Latest Product Reviews


Jaybird Bluebud X

Vital Review

“Tested: Jaybird Bluebud X Earphone”

by Johan Hjord Using headphones to provide a soundtrack to your ride is nothing new. But it’s probably safe to say that many people’s experience with taking standard earphones or earbuds out on the trail is a little underwhelming. They don't fit with a helmet, they fall off, they stop working after they get exposed to sweat, the cables get tangled around your throat, or they sound like a cheap car stereo. Jaybird claims to have solved all those problems and more, so we donned a pair and cranked them up to 11 to see what gives. Jaybird Bluebuds X Highlights Type: In-Ear Style Noise-isolation: Passive Audio Format: 16-bit Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 751 94 1111 1687,94/setup 62 397 4323 119 29

2014 Intense 951 EVO

Vital Review

“Tested: 2014 Intense 951 EVO - Real. Big. American.”

by Sean “Griz” McClendon Originally introduced in late 2009, the 26-inch Intense Cycles 951 went from experiment to success story with its World Cup influenced geometry, lean chassis and active suspension performance. Unlike the grounded feel of the M6, the 951 spent less time on the dirt and more in the air. The common consensus was the 951 was not a World Cup race bike, rather a fun park bike that could be pressed into race duty at National caliber tracks like Port Angeles. Then we saw the 2013 world elite DH race season close with contenders testing and even racing on 27.5-inch wheels, announcing the arrival of Big Wheels for Read More »
Rate review: +9 Up Down
Vital MTB member 26griz
258 26griz,258/all 08/02/09 3 1 15 18 1 89 10

Chromag Ranger Stem

“The ultimate stem”


The Good:

Lightweight, great design, canadian made ofcourse and stiff

The Bad:

There is no 35mm option, price

Overall Review: It does cost alot but I've just bought the third one. I have one on my freeride bike (black 40mm) and I've had one on my fr/am hardtail (gold 50mm). I've currently sold my fr/am hardtail bike to my friend and am in process of building myself a new one, so I ordered a red 50mm chromag ranger stem. The thing is, I've been so impressed with the performance of this stem, that when I was looking at every other manufacturer's high end stem I still could not get over the fact that I wasn't buying chromag. So in the end, when nothing could even remotely compare to the ranger stem I just ordered a new one :) You can run any width Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member uros.langus
20031 uros.langus,20031/all 11/25/12 5,20031/setup 6 1

Xpedo Baldwin Clipless Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Xpedo Baldwin Clipless Pedals”

by Mihai Moga Pedals are a crucial part of your bike setup. They are the most important contact points you have with the bike other than your handlebars, and mediocre contact points can ruin the best of bikes. So, when given the chance to try out one of Xpedo's latest offerings I jumped at the opportunity. The brand has been making bicycle pedals for over 30 years, and they have an incredible number option to choose from. I'm always on the hunt for great clips, and the Baldwin pedals looked solid. With that said, let's shed some light on their latest offering geared towards anything from XC to Enduro style riding. Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Mihai
359 Mihai,359/all 08/04/09 9,359/setup 9 4

Nukeproof Scalp Frame

“World Cup rig on a budget”


The Good:

Geometry- this frame was developed as an out and out race bike, and the geometry definitely suits that description. low and slack geometry matched with a decent wheelbase leads to an incredibly stable ride on high speed sections and always inspires confidence on the steep stuff. Suspension- when paired with the CCDB, the linkage driven single pivot performs as well as any frame on the market. Both geometry and linkage wise the frame is very comparable to a TR450, but after riding both frames fitted with a CCDB i would say that where the TR450 completely flattens the trail the Scalp instead offers a little more feedback and feeling. Simply put, to get the best out of this frame you really need to spend some time tinkering with the shock. The frame was developed with the use of a CCDB in mind because with a shock this capable there is no need to over complicate the linkage, for example, bottoming out too easy? just increase the compression damping. Price- the current scalp frame is around half the price of most boutique DH frames, which for a world cup capable downhill frame is amazing value.

The Bad:

Performance wise when compared to a TR450 you can notice a slight increase in flex, but personally i have never found this to be an issue. Also, whilst it can be tuned to become quite an efficient pedaller, this does hinder the suspension over rough terrain, so it will come down to whether you want to burn it on the flat or through the rough stuff. other than that, It does go through DU bushes and top link bearings quite quick, that being said, this is with regular pressure washing and constant British weather, and the overall simplicity of the frame makes replacement a really easy job.

Overall Review: Overall, with both the price and performance in mind, i don't think that you can do much better than a Scalp for the same amount of money without going second hand. Plus, paired with the CCDB it gives you the ability to tune the bike to perform exactly how you want it provided you're willing to take the time setting up the shock.

Onza IBEX Tire

“Ibex for different riding styles”


The Good:

last long
grip in all kinds of conditions

The Bad:

prone to flatties

Overall Review: I've been riding the Ibex on my DH bike as well as my Enduro. I have to admit that those Tyres were the best allround tyres I'Ve had on my Enduro. They were light and have excellent grip in all weather conditions. They had more grip than the Highroller II on my DH rig but the biggest problem was the prone to flat tyres. I had flats almost every time I went to a bikepark. Even on tours I was the one who had to problems while maxxis riders didn't have one puncture. A friend switch to ghetto tubeless with the 2.4 Ibex and hadn't haf a single flat since then. Time to change a few things
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member Hoshi
27207 Hoshi /images/default/avatar/c50.png,27207/all 08/31/13 2 1 1

Crankbrothers Iodine 3 2013 Wheelset

Vital Review

“Tested: Crank Brothers Iodine 3 Wheelset”

by Mihai Moga Mountain bike equipment is currently evolving at an unbelievable pace. In the last few years, featherweight full suspension frames have appeared and proven themselves to be far tougher and hardier than their much heavier alloy predecessors. Suspension designs have become incredibly efficient and reliable. Bike weights have plummeted and durability has increased in almost every area of the bike. However, this evolution has come at a price, namely, the price. If you try just a bit, you can now spend more on an all mountain trail bike than on a brand new motocross bike. The Crank Brothers Iodine 3 Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member Mihai
359 Mihai,359/all 08/04/09 9,359/setup 9 4

RockShox Vivid R2C Rear Shock

Vital Review

“Tested: RockShox Vivid R2C Rear Shock”

Review by Evan Turpen // Photos by Dave Trumpore The RockShox Vivid has been a popular choice for downhill racers, freeriders, and bike park shredders since its introduction in 2008. With external beginning stroke rebound, ending stroke rebound, and low speed compression, it is one of the simpler, yet surprisingly adjustable shocks on the market. Over the years the Vivid has proven itself as a reliable performer that is a great “set and forget” item on any bike. The newest version of the Vivid aims to take this rock solid performance one step further by including some unique new features and internal trickery to eek 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

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 27 20