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Avid Elixir 9 Disc Brake

“LOUD Comfortable Stoppers”

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The Good: Easy reach and pad contact adjustment, lots of power modulation, 2012 model has better reliability than previous years

The Bad: Unstoppable squeal that gets almost unbearable when wet. Power modulation isn't for everyone

Overall Review: I have really mixed feelings about these brakes. On the one hand, the feel at the lever is awesome. The pull is buttery smooth and the pad contact and lever reach adjustments let you easily dial in your ideal setup. These brakes also hold up very well to sustained steep descents. I have discolored the rotors on a couple of occasions and felt very little fade in the process. The power is there with these stoppers but youdefinitelyhave to pull on the levers to feel it. Certainly not an on/off brake like the new Shimano offerings. On the other hand, I have never owned a set of brakes that make as much noise Read More »

Deity Blacklabel Handlebar

“Bomber Bar from a Baller Brand”

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The Good: Dialed bend and sweep. Good weight. Good strength

The Bad: Finish scratches easily

Overall Review: This bar is tits! I put one on my TR Bandit 29 this spring as I wanted a Deity bar but also wanted a super low-rise to keep the front end of the wagon wheeler low. Debated for a while about going with a lesser bar for my trail bike but in the end, the weight is very respectable and this bar gives me the confidence to charge into the unknown without fear of breaking a bar and ending up in a broken heap of hurt. After a season of trying to find mine and the Bandit's limits, this bar has never once left me wanting for anything else. Pros- Support for the most rider focused and customer serviced focused brand in the business! Read More »

2012 Transition Bandit 29 Bike

Featured Review

“Total Mountain Tamer”

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The Good: Burly and nimble 29er with a DH pedigree // Solid build // Respectable weight // Good climbing manners

The Bad: Stock saddle

Overall Review: After 5 months of riding at a variety of demanding zones (GJ, Moab, Sedona, Squamish, Nelson, Whistler, Bellingham) it is time for an official Bandit 29 (B29) review. Is this new wagon wheeler from Transition really all that and then some? Is it the game changer that it has been made out to be? Of course the wagon wheels are not for everyone and I am not going to try andconvinceyou to convert. I am just going to share my observations with this extraordinary mountain bike. NOTE: This is a review of the 2012 Bandit 29. With the recent release of the Covert 29 in 2013, Transition is making changes to the 2013 Bandit frame Read More »

Dakine Descent Short

“Well built shorts”

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The Good: Look good, breathability, zippered pockets, adjustable waist strap, comfortable

The Bad: Run long, can't get them in any other color than black or camo (as of this year)

Overall Review: These shorts are great but they run really long and they run a size bigger than normal. I ordered a medium which is a 32-34 inch waist and they were still a little big. I wear a 32" waist and I have to tighten the waist strap all the way to get them tight on my waist. I think they look really good. I don't like their color options for this year because they only offer black or camo. Maybe next year they will come out with more and better colors. At least black shorts will go with any jersey. The stitching is really good and hasn't come undone or started fraying. The zippered pockets are nice to put your phone,keys, Read More »

Dainese Oak Pro Knee Guards

Vital Review

“Tested: Dainese Oak Pro Knee Pads, Innovative Again”

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by Mihai Moga It’s a great time to be a mountain biker. Recent innovations in the sport are simply amazing, and they’ve come in almost every facet, including body protection. There are several companies making body armor these days so finding suitable protective gear shouldn't be a problem. If you want something more advanced than the run of the mill gear, though, then the new Dainese Oak Pro Knee Pads might be the right ones for you. Dainese has been around for a long time, and they have a strong reputation for making some of the best protective gear for MotoGP racers and street bikes. Drawing on their experience in Read More »

Dainese Performance Jacket Body Armor

Featured Review

“Classic Protection Jacket from Dainese”

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The Good: Light weight compared to other protection jackets, fit is exceptional, you can remove the back protector and just wear that or wear the jacket without the back protector, easy to wash, thumb straps keep jacket in place better, shoulder pads are in the perfect position when you fall, durable construction, very breathable.

The Bad: Very expensive but it is a dainese afterall, forearm straps are too long and keeps it too loose in the arms, kidney belt rides up to your ribs when you ride, difficult to wear with a neck brace.

Overall Review: This is a classic protection jacket from Dainese and hasn't changed too much over the years but if you got it right why mess with success. If its a light trail day you can just wear the back protector and it fits great OR you can wear the rest of the armor without the back protector (not sure why you would). The best part of this jacket is the fit, one thing Dainese is well known for, I almost forget I'm wearing it when I ride until I crash that is. The material is well ventilated so it circulates air when you ride and keeps things from getting too hot. For me the bad outweighed the good in this jacket. First of Read More »

Dainese Performance Elbow Guard

Featured Review

“Go ahead and get these but not the knee version”

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The Good: Great hard shell protection, they hinge above the elbow so they move WITH your arm, three straps that keep them in place without cutting off the circulation, can wear with or without a jersey, they are R and L specific so they are even more molded to your arm which helps them stay in place

The Bad: Very expensive for elbow pads but they are Dianese afterall, they don't cover all the way down to the wrist like some elbow pads do, the sizing is very weird on them so make sure you try them on before buying (again because they are made by Dianese and all their products are sized funny)

Overall Review: Most body armor jackets that I have worn seem to have great protection except for the elbow pad part. So to try and remedy that one year I used a body armor vest and separate elbow pads to keep things lighter and hopefully improve the fit since most jackets that combine the two don't work that well. After looking around and testing out some different models I went with the dianese since they seemed to fit the best without having to wrench down on the straps and cut off circulation like most pads required. What I love about these pads is that they really do stay in place even though there are only 3 straps, Read More »

Fox Racing HC Graphic Jersey '11

“Great Jersey for an even better price”

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The Good: Very light weight, cool design as expected from fox (they know how to do it), slightly tighter cuffs keep it from riding up in the sleeves, cheap cheap cheap

The Bad: I bought mine too big so I could wear armor underneath and its wayy to big totally my fault though.

Overall Review: I usually buy all my mtn bike jersey's at motocross shops since they almost always have a discount rack in them and you can usually find some great bargins. I only paid $25 bucks for this jersey but I know that it would have run me at least $45 at any mountain bike shop in the USA. My favorite part about this jersey is that its very light weight and breathable, I have run all different types of jerseys and the material that fox uses is unique and lighter than anything else I have worn before. There are no little elbow pads in them like some jerseys but if you want elbow pads you should buy some Read More »

RockShox Boxxer RC Fork

“Simple Fork”

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The Good: Light, plush, easy to rebuild

The Bad: Front axle comes lose often

Overall Review: This fork is a really good option if you like stiff suspension. If you don't then you'll probably have to swap the spring to a lighter one (if your on the lighter side). The controls are really simple: compression and rebound. Most people don't even know how to properly set up their World Cup forks so why buy one? The RC is very basic and will feel good over roots, rocks, drops or whatever else the trails throw at you. My only complaint would be that I loose traction in the corners because I run my suspension really stiff the fork wont settle down in the corners because there isn't a high/low speed compression option. I also find that the seals start to leak about a month after you first use it. It's a great fork and has served me very well.

SDG I-Fly I-Beam Storm AW Saddle

“Feel like a Factory Rider”

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The Good: Light, looks cool, no rails to bend, grippy for wet conditions, slim design

The Bad: Expensive, uncomfortable, have to buy an I-Beam seat post if you don't already have one

Overall Review: This seat makes your bike look like a world cup race bike. I've had no issues with mine in the past year that i've been running it. The I-Beam is super rad and I think it looks good and functions better than a seat with rails. It's really easy to adjust. The only problem is that you have to go and buy a new seat post if you don't already have an I-Beam. I like that if you crash there aren't any rails to bend so you would have to crash really hard to mess up the I-Beam tabs. Sitting on it for a minute isn't bad but if you just sit on it for like 5 minutes in the parking lot talking to your buddies it gets uncomfortable. When you ride DH/FR you never really sit on your seat so it's not a big deal. If you want to spend the money on this seat... do it!!