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Jonathan E

Jonathan E

, Gearhead

Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on October 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A super quick XC bike that can take on most trails. That's what you are getting when you're behind the bars of a Blur Trail. I loved pretty much everything about this bike but in my opinion it has one flaw.

That TwistLoc remote lockout. It takes very little force to the TwistLoc to revert to locked. Once that happens you are essentially riding a rigid bike since it won't stay unlocked. Now imagine you are on a very rough trail and suddenly your suspension locks out. It's not a pleasant experience. If I were buying this bike I would send the shock to FOX to have it converted to a 3 position and/or get the FOX remote lockout lever.

With that out of the way, the bike is a blast to ride on all the trails that I enjoy riding. When the climb is over you are looking forward to the descent on this bike. That's not always the case with XC bikes. The X01 Eagle drivetrain is the best in the business for the weekend racer and FOX Performance Elite suspension smooths out the bumps nicely (as long as it stays unlocked). If you take cross country racing pretty seriously but only want one mountain bike to do it all. I'd say the Blur Trail would be a great bike for you.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on October 1, 2019

The Trailduro
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

With the new Ripley, Ibis has created a very capable trail bike with downhill-mined confidence. I have not ridden the Ibis Ripmo but from what I've read and can tell, the new Ripley is a short-travel version of the very popular Ripmo. If you're not always looking to ride the rockiest or root-filled trails you can find, then I think the Ripley will be the better bike for you. With 120mm of rear travel and 130mm up front this bike will handle most obstacles that you throw at it.

So what did I love about this bike? The confidence it gives you when pointing it downhill. It feels ready to tackle all the rock gardens and small drops you could throw at it. It's a very solid feeling frame which begs to be ridden harder. Longer + Slacker = Confidence.

What did I dislike? The wheelset and tire choice. It put a big damper on the fun for me. I think a lighter/narrower wheelset and 2.4 tires would really liven this bike up. The 2.6 tires definitely hurt the bikes climbing performance which is important to me. I'm an XC type rider that likes to take on some gnarlier trails from time to time without losing too much efficiency.

Overall the bike is a lot of fun but I would love to set it up with a lighter wheelset and tire combo to really enjoy it. I rode the size XL in a GX build with Factory suspension and it weighed in at 29.4 lbs without pedals. I think that this trail bike definitely leans more towards the enduro type rider who wants a more efficient pedaler rather than an XC rider who wants a little more travel.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on September 23, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

As temperatures drop you wear more layers, and the most important layer is a base layer. After that, your layering comes down the riding conditions, temperature, weather, duration, and intensity. Starting with a great baselayer is the key to an enjoyable ride. This short sleeve Merino from PI will provide just that. It's made up of 58% recycled polyester and 42% merino wool for great warmth and sweat wicking abilities. It's great for those crisp Fall mornings when you choose to wear a short sleeve jersey with arm warmers. I plan on using this late into fall and early winter with a long sleeve jersey and/or jacket as well. It does a great job keeping the core warm while wicking away the sweat from your skin. I wear medium tops in most brands and that remains true for this baselayer.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on September 17, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs small

First Impressions: I love this jacket. I've only had the chance to wear it on one ride so far but I think this will be my go-to shell this fall/winter on the bike. I wore a summer jersey underneath with temps in the high 40's to low 50's and was very comfortable. I think with some layering, riding into the 30's will be manageable. It breathes as well as it blocks the wind. Which it does very, very well.

Sizing: Form Fit. So if you want to add some extra layers under the jacket I would recommend sizing up if you are close to being in between sizes. For reference, I am 6'1" and 165lbs and went with the Large. I would normally be a Medium in most jackets but this PRO line is form fitting so I sized up.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on September 17, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I don't have much experience using trekking poles but these bad boys work well. Lightweight and sturdy. What more can you ask from them? They give you stability when the terrain gets rough, rocky, and snowy like in my case. The cork grips were comfortable and my hands weren't sore at the end of the day. If you are looking for some nice poles give these a good hard look!

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on September 17, 2019

Excellent Day Pack
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used this backpack on a few day hikes now and have zero complaints. Having used a smaller Osprey pack for my long mountain bike rides, I knew just how comfortable and durable Osprey packs are. The Talon 33L is no exception. I recently wore this pack for a 7 hour day hike and it was super comfortable for all those hours. It's lightweight and has room for plenty of room for a full day out on the trails. It's not too big or too small. I could probably get by with a 25L pack but it's nice having a little extra room for if I want to do a quick overnighter. It has all the features that I was looking for in a daypack and it does it amazingly well.

I added the 3L Osprey Packs Hydration Reservoir to the bag's Hydration sleeve for my hydration needs on hikes. I like that I can use the same reservoir from my biking pack.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on September 11, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The gravel bike that I purchase was spec'd with these G-Ones and I fell in love instantly. I've been running them ever since I got the bike and it's hard for me to think about switching to something else. They are super fast and grippy on pavement yet can handle the chunky type of gravel. Just be careful when it gets really chunky. I got one hole in the center of the rear tire that wouldn't seal up with Stans. I had to pull out the plug kit in order to keep on riding. The rear also wore out fairly quickly because of the soft compound. That is something I am willing to live with for the road/gravel performance.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on July 11, 2019

The CC Dream Build
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Want a bike that will grab everyone’s attention on the trails? This stealthy yet flashy SB100 will do just that. I had the opportunity to ride this exact bike for a few days on some epic singletrack and flow trails in Park City, Utah and was loving the bike after just a few miles on it. Where do I begin?

The SB100 frame alone is a fun platform and once you add in the AXS drivetrain and a Trust Message fork it turns into a blast. This bike falls into a strange category of mountain bikes. It’s not an XC race machine and it’s not a full-on trail bike either. It’s that odd downcountry segment that isn’t great at either XC racing or more rowdy trail riding. But it’s a fun bike that is good at a lot of things. Let’s call it fun-country. If you’re the type of rider that enjoys climbing up singletrack as much as you love descending it but without the need to be the fastest, this would be the bike for you. It’s a great climbing bike with the rear shock locked or even unlocked. Same for that Trust fork. It rolls right over things that you would traditionally have to lift the front end for on a traditional fork. If you want to read more about the fork, check out the 6 month Pinkbike review. I feel pretty much the same way about it as they do.

With that said, if the Trust fork is a little too adventurous for you we can work with you on swapping to something more traditional. But I liked the Trust on this build and would leave it on there. Dare to be different! It looks bitchin’, grabs people’s attention, and performs quiet well.

This was also my first time riding a bike with Eagle AXS and I am blown away. Amazingly quick and crisp shifts every time. I was shifting just for the hell of it at times because it was so easy and fun. And the rainbow cassette/chain looks beautiful paired with the Turquoise I9 wheels. In my opinion, Industry Nine makes some of the best alloy wheels out there and with their new Hydra hubs the engagement can’t be beat. I have a set of the I9’s on my personal XC bike and can’t go back to anything other than the Hydra hub now.

I almost forgot to talk about the SRAM G2 Ultimate Disc brakes that are spec'd on this bike. These are by far the best SRAM brakes that I have used and am looking to get a set soon. Amazing feel and braking power in a lightweight package.

The only thing that I would change on this build would be the dropper post and possibly the tires depending on where you ride. Overall, this bike is awesome and I was able to set some PR’s on Strava without even feeling like I was pushing it. Was it the fork, the AXS drivetrain, the wheels/tire, or just a combination of the entire build? All I know is I had a lot of fun climbing up singletrack and literally flying down the Tidal Wave trail in Deer Valley. Please reach out if you want to talk more about this build.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on July 2, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

Gaerne partnered with Michelin’s designers and technicians to create this new lightweight carbon fiber sole which offers durability and strength. And are quite a bit lighter than my other shoes from another popular Italian brand. The sole provides excellent stiffness and power for pedaling in all conditions. The grippy Michelin tread is nice for those random hike-a-bike moments. I'm a big fan of how easy it is to get in and out of these shoes with the single BOA. As far as sizing goes, they run larger than other brands so be sure to check the sizing chart. I am normally a 46 in most other shoes but a 46 in these is a half to a full size larger. If you are looking for a lightweight and stiff carbon sole shoe then give these a try.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on June 24, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I recently got the chance to ride this sweet bike at a demo event on some local trails. Coming from an XC background, I was impressed how well this bike climbed for a 140/150 travel bike. And once I pointed it downhill it gave me so much confidence. If I were in the market for an All Mountain machine this one would be at the top of my list. The build quality of the frame and specs of this build are hard to beat. At 6'1" I felt right at home riding a Large.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on June 24, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

My new favorite bibs. Why did I stay away from Pearl Izumi for so long? I don't know. But I'm glad I discovered these Pro bibs. The PRO Escape 1:1 chamois is not bulky like some other brands but it's super comfortable. I've mainly been wearing these while out gravel/road riding and hitting the trails on my XC bike and they have provided hours of comfort in the saddle. The laser cut leg openings with silicone leg grippers are some of the best I've experienced in shorts. The shorts just blend into your skin if that makes sense. I think that they run pretty true to size. Maybe a little on the snugger side but I am happy with the Mediums at 6'1" and 165lbs. Oh, and the
laser cut bib straps are some of the most comfortable I've experienced. Similar to how the leg opening blend into your legs, the bib straps disappear with their next to skin comfort. That is not always the case with my height. I highly recommend you give these bibs a try!

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on June 17, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs small

I would normally wear a size Medium in most jersey's but this one runs small. Be sure to size up. It's a nice race-fit jersey that breathes well for those warm summer days. It has the classic three back pocket layout for loading up on longer rides. If you are looking for a race-fit jersey then be sure to take a look at this one.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on June 17, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

The best part about these shorts is definitely the PRO Escape 1:1 chamois. It's not bulky like some other brands but it's super comfortable. I've mainly been wearing these as liner shorts under my mountain biking shorts. I prefer bibs for road/gravel riding. The laser cut leg openings with silicone leg grippers are some of the best I've experienced in shorts. The shorts just blend into your skin if that makes sense. I think that they run a little small so if you are in between sizes it would be safest to go up to the larger size.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 24, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've always been a fan of half rim sunglasses. The double bridge enhances and accents the entire frame. These are my first Prizm polarized lenses and wow are they awesome. It will be hard to go back to anything else after wearing these. The cam hinges are nice so the ear stems will never be loose. All of these features give them a distinctive look, fit, and feel. Mercenary will not disappoint.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 19, 2019

690 Points of engagement!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It was time to upgrade my wheels on the XC machine and what an upgrade it was. The new Hydra hub from Industry Nine is worthy of the hype. If you want a hub with engagement look no further! Laced to the 27mm wide tubeless ready rims (come taped with tubeless valves) with 28 straight-pull spokes makes a strong wheelset ready to take on some nastier XC trails. If you are looking for a great alloy wheelset then this is my recommendation.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 17, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you have a Wheels Manufacturing BB on your bike you will need a couple of these to install/remove your BB. It's compatible with all current Wheels Manufacturing bottom brackets with notched cups as well as many other outboard bearing bottom brackets. A high-quality tool to add to your toolbox.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 6, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

These Gore Windstopper knee warmers do what the name implies. They stop the wind on those chilly days where you still want to get out and ride. They do a great job of blocking the wind. I would recommend these for early spring and late fall riding where the temps are still just a bit too warm for full tights.

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