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Dan Be

Dan Be

Alta, Moab, Utah

Dan Be's Bio

Spend most my time skiing, hiking, climbing, biking or just about anything outside.

Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on May 10, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I picked up a set of e*thirteen tires and have been loving them. I am running the TRS Plus in the rear and have the ultra tacky TRS Race in the front. The combination of the longer wearing TRS Plus in the rear and sticky-icky TRS Race up front is ideal for someone who wants to get decent life out of their tires but doesn't want to sacrifice grip to do so.

For some context I have ridden a ton of different tires over the years from Schwalbe, Continental, Michelin, Kenda, Vittoria, and Maxxis. When it comes to spending my hard-earned money on tires I typically go to Maxxis. I believe they have figured out the best combination of grip, weight, and rolling resistance. My go to set up is a Maxxis DHF up front and DHR II in the rear which is ideal for the loose-over-hard conditions typical in Utah. e*thirteen has brought to market an excellent rival to the Maxxis DHF/DHR II combination. In fact, I tend to think the TRS Race/TRS Plus combo offers more grip than the equivalent Maxxis combination. The over-sized side lugs offer excellent cornering grip in all conditions I have encountered. The Apex casing is super durable and I haven't had any issues with flats. I would have given these tires 5 stars if they rolled better. They roll well for a super aggressive tire but compared to a DHF/DHR II combo they are noticeably slower rolling.

If you're always looking for the next greatest tire combination, and you like aggressive tires, I highly recommend the TRS Plus/TRS Race combination.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on April 2, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For the last two years I have been riding X01 Eagle on my bikes. As much as I love X01 Eagle I appreciate saving money. When SRAM announced they would be releasing GX Eagle I was very excited. GX Eagle is the perfect balance of performance and price. This shifter is smooth, direct, and compared to its siblings only weighs a few grams more. I highly recommend this shifter.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on April 2, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Renthal has brought their knowledge and design expertise from their legendary motorcycle components to the mountain bike industry. The few mountain bike components that Renthal manufactures have proven to be among the best on offer. This handlebar is stiff yet compliant. The gold ano looks awesome and provides a super durable finish that will last for years. I highly recommend this handlebar.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on April 2, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Throughout the year I have the privilege of riding a lot of different bikes. I have ridden bikes equipped with Shimano SLX, XT, XTR as well as bikes fitted with SRAM GX, X01, and XX1 Eagle. Though all of these drivetrains are awesome GX Eagle stands out as the working man's hero. Compared to X01 and XX1 Eagle, GX Eagle offers nearly as refined of a shift feel. GX Eagle does have a slight weight penalty compared to its more expensive siblings but you save a ton of money compared to those more premium offerings. Bang for your buck I believe GX Eagle is the best drivetrain on the market. I highly recommend this rear derailleur if you want smooth shifting and a huge range.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on December 7, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This light is awesome. It is lightweight and pretty compact. I find it charges quickly and holds a charge for the entire time I'm on the trail. I use this as a helmet light and pair it with another light on my handlebar. This makes for the ideal combination for riding singletrack at night. I think this is the best light for the money.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on October 23, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Don't be the one stranded on the side of the trail because a bolt on your bike has come loose. Grab one of these tools and you'll have everything you need to get you out of a pinch. With 2/3/4/5/6/8mm allen keys, a chain tool, spoke wrench, and T25 this tool offers everything you need for trail-side repairs.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on October 20, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Enve offers some of the best carbon products in the cycling industry. This bar is no exception. It is lightweight, stiff, and still compliant. This bar has enough flex which helps to reduce fatigue on long rough descents. The rise and sweep are perfect and help to create a responsive steering feel. At 760mm wide these are ideal for anyone riding singletrack, or racing enduro. Get one and you'll not regret it.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on October 20, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

You've been riding your new Yeti for the last few months and loving every minuted of it. Chances are you already have a jersey and shorts from Yeti and are looking to represent when not on the bike. This hoodie is the perfect addition to your wardrobe, and allows you to rep your favorite bike brand when out on the town. The French Terry material is very soft and cozy.

This made a great gift.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on October 17, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked these up so I would have something to wear on those cool Spring and Fall days when there is a chance of rain. The TruSeal material is great! Water beads and runs off the shorts while you ride. The zippered pockets are nice and are large enough to hold more than just a key or phone.

I am usually a 34-36 in riding shorts and with Fox I always size up to the 36. These fit me well in a 36. These are some of the longer shorts I own which makes them ideal for riding in damp cool weather. Overall I am very satisfied with these shorts and I would recommend them to anyone who rides in the rain.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on August 24, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Being able to ride nearly all the bikes we stock I can be very selective when choosing the bike I purchase. The Bronson has been my choice the last two years. This isn't by coincidence either, this bike does everything well.

Most of the riding I do is in Utah, but I venture to Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, and throughout the western states. Most of the riding I do consists of climbing around 1,500'-3,000' before descending. Because of this I need a bike that pedals efficiently, and the newest generation of VPP3 does exactly that. Traction is consistent when climbing and even better when descending. When riding rocky or technical sections of trail this bike shines. It has plenty of suspension to devour all but the roughest tracks, but still feels likely and playful. The supple rear end maintains traction over brake bumps and in loose scree or moon dust. Honestly, I haven't found a trail condition this bike doesn't handle with ease.

When comparing this bike to others that are similar to it, I found the Bronson to simply be more fun. It wants to pop off every feature in the trail, and loves pumping over rollers to gain more speed. This bike brings a smile to my face every time I ride it. Ultimately, this is why I chose this bike over the Santa Cruz Hightower LT, Yeti SB6 or SB5.5, Pivot Mach 5.5, and Ibis Mojo HD4.

The spec on this build is hard to beat. X01 Eagle is hands down the smoothest shifting, and best performing groupset on the market. Paired with a Rockshox Reverb Stealth with 1x lever, Sram Guide RSC brakes, and Santa Cruz carbon handlebar, this bike is spec'd with the best money can buy. On top of that, Santa Cruz now offers their own line of Reserve wheels. Typically, I am a fan of a good aluminum wheel as most carbon wheels are just too stiff. That's not the case here. The Reserve wheels have just enough compliance built into them while still being stiff and lightweight. Had I not ridden the Hightower LT with the Reserve wheels before buying this bike I likely would have chosen the alloy wheels. After riding the Reserve wheels, and knowing how well they track through rough sections of trail, I couldn't pass up the option to spec the Bronson with a pair.

You can call me a Santa Cruz fanboy, and admittedly I am. But smiles per mile are what I care about most, and I haven't found a bike we carry that offers more smiles per mile than the Bronson. If fun is what you value most the Bronson is worth a good hard look.

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on July 5, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When the Santa Cruz Hightower first stormed onto the market there weren’t many bikes as capable as it. Offering the capability of 29” or 27.5” plus wheels riders could choose the configuration that was best suited to their local trail. With 135mm of VPP travel, the Hightower was ready for just about any trail you might encounter. But for a few riders, the versatility and capability of the Hightower wasn’t enough.

Rumors spread that the Santa Cruz Factory Enduro riders were racing atop a customized Hightower. People speculated that the Hightower they were riding was fitted with custom VPP links, allowing for more travel. It seems those rumors were true. Santa Cruz now offers a Hightower LT, which promises to be the fastest and most capable 29er in their lineup.

So what’s changed, and how does the bike ride? First off, the Hightower LT is fitted with 150mm of travel front and rear, ensuring it’s capable enough for any trail you may encounter. The head tube angle has been slackened causing the bike to be more stable at higher speeds. The rear shock tuning has been updated, and now enables the LT to rider higher in its travel. This means the LT’s suspension is suppler off the top end and offers impressive small bump compliance.

I was lucky enough to ride the Hightower LT before it launched. When pedaling, I noticed it was eager to climb and it carried speed well through the flatter sections of trail. Wanting to give the LT a full test, I rode it down a downhill trail in Park City. This bike navigated the steep, loose, and rough sections of trail with ease, and the Fox suspension soaked up all trail chatter. Large brake bumps, roots, rocks, and ruts couldn’t upset it. The bike was happy at high speeds, and it stayed composed over rough sections of trail. The bottom bracket height has increased 1mm reducing pedal strikes. I noticed I sat slightly higher up on the Hightower LT when compared to the Hightower, but cornering wasn’t negatively affected.

The XX1 Reserve build is the cream of the crop. Truly, this bike is fitted with the best money can buy. XX1 Eagle components are light weight, durable, and the shift quality is second to none. Rolling on Santa Cruz’s new Reserve Carbon Wheels the bike feels nimble and spritely. I found the wheels were the perfect combination of stiff, light weight, and compliant. These new wheels are promising, and if they hold up like Santa Cruz’s carbon frames then durability won’t be a concern.

After riding this bike I’ve concluded it’s the ideal weapon for a privateer endure racer; someone who is looking for a stable, quick, durable, and easy to maintain bike. With free bearing replacement for life and a lifetime warranty, this bike is perfect for someone who loves to ride fast and go big.

Positives:

Pedals well for a long travel bike

Fox suspension is buttery smooth

XX1 Eagle Components and Reserve Carbon Wheels

Handles rough trails with ease

Fast and light weight

Lifetime warranty and free bearing replacement for life

Cons:

It’s a lot of coin, but there are several more budget friendly options

Have questions about the LT? Contact me directly.

dbennett@backcountry.com or call 801-736-6396 ext 4999

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Dan Be

Dan Bewrote a review of on June 26, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'll start this review admitting that I don't own this bike. I ride a Santa Cruz Bronson, but I've ridden the 5010 a lot. Here is what I've noticed from my time on the 5010.

This is the most playful bike I have ridden from Santa Cruz. It begs the rider to pop off obstacles that litter the trail. The 130mm of VPP travel smooths out trail chatter, but still retains a firm pedaling platform. In fact, I compared times I recorded aboard a Hightower and the 5010 for the same trail, and though the Hightower was quicker up most climbs, the 5010 was actually quickest up punchy climbs. Where this bike shines though is on the way down. Rocking the lowest bottom bracket height in Santa Cruz's lineup, this bike corners better than any bike I've ridden. I found myself pushing through corners and launching out the other side with immense speed. I found myself pumping every feature on the trail, and popping off anything that resembled a jump. This bike feels like a pump track bike.

The trails here in Utah offer a variety of trail conditions from loose, rocky descents, to climbs littered with roots. The 5010 is an ideal bike for the trail conditions here in Utah. After riding this bike, I feel like my Bronson it too much bike for 95% off the trails I ride.

Positives:
Low weight
Efficient pedaling platform
Stiff CC frame
Playful attitude
Sram X01 Eagle drivetrain

Negatives:
More pedal strikes due to a lower bottom bracket height

If you have any questions about this bike, or any Santa Cruz model please shoot me an email. I've ridden most of them, and chances are I have ridden the bike you're looking at.

Email: dbennett@backcountry.com
Phone: 801-736-6396 ext. 4999

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