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SRAM X0 Type 2 Rear Derailleur

Vital Review

“Long Term Review: SRAM X0 Type 2 Derailleur”

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Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Adrian Marcoux and Brandon Turman When you reach the end of this paragraph, we want you to close your eyes and imagine riding your favorite section on your favorite trail. Take it all in - your movements on the bike, the terrain flying past, your hooting and hollering, the sounds of your tires carving into the dirt, the clank of your chain through the rough bits, and even the wind rushing by. Now do it again, but without the chain noises. To some, like us, this is pure bliss. What SRAM's Type 2 Roller Bearing Clutch technology has brought to our rides is much more than just the Read More »

Shimano XT Disc Brake M785

“Dependable and strong brakes”

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The Good: this is what a brake should be like, reasonable price too

The Bad: these quiet brakes won't scare off wild animals or hikers

Overall Review: Brakes make a huge difference in both ride performance and confidence on the trail. These are at the top of the pile of brakes I've used in the past decade. Shorter levers allow for controlled one finger braking with plenty of power, and when paired with the cooling fined brake pads and ice-tech rotors, I have seen a noticeable difference in fading (or the lack thereof) from other brakes. Add to that some big rotors and it can even work for lighter DH riders. As far as the XT level componentry goes, thankfully Shimano has created their brakes to work nearly identically as the higher end XTR, while being Read More »

FOX DHX RC4 Rear Shock

“Solid performing shock”

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The Good: works great without complaints, easy to adjust

The Bad: almost as expensive as a top tier shock

Overall Review: Coming off some of the lesser fox offerings and previous model years, this shock is a real step up. All the adjustments are useful and straightforward and is a great match for the enthusiast who still wants a hand-full of settings to dial in the ride, yet doesn't want to shell out the cash for a super high end shock. After having ridden a CCDB, I can see that there is another level up in performance out there (compared to the RC4), however there are services that offer custom tunes for the Fox so that opens up options for future upgrades if desired. As far as the performance goes, the reason I love coil suspension so Read More »

Nukeproof Electron Pedal

“The best you can get for this price.”

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The Good: Light and inexpensive

The Bad: Pins too short and can fall out. Neutrons are better.

Overall Review: I really do love the weight of these, a very cheap way of saving a few grams. however I much prefer the firmer feel under the foot and the grip of the Neutrons, for which it is easier to buy longer pins. So I think I may settle on buying Ti Neutons in the end.

Shimano XT/LX Chainring 104mm

“Buy something better!”

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The Good: These rings come with your new crank and work OK, especially if they don't get dirty.

The Bad: Made from old soda cans, wear quickly, bend easily and look ugly has hell, attract dirt and run like crap when they are dirty.

Overall Review: I can't stand these chain rings that come on low and middle range cranks, not even a fan of the ones that come with the good cranks. Luckily we have these manufacturers like Renthal, Hope and Race Face to CNC machine sexy chain rings that last better and run way smoother so we can recycle these into something more worthwhile!

Shimano SLX M666 Disc Brake

“Perfect Brake”

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The Good: One finger endos, reliable, easy to bleed.

The Bad: Cotter pin.

Overall Review: Great brake, I've got 596, 666 and 785. If I was going to buy again I'd get 666 for sure. 596 are bit less powerful and I wouldn't want to lose the brake cable adjust feature. The 666 really seem as powerful as the 785. The only difference seems you lose the screw-in pad retention pin and have a split pin instead and a slightly less bling master cylinder cover.

Manitou Dorado Pro Downhill Fork

“PERFECTION!”

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The Good: Proper valving for both rebound and compression, easy as hell to set up, smooth hydraulic bottom out, buttery stroke, excellent small bump compliance, light, perfect amount of stiffness and flex!(yes its actually a good thing!), amazing machining, good clicks, good bolts, high quality graphics, easy to service.

The Bad: bumpers can move around on you from time to time.......

Overall Review: This is the best fork money can buy, hands down. This thing grips like nobody's business, it is the most forgiving fork you can ride, where other forks will wash out or throw you over the bars, this thing picks you right back up and then goes faster! You will ride in complete disbelief at the things you can do, and/or get away with, it'll save your ass more times then you'll ever be able to count. And did i mention the grip? Idon'teven remember what it feels like to wash the front end anymore, and i'm going twice as hard and twice as fast as before. There is simply no compromise on this fork, within 1 or 2 clicks of Read More »

Niterider MiNewt.600 Cordless Bike Light

“Great light for the price.”

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The Good: Good price. Lights the trail up enough for a somewhat decent paced ride. Clamps on and off your bars easy. Can be used as a flashlight if needed .Has a good look to it. Real Durable. Wide beam.

The Bad: Shakey beam when strapped to your helmet. Not enough light if you really want to blaze thru the trail. Long charge time (5 hours) Only lasts 1.5 hours on the brightes setting.

Overall Review: This is my first light that I've purchased and I'm defintely happy with it. But it's stilljust not enough light to ride the trail with if you want to really go fast.If your just leasurly riding, it's more then enough light to shine your way. I would suggest this light to a friend, because of the quality and price for what it does.

Royal 2014 Matrix Jacket

“Perfect jacket”

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The Good: Love this jacket! Quality design and features...lightweight and breathable. Two things that I like when putting in miles prepping for enduro season. This jacket doesn't get in the way and is good looking to boot. The high pocket entries ensure that whatever you put in them won't fall out if you happen to leave the pocket unzipped.

The Bad: Be careful with the inside headphone port as it is stitched into the mesh material and can come out if you tug hard on it. (might have been just mine)

Overall Review: Royal is always stepping up their product offerings year by year and this is again another great jacket. I love the color choices, I went with blue, and the overall style of the jacket. It works well on the bike which is the most important function of this jacket. I don't think I'll ever use the headphone port but that needs a little reinforcing.

Troy Lee Designs Sprint Jersey

“Plain. Simple. Perfect.”

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The Good: I bought this kit due it its plain black look that i really liked, the jersey is a combination of mesh and normal material its a really good jersey for summer riding and racing (especially in Aus!)

The Bad: Watch out the sizing is a bit whack i had an 09 TLD jersey in medium so i instantly bought the medium in the 2013 sprint jersey but when i got the jersey in the mail the medium was larger then my old medium TLD jersey, which isn't a worry for me because it still fits great but if you are looking for the right size and a certain fit i woud try one on first. Other then that i have found no problems with the sprint jersey.

Overall Review: A great DH jersey for racing and riding though the summer months, really light weigh and great fit perfect for any racer looking for a good race jersey without the crazy color's and patterns. Plain. Simple. Perfect.