Latest Product Reviews


Five Ten Maltese Falcon LT Clipless Shoe

Featured Review

“Five Ten Maltese Falcon Race Clipless Shoes review”


The Good:

Stiff/ grippy soles, good protection, lightweight, comfortable for longer rides. Great shoe for the more aggressive trail rider looking for the benefits of clipless and the benefits of a flat pedal DH shoe.

The Bad:

Not as stiff as an XC shoe (good thing and bad thing), cleats are lower than rubber sole which makes them loud to walk in and slippery if you are not on your toes or heels. Broke cloth eyelet after a month of riding with them.

Overall Review: Mountain bikers have a huge range of shoes to choose from these days depending on style, location, application etc. and it is easy to get caught up in the gimmicks and marketing ploys. I started riding clipless a few years ago and haven’t looked back since, but finding a shoe that ticks all of the boxes has been tough. Enter the Five Ten Maltese Falcon Lt: a shoe that has the protection and grip of a flat pedal shoe but with the sole stiffness and cleat compatibility of a more XC-minded option. When I first looked at the shoes, I was definitely unsure about the looks. It has some of the skate shoe styling Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member lagocza
32917 lagocza,32917/all 10/07/14,32917/setup 2 1 7

Shimano SLX M530 Clipless Pedals

“Good Pedal!”


The Good:

Good value, robust, wide platform

The Bad:

None so far

Overall Review: It is a good pedal with a good value for money. I got this pair of M530 with $28, compared to the upper XT and XTR level pedal. Spring tension is easy to adjust . For the first time, I used the weakest spring tension with SM-SH51 single release cleat (cleats included with the pedal). Then, for more comfort, I added the spring tension several turn. And it makes me more comfortable and confidence on the bike. For trail use, I prefer SM-SH51cleat and for commuting (bike to work), I prefer SM-SH56 multi-release cleat. I recommend this pedal!! Five stars.

Maxxis Minion DHRII Wide Trail Tire

Vital Review

“Tested: Maxxis Minion DHRII Wide Trail”

by Joel Harwood Tire choice is a tough one. Every brand has a variety of tread patterns, casings, rubber compounds, and a never-ending list of acronyms. Maxxis led the industry with the Minion DHF and High Roller for eons, and other tire manufacturers were playing catch up. As more riders and bike manufacturers have transitioned to wider rims, Maxxis has updated some of their classic treads with a wider casing optimized for wide rims. Maxxis’ Wide Trail (WT) casing is optimized for rims with an internal width of 35mm, but also seems better suited to modern trail bikes than the relatively narrow 2.3” casing. It’s Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member hurricanejoel
27998 hurricanejoel,27998/all 10/17/13 1 38 4 16 17

2014 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon SPX AM 27.5 Bike

“Awesome Ride”


The Good:

27.5 Kashima fork and shock Fox 34 kicks butt.

The Bad:

Heavy tires

Overall Review: I bought this bike in 2014 and it's the best bike I've ever owned. Gt, trek, specialized, this beats them all. Fast smooth and agility are tops when the suspension is set up correctly. I am going to get some lighter tires though for local riding that's not that tech. I did do a DH race on it too and it blew through all that I hit with ease.

e*thirteen TRS Tires

Vital Review

“Tested: e*thirteen TRS Tires”

Review and photos by Fred Robinson and Brandon Turman e*thirteen- the name is synonymous with chain guides, guide rings, drivetrain innovation and more recently wheels. But tires? We not going to say it’s rare to see a component brand take on tires, but we will say we were a bit surprised when they showed us some early prototypes, complete with hand-cut modifications, at the EWS in Finale Ligure last year. As you might have gathered from our recent article showing the ins-and-outs of e*thirteen as a brand, it’s clear they are in the business of creating products that don’t necessarily complete their line of components, but Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 134 3 254 183,18548/setup 27 196 1 56 38

2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail XT/XTR Pro 1x

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Pivot Mach 429 Trail XT/XTR Pro 1x”

Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller What would happen if you took a successful 29er cross-country bike and mixed in a little inspiration from a long-travel 27.5 cousin? That's exactly what Pivot did with the Mach 429 Trail, which takes their well regarded Mach 429 SL cross-country rig and mixes it with some capability from the Mach 6 enduro bike, ultimately ending up with a very efficient ride that's better suited to getting rowdy on the trails. Updates include a small bump up in rear travel, a new linkage, components worthy of rougher terrain, Boost axles front and rear, a Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 92 5938 1048,109/setup 260 1122 2099 128 39

Crank Brothers Candy 7 Clipless Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Crankbrothers Candy 7”

Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas Pedals, like most mountain bike components, are somewhat subjective: engagement, float, and shoe contact differ from brand to brand and depend on setup. One trait valued by every consumer, and arguably the most important, is reliability. Crankbrothers pedals have a loyal following; however converting SPD die-hards has been an on-going challenge, especially with a reputation of product that may have a shorter lifespan than some of the competition. In their efforts, Crankbrothers have been adding functional features, durability, and style to some of their classics. Read More »
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Vital MTB member hurricanejoel
27998 hurricanejoel,27998/all 10/17/13 1 38 4 16 17

iXS Trail RS Helmet

“comfortable, nice fit and finish, but I can't see through the sweat”


The Good:

very comfortable, nice fit, well finished, good price. looks good.

The Bad:

mips or something similar would be nice, but the biggest downfall is sweat dripping. The padding directs my sweat straight into my eyes and glasses.

Overall Review: I bought this over the winter, fit was the best I'd ever experienced from a helmet, I could put it on and there were no hotspots or pressure points. It looks nice and the quality of finish seems great. Last week was my first hot weather ride with this helmet. It is very comfortable, and even does a decent job of moving air over my head, but I'm not sure I'll be able to wear this helmet over the summer: the padding seems to direct my sweat straight into my eyes. Once I got working hard, I had sweat pouring into my glasses. So I got rid of the glasses and figured that would be fine, except the sweat poured straight into Read More »

Crank Brothers Mallet E Clipless Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Crankbrothers Mallet E Clipless Pedals”

by Lee Trumpore Crankbrothers pedals have been a staple of professional and amateur mountain biker ranks for well over a decade. Based on their original Egg Beater design, the Mallet DH pedals quickly won a following for their unique feel, large platform, and ease of engagement, even in the muddiest conditions. Despite their wild popularity, the original Mallet pedals were not without their issues and subsequent revisions. Though cleverly designed and pleasing to the eyes, they didn't always cut it on the trail. Similar challenges with other products led to a complete re-boot at Crankbrothers a few years ago Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member general lee
957 general lee,957/all 09/27/09 223 14,957/setup 64 242 21

Crank Brothers Mallet 3 Clipless/Platform Pedals

“Awesome Pedal! ”


The Good:

Weight, Colour , Easy in Easy out.

The Bad:

Freespin , Cliping mech to close to the crank.

Overall Review: These are the first "clip" style pedals I have used, and i don't think i'll ever go back to flats.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Lapierreloosely
37670 Lapierreloosely,37670/all 09/24/15 2 80 5 1