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ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

“Your gonna get hooked on these!!”

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The Good: Consistent, not too expensive, great rider owned brand, the benchmark for grip design, durable rubber, etc.

The Bad: these may tear up your hands when you first ride them but then again most new grips do anyways, I always loose the end caps so make sure you keep those lock rings tight.

Overall Review: So ever since I rode Aaron Chase's hard tail one day while at a Mt. Snow race I noticed he had these grips on there and they really stuck out to me as a "universal pro grip" as almost ALL the pros there were using them (regardless if they were sponsored by them or not). If that wasn't enough of a reason to get them I don't know what is. I have these on all my bikes now and I will never use another grip again, I recommend black though, the white ones get pretty nasty looking after a few days of use but they still work fine. I am starting to like the ones with the checkers board pattern on the back too I think they are called the Ruffian MX or something.

Xpedo FACEOFF 17 (XMX17AC)

“Not bad for the light weight”

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The Good: The low weight, the grip when coasting, durable finish, warranty, and easy to service.

The Bad: After a year of use, both pedals have noticeable play between the body and the axle. This became very noticeable after my last Super D race. There were a lot of rock gardens hit with pretty good speed, and after that they started clicking and have play.

Overall Review: Overall, I think that these are good flats for the weight. Just keep them clean and they'll be quiet.  I think that it's due to the light weight construction that I have an issue with mine.  I am 5'11" and 168 lbs who rides a 6" travel all mountain bike pretty hard.  I've hit these on occasional rocks, and have made plenty of hard landings off of jumps with them, which is overall why I think that they've developed play and a click.  The finish on them has not suffered too badly though, just a few scrapes.

Shimano XTR Race BR-M985 Disc Brake

Featured Review

“Light, durable, and strong”

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The Good: Great lever feel.

The Bad: Expensive for recreational riding.

Overall Review: I have been riding these brakes for over a year now. I have since swapped bikes, and had to move these brakes to my new ride. Just need to replace the hose for the rear, quick bleed, and back out riding. I love the instant engagement of the race brake vs. the xtr trail brake. They are plenty strong for my type of riding, XC racing. Even so, I have taken them to North Carolina mountains and never felt brake fade on 4 mile descents. The new ICE Tech rotors are no joke. Lower running temperature means more stopping power/no fade. Best upgrade to any bike. One change I have made to the stock brakes Read More »

Mavic Ex 823 Disc Rim

“You will need more than rocks”

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The Good: -Light
-Durable
-Strong
-Look Good

The Bad: -Only fit french valves

Overall Review: The Mavic EX 823 Disc rim is one of the stongest rims out there and can really take a hit. I use it on a Santa Cruz V10 and have put it through the works and it has not even showed signs of damage. I have landed on flat on countless occasions and the rim is not even buckled. The spokes on the rim are strong and are held in place well and the tire fits into the rim well with no movement. Overall this rim is a more affordable version of the Mavic Deemax and a must buy for anyone looking for new rims on abudget.

Fox Racing Sidewinder Glove

“good glove - comfy”

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The Good: comfortable fit, durable (had to clear the chain when it went off the cog into the spokes), palm material grippy

The Bad: no thumb terry cloth

Overall Review: I've had my gloves for 9 months, riding Tues/Thurs/Sat. No wear showing on the palms or thumb (I've worn through the thumb area on other gloves). Comfy in the heat (Phx, AZ rider) the palm doesn't get all clammy when the sweat starts running. Excellent and would buy again.

Race Face D2 Stem

Featured Review

“Solid DH/FR Stem. Literally”

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The Good: Clamping interface, 35mm length option, recessed bolts

The Bad: Weight and looks

Overall Review: I bought this stem because I was really looking for a 35mm stem, and this came in at the price I was looking for. This is one of the few DH/FR stems that comes in 35mm, and doesn't cost and arm and a leg. The clamping interface around the bars is what I like most about it. With other stems featuring a front facing faceplate, when the bars are clamped in, it leaves a gap between the faceplate and stem body, causing stress points on the bar. With this stem, clamping forces are distributed evenly all the way around the bar, eliminating the stress points. Especially if you are running a carbon bar, this is something to consider. Read More »

GT Fury Downhill Frame

“Fury? No anger here... Just pleasure.”

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The Good: How about.... everything?!?!

The Bad: Without regular, meticulous maintenance, she becomes a whiny broad... But a little regular TLC goes a long way.

Overall Review: Let's start with the construction -- yes, it's upkeep. Duh. Carbon is notoriously light and nimble, but crack that shit, unravel the thread and say goodbye to your baby. However, she's a beast. No, seriously. Folks may judge her as 'bulky' or 'built out', but this lady will lay down and yank back up faster than you can say "Oh, no she dii'nt." As long as YOUR game is in the right spot and you have your bike control on lock, you'll love the GT Carbon Fury. There's a reason the Athertons came over to the darkside, and this is that reason. If you're long in the torso and need some serious pedaling efficiency, this is steed for you. As an Read More »

Fox Racing 360 Glove

Featured Review

“Comfy Glove”

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The Good: Very comfortable, good balance between protection and breathability, thin palm.

The Bad: Not very durable, and no terry-cloth thumb.

Overall Review: So this is how my experience with the 360 gloves started: I was at the bike shop, confronted by a large wall of gloves featuring at least 30 different MTB models. Being a very cautious spender, I tried on nearly every model until I finally arrived at the 360. Upon trying it on for the very first time, I noticed that it contoured the shape of my hand very nicely, didn't have any bunched-up folds of material, and was the perfect length, even though it wasn't yet broken in. Satisfied, I promptly grabbed the set and walked to the cashier, eager to put my fresh new gloves to the test. Once on the trail, I noticed many other Read More »

2012 Transition TR250 2 Bike

“Superb DH/Bike Park/Freeride/Shuttle Bike!”

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The Good: Responsiveness, Stability, Acceleration, Supple suspension

The Bad: Hard to adjust rebound, bit of pedal feedback

Overall Review: The stability, stiffness and plushness of the TR250 really stands out. Take the geometry of a downhill race bike and shorten things up a bit here and there and you get the Transition Tr250. I don't think there is a better single crown dh/bike park sled out on the market for the experienced rider. Stability- The Tr250 truly feels like a full dh bike when you hit the gas. High speed runs at Mammoth Bike Park doesn't faze this bike at all. You are mostly fooled into thinking that you are on a full dh bike. Stiffness- The 150mm rear end of the TR250 is astoundingly stiff! Ditto for the big down tube front triangle. You get Read More »

Teva Links Mid Shoes

Vital Review

“Tested: Teva Links Mid Shoes, A Worthy Flat Pedal Prospect”

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by Brandon Turman Just a few years ago the options for a good flat pedal shoe were very limited. Edit that, there was only one real option. Since then a handful of companies entered the market and we're now lucky to have several options to choose from. Teva came out swinging when they introduced the Links shoes last year - they were bold, they were bright, and they were designed in collaboration with one of our sport's greats, Jeff Lenosky. Just one year later they're quickly expanding their mountain bike lineup to meet the needs of nearly every rider - whether something dedicated to the ride or something casual to Read More »