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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 stigsvancouvercousin wrote 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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RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork - "As a long-time Fox Racing Shox user, I never did like Rockshox forks as my Tora 302 died in a months time and the Fox Talas that replaced it made it clear that Fox makes stunning products, but today in 2014, it seems as if the roles changed.

The 160mm 26" Pike is mounted on a 2014 Santa Cruz Carbon Nomad with a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air CS. Prior to the Pike, I had a 2014 Fox 34 Float CTD FIT, until the aluminum bolt holding it together on one side snapped.

Compared to the Fox 34, I feel as if the Pike is in a different league. Not only is it stiffer and lighter, it also doesn't dive under braking (massive issue with the 34) and has more adjustments to fine-tune on a relatively simple platform with the RCT3 settings.

Riding is done at the Sunshine Coast and Coast Gravity Park. Out on the Coast trails, the Pike feels glorious through loam, rocks, boulders, and anything you throw at it. The most impressive part about the Pike is the amount of mid-stroke support and how it truly feels "Bottomless" with just a single token. The Pike soaks up whatever you throw at it and still maintains composure allowing you to track your front wheel better and simply go faster. It's scary how fast trail bikes can go now.

At Coast Gravity Park, where the 160mm Nomad may look a little small beside the sea of DH sleds, it feels surprisingly at home. Yes, I would have an easier time if I had a DH bike and would definitely be able to go faster, but the Nomad with the Pike is already so much fun that it never crossed my mind while riding CGP. During and after the endless shuttle runs, the Pike did not change in behavior and maintained its same buttery smooth, controlled stroke throughout the entire day of hard laps. I did manage to bottom it out once after hucking it to flat on a drop, but nevertheless, the Pike feels very at home in bike parks.

With Fox bouncing back with their revised Fox 36, the competition is starting to heat up again, but prior to the 36, the Pike was the only mid-travel fork I drooled for. Maybe I'll try the 36 one day, but the Pike works so well that I can't think of upgrading any time soon.

The Pike is set at 60-63 psi, 5 clicks of LSC, 5-8 clicks of rebound, and 1 Bottomless token."

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Cane Creek DBair CS Rear Shock - "Purchased the Double Barrel Air CS to replace the 2014 Float Evolution that came stock on my Carbon Nomad.

Currently unknown tuning as I set the DBA accordingly to the SC Nomad settings found on their site and made my own adjustments as I rode. With that said, it feels, dare I say it, perfect. No volume spacers, but has the XV air can installed.

Tested on a '14 SC Carbon Nomad with both the '14 Float CTD FIT and '14 Pike.

Right after mounting it on the Nomad, there was definitely some out-of-the-box stiction, but smoothed out after a few tunes+rides. The factory tune definitely felt weird on the VPP Nomad so there was quite a bit of work to be done in terms of tuning. With the stock tune, the Float felt better. After adjusting to the Nomad tune on the Cane Creek website, it was quite surprising to see how much the DBA can change with an allen key. It went from feeling like a blown up coil shock to 85% perfect. Once I tried it on the driveway, I immediately went for a trail rip. Already, I can feel that it's leagues ahead of the Float.

However, it didn't feel perfect still. A late disclaimer here, but I do not recommend the DBA to people who dislike adjustments and with little/no patience. Tuning the DBA was an interesting experience for me as I never thought I can get so angry at a working shock. I admit, I'm a light perfectionist.

After half a month of riding and performing micro adjustments, I finally got it to a setting where it felt "perfect" for the trails I'm riding and this is where I went full-on. Much like the Pike up front, the DBA soaks up everything I throw at it, be it rock gardens, jumps, cased jumps, boulders, drops, and etc.

The DBA is a difficult shock to review as you can literally adjust it to your liking, so most of the time people will be satisfied with its performance. Even if I were to say that the DBA would be nice with a more progressive curve, you can add volume spacers or get the XV volume can to further adjust the DBA. The adjustments seem endless.

I literally can't think of a negative aspect with this shock. The only things I can nitpick at is how tuning the shock can be a challenge and the above average price tag. Others may nitpick at how the Air doesn't feel like the Coil, but in all honesty, the DBA feels very much like a Coil shock. It's been super reliable and seems to hold its air for a long time.

Definitely worth every extra penny."


Big congrats to stigsvancouvercousin! 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 December.

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