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Avid Elixir 5 Disc Brake

“Cheaply made yet capable brake.”

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The Good: Power, split bar attachment, lever design good, universally available pads and brake fluid, easy to bleed.

The Bad: Modulation a little on/off, made of cheap aluminum housing and steel bolts, rear brake howl and suspicious of taper-bore.

Overall Review: These are cheaply made, 'Made in China' brakes with a fragile aluminum housing more at home of cheap window frames. Despite this these brakes really do have enough stopping power even compared with pretty good 2 caliper brakes, however it is very hard to find the point between on and off on the rear especially on 180mm and larger rotors, and the rear brake has a tendency to howl, but one day you change something and it goes away temporarily or permanently. In fact it might be a good idea to have one of these on the front for power and a BB7 on the back. The Taperbore technology whist weight saving seems Read More »

ODI Lock-On Grip - Rogue

“They are Rogue”

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The Good: They are the long lasting grips that are super tough.

The Bad: If you suffer from arm pump then they are NOT for you. They are big in diameter and meant for big hands.

Overall Review: Overall they look the part and if you wanted a grip that will last a long time then you need to get them. Do note they are thicker than normal grips and are not suitable for a person with small hands.

Nukeproof Neutron Pedal

“Perfect pedal, but is it original?”

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The Good: Size is perfect for 5-10s, shape just right, spin slow.

The Bad: Are the cheaper Superstars Nanotech (and some other brands) the same pedal with different decals? Longer pins make them better (supply them with them why not?) Heavy but only if you are weight conscious.

Overall Review: Ideal pedal for money ratio, I'll probably buy again, perfect for aggressive AM/FR/DH, although for some disciplines I think they are a bit heavy, but then there is the Titanium version if you have the money. You can spend less for pedals, but you lose the removal pins and the sealed bearings these have, making these much better value than cheaper options in the long run.

ODI Lock-On Grip - Rogue

“Might be your favorite, you need to try them”

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The Good: Width, grippiness, end clips.

The Bad: Heavy, wear quickly, small bolts rust-out very quickly.

Overall Review: If you prefer a Ruffian that is just personal taste, for some like me the Rogues are an ideal girth, the super slender Ruffians aren't as good for me, not to say they are bad, just like saddles, it's personal. If these grips could be a bit lighter, a bit longer 150mm instead of 130mm and the bolts didn't rust I think they could be perfect!

Intense Tazer HT Frame

“Light Fast Strong = FUN”

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The Good: Most fun DJ bike i have ever riden. Easy to jump and ride fast. STIFF.
Best single speed / geared drop out ever on a dirt jump bike.
very light frame

The Bad: on the black frame the "Ed Hardy" style TAZER logo that is not removable and its not a cheap bike

Overall Review: This bike came in at 4.65 pounds for the frame on the shop scale wich made it the one lightest DJ frame. the welds on this frame are beefy and long wich should mean that this thing should last forever. like the other Intense bikes i have riden this bike is super stiff. my old dirt jump frame was a norco 125 frame from 2009 and the Intense is significantly stiffer. The slack 68 degree head angle make this bike feel comfortable at speed. 1.5 head tube gives lots of fork options. also nice to see the dropouts provide an option for a 135 x 12 rear hub. if you are a park rat the chain stay is a bit long and the seat even when slamed Read More »

Mavic Ex 823 Disc Rim

“Strong as Hell”

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The Good: Strong
Durable
Tubeless
MAVIC

The Bad: They take a little longer to lace up

Overall Review: I worked at a bike shop for a few years and this was by far the best selling rim that I laced onto everyones hubs. We couldn't keep these in stock because they just fly off the shelves. I never had one person come back with any issues and after a couple of years these rims stay in great shape. I had to build myself a set and I have never even thought about changing rims since. I love that I get tubeless capability and the bead of any tire seats very well. This is why you see World Cup DH riders running these rims. Get yourself a set. You can't go wrong

Shimano XT Disc Brake M785

“A great brake, but a bit over-hyped.”

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The Good: Adjustment opportunities, power, modulation, single finger lever design, reasonable price and build quality.

The Bad: Not as fantastic as some reviews would have you believe, expensive gimmicky finned pads, need for Shimano's own hydraulic mineral oil, worry about brakes not heating up in cold weather, Shimano's (aftermarket) own rotors can be a bit sub-par .

Overall Review: Having used quite a few brakes I was drawn to the XT brakes due to a reasonable price and stellar reviews. Having used them for months I have to agree they are certainly a well made brake that is powerful and modulates very well. Props to Shimano for making such a good brake, but more than that such a great range of brakes. Honestly though I have a M596 paired up on the rear and another on the front of another bike and it really is 98% as good as the M785 (minus a bit of power and a few adjustments), perfectly adequate for most XC and trail riders. Also many reviews say that the XT is super powerful, but I find that unlikely compared to a four piston Saint brake for example. Also I have some worry that with all the ice-tec and finns in our -10 winters the brakes might take a bit long to warm up.

FOX Van RC Coil Rear Shock

“Reliable!!!”

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The Good: Reliable, reliable, reliable!!
Simple

The Bad: Not as much adjustment as higher end models

Overall Review: This shock is filled with nitrogen, which is why it is so reliable. It's a "mini" dirt bike shock basically. You don't have to check any air adjustments before you ride. Plus nitrogen doesn't heat up as fast so it maintains performance on long runs. And if it ever does fail on you, you can take it to a motorcycle suspension mechanic instead of having to ship it to Fox (this voids your warranty though). I'll take this over an overpriced "high end" shock any day when the money is coming out of my own wallet.

2013 Kona Supreme Operator Bike

“Great Bike”

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The Good: Shimano part spec
Handles great

The Bad: Cheap paint on frame
Downtube is very exposed

Overall Review: After riding a buddies 2011 Operator I immediately put my name on the list for a 2012. I ride a large frame and have been riding mine for a year now. I love the top tube length because I find that a lot of other bikes feel too jammed. The top tube length just feels very natural. I also like the longer wheelbase because it handles so well on fast and steep runs. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to turn the bike because of the long wheelbase, but I haven't had any issues making tight off cambers. The paint on the frame is really cheap and doesn't make the bike stand out. I also would have liked Kona to integrate a better Read More »

SixSixOne Rage Knee Guard

“A comfortable knee pad”

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The Good: Super confortable
Don't slip down

The Bad: Seem bulky at first

Overall Review: My initial thoughts when I first wore these knee guards were that they were really comfy (more so than the kyle straights). They seemed a little bulky at first but the more I wore then the more they seemed to fit more condense around my knee. One of the problems I was having with my old knee guards (kyle straits) were that the straps stretched out over time and my knee guards would fall down when riding. The Rage are built with better quality straps now and have not given me any issues of slipping down on my knee. I wear these now matter what kind of riding i'm doing there that comfortable. I would definitely purchase these again.