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SRAM Guide RS Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

“Stopping power for cheap”

The Good:

The brake 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 levery 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-trail bikes having great 4 piston brakes now. The servicing is kind of a pain in the ass and its not as easy 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

Shimano SH-ME100 Clipless Shoe

Featured Member Review

“Okay comfort for a basic price”

The Good:
-One of the cheapest choices
-Durable materials
-Wide cleat adjustment range
-Good traction when off the bike

The Bad:
-Top strap can hurt the foot/ankle area when walking
-Could be more comfortable in general

Overall Review: I bought those shoes to try SPDs after a 7-8 year hiatus from clipless pedals. I usually ride flat pedals and every once in a while I want to try to ride clipless again, so I did not want to spend too much on those shoes. They are basically one of the cheapest choices to get into the clipless world. Visually-speaking, they are pretty subdued, which is a good thing in my opinion. I like the simpler, flat black finish compared to the previous SH-M065 version which were glossy black with grey lines. They have the same tread pattern, but the newer ME-100 version are better looking in my opinion. I have tried both the old and Read More »

Shimano M520 Clipless Pedals

Featured Member Review

“Awesome cheap pedals”

The Good:
-Cheap
-Reliable
-Adjustable tension
-Well sealed
-Comes with cleats

The Bad:
-For the price, not much to be found!

Overall Review: The PD-M520 are the most basic and cheapest Shimano clipless pedals available. It’s basically an axle and the mechanism screwed on it, no platform or funky colors. This makes for a cheap, reliable mid-weight pedal (380g) with not much to use or break. The pedals don’t spin too freely on the axle (maybe they end up doing it when the bearings are older), which it is a good thing because it’s much easier to clip in when the pedals don’t rotate too easily. It comes with the Shimano #51 cleats (4 degrees of float) which are supposed to be more secure than the #56 multi-release cleats. I have never tried the Read More »