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Royal 2014 Esquire Shorts

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Esquire Short”

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Review by A.J. Barlas // Photography Jon Anthony & A.J. Barlas Riding apparel over the last...

Avid G2 Clean Sweep Rotor

“Avid Rotor”

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The Good: Simple trouble free rotor. Stays straight as well. I have had it on a dirt jump bike with Hope M4 brakes. have no trouble with this rotor at all. Rotor was used with Avid mechanical brakes before the Hope's. Thought I might need to get a new rotor for M4's but this one has worked great.

The Bad: No issues to speak of.

Overall Review: Nice simple rotor. Can also be a good low cost back-up rotor for travel.

Race Face Respond DH/AM Stem

“Great Stiff Stem”

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The Good: Have had this on my dirt jump bike for 2 years. It's been great. Stiff and solid. Never have to mess with it. I have the white version and it has a durable finish. Black is probably even better. Nice looking stem too. Never worry about, it just works.

The Bad: Maybe a few more length options. nit-picking here, Can't think of a bad thing.

Overall Review: Great stem and would not hesitate to recommend it.

DT Swiss Competition Spokes

“Nice Spokes”

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The Good: Have had them for several years in 2 different wheel sets and have had no problems at all and they have seen a lot of use and some jumps and drops and rough terrain. mine have always been built with brass nipples. I had a third wheel set with straight gauge spokes and I had a bad case and broke several spokes. These seem much tougher.

The Bad: Nothing i can think.

Overall Review: Nice strong spokes i will continue to use and when I get new wheels I will use these spokes again.

Avid BB5 Disc Brake

“Average Brakes”

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The Good: Easy to set up. Once dialed in they work nicely. Lever feels pretty good. Rotor seems fairly strong.

The Bad: Mine would be all set up and work good but it only last a month or so and then they felt terrible. lever pulled to bar and no stopping power. After I would re-set them up they would be good again but only for a short while. Tired new pads but no difference. Might have been cable constantly stretching and maybe should have tried a new cable but ended up just getting something else.

Overall Review: OK basic brake for light use.

2013 Scott Scale 930 Bike

“Scott Scale 930 = FAST!”

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The Good: This bike climbs like a billy goat! It is incredibly responsive.

The Bad: The Rocket Ron tires are very light, but tend to wash out easily in off-camber turns. They are fine for the back, but replace the front asap or your face will hurt. The handlebars could also be lighter.

Overall Review: I LOVE this bike. After dealing with the annoying maintenance issues of Specialized's Brain shock, I was ready for a hard tail. I love how simple it is - you just go outside and ride...that's it...as it should be. Back to the joys of riding like you are a 10-year-old. Basically, if you aren't riding down mountains all day and can shell out the cash, pick one of these up - it will be worth it. And if you have trouble climbing hills like me, be prepared to be shocked how easy climbs become.

Shimano M162 SPD Shoes

Featured Review

“Nice all mountain spd shoe!”

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The Good: 1. All mountain weight weenie shoe- they feel light! 2. Fit and finish are all Shimano- super nice 3. They are a great value at Vital's retail partners.<br /> 4. Sizing is spot on, since they use the Euro chart and it offers fractions of sizes.<br /> 5. The ratchet release is the best I've used.<br /> 6. Toe box is roomy, but not sloppy.<br /> 7. Heel retention is perfect!<br />

The Bad: 1. The accents could have been black - fashion slave<br /> 2. White shoes make my feet look big and they aren't - that's what she said<img src='/assets/emoticons/wink.png' /><br />

Overall Review: To preface this review I am coming off of the Mavic Alpine XL so #enduro. I went to this shoe...

2014 Diamondback Mason FS Pro 29

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Diamondback Mason FS Pro”

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Reviewed by Jess Pedersen and John Hauer // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller Inspired by...