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 put in 4 solid reviews during the past 30 days, and we'd like to highlight the ones that helped earned him the Top Reviewer spot.

Shimano XT M772 Shadow 9-Speed Rear Derailleur - "This derailleur is a good mid to mid-high level 9-speed derailleur option. On the trail the derailleur is very quiet and smooth. The Shadow Tech does a really good job of limiting chain slap, I only really hear noise over the really rough stuff. This shifter also moves very well. If you have it set up properly you won't find this derailleur under shifting or over shifting. One complaint would be the lack of a clutch, found on the Shadow+ derailleurs. I know you can get the clutch with an upgrade, but it would be nice if Shimano had one derailleur with all the tech in one line instead of 2 or 3 different derailleurs under the XT name. My other little gripe is no barrel adjuster on the derailleur..."

Shimano SLX SL-M660 Shifter Pod - "They are a very good choice for a mid-level shifter. My shifters are a 2x9 set up with no gear display. Shifters have a nice crisp index shift, that isn't too hard or too soft. Once you are in a gear you know, and it's definitely not a shifter that will allow you to be in between two gears. Do wish they cam with a lever reach adjustment, but this is a feature that you'll find on more expensive shifters. These shifters do have one really nice custom adjustment feature. The SLX shifter pod and handle bar bracket are two separate pieces. By doing this Shimano also made it so the shifter has multiple side to side positions allowing you to "slide" the shifter closer or further out. Wish that these shifters would have been included in Shimano's new I-Spec, but the SLX SL-M670 I is. One last thing is the ease of service…"

ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips - "Switched from the ODI Rogue to the Ruffian for more feeling, which the Ruffian definitely offers. The Ruffian still sticks with ODI's tradition of strong grips with great sticky rubber. The Ruffian is a thinner grip pattern that offers a lot of bar feeling, but you don't feel like you are ever going to lose your grip. Also with some thinner grips you feel like to have to hold on tighter since there is less material, but this isn't the case with the Ruffians. I have had these for a year and haven't seen a whole lot of wear, but imagine with less material there will be less life. One big complaint I do have is in the lock-on ring department. In my past experience the rings popped onto the grip easily and stayed on. With these Ruffians I actually couldn't just snap on the lock-on ring like in the past. I could get on side of the lock-on ring on, but then the other side wouldn't snap in. I ended up using a rubber mallet to "massage" the lock-on ring on to grip. While not the greatest way to do it, it worked. Another issue I have is with the head size and strength of the lock-on ring bolts…"

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 August.

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1 comment
  • Shrockie

    7/2/2013 4:19 PM

    Well earned. Those are some solid, well thought out and detailed write-ups. ODI TLDs are some great grips too.

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