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BHowell's Comments

Added a comment about product review Vital Test Sessions - Devinci Spartan HP 11/30/2021 7:20 AM
BHowell

Yup, we acknowledged and applauded Devinci for putting proper tires on the Spartan HP. It didn't keep us from smoking the rear rim before the test started though...

Much of the Spartan HP's weight is in the frame, which we are pretty sure will outlive us all.

This product_review has 5 comments.

Added a comment about feature Vital's Favorite Mountain Bikes Headed into 2022 11/24/2021 11:30 AM
BHowell

We didn't have the chance to properly test the Patrol, so we cannot speak to it. If it's a long-travel mullet you crave, double-check the first bike on the list for what we can officially endorse. cool

This feature has 14 comments.

Added a comment about product review Long Term Review - Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS Reserve 11/23/2021 9:51 AM
BHowell

My time aboard the Patrol was somewhat limited but I would put these two rigs in different categories. The Patrol has more travel, more burly suspension, and is generally targeted for heavier terrain.

It all goes back to what you like to ride and what you're looking for in a rig. The Patrol has a more descent-oriented quality to it versus the all-around nature of the Bronson. When the going gets gnarly and the pucker factor is high, that is where the Patrol will shine.

This product_review has 16 comments.

Added a comment about product review Vital First Look - Spinergy MXX 30 Carbon Wheels 11/18/2021 9:00 AM
BHowell

Lockrings are an interesting topic/product. We've had test wheels come through that do include lockrings, so that was where the expectation was set.

When a customer buys SRAM rotors they do not come with lockrings, as experienced by our tester here and in other test scenarios. At an average cost of $15 per wheel, it was an item our tester felt was worth noting.

This product_review has 4 comments.

Added a comment about product review Vital Test Sessions - Transition Spire 11/16/2021 9:43 AM
BHowell

Ahhh, sorry, I read that to be broader than you had meant it. Going a couple of inches taller would have meant riders would need a large and going a couple of inches shorter would have meant going to a small. By using a group of testers in a tighter, and central, height range (but who vary in weight and dimensions) we can narrow in our focus on ride qualities.

Test Sessions are meant as an intensive, multi-day series of tests where we hammer on the bikes and suss out the general qualities amongst a qualified group of riders. Hope that clears it up.

This product_review has 16 comments.

Added a comment about product review Vital Test Sessions - Transition Spire 11/16/2021 9:15 AM
BHowell

You mean like 5'4" Tasha Thomas

or 5'6" Amanda Wentz...

or 6'4" Jonathan Simonetti...

could use our 6-foot Tech Editor Jason Schroeder

or Content Manager/Gear Guru Johan Hjord at 6-foot as well...

There's more, but I think that should cover it for now.

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This product_review has 16 comments.

Added a comment about video Lunch Hucks and Euro-Jank-Nose-Wheelie Turns 11/15/2021 7:53 AM

That was so nasty! Plus Eagles of Death Metal? Hellz yeah!

This video has 3 comments.

Added a comment about product review Vital Test Sessions - Guerrilla Gravity Gnarvana 11/10/2021 7:57 AM
BHowell

In case you are not familiar, this is an excerpt from our Test Session series. Test Sessions tend to be more of an overview and not a deep-dive or long-term review.
Additionally, the article (words) has a bit more detail and information on parts performance than the video does. This video is just a cut from our full feature. The words and video are meant to complement one another.

This product_review has 10 comments.

Added a comment about press release Tom Van Steenbergen Melts Minds in ‘Wild West 2’ 11/9/2021 9:48 AM
BHowell

Sweet mother of mercy! I yelled at my computer no less than three times. Tom, you are an animal!!!!!!!

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This press release has 3 comments.

Added a comment about feature Reinventing the Valve Stem - Reserve's New Fillmore Tubeless Valves 11/4/2021 11:14 AM
BHowell

According to the FAQ page, you're good:
6. Can you use CushCore with the Fillmore valve?

- Yes, it works, but the poppet pushes against the CushCore when you release pressure, so it takes additional force on the cap to let the air out of the tires.

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This feature has 20 comments.

Added a comment about feature Canyon's All-New Spectral Line 11/1/2021 5:03 AM
BHowell

You and I are the same height, but you're legs are a bit longer. I would still think you'd be fine with the medium and shorter stem. It sounds like your distance from pedals to handlebar will be staying the same by the time you work the math in reach and stem length differences (or at least close enough.)

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This feature has 9 comments.

Added a comment about feature 2022 Trek Rail 9.9 and 9.8 - The Most E, eMTB to Date 10/28/2021 11:33 AM
BHowell

Great question and I've clarified the article to reflect it. This AirWiz configuration is a Trek exclusive. The only way to get it is by buying a Trek.

As for the air bleeder lowers we saw with the Flight Attendant suspension we tested, we know nothing at this point.

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This feature has 6 comments.

Added a comment about feature Canyon's All-New Spectral Line 10/26/2021 4:35 PM
BHowell

That is a tough one!
Based on the 420mm reach of the V3 Spitfire, I wouldn't be too stressed about the 435mm reach on the Spectral. I prefer a reach in the 450mm range but was pleased with how "small" the Mullet test bike at 460mm felt. I would say, based on this particular test bike, the new Spectral rides smaller than the numbers indicate.

This feature has 9 comments.

Added a comment about feature Meet Orbea's All-New 2022 Rallon 10/15/2021 5:30 AM
BHowell

We would have to let someone from the community chime in on that one. Vital has not had a chance to get the new Capra MX under a tester just yet.

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This feature has 20 comments.

Added a comment about member blog Practice hits with Kyle Strait, 2021 Red Bull Rampage 10/15/2021 5:25 AM
BHowell

Thanks for making it!

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This member blog has 2 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested - 2022 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Alloy Elite 10/13/2021 6:40 AM
BHowell

There are a variety of reasons a PM may go with the red S over the blue S, reasons that are beyond exploring in this landscape. The most practical reason, and 100% speculative here, would be the more limited availability of Deore. I may be very much wrong, but you asked, and that is my best *guess*

I am a massive fan of Deore and would love to see it on many more bikes. The price is excellent and the performance is stellar. A Deore/Maz alloy EVO would be the cat's meow from a consumer perspective.

This product_review has 19 comments.

Added a comment about feature Meet Orbea's All-New 2022 Rallon 10/6/2021 9:33 AM
BHowell

Great question! Both bikes are very much capable of holding that title, it just depends on where you're riding the most. Our long-term test of the Bronson is forthcoming.

The Bronson is more snappy on the climbs and feels like it carries its speed better on the flatter, rolly terrain. In the bike park flow trails, it's a rocketship. Putting into the black-diamond rock gardens, it holds its own but is still only a 150mm bike at the back.

The Rallon is much more capable in the rough stuff. It takes quite a lot to make the Rallon come unsettled. It's a very happy climber and as we said in Test Sessions, would have no qualms about taking it out all day. Unless the rough stuff is a routine element on your rides, there's not a ton of sense in having the additional 20m of travel, but really, that is your call to make.

The key differences you should note in our test bikes are - Bronson has a SuperDeluxe air shock, Rallon has DHX2 Coil. Bronson has Reserve 30 carbon wheels, Rallon has RaceFace Turbine R alloy wheels. Just want you to be aware we aren't talking total apples-to-apples.

This feature has 20 comments.

Added a comment about press release Make it Your Own - 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon Line 10/6/2021 5:17 AM
BHowell

We may have missed that element in the press release. The frame-only option is available for $949. I'll update the release accordingly.

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This press release has 7 comments.