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Added a product review for Continental Mountain King ProTection Tire 1/28/2015 7:24 AM

I miss the Exiwolf


The Good: Light, uhh....durable?

The Bad: Super porous sidewalls, horrible wet root/rock traction, doesn't hold a seal, seems smaller than advertised size(2.2)


Well, since WTB discontinued my favorite rolling rear tire, the Exiwolf, I had to move on and accept the loss. Change happens. We get used to it. We adapt. We move on. We are humans after all. I had seen many a positive review on the Mountain King II(MKII) version 2. The first version garnered tremendous hate due to poor quality control that resulted in knobs ripping off randomly. So, I purchased the ProTection version of the MKII to set up tubeless. Still to this day the bead holds fine but the sidewalls are the consistency of cheesecloth. While this makes them nice and supple(120TPI) it does nothing for their ability to hold air even with sealant. So...keeping them aired is a daily chore. I was hoping that a couple rides would help snuff all that out but no. At least they wear slowly. That counts for something, right? Unfortunately, it means I'll be stuck with these in my garage for a long time.

So, the ride. That's what we all care about isn't it? For a blocky tire they roll pretty darn well. Unlike my Vigilante on my other bike they roll surprisingly fast. When you're on packed dirt they are a good tire. With their surprising rolling speed and tall side knobs they corner well and keep things moving. The transition from center to side knobs is very trustworthy and there's no loss of traction in that exchange. Where they don't do well is under braking. They give way almost immediately and break loose far too quickly. They also don't do well on roots. They chatter and skip on rocks going downhill but nothing too bad. They pick up traction right away once the brakes are released. In the wet they shed the mud well but if you're looking for grip you better look elsewhere. Most times when I laid down the power they were slipping and sliding all over. And braking is akin to feeling like Garrett Buehler on some loose shale ridge only without being him and without riding a big mountain ridge. This tire is definitely NOT a winter tire even with the Black Chili compound.

Would I recommend this to someone who rides only XC or races on buff trails? Sure. Maybe. Would I recommend it to anyone else who is seeking an all around tire? No. No I wouldn't. There's other choices that are going to be better suited for you.

This product has 2 reviews

Added reply in a thread Mechanic Help Norco Sight shock 1/22/2015 7:35 AM

Nice choice. I was going to add my 2 cents by saying I have a Monarch Plus in my Range with no issues. That said I don't have a bottle cage on it either. But You can't go wrong either way. Nice looking ride. Good work!

Added reply in a thread Ordering a Frame from Chain Reaction Cycles 1/20/2015 7:35 AM

I didn't order the frame but I ordered a set of wheels. The box showed up a little battered and bruised but nothing enough to damage the contents. I got hit with a $40 customs charge on them though. The brakes I ordered through CRC never even showed ... more »

Added a comment about feature How To: Connect Your Dropper Post to a Shimano or SRAM Front Shifter 1/17/2015 7:48 AM

This is super helpful! Thanks!
I needed this about five months ago when I ruined an X7 shifter trying this project.
Then I realized I actually like my Lev switch and didn't really need this.

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This feature has 15 comments.

Added reply in a thread Wireless shifting being tested! 1/14/2015 3:22 PM

I would think if they're testing this on ProTour teams that the communications are locked down by this point. I'm curious as to how it communicates....wifi...bluetooth...some other protocol? In my mind all kinds of stuff could communicate on the same ... more »

Started new thread Wireless shifting being tested! 1/14/2015 9:40 AM

When XTR Di2 was announced I thought it was cool but immediately thought about how cool it would be if it were wireless. Looks like SRAM is working on that on the road. Granted, it would be about 20 years before it goes to x9/XT levels but one can dream. ... more »

This forum thread has 4 replies

Added a comment about feature 2015 Vital MTB Trail Bike Test Sessions Introduction 1/5/2015 9:34 PM

It's all those people of whom I prey. The next year when the hot new ticket comes out I pounce!

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This feature has 61 comments.

Liked a comment on the item 2015 Vital MTB Trail Bike Test Sessions Introduction 1/5/2015 9:34 PM

i think you just answered your own question. 1 in 3 American's have unpaid debt that has been reported to collections for non-payment. I think you are wise to buy within your means. There are plenty of awesome, affordable aluminum bikes that will give you a killer trail experience.

Added reply in a thread 2015 Racing Rumours - MTB Musical Chairs 12/30/2014 6:59 AM

Man, if Jerome gets on Red Bull we'll be seeing a lot more of him. They must do a damn good job of paying their riders because they make certain to get the coverage. Incentives, man, incentives...

Added reply in a thread Hardtail setup help (dirt jump) 12/19/2014 12:50 PM

It states the rear spacing in the listing: MTB hub spacing (O.L.D 135 x 10mm) So Hope makes a SS hub which is this here. I believe that would set you up. http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/hope-pro-2-evo-rear-hub-single-speed-trials/rp-prod113664 ... more »

Added reply in a thread Middle of the road, All around tubeless rim? 11/25/2014 1:23 PM

I've ridden both rims and can't say I feel a difference, Woody. It's nice the way the wider rims make the tires feel. Maybe you can find a good deal on the i25. They're lesser known than the Stan's. I stray away from Stan's now due to my destroying one ... more »

Added reply in a thread Middle of the road, All around tubeless rim? 11/25/2014 12:38 PM

Frequency i25's. Stronger than Stan's offerings and possibly cheaper. Might be a little bit more heavy but I have smashed mine around and barely a scratch. I have dented my Blunt rims much more easily.

Added a comment about video Most Intense Downhill Run Ever? Dan Atherton on Hardline 11/25/2014 11:34 AM

I want to see all the WC competitors run this one!
No Rachel??

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This video has 5 comments.

Added reply in a thread Filmers: FAA to Require a Pilot's License to Fly Drones? 11/24/2014 3:22 PM

I wish they would stop calling them drones in the first place. Second, I think this is a good thing. I've wrecked mine(luckily, in the woods) and it's not hard. People should have some semblance of responsibility when flying. Still...it's gonna make ... more »

Added a comment about feature WIN BIG! IXS MTB Pads Up For Grabs - Presented by Art's Cyclery 11/21/2014 8:57 AM

Damn. It's times like this I wish I had FB.

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This feature has 13 comments.

Added a product review for Fox Racing Dirtpaw Gloves 11/20/2014 12:14 PM

Like slipping paws over your mitts


The Good: Fit, feel, value, bar feel, protection

The Bad: Trying to think of something....nope.


I previously had some super light Dakine gloves that detonated within a month. I will say I expect all Dakine products to detonate immediately after purchase. Sometimes you're in a bind and need something on the spot. I had tried these gloves on at the bike shop a couple times. We courted each other for a while. I was a little hesitant due to the cost but then I started comparing against others such as TLD. Once the Dakine's shat the bed after stitching them back together I decided to ask the Fox out on a date. She graciously accepted and a cheap $25 date later we had consummated something special. No frat pick up lines needed here.

Slipping them on it's like having some Italian shoes on your feet: sublime. They feel very soft on the inside in contrast to their rugged exterior. They are a little in your face with the branding and such. Nothing a Sharpie couldn't fix on some of the plastic bits. The fingers articulate very well and you can feel the bars pretty well through their relatively thick palms. You can feel the bars and your brake levers with a good bit of response. That's a sensation that's missing in some of the more padded/carbonized gloves out there.There's protection galore below and above. I would put these more to the Rubenesque side of gloves rather than waif. What's surprising is that for their thickness they seem to wick sweaty palms quite well. If one were to wreck(I NEVER do that...) they will protect your hands handsomely. You can continue on with your hand modeling job after the ride. There's plastic bits on the knuckles and top of the hand and the padding on the bottom is just right.

The velcro strap is usually a tricky affair. It seems to never hold well enough, holds well but catches on any bike clothing when undone or the strap is in the wrong place overall. Well, I'm happy to inform you that with these gloves the catch is on the underside and the velcro they used seems to have the magical power of staying stuck yet not catching on your clothing when undone. Not certain what brand they use for the fastener but more companies should take note.

The grip bits on the index and middle fingers also work great on touchscreen devices. No issues there. They also grip the brake levers. As for the gloves temperature I'm not able to speak out on super warm Phoenix days but in the NorthWet summers they were just fine. They never had my hands overheating or soaked through with sweat. It also doesn't get cold enough here to say how far down in temperature they would go but so far I've been wet in moderate temps with them and it wasn't noticeable at all. And that speaks volumes for a glove. I'd say it's a glove that I put on but that I don't notice. I can't think of much more to ask from such a consummation.

This product has 2 reviews

Added a comment about product review Tested: GT Sanction Pro Frame 11/19/2014 10:34 AM

I agree, Jeff. It's always tough to take your perspective on a product and not consider who this might be aimed at as far as the marketing. Dyno tests and marketing blather can go on and on for days but unless you get it on the trail it's all talk.
It was interesting to see a review with a discussion about shock tune. Not many attack that one. It's such a finicky thing though. It's kind of like a saddle.
I have no interest in the frame, personally happy with my Range, but I like reading Vital's reviews to see what in depth information might come out of it. Who knows? You might learn something!

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This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: GT Sanction Pro Frame 11/21/2014 12:00 AM

Wow. That was the most cohesive frame review I've ever come across! Kudos. Plus, I like that the writer took an approach more to the layman than what a pro would be seeking in a bike.

This product_review has 23 comments.

Added reply in a thread Best aggressive all mountain frame 11/11/2014 11:42 AM

There's lots of good ones right now. Good time for this category. The Bronson is nice as is the Enduro. I own a Range and with a piggyback shock and a Pike it's capable of anything. There's also the Kona Process 153. YT and others if you live abroad.... ... more »

Added a product review for Fox Racing Sergeant Shorts 2011 11/10/2014 10:50 AM

Well cut but cotton??


The Good: Great fit, good cut, just baggy enough, length is nice, good liner

The Bad: Cotton fabric, crotch catches on seat, pockets are a bit deep


When I bought these I thought they were soft and supple and felt very nice. I mean, really, who doesn't like soft and supple, right? When I tried them on with the liner it seemed like they just fit right. These were gonna be summer shorts for when I wasn't wearing pads. The shorts are definitely on the long side. Think: modern day basketball shorts. They fit well on the waist though and were very comfortable. As a matter of fact, they were very comfortable on the first two hour ride with them including the liner. The crotch hung up on the seat a few times but I've learned to just deal with that over time with just about any short. The liner is very well made and doesn't use the strange tabs every other company uses that makes it all strange when you have to drop drawers. The chamois is well made and offers no chafing on the seams.

The short itself has a great cut and though the pockets are a bit long they aren't in the way unless full. Even when you have things in them they puff out instead of in and down. These are shorts you wouldn't feel out of place wearing in the bar. Relatively understated for Fox and seem like normal cargo shorts as they don't swish when you walk. Unfortunately, they're not the best for riding in the Northwest. I must have had a brain fart when I noted that they were primarily cotton. This is really a no-no. I rode these in the summer and they were sweat soaked and didn't dry out quickly. These wouldn't be the shorts to take on a road trip. You likely wouldn't be wearing them the next day. If they were made with some sort of soft polyester these would be great longer shorts.

This product has 2 reviews