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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barney

, Gearhead

Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on October 1, 2019

Best Trail Bike Brake Out There
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The G2 represents the latest evolution in SRAM brakes, and while this is an entirely new model it borrows a lot from the beloved Codes as well as the Guide which has been in the line for a long time. It's lightest 4 piston brake in their lineup.
Coming from Guide RSCs, there are a few standout features:
Some reviews have billed this brake as a Mini-Codes, and there certainly some similarities. To me the G2 has the same initial bite as the Code, but obviously not the same overall stopping power. This is achieved with a redesigned caliper, with a slightly narrower pad pocket. This is all leads to better lever feel, as you get more initial power and bite.
Coupled with the improved lever feel, the braking power feels more consistent all the way through from initial pad contact, to fully locked up. On long, sustained descents the G2 is less prone to fading possibly due to better heat dissipation. Especially steep rides, where you know your brakes will heat up I've noticed these maintain power better than the Guide.

Also I find that the G2 has slightly more stopping power than the Guide. So I would say a better moniker is Guide 2.0, vs Mini-code to be more indicative of the amount of power the brakes have.

In a world of ever changing standards, and proprietary parts I really appreciate the fact that you can use the existing Guide Brake pads in the G2. Which really adds piece of mind on a vacation, etc where you can walk into any shop and find in-stock replacement pads. They also offer a new organic compound, which they say isn't as quiet as the previous version of Guide pad, but in the real world I haven't noticed a difference. It also has much better wear life.

So if you're looking at a new set of Guides, change your focus to the G2. More power, better lever feel, same great modulation, all in lighter/stronger package.

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on September 30, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

One look at this tire and its main priority becomes clear, Traction! The massive side knobs grip exactly like you’d expect they should. They offer great braking traction, both as a front & rear tire. Cornering I found them to be predictable all the way around the tread, and don’t feel loose or sketchy if you aren’t leaning all the way over into the side knobs.
I was impressed with support the “Apex” sidewalls provide. The tires don’t feel squirmy at high speeds or through hard G-outs. I haven’t had any issue with durability, side wall tears, etc. Comparing this to a Maxxis tire that most are familiar with, the TRS casing is comparable to EXO. But to me E. Thirteen’s offering feels a little more substantial, which is a plus in my book.
The “Plus” compound is their hardest, fastest rolling compound and I found it a great match for fast, dry, relatively hard conditions here in the Wasatch. The big knobs immediately made me question how fast it would roll. I was pleasantly surprised with the rolling speed, and was even impressed by how they rolled in more rolling, XC style riding.
I’ve run this as a Front & Rear tire and was happy with that combo. It strikes a good balance of Cornering Traction, and Rolling Speed. To me this makes a great front tire, but can certainly be run front and rear if traction is your first priority.

E.Thirteen is working hard to make their tires a viable option in the MTB market, and they are absolutely worth a look for a combination of performance, value, and durability. Especially if you have grown weary the Minions that seem to be specked on every bike these days.

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on April 22, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Go Fast!
Go fast!
That’s the thought I couldn’t get out of my mind on this bike. Moreso than any other bike I’ve ridden this bike goes fast, and wants to go faster.
On straight lines pointed downhill it excels as any big 29er would. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I could get around tight corners, it doesn’t feel like a big boat in tight terrain.
I really appreciated how the new lower link suspension design keeps the center of gravity really low. This helps a lot in corners, it feels like you can really lean it over in turns and the traction remains predictable. This coupled with how well the rear wheel tracks the ground makes this bike excellent at cornering. This is one of the many things that make the Megatower so confidence inspiring.
VPP strikes a good balance of providing great traction over the rough stuff, while still remaining nimble and lively when you want it to be.
With the relatively steep seattube, it’s a comfortable climber. There’s no hiding the fact that it’s a 6” travel 29er and it’s never going to pedal like a lightweight trail bike. But that’s not this bike’s intended purpose. It’s a little dull on mellow terrain at lower speeds. But you’ll quickly forget that small trade off when you get in the terrain this bike was designed for.
I can’t say enough good things about this bike, it’s an absolute blast!

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on March 2, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Carbon cranks are great, and these will keep them safe, clean, and most importantly save them from rock strikes.
I wish SRAM would just stock these with their carbon cranks, but they're worth every penny.

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on January 7, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Do you want to the superior grip of a stealth rubber shoe, but want the benefits of running clipless pedals? Look no further! I absolutely love these shoes.
I love the feeling of still having some traction with a platform style clipless pedal, and these shoes do that better than anything else. I have fairly wide feet, normally wear a 10 in street shoes and 10 fits me great in these.

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on November 8, 2018

Bronson is better than ever!
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I’ve been riding Santa Cruz bikes since the original Nomad was released years ago. The ride quality is superb and the lifetime warranty is indicative of how much confidence they have in their bikes. There’s a reason you see Bronson’s everywhere. They are the quintessential trail bike, and the new changes to v3 have made it even more capable.
When the V4 Nomad was released, I like many people eagerly awaited the new lower link VPP design to trickle down other models in SC's line. That time has come, and it’s brought several welcome upgrades to the Bronson as a result. Not only does it make the suspension more progressive, I found it rides higher in the travel than a lot of VPP bikes I’ve ridden. This allows the suspension to be more supportive while descending through successive, rough, hits. It also means that it doesn’t wallow in the midstroke of the travel while pedaling. And while no VPP bike is going to be the most efficient climber out there, the Bronson certainly holds its own. I never felt like the front end was going to lift up while clmbing.
Take one look at the Bronson and it’s clear that it was intended to be fun on descents. And it is!
Only the tamest, flattest, smoothest, singletrack felt dull on this bike, which is not something you can say about a lot of aggressive trail bikes. It remained lively and fun in all types of terrain. The lower link also really lowers the center of gravity on this bike, which is especially noticeable cornering. I really enjoyed how predictable and quick this bike was in corners, I felt like I could really push hard into corners and still flick the back end around if a switchback got really tight. It’s not the most stable bike at flat out speed, but that’s not really what it’s meant for. I can’t really put my finger on why, but it jumps so well! It feels smooth when you pop take off’s, and remains so composed in the air.
The Bronson has struck a great balance between good trail manners on the climbs, and a really fun, lively descender that still remains composed when you push it hard.

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on October 27, 2018

4 5

I remember when my dad finally gave up on pedal baskets on his mountain bike, and Time was the only real option for clipless MTB pedals.
A lot has changed since then, and there are ton of options out there now. But Time is really making to a push to become the answer in pedals again.
I have ridden Crank Bros Mallets for years and haven't really desired a change, but the Speciale has some features that caught my eye. The machining quality is the best I've seen on a set of pedals, from a fit and finish perspective I've never seen a nicer pedal.
If you want the float, ease of use, and wider platform of Crank Brothers combined with the adjustable tension of Shimano these are a premium option.

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on October 21, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Stan's Flow's continue to be the answer for the best bang for your buck wheelset out there. Decent weight, tubeless ready, super easy to set up tubeless. Plenty strong. And you can just about consider them disposable at this price! The Neo hub is surprising loud if your are into such things, and have very little drag. One thing worth noting is that the s1 does not come stock with valve stems.

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Bodhi Barney

Bodhi Barneywrote a review of on October 21, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There are increasingly more options in the world of dropper seatposts. But Fox does it the best. Never any issues with reliablity, no hydraulic hoses to worry, never gets sloppy or squishy.
As others have noted, get the Wolf Tooth Remote and you'll be stoked.

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