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Shimano XTR Trail Disc Brake

Featured Member Review

“XTR for All Mountain and Enduro Riding M9020”

C138_shimano_xtr_trail_brakes

The Good:

Light weight
Good stopping power (within reason)
Highly reliable (especially compared to early XT M8000 series brakes)
Easy to install and bleed
I-SPEC II compatibility
Nice looking

The Bad:

Soft lever feel (due to flex in mount/reservoir and plastic feel of lever)
Poor modulation (typical Shimano on/off)
Spongy feeling in rear (low fluid volume, length of rear line, and use of thin walled plastic)
Cost (They will lighten your wallet too)

Overall Review: XTR for All Mountain and Enduro Riding M9020 The new XTR Trail M9020 brakes are billed as Shimano's higher end enduro/trail rated brake. The M9020s now have servo wave technology with a shorter lever throw, better modulation, and improved ergonomics. Do these improvements make them a good choice for enduro and trail riding? Well, yes and no. Installation and maintenance: Shimano brakes have always been easy to install and maintain. The XTR Trail M9020s are no exception. Installation is straight forward. The rear calipers come with their own light weight bolts; however, the front calipers use Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member VonR
36072 VonR http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/36072/avatar/c50_thumb_IMG_6241_1024_1485314435.jpg?1485313741 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VonR,36072/all 06/18/15 4 1 3 3 16

2016 Yeti SB5.5c X01

“Yeti SB5.5c X01”

C138_2016_yeti_sb55c_profile_slv

The Good:

Geometry, Linkage, Fit

The Bad:

Bolts, Cleaning

Overall Review: If you want a capable, fast flying 29 inch enduro machine... this is your next bike. The yeti SB5.5c has not ceased to amaze me in what it is capable of, and I never find myself wanting, or being envious of other bike. The SB5.5c tracks everything extremely well, and the linkage system finds a find line between performance and function. It doesn't blow through the travel although it has good small bump sensitivity when set up properly. I tried the bike with the float x as well as with the x2 and preferred the x2 for adjustment purposes. The infinity system allows for limited pedal bob and makes this bike a capable climbing Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member MTBcanuck
44563 MTBcanuck http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/44563/avatar/c50_IMG_0250_1498002252.jpg?1498002176 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/MTBcanuck,44563/all 06/06/17 3 11

DEITY Knuckleduster Grip

“Deity Knuckleduster Grip: comfort and grip”

C138_deity_kunckleduster_green

The Good:

Very comfortable and extremely grippy

The Bad:

Diameter is a little thick, single lock-on system

Overall Review: If you are looking to try a new grip, this is a good choice. I have put it on all my bikes and love the feel and function of the knuckleduster grips! My first impression of the grips were the feel, which was not as skinny as other grips that I had used previous. However, they felt comfortable and in riding scenarios I didn't feel that I was getting bad arm pump or fatigue. The next thing I noticed was the sheer amount of grip that I was getting with these grips, given the design it gives your hand a lot to hold on to. I further noticed this one day when I forgot my gloves, and noticed that I still felt comfortable riding as Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member MTBcanuck
44563 MTBcanuck http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/44563/avatar/c50_IMG_0250_1498002252.jpg?1498002176 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/MTBcanuck,44563/all 06/06/17 3 11

Five Ten Freerider Pro Shoe

“Freerider Pro Shoe: maximum grip”

C138_five_ten_freerider_pro_shoe_light_granite

The Good:

Grip, Fit, Function

The Bad:

Laces are kind of long

Overall Review: If you are looking for a grippy shoe for your metal pinned flats... then look no further. This shoe has been the best shoe that I have ever owned when it comes to flats. 1. The rubber compound is extremely grippy and holds on to a flat pedal as if you are clipped in, however, you don't have to worry about dying if you are going through some gnar and are clipped in. 2. I myself have a wider foot, and these shoes fit amazingly! So if you have a little bit of a wider foot I highly recommend this shoe. 3. This shoes are made durable and can take an absolute beating! I have had 3 pairs over the last three years and Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member MTBcanuck
44563 MTBcanuck http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/44563/avatar/c50_IMG_0250_1498002252.jpg?1498002176 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/MTBcanuck,44563/all 06/06/17 3 11

2016 Scott Gambler 710 Bike

“2016/2017 Scott Gambler 710”

C138_241351a

The Good:

Adjustability, Build spec

The Bad:

linkage system, wheels

Overall Review: Right off the bat, one of the positive things that I loved about this bike was the adjustability of the geometry. You can adjust headset angle, chain stay length, and bottom bracket height. I found myself to prefer the short chain stay setting, at 63 degree head angle, in the low bottom bracket setting. This allowed the bike to be a little more lively and aggressive, however, If I were to race I would recommend the longer chain stay position. I also loved the component spec that came on the bike and never felt that I was looking for more out of the components aside from a stiffer more reliably rim. As I went through two of the Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member MTBcanuck
44563 MTBcanuck http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/44563/avatar/c50_IMG_0250_1498002252.jpg?1498002176 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/MTBcanuck,44563/all 06/06/17 3 11

Hope Technology 11 spd Cassette Cassette

“Hope Cassette 11-48”

C138_hope_44t_cass_587x391

The Good:

The usual high quality appearance and machining expected from Hope. Very light, 305g, an X01 Eagle cassette weighs in at 355g.

The Bad:

Steel cluster is non functional with Shimano?
Very limited hub choices.

Overall Review: First Impressions - As with most Hope products, the fist impression of this cassette were very good. The finish appeared top quality, and pulling a platter sized cassette out of the box, I was instantly blow away by how light it was. Setup - Mounting this cassette requires that you own a Hope or DT Swiss hub. I mounted it to a DT 240 using the OneUp mini driver. Very painless process. With the bike in the stand, I bottomed out my suspension and cut my chain as short as the derailleur would allow me to go. Now I was ready to dial in the shifting. I'm running an XTR Di2 derailleur a KMC X11 DLC chain, so this Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member Roots_rider
2745 Roots_rider http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/2745/avatar/c50_image_1371450115.jpg?1371450071 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Roots-rider,2745/all 05/08/10 6 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Roots-rider,2745/setup 15 118 2 1

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air Riding Jersey

Vital Review

“Tested: Troy Lee Designs Warm Weather Gear”

C138_skylineair_jersey_yellow_2
The warmer months are finally here, which means drier trails and longer days. As mountain bikers, we know all too well that this also means we’re going to get a lot hotter and a lot sweatier. There is not a lot you can about this except dress accordingly, and that is precisely what Troy Lee Designs set out to help you with when creating the Air series of gear. From gravity to trail, there’s something here for all kinds of riding, and we’ve been putting the stuff to the test over the past month or so to let you know if it will keep you as cool as it looks. Skyline Air Jersey Highlights Skyline Air Short Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 751 94 1111 1687 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 62 390 4314 119 29

2017 Kona Operator DL

“Kona Operator 27.5”

C138_operator_dl

The Good:

Playfully fun park bike, Capable race machine, progressive linkage system.

The Bad:

Weight, pedal efficiency

Overall Review: Kona as a company has been around for a long time and has been known to build a quality bike. This year they took a turn from carbon and went aluminum across their whole DH line. The differences to note are the 27.5 wheel size with a frame built around the 27.5 platform, as well as a more progressive linkage system. Right off the bat I noticed that pointing the operator downhill or toward anything resembling technical steep and rocky sections was easy. The 27.5 operator rolls through rough downhill better then the 26 inch model of previous. I also noticed that the more progressive linkage system made the bike more lively and Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member MTBcanuck
44563 MTBcanuck http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/44563/avatar/c50_IMG_0250_1498002252.jpg?1498002176 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/MTBcanuck,44563/all 06/06/17 3 11

iXS Xult Full Face Helmet

“Xulted DH and Enduro Helmet”

C138_ixs_xult_helmet_yellow

The Good:

Great Ventilation
Good Visibility
Decent Weight

The Bad:

Poor liner design and fit
Poor finish quality
Limited sizing

Overall Review: The Xult is supposed to be a downhill and enduro helmet. It almost hits the mark for both with great protection, great ventilation, and pretty decent weight. Visibility is good and the helmet easily fits most modern goggle shapes. While the Xult has a lot of pluses, it also has some pretty noticeable minuses. The biggest minus is limited sizing. The Xults limited sizing range limits the amount of riders who will get a correct fit. The other big minus is the poor liner design. The liner while removable, fits poorly in the helmet. With a little more effort on quality and sizing, this could be a much better helmet. Hopefully iXS will come out with a revised model soon.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member VonR
36072 VonR http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/36072/avatar/c50_thumb_IMG_6241_1024_1485314435.jpg?1485313741 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VonR,36072/all 06/18/15 4 1 3 3 16

Ergon GD1 Grip

Featured Member Review

“Great Grippiness Ergon!”

C138_42440001_detail_1

The Good:

Low profile
Good grip! (sticky)
Comfortable grip pattern Inner flange really helps with hand placement when things get rough and rowdy.

The Bad:

Wears quickly Limited color options
Expensive

Overall Review: Ergon's GD1 grip is a great choice for riders looking for a comfortable and sticky low profile grip. The GD1 is billed as a DH or freeride grip; however, I've found it to be my favorite grip for all types of riding. The lower profile model fits my hand better than Ergon's more ergonomically designed grips. The single lock ring design provides more usable grip surface compared to double lock ring grips. The inner flange really helps with hand placement without interfering with shifter or dropper post use. The grip's pattern and rubber density really help with control while limiting hand fatigue. Unfortunately, the GD1, like other Ergon grips, wears pretty quickly.  Overall this is a great grip; however, I'd like to see some more color options and for it to be more competitively priced.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member VonR
36072 VonR http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/36072/avatar/c50_thumb_IMG_6241_1024_1485314435.jpg?1485313741 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VonR,36072/all 06/18/15 4 1 3 3 16