All Mountain Trail Reviews and News


Best kid’s bike ever – Santa Cruz Nomad


Here is an example of the best kid’s bike we’ve seen as Forrest Arakawa passes on his deep love of mountain biking to his son 7-year-old son Finn.

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  • bert sawicki says:

    You have clearly never seen Meekboyz bikes. Purpose built carbon kids downhill bikes. 20 24 and 26 inch http://www.meekboyz.com

  • loll says:

    All due respect, because both father and son can ride. As a parent, I am a full believer to give kids the basic or the standard equal to their peer, and they need to earn premium. It looks like son clearly has earned it in skill level and a sponsorship will take him far.

    On the other hand, this is a bike that someone easily pour their annual savings to get. In LA, it is not uncommon to pull into a gas station to see 17 year olds in their Lotus or BMW. This reminds me of that.

    • Eli says:

      So what? Why is it any of anyone else’s business how much the bike costs? Everyone has their own priorities. Most kids are stuck on junk, so it’s great to give them a bike that’s actually fun to ride and will encourage them to ride more.

  • DPeper says:

    Wow! That is a fantastic bike for the young rider. Extra Mom points for talking the wife into that… Awesome Nomad. M90s in a 26″ someone knows someone cuz you can’t just go order that stuff anymore!

    @bert sawicki- That is a nice spam post but those bikes are nowhere near the level of this fathers labor of love. This young mans father has thought of everything and hand selected the best part for the job. This bike is a one of a kind and meekguys are looking like less in comparison to the obsession featured here.

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      great points @Dpeper

      And this bike is just an object, dream bike project. The real love is displayed every single day as Forrest interacts with his two sons. They’ve done more together in 7 years than many in a lifetime.

  • Steve says:

    @DPeper…. “This young mans father has thought of everything and hand selected the best part for the job.” .. you mean apart from cranks and saddle???

    “nowhere near the level of this fathers labor of love”
    Go to any kids race … DH or XC and you will see plenty of examples of labor’s of love.
    In this case I’m missing perhaps where the love is directed … is it pouring money into the bike regardless of functionality… why not buy a kids saddle? It seems the problem is not that they don’t exist but that the label is wrong….why not buy some appropriate cranks (e.g. Trailcraft) or have some machined? (Or just do it himself) … if its not simply a problem that the label is wrong…. Sure the XT have hollow crank arms and that would mean sticking a older Deore LX or Zee … obviously then upsetting the labels on the bike..

  • Francis Cebedo says:

    @Steve, we can criticize the spokes or the grips, etc…

    The key though is the amount of time that went in to this bike and get the kid ready to ride it at Whistler and the Sierras at this very young age. That means hundreds and hundreds of rides and coaching and motivation.

    And understand that this is work in progress. Cranks, saddles, tuning are all being worked on for this bike and the local, milder trails.

    • dtimms says:

      @Francis, You say hundreds and hundreds of rides? He states in the article he goes a couple rides a month. I don’t get the bike for a kid this size but not my money and he can do what he wants. But it seems like a big show and how fancy he can make his kids bike.

      • Francis Cebedo says:

        good point @dtimms

        I’m thinking the past seven years including all the rides in the neighborhood, with friends etc. When your kid is that small, every pedal session counts.

        Little Finn didn’t get to this level with just a few rides.

      • Forrest Arakawa says:

        @dtimms, he rides a lot around the block. Not too much on the trail because he, like most 7yo’s has a schedule that doesn’t always allow for it. He loves to fish, read, paint, play baseball, ski, swim, skate, scooter, play soccer, look for bugs and spend time hiking with the family. We built the bike because it keeps him safe while riding double black diamond trails in the bike park. So, it may look to you as an extreme expense but to me it’s just the best tool for the job and gave me solace while on the trail watching him fly.

  • dtimms says:

    @Forrest – You built a very nice bike and it is your money and your feeling of comfort your son. Enjoy!

  • Steve says:

    Hi @Forrest, beauty of a trophy ride right there! How tall is Finn? Sizing is always challenging for kids bikes and they can’t demo everything. Any reason why a Spawn FS 140mm bike wouldn’t cut it? Watching those spawn kids whip the bageezus out of A-line with Brook McDonald in their sponsor video certainly makes me think it’d be hard for a kid to out ride one of those bikes.

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2019 Cannondale Habit trail bike launched


Cannondale’s Proportional Response suspension design and the all-new Habit features 130mm of suspension fit for riders of different sizes.

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Schwalbe Nobby Nic review


The Schwalbe Nobby Nic has a difficult job: Deliver great grip and durability while minimizing rolling resistance, and also provide good braking performance. Can it do it?

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  • R Parker says:

    The 2.35 could be sketchy on the front, but I haven’t found cornering to be a problem with the 2.6 width and the Addix Speedgrip compound.

  • servicemms@gmail.com says:

    Is there a real review here? This sounds more like a marketing release. What size? On what bike? Under what conditions and use?

    At least show me a picture of a dirty tire, or it didn’t happen.

  • Shark says:

    Decent rear tire, terrible up front.

  • tyrebyter says:

    Horizontal gaps? I think you mean lateral.

  • streighty says:

    I am riding the Magic Mary 27.5 x 2.35 up front on a 35mm inside diameter rim (Derby) with the same size Nobby Nic on the rear and it is a great combo for all kinds of riding: Sedona, loam in the PNW, dry, and wet. Really hard to top this combo for the weight and grip IMHO.

  • MBR says:

    What WIDTH was tested?

  • MBR says:

    And what DIAMETER was tested? 29… 27.5? Geez

    • Jason Sumner says:

      Sorry we had some text drop out during editing. Measures are 29×2.35. Article has been amended. Thanks for reading.

  • Marc says:

    Click “read more” and the page expands to a full review with all the details.

  • BCX says:

    29X2.35 is a decent rear tire, but just way too fragile in rough backcountry terrain. Snakeskin cuts pretty easily. I have 2 with boots in them if anyone would like to try them 😉

  • dickachu says:

    First ride 5 holes in 2 hours, but its was easy to fix.
    Dropped it in garbage bin, and putted back Contis Trail King apex protection.

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WTB Trail Boss review


With an armada of tightly spaced center knobs that are moderately ramped, the WTB Trail Boss is optimized to roll fast.

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  • Fred says:

    Recently purchased a new bike (Whyte T-130) that came with the Trail Boss rear / Vigilante front combo. Absolutely awesome tire combo! Rode on WTB’s 20 years ago, and had been on Maxxis and Kenda rubber since (all good tires). But with these new versions from WTB, I’m back to WTB to stay!

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Specialized Purgatory review


With a retail price of just $60, the Specialized Purgatory is one of the most affordable tires in the trail category.

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  • N says:

    Have they fixed the problem where the casing bleeds ethylene glycol through the sidewall from the Stan’s sealant inside? Had to eventually get rid of all my Specialized tires after 2 light riding seasons, on bikes bought in 2016, because they were all bleeding through, and it would eventually pollute the brake rotors/pads. So far, have not had the same problems with Maxxis or Bontrager tires, and mostly good luck with Continentals.

  • preston says:

    I’ve always had good results with the Purg when I want something that rolls lighter and faster than a DHF, but these days I’d like to see it in a 2.5.

  • BillD says:

    The 2.6 is 2.45 on a 30mm rim.

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Santa Cruz 5010 V3 first look


Now in its latest iteration, still with 130mm of rear travel and 27.5 wheels, it’s ready to re-enter the Trail Bike category once again as riders increasingly want to do more fun and aggressive descents.

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  • Loll says:

    Never trust an image of a pro riding an otherwise under-gunned bike. A pro like Nino can ride a XC bike downhill in style faster than most of us normal people.

    For those in Norcal, I still recall a thanksgiving turkey day Kennedy climb where a local young pro rider Menso motor pass us on a Santa Cruz Bullet.

    • DrDave says:

      Ahem, yeah, those PROS are like running on nitro (or something).
      But we underbikers know that an older or heavier bike might only limit speed by a little bit, as long as the suspension is fresh.

  • jim says:

    Francis, Why weren’t you a fan of 5010 V2 ?
    I didn’t get that impression at all from your review …
    http://reviews.mtbr.com/first-look-2016-santa-cruz-5010

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      Good point. I certainly appreciated that bike and knew many would love it.

      But for me, I was progressing my riding and I wanted, more, more, more… even from a trail bike.

      Steep seat angle, more slack, better suspension, more dropper and roomier cockpit to move around in and very quick still. It’s got me thinking of the new one for some adventures and long rides.

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Santa Cruz Bronson V3 first look


How did they improve the Bronson V3? The answer is suspension, geometry, tire size and details.

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Thomas Vanderham and crew talk about Squamish and racing


Thomas Vanderham talks bike setup, tire choice, and racing with Rocky Mountain Bicycles team riders Remi Gauvin and Jesse Melamed.

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Devinci Troy Carbon 29 rolls out


Latest Troy all mountain bike boasts the company’s fifth generation split-pivot suspension platform, which is claimed to increase bottom-out force.

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  • LarsV says:

    I like the dark orange accents!

    That rear end however, stacking superboost, split pivot and a DT RWS skewer, is going to be wider that yo’ mamma’s 🙂

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Downieville – All-time conditions ridden at warp speed


The Trail Peek brothers and a band of local tricksters carve loamy goodness at ludicrous speed.

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BMC Speedfox AMP e-bike first ride


The Speedfox AMP is labeled as a “Trail Bike” and the 29” wheels and power assist are great for covering a lot of ground quickly allowing for more riding in a shorter period of time.

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  • Shaun says:

    So basically if your buds don’t have an e-bike you’re solo.
    Seems awful heavy for an e-bike.
    45+ lbs is min weight then ? What about actual ?

    • Travis says:

      45lbs is relatively light for an ebike, the Specialized Turbo Levo is closer to 50lbs.

      As for riding with your buddies, since the level of assist can be programmed, you can tone down the amount of assist so that you are equal to who ever you ride with. If you are riding with your racer buddies who are faster than you, you can turn it up a bit so they don’t have to wait for you. If you are riding with your slower buddies, you can adjust it down so it’s providing minimal assist.

      For now, I don’t see e-bikes replacing your regular bike, but they are great for:

      -Older or injured riders that can’t ride as hard as they used to or to ride while rehabbing
      -Allowing parents to ride with and keep up with their (now) faster kids
      -Getting way more riding in when you don’t have unlimited time
      -Exploring trails you ordinarily wouldn’t explore (they go straight down in the wrong direction) because you know the climb out won’t be a problem
      -People with families, jobs, and obligations that don’t allow as much time as we used to have

      Most people that complain about e-bikes haven’t ridden them. I understand the argument that it could hurt trail access, because people think they are like motorcycles. But in reality what will likely happen is they will enable more people to get into mountain biking and will provide a larger voice to make a case for even more trails.

      Either way, it’s a bike, and it’s fun to ride. Take care and have a great day! 🙂

      • Shaun says:

        Some good points thanks !
        Correct I have not ridden one although an old(er) now and yes injuries adding up.
        Maybe one day maybe not.

        MTBR – please get a separate URL for the e-bike content.

      • Jared says:

        Love this. My regular MTB buddies are damn near world class athletes. Its so nice to not have them waiting on me. Also really loving my long 40+ mile days in the saddle without it completely wrecking me.

    • Jared says:

      Thanks MTBR! This new BMC looks great. Don’t listen to the handful of loud voices that say you shouldn’t write about these mountain bikes. I love my Focus, and really love the 40+ mile days I put in without being so wrecked I can’t ride the next day.

  • Juan Ghuy says:

    Why do you keep reporting on electric mountain bikes when 99% of the readers here are against them? And it’s $7500! Start a new site for electric bikes and keep them out of here, please!

  • Justin says:

    That’s class 1 ebike, bro. Pretty expensive.

  • Scotch Hennessy says:

    Don’t hate on E-bikes until you experience the pure fun! You are all missing out.

    • Juan Ghuy says:

      Scotch Hennessy: I have no doubt they are fun on the motorized trails. That’s where they need to be not on MTB trailsa.

  • Will says:

    We don’t need no stinking E bikes. We ride real pedal powered Mt bikes.

  • mth says:

    When MTBR started years ago….no such thing as e-bikes for the most part. I’m glad some people like them. But I would rather read articles about pedal power mountain bikes. Articles about small companies or up and coming racers would be more refreshing 🙂

  • dirt rider says:

    Keep writing about ebikes guys!
    Go on riding your cro-mo full-rigid 26″ 5-speed converted beach cruiser on the same old trails, Juan. We the “1%” will have fun without you.

    • Juan Ghuy says:

      dirt rider: Sounds good to me. Pedal your electric bikes until the batteries are dead just don’t ruin the pages of this site with them.

  • JDUB says:

    Please just stop… stop forcing a sport not related to the sport I enjoy on a website I enjoy that is supposed to be about Mountain Biking. I don’t want to hear about road bikes, e-bikes, motocross, RC Cars, etc.. on a mountain Bike Specific site… just stop. I have ridden one and they are fun to ride but they are not the same as mountain bikes. Can you please start an eMTBR.com and do away with the blurred lines?

  • Michael says:

    Another vote for enough of the e-bike BS!!! We don’t want them!!!

  • Scotch Hennessy says:

    I ride my All Mountain 5.0 Haibike when with my 14 year old son. I’ve been able to show him so much more terrain without waiting at the top of each climb. We can go out for 20 mile rides with over 2500 ft of climbing. It’s been an amazing tool to share the sport mountain biking with him. We ride our non e-bikes too…just not the distances we can go on the e-bikes.

  • Lascelles says:

    Also, this is a full suspension bike! Please MTBR just stop posting articles on full suspension bikes. I don’t want to hear about them and they’re ruining my sport. Actually, I don’t even them consider them a bike – motorcycles have full suspension not bicycles. So please just stop.

  • Tom67 says:

    A question to haters: why not just skip the ebike related articles and not read them? Much easier than taking the time and effort to read and comment on them…

  • Pete Cherski says:

    I ride mostly single speed and geared on occasion. I could put my nose up and claim geared bikes fall into the spectrum of pedal assist (i.e. motorbike, ebike, etc) and that geared is not pure mountain biking. But I won’t. I am all for progression, and new technology, so that more can participate in our great sport. So yep, I am all for e bikes. In a few years, they will get those batteries so small and tucked away in the frame, you won’t notice. And guess what? The naysayers will be the ones to jump in. Why? Hoping to gain that edge they don’t have now. Kind of like how crazy we get to buy the high-end bike to save a pound or two just be a little faster. Go ebikes!

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Pivot Trail 429 first ride


120/130mm travel has been blended with new geometry to deliver a bike can conquer technical terrain while still providing speed and excitement for even docile, local trails.

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  • Teleken says:

    6.4 pound frame? Holy hernia Batman.

  • Dave says:

    Still no frames!! Why?

  • John Peltier says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Seems journalism experience may no longer be needed. And no editors any help either. How about elaborating a little on why DI2 is no longer incorporated (because it failed miserably) when you bring it up and hint you can drill the frame out if you want (can you say warranty issues???). How about talking about why anyone would want SuperBoost on their new $5000 bike. A all-around terrible article!

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Eminent Cycles Haste all mountain bike


One of the most unique bikes we’ve seen in a while is the Eminent Cycles Haste , which has a floating shock and brake that allow it to be more active.

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Mongoose has bikes for all disciplines and budgets


Well spec’d cross country, enduro, and downhill builds come in at under $3000.

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  • jim says:

    Mongoose has made some decent bikes every now and then, but their only consistency has been the low-end, – too bad. These look decent, I wonder where they will be assembled & sold?, hopefully at a store that can point the brake levers in the right general direction.

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Panaracer Romero first look


Dominating gravel tires in recent years, Panaracer is using their rubber technology knowledge to develop a new all-mountain tire.

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Fuji Auric LT enduro bike released


New bike aims to replace your old DH bike with a do-it-all bike with modern suspension and geometry.

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Whyte Bikes S-150C RS aggressive trail bike – video


The 2018 Whyte S-150C RS is an aggressive trail bike with the ability to switch between 29er and 27.5+ wheels.

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Kona Process 153 goes full carbon


Kona took some of their best alloy bikes and created carbon versions that were on display at the Sea Otter Classic.

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Intense M29 FRO special edition DH race bike


Only 15 of these For Racing Only models will be sold. They are equipped with the same spec as the Intense Factory Racing M29.

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Niner to introduce first dedicated 27.5 trail bike


Niner dropped its second big Sea Otter surprise in two days with a prototype 27.5 mid-range trail bike being put through the paces by company pro Kirt Voreis.

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Pivot Switchblade Aluminum launched


Pivot has debuted a more affordable aluminum version of its Switchblade trail bike that brings the same innovative geometry, suspension, and on-trail performance to a wider audience.

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Fezzari Signal Peak bridges XC-trail gap


Fezzari’s new Signal Peak artfully blends speed and fun. It’s fast on technical terrain, drops, and rock gardens, and climbs like a mountain goat.

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2019 Specialized Stumpjumper launched


Specialized has redesigned the Stumpjumper for 2018, a bike that has been around since 1981. Did they address everything on your must have list? Read on to find out.

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  • dickachu says:

    Orbea rallon us market version with hole in down tube.

    • Cole Trickle says:

      Ok, we’re going there…can’t you say that the Rallon copied this design from the Demo, which was released a few years ago?

      • dickachu says:

        So you confirming that the specialized copied this design from Gian Giacomo Caprotti, from 1534 sketch ?

        • Will Urich says:

          I enjoyed going to the wikipedia about the history of the bicycle and learning a tiny bit just now about Gian Giacomo Caprotti, but I don’t understand what you’re talking about Specialized copying a 400 year old design? Or are you commenting that Specialized didn’t innovate enough on their own? Aren’t we all climbing up the backs and over the heads of giants of the past? Isn’t that what human innovation is? Nobody is inventing the wheel over again.

  • benito says:

    “reduced top out force” on the Command Post – thank God

  • M. says:

    Still milking that 20 year old suspension design, eh Specialized?

  • Z says:

    Bravo Specialized for finally getting rid of the proprietary BS! I’m looking forward to ridding this bike! Looks bad ass. However, two notes.

    1. Your price point range sucks. You need something between $5500 & $9500. Say a proper Sram X01 build, with a non-carbon rim set? I can only assume that the wheel set on the Expert is carbon as it’s not listed in your specs. Look at the Santa Cruz Bronson, probably your main competitor.

    2. I rode the Butcher tires for a few years. Loved’m. A proper trail bike need better rear braking traction than the purg can produce. At least put a Butcher on the back. This combo rocks.

    2a. However, the Maxxis Minion is a superior tire. Period. End of story. You’ve come this far, just do it.

  • jason says:

    Specialized crushes it again. Whether you love them or hate them, they set the bar higher than the rest. Is it still cool to hate Specialized?

  • Will Urich says:

    Shout out to ma boi Tyler Wagnor at Specialized for working on the dope team that made this bike a reality. Love you man and can’t wait to shred!

  • BC Shelby says:

    …crikey. quite the change from the 36 year old beast of the same name I still ride. Not sure I like the single small front chain ring as I use mine for commuting on Portland’s oft “trail quality” streets that would beat most standard commuter bikes (and their riders) into submission.

    • Will Urich says:

      Could you explain a bit differently what you mean about Portland’s streets being trail quality and how they’re difficult to bike on/along? Is it because they’re really steep or something?

  • Steven W. says:

    A rather ugly frame design if you ask me, imo, I preferred there 2015 models over these new ones, they looked awesome and were function, was great, so why constantly change it so drastically ? An then to make it ugly to boot :O.

  • Mark J says:

    Where is the $3000 price point bike for the ST version? For women, they have an alloy version about $3000. For men, the jump is from $1850 to $4200. It seems to me that the volume seller would be the $3000 alloy version, makes no sense at all.

    • Dobo says:

      Not sure where Mark J got his information, but there are Men’s Comp Alloy versions at same $3000 price point. That said, there are some problems with the filters on the Specialized website and some of the Alloy versions don’t show up if you filter by “Stumpjumper”.

  • Tyler says:

    What does it weigh?

  • Holmstrom says:

    I am confused by the paragraph quoted. Is this comparison from 2017 to 2018 or to 2019? Please update the article for those of us who a seriously considering this bike. “After extensive testing they arrived at a balance point, where additional material did not improve stiffness, preventing unnecessary additional weight. The end result, comparing medium 2017 Comp Carbon frame vs. 2018 Comp Carbon: 2018 is 550g lighter. The newer Comp frame now includes a carbon rear triangle, so an apples-to-apples comparison would be S-Works all carbon, which resulted in a weight reduction of about 250g versus the 2017 model.”

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2019 Specialized Stumpjumper first impressions


Mtbr spent three days shredding the trails in Ainsa, Spain, to find out if the new Specialized Stumpjumper lives up to the hype.

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  • Zoso says:

    “On the trail we noticed some squirm even running 28psi, but honestly it was less that what I’ve experienced with other 2.6 tires.”

    I’d argue it’s the rim width. Seems the industry is more or less settling on 30mm as the gold standard. Try 34 or 35mm and you’ll find the tires don’t squirm at lower psi than that (I’m the same weight as the tester btw).

  • Chris says:

    So…. Santa Cruz Hightower LT v Expert Stumpjumper?? any thoughts??

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New Terrene Chunk 2.6 trail tire for trail and enduro use


The Terrene Chunk 2.6” tire is designed around a wide variety of trail conditions and tested to ensure that it works in the real world.

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  • Mickey says:

    What’s the point of making this announcement if you can’t buy the product? I need some new 2.5/6 tires, and I’d love to run something new to market. How about some Goodyear’s or Terrene’s. Nope. Pre-order only. Oh well. I need tires now, Maybe next year. Oh right by then I’ll have forgotten Terrene even exists.

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