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iXS Slope-SeriesEVO Knee Pad

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

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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.”

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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”

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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.”

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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”

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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”

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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”

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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 »

Kenda Small Block 8 Tire

“Kenda Small Block 8”

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The Good: Light, Wide (2.3)

The Bad: Nothing!!!!

Overall Review: I'musing this tire on the front of my DJ bike and it is awesome! It has just enough tread to Dirt Jump with and not too much to go hit up the skate park. I love it!

2013 Felt Compulsion LT 1

Vital Review

“Tested: 2013 Felt Compulsion LT1 - Finally Aggressive”

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Reviewed by Brandon Turman // Photos by Courtney Steen and Brandon Turman com·pul·sion |kəmˈpəlSHən| noun 1 an act of compelling : the state of being compelled 2 the action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint 3 an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way We've got to tell you, we gave into the Compulsion. Every time we ride it, we have the irresistible urge to go fast, pop off the bonus lips on the side of the trail, and hoot and holler. It wasn't without a few tweaks to the stock build, though… Two months ago we first swung a leg over it, and today it's time to fill you in on how it Read More »

ODI Oury Lock-On Grip/Clamp

Featured Review

“If you like them thick...”

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The Good: thick, soft and sticky

The Bad: None so far

Overall Review: The ODI Oury grips are one of the thickest grips on the market, if you are looking for a very soft and sticky grip this is a great choice. I have used these in the past and have been very happy with them. I also find that switching from other thinner grips to seems to help reduce some arm pump simply due to how think and comfy these grips are. Even though they are very soft they hold up a long time and proved to be very durable. I have also used these in the wet and muddy conditions and even with wet hands/gloves the grips still stay grippy and my hands do not slide off. Another plus about these grips is that when Read More »