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Latest Product Reviews


Fly Racing Super D Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Fly Racing Super D Short and Ripa Convert Jersey”

by Nick Zuzelski If you are into motocross, then you know Fly Racing is a staple on the apparel and gear front on the track. Fly has recently entered the MTB market, bringing their knowledge and experience to the pedal-heads, and they have brought a plethora of new products to the table, including the Super D shorts and Ripa Convert jersey put to the test here. How did they manage the crossover? Ripa Convert Jersey Highlights Convertible 3/4 sleeve arms w/ cut line under cuff Mesh panels in the upper back and lower arms to help improve air flow Drop tail for coverage and raglan sleeve cut for comfort while riding Read More »

Schwalbe Big Betty DH Tire

“Great dry/medium conditions tyre”


The Good: Great dry/medium traction, soft compound is amazing, light for a proper DH/FR tire.

The Bad: Wears quickly with the soft compound, like every brand´s soft compounds do, but this is one of the least durable I´ve tried so far. Useless in wet/damp conditions.

Overall Review: I really like this tire. Currently on my 2nd set (front tire). They are light for a DH/FR tire and don´t pinch easily. Loads of grip in loose/dry conditions, doesn´t drag too much. The soft compound is amazing, predictable behavior, the sides do hook to the ground. Confidence inspiring tires, specially in the front. Forget about them in wet/damp conditions, get yourself a proper mud tire for that.

Smith Overtake Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Smith Overtake Helmet”

Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas and Dave Silver (BCBR) Smith has been producing eyewear since 1965, and has recently been making the move into cycling helmets. Late last summer they released the unique Forefront, for hard charging trail riders seeking innovative features and ample protection. Featuring many of the same features and distinct styling, Smith also created the Overtake helmet, catered towards riders looking for a more traditional XC-style helmet that could also be used on the road. The Overtake was not intended to be an entry level helmet; Smith took what they’ve learned from their years of Read More »

Atlas Crank Carbon Neck Brace

Vital Review

“Tested: Atlas Crank Carbon Neck Brace”

No one wants to spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair. Unfortunately, we are in a sport that puts us in a higher risk bracket for spinal cord and neck injuries. Neck brace research will show you that in lab testing, the benefits of a neck brace are huge - whether you think that lab testing can directly apply to a real crash is for you to form your own opinion on. This doesn't mean we have to quit what we are doing, but thanks to a handful of innovative companies, we can help give ourselves that extra bit of insurance if something goes really wrong during a ride. The neck brace is becoming increasingly standard Read More »

7iDP Control Knee Pad

Vital Review

“Tested: Seven iDP Control Knee”

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Matt Puzel The team over at Seven iDP insist “it's vital that riders understand the level of protection a pad will provide,” and when it comes to the Control Knee, they label them as a minimalistic approach to pedal friendly protection. With a description like that you would assume the pads are intended for users who enjoy going up as much as they enjoy going down and not necessarily meant for full bore gravity riding. Perhaps Seven iDP are underselling the Control series since they also offer a burlier line of pads in the Tactic series, but with the continuing trend of Read More »

Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Gloves

Vital Review

“Tested: Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Gloves”

Lizard Skins looked to expand their product lineup of grips, bar tape, body armor, and frame protection with the Monitor 1.0 gloves. The aim here was to create a lightweight and minimalist glove with ample tech features without the added bulk. We grabbed a pair and hit the trails for a couple of months to let you know how they succeeded. Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Highlights Articulated fingers Knuckle gussets Seamless material integration Clarino palm Touch screen compatible Available sizes: S-XXL MSRP: $42 USD Initial Impressions The first thing I noticed on ride #1 with the Monitor 1.0 glove was the super Read More »

Birzman Studio Tool Kit

Vital Review

“Tested: Birzman Studio Tool Kit”

by Brandon Turman For years I’ve gotten by with a beat up, sticker covered toolbox full of tools I’ve collected here and there. Some of the tools are hand-me-downs, others I purchased along the way, and I even made a few. Being the frugal type, a good chunk of them are the bargain bin variety. It’s often said that ignorance is bliss, and a few months ago I learned just how clueless I was. My wrenching world was turned on its head when the Birzman Studio Tool Kit arrived. You see, I had no idea what it was it was like to own nice tools. Sure, my oddball collection got things done, but I never realized how much Read More »

Gamut Cillos Stem

Vital Review

“Tested: Gamut Cillos Stem”

by Kevin Shiramizu Gamut has a knack for keeping things simple, which is a lot harder than it first seems. If Jiro Dreams of Sushi, then perhaps Juan Dreams of Bike Parts. I’ve been riding some form of a Gamut guide on one bike or another for a long time so when it was announced that they would be branching out into other parts, I was excited to see that same design mentality brought to the rest of a bike. With thick-thin rings around to stay, and guides becoming a smaller slice of the market, was Gamut diving into the components mix for a quick buck or were they doing it right? Gamut Cillos Stem Highlights Clamp size: 31.8mm Read More »

OneUp Components RAD Cage

Vital Review

“Tested: OneUp Components RAD Rear Derailleur Cage”

by Nick Ducharme Single chainring drive trains are becoming increasingly popular on the trail. With 11-speed upgrades still expensive, and the lack of proper wide-range 10-speed cassettes on the market, several manufacturers have jumped onboard the oversized replacement cassette cog bandwagon. These larger cogs take up the cassette real estate that one of your smaller cogs would usually occupy and installing one means you are typically forced to choose if you love your 15 or 17 tooth cog more. OneUp is cool enough to include a 16 tooth cassette cog with your 40/42t up-sized ring which bridges this shifting Read More »

Atomlab SL Trail 650b Wheelset

Vital Review

“Tested: Atomlab DHR SL 650B Wheelset”

Review by Cory Tepper // Photos by Emily Peterson and Cory Tepper As a long time fan of Atomlab I was quite stoked to see new product rolling out after some bumpy years of management changes and reduced industry presence. As a go-to rim for DH and DJ bikes the Pimplite has been in my stable for years and whilst indestructible she is not a light horse. Well, my favorite workhorse hit the gym, shed some grams and picked up an “SL” tattoo. Pulling these wheels out of the box was rad. They are light, loud and flashy, and I couldn't wait to mount them up and hit the trails. Atomlab DHR SL 650B Wheelset Highlights 102 HUB: Body: Read More »