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WTB Convict Tire

Vital Review

“Tested: WTB Convict Tire”

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Review by Nick Zuzelski // Photos by Carl Gray We put our trail bikes through some serious terrain these days as modern geometry and capable six-inch suspension brings us to terrain that not too many years ago was considered downhill-bike-only. This leaves riders searching for that better connection with Mother Earth so we can hit that corner harder, brake a little later and go a little faster. WTB has answered that call with an aggressive tire designed around these abusive requirements with their new tire, the Convict. WTB Convict Features Intended use: Gravity / Enduro Conditions: Dry to wet / Sand to loam Size: 27.5 x 2.5-inch Read More »
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Vital MTB member Zoomlinski
2655 Zoomlinski http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/2655/avatar/c50_91001400_1272558654.jpg?1290157451 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Zoomlinski,2655/all 04/29/10 1 19 25

Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35 Handlebar

Vital Review

“Tested: Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35 Handlebars”

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by Fred Robinson The Renthal Fatbar very well could be the most popular handlebar on the market, if not the most highly regarded. How did the Fatbar get so popular when Renthal has only been in the bicycle industry since 2010? The UK brand pays attention to every detail, uses high-quality construction and embraces their moto and ATV heritage which dates back to 1969. Renthal recently updated both the Fatbar and the Fatbar Carbon, as well as their Integra stem, to the new 35mm clamp standard. Many will argue the new standard is just another way for the bike industry to sell us stuff, and it’s hard not to agree, but Read More »
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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 98 5 311 151 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 31 222 60 57 1

e*thirteen LG1 Race Wheelset

Vital Review

“Tested: e*thirteen LG1 Race Wheelset”

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by Fred Robinson e*thirteen has been on a roll lately when it comes to making innovative, well-designed, high-performing products. New component highlights include a modular cassette which can squeeze in a tiny 9-tooth cog for extended range and their brand new TRS tires which were meticulously created with intention behind every knob shape and placement. Refined with input from Mick and Tracey Hannah of the UR Team, e*thirteen’s new LG1r wheels bring to the table some new, unique and interesting features. The wheels are built with 27mm-wide hookless carbon rims, and wide-flanged hubs thanks to e*thirteen’s own Read More »
Rate review: +4 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 98 5 311 151 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 31 222 60 57 1

Alpinestars Paragon Vest

Vital Review

“Tested: Alpinestars Paragon Vest”

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Review by Matt Swenson // Photos by Matt Swenson and Seth Beckton (Action) The Italian brand, Alpinestars, has been immersed in motor sports, like motorcycle racing, motocross, auto racing since 1963. As they expand their presence in mountain biking and develop more bike-specific product, we received their Paragon Vest. The lightweight vest is built for comfort and features a three-piece, customizable back pad, room for a water bladder as well as additional storage on the side and lower back. We put the Paragon vest to the test for a couple months to see if it's a true performer. Alpinestars Paragon Vest Read More »
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Vital MTB member @mattyswenson
9703 @mattyswenson http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/9703/avatar/c50_matt_HS_valhalla_1463510644.jpg?1463510539 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mattyswenson,9703/all 07/19/11 1 7 2 1 1 9 3 1

2016 YT Capra AL Comp 1

“Epitome of a bad buying experience”

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The Good:

Suspension feel and progression rate; ease of taking apart and cleaning; great geometry for bike park/jumping; pedals really well; perceived price/quality ratio

The Bad:

Might take a bit to get used to the fore/aft balance if you aren't used to that much suspension travel; customer service/glaring design flaws that won't be addressed by YT; no support for defective components right out of the box...i.e. you get what you get;

Overall Review: From a riding/geometry/suspension standpoint this bike is amazing and well thought out.I do about 50/50 long rides and freeride with the occasional (maybe 2-3 times a year) bike park trip and I prefer progressive suspension. It does tend to bottom out on flatter landings (3-4 ft + vertical) and on larger drops but that really depends on the slope of the landing, hard to quantify there but in general it is hard to bottom out. There is no doubt this bike rips, but my experience basically epitomizes the risk/fear of direct to consumer... you get what you get and if stuff isn't right, too bad you are getting left out in the dark. Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member rybrentd
26809 rybrentd /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/rybrentd,26809/all 08/08/13 3 21 1

Reynolds 27.5 Enduro Complete Wheel

Vital Review

“Tested: Reynolds Blacklabel Enduro Wheelset”

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Review by Nick Zuzelski // Photos by Carl Gray Reynolds is back with their redesigned high-end carbon enduro wheelset. The brand went back to the drawing board from their previous Blacklabel hoops and created a new hookless carbon rim that’s wider, beefier and more aggressive. Paired up with the equally impressive-sounding and performing hubs, which were developed in collaboration with Industry Nine, Reynolds means business with this high-performance wheelset. Reynolds Blacklabel Enduro Wheelset Features Weight: 1660g (Claimed) Carbon rims with internal 28mm width and hookless bead 28 Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes per Read More »
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Vital MTB member Zoomlinski
2655 Zoomlinski http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/2655/avatar/c50_91001400_1272558654.jpg?1290157451 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Zoomlinski,2655/all 04/29/10 1 19 25

Xpedo GFX Clipless Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Xpedo GFX Clipless Pedal”

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Review by Matt Swenson / Photos by Chris Wellhausen, Seth Beckton, and Matt Swenson Pedal choice is a key factor when it comes to riding, especially given the terrain we choose these days as bikes become more and more capable. Choosing a downhill-specific clipless pedal can be quite the challenge as we search for fast engagement, predictable release, a stable platform as well as durability, all in a package that has to come in at a reasonable weight. Considering these important attributes, we've spent the past two and a half months smashing the new Xpedo GFX pedals, which have been designed from the ground up. The GFX Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member @mattyswenson
9703 @mattyswenson http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/9703/avatar/c50_matt_HS_valhalla_1463510644.jpg?1463510539 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mattyswenson,9703/all 07/19/11 1 7 2 1 1 9 3 1

Shimano XTR RT98 Icetech Brake Rotor

“Ice Tech Rotors, blingy full stop”

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The Good:

No brake fade, quality, bling factor is high

The Bad:

They ain't cheap

Overall Review: I can't say for sure these are better than a regular non ice tech rotor but I can for sure say that I have never experienced any brake fade using Shimano XT brakes (both M8000 and M785) down full-on DH trails, enduro races, bike park laps, or monster 1500 meter shuttle descents. I have used them with Shimano finned ice tech pads, and with Nukeproof Metal pads. I didn't notice any difference in stopping power or brake fade between the two pads, but the Shimano pads squeeled like crazy, no matter what trick I tried. The Nukeproofs have always been quiet. Overall, a quality rotor, that in my experience has led to excellent stopping power on the longest and steepest of trails.I just wish they were cheaper.
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 13

Shimano XT Disc Brake M785

“Good brake, durability an issue”

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The Good:

Stopping power, no brake fade, easy to bleed, ergonomic lever

The Bad:

Leaky levers.

Overall Review: On two different bikes I've owned, the brakes leaked oil from the master cylinder near the lever. Its not anything that really is catastrophic, the brakes still work, but need to be bled more often. Thankfully, this is an extremely easy endeavor, especially compared to Sram brakes. I love the "on/off" feel of these brakes and I feel like I became a better rider because of it. I don't ride the brakes nearly as much as I did when using Sram brakes. Although I also feel like once you get used to them, you can still modulate to your heart's content. Its just when people who are used to Sram brakes go to these, there is a period of adjustment.
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 13

Bell Super 2R Helmet

“Bell Super 2R, Turtle In a Half Shell”

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The Good:

Versatile, half shell is the Bell Super, MIPS, ventilation, protection, ease of use, extra confidence for every trail.

The Bad:

Looks great as a half shell, only ok without.

Overall Review: By now we all know the story. The Bell Super 2R is a convertible helmet that doesn't pass the downhill safety test. Listen, if you wear this as a downhill helmet, you have more than a lab safety test to worry about. If however, you want a helmet with a bit more protection and confidence to go that extra bit faster down some rowdier trails, then this is a perfect helmet. I've had it for two seasons and here's what I love about it. All of the extra protection comes at zero compromise. The chinbar fits in my helmet stow compartment in my pack and I never notice it while riding. The half shell is nearly exactly the Bell 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 13