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Shimano SLX M666 Disc Brake

Featured Review

“powerful, consistent brakes”

C138_br258c01

The Good:

Powerful, consistent, reliable, durable

The Bad:

routine maintenance is required for peak performance

Overall Review: I ran these brakes hard this season- bike park, dh shuttle laps, aggressive trails. What impressed me most was the consistent braking power even on the longest downhills.   The oversized ceramic pistons and ice tech brake pads keep the system fade free.  The lever design is comfortable for 1 finger braking.   I found the tool free reach adjustment very convenient.   Coming from Avid brakes, I had to get used to the power of the Shimano brakes.  The power comes on more quickly, requiring the rider to not drag their brakes.  SLX brakes require less pressure to engage thereby reducing hand fatigue.  In addition, I feel that I can brake later into corners which increases my speed. At $125 per brake, these are the best performing brakes on the market.  Get them.  You won't regret it.
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Vital MTB member Wonny
396 Wonny http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/396/avatar/c50_983976_10200096380764258_503864650_n_1383441626.jpg?1383441139 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Wonny,396/all 08/05/09 12 24

2012 Mongoose Boot'r Comp Bike

“PROS and CONS”

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The Good:

comfortable ride, looks pretty good, smooth gear shifting, great tyres

The Bad:

the fork and rear suspension makes undesirable sounds, heavy, rear suspension rebound adjust feels dodgy when adjusting.

Overall Review: OVERALL, an OKAY bike, but if you had $2.5K buy another bike with less cons
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Vital MTB member Eddy Zu
22923 Eddy Zu http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/22923/avatar/c50_fb_picture_100001398034314_1363771656.jpg?1363771587 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Eddy-Zu,22923/all 03/20/13 2 1

Formula RO Disc Brake

Vital Review

“Tested: Formula RO Disc Brakes”

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by Noah Sears The RO brake from Formula promises monster power in a svelte package. Unlike its class competitors which use four pistons, the RO uses two large oval pistons. With half as many pistons, rather puny looking pads, and a complete weight of 360g (claimed, with 160mm rotor), surely, I thought, the RO was a dainty little trail brake masquerading as a big-hit brake? Boy was I wrong. Formula RO Disc Brake Highlights Polished and anodized finish Oval pistons 18% claimed increase in power over "The One" 160mm, 180mm, and 203mm rotor sizes Removable handlebar clamp Flip-flop master cylinder Read More »
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Vital MTB member NoahColorado
128 NoahColorado http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/128/avatar/c50_88160290_1258334763.jpg?1290150194 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NoahColorado,128/all 08/01/09 1 3 364 29 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NoahColorado,128/setup 4 91 398 6

Bontrager G2 Tire

Vital Review

“Tested: Bontrager G2 Team Issue Tires”

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Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Ian Collins When the Trek World Racing Team requested a fast, downhill specific tire for hardpack courses like Sea Otter, Bontrager answered with the G2 Team Issue tire. With an almost semi-slick profile, ramped center knobs and some meaty, somewhat familiar looking side knobs, Bontrager's aim was clearly a fast rolling tire that doesn't sacrifice cornering traction. Does it deliver? We snatched a set to find out. G2 Team Issue Tire Highlights 26x2.20-inches Fast rolling, low-knob gravity tire Designed to excel in hard pack conditions Dual-ply casing Low rolling resistance downhill compound Read More »
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Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18548/avatar/c50_IMG_0045_1428943983.jpg?1428943532 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 129 3 222 188 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 18 166 1 49 34

9point8 Pulse Stepper Seatpost

Vital Review

“Tested: 9point8 Pulse Stepper Seatpost”

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Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Ian Collins With trail, all-mountain, and enduro riding progressing over the past couple of years, innovations like the dropper post have become a standard on an increasing number of bikes. With the demand high, dropper post manufactures have approached the problem of a bike designed for both climbing and descending in a number of ways. This makes your adjustable post choice a difficult one as there are quite a few viable options on the market. 9point8, a new company based in Ontario, might stir the pot a bit when the time comes to make that decision. We were intrigued when Read More »
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Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18548/avatar/c50_IMG_0045_1428943983.jpg?1428943532 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 129 3 222 188 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 18 166 1 49 34

FOX 36 Talas 180 R Fork

“2014 Fox Talas 180/140”

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The Good:

New Talas cartridge is amazing in both settings and throughout the stroke

The Bad:

Nothing yet. I suppose we'll see how often it needs service.

Overall Review: Ok, my experience with a Fox Talas was with a 34 100/120/140 so I'm not comparing apples to apples. This fork however is amazing!! In 140mm the shock performs amazing with a feel of eveness throughout, my old fork in the lower settings felt like a pogo stick, way too much compressed air or something?? This one though is the same in both setting with zero need to adjust. I love the ability to point down hill with 7.1" of travel, then turn around and climb with 5.5" of travel and have it perform just as well.
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Vital MTB member digthemlows
20220 digthemlows /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/digthemlows,20220/all 12/04/12 7 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/digthemlows,20220/setup 1 2

Knolly Chilcotin Frame

“2012 Knolly Chilcotin in XL”

C138_knolly_chilcotin_frame_white

The Good:

Amazing All Around AM Frame with a DH bikes heart

The Bad:

Fireroads and general XC not as fun

Overall Review: Looks are about personal preference and I'll start by saying I think this frame looks as good or better than any other, but again, that's what I prefer. On to performance. I'll say that the reviews out there about technical climbing, and performs like a DH on the descent are spot on.......in fact, I'm no pro, I'm just a 6'7" 220lb 40 year old out to have as much fun on "one" bike as I can. The first time I rode this bike was on a local XC type loop that has some spots for technical climbing and decending and let me tell you, it was amazing how well the bike stays planted and in it's place. Climbing boulders, droping down rocky Read More »
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Vital MTB member digthemlows
20220 digthemlows /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/digthemlows,20220/all 12/04/12 7 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/digthemlows,20220/setup 1 2

Troy Lee Designs Ruckus Riding Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Troy Lee Designs Ruckus Shorts”

C138_ruckus_short_black
Review by Joe Schneider // Photos by Brandon Turman Troy Lee Designs dubs the Ruckus short the "jack of all trades," meaning they complement riders who dabble in everything. I'm one of those riders, and I've spent over seven months riding anything and everything in them. During that time the look has changed slightly, but these shorts deserve a chance in the spotlight. Ruckus Short Highlights Two-way stretch, lightweight, breathable 92% Polyester / 8% Spandex mix material Removable chamois liner Full waist and hip height adjustment via micro fiber waist adjusters High quality ribbed Spandex stretch panel Unique Read More »
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Vital MTB member SchneiderTrucking
22113 SchneiderTrucking http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/22113/avatar/c50_Ska_Zia_Pic_2.5.jpg?1366689625 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/SchneiderTrucking,22113/all 02/15/13 4 6

Easton Havoc 26" UST Wheelset

Vital Review

“Tested: Easton Havoc UST 150 Wheelset”

C138_havoc_26_grey_wheelset
by AJ Barlas The lightest aluminum downhill specific wheels on the market?! That should be enough to pique your interest, as it did for this individual just over a year ago when Easton announced their latest DH wheel. Now add in the fact that these are being raced all over the world under the likes of Steve Smith, Sam Blenkinsop and Loic Bruni, and these wheels certainly deserve your attention. When the opportunity presented itself to attempt to crush a set by ripping about the classic Whistler Bike Park trails for a few months, you can bet that I jumped at the opportunity. Havoc UST 150 Wheelset Highlights Easton's Read More »
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2012 Specialized Demo 8 I Bike

“Introducing a Budget Oriented, Semi-Affordable Downhill Bike”

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The Good:

Specialized race geometry with a weekend warrior's build.

The Bad:

Inferior components.

Overall Review: The 2013 Specialized Demo 8 I is an incredible machine, the most fun I've had on a bike by far. The weakest link however were the components. Out of the box the Avid Elixir 5's required a bleed(rear brake was not even functional), Rockshox Boxxer required a rebuild, x7/x9 shifter/derailleur combo worked great. I think my biggest beef is with Sram and a blatant lack of QC, Specialized has produced a superb bike, the bike excels everywhere, from local jump and DH trails to a week spent in the Whistler bike park pounding laps down A-line and Original Sin, and finished off with 12 hours of riding at Trestle Bike Park for the Red Bull Final Descent with no problems. This bike KILLS it!!!! (I swapped out the Sram drivetrain with a Zee build(brakes and shifting))Five stars for the bike, 0 stars for Sram!!
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Vital MTB member john.larsen.10
20776 john.larsen.10 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/20776/avatar/c50_fb_picture_1384770195.jpg?1357495039 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/john-larsen-10,20776/all 01/06/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/john-larsen-10,20776/setup 1 1