Latest Product Reviews


2011 Black Market Contraband

“Blk Market”


The Good:

Serious geometry, strong build, beautiful

The Bad:

not sure yet. Has held up great for me and I put my bike through hell

Overall Review: <p>I swear by Black market! I've been on these bikes for about 6 years now. Love them. The geometry is incredible. Has held up strong. I've beaten mine up pretty good and it's still in great condition. Wish I could afford to get new ones as he produces and updates his frames, but budget hold me back. Excited for the latest edit. Hoping to build one up soon! </p>

Loaded Precision AmXc Pistol Grip

“Pistol grips”


The Good:

thick, grippy, end cap color matches perfectly, cool design

The Bad:

love them so nothing

Overall Review: <p>I got some for my xc/am bike and really like them. Ordered some for my dh bike as well. They are thicker than most but that I find really helps with gripping </p>

Loaded Precision AMX Signature CroMo Flat Pedal

“loaded cromo pedals”


The Good:

color, price, strong, thin, super grippy

The Bad:

no complaints

Overall Review: <p>When I first got these pedals, I noticed they were super grippy. With 5Tens, my feet felt glued! Absolutely love them. They are light weight and super thin. No complaints so far. The color has lasted as well. I put my pedals and bike through a lot! I used to run deity, but slipped off them a few times, so I'm sticking with loaded.  I'm getting some cromo pedals for my enduro bike as well. </p>

Loaded Precision AmX Handlebar

“AmX Loaded Bar”


The Good:

colorful, strong, long, perfect for dh, reasonable price for amazing quality

The Bad:

nothing bad

Overall Review: <p>Got these bars about 4 months ago. Love them so far. The red matches my Amx rims perfectly, so they are legit. They are longer than my old bars so they are perfect for dh. I tried the flat bars and like those as well. But nothing beats loaded! They are also super light weight. Was scared of stem and bars being heavy but loaded makes them lightweight and strong, so they have held up for me </p>

2014 Nukeproof Mega AM 275 Pro

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Nukeproof Mega AM 275 Pro”


Reviewed by Evan Turpen and Jess Pedersen // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller Following a major overhaul to the tubeset, linkage, and shock tune in 2013, the 160mm travel Nukeproof Mega AM once again sees updates for 2014. When the company sat down to redesign the bike, they made it a goal to maintain the same stable, do anything feel from 2013, but with the added benefit of 27.5-inch wheels. Curious to see just how wild we could get on the revised ride, we did our best to put it through the paces in Sedona, Arizona during the 2014 Vital MTB Test Sessions. After all, any bike named after the famous mass-start Read More »

Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1116 96 6155 944,109/setup 277 1337 2339 169 41

Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V

Vital Review

“Tested: Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V”


Review and video by Johan Hjord // Photos by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord When big dog Sony entered the POV camera market a bit more than a year ago, a lot of people were rightfully excited. Sony has a long history of producing world-class video cameras, and the Action Cam (HDR-AS15V) looked like it ticked a lot of POV boxes in addition to bringing some innovative new features to the table. We reviewed that first camera, and though we found it very impressive in some aspects, there were some issues that knocked its score down a bit. Fast-forward to today and there's a new, updated AS30V Action Cam. We have been testing Read More »

Rate review: +2 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 751 94 1152 1685,94/setup 65 407 4390 120 31

2014 Specialized Epic Marathon Carbon Bike

“I'm loving it”


The Good:

ride, handling and the fit

The Bad:

too early to say, not keen on the colour but does look nicer close uo

Overall Review: <p>3 rides so far from road to gloopy mud. just changed from the 2012 expert epic and had epics before in 26" wheels. The fit is perfect for me and the handling and power delivery is ideal for the fast xc riding I enjoy. Suspension does seem better than the earlier models - although I had no complaints on those, I always wanted rigid (pedal) feel but with suspension compliance for my old(er) bones. The Epics deliver that fantastically well, super quick, exciting to ride and always rewarding. The Marathon feels stunningly quick. Raced a boy racer in a Nova SR making loads of noise tonight, I recon I accelerated faster... I am not as young as I was and the Epics have made me faster than I ever was. loving it. </p>
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Isoar
29703 Isoar,29703/all 02/13/14 2

2012 Specialized Epic Expert Carbon 29 Bike

“Loved it for 2 years then bought a Marathon”


The Good:

Handling, speed, fit

The Bad:

rear freewheel was very noisey until I serviced it then fine. Brakes had air problems - until I serviced them then fine

Overall Review: <p>Fantastic bike, every ride made me smile and every ride was faster than I thought I had in me. Great on knarley stuff and equally good on the road. The perfect bike (for me) Just let my lad have it so I could buy a 2014 Marathon. 3 rides so far and its shaping up to be even better.. Although I don't like the black as much </p>
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Isoar
29703 Isoar,29703/all 02/13/14 2

2014 Norco Sight Carbon 7.1

Vital Review

“2014 Test Sessions: Norco Sight Carbon 7.1”


Reviewed by Steve Wentz and Brandon Turman // Photos by Shawn Spomer and Lear Miller New for 2014, the 140mm travel Norco Sight makes the leap from aluminum to carbon. In doing so they’ve reduced the frame weight by a whopping 25% and improved the ride characteristics. While the geometry remains the same, Norco did take the time to make a handful of minor updates. Combining the smooth lines of carbon, a dialed paint job and a little color coordination in the component spec, this bike truly is a sight to behold. In fact, we’d wager that it’s the best looking Norco ever. Curious to see how the new carbon version rides, we Read More »

Rate review: +8 Up Down
Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1116 96 6155 944,109/setup 277 1337 2339 169 41

Shimano Deore M590 Crankset With BB

“A solid and reliable but slightly heavy and ugly crankset”


The Good:

Reliable, inexpensive, strong

The Bad:

Slightly heavy and ugly

Overall Review:

I've used this crank for over a year and I've had zero issues. Still spins reliably in mostly dry dusty conditions. I've used Many SRAM/truvativ offerings that are pretty much as good, and I marginally prefer the GXP system, but it's close. Actually I wanted a more bling crank, but I was running out of cash near the end of a build and went for something reasonably priced and well proven, and haven't been disappointed. Originally I set up the crank single speed with a guide, and now with a race face narrow/wide single chain ring, with absolutely no compatibility issues, and a nice weight saving. Ideally I'd Read More »

Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member ZMC888
6998 ZMC888,6998/all 03/03/11,6998/setup 5 25 59 1