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2012 Specialized Demo 8 I Bike

“2012 Specialized Demo 8 1”

C138_screen_shot_2011_12_26_at_2.10.23_pm

The Good:

The bike is good for all types of terrain and all levels and styles of any rider. This frame will last forever I bought it used and all the components where broken down on the bike and beaten to hell had to replace a lot of stuff but the frame is still working fine and I love this bike.

The Bad:

heavy but its not carbon so that is to be expected.

Overall Review: This is a great bike end of story and it is made by a great company that builds great bikes.

Formula R1 Racing Disc Brake

Vital Review

“Tested: Formula R1 Racing Disc Brakes”

C138_2014_r1_racing_disc_brake_pull_master_cylinder
by Kevin Shiramizu Formula has been in the brake game for a long time now. Worldwide, the brand might have struggled for a while to make an impact, whether that was due to distribution issues or just the feeling that this was one of those “other guy” brands. However in recent years, Formula brakes have become a more common sight on the trails everywhere and they have also been getting the thumbs up from people who have the option to ride other brands. With that in mind, we were quite interested to get our hands on Formula's all-new R1 Racing brakes to see how they would stack up. R1 Racing Disc Brake Read More »
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Vital MTB member k.shiz
14 k.shiz http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14/avatar/c50_image.jpg?1292282110 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/k-shiz,14/all 07/24/09 75 23 52 591 101 165 1 260 19 12

2014 Kona Operator Bike

“Kona Operator 2014”

C138_operator

The Good:

- Price.
- Ride handling.
- Low stand over height.
- Factory down tube protector.
- Internal cable routing and external cable routing options.
- Integrated fork bumpers.

The Bad:

- Could do with a stock DM stem.

Overall Review: The frame is amazing. Coming from an 'All Mountain' bike (2010 Giant Reign X1) the Operator was my first DH bike. Obviously the way it handles DH trails is better, so much better. In terms of geometry and the feel of the ride, I can't fault the bike. The way it rides is great; sticks into corners, jumps really well, the feel of the walking beam, four-bar system is solid, and it pedals good for a big bike. If I were a more experienced rider (and more familiar with suspension setup), I would have gone for a more adjustable fork and rear shock. However, for the price of the bike, the components are pretty much spot on. For what you Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member Koper25
28434 Koper25 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/28434/avatar/c50_IMG_0049_1_1384329140.jpg?1384328194 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Koper25,28434/all 11/12/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Koper25,28434/setup 1 1 3 1

Transition TR250 Frame

“Transition TR250: Ultimate Park Machine”

C138_tr250v1_4

The Good:

The transition TR250 is a park bike. It is a do it all freeride machine for somebody who wants a bike that will take them to the race, the jumps, or the back country. The geometry is designed explicitly for bike park riding and this gives it an incredible amount of versatility. The 250s link design allows it to float through the technical sections and take the big hits just as well. Its head tube angle makes it feel right at home and along with the chainstay length, the bike corners like its on rails, even in off camber situations. The frame has a way of feeling like its part of your body, making technical lines where line placement is key no trouble at all. Jumping on the bike is another strong point. The bike feels incredible comfortable in any sort of hip, drop, stepdown, kicker or speed jump. It feels so comfortable and with comfort comes confidence which is a huge resource to have on a ride.

The Bad:

The frame itself is a bit heavier than many of the alternatives, this increase in weight can be detrimental for park riders who want trickability, yet that is a small margin of riders. I would have also liked to see a cheaper alternative, seeing as many buyers looking at frames are wanting to save money. Going along with the fact that the price is steep, it confuses me to see a coil shock on the bike. This is not their downhill race bike, so a shock like a Rock Shox vivid air or a Cane Creek DBair would seem to make more sense to me especially considering that price doesn't seem to be of much concern here. Being a park pike, I also would have loved to see the seat tube go a bit lower or maybe a raised bottom bracket. I don't feel that this would affect the cornering too much but for a freeride bike I think it is a logical step. The bike is also very hard to setup. Routing the brake into place through the linkage is a long and tedious process and could certainly have been simplified somehow.

Overall Review: Overall this is the ultimate park bike. It will go where you want, do what you do, and kill it the whole way. The 250 is certianly one of the most versatile freeride bikes I have ever tried. This is truely a quality bike and it will prove that over and over and over if you give it the opportunity. If you like gravity, and want a bike to conquer it all, this is it.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Billy3197
11757 Billy3197 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Billy3197,11757/all 11/20/11 1 6 4 21 15 1

FOX 32 831 100 RLC Fit Fork

Featured Review

“Fox 32 831”

C138_fk260a17

The Good:

The Fox 831 gives first impressions much like that of an expensive car or a work of art. Every contour, every inch of the fork just screams "look at me I'm better than you." It is truly an engineering masterpiece and Fox shows no intention of hiding that. Although many products are capable of looking nice to hide performance flaws, this is not at all the case with the 831. The 831 features a light yet stiff chassis, providing it with a steady base without the extra grams. A 15mm thru axle anchors it to the wheels, and although this seems to be a bit lacking for a dj fork, it actually provides an incredible amount of stiffness. The axle is quick and easy to use and requires little or no attention in terms of mechanics. The 831 also has Fox's CTD damper allowing for three settings of suspension tunability. Although this seems not to make sense for a dj fork, it actually provides a great variation of setups for different scenarios a dirt jumper might encounter, weather it is natural lines in the woods, slopestyle contests, pumptracks, skateparks, or a stair set. It is easily tunable for the riders liking and provides what is without a doubt the most responsive suspension I have tried to date. On top of that the 831 weighs in at almost a pound lighter than a Rock Shox Argyle RCT, which saves the weight to make the bike much more movable and controllable.

The Bad:

The price tag is a bit high for a dirt jump budget, and even then some will argue that the performance difference isnt there to be worth the extra money. Furthermore there are some apparent problems. Fox, likely to save weight and increase profit margin, equipped it with a CTD damper, and although I am a fan of this feature, many riders would rather it feature one of Fox's dampers more geared towards freeride, giving it more internal strength. This comes from many riders sharing experiences of blowouts with the fork. Fox recently moved to a 34mm body for the fork, and that change was for a reason. The fork likes to develop a bit of movement between the crown and the top of the stanchions. This creates a creaking sound that for any rider can be a bit troubling. The fork also is known to require more service than DJ forks from other brands.

Overall Review: Overall the 831 is for a rider who doesn't want to compromise. If you have any connections to shops, or dealers, or you yourself can service it, I would certainly recommend this fork. I still know several people who ride very hard and have not had theirs serviced and are yet to have any problems with it. Personally I think this fork is on a level of its own, and although it has its drawbacks, it is the best fork for a rider searching for the absolute best possible setup.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Billy3197
11757 Billy3197 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Billy3197,11757/all 11/20/11 1 6 4 21 15 1

Shimano XT Disc Brake M785

“certainly worth the money”

C138_67208

The Good:

Great stopping power, great price, look good--seem to last forever. Easiest brake bleed on the planet.

The Bad:

can damage very easy in a crash

Overall Review: Every time I think I am going to try out a different type of brake I always end up coming back to these. They never squeak and bark down the trail, stopping is smooth, and they look classy. I do believe the greatest shimano feature is how easy these suckers are to bleed. As of now, I think one of the top brakes on the market.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Snoopshomes
22234 Snoopshomes http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/22234/avatar/c50_Ride_Em_Hard_Logo_1367265653.jpg?1367265195 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Snoopshomes,22234/all 02/20/13 13 4

Shimano XT Disc Brake M785

“Performance at an unarguable price”

C138_67208

The Good:

The XT brakes are some of the best out there for any discipline. They are very light and pack the stopping power of any DH specific brake. The lever is short and pulls without any unnecessary movement. The power is consistent and the brake can be dialed in to the riders liking.

The Bad:

Although the adjustments are present, a wider selection of setup options would be nice, the adjustments available seem rather small.

Overall Review: Overall these are a very good representation of "bang for your buck" they are absolutely phenomenal brakes and will be consistent stoppers for all mountain, XC, or slopestyle riders alike.
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member Billy3197
11757 Billy3197 /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Billy3197,11757/all 11/20/11 1 6 4 21 15 1

Loaded Precision AmXc Pistol Grip

Vital Review

“Tested: Loaded AmXc Pistol Grip - Locked and Loaded”

C138_black
Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow A grip may seem like a simple component, but get this one just a bit wrong and it can seriously mess with your ride. The grip needs to be comfortable, grippy, and not slip on the bars. Furthermore, it needs to be adapted to each riders hand size and preference with regards to grip thickness. Finally, it’s an obvious place to add a touch of bling to your bike, so a good looking grip is never a bad thing either. With these points in mind, we set out to see how Loaded Precision’s latest offering handles. Loaded AmXc Pistol Grip Highlights Grip Length: 130mm Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 780 66 723 1747 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 47 289 3471 81 27

Race Face Narrow/Wide Chainring

“Awesome Product not XX1 Priced!”

C138_wide_black

The Good:

Not an expensive option to running a single ring, dont have to buy a whole xx1 or xx0 set up to run a single ring without a chain guide!

The Bad:

Need to make sure that the chain is tensioned properly otherwise losing a chain will occur

Overall Review: I was very impressed with my Raceface narrow wide chainring. I purchased a 32 with hopes to upgrade to a 34 once i started pedalling a bit more.  Stupidly I didn't re tension the chain after switching from a 2x setup,  I used a roller to keep the chain more tensioned and it held up well, I lost a chain twice without it properly tensioned.   Once realizing that I needed to take a few links out of the chain, I was never able to lose a chain.  Considering if you want to run a true 1x setup with no chainring you need to buy a sram xx1 or xx0 setup I was much happier paying the 40 bucks to get this, rather then the grand+ to get the sram setup!
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member coralcorn
31 coralcorn http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/31/avatar/c50_Facebook_20140217_015134_1392674140.jpg?1392673924 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/coralcorn,31/all 07/31/09 8 115 1 17 10 1

Race Face Narrow/Wide Chainring

“Works well with proper chain tension”

C138_wide_black

The Good:

- works
- light
- looks awesome
- way cheaper than a chainguide

The Bad:

you'll lose chains if your tension is too low

Overall Review: I installed a blue 34t narrow-wide on a relatively worn 9-speed SRAM drivetrain with an old X9 derailleur on my GT Distortion (short travel trail/jump/all around fun bike) and immediately went downhilling. The first day I dropped the chain three times in the same rock garden, and once or twice in other technical spots. I was mildly disappointed, but then realized that I was running my chain too long by a good few links. Removed the links and I've since dropped the chain four or five times total (15+ rides, including downhilling at the same and gnarlier spots), and every time I sort of saw it coming because I was Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member s.sheline
6865 s.sheline /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/s-sheline,6865/all 02/20/11 5 116 1