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Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee

Salt Lake City, Utah

Ryan Lee's Passions

Mountain Biking

Ryan Lee's Bio

Send it ferda boyz.

I'm a relatively new rider, I started pedaling seriously about 3 years ago but haven't looked back. Started out with riding dirt and have been in love ever since. Learning to ride around the Northern Utah single track spoiled me a bit.

I've also spent a fair amount of time riding 29 minus bikes including gravel grinding, long endurance road rides, and road climbs.

Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on October 8, 2019

Identity crisis
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

As a young child, I often found myself looking towards the stars in wonderment. The vast night sky held an eternal captivation; who knew what would lay beyond the gravitational bounds of our safe planet? What worlds lay in the final frontier that was space? I knew deep in my heart that there was no greater role for me to fill but to be a space cadet.

Around the same time in my youth, I also was given a bright red, thick winter coat. Although my mothers sole intention for this coat was merely to shield me from the cold Idaho winters, its utility went far beyond that. Many a time, I would don that jacket and a whole new world as a firefighter would materialize in my head.

As I grew older, I realized that I could not be both an astronaut and a fireman. My young mind wasn't capable of formulating a roll such as a space-faring fireman yet. Who was I to understand the need for someone to extinguish fire on various spacecraft, space-stations, and other space-structures. So there I was, a young lad caught in his first identity crisis.

Segway to the new trend of gravel bikes and I am caught once again in an identity crisis. Albeit, at a much older age. Is this bike a road bike? Is it a rigid mountain bike? Thankfully, my mature, developed brain is now capable of understanding that there can exist both. As "Only a Sith Deals in Absolutes" (Obi Wan Kenobi. Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) I am more than content understanding that this bike is more than comfortable on a variety of horizontal and diagonal surfaces including asphalt, gravel, and single track.

At my height of 5' 9", I sized out a 56cm frame and was on my way. Immediately, I was impressed with how I could not differentiate the feeling of this on the pavement compared to my race-bred road-specific bike. Then I hit my first gravel road and was amazed by how well the 700x40 tires ate up the gravel. On the 90% of the single-track this bike held its own well with my contemporary equipped with a XC full-suspension mountain bicycle. The only thing holding it back being my lack of experience riding tall, skinny bike on trail. This bike is truly a do-it-all rocket ship.

I still have a very short list of minor grievances. Perhaps the largest being the sub-compact 50/34 sub-compact crankset which left me walking up what was perhaps the steepest grade I have ever seen. Granted it was a mine access road built by and for Caterpillar D9T bulldozers. It is a great crankset for the road, but may be for the birds when it comes to adventure rides.

Secondly, although this felt great on 90% of the trails I rode, the other 10% did leave me desiring a 650b x 2.1 tire, if only to leave my rear-end and hands slightly more intact at the end of our adventure ride.

Lastly, the internal dropper-routing that is available on the newer models is a very much welcome addition.

Overall, I would say this bike is pretty swell.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on October 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Long gone are the days where there was a clear divide between the dual-crown downhill bikes of yesteryear and the efficient trail-bikes of the modern age. The Yeti SB150 truly is one capable machine. Yeti has once again proven their worth when it comes to building race-ready frames. The Turq carbon on this ensure a strong, stiff frame while still being insanely light. Combine that light weight with Yeti's famous Switch-Infinity suspension platform and than the X01 Eagle drivetrain and you have yourself a real mountain goat on your hands.

But wait. There's more.

With the Fox Factory 36 packing 170mm of travel up front, and a slack 64.5 degree headtube angle and 29inch wheels, this thing will turn you into a hometown here. Rock smash, root smash, house smash, car smash, mountain smash, this does it all. This bike is nothing short of confidence inspiring on the downhills.

This bike does take some getting used to though, it really thrives when you are not timid. It's most comfortable at above Mach speeds. After a few rides of being shy, I really learned to trust this bike for what it was made for and I have zero regrets.

It's no wonder Richie Rude wins everything he races, he scares trails into submission with this machine.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on July 8, 2019

Swiss army knife of bikes
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Due of Switzerland's long history of neutrality, the Swiss Armed Forces do not take part in conflicts in other countries. All things considered though, the Swiss Armed Forces have become synonymous with producing a tool which can be made useful in all situations. Hence, if the Santa Cruz 5010 were to be a tool, it would be a Swiss Army Knife, complete with scissors, pliers, hoof cleaner, and cork-screw.

All comparisons to multi-tools aside, this bike really feels at home on all variety of trails. The updated VPP provides for a stable, mountain-goat-like uphill performance. The 32-tooth chainring combined with 10-50t Eagle cassette makes this machine fly up hills without having to even break a sweat.
Spec'd with SRAM X01, the shifting is a dream. Carbon X1 cranks are easy to spin up while also being sturdy enough that I don't need to think twice about them coming through a rock garden. The adjustability of the X01 shifter meant I could get the position exactly where I wanted it. Combined with the clean, but easily customizable cockpit afforded by SRAM, the Guide RSC brakes gave me plenty of confidence on the descents.

On the descents, the newly-updated long, slack chassis makes this bike feel much bigger than it actually is! I found it incredibly easy to forget that I was on a 130mm travel bike, instead I found myself charging through rock-gardens, over roots, and sending drops with ease. Even more so, this bike is incredibly playful. A day at the bike-park found me spending more time giggling in the air than anything.

Spec'd with SRAM X01, the shifting is a dream. Carbon X1 cranks are easy to spin up while also being sturdy enough that I don't need to think twice about them coming through a rock garden.

What really makes this build stand apart is the Carbon Reserve wheels. with a whopping 37mm internal width and arguably the best carbon hoops on the market, laced to bullet-proof DT Swiss hubs, these bad war-pigs are truly confidence inspiring. Schralping into corners was almost too easy with how stiff these are. Plus (no pun intended) the volume afforded with their wide width in combination with a 2.6 wide tire meant this has monster truck capabilities.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on June 25, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been spoiled with my time on 29" minus bikes. My first road steed was (and continues to be) a 2017 Giant TCR Pro Disc. So I must offer the disclaimer that I am used to stiff frames, sharp gruppetos, and disc brakes. All that being said, this bike has made me question my loyalties.

The Fenix fills in the gaps of my TCR in the sense that, while it is a true race thoroughbred with a stiff frame, it feels just as comfortable during a half-century or even longer ride. I never once noticed numbness anywhere like I do with most other aggressive race bikes. This is likely a combination of the well-designed geometry and the 3T cockpit.

Descending, the Fenix, while not my favorite when you are getting aggressive in the downhill, still does not leave much to be wanted. It is stable and always asking to be pushed faster and faster.

The Di2 speaks for itself as it always does. Crisp shifts and looks at the post-ride pub-stop are sure to ensue.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on March 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

What? is that the sound of a cash register signifying money or the clean, crisp, fast actuation of the OneUp dropper? Why not both?

That's right, this post is straight money. In fact, if you put water on top of it, and raise it, the action is fast enough that the water will spray all over the place in such a way that an unwise person might assume it is "makin' it rain".

I paired this with the Wolftooth dropper remote as a replacement for a RaceFace Turbine dropper (see my review on that post as well) which left me wanting for much more due to its slow speed, mushy feeling, and rotational play. Needless to say, the OneUp was exactly what I was looking for. OneUp hit another home-run as they always do. Installation was a breeze and the fit and finish is pristine.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on March 4, 2019

Works better than a shoelace
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Have you ever tried shoving a shoelace through cable housing in a time if dire despair? Me neither. It probably wouldn't work, so just buy this instead and it is 100% guaranteed to work better than a shoelace.

UPDATE:

Myself being the curious, scientific type, had to conduct a short experiment to confirm my hypothesis. See the attached photos for the results. For the sake of the experiment, I should note that I used a shoelace from the Vans Chukka Low Skate Shoe, so I cannot verify that this result is consistent with all shoe laces, but only this specific shoe lace.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on February 25, 2019

Flying (Microtonal) Banana.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

What more fitting name for a yellow bicycle than the flying banana. Much like the hit King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard album released in 2017, these socks toe the edge of experimental and classic. The subtle differences in tones make it truly stand out for an experience which cannot be repeated.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on February 25, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

With integrated carry tool options becoming increasing popular with the advent of Specialized's Swat Box, the OneUp EDC, and the Voile strap, there is no shortage of option out there.

If you are looking for a hassle free, no-nonsense option that won't break the bank for you trail bike, look no further. This carries everything you may need in fix-it scenario for a day excursion. It is easy to use and easy to install. My only gripe is that it is not the lightest of options, but this could possibly be remedied by filling your tires with helium.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The first time I pulled this sweet honey out on a ride, I received no fewer than 7 or 8 accusations of being a nerd. Unbeknownst to my accusers was the sheer beauty of such a fine specimen of engineering and practicality.

Much like the popular episode of the popular children's cartoon, Dexter's Laboratory, where our protagonist, Dexter is accused of being a loser for only being to repeat one phrase, "Omelet Du Fromage", the plot further develops to the point where this leads to his strengths and the trait which once betrayed him as the loser, quickly allows him to rise and become the hero of our tale; remarkably similar to how the OneUp EDC allows us to rise up to be the hero of our lives.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on February 25, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Sure this may work. I mean it goes up and down, but so does the stock market, my office chair, and the belief in our reptilian overlords.

Regardless of your taste in lizard rulers or financial investments, this post does the job and that's about all. It wobbles like a drunk penguin on New Years Eve with notable amount or torsional play.

Additionally, the included remote is made of some soft substance that is clearly not suitable for such use. I would suggest that RaceFace replaces it with a harder substance, perhaps cheese or butter might do a better job.

Long story short, if you're on a really tight budget this will get the job done, but I would suggest replacing the remote with the WolfTooth ReMote.

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Ryan Lee

Ryan Leewrote a review of on December 27, 2018

A ring deserved of its own office!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There has been many a noteworthy ring throughout the course of history, royal engagement rings, the Spaceballs Schwartz Ring, the One Ring to rule them all. So when I heard about these fancy new oval rings, my first though was that they seemed gimmicky and overly hyped up. I was very reluctant to try one out.

Then one day, while I was out trimming my driveway hedge, I thought about the Hanna-Barbera cartoons in which many vehicle wheels are in oval shapes . This made me chuckle and then brought the idea of an oval chain ring into my head. I immediately dropped my hedge trimmer and ran inside to order this AbsoluteBlack ring for my GX Eagle Drivetrain.

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful tooling marks that were left to be admired. I threw it on at the 4 o'clock position relative to the drive-side crank and off I went. My initial impression came as a surprise to me. I immediately noticed how it smoothed climbs out and helped reduce the chronic pain in my knees that I experience on more punchy climbs.

Personally, I am not one for assigning inanimate objects offices, but I do believe this one is a home-run and is thus deserving of one. See my photo below for this proposed office.

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