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2014 Trek Fuel EX 9 29 Bike

“The perfect bicycle!”

C138_2014_trek_fuel_ex_9_29_bike

The Good:

Everything

The Bad:

Nothing really

Overall Review: I used to ride downhill and bmx and moved over to xc and road cycling a few years ago. For me this really is the perfect bike, although I did change the cockpit, seat and post to make it suit my endurance riding style. I have used it for everything from road racing(yes I did a 200k race in just over six hours on this thing) to long distance xc and bike park riding. Putting a 50mm stem when playing around at bike parks and it jumps and shreds down technical downhill sections like it was nothing, even keeping up with proper dh bikes. Only problem I've had is round really tight berms where the 29er wheels aren't quite as nimble as 26ers.
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member CJPerry
1598 CJPerry http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/1598/avatar/c50_88937010_1263555443.jpg?1290153988 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/CJPerry,1598/all 01/05/10 2 17 4 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/CJPerry,1598/setup 3 18 8 2

OneUp Components 42T Sprocket Cassette Add-On

Vital Review

“Tested: OneUp Components 42T Cassette Add-On”

C138_oneup_components_42t_sprocket_cassette_add_on
by Evan Turpen Over the last couple of years there have been major advancements in the drivetrains of our bikes (clutch derailleurs, mega-wide gear ranges, and almost derail-able chain retention techniques). Everything is simpler, lighter, smoother, and in most cases...more expensive. The OneUp 42-tooth cassette sprocket is a simple and affordable alternative to spending the coin on one of these complete drivetrain systems (in reality there's only one at the moment). It effectively gives you that 1x11 "climb up a wall" granny gear without causing that 1x11 hole in your bank account. For this reason I was Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member E.T.
699 E.T. http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/699/avatar/c50_91530530_1251770096.jpg?1290151465 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/E-T,699/all 08/31/09 4 8 1 5 47 13

2014 Felt Virtue Nine 20

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Felt Virtue Nine 20”

C138_virtue_nine_20_5
Reviewed by John Hauer and Jess Pedersen // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller New for 2014, Felt’s Virtue lineup sees the addition of bikes in the 29-inch variety. The Virtue Nine features 130mm of travel out back and 140mm up front, slotting it somewhere between the long-travel 29er crowd and pedal friendly trail rippers. Even so, Felt’s not shy when they state their claims about the ride, saying that it’s a defining bike for the Enduro and Super D racing crowd. Having previously tested out the 26-inch Virtue, we were mighty curious to see if this gold painted rig was truly up to the task during the 2014 Vital MTB Test Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1134 96 6156 989 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 275 1231 2250 159 41

Bell Stoker Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Bell Stoker Helmet”

C138_bell_stoker_helmet_black_red_haze
by Colt Maule // Projekt Roam Established in 1954, Bell Helmets exists to 'inspire and enable the next generation of boundary breakers'. The goggle-compatible Bell Stoker Helmet is a go-to, all-mountain helmet with just the right amount of substance and style. Featuring air channeling vents, an adjustable visor, a SpeedDial Fit System, and extended rear coverage, the Stoker keeps you cool and confident while riding any terrain. I brought this helmet along for a few months of road tripping and bike shredding, and I’m glad I did... because it saved my head. Bell Stoker Helmet Highlights Airflow Brow Band Channeled Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member projekt roam
3232 projekt roam http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/3232/avatar/c50_colt_berm_bend_2_bw_s.jpg?1332358737 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/projekt-roam,3232/all 06/28/10 3 8 236 21 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/projekt-roam,3232/setup 1 5 5

Crank Brothers Iodine 2 Wheelset

“Getting Better”

C138_iodine_2_grey

The Good:

Light Weight,
Strong Rim,
Easy Tubeless setup,
One off design

The Bad:

Takes a proprietary spoke and nipple combo that will need to be sourced from a direct CB dealer or from CB themselves. On the plus side, they are all the same length so keeping extras is simple. Will true and tighten with universal spoke wrench (PT Black)

Overall Review: There is well known idea within the mountain biking community that Crank Brothers makes parts for looks and not function. The Iodine wheels certainly take stunning looks and design to a level that no other wheel manufacturer has but has been plagued with bad reviews about faulty hub construction. The 2013 batch that I am riding seems to have addressed those issues and according to Crank Brothers, the 2013 wheel sets are a step forward and construction and durability. With a handful of rides into the season, I am happy to report that my Iodine 2 wheel set have performed without flaws and beat out my outgoing Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member TamiJean
29160 TamiJean http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/29160/avatar/c50_Bike_Pose_1390463211.jpg?1390462854 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TamiJean,29160/all 01/09/14 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TamiJean,29160/setup 2 1 9 1

RockShox BoXXer World Cup Fork with Charger Damper

Vital Review

“First Ride: RockShox BoXXer with Charger Damper”

C138_rockshox_boxxer_275_white
Review by Sven Martin // Photos by Adrian Marcoux, Sven Martin, and SRAM When you saw the recent SRAM X01DH drivetrain feature, you might have wondered why SRAM would fly a bunch of journalists from all around the world to New Zealand just to sample a few less gears. As successful as that launch went, you’re right, it wasn’t just about gears and Queenstown beers… We also came to sample something else - something more than just refinement and product extension, something more like cheating. While not entirely new to the eyes (it was on a number of 2013 World Cup and Rampage bikes), this was the Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member Sven Martin
11 Sven Martin http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/11/avatar/c50_87934290_1249330406.jpg?1290149915 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Sven-Martin,11/all 07/23/09 41 15 2 3 32 253 1 3

2014 Orbea Rallon X-LTD

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Orbea Rallon X-LTD”

C138_orbea_rallon_x_ltd
Reviewed by Evan Turpen, John Hauer, and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller Of all 25 bikes in the 2014 Vital MTB Test Sessions, none screamed “RIDE ME!” more loudly than the all-new Orbea Rallon. The combination of BOS suspension, super aggressive geometry, and fluorescent paint had us chomping at the bit. Many US-based readers may not recognize the Orbea brand, but know that they’ve been making bikes for a long time are just now entering the US market. Thanks to new Rallon the Spanish company has finally grabbed our full attention. This bike is exciting. Orbea Rallon X-LTD Highlights Hydroformed Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_profile_1487817150.jpg?1487816891 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1134 96 6156 989 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 275 1231 2250 159 41

Royal 2015 Esquire Shorts

Vital Review

“Tested: Royal Racing Esquire Short”

C138_esquire_short_f
Review by A.J. Barlas // Photography Jon Anthony & A.J. Barlas Riding apparel over the last number of years has changed. Gone are the long, baggy items, replaced with more form fitting clothing, a move that we feel is an entirely good thing! This isn't to say we should ride in skin tight clothing, in fact, I'm an advocate for the 'no lycra necessary' movement, but wearing gear so baggy that it would catch on your bars, seat, and tree branches as you whiz by is not only ridiculous, it's highly impractical. Having said that there are still baggier fits available, if you so desire. There are also close to Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member ardor
19406 ardor http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/19406/avatar/c50_ardor_avatar_1435645277.jpg?1435644564 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/all 10/30/12 5 3 312 4 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/setup 2 24 1 92 31 4

Avid G2 Clean Sweep Rotor

“Avid Rotor”

C138_67567

The Good:

Simple trouble free rotor. Stays straight as well. I have had it on a dirt jump bike with Hope M4 brakes. have no trouble with this rotor at all. Rotor was used with Avid mechanical brakes before the Hope's. Thought I might need to get a new rotor for M4's but this one has worked great.

The Bad:

No issues to speak of.

Overall Review: Nice simple rotor. Can also be a good low cost back-up rotor for travel.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member mtbschrader
25759 mtbschrader /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/all 06/19/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/setup 3 4 9 16

Race Face Respond DH/AM Stem

“Great Stiff Stem”

C138_45108

The Good:

Have had this on my dirt jump bike for 2 years. It's been great. Stiff and solid. Never have to mess with it. I have the white version and it has a durable finish. Black is probably even better. Nice looking stem too. Never worry about, it just works.

The Bad:

Maybe a few more length options. nit-picking here, Can't think of a bad thing.

Overall Review: Great stem and would not hesitate to recommend it.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member mtbschrader
25759 mtbschrader /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/all 06/19/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbschrader,25759/setup 3 4 9 16