Field Trip: Sub-$3,000 Trail Bike Roundtable - Torrent vs Jeffsy vs Hightower vs Meta TR

Apr 12, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  


Four $3,000 (and under) bikes put to the test on Sedona's unforgiving trails

Words by Mike Kazimer, Photography by Anthony Smith

4 Trail Bikes Under $3,000* USD

YT Jeffsy AL Base review
YT Jeffsy Base 29
• 150 (R) / 150mm (F) travel
• 29" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• Weight: 34.4 lb / 15.6 kg
• $2,299 USD
Field Trip review
Norco Torrent S1 review
Norco Torrent HT S1
• 150mm fork
• 29" wheels
• 64° head-tube angle
• Weight: 33.7 lb / 15.3 kg
• $3,149* USD (price changed after testing was completed)
Field Trip review

Santa Cruz Hightower Alloy D review photo by Anthony Smith
Santa Cruz Hightower Alloy D
• 140mm (R) / 150mm (F) travel
• 29" wheels
• 65.5° head-tube angle
• Weight: 35.2 lb / 16 kg
• $2,899 USD
Field Trip review
Commencal Meta TR Ride review photo by Anthony Smith
Commencal Meta TR Ride
• 130mm (R) / 150mm (F) travel
• 29" wheels
• 66.5° head-tube angle
• Weight: 33.5 lb / 15.2 kg
• $2,599 USD
Field Trip review

Kazimer's Pick

It's Commencal's Meta TR that takes the top spot on my list. It has a great blend of quickness and stability, which means that climbing isn't a chore, and it punches well above its weight (and amount of rear travel) on the descents. It'd be an ideal bike for the rider that's a little more focused on the downhill portion of the equation, but still wants something that's entertaining on all the parts of the ride that happen before gravity takes over.

The parts spec is excellent for the price, all the way down to the little details like the comfortable lock-on grips. Yes, I would have preferred 4-piston brakes over the 2-piston SRAM Level T's, but at least there's a 200mm rotor up front, and it's not something that would need to be swapped out right away.

Mike Levy and I don't agree on much, but in this case we both reached the same conclusion – if we had to choose a daily driver out of these four bikes, it'd be the Meta TR Ride.

Mike Kazimer
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Notes: Managing tech editor, horchata addict

Levy's Pick

When talking and comparing bikes, something Kazimer and I do every now and then, I'm usually the one leaning towards whichever machine is more "nimbly bimbly.'' Kazimer's words, not mine, and his sorta mean way of describing bikes that lean towards the quicker handling, firmer-feeling end of the spectrum. But not this time. This time, it was the gray Meta TR, a 130mm-travel trail bike that nails that balance between all-day-ability and send-all-the-things.

While the YT would usually be more my thing - it's a better climber than the Meta in my books, and more playful on the way back down to boot - Sedona's rough terrain saw me reaching for the Meta TR when I had the choice. The Commencal seemed the least fussed of the group in those settings, and it's simply the bike that I had the most confidence and fun on. I mean, that's all the reasons I need, right?

Mike Levy
Mike Levy
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 155 lb / 70.3 kg
Notes: Tech editor, gas station snack connoisseur

The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible by support from: Smith, 7mesh, and Thunder Mountain Bikes.

Photos: Anthony Smith
Additional footage: Lear Miller

Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,741 articles

  • 149 0
 Would super interesting if you guys got two bikes - the bottom of the line and top of the line versions of the same bike - and did timed laps back to back. Get as many people as possible to get a run in on both bikes and see what the difference is. The Jeffsy and the Hightower would be prime candidates!
  • 29 6
 Would be interesting but don't think it makes good business sense unfortunately.
  • 28 2
 @tremeer023: doesn't that depend on the outcome?
  • 11 0
 @tobiusmaximum: If the outcome wasn't a foregone conclusion, maybe. Times between the two would likely be negligible. The value of a $10k bike over a $3k version is measured most in durability, weight, rider fatigue, and maybe more importantly, smiles.
  • 57 0
 Schrodinger's value bike: simultaneously just as enjoyable as bikes 3x the price, but still it's unacceptable that it doesn't have XTR parts.
  • 6 0
 @brianpark: drivetrain superposition? xtr and gx simultaneously, until we open the box, collapsing something or other?
  • 2 0
 @tobiusmaximum: fair point, but still risky. Happy to be a test pilot though if it happens :-)
  • 4 1
 Review bikes are always the more expensive ones. I asked for a 3k bike some time ago and got the 8k version. Biggest difference is in feel. But speed comes from geo and tires. Sure that grip 2 damper is great, but a cheap pyke and a factory 36 are very similar in speed...
  • 4 0
 and again after 200 hours
  • 4 4
 Even if you could put down the exact same time on both bikes, better suspension and brakes makes it safer and you would probably crash a lot less while also having a more pleasurable ride. As far as fancy drivetrains those are more about counting grams than performance,
  • 1 0
 Agree 100%.
  • 1 0
 I think timed results would be one endpoint to consider, but as others mentioned, component feel, usability, durability, smile-factor, etc., are all major endpoints to also consider. The more endpoints you add, the more discrepancies would, I assume, add up. ... But yes, would love to see this.
  • 16 6
 @friendlyfoe: What a strange, dentist point of view comment.

Who crashes more because their brakes are bottom end 4 piston vs top end 2 piston? If you ride your bike a reasonable amount, you know how the brakes work. You brake incorrectly, you crash. It doesn't matter which brakes you are running.

If you think better suspension is really going to fix your f*ck up on the trail which leads to a crash, you probably need to stick to commenting on the internet rather than pushing your skills to the point where they aren't enough and you crash.

Maybe I don't ride expensive enough bikes to understand your comment. Maybe us plebs need to try top of the line carbon wheels, or forks filled with unobtanium, or exxxtra virgin oil filled shocks so we know the difference, but to me, I can't recall a crash that was due to my bike not being high enough spec...
  • 7 1
 @ChasingPhotons: I have to agree with @friendlyfoe on this one... Yes you can ride most trails on any bike, and if you're used to that bike still put down a reasonable time or "safe" run. However higher end suspension and brakes do provide a certain margin for error that will cover up your mistake more than lower end products though
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: better suspension and better brakes will make it faster.

For me an interesting test would be to set some budgets say $3k, 5k, 7k and see what you would buy / build / upgrade within that budget - kinda like what most people do.
  • 1 2
 Umm did you basically just say that better suspension is a hoax?
  • 7 4
 @friendlyfoe: No, I basically just said that rider skill contributes to safety more than suspension or brakes do...

When is the last time you avoided a crash because you were riding a Lyrik Ultimate rather than a Revelation RC? If you think any decent racer couldn't smash a track on basic suspension at far higher speeds than any weekend warrior on top end parts, you are dreaming.

I don't doubt in top level racing there is a speed benefit to be had from better suspension, but if you don't ride your bike enough to know how your fork reacts, then you're going to be crashing no matter what you are running.

Safety is more about understanding your equipment, not, as the H&S gang at work would have you believe, spending as much as possible...

As for having a more pleasurable ride on more expensive equipment - 100% agree. I would still be very interested to see a double blind test on a variety of suspension products, not sure it would be as clear cut as the fork colours might have us believe Wink I can't see manufacturers lining up for it though!
  • 5 2
 @friendlyfoe: Better brakes and suspension make a difference. If you haven't ridden it, you shouldn't comment on it.
  • 3 0
 @ChasingPhotons: I agree with both views, but essentially the key thing is rider skill. There must be a ceiling to a riders capabilities and each rider is different. There will be a point where the ceiling is reached and better brakes and suspension will not increase speed or enjoyment. The situation occurs that a rider sells their high end 160mm+ bike because it's just too easy to go too fast and they fear for their own safety!
  • 3 0
 @ChasingPhotons: I agree on the skill part...but as the guys pointing out in test...WHERE you ride really stands out in your decision...would better suspension(travel)/ brakes play into this equation ..most definitely Smile
  • 1 0
 @Unrealityshow: They make a difference but eventually when you have reach the point that you are at the limit once you get past it you will eventually crash.

You might just crash marginally faster because tires and suspension allowed you to go slightly faster comfortably on the high end bike but that's about it and it is a very small difference anyway compared to skills and fitness.

Additionally since 99% of people (including me) riding mtbs have little clues how to set up suspension it doesn't really matter if they are riding an high or mid end one.

In the uphill though, you will really feel those 2 to 3 kg of difference. A 16kg trail bike in 2020 ? At this point just put a dual crown DH fork and take the lift.
  • 1 0
 @ChasingPhotons: No doubt rider skill is tops, as a pro would smash trails and times on a budget bike that the rest of us would do on top-shelf rigs, but they'd also get the most benefit from the upgrades.

However, you can't overlook the energy cost of riding lower-end bikes - you probably are more likely to crash (and no a top-tier fork, etc. won't prevent a costly error leading to crash) if you're fatigued from any extra effort put out. The margins might be thin, but top-shelf parts will be lighter and require less effort on the rider's part.
  • 4 0
 @ChasingPhotons: I never said skill didn't matter. We were talking about comparing identical frames with the same riders and high vs low end kit. I'm not about to argue with someone who clearly thinks high end suspension is a hoax and riding a budget fork would give you just as much control.
  • 2 0
 But then people will realize the entry level bikes are just as good as the pro level and big bicycle can't have that!
  • 2 0
 @ChasingPhotons: I always crash because I'm shit at riding....
  • 1 0
 @mtb1201: now test that compared to MT200 brakes. Oh and don't forget to mix up 2 pot vs 4 pot as well
  • 1 0
 @Emu-Jon: I feel you brah
  • 2 0
 Ugh, double post.
  • 1 0
 @ChasingPhotons: Rider skill is obviously a critical factor, but if we set the skill level as the independent variable (#Science) it would be interesting to see how much a rider improves across a lot of domains with a more expensive/high end bike. We'd need to set the rider level at someone who is fairly skilled, though - not a pro, but maybe Levy/Kazimer skill level which is probably on the more advanced side of this audience, but still a good representation of the sample. You could also run the test w/ different skill levels to see how much effect cost has on different skill sets. Hypothesis would be that the more advanced the rider, the more effect the product quality has, but would want to test that.
  • 1 0
 @ChasingPhotons: i’ve ridden RS Dart, sector, yari. Shimano non series brake to a XT. I did notice the flex of a 32 mm stanchion. I did notice a qr flex, im just a weekend warrior. I upgrade just when i found the limit of the parts or my bike. Yes better parts makes me comfortable going faster.
  • 1 0
 @snowwcold55: For it to be any good you would have to gets lots of people to record two times - like over 10. Ideally more.

2 seconds difference over a 3 minute track could easily be hashed up to luck - but if nearly everybody comes in 2 seconds faster on the higher end bike then that shows something.

Maybe for lower and mid level riders it makes nearly no difference, where as for higher level it makes more difference?

Does it make more or less difference for people who are fit? Like if you're a regular cyclist and in shape does it matter more than it does for a weekend warrior?

More times is more good imo.
  • 50 2
 Now please do an article comparing the TR to the Meta AM 29 to check if the later is really that worse climbing and how much better it is on the way down
  • 5 0
 I've been looking for that...
  • 1 0
 That would be awesome!
  • 1 0
  • 16 0
 I own both and would say that there is a big difference. My Meta TR is stroked to 143mm in the rear with 150 front, but the slightly slacker head and 20mm extra front and rear with the extra 2lbs makes it sluggish up. It is capable, but if there were any climbs, I'd be reaching for the TR all day. It bombs the descents almost better for the areas I ride as well. The only time I wish I had the AM over the TR was doing some really chunky enduro runs that I had never done and I will say that the AM gives downhill confidence I only ever felt on my old DH bikes. If I were to hit the park and shuttle every weekend, the AM would be the one, but I ride everything and only hit the park a handful of times in the summer. I am thinking about selling the AM at this point because I can't think of anywhere I wouldn't bring the TR. It is the definition of all mountain.
  • 1 0
(If you do shuttling or especially bikeparks you can prefer Clash.)
AM vs TR can be variable and its up to everyone. With AM you will be faster on harder tracks. With TR you will enjoy Flow trails and smaller jumps more. Lot of +- but you won't do big mistake if you have doubts either with AM or TR.
  • 34 6
 Not once did they mention the Hightower....LOL
  • 47 0
 2800 and they give you sram sx and a rockshox gold
  • 68 0
 Hightower is busy at the Blue Oyster.
  • 3 0
 @jorgeposada: leather chaps LOL
  • 3 0
 @jorgeposada: this reference just made my weekend. Looking up clips now...
  • 47 34
 Santa Cruz has been coasting off reputation for years. Nothing they make is class leading. Some of their bikers are very good, but none of them are best in class.

They have been content to figure out ways to milk more money out of their wealthy core customers rather than do anything truly innovative. This group has
shown an incredible willingness to pony up ten grand every year for the latest CC AXS build and new colors. Everything they do is about not annoying this group of dentists, doctors, lawyers and c-suiters who buy their bikes.

Compare the Megatower to the new Enduro and their totally mailed in effort of an ebike to the Levo and Santa Cruz’ problems are obvious.
  • 10 30
flag foespower (Apr 12, 2020 at 8:58) (Below Threshold)
 @wibblywobbly: the enduro is a blatant copy of the megatower. give your head shake
  • 70 5
 @wibblywobbly: What a glib perspective. I am not taking offence, as I don't really care what people think of the bike I ride. However, I am NO dentist. Just a guy that saved his $ and purchased a '19 SC Bronson at an incredible discount. As in, way better deal than any Norco, Specialized, RM, etc etc etc, that I could find at the time. Plus, stating that they are coasting off their reputation is straight BS. My Bronson V3 is flat out amazing. The ride quality is second to none. And yes, I tested Ripmos and a lot of other bikes too.
Also, class leading can be a bit of a trap. The Bronson isn't the longest, or slackest, or flashiest (gray), but it is a very well balanced, trail eating, climb smashing bruiser. Do yourself a favour and maybe not drink the collective PB kool-aid dentist only blah blah blah. You keep calling me a dentist...I'll keep enjoying my SC. Cheers and have a good one!
  • 11 1
 @foespower: shock location doesn't define a bike.
  • 12 16
flag cueTIP (Apr 12, 2020 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 @CircusMaximus: If you had to find one on steep discount for it to be a good deal, their pricing model is broken. I owned Santa Cruz bikes for years. I loved my V10, had a Bullit that I rode for 5 years that I loved. Back in 2011 I bought a Devinci Dixon and thoroughly enjoyed it. When 27.5 bikes started becoming a thing I tried a Troy and liked it but didn't love it and ended up buying a 2015 Specialized Enduro the following year.

In 2018 I decided it was time for another upgrade so I spent a couple of weeks at Whistler and demoed a Bronson, Spartan, Enduro, SB6, Range and a Slayer. They were all decent (although I never really got the feel for the Slayer). They were so close in fact that it really did just come down to price/parts. I will never say Santa Cruz makes a bad bike because they don't. They make bikes just as good as everyone else, but like Yeti they cost more for any given level of component spec and in my opinion that's just a no-go for me. Like you. I would have bought the Range there and then if they had one for sale in my size but ended up with the Spartan as it was ever-so-slightly better equipped than the Enduro for the same price and I found water bottle access was better for me.

As much as I loved riding the SC, there is no doubt in my mind that anyone riding one bought one because of the name and not because of any inherent performance advantage. Not to say that's an invalid reason for buying a bike, but when it boils right down to it that's the only reason I can think of for somoene buying a Yeti or Santa Cruz. Truth be told it's partly the reason I bought my wife a GLC AMG rather than spending half the money on a more practical and reliable Ford (though the AMG does have a significant performance advantage).
  • 4 0
 @jorgeposada: *Everyone* is busy at the Blue Oyster
  • 5 0
 good thing (for SC) they reviewed a slack hardtail in Sedona.
  • 4 1
 @cueTIP: You're right, so many bikes come very close in terms of performance for given price range but if someone like me keeps bikes for a long time (my previous Trek Fuel Ex was with me for better part of 8 years), then spending a bit more for SC actually makes sense if you consider that a set of pivot bearings cost around £50 and they give it to you for free every now and then.
  • 5 0
I was at a test event where you could ride all the highend rigs of lots of brands in park.
Before that event I was wondering how much difference I would feel from all those bikes.
All of the highend bikes had pretty much the same components
with Fox Factory suspension , Sram Eagle drivetrain and Sram brakes.
Well I couldn't feel much difference between the bikes.
In fact the choice of tires and the geomtery made by far the biggest difference.

There are really not much bad bikes around anymore. But I thinks that's good so we have more options to spend our money reasonable.
  • 31 1
 @CircusMaximus: Only on Pinkbike is being called a dentist considered and insult.

You... you... you... Dentist!

With your skill to do what only a handful of people can do, which has only been nothing but a boon to mankind’s health and longevity! You and your stable job for which you receive a higher than average salary!

  • 7 0
 @cueTIP: I tested lots of bikes last season in the trail/down country class. Initially I refused to demo anything SC (I also started out set on 27.5). Eventually I acquiesced and took a Tallboy for a weekend. I didn’t want to give it back and ended up buying one. I just liked the platform, it fit my riding style and felt more comfortable, fun and fast. Trance 29 was the closest for ride quality that gave great value, but it felt less lively and more laid back. I couldn’t believe I had chose an SC, but it’s a great bike and I’ll deal with the fact y’all will think I’m more affluent than I really am, not my problem Smile
  • 4 0
 @TheR: stable job until about three weeks ago....most clinics I know are closed except emergent care only...ironically now is about the only time financially that it's not great to be a dentist I think.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Yes, dentist & dentist, what would we do without them???
  • 1 0
 @greener1: Yeah, but this will pass, and dentists will go back to work. As an industry, it’s not in much danger.
  • 2 0
 @ryan83: Hahaha, was wondering if anyone would get that reference. Cheesy 80's movies bring my spirits up in times like this.
  • 1 8
flag RoadStain (Apr 12, 2020 at 18:29) (Below Threshold)
 @greener1: In the US just about every clinic with an MD is open. There are VERY few MD who do not have PT who do not need some type of care (before it is emergent). What is a shame is the hundreds of procedures we canceled - patients are suffering - all for simply no good reason (census is down 60% at most facilities)
  • 4 0
 @RoadStain: just beating your drum regardless of what the band plays? He was talking about dental clinics, not MDs
  • 4 2
 @wibblywobbly: Finally someone says it! 100% agreed and people will still buy them regardless just for the name.
  • 3 4
 @wibblywobbly: I ride with a group of guys that blindly buy Santa Cruz. Not one of them will even demo anything else. They spend as much time looking at each other’s bikes as they do riding them. Every time we meet at the trail head it looks like a Bikes and Coffee. I love watching their expressions when people walk over to our group to check out my C90 Slayer!
  • 4 0
 @mtb1201: Maybe full price Yeti, but as with any premium bike, not so sure. I bought a Turq 2 X0 build SB130 which was a demo with full warranty for just a smidge more than my 2020 Capra Pro Race. Both are bang on. I never rode or had a bike that climbed as well as this SB, and it descends like a champ so no regrets here. Happy to demo more SCs,
Ibis, etc.
  • 23 0
 Now do a shoot out between the Meta and the Ripmo AF
  • 6 1
 The Ripmo is about the only bike I could think would give the TR a run for the money with all around performance leaning on the descent side.
  • 16 2
 Just wanted to say 'Thank You' for doing these comparison videos! The time and responsibility you've undertaken to producing quality content is a testament to your professionalism and the publications commitment to the sport. Much appreciated!
  • 12 0
 Very surprised that the Hightower was literally not even mentioned, especially considering Kazimer had his fastest time in every segment on it...
  • 14 1
 As 1 year owner of a Meta TR 29, I couldn't agree more! Great bike!
  • 2 0
 I've been on the TR 29 british edition for over a year now. Nothing more than a coil swap for the fork to get better small bump compliance. It's been great for me as well. Couldn't be happier.
  • 19 10
 My 2015 YT Capra was a huge disappointment the frame fell apart after 3 years. I would find reliability advice more important than price savings in these reviews.
  • 10 3
 5 years on a carbon Capra - still putting up with stupid abuse like a champ. Never any need to test frame/warranty:service. 3 different forks and 2 shocks.
  • 9 2
 Did 3 years on the first gen Jeffsy Alu including about 20 enduro races and 3 massive crashes, frame was pretty much spotless. Replaced with an Alu Capra. Had to deal with the returns service over some bearings, very happy with how that went.
  • 4 1
 I have the 2016 AL Capra and the frame is still holding together just fine. I put a good scratch on the top from the first ride crash and did not crack.
  • 5 23
flag mtb-thetown (Apr 12, 2020 at 11:28) (Below Threshold)
 I pedaled a friend's YT around and it just felt cheap immediately.
  • 4 0
 @femto505: I still ride the 2016 Capra AL as well and the frame is still going super strong
  • 12 2
 @mtb-sf: Great comment, Sir. Please elaborate so we can understand how on earth a frame can feel cheap when “pedalling around”?

(Also have good words to say about YT)
  • 3 1
 @mtb-sf: That makes zero sense
  • 5 4
 @jamesdunford: I think it had to do with the activity prior to the test ride, and, the emotional price paid making him feel so "cheap" .
  • 3 0
 @jamesdunford: Well obviously it didnt have a turquoise frame color and no nice kashima coating.
  • 4 5
 @NotNamed: I call it "cashmere"...drives some local buddies insane:-)
  • 2 0
 YT had a period of somewhat spotty build quality in their bikes. Some frames came out perfectly durable and suited to years of abuse while others did not. Less of a quality issue more of a quality control issue, rather understandable for a young brand. Nonetheless, I do know people who suffered the consequences of bad frames from YT. I'm unsure whether or not their frames are better now but I'd be willing to bet they've put in effort over the years to combat their earlier QC issues.
  • 10 2
 God Norco will always have the worst pricing. Not really talking about this, go look up the price of the C1 build of the new sight and it’s respective build kit.
  • 3 3
 I was thinking the same thing here about the Norco. Most Expensive, Hardtail, heavier than the Commencal, 64 degrees seems a bit slack for a HT (IMO), only because the FS bikes will slack a bit due to sag in the rear suspension.

Regardless, the content here was definitely good quality - Keep it coming PB.
  • 12 0
 @blum585: in order to have similar sagged geometry to a FS, HTs need a slacker static headtube angle. That Torrent's headtube angle is nearly 1,5° steeper once it's sagged
  • 16 1
 Torrent is a top of the line hardtail among a bunch of 'good enough' FS bikes. It's either the best bike in the test or the worst. It's the only one i'd want to own.
  • 6 8
 @kittenjuice: Not sure if I'm following. The Norco has Sram NX components.The Commencal has GX/NX. Yes, I get that the Commencal is Mail Order only, but there's definitely more to the Commencal along with the other two FS bikes than the Norco. $3,149 for a steel hardtail & NX isn't an awesome value.

One could argue the Kona Honzo ST is in the same category as the Norco, at a price point that's $900 less (Minus the slack HT angle that you'll find on the Norco).
  • 37 1
 @blum585, only the cranks on the Torrent are NX - other than that it's a GX drivetrain. It's not best value, considering the lack of rear suspension, but it does have the best fork, brakes, and drivetrain out of all 8 bikes we tested.
  • 8 1
 @blum585: Kona Honzo ST is in no way comparable to the Torrent. The Honzo has an NX 11 speed drivetrain, revelation fork with 120mm travel and base model Level T brakes. Not to mention a 68 degree head angle, and slacker seat tube. I would consider the Chromag Rootdown comparable.

Rootdown has a Lyrik Select vs Torrent Lyrik Ultimate
Rootdown has Sram G2 RS brakes vs Torrent Code R
Rootdown has GX crankset vs Torrent NX crankset (100grams, woopity doo)
***Rootdown doesn't include a dropper post*** Extra $260usd, making it more expensive than the Torrent.

They even have the same 64 degree head angle and 76 degree seat tube and their Size larges are almost identical in geometry.
  • 2 3
 @Ryan2949: apparently these guys rode both of them, and were able to compare them, despite your assertion that this wouldn't be possible. I guess it turns out that in the grand scheme of objects that you could compare, these two wheeled objects were deemed "comparable", despite having different forks.
  • 1 1
 While Norco may not be stellar in pricing, they're still nowhere near as bad as Santa Cruz! SC is out of their minds with their build kits for the asking price.
  • 9 1
 Vitus? (Had to be carefull with the auto correct there)
  • 4 0
 Yes! I'd like to see the where the Vitus lands in this field. Didn't get the auto correct thing until I typed Vitus lol
  • 7 0
 can get a nice pre owned $6500 bike for $3000.
  • 12 0
 But it will likely be 1 cm shorter snd therefore obsolete!
  • 18 0
 @60ndown, you’re right - we have a video on the way that goes over how to purchase a used bike.
  • 7 7
 With suspension that needs a full rebuild, beat brakes and cassette, a 67 or 68 deg headtube and probably matching seat tube angle.
  • 3 0
 @dsellinger: No.
Just buy a 50km ridden Stumpjumper for 40% off because the dude bought an Levo.

Lot of people do it and you get absolute steals- most often with upgraded parts
  • 3 0
 Or get a new one and be content with it being 2-3 years 'behind' the current tech. The numbers you mentioned are exactly the deal I got for a new, floor-model, discounted bike. It's not like it isn't as awesome as it was in 2017. Even has the warranty.
  • 1 0
 @dsellinger: @dsellinger: you just have to know that guy who buy a new bike every year and barely ride them because he owns a road, cx, xc, trail and enduro bikes and work so much to afford them he barely has time to ride them.

I know 2 of them where I used to live until 1y ago, too bad they both use one size shorter than I do, I saw some smoking deals being done on really pristine bikes.
  • 1 0
 I have one for sale right now Wink
  • 3 0
 Am I the only one wondering about the weight? C'mon 15-16 kgs for a TRAIL BIKE? This is ridiculous, should be 12, maybe 13, IMHO. Also: 29er with 140&150mm are enduro bikes. I think they make them so f* heavy on purpose so we will start buying e-bikes ????????
  • 4 2
 These videos are so good. Really appreciate the content , discourse, and production value... especially after putting up with Bike Mags "Bible of bike tests"-- essentially a series of short films documenting what happens when you put a bunch of illiterate awkward people in a room and have them ramble on about superbikes
  • 4 0
 Would you consider doing a grand round table to discuss and compare all the bikes in this year's field trip?
  • 3 0
 Not quite what you're looking for, but we did discuss all the Field Test bikes in more depth here:
  • 4 0
 I love how the most expensive bike of the bunch is a bloody hardtail! #steelisreal...expensive
  • 3 4
 Norco is to blame, not the price of steel. With a higher quality of tubing it could make sense, but not with a plubber 4130 Cromo very probably made in Asia. Norco wants too much money, that`s all.
For instance, for almost the same price, you can get a complete bike at Stanton with a RS Pike, Stan`s Arch1 wheels, Guide RS brakes... and a Reynolds 631 frame with beautiful colors, 100% handcrafted in UK.
So yeah, once again wants your money but won`t give you what you would deserve for such a price.
  • 5 0
 @softsteel: The Stanton HTs (most of them) are only painted in the UK.

Only the Switch9er UK and the Switchback FS are truly made in the UK.

And Made in Asia is a plus when talking about bikes- as they have way better technologies than us
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: still not worth what they're asking though...
  • 5 0
 Is the Santa Cruz made of cast iron ? How is it so heavy
  • 3 0
 Why you don't compare the JEFFSY COMP that is $ 2999 USD instead of BASE? I mean, its price is more similar to the others, is under 3000 and you get a carbon frame.
  • 5 2
 @cueTip did you buy your wife a GLC AMG just to brag about it on pinkbike comments? Well you have impressed the hell out of us, congrats.
  • 3 0
 No, that was brought up to point out that I'm not immune to paying too much for something for irrational reasons. I also bought a house that is probably too much money for what it is simply because it's on a trail network and I typically spring for nicer looking laptops than I need because they look pretty. Status buying is a real thing, we all do it. Someone who pays 25% more for a Santa Cruz did it because they wanted to have a Santa Cruz at the trailhead. It isn't 25% better than a YT, Commencal, Kona, Norco, Vitus etc. it just has a name and for some people that name has a value, for many of us it does not.
  • 1 0
 I have the 2019 version of that Commencal Meta TR, and I'm really enjoying it. The first time I rode it, it felt like I've already rode it before. I just change the wheels few week after buying the bike. I destroyed the rear rim in a corner, the tubeless tire popped of the wheel that made it no longer rideable. I've built up some lighter wheels with DT EX471 rims with some Maxxis tires and everything is perfect now. The 2019 comes with a 140 Revelation. I'm thinking about getting an airshaft and modify it to 150mm, but I don't know if it's possible.
  • 1 0
 Glad to see the wheel size wars are over, but still wonder how 29ers avoided the newb bashing wider tires endured for their like-minded "stability" and "confidence building" traits? Same results, different ways of getting there.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer have you tried spanish horchata? quite different to the mexican version you find in North America, spanish is made of tiger nut instead of rice, way better IMO.

Also any of you had the balls (and lack of common sense) it takes to ride the white line??
  • 5 0
 Where is Giant Trance 29
  • 13 3
 It`s stuck on a home trainer, between a sofa and a TV. Probably its best place to stay.
  • 2 0
 @softsteel: lol why no love for the trance?
  • 2 1
 @stumphumper92: nothing against Giant but watch the whole review and you`ll understand ;-)
  • 4 1
 you know economy is fucked when companies start promoting cheaper stuff and giving it decent spec.
  • 1 0
 "Mike Levy and I don't agree on much, but in this case we both reached the same conclusion – if we had to choose a daily driver out of these four bikes, it'd be the Meta TR Ride."

Spoiler alert Mike!
  • 2 0
 this was great, so good to see how companies like YT and Commencal have changed the market and now biking is less of a wealthy people's lifestyle. great series!
  • 1 1
 Why was the ripmo af included in this test. I know you can’t add every bike but this one seems obvious. That is a bike I just ordered because of the price. You have tested this bike but never added it in the comparison? How would have it faired?
  • 6 3
 How about a direct-to-consumer only field trip?
  • 7 4
 Why didn't they finish with "Just get a Ripmo AF"
  • 3 1
  • 4 1
 Wow. These are heavy bikes.
  • 2 3
 Then spend more
  • 1 0
 YT needs to release that new trailbike already. When do we see the "First ride impressions?" (They're already teasing it on LinkedIn and Facebook)
  • 1 0
 Yup, Commencal Meta TR it is. Easy pick tbh, the only bike out of this line-up that makes sense in regard to specs and price.
  • 2 0
 The big final question: "Why would I buy any of these over a Ripmo AF?" Very critical
  • 1 2
 So what your saying is it only took a global pandemic and a global economic collapse to start reviewing affordable bikes? In other words bikes that don’t require 13 people to pool their stimulus checks to afford the bikes that are typically reviewed! LOL
  • 2 0
 That Meta is hard to beat for the price.
  • 1 0
 ...and right now the race version, with a Pike and NX, is discounted 12% to $2,999.
  • 1 0
 ...and Guides and a Spank wheelset...
  • 3 1
 Did Levy roll his eyes at saving weight? My man!
  • 1 0
 meta TR - looks awesome, rides good, you can buy alacarte, you can buy without stupid sram brakes, love this option
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Worth mentioning that the Meta seems to have lot’s of component options at POS.
  • 5 4
 $3000 USD is still ~ $4100 CAD... just saying
  • 42 3
 yup that’s how currency conversion works.
  • 3 0
 A lot of these videos reference "bikes from 5 years ago". Five years ago, $3000 would have cost $3500 CAD. A lot of shops would sell bikes for "at par" pricing. Now it costs $4186. Even off season sales barely reach the $3000 mark. Yuck.
  • 3 1
 @gbeaks33: It's those weak maple syrup dollars you guys have up there
  • 1 0
 Ouch, sorry mates. That's a big difference. Frown
  • 8 7
 None of those wagon wheel bikes would be my choice.
  • 8 2
 Yeah, 29ers aren't for short people.
  • 5 3
 Wait 5 yrs and small wheels will be cool again.
  • 2 1
 so no mention of the 34lb HT
  • 1 0
 Mike vs Mike : flats vs clips
  • 1 0
 wasn't there supposed to be a comparison with a used bike?
  • 2 3
 If levy can’t ride a pump track then how can we trust these reviews.
  • 3 5
 A $3,000 HARDTAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!! A steel hardtail at that. Not some carbon, not some titanium, steel. NORCO.......REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 3 2
 Chromag has more expensive hardtails. So do other companies. Just stop whining and ride your bike.
  • 1 0
 @piman: Ya but Chromag is worth it. They're the leaders in steel HT imo
  • 2 0
 @stumphumper92: All I'm saying is that the Torrent is probably worth it to someone else. Norco isn't that large of a brand, and if Spec or Trek or any of the other big names decided to put out a similar steel hardtail and charge that much I'd be a little skeptical.

I agree that Chromag is the leader in steel hardtails though.
  • 1 0
 @piman: You sir, obviously missed the point with your response. Of course there are more expensive hardtails out there and yes Chromag is the leader and they are all handbuilt frames. For one, the bike comparison here is ridiculous, a hardtail against 3 full suspension bikes, all of which cost LESS!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @mattdavis458: Ya that makes no sense... How you gonna put up a HT against 3 FS that are cheaper? Not a good comparison. They should do a HT only comparison
  • 3 6
 Now please compare the Ripmo AF to the Ripmo AF
  • 2 1
 Why was the ripmo af not included. Seems odd.
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