The best bikes and components of 2014? Each of Bike’s editors gave their spin on the “dream build”. Here’s Vernon Felton’s choice: a hopped-up version of Giant’s Trance Advanced SX. Here’s the review.
TYPICALLY, BIKE BRANDS GET EXCITED TO SHOW US THEIR latest and greatest bikes, but Specialized seemed more stoked to show us its new Henge seat at this year’s product launch in Hood River, Oregon, than the new Enduro 650b–a bike so sick that it is impossible to not to get jazzed about it.
Did you know that World Cup downhill racers tune their wheel stiffness by adjusting spoke tension to suit certain courses? Optimizing wheel stiffness can improve traction, control and comfort. Reynolds has done an excellent job at this with the Blacklabel wheels. For me, they strike a great balance between providing stable, yet supple ride–something I appreciated after experiencing how harsh some of the other carbon wheels on the market can be.
FIRST OF ALL, YES, THIS IS A VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE BIKE. BUT, the almost-unbelievable pricetag is also part of what makes it remarkable. That a brand would risk producing a bike gleaming with the most expensive parts available for such a small pool of potential buyers says a lot about the state of the women’s market.
My first ride on the new carbon fiber Remedy 9.8 29 reminded me how capable this line of bikes is, plus now it’s much livelier, snappier and over a pound lighter. It’s a markedly better ride. The bike scoots up hills just as well as the Fuel EX, but ups the ante on descents.
IT’S BEEN ONLY A TAD MORE THAN THREE YEARS SINCE YETI introduced its ‘Switch Technology’ suspension platform on its ‘SB’ (Super Bike) line of full-suspension rigs, drawing accolades from longtime Yeti lovers while also converting new members to the tribe. We at Bike were early advocates of the company’s flagship Switch Technology bike–the 6-inch-travel, 26-inch-wheeled SB-66–and we reveled in the countless hours of trail time spent aboard that capable all-rounder.
After nearly two weeks of testing, we're wrapping up the 2105 Bible of Bike Tests in Central Oregon. Here is one more batch of photos from our annual buyer's guide test. Keep an eye out for complete print and web coverage in the coming months.
Photo Gallery II: The Bike test crew has assembled in Bend, Oregon, for the 2015 Bible of Bike Tests. For two weeks, a dedicated crew of nine testers puts next year’s most promising bikes through the paces on the expansive trail systems of Central Oregon.
Photo Gallery I: The Bike test crew has assembled in Bend, Oregon, for the 2015 Bible of Bike Tests. For the next two weeks, a dedicated crew of nine testers will put next year’s most promising bikes through the paces on the expansive trail systems of Central Oregon.
For the next two weeks, 34 bikes will get poked, prodded, ridden hard, and put away wet, dusty and rattled. Then the crew will cuss, discuss, love, hate and debate until the truth behind each bike is sifted to the surface—on camera—in the annual ‘Roundtable Reels’ video debates.
This bike loves rough trail and only gets more comfortable with speed. A mid-height, 13.5-inch bottom bracket provides pedal clearance without much sacrifice to the handling, while long 17.7-inch chainstays and a 66.5-degree head angle give the bike excellent stability in the chunky bits.
While I cannot say that I like the 650b Stumpy more than the 26- or 29-inch versions, I can say that it is extremely capable.
Ellsworth's Epiphany C XC and Epiphany Enduro sport nearly identical frames, suspension travel and components...and yet offer very different rides. Which bike is better?
Try a carbon, 1x11 hardtail that weighs just shy of 19 pounds. Or if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about a 160-millimeter, 4-bar, all-mountain machine that looks like it’s ready to take on a multi-stage enduro race? Still not convinced, how about a 110-millimeter 29er that looks like it’ll give Trek, Specialized and Yeti a run for their money.