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Latest Product Reviews


Spy Optic Omen MX Goggles

Vital Review

“Tested: Spy Optic Omen MX Goggles”

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Matt Puzel Goggles are a simple tool that are essential to a good ride; every downhiller knows this. Spy Optic knows this too, and after two decades in the game they continue to push the evolution of off-road eyewear. The new Omen MX are billed as modern goggles that offer the biggest field of view possible and fit the most popular helmets on the market. That point, in addition to Spy's Happy Lens windshield, Rise ventilation system and Quad-Layer Isotron face foam had us expecting good things from the Omens - read on to find out how they fared. Omen MX Goggle Highlights Happy Lens - Read More »

Crank Brothers Iodine 3 Wheelset

“Poor Warranty Claim Process”


The Good: Spiffy looking
Fairly lightweight
Easy spoke replacement

The Bad: Poor warranty claim process for defective product

Overall Review: Didn't get to test these out on more than one ride because they were defective, so I can't say a lot about how the non-defective ones perform. For the pair I received, the rear hub made a loud popping sound any time a new set of pawls was engaged. The three pawls did not engage the hubs teeth at the same time as they were supposed to. This will happen occasionally for any good company. That's why they have warranty policies, to maintain their reputation and happy customers. Unfortunately, their warranty policy requires you to send the product back at your own cost (~$30 for a wheel). In my case, they Read More »

Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail Frame

“Love at First Ride”


The Good: Local company, good people, great bicycles.

The Bad: A few minor SNAFUs in delivering my bike just so, but such is the nature of custom work. In the end, everything was made right.

Overall Review: I've been riding, building, and racing mountain bikes most of my 33 years. Without reservation, this one is my favorite. I love the geometry: the longish TT (size medium) mates perfectly with a 35mm stem, 800mm bars,and my 5'10" frame. It does not climb like a bike of its heft or trail/gravity orientation, especially with Climb Switch engaged. Pointed down is whereshe really shines of course, and I'veyet to engage Beast Mode! I mean, Gravity Mode.The lower BB and slackish HTA make for a stable, confidence-inspiring, super playful ride. The Pike Solo and CCDBI outshine any FOX suspension product I've ridden. The Read More »

Kitsbow A/M Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Kitsbow A/M Ventilated Short”

Let’s get to the price of this short right away. A while back a grocery clerk asked if the green Super Food juice I was buying was “worth it?”, which highlighted both the differences in taste (literally and figuratively) between us, and our financial comfort with a $3 purchase. The idea of drinking something green, and paying 3x more for it than her favorite soda, was appalling enough to warrant asking a total stranger what possible reason one could have to make such a purchase. Surely there must be some tangible level of gain afforded by spending so much money and suffering through such nastiness. Yet the reality is that I Read More »

SeaSucker Mini Bomber Rack

Featured Review

“SeaSucker Mini Bomber Rack”


The Good: Versatile Rack (use on various cars and bikes easily). Can be mounted on roof, trunk, or hatchback without permanent attachment. Lightweight - Includes spare vacuum pad and pump and pump maintenance.

The Bad: $400 price tag. Does not include Cable Anchor.

Overall Review: As with the other SeaSucker rack I own, I was initially very skeptical of securing my $5k+ bike to the car via vacuum cups. After some initial tugging and pulling HARD on a single cup that was attached to my roof, I instantly realized the power of the vacuum cups. Rated at 210 lbsof pull-strength per cup, the Mini Bomber has a total rating of 840 lb pull-strength which is mighty impressive in my mind. Initial setup is quite easy and just requires a quick spray of the roof top to clean it of dust/dirt, and a quick spray on the vacuum cups before installation. Each cup only takes about 10-15 pumps to reach full suction Read More »

SeaSucker Hornet Rack

Featured Review

“SeaSucker Hornet Bike Rack”


The Good: - Easy to travel with - Front wheel stays on the bike
- Versatile (can be used on different bikes and different cars). - Included safety strap for added security

The Bad: - Works best on hatchback style cars
- Does not include Trunk Cable Anchor
- Does not include additional suction cup to secure saddle to trunk.
- Can only be used to transport one bike.
- Have to keep a spray bottle + rag handy.

Overall Review: Even though some friends said I was crazy, I put the Hornet through the paces to see if it matched SeaSucker's claims of strength and versatility. At first look, I was very skeptical of securing a bike to my car with only two vacuum cups. SeaSucker rates each 4 ” vacuum cup at 120 lb of pull-strength, but before loading up my $5k+ Devinci I decided to see how strong they REALLY are. After I attached the cups tolinoleumfloors, my rolling 5 drawer tool chest, basically any smooth surface I could find and pulled…and pulled HARD...I was convinced that these are strong. There was no sign of budging or loss of suction, even Read More »

Matrix Concepts M31 Worx Toolbox

Vital Review

“Tested: Matrix Concepts M31 Worx Toolbox”

As a rider, you often take your box of tools for granted. You get the tools as and when you need them, throw them in the box and expect them to be there when duty calls. I've worked out of many different toolboxes in my day, but my bike tools have lived in the same Craftsman box I got for Christmas the year I started riding and generally obsessing over bikes. I haven't put much thought into it since then, it works fine and has been going for more years than I care to remember. But when the opportunity arose to try a similarly sized toolbox from Matrix Concepts that apparently had some design Read More »

2015 YT Capra Comp 1 Bike

“YT Capra Comp1”


The Good: Fantastic value for money. A brilliant ride.

The Bad: Long waiting times for delivery.

Overall Review: I went for the Comp1 and not the Pro. One I don't like white bikes but two the Boss forks and shock are not easy to set up and also service centres are few in the UK. The Pike forks and Monarch shock work sweetly. Sizing is a problem buying online. As mentioned this bike is a game-changer.

2014 Jamis Dakar AMT 650 Comp Bike

Featured Review

“Solid All-Mountain Rig”


The Good: This bike has a very stable geometry and feels in control when descending. The more affordable COMP version comes with a solid set of components, most notable the FOX suspension.

The Bad: HEAVY. Also, rear suspension geometry isn't the most sophisticated, so pedal bob is always a threat

Overall Review: This is a very solid all mountain setup. It was my first 650b, as well as my first bike with over 120mm of travel. The COMP version comes with a reliable group of components. Shimano Deore all around gets the job done, and is not soul-crushing expensive should you knock off the derailleur in a rock garden. Pros: The bike feels at home on rough terrain. The 650b wheels fit really well with the geometry, Jamis has been doing the mid-size wheel for some time now. Though the head tube isn't as slack as other enduro or all mountain setups, this one finds a happy medium between the ups and descents, allowing you to climb some Read More »

Mavic Alpine XL Clipless Shoe

Featured Review

“Might this be the best non-Italian shoe for your feet? Well...minus a stormtrooper mistaken appearance.”


The Good: Fit, weight, flex, price, grip, support

The Bad: Look, neoprene boot practically useless, pressure points up top

Overall Review: So, I had been rocking XC shoes since back in the day where I was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of SPDs. Mashing the pedals on the slippers is great because they're stiff as a 4x8 but because of the top section of my foot they were constantly falling asleep. Why? Well...because they were essentially being smashed against a 4x8 super stiff carbon board. I wasn't quite ready to dive into the world of flat pedals as I've gotten nice and used to the laziness of floating my feet around. Besides, my aging knees creak and moan at the mention of flat pedals. Fair enough. What would be the compromise? I wanted a Read More »