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May is the time to regroup. After the first big races of the season, things slow down to let everybody catch their breath a bit. Following the initial double volley of Pietermaritzburg and Cairns, World Cup downhill disappeared for a month and half, and the Enduro World Series circus waited until the last few days of the month before taping up another forest full of trails for the first time since Chile. But between a flow of early season edits and an onslaught of new product announcements, May was no time for the media to rest. We've had prototypes and new product launches to drool over, and we're already gorging ourselves on rad riding from all corners of the globe - even if the snow cover has been stubborn in parts. Join us as we rewind our clocks. May was 31 days of radness and Best of Vital is here to make sure you don't miss a trick!

Unexpected GNAR - the Enduro World Series Goes To Scotland

The pre-race expectation for most was that this event would feature pedally, physical, bike-park-style trails that lacked technical challenges. The first day of recon buried those expectations in the mud as the stages featured some of the steepest and most technical riding of any Enduro World Series race to date. There was a lot of pedaling during the liaisons, and with the riders having to run full grip tires or even spikes, and some even seriously considering running flat pedals, the slog would be of epic proportions. The leaderboard looked nothing like what we've become accustomed too either, most certainly not after day 1.

Out of the frying pan and into the GNAR.

Vital RAW - Enduro World Series Chaos from Tweedlove

You know it's rough when some of the finest bike handlers on the planet are made to crawl down sections of the trail. Steepness never translates well to the screen, but thanks to Vital RAW, the sheer force of impact as rubber meets the hard, unforgiving Scottish ground does. Spare a thought for the poor machines as their fearless pilots tackle most technical EWS stages to date.

We can't be entirely sure, but it seems to us that maybe the world's best Enduro racers were just schooled by a Silverback wearing a 50-lbs camera pack.

The Man Behind BOS - Interview with BOS Suspension Founder, Olivier Bossard

Unassuming, often recoiling from media attention, Olivier Bossard prefers to do the hard work of developing suspension products that win World Cup DH titles rather than sitting down for an interview. When asked about his approach to the relationship between product development and marketing, he blithely remarked, “When I start to develop a new product I never think about marketing. I just want to make something that works great.” Find out more about what makes this high-performance product special in this extensive and exclusive interview.


Tested: 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT Fork

For years the FOX 36 has been a heavy hitter among a sea of lightweight fork options. It’s the fork many of the biggest, hardest charging riders turned to when nothing else seemed to suffice. Somewhere along the line the competition stepped up their game, though, and we’ve seen a shift in the market place and a demand for better performance at a lighter weight. FOX is here to answer that call with the completely redesigned 2015 FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 FIT fork.

Old school decals for a resolutely new-school fork.

Enduro Adventure with Mavic

When Mavic invited us to try out their new Wheel-Tire System in the French Alps, we knew we'd be in for an epic couple of days. With Mr. Trans-Provence Ash Smith laying out the route and in the company of Enduro World Champion Jerome Clementz, the journalist posse set out to link Sospel to Menton and give the new wheels and tires a good spanking in the process. Join the adventure!

"OK listen up everybody, it's NOT a race..." #yeahright

Greg Minnaar - Timeless Radness

Greg Minnaar makes the impossible look like a walk in the park sometimes. Equal parts commitment and talent, topped off with a dash of discipline and ruthless resolve, and you have yourself a cocktail of excellence that few will ever get close to. But you can have just a little sip with this clip from 2001(!), part of our feature on Greg's rad rides through the years.

Mind The Gap.

World Cup Cross Country Race Action from Nove Mesto, Czech Republic

With nearly 20,000 charged up spectators, the UCI World Cup Cross Country weekend in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic was exciting, refreshing and challenging. Eliminator had to out-run a severe thunderstorm and the natural features on the XC course provided plenty of heartbreak for both bikes and bodies. At the end of race day, Nino Schurter took the Elite Men's victory (his first XC World Cup win on a full-suspension bike) and Pauline Ferrand Prevot dominated the Elite Women's class from start-to-finish. Enjoy the sights and sounds thanks to Marius Maaseward!

Cut spikes and rock gardens - the dirt roadies are getting gnarlier every year!

Bike Checks

Sometimes, you just have to go all out. And if you're going to go all out, a Santa Cruz / DVO combo with matching ENVE rims and special edition Spank bits should just about cut the mustard. Check out our Bike of the Day on May 23 and see for yourself! All the Bike Checks can be found HERE, and if you didn't share your bike yet - add it HERE.

"I'll have two, please".

First Ride: Cane Creek DBinline Air Shock

When Cane Creek first launched the Double Barrel coil shock in 2009, it was the first of its kind to offer a twin-tube design with four-way independent damping adjustment. In 2011, the DBair was released, bringing the same level of tunability to an air shock. And in an effort to bring the same successful design to a smaller, lighter package that will fit more frames, Cane Creek has now introduced the DBinline - the first Double Barrel twin-tube shock designed specifically for bikes in the 120-150mm travel range. We traveled to Cane Creek’s headquarters near Asheville, North Carolina to see and ride the new creation.

Twin tubes in a single tube - what will they think of next?

Perfect Day

Make do with what you have, when it comes to bikes, that is always true. Dan Tay's DH bike was in for a tune-up, so he grabbed his trail bike when asked if he wanted to go get some shots done. The resulting epicness was our Daily Shot on May 3, proof that any day on the bike is a good day! If you want your shots to be considered too, upload them HERE.

We were over bar drag comps the minute we saw this shot. #owningit

2014 Test Sessions: Lapierre Zesty AM 527

Lapierre’s Zesty AM ticks many of the boxes for an aggressive all-mountain bike: it has great geometry, a good looking list of components, a carbon frameset, and 150mm of travel at a reasonable price. It also has an interesting “Electronic Intelligence” rear shock, known as the E:i system. “There’s no place for electronics in mountain biking,” some of you say, while others may be open to new ideas and technology. With an open mind and nothing but miles of rough Sedona, Arizona trails in front of us during the annual Vital MTB Test Sessions, we set out to see if Lapierre’s mid-level all-mountain bike is the future machine it’s claimed to be.

Zesty with a hint of electronics.

Around the Web

Totally awesome stuff we found on the internet...

Warp Speed, Mr Sulu!

Between Enterprise lightspeed starlines and Endor speeder bikes, we're not sure which analogy is most appropriate for this wild ride down Hamsterley with Danny Hart and Scott Mears. Just watch in awe and then go choose one for yourself!

If it was sped up, they'd all have funny voices, right?

The Return of Lily the Trail Dog

Lily, the dog that loves to chase bikes, is back! This time the pint-sized Jack Russell is taking her skills and speed to the mountains. We previously featured Lily in our 7 Trail Dogs That Are Faster Than You feature, and it's awesome to see that she's still got it a few years later. In fact, we think Lily would give the World's Fastest Trail Dog a good challenge, don't you?

See, shorter travel really is more fun.

Rockface Rocket

Andrew finds out the hard way that abrupt transitions, speed, and gravity do not mix well.

"Well it seemed like a good idea at the time..."

No Corner is Safe from David McMillan

Berm bashing and loam trashing from the wild man from Down Under. David puts on an incredible display of cornering skills and high speed fun in this all-killer-no-filler edit that's guaranteed to make you want to ride. SO SICK!

The stuff a trail builder's nightmares are made of.

Aggy's Reunion Highlight Video

The FEST is all about riding and filming in perfect conditions, not having to depend on a time schedule or event organizers that make their own rules. The aim is to be riding the best big bike freeride jumps, spots, trails and produce the realest videos and photos expressing freeride MTB in its purest way. On the evidence of this first event, looks like mission accomplished already!

If you guys build these any bigger, we'll have to get air traffic control clearance for the next one.

Danny MacAskill's Epecuen

In 1985 the seaside town of Epecuén in Argentina became completely submerged. Its residents left and the world forgot it was there. After spending 25 years underwater, it's now re-emerged and Epecuén sees Danny take his biking back to the roots of trials riding, lighting up the deserted town with his talent, as he explores the forgotten streets and pushes the limits as the world's premier freestyle trials rider.

Next level bike control and a sense of style and flow to match, this is vintage MacAskill at his very best.

One Incredible Trail with Gulevich and Hawks

How fun does this trail look?! Geoff Gulevich and Kelend Hawks tear up the loam and the stunts in the PNW. Gully takes a brake-lever-breaking crash and Kelend finishes out the edit with aplomb. Well done, riders and trail builders.

We can watch PNW videos all day.

Garett Buehler Goes Big

Can you say hero dirt? Garett Buehler takes on loam, steep rollers and big drops as he enjoys a little trail bike session around Nelson, BC.

We can also watch BC videos all day.

Cam McCaul's The Pile

Cam McCaul has been playing with piles of dirt forever. To celebrate, he built himself a really big one, and best of all, we get to come along for the ride. YEOW!

'Sometimes I look back and realize that piles of dirt have given me everything.' - Cam McCaul

Best of Vital will return next month!

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iceman2058 iceman2058 6/4/2014 8:17 PM

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