Latest Product Reviews


2013 Specialized S-Works Enduro Carbon 29 SE

Vital Review

“Tested: 2013 Specialized S-Works Carbon Enduro 29”

Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer When Specialized launched the Enduro 29, they did so with a bang. It was clear from the get-go that it wasn't your typical wagon wheeler. Not only is it a 29er with 6.1-inches of travel, but at 16.9-inches the chainstays are surprisingly short - shorter, in fact, than many 26-inch wheeled bikes. Needless to say, we were super curious to know how a bike with big wheels, big travel, and a super short rear end would handle out on the trail. 300+ miles later, it's time to let you guys in on how she rides. S-Works Carbon Enduro 29 SE Highlights FACT IS-X 11m Read More »
Rate review: +9 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6103 1033,109/setup 271 1183 2156 134 40

Leatt DBX Comp Neck Brace

“Light, reliable and great in Blue/Gray!!!!”


The Good:

Light. Reliable (believe me, I have crash test dummy'ed it). Blue/Gray is a great color since it does not look dirty as easy as other lighter colored ones.

The Bad:

None. Mayyybe it could have some sort of enhancement where I could put the straps coming out of it from different points without having to play with the velcro inside.

Overall Review: Great neckbrace! A+ on protection, A+ on looks, A+ on durability, A+ on confort, A+ on weight.....just a A- due to the fact that I need to do a workaround to place the straps coming out of it higher than the default design it has which makes it more confortable for me, and I have seen other users do the same thing.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member lonchera
2551 lonchera,2551/all 04/16/10,2551/setup 3 30 1

Avid X0 Trail Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

Featured Review

“Avid X0 Trail Brakeset Review”


The Good:

Efficient braking; low lever input with high stopping power

The Bad:

Not a deal breaker by any means, but set up time requires setting pads for desired lever throw.

Overall Review: With SRAM releasing a full line of “Trail” specific brakes it’s about time for some feedback on the X0 Trail brakes that were released last year. The X0 Trail brake is aimed at the Enduro, all-mountain market and utilizes a 4-piston dual-diameter caliper. What’s unique about their design is the piston sizing, with the leading pistons being smaller than the trailing pistons. This allows the smaller piston to engage the pad first creating a “toed” engagement, resulting in more modulation at the lever. Another update over the X0 Elixirs is a redesigned TaperBore master cylinder. I installed these brakes with 160mm Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member b1k3r1d3r
1391 b1k3r1d3r,1391/all 12/04/09 6,1391/setup 1 6 1

Maxxis Ardent Tire

“Excellent All-Terrain Tire”


The Good:

Fast, predictable and holds a line

The Bad:

Packs in debris a bit, but wide enough spacing to shed most of it

Overall Review: For a full on knobby tire, the Ardents (2.25" size)are definitely fast and transition from edge to edge quickly. I've ridden these on everything fromdry hardpack to saturated moist soil and everything in between and the Ardents keep on digging in and gathering traction. The center row is fast and effective and offers great grip when climbing. The side knobs offer a great amount of cornering grip and never leave you wanting more. The transition knobs are spaced wide enough to allow a firm bite into the terrain and don't allow the tire to pack in debris too much. If the transision knobs were closer together, they would packin and Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member brimmergj
22232 brimmergj,22232/all 02/20/13 3,22232/setup 32 31 12

Giro Rivet Glove '11

“Great minimalist gloves for hot summer rides.”


The Good:

Very light weight
Quality construction
Silicon finger tip print provides grip on brake levers on wet rides
No padding enables more control
Looks better than gloves with too much protection

The Bad:

No padding can be bad for some
Silicon finger tip print does wear out Does not offer much protection against tree branches, etc

Overall Review: One would expect quality gloves from one the best helmet manufacturers in the world. Your expectations will be confirmed with these gloves. Although the Rivet pictured is the older 2011 version, the new version still shares a lot of the same features this has that make it so great.Firstly, these are one of the best gloves I wore for long, hot summer rides. Although not as tough as some other gloves out there, these are easier to live with. Lightweight, breathable construction with lots of vents keep your hands cool. Silicon finger tip print enhances grip on wet rides and a fixed, pull on cuff design makes for a slimmer Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Tsetse
23958 Tsetse /images/default/avatar/c50.png,23958/all 04/29/13 32 4

SR Suntour Epicon-X1 LO-RC 26 Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: SR Suntour Epicon-X1 LO-RC Fork”

Review by Evan Turpen // Photos by Brandon Turman SR Suntour has been making a steady and consistent push into the high-performance suspension market. More recently they’ve introduced many products with a plethora of advanced adjustments and features similar to what can be found on the other leading suspension manufacturers. Our test fork, the EPICON-X1 LO-RC, came with external low-speed compression, rebound, lockout, and air pressure adjustments, as well as internal travel and air volume adjustments. These are all features that are nice to see, especially on an all-mountain/cross-country fork that retails for Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member E.T.
699 E.T.,699/all 08/31/09 4 8 1 5 47 13

Shimano Zee RD-M640 Rear Derailleur

“Zee right derailleur?”


The Good:

Low cost, clutch, black, strong. Great warranty service.

The Bad:

Clutch is finicky and fragile. Replacement parts? Good luck.

Overall Review: I traded a warrantied XTR shadow+ derailleur, new in box, for the ZEE, because it was cheap. I chose the ZEE specifically because it has a steel backplate in place of the aluminum one which lives on the XTR. This aluminum backplate turned out have a significant weak spot, which I broke. I figured that due to this key difference, the ZEE would have a fighting chance. I mounted up the ZEE on my G-Spot, with a 11-36 cassette and an MRP Mini Guide. Things were great, the clutch was effective, the chain was silent. After four months, the clutch started weakening in strength, and effectiveness. I popped off the clutch Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Danimal5-0
13343 Danimal5-0,13343/all 02/15/12,13343/setup 1 6 20 3

DMR Brendog Vault Pedals

Vital Review

“Tested: DMR Brendog Vault Pedals”

by Steve Wentz You must know someone like this... a twenty or thirty something woman who just loooooves her shoe collection? She’s got the red ones, the black platforms, the animal print whatevers that look like they belong in the red light district, and 20 others. I really don’t see the need for all those shoes. Logic would say you can only ever wear one pair at a time, and in my mind more than the basics would just be clutter and overindulgence. In the end, we’ve all got our vices. I happen to love flat pedals. My addiction to nice flat pedals got to be so bad that at one point a couple friends and I became the Read More »
Rate review: -1 Up Down
Vital MTB member TRex
328 TRex,328/all 08/04/09 10 2 43 218 9 11

Deity Decoy Flat Pedal

“Hulk SMASH!”


The Good:

Super strong! Long lasting. Grippier than all hell!

The Bad:

They could be a tad wider for catching the bike on tricks, but that's if I'm gonna nit-pick.

Overall Review: Very durable, I've ridden these pedals for a few years now on my dirt jumper and some on my DH. They've lasted through some tough bails at the skate park, many days at the dirt jumps and out on the trail. Hell, they even survived being hit by a car (rear ended, smashed my e13 LG1r cranks up)! I rode a pair of these briefly on my DH bike and they took the constant beating of rocks and roots, only loosing two pins the whole season. The reason I took them off my DH rig was being a weight wienie I wanted the new HT flats. The red ano has lasted the test of time (2 years) and the spindles are strait and they still spin like Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member AdamZiegler52
7697 AdamZiegler52,7697/all 04/13/11 1,7697/setup 12 1

Shimano M640 Zee Hydraulic Disc Brakes

“Affordable and really, really good”


The Good:

After using Avid´s for serveral years and switched to shimano zee and was a fan right after the first ride. Predictable, lot´s of power, good levers, easy to find the right dose of braking, good pricing on rotors and pads' ...bleeding is a piece of cake :-) Updated:
so far - no fading

The Bad:

the mount for the handlebar is very "solid", but it works well and holds everyhting in place

Overall Review: get one, put in on your bike and never worry about braking again considering the price and what you get, I would definitly say it´s worth five stars Update: I gave the brakes a solid 4h hours in Leogang and went down the freeride, downhill and bingo bongo trail´s. The brakes worked very well. Braking-power is predictable and it is easy to find the right dose. In "scary" moments the brakes really help to get out of the situations without a crash. After some runs on the downhill there was no fading and on some parts the brakes had to do a lot of work as it was my first day on the donwhill in 2013. I haven´t changed my mind and would recommend the brakes.
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member lister_yu
19924 lister_yu,19924/all 11/19/12 4 1,19924/setup 2 85 62 2