Review: BAMF Shit Kicker 29er

29er Cross Country

The BAMF showing off its bling on the Truckee River in Verdi, NV.

We were sent BAMF’s top-of-the-line carbon fiber hardtail 29er, the Shit Kicker. Where was this bike when I was 16 years old? My parents would have blown a gasket if I bought a bike called the Shit Kicker. Unfortunately, there’s no place on the bike that actually says Shit Kicker. C’mon BAMF, if you’re gonna go “balls deep” as you say, get both of them hairy bastards fully up in there and put the name on the bike.

For more details on how the Shit Kicker arrived and my initial impressions, read the Just In article.

There’s no debate, the Shit Kicker is a looker. The 1,300 gram carbon fiber frame sports a slick 6K tow weave pattern in gloss finish, gold anodized rims, hubs, seat collar and grips, a custom “Up Yours” saddle and all black components definitely help the Shit Kicker live up to the hype. If you consider yourself the Chuck Norris of hipsters, but want to kick some shit on a mountain bike, the Shit Kicker is your sled.

BAMF did a great job with design, both in the carbon fiber pattern and tube shaping, and the Rock Shox SID RL helps make the Shit Kicker an amazing value.

For a mere $1,999, the Shit Kicker also kicks the shit out of the competition when it comes to bang for the buck. Outfitted with a RockShox SID RL, Avid Elixir 3 disc brakes, WTB Nano-Raptor 2.1 tires, SRAM X9 shifters and rear derailleur and a SRAM 39/26 10-speed crankset, right out of the box the Shit Kicker is ready for racing duties. Without pedals, the bike weighs a reasonable 24.8 pounds. Although the gold anodized Alex rims and Gold Digger hubs are cool looking, they’re heavy. Get a lightweight set of wheels with tubeless tires on this bike and you’ll easily drop two pounds.

The Shit Kicker comes in four frame sizes: 16”, 18”, 20” and 22”. I’m 6’ tall and was sent a 20” frame that fit pretty well. However, I nearly maxed out the short 350mm seatpost when setting saddle height. Giantnerd has sized more than 15,000 customers with 99 percent success and offers a fit guarantee along with a 365-day return policy, which is reassuring for those new to buying online.

So how does it ride? Surprisingly well. BAMF dialed in the geometry to make sure head tube lengths were reasonably short to keep the front end lower for better stability and handling. Although this bike was hampered by carbon fiber Truvativ Noir handlebars that were far too narrow at 600mm and heavy wheels with inner tubes, the Shit Kicker climbed with reasonable authority and descended exceptionally smooth for not having a tubeless tire setup. The BAMF cornered and tracked with precision thanks to its tapered head tube design and the low-slung geometry helped make getting behind the saddle on steep drops no problem.

In technical sections, the BAMF struggled mainly because the narrow bars didn’t provide enough leverage to navigate the heavy 29-inch front wheel. I guess maybe for the Chuck Norris of hipsters a 600 mm wide bar is plenty wide, but for the rest of us who demand stability and handling in a 29er, the bars have to be wider.

Plenty of room on the chainstays for mud or for even running a 2.4 tire.

Rear tire clearance on the Shit Kicker is generous. Tastefully curved seatstays and chainstays that contour perfectly towards the bottom bracket shell maximize mud clearance. Even the WTB Nano-Raptor 2.1 tires that come standard hardly filled in the rear triangle. Depending on the tire brand, you could probably get away with running a 2.4. Props also goes to BAMF for making the Shit Kicker with a traditional, 68mm English thread bottom bracket shell. No stupid and annoying press-fit garbage on the BAMF.

Giantnerd sent us the Shit Kicker with the Genius Build, a $79.95 option where a qualified mechanic assembles 99 percent of the bike. It comes in a Giantnerd-patented AirCaddy box ($100 value); a slick, high-quality triangular cardboard box with a metal fork mount that can be used for travel. Once out of the box, all you need to do is put on the bars, seatpost and front wheel. Over a week of riding, the shifting and braking were perfect. I didn’t have to make any adjustments. For those of you who would rather have the bike ready to go out of the box, the Genius Build is definitely worth a little extra scratch, plus you get a cool travel box as a bonus.

The cool 6Ktow carbon fiber pattern is set off by the sunlight.

In the end, the Shit Kicker rode like a bike from a big house-name brand costing almost twice as much with similar components, wheels and suspension fork. Or maybe it’s just that bikes costing twice as much only ride like they’re worth $1,999 and the extra money we spend goes to bankrolling big-dollar marketing campaigns?

Either way, never mind your opinions of their brash marketing approach, BAMF has absolutely kicked the shit out of everyone in the value department. The Shit Kicker is the best performance value bike I’ve ridden in years. Put a wider set of bars on this bike and a lightweight set of wheels with tubeless tires and you’ve got a bona fide 23-pound race rig that will turn heads wherever it goes. Add in the solid customer service reputation of Giantnerd, and you’ve got an online retailer who will make sure you get a quality bike that fits right.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go do some blow, get a tattoo and hit a strip club so I can consider myself worthy of riding this BAMF.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Kurt Gensheimer

Kurt Gensheimer thinks the bicycle is man’s most perfect invention. He firmly believes ‘singlespeed’ is a compound word. He sometimes wears a disco ball helmet. He is also known as Genshammer. He is a Gemini and sleeps outside in a hammock.

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  • bob becker says:

    Not a customer since I don’t fit their customer profile. However, by the time you add wheels, handlebar and the “pro-build”, you’re at $2700. A Price Point carbon frame (especially one purchased during one of their many sales) and careful component selection could easily match the SK.

  • John W says:

    Hey GW, you recently posted a review on the Bailey 29er. Curious how you would evaluate these two bikes in a shootout…

  • Mark says:

    600 mm bars? That alone suggests these guys don’t ride enough to design bikes.

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