Latest Product Reviews


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 1 103 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 94 6087 1037,109/setup 271 1173 2155 132 40

2013 Yeti SB66 Carbon Race

“MC Flow's 5 Star Yeti SB-66 Carbon”


The Good:

Yeti's long, low and slack geometry!
Switch technology works as advertised.
Super stiff chassis.
Clean cable routing.

The Bad:

Hmmm…maybe the lack of stealth dropper cable routing.
No full turquoise painted finish available.

Overall Review: I have to agree with most of the assessments from the Vital reviewers. I will add, that when faced with steep technical terrain, the SB-66c will reward you with impeccable handlingand amazing feedback when ridden hard and fast and committed. It seems to respond best to aggressive, yet precise rider input, yet still remains fun and playful when sessioning smooth, flowy trails. This thing really loves to go fast! I have my SB-66 set-up with a Shimano 1x10 drivetrain and XTR trail brakes, Fox 36 fork, RS Reverb dropper post, Easton Havoc 35 bars and stem as well as the Easton Havoc wheelset. Chris King's precision bearings Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member MCFlow
20670 MCFlow,20670/all 12/30/12 3,20670/setup 1 16 1 2

2014 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon with XX1AM27ENVE Build

Vital Review

“First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon”

Reviewed by Evan Turpen // Photos by Gary Perkin When I first heard about the Santa Cruz Bronson I was skeptical. I got the impression that Santa Cruz just slapped 650B (~27.5-inch) wheels on to a Blur TRc-esque frame and tweaked the geometry and suspension slightly to get more travel and fit the new wheels. After riding the bike and hearing the development process, however, I am happy to report that my skepticism was unfounded. The Bronson is an entirely new bike from the ground up and I have to say that Santa Cruz has done a great job. Santa Cruz Bronson Setup I was invited to Santa Cruz new Read More »
Rate review: +7 Up Down
Vital MTB member E.T.
699 E.T.,699/all 08/31/09 4 8 1 5 47 13

2013 Knolly Chilcotin

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Knolly Chilcotin”

Reviewed by Matt Thompson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer The Chilcotin Region of British Columbia is home to big, burly, mountains that call for adventure. When you're out there, you're really out there. Think thousands of miles of trails, epic climbs, long descents, gorgeous views, and a campfire to huddle around at night. Sporting 160mm of travel, a 66-degree head angle, and a stout frame, it's only fitting that Knolly should name their all-mountain bike after the region. This is a bike that also invites adventure, and the BC boys made it to withstand the journey. Thanks to the guys Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6087 1037,109/setup 271 1173 2155 132 40

Diamondback Sortie 29Er 1

“2012 Diamondback Sortie 1”


The Good:

Best bang for the buck for a 29er started/beginner.

The Bad:

Just a bit heavy.

Overall Review: An awesome mountain bike for someone who is looking for a 29er that rolls better than the 26" wheels. It has decent components which is not bad at all. I've rode this bike for at least 50 miles now mostly on trails here in Colorado, and I'm still happy with the bike. I would suggest replacing to a shorter stem and a lighter rear tires for a start. Size: Small Weight: 130lbs Height: 5'5" Overall... great value !

Shimano M520 Clipless Pedals

“Naked DX Pedal! 5 Stars”


The Good:

1. They're cheap cheap cheap at $30. 2. They're light. 3. They're adjustable. 4. Many many good things.

The Bad:

1. They come with the cheap #51 single release cleat. 2. Nothing.

Overall Review: Ok, if you want something with a platform this is not it. However, if you can put your feet on the pedals properly they are the way to go. This is the flagship for Shimano's pedals. Check out the DX or M545 - they are running this same retention system. It's adjustable, zero maintenance, chromo axle, easy to clean if you have to and easy to install and remove with all the clearance. All these great things will come at a price, though! You have to get the proper cleatseparately. This pedal comes with a#51single release cleat from Shimano and to really enjoy this pedal for what it is, you need to spend an Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Christian Peper
1131 Christian Peper,1131/all 10/22/09 6 22 8 4 26 212 11