The Best MTB Brand?

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The Best MTB Brand?
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Posted: Dec 25, 2021 at 11:54 Quote

Pretty surprising results! Santa Cruz, Specialized and Canyon (?) round out the top 3. Ibis and Pivot are the least "favored" lol.

This is an int'l poll so I doubt it accurately reflects the views of US customers. What brands do you think are held in highest regard in the USA?

Posted: Dec 25, 2021 at 17:13 Quote
mtb1101 wrote:
What brands do you think are held in highest regard in the USA?

Yeti, Santa Cruz, and Ibis seem like the top 3 prestigious MTB brands in USA, IMO.

Honorable mentions: whoever's in charge of Specialized 150-180mm travel products seems to be consistently making very desireable bikes. Hard to go wrong with any product in Transition's line-up, if you are a serial shredder.

Yeti fame seems almost cult-like. Hard to imagine anyone sane will preach that the high price is worth it, but many who ride them will say the ride experience is top tier, me included. I still haven't found a trail bike that handled overall better than a SB150 (med) as a 135 lb 5' 7" rider with ~50k miles of riding experience. Very few great bikes seemingly match the handling, but none strike me as clearly better; they tend to be weaker in some other area like pedaling response. Though I don't race, I'm thrilled to go fast, and Yeti seems to know how to make the quintessential/definitive trail bike for doing so.

Ibis, to me personally, felt like they had a riding personality similar to Specialized, but a bit burlier to suit trail riders better. Pivot and Trek, Niner and Giant, and I guess Santa Cruz and the PacNW brands (Transition, Norco, Rocky Mtn) also have this relationship, where one offers a similar personality but one's burlier feeling with the fully triangulated rear swingarm. With the AF releases, Ibis is earning a ton of respect.

Santa Cruz marketing just has been extremely effective at creating great trust in the brand's products. People continue to link to their dramatic videos, where old overbuilt carbon nomads are compared to aluminum ones, a V10 downtube is smacked against a concrete block, and carbon rim is smashed on some stairs, to support their confidence in carbon fiber's general strength.


Among the value brands, Marin and GG are killing the competition, IMO. Any idiot in business management can cut prices, but that doesn't create value unless you can afford the cuts due to improved processes; modern price cuts seemingly create waste since the products are cheapened enough to be considered disposable and toy-like. It's much harder to deliver true value, and I believe Marin and GG deserve praise for doing just that. These brands are seemingly eclipsing a reputable brand like Kona, delivering similar bikes made for hard-chargers, but at a better price. Honorable mention to Vitus and Polygon--I used to think these two had some one-hit wonders (Sentier 27, Siskiu T7/T8 specifically), but they're filling out their line-up with desirable high-value stuff (Escarpe, Sommet, Mt Bromo N7) that have dialed geo.

Value-wise, the popular direct-to-consumer brands (YT, Canyon, Commencal) don't seem to deliver in terms of satisfaction. The reputation of Canyon around my block is that they're great on paper, but the ownership experience is buyer-beware. People advise to avoid them like you'd avoid a Mercedes-Benz, esp if you're some novice "home gamer" who's not very mechanically-inclined to do proper preventative maintenance (including doing a full-once-over quality check to ensure factory assemblers didn't F something up). Like playing a lotto, where maybe 1-in-10 have a minor annoying/persistent fault and 1-in-20 have a major problem that would have you contacting the seller with an upset tone. To be fair, other mass-producers have similar issue, but Canyon's support has too many stories floating around the net of being embarrassingly awful at delivering customer satisfaction compared to brand like Trek. See Canyon owner's thread here, and/or search Canyon warranty claim...

Posted: Dec 26, 2021 at 2:49 Quote
the poll sould show the percent of which country took part.

for the A, D and CH, its really plausible. Lots of German are really looking for every penny whats worth, i dont mean that bad. that would answer the question for the high Propain "would buy next time" and why Canyon is on the

In Switzerland, you see a freaking lot of Santa Cruz bikes, especially in Valais/Wallis. Maybe every second or every one rides one there.

Specialized are really rare...

Canyon bikes are more common in the road bike scene.

Over the time i saw one Ibis here in Switzerland. and maybe two or three Pivot bikes.

Thats what i see here in Switzerland.

I think if this poll only shows USA it will be completely different.

Posted: Dec 27, 2021 at 4:22 Quote
Take a look at Canada and while you are at it forget the Transition Spur, Take a look at Rocky Mountain, The new 2022 RM Element is a very strong and worthy competitor to the Spur.
Full disclosure though , I had already placed a down payment on the Spur, Then a month later I learned about the Element. Anyway, very similar I’m sure but my Spur won’t be received until May 2022 where the RM possibly could have got sooner.

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