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SRAM Team GXP Bottom Bracket

“Easy to install, but wears out quickly”

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The Good: Installs with no hassles. Finish quality is excellent.

The Bad: Durability is not as good as expected.

Overall Review: Over two years, I went through a surprising number of these bottom brackets on my cross-country bike. The durability of the bearings was never quite satisfactory. I was running a Truvativ Stylo crankset, and these bottom brackets inevitably developed play after a few months of riding. They were also prone to creaking if not thoroughly greased and tightened. On the bright side, I never had an issue with installation or removal. The cups spun in without any problems, and whenever I needed to re-grease or replace the cups I could back them out without undue effort. However, this doesn't change the fact that these bottom brackets didn't hold up well on my bike. Every one I bought was disappointing.

Kenda Nevegal Tire

“Corners with confidence, but slow rolling”

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The Good: Cornering performance is awesome

The Bad: Rolls slower than comparable tires

Overall Review: I love the way this tire corners. I remember the first time I leaned it over, I couldn't believe how far it held. If that's important to you, then rest assured this tire will not let you down in the turns. However, if you're just riding along on hard-packed trails or on the road to the trailhead, you can feel how much resistance this tire creates when rolling. I've talked to some of my riding buddies, and they agree that this tire's strength is its cornering ability, not its speed. Pick your priority.

2012 Giant Trance X2 Bike

“Lively and capable trail bike - but ditch the triple!”

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The Good: A total blast to ride on tight, technical descents or fast, swooping singletrack. Pedals efficiently through rough or smooth trails. Reasonable weight for the price. Durable, solid parts kits. Inspires confidence on gnarly sections.

The Bad: Triple crankset is unnecessary - swap to a double or single for lower weight and better chain retention. Stock tires are thin - I pinch flatted on my first ride. Stock brakes aren't great.

Overall Review: Every time I ride this bike I enjoy it more. It pedals well enough to get you to the top of the...

Finish Line Cross Country Lube

“One and Done”

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The Good: Perfect for NorCal Conditions

The Bad: Too Small of Bottle

Overall Review: I'm on my second bottle of FinishLine Wet Lube for my chain. I've never tried anything else, so not much to compare it too, but FinishLine makes race worthy products, and when I ride in NorCal area especially in the winter, its great to know that my chain won't break / stick / make a shit load of noise.  Thanks to this lube

Hope Technology Seat Clamp & QR

“Simple Clamp Always Works”

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The Good: Simplicity N' Style

The Bad: too many logos everywhere

Overall Review: I can't afford a dropper post, so this is the next best thing. Add a tiny grease to your seat post and this clamp and you can change your seat post height quickly trail side.  The screw on the far side tightens to allow the clamp to hold your seatpost.  Never had any play.  I've got a black one and a blue one, both work as advertised and are simple to control.  Lightweight and its got a little bling factor

Oury Mountain Grip

“Great Company, Prime Grip”

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The Good: Thick N' Sticky

The Bad: Air Bubblez

Overall Review: These are tested-tried-n-true grips. Oury makes grips for all kinds of handlebars.  Their bike grip is dialed.  I picked up 2 sets of these at Sea Otter 2012, they had a tent their and were charging 5$ a set of grips.  No brainer!  I bought a set for my flat bar that is on my road bike, they are nice and sticky and thick.  The thickness really helps absorb some of the road harshness transferred from my stiff road bike.  I would recommend these especially if you have large hands.  Also they will never wear down because of how huge each section of the grip is. When you put the grip on it naturally traps air between the inside of your handlebar, so you have to stick a pin at the end of the grip or it will bubble up a bit.

SixSixOne Raji Glove

“Lightweight, Lite Quality”

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The Good: Very Breathable

The Bad: Rip Easily

Overall Review: These gloves are super lightweight and almost feel like wearing nothing. The wick any sweat you may have great, but they are super thin everywhere.  The lightweight makes sections of contact thin and eventually the gloves wore thru in the palm and thumb area.  Had them for about 1 season and they were toast.  Wouldn't recommend them as a everyday glove, especially if you crash, you could tear them very easily

ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

“Simple and Tacky”

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The Good: Tacky Grips, Slightly Smaller so you can squeeze the life out of your bar

The Bad: Will wear quickly

Overall Review: These grips are the best ones from ODI in my opinion, I'm running them on 2 different bikes, allows you to feel the handlebar that much tighter especially if you don't wear gloves. The lock-ons are always a bonus and never fail.  The small diamond cuts into the grip add for a great amount of traction, but over a year or two, they can wear down and your rubber grip can get quite thin.  Be prepared to get new ones after a few seasons.  My friend had a set on a bighit for years and wore them down to the plastic/metal insides.

SRAM Team GXP Bottom Bracket

“BB Tech at its Finest”

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The Good: Simple and Sturdy

The Bad: Moveable washer outside easy to loose

Overall Review: I've run this same BB on two different sets of Truvativ Descendant cranks. This BB came stock with the crankset and its worked great.  I haven't had to mess with them since the original install.  Sometimes the washer on the outside ends of the BB can slip off when installing, and its easy to loose if you not paying attention.