Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category


Manufacturer – Continental Tires America, Fort Mill, SC
Model – Trail King 2.2 UST
Price -$55

Review-

Sometime last year the Continental Trail King, formerly known as the Rubber Queen not only had a change in name, but also in sex.  But while these changes might seem drastic, don’t be fooled – this is very much the same tire in pattern, thread and compound.

The Trail King comes in two sizes, 2.2 and 2.4 to suite most rider’s needs.  What most won’t expect with the new name though is the extra girth these tires carry, with the 2.4 version surpassing most 2.5″ tires in width and the 2.2 coming a tad wider than most 2.3″ tires on the market.  But before you argue added rotational mass and weight, these tires more than make up for their extra doughnut-like appearance in bump compliance, traction, and rolling speed.  I’m on my third set and will be running these tires on my future builds.  The normal and UST versions both mix Continental’s Black Chili Compound, which from observation creates a tacky tire that’s firm on the sidewall, but wears really well.  I have over 400 miles on my last set and they’re still good to go.

Bottom line-

If you’re looking for a do-it-all tire, the Continental Trail King is hard to beat.  From shale, to hard pack, to boulders, these tires can grip with the best of them.  Let’s also not overlook the fact that these are German made, and we know that German’s don’t mess sh!t up.  Breaks loose as much as you want, and recovers better than you expect.  The Trail King is as predictable as they come.  Share the wealth of berm ripping fun, and feel like a king anytime you’re out on a ride.

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Company – Vegas Indoor Skydiving
Contact Info – 200 Convention Center Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 731-4768

Located in the Sin City just off the strip, Vegas Indoor Skydiving is sure to provide a  good time for all you thrill seekers. From the moment you start watching the training video to the moment you step out of the wind tunnel your adrenaline is pumping. But before the post-ride endorphin rush kicks in, you must  lay it all on the net in “your x” form to get lifted into the air as winds reaching speeds of up to 120 mph propel you into the ceiling. For first timers like myself it is hard to keep a stable flight in the air, but there is an instructor there to keep you from flying into the wall. After cycling through everyone in our group a few times our time at Vegas Indoor Skydiving was coming to a close. A dvd was delivered into our hands after so that we can re-live the excitement that’s sure to bring back smiles from ear to ear. This was definitely a highlight of our Vegas trip and I would have stayed in that wind tunnel all day if they let me.

PS: Thanks Mike!


Snowboard the Streets

There’s a certain rush you get carving down a mountain on your snowboard. This feeling is unlike any other. Steen Strand, the man behind Freebording found a way to bring this feeling to the streets.

“What I realized pretty early on is that a snowboard has the ability to move sideways over the snow, and a skateboard doesn’t” said Strand.

By placing a wheel in the center of the trucks that rotates 360 degrees, Steen has created a snowboard on wheels. Linking turns, from heel to toe edge, a rider can carve down any hill at whatever speed he/she desires. The two center wheels simulate the p-techs base of a snowboard, and the four outer wheels act as the steel edges of a snowboard.

The ability to ride sideways, spin 360’s, and float into switch are what makes this ride so much different from skateboarding, and more like snowboarding.

Imagine being able to pick up your snowboard, walk to your closest hill, and snowboard it. Every hill becomes a snowboard run and lift tickets are free. Whether you are going to the death-defying road across town or the mellow hill near your home, you find good roads and bad ones.

Does catching an edge mean anything to you? Every snowboarder has caught an edge before, and the concept is no different here. It isn’t something that happens often, but being prepared with pads, gloves and a helmet isn’t a bad idea.

It is important to remember while you are riding one of these things that there are some major differences. The biggest one is the lack of soft cushiony snow beneath you, and the presence of rough asphalt.


ManufacturerMask: Riffe, San Clemente, CA  / Snorkel: Tabata Co, Long Beach, CA
ModelMask: MA-060,  Snorkel: SP-200 Hyperdry Max
PriceMask: $65,  Snorkel: $43

Review

Riffe’s MA-060 dive mask is made of high-quality silicone and tempered glass that provides a tight seal and package.  Even at depths measuring more than 20 feet, the mask equalized with ease and the single lens construction provided a clear view without distorting your peripheral vision, including low light conditions with visibility of less than 15 feet.  The all-silicone construction is also comfortable and breaks-in to the users face quickly.

TUSA’s SP-200 Hyperdry Max is exactly what its name suggests it to be.  At the surface, the SP-200 performs with the best snorkels on the market, providing adequate guard against splashing, while still retaining maximum air-flow.  Under water, however, is where the SP-200 shines, providing optimal seal with two high-buoyancy floats that keep water out, and should it get in, a high flow purge valve allows the user to easily get it out.   An ortho-conscious mouthpiece and flexible silicone neck offers maximum comfort and its swivel positioning system makes sure that your snorkel is always at the correct position.

Bottomline

TUSA’s SP-200 and Riffe’s MA-060 makes for a combo that rivals that of Starsky and Hutch.  Both are excellent in repelling water, lessening purging sessions when going under.


Manufacturer – Specialized Bicycle Components, Morgan Hill, CA
Model – Pitch Comp
Price -$1650 MSRP

Review

Specialized’s Pitch caters to riders who are looking for an All Mountain ride that is capable of climbing and descending quickly without the added weight and price of a longer travel frame.  With 140mm of travel, the bike offers a plush ride even on rough rock gardens and square-edged hits.  Although the Pitch has 5 inches of travel on tap out back, the bike still maintains the climbing ability of an XC traveled frame with Specialized’s patented FSR suspension system – minimizing bob during pedal strokes, yet soaking up the terrain for maximum traction at all times.

Bottomline

A nimble bike that can descend with longer travel rigs, the Pitch is right at home for all-day rides with thousands of feet of climbing and thousands of feet of chunky descent thrown in.  Compliment it with an adjustable fork and an adjustable seatpost system for added efficiency and control for the ups and downs.


I used to use shoe goo on my S2 Bindings

Many Freeborders understand the frustration of having your feet slip out of the bindings, especially on longer runs. Various remedy’s fixing this problem have been posted, but after many trial and errors I have found this method to work best. I previously used Shoe Goo, as you can see in the picture, but Plasti-Dip, a liquid rubber compound, seems to work the best.

Plasti Dip $6.88

Plasti Grip is the answer

Step: 1

Scrape and peel off all the shoe goo or if you’re starting with fresh bindings, go ahead and clean the surface with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils or waxy residue, insuring a clean surface for the Plasti Dip to from a strong bond onto.

Shoe goo all peeled off

Step: 2

Pour the Plasti-Dip into a small tupperware and dip the bindings into the compound.

Dipping the S2 bindings int the Plast-Dip formula

I put rubber gloves on and spread the rubber onto all parts my foot would be touching to make sure i would have good grip. String them from a wire to let them dry, and coat them again.

You will then be ready to ride with the stickiest S2 bindings ever.

Important Note! Make sure you do not cover the screw holes, or the slot that the bindings slide into with this rubber formula. This is a pain to clean out and ruins the rubber seal.

Oops! I got rubber in the binding slot

Step: 3

This is what it will look like coated in rubber.  Mount them back onto your bord and  you’re ready to hit the hills.

Newly rubberized S2 Binding


Manufacturer – NoTubes, Big Flats, NY
Model – Tire Sealant
Price -$25

Review

A workshop staple for many riders, Stan’s Tire Sealant has saved many from losing precious seconds in racing, hiking their bikes down the hill or making their riding buddies wait as they change a flat.  Stan’s solution has been around for years and has seen use in many venues from National’s to grass root races.  Pros and weekend warriors alike have used Stan’s sealing effectiveness in preventing flats due to thorns, goat heads even nails  and glass.

Bottomline

Pulling out 16 goatheads from my tire after riding through a patch solidifies the effectiveness of Stan’s.  The solution – plain and simple works, and I use it even on ust tubeless set-ups for the added confidence and time-saving for when I will not need to put a tube in my tire should I flat.  After using similar products I find myself going back to Stan’s as my go-to tire sealant.  Pour two scoops worth and ride away, its even helped keep pressure and re-seat my tires after a pinch flat situation.


Manufacturer – Transition Bicycle Company, Ferndale, WA
Model – TransAM Frame
Price -$589

Review-

Transition Bike Company’s TransAM frame was designed to be a well-rounded hardtail that is good for bar runs to multi-day epics.  The steel frame is quiet no matter how chunky the terrain is.  While this bike shines on buff singletrack and climbs like a goat, it is by no means a flimsy XC bike.  Slack, smooth and stiff are just a few of the noticeable characteristics this frame offers.  Transition includes a headset and seatpost clamp with frame.  The campy style headset is smooth, and durable.  The seatclamp on the other hand lost its clamping power early in the game, causing the seatpost to slip while in the seated position.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a hardtail to replace a quiver of bikes, this is the frame to get.  It’s slack, it’s steel and it’s a deal.  The iscg tabs allows you to run it as a 1×9 with a bash/guide, and having the ability to run a 160mm fork means you can shred the gnar with confidence.

Feel free to put your opinion on this frame below.


Manufacturer – Kryptonics, Santa Fe Springs, CA
Model – Clear kryptonics 80MM/80A
Price -$16 – $25

Review-

I threw these on my Freebord after riding no other wheels besides the Slashers. I found that this soft wheel rides buttery smooth and it feels like your riding some fresh powder. Not necessarily built for speed I have found that this wheel is great for just cruising and throwing down some fresh carves and slides. I just could not get going fast on these, even with no slides or speed checks the wheel would not take me faster than 35 m.p.h. This is a very soft wheel and it wears down quickly. Also any slide over 25 m.p.h will put your clear Krypto’s in serious jeopardy of flat-spotting. I have been throwing these wheels on my board whenever I just feel like doing some cruising.

Bottom Line-

There is nothing wrong with riding the clear Krypto’s. They definitely are not good as the Slashers but at less than half the price it’s a much better deal than the slashers are. I will be ordering more of these. Great price for a decent to good wheel. I was surprised by how smooth the ride was. For $15.99 they are a great deal, but I don’t know how much more I would be willing to pay for these though.

16 Fresh Clear Krypto's. I'm ready to roll.

Feel free to put your opinion on these wheels below.