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2015 Cube Stereo 160 Super HPC SL 27.5

Vital Review

“2015 Test Sessions: Cube Stereo 160 Super HPC SL”

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Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller Cube's Stereo was one of the first bikes available with 27.5-inch wheels. The early adopter immediately stood out from the others by offering a full carbon frame, 160mm of travel, and aggressive angles in a visually appealing package. Previously unavailable in the USA due to a suspension patent held by Specialized, the Horst link equipped Stereo will soon be accessible to anyone with a $4,199 $4,999 US price tag that'll make you look twice. As a result, we were finally able to get our hands on a bright green Super HPC SL model for the 2015 Read More »

Lezyne Mega Drive Light

Vital Review

“Tested: Lezyne Mega Drive”

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by Monica McCosh Going into its eighth year as an engineering design house, Lezyne releases its most powerful LED light to-date, the 1400-lumen Mega Drive for 2015. The Mega Drive is a slick CNC-sculpted aluminum body featuring 3 LEDs for constant lumen output, and replaceable USB-rechargeable batteries for extended night riding on the fly – no cables attached. Eager to extend our winter riding hours we powered up the Mega Drive and headed out to see if it would turn night into day. Lezyne Mega Drive Highlights High Performance LED Light for Trail or Road Use Max Lumens: 1400 CNC-Sculpted Aluminum Body Water Resistant Read More »

2015 Commencal Meta AM V4 Race 650b

Vital Review

“Tested: Commencal Meta AM V4”

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Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas Commencal’s Meta series has existed in one form or another for quite some time, and is built on a philosophy of “pleasure, performance, and aesthetics”. After a successful press launch , we were keen to spend more time riding what we felt was a better bike than the V3. The latest Meta AM is longer and lower than the previous generation, with an updated suspension design and shorter chainstays. After our honeymoon in France, we wanted to find out whether the marriage would last after a few months. Meta AM V4 Highlights AL 6066 triple butted T4/T6 frame 650B wheel size Read More »

2015 GT Fury 27.5 World Cup Bike

“The World Cup DH Bikes for the reasonsble price”

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The Good: The Head Set angle is really slack, makes you more confident to step down stiff terrain. The Center on Rider (COR) simply put you in the centre of the bike, eventhough you forgot to get your upper body to back when you hit drops or jumps (as long as you dont sit on the saddle). The suspension kits may not be as light as Sram components, but they give you the more balance on the track. With the correct size choising, you will get the more space om cabin area, gives you clearer views.

The Bad: The all Shimano Saint group sets are slighly heavier than other brands (sram etc). And also the wheel sets. You may need to focus your modification on those 2 sectors, and you may not want to use shimano Saint pedals in order to reduce weights. Deity pedals work jus fine.

Overall Review: The best world cup downhill bike in reasonable price.

Bell Super 2R Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Bell Super 2R Helmet”

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Review by Monica McCosh // Photos by Brandon Turman It was only a matter of time before a truly Enduro-specific helmet emerged on market. The Bell Super 2R two-in-one all-mountain dome decker is a great concept for confidence-inspired riding which does, however, cause a bit of a conversational ruckus between the risk-adverse and the risk-takers. Not ones to shy away from breaking new ground, we eagerly took reception of a sample and proceeded to test its merits. Super 2R Helmet Highlights Adjustable Visor Breakaway Screws Goggle Guide In-Mold Polycarbonate Shell Integrated Breakaway Camera Mount Overbrow Ventilation Read More »

2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak Bike

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak”

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by Justin Schroth With endless options for trail bikes, and seemingly ever-increasing price of high end components, it is rare to find a bike with a higher end build kit that does not require a second mortgage on your home. Fezzari hopes to make a impact in this market with the Nebo Peak, offering a build that rivals bikes almost twice its price, all while proposing a customized hands-on approach to the purchasing process. Cutting corners or simply a smart new business concept? We were about to find out, and now so are you! 2015 Fezzari Nebo Peak Highlights 6061 Hydroformed Alloy Fezzari Racing Design HL675 frame 27.5-inch Read More »

Giro Terraduro Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: Giro Terraduro Clipless Shoe”

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Review by Dave Trumpore // Photos by Dave Trumpore and Lee Trumpore (action) Not XC and not DH - it is sometimes hard to find the right balance for an "all mountain" shoe. Giro's clipless Terraduro attempts to bridge the gap by including pedal-friendly, XC-type features in a shoe that is also meant to function when you are off the bike. Eager to find out how well they succeeded, we sent out our resident enduro correspondent Dave Trumpore to scramble around as many mountain sides as he could to figure out if the Terraduro was up to the task. Read on for the answer! Giro Terraduro Shoes Highlights High-quality, breathable Read More »

RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork

“Buttery smooth but not so durable...”

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The Good: Buttery smooth, stiff, convenient maxle lite, good looking, configurable characteristic (bottomless tokens), lightweight

The Bad: Air spring not so durable.

Overall Review: I'm using Pike about half a year. I do rather downhill than uphill. The fork is very good, really smooth. But lastly the negative air spring begin to suck upper legs in. For about 50 psi the sag chart on upper legs wasn't visible at all. For greater pressures was better, but even with 120 psi I could bottomed it out with my hands. I gave it for warranty service yesterday, should be fine but it isn't so hard fork. This light weight have influence on its durability.

Banshee Rune V2 Frame

“Great Enduro bike”

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The Good: Great rear suspension; versatile and tunable geometry; simple and clean aesthetics

The Bad: Not the lightest of 160mm frames.

Overall Review: The 2014 Rune V2 came to replace a 2010 Specialized Enduro Comp, already a great 160mm bike. The Rune is far more efficient, resisting pedal bob without being as intrusive as other linkage designs. The suspension is also very sensitive to small bumps, ensuring great traction in technical climbs. It is very linear for the most of the travel, but ramps up nicely towards the end of the travel to resist bottom out. With 30% of sag it is rare to bottom out the rear shock. I really like the simple and clean look, very industrial, with no visible gussets or overly hydroformed tubes, but still remaining very rigid. Also, the stealth "black on black" color scheme is very cool...

Source Whistler 20L Hydration Pack

Vital Review

“Tested: Source Whistler 20L Hydration Pack”

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by Justin Schroth Source produces a wide range of hydration packs, ranging from minimalist running packs to bike-specific hydration packs of various sizes. With the Whistler 20L Hydration Pack, Source aims to provide technical features in a pack that can also hold a larger amount of gear and water without weighing you down. To see how they have achieved this goal, we strapped one on and set out on a mission to find out. Source Whistler 20L Hydration Backpack Highlights Lightweight fabrics: Ripstop 70D nylon Loop for helmet attachment Padded shoulder straps Valve docking station Adjustable sternum strap with Read More »