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Latest Product Reviews


Giro Terraduro Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: Giro Terraduro Clipless Shoe”

Review by Dave Trumpore // Photos by Dave Trumpore and Lee Trumpore (action) Not XC and not DH - it is sometimes hard to find the right balance for an "all mountain" shoe. Giro's clipless Terraduro attempts to bridge the gap by including pedal-friendly, XC-type features in a shoe that is also meant to function when you are off the bike. Eager to find out how well they succeeded, we sent out our resident enduro correspondent Dave Trumpore to scramble around as many mountain sides as he could to figure out if the Terraduro was up to the task. Read on for the answer! Giro Terraduro Shoes Highlights High-quality, breathable Read More »

RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork

“Buttery smooth but not so durable...”


The Good: Buttery smooth, stiff, convenient maxle lite, good looking, configurable characteristic (bottomless tokens), lightweight

The Bad: Air spring not so durable.

Overall Review: I'm using Pike about half a year. I do rather downhill than uphill. The fork is very good, really smooth. But lastly the negative air spring begin to suck upper legs in. For about 50 psi the sag chart on upper legs wasn't visible at all. For greater pressures was better, but even with 120 psi I could bottomed it out with my hands. I gave it for warranty service yesterday, should be fine but it isn't so hard fork. This light weight have influence on its durability.

Banshee Rune V2 Frame

“Great Enduro bike”


The Good: Great rear suspension; versatile and tunable geometry; simple and clean aesthetics

The Bad: Not the lightest of 160mm frames.

Overall Review: The 2014 Rune V2 came to replace a 2010 Specialized Enduro Comp, already a great 160mm bike. The Rune is far more efficient, resisting pedal bob without being as intrusive as other linkage designs. The suspension is also very sensitive to small bumps, ensuring great traction in technical climbs. It is very linear for the most of the travel, but ramps up nicely towards the end of the travel to resist bottom out. With 30% of sag it is rare to bottom out the rear shock. I really like the simple and clean look, very industrial, with no visible gussets or overly hydroformed tubes, but still remaining very rigid. Also, the stealth "black on black" color scheme is very cool...

Source Whistler 20L Hydration Pack

Vital Review

“Tested: Source Whistler 20L Hydration Pack”

by Justin Schroth Source produces a wide range of hydration packs, ranging from minimalist running packs to bike-specific hydration packs of various sizes. With the Whistler 20L Hydration Pack, Source aims to provide technical features in a pack that can also hold a larger amount of gear and water without weighing you down. To see how they have achieved this goal, we strapped one on and set out on a mission to find out. Source Whistler 20L Hydration Backpack Highlights Lightweight fabrics: Ripstop 70D nylon Loop for helmet attachment Padded shoulder straps Valve docking station Adjustable sternum strap with Read More »

Spank Spike 800 Race Vibrocore Alloy Riser Handlebar

Vital Review

“Tested: Spank Spike 800 Race Vibrocore Handlebar”

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Matt Puzel This year Spank Industries introduced the Spike 800 Race Handlebar, and one of the models features a new technology that aims to help alleviate arm pump and hand fatigue. Long, rough and fast tracks are often accompanied by arm pump, which, if you’ve ever experienced it, can feel crippling and definitely hold you back when it comes to riding at pace. Beyond just slowing you down, arm pump and hand fatigue can also be dangerous, especially if it gets bad enough to prevent you from keeping a good grip on your bars or from grabbing your brakes. Spank's Read More »

2014 Giant Trance SX 27.5 Bike

“1 year and 2500 miles later”


The Good: Trail riding in general. Great freeride to light enduro rig.

The Bad: Tight switchbacks. Low end on some build spec.

Overall Review: I have had this ride for a year now. The wedding rush is gone but my bride still rocks. Out of the box the bike was great but as I got to know it and pushed more I found some faults. >The tires just sucked. Unpredictable and the rough, rocky, rooted texas rides destroyed them in no time. Slipped on some Cross-max and it was sorted. >Then the chain guide broke. Went with a RF Narrow wide and have no issues at all. Why did they not spec it like this? >The fork took some time to "break in" but once it did and I got the tuning wired...nice. The rest of the bike, though low end (SLX, Deore) works great still. It climbs, Read More »

Transition TR500 Frame

“Transition TR500”


The Good: Rails the corners, super stable&predictable, easy to ride, smooth landings, easy to do doubles triples bunny hops whips and so on
all round bike very good for high speeds, accelerates quickly, the paint is scratch resistant. No break jack ! The shock unit comes custom tuned for the frame, very quiet bike no bad noise from the chain or so... Geometry is adjustable as well the chainstay lenght.

The Bad: When new frame makes funny noises from the rear axle, frame with the shock are just a bit heavy but lighter than TR450 about 330gr.
Cable routing for the rare brake is a but idiotic goes under the chainstay instead over it and this make it vulnerable, have to make a bigger holes to install the brake hose inside the frame. Frame bearings need to be re-greased as they come super dry.

Overall Review: My lovely TR500 bike i got this frame as a new middle of the summer 2014, the bike itself its not heavy at all, it is super robust and versatile machine, rails the corners super easy, easy to ride, comfortable stable on high speed make you want to ride faster and faster. Super smooth on landings big drops rock gardens i spent some time around bike parks in Leogang and Maribor to get in to the riding of it and it didn't take long at all super lovely bike and i hope it will last as it looks like . The shock unit comes custom tuned for the frame. I run it as DH and the settings are 63HA and shorter chainstay lower BB, can do 62 HA with the need of -1 headset my frame is custom large and im 177 and feels super plush and easy to ride.

FUNN Combat Grips

“Funn Combat”


The Good: Simple..Grips well...

The Bad: Eermm....the bad is I'm too late to buy this grips...

Overall Review: Just installed the grips few days ago and have tried it in local trail with various path; uphill, descent, and also the combination of rock and roots. I don't know about other, but I think the Combat is the couple of every gloves out there. It's like the gecko in the wall. The design is simple while other seems too busy to make attractive design on appearance. Funn Combat is good product with good price, I mean this product performs well just like the expensive products out there.

Fox Racing Dirtpaw Gloves

Featured Review

“Like slipping paws over your mitts”


The Good: Fit, feel, value, bar feel, protection

The Bad: Trying to think of something....nope.

Overall Review: I previously had some super light Dakine gloves that detonated within a month. I will say I expect all Dakine products to detonate immediately after purchase. Sometimes you're in a bind and need something on the spot. I had tried these gloves on at the bike shop a couple times. We courted each other for a while. I was a little hesitant due to the cost but then I started comparing against others such as TLD. Once the Dakine's shat the bed after stitching them back together I decided to ask the Fox out on a date. She graciously accepted and a cheap $25 date later we had consummated something special. No frat pick up Read More »

GT Sanction Pro Frame

Vital Review

“Tested: GT Sanction Pro Frame”

Review by Jeff Brines // Photos by Patrick Nelson and Brandon Turman I dig any machine that is really good at what it was designed to do. Perhaps my most favorite purpose built machine is the Group B class of rally cars. As opposed to most rally cars, these cars were not tuned-up sedans but purpose-built from the ground up and their performance is still talked about some 29 years after their demise. When GT introduced the Sanction Pro I drew a parallel to Group B. Many bikes raced in the EWS are long legged trail bikes that are tuned for such application, sort of like an AWD off-the-lot sedan that is modded to compete in rallies. Read More »