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After cracking my '01 Bullit frame last fall, I warrantied it, and got a new large Bullit frame. Santa Cruz was pretty easy to work with, and within a couple days, I had a frame on my doorstep. My new bike required a few new parts as Santa Cruz had made some improvements over the years (i.e. larger headtube, gussets, ISCG 05 tabs, etc.). After building it up, its even better than I imagined. I use it for everything from dirt jumps, to XC, to shuttling wicked downhill laps. I recommend having three rings up front as it truly makes this bike an AM bike, even with a Marzocchi 888 fork. The geometry and suspension allows it to do just about whatever you want. With the components I have on it, it weighs just under 42 lbs., which you certainly feel pedaling up, but going down, its the bee's knees!
I'm an amateur mechanic and picked this book up to supplement my knowledge. Although I haven't gone through all of it, it seems well-written and straightforward. There are more than a few things I've learned from other mechanics that are not in this book, but seem like they should be. The book covers a lot of popular brands but has left out many others. All in all, a good book for novices with any level of experience and any kind of bike.
These protective under shorts are bomber! haha Couldn't resist... But in reality they are really comfortable, and nearly unnoticable when riding. A minimalist design keeps them from looking like you have a bunch of soccer shin guards tucked in your underwear, yet they still have plenty of padding in all the right places. I have only had these for a month or so and have taken a few good spills, but they let me bounce back up and continue down the trail. Great shorts, buy 'em!
Scott Pendleton hit right on the money with this stand. Its solid, holds any kind of bike at any angle, and in any conditions. It packs down relatively small compared to many other bike stands, which makes it ideal for traveling. It does not have the lever clamp mechanism which is my personal favorite, but the screw mechanism works just as well as long as you tighten it down. All in all, a great stand for the price!