Field Test: 10 Trail and Enduro Bikes Face the Efficiency Test

Dec 22, 2020
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

10 Trail and Enduro Bikes Face the Efficiency Test

Gravel roads, power meters, a dose of bro-science, and no lock-outs allowed.





Our ten test bikes were never designed to be cross-country efficient, but their all-around intentions mean that most of them have to be at least halfway decent at turning your watts into forward motion, regardless of if they have 130mm or 180mm of travel. And yeah, most of them have shocks with pedal-assist levers that might be able to take the bike from gooey to get a move on, but there are plenty of situations where the trail doesn't give you time to fiddle with your shock or push buttons on the handlebar. Does that mean you should be okay with your trail or enduro bike's squishy suspension making you feel like you're stuck in mud?

Definitely not, and it isn't just about climbing. If a bike feels slow and inefficient on the way up, there are probably other places where it's not at its best as well, especially on rolling terrain or anytime you accelerate out of a corner. Yes, even on the downhills. So with that in mind, we took our ten test bikes of varying intentions and travel out to my favorite gravel road (Wait, you don't have one of those?) to see if our on-trail feedback matches what the clock says.


2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
The Efficiency Test went up on a steep gravel road, but the differences matter everywhere, especially on singletrack.


To do it, we measured a half-mile course up a gravel road climb, then placed Freelap timing cones at the start and finish points. A set of Garmin Vector power pedals talked to my 1030 head unit, and I set it up to display my normalized, 10-second, and 3-second power numbers, the idea being to have each bike finish the climb with the same normalized, 300-watt power number. While there's some bro-science involved, no doubt there, that should mean that the more efficient bikes will cover the same distance quicker than the less efficient bikes. Probably.

Don't forget that while this was a relatively short climb, the differences in efficiency between them will only be further amplified over a long climb or even longer day in the saddle.

Of course, this isn’t a lab test, and we’re not putting the same wheels on every bike or using supercomputers to tell me the friction coefficient between my ass and chamois before dividing that by how many donuts I had for breakfast. It's also a slightly different climb than we used the last time, so don't bother comparing these times to the previous Efficiency Test. But we were out there in the real world so, just like the Impossible Climb, there’s certainly something to be learned while we had a good time… Wait, that was a good time?
Efficiency Test Results

1st Giant Trance X (5/5 Live Valve) - 2:45
2nd Specialized Stumpjumper - 2:48
3rd Giant Trance X (1/5 Live Valve) - 2:49
4th Salsa Blackthorn - 2:53
5th Santa Cruz Nomad - 2:54
6th Ibis Mojo - 2:56
7th Propain Spindrift - 3:00
8th Rocky Mountain Altitude - 3:04
9th Trek Slash - 3:10
10th Actofive P-Train - 3:12
11th Norco Shore - 3:28

What'd we learn after way too many trips up the gravel road?

Not surprisingly given its intentions as an efficient, fast bike made to cover a lot of ground, Giant's Trance X had the quickest time at 2:45 with its Live Valve suspension set to its firmest, 5/5 mode. The trout-colored Giant felt more like a 24lb cross-country whip than the 30lb trail bike it actually is, and it was only 4-seconds back with Live Valve turned to its least intrusive (but still very firm feeling) 1/5 mode. Splitting the Giant's two times is the new Stumpjumper at 2:48 - I had previously talked a lot about how fast and efficient this bike is, so it's nice to see that confirmed by the Efficiency Test.


2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
If you're okay with adding a bunch of wires (and cost), Fox's wild Live Valve suspension can make your chunky trail bike climb like a flyweight.


There are a couple of things to mention, though, including the Nomad surprising us all with a 2:54 that put it in 5th place overall and 6-seconds up on the closest enduro bike, the 180mm Propain Spindrift. Unsurprisingly, the P-Train (the most active feeling trail bike) and Norco Shore (the heaviest enduro bike) brought up the back of the pack, although I suspect that potential owners of those two won't be too fussed about it given that hose bikes aren't about getting to the top quickly.

Sure, the Efficiency Test isn't a German-run lab with airlocks and results to be published in some peer-reviewed paper, but that's not the intention. Instead, it gives us a good idea of the relative efficiency between all ten bikes, and it's also confirmed our on-trail impressions of their climbing performance.




The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel & protection, Sierra Nevada refreshments, and Smith eyewear and helmets. Thanks also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.





293 Comments

  • 95 1
 so if the p-train goes uphill like an enduro bike, and downhill like an enduro bike, and weighs like an enduro bike.. should it be measured against the other enduro bikes?
  • 11 0
 What classified as “enduro tho”?
  • 48 0
 Maybe it means that wheel travel alone is no longer a relevant parameter to classify a bike ?
  • 25 2
 I get how a 135mm travel bike can feel like an enduro bike with more travel when hitting bumps, like plowing thru a rock garden. But my question is, when you are pumping little rollers and corners, does it still feel like an enduro bike, I mean does it wallow in it's travel or is it easy to pump like a "trail" bike.
  • 3 2
 @Ooofff: would you use if for an all mountain ride
  • 5 1
 @fatduke: what is the definition of “all mountain” ? Eh controversial
  • 12 5
 @kcy4130: bang on, that's how my druid feels absorb impact like a 150+ bike but pump and handle like a 10mm bike. Best of both worlds.
  • 4 2
 *130mm*
  • 8 0
 He should have had a beer helmet on for more accurate conditions.
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: Intriguing. Wish I could try one!
  • 4 2
 @kcy4130:

I’ve got the same question.

Looking at the results. The Nomad and Spindrift are approximately the same efficiency as the Mojo and Blackthorn (especially considering the trail bikes used faster rolling tires).

But does that mean the spindrift/Nomad pump obstacles the same way as the trail bikes? Or do they feel like they have vastly more travel in every situation?
  • 8 0
 @ocnlogan: This test is a seated climb on a fire road. efficiency in this test doesn't necessarily translate to efficiency out of the saddle max efforts or pumping rolling terrain. More travel means less efficient pumping almost always. I was just curious if the high pivot of the p train changed that.
  • 3 2
 @kcy4130: I havent tried any other bikes on the test but to compare my druid to a 2018 altitude 170/150 i found my altitude to be maybe a bit better on fire road and smooth climbs, probably due to drag from idler and mainly lower chain guide but I got my druid late in the season and wasnt as in good shape. BUT on tech climbs the druid is much better especially off the saddle effort the high pivot and rear ward travel climb anything really good.
  • 5 0
 @Ooofff: what ever a rider decides to race on during an 'enduro'.
Pretty broad as that can be 140-180
  • 4 2
 @jrocksdh: my hardtails an “enduro bike” then
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130:

Sorry, that was poorly worded. I should have said I have a question on the same topic, but kind of from an opposing perspective.

You’re asking if the high pivot makes the short travel act like a longer travel bike when pumping/jumping around. I’m definitely interested in the answer to this.

I’m asking if the more efficient and poppy long travel bikes ride like a shorter travel bike.

They specifically mention in the reviews on the Spindrift and the Nomad how it doesn’t feel like a long travel bike. I’m just curious “how much” less travel they feel like I guess.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: and what about hitting jumps ? My Scout is a pretty perfect enduro bike despite having only 130mm travel. But when hitting some natural jumps, BAM, reality hits. And ankles hurt.
  • 2 1
 @kcy4130: "I get how a 135mm travel bike can feel like an enduro bike with more travel when hitting bumps,"

I can't get it!
Care to explain in more detail your comment, while I wait for my popcorn?
Thank you!
  • 1 0
 @Ooofff: ok, i should say a pro on an ews track lol
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: is the difference between "trail" and "enduro" just a matter of how the HSC is set?
  • 4 1
 @ybsurf: Does Forbidden pay you? Alot of comments about your Druid...
  • 3 0
 @ocnlogan: I have a Nomad V4 coming off a Spartan, the thing I first noticed is how much extra momentum it gives on pumps... the VVP feels like it make the bike accelerates itself over bumps.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: well said
  • 3 0
 @ScrubforDough: is the whole thing about the p train as a high pivot bike? I have a high pivot bike and bring my opinion about the design
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: good definition I like it. Ima start using it
  • 59 1
 it'd be interesting to try this test with (say) 10lbs strapped to the frame of the stumpy, to separate out suspension design/efficiency from pure weight. I've seen this done on a couple of roadie tests and the wieght makes surprisingly little difference
  • 88 0
 Yep this is in the works.
  • 81 3
 @brianpark: Should've said that you were weighing on it.
  • 3 0
 the stumpjumper + mike levy combination is about 5% lighter than the norco shore + mike levy combination, yet is 20% faster! The 27.5 wheels will roll a little slower than the 29 but that's a crazy difference in efficiency. Does this lower anti squat help on rougher climbs, or will the increased power spikes on rougher climbs penalize this design even more.
  • 2 3
 Weight is going to play a role on the much longer steady climbs or over longer rides, which has for sure been proven time after time. I would imagine pedal efficiency and tire/wheel/pressure were making these time gaps so big in such a little amount of time.
  • 3 1
 This ×1000. I would absolutely love to see them normalize the weights for all these bikes, if for nothing else but to show people that 5 extra pounds on a bike over a 3 min climb like this makes like 6 seconds difference at 300 w. Then people could stop acting like bike weight is a be all end all for bike decisions.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark while we are being "scientific", two of these bikes have idler pulleys, but they are also the two heaviest bikes with coil shocks. I'm insanely curious how much drag the pulley actually adds! I wonder if its possible to normalize the weight, maybe get an air shock with a lockout, etc.
  • 2 2
 @brianpark: An add-on to that test could be with the same weight on the rider (in a backpack). There's still a few die hard weight on the rider not the bike hold outs. I know it's less fatiguing to have weight on the bike for riding, but for just fire road climbing it'd be interesting to see if it changed efficiency. I suspect not.
  • 1 3
 Or why not, do the normalized weight experiment and make it a climb of 8 miles at 6%, which at 300w would take an hourish, so it can be a 2 min difference in climb time, to further illustrate how little difference weight makes compared to the ability to put out consistant wattage.
  • 3 15
flag aljoburr Plus (Dec 22, 2020 at 9:03) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: Should add in an E-bike too the mix, too show how much quick you can go, with an other 300w?
I mean how much fun it is? LOL
  • 4 0
 @racerfacer: as I understood they left the respective control tires on the bikes. Dragging an Assguy uphill is a pain, even if it's on the front.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: poor Levy looks tired enough as it is!! Great work loved the field test cheers
  • 8 9
 As entertaining as this test was, I don't think its truly representative of a mountain bikes efficiency, its too one-dimensional. It doesn't take into account wheel size, geometry, and suspension design as a whole. The bike designers went through great pains to design suspension that gets over obstacles going up while helping you to go faster on the descents. The suspension wasn't designed to go up a smooth, featureless climb like this (that's what climb switches are really for, as much as you hate them, fire-road climbs). I think some type of moderately technical single track with direction changes would be more representative of the natural habitat these bikes were meant to live in. Nothing too steep like the impossible climb, but with different features that you could repeatedly hit on each run to test the balance between efficiency, geometry, activeness, etc.
  • 4 0
 @Gnarcoticsanonymous: YES. But instead of ten bikes have 24 next time. Suck it Levy, 24 hours of climbing.
  • 3 1
 @brianpark: It'll be interesting if some companies try to game the test. By sending a specially prepared bike. Like with thinner grease and/or lower friction seals on the wheel bearings and bb. People claim that world cup mechanics do such tricks. I'd be interesting if it actually has much effect. Perhaps something to discuss in a podcast.
  • 2 0
 @Gnarcoticsanonymous: i agree 100% (and ride a heavy ass bike) but i suspect that for singletrack climbing with lots of stop and go, weight starts to feel more apparent.
  • 6 0
 if you graph the total weight vs time it's a fairly linear graph. The mojo and slash are looking like the most inefficient bikes while the trance, blackthorn, and nomad are comfortably below the line. I guessed 160lbs for Levy with gear. *Not a scientist or anyone anybody should listen too, I'm trying to be more proficient with excel over the holiday break. Furthermore, I may or may not be trying to justify the truvativ carbon cranks I bought for myself to replace SX.
  • 1 0
 @Gnarcoticsanonymous: if you graph these numbers by bike/rider weight vs time, the shore doesn't look like much of an outlier. It's about 12% slower or 7 minutes per hour.
  • 3 0
 @JayUpNorth: don’t ever feel that you have to justify replacing SX.
  • 6 0
 I would also like to see it done in outer space to equalise any aero advantages caused by flecks of mud landing in different spots on different bikes
  • 1 0
 @Gnarcoticsanonymous: weight of wheel assembly matters far more than the rest of it.
  • 1 0
 was the roadie test a slow climb?

on the road most of your watts go into fighting aero drag, so weight won't matter much.

on a slow climb, most of the watts go into potential energy, so weight has a much larger effect. if 100% goes into potential energy, 10 lbs would be about ~5% slower, so ~9 sec here. in reality it will be less, but it'll still be a big chunk.
  • 1 0
 @CircusMaximus: i don't, the crank was really garbage. The issue is that I jumped past the SLX/GX level that suits my budget better. But, my cranks died and gx and raceface turbines were sold out.
  • 36 1
 In case anyone was wondering:

1st Giant Trance X (5/5 Live Valve) - 2:45 / 13.9 kg
2nd Specialized Stumpjumper - 2:48 / 12.4 kg
3rd Giant Trance X (1/5 Live Valve) - 2:49 / 13.9 kg
4th Salsa Blackthorn - 2:53 / 14.5 kg
5th Santa Cruz Nomad - 2:54 / 14.8 kg
6th Ibis Mojo - 2:56 / 13 kg
7th Propain Spindrift - 3:00 / 15 kg
8th Rocky Mountain Altitude - 3:04 / 14.2 kg
9th Trek Slash - 3:10 / 14.7 kg
10th Actofive P-Train - 3:12 / 15.5 kg
11th Norco Shore - 3:28 / 17 kg
  • 1 0
 Yes. I kept pausing and going back between the enduro and trail bikes. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 Thanks my friend!!
  • 6 0
 The Nomad is really surprising here. That's not a minor difference for this short of a climb. The fact that it beat out the Mojo (or was even close to it) is fascinating. I think PB could do a whole "MTB Mythbusters" series and clear away the marketing fog to see what's really important (depending on your needs) and what isn't.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: would be more interesting if the Spindrift get that air shock too. Would be lighter then this Santa and I think more efficient with its coil.
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: With all of them but the two porkers at the end, I think the results are too close to draw any meaningful conclusions other than "all modern bikes ride really well nowadays". With only one observation per bike, there are too many other variables to slice and dice such close results. If they used several different riders and did hundreds of climbs for each bike along that same section (on the same day with similar temps, weather, ect) then we could say for sure whats going on.
  • 6 0
 So the fastest bike was the one that auto-engages a climb switch, in the firmest setting. When it auto-engaged the climb switch in the mildest setting, the performance dropped to third, albeit very close. It would be interesting to test some of these with the climb switch engaged. I dislike climb switches as much as the next guy, even when the next guy is Mike Levy, but even I'll use one on a service road climb.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: the Mojo time gels with the feeling I get on my Ripmo AF (only made worse by the weight). When it comes to clawing up tricky terrain though, it does really well.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: two seconds is not enough difference to be significant, they are similar, so not that surprising.
  • 2 0
 @nurseben: It's surprising that they are similar tho being that 170mm is keeping up with the 130mm
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: Yes, actually it is very surprising as Ibis DW-link is supposed to be so good for climbing. Considering the tires as well.
  • 1 0
 Great! Just did a quick correlation and bike weight explains about 70% of the differences in times up the timed section.
  • 1 0
 @Slate: Are you sure about that? Even if we exclude the Giant and its Live Valve, the 13 kg Mojo was mid-pack, slightly slower than the other 27.5" bike that's 1.8 kg heavier and the Nomad is on slower tires.

The 15 kg Spindrift is heavier than the next two bikes.

Does this fit with your explanation?
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: I was looking at the relationship across all bikes, the graph is saved in my photos if you want to have a look. Clearly there are outliers, tires and suspension design are indeed likely explanations.
  • 1 0
 @Slate: Remove the two with idlers and the correlation becomes weak.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: that’s why it would be more better bro science if they calculated a watts per kilogram target, weighed the bike and rider at the start of the run, and then do the timed climb.
  • 1 0
 @DHhack: That doesn't reflect how people actually ride. We pedal as hard as we can, we don't tailor our effort to the weight of the bike.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: sigh... it’s a way to remove weight difference from climbing times.
  • 1 0
 @DHhack: Okay, but is it relevant to do so? And if the goal is to isolate the efficiency, then I'm concerned about the effect of a rider who's producing a variable power output. This would influence the amount of pedal bob, if we assume that to be source of energy loss you're trying to isolate.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: that’s the energy loss I’m trying to isolate, but not remove. Then we go down the rabbit hole of damper settings etc.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Yeah, good point. I think that many of the confounding factors correlate with bike weight. So I would not be surprised if the apparent relationship with bike weight is actually stronger than it should be considering the effects of weight alone.
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: ... and ergonomics, and aerodynamics of the rider's posture, and drivetrain friction ... the list goes on. If these variables seem minor, let's not forget many of the times were only 0.6% different from their neighbour. 0.6% could be due to an imperceptible change in wind conditions, rolling efficiency of tires improving as the weather warms up a degree, or any number of tiny variables.

And all this is being done on a service road. The story could completely change on a proper trail, but good luck trying to control all variables to less than 0.6% on a proper trail.
  • 1 0
 Can you plot that for us?
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: for sure. The only true take away is the Norco is garbage for climbing lol
  • 1 0
 @DHhack: And maybe we didn't need a scientific / bro-scientific experiment to determine that!
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: we sure didn’t lol
  • 36 2
 Sorry but I have too. NP does not stand for "Nominal Power" it stands for Normalized Power. I know... it doesn't really matter but finally but roadie knowledge finds something wrong in a PB video
  • 50 0
 I'll going to be nomalizing some chip and guac later today!
  • 1 1
 Probably should have use average power for the test. But odds are the difference between the two was probably a couple watts so I will let it go.
  • 36 1
 Sorry I have to too, it's "to" not "too".
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: Unless he was coasting uphill (assuming he pedaled the whole way)... there would be 0 difference. NP was the right way to do this. You'd want average if the test included the trail back down to avoid any time gapping sprints.
  • 21 0
 It's 2020 - we're normalizing everything Wink
  • 1 0
 @tuftjse: "Assuming"

But, again, why I let it go. It would not be a statistical difference.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Nominal is the "new Normal"... I'll see myself out.
  • 10 0
 @mammal: Norminal?
  • 2 0
 For an efficiency test, average power really should be used. Normalized is more of a training tool - hard efforts are weighted higher, but you could have a normalized power of 300 with average output of 300 (constant 300 W) or an average output of 250 (Go hard at 600W then recover at 50W for a minute, go hard at 600W, then recover at 50, etc)
  • 37 2
 Ok, now I'm curious what the ass-to-chamois friction coefficient is. Maybe a chamois cream shootout?
  • 12 0
 What Levy said sounded wrong, and what you have written sounds wronger...
  • 25 0
 wrong website for cream shootouts.
  • 5 0
 @savagelake: This thread is rubbing me the wrong way...
  • 2 0
 Chamois cream field test. Complete with slowmo huck to flat.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: money shot??
  • 2 0
 @Arepiscopo: No, a close up, slowmo of how the chamois cream helps the scrotum/seat interface on a high post, seated, flat landing. It's a testicular trauma joke.
  • 4 0
 @kcy4130: you guys are nuts.
  • 35 0
 When are we going to get a downhill field test?
  • 59 0
 Assuming travel opens up, we're looking to do one next summer.
  • 10 32
flag eugenux (Dec 22, 2020 at 7:36) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe when ppl start buying dh bikes, in order for them to be relevant for the general market. If you think I'm wrong, go ahead and ask any motoring publication/magazine when they will do a rally car group test?!
  • 22 1
 can't wait for the efficiency test on a 200mm travel monster Big Grin
  • 5 0
 @Bruccio: I think Wyn Masters kinda filmed one already...
  • 7 0
 I'd love this, but with some enduro bikes thrown in the mix. Run them on rough AF courses and see what happens.
  • 1 11
flag eugenux (Dec 22, 2020 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 @bonkmasterflex: someone really needs to settle this, true!, but not on the roughest of the roughest trails outhere, as no one spends the majority time there anyway.
  • 3 0
 @bonkmasterflex: I like this idea. Maybe toss in one enduro race bike (Slash/Altitude) and one freeride/super enduro bike (Spindrift/Shore).
  • 4 0
 @Bruccio: I'm really interested to see how a Canfield One climbs with a normal drivetrain and a dropper post.
  • 4 0
 @eugenux: Ok but the roughest trails are where you'll see the biggest difference. Hence testing the bikes on the roughest trails to see if the enduro bikes can really keep up.
  • 1 5
flag eugenux (Dec 22, 2020 at 12:36) (Below Threshold)
 @johannensc: not WC lvl-ish dh tracks; how many 300-500 people world wide can navigate fast(DH racing fast) a WC dh track?, nomal DBs and DDs, yes..but no WC lvl, as those tracks are not representative for what 99.99% ppl ride
  • 5 1
 @eugenux: Why do they need to be racing? They weren't at race pace for these tests. Just because you cant make it down a DH run does not mean the testers cant.
  • 3 1
 @BlackVR: Canfield One.2 it still a 37 ~ 38 lbs bike but will outclimb many on this field test if you set it with a single crown fork.
The real question is how the new upcoming Canfield Lithium will pair up against the best of the best.
  • 1 2
 @johannensc: I can make it down a dh track on my 130-150mm reactor; that does not mean I'm as fast as I used to be on my 180mm bike or as someone on a dh bike.

Normal black diamonds and d diamonds are ok for 160-170-180mm bikes. World cup lvl tracks, not so much. That is all that I am saying.
  • 7 0
 @eugenux: DH bikes are built around World Cup tracks and big freeride lines. Testing them on anything else is useless. Putting an enduro bike in there will give you an idea of what you're really gaining from the full DH bike. We already know enduro bikes can keep up on normal DH tracks.
  • 1 0
 It will look like a session!
  • 2 5
 @johannensc: very true..but if only 500 ppl world wide ride those at real speed, what is the point?, again, the comparison between mormal cars and rally cars. Smile
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: So they should stop making DH bikes because you can’t ride it fast enough? You don’t have to go World Cup speed to get the benefit of the DH bike.
  • 1 1
 @johannensc: no man, they should stop making DH bikes because there aren't enough ppl buying them(it's bad business case) and start making crazy grim-donut-type of racing prototypes for the elite lvl riders.

...especially since the trails are less and less hard-core and even bikes with 180mm travel are enough.

I'll go every time for free speed and easier riding in the gnar...and the little invincibility feeling..but, honestly, 99.99% of ppl don't live at a WC lvl trails bike-park's door so.., from every way you would look at it, the DH-bikes for the "general" public are useless.

I wish all of you guys that started mtb-ing some years ago, realize that, in those years, the trail, am, (inexistent)enduro type category at that time, were much, much weaker from a capability point. My 2012 26" 150mm GT Sanction is a joke compared to any current agressive 150mm bike. My 2009 Spez Pitch Pro was is even worse. So yeah, in those years and even earlier, if you wanted to go fast down the hill, you wanted(and needed) a DH bike.
But...we don't live in those times anymore. The current 160-180mm bikes are so capable for 98% of the riding times you really...really don't need 200mm+ bikes. (with the exception of those who live at the front door of hard-core bike-parks or trail-centers...for them, you can (almost)find a justification. For the rest of us...more than a 180mm forked spez enduro or a RM Slayer...well, it is my honest(and logic) opinion that you don't need go go further and that they are enough for whatever trail you'll ride).
  • 1 1
 @johannensc: that is why I am saying that ppl really need to see it/this.

160-180mm racing/big enduro bikes vs 200mm dh bikes on a black diamond and a double diamond; multiple runs, all of them timed. If the difference is less than 5%, we should all get over our misconceptions, egos and fantasies from 15-20 years ago and get the proper bikes for the riding we actually do, not for the one that 99% of the time we don't do.
  • 2 0
 @eugenux: But if you live by a bike park, why not get a downhill bike? Sure you could ride everything on a big enduro bike, but if you don't have to pedal, why bother getting a bike that has a frame/suspension design/component set up that is a compromise between climbing and descending? DH bikes still feel and hold up a bit better if you don't need to pedal them. I highly doubt a DH bike is the only bike most riders own.

That being said, if I was getting a DH bike for the park, I would choose something like the Furious over the Supreme. I have no need of a race focused bike.
  • 1 1
 @MarcusBrody: of course, that is what I have said above.."with the possible exceptions of those who live near a bike-park". Also, we can add those for whom the DH bike is the 2nd or 3rd.
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: Clearly you’ve got much more business sense than any company still making DH bikes. Why haven’t they hired you yet? If there wasn’t a market they wouldn’t make them. I’m sure we will be seeing less of them in the future as the enduro bikes are getting much closer, but bikes made to pedal just do not have the same suspension performance as pure DH bikes. Just because you don’t see a benefit for your riding does not mean there isn’t a market.
  • 32 1
 So instead of getting a trail bike...everyone should just get a Nomad, get 3.5% fitter. You'll be the same speed on the way up and be able to ride way gnarlier stuff on the way down!
  • 12 1
 A lot of us have already figured this out. Plus less breakdowns with a beefier build.
  • 10 1
 Keep in mind this is a steady state efficiency test. In dynamic terrain, weight (especially rotational) and kinematics are going to make a bigger difference. My Megatower and Tallboy don't feel radically different on a fireroad type climb, there's a very big difference on rolling XC trails though. Plus the Tallboy is more fun on tamer trails.
  • 3 1
 1) Pick an enduro bike with geo and kinematics you like
2) Set the suspension nice and stiff
3) Enjoy riding literally anything
  • 6 0
 @wsor1337: 4) question why you bought an enduro bike when you're only using 50% of your travel
  • 1 0
 @Noah353: every car owner in the world does this, most cars easily go up to 180/200 kph yet they spend most their time in a traffic jam rolling along at 5 kph
  • 2 0
 @chris-brown225: ...which is hardly the drivers choice...
  • 1 0
 @Noah353: The bike shop told them they could ride literally anything on it.
  • 28 1
 The surprise of this test has been the Salsa. Punching way above its weight (and small marketing dollars).
  • 20 0
 The nomad climbs pretty well. Back to its roots of a do it all machine.
  • 13 0
 Nearly matching the trail bikes climbing but you get to shred the downhills.
  • 3 0
 It was up with the trail bikes and on the more aggressive enduro tire set. Really makes me wonder why I would get a trail bike since I like the big trails as well.
  • 5 0
 Was surprised the Nomad out climbed the Mojo. Half way through the video I thought this was going to be an anti 27.5 push, but then the Nomad shows up.
  • 3 7
flag ybsurf (Dec 22, 2020 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 @Iberian: like @brianpark said the enduro and trail were done on a different fire road so cannot be compare.
  • 4 0
 I also wonder about the 650b vs 29er debate. 29ers first entered the mtb world on the XC side of things, promising increased efficiency, less rolling resistance, and the need for less travel. Granted, a fire road isn't the same thing as climbing singletrack (very hard to test singletrack, probably), but still. It would be hilarious if 29ers turn out to be WORSE on the climbs, but faster for enduro/DH. Nino prefered teh 650b until Scott stopped making him that frame.
  • 3 0
 @ybsurf: no, that different road was in the XC field test.
  • 4 0
 @Iberian: Keep in mind this is a steady state efficiency test. In dynamic terrain, weight (especially rotational) and kinematics are going to make a bigger difference. My Megatower and Tallboy don't feel radically different on a fireroad type climb, there's a very big difference on rolling XC trails though. Plus the Tallboy is more fun on tamer trails.
  • 5 0
 Yeah, Nomad and the Stumpy are the real standouts.
  • 3 0
 @ybsurf: Everything in this video was done on the same climb, so the times between the enduro and trail bikes are absolutely comparable. It's the climb for the previous field test (xc and downcountry) that was different.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Might be interesting to slap a 650b wheelset on the stumpy to see how it affects the results. Lower BB shouldn't be an issue on that fire road.
  • 1 0
 Although on second thought, the lower BB might make it easier to balance the bike and keep it tracking a straight line giving the bike an unfair advantage.
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: On any rough trail the larger wheels roll significantly faster over small rocks and roots. A gravel road doesn't tell much about how the bike would handle on an xc course.
  • 2 0
 @dlxah: It makes me wonder if any of the big boys have done tests. Just get two hard tails, one 650b and one 29, and endlessly test them with power meters. The big S has their own freaking wind tunnel, and road bike companies endlessly test the efficiency difference between 25c and 27c tires, clincher vs tubular, etc
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: On a smooth fire road, I wouldn't be surprised if the 650b is a little faster with a bit less weight and wind resistance. But once you add some scattered rocks, roots, and pot holes into the mix, I think the rollover of the 29er will give it the edge.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Nino preferred the 27.5 only because he could get the bars lower. Even then he was running a -17 degree stem. He now runs -20 degrees or more with the 29. Body position and geometry is the limiting factor not wheel size.
  • 1 0
 @johannensc: source on that?
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: "The conclusion was that Schurter couldn’t find a crouched enough position on the 29er. He likes a lot of weight over the front wheel for optimal control. He actually liked the wheel size, but not the position sacrifice he had to make for the 29er" www.treadmtb.co.za/the-real-reason-nino-schurter-switched-to-29-inch-wheels
You could have found that yourself
  • 1 0
 @johannensc: Thats good to know.

I've played around a lot with bar height, and ultimately I don't think higher bars (within reason) affect climbing at all.

Of course what do I know.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: XC racing requires a pretty unique setup. Marginal gains and personal preference. I like high bars on my big bikes but I'm running my XC bike as slammed as possible.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: the strength of the elite men hides how steep some of the XCO courses get. There were sections of the course this year where men outside of the top 25 and women outside the top 5 weren’t able to get up every lap.

Think it is also a bit of a familiarity thing. Nino and others have come through the ranks where road position carried over. They learned to perform in that position marine future generations will come up through MTB specific training and find a faster body position through longer reach and higher front end.

I can say I tried the low position when I was younger and it still feels “racier” when I go a spacer lower on my xc bike during race season.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: Nino prefered 650b because he could get the front end lower. He worked with Scott to develop the new 29er spark RC to have a really short head tube, as well as not running a headset dust seal and really low stem to recreate his position. The new generation scott spark RC was also available in 650b when it launched just in case.
  • 17 0
 I've never owned a specialized, and can only ever remember riding one once. But that Stumpy might be my next bike.
  • 16 0
 My garage now has the "evo" variants of the epic and stumpy. They're both really good.
  • 19 0
 The Big Red S gets a lot of hate. Some well-deserved. And sure they've put marketing dollars behind some dubious stuff over the years.

But more often than not, their bikes are just really, very good.

The 2013 Camber Evo? The 2015 Enduro 29? The current Epic and Epic hardtail?

There is a long list of hits.
  • 6 0
 ive got the raw carbon expert model on order, So excited, i wonder if it will arrive this century
  • 6 6
 search "specialized bicycles frivolous lawsuit" if you care about companies not suing small businesses left and right.But there bikes look pretty cool
  • 3 0
 I got my E29 because my friend owned a shop at the time and I was able to get it damn cheap. But damn it is a good bike.
  • 6 0
 If you want that new Stumpy, I’d suggest calling your shop and putting money down on it. They are crazy sold out (I know big surprise). I considered it having been happy with specialized frames in the past (their cost cutting components are meh) but they are looking at summer delivery. Took delivery on a Propain Tyee instead and can build however I want. A big bonus is the mint color will tease all the Yeti fanboys we have on our trails...
  • 2 1
 After owning a few variations of Horst Link bikes, including Intense and Titus back in the day as well as spending lots of rides on Spesh products, I think moving away from the Horst link is a pretty good move for efficiency and will probably require a lot less DU bushing replacements. I’ve also owned faux bar and flex pivot designs as well as DW Link that I’ve enjoyed more. While it was their main marketing for decades, dropping the Horst link makes it a higher chance I’d end up with a Stumpjumper in the future.
  • 2 0
 I agree. I have never been a Specialized guy, but every review I read on that new Stumpy makes me curious. Does that make me Stumpy-curious?

I would love to ride one. Remember the old days (last year) when bike shops had bikes to sell, and demo bikes?
  • 2 0
 @edummann: the before times. They seem like a dream now.
  • 10 0
 High pivot trail bikes... not a good showing here. I'm curious if hp actually make sense for trail bikes.
  • 7 0
 Like anything in this industry. It's right for some folks.
  • 3 0
 The one aspect of high pivot that nobody ever mentions, but I believe is the single best attribute of the design, is that the wheelbase is better maintained throughout the suspension cycle. If you think about it, when you want a bike to be most stable is on a hard bottom out off a large jump or drop. It makes no sense for a wheelbase to shrink and get inherently more unstable in that situation.

Stability = confidence. Confidence = speed.
  • 2 0
 the problem is that the two high pivot bikes are the two heaviest bikes, and both of them have coils.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: correct. But it should be noted a HP design will never feel as energetic as a more standard design will offer. But who cares, it's all about that trail bike smashy smashy on the way down!
  • 3 1
 @tmadison12: pretty sure that because the wheelbase delta is relatively small, and that extended wheelbase state is such a brief transitory moment, that this (added stability in moments of deep travel) is effectively insignificant.
  • 2 1
 Like I mention before my druid feels like a150+ bikes on rough trails but handle like a 130 on flow pump trails that's why high pivot make sense. On fire road the drag play a little on efficiency but since I removed my lower chain guide it pedals as good as any other bike. On tech climbs the high pivot works so good especially off the saddle the rearward travel and high pivot nake going over rocks and roots a breeze.
  • 1 0
 @tmadison12: The problem is that the rear-centre may grow, but the front-centre still shrinks while the rider's weight is typically shifting forward.

The bigger concerns with geometry changing in the wrong way, at the wrong time, are the reduction in trail and front-centre.
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: While true, keep in mind geo numbers are measured at static. Even statically sagged in, the wheelbase is shrunk a little. And yes, the delta is relatively small, but I believe it should be made even smaller.

So yes, at the extreme end, fully compressed is a super tiny amount of time, but you do spend a whole lot of time in the 15%-60% travel range.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: I agree with you that the front center shrinks pretty radically, but that can be a major benefit by placing the rider's weight further over the front tire to aid with loading and traction.
  • 2 0
 @tmadison12: Traction on the front wheel is important, but I feel the shortening of the front-centre and reduction of trail under load are universally detrimental.

Ground force is already above average when the suspension is compressed, so traction is intrinsically high. Forces that compress the suspension usually result in the rider's weight shifting forward, increasing weight on the front wheel and reducing the proportion on the rear.

It is particularly detrimental to have the front-centre shorten during pitch compression, such as hitting a large obstacle or a harsh transition.

If there is any situation in which it is beneficial to have additional weight bias on the front wheel, it's during turn initiation. The suspension is minimally compressed at this time, suggesting a more favourable progression of the front-centre may be to lengthen as the suspension is compressed.

So far, we've discussed only the front- and rear-centre lengths and weight bias. Trail is another important issue and the reduction of trail during pitch compression is also detrimental to handling.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: that's an interesting point. with a HP, the wheelbase remains roughly static (as both the front & rear wheels are moving rearward - at a roughly similar angle), but the relationship of the rider's weight distribution between the wheels may be less stable than that of a low(er) pivot that would see front center shrinkage offset (a bit) by RC shrinkage. whether that has any meaningful real world implications...

i have spent lots of time on an HP dh rig, and while the steady state cornering prowess was fine, it certainly didn't feel as dynamic as lower pivot platforms. i think that was primarily owing to chainstay growth on corner exit - didn't generate the same pop / harder to manual out. certainly was a chunder pig, though.
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: Your second paragraph is exactly as would be expected from a better compliance angle and lengthening rear-centre.

In many situations, bikes behave more as two separate halves than one whole. During pitch compression, it doesn't matter a great deal what's happening with the rear, so the total wheelbase and the stability of the wheelbase and weight distribution aren't of great importance. The main thing is the front centre and how close the rider's centre of mass gets to the front contact point. Pitch compression is one of the most serious cases to consider for handling, as it is one of the most common precursors to crashes. It's important to maintain front-centre length, maintain trail, and resist front-end dive as much as practical.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: A shortening of the front-center does matter for suspension action, allowing square edge hits to initiate suspension movement. The ideal is probably an arc instead of a straight line, initial reward movement, then curving to a more horizontal movement to prevent too much wheelbase loss. Which not so coincidentally is what the Structure SCW 1 is doing.
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: Actually, most high pivot bikes, even the Commencal Supreme, still have forward movement of the axle. The Suprmeme 29 is only rearward for the first third of its travel. You need a super high pivot (and small 26" wheels) like the old Zerode G1/2 to truly get exclusively rearward axle movement.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: It's true, optimizing compliance and handling often require opposite solutions. Balancing them is where the magic happen.

Actually, that's the opposite of how the SCW-1's wheel path arcs.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: what, it goes forward?
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: No, the curvature is mildly concave-downward, not concave-upward. Priority was given to how the kinematics preserve the front-centre and trail during compression. The concave-upward axle path used by most other front linkages is one of the reasons other designs have had awkward handling and, like the Trust products, lack compliance in certain types of impacts. The linkage design reduces friction so tremendously, compared to telescoping forks, that a "perfect" axle path isn't needed; a "pretty darned good" axle path is still super plush and it frees the designer to use the linkage to create major improvements in handling.
  • 7 0
 Man, it's entertaining to watch Levy suffer and the Chamois-to-saddle friction comment made me laugh. Great job sticking within roughly +/- 1% power output on each of these. That's not easy to do across 10 or so efforts, but that keeps your inputs within the accuracy spec of the pedals in the first place and that's awesome control. Get that man a doughnut!

That said, the low-hanging fruit I see for making this test hold a little more water is:
1) get a moving start before the first cone and continue on past the last cone, that way you're at steady state 300W for the entire timed portion of the test without any influence of acceleration or braking at the ends that might mess with the time averaged power that's displayed on your head unit.
2) carry a small pack with adjusted ballast to even out the weight for all bikes. In this case, it looks like the time lost by the Shore was a higher percentage than just its extra heft, so some of that definitely is suspension kinematics. Or don't. This is supposed to be bro science for fun, carrying ballast feels like it's crossing the line into "things road bikers would do" territory.

I love these videos, please keep making them for us in your comparisons.
  • 9 0
 Okay, when’s the ankle breaker?
  • 21 0
 In 2 days. Smile
  • 1 0
 Delete: Replied to wrong comment.
  • 9 0
 27,5 was the fastest! I have to go back to small wheel now...
  • 1 0
 **get to**
  • 5 0
 It's not the greater amount of time you use going uphill on a non-goat, it's the sight of your buddies pulling away meter for meter or having a way easier uphill that's anoying.
  • 7 0
 So surprised The Nomad actually beat the Mojo, and the Mojo is actually lighter. impressive for all the 170 muscle it as.
  • 12 1
 People love to hate on the Nomad because people love to hate on SC, they're good bikes.
  • 7 2
 comparing it to the xc bikes efficiency test... Why would anyone still buy one of those?
  • 34 0
 We blew it and didn't do the identical section of fireroad, so they're not directly comparable. I think the plan is to do the same section going forward.
  • 7 1
 Becaise they roll alot faster and are more fun on tight buffer trails
  • 7 0
 @brianpark: refreshing show of transparency. Thank you
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Unless you use the same reference tires for all types of bikes across all field tests, it's not really going to be useful anyhow for comparing the results of the bikes in one field test vs. another. Still, no harm in it.
  • 1 0
 Because we ride bikes on trails not fire roads. Horses for courses..
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: any chance of doing a shootout on the same segment with a couple of each category?
  • 6 0
 Dang I'm impressed by the Stumpjumper.
  • 1 0
 Same! I know it's fun to hate on BigS, but they've really been knocking it out of the park lately.
  • 4 0
 I think, in the interests of bro science, levy should repeat the test using all available lockouts on the bikes to see what difference it makes.
  • 4 0
 Props to @mikelevy for being able to be able to repeat 300w nominal power as well as he does. It looks much easier to do than it is.
  • 5 0
 I'd like to give whoever is in charge of Pinkbike logistics a +1 for purchasing a Tacoma with the long bed.
  • 3 0
 Truth. Short bed trucks are ridiculous.
  • 3 0
 @EricHarger: Meh, short bed Taco pretty useful for the general home handyman or even gentlemen farmer. Especially if you're cursed with having to deal with city driving and parallel parking.
  • 3 0
 @Chuckolicious: Meh, what are you a farmer or a city slicker? Just joking of course. I’ve been screwed a time or two downtown by someone parking too close to me.
  • 3 0
 @levie125: Bit of both at this point.
  • 3 0
 @Chuckolicious: Hah! Me too. I’m also a hypocrite as I own a 1967 F100,

wait for it,

short bed.
  • 3 0
 @EricHarger: Ok, that’s a dope truck, plain and simple.
  • 1 0
 The answer to my question a couple weeks ago about the road pedals is finally revealed. Makes me remember way back in the mid-90's when the McCormack brothers glued mtb soles to the bottom of their carbon soled road shoes, and if memory serves me correctly they used shaved down Look cleats and road pedals, at a very snowy cyclocross race in Palmer, MA.
  • 1 0
 So, if some of the enduro bikes are as good or better at going up, is it mainly down to average gradient that dictates the amount of travel you should have? If you ride flat trails, I'm guessing that ability pumping with the lower travel is the area that you'll benefit from lesser travel more than going up.
I suppose that correlates to my experience, on my big heavy enduro bike I like to blame the bike for the climb, but really, I think I'm "missing out" on the flatter bits in-between.

Hypothetically....
  • 1 0
 Depends on if the flatter trails have enough big hits to keep you happy. Mine do so I deal with the longer travel and heavier weight. Whenever I start opting out of hitting all those features is probably when I’ll end up on a shorter travel bike.
  • 1 0
 Good stuff, y'all! That Propain though! Seems to be the surprise of the bunch? And maybe would still love to hear about that Trance without the computer for posterity on their suspension platform without it. You know, for science! Ha. cheers, and a Merry Holiday Christmas time!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Half KM or Half mile course? Video said KM, post says mile?

Regardless, fun test. Wish it was the same course as with the xc/dc, but still fun data to nerd over! Would you say that the difference in tire spec had a big influence between the categories? So many cool areas you could look into for future tests - what about a XC (or insert category here) control bike ? What about XC tires on a enduro bike or vice versa? How many laps until your legs fall off? So many things..
  • 1 0
 Im not mike but I may be able to help, the tires were meant to be similar to what the manufacturer would normally spec on those bikes so thats why they were different. Yes there is a large difference between a xc and enduro tire, the enduro tires will be noticeably grippier on loose terrain, and more sluggish on hard packed where the xc is the opposite. I have actually put some maxxis ikons onto my 160mm bike before and they were much faster and efficient on the smoother climbs, and slightly sketchy on the descents, however on the jumps they were leaps and bounds better. The tires pressure will make much more of a difference though, and I think they used different control pressures as well. In order to keep things fair, it might be best to use all control components and just review the only part the manufacturer makes, the frame.
  • 1 0
 Sorry Mike, you have to go back and do at least 2 laps on each bike (4 for giant) to normalize fatigue Variable. You also need to normalize energy input by rating 5 Doritos Chios and a shot of energy drink before each lap. Ha - this was enjoyable watch considering the content. Kudos
  • 1 0
 Good job @MikeLevy. Well done efficiency test! I second the sentiment though for the provision of bike weight along with climb time. Weight, suspension linkage design, and drivetrain components all play into this efficiency equation.
  • 1 0
 Do wish there was a master list for this sort of stuff. A consistent bumpy trail (test rig?), control tires/ pressures/ rider weight, and a master list showing where bikes over years land on this sort of test.

Would also be a great tool for testing the efficiency of different tires.

But obviously controlling for this many variables costs significant time and money, so I'm thankful for what we get.

Thanks PB!
  • 1 0
 The smallest puff of wind will significantly alter the time.
  • 1 0
 When is there going to be an ebike field test? There is no denying they are starting to dominate the field. They get talked about a lot, but a field test would be awesome. I just bought a SC Bullit but had to go off of reviews from 2nd tier websites alone when buying it.
  • 1 0
 Just because the average watts is the same doesn't make it a fair test, watts doesn't correlate linear with speed, he could be going faster on some bikes at certain points expending a lot more watts then slowing down, this would cause his average watts to hit higher than his average speed, to double speed means to increase power squared, so he could absolutely pin it for the first 10% then slow down considerably for the remaining 90% getting a slower overall time and yet still hit the same average watts because he pinned it at the start.
  • 1 1
 Interesting test! Personally not surprised, climbed on supreme sx 180/180 for three years now, it’s climbs everything my (canyon) strive and nerve did and goes down with sooo much more confidence. Another benefit of ”over dimensioned” bike is that the only mechanicals ive had are two cracked bolts in the rear suspension linkage. Heavy bike is good for your bank account!
  • 1 0
 Looks like $535 for the two transmitters and one chip (wristwatch display extra). Does anyone know another product available in north america that does the same for less money?
  • 1 1
 Ofcourse high pivot bikes with high idler pulleys, like the actofive p-train and the forbidden druid, will climb like s%h#it€ without a lockout or pedal platform as pedalling compresses the suspension, especially powerfull timed strokes in standing technical climbs will make the bike cringe under you.
Why nooene hasn’t designed an idler pulley mounted on a cable actuated lever for this sort of design is beyond me, climbing performance would improve dramatically.
Druid fanbois will disapprove of the obvious
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the consistently great content this year, Pinkbike! You guys did amazing things in 2020. Happy holidays and happy New Year to you all!
  • 1 1
 Since your testing for suspension efficiency, you need to use the same wheels and probably wheel size on each bike. I get the argument for intended wheel size, so then at least use 27.5 and 29 wheels that weigh the same.
So 2 tests - each bike on same 27.5 wheels (since not all can do 29) and on intended wheel size with normalized weight.

Please redo it while you have the bikes
thanks
  • 1 0
 you should be using average power, should also try to ride a consistent cadence across all bikes. you probably did, and it probably doesn't matter, just pointing it out tho b/c OCD
  • 1 0
 I've been led to believe that tire compounds, treads, and pressures have a massive influence on rolling resistance. So, if I were doing this test, I'd put the same tire, at the same pressure, on every bike.
  • 2 0
 Live valve sounds super awesome, but am I the only one that doesn't want the xtra cables? I'll take the acoustic suspension
  • 3 0
 Give us the weights next to the times please
  • 3 0
 Would be interesting to throw and xc/dc bike in there just for context.
  • 2 0
 Given that the Spindrift is 180mm, would have liked to see the Tyee compared to Altitude.
  • 3 0
 Yeah I'm sure it would've been a bit quicker, the geo, weight and suspension are fairly similar though.

The spindrift looks like the clear winner of this test to me: 2nd most efficient enduro climber, 2nd quickest on kaz's test, and best value with fully customizable builds (in eu at least).
  • 1 0
 @Altron5000: Yes, great value, and might have been #1 in the test?
  • 2 0
 Without the Lycra, how are we supposed to make fun of @mikelevy ‘s seat tube angle?
  • 1 0
 @TheJD: my years and years of experience tell me that they did it on a gravel road climb. Too bad they don't state that in the article...oh waaaiiit...
  • 2 0
 Boston Dynamics needs to make a rider-bot. Perfectly consistent ride every time. Mark my words, within 5 years.
  • 1 0
 If these tests require a $100,000 rider-bot I'm sure the differences aren't that big
  • 1 0
 @PhatBrett: Ha! But you watch, Specialized or Santa Cruz will do it just for the marketing aspect alone. And I bet you'll be able to Aliexpress one for $500. :-D
  • 2 0
 Efficiency is nice but how about a comparison to last years bikes. I'm curious on @mikelevy opinion on stumpy vs optic.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy is that the same fire road that the pros lay cones out for corner drills? i could swear i've seen it in a finn or jesse vlog
  • 1 0
 yup, as i thought the Nomad is gonna nail it, 29ers take tons of energy, i felt the diference right away after switching from RM Altitude 27.5 to my new Occam
  • 2 0
 That propain and gen4 Nomad wow, nomad used to be big slouchs. gg on the improvements
  • 1 1
 What a bizzare list of bikes. How did Pinkbike select the candidates for testing. Tell you what Pinkbike, I'll stick with Enduro mtb. You justkeep earning that advertising revenue.
  • 2 0
 Oh please do the same test on an ebike. 300 watts, same distance. Or see how far you go in 3 minutes.
  • 2 0
 When is Fox Live Valve Terralogic going to be a thing?
  • 7 1
 Live valve is never gonna be anything but a weird side product that 1 in 100000 riders will buy
  • 2 0
 Oh this isnt the Huck to flat. guess ill watch levy climb a fire road
  • 2 2
 The thing is ..who cares about how long it takes to climb to the top..slow and steady ..then blast the descent..with the slash of course..
  • 1 0
 Do what I did, make a mechanical switch for pro-pedal that firms the suspension with press of a button. Cost $50 in parts.
  • 1 0
 Wow, this must have been about a bazillion 3 minute intervals. I wonder if he used the pickup to shuttle back down.
  • 2 0
 I pretty much always wear knee pads for fire road climbs.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy please grow a mustache
  • 2 0
 11, 3 min 300 watt intervals!! That’s dope
  • 1 0
 As a reference would the most efficient bike with say...20psi and DH tyres be equalish the as tested least efficient?
  • 1 0
 I'd like to know how the Specialized Enduro will fair versus these bikes a it surprisingly pedals well also.
  • 1 0
 Would have liked to see how a evil Following and Wreckoning compare in that test Wink
  • 1 0
 I would have liked to see how a hardtail and even a gravel bike compared just as a baseline. Great review Mike.
  • 1 0
 Is Levy the first person to ever wear enduro knee pads with with road bike shoes?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Enjoyed that. Did you guys recalibrate the pedals for the different lengths cranks?
  • 1 0
 Seems to be a bit beat at the end there!
  • 4 7
 I think other than what Brian wrote about doing the same stretch of road as the XC test, I have to wonder if Levy should do it twice. It could be on a different day, but go in reverse order the second time. Maybe not fair to the bikes in the middle of the rotation, or maybe it is an advantage since he is warmed up and his muscle memory is good for the middle timing, but why just make Levy feel the burn? Just grab some other riders and let em have a go at em.

Also, was there an unfair advantage if he consumed donuts and beverages after the first few bikes? Some of the bikes had bottles on em while some didn't. What was inside them, or were they all empty?
  • 17 0
 300 watts is 300 watts. Pretend it was a motor on the bike instead set to a constant output of 300 watts. It doesn't matter if the battery powering the motor was full or half empty, as long as it put out 300 watts.
  • 3 0
 I think this would be great if you could convince him to ride another 10 miles of gravel road. I'd be curious to see how much variance there was on the same bike over two runs.
  • 3 3
 @Iberian: 300 watts at the pedal is 300 watts at the pedal but I don't think it tells the whole story - try dropping your saddle and pushing out 300w and you'll find how tired you get. Not suggesting that the saddle height isn't comparible across the bikes, but things like hip angle won't be - so watts at the pedal isn't everything (but unless you resort to using heart rate to figure out the rider's output, which probably doesn introduce a bunch of other issues, I can't see an alternate way of testing)
  • 3 0
 @hughlunnon: I could definitely be convinced if he ran a couple of bikes across the spectrum and came very close with his times across runs. I imagine that it's slightly harder to control pedaling dorm than wattage (just because there is no meter), so of there was a notable variance, I imagine it would be greater for the longer travel bikes.
  • 1 0
 Comfort suggestion: take off the knee pads
  • 1 0
 Can when the sponsor is paying
  • 1 0
 I wonder if Stumpjumper EVO is also such impressive on uphill.
  • 1 1
 Its going to be groundbreaking when they get the live valve to work better on the downhills
  • 1 0
 Grim Donut would have been a minute faster
  • 1 0
 Wow, surprised the mojo 4 is that slow for a 130mm trail bike.
  • 1 0
 Really, great aspect to include in the test. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 Damn 3 min at 300 intervals would suck
  • 6 6
 Why not do the same with a locked shock? Would be great for comparison.
  • 2 1
 I guess the issue is different shocks lock out to various levels.
  • 4 2
 @kiksy: So what? It's not a scientific test anyway and different bikes have different shocks, so using your argument the test above would be 'useless' too.
  • 3 0
 this is bro science. and they said having it locked doesn't make sense in places with rolling terrain which is where they were and whats in most places
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 @TheJD: Even the same shock has a different lockout force based on tuning and suspension kinematics. There are more than a dozen different lock out, compression and rebound configurations for the same shock based on what the brand orders. Also some shocks on the test don't have compression adjustment at all. When comparing how efficient the suspension inherently is between bikes it just doesn't make sense to do a lock out test. If you were doing a shock test and were comparing tunes and different shocks on one bike that makes more sense to do a lockout test.
  • 1 1
 I never "lock" my suspension for climbing. At best it may be a couple seconds faster on a long fireroad climb (definitely NOT better on a tech climb). At worst you do like my friend did this weekend and, forgetting to put it in descending mode before heading back down making the bike ride like an XC machine, using 70mm out of 170mm of travel.
  • 8 1
 @TheJD: I think it's more interesting to see how the suspension is designed for efficiency than seeing who makes the stiffest lockout.
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 You guys probably don't understand that if they had done also the test with a locked out shocks, we would have another reference point for each bike. It could be that all the bikes with locked out shock were within 5 seconds or so, or the difference could be much greater. You could also find out that some bike was only a little faster with(out) lockout while another bike had a much greater margin between the two modes.
On another note, I haven't watched the video so I don't know the terrain they tasted on. I assumed it would be some kind of a fire road because doing an efficiency test in more difficult terrain gives you a larger error.
  • 14 0
 Not a popular strategy, but trying watching the video before commenting.
  • 1 1
 @Iberian: There is an artictle with text too you know?
  • 1 0
 @TheJD: You're the worst type of pinkbike commenter
  • 1 1
 @johannensc: Wow, such praise! I don't comment much, so it means a lot. Thanks!
PS: I am just the "straight to the facts" type guy, so I don't really enjoy watching videos that are way longer than reading a short text with relevant information.
  • 1 0
 Gold #11 extra pimp.
  • 1 0
 But the rider Matter!!!
  • 3 6
 No Knolly love???? ...... because they last too long and most Dentist dont ride them lol
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