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DVO Onyx SC Fork

“Set it and forget it”

 DVO Onyx SC Fork

The Good:

Smooth action, plush

The Bad:

Heavy, unusual setup, not stiff enough

Overall Review: Roughly 6 months into ownership with enough time on the fork to do a lowers service (easy to do).  The initial setup of the fork was a little difficult, mainly because the Ibis traction tune differs from the (more updated) suggested settings from DVO.  I’m almost 6’4” and somewhere in the 205-210lbs range ready to ride and my bike has approximately 63.5 head tube angle and I usually run forks a bit soft.   I’ve settled on 72-75psi for most average trail riding with 80psi for those biggest hit days.  I run low speed compression wide open (1) unless I’m doing a long technical climb and only on pavement will I run Read More »

RockShox Domain RC Fork

Vital Review

“First Ride - RockShox All-New Domain”

 RockShox Domain RC Fork
All hail the e-bike. You may not own an e-bike, you may even hate the idea, but we all have e-bikes to thank for big, tough, durable products like the 2021 RockShox Domain. The 38mm stanchion Domain is great for big heavy riders like me, but in the grand scheme of things, riders like me are a pretty small subset, and we aren’t a major consideration for product managers at RockShox and FOX. If it wasn’t for the massive interest in e-bikes, I’m fairly confident this product wouldn’t exist. Without e-bikes, big heavy riders like me would still be riding flexy long-travel forks like the 36, Lyrik, and Yari instead of the Read More »

DEITY DEFTRAP Flat Pedal

“Best pedals yet”

 DEITY DEFTRAP Flat Pedal

The Good:

Strong composite body, slight concave shape, fantastic grip, huge platform, replaceable screws (M3-0.5 x 10mm), very reasonable weight for the sturdiness

The Bad:

These are not the thinnest pedals, but I'll gladly deal with a few millimeters when the rest of the pedal is almost the complete package!

Overall Review: I almost couldn't be happier with these pedals. I got the orange ones - and they look sweet! The performance is really incredible for a composite pedal. They are easy to service and sturdy as F! The only slight negative aspect is that the Deftraps are a little thicker than the thinnest pedals out there. But other than that, I couldn't be happier with pedals that cost 50 bucks!

2021 Polygon Mt Bromo N8 E-Bike

Vital Review

“Enter the Plow King - Polygon's Crazy Six-Bar Mt Bromo eMTB Review”

2021 Polygon Mt Bromo N8 E-Bike
E-Bikes. They cost more, weigh more, and are evolving at a pace that is far more rapid than mountain bikes. Polygon has decided to jump into the e-waters with both wheels. Not only is this the brand's first full-suspension offering, they are doing so with an all-new suspension platform dubbed Independent Floating Suspension (IFS). Polygon says its new bike offers and "enduroesque" ride experience. We say that's a bit like cutting your birthday cake with a chainsaw. Hang on, because things are about to get rowdy. Highlights Aluminum frame 29-inch wheels 160mm (6.3-inches) of rear wheel travel // 160mm (6.3-inches) fork Read More »

2021 Niner WFO 9 RDO 4-Star XT 12-Speed Bike

Vital Review

“Product Review - 2021 Niner WFO 9 RDO”

2021 Niner WFO 9 RDO 4-Star XT 12-Speed Bike
Niner's WFO name has been notably absent from the line and riders have been asking for its return. Happy to oblige, Niner has revived the WFO in the form of a 170mm travel 29er built upon its current RDO carbon frame. Everything mountain bikers have come to expect from long-travel bikes is present - a 180mm FOX 38 fork, FOX X2 rear shock, 200mm rotors, and meaty tires are mounted on all five builds. Vital had two testers give the new Niner WFO a go. Let's get into our initial impressions. Strengths Excellent climber Mows down any obstacle Eats up square-edge hits No harsh bottom-out Weaknesses 2.6-inch Tire Read More »

2021 Marin Alpine Trail E 2 E-Bike

Vital Review

“5 Stars - Marin Alpine Trail E2”

2021 Marin Alpine Trail E 2 E-Bike
Should we just cut to the chase? If you’re looking for a solid, playful eMTB that won’t break the bank (well by e-bike standards of course), Marin’s Alpine Trail E2, should be at the very top of your shopping list. At $6,299, the alloy-framed, mixed-wheel-size E2 features Shimano’s EP8 drive system, FOX 38 Performance Elite fork with 160mm of travel, DHX2 Performance Elite coil shock for 150mm of travel out back, and Shimano XT/SLX 12-speed drivetrain paired with powerful SLX 4-piston disc brakes. The 630wh battery isn’t the smallest or the biggest, but finds a nice balance of range and weight to get the most out of Read More »

OneUp Components EDC Threadless Carrier

Vital Review

“New Threadless EDC Tool Carrier from OneUp Components is Super Easy To Install”

 OneUp Components EDC Threadless Carrier
Storing tools in the cockpit seems like a pretty straightforward thing, but there’s a lot going on in this area of the bike and the good old starnut has been getting in the way of progress here. OneUp Components’ “Every Day Carry” or “EDC” system has been around for a good few years already by now, and it’s gone through several different iterations in that time. The first version required you to tap out a thread in the steerer tube of your fork, which was in fact a very elegant way of solving the problem although many people would hesitate to make that kind of modification to their fork (not Read More »

Leatt 4.0 Enduro Full Face Helmet

Vital Review

“Leatt’s Enduro 4.0 Is Two Helmets in One”

 Leatt 4.0 Enduro Full Face Helmet
Inheriting much of its shape from Leatt’s regular 4.0 full-face, the all-new Enduro 4.0 helmet is a 2-in-1 that converts between half shell and full face mode with a simple twist of 2 levers. As with most helmets in this category, it relies on an internal harness to fine tune the fit as opposed to the full comfort liners found in traditional full face helmets. The Enduro 4.0 is ASTM certified for downhill use, which makes it a good choice for those looking for a single solution for anything from XC rides to days in the bike park. We've had one out on the trails for about a month or so, keep reading to find out Read More »

Leatt Airflex Hybrid Knee Guard

Vital Review

“Comfort and Fit: Leatt Airflex Hybrid Kneeguard Review”

 Leatt Airflex Hybrid Knee Guard
Afew years ago, we rounded up 13 lightweight knee guards in a group test, and Leatt’s Airflex Pro delivered a solid performance that placed it right up near the very top of the table. What impressed us the most about that product at the time was the fit and comfort it provided. Fast forward to present date, and the Airflex Pro has been joined by the all-new Airflex Hybrid, a slightly more streamlined protector with added hard-shell caps on the front. How does it stack up? Keep reading to find out! Strengths Weaknesses Super comfortable Very stable fit Good direct protection of the main joint No dedicated side Read More »

2021 Marin El Roy Steel Hardtail

Vital Review

“Marin El Roy Steel Hardtail Review”

2021 Marin El Roy Steel Hardtail
It's April 1, but this isn't a joke. What has a 480mm reach and a wheelbase that approaches size-large-DH-bike territory, but is made for a rider 5'5" to 5'10"? The punchline probably won't make you laugh, but the ride sure will. The Marin El Roy is one of those freakishly long, slack, steel hardtails and the ride on this limo is considerably more entertaining than any MTB April Fools attempt. Marin is no stranger to the hardtail game when we consider they made their first hardtail over 30 years ago. Even more specifically, they're no stranger to the modern hardtail game. Marin has been pushing their line of Read More »