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2014 Specialized Epic Marathon Carbon Bike

“I'm loving it”

C138_bike_specialized_epic_marathon_carbon

The Good:

ride, handling and the fit

The Bad:

too early to say, not keen on the colour but does look nicer close uo

Overall Review: 3 rides so far from road to gloopy mud. just changed from the 2012 expert epic and had epics before in 26" wheels. The fit is perfect for me and the handling and power delivery is ideal for the fast xc riding I enjoy. Suspension does seem better than the earlier models - although I had no complaints on those, I always wanted rigid (pedal) feel but with suspension compliance for my old(er) bones. The Epics deliver that fantastically well, super quick, exciting to ride and always rewarding. The Marathon feels stunningly quick. Raced a boy racer in a Nova SR making loads of noise tonight, I recon I accelerated faster... I am not as young as I was and the Epics have made me faster than I ever was. loving it.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Isoar
29703 Isoar http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/29703/avatar/c50_fb_picture_100001272718646_1392332730.jpg?1392331793 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Isoar,29703/all 02/13/14 2

2012 Specialized Epic Expert Carbon 29 Bike

“Loved it for 2 years then bought a Marathon”

C138_screen_shot_2011_12_21_at_11.29.32_am

The Good:

Handling, speed, fit

The Bad:

rear freewheel was very noisey until I serviced it then fine. Brakes had air problems - until I serviced them then fine

Overall Review: Fantastic bike, every ride made me smile and every ride was faster than I thought I had in me. Great on knarley stuff and equally good on the road. The perfect bike (for me) Just let my lad have it so I could buy a 2014 Marathon. 3 rides so far and its shaping up to be even better.. Although I don't like the black as much
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Isoar
29703 Isoar http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/29703/avatar/c50_fb_picture_100001272718646_1392332730.jpg?1392331793 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Isoar,29703/all 02/13/14 2

2014 Norco Sight Carbon 7.1

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Norco Sight Carbon 7.1”

C138_norco_sight_carbon_7.1
Reviewed by Steve Wentz and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller New for 2014, the 140mm travel Norco Sight makes the leap from aluminum to carbon. In doing so they’ve reduced the frame weight by a whopping 25% and improved the ride characteristics. While the geometry remains the same, Norco did take the time to make a handful of minor updates. Combining the smooth lines of carbon, a dialed paint job and a little color coordination in the component spec, this bike truly is a sight to behold. In fact, we’d wager that it’s the best looking Norco ever. Curious to see how the new carbon version rides, we Read More »
Rate review: +8 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1133 96 6155 962 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1263 2306 168 41

Shimano Deore M590 Crankset With BB

“A solid and reliable but slightly heavy and ugly crankset”

C138_cr266j00

The Good:

Reliable, inexpensive, strong

The Bad:

Slightly heavy and ugly

Overall Review: I've used this crank for over a year and I've had zero issues. Still spins reliably in mostly dry dusty conditions. I've used Many SRAM/truvativ offerings that are pretty much as good, and I marginally prefer the GXP system, but it's close. Actually I wanted a more bling crank, but I was running out of cash near the end of a build and went for something reasonably priced and well proven, and haven't been disappointed. Originally I set up the crank single speed with a guide, and now with a race face narrow/wide single chain ring, with absolutely no compatibility issues, and a nice weight saving. Ideally I'd Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member ZMC888
6998 ZMC888 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/6998/avatar/c50_Lew_drop_avatar.jpg?1352425516 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/all 03/03/11 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/setup 5 25 59 1

Crank Brothers Iodine 3 2014 Wheelset

Vital Review

“Tested: Crank Brothers Iodine 3 Wheels”

C138_crank_brothers_iodine_3_27
Review by Ian Collins // Photos by Fred Robinson and Ian Collins When it comes to wheels we all know that Crank Brothers have had a big hole to crawl out of, and they are the first to admit it. When they tried to reinvent the wheel a few years ago and introduced a radically different proprietary wheelset, things didn't really go as planned. The first iterations had some serious issues with the internal workings of the hubs, and the initial implementation of the unorthodox spoke design wasn't quite right. Crank Brothers dealt with the hiccups and the criticism, but rather than abandon hope they continued to have Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member Ian Collins
140 Ian Collins http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/140/avatar/c50_92535430_1249143201.jpg?1290150211 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Ian-Collins,140/all 08/01/09 6 154 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Ian-Collins,140/setup 2 6 148 14 2

Shimano Deore M590 Crankset With BB

“money well spent”

C138_cr266j00

The Good:

durability, cheap (spare parts too), decent shifting performance

The Bad:

none so far

Overall Review: Ridden for 4 years, 1-3 times per week, general trail riding, anything from 2 day XC trip to enduro race, all weather condition except dust. Middle ring changed after 2 years. Bottom bracket lasted 3 years without any service (stupid), swapped for new one for 7$. Considering buying again - new deore m615 double crankset in black - which IMO looks great. Good for anything but straight gravity riding. For this price I don't think there is crankset which comes close in performance on current market.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member FilipK
29120 FilipK http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/29120/avatar/c50_14397429_1273850875961335_1107589207_n_1485599383.jpg?1485599084 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FilipK,29120/all 01/07/14 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FilipK,29120/setup 4 10 3

2014 Evil Uprising

“Hands down the Best trail // all mountain bike...”

C138_evil_uprising

The Good:

+ Delta link is amazing.. + climbs like a 3-4 inch XC bike.. + descends like a DH bike.. + light
+ fast + nimble
+ rock garden destroyer.. + makes traill riding fun again..

The Bad:

+ no colours available
+ would like a longer top tube, I'm 5.10 and have medium, need another 1-2 inches on TT

Overall Review: This is hands down one of the best trail bikes I've ridden, climbs like a 3- 4 inch bike.. rapid..Poppy, insanely fast ,nimble, very flickable, confidence inspiring. Can destroy even the most technical of rock gardens, Really fun trail bike, has me riding faster and clearing sections I didn't think possible ... I would highly recommend riding one of these before you buy any new carbon trial bike.. 26 inch wheels and all ....properly good..
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member ERNSTEVERYTHING.COM
1809 ERNSTEVERYTHING.COM http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/1809/avatar/c50_A_1479723278.jpg?1479723203 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ERNSTEVERYTHING-COM,1809/all 01/27/10 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ERNSTEVERYTHING-COM,1809/setup 5 154 6 2

2014 Evil Uprising

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Evil Uprising”

C138_evil_uprising
Reviewed by John Hauer and Jess Pedersen // Photos by Lear Miller Shrouded in mystery since the beginning, the Evil Uprising is now available to the public. It’s about time, too! We’ve been eager to try one out since we first saw Filip Polc on a prototype back in 2012. Our chance finally came during the 2014 Vital MTB Test Sessions. With looks that could kill, the full carbon frameset features 150mm of travel, 26-inch wheels (gasp!), adjustable geometry and the unique DELTA suspension system. Uprising Highlights High-pressure molded unidirectional carbon frame 26-inch wheels 150mm (5.9-inches) of rear wheel travel DELTA Read More »
Rate review: +8 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1133 96 6155 962 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1263 2306 168 41

Enve Composites Carbon Fiber Mountain Sweep

“Excellent bar”

C138_barswp_main_3_800x532

The Good:

strong and light, good/simple graphics

The Bad:

a bit spendy, but not much more than similar options

Overall Review: About a year ago I gouged my Easton Havoc carbon bar in a crash at bootleg canyon and afterward I was a bit nervous riding it with such a deep scratch and so decided to get a new bar. I mixed it up and bought a buddy's nearly new ENVEDH bar to see what I thought. In many regards it is similar to the Easton that I really like with veryclose rise and sweep numbers. One of the touches that I like about the ENVE is that there is a rough section for where the stem clamps on to prevent slips I suppose. I did end up cutting down the 800mm bar to my preferred width of760mm, but actually ended uptaking too much off Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member SaddleRags
8938 SaddleRags http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/8938/avatar/c50_avery_rock_drop_1473310533.jpg?1473309717 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/SaddleRags,8938/all 06/10/11 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/SaddleRags,8938/setup 1 15 88 48

Hope Technology Seat Collar

“Get the QR version”

C138_qr703b01_black

The Good:

Works well and well finished

The Bad:

A child could strip out the extremely weak alloy bolt and even snap it

Overall Review: In my opinion an aluminium alloy is just the wrong material to use for a bolt in this application, the weight savings are just minuscule, it's just too weak, I stripped out the bolt with very minimal force, which is pretty disappointing from a manufacturer like Hope. However the collar part of the product is well finished and nicely anodised and has lasted for years, after I switched out the bolt for a steel version. I also use the QR collar and have never had a problem, so I'd recommend buying that instead.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member ZMC888
6998 ZMC888 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/6998/avatar/c50_Lew_drop_avatar.jpg?1352425516 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/all 03/03/11 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/setup 5 25 59 1