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Steve Tam

Steve Tam

North America

Steve Tam's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Skiing
Running
Climbing

Steve Tam's Bio

Daddy, Husband, Product Designer, Snapshooter.

Gave up a 12 year career in Physical Therapy to become an Industrial Designer. My family, friends, and the outdoors hold a special place in my heart. Attempting to fill my days with love, laughter, and a healthy dose of mountains.

Love to chase singletrack, ski where there are no lift lines, hike with the family, and swim in water that may or may not induce shrinkage.

Instagram: @ridetrails

Web: www.stephentam.com

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 30, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This cassette allows for nice even feeling steps when shifting from cog to cog. If you are running a 1 x10 conversion you'll notice that there are some gaps in the gears (the feeling like you are between gears). If you are concerned about cost or if you need a 42T tooth, wait for the XT 8000 to be released and then upgrade.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 30, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The new XTR shifter offers the same solid Shimano performance in a sleek new design. The clamp is quite low profile and the levers allow for good grip while shifting.

In the past, when you pulled or pushed the front trigger to shift, you could pull light to drop one gear or pull harder and drop two gears (multi release). This function is now only available if you push the front lever forward. I hope they return this function while pulling the front trigger.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 30, 2015

4 5

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

I purchased this for my wife and she wears it as a transitional layer when it's not quite warm enough for just a t-shirt and not cool enough for a insulated layer. She says it allows for good range of motion and has a close athletic fit and is easy to layer over if need be.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 30, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

Well built glasses made for the kids. However they did not fit my daughter's face (Asian nose for reference). They sat too close to her eyes and her eyelashes touched. Would be great if they offered the swappable rubber nose pieces because that would most likely have resolved the issue. A little on the spendy side for kids glasses but you get the quality you pay for.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 30, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I purchased these for my seven year old daughter and everything fit well except the nose bridge was too wide (Asian nose...for reference) and the frames sat on her cheeks.

These glasses are well made and I wish they would have fit my daughter's face better but it was an easy return with Backcountry. Props to Julbo for making performance eyewear for kids!

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 30, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

I purchased these for my seven year old daughter but they were too small (the frames were too narrow). While Julbo's size chart says these are for kids ages 6-8 years old I would say they would be better for younger than age six. Construction for these glass is good and they do not look like cheap $10 gas station glasses.

Since kids come in all shapes and sizes they may or may not fit well. Backcountry has one of the best return policies around and makes it a breeze if they do not fit.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 6, 2015

Good Fit, Great Looks
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This helmet fits fantastic for my head (roundish profile). It is comfortable and vents well. The strap system is easy to adjust and the chin strap is looped at the end so you don't have two tails dangling in the wind. The anodized visor bolts are a nice finishing touch. As a bonus Oakley Jawbone glasses fit in the vents so you can post up your glasses when climbing. One minor detail is that the white visor does not completely match the white on the helmet.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is one of my favorite helmets. It may not be super aero or what all the pros wear but it fits my head really well (round profile head). It also is difficult to find a plain white helmet these days but the white/silver is pretty close despite the funky graphics.

The ear strap adjustments are a little finicky and it takes some time to get them adjusted so the straps actually sit flat against your face. Once you get them adjusted to your fit, they stay put and I have not had any issues with them coming loose.

Bonus: Oakley Jawbone glasses fit nicely in the vents for those times you want to take your glasses off while climbing or changing a flat.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 4, 2015

Believe it or not!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

To start off, I have never been a fan of anything 29 wheeled. This is based solely on the 29ers I?ve owned and ridden from popular brands). At 5?7? I can fit on any of wheel size and feel comfortable but the handling characteristics always seem to put a damper on the known advantages of larger wheels.

That was until I got on the Ripley. It completely changed my mind about 29 wheels.

Bike Setup: XT groupo, Ibis 928 Wheelset, Fox 32 140mm

Climbing: One of the easiest ways to test if the suspension design works is to run the rear shock open or in descend mode (in this case with the Fox rear shock). All I have to say is the Ripley climbs like a hardtail even when the shock is in descend mode. There was not even the hint of rear wheel movement while climbing out of the saddle. This bike is quick and likes to go fast. Steep and tight switchbacks were no problem on this bike which surprised me. It handles like a smaller wheeled bike: Nimble with razor sharp handling.

Descending: The bike descends well and was impressed with how well is railed tight corners. On really steep downhills I found myself rubbing my rear end on the tire (I?m short so not a real surprise). While billed as a trail bike it would make a great endurance xc bike. I would like to try this bike with a 120mm fork just to see how different it would behave. Handling was still very agile with the 140mm fork.

Thoughts: This is a bike that you could pedal all day and cover a wide variety of trails. If you have a 29er that handles like a garbage can with flat tires this bike will spice up your riding life. Comparing the new HD3 to the Ripley? It?s a different animal than the HD3 so if you are thinking about one bike or the other have a good talk with yourself and figure out where and what you ride the most to help make your decision (Although most likely you?ll end up with both).

Who would like this bike: Endurance junkies, people that like xc riding, and anyone who likes a balanced dose of climbing and descending.

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Steve Tam

Steve Tamwrote a review of on April 4, 2015

Waited a Lifetime for this Bike
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Bike Setup:

HD3 frame with Fox rear shock, Shimano XTR groupo with Wolftooth 1 x10 conversion, Fox 36 RC2 160mm, Mavic Crossmax XL Wheelset.

Climbing:

Subjectively this is hands down the best climbing bike in this category of mountain bikes. In fact this bike climbs almost as well as the Ripley (which is mind blowing). It climbs very efficiently (even with the rear shock in descend mode). There is no hint of any loss of forward motion when pedaling. The DW Link works like magic allowing this bike to scoot up hills with less effort. My last bike was a Yeti SB-66c and it took significantly more effort to climb up steep hills and tight switchbacks. This bike climbs so well I find myself reaching for this bike more than my hardtail.

Descending:

The HD3 is well balanced at high speed and also in tight technical situations. Point the bike and it goes there without complaining. The HD3 is so well mannered it does not overwhelm but rather encourages the rider to improve and progress. If you are looking for a bike closer to a DH sled you may consider other options.

Favorite things about this bike: How well it climbs and descends. In fact this bike is fantastic everywhere. Another bonus is the ability to ride the bike without flipping any lockout levers, switches, and so forth?its nice to just go out and ride and only think about riding.

Thoughts:

If you are looking for a bike that is a complete joy to ride anywhere on any type of terrain don?t look anywhere else. The mixture or the HD3?s climbing prowess and descending capabilities are downright impressive. Back in the early 90?s, when full suspension was starting to evolve, we wished for a bike like this. I remember at Norba Nationals we all rode Amps (with different stickers) which looking back were more like pogo sticks with cantilevers. I?m glad a bike like this was created during my lifetime. Well done Ibis.

Who would like this bike:

Anyone who loves to mountain bike, road racers, and even equestrians. If the last two groups rode it they would convert to mountain biking.

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