4li2k73z Share your Vital activity on Facebook (More info)
close

Latest Product Reviews

RSS

Hayes Stroker Ace Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

“Simple and Strong”

C138_101986000_1267170639

The Good: 4-piston calipers. Great power. Lever adjustment.

The Bad: No modulation. Lacks contact adjustment.

Overall Review: This is the start of my third season with the same Hayes Stroker Ace brakes. Since purchasing them they have run countless miles of downhill trails, jumps and attempts to get some street tricks on. These are the strongest breaks I have run to date, often allowing me to wait until the lastmomentbefore making a quicksqueezeon the lever the achieve my desired speed. These brakes make me feel faster than other breaks I have run. With four pistons, and a large pad, these things are born for long descents. However, the technology of Hayes gravity brakes is falling behind. Almost every other company sells brakes with Read More »

RockShox Totem RC2 DH Solo Air Fork

Featured Review

“Totem - the king of long travel single crowns”

C138_fs_totm_rc2dh_sa180_wht_t._1

The Good: Tuneable, Easy to Service, Plush, Stiff, Reliable

The Bad: Heavy? (hardly...), Expensive

Overall Review: This is the second Totem RC2DH Solo Air I've owned. I loved my last one so much, there was no way I was getting anything else. Here are my thoughts: THE GOOD: Tuneable - This fork has all the adjustments I could ask for, all external so they're easy to use. They improved the external compression adjustments on the current version (I've got a 2012), so they're even easier than previous versions. I can easily turn the knobs with gloves on, so they're easy to dial in during rides. I really appreciated this because this the fork is on my 2012 Giant Faith, and I use that thing for a lot of different types Read More »

Manitou Dorado Expert Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: Manitou Dorado Expert - A Worthy Contender”

C138_manitou_dorado_expert_adjustments
Review by Sean “Griz” McClendon // Photos by Brandon Turman Manitou has been in the mountain bike suspension game for over 20-years. During the last decade, Hayes Bicycle Group (now Hayes Components) acquired Manitou, and in 2010, under new ownership, Manitou launched a completely redesigned version of the Dorado. Boasting larger stanchions, an improved chassis, new internals, and a new air system, the latest design has improved across the board. When first reintroduced, the 2010 Dorado was only available in the uber expensive carbon variety. Later in the year they released an aluminum Dorado Pro version at $1600. Now for Read More »

iXS Slope-SeriesEVO Knee Pad

“Pads that you will forget, in a good way.”

C138_slope_knee_black_front

The Good: Great protection. Amazing comfort. Large range of sizes.

The Bad: I can't think of any.

Overall Review: Amazing.Incredible. Awesome. I hope iXS never stops making the SlopeEVO knee pads. I have worn knee pads for the last 10 years, butuntiliboughtthe SlopeEVO pads, I was always bugged by them. Never before could I wear pad the whole day without feeling relived the moment I took the pads off.With the SlopeEVO pads, I can wear them all day. Plus the stay in place, which no other pads have ever done for me. I think this is do to the larger range of sizes available from iXS. Other pads had me choosing between too big or too small, but these pads are a perfect fit for my rather chicken like legs. I am also pleased to Read More »

iXS Phobos-Anchor Full Face Helmet

“Well built with nice looks.”

C138_phobos_anchor_grey_1

The Good: Solid performance, good venting and great looks. Great Price

The Bad: Fit is more snug than other helmets I've had. D-ring is annoying.

Overall Review: For the past season and a half I have been wearing the iXS Phobos helmet. I chose the helmet based on the bright colors and great price that they are available in. I'm a huge fan of bright colors, and iXS delivered an amazing looking helmet with the Phopos. While I haven't had many crashes to my head, I can think of one particular crash that sent me face first into the dirt. My mouth was full of the brown stuff, but there was absolutely no injury to worry about. The Phobos took the hit like a champ, protecting my head, while only suffering a small, cosmetic crack on the visor. This helmet would be perfect IF it Read More »

Easton EC70 Trail 26-inch Wheelset

Vital Review

“Tested: Easton EC70 Trail Wheelset - Carbon for the Masses”

C138_ec7026
by Nick Zuzelski Carbon wheels are all the rage as of the past few seasons, but with their high cost, it's still a commodity seen more often on factory pro level bikes and in the wish lists of your everyday rider. Easton kept that in mind while creating the all new EC70 Trail Wheelset, trying to come up with a new price point offering for the trail riding enthusiast. I've been putting these wheels through some all-mountain abuse the past few months and it's time to fill you in on how they've performed. EC70 Trail Highlights The EC70s roll on Easton's proven M1 hubs. Featuring 24 straight-pull double-butted Read More »

Azonic Outlaw Wheelset

Featured Review

“Azonic Outlaw, for the set and forget crowd.”

C138_wh276a00_black

The Good: -Strong
-Nice, long lasting color
-Inexpensive
-Can hold a ghetto tubeless.
-Tough to knock out of true.

The Bad: -While not overly heavy, they also aren't overly light.

Overall Review: I've been running my Azonic Outlaw wheelset for a season and some change now, and I can honestly say that these are an incredible bargain.I'm 5' 11" and a mere 150lbs (with gear on), and I love to jump my bike, and charge into rough sections of trail. I have managed to destroy one wheel (from a competingcompany)withina week, so it's safe to say that my riding style can reap havoc on a wheel. Despite multiple casings and bike flinging crashes, the Outlaw rims remain dent free, and only required minimal truing after nearly 8 months ofneglectand abuse. After a while I decided to convert to tubeless using gorilla tape to Read More »

2013 Intense Tracer 275

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Intense Tracer 275”

C138_intense_tracer_275
Reviewed by Matt Thompson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer Born and bred in the USA - these aren't words we can often write about bikes, which is why it was a real pleasure to hop on the latest version of the popular Tracer platform from Intense Cycles. Already available in both 26 and 29-inch versions, the Tracer 275 aims to gain the "best of both worlds" by utilizing the in-between 650B wheel size. Rather than simply slapping some slightly modified dropouts on the bike and calling it good, Intense went back to the drawing board on this one, ultimately arriving at a fresh redesign Read More »

Royal 2014 Signature Gloves

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Signature Glove - Tougher Than You Think”

C138_signature_black_b
Review and pictures by Johan Hjord Gloves have been part of the offering from Royal Racing for many years, and for 2013, the range is wider than ever. There’s a glove for every condition and every personal preference. The Signature Glove has been around since 2011 - it's Royal’s go-to glove for riders who prefer a very thin and lightweight glove. We laid our hands on (and put them in!) the 2013 edition to see how it would hold up to a couple of months’ worth of abuse. For 2013, Royal has taken a step back towards somewhat calmer styling on many of their clothing items, which carried over to the Signature Glove design, too. Read More »

Royal 2014 Matrix Jacket

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Matrix Jacket - Double Duty Rainwear”

C138_matrix_red_jacket_f
by AJ Barlas Jackets for mountain biking are quite often super cheap rain jackets that we either purchase knowing that at some point we may wreck and cause it damage, or old casual wind and rain jackets that are no longer suitable to an individual's swagger. In either scenario, they are often, in one way or another, inappropriate for riding in. So what makes a jacket appropriate for mountain biking? The features included on the Royal Racing Matrix jacket certainly help! Do these features add up to a comfortable and functional riding jacket, and can a mountain bike jacket double as a casual? If so, then the logical step Read More »