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Latest Product Reviews


2015 Giant Reign 27.5 1

“Surprising All Rounder ”


The Good: Excellent descender, surprisingly capable climber, excellent performing build kit, tubeless kit included, proper large sizing

The Bad: Cost is relatively high for alloy frame and X1, some flex from separate upper maestro links, some noises and creaks

Overall Review: I've had my Reign 1 for around 3 months now, and the bike continues to get better as I continue riding it. It's so good on the downhills my Demo 8 is for sale, and it climbs as well as many smaller trail bikes I've ridden. The Pike dual position air I've found to be a great asset, as with the fork in 130mm mode the bike feels like a much more aggressive trail bike making getting round feel much more natural, and extended climbs much easier. On the descentsyou canforget aboutfinding theeasiest line choice and instead plow throughthe harshest yet most direct route. The sizing would seem quite large, and the top tube figures are Read More »

Leatt 3DF AirFlex Knee Guard

Vital Review

“Tested: Leatt 3D Airflex Knee Guard”

Review by Lee Trumpore // Photos by Lee Trumpore and Emily Scott Once upon a time armoring up for a mountain bike ride meant either dressing up as a ninja-turtle or just wearing long sleeves. If you're either too young or too new to the sport to remember those days, trust me, you aren't missing much. It's a good time to be a mountainbiker. In addition to several wheel sizes and a half dozen axle standards there are multiple options for just about everything, from the gear you keep in the garage to the gear you hang in your closet (and if you're anything like me, the gear you scatter around the house Read More »

2015 Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR”

Reviewed by AJ Barlas and Dylan Stucki // Photos by Lear Miller After three years of development, Mondraker's first foray into a bike with fantastic plastic has arrived in the form of the Foxy Carbon, a 140mm travel trail machine. The Foxy comes in a lightweight package and features the now dominant 27.5-inch wheel size. Mondraker bikes are renowned for having some of the most unique geometry, and the new ride is no exception. We got to know the modern looking Spanish creation during the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Highlights Carbon frame 27.5-inch wheels 140mm (5.5-inches) of rear wheel travel // 140mm (5.5-inches) Read More »

Canfield Brothers Balance Frame

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Canfield Balance”

Reviewed by Steve Wentz and Brandon Turman // Photos by Lear Miller For 2015, the Canfield Brothers are bringing you the culmination of their last 10 years of trail bikes. The Balance is a 160mm slayer designed to do it all, integrating ideas from both their downhill and former 180mm travel "The One" bikes. With a build and suspension design oriented to provide maximum fun, we couldn't wait to throw a leg over it at the Vital MTB Test Sessions. The beautifully welded aluminum frame can run 26 or 27.5-inch wheels, and looks to be a beast when pointed down. A Cane Creek DBair CS shock and slack head angle point towards Read More »

2015 Specialized P.3 Bike

“Great Bike ”


The Good: Everything about this bike is great! I love how you can change how much compression you want while you ride it. My other bike you couldn't change that at all.

The Bad: I would change the pedals personally because I don' like plastic pedals. My feet slip easier

Overall Review: There is nothing wrong with this bike besides the pedals. I would recomend it. If you Live in North OC, go to BikeLand Cypress it is only $1210 there plus tax.

2015 Specialized Women's Rumor Expert EVO 29

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Specialized Rumor Expert EVO 29”

Reviewed by Courtney Steen and Amanda Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller The sun is rising over the the gorgeous green hills in San Luis Obispo, the Vital MTB Test Sessions house smells of espresso and bacon, and it's time to test out another bike. Oh yes. For us lady testers, Specialized sent their Rumor Expert EVO 29er - a bike they boldly claim is the "ultimate women's full-suspension trail bike." We imagine if Batgirl rode mountain bikes, she would probably be on something dark like this murdered out M5 alloy bike with big ol' 29-inch wagon wheels, 120mm travel in the front and rear, and a design specially Read More »

2015 Cannondale Jekyll 27.5 Carbon Team

“Destroys Trails up and down”


The Good: Is the best cornering bike I have ever ridden, Very comfortable cockpit. Inspires confidence

The Bad: Needs a seat dropper with longer travel than 120mm. The Magura brakes are very powerful. too powerful for my taste

Overall Review: Whoever wrote that review is absolutely nuts! I sold my brand new 2015 Nomad after riding this bike1x . It is a great all mountain bike. Very refined and unique. The bike does not feel "tall".Its nice not to mash pedals against rocks and flip off of your bike. I cant wait to race the bike this season.

7iDP Covert Knee Pad

Vital Review

“Tested: 7iDP Covert Knee Pad”

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Fred Robinson and Brandon Turman 7iDP may be a newer name when it comes to protection in the mountain biking world, but with over 65 years of combined experience in MTB protection design and product management, it should come as no surprise that they are gaining more and more notoriety as one of the leading brands that consistently nails their products. Excited to get another chance to put a 7iDP product through the wringer, we laid our hands on the Covert Knee, a kneepad that offers customizable levels of protection in a low weight, form fitting package. Read on to see how we got Read More »

2015 Cannondale Jekyll 27.5 Carbon Team

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Cannondale Jekyll Carbon Team”

Reviewed by Dylan Stucki and AJ Barlas // Photos by Lear Miller After taking a win at the notoriously rough Mammoth ProGRT downhill course under Marco Osborne, the new Cannondale Jekyll is proving to be a head turner with a complete geometry revamp, updated rear shock tune, 27.5-inch wheels, more travel, and the unique carbon Lefty SuperMax PBR fork. Do the revisions add up to a better Jekyll? We hit the trails during the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions to find out. Highlights Carbon frame 27.5-inch wheels 95mm or 160mm (3.74 or 6.3-inches) of rear wheel travel // 160mm (6.3-inches) front travel 1.5 Si head tube Read More »

Troy Lee Designs SE Jersey

Featured Review

“well designed jersey that ticks all the boxes”


The Good: great styling, breathable back and arm panels

The Bad: nothing so far

Overall Review: I've had this jersey for one season's use and recently decided to get another one since I liked it so much. First of all the fit is nice, it is not overly baggy or too tight. Size medium fits me well. (I'm 5'10" and 170 pounds). The collar and cuffs are not too tight or loose, both ofwhich are deal-breakers for me in a jersey.The quality of the fabric is excellent - lightweight yet tough like a jersey should be, not prone tosnags like some fabrics out there.Maybe the best thing aboutthis jersey is the mesh fabric on the back and under half of the sleeves.The extra breathability comes in handy on hot days. A Read More »