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SR Suntour Epicon-X1 LO-RC 26 Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: SR Suntour Epicon-X1 LO-RC Fork”

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Review by Evan Turpen // Photos by Brandon Turman SR Suntour has been making a steady and consistent push into the high-performance suspension market. More recently they’ve introduced many products with a plethora of advanced adjustments and features similar to what can be found on the other leading suspension manufacturers. Our test fork, the EPICON-X1 LO-RC, came with external low-speed compression, rebound, lockout, and air pressure adjustments, as well as internal travel and air volume adjustments. These are all features that are nice to see, especially on an all-mountain/cross-country fork that retails for Read More »

Shimano Zee RD-M640 Rear Derailleur

“Zee right derailleur?”

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The Good: Low cost, clutch, black, strong. Great warranty service.

The Bad: Clutch is finicky and fragile. Replacement parts? Good luck.

Overall Review: I traded a warrantied XTR shadow+ derailleur, new in box, for the ZEE, because it was cheap. I chose the ZEE specifically because it has a steel backplate in place of the aluminum one which lives on the XTR. This aluminum backplate turned out have a significant weak spot, which I broke. I figured that due to this key difference, the ZEE would have a fighting chance. I mounted up the ZEE on my G-Spot, with a 11-36 cassette and an MRP Mini Guide. Things were great, the clutch was effective, the chain was silent. After four months, the clutch started weakening in strength, and effectiveness. I popped off the clutch Read More »

DMR Brendog Vault Pedals

Vital Review

“Tested: DMR Brendog Vault Pedals”

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by Steve Wentz You must know someone like this... a twenty or thirty something woman who just loooooves her shoe collection? She’s got the red ones, the black platforms, the animal print whatevers that look like they belong in the red light district, and 20 others. I really don’t see the need for all those shoes. Logic would say you can only ever wear one pair at a time, and in my mind more than the basics would just be clutter and overindulgence. In the end, we’ve all got our vices. I happen to love flat pedals. My addiction to nice flat pedals got to be so bad that at one point a couple friends and I became the Read More »

Deity Decoy 2.5 Flat Pedal

“Hulk SMASH!”

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The Good: Super strong! Long lasting. Grippier than all hell!

The Bad: They could be a tad wider for catching the bike on tricks, but that's if I'm gonna nit-pick.

Overall Review: Very durable, I've ridden these pedals for a few years now on my dirt jumper and some on my DH. They've lasted through some tough bails at the skate park, many days at the dirt jumps and out on the trail. Hell, they even survived being hit by a car (rear ended, smashed my e13 LG1r cranks up)! I rode a pair of these briefly on my DH bike and they took the constant beating of rocks and roots, only loosing two pins the whole season. The reason I took them off my DH rig was being a weight wienie I wanted the new HT flats. The red ano has lasted the test of time (2 years) and the spindles are strait and they still spin like Read More »

Shimano M640 Zee Hydraulic Disc Brakes

“Affordable and really, really good”

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The Good: After using Avid´s for serveral years and switched to shimano zee and was a fan right after the first ride. Predictable, lot´s of power, good levers, easy to find the right dose of braking, good pricing on rotors and pads' ...bleeding is a piece of cake :-) Updated:
so far - no fading

The Bad: the mount for the handlebar is very "solid", but it works well and holds everyhting in place

Overall Review: get one, put in on your bike and never worry about braking again considering the price and what you get, I would definitly say it´s worth five stars Update: I gave the brakes a solid 4h hours in Leogang and went down the freeride, downhill and bingo bongo trail´s. The brakes worked very well. Braking-power is predictable and it is easy to find the right dose. In "scary" moments the brakes really help to get out of the situations without a crash. After some runs on the downhill there was no fading and on some parts the brakes had to do a lot of work as it was my first day on the donwhill in 2013. I haven´t changed my mind and would recommend the brakes.

Canfield Brothers Crampon Ultimate Pedal

“Great pedals for the price”

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The Good: Lightweight / Thin
Price
Great grips

The Bad: Pins need Loctite
Will rip your shins up
Bearings / Bushings don't seem that great

Overall Review: These pedals are incredibly thin, reasonably light, and come in at a great price point. They hold on to your feet really well, but allow you to adjust easily when needed.  I've found that I climb just as fast with these pedals as with clips because you can pull up so far into the pedal stroke. The badness: the bearings or bushings don't seem like they're sealed that well and have developed a small amount of play in a relatively short amount of time.  They also don't spin as freely as I would have hoped.  Be warned tho, you need to Loctite the pins in place.  I probably lost half of the pins in the first two rides and didn't have any pedal strikes.  Luckily Canfield supplies you with extra pins so it wasn't that big of a deal. Great pedals, love the color, still using them on several different bikes.

Straitline SC Platform Pedal

“Benchmark for durability”

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The Good: Durable, super easy to service, bombproof

The Bad: Price, not super thin, weight

Overall Review: Some say they drag because they run on bushings rather then bearings, this is almost not noticeable. I have run them dh and enduro for three years and never been bothered with this. Maybe serviced them once a year or even less, no play and very little friction. Also I do not grease them as other reviewers have mentioned as the bushings are self lubricant. They are basically fit and forget.

Santa Cruz Jackal Frame

“Best DJ Frame on Market....”

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The Good: Everything... Super short stays, light, bomb proof, sick user friendly dropouts for SS use, geometry is spot on for DJ and park. Tall? No not at all. Look around, its not super cool to run low bars/80mm fork because some pro does. Does not work for everybody. Check out Martin S. or Sam Pilgrim. 120mm forks and Sam even runs high rise bars. To above reviewer.... Who designed this bike? Kirt Vories, and Jamie Goldman back when they were on Syndicate that's who... Bike has an amazing feel, if you build one up you will not be bummed.

The Bad: The fact that I want the new 2013 one with tapered headtube...

Overall Review: After riding Many DJ frames over the years( P series, Chase, Bank, Blk Market), this bad boy is hands down the favorite. Geometry is spot on and rips DJ trails and parks with ease. Love the adjustable dropouts for SS use and easy to runs gears as well. Running 100mm RCT Argyle, King headset, and SS 16 x 34 with Saint Cranks, XT Ice Tech Brakes, and Full Chromag components, and I will never let this one go...

Deity Decoy LT Flat Pedal

“Solid Pedal”

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The Good: Very light, spins smooth with little noticeable friction after break in period. Good size platform.

The Bad: Traction is good but could be better with another pin style or material. They just seem thick and don't quite bite shoes as much as some others. Still very solid traction though.

Overall Review: Killer pedal for the money. In my opinion, works best on DJ/ Slopestyle bike. Would look for more pins for DH or trail riding. Would buy again for my Santa Cruz Jackal in a second...

Crank Brothers Mallet 3 Clipless/Platform Pedals

“Decent Pedal”

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The Good: Weight, spin freely and overall quality

The Bad: Traction pins and engagement

Overall Review: This is my first attempt at riding clipless and I traded in my brother's old pedals for a set of these thru the deal Crank Bros was doing at the time - trade in any clipless pedal and get any set of their high end pedals for half price. I enjoy being clipped in for some aspects of riding and I can feel that they make pedaling a bit easier on the rougher sections where a foot would be hard to keep on platform pedals. I love the size of these with a full platform as they make clipping in easy. I found that sometimes I don't feel all the way clipped in and I have to unclip and re-clip to Read More »