Field Test: 10 Trail and Enduro bikes VS the Impossible Climb

Dec 23, 2020
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

10 Trail and Enduro Bikes VS The Impossible Climb


Pseudoscience in the name of climbing





I know, I know, you're patiently waiting to watch the Huck to Flat bottom-out orgy. That's on the way - it wouldn't be a Field Test without it - but first, we need to get to the top of the mountain. Sometimes that means shuttle runs, or spinning up a gravel road, or maybe even a difficult and long climb that requires everything you've got. Or sometimes it means facing a wall of wet roots, tall ledges, and switchbacks so tight they'd trouble a unicycle. This is where we find ourselves today.

Thanks to evolving geometry and suspension, modern trail and enduro bikes offer descending performance that was unheard of only a few short years ago. But everything is a balance and that should, presumably, come at the expense of climbing capability. Thing is, these new, relatively long and slack machines don't seem all that fussed by some tricky uphill singletrack, handling nothing like you'd expect given what the geometry chart says.


2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
Just another dozen attempts to go...


Good thing this version of the Impossible Climb is the most heinous yet then. Its shiny roots were about the same diameter as your bicep, and the loose rocks offered the same purchase as a few thousand wet marbles, all of which were laid out over a steep, 200-foot wall. The climb might be new but the same rules apply: Each bike gets a couple tries to set a high mark, and they're all wearing matching tires set to identical pressures. The enduro bikes got Maxxis' Assegai and DHR II tires, both with EXO+ casings (Double Down wasn't available in time), while the trail bikes all wore a Minion DHF and Dissector combo with the same casing and sticky compounds. Of course, all of the suspension was adjusted correctly as well.

It was a long day and two bikes set identical high marks by the end of it: Giant's Fox Live Valve equipped Trance X Advanced and Specialized's all-new Stumpjumper.


Previous Impossible Climbs
13 Bikes VS The Impossible Climb
8 Value Bikes VS the Impossible Climb, 1 Huge Upset
9 XC Bikes & the Grim Donut VS Impossible Climb





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.





184 Comments

  • 147 1
 Wait. Didn't the Salsa fail at the same spot?
  • 71 1
 Yep. Seemed to get there a fair bit easier than the specialized or giant too.
  • 203 0
 #BarneyGotRobbed
  • 30 0
 The Salsa has really acquitted itself well on the bro science portions of the test.
  • 62 9
 #Stopthesteal
  • 31 1
 #JusticeForBarney!
  • 2 5
 Agreed. They did state that bikes had a few attempts. Maybe these weren’t the best attempt for each bike?
  • 9 0
 Stolen valor
  • 7 0
 @Pinkbike - Any chance we can get a GIF of Levy doing that bar hump ?
  • 12 0
 And he spent a lot less time trials-hopping at the spot where he failed on the other 7 on Barney then the Spec or Giant.
  • 2 0
 Just rode more than 50 miles of technical singletrack on a Blackthorn in Southern Utah this weekend and I can attest it climbs very well for such a big bike.
  • 4 0
 And Levy got more accustomed to the climb with each attempt so...having been one of the earlier bikes, one could say it did much better. He even said it felt good. Sure looked like less struggle.
  • 8 0
 If some PB person doesn't say something about the Blackthorn being shunned despite apparent performance then I don't know why I should give a shit about what they have to say about any bike. They're usually quite good about responding to salient points quickly and their silence on this is worrisome. Maybe they're on Christmas break...but come on.
  • 3 0
 EXACTLY It’s all about who sponsors and advertises on Pinkbike. I love y’all Pinkbike, but gotta give cred to the salsa no matter who pays the bills.
  • 16 0
 Things I did not expect to see when I woke up today: Salsa becomes PB Commentariat People's Champion.
  • 7 0
 @dookiehill: maybe Salsa paid them to skew the results. They are now the talk of the town in this thread #conspiraciesonconspiracies
  • 2 4
 Bunnyhopping is the same as dabbing. Change my mind.
  • 1 2
 @gwubb: that wasn't bunny hopping, but I agree with your sentiment.
  • 2 5
 Purple Lives Matter
  • 1 0
 Plus, it was fourth out of all the bikes in the efficiency test (including 2 runs on the live valve giant).
  • 85 1
 This is entertaining, but it would be great to see a longer and just-doable technical climb that is timed. Something you would find in a half dozen spots on your technical loop. This Impossible Climb seems more about luck and trials skills than the bike itself. Ok sure, it’s really all about skill and fitness... but I want to convince myself which bike will make me climb more like Chris Akrigg and less like Chris Griffin.
  • 16 0
 I agree. It's almost a little maddening to watch. It's not just a little impossible, it's really impossible. Maybe set something up where you can get over half way with all the bikes. It seems like the trickiest most random section is within the first 30 feet.
  • 6 2
 @pinkbiker3000: but how would he know that he can make it half way with all of the bikes until he does the climb with all of the bikes?
  • 2 0
 @MattyBoyR6: ha, well good point, but I mean, the filming of the video probably isn't the first time he rides the section. I just mean it can be set up so that generally, on a decent bike, the first half is rideable by him.
  • 8 0
 @MattyBoyR6: use a climb levy knows he can just get up on his usual bike
  • 2 0
 Levy is pedalling too fast and in the wrong gear... you max out pretty quickly that way. Wink
  • 1 0
 agreed. It'd be the bike on the shoulder territory for me on any bike.
  • 59 8
 Should have put the Hans Dampf on the rear wheels. Great allround tire i heard...
  • 1 0
 Nah - I'm finding its limits (ST Soft rear) in snow and snow covered roots. Good challenge to ride through that stuff though, keeps me honest. Maybe a Magic Mary for winter out back would be better if I can be bothered.
  • 1 0
 @gnarterrorist: grip in cold and wet is more rubber compound/durometer than tread. Ultrasoft will be better regardless of tread.
  • 1 0
 @Swervsroundsquirrels: True, I am surprised though at how well they cope in general given the conditions. Just go to keep em well weighted.
  • 36 0
 Really curious about why the Blackthorn just didn't get a mention at the end...Let the conspiracies begin!
Does Salsa just lack the cred to get a mention?
  • 5 0
 Oh no! You know Jason loves reality shows...this is manufactured controversy!
  • 2 0
 I had the feeling as well that they preferred talking about the Trek and Rocky Mountain offereings in the enduro test rather than the Propain. Maybe they have some deal with the bigger brands, I mean there are ads running now for the Trek Slash. Could just be that they forgot as well though, the reviews have been great for the most part and the guys are here getting judged on every word they say by a hungry crowd of bike nerds.
  • 1 2
 Sorry Pinkbike, but when it’s all about who sponsors you (ie spesh and not salsa) that means that spesh gets the win. Smh
  • 38 1
 Looked like the blackthorn won to me
  • 2 0
 The Trance did make it up the step with both wheels. Barely, but just. So if they had to pick a winner, if there was one, the Giant would take it. Still puzzled why the Blackthorn didn't get mentioned though...
  • 27 0
 You had the opportunity to say "alright Ibis, do the work for me" and you blew it!
  • 25 1
 What about the Salsa? C'mon you owe them an apology and an update to the piece. Not cool to miss including that bike especially since it's from a much smaller company. Also, there are some other really effective climbing bikes out there using split pivot, IMO.
  • 11 1
 Smaller company? Salsa is a QBP house brand.
  • 3 0
 @chezotron: Maybe they didn't pony up any favors...
  • 5 0
 I agree that the Salsa deserved a mention, but it is worth noting that Salsa are not a "small" company. They're owned by QBP who reported annual revenue of $300million last year which is almost identical to Specialized.
  • 26 5
 You looked much more in control on the Stumpy than any other bike.

Seems to me like you’d get more of a spread among the bikes if the climb slowly escalated in difficulty instead of weeding out all but a few bikes immediately. Next time!
  • 5 0
 The increasing difficulty is a good idea.
  • 2 0
 Great idea
  • 11 0
 Naaaah barney for the win here! Got fully robbed
  • 21 0
 I know it’s the impossible climb, but would have been more interesting IMO if the course was slightly modified for the conditions to see the bikes on more obstacles. Looks like they’re were lots of interesting difficult lines!

#BarneyGotRobbed
  • 22 0
 Alright, this is getting ridiculous. Go back to realistic climbs and no hopping if you are going to continue these tests. This is a difference of fatigue and subtle line differences...not bike ability.
  • 23 0
 Bring in Chris Akrigg. I am sure he can make it up with all of those bikes.
  • 26 0
 Chris Akrigg could make it up on a bike stuck in the hardest gear with no front wheel. it would be unfair to the climb to bring him in.
  • 5 0
 He could make it and then tell you which bike he preferred?
  • 2 0
 Probably he can do it on a bar stool.
  • 25 7
 Ive never quite understood why levy runs the droppers absolutely topped out on these climbs. I have a funny feeling that halfway lowering the droppers would let all bikes do noticeably better????‍♂️
  • 5 1
 I came to say the same thing. Truly "impossible" climbs warrant a dropped post. But...if the intent is to measure pedaling efficiency of bike and not brute force of rider, seat up is probably the way to go???
  • 4 1
 @JDFF: This is not about pedal efficiency, its about the bikes ability to track and mannerisms for climbing difficult terrain effectively
  • 1 0
 Please explain. It would make it harder to stand and seated position would be worse, no?
  • 18 0
 @Veggiemoto: When going up ledges and roots like in this climb, a slightly lowered seat allows the bike come up and over it without the seat hitting your ass and pitching you forward. It also for me at least it allows a lower center of gravity when seated, and more bent knees can be swung out the the sides to aid in balance. Next time you're on a tech climb, lower your seat by 1-1.5 inches and give it a try.
  • 4 0
 @Veggiemoto: for this type of climb the lower saddle position is warranted to bring your CoG forward and lower, to maximize rear tire traction, low speed stability and also keep the front wheel from picking up. It also allows your legs to balance out the whole procedure (side to side) because of how bent they are ( more sideways movement to quickly change your balance and avoid dabbing). Also the leg postion smoothens the powerband to limit slipping

PHEW
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: oh yeah i forgot the "leg suspension" thing for the big ledges
  • 5 0
 I was going to say the same thing. Everyone who loves a technical climb runs their saddle a bit down, super tech then all the way down. Would be so much fun to try these climbs. Mike has his hops nice these days.
  • 1 0
 @betsie: yes I agree, when super tech up, seat all the way down. I'm not an inbetweener, either full up or full down. On really extended techy climbs I will look for "rest" points where I can use the saddle at full extension. And FWIW, I would prefer non techy climbs, but if thats the only option count me in for the "no dabs" game.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: agreed. Levy wouldn’t survive our daily climbs with his technique. Power on the tractive sections then hop up the steps. You can’t do such moves with a post jacked up yer ass.
The shorter, lighter bikes with soft fat tyres do best on such tech pinches.
  • 1 0
 @professed: I have always found the best song travel bikes best for the super tech pitches.
  • 1 0
 @betsie: maybe because they inherently have big, soft tires.
  • 1 0
 @housem8d: I think of big as fat bikes.
2.35 to 2.5" tyres are just normal these days.
  • 2 0
 Lower by 10mm would work better. Put it in a lower gear. Slow your cadence down. Maybe not so impossible. Ask Yoann Barelli Wink
  • 3 0
 A better rider, taking his time , not hopping would have been a lit better
  • 14 0
 If this is a test about what bike handled the technical climb the best then according to what I saw on the video, the blackthorn seemed to work best and didn't leave levy totally gassed. He seemed pretty cool and impressed with how well it worked. But, since it came down to how he could bunny hop up an obstacle near the end, taking a different line (for both the stumpy and the trance), then I guess those 2 bikes tie, and the salsa doesn't get a mention? Cool video regardless, but I have to agree with others that #barneygotrobbed.
  • 12 1
 Id be much more interested to see these 'isolated' tests done on downhill sections. How do the bikes do on jumps/tech/ flow/switchbacks/skinnies etc. A lot of emphasis being put on efficiency and tech climbing especially for 180mm freeride bikes. How bout an impossible descent???
  • 16 0
 The "impossible descent" would definitely provide more entertaining videos!
  • 6 1
 @AndrewFleming: no need to run a test. I can already tell you the clear winners. The trance and the stumpy. They wouldn’t be the fastest or best but would somehow win anyways.
  • 13 0
 zero mile an hours
  • 9 0
 Confused. Was this a rider or bike test? Props to ML. No way I would've tried that many times, let alone one, with free beer lying all over the trail Wink
  • 11 0
 #BarneyGotRobbed , #BarneyGate , #HopThis
  • 5 0
 Light weight bikes pay off here, because A: carry more water and food at same weight. B: when you dab, just pick it up, carry it straight uphill. Faster, more efficient, and if you are on miles of this stuff, you top out better off. Hit the sections every day, longer and longer before dabbing till you can clean the whole damn thing or at least long sections punctuated with more efficient hike a bike. Just keep moving. Dragging a 40lb park sled up miles of this just limits distance and makes summiting serious endevours like road biking into a strong headwind. Add miles into this type of climbing and heavy long travel just sucks ass.
  • 4 1
 Heavy long travel sucks ass until you turn around and send it. Then that short travel trail bike sucks ass. Pick your poison.
  • 7 0
 I can’t believe I was entertained by a video about climbing... nice work pinkbike
  • 7 1
 Should have Dangerholm ride the bikes up. See if he could rip those rocks and ledges off the trail with those legs...
  • 3 0
 Hilarious that for the last impossible climb the comments were full of shade that the trail was too easy, and now we get everyone moaning that the climb was too impossible. Enjoyed it, thanks for punishing yourself for our entertainment Levy.
  • 2 0
 Love these videos, I bet Levy climbs better than me but he looks no less ridiculous when he flails. Also love the explanations (excuses) "I came out of my pedal". An excuses highlight reel from the next field test would be great.
  • 2 0
 The climb up the fire road at the same wattage seemed a bit more scientific than this test. If your foot pops out of a pedal that tells me nothing about how a bike climbs up a tough hill. Appreciate the effort and love the series. I don't think I would rely on this test to purchase a bike though.
  • 4 3
 @mikelevy - Top tip bro, drop that saddle about 2-4 inch, makes the lift up the roots so much easier, will add more control and give you more confidence (you wont get snagged on your saddle when needing to get a foot down). If you have the diesel then go up a gear also for more torque. Torque = traction. Love an impossible climb and enjoy watching you do these edits. #respect
  • 1 0
 You guys should do a prospective double-blinded randomized multi-center test so you get high-level evidence data.
So at least, make sure you and your cameraman are doing this blindfolded with whatever bike is given to you the next time otherwise it´s no more than eminence based bro-science.
Honestly, hats off. This climb does look impossible, even once, let alone 20x. I guess it´s less of a hardware thing than a combination of practice vs. fatigue?
  • 1 0
 Should have gone all the way up to the top of Sticks and Stones. No idea how he is able to attempt tech climbs at full seat height. I always drop the saddle an inch or two. I can clean the climb, just have to take a lung break at the mid point and sometimes take easier lines depending on how I feel. Will try the lines done in the test to see if I can make it.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy I feel this was an incomplete test comparison. To many of the failures were due to rider mistake or lost of traction by tires. I'd like to call for a best of three runs for each bike for a better comparison of climbing capability.
  • 1 0
 I must say with what's going on in the World in (2020) we all ready to say good bye to 2020 for sure PROPS TO PINKBIKE Team for always sharing Great Content [Field test] Vids are super good , To top the new year off please share the Fails , Climbing , jumping , railing , and Bloopers from Field test Vids . Thanks for a Great Job PINKBIKE , only Highlight for Me in 2020 .
  • 1 0
 @Swervsroundsquirrels Ultrasoft wouldn't be better...

Reason being is the softer the compound the more susceptible it is to hardening when the temperature drops. For example: At anything below 3 degrees Celcius Maxxgrip is harder than Maxxterra and Ultrasoft is harder than soft.
  • 1 0
 From my opinion it is not fair because this guy had different energy when he did this test and also he might be more familiar with one of those bikes because he road that bike. Overly, all bikes are good. this test independent of skills and practice, when he try couple of time he was going better.
  • 1 0
 From my opinion it is not fair because this guy had different energy when he did this test and also he might be more familiar with one of those bikes because he road that bike. Overly, all bikes are good. this test independent of skills and practice, when he try couple of time he was going better, so he chose a better line and right body position.
  • 1 0
 Nice effort! I will say you looked smoothest on the stumpy on the course. Be interesting to see these bikes climb a controlled man made surface like a long ramp with obstacles. Not real world but would give you an idea what suspension is more effective along with geometry and tire size.
  • 1 0
 Rode Seymour today. Got the climb clean to the big step. Front tire up, but not enough power or speed to get the rear tire up. Could have got the smaller step to the right. I figure that's pretty good, one dab at the big step, other than that clean from the bottom to the Cardiac Bypass.
  • 1 0
 "handling nothing like you'd expect given what the geometry chart says."

The bikes handle exactly like the geometry chart says, the person interpreting the geometry chart is where the error lies, perhaps making assumptions of what certain adjustments do to handling without complete knowledge. Math isn't wrong....
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy
On the first day of Christmas Mike Levy gave to me
an Impossible Climb Challenge

vimeo.com/494552824
Need to do it again with a camera person, Christmas Tree ornaments instead of beer cans, tinsel instead of tape, in my red lycra elf outfit, and a Linus and Lucy soundtrack


MERRY CHRISTMAS
  • 1 0
 Hey Levy, are you leaving the post all the way up on these??

I find technical climbs like this a little easier if I drop the seat a couple inches. To high and I feel like I can't get around it, too low and I don't feel like I have anything to "rest" on.

Looked like the nose of the saddle was hitting your lumbar area, that is what I try to avoid by dropping it a little.

I would never make this climb or even come close to as far as he got.
  • 1 0
 WTF? Seemed to me that the Salsa got up the hill to the same ledge as the Spec and Giant, and seemed like it did it with a lot less hassle and drama... Were you so gassed Levy, that you FORGOT that the Salsa made it up there too? Or is there some other reason? Losing credibility if you don't admit you just brain-farted.... (which is totally acceptable after making a bunch of attempts!)
  • 5 1
 Hoppin' ain't cheatin' if it gets you up the hill!
  • 5 1
 No dabs is the only rule! Hang on trees upside down still clipped in if you want, as long as don't put your foot down it's clean.
  • 4 1
 More active rear suspension looks like the winner in technical climbs. However, in long climbs not so much.
  • 5 5
 Interesting, looks like a tough climb and you are really fit and good at hops. Did you happen to notice that you were looking straight down every time you stalled? Where we are looking is our goal and you kept achieving your goal. Maybe if you were looking a little further ahead...
  • 3 0
 I was rooting for the Salsa. I didn't think they'd be wise to build a bike like this, but it acquitted itself pretty well.
  • 4 2
 Nowadays when faced with a climb like this I just say, “Nope...” This test makes me wonder which bike would be the best one to push up that section.
  • 4 0
 I think Sierra Nevada Hazy IPA would have done really well in this test
  • 1 0
 Pale ale ftw!!!
  • 2 0
 He made it too hard, honestly there was not much of a difference in how the bikes handled, probably need a different course set up.
  • 5 0
 #BarneyGotRobbed
  • 6 4
 I really want to try this climb. I feel like I could do it. I dont know why
  • 2 0
 me too
where is that climb?
  • 4 0
 do I get a Grim Donut T-shirt if I clean it?
  • 6 3
 Anyone remember that old ParticiPaction TV ad
"the average 60 year old Swede is fitter than the average 30 year old Canadian"?

so how about "a 60 year old BC XC rider can climb further than the average 30 year old EnduroBro"?
  • 1 1
 @taprider: they apparently made that stat up.
  • 3 1
 @taprider:
Looks like Bridle Path on Seymour.
  • 2 0
 @Geography78: I've biked Bridle Path 100s of times and don't recognize that section. Maybe it is Cardiac, but I see at the top of the Impossible Climb a main trail crossing it, so doesn't quite fit.
  • 3 0
 @taprider: pretty sure that's the bottom of Cardiac, with Sticks and Stones crossing at the top.
  • 4 0
 @taprider: the beer can gates make it much tougher than the line you'd normally pedal up Cardiac. Go for it though, film it too.
  • 2 0
 @taprider: Cardiac Hill on Seymour - it keeps going way up past where he stalled out too. It's a "good day" route for sure!
  • 2 0
 @ajrogers1978: your all confused-its actually the old part of bridal path - yes were Sticks and Stones crosses just above the Blair Range trail head / end . Cardiac Bypass is the short straightish connector that goes from the bottom of Applicator to the junction of Bridal , Sticks and Stones and Slippery Salamander. Cardiac Bypass was worthy of its name with the grunt climb at the one end but has been buffed out so much in the last couple of years it just morphed into what most riders now would now think is the normal way to go.
  • 2 0
 @regdunlop: and if Cardiac Bypass is built to bypass the grunt climb on Bridle Path (not bridal), then what is the section it's bypassing called? Trick question.
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop: We're talking about the same stretch. I haven't ridden in for a few years so know nothing of it being buffed out. All I can tell you is it was a good day if I cleaned it!
  • 2 0
 @heckler73: vimeo.com/494552824
Need to do it again with a camera person, Christmas Tree ornaments instead of beer cans, tinsel instead of tape, and in my red lycra elf outfit

MERRY CHRISTMAS
  • 1 0
 @taprider: The not so impossible climb! Nice work, I guess we will all have to buy whatever bike you are on now...
  • 1 0
 @heckler73: Thanks

Down Country bikes for the win

Getting to the first hoppy hoppy step was hard because it is pin-bally, after that it could be done on a gravel bike, but probably not the Grim Donut.
The circle around the beer was hard too, without hopping
  • 1 0
 How much rest did you take between goes? Familiarity with line choice and fatigue level no doubt affected outcomes. Thoughts?
  • 2 0
 I vote for Pinkbike to do an "Impossible Descent" test down Wild Cherry in Vancover
  • 1 0
 Huh, that Levy guy seems pretty ok at bikes. Quite let down by calling the roots wet, seems like a missed opportunity to say moist.
  • 1 1
 For me it pretty much negates the whole thing to say a.product paid for endorsement and not say which product paid. Did not see even an attempt at consistency of technique that one would expect from a fair comparison.
  • 7 8
 This test proves absolutely nothing since you’re getting more familiar with the climb every run. A better test would be up a staircase with just enough room for a bike. This would make the test more controlled.
  • 13 2
 This is bro science. you ride the bike up the hill whoever makes it the farthest wins. and climbing up a stair case doesn t have very much to do with mountain biking.
  • 3 0
 I agree. I would like to see a test up a hard, but repeatable climb that can be completed by most, if not all of the bikes. I think the video combined with subjective comments would be informative. It would also be interesting to do with a couple of bikes with very different dynamics, like an Ibis Ripmo with its high antisquat, Knolly Chilcoton or Warden LT with their low antisquat, and forbidden druid with its high single pivot and rearward axle path.
  • 1 1
 @NivlacEloop: Imagine that the stairs are roots. This makes the test more controlled and repeatable.
  • 5 0
 What wasn't shown is that after each attempt he had to drink some of the beer, thus the improvement in skill of each attempt was exactly canceled out by the inebriating effects of the beer. It's science man!
  • 1 1
 @ridingrascal: imagine they ride the same trail every time. also I recall there being more dirt and roots and rocks in the forest than stair cases.
  • 1 2
 @NivlacEloop: They are riding the same segment of trail each time. What I am saying is that each part should be equal. Say that a hard part is ridden past and then it’s an easier stretch after. If one bike gets past that because the rider is lucky, and then unlucky on another bike this makes the test unfair.
  • 1 1
 @ridingrascal: I dont think the pinkbike impossible climb marked with beer cans and tape is going to be a perfect completely fair scientific experiment. Theres no reason to over complicate this its biking up a hill nobodys.
  • 1 0
 @NivlacEloop: What’s the point of having a test if the results are not controlled?
  • 1 0
 One thing I noticed is Levy switched from HT to Shimano pedals to be able to bail when the time came.
  • 1 0
 I thought the same thing, about how Levy loves the HT because he never pops out of them.
  • 1 0
 Entertaining but not very useful lol. Also misleading for people who haven't biked before I fear.
  • 4 0
 If you've never biked before than I am not sure any of these bikes are on your list.
  • 2 0
 "Can you point me towards the nearest wheelie drop to flat"

This was gold
  • 1 0
 I can't really trials hop anyway, so whatever bike I chose, I'd have made it to the same part.
  • 2 1
 So the course really should have been something that was doable without any trialsy moves, otherwise it comes down to skill set over bike handling characteristics. I suspect that most pinkbikers would have taken an entirely different line up that hill and many would have cleaned it irrespective of bike choice.
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: vimeo.com/494552824
the course can be doable on a cyclocross bike without hops
  • 3 0
 #BarneyGate
  • 2 0
 It's called "Cardiac Hill" for a reason! Oooph
  • 2 0
 too bad no "non live valved" Trance X for the test
  • 2 0
 Seems more like a rider problem than a bike problem...
  • 1 0
 My GF watched 40% of this and declared she'd never try mountain biking again.
  • 1 0
 My wife rode Wades Bridle Path challenge, and this climb was part of the course.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Where those pedals set on the easiest tension? You seemed to fly out of them when you had to.
  • 1 0
 If anything this video shows that line choice is far more important than bike choice.
  • 1 0
 Hardcore hardtails for the win. Building myself a Banshee Paradox V3 this X-mas.
  • 1 0
 I wanna see the Kaz versus the impossible climb! Ka-zi-mer!!!!!! Ka-zi-mer!!!!!!!!! Ka-zi-mer!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 What piece of trail is this? Pretty sure I could nail that thing on my old 26" wheeled hardtail.
  • 1 0
 see NivlacEloop (Dec 23, 2020 at 7:47) thread above
  • 1 0
 How much of a difference would an oval ring make?
  • 2 0
 Probably not much for that climb. I had one on my last bike and it seemed to make the most difference when you can keep you cadence up.
  • 3 0
 EVeryone seems to react different to oval. I find them most helpful on tech climbs, some others don't.
  • 3 0
 Oval is most helpful to riders who pedal in slow rpm,and delivers more traction.
  • 3 6
 None at all, ovals are a joke, been there and done that multiple times over the years.
  • 3 0
 @nurseben: Just proved my point.
  • 2 0
 Ovel rings work great but with larger rings. 54 tooth ovel rings will be much more useful and noticeable than a 30 tooth ovel ring. I have tried 30 & 32 round and oval rings and felt exactly the same.
  • 1 0
 this is the luck of a rider skill...
  • 2 0
 American beer? Miles?
  • 1 0
 Can we get some Cathro analysis on line choice/ghost timings?
  • 1 0
 Your climb is just too damn hard @mikelevy
  • 1 0
 The impossible trials course, I mean climb ????
  • 1 0
 Mike needs too learn how to use a dropper while climbing tech?
  • 1 0
 Great video Levy, you’re quite the skilled and determined rider.
  • 1 0
 Levy I have to give you props for your hops!
  • 1 0
 That's a super tough looking climb! Nice work Mike!!
  • 1 1
 shift down bro. too much torqueing. got the chassis all tensioned up.
  • 1 0
 Ba hah hah
  • 3 3
 subtle product placement
  • 12 1
 They are a sponsor of the free content you are enjoying...
  • 4 0
 Sierra Nevada donates a lot of money to great bike groups throughout the west coast. Knocking over cans is sacrilegious.
  • 1 3
 Why the Norco Shore and not the Sight? Seems a weird choice.
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