The Santa Cruz Tallboy is, in many ways, the bike that proved the merit of full-suspension 29ers. But does it stack up to the new breed of big-wheeled bikes?
Although we’ve never piloted a monster truck, the feeling can’t be far off from riding the TF01 29. It’ll jump a set of 20 cars no problem, but making that turn at the end of the run can prove difficult. I felt invincible aboard the BMC until I needed it to change directions, at which point I felt, well, slightly less so.
Our crew was completely divided on Santa Cruz's flagship DH machine. With back to back World Championship pedigree, and an equally impressive price tag, the biggest debate was on value. Be sure to pay attention when the testers mention fit, as this bike runs on the small side.
This was one of the more controversial bikes we tested. On one hand you have a brilliant carbon chassis and on the other hand you have an inhibiting component spec and a love-it or-hate-it automated rear suspension.
A lot of race bikes have a fairly narrow range in which they excel. To wit, if you aren’t pinning it on a relatively buff course, some of those bikes are about as fun as donating blood. This, of course, is understandable—they are race bikes, after all, and racing generally isn’t concerned with smelling the roses: it’s about gritting your teeth and putting the hammer down and tasting blood. Fair enough. Well, the Hei Hei can do the race thing just fine, but it’s also actually fun to ride as well.
The Specialized Epic Comp Carbon made our testers want to don race bibs and give Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong a run for their money in the Leadville 100.
The latest version of Salsa's all-mountain 29er, the Horsethief 2, left some of our testers wanting to hit the trail as if they were running from the law.
Marin has made a comeback with the Mount Vision Carbon XM Pro. But how does this smartly equipped model rank against other top-of-the-line 'enduro' bikes?
LIV/Giant's 4-inch-travel Lust 1 is light, fast, good-looking and equipped with some of the best parts you can get on a bike for just over $3,000. Plus, it's one of the only brands to fully commit to designing and producing mountain bikes specifically for women. So what's the catch? Is there one? See what our testers thought.
Since when did cross-country mountain biking become synonymous with spandex, seriousness and shedding every possible gram from your bike? For most riders, it's simply about going for a shred with your friends—and, of course, going as fast as you can, both down and up.
Most mountain bikers are well aware of Specialized's flagship Stumpjumper and Enduro models. But hiding in the shadow of these standout bikes is a less-celebrated yet equally capable beast: the Specialized Camber Expert Carbon EVO 29.
Jamis has been making bikes with 27.5-inch wheels longer than most brands, so we had high expectations of the company's new cross-country whip, the Dakar XCT 650 Team. In this video, our testers debate whether the bike lives up to its promise.
The Santa Cruz Bantam is designed around 650b wheels and sports a bevy of smart features that include 142x12 rear thru-axles, ISCG-05 tabs, Santa Cruz’s excellent collet-axle pivots and a threaded bottom bracket. Best of all, the frame can be had for $1,300.
There's no doubt about it: The Rocky Mountain Instinct 970 MSL BC Edition sparked some serious emotions in our testers, leading to this robust and unfettered debate about what wheel size actually means. Check it out.
Last year's launch of the Ibis Ripley was wildly anticipated, with intense speculation over whether the 29-inch-wheeled bike would measure up to its smaller-wheeled counterparts. When the red dust of our Sedona, Arizona test trail had settled, what did our testers have to say about this bike's performance?
I don't know if I'm much of a dreamer, but when the time came to assemble my 'dream build,' I took the welcome task quite literally: I dug deep into my wildest fantasies of the all-around trail slayer.
For such an all-around workhorse of a bike, the 29-inch-wheeled Felt Virtue Nine 20 had our testers firmly divided on its strengths and weaknesses. One editor had one of his best rides of the entire Bible of Bike Tests on this beast. Watch this Roundtable Reels video to find out why.
What exactly sets the new GT Force and Sensor apart from past GT models? Why did GT decide to change things up this year? We gave Todd Seplavy, GT’s director of product management, a call to get the answers and we pulled this new GT Force out of its box and took it for its maiden voyage.
Trek's line of Superfly cross-country 29ers includes nine hardtail models and seven full-suspension versions, giving riders ample options at multiple price points. We tested the more affordable aluminum Superfly 8 on the rocky-and-ledgy trails of Sedona, Arizona.
The Norco Sight Carbon LE FS is a versatile, well-rounded bike that is perfectly suited for technical terrain with plenty of vert. So why did it have our testers splitting hairs over relatively inconsequential things such as the choice of grips? Are we really such assholes? Or is the bike just that good?