Pro Reviews Reviews and News


Fezzari La Sal Peak first ride


Fezzari wanted to elevate their brand and produce a bike desired for its total package, not just its value. Have they succeeded with the La Sal Peak? Read on and find out.

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Burley Coho XC bike trailer first look


Built to address rear hub compatibility problems with ever-changing standards, the Coho XC introduces a variable width yoke. Does it live to the promise, read on and find out.

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Review: FSA SL-K 148 wideR boost XC Wheelset


Coming in at a reasonable $1530 and weighing in at 1500 grams, they are a serious upgrade for many cross-country riders, trail, and cyclocross applications.

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Yakima Dr. Tray and EZ +1 extended review


We’ve been using Yakima’s newest hitch rack, the Dr. Tray, for about seven months and it’s made hauling bikes and even dealing with an empty bike rack much easier.

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  • adaycj says:

    I added a trailer bar light that plugs into a flat four trailer harness. It has turn, running, and brake lights. It cost $20 USD and about 30 minutes worth of work to get it working. I also added red and white reflective “conspicuity” tape for both the up and down positions for another $6. But when I spend the better part of $1000 on a rack why should I need to do this stuff?

    So a three bike rack will set you back $850 and it doesn’t even have the most basic safety features? Every bike rack like this should come with lights because they partially block the vehicle lights, and if they extend over 48 inches a light is required. They should also come with a plate mount and a plate light, because to stay “letter of the law” legal, you need a visible illuminated plate.

    That thing doesn’t even appear to have the cheapest most basic plastic reflector on it. Shame on Yakima.

    • Evan Hampton says:

      All the Yakima logos are highly reflective.

      • stiingya says:

        which does nothing for you when the racks folded down wih bikes in the rack blocking your tail lights…

        guess you just need to rise neon yellow bikes then… 🙂

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Maxxis Assegai tire review


Greg Minnaar rolled years of race winning experience into a tire that holds its line, whatever the conditions. Named after a traditional zulu warrior spear, meet the Assegai.

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First Look: Fezzari Timp Peak 27.5 Rallies with Carbon, Custom Build and Value


From $4k to $6.4k, Fezzari will build you a bike just to your liking. Rest assured at any of their price points, you will get a lot for your money. But how does it ride?

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  • HERMOGENES M. TORENA, JR. says:

    its my dream bikes and so very interesting…

  • mr.habanero says:

    I wish they would change the name. Its like Kia. Perfectly fine car but the name sounds cheap and poopy. There has to be something better. Sweet bike btw!!!

  • Bob Stevens says:

    Hey, Mr hab…….if you ever get into the Wasatch Range and have a chance to ride some of the local trails around here, try the Timpanogos Peaks Trails system, along with the Draper, Corner Canyon and American Fork trails. That name may make more sense then. My Timp Peak is without exception, the best bike I’ve ever had or ridden, and there have been quite a few since I first started mt. biking in ’86.

  • KG says:

    Resale is my primary concern with this brand. Buying a niche brand like this would be near impossible to sell when its time to swap to a new bike. They may be a good value, but 4k for a bike (or whatever the cost is) is still quite a bit and I’m sure resale would not be very strong, as compared to better-known brands. That’s certainly a challenge for them to get over.

  • Stanley says:

    Bought a fezzari cr3 road bike for my girlfriend…. The bike for its price can’t be beat…. I was on the fence about fezzari but the fit and quality is second to none I actaully purchased a lone peak for my girlfriends dad and that was a good buy as well… Check them out I wish I did sooner

  • opayq says:

    Is that rim cracked? It looks so..

  • ginsu says:

    I agree with the reviewer, they are really suffering from the name….just sounds like a weak Chinese off-brand…maybe they should go more understated on their logos or something. I can imagine the weirdness in the following exchange:
    “Check out my new Fezzari!”
    “What! You got a Ferrari?”
    “No, it’s a Fezzari. It’s a bike”
    “Oh, okay.”

  • spokexx says:

    My gf will mos def get the Wiki Peak 29r in the spring. Im excited for her to finally have a full suspension mtb with hydro disc brakes. And im stoked to “borrow” it from time to time. I like the name, it’s Italian. Like me.

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Review: Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet


The Urge Endur-O-Matic looks totally different from any other helmet out there. But can it pull it off with few ventilation holes and no rear retention system?

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Review: Bern Morrison Helmet


I found the $100 Bern Morrison to be comfortable, well-balanced, and it felt like it was part of my head, greatly due to their low-profile design. The well-padded snap-in liner is a real highlight in this nicely crafted helmet, and it’s easy to pop out for cleaning or swap in their optional winter liner.

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First Look: Lapierre Ups the Ante with Electronic Intelligence Shock-Equipped Bikes


Lapierre’s new Spicy 527 hits the US with its e:i suspension system that senses bumps and pedaling inputs, then adjusts damping accordingly at a rate of 20-30 times per minute. Is e-sus ‏ready for prime time?

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  • Richard Head says:

    Not liking it. Electronically controlled shocks is just going overboard.

  • Dave says:

    Ancient news! This has been around for what, a year and half?

  • RanDog 1951 says:

    Bicycles have followed the automotive, & motorcycle technological improvements as they become available, improvement’s in performance, safety & fun factor are the ultimate result.
    Almost every part on a modern MTB has been changed & updated since the early days off-road specific cycling, no one in their right mind would even use a 5 year old bike if they could ride a new one!

  • Stavros says:

    We had to suffer the 29er era the last years.
    Now we have to face the “fake” suspension ?

    Let us ride freely. We need no more technology. Bikes are already twice more expensive than a car.

    You industries destroy the bike market, don’t u get it ? If u want us to ride a motocross, then it’s simple, just tell us.

  • chasejj says:

    Combine this with e.XTR and I am seeing the possible benefits. It would free up the linkages to bring back other designs that have been dismissed due to poor kinematics under load. Sophisticated controls from electronics could make a previously dismissed design return for good reasons.
    If I am carrying a battery , I want push button shifting as well.
    I hate the whole 27.5 thing, but this is actually positive progress if done properly.

  • GN says:

    Rode one of these in Europe last summer and it blew my mind, but I guess LP couldn’t bring MTB’s into the US until the Specialzed patent expired. The higher end all carbon 26″ bike I rode was something around 26lbs with higher end parts, and a AL Bronson or Yeti with lower end parts are around 30lbs too I believe.

    I came away from riding it thinking the servo is basically just flipping a CTD shock switch between modes, but its doing it using cadence and iPhone sensors mounted to the fork to figure out if your pedaling or not and if the front fork is hitting bumps hundreds of times a minute. Its very clever IMHO and will probably not be for everyone, but seems especially applicable for racing or people concerned with pedaling efficiency, but still want small bump sensitivity. Probably like electronic shifting on road bikes, I’m also not sure if a lot of people will want to charge a battery unit all the time. I didn’t really think it was comparable to a inertia valve shock, because my experience with those is that bumps under a certain size the shock just stays locked. On IE, if your not pedaling it rides like your shock in descend mode.

  • Canyonman says:

    I like simplicity….I rode a single pivot 29 xc model at InterBike and it was amazing. Was only set up for the rear and it just made the manuel platform
    For the fork seem outdated. It worked well on a short travel xc bike.

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Review: K-Edge Stem Mounts for Garmin Computers


The new K-Edge stem mounts are durable and tough and well-made, and the design offers excellent protection for your valuable Garmin Edge GPS bike computers. The mounts attach onto the bike’s steerer, and they come in two versions; a fixed and an adjustable model.

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Just In: OneUp Components 42 Cog for 1×10 Drivetrains


The OneUp 42-tooth cog offers a solution to 1×10 users that need a lighter gear than what the 11×36 cog offers. But does it work with its big jumps in between cogs or is it too much of a compromise?

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  • Jake says:

    Would love to see a picture of small small chain slack or the gear it finally does get tension.
    Also can’t wait to see how many morons set the B tension screw while in the small chainring, then go and ride in Big/Big only to have the derailleur eaten.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Jake – The double stacked picture in the middle of the article shows that exact set up (42×34 and 11×34). Were you asking if I tried doing a 11×24 (my current granny), as I am sure it would too slack? If I was going to try a 2×10 system, I would push the small to a 28 tooth. I’ll need to experiment on that system, but for now I was only doing a 1×10.

  • Hpzie says:

    This one looks much better than the one availble now on ebay for $50. Price still a bit high compare to a nice Hope chain ring only $45.

  • Rod says:

    Instead of removing the 17t, can the 11t be removed?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Yes, you could remove the 11t. During my test yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I like the 11t too much to remove it, since it gives you some maximum speed when needed.

  • Kurt says:

    If you can find a 9 or 10 speed 16t cog lying around in your parts bin or that of your LBS, subbing that in for you 15 AND 17t cogs results in a much smoother shift, even if it’s not perfect.

  • Steve says:

    You’re still ending up with a narrower spread of gears with this 1x 10 set up than the original 2 x 10. For the uninitiated, what’s the big advantage in losing my front derailleur and a full spread of gears?

    • WC says:

      The advantage is you loose your front derailleur = simplicity. Plus you’ll be more manly because you’re forced to work harder, you’ll build up huge quads, tighter buns and the ladies won’t be able to resist you.

  • Jay says:

    Great write-up… I pre-ordered mine when these were announced, and this article was a great read for more information. Question – wouldn’t you have to add “need a new chain” as a ‘con’? Or can someone just install the OneUp ring with no other extra parts needed? I’m pretty sure one would recommend a new chain regardless – but I’m curious about how much of a difference in links the new chain was from your old one?

  • scott says:

    any idea how this would work with a 9sp 11-34?

  • helbert says:

    Can I use medium cage derailleur?

  • Lyle says:

    Currently have a RF narrow wide front with a Shimano Zee short cage shadow plus RD and an XT 11-36 cassette. Will this work with my setup? I read somewhere that you have to use either a long cage or medium cage RD.

  • Lyle says:

    Thanks Brian! I will give them a ping.

  • flyingsqrl says:

    @ Toshi Eto & Rod, why wouldn’t you just get a smaller chainring. Removing the 11T takes away the range. The point of adding the 42 is to expand the 11-36 to an 11-42.

  • PinkFloydLandis says:

    Re: chain length . . .

    1. Brian, there’s no way your original chain had 112 links plus the connector link. That would = 113 links total. Multi-speed chains must be even numbered by design. So maybe yours was 111, or 113, but not 112.

    2. The need for a new chain will depend on your choice of front chainring. If your front chainrings don’t change, and your chain length was correct originally, then you will need a few more links to accommodate the 42T cog. But if you’re moving from 38/26, 36/24 or 34/22 double to a 32T or 30T single ring (which is a common choice) then you may very likely be OK without a new chain, since the decrease in front chain wrap cancels the increase in rear chain wrap.

  • Max says:

    So, how did it perform? You don’t mention any of your thoughts on the product.

  • Me says:

    I love when people make things seems so impossible. Adding a low gear to your 1×10, OMG! Stupid money for what you get is what I’m thinking.

    • G says:

      Not so stupid if you live in Colorado.

      • vince says:

        I live by the Dark Peak area in Britain – plenty steeps and techy, muddy all over this time of year.
        I went 1×10 with standard 11-36 XT and a Hope IBR 34T after playing with a few options and deciding that a 36T front was a bit tall for me – though I know others that use them fine.
        If you have granny bails, you’ll use them whether you meant to or not. Surprising how often you can get up stuff in fine style if they just aren’t there – although you may find yourself out of the saddle more – which may make this cassette extension more worthwhile for full sus bikes than hardtails.

  • sham says:

    how i can buy this item and how can i be your distributor for malaysian market

  • R says:

    I am very interested in this with a 2×10 setup with a 28 x 42 crankset. Please let us know how this works. Seems to me this would be perfect for people who live in the mountains and also ride some road to get to trails.

  • nsxtc says:

    Why woudn’t it work w/ a PG-1080 (X0) cassette?

    For X0, the original gearing is: 11*,12*,14*,16,18,21,24,28,32,36 (where the cogs with “*” are not attached to spider. Can’t you simply remove say the 12 (I want to keep my 11 in case I want top gear)?

    The result will be with the 42T: 11*,14*,16,18,21,24,28,32,36,42*

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I haven’t tested it, but I would think the 11 to 14 jump would be tough, since there isn’t much ramping on those little cogs. Dropping the 11T could be tough since the next cog doesn’t have the serrations for the lock ring. I have only tested per their directions, and the most I might do is attempt to find a 16T and replace the 15T with that one for a better transition.

  • Jordan says:

    Nice explanation of the system Brian. Can you comment on how well you think this setup would stand up to high levels of torque? My main concern is how well the drivetrain will hold up with the chain in the highest gear, while you’re cranking up a prolonged steep section. Does that sound like a recipe for sheared teeth or snapped chains, or do you think it can take it?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I am a low torque junkie and have snapped more than my fair share of chains. So far I haven’t had any issues, and I have had this system on some extremely steep terrain, where I have been pushing really hard.

  • Lee says:

    One site suggested removing the 17 and 19, replacing them with a 18T for more even spacing. Only stand alone 18T I can find is one from Miche.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Depends on the cassette you’re using. The XTR doesn’t have that option since the 19 is a part of a spider. I found an old 16 laying around, and removed my 15 (in addition to the 17) to give me a nice even spread from 13-16-19.

  • todwil says:

    I have the stainless cog from ebay and I just left off the last gear I hardly ever use that one anyway.

  • Netta says:

    I got a “oneup ready configuration ” with front 30t narrow/wide and XT cassette.
    The RD is SRAM X7 TIPE 2 but medum cage 🙁
    I wonder if it can fit me?
    Could you advice?

  • I'mRight says:

    Can you tell us how often you used the 42t gear. A 6 tooth change could cause you to wheelie on climbs or spin too much on climbs.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      It would depend on the climb or where you happen to be on a particular maneuver. I use the 42T on every ride, though like any low gearing, on something extremely steep and loose you might need to downshift to the next gear. The 32tx42T offers a .71 gear ratio compared to my original 24tx36T .67.

      This is the same upper gear range as the XX1 => XX1 (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42) vs the OneUp (11-13-15-19-21-24-28-32-36-42)

  • Taufik Eko Yudanto says:

    Hi Brian, great review… So how’s the result of replacing the 17T with 16T?

  • DoISmellBacon says:

    I’m curious about the options of ditching cogs other than the 17 also, since that is within the range of cogs that I use a lot in “mission critical” off-road situations. Losing the 13 would probably be the best for my situation, as my trails involve a lot of frequent and rapid transitions from descending to climbing, so having all the cogs properly spaced down to the 15, with the 11 on hand as a sort of pavement only reverse bailout gear seems to make more sense…. but even losing the 15 or 11 would probably be better for me than losing one of the cogs that’s within the gearing sweetspot like the 17 is. I don’t have my cassette in front of me, but from memory it seems like either the 13 or 15 could be removed just as readily as the 17. I imagine that the 15 to 11 drop would be pretty clunky, but I don’t think I’d care much…. Thoughts?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      The smaller the cogs get the clunkier the shifting gets when the steps become large. The OneUp 11-13-15-19 is better than 11-15-17-19 or 11-13-17-19. The best I have found is getting a 16T and making a 11-13-16-19.

  • Erik says:

    What 16t cog do you use?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I had an 16t from an old Shimano cassette. Look for a Miche 16t 10 speed cog, as they’re one of the few companies that makes separate cogs. That should work, though I haven’t tried one.

  • brian says:

    Brian
    since you had issues at first with a med cage RD, would you suggest one to just use their long shadow plus?

  • todwil says:

    Has anyone recieved there cog yet?

  • mike says:

    Thanks for the review. I have a Ripley too and ordered one last month. My ship date is is Feb 24th. Hopefully it will work out well.

  • White Marin says:

    Any feedbacks if it’s feasible to Short cage RD’s. I’m using Shimano Saint M820.

  • Steve L says:

    I’ve got a couple of rides on the following setup:

    – I’m a cross country rider, ex-racer, who now doesn’t rage rocky down hills , just rides moderately challenging cross-country trails.
    – bike is an aluminum Tallboy, 100mm fork, stans wheels
    – I purchased new 10 speed x9 shifter
    – Purchased new x9 non-clutch RD at 205 grams. I first ordered a GX clutch RD and was disappointed at the weight, so returned it for the non-clutch x9 on the hunch that I really wouldn’t care.
    – I purchased a OneUp 42t rear cog and 32t oval chainring.
    – I mounted the 32t Oval chainring on my old Noir carbon cranks.
    – purchased an XTR 11×36 10 speed cassette at 250 grams.
    – And set this all up with a SRAM 10 speed hollow pin chain.

    My Experience:

    – My hunch that I would be happy with the x9 RD without a clutch was a good one. It shifts great, has a strong spring and so has very little chain slap, if any, and is about 50 grams lighter than the clutch RD’s. It’s B-screw is long enough to setup well, and it shifts great. No issues. Very happy.
    – The OneUp 42t works perfectly with the 11-36 cassette. I also installed the 16t cog to replaced the 15 and 17, and the gear spacing feels… just right.
    – On my local trails I feel I’ve given up my ultra low granny, but that’s it. On trail I never even get into the 11, so I’m not missing the high end. (my trails are pretty tight and twisty through the trees and relatively slow speeds).
    – The oval chain ring is interesting. It feels like the pedal stroke is “on” power nearly the entire stroke. While if feels like it puts the power down more smoothly and steady through the pedal stroke, I personally feel my spin is messed up. I’ve ordered a round 32t expect that will get me back to the spin feel I enjoy.
    – Overall, very please. This is an improvement and I don’t see the benefit really to 1×11. I could even go to a 30t front to better center my gearing for my trails.
    – My total cost was about $400 due to the XTR cassette over cheaper, but 100 grams heavier options.
    – highly recommend this conversion for this type of riding.

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Review: Michelin Wild Rock’R2 All Mountain Tire


Michelin bike tires is a brand us old timers are familiar with, but their new tires have not kept up with changing trends. They aim to change that with one of the most compelling All Mountain tires we’ve seen.

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  • Reformed Roadie says:

    Fabian Barel is himself an engineer, not to mention an amazing rider.

  • cliff says:

    At $99 per tire…have they hit their melon on a sharp rock?

  • Pablo says:

    1175g ! That’s pretty close to DH tyre weights so I’m out. I’ll stick with my 860g Trailstar/Pacestar Hans Dampfs.

  • Bryan says:

    While correct about rebound being a more important physical property of the compound, Rudy was incorrect about 50a shore being the softest on the market.

  • bryan says:

    I’m all for softer durometer and slower rebound, but for all around riding the weight is a little heavy, almost downhill tire territory. Keep in mind these “extreme” models are designed with enduro racing in mind, and a flat or a ripped tire is a stupid way to blow your hard efforts and results. For the rest of us a little lighter is just fine, I will be anxiously waiting for more choices that will inevitably follow.

  • roger says:

    Pure marketing! Fabien didn’t even use these tires for racing just for testing, gues what…slow rolling!

  • Dennis Hood says:

    I curently have 292. 29×2.10 /52/52 bontrager I ride trails but keep having flats never in my life has this happen and it’s on different trail but still have flats . I think I need a tuffer compound it keep it from happening . Sorry I bought this thing
    Any recamendations would be appreciated

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Review: Spank Oozy Trail Stem and LTD Handlebar


Spank’s Oozy line delivers a bar/stem combination that is light, strong and easy on the wallet. They put in some careful thought that makes it ideal for the bigger wheelsizes and the higher demands of all mountain riding.

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  • the-one1 says:

    “Not ideal for 26ers”…..really?

  • Francis Cebedo says:

    >>“Not ideal for 26ers”…..really?

    Yep, the stem is zero rise and the bars are flat so the controls are low on a 26er. the Spank Spike would work better in our opinion.

  • JimmyDee says:

    “Not carbon, so not great vibration damping qualities”

    Uhm, I think you might have these bikes confused with ultra-stiff road bikes, where that would make a difference. What difference would there be between the nearly negligible vibration damping qualities of carbon on a bike with a 100+mm fork? Not to mention 18-32psi fat tires…

    That is without a doubt one of the stupidest things I have ever read on any bicycle website.

    Think about what kind of vibrations carbon actually damps. We’re talking about really high frequency stuff here – you know, like the steady hum of the road surface underneath 100psi+ road tires.

    Below that and the tires start to pick up the slack (which is why a lot of people now ride around 85psi, at which point the tires take up most of the road vibration through deformation).

    Add some properly tuned suspension on that and how much of this high frequency vibration is left to be damped by the handlebars? Yep, that’s right. None.

    And that’s *IF* you are riding on the pavement with your gravity machine with the tires fully inflated and front and rear suspension locked out… yeah, I occasionally ride like that because I don’t have a car, but 99% of riders out there – pretty much never.

  • Mits says:

    Ι’m a male adult at 5’5” and ride a XC 26er. A setup like this would offer me a nice low handlebar height. Right now I’m running a 15mm riser bar with an inverted 5 deg stem.

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Review: DT Swiss Spline One Wheelset


The DT Swiss Spline 1 is an excellent set of wheels, that are stiff, strong and light, and utilize their superb 240 hub internals.

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  • ginsu says:

    They should have some type of mechanical interlock between the two hub halves. When they say ‘bonded’ that is a pretty obscure phrase, they could simply have glued the two halves together which doesn’t seem very reliable to me. Of course, they could also do some kind of friction weld which would be better, but it kinda leaves the reader wondering.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I’ll check with DT Swiss, but I assume they used high strength epoxy, which they use to hold airplane parts together. Doubt it was a friction weld like a truck rim would use, not nearly the same weight or torque interactions.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I heard back from DT Swiss: The hub surfaces are scored prior to bonding, press fit together, and then bonded with high-strength adhesive. And even if both pieces are left unbonded, the flanges wouldn’t twist, since the tension and lacing pattern of the spokes and overall integrity of the wheels holds everything in place.

  • Jason Kidd says:

    I have a set of ex 1501 26″…. and I can’t praise them more!!!! And as far as the hub being a two piece is not a worry to me. Dt swiss provides RWS skewers that are different from quick-release. It uses a ratchet type mechanism, that is honestly refreshing and just as strong as a nut and bolt. The weight loss my old Gary Fisher got improved my ride time avs, and mvs.Its a solid wheel at a solid price.

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Review: Boombotix Boombot REX Bluetooth Speaker


Bluetooth speakers are all the rage these days, as you they allow you to take your music everywhere. The Boombot REX does that and is a speakerphone as well, all in a rugged package.

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  • Art says:

    You would have to be a giant ass hole to blast tunes while riding in the woods.

  • scott says:

    WTF???

    If you want to listen to music use 1 headphone!

    I don’t like your music, and I’m certain you don’t like mine…

  • Mossy says:

    I ride with a small speaker next to the mesh on my pack and love it. I try to keep the volume at “personal space” volume but occasionally turn it up a bit for longer climbs. Dont like it? Suck it!

  • Mossy says:

    I guess the concept of “personal space” volume is too difficult to understand?

    Again, if you encounter me, you’ll hear it for about six seconds, max. Again, if you dont like it, suck it.

  • Seth says:

    Hey Josh, I have been rocken the iPhone stuffed in a coat pocket (it’s cold in Indiana right now) it’s not overbearing just enough to hear. Not sure I would buy a speaker to mount on bar. Hey it’s been almost a year and a half since my epic trip to Santa Cruz to ride with you at DEMO. Man I can’t thank you enough for showing a Indiana boy around the mountain.

  • Nat says:

    been riding with speaker on the streets. love it. make the rides much more fun.

  • Chez says:

    This is a useful product in the fact that it’s a speakerphone as well.
    I just can’t understand why it’s so hard for people to step away from music. I can play songs from memory and that’s enough for me. But everyone is not me I suppose. I have a hard enough time hearing drivetrains and people yelling away at each other in conversation in the woods. I wouldn’t want to come across someone blasting Korn in a remote place. It’s the same thing with camping. I suppose we have to be “connected” these days.

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Review: Vassago VerHauen 29er


Handmade American quality, exceptional versatility and silky smooth performance; all with an affordable price tag that simply VerHauens the competition.

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  • Zen Bike Fab says:

    They are fun to build!

  • EpicAndy says:

    That’s just not enough bike for you, ASS.

  • Will says:

    I really like that it’s handmade in the US and not too expensive considering that. I just wish I had some money lying around (and I’d prefer smaller wheels).

  • Warren says:

    Got me one of these about two months ago….loving life!

    Bike just checks all the boxes and rides like a dream. Tom is topclass bloke that deals directly with his clients and makes sure you are happy with your purchase.

    Just a bitch shipping it all the way to Africa, but now that its here it was all worth it.

  • Runar Omarsson says:

    “As simple as singlespeeding can be, there are still hassles to deal with; namely a suspension fork. Setting air pressure, replacing seals and rebuilding dampers can be a big pain in the ass for the most hardcore of Luddites.”

    Guys, I’m sending you a Lauf TR29 carbon suspension fork. 990 grams, 60mm of travel, zero maintenance. Just ride! Please send me your address. This bike is great but no reason to “rattle the molars out of your skull” anymore!
    Do you want the Black Gloss or Black Matte version?
    …or do you perhaps not have a tapered headset ?
    http://www.laufforks.com

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    Hi Runar,

    Thanks for the note. Would love to test out a Lauf. I just sent an email to sales at laufforks dot com with my contact info.

    Sincerely,

    ASS

  • DJ says:

    Lucky ASS, looking forward to your review of the Lauf fork. Hay, Runar if you need another tester, send one to me in Bend Oregon. I’m not angry but love to SS cheers!

  • TG says:

    the frame, not the build

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Revealed: Crank Brothers 2014 Iodine and Cobalt Wheels


Aimed squarely at the All Mountain crowd, Crank Brothers revamps their Iodine wheels to make them more reliable, more affordable and stiffer. What’s not to like?

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  • Arek says:

    @Mike McAuley – “Especially if you do a little routine maintenance”? I.E. rebuild pedals every year? That’s exactly what about 60-75% of people I know who use CB pedals of all kinds (but especially egg beaters) do. Not to mention broken axles – usually while racing to boot.
    They may be very light, but are not durable or reliable (which leads to additional cost down the road) – not worth the weight savings, imo.
    Hardest and ugliest conditions? Time, please. Especially the cheap Aliums – I still have a pair that’s at least 10 years old, spins smooth, original everything,

    • Wasatch Enduro Matt says:

      Agreed on the Time pedals. I will never use another brand after a decade on the Time ATAC Alium pedals ($60) from Utah to Alaska to California in every condition and trasferred between multiple bikes. Bulletproof would be an understatement. However, I do respect another reasonably affordable wheelset on the market, though, so would consider the Iodine’s as a potential next AM wheelset on my 6″ bike.

  • Ross Byrd says:

    have the Kronolog post sent if back for a bebuild and has performed flawless since, however I did buy the Colbalts and knocked both front and rear out of true on an easy ride in Tahoe. I had Mavic 819’s laced to Kings and never knocked them out of true on the same trail. When I sent them back the service dept. at the time was not very pleasant to deal with.

  • Tad Dickman says:

    @Arek… you are a typically Crank Brothers basher. Yes, compare their wheelsets to their pedals… because they are the same thing right? Everything is the same from a company. That’s why SRAM’s brakes are so good right? Tell me about all the Crank Brothers wheels you have used. I’ll listen to Hans Rey.

  • Surfn8 says:

    The new wheels look good! Sounds like rev3 should be a pretty solid product. I’m saving now for when the cobalt 11 carbons get released.
    Also, smart move dropping the 26″ cobalts, not too many people running 26″ XC race bikes any more.

  • Brian says:

    Feel free to post a video showing us how he laced/trued a set of those in 20 mins. I for one am curious. I’ve been intimidated by those wheels in the past. No actual ride time time on them however.

  • Joe Millionare says:

    Crankbrothers has the best customer service in the industry. Wanna know why? They have the most practice.

  • Cleared2land says:

    “… and It’s Hard to True”
    Hard to true? This didn’t get addressed. Ok, they could be built in 20 minutes, but how are they trued once in the field? With all center-line spokes, how is this accomplished? With a rubber mallet?

  • Joules says:

    I wish them all the best with their efforts to improve quality, but they have a LONG, LONG way to go building rep before I’d consider buying anything crank bros again. Frankly, it’s going to take several years for positive reviews and some pretty fantastic priced parts before I’d consider it. This article mentions the $600 for the Iodine 2s; ok that would be a good price for a product that I’d have some confidence wasn’t going to just fall apart; the CB sticker on the rim, they’d have to half that price before I’d even consider it – this is the company that manages to even make multi-tools that just fall apart, and pedals that you have to have 2 sets, one for warranty, the other to ride.

    You don’t just wipe away a rep like crank bros has. Without exception every CB product I’ve owned has failed, even 2 freaking multi-tools. Of the 8 or so I’ve owned over the years, the CBs were the only ones that broke.

  • Wheeler says:

    Oh boy…..I have seen more CB products fail than I care to remember. There warranty department has a drive through window! 😉 Thanks but no thanks

  • Gator says:

    CB is junk, everything they sell will break. They look good so let’s buy them right !!

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Review: Spank Oozy 26AL EVO Wheelset


Great wheels can make the difference between a good bike and a great one. Here is one that is well conceived, designed and assembled. And it comes in all the wheel sizes.

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  • rhoop says:

    I bought their Spike pedals. Couldn’t install two pins because they weren’t machined! Emails went unanswered. I’ll pass on any further products from these guys and their cheap labor factory.

    • Mike says:

      Dang, that’s pretty sloppy.

    • Victor says:

      Hi. I am the US sales manager for Spank, when did you email us? I usually get the emails for US issues forwarded to me. Email me directly victor@thegravitycartel.com and ill take care of you. I am sorry there was an issue, we certainly don’t see many problems especially if the body wasn’t machined. If it was some bad pins that can be fixed pretty easy.

  • Dan says:

    Hi,
    looking for any advice for fitting tubeless tyres (tires) . How do ust work on this rim and is it worth popping in some sealant even with ust spec rubber . What are people using already….bit of a tubless sceptic .
    Also,how easy are they to service ? Given that i’ve always had hope hubs (v easy ) i was wondering if there are tools from spank etc .
    cheers

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Review: Fuji Tahoe 29 1.1


Whether you are XC/endurance racing or just trail riding, the Fuji Tahoe 29 1.1 is a highly capable ride that is smartly spec’d and offers a solid value.

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  • Graeme Smith says:

    “…the Sun Inferno 23 rims are a smart spec”

    No. They are an awful rim for running tubeless (and not particularly durable either). Stans Rapids would be a better choice.

    • Stephen says:

      I have the inferno 25 that came on my ’13 Scalpel and they are very,very easy to set up tubeless and also extremely durable…3,000 hard miles on my bike,straight as can be,never trued since day one…4′ drops,crashes,etc..little heavy but that’s it…any rim and good tires are easy to set up.

  • Brian says:

    So the Fuji Website shows the CS is 437mm NOT 420mm as this article suggests.

  • Gregg Kato says:

    I will take an actually measurement later today and post the exact measurement of the CS.

  • Greg says:

    I’d also like to know what the actual cs length is.

  • Gregg Kato says:

    The actual chain stay measurement is indeed 437. I have changed the article to reflect this correction. The incorrect measurement came from Fuji’s website in the archive section for the 2013 Tahoe 1.1.

  • vas says:

    Hello, so recomended 120mm front travel fork (i have magoura ts8 120mm)? the distance between rear triangle ?
    (can i put me 135x10mm Heaven Easton wheel).

  • Rodrigo says:

    Does anyone who measures about 5’7″ inseam 30″ owns this bike? I am considering to buy one.. but I am not sure about size Small or Medium?

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Review: MIO Alpha Heart Rate Monitor


If you dislike using chest strap monitors the Alpha is a real winner, and toss in its ease of use, the ability to pair up with iPhone fitness apps via Bluetooth Smart 4.0, and its extremely accurate readings, all which combine to make the MIO Alpha a feature laden and functional heart-rate monitor.

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  • Shawn McAfee says:

    That is pretty cool, but if I’m monitoring my HR I want it on my display along with my speed and distance. With this it would mean one extra device to plug in after a ride.

    Still, I dig the no-chest strap design.

  • water bottle says:

    Same as Shawn. It be great if it could work with Runkeeper on my 5s (maybe it can) as well as my edge unit for STRAVA/Garmin uploading and possibly come down in bulk.

    Anxiously awaiting 2nd Gen or licensing of its HR detection tech to other companies.

  • dean says:

    sold mine, used 1 week. not enough features for an active/dedicated athlete

  • Rider Joe says:

    If they use the same technology as my Schoche MyTrek, then we’re in for a problem. I really wanted to love the MyTrek – Essentially, a handband which measures HR using what’s looking like exactly the same idea as the Alphs – but found it’s reading to inconsistent, especially while cycling. The HR would lose reception every now and then, and then it took forever to get it back. Has someone measured the Mio Alpha to check if its long-term durability is better?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I would think the the armband design of the Schoche MyTrek would have a poor connection? The MIO Alpha’s watch design adheres well and gives consistent results, though I must admit while mountain biking I am not constantly scanning the output. I never had reception losses that I was aware of. I have used the Alpha for around 5 months, and it’s still going strong without any issues (no reliability problems as yet).

  • Drew says:

    I use mine mostly for swimming and plan to add cycling once the snow is gone..its great the MIO! I don’t have Iphone and need something to connect with on my road bike.

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Review: SQlab 611 Active and 611 Race Saddles


I really like the SQlab 611 Race and 611 active MTB, and their ergonomic designs make the saddles more comfortable, efficient and easier to spend longer periods of time out riding without numbness or hot spots, especially in the nether regions.

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  • MTBeing says:

    I just purchased the 611 TI (not Active) and it’s the first saddle I’ve tried that hasn’t given me any groin area pain on longer rides. It’s also wider than all other saddles I’ve tried but the ‘love’ channel relief is, well, a relief! The feeling of sitting on a shelf is a little strange at first but I don’t really notice it after about a month of riding. It feels this way because the groin relief is so pronounced. At 274g the weight is acceptable as well. Overall, a great product.

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Review: 2014 FOX TALAS


The 2014 FOX 34 TALAS offers a great ride, that is plush, smooth and supple, with support and control, and the significant features of the two-level travel adjustment and CTD damper are highly useful and functional.

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  • bw says:

    This fork does not have the G2 offset that the Ripley recommends, correct? I am curious if you have noticed anything different when the offset is different or normal?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      It is the proper 51mm offset that is recommended for the Ripley. I did try another fork brand with a 48mm offset, and I didn’t like it very much. The steering just felt very odd.

  • Andy B. says:

    This is by far the best fork that I’ve installed on any of my bikes. I get so excited when I get to point it downhill along the Colorado Front Range. I’ve been visiting locations (more technical) that I’ve avoided with less capable rides. I’ve been having more fun riding than I have been in a looong time 🙂

  • Roger says:

    Didn’t fox just have a major fork recall? Can we get real on these reviews so that these bike manufacturers can get real feedbacks and actually make products that work? If the product suck then say so instead of sugar coating everything whitch ive noticed on MTBR….I get my real source now on Pinkbike.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      The recall was for the Evolution series, which is a simple open bath fork. The fork reviewed here is their top of the line Factory series, and there’s been no recall on that. This fork does not suck, it is plush, smooth and supple, and the TALAS is a joy to have on my Ibis Ripley, which is optimized for a 120mm fork. My nitpick was you need to keep the pressure respectably high, which isn’t very difficult to do, and when set properly it works just fine. I was out slamming it yesterday and today, and it was great to refresh my memory of how excellently this fork performs. If you read the Pinkbike overview on the fork (they did a press camp in Oregon), they had some great things to say on the fork. If you have some issues with the 2014 TALAS, please contact FOX directly with your feedback, as they value there customer’s opinions.

  • TE says:

    So how does it compare to the Pike?

  • RTB says:

    To read your review between the lines, you’re calling it less-than-capable due to weak compression damping options.

    A 140mm 29er fork should be able to ride it all, and having to “tune” it with adjustments to the spring rate (ie: air psi) is unacceptable in any high-end fork. Doing so, you are making major compromises, such as: messing up ride height (aka: sag), reducing small bump at one end and bottom out ability at the other.

    This is what speed sensitive compression damping is for, and I would never pay more than $500 for a fork that does not have that ability.

    It sounds like the fork performs fine within a certain range of conditions, but that is not good enough to justify the asking price.

    • water bottle says:

      Based on my two months of owning the fork I agree with most of the article and 100% agree with your interpretation of the product/review.

      I’m looking forward to getting the Push ‘System Elite’ just to regain the low/high speed compression options at the loss of my handlebar mounted CTD switch, but it will surely make it a better fork. Mainly I feel the fork is still a bit too divey and I’m done trying to resolve it by further experimenting with the air pressure. I don’t think it is terrible though and maybe being 210 lbs makes it hard to get just right, but it hardly feels like a top shelf fork given this issue. I would have certainly been driven insane by the 2013 CTD tune if I had tried it.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I think you are reading to much between the lines. I am not really tuning the fork with the air pressure, but just mentioned that you need to keep it at the proper psi for your weight (or sag), nothing more than that. For me at 165 lbs that meant 115-125 psi. Keeping it there did not compromise small bump compliance (which by the way is superb), though the upper limit meant it was harder to hit the bottom out bumpers (again it was subtle). I found the upgraded CTD damper to be just fine.

  • Clancy says:

    I have some 2004 90-130 travel TALAS RC’s, properly maintained, and don’t see changing them out soon. I’m not a luddite, I’ve owned some newer forks (RS Reba’s) and ridden the new TALAS’ but didn’t feel the urge to upgrade

  • Pom says:

    How can a fork with so great disadvantages to get a good review? In Europe, a Rock Shox Pike costs half as much as a Fox Talas 34. Keine überraschung warum die meisten auf Rock Shox umsteigen.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      There are not that many disadvantages, and the ones that exist are very minor. I have to come up with a list of Cons, no matter how nitpicking they are. I mentioned keeping the pressure high enough to prevent extraneous diving, that is a simple procedure, and it’s not like the fork loses pressure after each ride. It’s extremely rare to hit the bottom out bumpers, and I did that once in a blue moon. I just went out the other day hammering this fork, and forgot how lovely the suppleness and smoothness that it provides on a ride. My review was how I felt the fork performed when set up properly, and it is offers an exceptional ride quality. This was not a fork shootout, or cross comparison against other forks, its just how I felt about the new TALAS in general. Unless each of the vendors provides me a 29er fork (RS Pike, Manitou Tower, etc.) I can’t provide a direct shootout, though I’d be game to do exactly that. In the US the FOX and Rock Shox are pretty close in pricing.

      • Paula says:

        It may be that the prices are the same in America, but not in Europe. A Fox 34 Talas 160 CTD Kashima costs ~ € 1380, the Rock Shox Pike RCT3 ~ € 730 … The high market share in Europe is only because of the extremely low Fox OEM prices.

  • mtnbike1 says:

    I’ve had three Fox forks with the Talas travel adjustment, the lever stopped working within a year, and yes I’ve kept my bike clean after every ride. Has Fox addressed this problem?

  • Francis says:

    I have been quoted 250 GBP to upgrade my 2013 talas 160 travel adjust cartridge to
    2014 standard, that is doing the work myself I thought this was supposed to be an affordable upgrade?

    • Mark says:

      I’ve forgotten if the UK has a subsidiary of PUSH, but I believe PUSH will be introducing a new cartridge (probably based on the well-respected Avalanche damper, since PUSH has done that before for rear shocks) that will fit into the Fox 34 chassis. I own a 2014 talas, but if I had a 2013 I would seriously look into this PUSH upgrade when it becomes available (April supposedly, not sure).

    • Francis says:

      Ok thanks for the reply the official agent for Fox in the UK Mojo suspension , I might see if push will send one over, as I imported the forks and my DHXRC4 from the US

  • Mark says:

    Brian, if you have access to mtbr.com you’ll see complaints about the fact that this fork weighs 4.8 lbs in the 160 mm 650b version, not 4.3 as claimed. Meanwhile the Pike has an actual weight of about 4.1 pounds i.e. equal to claimed weight. In your reviews it never hurts to include actual weights to help keep mfgers honest. BTW I agree that this 2014 fox talas is a huge improvement over the 2013 version in terms of damping. Not sure why Fox tends to introduce forks with poorly designed damping characteristics (hello fox 40) but they usually get around to fixing the design.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Sorry, I usually always post the weights, and I am an old weight weenie so I measure things down to the .1 grams still. My 34 TALAS 29er 140 cam in at 2158 grams/ 4.76 lbs. There spec weight was 4.6, so they’re off by .16 lbs. I try to read as much of the stuff from the forums as possible, but unfortunately, its a bit overwhelming to keep track of everything. Again, can’t comment on the Pike since I don’t have access to one.

  • Mark says:

    Thanks. A 0.16 lb discrepancy is a lot easier to accept than the 0.5 lb discrepancy I saw w/ my 150 mm travel talas 34.

    P.S.a correction to my comment above. that PUSH Elite rebuild (with the MX cartridge) is available now, not April.

  • Oswaldo Ocampo says:

    2014 fox 34 160mm performance real bad, works and feels better my old 2011 sid

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Review: 66sick Espacio Libre Saddle


The well-padded 66Sick Espacio Libre is comfortable and tough, and all the SQLab technologies really make this a winner in the All-Mountain saddle category.

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Review: WTB Vigilante Tires


The WTB Vigilante 2.3″ tire is sticky, durable and pliable, and its open tread design and square knobs, along with it large footprint and volume, offer great traction, braking and cornering.

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  • Rob Robins says:

    I saw this tire at the downie race a couple weeks ago. I looked almost exactly like the Schwalbe Hans Dampf Trailstar that I had on my bike,,,

  • rednova says:

    This is a WTB Muddy Mary!

  • bob says:

    So how does this compare to the Hans Dampf?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      The Vigilante’s have better braking and traction and stickiness (especially on rock slabs and slick rock), while the Hans feel slightly better in front for cornering, though the Vig’s hook up better when rolled way over. The Hans have good sidewall protection with the snakeskin (though the Team Edition version might help the Vig’s – not tested as yet), but the Hans aren’t very durable, and tend to have knobs that can tear prematurely. I’ll try and do a test with the Hans Super Gravity in front with the Vig’s and see how they perform.

  • bob says:

    The fit on Stans Flows is TIGHT! Broke a spoke trying to mount this tire.

  • Tad says:

    bob – WTB tires are listed on Stans website as not compatible with their notubes rims 😉

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I have run the tires just fine on Stans Flow EX and some Pacenti TL31’s, the latter are much tougher to get any tire to work as tubeless.

    • bob says:

      I figured that was the case. Never had to pull so hard to mount a tire. Tried using levers, but the bead just kept slipping.

  • John Cole says:

    Looks like a great tire, One of the best sticky tires I have ever had was the WTB STOUT,still have a couple. Myself and a couple friends stocked up on them when they quit making them. Have to wear my last pair out to try the new Vigilante! JC

  • mattthemuppet says:

    nice write up, thanks. Interesting comparison to the Hans Dampf as well – the one I have on the front works very well, but the HD on the rear is much less impressive and it’s wearing very fast (both Pacestar compound). They also both have multiple pinhole leaks both on the tread and the sidewalls. If these WTB Vigs hold up better and grip rocks well (here’s its rocks on rocks on rocks) then this would be a great replacement for my rear HD, for quite a bit less money too.

  • Chet Bredwell says:

    Is there any tire that isn’t superb on slickrock and rock slab? On slickrock a fully bald tire works fine. On rock slab, perhaps if the slab is wet there would be compromised traction, but generally rock slab is pretty secure.

    If the front end washes out on occasion, it would help to know what were the occasions.

    WTB tires are known for squirmy, flexy shoulder knobs. How were the shoulder knobs on this Vigilante tire?

  • liquidSpin says:

    Seriously, They pretty much ripped off Schwalbe. Look at the treads of the Nobby Nic and compare them to these and you’ll start to see a huge similarity.

  • Stephen says:

    I have been running a 2.3 29er Vigilante and a 2.2 Bronson on my 2013 Cannondale Scalpel with great results,my fav tires as of late….they replaced Maxxis Ardent/Ignitor combo…..I still do not see why people have problems mounting tires tubeless…such an effortless job….I mounted these tubeless with a frame pump,easy as pie….these are still very new to me and still playing around with air pressure so they should be dialed in by next year….I’m going to try them front and rear also,something I rarely do….also bought a WTB Valcon saddle at the same time and love it,it just disappears underneath you…I ride a min. of 2.5 hours to 5 hours on a normal ride and at the end of that I am very fresh,like I only rode for 15 minutes….great products.

  • Adam M says:

    Been running nevegal 2.3 front and IRC Serac 2.1 rear for typical north east rocky, rooty technical trail riding. Pretty happy overall but I’m going tubless when this wears out. Was thinking of trying a combo of WTB 2.3 Bronson and 2.1 Moto but this review has me considering the Vigilantes instead. Thoughts?

    • Roman says:

      The nevgals are pretty similar to the Bontrager XR4’s I was using. The braking and climbing in loose stuff is awesome but you will sacrifice in cornering. It’s okay if you want to slide around corners but if you want to be able to stick a corner and dig in then the vigilante is not your tire.

  • Lush says:

    I agree with the above post comment regarding Nobby Nics to the Vig. Just put my hands on a pair of Vigs, not mounted yet, but the Vigs blocks are burlier than the Nic. I loved my Nics and I’m anxious to see how these compare. Also have a pair of new 2.4 Mountain Kings on my other bike, similar pattern as well. Looks like these enduro tires are gaining popularity.

  • Marc friedman says:

    If you have a Stan’s rim that had a previously mounted tire don’t buy this ! This tire is too tight to ride up onto the outside of the rim. It will not seat. I have now tried for 90 min with a compressor and experience and can so its a no go. I ran into problems not as bad as this with the Bronson but this is way way over the top. This is another example of stuff made in China that looks superficially good but isn’t in reality.

  • Roman says:

    Tried this tire a few weeks ago on loose and loose over hard. It climbs really well and it brakes really well. The one thing I noticed is that it slides out much sooner than the bontrager xr4’s I was using. It is also a very slow tire too. I went back to the XR4’s because I wanted to be able to rally around corners faster than I was able to with the Vigilantes.

  • Aliby says:

    It looks like the treads are backwards when comparing the tread pattern and the direction arrow on the sides.

  • Tony P. says:

    Great tire, constant control, braking, cornering. However, I was smashing through an extremely rough trail today, hit a sharp rock at the bottom of a decent right as the trail started to come back upward causing some G force at the time of impact. Put a 1/4 in. tear in the tire,(was running it tube-less) right on the outside of the center line, in between blocks and flatted out. Sadly the tire was brand new and I was only 2.7mi into my ride, first ride on the tire. Killed this tire in 2.7mi, my fault though. I’m curious to see what this tire can do and will be buying a new one today and choosing a different line next time on that trail lol.

    • HLDIV says:

      Just did the same EXACT thing at downieville this in Sept this year. When I got to the bottom walked to the bike shop and got the same exact tire and went back up and shredded down found a different line… theses tires just slay!!!

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Review: Airborne HobGoblin 29er


The Airborne HobGoblin 29er offers a great value for the budget-minded rider or beginner who is looking for a trail oriented all arounder.

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  • Rob says:

    I work @ LBS in San Antonio. We have one of these routinely in, constantly develops noises…..and shifting is never quite perfect (geometry or linkage)……….pretty bike, but a headache.

  • ginsu says:

    That’s some decent suspension design there! Interesting to see a design with so little Instant Center migration….compared to, say a Ellsworth.

    Looks like she should pedal really solid because the IC is pretty much always on the chainline.

  • Airborne says:

    If the HobGoblin in your bike shop has nagging suspension noise issues, check the bearings to ensure they haven’be been over-torqued and damaged. If that’s the case, we do offer a complete rebuild kit or, being a knowlegable shop, you can order new bearings per the part# on the outside of the bearing. In regards to shifting issues, we run full-sheath cable to the back and provided that it hasn’t been cut too short and isn’t binding, then any shifting issue is probably related to adjustment or a bent RD hanger. There is no geometry or linkage issue that would contribute to that problem. Thanks!~

  • Jerry Hazard says:

    Really – geometry or linkage? Did you check the derailleur hanger? 😉

    (seriously though, sometimes they get bent during shipping)

  • baxter says:

    I always receive the same guff, and worse, from every LBS I go to. No matter what town I’m in. It makes me kind of sad. I’m just in your town dumping money into your shop and local bar. Why the bad vibes? I can’t afford your bike prices. I’ll grab components and gear all day. Isn’t this sport for everyone? Isn’t this sport about having fun? Or have I broken some unwritten law for riding a hobgoblin?

  • bob says:

    pretty sure the shifting has nothing to do with the geo of the bike…. I’m betting on mechanic error…

  • Doc says:

    Note to self: Avoid San Antonio LBS.

  • tanner says:

    hey guys is this worth th emoney

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