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2015 Specialized Enduro Comp 650b Bike

Featured Review

“Specialized Enduro 650b Comp”

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The Good: good geo for aggressive riding, wide rims, good value

The Bad: no XL size, no dropper post

Overall Review: Afterridingthe enduro 29er for about a year, I decided to swap it out for the newer, slightly smaller wheel-sized iteration of the bike in the middle of summer last year. Although I was content with my current rig,I saw that the numbers on the bike were a little bit closer to what I was looking for so I took the plunge.I opted for the lowest level model and have found it to be a great all around ripper. Simply put, this bike is a lot of fun to ride. Compared to the 29er, the650b version doesn't quite have that monster-truck-over-the-rough feel to it, yet for me it surpasses the29er on the techy maneuvers and on Read More »

2015 Canyon Strive CF 9.0 Race

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Canyon Strive CF 9.0 Race”

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Reviewed by AJ Barlas and Dylan Stucki // Photos by Lear Miller At the end of the 2013 race season there was quite a bit of curiosity around what Fabien Barel's prototype bike had hiding under a strange looking cover on the rear shock. All would be revealed in early 2014 when Canyon released the new Strive, including details of their new "Shape Shifter" technology. With the push of a lever the system changes the bike's geometry and travel between "DH" and "XC" modes. It's an interesting concept and one we looked forward to trying out during the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions in San Luis Obispo, California. Highlights Read More »

Troy Lee Designs Air Gloves

Featured Review

“My go-to gloves”

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The Good: no bulky padding or seams in the wrong place, has the motto "pop wheelies" on it

The Bad: tight wrist enclosure, grippers came off too soon

Overall Review: I've been through a bunch of gloves over the years and so far theserise to the top as my favorites. I am now on my secondset ofthese gloves,after recentlypicking up anewpair when looking to bump upmy onlineshopping cart to free shipping status. Many gloves have rubber grippers on the fingers but the TLD air gloves have expanded that concept and have added some tothe palm area as well. This makes your hands feel like they are glued to the bar, especially if you have a fresh set of grips. A downside is thatthe rubber grippers on fingers started to come off sooner than I had hoped (after about6 ridesthey began peeling Read More »

2015 Cube Stereo 160 Super HPC SL 27.5

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Cube Stereo 160 Super HPC SL”

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Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller Cube's Stereo was one of the first bikes available with 27.5-inch wheels. The early adopter immediately stood out from the others by offering a full carbon frame, 160mm of travel, and aggressive angles in a visually appealing package. Previously unavailable in the USA due to a suspension patent held by Specialized, the Horst link equipped Stereo will soon be accessible to anyone with a $4,199 US price tag that'll make you look twice. As a result, we were finally able to get our hands on a bright green Super HPC SL model for the 2015 Vital MTB Read More »

Lezyne Mega Drive Light

Vital Review

“Tested: Lezyne Mega Drive”

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by Monica McCosh Going into its eighth year as an engineering design house, Lezyne releases its most powerful LED light to-date, the 1400-lumen Mega Drive for 2015. The Mega Drive is a slick CNC-sculpted aluminum body featuring 3 LEDs for constant lumen output, and replaceable USB-rechargeable batteries for extended night riding on the fly – no cables attached. Eager to extend our winter riding hours we powered up the Mega Drive and headed out to see if it would turn night into day. Lezyne Mega Drive Highlights High Performance LED Light for Trail or Road Use Max Lumens: 1400 CNC-Sculpted Aluminum Body Water Resistant Read More »

2015 Commencal Meta AM V4 Race 650b

Vital Review

“Tested: Commencal Meta AM V4”

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Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas Commencal’s Meta series has existed in one form or another for quite some time, and is built on a philosophy of “pleasure, performance, and aesthetics”. After a successful press launch , we were keen to spend more time riding what we felt was a better bike than the V3. The latest Meta AM is longer and lower than the previous generation, with an updated suspension design and shorter chainstays. After our honeymoon in France, we wanted to find out whether the marriage would last after a few months. Meta AM V4 Highlights AL 6066 triple butted T4/T6 frame 650B wheel size Read More »

2015 GT Fury 27.5 World Cup Bike

“The World Cup DH Bikes for the reasonsble price”

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The Good: The Head Set angle is really slack, makes you more confident to step down stiff terrain. The Center on Rider (COR) simply put you in the centre of the bike, eventhough you forgot to get your upper body to back when you hit drops or jumps (as long as you dont sit on the saddle). The suspension kits may not be as light as Sram components, but they give you the more balance on the track. With the correct size choising, you will get the more space om cabin area, gives you clearer views.

The Bad: The all Shimano Saint group sets are slighly heavier than other brands (sram etc). And also the wheel sets. You may need to focus your modification on those 2 sectors, and you may not want to use shimano Saint pedals in order to reduce weights. Deity pedals work jus fine.

Overall Review: The best world cup downhill bike in reasonable price.

Bell Super 2R Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Bell Super 2R Helmet”

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Review by Monica McCosh // Photos by Brandon Turman It was only a matter of time before a truly Enduro-specific helmet emerged on market. The Bell Super 2R two-in-one all-mountain dome decker is a great concept for confidence-inspired riding which does, however, cause a bit of a conversational ruckus between the risk-adverse and the risk-takers. Not ones to shy away from breaking new ground, we eagerly took reception of a sample and proceeded to test its merits. Super 2R Helmet Highlights Adjustable Visor Breakaway Screws Goggle Guide In-Mold Polycarbonate Shell Integrated Breakaway Camera Mount Overbrow Ventilation Read More »

2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak Bike

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak”

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by Justin Schroth With endless options for trail bikes, and seemingly ever-increasing price of high end components, it is rare to find a bike with a higher end build kit that does not require a second mortgage on your home. Fezzari hopes to make a impact in this market with the Nebo Peak, offering a build that rivals bikes almost twice its price, all while proposing a customized hands-on approach to the purchasing process. Cutting corners or simply a smart new business concept? We were about to find out, and now so are you! 2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak Highlights 6061 Hydroformed Alloy Fezzari Racing Design HL675 frame 27.5-inch Read More »

Giro Terraduro Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: Giro Terraduro Clipless Shoe”

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Review by Dave Trumpore // Photos by Dave Trumpore and Lee Trumpore (action) Not XC and not DH - it is sometimes hard to find the right balance for an "all mountain" shoe. Giro's clipless Terraduro attempts to bridge the gap by including pedal-friendly, XC-type features in a shoe that is also meant to function when you are off the bike. Eager to find out how well they succeeded, we sent out our resident enduro correspondent Dave Trumpore to scramble around as many mountain sides as he could to figure out if the Terraduro was up to the task. Read on for the answer! Giro Terraduro Shoes Highlights High-quality, breathable Read More »