2022 Downcountry Field Test Recap

Nov 10, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  
Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo

Well, that's a wrap on another Field Test. This time around Mike Levy, Matt Beer, and Sarah Moore headed to Quebec City, Canada, to test 6 downcountry(ish) bikes, all with 125mm of rear travel or less, and all designed for big days of pedaling across a variety of terrain. Some bikes exceeded expectations, while others didn't quite deliver the performance we'd hoped for. Check out the reviews, discussions, and hucks to flat below to get a better idea of how this crop of bikes handled out on the trail.

The Bikes

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Allied BC40 X01 Eagle AXS
• Travel: 120mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.5° head-tube angle
• 76° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 445mm (med)
• Weight: 24.9 lb / 11.2 kg
• MSRP: $10,755 USD
Field Test review

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
BMC Fourstroke LT One
• Travel: 120mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.5° head-tube angle
• 74.8° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 440mm (med)
• Weight: 25.2 lb / 11.4 kg
• MSRP: $8,999 USD
Field Test review

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Ibis Exie X01
• Travel: 100mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 67.2° head-tube angle
• 73.8° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 439mm (med)
• Weight: 24.6 lb / 11.1 kg
• $10,048 USD
Field Test review

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
RSD Wildcat V3 29" Deore
• Travel: 125mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65° head-tube angle
• 76° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 462mm (med)
• Weight: 34.2 lb / 15.5 kg
• $3,999 USD
Field Test review

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Evil Following X01 I9 Hydra
• Travel: 120mm rear, 130mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.9 / 66.4° head-tube angle
• 76 / 75.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 460mm (med)
• Weight: 28.7 lb / 13 kg
• $9,050 USD
Field Test review

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Lapierre XRM 8.9
• Travel: 110mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 74.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 440mm (med)
• Weight: 26.5 lb / 12 kg
• 5,199 EUR
Field Test review

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo


The 2022 Downcountry Field Test is presented by Quebec City Mountain Bike, Sweet Protection and Specialized Ground Control Tires

Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,697 articles

  • 22 3
 My old 2014 Trek Fuel Ex 29er had 120mm front and rear. It was marketed as a "Trail 29er". Now it would be XC or downcountry...
  • 50 0
 Amazing insight from Dave
  • 3 0
 My 2011 turner sultan was marketed as a longtravel 29er for trail riding or aggressive all mountain riders. It was enduro bro before enduro. Never should have sold that bike....
  • 2 0
  • 5 0
 @BigKahunaASE: The step between Down Country and Trail would be UpTrail. DownTrail is between Trail and Enduro... jeeze
  • 9 0
 Say something once. Why say it again?
  • 7 1
  • 8 0
 You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Qu'est-ce que c'est?
  • 11 0
 @dillumbop, ugh, yes, this one went over my head. Time to go listen to some Talking Heads on repeat.
  • 7 0
 PB field tests deliver the goods. Informative & entertaining from the videos themselves to the comment section makes for a whole experience that’s tuff to beat.
  • 6 0
 I wish Orbea would have sent you the new Oiz to add to the mix. I think it woulda been up there with the Allied and the Ibis.
  • 1 0
 And at a much better price point
  • 7 3
 It’s come to the end and no comparison with last season’s downcountry test bikes. Bummed.
  • 7 3
 There's always someone who won't be happy with some aspect of the testing. This time it's you. Gold medal
  • 1 3
 It's really not hard to mention last years bikes even a little bit. This whole field test was a bit of a let down, worst impossible climb I've watched, fastest slowmo huck to flat, bit of a disappointment for test bikes in general (I get it, supply chain issues) but I look forward to field tests more than any other video series and this one made me glad PBA came out at the same time...
  • 5 1
 @DizzyNinja: can you go and buy last year's models new anymore? Why would they compare against old models when what people are interested in knowing is what they can now buy.

Do you own the best rated bike from the last test? Do you need that exact comparison to validate your one year old bike purchase?

Maybe a giant reign 2011 29 might climb better than one of these bikes, maybe it doesn't, it doesn't matter.

Stop complaining about this content you get for free. It's disgustingly entitled. Sometimes I don't know why the pinkbike team bother.

You get what you get and if you don't have something nice to say - shut up.
  • 6 1
 @DizzyNinja: yeah come on bro shut up
  • 3 2
 @Larkey1: they’ve compared current crop with previous reviews before, and I enjoyed being able to relate bikes more broadly with their opinions. So I was hoping they would. Maybe if people comment they missed that aspect, they’ll do it next time. Shrugs.
  • 1 4
 @Larkey1: wow you're really butt hurt over my comment. I do appreciate the work pb puts in, Levy doing the efficiency test is beast mode, but the rest of this field test was lack luster. If you sincerely enjoyed the B- content that's cool, but I think it's below their previous work. It's not self entitlement, it's a comment, and if this is the new standard then so be it, but they've put out much better than this and I was hoping for more.
  • 3 1
 @DizzyNinja: and it's your job to grade their work is it? It's your god given right to be a dick about someone else's hard work? You're the worst dude.
  • 2 1
 In the Enduro review, they brought up the Specialized Enduro would still be neck and neck with the top bikes, I wish they mentioned the Spur and Epic EVO which are arguably the most talked about bikes in the category.
  • 5 0
 How were the control tires? @mikelevy would you put them on your DC bike?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer or @mikelevy, I would love to know your opinions on the BC40 vs the Epic Evo for marathon racing and general trail riding. I live in the Midwest, so we have millions of small steep climbs more then super long climbs/descents. I would say I definitely prefer long distance comfort over roots and rocks over stiff efficiency.

I love your bike tests, especially how you use control tires instead of bitching about the tires that make come with a given bike as it is not relevant at all. Without getting to ride either bike before plopping down cash to buy either one, your opinions matter!

I have narrowed my decision to those 2 bikes and will be replacing my 2019 XX1 Blur TR. All things equal, the BC40 is about $1 to 1.5k (depending on paint choices) more then the Epic Evo Pro with pretty much the same Fox and X01 build. Both seem very similar, and both seem like awesome bikes. Thank you!!
  • 2 0
 For some reason, it seems PB has opted to not mention any other bikes besides the ones in this test. No Epic Evos, no Spurs, no Rocky Elements, even though they've previously reviewed these bikes and lots of people have ridden / have friends who ride these bikes.

Good luck deciding, both seem like sweet bikes. I love my Epic Evo, for what it's worth... nothing I've seen in these reviews makes me want to change horses for my courses.
  • 1 1
 I see an opportunity to combine the field tests with the PBA.

Each bike company sends 4 bikes and 2 of their sponsored riders. They run the trials with the classic field test events and actual races. One bike is the top spec, other is lowest spec they sell. They do head to head to head of riders/top/ bottom spec. Only bikes with headset cables are allowed.
  • 4 0
 Would prefer the word instead of vids
  • 4 1
 Cycle Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Fa-fa-fa-fa, fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa, better
  • 2 0
 Did we ever get to see a picture of the hole in the downtuibe? (sounds dirty, real question).
  • 3 0
 Yep, you can see it at 10:59 in the Lapierre video review.
  • 1 0
 Thanks pb
  • 3 4
 You start a conversation, you can't even finish it
  • 1 4
 Would be great if it was completely clear which entities are paying for promotions. Is is just the sponsors at the bottom of the page?
  • 3 1
 None of the reviews are paid for. They've been over this many times.
  • 1 2
 @angryWaki: Sorry, not my responsibility to be familiar with the history of their review practices. Just put it on the page when you read the review.

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