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FOX DHX Air 5.0 Rear Shock

“Good Aggressive All-Mountain or Freeride shock”

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The Good: Smooth feel, propedal switch, doesn't blow through travel, relatively lightweight.

The Bad: Not enough adjustments or adjustment indicators on the shock.

Overall Review: To start off, I will say that this review is for the 2011 version of the shock. The only factorseparatingthe 2012 and 2013 models from the 2011 version is kashima coat. Basically, I'm just trying to say that I cannot attest to the performance of the gold stanchion coating. Right out of the box, the DHX 5.0 has a nice feel and with its 50-300psi main chamber, it canaccommodatea wide range of riders and riding styles, though I should say that it tends to need to be pumped to higher pressures than normal. The rebound dial also has an impressive 22 clicks of adjustment, though depending on your frame, it Read More »

e*thirteen E.13 Dh/Am Crankset W/ BB

“The Alternative Crank”

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The Good: 1)They are stiff, and the tabs don't bend.
2)They are quiet
3)They look cool
4)Reasonable weight

The Bad: The crank arm comes loose and the finish on the cranks fades over time.

Overall Review: I said in my review of the Shimano Saint Cranks that they were the only cranks I would ever buy. Well, I lied, and I blame Specialized. Thanks to the super, mega sector awesome new industry standard dubbed pf30 on my Demo 8 frame, I was forced to buy a new set of cranks to rid the annoying, creaking, horrible plastic pf30 to 83mm BB adapter that came with my frame. The adapter would self extract, and leave me hating my life. Being the semi-smart guy I am, I listened to what e-nerds on Ridemonkey were saying and I learned that e13 was making a press fit BB for their new LG1 crank. I immediately bought it, and it was Read More »

2013 Pivot Phoenix DH Bike

Vital Review

“Tested: Pivot's Phoenix Downhill Bike, Playfully Stable”

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Reviewed by Sean “Griz” McClendon. Photos by Ian Collins. Life without gravity is bunk. This bike cured my depression and ended a 23-month dry spell of no downhill. I was excited to return to riding downhill on a dual compact linkage design - yes, the beloved DW-Link by means of the Phoenix DH by Pivot Cycles. I had a premeditated idea of what this design would require from the body based on my past experience on the Iron Horse Sunday, a parking lot test on Kyle Strait’s 2011 Phoenix race bike, and hours of relearning to dirt jump on his 2011 Pivot M4X slalom race bike. It was a bittersweet day when Shaun Palmer inherited that Read More »

SRAM X.9 Rear Derailleur

“I Miss the Old SRAM”

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The Good: easy to tune, good value, nice color options

The Bad: flimsy cage, less than optimal shifting performance

Overall Review: While there are certainly qualities to like about this new X.9 derailleur from SRAM, there are a few to gripe about too. I have been running the 10sp X.9 for 3 months now. It replaced a 10sp X.7 when I bent that cage bent beyond repair. Looking to upgrade to a D that was more durable but wouldn't break the bank, I landed with the X.9 on my tool bench. Initial impressions were good, it installed with no drama, and was painless to dial into proper tension and alignment. The shifting performance of the X.9 felt just about the same, maybe a touch quicker, as the X.7 it replaced, which was no slouch. I suppose my complaint stems Read More »

FOX 36 Talas 160 R Fork

“It's a fox so ya'll need to bow down”

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The Good: its a FOX, talas adjuster goes from 140mm straight to 180mm with one click, easy to adjust on the fly when riding, convenient front brake hose holder that bolts to the arch to keep it in place, easy to undo 20mm thru axle,

The Bad: only had rebound adjuster, one of the quick releases has started to squeak when it open/closes but it is easily fixed, 1.5 steer tube may limit your stem choices

Overall Review: This buttery baby came stock on my Cannondale claymore and I'm glad they made the correct choice. Just like with the claymore's rear end, this fork has adjustable travel! I initially thought that this fork would have 3 options; 140mm, 160mm and 180mm but it only has 2 which is all you'll ever need I'm starting to find out. I'm coming from a fox 40 so this isn't quite as burley (obviously) but the suspension performance is spot on just like the 40 was, so I have come to always expect greatness from Fox Racing Shox. First off, since it's an air fork you can pump it up to your preferred stiffness instead of Read More »

Urge Archi-Enduro Full Face Helmet

Featured Review

“A good enduro or all-mountain helmet.”

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The Good: Light, looks good, ventilates well, doesn't interfere with a backpack.

The Bad: Half-foam mouthpiece, doesn't look like it'd hold up in a really gnarly face-first crash.

Overall Review: First off, I bought this helmet because I wanted a lightweight, breathable full-face that I could use as my one and only helmet. I ride mostly all-mountain and technical trails, but also do some dirt jumping and full-on downhill. After a couple months of use, I have had no issues with the helmet. Climbing - Though it is still a full face, the Urge breathes relatively well and it's light weight is noticeable. It allows a decent amount of peripheral vision, and the highly adjustable visor can be slid up so that it doesn't limit vision. Impact - I've only crashed a few times with this helmet, but so far it has held up Read More »

DMR V8 Grease Port Flat Pedal

Featured Review

“Reasonable Value”

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The Good: Strong, cheap, available in tons of colors, pretty grippy.

The Bad: Paint wore easily, some pins snapped off, heavy, slight play in the bearings.

Overall Review: I'll start by saying that I used these pedals for three years, and only ended up replacing them to colour-code my bike. During those three years, they were a reliable and worry-free product. I didn't really use the grease port feature, because being a dirt jumper I actually wanted to minimize pedal spin. Though the pedals are certainly heavy, (523 grams I believe) they easily stood up to three seasons of abuse, which says a lot for a 40$ pedal. The paint wore off somewhat quickly and theend capsfell off, but this had no effect on performance whatsoever. After three seasons, a total of 7 pins fell off, but with 5.10 shoes Read More »

e*thirteen SS+ Chainguide

Featured Review

“Great Deal”

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The Good: Very good chain retention, looks good, durable, relatively cheap and light.

The Bad: Hardly Anything

Overall Review: I've had this guide for 2.5 seasons now, and have nothing but good things to say about it. Not only is it cheap for a chainguide, it looks great and is still pretty light.  Not to mention, I have never, ever dropped a chain with this bad boy.  Having only one roller means it is low maintenance, and though the sealed-bearing roller did begin to squeak, it was only because I hadn't maintained it all season.  Spent two minutes cleaning it out, and BOOM! Works perfectly (and silently) once again.  It's also worth mentioning that it is compatible with a Gamut bash-guard, though the stock bash-guard works fine, and is damn light to boot. This is a product that truly deserves its 5-star rating.  It's fairly light, strong, cheap, and durable.  If it ever does break, I will certainly be buying another one.

2012 Trek Superfly AL Bike

“INSANE BIKE”

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The Good: super light. amazing fork
GREAT drive train
tires rock
looks trick

The Bad: Brakes need to be bled every 2 seconds

Overall Review: overall its the best xc bike for the price. plain and simple. its a fantastic bike and will take you places you never imagined.

2012 Trek Superfly AL Bike

“Amazing bike for the price!”

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The Good: Fox Fork, Great Components, Very Fast and Super Responsive

The Bad: Weak Tires, Grips Slip off bar, Wheels seem a bit weak

Overall Review: I have had my Superfly AL for about a month now and I must say that I have been trying to kill it. Fell in about 2 feet of mud the other day and it still finished the additional 3 miles of my ride with hardly any hiccups.   The chain has only come off once, but I blame myself since I shifted way too fast while pedaling.  Have gone off a couple of high jumps at high speed and have no evidence of damage.  I love the Fox shocks, which have been removed from the 2013 version and replaced with the RockShox.  I see it as a mistake, but the higher ups at Trek know their stuff.  So overall.  I would buy it again.