Field Test: 3 Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Under $3000

Jan 18, 2019
by Richard Cunningham  


Pinkbike added a trio of affordably priced trail bikes to the cadre of high-end dream machines we reviewed during our Whistler Field Tests. All three have aluminum frames and were priced under $3,000 USD, but that's where the similarities ended.

The Whyte G-170 S hails from the UK, wears 27.5-inch wheels, has aggressive gravity-specific geometry, 170-millimeters of rear-wheel travel and a 180-millimeter fork. Norco's Fluid FS 1 is more trail oriented, with 29-inch wheels, 120 millimeters of rear wheel travel and a 130-millimeter fork, and the third member of the cast, Transition's Scout Alloy NX, splits the difference between the two, with 130 millimeters of rear suspension, a 150-millimeter fork and numbers capable of handling all but the pointiest lines in the valley.

There are a lot of bikes to choose from in the $3,000 range, so we picked three different examples that embraced the best qualities of the genre to give the uninitiated bike buyer a feel for what's out there, and for which features are most important.



Whyte G-170 S
Whyte photo

Whyte G170 S: $2499

The winner of last year's Pinkbike Award for best value, Whyte's 27.5-inch wheel G-170 S is capable of racing enduro or smashing out bike park laps. Outfitted with just-right components, it can be purchased ready-to-ride for less than cost of an elite-level frame from the likes of Specialized or Yeti.

Somehow, Whyte's designers assembled a high quality, 170-millimeter-travel aluminum chassis with value components that are proven capable for a gravity-oriented trail bike and packaged it all with modern geometry for an MSRP that seems impossible. We're not sure how they managed it, but the G170 rides and feels much like a pro level bike - solidly built and immensely confident under saddle.
G-170 S Details

Purpose: All-mountain, bike park, enduro
Construction: aluminum, Horst-Link type suspension, 170mm travel, ISCG-05 mounts.
Wheel size: 27.5" (plus compatible)
Geometry: (medium) Head angle: 65º, seat angle: 75.5º, reach: 452mm, BB height: 333mm, chainstay: 430mm
Sizes: Sm, med, large, XL
Suspension: 180mm RockShox Yari RC fork (37mm offset), Deluxe R, DebonAir shock
Key Components: SRAM NX Eagle, 12-Speed drivetrain, Guide brakes with 200mm rotors, 150mm dropper seatpost
Contact: Whyte Bike

bigquotesWhen I first started this project, I thought the Whyte, with its 27.5" wheels, heavy weight, and funky paint job would be my least favorite, but it has become my best friend.From the Field Test

What it Does Best

Accomplished riders with skills have limited options if they want a gravity-capable, long-travel bike for an affordable price. Whyte's G-170 S is exactly that. Its sturdy chassis, low-slung bottom bracket and deep-travel suspension kinematics are sharply focused for technical, high amplitude trails. Under saddle, its ample reach, 35mm stem, and wide handlebar fall perfectly in place when the earth drops away and the fun begins. With plenty of grip, big brakes and no bad habits, the G-170 S can satisfy a top-level rider's need for speed, or make a hero out of a grom. I wouldn't recommend it as a trail bike, because it weighs 34 pounds and favors the downs. That said, it pedals pretty well and it's geared low enough to happily fulfill the "one bike" role for cash-strapped shredders.



Transition Scout NX
Transition photo

Transition Scout NX: $2999

Transition's Scout Alloy NX handily overturns a longstanding assumption in our sport. "Affordable trail bikes" are most often associated with larger, established brands that can leverage economies of scale to reduce the cost of their entry level bikes to levels unattainable by smaller niche brands.

Historically, affordable offerings from small, elite level bike makers (I won't name names) fail because they have to spec embarrassingly cheap components on an overly expensive frame to achieve their price points. Transition's most affordable Scout, however, delivers a frame and build that are authentic to the Bellingham, Washington, bikemaker's rider-first ethos and technical Pacific Northwest trail heritage.
Scout Alloy NX Details

Purpose: All-mountain, trail
Construction: aluminum, Horst-Link type suspension, 130mm travel.
Wheel size: 27.5"
Geometry: (medium) Head angle: 65º, seat angle: 75.5º, reach: 450mm, BB height: 335mm, chainstay: 425mm
Sizes: XS, small, med, large, XL
Suspension: 150mm Rockshox Revelation RC fork (37mm offset), Deluxe RT shock
Key Components: SRAM NX Eagle, 12-Speed drivetrain, Race Face cockpit, Maxxis Minion DHFII/DHR tires
Contact: Transition Bikes

bigquotesIt's from a company that knows how to make a bike for the Pacific Northwest, which arguably, is some of the most technical riding (even for the easy stuff) that you'll get in the world.From the Field Test

What it Does Best

Aptly named, Transition's Scout Alloy NX has the combination of pedaling efficiency and trustworthy handling that you'll need to ride unfamiliar zones and features with confidence. Its steering is calm and precise, and it always feels like the Scout has another ten percent in its handling bank to smooth out the moments when something goes wrong. Transition tuned its suspension kinematics to keep the rear wheel moving up and over the innumerable roots and rocks that pepper the Northwest trails, so there is a softness in the pedaling feel that avid XC riders may not like. That initial suppleness, however is a recipe that generates a lot of grip for topping technical climbs and that also helps maintain momentum anywhere trails are ungroomed and chunky.



Norco Fluid FS1
Norco photo

Norco Fluid FS 1: $2899

Norco's Fluid FS 1 represents the basic trail bike, but updated with more aggressive geometry and suspension that reflect the massive learning curve that enduro has brought to the table of contemporary bike makers. In many ways, the Fluid's well-crafted aluminum frame and Horst link rear suspension mirror the features of the Transition Scout - and for good reason. Norco has been immersed in Northwest topography since it began making mountain bikes, so it's no surprise that they have arrived at the same time-proven mechanical elements.

Norco's Fluid, however, sports 29-inch wheels and a little less suspension travel, both of which give this bike a decidedly different personality. It feels more efficient under power and its larger-diameter
Fluid FS 1 Details

Purpose: Versatile trail bike
Construction: aluminum, Horst-Link type suspension, 120mm travel.
Wheel size: 29"
Geometry: (medium) Head angle: 66.5º, seat angle: 76º, reach: 440mm, BB height: 342mm, chainstay: 429mm
Sizes: Medium, large, XL
Suspension: 130mm RockShox Revelation RC fork, Deluxe RT shock
Key Components: SRAM NX Eagle, 12-Speed drivetrain, Guide T brakes, WTB Trail Boss 2.6" tires
Contact: Norco Bicycles
wheels and high-volume tires carry more speed. Its steering and handling feel more sprite. The Fluid's suspension and frame geometry are capable of tackling chunky drops and steep descents, but this bike is happiest riding at pace on flowy singletracks and for longer forays into the backcountry.

bigquotesThe person who is going to buy this bike is looking for the adventure - the longer rides, the longer climbs, and flowy trails. They're not going to be looking for the pointy drops and the scary stuff.From the Field Test

What it Does Best

Norco's Fluid is the basic mountain bike, but in the best sense of the phrase. It's easy to pedal, fast enough to stay with the XC trail crowd on Wednesday training rides, and it feels planted enough to session technical lines when you are riding with your all-mountain buddies on Saturday. The Fluid FS 1 lacks the brute suspension travel, slack geometry and extended wheelbase to handle the intensity that a true all-mountain or enduro sled is designed for, but it will get you down more technical trails as long as you stay focused and in command. All things considered, that's a wide spread for any trail bike, which I believe is exactly what Norco had in mind when they designed the Fluid FS 1. It's a big world out there, but Norco made sure that you'll only have to spend $2,899 to start discovering it.





305 Comments

  • + 290
 Seriously, where are the $10,000 bikes? I come here to read about dream bikes! : )
  • + 90
 It's sarcasm people...
  • + 16
 @packfill: BIKES ARE STILL TOO EXPENSIVE Wink
  • + 18
 "Carbon curious" sounded funny to me. I laughed out loud @ 10:14. Thanks RC They look like just what PB viewers want.
  • - 17
flag RLounsbury (Jan 17, 2019 at 12:16) (Below Threshold)
 @packfill: Downvote Wink
  • + 23
 I gotchu
  • + 4
 @packfill: Sarcasm will not be tolerated.
  • + 11
 This dude is 64 years old? Kind of mancrushin' here. I'm 36 and I'm a disgusting trollop in comparison,
  • + 17
 @myfriendgoose: 65 now! Father Time is an inspiration to us all.
  • + 5
 I heard PB editors risking their lives testing bikes beyond 3000
  • + 4
 great vid. Felt real and honest.
  • - 4
flag bennorth (Jan 18, 2019 at 3:09) (Below Threshold)
 I was considering the Norco bit the wheel set alone costs 5kg and it is very sluggish
  • + 3
 Right?! Reading this was like pulling teeth.
  • + 145
 All the complaints and questions....What about this _specific bike_? I can't believe you forgot about _this bike_? This review is missing _this bike_...

I'm just happy we are seeing reviews of bikes aligned with most people's reality. Thank you, Pinkbike.
  • + 18
 I agree. I think these are actually 3 pretty sweet bikes, too, to tell the truth.
  • + 10
 agreed. still needs more commencal meta am
  • + 2
 3 of my fave bike Companies, at prices I like too! Thanks RC
  • + 2
 Absolutely agree with you man. We need a lot more of these!
  • + 2
 Yep! Thanks Richard for and excellent morning read with my coffee. Absolutely love this sort of content.
  • + 134
 Daily reminder that NX Eagle is the worst thing to happen to MTB since Joe's NoFlats. A year ago all of these bikes woulda had 11 speed GX or SLX and been better off for it.
  • + 12
 Nail on the head! But trust me, those people who bought nx eagle equipped bike won´t know.
  • + 50
 Usually I ignore post like yours saying XYZ component or bike is the 'worst'. However, totally agree with you here. NX is a boat anchor of a group JUST to say it has 'Eagle' on it for marketing. GX or 11 SLX are way better groups and performance
  • + 27
 @bman33: But hey, don't forget to spec an NX shifter if you're a weight weenie, it's the lightest Eagle shifter ever*!!!

*Due to being 100% cheap plastic
  • + 13
 @mnorris122: I think back on Iron Horse Sam Hill used the X7 shifter instead of the X9 one because it had a plastic lever which he could "custom trim". People seem to have something against "cheap plastic". If you manage to destroy the plastic lever of a shifter because of heavy regular use, you may need to shift the focus of your strength training regime.
  • + 10
 @vinay: it's not the lever, it's the internals. Even my XO1 has a plastic trigger. Build quality of the internals and overall design is the issue we are talking about in this instance
  • + 14
 Last year's Scout had 11 speed NX
  • + 5
 @bman33: Do you have numbers on the failure rate of the NX shifter against the X01 trigger shifter? I've no experience on either but considering the forces involved I don't quite see why plastic wouldn't be up to it. And as much as you have different alloys, you also have different plastics. PP is already quite tough (what tie-wraps are made of), nylon (PA) and POM are even tougher and self lubricating, used in durable food processors with 700 watt motors. I expect these internals of the shifter to be at least PP, possibly nylon. That's just guesswork though. Considering you've studied what's inside, can you tell?

In general though, I've seen more poor castings of aluminium than faulty injection moulded plastic parts.
  • + 3
 @bman33: doesn't the x01 eagle shifter have a metal lever? Pretty sure mine does at least.
  • + 10
 No, they would have had 11 speed NX... which I believe they all did. GX specd bikes got the GX Eagle. The problem is that the previous 11 speed NX cassette was only an 11-42. The 11t is fine, but the 42t is not. My previous bike had an NX 11-42 and I had to add a Wolftooth GC49 kit to get a 49t cog added to that cassette. So yes, the new 12 speed nx is heavy, but it's better than having, not needing, but having to upgrade or change it out right away. I'd rather have a little extra weight and a functional bike than a little less weight and having to swap parts or spend money... which obviously I didn't want to do because I bought a low spec budget bike.
  • + 17
 @islandforlife: Exactly. Every bike I've seen that now has NX Eagle on it, previously had NX 11sp; not GX or SLX.

Also, agreed on the cassette range. I bought a Transition Smuggler NX last year, and that 11-42T range just wasn't wide enough. Replaced the entire cassette with an 11-46T Sunrace MX-8, which achieved the same range as a higher-level Sram XD-style 10-42T cassette (though not as wide as your 11-49 setup), without the expense of buying a new driver. And the wider range Sunrace cassette actually weighs 50g *less* than the NX it replaced.
  • + 12
 @tmargeson: I'm curious what size chaining you and others who want more low end than a 42t are running.

I'm by no means a mountain goat uphill but I feel like with a 30t up front I never want easier and I'm rarely pedalling fast enough on trail to use the 11t. I suppose it depends where one is riding too.
  • + 2
 @islandforlife: That 49t sounds like a hell of a step-up on a 11-42. The last gap would be a 36-49 right? Which is worse than Shimano's bodgey 11-46 which goes 36-46.

Sunrace 11-46 cassette is far better from the perspective of gear intervals.
  • + 6
 @coffeepoop42069: I run a 30t chainring and find that's perfectly fine. Likewise, very rarely find myself maxing out on the 11t.
  • + 2
 @neologisticzand: It has a metal thumb or 'easier gear' trigger and the small release or 'harder gear' trigger is plastic.

@vinay , I don't have solid numbers. That said, I have been riding/racing since the early 90's as well as
working as a mechanic for 10 years. The "cheaper" shifter may work fine, but the just don't last as long as higher end ones with better plastic and / or metals used. That goes for Shimano and Sram in my experience.
  • + 1
 @Ktron: It's actually a great kit... you keep your 42 tooth cog, so it goes from 36 to 42 to 49 which is perfect. How they do this is instead of replacing your 42t, they include an 18t cog in the kit and you replace both your 17 and 19 tooth cogs with that 18 tooth.

And it was only $80. That kit was also made specifically for the NX PG1130 cassette and required no modifications. All you had to do was adjust the B screw a little, add a new chain (because you needed more length) and you were off. When I bought it they even had a couple "scratch and dent" versions that had laser graphic mess ups for $40... looked perfect to me!
  • + 8
 @coffeepoop42069: Really depends on your terrain... where I live (Westcoast BC), lots of my climbs are just brutal. Even when I upgraded from 11-42 with a 32t chainring, then to 11-49 with a 32 tooth chainring and now on 10-50 with a 30 tooth chainring (but 29r so...)... there are still sections of some climbs that I have to walk... and some of these are just the fire or logging access roads!! Some of the sustained tech climbs are even worse. I'm not crazy fit, but I'm no slouch either... pretty much everyone is walking some of these sections. At the end of the day, in my terrain, my granny gear is my most used cog.

And changing 2 teeth on your chain ring doesn't have as much affect as changing 8 teeth on your granny cog.
  • + 5
 @coffeepoop42069: ditto, I had a 32 and the hills were becoming steeper as I aged, a 30t made me 5 years younger
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: get a 26 or 28t front chainring? Use a gear inch calculator to find the equivalent of what you have now.
  • + 3
 @Mondbiker: Why? My last bike was 11-sp XO1 and current bike is NX Eagle. The shifting feels totally fine as long as the hanger is straight and everything is tuned properly. Sure, it's heavier than other Eagle drivetrains, but I'll haul a little bit of extra weight in exchange for a 50T that lets me spin. And, most importantly, the NX spec'd bike was $1000 cheaper than the equivalent GX (with a brake upgrade being the only other real change).
  • + 2
 @woofer2609: 11-49 with a 32 on a 27.5 bike worked prerfect, great range. Now my 10-50 with a 30 is even better, no calculator needed.
  • + 2
 @airdonut41: 100% agree. Aside from the shifter amd the weight, I love the nx eagle groupset.
  • + 2
 Coming up on 3K miles on my GX 11 and still performing like new, got to love the all steel cassette Now if someone would make a good all steel 9-46 11 speed cassette.
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: which derailleur do you run with that 49t? I wonder if my 11s X01 will do the job on a bigger cassette then the 42t
  • + 1
 @Hannibalismus: Stock NX derailleur. Have a look at the Wolftooth GC49 page... it outlines all the info and compatilbility. They also offer other kits as well as their Shark Cage that will adapt derailleurs that don't work well with bigger cogs so that they do - www.wolftoothcomponents.com/collections/cassette-cogs/products/49t-gc-cog-for-sram-and-sunrace
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: yup, I run a 26t and an e13 cassette, much better than walking
  • + 1
 @nurseben: 26t!! At that point... I'm probably walking faster than you're riding while you're teetering trying to stay upright. And your final gear would be pretty slow.
  • + 2
 @islandforlife: e13 cassettes run a 9t smallest cog, so 26-9 gives about the same final drive as a 32-11.....
  • + 1
 @ridecore: Right, forgot about that 9t... so the finals not too bad.
  • + 2
 I just converted my bike to NX 12 SPD. Not sure what the problem is? Shifting is extremely smooth, quick and consistent. I'm shocked at how well it performs for a budget drivetrain. Seems like everyone who knocks NX have never experienced it for themselves. Ya it's super heavy but I'm not a weight weenie. I couldn't care less.
  • + 2
 @ThunderChunk: These days, stuff just works. Even cheaper dropper seatposts seem to work just fine. But as mountainbike gearing and brakes are being used so much in mountainbikes, trekkingbikes, commuters etc (especially as the heavier pedal assisted bikes need more powerful brakes), the manufacturers have figured out by now how to make these work just fine even at the lower pricepoint. And Deore or NX may be the introduction for some people to mountainbiking. If it wouldn't work at least fairly decent, these customers would just get the competitors drivetrain on their next more expensive mountainbike. You can't mess up as a manufacturer, not in the mid/low end market. Last summer we borrowed some cheap hardtails in South Tirol (north Italy). Suntour forks, Shimano Acera rear mech I think it was. Worked perfectly fine no matter how much of a beating that rear mech got from rocks and stumps. The only thing that was messing with my confidence on the steeps was that I'm used to having my saddle really low and the frame didn't allow for that. But obviously most modern full suspension bikes with an interrupted or bent seattube don't allow for that either. But yeah as far as gearing goes, I wonder if you can actually still get bad gearing on a mountainbike. Maybe poorly setup, but not bad components.
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: not if I'm running an 11-36 cassette thats a half pound lighter than an 11-46.
  • + 1
 @vinay: that's very true. I have a brand X dropper post and I've been using it for over a year. No issues and I haven't even added air yet. I have a Norco range with a budget build. Deore hubs with Alex rims, yari fork, Norco branded stem and bars, the nx drivetrain. I'm riding black and double black tech, hitting big drops and jumps, it's been working great. I did upgrade the cheap x fusion xc shock, that performed like poo.
  • + 1
 My biggest gripe is the fact that 11 on the top of the NX would rob it of the range of the GX Eagle and that cassette is really heavy. I’m running an older SRAM 1x11 with a 10-42 with a 32t chainring upfront and still feel the need for more top end in certain situations. A 10-50 Eagle GX with a 34t would be great for most trail riders, and you could move the ring size up front around depending on your preference. On the cheap. It’s not really an Eagle without that range that they based the whole “500%” concept on. That was the point in the first place. Still great tech though: these new bikes are awesome and NX wouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
  • + 1
 @Paleboy: all eagle components work with one another. You can run an NX cassette and cranks with an xx1 derailleur and chain and a GX shifter. Any combo works. That's why NX 1x12 is called eagle. I think it would be confusing if eagle and non eagle (NX) worked together.
  • + 2
 @ThunderChunk: That’s true but the NX Eagle runs on a different non-HD driver body that won’t accept the other cassttes in the Eagle range. Hense the 11t cog on the top. You’d have to shell out another $100 to change the hub to then be able to then get the larger range GX Eagle or XO1 or XX1 cassettes to fit.
  • + 1
 Agreed. It isnt because of weight. It's the Shimano hub spline. I'm sure it works fine as a cassette, but what about replacement or upgrade time? Want to go to GX? Sorry, you'll have to buy a new wheel to go with it because of XD.

To me that is the killer.

And as for sun race. Yeah. Not impressed. Bought an 11 46 10 speed for my wifes 9 speed. Fits great, looks cool, but the 46 isn't straight so the chain rubs on portions of the ribg when in the next hihher gear. I'm never going to hear the end if it. An NX would be nice but her hub isnt boost.
  • + 1
 @coffeepoop42069: I used to think the same. Then I upgraded my previous bike to 12 speed, found out the 30x50 gearing helped me climb stuppidly steep stuff I would have avoided or had me pushing the bike instead. Now I'm back on a 11sp trail bike but decided to install a 24t front ring because I want to climb the same stuff. I'm not Nino Schurter, don't race XC anymore and thus don't have much use of an high gear top end.
  • + 2
 @Poulsbojohnny: you don't need boost to run NX. I thought you did as well then the shop told me that NX eagle works on 135 and 142 hubs as well. I'm running mine on 142.
  • + 2
 @coffeepoop42069: A lot of bikes came with 32t front ring and 11-42 cassettes, 30t is quite rare on complete bikes, even on 29".

I can tell you that even as a fairly fit rider (did some low level xc racing), i find 50x32 the bare minimum range for 29" trailbikes. Riding in the Alps, their foothills or the Rocky Mountains quite often means climbing 2000+m vertical of steep trails or ramps. Having a low gear to spin while seated is required if you don't want to end up pushing your bike.

Back in the 3x drivetrain days, some people here would run 20t granny rings with 34t cassettes on 26" bikes.
  • + 2
 @Ttimer: I'm with you. I think the easiest thing to do is find your optimal gear inch number and gear accordingly. Fwiw, I'm about 17 gear inches give or take. Most modern suspensions are tuned around a 32t front ring.
  • + 1
 @Ttimer: The vertical climbs you’re referring to doing are exceptionally difficult though and would absolutely require that smaller gear up front. I’m looking to convert to 9-46 from 10-42 and keep my 32t up front on my 29”. Coming from a 29” with 3x9 with a 12x36 in the back, I miss both the top and low end but am willing to compromise with the benefits of 1x. Most of the trails I ride in my local region doesn’t require that much low gearing for climbs thankfully. :-)
  • + 87
 Pffft, these are all dental hygienist's bike!
  • + 6
 That at is the best comment so far.
  • + 1
 dental hygienist! No way... these are like the Receptionist's bikes.
  • + 81
 RC is a new hero for me! 65 and still killing it and hiking up with a bike on his back! I just turned 40 and figured it was all diminishing returns from here but now I have some new hope!
  • + 53
 Same here. He impresses me every time we get to ride together - a true living legend.
  • + 7
 I'm 33 and not sure how many more hits I can take. The line in that video is one I would question riding now. He's killing it.
  • + 6
 The fastest guys I race on the XC circuit are all in there lower to mid 40's! Some even hovering in the 50 range! "Old man strength"
  • + 4
 That guy never has to worry about knee pads slipping down. #CALFZILLA
  • + 3
 My mom is just two years older and isn't doing ANYTHING close to this adventurous. And looking at some of the things he's riding down, that's pushing the limits of anything I would do.
  • + 4
 +1, RC is a legend. Great rider with unbelievable industry knowledge and experience.
  • + 55
 Next: put up the $2500er plumber vs its $8000er attorney brother of the same breed.
Give em equal tires.
  • + 6
 This. So much of this.
  • + 2
 Don’t extra dollars make you faster?
  • + 8
 A lot of fairly to very well-off plumbers out there and plenty out-of-work lawyers.
  • + 2
 @jeremiahwas: about time!
  • + 2
 @mkotowski1: They really do. I don't get why people get so hung up on the fact that better equipment wont make me faster than someone with more skill. If you're riding black/double black (Canada scale) trails that are pushing your limits then better suspension and brakes goes a long way.
  • + 2
 My plumber friend makes $45/hr...
  • + 46
 RC - May not always agree with you, may have made a jab in the past...but damn, props for still going at that age. I hope I am still riding gnar at 60+ Awesome, inspiring stuff.
  • + 37
 65 and is carrying a 34 lb bike up a steep trail on his back while casually describing the bike's strong points.
  • + 31
 What about made in the USA Guerrilla Gravity? Every model they have has an under $3k build and they were made in Colorado by someone making a fair wage?! Plus the Smash had one of the best reviews ever on PB!
  • + 29
 He's right you know!
  • + 3
 @GuerrillaGravity: Since these are, I believe like the other field tests, new bikes they haven't reviewed yet, do you have a new one that you shipped to PB that we can look forward to a review of?
  • + 6
 @Rubberelli: Not exactly but kinda sorta. Working on a some revolutionary stuff and out-of-the-box things. But don't you worry, we'll be the first company to launch our 2020 bikes in 2019.
  • + 30
 You can sell that old Corolla and get a bike with a water bottle in the front triangle. AMAZING!
  • + 30
 For Canadians prices will be posted in litters of maple syrup or beaver pelts
  • + 55
 Man I was going to be so impressed you got the word litres right... so close!
  • + 10
 Beaver pelt pricing please. Syrup pricing is for Easterners.
  • + 1
 Can I pay in recordings of the word ey
  • + 2
 Do you have a conversion chart for ketchup chips to Maple syrup litres?
  • + 1
 nah, just multiply by 1.5, or double with taxes.
  • + 1
 @WheelNut: What's the preferred currency of the Maritime Provinces?
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: more like meters cubed of rain
  • + 28
 Every review of the Fluid is a strong positive, combined with the value across the entire line sure makes it bloody hard to ignore.
  • - 3
 A UK site (Bikeradar I think) gave it a solid "underwhelming".... My experience of Fluid as rental bikes with snappy chain stays a few years back puts me off.
  • + 12
 I've got one and that's a result of not being able to ignore the price and the positive reviews. Was contemplating other bikes that were about half the price again more expensive. To be honest, i'm happy with my decision. I'm a perennial bike upgrader - always looking for the next thing to replace. The Fluid has made me just value the work that @norcobicycles put into it in the first place. Its well specced, comfy to ride and fun to hammer down the local trails at speed. Only done the one black run on it so far, but it handled it well.

I can see me having this one for quite a while, and only upgrading things when they break rather than because i want to!
  • + 15
 @paulskibum: The 2019 fluid is a completely different animal from previous models. This bike was completely redesigned from the ground up by an absolute shred who is new to norco, and represents a change in direction for a lot of their bikes. Definitely worth throwing a leg over - it is one of the most fun bikes i've ridden in a while.
  • + 3
 @paulskibum: that was for the version before this one. I've had mine since December, but reviews of the updated version were scarce then - still not loads about now. Great to see some similar priced bikes on here for a change. More please PB Smile
  • - 5
flag betsie (Jan 17, 2019 at 15:00) (Below Threshold)
 Interesting that the review omitted the video segments of the bike being ridden down the steep stuff. I know RC said it wasn't for that but he also said it was a slow climber and for long days. Kinda contradictory.
  • + 5
 @betsie: he said it was a slow climber until he tuned the suspension.
  • + 22
 Bought a Whyte G170 S (size medium) in last June, and rode it in Virginia, Colorado and now took it back to China (Seemed that I was the first G170 owner in the U.S. and now the first and only one in China). Had many great bikes before, including SC, Ibis and Yeti (and still have the SB 5.5), but still feel that G170 is the one that impressed me the most for the following reasons.

1. Well designed forward geometry paired with fine tuned suspension. It is a horst-link like Specialized FSR, and it rides pretty similar to (and even better than) a FSR bike, even with the stock Yari fork and the deluxe inline shock. The suspensions just feel so balanced and easy to tune. Just put around 30% sag front and rear and I could feel myself perfect in the center of the bike all the time, which means both the front and the rear wheel would have ample grip, contributing to the neutral and calm handling of the bike. Now I upgraded the fork to a Lyrik RC2 and the shock to a DVO, and the balanced feel still maintained well. Thanks to the reasonably-progressive leverage curve, no volume space needed to be added into the rear shock (and you can put on a coil if you want). Therefore, the rear always feel natural and lively without harsh bottoming-outs.

2. It goes with 29er wheels. Yes! It does. Whyte designed their bikes around 27.5*3.0 tires (as their geometry chart shows the numbers with 275*3.0 tires), and therefore, these bikes whould work with 27.5 / 27.5+ and 29 wheels (even without the flip chip). I put on 29 wheels with 170mm travel /42mm offset fork in the front last September. Based on my own measurement, the HTA is about 63.9, the BB height is about 443mm, the CS is about 433mm and the reach is about 443mm (7mm shorter compared with the 27.5 wheeled version); all these numbers are within reasonable range. The 27.5 wheeled version feels more like a free-ride/ park bike due to its super low BB, which worked really well in those Colorado bike parks and EWS tracks, but not a long-legged trail bike because of the numerous pedal strikes brought by the super-low BB. However, with some reasonably light 29er wheels, the bike can handle technical climbs now, which makes it more versatile (without sacrificing any bit of downhill performance) and become a long-legged trail bike for someone living in an area with steep and chunky trails (like me). The coolest thing is, with 170mm travels front and real, it should be the longest-travel trail/endure bike for now. (BTW, Whyte is officially selling carbon G170 bikes with 29er wheels and 160 mm forks now. )

3. It works in wet and muddy conditions. This bike comes from U.K., which means it is expected to work well in wet and mud, and it actually does. Even with very short chainstay, it still provides generous room for mud clearance (even with 275*3.0 or 29*2.4 tires), thanks to the curved (and frankly, really ugly) seat tube. Still remembered a ride in Crested Butte, Colorado last August on the famous Trail 403 (or 401? I), I caught in a thunder storm with serveral Yetis, SCs and Evils, and all those bikes are totally stuck with mud due to the lack of tire clearance or linkage design, and I am the only guy in the group who can roll down the hill. I admit that lots of people do not ride in the rain and this might not be a consideration, but we might be caught in the rain and mud sometimes that this is the time when those British bikes really shines.

4. Price, at least the U.S. market price. Frankly speaking, nowadays, thanks to the development of technology, there is no more bad bikes from those main stream brands; and most bikes feel pretty similar and perform closely to each other (I do not deny some bikes, like Yetis, Evils or those Polygons with R3ACT suspension are unique), especially those horst-link (four-bar link) bikes. Therefore, sometimes, price and build are the only factor. This bike has a similar build as those entry level alloy enduro bikes from more famous brands, e.g. Specialized Enduro Comp or Giant Reign 2 or SC Nomad AL D or Canyon Torque AL or Commoncal Meta AM Ride, which are about $300 - $800 more expensive than the G170s (and Giant and Nomad does have 29er versions). YT Capra AL does seem to be as valuable as G170 S, as long as you can really get one (at least I couldn't, and that's why I got the Whyte). Thefore, it is a reasonably good deal, considering the performance and versatility of the bike all together.

In all, G170 S is a good gravity focused bike with great value to save you some budget with ample potential to be more versatile and extremely capable if in felt in love with it and put some money to upgrade. It is ugly, and heavy, and the top tube is a bit tall (though I don't feel it as a problem at all even if I am only 5'7"), and does not take a real water bottle in the front triangle if you put a piggyback shock (the Carbon G170 has more room for water bottle thanks to a curved down tube), but it is a plain and simple workhorse that is always ready to take some hard beats.

For those who are kind of interested in this bike, I am glad to share more of my personal feeling of it.
  • + 1
 Medium frame?
  • + 19
 Good stuff! super impressed how good bikes are in this price category these days. I bet 80% of riders don't need any better bikes than any of these.
  • + 11
 Love this article. Can’t wait for the next budget comparison. My first thought was, he didn’t include any bikes I would have thought of. But then I realized I got educated on three bikes I wasn’t really familiar with, that I could afford. Good stuff.
  • + 9
 YES! You had me at the title! "There are a lot of bikes to choose from in the $3,000 range" Yes, but they aren't usually well publicized. Please more! Smile
  • + 9
 Guerilla Gravity base builds start just under $3000 as well. They're releasing the 2019 lineup at the end of the month.
  • + 8
 Let's get a party goin', let's get a party goin', now it's time to party and we'll party hard party hard!
  • + 9
 Us brits love a pig!! Some of our bike designs look blawdy awful but they go like stink
  • + 7
 Dear @TransitionBikeCompany ....new Carbon Scout with the new geometry please!! (27.5). I've owned 5 of your bikes. A Carbon Scout will be the new one easily!
  • + 9
 Not that I care it's carbon, just want a bit lighter frame
  • + 1
 Oh yes please!
  • + 4
 As it is, I think it’s still going to be my next bike, carbon or not......unless @TransitionBikeCompany is paying attention to this comment, in which case the only way I’m getting a Transition as if it’s a carbon scout. ; )
  • + 2
 @Triber66: They had a carbon scout a few years back. However, I am looking for the newest geometry and an upgraded shock. I have had a Bandit, and alloy and carbon Covert, a Patrol and they DH bike & DJ's. Really like the brand. Fingers crossed.
  • + 1
 @Triber66: You can get a carbon Scout on Evo.com right now for a tad over 3k...however it is a pre SBG Scout.
  • + 4
 What's wrong with aluminum? Honest question. It doesn't weigh any more in most cases. I'm happy with either personally.
  • + 2
 I know, but like bman, I want the newer geo, I rode the 2018 scout and loved it, pretty much the perfect bike for me and how I like to ride, it does feel like more bike than the previous generation, but strikes a great ‘do it all’ balance in my opinion
  • + 2
 @woofer2609: nothing wrong with aluminum other than it is a pound lighter or more with most Transition bikes. The Scout frame is study as hell. Yeah...not much but....the alloy Scout is almost two pounds heavier than my current frame. I'd keep ally current components.
  • + 6
 Love the scouts ive had two! Theres nothing wrong with the base model spec, SBG climbs like a goat and descends like a rabid goatl. Y'all need stronger legs if its too heavy NX FTW!
  • + 5
 If you had strong legs you wouldn´t need fookin 50t cassette mate, just saying.
  • + 4
 i dont yet have the eagle, i currently have the 18 nx 11sp 42t spec and it was surprisingly delightful to shift. people complain over grams too much just keep pedaling!
  • - 3
 @Jknoxville01: I don´t think they complain about weigh because the effect it has on pedaling, rather it´s effect on unsprung mass. I do believe that any modern shifter is actually quite nice to operate, absolutely. But it´s hard to argue that shifter with bearing instead of bushing will have smoother operation.
  • + 1
 @Mondbiker: fair enough, I've never tried the higher end equipment on the SRAM side so I dont know what I am missing.
  • + 1
 I think the NX works well as a starter drive train. I have an NX and GX drive train. I don't really notice the difference when riding. Not sure on the difference of longevity. I haven't had either for a year yet. The GX is going strong after 1000. You can always upgrade the shifter or derailleur to GX or greater, if the NX fails down the road.
  • + 1
 Rabid goat - that's stuff of nightmares!
  • + 2
 @iduckett: stuff of dreams my friend, DREAMS!
  • + 6
 3k is still a lot of money and the NX specs are poor. 2016 1.5 ltd reign was wearing XT/Pike/DebonAir..Actually today you get less bike for the money.
  • + 5
 Let's hear it for the Horst Link no longer under patent protection for that company that didn't invent it!!! (I'm looking at you Specialized.) Simple, easy to make and easy to ride!
  • + 8
 Classic, us Brits are amphibians and we don't know it!!
  • + 4
 What is EXCRUCIATINGLY clear about these bike reviews is that y'all had way too much fun in Whistler this summer, and CLEARLY need another devoted and handsome person to test these bikes with,

So... PM me for my email???
  • + 4
 Funny he how says Whyte 27.5 wheels are con in hes opinion while rear tire almost hit hes butt on that drop. I've tested few 29ers and didnt like them that much so stop preaching that 29er is new religion.
  • + 3
 We have had owned 3 Whytes and love them. Great designs great quality and great ride. The only thing I can criticize them for is the low bottom bracket and could do with slightly shorter cranks but that's it. Had my G150s for 4 years now and it's been brilliant.
  • + 4
 "What I learned most is that"..... RC loves 29" wheels. Wink . Don't worry Whyte 170 bikey, you're still loved with 27.5 wheels.
  • + 5
 Radon swoop 170 8.0 £2300 rc2 lyrik, xt and race face components... Surly that's got to be best bang for buck.
  • + 2
 Nice combo of small, medium, and large mfgs from three countries, and all three bikes are affordable and worthy. This is the kind of review that makes sense for the majority of riders.

I think the Fezzzari La Sal would have been a good fourth option, it’s getting done okay but had just started cracking the social media ceiling.

Another bike worth considering in this price range is Guerilla Gravity Trail Pistol or the Smash, hand built frames, not heavy, and domestic.
  • + 3
 Come on guys, this time you must admit it: $3,000 isn't that much money, and it can buy you a hell of a bike. I'd pick any of the three shown here in a heartbeat.
  • + 1
 I think there are many more "value for money" bikes far under 3000 $ on the market. YT Jeffsy, Trek Remedy, Canyon Spectral, just to name a few. Your video makes normal people with a smaller wallet think, its almost impossible, to find a good trailbike under 3000. In my opinion, thats far from reality.
  • + 1
 I recently took a look at the Norco Fluid in North Vancouver which is $3599 CAD. I then checked out some video reviews and thought I misheard an Australian reviewer (Trail Talk MTB on YT) when he stated it was only $3199 AUD. The Norco website confirms price is $3599 CAD, and $3199 AUD.

1 CAD = 1.05 AUD roughly, so if you bought the bike in Australia with Canadian dollars, it would be about $3054 CAD. Am I missing something?
  • + 2
 Trade tariffs and import charges from Taiwan into the different countries?
  • + 2
 tariffs are a bitch, check out the Giant US and Canadian site, most bikes are priced the same in CAD and USD, that's why you see so many giants on the trails up here.
  • + 1
 @mattvanders:

If you take a look at the Fluid FS1 from 2018, it’s $2599 CAD and $2699 AUD ($2565 CAD). That’s very similar pricing vs whatever happened for 2019. I can’t see the tariffs jumping up that high in 1 year, but I’m that’s not a topic I’m well versed in. Regardless, thanks for your response.
  • + 2
 @arrowheadrush:

I didn’t know that. I’ll have to take a closer look at Giant’s. Thanks for the heads up.
  • + 1
 Tariffs on imported bicycles are high in Canada, even though the ONLY non boutique manufacturer of frames in Canada (Devinci) is opposed to these tariffs. It is plain and simple a $ generator for government. Same as the air conditioner tax on cars (every car in Canada has a $100 tax on it if it has air conditioning...)
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: refrigeration gases are all toxic and companies can be fined if their compressor systems leak. I guess it’s there way of trying to discourage you from specing it.

@WannabeMTBer I would also guess a lot of companies work in US dollars even if they aren’t a US company, might not help
  • + 1
 @mattvanders: r134 is hardly toxic. If it is, there should be the same tax on refrigerators which utilize exactly the same refrigerant. 99% of cars have a/c. The tax was brought in when cfc-12 was used, which harms the ozone layer. My point is that most people are unaware of arbitrary tariffs and taxes that have no purpose in existing apart fro padding governments pockets. This taxation without reason wouldn't fly in the states, but here we just accept this stuff. Might as well be a tax on heated seat or cars that use non eco antifreeze, which is much more dangerous.
  • + 1
 Well done in redefining $3k as a budget bike, you are doing your job for the industry well...

Ever considered reviewing one of these? www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-am-100-s-full-suspension-mountain-bike-29-id_8407470.html
  • + 5
 RC is 65!??
What a beast.
  • + 4
 And he doesn't ride an ebike Life lession that man is, in making the right choices over a lifetime.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham What size(s) are these bikes tested in? Important to me, due to how I value chainstay length to wheelbase proportions.

If these were all in size M, it'd make sense that the Norco feels more like a cruiser, with how it encourages a rearward defensive position, since its front center is a bit short in size M. It'd feel more up-to-date with the front stretched, like in size L or XL. Totally would recommend upsizing, if you're a more advanced rider.
  • + 1
 All size medium
  • + 1
 I like how he tailors the messaging to entry level riders and not the typical PB troll.

Also, no YT/Canyon/direct bike because an entry level rider will most likely need the direction and after purchase support of a bike shop.
  • + 4
 I came here to bitch about this. WTF? How did being on a budget get confused with being a noob that doesn't know what a tire insert or a shock lock-out is? I mean yeah, there's a place for explaining bike tech to people new to the sport but a review is not that place!
If I compare this to the level of detail provided in the SJ/Remedy/Process/Bronson/SB150 review (www.pinkbike.com/news/field-test-stumpjumper-vs-remedy-vs-process-vs-bronson-vs-sb150-editors-choice.html)... What the hell? Only got $3k to spend, don't expect hear about how the bike actually rides I guess? There's so much more meat to be had in a budget bike article... Did the lack of adjustments in the suspension components make a big difference compared to the top end stuff, or were you surprised at how good the ride was? Was the shifting and the braking up to snuff or does it highlight what we pay the big bucks for? Can you see where they've really had to cut corners to make the pricepoint? What stuff is good enough and what needs an upgrade? Surely we've got some examples where you've ridden the same model in top-end carbon... How does it compare? Check Andrew Major's work on NSMB for more thoughtful budget-bike content (for example: nsmb.com/articles/min-maxing-budget-bikes-marin),

3/10; please re-work and re-submit.
  • + 1
 Anyone have any experience on both this Scout and the new 5010? I'm looking for a capable, fun mid travel bike that can handle some chunky stuff too. 5010 with a 150 seems comparable to the Transition. Both are said to climb well... Too many choices...
  • + 2
 Cube Stereo HPC 140 Race (650b) is available for €2499 online, with carbon front triangle, FOX Suspension and XT/SLX mix. Maybe not progressive enough in the reach though?
  • + 1
 Junk bike with a fatal flaw in its linkage design. Solid spec =/= solid bike

Yes, I am speaking from (bad) experience
  • + 1
 @caltife: what flaw
  • + 1
 @browner: rocker traps debris thrown up by rear wheel when the shock is compressed. Carbon parts eating rocks in other words
  • + 1
 @caltife: not a good design then, considering the time they’ve been around making these Stereo models one would think their design team should know better.
  • + 3
 I hear the Fluid's !30mm of suspension exCLAIMED to feel more like a 6inch travel bike
  • + 1
 i don't know about that much, but i've certainly not wanted for more on the trails i've ridden it. it does bottom out, but not noticeably. At least i'm using all the travel i've paid for Smile
  • + 3
 @PinkBike All bikes are good... now out and get proper jobs like the rest of us.
  • + 40
 But then what would everyone read / watch at their ‘proper jobs’?
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Does that excuse work when your parents tell you to get a real job??
  • + 10
 @mikekazimer: No, you're right. I'm sorry. I have regrets about my own life choices and it's unfair to project them onto you. Keep up the good 'work'.
  • + 7
 @mikekazimer: Sure, kick us while we're down, Kazimer...
  • + 3
 Why critize bikes about their wheelsize? I don't get it.
  • + 1
 Same here. It's like criticising a DH bike for having long travel and a dual crown. "The Commencal Supreme is nice, but I wish it had poppy 100mm of travel and I could throw a sick barspin on it." Or "The Spark would be awesome if it wasn't an XC bike. If only Scott offered a mid-travel trailbike..."

The 29" hype is so obvious, It's like 2002 all over again. May I just point out that in the meantime 27.5" was touted as the second coming of Jesus for a while. Now even though it's the latest size to become mainstream in mtb, it's being portrayed as the old/outgoing standard pushed out by 'innovative' (for the second time I guess) 29ers. Nicely spun.
  • + 3
 How is the whyte a trail bike?
  • + 0
 This is what confused me. Two 130mm trail bikes and they throw in a 180/170 travel enduro bike...
  • + 3
 @Ryan2949: why did it confuse you? The feature is calledn 3 affordable full suspension bikes. Not trail bikes specifically.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: I guess they didn't actually COMPARE the three with eachother.
  • + 3
 @Ryan2949: These are clearly 3 that he thinks are great bikes and thus bargains.
  • + 1
 I wonder if the 3 picks are some kind of advertising?
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: whyte do the t130sr for £2399

the first paragraph says "Pinkbike added a trio of affordably priced trail bikes to the cadre of high-end dream machines we reviewed during our Whistler Field Tests"
  • + 1
 @poah: true. He does call them "modern trail bikes" in the video.
  • + 2
 @Rubberelli: Depends upon what you call "trails" in your neck of he woods. In BC and Hurricane, Utah, the Whyte is a trail bike.
  • + 1
 My son's got a G170. I'd happily ride it up and along and down. Really doesn't give much away to 130mm bikes on 'trails'
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: While I agree with this RC; unfirtunately, the website you work for has legitimized the term "trail bike" as onlybikes within a certain length of suspension. If it ia over that, they will call it "All Mountain", "Enduro" or "Downhill"!
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: sure, whatever you say.
  • + 2
 Damn that was cool as heck Richard Cunningham. I really can't do a third bicycle, but this is making it mighty appealing.
  • - 21
flag Kramz (Jan 17, 2019 at 11:24) (Below Threshold)
 It seems Presta valves are pretty much the normal now. Never had anything but problems with them. Would literally not buy a bicycle because of Presta valves I've had such bad experience with them.
  • + 9
 @Kramz: Do they even make tubeless Schrader valves with removable cores? Oh wait.........are you saying what I think you are......oh my....OH DEAR
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: yes. Stans and a few others.
  • - 8
flag Kramz (Jan 17, 2019 at 11:39) (Below Threshold)
 @endlessblockades: My commuter bicycle the tires go flat as you ride because of the Presta valves, and the stems are all bent from filling them. They're straight garbage.
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: www.notubes.com/valve-stem-pair-universal-schrader-32mm-10mm-base
Some company out there makes lightweight aluminum schrader tubeless valves too. Stan's was the quick find on google though.
  • + 3
 @yzedf: Got it - I've never had a problem with presta but I run tubeless and e13 valves. I'm afraid our friend here is using tubes......
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: I'm afraid they don't know how to use a pump LOL
  • - 7
flag Kramz (Jan 17, 2019 at 15:26) (Below Threshold)
 @yzedf: Nobody gives a f*ck eat me. I've been bicycling since I was 3 years old. You're chunder.
  • + 1
 @Kramz: why don’t you just carefully drill out your rim and slap a shrader in works fine.
  • + 2
 @Kramz: Buy a Continental schrader tube and cut the valve out (it's externally threaded the whole way down) and use with tubeless rims and tire. Then drill the rims for scrader.
  • + 2
 Let’s make affordable about 1200$ and then I’m interested. Otherwise I will stick with my good old Dakar.
  • + 1
 The Bossnut from Calibre is man. It's a little old school but not bad for the money. You can buy from their link to GoOutdoors and for 50$ they'll ship it internationally to USA (and CA) in 5 days. I bought their Astronut DJ bike and it's freaking awesome.
  • + 1
 Honestly, it's a good idea. Bikes at/just under 3k can probably be had for 2500 when closeout season rolls around.

Next up, get us under the 2500 mark so we're dipping to 2k late season (the max I'd ever spend).

Finally, hit up the $1500ish range so we those who can only bank like 1k can buy something nice!.

There'll still be plenty of room for reviews on the 10k dream machines, to boot.
  • + 3
 These bikes look dope for the money
  • + 2
 No Enve rims, King hubs or new XTR. This isn’t the pinkbike I’ve come to know!!! lol
  • + 1
 King hubs are so yesteryear.

(Disclaimer: King's stuff is dope).
  • + 3
 I would buy the Norco as a frame.
  • + 1
 I would love to put an angled headset on the Norco. A little slacker head angle and a steeper seat tube. Anyone thoughts on this? Any reason not to try it?
  • + 3
 Nah keep up the cheep bikes man I’m on budget lol
  • + 2
 Still worth more than my car
  • + 0
 I mean personally if I was spending 3k Im ooking in the slightly used market but Airborne Plague and Goblin are not bad bikes for sub 3k and sub 2k bikes
  • + 1
 34 pounds with a dropper post isn't bad. Anthe the Whyte bike favours down hill?
It's a sweet looking bike as well.
  • + 0
 Damn that Whyte is ugly (even more so in the metal). Also, why no direct sales brands included? YT, Canyon, Bird, Radon etc all offer solid bikes at this price point
  • + 7
 Whyte is a direct sales company lol
  • + 1
 @mkotowski1: It's not a direct sales brand here in the UK
  • + 2
 @AD4M: gotcha didn’t know that, was so excited when whyte USA opened up shop
  • + 2
 still cant afford............
  • + 2
 I think I'm carbon-curious.
  • + 1
 Great review RC of 3 of the latest breed of very capable but different bikes.
  • + 2
 a bike review video and no huck to flat? BBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
  • + 3
 BOO-urns!
  • + 1
 May be include some lower range Giant bikes. They are amazing value for money especially in Canada.
  • + 0
 Funny how he prefers 29er becasue "speed" and then on video you can tell that it he doesnt need it.
  • + 5
 Dude's 65 and riding down some pretty crazy terrain. He can ride a bike and knows what he likes. Give him a break.
  • + 1
 @TheR: YEP the first world , GOOD LIFE = HAPPY ABUELO.
  • + 1
 Where YT, Commencial, Diamondback and Canyon???
  • + 2
 STRONG OLD MAN
  • + 1
 How do you get a Whyte in Australia?
  • + 1
 Send me the Transition RC!!!
  • + 1
 Nothing but the best for the core XC rider
  • - 3
 Awe let’s listen to RC ! Lol
Look at his opinions over the years from the 80’s on
. He was against disc brakes, against suspension front and rear ! Then when suspension was in he promoted unified rear suspension , he told people to cut there handle bars and add bar ends lol the list goes on of bad perspectives of his ! Can’t believe he has a job influencing people’s decisions !
  • + 5
 The sport continues to evolve. What is good today probably will be wrong for tomorrow. When I first toured bike shops, I did slide shows to explain that you could actually ride trails on bikes. I was adamant then, that the only suspension you needed was in your arms and legs. Later, I designed and built one of the first viable dual-suspension trail bikes. Technology that applies today will be discarded in the future. I've had to reinvent myself a few times to stay current. If you live long enough, at some point, you'll face that challenge.
  • - 3
 @RichardCunningham: yes I get what you’re saying so Obide what you just said , I have lived long enough been riding Mtb’s for 35 years and I’ve tried to use common sense and physics science to guide me it usually works out. Just don’t push personal opinions that can influence people to make choices that may not be right . Your position as an editor ( Same goes for most editors ) are influenced by $ marketing advertising and the Man .
Ps 29 ers don’t make biking better ! Smile
  • + 1
 [good article ,enjoyed it
  • + 1
 Does anyone know what trails he is riding?
  • + 2
 Giant Reign?
  • - 6
flag boyblue1973 (Jan 17, 2019 at 11:37) (Below Threshold)
 Reign frameset alone is already $3000, so wont qualify...

www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/bikes-reign-advanced-2019
  • + 8
 @boyblue1973: Facepalm He's talking alloy complete, not top-line carbon frame
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: even though, the alloy Reign 2 is sitting at $3200, wont qualify

www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/bikes-reign-2019
  • + 1
 You can buy 2017 reigns for 2400 in Giant stores in BC. Same bikes just different colour.
  • + 2
 @domo-kun: theyre talking newer models not 2017. I have a 2016 Reign its secent can do its purpose but expensive and over $3000.
  • + 1
 Man you can buy a brand new reign for 2400 it's 2017 yes but the exact same bike as the 2018. If you were to get a new one what's another 200 bucks on 3000 far better bikes then anything in these tests. I don't understand what what you're trying to tell me.
  • + 0
 Probably in BC bu not in Edmonton its overpriced here. Lol. Good for you guys aoit there @domo-kun:
  • + 0
 Even a used Reign here in Edmonton is over $3600 Lol.
m.pinkbike.com/buysell/2479417
  • + 0
 @domo-kun: meh, that's Small size, Lol, no ones interested that's why its for sale at $2800.00 That's what they usually do in Alberta once it wont sell, they'll do a sale at that price.
  • + 2
 radon swoop 8.0
  • - 1
 @RichardCunningham please add the Airborne bike Plague to your next test. its an affordable rig with a good spec that people should consider for a first full suspension.
  • + 1
 Marin Alpine Trail 7 $2749
  • + 9
 That's a good candidate - we did a first ride last year (www.pinkbike.com/news/first-ride-marin-alpine-trail.html), and now have one in for a longer term review.
  • + 9
 @mikekazimer: you must have these on hotkeys by now for the guys complaining each time why their favorite bike is missing Big Grin
  • + 5
 @mikekazimer: Lol good job doing damage control on all the "why didn't you include this bike" comments. Unless you guys get every single bike ever made all in one big test all at once, you'll never win
  • + 1
 Would love to find more impressions on this bike. There's not much out there and it looks fantastic.
  • - 3
 I gotta say, not including the Nukeproof Mega seems like a big oversight. I mean you forgot the bike that Won the EWS overall two years in a row in Pro mens and once in Jr mens , and it can be bought for less than $3000!!! PB how'd you miss that one?

#samhill
  • + 40
 The goal was to give more of an overview of what you can get for under $3,000, rather than including every single bike in that price point. We also focused on bikes we haven't featured yet.

The Mega is a great bike, though; I reviewed the carbon version last year: www.pinkbike.com/news/nukeproof-mega-275c-rs-review.html.
  • + 43
 No worries, PB's affordable trail bike reviews are a continuing series. Suggestions for future tests are much appreciated.
  • + 11
 @mikekazimer: Dollars to donuts the Mega is the best out there. But perhaps we should appreciate all this research the guys are doing for us FOR FREE!
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: well if I'm being honest I'm a little biased cuz I won the mega lol twas more of a poking fun comment with some shameless advertising. Smile
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: vitus are a worthy 'cheap' brand that should be reviewed. Either the escarpe or sommet are a solid choice for the budget minded rider. I'm guessing they're available over there??
  • - 2
 @RichardCunningham: there is some truth in all whiny feedback. Clearly these are nice articles but they aren't exactly what the majority would like to see...which is a more robust list.

PB would be wise to pivot these articles into being a single big one that you can just update and republish with minor tweaks. That way all of the previous work you did would still be consumed and people would have a more exhaustive list, which is what people want usually. Be sure to include some of the common standouts and boom, you give the people what they want.
  • + 4
 @RichardCunningham: Could we actually get a sub-$1000 test? Just want to really nail it home that budget really means that you shouldn't have to actually budget for it. You definitely have to budget for something that's $3000. Three grand is six washing machines. Of course not that I, a highly educated professional couldn't afford the highest end... but still.
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham: please make a hardcore hardtail shootout!
  • + 0
 And Canyon, and Commencal, and YT....
  • + 3
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: I think a sub-1500$ shootout would be sweet. There aren't that many REAL mountain bikes that are under 1000$ as a FS. They need to include the Calibre stuff too. More love for what those guys are doing. Its pretty special for how cheap it is.
  • + 10
 @Svinyard, if someone told me they wanted to purchase a new mountain bike for $1500 I'd steer them towards a hardtail, one that has room for 2.5" or 2.6" tires. Yes, you can get full suspension for that price, but realistically it's better to either go with a nicer hardtail, or save up another $1000.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: Since you're looking for suggestions, I'd suggest you check out the RSD Wildcat. The price is right and it rides well. Not as steep of a ST angle as is currently in vogue, but it works for me and has a great spec. I moved to one from a Scout and so far have zero regrets. Love the series, keep it up!
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer @RichardCunningham: I also want to say thank you for doing these overviews. They're really well done. I realize that the overwhelming majority of people using and commenting on this site will buy a high end bike, and that's great. However, from an academic (I kid you not) standpoint, we really need to see and remember where we've come from and what used to be all we needed. I think the push forward with newer and better often leads to a focus that makes things that would otherwise be trivial be super selling points that raise prices and unreasonable expectations. If anything, get us a truly inexpensive set of reviews $300-$1000 to ground us in reality.

People forget that you can race a $700 bike and it's still sweet. There's a lot of complicated stuff going on in this market, but we might as well look at the whole thing!

Again thanks for making this place exist in the first place.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: gotcha, makes sense and is a good learning tool. That being said, what do you think of the Calibre Bossnut? It's about 1300$. Little old school but hey we used to shred on that stuff or worse a few yrs ago.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: Group test of small brand "no peddle bob" bikes vs the best big/mainstream brand "efficient" peddling bikes.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: 2019 Ali Trek Remedy 8 looks pretty descent retailing at £2690. although a mate just picked one up on sale for £2430. seems a fair bit of bike for the money
  • + 0
 @RichardCunningham Propain Bikes Wink
  • + 1
 Merida One Sixty would beat these...
  • + 1
 Just get a 29er it will be way better ! Lol
  • + 1
 Banshee
  • + 1
 I like all of them.
  • + 0
 Am I the only one that noticed the !30 mm fork on the norco?
  • + 0
 The Norco's price isn't correct. It's over $3000 on their website. (USD)
  • + 1
 MSRPs are inching up for all bike brands. We quoted the prices given to us at the Field Test dates for consistency.
  • + 0
 This review is missing a Commencal.
  • + 0
 aren't they all?
  • + 13
 So does my garage
  • + 2
 Yep. Wish the Meta 29 Trail was included
  • + 1
 More vids from RC
  • + 0
 NX for $3000???
  • - 2
 Can we get a comparo without the heaviest, cheaply spec'd and built transition that's STILL $3,000 please?
  • - 1
 Zero mention of weight? I guess that means heavy?
  • + 3
 If you have to ask, you can't pick it up?
  • - 3
 Why pb didn't cover urban Dh manizales
  • + 3
 ???
  • - 3
 All too steep, and I'm not talking about prices.
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