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Banshee Spitfire Frame

“A fun bike for any day of week”

C138_2012_banshee_spitfire_frame_white

The Good:

Light, low and slack geometry, very stiff and responsive, climbs and pedals very efficiently, clean cable routing, descends like a freight train.

The Bad:

The bushing system requirements more maintenance than usual, but the bushings are only about $1 each and swap out quickly with out any special tools. Other than that, maybe a thru axle rear end?

Overall Review: I picked up this frame at a deep discount and built it with mainly with spare parts sitting around my garage. The fit and finish of the bike is top notch - no creaks, squeaks or clunks and the whole bike came together easily. On the trail its extremely fun. It goes uphill quietly with minimal pedal bob and has very good traction. Going down or fast through twisty, technical trails is really where this thing shines. It's nimble, quick and can be tossed through turns very easy. It's low bottom bracket rails turns and keeps the bike feeling stable over fast, chunky descents. The Spitfire is just as happy hitting jumps and Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member VTsession
18967 VTsession http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18967/avatar/c50_IMG_6440_1400938277.jpg?1400937998 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VTsession,18967/all 10/15/12 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VTsession,18967/setup 1 5 3

2014 BMC Trailfox TF01 29 with XX1

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: BMC Trailfox TF01 29”

C138_2014_bmc_trailfox_tf01_29er_xx1
Reviewed by Evan Turpen and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller In a time when nearly every company is jumping on the 27.5-inch/650B wheel bandwagon, BMC jumped straight to 29, eliminating their previous 26-inch model in the process. It wasn't without a lot of testing, though. BMC fabricated dozens of test mules, including several 27.5 models. Having tested multiple wheel sizes and geometry configurations against the clock, the company landed on a 5.9-inch (150mm) travel 29er with relaxed angles and a surprisingly short rear end. The bike is aimed squarely at the heart of the Enduro race scene, Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1133 96 6156 985 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1241 2266 162 41

Knolly Endorphin Frame

Featured Member Review

“Downhillers trail bike”

C138_knolly_endorphin_day_glow_yellow

The Good:

incredible traction, tons of tire clearance, aggressive geometry,

The Bad:

Not cheap, 4 x 4 suspension is not for everyone

Overall Review: Seems kind of silly these days to be writing a review for a 26" bike but if you're not in a hurry to switch over to larger wheels the Endorphin should be on your short list. I've been riding this frame for almost two years now and it is the best bike I've owned to date. First off the geometry is dialed on this bike. Slack head angle (67*), steep effective seat angle (73.5*), low BB height (13.2-4" depending on tires), and short chainstays (16.7") working all together makes this bike a ripper. The numbers puts a rider right in the center and IN the bike for great cornering manners and aggressive handling. The 4 x 4 suspension is Read More »

2014 Ellsworth Epiphany C XC 275 with Shimano XT

Featured Member Review

“Its a XC bike - No - Its a trail bike - No - Its the Ellsworth Epiphany C XC 27.5 ”

C138_ellsworth_epiphany_c_xc_275_bike

The Good:

Beautifully constructed work of carbon fiber bicycle art.

The Bad:

Difficult to identify its niche in the quiver.

Overall Review: The Ellsworth Epiphany C XC is an ultra-lightweight masterpiece of all carbon construction with 140-millimeters of travel that attempts to bridge the gap between cross-country geometry and trail bike capability. Ellsworth boldly claims that the suspension design of the Epiphany C XC experiences “zero energy loss” and uses this proposition to support the logic behind a cross-country bike with trail capable travel. I got the opportunity to demo the Epiphany C XC at the 2014 Dirt Rag Magazine Dirtfest. The guys from the Ellsworth van did a stellar job of setting up the bike and after a few rounds of Read More »

DVO Emerald Fork

“Smoothest ride ever..”

C138_dsc_0080

The Good:

Beautiful design,
Popping colors,
Easy to tune, Awesome tech help...

The Bad:

Made my rear shock feel crappy once I switch into his fork. Im still working to tune the shock to try and keep up with how smooth this fork rides...

Overall Review: I have ridden this fork for more than 4 months now. Rode it through rough races, muddy trails, flowy park runs and chunky tech.. It seems to be able to do it all with minimal tune changes. I am big boy weighing in at 220 lbs, so having a fork that will take a real beating is always important to me. The Emerald has held up wonderfully for me. And I slammed it into rocks starting the first day I rode it. I also love that its air and you dont have to swap out stupid heavy springs to adjust your ride. For the last 5 years I have ridden on a Fox 40, Marzocchi 888 and a Marzocchi 380. This guy has surpassed all of these Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member Eric_Jackson
4822 Eric_Jackson http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/4822/avatar/c50_88506090_1286904199.jpg?1290164065 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Eric-Jackson,4822/all 10/12/10 2 2

Easton Haven Carbon Handlebar

Featured Member Review

“Light and Tough”

C138_2015_haven318_carbonbarlow_blackgray

The Good:

Light, durable, stiff

The Bad:

limited width options, expensive

Overall Review: I've been using this bar for almost two seasons now and it's held up better than I expected. As this is my first carbon bar, I did my research and spent a little bit more than I would normally on a handlebar. I settled on Easton due to its reputation/experience with carbon and because I also have the aluminum version of this bar and liked it. Installation was easy and I made sure to get carbon paste and use a torque wrench. So far no slippage, creaks, or anything that would cause alarm. On the trail, I could immediately tell the difference between the carbon and aluminum bar, however it wasn't as large of a difference as Read More »

Cane Creek 40.ZS44.Short.Complete Headset

Featured Member Review

“Solid workhorse”

C138_40.zs44.short.complete

The Good:

reliable, durable, cost

The Bad:

not a ton of bling it that's your thing

Overall Review: Cane Creek is my go to headset these days. They are solid, reliable, and inexpensive considering what you get. I've run this headset for almost two years now and haven't had one issue with it. Installation was a breeze (with the correct tools of course). Bearings have held up and are still very smooth. I really love that you can purchase all different configurations separately if you wish. Need just the bottom cup? Just buy the bottom cup. No need to purchase the entire headset. My only minor complaint are the cheap plastic headset spacers that come with the headset. It's nice that they give you some, but I Read More »

Cane Creek DBinline Air Shock

Vital Review

“First Ride: Cane Creek DBinline Air Shock”

C138_cane_creek_dbinline_air_shock
Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Derek DiLuzio and Brandon Turman // Video by ZfH Productions When Cane Creek first launched the Double Barrel coil shock in 2009, it was the first of its kind to offer a twin-tube design with four-way independent damping adjustment. They created the shock under the belief that “suspension is personal,” meaning one person’s perfect tune is not the same as others. In 2011, the DBair was released, bringing the same level of tunability to an air shock. The DBair would later see the addition of the well-regarded “Climb Switch” in 2013. Today Cane Creek is proud to introduce the Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1133 96 6156 985 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1241 2266 162 41

Schwalbe Table Top Tire

“Nice tire, but not much better than its competitors”

C138_24636

The Good:

Cornering traction, weight, hold air well tubeless

The Bad:

Nothing much

Overall Review: I bought this for my city ride/street/park/x4 Nukeproof Snap with Fulcrum Red Zone wheels. Set up tight and true tubeless with no issues. Hardpack you can really push hard without much slip on the corners, but maybe it's a tad slower than some of its rivals. The Maxxis Holy Roller seems to roll a tad quicker and be a tad more stable, the Kenda K-Rad seems to roll a bit faster and have a slightly higher volume with better cushioning. In the end it's a good tire, no better than its competitors, but no worse.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member ZMC888
6998 ZMC888 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/6998/avatar/c50_Lew_drop_avatar.jpg?1352425516 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/all 03/03/11 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/setup 5 25 59 1

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire

“Hans Dampf vs Minion”

C138_schwalbe_hans_dampf_tire

The Good:

Braking traction, high volume, weight, cornering grip

The Bad:

Not much wrong to be honest

Overall Review: I've done about 1,000 kms on this tire, all in the dry and with it on the front only, enduro style and set up tubeless with Stans (Evo Pacestar 2.35x26). Personally I rate Maxxis Minion as a benchmark and I think the comparison will helpful guide for other riders, I usually use a Minion FR 2.35 EXO maxxpro for reference (old style, pre TR). HD vs Minion Rolling resistance - Similar Braking traction - HD superior Off-camber grip - Minion Superior Fist sized rocks on trail composure - HD superior Light over cornering/carving - Minion Superior Dry ruts - HD Superior Weight for size - HD Superior (700g is sweet) (single ply Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member ZMC888
6998 ZMC888 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/6998/avatar/c50_Lew_drop_avatar.jpg?1352425516 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/all 03/03/11 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/setup 5 25 59 1