Tested: Scott Ransom 900 Tuned | $7,200
TwinLoc gives the Ransom, despite it being the longest-travel bike in the Mammoth Summer Camp fleet, the ability to smoke the competition uphill. Scott nailed the tune of the Nude shock this time around, giving it excellent climbing support while remaining active enough to quiet chatter and maintain momentum.
Cannondale Jekyll 29 3 | $3,800
The Gemini system makes the Jekyll very efficient on smooth, steep climbs. It minimizes suffering up long fire road slogs, but lost its momentum on the ledgy, square-edged climbs on our test loop.
Devinci Spartan 29 Carbon XO1 Eagle | $9,000
The Spartan 29 is an effective climber, adept at tighter maneuvering while still feeling efficient on smooth, drawn-out fireroad climbs too. It uses its travel for traction, though never feels inefficient or wasteful.
YT Capra 29 CF Pro | $4,300
Properly long reach paired with a properly steep seat angle. A comfy, supportive, all-day worthy billy goat in its high position, and not bad in its low position.
Nukeproof Mega 290 Pro | $3,465
With an ahead-of-its-time 75.5-degree seat angle and appropriately long reach, the Mega 290 knows it's got to earn its turns. But despite its mid-pack 150-millimeters of travel, we still relied on its climb switch for the steeps.
Pivot Firebird 29 Team XTR | $8,300
The Firebird 29 is an efficient climber. You sit within the travel, but don't blow through it, even with harder pedaling. Because it's a plusher bike with a relatively late ramp up to its stroke, there is somewhat of a seesaw effect when pedaling, but it never feels as though efforts are wasted. When things became very steep, testers noticed the seat angle felt slack and the overall positioning felt more challenging than on other bikes in the test.