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SixSixOne Evo Knee Guards Knee/Shin Pad

“The Essential Kneepad”

C138_2012_sixsixone_evo_knee

The Good:

Tried and true- you'll see a lot of these at your local downward trails. Comfy, and fit is easy to determine; it's just what you expect. Solid protection from both abrasive slides, and harsh impacts.

The Bad:

Don't breathe all that well. Lose flexibility over time.

Overall Review: These are what I consider the "standard" set to knee-only knee pads. 661 created a lasting, comfortable, and protective set of guards that really just tick every box. Basically. Knee pads should be comfortable. The Evo knee guards match the silhouette of the aggressively bent knee, only feeling present where it matters; the elastic. That isn't to say your knees will feel vulnerable beneath these pads. There is really a lot of smart material up front in charge, and your knees will take notice. Knee pads should have good protection. Of course the Evo's deliver. With a dense inner padding (visible on Read More »
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Vital MTB member WhiteBreadGravity
38187 WhiteBreadGravity http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/38187/avatar/c50_IMG_20150417_230926_1447320345.jpg?1447319984 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/WhiteBreadGravity,38187/all 11/12/15 1 1 8

Avid Elixir 5 Disc Brake

Featured Review

“A Hit or Miss Classic”

C138_br261c00

The Good:

Stopping power is applicable for downhill shredding. Decent lever feel. Alignment isn't too difficult.

The Bad:

Bleeding is more involved than most brakes, you might decide to make it your bike shop's responsibility. Materials are cheap. Durability and dependability have been put into question by many forum warriors.

Overall Review: I've had a pair of these stoppers for three years, since they came stock on my Glory, and despite what many people would expect, I have had zero issues. The front caliper got really stuck once when I had the wheel off so the bike would fit in the back of my cramped and rack-less vehicle. That's not an exclusive flaw with Elixir 5's or Avid brakes. In three years, you want to know how many times I had to do any maintenance on these slowie-downies? Twice.That's right. One uneventful alignment exercise and one bleed. Just one. After three years of abrupt application and irresponsibly timed chunder-braking, Read More »
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Vital MTB member WhiteBreadGravity
38187 WhiteBreadGravity http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/38187/avatar/c50_IMG_20150417_230926_1447320345.jpg?1447319984 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/WhiteBreadGravity,38187/all 11/12/15 1 1 8

Bell Full-9 Helmet

Featured Review

“Bell Full-9 Helmet”

C138_aaron_gwin_signature

The Good:

Good Fit, Lighter Weight, Nice Features, Good Goggle Room, Magnetic Removable Cheek Pads, ICEdot Enabled

The Bad:

Creaking Noise, A Bit Warm

Overall Review: I was excited to get a new helmet after my last one took a good hit causing the carbon to crack in the chin guard area. I wanted to get something a bit different and compared many models online before biting the bullet on the Full 9. As a person who has had many concussions in the past, I look for a safe helmet that does not break the bank. Some of the Highlights Include: Good fit Lighter weight option Works well with Leatt brace Magnetic removable cheek pads for emergencies ICEdot enabled Good fitment with goggles Integrated GoPro mount The Details: There are many options when it comes to noggin protection, and it can Read More »
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Vital MTB member Carraig042
22500 Carraig042 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/22500/avatar/c50_IMG_20130518_160302_834_1416787693.jpg?1416786705 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Carraig042,22500/all 03/04/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Carraig042,22500/setup 4 14 24

Five Ten Line King Shoes

Featured Review

“Full-face Helmets for yer Feet”

C138_five_ten_line_king_shoes

The Good:

Classic 5.10 grip, massive padding up top and all around, don't even need to be retied every time you put them on.

The Bad:

Can be chunky looking, not the stiffest of soles, can act as kitchen sponges (pro?)

Overall Review: The Line Kings are very versatile shoes if you want them to be; I've used them for nearly every kind of biking just to see if I could. They're best suited to the casual and gravity-oriented rider, who is wary of stubbing his toes on the trail. Seriously, these things have like 3/4 of an inch of just padding. 510 might be using us as guinea pigs for their prototype bullet proof bike shoes. I gladly support the United States bike-mounted police force. DH- These shoes perform best here, being as heavy and sturdy as they are. The grip is what you expect from this company. I am pretty particular about my foot Read More »
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Vital MTB member WhiteBreadGravity
38187 WhiteBreadGravity http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/38187/avatar/c50_IMG_20150417_230926_1447320345.jpg?1447319984 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/WhiteBreadGravity,38187/all 11/12/15 1 1 8

Spy Optic Klutch Goggles

Featured Review

“Minimalist but Effective”

C138_46233

The Good:

-Don't easily fog
-relatively cheap (They're now around $70)
-Fits my Fox Rampage Carbon just fine

The Bad:

-Vertically challenged
-Not easily cleaned/cleared

Overall Review: Motocross and mountain biking goggles are an interesting market. Goggles aren't exactly a vessel for aggressive innovation, and in a sport where aggressive innovation is the core of it all, it can be hard to lose sight of what needs to be done. Goggles are an area designated for refinement, and in the case of Spy goggles I have seen awareness of this. Their goggles are simplistic. I have run their Klutch and Whip models trough the paces in rainy and sloppy conditions, as well as bone dry and sandstorm-threatened conditions. The minimalism is indeed valid. I have a big face, I'll admit it, but the first thing I noticed Read More »
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Vital MTB member WhiteBreadGravity
38187 WhiteBreadGravity http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/38187/avatar/c50_IMG_20150417_230926_1447320345.jpg?1447319984 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/WhiteBreadGravity,38187/all 11/12/15 1 1 8

2016 Intense M16C Pro Build Bike

Vital Review

“Tested: Intense M16C Pro Build”

C138_m16_pro_red_side
Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by @luca_cometti_photo We've all heard that the M16C is here. There hasn't been much talk of how Intense's first production carbon downhill bike actually rides beyond a couple quick articles that barely scratch the surface, like our First Look earlier this month. Well, for the past two months we've been putting the M16C though the paces and feel it's finally time to weigh in on our thoughts about the new bike. While the new carbon M16, which we'll simply refer to as the M16C from now on, shares features like adjustable travel (8.5 to 9.5 inches) and leverage-curve, as well as nearly Read More »
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Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18548/avatar/c50_IMG_0045_1428943983.jpg?1428943532 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 110 3 222 156 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 13 144 1 43 32

2016 Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 2 Bike

“Amazing bike...”

C138_s1600_anthem_advanced_275_2_comp_red

The Good:

Super comfortable and fast. Extremely stable and takes any hit you can give it.

The Bad:

Expensive.

Overall Review: Well worth every penny. Beautiful bike that performs well at everything I have thrown at it. Giant rider for life.

Source Widepac Hydration System

Featured Review

“Works really well, maybe a tad heavy.”

C138_source_widepac_hydration_system_refill

The Good:

No leaks. Easy to clean and dry. No bad taste and no bio film.
Read my tip on drying.

The Bad:

The construction of bladder, hose and mouth piece and connectors is really solid, but may be a bit heavy.
The mouth piece may drip a tiny bit more than some competitors'.

Overall Review: The hydration bladder works as it should. I find with all bladders, it is key to keep them clean and dry when not using them. This one is easy to dry with a towel because of its big opening. I have also found one trick for air-drying the bladder: If you just leave the bladder as it is or even close it after use, it seals itself up and the moisture stays inside forever. But if you look at the third picture above, there are these two holes that can be used to push open the top of the bladder. Of course you can't hold it open forever waiting for the water to evaporate, but if you take the (orange or green) slider and thread it through these two holes, the bladder stays open, the remaining water can evaporate, and there is no chance of losing the slider.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member tommi
505 tommi /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/tommi,505/all 08/12/09 6 14 1

VP Components VP-Aim Flat Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: VP Aim Pedals”

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Review by Nick Zuzelski // Action Photo by Carl Gray Flat pedals come in all shapes and sizes these days, with almost every model boasting some feature that sets them apart. After having lots of luck with VP's clipless offerings in the past, we threw on a pair of their latest budget minded Aim platforms and hit the trails. Aim Pedal Highlights Die-cast aluminum body Forged and heat treated CNC machined cromoly axle LSL and sealed cartridge bearings 105 x105 x18mm platform 425 grams per pair Replaceable steel traction pins Rebuild kit available Colors: Black (tested), Silver MSRP: $60 US Initial Impressions The Aims Read More »
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Vital MTB member Zoomlinski
2655 Zoomlinski http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/2655/avatar/c50_91001400_1272558654.jpg?1290157451 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Zoomlinski,2655/all 04/29/10 1 19 22

Specialized 2FO Cliplite Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: Specialized 2FO Cliplite Shoes”

C138_specialized_2fo_cliplite_shoe
Review by AJ Barlas // Product Photos by AJ Barlas // Action Photos by Steve Li Specialized first launched their 2FO range of shoes mid 2014 and their clip model has since made its way onto many a riders foot; from world cup downhillers to the regular Joey. They’re a very good shoe with a number of qualities that set them apart from other more casual styled clip shoes. Specialized weren’t prepared to stop there though and less than 12 months later they released the 2FO Cliplite; a shoe that’s aesthetics blend those of the more casual, skate styled shoe (like the regular 2FO), with the more performance driven Read More »
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Vital MTB member ardor
19406 ardor http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/19406/avatar/c50_ardor_avatar_1435645277.jpg?1435644564 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/all 10/30/12 3 3 225 4 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/setup 2 22 1 87 30 4