Latest Product Reviews

RSS

2014 Intense Carbine 29

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Intense Carbine 29”

C138_intense_carbine_29_x1_build_2014
Reviewed by Evan Turpen and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller Introduced in late 2013, the Carbine 29 is the first long-travel enduro 29er from Intense Cycles. It has a full carbon front triangle and carbon swingarm linked together by two counter-rotating CNC’d aluminum VPP links with options for either 127 or 140mm of rear travel. Complete with the well-regarded 160mm RockShox Pike fork, this rig is designed to tackle anything you can throw at it. With that in mind, we pedaled up and pointed it down some of the rowdiest descents Sedona, Arizona has to offer during the 2014 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1116 96 6155 946 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1295 2326 170 41

Shimano M162 SPD Shoes

“Good shoes but durability issues”

C138_sh254b02_black

The Good:

Good medium width, good heel hold due to cam buckle, reasonably stiff sole, good walking grip

The Bad:

The neoprene on both top strap began tearing after about a month of use, resulting in a less precise fit

Overall Review: I really like these shoes. They can be had for under $100 online and are a good shoe for trail riding, striking a balance between an XC-style fit and friendly walking performance. The sole is stiff enough but has some give when walking around. Unfortunately the neoprene on both top straps tore after about a month. The shoes are still usable but I need to crank the top strap quite a bit to get the fit I'd like, while the strap used to be more elastic right up against the ankle, making for a precise fit without the same tension. Other than the top strap durability issue, these are great shoes, especially given the price. Unfortunately I would not buy another pair and will looking for something with similar performance but better longevity.
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member D(C)
24430 D(C) /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/D-C,24430/all 05/15/13 2 13 2

MarshGuard Stash Fork Fender

Vital Review

“Tested: MarshGuard Fender and Stash Add-On”

C138_marshguard_stash_fork_fender
Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas Ah winter... The sun seems to set before I leave work and the trails have reached maximum saturation, with consistent rain to boot. Regardless, I have been night riding fairly consistently and making the most of winter here in the Northwest. But nothing ruins a wet weather ride like a face full of mud, or the realization that all the slop surrounding your fork bushings will require diligent removal. The tube and zip-tie fender is a nearly free and simple solution to unwanted muck on one's face, but it doesn't reduce the slop around fork stanchions nor does it last for more Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member hurricanejoel
27998 hurricanejoel http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/27998/avatar/c50_IMG_0156_1462806162.jpg?1462805225 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/hurricanejoel,27998/all 10/17/13 1 92 4 26 19

MarshGuard Fork Fender

Vital Review

“Tested: MarshGuard Fender and Stash Add-On”

C138_marshguard_fork_fender
Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas Ah winter... The sun seems to set before I leave work and the trails have reached maximum saturation, with consistent rain to boot. Regardless, I have been night riding fairly consistently and making the most of winter here in the Northwest. But nothing ruins a wet weather ride like a face full of mud, or the realization that all the slop surrounding your fork bushings will require diligent removal. The tube and zip-tie fender is a nearly free and simple solution to unwanted muck on one's face, but it doesn't reduce the slop around fork stanchions nor does it last for more than a Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member hurricanejoel
27998 hurricanejoel http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/27998/avatar/c50_IMG_0156_1462806162.jpg?1462805225 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/hurricanejoel,27998/all 10/17/13 1 92 4 26 19

Canfield Brothers Jedi Frame

“Canfield Jedi”

C138_canfield_brothers_2014_jedi_black_black

The Good:

Best frame I've ridden, hands down.

The Bad:

I really can't think of one, other than no carbon option yet.

Overall Review: I can’t say enough about this bike… The rumors and claims are true, this thing eats the gnarliest lines and feels like it’s accelerating through them! The rearward axel path really does work as intended, allowing the forward momentum to pull the rear wheel up and over square rocks and deep roots without losing any speed. Going off of drops or jumps, any time you get deep in the suspension the bike just rockets forward. This might seem dangerous or frightening if it weren’t for how amazingly stable the bike is at speeds. There were many times this last season that I had a solitary moment of “oh no this won’t end Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member TheRage43
28659 TheRage43 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/all 12/01/13 1 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/setup 4 21 5

Canfield Brothers Crampon Magnesium Pedal

“Canfield Crampon Magnesium”

C138_canfield_brothers_crampon_magnesium

The Good:

Great pedal.. Thin, light, strong grrrrippy!

The Bad:

DU bushings develop loud clank once they wear down, easily rebuilt though and back to normal. Pins need to be snugged down as they can fall out if not tight. On the mags, the paint chips fairly easily.

Overall Review: Just like their predecessor, the Crampon Ultimate, they have a nice big platform, nice and tight to the crank arm. Convex design is very comfortable to ride on, they seem like they cradle my foot better than others. Grip on these is unreal!  When I first got them they were TOO sticky so I had to remove some pins but with some wear they became just right.  Lightest flat pedal out there, and just as strong as any other. Best flat pedal I've owned!  Light, strong, slim and stylish, another winner from the C2 team!
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member TheRage43
28659 TheRage43 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/all 12/01/13 1 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/setup 4 21 5

Canfield Brothers Crampon Ultimate Pedal

“Crampon Ultimates”

C138_canfield_brothers_crampon_polished_2

The Good:

Great pedal.. Thin, light, strong grrrrippy!

The Bad:

DU bushings develop loud clank once they wear down, easily rebuilt though and back to normal. Pins need to be snugged down as they can fall out if not tight.

Overall Review: Really nice big platform, nice and tight to the crank arm. Convex design is very comfortable to ride on, they seem like they cradle my foot better than others.  Grip on these is unreal!  When I first got them they were TOO sticky so I had to remove some pins but with some wear they became just right.  Also very light, they work well on everything from the DH rig to the DJ. Best flat pedal I've owned!  Light, strong, slim and stylish, another winner from the C2 team!
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member TheRage43
28659 TheRage43 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/all 12/01/13 1 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/setup 4 21 5

Canfield Brothers 9t Microdrive Hub

Featured Member Review

“Canfield 9t Micro Drive hub and conversion cogs”

C138_canfield_brothers_9t_microdrive_hub

The Good:

Very simple and effective idea. Gives another option for wide-range gearing on a 1X setup

The Bad:

I got nuttin...

Overall Review: Enter the Canfield Bro’s 9t Micro Drive Hub. Using this hub with a 10 speed setup, I have a low end of 28x36 and a top end of 28x9, which, if you crunch the numbers, is just shy of the full range of my previous 24/36t x 11-34t. The range on this hub is absolutely amazing for being a 1x system, and I was able to eliminate the weight and clutter of the second ring, FD, shifter and cable. SRAM’s XX1 series is the only thing close to the range currently and is drastically more expensive for the full set. The setup on this hub and cassette conversion was a breeze as well. I used the PG 1070 Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member TheRage43
28659 TheRage43 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/all 12/01/13 1 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/setup 4 21 5

Canfield Brothers The One Frame

“Canfield The ONE”

C138_one_2

The Good:

Great pedaling power, DH capabilities. Amazing all around bike. If you can afford just ONE bike, this should be at the top of the list.

The Bad:

The only thing I can say negative about this bike was the Geo on the '11 version was not my favorite. On the '12 and '13 they corrected this though, bringing the geo in line with more AM/trail rather than full on DH. All of this can be changed with different parts though, and is more of a personal preference than anything.

Overall Review: The pedaling power is what really struck me about this bike. While there was natural pedal bob from the forces of my leg pushing down, there is NONE generated from the actual motion of the crank spinning. I really noticed this when I would change gears from the 36 outer ring to the 24 inner. Different gearing, same ratios, but the smaller ring always has a burst of acceleration as soon as you hit it. I found myself staying in the lower front ring as long as I could most of the time for this benefit. I looked into it and the reason for this is the up and forward curve in the lower suspension link. The design is such to Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member TheRage43
28659 TheRage43 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/all 12/01/13 1 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TheRage43,28659/setup 4 21 5

Giro Bravo LF Gloves

“All weather miracle glove”

C138_giro_bravo_lf_gloves_black_highlight_yellow

The Good:

Useful in all weather conditions; Excellent wicking on thumbs; effectivepadding placement

The Bad:

Velcro closure straps

Overall Review: I absolutely love this glove. I've used it in the middle of the hottest, humidity soaked summers in the south and my hands never got too bothered by the heat and I've used it in below freezing (25F) on winter rides and my hands stayed warm. I don't know how it managed to perform in two extreme ranges of temperatures, but I'm happy it did. The supple leather fingers grip my bars and brake levers nicely, and the padding (which I usually detest on most gloves) is quite perfect. My only complaint is that it uses velcro to secure the wrist. I much prefer gloves that do not rely on velcro, but this is such a minor thing in the long run. I don't like to give 5 star ratings to anything, but these have really outperformed the price I paid for them, and if/when they wear out, I'll be sure to buy another pair.