Latest Product Reviews


Park Tool Shop Cone Wrench

Featured Review

“Outstanding but not bombproof”


The Good:

Precise sizing,
High quality finish,
Comfortable handles,
Wide range of sizes

The Bad:

Can dent and bend in extreme use

Overall Review: I’ve owned my Park Tool cone wrenches for more than 5 years and I do have to say, I am quite impressed. I’ve used them for hub service, install pedals on the fly, and even suspension top caps. I really like how there is little to no play when placing them on the head of bolts; in other words, the sizing accuracy is outstanding. They are incredibly thin and have a finish that hasn’t shown any significant signs of ware, even after 5 years of use. Pretty impressive if you ask me. They come with a vinyl dipped cover that makes the handle very comfortable, even when loosening the tightest of bolts. Although I Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2,14755/setup 1 11 43

Giro Cipher Helmet

Featured Review

“Giro Cipher Helmet, A Solid Option”


The Good:

Price well,
Good platform of protection,
Looks great,
Features usually found only on high-end helmets

The Bad:

No MIPS protection (but at this price can understand why)

Overall Review: Although not a brand new design (It’s several years old), Giro has hit the nail right on the head when designing a good looking, protective, and most impressively affordable helmet. It’s called the Giro Cipher and it’s pretty dope. I purchased my Giro Cipher about a year ago and have been super impressed with it. This is why: Looks meet function- First off, the Giro Cipher helmet is arguably one of the better looking helmets and at an MSRP of $200, definitely an affordable one compared to TLD and Fox. At a price tag of $200, Giro didn’t skimp out on function either. The Cipher is made with a fiberglass shell and an ESP Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2,14755/setup 1 11 43

FOX Float X2 Factory Rear Shock

Featured Review

“2016 Float X2”


The Good:

Light weight, Adjustable, Easy to adjust, Excellent bottom-out control

The Bad:

No climb switch (if you prefer one)

Overall Review: After 4 months of riding on the new 2016 Fox Float X2 rear shock, here are my opinions about it. Out of the box, I was very impressed with the overall craftsmanship of the piece. It’s so beautiful I was hesitative to even throw it on my Session; Okay, that’s a complete lie but the thing is beautiful. The next thing I noticed was the weight of the thing. Sitting at 494 grams (8.75” x 2.75” with 5 volume spacers installed) isn’t that bad at all! Stacked with High and Low speed compression and rebound, one could argue things couldn’t get better. Enough about first impressions, lets talk about the ride! Throwing it on my Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2,14755/setup 1 11 43

Source Hipster Hydration Belt

Vital Review

“Tested: Source Hipster Hydration Belt System”

Review by Amanda Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller (Action) and Brandon Turman (Product) One of the more surprising trends in enduro (aside from enduro itself) is the rebirth of the fanny pack. Stolen from Disneyland tourists and grey-haired slot machine jockeys, the fanny pack has become just as much a part of the enduro uniform as half shells and goggles. Is this just a trend or are the fanny-packers really onto something? Source believes in the design so much that they created the Hipster Hydration Belt and we put it to the test, to find out if the trend has merit. Hipster Hydration Belt Features 1.5L Widepac Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member La Pata
28909 La Pata,28909/all 12/20/13 2 1 6

Park Tool TW-6 Ratcheting Torque Wrench

“Not Just for Carbon”


The Good:

Durable, easy to use, tuneability

The Bad:

There are none

Overall Review: This thing is awesome, and I know a lot of home mechanics use this tool on their carbon bikes, but it has many more uses, and will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your bike and components are torqued to factory specs. It is also real easy to use, which as a guy, is paramount because who likes reading instructions? and the level of adjustment is second to none. If you have a little extra $ to blow this is a great addition to any home mechanic's arsenal.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member kstrongin
39701 kstrongin /images/default/avatar/c50.png,39701/all 03/09/16 1 11

Troy Lee Designs 2015 Ruckus Riding Jersey

“You Know!!”


The Good:

Troy Lee Designs, Durable, Breathable, looks

The Bad:

Looks are not for everyone

Overall Review: Let's be honest, it's Troy Lee Designs, it is great stuff, but it isn't for everyone, especially at the price point. $50+ for a jersey! seems a little steep when you consider you can pick up a moto jersey for -$15 from many other brands. Why pay for it then? because it is Troy Lee Designs, the Jersey is great! it I've been down on all kinds of surfaces and it still doesn't have a hole! This jersey also breathes real well which is much appreciated during those long transfer stages. Now the 3/4 sleeves might not be for everyone but if they are your style, this jersey rocks! buy it! you won't be disappointed!

Park Tool Chain Checker

“Great Tool”


The Good:

Easy to read, and understand, accurate when used properly

The Bad:

Can be inaccurate when used wrong

Overall Review: Let's get this straight, if this tool is used properly it is easy and accurate... which is the hallmark of a good tool. However due to the small size of the pins it can be used inaccurately so it is important that when using this tool you align both pins, and check for deviation before taking your final reading. Other than that a great tool for any home mechanic.

RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Fork

“Smooth as a Marvin Gay pickup ”


The Good:

Smooth, light-ish, range of adjustment, stiff

The Bad:

questionable top cap adjustments

Overall Review: The hype surrounding these forks is well founded, I have a set on my Stumpjumper and they are awesome! The small bump sensitivity is great, and the range of adjustment is insane helping these forks to excel in many different situations, but they really shine when hauling the mail down your favorite trail, even after all the braking bumps and potholes have appeared. My only complaint is about 20 hours into owning them the dial on the right side leg has gotten really difficult to turn, even after multiple rebuilds this problem still persists, but it doesn't stop me from really enjoying myself on these forks!

Race Face SixC Handlebar

“Stiff Stiff Stiff!”


The Good:


The Bad:


Overall Review: In case you can't tell, these bars are stiff... I'm talking stiff, chatter your teeth out of your skull stiff! But if you are like me, that is a good thing. I have them on a Stumpjumper Evo right now and they provide amazing control and feedback. It took me about a week to get used to them, but now I can't go back. I really appreciate the pinpoint control and precise feedback they offer, but realize they may not be for everyone because of this. Having said that, if you are looking for a bar that is light enough for an XC rig, but durable and precise enough for high speed descents aboard an Enduro or DH bike look no further. These bars are the cat's pajamas!

e*thirteen TRS+ Cassette

Vital Review

“Tested: e*thirteen TRS+ Cassette”

Review by Evan Turpen // Action Photos by Joel Harwood, Product Photos by AJ Barlas and Evan Turpen Over the last 20 years there have been incredible changes in mountain bike technology, but drivetrain technology still seems to change at a snail’s pace. We’ve only added three additional cogs to our cassettes in that 20 year span. Gearboxes are the potential holy grail of durability, gear range, and weight placement, but they may never be ready for the mainstream yet. Narrow-wide chainrings, clutch-equipped derailleurs, and add-on cassette expanders are recent steps towards greater performance, but consumers still want more. Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member E.T.
699 E.T.,699/all 08/31/09 4 8 1 5 47 13

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