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ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips

Featured Member Review

“Best grip choice for 90% of my riding”

C138_ruffian_lock_on_grips_130mm

The Good:

Proven design and nice selection of colors

The Bad:

Clamps are easily nicked, could be wider

Overall Review:

ODI Ruffian grips have been my go-to mountain bike grip for many years.The firmer feel and fine texture provides a solid contact point with the handlebars and they have enough padding for my bare hands. The Lock-On design comprised of separate parts for grip, clamps and end cap makes them easy to install, remove and repair. I use a small dab of grease on the allen bolt threads when installing them so the tiny bolts do not seize some day farther down the trail. The grips and clamps come in many different colors so you can mix and match as you wish. I prefer the silver clamp rings because they have a flashy look that goes with Read More »

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Vital MTB member thinkbike
31436 thinkbike https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/31436/avatar/c50_Vital_road_canyon_1_1470540894.jpg?1470540036 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/thinkbike,31436/all 06/14/14 23 8

Five Ten Dirtbag Shoe

Featured Member Review

“Good looking shoe for pre and post ride activities”

C138_five_ten_dirtbag_shoe_rich_blue_khaki

The Good:

Sharp looks and comfortable fit

The Bad:

Thin sole and too nice to get dirty!

Overall Review:

I picked up this pair of Five Ten Dirtbag shoes direct from the manufacturer's website on closeout special. This is the low top version in brushed brown suede with white Stealth rubber soles. The soles feature a large dot pattern for grip. When I placed the order, I fully intended to use them for all types of riding and also off the bike. My selection of mountain bike shoes are great for riding... not so great when you are off the bike. This looked like a good for both kind of shoe. They arrived in a timely manner and fit true to the size of other FiveTen shoes that I have owned. I was immediately impressed with the Read More »

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Vital MTB member thinkbike
31436 thinkbike https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/31436/avatar/c50_Vital_road_canyon_1_1470540894.jpg?1470540036 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/thinkbike,31436/all 06/14/14 23 8

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire

“My go-to mountain bike tire”

C138_schwalbe_hans_dampf_tire

The Good:

- Fast and smooth rolling, for the size of the tread lugs. I like keeping my speed and not feeling bogged down.
- Great sidewall protection so far. I haven't cut any sidewalls yet at my local trails (Pacifica) but I have with other tires.
- The bead usually seats nicely first try.

The Bad:

- I run the middle thickness Snakeskin casing. But the thicker DH casing is usually difficult to find.
- 26" options seem more limited so freeride crushers buy them while they're still here!

Overall Review: <p>In the past, I rode everything on lower profile tires. Trails to dirt jumps. I just didn't want the lag and the weight of a burly tire on my bike. But a few years ago I tried out a Hans as a knobbier front tire, and it was great. Not too heavy, and lots more grip. So then I got a rear tire, and then 2 more for my other bike. It's a great all-around tire with multiple rubber compounds and sidewall options, to meet your specific needs. Mine have not only lasted, but haven't blown up or torn either. I actually just switched my friend over from Mtn Kings too! </p>
Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member filmdrew
4783 filmdrew https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/4783/avatar/c50_89543130_1286497738.jpg?1290163929 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/filmdrew,4783/all 10/07/10 4 4 2 1

SCg Sound Shoe

Featured Member Review

“Simple, but unbelievably durable.”

C138_scg_colorways_sound_shoe

The Good:

- The outsole has lasted over a year, which is really standout among all the other shoes I've ever worn.
- They have a nice grip, even though they're not "sticky rubber". - The fit is really really comfy... like a chillin shoe, except it's for riding. The natural suede forms to my feet better than synthetics have.
- Awesome company that's rider-owned. They pretty much hook everyone up if the shoes ship out late or something. But I've not actually heard of any delam issues at all.
- the insole is crazy. It has the same squish after a year..
- Price is way lower than it should be. Usually sell for 70 bucks but they act like a 120 shoe.

The Bad:

- Features are almost hidden. but they're there. Could have a stiffer heel cup.
- I bought 2 pairs last year and on one pair the laces just don't stay tight. But-- the laces are shorter than the long floppy laces out there, which is better I think.
- Could have a more aggressive tread pattern, for hiking, But it really hasn't been an issue for me in loose-over-hardpack trails.

Overall Review:

My SCG's are basically the most comfortable riding shoes I've ever found. And they've lasted way way longer than any shoe I've ridden in the past 10 years. It's pretty much a totally new shoe design, even though on the outside they look fairly 'flat'. The grip is unique in that it's different and better feeling than the other standards out there. You can move your foot freely when you want to reposition. So you don't feel stuck. But then when you put pressure down they grip really well. Some newer pedals with rounder pins (made increasingly to not tear sticky rubber) don't grip as well as classic straight pins. So go for Read More »

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Vital MTB member filmdrew
4783 filmdrew https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/4783/avatar/c50_89543130_1286497738.jpg?1290163929 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/filmdrew,4783/all 10/07/10 4 4 2 1

2018 Transition Smuggler GX Bike

“Amazing Trail Bike”

C138_transition_smuggler_gunsmoke_gx

The Good:

Very stable, punches way above its weight, not afraid of anything, enormously fast on the straights, very smart build for the price

The Bad:

A bit heavy, cannot add more volume spacers in the rear shock

Overall Review: <p>Where it shines: Singletrack slayer. Very, very fast. Proficient at popping and pumping. Corners like a bobsled. Solid as a bank vault. Good climber, not as good as a virtual-pivot bike or a DW-link, but very competent. All-around party machine. Where it lacks: It is a bit heavy feeling on steeper climbs, but honestly not bad. It has a tendency to make you forget you are on a 120mm trail bike and not on a destroyer-of-worlds war-chariot and that can get you into trouble, but that's more of a plus in my opinion. </p>

Shimano M545 Clipless Pedal

Featured Member Review

“Heavy weight, jack of all trades (master of none)”

C138_shimano_m545_spd_pedal

The Good:

Burly design with trouble-free SPD pedal body

The Bad:

Very heavy and extra pivot point is prone to fail

Overall Review:

As a regularuser of minimalist SPD pedals for many years, I purchased the M545 pedals because I wanted the extra protection and security of the larger platform and didn't mind the trade-off for heavier weight. A pair of these will add about 567 grams (1 1/4 pounds) to the weigh-in total for your bike which is a couple hundred extra grams compared to the more minimal SPD pedals. What do you get for that extra half pound? The SPD pedal body works fantastic and spins well on the chromoly spindle with very low maintenance bushings. The added aluminum platform is functionally grippy and big enough for support, but not so Read More »

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Vital MTB member thinkbike
31436 thinkbike https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/31436/avatar/c50_Vital_road_canyon_1_1470540894.jpg?1470540036 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/thinkbike,31436/all 06/14/14 23 8

Magura Storm Rotor

“Solid, no frills performance”

C138_br266l01

The Good:

Simple one-piece design

The Bad:

Heavy weight and low tech compared to other options

Overall Review:

Magura Storm rotors have been a solid, no frills performer for me! This is the slightly heavier Magura rotor compared to the Storm SL and weighs about 30-40 grams more per rotor. I didn't see the minor weight savings of the SL model as an advantage for performance. Because the regular Storm has more material, it also has more braking surface - and possibly more cooling properties and better durability - compared to the lighter SL. I run the 180mm size on the front and back. Storm rotors don't have the latest composite metal design or attached fins like some of the modern choices, but under all but the worst conditions, they Read More »

Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member thinkbike
31436 thinkbike https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/31436/avatar/c50_Vital_road_canyon_1_1470540894.jpg?1470540036 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/thinkbike,31436/all 06/14/14 23 8

Shimano XT PD-M770 Clipless Pedals

Featured Member Review

“Reliable SPD pedal for epic rides”

C138_l13339

The Good:

Long-lasting and durable design

The Bad:

Collar nut can loosen, Allen bolt is only option to tighten

Overall Review:

This is one in a long line of Shimano's classic minimalist SPD pedals and a similar design as the M520, M540, and M980. Although it is a discontinued XT model (replaced by the M8000 series), you can still find this pedal among old stock or it can be picked up for a song in used condition online or from a riding buddy. The bearings will spin smoothly for over a decade for most users and they are nearly indestructible.There is no platform for support when you are unclipped, but this also means there is less pedal body to strike rocks. Seals are very good and keep the dirt and water out. They are Read More »

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Vital MTB member thinkbike
31436 thinkbike https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/31436/avatar/c50_Vital_road_canyon_1_1470540894.jpg?1470540036 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/thinkbike,31436/all 06/14/14 23 8

Nicolai Ion-G16 Frame

Featured Member Review

“Nicolai G16”

C138_frame_ion_g16

The Good:

Everything you've ever heard about this bike's geometry is true - it's just better at literally everything, but there's a lot more besides the numbers headlines.

The Bad:

3 small beefs.
It's 1x specific (it looks like you can run a front mech, but you really can't) which slightly limits its range in steep hilly areas.
There are no water bottle mounts.
And the flip switch shock chip is kind of pointless, because running the lower travel option doesn't make it any more efficient, change the geometry or make it lighter (obviously) - it's just limiting.

Overall Review:

If you're considering buying a G16, it's pretty likely that you'll already have read the whole internet about these bikes. They're pretty radical and you don't just pick one up from your LBS. It's not exactly an impulse decision. Well if you haven't managed to ride one yet, the good news is that all the hype is real - and you really should consider testing one before you look at other options. The basic fact is that they're just faster than anything else - and by miles. Riding a G16 is like listening to a really load and distorted music and being able to just turn down the volume. It just calms everything down and the faster Read More »

Ibis 738 Aluminum Wheelset

Featured Member Review

“Ibis 738 Aluminum Wheelset”

C138_ibis_738_aluminum_wheelset

The Good:

House 2.35" to 2.8" tires (2.6" and 2.8" excellently), rims are light weight for their width, hubs come with a 2 year warranty, offer great responsiveness with minimal flex, budget friendly.

The Bad:

Hub only has 36 points of engagement, walls of the rim are thinner than others.

Overall Review:

There is seemingly an endless sea of wheels now days. Every major manufacture offer their own sets as well as multiple aftermarket brands to choose from. With the growth of the industry, there have emerged components to fit every niche, and this couldn’t be more true about wheels either. With the introduction of 27.5”+ tires and sub + options (2.6” wide), Ibis came out with their very own alloy wheelset: 738 Aluminum Wheelset. I got my hands on a set and with a few rides on them, here are my impressions: Key Specs: Asymmetric profile 6066 aluminum rims with a proprietary tubeless profile Accommodates 2.35” to 2.8 Read More »

Rate review: +3 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_14881538_1588539877838281_1800798274_o_1477766735.jpg?1477766635 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 8 4 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 2 46 108