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Latest Product Reviews


Race Face Atlas Flat Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Atlas Flat Pedal”

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow As part of its ever expanding line of components, Race Face introduced two new flat pedals for 2014, the mid-range Aeffect and the high-end Atlas. Designed on the North Shore (and manufactured in Taiwan), the Atlas is a distinctly modern flat pedal, featuring a large and thin platform with cartridge bearings throughout and bottom-loading pins, which should mean it’s ready for just about anything. We put a pair to the test to find out. Race Face Atlas Flat Pedal Highlights Thin double concave wide platform Fully sealed bearing design Hex-head threaded pin design Read More »

Alex Rims EVO 2.3 Rim

Vital Review

“Tested: Alex Rims EVO 2.3 Rim”

by Steve Wentz Alex Rims have probably been on your bike before, possibly hidden under another name. Alex has been manufacturing all sorts of hoops for over 20 years, but only recently have I noticed them making a big push with aftermarket rim options. One of the most recent releases is the EVO 2.3 rim, a 23-mm internal width, 455-gram beauty that promises light weight and strength as well. That's a claim that just about every rim in the 450-gram range makes, so lets see if it really holds true for the aluminum EVO 2.3. The rim is made from a proprietary 8,000 series aluminum alloy, said to be near scandium weight but closer Read More »

DVO Emerald DH 203mm Inverted Suspension Fork

“Next Level”


The Good: Intuitive, responsive, stiff.

The Bad: Nice things aren't cheap.

Overall Review: I rode an Emerald for about a month. I've never been as impressed with a fork before. It was able to be supple in the chatter, yet no fork dive mid berm.  The ramp up at the bottom kept me from bottoming out even when I forced the issue on flat or rock garden landers.  I'd recommend this fork to anyone looking for the best regardless of cost.  Nice job DVO!


Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT Fork”

Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Colin Meagher For years the FOX 36 has been a heavy hitter among a sea of lightweight fork options. It’s the fork many of the biggest, hardest charging riders turned to when nothing else seemed to suffice. Somewhere along the line the competition stepped up their game, though, and we’ve seen a shift in the market place and a demand for better performance at a lighter weight. FOX is here to answer that call with the completely redesigned 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT fork. We’ve had one on test for a little while now, charging down every rough patch of trail we can find. Read on to see why Read More »

Banshee Bikes Spitfire Frame

“Worse frame i have ever owened ”


The Good: OK, this is the only good thing i can say about this frame, the bike ride well, angles feel spot on, easy to pick up and put in the right place. I even won a enduro on it.

The Bad: WHY OH WHY MAKE A FRAME THAT RUNS ON PLASTIC IGUS BUSHING INSTEAD OF BEARINGS!!!??? I had this frame for 8 months, and in that time i had to replace the bushings and pivots 3 times. 3 TIMES IN 8 MONTHS!!!??? Which set me back a hefty £300!

Overall Review: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE! When it worked it rode well, i do ride a lot, and did put the miles in during the 8 months of using this frame but shit son, £300 in bushings and pivot kits! I still have the frame in the garage but i'd feel to guilty to sell it on to the next unlucky guy to fool into buying it.

Chromag Fubar OSX Handlebar

“Look sick and feel good”


The Good: Good colors, strong, light, and nothing bad to say.

The Bad: Rise could be a bit more. More downhill bars than for dirt jumping or park.

Overall Review: Strong, light, appealing to the eye, and feel great. Wouldn't recommend them for dirt jumping or park use due to the 780mm width and not much rise (more for downhill).

Banshee Bikes Spitfire Frame

“A fun bike for any day of week”


The Good: Light, low and slack geometry, very stiff and responsive, climbs and pedals very efficiently, clean cable routing, descends like a freight train.

The Bad: The bushing system requirements more maintenance than usual, but the bushings are only about $1 each and swap out quickly with out any special tools. Other than that, maybe a thru axle rear end?

Overall Review: I picked up this frame at a deep discount and built it with mainly with spare parts sitting around my garage. The fit and finish of the bike is top notch - no creaks, squeaks or clunks and the whole bike came together easily. On the trail its extremely fun. It goes uphill quietly with minimal pedal bob and has very good traction. Going down or fast through twisty, technical trails is really where this thing shines. It's nimble, quick and can be tossed through turns very easy. It's low bottom bracket rails turns and keeps the bike feeling stable over fast, chunky descents. The Spitfire is just as happy hitting jumps and Read More »

2014 BMC Trailfox TF01 29 with XX1

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: BMC Trailfox TF01 29”

Reviewed by Evan Turpen and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller In a time when nearly every company is jumping on the 27.5-inch/650B wheel bandwagon, BMC jumped straight to 29, eliminating their previous 26-inch model in the process. It wasn't without a lot of testing, though. BMC fabricated dozens of test mules, including several 27.5 models. Having tested multiple wheel sizes and geometry configurations against the clock, the company landed on a 5.9-inch (150mm) travel 29er with relaxed angles and a surprisingly short rear end. The bike is aimed squarely at the heart of the Enduro race scene, Read More »

Knolly Endorphin Frame

Featured Review

“Downhillers trail bike”


The Good: incredible traction, tons of tire clearance, aggressive geometry,

The Bad: Not cheap, 4 x 4 suspension is not for everyone

Overall Review: Seems kind of silly these days to be writing a review for a 26" bike but if you're not in a hurry to switch over to larger wheels the Endorphin should be on your short list. I've been riding this frame for almost two years now and it is the best bike I've owned to date. First off the geometry is dialed on this bike. Slack head angle (67*), steep effective seat angle (73.5*), low BB height (13.2-4" depending on tires), and short chainstays (16.7") working all together makes this bike a ripper. The numbers puts a rider right in the center and IN the bike for great cornering manners and aggressive handling. The 4 x 4 suspension is Read More »

2014 Ellsworth Epiphany C XC 275 with Shimano XT

Featured Review

“Its a XC bike - No - Its a trail bike - No - Its the Ellsworth Epiphany C XC 27.5 ”


The Good: Beautifully constructed work of carbon fiber bicycle art.

The Bad: Difficult to identify its niche in the quiver.

Overall Review: The Ellsworth Epiphany C XC is an ultra-lightweight masterpiece of all carbon construction with 140-millimeters of travel that attempts to bridge the gap between cross-country geometry and trail bike capability. Ellsworth boldly claims that the suspension design of the Epiphany C XC experiences “zero energy loss” and uses this proposition to support the logic behind a cross-country bike with trail capable travel. I got the opportunity to demo the Epiphany C XC at the 2014 Dirt Rag Magazine Dirtfest. The guys from the Ellsworth van did a stellar job of setting up the bike and after a few rounds of Read More »