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Park Tool BB Install Spanner & Tool HollowTech II

“Solid Tool from ParkTools”

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The Good: Quality Made + Good Price

The Bad: Hollowtech at bottom sort of unnecessary

Overall Review: Must have tool for anyone with external bb. The hollowtech tool at the bottom end I've never needed, mainly because I haven't had shimano type hollowtech bottom brackets.  Also, most of the time, that hollowtech tool is included with Shimano Cranks anyways, kinda an extra not needed.  However gotta give credit to Park Tools for adding a combo to the end of the spanner.Quality Product and a must have if you ride near mud and water, helps uninstall the bb and clean out of your bottom bracket area to regrease.

Troy Lee Designs Air Gloves

“Awesome Gloves!”

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The Good: Durable, Great Fit, Velcro Lastssss

The Bad: Not sure I've found one

Overall Review: These gloves are awesome. I've had many pairs of gloves blow thru in the thumbs, index fingers, or palm area...Mostly due to crashing or extended use.  But I've had this same pair for 2 years now....The velcro still works fine, no holes are apparent anywhere, and the white lettering on the inside of the index and middle finger is still sticky!  That sticky index finger + middle finger grab brake levers primo. Like I said, I've blown thru a ton of gloves. After going bike shop one time and explaining how I've had many gloves tear the thumb and finger areas when I crash, the shop recommended these.  He even claimed I could keep my receipt and if they torn thru on me I could bring them back to get new ones.  I left thinking I would be back in 6 months or so, but not the case at all.  They last forever!

e*thirteen XCX Chainguide

“Low Mount Version”

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The Good: Light, Easy Intsall

The Bad: Moves Easy After Crash

Overall Review: I ran the low mount version on 1x9 gearing with my Trek Fuel EX 7. Worked great because with a press fit BB the low mount or high mount allow you to still use a chain guide.  Super LIGHT The chain guide was easy to install, however it is easy to move upon crashing.  The lower mount I had setup is similar to a derailuer clamp on your seat tube and it moved on me and needed readjusting several times after a bad crash.

Giro Phase Helmet

Featured Review

“Inexpensive, versatile helmet”

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The Good: "Neutral" styling blends in at races or on the trail. Comfortable and well-ventilated. Fit is easy to adjust with one hand.

The Bad: Chin strap seems to loosen over time.

Overall Review: I picked up the Giro Phase in black back in 2010 and it has served me well since then. It's not as expensive as a lighter or flashier lid, but it does the job just as well and still looks pretty good. The dial that adjusts the fit is quick and easy to use with gloves and while riding, and I can quickly snug it down with just one hand. I've used this helmet for cross-country riding and racing and trail riding, and I've even taken the visor off and used it for road racing. It has an unremarkable style which fits in anywhere. If you want your helmet to stand out in a crowd, look elsewhere, but otherwise this is a great choice Read More »

e*thirteen XCX Chainguide

Featured Review

“Works great, but check fit before committing”

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The Good: Easy to align. Captive hardware is a big plus. Chain rub is almost nonexistent. Works as advertised - no dropped chains yet.

The Bad: Some suspension linkages may cause compatibility issues - see below for more details.

Overall Review: (This review is for the seat tube mounted low-clamp version of this guide.) I was initially disappointed when I found that the lower linkage on my 2012 Giant Trance forced me to mount this chainguide so high that it looked like it might not work properly. So if you can, you should check the compatibility between this chainguide and your specific frame before you throw down your cash. I had doubts, especially since I was using a 32T ring, but since I started riding I have forgotten all about the installation issues. After a little bit of adjustment, there is very little chain rub. There's some slight noise Read More »

Topeak Pocket Shock DXG Pump

Featured Review

“Compact, simple shock pump for most home mechanics”

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The Good: Small enough to fit easily in a hydration pack. Will inflate a fork or shock from zero to fully aired up within a minute. Good for home use.

The Bad: Slightly difficult to grip comfortably. Bleed valve does not work well unless used in one specific way. Despite dual-stage chuck, still releases some air when removed.

Overall Review: This is a solid shock pump for occasional home or trail-side use. I wouldn't recommend it for a shop mechanic or somebody who tinkers with their suspension all the time, because it's tricky to get a comfortable grip on this pump due to its small size. On the plus side, that small size means that you can bring it along on a ride easily if you're still figuring out suspension settings. The rotating hose allows it to fit into most tight spaces without much trouble. The dual-stage chuck is more cumbersome and slow to use than the lever found on some other pumps, and it doesn't quite prevent that little bit of Read More »

FOX DHX RC4 Rear Shock

“Liven up your suspension with the RC4”

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The Good: Smooth, plush, easy to setup, lots of adjust-ability

The Bad: Can't think of any so far

Overall Review: It’s hard to write a thoughtful and technical review about such a complex piece of suspension when in the end all I really want to say how sweet, smooth and plush the RC4 is. Plus I don’t fully understand all the mechanical jargon and technology that goes behind making this shock work. Most recently I’ve been running the DHX 5.0 and then switched over to the RC4 at the begging of this summer and the change was quite dramatic between the two. The first thing I noticed when I upgraded to the RC4 was how much smoother the suspension ran, this was instantly noticed when just compressing the suspension in the parking lot Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Ruckus Jersey

Featured Review

“Cam Zink wore this when he 360’d the Oakley sender!!!”

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The Good: TLD quality, breathable, light, great colors

The Bad: None so far

Overall Review: So this jersey won’t give you Cam Zink level skills to huck 360s off massive drops but it will definitely make you look cool. The jersey, like all TLD gear is light, breathable and durable. I don’t know when the length sleeve jersey fad started but it seems to have stuck with the MTB scene as most bike jersey companies now make sleeve jerseys. The cool thing about the Ruckus jersey is that it comes in a couple different colors, I have the purple/orange one and although it’s a bit bright it doesn’t come off as too flashy or loud as some of the other color explosion jerseys. The TLD logo is laser etched Read More »

SixSixOne Evo Knee Guards Knee/Shin Pad

“Versatile knee pads”

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The Good: light, comfy, stretchy material, breathable, versatile from XC to DH

The Bad: shins are still exposed to pedal bite

Overall Review: I lusted after these for quite some time before shelling out the big bucks for these knee pads, they come at a hefty price tag (for just a knee pad) but I think they are well worth it. In my opinion the best feature about these pads is the versatility, meaning that they can be worn from DH races to XC rides. Since they are compact, light and breathable they can be used for all day trail rides but at the same time they offer tons of knee protection and can be used as a DH/freeride pad. I’ve read some other reviews about these pads saying that they don’t offer full knee protection, especially on the Read More »

WTB Devo Saddle Nicro Rails OE

Featured Review

“XC saddle that handles DH with comfort and durability”

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The Good: Super comfortable, versatile for all types or riding, durable.

The Bad: Not as soft as most other DH/Freeride saddles

Overall Review: When I was purchasing my DH bike the one part I thought I would be swapping out immediately was the saddle. The Devo came stock on the bike and it just looked too skinny and sleek to be able to handle the abuse that comes along with DH riding. Even looking at the WTB website, the description about this saddle said the following: USAGE: Elite Road / Cross Country Racing But at the same time it said the following as well: The Devo combines firm DNA padding, a smooth leather cover and a very supportive moderate-width shell. It is the saddle of choice for two-time DH world champion Fabien Barel of Team Subaru Read More »