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FOX Float X2 Factory Rear Shock

Vital Review

“Tested: 2016 FOX Float X2 Shock”

C138_floatx2_shock
Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Nils Hjord, Johan Hjord, and Brandon Turman We first spotted an interesting new rear shock design from FOX’s Racing Application Development (”RAD”) program on Greg Minnaar’s World Champs bike in 2013. Fast forward to spring of 2015, and the DHX2 and Float X2 shocks were publically introduced, taking direct aim at the gravity crowd. Based on a twin-tube damper design, a first for the fox tail, the new shocks are FOX’s most adjustable offering to date. Together with the Float 36 RC2 fork we reviewed earlier this year, we laid our hands on the airsprung Float X2 and set off to find out Read More »
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Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 743 52 684 1642 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 30 245 3066 72 23

2016 Orbea Occam AM M30

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Orbea Occam AM M30”

C138_2016_orbea_occam_am_m30
Reviewed by Fred Robinson and AJ Barlas // Photos by Lear Miller When talking trail bikes, we've always focused on the aggressive end of the spectrum here at Vital, which is why up until 2016 you never heard much about the Orbea Occam. Previously very XC in nature, this bike has seen a massive redesign for the new year, and now features much more relaxed angles, a longer front end, shorter rear end, and lower bottom bracket height. Toss in a 27.5 version and a new suspension design with more travel and you've captured our interest with a bike that looks capable of truly rallying through the rough bits. Curious to see how it Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_twitter3_1382472127.jpg?1382471385 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1140 92 5429 1043 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 234 1004 1997 109 40

2016 Pivot Mach 6 Aluminum X1

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Pivot Mach 6 Aluminum X1”

C138_2016_pivot_mach_6_aluminum
Reviewed by Courtney Steen and Amanda Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller At the 2016 Vital MTB Test Sessions, we ladies got the chance to sample a few of the latest trail/all-mountain bikes to see how they perform for women. With a smorgasbord of bikes ranging from 120 to 160mm travel, women-specific to unisex, and a price range from about $3,000 to over $9,000, how is one to choose?! This year we tested three bikes in the 150 to 160mm travel range that may be options to consider. We put them (and ourselves) to the test on South Mountain's trails in Phoenix, Arizona - a moonscape of rowdy rock sections, decomposed granite, Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_twitter3_1382472127.jpg?1382471385 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1140 92 5429 1043 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 234 1004 1997 109 40

FOX 2016 Float 36 FIT RC2 Suspension Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: 2016 FOX Float 36 RC2 Fork”

C138_fox_2016_float_36_fit_rc2_fork
Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord FOX’s 36 fork has in many ways always been leading the company forward, and this has certainly been true over the past few years. The 36 was the first fork in FOX’s lineup to receive the major recent updates that were then rolled out to the rest of the range for 2016, and it certainly had our attention as of the 2015 model year. For 2016, the 36 sees some further tweaks, and tweaks always leave us curious, especially when it comes to suspension products. Moreover, we wanted to really pit the 36 against the current de-facto “standard” trail bike fork to see Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 743 52 684 1642 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 30 245 3066 72 23

2016 Commencal Meta Trail 650b

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Commencal Meta Trail 650b”

C138_2016_commencal_meta_trail_650b
Reviewed by AJ Barlas and Fred Robinson // Photos by Lear Miller Driven by the desire for a more accessible shock position, better standover, and improved kinematics, Commencal recently updated their frame design and aesthetic starting with the Meta AM V4 enduro bike. They’ve since moved the updated design to the shorter travel Meta Trail we tested during the 2016 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Highlights Aluminum frame 27.5 (650b) wheels 120mm (4.7-inches) of rear wheel travel // 130mm (5.1-inches) fork travel V4 Contact System suspension Tapered headtube Post mount rear brake Internal cable and dropper post routing Double Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_twitter3_1382472127.jpg?1382471385 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1140 92 5429 1043 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 234 1004 1997 109 40

2016 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 650b

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 650B”

C138_2016_specialized_stumpjumper_fsr_comp_carbon_650b
Reviewed by Fred Robinson and AJ Barlas // Photos by Lear Miller While Specialized may have been a bit late to the 650b wheel game, they're doing it right for 2016. The all-new Stumpjumper FSR gets a ground up redesign for the new year, gaining a more aggressive attitude, an ultra short rear end, updated shock tune, and a wild-looking SWAT compartment hidden in the downtube. We tested the Comp Carbon model during the 2016 Vital MTB Test Sessions, which offers some pretty clever and exclusive tech combined with high value components right out of the box. Highlights Carbon frame with aluminum rear Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_twitter3_1382472127.jpg?1382471385 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1140 92 5429 1043 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 234 1004 1997 109 40

Evil Bikes The Insurgent Frame

Featured Review

“2015 Evil Insurgent Review”

C138_evil_bikes_the_insurgent_frame

The Good:

Internal Cable Routing for Stealth Dropper,
Easy cable Routing for Brakes and Shifter,
Custom Carbon Upper Chain Guide,
150mm Rear Suspension,
Full Carbon Frame,
12x142 with Bolt on Axle,
Adjustable Geometry,
DELTA Link,
FSA Headset Included

The Bad:

Low Chain line height with 30t,
Limited Seat tube length,
Chain slap noise can get loud on rowdy trails

Overall Review: Let's be honest. Just from looking at it, this is the bike you want. It’s slimeball yellow is eye catching and will attract the parking lot lizards like teenage girls to a boyband concert. I’ll start with the obvious, it's a slack ( 65.6 in Low and 64.8 in X-low ) with a 160mm fork, I mean why would you run it with less? Drunk, maybe? The flip chip takes 10 minutes or so to change and it's a simple process. The chainstays are a short 432mm and with that, it loves the body english. Evil has thought of the everyday rider by including a 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell, easy cable routing and FSA headset included. Read More »
Rate review: +7 Up Down
Vital MTB member vathana.song
6112 vathana.song http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/6112/avatar/c50_fb_picture_100000099857126.jpg?1294480103 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/vathana-song,6112/all 01/08/11 1 3 47 1

2016 Transition Smuggler 1

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Transition Smuggler 1”

C138_2016_transition_smuggler_1
Reviewed by AJ Barlas and Fred Robinson // Photos by Lear Miller It’s no surprise the good times that can be had on a short travel 29er, especially when it has capable geometry. The combination of big wheels to plough over stuff, short travel for efficiency and precision, a solid parts kit, and aggressive long/low/slack geometry has the potential to create something awesome. Transition’s Smuggler fits perfectly into this party life 29er club, with 115mm of travel out back and a slightly longer 130mm travel fork. Forget your old impressions of 29ers - this is no XC whippet, and is made for riders looking to maximize fun on Read More »
Rate review: +9 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_twitter3_1382472127.jpg?1382471385 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1140 92 5429 1043 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 234 1004 1997 109 40

Maxima BIO Wash

Featured Review

“The new benchmark”

C138_maxima_bio_wash

The Good:

cheap, massively effective, doesn't require much scrubbing, smells amazing, good value, if you can get it cleaner I'd be amazed, nontoxic, biodegradable, did I mention the nice scent?

The Bad:

None. None.

Overall Review: Washing a bike…it’s something people either seem meticulous about or they just don’t give a damn and clean maybe every five rides. Am I correct? I suppose I used to fall into the camp of cleaning after every ride. Especially during the NorthWet winters I would try to clean all the muck away and attempt to keep the wear down on the components. Gritty components leads to faster wear which leads to more money all around. Maxima has released a new line of products to help keep you from spending so much money. One that interested me was the BioWash bike cleaner. Prior to using anything specific I pretty much used car Read More »
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Vital MTB member xyian
28456 xyian http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/28456/avatar/c50_577010_114290065376219_82677321_n_1410835657.jpg?1410834973 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/xyian,28456/all 11/14/13 3 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/xyian,28456/setup 5 78 75 11

Easton Lock-On Grip

Featured Review

“Custom sizes that fit your fingers and last long time”

C138_easton_lock_on_grip

The Good:

Different sizes, rubber durometer, light, colors galore, slow wear rate, comfortable, clean up well

The Bad:

Not ODI clamp compatible (can't use with dropper post lever)

Overall Review: When Easton decided to enter the grip market it seemed like an interesting foray. Seems they weren’t impressed with how other’s lock on grips were fitting on their bars. So what does a powerful company do? They set out and create their own. I thought it was an interesting take on the grip market. Nothing mind blowing, per se, but all intriguing refinements on a market with few innovations as of late. They decided that the traditional clamping method where it cinches down on carbon bars was a bad method so they made their own clamping mechanism that clamps indirectly to keep from stressing the carbon. Easton also came up with Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member xyian
28456 xyian http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/28456/avatar/c50_577010_114290065376219_82677321_n_1410835657.jpg?1410834973 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/xyian,28456/all 11/14/13 3 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/xyian,28456/setup 5 78 75 11