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Latest Product Reviews


2013 Intense Tracer 275

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Intense Tracer 275”

Reviewed by Matt Thompson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer Born and bred in the USA - these aren't words we can often write about bikes, which is why it was a real pleasure to hop on the latest version of the popular Tracer platform from Intense Cycles. Already available in both 26 and 29-inch versions, the Tracer 275 aims to gain the "best of both worlds" by utilizing the in-between 650B wheel size. Rather than simply slapping some slightly modified dropouts on the bike and calling it good, Intense went back to the drawing board on this one, ultimately arriving at a fresh redesign Read More »

Royal 2014 Signature Gloves

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Signature Glove - Tougher Than You Think”

Review and pictures by Johan Hjord Gloves have been part of the offering from Royal Racing for many years, and for 2013, the range is wider than ever. There’s a glove for every condition and every personal preference. The Signature Glove has been around since 2011 - it's Royal’s go-to glove for riders who prefer a very thin and lightweight glove. We laid our hands on (and put them in!) the 2013 edition to see how it would hold up to a couple of months’ worth of abuse. For 2013, Royal has taken a step back towards somewhat calmer styling on many of their clothing items, which carried over to the Signature Glove design, too. Read More »

Royal 2014 Matrix Jacket

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Matrix Jacket - Double Duty Rainwear”

by AJ Barlas Jackets for mountain biking are quite often super cheap rain jackets that we either purchase knowing that at some point we may wreck and cause it damage, or old casual wind and rain jackets that are no longer suitable to an individual's swagger. In either scenario, they are often, in one way or another, inappropriate for riding in. So what makes a jacket appropriate for mountain biking? The features included on the Royal Racing Matrix jacket certainly help! Do these features add up to a comfortable and functional riding jacket, and can a mountain bike jacket double as a casual? If so, then the logical step Read More »

Kenda Small Block 8 Tire

“Kenda Small Block 8”


The Good: Light, Wide (2.3)

The Bad: Nothing!!!!

Overall Review: I'musing this tire on the front of my DJ bike and it is awesome! It has just enough tread to Dirt Jump with and not too much to go hit up the skate park. I love it!

2013 Felt Compulsion LT 1

Vital Review

“Tested: 2013 Felt Compulsion LT1 - Finally Aggressive”

Reviewed by Brandon Turman // Photos by Courtney Steen and Brandon Turman com·pul·sion |kəmˈpəlSHən| noun 1 an act of compelling : the state of being compelled 2 the action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint 3 an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way We've got to tell you, we gave into the Compulsion. Every time we ride it, we have the irresistible urge to go fast, pop off the bonus lips on the side of the trail, and hoot and holler. It wasn't without a few tweaks to the stock build, though… Two months ago we first swung a leg over it, and today it's time to fill you in on how it Read More »

ODI Oury Lock-On Grip/Clamp

Featured Review

“If you like them thick...”


The Good: thick, soft and sticky

The Bad: None so far

Overall Review: The ODI Oury grips are one of the thickest grips on the market, if you are looking for a very soft and sticky grip this is a great choice. I have used these in the past and have been very happy with them. I also find that switching from other thinner grips to seems to help reduce some arm pump simply due to how think and comfy these grips are. Even though they are very soft they hold up a long time and proved to be very durable. I have also used these in the wet and muddy conditions and even with wet hands/gloves the grips still stay grippy and my hands do not slide off. Another plus about these grips is that when Read More »

Sunline Logo Lock On Grips - Thin

Featured Review

“Super thin grips”


The Good: thin, durable, comfortable

The Bad: slippery when wet

Overall Review: I've been running the Sunline logo lock on grips (thin version) for over a year and I've been very happy with them. Keep in mind these are very very thin grips but at the same are comfortable and durable. Iinitiallythought that since these were so thin that they would wear out faster than most thicker grips but that hasn't been the issue. The grips are comfy but you candefinitelyfeel the thinness of the grip and you can feel the handlebar through the grips. I do find that these grips may add to arm pump on long descent versus when you are riding with a thicker grip. I've used these in various conditions and even Read More »

Profile Racing BMX Crankset

“Old school bombproof crankset”


The Good: durable, bombproof and stiff

The Bad: weight is a big issue

Overall Review: I ran two sets of profile cranks on my downhill bikes and never had any issues with performance or durability. These were one of the first solid cranks that came out during a time when square tapered bottom brackets would round out and crank arms constantly snapped. These were so bombproof that even Bender used them for his hucking back in the day. The crank arms are super stiff and the bottom bracket bearings are very smooth and stay smooth after years of use. Installation is a breeze, removing the cranks is kind of funny as you have to use a special profile tool and then literally hammer on the crank arms but Read More »

Mongoose Nugget

“Fun little DJ machine”


The Good: solid, fun, great in the air

The Bad: pivots get loose after heavy riding

Overall Review: After a season of riding on the Nugget I can say that this is a very capable dirt jumper and overall a very fun bike. Dirt jumping/slopestyle is not my forte but as soon as I got on this bike I felt a lot more confident and comfortable on the jumps. My nugget was built up fairly heavy but even with the weight under me the bike felt snappy in the air and accelerated in the corners. I definitely feel this would be a good 4X bike, the 4 inches of travel feel consistent and help when the landings get sketchy or the trail gets rough. Although my Nugget was a size small I did take it on a couple of trail rides but I found that the Read More »

Wellgo B-27 Flat Pedal

Featured Review

“Durable and solid pedal”


The Good: Good price with lots of performance

The Bad: Bearings can get a bit sticky sometimes

Overall Review: I’ve used these pedals for a couple of seasons in all conditions (including snow) and they have worked great. They might not be as flashy as some of the higher end pedals but these work well and are very durable. I have smashed these pedals into rocks on several occasions and they still keep working without any issues. I have found that the spindles have seized up a couple of times in the past but they just need to be greased and then re-tightened, a very easy fix for a small issue. I found that the these pedals perform well in wet and muddy conditions. Even with caked on mud I have had no issues with my feet coming off the Read More »