When Santa Cruz’s Tallboy debuted in 2009 it quickly established itself as The Bacon of 29ers. But does it hold up to the new breed of full-suspension wagon wheelers?
First, know this: The three bikes released today from Santa Cruz are nothing like the trail and all-mountain bikes the brand has become synonymous with in the last three years. There is no rear suspension on any of them, and no suspension at all on one. Instead, Santa Cruz has gone back to the drawing board on two models that will already be familiar to followers of the brand: the Highball and the Stigmata.
After a five-year absence, Specialized brought back the cross-country Era for 2015, redesigned with 29-inch wheels, women’s-specific geometry, top-shelf components and an all-carbon frame.
You might have noticed that we’ve already reviewed this bike. What gives? Well, you know that one guy who whips everyone’s asses on the climbs and the descents, bunny hops over a picnic table on the way home and then drinks everyone under the table that night? The carbon Remedy 29 is that guy.
“A bike for Bo and Luke Duke, maybe even Chuck Norris,” commented one tester. That seems about right. Bo and Luke can drive the wheels off a car, and the Phantom, like the General Lee, really shines with someone who can ride the wheels off it.
RDO, in Niner nomenclature, is short for ‘Race Day Optimized.’ In the case of our test Jet 9, this is embodied in a carbon-fiber frame using Niner’s patented CVA suspension to squeeze 100 millimeters of travel out of a Fox Float CTD shock.
The Norco Sight Carbon Forma was the most polarizing bike in the women’s test, eliciting a different opinion from each rider. But one assessment was consistent–when pointed downhill, this bike rules.
We tested both the 29-inch Enduro and the new 650b version. The latter piqued our testers’ interest, given how perfectly the smaller wheel size fits with the Enduro’s best-of-both-worlds mantra.
It’s not every day that our test crew rides a bike that sparks an impassioned debate over the vagaries of punk rock in an increasingly corporate world. But that’s exactly what happened after we took the 5010 Carbon S on some hot laps around our drop-filled test loop.
YETI ASR C | $5800 | YETICYCLES.COM It’s not every day you hop aboard a ‘cross-country’ bike and find yourself intentionally seeking out the chunkiest lines you can find. But during my time on the Yeti ASR C, that’s all I could think about. While the mostly buff singletrack of Central Oregon’s Dutchman Flat trail
When Kona announced its redesigned Process bikes in 2013, we knew it would signal a turning point in mountain bike design. The new bikes featured longer top tubes paired with shorter stems. They also had uber-short rear ends, and were purpose-built for dropper posts. The Process 111 is the big-wheeled bike in the lineup, and it's a much more capable rig than its 111-milimeters of rear-wheel travel suggests.
It would be completely forgivable to mistake Liv's Intrigue for Giant's Trance. Yet while the two bikes' silhouettes are nearly indecipherable, the Inrigue's geometry is, in fact, ladies-specific and completely different from the Trance's. Watch the video to see how the Intrigue performed on some of Oregon's finest singetrack.
Pivot's Mach 6 falls squarely in the busting-at-the-seams all-mountain segment, sporting a head angle of 66.5˚ and 160 millimeters of travel. The Arizona brand worked with suspension-whisperer Dave Weagle to create a bike that we found to be fond of high-speed descents but also quite efficient on climbs. But of course, these days there are lots of bikes that match that description. Check out the video to see if Pivot's Mach 6 stands out amongst the crowd.