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I have had a couple other pairs of Salomons (The XA mids and XA low) and these run a good half size bigger. I thought some thicker socks would make up the difference, but it's too much, they are noticeably bigger for some reason. Bummed cuz I have a couple runs in them already, so I am outta luck!
Traction wise they are fantastic in anything wet, snow or mud. I would go with something else for bone dry trails though.
Arrived fully built and rideable. The rear derailleur was not shifting great right away, but livable for a couple short rides. Cables stretched significantly on one hard ride, but that is to be expected. I ended up re-setting up the rear derailleur completely when taking up the cable slack with barrel adjusters didn't do the job. The bike has barrel adjusters directly in the cable housing near the handlebars which come in very handy when fine tuning brakes and derailleurs.
The bike rides MUCH smoother than my all aluminum cross bike. There has been no noticeable brake shudder for me so far. I would definitely recommend it, especially with this spec, at this price.