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e*thirteen TRSr Cassette

Vital Review

“Tested: e*thirteen TRSr 9-46 Cassette”

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The single-ring mountain bike drivetrain revolution is in the history books by now, leaving us with greatly simplified bikes while retaining enough gear range to get up and down all but the steepest of hills with ease. E*thirteen joined that party just a few short years ago, but their innovative take on the cassette sees them at the top of the range game while retaining a lower profile and generally lower weight. How did they do this? By splitting the cassette in two parts and reducing the smallest cog to 9 teeth, they were able to achieve 511% of range without needing to go bigger than 46t at the low end, all while Read More »

7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pad

“Initial impressions”

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The Good:

Pretty comfortable (can easily be pedalled in all day, IMO).
Extra long for some shin protection.
Breathable aka not /too/ hot.
Stay in place quite well.
Sizing seems pretty spot on.

The Bad:

Warmer than a knee warmer.
Some bunching behind the knee.
RIDICULOUSLY expensive for what they are (but hey I'm the sucker who bought 'em).
Concerns about level of protection with EN level 1.

Overall Review:

I took the plunge on these (a very spendy, especially for me, 90 plunge) after trying a couple of contenders to start with; I started with a pair of Alpinestars Paragon knees as they were the cheapest. I really liked them as they were really breathable, as well as being pretty damn comfy. So much so that it almost felt like riding padless. The problem was that the silicone grippers started to fall off after a week of use. Sent them back and got a full refund. In their defense this could have easily been a one off, so don't discount these. On the other hand I've heard they don't protect as well as some others, anyway on Read More »

Ride Concepts Wildcat Flat Pedal Shoe

Vital Review

“New Kid on the Block: Ride Concepts Wildcat Flat Pedal Shoe”

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When it comes to flat pedal shoes, we’re currently seeing a proliferation of new models and even new companies popping up, all promising great grip and better quality. As our recent flat pedal shoe Face Off proved, we do have more viable choices now than ever before, but there is still room to improve – and that is exactly what upstart Ride Concepts has set out to do. Hailing from Truckee, CA, this young company has spent the last 18 months perfecting the design of their first offerings, and the result certainly looks impressive on paper. What does it all add up to on the trail? Read on to find out! Strengths Read More »

2019 Yeti SB150 TURQ X01 Eagle Race

Vital Review

“Yeti's Biggest 29er Yet: Meet the All-New SB150”

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SB150 Highlights 29-inch wheels High-modulus carbon fiber frame and swing arm with C-Series and TURQ material options 150mm (5.9-inches) rear travel // 170mm (6.7-inch) travel fork with shorter 44mm offset Switch Infinity suspension system with two-piece wishbone-style shock extender 230x60mm Metric shock Compatible with both air and coil-sprung shocks Tapered integrated headtube (41mm/52mm) Custom downtube protector and chain guards Internally molded carbon tubes inside of frame for improved cable routing Integrated axle and derailleur hanger system Boost hub spacing, front and rear 29x2.5-inch tire clearance Read More »

2019 Fezzari La Sal Peak Pro

“Speed master”

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The Good:

Fast, corner slayer, does not feel like a big bike at all

The Bad:

brand name

Overall Review:

I had a chance to ride this bike in Crested Butte last weekend. The bike is amazing, corners like a bmx, I was laying this puppy side ways on the berms and the rear just railed. Very impressed by the new design, chatted with Tyler for a while. A very passionate and knowledgeable individual. Bike is light, and agile, pops off anything, and just like a slacked 29er rolls over the rocks like they are not there. The only other bike that i have ridden that come close is the EVIL Wreckoning. the seat tube angle is not the typical angle and you could it will make the climbs much easier, while railing on the down. As they get more media and people riding these bikes, I think it will be shown that this brand is a contender and its playing the long game. Keep at it. Good luck guys

Chromag Contact Flat Pedal

Featured Member Review

“Chromag Contact Review”

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The Good:

Grip is excellent with pins fully extended, adjustable pin locations, concave shape (if you're into that sort of thing), durability, extra pins included.

The Bad:

When the pins are fully extended the shear point is ineffective, anodizing wears quickly.

Overall Review:

While Chromag bills the Contact as a dirt jump/slopestyle pedal, I have been using it on my trail bike for the past 20 months. This test was conducted with the Five Ten Freerider Pro shoe; a softer shoe that tends to conform to the pedal rather than provide a stiff platform to stand on.Chromag has a reputation for making high end, extremely durable components, and the Contact in no exception (besides the pins-we'll get into that later). I have used and abused these pedals through two Coastal BC winters, and after too many rock strikes to count, the pedals certainly look thrashed but still spin with similar resistance to Read More »

2019 Trek Remedy 9.9

Vital Review

“Tested: The Revamped 2019 Trek Remedy 9.9”

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Itis as close to any objective statement as an opinion can be: the 2019 Trek Remedy sitting in the Vital garage is a damn good looking bike. Clean lines, bold carbon molds and a tuxedo-classy paint job. Trek’s popular trail machine is back in a new version, and like the Session and Slash it now has a stationary lower shock mount – no more Full Floater. Trek states that with updated shock technologies, primarily RE:aktiv and Thru Shaft, off-the-top sensitivity and overall rear suspension feel no longer require the action of the floating shock mount. The Remedy also gains some stiffness and tire clearance, loses about 100 grams of Read More »

Smith Squad MTB Goggles

Featured Member Review

“Cooler Squad”

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The Good:

Good fit. Better lens options for different lighting. Excellent ventilation.

The Bad:

Lower field-of-view than other manufacturers.

Overall Review:

I've been dying to get the Smith Squad MTB Goggles ever since I read the reviews on a mountain bike magazine. They looked way cooler than other brands. So I asked a friend to buy one for my while she visited the US. There are lots of replacement lenses and parts if you botch yours. True to the review of the magazine, it had excellent ventilation. Not once did I feel any overheating. Good airflow above and below the lenses help to dissipate heat. I also like to ability to choose a lens especially one appropriate for riding here in the Philippines. You can also choose a strap. Its also faster to replace the lens. I had to use Read More »

100% Accuri Goggles

“100% Accuri Goggles”

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The Good:

Wide field of view. A wide variety of lens available for colour-coordinating riders.

The Bad:

Heats up after a while. Less options for straps.

Overall Review:

I've had the 100% Accuri goggles for over a year now. It’s the more easily available googles in the Philippines with several distributors in Manila. I’ve tested it both in a full-face helmet and a half shell. It had a good, wide field-of-view. The goggles is easy to clean with the supplied bag. It has a good variety of lens available to different light conditions. I mostly use the clear lens so I don’t have to wrestle with frame and lens. I’ve used it for rainy and summer seasons. The bad. One: the lens is very hard to remove and install. You have to carefully pry the notches and move the frame this way and that to remove and install lenses. Two: it feels like a sauna in there. The airflow is restricted by the foam, both on top and below the lens. I’d use this as a back-up goggle.

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Flat Pedal

“Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Flat Pedals”

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The Good:

Good, wide flat pedals. Easy to service with the grease ports. Left and right specific

The Bad:

Pedals not concave. Pins need cleaning after a few runs.

Overall Review:

I've chosen the Crankbrothers Stamp 7 flat pedals to replace my locally-made MOB flat pedals. I've had that pedal for three years and worn out the pins. I like the wide surface area of the Stamp. The pins can be adjusted using a #2 Allen key for shallow “barely there” bite to tacky, shin gouging experience. Mine leans on the shin gouging after a few tries. I removed the pins that sides on the axle on both sides of both pedals. I liked the support of the wide surface especially on rock gardens and flowy trails. I don’t have to think about keeping my feet on the pedals and focus on my lines instead. I’ve had several Read More »