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2011 Commencal Supreme DH Atherton Bike

“Playful frame”

The Good:

I like how agile and playful frame is, it might be 2011 but i fell in love with it about 8 months ago and can't regret that, simple linkage, strong constructiom, and awesome geo.

The Bad:

None so far.

Overall Review:

Might be an old rig, but it is badass for sure if you ask me.

Thule GateMate Pro Tailgate Pad

Vital Review

“Tested: Thule GateMate Pro”

Ever since making their first ski rack in 1962, Thule has been committed to creating solutions for hauling recreational gear around on your car. Bikes, boards, skis, camping gear - if you want to take it with you there’s a good chance that Thule makes what you need to carry it. For 2018, the company launched a new and improved tailgate pad for hanging bikes off the back of your truck, and since the company is well-known for the quality of its gear, we thought we should check out what they had come up with. After a few months on the road, here is our report. Strengths Weaknesses Flexible design able to accommodate Read More »

WTB Vigilante Tires

“Vigilante light/high grip ”

The Good:

Looks Good.
Fast Rolling.
Super “fun” cornering.
Great dry traction.

The Bad:

Heavy.
Maybe Durability?

Overall Review:

Vigilante light/high grip review. This is a short term review, as I have not had a chance to test the durability, or the wet traction on this tire. The Vigilante comes in a few options but I went for the 2.5 light/high grip witch is there softer grippy tire. Generally grip is good right? The tires stretched quite easily on to my 29mm inner rims which is always a little scary because tires that go on too easily tend to not set the beads so easily.For me getting this tire aired and set was a snap, and I didn’t need the air compressor.On the rim the tire looks good and aggressive, and it also had a nice rounded shape. Roll Speed: Read More »

DEITY Blacklabel 800 Handlebars

Featured Member Review

“Trustworthy and good looks”

The Good:

Attractive design
Strong
Great upsweep/backsweep combo
Direct feel without being harsh

The Bad:

Not the lightest
Not as forgiving as some lighter weight aluminum bars, or carbon

Overall Review:

I have gone back and forth between carbon and aluminum bars over the years without having major issues with either option, and unless I'm desperate to save some weight I generally prefer the aluminum option for peace of mind. Deity makes my favorite bars at the moment as they generally stick to my preferred upsweep/backsweep combo, and they offer nice subtle designs that pair well with most any bike. While I've used their Skyline bars before (same angles, just lighter), I generally prefer the Blacklabel as a go-to bar for every bike in my garage. The shape and stiffness are familiar, and the bars are rated for DH so I Read More »

2020 Yeti SB165 T2

Vital Review

“Vital Rides the All-New Yeti SB165, Replacement to the SB6”

The Yeti SB6 has been around since bikes with 27.5-inch wheels were first raced by top enduro pros. In practical terms, a long time. Its life officially began in 2014, when Jared Graves rolled up to the Winter Park EWS on a brand new bike and took the win. One year later he built "The Internet Killer," a dual-crown-equipped SB6c that stood atop the podium at a National DH race in Australia. Capability proven. Years passed, technology progressed, and with the things Yeti learned during the development of the SB150 and SB130, it's time for a major update to Yeti's most-loved 27.5 bike. The new SB165 is the SB6 all grown up. And yes, Read More »

Tioga Edge 22 Tire

Vital Review

“Tested: Tioga's Front-Specific Edge 22 Tire”

Tioga is what one may refer to as a legacy brand – a company with roots deeply intertwined in the heart of mountain biking – and the old school racer’s choice for giant saddles is making a resurgence in the tire game. We reviewed the Glide G3 and G3TT previously and were fans of the cornering abilities at play. Tioga replied in kind as if to say, “Hold my beer.” The Edge 22 has a familiar knob design but they’ve been arranged in a distinctly new way, creating a large center channel and greatly reducing any gap between the inner and edge knobs. Strong claims were made by Tioga and when the tire arrived it was time to put up or Read More »

VEE Tire Co. Snap WCE Tire

Vital Review

“Tested: Vee Tire Co. Snap WCE Downhill Tire”

With warmer temperature hitting the northern hemisphere and the snowpacks beginning to sluff off, here at Vital we started dusting off our big hitting bikes for a great season of shredding. Before all that and while the snow was still falling, Vee Tires filled us in with their latest project, the Vee Snap WCE tire. This new DH tire is the product of extensive R&D in conjunction with the Propain Six Pack World Cup DH team, and it brings to the table another option for riders looking for a grippy, durable and strong tire for going down rowdy terrain at stupid speeds. With several months of aggressive riding in the desert Read More »

2019 Pole Machine EN Bike

Vital Review

“Redefining Boundaries - We Test the Super-Long and Ultra-Slack Pole Machine EN”

Over the past few years, wheel size, frame material, suspension design, geometry, and just about every other aspect of frame design has changed or been tweaked within any given brand. A quick glance at the pile of hub spacers in the toolbox only reinforces the reality that the only constant in the bike industry seems to be change. At Vital MTB, we believe that change is a good thing, but only if there is a discernible improvement over the products being replaced. If brands discover a better way of doing things we’re always keen to give something new a shot, especially if it makes riding more fun. In some cases, small changes Read More »

2020 Specialized Demo Race 29 Bike

Vital Review

“A DH Racer’s Perspective: Unveiling the 2020 Specialized Demo 29”

Ihave learned a thing or two over the years of racing downhill – how to separate the wheat from the chaff as the old saying goes. So when I got the call to swing my leg over one of the most anticipated downhill bikes, from one of the most established brands, at one of the premier downhill riding destinations in the PNW, it took one second to say emphatically, “YES!” I was excited to give the all-new Specialized Demo 29 a good shakedown on tracks I’ve been between the tape on before, and I was prepared to chase Loic Bruni or Finn Iles through the damp woods of Dry Hill located just outside of Port Angeles, Washington. Read More »

Vorsprung Luftkappe

Vital Review

“Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe”

Over the past decade air suspension has advanced in leaps and bounds. From simplifying assemblies for reduced static friction to cramming chucks of solid plastic underneath the top cap to fix harsh bottom outs, companies have put heaps of time into making air suspension the best it can be. And these engineers haven’t stopped there. The refining ‘flavor of the week’ (or past year or two) has been focused on the relationship between the positive and negative air spring compartments. FOX came out with the EVOL air spring in 2018 which took volume from the positive side and moved it into the negative side. The following Read More »