Das Optics Sunglasses Review

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Das Optics sunglasses review

What’s better than a pair of sports glasses designed to protect your eyes and make it easier to see the trail while mountain biking? A pair made by a company owned by a 12-year-old rider and his dad, of course.

Das Optics sunglasses review

DAS Optics glasses (the name comes from the business’ mascot, their dog named Das) was founded by Grady Jensen and his dad, Chris. Grady wanted a pair of sunglasses similar to the ones that his friends wore on the trail, but rather than just buy him some, Chris decided to start a company that makes their own. The sunglasses retail for $40 USD and ten bucks from each sale of the glasses goes to the nonprofit of the buyer’s choice – making this a more than worthy endeavor.

The backstory isn’t the only boss angle in the DAS Optics story . The lenses and frames are slightly customizable thanks to an included sticker pack. Das Optics offers two models of sunglasses – the V2 and Sendees. We’re talking about the Sendees in our review.

Designed to be very lightweight, as well as protective, the lenses have UV protection and are large enough to fit comfortably while covering a good portion of the face. The shield-style design goes up over the eyebrows and down towards the cheekbones, providing plenty of coverage on the sides of the eyes as well. There are even small vents in the lenses to help prevent fogging and improve aerodynamics. Das Optics shades measure about 6 inches from temple-to-temple so they will fit adult-sized heads, too.

Das Optics review - vent detail.
Das Optics sunglasses in case
Das Optics sunglasses review - about 6 inches wide

The frames come in two different colors, black and white, ensuring that they’ll coordinate with the rest of your mountain biking gear. The white ones have lenses that have a bit of rainbow reflection to them, while the black ones have clear lenses. Don’t worry, both provide plenty of protection while out on the trail. And, although mountain biking is the first activity on the list, these sunglasses also handle other sports, such as Nordic skiing and downhill skiing. They are designed to work with different types of helmets and stay in place thanks to the solid earpieces.

Das Optics descending

Although the Das Optics Sendees were designed with kids in mind, these sunglasses will fit adult faces as well. The frames come undecorated, with a pack of stickers (and yes, even adults will enjoy putting them on their sunglasses) that contains pairs of small designs for the bottoms and sides of the frames. This ensures that you really can make them your own. The Das Optics sunglasses also come with a hard carrying case so your kids’ rad shades don’t get crushed when they’re not on the noggin’

Das Optics climbing

Our dirt rat really got his 1980’s on when he paired the Das Optics sunglasses with a yellow and blue jersey, pink gloves, and half shell. He’s tried to wear the sunglasses with his Fly Racing full-face mtb helmet, but the padding in the helmet won’t allow the temples of the sunglasses to get in there comfortably. That’s not a bad thing. Only dads should wear sunglasses with full-face helmets, right?

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review

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Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review

Kids who enjoy a solid romp down the side of a mountain, complete with aggressive terrain, need a mountain bike that can handle every bump, rock, and other obstacles in their path. The 2020 Rocky Mountain Reaper definitely fits that bill. Coming in at three different sizes, although we tested out and will be reviewing the 27.5 model here. The MSRP for the Reaper 27.5 is $2,849.00 USD.

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review

Rocky Mountain:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

Available in a cool shade of brown with light blue accents on the front, the Rocky Mountain Reaper almost blends in with the terrain. After all, mountainside trails are known for being brown and surrounded by clear blue skies. However, what young riders are able to do with this bike certainly doesn’t blend in at all. With a bike that can handle enduro, downhill and all-mountain riding, it’s easy to see why.

The FORM™ Alloy frame features full sealed cartridge bearings and a press-fit bottom bracket. It comes with internal cable routing and 2-Bolt ISCG05 mountain tabs. Our demo weighed-in at around 31.5 lbs without pedals, meaning the Reaper is light enough for a young rider to handle, while while having the proper components and suspension to take on rough terrain.

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Compression adj on RockShox fork - Reaper 27.5 review
Suspension linkage - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

Your kid’s Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 will include a RockShox Deluxe Select RT shock with 130mm of rear travel, a RockShox Sektor RL 130mm fork, and a Rocky Mountain Toonie dropper (100mm travel) attached to a WTB Volt Race 142 saddle. The 27.5-inch tires, Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3 in both the front and the back, can handle even the roughest terrain. The overall size of them and the frame makes it clear that this bike is designed for older kids, those who have outgrown other models in both height and ability. The tires are mounted on Shimano MT400 Boost 15mm hubs in the front, with Shimano MT400 Boost 148mm in the back. Stainless steel spokes and WTB ST i23 TCS tubeless rims complete the picture.

Shimano brakes
Maxxis tire close-up

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 At-A-Glance

standover height icon

STANDOVER HEIGHT

31.18 inches

drivetrain icon

DRIVETRAIN

1 x 12

wheel size icon

WHEEL SIZE

27.5in or 26in

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WEIGHT

~31 lbs sans pedals

The brakes are Shimano M6000 2 piston stoppers with 180mm rotors and Shimano M6000 brake levers. Rocky Mountain Lock-On Light grips are attached to Rocky Mountain AM 760mm handlebars. The shifter is a SRAM SX Eagle.

Chainring and crank on the Reaper 27.5
Chainguide on the Reaper 27.5

What really gives the bike it’s power (besides your child’s feet, of course) is the drivetrain. It’s composed of a Sram SX Eagle chain, 30T chainring, and a 12-speed cassette. All can handle the speed and terrain of the mountainside while helping your young rider stay in control.

Head tube badge - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 review
Saddle detail - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review
Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review - SRAM Eagle drivetrain

Speaking of control, the Rocky Mountain Reaper comes with the brand’s patented RIDE9 adjustment system. All that you – or your child – need is a set of hex keys to adjust the interlocking clips, customizing the bike to handle the given terrain. There are nine different possible settings (hence the name of the system), each of which changes the angle of the head tube and the seat tube. The reach and bottom bracket drop are adjusted as well. The three main angle settings, each broken down into several minute adjustments, are for neutral ground, high-speed stability, and proper traction when climbing. This makes the ride customizable, based on your child’s preferences and the mountainsides that they’re conquering.

Rocky Mountain Reaper Comparison Chart

The Reaper is available in 3 sizes. A couple of them can even accommodate different wheel sizes. Read our review featuring the Rocky Mountain Reaper 26 here.

Reaper 24Reaper 26Reaper 27.5
MSRP$1,949.00 USD$2,349.00 USD$2,849.00 USD
Wheel Sizes (in)
* factory set up
24*, 2626*, 2427.5*, 27.5+
Standover Height (in)
RIDE-9 settings, l-r
Slack, Neutral, Steep
27.24, 27.32, 27.3628.62, 28.70, 28.7431.18, 31.29, 31.37
Giro Disciple full face helmet - manufacturer photo - three quarter view

Full-Face Helmets

Protect your kid’s grill with the proper helmet.

Full-Face MTB Helmets For Kids

G-Form knee pads for kids

Knee Pads

If you ride a bike, you’re gonna fall down. Just sayin’.

MTB Knee Pads for Kids

Leatt 2.5 chest protector for kids

Chest Protection

Options from Leatt, Fox, and more.

MTB Chest Protection for Kids

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Build Specs

FrameFORM™ Alloy. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. 2-Bolt ISCG05 Tabs. RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate
ForkRockShox Sektor RL 130mm
Front Travel130mm
ShockRockShox Deluxe RT
Rear Travel130mm
HeadseteFSA Orbit NO.57E
StemRocky Mountain AM
HandlebarRocky Mountain AM 760mm
GripsRocky Mountain Lock On Light
BrakesShimano MT500 / Shimano RT64 180mm / Shimano RT64 180mm
Brake LeversShimano MT500
ShiftersShimano SLX
Rear DerailleurShimano SLX
Cranks & ChainringsRace Face Ride Cinch 30T Steel
Bottom BracketRace Face BB92 24mm
CassetteShimano SLX 11-46T
ChainKMC X11-1
Front HubShimano MT400 Boost 15mm
Spokes2.0 Stainless
RimsWTB SX19
TiresMaxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3 / R = Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3
SeatpostXFusion Manic 30.9mm
SaddleWTB Volt Race

Who Is The Reaper Made For?

This full-suspension bike with 27.5 inch wheels is for kids who like the rough and beaten trails. It’s excellent for rock gardens and roots. The frame’s geometry is the perfect fit for steep descents, bike parks, and shuttle laps. Trail riders who don’t mind the bumps and young enduro racers will enjoy all the attributes of the Reaper 27.5. The bike’s suspension set up welcomes the jumps and drops that lie ahead. Even beginning mountain bikers who are advancing their skills on rugged rides will appreciate the bikes capabilities. Regarding size and fit, the Reaper 27.5 has a standover height of 31.18 inches and you can view the Rocky Mountain sizing chart here.

Angles And Measurements – Reaper 27.5

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Illustration

Click the image above to enlarge it

TTH Top Tube Length - HORZ547mm
HTA Head Tube Angle66.4º
HTL Head Tube length100mm
STA Seat Tube Angle - Effective74.4º
STL Seat Tube length365mm
RC Rear Centre426mm
BBD Bottom bracket drop28mm
R Reach385mm
S Stack580mm
SH Standover Height792mm
WB Wheelbase1,100mm

Riding The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

Our kid is about 5’0 tall and weighs close to 90lbs with sopping wet gear and his pockets full of rocks. Over the last couple of years, his bike handling skills have improved dramatically. He’s always had a good sense of balance, but his confidence when riding technical features has risen. He’s not the fastest, but he knows how to roll the rocks and is comfy getting in the air.

Riding technical terrain on the Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

Cornering on the Reaper 27.5 was pretty darn good. If you can do it properly and set your tire pressure correctly, the Maxxis tires aboard the Reaper hold true and track through loose dirt. You can’t execute correct body position when cornering on a bike that doesn’t fit, so be sure to get the right size Reaper for your kids. They’ll be able to loop through the berms a whole lot easier.

Cornering on the Reaper 27.5 - a full suspension mountain bike for kids
Cornering close-up on the Reaper 27.5

Shorter chainstays are now a common design feature a lot of mountain bikes for riders of all ages and the Reaper 27.5 is demonstrative of this. We compared its 426mm chainstay length to other bikes we’ve recently had (including a hardtail xc bike), and they’re all within a few millimeters. Shorter chainstays result in a more playful, quick-reacting frame. Longer chainstays are more stable at high speeds. With the Reaper 27.5, the rear end was stabilized by the RockShox shock. Of all things, something that our kid specifically spoke about was the saddle. He said it was super comfortable compared to other bikes he’s ridden. It allowed him to be a little more cozy and remain content on longer rides.

Campus wheelie - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 review

Having the suspension set up properly is paramount to ensuring your Reaper performs as intended. We do our best to keep a shock pump with us so we can add or release air depending on where and how we’re riding. The Reaper’s RockShox components are the right size because kids don’t need tons of travel and you can get the squish just right depending on your child’s weight and riding style.

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 is a rock chomper

Jumping with the Reaper 27.5 was always a good time. Getting up to speed on proper slopes is easy and the bike’s suspension assists with pre-loading for take-offs and smooths out the return to earth.

Getting the Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 in the air

The Reaper performed very well on jagged trails. Even pedaling up the chunky stuff while clipped-in, a strong intermediate rider will be able to maximize her/his power. Pedal-bob wasn’t an issue and the dropper post worked very well when our kid was pedaling across rolling country.

Doing a clipped-in technical climb

Summing Up The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 is going to be the choice for groms who like to chomp on rocks after they finish their vegetables. It has the right geometry and components for younger humans who appreciate earning their turns on trails with technical descents. The bike will really shine when the liftie removes it from the sled at the bike park and tells you to “have a good ride”. Rocky Mountain has been making award-winning bikes for decades and the Reaper 27.5 will prepare your kids for their first adult-sized mountain bike in the company’s line-up.

The Best Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids

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The Best MTB Helmets for kids

Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids – Helmets are obviously useful to keep your young mountain biker safe on the trails. If you want your little rider to consistently wear their helmet, you’ll want to be sure it fits well and feels comfortable.

The Best MTB Helmets for kids

If your kiddo likes how the helmet looks, that will help, too. A few notes to keep in mind:

  • Size: To ensure the best fit, it’s recommended to measure your child’s head circumference with a tape measure just above the ears. You can then check this measurement against the listed size.
  • Adjustability: As you can generally expect your kiddo to have a growth spurt just following an expensive clothing/gear purchase, it may be a good idea to get a helmet that can be adjusted using a dial. This will keep your kid comfortable in his helmet for a bit and save you some cash for a while.
  • Ventilation: Having enough ventilation is important if you want your child to enjoy riding in the heat.

Here is an overview of our top 8 helmets for mountain biking kids. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

If your little ripper enjoys multiple mountain biking disciplines, you might want to check out Best Helmets for NICA Riders, Best Helmets for Enduro Kids, and Best Full Face Helmets for Kids.

Bike helmets for kids - Giro Scamp with MIPS

Giro Scamp MIPS Helmet

Giro designed the Scamp MIPS Helmet to offer top notch protection to the smallest riders. They use the same In-Mold polycarbonate shell and EPS foam liner in the Scamp as in its adult helmets, and includes MIPS technology. MIPS refers to technology added to absorb the brain-damaging rotational energy created in certain crashes. Another key point is the Roc Loc fit adjustment system. Roc Loc makes fit adjustments quick and easy. Your kid will also like the bright colors and sporty look of this helmet.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

POC Pocito Crank - kids bike helmet

POC POCito Crane Helmet – Kids’

POC POCcito Crane Kids’ Helmet uses dual polystyrene and EPS foams provide a solid combination of low-speed and high-impact protection. Additionally, POCito includes moisture-wicking padding and passive ventilation to keeps your rider’s head from getting overly sweaty. Your kid will love the POCCito’s classic street style on the trail or at the skatepark.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Bell Sidetrack youth bike helmet

Bell Sidetrack Helmet – Kids’

Bell’s Sidetrack Helmet for youth protects smaller heads with the same extended coverage and In-Mold shell of the adult Stoker version. Specifically, the Sidetrack includes a PinchGuard Buckle design and ErgoDial fit system to  ensure the fit is comfortable and safe.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Kali Protectives Chakra kids bike helmet

Kali Protectives Chakra Youth Helmet – Kids’

The Kali Protectives Chakra Youth Helmet is made of an ultra-lightweight in-mold polycarbonate shell and an EPS liner. The Chakra Helmet is shaped with extended coverage off the back and comes in multiple colors. In addition this helmet features adequate ventilation, an integrated visor, and dial fit adjustment.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Giro Tremor MIPS bike helmet for kids

Giro Tremor MIPS Helmet – Kids’

The Giro Tremor MIPS Helmet offers Giro’s best technology, sized down for smaller riders. Firstly, the Temor MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) can redirect energy and provide more protection in certain styles of impacts. Secondly, the inside padding is easy to remove and wash after a hot day on the trail. Finally, the Tremor includes a RocLoc fit system for fast and secure fit adjustments.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

TLD A1 mountain bike helmet for kids

Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet (youth)

The Youth A1 helmet from Troy Lee Designs is designed with top of the line protection including an EPS impact liner and MIPS – Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. Concurrently, TLD gave the A1 16 large air vents to keep your mountain biker cool on the trails.  The ultra-plush quick-dry comfort liner is removable and washable for long-term comfort.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Bell Super 3R MIPS Helmet

Although the Bell Super 3r MIPS helmet is designed for adults, it will fit heads sized 20-24.4 inches. We love having one helmet that will work for cross country riding and provide some extra protection when trails gets sketchy. This helmet is well ventilated without compromising the helmet’s structural integrity.  Importantly the design includes a Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS). MIPS technology helps absorb and diffuse indirect or oblique forces. During certain crashes, this slim layer rotates slightly to absorb rotational forces. See our full Bell Super 3r MIPS helmet review for more details. Note: this helmet is sometimes listed as “men’s” or “women’s” but the only difference is color.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

HelmetShell Material / Impact FoamHead Circumference RangeCertificationsManufacturer Warranty
Woom Kids’ HelmetPolycarbonate / EPS18.9-23.6 inches
Giro Tremor MIPSPolycarbonate / EPS19.75- 21.75 inches1 year
Giro Scamp MIPSPolycarbonate / EPS18.75-21.75 inches1 year
POC POCito CranePolycarbonate / Polystyrene and EPS impact foams20.1-21.3 inchesCPSC
Bell SidetrackIn-Mold Polycarbonate / EPS20-22.5 inchesCE EN 1078, CPSC1 year
Kali Protectives Chakra YouthPolycarbonate / EPS20.5-22.5 inches
Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS YouthPolycarbonate / EPS19-20.78 inchesCPSC 1203, CE EN 107B, AS/NZS 2063 certified3 year warranty
Bell Super 3R MIPSPolycarbonate / EPS20-24.4 inchesCE EN 1078, CPSC1 year