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Latest Product Reviews


Gravity Gradient Handlebar

Vital Review

“Tested: Gravity Gradient Cockpit - A Couple Shades Of Gray”

by Kevin Shiramizu A quick image search for “carbon failure” is enough to make anyone doubt that carbon bars are a good idea. I’ve been a skeptic myself for a long time, and have just stuck with regular old middle-weight aluminum bars. Carbon has come a long way in recent years and so the chance to try out Gravity’s new Gradient bar and stem was my way of dipping the toes in the hot tub of a carbon cockpit. Gravity Gradient Stem Highlights 3D Forged and CNC Machined AL6061, 4‐Bolt UD Carbon Faceplate, and Chromoly Hardware Clamp Size: 31.8mm Length: 60, 70, 80, 90, 100mm Rise: 6 40mm Fork Clamp Stack Height Colors: Read More »

Source Race 15L Hydration Pack

Vital Review

“Tested: Source Race 15L Hydration Pack”

by Lee Trumpore Hydration packs have come a long way in the past few years, with more and more features being added to what was once just a simple method of carrying extra water on a ride. With many riders (and an increasing number of bike designs) forgoing traditional water bottles the need for just the right pack has become more important than ever. The Source Race 15L is aimed at riders looking to maximize water capacity and accessory space in a minimalist design. We filled it up and hit the trails to see what it is really made of. Source Race 15L Highlights 15 liter storage capacity Light weight, Read More »

VP Components VP-VX Adventure Race Clipless Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: VP VX Adventure Race Clipless Pedal”

by Nick Zuzelski VP Components has grown their VX pedal product line with the new Adventure Race pedal. Aimed at the enduro and gravity crowd, a larger platform offers more support and a larger landing pad for your foot when you clip out and need to get back on the pedals and put down some power as fast as possible. The increased platform is said to match up better with today's gravity and trail shoe designs using a SPD compatible binding design. After throwing these on the trail bike for a few months and getting a fair share of riding, racing and abuse in, we might not ever take them off! Read More »

SixSixOne Raji Glove

Featured Review

“Thin to win”


The Good: feel great

The Bad: won't last long

Overall Review: I picked up a pair of these gloves for about $8 recently. Somewhere in the first few minutes of riding with them they became my favorites as they felt like I was wearing nothing on my hands, yet provided a barrier from sweat making the grips or brakes slippery. After that first trail ride, these quickly took their place in the middle of the pack since they looked like I had been through a war. The palms were pretty chewed up and I wondered how long they would hold up to my abuse. I have probably had a dozen rides with them and feel like they are getting close to glove heaven but will continue to rock them as long as I can. Read More »

Spy Optic Targa Goggles

“Great set of inexpensive goggles”


The Good: venting, comfortable

The Bad: more colors please

Overall Review: If you are in the market for a new set of goggles and don't want to spend a chunk, check out the Targa goggles from SPY. Breathability is good and the strap stays put on the helmet. While fit and looks may be subjective, I think they score highly in those categories. Once I strapped these on I didn't even think about them on the trail and that is a good thing. My only wish is that there were more color choices. I got the blue and the blue is bit darker than I was expecting. Mine came with clear lenses (which is what I prefer) but you can swap the lenses out for varying light conditions if you desire.

2014 Specialized Enduro Comp 29 Bike

Featured Review

“Jack of all trades, master of fun”


The Good: Fast, gobs of traction, good value

The Bad: nothing major at this point

Overall Review: At a demo day last fall, I took an Enduro 29 (s-works model)on the familiar trails of western CO Iwas amazed at how well it handled the chunky desert terrain.The Enduro 29gets touted for being abike that shines once the trail points downhill. Itnot only did that, but I noticed a greater improvement in the way it climbed technical terrain over my previousaggressive all mountainbikes.I'm not really interested in timing my runs but therewas no denying the fun whenI was flying up, down and over the same terrain at a noticeably faster speed. Idecidedto sell mydo-it-alltrusty steed and get anew Enduro 29 and my budget lined Read More »

Race Face Turbine Cranks

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Turbine Crankset”

by Jeff Brines The Race Face Turbine crankset may be one of the most iconic mountain bike components since its inception some 15 years ago. For 2015 the crankset receives a complete redesign, incorporating many features seen in the carbon Next SL offering. How does the new Turbine fair when compared to other mid- to high-end cranksets? We spent the better part of a month trying to bend, break and generally abuse them. Turbine Crank Highlights Intended for XC/Trail/All-Mountain/Enduro use Completely redesigned for 2015 to incorporate the Cinch system Crank arms are deep pocket forged and CNC machined to optimize stiffness Read More »

SixSixOne EVO AM Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: 661 EVO AM Helmet”

Protecting your head seems like an obvious thing to do, and having gone through a fall that should have killed me but instead resulted in just a plain old-fashioned traumatic brain injury thanks to my helmet, I’ll never ride a bike without one. I'll go for rides all the time without gloves or elbow pads, or even sleeves for that matter, but you won't catch me without a melon bucket. You spend a lot of money on gimmicky bike parts that frankly never make a difference so you shouldn'tblink at spending good money to protect those juicy brains of yours. Anyway, when the chance came along to put my head into the latest Read More »

Shimano Saint M820 Disc Brakes

Featured Review

“Powerful DH stoppers”


The Good: Tons of stopping power, durable, great modulation, easy to bleed

The Bad: Not as light as some of the new DH specific offering from SRAM

Overall Review: Right out of the box the M820 has a solid look and feel to it, the brake looks very tough and durable and doesn’t have any plastic feeling parts. Both front and rear pre bled hoses come in at very long length, allowing the brakes to fit any bike, I assume even extra-large frames should have no issues with the default hose. Compared to the M810 brakes, these new Saints have definitely shed some of their bulk, both caliper and level are a lot smaller and sleeker, thus helping to reduce some of the weight seen with the old M810s. Installation is a breeze and both removal and installation of the pads is also very Read More »

Five Ten Impact VXi Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: 5.10 Impact VXi - Real Sticky-icky”

Review by Sean "Griz"McClendon // Action photo by Ian Collins I remember my first set of Intense sticky rubber high tops back in 2003. They were a size too big, the stealth rubber performance was second to none and I happily ran them until switching to clips for racing. Entering the bike market with their Impact high and low top shoes, 5.10 quickly became popular with the rise of Sam Hill and his mind-numbing approach to racing in the mid-2000’s.Since then, the sticky rubber specialist brand has been the rider’s choice for flat pedal footwear for nearly a decade and people are running them for hundreds of miles Read More »