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2018 Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon Pro XT/XTR 1x

Featured Member Review

“Playful ripper that can climb”

The Good:

Super playful and versatile. Good climber and even better descender.

The Bad:

It's not cheap. Wheels are heavy and 2.6" tires may not be for everyone.

Overall Review: Not sure how much I can add to Vital staff’s already stellar review of the Mach 5.5, but I thought I’d add in a layperson’s perspective and a somewhat long term review. I’ve been on this version of the Mach 5.5 for over a year now. I tried a few 29er’s but for the fun factor I keep going back to 27.5 as my main ride. First let me just say that I really love this bike. It’s super fun and a ripper. It’s light enough to take on long rides and has enough brawn that the only thing holding me back on DH type trails are my bravery and skills. So if you’re considering this bike, let’s dive into the details. The Read More »

Giro DND Gloves

“Perfect Daily Glove”

The Good:

Everything. Honestly this for me is a perfect day to day glove. If I'm out on a long mission that's a bit gnarlier I swap to something more padded. I love the grip on these. They fit well. They breathe well. They'll take a crash or two but don't expect them to last forever. They look good. Think I have 3-4 pairs right now. I generally buy 2-3 every time I buy a pair. End up giving a pair away every now and again to a friend in need.

The Bad:

Only knock I'd say is durability. I hear people talking about them blowing out but so far I have had zero issues with that. But take a decent spill in them and you'll need to replace them. But at this price point and with this type of glove that's what I'd expect so for me it's just not a negative. I highly recommend this glove

Overall Review: Read above. I ride with these 9 out of 10 rides. I keep a pair in both cars and in my desk at work. It's the perfect day to day glove. If it's a gnarly day or a park day swap for something with more padding. otherwise these are money. 

Ride Concepts Powerline Flat Pedal Shoe

“Love the toe”

The Good:

Reinforced toe cap. Saved my toes a couple times already
Keep moisture out pretty well. What little I've come across they've held up. Good sole. Elastic lace holder is nice. Laces are a bit long but at least there's somewhere to put them. Colors are nice
Love the mid-height because I have a super weak left ankle. These help just enough and the drop in the shoe keeps from ankle wear. Stiff enough that my feet don't tire out but flexible enough to hit the bar after a ride.

The Bad:

Sizing. I have to run them a little big but it has not been a problem. I wouldn't wear them casually but they're good enough for post ride beers.

Overall Review: I have not put sufficient time in these to give input on durability but so far they're holding up really really well. I think I have 5 or 6 pretty serious rides on them. Couple of 4-5hr missions. Few 1-2 rides. Almost no negative wear. They're comfortable. They stick to the pedals well. I think I come out of my pedals slightly less often than my Giro Jackets or Chambers. Love the tiny bit of added ankle support.  They track well when climbing. Even over wet rocks. I have done a few creak crossing in them recently and no slips. So that's good.  I really like these and I think I'll replace these with another pair of these if I can. 

Giro Jacket II Flat Pedal Shoe

“Love this shoe”

The Good:

Big fan of these. They're comfortable so day to day usage is awesome in them. If you need a shoe to wear to work and just go on a lunch ride with, not have to worry about swapping shoes... these are rad. Or a shoe you can just go straight to the brewery with after... again... great shoe. They're plenty stiff for riding but not to stiff for walking. Reasonably Durable Grip is good Breathe well so they don't get too funky They look great.

The Bad:

I prefer the sole on the original jacket. Bit grippier. Sole wears out before the shoe does Toe Cap could be reinforced a bit.

Overall Review: I have 4 pairs of these right now and 2 pairs of Chambers. I love Giro's shoes. I generally buy a pair and where them to work. As they get a bit dirty I transition them to riding shoes. So I always have 2-3 pairs in rotation in various stages of wear. One stays in the car, one in the office. Etc.  I run on 3 different flats. Diety T-Macs. Raceface Chester. Raceface Atlas. These stay planted pretty well on all of them. Usually if I slip a pedal it's my fault. In the TMAC I sometimes get stuck in an off position and have to lift my foot straight up to reposition.  I'm running a different shoe right now for Read More »

Pearl Izumi X-ALP Launch Flat Pedal Shoe

“All mountain flats ”

The Good:

Stiff sole
Water resistant
Cleans easy
Laces are great for getting it tight where you want and they have a stretch band on the tongue to tuck them away.

The Bad:

Due to the stiff material on the upper when you walk in the shoe it tends to push on the top of your foot where it bends.
The sole took a little breaking in to get a good grip with the pedal.

Overall Review: First ride with these and I was thinking I made a mistake, coming from BMX and using quite soft shoes that allow me to wrap my toes around the pedal threw me off my game. However now that I’m used to the stiff sole the advantages of having better peddling performance and more protection out way a soft shoe.

Tannus Armour

“Tannus Armour Foam tire Insert”

The Good:

Cost and ease of installation.

The Bad:

It does add weight to the wheelset.

Overall Review: I did a video review and tested them on the trails and some bench testing to see what they could handle.  Subscribe for more future reviews

Ride Concepts Livewire Flat Pedal Shoe

“Ride concepts livewire ”

The Good:

Colour options
Elastic lace holder
Fit my narrow feet.

The Bad:

Maybe not so good for wider feet.

Overall Review: I've  had these for a few months now and I like them a lot. My old shoes were teva links and these are better in every way. Better grip and they fit great too. The sol seems lower than the tevas, so I don't feel like I'm wearing platform shoes.  So far I have had no problems, and I recommend these. I haven't had 5.10s as they seem too wide and I hear about poor quality so I can't compare them. Lucky for me a shop near me had these to try on.

2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Women's Comp Carbon 27.5 Bike

Vital Review

“Long-Term Test: Specialized Women’s Stumpjumper”

This Specialized classic has gone through several generations and has been the companion to many historic tails about epic rides of yesteryear. In 2018, the Stumpjumper once again received many updates. Among them, it inherited the previous Demo’s spaceship-like sidearm main triangle design, got a bit longer than before, is now stiffer and lighter, has a geometry adjustment, and the little details are more dialed than ever. For the women’s models, a female-specific Specialized Rx suspension tune comes standard front and rear. It’s safe to say this is a big update compared to Stumpjumpers of the Read More »

Afton Keegan Flat Pedal Shoe

“good for summer”

The Good:

Good grip to the pedal, good ventilation, toe box protection

The Bad:

they´re very slippery in the rain, dont offer heel protection

Overall Review: I wanted to buy a good riding shoe, and i looked for this new brand to give it a chance, i have two monts riding it, are very confortable, and could be dressed in any ocation, the offer a good grip in the pedal but once they get wet gets very slippery, i would love a version that covers the heel because they already have toe box reinforced. The outsole needs to be rethinked because it´s getting very damaged with the pedal´s screws, and dont offer any support to the heel when it needs it, the material is very hard, is good for the confort because dont cause any pain when you´re riding, but it get shattered when the pedal get stuck in the holes. Im going to keep riding with them, are a very good shoe but can get better.

SRAM Level T Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

“Reliable and Affordable”

The Good:

Very Reliable, Affordable, Durable, Lightweight

The Bad:

No Tool-Free Reach Adjust, Not Very Powerful, Over Heat

Overall Review: The SRAM Level T's are marketed by Sram as a lightweight cross country and trail brake. Unfortunately, I can't really recommend this brake as a trail bike as they really can't handle heat that will build up on the trail. They also are only 2-piston brakes, so the power would not be as powerful as a 4-piston brake. However, I would recommend this brake to the average XC racer orenthusiast. These brakes are very light weight and affordable which isn't a bad thing. I have been using these brakes for over a year now riding some downhill, enduro, and a few cross country races. Over this long period of time, I have Read More »