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9point8 Fall Line Dropper Post

“f'ed deeply”

C138_9point8_fall_line_dropper_post

The Good:

nothing, it looks good on paper but doesn't actually live up to the hype.

The Bad:

constant malfunctions, unable to reach anyone at 9point8 about repairing it. worst customer service ever

Overall Review: I really want to love this post, it checks all my boxes. 200mm of drop, mechanical cable actuation, microadjust saddle angle, and the ability to remove the saddle without losing the angle setting. Unfortunately my post has been plagued by problems from the start. After the first ride it had leaked down to nothing in the air spring. A couple rides later the brake started slipping and a "brake reset" did not remedy the issue. I was forced to disassemble the post to clean contamination off the brake and out of the air chamber. A few rides later the brake started slipping again, no way in hell the contamination Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member casey.coull.56
25936 casey.coull.56 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/25936/avatar/c50_fb_picture_100000353426506_1372255816.jpg?1372255574 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/casey-coull-56,25936/all 06/26/13 2

RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork with Charger 2 Damper

Vital Review

“First Look, First Ride: All-New 2018 RockShox Pike Fork and Charger 2 Damper”

C138_2018_rockshox_pike_rct3_fork
"How easy is it to take the RockShox Pike for granted now? We would’ve killed for this fork eight years ago and now it goes by with a simple sentence or two of gratitude. Thanks Pike, you changed the game and we’re better for it." - Mint Henk, Vital MTB Test Sessions Rider Originally launched in 2013, the RockShox Pike instantly set the benchmark for single-crown fork suspension performance and elevated the capability of every bike it was mounted to. At the time, 26-inch wheeled bikes were still king. Since then we've witnessed a massive shift in trail bikes with even budget builds and short-travel rippers bringing an insane Read More »
Rate review: +2 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 1133 96 6156 985 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1242 2266 162 41

Troy Lee Designs Raid Knee Guard

“As close the the ONLY knee pads you'll need for all types of riding”

C138_raid_knee_guard_black_1

The Good:

Best knee pad I've ever owned and I've been racing DH and riding heavy trail in them for almost a year.

The Bad:

Nothing so far

Overall Review: I suffer from tremendous knee pain if a pad puts even the slightest pressure on my knee cap. These do not touch them. Other pads made not to touch are too stiff in an odd way and flop/stick out to accomplish this. The D3O padding is thick enough that I've been racing in them and doing tons of DH laps without issue. I also take them on rowdy trail rides where I know I'm going to get into the big stuff. Not one issue. The calf support is smart. They breathe in the swampy Southeast well enough to justify. All pads are hot, but these are bearable. It is very hard to say anything negative about them.
Rate review: +1 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 34 465 2

2017 Pivot Firebird Carbon Pro XT/XTR

Featured Member Review

“Firebird XT/XTR”

C138_2017_pivot_firebird_carbon_blue_red_with_pro_xt_xtr_1x

The Good:

Pain free climbs.
Great cockpit length and geo.
Outstanding grip.
Descents are next level.
Specs are well thought out and perform together seamlessly.

The Bad:

Stones collect in lower linkage and scratch frame - need mastic tape or cover.
Fox 36 Float Fit4 is overshadowed by the amazing Float X2. It was hard to set up to match the feel of the rear shock.

Overall Review: I own a Firebird XT/XTR version. I came from a 2013 Corratec Opiate FX (think 67deg HA, 26" "all-rounder" AM bike). Climbing - At 6'2" I was right between sizing for an XL and L. I opted to go for an XL and put on a 33mm stem. The long front (65 deg HA and long reach) on the bike helps keep weight down on the front wheel so I'm clearing steep sections with ease that the old bike was popping the front wheel up and wandering around on. The grip from the rear is amazing and despite these climbs, I've yet to lose traction (due to not having to awkwardly weight the front wheel I'm guessing). This bike has let me ride Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member ButtersNZ
43916 ButtersNZ http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/43916/avatar/c50_IMG_20170114_090407_1489025331.jpg?1489025037 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ButtersNZ,43916/all 03/08/17 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ButtersNZ,43916/setup 2 1

2017 Trek Remedy 9.9 Race Shop Limited

Vital Review

“Review - 2017 Trek Remedy 27.5 from Vital MTB Test Sessions”

C138_1191600_2017_a_1_remedy_99_275_race_shop_limited
In mid-2016, Trek surprised many by killing off the widely-loved Slash 27.5 all-mountain/enduro bike. To fill the newly created void for a long-travel, ready-for-anything 27.5 rig, the all-new Remedy stepped up with a touch more travel at 150mm, completely revised geometry, and a host of fresh features claimed to improve the ride. Part Remedy, part Slash, it's aggressive enough that many of Trek's testers lovingly referred to the new bike as the "Rash" prior to its launch. We were eager to get this potential heavy-hitter back in some wild terrain following our limited time on the bike when it was first Read More »
Rate review: +1 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 1133 96 6156 985 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1242 2266 162 41

RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Fork

“The best in class”

C138_rockshox_lyrik_rct3

The Good:

Smooth, controlled, easily tuned, supportive

The Bad:

Slightly awkward if your wheels aren't torque cap compatible

Overall Review: After trying a buddy's Lyrik, I replaced a 160mm Pike with a 170mm Lyrik on my Norco Range late last season. Not that the Pike is a poor performer in any way, but the Lyrik simply does what the Pike does just a little bit better in every way. The Lyrik definitely feels smoother and more plush off the top than the Pike and it has some added stiffness even without using the torque caps (more on those later). In the 170mm version, there is also the option of putting up to 3 tokens in instead of just 2 in the 160mm Pike. I find this makes it possible to run the pressure slightly lower, allowing for a smoother beginning stroke, Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member NMK183
42693 NMK183 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/42693/avatar/c50_IMAG1041_1476164428.jpg?1476163537 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NMK183,42693/all 10/10/16 26

Norco Range Carbon 7.1 Framekit

“Small improvements over previous year's model”

C138_2015_norco_range_c_7.1_framekit

The Good:

Better cable routing than 2014, fun geometry

The Bad:

seat-tube angle could be steeper, not the lightest of carbon frames

Overall Review: I loved the 2014 Carbon Range so much that I now have a 2015 Range. The few small things that bugged me about the 2014 Range have been fixed. The cable used to sit against the frame near the bottom bracket and it actually rubbed away some of the frame's material over time. They added a metal guard to better hold the cable and protect the frame. They also added little plugs that hold the hoses tightly in position so that they don't rattle inside the frame. I also just personally like this year's colors better. You can't tell from pictures, but the 7.3 model is a BRIGHT neon yellow and looks amazing. Riding the Range Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member NMK183
42693 NMK183 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/42693/avatar/c50_IMAG1041_1476164428.jpg?1476163537 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NMK183,42693/all 10/10/16 26

CamelBak Blowfish Hydration Pack

“Great hydration pack with two weaknesses.”

C138_97553750_1265400082

The Good:

Large reservoir volume, good storage organization

The Bad:

No back ventilation, warm.

Overall Review: Perfect volume to stash a rain jacket, tube, pump, tools, small 1st aid kit, food, cell phone, and wallet. It stays close to your back and doesn't move around when descending. The straps are wide and don't chaff, and it carries its weight evenly. There is a tool pocket and an organizing compartment inside, a nice touch for securing tools inside the bag. I have two complaints: The back panel does not breathe and gets hot and sweaty after long climbs. It holds moisture/sweat and needs to be washed periodically to stay salt-stain free. Secondly, there is no helmet carry feature. So if you use a Bell Super 2R and remove Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member NMK183
42693 NMK183 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/42693/avatar/c50_IMAG1041_1476164428.jpg?1476163537 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NMK183,42693/all 10/10/16 26

Ryders Eyewear Seventh Glasses

Featured Member Review

“Game Changers”

C138_seventh_r02310i_1024x409

The Good:

Photo-chromatic lenses are phenomenal. Ear and nose pads are grippy.

The Bad:

Getting more expensive every year

Overall Review: After trying several different pairs of glasses in order to figure out how to deal with changing light conditions on the same ride, I decided to try a pair of photochromatic glasses for the first time. I can't believe it took this long to try! Where I ride, it is often open climbs into dark forest and I usually had lenses which allowed to me to see in the low-light conditions. Fire roads are usually bright dusty affairs, and staring into the sun in low-light lenses is hard on the eyes. If I switched it up and rode with a darker lens to combat the glare, I would suffer in the shadows. Enter the Ryder Photochromatic Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member NMK183
42693 NMK183 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/42693/avatar/c50_IMAG1041_1476164428.jpg?1476163537 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NMK183,42693/all 10/10/16 26

KMC X11L Chain

“Performance, value, durability. What more could you ask for in a chain?”

C138_57318

The Good:

Lasts well, multi-directional, quick link, price.

The Bad:

Isn't made of solid gold?

Overall Review: After being dissatisfied with both Shimano and Sram chains, I gave KMC a try. Asthetically, they come in black, silver, or gold and look better than the competition. They last at least as long as Shimano, and longer than Sram chains in my experience. The quick link they supply is the best in the business, super easy to operate, though a tool is recommended to open it. I have reused the quick links, though they don't recommend it, and have had zero failures. Its also nice not to have the directional chain, like Sram uses. If you're like me then at least once you've gone and changed a chain, taken the time to get everything all ready to rock, only to find that you put the lousy chain in the wrong direction and have had to start all over again. Its a simple thing, but a nice feature.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member NMK183
42693 NMK183 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/42693/avatar/c50_IMAG1041_1476164428.jpg?1476163537 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NMK183,42693/all 10/10/16 26