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Latest Product Reviews


Spank Spoon Stem

“Mega Bang for the Buck!”


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.”


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”


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”

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!”


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”


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!”


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!”


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!

SRAM X0 Type 2 Rear Derailleur

“Works, but far inferior to Shimano clutch derailleurs.”


The Good: Keeps your chain on.

The Bad: Knocks when cage is pulled, cage lock feature is incredibly annoying, shifting is nothing special.

Overall Review: I now have used two different (short and medium cage) Sram type II derailleurs on my trail/slope bike (a Santa Cruz Nickel 34x11-36 gearing), and have the Saint m820 derailleur on my DH bike. They both do a great job keeping the chain quiet. The clutch did a surprisingly good job keeping the chain on. For the first two weeks I rode the nickel, I didn't have a chain-guide on it, and the chain didn't fall off once in 4 days of freeriding with 13' drops and all the jumps at Mountain Creek. Everywhere else, the sram derailleur has fallen short. Compared to the switch that engages the clutch on the shimano- Once the cage Read More »

SRAM X0 Type 2 Rear Derailleur

Vital Review

“Long Term Review: SRAM X0 Type 2 Derailleur”

Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Adrian Marcoux and Brandon Turman When you reach the end of this paragraph, we want you to close your eyes and imagine riding your favorite section on your favorite trail. Take it all in - your movements on the bike, the terrain flying past, your hooting and hollering, the sounds of your tires carving into the dirt, the clank of your chain through the rough bits, and even the wind rushing by. Now do it again, but without the chain noises. To some, like us, this is pure bliss. What SRAM's Type 2 Roller Bearing Clutch technology has brought to our rides is much more than just the Read More »