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Renthal Strata Duo MTB Stem

Featured Review

“Renthal Stem Review”

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The Good: Light; Looks great; Strength

The Bad: Pain to put on and take off; twists easily

Overall Review: I had quite high expectations of this stem before buying it. It looks great and the attention to detail in the machining is superb. However, it really is ahassleto attach to the bike and to the handlebars due to its two piece design. This would not be a problem if you never need to remove the stem, although packaging the bike for going on holiday in a bike bag highlights that a normal stem is infinitely easier to remove from the bike. The other downside to this stem is that it seems to twist on the steerer far too easily. Having tightened it to the suggested torque initially, I have since had to tighten it a Read More »

Morewood Bicycles Kalula Frame

Featured Review

“Morewood Kalula”

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The Good: Agility, Cornering, Jumping, Fun-factor, Suspension design, Stiffness and longevity

The Bad: Cable routing, Shock spring rub, Rear axle requires both 10mm and 12mm alan key

Overall Review: I have owned this bike for around a year now. It has been taken to the Alps, many local DH trails in my home country of Scotland and has been raced. In fact, I even took it on a number of xc rides before getting a dedicated XC/AM bike. Here are my thoughts of the kalula so far: Background: When I first bought this bike, I decided it was going to be with me for a long time and that I didn't really want to go changing parts often. So I built it up with a pretty dream spec and intend to leave it that way until parts wear out/break. Initially expensive but I hope it pays in the long run.To give you an idea of the build, it Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Short

“Best in class”

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The Good: light weight, great fit, no liner. Perfect is you wear a liner w padding (Fox launch/Titan)

The Bad: the Velcro fasteners all get unglued after 2 weeks--horrific QC. systemic problem on all shorts, each year--come on TLD...

Overall Review: Still my favorite shorts!

Specialized Demo 8 Frame

Featured Review

“The Shredtastic Shredder- Updated 10/31/12”

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The Good: Almost everything.

The Bad: Almost nothing.

Overall Review: The Specialized marketing team has declared the Demo 8 “the world’s fastest downhill machine,” that “oozes premium downhill performance,” and by watching the likes of Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan shred the bike to pieces, Specialized has attempted to force you to believe that this bike is totally mega sictor awesome, is mean looking, will impress all of your friends, and make hot naked chicks shuttle you all because you and your bike are so rad. Unfortunately for Specialized, they didn’t drop the ever growing Sam Hill and pay the big bucks to America’s rock Jesus, Aaron Gwinn, who has now shown that the Trek is the only bike Read More »

Specialized Enduro Expert Bike

Featured Review

“The Downhiller's One Bike”

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The Good: To put it simply, this bike rides like a DH bike but allows you to peddle to the top. The geometry, and suspension design allows you to throw your bike into the gnarliest of lines and come out clean. I've ridden this bike in every environment, from Northstar rocks to fast flowy single track and it's very difficult if not impossible to find a bike that excels as well as the Enduro in all conditions. If you are a rider that likes to haul the mail and can only afford one bike, this is without a doubt it.
Good:
1) Geometry
2)Ability to plow through anything like a DH bike
3)Built to last. I ride my bikes hard, and have trashed this bike and it's still going strong. After a year and a half of shuttling, lift riding, and local xc riding(which may as well be downhilling as well) the bike has no dents in the frame and only a few minor scratches. The frame bearings are all still good, and the frame has no noticeable flex when riding hard.

The Bad: There are 5 things that I don't really like about the Enduro. Some can be easily changed but some cannot.
1) The cable routing under the frame. This is not really a problem if you don't shuttle, or ever throw your bike over a tailgate, but I really wish bicycle companies would consider this when designing the cable routing.
2)The shock: I debated putting this in the bad category as it does do many things well, but if you are an aggressive/heavier rider, the shock has a tendency to blow through the travel on harder hits(G outs, small drops, big square edge bumps)
3)The offset specialized stem. Over time, the spacer for the stem will decide it's worn out and you will literally be able to flex your handlebars up and down a half inch. Ditch the specialized stem and buy a Thompson.
4)Not coming with a travel adjust fork. This bike will climb much better with a travel adjust fork(Specialized specced the 2012 enduro expert with a travel adjust fork). On steeper climb the bike makes you feel like your riding a wheelie. This is a give and take though. The geo of the bike yields amazing DH performance so it's understandable the way the bike climbs. From personal experience a travel adjust fork will make this thing a much more eager climbing machine.
5) The Specialized seat will eventually start to creak; get a new one. Also, if you are using a Specialized Command Post, crank the bolt that holds the seat in place five times harder than you would anything else, or your seat will self adjust.

Overall Review: Overall, you want this bike if you are a gravity focused rider that can only have one bike. If you have a DH bike and are looking for a trail bike, look for a smaller bike. The only reason I say that is because this bike climbs like a pig compared to other bikes in its class. The Nomad, Ibis Mojo, etc all pedal much better. The tradeoff is the Enduro rides down the trail better. Personally, I will be selling this bike to get a lighter, more XC friendly bike at the end of the year, but that is because I have a DH bike to ride, and this bike creates some overlap in the bike stable.But, in summary, this bike is rad. You will not be disappointed if you buy one.

Nukeproof Electron Pedal

Featured Review

“Best value for money I ever had!”

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The Good: - very cheap
- very light
- surprisingly strong

The Bad: - normal pins are too short
- annoying bump in the middle (can be fixed with longer pins)
- they look kind of cheap, because of their nylon body!

Overall Review: I originally bought these for my 4x bike. They looked thin, were super light and cheap, but because they are made from nylon instead of metal, I didn't think they were that strong.The first thing I noticed, is the little bump in the middle, where the axle is. This was annoying at first, but I got used to it quickly. The grip was okay, but not great, enough for some 4x tracks and skateparks, tough. After a few weeks I decided to put them on my DH bike. But with my 5.10's I didn't have any grip, because the bump in the middle was to high and the stiff sole of the 5.10s couldn't bend around it.So I went home and made Read More »

Specialized Big Hit 1 Bike

“Pretty Good”

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The Good: Tuff, strong, pretty light for the price, and fairly plush.

The Bad: Brakes fade and the stock suspension isn't very good.

Overall Review: I've had this bike for about a year now and it's held up well from all the torture I've given it. I had to replace the fork because it started creaking and so I went for a boxxer and it's much better. I also had to replace the rear shock because I blew through the bottom out bumper. I replaced it with a fox van rc and it feels much more plush. The brakes are strong but kind of spongy and fade everyone once in a while but for the price it's really good. Also, I find my self wishing for a slightly slacker head angle when things get steep and rough but it works fine how it is. Overall it's a great bike for the price and I would recommend it.

2013 GT Sensor 9R Expert Bike

“2011 GT Sensor Expert 9r”

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The Good: Nice frame/rear shock. Looks cool, feels comfortable and good adjustment range on the shock.

The Bad: The fork clicks when compressed. No click when TST2 engaged?
The Kenda Small Blocks were not designed for the PNW slop. Swapped out for WTB Bronsons.
Low end drive train (Alivio). Upgraded massively to XT Dyna-sys.

Overall Review: If I could get the fork issue handled I would be completely happy with this ride! Possibly new wheels in the near future. Oh and the "All-Terra" components have to go...

2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO Bike

“My Quiver Killer”

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The Good: Easy suspension setup with the Autosag (though I do adjust it depending on what I'm riding)
Very capable components for the $$
Stock dropper post that is in my opinion the best one on the market
Great tires
Stock chain guide and bashgaurd
Overall beefy setup that's at home all around the mountain

The Bad: Wheels could be better. They'll last, but they're the first thing I upgraded.

Overall Review: Love this bike. Since buying it and riding it stock for about a month, I swapped out the 2x10 for a 1x10 setup with an e13 chain guide.  Like I said, the stock wheels are not the best, so I swapped those out for Crossmax SX's.  I'll still use the stock wheels, but I'm not expecting a long life, particularly from the rear hub. Overall, this is a sweet bike at a great price.  The chassis is very upgrade worthy, and burly enough to withstand what will hopefully be many seasons to come.  Stoked on this buy-my favorite bike!

Shimano Saint Crankset M815 Crank

“Durable DH Cranks”

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The Good: I've been running these cranks for 2.5 years without any issues whatsoever. These are really a set and forget type of component. They are really stiff and strong.

The Bad: The price and now that we are seeing carbon cranks these are a bit heavy.

Overall Review: After 2.5 years of riding these cranks I can say they are super durable and totally worth the price. I've had no issues with these and would highly recommend this product.