Field Test: Stumpjumper vs Remedy vs Process vs Bronson vs SB150

Dec 13, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  


On paper, the five bikes we placed in the trail / enduro category seem pretty similar – they all have carbon frames, between 140 – 153mm of travel, and head angles between 65 – 66 degrees, with a few minor exceptions. It's a different story out in the real world, though, where numbers don't always directly match up with expectations. Nerd out on geometry charts and dive deep into the kinematics of a bike all you want, but there's no way to really tell how a bike will handle heinous climbs, gnarly descents, and everything in between, until you actually hop on and put tires to dirt.

That's that how we all ended up gathered in Whistler, home to some of the best bike testing terrain on the planet. All of the bikes saw plenty of ride time, along with the requisite hucks to flat (for science). As the trail / enduro segment of the Field Test came to a close we sat down to discuss our top picks out of this group of high caliber candidates.



Specialized Stumpjumper 29
• 140mm (R) / 150mm (F) travel
• 29" wheels
• Carbon frame
• 66.5° head-tube angle
• Weight: 28.2 lb / 12.8 kg
Field Test article

Pros
+ Great generalist
+ Active suspension provides tons of traction
+ SWAT sure is convenient

Cons
- Geometry is a bit conservative
- Not all that efficient under power
- Specialized's dropper post is a miss
Trek Remedy
• 150mm (R) / 160mm (F) travel
• 27.5" wheels
• Carbon frame
• 65.5° head-tube angle
• Weight: 29.1 lb / 13.2 kg
Field Test article

Pros
+ Versatile, well-rounded package
+ Impressive suspension performance
+ More of a long-legged trail bike than a bruiser

Cons
- Knock Block is silly
- Run of the mill pedaling manners
- More of a long-legged trail bike than a bruiser



Kona Process 153 Carbon
• 153mm (R) / 160mm (F) travel
• 29" wheels
• Carbon frame
• 66° head-tube angle
• Weight: 31.7 lb / 14.4 kg
Field Test article

Pros
+ Surprisingly adept climber
+ More fun than fast
+ Extremely stiff and solid feeling

Cons
- More fun than fast
- Not a featherweight
- Suspension isn’t as deep or supple feeling as some other bikes
Santa Cruz Bronson
• 150mm (R) / 160mm (F) travel
• 27.5" wheels
• Carbon frame
• 65.1° head-tube angle
• Weight: 29.4 lb / 13.3 kg
Field Test article

Pros
+ Ideal all-rounder, as long as you have the proper terrain
+ Efficient, calm and composed climber
+ Excellent cornering performance

Cons

- Not the bike for riders looking for the absolute longest and slackest option
- There's no 29" version...

Yeti SB150
• 150mm (R) / 170mm (F) travel
• 29" wheels
• Carbon frame
• 64.5° head-tube angle
• Weight: 29.9 lb / 13.6 kg
Field Test article

Pros
+ Very stable at speed and in the steeps
+ Excellent grip in wet and loose conditions
+ Good pedaling performance

Cons
- Expensive
- EXO casing tires aren't the best choice for a race bike
- Slightly limited rear tire clearance





Editors' Choice

Trek Remedy 9.9 Photo by Trevor Lyden


Mike Levy: Trek Remedy

As some of you already know, I want a bike that feels relatively quick and efficient on all types of climbs, and I want that without having to reach for a pedal-assist switch. Call me crazy, but I enjoy climbing and I don't ever want it to feel like a chore.

And when it's time to come back down, I want a bike that rewards how I like to ride, which is like an idiot. Yeah, I want to be rewarded for being an idiot. I don't need to snag any KOMs on the descents, but I do need to take dumb lines, skid a load, spend a lot of time on one wheel, and generally be a goof.

The Bronson, while quite the monster on rough and fast ground, is just too forgiving, and it always felt like I was sitting into too much travel, even at lower sag numbers. The SB150 is an out-and-out race bike in my mind, and it's too long and slack for me to ever call it my one and only. The Stumpy does everything pretty damn well, but you know how I feel about climb switches, and while I have a great time on it, it's not my preferred geometry, either.


2018 Pinkbike Field Test
Mike Levy
Discipline: Trail/Enduro
Height: 5'10"
Inseam: 33.5"
Weight: 168 lb
Notes: Technical Editor, shit disturber, drives a ridiculous blue Mini.

That leaves the Process 153 and the Remedy that have similar amounts of travel but perform drastically differently. I'd be stoked to call either my only bike, but when I picture myself out on a huge day with some huge climbs and equally huge descents, I see myself on the blacked-out Trek before the sand-colored Kona. Surprisingly, to me at least, the bike that I just chose as the one for me doesn't have 29'' wheels and isn't the most efficient, which really underlines how these machines are a sum of their design, geometry, and build kit rather than being defined by just one factor like wheel size or suspension action.




Daniel Sapp: Trek Remedy

The SB150 was on my short list, and it'd likely be my top pick if I had a bunch of enduro races on my calendar, but if I could only choose one of these bikes or have nothing at all, I'd go with the Remedy. Why? It's fun. It makes me want to ride, and do so in a variety of terrain without worrying about whether the bike is up to the task or not. I think that I would feel equally comfortable riding it at home in Pisgah as I would anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

When we were filming these videos we were in Whistler, BC, where the terrain is quite different than where I live in North Carolina, which is why I had it as my fifth pick for riding in that area. However, if I were selecting a bike for my home trails, I'd have the Stumpjumper as my second choice. It'd be a good, versatile option, and I really I like having that SWAT box. I love that I can just grab the bike and go on a four hour ride with nothing more than a water bottle and I don't have to strap anything to the frame, fit it in a pocket, or bring a bag. It's freeing. I'd probably up the fork travel by 10mm, which would make it be a little more able to hold its own against the other bikes in this category.


2018 Pinkbike Field Test
Daniel Sapp
Discipline: Trail, Trail/Enduro
Height: 5'9"
Inseam: 32"
Weight: 152 lb
Notes: Technical Editor, his southern drawl compensates for our Canadian accents.

The other bikes are all amazing, but as a blanket choice for a variety of riding, and as a bike I would like to spend more time on, I'd take the Remedy, 27.5" wheels, Knock Block, and 2.6 tires included.





Yeti SB150



Mike Kazimer: Yeti SB150

I'd obviously be happy to have any of these five contenders in my garage, but it's the Yeti SB150 that's at the top of my list, with the Santa Cruz Bronson coming in a close second.

My rides typically involve plenty of climbing before the fun really begins, and while I don't mind taking a few seconds to flip a compression lever, the fact that I can leave the SB150's shock wide open and ride all day without thinking about it is a definite plus. The steep seat angle (the steepest out of all five bikes) earns it another point, which gives it a very comfortable position for grinding out the miles.

Yes, the Stumpjumper, Remedy, and Process all have a quicker steering feel, but I'm not convinced that makes them any better at getting through technical climbs; if anything, I prefer the more relaxed handling of the SB150. It's certainly not sluggish, and it's very manageable even if you do find yourself on mellower trails, although hopefully those are just the appetizer before a healthy serving of the rowdy stuff.
2018 Pinkbike Field Test
Mike Kazimer
Discipline: Trail/Enduro
Height: 5'11"
Inseam: 33"
Weight: 160 lb
Notes: Managing Tech Editor, self proclaimed winner of all Mike vs Mike videos.

Levy is all about doing skids and riding like a goon, but me, I'm more about speed. Going fast up and downhill is a big part of why I ride, and the SB150 felt the most stable and controlled out of this batch of bikes. The Process' back end was a little too short for my liking, and the Stumpjumper has more of an all-round trail bike feel than being something I'd want to race the Whistler EWS on.

The SB150 has plenty of travel for smoothing out extra-rough tracks, but it doesn't bog down when you're standing up and sprinting, or pumping through flatter sections of trail, which makes it easier to maintain speed. How much traction a bike delivers on the descents is another factor I consider, and while it's hard to quantify, the SB150 and the Bronson felt like they tracked the best and instilled the most confidence when I was coming into a chewed up corner, or plowing through an off-camber section of trail.

Yes, the SB150 is expensive, and yes, a little more rear tire clearance wouldn't hurt, but the ride quality is outstanding, which is why it'd be my pick out of these five worthy options.





340 Comments

  • + 362
 I love the format of the field review. Keep it up! I would love to see a review from someone in the 200+ lbs weight category be added. All the gents are 160ish and an extra 40lbs drastically changes the manners / personality of the bikes.
  • + 97
 I'd like to give you the same number of upvotes as how many donuts I can eat in 1 sitting.
  • + 65
 As a 210 lb guy, id be willing to ride said bikes to give some feedback. Also, fox has had my suspension for over a month and I might be going insane. please send help.
  • + 16
 Tall and fat here, I would like test these bikes for all the clydesdales out there
  • + 8
 A huge bite from the Bike Mag Bible. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery as they say...
  • + 2
 I'm in the clydesdale category too and also at 6'5 so bikes are hard to fit and perform differently under my weight. Just gotta try em personally before I decide what to buy. But love these style of reviews regardless!
  • + 1
 @LuvAZ: lol oh I have been looking...
  • + 10
 Agreed. The pick with reasoning why is very useful as to how these bikes stack up. They are all good, but this shows which tends to being better for what.
  • - 18
flag JohanG (Dec 8, 2018 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe cut out the carbs, tubby?
  • + 2
 @Jokesterwild: you're shit out of luck man. If what I've been hearing is true, Fox is now serviced by Easton/Raceface only so you might aswell kiss your suspension goodbye.
  • + 1
 @m47h13u: my local bike shop is on it. they sorted it out. just took longer than it ever should have :S
  • + 5
 not judging the PB crew, i like these guys, but secretly i'm biased towards seeing a bigger heavier dude on their crew as well. so many bike mags are filled with um, pro rider sized guys, go figure!
  • + 5
 Agreed!! Meed some love for that 200+ club!!
  • - 1
 Good call out!!!
  • + 126
 I will start eating donuts 24/7 right now.
  • + 7
 @mikelevy: that's the spirit!
  • + 12
 @mikelevy: don't forget to mix in some intervals of 12oz curls, preferably of the Stout and Porter variety
  • - 2
 I’d love to be able to just walk into a bike shop and take the bikes for a ride myself. Regular Joes don’t get top end bikes sent to us to bash up and no two people have the same riding style. At these absolutely ridiculous prices we should be able to demo any bike, even for multiple rides.
  • - 10
flag Skarhead89 (Dec 8, 2018 at 13:45) (Below Threshold)
 Hey fatties drop some weight
  • + 1
 @Jokesterwild: They are worth it, the OTT adjustment means you don't have to sacrifice small bump
for mid stroke. You get both.
  • + 1
 Agreed, really great bunch of articles lately guys. I'm super impressed, but, you're all too damn skinny!
  • + 3
 @bigtim: My high school track team has a tradition called donut run where we run a mile, eat as many donuts as possible, and repeat. Whoever eats the most donuts/runs the farthest without throwing up wins
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: while on the subject of larger riders. We’re all the bikes tested on 1 identical size (ex. all larges)? I would assume this would’ve avoided having to have multiples of the same bike for testing.
If you were to add a larger (>6’ >200lbs) rider to the test roster, they might need a xl to accurately review the bike as well. Opposite would go for having a smaller test rider (5’6 150lbs) as well.
I’m 6’3 200lbs myself, if you need a larger guy next year lemme know! And don’t worry, I’ll still bring donuts n beer!
  • + 3
 @Skarhead89: Can’t drive a spike with a tack-hammer bud
  • + 4
 @mikelevy: speaking of donuts, have you guys stopped filming your "mike vs mike" feature or did I miss something?
  • - 6
flag DONKEY-FELTCHER (Dec 8, 2018 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 Why no dw link bike in the test? The rfx would have been a great contender @mikelevy:
  • - 7
flag DONKEY-FELTCHER (Dec 8, 2018 at 16:28) (Below Threshold)
 Why no dw link bike in the test? The rfx would have been a great contender@mikelevy:
  • + 7
 @ORTOGONAL555, nope, there was just a brief hiatus. We'll be battling it out again next year.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy:
Don't forget the hush puppies aka corn dodgers..
  • + 2
 Mike, you’re a faux big boy until you eat two donuts a year, climb 5000’ plus a week and STILL break 210. Anyone who’s seen me ride will tell you how I know @mikelevy:
  • + 5
 I rented a Yeti and a 153 before I bought my bike. Money well spent @jfour:
  • - 1
 Suck a cack@Skarhead89:
  • + 3
 Benedict Magnusson. 6’3 and around 170kg.

Currently rides a Hightower.

Also capable of putting down a couple of horse power over the average bloke.

Get him to do some testing!!
  • + 19
 94.5kg down to 78.5 this year, So Far! 2.5ish stone! Aiming for around 76kg (5ft 10.5) 2019 is the year I get strong.
If I've done it any one can because, I'm one LAZY Mo Fo
  • + 2
 @jamesbrant: they need their own streetbike Tommy's lol
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: I did about 12KG and now the weather has gone to shit I’ve put two back on...
  • + 2
 @korev: if you've got the time, pack hiking is great. I load up around a 10kg (some good tunes an pod casts too!) an hike 10miles. keep a hard pace an burn kg!!
  • + 2
 Its rather unfunny to max out allowed air suspension pressures or being in need of so much pressure that suspension compliance basically dies. Being 260lbs ready to ride I have vast problems with most frames that have an average or higher than average leverage ratio.
  • + 20
 Should the bike industry build bikes for fat fucks or should the fatties stop eating all the cakes and pies and ride their bikes more. The question of the day!
  • + 1
 @dro-cfr: triggered fattie
  • - 1
 X@Monkeyass:
  • - 1
 Oops sonething went worng. Just want to upvote@Monkeyass
  • - 3
 @Monkeyass: Pssst....better buy a new Carbon wheelset and bar to make the bike 300grams lighter lol.

Srsly most people I know who weight over 100kg have too much bodyfat...excluding footballers and weightlifters..
  • + 2
 @Monkeyass: it's called being tall. You can't weigh 160 and be 6'3" people come in different sizes....
  • + 0
 @Jokesterwild: I am 6'2" 188cm and 150lbs/68 kg. For sure there are different sizes. As long as they are muscles its good
  • + 3
 @Skarhead89: Yes spend more time riding than you spend on pinkbike should be the way too go?
  • + 2
 @korev: Have not lost any weight since bought an e-bike, but have not put any on ether? But have been out almost every day!
Given the choice mostly go e, especially when its raining!
  • + 1
 @gbeaks33: I'm around 6'5" as well but not particularly long in the arms or body. That can make a huge difference for some bigs.
  • - 4
flag Golden-G (Dec 9, 2018 at 15:07) (Below Threshold)
 @NotNamed: mmmmm... I'm 6'-2" tall by 210lbs, definitely not fat. You could try calling me fat and see what happens...
  • + 2
 @Monkeyass: They don't need to build bikes for "fat f*cks". Maybe it's just guys that weigh over 170 pounds would like to see how the bikes ride too.
  • + 4
 @Skarhead89: what he said. I dropped 7-10kg (I was 102kg) over the last 2 months and riding is far more fun than it's ever been. It'll be good to see what the next 7-10kg does - other than increase my life expectancy.
  • + 2
 6'3 230 here. If you send me bike @pinkbike I will test them! haha
  • + 2
 I would be happy to test ride bikes! I'm 250 and love riding Smile
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: And hush puppies....?
  • + 0
 @DONKEY-FELTCHER: They were reviewing new designs for 2018. The RFX is not a new design.
  • + 1
 Totally agree with @gwest here! Us big guys have the most inertia going down the hill and would be great to have some tests in those conditions!
  • + 1
 @Monkeyass:

Maybe the fat f*ck likes to lift huge f*cking weights and is therefore heavy?
  • + 1
 @jfour: Most shops in my town let you demo their bikes then at the end of the year they sell them off. Also Factory demo's are always free to come and try. I have ridden Santa Cruz bikes worth 12K before just had to give them an ID and a Credit card to hold onto. Trek has been doing demo's in my town for the last 7 years as well. I bought a Remedy back in 2011 because of the demo's.
  • + 99
 The best part of these videos is seeing Levy riding, all tatted up like a hard ass, then he opens his mouth and he sounds like a nerdy accountant. Gets me every time I tell ya!
  • + 86
 This is accurate.
  • + 17
 Heavy Canadian accent especially when he says "process". It's the best! In a nacho libre accent
  • - 23
flag DONKEY-FELTCHER (Dec 8, 2018 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 Why no dw link bike in the test? The rfx would have been a great contender
  • + 13
 @DONKEY-FELTCHER: Yup, but so would a number of other bikes. We can only have so many or we end up not riding each one enough.
  • - 1
 @DONKEY-FELTCHER: I believe that a Pivot is coming soon..
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: then you could have just picked the Ripmo and called it a day ;p
  • - 31
flag DONKEY-FELTCHER (Dec 9, 2018 at 17:59) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike's Take:

Turner's RFX v4.0 Enduro is the real deal. Considering that it is only their second carbon offering, we expected it to have at least one glaring shortcoming, but truth be told, it checks all the boxes. Dave Turner didn't overreach when he penned his first carbon fiber long-travel chassis. He incorporated trail-proven numbers and suspension metrics into a conservative frame design that was optimized for carbon construction methods - and that is a good thing.

Turner has been punching out winners in aluminum for over two decades, and has collected a substantial fan base along the way. The RFX v4.0 offers loyal customers a chance to make the jump to carbon and follow Turner into the future. And, for those new to the brand, test-riding an RFX will be an unexpected pleasure. David Turner is one of the more talented riders to occupy the top seat of a bike-making business, and his vision of the perfect mountain bike - versatile, balanced, and confidence inspiring - reflects a lot of saddle time. As an AM/enduro racer, the RFX v4.0 is all of those things - with a big serving of attitude. - RC@



The rfx would have won and that’s why you all didn’t include it. I get it. Sell mor treks.
  • + 26
 @DONKEY-FELTCHER: Our reviews are 100% independent, not to "sell more Treks," and for obvious reasons we concentrate our reviews on new, relevant bikes.

Between all your comments in the last month (most of which mention Turner) and your comments over on Bike Mag asking the same thing ("why no Turners?"), I have to assume you're here astroturfing.
  • + 5
 @brianpark: the bigger question is has Turner contacted any of the sites about testing a bike? Has Turner come out with anything new they want tested?
  • + 2
 @lumpy873: Fact is, Turner just doesn't have a horse for the race in their stable. Their RXF v4.0 is sporting a dated geometry. Any bike with a 73.5° STA (PRE-SAG!) is not worth considering in this date and age (unless you are shopping for size XS or S frame, maybe).
  • + 1
 @brianpark: Not so much astroturfing as trolling, maybe with a side of ASD? I own a Turner and find this annoying. I hope someone is paying him, otherwise this level of devotion to a brand is borderline disturbing.
  • + 67
 Wait levy picks a 27.5?!? The world is definitely ending.
  • + 2
 I'd be more shocked if he chooses the new Trance 29 in one of the next segments lol!!! Shorter travel hanging with bigger travel?!? haha
  • + 4
 And he said the Stumpjumper had conservative geometry! I feel I don't even know him anymore! Is he going to join Astonside soon?
  • + 53
 2 big takeaways... #1 - You need to demo bikes before you buy, it's the only way to truly choose the best bike FOR YOU. #2 - I don't think we've ever been in better position that if you don't demo... you're still going to end up with an amazing bike. There are very few "bad" bikes out there these days.
  • + 5
 Agree. But there way too many bikes with shitty suspension setup LoL
  • + 3
 @Lagr1980: Agreed, at least companies seem to be realizing this and are now beginning to send nicely laid out well explained, easy to follow suspension set-up guides.
  • - 13
flag jclnv (Dec 8, 2018 at 18:41) (Below Threshold)
 @islandforlife: I tell which bike I'd buy based on a sizing, geo chart and rough kinematics.

No need to ride if you know what you're looking at.
  • + 31
 This is one of the best peices of journalism on pinkbike. Not to much info, not too little, very succinct and entertaining, the video was a great touch because i would be to lazy to read 5 reviews back to back.
  • + 14
 This is a great piece. But disagree on the video vs write ups. I much prefer the write ups. Like a novel vs the movie - you always get a lot more out of the novel. Personal thing though and its great to have both.
  • + 10
 I always feel like I'm wasting time watching a video when I can get the same info much faster reading. When reading it's easy to reread an important section while on a video it's a pain in the ass.
  • + 26
 @jewpowered, @MikerJ: Thanks guys, glad you liked it. And don't worry, the longer term, more in-depth written reviews aren't going anywhere - the Field Tests are a way to supplement, rather than replace those.
  • + 30
 My main take away is that wheel size doesn't matter, is how the engineers fit that particular wheel size into the complete cycling dynamic. No wheel size is ever really dead in the hands of a good engineer.
  • + 55
 You mean that there is still hope for 26"?
  • + 3
 Thats a good thing to remember when searching for a new bike. And maybe @Happymtbfr Wink . Or maybe its slightly dead.
  • + 3
 The wheel size definitely changes the characteristics of the bike far beyond "rides nice and I prefer it."

I have an insurgent and a wreckoning. Love both. Both ride completely differently. Wheel size def matters
  • + 6
 @Mntneer: or both bikes were designed to ride differently regardless of wheel size
  • + 3
 @Mntneer: Same company though. Maybe they on purposely designed the bikes to feel different. His point is like if you took 5 frame engineers and they had to build a bike alone and you gave all of them a random wheel size for the design, one of them could make a better bike regardless of what wheel size it is.

Its like buying a new 26" bike that has modern designs to a new 29er that was a catalog frame. The 26" would probably perform better regardless of the wheel size. But when all bikes are close in capability (Like in this PB test) it comes down to who has the best solutions and designs.
  • + 5
 @miximalian: they're geometry and design are nearly identical. Smaller wheels are more nimble on any model of bike that I've ridden
  • - 3
 @Happymtbfr: no, there is not.. That ship has sailed and so has the parts availability at the local lbs.
  • + 2
 @bohns1: and this is why I can't use LBS.....
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: chain reaction sounds like ur shiz then!
  • + 1
 @bohns1: as much as I hate to say it, yeah. Recently picked up a pair of Magic Mary Evo super tacky top jobs for £17each..... Saved £80-90 Because 26inch

Good rims are becoming a problem tho
  • + 3
 It's not about size, it's about how you use it
  • - 1
 NAh 29ers rule !! right @mikelevy
  • + 1
 @MrDiamondDave: at my height, I agree.. They feel like 26 to me now I've been on em so long.. Since the Gary Fisher semi trucks. Ha
  • + 20
 What I find interesting is the Cons for the Bronson don't really have anything with how the bike rides. It's not the longest and slackest and it's not a 29er. Why is not being a 29er a con when the overall winner is also not a 29er or even the longest and slackest. I would say so far the process needs to be refined for evaluation and communicating characteristics.
  • - 4
flag tuumbaq (Dec 8, 2018 at 20:38) (Below Threshold)
 Too soft, use too much travel, id say thats a pretty significant con against that bike !
  • + 3
 @tuumbaq: I was referring to what was written as Pro's and Con's along with each model.
  • + 17
 I haven't read this post yet, but I just want to say this is one of the most exciting link to click on in the history of Pinkbike!
  • + 12
 I just picked up a 2019 Bronson and it is by far one of the best all around bikes i have owned (and i have owned a lot of bikes) it climbs amazingly well, not much suspension movement as stated and sits very high in its travel while climbing and i barely pedal strike at all. the descending is tight and nimble but plush, and small bump is fantastic. It is very easy to get corner to corner and is very playful and poppy. The North Shore is my backyard and ride about 3-4 times a week, im coming off a 2017 Norco Range c7.1 27.5
  • + 4
 I have a nomad 3 and was always a little curious if I should have gone with the Bronson instead...is the new Bronson essentially equivalent to the nomad 3 or is it still a bit less aggressive?

Nomad 3 is almost the perfect bike for me, but just a tad more pep on the climbs is always welcome, and I’ll take a rowdier ride in exchange for it.
  • + 3
 @nvranka: The bronson i would say is probably on par with the v3 noamd but will probably climb better. i have only been on the nomad v3 a few times but it didnt feel overly lively, the bronson on the other hand... just got back from a ride and its still amazing me how playful this thing is, clearing doubles and gaps that i couldnt before with less speed than before as well. I have more energy on and after the climbs to climb longer and more, and thats with the rear shock open (have not had to use the climb switch once)
  • + 3
 @nvranka: the bronson actually barely feels much different on the downs, a little bit more playful though but you really notice the difference on flat trails and uphills, they are a noticeable amount quicker on the bronson the only place i'd take the nomad over it is for proper dedicated downhill trails and thats only cause it would be slightly quicker, both awesome though
  • + 2
 @nvranka: I traded my Nomad v3 in for a new Bronson v3.
  • + 3
 Thanks guys...I’ll try and find one to demo since im in no rush. The nomad has been the first trail/AM bike I’ve owned in 10yrs I really enjoyed...something about SCs frame sizing is perfect for me. Only seems natural that if I were to get something else it’d be an SC.

Just wish pricing wasn’t so out of whack vs YT and other online brands. Meh, I ride so much and get so many years out of these bikes, I guess all is well in the end.
  • + 16
 Seems like 27.5 ain't dead!
  • + 14
 Have a long/low/slack shootout -

Pole - Nicolai Geometron - Sick Bicycle Co - Yeti SB150 - Transition Sentinel - Bold Unplugged

What are some others?
  • + 2
 Cotic Rocket MAX
  • + 16
 This is like Saturday morning cartoons for big boys!
  • + 12
 Actually refreshing to see that SC isn’t the number 1 choice, that Remedy looks a great bike for what the majority of the market do.....mountain biking
  • + 5
 I'd reckon the majority are riding tamer dirt than Pinkbike's stomping grounds in BC. I've had a few friends buy SB150/Ransom type 160-170mm bikes, then downsize to more Remedy/SJ styles and be much happier. But we could just be getting OLD too ????
  • + 3
 @motard5: I’ll take that, I turned 40 a week ago Salute
  • + 10
 @motard5:
Well.... I'm now 55 and have been riding the SB5.5 with a 170mm fork and that bike was perfect on the rough Mount7 DH terrain.
As I get older, I certainly prefer to have a good pedalling bike for the ascent and lots of travel for the way down, feels great on the old joints, and the ones that have been recently replaced ;-)
  • + 1
 I've been on the new remedy 9.8 for a few months and it is unreal. The suspension layout is much more progressive and the whole bike feels a lot more lively than previous versions. I'm having more fun on this bike than anything else I've owned.
  • + 6
 @pedaler: Well I'm about to turn 72 and my Hightower 29 (201Cool is far more capable than I'll ever try to be (risk vs. reward). No 3 foot drops or 60 degree rollovers for this "kiddo" any more!! :-)
  • + 3
 @allenfstar:
I'm on the new Remedy 8 and I agree. It's a little bit slower on the descents than my old Reign - took me a little while to get up to speed, but man this thing rips if you want it to. It's so nimble and is a real quiver-killer bike in my opinion. It's like an every-man bike, for regular mountain biking.
  • + 13
 Forgot to ask Alf’s opinion. I’m riding whatever that guy rides.
  • + 8
 I never understood the desire for bikes that pedal great without firming up the shock (lever). When im about to drop into a descent i like the ability to flip back to full open and enjoy a bike that isnt fighting me on the way back down. Suspension that firms up under braking or beco.es less active defeats the purpose of suspension to me.
  • + 1
 Agree. Though I haven't rode any of these other bikes they are comparing but flipping a switch on big climbs so that the suspension can be super plush is a good thing to me. Maybe the Reactive on the trek, or the updated SI on the Yeti really is that good? (everything just keeps getting better!) But for sure the Kona was the tried and true efficient at the expense of plush. (which seems contrary to everything Kona's used to be about??)

Hard to believe the Bronson was rated as such a good climber. I thought the whole point of the new linkage was to get more plush at the expense of a little efficiency? BIDK

On my V2 bronson, by the time I felt the shock was tuned to get the plush feel I wanted it it pretty much lost any pedal benefit over the Enduro it was replacing. (I did think it sit higher in it's travel) I still hit the "cheater switch" when I was tired...
  • + 8
 For me it's not only about an actual climb before going downhill. You notice the extra efficiency out of every corner, every smooth section of trail you can sprint and it makes even mellow smooth singletracks fun on a big bike. Something super squishy gets annoying on easy terrain quickly. And yes, I think there are linkages who can combine those traits and still don't compromise the downhill capability for aggressive riders. I notice that even on my old Switch Link bike.
  • + 15
 @MrLynch I posted this under another review but applies here as well. Just my 2c Smile

Because the bikes shouldn't need a cheater switch, that's why. I get it - the switch is easy to hit and instantly makes every bike efficient. That's a pretty cool trick.

Okay, so every single bike has a pedal-assist switch that firms them all up so now they're all efficient and there's not much to say about it. But just imagine how well our bikes would pedal if those dumb switches were never invented? The switches are a crutch for designs that have forfeited the ability to pedal efficiently in favor of active suspension, which is just fine for a lot of people. But bikes can be better; there are long-travel rigs that don't need dumb climb switches, with the big Polygon and any full-suspension Mondraker coming to mind, among others. There are tradeoffs, no doubt about that, but a lever that keeps your suspension from working isn't a solution. It's a crutch. I want my 150mm to pedal relatively well while remaining completely active and open.

Also, we shouldn't need expensive electronics to get it done.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: I always thought I was the only one with such thinking
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: if cheater switch had a dedicated climbing mode instead of stiffening up the shock would be even better, I don't like the cheater switch not because of poor suspension design but purely on shitty shock performance when you hit it, but getting a shock to be so good it's much harder than coming up with a fancy acronym
  • + 3
 Too much going on with the seat post leaver as is. So I forget to open the shock all the time. So I never lock out. I wonder if combining the seat post switch and the shock lock control would lead to a better riding experience? Seat down/shock open. Seat up/shock locked.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: I generally agree with you but there are guys like me who get an efficient peddler like a Ripmo and still use the climb switch for 5k vert days or if I’m on an xc ride and want something more fun and slack than an xc bike: a switch on an effecient climber turns a bigger trail bike into a Clyde friendly down country bike. Even with switch on a Stumpy, I still think it pedals like crap.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: squishy suspensions track marvellously when traveling fast down hill.
The opposite end of the spectrum. Suspensions with generous amounts of platform give you a harsher ride.
Some people love climbing . So make a bike that concentrates on pedal platform.
If you tolerate climbs and love DH then make a squishy rear suspension with a climb switch.
Both types of bikes are needed depending on the riders preference.
Let's start making bikes with individual character pertaining to riders personal preferences.
  • + 2
 @SithBike: BMC is doing this with their bikes
  • + 2
 @Sshredder: with rapidly falling anti squat numbers you can have both. Fortunately we are not in the 90s anymore...
  • - 1
 @jzPV: oh good one bike that does everything perfect.
No need to have bike test any more!
Thank you for your generous insight.
It's 2018 BTW.
  • + 1
 @Sshredder:
I don't think he's talking about platform - While the Remedy has the Reaktiv platform damper (which in my opinion ruins the ride), it would pedal relatively well without.

It's possible to design suspension that is both plush on the descents and pedals efficiently without much bob and pedal feedback. So why don't more designers do it??
  • + 0
 @sam264: yes if it's possible to make a bike climb like a goat and descend like a Jaguar why don't they do it? Good question.
Anti squat is what is used to create platform through the chain tension pulling back the shock. Creating resistance.
This reduces the bobing sensation you don't like when pedalling.
Anti squat is always reduced after initial compression of shock that's when the frequencies that create bobing are reduced to create a pedal platform.
This will always be at the expense of small bump sensitivity.
If you read the authors reviews carefully they all point out this fact.
  • + 3
 @Sshredder: small (!) bump sensitivity is not important for going fast, suspension action deep into the travel is. Anti Squat drops only on linkages with a virtual pivot point significantly and even then to a very different degree. So that particular trait is not achievable with every design (it even depends on rider position)... and other factors like the leverage rate are additional contributing factors. All of the factors need to be looked at when designing a bike and companies mostly stick to one linkage.

So at the cost of a little small bump sensitivity some companies like Mondraker or Yeti design their bikes to be efficient around the SAG point and with less chain tension deeper in the travel, while others like Specialized on their Stumpjumper seem to be going for all-out low speed grip which may suit the Average Joe or people with slow awkward techy trails better. Horses for courses.
  • + 1
 @jzPV: You sacrifice small bump sensitivity for going fast.
Your words.
Bikes that have less platform are better for slow awkward trails. Like double black teck trails?
The trails I prefer to ride.
Well then I can't argue with anything you stated.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: @mikelevy: "There are tradeoff's"; but isn't that the point? If the tradeoff for more efficient climbing is at the expense of small bump sensitivity, or square edge hits, odd pedaling feel, etc.(which is usually the case) Than it's just a matter of deciding which side of the tradeoff you want to be on?

Pinkbikes review of the Foxy was very positive on it's climbing attributes but I just read one where they were still hitting the climbing switch. And if the Polygon reference was about the React 2 play suspension or whatever they call it. Sure there was some good initial reviews when they were new. But that's about the last I've seen of them? Sure don't seem to be taking on the mountain bike world by storm???

I mean, if someone truly has the suspension equation solved, especially without higher cost and needing to have it plugged in I'm all for it. I'm not wanting to flip a switch, etc. But so far it seems like there is always some kind of a "tradeoff" or compromise to be made. So you just gotta pick what compromise you want to make...
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: There are double black trails you can ride fast...or people who can ride anything fast. And for these types of bikes I personally want them to be as stable and forgiving as possible when going fast without them feeling like a slug on the power, but you have to decide based on how and where you ride I think.
I can assure you a Yeti won't be your cup of tea then... but the geometry already shows that this thing won't like to go slow...
  • + 11
 If I’ve learnt anything from this it’s that Mikes priorities are worryingly similar to my own.
  • + 9
 Keep Mike Levy away from the fresh manicured lines at TEDS. I never see him out there with a shovel or McLeod doin repairs to all his skids and brake chatter marks!
  • + 9
 Thanks for the reviews, fellas. I'd love to see you all review something from Evil in comparison to the above. Is that in the works?
  • + 10
 Unfortunately not. Evil wasn’t able to get us a bike in time for the test. We’ll do what we can to get one soon though.
  • + 3
 @brianpark: what about commencal or YT?
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: so would you still take the Yeti over the YT and Commencal then ? ;-)
  • + 6
 @tuumbaq, I sure would, if price wasn’t a factor. The Capra doesn’t have a spot for a water bottle, and the Commencal is quite heavy. There’s more to it then that, of course, but those are the initial reasons that come to mind.
  • - 1
 @tuumbaq: And the Yetis simply just pedal more efficiently than either of those two. ????
  • + 6
 Does the yeti come in 27.5? If not, i find it extremely unfair how you put a negative down for the santa cruz for not having a 29 inch version while the yeti doesnt have a 27.5 version (as far as i know) and you dont put that negative down. Also didn't the trek win bike of the year last year because of the knock block? And now you are calling it a negative and silly in this review?
  • + 8
 5k feet a day for days on end is pretty insane. Good job putting in the work to test all of these bikes!
  • + 7
 Like they said all the bikes are good, the best depends on your preferences/areas you ride. Nice that the crappiest is bike is better than anything from 5 years ago.
  • + 5
 “EXO casing tires aren't the best choice for a race bike”

It’s like an $8k bike...a tire swap is the last thing to be bothered by...

Let’s be real, half the time even if a bike comes spec’d with a casing you can jive with, it isn’t the tire you want....don’t think I’ve ever had a bike come stock with the tires I wanted.
  • + 4
 I love this format. Everybody rides a 150/160 category bike here. They all seem to perform well and I am always left wondering if one bike is clearly better than the rest. The conversation clearly demonstrated how important personal preferences are. The bike that works best for your buddy may not work best for you.
  • + 4
 Looks like the new remedy needs to go on my demo list. @danielsapp for NC riding can you comment on how the remedy compares to a fuel ex? I’ve demo’d the new stumpjumper in ST form and felt pretty good for a lot of NC stuff.
  • + 3
 I just went a pedaled one around the block at the Trek store near me. It feels pretty sweet and I think I'm gonna try and demo one on some local trails soon. They have a pretty awesome demo program around me
  • + 1
 @mtb-sf: I have 2014 remedy 27.5 and I can’t really say I have a problem with it. It’s fun on my local trails without feeling over-biked and handles Pisgah just fine. I get the impression that the 2019 addresses the few things I’d like to change about mine. Just need to decide if a fuel ex or stumpjumper (ST or LT) is a better all-rounder for me. I have a trek store around the corner from me but they don’t do demos. I can probably bounce around on one in the parking lot though.
  • + 2
 I switched the the new remedy from last years fuel. The remedy feels a lot more playful and poppy despite its longer travel. I haven't really noticed any loss in efficiency over the fuel but I'm having a hell of a lot more fun.
  • + 2
 @rkillianjr46 - If the Stumpjumper ST felt good then I'd say the Fuel EX would be most comparable. The Remedy and the longer travel/non-ST Stumpy are similar. If you're living in/riding Pisgah primarily I'd opt for a Remedy or Stumpy (LT) probably. If you're more flatlands and doing weekend trips up, you may be better served by a Fuel EX or Stumpy ST. Buy the bike for where you live.
  • + 2
 @allenfstar: thats good to know. I’ve gotta find a way to demo a new remedy.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. I’m a solid 2 hours from Pisgah and DuPont so it’s only weekend trips for me. I’m thinking I would be better served by and ST or Fuel. My old Remedy isn’t to much for the trails around me but it sure isn’t exactly the right bike either. One of the appeals of the ST is that I could get a second fork, shock, and shock yoke eventually and convert it to an LT for my weekend trips. But I have a great relationship with an lbs that deals Trek so I’m a bit torn. Thanks again.
  • + 1
 @rkillianjr46: for what it's worth most of my riding is done in Florida. I can't speak for the stumpy but between fuel and remedy I'd put it down to how much you like to jump.

Remedy is definitely more at home in the air
  • + 1
 @allenfstar: I don’t jump nearly as much as I used to. I tend to stay a lot closer to the ground. Given the choice between a jump line and a rough, more natural trail I’ll take the latter every time. I think I’ll still try and demo a remedy but a stumpy st or fuel ex may fit my style and trails better.
  • + 0
 Yes, I would like to know what Mike Levy thinks is the time and trail that he needs the remedy?
I feel exactly like Mike detailed above and I feel the fuel ex is that perfect balance. I cant give up the 29r for climbing and keeping up with the racers. I have a stock fuel ex 9.8 and its insane fun up and down, blows away the Hightower sadly. I took it enduro racing, ran diamond jump lines, hucked rock drops. sure it falls apart on high speed rocky sections and I already had to rebuild the rear twice, but it takes a big hit. 5' to flat no problem. I rented the 2018 remedy and rode most the big jumps in Post Canyon Oregon. ill have to say, I thought the remedy would be a big step-up on the downhill and it wasn't, maybe it was the basic fork, but it was a big step-down on the uphill. I think with fork dampening tech now we dont need the travel we once did and that extra 20mm is not needed. also with wide rims and 2.5 rubber we compensate for at least 30% of the loss. 130mm is all you need these days imo for everything but DH.
  • + 2
 @rkillianjr46: it sounds like you should do the fuel and over fork that thing. I had a 150mm on the front of mine with 2.6 rubber and it will smash through anything.
  • + 2
 @DDoc: the 18 and 19 remedy's are extremely different climbers.
  • + 1
 @allenfstar: probably a good option. I upped the fork travel on my ‘14 remedy from 140 to 150 and that was a very positive change. I do wonder if the 2020 fuel ex will see some similar updates like on the ‘19 remedy. Degree steeper seat tube, will it loose full-floater for stiffness, maybe get a little longer. Though I think I’d be happy with the current fuel as is.
  • + 1
 @DDoc: Seems like the 2019 Remedy has some subtle but important changes though on the 18. A half degree up front and a full degree on the seat tube. No more full floater. I'm not sure if the 18 had the Lyrik but the 19s have Lyrik's from the 8 through the 9.8 and that isnot a basic fork by any means.
  • + 1
 @ICKYBOD: thanks guys!
  • + 7
 Stumpjumper Con: Specialized's dropper post is a miss (costs $9500)

Yeti Con: Expensive (costs $8500)

:shrug:
  • + 2
 Well, the SB150 frame is $3800, and the Stumpy frame is $3,200, so there's a decent price gap between the two.
  • + 4
 as climbing is not my strength being a weekend warrior Id have to go for the Bronson for its '+ Efficient, calm and composed climber' and not being 29er is perfect for me, 29er is for my road bike thx...
  • + 23
 Honestly this is what we hope for this series—that we can present information that’s useful for you to make your own decisions based on your own riding style and terrain.
  • + 6
 29 inch and 150mm is not a trail bike. It's a f&#%ing enduro bike! Are you lost your mind??? What next?
  • + 2
 Call 29 inch with 130mm to 150mm rear the new Mid Travel 29 segment. Aggressive Trails / All Mountain / Enduro

Now we are seeing 29ers with 170+ rear travel in Enduro offerings which is the new Long Travel. Then there are 120mm XC / Trail bikes so - it's a mash up.
  • + 6
 I would have liked to see the Norco Sight and Rocky Mountain in the test. Maybe next time.
  • + 6
 Would be cool to throw something a bit home grown in like a shanty n°5 or gg megatrail
  • - 2
 whats a shanty n°5?
  • + 3
 Great stuff. I ended up purchasing the Stumpjumper EVO 29er in S3 thanks to your review previously. I have a buddy with a SB150 and we swapped and changed and whilst the yeti is definately nicer, I could buy 2 evos and still have a bucket full of cash left over. I would be very interested to see how you guys compare that bike amongst much more expensive machines. I’m very happy with my purchase so thanks for the great review.
  • + 2
 Yo @mikekazimer a while back you guys did the first look at the Pivot Mach 6 carbon. Vernon said in that video there was a test bike on loan for a long term review. It never happened! It's also not in this field test.

I'm kinda bummed! What's the deal?
  • + 2
 We ended up including the Firebird 29 in the Field Tests - look for that video to drop next week.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: you didn’t answer the question.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer if the Bronson was a 29er or the bike was used the same linkage with 29er wheels, would it beat the SB150 in your mind? or too hard to speculate?
  • + 3
 That's a tough one - I think they would feel really similar, although the Bronson is a little bit shorter. We'll have to wait and see if Santa Cruz have anything in the works.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: the Hightower for sure and i know you know.
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: I have a 8k Hightower 1 yr old and I was forced, forced! to buy a fuel ex 9.8 after my riding buddy got one. he just started blowing me away on every climb. after a year I capitulated now we neck and neck again.
that Hightower was a big friggin' expensive mistake and I wouldn't even sell it to a friend.
reactive w/ 4 bar is waaaay smoother that the Hightower vpp. I even think the Hightower was a step down from the tallboy lt that I'm sorry I sold. As a huge SC fan I'm pretty bummed. I wear a Trek t-shirt now. Razz
  • + 2
 @mikelevi @mikekazimer Nice work on those test guys. It s nice to hear some talking about people riding them. And be pretty critical with them. And YES 29er! I m a little surprised about your input on the Stumpy, but I haven’t tried most of those other bikes to have a comparaison. I know how you ride, so it gets me curious to try some of those
Let me know if you re back in town this winter, would be fun to ride again.
Cheers.
  • + 1
 @alexptdmg: Will do! It was fun following you all those years ago. We're hoping to come to Sedona this spring.
  • + 4
 Nice! I'd like to see a little more info on rear sus, like leverage ratio/anti-squat graphs for us nerds. Otherwise excellent reviews, thanks!
  • + 2
 I personally didn’t see the point of this review. What were we comparing? You had 27.5 mild trail bikes then aggressive 27.5 bikes then mild 29ers with aggressive 29 bikes. Having a stumpy go against a yeti SB150 was not comparable at all. I did enjoy each bike though. I’m torn I guess.
  • + 3
 Conservative geometry. I have the Stumpy and put a 160mm fork instead of the 150mm. That slackens it out another 1/2 degree and puts the HA at 66. I feel like that’s my sweet spot.
  • + 3
 I love my 2016 Remedy and plan on buying a 2019 Remedy. Hopefully this article doesn't make Trek run out of bikes before I can buy one.
  • + 4
 I made the jump from 2016 to 2019. Can't go wrong. 2016 is rad. And really fast. And meets the same merit as this review to age. But the 2019 is stiffer, faster, climbs better out right, mixed bag on choppy climbing. I dropped a spacer from the rear shock and enjoy it a lot more... I hated the grip 2 and installed. Fit4 factory damper... Trek cut some corners imo based on the price the 2019 remedy is one hell of a sled. Love it.
  • + 2
 Had the 2016 remedy 29er and it was fast but it was no where near as playful as the new 2019. Go for it!
  • + 1
 Lol I ride a 2016 too...wasnt expecting these results! I was looking at the Bronson my nex bike...guess Ill have to reconsider.
  • + 5
 Kona Process all the way Riding bikes is all about having fun. ????
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer how does the SB150 stack up against the Stump Jumper Evo you tested a month ago? Would it be fair to call the Stump Jumper Evo a poor mans SB150? They appear to share quite similar geometry and perhaps intentions. I tested the Stump Jumper Evo a few weeks back and was amazed at how well that rear suspension worked considering it has 140mm of travel.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy You recently reviewed the Mondraker Foxy XR 29 which I found very interesting and which I aim to try and get a ride on if possible as the traits you found it excelled at are pretty much what I’m looking for in my next bike. As the Foxxy would fit into this category and you’ve recently spent time on one would you still be picking the Remedy over it? Cheers
  • + 1
 I don't think that ML is going to post an answer to your question for various reasons.

What I can say is that I bought a Foxy 29 XR frame set, and I swapped the rear shock to an Avy tuned Superdeluxe before ever riding it. My size L before pedals/ bashguard/ and tools were added weighs 28.1# and it is simultaneously the most effective climbing AND descending bike I've ever been on. And it also turns insanely well. My climbing and sprinting speeds are notably faster on this machine.

Previous bike was a similar high quality build (I reused everything except the suspension) Yeti 5.5 and the Foxy blows it away.

My Foxy 29 is also the first bike that I have felt truly comfortable on, fit wise. They are expensive, but I wouldn't be on any other bike at this time.

~ take care
  • + 2
 @SunsPSD: Cheers for the reply, from what I’ve read your choice of air shock over coil on the foxxy sounds bang on. Now I just need Santa to come to the party!!!
  • + 3
 Bought and Remedy and it feels like a dirt jumper and trail bike had a baby with 27.5 wheels. The bike jumps really good and climbs almost as well.
  • + 4
 The huck-to-flat slow-mo footage had me mesmerized. Is that going to be a standard test procedure?
  • + 1
 One of the best test reviews I’ve watched and read. Keep this going Pinkbike, blows the competition away. Interesting that the tallest rider prefers the 29er, or is this what we should expect going forward. I’m 5’10” and have tried 27.5 and 29ers. I’d love to embrace 29ers and think that for my height i’m on the cusp of the decision point between the two formats. Pinkbike’ i’d also love it if you could get your hands on a HopeHB160 and find out what you think of it - best of British :-) ,
.
  • + 2
 Felt like reading the Bible of Bike Tests, but with far more conviction in terms of choices made. Too bad GT, Transition, and a host of others where not reviewed for the AM/Enduro side.
  • + 2
 Specialized have made a rod for their own back for such reviews. Arguably, the Enduro should be the bike on test in this category, but they've made the Stumpjumper close, but not close enough.
  • + 4
 I'd like to see a field test with bigger bikes eg Pole Machine, Pole Stamina, Nicolai Geometron, Sick bicycles, etc.
  • + 1
 Probably in the works. They said they were doing other categories. This was trail, but there will be Enduro and XC probably.
  • + 5
 "Where in North Carolina do you need an SB150?"

The western part.
  • + 11
 The western part, like Colorado? Smile
  • + 1
 @bityw - it's still a bit much...almost. Granted, a DH bike wouldn't be the worst thing at times. I think that the SB130 is the Goldilocks bike here.
  • + 2
 @stiingya: Asheville area
  • + 2
 @danielsapp: it might be, but Mike’s question about where you’d need an SB150 left me wondering if he had ever been to N.C....meh....

If it were me, any of those bikes would be a dream though!
  • + 1
 @bityw: everyone knows the riding here is mediocre at best...no need to visit. Wink
  • + 3
 The Process offers the exact same bike in 27.5 and 29. Seems like a good opportunity to compare wheel size characteristics.
  • + 4
 Lord of the Flies reference with the conch?
  • + 4
 Exactly
  • + 2
 Great series of reviews guys, keep em coming, would have been interesting to see the Trek slash in the list but i guess its a bit too enduro for this group.
  • + 2
 Yeah but the frame is also a couple years old and so no-one wanting to do an update review even though Trek have changed / fixed the rear shock and the 2019 component spec is different.
  • + 2
 @gnarterrorist: Aluminium slash is 2019
  • + 2
 Slash and SB150 have about the same HA (my Slash measures 64.5) and exact same chainstays, near the same BB height. The Yeti has 21mm more reach for size L so it's even more "enduro" I guess. Slash frame + shock is probably about 2 lbs lighter, and much stiffer.

I'd take the Aluminum Slash over any of the bikes tested. I have a Slash 9.9 and it's my 1st carbon bike. I can say for me, carbon wheels, cranks and frames are not ideal. If the Slash didn't have impact resistant carbon in the lower part of the frame my front triangle would be history I'm sure. Colorado just has too much loose rock that likes to hit the frame. I gotta have carbon bars to save my hands, otherwise f-carbon.
  • + 1
 @davec113: thanks for the info, I think I'm going to buy a slash for 2019 anyway ... just seems so sorted
  • + 1
 @davec113: I live in the Canadian Rockies.. Been on carbon since 2011..Use some frame protection on vulnerable areas, but can honestly say I've never had a problem... Bails, hucks to flat and all.
  • + 1
 @davec113: If a rock smacks your frame and cracks it you can generally fix it. Been there done that.
  • + 0
 I am on an SB130. I haven't had to much time on yet but, so far it slays the dirt. I changed the fork to a 160mm which slackened the HA another .5degreees. I also wanted the new GRIP2 up front. Serious fun. Yeti nailed it with this bike.
  • + 1
 So you got the sb130, then made it slacker and longer travel. Why didn't you just get the sb150?
  • + 2
 That’s why I love my Altitude. Great bang for buck and fun.... Probably no KOM for me but no other bikes would give me KOM regardless.
  • + 3
 The trick to getting KOMs is forgetting to turn off Strava for your drive home.
  • + 2
 Still would have liked to of seen the Sentinel review in this format, carbon one that is and how it compares to a bike like the SB 150 after it adopted transitions geo.
  • + 1
 Good review.
When is some of: unno burn / spesh enduro / hope hb160 / pivot mach6 / yeti sb6 / giant reign / Radeon swoop / YT Capra going to be compared (so slightly more travel and mainly 27.5 compared to this selection)
  • + 1
 Thanks so much you guys. Keeping up with the competition but keeping it real. I also appreciate that you test on gnarly trails. I would like to see a outlier in the mix. Something interesting, metal and homegrown
  • + 3
 Came to comments looking for "Why didn't you guys review X bike?" Not disappointed
  • + 3
 If I may judge, I think the dude on Bronson was fastest of all of you geezers.
  • + 3
 Can we also get an editors choice for someone who is pushing 200 lbs?
  • + 2
 I'm well above your weight and I can say this, you'll want a bike that skipped on proprietary suspension products, comes with burly wheels, burly tires and is equipped with 180mm+ brakes front and back.With that logic in mind you'd be well served by brands like Giant, Norco, Devinci (the high end ones at least), Pivot, YT, Knolly, etc. If you're worried about after sales support and warranty, stick to big brands like Giant and Norco.
  • + 1
 I'm 210 and the new remedy 9.8 is freaking amazing. Stiff, poppy and playful.
  • + 1
 Bizarre selection of bikes here. The SB150 obviously does not fit. And it's unfair to compare the highly nimble and fun 650b bikes with the tall and sluggish 29er's.
  • + 1
 Maybe I'm odd here, but I'd really like to see comments regarding bb height and pedal strikes since that's an issue for me when scoping bikes.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: is there any chance you guys are gonna review the new Whyte G170c works 29er (on a later base)? Does look like a very sick bike!
  • - 1
 So you guys want a bike that climbs like XC and downhills like DH but you frown upon a "cheater switch" as you call it? Interesting. What about LSC, HSC and rebound control. Is it also cheating when i try to dial up my suspension for the trail I ride?
With this kind of logic we should ride 26" single speed hardtails with V-brakes because everything else is cheating.

Btw. not mentioning your love for 29" which is basically cheater wheel size, that makes everything easy, especially on downhill you just roll over everything without much effort.

But I guess that's the price you have to pay to be "edgy" Big Grin
  • + 1
 Is the Orbea Rallion considered in the super Enduro bike shoot out? Seems to have the best reviews over any enduro bike this year.
  • + 1
 They've said elsewhere that this is for the newest releases/updates and the Orbea has already had a review so it was left out of this field test. I think it would be rad to see a big shoot-out among these bikes and then a variety of other models (especially as a Sentinel owner).
  • - 1
 Watched all videos, got a question:
so I hear words like "I liked carbon rims, tyres, dropper posts", "shock is good for climbing" ....
Uhmm... isn't that test suppose to compare BIKES, I mean FRAMES, not the components?
Would it be more correct to assemble each one of these bikes with the SAME components and compare them??
  • + 2
 Fantastic reviews! Keep it up boys. Can’t wait for the long travel class. Woulda loved to see the process 165 in there
  • + 1
 Good format with the testing guys. Also interesting to hear your reflections and reasonings on the group of bikes your testing.
  • + 3
 I wonder how the new Devinci Troy 29/27.5 would fare in this group. Smile
  • - 2
 The Bronson is a bruiser but it has tonnes of mid stroke support. It wants to be smashed and ridden hard by a heavier rider. It's not that supple on gnarly DH. The Treck has a slightly less progressive and more forgiving suspension. That and the large volume tires would make the Treck track DH gnar with more stability. I would choose the Treck if I like teck trails and the Bronson if I rode at top speed like a maniac all the time.
  • + 2
 That was cool but it seemed kinda biased
  • + 2
 Dude on the left is a ventriloquist.
  • + 1
 The Yeti vid.
  • + 0
 Please do this for XC bikes!!!!!!! Full race bikes and another for bikes that normal people ride and then race occasionally. Please!!
  • + 2
 Do the long travel enduro segment next
  • + 2
 I wish the scout was in the rotation.
  • + 1
 You guys nailed this field test. Very enjoyable to follow as videos were released.
  • + 1
 Nice work. Awesome that there are plenty of riding video shots that show the reviewers skill.
  • + 2
 if you're listing weight shouldn't you list price?
  • + 2
 Huge fan of the stumpy here. *-*
  • + 2
 I wouldn't choose any of them because they are all too expensive. :'(
  • + 2
 Prefer also a comparison matrix with scores for each judging criteria
  • + 3
 So that means Trek won?
  • + 0
 Again? Seems no other bikes out there so we re-read the same bikes again and again. This is good review sure, but I there are more bikes are waiting to be tested..thanks
  • + 1
 I love that the Specialized came in dead last those bikes are just junk.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy ripmo vs remedy please
  • + 2
 Why all the plastic???
  • + 0
 Why did they eave out both the Genius and the Ransom from this Field Test. Seems both would fit the bill.
  • + 2
 Man check the older articles, the Ransom is coming!
  • + 1
 how come no Ibis Ripmo or Evil Offering???
  • + 1
 In another comment they said Evil didn't get them a bike in time. Not sure about the Ibis, though.
  • + 2
 @chillindrdude, we reviewed the Ripmo earlier this year: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-ibis-ripmo.html.
  • - 1
 @mikekazimer: how does it stack up to the bikes in the test in terms of climbing, descending, playfulness, etc? I’d bet a lot of people who are looking at these bikes are looking hard at the Ripmo too. It’s at the top my list right now, but I’m waiting to see what Hightower and Switchblade updates look like...
  • + 1
 remedy has a pressfit bb so i take the bronson!
  • + 5
 funny how they glossed over that little ( big ) tidbit.
  • + 2
 The Bronson will probably outlast all those other bikes. Pressfit just reeks of disposability.
  • - 3
 @cmcc: that's the dirty little secret, they want you to buy a new bike/frame every year or two.
  • + 15
 My Rootdown has a *gasp * pressfit bb and it has never been an issue in 3 seasons of riding. I get the preference for threaded but I don't see why it's such a deal killer for some. If it's going to be a problem on any bike you would think a hardtail that gets ridden hard on rocky terrain would be it. That is, of course, my own experience so far.
  • + 25
 Picking a bike based on what type of BB it has rather than how it rides, good call...
  • - 1
 @Gnarlcharger: Rootdown is steel. makes a dif.
  • - 5
flag Beez177 (Dec 8, 2018 at 12:20) (Below Threshold)
 @NIN20: when you destroy your frame replacing the bb, doesn't matter how it rode..
  • + 0
 @Gnarlcharger: STEEL not carbon, huge dif. Nice try tho
  • - 1
 @Beez177: My Switchblade is carbon w/pf bb and never a squeak.
  • - 2
 @Levelheadsteve: Cool, but your experience doesn't mean everyone else has had the same.
  • + 4
 @Beez177: my last three bikes have all had press fit bottom brackets and none of then have had a single problem.
  • + 0
 @Beez177: would still squeak, nice try tho
  • + 0
 @allenfstar: that's because all they do is sit in garage, try riding them.
  • + 0
 @underhawk: @allenfstar Why do think Specialized ditched the PF bbs and went back to threaded bbs?? Why does Santa Cruz exclusively use threaded bbs. Clearly you all know more than they do.
  • + 0
 @Beez177: my bikes see 4 rides per week in sandy terrain but keep making assumptions you garbage keyboard warrior.
  • + 1
 @Beez177: weird bro, I want aware you knew how old I was. You must be psychic or something.
  • + 1
 I don't think fun over fast is a con.
  • + 1
 oh no looks like ill have to sell my new stumpy......
  • + 0
 Where is the pivot test that was in the teaser video????
  • + 5
 On the way - the Firebird was included as part of our 'Super Enduro' category, along with the Devinci Spartan and Scott Ransom.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer and the machine?
  • + 3
 @Randomscruff, that didn't arrive in time for this round of Field Tests, but a long term review is in the works - I've been riding it a bunch.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: thx for the update!!
  • - 1
 @mikekazimer: got it. Still think the Genius would fit the bill for the test perfectly. Looks like the only thing to separate it from most of the bikes is 10mm up front. Pretty negligible difference. IMM
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Mach 5.5?
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer:
Is there a “super enduro” comparison like this, couldn’t find it (word enduro mentioned too much)
  • - 2
 West coast fanboys will still hate on trek in favor for SC or spec. Even having never ridden abp.
  • + 3
 Ignorance is bliss they say
  • + 3
 Say what?
The reviewers loved the Trek. I see loads of Treks on the trails of Washington.
I have no idea where you get the idea that west-coasters hate Trek.
  • + 1
 @NWBasser: I live in northern CA where it's Santa Cruz bro, or bust.
  • - 2
 Cool, but the thought of how much flex these things would have under a 120kg rider is frightening.
  • + 2
 #fatpeopleproblems
  • + 0
 ....VS Mega?
  • + 0
 Boring bikes.
  • - 2
 test rode an Evil Wreckoning and it was a super fun bike
  • + 6
 That's nice
  • - 1
 @gnarnaimo: ok but why get a complicated bike with stuff like the Switch 4mm when a single pivot rides so good?
  • - 2
 Impressive the Trek got the choice with those small knobbed tires.
  • + 5
 surprisingly awesome tires. i have them on my Patrol, so good.
  • + 1
 @jamesbrant: I'd think the SE5/g4/g5 would be closer to the Minions/Butchers on the other bikes, true?
  • + 1
 Just looks like that because they are big 2.6" tires. SE4s are pretty great tires. I am riding a 2.6 SE5 on the front and a 2.4 SE4 on the back for the winter and enjoying the combo more than my previous Magic Mary / Hans Dampf combo.
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