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Product Tests

Review – 9Point8 Dropper Post

Dropper posts have quickly become a must-have component for almost every cyclist. Riders and racers in categories ranging from enduro to cross-country have welcomed dropper posts with open arms, and for good reason—they’re awesome.…
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Review – LOOK X-Track Carbon Race Pedals

There are a lot of things that the French do well, and in cycling, one of them is pedals. Look is one of the oldest cycling brands around and has been doing pedals for a few generations. Over the years Look has seen success on the…
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Review – FASST Company FLEXX Handlebars

Fasst Company is best known for its innovative off-road motorcycle and ATV handlebars. Flexx handlebars, as the company calls them, are designed with elastomer dampers to help the bars do exactly what the name implies—flex. While flex…
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What Are Wide Trail Tires?

The bicycle industry has reinvented the wheel multiple times over the past couple years, looking to find the perfect tire and rim size for everyday trail riders. Plus-sized tires (2.8- to 3.25-inch wide tires) quickly grew in popularity…
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Review – HED Raptor 27.5 Wheels

HED is an American company based in Roseville, Minnesota. It prides itself on its U.S.-operated manufacturing, which yields what it claims are some of the most reliable and well-rounded cycling products. The company was founded in the…
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First Ride: Shimano’s All-New 12-Speed XTR

Riding Shimano's XTR group in Crested Butte, Colorado

First Ride: Shimano's All-New XTR Group-set  Shimano announced their all-new XTR M9100-series group in late May, but, it wasn’t until a month after the release that Shimano invited the media to Crested Butte, Colorado, arguably the…
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Review – Bontrager Rhythm Trail Shoes

Whether you’re riding clipped in or with flats, a good pair of shoes is important. Bontrager has been producing a broad range of soft goods for several years and has a good reputation for high quality and design. While cross-country racers…
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Review – Fox 34 Step-Cast Factory Fork

In early 2016 Fox released the 32 Step-Cast fork with 100mm of travel and a slimmed down chassis. This fork was the lightest we had tested in its class and has since proven to be a go-to for our XC testers. Since the release of the 32…
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Review – MAXXIS Aspen 29X2.25 EXO/TR Tires

Tires are a very personal part of every rider’s bike, and riders have their own opinions about what works well on their local trails. Fortunately, Maxxis has a very broad range of treads for everything from downhill to cross-country…
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First Ride: Pivot Trail 429

Introducing the all-new Trail 429

Pivot Trail 429 The Pivot Mach 429 Trail adds an aggressive twist to Pivot's full-suspension cross-country race bike the Mach 429 SL. These two bikes are vastly different in design and intended use but are quite similar in name. This…
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Review – RACE FACE CINCH Power Meter

Power meters have become a necessity in road racing and cycling for serious riders who want to get the most out of their training. There has been some demand for power meters in the mountain bike market, but companies have struggled to…
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First Ride: Pivot Switchblade Aluminum

A new more affordable version

 The Pivot Switchblade was first introduced in 2016 and quickly got attention due to its Super Boost Plus 157 rear end. The new  Super Boost Plus hub spacing allowed Pivot to give the Switchblade tire clearance for either 27.5+ or 29"…
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Review – LEATT DBX 3.0 Enduro V2 Helmet

Leatt is a company that prioritizes safety while striving to make the best products for mountain bikers. Leatt built its reputation by designing neck braces and later a full line of helmets, riding kits and protective gear. Leatt’s latest…
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SOC18 – New Continental Mountain King Tires

There are several new tires here at Sea Otter, including Continental's revised Mountain King. The Mountain King has been one of their main trail tires for several years with a German design and construction. Continental…
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First Ride Video: 2018 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

The 2018 Thunderbolt was constructed from Rocky Mountains Smoothwall Carbon which eliminates excess resin and fibers by using a rigid internal mold opposed to a traditional air bladder. This sophisticated design allows Rocky to deliver an…
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First Ride: Marzocchi’s All-New Bomber Z1 Fork

The iconic fork returns

An icon returns. In 1997, the Marzocchi Bomber Z1 bursts onto the scene and bucked all contemporary trends. The flavors of that decade included rubber springs and feathery weights. The Z1 brought oil, coils and massive stanchions—it…
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First Ride: Fasst Company Flexx MTB Handlebars

First Ride: Fasst Company Flexx MTB Handlebars Moto to bicycle Fasst Company is a brand best known for their innovative off-road motorcycle and ATV handlebars. Flexx handlebars, as the company calls them, are designed with…
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