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2015 Transition Patrol 1

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Transition Patrol 1”

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Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller Giddy up boys and girls! An entire new line of Transition bikes is here for 2015 featuring the GiddyUp suspension design. The complete overhaul to their frames and suspension system includes a Horst Link (not to be confused with a four-legged animal who neighs), which is now available to use by a wider number of companies. Transition was among the first brands to jump on the opportunity. Interested to how they pulled it off and what improvements they might have made, we tested the 155mm travel Patrol 1 during the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Highlights Read More »

Geax Gato Tire

“All Round Good Egg”

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The Good: Corners Superbly.Great Mud Clearance.Smooth In a Straight Line

The Bad: Nothing at the moment

Overall Review: Bought these as an alternative to the usual Schwalbe and Conti's popular pattern,and it's safe to say I won't use those two names again. Living in the very changeable climes of Scotland,I needed a tyre that could do it all. And boy,I am not disappointed !!!!. On loose over hardpack ,the spaced tread cut through the gravel and stones and clung to the ground effortlessly. When the conditions change to wet and gloopy,it excels in the corners.Something I had struggled to maintain with other brands. The straight line is smooth,and there is no drag whatever the conditions. Good Price,Great Performance and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to break from the norm. People need to find their optimum tyre,instead of going with the flow. I have found mine :)

Hope Technology Crank

Vital Review

“First Ride: Hope Technology Crank”

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After what seemed like almost an eternity and plenty of teasing along the way, Hope’s new crank has finally made production. Forged and CNCed in-house like pretty much all of Hope's goods, the crank sports an unusual spline interface that attracted plenty of attention at the recent launch. Eager to dive under the hood and to start some proper testing, we’ve bolted up a pair to find out what’s what. We will have a longer-term update to this review at a later date, but for now, here are our in-depth observations on the product and our first ride impressions. Hope Technology Crank Highlights Forged and CNC machined 7000 Read More »

2015 Trek Slash 9.8 Carbon 27.5

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Trek Slash 9.8 Carbon 27.5”

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Reviewed by Dylan Stucki and AJ Barlas // Photos by Lear Miller After much anticipation, the Trek Slash goes carbon for 2015. The 160mm travel bike underwent a major redesign last year, gaining 27.5-inch wheels, noticeably better pedaling performance, and even more capable geometry. This all-mountain/enduro ripper was just waiting to unleash its fury on the trails at the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Highlights OCLV Mountain Carbon frame with aluminum chainstay 27.5-inch wheels 160mm (6.3-inches) of rear wheel travel // 130/160mm (5.1/6.3-inches) front travel E2 tapered headtube 65 or 65.6-degree head angle 66.5 or Read More »

2013 GT Ruckus Dj Zero Bike

“Love my 13 ruckus zero”

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The Good: Very good all around, whether im at an indoor park, dirt jumps or blitzing the trails the bike rides perfectly. Very comfortable on jumps, pops well. I love it being single speed but it could be converted.

The Bad: I rode my at least 5 days a week on trails or rahs mtb during the winter and I've noticed some trouble with the wheels. Me and others I've spoken with have dealt with flat spots in the rims.

Overall Review: Absolutely love mine, with any bike after a few years you may need some replacement parts, depending on how you ride. It's worth writing the check for.

2015 Banshee Phantom Race

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Banshee Phantom”

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Review by Brandon Turman // Action Photos by Courtney Steen The Banshee Phantom is a 105mm travel 29er. We wouldn't blame you for immediately thinking "cross-country" when you first hear those kinds of numbers. We did. But no, the new Phantom is decidedly not an XC bike, but instead a special blend of XC/trail/all-mountain/enduro magic. It brings together the efficiency and precision of a short travel ride, the capability of a slack head angle, big wheels to get your roll on, and well-chosen components that let you get away with murder. We spent a few months getting acquainted with the new bike (and new concept) in Read More »

2015 Norco Fluid 7.1 Bike

“Norco Fluid 7.1 2015 w XT wheels - first ride impressions”

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The Good: Looks sleek and fast, 27.5 better than 26, over all performer for a great price.

The Bad: Heavy for the travel

Overall Review: My first new mtb in over seven years. I wasn't sure of the looks from pics online, but in the flesh the fluoro lettering is fine, and overall the bike looks the schiz. Many bikes have that almost S shaped curve in the downtube, the straighter downtube on the Fluid gives it a leaner look than others like a trance or a specialized etc. I organized with the bike shop to swap the wheels to an XT set, and upgrade the front rotor to a 180. I needed an XL size and weigh about 83kg, so prefer the larger front rotor for when I ride longer descents. I am comparing the ride to my old Trance, and from the get go I appreciated the larger Read More »

SixSixOne Rage Knee Guard

“Not the Kyle Strait replacements”

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The Good: Lots of front and side protection. Good ventilation. Comfortable during long rides.

The Bad: They slide down during long descends rendering them useless in a crash. Tighter than the previous model and can be hard to put on especially after washing.

Overall Review: I got these pads after not being able to find any 661 Kyle Straits which were my go to pads for years. I figured that these would be the same in design if not an improvement.  Although not as bulky as the previous model, they are just as comfortable and can be barely noticeable on long AM rides.  I've crashed a couple of times and they've saved my knees but there are a few times when they slipped down during long descends and prevented me from receiving coverage on unexpected falls.  If they could just stay up I'd give them a higher rating but they can't protect you if they continue to fall down.

2015 Pivot Mach 6 Carbon X01

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Pivot Mach 6 Carbon X01”

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Reviewed by Steve Wentz and Brandon Turman // Photos by Lear Miller Pivot's Mach 6 Carbon has existed for a few years now, a veritable eternity in the world of changing designs and all-new products. It does, however, build off the success of the already refined Mach 5.7 and Firebird, blending the best qualities of each into one do-it-all machine. It certainly looks like it checks all the boxes, so lets mull over the details and hit the trail to see if the Mach 6 is indeed worthy of the name. We spent some time getting acquainted with it during the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Highlights Carbon frame 27.5-inch wheels Read More »

2015 Trek Ticket DJ Bike

“Just got mine”

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The Good: Majority of the bike

The Bad: The line for the hydraulic rear brake was not very long. It is long enough to get to the brake and only enough extra to make about 90% of a bar spin.

Overall Review: So far I have not even ridden the bike other than around in the shop. The main reason I wanted to write this review is to alert people to the fact that the bike does NOT come with the fork spec' don't Trek's website. Both Trek's website as well as the specs on here state it coming with a Rockshox argyle. The bike came with a pike dj. Like I mentioned in the bad the brake line for the rear is a bit short of what I would expect to come on a dirt jump specific bike. The only other thing I would say is that The bike came with a chain guard on it. I actually had to remove the crank to remove the chain guard mount. I threw the finished build up in the scale. Just over 26 pounds without the mechanical front brake set up that it comes with.