Latest Product Reviews


Shimano XT M772 Shadow 9-Speed Rear Derailleur

“Smooth Operator”


The Good:

Clean shifts, reduced chain slap, different cage lengths

The Bad:

No clutch, no barrel adjuster

Overall Review: This derailleur showed up as an OE part, but the XT name is always appreciated when looking into Shimano parts. This derailleur is a good mid to mid-high level 9-speed derailleur option. On the trail the derailleur is very quiet and smooth. The Shadow Tech does a really good job of limiting chain slap, I only really hear noise over the really rough stuff. This shifter also moves very well. If you have it set up properly you won't find this derailleur under shifting or over shifting. One complaint would be the lack of a clutch, found on the Shadow+ derailleurs. I know you can get the Read More »

Shimano SLX SL-M660 Shifter Pod

Featured Review

“Mid-Level Awesomeness”


The Good:

Two way shifting (push/pull), custom side to side positioning, crisp index shift, easy to use cable port

The Bad:

All plastic casing, no shift level adjustment, no I-Spec compatibility

Overall Review: The SLX shifters came as OE on my bike, but I have been really impressed with what Shimano has done with them. They are a very good choice for a mid-level shifter. My shifters are a 2x9 set up with no gear display. Shifters have a nice crisp index shift, that isn't too hard or too soft. Once you are in a gear you know, and it's definitely not a shifter that will allow you to be in between two gears. Do wish they came with a lever reach adjustment, but this is a feature that you'll find on more expensive shifters. These shifters do have one really nice custom adjustment feature. The SLX shifter pod and handle Read More »

ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

“Good Feeling Grip, Some Lock-On Ring Concerns”


The Good:

Knurled/diamond pattern, thin grip, great feel, plenty of grip space, no hand slippage

The Bad:

Lock-on bolts strip easily, thinness causes quicker wear, bar end caps pop off

Overall Review: Switched from the ODI Rogue to the Ruffian for more feeling, which the Ruffian definitely offers. The Ruffian still sticks with ODIs' tradition of strong grips with great sticky rubber. The Ruffian is a thinner grip pattern that offers a lot of bar feeling, but you don't feel like you are ever going to lose your grip. Also with some thinner grips you feel like to have to hold on tighter since there is less material, but this isn't the case with the Ruffians. I have had these for a year and haven't seen a whole lot of wear, but imagine with less material there will be less life. One big complaint I do have is in the lock-on Read More »

Sunline V3 Handlebar

“Great Bar for a Really Good Price (If you can find them)”


The Good:

28" width, good weight at 323g, clean logos, low and high rise

The Bad:

9 degree back sweep, paint/finish scratches easy

Overall Review: Picked these up last year to get something a little wider than what I had, but wasn't sure if I wanted to go all the way to 29"+. Got this bar real cheap on clearance, since Sunline stopped their MTB division, but I am still glad I got them and impressed overall. At 28" the bars are wide, without being too wide. The weight is all not bad at all and strength is really good. I have felt very little flex in the bars when going over or off stuff. This definitely are not a DH bar, but work for light All-Mountain or more aggressive XC. I was also happy with the choice on rise height, 1" or 2", I have the 1" rise. Sunline Read More »

Smith PivLock V2 Sunglasses

Vital Review

“Tested: Smith PivLock V2 Glasses - Convenient Clarity and Protection”

by AJ Barlas A number of years ago a buddy of mine rolled up for a ride wearing a pair of glasses with yellow lenses, and as is common among our group he was lovingly mocked and given a new nickname: "Cross Country Steve." He doesn't ride cross-country, but I guess the yellow tint glasses made him look a little like an XC racer boy. The nickname didn't stick around for long and neither did the glasses (he claims to have lost them now…), but as I have gained more experience and grown wiser, I realize now that he may have been the only smart one in the group back then. He was looking after one of the vital organs that assist Read More »

Five Ten Freerider VXi Shoes

“next level flat pedal shoe”


The Good:

superb traction, stiff pedaling platform (for a flat shoe), low weight, slim profile, excellent midsole and heel cushioning

The Bad:

no gusset on tongue, needs break in time.

Overall Review: It seems many of the things I did not like about the original Freerider have been addressed in the new Freerider VXi. First, the new outsole pattern makes foot adjustments on the pedal easier without sacrificing grip. The original Freerider almost had too much grip. Second, the Freerider VXI has a slimmer profile and lower weight. The Freerider VXi is significantly lighter and has more rocker, allowing the shoe to walk with ease. I found the original Freerider to be a bit bulky and lacking rocker. Third, the new VXi provides excellent midsole and heel cushioning. The VXi sports an eva midsole that offers good Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Moto Shorts

Featured Review

“These are DH shorts through and through”


The Good:

Abrasive resistant material, flexible crotch gusset, dialed fitting, last forever.

The Bad:

Warmer than normal shorts.

Overall Review: The Troy Lee Design Moto short is made from a super durable polyester for the ultimate protection against nasty fall. At a glance they're a great short but really its the finer touches that really make these things shine. If you're not familiar with them then this is what you need to know. I've been using these shorts since 2006 and as a whole they haven't changed too much. The material their made from is the almost the exact same if not the same. These things are tough but feel a bit rougher than you're typical riding short. That's because they're made to last after repeated abuse. Don't expect to be Read More »

Troy Lee Designs BP7605 Protect Short

Featured Review

“TLD BP7605 w/ Shock Doctor, 3 Seasons of Use”


The Good:

Low profile protection, moisture management, easy to wash, excellent coverage, light weight, easy to take on and off

The Bad:

Silicone strip in leg opening

Overall Review: The BP7605 is Troy Lee's top end protective short created with Shock Doctor, X-Fit and a bunch of other patented technologies... That's great and all but how does it work? I tested it all out for three full seasons to find out. Here are my thoughts. Fit: The best way to describe how these fit would be to explain how they fit me. First lets get an understanding of my length and girth. When I got these I was 190lbs with a 34 inch waist and a 32 inch inseam so based off the the sizing guide from a variety of websites (couldn't find one on the TLD site) I picked up a large. The initial fit actually felt a Read More »

Hope Technology FR Stem

“Just buy it.”


The Good:

Very Lightweight.
Available in a variety of sizes and colors.

The Bad:


Overall Review: As an older rider, I have owned a lot of bike parts, and this is probably the nicest part I have ever had the privilege to bolt onto my bike. It really is a thing of beauty: a machinist's wet-dream, a functional piece of art. I may sell my bike to upgrade to something better, but I will never sell this stem. It is a keeper. Keep up the good work, HOPE

Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er Bike

“Great bike”


The Good:

The feel of the bike is great. This is a trail bike and as such does everything well without being DH or XC specific. Which means the bike is solid and quick in most situations

The Bad:

I have had trouble with shifting from small to large chain ring, but this is probably due to poor initial set up from the lbs..

Overall Review: This bike is a great trail bike for people that like to ride trails and don't take things to seriously (weight etc).