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2016 Giant Reign 27.5 2 Bike

“A lot of bike for the money”

C138_reign_275_2_yellow_blue

The Good:

Get fairly decent spec for a low price
nice geometry - bombs the descents and climbs pretty well
wide handlebars as standard is a bonus

The Bad:

No lockout on the rear shock is a bit annoying

Overall Review: After buying this as an upgrade to my norco fluid dualy, i noticed the difference straight away. I was incredibly suprised to see that it climbed better than the fluid as it was heavier with more aggressive travel/geometry. No matter what i have thrown at the bike it has eaten it all up. I would definitely recommend this bike.

Kali Protectives Savara Full Face Helmet

“Decent beginner full fave”

C138_he256g00_black

The Good:

Light
Well ventilated
Works well with most goggles
Nice sturdy visor
Could fit a GoPro hero session underneath visor
Plenty of spots to mount an action camera

The Bad:

Felt a little flimsy
Metal seatbelt type buckle rusted easy
Clear coat paint started to peal off after about 6 months

Overall Review: Having used both a TLD d3 and a Savara, I can easily say the d3 is worth the extra $. However, this helmet is nice and light and still offers much more protection that a half shell for the money.

2017 Yeti Beti SB5 Carbon XT/SLX

Vital Review

“Review - 2017 Yeti Beti SB5 Carbon from Vital MTB Test Sessions”

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One of Yeti’s most popular bikes, the SB5, has a twin sister in the Beti lineup. For 2017 the bike received a number of sweet updates atop women’s specific contact points, a lighter shock tune, and a gorgeous paint job. Built for “hard charging women who want the ideal trail bike,” we dropped in on Tucson’s Mount Lemmon during Vital MTB Test Sessions to find out if the second generation Beti can back up the bold statement. Highlights Full carbon frame 27.5-inch wheels 127mm (5.0-inches) of rear wheel travel // 150mm (5.9-inches) fork travel Switch Infinity suspension design Tapered Inset headtube Internal cable 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 1134 96 6156 996 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 275 1229 2241 157 41

Knolly Endorphin Frame

“Knolly - Making Kick Ass Aluminum bikes - Endorphin 27.6 2017 Review ”

C138_knolly_endorphin_day_glow_yellow

The Good:

for me, the debate of carbon vs aluminum seems to be outdated. The cost is not worth 1-2 lbs of savings for me these days and the Knolly Endorphin reminds of of why i started riding bikes in the first place. This is coming from someone who owns carbon and AL full suspension bikes. This bike absolutely rips. It is so nimble and playful and that is with a pike 150 up front. I am a bigger build at 5'10" 190 lbs and I ride a medium, This thing wants to pop, flick and jump off every little feature it can. the rear linkage made me a little hesitant at first, but man... traction traction traction! rather your climbing a tech section full of rocks and roots, or ripping through some groomed berms, this bike holds it down. the 130 rear really holds it own, and I have yet to feel under-gunned on any of my my rides. I was incredible impressed how stable it felt, especially on the faster stuff. This bike is just plain fun and reminds me of why i started riding in the first place.

The Bad:

I have only owned this bike for a few months now and I really don't have anything bad to say at this point. When riding some more techy terrain, keeping up with my buddy's on their 160/150 bikes was a little tough as they could blow through the gnar sections while I was a little more thoughtful of my lines. To combat that, on the flatter sections of the trails, I was able to enjoy myself a little more popping off roots and rocks... I think the rear linkage makes me questionable for the long term, and will be interested to see how long the pivots and hardware hold up.

Overall Review: As I have read elsewhere, it is downhillers trail bike. I am no downhill rider, but spend 90% of my time on trails on the east coast.. but man is this bike fun. Going back to what I said earlier, this bike reminds me of why I started riding in the first place. Not getting caught up on components, weight, what materials my frame and wheels were made of... but simply just got me excited to go ride my bike. If you want to have fun, and you are an aggressive trail rider, don't look past the Knolly Endorphin 27.5
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member 615regular
43662 615regular http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/43662/avatar/c50_IMG_6863_1485986851.jpg?1485985915 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/615regular,43662/all 02/01/17 10 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/615regular,43662/setup 2 4

POC Joint VPD Air Knee Pad

“Overall - Good Set of Pads ”

C138_poc_joint_vpd_air_knee_pad

The Good:

POC is known for their protection gear. They cover the basis across two major outdoor recreation sports, biking and skiing, and with the focus on two sports and not 7, i think it allows them the time, money and research to provide quality products. That being said, this is a great pair of kneed pads, especially for the downhill enthusiasts. Even though, this is the VPD Air knee pad, considered to be their lighter duty knee pad, they still provide an abundance of protection, which is good and why we wear these things. They breathe relatively well, but of comfort and breathability are your main concerns, I personally would look elsewhere.

The Bad:

A few things that bothered me about these knee pads. 1) this is suppose to be POC's "light duty" knee pad. Well they are, but they aren't when you are comparing them to other like knee pads, say the Dakin Slayers, or Fox Launch. The POC really do provide great stiff, protectio, but they aren't that forgiving when it comes to pedaling, especially when you are climbing just as much as you are descending. 2) Don't breathe very well 3) only one strap, on top that grabs the thigh. I personally would prefer a strap that grabs the calf, or just right above it so when you are descending, through technical terrain, you don't have to worry about the pads sliding down your legs. most people legs get slimmer from top to bottom and the top strap is pointless once it loses its grip and begins to slid down your leg. 4) not recommended for long days in the saddle.

Overall Review: Now it may seem that my Bad may outweigh the good in this review, but don't get my wrong, I think this is a great pair of knee pads and POC is known as a industry leader in the protection market. But, when this is their light duty knee pad, and you are comparing to what I would consider, other true light duty knee pads, these are not at the top of my list. these get 4 out of 5 for me, as they are still on my shelf, and I will wear them on the days when I know descending > ascending but there is still some pedaling involved. ..but if you're looking to crank out 20-30 miles in the saddle, I would look elsewhere. Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions or address any of my statements above!
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member 615regular
43662 615regular http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/43662/avatar/c50_IMG_6863_1485986851.jpg?1485985915 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/615regular,43662/all 02/01/17 10 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/615regular,43662/setup 2 4

e*thirteen TRS+ Seatpost

Vital Review

“First Ride: e*thirteen TRS+ Dropper Post”

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Just a few short years ago, there were not that many dropper post contenders on the market - and just a few short years before that, your seatpost clamp was your only ticket to more fun on the descents. Fast forward to today, and there are more than 20 viable options for those looking to drop their seats at the push of a button. Or lever, as the case may be. e*thirteen is one of the latest companies to join in the fun with their TRS+ dropper post, first unveiled at last year’s Eurobike and now available for sale. But rather than go down the me-too road with another airsprung, hydraulic cartridge offering, e*thirteen took a Read More »
Rate review: +3 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 08/01/09 764 84 889 1708 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 54 350 3979 99 29

Flat Tire Defender 27.5" Downhill Tire Insert Kit

Vital Review

“Does It Really Prevent Pinch Flats? Vital Tests the Flat Tire Defender”

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Iposted a Vital MTB forum thread in May of 2014 asking "Why are flat tires something we still see these days?" Some riders were plagued by the typical race-robbing issues of pinch flats at the first two World Cup DH events. "We have $10,000 bikes but we can't keep air in the tires if they're hit just right?" I was frustrated and I'm not even a racer getting hosed or a team sponsor watching tens of thousands of dollars go down the drain on a single race effort. Lo and behold, industry-leading tire designer and tester, Frank Stacy, was already on the case. Frank is the lead man Read More »
Rate review: +8 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 7 746 142 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 33 233 68 53 1

2017 Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol - Race Build with Pistola Setup

Vital Review

“Review - 2017 Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol from Vital MTB Test Sessions”

C138_gg_trail_pistol_163_edit_white
"Why does the guerrilla fighter fight? We must come to the inevitable conclusion that the guerrilla fighter is a social reformer, that he takes up arms responding to the angry protest of the people against their oppressors, and that he fights in order to change the social system that keeps all his unarmed brothers in ignominy and misery." - Che Guevara Debatably the tactics of guerrilla warfare were originally penned by Sun Tzu in The Art of War around 600 B.C. At its heart it is a series of tactics that a small army employs to fight against a much larger army. Guerrilla warfare is an Read More »
Rate review: 0 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 1134 96 6156 996 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 275 1229 2241 157 41

Industry Nine Torch Classic Rear Hub

Featured Member Review

“Industry Nine Torch Classic Rear Hub”

C138_classic_mtn_1

The Good:

Looks, finish, colorway, performance, durability, and true boost specific hub shells.

The Bad:

Steel springs can loose their youthfulness over time. Would like to see a some innovation to keep their hubs at the top.

Overall Review: Out of the box, you will quickly realize that Industry Nine makes one of the best looking hubs on the market. Their smooth lines, quality anodized finish, multiple colorways make them a real condenser for someone in the market for customization. In addition to this, the weight of their hubs makes them even more appealing. Throwing in a freehub that has 120 points of engagement makes the Classic Torch hubs one of the best all-round hubs on the market. Performance: Looking past the fancy outside, the heart of the Torch hub is it’s freehub. Just like many of the high point of engagement hubs out there (Profile 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 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 1 22 89

Smith Forefront Helmet

“Great helmet. Great Value ”

C138_smith_forefront_helmet_neon_orange

The Good:

This is a rockin helmet. I was stoked with Smith came out with this helmet. You can say I am a little bias, but I have always been a fan of their product. Their R&D team goes above and beyond to make sure they provide quality products. From their sunglasses to their helmets, you cant go wrong with smith. First off, this helmet is incredibly comfortable.The forefront provides me with the coverage I need to ride confidently, especially in rougher terrain. I would highly reccomend this helmet to anyone who is going for comfort, looks and quality. This helmet has lasted me over 2 years now and I will continue to wear it as long as I can

The Bad:

Brethablity is the biggest issue for me. I sweat a lot. I mean a lot. and this helmet does not cater to that very well. I am willing to sacrifice that for coverage and safety. now, in the winter months, it is great and keeps my head nice and toasty. but the koyroyd is not suitable for good airflow.

Overall Review: This is a great helmet with great value. I would highly recommend this helmet to anyone who is looking for something that truly wraps around your head rather than sit on top of it. The design of the forefront give me the coverage I need to confidently ride out on the trails.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member 615regular
43662 615regular http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/43662/avatar/c50_IMG_6863_1485986851.jpg?1485985915 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/615regular,43662/all 02/01/17 10 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/615regular,43662/setup 2 4