Latest Product Reviews


SRAM XX Cassette 10sp

“The Holy Grail of MTB Cassettes”


The Good:

~Spools-up extremely fast
~Sub 210g weight is consistent
~Incredible wear, from machined, inner 8 cogs
~Smooth, instant telepathic shifts, rivals Shimano XTR
~Materials science at its finest
~High resale value

The Bad:

~SRAM lied about replaceable 36t cogs, in their ad campaigns

Overall Review: Upgrading from my hefty, 355g SRAM PG-1070 cassette - the 207g XG-1099 spins up so fast, it's almost like losing four additional teeth on your granny chainring. The 148g difference CAN BE FELT...the moment you spin the cranks. Climbs that normally petered me out can finally be cleared, due to the reduction of rotating axial weight. If you are strong enough to stay away from using the alloy 36t cog - you can also expect 3-4 seasons of hard trail riding, on this cassette. Just be sure to religiously monitor your chain wear and this cassette will easily outlast many lower-end cogs by 3:1...making this component a decent Read More »
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Vital MTB member Zachariah
26432 Zachariah,26432/all 07/18/13,26432/setup 1 6 5

Cane Creek DBair CS Rear Shock

Vital Review

“Tested: 2014 Cane Creek DBair CS Rear Shock”

by Dave Trumpore Cane Creek's highly rated Double Barrel Air shock recently received a new climbing assist feature dubbed the "Climb Switch" or CS for short. After hundreds of miles putting it through its paces, it’s time for us to weigh in on the addition. 2014 DBair CS Shock Highlights Weight: 509 grams (weight varies by size) Damping: Twin-tube independent compression and rebound in two high-speed and four low-speed damping circuits Adjustments: High speed compression, Low speed compression, High speed rebound, Low speed rebound, Air spring rate, Climb Switch on/off Shaft Material: Induction-hardened 4130 steel Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member davetrumpore
1982 davetrumpore,1982/all 02/16/10 6 7 710 1 1 9 2 92 7

Magura MT8 Disc Brake

“No good For DH”


The Good:

Very light, great modulation and feel at first.

The Bad:

Not durable or reliable in the slightest.

Overall Review: So I originally started with the older Martas on my Glory, sold it, and replaced the Saints on my Fury with MT8s because the Martas were sick and I figured the MT8s would be also. HOWEVER, first weekend on them I warped both 8 inch rotors really badly, so I replaced them with older Magura two-piece rotors that are badass and I still use with my current Saints. Flash forward 2 years later and I have just burnt through my 3rd brake. I had one master cyclinder go, one cracked piston, and the latest one is the most infuriating, I crashed or bumped my bike or something because the rear caliper has a scuff mark Read More »
Rate review: -2 Up Down
Vital MTB member jlucchesi
28433 jlucchesi,28433/all 11/12/13 9 1 3 1

2014 Niner WFO 9

Vital Review

“Tested: 2014 Niner WFO 9 - Cake Gnomin Good”

Review by Jeff Brines // Photos by Patrick Nelson It took me an inordinate amount of time to understand the meaning of the phrase “have your cake and eat it too”. I just didn’t understand who these people were who were so obsessed with cake. Don’t get me wrong, I like cake as much as the next guy but don’t I always have cake while I’m eating it? I guess you could say I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer as a youngster. But I digress. The Niner WFO 9 seems to play off this old adage of having the best of both worlds. What rider doesn’t want a bike that monster-trucks through the chunkiest of terrain, holds an immense amount of Read More »
Rate review: +8 Up Down
Vital MTB member jeff.brines
4240 jeff.brines,4240/all 08/29/10 13 4,4240/setup 9 153 294 11 2

Avid Elixir R Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

“BEST Hydraulic Discs Avid Ever Made”


The Good:

~One finger micro-modulation
~Incredible stopping power
~Able to withstand extended descents, with zero fade
~Incredible pad life. Where can you get almost 1000 miles on a set of pads?
~Great like $600 brakes
~DoT 5.1 fluid never boils!
~Tool-free lever adjust
~Reversible lever body, to hide crash marks
~CPS mounting system does work - as long as your rotors are straight and CLEAN
~HS1 rotors are very light and dissipate heat well
~Able to shorten hose length without bleeding
~Matchmaker compatibility, with Rock Shox XLoc and Reverb seat dropper, with correct kit

The Bad:

~Much-hated, by all other riders
~Not the lightest...but close

Overall Review: I don't know why all the hate for Avid Elixir brakes. When setup correctly - they are quiet and stop on a dime. In fact, they stop so is even applicable for DH/Freeride bikes. The real beauty is in the modulation. I come from being a longtime Magura Marta SL user, and there is no off/on lever feel, like the Magura. I went OTB on my first ride with them, disbelieving the power these have. Keep them clean by wiping both rotors with alcohol and making sure the pads have as little dust as possible. I give them a quick shot of automotive brake cleaner and they behave like Shimano. The rotors MUST be flat as a Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Zachariah
26432 Zachariah,26432/all 07/18/13,26432/setup 1 6 5

X-Fusion Slant RL2 Suspension Fork

“Great feeling fork”


The Good:

Pretty light, SUPER stiff, great feels, nice internal travel ajust

The Bad:

when i got the fork straight from X-Fusion there was nothing inside of the compresion because it was loose witch caused the fork to not work proprley but after it was fixed it was amazing, only having a taperd steer option

Overall Review: Awesome fork, it feels great and it is super stiff. its just like its little brother the velvet, on steriouds. every thing has been beefed up to make it a much stiffer and solid feeling fork and it doesnt creek, yet (knock on wood), i have had mine for about 6 mounths and still running strong. The only problem i had with this fork is that there was no fluid in the compression because the compression was loose and all the fluid leaked out of it (or something like that). i did end up getting that fixed and now i feels dialed. I would recomend this fork for anything from enduro to dirt jump and to anyone not looking on spending a buy a solid fork with out spending the big bucks.
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Vital MTB member Jonas_Barstad
14775 Jonas_Barstad,14775/all 04/10/12,14775/setup 1 7

Chromag Brandon Semenuks' 'Overture' Signature Model Saddle

“why use any other seat”


The Good:

feels great, looks great

The Bad:

mine has a little bit of play on the rails and has always had it.

Overall Review: Great seat, feels great when your sitting on it and it is also good for pinches. It also looks amazing it is defanitly a must get for dirt jumpers and free riders!
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Jonas_Barstad
14775 Jonas_Barstad,14775/all 04/10/12,14775/setup 1 7

Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon Full Face Helmet

“The Best Full Face Helmet”


The Good:

fits great, looks great, light, and the extra visor is nice

The Bad:

Pretty pricy but worth it

Overall Review: awesome helmet, fits and feels as great as it looks, it is also extremely light. another cool this is that it comes with an extra visor just in case you go down and you break it off. Its defanitly worth it to get the extra money to buy one!
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Vital MTB member Jonas_Barstad
14775 Jonas_Barstad,14775/all 04/10/12,14775/setup 1 7

Profile Racing Elite MTB Hubs

“Like a Swarm of Killer Bees”


The Good:

The sound, the great engagement, very smooth and crisp feeling, the color options, the size options and GREAT customer service!

The Bad:

Pawls can start to skip if water gets in them

Overall Review: Awesome hub! I love the sound (although some people dont) it sounds great while doing anything. i will constantly be riding down the street and have people staring at me in awe. It is defanitly attracts attention. the engagement is so chrisp and quick. It also rolls so much quicker than most hubs, i can defanitly see what this hub is commonly used in the BMX racing scene. the only problem i have had with mine is that if water gets into the pawls and teeth it can dry them out and it can stat to skip but it is a VERY easy to pull it out, clean the inside and drop a couple more drops of teflon dry lube (what is Read More »
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Vital MTB member Jonas_Barstad
14775 Jonas_Barstad,14775/all 04/10/12,14775/setup 1 7

Sombrio Women's Artemyde Jacket

Vital Review

“Tested: Sombrio Women’s Artemyde Jacket”

Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Brandon Turman "That's it!" I had enough of trying to get by in the rain with a hand-me-down rain jacket that just wasn’t cutting it. On more than one occasion I missed rides because it was more than sprinkling out and I knew my jacket wouldn't suffice - it didn't breath well, the hood was useless with a helmet on, and the cut just wasn't right for riding. And so began my search for a legit rain jacket for mountain biking. Designed for women, Sombrio's Artemyde jacket looked like it would fit the bill. With a focus on freeride mountain biking, Sombrio made it their Read More »
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Vital MTB member csteen
28416 csteen,28416/all 11/12/13 33 1 234 2 2 13 1