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Enve Composites M70 Thirty Wheels

Vital Review

“Tested: ENVE M70 Thirty Wheels”

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Review by A.J. Barlas // Photography Jon Anthony & A.J. Barlas Technology in mountain biking has been progressing at an alarming rate the last 5 or so years. 10 years ago carbon on a mountain bike was often thought of as a scary, testing-fate kind of scenario to enter into, but now it's all over the place and if you aren't riding a plastic frame many won't even look twice at your rig. When carbon hoops first came to market, the one name that really caught many riders' attention was ENVE Composites. Under the Santa Cruz Syndicate's riders, on their downhill race bikes no less, we really began to take notice of the Read More »

Deity Vendetta 3.0 Crankarms

“Break em. I dare you!”

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The Good: These cranks are about as close to indestructible is it gets! None of the crank arms have been broken or warrantied. Really stiff and durable and also pretty lightweight! No doubt, the best bmx style crank available. Yet another example of deity quality on show in these cranks!

The Bad: A bit more expensive than other cranks, doesn't come with a spindle

Overall Review: As stated before, these could be the best bmx style cranks on the market! The durability and quality is unrivaled by any of its competitors! Very stiff too, no flex while riding even when it goes bad, such as casing large jumps! Graphics are killer as well! The variety of colors match any build great! The only downside is that they don't come with a spindle, but those cam be acquired easily from any deity dealer. If you're after durability and longevity in a set of crankarms these are your answer!

Manitou Circus Expert Fork

“Baller on a budget”

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The Good: Amazing fork for anything dirtjump, slopestyle, and street related! While often costing less than half of its competitors, the rockshox argyle rct and fox 831, it can always compete and often outperform them! The abs adjustments work amazing to switch you fork from plush to stiff in a matter of seconds! The stiff 20mm hexlock axle makes it much more stiff than the fox 831 despite being near $500 cheaper. Additionally, the 2014 circuses (1946g) are in fact lighter than argyle rct's (2016g).

The Bad: I can't really think of any! Looks and performs great, and will surely last longer, with less work than its competitors!

Overall Review: If you're looking for an amazing dirt jump fork, especially with a sub $500 budget look no further! Forget about dj1's or argyle rc's they won't even compare. I've owned 2 circus forks on 2 different bikes and I don't think I would ever ride anything else! I can't think of a single reason not to buy it! Extremely durable, and on the off chance that something should go wrong manitou will replace it! Very light, ridiculously stiff, and the abs knob allows for tons of compression on the fly for whatever you're riding! This fork might just be the best example of a "baller on a budget" product! Outperforms competitors more than twice the prize with ease! If you value durability, value, and performance this should be the number one fork on your list!

Deity Decoy 2.5 Flat Pedal

“Sleek and sticky”

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The Good: The decoys are fantastic pedals, good width and very thin! Also very light and good looking at a price that won't break the bank!

The Bad: A bit hard to find, not the cheapest but well worth it.

Overall Review: Riding these pedals on my cryptkeeper! Use them for jumping, park, street, and occasional trail riding and they've been fantastic thus far! In addition to looking amazing, they provide fantastic grip! comfortable width to ride on, and they're incredibly thin, great for rocky trails! I recommend these pedals for any discipline from xc to dh! Great pedal at a sub $100 price!

Chromag HIFI Stem

“The definition of bombproof”

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The Good: The hifi is super stiff, extremely durable,and looks super nice, while maintaining a fairly light weight!

The Bad: A bit expensive.

Overall Review: Very nice stem! The quality and attention to detail is very obvious even at first glance. Very clean and sleek looking stem, the design is amazing! The hifi also performs great. I use the 50mm model for dirt jumping with 750mm bars and it has no flex. Big hardware and built very strong so it stands up to all sorts of abuse! Some say its heavy, but for a jump/dh stem it has a very respectable weight, doesn't feel at all heavy while riding. Overall, if you're looking for a great looking and performing stem in a variety of lengths look no further!

Deity Cryptkeeper Frame

“Buy it! You won't regret it!”

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The Good: -Amazing geometry on everything.
-Well built.
-Very lightweight.
-Affordable.
-Looks amazing.
-Comes with a warranty.

The Bad: I can't really think of any. I suppose the fact that the frame only has stickers, not painted on designs or clear-coated logos to be negative, but I like how it makes customization easier. But quality or performance wise, absolutely nothing.

Overall Review: This is quite possibly the best dirt jump frame on the market! Geo feels 100% dialed on everything from dirt jumps to street and park! Craftsmanship is amazing, if you know anything about deity, you'll know how much they care about their product and that's clearly evident in this frame. Everything from the welds, to the decals, to the chainstay yoke shows how much they value what they make and how important buyer satisfaction is to deity! Hands down the best frame I've ever ridden. The only thing that could make it better is a tapered headtube, which is going to be a feature in the new ones! I really can't think of a reason Read More »

DVO Emerald DH 203mm Inverted Suspension Fork

“new player in the downhill fork world.”

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The Good: corner stability

The Bad: not hing today

Overall Review: what i have expectet! Ride high in corners and steep gnar. NO brake dive.., thats unbelievable.. super plush for chatter stuff, nice fork. the OTT future is like a miracle!

2014 Lapierre Zesty AM 527

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Lapierre Zesty AM 527”

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Reviewed by John Hauer and Jess Pedersen // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller Lapierre’s Zesty AM ticks many of the boxes for an aggressive all-mountain bike: it has great geometry, a good looking list of components, a carbon frameset, and 150mm of travel at a reasonable price. It also has an interesting “Electronic Intelligence” rear shock, known as the E:i system. “There’s no place for electronics in mountain biking,” some of you will say, while others may be open to new ideas and technology. With an open mind and nothing but miles of rough Sedona, Arizona trails in front of us during the annual Vital MTB Test Read More »

FSA Afterburner Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

Vital Review

“Tested: FSA Afterburner Disc Brakes”

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Review by Joe Schneider // Photos by Brandon Turman FSA, a trusted and known brand for cockpit components, has now entered the hydraulic disk brake market. This stirs the pot and adds another player to the fray of manufacturers on the quest to make the ideal set of brakes. FSA has two versions of their hydraulic disk brake set, the K-Force and the Afterburner, both have the same functions but the K-Force drops 40 grams per side from the system. This review is on the Afterburner model which lists for $289 per side and weighs in at 345 grams for the front with a light weight rotor and rotor bolts. Afterburner Disc Read More »

2014 Kona Honzo Bike

“Kono Honzo 2012”

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The Good: I built this bike up from a frame so I cannot speak to the stock components. I will say I love the GEO. The bike is comfortable, flickable and eats up the down as well as up. I love the way the frame looks. Mine is in blue. Compared to my aluminum bike this chromoly frame really absorbs the bumps and etc. Very fun to ride.

The Bad: I do not find anything bad about this frame some say it is heavy, others say the BB is too low, some grip that you cannot run a front derailleur.

Overall Review: If your looking for an all in one bike this is it. It is brawny, hardcore and does everything really well from XC, Trail to All mountain. It shines on downhill and technical sections. The GEO places your weight more towards the center rear rather than like an XC bike where your weight is shifted towards the front. This bike is really really fun to ride and to me that is what is most important me. My build: Easton EA70XC wheelset front 15mm RaceFace evolve SS crankset RaceFace N/W 32 t chain ring Fox Float 34 CTD Continental MKII Frt: 2.4 Rr: 2.2 XT derailleur type 2 XT cassette Easton EA30 Seatpost Truvativ Hussfelt stem ODI flight control 700mm bar ODI ruffian grips WTB GT seat