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Sony Action Cam HDR-AS15 Camera

Vital Review

“Tested: Sony Action Cam HDR-AS15 - A Solid First Go”

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Words/Video/Photos by Johan Hjord The action has really been heating up in the wearable POV video camera market. Once the exclusive domain of GoPro, the last couple of years have seen additional competitors enter the ring which has led to new capabilities and lower prices – in other words a classic case of success breeding success. Sony is of course a powerhouse in professional media production, and it provides an impressive lineup of pro and semi-pro grade camcorders that often feature among the best in class. We were therefore quite excited to see Sony enter the POV market, and eager to lay our hands on the new Read More »

Canfield Brothers 2014 Jedi Frame

“Jedi (master)”

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The Good: Where to begin. Plush and fliud; this bike gives crazy contol and is completely stable at the fastest speeds. With a 10 speed drive train you'll surprise the XC and All-mountain bikers when you pass them on the steep climbs. Braking is different feeling than other bikes, it is very smooth you don't feel the rocks or chatter when you are braking over rocks. The bike tends to sits back when braking. For big drops it is hard to tell when you left the ground and when you landed. Besides the bottomless suspension(I still haven't felt like I've hit the end of its travel) the initial impact that is transfered into your legs almost completely disappears. Perect therapy for those with bad knees. On top of it all, it is awesome looking.

The Bad: I'm trying to be objective and find weakness in how it rides, but so far with everything I've given it, it keeps screaming for more. It does exactly what it was designed to do. It would not be ideal for riding long uphill trails. Even though it climbs really steep technical stuff like a billy goat.

Overall Review: First off I am not a professional rider nor claim to be.I know each rider has somthing different he likes, so with that in mind if you are looking for rock gobbling, fluid, crazy control that can take the steepest rocky downhills as well as climb and pedal then you are looking for what I seach for. This bike feels far better than any bike I've been on and I've tried most of them. It is kind of unreal. I attribute that partly to the rearward travel. Half of the riding I do is DH and the other half is on technical, steep, and flat trails and it handles them better than my all-mountain bike used to. My expectations were high and this bike continues to exceeded them all.  Canfield is also an amazing company to work with.

Spank Spoon Stem

“Mega Bang for the Buck!”

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The Good: Short, stiff, loads of color options, priced right.

The Bad: None at all.

Overall Review: I was building up a dirt jump/pump track slayer, and wanted to make it cool, but also keep everything on budget. Stems are an often over looked part, if it gets the job done. And that's exactly how I describe the Spoon stem. I never notice it when riding, because it is stiff and super short, and also easy on the knees. What I do notice about it is how easy it is to pick one of these out that will match the color scheme of the most obsessed bike nerd out there. Spoon stem FTW!

Spank Spoon Stem

“Good value, strong, attractive stem.”

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The Good: Nice colour choices, 40 mm, zero rise, stiff,

The Bad: None found

Overall Review: I've had a bunch of different stems in the past. I like zero rise short stems that are tough, fairly light and look good. This stem works for me. I have a comparable (in price, length and rise) Truvativ Hussefelt stem and I much prefer the machining and anodised finish on the spank. Also comes with matching top cap which makes it even better value!

Spank Royala 762 Handlebar

“A solid piece of functional bling”

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The Good: Great bar, good color. Nice sweep, available high rise.

The Bad: Could be a bit garish on some builds.

Overall Review: This bar has been growing along with fashion over the past few years, 710, 740 and now 762. Personally I like 40-50mm rise and about 730mm wide, so this bar suits me fine. I have an Easton Havoc on another bike and I prefer the stiffness and sweep on the the Spank.

2012 Trek Session 9.9

Vital Review

“Tested: 2012 Trek Session 9.9 - Bike of the Year”

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Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Sterling Lorence Following the official launch of the Trek Session 9.9 Carbon in Whistler, we've been riding it for nearly one full year. That's a long time for a test bike. The reason? We just can't let go of this one. It's that good. So good, in fact, that we're giving it the illustrious Vital MTB Shreddy for 2012 Bike of the Year. Inspired and refined in conjunction with Trek World Racing and Aaron Gwin, there's no wonder why this bike rips so much. Their success on the World Cup downhill series is a huge testament to the bike's capabilities. Session 9.9 Highlights Frame Material: OCLV Read More »

2012 Haro Steel Reserve 1.2 Bike

“Great bang for your buck!”

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The Good: Light frame makes it easy to handle
Low cost Looks Great
Solid construction

The Bad: Low end parts
mechanical brakes (just my opinion)

Overall Review: This bike is great for its cost. Not the best bike money can buy but its a great place to start with plenty of room for upgrades and customizing. Although the parts are low end, it is still a solid bike and will do just about everything you need it to. MSRP is $765 but I picked mine up for $600 so just keep your eyes open. Great fun bike.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evolution Tire

“Schwalbe Nobby Nic, 29x2.25 Performance Folding- Came OEM on my Giant Trance X29er”

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The Good: * Rolls good with high PSI
* Light

The Bad: * Super sketchy as a front in mud, loose dirt, rocks, gravel. * Too narrow profile
* Looses grip too easy
* Cornering hard feels risky

Overall Review: This review is for a Schwalbe Nobby Nic, 29x2.25 Performance Folding tire, non snakeskin Came OEM on my TranceX29er, Used only once and did not like it. I am not using it as a front tire anymore, getting a beefier tire for my front (as I ride DH bikes and am used to burly but heavy tires). Maybe the nobs are to small for So Cal dry and loose. I am keeping the rear since its ok in the back. Good for the rear since it rolls good with 30-35 PSI. I wouldnt use it as a front if you like to pin it Super sketchy as a front in mud, loose dirt, rocks, gravel. Steering is poor, breaking is subpar Narrow profile makes it Read More »

FOX 32 831 100 RLC Fit Fork

“Best You Can Buy!”

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The Good: The Fox 831 is extremely light, stiff enough for dirt jumping, and feels absolutely amazing!

The Bad: The only thing I can think of is the steep price, but what can I say, you're paying for the best of the best, and that 15qr limits hub choices, but now most companies make a 15mm hub, or sell adaptors for their 20mm's. Oh, and for those who complain about it not being stiff enough, just wait a year of two for when it comes out in 34.

Overall Review: Bottom line is, if you have the money and you want the best, the Fox 831 is for you!

Deity Cryptkeeper Frame

“Best Frame On The Market!”

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The Good: The Cryptkeeper has perfect geometry, is decently light weight, strong, and has a great price.

The Bad: I honestly can't think of a single downside to they Cryptkeeper, besides the limited colors, but black and white work with any build and the green is a nice touch if you want something different.

Overall Review: The geometry feels great! When I first got on my Cryptkeeper, I was jumping higher and farther than before.  Also, the frame is very stiff, and feels strong.  Its not the lightest out there, but its not on the heavy side either.  I would take an extra pound over bending or snapping a frame on a case or crash.   Bottom line, if you're looking for a top-of-the-line steel DJ frame, the Cryptkeeper is for you!