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Azonic Barretta Stem

“Awesome Stem!”

C138_58850

The Good: Stiff
Not heavy

The Bad: Not exactly light either

Overall Review: I have this stem on my '10 GT Force along with a set of Spank bars that are 762mm long. It's a great combo for all mountain riding.  I do wish sometimes that the stem was about 10mm longer for some of the more XC'ish type riding I do but all in all I really like how stiff it is and in white it looks as awesome as it feels.  It's not the heaviest stem out there but its not exactly light either.

Truvativ Hussefelt Stem

“As strong as heck, in a jail they'd put it in a sock and use it as a weapon!”

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The Good: Strong with strong bolts

The Bad: Heavy, limited color choices, painted and not anodized

Overall Review: To be honest if I was going to upgrade anything I'd plumb for a stem under 180 grams. At 220 grams on my scale it's a tad on the heavy side, OK so not by much, but consider you can get a really strong attractive anodized CNC machined stem in a choice of colors at 160 grams, and those grams here and there add up into kilos by the end of your build. So I'd only buy this for a budget freeride or DH build, maybe spend extra and go lighter for AM and trail bikes. However it is a serious stem that gives you piece of mind with no doubts to its strength.

Loaded Precision X-lite Titanium Stem

“Cocked and Loaded”

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The Good: Strong lite and great looking.

The Bad: The anodizing scratches easily.

Overall Review: About 3 years ago I found these guys when it was time to build up some new wheels. I build a set with their hubs, hoops and spokes.  They have been by far the best wheels I have ever used.  Once I started to use them I kept an eye on their other products.  When I build a new SS I needed  a stem and bars.  So the Loaded site I went.  I purchased the stem and some AMX Bars in green of course.  I have been running them for around 6 months on the trainer and 2 months in the dirt.  As always they well made and just what I needed.  Great product from a great US company.  Any time I have ever had an issue I just call them up and Anthony has always been a huge help.  Buy their products if you can.  They are all awesome.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evolution Tire

“Lots of grip and plenty of rip, Trailstar w/ snakeskin”

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The Good: grippy, predictable, quick roller

The Bad: wear fast, flats!!!!, spendy for such a short life span

Overall Review: Here is what I like. 1. Predictable throughout all angles of the tire 2. rolls quick 4. Grippy on all surfaces so far 5. Light 6. Stiffish sidewall for such a light tire Here is hat I don't like 1. Flats, I get a lot of flats with these tires, probably because of how light they are 2. Knobs wear very quick 3. Wobbly! It's a bitch to get these things on straight. My buddy has the same issue.

FOX 40 FIT RC2 Fork

“great but holy crap it was a lot of work/$$$ to keep working”

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The Good: stiff, adjustable, confidence inspiring

The Bad: a lot of money in upkeep

Overall Review: Performance wise this fork was great when it worked. I had mine for 3 seasons and it got rebuilt twice and was serviced often by a legit shop with a certified fox mech. With all that it still caused a lot of headaches. It squeaked, knocked and spewed oil a lot. I had to get a whole new dampener after a trip to Whistler then about 2 months later it needed new seals after I had just replaced them. I can go on and on but i must've just had some crap luck because my buddies didn't have as many issues as I did. I'd still give the 40 another shot because I've had 3 36's and my girlfriend has a 36 and they work flawlessly.

Banshee Paradox Frame

“I wanted an XC bike and I got a trail shredder”

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The Good: forward thinking 29r that is now copied

The Bad: could be a bit slacker

Overall Review: This was my 1st 29r and my 1st hardtail since I owed my Yeti DJ back in 2005 and my Cannondale F700 before that in1998. I really enjoyed this bike and road it quite a bit. If i didn't have to consolidate my garage I'd still have this. I also have a feeling I'll own one again and here is why. 1. Rolls over anything 2. Stiff and efficient 3. best looking 29r hardtail 4. short stays 5. was slacker than anything out when it came out 6. rips downhill They revised it recently and slacked it out a bit more + they lowered it and added a DM front derailleur. Honestly though I'd only ride this thing as a 1 by. I always enjoyed riding it faster on more technical trails or certain sections other guys on their super AM bikes either walked or tip toed down.

Banshee Wildcard Frame

“Had his from 2009 to 2012”

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The Good: great geo, durable, stiff and versatile

The Bad: a bit porky

Overall Review: I had 2 builds on this frame. 1 at 41lbs and the other at 36 or under. with the adjustable travel/geo this bike could be low and slack or a bit taller with more travel. Normally i ran it in the 6.5" mode. This bike was at home at Blackrock, Post Canyon and on the flowier Whistler trails. It make jumping effortless. The bike was confidence inspiring too. I've hit some of the biggest stuff I've done on this frame. If they didn't make the Rune V2 I'd still have it. But sadly I needed to consolidate my garage and that included selling this frame. I kind of regret it now while writing this review because it was so damn fun.

Chromag MTB Chainring

“I want to put this on all my 1 by's.”

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The Good: amazing build quality, solid ano, solid weight, graphics are good without going over the top

The Bad: Wide narrow? Maybe? soon? please?

Overall Review: You can tell the paid attention when designing and making this ring. The ano is strong, it's light and the graphics looks solid. Once they make this is in wide/narrow I'll pick one up to replace the sram one on my 1x11.

Chromag Moon Saddle

“Grey and White - I have them both”

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The Good: Ti rails, solid finish, slim slim slim, comfy, closeout price

The Bad: Hate getting it dirty

Overall Review: My grey saddle is on my Rune which I pedal for extended periods of time. My white one is for my Legend which I'll sit on riding to the lifts. What can you say? It has Ti rails, synthetic leather (durable) and has excellent graphics without being obnoxious. I sit on this thing for hours on end sometimes without a chamois and only after an all day w/ few breaks does my tush start to ache. I say thats pretty rad for such a slim saddle. Oh did i mention I bought both on closeout for $50.00 each. Chromag's service kills too. My grey one was lost by USPS. I emailed Chromag and they had a new one to me in 3 days. From BC to Read More »

Deity Fantom DM Stem

“Not my 1st direct mount stem”

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The Good: looks great, solid machining, stiff, holds my bars trouble free, 2 positions, not expensive.

The Bad: A whole lot of none

Overall Review: I hesitated when this came out and didn't buy one. In fact it took my until the Locust stem was teased to pick one of these up. Here was my situation. I fit right between a medium and a large Legend. Because it is a DH bike i opted for a medium. I probably should have gotten a large. I felt rear heavy a lot with little to no room for adjustment in my body position. It was either front heavy or rear heavy. I decided to get a longer stem to see if that made a difference. Luckily for me this made a good excuse to get the Fantom DM stem. I bolted it on in the 55mm position and haven't looked back. The bike feels great. Thanks Deity for helping me fit into my DH frame all the better.