SuboptimusPrime's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Guerrilla Gravity GG/DH Frame 11/12/2015 12:18 PM

The GG/DH is one BAMF


The Good: Fantastic geometry, stiff as hell, pretty light, simple to maintain, easy to set up according to rider taste, you get to support a truly good company made up of really cool guys and gals, great perks including free T-shirt and access to discounted component purchasing

The Bad: My hopes of smoking Loic Bruni on the WC circuit remain unrealized.



Large frame

CCDB shock
Dorado Expert
Zee drivetrain and brakes
Saint crankers
823s on Hadleys (26)
'Woo approved G5 rubbers
Mandatory Thompson post, WTB saddle and Renthal bars

Just to give some context, I am coming off a 2012 V10.4 and an IH Sunday before that and have spent a good bit of time on a demo some years ago. I liked a lot about the V10, but as my trail bikes grew longer, the (large) V10 really started to feel small and did not give me the same sense of security I love about a DH bike. I found myself wishing that my DH bike could just be a bigger, badder version of my Banshee Spitfire in terms of fit and feel. After several helpful conversations with Will at GG, I was convinced that the GG/DH would fit the bill (and my budget) so I pulled the trigger on a large GG/DH. Being 6'2" but with T-rex arms, I debated on size but Will steered me onto a large and I'm so glad he did. 4-5 weeks later the frame arrived. Build up was completely uneventful and I have to say this frame is a work of art. Perfect welds everywhere you look and everything clean and well finished. Nice. My only niggle is with the flip chips for adjusting CS length. When I go to push the axle through, it pushes the chip out of its little seat which means I need to hold it in place while guiding the axle and lining up the rear wheel. It's just a bit awkward. No biggie, but I kinda wish there was a little screw to hold the chip in place or something.

Anyhow, getting suspension set was ridiculously easy, I just started at the recommended base tune, added a quarter turn more HSC/HSR and 2 clicks of LSC/LSR as recommended for my weight. I ended up adding another quarter turn of HSR and one more click of LSR as I felt I was getting a tiny bit bucked on some jumps. Super happy with how it feels now--I don't think I've ever got a bike dialed that quickly. Everything else was a carry over from the V10 so things felt familiar. The dorado is set to 18% sag, 2 clicks from full closed HSC and 9 clicks from closed TPC.

As for the ride, I really feel like GG hit it out of the park in accomplishing their stated mission objective. The frame is pretty light, real stiff, easy to set up, and presumably easy to maintain given the single pivot. The bike wants to go fast (as it says on the top tube) and feels better the more you push it. The rear end eats up chatter but really ramps up nicely--never felt it bottom hard and never felt out of sorts no matter what pile of garbage I was landing on. It's a really balanced bike--I could run shit over with abandon (Beech is pretty rocky and loose at the moment), but I could still pick up and hop over things when I wanted to. I think that someone wanting to plow could be happy with this bike but a finesse rider could find a set up he wanted as well. Cornering is predictable and it was easy to load up and pop out of berms. I'm just OK at jumping and I felt really comfortable in the air as soon as I got suspension set. Honestly, I couldn't be more pleased with the entire experience from ordering to build up to first ride. I see a lot of fun days aboard this rig in my future.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Banshee Spitfire V2 Frame 7/10/2014 6:30 AM

Fantastic trail bike


The Good: Descends like a bigger bike than it is, durable, excellent frame stiffness

The Bad: A bit heavier than some similar carbon options


I've had my 2013 Spitfire for about 16 months now during which time it has been my primary bike for all sorts of riding. It is still going strong and remains my favorite bike ever. I had a V1 spitfire and experienced the known bushing issues (although that was also a really fun bike).  Banshee took care of me with a heavily discounted V2 frame which has more than addressed shortcomings with the prior frame.  It had been ridden in a wide variety of conditions from my mellow non-mountainous local trails in NC to our jump trails to the roughest stuff in the mountains of western NC. Essentially, I agree with the other reviews with a few exceptions you'll see below.  The bottom line is that if you want a bike that will get you up the hill efficiently and with enough energy to really get after it on the way down, the spitfire is a great choice.  If you're in the market for a "play bike", think about the spitfire.  I think the spitfire is somewhat unique in that it sports a little less travel than most of its direct competition (SC Nomad, Spec Enduro, Giant Reign, etc).  I personally feel like this allows the bike to ride less demanding terrain without feeling like way too much bike while its outstanding geometry and suspension design allow it to retain the ability to push hard on more demanding trails.

The longer review below mentions the rear end being overwhelmed in more "DH" type situations with the stock Fox CTD shock and I'd tend to agree here.  I will, however, add that when I upgraded to a Cane Creek Double Barrel air, there was a night and day difference and with a Pike up front, the bike really is extremely capable in essentially any terrain.  Obviously there are limits to what a 140mm travel bike will do, and it's not going to ride like a real DH bike.  But the spitfire really does punch above its weight in terms of handling terrain and speed that would cause many 140mm bikes to flounder.

I have no intentions of "upgrading" my frame until the next major Spitfire revision.  Can't wait to see what happens next.

This product has 4 reviews.

Added a product review for Maxxis Crossmark Tire 5/9/2013 3:22 PM

Great rear tire for trail bike


The Good: Rolls fast Good grip Drifts predictably Pretty light

The Bad: Short knobs get overwhelmed in deep mud Can get flats in extremely rocky terrain (especially at lower pressures)


I've been running the 2.25 crossmark as the rear tire on my trail bike for years. I pair it with a minion DHF and have really come to love this combination.  The crossmark has surprisingly good grip--much better than you would think just looking at it.  It rolls very well, and I can notice a big difference compared to say a high roller or other knobbier tires.  In corners it holds quite well and drifts super predictably.  Paired with a larger/knobbier tire like the DHF I can corner really aggressively because I know the rear will let go before the front and that it will do so in a predictable manner.  If I lived in the mountains, I'd likely run something a little burlier, but for the piedmont area round me which has lots of roots and rocks but not as much high speed chunder it's a great choice.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Maxxis Minion DHF Tire 5/9/2013 3:08 PM

The standard


The Good: Predictable Wears well Versatile Reasonably priced

The Bad: Not the fastest rolling Packs up in sticky mud


The DHF has been my go-to front tire on my trail bike (2.35 single ply) and I've used it extensively as both front/rear on my DH bike (2.5 3C). To me the most important part of a tire is predictability--and that predictability is why I keep running the DHF year after year.  It may be that there are tires more suited to a particular condition, that are lighter or roll better.  However, I don't change tires based on conditions except to switch to spikes when things are really muddy.  For me, the DHF works well enough in any condition, although I'd say its at its best in mixed loose over hardpack (what I ride most).  It isn't the greatest in thick sticky mud as it's not as open as some designs and will pack up, but even here I know what it's going to do and can make it work.  As a rear tire I find it drifts (you guessed it) predictably.  I usually run 25-30 PSI for DH and I can't remember the last time I got a flat.  Bottom line, it's a super solid tire that is good to great at nearly everything.  Well worth checking out if, by some crazy chance, you haven't yet.

This product has 12 reviews.

Added a product review for Giro Remedy CF Full Face Helmet 5/7/2013 4:06 PM

Great comfortable, protective helmet


The Good: Comfortable (for most heads) Light Inexpensive Protective Works comfortably with Leatt

The Bad: Not so bling?

Overall: I've been riding remedy helmets for probably 10 years. I just keep picking them up as they can be had relatively cheaply and I know they fit my head.  I've had my fair share of bad wrecks and can't fault the helmet for anything.  It stopped a pointy stick that was headed for my head, and has worked well with my Leatt when I took an awkward OTB head bounce fall.  I've never found it super hot or super cool.  I do take it off on the lift usually.  What can you really say about a helmet?  It is protective, works with my other gear and there are at least some palatable graphics each year.  No one will drool over it like they will a D3 but for half the price, I'm fine with that.

This product has 4 reviews.