Latest Product Reviews


X-Fusion Vengeance HLR DLA Suspension Fork

“Great, cheap performance.”


The Good:

One of the best forks i have ever ridden. Takes the big stuff almost as well as a 40 with kashima coating, easy to adjust, lots of adjustment knobs and an overall great performance both up and downhill.

The Bad:

Broke after one visit to a bikepark. For some reason it dropped like 40 mm's of travel after taking on a rather rough rockgarden followed by a big gap, which i overshoot a bit.

Overall Review: I have ridden it the entire season without any problems untill a visit at Hafjell Bikepark. Douring the season I have been using it for AM in Schweiz and Italy, where i have been doing one day rides with around 1500-2000 meters of climbing and the same ammount of descending on pretty rough terrain. The climbs were smooth with the lowest travel settings, and the fork allowed me to push myself to the limit while descending. I have also been using it at Braunlage and Winterberg bikepark, where it performed even better than i expected. No problems at big drops, gaps, rockgardens and extremely steep sections. But for some Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member simon.bruun.3
19295 simon.bruun.3,19295/all 10/26/12 2 1

2014 Trek Remedy 9 29

Vital Review

“Tested: 2014 Trek Remedy 9 29”

Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas and Brad Martyn The Trek Remedy 9 29 is promoted as Trek's "ultimate technical trail bike." What better place to put that statement to the test than the Coast Mountains of British Columbia? With all of the hoopla around the word "enduro," bike manufacturers are doing their best to claim their share of the market. Truthfully, bike companies have been building enduro bikes for quite some time, but that's neither here nor there. The 2014 Remedy 9 29 is Trek's first foray into the segment using a 29-inch wheel platform. I have to admit that I'm not very well versed in the battle of the Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member hurricanejoel
27998 hurricanejoel,27998/all 10/17/13 1 92 4 26 19

Deity Compound Flat Pedal

“Deity Compound Pedal Review”


The Good:

Light, cheap, rebuildable

The Bad:

Could use a few more pins for grip in rugged terrain

Overall Review: I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of plastic pedals. As a BMX and hardtail rider they've always seemed sufficient, but do they provide enough grip for trail use? A few months ago I was introduced to the Deity Compound platforms, which have since dusted all of my notions that plastic pedals don’t belong on the trail. They have to be done right, of course... Spec Highlights Nylon fiber composite body Heat treated Cr-Mo spindle DU bushing and double micro sealed bearing system Replaceable Cr-Mo pins Black, purple, green, and red color options Weight: 339 grams MSRP $48 Right out of the box, I was fascinated with the nylon Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member chuck.finlay
10554 chuck.finlay,10554/all 09/03/11 1 10 1

2014 Haro Steel Reserve 1.3 Bike

Vital Review

“Tested: Haro Steel Reserve 1.3 - Shred Ready”

by Andy Holloway With a long history in the BMX scene, it came as no surprise that Haro created a BMX-style inspired dirt jumper for the big wheel market. But most noteworthy is the price tag - for around $1,300 you get a complete bike that doesn't really require upgrading for more progressive riders. Gone are the days when an entry level bike was just a jumping-off point on the way to a custom setup. Haro writes on their website, "The Steel Reserve 1.3 is a custom built bike without the custom built price tag…" and while that might sound like carefully worded marketing copy, I can honestly say that's the impression this Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member 970biking
307 970biking,307/all 08/03/09 4 39 12 2135 1 16 1 116 11 10

Onza IBEX Tire

Featured Member Review

“ONZA Tires IBEX 2.4 FR”


The Good:

Mega traction, supple and durable

The Bad:

Availability is not widespread yet in the USA

Overall Review: So a few months back, I was asked by my friend Bill of to test out a set of tires from Onza ( You may remember the Onza name from the 90's, the classis Porc's tires, the bar ends, etc. These days Onza is back with a strong presence in the European market and their tires are designed in Switzerland. Gretna Bikes is slated to be the North American distributor. Being that I am one of the few remaining 26" wheel riders in our local riding group, I was asked to test the 26" IBEX DH 2.40 FRC-120 RC2 55a Tires on my 2011 Cannondale Jekyll. Specs on these babies state they are: MTB FREERIDE/DH TIRE with Read More »

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire

“Next Generation Enduro/Downhill Tire”


The Good:

Fast Rolling, Light Weight (compared to 2 ply DH tire), Tubeless Ready, All around tread pattern

The Bad:

Price. All around tread pattern not the best for loose conditions.

Overall Review: The Super Gravity Hans Dampf (26in x 2.35) tire is an evolutionary step forward in downhill tire construction. The innovative carcass, reinforced folding bead, snakeskin protection and tubeless ready design creates an enduro/dh tire that is 250 to 300 lighter than a comparable 2 ply tire. I was eager to find out if this tire was tough enough to handle real world downhill trail conditions. I've ridden these tires (Trail Star Front, Pace Star rear set up tubeless) on rocky, loose downhill trails, super fast single track and bike park jump lines. What I noticed right away was how fast these tires rolled compared to my 2 ply Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member Wonny
396 Wonny,396/all 08/05/09 1 12 25

RockShox Vivid Air R2C Rear Shock

Vital Review

“Tested: RockShox Vivid Air R2C Rear Shock”

by Jeff Brines Earlier this year, an air shock equipped Commencal took the win at what some are calling the gnarliest track on the UCI World Cup circuit. Suffice it to say, downhill specific air shocks are here to stay. Additionally, Enduro racing is placing even more emphasis on shocks that strike a balance between light weight and descending prowess. With this in mind, we took a look at the new and improved 2014 RockShox Vivid Air R2C to see how it stacks up. RockShox Vivid Air R2C Highlights WEIGHT: 530g (for a 216x63mm without hardware) DAMPING: External beginning stroke rebound, ending stroke rebound, low Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member jeff.brines
4240 jeff.brines,4240/all 08/29/10 13 4,4240/setup 9 202 373 14 2

Renthal FatBar Riser Bar

“Bring back the Biff(BRAAAAAP)”


The Good:

Competitive weight in Aluminum DH/Trail Bars
Bar width between the two offerings (Fatbar and Lite)
Several offering in heights (30 & 38 being the obvious choice)
Clean asthetics
Sweep / Rise allows for major earth raping

The Bad:

Only one colorway, would prefer a black option
Bar Graphics (alignment)

Overall Review: I've had the opportunity to ride for a wonderful competitor of Renthal for two years prior to 2013 but didn't continue the relationship this year, because of that, I wanted to try a different offering and I decided I'd Renthalize. In my time riding for the previous sponsor, I began to develop hand cramps between my thumb and forefinger and could never figure out what the problem was. I tried several different offerings of the company but always developed this pain. Speaking with colleagues, we hypothesized that it was the handlebar's sweep / rise causing the pain due to my hands' contact point in this area. I Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member bstens
2366 bstens /images/default/avatar/c50.png,2366/all 03/29/10 2 4 29 211 4

ODI Troy Lee Designs Lock-On Grip

“ODI TroyLeeDesigns Lock On Grip”


The Good:

Very Grippy, Looks good, Lasts long.

The Bad:

Price could be a little lower.

Overall Review: Grip lasts long and looks great. Grip pattern is good. Hand fits on grip very well. Not the cheapest grip out there but I would say its worth the money.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member kaelmarkledh
22035 kaelmarkledh,22035/all 02/12/13 2 5 2,22035/setup 1 13 3

2014 Santa Cruz V10 Carbon Bike

“Santa Cruz V-10c 2014”


The Good:

Smooth as butter, Jumps amazingly, Handles the gnarly stuff amazingly

The Bad:

Needs lots of down tube protection for shuttling. (If you shuttle over a tale gate.)

Overall Review: Very smooth, rides through rock gardens like its a paved road. In my opinion the 10inch rear is only good for super gnarly courses, otherwise it feels sluggish. Jumps like a freeride bike. Cornering becomes very natural with the bike.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member kaelmarkledh
22035 kaelmarkledh,22035/all 02/12/13 2 5 2,22035/setup 1 13 3