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Levy's Top Gear Picks of 2011

Dec 22, 2011
by Mike Levy  
Favorite New Product: G-Form pads

Given my opportunity to sample the latest and greatest suspension and carbon fiber wonder-parts, some readers are likely surprised that I chose a set of knee pads as my favorite new product of 2011. I'll even admit that I couldn't help but poke fun when I first saw them being worn by a Euro journalist at a press camp earlier in the year (in my defense, he was sporting the bright yellow version), but once I got my own set to try, I was convinced. So many riders out there who used to be pure downhillers now spend a lot of time getting rowdy on their trail bike, but the majority of knee pads are just too bulky and uncomfortable for a proper mountain bike ride. The G-Form knee pads feel as if you're wearing a set of slim knee warmers, but do a far better job of keeping your knees scab free without the chaffing and heat of full sized pads that were never intended to be used on three hour trail rides. The deal closer for me is that they retail for just $49.95 USD, putting them at the very top of my recommendation list of 2011 products.
g-form.com


Best Product Under 50$: Dakine Ventilator glove

There are a lot of great products out there, but the list gets substantially shorter if you add the stipulation that they also have to retail for less then $50 USD. I would surely have to include Dakine's $35 Ventilator glove on that list, though, as they quickly became my favorite gloves to wear out of the countless pairs I have to choose from. True to their name, they are a lightweight and very breathable glove that is a great choice when conditions aren't too nippy, but they still offer substantial palm protection via thick gel inserts that shield the base of the hand when you try to do your best scorpion impression. The Ventilator's touch screen compatible fingers also mean that you won't be racing to pull your gloves off if you need to answer your phone or take a photo, something that this unabashedly phone-centric rider quickly fell in love with. I've been known to be notoriously picky about what I put my hands in to, but the Ventilators tick all the boxes for me: super comfy and lightweight, a reasonable amount of protection, and not unreasonably priced.
www.dakine.com


Most Promising Technology: 29'ers

29'er evangelists will be quick to point out that big wheels are far from new, already filling the pages of many other websites and magazines. Pinkbike has been somewhat hesitant to investigate the 29'' movement, though, largely because the majority of 29'ers are short travel bikes that don't fit into most of our reader's interests. That is beginning to change. Companies like Maxxis and Specialized are producing high volume tires in 29" sizes, wheels sets are coming along nicely with wide and stiff options that cater to aggressive riders, and while it could be argued that the bigger wheels don't play well with long travel frame designs, riders are also coming to the conclusion that a shorter travel 29'er rides very much like a 26" bike with an extra inch of suspension. The opponents will be quick to point out the facts that get repeated over and over again: the heavier wheels will accelerate slower and flex more, a still limited component selection to choose from, and a bike selection that leans far more to the XC side of the fence. Those are the very words that I used to preach, but a funny thing happened when I threw my leg over a few different 29'ers: I didn't want to get back on my 26" wheeled bike. And guess what, I'm not some super fit cross-country weapon or fanny pack wearing randonneur. I may like to earn my turns, but my main reason for mountain biking is to push myself on the downhills, to get the tires sliding and generally have loads of fun in the forest, just like many of you. A dialed 29'er, even a short travel one, rides very different than its 26" counterpart. It literally feels as if you are sitting within the bike, something that translates to a very surefooted sensation on the trail. I'm not trying to convince anyone that 29" wheels are the future, they aren't, and 26" wheels will likely always have a place in our sport, but the latest crop of 29'ers do add another element that is different enough to warrant their place on the mountain. No one will be forcing you to ride one either, but having the option of two wheel sizes, each offering their own personalities on the trail, can only be a good thing.



Best Destination: Sedona, Arizona

I consider myself very lucky to be able to travel the world and ride in some of the most amazing places with great people, but one location always seems to get me more excited than the rest. Located in Arizona, Sedona is known for its red rock terrain, a result of the iron oxide left over from when a post-glacial age ocean filled valley, as well as numerous "vortexes" that are said to be centers of high energy. Whether or not you believe the vortex theory, there is no arguing over the area's amazing trails. The terrain definitely caters to riders who prefer a technical challenge, with many sections that will test both your climbing and descending skills, but the rock surface also blesses you with incredible amounts of traction. It's the kind of riding that rewards skilled riders, not just those who are super fit, largely thanks to knowledgable trail builders who seem to know exactly how to build a line that gives you the most bang for your buck. I live in B.C., known as the promise land to many riders around the world, but there is nothing I look forward to more than my yearly pilgrimage South to Sedona. If possible, do yourself a favour and make the same trip. You won't regret it.



Best Underdog Performance of 2011: X-Fusion suspension

Ask your riding buddies what fork or shock they would choose if they could pick anything and the answer likely won't be X-Fusion, which just goes to show how strong of a hold the major suspension players have on consumers. X-Fusion may not have the marketing force and rider lineup that the competition has, but their high-end products can get into the ring with more popular offerings and more than hold their own. The Vengeance fork in particular outclasses many rivals with its very effective adjustments and incredibly smooth action, all at a price that is hundreds less than many other options. X-Fusion's rear shocks have also proven to be reliable and adjustable, even if they don't get the same respect as more expensive choices. I love seeing an underdog rise up, and while their smaller lineup doesn't offer as many options as larger brands, X-Fusion is doing just that with excellent performing suspension at a reasonable price.
www.xfushionshox.com



Best Gear Trend of 2011: 1 x 10 drivetrains


It would be pretty narrow minded of me to think that all riders can get away with running a single chain ring up front - varying degrees of fitness, bike setup, and local terrain are all factors that determine if one ring is for you - but converting my personal bike was the single best setup change that I made all year. The benefits include a simpler drivetrain with less to wear out or go wrong, a shorter chain that reduces chain slap, less weight, and how a single chain ring setup can build fitness faster than if you had a bailout gear to rely on. There are certainly drawbacks, though, with the higher gear range being harder on the knees, and that you are also bound to end up at the bottom of a climb that you can't pedal up, no matter how fit you are. I also have to mention the complete lack of proper chain guide mounting points on XC and trail bikes - manufacturers need to get their heads out of their asses on that front before 1 x 10 systems really take hold. SRAM and Shimano's large range 11-36 tooth cassettes (which is also available in a heavier 9 speed version from Shimano) have made running a single ring an option for more riders than ever before, but many are still hesitant to make the jump. All I can say is this: you're likely fitter than you think you are. And if you aren't, you will be after spending a few months with one chain ring on your bike. From my humbling experience I can say that the first while involved me cresting hills at my redline, very near meltdown point (I have some monster climbs nearby), but after some suffering through the first part of the Spring riding season I suddenly realized that I was fitter than ever before, earlier in the year than ever before. It may not be for you, but then again, you may surprise yourself.



Favorite Bike of 2011: Trek SuperFly 100

Are you wondering how I could choose a 110mm travel 29'er over all of the other bikes that I've spent time on this year, especially when the SuperFly clearly doesn't fit the mold of the usual Pinkbike test machine? The answer is simple: the bike blew my notions of not just how a 29'er behaves, but also what a properly done trail bike is really capable of. Looking at the numbers shows that the bike has an impossibly steep 71° head angle, massive 17.8'' chainstays, and just 110mm of rear wheel travel, but all of those gel together in the 29'er mixing bowl to create a package that can easily hang with longer travel 26" wheeled bikes on technical trails. No, the SuperFly isn't intended to fly over gaps or keep up with bigger travel rigs when things get gnarly, and I never rode with those intentions, but I've yet to ride such a competent machine when it comes to proper, technical trail riding. Simply put, I have a quiver of bikes to choose from, but when not having to ride a test bike I reach for the SuperFly for the majority of my saddle time.
www.trekbikes.com



Best Product of '11: RockShox Reverb seat post

I'm long over trying to convince anyone that dropper posts are a must-have component that will forever change the way you ride your trail bike - if you don't believe it yet, you simply need to try one. There is a very clear leader in the dropper post category, with RockShox's Reverb proving to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field. No, at $370 USD it's not inexpensive, but its hydraulic actuation gives it a level of consistency that I haven't found from any other post in my wet and muddy B.C. testing grounds. It's looking even better for the future, though, with the new Reverb Stealth employing hidden hose routing within the frame that eliminates that pesky extra loop when the saddle is slammed, even if that is only found as OE spec on select Trek and Scott models for next year (installation and routing complicate aftermarket sales, but we're crossing our fingers that it will happen). The dropper post category can sometimes feel as if it is still in its infancy, given the general unreliability found in many of the choices out there, but the Reverb is by far the least problematic of the bunch and the one product that I insist to have on my personal bikes.
www.rockshox.com






Do you agree with Mike's choices? Think that he is completely out to lunch? Let's hear what you have to say about Mike's top picks of 2011.


Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

184 Comments
  • 69 2
 Fully agree with the X-fusion choice, I've experienced these shocks for myself, and they hold their own. Great suspension!
  • 10 1
 Same here.
  • 29 0
 Shame they dont make a double crown fork, maybe next year?
  • 14 1
 Its a future devolopement. If they do realease one anytime soon, there going to have to go through alot of R&D to make sure its top notch like the rest of their products. Its good that someone finaly gives X-Fusion the Respect they deserve!
  • 15 2
 The shock on that SuperFly is hideous!!!
  • 4 0
 Its just a white monarch, they do them in black too. Does look a little chunky in white though I'll give you that..
  • 7 0
 Agreed. I had a Vengeance HLR on my 2010 Enduro. Really liked the fork, and missed it after I sold the bike. The customer support is excellent too. Prompt replies from someone who actually builds the stuff. I asked about a double crown, and their reply was "if I told you, I have to kill you"...so I suspect it will be soon.
  • 6 0
 Got my grubby little hands on a Vector Air about a month back, and after a month of beating on it, love it so much more than my DHX air it's replacing. hi/lo adjustments ftmfw.
  • 2 1
 I was surprised that the Superfly 100 got the favorite bike of the year, seems strange that a carbon XC race bike is the best bike of the year when Pinkbike predominately covers bikes that can go bigger. If you wanted to pick a fantastic 29er that CAN hit the more techie stuff- why not the Trek Rumblefish II? Little more travel on there for the bigger stuff, but with all of the same features Levy liked on the Superfly (steep head angle paired with the offset fork, fatty chainstays, abp, etc gary fisher magic). Plus you don't have to worry about cracking the carbon because Rumblefishes are aluminum.
  • 4 0
 surprised he didnt pick the session 9.9
  • 3 0
 I have had 2 of the Vector HLR shocks on 2 bikes and they have been hands down some of the best rear shocks I have ever ridden. All I had to do was dial in the rebound and they were gtg. One replaced an custom tuned Elka and it was just the slightest bit better. Stoked on their products and their customer service. Great company to deal with, and they sponsor our local trail building org which is waaaay cool. Props to them.
  • 4 0
 First of all....sweet name Sortafast!

Second, the first time I heard of X-Fusion was seeing an advert if theirs in a copy of MBA many years ago. I remember thinking to myself "poor little company, they're either going to suck or just get blown out of the water by the big boys" I was also thinking that they wasted their money on the ad. Fast forward to now, I am so happy that they made it and are providing us with a great product at reasonable prices. In my eyes it was a daunting task that they were facing with the competition and that was coupled with a consumer group that is not exactly malleable when it comes to new companies (especially suspension) so I am very happy that they have made it this far. I have not tried any of their products yet but I will be buying a new fork in the next few months and they are at the top of my list due to all of the great things I hear about them.
  • 4 0
 People should think of X-Fusion as the CST/Maxxis of the shock/fork world. They OEM for a number of other brands that like to slap their labels onto shocks (like Specialized) for their own bikes, and they have their own lineup who's R&D was paid for by all those OEM sales. That model is btw exactly how shimano went from being the third choice major drivetrain component maker (in the 1970s thru early 80s) to the top drivetrain component maker by the early 90s. A lot of riders laugh when they hear someone say "my bike has a shimano derailleur so its a good bike right?" and they're talking about something they bought at a department store, but that's what made shimano all their money in cycling. FORTY years of supplying derailleurs and more to be stock parts on millions and MILLIONS of department store bikes. It certainly wasn't from producing parts used by 1% of cyclists.
  • 33 0
 Also a nice product pick would be a financial adviser, because i'm going to be near broke by the time I get all of this XD
  • 28 0
 I good financial adviser would tell you to stop spending your money on bike parts, so I would stay clear of them.
  • 1 0
 HaHa! nice
  • 1 0
 I could suggest a friend who's one. Wink
  • 5 1
 I could be your financial adviser , I advise you to give your money to me so I can spend it on bike stuff? Big Grin
  • 10 0
 Those G-form knee pads fit my requirements 100%, and the Reverb seat post looks like it could well be on my next upgrade. Very tasty indeed..
  • 8 1
 I got myself some of the stuff above this year and I would still say that the TOP GEAR CHOICE that will make you rip longer stronger and faster weighs from 5kg up and is called:

fundamental training equipment... such as dumb bells, kettle bells, yoga mat etc.

+ some good training program i.e James Wilsons "DB Combo Drills" or go all the way for Ultimate MTB Workout
  • 2 0
 I'm on James' UMTB workout and it's awesome. It covers a LOT of stuff and is specific for riding strength. Best investment ever!
  • 1 0
 Hm, i'm not sure if it's just specific for riding strength, as it seems to me as a very good general body training as well, that is helping you to build a healthier body. So it's a win win situation.
  • 1 0
 So true. I'm a gear head at heart, but it's easy to forget that it's the motor that counts.
  • 7 0
 (Imagine the tub scene from Billy Madison)
26 is better!
No 29 is better!
26 is better cause it gets your hair all clean and shiny!
No, 29 is better because it gets your hair all silky smooth!

BTW Those G-form pads are Rad, and I love em! Smile
  • 6 0
 Mike that was a great article . I don't agree with all your choices but i think they are good ones . Instead of pointing out the reverb as best product , i would average it out to dropper posts in general . Adding flow were there never use to be flow should inherit the prize . Merry xmas to Mike and the rest of the team at PB please keep the articles coming cheers
  • 6 2
 Capitalism is groovy. Im a capitalist and I will die for it. I have the free right to change my mind when the prices go down..

When much is give, much is required.

When freedom is given to the bike industry, the biking company can send out spies to see what people will pay for. ITs about numbers. Its about auditory and visionary hallucinations. The hallucination of happiness and to be tak'n care of. Or should I say " Being Tak'n......"

Bike companies can build a 5 pound downhill bike if you want one. The question their looking for is, Will you pay for one. They can go to numerous technologies in the oil industry, aeronautical instrustries, race car manufactures, medical and war industries tap their technologies to keep us roll'n for the next 200 years. The question is. How can they get you to lift that money out of your pack into their Vacation accounts. How can they convince you that you need one. That is the despicability that everyone is screaming about.

We are not mad at them. We are mad at us. Because we are using them like a drug to escape. And like any good addict, we are willing to pay and play the game to be tak'n care of and live in this fantasy bond. like any good drug dealer, they are willing to Father and Mother to us and groom us and lead us in, deeper and deeper and deeper until we cant live without them..

I think everyone should have to spend one year on a 2001 Enduro bike and like it.... with out buying anything new...
  • 7 0
 Mike Levy is rad, has an awesome job, makes solid picks, and probably rips harder than any of you posers!
  • 5 0
 1x10....i have been riding this for many year (1x8 in the old days) never looked back...too much to go wrong,rattling,chain slips,wear n tear,cabling etc..
  • 3 0
 100% agree on the Superfly 100. Drop that stem right to the head tube and it's aggressive enough to just rail on the bike. Hung up my 26 hard tail for this one.
Not sure I would give up my trail bike for it but this will for sure be my XC race machine for 2012.
  • 3 0
 Sedona?? Really?? I guess if your into snowbirds and Rodeo Drive it might be cool but it's old west town feel was lost years ago when the scottsdalites moved in and now a burger and beer costs $30. If you're coming to Az, save your money, Drive down to Tucson and ride some really fun trails. No question Sedona is a pretty and unique place but the riding is leisurely at best. Otherwise go to Moab... Just as pretty, no pretense, and killer riding!
  • 1 0
 Lol, Leisurely? Im guessing you went into the tourist center and they directed you to the 15 foot wide Bell Rock Pathway... Like every city, there are the tourist trails, and the "other" trails.
  • 1 0
 I would like to visit this place called Sedona one day from stories I've heard and vids I've seen. I've been to Moab a couple of times and Fruita as well and without ever being to Sedona, I wouldn't call it leisurely by any means.
  • 1 0
 I made a trip to Sedona last year and was super disappointed in the riding. Scenery was amazing but the terrain goes up for 10 seconds, down for 5 repeat. Never in the right gear because it is so up and down, had one downhill of about 35 seconds that was a blast. But rode about 30 miles of trail that I found by talking to people who ride there and riding with a couple locals, not reading guide books or visiting the bike shops for the "tourist" stuff. Beautiful place and fun to spin around, but the actual riding was a big disappointment for me.

My 2 cents. Though if you like taking photos, as I do, I have two poster sized prints I took in Sedona in my living room that are amazing.
  • 3 1
 I disagree with the RockShox Reverb being the best dropper post out there. I personally think that the Specialized Command Post is the most reliable, best working, and thought it may not have a hydraulic actuation lever, the best for the money at $275. Many of my riding friends and people who come into my shop have had a lot of different problems, including the barb breaking, the lever breaking, the hose tearing and the lever seizing up, however, almost everyone at my shop rides with a Command Post, and I have had one for a year now, and I have only serviced it once, and it is working like new.
  • 3 1
 `The gloves couldnt look like they fit any worse and who wants extra material on the inside of your hands...surely you want to feel the bars? This is my first post ever on a thread or whatever you call this and its purely because of the dislike for those gloves people need to realise that feel changes the ride soooo much for the better its unreal! the protection or whatever is realistically going to do nothing and for the maybe little amount it might do just enjoy the ride to its fullest instead!
excess material and bad cut just all over by the looks of 2 pictures! I really hope he gets some that actually fit good and it will improve his quality of life 100 % !!!! cheers then.
  • 4 1
 I'm sure I want to feel my bars, so much that I don't ride with gloves.
  • 1 0
 I don't know about no gloves but as close as I can get while still providing some protection and sweat absorption. That sweat doesn't make it hard for you to shift/brake?! Fox Unit gloves are about as thin and form fitting as you can get, I haven't found anything else that comes close.
  • 1 0
 The only problem that I have with sweat is that I can't handle the bars propely... But I solve that problem rubbing my hands on the dirt Razz
  • 2 0
 @surreysells - It's just the photo that makes them look awkward. They fit great.
  • 1 0
 Big Mike, b.t.w., have you ever used Fox Launch Pro Knee pads? Wanted to see them tested ahah Razz
  • 6 0
 brilliant now i'm off to price up for a 1 x 10!
  • 2 0
 Hmmm, a couple of the sections in this blog were interesting, but, at other times I felt I felt like I was reading, "Best new consumable liquid: Water! It's wet and good for you. Favourite Breathable Gas: Air. Doctors have confirmed the breathing of air is in fact good for you, with particular benefits to brain, muscled, and metabolic function, and, when consuming the fresh outdoor variety, can have a wonderful euphoric effect."
  • 2 0
 Mike, great article for AM riders like myself. Do you run a tensioner on your 1x10 AM setup? I've got the e13 XCX guide as well and a med cage SRAM. Chain slaps like a mofo. Do you "1x" folks measure chain "big-big" + full link? It's gonna really wind that derailleur up, but it may be worth it to make my bike shut up already.

Bulkiness is what was holding me back on knee pads. These may be worth a looksee.
  • 2 0
 I run 1x9 on my do it all bike, ran it on my long travel hardtail when i had it as well, and have a full chain guide (MRP G2). I used to run a superstar top-only guide, but i found that it dropped the chain occasionally if you have to backpedal. I still get chain slap, but it doesn't bother me too much. I measure the chain big-big + full link as you said and the chain is plenty long enough.

Merry christmas and a happy single-ringing new year Wink
  • 2 0
 Short cage rear derailleur and determine chain length by routing it big/big (through the derailleur) and bottoming out the rear suspension by letting the air out or removing the coil.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy, what do you think of running a 1x10 on the superfly?
  • 1 0
 I have yet to convert it, but plan to in the new year to help get some fitness back. One thing to keep in mind with 29'ers is that the larger wheel changes the aspect ratio, meaning that the gearing range will be slightly higher than on a 26'er if the same ratios are used. The SuperFly will have to use a direct mount guide like the 1X or XCX.
  • 1 0
 @Treehugger84, pick yourself up an XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur. Chain slap is gone, chain derailments are almost gone and you'll never get chainsuck. I can't believe this wasn't in the best products of the year. Apparently SRAM will have their own version next year.
  • 1 0
 I've definitely considered it. Hate to toss my nearly new SRAM setup. I guess I'll wait for SRAMs version. And by next year, I hope you mean 2 weeks from now
  • 1 0
 I've heard that we should see the Sram version at Sea Otter 2012 and wouldn't doubt that it'll be available in the summer. They'd better do it before Shimano releases the Saint, XT and SLX versions to keep from losing a bunch of market share that they've won.
  • 2 0
 @mike levy

great choice on the RS Reverb seatpost

fundamental game changer, super reliable and great backup from SRAM if it does go wrong

case in point? I snapped the trigger shaft on my 3 month old Reverb (totally my fault, snagged it on my shorts)

sent it back to UK SRAM Distrib. (fisher outdoor) and within 3 days had the damaged part replaced FOC and a full service thrown in for good measure

I really missed those 3 days of riding without my Reverb, but with my original Easton Haven rigid seatpost....something was missing from my ride, my left thumb kept going for the trigger every time I went downwards!!
  • 5 0
 Agree on the single chainring setup BUT it punishes you if you miss two weeks riding!
  • 1 0
 definitely, which i do far too often! One or two rides though and you're back on top, gets you fit fast! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 No form is lost or built in two weeks, and not even in a month if you just ride your bike which I am said is not a good way to get fit at all. If you can't pedal up on a 32t chainring then something is really wrong, do some strength/cardio training. The simpliest workouts take like 15-20mins a day.

Im a very sour person and I believe that if someone has trouble pedalling up on 32t, then he is most probably not using the 36t on downhills which is the most common chainring among "gravity riders" on single CG setups. I think it's a bit of dh racing influenced overuse than realistic approach to own abilities. So it's good to save the trouble, drop the extreme DH ego and start the 1x? "uphill for downhill" life with 32 and steadily move up when getting stronger

Having said that I also think the only seduction 10sp offers is 11-36 range. 9sp 11-34 isn't much tougher and works just fine with a bit of fitness. Apart from that, why isn't industry doing 9sp 11-36 cassettes? Steady gear ratio increase? Please leave that BS to roadies
  • 2 0
 I run a 36t chainring up front on my single ring setup, so get your facts right before you go off on one about people not being fit enough, I can ride up near enough anything on 36t Wink

And of course you can gain fitness in a month, or even two weeks. It depends how much riding you do. The only exercise i do is riding (not to keep fit, but because i love riding) and i guarantee that if i didn't, I'd be a fat tub of lard. A few months ago, when I had more time, I was riding 3 or 4 times a week, as opposed to my usual once or twice a week, if i'm lucky, and I saw my fitness improve significantly over the period of about 6 weeks (and I dropped a few notches in my belt). So keep your nonsense to yourself please. Smile
  • 1 0
 What's nice with cardio is that you can get to a decent point very fast but the downside is that you can lose it just as fast too, compared to let's say, strength training, which seems to be the total opposite.

Speaking of single chainrigs, if I was able to clear every hill I've seen on a road bike with a 39t granny and a 12-25 cassette how does it compare to a 36t with a 11-36 cassette on a trail bike? I know you get more rolling resistance on the trail bike and the terrain eats some of your power but do you think it will be good enough or I should just try the 2 ring setup and see how it goes? Kind of trying to build this machine so I can climb EVERYTHING and go down EVERYTHING too so I'm reluctant to go to the 36t right away but I don't want to buy a 2x chainguide only to switch 2 weeks later either.
  • 2 0
 Agree with Bogey that "XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur" is my top of the list choice!!! SUPER QUIET, CHAIN SLAP GONE, NO DROPPED CHAINS...
  • 3 0
 I have ordered my first 2x10 bike which also happens to be the first XC hardtail I've owned in a decade! I will probably give the 1x10 a go. I'll replace the 36-29 double for something like a 32 single.
  • 1 0
 It all depends on your rear gearing. It is has a 12-36 then i would run a 34 or 36t front ring, but it is all preference.
  • 2 0
 Well I have two ideas to pick from the list above, but one product is missing. Like many guys say that the X-Fusion shocks are great, I can say the same about the adj post from X-Fusion, the Hilo. I owned Gravity Droppers (the best over all the posts), the Crank Brother Joplin (well, but not the best) and now the X-Fusion Hilo, it works great, not any lateral play, come with the two setups of levers to allow you choose and manufacturing is top of any. Only a small lack of speed at the last half inch when going up, but for the rest it´s amazing and at a lower price.
The other is about the 1x10 set up, prevously my Yeti ASR7 came with the 36-24 front and 9v11-34 rear, it improved my strength to push such bike in step hills were I ride normally, it was very good in ratio/speed going up and going down. Now with the Ibis HD I would make the experiment, so I took and e13 33T and 34T chainrings to try each and choose the best for my riding zone. With the 34T was fine but the 36T in the back doesn´t made a big improvement from my 2x9 set up, so when I installed the 33T all the things changed, I can say that to come back to 2 chainrings setup for me will be hard, I will stick to buy some different sizes for the chainring and swap depending to the riding zone. It allow you reduce cables (not a big problem for me), you can save money if you are going custom building, more bling parts due colors and manufacturers designs and also you can play with your seatpost lever positions, I don´t know why this part still the Achiles hell of all the manufacturers to do a nice and friendly when need to push it.
  • 2 0
 X-fusion for the win! been on the vengeance since it came out, everyone who rides them is mega excited and struggle to believe, they were off to a slow start with thier low end OEM crap for specialised, the high end gear is the best value suspension you can get the coin. Got a new HLR vector on the DH bike, 02 RCX on the Dartmoor wish, X-fusion forks up front on it, and over other bikes. Best of all, selling them in build kits and they come lowered out of the Distri: can't argue with that! Anthony's service is top notch too, so much so it's why we've gone from Manitou to X-fusion because of their service, awesome products and staying on the game!
  • 2 0
 Some excellent recommendations. I drank the niner cool aid and will never look back. It's not a new technology, but 2012 will see a lot of focus on longer travel niners. The 1x drive train is awesome! I converted from 3x9 and have never looked back. I agree that you are stronger than you think! I have to disagree with the Sedona pick. Flagstaff, AZ blows Sedona away. Sedona is more scenic, but Flagstaff has some of the best singletrack I've ever ridden. Great to see a writer who considers price and is looking out for his readers!! I see so many product picks and the price is a joke. Keep up the great work.
  • 3 0
 Mike.... Agreeing on everything... I really want a 29er but haven't got my crap together yet... Any thoughts on 29er tires? I've been getting a lot of good feedback on the new Schwalbe Racing Ralph tread for 2012
  • 1 0
 The racing ralph is great but i have had the greatest reviews on the Geax Saguaro tyres. They are great for all conditions and lots of people swear by them. For lightness i would run the Schwalbe but for overall the geax, the sidewalls are much stronger but you do for fit a little on the weight
  • 1 0
 Check out the Purgatory tires from Specialized. Super consistent feeling, no matter what the conditions seem to be. They do a 29'er version in 2.4" for up front and 2.2" out back. I've been on the tubeless friendly versions with reliability in mind... super effing tight fit on the rims, though.

I fall asleep every night and dream about Kenda doing a 2.3" Excavator in 29"...
  • 1 0
 Since when was the reverb the least problematic of the dropper posts? I think sram has been paying off the media outlets to say such things. All you heard about this past year and a half is how the reverb had all these issues and people were going through multiple bleeds and sometimes even multiple posts. Now suddenly when all the "best of 2011" lists are being compiled the reverb is the golden boy. I don't get it.
  • 1 0
 Gutsy calls! Hard to pick the best bike of 2011, so many nice bikes out there.

1X10! I would think 2X10 would be more versatile therefor a better call for best pics.

As for destinations, Sedona is awesome, but I would agree with another poster here who mentioned Southern Utah if only for more variety and equally amazing terrain/scenery. I can see why you wouldn't say Whistler, not exactly a destination for us Wink
  • 2 0
 the point of 1x10 isn't versatility, it's simplicity (and a weight saving, i guess). Best thing I ever did was go 1x9 (can't afford to move to 10sp just yet), as I barely ever go for the granny ring, and it's made me a lot fitter! It's also a lot less hassle on the trail, ie no more dropped chains, no more front mechs that won't behave properly, no more big chainrings to gouge my calves/shins open, and less drivetrain to clean! It's a no brainer for me.
  • 3 0
 He does say favorite bike that he's ridden - not the same as best bike as you are correct - so many bikes. I love my 2x10 though as I am not fit enough for the 1x10 until I see some 29-30T front ring options.
  • 3 0
 I think you'd be surprised what you can get up on a single 32t ring! how often do you really use your granny ring? I'll bet that most of the really steep climbs where you would want a granny ring will be too loose for you to properly get the power down and you'll end up pushing anyway!
  • 2 0
 Enough that I would keep a 24-26T option around until they make a 29-30 to try. Long slogs are nicer to spin out than to see how tough one is and I would rather spin than waste energy mashing through things.
  • 2 0
 Fair enough, 1X10 sure is simple. No front deraileur is not a bad thing!

I've tried 2X10 a bit and I am surprised at how much I can climb in the 26X36. Mike is right, you are stronger then you think... and it is more efficient.

But I don't think I'm strong enough for only one ring in the front, what is it usually anyway?
  • 1 0
 Sam 264 - If you ever rode up the mountain where Tyler rides up most of the time you would understand.... It's a pretty gnarly climb!
  • 1 0
 to be fair, north wales is hardly flat! most climbs where i can't manage on the middle ring, i won't want to bother in the granny ring!
  • 2 1
 i think over all these are good choices, but i would like to see top product picks picked by the PB users. we have been voting for a little while now and i think they should take all of those top voted and do a spread on those. like if you agree.
  • 1 0
 having watched my buddy shatter a kneecap into three pieces during a simple fall ( he was wearing foam knee pads). I would never use any foam knee pads, no better than taping tampons to you knees. Your knees are a necessity for riding a bike, protect them properly guys!
  • 1 0
 Am on the market for a new fork, but never gave X fusion a thought. so I will be looking into that stuff. For me, it is 1x8 as long there are parts availability. As for 29rs, I own one, but I don't see myself abandoning the 26r HT any time soon.
  • 2 0
 X-Fusion 'Vengeance' is the BEST fork I had in the All-Mountain category, hands down! (I had 36 Talas, 36 VAN and a RockShock Lyrik)
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy, i was just thinking if you could've preferred the rumblefish over the superfly because its a bit gravity oriented whereas the superfly is leaning on the XC-ish side.
  • 1 0
 Honestly, I don't have any time on the Rumblefish, so I can't comment on it, only the bikes that I have ridden. With that in mind I don't often find myself wishing for my travel when I'm on the SuperFly, even when I'm on techy trails.
  • 1 0
 The 2011 Reverb was horrible if you used it for more then 2 months or so because it stoped functioning due to various issues. Just read the reviews on mtbreview.

Good news is that I was lucky and got the 2012 model as a replacement and can report that the 2012 model has fared much better. Had no problems with that one although if not bleed properly it will not be as responsive as it can be just as the 2011. I'd recommend the 2012 model. I would stay far away from the 2011-testing it out for a few hours and using it in the real world for a few weeks are completely two different things when it comes to the 2011 model. (2012 model has a black ring and not the silver one so you can easily tell the difference)
  • 1 0
 I have to agree that the dropper post is a revelation on my Trek Fuel 9.9. WITH 140mm Float up front. The moment I fitted this to my bike the fun factor down and also up tech single rocky track increased 2 fold. I waited for the 2012 Reverb and so far after fitting it myself without any hassle I've had no trouble with it at all. That said, keep the area around the seal clean and clear of dirt as often as practical. Would be cool if this came with a optional dust cover???
  • 1 0
 I fully agreed that gear trend will go toward "1 x 10 drivetrains". As he mentioned above it provides simpler drivetrain with less to wear out or go wrong, a shorter chain that reduces chain slap, less weight, and it definitely can build fitness faster than if you had a bailout gear to rely on.
  • 6 1
 Levy knows his stuff!
  • 9 10
 and he is into Asians, so he must be intelligent. he is kind of funny looking though ...
  • 33 0
 wat... i don't even... wat
  • 2 8
flag jaybird951 (Dec 22, 2011 at 6:18) (Below Threshold)
 asian dudes are hot....wait, i meant chicks....
  • 4 0
 wtf did i just read up there?
  • 1 0
 What the fudge is going on?
  • 2 0
 go home team...
  • 3 0
 I hope Levy reads your comment Home-team, if someone wrote that level of creepy about me i am quite certain that I wouldn't be sleeping for about a month.
  • 2 1
 Patrick9-32, I spend enough time with Mr. Levy to know that it would take a lot more than that to creep him out. If you added up the time I spent with him in 2011 it would be at least a month or more. And in that time I have learned that it might be impossible to outdo Mike. I live in fear of his retaliation for several of the comments I have made in the past year ... ha ha ha
  • 1 0
 i also live in fear of retaliation.....all fear the Levy!
  • 2 0
 x fusion's riders were using an unmarked dual crown at some of the races that apparently didn't look like the big brand forks so hopefully they have something in the works I love their velvet it is such a great fork built like a tank and light too plus cheap
  • 3 0
 well, these choices are best for a XC/AM rider. Someone with a DJ bike, like myself, wouldn't agree.
  • 1 0
 Reverb as product of the year? I bet that product has the most warranty claims of 2011. I might have picked the new XT brakes which are incredible and can be found for $130 each.
  • 6 5
 You guys need to stop telling people that 29ers are better than 26. Its sad that many riders out there actually think that buying a niner is going to make them faster or win races. OH I FORGOT, NINERS DON'T WIN RACES!
  • 3 4
 Niners the brand or Niners the wheel size? The brand Niner is more well known for recalls and design defects but the wheel size has multiple world cup and world championship XC wins now, as well as quite a few ultra-enduro wins including 24hr races, Super-Ds, and other events. Quite a few competitors at this years Megavalanche ran 29ers also.
  • 6 0
 Funny, I never said that they were better. Different, yes. Better, no. It isn't all about race results, I just like the way that a lot of 29'ers ride.
  • 6 0
 The XC World Cup and World Championship was won by Jaroslav Kulhavy on a 2012 Specialized Epic 29er. Obviously 29ers win races.
  • 2 8
flag lopez65 (Dec 22, 2011 at 11:55) (Below Threshold)
 And who gives a damn about XC racing?
There is other websites for clowns on big wheels!
  • 3 0
 XC racing is a huge part of the sport so i believe that many people do "give a damn." Plus i bet you have never ridden a 29. They are great for an bike that is 100mm of travel or less in my opinion. I have a 29 hardtail race bike and then i have a 26 bike that does it all. So go test one then think before you post.
  • 1 4
 I sell them and like I said, people come to the store thinking its going to be and improvement over the 26 and not thinking that maybe they just need to get better at it. Seems to me you fall into that category.
As for the 29ers go?, well, for some reason I still believe that maybe its just the circus passing thru town.
  • 2 0
 Well then you're in a circus of a minority because the wheelsize is here to stay, the bikes are getting bigger and better, and more and more established names of the sport, even the freeride sport, have changed their tune on then. A few years ago Wade Simmons flat out declared he hated 29ers and that they were a joke. Now he does most of his trail riding on one.
  • 1 4
 We all know that wade is going to be ridding on a wheelchair soon, as for the clown bikes?, well intense just gave up on the whole 29 DH bike and is trying a 650b wheel only at front, cause the rear can't turn quick enough and has to run on a 26.
  • 1 0
 Yes but that's a 29 DH bike... Trek who has more money for R&D also abandoned their 29 DH project. But Trek is fully behind the size for All-Mtn & Trail riding, as is Santa Cruz, as is Salsa and Kona and Rocky Mountain and Scott and On-One and Titus and Transition and fifty other brands.

I have multiple 650B bikes and they turn in just fine with the wheels front and back. Other brands have gotten the geometry perfect (Haro, Jamis, etc) yet somehow Intense still can't get it right? I think its more likely they don't want to invest in tooling for another model frame to get the tire clearance right in back for the eventual growth in tire widths that is going to come with 650Bs. As it stands now though they have a number of frames that fit 650Bs in back with just a wheel swap. Intense strikes me as a company that doesn't take that many chances anymore on new frame models because they're generally such poor sellers in most markets due to the high cost.
  • 1 5
flag lopez65 (Dec 22, 2011 at 14:51) (Below Threshold)
 Did you just said?: I have multiple 650b bikes?
So, you have all this bikes and complain about the high cost of frames?
I knew it, you are just another posser from Canada.
  • 2 4
 Yeap, he said multiple, and he probably makes them too. The stuff that people makes up just too look good. What a looser, next thing he is going to say its that he invented the 29er. ha,ha,ha.
  • 2 0
 i heard rocky mountain and gary fisher will only make their XC race bikes in 29er platform for 2012. and who took the XC world cup overall and champion for 2011? all done on a specialized epic 29er.
  • 2 6
flag endurocat (Dec 22, 2011 at 15:48) (Below Threshold)
 Who cares about XC?
You are in the wrong website.
  • 2 0
 XC is the new AM! Everyone I've talked to who has compared a 29'r to a 26'r agree they are faster on all but the most technical, tight trails.
  • 6 0
 LOL! at these two jokers. Its pinkBIKE not pinkONLYDHANDFREERIDEBECAUSEALLOTHERFORMSOFRIDINGISFORTEHGHEYS, Wade could out ride you any day, and WTF is a looser?
  • 1 0
 Agree on the NEW Shimano XT and XTR brakes with ICE rotors. PinkBike is pretty sedated on the SRAM kool-aid, so that is why it didn't make the list...
  • 2 0
 @will-burr - Actually, I just don't feel that I personally have enough time on the XT/XTR brakes to make that call. I've ridden the XTR stoppers for a short period of time and they were very very impressive, but like I said, not enough time on them to include them here. RC, on the other hand, did a review of them and was very impressed. His "Best of 2011" article may include them, I'm not sure. FYI, there is a very detailed LX brake review coming up as well.

I don't drink an Kool-aid, I ride things to form my own opinions.
  • 2 2
 @lopez and enrico

YES...MULTIPLE...

I have a Haro Beasley AM hardtail in 650B (NeoMoto 2.35s) and I have a Eclipse Hero Carbon XC full suspension in 650B (Quasimoto 2.0s). I also have FIVE other 26er bikes that I can make into a 650B setup with just a wheelswap. That's one of the beauties to the wheel size, the outside diameter (27.5" give or take a tenth of an inch) being the same as a 26 x 2.7 means any 26er mountain bike or fork with the tire clearance for big enough tires can instantly become a bigger wheel bike. There's been rumours in the industry that Rocky Mountain, Specialized, Cannondale and Trek are all looking at adding 650B bikes to their lineups soon, and that Fox will soon be offering a 650B specific model to go with X-Fusion and White Brothers who already produce 650B specific or compatible forks.

And yes, I build all my own bikes from the frame up. I also handbuild all my own wheels and have done so for two decades now. I definitely do prefer bigger wheels to smaller ones now that the options for them are available. I have at present two built 29ers (a Salsa Dos Niner softtail and a GT peace 9r multi fully rigid), a Salsa Spearfish frameset as a over-winter project to build up, and I'm just waiting on the arrival of my crankset and finishing building my wheelset to put my Salsa Mukluk snow bike together. It technically is a 26er but its a 26 x FOUR INCH WIDE tire. So in actual inflated diameter its 29 inches.

And yes, even though I have a LOT of bikes, I do still value my money and don't see any reason to piss it away paying $2400 on an Intense frame when I can get better value/performance from another brand. Even if I do largely pay wholesale on bike stuff, I still wouldn't buy myself an Intense. If that makes me a poseur then so be it, but coming from a guy who can't afford a $250 Magura MT140 and yet claims to work in a store and sell bikes... that label didn't carry a lot of weight.
  • 2 1
 Maybe he doesn't carry a lot of weight, but I do.
I work for the industry testing suspension products and I own an intense bike.

Did I mention former Dh Champ too?
And yes, you don't know what are you talking about.
  • 1 1
 Former DH champ of what? California state masters 40+ or something? One of those categories where 3 people show up for the finals of? For someone who claims to test suspension products, you're woefully ill informed as to what is actually happening in the bike industry. So you own an Intense. Congrats. Want a popsicle now?
  • 1 1
 Perhaps you would like to share your credentials.
I checked, and this guy (enrico650) is actually. A norba national champ.
Perhaps we are all wrong and you work for a major brand.
Or is all a just you trying look good.
  • 1 0
 Besides being a regular contributor on mtbr and the usenet bike newsgroups from the mid-90s forwards (and known to quite a few of the bigger names in the bike industry, and liked enough by the late sheldon brown for him to inquire if I was dead when I stopped posting on one particular forum), I've worked in multiple stores, have raced expert level XC, have mountain biked for 25+ years, and started the second online specific bike shop in the world, back when the world wide web was still a very young thing.

As to enrico being a norba champion, yes... 2005 Masters class. Whoopy. I regularly rode with and have personally known MANY senior elite canadian national and WORLD championship XC and DH racers. So what. Racing creditentials in a small field event doesn't make someone an expert on something happening SIX plus years later.

As to trying to "look good", that'd be you and enrico... who's comments are consistently voted down below the threshold levels for normal viewing. A pair of yokes who are so anti-29er to be blind to what's actually happening in the industry, and who think their narrow little worlds they live in somehow makes them experts on them.
  • 1 1
 Blab,blab,blab,blab. Just admitted man. He put you in your place and you can't take it.
I know this and that and I know this person,and I rode with this person ,and the web is not the same without me.
At least this guy,(enrico) speaks his mind even if people don't like it. Its not a popularity contest.
This cat has more credentials and knowledge than you.
He has a picture of a prototype 2013 fork for 29ers. All carbon, its sick man!
More than I have seen from you.
  • 1 0
 Funny how I answered your questions but you never answered mine, yet supposedly i'm the one who got put in a place. Really. You're one of those delusional americans who thinks that the way to change a lightbulb is to hold onto it, and then wait for the world to revolve around you, aren't you?

He has a PICTURE of a 2013 prototype fork for 29ers.... Ohhhh wow. Really? That's all it takes to impress you? A photograph? Are you actually 46 or did you just put that on your profile to fool people into thinking you're not actually 16 ?

I'm sorry you think the point to this website is for people to impress you. I really do. It must suck to live a life where reading reviews on pinkbike is the highlight to your day and then bitching about the editors who then come out and state they like 29ers because they pissed in your 26er cornflakes.
  • 1 1
 I'm a terrible person!
I not only post this things to impress people,many of them ask me about the tech an future projects.
And just to show you that is not BSHT. When I'm done with my stuff I usually give people the chance to try it,and in almost all the cases I sell my stuff with the prototypes for prices sometimes below my cost. (GO TO MY BUY AND SELL ITEMS)
So if I'm such a bad person,why would I do that?
I'm not like you,trying to get money from old parts. If you have some decency you would give them away.
Shame on you!
  • 1 1
 Good one man!
This guy its not worth your time.

Maybe you can help me with a fork for my bike?
  • 1 0
 Hold the phone. Shimano makes a 11-36 nine speed cassette? I've been wanting this for years and waiting eagerly for Hope Tech to release their adapted version since I first read about it. Is this new, and where do I get one?
  • 2 0
 Its a a deore level cassette but the range is 12-36 not 11-36. HG61 is the code series I believe. They weigh about a pound each. I believe Mike may be missing the bit of info that while the Deore group does now offer a 11-36 cassette (HG62) it is also now a ten speed group (and Alivio is now a 9speed group).
  • 1 0
 Can you not just change the 12-t cog to a 11-T cog on that 12-36 cassette??? I read around here that some guy's are doing just that!! Can this be confirmed please?
  • 1 0
 @Rigaud Yes, just have to change de 12t cog for a 11t one. Custom cassettes are pretty common these days, specially in DH and 4X.
A friend os mine did it in a 12-21 Tiagra (or 105 dont remember). Get a 11cog from other cassete and replace the 12t from the tiagra (or 105)
  • 2 0
 @deeeight - Thanks for the catch, too many numbers in my head! =)
  • 1 0
 I think I might have a legitimate opinion since I have ridden both, but i personally find the 26" better to ride. Im not saying that they are the best wheel size in the whole world (although I like them more), but I like 26" better because they are alot easier to manouvre and throw around compared to the 29er, which suits my style of riding better as i like to be a bit more aggresive.
Mind you, in road riding and stuff like that, the 29" rips up. And on really straight fast courses, the 29er will perform better overall.
But I personally prefer the 26 as said before. Smile
  • 2 0
 My Reverb failed on its first ride, sent it back, it lasted another 8 rides and blew its seals again, got a Gravity dropper turbo now, which I can fix myself
  • 3 3
 Why are the products quoted in US dollars and not Canadian? You are a Canadian site, a large majority of your users seem to be Canadian. Stand up and be patriotic instead of quoting US prices. Most Canadians now think that with the dollar close to parity that the Canadian prices should be similar. Unfortunately that is not the case as our Canadian distributors largely get stuff out of the States after it has landed in the US from overseas. It gets taxed twice and then the Canuck distributor takes a chunk. When Canadians walk into their LBS they get frustrated at the price and the LBS either has to drop his pants or loose the sale to a internet clearance site.... probably one that they saw advertised on PB. Most cyclists need a brick and mortar for both service and advise. PB could be doing a better job of supporting them IMO.
  • 10 0
 Just to be sure that I'm on the same page as you, are you saying that PB doesn't support Canadian LBS's because we list prices in USD?

I'm all for supporting local shops (I worked at the same one for over 10 years FYI), but it sounds to me like your issue runs deeper than what currency we use in our articles. We are very proudly Canadian, but, being a website, our audience is spread all around the world. USD is the most widely recognized currency, and the easiest for many to convert to their own country's dollar value.
  • 2 3
 What I am saying is that as a Canadian site, quoting in US suggested retail prices, you are making it very obvious to Canadian cyclists that their LBS prices are higher than what they would pay if they are in the US, even when our dollars are close to parity as they are now. This encourages the trend which was very damaging to us this year, customers shopping south of the border, usually online. Converting the dollar currencies does not result in an accurate price in your own country unfortunately, due to import duties, importer margins etc. By broadcasting the US price to Canadians and the world (but not explaining why Canadian prices are higher than a pure currency conversion) it makes the Canadian LBS look like they are hiking the prices when all they are doing is sticking with suggested Canadian retail, based on the higher costs that they are paying themselves. It worsens the situation where we we have to try to compete with US prices even though we are paying Canadian costs. The situation certainly isn't PB's fault, but quoting US prices doesn't help anybody. Readers that can navigate PB can also manage a currency conversion site where Canadian dollars are just as easy to convert as American. If you are a Canadian site, you should be quoting Canadian, not American prices.
  • 6 0
 "What I am saying is that as a Canadian site, quoting in US suggested retail prices, you are making it very obvious to Canadian cyclists that their LBS prices are higher than what they would pay if they are in the US, even when our dollars are close to parity as they are now"

- Like I said, we're a Canadian site, but our readers are from all around the world, much more so that what you'd find of a magazine's readership. In fact, US and Euro readers compare similarly to our Canadian numbers. We're based in Canada, but we are, in effect, worldwide. I understand the struggle of the LBS, but it's no fault of ours that Canadian LBS's prices are higher than in the US, and that fact isn't something that is in our agenda to hide. It isn't on our agenda at all... creating original content that is relavent worldwide is, though.

"Converting the dollar currencies does not result in an accurate price in your own country unfortunately, due to import duties, importer margins etc. By broadcasting the US price to Canadians and the world (but not explaining why Canadian prices are higher than a pure currency conversion) it makes the Canadian LBS look like they are hiking the prices when all they are doing is sticking with suggested Canadian retail, based on the higher costs that they are paying themselves."

- That is 100% true, duties and taxes vary from country to country, but using USD still gives people in other countries a much better idea of how much an item costs than using CAD. I'm not about to explain why Canadian prices are higher in one of my reviews or articles. I may be Canadian, but it isn't my job to keep your shop from looking like it is hiking prices.

"If you are a Canadian site, you should be quoting Canadian, not American prices."

- Like I said above, I'm Canadian and the website is based in Canada, but our readers are from all over the world, with a very large amount of them being located in the US and Europe. We are a worldwide site.
  • 2 3
 I still think that you are being misleading to all of your readers outside of the US. I lived in Europe for a while and I guarantee that the Euros are going to find prices higher than converting the US listed price on your site. I don't blame PB for the situation as I said, however like it or not, your current practice is not helping the LBS in Canada or Europe for that matter.
  • 2 0
 "The situation certainly isn't PB's fault, but quoting US prices doesn't help anybody."

To all Canadians, but in particular the residents of the lower mainland, as a resident of Bellingham, WA I am very grateful to see you coming south every weekend and supporting our businesses. Thank you for all you add to our community!

Kootenay, you mention costs associated with import taxes, etc. Vancouver certainly has the infrastructure to handle direct shipping from overseas, perhaps your efforts would be better spent rallying other business owners to modify your tax code or distributor network to better compete with American prices than complaining about Mike spreading factual information.
  • 1 0
 Perhaps if the canadian government hasn't for the past three decades thru opposing political parties consistently demonstrated protectionist trade policies in an attempt to give an unfair advantage to canadian manufacturers of goods, even though our economy is largely export driven, then canadian consumers wouldn't always be paying MORE for goods here than they can get simply by driving across the border to the USA. And we're not for the most part being protectionist against the USA... but against other countries in asia and europe. Even a decade ago when the canadian dollar was trading in the low 60s cents US, it was still cheaper to get many bicycle parts mail-order from the USA. If canadian LBS's are feeling a pinch today, they need to learn to bloody adapt OR to start complaining to the government, but trying to get a media organization to cover up the discrepencies in pricing is an ultra lame thing to do.
  • 1 0
 I love it that you guys are asking these questions and debating certain aspects of trade, globalization, and specialization. It's all very interesting. Let's all look out for ourselves, and each other since that's what decent human beings should do. The "centers" of the global economy are shifting. Let's all pay attention and keep our trails open and free.
  • 3 0
 Love Sedona Riding! Been there 4 times and can't wait for my next trip.
  • 4 1
 Seems like he has a thing for 29ers
  • 2 1
 For 2012 we need a full 650b shoot out! Jamis, KHS, Lenz... Even one of the Big Three is producing one along with Fox jumping in for forks! Do it!
  • 1 0
 Technically the three biggest in terms of manufacturing capacity and sales would be SR Suntour, RST and Spinner though. Fox would have to have their sales added to rockshox and probably manitou to even come close to what SR Suntour does in annual sales.
  • 1 0
 By "Big Three", I meant frame manufacturers, not suspension.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure the superfly 100 has slacker head angle than 71, I think it's closer to 69, unless they've changed it from last years. Have you actually measured it?
  • 2 0
 "when you try to do your best scorpion impression" = fantastic description
  • 2 0
 I have one word and it is: Yes, yes i do agree
  • 4 0
 thats 5...
  • 3 7
flag BoardmanBoy (Dec 22, 2011 at 2:05) (Below Threshold)
 It is actually one word, the word was "Yes" and he was clarifying what he meant with that word... So dont try and be a smartarse about it...
  • 6 0
 @ BoardmanBoy he was probably sarcastic... you know a "joke"
or he is a smartass...
  • 1 0
 I ride a 29er set up 1x10 and use Dakine gloves Smile would love to try out some X-fusion stuff
  • 1 0
 IF ONLY THE REVERBS WOULD STOP BREAKING.....UG...........THE CHROMAG LYNX SEAT IS THE BOMB...PURE DOPE
  • 2 0
 And you haven't tried the Rumblefish yet! ;-)
  • 1 0
 I know, I know... I need to get on one of those asap!
  • 1 0
 British mag What Mountain Bike, current issue, head to head test between a rumblefish and the new Salsa Horse Thief. You should read it before seeing what you can get to test.
  • 2 0
 I hate bashing on my own country but DAMN some americans are ignorant
  • 1 0
 I agree on a few choices, but could have chosen a few better selections.
  • 1 0
 jeeeeesus christ how the hell did we end up on communism?
  • 1 3
 superfly 100....favorite bike of 2011?!?! i had to read that again. crap xc/roadie geometry and poor tire clearance. i mean...really??? you hire that cunningham guy and then this... *sigh*
  • 1 1
 Yes, its MIKE LEVY's FAVOURITE BIKE... not the entire pinkbike staff's favourite bike. Just the guy who wrote the article who tested a lot of bikes for 2011. Have you ever even clicked mike's profile to see what he rides himself (as in, his own personal bike, not the things supplied to pinkbike for tests/reviews by manufacturers). I presume you haven't because given how he owns a Trek Remedy, and lives in Chilliwack... I can only assume that Mike is NOT an XC/roadie kind of rider. You're like the customer who blames ronald mcdonald when he gets a bad cheeseburger aren't you ?
  • 1 0
 Mike is the man. Hands down. Merry Xmas buddy !!!!
  • 3 2
 1x10 rocks !
  • 5 1
 1x9 Rocks allmost the same way....but with this new 10speed trend, omg omg we could use just 1 chainring! Like it wouldn't work with 9speed transmission. I'm not blaming on you killboy...it´s just shitty capitalism and consumerism...

Oh hype...oh marketing...
  • 3 4
 Yeah, screw that Capitalism crap... give me COMMUNISM!!!!
  • 2 1
 The problem is...you need to give you one of that two?! It makes difference?! Really?!!!
Anyway...get to the point...
That´s my point about 10speed transmission and some trends (more than I would like) in bike industry. I just don´t give a f*ck if you agree with it or not.
  • 4 2
 Joke. So angry. But if you want to discuss - Capitalism and consumerism are what allows bike companies to exist, to develop products and to manufacture the bikes we love so much. 10-speed is no more a trend than 9-speed is, or what 8 or 7-speed was. It's a technology, like wheels, or handlebars. It's funny that you think that 9-speed is the magical sweet-spot, and that we reached the perfect number of gears, so we don't need more or less. People thought the same thing of 9-speed a few years ago. And in a few more years, I am certain people will be longing for the simple days of 10-speed.

Capitalism also allows you, the consumer, the ability to choose whatever products you like to buy. Conversely, you have the choice to NOT buy the ones you don't like. Your choice dictates where the industry goes. Hype and marketing? All businesses would go bankrupt without them.
  • 1 1
 I´m not angry. I just don´t understand some hype around some parts and some people that cannot live without the superXPTOcoolUltraLight part, even if it don´t give any better performance, but it is just awesome and super cool. Whats the difference between a 9v 36-11 cass + 35t ring and a 10v 36-11 + 35t ring? Never mind...
I just don´t give a f*ck about that kind of discussion because Capitalism and Communism have his owns pros and cons...and you are talking about just these two.
Businesses and free consumer, ok, but what about the environment, resources... (I know I am purchasing another discussion Razz - a wealthy one I wish)
(btw: sorry for my poor english...)
  • 2 0
 1 gear in between, probably a hundred dollars, and the some geekiness.
  • 2 1
 Nahhh!
  • 1 3
 Stopped reading after that bit about 29ers'
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