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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 SaddleRags several good reviews, and we'd like to highlight a few of the ones that helped earned him the Top Reviewer spot.

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Spank Spike Race28 Wheelset - "Earlier this spring I decided to pick up a set of these wheels to help drop some weight on my DH bike and to add a little bling to the bike. The somewhat heavy stock wheels were the obvious choice for me to shed some weight and after calculating what the swap would do, I estimated that I would save a pound from going to the Spank Race 28 wheels and another pound by going to slightly lighter tires (Schwalbe Magic Mary super gravity casing) set up tubeless. The change was noticeable right away.  After three months of riding them on shuttled trails and bike park tracks, I am glad to have gone this direction and have seen no drawbacks to the way they perform on the trail.

These wheels are a winner in the weight, strength and price categories. I also like that these wheels do not have proprietary parts.  I have spent a number of years on other wheels that used special spokes and truing wrenches. Getting replacement parts meant waiting for the shop to do the repair or order in parts as they didn't have them in stock.

As far as the tire installation goes, the way the rim is designed rims can make things tougher than normal.  There is not a deep groove to drop the tire bead in when mounting it up.  Add that to the fact that it is recommended to not use tire levers on tubeless tires, setting these puppies up tubeless was quite a chore.  I have done enough tubeless set-ups to know that the whole process is a combination of more than just a tire or a rim so I don't want to over-emphasize the difficulty here but it seems pretty obvious that the reason is the rim profile. In the end I finally got them on and was ready to roll.  Another issue with having the rim higher than normal is that the valve stem sticks through the rim a bit less.  This can make it harder to get certain pumps on the stem when inflating it.  My floor pump seems to grab it just fine but the hand pump I take on the trail is hit and miss.  I would suggest getting the lesser common 48mm valve stem length if you do tubes.

A couple of things to keep in mind is that if a high number of engagement points is your thing then the Spoon hubs, at 27, may disappoint. Also, while the cost of these wheels is good, they come in either the 135mm or 150mm rear axle size.  If your bike is set for 142mm or 157mm, plan on spending another $50 to get the right axle insert. I noticed that Spank does offer the 142mm axle on their spike race28 enduro wheels and the 135 axle is included at no charge. To be fair those "enduro" wheels are more expensive than the regular race 28 reviewed here but it would be a nice option to order whichever size you actually need.

On a tangent, the spike 35 rims offered by Spank look to be a super-sized version of the rims offered on this wheelset and would be a good alternate for those who want a wider rim (29.5mm vs 23mm internal rim width). It's too bad Spank offers them only as a rim and not a wheelset like this one.

Taking into account that this is more of an initial review (3 months of riding) and the fact that I'm relatively light at 170 pounds, I can't speak to the long-term durability or heavy abuse of this product but so far these have been fantastic. I have been hanging on to the old stock wheels as a back-up plan for rougher tracks or as a spare. The Spank spike race28 wheels have yet to show any signs of abuse and are still running true. I am thinking of selling my old ones as they wont be needed anymore. Time to look for my next upgrade."

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Jett Hornet Jersey - "I've been using Jett's Hornet jersey on and off for the past two years and have found it to be a keeper. Each piece of clothing has its own characteristics, not that they are good or bad in and of themselves.  This jersey is made of a somewhat thicker fabric with perforated mesh holes to aid in breathability. The fabric is stitched well and has survived a couple of my minor tumbles and shown only minor damage.  A couple of snags have appeared over the years and this could be due to scraping rocks or even a dreaded velcro scrape.

Since it is a little heavier duty than many of the other jerseys I have, I often wear it on cooler days in the early spring and late fall with a layer underneath to add warmth.  In the summer I have worn it a couple of times while riding the resorts (higher elevation and cooler temperatures) and since the fit is comfortably but not overly baggy, I can sneak some protective pads underneath.

The hornet jersey is devoid of fancy features with the exception of some small side pockets that zip close and can hold keys, some cash or maybe a small snack.  Personally I have never used them and the thought of landing on keys right under the ribs doesn't sound too appealing to me. Jett has made this in short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve and long sleeve lengths. Styling is personal but I like the look of it fairly well."

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Buzzy's Slick Honey All Purpose Grease - "Sometimes the small changes you make to your bike are the ones you end up noticing the most. After years of forgetting about that slick honey stuff I used a while ago, I recently picked up a tub of this stuff.  After washing the bike (every couple of rides or so) I will apply it to the suspension and dropper post and the result is a smoother feel as they cycle through their travel.  It's a simple and cheap thing to do and has helped the performance of those parts.

Unless you are servicing a rental fleet, go ahead and pick up the 2 ounce tube as a little goes a long way and the 16 ounce tub is really way too much.

Slick Honey has been around for a while now and there's a reason why it's still popular - it works!"


Big congrats to SaddleRags! 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 September.

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