Live wires that contain the chaos.

EVIL OFFERING

With a starting price of $5,700, the Offering isn't a steal. Then again, there's no other bike quite like it.

FEZZARI LA SAL PEAK

Utah-based Fezzari is a consumer-direct brand, and its bikes are astounding values. The model we tested was specced similarly to comparable bikes that cost hundreds if not thousands more, and the $3,600 base model is an exceptional option.

 

KONA PROCESS 153 29

In a world of consumer-direct sales upheaving notions of value, the 153 29 CR/DL is not a bad value, even when pitted against mail-order competitors. This is because of its smart spec—preferential, replaceable components like the cockpit are mid-level while suspension, drivetrain and dropper are superb and the wheelset is exactly where it should be on a top-notch bike where a prospective buyer wants something light, but may eventually want carbon wheels down the line. Six thousand is a lot, and you get a lot, without room for complaint.

 

IBIS RIPMO

Ibis is a boutique brand, and you're going to pay boutique prices for an Ibis bike. But, it has broadened its build-kit options in recent years and as such, you can get into a complete Ripmo for $4,200. The rest of its builds are priced in line with the Yeti SB 150.

 

YETI SB150

The SB150 is a highly sophisticated and specialized machine with boutique pricing to match. Cost-conscious buyers should probably avoid Yeti altogether, but especially the Turq frames, which shave weight at a considerable premium.

DEVINCI TROY 29

The over-forked LTD is the only one of its kind in the Troy lineup, and it's not cheap at $5,800. That's competitive with what dealer brands of Devinci's size are offering, and we didn't have any significant problems with the build, but it'd need carbon rims or a drivetrain upgrade to compete with bigger or consumer-direct brands.

KNOLLY FUGITIVE LT

The Fugitive ain't cheap, especially for a metal bike, but Knolly sweats the details more than most. You'd be hard pressed to find a more impressive aluminum bike.

SPECIALIZED ENDURO 29

A quality component selection including SRAM GX drivetrain and Code 4-piston brakes, along with very well spec'd Fox Float 36 fork and Float DPX2 shock puts the $4820, carbon-fiber Enduro Elite right in the mix as far as value for money is concerned. For those on tighter budgets there's an all-aluminum Enduro Comp model for $3,200 with a RockShox Yari fork and Monarch shock.

MONDRAKER FOXY CARBON 29

The Foxy 29 is not a value. It's an expensive sled that's decidedly different and not looking to lure a components for 'X' dollars type of consumer. It's for somebody after something completely unique who's willing to pay for it knowing that exclusivity totes a hefty price tag.

 

Tenacious 29ers born to roam.

YETI SB 130

With perhaps the industry's highest dentist approval rating, Yeti's aren't known for their value. Our test model was decidedly doctor-priced, but you can actually get into an SB 130 for 5,200 bucks.

GIANT TRANCE 29

With an $8,300 price tag, it's hard to call the Trance Advanced 0 a bargain. But for that price tag you get a sophisticated suspension design with some very desirable DVO parts, a set of 30-millimeter hookless carbon fiber wheels, SRAM X01 drivetrain, Guide RSC brakes and Reverb dropper post, and a pair of meaty Maxxis Minion tires.

YETI BETI SB100

Every value summary of a Yeti seems to start with, "It's a Yeti, so …". And this one is no different. It's a Yeti, so with a model line that runs anywhere from $5,000-$9,000, it's not cheap. But it was never designed to be cheap. It was designed to be a high-end bike that you could ride all day, everyday, for years to come.

BMC FOURSTROKE 01

This may be the most expensive bike we've ever had at Bible. And it really has only one purpose; racing. If you're concerned with winning, this is the bike for you. If you're concerned with value, it is not.

CANNONDALE HABIT

Both builds are respectable values, but the suspension seems to come alive with a more sophisticated and tunable shock like the DPX2. Also, plan on replacing the stock Low Down dropper post. Ours were difficult to operate, binding and refusing to drop unless the rider shifted their weight onto the nose.

Wild stallions that can’t be broken.

ESKER ELKAT

The Elkat's $4,000 entry point is respectable for full carbon and a passable spec. But Esker's site allows you to choose exactly the upgrades you might want on top of that. It's like saving the $8 a month you'd have to pay for ESPN because you really want is the Scientology Network.

SANTA CRUZ BRONSON/ JULIANA ROUBION

With Santa Cruz, you get what you pay for, which can be quite a lot. Frames are sturdy, well-thought-out, and will carry you confidently through your rowdiest days. In other words, the adventures you'll have on this bike will most likely outweigh any sticker shock. It's also worth noting that Santa Cruz overall tends to hold good resale value when it's time to upgrade.

SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER 27l5

The Stumpy 27.5 Comp Carbon touts a full-carbon frame, and very wisely spec'ed but monetarily considerate parts that give the feel of a bike far more expensive than its price tag leads one to expect. It's a good value and an excellent platform to upgrade over time.

TREK REMEDY

The Remedy 9.8 is a lot of bike for $5,500. You'll find better deals online, but the Remedy packs technology and versatility that's tough to beat.

GT FORCE CARBON

Much of the Force Carbon Pro's suspension composure can be traced to the superb Fox Float Factory DPX2 EVOL shock and Fox Float Factory 36 Kashima FIT4 fork. Finding these, along with nice touches like the KS LEV Ci dropper and a SRAM X01 rear derailleur, on a bike that retails for $5,250 was a very pleasant surprise. You'd normally pay upward of a thousand dollars more for that level of componentry.

 

Short-travel shredders that won’t leave you shelled.

JULIANA FURTADO

Though the carbon X01 model we tested rang in at $8,000 including a carbon wheel upgrade, a complete Furtado build on an aluminum frame for $2,700. While Juliana still falls into the boutique-ish brand category, the line seems built around the idea of letting riders choose their experience, from pricepoint to tire size.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN THUNDERBOLT

At $5,400, the value is on par with what you'd expect spec-wise for a bike at this pricepoint, and the entry-level for the Thunderbolt is a very attainable $2,000.

ZERODE TANIWHA TRAIL

If you consider the wear and tear or the potential for catastrophic failure we've come to accept on our traditional drivetrains, the ultra-durable Pinion gearbox might eventually save you money. But it'll take a while. Those who buy this bike are doing so for the unique experience, not the value.

LIV INTRIGUE

With its top spec, this bike right up there with the priciest around. But you get boutiquey DVO suspension, which was developed specifically for Giant. If tunability is super important to you, then this upgrade might be worth the extra cash—otherwise you can go with a more standard spec and save significantly.