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#5 of Top 100 Gear Guru 293 points

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4 5

This bar is lightweight, has good dimensions (740mm), a comfortable bend, a nice finish, and looks great with other Enve bits. I can't necessarily attest to the tuned handling as I don'€™t notice much of a difference compared to my old Easton Haven Carbon handlebar (711mm). Either way it is very comfortable, even on those longer rides than you were planning on taking. My only gripe with this bar is that while the finish looks great, it can get scratched easily if you flip the bike upside down to change a tube or you bite the dust.

Good Width and Comfortable Geometry

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4 5

You could say I’m fond of these shoes. I’m glad 661 brought them back so I could get a third pair. Over the years they really haven’t changed them aside from colors, but why change a relatively good thing? These shoes aren’t the lightest clip in shoes or the most breathable. While previously ridden by the likes of World Cup DH racers like Steve Peat and Gee Atherton as well as others, I've ridden them from XC races to shuttle laps and everything in between without question. They have a unique style with performance to suit the bill. The sole is stiff enough for putting power down efficiently while not too stiff to cause hot spots on long extended rides. They have good grip for times you might have to get off the saddle and an easy way to tuck laces out of harm’s way.

661 Filters

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5 5

I’ve used cheap headsets in the past, and I probably will in the future, on bar bikes. You may believe that all you get with a more expensive headset is more color options. I’m here to tell you that is not the case, at least with the Cane Creek 110. Sure, you can make a cheap headset last awhile by taking it apart and packing the bearings with grease every so often. In fact, I figured I would do my usual bearing service only to be amazed that this guy looked brand new after neglect. I can’t say I’ve had the same case with others. Get this headset if you want utmost quality, less maintenance, or live in a humid place that wreaks havoc on bearings.

Not All Headsets Are Equal!

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5 5

Like others, I’ve been on the Fox bandwagon over the years and was a bit hesitant to try out the Pike. Rockshox wasn’t kidding when they called this fork the Fox Killer. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that nearly every major bike manufacturer is specing this fork on their bikes. The best way I can describe this fork is: Badass. If you sweat the details you’ll be pleased to hear how much adjust-ability is present. From your usual premium adjustments such as low speed compression adjuster and rapid recovery rebound, to air volume adjustments via bottomless tokens and simple travel adjustment, this fork is perfectly at home as a supple, trail tamer for an intermediate rider all the way to aggressive, endurooo! riders pushing the limits of the stiff 35mm stanchions. To clarify, a couple bottomless tokens are included to dial in the progressiveness of the air spring. Also, different length air shafts are available for about $40 to change the travel. In my case, I have mine tailored to 140mm of travel to suit my Santa Cruz 5010. As for trail performance, I was most impressed by the suppleness on trail chatter while still having plenty of platform for larger holes and any hucks you find just off the beaten path. My rides typically include a couple thousand feet of climbing rewarded with an equal vertical plunge, I keep mine completely open at all times since I have zero issues with bobbing on the climb, no brake dive or packing on the descent. This fork will help you push the limits with confidence you haven’t experienced previously.

Fox Killer

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5 5

Like others, I’ve been on the Fox bandwagon over the years and was a bit hesitant to try out the Pike. Rockshox wasn’t kidding when they called this fork the Fox Killer. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that nearly every major bike manufacturer is specing this fork on their bikes. The best way I can describe this fork is: Badass. If you sweat the details you’ll be pleased to hear how much adjust-ability is present. From your usual premium adjustments such as low speed compression adjuster and rapid recovery rebound, to air volume adjustments via bottomless tokens and simple travel adjustment, this fork is perfectly at home as a supple, trail tamer for an intermediate rider all the way to aggressive, endurooo! riders pushing the limits of the stiff 35mm stanchions. To clarify, a couple bottomless tokens are included to dial in the progressiveness of the air spring. Also, different length air shafts are available for about $40 to change the travel. In my case, I have mine tailored to 140mm of travel to suit my Santa Cruz 5010. As for trail performance, I was most impressed by the suppleness on trail chatter while still having plenty of platform for larger holes and any hucks you find just off the beaten path. My rides typically include a couple thousand feet of climbing rewarded with an equal vertical plunge, I keep mine completely open at all times since I have zero issues with bobbing on the climb, no brake dive or packing on the descent. This fork will help you push the limits with confidence you haven’t experienced previously.

Fox Killer

0 Comments

5 5

This direct mount rear derailleur hanger only works with Shimano rear derailleurs, but removes the B link pivot on the RD to make it a bit simpler. This makes for a stiffer setup (read: improved shifting) and moves the derailleur out of the way a bit more to make for easier removal of the rear wheel. Not to mention it cleans up the back of the bike a bit.

PS - It can take a beating and bend back pretty easily. Better than the normal RD hanger in my opinion.

Burly

0 Comments

4 5

This bottle cage from Arundel works well securing my water bottles under the roughest terrain. They aren't as stylish as carbon cages, but are a fraction of the price, are offered in a handful of different colors, and perform just as well. The color is more of a textured composite construction so the color options aren't necessarily as flashy as you'd maybe prefer. I like to stick the Black color as it goes with any bike I stick it on.

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4 5

This product goes down easy and isn't full of sugar or artificial flavor that most other sports drinks are full of. The taste is very subtle while providing nutrients to keep going and going throughout the day. I strongly prefer the Blackberry flavor over the Orange, but that's just my opinion. If either of the flavors don't jive with you, take a look at Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration as it is very similiar, with different all natural flavors.

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5 5

Between using a lot of different drink mixes that I thought were worth the strong taste, after using Skratch I realized what I was missing: Something that works WITH great taste. Allen Lim, the creator of Skratch, designed a product that contains minimal carbs and no protein in it like some of the drinks you've been drinking recently, but you just have to try it. I'm a believer in eating your calories instead of drinking them, especially after reading through some of Dr. Lim's books. You'll find this drink to be light on taste and not overpowering. It's something you can drink all day long if you prefer which I can't say the same for other sports drinks. You can't go wrong with any of the flavors. Lime and Raspberry are my go to's, and mixing them 50/50 makes for a secret mix that Dr. Lim claims is 50% faster than you.

0 Comments

5 5

I've had my Kuat NV Core rack for a little over a year now and have been super pleased with how much easier it has made transporting my bike not only the trailhead, but everywhere else in between. The design is tried and true, super fast, and will work with whatever wheel size religion you belong to.

The NV Core, much like it's bigger brother the NV, boosts wide, long trays to fit kids bikes all the way to DH bikes with a long wheelbase. They look very similar, but there are some distinct differences between them. The Core is a lighter weight design based on the spacing between the trays and the lack of repair stand. I haven't weighed mine specifically, but I would say it is near 40 lbs and noticeable lighter than the NV (WAY lighter than a Thule T2). More on the spacing, it is 10.5" compared to 13" on the NV, I seldom run into handlebars hitting saddles on mountain bikes, but it can happen. I'm the type of person to remove the rack if I'm not going to be using it each day so I would rather have lighter weight that have to adjust a saddle height once in a great while. Next, the NV Core come equipped to work with either 1.25" or 2" receivers which is really nice in case you sometimes use different vehicles (or in my case, sell your SUV). Removing slop in the receiver is done via a threaded pin whereas the NV utilizes a tool-free adjustable cam. This rack offers extremely quick on/off's for the bikes which makes it super easy to get to the trailhead in a jif and home for dinner in time. I would highly recommend this rack to anyone looking for simple, no frills bike rack that is made to last for years to come.

Side note: I did add locks to mine for additional security. They can be purchased through Kuat directly for $39 (Pin & Cables). They slide into the rack so they are always there when you need them and make it simple if you have to stop for groceries on the way home from a ride and want some extra piece of mind.

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