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2014 Lapierre Zesty AM 527

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Lapierre Zesty AM 527”

C138_zesty_am_527
Reviewed by John Hauer and Jess Pedersen // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller Lapierre’s Zesty AM ticks many of the boxes for an aggressive all-mountain bike: it has great geometry, a good looking list of components, a carbon frameset, and 150mm of travel at a reasonable price. It also has an interesting “Electronic Intelligence” rear shock, known as the E:i system. “There’s no place for electronics in mountain biking,” some of you will say, while others may be open to new ideas and technology. With an open mind and nothing but miles of rough Sedona, Arizona trails in front of us during the annual Vital MTB Test Read More »
Rate review: +2 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 1133 96 6155 962 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1263 2306 168 41

FSA Afterburner Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

Vital Review

“Tested: FSA Afterburner Disc Brakes”

C138_fsa_afterburner_disc_brakes
Review by Joe Schneider // Photos by Brandon Turman FSA, a trusted and known brand for cockpit components, has now entered the hydraulic disk brake market. This stirs the pot and adds another player to the fray of manufacturers on the quest to make the ideal set of brakes. FSA has two versions of their hydraulic disk brake set, the K-Force and the Afterburner, both have the same functions but the K-Force drops 40 grams per side from the system. This review is on the Afterburner model which lists for $289 per side and weighs in at 345 grams for the front with a light weight rotor and rotor bolts. Afterburner Disc 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

2014 Kona Honzo Bike

“Kono Honzo 2012”

C138_honzo

The Good:

I built this bike up from a frame so I cannot speak to the stock components. I will say I love the GEO. The bike is comfortable, flickable and eats up the down as well as up. I love the way the frame looks. Mine is in blue. Compared to my aluminum bike this chromoly frame really absorbs the bumps and etc. Very fun to ride.

The Bad:

I do not find anything bad about this frame some say it is heavy, others say the BB is too low, some grip that you cannot run a front derailleur.

Overall Review: If your looking for an all in one bike this is it. It is brawny, hardcore and does everything really well from XC, Trail to All mountain. It shines on downhill and technical sections. The GEO places your weight more towards the center rear rather than like an XC bike where your weight is shifted towards the front. This bike is really really fun to ride and to me that is what is most important me. My build: Easton EA70XC wheelset front 15mm RaceFace evolve SS crankset RaceFace N/W 32 t chain ring Fox Float 34 CTD Continental MKII Frt: 2.4 Rr: 2.2 XT derailleur type 2 XT cassette Easton EA30 Seatpost Truvativ Hussfelt stem ODI flight control 700mm bar ODI ruffian grips WTB GT seat
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member gzilla
26410 gzilla http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/26410/avatar/c50_071213_and_older_011_1374009802.jpg?1374008873 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/gzilla,26410/all 07/16/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/gzilla,26410/setup 2 3

Race Face Atlas Flat Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Atlas Flat Pedal”

C138_race_face_atlas_flat_pedal_pins
Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow As part of its ever expanding line of components, Race Face introduced two new flat pedals for 2014, the mid-range Aeffect and the high-end Atlas. Designed on the North Shore (and manufactured in Taiwan), the Atlas is a distinctly modern flat pedal, featuring a large and thin platform with cartridge bearings throughout and bottom-loading pins, which should mean it’s ready for just about anything. We put a pair to the test to find out. Race Face Atlas Flat Pedal Highlights Thin double concave wide platform Fully sealed bearing design Hex-head threaded pin design Read More »
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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 08/01/09 762 94 1064 1698 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 56 369 4185 111 29

Alex Rims EVO 2.3 Rim

Vital Review

“Tested: Alex Rims EVO 2.3 Rim”

C138_alex_rims_evo_2.3
by Steve Wentz Alex Rims have probably been on your bike before, possibly hidden under another name. Alex has been manufacturing all sorts of hoops for over 20 years, but only recently have I noticed them making a big push with aftermarket rim options. One of the most recent releases is the EVO 2.3 rim, a 23-mm internal width, 455-gram beauty that promises light weight and strength as well. That's a claim that just about every rim in the 450-gram range makes, so lets see if it really holds true for the aluminum EVO 2.3. The rim is made from a proprietary 8,000 series aluminum alloy, said to be near scandium weight but closer Read More »
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Vital MTB member TRex
328 TRex http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/328/avatar/c50_91632150_1249393996.jpg?1290150582 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/TRex,328/all 08/04/09 10 2 43 242 9 11

DVO Emerald Fork

“Next Level”

C138_dsc_0080

The Good:

Intuitive, responsive, stiff.

The Bad:

Nice things aren't cheap.

Overall Review: I rode an Emerald for about a month. I've never been as impressed with a fork before. It was able to be supple in the chatter, yet no fork dive mid berm.  The ramp up at the bottom kept me from bottoming out even when I forced the issue on flat or rock garden landers.  I'd recommend this fork to anyone looking for the best regardless of cost.  Nice job DVO!
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Vital MTB member gravitypirate
14461 gravitypirate http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14461/avatar/c50_fb_picture_100000546458425.jpg?1332281391 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/gravitypirate,14461/all 03/20/12 1 2 3 6 1

FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT Fork”

C138_fox_36_rc2_angle
Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Colin Meagher For years the FOX 36 has been a heavy hitter among a sea of lightweight fork options. It’s the fork many of the biggest, hardest charging riders turned to when nothing else seemed to suffice. Somewhere along the line the competition stepped up their game, though, and we’ve seen a shift in the market place and a demand for better performance at a lighter weight. FOX is here to answer that call with the completely redesigned 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT fork. We’ve had one on test for a little while now, charging down every rough patch of trail we can find. Read on to see why Read More »
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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 1133 96 6155 962 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 276 1263 2306 168 41

Banshee Spitfire - 2010 Frame

“Worse frame i have ever owened ”

C138_2010_banshee_spitfire

The Good:

OK, this is the only good thing i can say about this frame, the bike ride well, angles feel spot on, easy to pick up and put in the right place. I even won a enduro on it.

The Bad:

WHY OH WHY MAKE A FRAME THAT RUNS ON PLASTIC IGUS BUSHING INSTEAD OF BEARINGS!!!??? I had this frame for 8 months, and in that time i had to replace the bushings and pivots 3 times. 3 TIMES IN 8 MONTHS!!!??? Which set me back a hefty £300!

Overall Review: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE! When it worked it rode well, i do ride a lot, and did put the miles in during the 8 months of using this frame but shit son, £300 in bushings and pivot kits! I still have the frame in the garage but i'd feel to guilty to sell it on to the next unlucky guy to fool into buying it.
Rate review: -2 Up Down
Vital MTB member Samuel J Morris
1416 Samuel J Morris http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/1416/avatar/c50_88981590_1260269198.jpg?1290153348 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Samuel-J-Morris,1416/all 12/08/09 1 10 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Samuel-J-Morris,1416/setup 2 1 13 1

Chromag Fubar OSX Handlebar

“Look sick and feel good”

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The Good:

Good colors, strong, light, and nothing bad to say.

The Bad:

Rise could be a bit more. More downhill bars than for dirt jumping or park.

Overall Review: Strong, light, appealing to the eye, and feel great. Wouldn't recommend them for dirt jumping or park use due to the 780mm width and not much rise (more for downhill).
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Vital MTB member osborne1031
21183 osborne1031 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/21183/avatar/c50_IMG_3641_1418009049.jpg?1418008336 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/osborne1031,21183/all 01/24/13 1 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/osborne1031,21183/setup 1 1 6 6

Banshee Spitfire - 2010 Frame

“A fun bike for any day of week”

C138_2010_banshee_spitfire

The Good:

Light, low and slack geometry, very stiff and responsive, climbs and pedals very efficiently, clean cable routing, descends like a freight train.

The Bad:

The bushing system requirements more maintenance than usual, but the bushings are only about $1 each and swap out quickly with out any special tools. Other than that, maybe a thru axle rear end?

Overall Review: I picked up this frame at a deep discount and built it with mainly with spare parts sitting around my garage. The fit and finish of the bike is top notch - no creaks, squeaks or clunks and the whole bike came together easily. On the trail its extremely fun. It goes uphill quietly with minimal pedal bob and has very good traction. Going down or fast through twisty, technical trails is really where this thing shines. It's nimble, quick and can be tossed through turns very easy. It's low bottom bracket rails turns and keeps the bike feeling stable over fast, chunky descents. The Spitfire is just as happy hitting jumps and Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member VTsession
18967 VTsession http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18967/avatar/c50_IMG_6440_1400938277.jpg?1400937998 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VTsession,18967/all 10/15/12 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VTsession,18967/setup 1 5 3