sspomer's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Trek Stache 9 29+ Bike 11/5/2015 7:34 AM

Tested: Trek Stache 9 29+


The Good:

The Bad:


By gordo

​If you're reading this review, I figure you have one of three attitudes toward the 29+ tire size:

  1. Why would this clown bike be reviewed on Vital? I'm going to hate on it in the comments because that's what any cool mountain biker would do.
  2. I'm actually interested in the wheel/tire platform and how this bike rides.
  3. What the heck is that thing, I know nothing about it.

If you have attitude #1, you can skip to the comments and leave your territorial pissings. Your internet friends will approve of your hate and your life will go on. If you have attitude #2 or #3, keep reading.

Trek Stache 9 29+ Highlights

  • 29 x 3.0-inch Bontrager Chupacabra 29+ tires
  • 329mm BB height
  • 420mm chainstay length
  • 68.4-degree head angle
  • Boost148/110 axles
  • Stranglehold dropout gives options 29+, 27.5+, or 29er (Vital only tested 29+ as this is the complete bike option)
  • Manitou Magnum Pro fork, 110mm travel
  • DT Swiss 350 hubs
  • SRAM X1 drivetrain
  • Shimano Deore XT brakes
  • KS eThirty Integra dropper post
  • $3699.00

Why Did Vital Test This Bike?

I used to be a #1. I first saw the Stache 29+ bikes at Sea Otter this year. I'm not a fat biker, I'm not hip to the niche trends outside of gravity bikes and basically laughed at the thing the first time I saw it during a Hayes/Manitou presentation. I really didn't understand why this bike existed. This fat bike stepchild seemed like a complete novelty, or even a joke, on display during the presentation.

As I drove home from Sea Otter, the thought crossed my mind to give it a test. It's the most punk rock thing Vital could do, right? If I were to ask for one of these bikes to test, most of the people I know would think I lost it. You readers may think we were trying to turn into The Vitavist, plus I would get the chance to hate on this goofy-looking contraption.

I mulled over asking for a Stache to test and discussed the idea internally. We all agreed (well, except for maybe Brandon) that it was worth a shot. Let's do it. I wrote Trek and asked for the mid-priced Stache 7 29+. They said yep. I wrote this article before the bike showed up and not too long after, a Stache 9 29+ (oohhh, upgrade!) arrived at my doorstep. That was a while ago.

I received the bike and coincidentally my back went out a day or two later. Karma? I was fully out of commission from riding for about a month. The bike sat in the box for two weeks. When I was healed up enough to build the bike, I put it together and just looked at it. "What have I done?" I had tester's remorse for sure. I was not used to how the bike looked. The wheels were just too huge.

Since I couldn't ride the bike and I had absolutely no clue about the platform, I did some research and realized 29+ wasn't brand new. Some small brands had figured out how to cram those huge tires into a frame that complied with typical geometries and drivetrain technologies. I read some other reviews on the Stache 29+ to see what I might expect. It sounded like the biggest piece of innovation with the Trek were the light-weight Bontrager Chupacabra tires. The tires are what make the difference on the Stache. At 850 grams, the Chupacabras are in the ballpark of popular 27.5 trail bike tires. Other 29+ attempts still had heavier tires which made the ride feel more fat bike-like. Additionally, the geometry of the Stache is compact despite the massive tires, keeping angles and measurements similar to other trail rippers. By the time my back was healed enough to ride, I understood the standards, sizes, tire pressures and the design ideology of the bike. All I had to do was ride it and see for myself.

Initial Impressions

It's a funny thing having to sit there and look at your bike without being able to ride it. A few weeks after building it up, I was now used to the cosmetics of the bike. It looked "right." I'd look at my personal trail bike with 26-inch wheels (yes, my personal bike is still a 26) sitting in the garage next to the Stache and my personal bike looked like the clown bike now, not the Stache.

The Stache fit in the Yaris despite the huge wheels! #bonus


The Manitou Magnum fork is stout, but the Hexlock thru-axle system wasn't very intuitive for this guy. I had to read the instructions a few times to get the wheel on, which is pretty comical in hindsight. The lever needs to be in a certain position to get the axle all the way in, then you push it in to turn it 90-degrees and flip it up. It only flips one way, so half the time, the "flip" would leave the lever pointing down toward the ground, not up along the fork leg. I eventually figured it out and installing the front wheel has become old-hat, but the Hexlock system seems a lot more complicated than it needs to be. I was also not getting full travel out of the box. A quick consultation with Manitou led me to reset the negative spring and all was right with the fork. I set the fork to the upper end of air spring and compression using their recommendations for weight and riding style as a baseline. They use "Trail" or "Enduro" labels in their tuning with "Enduro" set up focused more on gravity performance, so I went with that.

How not to install the Hexlock axle. The skewer shouldn't be parallel to ground, though this isn't obvious at first. Point it upward.

Reviews I read had tire pressures in the 13-15psi range. No way was I going that low. I'm a fat bike and plus-size noob, so I went 17psi for the first ride. 17psi in the Chupacabras made the tires feel incredibly hard, but I erred on the side of too much for ride number one. The SRAM X1 1x drivetrain is the only option on the bike because of the tire size, so 2x fans look elsewhere. The Bontrager components are solid as expected with Rhythm Pro carbon bars at a nice 750mm width. Shimano XT brakes are a nice touch, as I'm personally a fan of the lever shape and brake modulation. This was my first time riding a KS Lev dropper post.

On The Trail

The Fire Road

Since my back was on the mend, my first two rides were up a fire road, descending right back down it. It's the closest ride to my house and easy to knock out in about 90-minutes. There's a two mile bike path to warm up, then a steady, non-tech grind for as long as you want to go. I aim for a vista about 4 miles up. On my trail bike with aggressive front tire and mid-range rear tire, this climb kind of feels like a slog. It's a mental challenge because I know I could ride this fire road on any bike and the trail bike is overkill. I only ride it to get out and spin. The Stache put me in a different headspace here. Riding a new bike is always fun, but on the path to the fire road and on the dirt, the thing rolled a lot faster than I would have ever thought it would considering width and size of the tires. Since I was on the higher end of the pressure range at 17psi, maybe that was it.

I have a designated stop on this fire road about two-thirds of the way up when I ride my trail bike. I rode right by the stop, pretty blown away that I wasn't sucking the wind I'm usually sucking. I was also there a lot more quickly than normal. That was inspiring and my first thought was, "wow, this 29+ stuff really works!" Well, it does work, but let's look at what I'm comparing. I'm on a hardtail and it has large diameter wheels and tires with pretty small knobs, so of course the Stache is going to climb a fire road better than my 26-inch trail bike. Is it as fast as a 29er race hardtail? No. But the change of pace on this particular ride was refreshing and inspiring. I hit the 4-mile lookout and was ready for more uphilling which almost never happens considering my weekend-warrior-keyboard-jockey-new-dad physique. The svelte design of the Chupacabra tires paid off.

Riding down the fire road was pretty sick too. I had a conversation about the tire size and contact patch with an experienced pro MTB friend and he thought the tire footprint would make a great Kamikaze/fire road-slaying tool because grip should be all-time. Grip was surprisingly all-time despite the low-profile knobs on the Chupacabras. I'm not skilled enough to slide bikes into fire road corners at 40mph, and while I like to deceive myself into thinking I'm Sam Hill when the tires lose traction a bit, it's usually more fright than fun. The Stache, despite the visually short-looking wheelbase and actually short chainstays, was stable on the descent at speed. I never heard the front tire break loose and the rear tire held the line even with some crunchy, gravel sounds of slight slip. It was a bit weird trying to lean over those tall wheels, but by the bottom of the first ride I felt used to it and those massive gyroscopes helped with stability at speed. A few days later, the second time descending the same road was faster and more aggressive as I realized the bike could be pushed more. It was a blast and I'd love to see a legit pro on this tire platform ripping some fire road corners. I was happy with the 17psi, too. I did not change that from the first ride to the second on the fire road.

The Too-Tech Trail

Time for a ride on a rough trail. I went to the complete opposite end of the spectrum for the next rides; a singletrack trail that is pretty steep, switchbacky and filled with big boulders and trials-like moves going uphill. These trialsy moves are really fun on the descent. It's a trail I don't normally ride because overall, the uphill doesn't make the descent worth it on my limited time out.

I knew I'd be walking up half of this trail because I'm fat, but even super fit riders with skills would be walking a majority of the sections. I wanted to see how this bike would handle some of the rock stairs on the way up, but mostly on the way down. Could I just monster truck them all where I'd normally be slipping and hitting pedals and chainrings? Would the hole-filled rock gardens on the 26-inch feel like mild washboards now on the 29+? That's what these massive wheels are meant for, right? Mobbing shit.

The climb was definitely more successful than on the 26. I blame part of that on the hardtail factor, but the tires with their huge footprint, diameter and lower pressures were grabbing pieces of rock and straddling holes that would normally stop me dead. Navigating tight, slow switchbacks felt more awkward because of the big wheels, but I can't recall thinking any corner was unmakeable purely because of the wheel size. Aside from the really tight, slow navigation, the Stache felt pretty "normal" to me. The geometry, featuring short chainstays for the tire size and a low bottom bracket height, keep the center of gravity low and the bike nimble. The rear tire's forward position, means that high-centering or striking pedals isn't an issue.

I suffered to the top and was fired up to blitz back down. I was a little concerned dropping in thinking that I hadn't ridden a hardtail on tech trail in a LONG time. Once I passed the first two rocky sections, I realized this bike was not a 5-inch trail bike. There was some teeth-rattling going on, but it was fun as shit. I opened it up a bit more and had some wide-eyed moments on the faster sections of trail. Through the really tech, slower spots, the Stache did seem to ride over holes I'd normally try to avoid or get really hung up on and again.

The Magnum fork (110mm travel) performed well in conjunction with the massive wheels. A click or two of adjustment within the recommended settings were all I needed to find a happy place on the rough trail. I got so cocky with the monster truckness of the bike that on the last tech feature at the end of the trail, I tried a line I'd have never considered on my 26-inch bike and just barely stuffed the front wheel into a hole and went OTB onto my face. I guess the Stache can't roll over everything...

I still had the bike at 17psi on that first ride and liked that pressure. I never heard the rim ping a rock which was probably the most surprising sensation of taking a hardtail down a rock-filled trail. It bounced around more than a full suspension bike (duh), so I rode the trail again a few days later at 14psi to compare. I felt that pressure was a little too squirrely for my liking. I still never bottomed-out the rim, and climbing traction was a bit better, but it just felt a little more "floaty" descending and cornering, as if the tires were rolling a bit. I went back to 16-17psi and have stayed there.

Long Term Durability

There's nothing on the Stache 29+ that really stands out as a compromise in durability. It's an aluminum hardtail with proven, quality components. The KS Lev seatpost has performed as advertised and the SRAM X1 drivetrain is as clean as they come. I would consider the limited tire options (at the time of writing) as something to think about. The tires have performed really well and are not wearing too quickly. If there was a catastrophic tire event, like a slice or cut however, you may be out of commission until you can get one of the less-than-common Chupacabras from Trek/Bontrager should your local Trek dealer be out of stock. The tires are also pretty spendy at $119 each, full retail.

What's The Bottom Line?

The experienced trail bike rider who knows their local trails in their sleep will have a lot of fun on the Stache 29+. The bike brings a completely new and fun sensation to trails that may have become boring. The sensation is not that of a lumbering pig either. It's snappy, responsive, efficient and alive. The rider looking to expand their quiver should look to this side of the spectrum.

The new or less-experienced rider would do well to consider the Stache, too; especially the Stache 7 29+ at only $2499. If I was looking to buy a new bike and only had $2500 to spend, I now know how much fun could be had on the 29+ wheel platform when compared to a similarly-priced full-suspension bike. The build spec, the simplicity of a hardtail and the shredability of the finished product is worth a look.

I'd like to be very clear - the Stache does not ride like a 4- or 5-inch trail bike. A few reviews I read mentioned the Stache was just like their full-suspension bikes. Those reviewers are delirious or didn't ride the Stache in the right place. The Stache 29+ is a hardtail with some compliance in the rear, but it is NOT a replacement for suspension. If anyone presented a 2-inch full suspension frame featuring an air shock with no rebound or damping control, you'd laugh. Well, that's what the tires are. They do take some of the hardtail sting away from the ride, but they're not plush. If you're expecting suspension like a Remedy, you should just buy a Remedy. If you're willing to broaden your horizons and are looking for that hardtail thrill again, you will have a blast on the Stache 29+ bikes.

Visit for more info on the Stache 9 29+.

About the Reviewer

Shawn Spomer has been mountain biking since 1998 and has been involved in mountain bike media since 2001. He has been with Vital MTB as Content Director since 2009. While he may be more keyboard jockey than talented rider these days, his experience on the bike gives him the insight to investigate how a product will relate to the majority of consumers.

This product has no reviews yet.

Added a product review for Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert 6Fattie Bike 11/2/2015 10:42 AM

Mitch Ropelato Rips the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie


The Good:

The Bad:


Wet trails, dry trails and even dirt jumps...Mitch Ropelato hauls the mail aboard his 6Fattie!

This product has no reviews yet.

Added a product review for Fly Racing Prizm Knee Guard 10/27/2015 12:48 PM

TESTED: Fly Prizm Knee Guard


The Good:

The Bad:


Fly Racing Prizm Knee Guards are the lone mountain bike knee pad option from the long-established Moto and now MTB brand. The $84.95 knee protectors are well-built and offer some pretty high-tech protection solutions.

Like most modern pads, the Prizms fall into this in-between region of protection. They're not quite full-on DH pads, but they're a bit bulky for a lot of uphilling. Fly worked with a European foam developer to create their soft Reaktiv Prizm Foam (RPF) which is used as the main protective element in the pad. The pad's design, foam usage and outer Kevlar construction means the Prizm is a CE Level 1 (EN1621 / 2012) approved knee protection system. One key feature of the RPF is that heat makes the foam more pliable. The foam will become more supple as it warms up, so body temperature along with strategically placed cuts in the foam ensure a secure, form-fitting experience.

Fly Prizm Highlights

  • RPF = Reaktiv Prizm Foam. Fly Racing has developed their own CE-approved protection. It is a high density memory foam that has been sliced with a prismatic pattern to allow the pad to mould to the shape of the user. The foam is also body temperature sensitive meaning it becomes more supple when you put the pad on increasing comfort when pedaling
  • Kevlar front panels - heavy duty front panels with high abrasion resistance to increase durability of the pad.
  • Side knee protection
  • Moisture wicking, antibacterial lycra pad liner
  • 'Floating' neoprene patella cup with silicon printing to centralize the pad and prevent it from slipping down
  • Strategically placed elastic banding with silicon printing to help prevent the pad from slipping down
  • Open back design prevents material bunching up at the back of the knee when pedaling and increases breathability
  • Asymmetric design to have left and right specific for improved fit and function
  • Extensive use of flatlock stitching for increased strength, durability and comfort
  • Innovative lacing system around the upper calf. Positioned above the widest point of the calf this helps prevent the pads from slipping down in use.
  • MSRP: $84.95 USD

Initial Impressions

I used the pads riding Whistler and on some local XC (trail) rides. Out of the box, the pads felt stout and durable. The protective foam was pliable, but a bit stiff initially. The pads are marked left/right and they slid on easily enough. I wore size M/L. Fly also sent me size XL which was both too long and too big in diameter for my legs. For what it's worth, I typically wear a "Large" in other pads.

As expected, the silicone grip strips on the thigh area gripped my legs well and the Prizms flexed nicely when bending my knees. The strapless design was secure and the draw-string on the calf area was nice touch, and I was stoked with the lack of elastic and/or velcro straps flapping around. I didn't need to cinch it up much, but skinny-legged riders may appreciate the option. Though I experienced no problems, I wondered about the surplus string dangling for riders who may need excessive cinching in the calf area.

I have short legs, so the pads covered a good bit of my upper shin. I liked that. I think riders with more average legs will feel the pads offer ample lower knee coverage, but not upper shin coverage like I experienced.

On The Trail

Some dusty, hot runs at Whistler and the pads stayed planted and unnoticeable...which is exactly what they should be. I would pull the pads up my thigh before each run, but it was a minimal adjustment and nothing like pads I've had in the past that would slip down considerably. The snug calf zone is what kept the protection in the right place. The knee cup would not drop down, out of position, even if the thigh cuff had slid down a bit. During impact, having the cup in the right place is all that matters. I never hit the dirt at Whistler, but I felt the pads were dialed for the bike park, staying in place and offering a feeling of security. They were not a distraction to my riding which is also crucial. Post-ride, I was never in a major hurry to get them off, which speaks to their comfort.

Back at home, I took the pads on a couple XC rides. Weather was dry and temps were in the mid-80's. The pads are a bit bulky for long uphills. I've never been a fan of riding in pads during climbs, however. Riders who use packs, attacking a long uphill to a long downhill ride will probably store them on the uphill and put them on before the descent. When descending, they felt great, just like my experience at Whistler. I was on a hardtail, so I was getting rattled considerably more than normal, but the pads were secure. I managed an OTB on one of the tech sections of trail at home, and the top of my knee hit the deck pretty good, but the pad was in place and did its job. A soft pad is never going to prevent that smack to the dirt and rock like a hard, plastic guard, but I was surprised at how well they absorbed the impact. Without the Prizm in this crash, I would have been bruised, sore and probably bloody.

Things That Could be Improved

If the majority of your riding includes longer, sustained climbs and you choose to carry the pads in your pack on the way up, having to remove shoes to put the Prizms on before the descent could be a downer.

Long Term Durability

While I have only ridden with these pads a handful of days total, I don't see why long-term durability would be an issue. There is no fraying or stitching out of place. I've used pads in the past that have shown such wear after a ride or two. While I personally prefer not having elastic and velcro straps for security, the only question I may have is how long the elasticity of the thigh cuff would stay tight. Having said that, as mentioned above, the security in the calf region is what keeps this pad in place, the thigh cuff comes in a distant second concern when it comes to retention.

What's The Bottom Line?

If you're looking for well-rounded knee protection that leans toward aggressive riding on the regular, the Fly Prizm is up to the challenge.

Visit for more information.

About The Reviewer

Shawn Spomer has been mountain biking since 1998 and has been involved in mountain bike media since 2001. He has been with Vital MTB as Content Director since 2009. While he may be more keyboard jockey than talented rider these days, his experience on the bike gives him the insight to investigate how a product will relate to the majority of consumers.

This product has no reviews yet.

Added a product review for Deity Tyler McCaul Signature TMAC Pedal 10/27/2015 7:02 AM

​Deity Launches the Tyler McCaul Signature TMAC Pedals


The Good:

The Bad:


Tyler McCaul and Deity have been up to something crafty and are finally releasing the fruits of their labor. Check out the TMAC signature pedal with zero offset design. Interesting. -gordo

Press Release

The crew at Deity are proud to announce the official launch of the Tyler McCaul signature TMAC pedal! The largest Deity pedal to date that features one of the deepest concave profiles industry wide, the Deity TMAC pedal has been a labor of love for the rider owned company who have spent nearly 3 years perfecting what they confidently call “Your Dream Pedal”!

On a warpath, the crew at Deity have not been letting up this year! With numerous new product releases, the construction of their new Global headquarters, expanding their pro roster of riders, and more, the launch of the TMAC pedals has been one of the most anticipated Deity products since initial images leaked out at Sea Otter of this year. A true “signature” product, the TMAC was born from the collaboration between Deity and industry icon Tyler McCaul.

Known for his impeccable whips, beautiful style, epic lines at events like Rampage, and his ability to tie it all together with speed, the development of the TMAC pedal was patiently crafted with the goal to create the best pedal your foot will ever touch and to address issues and requests top tier riders have had for years. From slipped pedals and the lack of true concave profiles, the Deity TMAC pedals were born not only from the work of Deity and Tyler McCaul, but also the input from riders like Cameron Zink.

“The TMAC pedal has been quite a while in the making actually. The initial mold we created did not have the ideal profile and after a year of testing the first prototypes, Tyler liked the pedal, but we wanted him to love it. So, we scrapped the first prototype and started from scratch with a new mold that broke away from the standard profiles and body shapes that are common to this industry.” Eric Davies (Deity, Owner)

Deity started studying past rider footage from not only their riders, but also other riders in this industry. Their goal was to examine every possible pedal slip and missed pedal that they could. It was clear that the lack of back support on the pedal was reducing the purchase a foot could have and these millimeters were the difference between having your foot on the pedal and having it slip off after a trick or dabbed foot on a downhill run. A symmetrical pedal shape is not new, but with the heyday of thick pedals in the 90’s and early 2000’s, offset pedal profiles became the standard because of the foots need to engage onto the pedal quicker due to the incredibly thick profile pedals used to have. It may be hard to remember for some, but these pedals looked like bricks and were so high off the spindle.

Those days are long long gone and thinner profiled pedals benefit a lot less from being offset as the engagement is much quicker due to being closer to the spindle and the fact that the outer trailing edges are not as thick anymore.

“We were initially worried about the effect a symmetrical pedal at a 90 degree right angle would have when the foot tried to stomp down and engage back on the platform. Would the foot shift forward or backward more? Would there be a delay on the engagement? To test this we made a weight driven machine that would apply downward force on the pedal when placed on a 90 degree plain. We could then measure the time it took for the foot to land flat and securely on the pedal and also, where the foot ended up being in relation to the axle when it rotated horizontally. We could then move the foot location forward or backwards to then test stability when the foot is not in the ideal position. The results were as we thought they would be. The added surface area behind the spindle allowed the concave profile to really shine. The foot confidently had space to connect to the pedal without worry of lack of foot support or needing to be in the perfect location.” Eric Davies (Deity, Owner)

Overthought? Maybe, but Deity does not have any room to make mistakes, to release inferior product, to expect their riders to risk themselves on something they do not think is the best in the business, or to let their customers be the testers. The reason they mention the above process is not to kill you with technical mumbo jumbo, but to show just one small example of the time Deity took to invest their energy as a team into the product development with this pedal. It is easy to say that a pedal is just a pedal, but to feel the difference…you really need to ride a set of the TMACs.

“Why has no one ever made a zero offset pedal?! More surface area, full concave and still thin. Your foot can be anywhere and still have full grip. T Mac and Deity made the greatest pedal ever!” Cameron Zink

“I will be honest, I have never ridden a pedal that feels as good as the TMAC. In fact, everyone who has ridden a set states the same thing whether they ride for us or not. You can feel the love we all put into the project and the functionality of the pedal is a dream for the foot. It has been a group effort and the people involved in the process are not only ourselves and Tyler, but also Cameron Zink, Greg Watts, and countless other key riders.” Eric Davies (Deity, Owner)

"When Eric approached me a few years ago about helping him a design a signature pedal, I was excited because I knew that Deity isn't like most companies out there. They weren't just going to stamp my name onto a current pedal design that they already had, paint it with shiny colors, and call it my "signature" pedal. I knew that this meant I would legitimately be able to design my dream pedal. I knew exactly what I wanted too. I wanted a big platform with a deep concave, that holds my feet in place with its shape, rather than with huge pins that pierce into my shoe. A pedal that prevented me from slipping a foot, but at the same time allowed me to reposition a foot quickly in between jumps or rock sections if needed without having to completely lift it up and re-set it.

Since this whole phase of companies trying to make the thinnest pedals possible, I haven't been able to find a pedal that actually feels like it cups to the natural shape of my foot. We tried a couple different things over the last couple years, and learned a lot from everything that we tried, but ultimately what we found was that we had to open up a new mold to give the actual platform itself a concave shape, rather than just trying to achieve this with unnecessarily long pins on the outside edges like some other companies do.

The fact that Eric was willing to do this and open a new mold for my pedal meant a lot to me, cause being that Deity is a rider-owned company, I knew that this additional cost was coming straight out of their pocket. They've never been one to cut corners though, and I think that this pedal is testament to that.

After countless tweaks, changes, and lots of patience from Deity, I'm incredibly proud of this pedal, and I can't wait for people to get their feet on it!!! It's my dream pedal, and I hope it's yours too..." Tyler McCaul

With the largest platform size in the Deity line up, the TMAC pedal features 110mm x 105mm of functional surface area that allow the deep concave profile to feel comfortable underfoot. Featuring 14 pins per side so you can customize your pin locations and set up, the TMAC pedals feature Deity’s new load distribution system that prevents bearing blowouts from side impacts and they even come in a wide range of colors for those clamoring to match up their bike kit.

“Concave pedals may not be for everyone and that is the reason we released the Bladerunner pedals earlier this year. Our goal with the two new designs was to cover both broad spectrums. From super thin to a pedal that boasts the most concave profile in the pedal shape in this industry, there are options for everyone in our line up and if one type of pedal does not suit you or if you are looking for a different price point…we probably have an option that will accommodate your needs. From $50 pedals all of the way to the TMAC, our range has quite the depth.” Sadie Davies (Deity, Co-Owner)

Featuring dual sided wider pins that come pre-applied with Loctite, removing a damaged pin is now easier than ever with the TMAC pedal as you can access the pin from the top or, if it has been damaged, simply back out the mirroring pin on the opposite side and unthread the pin from the backside with an allen key. Each pair even comes with a set of back up pins with pre-applied Loctite for you to keep in your tool box.

There are many flat pedals on the market, some that are convex, some that are concave, but the depth in the TMAC concave profile is rare. Unlike many pedals that simulate this feeling with pin profiles or a subtle concave profile to the body, the pedal shape is the key to a true concave profile and the Deity TMAC pedal boasts a full 2.5mm of concave depth in the machining of the forged pedal body. Able to execute this profile due to the large size of the TMAC pedals, the pedal cradles your foot and sinks the pins into your sole for superior traction that does not hinder you from being able to make micro adjustments to your foot position during a ride.

“I got to ride on some of the updated prototype TMAC pedals back in June. As I am getting older I have noticed a lot of pressure on my Achilles tendon on both of my ankles when riding my DH bike. With these pedals I noticed the platform of the pedal is bigger than others I have; therefore, I'm able to move my foot more forward on the pedal and still be comfortable in my riding position, taking the pressure off my Achilles tendon. So stoked on the pedals. Thanks Tyler and Eric for designing such an awesome pedal!” Mike Redding (Fox Head Marketing Director and Punk Rocker)
CNC machined from Deity’s own forged extrusion, the TMAC goes through a laborious machining process that ends up creating a product that is a work of art. With each pedal hand polished to a mirror shine, the TMAC pedals are an example of the level of work Deity has become known to produce.

“Tyler has been incredible to work with on this project. We take our signature line seriously and it is our way of incorporating our riders into what we are designing, so they can have a voice, experience the product design process, and create a product based around their experiences. Tyler never settles for anything and we love that about him. It made the development of his pedal take time, but we knew that we would do anything to make the pedal perfect and our end goal was to blow him away. Tyler would lend a set of pedals to riders for 24 hours, note their feedback, and get as many impressions as possible from Deity to non-Deity athletes. He was active in the process and we thank him for that.” Eric Davies (Deity, Owner)

TMAC Pedal Specs:

  • Tyler McCaul Signature Pedal
  • Extruded and Machined from Deity molds and 6061 T6 aluminum
  • The largest Deity pedal to date
  • 110mm x 105mm footprint
  • Super concave 2.5mm deep pedal profile per side
  • 14mm thin at the center
  • Symmetrical pedal profile for added foot support and stability
  • Dual sided pins with pre-applied Loctite
  • Includes extra set of back up pins
  • Load distribution system to prevent bearing blowout
  • Multi micro sealed bearings and Deity DU Bushing internals
  • Heat treated Cr-Mo Spindle that is compatible with a standard 15mm wrench or 8mm allen
  • Available in 5 high polished ano colors and also white powdercoat
  • 409 grams
  • MSRP of $168.99 USD

“It has been an evolution for us and it is not easy to operate our company via the philosophies and business model that we have. We are patient as a brand, we do not bow to anyone in this industry, we do not have any investors, and we are probably the most underrated component company in this industry. We do not beg for OEM spec, we actually have relationships with our riders, we do not worry about quarterly numbers, we still uphold the values we founded this company on in 2004, and our product line continues to epitomize detail and quality with a customer service reputation that is tough to beat. We have huge plans for the next two years and we expect to make our fans proud of what we have cooking here! This is just the start of our signature line and you can expect to see some projects come to fruition with the likes of Brendan Fairclough and Neko Mullaly as well. Exciting times indeed and we are stoked to have everyone along for the ride!” Eric Davies (Deity, Owner)

Stay tuned later this week for the release of Deity’s latest edit by Clay Porter that features Tyler McCaul destroying berms on board his new pedals. Make sure to also follow Deity on their Instagram Page and Facebook Page to find out how you can win an autographed set of Deity TMAC pedals with the winner being announced on Halloween!

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Added a product review for Scott Tyrant Oxide Goggle 10/23/2015 3:24 PM

First Look: Scott Tyrant Oxide Goggle


The Good:

The Bad:


Mountain bikers looking for serious eye protection need to check out the 2016 Scott Tyrant Oxide goggle. The Oxide frame technology allows the frame to be colored so the top half is translucent, letting valuable light in while the lower half features light-absorbing color. Together with SCOTT's Chrome Works single lenses, these technologies work together to provide exceptional vision on the trail and in varying light conditions. Add in SCOTT's Fit system and RAM Air ventilation features and you have the complete goggle package.

The lenses have tear-off tabs and there's a removable, adjustable noseguard for when it gets really nasty out there.

The foam is incredible comfortable and features strategic relief cuts to reduce pressure and improve ventilation.

Adjustment screws for the Scott Fit system which allows adjustments of the lower face flange with 4mm range of motion in fourdirections.

The Oxide version of the Tyrant runs about $90 and includes a microfiber goggle bag and pouch. Budget-conscious riders can check out the less expensive Scott Hustle MX Oxide goggle which runs closer to $65. Visit for more info.

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Added a product review for Leatt 3DF Airflex Pro Knee Guard 10/20/2015 5:23 PM

FIRST LOOK: Leatt 3DF Airflex Pro Knee Guard


The Good:

The Bad:


Vital was lucky enough to get a pair of the new Leatt 3DF Airflex Pro knee guards to examine. Right out of the box, the pads feel extremely light and flexible. The unique look of the perforated protection zone is eye-catching.

The Pro is an addition to the Leatt 3DF kneepad line which features the standard 3DF Airflex and the 3DF Hybrid. The Pro is the slimmest of the bunch and its 6mm pad is CE Certified with the Knee EN1621-2 Level 1 impact designation. The non-slip silicone cuffs keep the pads in place and side protection is ample, considering the light weight.

Did we mention they're flexible?

The MoistureCool and AirMesh fabrics combined with the design of the outer guard should keep you cool on trail rides. The extreme cold will affect the flexibility of the pads, but considering the ventilation, you probably won't be wearing these in the middle of an ice ride.

Stay cool. We stuck our flash in the pads to show how well the Airflex Pro pads will ventilate. There's breathable, soft fabric between your skin and the outer guard, too.

MSRP is $79 for the pads and there's a wide variety of sizes (S through XXL) to make sure you get a dialed fit. Visit for more info.

Leatt 3DF Airflex Pro Knee Guard Specs

  • CE tested and certified as impact protection: Knee EN1621-2 Level 1
  • Total Leatt protection score - 15 points
  • 6mm CE impact certified profile
  • New side & upper knee impact protection
  • New silicon printed cupped knee grip
  • New single sizing
  • New MoistureCool & AirMesh fabrics
  • Wicking, vented & antimicrobial
  • All protection materials perforated for ventilation
  • Silicone printed non slip cuffs
  • Pre-curved 3D design
  • Sizes: Adult: #S, M, L, XL, XXL

Update, 11-23-2015

I took these on a trail ride today and since I haven't hit the deck in them, I'm not ready to claim a review, but they were extremely light, cool and barely noticeable on the climb. They stayed in place, despite the hot, sweaty climb. I normally don't wear pads on this particular ride because it's a grind and usually hot with only a short tech section. I'd use the 3DF Airflex Pros on this ride regularly now. -gordo

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Added a product review for Dakine Hellion Knee Pad 10/20/2015 4:53 PM

FIRST LOOK: 2016 Dakine Hellion Knee Pads


The Good:

The Bad:


Dakine sent us over a pair of their new, 2016 Hellion knee pads to check out. These pads are for gravity-oriented riding as they provide full coverage and protection, utilizing durable materials throughout. There is ventilation, but you're probably not going on a long trail ride with the Hellions.

The Hellions feature Dakine's 3D-molded DK Impact foam which is malleable during normal wear but takes the shock of impact when needed. The impact areas are CE-certified. We threw the pads in the fridge for a few minutes and the flexibility of the protection zones was affected by the cold, so if you're thinking of riding these in the depth of a cold winter, take note. We can't imagine this will be an issue for most riders, however.

The pads feel well-constructed and should be ready for a good season of abuse. Save up $75 and get ready to pounce when they're available in the Spring of 2016.

Dakine Slayer Kneepads (left, $65) and Dakine Hellion Kneepads (right, $75).

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Added a product review for Superco Charger Hardtail Frame 3/11/2010 9:56 PM

a joy to ride


The Good: handmade in the u.s.a, awesome geometry...feels just like a bmx bike with big wheels. rides like a dream

The Bad: seatpost diameter is less-than common, but nothing impossible to find.

Overall: i have a smile on my face every time i ride this frame. it was worth every penny.

This product has 6 reviews.