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Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire

“Hans Dampf vs Minion”

C138_schwalbe_hans_dampf_tire

The Good:

Braking traction, high volume, weight, cornering grip

The Bad:

Not much wrong to be honest

Overall Review: I've done about 1,000 kms on this tire, all in the dry and with it on the front only, enduro style and set up tubeless with Stans (Evo Pacestar 2.35x26). Personally I rate Maxxis Minion as a benchmark and I think the comparison will helpful guide for other riders, I usually use a Minion FR 2.35 EXO maxxpro for reference (old style, pre TR). HD vs Minion Rolling resistance - Similar Braking traction - HD superior Off-camber grip - Minion Superior Fist sized rocks on trail composure - HD superior Light over cornering/carving - Minion Superior Dry ruts - HD Superior Weight for size - HD Superior (700g is sweet) (single ply Read More »
Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member ZMC888
6998 ZMC888 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/6998/avatar/c50_Lew_drop_avatar.jpg?1352425516 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/all 03/03/11 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ZMC888,6998/setup 5 25 59 1

X-Fusion Hilo SL Seatpost

“Another Dropper Post”

C138_hilo_sl_125

The Good:

The spirit of enduro likes this post.

The Bad:

Leaky oil kills plants and makes hippies angry.

Overall Review: Over the past few years, X-Fusion has made quite a stir in the MTB suspension industry. These days, when one considers a new fork or shock, the name X-Fusion usually comes up in a conversation along with the major players like Fox Racing Shox, and Rock Shox when discussing suspension options. Given my friend’s raving reviews about X-Fusion’s forks, and the usual customer service benefit of dealing with a smaller company, I figured I would give their new dropper post, the HILO SL 125mm, a try on my trail bike. The Hilo SL has a claimed weight of 450g without the cable, making it lighter than the gold standard of travel Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member NAYR
191 NAYR http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/191/avatar/c50_p1pb4722431.jpg?1300753449 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NAYR,191/all 08/01/09 1 7 25 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NAYR,191/setup 1 16 10

Cane Creek DBair Rear Shock

“One of the best air shocks today”

C138_db_air_vertical_lo_res

The Good:

great tuning range, really good midstroke support, coil-like feel

The Bad:

On the heavy side for gram counters, finds its limits on fast, choppy terrain, tough to get full travel

Overall Review: I've been running this shock for about 2 years now and so far it has lived up to my expectations. I've run many shocks (romic, avalanche chubie, push tuned rp3's, push tuned monarchs, push tuned vanilla rc's, stock rp23, CTD, x fusion vector hlr) through the years so I'll compare it my experience. My 200 x 57 came in at 530 grams. Not heavy by coil standards but "heavy" if you're comparing it to a Fox CTD. The X-fusion HLR air I had was around 450 grams. I'm running this on a 5.5" trail bike which is a little overkill but works great. Initially I encountered some trouble getting full travel from the shock (a common Read More »

Banshee Spitfire V2 - 2013 Frame

Featured Member Review

“The Affordable, Downhiller's Trail Bike”

C138_2013_banshee_spitfire_frame

The Good:

Shreds the gnar.

The Bad:

Enduro will eat your soul.

Overall Review: In a day and age dominated by $10,000 luxury trail bikes like the Santa Cruz Bronson and Nomad, or the S-Works Specialized Enduro and Stumpy Evo, the all mighty spirit of enduro has led us to believe that the only way we can ever hope to be STRAVA KOM is to empty our life savings. Luckily, for us non-industry, normal people, there are still a few semi-affordable, durable trail bikes with real geometry and the latest bike industry marketing tools (aka 650b), that can keep our hopes alive. Yes bike industry pawns, it is still possible to not spend a fortune and get an absolute ripper of a bike. The Banshee Spitfire is Read More »
Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member NAYR
191 NAYR http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/191/avatar/c50_p1pb4722431.jpg?1300753449 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NAYR,191/all 08/01/09 1 7 25 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/NAYR,191/setup 1 16 10

Maxxis Ikon Tire

“Great, fast xc tire”

C138_ti262a00

The Good:

great rolling resistance, mounts up tubeless easy, lightweight, exo sidewall

The Bad:

Expensive tire

Overall Review: This is a really good xc/trail tire. I'm running the 26 x 2.2 version (3C, exc, exo) on some black flag pro's (stan's technology). For the sidewall protection it has and the volume, it's an impressively light weight tire. Mine tipped the scales at around 550g. Sure you can find lighter tires, but they'll have paper thin sidewalls and 1.9" widths. I was pleasantly surprised that the volume is very close to a Continental trail king 2.2 that I have on the front on my bike. Maxxis sizing hasn't always been consistent and I was happy to not receive a really skinny tire labeled 2.2. The tire mounted up fine and I was able to air it Read More »

Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon Full Face Helmet

“Totally worth it!”

C138_tld_d3_carbon_helmet_reflex_yellow

The Good:

Good looking helmet, light, safe and well-conceived!

The Bad:

Pretty expensive, but its totally worth it!

Overall Review: Simply the best helmet! Fits super good, is safe and i've never had problems with it yet and i think i won't get any problems. It comes with a second visor and a nice helmet bag. Not cheap, but totally worth it!
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Waffles
27019 Waffles http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/27019/avatar/c50_img_0446_Kopie_1476739546.jpg?1476739048 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Waffles,27019/all 08/23/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Waffles,27019/setup 5 34 2

Straitline SSC Stem

“great looks at a price”

C138_st258a00_black35

The Good:

strong, many color options, good looks

The Bad:

on the pricey side

Overall Review: I've been running 2 of these on separate bikes for the last two years. This is a hands down gorgeous stem. Straitline was way ahead of the curve when they came out with this stem. There are many color options and it's a great accessory to the cockpit if you're looking for bike jewelry. It's perfect for handling DJ, All-mountain/enduro/ DH duties. While it's not the lightest stem in its class, it's also not the heaviest either. While it's one of the few stems I would put on my bike, Straitline has a lot more competition these days (thomson, easton havoc, spank, to name a few) that are at a lower price point and look just as good. These days it's hard to find the SSC stem retailing for under $100.

Thomson Seatpost Collar

Featured Member Review

“tough and elegant”

C138_thomson_seatpost_clamp_black

The Good:

bombproof, great looking, set and forget

The Bad:

not the lightest clamp if you're a gram counter, pricier than most other offereings

Overall Review: Been running this clamp for about a year now after getting a dropper post. It's not the lightest and it's on the high end price wise for a seat clamp, however that's minor. The clamp simply works really well. It's reliable, durable, and looks great. The clamp action is really strong. I've even had to back it slightly off of suggested torque specs as my dropper was returning too slow due to clamping forces. What else can be said? I want my bikes too work well AND look good. Chromag is probably the only other clamp I would consider using.

Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon Full Face Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon Full Face Helmet”

C138_tld_d3_carbon_helmet_reflex_yellow
Review by Ian Collins // Photos by Ian Collins and Fred Robinson The Troy Lee Designs Daytona series of helmets (that’s the "D" in D3) was originally developed back when mountain bikers wore skin suits and obsessed over ensuring that their 150mm 30-degree rise Ringle stem had the exact same color purple anodizing as their Cook Bros Racing cranks. The Daytona, D2, and D3 have had a few things in common - carbon shells, nicely sculpted vents, badass clean lines, and rad visors. Looks and functionality aside, TLD has also strived to be a class leader in safety over the years. It almost goes without saying Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Ian Collins
140 Ian Collins http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/140/avatar/c50_92535430_1249143201.jpg?1290150211 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Ian-Collins,140/all 08/01/09 6 154 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Ian-Collins,140/setup 2 6 148 14 2

100% iTrack Gloves

Vital Review

“Tested: 100% iTrack and RideFit Gloves”

C138_100_itrack_gloves_neon_yellow
Review by Nick Ducharme // Product photos by Brandon Turman The 100% logo has been iconic and easily recognizable at motocross and supercross events for the last 30 plus years. Recently they've been launching some great product in eyewear and protective gear that continues with their story of high quality, attention to detail and maximum effort. With all of the gear overlap between between us MTB shredders and our throttle twisting cousins on the dirt, the traditionally moto products from 100% fit right in with the human-powered two-wheeled off-road crowd. Their new gloves are sure to get you thinking “How much effort do you give?” Read More »
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Nickster426
30929 Nickster426 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/30929/avatar/c50_IMG_8920_1439939751.jpg?1439938828 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Nickster426,30929/all 05/08/14 3 4