Latest Product Reviews


2014 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon SPX AM 27.5 Bike

“Awesome Ride”


The Good:

27.5 Kashima fork and shock Fox 34 kicks butt.

The Bad:

Heavy tires

Overall Review: I bought this bike in 2014 and it's the best bike I've ever owned. Gt, trek, specialized, this beats them all. Fast smooth and agility are tops when the suspension is set up correctly. I am going to get some lighter tires though for local riding that's not that tech. I did do a DH race on it too and it blew through all that I hit with ease.

e*thirteen TRS Tires

Vital Review

“Tested: e*thirteen TRS Tires”

Review and photos by Fred Robinson and Brandon Turman e*thirteen- the name is synonymous with chain guides, guide rings, drivetrain innovation and more recently wheels. But tires? We not going to say it’s rare to see a component brand take on tires, but we will say we were a bit surprised when they showed us some early prototypes, complete with hand-cut modifications, at the EWS in Finale Ligure last year. As you might have gathered from our recent article showing the ins-and-outs of e*thirteen as a brand, it’s clear they are in the business of creating products that don’t necessarily complete their line of components, but Read More »
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Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 131 3 255 166,18548/setup 30 210 57 43 1

2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail XT/XTR Pro 1x

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Pivot Mach 429 Trail XT/XTR Pro 1x”

Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller What would happen if you took a successful 29er cross-country bike and mixed in a little inspiration from a long-travel 27.5 cousin? That's exactly what Pivot did with the Mach 429 Trail, which takes their well regarded Mach 429 SL cross-country rig and mixes it with some capability from the Mach 6 enduro bike, ultimately ending up with a very efficient ride that's better suited to getting rowdy on the trails. Updates include a small bump up in rear travel, a new linkage, components worthy of rougher terrain, Boost axles front and rear, a Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6059 1037,109/setup 267 1159 2142 130 40

Crank Brothers Candy 7 Clipless Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Crankbrothers Candy 7”

Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas Pedals, like most mountain bike components, are somewhat subjective: engagement, float, and shoe contact differ from brand to brand and depend on setup. One trait valued by every consumer, and arguably the most important, is reliability. Crankbrothers pedals have a loyal following; however converting SPD die-hards has been an on-going challenge, especially with a reputation of product that may have a shorter lifespan than some of the competition. In their efforts, Crankbrothers have been adding functional features, durability, and style to some of their classics. Read More »
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Vital MTB member hurricanejoel
27998 hurricanejoel,27998/all 10/17/13 1 38 4 17 17

iXS Trail RS Helmet

“comfortable, nice fit and finish, but I can't see through the sweat”


The Good:

very comfortable, nice fit, well finished, good price. looks good.

The Bad:

mips or something similar would be nice, but the biggest downfall is sweat dripping. The padding directs my sweat straight into my eyes and glasses.

Overall Review: I bought this over the winter, fit was the best I'd ever experienced from a helmet, I could put it on and there were no hotspots or pressure points. It looks nice and the quality of finish seems great. Last week was my first hot weather ride with this helmet. It is very comfortable, and even does a decent job of moving air over my head, but I'm not sure I'll be able to wear this helmet over the summer: the padding seems to direct my sweat straight into my eyes. Once I got working hard, I had sweat pouring into my glasses. So I got rid of the glasses and figured that would be fine, except the sweat poured straight into Read More »

Crank Brothers Mallet E Clipless Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Crankbrothers Mallet E Clipless Pedals”

by Lee Trumpore Crankbrothers pedals have been a staple of professional and amateur mountain biker ranks for well over a decade. Based on their original Egg Beater design, the Mallet DH pedals quickly won a following for their unique feel, large platform, and ease of engagement, even in the muddiest conditions. Despite their wild popularity, the original Mallet pedals were not without their issues and subsequent revisions. Though cleverly designed and pleasing to the eyes, they didn't always cut it on the trail. Similar challenges with other products led to a complete re-boot at Crankbrothers a few years ago Read More »
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Vital MTB member general lee
957 general lee,957/all 09/27/09 223 14,957/setup 64 244 21

Crank Brothers Mallet 3 Clipless Pedals

“Awesome Pedal! ”


The Good:

Weight, Colour , Easy in Easy out.

The Bad:

Freespin , Cliping mech to close to the crank.

Overall Review: These are the first "clip" style pedals I have used, and i don't think i'll ever go back to flats.
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Vital MTB member Lapierreloosely
37670 Lapierreloosely,37670/all 09/24/15 2 81 5 1

100% Speedcraft LL Glasses



The Good:


The Bad:


Overall Review: I really enjoyed that sunglass !!! For me it it is one of the nicest shades of 2015! Wonderful and fits well people that like big lens and have big head, like me.To be perfect ,nose pad and the rods must have adjustment, like uvex 107 vario and other brands...
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Vital MTB member BOLAN2002
40699 BOLAN2002,40699/all 05/01/16 1

2016 Devinci Troy Carbon RR

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Devinci Troy Carbon RR”

Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller Devinci went back to the drawing board with an all-new 2016 Troy frame design inspired by the look and feel of the longer travel Spartan. The bike previously had a very slender appearance and held a lot of promise, but a few details needed work for aggressive riders. It comes back for the new year ready to charge the rowdiest bits of trail with a beefed up carbon frame, 10mm more travel up front, and build kits much more in line the rider you'd expect to own a Troy. Sporting 140mm of rear wheel travel and 150mm in the front, the bike bridges the gap Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6059 1037,109/setup 267 1159 2142 130 40

Park Tool BBT-22 Bottom Bracket Tool

Featured Review

“Takes two to Tango”


The Good:

Quality Materials
Multiple ways to attach and use

The Bad:

Teeth can wear during extreme use

Overall Review: I purchased the Park Tool BBT-22 more than 5 years ago and have been quite pleased with it's performance and functionality. Functionality: The BBT-22 has multiple ways to attach and torque. At the end of the tool, there is a 3/8" Ratchet attachment which works very well for tightening and torquing. Incase you find yourself without access to a ratchet, you can also use a wrench to attach to the 32mm or 1" faces of the tool as well. With all these interfaces, you'll be hard-press not to have a tool to use with the BBT-22. Extreme Use = Excessive Wear: The BBT-22 works well with properly torques and Read More »
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Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 5 4,14755/setup 1 28 66