Latest Product Reviews


Banshee Spitfire V2 Frame

“A shop rats bike? Don´t think so..”


The Good:

Geometry is pretty spot on. KS-Link lets you use its travel very effectively.

The Bad:

Material distribution, front triangle is way to weak in comparison to the rear. It kept on eating through its 608 bearings and not of the cheap kind, which i relate to the front triangle being deflected a little to easily and therefore introducing lateral forces into the upper linkage. Reliabilty. Customer Service

Overall Review: As much as i hate to deliver this review i feel its only right to do so, would have loved to find any information of this kind before burning the amount of money on a bike as i did. I am one of the much cited shop rats who rather ride a reliable, heavy aluminum bike over any weight concious flimsy alternative on the market. Working on bikes for a living the last 6 years, this was my mindset when i dumped an enormous amount of money (for a bike mechanics salary anyway) on a frame. I was happy to do so, because i believed to be looking at a few years of trouble free bike ownership, as i dont need the latest and greatest Read More »

Race Face Sixc 35 Handlebar

“Very nice bars despite the price.”


The Good:

Stiff enough
Less hand fatigue

The Bad:

Pricey depending on how you look at it.

Overall Review: I purchased the SIXC 35 bars as an upgrade to the stock Bontrager bars that came on my Trek Remedy. The Bontrager bars did not fit well and caused my hands to hurt after only a few miles of riding. The bars on my previous bike had a similar shape to the Race Face and I was looking forward to the weight saving and damping characteristics of carbon. Specs Weight- 210 grams Rise- 20 mm Sweep-8 rearward, 5 upward Width- 800 mm Clamp- 35 mm Out of the Package I ordered the bars from Bicycles Unlimited, my LBS here in St. George, UT. When the bars showed up and I picked them up I was immediately impressed with Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Jared Wilkinson
33687 Jared Wilkinson,33687/all 01/01/15 1 3

2017 Kona Operator DL

Vital Review

“Tested: 2017 Kona Operator DL - Park Friendly, World Cup Approved”

With their roots first sprouting in Vancouver, BC, and now hailing from Ferndale, WA, Kona has a reputation for building burly, durable bikes intended to be pushed hard over the often adverse conditions throughout the Pacific Northwest region. With a goal of redesigning the Operator to be both a bike park slayer as well as a capable World Cup race bike, Kona went back to the drawing board as the market shifted from 26-inch steeds to the modern 27.5 standards. Development began in 2014 with Connor Fearon and his mechanic, Mathieu Dupelle, with a modified rear triangle to swap over from 26-inch wheels to 27.5, leaving the front Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 7 789 63,18548/setup 33 238 72 60 1

2018 Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon Team XTR 1X

Vital Review

“First Ride: 2018 Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon – A Ripping Next-Gen Trail Bike”

For those looking to go fast and take chances, increasingly capable components and frames mean mountain biking of all varieties is quickly becoming a more aggressive endeavor. For those simply looking to have a good time, those same improvements ensure added safety and fun on the trail. Today Pivot Cycles introduced an all-new bike that will carry them well into the future – the Mach 5.5 Carbon. Part enduro, part all-mountain, and part trail bike, the new Mach 5.5 brings an interesting mixture of travel, geometry, and technical features to the party. With 140mm of dw-link rear travel and 160mm up front, this Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1133 96 6156 984,109/setup 276 1243 2266 162 41

TRP Quadiem G-Spec Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

Vital Review

“First Ride: TRP Quadiem G-Spec Brakes”

If TRP isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think of brakes, you’re forgiven. Better known as Tektro, these brakes were historically sold on very low-end bikes, with nothing but a couple of rides and a one-way ticket to the parts bin to look forward to. No wonder that it took the world by surprise when in 2016 Aaron Gwin announced that he’d be asking TRP to supply him with brakes for his new World Cup downhill racing team, the YT Mob. Of course, Gwin wouldn’t consider such a move if he didn’t think he could win with the equipment in question, but we were still curious to find out just how good TRP Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 763 94 997 1700,94/setup 55 365 4082 105 29

Industry Nine Enduro S Wheels

“Budget industry Nine Doesn't Disappoint ”


The Good:

Torch Hubs!
Light for aluminum
Stiff but not too stiff
Nice Tire Profile
Good Price for what you get

The Bad:

Not carbon?

Overall Review: I consider this wheel set to have one of the best Price : Performance : Weight ratio's on the market. To put it simply, for under $900 you get a stiff, Industry Nine quality wheel set with some of the most reliable hubs on the market. You may not get the flashy colored aluminum spokes, but you definitely get the performance! Through fast rocky sections these wheels hold a line great. The wide internal rim width hooks up great with some Maxxis wide trail tires! I have been very impressed with these wheels for the price. They're not carbon, but that is the only disadvantage of this wheel set. Fast engaging hubs as well.

FOX Float X2 Factory 2-Position Lever Rear Shock

“Best Air Shock on the Market”


The Good:

Why buy a coil shock when you can buy this?
Great small bump sensitivity (rivals that of a coil shock)
Extremely Adjustable

The Bad:

Not easy to tune unless you know what you are doing

Overall Review: Had a Monarch Plus, and a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air CS, but neither shock felt like "the one" for me. Monarch Plus had great small bump sensitivity but not much adjustability and didn't feel great on the long descents. Cane Creek DB Air CS didn't have much small bump sensitivity, but was adjustable. I feel like the Float X2 combines the best aspects of both products, and delivers something that almost feels as good as a coil shock. Took a few weeks to get it tuned how I liked it, but once it was there, I have never experienced anything quite so controlled feeling in all terrain. The climb switch Read More »

RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Fork

“From Pike to Lyrik, Never going back”


The Good:

Stiffer than Pike
Plusher than Pike
Good price right now with the 2018 models coming out ($700ish)

The Bad:

Little heavier than Pike

Overall Review: In order to properly review the Lyrik, a comparison to the Pike is necessary. Why buy a Lyrik when everyone already loves the Pike so much? For a while I was running a 160mm Pike up front on my Santa Cruz Nomad. It never felt quite right, coming from the old style (non-black stanchions) Lyrik on my previous bike. Smashing through rough rocky lines at high speed didn't feel right to me (in terms of how the front wheel got knocked off line). I read all the reviews online (of the 2017 Lyrik), which said that the Lyrik is more of a mini Boxxer than a beefed up Pike. This was exactly what I was looking for, so I went for it. The Read More »

RockShox Reverb 1X Remote

Featured Member Review

“RockShox Reverb 1X Remote”


The Good:

Perfect shape, excellent placement, super smooth.

The Bad:

A pretty pricy upgrade.

Overall Review: After riding the Reverb by RockShox for five years, I was always pretty impressed with it’s overall performance. When working right, the Reverb is a hard post to beat in smoothness and adjustability. On the other hand, there’s no secret that the Reverb had it’s fair share of technical problems. Luckily, most if not all of these problems have been solved with their latest version (the B1). Just when I felt the Reverb couldn’t get any better RockShox introduced a new shifter-style lever named the X1. Being satisfied with my B1 Reverb already, I doubted even opting for the $95 retail upgrade but after a minute of Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 6,14755/setup 1 1 31 88

Kali Protectives Interceptor Open Face Helmet

Vital Review

“First Ride: Kali Interceptor”

No item of kit is more important than the helmet. It is the requisite piece of safety equipment, and it is also one of the most argued about items one can buy - not on the merit of function, but rather fit and appearance. The iterations of brain buckets have come a long way in recent times, with Troy Lee Designs setting the benchmark for aggressive half-shell helmets with the A1 a few years ago now, and brands like 6D reinventing the wheel with their ATB-1 T. So, anytime a new dome cover arrives on the scene, it is scrutinized heavily, compared to what has come before it. Kali Protectives has managed to Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member sideshow
427 sideshow,427/all 08/06/09 5 74,427/setup 26 146 854 4