Latest Product Reviews


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.
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Vital MTB member xc2dh99
21037 xc2dh99,21037/all 01/16/13 4 112 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 6103 1033,109/setup 271 1187 2160 134 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 6103 1033,109/setup 271 1187 2160 134 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

TIME Z Clipless Pedal

“Time Z Pedal is Pretty Good”


The Good:

1. Nice stable platform to work with when you're not clipped in. 2. Effective rotational allowance reduces strain on the knee. 3. For the couple of weeks they were on the bike they seemed strong! 4. They look awesome and feel good underfoot.

The Bad:

1. YOU CAN NOT ADJUST THE RELEASE SPRING! 2. Multi-directional release. It's important to me anyway. 3. Weight, but probably not as you're looking at a platform.

Overall Review: I imagined the Time Z to be the be-all-end-all pedal, but they unfortunately ended up in my stash and are nearly new still. I was really looking forward to the nice platform and extra support but the retention system just didn't cut it. I've had many SPD pedals, and had always heard that these were a great pedal and yes they are good. The pedal itself is strong, entry easy, and release is very similar to Shimano with the single release cleat. So if you're coming from a Shimano pedal to try them and you've been running a single release cleat, you will be happy with these. If that were the background then they are a 5 star pedal. 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

FOX 34 Float 29 140 RLC Fit Fork

“Great long travel fork”


The Good:

fairly light, ample adjustments, CTD is great, simple on the fly adjustment, feels plush and linear through all types of hits, stiffest long travel fork out there.

The Bad:

A bit pricey, travel adjust would be nice for the $800+ price tag.

Overall Review: I put this fork on a steel hardtail and it's proven to be a solid trail fork. In one ride I'll encounter everything from long climbs to steep rocky descents and this fork feels comfortable on all terrain.  My biggest concern with a 140 mm 29er fork was flex, but it's plenty stiff and tracks well down rocky, jarring terrain.  I really enjoy Fox forks and this one has the same solid, plush feel of other Fox products I've used/owned.  If it had a travel adjust I'd give it five stars, otherwise its the best long travel 29er fork on the market.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member VTsession
18967 VTsession,18967/all 10/15/12,18967/setup 1 5 3