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e*thirteen Plus Flat Pedal

“My Favorite Pedals Are Back”

The Good:

Super grippy and extremely durable. Still no lateral play and still spinning smoothly after a season of abuse.

The Bad:

Platform not as huge as some other options on the market, but still great for my size 11 feet.

Overall Review: I was a big fan of the original LG1 pedals so was excited to see E*13 ring back the shape for these new versions. Grip is as amazing as I remember, but the new pedals are thinner and lighter. I've hammered on these or a full riding season and they have taken all the abuse I've dished out. They're still spinning smoothly and have zero lateral play (unlike some other high end pedals I've used). Price is fair too. Great job E*13!

Yoshimura Chilao Flat Pedal

Vital Review

“Yoshimura Enters MTB with the Chilao Flat Pedal”

If you are into motorcycle racing or tuning, you know Yoshimura. Founded in 1954 by Hideo “Pops” Yoshimura, the company has an endless list of innovations and wins to its name, whether on the road or in the dirt. For proof, look no further than the current supercross standings where Ken Roczen is locked in a tight battle for the top spot, or the excellent start by team HRC in MXGP. But what does this have to do with mountain bikes you ask? It turns out that the president of American-based Yoshimura R&D, Yusaku Yoshimura, is an avid mountain biker, and it didn’t take much for him to start looking at his ride and Read More »

SRAM Guide RS Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

“Stopping power for cheap”

The Good:

The brakes have a lot of stopping power and great modulation. The build quality is good aside a minor problem with the brake cylinder which was solved due to a free recall.

The Bad:

Some levers got stuck because of a faulty main brake cylinder for many owners, but were replaced due to a free recall from Sram which still replaces the whole levers for free.

Overall Review: I got the full Guide R brake set nearly new for 70 bucks, but both levers were stuck. I bought them because the seller pointed out the free recall program from Sram. Therefore I brought the stuck Guide R levers to a bike shop nearby and received new Guide RS levers as a replacement in one week for free. Ive been using them since then and never had a problem. later I purchased two more set of these brakes for even less money and had the levers replaced again. This led to a huge brake upgrade for some none-DH bikes having great 4 piston brakes now. The servicing is kind of a pain in the ass and its not as easy as Read More »

Maxxis Dissector Tires

“Compromise between HR2 and Aggressor yet better than both?”

The Good:

Climbing grip, rolling speed, and traction (even in the wet).

The Bad:

Doesn't have the raw speed of the aggressor
Doesn't have the raw traction of the HR2
Doesn't have the raw braking traction of the DHR2

Overall Review: I can't believe the reviews for this tire are so few and far between. I have the 2.4 EXO Maxxterra (27.5) that I put on the rear in November of 2019 and having ridden many tires from the Maxxis lineup (which is my basis for comparison) including DHF, DHR2, HR2, and Aggressor, I will compare this to their other rear tires. I feel like it has better climbing grip but slightly slower rolling speed than the aggressor (2.3, dc exo) but the braking, traction, and cornering characteristics closer to a HR2. You can punch into corners or drift into them similar to a HR2. In dry undulating terrain where you aren't braking much I would Read More »

RockShox SID Ultimate Fork

Vital Review

“We Ride the All-New RockShox SID Ultimate”

For the first time ever, the RockShox SID goes to a 35mm stanchion with the introduction of the 120mm SID Ultimate and SID Select. The jump to a 35mm stanchion is a seemingly natural progression for the fork, considering the capability of even the fastest XC and light trail bikes these days. Vital took receipt of a RockShox SID Ultimate and have logged a few miles as well as dug into the guts of this new cross country fork to see what makes it tick and who may benefit most from this new technology. 2021 RockShox SID Ultimate Highlights Ultra-slim and trim, entirely new chassis All-new Charger Race Day damper (94g) Read More »

2020 Nukeproof Reactor 275c RS Bike

Vital Review

“Trail Bike Hooligan: Nukeproof Reactor 275 RS”

What’s a trail bike? That was always a difficult question to answer, and even more so over the last couple of years. A bit less travel is about the only constant we find if we look at a cross-section of trail bikes from different manufacturers, and even that is still up for debate it seems. Beefed up XC bike or scaled down enduro? It’s not always easy to tell, but it’s crucial that you understand the implications, especially if you’re out to buy just one bike to do it all. Nukeproof’s new Reactor is jumping right into this red-hot market segment, and it’s got some pretty solid arguments going for it – especially this Read More »

7iDP M2 Open Face Helmet

“Very comfortable, good cover, but is a sponge”

The Good:

Comfortable fit for me (I have a longer head shape)
Good coverage front, back and sides

The Bad:

Padding absorbs moisture like a sponge.
The 'Boa' adjustment cords can get caught on things.

Overall Review: The 7iDP M2 is very comfortable, the "Boa" adjustment setup works well to keep the helmet in place without undue pressure points. The only negative on this helmet, and for me it's a big one, is that the padding soaks up moisture like a sponge. And just like a sponge, once it's saturated it doesn't take much to let it all go. One minute I'm riding along, the next a bump on the helmet and a small waterfall results.

2020 Norco Sight C Custom Lyrik X01 Bike

Vital Review

“Vital Long-Term Test - 2020 Norco Sight”

When the all-new Norco Sight was originally launched at the end of October, we already had the bike on our home trails for a week to get a feel for it. Our first impressions had us a bit smitten but a long term test is what the Sight deserved. After four months and hundreds of miles on the trails, we are ready to share where we stand with the 27.5-inch wheeled version of this trail smasher. Hang on as we share our final stance with the Norco Sight and how the all-mountain bike held up in the video above and review below. Strengths Weaknesses Class-leading descending performance Aggressive geometry Phenomenal Read More »

X-Fusion H3C Rear Shock

Vital Review

“X-Fusion's Lightweight H3C Coil Shock Reviewed”

The new H3C has been slimmed down everywhere possible. It also uses a lighter spring material which brings it closer to the weight of high-volume air shocks. With the weight in check, it comes down to cost and performance. Listen for a straight-shooter's perspective after three months of ride time. Could this shock make sense for your ride? H3C Coil Shock Highlights Built for all-mountain and enduro Metric and trunnion mount Sizes: 18555/50mm, 20565/60mm, 21055/50mm and 23065/60mm overall length x stroke Platform adjustment (3 clicks) Low-speed compression adjustment (16 clicks) Rebound adjustment (12 clicks) Aluminum Read More »

Park Tool Headset / BMX BB Bearing Cup Press

“Park Tool HHP-3 ”

The Good:

Not much to say it does the job.

The Bad:

I have dropped the tool several times, I sometimes drop things, even if I am careful, but a tool like this can of course get damaged if dropper, so be careful, it seems to have caused one end to get damaged, possibly bent, but the threads got damaged for sure, the handle can't be threaded off at the end. Look at the pictures below to see the damage.
I can't recommend this tool, because it's time consuming to thread the handles on to desired spot.

Overall Review: I have used this tool several times to install headsets, bottom brackets. The tool comes with a spacer to allow the tool to spin without touching the chainstay or down tube. Product page: https://www.parktool.com/product/home-mechanic-bearing-cup-press-hhp-3 Original review Photo Album