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2012 Trek Slash 9

Vital Review

“Tested: 2012 Trek Slash 9 - Begs To Be Pushed”

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by Brandon Turman This bike saved my life. Several times. It saved my life while getting rowdy in Whistler's backcountry, again on the steeps of Santa Cruz, again in the rocky gnar of Moab, again over a big transfer in Bellingham, and most recently in the rooty goodness of Squamish. You see, this bike instills an incredible amount of confidence, and sometimes when I'm really letting loose and the trail catches up with me, the Slash takes over, handles the situation and sends me merrily on my way, adrenaline pumping, uninjured and praising the heavens for my good fortune. You know the moments I'm talking about… Thanks Slash. I Read More »

Shimano XT Disc Brake M785

Featured Review

“Excellent all-around brake”

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The Good: Impressive stopping power. Modulation is simply the best available. Easily adjustable.

The Bad: The finned heat-sink pads are expensive.

Overall Review: I ran these brakes on a cross-country race bike for five months this year and came away thoroughly impressed. I had been using previous-generation Shimano SLX brakes, but these brakes blew those older models out of the water. The reach adjust is simple and doesn't migrate or wiggle. The increase in stopping power was immediately evident. After a few rides I also noticed that the modulation was superb. I never locked up a wheel unless I was trying to. I wouldn't hesitate to run these brakes on a trail bike, or even on a gravity bike with some larger rotors installed. They're the best brakes I've ridden. Read More »

Shimano Saint Hydraulic Disc Brake

“Best Brake I've ever ridden”

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The Good: Ultimate power, good modulation

The Bad: They are expensive, you have to adjust the lever pull quite a bit as the pads wear

Overall Review: This is by far the best brake that I've ridden. Everything from Whistler bike park to my home trails in the Pacific NW March mud. I like the original pads it came with - tried the "quieter" version and they weren't as powerful and my bike doesn't make any noise anyway. The toughest part is probably getting the calipers lined up perfectly as one side or the other seems to like to extend a little further when you are setting them up. It's easy to just use a piece of thin cardboard or a (clean) feeler gage to help the other side extend a little more. Also, much easier to bleed with a syringe and push the fluid up and Read More »

Shimano SLX M666 Disc Brake

“Great brake for the price...hell, great brake all around.”

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The Good: Great stopping power. No noise or squeal. They just work, and really well at that.

The Bad: None so far.

Overall Review: I originally bought them for my XC/AM bike, but moved them to my FR bike when I found out the XC/AM frame was cracked. They were more than enough to stop the big bike (at least 40 lbs) on steeps and only 1 finger braking is needed. They also came on my new 29er and I couldn't be happier with them.  No fuss and they work great.  My FR bike originally had Avid Codes on it, which gave me non-stop problems.  It's nice to finally do lap after lap with no complaints about my brakes.

Shimano SLX M666 Disc Brake

“Just Awsome”

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The Good: very strong, good price easy to install

The Bad: there is no bad

Overall Review: best brake i ever bought , like to use them on my DH and my dirt jump bikes.

Jett Ride Jersey

Featured Review

“Stylish, but could use more secure buttons”

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The Good: Stylish Looks
Comfortable
Roomy cut

The Bad: Expensive
Buttons snaps are weak
Fabric prone to abrasion damage

Overall Review: I love how this jersey looks. it has a slightly distressed finish with pin stripes. The breast pocket is really small and hard to utilize. Not sure of what would fit in there well. The biggest fault is the buttons coming loose really easily. The material looks like it'd get torn up by body armor and backpack shoulder straps too. 4.5 stars since there's nothing really quite like it, but it's not perfect. Would really like to see more jerseys like this.

Jett Draken Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Jett Draken Shorts”

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At first glance these shorts look pretty basic, but sometimes simple is a good thing. The Jett Drakens are made with a polyester spandex chassis, and feature dual pockets, an adjustable waist closure, and sublimated graphics. Things We Love There's a fair amount to like about the Draken shorts, but what stands out the most is the material. It's very lightweight, and the breathability and freedom this allows is a huge bonus for hot days or epic all-mountain rides. There are no zippered vents on these shorts, but we're not sure they're needed given how well they vent. The material is also very quiet which we really appreciate. Read More »

Shimano Saint Crankset M815 Crank

Featured Review

“The Best DH Crank. Period.”

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The Good: 1)Extremely reliable
2)Extremely durable
3)It says Shimano on it. It must be good.

The Bad: 1)Could be lighter(lol)
2)Graphics will wear off eventually(also lol)

Overall Review: The Good: These cranks are extremely reliable/durable. You install the BB and cranks and you basically have to do nothing ever again(except grease the BB occasionally). You could literally throw your bike of the empire state building and the cranks will still be in perfect working order. There aren't too many products I would say this about. In all seriousness, I have bashed my set of Saint Cranks on hundreds of rocks, bottom bracket cased big jumps and drops, and the Saint's never let me down. After three years of hard riding my cranks have a bunch of scratches, but are perfectly straight(the tabs too). I did go Read More »

Specialized Enduro Expert Bike

“DO IT ALL BIKE”

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The Good: Climbs well, Descends even better. Slack geometry. durable. Looks great.

The Bad: The stock shock isnt my favorite but it is decent.

Overall Review: I was looking for a bike that could both descend and climb. Little did I know that I was getting a bike that could both handle all the downhill I was capable of dishing out and more but I would also be able to give my XC friends a run for the money when out on XC rides. This bike really is the best of both worlds. Im not looking to replace this anytime in the near future.

Kali Protectives Aazis Soft Knee Pad

Featured Review

“Looks cool and keeps you cool”

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The Good: Cool, Fit, Comfortable, Non-Slip, Killer looks.

The Bad: Have to take off shoe to put them on/off.

Overall Review: What a solid knee pad! They're so good I bought the knee/shin 180 combo for riding DH as well. I've taken some falls without the the pad budging and protection has been spot. Not to mention the pad looks good too, nothing crazy mind you.. just black and grey w/ a simple kali logo. I've had both the knee and knee/shin combo on in hot weather and my legs have always stayed relatively cool. They won't stay sweat free but what can you expect by strapping neoprene and plastic to your legs. In the past I've used the 661 knee/shin race pads and the TLD knee/shin. The Kali pads are WAY more comfortable. Its like they Read More »