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Ibis Custom Saddle

Featured Member Review

“Ibis Custom Saddle”

C138_ibis_saddle

The Good:

Sturdy CroMo rails, black stealth logo, clean appearance, comfy if fitted correctly, good price

The Bad:

Slightly heavy (163 g actual), medium/narrow width limits proper fit for some riders.

Overall Review:

If you feel like your swimming in a seat of saddles in the industry, you wouldn't be the only one. Head down to your local bike shop and tell them you want to buy every model available and you're have a sales receipt of over 600 of them. With so many options, when do you settle and when do you upgrade? This is a great question and should be determined based upon a few key concepts: Fit, Style, Weight, and Price. I ordered an Ibis HD4 a few months back and decided to give their custom saddle a go. Here are my impressions: Details: Stealth black Ibis logo Width: Roughly 132mm Approximate weight: 250 grams (263 grams actual) Rails: Read More »

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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

Race Face Atlas 35 Stem

Featured Member Review

“Race Face Atlas 35 Stem”

C138_2014_atlas35_stem_65_black_quarter

The Good:

Great appearance and profile, stiff and burley without being outrageously heavy, wide bar clamping surface, and oversized 5mm steer tube bolts.

The Bad:

The only color that it's available is black, which limits customization.

Overall Review:

When the going gets rough and you’re in need of a tough, stiff, stem for your single crown destroyer of dirt, you are faced with a handful of options. For a burley, high end stem like this it’s not too difficult to get into the $100 price range. With this being the case, I hope to narrow the list down and help you find the best stem for your needs. I was able to get my hands on the Race Face Atlas 35 stem, which is the burliest and stoutest stem they have in their entire lineup. With several months of riding on it, here are my impressions: Highlights: 6061-T6 aluminum. Four bolt bar clamp holds bar securely in position. Read More »

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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

2018 Santa Cruz Hightower LT Carbon CC 29 XX1 Reserve

Vital Review

“Long Term Tested: 2018 Santa Cruz Hightower LT”

C138_my18_hightower_lt_green_profile

Big wheels keep on turning, or at least that’s how the saying goes. Wagon-wheeled bikes have come into the limelight this year, and for good reason. When paired with capable suspension and well-thought-out geometry, they offer rock crushing roll-over and traction smaller-wheeled bikes simply can’t provide. We’ve spent the better part of three months on the new Santa Cruz Hightower LT sussing out the finer details of the bike. Who is it for? How did it hold up? Where did it perform best? We set out to answer all of these questions and more. From downhill bike worthy gravity laps to high alpine Read More »

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Vital MTB member jeff.brines
4240 jeff.brines https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/4240/avatar/c50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n.jpg?1321466271 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/jeff-brines,4240/all 08/29/10 13 4 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/jeff-brines,4240/setup 11 252 481 18 2

2018 Trek Stache 5

Featured Member Review

“Redefine the Way You Ride! ”

C138_2019000_2018_a_1_stache_5

The Good:

A no compromises, go anywhere, do anything mountain bike. Clever geometry makes it surprisingly nimble given the monster wheels. Traction for days. Slays descents on par with full suspension trail bikes.

The Bad:

Press-fit bottom bracket is creak-o-matic. Stock wheel set is only good for clanking against another metal object when cheering on your favorite racer.

Overall Review:

[Note: I am placing this review under 2018 Trek Stache 5, though mine is a 2016 Stache 5 (no changes have been made to the frame other than color). Mods, please feel free to move this review to another thread if appropriate.] The Trek Stache is a mold cracking, paradigm shifting, maverick of a bike design all packed into a very innocent-seeming hardtail who's silly big wheels are but the tip of the iceberg of its true magic. This is a bike that will completely redefine how you ride! A bold claim? Yes. But let me draw it out for you... First of all, set aside any biases you may have regarding 29+ wheels. What I observed after Read More »

Birzman Maha Push & Twist MTB Pump

Vital Review

“Tested: Birzman Maha Push & Twist Floor Pump”

C138_birzmanpump

The Maha floor pump from Birzman has been around for a few years, and we’ve always enjoyed both its good looks and its performance. For 2017, the Maha was given a new head, to make switching between valve types a bit easier and to make attaching and detaching the head in general a bit more convenient. Read on to find out what these changes have translated to in the workshop. Birzman Maha Push & Twist Highlights Wood handle CNC'd aluminum chamber and base New Push & Twist head design 120psi (8.3 bar) capacity MSRP: $100 USD Initial Impressions The Maha makes quite a first impression, with its Read More »

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Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 751 94 1473 1679 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 65 409 4442 123 31

Yakima Dr.Tray Rack

Vital Review

“Testing the Ultra-Convenient Yakima Dr.Tray Hitch Rack”

C138_5aa_drtray_2

There is no shortage of options when it comes to hauling your precious rig to the trail: roof racks, cheap, strap-on trunk racks, hitch racks, and even those wild suction-cup racks. Each style of rack has its own advantage, whether it be ease of securing your bike, staying out of the way of your trunk/tailgate/hatch, or simply meeting your budget. Hitch racks are a common option. They are often secure and convenient, don’t destroy your gas mileage as much as a roof rack, you don’t run the risk of forgetting your bike is on the roof when pulling into the garage or low overhang, and in general, they’re easier to load and Read More »

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Vital MTB member FredLikesTrikes
18548 FredLikesTrikes https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18548/avatar/c50_IMG_0045_1428943983.jpg?1428943532 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/all 09/14/12 7 789 63 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup 33 238 74 61 1

Race Face Turbine Dropper Seatpost

“Most unreliable post I have tried. Buyer beware.”

C138_turbine_dropper_gallery_1

The Good:

Short height allows longer travel post in some frames.

The Bad:

Horribly unreliable. Sent my 150mm back 3 times in 6 months.

Overall Review:

I have gone through many droppers searching for a reliable option. Had spotty luck with reverbs. Had a Thompson fail. Then this new post with a mechanical braking mechanism comes out. Great right, seems like someone might have figured out a good reliable system. Well 2 friends and I each ordered up a 150 version (the best option for over 125mm dropper option we thought) Less than a month later I bought my girlfriend a new bike that came with a 125 which was too long so I replaced it with the 100mm version. All is well for 3-4 weeks when friend #1's dropper starts loosing air pressure. A week or so later mine does Read More »

Race Face Next R Cranks

Vital Review

“Tested: Race Face Next R Carbon Crank”

C138_p5pb14630287

Race Face has over the past couple of years been busy expanding their lineup of cranks to the point where they have an option available for any riding style and any budget. However, that is not to say that there isn’t room for something more – and for 2017, that something is the R family of components. In case you wonder what the R stands for, it’s rally. And rally, as we all know, translates to riding your bike. Slotting into the range in between the ultra-light Next and the DH-rated SixC product families, the Next R carbon cranks aim to combine the best of two worlds in a package that should be up for pretty much any kind Read More »

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Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 751 94 1473 1679 https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 65 409 4442 123 31

2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct Carbon 50 Bike

“Rocky Mountain Instinct Carbon 50”

C138_instinct275plusgeo

The Good:

Carbon fiber front triangle

The Bad:

Aluminum rear triangle

Overall Review:

Rocky Mountain Instinct The Rocky Mountain Instinct is a great full suspension mountain bike for a trail and cross-country rider, because of its frame, wheel size, and suspension. First, Rocky Mountain makes five frames for the Instinct. There are two aluminum models that Rocky Mountain offers. One model that has a carbon fiber front triangle and an aluminum rear triangle, and two models that have a full carbon fiber frame. The difference in weight between all of the frames is only a couple of pounds. This is because on a carbon fiber frame, they have to beef up certain parts of the frame so that it is strong Read More »

Race Face Turbine Dropper Seatpost

Featured Member Review

“Race Face Turbine dropper Seatpost”

C138_turbine_dropper_gallery_1

The Good:

4 travel options, low psi suggesting longer service intervals, saddle stays locked in place when lifting bike from saddle, plenty of set-up and trouble shooting guidance.

The Bad:

Lever sold separately, mandatory 2-3mm lever play for proper performance

Overall Review:

If I could travel back in time, ten years from now and told you that dropper seatposts were going to become a standard component in biking you would probably be pretty stocked. If I told you that you’d be spending $350+ for that very dropper post, you’d most likely be a lot less excited. Well, It’s the year 2017 and that’s where we find ourselves. There is good news however because, since so many companies are making droppers now, you can find them for around $200 and even less if you buy used. Ever since the dropper posts started taking off, one thing has remained a struggle. Has anyone made a completely Read More »

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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