MTB Product Reviews & Comparisons

Get insight on the latest MTB products here with BikeCo’s product reviews & comparisons.

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Pro Tune Suspension for Specialized Enduro & Stumpjumper We are excited to offer BikeCo Pro Tunes for the Specialized Enduro & Stumpjumpers equipped with FOX suspension. Pro Tune Suspension for Specialized bikes will take your bike’s performance to the next level. After extensive testing our range of Specialized Pro Tunes will narrow the FOX performance […]

Ride Concepts Powerline First Ride Review The contact points on your bike make a huge difference in your riding. Have the right pedals with the wrong shoes? Well, it’s kind of like being “sort of” pregnant I guess. (it doesn’t work) I was drawn to the Powerline for a couple of reasons. DST 4.0 Rubber […]

Ibis Mojo 4 – Improved Geo Rides Better Than Ever With the Ibis Mojo 4 27.5″ wheel riders have a new trail bike option on the short list for review. Why are experienced riders so excited with the new Mojo 4 and the Yeti SB140? With modern geometry updates designers have been able to shift […]

New to MTB: Sighting Trail Users There are a lot of new faces on the trails these days. Welcome – we hope you enjoy the outdoors as much as we do. There has been a lot of change (understatement right?) the last couple months. One that has effected new riders is the lack of group […]

Effective Seattube Angle Explained Part two in an extended look at MTB Geo. (We started with explaining how Reach & Stack are directly connected) In this post we will examine how steeper effective seattube angles stretched bikes out, but actually made them more nimble and even may lead to riders downsizing. As counter-intuitive as it […]

Exploring MTB Geometry We often talk about a bike’s cutting edge geometry. But what makes an ideal MTB geo? Well, if you’re listening to some of the “influencers” it’s reach, reach and reach… Except it’s not nearly that simple. Exploring MTB Geometry you’ll see that reach is far more malleable than you might have thought. […]

170mm Fork on Ibis Ripmo We’ve been getting a ton of interest in what a 170mm Fork on Ibis Ripmo, both V1 and V2, is all about. Well, there are a handful of things you’re looking at. Let’s skip the flowery verbiage and jump right in.

What Got Me Outdoors – Nate at BikeCo I had a vaguely familiar feeling this week. It took a moment to place it. Kind of that antsy, working big hours, staring at a screen, issues large and small, real and exaggerated. More of a vibration than emotion (shit, I sound like a hippie). I remembered […]

Factors of the Best E-Bike Suspension Suspension matters. OK, kind of obvious right? But let’s look at why your e-bike’s suspension design might be even more important than a pedal (or acoustic) option. The best e-bike suspension accounts for factors similar to a pedal option while adding some unique stresses as well. There are as […]

Why We Race Professional Enduro Well its late February so it’s time to start hitting the warm up races and qualifiers. This year we thought we’d share some insight on why we race professional enduro. A lot of aspects to professional enduro racing that have direct correlation to consumer MTB. BikeCo owner  Joe Binatena’s experiences’ […]

MTB: Prioritizing Components for Performance – Personality & Price Recently I had a client hit me with with one of my favorite questions – What areas of my build will I most notice my budget? Well, BikeCo specializes in full custom as well as factory builds with upgrades. Our team is really versed on this. […]

BMC SpeedFox AMP E-Bike First Ride Review BikeCo.com is excited to be working with BMC’s AMP e-bike lineup. While I have some parking lot experience I thought I’d share a trail based e-bike first ride review. But first, let’s look at the parking lot. Joe and I initially planned to take out the BMC’s totally […]

Introducing BMC AMP eMTB We’re excited to introduce the BMC AMP eBike lineup to our clients. After an exhaustive market search we’ve decided to partner with BMC AMP for a variety of reasons. As always Performance is key here at BikeCo.com. The BMC Amp lineup features modern, intuitive, FUN geometry and suspension designs. Reliability. If […]

Yeti SB165 Extended Review BikeCo’s own Chris Fuller has happily owned a Yeti SB165 since their launch. I sat down with him to discuss the magic he’s found in a Yeti SB165 Extended Review.  So we got the SB165 demos in and you took one out on trail and had to have it? Ah, no. […]

More MTB Mullets – Comparing Travel, Headtube, Trail & Flop An interesting question come across my email wondering about MTB Mullet setup. In particular headtube angles and performance. How did the headtube angle compare between the Yeti SB165 in a 27.5″ stock setup with a 180mm fork compared to the Mullet 29″ 170mm concept? What […]

CushCore PRO vs XC Comparison CushCore products provide both rim protection as well as tire performance enhancement. With the new lighter CushCore XC release we wanted to drop a quick CushCore Pro vs XC Comparison review for you. The original CushCore, or CushCore PRO changed rim protection. Designed to not only keep your rims off […]

An introduction to Adaptive MTB with Jeremy McGhee Recently I had a chance to hit the trails with Jeremy McGhee a rider on the cutting edge of the adaptive, or AMTB. Jeremy and TrailForks are working to identify which trails are friendly to adaptive riding. Recording rides on a GoPro Jeremy documents a wide range […]

Spinning Circles with Kevin Aiello – Pedal More Efficiently Like a lot of jobs mine has perks. Lately one of those has been spending a lot of time in the shop and on the trail with Kevin Aiello from SoCalSpeedClinics.com. As I’ve mentioned Kevin blows me away with his MTB coaching aptitude. He sees something, […]

MTB Bolt Checks – Simple but Critical To Your Safety Consistent MTB Bolt Checks are critical to your bike’s reliability and safety. While components should be checked throughout their service life, it is particularly important to check new fittings. Stem, handlebar, grip and brake assemblies are especially important. Why You Need to Bolt Check Light […]

I Shift SRAM, GX Eagle Review SRAM’s GX Eagle drivetrain has been far and away the most popular option over the last couple seasons. Whether you’re looking at the value on a factory build or even spec’ing a full custom the SRAM GX option is worth a long look. After a few months running it […]

MotionIQ – the How of MTB Suspension Data Analytics

MotionIQ – the How of MTB Suspension Data Analytics OK, you read the “why” about mountain bike suspension data acquisition (if you didn’t check out BikeCo Pro Rider Cody Kelley, Joe Binatena and Rob Pryzkucki from Motion Instruments discuss it here) let’s now look at the “how” of the Motion Instruments MotionIQ system. Those who’ve […]

Suspension Testing with Cody Kelley and MotionIQ Prior to EWS Northstar BikeCo Pro Rider Cody Kelley and Joe Binatena had a chance to work with our friends from Motion Instruments, a Suspension Data Analytics company. We could write a thesis on it, but to keep it manageable we’re going to break it down into two […]

30 vs 32t Comparison – Drivetrain Review 30 vs 32t Comparison – from a slow climber… We get a lot of questions on chain ring options. So when my old cranks finally gave up the ghost, press-fit eventually gets sloppy and the creak / get loose often, I decided to go to a bigger ring. […]

SB130 Mullet Geometry Lot of questions on the new Mullet concept. Yeti has come out with the geometry for the SB140 as well as SB165 mullet conversions (check out our interactive geo comparison here) but I got a lot of inquires on the SB130 concept. So let’s look at the SB130 Mullet Geometry. My first […]

Alchemy Nine7Five First Thoughts BikeCo.com owner Joe Binatena is rocking a mullet. We went for a pedal to go through his Alchemy Nine7Five First thoughts. “Mullet” bikes are 29″ front and 27.5″ rear setups. If you’ve looked closely on this year’s EWS photos you’ve seen them under a wide range of riders. Let’s take a […]

180 vs 203mm Rotors Power, Modulation, Heat Capacity and Personality. Let’s look at some differences between 180 vs 203mm rotors (7″ and 8″). Power Increasing the radius of the rotor increases the brake’s leverage ratio. Using Magura HC rotos as an example we measure about 12.7mm of “usable” rotor / pad interface. Picking a point […]

Magura MT7 First Ride Review If you’ve followed our blogs you’ve seen a handful of posts on how much I love my Magura MT5 brakes. And I do. But, I had a little extra scratch and wanted to upgrade something. So after living on 5 different bikes the MT5s came off and fresh Magura MT7s […]

New to MTB Buyer’s Guide – Wheel Size, Travel & Suspension Welcome to the second section of our New to MTB Buyer’s Guide. Missed the first? Jump back to it here. Ready to start looking at the actual components? Well here we go. Let’s go over the key differences on a mountain bike setup. New […]

New to MTB – A Buyer’s Guide So you’re getting into, or getting deeper into, the sport of mountain bike riding. Good work. MTB is a great balance of exercise, adrenaline, as well as the peace and adventure of being outdoors. Frankly a place that a good percentage of your neighbors and co-workers miss out […]

MTB Fit Concepts Every couple years we see someone come out with the “ultimate in bike fit”. Complete with laser light show, measurements, formulas and reasons you should be in EXACTLY THIS position. The thing is, in MTB, does this kind of fit have any real value? I’m of the belief that lasers are for […]

2019 Sea Otter Classic with BikeCo.com It was a fun week at the 2019 Sea Otter Classic with BikeCo.com Pro Riders Cody Kelley and Evan Geankoplis. Cody and Evan each competed in the Dual Slalom as well as downhill events.

My ‘pre’ Lunch Ride – Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride Review Yeti launched the new SB130 Lunch Ride kit yesterday. But it turns out I’ve been on one for several months now! So now that the cat is out of the bag on the 55mm shock stroke lets take a quick look. Here’s my Yeti SB130 […]

Alchemy Arktos 29 First Ride Impressions After the first two EWS rounds Joe came back to the shop with his fresh Alchemy. Which, of course, means I stole it from him for a couple days.  So here are my Alchemy Arktos 29 First Ride Impressions… The Important Non-Trail Issues, ie First, First Impressions Colors: Working […]

44mm vs 51mm Fork Offset Many clients use our custom builders to quickly spec the parts they need for frame swap projects. That’s awesome. We’re glad to dial in everything from frame swaps, factory builds, semi to full custom bikes with our clients. We have had A LOT of clients ask about utilizing previous generation […]

New Wheels, New Personality – Handbuilt Wheels by BikeCo We often talk to clients about where the “personality” of their bike comes from. Frame, of course. Suspension setup, yup. The right cockpit and brakes, definitely. Wheels. Wheels and tires will create and shift personality more than just about any other aspect (being on the wrong […]

Maxxis Aggressor 2.3″ vs. 2.5″ Review The Maxxis Aggressor has quickly become one of the favorite rear trail and enduro tires in MTB. Designed as a fast rolling option with good cornering knobs what’s not to love? I’ve spent quality time on Yeti SB130’s with both the 2.3 and 2.5″ Aggressor options (First Impressions on […]

Trust Message Fork Review, Geometry At BikeCo.com we receive a lot of questions on suspension and bike setup. What works for who, how and why. With the launch of the carbon fiber Trust Message fork we’ve had many clients reach out. This blog is a Trust Message Fork Review concentrating on geometry and application. As […]

Yeti Switch Infinity Review, Extended Ride After several weeks elusively riding Yeti it’s time for a Yeti Switch Infinity Review. The current Yeti Switch Infinity suspension was a fairly radical departure from previous Yeti designs – but man they nailed it. Early Switch Infinity Yeti has used the SB (SuperBike) designation prior to the current […]

150 vs. 160 Fork Headtube, Trail & Flop The Story Behind the Images. Looking at 150 vs. 160 Fork Headtube, Trail & Flop I wrapped up the 150 vs 160 comparison and needed an image. I grabbed BikeCo’s demo SB130 (with a stock setup) and mine with the 160 fork and headed out. And struggled. […]

150 vs.160mm Fork on Yeti SB130 Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades right? Well when it comes to mountain bike setup a few millimeters create notable differences. Let’s take a look at 150 vs. 160mm fork on Yeti SB130. After a extended review of the factory Yeti SB130 X01 setup I built my […]

Pre Ride Warm Up with Kevin Aiello At BikeCo.com we work with some of the fastest racers in MTB. We see what helps separate them from the competition. Take a minute and check out this video of pre ride warm up with Kevin Aiello. What’s the advantage of this routine? I asked a familiar face […]

What to look for in a demo bike ride Another great week getting riders on the latest Ibis demos here at BikeCo.com. As the newest release the Ripmo was extremely popular as riders define what the latest 29er’s are all about. We saw many new faces at this demo. A lot of riders are upgrading […]

Magura Performance vs Race Brake Pad Review Initial Ride Test – Magura Performance vs Race Brake Pad Review for MT5 / MT7 models. I love my Magura MT5 brakes. That’s well established here on BikeCo.com at this point I’m sure! Until this month however I had never run the Magura Race Brake pads. I decided […]

DW Suspension Review, Extended Ride With the Ibis Demo here at BikeCo we have a lot of new faces coming into the shop. Many of these riders have advanced past lesser suspension systems and researching the leading options. Let’s take a look at what they can expect with a DW Suspension Review. My DW background: […]

Yeti SB130 Extended Ride Review Ok, Ok, Ok. It’s a BikeCo demo so I need to let clients ride it I suppose… Here is my Yeti SB130 Extended Ride Review. (I’m still going to have to check in with it now and then though…) Let’s go over the SB130’s Personality, Fit/Geo, Build as well as […]

SRAM 12sp Eagle Cassette Comparison SRAM’s Eagle 12 speed systems are the most popular drivetrain option in MTB today. Launched in 2016 the XX1 and X01 Eagle technology trickled down to GX and finally NX options. So no matter what your budget there’s a 12 speed system for you. Along with the four price points […]

Bottom Bracket Height and Crank Arm Length New Bikes, First Rides, Pedal Strikes, Bottom Bracket Height and Crank Arm Length. Well it wouldn’t be BikeCo.com without courting a bit of controversy so might as well start it out on a Monday! Let’s begin with the disclaimers – this is not a medical post. I do […]

Bike Buying Guide – value shopping, how to get it right It’s that time of year – every media outlet has their Bike Buying Guide published. For less experienced riders looking for an upgrade this experience can be confusing and intimidating. Bikes are fun, buying a bike should be a fun experience – let’s look […]

Yeti SB130 Review, First Ride Oh. Man. Not every new bike really stops me, but seeing the Yeti SB130 in the stand did. Deciding I would need to quickly get a Yeti SB130 Review posted I commandeered the first ride. The first thing I noted about the SB130 was how long it looks. The low, […]

Giro Riddance Shoe First Ride Review Riding flats I needed some fresh shoes – and the new Riddance from Giro jumped out at me. What do I think so far? Check out the Giro Riddance Shoe First Ride Review. Ok, first few rides if we’re being honest… Why Giro Riddance The Riddance is a notably […]

Back To Flats or, Flats For My Back Back To Flats is a bit of a misnomer. I’ve occasionally rode flats over the years to avoid developing too many bad habits. But since I began riding it’s been on clipless pedals. Chronic lower back pain has me working on different solutions to stay on the […]

Fork Volume Spacing Calculator with Sag We had a lot of click through, emails, chats, etc on the previous volume spacing calculator. We decided to produce second to help riders better understand tuning windows. Check out BikeCo’s Fork Volume Spacing Calculator with Sag. Like the previous calculator this works best on a computer. It will […]

Volume Spacing Calculator & Explanation MTB suspension setup is crucial for performance. Working with clients all over the world we hear a wide range of questions and theories. In this blog we take a look at setup offering a Volume Spacing Calculator & Explanation. Let’s get some quick disclaimers and notes out of the way. […]

Progressive vs Linear MTB Suspension: Falling/Rising/Mixed Rate We had a lot of great questions today with the launch of the Yeti SB150 chassis. Riders want to know the difference of Progressive vs Linear MTB Suspension. So let’s take a look at mechanical falling, rising and mixed rate suspension design. A picture is worth a thousand […]

When to Trail Bike For those who have been around MTB for many years the capacity of a modern Trail bike is really astounding. The current definition for Trail riding is between Cross Country and Enduro terrain with some crossover in either direction. So what are the key attributes to a trail bike? Personality, Weight, […]

Grassroot, Domestic & EWS Enduro Bike Setups The Anatomic Differences: The latest issue of [R]evolution MTB features this write-up on Grassroot, Domestic & EWS Enduro Bike Setups from BikeCo.com This season BikeCo.com is supporting Enduro racing at all levels: Grassroot clients all over the world, the Ibis US Enduro Team captained by Brian Lopes, as […]

Best Summer MTB Tires Choosing the Best Summer MTB Tires Well it’s the end of July at we’re seeing triple digits in Southern California. Guess it’s summer. As the trails bake into hard pack or blow out into dust bowl corners or the favorite loose over hard combo it’s time to look at the best […]

Brian Lopes Cockpit Setup Details Pretty stoked when BikeCo Pro Rider Brian Lopes reads through our blog and takes some time to send notes! Check out details on Brian’s bar width, layup, rise and stem below:

Most Popular MTB Build Upgrades this season? Funny you should ask… You’ve shopped around. Read the reviews. Talked to buddies. But what are the Most Popular MTB Build Upgrades? First was the Fox X2 damper. The X2 features external adjustments for hi/lo speed rebound and compression. The X2 also provides riders ramp rate control through […]

MTB Setup: More Travel vs. More Volume 2.3″ tires look narrow even in my older non-boost fork! Read through for some basic concepts on which rider runs more travel and less tire and which prefers less travel and more tire. Learn about MTB Setup: More Travel vs. More Volume You’re in the market for your […]

Brian Lopes GoPro Games 2018 Prep Brian Lopes GoPro Games 2018 – enjoy some photos and text as Brian and BikeCo’s Joe Binatena prep for this year’s event in Vail, Colorado. One of the more fun events over the past few years has been the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail. There’s always something going on. […]

Alchemy Racing Mechanic: A Day in the Life of Joe Binatena Check out an awesome blog from Alchemy Bicycles about BikeCo’s Joe Binatena’s role as Factory Team Mechanic:

Ibis US Enduro Team – Supported by BikeCo.com BikeCo.com is extremely excited to be an official supporter of the Ibis US Enduro Team. The Ibis US Enduro team features talented riders Evan Geankoplis, Essence Barton, Paul Serra and Lili Heim. Brian Lopes will captain the Ibis US team as it contests CES events through the […]

HT T1 Pedal Review & Setup Tips I get a lot of questions regarding clipless (or clip-in) pedals from new and experienced riders. This write up reviews an extended test of the HT T1 pedals as well as provides setup tips from personal experience. Over the years I have tested several of the HT Components […]

Magura MT5 Brake Review – 3 Years Read through our long term (3 year) trail test in the Magura MT5 Brake Review. 3 years and 4 bikes later I’m still running the same set of Magura MT5 brakes. Same levers, same master cylinders, same calipers. A few sets of brake pads as well as a […]

The Right Product at the Right Time and the Right Price When is a deal a deal? Well it has to be The Right Product at the Right Time and the Right Price. The other day the omnipresent social media bot marketing dropped a new camera across my feed. It was a proper brand, at […]

Sea Otter Dual Slalom – Getting Amped! Sea Otter Classic Dual Slalom. We’re getting pumped up for this weekend’s Dual Slalom event! The Sea Otter Dual Slalom race is truly a MTB spectacle and if you’re anywhere near the area it’s a must see. (even me, who can’t stand crowds, I have a great time […]

Maxxis Aggressor Tire Review Maxxis Aggressor Tire Review: First Ride Impressions Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 EXO Tire. The Maxxis Aggressor is a tire that’s been really intriguing to me. This is a tire with a fast rolling center section as well as relatively tightly spaced cornering lugs. As I have been testing thicker sidewall options such […]

CushCore vs Huck Norris Comparison 12/5/19 Update – Check out a new blog comparing the CushCore PRO vs. XC rim protection. CushCore vs Huck Norris Comparison – differences in the leading rim insert protection. Tire inserts have grown in popularity over the past few seasons as riders find themselves in larger terrain at higher speeds. […]

Alchemy Arktos Testing with Anneke Beerten 2/14/18: Alchemy Enduro World Series rider Anneke Beerten works with BikeCo.com’s owner Joe Binatena dialing in her Arktos for the upcoming race season. Who: Anneke Beerten & Joe Binatena What: Alchemy Arktos testing When: 2/14/18 Where: Crestline Why: Because

MTB Tire Selection Fundamentals, Tread, Sidewall, Compound, Profile Shape Choosing the best MTB tire requires understanding basic fundamentals of Tread Pattern, Sidewall, Compound and Profile Shape as they apply to your terrain and riding style. A couple quick considerations for this writeup: GROUND CONDITIONS will affect tire personality, ie ultra-hard pack versus tacky hero dirt […]