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Dakine Highwire Glove Spring/Summer 11

“Good quality!”

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The Good: Durability, fit, confort.

The Bad: Nothing worth mentioning.

Overall Review: I've been using these gloves for about a year and only have good things to say about them. The fit is close to perfect and so far they have withstand great, and almost don't show any signs of use at all. Feeling of the brakes is pretty good too. One of the best value for money gloves for sure...

Kali Protectives Veda Soft Elbow Pad

“Good elbow protection and long-term durability”

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The Good: don't slip, good protection

The Bad: a bit tight at first

Overall Review: To pad or not to pad, that is the question... For my riding style, I don't have a need for the full body suits of armor so individual pads come in handy and can be mixed and matched depending on the riding conditions du jour. These elbow pads start out really tight and I had to keep checking to make sure I didn't accidentally order a size too small. I'm not a ripped dude either so just be fore-warned. After some rides they tend to stretch out a bit and are actually as comfortable as elbow pads like these get, which in reality is not all that comfortable, but hey that's the price of protection. Also, despite the Read More »

Troy Lee Designs D3 Composite Helmet

“The best helmet out there!”

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The Good: Looks, fit, leatt and goggle integration.

The Bad: Mostly the high price. Strap system (at least on mine)

Overall Review: What can I say, it really is the benchmark. My previous helmet was the D2 and before that a 661 Evolution Carbon and the D3 is simply the best. It's not as light as the Evolution carbon but the fit is simply perfect, as is the integration with the leatt brace. Having experimented it with Spy, Oakley and Hebo goggles I had no problems. For those that use glasses like me it is kind of tough to put them on, but after you set them up they stay put without problems. Also, I don' know if it was just my specific helmet, but sometimes the strap is really hard to get loose. Price is high, but the consequences of a bad helmet in a crash are also enormous, and if you do a good search on the web you can get some helmets from the previous season at a good price.

Dakine Descent S/S Jersey Spring/Summer 11

“Comfortable SS jersey that looks good”

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The Good: super light and breathable, nice styling

The Bad: thin fabric doesn't handle crashes well

Overall Review: Get this jersey if you love a lightweight jersey that dries in an instant and doesn't hold water and smells like a cotton t-shirt. Skip this one if you can't find a good sale on it or you are extra rough on clothing. Bonus feature: glasses wipe cloth sewn on the inside of the jersey.

Specialized Pitch Comp Bike

“For all types of tracks”

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The Good: Lightness
Comfort
Equipment
Price

The Bad: Headset without sealed bearings
It misses a rear shock with more adjustment options.

Overall Review: It is a semiprofessional cycling, you can climb to the top of the mountain and then down where no one does. The pitch is defended better on descents, its geometry and its center of gravity makes it very stable in cornering and rough terrain, thanks to its 150 mm of rear travel, even if you decide to go into a bike park, enjoy as a child . In short if you want a fun bike, high performance, with good equipment and cheap, this is a good option.

2012 Transition Covert 1 Bike

“Affordable high quality AM bike!”

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The Good: Great riding bike with solid suspension. This bike can do anything and comes with a life time frame guarantee! Pretty hard to beat.

The Bad: Slight bob on climbs but it's not that noticeable...it IS a trail bike so you will be giving up something to gain all of the other great features of this bike!

Overall Review: I've used this bike for the past two years (this model replaced my '10 but it's basically the same) and ride it everyday. The weight is a non-factor for me since I do ride it everyday. Where the bike excels is when you point it down hill. Solid design from a cool small company out of Washington.

Park Tool CT-3 Chain Tool

Featured Review

“Quality chain tool”

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The Good: Solid feel, fits nearly all chains

The Bad: Probably too big/overkill to take in your pack

Overall Review: You might be tempted to try and save a few bucks and use the little chain tool on your fancy multi-tool for home bike repairs, but this tool is much better. I am of the philosophy that the fewest times you have to replace pins and "brake" your chain, the less likely you are to have problems on the trail with it. Park's tool here gives you the best chance at keeping your chain in proper order and offers a big enough handle to transfer the nuances of pin pushing to your fingers. My favorite feature is that you can easily tweak any stiff links without resorting to the bend-the-chain technique.

Continental Rubber Queen Tire

“Do it all tire that lasts and lasts and...”

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The Good: big volume and long lasting tread

The Bad: still searching for one

Overall Review: The first thing to note is that I am reviewing the 2.4 UST black chili rubber version, which has a thicker sidewall than the regular version and the legendary sticky, yet long-lasting rubber compound. I've used this tire at everything from bike parks to the local trails and this tire just plain works. One of the best features is the ability to reverse the direction and swap to the other tire if you run these on both front and rear, extending the life of the tire even more! The UST version has a tough casing which adds protection against scrapes and keeps the air sealed well. These tires aren't light enough for Read More »

ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

“The classic thin grip”

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The Good: Easy To Install, Good grip

The Bad: Odd Tool Size for install/removal

Overall Review: The smallest of the ODI family, the Ruffian have stood the test of time and could be considered the standard bike grip against which others are judged. I personally like a bit thicker grip (but not too thick) so I go with the Ruffian MX. If the smaller size is your thing, you just can't go wrong with the classic. The only thing I can think to improve would be for ODI to have a bit more fun with the end-caps - add some color or something!

Mavic Crossmax SX Complete Wheelset

“These wheels truly rock!”

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The Good: light, strong

The Bad: has some proprietary parts

Overall Review: I had this set on a bike that I sold a year ago and liked the wheelset so much that I got the newest version (white with black graphics). They are essentially the same wheels minus a few cosmetic tweaks. If you are a tubeless rider take a close look at these wheels. You can run a tubeless set-up without fussing with funky conversion kits or adding extra weight to your wheels. They look great too and work on everything from AM to FR to all but the craziest DH, where you might want wider and heavier rims.  However, I did see a few riders running these at the Rampage and so I can't imagine a better endorsement.  I just wish the rim were a little wider to give bigger tires a better profile. The only reason to shy away is if you absolutely hate proprietary parts.