Latest Product Reviews


2014 Trek Slash 9 27.5

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Trek Slash 9 27.5”

Reviewed by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer, Lear Miller and Brandon Turman Originally introduced as a replacement to the Trek Scratch Air in 2012, the Slash was born from the desire for a ride that descended like a downhill bike but pedaled up like the well-regarded Remedy. It boasted 160mm of travel, slack geometry, and the ability to plough through pretty much anything. Fast forward to 2014 and the bike has been redesigned from the ground up around the 27.5-inch wheel size. As we soon found out during our 2014 Test Sessions, Trek had much more in mind with their redesign than just the wheels. The new Slash is Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6087 1037,109/setup 271 1172 2156 131 40

Maxxis Larsen TT Tire

Featured Review

“Awesome rear tire for dry hardpack conditions.”


The Good:

Super fast rolling and great grip in it's intended conditions combined with low weight make it one of my go-to rears when it's dry. Not to mention they can be had for dirt cheap.

The Bad:

The trade off for the fast rolling speed is decreased braking traction as with any similar tire. The braking edge on the center knobs doesn't last as long as some tires given how short and low the knobs are to start with. The range of conditions the tire works well in is rather narrow.

Overall Review: While originally designed for XC racing Maxxis's Larsen TT is also available in a 2.35" with a single-ply casing making it an awesome rear tire for All Mountain or Enduro style riding. It's tightly spaced, ramped center knobs provide awesome traction on hardpack dirt and fixed rock while offering very little rolling resistance. Grip is achieved from having so much surface area in contact with the ground rather than the knobs actually digging into the dirt. Braking traction is comparable to other similar designs although it can suffer when the conditions get "marbley". The tire's light weight is also a major plus, making Read More »
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Vital MTB member wydopen
23902 wydopen,23902/all 04/25/13 1,23902/setup 3 19 92 3

Source Paragon 25L Hydration Pack

Vital Review

“Tested: Source Paragon 25L Hydration Pack”

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow Source was founded in 1989, and has since built itself into a globally distributed brand specializing in outdoors footwear and hydration systems. Well-known in the general outdoors/adventure market and recognized for its innovative approach to hydration, the company has also recently introduced a line of packs designed specifically for biking. The Paragon 25L is the top of the line option for riders looking for a big pack with all the bells and whistles (there’s actually a whistle!) – we’ve been rocking one for a few months to see how it stacks up in this Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 781 78 820 1730,94/setup 51 321 3675 85 28

Spank Tweet Frame

“my Birdy Numb Numb”


The Good:

Really short so excelent flickability but not so short that it feels sketchy like a BMX. The steel tubing is really skinny so it looks top notch, properly pretty frame. the tubes also magnify the clicking of the hub which sounds epic. The steel absorbs small bumps which is great for DJing (compared to the brutality of my last aluminium DJ frame). Integrated headset so I didn't need a headset press.

The Bad:

The paint is a bit soft so brake hose rubs through very easily and quickly.

Overall Review: The Tweet frame is so nice to ride. It is the most fun bike I have ever ridden. from the moment you get on one you feel light and quick because its so small and throwable. It's not a very heavy frame either my whole build weights about 13Kg which is pretty damn good for a DJ bike. They feel really strong too, in landings they feel strong, it's hard to describe but you would be very supprised to feel it give out in a hard landing because it inspires so much confidence in its strength. I would heavily recommend this frame to anyone and would buy another if mine ever dies in the far future.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Jordan_Lewis
24043 Jordan_Lewis,24043/all 05/02/13,24043/setup 1 3 1

2011 Specialized P.1 Bike

“Such a Sick bike”


The Good:

awesome feel to it
super strong
looks awsome

The Bad:

rigid fork

Overall Review: such a sick bike for the price! once you get the chance chuck a 100mm dj fork on and it beats those bikes for around 1000 quid
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Vital MTB member BillieCook97
26937 BillieCook97,26937/all 08/16/13,26937/setup 1 1

2014 Giant Trance Advanced SX 27.5

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Giant Trance Advanced SX 27.5”

Reviewed by John Hauer and Jess Pedersen // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller It’s bold, it’s black and it looks bad ass. When Giant converted the majority of their bikes to the 27.5-inch wheel last year, they also took the time to completely redesign the Trance. Fueled by the Enduro craze (and no-doubt their own squad of shredders), the rowdier than standard Trance Advanced SX 27.5 was born. Sporting 140mm of rear wheel travel, 160mm up front and a list of components that’s certainly race worthy, this one appears ready to rally. Sedona, Arizona served as the perfect place to try out the bike claimed to “climb Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6087 1037,109/setup 271 1172 2156 131 40

Black Market Killswitch Frame

“Absofriginlutely incredible”


The Good:

Efficient, snappy, easy to jump, versatile, playful, stunning looks, beefy frame, Threaded BB, ISCG tabs, dropout options

The Bad:

Standard sliding rear drops

Overall Review: Amazing frame! This is a perfect slope/park/jump frame that's truly versatile. If you live near local tight playful trails the option to run gears and a guide open a world possibilities. I don't have local trails like this but do have some great slope, slalom, and jump lines. If you want to stay planed to the ground this isn't your rig. If you want to fly the Killswitch is incredible. The rear shock does it's job without getting in the way. It's a nearly perfect frame. The only thing I could imagine changing would be to design a tensioner into the sliding dropouts. These are standard and work perfectly a intended so this is a pretty minor quibble. Overall it's tops. Get one. They're amazing
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member corvus1
23743 corvus1,23743/all 04/18/13,23743/setup 2 2 1

2014 Yeti SB75 Race

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Yeti SB75”

Reviewed by Steve Wentz, Evan Turpen and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller For 2014, Yeti Cycles combined their proven Switch Technology suspension platform and some newfangled 27.5-inch wheels to create the SB75. After having a great experience on the SB66 Carbon and watching Jared Graves lay the hammer down on his SB66 time and time again during the Enduro World Series, it goes without saying that we had high hopes for the SB75. Is the new bike a better version of the original Super Bike, or is it an entirely different ride? Sedona, Arizona served as the perfect testing grounds to see what the new rig has Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 94 6087 1037,109/setup 271 1172 2156 131 40

Fox Racing Women's Flygirl Jersey

Vital Review

“Tested: Fox Flygirl Short Sleeved Women’s Jersey”

by Amanda Richter It was almost spring and I was going a little stir crazy in snowy Colorado. I needed something to hold me over, something to look forward to so I thought “huh, I guess I could get some new kit...” Honestly, I was dreading it - I am not much of a shopper and with women’s cycling clothing there hasn't always been much to motivate me. It was actually my boyfriend who finally sat me down on Fox’s website and made me take a look. That was when I saw the Flygirl for the first time. Could it be? Was it actually possible that this jersey could combine fit and function as Fox claims, all for Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member La Pata
28909 La Pata,28909/all 12/20/13 2 1 6

SR Suntour RUX RC2 Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: SR Suntour RUX Fork - UPDATED INTERNALS”

Review by Evan Turpen // Photos by Dave Trumpore It's no secret that the long-travel bike market is a tough one to crack into. The numbers of product produced is much smaller than other areas of the market and the performance and quality demanded is of the highest level, because it has to be. As a result of the highly competitive market, many companies and products have come and gone, and some companies won't even dabble in it for fear of never getting a return on their investment. SR Suntour isn’t one of these scared companies, and for 2014 they’ve made the leap into the long-travel downhill and freeride market with the release Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member E.T.
699 E.T.,699/all 08/31/09 4 8 1 5 47 13