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Shimano XTR Di2 M9050

Vital Review

“Long Term Tested: Shimano's Electronic XTR Di2 Drivetrain”

C138_shimano_xt_di2_m9050
Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Courtney Steen and Brandon Turman Maybe it was our hangover from the launch party the night before, but we were overwhelmed the first time we laid eyes on our Santa Cruz Bronson test bike equipped with Shimano's electronic XTR Di2 drivetrain. "What the hell are all these tiny little wires all over the bike? Why are the shift levers backwards? And for god's sake, STOP BEEPING." Yeah, it probably was the hangover. Like many, we couldn't stand the thought of electronics on a bike. Part of why we go mountain biking is to get away from all of that. Yet here we were, tasked with Read More »
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Vital MTB member bturman
109 bturman http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/109/avatar/c50_twitter3_1382472127.jpg?1382471385 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/all 08/01/09 1156 92 5877 1058 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/bturman,109/setup 258 1113 2086 126 39

Race Face SixC Cinch Crank

Featured Review

“SixC Cinch Crankset - Not Your Average Crankset”

C138_2014_crk_sixc_2xbash_blk_3_4_blk

The Good:

Look incredible. Lightweight. Stiff. Interchangeable spindles/crankarms. Somewhat simple to install.

The Bad:

Pricey. Small issues with preload adjuster ring and BB/BB tool interface.

Overall Review: This is my second set of SixC cranks and I do have to say, they are pretty darn impressive. This review will have insights and impressions on the first and second pair I own as well as some installation advice. At well over $400 for a SixC crankset w/ chainring, this certainly isn’t for your average biker, but if you can justify spending such money you may be pleased. Initial impressions: Recently purchased a new SixC crankset for my downhill rig after used them for over a year and a half on my endure bike. Just like when I first got them on my endure bike, I was overly impressed with the craftsmanship and looks these Read More »
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Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_10514455_771835879581_189563491686125955_o_1450673946.jpg?1450673027 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 2 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 15 45

Acre Traverse Short

Vital Review

“Tested: Acre Traverse Short”

C138_optional_padded_liner_parallel_short
Review by AJ Barlas // Photos by Steve Li Acre - a brand that focuses on the minimalistic, functional side of products and less on meaningless marketing slogans - has been steadily building a following among cyclists for a number of years now. Their products are aimed at getting riders into the great outdoors with a focus on the necessities, because the extras can often result in things going wrong. Whether going on a multi-day trek or just a quick power hour rip, no one needs the hassle of garments getting in the way. The Acre Traverse short is a prime example of their mantra. This super minimalist short is all about Read More »
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Vital MTB member ardor
19406 ardor http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/19406/avatar/c50_ardor_avatar_1435645277.jpg?1435644564 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/all 10/30/12 5 3 312 4 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/ardor,19406/setup 2 24 1 92 31 4

2011 Atomlab Trailking Bike

“It's really nice”

C138_biketkg

The Good:

Light comfortable and clean
Very fun and easy to throw around

The Bad:

Paint chips and scratches easily
Dents easily too
Headset is hard to find
Linear brake mounts are ugly in my opinion

Overall Review: Totally worth it Very comfortable and enjoyable Great for urban, free ride, dirt, and park First dirt jumper I've built straight from frame and it looks beautiful I'd loose a nut before giving this thing up hah Definitely makes people want to be your friend cause your dirt jumper looks so clean Park rats turn their heads and people are always trying to get it off me
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Vital MTB member sleepy_clan
40779 sleepy_clan /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/sleepy-clan,40779/all 05/06/16 1

Maxxis Ardent Tire

“Maxxis Ardent 27.5 x 2.25”

C138_90357980_1266959103

The Good:

Amazing on loose dirt and slippery surfaces, good on wet ground, cool sound as the wheels are on pavement, strong sidewall impenetrable basically, I've thrown a lot at these tires and they haven't disappointed,

The Bad:

Tires tend to clog up slightly when going through mud (most tires do)

Overall Review: The tires will not disappoint they will tackle any surface and won't disappoint, have a few minor things which isn't too bad, amazing grip and reliability
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Vital MTB member JuzzyMTB
41431 JuzzyMTB /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/JuzzyMTB,41431/all 06/28/16 1

Race Face Love Handle Grip

Featured Review

“Love Handles Aren't Just For Thick Girls”

C138_2015_grip_lovehandle_lockon_black

The Good:

Good ergonomic design, High quality Rubber, Well thought out patterns, dual locking rings with durable bolts.

The Bad:

Questioning the durability (long term) of parts of the grips.

Overall Review: Purchased these to go on my 2016 Scott Gambler 720. I'm a firm believer that having well designed contact components (where you attach to your bike) can and will improve rider confidence which later improves skills. In terms of contact components, there isn't any other piece of the bike that is more hands-on than the grips. Thats why selecting a good pair is of the up-most importance. From flat to mega-ergonomic design, there are an endless amount of grips to choose from. After trying many grips out there throughout the years (Lock-on Charger, Squarewave, ODI TLD, Ruffian Lock-on, GX MTB, etc) I have learned that my hands Read More »
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Vital MTB member dirtworks911
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VP Components VP-Aim Flat Pedal

Vital Review

“Tested: VP Aim Flat Pedals”

C138_b014eqnonk.main.jpg
Review by Nick Zuzelski // Action photo by Carl Gray Flat pedals come in all shapes and sizes these days, and almost every model boasts some feature that sets them apart. Those features will cost you a pretty penny, however. After having lots of luck with VP's higher end flat and clipless pedals in the past, we threw on a pair of their budget-minded Aim platforms and hit the trails. VP Aim Pedal Highlights Die-cast aluminum body Forged and heat treated CNC machined chromoly axle LSL and sealed cartridge bearings 105 x 105 x 18mm platform 425 grams per pair Replaceable steel traction pins Rebuild kit available Colors: Read More »
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2655 Zoomlinski http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/2655/avatar/c50_91001400_1272558654.jpg?1290157451 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Zoomlinski,2655/all 04/29/10 1 19 22

2016 Orbea Rallon X30

Vital Review

“Tested: 2016 Orbea Rallon X30”

C138_2016_orbea_rallon_x30
by Kevin Shiramizu Following a successful overhaul in 2014, the Orbea Rallon sees a few minor geometry, suspension, and aesthetic tweaks for 2016. For this test we looked at their budget-oriented version, the X30. The 160mm travel bike is equipped with 27.5 wheels and aimed at those who like to smash everything except their bank account. The bike shares the same frame as Orbea's higher end Enduro World Series shredding models but for a lower price tag and with a bit more girth around the waistline. Highlights Hydroformed triple-butted alloy frame 27.5 (650b) wheels 160mm (6.3-inches) of front and rear wheel travel Advanced Read More »
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Vital MTB member k.shiz
14 k.shiz http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14/avatar/c50_image.jpg?1292282110 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/k-shiz,14/all 07/24/09 75 23 52 591 101 165 1 260 19 12

Easton EC90 XC 29" Wheelset

“In a World of Wide Wheels......I Still LOVE this Wheelset!”

C138_ec90xc_29_wheelset

The Good:

~ 1442 grams
~ Armored Ballistic Composite is very compliant ~ Can safely run up to 29" x 2.30" tires
~ Tiny water drain holes
~ Spins up FAST, climbing any steep grade
~ High-tension, 24 Sapim butted spokes per wheel is killer-stiff
~ Easton M-221 SL hub bearings are butter-smooth
~ Decent, 19mm internal rim width
~ Able to run SRAM 1x11 drivetrain
~ Great resale value

The Bad:

~ Almost $2000/new wheelset

Overall Review: I've demoed NOX Composites, ENVE, DT Swiss, Light Bicycle, Carbon Rovals and Stans Race Gold wheels yet, still nothing comes close to the stiff, creamy trail ride the EC90 gives. They have over 3 solid years of hard, dry, rocky, desert riding on them and the wheels are still straight as an arrow. I wanna kill these wheels so I can get something newer - but they simply don't want to die. I have even tried wide AM/Enduro(Ibis, Derby, etc.) carbon wheels....but that is still a lateral move, despite all the hype about the superiority of wide wheels. True, control and traction always trumps weight....but get those Read More »
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Vital MTB member Zachariah
26432 Zachariah http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/26432/avatar/c50_mtb_murraypk_1374164148.jpg?1374163184 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Zachariah,26432/all 07/18/13 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Zachariah,26432/setup 1 6 5

100% RideFit Gloves

“100% RideFit Gloves”

C138_100_ridefit_gloves_legend

The Good:

Breathe well, comfortable, unique graphic options

The Bad:

No knuckle protection

Overall Review: Click the link below to check out my review of the 100% RideFit gloves on my blog! 100% RideFit Gloves Review
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32917 lagocza http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/32917/avatar/c50_me_palmer_2_1451276234.jpg?1451275237 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/lagocza,32917/all 10/07/14 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/lagocza,32917/setup 2 1 3