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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 awol12 wrote several reviews and we'd like to highlight a few that helped earned him the Top Reviewer spot.

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Topeak Alien II Folding Tool with 26 Functions - "Topeak's Alien line of multitools has been progressing for sometime now and this version is top-notch. The Alien has a great variety of tools and the metal construction feels solid, but the plastic frame can be flexy for certain jobs.

The break apart design is one that sets this tool apart and allows you to integrate the different sides. The chain breaker is a great example as it uses the hex wrench to turn the breaker pin in. The breaker works so well on this tool that I have never purchased a more shop specific one. Also love the included chain holder, fits perfect and means no more homemade ones from spokes or other wire.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a pocket tool though, it's not that light. This is a pack tool and a very good one that doesn't take up a ton of space. It's also not a replacement for decent shop tools. This is a great trail side, but not built for heavy wrenching. I have found that trying to remove items like cranch bolts or peddles aren't going to happen. This tool won't give you enough torque and it'll hurt your hand a bit.

Overall for the price and variety you can't do too wrong with this one and for the right price it's hard to beat."

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Race Face Narrow/Wide Chainring - "Does Race Face do anything bad? Cause the Narrow/Wide ring is spot on and near perfect in every way. SRAM kicked off the whole 1X setup, but Race Face made it accessible for the masses by creating this bolt-on simple and inexpensive ring.

I have been riding a 104 32T for about a year and have been so happy with it. I bolted it up to a slightly heavy Gravity StepUp crank set and it really brought new life to these cranks. I was never using the big and spent most of my time in the middle, so it was a no brainer to get rid of all the extra pieces that weren't being used and just adding unneeded weight.

Set up was super simple and only required some smaller chainring bolts. I went with Race Face hardware and also their bolt shims, but you could use any type of chainring bolts and washers that fit.

Adding the narrow/wide also makes riding and maintenance so much easier. Having the narrow/wide means no more thinking about what front ring I should be in, all I need to worry about is where I should be in the back. Going to one ring in front also means no more front mech to maintain or additional rings to check. This makes riding and the whole bike much more simple.

Only minor, and very minor, complaint is how quickly the color wears off. The color has only worn off the teeth so far, and since they are in constant contact with the chain that is no surprise, but I image that color will wear from the rest of the ring fairly quickly too.

Overall I am highly satisfied. Others have mentioned dropped chains, but I have not dropped one. For anyone that goes mostly downhill or spends their time on fairly flat trails will definitely love a 1X setup and you can't be the simplicity and price of the Race Face Narrow/Wide."

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Fox Racing Ranger Shorts - ""Great riding short from Fox! Super light weight and comfortable and with the chamois included makes them even better. Fit is spot on. I ordered a 32 and they fit perfect without having to adjust at all, but if needed they do have velcro adjustment in the waist. Length is also perfect; just over the knee when standing and right about it when seated. The length and weight make these shorts that don't get in your way at all. Having the Pro Form chamois is also a bonus. The chamois isn't over padded or under padded, it's just right. Wish more companies would include chamois with their shorts, go Fox!

Since they are cargos, better talk about those. These are small pockets, but very useful on shorter rides. Perfect size for throw a set a keys on one side and a wallet in the other, but I wouldn't throw much more than that. Since the shorts are very light weight over filling the pockets definitely gives a bit of a saggy filling and the shorts rock around a lot from the extra stuff.

Only real complaint on these shorts is the material. The polyester is soft and comfortable, but also snags easily. These are not DH shorts or even all mountain really. If Fox toughened up the fabric a bit they would be 5 stars for sure.


Big congrats to awol12! 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 June.

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