Best WTB Tires for Enduro and Trail Riding Review

Best WTB Tires for Enduro and Trail Riding Review

Last winter I decided to try something different and picked up a pair of WTB Vigilante tires. Coming from Maxxis Minions, I was looking for a tire that would be good in the wet for the PNW winter. I love Maxxis tires, but it's all I've ridden, so I was looking to shake things up, test some new grip, and see what happens.

I ended up riding the Vigilantes for months, the side knobs were massive, and I liked how the tires rode over wet roots. What I started to notice was that I wasn’t getting enough traction in the rear and eventually opted to throw a WTB Judge on the rear. I ran that combo for quite a while. It’s still one of my favorite combos. If you haven’t seen the Judge, it’s massive, more on that tire later.

An Honest and Quick Review of the Giro Terraduro

An Honest and Quick Review of the Giro Terraduro

To be honest, the Giro Terraduro is the first MTB specific shoe I've ever owned. After using the Giro Code's for years I figured it was time to try out a shoe that was meant to tackle life both on and off the bike. Living in the PNW we're constantly pushing our bikes up steep hills, over fallen trees, and more importantly time at the pub. 

Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE Review

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I had never heard of Oregon-based Six Moon Designs until I went on a bikepacking trip with some friends from the Bay Area. Josh hiked the John Muir Trail and like most people that do thru-hikes, obsesses over gear. Tru hikes require lightweight, packable and most importantly durable equipment. So my first impression of the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE was impactful, to say the least. The following article is my Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE Review. It wasn't until I decided to do the 380 mile Oregon Outback that I decided I needed to swap my 2 person Big Agnes with a proper 1 person tent. I immediately got ahold of Josh and he was quick to answer any questions I had. It quickly became apparent that purchasing a Lunar Solo Le was a no brainer. Nothing else came close to it in my opinion and after countless adventures in the backcountry, the Lunar Solo Le has become my go to tent.

Before we can start you have to know that Six Moon Designs makes two versions of the Lunar Solo. The Lunar Solo features a Sil floor that is lighter but requires a foot print to keep you dry and safe from tears. The Lunar Solo LE features a rugged waterproof floor that is yes, you guessed it, heavier. So why go for the heavier Lunar Solo LE? Durability and simplicity. There is no need to carry a foot print or worrying about some little branch ripping a hole into your precious floor. So whats the price and weight penalty? The Lunar Solo LE is 6oz heavier but you will save $35. Six Moon Designs charges $30 to Seam Seal the tent so there's a huge price savings with the Lunar Solo LE. Loose the 6oz else where folks. You won't regret it.

"As you can see the tent packs down really small. Note the size of the bottle compared to the compression sack."

The Lunar Solo LE requires 1 pole and 6 stakes. You can use a hiking pole or purchase a compact aluminum or carbon pole for dirt cheap. It's like carrying around a drumstick. It's so damn small. Now 6 stakes may seem like a lot but it's not. Stakes are so light and cheap these days you won't have a problem packing them and hey you could always use sticks you find on the trail if you want really want to.

"I am not going to lie. It takes a bit of practice to dial in the set up of this tent. Below is a gif I made from my first time setting up the tent at a local park. Setup is a breeze now, though sometimes I do miss the easy set up of my Big Agnes. "

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Well that's about it! I hope this helps and that you've enjoyed my Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE Review. I've posted info from Six Moon Design's website below. Comment if you have any questions and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Below is the information from the manufacturer:

The Lunar Solo Limited Edition is a special version of the Lunar Solo. It features stronger more durable and waterproof floors that do not slip like sil-nylon floors.

As with the Lunar Solo it's hexagonal shape spills wind and sheds snow making it a very secure home in severe weather.

Its low hexagonal shape easily spills the wind no matter the direction. Short steeply sloped sides handle snow or high winds with ease. A generous canopy covers a 26 sq. ft. sleeping area plus 8.5 sq. ft. of vestibule storage. The 48" peak height, set in the middle of the tent maximizes room for sitting and taking care of chores.

The sleeping area is surrounded 6-inch deep bathtub floor, topped by 6 inches of mesh. This ensures excellent ventilation while keeping you separated from low canopy walls. This keeps you drier on those occasions when condensation forms on the canopy.

The vestibule is set on the long side of the tent to maximize views and ventilation when fully open. Close it and you've got phenomenal protection from the worst storms.

For detail setup instructions, check out Lunar Solo - The Perfect Pitch.

  • Full Vestibule provides protection while still maintaining good ventilation when closed. Fully open, the vestibule maximizes ventilation and view.
  • High Vent removes excess moisture build up.
  • Zipper Vestibule Closure makes opening and closing the vestibule a snap.
  • Heavy Duty Bathtub Floor makes a more durable, no slip and watertight floor.
  • Easy Tensioning Adjustment makes keeping your the tent taut a trivial task that can be accomplished while still in your sleeping bag. Re-tension straps have been added to all tie out points.
  • Floating Canopy allows the canopy to be set to different heights.
  • Floating Floor reduces floor stress and helps to minimize punctures from sharp objects.
  • Optimized Sleeping Area is oriented to maximize usable space, ventilation and view. A peak height of 48 inches gives you plenty of head room.
  • Center Pole Support significantly improves the ability of the tent to handle wind and snow loads.
  • Single Hiking Pole Support reduces the amount of gear need.
  • Internal Gear Area keeps your gear easily accessible.
  • Oversized Screen Door allows easy entrance and exit while keeping the front pole out of your way.
  • Ultra-light Waterproof Canopy is made from high strength 30 denier Silicone Nylon.
  • Handy Mesh Cargo Pocket
  • Extremely Easy Setup in less than two minutes under any conditions.

Santa Cruz Stigmata Flat Bar Review

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Theres been a lot of detailed and thought provoking reviews on the rebirth of the Stigmata. With that said I'll be focusing this review on my decision to convert the Stigmata into a flat bar trail ripping machine. So here we go. This is my Santa Cruz Stigmata Flat Bar Review. I've owned my Stigmata for about nine months now. For the longest time I rode basically a stock Rival build with a custom Hope / Belgium wheel set. It's been my go to bike for those early morning trail rips. Over time my priorities in cycling have changed. I much rather jib around in the woods for a few hours than laying down watts on lonesome gravel roads.

A transformation just made sense. I needed a bike that I could pedal to the trail head and get to it fast. The Stigmata is perfect for that but ripping down descents with drop bars is just not fun. First off the position on the bike prohibits any kind of playfulness and braking is just straight up awful. I am not saying you can’t have fun or shred on a cyclocross bike; we’ve all seen Yoann’s videos! It’s just not for me.

So one evening I committed to the project. Off came the drops, the awful Rival hydraulic brakes/ shifters, derailleurs and chainrings. Everything went on Ebay as I started to source parts for the new build.

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Up front I went with Santa Cruz's carbon flat bars which feature the a 35mm clamp diameter. The only problem I've run into with the this new standard is that not many companies are making 35 stems yet. After spending way too much money testing out stem lengths I went with a 90mm Race Face Aeffect 35 Stem . Still I am hoping someone comes out with a 100 - 110mm because it would definitely improve my fit.

One of the biggest reason I wanted to go flat bar was so I could run MTB specific disc brakes. After using SRAM Rival Hyrdo road brakes for over six months I've come to the conclusion that they suck. Honestly road disc brakes are the worst! I went with the same brakes that I use on my new 2016 Santa Cruz 5010; Sram's Guide RCS.

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The set up was relatively painless. I used the same rotors and mounts that came on the bike originally. I had to trim both cable hoses and bleed the brakes but that could be expected for any disc brakes that are internally routed.

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I converted the stock Rival 22 crankset to a 1x via 34t Wolf Tooth Components. I kept the front end small because in Portland we're never not climbing. I have the same set up on my All City and never felt I needed a larger gear up front.

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A rear derailleur with a clutch is a must for any efficient 1x set up. Normally I would have gone with a MTB derailleur but I decided to give SRAM Rival 1 a shot. So far so good. Shifting is great though it's been hard to keep it dialed in this winter. To be fair it's hard to keep any bike dialed in winter.

I've been running the WTB Nanos for over a year now but I really wanted something with more bite. Up front we have a Bruce Gordon Rock n Road and in the rear a Soma Cazadero. The set up was inspired by John Watson's write up on the Radavist. It's still winter here in Portland and so far I've been impressed with the Rock n Road. The Cazadero has been struggling with the wintery conditions but will hopefully come through when it's dryer. Regardless the tan walls look fucking amazing.

Ok you made it this far. So how does the bike ride? Honestly? It has surpassed all my expectations. All the trails I once had to walk down because they were to steep or technical are now possible. The wide bars and amazing SRAM RCS brakes provides everything I needed to make the most out of these short trail rides in the city. The worst part about this build is that I have to remind myself that I am on a Cyclocross bike. I am constantly taking this thing over jumps and I am quickly reminded that the Stigmata’s geometry isn’t built for it. Honestly it feels pretty awkward in the air but thats something I can live with. I own a 2016 Santa Cruz 5010 after all. Honestly Santa Cruz should offer the Stigmata with a flat bar option. The stock all the parts and I think a lot of people would enjoy it.

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Build Specs

Santa Cruz Stigmata frame and fork Race Face Aeffect 35 Stem 90mm Santa Cruz Carbon Bars SRAM Guide RCS brakes Chromag Grips Zipp Service Course SL Seatpost Specialized saddle SRAM BB30 Rival Crankset with 34t Wolf Tooth Components Shimano XTR Race PedalSram Rival CX1 Medium cage derailleur SRAM PG1130 Hope Pro 4 Hubs on HED Belgium Series C2 Rim Rock n Road tire up front and a Soma in the back

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Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ Review

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Last year I lost my cycling sunglasses at the Red Hook Crit. I was bummed. They were just some cheap Ryders I had picked up when I first got into Road Cycling but they fit me and had grown to love them. Well rest in peace Ryders. Naturally picking up a pair of Oakleys was the next step. I took advantage of a REI sale and picked up the Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ in black. Definitely a huge jump in quality and not a huge financial investment like other Oakley’s. These glasses are pretty low key and i appreciate that.

A few of my observations :

- These glasses will fog up quiet a bit. Do all sunglasses do that? I am not sure but it’s something I constantly battle with. - Replacement lenses are a bit expensive. $50 - $70. Don’t buy fake lenses. I did that and they mess with your vision big time. - Very resilient and are made to last. I never used a case and have tossed these around like another tool in my bag. - Lack the Oakley bling that is so popular these days.

Since writing this review I have not only lost these Oakley’s but another pair of Ryders as well! FML.

More info from Oakley below : IMG_5869

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From Oakley :

Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ

Sport professionals demand nothing less than the best, and we’ve answered their challenge for decades. World-class athletes have driven us to create innovation after innovation, including interchangeable lens designs with unbeatable optical clarity. Flak Jacket sunglasses take that to the next level with the latest in performance technology.

Stays Ahead of the Sun: Flak Jacket lets you change lenses in seconds to optimize vision in any sport environment. Multiple lens colors are available, and all lenses feature the unbeatable clarity of Oakley’s High Definition Optics® (HDO®).

Offers a Secure, Custom Fit: Choose the nose pads that give you the best fit — two sizes are included with every frame. Like the stem sleeves, they’re made of Unobtainium® to increase grip with perspiration. Oakley’s Three-Point Fit optimizes comfort and holds the lenses in precise optical alignment for superior clarity.

Optimizes Comfort, Protection and Clarity: Flak Jacket is made of lightweight O Matter® for all-day comfort. Pure Plutonite® lens material filters out 100% of all UV, and Flak Jacket meets ANSI Z87.1 standards for impact protection. The semi-rimless design means there’s no frame rim to block downward view. Optical clarity exceeds all ANSI Z87.1 standards, and XYZ Optics® extends razor-sharp vision all the way to the lens periphery.

Interchangeable lenses to optimize performance in any environment Durability and all-day comfort of lightweight, stress-resistant O Matter® frame material Optimized peripheral vision and side protection of 8.75 base lens curvature Comfort and performance of Three-Point Fit that holds lenses in precise optical alignment Metal icon accents Optical precision and performance that meets all ANSI Z87.1 standards Impact resistance that meets all ANSI Z87.1 standards for high-mass and high-velocity impact UV protection of Plutonite® lens that filters out 100% of UVA / UVB / UVC & harmful blue light up to 400 nm Glare reduction and tuned light transmission of Iridium® lens coating Adapt to variable light conditions with “ Transitions® SOLFX™” photochromic lenses Multiple interchangeable Unobtainium® nose pad options for customizable and comfortable secure fit Protective sports-specific Oakley Soft Vault included with capacity for extra lenses Available with Oakley Prescription Lenses

Disclosure : This site occasionally uses affiliate links. Purchases made through these links result in a portion of your total purchase given to Broken and Coastal.