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RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork

“One of the best trail/AM/Enduro forks out there”

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The Good: Buttery smooth, Bottomless Token tuning, lightweight, stiff, longer damper service interval than competition (recommended time), and looks good on any bike.

The Bad: Stanchion not as hard as the other vulgar looking gold ones, difficult to find parts and oil (0w-30) as this is a relatively new product.

Overall Review: As a long-time Fox Racing Shox user, I never did like Rockshox forks as my Tora 302 died in a months time and the Fox Talas that replaced it made it clear that Fox makes stunning products, but today in 2014, it seems as if the roles changed. The 160mm 26" Pike is mounted on a 2014 Santa Cruz Carbon Nomad with a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air CS. Prior to the Pike, I had a 2014 Fox 34 Float CTD FIT, until the aluminum bolt holding it together on one side snapped. Compared to the Fox 34, I feel as if the Pike is in a different league. Not only is it stiffer and lighter, it also doesn't dive under braking (massive issue with the Read More »

KS LEV C Adjustable Seatpost

Vital Review

“Tested: KS LEV C Adjustable Seatpost”

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by Josh Cady The LEV Carbon (LEV C) is made by KS USA. Based in Foothills Ranch, California, the Orange County company produces hydraulic height adjustable seatposts and rear shocks. Within their array of dropper posts, KS markets the LEV C to cross-country weight weenies (me) looking for a little more confidence on the descents, and anyone else looking to add a very light weight dropper post to their rig. Per my M.O., I took the post's ability to handle my cross country riding style to the extreme, and tested it on many of the same trails Curtis Keene trains on for the Enduro World Series. KS LEV C Highlights Built for Read More »

Biknd Jetpack Bike Travel Bag

Vital Review

“Tested: Biknd Jetpack Travel Bag”

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Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Brandon Turman Most people will agree, it's always a bit of a hassle to fly with your bike. Back in the day I used to break my bike down into two separate wheel boxes, which involved separating the front and rear triangle and pretty much dismantling the entire bike; the whole ordeal made me dread having to fly with my bike. Enter Biknd's Jetpack, built to simplify your life and make air travel safer for your bike. With another Whistler trip in the works, we took the opportunity to see if flying with your bike could actually be turned into a more enjoyable experience. Jetpack Read More »

2015 Trek Remedy 7 27.5 Bike

“The do it all mountain bike”

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The Good: Super stable, a smooth ride, good at climbing, sturdy yet still flickable, very maneuverable through tight corners, 2x10 drivetrain, shimano shadow plus derailleur

The Bad: wish it had more powerful brakes, front derailleur could be better

Overall Review: A very solid bike for the least expensive in its class. There is nothing that sticks out on the bike as something that needs to be improved, it seems ready to hit just about any trail right out of the box. It feels very nimble while going fast through sketchy rocky turns and feels yet super stable while bombing down descents. It is the do everything bike, it climbs well and keeps your power to the ground and can also get some air going over doubles and drops. The geometry feels like a happy medium for every style of riding.

Troy Lee Designs Women's Skyline Jersey

Vital Review

“Tested: TLD Women's Skyline Short and Jersey”

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Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Brandon Turman The long days of summer are slipping away. Temperatures are becoming cooler and cooler. Jersey sleeves are becoming longer and longer. Each warm day in the forecast is a carpe diem call to the trail while each cold day’s goosebumps call to the memories of summer. On those summer days and the warmer fall days, I’ve been rocking the Women’s Skyline short and jersey, staples of Troy Lee Designs’ collection. These designs are based on the “no flowers, no butterflies, just bold, aggressive styling” ideal of the company. With color options from wild Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Women's Skyline Short

Vital Review

“Tested: TLD Women's Skyline Short and Jersey”

C138_troy_lee_designs_womens_skyline_short_black
Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Brandon Turman The long days of summer are slipping away. Temperatures are becoming cooler and cooler. Jersey sleeves are becoming longer and longer. Each warm day in the forecast is a carpe diem call to the trail while each cold day’s goosebumps call to the memories of summer. On those summer days and the warmer fall days, I’ve been rocking the Women’s Skyline short and jersey, staples of Troy Lee Designs’ collection. These designs are based on the “no flowers, no butterflies, just bold, aggressive styling” ideal of the company. With color options from wild Read More »

2013 Norco Aurum 1 with Boxxer

“NICE AND AWESOME”

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The Good: Nice and sleek frame design with beautiful paint. Supple and predictive rear end. Eat ups big hits and float over small bumps. Stable at high speed and turns. Good head angle cheap...i guess?

The Bad: Paint chips off easily. Not the lightest but its still very light. Cable rubs terribly at the rocker arms. Not the best cable routing.

Overall Review: It is a stable yet playful bike. You could take it to a competition and race it or just bring it to a bike park and shred. Really easy to control in mid-air and on ground. Stable at rough, technical tracks and smooth and jumpy tracks. One of the best looking bike paint out there. Great spec for the money.

Kore Jive Flat Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Kore Jive Flat Pedal”

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by Steve Wentz A few months ago I thought we might be at a stalemate with flat pedal arguments. There wasn't much hype coming down the pipeline about new designs, hardly any new fast kids racing DH on them, and some of the holdouts like Brook, Bryceland and even Blenkinsop were finally clicking into their bikes. Aside from Gee's win in Cairns on flats, there hadn't been a flat pedal gold medal in a World Cup in a long time. Maybe the good ol' flat pedal would just become an old artifact used in crazy conditions or by people who don't want to be mechanically attached to their bikes. Then it changed. I thank the downhill gods Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Short

“Best Shorts I have Used”

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The Good: Huge Front Pockets,
Lightweight,
Keeps you dry,
Stretchy

The Bad: not very rugged

Overall Review: These shorts are my favorite riding shorts, and I have tried many others of the same brand and other brands. These shorts fit very well, maybe a little on the small side, but because of the stretchy material they are made of, it is not a problem at all for when you are pedaling or riding. I find myself reaching for these shorts because I am able to keep my phone, wallet and keys in my front pockets which most shorts are not capable of.  I have only had them for about a month, but ever since purchasing these are the only shorts I reach for even on the days at the bike part and the DH tracks.  They are so comfortable and light, and I have had nothing but amazing experiences with this product so far.  Do not hesitate to pick them up!

2015 Specialized S-Works Demo 8 Carbon 650B

Vital Review

“First Ride: 2015 Specialized S-Works Demo Carbon”

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Review by Brandon Turman // Action photos by Dave Trumpore Surely you’ve seen Specialized’s new spaceship S-Works Demo 8 Carbon by now. The thing is missing half the seat tube and looks more akin to the concept bikes of the future than to something you’d find at your local bike park. Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin also piloted it to three World Cup podium finishes after it was introduced late this season, as well as third place at World Champs. Well, this coming January the future will officially arrive at Specialized dealers around the world. Curious how the alien-looking rig rides, we saddled up for two days of rock, Read More »