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Latest Product Reviews


2011 Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon

Featured Review

“Fantastic Plastic”


The Good: Stiff // Light // Grease fittings for the lower pivot // Free pivot bearings for life // Drop dead sexy lines

The Bad: Price // Exposed lower link

Overall Review: When I first saw an ad for a Carbon Nomad, I thought to myself, "This must be a joke, carbon is for road bikes." Well, obviously carbon is not just for the lycra set anymore. Modern composite technology has come along way over the years, and the Carbon Nomad is a great example of this progression. Santa Cruz uses a one piece layup that they claim creates a stiffer and lighter frame. Stiff and light were the first two words that came to mind after throwing a leg over this composite creation. Stiffness is immediately noticeable over the alloy Nomad. There's just enough flex in the rear to avoid deflection, other than that, Read More »

Deity Dirty30 Handlebar

“Great handlebar at a good price”


The Good: Quality finish. Familiar shape. Strong. Good weight for a dh/freeride bar.

The Bad: Not wide enough for some (760mm)

Overall Review: The Dirty 30 handlebar is damn good looking, strong and has a comfortable shape. The 25 mm rise is just spot on for most downhill setups.  If 30 inches is wide enough for your tastes, get this bar.  I think at $80 the Dirty 30 is a better choice than a lot of the after market competition.

Deity Decoy 2.5 Flat Pedal

Featured Review

“Excellent pedal. Amazing Value”


The Good: Incredible grip, great concave shape, narrow profile, perfect size, rebuildable

The Bad: not easy to find at bike shops

Overall Review: If you are in the market for a flat pedal, the Deity Decoy should be on your short list. The Decoy has a great concave body that is a perfect size. Not too big and not too small for average feet. The 8 pins that are placed around the outer edge provides incredible traction even in wet conditions. In addition, the Decoy pedal has a narrow profile (17mm) and yet has a solid feel to it. It feels more beefy than its weight of 425 grams per pair. All pedals will eventually take a beating so it's great to know that the Decoy is rebuildable. This fact really sets this pedal apart from the competition. I have the confidence to Read More »

ODI Troy Lee Designs Lock On Grip

Featured Review

“ODI TLD Grips”


The Good: 1. Very, very grippy
2. Comfortable
3. Stylish

The Bad: 1. Not the cheapest grips out there

Overall Review: I've been eyeing these grips for a while mainly because they look amazing. Leave it to Troy Lee Designs to create something stylish out of something not intended to be. However, when I finally shelled out the money, I entered a whole new world. These are much more than eye candy. The flanges provide a very comfortable feel and prevent slippage. I have larger than thou mitts but the fairly thin grip was just perfect. The ramped knobs provide incredible grip (when pointed in the right direction), so much in fact that I didn't find myself needing gloves when my hands got sweaty. However, when used with gloves, be Read More »

Answer Protaper 720 Am Riser Bar

“Answer Protaper 720 Riser Bar”


The Good: 1. Incredible rise height, backs weep, width, and up sweep 2. Lightweight for an aluminum bar 3. Strong 4. Price

The Bad: Absolutely nothing

Overall Review: When I first saw the ProTapers, I loved the looks and all of the angles seemed to add up to a madcomfortablebar. The first thing that is noticeable is how strong the bars are. I've ridden off of large drops and over scaryrock gardens and there is no flex at all. The ProTaper technology really does make the bar stronger. The weight is respectable but if you are a weight weenie and you need under 250 grams, you might want to opp for the lighter but pricier carbon model (205-225 grams). All of the angles provide a comfortable and confidence inspiring bar. I have the 1" risers combined with a 60mm stem make for Read More »

Kenda Nevegal Tire

“Kenda Nevegal DTC 26x2.35”


The Good: 1. Grippy knobs
2. Fast rolling
3. Durable middle knobs
4. Good protection from punctures

The Bad: 1. Somewhat unstable sidewalls
2. Slightly heavy for its class

Overall Review: I have had the Nevegal DTC for a few months now and I can say, it is one of the versatile tires I have ridden. I recently switched from a much lower profile tire and the larger blocks dig into the loose dirt very nicely. Despite having such good dirt penetrating abilities, the Nevegals roll very well on hard-pack dirt due to its L3R (Low Rolling Resistance Rubber) and tightly spaced center knobs. When that dirt becomes sticky mud, it clears it out just fine but not as well as purpose built wet tires. The Stick-E compound provides amazing grip which provides confidence in the corners. It is actually the best cornering grip I Read More »

Crank Brothers Multi 17 Tool

Featured Review

“Reliable trail-side tool”


The Good: Slim and compact, reliable, contains all essential tools.

The Bad: Chain tool is uncomfortably small. Prone to rusting. 8mm hex key is not very useful.

Overall Review: I've been using this tool for trail repairs and even occasional garage work for four years without any serious problems. It fits easily in a jersey pocket or saddlebag. It includes various sizes of hex keys, a T25 torx key, flat and Philips screwdrivers, a chain tool, and spoke wrenches.I haven't had a problem with any of the bits rounding.The hex keys are great, although the 8mm seems unnecessary because the tool is too short to provide the kind of leverage needed with most 8mm hex bolts. The flat screwdriver could probably be eliminated too. The chain tool is short, so it's difficult to grip, but it does work and has saved multiple rides from turning into hikes. The tool has picked up some spots of surface rust over the years, but it's still working just fine. I never go on a ride without it.

2012 Specialized Status II Bike

“Ballin' on a budget”


The Good: Great starter bike with a great price point, super grippy Specialized Butcher DH tires

The Bad: Bike is heavy, with a low end fork

Overall Review: If you are looking for a first DH bike like myself, this is the bike for you. This bike bombs down DH runs, and is perfect on the jump trails such as Livewire at Northstar Bike Park. The only problem is that the bike is rather heavy. This is because of the Budget fork and Possibly the rims. The Fork is a RockShox Domain Dual Crown. The fork is heavy and has few adjustments. This bike is great for me but you might want to upgrade certain parts like the fork.

Park Tool Gear Clean Brush

Featured Review

“Perfect for intended use”


The Good: It's cheap, it lasts for years, and it's the quickest way to clean cassettes, chainrings, and derailleur pulleys.

The Bad: Nothing, really.

Overall Review: This brush is the best at what it does. It's shaped perfectly to reach into the nooks and crannies of cassettes. It's durable - I haven't worn one out yet at home. The scraping end fits in between the cogs of a cassette and is great at busting up thick, caked-on grime, and the brush gets everything sparkling clean again. What more could you want from a five-dollar tool? Whether in the shop or at home, this is my go-to tool for a dirty cassette.

Park Tool YZ125

Featured Review

“Simple, functional, dependable.”


The Good: The "Cyclone" chain cleaner is easy to use and it does an acceptable job cleaning off old lube and dirt from my chain. The drivetrain brush is great for cleaning cassettes and chainrings. I can always get my chain looking clean again in under five minutes.

The Bad: The wheels with the brushes spin on plastic stubs sitting in plastic slots, and after a while I've found that the brushes don't spin very well. The chain still gets scrubbed, but not as thoroughly. It would be better if there were a metal insert or something similar to prevent this.

Overall Review: I've been using this kit for years now with great results. I don't usually use Park Tool's chain cleaning fluid; normal dish soap is less expensive and works fine. I've found that doing one cycle with soap and two with plain water will get almost any chain looking shiny again in under five minutes. The only problem I've had is what I mentioned above: the wheels with the brushes don't spin very well in their plastic slots. It's not a major issue, but it's annoying. Also, if you're rough on tools, watch out - I cracked one of these chain cleaners when I accidentally dropped it.