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Giro Remedy CF Full Face Helmet

“Burly Helmet”

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The Good: Nice ventilation, washable pads, fits my Smith goggles well. Fits my big head. has survived a number of big hits.

The Bad: Not quite as light as other CF helmets. Some of the color/Graphics sets are a bit much.

Overall Review: My 2010 model did everything I could have asked it to, it held up to a number of big hits on rocks. There was abrasion to the shell down to the Carbon Fiber,  but it is still structurally intact.  I got this to replace my fiberglass Giro that had done it's tour of duty and survived. Good ventilation and fits all the goggles I have ever tried with it. I will happily be replacing this one with another shortly.

Giro Remedy Full Face Helmet

“Fits my FAT head great.”

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The Good: Great price, fits my weird head and survived a few heavy hits. Nice ventilation. Removable/Washable pads

The Bad: Nothing to say, it did it's job.

Overall Review: I am reviewing one from '09. I purchased this based on price and the fact that it fits my head which is BIG and long front to back. Most other XL helmets press on my forehead quite a bit, if they even fit over my head. I had a couple of big wrecks with this helmet where it took big hits.  I retired it as a precaution, but the shell was still intact, and the foam seemed fine.  I demolished the visor, and had some serious abrasions on the outside, but came away fine, with the chinbar fully intact. This helmet did everything I could have asked it too, and at a great price.

Continental Baron Mountain Tire

“a solid tire”

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The Good: Grip. open tread, sticky compound and good life

The Bad: squirrly in hardpack dry.

Overall Review: A good "enduro" or in between tire. Beefier than my XC tires, but lighter and with a softer sidewall than a real DH tire.  In soft, muddy terrain this tire is badass, but if the going gets dry and hardpacked the long lugs with the soft Black Chili compound get squirmy when really pushing in the corners.  A great tire to have in your arsenal, but possibly not your "do-everything" tire.

FOX 36 Van 180 RC2 Fit Fork

“Worth every penny”

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The Good: Best handling fork I have ever ridden.

The Bad: Maybe the price, but it is worth it!

Overall Review: This replaced the Domain R on my Kona Entourage, and it completely changed a good bike into a GREAT bike. It took all of about 100ft down the trail to fall in love with this fork.  Plush over small and large bumps, but ramps up nicely and you never feel the bottom even though I have been there a number of times.

2013 Kona Entourage Bike

“Great bike for short money”

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The Good: Short stays, a great flickable park bike.

The Bad: Fork, pedals and tires.

Overall Review: For a base model bike, it is a great value. nice part spec aside from the fork and pedals, I was also sad to see thin sidewalled non-full DH tires. Good place to start, with room for upgrades you would likely make anyway.

2011 Santa Cruz Nickel All Mountain Bike

“Awesome Trail Bike”

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The Good: Tapered Head tube,
Geometry,
Best Bang for your Buck,
Simpleness

The Bad: Apparently Santa Cruz will no longer be making this frame.

Overall Review: I'm reviewing the 2012 model although I don't think there is anything different from the 2011 model, other than a different colored Santa Cruz logo. I have been currently riding this bike for 6 months and I do not have any major complaints. In fact, I don't have any complaints. This bike is incredibly fun to ride. The best thing about this bike is it has the trail bike geometry without loads of travel. At only 120mm of travel this bike can still pedal with the best XC bikes but can out descend them all. I wanted a flowy, jumpy, pedally xc bike and this is all that and more. This bike does everything from a XC ride Read More »

Park Tool GP-2C Glueless Patch Kit

Featured Review

“The best self-adhesive patch on the market”

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The Good: Sticks well, doesn't slide or leak. Lasts as long as a traditional patch. Fast and easy to apply.

The Bad: Only one size available (as far as I'm aware)

Overall Review: Everybody should have a package of these in their saddlebag or backpack. They're far faster than a traditional vulcanizing patch, and they last just as long. I have tried other brands of glueless patches with poor results (one brand almost left me stranded) but Park Tool's patches have never failed me. The box is tiny, and if you suffer multiple flats on the same ride, it could get you home. This patch kit is one of my essential items for any ride.

Park Tool BB Install Spanner & Tool HollowTech II

“Too short for intended use”

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The Good: Bites well on Shimano and Truvativ external bottom brackets.

The Bad: Handle is too short for removing tight bottom brackets. The HollowTech installation tool on the end of the handle makes this problem worse.

Overall Review: I've used this wrench many times to install and remove bottom brackets, but every time I find myself reaching for a piece of pipe as an extension - the handle is just too short. The included HollowTech tool is great for Shimano Cranks, and works as intended, but it's right at the end of the handle. I removed it pretty quickly. This tool has the right fit and strength for its purpose, but it doesn't have the leverage needed for the job.

Panaracer Rampage Tire

“Panaracer Rampage 26x2.35”

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The Good: 1. Very little rolling resistance
2. Grippy shoulder knobs
3. Can be run at either end of the bike
4. Supportive sidewalls
5. No punctures
6. Wears slowly even on the road

The Bad: 1. Slightly heavy for its class

Overall Review: The Rampage resembles the Kenda Nevegals in many ways. This is a good thing because the tread design on the Nevegals is one of the best. However, unlike the Nevegals, the sidewalls are very supportive which allows you to run it at lower air pressures which is a true boon on hardtails. The supportive sidewalls have added a bit of weight to the equation. At 730 grams for the Rampage PR, it is in the ball park of the weight of the Nevegals. The PR (PunctureResistant), ASB (Anti Snakebite), and ZSG (Panaracers Natural Compound) all add up to a that has no flats. I have had these tires for almost 1.5 years and not a single flat Read More »

WTB Bronson Tire

“Awesome trail tire”

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The Good: Corners like it's on rails. Beefy knobs track well in the mud.

The Bad: Slightly high rolling resistance. Tubeless set-up can be troublesome.

Overall Review: This is my current favorite front tire. The side knobs hook up well in every corner, and the tread design works well on everything from hardpack to sticky mud. I don't like using this tire in the rear, because it's a little bit slow-rolling. I prefer to pair it with a faster tire in the rear, like the WTB Wolverine or something similar. That allows me to get up to speed more quickly, and then make use of this tire's excellent traction and cornering ability. If you're buying the TCS version for a tubeless set-up, your experience may be mixed. I mounted two of these tires tubeless on identical rims, and while one sealed up instantly with just a floor pump, the other forced me to drag out the compressor. Other than that, I love these tires.