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Every 30 days, we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize. This month Jenson USA pitched in a $100 gift card! Vital MTB member Billy3197 wrote several great reviews, and we'd like to highlight the ones that helped earned him the Top Reviewer spot.


FOX 32 831 100 Dirt Jump Fork - "The Good: The Fox 831 gives first impressions much like that of an expensive car or a work of art. Every contour, every inch of the fork just screams "look at me I'm better than you." It is truly an engineering masterpiece and Fox shows no intention of hiding that. Although many products are capable of looking nice to hide performance flaws, this is not at all the case with the 831. The 831 features a light yet stiff chassis, providing it with a steady base without the extra grams. A 15mm thru axle anchors it to the wheels, and although this seems to be a bit lacking for a DJ fork, it actually provides an incredible amount of stiffness. The axle is quick and easy to use and requires little or no attention in terms of mechanics. The 831 also has Fox's CTD damper allowing for three settings of suspension tunability. Although this seems not to make sense for a DJ fork, it actually provides a great variation of setups for different scenarios a dirt jumper might encounter, weather it is natural lines in the woods, slopestyle contests, pumptracks, skateparks, or a stair set. It is easily tunable for the riders liking and provides what is without a doubt the most responsive suspension I have tried to date. On top of that the 831 weighs in at almost a pound lighter than a Rock Shox Argyle RCT, which saves the weight to make the bike much more movable and controllable.

The Bad: The price tag is a bit high for a dirt jump budget, and even then some will argue that the performance difference isn’t there to be worth the extra money. Furthermore there are some apparent problems. Fox, likely to save weight and increase profit margin, equipped it with a CTD damper, and although I am a fan of this feature, many riders would rather it feature one of Fox's dampers more geared towards freeride, giving it more internal strength. This comes from many riders sharing experiences of blowouts with the fork. Fox recently moved to a 34mm body for the fork, and that change was for a reason. The fork likes to develop a bit of movement between the crown and the top of the stanchions. This creates a creaking sound that for any rider can be a bit troubling. The fork also is known to require more service than DJ forks from other brands."


2013 Scott Voltage FR 10 - "The Good: The Voltage can cater to anyone and anything. With small and large options you can decide weather you want snappy race feel or a playful trick machine. The bike itself also has two phenomenal features in regard to how adjustable it is. The headtube is a 1.5 straight which allows for literally any fork configuration available to be an option given the correct headset. The voltage also comes with a variety of shock mounts allowing for a setup tunable for any build from a light slopestyle bike up to a heavy duty big mountain killer. with every given shock mount, the voltage also has an easily accessible short and long travel adjustment, allowing the rider to dial in the rear end with nothing more than an allen key. The specs on the bike are fantastic and leave very little to be desired. The frame is extremely light, and with the adjustments, can cater to a riders every need.

The Bad: The voltage, in my opinion, is the perfect park bike. The frame is light and responsive so the fact that Scott would spec it with components less than the very very best is beyond me. I think that it would be genius to sell a frame option as well because all of the tunability means very little if the rider has to purchase it complete."


Chromag Brandon Semenuk Signature Overture Saddle - "The Good: The Chromag Overture saddle is one of the most widely used saddles by dirt jumpers slopestyle riders and freeriders alike. The seat can be spotted on the bikes of a large number of pros and can look good on any bike. The saddle itself is extremely high quality. It is extremely comfortable and it provides a great pinch for suicide no handers or barspins. Though the saddle does look nice, Chromag also put some grippier material on the sides of the seat to achieve a better pinch which is going above and beyond any other companies efforts as far as seats go. The shape is perfect because it stays out of the way but is there when you need it. On top of sheer performance, the seat will instantly make any bike look way nicer, adding a splash of color, or a clean looking addition to a top end build.

The Bad: The overture isn't surprisingly strong. I have had friends Overtures creak from the moment that they were purchased and I had one develop a small bit of movement that I cannot seem to fix. They also seem to break more than other saddles. Both of these issues I have never heard of with any seats from Deity or other brands making seats. The color on the Overture also fates a bit. Colored ones will turn more gray gradually, and the gummy material on the sides has begun to peel off on my own."


Transition TR250 Frame - "The Good: The transition TR250 is a park bike. It is a do it all freeride machine for somebody who wants a bike that will take them to the race, the jumps, or the back country. The geometry is designed explicitly for bike park riding and this gives it an incredible amount of versatility. The 250s link design allows it to float through the technical sections and take the big hits just as well. Its head tube angle makes it feel right at home and along with the chainstay length, the bike corners like its on rails, even in off camber situations. The frame has a way of feeling like its part of your body, making technical lines where line placement is key no trouble at all. Jumping on the bike is another strong point. The bike feels incredible comfortable in any sort of hip, drop, stepdown, kicker or speed jump. It feels so comfortable and with comfort comes confidence which is a huge resource to have on a ride.

The Bad: The frame itself is a bit heavier than many of the alternatives, this increase in weight can be detrimental for park riders who want trickability, yet that is a small margin of riders. I would have also liked to see a cheaper alternative, seeing as many buyers looking at frames are wanting to save money. Going along with the fact that the price is steep, it confuses me to see a coil shock on the bike. This is not their downhill race bike, so a shock like a Rock Shox vivid air or a Cane Creek DBair would seem to make more sense to me especially considering that price doesn't seem to be of much concern here. Being a park pike, I also would have loved to see the seat tube go a bit lower or maybe a raised bottom bracket. I don't feel that this would affect the cornering too much but for a freeride bike I think it is a logical step. The bike is also very hard to setup. Routing the brake into place through the linkage is a long and tedious process and could certainly have been simplified somehow."

Big congrats to Billy3197! Thanks for helping out the riding scene with your thoughts on these products.

Want to be in the running for next month'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 next winner in early January.

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