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2015 Santa Cruz X01 AM 27.5" Nomad Carbon Bike

“The New Gravity Enduro Beast”

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The Good: Amazingly, you would not know how you could become with this radically progressive geometry: 65-degree head tube angle, 74.2-degree seat tube angle, 13.4-inch bottom-bracket height, 17.1-inch chainstays, and a 46.1-inch wheelbase. This is the perfect Geometry for descendant and cornering trails as well as an excellent Geometry for overall all mountain trails (including ascendant trails). Above are perfectly supported by Two thumbs up 650B's application. The Geometry (especially wheelbase) and weight also confidently pushs your limit on every jumping and dropping. The VPP Technology, suspension and 650B's application help you smoothly stay in the ground on most of rock garden and bumping trails...

The Bad: The Price and limited Color options.... :-)

Overall Review: WARNING: Little adjustment on how you steering (longer reach than previous Nomad) and how you pedaling or positioning your foots (lower BB high than previous Nomad), then you will be The Scariest Wild Beast on every descendant and crinkle trails.... Trust me, you could not control your smiles on your face......

2015 Yeti SB6 Carbon with X01

Featured Review

“Climb Like a Gazelle, Descend Like a Lion”

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The Good: Best bike I've ridden, period. Stable at speed, suspension eats all roughness without changing stance of the bike, light and nimble to the point of unreality (for a long-travel, 65.5 head angle), climbs and sprints amazingly, built kit and construction are first-rate.

The Bad: Dollars? Bottom bracket feels low...? Although not as low as some other bikes. DT star ratchet in freehub could be the quick-engagement one? I'm REALLY reaching here guys. Oh yeah— if you ride one, you will have to buy one.

Overall Review: 28 Miles on Yeti's New Enduro Beauty (1 Day Demo) The SB6 is ridiculously good. I picked my stealthy demo up on Thursday night, and once the tires, seatpost and suspension were proper I headed to the trail. Never mind that there were only 20 minutes of sunlight left. Pulling into Heil Ranch, I sprinted up the fire road towards the singletrack. This thing pedals nicely, I thought! But climbing the first rock section, the day made a turn towards awesome. First, the rear end smoothed a patch of sharp rocks into nothing, yet the bike's stance seemed to barely move. Not only that, but mistakenly bouncing the front tire off a Read More »

BOS Dizzy Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 BOS Dizzy Fork”

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Review by Brandon Turman // Action photos by Courtney Steen BOS is a company whose suspension products have an almost Ferrari-like reputation - high-end, foreign, and ahead of the curve in many ways (and expensive). With a good history in the gravity racing scene and a no nonsense, performance first approach to marketing and design, the French brand is now looking to bring their experience and know how to the cross country scene. The new Dizzy fork was designed to "combine the plushest, most controlled travel available with superior pedaling prowess for the ultimate XC race fork." We've spent the better part of two months pounding Read More »

Ion Avic Riding Short

Vital Review

“Tested: ION Avic Short and Helium ¾ Jersey”

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ION popped up on our radar in 2013, when we discovered that the watersports apparel company had arrived in mountain biking with a full complement of bike-specific wear and protection and a style all their own. More than just a source of inspiration, the MTB offering draws on materials and construction used in the watersports line, the end result an eye-catching design that we were eager to put to the test. The Scrub range is designed for all types of riding and long days in the saddle, and with that being right up our alley, we set out to see what the fuss (and those colors!) were all about. Read on to find out more. ION Avic Read More »

Ion Helium 3/4 Riding Jersey

Vital Review

“Tested: ION Avic Short and Helium ¾ Jersey”

C138_47500_5013_ion_tee_ls_34_helium_red_f
ION popped up on our radar in 2013, when we discovered that the watersports apparel company had arrived in mountain biking with a full complement of bike-specific wear and protection and a style all their own. More than just a source of inspiration, the MTB offering draws on materials and construction used in the watersports line, the end result an eye-catching design that we were eager to put to the test. The Scrub range is designed for all types of riding and long days in the saddle, and with that being right up our alley, we set out to see what the fuss (and those colors!) were all about. Read on to find out more. Read More »

Knolly Endorphin Frame

“Incredible Endo! ”

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The Good: Confidence inspiring, stiff, durable, nimble.

The Bad: Not available in carbon.

Overall Review: I have my endo built up with a 150mm pike rct3, and a ccdb cs, ks lev, hadley/flow ex wheels. 1x10 32/11-36. The bike can handle almost anything from epics to gnarly dh runs. It's also a very capable climber in the tech, pair it with the a ccdb cs or inline and it's hard to have a better 26" frame.

Race Face Atlas 35 Stem

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Sixc 35 20-mm Rise Carbon Bar and Atlas 35 Stem”

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Carbon this and carbon that. It wasn’t long ago that a. carbon wasn’t available for your bike unless you were Donald Trump, and b. nobody in their right mind would trust the stuff on critical parts anyway. Fast forward to today, and the fantastic plastic is everywhere. From the frame to the wheels, your bike can drop weight faster than a bimbo in beach season thanks to this light weight and highly tunable magic material. Race Face is among the companies pushing the carbon boundaries, their Sixc and Next SL cranks a benchmark in the drivetrain market for example. Naturally we were curious to test their latest carbon handlebar Read More »

Race Face Sixc 35 20mm Rise Carbon Handlebar

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Sixc 35 20-mm Rise Carbon Bar and Atlas 35 Stem”

C138_1_sixc35_20mm_bar_silver
Carbon this and carbon that. It wasn’t long ago that a. carbon wasn’t available for your bike unless you were Donald Trump, and b. nobody in their right mind would trust the stuff on critical parts anyway. Fast forward to today, and the fantastic plastic is everywhere. From the frame to the wheels, your bike can drop weight faster than a bimbo in beach season thanks to this light weight and highly tunable magic material. Race Face is among the companies pushing the carbon boundaries, their Sixc and Next SL cranks a benchmark in the drivetrain market for example. Naturally we were curious to test their Read More »

2014 Kona Process 153 Bike

“Can live up to the hype - sort of.”

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The Good: Geometry is great. Downhills are superb. Climbs are ok,

The Bad: Weight. Some weak / underdimensioned components. Sizing is a bit far out.

Overall Review: I bought the Process 153 in mid jun. The bike has an instant feel of going fast downhill. The slighly bigger wheels does the job well and maintan momentum on flatter parts. Suspension works very well: the pike is almost as sensitive as my old Marzcocci 66. Rear suspension is great. Climbing is ok. I have taken the bike to some epic mountain 5-6 ours climbs and yes its ok for that - but it shines on the downhills. I have also done some enduro racing on the bike and its an awesome descender. The climbs did not kill me eihter. Compared to Trek Slash (mid model 2014) I think the slash has better wheels but the fork is far more Read More »

Kitsbow Wind Vest

Vital Review

“Tested: Kitsbow Wind Vest ”

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Review by Zach White // Photos by Don Stefanovich and Zach White Self-confessed textile OCD sufferers, Kitsbow make no secret of their mission - producing high-end mountain bike wear, with passion and a lot of attention to detail. They go out of their way to find the best materials for any given application, and then they make sure they design and manufacture to the same high standards. It's always nice to lay your hands on high-quality gear, but how does this no-holds-barred combination of fashion and function actually work out on the trail? We donned the Wind Vest and set out to find out. Kitsbow Wind Vest Highlights Read More »