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Continental Der Baron DH Tire

“All around grip from ze Germans”

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The Good: Grip beyond belief on al things wet and slippy. No lug separation problems. Fast enough to be a xc tire, acts like a spike tire in the mud.

The Bad: Blew out the sidewall of the APEX casing tire after 6 months of use. Did not grip very well in sandy type soil.

Overall Review: I ordered this tire thinking it was going to be the 2ply, 2.3in tire of my dreams. When I received it, I noticed that it was not a 2ply tire at all. What I received was a single ply folding bead with an "APEX" casing, which I was told was a super tough "Freeride" tire and great for tubless too. I initially installed them tubless on a stans flow wheelset. Eventually, I determined that due to burping tires every ride, I would just run them with tubes. I loved them for six months on all types of rides and through all conditions, they were my new favorite tire. Recently, I hit a fast g-out and blew the sidewall of the Read More »

POC Trabec Race MIPS Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: POC Trabec Race MIPS Helmet - Unique Style Meets Safety Innovation”

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by Mihai Moga POC, a fairly young and very successful Swedish company known primarily for high quality ski helmets, has made waves in the world of mountain biking over the past few years. Their unique designs and innovation are quickly gaining recognition. The new Trabec Race MIPS is their top of the line trail helmet for 2013. This helmet stands out for several reasons, including the use of the radically different MIPS technology. POC Trabec Race MIPS Highlights Inner Aramid filament reinforced EPS core Outer PC shell with seams in the areas of least exposure Equipped with the patented MIPS system Aerodynamic Read More »

2012 Transition TR450 1 Bike

“great frame”

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The Good: strong, reliable, predictable , smooth and nice jumping

The Bad: weight , 5. something kg with the shock

Overall Review: i haveridden a transition tr 450 since 2011, i had a green one from 2011 and know i ride a 2012 black like the one on the photograph. i like the  bike performance , handle and versatility , i have ridden it in a race like avalanche, 12.5 km with fire roads, little climbs and single tracks and it old up perfectly .very good choice, since the frame and the hole bike it's not one of the most expensive on the market.

Royal 2014 Membrane 3/4 Bib Riding Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Base Membrane 3/4 Bib & Jersey”

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by AJ Barlas Base layers… for biking? Isn't that more of a ski thing? I'm sure some of you muttered something to that effect when you saw the title for this review, but hear me out. Three years ago I would have been caught thinking precisely the same thing. "Throw on a hoody, some moto pants and a cheap rain jacket and it'll be fine," I'd say, and do! But you won't catch me dead doing that in the last couple of seasons. Why? Maybe this aging game is actually making me wiser (I won't go as far as to say smarter, after all, I do let the computers in my life do a lot more of my thinking than years ago). Read More »

ODI Troy Lee Designs Lock On Grip

“ODI TLD Lock-on's!”

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The Good: Very grippy, they look awesome, easy to install.

The Bad: Nothing really. Could be a little cheaper, but you get what you pay for.

Overall Review: Had these on my DH bike for a while, but moved to the Rogue's since I like a thicker grip. Threw these on my XC bike and they work like a charm. No complaints.

X-Fusion Vector HLR Rear Shock

“X fusion vector”

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The Good: Plush and fluid all the way through its travel. Zero catch when suspension is first activated. The mid stroke doesn't blow through its travel. This also enhanced its pedalling abilities. I had the elka stage five before, but it would stick when first engaging and it blew through the travel too easily for my liking. The Vector fixed all the dislikes I had with my previous shocks. The bottom out is controlled, giving it a bottomless feeling. The adjustments do what with are designed for.

The Bad: Depending on your preferences in riding there could be one thing that you might not like- or you may like it if it suits your riding style. The last part of the rebound before it returnes to length slows down. It doesn't give you a pop off the lip of a jump. But at the same time it won't buck you if you come off a lip off balance. I think this charactistic adds to the constant fliud feel. Going fast through big rocks I think it gives smoother control. Adjusting the rebound changes it but doesn't make it go completely away.

Overall Review: This shock does what it was designed for. I think it works as well as the best rear shocks out there and better in some ways. I am very impressed so far. The lower cost in this case dosen't mean less.

Canfield Brothers The One Frame

“Canfield The One”

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The Good: Pedaling is excellant. Geometry is spot on for the entire spectrum. Due to the locking rear suspension in climbs far better than any xc, all-mountain, enduro, or FR bike I've been on. Supple, plush, and fluid suspension descends as good as the best DH bikes out there. It is as smooth as the specialized demo 8. (The only DH bike that I've tried with superior feeling suspension is the Canfield Jedi). Stable in the air. Built like a tank, it is very stiff. Corners like mad. Customer service is top notch.

The Bad: If you are buying this bike with the intention of doing everything from DH to XC IMO it only comes up short in one area. Because it is heavier than your xc specific bikes it isn't ideal for a long constant uphill ride. After 10+ miles of uphill you will be more tired than your 20lb bikes. With that in mind though it is far better for technical, steep, rocky climbs. It pedals anywhere. I have never ridden a bike that has outclimbed it. Other riders will wonder how out of shape they are when they see a dual crown bike pass them on up hill climbs.

Overall Review: I feel like Canfield has made a bike that is as good as the best, then given it something special (locking suspension) that puts it above and beyond the rest. For those who have always been unsure of buying a more DH oriented bike let your worries go. I always thought I would be sacrificing something I loved by not being able to climb and ride some of the things I used to ride by getting a bike with so much suspension. I couldn't have been more wrong. Everything I loved was enhanced. I gained more than I thought in every aspect of riding. I hardly dare ride the bikes I used to ride because they feel so akward and lacking.  All the years I wasted by listening to what other people assumed about bigger travel bikes is maddening.  This bike really is that good.

ODI Troy Lee Designs Lock On Grip

“TLD Grips, do just that GRIP!!”

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The Good: Excelent grip!!, Look great, compfortable, durable.

The Bad: To bad they didn't have more color options. I purchased two pair of grips to get the color combo I wanted. Not really a big deal that they don't , but this would be nice.

Overall Review: With the way the grips are designed when your pulling back on the bars it's like your hands are glued to the grips. I've been putting them through a lot of abuse and they are taking a beating for sure.

2012 Mondraker Durham Bike

“Light and Versatile Freeride/DH Light Bike”

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The Good: Ride characteristics
Versatility
Angles
Adjustability
Solid components
Weight

The Bad: Fragile bearings
Fox suspension under-gunned

Overall Review: The Bike: The Zero suspension system performs brilliantly. Great power transfer and tracking is very impressive. This doesn't seem to be at the expense of stiffness, something that more complicated linkage systems frequently suffer from. Over all build was fine, brakes, drive train and general components have all stood the test of time. I swapped out the fox springs for heavier weight to suit my more airborne riding style and will be swapping out the spring on the rear shock soon, too. Have to say I was disappointed by the build quality of the bearings and linkage bolts. 6 months in a bearing race failed completely and most of Read More »

2012 Transition Bottlerocket Bike

“So far so good...”

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The Good: Awesome geometry for jumping, and some downhill... I got it for Christmas 2012... So far so good.

The Bad: Not too happy with the fork... It's a coil fork, so I wish it came with a stiffer coil... I'm gonna get a stiffer one though. I bottomed out on a 1-2 foot drop... :/

Overall Review: It's a great bike! So far so good! I wish they were still putting Fox Forks on them though... An air fork would be better, I think...