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Not that we had much of a break over summer anyway, but September rolled around with a packed agenda and at the coalface, the action showed no signs of letting up. After an incredible season of DH World Cup racing all eyes were on World Champs in Hafjell, Norway to see who would take gold in mountain biking's ultimate one-run-and-done showdown. Interbike was the next stop for the global bike circus, and contrary to popular belief, what happens at Interbike does not stay in Vegas. And if at all possible, things would only get crazier from here on in, as the world's best freeriders were gathering in the Utah desert to once again carve their lines in the sandstone and their names in the history books. There is nothing like Rampage, and the 2014 edition was the wildest yet. And finally, the Enduro World Series took a breather before the season finale in Finale, but 80 brave souls took the opportunity to tackle some of the finest singletrack in the world in the Trans-Provence enduro stage race. With so much going on, you'd be forgiven if you missed some of the action - but fear not, we've kept tabs on it all and the cream of the crop is waiting for you right here. It's the best of the best - it's Best Of Vital!

Red Bull Rampage

A large part of what makes Rampage so special is watching the riders create and ride their lines. And when it's a brand new venue, it gets even more exciting. Vital was onsite before all the riders showed up, and we brought you all the action as it unfolded. Check out some truly special moments below, and if you want more, all the Rampage coverage is HERE.

Laying It On The Line - Red Bull Rampage Finals

Following nearly two weeks of intense preparation, not even torrential rains, scorpion stings, blisters, sunburns, broken tools, and broken bodies could keep the show from going on. With nothing but blue skies and big crowds on finals day, it was up to the riders to lay it all on the line for their chance at glory. Listen in as we recap the rowdiest freeride event of the year.

Where do we go from here???

Aggy Goes Deep at Rampage with 76-Foot Drop

Graham Agassiz and Andreu Lacondeguy built a shared line at Rampage, and the defining feature of their masterpiece was no doubt this drop - it measured out at 50 feet from lip to landing, but Aggy added another 26 when he guineapigged it. Andreu Lacondeguy did the same minutes later. The two would enjoy polar opposite endings to their respective campaigns, with Andreu winning the contest and Aggy having to sit out finals after injuring himself in practice the day before. With 94 points in qualifying, Aggy can still take satisfaction from having ridden his line top to bottom, and knowing that he would have been right in the mix had he stayed healthy. Bring on 2015...

"Uhhh, hang on, let me just double check a few things..." - Isaac Newton, Virgin, Utah, 2014.


In case you ever wondered, this is the best video ever made. Don't believe us? Click it and see!

All we need is RAW.

Hafjell World Champs 2014

With the one-run-for-glory format, World Champs always produces memorable racing, and perhaps never more so than in 2014. There was Neko's incredible bid for chainless glory, Sam Hill's monster attack coming undone in the last rockgarden, and of course, Ratboy's (in)famous huck to flat, giving away the title that was his to lose a mere 300 meters from the finish line. It's a fine line between winning and losing here, and that is what makes the rainbow stripes so special. We still get goosebumps looking at it all again...

"if only I would have tapped my brakes, if only I would have gone a bit to the right, if only..."

Interbike 2014

Hot on the heals of Eurobike, Interbike is the bike industry's annual Las Vegas gathering. A time for industry folk to catch up, and a time for bike companies to showcase their latest wares. We scoured the alleys of the Mandalay Bay convention center and the sands of the Nevada desert and we came back with a little bit of everything. Check out the galleries to take your own virtual tour:

INTERBIKE Part 1: Outdoor Demo Rad Bits and Randoms
INTERBIKE Part 2: Some of the Latest and Greatest for 2015
INTERBIKE Part 3: Hidden Gems and More 2015 Products
INTERBIKE Part 4: The Rest of the Best for 2015

What happens in Vegas...gets plastered all over the internet!

First Ride: 2015 DVO Diamond Fork

DVO’s Diamond fork is the brand's first single crown, building off the success of their Emerald DH fork and some unique technologies. With several big suspension players now at the top of their game, does the Diamond perform well enough to stand out from the crowd? We were given the opportunity to ride a pre-production sample in Whistler, BC, and our First Ride report has the answers.


Trans-Provence - Epic Defined

Six grueling days of mountain biking through Southern France that conclude with a race to the beach. BMC's Francois Bailly-Maitre and Canyon's Ines Thoma took Men's and Women's GC victories in the 2014 Trans Provence by riding smart and consistent yet wide open when it counted. Sven Martin, Gary Perkin and Duncan Philpott were in the trenches, riding the terrain and shooting incredible photos to tell the tale of this magnificent adventure.

The Trans-Provence - way tougher than it looks.

Bike Checks

Perfect spec and lovely custom touches made this an easy choice for our the Bike of the Day on September 10. All the Bike Checks can be found HERE, and if you didn't share your bike yet - add it HERE.

A lot of guys wishing they could ride like a girl right about now...

Tested: Seven iDP Control Knee

A knee pad that works well for pedaling while offering enough protection when things get rowdy is high on any aggressive rider's wishlist. If you recognize yourself in that description, definitely check out Seven iDP's Control pad. It'll take on more than they'd have you believe, as our review revealed.

Comfort and protection.

G-Out Project: Average Joe Battles Gravity

Usually, our G-Out Project files contain images of pro bikes being squished to the max by the world's best riders, but this time, we've got a whole gallery full of Average Joes taking bikes out for a test loop during the Interbike Outdoors Demo at Bootleg Canyon. Blame it on poor suspension set-up, blame it on those incredibly heavy riding packs, or just blame it on gravity - here's what your favorite trail bikes look like when squished to the max.

And to think that some make fun of Euro fashion...

Mirror, mirror...

Matthieu Hamel living a perfect moment in time, immortalized by Ewald Sadie. We were stoked to make it our Daily Shot on September 25! If you want your shots to be considered too, upload them HERE.

So many things went right here!

Around the Web

Totally awesome stuff we found on the internet...

Shut the Front Door! First Ever Tsunami Flip in a Contest

Szymon Godziek blew everyone's minds when he landed the first ever Tsunami Flip on a mountain bike in a contest at the Red Bull District Ride best trick showdown. The massive jump provided the perfect airtime for Godziek to go huge and make history bringing FMX style to MTB!

Is there a chess club we can join?

Rat to Flat! Josh Bryceland's 2014 World Champs Run

Josh Bryceland was one jump and two turns away from winning gold at the 2014 World Champs in Hafjell Norway, when sheer speed got the better of him. He broke his foot on re-entry from a wooden bridge-induced orbit, and it was all he could do to coast down into 2nd place. Not a peep from the Rat on impact after a landing that must have hurt like all hell!

"I didn't want to brake for that jump" - Josh Bryceland, Hafjell 2014. "I noticed" - Greg Minnaar, ditto.

Red Bull Rampage Round Two Qualifiers Highlights

Whatever the scorecards say about finals, history will remember Aggy's 2nd qualification run. Having crashed in his first run, all the pressure was on Aggy to step up and nail his line - one of the biggest of the contest. Nail it he did!

Any bigger, and the guys will be needing parachutes!

The Sickest Sam Hill Video Part of 2014 - CRC's #onthehunt from Hafjell

If Sam Hill's section (that starts around the 4:40 mark) doesn't pump you up, you better check your Pulse. (Pulse, geddit?). Despite Sam's crash at World Champs, it's been a great season for CRC and Sam Hill. Watch it and watch it some more. Sam Mutherf$^&ng Hill.

Sam Hill. That is all.

The Wheelie King - Maniacc Dblocks Beastmode

Yeah, so this guy is a little high-strung, but dude can wheelie.

Bike skills = yup. Social skills = nope.

Pastranaland: Travis Has Lost His Mind

There's comes a point where "progression" just doesn't tell the whole story. For Travis Pastrana, that point came and went long ago...

"Yeah Travis, that sounds like a great idea!" - no one, ever.

The Kids Get their Kranked on - Lacondeguy and CP Gang - Hills Don't Lie

There's just something timeless about hauling ass and skidding down big mountain lines. Andreu Lacondeguy and CP Gang get their Kranked on in the Alps.

How to get ready for Rampage.

Makken Goes Huge on the GoPro Stepdown at Rampage

There are times you shouldn't take an extra pedal. This was one of those times. We were glad to see Makken Haugen walk away with a smile from this one!

It was not the best year to be a rim at Rampage.

Chromag Family Album Vol. 2: The Coast

Brendan Howey, Brandon Semenuk, Curtis Robinson, Logan Peat, Dylan Dunkerton and Kyle Norbraten get down to business on the Sunshine Coast. If you get trail envy easily, look away now.

No aunts and uncles in this family album...

Gone Tomorrow - Nepal

The mountain bike can takes us places we'd never dream of going to otherwise. Rob J Heran took his bike to Nepal, and he came back with this edit that puts you in the middle both of the action and the experience. For once, work truly deserving of the oft-overused adjective - epic.

Seriously, we want to pack our bags and go.

An unReal Tease – Mountain Bikers Getting Chased by Horses and Riding Glacial Crevasses

Yeah, summer 2015 is some time away, but we're still stoked. This looks set to be the next big mega production, and we'd bet the farm on it blowing our minds when it gets here.

Hell will freeze over long before Cameron gets an office job.

Best of Vital will return next month!

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