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Added a comment about video So, Matti Lehikoinen Had the Sickest Moto Whip this Week 1/25/2015 8:20 PM
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This video has 8 comments.

Liked a comment on the item 2015 Test Sessions: Trek Slash 9.8 Carbon 27.5 1/25/2015 9:56 AM

"notable sources have set the M6 as the benchmark in the enduro / trail category." consider your sources. have you seen those guys ride? have they ever raced an enduro event? where did they test the bike?

imo enduro & trail are not the same thing. one is a race and the other is just...more

Liked a comment on the item 2015 Test Sessions: Trek Slash 9.8 Carbon 27.5 1/25/2015 9:55 AM

Sooo... you're upset that the Pivot March 6 -- a brand you are passionately loyal to -- got a 3.5 star review while the Trek Slash got a 4 star review? You do realize that's only a half a star difference, right? And it's not like either got a "OMG, perfect 10/10 will-buy-again" score...more

Liked a comment on the item 2015 Test Sessions: Trek Slash 9.8 Carbon 27.5 1/25/2015 9:55 AM

Cheers for the critique, SDMTB'er.

I assure you that there are no biases toward the big boys vs the little guys. Vital has featured many very positive reviews of boutique brands, advertiser or not, including a handful of bikes made by Pivot.

There are a few distinctions that you should...more

Added a comment about video The Road to Recovery with Söderström 1/14/2015 10:29 AM
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Rad to see Martin back.

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This video has 2 comments.

Liked a comment on the item 2015 Vital MTB Trail Bike Test Sessions Introduction 1/6/2015 1:57 PM

Sweet! Been looking forward to the Test Sessions!

Added a comment about feature 2015 Vital MTB Trail Bike Test Sessions Introduction 1/6/2015 1:56 PM
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There are lots of comments about the prices of bikes being too high. I'd like to point out a few things to be considered. For one, bike prices are what they are. High or low is only a relative gauge. That being said, Vital tried to get prices lower this year. It won't happen overnight, but there is some trickle down, and in any industry, the cool new things will always cost the most.

It is sometimes good to think about what the purpose of Vital or other online sites is. I think their purpose is to show what is working well and what new products or information is out there. There is almost no point to reviewing old tech or products that have been out on the market for a long time. That information is already out there. One can always look up what many people think of bikes and what is being ridden on forums, talk to friends, or ask your local shop that you trust. Some of that information is not so good, some of it is really good. It'll take some time and energy to figure out what is best for you, like many things in life.

If I were to buy a bike with a $2500 budget, I'd get a used bike for $1500 with angles I like, buy good tires and spend $1000 on great suspension. I'd sell the old suspension parts and spend the money from that on a dropper post. That's what matters to me. I can deal with the rest of the stuff. That information that is out there on blogs, on Facebook posts, and on so many forums. That information doesn't necessarily belong in a headline in any magazine, online or in print. It is OK to dream, to do some window shopping, and to see the coolest stuff, even if I can't afford it. That's why I think it is alright to see the bling here.

So when you do get to dive into some of the print, it might help to think of some of the information on how the testers ride, what is really important to you, and then think about the small details in the reviews about how the bikes rode in certain situations. All of the testers had different preferences, likes, dislikes, and those findings almost never matched up with more expensive or less. It was all over the board. My personal favorite was on the less expensive half of the curve, with an aluminum frame and nothing fancy. Another we rode led us to believe that the less expensive model option of the bike would be the way to go. Another still left us wishing for fewer bells and whistles. All those opinions might not help you to buy this bike or that bike, but to really help you narrow down what you want on YOUR bike.

Of course, there are going to be lots of criticisms of the reviews this year, just as there are in any year. That is a good thing, as the comments help shape decisions on what to review and how to do it. I believe that Vital wants to provide the most thorough input around. To further help that cause, it would be good to put effort into specific criticisms and praise of reviews so that they can be better, instead of complaints about costs before a review is even read.

This feature has 61 comments.

Added reply in a thread To heck with snow bikes 1/1/2015 9:48 AM

Kidwoo, you have more of a chance of getting me on one of those snow kits than you do a snowmobile. Looks rad. You make a line to the top for me with your sled.

Liked a comment on the item 2014 Thanks-for-Making-it-Impossible-to-Film-Another-Worthy-Whistler-Edit - Vital MTB Shreddy Awards 12/20/2014 1:30 PM

Next year you should just let Remy choose the Whistler vid that comes the closest to his quality.

Added a comment about video Time Machine Britney White 11/13/2014 2:13 PM
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Looks so cool, can't wait to get back to Galbraith.

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This video has 1 comment.

Liked a comment on the item Homemade prototype 11/4/2014 4:57 AM

The small circular part is the integrated seat clamp. Concerning the final build weight, it is heavier than most of the bike you can buy, but it is my first prototype!! But it's around 18-19kg

Added a comment about video Casey Brown Beyond the Bike 11/4/2014 4:45 AM
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Yes, good perspective on life and a great video. I grew up watching Sam ride and remember his sections in the older videos. Wow was biking different then. Canada was just coming into play for most people.

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This video has 4 comments.

Liked a comment on the item Tested: KS LEV C Adjustable Seatpost 10/28/2014 7:36 AM

TRex,

I appreciate the skepticism given the general nature of Vital focusing on more "aggressive" riding disciplines. I've used those Oury grips for what seems like forever, even when I lived in Oregon and it rained all the time. I really like the diameter it gives my grip and the...more

Added a comment about product review Tested: KS LEV C Adjustable Seatpost 10/27/2014 8:41 PM
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Alright, that all sounds legit. Also, I do ride endurance, but only when I'm tricked by my friends who tell me the ride is easy and fun, and it is 3 or 4 hours or something. I was just giving you shit initially, but seriously watch out for Kidwoo. He's a seriously sketchy character.

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This product_review has 16 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: KS LEV C Adjustable Seatpost 10/27/2014 5:18 PM
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I don't know if I can really trust this review. A self proclaimed weight weenie using Oury grips? That just doesn't fit, he should go foam all the way. Those foam grips will kill you in the wet for sure, but hey, it is worth it for the weight savings. And, there are more cables on that bike than any bike I've ever owned. Six is a lot, especially for a hardtail. And what is in that seat pack? There's a Garmin or something on the stem, two water bottles in the frame, a big air canister on the seatpost, the pack could only hold a tube and small multi tool. A weight conscious rider would surely run tubeless, so it would be tough to flat, and thus, you wouldn't need a tube. So we're left with the mini-tool. An awfully big seat pack for a mini-tool. Rider's jersey must not have pockets. Most importantly, nobody runs a super dope ti frame with the matching titanium stem/bar combo ($$$$), carbon rims, and ONLY XT cranks. XTR or carbon should be the only options. The review was perfect. Maybe too perfect considering that bike I don't trust....

This product_review has 16 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: Kore Jive Flat Pedal 10/21/2014 9:20 PM
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I've like the Point 1 pedals I've run, they might be Gamut now, but they are thin, more durable, and better platform/grip. They cost a bit more, but I think it is worth it. E13's are great for DH, but almost too big. I have not run them for an extended period of time, but they might really scrape on a lot of stuff. The tires are Michelin's advanced tires. They are some of the best I've run.

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This product_review has 3 comments.

Added a product review for Kore Jive Flat Pedal 10/20/2014 4:24 AM
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Tested: Kore Jive Flat Pedal

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

by Steve Wentz

A few months ago I thought we might be at a stalemate with flat pedal arguments. There wasn't much hype coming down the pipeline about new designs, hardly any new fast kids racing DH on them, and some of the holdouts like Brook, Bryceland and even Blenkinsop were finally clicking into their bikes. Aside from Gee's win in Cairns on flats, there hadn't been a flat pedal gold medal in a World Cup in a long time. Maybe the good ol' flat pedal would just become an old artifact used in crazy conditions or by people who don't want to be mechanically attached to their bikes. Then it changed. I thank the downhill gods from the bottom of my heart that Sam Hill kicked butt on a couple of the roughest, most awesome tracks this year. It was beautiful to watch, seeing Hill come down the tracks the way he does, and it's something I'll probably always try to emulate just a little bit with my own riding. Flats will never be dead, and boy was it good to see a few real life reminders of that.

Kore's new Jive pedal is just one part in a bigger product line that is breathing life into the storied company. I knew Kore through their 'Elite' labeled stems, seatposts and other anodized offerings in the late 90's, all of which were too fancy for my bikes (or wallet) at that point. More recently, I thought Kore as a whole was just drifting off until I started to see some new stuff pop up over the past few years. The chance to try out the new Jive pedal was something I didn't want to pass up. I thought 'Who knows, the Jive pedal might very well be a rebirth for Kore.'

Kore Jive Highlights

  • Extruded, CNC machined 6061 body
  • Sealed cartridge bearings
  • Chromoly steel axle
  • 40 replaceable 6mm pins per pair (10 per side)
  • Concave shape
  • 325 grams per pair
  • Black or silver colors
  • MSRP $110.49

Initial Impressions

Weighing just 325 grams, the Jive is on the lighter end of the spectrum, and the lightest pedal I've used in quite some time. Concave platform? Check. Adjustable pins? Check. Thin profile? Check. It all seemed good. A set was sent my way and I eagerly awaited their arrival.

Once brown santa delivered the goods, I installed them on my XC bike right away. The pedals threaded in without a problem, the pins were already installed with thread lock, and there was no wobble in the system. The Jive did look to be slightly smaller than most pedals out there, though it can be hard to tell how a pedal will feel underfoot before riding it. I wanted to give these a fair shake down, so off we went in the summer dust.

On The Trail

I used the pedals predominantly for XC around Eagle and Avon, Colorado, then Mammoth and Truckee in California. All the trails were dry and dusty for the most part. Adventures included some rough parts here and there but nothing like the downhill that I was looking forward to later on. I did get into some mud in Telluride, where the grip on the pedals proved to be unaffected by the slippy slop. Combine some sharp pins with Five Tens and you'll pretty much always get that outcome.

I'm not all about the grip though. Grip and stability are two very different things for me, and the stability offered by these pedals is not their most redeeming feature. The pedal body isn't that big, be it across or front to back. This really knocks my confidence when the going gets rough. On some XC descents, my feet would chatter around on the Jives more than other flats in my possession. My feet aren't even that big, so someone with size 10 or bigger feet might really feel like they are standing on a small surface area.

My most important complaint about the pedals while riding XC is that I never forgot about them. Unfortunately, there was not enough room for error on the platform to really let me focus on the trail ahead instead of on what my feet were doing. After all that XC, it was off to the dirt jumps for some hardtail ride time. I thought initially the jumps would be the best place for these pedals, as the platform is of average size, and moving your feet around a bit can be a benefit when airborne at the trails. And I did feel at ease jumping on the Jives, they were comfortable, and the lack of chatter at a good jump spot made it easy to get along with the Jives here.

Things That Could Be Improved

First and foremost, a slightly larger platform would be great. It is not necessary in my mind for dirt jumping, however if these pedals were to be used for downhill it would be a must. Why were the pedals not tested while riding DH? Well, after a couple weeks of dirt jumping, I took the pedals off my hardtail and went to put them on the DH bike. There was a slight wobble in the axle when I unthreaded the pedals. The Jives were bent ever so slightly, and I didn't really want to trust my luck downhilling where I tend to take some harder hits.

I also wish there were wrench flats on the axle to fit a proper pedal wrench. It is a nice feature to have. I scraped a couple pins as well, and once that happens, it is nearly impossible to fit an allen wrench into the pin to remove/replace it. A pin system that has the pin head protected, probably by threading them in from the bottom would be great here - it's a fairly simple fix as well.

Long Term Durability

The first concern is obviously the axle that was slightly bent after a few weeks of dirt jumping. Given the potential of harder pedal hits to rocks in DH, I can't see the Jive lasting in that kind of scenario. The body of the pedal is also not the most robust, so I would worry that use and abuse on the pins would ultimately round out the holes that the pins thread into.

What's The Bottom Line?

I was hoping the Kore Jive would be a lightweight, durable pedal for dirt jumping if nothing else. Unfortunately it was in that very environment where the Jive met its match. There are pedals out there with more traction, stability, strength, and even a few that cost less - including Kore's own Torsion SX V2 pedals. Lightweight, smooth riders with smaller feet may do well with these. Heavier hard chargers may want to keep the search up for your perfect pair.

For more information, head on over to www.kore-usa.com.


About The Reviewer

Steve Wentz has always done things and ridden his own way, and he's really happy about that. He grew up in the middle of Southern California and had to build his own trails to ride when he was too young to drive. To make a long story short, that's what he's still doing today, minus the California part. Now he tries to do that everywhere. He has been to every continent except for Antarctica, and has either raced, built trail or been able to ride all over. He loves seeing the world, for better or worse. He has been through ghettos where children beg for pennies, and that really gives perspective to our world where a pair of soft rubber tires costs $150. That being said, he's skidded on those soft rubber tires on so many race courses and trails he can't even count anymore, and he loves it. He'll always ride if he can, and race if he wants, but now he tries to do it with an eye on the course and also an eye to what is practical, what is worth supporting, and what he thinks can benefit the sport as a whole.

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Liked a comment on the item Specialized's 33.2 Pound S-Works Demo 8 Carbon Downhill Bike 10/8/2014 6:12 AM

Be quiet! Somebody's gonna get a sack ripped open when that seat breaks and it's gonna be hilarious!

Liked a comment on the item Specialized's 33.2 Pound S-Works Demo 8 Carbon Downhill Bike 10/8/2014 6:10 AM

"While no bash guard may seem crazy, it'd be just fine on all but the rockiest DH courses."

You're FIRED turman!