4li2k73z Share your Vital activity on Facebook (More info)
close

Latest Product Reviews

RSS

2014 Ibis Ripley 29 with Special Blend Build

“Best Carbon Trail Bike for the Money”

C138_2014_ibis_ripley_29_bike_blue_with_slx_build_special_blend

The Good: Tubeless setup off the floor. Easy pedaling, easy climbing, easy turning. Silent running cables after putting a little effort towards it (foam in the top tube. Excellent Deore brakes, supple 120mm DW link suspension in the rear, really great underrated 140mm X-fusion fork, front and rear are supple at low speeds with no hard bottom outs at high speeds and jumps and good semi high riding support. I love the quiet free hub and quiet brakes. I opted for 140mm fork setup and feel comfortable with the geometry at speed. Great handling at both low and high speeds. Stable in the air and easy to jump and land. Easy to stay clipped in the pedals up or down tight switchbacks. Accelerates easily and carries momentum well through tight turns, up punchy climbs and over medium sized rocks-n-roots. Hands down the best price for a complete bike with full carbon frame and DW link. Cane Creek headset. Good quality rear shifter, derailleur and chain. Drivetrain runs SILENT.

The Bad: Flexy too narrow wheels, awkward saddle and bars. Poor front shifting race face 2x crank, no dropper stock. Skippy at high frequency rough downhills. Stock bars are too narrow for the big front wheel and 140mm fork. 90mm stem a little long for descending, 710mm wide riser bars almost cut it, but not quite.

Overall Review: I feel that this buid was meant to appeal more to XC race or road riders dipping their toes into trail/all mountain waters. I was an all mountain rider looking for something that climbed withless effort and maybe get further into the back country, while still being able to go fast when the conditions allow. My first upgrade was a dropper post. I then took my XO cranks and put a 26t direct mount narrow wide chainwheel on it. effectively running 1x10 and keeping 11-36 for climbing and leaving the high speed stuff in the hands of gravity. I upgraded to large platform clips pedals, 745 wide x 3/4" rise Read More »

SRAM PC-XX1 Chain

Featured Review

“Tough chain”

C138_sram_pc_xx1_chain

The Good: low stretch, maintains shifting accuracy

The Bad: lateral stiffness might not be great

Overall Review: I've three xx1 chains I'm using on a full XX1 drive train, after about 2000km wear on all three is great, measuring 10 links while the chain is hanging off a hook they are all at about 25.48cm.I do clean the drivetrain after every ride. I'm using the SRAM master links and a chain tool, there is zero issue reusing the SRAM master link many times, in fact I only have one link in use, swapping it between chains. at 25.50cm I will replace all three chains. What I didn't do was measure the chains new, so I'm only assuming a brand new pc-xx1 really is 25.40cm for 10 links. These chains are hard to really clean well, I put them in a Read More »

Kali Protectives Maya Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Kali Protectives Maya Helmet”

C138_maya_camera_mount
Review and photos by AJ Barlas Mountain bike helmets have evolved very quickly in recent years, with extended coverage and improved impact technologies at the forefront of the improvements. These updates have provided the all-around rider with helmets that not only do a great job of keeping us safe, but look good while doing it. Though their staff has loads of prior experience, Kali Protectives are still a relatively new brand within the bicycle industry. This youthfulness shines through in their products and the brand's ability to come forward with designs that think a little outside the box and a focus on Read More »

Giro Feature Helmet

“Excellent Trail/All Mountain Helmet”

C138_giro_feature_helmet_matte_black

The Good: low weight In Mold construction, low profile fit, good lower head coverage, comfortable adjustment system, solid ventilation

The Bad: lack of strap adjustment could be an issue for some riders.

Overall Review: I've used the Feature for a couple of seasons with excellent results. The shape of the helmet is slightly more round than the Bell Super or POC Trabec.   The Feature has a low profile fit and offers good lower head protection.  The adjustable retention system helps you dial in the fit.  Goggles work great with this helmet.   The padding inside the helmet does a good job of wicking away sweat without the padding being too thick or uncomfortably thin.  If you are the type of rider that needs to make fore/aft strap adjustments, the minimalist straps on the Feature may be a deal breaker.  Otherwise, the Feature is an outstanding all mountain helmet with great coverage, low profile fit and good ventilation - at a price that is tough to beat.

Giro Rivet II Gloves

Vital Review

“Tested: Giro Rivet II Gloves”

C138_giro_rivet_ii_gloves_mil_spec_olive_black
Review and photos by Joe Schneider Enter another player into the minimalist glove game, the Giro Rivet II. Starting at $30 these thoughtfully designed gloves give you a layer of protection and a confidence inspiring feel. They're ideal for riders who spend some time pedaling. I've been riding with them day in and day out for a few months, so let's take a look at how they performed. Highlights Moisture Wicking, Soft, Breathable Mesh Upper Three Panel, Micro Vented Palm Construction Touchscreen Technology Material Color Options: White, Black, Olive Sizes S-XXL MSRP $30 Initial Impressions When I held the gloves for the first time, Read More »

Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Jacket

Vital Review

“Tested: Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Jacket”

C138_pearl_izumi_mtb_wrx_jacket
Review and photos by Justin Schroth Pearl Izumi has long been in the cycling game creating clothing, shoes, and accessories for road, triathlon, and mountain bike athletes. Building on their experience and reputation for creating high quality apparel, Pearl Izumi has launched a new line of mountain bike apparel for 2015, including the new WRX jacket. While there are a huge range of options on the market for general outerwear that is lightweight, functional, and protects from the elements, Pearl Izumi adds their own touch with some cycling specific features. Read our review to find out how we got along. MTB WRX Jacket Read More »

2015 Specialized Epic Comp 29 Bike

“Everything you want nothing you don't”

C138_2015_specialized_epic_comp_29_satin_deep_blue_dirty_white_cyan

The Good: Solid frame, good suspension, and nice drive train

The Bad: Not a big fan of the Magura mts and would prefer a more common shock stroke

Overall Review: I have had the bike for about a month and a half now and have been thrilled with it's performance. Straight out of the box the bike build up real nice and an hour or two later the bike was dialed. Right off the bat I noticed that the suspension responded very well and I loved the brain. It certainly helps you put the power down on the flatter straightaways yet remains responsive when set up properly. The drive train felt nice and crisp even with a fair amount of dirt and grime. The Geometry is spot on. Even with the 29er wheels it handles very well and is very easy to flick around. The only thing I'm not a big fan of Read More »

Five Ten Freerider Contact Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: Five Ten Freerider Contact”

C138_5213_freerider_contact_2
Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord Five Ten’s Stealth rubber is legendary among flat pedal riders, and with good reason. To this day, it remains what is widely considered to be the stickiest, grippiest sole option available short of clipping in. For a few years however, the only shoes available with this magic compound were slightly heavy and bulky items, often lacking a bit in finish and in the general level of construction of the shoe (if you’ve ever glued the outsole back onto your Impacts you know what we mean). Fast forward to present day, and there’s a multitude of options Read More »

Ryders Eyewear Strider Anti-Fog Photochromic Glasses

Vital Review

“Tested: Ryders Strider Anti-Fog Glasses”

C138_ryders_strider_sunglasses
Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Courtney Steen and Brandon Turman I don’t know what it is, but I swear my eyeballs are magnets for crap when I am out on a ride. I’ve had bugs, mud, dust, hair, my own fingers, and some close calls with branches. It’s never fun calling a timeout halfway down some rad descent for an eyeball check or to try irrigating out my eye with a water bottle. Talk about a buzz kill. Therefore, I am a rider who pretty much always rides with glasses. Then I also face the age-old problem of fogged lenses, especially on the climbs. There are different shapes of glasses that Read More »

SRAM PG-950 9-Speed Cassette

“Smooth Shifting All Day”

C138_208678

The Good: Smooth shifting
Multiple gear ranges
Inexpensive
SRAM/Shimano compatible

The Bad: Heavy
Steel

Overall Review: This came as an OEM cassette and has provided years of flawless shifting. This cassette comes in at a budget friendly price and offers great quality as well.Compatiblity with SRAM and Shimano makes changing/upgrading other components a simple task. This cassette shifts very smoothly and any shifting issues I have encountered have come from the derailleur and not the cassette. The cassette stays super clean and sheds mud and other debris on its own. The SRAM PG 950 is easy to find with many online retailers and offers multiple gear ratios to fit different styles. Whether your are running this as a weekend warrior or a daily rider it will not disappoint.