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2016 Evil The Following X1

Vital Review

“2016 Test Sessions: Evil The Following X1”

C138_following_x1_1200x1000
Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller The Following is an aggressive 29er created to push the boundaries of the big wheel. But with just 120mm of rear travel there's not a whole lot to work with, right? Turns out the carefully considered combination of big wheels, good components, dialed suspension, and progressive geometry allow you to do things typically reserved for a longer travel bike. The full carbon rig builds off the success of Evil's previous models while seeing a number of key updates that will continue to influence future designs. We straddled the head-turner with high hopes Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_twitter3_1382472127.jpg?1382471385 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 92 5938 1048 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 260 1122 2099 128 39

Industry Nine Torch Classic Rear Hub

Featured Review

“Best Weight/Points of Engagement Ratio”

C138_classic_mtn_1

The Good:

Amazing points of engagement
Light weight
Freehub stays intact when removing wheel

The Bad:

Bearings didn't last (Could have better seals on the non-drive side)

Overall Review: After doing, what felt like a lifetime of research, I finally manned up and purchased some high end hubs for my bike. Weighing out all the pros and cons, I decided to go with the Industry Nine Torch hubs and am pretty happy I did. Research: What set this hub apart from the rest? The main reason why I wanted to get a higher-end hubset was because I was unhappy with 24-28 points of engagement. To the average cyclist, it may not be a big deal, but turning the cranks up to 15 degrees before actually putting power to the rear wheel was just too much, especially when riding technical terrain. Aside from wanting more Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_10514455_771835879581_189563491686125955_o_1450673946.jpg?1450673027 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 19 45

Park Tool Park SR-1 Chain Whip

Featured Review

“A pretty good piece but could be improved. ”

C138_sr1

The Good:

Gets the job done
Removes cassettes and freewheels
Mostly indestructible (see the bad)

The Bad:

Has a tendency to rust if placed in a damp/wet area (but what doesn't?)
The chain links can break and can be quite difficult to get put back together
Could have a few extra links to the whip

Overall Review: The Park Tool SR-1 Chain Whip came with a “starter” tool kit that I purchased as I got into biking more than 10 years ago. That being the case, Park Tool hasn’t changed much since (which could be viewed as a good and/or bad thing.) It’s designed as a sprocket (freewheel) remover / chain whip, yet I have only used it as a chain whip on my mountain bikes. At the other end of the this tool there is a 1” (25.4mm) box-end wrench. I use this to tighten the cassette with the FR-5G cassette lockring tool and it works very well. The cool thing about this box-end wrench is that it will work with pretty much any Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_10514455_771835879581_189563491686125955_o_1450673946.jpg?1450673027 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 19 45

Park Tool Shop Cone Wrench

Featured Review

“Outstanding but not bombproof”

C138_tl278a00_23

The Good:

Precise sizing,
High quality finish,
Comfortable handles,
Wide range of sizes

The Bad:

Can dent and bend in extreme use

Overall Review: I’ve owned my Park Tool cone wrenches for more than 5 years and I do have to say, I am quite impressed. I’ve used them for hub service, install pedals on the fly, and even suspension top caps. I really like how there is little to no play when placing them on the head of bolts; in other words, the sizing accuracy is outstanding. They are incredibly thin and have a finish that hasn’t shown any significant signs of ware, even after 5 years of use. Pretty impressive if you ask me. They come with a vinyl dipped cover that makes the handle very comfortable, even when loosening the tightest of bolts. Although I Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_10514455_771835879581_189563491686125955_o_1450673946.jpg?1450673027 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 19 45

Giro Cipher Helmet

Featured Review

“Giro Cipher Helmet, A Solid Option”

C138_giro_cipher_helmet_matte_white_black_blockade

The Good:

Price well,
Good platform of protection,
Looks great,
Features usually found only on high-end helmets

The Bad:

No MIPS protection (but at this price can understand why)

Overall Review: Although not a brand new design (It’s several years old), Giro has hit the nail right on the head when designing a good looking, protective, and most impressively affordable helmet. It’s called the Giro Cipher and it’s pretty dope. I purchased my Giro Cipher about a year ago and have been super impressed with it. This is why: Looks meet function- First off, the Giro Cipher helmet is arguably one of the better looking helmets and at an MSRP of $200, definitely an affordable one compared to TLD and Fox. At a price tag of $200, Giro didn’t skimp out on function either. The Cipher is made with a fiberglass shell and an ESP Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_10514455_771835879581_189563491686125955_o_1450673946.jpg?1450673027 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 19 45

FOX Float X2 Factory Rear Shock

Featured Review

“2016 Float X2”

C138_floatx2_shock

The Good:

Light weight, Adjustable, Easy to adjust, Excellent bottom-out control

The Bad:

No climb switch (if you prefer one)

Overall Review: After 4 months of riding on the new 2016 Fox Float X2 rear shock, here are my opinions about it. Out of the box, I was very impressed with the overall craftsmanship of the piece. It’s so beautiful I was hesitative to even throw it on my Session; Okay, that’s a complete lie but the thing is beautiful. The next thing I noticed was the weight of the thing. Sitting at 494 grams (8.75” x 2.75” with 5 volume spacers installed) isn’t that bad at all! Stacked with High and Low speed compression and rebound, one could argue things couldn’t get better. Enough about first impressions, lets talk about the ride! Throwing it on my Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_10514455_771835879581_189563491686125955_o_1450673946.jpg?1450673027 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 19 45

Source Hipster Hydration Belt

Vital Review

“Tested: Source Hipster Hydration Belt System”

C138_hipster_hydration_belt
Review by Amanda Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller (Action) and Brandon Turman (Product) One of the more surprising trends in enduro (aside from enduro itself) is the rebirth of the fanny pack. Stolen from Disneyland tourists and grey-haired slot machine jockeys, the fanny pack has become just as much a part of the enduro uniform as half shells and goggles. Is this just a trend or are the fanny-packers really onto something? Source believes in the design so much that they created the Hipster Hydration Belt and we put it to the test, to find out if the trend has merit. Hipster Hydration Belt Features 1.5L Widepac Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member La Pata
28909 La Pata http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/28909/avatar/c50_Me_biking_1387565935.jpg?1387565116 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/La-Pata,28909/all 12/20/13 2 1 6

Park Tool TW-6 Ratcheting Torque Wrench

“Not Just for Carbon”

C138_tl289j04

The Good:

Durable, easy to use, tuneability

The Bad:

There are none

Overall Review: This thing is awesome, and I know a lot of home mechanics use this tool on their carbon bikes, but it has many more uses, and will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your bike and components are torqued to factory specs. It is also real easy to use, which as a guy, is paramount because who likes reading instructions? and the level of adjustment is second to none. If you have a little extra $ to blow this is a great addition to any home mechanic's arsenal.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member kstrongin
39701 kstrongin /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/kstrongin,39701/all 03/09/16 1 11

Troy Lee Designs 2015 Ruckus Riding Jersey

“You Know!!”

C138_15tld_ruckus_jersey_ops_desert_front

The Good:

Troy Lee Designs, Durable, Breathable, looks

The Bad:

Looks are not for everyone

Overall Review: Let's be honest, it's Troy Lee Designs, it is great stuff, but it isn't for everyone, especially at the price point. $50+ for a jersey! seems a little steep when you consider you can pick up a moto jersey for -$15 from many other brands. Why pay for it then? because it is Troy Lee Designs, the Jersey is great! it I've been down on all kinds of surfaces and it still doesn't have a hole! This jersey also breathes real well which is much appreciated during those long transfer stages. Now the 3/4 sleeves might not be for everyone but if they are your style, this jersey rocks! buy it! you won't be disappointed!

Park Tool Chain Checker

“Great Tool”

C138_7858

The Good:

Easy to read, and understand, accurate when used properly

The Bad:

Can be inaccurate when used wrong

Overall Review: Let's get this straight, if this tool is used properly it is easy and accurate... which is the hallmark of a good tool. However due to the small size of the pins it can be used inaccurately so it is important that when using this tool you align both pins, and check for deviation before taking your final reading. Other than that a great tool for any home mechanic.