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January's Top Vital MTB Member Reviewer Award

You can earn $100 at Jenson USA for your Vital MTB member reviews! See the best reviews from last month's Top Reviewer and learn how you could earn the top spot in February.

January's Top Vital MTB Member Reviewer Award

Every month we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize, and this month Jenson USA pitched in another $100 gift card! Things heated up big time in January with several members writing a bunch of quality reviews in the Vital MTB Product Guide. In the end, dbodoggle took home top honors with 18 outstanding reviews. Here's a recap of his best:

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Spank Oozy Trail 345 Rim - "Spank is a company I had been aware of because of their pedals. When it came time to get a new wheelset, I started to consider the Oozy Trail 365. I had seen them on Jenson and some other sites, and a friend of mine had their dh oriented rims on his wheelset. The width, design, and relative light weight appealed to me.  I had some questions about the finish durability in different colors so I contacted Oozy via their website. One of their team called me the next day and was very helpful. He also thanked me for considering their product and offered his assistance in the future if I ever needed it. I got to check them out in person as well before purchasing. They felt like good quality, especially for the price.

Installing tires on the Oozy rims is a cinch, especially compared to some other rims I have owned. Their Bead Bite rim edge has proven to be as good as they advertise. It is designed to lock into your bead to prevent burps. I have not had a burped tire since I got these rims. I put roughly 700 miles of riding on them this season I have been pleased with their performance.

Previously I had been riding with Race Face AR30 rims. I didn't have any problems with bending or buckling but they would get dented all over the place. These are not in perfect shape but their finish looks much better after one season than my AR30s did. They clean up well. The only spot that has given me trouble is the silver logo. I got some grease on the rear rim right on the Spank logo, and it has discolored slightly. If I had wiped it off sooner, it may not have stuck, but that is a small thing to complain about." - Read more»

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Park Tool Fourth Hand Cable Stretcher - "Assuming you don't have DI2 electronic shifting, your bike probably has cables. Adjusting, or installing new cables with the Park Tool 4th hand makes a complicated job super easy. It is called the 4th hand because it is like having an extra person help you. When I worked at a bike shop, we had one of these and it really sped the tune up process along. I haven't invested in one myself, but it is on my list of things to get when I have some extra cash kicking around. 

When you need to cut or adjust your cable, you have to let go of the cable itself. That often results in dropping the cable and having to start all over, or having to do some sort of contortionist move to keep everything in balance. If you are like me, repairs are frustrating enough without having cables escaping from you. Here is a video from YouTube to show how it works.

If you wear one of these out, you must be doing tune ups all day everyday. Our tool at the shop was years old and still functioned just like it was new. That is the Park Tool difference. I have gotten a few knock off tools in the past. They last for a while but they usually break. This is one that I would suggest investing in the Park Tool version. If you are the type to take good care of your tools, you could make this last a lifetime." - Read more»

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Spank Oozy Trail Flat Pedal - "These pedals have performed really well for me. I ride a Transition Patrol, which has the slack and low geometry. I was worried about pedal strikes with such a low bottom bracket. Initially I used some Straitline Defactos and did have more pedal strikes. After switching to the Oozys, pedal strikes have become greatly reduced. The thin profile is super functional in addition to looking great. I have wider feet (size 10.5) and wear Five Ten Freeriders. That has been a great combo for me. The pedal has a large surface area that has done a great job at keeping my feet on. The two middle pins are enough for me, but I have heard some people complain about that. They have kept their grip over a long period in multiple climates and conditions. If you can hack the price these should be at the top of your list of flat pedal considerations.

The durability has impressed me. Spank has done a good job with these pedals. The pins have held up to a lot of abuse. None of mine have bent, even with the hard hits. The color has also stayed looking really good over the past two seasons." - Read more»

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100% Aircraft Full Face Helmet - "I have a large head. For full face, I wear size L in 661, XL in Giro, XL in TLD, and Fox helmets don't fit me super well. I went with the XL size from 100% and I am happy with the fit. To get the right fit, I had to purchase slimmer cheek pad inserts. Some of the more expensive helmets I have owned came with an extra set of pads or two to ensure the proper fit. It would have been nice to have that included.

The venting has been great. It offers fewer vents than some helmets, but while going fast downhill you will stay dry and cool. The sound experience inside the helmet is different than others I have owned as well. This helmet will make you feel faster just because of the airflow sound. It is very comfortable as well. The padding keeps a snug fit.

The helmet has a great field of view, especially when paired with the 100% Racecraft goggle. I have been very happy with the fit compared to my smith and Oakley goggles I tried. Just be ready to fork out more money for some new goggles.

Durability is hard for me to comment on because I have not crashed yet. The paint has held up well with a few pre-ride drops while I wasn't wearing the helmet. 100% sends a nice quality travel bag that has room for goggles as well. That has kept the helmet in good shape while transporting it. The construction feels quality and I was satisfied with the crash ratings. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your search." - Read more»

Big congrats to dbodoggle! Thanks for helping out the riding scene with your thoughts on these products.


Want to be in the running for February's award?

Start reviewing the parts you use in the Vital MTB Product Guide and keep an eye on the Top Reviewer leaderboard. We'll announce the winner in early March.

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