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Latest Product Reviews


X-Fusion Hilo 125 Seatpost

Featured Review

“Cheap and Cheerful!”


The Good: The most obvious advantage to the X-Fusion Hilo 125 is the price. $220 is crazy cheap for a dropper, especially when you consider that a RockShox Reverb sells for $370 and a KS Lev costs $395! For this price, the X-Fusion Hilo is about as good as you can get. It has infinite adjustability, which means you can stop it anywhere within its 125mm of travel. This feature is what made droppers like the Reverb and Lev so good. It is also hydraulic like the Reverb, which means the post action is smooth and controlled. You get a choice between a cable-actuated remote or a simplistic, lightweight lever on the underside of the saddle. The lever works great and the action is almost instantaneous. If you use a lever, its also about the same weight as more high end droppers, 545g for a 30.9mm post to be exact.

The Bad: Although the Hilo 125 employs a double keyway design in the shaft, there is still some noticeable side-to-side movement of the saddle. However, this movement is very minimal and you won't detect it while riding. The major problem with the Hilo is the shaft head. The bolt needs to be greased and torqued the hell out of it in order to keep the saddle from moving. If you torqued it enough, the saddle will stay in place. Just remember to grease the bolt liberally so you can apply more torque to it. The cable-actuated lever has a nice, easy to use design, but the action is simply too slow and hindered. With the remote, the saddle takes forever to extend or contract the last few millimeters. The action is slow and it is very noticeable. No matter how much you lube the cable and get all the slack out, the action is slow. I even tried increasing the air pressure in the post, but the speed increase was extremely minimal. My only suggestion is to use the lever. With the lever, any speed issues are solved and you start to love the post again.

Overall Review: Aside from a few easily fixable niggles here and there, the X-Fusion Hilo 125 is a great dropper for the money. Its lightweight, simplistic, and will withstand a lot of abuse. The remote system needs to be fixed in future models, but the lever works a treat. Hydraulic, infiniteadjustably is a feature that only comes in the RockShox Reverb, which many deem to be the best dropper on the market currently. Aside from some saddle tightening and movement issues, the Hilo is definitely a dropper to consider for those on a budget.

Maxxis Ikon Tire

Featured Review

“Long lasting XC tire with excellent traction”


The Good: Long wearing
Excellent traction and durability for its weight
Surprisingly good in various conditions

The Bad: A little heavy for competitive XC racing
Limited width options
Price shock
Not officially tubeless ready

Overall Review: The Ikon (29x2.2) is my favorite tire for SoCal riding. It's what you need when your trail's surface is more like concrete, with a dusting of kitty litter, in which the loose dusting acts like mini ball bearings between the flat tops of your tire's knobs and the super hard and dry hardpack. The knobs have just enough depth to pierce through the loose, allowing the numerous working edges bite into the hardpack, while the ramps allow it to roll quietly and smoothly. This is a tire you pick when you want to go fast, with the least amount effort, but still want traction to be able to maintain control when going fast. Compared to Read More »

2012 GT Force Carbon Sport Bike

“Great Bike”


The Good: Geometry, Suspension and seat post

The Bad: Stand over height and hard to keep linkage area clean

Overall Review: The wheels and tires roll quickly and are holding up quite well. I would have preferred the wheels to accept Schrader valves over the presta, but that’s more of a personal convenience for quick fill-ups around town and my stock of tubes are Schrader type. I’m planning on converting to tubeless at some point anyway so it’s not a huge problem. I’m the type of rider that doesn’t have to have the “freshest lookin’ whip on the trail” so I’m not planning on upgrading anything until something breaks or fails, but I can see myself upgrading the wheels some time. I’m quite abusive on bikes in general, but really hard on wheels and Read More »

Kenda Nevegal Tire

“Jack of all trades... sort of.”


The Good: Decent All Mountain application. Grips roots and slick rocks in slow muddy technical conditions. Good as a rear tire.

The Bad: Slow. Pinch flat easy with tubes. Rated specifically to NOT be tubeless ready by the manufacture.

Overall Review: The DTC is pretty grippy tire for most conditions. For slow technical muddy conditions I feel the tire really shines. However, from what I've experienced It's not the most confidence inspiring at high speed cornering in wet or dry conditions. As others have stated it does feel like it is slow rolling especially the wider tires so getting to those conditions is tough anyhow. The heavier Stick-E DH models are really slow feeling but nice in the rock garden knar. Pinch flats are also a problem that I'veexperienced, more than any other tire I've had before. All that said, I don't think they're a bad tire. I do like the tires Read More »

Spank Spike 777FR Bearclaw Signature Series Handlebar

“one bad-ass looking stem”


The Good: weight, looks, colors, everything...

The Bad: none! even the packaging looks good!

Overall Review: install immediately after purchase.... :) i got the black version (like the one used in the review and it fits perfectly to my setup).. so happy i've made the right decision by buying this.

Race Face Atlas FR Handlebar

“Go to DH bar”


The Good: Width, geometry, colors, strength

The Bad: weight, but not by much

Overall Review: The atlas are an excellent bar. They come in at the perfect width and they feel great. The low rise is perfect for riders who like a low setup, and it gives that aggressive, racy feel. It comes in a bunch of great colors so you can match it to pretty much any build and they seem to hold up well in crashes. They are definitely heavier than some competition but they look better than most of them.

Schwalbe Big Betty DH Tire

“Amazing grip, disappointing durability”


The Good: Super grip for cornering and braking
tubeless set up
light weight

The Bad: wears down way too fast-triple compound?

Overall Review: I was super excited to try these out, and after a couple of local rides I was loving them, but after two days in the bike park they look like they are several months old. The shoulder knobs are tearing off and the center knobs are already wearing. I don't skid or brake excessively, but these tires are way to soft. Perhaps a single compound version would be better in the rear. This softness equates to great grip. It would definitely make a great race day tire save for the fact that it can become caked with mud quickly. In corners and off camber situations it has excellent grip, better than minions in some places. They also look sick and are slightly lighter than minions

Maxxis Minion DHF Tire

“The gold standard of DH tires.”


The Good: Braking, acceleration, cornering, price.

The Bad: cornering knobs always fall off

Overall Review: The DHF are definitely a go to tire. They are widely available and frequently on sale. Cornering is top notch and they definitely have that playful drift zone a lot of people talk about. What they lack in grip on the muddiest days, they make up for pretty much everywhere else. They definitely excel as a bike park tire or versatile race tire. One problem I always have is cornering knobs falling off. On several of my tires after a month or two, a large amount of the knobs are ripped off or close to it, even when most of the braking knobs are almost entirely intact. Still they are longer lasting than alot of the super soft competition. The weight is also slightly heavier than some of the competition, but it makes up for it with compound durability.

Kenda Nevegal Tire

“Poor tire, but inexpensive”


The Good: cheap
frequently on sale

The Bad: grip, cornering, weight, tubeless

Overall Review: Most people who highly rate this tire just haven't tried many others, simply because it's a popular oem or cheap quick replacement. They are also relatively long lasting and the knobs don't fall off. I know I had them on my first few mountain bikes years ago, and I hope I never see them again. Realistically, its overly heavy for its size no matter how big you get it, and has poor traction in corners and braking. There is a night and day difference if you ride it side by side with a maxxis DHF in performance.

Maxxis Crossmark Tire

Featured Review

“Great rear tire for trail bike”


The Good: Rolls fast
Good grip
Drifts predictably
Pretty light

The Bad: Short knobs get overwhelmed in deep mud
Can get flats in extremely rocky terrain (especially at lower pressures)

Overall Review: I've been running the 2.25 crossmark as the rear tire on my trail bike for years. I pair it with a minion DHF and have really come to love this combination.  The crossmark has surprisingly good grip--much better than you would think just looking at it.  It rolls very well, and I can notice a big difference compared to say a high roller or other knobbier tires.  In corners it holds quite well and drifts super predictably.  Paired with a larger/knobbier tire like the DHF I can corner really aggressively because I know the rear will let go before the front and that it will do so in a predictable manner.  If I lived in the mountains, I'd likely run something a little burlier, but for the piedmont area round me which has lots of roots and rocks but not as much high speed chunder it's a great choice.