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Latest Product Reviews


Continental Mountain King ProTection Tire

“I miss the Exiwolf”


The Good: Light, uhh....durable?

The Bad: Super porous sidewalls, horrible wet root/rock traction, doesn't hold a seal, seems smaller than advertised size(2.2)

Overall Review: Well, since WTB discontinued my favorite rolling rear tire, the Exiwolf, I had to move on and accept the loss. Change happens. We get used to it. We adapt. We move on. We are humans after all. I had seen many a positive review on the Mountain King II(MKII) version 2. The first version garnered tremendous hate due to poor quality control that resulted in knobs ripping off randomly. So, I purchased the ProTection version of the MKII to set up tubeless. Still to this day the bead holds fine but the sidewalls are the consistency of cheesecloth. While this makes them nice and supple(120TPI) it does nothing for Read More »

7iDP Control Knee Pad

Featured Review

“iDP7 control knee pad”


The Good: Comfortable, minimal / low profile, light weight, excellent quality

The Bad: High retail price

Overall Review: When i first received my iDP7 control knee pads i was immediately impressed with the overall quality and amazed at how light weight they are. Putting them on the first time it was immediately apparent that comfort was a priority in the design. Im 5'10 ish and around 165lbs and the medium fits perfectly. There's a fixed elastic band that sits just below the back of the knee and a nice adjustable strap at the top with a silicon band on the inside, above the front of the knee to help prevent slipping. Riding with these pads on is a pleasure! I don't notice them and they don't interfere with my shorts. They also stay put Read More »

Stealth Hubs MTB Rear Hub

Featured Review

“Do you even have instant engagement bro?”


The Good: Instant engagement, rolls extremely fast, silent coasting, stainless freehub body, made in the USA

The Bad: Heavy on paper but light on the trail.

Overall Review: Being that True Precision is located in my home town I have heard allot of good things about them over the years but always figured hubs didn't make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things when deciding to upgrade parts on my bike. Recently I decided to give them a try and I sure wish I had switched sooner. First and foremost the guy's at True Precision are super helpful and easy to deal with. The hubs look awesome and you can tell they take attention to detail very seriously. The stainless free hub body is a nice touch; while being lighter, aluminum ones are far to prone to damage from cassettes, I've had to Read More »

2015 Transition Patrol 1

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Transition Patrol 1”

Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller Giddy up boys and girls! An entire new line of Transition bikes is here for 2015 featuring the GiddyUp suspension design. The complete overhaul to their frames and suspension system includes a Horst Link (not to be confused with a four-legged animal who neighs), which is now available to use by a wider number of companies. Transition was among the first brands to jump on the opportunity. Interested to how they pulled it off and what improvements they might have made, we tested the 155mm travel Patrol 1 during the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Highlights Read More »

Geax Gato Tire

“All Round Good Egg”


The Good: Corners Superbly.Great Mud Clearance.Smooth In a Straight Line

The Bad: Nothing at the moment

Overall Review: Bought these as an alternative to the usual Schwalbe and Conti's popular pattern,and it's safe to say I won't use those two names again. Living in the very changeable climes of Scotland,I needed a tyre that could do it all. And boy,I am not disappointed !!!!. On loose over hardpack ,the spaced tread cut through the gravel and stones and clung to the ground effortlessly. When the conditions change to wet and gloopy,it excels in the corners.Something I had struggled to maintain with other brands. The straight line is smooth,and there is no drag whatever the conditions. Good Price,Great Performance and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to break from the norm. People need to find their optimum tyre,instead of going with the flow. I have found mine :)

Hope Technology Crank

Vital Review

“First Ride: Hope Technology Crank”

After what seemed like almost an eternity and plenty of teasing along the way, Hope’s new crank has finally made production. Forged and CNCed in-house like pretty much all of Hope's goods, the crank sports an unusual spline interface that attracted plenty of attention at the recent launch. Eager to dive under the hood and to start some proper testing, we’ve bolted up a pair to find out what’s what. We will have a longer-term update to this review at a later date, but for now, here are our in-depth observations on the product and our first ride impressions. Hope Technology Crank Highlights Forged and CNC machined 7000 Read More »

2015 Trek Slash 9.8 Carbon 27.5

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Trek Slash 9.8 Carbon 27.5”

Reviewed by Dylan Stucki and AJ Barlas // Photos by Lear Miller After much anticipation, the Trek Slash goes carbon for 2015. The 160mm travel bike underwent a major redesign last year, gaining 27.5-inch wheels, noticeably better pedaling performance, and even more capable geometry. This all-mountain/enduro ripper was just waiting to unleash its fury on the trails at the 2015 Vital MTB Test Sessions. Highlights OCLV Mountain Carbon frame with aluminum chainstay 27.5-inch wheels 160mm (6.3-inches) of rear wheel travel // 130/160mm (5.1/6.3-inches) front travel E2 tapered headtube 65 or 65.6-degree head angle 66.5 or Read More »

2013 GT Ruckus Dj Zero Bike

“Love my 13 ruckus zero”


The Good: Very good all around, whether im at an indoor park, dirt jumps or blitzing the trails the bike rides perfectly. Very comfortable on jumps, pops well. I love it being single speed but it could be converted.

The Bad: I rode my at least 5 days a week on trails or rahs mtb during the winter and I've noticed some trouble with the wheels. Me and others I've spoken with have dealt with flat spots in the rims.

Overall Review: Absolutely love mine, with any bike after a few years you may need some replacement parts, depending on how you ride. It's worth writing the check for.

2015 Banshee Phantom Race

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Banshee Phantom”

Review by Brandon Turman // Action Photos by Courtney Steen The Banshee Phantom is a 105mm travel 29er. We wouldn't blame you for immediately thinking "cross-country" when you first hear those kinds of numbers. We did. But no, the new Phantom is decidedly not an XC bike, but instead a special blend of XC/trail/all-mountain/enduro magic. It brings together the efficiency and precision of a short travel ride, the capability of a slack head angle, big wheels to get your roll on, and well-chosen components that let you get away with murder. We spent a few months getting acquainted with the new bike (and new concept) in Read More »

2015 Norco Fluid 7.1 Bike

“Norco Fluid 7.1 2015 w XT wheels - first ride impressions”


The Good: Looks sleek and fast, 27.5 better than 26, over all performer for a great price.

The Bad: Heavy for the travel

Overall Review: My first new mtb in over seven years. I wasn't sure of the looks from pics online, but in the flesh the fluoro lettering is fine, and overall the bike looks the schiz. Many bikes have that almost S shaped curve in the downtube, the straighter downtube on the Fluid gives it a leaner look than others like a trance or a specialized etc. I organized with the bike shop to swap the wheels to an XT set, and upgrade the front rotor to a 180. I needed an XL size and weigh about 83kg, so prefer the larger front rotor for when I ride longer descents. I am comparing the ride to my old Trance, and from the get go I appreciated the larger Read More »