and neck roll
  • Vinyl Nitrile-lined chinbar
  • Fit Kit™ fit system
  • 8 vents with internal channeling
  • MSRP: $200 USD

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the Giro Cipher looks sleek, stylish, and streamlined without giving you that bobblehead look. At 1180 grams, the helmet doesn’t weight much more than some carbon fiber helmets on the market (there's about 100-150 grams in it, depending on the model you compare it to). Although lightweight, the helmet feels solid and has impressive rubber molding details around the goggle port and bottom openings.

Giro also includes a dedicated GoPro/Contour mount that is designed to break away in a hard crash. On the topic of eating it, the helmet doesn't feature the Eject system but the cheekpads are specifically designed to be removable to help with getting your lid off safely after a serious digger.

For those who enjoy rocking out to the beat while getting their shred on, the Cipher is specifically compatible with in-helmet speakers, like the TuneUps system from Giro/Skullcandy for example. The speakers slide into specifically designated pockets in the cheekpads. Finally, the pads and liner are removable for easy washing, and treated with an antimicrobial agent to avoid you getting your dome-funk on.

On The Trail

For the first ride, I noticed the helmet was a little tight around the ears/cheeks, but after a few days of DH laps the pads broke in and the helmet became very comfortable. Snug enough to hold steady without any pressure points around my dome. Coming from a larger moto-style lid most recently, it was nice not noticing the weight of the helmet when riding. The bottom rear portion of the Cipher is low-profile which makes it a very neck-brace friendly helmet, and I never felt restricted when looking upward on the steeper stuff.

With 8 vents, including large intake vents along the brow, the helmet breathed very well even on an upper 80’s day. The large enduro-inspired goggle port not only allows for a great field of vision and an easy fit with a range of goggles, but also keeps the air flowing when you’re charging hard and mouth-breathing like a champ.

Things That Could Be Improved

Although I like the idea of a designated GoPro mount on a helmet, the break-away design that Giro went with has some play in the mount which does not provide a super stable platform - as a result it can cause shaky video. Additionally, Giro offers the Cipher in a wide range of flashy color combo options, but I would also like to see a few more subdued colorway options.

Long Term Durability

Although I haven’t had any crashes with the helmet, the construction seems solid with apparent attention to detail that you’d expect from helmets costing almost twice as much. I’ve had helmets where the manufacturer had skimped on quality visor hardware or chin-straps, but on the Cipher these look and feel solid. I expect Giro's latest to last me many seasons barring any bad crashes!

What's The Bottom Line?

The Cipher is a sweet option for those looking for a lightweight enduro/DH capable helmet that looks great, breathes well, and is neck-brace compatible. The MSRP runs $200 but I've seen it go for around $180 which is certainly a very good price for a helmet of this quality.

For more information, head to www.giro.com.


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

This product has 1 review

Added a new video Greg Watts Shreds Highland Mountain Bike Park 7/30/2014 8:51 AM
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Greg Watts shreds Highland Mountain Bike Park on his downhill, dirt jump, and slopestyle bike! Song: "Rock" by Dirty Penny

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Added a comment about product review Tested: Dainese Rhyolite Jacket 7/21/2014 6:57 PM
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I believe it's their own compound, similar to d3o though.

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This product_review has 15 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: Dainese Rhyolite Jacket 7/21/2014 6:57 PM
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If it's any help on sizing, I'm about 5'9" 165lbs with a 32" waist and a 40" chest and I'm a medium in the Rhyolite jacket.

This product_review has 15 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: Dainese Rhyolite Jacket 7/20/2014 1:52 PM
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Agreed. If gear like this would get more people wearing protection over not wearing any at all, then I'd say they are doing their job. So many kids at Highland rocking the tshirt and neckbrace combo but nothing else to keep their body protected.

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This product_review has 15 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: Dainese Rhyolite Jacket 7/20/2014 6:51 AM
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Try here? http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/dainese-rhyolite-soft-jacket-2014/rp-prod118468

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This product_review has 15 comments.

Liked a comment on the item Tested: Dainese Rhyolite Jacket 7/20/2014 7:12 AM

For people who - after reading this review - are still hesitant:
Loic Bruni uses it at every world cup (sleeves too),
probably the only top 10 guy using body armour and as you guys can see it doesn't seem to restrict him or slow him down in any way.

Added a comment about product review Tested: Dainese Rhyolite Jacket 7/20/2014 6:51 AM
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I hear ya on price. I went on the TLD site and checked out both options and I'm impressed by the price point. Trying to find specs on both of these to compare weight, but the TLD does have more material covering your body so I would assume it weighs more and is probably a bit warmer. With no zipper to get it on/off you'll be squeezing into that like a stuff Chipotle burrito and having an even more difficult time getting it off. That being said, with stuff like this is definitely something of a personal choice and I would recommend trying one on if you can to compare. There was an VERY indepth article on another mountain bike website (it has the name Pink in it) that goes into big detail on how it was constructed. I actually read it AFTER reviewing this product and and it eases a lot of my concerns about large impacts on their soft padding. The testing they do in-house is pretty impressive and they are transparent with the results which is nice to see. Quick google search will find the article, have a read if you have 5 minutes.

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This product_review has 15 comments.