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.
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.
Rocky Mountain's Thunderbolt proved itself as one of the most capable trail bikes in this year's Bible of Bike. A couple of our testers even pegged it as the most fun of all 36 bikes. Check out the Roundtable Reel review video to see why.
Salsa's Spearfish proved one of the most maneuverable XC bikes in this year’s garage, which stood in contrast to the traditionally stable, long-wheelbased trekking machines we usually see from Salsa. But even more surprising was that this bike, which we found so fun and capable, had just 80 millimeters of rear travel.
Some "women’s specific" models are actually just their male counterpart disguised in different paint and slightly different parts. Trek’s Lush earns our praise for its completely unique women’s-specific geometry. The move from 29-inch hoops down to 27.5 complements women’s geometry on paper, but how did the category-straddling Lush perform on trail?
Out of 36 incredible bikes, half of our test crew picked Evil’s The Following as their favorite. Two others mentioned it as a close second, and the only guy who didn’t say anything about the bike when asked about his favorite didn’t even ride the thing. There’s no way to truly understand how remarkable The Following is without riding one yourself, something we definitely recommend doing.
Light, confident and capable–Yeti's new 'super bike' is a better climber and descender than its predecessor, and, quite frankly, much of the competition.
Words by Nicole Formosa $5965 | IBISCYCLES.COM The Ibis Tranny 29, as its name suggests, is much more than meets the eye. What the bike appears to be at first glance is actually covering up something far more complex and versatile. And with this use of the word ‘Tranny,’ that’s a good thing. Our test
The new V10 is here, and it's dripping with carbon 650b goodness. Instead of adapting the existing design to fit bigger wheels, Santa Cruz took their time and gave the V10 a full makeover.
THE TRANSAM HAS BEEN A MAINSTAY OF TRANSITION’S LINE- for some time, and while this hardtail has worn various wheel sizes over the years–it’s currently available in both 27.5- and 29-inch versions–one thing has held constant. The TransAm is a versatile rig that’s equally at home on both buff and burly singletrack.
After an hour of soul-crushing fireroad climbing, I wound up on trails I’d never ridden. Normally I’m conservative when alone on unknown terrain, but as soon as I felt the Bad Otis snap out of the first catch-berm I couldn’t help myself. My hollers echoed through the forest as I pushed my own limits trying to find those of the bike.
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.