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Latest Product Reviews


2013 Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc”

Reviewed by Matt Thompson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT was released on April Fools Day, 2012. It's no laughing matter though. In fact, this long travel 29er is capable of taming the most serious descents. It does however, know have to have fun, and lots of it. The original Tallboy, introduced about four years ago, was among the first 29ers that people actually enjoyed riding. But the people wanted more - more travel, slacker angles, more fun. After weighing their options, seeing what worked well and what didn't, the boys at Santa Cruz Read More »

2012 Rocky Mountain Flatline Pro Bike

“This bike is outstanding!”


The Good: Maneuverable!

The Bad: Nothing I noticed!

Overall Review: I got this bike after owning my old Big Hit. And man i thought i went fast on that bike! Than I hopped on this, and i feel like a pro! This bike is so easy to maneuver. If i want to hit a big jump, i can get a lot of air! Or, if i want to have more speed than i can make the bike stay low to the ground! This bike is definitelya keeper!

2013 Diamondback Sortie 3 29

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Diamondback Sortie 3 29”

Reviewed by Steve Wentz, Joe Schneider, and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman Inspired by their already existing 26-inch Sortie platform, Diamondback super sized everything in 2012 to bring it up to 29-inch standards. One year and few minor refinements later, the 2013 Sortie 29 serves up 4.5-inches of travel via Diamondback's unique Knuckle Box suspension design and benefits in many ways from the big wheel. We've heard Diamondback DF5 team member Eric Porter say great things about the Sortie 29 in the past, and considering that he's the type of guy that likes to have fun on trails like we do, we Read More »

2013 GT Force LE

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: GT Force LE”

Reviewed by Matt Thompson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman As of 2013, the enduro bug is officially upon us. To create a bike that excels at the discipline, one that's capable of killing it on the descents and hoofing it back to the top in record time, GT took their 2012 Force and Sanction platforms, mashed them together and tweaked the result to meet the enduro racer's needs. In this case, those were the needs of Dan Atherton and the recently signed young gun, Martin Maes, both of which have posted incredible finishes. The outcome was the Force LE, boasting 150mm of travel Read More »

WTB FX28 XT758 15mm Ta Wheelset

“no, just no”


The Good: rather cheap

The Bad: Super heavy
bent the whole thing 2" off true in 3 months
super narrow

Overall Review: when i got these, I thought that they would last, and was willing to suffer the weight penalty. these wheels suck. the damm rim didnt last as long as my tires im over these rims.

Teva Pinner Flat Pedal Shoe

Featured Review

“Teva Pinner”


The Good: -Comfortable
-Simple look
-Good off the bike
-Great grip
-Great price point

The Bad: -A little warm

Overall Review: I got lucky when I found these seeing as how my FiveTen's were needing replacing. I found them in a local store in the clearance section and I loved them the minute I stepped in. The Pinner is incredibly comfortable. The lining is similar to site shoes, which, for many, is incredibly familiar for many flat pedal riders. The grip is great as well, being the exact same as the Links. Using them on my pedals, which are missing a fair amount of pins, they have amazing grip. I didn't feel like they would slip, nor did they feel like they gave too much grip, which was a constant issue with my FiveTen's. The soles are stiff and Read More »

e*thirteen LG1+ Chainguide

Vital Review

“Tested: e*thirteen LG1+ Chainguide - Let It Guide You”

Review and photos by Johan Hjord For quite some time, e*thirteen was basically another word for chain retention systems (aka chainguides), and rightfully so – the original e*thirteen guide + bash combos were certainly pushing innovation and design in chain management, and their ubiquitous “Turbocharger” bashrings graced many a bike build, be it at the races or out with mates. e*thirteen was acquired by and became part of The Hive, a company that was at the time mainly producing cranks, in 2010. The e*thirteen brand was kept alive, and has since then grown to include not only guides but also cranks, wheels, Read More »

Teva Links Flat Pedal Shoe

Featured Review

“Get a High Five from your Feet.”


The Good: -Stiff sole
-Just the right amount of grip -Really comfortable
-Water Proofed(except for the mesh)
-Mesh on top for breatablility

The Bad: After giving this a good five minutes of thought, I suppose they could have more color options to match my gear.

Overall Review: Let me start by saying that I have spent most of my biking life running skate shoes or basketball shoes as my everyday and bikingfootwear. About two years ago, Idecidedto buy some dedicated mountain bike shoes. The Teva Links was not the first pair I purchased. While the other shoes had amazing grip, they wereimpossibleto move to make small foot position adjustments, the sole was too flexible, and I hated walking around in them. So after a year I got the Teva Links. And with it I lost all my previous complaints. In the short, my feet love me for buying these. I wear these shoes all day, every day for almost everything. In Read More »

2013 BMC Trailfox TF02 Trailcrew

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: BMC Trailfox TF02 Trailcrew”

Reviewed by Matt Thomson and Jess Pedersen // Written by Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman The BMC Trailfox is a 150mm travel all-mountain rig that BMC lovingly refers to as the "Swiss Army Knife" of their lineup. Much like that beloved pocket knife, the Trailfox was designed to come in handy for a variety of uses. The do-it-all bike is something many companies try to achieve, but few actually succeed. When Switzerland-based BMC set out to make the Trailfox, that's exactly what they had in mind, but did they pull it off? We invited the company to send over their mid-range TF02 model to find out during Read More »

2013 Norco Range Killer B-2

Vital Review

“2013 Test Sessions: Norco Range Killer B-2”

Reviewed by Steve Wentz, Joe Schneider, and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Brandon Turman For 2013, Norco has eliminated the 26-inch version of the Range in favor of a new 650B "Killer B" version. Yes, you read that right, another victim of the big wheel. They didn't do it to spite the 26-inch lovers among us, though. The reasoning behind the switch, according to Norco, was simply in the pursuit of making the best all-mountain bike. In their eyes the way to do that just happened to be with the 650B wheel size, so they rolled with it. The end result is this beauty - a 160mm travel do-it-all shred sled. It Read More »