Santa Cruz set out to build a new Nomad from the ground up to bring it back to meet the demands of a new type of racing.
Writing a review of a bike during a press camp is like saying you’ll marry someone after the first date. There simply isn’t enough time to get entirely used to a bike after a brief ride or two.
The international assemblage of irreverent mountain-bike hacks gathered at Santa Cruz Bicycles’ big-wheeled bike launch in Sedona, Arizona, has embarked on its third day of riding—and the fleet of shiny new 29ers has long since been covered in thick layers of Sedona’s famous terracotta-colored dust.
You’d be hard pressed to find a sub-par bicycle in the over-five-grand category. Heck, you’d be hard pressed to find a questionable bike in the three-grand category these days. Simply put, there are a lot of good bikes out there. Trek’s 2011 Top Fuel, however, is exceptional.
Felt Bicycles, as a company, has a decidedly XC racer-ish flavor to it. There are more hardtails in the 2012 line up than full suspension bikes, which is sort of a rarity these days in the bike business. And when it comes to the long-travel end of the spectrum, Felt offers their five-model Virtue series.
Our goal was to design an enduro bike that would climb like an XC bike and descend like an all-mountain bike. The Cadabra is designed to transition between climbing and descending mode intuitively, no switches necessary. Pedal forces keep the Magic Link from engaging for shorter, more linear travel, while speed and bumps engage the linkage for more deeper, progressive travel.
“Our goal was to create the best all-mountain/enduro bike possible. It needed to be light (sub 30 pounds) and pedal well on long climbs, yet have enough travel (6.5 inches) and burl to tackle the steepest. gnarliest descents. In short, the perfect “one bike” for all terrain.”
By Joe Parkin Cannondale Jekyll Ultimate $8,000 / cannondale.com Maybe it’s just me, but Cannondale’s new Jekyll is one powerful finalist in the Most Anxiously Awaited New Bike category for 2011. Perhaps it’s the unique and complex Fox Racing Shox DYAD RT2 rear shock that can change the Jekyll’s rear-travel characteristics at the flip of […]
By Brice Minnigh Intense M9-FRO $3,150 (frame with Cane Creek Double Barrel shock) / intensecycles.com When we first began riding this blood-red Intense M9-FRO almost a year ago, we were so blown away by its penchant for pure speed that we likened it to Slayer and Sepultura: Fast, uncompromising and relentless. After several months—and many […]
Before testing the Dakota D29 hardtail for this year’s Bible of Bike Tests, I hadn’t climbed aboard one of Jamis’ offerings for a long time. In fact, the last time I can remember goes all the way back to when this magazine was a toddling two-year old. I enjoyed the company’s hardtail 29er so much that I jumped at the chance to see what they’re capable of in the full-squish department. Jamis did not disappoint.
One of the newest additions to the growing Tomac line is the Supermatic 120. This new trail bike wrangles 4.7 inches of rear suspension out of an all-carbon frame that weighs just five pounds (including rear shock). So, yeah, it’s damn light. The real motivator, however, behind building the Supermatic out of carbon was to boost stiffness. Joel Smith, Tomac Bikes’ owner and principle designer, has said that his goal with the Supermatic 120 was to create “a trail bike with cross-country sensibilities and downhill capabilities.” It took just a few miles of particularly nasty singletrack to confirm that this is more than just idle talk.
From the Designer The Element MSL is designed to be one of the stiffest and lightest 120-millimeter bikes on the market while still retaining the qualities that Rocky Mountain is known for: race pedigree, rough-and-tumble durability and technical descending prowess. By developing some new technologies, we were able to hit our performance targets and create a bike that rides like a Rocky should. —D'Arcy O'Connor
The Range is Norco’s new all-mountain model. Bucking the carbon-fiber trend (for now, at least), Norco crafts the Range’s carcass out of 6061-aluminum. The main frame is a sexy mix of hydroformed tubes replete with nice touches, including integrated dropper-post cable guides and a set of finger holds, molded into the rocker link, which allow for easier portaging during hike-a-bikes.
Lively and carbon are two words not often used in the same sentence unless prefaced by the word ‘not.’ Somehow, however, Joe Breeze managed to meld these words nicely together. The bike had a playful feel, when pushed through corners and mobbed though rock gardens, usually reserved for steel or high-end aluminum frames.
We wanted to make a 29er for the non-29er crowd—no disrespect intended—a burly 29er that was made to thrash and play, yet still had the finesse to hammer uphill and on the flats. We wanted to build a bike that would be ahead of its time and would define the category. —Jeff Steber
By Brice Minnigh Yeti SB-66 Pro $6,150 / yeticycles.com We at Bike were among the first few journalists in the world to get some shred time on Yeti’s brand new all-mountain bike, the SB-66 Pro—which features a completely redesigned suspension platform intended to make it the company’s best-pedaling bike to date. In what felt like […]