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Spy Optic Targa Goggles

“Great set of inexpensive goggles”

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The Good: venting, comfortable

The Bad: more colors please

Overall Review: If you are in the market for a new set of goggles and don't want to spend a chunk, check out the Targa goggles from SPY. Breathability is good and the strap stays put on the helmet. While fit and looks may be subjective, I think they score highly in those categories. Once I strapped these on I didn't even think about them on the trail and that is a good thing. My only wish is that there were more color choices. I got the blue and the blue is bit darker than I was expecting. Mine came with clear lenses (which is what I prefer) but you can swap the lenses out for varying light conditions if you desire.

2014 Specialized Enduro Comp 29 Bike

Featured Review

“Jack of all trades, master of fun”

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The Good: Fast, gobs of traction, good value

The Bad: nothing major at this point

Overall Review: At a demo day last fall, I took an Enduro 29 (s-works model)on the familiar trails of western CO Iwas amazed at how well it handled the chunky desert terrain.The Enduro 29gets touted for being abike that shines once the trail points downhill. Itnot only did that, but I noticed a greater improvement in the way it climbed technical terrain over my previousaggressive all mountainbikes.I'm not really interested in timing my runs but therewas no denying the fun whenI was flying up, down and over the same terrain at a noticeably faster speed. Idecidedto sell mydo-it-alltrusty steed and get anew Enduro 29 and my budget lined Read More »

Race Face Turbine Cranks

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Turbine Crankset”

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by Jeff Brines The Race Face Turbine crankset may be one of the most iconic mountain bike components since its inception some 15 years ago. For 2015 the crankset receives a complete redesign, incorporating many features seen in the carbon Next SL offering. How does the new Turbine fair when compared to other mid- to high-end cranksets? We spent the better part of a month trying to bend, break and generally abuse them. Turbine Crank Highlights Intended for XC/Trail/All-Mountain/Enduro use Completely redesigned for 2015 to incorporate the Cinch system Crank arms are deep pocket forged and CNC machined to optimize stiffness Read More »

SixSixOne EVO AM Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: 661 EVO AM Helmet”

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Protecting your head seems like an obvious thing to do, and having gone through a fall that should have killed me but instead resulted in just a plain old-fashioned traumatic brain injury thanks to my helmet, I’ll never ride a bike without one. I'll go for rides all the time without gloves or elbow pads, or even sleeves for that matter, but you won't catch me without a melon bucket. You spend a lot of money on gimmicky bike parts that frankly never make a difference so you shouldn'tblink at spending good money to protect those juicy brains of yours. Anyway, when the chance came along to put my head into the latest Read More »

Shimano Saint M820 Disc Brakes

Featured Review

“Powerful DH stoppers”

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The Good: Tons of stopping power, durable, great modulation, easy to bleed

The Bad: Not as light as some of the new DH specific offering from SRAM

Overall Review: Right out of the box the M820 has a solid look and feel to it, the brake looks very tough and durable and doesn’t have any plastic feeling parts. Both front and rear pre bled hoses come in at very long length, allowing the brakes to fit any bike, I assume even extra-large frames should have no issues with the default hose. Compared to the M810 brakes, these new Saints have definitely shed some of their bulk, both caliper and level are a lot smaller and sleeker, thus helping to reduce some of the weight seen with the old M810s. Installation is a breeze and both removal and installation of the pads is also very Read More »

Five Ten Impact VXi Shoe

Vital Review

“Tested: 5.10 Impact VXi - Real Sticky-icky”

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Review by Sean "Griz"McClendon // Action photo by Ian Collins I remember my first set of Intense sticky rubber high tops back in 2003. They were a size too big, the stealth rubber performance was second to none and I happily ran them until switching to clips for racing. Entering the bike market with their Impact high and low top shoes, 5.10 quickly became popular with the rise of Sam Hill and his mind-numbing approach to racing in the mid-2000’s.Since then, the sticky rubber specialist brand has been the rider’s choice for flat pedal footwear for nearly a decade and people are running them for hundreds of miles Read More »

Race Face Atlas FR Cranks

Featured Review

“Race Face Atlas FR Cranks”

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The Good: Strong, stiff, durable

The Bad: Can't find any flaws yet

Overall Review: I've been a fan of Race Face cranks since back in the days of square tapered bottom brackets and the North Shore crank sets, the Atlas is an evolution of the DH /freeride crank that provides a stiff and durable crank while keeping the weight at a minimum. The weight to strength ratio of this crank is very good, that’s probably why this crank can be seen on full out DH bikes to all mountain/trail bikes. It's a solid crank that allows you to setup and then ride without any hassles for the rest of the season. Besides the great performance and durability, the other great thing about the Atlas range of cranks is that they offer a Read More »

Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon Full Face Helmet

“The comfort, airflow, looks and protection you get from this helmet is well worth the price.”

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The Good: Light weight, amazing quality, great graphic options, comfortable

The Bad: A bit on the pricey side, sad when you get it scratched or dinged

Overall Review: Besides great looks, the D3 offers loads of safety protection and really great comfort. The inside padding is very soft and offers comfort through all day riding even in the warmest conditions. TLD has done a great job of air vent placement in all the right spots to offer superb airflow allowing you to stay comfortable as you ride, there was a huge difference between the air flow with the D2 and the D3. The overall weight of the helmet is verynoticeable in a good way, that is to saythat'sits very minimal which also adds to the comfort of this lid. Fit wise the helmet comes in several size allowing each Read More »

Renthal FatBar Riser Bar

Featured Review

“Moto inspired handlebars”

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The Good: durable, stiff, great looks

The Bad: Could not find any yet

Overall Review: Handlebar choice is a bit of personal preference, a lot of the bars in this price range offer similar sweep, length and rise and for the most part they all work great, the Renthal FatBar is no different. The Fatbar comes in a 31.8mm clamp size and also in 20mm low rise, 30mm mid rise and 38mm high rise versions, I'm running the low rise bar. The bar features a positioning grid to assist with bar setup as well as width marks to assist with cutting the bars down if required. The renthal bar features very subtle graphics (with just two logos) logos that seem very durable, some other bars the paint or logo graphics Read More »

Smith Pivlock Overdrive Glasses

Vital Review

“Tested: Smith Pivlock Overdrive Glasses”

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Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first-ever ski goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam, and the company has grown dramatically ever since. Today Smith offers a huge range of sunglasses, goggles, and protective equipment for all kinds of sports and activities. The Pivlock Overdrive is Smith's idea of what a pair of sunglasses should help you accomplish on the bike. With features including a new two-position adjustable nose fit and three different sets of high-performance lenses, the Pivlock Overdrives are ergonomically adjusted for optimal integration with bike Read More »