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Troy Lee Designs Ace Riding Jersey

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Troy Lee Designs Ace Jersey”

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Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by Chris Christie Troy Lee Designs’ Ace kit caters to riders looking for a high performing, lightweight, more pedal-friendly option without having to rock a skin suit. Advertised as premium, high performance gear for gritty XC riders, the updated Ace series features lightweight, wicking materials and all of the technical features we’ve come to expect from TLD. Can the kit handle daily abuse and frequent mistreatment, or is it meant purely for dainty XC rides? We spent a few months doing our best to find out. Troy Lee Designs Ace Short Highlights 4-way stretch, highly durable 90% Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Ace Riding Short

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Troy Lee Designs Ace Shorts”

C138_15_tld_ace_shorts_elite_red
Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by Chris Christie Troy Lee Designs’ Ace kit caters to riders looking for a high performing, lightweight, more pedal-friendly option without having to rock a skin suit. Advertised as premium, high performance gear for gritty XC riders, the updated Ace series features lightweight, wicking materials and all of the technical features we’ve come to expect from TLD. Can the kit handle daily abuse and frequent mistreatment, or is it meant purely for dainty XC rides? We spent a few months doing our best to find out. Troy Lee Designs Ace Short Highlights 4-way stretch, highly durable 90% Read More »

The Sensus Swayze Lock-On Grip

“Grips for Those That Like to Party!”

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The Good: ODI Rubber and lock rings
Classic wavy grip style
Long grip length
Includes bar plugs

The Bad: Shifters hit grip flange
Outer grip lip catches in lock on bolt
Small lock on bolts

Overall Review: Picked these up for no other reason than I like to switch up my bikes look from time to time with grips and thought I would give The Sensus a try. Sensus is a rider owned company and I like to support those that ride. The Swayze grips are designed by Sensus, but use rubber and lock-on rings from ODI. Working with ODI is great since they have an established and trusted design. However, using ODI is also a bit of a negative for me. I personally have never liked ODI's use of a very small lock-on bolts. I always feel like I am going to strip them out when tightening up. I have been using these grips for just over a month Read More »

Fly Racing Freestone Helmet

“Smooth Looks and Great Function!”

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The Good: Lots of cooling vents
Good colorways
Light weight
Rear head cover
Adjustable visor

The Bad: dial retention system weak
awkward visor adjustment
matte finish scratches easily
No camera mount

Overall Review: I have been looking for a helment with more back of the head coverage and picked this up from Jenson with a great price match, so the price was way cheaper then the average $109 retail. First impression was right on on. The helmet has lots of vents (19) and is super light. The dial system retention and adjustable chin strap offer lots ofadjustability. I chose the Hi-Viz Blue in a size med/large. While I am not sure about the other colorway's finish, the Hi-Viz blue is more matte than glossy, which I personally really like. Out of the box the fit was good. Didn't have to do any adjustment with the chin straps, Read More »

Source D|Vide Hydration System

“A game changer!”

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The Good: Source D|vide delivers. It is easy to fill, easy to clean, the tubes are great and easy to connect disconnect from the reservoir (with a click system) and fits well on my Shimano U4E backpack. No odd plastic flavors after a while, nothing! I've read the secret lies on the glass like technology. The construction quality seems really good and you don't even feel that you have 2 L of liquid on your back. The huge opening is great to refill and you can even stick your hand fully to clean the isotonic reservoir. Source says that if you only use water and you just need to refill and go, no need for a throughout cleaning. Rides are now much more comfortable and you don't feel the urge of having big sips of each reservoir, it is so balanced!

The Bad: Not exactly bad, but I feel that the valve kit needs some time to get used to, and probably some work around. You bite and suck like in most of the systems, but then you have to twist (mouth or hand) to close it, as it might drip a little. Camebak big bite is still a winner, but, on the other hand, it has no mechanism (built in) to prevent from dripping (and it will happen eventually). I think the reservoir would be perfect with an extra hole on the bottom to help hanging it to dry upside down. Source still doesn't sell this as kit (with a backpack), so if you buy a Source backpack you will have an extra reservoir... The reservoir comes with no accessories in comparison with other reservoirs from the same brand ex: magnetic clip, dirt shield (to stop dirt from getting in contact with the valve), weave covered tube for insulation. Still nothing that affects performance. I love it.

Overall Review: I have used Camelbaks since the 90s and since followed the widespread of other brands and solutions. I went all these years on and off using water or isotonic but lately, because age and heat, I've been using isotonic drinks and water (two bottles) on my Zaskar (transformed to be some kinda of a road bike) and I feel much better having two drinks instead of just one kind. With that I thought the possibility on doing the same with my trail bike. The thing is I didn't want to use bottles or a bottle and hydration, and every time I used isotonic only on my Camelbak it was a pain to clean. I decided to search for a solution and I found it, Source D|vide is definitely a great buy but I wouldn't mind paying a little bit more if It came with other accessories.

7iDP Control Suit

“I really like the idea of this body armor”

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The Good: looks awesome, fits pretty good, very cool to wear under a jersey, protection covers areas they are supposed to cover well.

The Bad: side velcro straps could be more robust. top of the spine plate sticks straight up

Overall Review: As soon as I saw this I new I had to try it. I hate pressure suits and wanted something that fits under a jersey but covers these exact areas. It's super lightweight, and not hot to wear at all compared to most body armor. I went with the large/xl and it fits well, it tends to ride up when riding. The side velcro straps could be a little stronger maybe. The biggest problem with this design is that the spine plate sticks straight up in the back behind the neck. It makes it hard to fit a jersey, but the biggest problem is that when you have you helmet on and are going downhill, the back of the helmet hits it and tends to Read More »

7iDP Transition SS Base Suit

“Good fit, high quality”

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The Good: Fits true to size, nice shoulder and back protection

The Bad: hot, bulky

Overall Review: Ordered this to try to find something for easier riding days. It fit's really well and seems really well made. However it is really hot. It's also a lot bulkier that I thought it would be. I ended up returning it because my 661 core saver fits better under a jersey and has more protection.

Easton Heist 27.5 Complete Wheel

Vital Review

“Tested: Easton Heist 27.5 Wheelset”

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Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord Earlier this year, Easton launched a new MTB rim. Available in 3 different widths, the aluminum ARC rim was made to cater to a wide range of riding styles and conditions. Shortly thereafter, Easton featured the ARC rim on the all-new Heist wheelset, a competitively priced set of hoops aimed at anything "from XC to aggressive all-mountain" - with particular focus on the latter category. The Heist is also suitable for Enduro racing, although Easton feels its flagship Haven wheelset may be the go-to choice for many riders there. We've been rocking a pair of these Read More »

Royal 2015 Victory Gloves

“Awesome gloves”

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The Good: This gloves is sucess to take people's attention

The Bad: Pretty hard to be found in Indonesia

Overall Review: Okay, first of all, the design is awesome. I feel so many eyes are wacthing on me with this gloves. My friends are asking about this gloves. To be honest, Royal gloves are pretty hard to be found in my country, Indonesia. I was looking at online shop for this gloves. I picked the Small size and this gloves is perfect in my hands. My first impression about Royal 2015 Victory Gloves; Awesome! I got this gloves just about two or three weeks ago, and wear this for three times. For now, this is the best gloves that I have ever had; both on design and also performance. One thing, just my opinion; I really love with this gloves, Read More »