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Troy Lee Designs Sprint Jersey

“TLD and it doesn't look like pijamas”

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The Good: TLD Quality, the jersey breathes really well for a long sleeve

The Bad: Nothing so far

Overall Review: I’ve been a fan of TLD gear for a long time but it seems lately that a lot of their kits are crazy flashy or looks like pyjama outfits. Luckily TLD have the Sprint Jersey, still has all the quality and features of the TLD lineup but without all the piercing colors. The jersey is really well constructed and offers a micro mesh on arms and lower body which you can really notice on the warm days. The logos on the jersey are also rubberized which means they will last ride after ride and after numerous washings. Overall a  jersey is a jersey but this one looks cool and breathes really well, you get the TLD quality minus the color explosion of some of the other kits in the line up.

Troy Lee Designs D2 Carbon Full Face Helmet

“Quality and Stylish Lid”

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The Good: Quality, Styling....the carbon looks sweet

The Bad: Is a bit pricey, can get a bit hot on warm days

Overall Review: With the introduction of the D3 helmet, the D2 has kind of gone into the shadows and it’s easy to forget that for a long time this was THE helmet to beat. The nice thing about the D2 is that is still comes with the TLD quality and styling but a lot cheap than the newer D3. I purchased the carbon D2 right before the D3 was released and for the past couple of years the helmet has treated me well. The first thing I noticed about the carbon D2 was how light it is and the stylish graphics on the lid. I like the addition of the helmet bag that comes with the lid, if you’re spending this much money on the Read More »

Maxxis Ardent Tire

“Great DH/Freeride Tire”

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The Good: Price, works well in most conditions and less rolling resistance than most DH tires

The Bad: Kind of sketchy in the mud but that could just be my lack of skill

Overall Review: After a couple of seasons of using the Maxxis Minions I thought I would try something new, the reason for the change was mostly due to price of the Minions and also how quickly the sticky rubber wore out. Don’t get me wrong, the Minions are a great DH tire especially if you are a racer but for me I wanted something a little more durable and less expensive. I stumbled upon the Adrents at JensonUSA and they were on clearance for $20, couldn’t go wrong with that price and after riding on them for a couple of months now I can say that they were a sweet deal for a great all around performing tire. I purchased the 2.6 size which I was a Read More »

Shimano Saint Hydraulic Disc Brake

Featured Review

“Powerful and consistent stoppers”

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The Good: Powerful in all conditions, durable and quality built. Bleeding them is a breeze

The Bad: Perhaps weight compared to some of the new SRAM stuff especially with the carbon levers and they are pricey ( but you get what you pay for)

Overall Review: I've been running the Saint brakes for 2 seasons now and have had no issues whatsoever. As most reviews mention, these brakes have a crap load of power and I totally agree. These brakes definitely give you a bit extra confidence coming into corners fast or letting off the brakes on steep sections as you can be confident that when you dab the brake the stopping power will be there. This extra power also helps a lot with arm pump, by only needing one finger to use the brake it really reduces the amount of arm pump – at least it does for me. I’ve ridden Whistler on Hayes brakes and then on the Saints and the difference Read More »

FOX 40 FIT RC2 Fork

Featured Review

“The Staple DH Fork”

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The Good: 1)Stiffness
2)Highly Adjustable
3)Reliability
4)Race Support

The Bad: 1)Spring rattle
2)You will cry when you scratch your Kashima coated stanchion.

Overall Review: Good: 1)The 40 is the stiffest of the DH forks available. This can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your weight, riding style, etc. Personally, I find this as an advantage. You can throw this fork where you want it in rocks. There is no noticeable flex. The fork does not wallow from side to side thru "gnar rox" like a Boxxer does. The stiffness can create a disadvantage in corners where you would want a little bit of flex to stop the front wheel from sliding out, but I don't notice it. I have heard some of my friends comment on this, however. 2)The 40 is extremely adjustable. I think a lot of people Read More »

Five Ten Freerider Flat Pedal Shoe

“Sticky and tough”

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The Good: I never had any issues with my feet coming off my flat pedals but after hear great reviews about 5.10 I thought I would give these a try, and after use of them for one season I think it would be hard to go back to anything else besides the 5.10 sticky rubber. There are times where they feel almost too sticky (its like those first times of riding clipped in and you forget to unclip), they stick to the pedals so well and do so in all conditions, wet, snow, mud..etc. When I say too sticky I just mean that sometimes they can be tricky to reposition them when paired with pedals with aggressive pins but nothing that can be handled.
I found also if you are hiking with your bike up any rock faces the shoes grip the rock like glue, they are awesome for hike-a-bike type days.
Another bonus is when you need to clean these shoes the materials sheds the mud very well.
In terms of style the shoes look really nice and can be worn off the bike as well without looking like a goof something that hard to do with the 5.10 impacts.

The Bad: The only negatives a found is that the shoes aren’t as comfy as other skate shoes such as Nikes, so if you are just wearing them all day on the street you may find that they can get a bit uncomfortable. The other issue is that due to the tough material they get a bit hot on really hot days but this is nothing that can’t be dealt with. Overall for riding these issues don’t really cause any concern.

Overall Review: I’d consider these a game changer in terms of items you can buy for biking, once you wear a pair of 5.10 shoes it would be very hard to go back to anything else.

Formula 2011 TheOne Brake

“Formula TheOne MY10”

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The Good: power, modulation, weight, looks

The Bad: reliability, customer service, pricey replacement parts

Overall Review: I've got my set 3 years ago for my AM bike. Straight from the box the brakes where lacking power so i decided to buy an original Formula bleeding kit ( 28 euro ! that is for two syringes and no fluid ! ) and bleed the brakes myself. It helped a lot but not for long. I really didn't know whats going on but aftrer a while the I've noticed brake fluid leaking on my carbon bars and DOT fluid damaged the clear coat on :( I've tried to contact formula to ask them whats going on and after couple of attempts i finally got reply from a guy barely speaking english saying I have to contact their service guys from Read More »

Five Ten Freerider Flat Pedal Shoe

“Just like the old impacts”

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The Good: These shoes are great. They share a similar feel to the original retail impacts. There is a better connection between the rider and the pedal than the current model of impact, while still maintaining great grip and durability.

The Bad: Only bad side is that they take on more water than the current impact, they they offer no where near as much toe protection.

Overall Review: Great shoe, and easily should be attributed as the true successor to the original (and the best) impact.

2013 Scott Genius 700 SL

Vital Review

“First Ride: Scott Genius 700 and 900 SL”

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Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Ian Hylands and Scott Sports Model year 2013 bikes are being released left and right, and many of the new announcements are fueling frequent wheel size debates among some groups of riders. Here at Vital, we've always been pro 26" wheels, which is why when we showed up at Scott Sports headquarters last week and they made the announcement that they are no longer making a 26" version of their trail bike, we were honestly a little shocked. That's right. They've killed off their 26" trail bike in favor of larger wheels. Now in its 10th year of existence, the new Scott Genius saw a major Read More »

Continental Rubber Queen Tire

“Rubber Queen...not king of DH”

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The Good: Grip; Weight

The Bad: Puncture resistance; Price

Overall Review: Background: The tyres in this review are 2.4 Rubber Queen (RQ) in Continental's most advanced, grippy and expensive compound,black chili. I should point out at the very start of the review that these tyres went on to a bike used mainly for downhill, yet,according to Continental, these tyres are designed for freeride/all mountain use. Where do you draw the line between freeride/all mountain and downhill? I would certainly have difficulty answering that, yet it is important to consider when reading the rest of this review. Initial Thoughts: First of all, the tyres come up large compared to Maxxis. Or, as is more Read More »