Latest Product Reviews


Shimano XTR Di2 M9050

Vital Review

“Long Term Tested: Shimano's Electronic XTR Di2 Drivetrain”

Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Courtney Steen and Brandon Turman Maybe it was our hangover from the launch party the night before, but we were overwhelmed the first time we laid eyes on our Santa Cruz Bronson test bike equipped with Shimano's electronic XTR Di2 drivetrain. "What the hell are all these tiny little wires all over the bike? Why are the shift levers backwards? And for god's sake, STOP BEEPING." Yeah, it probably was the hangover. Like many, we couldn't stand the thought of electronics on a bike. Part of why we go mountain biking is to get away from all of that. Yet here we were, tasked with Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6103 1033,109/setup 271 1187 2158 134 40

Acre Traverse Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Acre Traverse Short”

Review by AJ Barlas // Photos by Steve Li Acre - a brand that focuses on the minimalistic, functional side of products and less on meaningless marketing slogans - has been steadily building a following among cyclists for a number of years now. Their products are aimed at getting riders into the great outdoors with a focus on the necessities, because the extras can often result in things going wrong. Whether going on a multi-day trek or just a quick power hour rip, no one needs the hassle of garments getting in the way. The Acre Traverse short is a prime example of their mantra. This super minimalist short is all about Read More »
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Vital MTB member ardor
19406 ardor,19406/all 10/30/12 5 3 312 4,19406/setup 2 24 1 92 31 4

2011 Atomlab Trailking Bike

“It's really nice”


The Good:

Light comfortable and clean
Very fun and easy to throw around

The Bad:

Paint chips and scratches easily
Dents easily too
Headset is hard to find
Linear brake mounts are ugly in my opinion

Overall Review: Totally worth it Very comfortable and enjoyable Great for urban, free ride, dirt, and park First dirt jumper I've built straight from frame and it looks beautiful I'd loose a nut before giving this thing up hah Definitely makes people want to be your friend cause your dirt jumper looks so clean Park rats turn their heads and people are always trying to get it off me

Maxxis Ardent Tire

“Maxxis Ardent 27.5 x 2.25”


The Good:

Amazing on loose dirt and slippery surfaces, good on wet ground, cool sound as the wheels are on pavement, strong sidewall impenetrable basically, I've thrown a lot at these tires and they haven't disappointed,

The Bad:

Tires tend to clog up slightly when going through mud (most tires do)

Overall Review: The tires will not disappoint they will tackle any surface and won't disappoint, have a few minor things which isn't too bad, amazing grip and reliability

Ryders Eyewear Seventh Glasses

Vital Review

“Tested: Ryders Eyewear Seventh Glasses”

by Justin Schroth As with all gear that protects vital parts of our body, we might not realize how crucial it is until it’s not there protecting us. Dirt, rocks, debris, branches, and UV rays are your sensitive eyeballs' worst enemy, but there are drawbacks that turn most people off from rocking a pair of shades on the bike: uncomfortable frames that slip down, lenses that fog up every time you stop for a breather, or dark lenses that don’t transition well for those rides that extend as the sun goes down. With their headquarters in North Vancouver, Ryders Eyewear has the ability to develop, test, and punish eyewear in Read More »
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Vital MTB member Lucent
16 Lucent,16/all 07/28/09 8 23 49 68,16/setup 2 23 8 230 25 1

VP Components VP-Aim Flat Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: VP Aim Flat Pedals”

Review by Nick Zuzelski // Action photo by Carl Gray Flat pedals come in all shapes and sizes these days, and almost every model boasts some feature that sets them apart. Those features will cost you a pretty penny, however. After having lots of luck with VP's higher end flat and clipless pedals in the past, we threw on a pair of their budget-minded Aim platforms and hit the trails. VP Aim Pedal Highlights Die-cast aluminum body Forged and heat treated CNC machined chromoly axle LSL and sealed cartridge bearings 105 x 105 x 18mm platform 425 grams per pair Replaceable steel traction pins Rebuild kit available Colors: Read More »
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Vital MTB member Zoomlinski
2655 Zoomlinski,2655/all 04/29/10 1 19 25

2016 Orbea Rallon X30

Vital Review

“Tested: 2016 Orbea Rallon X30”

by Kevin Shiramizu Following a successful overhaul in 2014, the Orbea Rallon sees a few minor geometry, suspension, and aesthetic tweaks for 2016. For this test we looked at their budget-oriented version, the X30. The 160mm travel bike is equipped with 27.5 wheels and aimed at those who like to smash everything except their bank account. The bike shares the same frame as Orbea's higher end Enduro World Series shredding models but for a lower price tag and with a bit more girth around the waistline. Highlights Hydroformed triple-butted alloy frame 27.5 (650b) wheels 160mm (6.3-inches) of front and rear wheel travel Advanced Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member k.shiz
14 k.shiz,14/all 07/24/09 75 23 52 591 101 165 1 260 19 12

Easton EC90 XC 29" Wheelset

“In a World of Wide Wheels......I Still LOVE this Wheelset!”


The Good:

~ 1442 grams
~ Armored Ballistic Composite is very compliant ~ Can safely run up to 29" x 2.30" tires
~ Tiny water drain holes
~ Spins up FAST, climbing any steep grade
~ High-tension, 24 Sapim butted spokes per wheel is killer-stiff
~ Easton M-221 SL hub bearings are butter-smooth
~ Decent, 19mm internal rim width
~ Able to run SRAM 1x11 drivetrain
~ Great resale value

The Bad:

~ Almost $2000/new wheelset

Overall Review: I've demoed NOX Composites, ENVE, DT Swiss, Light Bicycle, Carbon Rovals and Stans Race Gold wheels yet, still nothing comes close to the stiff, creamy trail ride the EC90 gives. They have over 3 solid years of hard, dry, rocky, desert riding on them and the wheels are still straight as an arrow. I wanna kill these wheels so I can get something newer - but they simply don't want to die. I have even tried wide AM/Enduro(Ibis, Derby, etc.) carbon wheels....but that is still a lateral move, despite all the hype about the superiority of wide wheels. True, control and traction always trumps weight....but get those Read More »
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100% RideFit Gloves

“100% RideFit Gloves”


The Good:

Breathe well, comfortable, unique graphic options

The Bad:

No knuckle protection

Overall Review: Click the link below to check out my review of the 100% RideFit gloves on my blog! 100% RideFit Gloves Review
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Vital MTB member lagocza
32917 lagocza,32917/all 10/07/14,32917/setup 5 5 26

Royal 2016 Stage2 Short

“Royal racing stage short”


The Good:

Comfortable, good fit, good features.

The Bad:

Nothing so far!

Overall Review: Click the link below to check out my review of the royal racing Stage short on my blog! Royal Racing Stage Short review
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Vital MTB member lagocza
32917 lagocza,32917/all 10/07/14,32917/setup 5 5 26