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Liked a comment about product review Italian Suspension for Your Enduro Bike: EXT Storia Lok v3 Reviewed 10/24/2020 7:50 AM
Suspension Syndicate

Awesome review! One of the main points of feedback we have received is in regards to the need for a 12mm wrench for adjustments which as you have mentioned can be not very convenient for trail side tuning. To address this we have made a small 3D printed tool that has both a 12mm socket and the 4mm hex that works pretty well. If you need one hit us up. We also are now including with new shocks as well or if you send it in for service mention you want one and we will throw it in.

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Liked a comment about feature SILENT, INSTANT - New BOX Stealth Hubs 9/5/2020 12:37 PM
Liked a comment about product review We Ride the Not-So-Secret 2021 Trek Slash (and love it) 9/3/2020 11:50 AM

ok seat angle fans, i have the bike sitting here, so i made an APPROXIMATE actual seat angle measurement. hit refresh and scroll up toward the top of the article to see it.

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This product_review has 35 comments.

Liked a comment about product review We Ride the Not-So-Secret 2021 Trek Slash (and love it) 9/3/2020 8:32 AM

Fair point on verifying the angle, we should definitely work that into each of our tests, regardless of the category. Thanks for the feedback!

Honestly, the seat angle wasn't discussed much because it did not stand out to any of the testers (positive or negative). The overall ride quality of the Slash was really good and that included our little XC adventures!

This product_review has 35 comments.

Liked a comment about feature E-Bikes and Why We're Testing Them - The Inside Line Podcast 7/31/2020 11:34 AM

Spot in Salespunk. Your experience mirrors mine exactly. And most of the riders I’m riding with have pretty much made the switch after years regular rides. It’s just makes everything more fun. Even the boring trails. No longer are you avoiding trails that don’t have quite the downhill as a reward. It’s really just the regular bike experience but more fun. All the infighting seems to come from within our own community.

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Liked a comment about feature E-Bikes and Why We're Testing Them - The Inside Line Podcast 7/31/2020 10:21 AM

This is going to be fun. A bunch of riders who have never tried one complaining that it is a different sport, they don't belong on trails, they are motorcycles, they cause more trail erosion etc, etc, etc. Pretty much the exact same argument that the Sierra Club used against mountain bikes.

As the owner of both I can say it is all a bunch of hyperbole. If you haven't ridden one on trails for a day or two you won't get it. eBikes make climbing fun (yes I am fit and can climb just fine on my standard bike) and we go 2-3x farther on a regular ride. Of the 10-15 people I ride with normally the majority of them are either riding eBikes exclusively or the vast majority of the time. These are people that have been riding for 10+ years.

This will continue to be a divisive issue, but they are going to continue to increase in popularity.

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Liked a comment about feature E-Bikes and Why We're Testing Them - The Inside Line Podcast 7/31/2020 10:21 AM

Props for giving them a go vital. Glad you gave them a few days and had fun. I do thìnk youre tests could benefit from more time on them. Some of your opinions seem like theyre formed in the stage where youre still adapting from the lighter traditional mtb. I think once your not adapting to the weight, but rather expecting it. Youll find the sweet spot and be able to move it around. The weight and the momentum from the weight let them sail deep on jumps and theyre comfortable setting up off the lip. Riding mine w/o power at the bike park atm. Thing floats so controlled and sticks like glue through the berms. Slower speeds is where they become more cumbersome and big pulls reaching for new gsps isnt as ez. Also i guess you havent seen Bernard Kerrs eeb segments or Brendans or Phil Atwill or or or

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Liked a comment about feature E-Bikes and Why We're Testing Them - The Inside Line Podcast 7/31/2020 10:21 AM

Been splitting my time between my Commencal E bike and my Pivot firebird 29 for the past 2 years and really with an open mind see no downside. The fitness level for both is the same I feel as you push hard on the E bike( yes you can moto uphill,) more effort the faster you go.. on our Thursday night rides will average 8 more miles per ride ( more fitness) than on my pedal bike.. I enjoy them both, and as a trail builder see no more wear and tear than a pedal bike inflicts. The mentality about trail access with e bikes is an issue, and I get it, Vories was pushing for where the geometry is now on current bikes ,15 years ago. Bike mindset is slow to change... just go ride.

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Liked a comment about press release Parts Unlimited and INTENSE form Exclusive Distribution Partnership for Tazer MX E-MTB 3/9/2020 7:48 AM

A big problem I see with the exclusive distribution through powersports outlets is that a new customer will possibly miss out on some bike trail knowledge that a true bike shop might have. What is a powersports shop to say when a customer asks "Can I take this on any MTB trail?" Of course they are going to say yes, any answer of 'no' will dissuade a sale. A true MTB shop might give what I believe to be the right answer, which is 'Most of the time, some areas have different restrictions, and there are some normal climbing/descending etiquette norms to follow.'

Most bike shops have so much good knowledge we MTBers take for granted, it would be a shame to lose out on that for people getting outside. For example, I took my dad out on his E-MTB, and he asked if it was alright to ride on this specific trail, and I said "Yes, but you give right of way to people climbing, and give riders space that are climbing ahead of you. It is alright to pass if you've got plenty of space." I was able to ride with my dad for the first time in 15 years because of e-bikes, so I'm down with it, but I do think it has to be done the right way. I just hope the education is there alongside the sale.

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Liked a comment about feature Only You Can Prevent Turnbars - Vital Gear Club Unboxing #14 2/28/2020 6:54 AM
Big Bird

The turn bar is the very foundation of every trick ever. When people ask me to teach them to jump. I tell them to do the Slippery Salmon. Dead airs make dead riders. Hit that jump and just do Something! The second you stop moving in the air is the second that you start hitting the ground.

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Liked a comment about feature Vital MTB Test Sessions: Five Slack, Short-Travel 29er Mountain Bikes Reviewed 2/27/2020 6:48 AM
Mike Buell

Very well said Noah, and fully agree. I believe it was Graves who was once quoted at an enduro race saying something along the lines of. You get to choose the parts you put on your bike, parts you trust, you don't get to choose the wight of the bike using those parts.

I can't speak for all the bikes in this test, but since I was personally responsible for picking the spec. on the Banshee Phantom, I feel relatively qualified to offer a little insight on that one. Is it all based on cost vs. weight? Not exactly. Especially if weight isn't priority #1, which for us, it definitely isn't. For example on this particular build, we could have simply changed 2 parts and shaved ~361g (.796 lbs) for the exact same price (based on published weights). Would have got the Phantom down to ~31.1 lbs for no extra money. How? Using the RideFast Livewire Wheelset, which we stock as an option, as well as using the MRP Ribbon SL instead of the RF Hotline and Ribbon Air which we chose to use.

So if all we had to do was use the lighter sibling parts, at the same cost, why did we make the choice to go with the stouter build?

Well, to Vital's credit they do a great job of making sure these tests are a very level playing field. We didn't know who the testers were going to be, we didn't know where they were testing or how they would be riding the bikes. So I chose the spec I would would want for my personal bike at the $5K price target, as simple as that. I bounced this spec off Keith, our engineer to make sure it was his choice as well, and that is what we shipped. We were less concerned with having a lower weigh in, and more concerned with providing the stoutest, and best performing package we could offer at this price. We also had a feeling the Vital testers might just push the boundaries of what a short travel 29 can comfortably do. After seeing the riding video, I’m glad we sent what we did! Steve, Brandon and Courtney all Shred, and Phoenix is rough!

Now since there are the other options, you could personally choose the lighter spec. Or go aftermarket and go crazy. Nothing wrong with that. Though if this was my personal bike, and this was my max budget, I wouldn't change a single thing. Also if I had a little extra money to spend, I still wouldn't change the parts mentioned above as they don’t get any better than that, for me. Don’t touch my satisfying high powered brakes and 180mm rotors (they’d probably be 200mm rotors on my personal ride).

I personally want those stout wheels and fork. I'm 190 lbs, and a washed up ex Pro DH racer that isn't always as smooth as I might pretend to be. Honestly the only parts I would consider changing if I had some money burning a hole in my pocket would be the Cassette and Cranks, as these are the only places I see any weight savings possible without sacrificing in areas I feel are more important. Though as Noah mentioned, would this even be noticeable? Would it make the bike any more fun?

All 5 of these bikes could be sub 30 lbs pretty easily. Lighter tires, wheel’s, drivetrain upgrades, probably in that sub 28 lbs if you really went for it, even without spending any more money if you just shopped lighter duty parts, but why? I’m sure the testers had a lot more fun confidentially riding 5 bikes for a week without catastrophic failure. Smashing gnarly rocks, hitting the fun lines etc. I want to ride my bike hard all the time, not just for a week, and I don't want failure when I'm on a riding holiday if that can be avoided. Ever. Would rather eat some taco's and drink some beers after the rad day of riding, rather than go shopping for a new rear wheel because I chose a super light XC race option, that now looks like said taco...

So if this confuses you, and you personally feel like you would pick a lighter package, and those lighter parts. There is noting wrong with that, your bike, your choices. I’m just going to go out on a limb and make the assumption, that even though we are both riding bikes, we’re kinda playing different sports. No one is has to be right or wrong. We just ride for different reasons and have different equipment needs.

End of the day, biggest smile while riding wins. Everyone should choose the bike that does that for them.

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Liked a comment about product review We Ride the All-New Transition Scout 2/13/2020 10:21 AM

Really well done Transition! Think this is a huge step forward for the brand and I'm excited to see other bikes in their line up get a similar treatment. Also love the versatility they're giving the bike with the ability to long stroke the rear shock, for heavier riders, that means a lower leverage ratio and less PSI/damping in your shock, that's rad shit. I'm with vital on this one though, seeing size dependent chainstay length would be the icing on the cake for this bike. Regardless, can't wait to try one of these out on my home trails.

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Liked a bike check Forbidden Druid XL 7/24/2019 8:20 PM
Liked a comment about feature WINNING BIKE - Richie Rude's Yeti SB150 7/2/2019 8:38 AM

Lighten up dudes.

Richie got busted, served his penalty, and is back in the game, whatever the back story is. He's a young powerhouse with a long career ahead of him. I'm sure he'll be a lot more careful who's bottle he sips from now.

And damn, what a return!?!

4/5 stages won? Very impressive!

The only thing missing was Martin Maes to battle it out with. Martin is the same. I think he got hosed but that won't change how this is playing out. He'll serve his penalty and learn from it. Let the young men continue to mature and we and mountain biking will all be better for it because both he and Richie seem like good guys who have both had a really eye opening experience with these incidents.

What are these guys, 21 years old, 22? I don't know about you, but I was pretty foolish myself at that age. I'm not sure how well I would have behaved had I been in a spotlight as bright as the one shining on these guys right now. Don't wreck their careers because of a mistake. Steer them back on course and let them change for the better.

I will be patiently waiting for the RR vs MM showdown whenever that happens. Lets get back to RACING!

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Liked a bike check Yeti SB150 Custom 4/19/2019 6:14 AM
Liked a comment to dirtworks911's bike check 2/6/2019 7:26 AM
2019 Pivot Firebird 29

Here are my thoughts:

Pro: The elastomers are noticably active in damping the smallest of chatter. Although forks have gotten much better throughout the years, they still have quite a bit amount of static friction. That's why linkage forks are so appealing but as you can tell, are very difficult to get right and even harder to convert the minds of the masses. The new Trust fork is beginning to do that but at $2700, it's definitely not priced for the masses. The Flexx bar certainly doesn't convert your fork into a linkage fork but it does smooth out chatter impressively well. If you cook here's a pretty good analogy: think of the Trust linkage fork as pure vanilla extract and your standard telescopic fork w/ the Flexx bar as imitation vanilla flavoring. Nothing beats using pure vanilla extract in flavor but imitation vanilla gets you close enough and costs less than half the price.

Pro: The Flexx bars are tuneable with different weight of elastomers. In order to adjust the flex on a regular bar you'll need to swap it.

Pro: Arm pump and hand fatigue is reduced quite a bit. Before an hour or two ride on an aggressive trail got my hands feeling it. Now I'll do an hour long aggressive ride and my hands feel as if I never left the trail head parking lot. This is a huge pro if you're still on the mend from any upper body injuries.

Con: The Flexx bar weights twice as much as a standard bar. For those who focus their entire build around weight, this bar isn't for them. But, for those who are okay sacrificing weight for performance and handling this isn't a con at all. Personally, what the Flexx bar offers is well worth 220 extra grams.

Con: The Flexx bars are twice the price the highest end carbon bar. For most, that's a deal breaker and that's rightfully so. Fasst co does offer a 30 day 'buy back' guarantee where if you're not stoked on the bar, you'll get all your money back. So, if you can drop several hundred to try them out, you should. A shop I'm close with demos them as well so you can see if you can find a set to try out that way too.

I haven't been able to do any major drops (10+ feet) on these bars yet but have used them on some pretty gnarly trails and good sized jumps. With time my scepticism of their strength and durability has gone away and all that's left is wondering how they will handle repeated head banging Virgin UT style hucks.

They are pretty sick bars!

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Liked a comment about press release Maxxis Eastern States Cup Announces 10th Anniversary Information & Schedule 1/24/2019 8:01 AM

Ha, thanks, can't believe I didn't realize that. :-) My excuse: It used to be 5318008 in our school (calculator upside-down).

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Liked a comment about feature Could Sam Hill Still Win at Downhill? 10/4/2018 7:19 PM

In addition to saying he 'lost fitness' at the DH races and didn't like how little he got to ride, Martin also mentioned that he felt enduro racing made him a better bike rider. I can see how for some the semi-blind, fully-pinned nature of EWS racing might actually translate into a sharpening of handling skills that could be beneficial in DH. Clearly it works for Martin, and I'd love to see both Sam and Richie have a go at some World Cup DH racing again.

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