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SuboptimusPrime's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Banshee Bikes Spitfire V2 Frame 7/10/2014 6:30 AM
C138_2013_banshee_spitfire_frame

Fantastic trail bike

Rating:

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

The Bad: A bit heavier than some similar carbon options

Overall:

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
C138_ti410a02

Great rear tire for trail bike

Rating:

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)

Overall:

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
C138_91984270_1266959536

The standard

Rating:

The Good: Predictable Wears well Versatile Reasonably priced

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

Overall:

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
C138_giro_remedy_cf

Great comfortable, protective helmet

Rating:

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.