4li2k73z Share your Vital activity on Facebook (More info)
close

Latest Product Reviews

RSS

Race Face D2 Stem

Featured Review

“Solid DH/FR Stem. Literally”

C138_st267h02_35

The Good: Clamping interface, 35mm length option, recessed bolts

The Bad: Weight and looks

Overall Review: I bought this stem because I was really looking for a 35mm stem, and this came in at the price I was looking for. This is one of the few DH/FR stems that comes in 35mm, and doesn't cost and arm and a leg. The clamping interface around the bars is what I like most about it. With other stems featuring a front facing faceplate, when the bars are clamped in, it leaves a gap between the faceplate and stem body, causing stress points on the bar. With this stem, clamping forces are distributed evenly all the way around the bar, eliminating the stress points. Especially if you are running a carbon bar, this is something to consider. Read More »

GT Fury Downhill Frame

“Fury? No anger here... Just pleasure.”

C138_g13_furcfrm_wht

The Good: How about.... everything?!?!

The Bad: Without regular, meticulous maintenance, she becomes a whiny broad... But a little regular TLC goes a long way.

Overall Review: Let's start with the construction -- yes, it's upkeep. Duh. Carbon is notoriously light and nimble, but crack that shit, unravel the thread and say goodbye to your baby. However, she's a beast. No, seriously. Folks may judge her as 'bulky' or 'built out', but this lady will lay down and yank back up faster than you can say "Oh, no she dii'nt." As long as YOUR game is in the right spot and you have your bike control on lock, you'll love the GT Carbon Fury. There's a reason the Athertons came over to the darkside, and this is that reason. If you're long in the torso and need some serious pedaling efficiency, this is steed for you. As an Read More »

Fox Racing 360 Glove

Featured Review

“Comfy Glove”

C138_gl267a24

The Good: Very comfortable, good balance between protection and breathability, thin palm.

The Bad: Not very durable, and no terry-cloth thumb.

Overall Review: So this is how my experience with the 360 gloves started: I was at the bike shop, confronted by a large wall of gloves featuring at least 30 different MTB models. Being a very cautious spender, I tried on nearly every model until I finally arrived at the 360. Upon trying it on for the very first time, I noticed that it contoured the shape of my hand very nicely, didn't have any bunched-up folds of material, and was the perfect length, even though it wasn't yet broken in. Satisfied, I promptly grabbed the set and walked to the cashier, eager to put my fresh new gloves to the test. Once on the trail, I noticed many other Read More »

2012 Transition TR250 2 Bike

“Superb DH/Bike Park/Freeride/Shuttle Bike!”

C138_tr250v1_3

The Good: Responsiveness, Stability, Acceleration, Supple suspension

The Bad: Hard to adjust rebound, bit of pedal feedback

Overall Review: The stability, stiffness and plushness of the TR250 really stands out. Take the geometry of a downhill race bike and shorten things up a bit here and there and you get the Transition Tr250. I don't think there is a better single crown dh/bike park sled out on the market for the experienced rider. Stability- The Tr250 truly feels like a full dh bike when you hit the gas. High speed runs at Mammoth Bike Park doesn't faze this bike at all. You are mostly fooled into thinking that you are on a full dh bike. Stiffness- The 150mm rear end of the TR250 is astoundingly stiff! Ditto for the big down tube front triangle. You get Read More »

Teva Links Mid Shoes

Vital Review

“Tested: Teva Links Mid Shoes, A Worthy Flat Pedal Prospect”

C138_teva_links_mid
by Brandon Turman Just a few years ago the options for a good flat pedal shoe were very limited. Edit that, there was only one real option. Since then a handful of companies entered the market and we're now lucky to have several options to choose from. Teva came out swinging when they introduced the Links shoes last year - they were bold, they were bright, and they were designed in collaboration with one of our sport's greats, Jeff Lenosky. Just one year later they're quickly expanding their mountain bike lineup to meet the needs of nearly every rider - whether something dedicated to the ride or something casual to Read More »

Banshee Bikes Wildcard Frame

Featured Review

“I am in love with this bike.”

C138_89339000_1268863872

The Good: Extremely versatile, relatively light, suspension is well-tuned, very stiff, did I mention versatile?

The Bad: In the short travel mode, the suspension isn't as lively as it could be. Also in the 5'' travel mode, the frame feels more slack, (harder to manual and bunnyhop,) which is kind of backwards.

Overall Review: Where do I start? First of all, the Wildcard has two travel modes. (127 and 165mm)This feature is esstially what makes this bike so versatile. The frame is built around anywhere from a 5 to a 7'' travel fork. The frame also has ISCG 05 tabs, and 1.5'' headtube, and front derailleur routing. My personal setup includes a Fox DHX air shock,Fox Talas 36 fork,Mavic Crossmax SX wheels, and a1x8 drivetrain.The suspension, wheels, and drivetrain that you choose willhave a higher-than-average influence on the bike. Let's start with suspension: I believe that an air shock is the best fit for this frame, The versatility, light Read More »

Kenda Blue Groove Tire

“Good All Around Tire”

C138_ti509a02

The Good: Grips well on the descents and the ascents. (Though it's better on the descents.) Excellent transitional grip with no lapses in traction. Directional ramped pattern rolls reasonably fast for a bulky tire. Adequate on many types of terrain.

The Bad: Not an excellent mud shedder, Not a very fast roller.

Overall Review: The blue groove is a unsung hero in Kenda's lineup. I haven't seen it on many bikes, which is odd considering the good performance it provides. I've ridden it in bike parks, where it provides ample grip and no squirming or loss of traction. I've also employed it on trail rides, where it dug into loose soil and never slipped on off-camber roots. With that being said, I've also ridden it on hardpack, where it provided good traction whilst being leaned into berms. However, the bulky tread pattern is noticabely slow on hardpack terrain. This tire also excels in mostly dry or slightly wet conditions, as it doesn't shed mud as Read More »

RockShox Totem RC2 DH Coil Fork

“This is My Second Season on a DH Totem.”

C138_rockshox_totemrc2dh_dualposition_taper_blk_lrg

The Good: Bottomless Travel, Super Stiff, Trust This thing 100%

The Bad: Not quite as plush as Fox, some stiction.

Overall Review: I've used this fork at Highland MTB Park, East Burke, Local Freeride trails. Point and shoot, stiffest single I've ever ridden. Gets a little stiction, but with a little Silicone spray on the stantions she gets smooth and Buttery. High and Low speed compression knobs are easy to turn even while riding and between the two adujustments you can make this fork super stiff or plush. I don't use the lock-out, even when riding uphill. Great Fork!

Panaracer Fire Pro Tire

Featured Review

“Surprisingly useful for the price”

C138_ti707a08

The Good: Usable traction combined with good rolling speed and durability, and less than half the cost of most other tires

The Bad: Doesn't have the cornering ability to be used as a dependable front tire

Overall Review: If you're on a budget and you need to keep your bike rolling, the Panaracer Fire tire is a surprisingly decent option as a rear tire. No, it won't work quite as well as more expensive, refined tires, but if you're not racing and you just need to hit the trails without breaking the bank, it will do the job. While it doesn't have the cornering blocks necessary to hold its own as a front tire, it's fine when used in the back. It's a little narrow for aggressive all-mountain riding, but for riders who frequent fast singletrack more than big drops and rocky chutes, it works okay. Not spectacular, but well enough that you Read More »

ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

“ODI Ruffian Grips”

C138_97908500_1265402651

The Good: 1. Very thin 2. No grip movement 3. Grippy

The Bad: Not so cheap

Overall Review: I am a huge fan of ODI grips. Buy a bike, get ODI's. I recently reviewedthe ODI TLD grips and had nothing but good things to say. Those are great for me but these are a toughcompetitor. This review will mainly be a compare/ contrast between the two. The TLD lock on grips are great for riders with larger hands cause they are wider than these. In my opinion, the TLD's are morecomfortabledue to the flanges and the rampedtexturebut I'm sure I'll get some hate for that. If the Ruffians had flanges (apart from the BMX model which don't play well with shifters), they would be the best grips ever. The locking system is pretty much the Read More »