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Every 30 days we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize. This month Jenson USA pitched in a $100 gift card! Vital MTB member dirtworks911 wrote several great reviews, earning the Top Reviewer spot. Here's a recap of his best:

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Industry Nine Torch Classic Hubs - "After spending almost a full year on them, I have been impressed with the hubs overall durability. I haven't broken them and the freehub is just as smooth as day 1. Industry Nine put an oversized seal on the lip of the freehub to help keep dirt and grime out which really has helped to keep them feeling like new. After a nasty week of riding in the northern states, I did notice that the non-drive side bearing was very dry and had a lot of rolling noise. I repacked it with grease and it has been awesome ever since. This proves that, although very good, the Industry Nine hubs aren't completely service free like other hubs like Chris Kings are known to be. That type of durability isn't as big as an issue for me because I enjoy working on my bikes and the fact that I saved $75, going with the Industry Nine hubs means I can spend that on new bearing and still have a lighter hub, with more points of engagement.

Unforeseen Pro:One last thing worth mentioning about the Industry Nine hubs is the snug fit of the freehub body. This wasn't something I was aware of, but when loading up for a weekend trip with a buddy that had the Profile Racing hubs, his freehub completely fell off with just the force of gravity. When this happened, it took him several minutes to finagle the freehub back into place. As for my Industry Nine hubs, that has never happened. I know this is probably something that isn't too important but if you remove or swap wheelsets often, this is definitely something to consider.

Conclusion:I am glad I stepped up to a hub that has more points of engagements. It really has increased my riding confidence. From the three options, I am also glad I went with the Industry Nine hubs. They are lighter, cheaper, and offer a great amount of responsiveness. Aside from having an issue with a bearing drying up, they have been flawless. I would recommend them to anyone!" - Read more»

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Giro Cipher Helmet - "The Cipher is made with a fiberglass shell and an ESP liner (Reaches ASTM F1952 standards). They also included a Vinyl Nitrile layer along the jaw line that is claimed to offer better impact protection. Whether or not this make a difference compared to other helmets is debatable. The Cipher also comes with X-Static liners which cut back on bacteria growth (AKA Stink) that can occur after a week long biking trip. The last thing that really impressed me with this helmet was the emergency removable cheek pads. For a helmet with the majority of features of high-end helmets but costs half the price, the Cipher is pretty remarkable.

Overall:All and all, the Giro Cipher is a solid helmet, competitively priced, and comes with a lot a bells and whistles that the top of the line helmets share. With an MSRP of $200, you really can’t go wrong. The only thing I wish to see in this helmet is a MIPS style system that helps reduce the chance of concussions at high speed impacts but as inexpensive as it is, I can understand why it doesn’t. Anyone looking for a solid helmet without having to spend an arm and a leg, look no further." - Read more»

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Park Tool P-Handled Hex Wrench Set - "When I decided to purchase a set of Hex wrenches, I decided to go with Park Tool, because I already had a large amount of their tools, and also because I have been very pleased with how they have kept over the years. For the most part, the most important part of tools (functional durability) I have been extremely impressed. I'm super OCD with all my bike components so if something isn't perfect, I fix it. That means I use this hex set almost every night. That being said, they have shown very little signs of wear on the finish. Even more impressive, if I could somehow re-plate the finish on them, they would appear to be brand new. They have no signs of dents and bends that can happen ever so often when working with stubborn of seized bolts. When it comes to overall functional durability, the Park Tool P-Handled Hex Wrench set offers amazing quality without costing a huge amount of mula.

Wrenching:While working with this hex set, the first thing I noticed was how comfortable they were to handle. Some sets can feel bulky or awkward in hand, this Park Tool set feels completely natural. Before owning this set, I was constantly stripping out hex bolt heads. I have been very impressed with the precise measurements of this set and after I started using them, I have never stripped out a bolt since. The last thing worth mentioning is the ball head found on the end of the long side of each wrench. I use this end of the wrench all the time. The ball head allows me to get into super tight areas that I would normally never be able to get to with a regular head (Front derailleur bolts, bottle cage bolts, etc). Although you can't really crank bolts down with this side of the wrench, I feel I can easily reach 5-7 nm of torque and that is plenty for those types of areas of the bike. This set also comes with a wrench holder that can be screwed into a wall or peg-board that really helps in making them accessible in the middle of tough projects like fork overhauls.

Cons:The only bad thing I have experienced with these wrenches is the plastic handles found around the bend of the wrench.

While loosening some crazy over-torqued pivot points of my friend's DH bike, I heard a huge "POW" and thought I broke his bolt in half, I looked down and saw that the plastic handle of the 8mm wrench broke off. A pure manufacture defect and should be covered under their lifetime warranty but to be honest, it's that that big of an issue and I haven't gotten around to contacting them yet (you would think after writing such a detailed review I would, haha, it's whatever). Aside from this happening, these wrenches have been flawless.

Bottom Line:Every home mechanic should have a set of P/T handled hex wrenches. It makes working on common components parts so much easier. There are a tone of options to choose from. I went with the Park Tool P Handled and am glad I did. Aside from the plastic handle breaking on my 8mm wrench, I would recommend this set to anybody!" - Read more»

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FOX Float X2 Factory Shock - "Throwing it on my Session 9.9, the shock felt buttery smooth without any major adjustments. The Session’s frame design is quite linear and I noticed myself bottoming out quite frequently, even after twisting the low speed compression all the way on. After a few more days of this, I decided to take it off and install some volume spacers to help the shock ramp up and make those landings and g-outs less fierce. Fox has a perfectly clear page to help aid even the most mechanically incompetent riders through the process: Click Here. My specific shock same with 3 spacers installed from factory, I installed two more (total of 5) and it made a world of difference with my specific frame. (Note: I prefer 35% sag to keep the bike buttery smooth and with the 5 volume spacers, I don’t feel the harsh bottom-out anymore.)

For all you DH weight weenies (if is such a thing) or anyone looking at throwing this shock onto an AM or endure bike, each volume spacer weighs a meniscal 5 grams.For all you DH weight weenies (if is such a thing) or anyone looking at throwing this shock onto an AM or endure bike, each volume spacer weighs a meniscal 5 grams.

Only after installing these volume spacers was I able to confidently let it rip. One of my favorite trails consists of 20+ jumps/drops ranging from 15 to 35 feet in size. The trail has never felt so smooth nor have I ever felt so confident than I have while using the Fox Float X2.

Granted I have this shock on a full blown DH rig. From what a lot of people have mentioned, this is also a shock worthy of AM and endure riding. Although I have never used this shock on my trail bike, I know it would feel amazing. The only reason why I haven’t made the swap from a Float X to this Float X2 on my trail bike is because the Float X2 doesn’t come equipped with a climb switch. I know that’s not a complete deal breaker when wanting the best bottom-out control and adjustability for a shorter travel bike but it’s something I have grown accustom to and would be hard to go without. To make up for this, I purchased volume spacers for the Fox Float X which has made a huge difference in harsh bottom outs all while keeping my CTD switch.

Talked with Fox on the phone the other day, they unofficially informed me that the 2017 Fox Float X2 will come with a compression “pro-pedal” knob that, although isn’t a complete climb switch as intense as the Float X has, will make the climbs up fire roads less dreadful. The 2017 Fox Float X2 will be available late May (2016) for consumers. They also told me that this compression knob can be installed to any previous 2016 Float X2 but will need to be shipped back to them for this service.

All and all, I have been very impressed with the 2016 Fox Float X2 shock. It is one of the most adjustable rear shocks on the market. After owning several Cane Creak Double Barrel shocks, I do have to say the Float X2 is certainly easer to set up as well. Being able to perform seal services yourself without having to ship off to an authorize service dealer sets the Float X2 above the rest. All this mixed in with easy to install volume spacers makes this shock pretty much unbeatable in performance and in being user friendly. My only complaint, if I were to dig deep, is that it currently doesn’t come with a climb switch (but will all change within the next 2-3 months). If you are looking for top notch adjustability that is easy to adjust and haven’t become accustomed to a climb switch, this shock is for you!" - Read more»


Big congrats to dirtworks911! Thanks for helping out the riding scene with your thoughts on these products.

Want to be in the running for next month's award? Start reviewing the parts you use in the Vital MTB Product Guide and keep an eye on the Top Reviewer leaderboard. We'll announce the next winner in early May.

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1 comment
  • Ronniemac

    4/11/2016 10:27 AM

    Gratz @dirtworks911. I noticed on your X2 review you said you were using the LSC for bottom out resistance. Make sure you adjust the HSC not LSC for bottom out resistance. LSC will affect your small bump absorbsion and HSC is your bottom out, sure youve discovered this already. Also, if you have a day of 5k+ climbing and a few hour long climbs, turning the LSC all the way on works exactly the same as a climb switch, once you get to your descent, turn it back to where you had it. cheers
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