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Bell Stoker Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Bell Stoker Helmet”

C138_bell_stoker_helmet_black_red_haze
by Colt Maule // Projekt Roam Established in 1954, Bell Helmets exists to 'inspire and enable the next generation of boundary breakers'. The goggle-compatible Bell Stoker Helmet is a go-to, all-mountain helmet with just the right amount of substance and style. Featuring air channeling vents, an adjustable visor, a SpeedDial Fit System, and extended rear coverage, the Stoker keeps you cool and confident while riding any terrain. I brought this helmet along for a few months of road tripping and bike shredding, and I’m glad I did... because it saved my head. Bell Stoker Helmet Highlights Airflow Brow Band Channeled Read More »
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Vital MTB member projekt roam
3232 projekt roam http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/3232/avatar/c50_colt_berm_bend_2_bw_s.jpg?1332358737 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/projekt-roam,3232/all 06/28/10 3 8 236 21 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/projekt-roam,3232/setup 1 5 5

Crank Brothers Iodine 2 Wheelset

“Getting Better”

C138_69003

The Good:

Light Weight,
Strong Rim,
Easy Tubeless setup,
One off design

The Bad:

Takes a proprietary spoke and nipple combo that will need to be sourced from a direct CB dealer or from CB themselves. On the plus side, they are all the same length so keeping extras is simple. Will true and tighten with universal spoke wrench (PT Black)

Overall Review: There is well known idea within the mountain biking community that Crank Brothers makes parts for looks and not function. The Iodine wheels certainly take stunning looks and design to a level that no other wheel manufacturer has but has been plagued with bad reviews about faulty hub construction. The 2013 batch that I am riding seems to have addressed those issues and according to Crank Brothers, the 2013 wheel sets are a step forward and construction and durability. With a handful of rides into the season, I am happy to report that my Iodine 2 wheel set have performed without flaws and beat out my outgoing Read More »
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Vital MTB member TamiJean
29160 TamiJean http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/29160/avatar/c50_Bike_Pose_1390463211.jpg?1390462854 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TamiJean,29160/all 01/09/14 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TamiJean,29160/setup 2 1 9 1

RockShox BoXXer World Cup Fork with Charger Damper

Vital Review

“First Ride: RockShox BoXXer with Charger Damper”

C138_rockshox_boxxer_275_white
Review by Sven Martin // Photos by Adrian Marcoux, Sven Martin, and SRAM When you saw the recent SRAM X01DH drivetrain feature, you might have wondered why SRAM would fly a bunch of journalists from all around the world to New Zealand just to sample a few less gears. As successful as that launch went, you’re right, it wasn’t just about gears and Queenstown beers… We also came to sample something else - something more than just refinement and product extension, something more like cheating. While not entirely new to the eyes (it was on a number of 2013 World Cup and Rampage bikes), this was the Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member Sven Martin
11 Sven Martin http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/11/avatar/c50_87934290_1249330406.jpg?1290149915 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Sven-Martin,11/all 07/23/09 41 15 2 3 32 253 1 3

2014 Orbea Rallon X-LTD

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Orbea Rallon X-LTD”

C138_orbea_rallon_x_ltd
Reviewed by Evan Turpen, John Hauer, and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller Of all 25 bikes in the 2014 Vital MTB Test Sessions, none screamed “RIDE ME!” more loudly than the all-new Orbea Rallon. The combination of BOS suspension, super aggressive geometry, and fluorescent paint had us chomping at the bit. Many US-based readers may not recognize the Orbea brand, but know that they’ve been making bikes for a long time are just now entering the US market. Thanks to new Rallon the Spanish company has finally grabbed our full attention. This bike is exciting. Orbea Rallon X-LTD Highlights Hydroformed Read More »
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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 1134 96 6156 996 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 275 1228 2239 157 41

Royal 2015 Esquire Shorts

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Esquire Short”

C138_esquire_short_f
Review by A.J. Barlas // Photography Jon Anthony & A.J. Barlas Riding apparel over the last number of years has changed. Gone are the long, baggy items, replaced with more form fitting clothing, a move that we feel is an entirely good thing! This isn't to say we should ride in skin tight clothing, in fact, I'm an advocate for the 'no lycra necessary' movement, but wearing gear so baggy that it would catch on your bars, seat, and tree branches as you whiz by is not only ridiculous, it's highly impractical. Having said that there are still baggier fits available, if you so desire. There are also close to Read More »
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Vital MTB member ardor
19406 ardor http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/19406/avatar/c50_ardor_avatar_1435645277.jpg?1435644564 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/all 10/30/12 5 3 312 4 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/setup 2 24 1 92 31 4

Avid G2 Clean Sweep Rotor

“Avid Rotor”

C138_67567

The Good:

Simple trouble free rotor. Stays straight as well. I have had it on a dirt jump bike with Hope M4 brakes. have no trouble with this rotor at all. Rotor was used with Avid mechanical brakes before the Hope's. Thought I might need to get a new rotor for M4's but this one has worked great.

The Bad:

No issues to speak of.

Overall Review: Nice simple rotor. Can also be a good low cost back-up rotor for travel.
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Vital MTB member mtbschrader
25759 mtbschrader /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/all 06/19/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/setup 3 4 9 16

Race Face Respond DH/AM Stem

“Great Stiff Stem”

C138_45108

The Good:

Have had this on my dirt jump bike for 2 years. It's been great. Stiff and solid. Never have to mess with it. I have the white version and it has a durable finish. Black is probably even better. Nice looking stem too. Never worry about, it just works.

The Bad:

Maybe a few more length options. nit-picking here, Can't think of a bad thing.

Overall Review: Great stem and would not hesitate to recommend it.
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Vital MTB member mtbschrader
25759 mtbschrader /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/all 06/19/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/setup 3 4 9 16

DT Swiss Competition Spokes

“Nice Spokes”

C138_sn308a01

The Good:

Have had them for several years in 2 different wheel sets and have had no problems at all and they have seen a lot of use and some jumps and drops and rough terrain. mine have always been built with brass nipples. I had a third wheel set with straight gauge spokes and I had a bad case and broke several spokes. These seem much tougher.

The Bad:

Nothing i can think.

Overall Review: Nice strong spokes i will continue to use and when I get new wheels I will use these spokes again.
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Vital MTB member mtbschrader
25759 mtbschrader /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/all 06/19/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/setup 3 4 9 16

Avid BB5 Disc Brake

“Average Brakes”

C138_205a3756_750a_4e2c_9b41_783177fa3eb2

The Good:

Easy to set up. Once dialed in they work nicely. Lever feels pretty good. Rotor seems fairly strong.

The Bad:

Mine would be all set up and work good but it only last a month or so and then they felt terrible. lever pulled to bar and no stopping power. After I would re-set them up they would be good again but only for a short while. Tired new pads but no difference. Might have been cable constantly stretching and maybe should have tried a new cable but ended up just getting something else.

Overall Review: OK basic brake for light use.
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Vital MTB member mtbschrader
25759 mtbschrader /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/all 06/19/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/setup 3 4 9 16

2013 Scott Scale 930 Bike

“Scott Scale 930 = FAST!”

C138_bike_scott_scale_930

The Good:

This bike climbs like a billy goat! It is incredibly responsive.

The Bad:

The Rocket Ron tires are very light, but tend to wash out easily in off-camber turns. They are fine for the back, but replace the front asap or your face will hurt. The handlebars could also be lighter.

Overall Review: I LOVE this bike. After dealing with the annoying maintenance issues of Specialized's Brain shock, I was ready for a hard tail. I love how simple it is - you just go outside and ride...that's it...as it should be. Back to the joys of riding like you are a 10-year-old. Basically, if you aren't riding down mountains all day and can shell out the cash, pick one of these up - it will be worth it. And if you have trouble climbing hills like me, be prepared to be shocked how easy climbs become.