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Five Ten Impact VXi Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: 5.10 Impact VXi - Real Sticky-icky”

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Review by Sean "Griz"McClendon // Action photo by Ian Collins I remember my first set of Intense sticky rubber high tops back in 2003. They were a size too big, the stealth rubber performance was second to none and I happily ran them until switching to clips for racing. Entering the bike market with their Impact high and low top shoes, 5.10 quickly became popular with the rise of Sam Hill and his mind-numbing approach to racing in the mid-2000’s.Since then, the sticky rubber specialist brand has been the rider’s choice for flat pedal footwear for nearly a decade and people are running them for hundreds of miles Read More »

Race Face Atlas FR Cranks

Featured Review

“Race Face Atlas FR Cranks”

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The Good: Strong, stiff, durable

The Bad: Can't find any flaws yet

Overall Review: I've been a fan of Race Face cranks since back in the days of square tapered bottom brackets and the North Shore crank sets, the Atlas is an evolution of the DH /freeride crank that provides a stiff and durable crank while keeping the weight at a minimum. The weight to strength ratio of this crank is very good, that’s probably why this crank can be seen on full out DH bikes to all mountain/trail bikes. It's a solid crank that allows you to setup and then ride without any hassles for the rest of the season. Besides the great performance and durability, the other great thing about the Atlas range of cranks is that they offer a Read More »

Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon Full Face Helmet

“The comfort, airflow, looks and protection you get from this helmet is well worth the price.”

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The Good: Light weight, amazing quality, great graphic options, comfortable

The Bad: A bit on the pricey side, sad when you get it scratched or dinged

Overall Review: Besides great looks, the D3 offers loads of safety protection and really great comfort. The inside padding is very soft and offers comfort through all day riding even in the warmest conditions. TLD has done a great job of air vent placement in all the right spots to offer superb airflow allowing you to stay comfortable as you ride, there was a huge difference between the air flow with the D2 and the D3. The overall weight of the helmet is verynoticeable in a good way, that is to saythat'sits very minimal which also adds to the comfort of this lid. Fit wise the helmet comes in several size allowing each Read More »

Renthal FatBar Riser Bar

Featured Review

“Moto inspired handlebars”

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The Good: durable, stiff, great looks

The Bad: Could not find any yet

Overall Review: Handlebar choice is a bit of personal preference, a lot of the bars in this price range offer similar sweep, length and rise and for the most part they all work great, the Renthal FatBar is no different. The Fatbar comes in a 31.8mm clamp size and also in 20mm low rise, 30mm mid rise and 38mm high rise versions, I'm running the low rise bar. The bar features a positioning grid to assist with bar setup as well as width marks to assist with cutting the bars down if required. The renthal bar features very subtle graphics (with just two logos) logos that seem very durable, some other bars the paint or logo graphics Read More »

Smith Pivlock Overdrive Glasses

Vital Review

“Tested: Smith Pivlock Overdrive Glasses”

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Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first-ever ski goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam, and the company has grown dramatically ever since. Today Smith offers a huge range of sunglasses, goggles, and protective equipment for all kinds of sports and activities. The Pivlock Overdrive is Smith's idea of what a pair of sunglasses should help you accomplish on the bike. With features including a new two-position adjustable nose fit and three different sets of high-performance lenses, the Pivlock Overdrives are ergonomically adjusted for optimal integration with bike Read More »

Canfield Brothers 2014 Jedi Frame

“Canfield Jedi ”

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The Good: Flows super well
Smooth on rough steep sections

The Bad: Can't get enough

Overall Review: The 2014 Canfield Jedi is a DH master. I cannot say enough about how much I love my bike. Fist of all, the bike knows what's up. You cannot go slow on the bike, it literally pushes you, forcing it faster and faster. The rearward travel really works for you, and makes the job easier for you. Also, this bike messes with your perception of speed. On normal bikes, you think your going fast when you get high speed feedback from the trail, but with the Jedi, you do not think you are going as fast as you actually are, making it possible for you to go faster than before. This bike feels amazing on steep gnarly Read More »

Maxxis Shorty Tire

Vital Review

“Tested: Maxxis Shorty Tire”

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Review by A.J. Barlas // Photography Jon Anthony & A.J. Barlas Inside of most mountain bikers is a little kid that loves dirt bikes. Some of these little inside kids even get lucky enough to ride one, while others watch in amazement, taking some of what they see into their riding approach - at the very least letting out the occasional 'braaap' while ripping a fun trail. We definitely have this little kid in us, from the attempted whips and scrubs all the way through to the sound effects out in the woods. So when the new Maxxis Shorty tire showed up the little guy started 'brapping' with enthusiasm thanks to what was Read More »

Thomson Elite Seatpost

Featured Review

“Best in class”

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The Good: Quality build, strong, durable

The Bad: None that I can think of

Overall Review: There is something special about Thompson products and the Elite seat post is not exception, even though this is just a simple post, it simply oozes quality and craftsmanship. It has no frills or gimmicks; it’s just a simple post that is built tough and will last a long time without issues and do what it is meant to do. Thompson as a company and the Elite post remind me very much of a Chris King headset, yes perhaps it a bit more expensive than some of the other ones on the market, but it will take tons of abuse while not requiring any attention. I ran this post on my DH bike last season and put it through its paces with Read More »

Dainese Trail Skins Knee Guard

Vital Review

“Tested: Dainese Trail Skins Knee Guard”

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by Kevin Shiramizu Dainese is no stranger to the safety game. They’ve got plenty of experience making very high end protection for people who do stuff arguably more dangerous than pedaling bikes. So where have they been lately? Back when I started taking riding more seriously, the Viking knee/shin bib was default uniform kit-wear for anyone who knew what was up. If you wanted to look the part of a pro, you wore Dainese. After a few years of lagging in attention to mountain biking, they seem to be making a push to reclaim some turf. Let's see how their latest mountain bike specific offering stacks up... Trail Skins Read More »

Schwalbe Table Top Tire

“Fast rolling tires perfect for jumps and pumptracks”

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The Good: fast rolling tire, light weight, works in various conditions, good value

The Bad: None so far

Overall Review: I've had the opportunity to run these tires in a couple of various conditions and so far they have done great. These tires have a low rolling resistance and at the same time are fairly light weight making for a very fast rolling tire. I've used them a bit in the skatepark, and they have worked great but also tried in in several conditions on the dirt jumps and pump track. The tires grip really well on dry hard-pack tracks and also held up well when the pump trackwas a bit greasy after rain, I had no issues leaning the tires into corner and berms, they felt comfortable and kept theirline. In the dirt jumps they were Read More »