A quick look at five new bikes from Transition, Knolly, Cannondale and Liv.
Gear editor Ryan Palmer's personalized Specialized Stumpjumper EVO
Devinci’s downhill beast feels comfortable from the first pedal stroke. The short 430-millimeter chainstays paired with the low standover instilled confidence to throw this bike around on rugged terrain. For a downhill bike, the Wilson pedals efficiently, and cranking out of corners was simple and enjoyable in comparison to some of the other DH bikes we tested.
Few bike companies have forged more boldly into the 27.5-inch-wheel market than Giant Bicycles, and the company's new Trance Advanced SX 27.5 certainly ignited the passion of our 2014 Bible of Bike Tests crew. Check out our latest 'Roundtable Reels' video to find out what stoked the flames of this fireside debate.
Of all 34 bikes in the 2014 Bible of Bike Tests, the Santa Cruz Bronson C was definitely one of the most talked-about. Each of our testers was fired up to see how the new 650b bike would compare with the company's tried-and-true Blur LT. Watch this video to find out what we discovered. Be sure to make it to minute marker 6.21 to hear what our gear editor really thinks about press-fit bottom brackets. You'll be glad you did.
Logan Peat and Josh Bryceland rip around Santa Cruz with two classics: the Jackal and a 1949 GM 4101 Union Pacific Streamliner. This will get you stoked to ride this weekend.
In its former life, the Intense 951 was playful, lively and nimble, leaving full-on racing duties to the M9. Not anymore. The 951 EVO has been reincarnated into a focused racer-type, drinking protein shakes and sharing gym time with the Athertons. The trouble is, it lost its sense of humor.
Given a carte blanche opportunity to build my one and only, I opted for a bike that was hopefully an evolution of my own riding philosophy. I chose the Ibis Ripley, hoping it would strike a balance between 100-millimeter-travel, XC-oriented bikes and more burly, but less XC-friendly 140-millimeter-plus bikes I had been alternating back and forth between for the past few years.
Why did the 29-inch-wheeled Turner Czar, the company's first foray into carbon, blur the lines between a trail bike and an XC race whip? And why did it make our testers feel like Superman?
The 2014 Bible of Bike Tests is now on newsstands, and it features straightforward reviews of 34 of this year's most promising bikes. We've created videos with highlights from our candid 'roundtable discussions' of each bike, all against a backdrop of shredding footage from our test trails in Sedona, Arizona. Here's the first: On the all-new GT Sensor Carbon Expert, a bike that totally took our testers by surprise. Be sure to watch until the end to find out what this bike's awesomely low bottom bracket meant for one of our testers....
It’s clear that Turner set out to make a 27.5-inch-wheeled bike that was uniquely its own with the new Burner. the high-speed stability and outstanding cornering prowess are standout ride features. Knowing that the bike climbs as well as it descends makes it an ideal candidate for someone looking for a no-nonsense, do-it-all trail bike.
The Furtado stole one editor's heart. It had all the updates from the original Juliana I’d been looking for: a lighter, stiffer carbon-fiber frame, a boost in travel, an upgrade from the single-pivot suspension platform to Santa Cruz’s VPP linkage and 27.5-inch wheels. This is how she built the bike up to be her perfect match.
If you are looking to buy a brand new bike and want to keep on 26-inch wheels then the list of options is very small, and probably getting smaller and smaller by the day. However, the bikes that are still out there are amazing, regardless of anything. Here's our short list of the best of `em.
Smack. Dang… Smack. Damn. Smack. Gawdammit! Smack. F@ck this!!! I threw the 29er to the ground and stalked off into the woods. Godalmighty, I hated these things. Stupid-long rear centers, senile shopping cart handling up front and some kind of evil Gypsy curse against the whole breed of wagon wheelers.
Marin's new Attack Trail XT8 would be a strong bike for someone who rides tight, technical terrain. The new Attack Trail is not as efficient and speedy a pedaler as some of the best all-mountain bikes, but it holds its own on climbs and makes for a competent all rounder.
If there was ever a perfect time to use the Swiss Army-knife metaphor for a bike, it’s with the Scott Genius 720. This 650b-wheeled beast is the quintessential do-it-all trail machine. The heart of this bike is the TwinLoc system, which simultaneously controls both the Fox 34 fork and Genius Nude2 shock.
By the time I got my hands on this test bike I was primed for speed. It didn’t let me down. on the first ride—my mildly technical singletrack commute, filled with abrupt, punchy climbs and sharp descents—the bike felt freakishly fast, its big wheels rolling effortlessly up taxing climbs that often leave me breathless.
Many bikes get tossed into the ‘enduro’ or ‘all-mountain’ category because they sport six inches of travel and yet they don’t possess the slack geometry, stout frame and burly parts to really excel on prolonged technical riding. The Compulsion LT, happily, is one bike that fits the bill. The Compulsion LT is no pretender.