Latest Product Reviews


Avid Elixir R Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

“Good for budget brakes.”


The Good:

These oddly came stock on my sram build 951 in 2010. I used them for a year then upgraded to formula "the one" brakes on the DH bike and bolted these up to my old Enduro. The stock pad life is ok. The weight isn't bad. The power is not great but much improved with ebc DH race pads installed. I spent a few years riding these on the trail bike and have to say they are maybe the best avid brakes but take that for what it is.

The Bad:

These brakes will get hot and fade or pump on long steep descents. The key is to bled them often and use high quality brake fluid with a high boiling point. I would hate these brakes if I didn't own a bled kit. I think most of the avid hate comes from people who don't bled their own brakes. Also you need to learn how to true rotors because they don't retract a lot.

Overall Review: These are not bad brakes. They get the job done. There are far better brakes for DH (formula & shimano = less fade, more power) and there are far better options for all mountain (xtr, xt, slx). If you don't have $300 a set of shimano brakes don't worry, just buy a bled kit, some high quality brake fluid, and some softer pads. These can feel quite good if you do the work and keep it up.
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member GotShovel
26774 GotShovel,26774/all 08/07/13,26774/setup 1 45 1

SR Suntour Auron RC2 Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: 2014 SR Suntour Auron RC2 Fork”

Review by Evan Turpen // Photos by Dave Trumpore Last year I had the opportunity to test my first ever SR Suntour suspension product in the form of the 32mm Epicon-X1 trail/XC fork. The fork showed a lot of promise, especially at its $599 price point, and it left me pondering the potential for future SR Suntour products as more time and energy was put into development. When I first heard of the 34mm Auron fork I was excited to give it a try. At 150-160mm of travel it suits the bikes I enjoy riding most these days - they're much closer to their downhill ancestors than XC. Because of this I personally prefer high and low-speed Read More »
Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member E.T.
699 E.T.,699/all 08/31/09 4 8 1 5 47 13

Manitou Minute Pro Fork

“Minute Pro 120mm = Excellent fork”


The Good:

Highly tuneable

The Bad:

None so far...

Overall Review: Highly adjustable! Can be as plush or as stiff as you want it to be. Initial compression is handled by the spring (which you can switch out to set proper sag) then the remaining compression is controlled by the MARS system. Reliable and tracks terrain well.  Best buy for the money.  You can pay hundreds more and not get this level of performance.  Very good fork!
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member FreonMTB
26698 FreonMTB,26698/all 08/03/13 1 1

SRAM XX Cassette 10sp

“The Holy Grail of MTB Cassettes”


The Good:

~Spools-up extremely fast
~Sub 210g weight is consistent
~Incredible wear, from machined, inner 8 cogs
~Smooth, instant telepathic shifts, rivals Shimano XTR
~Materials science at its finest
~High resale value

The Bad:

~SRAM lied about replaceable 36t cogs, in their ad campaigns

Overall Review: Upgrading from my hefty, 355g SRAM PG-1070 cassette - the 207g XG-1099 spins up so fast, it's almost like losing four additional teeth on your granny chainring. The 148g difference CAN BE FELT...the moment you spin the cranks. Climbs that normally petered me out can finally be cleared, due to the reduction of rotating axial weight. If you are strong enough to stay away from using the alloy 36t cog - you can also expect 3-4 seasons of hard trail riding, on this cassette. Just be sure to religiously monitor your chain wear and this cassette will easily outlast many lower-end cogs by 3:1...making this component a decent Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Zachariah
26432 Zachariah,26432/all 07/18/13,26432/setup 1 6 5

Cane Creek DBair CS Rear Shock

Vital Review

“Tested: 2014 Cane Creek DBair CS Rear Shock”

by Dave Trumpore Cane Creek's highly rated Double Barrel Air shock recently received a new climbing assist feature dubbed the "Climb Switch" or CS for short. After hundreds of miles putting it through its paces, it’s time for us to weigh in on the addition. 2014 DBair CS Shock Highlights Weight: 509 grams (weight varies by size) Damping: Twin-tube independent compression and rebound in two high-speed and four low-speed damping circuits Adjustments: High speed compression, Low speed compression, High speed rebound, Low speed rebound, Air spring rate, Climb Switch on/off Shaft Material: Induction-hardened 4130 steel Read More »
Rate review: +5 Up Down
Vital MTB member davetrumpore
1982 davetrumpore,1982/all 02/16/10 6 7 710 1 1 9 2 92 7

Magura MT8 Disc Brake

“No good For DH”


The Good:

Very light, great modulation and feel at first.

The Bad:

Not durable or reliable in the slightest.

Overall Review: So I originally started with the older Martas on my Glory, sold it, and replaced the Saints on my Fury with MT8s because the Martas were sick and I figured the MT8s would be also. HOWEVER, first weekend on them I warped both 8 inch rotors really badly, so I replaced them with older Magura two-piece rotors that are badass and I still use with my current Saints. Flash forward 2 years later and I have just burnt through my 3rd brake. I had one master cyclinder go, one cracked piston, and the latest one is the most infuriating, I crashed or bumped my bike or something because the rear caliper has a scuff mark Read More »
Rate review: -2 Up Down
Vital MTB member jlucchesi
28433 jlucchesi,28433/all 11/12/13 9 1 3 1

2014 Niner WFO 9

Vital Review

“Tested: 2014 Niner WFO 9 - Cake Gnomin Good”

Review by Jeff Brines // Photos by Patrick Nelson It took me an inordinate amount of time to understand the meaning of the phrase “have your cake and eat it too”. I just didn’t understand who these people were who were so obsessed with cake. Don’t get me wrong, I like cake as much as the next guy but don’t I always have cake while I’m eating it? I guess you could say I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer as a youngster. But I digress. The Niner WFO 9 seems to play off this old adage of having the best of both worlds. What rider doesn’t want a bike that monster-trucks through the chunkiest of terrain, holds an immense amount of Read More »
Rate review: +8 Up Down
Vital MTB member jeff.brines
4240 jeff.brines,4240/all 08/29/10 13 4,4240/setup 9 149 289 11 2

Avid Elixir R Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

“BEST Hydraulic Discs Avid Ever Made”


The Good:

~One finger micro-modulation
~Incredible stopping power
~Able to withstand extended descents, with zero fade
~Incredible pad life. Where can you get almost 1000 miles on a set of pads?
~Great like $600 brakes
~DoT 5.1 fluid never boils!
~Tool-free lever adjust
~Reversible lever body, to hide crash marks
~CPS mounting system does work - as long as your rotors are straight and CLEAN
~HS1 rotors are very light and dissipate heat well
~Able to shorten hose length without bleeding
~Matchmaker compatibility, with Rock Shox XLoc and Reverb seat dropper, with correct kit

The Bad:

~Much-hated, by all other riders
~Not the lightest...but close

Overall Review: I don't know why all the hate for Avid Elixir brakes. When setup correctly - they are quiet and stop on a dime. In fact, they stop so is even applicable for DH/Freeride bikes. The real beauty is in the modulation. I come from being a longtime Magura Marta SL user, and there is no off/on lever feel, like the Magura. I went OTB on my first ride with them, disbelieving the power these have. Keep them clean by wiping both rotors with alcohol and making sure the pads have as little dust as possible. I give them a quick shot of automotive brake cleaner and they behave like Shimano. The rotors MUST be flat as a Read More »
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Zachariah
26432 Zachariah,26432/all 07/18/13,26432/setup 1 6 5

X-Fusion Slant RL2 Suspension Fork

“Great feeling fork”


The Good:

Pretty light, SUPER stiff, great feels, nice internal travel ajust

The Bad:

when i got the fork straight from X-Fusion there was nothing inside of the compresion because it was loose witch caused the fork to not work proprley but after it was fixed it was amazing, only having a taperd steer option

Overall Review: Awesome fork, it feels great and it is super stiff. its just like its little brother the velvet, on steriouds. every thing has been beefed up to make it a much stiffer and solid feeling fork and it doesnt creek, yet (knock on wood), i have had mine for about 6 mounths and still running strong. The only problem i had with this fork is that there was no fluid in the compression because the compression was loose and all the fluid leaked out of it (or something like that). i did end up getting that fixed and now i feels dialed. I would recomend this fork for anything from enduro to dirt jump and to anyone not looking on spending a buy a solid fork with out spending the big bucks.
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Jonas_Barstad
14775 Jonas_Barstad,14775/all 04/10/12,14775/setup 1 7

Chromag Brandon Semenuks' 'Overture' Signature Model Saddle

“why use any other seat”


The Good:

feels great, looks great

The Bad:

mine has a little bit of play on the rails and has always had it.

Overall Review: Great seat, feels great when your sitting on it and it is also good for pinches. It also looks amazing it is defanitly a must get for dirt jumpers and free riders!
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Jonas_Barstad
14775 Jonas_Barstad,14775/all 04/10/12,14775/setup 1 7