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Mountain Bike of the Year Winner


Choosing a winner from one of the three machines nominated for Mountain Bike of the Year is sorta like having to decide which dessert you want to eat: they're all delicious, but one is going suit your tastes best. The Trek, Pivot, and Transition aren't going to disappoint anybody who's lucky enough to have a garage with one of them inside of it, but while they're all top performers, they also do that performing in very different ways. The Fuel is an example of a next-gen trail bike; the Switchblade is all about being both adaptable and more capable than its travel might have you assume; while the Patrol is an enduro race-ready rig that will have its rider feeling extremely proficient in every situation.

Clearly not an easy decision, but there can only be one winner here.










A lot of bikes are so damn good these days that it's easy to forget how it used to be. Not that long ago, you either bought a cross-country bike, a downhill bike, or a bike that kinda did both of those things poorly, otherwise known as an all-mountain bike. We didn't know any better, of course, so we were pretty chuffed about how our machines performed back then, with a bunch of chainrings, tubes in our tires, and geometry that, looking back, seemed designed to show us out the front door.

But now, a decade or so later, some bikes are incredibly potent in almost every regard. And then there are a few - and it really is just a few - that drastically transcend what's expected of them when it comes to tasks that they should, simply put, suck at doing. Transition's 155mm-travel Patrol Carbon is the best example, which is one of the reasons why it's our pick for the 2016 Mountain Bike of the Year.


Transition Patrol Carbon review test Original uncropped photo by Paris Gore


Here's a snippet from the Patrol Carbon's review earlier this year that sums it up:

In the past, I've talked about how bikes in the same class as the Patrol are actually starting to form two categories. One group leans more towards a rider who prefers a relatively spritely, playful all-mountain bike that doesn't suck the life out of you on flat ground or slow technical trails; on the other side of the fence are the bikes (often with the same amount of travel) that definitely sacrifice some all-around performance in order to make you feel like champ when the riding is more vertical than horizontal.

Somehow, the Patrol Carbon 1 manages to put a foot on both sides of that fence by being nimble when you need to bob and weave, but without losing that plow-ability that any good enduro race bike needs to have.

That same agile personality is going to make a precise, skilled rider quite happy if they'd rather hold an exact line though a chunky section of trail, with the bike's light steering yet stable feel rewarding someone who uses their brain over just their balls to get down the hill. It's easy to place, holds a line, and simply doesn't ride like a full-on enduro race bike... until you want it to, that is. With a slack-ish head angle, a bunch of sag and some of the best suspension money can buy, Patrol Carbon riders aren't going to have any qualms about throwing themselves into the thick of it.

2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review

The bike can go through nasty terrain faster than I get through a box of donuts, and while it's not quite as at ease as something like a Trek Slash or Devinci Spartan when it gets properly hairy, I don't think that a skilled rider is going to lose much (or any) time in those moments. It's not quite as glued to the ground as those two bikes, but that very fact could make the Patrol even quicker in the right hands.

The bike's easy to get along with personality is going to make a great choice for those who like the idea of a burly all-mountain bike but maybe don't have the skills to push such a machine near its limits, but I also don't want to sell it short when it comes to its capabilities. It's a full-on beast when there are more scary rocks than dirt, or when the trail is steep enough that you forget to blink until you get to the bottom.

But surely there's a price to pay, and that is that it's hambeast on the climbs, right? The Patrol is surprisingly adept when pointed up a steep, technical ascent, which is both good and bad. Good because the bike that you just spend a boatload of money on makes other enduro-type machines feel like recumbents in such settings, but also bad because now you don't have an excuse if you suck at climbing. It's not mindblowing in the efficiency department, mind you - the Dune or SB6C beat it there - but the bike's handling is simply easy to live with during tricky uphill pitches.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesThe Patrol Carbon is the 2016 Mountain Bike of the Year not because of its descending prowess, which it has in spades, but because Transition has created an immensly versatile machine that manages to excel everywhere but without taking away from its capabilities on rowdy terrain. Simply put, this is a bike that everyone can have fun on, no matter what type of trails they like to ride. - Mike Levy



Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards




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251 Comments

  • + 204
 Let me sum up the entire comment section from here on:
- Worst choice ever!
- Best choice ever!
- Puns containing Patrol and/or Transition.
  • + 243
 I see you have TRANSITIONed to PATROLing the comments on the pinkbike awards quite nicely...
  • + 59
 Thanks for that. Now I don't have to bother scrolling any further.
  • + 4
 Kind of hard to tell without riding the bike.
  • + 6
 Bash guards used to be so commonplace, I wonder why not anymore?
  • + 21
 @Grutten: More like paTROLLING....
  • + 12
 @Kramz: Smaller chainrings have become the norm, people used to run like a 26/38 double, now they run a 32 single and have a bit more clearance so chainring strikes are less common.
  • + 0
 @Kramz: From the article: "Here's a snippet from the Patrol Carbon's review earlier this year that sums it up: "
"
  • - 8
flag mblar (Dec 9, 2016 at 8:12) (Below Threshold)
 @Kramz: Perhaps Bellingham trails are aren't so rowdy anymore...
  • + 29
 For whatever reason,Transition has an honored spot among the bros here on Pinkbike, so I doubt you will see much of "worst choice ever!" Well done, Transition, both your work on the bike and your reputation among the bros.
  • + 15
 @Patrick9-32: Ya i thought that after i got my new bike (went from a 2x 24/36T to a 1x 30T) i wouldn't need to run a bash guard but I haven't noticed a decrease in rock strikes. Poor technique or trail features i don't know but a bashguard is still obligatory equipment for me.
  • + 2
 @mblar: Not true.
  • + 4
 @Kramz: mandatory equipment for me on a bike like this
  • - 29
flag sxjimmy (Dec 9, 2016 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 @Kramz: When was the last time you high centered on a rock?? lol, If you need a bashgaurd you might be a dumbass..
  • + 7
 @sxjimmy: I do every now and then, but I understand why they don't spec complete bikes with them. I busted enough chainrings in my life to not run a bash taco.
  • + 2
 @Kramz: im sure theyll become more popular again as more and more videos showcase styles of riding that favor them. Disasters on logs, the weed/ibis edits, and others will get the kids attempting this and the dads protecting the investment.
  • + 5
 @TheR: the tranny fetish is a big deal up there.
  • + 12
 Amazing bike, but takes in water by the buckets through the internal dropper routing hole when you hose it down. If only there was bung in the hole and/or a drainage hole in the bb area...
  • + 1
 @freestyIAM: check your sag. Sometimes when people run their shock too low, the BB gets a lot closer to the ground. Either I have gottten lucky, or chainrings are getting tougher with the narrow/wide machining. Each time I knuckel up, there is rock dust on my chain& ring, but no damage?
  • + 4
 @sxjimmy: what if I want to do that cool thing macaskill does when I grind dead trees?
  • + 8
 @Kramz: A taco would be nice to protect the brake hose and cable outer against the chainring, considering that one but bottom picture.

That said, I like a bashring on my bikes. I like to work on my climbing skill to get over obstacles where the chainring might hit. And if I'm pushing my abilities there, there is always going to be cases where it would hit. And then it is nice to have a bashring saving the day. Those claiming that they don't need a bashring may not necessarily be more skilled, they just don't happen to try and progress in that department.
  • + 3
 @Kramz: Ride last 3 years with one thinking meh I don't need it. Did one ride on my NEW bike without a bashguard since I am waiting for the ISCG mount. What do I do? Break my Cranks on the first ride. The SLX arm bent holding the chainring. Lesson learned. Sucks.
  • + 0
 As long as it's not a 29er ,im happy.
  • + 0
 You forgot obvious win...this is a trail slayer no boost threaded bb duh.
  • + 1
 @Grutten: You, sir, win Pinkbike today.
  • + 136
 Full length internal cable routing wide enough for a cable and outer. A threaded bottom bracket. Collet hardware. One design of derailleur hanger across the range. Easy to find frame manuals with all the torque specs and bearing sizes. These are the reasons why Transition are winners for me.
  • - 50
flag Bustacrimes (Dec 9, 2016 at 4:47) (Below Threshold)
 If it was a brand of the year contest, based upon retailer feedback and warranty resolution then you'd have some quality criteria right there. I was expecting something special for bike of the year...
  • + 11
 @Bustacrimes: What would you have as bike of the year?
  • - 25
flag Bustacrimes (Dec 9, 2016 at 5:14) (Below Threshold)
 @matwilliams: either of the other two.....then also.

PIvot 429 Trail (ridiculously short rear stays for trail 29er)
Yeti SB5c BETI (lightweight ladies specific)
IBIS Ripley
Alchemy Arktos
Turner RFX (stupid light frame and DW link)
AirDrop Edit (UK company, shreddable fun)

All had something about them that made them stand out from the crowd.
  • + 4
 The patrol is a good bike, but the RFX, HD3, and SB5 are in a different league. And yes, I've ridden them all because I wasn't going to buy a new bike before I beat the shit out of a few first.
  • + 4
 @Bustacrimes: 44.32cm, on the pivot, is short? what's different about the airdrop compared to the patrol?
  • - 4
flag Bustacrimes (Dec 9, 2016 at 5:47) (Below Threshold)
 @Ninjasstolemytv: short enough. And compared to the industry, yes, still short. And 650b compatible if you want.

The Airdrop is a good, honest, no nonsense enduro shredder. For same sort of price as an ally Patrol. An independent alternative offering great value.
  • + 20
 @Bustacrimes: BETI really? All they have done is change the paint
  • - 5
flag andnyleswillriot (Dec 9, 2016 at 6:00) (Below Threshold)
 You guys saying ibis bikes should be up there, oh man that's the funniest thing I've ever heard. Now we know you're old men
  • - 7
flag Bustacrimes (Dec 9, 2016 at 6:05) (Below Threshold)
 @chrismac70: dude, you better let Yeti know because they're telling everyone they've improved the routing and cable ports, along with reworking the top tube and seat stay interface to improve stand over.
  • + 0
 @andnyleswillriot: you kids, too much belief in the marketed words of a brand manger to believe someone else has actually ridden the thing and wants to give you an impartial opinion.

Good luck with your future.....these old men are having too much fun on their bikes.
  • + 12
 @Bustacrimes: 17.5" on the 429 are short? Canfield's got 16.3" on their 29er Smile
  • + 6
 @Bustacrimes: I've ridden the Patrol, the Ibis, along with last year's winner - the Remedy 29, and a bunch of other bikes. That's how I know you're full of sh!t.
  • + 8
 the internal brake line is the only thing that bugs me with them, should be an external option. otherwise I'm loving my aluminium patrol, but carbon.....
  • + 3
 @ridenwc1: The 429 Trail outclimbs the Riot all day and everyday.
  • + 2
 @CactusLover: No doubt, the Riot is more all-mountain
  • + 1
 @ridenwc1: it's not fair to compare Canfield bikes to others..They are in a league of their own.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: airdrop is a fkng catalogue bike
  • + 1
 @BeerGuzlinFool: agreed. They may not be super fast climbing XC bikes but as soon as you point them downhill there's not many bikes that will keep up or take the same abuse. Amazing bikes with the best suspension out there
  • + 71
 Mountain bike of the year is my 3 year old bike. Cause no matter how much im told by everyone i supposedly need a new bike im not wasting money
  • + 16
 #BRINGBACKTHEPENNY!
  • + 10
 I wish everyone would tell me that, nobody agrees with me that I need a new bike or components.
  • + 23
 You have a 3-year-old bike and people are telling you you need a new one? You're fine.

Let me tell you something -- I'm riding a soon-to-be 7-year-old bike with 26-inch wheels and a 2x9 drive train. I demoed a couple bikes this past summer, and they were very nice, but there wasn't much of a noticeable difference in performance between my fossil and the new-fangled carbon machines.

Now the day will come when my current bike and I will have to part ways, but it ain't yet. The longer I can hold on, the longer I can save for a really sweet ride when that day comes.
  • + 13
 @TheR: My ride just turned nine. 2008
  • + 12
 Same here - 2010 26er set up nicely. I have yet to demo a bike that I felt was significantly better then what I have. So I save the money and spend it on traveling to awesome places so I can ride my fossil with a big grin on my face.
  • + 2
 @TheR: sorry dude meant to upvote but banana fingers here.........
  • + 4
 Sadly my 2007 reign died at the start of the year and had to be replaced with something modern. And whilst I can't tell a substantial performance increase, what I can tell is the reliability. The 07 reign was a solid workhorse surviving atleast a week every summer in the Alps without issues with just the usual maintenance. These new light weight bikes however, the meta sx didn't last a summer. Couldn't fault the warranty, but its not something I wish to repeat its self
  • + 5
 Ride it til the frame cracks and it does your skills and wallet wonders
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: I just saw some of your photos -- we're riding the same bike. They definitely did it right.
  • + 2
 @slowrider73: No worries... Wouldn't have noticed. I'm just glad my comment drew some interest.
  • + 1
 @WAtrailmaker: Respect and solidarity.
  • + 2
 @TheR: Yup - make a few mods and it becomes a do it all beast. I had lots of bikes before this one - from DH to Street. I sold them all. I put slicks on this one and it rips on street and you can huck staircases along the way.
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: Yeah, mine isn't bone stock, either. Some wider handlebars, shorter stem, stiffer wheels, dropper post... Great bike! Seriously considering switching to 1x11. I think if there was anything "better" on the new bikes, that was it. Then I won't need another bike for years.
  • + 2
 @TheR: I did pretty much the same thing. I also added a pushed monarch rc3+ - its awesome on this bike. I also did 1x11 - XT cassette and derailleur with OneUp Radr cage, 42th sprocket in the rear, and an oval chainring in the front. Its a great setup that takes you everywhere. I am in Oregon and our mountains are steep and gnarly. Its truly good times!!!
  • + 1
 So do I win since I'm riding a 2001 GT full-sus?
  • + 2
 @heffernw: There is no winning, but you can be president of our club.
  • + 1
 @WAtrailmaker: '04 till I die... might be literally. My frame is from when Spesh really meant "lifetime warranty" cuz that thing has lived its nine lives with me at the helm.

The reality is that until the day comes where I am getting passed (I don't) and stop coming up on jokers crawling along a black (constantly) then I can't say I need anything more. I'm old, I'm fast, and my junk still rocks. Come and get me you little whippersnappers!
  • + 26
 What's with all the conspiracy theories for paid awards? The PB staff has more access to bikes and gear than anyone, and they have plenty of comparisons to go by and are not bough by anyone. I think all this hate is derived from jealousy.
  • - 10
flag truehipster (Dec 9, 2016 at 7:35) (Below Threshold)
 Local bike co. (To pink bike) and it runs a (fsr) Horst link! Is a nice bike though. . . . Just sayin.
  • + 20
 electrical tape holding the brake line on? pretty badass for a 6000.00 bike
  • + 7
 If you read the original review I think this is something they addressed and it was a pre-production bike.
  • + 14
 Gotta say I'm not surprised this thing has won. I love mine, its by far the most fun bike I've owned yet. The internal routing is a PITA to get so it doesn't rattle but its a small trade off for the amount of ear to ear grins you are certain to get riding this bike.
  • + 4
 Do you have an aluminum one? The carbon frames have T.I.T.S. and should be quiet. (i accidentally a sexism, i'm leaving it there)
  • + 1
 @scottzg: Yes ali, Im too poor to afford it in carbon right now. Big up the @TransitionBikeCompany
  • + 13
 The first pic sums is such a perfect metaphor for the current MTB market... everybody wants a long travel, do it all trail machine that can "play" on their local trails... then they only use half the available suspension on any given ride.

[I doubt the riders of the demo bike pictured here haven't bottomed out this beast, but that pic does represent a large majority of other riders in the market.... 5" trail bikes on buffed out machine built XC trails being the most commonly observed example.]
  • + 8
 not any different then owning a super car and not having a membership to your local track.... If you have money to buy the sickest shit, good chance you are going to buy the highest model of whatever it is. It's just what we do as humans... If this kind of thing really upsets you, don't work at a bike shop haha you will snap in a heartbeat. haha
  • + 14
 @robwhynot - using half of the travel? What?have you even considered what you said in terms of suspension setup?

You got it the other way around man. People buy 5" bikes lately because it's a hipster anti Enduro fashion." Look what I can do on a short travel bike" combined with, "I may have sucked today guys but my silly excuse is I have less travel than you" First thing they do after the honeymoon with a "modern" 5incher is over, they put on 180-200 rotors, Minions and 160 fork turning it into a short travel version of a 6" bike. The difference is a 6" bikes climbs just as well (considering the setups are oretty much identical) and that extra 30-40mm has your back when sht goes south where 5" bike provides very little error margin.

Cheers!
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: I think you have a valid point, but there is a handling difference too. Shorter travel tends to be more poppy. There are legitimate handling tradeoffs between a shorter travel bike w good geo and more aggressive tires and a 6" bike beyond the steep/gnar and fireroad climb dichotomy.

You're right though about the trend swinging back and forth.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Damn right ! This trend also includes mounting coil shocks on any 130mm bike
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: hahaha damn dude
  • - 2
 @Whipperman: That actually sounds well. Because most 130 bikes come equipped with crappy shocks while their buyers cannot shut up how well these things pedal and how poppy they are. My Blur TRc with 125mm of travel and PUSHed Float CTD pedalled worse and pumped worse than my 160 Carbon Jack with CCDB coil.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: you must have been doing something wrong with your TRc...And not everyone who rides a short travel bike is a hipster or anti Enduro. Some people enjoy short travel bikes.
I have been riding mostly short travel bikes since 2002 Specialed 02 Enduro, 04 Enduro Sworks, 2012 TRc converted to 27.5 before the Solo came out, now still on my 2014 Solo c.
  • + 0
 @dchill: I didn't say that everyone who rides one is a hipster. I criticized the current mainstream trend which is a perfectly good niche for people with certain taste and for certain terrains.

I masturbated the sht out of setup of my TRc, pushed the shock, tried lots of settings and it was crap. In fact two owners I spoke to as well as the guy doing the review for vital had very similar experience to mine.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: did you just stick with the Fox shock that came on it? I found the Monarch RT3 to work better. Even the Fox kashima shock on my Solo was crap.
  • + 1
 @dchill: i Pushed the Float. Spoke to a guy who had 3 different shocks on it including CCDB Coil and we both concluded that TRc works only at a very limited range of SAG, somewhere around 20% and then it's almost as harsh as a XC racing bike. The thing that another dude solved was getting vorsprung collar.

It's a great bike if you keep it with 120-140 fork and light wheels and tyres and then you ride it in a certain way, pedaling like a maniac and are prepared to make big boys wait for you at the bottom. It doesn't inspire confidence rather tests your balls.
  • + 0
 @dchill: but I have similar experience with other bikes like Blur. Process 111 and 134 seem very similar. Weeeeeee, faster, lets jump into the rockgarden, let's gooooo uh ah oh bah, doh ugh eh, ehuh, ouch aaah ugggh
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: hell I wouldn't hit the big chunky stuff on my Solo that I would hit on a dh rig. Least amount of travel I would use for that stuff is 160.
It's just using the right tool for the job. 120-140 is enough travel for most of the stuff in our area.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: i will admit it is a bitch to tune the Solo also even with the Debonair Monarch Plus.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I've tried replying to you, but I dunno what the hell you're trying to say in relation to what I posted.
  • + 0
 @robwhynot: I tried to say that the 5" trend is weird considering plenty of people on this site live in rather big mountains which serve speed in abundance so 6-7" bikes seem more suited. But many write they went from 6-7 to 5 and never looked back.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you're experience on the Processes is the opposite of what I've heard from anyone who's ridden them. I'll admit my biases: just got a 134 to replace my SB66
  • + 0
 @Agleck7: process 153 and 167 are tits in my world. 134 no to so much. Different strokes for different folks. SB66 was known for crappy square edge action.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: different strokes and different terain for sure. My only point here is that I disagree if you say 153 or 167 are as poppy as 134 and 111. For what it's worth a buddy on the lift w Connor Fearon in whistler said Connor preferred the 134 of that whole range. (I know that's pretty irrelevant as skill difference btw him and any of us is absurd)
  • + 1
 I think a bad experience w VPP is coloring your whole opinion
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: sorry to be long-winded. I'm totally with you that the trend of saying people are "riding more travel than they need/have skills for" is dumb
  • + 1
 @Agleck7: It's not about skill, it's about matching the machine to the terrain one most commonly rides. We're our own worst enemies in this industry... always buying a wee bit more than we need, then shitting on the companies who deliver our wants and ask the premium we secretly want to pay. I'm as guilty as the majority.
  • + 0
 I used the too much travel argument when buying trc after having a nomad. I used it when buying a nomad instead of dh bike. Try something new justification syndrome.

I became a better rider thanks to going back to a huge bike with rock gobbling properties. That is because I stand on a fantastic platform and can focus on looking ahead and keeping my stance right instead of feeling fast due to being wobbled around more than necessary. Pop? That's 70% skill 30% bike. You can or you can't bunny hop. Pump, feedback? Get a proper shock and set it up well.

But again, I do not criticize 110-130 bikes themselves, since I know there's plenty of use for them. It's rather the latest fashion of buying a small bike, decorating it with stuff from big bike and talking bollocks about too big bikes. I've done it myself, so do yourself a favor and clean your mouth Wink

If I was to buy a second bike now it would be a 110 bike. It's a perfect second bike for me.
  • + 1
 @robwhynot: I agree. But it matters to a point, especially when people make arguments like: "this pro rider can ride a 5" bike fast down a World Cup DH trail then it must be enough bike for me". I think that type of argument has it perfectly backwards.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: sorry for the neg props, meant to give props!
  • + 17
 Hopefully we can all Transition from disagreeing to approving of an award!
  • + 8
 Pinkbike police got to Patrol the comments better then
  • + 5
 You're such a pun smuggler
  • + 0
 I think a few people will have a hard time TRANSITIONing to the idea that 1 bike can do it all.
  • + 11
 I rode this bike down the rock garden and felt giddy afterwards
  • + 6
 Yah it is definitely worth scouting out.
  • + 5
 It only won because it's got tits, which is fine by me.
  • + 11
 Since I bought a Spartan instead of a Patrol this year, I am outraged that Pinkbike would dare to not validate my thousands of dollars spent!!! Thay are obvously in the pocket of the big corporate giant, Transition!
  • + 13
 Finally one award I hope we all can agree with!
  • + 13
 ARBR SAKER got robbed!
  • + 8
 Nice Work Transition. Definitely not my favourite bike to pedal hard through climbs but was a whole lot of fun to descend on. lively and composed!

There is something to be said about a bike that keeps its focus on the basic needs of a rider, keeps the proprietary shit to a minimum and is a joy to ride. Its a bike that comes in enough models to make it attainable by the majority of Mountain bikers as well which helps with an award like this.

I had this and the Trek Fuel being the top two and looks like the transition squeaked out the win!

A Company who has taken the business model that Kona had in the late 90's to early 2000s (party hard shred fast) is getting big at a time where we have the knowledge and materials to make some sick bikes, and it shows. Huge love for this company all over the web and awesome performing bikes is a recipe for good times at the transition company.

Kona better be careful or Bellingham will belong to a new king in no time.
  • + 2
 I would guess there are a enough pro's not connected with these companies In Bellingham to keep them honest! They don't own B'ham !
  • + 11
 BOOOOM , Stick your YT, right up your jacksey !!!!
  • + 10
 But its not even boosted!
  • + 8
 Nice to see a brand that isn't on the PB Advertiser's List win... good job Transition!
  • + 10
 Mondraker Summum 123! ?
  • + 2
 ^^^^
  • + 4
 Yeah, deserved a mention for the world champs
  • + 5
 I love the Patrol! Funnest bike I've ever ridden. And to all the naysayers who say it may not climb well? It's such a competent climber that I never take my shock out of the descend mode....
  • + 4
 I think it's a beautiful bike. The problem with "The best XXXXX of the year", is just how subjective it really is. Clearly, Levy looked at all the bike had to offer and the value it could provide to a prospective buyer only looking for one bike. Given the ubiquity of Specialized, Trek, Rocky, and Santa Cruz throughout PB, I don't think this is a paid advertisement. Congratulations Transition!!
  • - 2
 I think the Transition van dropped several cases of PBR off at the Pink Bike HQ along with the test bike...
  • + 8
 Hideous cable/hose routing!
  • + 0
 Yeah dude, it's the finer details of a frame that can kill it for me. Messy cable routing/no down tube protection = avoid.
  • + 4
 IMHO..... the Rocky Mountain Altitude Rally Edition should have won. Its the bike I ride so it must be the best right? It climbs like a goat and descends like a demon. So does the Mach 6, Intense Tracer, Specialized Enduro, and several others. Except Yeti...only because almost every Yeti rider I meet is a pompous A hole and if you don't have a Yeti you don't exist. F Yeti!!....I guess my point is there are so many good bikes now and pointing to one as "the best" is pointless. The best bike is the one that puts a smile on your face and that you never want to quit riding. So if you're in the market for a new whip go demo or ride a friends bike and buy what you like. Its your hard earned money and a silly designation by Pinkbike or any other publication shouldn't steer you away from buying the bike you like. Its time to stop judging and criticizing and go ride!
  • + 7
 Bring back the BottleRocket!!!!!!!!
  • + 4
 So awesome to see Transition on the top of the pile. Deserved for their product and just as, or more so, importantly for the amazing people running that show. Congrats!
  • + 2
 Always funny to see the comments about the suspension system. "Oh, another FSR, so outdated!" It shows the lack of knowledge and explain why MTB is full of marketing bullshit. Don't swallow whatever fancy "new" technology you will be served. You can obtain basically anything you want with any system either VPP, Horstlink or else. Sure can add pivots, linkages, crazy shapes, as long as you believe in it, it might make you ride faster.
  • + 2
 As someone who recently owned a 4bar / horstlink bike......and has owned several over the years here are the facts. They do ride better than bikes from years past....but 90% of that is shock technology and 10% geo changes and other tweaks.

That suspension design is smooth on the DH but is not a great climber. There are still the a$$ clowns (look at th Lenz forum on MTBR) that think the 4bar design on their bikes is somehow different....sprinkled with magic pixie dust and do everything great.....
  • + 1
 I really do not understand why Pivot bike are there, they are warranty for only 2 years and here and Canada they break like egg shell. In are group 3 people had pivot and they all break, and one rider break 3 frame and now no warranty he has to buy another bike!!!! it is unresponsable to tell people best bike when they hold not even a season.....................
  • + 3
 www.pinkbike.com/news/trail-etiquette-with-chaz-video-2016.html
That guys rides it so the Patrol should have gotten the award forever
  • + 4
 Chaz rides a scout. And he's a total D-bag!
  • + 1
 * when I see a top athlete win on this bike, I'll consider it. We all must know if it's a winning machine. 100% rider and 100% bike. Gotta have both to win, Sam hill can't win an ews race on a wall Mart bike, so therefore we don't ride them.
  • + 5
 I have one and love it!!!!
  • + 4
 Aaaamen! Yes! You made me happy Mike! There is hope for MTB!
  • + 2
 Decline Magazine names the Patrol the 2015 All Mountain Bike Of The Year, Pinkbike names the Patrol the 2016mountain bike of the year... just saying...
  • + 3
 Wicked, such a deserving bike! Love mine.
  • + 2
 Well at least the comments section is not full of conspiracies of why a big brand won.
  • + 3
 Sweet! I was rooting for the "little" guy.
  • + 1
 Oh my god he said hambeast. Instantly wanted to look at www.fatchickswithpartyhats.Com and was so depressed when I found its not working anymore. RIP best website ever.
  • - 2
 I just realized that this frame costs more than a Pivot or a Santa Cruz which have the latest axel standard and are made with a better manufacturing process and with higher quality carbon. Guess everyone must get the Bro deal because you would have to be out of your mind to pay full retail for one of these. Add in Transitions leisurely attitude towards warranty claims and it's even more mind boggling.
  • + 1
 Horrible cable routing. Needs tape to hold it in place. May perform well but it needs tidied up.
  • - 2
 Nothing wrong with this bike but really ... what is so special about yet another 150-160 bike that climbs sort of ok and descends great? Most bikes do that, although many probably climb better than a 28-29 pounds Horst Link equipped beast!

And really: stop awarding "best of the year" when nothing really stands out in a particular way ... this year awards seem just a collection of arbitrary "I like this one" picks.
  • + 6
 @duzzi

Ah, so you've ridden it, right?

It didn't win for climbing, it won for being the best all 'rounder in the range. Plowable but agile.

And no sh*t dual short link bikes climb better than horst link.
  • - 5
flag Joel-DH (Dec 9, 2016 at 15:10) (Below Threshold)
 @WasatchEnduro: And who owns the patent on the horst link? specialized bicycles. Am I the only one who has seen what an Enduro can do?
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: No of course not. But I find the whole Bike of the Year award affair ridiculous. The award is obviously based on the preference of a few riders and it is very unclear what it means, if anything at all. What exactly makes this bike a better all around than another half dozen (at a minimum) bikes?

And yes, the fact that this is a 155 mm Horst Link does not help, they ain't famous for their pedaling and it is an almost 30 years old design ...
  • + 0
 @duzzi:

Face palm!!!! Hilarious.

Not really redickulous that a bike media outlet chose a bike of the year. And no shit it's subjective. I'm sorry for your confusion.... if it lasts longer than 4 hours I suggest contacting a physician immediately. Read some Patrol reviews.

And the Horst link bikes from the 90's or whenever don't have hardly anything in common with today's Horst link bikes. Like any bike 20-30 yrs old vs today.

I'm sorry the winter depression is setting in already. I'm fighting it by hiking up a snowy mountain with my board tomorrow morning at 6am. I hope to see you there.
  • + 1
 @Joel-DH:

Joel, not a bad point. I wouldn't mind someone who's ridden both sharing their thoughts.
  • + 1
 @Joel-DH: My mate has one and he's struggling with rocks. The same rocks I had no probs with on my 2004 Marin attack.
  • + 0
 @Cefn: So basically you're saying your skill level with rock gardens is higher than your friends? You can never find a bike's true performance level[how much it can take, how well it can descend,etc] by 1.basing it off of someone else's experience 2. unless that person is a pro. There's a reason bike companies show off their bikes with videos with pro riders. its because a pro will be able to access the bicycle's full performance level, and than make a qualified decision based on his/her riding experience compared to other bikes. You and me are not pros, and therefore we are not really able to make a decision on a bike's handling characteristics. if you are a pro, awesome, and I'll shut up.
  • + 2
 oh, and suspension adjustments make a huge difference on how the bike rides. Again, a professional will be able to correctly set the suspension for the section/course/whatever. Your buddy's suspension may not be dialed in right, which would definitely make the bike's performance suffer.
  • + 1
 @Joel-DH: yeah he's not got the top model donno what the suspension is and I dou t he's got it set up right as you say. Having the better forks would make a significant difference too. He is pretty good too shame to see him slow down. I'm confident he could pull it off on his old bike..
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro:if that happened, It would get voted down by the PB broduro crowd as it didn't agree with what PB decreed. Best bike ever. No flaws. Despite a 20 year old suspension platform...
  • + 2
 You can even have fun riding your mom on this bike
  • + 5
 The fact you can have a bottle on the frame means I could litterally take my mum with me lol
  • + 2
 @poah: I think, nah... Not going to ask.
  • + 5
 @kingsx: well she was cremated 4 years ago if that helps ha ha ha ha ha
  • + 2
 @poah: Yep. Precisely as I imagined. Just didn't want to go, ya know, right there.
  • + 1
 Chromag Primer and Carbon Warden FTW!!
  • + 1
 Finally, a 'Transition' to be happy about...
  • - 3
 Ummm......no. Yes Transition makes a great looking/riding bike. Yes, it is a member of that group of rare I-excel-at-everything bikes. Is it top dog in this group? Uh, I think not. read the previous pinkbike reviews. read reviews from other places in the internet. Look at magazines, and all these sources tend to agree on the "best mountain bike of the year", possibly ever up to current history. The 2016 Specialized Enduro, a true legend, would beat this bike on any climb or descent a person could find. Lets get off feeling guilty about picking a machine from a major company so the "smaller guys" get some free advertising. Lets focus on what truly makes the best of the bikes. Not a biased test.
www.specialized.com/us/en/king-of-the-mountain
  • - 1
 $3,199 for a 4 bar frame??

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No thanks!

For the 29'er crowd the Intense Primer is Bike of the Year
  • + 0
 Isn't this the bike that came out with some manufacture issue in the chainstays that break!? Funny that!
  • + 1
 They had issues with no lock tight on the pivots out of the factory, but that was it.
  • + 1
 Sorry, but Polygon Dh9 takes it all
  • + 1
 correct me if im wrong but weren't these breaking?
  • + 1
 Rad Company, Rad Bike! www.pinkbike.com/video/453966
  • + 1
 Fantasy on cable routing . . . . nah!
  • + 2
 MInions for the win
  • + 1
 In the end some nice product
  • + 1
 Cool post and a sweet bike!
  • + 1
 like he said, there can only be one.
  • + 1
 Hahaha......Ritchie Rude must be on the wrong bike!
  • - 2
 Hmmmm. $7599 MSRP bike of the year that again only mentions the same two other bikes in the review for comparison as in Jan's review. Not buying it. Literally!
  • + 12
 Who said you had to buy the top of the line patrol? Their base Alu model is around $2900usd
  • + 4
 You're making a laughable amount of assumptions in that opinion.
  • + 3
 Yup.. bought my patrol for 3300CAD and its pretty rad!
  • + 0
 Here comes the comments patrol.
  • + 1
 Yessss!
  • + 0
 Well I'll be.....!!!
  • - 1
 Dam that is a lot of money for a generic Horst link bike.
  • - 2
 You essentially just described the Evil Insurgent. I wonder how many bikes were ridden to determine the winner.
  • + 9
 A year's worth.
  • + 15
 Except that the Patrol can fit a water bottle and doesn't have a super slack seat angle...
  • + 4
 @CaptainSnappy: Cant argue that
  • - 3
 Trump does not approved! Your fired!
  • - 3
 didn't this already win like 25 years ago. #horstlink #specializedalreadydidit #thesimpsonsdidit
  • + 2
 Yep, the Horst link patent expired and a bunch of co.'s jumped on it. Why not? Geometry changes, material changes, fabrication methods change, but you can't radically alter what works in terms of suspension designs. Bikes roll forward and hit bumps. Why would one of the best suspension designs in existence change, because it's 25 YO? Keep on keepin' on.
  • + 1
 specialized didn't do it first nor did they invent the design or the only bike to use the system.

how long have cars been using macpherson struts?
  • - 2
 When I see this bike win an EWS, than I'll consider it.
  • + 0
 Thank you!! My sentiment exactly!
  • + 2
 I thought EWS is all about athletes. With their skill level, all modern bikes must be more or less the same.
  • + 2
 @Legalaze: Yes and no. A couple years ago DH legend Sam Hill switched to Specialized Bicycles team because the geometry of the demo 8 fit him better than the bike he was already racing. I am sure if an EWS guy raced you or me on some kind of walmart bike, he would stomp us on our 5,000 rigs. But up with their peers, they are looking for every performance advantage they can find, and a more advanced or better fitting bike can help.
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