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Banshee Rune V2 Frame

“Sleeper Enduro Bike "Nomad Killer"”

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The Good: Climbs much better than 160mm 30+ lb bike should. Bullet proof construction. Makes technical trails seem easy. Thinks it's a downhill bike on the decants. Adjustable BB and head angle. Eats SC Nomads for lunch.

The Bad: There is not too much bad to say about this bike. I only have a few complaints. The frame is a little on the heavy side. The internal dropper post routing on a small frame is too high on the seat post. This causes the hose to kink as it has to make a slight S bend inside the seat tube. Finish quality should be a little better considering the cost of a frame.

Overall Review: ​The Banshee Rune really is a good as everyone states. It turns any trail into a fun trail. My Rune is a small 2014 27.5 version. I built it up with a 160 Pike RCT fork, DBAIR shock, and a 10 speed XT 1X component group. The Rune really is a great do it all bike. I ride mine on long flatter XC rides, technical enduro rides, downhill, and in the bike park. I highly recommend the Rune for anyone looking for a more-aggresive all mountain ride.

7iDP Control Suit

“Better than a Armor Shirt”

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The Good: Light weight and usable with Leatt and Atlas braces. Cooler than wearing an armor shirt

The Bad: Needs to offer a little more shoulder protection.

Overall Review: Overall a much better armor choice compared with the SS Base Suit. The Control Suit is lighter, breaths better, and feels more comfortable. Plus, the sizing is more accurate.

7iDP Control Knee Pad

“Top Notch Knee Pads”

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The Good: Great knee pads, very light weight, breathable, comfortable, and they offer better protection compared with soft pads

The Bad: They can rub on your shin if not positioned perfectly. Sizing is a touch big.

Overall Review: After crashing with these pads a couple times, I won't go back to a soft pad. The hard knee cup really offers superior protection and it keeps the pad from moving out of place during an impact. The are so light and comfortable that you really don't notice you are wearing them even when pedaling.

7iDP Transition SS Base Suit

“A Good Idea that Needs Some Work”

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The Good: Great concept. Multi piece spine protection and chest protection. Works with Leatt and Atlas braces.

The Bad: Sizing is way off. I normally wear a medium shirt. The SS Base Suit was way to big and bulky. I ended up selling it to a friend who is over 6 ft tall and it fits him much better.

Overall Review: The SS Base Suit is a great idea; however, 7iDP needs to work on sizing, ventilation, and reducing the bulk of this suit.

Shimano SLX Cassette 10 Speed HG81

“SLX Cassette is a Smooth Operator”

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The Good: Fits 9 speed cassette body
Smooth shifting
Lighter weight

The Bad: only goes up to 36 teeth
not as compatible with expander ring upgrades (Oneup Wolf Tooth)

Overall Review: Picked up this cassette as part of a 10 speed conversion and have been pleasantly surprised with it. Shimano's SLX group set has gotten great praise overall, but personally I wasn't in love with their 9 speed group set that I was upgrade from, but due to an ordering error on my part the SLX cassette is what I ended up getting. One thing I love is the compatibility with 9 speed cassette bodies. While we would all love 11 speeds, the whole switching of cassette hubs or getting new wheels, or even a new bike is a bit unattainable for many of us. My original cassette was a 9 speed Sram Power Glide and the Read More »

Shimano XT SL-M780 10-Speed Shifters

Featured Review

“It's a Shifter and it shifts!”

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The Good: Ispec compatible
10 speed
Multiple gear shifter - go through multiple gears with one push
2-way release on upper shifter trigger

The Bad: Ispec Doesn't come with ispec mount and handle bar mount

Overall Review: The XT shifter is a great choice if you are switching to a 10 speed setup or upgrading a lower tier 10 speed drivetrain. I picked up this shifter as part of a 9 speed to 10 speed conversion and have been very happy with my purchase. This XT shifter comes in a few different configurations; bar mount with gear indicator, just bar mount, and ispec mount. Unfortunately Shimano doesn't give you all these configurations when you purchase the shift, you have to pick one and if you want to change it later your gonna have to pay. It would be great if Shimano sold the shifter with all three configurations, even if Read More »

Race Face Charge Leg Guards

Featured Review

“It's Like a Rashguard, for Your Knees and Without Water...”

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The Good: Spot on Fit
Good Coverage
Mutlitasking benefits
Very little slip
Breathable

The Bad: Not impact resistant

Overall Review: Just being from Race Face you know these are going to be spot on, does Race Face make anything bad? That said though, these are feeling good knee guards/cover and do a great job of adding a little bit of extra protection, but no over doing it. If you ride XC, aggressive XC (is that just being mad that you don't have a more gravity focused trail) or trail riding the Charge guards will treat you well. Great cover and fit. The Charge, when fitted right, fits mid thigh and down to your upper shin. They don't give entire leg coverage, but do cover a good amout of meat. The elastic bands at the thigh and shin fit Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Ace Riding Jersey

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Troy Lee Designs Ace Short & Jersey”

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Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by Chris Christie Troy Lee Designs’ Ace kit caters to riders looking for a high performing, lightweight, more pedal-friendly option without having to rock a skin suit. Advertised as premium, high performance gear for gritty XC riders, the updated Ace series features lightweight, wicking materials and all of the technical features we’ve come to expect from TLD. Can the kit handle daily abuse and frequent mistreatment, or is it meant purely for dainty XC rides? We spent a few months doing our best to find out. Troy Lee Designs Ace Short Highlights 4-way stretch, highly durable 90% Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Ace Riding Short

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Troy Lee Designs Ace Short & Jersey”

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Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by Chris Christie Troy Lee Designs’ Ace kit caters to riders looking for a high performing, lightweight, more pedal-friendly option without having to rock a skin suit. Advertised as premium, high performance gear for gritty XC riders, the updated Ace series features lightweight, wicking materials and all of the technical features we’ve come to expect from TLD. Can the kit handle daily abuse and frequent mistreatment, or is it meant purely for dainty XC rides? We spent a few months doing our best to find out. Troy Lee Designs Ace Short Highlights 4-way stretch, highly durable 90% Read More »

The Sensus Swayze Lock-On Grip

Featured Review

“Grips for Those That Like to Party!”

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The Good: ODI Rubber and lock rings
Classic wavy grip style
Long grip length
Includes bar plugs

The Bad: Shifters hit grip flange
Outer grip lip catches in lock on bolt
Small lock on bolts

Overall Review: Picked these up for no other reason than I like to switch up my bikes look from time to time with grips and thought I would give The Sensus a try. Sensus is a rider owned company and I like to support those that ride. The Swayze grips are designed by Sensus, but use rubber and lock-on rings from ODI. Working with ODI is great since they have an established and trusted design. However, using ODI is also a bit of a negative for me. I personally have never liked ODI's use of a very small lock-on bolts. I always feel like I am going to strip them out when tightening up. I have been using these grips for just over a month Read More »