Latest Product Reviews


RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork

Vital Review

“Tested: RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork”


Review by Jeff Brines // Photos by Patrick Nelson RockShox has reintroduced the Pike for the 2013 season, and they've aimed it squarely at the Enduro and trail market. Like the kinda-sorta-cute girl who moved away in the 6th grade, she’s back for senior year, fully grown up and turning every head in class. The fork appears to offer an unprecedented blend of feather-like weight, stiffness and trail eating performance. But how did it stack up in real world testing? After several months of riding, here are the results... Pike RCT3 Highlights Travel options: 26 or 27.5-inch 150mm or 160mm // 29-inch 140mm or 150mm Weight: Read More »

Rate review: +10 Up Down
Vital MTB member jeff.brines
4240 jeff.brines,4240/all 08/29/10 13 4,4240/setup 11 252 481 18 2

2012 Trek Session 9.9

“Frame only”


The Good:

Carries speed through everything, extremely predictable, stable but nimble, and very easy to maintain.

The Bad:

I would rather a double barrel over the Fox RC4.

Overall Review: <p>This is the best frame I have ever owned. Even with some of the heavier parts I chose to build it with it still weighs 24 pounds. This bike carries so much speed and is so predictable that you will drop time off on your favorite trails.You get an amazing amount of feed back through the frame. It does park riding extremely well and you can send any jump comfortably but can also take the rockiest most technical trails and smooth them out (compared to other bikes). I can not say anything bad about this frame.</p>
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member freski93
12701 freski93,12701/all 01/14/12,12701/setup 1 2

Specialized Roval Traverse SL Complete Wheel

Vital Review

“Tested: Specialized Roval Traverse SL Wheels”


by Jeff Brines When considering top shelf wheels, Specialized may not be the first company that comes to mind. However, it appears the Big S is trying to change that with the introduction of their all mountain oriented carbon-hooped Roval SL wheelset. With over 150K of descending (and ascending) under our belt on the 26-inch version, it’s time for an in depth look at how these (more) wallet friendly carbon wheels have fared so far. Specialized Roval Traverse SL Highlights Carbon rim Internal Rim Width: 22mm, External 29mm Tubeless Ready out of the box Radial/3-cross front spoke pattern, 3-cross (1:1) rear Read More »

Rate review: +4 Up Down
Vital MTB member jeff.brines
4240 jeff.brines,4240/all 08/29/10 13 4,4240/setup 11 252 481 18 2

Maxxis Monorail Tire

“A fast, light, hard wearing rear tire”


The Good:

Fast rolling, hard wearing, comes TR and LUST

The Bad:

Descending and braking traction at 35psi plus, would prefer a bit more volume and a tad more width

Overall Review:

I bought this tire because I need to ride road and climb before I can open up and have real fun and descend.I teamed this up with a Maxxis Minion single ply 2.35 EXO on the front because they are both ERTO 52. It went on easy on my TR rim tubeless with a floor pump first try, no soap, removing the valve or Stans on the sidewall. The Monorail climbs really well. The only fault I found was braking traction especially on loose over, that is if you stick to the recommended 35psi or more. However if you drop the pressure to 25-30 range there is much more bite. I'd certainly consider buying again although I probably try something Read More »

Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member ZMC888
6998 ZMC888,6998/all 03/03/11,6998/setup 5 25 59 1

2013 GT La Bomba 2.0 Bike

“Gt la bomba 2.0”


The Good:

Solid frame, awesome tires, decent price, and decent components.

The Bad:

Basic avid brakes leave something to be desired. Crankset is not that great.

Overall Review:

First off, I bought this bike to use for cruising around town, and messing around with on jumps. I immediately put some Tioga Powerblock tires on, as they don't make as much noise cruising on pavement. The stock dirt tires are awesome though, and I kept them, in case I wanna do some dirt riding with this bike in the future. This bike is a slopestyle bike, made to take massive abuse from huge jumps, so it is more than strong enough for my purposes. The avid elixer 1 brakes are not the best, but they work well for cruising around. I'll probably upgrade them in the future. The drivetrain is an ok spec. It works well, but I plan on Read More »

Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Ben_Kotrba
26985 Ben_Kotrba,26985/all 08/21/13,26985/setup 1 1

2013 Mondraker Foxy RR Bike



The Good:

coming from a DW LINK frame to this FOXY, this frame really has all the good things that my old DW LINK frame had. and it feels better. more progressive. better angles,

The Bad:

none so far. maybe just a mud guard could be nice to have...

Overall Review: <p>built this frame with a revelation 150 mm fork. and all my favorite parts. Easton bar carbon "light bicycle" rims Maxxis minion 2.35 f tires great bike!! </p>
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member Yossi_Sarusi
14977 Yossi_Sarusi,14977/all 04/20/12,14977/setup 3 36 1

Teva Pivot Clipless Shoes

Vital Review

“Tested: Teva Pivot Shoes - A Love/Hate Experience”


by Noah Sears The Pivot is Teva's first foray into the clipless shoe world. Aimed at the piping-hot enduro and trail markets, the Pivot blends skate shoe styling with cycling shoe performance. Teva Pivot Highlights Designed for trail, all-mountain and enduro use PedalLINK clipless outsole Composite midsole plate Spider365 Rubber sole Lugs at the toe and heel for off the bike traction Compatible with all major 2-bolt attachment systems Optional cleat attachment from top to protect hardware Hook and loop strap keeps laces out of the chain Sizes 3-15 US Black and light grey colors Weight: 446 grams/15.7 ounces (Size 11) MSRP Read More »

Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member NoahColorado
128 NoahColorado,128/all 08/01/09 1 3 364 29,128/setup 4 96 416 6

2013 Giant Reign 2 Bike

“Excellent all around bike!!”


The Good:

This bike is great on the uphills, destroys the downhills, and (with the correct shock tuning) absolutely flys through the rough stuff without a hitch.

The Bad:

In all honestly I have nothing bad to say about this bike.

Overall Review: <p>Sweet bike. It climbs, descends, transitions between the two with ease, and jumps great. This bike has eaten up every type of terrain that I have put it through, and has been really fun to ride.</p>
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member idahofreerider94
26448 idahofreerider94,26448/all 07/19/13 1

MRP G3 Chainguide

“lasted six short runs”


The Good:

looks awesome and did run smooth

The Bad:

made from plastic that breaks easy.

Overall Review: <p>Mine broke in the same place as mentioned in the review. It cant be blamed on using unapproved cleaners or lubricants because the whole transmission was new.Should last more than six runs at the ski hill for the price. I think they need to go back to the drawing board on this one and make the slider out of alloy or Al. I hope the customer service is better than the product. </p>
Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member erockjmet
26864 erockjmet,26864/all 08/11/13 1 1

2013 GT Sensor 9R Expert Bike

Featured Member Review

“2012 GT Sensor 9r Expert”


The Good:

I-drive suspension works well. Formula RX brakes and levers are excellent.

The Bad:

Stand-over clearance will have you singing soprano.
Crazy long wheelbase.
Rock Shox Recon Gold mates choppy travel with lots of lateral play.
Alex XD-Lite rims are weak.
Maxxis Aspen tires not ideal (regional consideration).

Overall Review:

[Note: This review is of the 2012 model which appears to be identical to the '13.] Without burying the lead, I will start by saying that I consider GT to be an iconic bicycle brand and I have ridden many GT's in the past including my first mountain bike, a 1993 GT Tequesta. I wanted to love the Sensor 9r so badly but after about three weeks and 15 rides I ended up returning it. Here's why: On paper the Sensor 9r Expert seems like a good value with Fox's Float CTD shock, RockShoz Recon Gold fork and Formula RX brakes. One thing I noted from the moment I climbed on the bike is that at 5'10" with a 30" inseam, the size Medium Read More »

Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member Arkstorm
26789 Arkstorm /images/default/avatar/c50.png,26789/all 08/08/13 2 7