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#90 of Top 100 Gear Guru 8 points

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5 5

It's light, long, low, and slack. Handling is very close to the SB-75 (and the SB-95, for that matter), but the steering is a touch more relaxed. As for Switch Infinity, the ride is similar to the Switch Link-equipped SB's, but the SB5 is noticeably smoother when the shuttle changes direction (compressing past the sag point). Basically, it's the same formula as the other trail-oriented SuperBikes, just a bit more potent.

TL:DR; it's awesome-- seriously, what did you expect?

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You’d have to live under a rock to be unaware of the wheel size debate that’s currently gripping mountain biking. Since you’re reading this, you probably don’t live under a rock, unless said rock has Wi-Fi. And while we’ve all heard countless arguments favoring each size, what’s certain is that the classic 26-inch wheel size is quickly losing ground, which means that most everyone who’s looking for a new ride is choosing between a 27.5- or 29-inch bike. Your choice will largely depend on your priorities, as each size offers distinct advantages. Let’s dig through them. Bottom Bracket Drop Claims of increased [...]

27.5 VS 29: Determining Which Wheel Size is Best for You

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5 5

The Bronson isn't for everyone. Designed for the Syndicate's Enduro World Series campaign, it's built to as a precision tool for riding as fast as possible in challenging terrain. It's more composed at speed than the shorter travel 5010, but it lacks the trail-erasing feel of the Nomad. Instead, there's sufficient feedback to feel your tires gripping, and it takes the work out of boosting trail features. It's fast and responsive, and handles best when ridden with conviction. Of all the bikes I rode in 2013, the Bronson is my favorite, with its closest competition being Yeti's stellar SB66c. Many (most?) riders will be better served by the more conservative 5010, but if you climb fast so you can race back down, the Bronson is a cool, calculated trail killer with very few equals.

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5 5

The 5010 has quickly become a staff favorite, and for a very good reason-- it rips. Up or down, through turns or over doubles, it responds instinctively to rider input, while maintaining composure beyond what you'd expect from a five-inch trail bike. My only gripe is that when pushed to the limit, a 5010 can overwhelm the flexy 32mm forks they're typically built with. Gravity fiends will prefer the Bronson for its longer wheelbase and extra travel, but the 5010 is a bike that any mountain biker will feel at home on, with little or no adjustment period.

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A pokey spoke is the litmus test. Like playing in traffic, or eating at a restaurant run by a skinny chef, it’s a bad idea to let anyone who’s unfamiliar with this most ubiquitous of shop tools fix your bike. No exceptions. Ever. The “mechanic” in question might try to overwhelm you with technical vocabulary, or distract you with stories of decades past, but if they’ve never ground an old spoke to a fine point, they’re an imposter, and they’re not to be trusted. At a glance, it looks like a poor-man’s dental pick. Lying on a shop bench, it’s [...]

Ode to the Pokey Spoke: The Sign of the True Bike Mechanic

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Above Photo By: Tommy Chandler Road riding isn’t the most welcoming discipline in cycling. Between snooty shops, a cultural fascination with ghastly-expensive bikes, and the endless judgment at the hands of those more experienced, it’s a wonder that anyone hops on a road bike at all. As a lifelong mountain biker, it’s easy to dismiss roadies as Euro-obsessed snobs and fitness geeks. At the same time, early-season trail rides have made it immediately clear who has logged thousands of road miles over the winter. And as we’ve all experienced, at one point or another, few things are worse than getting [...]

Nothing Good Comes Easy: How I Learned to Love the Road Bike

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