Added a product review for Giro Feature Helmet 5/3/2015 5:11 PM

Excellent Trail/All Mountain Helmet


The Good: low weight In Mold construction, low profile fit, good lower head coverage, comfortable adjustment system, solid ventilation

The Bad: lack of strap adjustment could be an issue for some riders.


I've used the Feature for a couple of seasons with excellent results. The shape of the helmet is slightly more round than the Bell Super or POC Trabec.   The Feature has a low profile fit and offers good lower head protection.  The adjustable retention system helps you dial in the fit.  Goggles work great with this helmet.   The padding inside the helmet does a good job of wicking away sweat without the padding being too thick or uncomfortably thin.  If you are the type of rider that needs to make fore/aft strap adjustments, the minimalist straps on the Feature may be a deal breaker.  Otherwise, the Feature is an outstanding all mountain helmet with great coverage, low profile fit and good ventilation - at a price that is tough to beat.

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Added a product review for Crank Brothers Power Pump Pro 11/4/2013 9:16 PM

compact but not practical


The Good: Compact, light, easy to use gauge

The Bad: Not much air volume. Takes forever to pump high volume mountain bike tires.


Although compact and beautifully made, the Power Pump Pro is more fashion than function. The lack of air volume requires a lot of effort to pump up high volume mountain bike tires.   Look elsewhere if you are flat prone.

This product has 1 review

Added a product review for Crank Brothers Multi 17 Tool 11/4/2013 8:57 PM

long lasting, well designed multi tool


The Good: durable, versatile, compact

The Bad: heavy, prone to rust


The multi tool 17 is a durable, versatile and well designed multitool. Equipped with a chain tool and spoke wrench, this crank brothers tool is ready for all day epics or local trail rides.

This product has 4 reviews

Added a product review for Park Tool CT-3 Chain Tool 11/4/2013 8:48 PM

Shop quality chain tool, own it for life


The Good: Strong, durable, replaceable pins

The Bad: CT-3 may not work on 11 speed chains. The newer CT-3.2 works on 5-11 speed chains.


I've used this chain tool for over 15 years without fail. So far, I have replaced one pin.  The steel construction and fine machining is both durable and smooth.   The rubber coated handles are also a plus.   This tool also works loose kinks in the chain.  Not much more to say than buy this tool and you will own it for life.

This product has 3 reviews

Liked a bike check Stealth Bronson (a.k.a The Zephyr) 11/3/2013 9:44 AM
Added a comment about feature Vital MTB's Top Reviewer Award - Presented by Jenson USA 11/2/2013 5:55 PM

Stoked! Thanks Vital and JensonUSA.

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Added a product review for Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire 10/17/2013 11:40 PM

Next Generation Enduro/Downhill Tire


The Good: Fast Rolling, Light Weight (compared to 2 ply DH tire), Tubeless Ready, All around tread pattern

The Bad: Price. All around tread pattern not the best for loose conditions.


The Super Gravity Hans Dampf (26in x 2.35) tire is an evolutionary step forward in downhill tire construction. The innovative carcass, reinforced folding bead,  snakeskin protection and tubeless ready design creates an enduro/dh tire that is 250 to 300 lighter than a comparable 2 ply tire.  I was eager to find out if this tire was tough enough to handle real world downhill trail conditions.

I've ridden these tires (Trail Star Front, Pace Star rear set up tubeless)  on rocky, loose downhill trails, super fast single track  and bike park jump lines.  What I noticed right away was how fast these tires rolled compared to my 2 ply 2.5 Minions!  The reduced rolling resistance is remarkable.   I was also impressed with the durability and stability of the Hans Dampf SG tire.  The tire did not squirm under hard cornering or burp out tire sealant on hard landings or rocky sections.   So far, the lighter construction has not compromised performance.

If you need an all around tread pattern tire  for enduro, dh or aggressive trail riding, I highly recommend the Hans Dampf Super Gravity tire.

This product has 4 reviews

Added a product review for Shimano SLX M666 Disc Brake 10/10/2013 10:21 PM

powerful, consistent brakes


The Good: Powerful, consistent, reliable, durable

The Bad: routine maintenance is required for peak performance


I ran these brakes hard this season- bike park, dh shuttle laps, aggressive trails. What impressed me most was the consistent braking power even on the longest downhills.   The oversized ceramic pistons and ice tech brake pads keep the system fade free.  The lever design is comfortable for 1 finger braking.   I found the tool free reach adjustment very convenient.   Coming from Avid brakes, I had to get used to the power of the Shimano brakes.  The power comes on more quickly, requiring the rider to not drag their brakes.  SLX brakes require less pressure to engage thereby reducing hand fatigue.  In addition, I feel that I can brake later into corners which increases my speed.

At $125 per brake, these are the best performing brakes on the market.  Get them.  You won't regret it.

This product has 9 reviews

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9/4/2013 8:53 PM

Added a comment about news blog Tracey Hannah Injury Update 8/5/2013 7:36 PM

Inspiring. Get well soon!

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This news blog has 7 comments.

(Member Blog)

7/4/2013 10:19 PM

Added a comment about feature Sneak Peek: First Glimpse of Scott's 2014 Genius LT 700 6/24/2013 6:41 PM

A step in the right direction no doubt. Still, BB height looks high even for a 27.5.

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Added a product review for Easton Havoc 26" UST Wheelset 6/12/2013 2:53 PM

solid performer for all mountain and jump trail use


The Good: light weight, smooth rolling, low maintenance hubs

The Bad: proprietary rims, difficult to find spokes, soft rims


This review is for the previous generation havoc wheel set with a 135mm rear wheel.

The Havoc wheel set should be used for trail, all mountain or smooth bike park riding. I have been happy with the performance of these wheels when used for these intended purposes.  These wheels roll very fast  and smooth especailly when set up ghetto tubeless (Maxxis Minion DHF EXO sealed up just fine).  The problem is that it's way too tempting to run them for DH and that's where durability of the rim becomes an issue.  I have replaced a pair of rims riding DH.  On the other hand, the hubs have been flawless after hundreds and hundreds of miles of aggressive trail/jump line  riding . 

Bottom line:  If you find these wheels on the internet at blow out prices,  get them for an all mountain bike.  It's worth it.

This product has 3 reviews

Added a product review for 2012 Transition TR450 2 Bike 6/10/2013 4:34 PM

stable, stiff, dh sled for the bike park


The Good: stiff, stable, durable, superb in the air

The Bad: frame weight, wheel set


The Transition TR450 is a great choice for dh riders looking for a bike park sled.

Ride Impression: The frame design is incredibly stout and you can feel it on the bike. Consequently, the bike tracks very well in the rough or through corners.  The TR450 suspension delivers a plush ride but is not mushy under power once you dial in the Fox DHX RC4 shock.  I have to admit I was skeptical of the "single pivot"  design but the linkage actuated design does not have any flaws that an average bike park rider will notice.  The TR450 feels good with the wheels on the ground but feels even better in the air.  I was instantly comfortable off jumps on this bike.   The bottom bracket height is not super low like some of the newer designs nor is it old school high.  I think Transition has found a nice balance between ground clearance  and cornering capability.

Durability: The TR450 is designed to withstand the abuse in the bike park with solid welds, oversized pivot bearings and simple suspension design.    Expect this bike to last for years with minimal maintenance.  However, durability comes with a weight penalty.  The TR450 will hover around 38/39 lbs with a solid build.

Component spec: The Boxxer RC fork, Sram drivetrain and Code brakes have performed well and you will like it if you prefer sram over shimano.  However, I was not a big fan of the wheel set- cheap and not built well IMO.  Rebuild the wheel set from the start.

Put this downhill bike on your short list of you are looking for a very good performing bike that will be stiff, durable and low maintenance.

This product has 1 review

Liked a bike check Chili Pepper (Spitfire V2) 6/6/2013 11:00 AM
Added a product review for Five Ten Freerider VXi Shoes 5/31/2013 5:47 PM

next level flat pedal shoe


The Good: superb traction, stiff pedaling platform (for a flat shoe), low weight, slim profile, excellent midsole and heel cushioning

The Bad: no gusset on tongue, needs break in time.


It seems many of the things I did not like about the original Freerider have been addressed in the new Freerider VXi.

First, the new outsole pattern makes foot adjustments on the pedal easier without sacrificing grip.  The original Freerider almost had too much grip.  Second, the Freerider VXI has a slimmer profile and lower weight.  The Freerider VXi is significantly lighter and has more rocker, allowing the shoe to walk with ease.  I found the original Freerider to be a bit bulky and lacking rocker.  Third, the new VXi provides excellent midsole and heel cushioning.  The VXi sports an eva midsole that offers good cushioning compared to the Freerider.  Fourth, the Freerider VXi has a solid pedaling platform for a flat pedal shoe.  It's a noticeable difference in power transmission when compared to the Freerider which was too soft for some riders. 

The Freerider VXi sets the new standard for performance flat pedal shoes.  Buy this shoe if you want a lightweight, breathable and supportive shoe.  Get the 510 Impact if you value protection and durablity at the expense of bulk and weight. 

This product has 5 reviews

Added a comment to bturman's profile 5/15/2013 11:50 AM

I enjoy reading all of the vital reviews on products and bikes. Can you make searching for these great reviews easier? Perhaps a link on the Product main page?

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Added a product review for SRAM X.9 Rear Derailleur 9/21/2012 4:38 PM

crisp, reliable shifting


The Good: positive, reliable and crisp shifting. value

The Bad: bulky footprint compared to shimano saint, xt and zee rear derailluers


I have a x9 short cage 9 speed rear derailluer that has survived three seasons of heavy duty bike park use. It's beat up and slightly bent  but the shifting is still crisp and reliable.  I personally love the postive feel of sram shifting versus Shimano.

The only gripe I would have about the x9 rear derailluer is the bulky profile of the component.  It's much bigger than Saint, Zee and XT rear derailluers.

This product has 3 reviews

Added a product review for 2012 Transition TR250 2 Bike 8/28/2012 8:26 PM

Superb DH/Bike Park/Freeride/Shuttle Bike!


The Good: Responsiveness, Stability, Acceleration, Supple suspension

The Bad: Hard to adjust rebound, bit of pedal feedback


The stability, stiffness and plushness of the TR250 really stands out.  Take the geometry of a downhill race bike and shorten things up a bit here and there and you get the Transition Tr250.  I don't think there is a better single crown dh/bike park sled out on the market for the experienced rider.

Stability- The Tr250 truly feels like a full dh bike when you hit the gas.  High speed runs at Mammoth Bike Park doesn't faze this bike at all.  You are mostly fooled into thinking that you are on a full dh bike.

Stiffness-  The 150mm rear end of the TR250 is astoundingly stiff!   Ditto for the big down tube front triangle.  You get impressive exit speed out of corners and incredible acceleration in straightaways.  Power Transmission is very good for a bike this size.

Plushness-  Small bump sensitivity is excellent and plush in the rough or off big landings.  You can go big on the Tr250 and be confident that the suspension has your back.

This is the ideal bike for riders looking for a more nimble, versatile dh/bike park/shuttle bike that doesn't compromise stability at speed or on the steeps.  Riders looking for a very playful bike or novice riders should look at other options.

This product has 1 review

Added a product review for Deity Dirty30 Handlebar 8/13/2012 7:47 PM

Great handlebar at a good price


The Good: Quality finish. Familiar shape. Strong. Good weight for a dh/freeride bar.

The Bad: Not wide enough for some (760mm)

Overall: The Dirty 30 handlebar is damn good looking, strong and has a comfortable shape. The 25 mm rise is just spot on for most downhill setups.  If 30 inches is wide enough for your tastes, get this bar.  I think at $80 the Dirty 30 is a better choice than a lot of the after market competition.

This product has 1 review