Latest Product Reviews


Renthal FatBar Riser Bar

“Renthal FatBar Lite !”


The Good:

perfect sizing out of the box, integrates seamlessly with the Renthal stem.

The Bad:

None ! just makes you want to buy the other sizes.

Overall Review: I got a 20mm rise FatBar Lite, absolutely changed my riding. One can get more aggressive yet more in control. It is my first set of bars at this width, and i don't think i need wider for the enduro/ trail riding stuff. Perfect integration with the Renthal stem, and lock-on grips.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member SchredGreen
14098 SchredGreen,14098/all 03/14/12 62 1

Race Face Atlas 35 Handlebar

“Sweet bars”


The Good:

Colour choices, feel, aesthetics, width

The Bad:

Heavy, expensive

Overall Review: I love them, they were a bit expensive but they feel good and look pretty rad as well
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member RPDH1
15738 RPDH1,15738/all 05/30/12 1 5 1

Enve Composites Carbon Fiber Mountain Sweep

Featured Review

“Classic Enve Goodness”


The Good:

Looks, finish, weight, strength, durability, etc, etc, etc.

The Bad:

Sticker price. The best isn't usually cheap.

Overall Review: I rode the Enve DH bars for over a season and a half on my SC Nomad. XC, trail, a few chair lift service days and two Enduro events. I had a few good crashes here and there (albeit nothing horrible) and these bars never showed any signs of failure or fatigue, just one good scratch on the front. They are some of the lightest bars per CM on the market. I cut mine down and the markings on each end made it super simple and thoughtless. The matte finish is beautiful and the quality unquestionable. Enve had a recent batch of DH bars fail their quality and testing controls so they subsequently moved production of Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member adeibold
25674 adeibold,25674/all 06/16/13,25674/setup 9 1

Spank Spike Race28 Wheelset

Vital Review

“Tested: Spank Spike Race28 Wheelset”

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow Wheel makers have been perfecting their craft over the recent years, and there is no shortage of innovative, high-end wheels that provide DH race-level strength in relatively lightweight packages - but not too many can claim to achieve that goal at a sub-$500 price tag for the pair. Spank set out to do just that, and the result is the Spike Race28 wheel - needless to say, we were eager to lay our hands on a set to see if it would deliver on the promise. Straight out of the box, the Spike Race28 wheels look the business. The colors pop, and the finish appears to be Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 781 68 820 1743,94/setup 48 296 3522 82 27

Race Face Flank Core Guard

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Flank Core Guard - Lightweight Protection”

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow With strategically placed D3O padding in a lightweight and breathable package, the Flank Core Guard from Race Face is for the rider looking for a bit of extra body protection without the bulk of a full pressure suit. To help you figure out if it could be the right solution for you, we slipped one on and hit the trails. When you pull the Flank Core Guard out of the bag, the first impression is of a quality product, much like we’ve grown accustomed to from Race Face over the years. The guard appears well put-together, with quality materials and good Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 781 68 820 1743,94/setup 48 296 3522 82 27

Geax Datura Tire

“Geax Datura 2.2”


The Good:

Traction for miles! These tires are predictable in almost all situations. In muddy condition they have all the traction that could be asked for and clean out once you get the speed is above a crawl. Loam trails are that most fun with traction that could be considered overkill, you'll be leaving dirt bike sized corner ruts with these, and breaking results in quick predictable stops. Sand traction is also really good.

The Bad:

All of this traction can result in a bit of rolling resistance on all mountain efforts, it becomes noticeable on long sustained flats and uphills. Large damp or wet rocks provide difficult riding at slower speeds I have the hardest compound tires. on hard pack high speed trails there is a sort of floating or drifting feel but I mean high speeds like in the 30+mph range, and even with this feel the drifting is predicable and iv never lost control.

Overall Review: I really have a blast riding with these tires they feel like dirt bike tires and inspire a lot of confidence going into corners. They are some of the best tires I have used for new England style trails that are either loam, mud or sand andvery rarely hard packed. The only characteristic of these tires I don't like is the slow speed traction on rocks the massive treads just get unpredictable. This isn't enough to make me change tires because at high speed your normally jumping rocks and flying into corners where this tires shines and at slow speeds a kick out over rocks isn't catastrophic. I would highly recommend these tires for Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member bikeluvnfoo
12854 bikeluvnfoo,12854/all 01/20/12 11 2

Easton Havoc 26" UST Wheelset

“solid performer for all mountain and jump trail use”


The Good:

light weight, smooth rolling, low maintenance hubs

The Bad:

proprietary rims, difficult to find spokes, soft rims

Overall Review: This review is for the previous generation havoc wheel set with a 135mm rear wheel. The Havoc wheel set should be used for trail, all mountain or smooth bike park riding. I have been happy with the performance of these wheels when used for these intended purposes.  These wheels roll very fast  and smooth especailly when set up ghetto tubeless (Maxxis Minion DHF EXO sealed up just fine).  The problem is that it's way too tempting to run them for DH and that's where durability of the rim becomes an issue.  I have replaced a pair of rims riding DH.  On the other hand, the hubs have been flawless after hundreds and hundreds of miles of aggressive trail/jump line  riding .  Bottom line:  If you find these wheels on the internet at blow out prices,  get them for an all mountain bike.  It's worth it.
Rate review: +1 Up Down

Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evolution Tire

“Fast-rolling, fast-wearing”


The Good:

Rolls quickly in the 2.25 size. Provides enough traction for most hardpack/loose-over-hard riding conditions.

The Bad:

Center knobs wear out quickly. Does not have the cornering grip to really push the bike.

Overall Review: Schwalbe's Nobby Nic tires came stock on my Giant Trance, and I decided to try them out before going back to my preferred brand of tires (WTB, for reference). Although the Nobby Nic rolled surprisingly well and made my trailbike feel lighter than its true weight, the rear started to wear out sooner than I would have expected. When I rotated the front tire to the back and put on a WTB Bronson in front, I realized what I'd been missing in cornering traction. The Nobby Nics are fine for trail riding that leans more toward the cross-country end of the spectrum, but for more aggressive trails I'll be sticking with a tire that can hook up more confidently in the turns.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member anotherbikerguy
12576 anotherbikerguy /images/default/avatar/c50.png,12576/all 01/05/12 1,12576/setup 1 27 63 20

2012 Transition TR450 2 Bike

“stable, stiff, dh sled for the bike park”


The Good:

stiff, stable, durable, superb in the air

The Bad:

frame weight, wheel set

Overall Review: The Transition TR450 is a great choice for dh riders looking for a bike park sled. Ride Impression: The frame design is incredibly stout and you can feel it on the bike. Consequently, the bike tracks very well in the rough or through corners. The TR450 suspension delivers a plush ride but is not mushy under power once you dial in the Fox DHX RC4 shock. I have to admit I was skeptical of the "single pivot" design but the linkage actuated design does not have any flaws that an average bike park rider will notice. The TR450 feels good with the wheels on the ground but feels even better in the air. I was instantly comfortable off Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member Wonny
396 Wonny,396/all 08/05/09 1 12 24

2013 GT Zaskar 9R Elite Bike

“Captain America would not want his name on this bike”


The Good:


The Bad:

Grips, seat, tires, tire/derailleur spacing, lockout device, super noisy chain banging

Overall Review: I returned this bike after 3 months of nothing but problems. Day 1: I had to have lockout mechanism replaced, new one didn't work after a month properly. There are few tires that will work on this bike. There is little space for the tire and derailleur clamp. I went tubeless and the stock tire is not good for tubeless and only found one tire that worked from continental and it was replaced after 47 miles under warranty. In my 3 months the derailleur and lower frame bracket ripped off, breaking spokes and shredding tire. It was a nice 3 mile hike. I ride non technical single track in the desert. Some terrain is hard and rocky, Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member cruhm
25365 cruhm,25365/all 06/08/13 1