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FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT Fork”

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Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Colin Meagher For years the FOX 36 has been a heavy hitter among a sea of lightweight fork options. It’s the fork many of the biggest, hardest charging riders turned to when nothing else seemed to suffice. Somewhere along the line the competition stepped up their game, though, and we’ve seen a shift in the market place and a demand for better performance at a lighter weight. FOX is here to answer that call with the completely redesigned 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT fork. We’ve had one on test for a little while now, charging down every rough patch of trail we can find. Read on to see why Read More »

Banshee Bikes Spitfire Frame

“Worse frame i have ever owened ”

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The Good: OK, this is the only good thing i can say about this frame, the bike ride well, angles feel spot on, easy to pick up and put in the right place. I even won a enduro on it.

The Bad: WHY OH WHY MAKE A FRAME THAT RUNS ON PLASTIC IGUS BUSHING INSTEAD OF BEARINGS!!!??? I had this frame for 8 months, and in that time i had to replace the bushings and pivots 3 times. 3 TIMES IN 8 MONTHS!!!??? Which set me back a hefty £300!

Overall Review: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE! When it worked it rode well, i do ride a lot, and did put the miles in during the 8 months of using this frame but shit son, £300 in bushings and pivot kits! I still have the frame in the garage but i'd feel to guilty to sell it on to the next unlucky guy to fool into buying it.

Chromag Fubar OSX Handlebar

“Look sick and feel good”

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The Good: Good colors, strong, light, and nothing bad to say.

The Bad: Rise could be a bit more. More downhill bars than for dirt jumping or park.

Overall Review: Strong, light, appealing to the eye, and feel great. Wouldn't recommend them for dirt jumping or park use due to the 780mm width and not much rise (more for downhill).

Banshee Bikes Spitfire Frame

“A fun bike for any day of week”

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The Good: Light, low and slack geometry, very stiff and responsive, climbs and pedals very efficiently, clean cable routing, descends like a freight train.

The Bad: The bushing system requirements more maintenance than usual, but the bushings are only about $1 each and swap out quickly with out any special tools. Other than that, maybe a thru axle rear end?

Overall Review: I picked up this frame at a deep discount and built it with mainly with spare parts sitting around my garage. The fit and finish of the bike is top notch - no creaks, squeaks or clunks and the whole bike came together easily. On the trail its extremely fun. It goes uphill quietly with minimal pedal bob and has very good traction. Going down or fast through twisty, technical trails is really where this thing shines. It's nimble, quick and can be tossed through turns very easy. It's low bottom bracket rails turns and keeps the bike feeling stable over fast, chunky descents. The Spitfire is just as happy hitting jumps and Read More »

2014 BMC Trailfox TF01 29 with XX1

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: BMC Trailfox TF01 29”

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Reviewed by Evan Turpen and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller In a time when nearly every company is jumping on the 27.5-inch/650B wheel bandwagon, BMC jumped straight to 29, eliminating their previous 26-inch model in the process. It wasn't without a lot of testing, though. BMC fabricated dozens of test mules, including several 27.5 models. Having tested multiple wheel sizes and geometry configurations against the clock, the company landed on a 5.9-inch (150mm) travel 29er with relaxed angles and a surprisingly short rear end. The bike is aimed squarely at the heart of the Enduro race scene, Read More »

Knolly Endorphin Frame

Featured Review

“Downhillers trail bike”

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The Good: incredible traction, tons of tire clearance, aggressive geometry,

The Bad: Not cheap, 4 x 4 suspension is not for everyone

Overall Review: Seems kind of silly these days to be writing a review for a 26" bike but if you're not in a hurry to switch over to larger wheels the Endorphin should be on your short list. I've been riding this frame for almost two years now and it is the best bike I've owned to date. First off the geometry is dialed on this bike. Slack head angle (67*), steep effective seat angle (73.5*), low BB height (13.2-4" depending on tires), and short chainstays (16.7") working all together makes this bike a ripper. The numbers puts a rider right in the center and IN the bike for great cornering manners and aggressive handling. The 4 x 4 suspension is Read More »

2014 Ellsworth Epiphany C XC 275 with Shimano XT

Featured Review

“Its a XC bike - No - Its a trail bike - No - Its the Ellsworth Epiphany C XC 27.5 ”

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The Good: Beautifully constructed work of carbon fiber bicycle art.

The Bad: Difficult to identify its niche in the quiver.

Overall Review: The Ellsworth Epiphany C XC is an ultra-lightweight masterpiece of all carbon construction with 140-millimeters of travel that attempts to bridge the gap between cross-country geometry and trail bike capability. Ellsworth boldly claims that the suspension design of the Epiphany C XC experiences “zero energy loss” and uses this proposition to support the logic behind a cross-country bike with trail capable travel. I got the opportunity to demo the Epiphany C XC at the 2014 Dirt Rag Magazine Dirtfest. The guys from the Ellsworth van did a stellar job of setting up the bike and after a few rounds of Read More »

DVO Emerald DH 203mm Inverted Suspension Fork

“Smoothest ride ever..”

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The Good: Beautiful design,
Popping colors,
Easy to tune, Awesome tech help...

The Bad: Made my rear shock feel crappy once I switch into his fork. Im still working to tune the shock to try and keep up with how smooth this fork rides...

Overall Review: I have ridden this fork for more than 4 months now. Rode it through rough races, muddy trails, flowy park runs and chunky tech.. It seems to be able to do it all with minimal tune changes. I am big boy weighing in at 220 lbs, so having a fork that will take a real beating is always important to me. The Emerald has held up wonderfully for me. And I slammed it into rocks starting the first day I rode it. I also love that its air and you dont have to swap out stupid heavy springs to adjust your ride. For the last 5 years I have ridden on a Fox 40, Marzocchi 888 and a Marzocchi 380. This guy has surpassed all of these Read More »

Easton Haven Carbon Handlebar

Featured Review

“Light and Tough”

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The Good: Light, durable, stiff

The Bad: limited width options, expensive

Overall Review: I've been using this bar for almost two seasons now and it's held up better than I expected. As this is my first carbon bar, I did my research and spent a little bit more than I would normally on a handlebar. I settled on Easton due to its reputation/experience with carbon and because I also have the aluminum version of this bar and liked it. Installation was easy and I made sure to get carbon paste and use a torque wrench. So far no slippage, creaks, or anything that would cause alarm. On the trail, I could immediately tell the difference between the carbon and aluminum bar, however it wasn't as large of a difference as Read More »

Cane Creek 40.ZS44.Short.Complete Headset

Featured Review

“Solid workhorse”

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The Good: reliable, durable, cost

The Bad: not a ton of bling it that's your thing

Overall Review: Cane Creek is my go to headset these days. They are solid, reliable, and inexpensive considering what you get. I've run this headset for almost two years now and haven't had one issue with it. Installation was a breeze (with the correct tools of course). Bearings have held up and are still very smooth. I really love that you can purchase all different configurations separately if you wish. Need just the bottom cup? Just buy the bottom cup. No need to purchase the entire headset. My only minor complaint are the cheap plastic headset spacers that come with the headset. It's nice that they give you some, but I Read More »