This year is brimming with blinged out, high-zoot, lightweight and thoroughly badass mountain bikes. Those adjectives, however, don’t always share real estate in the same sentence with words like “value.” So, what the hell, here’s a list of some bikes that I think present a good value. They aren’t “cheap,” they might not even be “affordable,” but they are all a hell of a lot of bike for the buck.
liv/Giant started from scratch with its women’s line for 2014, developing the bikes from the ground up, all based around the ever-more-popular 27.5-inch wheel size. That means unique geometry, colorways and graphics and factory molds cast specifically for women’s frames, an investment few brands are making.
There are actually 11 Stumpjumper FSR bikes and three frame-only options to choose from, ranging in price from $2,900 to $9,500. The back-in-black model here—the Expert Carbon EVO 29er—is the angry, pissed off member of the sprawling Stumpjumper family. Here are our first impressions, straight from the dirt, here at Interbike 2013.
The Yeti SB66c has been called a "quiver-killer". Of course, that's been said of a lot of bikes, but is there another ultra-light, six pound all mountain bike that has been raced to a World Cup DH podium? Nope. The Yeti SB66c is a rare bike, no doubt about it--light and efficient enough to tackle all-day climbs, yet capable of smoothing the ugliest lines on technical descents.
We rode and wrote about the Scott Gambler 10 for the 2013 Bible Of Bike Tests, and we liked it. So much so that we needed to make sure we liked it as much as we did. So, we had one shipped up to Whistler for some bike park bashing throughout the summer. Here's what we found after a summer of bashing about on the Gambler.
The fall tradeshow season kicked off with the Eurobike show, held last week in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Fourteen massive halls housed booth after booth of shiny, new bikes and eye -candy components produced by the smallest and largest companies in the industry, and nearly every brand in between.
This lightweight hardtail race whip will force any rider to go faster, yet it pulls few punches in the fun department.
After a decade of development Trek's slopestyle bike finally makes it into production, sort of.
Crankworx is indeed an exhilarating festival. But it is also an exhausting one, especially for the haggard members of the Mountain Bike Press Corps. With so many contests and product launches to cover, we can scarcely find time to actually ride bikes. It was time to rise up and revolt, to liberate ourselves from the fetters of global taurine domination. It was time to leave the Red Bollocks and the Big Green Monster behind. It was time to head to Squamish for a ride with some of our buddies.
We loved the 2013 Kona Process DL. They scrapped the bike for 2014 and replaced it with a new line of both 29er and 650b bikes. Why? We went looking for answers in our latest Blueprint Series video. We've also put more than 600 miles and 150,000 feet of descending on the new bikes and have in-depth reviews of all three 2014 Kona Process models. Here's the most in-depth coverage you'll find of a bike line that should turn heads this coming season.
Rocky Mountain's Element 970 RSL BC Edition is a cross-country racer, British Columbia style. Light, efficient and surprisingly capable in technical conditions—an excellent choice for grueling endurance races.
Scott Sports has abandoned 26-inch hoops in favor of the larger 27.5 and 29-inch options on all of its trail, all-mountain and XC mountain bikes, leaving the smaller wheel size available only on its DH Rambler, Voltage freeride and dirtjump bikes and a few entry-level Aspects.
More frolicsome than its serious, speed-seeking counterparts, this bike has solid parts that make it good value.
Our gear editor went to France to try out the new (2014) Specialized trail bike models and came back blown away by a bike that had never turned his head before--the Camber. What's so great about that bike? Read on--we have his report on both the new Camber and Stumpjumper lines.
Cannondale credits its ECS-TC (Enhanced Center Stiffness-Torsion Control) system for this super-precise ride quality. And all marketing hype and terminology aside, every single one of our test riders has commented about immediately feeling this true-tracking ride quality.