Latest Product Reviews



Featured Review

“Tough chain”


The Good:

low stretch, maintains shifting accuracy

The Bad:

lateral stiffness might not be great

Overall Review: I've three xx1 chains I'm using on a full XX1 drive train, after about 2000km wear on all three is great, measuring 10 links while the chain is hanging off a hook they are all at about 25.48cm.I do clean the drivetrain after every ride. I'm using the SRAM master links and a chain tool, there is zero issue reusing the SRAM master link many times, in fact I only have one link in use, swapping it between chains. at 25.50cm I will replace all three chains. What I didn't do was measure the chains new, so I'm only assuming a brand new pc-xx1 really is 25.40cm for 10 links. These chains are hard to really clean well, I put them in a Read More »

Kali Protectives Maya Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Kali Protectives Maya Helmet”

Review and photos by AJ Barlas Mountain bike helmets have evolved very quickly in recent years, with extended coverage and improved impact technologies at the forefront of the improvements. These updates have provided the all-around rider with helmets that not only do a great job of keeping us safe, but look good while doing it. Though their staff has loads of prior experience, Kali Protectives are still a relatively new brand within the bicycle industry. This youthfulness shines through in their products and the brand's ability to come forward with designs that think a little outside the box and a focus on Read More »

Giro Feature Helmet

“Excellent Trail/All Mountain Helmet”


The Good:

low weight In Mold construction, low profile fit, good lower head coverage, comfortable adjustment system, solid ventilation

The Bad:

lack of strap adjustment could be an issue for some riders.

Overall Review: I've used the Feature for a couple of seasons with excellent results. The shape of the helmet is slightly more round than the Bell Super or POC Trabec.   The Feature has a low profile fit and offers good lower head protection.  The adjustable retention system helps you dial in the fit.  Goggles work great with this helmet.   The padding inside the helmet does a good job of wicking away sweat without the padding being too thick or uncomfortably thin.  If you are the type of rider that needs to make fore/aft strap adjustments, the minimalist straps on the Feature may be a deal breaker.  Otherwise, the Feature is an outstanding all mountain helmet with great coverage, low profile fit and good ventilation - at a price that is tough to beat.

Giro Rivet II Gloves

Vital Review

“Tested: Giro Rivet II Gloves”

Review and photos by Joe Schneider Enter another player into the minimalist glove game, the Giro Rivet II. Starting at $30 these thoughtfully designed gloves give you a layer of protection and a confidence inspiring feel. They're ideal for riders who spend some time pedaling. I've been riding with them day in and day out for a few months, so let's take a look at how they performed. Highlights Moisture Wicking, Soft, Breathable Mesh Upper Three Panel, Micro Vented Palm Construction Touchscreen Technology Material Color Options: White, Black, Olive Sizes S-XXL MSRP $30 Initial Impressions When I held the gloves for the first time, Read More »

Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Jacket

Vital Review

“Tested: Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Jacket”

Review and photos by Justin Schroth Pearl Izumi has long been in the cycling game creating clothing, shoes, and accessories for road, triathlon, and mountain bike athletes. Building on their experience and reputation for creating high quality apparel, Pearl Izumi has launched a new line of mountain bike apparel for 2015, including the new WRX jacket. While there are a huge range of options on the market for general outerwear that is lightweight, functional, and protects from the elements, Pearl Izumi adds their own touch with some cycling specific features. Read our review to find out how we got along. MTB WRX Jacket Read More »

2015 Specialized Epic Comp 29 Bike

“Everything you want nothing you don't”


The Good:

Solid frame, good suspension, and nice drive train

The Bad:

Not a big fan of the Magura mts and would prefer a more common shock stroke

Overall Review: I have had the bike for about a month and a half now and have been thrilled with it's performance. Straight out of the box the bike build up real nice and an hour or two later the bike was dialed. Right off the bat I noticed that the suspension responded very well and I loved the brain. It certainly helps you put the power down on the flatter straightaways yet remains responsive when set up properly. The drive train felt nice and crisp even with a fair amount of dirt and grime. The Geometry is spot on. Even with the 29er wheels it handles very well and is very easy to flick around. The only thing I'm not a big fan of Read More »

Five Ten Freerider Contact Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: Five Ten Freerider Contact”

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord Five Ten’s Stealth rubber is legendary among flat pedal riders, and with good reason. To this day, it remains what is widely considered to be the stickiest, grippiest sole option available short of clipping in. For a few years however, the only shoes available with this magic compound were slightly heavy and bulky items, often lacking a bit in finish and in the general level of construction of the shoe (if you’ve ever glued the outsole back onto your Impacts you know what we mean). Fast forward to present day, and there’s a multitude of options Read More »

Ryders Eyewear Strider Anti-Fog Photochromic Glasses

Vital Review

“Tested: Ryders Strider Anti-Fog Glasses”

Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Courtney Steen and Brandon Turman I don’t know what it is, but I swear my eyeballs are magnets for crap when I am out on a ride. I’ve had bugs, mud, dust, hair, my own fingers, and some close calls with branches. It’s never fun calling a timeout halfway down some rad descent for an eyeball check or to try irrigating out my eye with a water bottle. Talk about a buzz kill. Therefore, I am a rider who pretty much always rides with glasses. Then I also face the age-old problem of fogged lenses, especially on the climbs. There are different shapes of glasses that Read More »

SRAM PG-950 9-Speed Cassette

“Smooth Shifting All Day”


The Good:

Smooth shifting
Multiple gear ranges
SRAM/Shimano compatible

The Bad:


Overall Review: This came as an OEM cassette and has provided years of flawless shifting. This cassette comes in at a budget friendly price and offers great quality as well.Compatiblity with SRAM and Shimano makes changing/upgrading other components a simple task. This cassette shifts very smoothly and any shifting issues I have encountered have come from the derailleur and not the cassette. The cassette stays super clean and sheds mud and other debris on its own. The SRAM PG 950 is easy to find with many online retailers and offers multiple gear ratios to fit different styles. Whether your are running this as a weekend warrior or a daily rider it will not disappoint.

Race Face Narrow/Wide Chainring

“Narrow/Wide = Simply/Awesome!!!”


The Good:

Light and strong
Variety of colors
Variety of sizes
DIY simple setup

The Bad:

Color wears fast

Overall Review: Does Race Face do anything bad? Cause the Narrow/Wide ring is spot on and near perfect in every way. SRAM kicked off the whole 1X setup, but Race Face made it accessible for the masses by creating this bolt-on simple and inexpensive ring. I have been riding a 104 32T for about a year and have been so happy with it. I bolted it up to a slightly heavy Gravity StepUp crank set and it really brought new life to these cranks. I was never using the big and spent most of my time in the middle, so it was a no brainer to get rid of all the extra pieces that weren't being used and just adding unneeded weight. Set up was super Read More »