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November'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 December.

November'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 November with several members writing a bunch of quality reviews in the Vital MTB Product Guide. In the end, lagocza took home top honors with over a dozen outstanding reviews. Here's a recap of his best:


Five Ten Kestrel Lace Clipless Shoe - " I have tried the gamut of Five-Ten clipless shoes looking for the sweet spot between light and stiff for efficiency, and comfortable and protective for more DH style of riding. I have ridden with two generations of the Maltese Falcon, (enduroish shoe) the Hellcat (DHish shoe) and the Kestrel lace (XCish shoe). Although each had its merits, I have settled on the Maltese Falcon as it fits the best of both worlds in my opinion.

As for the Kestrel lace, I think that if you are looking for a shoe that is a bit more trail minded than a standard XC slipper, and that offers some additional protection and comfort this is a good fit... They have held up surprisingly well, and show little signs of wear unlike some of my other shoes. I would recommend them to the everyday trail rider who wants something more substantial than a traditional clipless shoe, but does not wear them in the bike park every week as they will likely let you down for that style of riding." - Read more»


Park Tool AWS-9 Hex Wrench Set - "This tool is dead simple, but handy every once in a while out on the trail. I will say that this may be one of my least used tools in my tool box, but it does have its place. 90% of the time I am using my t handled park tools in the shop, or my small multi tool when out on the trail. WHere this shines is the extra length of the bits and leverage it can provide out on the trail. I always have this in the bottom of my pack for those situations where my tiny multi tool just will not cut it. Tightening suspension bolts for example, or on my brake calipers where my multitool can only make 1/10th of a turn, or tightening a square taper crank bolt, this tool works better than my multi tool.

Since it is a Park Tool, I have not had issues with the keys being too small or too big on bolts, and the ends have not rounded off like cheaper wrenches can. I was weary of the composite body at first (feels like plastic) but I have really put some force into this tool and it has not broken or cracked. I think that it is a great additional set of allen wrenches, but the lack of a chain breaker, spoke wrenches, and screwdriver, means it will never be my primary tool." - Read more»


Fox Racing Dirtpaw Gloves - "Growing up on a moto, the dirtpaws were always my go to glove as they were comfortable, provided good knuckle protection and they held up great. When I got into MTBs these were the obvious choice and I knew they would not let me down. I prefer a tight fitting glove that does not bunch up alot, and so I went a size down from my normal glove size and they fit perfect. gloves are comfortable on the bike, but thin enough that you can grab stuff out of your pack, work on your bike, etc. without too much issue. In terms of durability, I have gone through a few pairs of the gloves, but that is after over a year of hard use per pair. One pair had a few fingers blow out, and the other pair’s velcro stopped working after a while which got annoying.

In terms of looks, I feel like they still look like they did ten years ago (which can be a good thing or a bad thing) and in my opinion the vintage moto styling is ok, but not my favorite. I appreciate the rubber pieces on the knuckles and across the top of my hand, a few of them have come off, but overall they have held up and given me a bit of extra protection. I have grown to like a bit thinner of a glove that breathes well across the top like the handup gloves or 100%, but this is still one of my favorite gloves and I still have a pair I use from time to time. Price is on par with other offerings and with their longevity I think they are a solid buy." - Read more»


Lezyne HV Drive Pump - "I always carry two CO2 cartridges and an inflator in my pack for flats, but honestly with my tubeless setup it has not been a major issue. When I became a mountain bike trail guide however and the whole fleet had tubed tires, I knew I needed a backup pump in case I ran out of CO2 or a situation required a hand pump. I picked up this pump because of the size primarily, it packs down to a small size that can always be in the bottom of a pack for emergencies, but that does not get in the way.

One of the best features in my opinion is the flexible hose, it allows the user to pump more easily, and prevents the valve stem from breaking, which can happen with pumps that go right on the stem, if the user is not careful. It claims to be a high volume pump, but because of its size, it will still take a while to air up a tire, especially compared to a C02 cartridge. While I do like how simple the pump is when packed away, the fact that you have to take the hose out and screw it into the pump does mean it takes a while longer to put together and at the end put away. Overall this pump seems to be high quality, and the price is not terrible. I would not use it as my everyday pump, but it is a good backup, and gives me extra piece of mind when riding incase my CO2 does not work. " - Read more»

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

Want to be in the running for December'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 January.

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