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Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert EVO Bike

“would be 4.5 stars...”

C138_sj_fsr_expert_enduro

The Good: Awesome geometry, feels flickable/light underneath you. killer stock build. definitely a do-it-all.

The Bad: 1) 2011 models (pictured) have no rear thru axle but that has been corrected.
2) Mine has this INSANE rear brake vibration... it literally violently shakes the entire bike under hard braking.
3) FLOAT RL is a mediocre fork (improved for 2012). I never seem to get full travel
4) QR seatpost
5) needs internal routing (all specialized)

Overall Review: I've had this bike about 7 months now and have done everything from 15 mile fireroad climbs to tight, technical descents, to hitting 20' doubles. It does everything very well - not just OK, VERY well... my major complaints are listed above, the biggest of which is the lack of a rear thru-axle on 2011 models, but this has been corrected for 2012. Also, the stock avid brakes will likely drive you insane with the amount of vibration they cause under hard braking. thats just me complaining though... overall this is easily the best all around bike I've ever owned (other bikes have been Giant reign, Commencal Meta 4, Trek Remedy). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

2013 Cannondale Claymore 1 Bike

“Cannondale Claymore wins top honors!”

C138_2013_cannondale_claymore_1

The Good: Great angles, low BB, versitile, low mass, leightweight, stiffness, 1.5" steer tube and fork. Great if not possibly the best, when it comes to its catergorie... Overmountain, Park, Freeride, HD All Mtn, DH. You will see this bike out there with dual crown forks, this chassis is truly built to shred. My rig is 32.8 lbs with Fox 36 180mm, XO, Iodines and Reverb. It would be the same with a high end Boxxer... lose the dropper post for DH and I'm sitting on a sub 32 lbs dual crown rig! Remarkable!

The Bad: Umm... Love the 1.5" headtube... do not like the propeirty headset diameter... all headset pieces for different fork steer tubes must come from Cannondale. Not compatible with aftermarket headsets.

Overall Review: This bike is wicked... shred sled for sure. If you like to pedal to your drop-ins and don't really want to comprimise anything on the DH, give the Claymore a long look. When the Dyad is in the Elevate postion, not only does it climb like a 110mm bike, it also jumps like one too. So if you find yourself at a jump set with your Claymore... pop it in Elevate and have some fun. One of the only rear air shocks that feels like a coil (Fox Dyad). This rear shock moves massive amounts of fluid therefor runs cool for predictable and durable suspension performance. I didn't knock off any points for the headset, because really the parts are available and you can put any fork in this frame. Try a demo from your local bike shop and let the bike sell itself to you. I know it will.

2012 Mongoose Switchback Expert Bike

“Mongoose switchback expert 2012”

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The Good: Lightweight and very strong, will take alot of punishment and deal with it no problem. Grippy wide tyres makes speed riding through dirty tracks and slippery surfaces easy. Fantastic brakes mean you have complete control downhill.

The Bad: The crank and pedals are of a poor quality so i would reccomend getting those replaced. quick release mechanism on front and back tyres are a theives dream so i would have those removed.

Overall Review: I have had this for 3 weeks now and its a fantastic bike. I did spend an extra £100 on a steel crank and pedals but that was personal preferance. I would reccomend this to anyone.

2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT Carbon All Mountain Bike

“...like taking an exciting and non-lethal drug that brings complete happiness”

C138_2011_santa_cruz_blur_carbon

The Good: Stiff, effective, nimble, flickable, ..i can't believe i own this, etc.

The Bad: It isn't under everyone's saddle and not being pedaled by every biker.

Overall Review: I can't complain for shiza about anything that has to do with this bike. You can Dj to Dh to Xc....and with thin enough tires, road. I need to riiiiddddeeee!

Transition TransAM Frame

“Amazing Bike!”

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The Good: Super solid and stiff, frame takes the edge out of rough terrain, not much weight penalty for a steel frame, well thought out geometry.

The Bad: The rear drop outs are a nightmare to use, the older frames have no ISCG mounts.

Overall Review: This is definitely an amazing bike. I have mine built up with heavy duty all mountain parts and it's still weighing in at a nice 27 pounds. I noticed that over watermelon sized rocks, the frame really takes the edge off all the hits, especially compared to my old aluminum frame. It's still not as smooth as a fully (obviously), but it's definitely not half as bad as you might expect. My only complaint with it is the rear dropout system, mainly if you run gears. To remove the back wheel, you need to remove two little "chips", the derailleur, and the brake caliper. That being said though, I haven't needed to remove the back wheel ever since I went tubeless. Besides that, it's an amazing bike. If you've never ridden a steel bike before, you really owe it to yourself to try one!

2012 Santa Cruz Blur TRc SPX xc Bike

“Blur TRc Custom Build”

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The Good: This bike is very stiff when pedalling and is great on the hill climbs, when you turn the trail down it becomes a very stable and agile machine that makes you feel very confident and capable and able to go faster. The suspension platform is great on the climbs with very little "bob" and then comes alive on the descents. The RP23 with kashima coat gives a noticeable difference over the older RP23 shock. I have been running with a 140 fork giving a HA arounbd 67 degress, which does give slight front end wander on steep climbs but nothing that cannot be fixed with good body movement. Currently set up 1x10 whichallows me to get up the majority of climbs and then have all the gears I need for descending and general riding.

The Bad: A slightly higher BB would have been cool but doesnt overly affect the riding that I do.

Overall Review: A stiff, stable, agile, confidence inspiring bike that gives you a grin from ear to ear whether you are going up or down. This bike can be built in many ways to fulfill many roles and would not dissapoint. A truely awesome trail bike.

2012 Yeti ASR-5 Carbon Enduro Bike

“Best trail bike”

C138_screen_shot_2012_01_09_at_8.36.47_pm

The Good: raceable, light, stiff, slack, low, corners like a dream, motors uphill, its a blast to ride, great standover, snappy feel, short chainstays

The Bad: its a bit noisy (chain hit the chain protectors), otherwise i love everything about this bike

Overall Review: The best bike I've ever own. i'm usually a large but the medium fit me perfectly. they run a little bit big. All i have to say is its the perfect trail bike and its a blast to ride.

2013 Diamondback Overdrive Comp Bike

“Assembly and Initial Opinion”

C138_2013_overdrivecomp

The Good: Bike comes with some great components.
Hayes Hydraulic Brakes
RockShox with remote Lockout
Priced lower than most other mid-range models (bought for $671 on amazon.com, the $499 price is for last year's model)

The Bad: Shifting doesn't seem as smooth as I would expect with 30-spds
Stock seat not very comfortable, even for shorter urban rides (To be expected I guess)
Had to pre-load the front fork to the max in order to get desired stiffness in the lock-out feature

Overall Review: Assembly was pretty straight forward on this 29er. My first experience with disc brakes, front-suspension and a 29er. I am impressed by the braking feel and power and rolling over curbs, roots, etc. with these 29" is awesome. The front-suspension seems to leave al ittle to be desired as the lock-out feature requires a full pre-load to obtain the stiffness. For the price I was unable to find a comparable bike as far as components and quality of brand were concerned.

Niner Carbon Fiber Fork

“The best rigid fork made?”

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The Good: Very stiff, Very strong, rides extremely well, very efficient

The Bad: You have to actually know how to ride a bike to use this fork

Overall Review: This fork is absolutely amazing. If you want a fork that you can depend on and have a blast while riding, this is the fork for you. Your riding capabilities will grow immensely. This fork will let you fly up the climbs and have a blast on the descents. You can not go wrong with it

2012 Transition Blindside Bike

“Alright for the price”

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The Good: The bike has decent geo and comes well spect.

The Bad: Mega flexy rear end. The seat stays are not connected to each other or to the chain stays unlike many other free ride/dh bikes. This created a lose feeling rear end, witch did no go well with the brake jack on technical sections. I found that for steep and ruff trails i was underbiked.

Overall Review: Great bike for free ride and smaller riders. Look elsewhere for a bike that can also handle DH.