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RockShox Totem RC2 DH Coil Fork

“This is My Second Season on a DH Totem.”

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The Good: Bottomless Travel, Super Stiff, Trust This thing 100%

The Bad: Not quite as plush as Fox, some stiction.

Overall Review: I've used this fork at Highland MTB Park, East Burke, Local Freeride trails. Point and shoot, stiffest single I've ever ridden. Gets a little stiction, but with a little Silicone spray on the stantions she gets smooth and Buttery. High and Low speed compression knobs are easy to turn even while riding and between the two adujustments you can make this fork super stiff or plush. I don't use the lock-out, even when riding uphill. Great Fork!

Panaracer Fire Pro Tire

Featured Review

“Surprisingly useful for the price”

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The Good: Usable traction combined with good rolling speed and durability, and less than half the cost of most other tires

The Bad: Doesn't have the cornering ability to be used as a dependable front tire

Overall Review: If you're on a budget and you need to keep your bike rolling, the Panaracer Fire tire is a surprisingly decent option as a rear tire. No, it won't work quite as well as more expensive, refined tires, but if you're not racing and you just need to hit the trails without breaking the bank, it will do the job. While it doesn't have the cornering blocks necessary to hold its own as a front tire, it's fine when used in the back. It's a little narrow for aggressive all-mountain riding, but for riders who frequent fast singletrack more than big drops and rocky chutes, it works okay. Not spectacular, but well enough that you Read More »

ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

“ODI Ruffian Grips”

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The Good: 1. Very thin 2. No grip movement 3. Grippy

The Bad: Not so cheap

Overall Review: I am a huge fan of ODI grips. Buy a bike, get ODI's. I recently reviewedthe ODI TLD grips and had nothing but good things to say. Those are great for me but these are a toughcompetitor. This review will mainly be a compare/ contrast between the two. The TLD lock on grips are great for riders with larger hands cause they are wider than these. In my opinion, the TLD's are morecomfortabledue to the flanges and the rampedtexturebut I'm sure I'll get some hate for that. If the Ruffians had flanges (apart from the BMX model which don't play well with shifters), they would be the best grips ever. The locking system is pretty much the Read More »

2012 Kona Entourage Deluxe Bike

Featured Review

“Shred-sled”

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The Good: Solid and versatile with a good overall component spec. Easy to maintain. Predictable and flick-able.

The Bad: One of my best friends wants to beat me up and take mine from me. Otherwise, just little nit-picky things that are just my biased opinion.

Overall Review: I purchased mine a little over a couple of months ago, although I was originally planning on getting their Supreme Operator model. I had demoed their standard Operator and was impressed, but then I demoed/raced the Entourage and I had big decisions to make - as in, 8" big or 7" big. This guy, weighing in at a burly 145lbs soaking wet, didn't really need a FULL full-squish since I race an average of two races a year - nor am I an aspiring WCer. I do a ton of hike-a-bike, shuttle and even lift-access and tend to not shy away from too many jumps - I'm less concerned about my times than I am about styling the jumps. It just Read More »

ODI Troy Lee Designs Lock On Grip

“look great but too thick for my liking.”

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The Good: they look great

The Bad: too thick made my hands feel numb

Overall Review: I bought these grips for my new bike so everything would be shiny and new but I have quickly swapped back to my old ruffians. The grips look great and provide great grip but they just felt too thick in my hands.  IF you like thick grips then they might be great for you but for those who prefer thinner grips and love ruffians then stay away.

Avid Elixir 5 Disc Brake

“Plenty of power, but poor modulation”

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The Good: Raw stopping power is more than enough for trail riding. Split clamp makes installation easy (no need to remove grips or shifters).

The Bad: Modulation is lacking. Noisy.

Overall Review: These brakes certainly have the power for even the steepest trails. The drawback is that modulation is not on par with Shimano's current offerings. It took me quite a while to find the sweet spot in the lever stroke where I could avoid locking up the rear wheel on steep descents. Once you find it, the brakes work well enough, but they never modulate as well as the Shimano brakes I've ridden recently. If you rely on finessing the brakes delicately to get you through technical sections, you should try Avid's higher-end offerings, or switch to Shimano. That said, they've kept me in control through some gnarly trails, even though they can be a bit noisy under hard braking, and I have confidence in their ability to slow me down in a hurry.

ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

Featured Review

“My all-time favorite”

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The Good: Knurled pattern gives great traction in dry or wet conditions. Thin enough to provide a good feel for the bar. Sturdy lock-on collars.

The Bad: Wear quicker than some other options

Overall Review: The often-imitated ODI Ruffian is my favorite grip. The knurled pattern is simple and low-profile, and provides great grip without annoying logos or hard spots. They're thin enough to give you a good connection to the bar and bike, but still take some of the sting out of the ride. Whether the day is hot and dusty or chilly and wet, these grips will give you the traction you need. Many other brands have a similar pattern available, but ODI's lock collars are better than most.

SRAM Team GXP Bottom Bracket

“Easy to install, but wears out quickly”

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The Good: Installs with no hassles. Finish quality is excellent.

The Bad: Durability is not as good as expected.

Overall Review: Over two years, I went through a surprising number of these bottom brackets on my cross-country bike. The durability of the bearings was never quite satisfactory. I was running a Truvativ Stylo crankset, and these bottom brackets inevitably developed play after a few months of riding. They were also prone to creaking if not thoroughly greased and tightened. On the bright side, I never had an issue with installation or removal. The cups spun in without any problems, and whenever I needed to re-grease or replace the cups I could back them out without undue effort. However, this doesn't change the fact that these bottom brackets didn't hold up well on my bike. Every one I bought was disappointing.

Kenda Nevegal Tire

“Corners with confidence, but slow rolling”

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The Good: Cornering performance is awesome

The Bad: Rolls slower than comparable tires

Overall Review: I love the way this tire corners. I remember the first time I leaned it over, I couldn't believe how far it held. If that's important to you, then rest assured this tire will not let you down in the turns. However, if you're just riding along on hard-packed trails or on the road to the trailhead, you can feel how much resistance this tire creates when rolling. I've talked to some of my riding buddies, and they agree that this tire's strength is its cornering ability, not its speed. Pick your priority.

2012 Giant Trance X2 Bike

“Lively and capable trail bike - but ditch the triple!”

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The Good: A total blast to ride on tight, technical descents or fast, swooping singletrack. Pedals efficiently through rough or smooth trails. Reasonable weight for the price. Durable, solid parts kits. Inspires confidence on gnarly sections.

The Bad: Triple crankset is unnecessary - swap to a double or single for lower weight and better chain retention. Stock tires are thin - I pinch flatted on my first ride. Stock brakes aren't great.

Overall Review: Every time I ride this bike I enjoy it more. It pedals well enough to get you to the top of the hill without unnecessary gasping, although big standing efforts definitely work better with the ProPedal switch engaged. The Maestro suspension works well to keep the rear wheel tracking on technical climbs, making rooty or rocky sections easier. The fun really starts at the top of the hill - this bike comes alive on any descent. It accelerates quickly, and once you have the suspension dialed in, it floats through rock gardens with composure. It sucks up rocks and drops easily. I will say that the suspension can be a bit noisy, but I Read More »