Latest Product Reviews


2013 Cannondale Scalpel 29er 4 Bike

“A Great Budget-Friendly XC Bike”


The Good:

Compact XC geometry results in very snappy acceleration and handling. On smooth, flowy trails this bike really shines with its sharp handling. 29" wheels means the bike keeps its momentum going over the rough stuff and its lightning fast! 685mm handlebar and 90mm stem proved ideal for XC, although not too much for more aggro riding.

The Bad:

Avid Elixir 3 brakes are not too great. Swapping to Shimano SLX brakes has greatly increased power and modulation. Stock tires are too slick for proper trai riding, but most people will swap the tires out anyways.

Overall Review: Budget-friendly XC bike with fast acceleration, lightning speed, snappy handling and an ideal cockpit. Big wheels steamroller over over trail obstacle and it retains speed very well. Stock tires and brakes are not very spotlight worthy, but it can be swapped out quickly. Overall, it is a great XC bike for beginners.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Tsetse
23958 Tsetse /images/default/avatar/c50.png,23958/all 04/29/13 32 4

2013 Kona Taro Bike

“Great all around bike at a decent price”


The Good:

The fork, chainguide, and frame are all quality parts, it is a very stable, durable machine

The Bad:

I wish it had orizontal dropouts for SS conversion, the rear hub isnt very strong

Overall Review: I really enjoy this bike; I am in my mid twenty's and I wanted to get a bike that could go up and down hills. I started riding 3 and a half years ago on a dirt jumper, then got a free ride/ dh bike, and this completes my fleet. I love this bike for XC and light free ride. The fork is amazing, I have yet to completely bottom out and have hit a 25 foot trail gap on this thing. I am pretty rough on my equipment and it has stood up superbly. It was at a great price for me, I wanted a fun bike that was on the cheaper side (I am in college and I work part time, I had to save up over many months to purchase it). I have since added different Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member John_Bamford
15626 John_Bamford,15626/all 05/26/12 20 1,15626/setup 2 16 1

2012 Transition Covert 1 Bike

“2010 Transition Covert”


The Good:

Solid frame, great angles, solid spec

The Bad:

The paint chops too easily.

Overall Review: The Covert has a single pivot linkage driven suspension that feels plush over the rough stuff and helps the bike remain steady at high speeds. I frequently ride this bike on "DH" trails at Sandy Ridge and Cold Creek Mountain Bike area and feel like I can go balls out over the steep, rocky and rooty terrain and am able to pedal through the flat sections. The bike also pedals uphill pretty well. It's no XC rocket but it feels comfortable and sure footed when it's time to start earning the turns. 3.5 mile climb to the top of the DH? OK. All day trail ride? Count me in. Drops and jumps? Yes, please. My bike came with a 36 TALAS RLC Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member ripdogg1
9606 ripdogg1,9606/all 07/12/11,9606/setup 10 10 2

Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er Bike

“Decent trail bike”


The Good:

Good climber, very stable and secure handling, yet nimble enough for most trails. Goes down anything you throw at it, obviously not suited for big stunts. Within reason, though, you'll never be underbiked.

The Bad:

Componentry of mediocre durability. Had to warranty the wheels, fork, saddle, shock. Specialized got me covered though. Still a hassle. BIGGEST drawback: Proprietary shock mount. Swapping to a better/different rear shock is like playing the lottery. Either get a used one from a pro or beg at Specialized. Seriously unnecessary. Horrible Avid brakes. Great lever feel, endless caliper SQUEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAL.

Overall Review: Geometry is great on this trail 29er. It handles well and is pretty neutral. The chainstays are quite long. Which is both good and bad. For intermediate riders this bike inspires great deals of confidence. It just plows anything. Simply point it somewhere and it will go there. For advanced riders it might feel a bit muted. The rear shock blows through the mid-stroke (just add some grease to the air chamber of the shock). Stiffness is good at the front end (20mm maxle) and not that great in the rear (135mmQR). Add a dropper post and you'll be golden. You end up with a not super light bike, but it's efficient Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member franz.puschner
23083 franz.puschner,23083/all 03/25/13 4 1

2012 Rocky Mountain Flatline Park Bike

“It's okay,”


The Good:

Fairly agile, great park bike if the brake spec was a little higher

The Bad:

A bit heavy, some cheap/ low spec stock parts

Overall Review: Rode for a week in Whistler. Bike was a well maintained rental, it rode well, but not as well as some other bikes I've ridden at Whistler bike park. By the time i was near the bottom the brakes were really hot, and howling like crazy. Can't be that bad though! Vanderham's been riding em for years!
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member The Shark
23952 The Shark,23952/all 04/28/13,23952/setup 6 4

Specialized BigHit II Bike

“Free Ride Beast/ Great beginner DH bike!”


The Good:

I was we'll impressed when it showed up with a Boxxer RC instead of the Spec'd Domian. She's a beauty.

The Bad:

The stock rims are strong enough, but the engagement points on the back hub are too few and far between,

Overall Review: Had this bike for about a year, got it and sold my Cove shocker as I was looking to down grade bikes for financial reasons and also I don't race so didn't need a race bike, just needed a weekend/freeride steed I can say that after all my mods and adjustments, my big hit is an absolute beast! Totems up front, rc4 at the back, saint brakes, Works components 1 degree headset, MRP G2, x9 10 speed drivetrain, nukeproof trimmings Great bike, am surprised they stopped making them and started making the Status. Wheels are a bit average, strong just rear hub is a bit cheap, but for the price of the full package, they have to cut back somewhere, and considering they are one of the few stock components on the bike, they can't be that bad!
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member The Shark
23952 The Shark,23952/all 04/28/13,23952/setup 6 4

2013 Pivot Firebird XO Bike

“Quiver Killer. One bike to rule them all”


The Good:

Pedals great, slays dh,

The Bad:

absolutely nothing

Overall Review: This really is a do it all bike. Ive done everything from all day xc rides to shuttle dh runs with it. When setup correctly it pedals great. The DW link really is all its chalked up to be. WIth correct air pressure there is virtually no bob and it tracks very well. I run a talas 180/140 on mine and in 180 mode its like a mini DH sled. Holds its own against dual crown bikes but you can still pedal it to the top of the mountain if need be without a fuss. Can be built to sub 30 as well. Also excepts an angleset with that massive head tube.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member DBomberMan
16745 DBomberMan,16745/all 06/29/12,16745/setup 1 25 1

2013 KHS Alite 150 Bike

“xc turned trail bike”


The Good:

light weight,nice geometry,simple,comes in good colors.

The Bad:

crafted in china.

Overall Review: I basically got the frame only.put some decent fork (sr suntour epicon sf9 130mm fork travel),acera fd,deore rd,50mm stem,slx hubs,sx44 alex rims and it went well.can climb,runs well on the road just have some issues on the descends coz of the 2.1 small blocks that are installed.planning on moving to a more knobbier tires when they wear off.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member calculon
23019 calculon,23019/all 03/23/13 3 10 1

2013 Giant Reign 2 Bike



The Good:

climbs good not too twitchy on rocky tech ups, comes down smooth and wants to be playful and loves the rougher stuff. get the right shock tune to maximize suspension, upgrade to a 36 160mm, slacker, and your all set. needs stiffer wheelset to offset slightly flexy rear end feel.

The Bad:

rear end flex but ill put that on my flexy dt x430 wheels

Overall Review: sweet, fun, poppy, corners predictable.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member xc2dh99
21037 xc2dh99,21037/all 01/16/13 1 97 1

Five Ten Freerider VXi Shoes

Vital Review

“Tested: Five Ten Freerider VXi - Our Go-To Trail Shoes”

Reviewed by Steve Wentz, Matt Thompson, and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman "Wait wait wait… you want us to test a shoe with no tread? On a mountain bike?" The proposition seemed preposterous. How could it work? Surely we'd be slipping and sliding all over the place? Needless to say, the new Five Ten Freerider VXi shoes are an interesting breed. They feature the classic Dotty tread pattern at the toe and heal, but are treadless under the ball of your foot where your pedals rest while riding. The new Stealth Contact outsole pattern is Five Ten's unique solution for those that find Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 92 6023 1041,109/setup 263 1126 2112 130 39