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5 5

This is a great kit to get you switched over to tubeless like most people are running these days. The benefits were noticeable to me the first ride after dropping down to 30psi from 35... it smoothed out my ride over rocks and roots, and improved traction in turns.
Installation was really painless... I omitted drilling out my rims, since the rim strips seemed to fit pretty flush already. I did supplement this kit with the Stan's Injector, which saves the hassle of trying to pour the fluid into your tire, then not spilling while you reseat the tire. A high volume floor pump was adequate for getting a bead for me.
As the other reviewer mentioned, I also have had a harder time with a Kenda tire. My front tire is some Specialized S-Works that holds steady pressure, but the rear is a Kenda Small Block, which bleeds off about 10 psi over the course of a week. Kenda apparently doesn't support tubeless fluids, so perhaps there is some sort of issue with their rubber & the fluid.

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5 5

I snagged this fancy floor pump to throw in my truck and top off tires before I ride, based on excellent reviews on other Lezyne models. It did not disappoint!
This is a "high volume" version, optimized for MTB tires. They aren't joking that it puts out a lot of air in a hurry... I was able to install Stan's tubeless system on my wheels with this pump rather than an air compressor.
Unlike the other reviewer, I've had no problems removing the valve core, but then again I always remember to use the bleed button before unscrewing the chuck. But there's really no need to use the threaded chuck if you've got a Presta valve since the speed chuck works fine and saves the hassle of screwing the chuck on... just press it on, pump up, bleed the hose, pop it off. I think the other reviewer must be missing an O-ring for his speed chuck if it falls off, or have an odd sized valve.
Bottom line is this pump feels well built, looks great, and puts out a lot of air in a hurry.

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3 5

I picked this up since it looked like it would make going tubeless a lot easier. I was disappointed to find that it does not include a "Schrader valve core remover" as the product description states. The nozzle tip is actually black plastic, not brass. Oh well, an adjustable crescent wrench worked fine for getting the cores out.
The injector itself worked fine the first 2 times I used it, but the third time I had some of the latex in the Stan's fluid clog the valve stem, causing backpressure on the injector resulting in the injector hose popping off and spraying me with Stan's.
Anyways, it's worth getting rather than pouring into the tire directly, but not foolproof and not exactly as advertised.

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2 5

I picked up this jersey for weeks when I ride more often than I do laundry. ;) On paper (or the screen I guess), it looked like it checked all the boxes: breathable, not too garish, glasses wipe, drop tail, and a good neck design. Unfortunately, after my first ride, I noticed the fabric is snagged all over (chest, sleeves. I'm not sure what from, since I didn't crash and it was more or less just an XC ride. I was pretty disappointed as I've worn my TLD Skyline jersey a good dozen times, subjecting it to worse abuse, and it looks as good as when I bought it. Luckily, Backcountry has an awesome return policy.

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5 5

Like other reviews here, I started with Gu's and Clif's gels. I was turned off by Gu's use of fructose, Clif's funky aftertaste in any gels with caffeine in them, and the thicker consistency of both. I love the more syrup-y consistency of the Hammer gels, the lack of nasty aftertaste, and the flavors taste more like real fruit. I've tried the apple cinnamon, huckleberry, raspberry, and vanilla, and loved all but the vanilla. The apple cinnamon tastes like pie. :) The vanilla is OK - sort of like cake frosting, but I wouldn't buy a whole box of it, unless you really love frosting.

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5 5

I'm all for slamming gels while biking or skiing, but after an hour and a half or so my stomach starts to feel really empty. I haven't been a huge fan of other bars while working hard because they're so hard to get down, and feel like so much at the time. The Fuel bar has none of those problems: it's fairly soft, but slightly chewy with just enough texture so it's easy to eat while your heart's thumping but not disgusting, it's not too much (2-3 bites), and tastes delicious (I have the cran-raspberry).

Only con is that the price/oz is probably higher than other products, but on the other hand, I know I'll never be tossing any away because I avoided eating them long enough that they expired.

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5 5

As I already tried and loved the Injinji CoolMax Mini-Crews, I decided to try a pair of the new Run 2.0 ones in "No-Show" height after I lost one of my originals in the wash. I've been pleasantly surprised that these newer ones seem to breath a bit better than my older ones, either due to slightly different fabric or the lower ankle (I'm not sure). The kind of puffy back tab on the ankle does a great job stopping the sock from slipping down in your shoe. My only complaints are that they're already starting to slightly pill around the toes (where I rub most) after a half dozen washes, and they definitely get funky after a single use (as opposed to wool socks). That said, I'll be buying more of them, and would heartily recommend them to anyone having issues with blisters from running.

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5 5

I've been experimenting with different gloves as I get into mountain biking, and this was the first pair I tried. I've also tried the POC Index DH and the Fox Reflex Gel (both of which I liked less).

What I like:
*they have the most padding around the outside wrist area of any glove I've found. This is important to me, as I find myself catching my falls there. I've had one over the handlebars crash onto concrete due to me being an idiot, and while I severely bruised my wrists, I'm convinced I would have broken my right wrist if I wasn't wearing these gloves.
*they breath better than you'd expect - the sides of the fingers are a very thin open nylon mesh that vents really well, while keeping a durable palm and back.
*wrist closure is adjustable from both sides (the thick outer piece is one big velcro patch), ensuring a good snug fit

What I don't like:
*no lighter color option
*I melted the touchscreen rubber on the index finger on my brake rotor
*it'd be nice if there was a sweat wipe on the outside of the thumb

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2 5

I've been experimenting with different gloves as I get into mountain biking, and this was the first pair I tried. I've also tried the Fox Reflex Gel and the Giro Remedy X (both of whichwhich I liked more).

What I like:
*they fit true to size
*they feel pretty durable
*wrist is non-intrusive

What I don't like:
*the gel padding is so minimal it may as well not be there. The areas covered are tiny, and the amount of gel (even if VPD) is so small it doesn't feel like it would do anything in a crash
*the material is thick and doesn't breath well
*only available in black
*cost about twice as much as other decent options

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3 5

I've been experimenting with different gloves as I get into mountain biking, and this was the first pair I tried. I've also tried the POC Index DH (which I liked less) and the Giro Remedy X (which I liked more).

What I like:
*they breath extremely well
*good selection of colors
*wrist is non-intrusive

What I don't like:
*the gel across the palm doesn't really do any good
*the gel across the base of the hand is better than nothing, but doesn't go far enough around the outside and down to the wrist to provide serious impact protection. I had one good crash on a hairpin and bruised my hand pretty hard through the gel.
*the dotted texture on the fingertips comes off easily, and doesn't work on smartphone screens.
*initially the fit was quite true to size, but they seem to have stretched out to be just a hair looser than I'd like.

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4 5

I picked this helmet up as my first mountain biking helmet, and have ridden with it several times.

What I like:
*white color option helps a bit with the heat
*size XL fits my enormous head well
*the big vents let in a good amount of breeze when I'm downhilling
*it seems to have good overall coverage

What I don't like:
*the side straps tend to shift position easily if you take the helmet off hang hang it by them
*the only thing securing the chin strap tightener is a rubber band
*the brow pads don't do a very good job of keeping sweat out of my eyes (it's been a hot summer!)

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2 5

I picked these up for a daily wear and occasional park run shoe, and returned them immediately. I just didn't like how cheap the construction felt. Most of the sole was foam, and felt like it would wear extremely fast. The shoe outer had tones of thin plastic detailing, which also felt cheap and like it would peel off quickly. I have no idea whether it actually would - but they just didn't feel like the same quality of other shoes in this category.
On the positive side, they did seem true to size, and were very lightweight.

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2 5

I picked these up for casual wear and occasional runs in the park, and returned them because they were so uncomfortable. I have pretty flat feet, which results in a wide midfoot. The plastic trim on the outside of these shoes really was uncomfortable, pressing into the outside edge of my foot. The forefoot sole felt really harsh when running on asphalt & hard packed trails with a forefoot strike. Finally, the low drop put a lot of strain on my achillles when just walking in them. The lacing system seems cool in concept, but ends up being kind of fiddly. For a no-knot system, I prefer just using elastic Lock Laces. I replaced these shoes with a pair of Brooks Ghost 6s. About the only thing I really liked was the color.

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