Our annual collection of bike reviews hits newsstands today, packed with in-depth dissections of some three dozen of the best trail, all-mountain and enduro bikes on the market. You can find the 9th annual Bible of Bike Tests at your nearest purveyor of print, or through iTunes HERE. The digital edition includes links to all of our Roundtable Reels video debates about the bikes, which we’ll also be rolling out on bikemag.com over the next two weeks. This year, we’ve expanded our insights to include head-to-head match-ups of popular bikes, to help you make your ultimate buying decision once travel and wheel-size options have been narrowed.
This year, our crew of nine reviewers holed up for two weeks in Marquette, Michigan, to run each bike in the test through lap after lap at the South NTN trails to gauge performance on high- and low-speed climbs and descents, and on a variety of terrain—from rocky, rooty and steep, to fast berms and jumps. The result is this, the most comprehensive collection of reviews in the industry.
This year, we split bikes into three categories dictated by wheel size—27.5, 29 and Plus—in order to avoid confusion around what constitutes ‘trail,’ ‘all-mountain’ or ‘enduro’ categorization. With the lines between classifications more blurred than ever, we wanted to assemble the best short-, mid- and long-travel bikes possible, regardless of where they might fit in a marketing plan.
We also take you inside the mountain bike community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where locals built a singletrack utopia through diligence and unending commitment to the cause. The story, told by Bike’s managing editor, Will Ritchie, and shot by veteran photographer Scott Markewitz, details the unconventional path the U-P took as it evolved into one of the midwest’s premier riding destinations.