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Haro 300.1 BMX - Ride BMX - December 2013
The 300.1 sits toward the higher end of Haro's complete range, though having said that, this is still an entry level bike. Coming in three colour options - Black, 'Matte chevronic' (light blue), and Glossy Red, the 300.1 does exactly what it's designed for; getting people on bikes! First impressions were fine - by that I mean it simply is a tool for a job. No nasty looking bits, but also nothing that jumped out to make it stand apart from the crowd. If you've seen Tom Justice ride you'll know he likes to go fast and high, and at first he was a little worried that the bike wouldn't be able to take the strain, but in fact he ended up loving the thing once all was bedded in. So despite it not being the most thrilling thing to look at, it will certainly do the job. The only problem was the rear tyre clearance - and it has to be said the Haro wasn't the only bike to suffer from this...
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Knog Blinder 1 - MBUK - November 2013
So Good... The little back-up Blinder 1 has a single LED. which is impressively bright for its size. The unit charges via a USB chip integrated into the light, so there are no cables to worry about, and charging time was pretty speedy. The Blinder 1 comes with various funky designs, and the quick-release band means its easy to pop it off your bike while you go for a pint. 20 Lumens is a decent output, and there is a range of constant and flashing modes.
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Limar X-MTB - MBUK - November
The X-MTB is one of the cheapest on test, but does come with some features we'd expect on pricier lids. Perhaps the best feature of the X-MTB is the retention system. With a large turn-wheel at the back the range of adjustment is huge. The padded cradle feels a little odd at first, but is surprisingly comfortable in use...
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Kenda Honey Badger Tyre - MBR - November 2013
With two different compounds, soft at the edges and harder in the center, Kenda has designed a tyre that rolls fast, but still grips when it's leaned over. The Honey Badger certainly carries speed well enough thanks to it's lightweight casing, but I did suffer a couple of pinch-flats due to the thin sidewalls; a bit more air had to be squeezed into the tyre to compensate.
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American classic Carbon Clincher - Triathlon Plus - November 2013
American Classic has fattened up and fancy-spoke it's deep-dish wheels to put them right back into the mix in competitive carbon/alloy hybrid wheel market. Despite the alloy rims and deeper than average 58mm profile, a 40g weight loss from the previous 58s puts them right among their 50mm full-carbon clincher-Tyre price peers at 1,844g (823g fron, 1,021g rear). Alloy rims give far more predictable braking than carbon ones, particularly in the wet. The new wider profile (22mm outer, 16.5mm inner) also syncs with the latest 'fatter is faster' tyre thinking. the rim isn't toroidal (the body doesn't bulge out wider than the braking track, as on Zipp, HED and bontrager wheels) but it's fat enough to make the wheels more manageable in mixed wind conditions than their predecessors. The skinny front hub and triple-grouped rear spokes mean they aren't particularly stiff or sharp in terms of handling, but then they're not horrible harsh on rough roads either.
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