Schwalbe Hans Dampf – Top All-Round Mountain Bike Tyre

This tyre is well designed with a ‘floated feel’ that shrugs off rocks and grips like hell to most things. They also work very well tubeless with a bit of sealant.

We found the Trail Star version grips really well on all trail surfaces, however, the Pace Star version rolls extremely well but does not have anywhere near the same grip as the slow rolling trail star compound. Durability is low on the Trail Star version with 90% of the cornering knobs torn after only 2-3 months on the front wheel.

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Pivot Firebird: Why More Suspension is Better!

Wow, what a great looking bike the Pivot Firebird is in the flesh. I’m glad I put my hand up to do the Pivot Firebird Review.  So what exactly is it? And what can it do?

From the Pivot Cycles Website:

The Firebird is the ultimate technical terrain, all-mountain weapon. For everything from enduro events to the gnarliest trail rides; there is no better tool for the job. With 6.6” (167mm) of travel packaged in the most efficient pedaling suspension design ever developed, it’s no wonder why the Firebird is a favorite among magazine editors, Enduro and Super D riders all over the world.

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New 2013 Fox CTD Float Forks Rides Like its “Coil Sprung”!

The new range of Fox suspension sees some pretty major changes, and not just with the new CTD damper system. Their forks have lost up to 200g across the range making them lighter and more efficient. New mounting hardware on their rear shocks is said to reduce friction by nearly 50%. Founder of Pivot Cycles, Chris Cocalis has said the new shock eye bushes have made a bigger difference to shock feel than the earlier move to Kashima coat did. The new bushing design is more durable too, according to Fox.

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Review of the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc


Some people have wanted more travel on their 29ers in recent times. Big wheels are being pushed into more technical trail riding duties and are no longer the reserve of mile-munching endurance machines. Santa Cruz offers the regular 100mm Tallboy with 120mm forks to relax the steering and bolster the travel, but the market is now clearly out there for more.

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SRAM XX1 Gear Ratio Review

SRAM XX1 Ratios vs. 2 x 10 and Shimano 3 x 10

Seat Tube 444.5mm
Effective top tube 599.4mm
Head tube 108mm
Chain-stay 430.5mm
Wheel base 1153.9mm
BB height 345.4mm
Head angle 66°
Seat angle (effective) 71.5°
Reach Reach
Stack 591.3mm
Weight w/o pedals 27.1lbs (12.29 kgs)


Here we can see the gear range of the SRAM XX1 11-speed cassette combined with a 32 tooth front chainring. As you can see it features an extraordinary range and falls short of a multi-ring setup but not by much – take a look at the gear ratios chart above. With the 32-tooth up front, the lowest gear comes ever so close to a 2×10 drivechain that’s using the popular 26/39 chainring option. At the opposite end of the range, the top gear is very close to the second highest gear with said 2 x 10 combo – you only lose a gear and a half from the total range.

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Light 29er Wheelsets

NoTubes Race gold

Combining low weight with high affordability, the ZTR Race Gold 29-inch wheels weigh 1,345g a pair and the 26-inch equivalent is 1,245g. Both feature excellent tubeless compatibility and a broad 21mm internal width to enhance tyre stability. While the $1,199 selling price hardly rates as ‘cheap’ it’s a lot less than its carbon rimmed competitors in the same weight category. NoTubes suggests a 77kg rider weight limit with these wheels.

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Santa Cruz Highball Carbon Review


The frame is laid up as a one-piece mold, eliminating the need to bond bits on at various points in the build process. Cable stops and the rear brake mount are integrated into the layupn as well, with all cabling slung underneath the top tube. A short, tapered-bearing zero stack-compatible head tube works to keep the front end as low as possible, while flattened seat stays are there to try and filter out some rear end stiffness. A regulation threaded bottom bracket shell ensures a wider range of crank options, too.

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2013 Formula R1 Disc Brake Review

2013 Formula R1 Disc Brake

Formula R1 disc brakes have a distinctly different feel to most other brands. There’s very little free-stroke, and when the pads contact the rotor, they feel rock solid and firm at the lever. Once fully bedded in, the stopping power comes on thick and fast, and it happens almost as soon as the pads contact with the rotor. Such abrupt power application for minimal lever movement can come as a bit of a shock and modulate these brakes requires some relearning if you aren’t used to the ‘Formula feel’.

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Pivot Mach 4 One Year Review

Bike Set Up

My Pivot Mach 4 is a 2010 model in size L. I am 5′ 11′” and the bike fits me quite well, although a little roomy. I tried a Pivot Mach 5.7 in large but it seemed a different fit, being more cramped. Component wise, my bike has all XT drivetrain as well as brakes. There is a DT 240 wheelset with Schwalbe tires.

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