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2013 Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon XT/XTR Pro

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon”

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Reviewed by Matt Thompson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman Many of the best things in life take some time to brew. Such is the case with the Mach 5.7 Carbon from Pivot Cycles. After five years of making aluminum only frames, including the Mach 5.7, Pivot released their first ever carbon model in 2012 - the Mach 5.7 Carbon. Why did it take so long? Because the brand doesn't rush things, and they were waiting for (and actively working on) carbon technologies to advance to the point where they could beat the already impressive reliability and strength to weight Read More »

2013 KHS Yuma Bike

“2013 Yuma review”

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The Good: I have been riding this bike for about a month now and it has fit the bill for what I was after. I gave up on my full suspension for a quicker and lighter aluminum frame bike. Bone stock w/o pedals the bike was a little over 26 Lbs. (large frame). The components spec'd on the bike are great for the price point, and the bike handles very good. At 200 lbs. I opted for aluminum over carbon due to my weight for durability. The ride is good and the bike climbs wonderfully. I have only needed small amounts of weight transfer toward the front of the bike except for the steepest climbs. This will be my race bike for the season because I'm not loaded with extra cash, but I'm confident this bike will perform great. The color is not your run of the mill, it's like a flat copper shade, I like it because it is unique. Two water bottle cage mounts are also an improvement over the 2012 version.

The Bad: Avid brakes. Comes with avid 1's, garbage. Will be upgrading to XT brakes, Hadley hubs, and Stan's rims. No other complaints.

Overall Review: My pocket book and I are happy. Great ride and would recommend.

Manitou Circus Expert Fork

“DJ fork and bombproof do it all fork.”

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The Good: Strong, great looking easy adjustments, not heavy for a DJ fork, very rigid axle that inspires confidence

The Bad: Make longer travel versions!

Overall Review: If you are male and drink beer and you want a 100mm travel fork this is your fork of choice. Nothing beats it for 100mm. If they made a longer travel version, I'd use it for AM/FR too!

SDG Patriot RL Saddle

“Good design,very mediocre execution”

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The Good: Looks cool, small size

The Bad: Rails bend, not very comfortable

Overall Review: SDG board room: 'I've got an idea! Let's get a factory in China to make all our saddles for like $2, spend a bit on marketing and then sell them for like $50 each, making a fortune from unsuspecting cyclists'. Sad. All I wanted was a moderately light, moderately comfortable, durable saddle that doesn't get in my way when I don't need it. But I got a saddle that has weaker rails than a random bargain bin seat. I feel pissed off, go screw yourselves SDG.

2013 Cannondale Scalpel 29er Carbon 2 Bike

“if you are into xc 29ers,you really must ride this one!!!!”

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The Good: every bit of momentum from pedal input goes into forward motion,rails like a banshee on steroids,lefty fork is awesome!!!!component spec is spot on!!!!

The Bad: the fizik saddle didn't agree with my bum

Overall Review: I always wanted a lefty fork.i thought about putting on on my diamondback sl super,but changed my mind once I test rode my 2012 cannondale scalpel 29er carbon 2.you only live once,so I took some money from my 401k account and went for it.have not looked back since then.

2013 Scott Genius 720

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Scott Genius 720”

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Reviewed by Steve Wentz and Joe Schneider // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman Meet the 150mm 2013 Scott Genius 720. Once a bike that utilized a proprietary pull shock, the line has been completely reworked and revamped for its 10-year anniversary. Now lighter, stiffer, and up to current standards, the Genius 700 series also sees the introduction of 650B (~27.5-inch) wheels. Scott's wheel testing with their World Cup cross-country athletes showed gains substantial enough that the company actually scrapped the 26-inch wheel size altogether. As a whole, the package is what Scott claims is "THE Read More »

Kenda Small Block 8 Tire

“They're like Turbo Tires!”

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The Good: Rolls super smooth, therefore fast and flowing. Great for hard pack, fine on road and surprising agile off road.

The Bad: Stay away from mud, not much sidewall for rock gardens.

Overall Review: I bought these for my "loaner" and sometimes "urban assault" Hard Rock 29'er. They are instant ego boost compared to my Nomad with 2.5 Chunders!  Easy to squeeze speed out of these when pumping. I learned the next level of pumping Partly Because of these SB8's. I find myself on the 29'er more often just because Rolling is the Best Return on Turning the Cranks...

2013 Mondraker Foxy XR

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Mondraker Foxy XR”

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Reviewed by Steve Wentz, Joe Schneider, and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman With its unique "Forward Geometry" and super short 10mm stem, the Mondraker Foxy XR was perhaps the most unique ride in the 2013 Vital MTB Test Sessions lineup. Billed as an all-mountain bike (that's important given that Mondraker also has trail and enduro bikes), the Foxy XR has 140mm of rear travel, a 67-degree head angle, and a massive wheelbase. Mondraker says they made this ride capable of pedaling up and rallying down, and rally we did! In fact, this may have been the most rally-able all-mountain bike we've ever ridden Read More »

2013 Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc”

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Reviewed by Matt Thompson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT was released on April Fools Day, 2012. It's no laughing matter though. In fact, this long travel 29er is capable of taming the most serious descents. It does however, know have to have fun, and lots of it. The original Tallboy, introduced about four years ago, was among the first 29ers that people actually enjoyed riding. But the people wanted more - more travel, slacker angles, more fun. After weighing their options, seeing what worked well and what didn't, the boys at Santa Cruz Read More »

2012 Rocky Mountain Flatline Pro Bike

“This bike is outstanding!”

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The Good: Maneuverable!

The Bad: Nothing I noticed!

Overall Review: I got this bike after owning my old Big Hit. And man i thought i went fast on that bike! Than I hopped on this, and i feel like a pro! This bike is so easy to maneuver. If i want to hit a big jump, i can get a lot of air! Or, if i want to have more speed than i can make the bike stay low to the ground! This bike is definitelya keeper!