Latest Product Reviews


HT Components T1 Clipless Pedals

Vital Review

“Tested: HT Components T1 Pedals”

Review and product photos by Brandon Turman // Action shot by Lear Miller Just a few years ago HT Components stormed onto the flat pedal scene with some incredibly thin pedals that turned heads while simultaneously dropping precious grams off your steed. Then came HT's partnership with Aaron Gwin,during which time they developed the X1 and X2 - clipless pedals with large platforms designed to withstand the rigors of World Cup Downhill racing. A few months ago we spotted Brian Lopes racing the Sea Otter Dual Slalom with a lighter, slimmer pedal based around the same clipless mechanism. Only recently did HT break the Read More »

iXS Xult Full Face Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: iXS Xult Full Face Helmet”

I'd seen a few press releases from iXS and knew this was something they wanted to present as a 'crossover' helmet, which you and I both know means "ENDURO!!!" I was curious about what the deal was and wondering if someone had actually made a full face helmet you could tolerate having on the whole time during pedally rides. Basically it sounded like something really sketchy, dangerous and gave me Giro Switchblade flashbacks. IXS got in touch with Vital and asked if they wanted to check one of these out and what color helmet they'd like to try if so. I said 'ooh pick me, pick me, and also black black plus black and maybe Read More »

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire

Featured Review

“Great overall tire”


The Good:

Great traction, low weight and dependable

The Bad:

Knob wear and side knobs give too much on hard packed corners

Overall Review: The Hans Dampf is a great tire. I ran the 26x2.35 SnakeSkin TrailStar compoundon the front of my bike and was rewarded with great traction and low weight. Tubeless setup was simple, with no problems. The HD was a giant step up from my stock tire; insane amounts of grip and confidence. The only issues I found with the HD was on flatterhard packed turns, the side knobs would give a bit earlier than anticipatedwhich was usually not pretty. The general consensus on the HD is the wear rate on the knobs, which I would agree with. They wear quickly, but as long as you go into the game knowing that, its not really a big deal. I'm Read More »

Continental Trail King Tire

“Great traction for you rear”


The Good:

Awesome traction

The Bad:

Swiss cheese for rubber, far too many puncture problems.

Overall Review: Don't get me wrong, I loved this tire for the rear. Great uphill traction on anything and really good braking . Hooks up well in the corners and all that great stuff. The problem with this tire (for me) was I was always tearing the sidewall and putting holes in the tread. Before I decided to part ways with this tire, I had 7 patches on the inside of the tire, 7. I can't remember the last time I flatted that many times in a season with tubes and I ran this guy tubeless the whole time. The final straw was whenI warped the tire on a ride and I created this weird hopping feeling and hump in the casing. Apparently, this Read More »

OneUp Components Chainguide

Featured Review

“Keep on ridin'”


The Good:

Keeps your chain, cost effective, simple

The Bad:

Doesn't come in blue, pink or that new Bronson color of the year

Overall Review: Long story short, when racing I have (had) a tendency to drop the chain; like a lot, even with a narrow-wide. A worn chain and sprockets more than likely didn't help my cause, but I bought one of these puppies and have been handsomely rewarded for my efforts. Through two normal riding days (which I rarely ever dropped chains anyway), a race practice day and the actual race; I can report no dropped chains. The guide came with everything needed to get up and running. Set up was supereasy;I didn't need any of the spacer for the chain line. My only problem was that my bike only came with 2 ISCG tabs, so I ran the Read More »

2014 Intense 951 EVO

“intense 951 evo 2014 ”


The Good:

boss of downhill and jumps

The Bad:

maybe not the best at cornering in tight bike parks...but who cares. if you ride this bike to have fun, this is a great bike. Bible of bike tests, not sure why you would provide such negative comments on this bike. All my friends love this bike. I highly recommend it even thought it is not going to be made anymore at this time.

Overall Review: Simply love this bike!

Atomlab Superlite SL 26 Wheelset

Featured Review

“They sing like cicadas”


The Good:

Sweet engagement, stiff and light.

The Bad:

Takes you places you maybe shouldn't go

Overall Review: I had been hearing about these wheels from the local shop guys for months. I'd heard the talk of mutiple pawls, the lightweight, stiff build, increased contact points, added bearings, and the song of those pawls ratcheting as they blazed down the trail behind me, goading me to ride faster to escape the buzz, like a group of cicadas shaking off their skins. So when I got an offer to demo them for myself, I jumped at the chance. I decided to head out to a series of local trails with lots of technical climbing that would present the perfect tests. I started on Barrel Roll, a steady 2-mile climb. I didn't notice much Read More »

Maxxis Grifter Tire

“the bad the worst and the worst”


The Good:

cant think of anything

The Bad:

worst road tire I"ve ever rode

Overall Review: In over 25 yrs of riding MTB"s I"ve never rode such a bad tire. The Maxxis "Griffter" tire is such a disappointment its hard to describe. The first night I got the tires, I pumped them up to 57 psi. and went for a very short ride, the next day I woke up to two flat tires or what I call "Factory" flats. I apparently didn't check the insides of the tires good enough before I put them on, O.K. my fault I then went for my first of three rides and having the tires pumped up to 61.5psi. being a 40mi.,45mi. and a 57mi. all went well and it should have,then it started happening, Flats and more flats then more flats, in all six Read More »

7iDP Flex Knee Pad

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 7iDP Flex Knee Pad”

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Nils Hjord and Johan Hjord 7iDP’s range of protection keeps growing, and the latest addition to the family slots right into the line-up to cater to the ever-growing group of riders looking for lighter weight, pedal-friendly pads that are still up for some abuse. How much abuse is up to you, you will never catch 7iDP overselling the capabilities of their protective gear, but it sits in the middle of their range which gives some indication of design priorities. No better place than the trail to find out what’s what though, so that’s just where we’ve been testing the Flex knee pad over Read More »