Latest Product Reviews

RSS

Royal Core Gloves

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Core 2017”

C138_royal_racing_core_glove_2017_black_blue
We’ve been fans of Royal’s collections over the past few years, won over by great quality, features and cuts as well as the company’s distinctive styling. What caught our eye in the 2017 catalog was not the top of the line stuff however but rather the arrival of a budget-friendly option for those looking for a do-it-all kit that will take some abuse without taking you to the cleaners. We’ve put it to the test over these past couple of months, read on to see how we got along. Royal Racing Core Short Highlights Royal Racing Core Jersey Highlights Royal Racing Core Glove Highlights Trail fit 2-way stretch back panel Detachable padded Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 768 82 832 1725 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 54 346 3918 98 28

2017 Evil The Calling Eagle X0

Vital Review

“Review - 2017 Evil The Calling from Vital MTB Test Sessions”

C138_evl_pa_calling_muddywaters_frame_front
Evil seems to have a habit of coming out with cool new stuff right about the time we get to testing. We were going to try out one of their other models, but when organizing Vital MTB Test Sessions this year they offered up a brand new rig. Of course we jumped at the chance to try out the fresh ride, as it looks to have some refinement and new features to fit into Evil’s growing line of trail weapons. Fun is a resounding theme in Evil’s line of bikes, and this 130mm travel ripper is no different. Unlike some manufacturers, they don’t have standard lines of cross-country, freeride, or race bikes. All of their bikes can Read More »
Rate review: +9 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1137 94 6156 1023 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 275 1223 2220 147 41

Royal Core Riding Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Core 2017”

C138_royal_racing_core_short_2017_red
We’ve been fans of Royal’s collections over the past few years, won over by great quality, features and cuts as well as the company’s distinctive styling. What caught our eye in the 2017 catalog was not the top of the line stuff however but rather the arrival of a budget-friendly option for those looking for a do-it-all kit that will take some abuse without taking you to the cleaners. We’ve put it to the test over these past couple of months, read on to see how we got along. Royal Racing Core Short Highlights Royal Racing Core Jersey Highlights Royal Racing Core Glove Highlights Trail fit 2-way stretch back panel Detachable Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 768 82 832 1725 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 54 346 3918 98 28

Project 321 Boost Rear Hub

Featured Member Review

“Project 321 G2 BOOST Rear Hub”

C138_rboost_hub_gold_big

The Good:

High quality materials, Excellent Craftsmanship and attention to detail, Options for noise levels and p.o.e., An insanely high point of engagement, Light weight, Excellent customer service, 3 year warranty.

The Bad:

Nothing too much (See Possible Concerns)

Overall Review: In the world of mountain bike components, there are some heavy hitters pumping out some high quality components. Specific towards hubs, some companies you may have heard from are Chris King, Industry Nine, Onyx, Hope, and Profile Racing. One company that you may not have heard from, yet has recently been turning quite a few heads, is Project 321. After that quick “Project 321” google search you’ll find their website which seems to be some sort of a hotchpotch of products ranging from car parts to keychains. But don’t let this diverse range of products fool you, they make a mean hubset that has recently had a performance Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_14881538_1588539877838281_1800798274_o_1477766735.jpg?1477766635 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 6 1 1 16 10

Box One 11-Speed Rear Derailleur

“Box One transmission”

C138_bx_dr160rr11.02

The Good:

Working crisp so far

The Bad:

Waiting on the short cage version for the DH bike application - the wait, if that's bad.

Overall Review: Just want to comment on the Box's rear der integration with the e13 TRS 9t cog's. I too had an initial issue with tuning the Box shifting with my TRS cassette in the 9t cog. Otherwise, on a standard cassette with either a 10 or 11t cog, it's great. The trick for me was a combo of getting just the right chain tension derived from cutting the chain length just to the absolute minimum length and fiddling with the B tension adjustment.  It's been running smooth and good on my Intense Spider275c with e13 TRSr 9-46 cassette.  I'm building up the new Tracer so I'm hoping for the same success I had with the Spider. 
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member ozzer
2584 ozzer http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/2584/avatar/c50_00aditw07.jpg?1352481730 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ozzer,2584/all 04/21/10 175 52 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ozzer,2584/setup 3 26 1

Box One 11-Speed Rear Derailleur

Vital Review

“Tested: Box One Drivetrain”

C138_bx_dr160rr11.02
The *big two* have gone pretty much unchallenged in mountain biking's derailleur and shifter game for years. Now Box Components is looking the change that with the launch of their Box One PushPush shifter and 11-speed rear derailleur. Box, who has a long history in BMX, took a slightly different approach (much like SRAM did when they first entered the market) when it comes to the typical action of a shifter. The One PushPush shifter features a single lever, as opposed to the traditional two-paddle system, which handles both upshifts and downshifts. This is made possible by a dual-motion design where the lever can be Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18548/avatar/c50_IMG_0045_1428943983.jpg?1428943532 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 60 5 485 149 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 32 225 63 54 1

Panasonic Wings

Vital Review

“Tested: Panasonic Wings Wireless Headphones”

C138_rp_bts30_r_alt01
Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow Listening to music while riding may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but we know many riders who do like to rock out while working out – and many who like to keep the beat going while shredding too. If you like the idea of tunes on the trails but don’t fancy being attached to your phone, Panasonic provides an affordable wireless answer with their Wings series. We’ve been putting a pair to the test to see how they stack up. Panasonic Wings Highlights Ultra-light Bluetooth sport clips for high-impact training, indoors and out Premium 9mm neodymium drivers for full rich Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 768 82 832 1725 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 54 346 3918 98 28

WTB Commander PadLoc Grip

Featured Member Review

“A quality upgrade component that is simple and has lots of surprising benefits”

C138_wtb_commander_padloc_grip_black_green

The Good:

Simple one piece design with a protective sleeve and padded bar end combo that feels just right. If a shop tried to tell you to swap to another brand/style bar/grip combo, they'd not have a benefit to point out. Bare handed riders will love them.

The Bad:

Anyone afraid of cutting their expensive bars to mate them has no way to demo them to feel the benefits. That is a hard sell, but I argue...worth it. Only four grip pattern choices, along with SRAM's Blackbox & Boobar pre-cut bars, today Pivot introduced their own grip pattern Padloc bar & grip combo plus more are on the way.

Overall Review: Let me preface this review by saying I was open to this concept before it ever hit the shelf and was on a waiting list to get them. I was hoping they would prevent the numbness in my hands from decades of palm parking myself in the dirt. I couldn't get them fast enough. I come from the old days of motocross, where spraying alchohol on your grips, painting them with hair spray and waiting patiently to make sure they seated, then aggressively strapping them down to the bar with grip wire pliers in hopes of the grip somehow staying planted in the rain on a 40 foot cased landing. It was a big, BIG deal! When dual lock ring Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member bizutch
175 bizutch http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/175/avatar/c50_Bailey_Mountain_Bike_Park_52_1449500778.jpg?1449500216 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bizutch,175/all 08/01/09 3 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bizutch,175/setup 1 31 406 1

Ergon GE1 Grip

“Firm, medium diameter grip.”

C138_ge1

The Good:

Single clamp design with solid end cap. Comfortable shape.

The Bad:

A little small toward the interior and a bit too firm for my liking.

Overall Review: I have had several friend rave about these grips, so I figured it was time to give them a shot. My go to grip is the ODI Rogue, so that might tell you that I am a fan of larger, softer grips. The Ergons were bit firmer than I like, but I decided to give them a shot anyway. The shape is comfortable, but I wish the diameter of the grip was flipped. I would prefer the bulkier part of the grip to be on the inside and then tapering down toward the outside. I have about 15 hours on these grips thus far and they have not shown any wear.  This may be the grip for many others, but I think I will be switching to a softer grip. I may give their DH model a try once I can find a pair.
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member tylerb
27953 tylerb http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/27953/avatar/c50_IMG_2235_1_1399420612.jpg?1399420296 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/tylerb,27953/all 10/15/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/tylerb,27953/setup 1 7 17 2

Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol

“A proper trail bike for the progressive geometry crowd.”

C138_gg_trail_pistol_163_edit_white

The Good:

A lightweight trail bike made from proper materials that has resulted in a reliable daily driver. Forward geometry pushes you to go faster and the progressive horst link suspension provides a lively feel on trail.

The Bad:

I'm still waiting for a bike that performs as well as a proper DH bike when it comes to repetitive square edge hits, but the rearward axle path of a DH bike is hard to achieve with a bike that is this light and pedals this well. I feel like this is a global problem with current trail bikes, but shock technology is helping.

Overall Review: Guerrilla Gravity wasn't conservative with this bikes geometry. They jumped right in and gave it some proper dimensions on the first go. I think many are starting to realize that a longer reach, steep seat tube angle, and "slack" head angle bundled in one package can result in a bike that is DH worthy and can still climb with the best of them. The head angle makes plowing over rocks easier whether it is on steep or flat terrain. Front wheel traction is increased by the steep seat tube and extended reach, forcing you to ride in a more forward position. The horst link design has good mid stroke support and a Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member tylerb
27953 tylerb http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/27953/avatar/c50_IMG_2235_1_1399420612.jpg?1399420296 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/tylerb,27953/all 10/15/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/tylerb,27953/setup 1 7 17 2