4li2k73z Share your Vital activity on Facebook (More info)
close

Rconroy's Product Reviews

Added a product review for 2014 Trek Fuel EX 9 29 Bike 2/2/2014 10:23 AM
C138_2014_trek_fuel_ex_9_29_bike

Trek Fuel EX 9 Review ... Swing and a miss

Rating:

The Good: Great build, and very good frame weight as well. If I were to build a bike from frame up, this bike is how I would do it.

The Bad: The head angle on this trek was a little too steep for my liking

Overall:

Riding the Trek Fuel EX9 29er

The part spec on this thing was amazing, full XT all around, Fox Float front and rear, and at a price just over $4,000, that's a great value. This bike was the first 29er I've ever ridden, and I was immediately surprised on how quickly I became comfortable on it. Riding this bike on smooth single track was a breeze and tons of fun, carrying tons and tons of speed, and cornering quick well. It was quite amazing on how fast this thing could go! Climbing this bike was also great, the bike's monster truck tires allowed me to easily pedals over small loose rocks and larger sized boulders. The overall weight of the bike also helped out with jumping it over features in the trail, allowing the bike to bike picked up and put down with ease. The issue came into technical sections, with the head angle at a pretty steep 69.5 degrees, I felt as if I was over the front wheel far too much. Even managing to get myself into some pretty hairy situations. Which is a shame, because I wanted to like this bike, because it seems great and almost exactly what I am looking for, great build, good price, and around 5" of travel. But that head angle just made me feel like this bike was only designed for smooth terrain.

The Bottom Line

I can't reccomend this thing. In this day and age, bikes are moving to slacker and slacker angles, and maybe its good, maybe its bad, but the bottom line on this guy, is that for a 5" travel bike, it should be a little bit slacker. Sure you could put in an angle set, or offset bushings, but whats the point? Buy something with current geometry, and maybe change it with those products down the road. My vote, is don't get this thing until its just a hair slacker... Sorry Trek maybe next year

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for 2014 Kona Process 134 Bike 2/2/2014 9:34 AM
C138_process_134

Kona Process 134 - Its cheap but still pretty good

Rating:

The Good: Overall the bike has awesome features. It boasts great geometry, solid drivetrain and brake selections, Kona has always done an awesome job with picking wide handlebar and short stem combos (and this process has no exception), and last but not least is the addition of a KS Lev Dropper post, which on a build this inexpensive is pretty awesome!

The Bad: Front Suspension - Man I have got to say that the Rock Shox Sektor fork on this thing was terrible, I felt as if it dove every time I would push the bike into the corners. Trying to compensate for this, I increased the preload air pressure in the fork, without much success.

Overall:

Riding the Kona 134

This season I have demo-ed quite of few bikes, and this bike was by far the cheapest, and quite possibly the heaviest as well, which made me think that I wasn't really going to like this ride. While that may have been the case, once on the trail I was pleasantly surprised. Climbing on this bike was quite good, and just as efficient as most other bikes on the market. Additionally, that extra weight seemed to go away once moving along. I did notice a bit of pedal feedback pedaling through larger sized rocks, but it wasn't that big of a deal, and many other bikes I've tried out this season have had similar issues. Descending on this bike was great as well, the moderately short chainstays, and 68 degree head angle allowed me to move through mixed terrain quite well. The Maxxis Ardent tires, while even though 2.25 in the front and rear, hooked up great! And I was able to corner almost as quickly and as hard as some much more expensive bikes. Jumping the Kona Process 134 was also blast, feeling light on the pedals, it is very easy to pick this bike up and place it where you need it, allowing me to jump over smaller rock gardens, and lateral roots. Honestly my only complaint about the entire bike was how bad that fork was, I just could not get it to be firmer. It was as if Rock Shox needed to increase the standard compression circuit, as it was much too easy to move through all of the travel on that thing. If I were to buy this bike, I would almost immediately swap that Sektor fork for either a used Fox Float, or a new Revelation, or X-Fusion.

Final Thoughts

I would say all in all, the new Kona Process 134 is a great bike (I wish I had a chance to ride the 134DL). It's somewhat amazing to me these days that regardless of which bike you bike you can't end up with a lemon, like you could just a few years back. If you are on a budget and want to get a perfectly capable trail bike, then look no further, the Kona Process 134 is it. Swap that fork out and I would give this bike a solid 4 or 4.5 stars.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for 2014 Devinci Troy Carbon RC Bike 1/9/2014 8:44 PM
C138_2014_troy_carbon_rc

Devinci Troy RC - Great Buy

Rating:

The Good: Very good parts spec, pretty on the money for the build, and frame, but man LIFETIME warranty on the frame... unheard of. Basically SLX parts all around, which for 90% of people is more than they would need, CTD rear shock, which feels pretty standard compared to the previous versions of the fox float, and the fox float 34 which is a solid mid/upper-range fork. Lastly this is one of the few companies that actually gets the cockpit correct, spec-ing the bike with 780mm wide bars and a short 70mm (I think) stem.

The Bad: Wheels are a bit flexy, I was surprised, they didnt follow the typical over-under pattern you see on most wheels which didn't make a ton of sense to me. Additionally the bike comes with a XT long cage derailuer which i thought was a bit dumb since it ships with a double in the front. Also not a huge fan of the Hans Dampf, I would have been allot more jazzed with a pair of highroller II, or ardents.

Overall:

Overall I think this bike as a whole is a great package! Pretty short chainstays, real slack head angle, adjustable geo of 67.5 in the high setting to 67 degree in the low, big burly fork, and a great build kit. The SLX brakes, are awesome, I would say back to back compared to the XT's I honestly could not tell the difference in stopping power. Shifting with the SLX, XT drive train was again solid and without issue. Rear end of the bike was very stiff and never seemed to give any trouble while riding. Only complaint about the build of the bike was that the wheels were pretty floppy, and they flexed laterally quite easily.

On the trail I was initially a bit nervous about how slack the head angle was, thinking that it would be somewhat difficult to make it up technical climbs. But once actually climbing you don't even notice it. Additionally the split pivot suspension linkage tied into the float rear shox was an awesome combination. I believe I was running about 30% sag in the rear, which when doing the parking lot squish test seems a bit too much, but once on the trail is peddles like a champ. When coming to descending, the bike basically chewed up anything I could throw at it, rocky choppy stuff... no problem, flowy stuff... no problem, even tight corners the bike did pretty alright. Anyways moral of the story on the trail: Probably the best all around trail bike I've ridden.

Comparing this bike to other stuff on the market is also pretty easy, because frankly there's not a whole lot out there in this particular price range. There is the Yeti 575 which in the same price point you get a full XT build, but lacks the carbon frame. You've got the santa cruz Bronson, which is also an amazing bike, but in that same price point, you are looking at much lower end parts. The bike that comes closest is the norco sight which is a bit cheaper, but lacks the float 34 fork, has a lower end rear shock, and generic norco wheelset. Additionally, none of these bikes come with that lifetime warranty on the frame, that this Devinci is going to come with.

The bottom line is, this bike preforms awesome... it eats up whatever you can throw at it, put that into combination with the price, and the warranty, you've got a real winner.

LONG TERM REVIEW/UPDATE

Hey Everybody,

So I wrote a review about 1 month into owning this bike, and thought it was about time to give a long term review of this bike.

Overall the frame has held up quite well, but as I began to ride the bike more, it became more and more apparent there were a few things that I was not too jazzed about, that I thought others would be interested in hearing about, as well as providing a long term review for this bike which has not been done yet.

Rear Shock

Mid stroke support of the rear shock - Man this was terrible, I am not sure what tune was spec'd on this frame but, I felt as if the bike would really wallow in the mid stroke of the rear travel. This would mean that trying to jump out of a berm/hard corner, or soon after a rough section was very hard, as the bike liked to really sink into its travel almost like a downhill bike. This problem was somewhat remedied by swapping the rear shock out with a Cane Creek DB-Inline. But even with this change it was still somewhat apparent, my conclusion (and I could be very wrong on this ) on this issue is that this bike is not designed to be very playful, but really feel like a mini downhill bike, which it does. As a result it really sines on rough sections of terrain, and to jump this bike over features in the trail takes that much extra effort and setup. I'd be curious to know what other Troy owners think of this statement and whether they would agree or not. But overall, its still great, and excels on what I think it was designed for, especially with the DB inline. NOTE: That when set up at the recommended 25% sag the bike felt way too harsh, and the sage was increased to 35%, without any noticeable pedaling inefficiencies.

Wheels

Admittedly I was pretty excited to finally try out a set of Easton wheels, as they seem to always get good reviews and have pretty good brand recognition in the industry, but these things basically blew up almost after I wrote the review, quite possibly the worst wheels I've ever used.

The hubs were fine and had a reasonable amount of engagement, but the rims were very soft. Additionally, the way that the wheels were laced was somewhat weird as well, they did use your typical cross lace pattern but, did not do the standard over/under technique that you see on basically every other wheel out there, which led to the spokes not retaining much preload. As a result, the wheels got flat spots very easy, and came out of true just as much, that combined with the fact that they would dent, made for a terrible time.

I was actually so pissed about this, I wrote both devinci telling them not to spec this wheelset again, who were apologetic, as wheel as easton, who never responded.

Eventually I switched wheels to a DT hub laced to WTB rims, and have not looked back.

Brakes

SLX Brakes have held up great ! No complaints, never needed to bleed, and have only swapped out the pads, really impressed with these things, and im not sure why they are not more commonly spec'd on other bikes.

Frame

About two months in, the frame began creaking pretty bad, no visible cracks or anything like that, but I'm not sure which bearing surfaces its coming from. At this point I should tear-down the whole bike and rebuild, but its one of the few frames I've owned that began to creak that soon. I would guess its a pretty common problem with this model, as there used to be a section on their site outlining how to find the creaking area. Other than some annoying sounds, the frame has held up wheel, rear end is still really stiff, and has not developed any play even after 100's of miles of riding.

Reverb Dropper

My only issue is that I wish that it came with a right hand lever for the left side, since the SLX brakes dont play well with the reverb lever.

Overall

Honestly I go back and fourth from loving this bike to hating this bike, and I really think it boils down to your personal riding style. It loves to stick to the ground and soak it all up, unlike some bikes that do very well jumping over that same terrain. Its held up amazingly well considering how much has been throne at it, and its still backed up with Devinci's lifetime warranty. Even with some pretty stiff competition out there at this point, I would still recommend this bike to anyone who is really looking in that 130-150mm travel trail bike, to at least try it out to see what they think.

I'd be curious what other people think of not only the RC build but all of the builds to see if they agree with my "ground sticking" characteristic.

Thanks and feel free to comment with any questions!

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Continental Explorer Tire 5/13/2013 2:47 PM
C138_30198

I do not like this thing

Rating:

The Good: i got it cheap, very grippy

The Bad: Very unpredictable

Overall:

I bought two of these things back in the day when i used to race XC a little. While this tire climbs really well, when corning its very unpredictable, meaning i could never get the hang of when it would break free. I eventually got so sick of them i gave them away to someone.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Maxxis Advantage Tire 5/13/2013 2:38 PM
C138_12593

Solid Rear Tire

Rating:

The Good: Similar cornering knobs to the highroller, with center treads that climb better

The Bad: none thus far

Overall:

Corners similar to the highroller, so it pairs up as a rear trail tire with the highroller real well. Climbs well, and is fairly fast rolling. I have not run this tire in the front, thus far, but i like the highroller up there too much anyway.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Kenda Karma Tire 5/13/2013 2:29 PM
C138_ti410a01

Great Dry Tire

Rating:

The Good: Rolls fast, climbs well in the dry

The Bad: wears quick, doesnt climb well in the wet

Overall:

This tire is pretty sweet as a dry XC tire or rear slalom tire, wire the knobs wear fairly quickly, its a fast rolling, quick accelerating tire that you can find pretty cheap

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Maxxis High Roller Tire 5/13/2013 2:27 PM
C138_89841590_1266960014

Best tire ever?

Rating:

The Good: Corners real well

The Bad: expensive, can't ever find them on sale, as a trail tire it doesnt climb too well

Overall:

What can be said about the high roller, a tire that has been out for a long time? Everything, this tire is awesome! Square profile, hooks up in the wet and dry equally well, and is fast rolling as well. Tons of people shy away from this tire because of the drift zone that it has, but this is one of the most predictable tires ive ever ridden meaning that once youre used to it.... its amazing.

This product has 8 reviews.

Added a product review for Kenda Nevegal Tire 5/13/2013 2:06 PM
C138_ti509a01_2.5_fold

Kindof Cheap, Kindof Crappy

Rating:

The Good: Cheap, ok as a rear tire

The Bad: doesnt climb too well, ive had the cornering knobs rip off.. not get worn out... tare off the sidewall

Overall:

I bought two pairs of these things back in the day. 2 2.5 DH casing, and 2 2.35 foldable. I never run these guys in the front, as it is pretty sketchy. The foldable ones are ok, but ive had the corning knobs rip right off the sidewall. Additionally the tire really struggles to climb when its remotely damp. The drift is pretty predictable though, but it doesnt corning too great though. The 2.5 i will pretty much as a dick around tire on my dh bike. There would be very, very limited applications of when i would use these when racing.

This product has 10 reviews.

Added a product review for POC Trabec Open Face Helmet 5/13/2013 1:45 PM
C138_trabec_kryptonblue_1508

Best Helmet Ive Ever Owned

Rating:

The Good: Fits Real Well, lightweight, simple coloring

The Bad: Collects sweat real bad, but i think that every helmet is going to have that

Overall:

Plain and simple, this helmet is sick. Fits real well, completely around your head. The visor doesnt pop every two off like other trail helmets, and to top everything off, the helmet is pretty light as well. I would definitely recommend this helmet for anyone rides more than a couple of times a week

This product has 3 reviews.