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Pinkbike Awards: Downhill Bike of the Year Nominees

Dec 18, 2014
by Mike Levy  


Evolution rather than revolution is the theme for four of the five Downhill Bike of the Year nominees, and while that might not be quite as exciting as new-from-the-ground-up designs, it shows that designers are at a point where tweaking existing layouts into finely tuned weapons is the preferred approach. The one very obvious exception to that rule is the latest Demo. The new bike employs the same basic suspension principles as its ancestors, but in a striking layout that's a wholesale change from the Demo platform that many riders have come to know and love over the years. Not surprisingly, 27.5'' wheels rule the roost in this category, with all of the nominees either designed around them or having the built-in adaptability to fit them. And yes, results have to be a factor here, but downhilling is not always about out and out racing intentions - the time we've put in on some of the nominees below has shown that shit eating grins are just as important, with at least one of the bikes below being more of a daily driver in the bike park than a true race rig. We've limited ourselves to just five candidates, which means that there are some great bikes that aren't on the list, but these are the machines that stand out to us given either their performance on the world stage, their capabilities under the average downhiller, and even how much fun they are to ride.

MTB Awards


Transition TR500

The TR450 wasn't a bad bike, but it was a ho-hum sort of thing in a time when many downhill machines were becoming incredible, and it was also a bit of a one trick pony in that it far preferred to go through something rather than dance around it. Transition's aluminum TR500 couldn't be more of a different beast, though, with it reminding us of that one friend that everyone has who's down for anything, anytime, and it's that easy going sort of personality that makes the bike such a blast to ride like a goon or against the clock. ''The TR500 has the ability to make short work of the most chopped up and blown out trails while also possessing a flickable and playful side that came out on smoother, jump riddled trails,'' is what we said in our July review of the bike, and it pretty much sums up the big Transition's disposition. It also doesn't hurt that you can fiddle with its geo to fit either 26'' or 27.5'' wheels, or run 203 or 180mm of travel, making it as adaptable as it is fun and fast. That said, the TR500 isn't just a big improvement over its forefather, it's a great downhill bike, period.





GT Fury

Much like a purebred race car or that Usain Bolt guy, downhill bikes are all about going fast and spending as little time as possible between the start and finish lines. One of the best ways to shave off slivers of time during a three-minute effort is to use larger wheels, which is why pretty much every competitive downhill rig worth considering rolls on 27.5'' hoops these days. Forget the conspiracy theories - 27.5'' wheels can be ridden faster over rough ground than 26'' wheels, and the Fury already showed its prowess when using the smaller format: ''While the GT may have felt long and unwieldy when sitting on it at a standstill, it comes alive when dropped into the environment it was intended for: steep, fast, and rough trails.'' So, like many other companies, GT took advantage of that and re-designed their Fury to run the larger hoops. However, the difference between GT and most of the others is that the Fury was already one of the best downhill bikes of our time, with the wheel size switch only extending those outstanding abilities.




Specialized Demo

Forget about the one-sided seat mast. Toss the concentric bottom bracket pivot and the custom tuned Ohlins TTX shock out of your mind. Ignore the larger wheels. There's just so much going on with the new Demo when it comes to marketing spin or tech mumbo jumbo that it's easy to forget that the new bike simply takes less effort to ride faster than its forefathers. We say that having spent a load of time on both versions this past summer, riding time that illuminated just how much of a step forward the new Demo really is. ''Riding the 2014 Demo and 2015 Demo back to back on the same section of trail showed that the new machine feels less 'on edge' when it's especially rough or fast, enough so as to make last year's bike feel a bit more nervous than we would have said had we not been switching back and forth between the two.''






Santa Cruz V10

At first you might not think that the legendary Betty White and Santa Cruz's V10 might have much in common. After all, one's a five foot tall, 92 year old actress and the other is a downhill race bike manufactured in Taiwan. On the other hand, both are megastars in their respective fields, and both have evolved with the times to stay not just relevant, but at the cutting edge of their trades; Betty White by not shying away from the odd raunchy TV spot, and the V10 by evolving to the point where it excels on everything from the steepest, gnarliest of tracks to pedal fests like the Pietermartizburg course. Given that sort of history, Santa Cruz did the logical thing for 2014: they updated the chassis with new geo, altered suspension kinematics and, of course, based it all around 27.5'' wheels. Don't think of it as a complete re-design, though, but rather a consolidation of the V10's already proven strengths, an approach that Josh Bryceland seemed to get along with this season. Then again, Ms. White wouldn't reinvent herself after all of her success, so why would Santa Cruz do such a thing with their V10?





Scott Voltage

We know, we know, you aren't ever going to see Scott's World Cup boys on one of these, and calling the 170 to 190mm travel Voltage a pure downhill bike probably seems odd given how the company's Gambler is exactly that, but it's the Voltage's versatility, adaptability, and designed-in fun factor that makes it worthy of inclusion on this list. In fact, having spent time on both the Voltage and the Gambler, we'd be much more likely to reach for the former nine out of ten times, only relying on the latter if we were going to be pointing ourselves down something really ridiculous. When it comes down to it, we're willing to bet that most riders are going to be quicker, and, maybe more importantly, have more fun on the Voltage. And let's not forget that it can be slacked out into chopper-mode if need be, being able to be set to run a 62° - 66° head angle, or run with 26'' or 27.5'' wheels, all at around a 35lb weight. If there ever was a park machine that could do double duty as a sleeper downhill bike, this thing might be it.





Stay tuned for more PB MTB Awards nominees all month.

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300 Comments
  • 97 3
 burn it with fire, before it lays eggs
  • 13 30
flag JoseBravo (Dec 18, 2014 at 16:48) (Below Threshold)
 Wow, that must be the record of props on pinkbike. Awesome bike btw
  • 71 7
 Looks like a Session.
  • 23 0
 REDALP!!
  • 10 2
 better than nothing... I just want to ride.
  • 38 0
 I heard that Semenuk left trek to ride for Fuji once he saw that
  • 20 0
 BB looks pretty low, might be Bender's AM rig...
  • 5 0
 Shock reservoirs are overrated broo.
  • 16 0
 This one should win an award too. I like how he cut the crown with a hacksaw to have enough room for his 29" wheels.
forums.mtbr.com/santa-cruz/heckler-26-now-29er-894136.html
  • 13 1
 this is the record of props in PB
www.pinkbike.com/photo/4219546
  • 1 0
 Gold!!!
  • 5 4
 Tr500 all the way
  • 4 2
 @PerfectDirtBro they don't have paid enought.


I'm sorry but i think that Bike of the year is the new MONDRAKER SUMMUM, the design, the suspension, it's cutting edge, the most revolutionary bike of the moment. i don't own one, and don't want it. but the things like they are, Mondraker is selling a bike that it's different to all the others.

the second i put the new Specialized, but cmon, why the transition, the gt? maybe they redesigned it. but it don't have anything new,
  • 4 1
 @theedon: The Redalp name should be made into an insult, such as in "you're as ugly as a Redalp!", or "you're a Redalp!" for shorts... It even sounds like it...
  • 2 1
 still better geo and construction than those old rocky mountain rm's
  • 2 1
 How is the Mondraker so different? Because of the ugly hole near the headtube?
  • 90 20
 WHAT?!?!?!?

No devinci, knolly, glory, yt, banshee, polygon, orange, exprezzo, aurum, karpiel, kona, trek, commencal, canfield, canyon, bergamont, pivot, evil, intense, turner, every other currently made dh bike.

How DARE you pinkbike?!?!?!?
  • 61 7
 Its hardly a nomination if you just include everybody
  • 22 17
 yeah, we get that... but the Demo???
  • 33 22
 ANYTHING BUT THE DEMO
  • 36 10
 demo did good this year and its innovative.
  • 16 36
flag wuzupjosh (Dec 18, 2014 at 21:44) (Below Threshold)
 rlly ??? pinkbike ? you should try testing some actually good bikes like pivot ,turner , banshee etc. not a godddamn fury. i rode one at crankworx and it was by far the worst dh bike ive ever owned in my life . no offence gt but ya gotta step it up a little . and rlly a tr500? its the simplist bike ever . just because it has new tubes that are more flat of some shit dont make it any better or different . yea its a different bike so its gonna tide differnt blah blah ... your testing brands that payed you . not bikes that are actually the best bikes around . poor choices pb
  • 18 10
 Agreed with Mendel, this years Demo is awesome.
  • 14 7
 I scrolled down.. was hoping Nukeproff PULSE over Scott Volatge .. nvmd, Sam will bring up next season!

hate to say, but DEMO is certainly ground breaking.. DEMO +1
  • 7 2
 AS im proud owner of TR500 i will vote for it Smile
  • 3 6
 Evil!! wtf.. sexiest bike alive!
  • 5 1
 Probably gonna get stick for this but the new Canyon Torque DHX in matt black..... own one and i nearly jizzed when i opened the box

www.canyon.com/en/mountainbikes/bike.html?b=3670
  • 5 1
 Are you seriously this blind? "The tr500 is nothing new it just has flat tubes"???? Where do you even get this from?
  • 1 7
flag wuzupjosh (Dec 20, 2014 at 9:20) (Below Threshold)
 like square tubes , not much of a upgrtade id say , people will buy whatever looks good , that why kona exists still . but then theyres also people ho buy theyre bikes by the technology and time that goes into them , which i think gt and tranny lack a bit of ... personally
  • 1 1
 The demo is exclusive though. How can it be the best bike if barely anyone has ridden it? V10 +1
  • 69 4
 How about a pb users poll?
  • 45 2
 Commie.
  • 9 0
 I want Troll World Champs as well... @Team-Robot would probably win but maybe he could get a flat or something
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns : can i enter in a team with you and @Protour ?
  • 2 1
 oooo im soo down ! , last year at crankworx i poached the whip off in underwear!! :p
  • 2 1
 No you didn't Joshua
  • 1 0
 i did i have friends to prove it , i followed wyn masters and casey brown boii
  • 51 17
 Transition because its a Transition....
  • 16 6
 Here here! The guys at Transition really came through big time with the TR-500
  • 7 4
 Transition for frame brand of the year.
  • 7 2
 Transition just cause of what they represent.
  • 17 0
 They should also get an award for best press release vids
  • 5 1
 or you know... because they make a good bike!?
  • 3 0
 good to see a small company like transition make the list. good bikes, good people!
  • 31 3
 Love the Voltage nomination. Having owned an older version all over several countries, this new rig has to be amazing.
  • 14 0
 cool to see some companies still make a dedicated freeride bike
  • 9 0
 Missing the Saracen Myst!
  • 5 9
flag specialtom (Dec 18, 2014 at 17:49) (Below Threshold)
 Because a freeride bike can clearly be the downhill bike of the year...
  • 2 1
 But why not the Gambler 650b... Sooo sexy. To me, Voltage, not so much. : /
  • 39 14
 Specialized, Scott and GT are all on PB's advertise list so they're giving PB money… Just food for thought. TR 500 is my opinion, a full ground up re-design and its 26 so they win… Wink
  • 14 29
flag diego-b (Dec 18, 2014 at 16:23) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah cuz 26 is clearly a breakthrough in downhill mountain biking....not. I'd go for the Demo just because it is quite differente and a full redesign
  • 7 0
 it's both 26 and 27.5
  • 13 6
 Ok so using an old English road wheel size on DH bikes is a breakthrough…? Sure.
  • 26 3
 How could the voltage be a nominee as the devinci wilson is not?
  • 10 6
 Having not ridden any of them clearly my opinion should be taken seriously.... I would take the TR500 out of all the bikes here (sorry specialized please don't sue!!!)
  • 4 4
 as this is for DH bikes the voltage shouldn't be here, then it should only be here bikes that were 2014 model's, not like de v10 or the demo that are new models for 2015 the wilson ,the redesigned one should me nominated for next year if you would have ridden the 500 you wouldn't have been disappointed for your choice
  • 7 0
 Never said 27.5 was a breakthrough either I just believe that design wise the Demo has a lot more work into it. I like TR as much as the next guy and would buy TR over spesh any time but just trying to be objective here.
  • 11 2
 And regarding them being sponsors, how could you possibly complain about having sponsor's bike on here?...they are great bikes and sponsors are who pay these guys (the ones that mantain the site that we visit at least 5 times a day) to keep Pinkbike up and running...so yeah...Yeiiii for sponsors
  • 11 18
flag jclnv (Dec 18, 2014 at 17:44) (Below Threshold)
 From a design point of view they're all a pile of shit compared to the Demo. It isn't even close.
  • 2 8
flag tiagomano FL (Dec 18, 2014 at 17:54) (Below Threshold)
 on the exeption of the voltage that is the ugliest , the next one is the demo, it's too artificial , seams more like an object than a normal bike
  • 7 5
 @jclnv going back to there old FSR linkage system is not that exiting. img7.hostingpics.net/pics/317430DSC01160.jpg
  • 5 5
 @jclnv you dumb?
  • 8 3
 @matteosignorelli Well all their current bikes feature that linkage design so it's hardly a regression is it?

The fact is the concentric pivot and the way it's designed is damn clever, the single sided frame for shock access, the link that wraps the rear tire for a narrower profile. The general construction and design is very impressive. Go look at one next to a V10.

tiagomano is right when he says it looks like an object than a normal bike. Stand around the bottom of the bike park, it looks 5 years ahead of anything else.
  • 8 4
 How is the demo even on this list?
Firstly it's a 2015 bike. Hardly anyone has ridden one (have you @jclnv ?).
Nobody knows if it's any good or if the assymetric design will hold out. On top of that, it's hugely expensive and looks absolutely revolting.
Gwinn must be praying it's better than the last one though.
  • 8 5
 The thought of Gwin praying to God about his Demo issues, lol.

jclnv: "The fact is the concentric pivot and the way it's designed is damn clever"

Yeah, really clever to combine one of the worst main pivot locations (ala Rotec) with the worst bottom bracket standard of all time (BB30). Two wrongs don't make a right.
  • 4 1
 @Protour Why BB pivot would be a bad location? It's the instant center that matters, and it should be close to the "old" demo IC.
  • 2 4
 The main pivot largely dictates the axle path. The axle path is the problem, not the IS.
  • 7 0
 Checked with linkage demo, new and old demos have the same axle path, and same leverage evolution. So same suspension.
The main pivot location don't dictates anything that much, because the pivot between seatstays and chainstay modify a lot the axle path. IC (Or center of curvature.) and IC curb are more significant.
  • 4 1
 Faul, you're wasting your time. He doesn't understand what an IC is. He's just confused about main pivot location and is obsessed about "axle path balance" LOL! Yet he doesn't even know what the axle path is for the new Demo! It's good for a laugh but after a while it's like banging your head against a stupid wall.
  • 4 3
 Dave Weagle about the effect of instantaneous centre on suspension:
"Speaking strictly about static chassis reaction and negating dynamic concerns:

If your IC is above your ground plane and in front of the rear axle you will have some a suspension compression reaction during braking. 

If your IC is below your grond plane and in front of the rear axle you will have a suspension extension reaction during braking. 

If your IC is below your ground plane and behind the rear axle you will have some a suspension compression reaction during braking. 

If your IC is above your ground plane and behind the rear axle you will have a suspension extension reaction during braking."Dave Weagal

Suspension extension during steep rough terrain, when you are leaning back trying to stay behind the bicycle, has a negative effect on the stability of the bike when it has extreme axle path imbalance: In a steep rocky terrain, if the rear suspension extension is happening just as the front fork is compressing, the wheelbase is getting dramatically shorter which destabilizes the bike and makes an over-the-bars situation more likely. And even if an o-t-b situation doesn't happen, rear tire traction is compromised in these situations because the rear tire is unweighted as the suspension extends.
  • 4 3
 The wheelbase on the Demo changes more radically than any bicycle in the history of mountain biking that I am aware of. The upward-and-inward rear axle path creates the "bucking bronco" effect that I have previously described on the Demo, when you consider the rebound curve of its rear axle path in steep terrain along with the wheelbase that gets shorter during the extension as the tires come toward each other. 

This extreme wheelbase change on bikes with axle path imbalance also creates traction issues, with the the front tire surging ahead and losing traction when you touch both brakes while the wheelbase is extending because of the rear suspension extension. This would increase the chance of the front tire to lose traction and 'knife' ahead, making the rider more likely to lose control of the bike. A bike with matching axle paths and a more consistent wheelbase would provide not only more stability because of the more consistent wheelbase, but also would provide more rear wheel traction because the rear tire is more planted and in contact with the ground. 
  • 5 4
 Faul: "The main pivot location don't dictates anything that much, because the pivot between seatstays and chainstay modify a lot the axle path."

The main pivot is the MAIN PIVOT, it is the dominating factor on axle path. Please explain to me how the other pivot could "modify a lot the axle path." All it does rotate slightly and has minimal effect on axle path compared to the main pivot.

The main pivot is a gigantic 3" lower, tell me how the other pivots make up for that. Or maybe @jason-at -specialized can give us a simple explanation.
  • 3 2
 There is loads of bikes whic have a ""worst"" axle path (more "upward and inward")than the demo! 951, Morpheus, New Lapierre, etc.
DW was talking about IC,and, as i said, the IC of both Demos are nearly the same.

And I don't speak english enough to discuss everything you wrote, but there is some wrong (or forgotten) things
  • 3 1
 There is more distance between wheel axle and the chainstay/seatstays pivot. So when suspension compress, the rotation of the seatstay around this pivot "lengthen" the chainstay more. (compared to older demo)
  • 4 1
 Protour, that post you keep copy/pasting from DW is regarding the IC locations effect on braking. Not once does he mention this "axle path imbalance" shite you keep banging on on about.

Listen.

Instantaneous Centre. The CENTRE of rotation at that INSTANT. The Demo is a virtual pivot bike, not a single pivot.
  • 3 6
 jclnv: "The Demo is a virtual pivot bike, not a single pivot.


Hahahahahaha! You really revealed your suspensIon stupidity with that comment. The Demo is a 4 bar linkage, dummy.

The V10 is a virtual pivot bike. Because the suspension appears to rotate around a point in the frame where there is no real pivot it is considered to be a virtual pivot point.

DW talks about the effect of braking on IS, which has a effect on the stability of the bike. But this effect is much more dramatic on the Demo because of the upward and inward axle path, which produces the negative effects on traction and stability that I described above.
  • 5 0
 Demos wheelbase getting "dramatically" shorter than any other bike, followed by endless rant on tiny little details of suspension design... Protour, you should find a shrink and sign up for at least 9 month therapy, I am seriously worried about you. Google shadow work cuz you are SO on a witch hunt. Knowledge without action supporting it is meaningless...

At least get some sense of humor Big Grin You could say that in 2014 Worst link patent expired and now many companies like YT are using it?
  • 5 0
 No, the Demo is a virtual pivot. As is a DW Link, a Maestro, SC's VPP. Try to think beyond the marketing. The axle path does not follow a single plane arc, the axle path rotates around... can you guess??? An INSTANTANEOUS CENTRE!

Come on you must get it by now? This is page one bike kinematics.
  • 1 0
 transition too at least. my patrol as it
  • 1 1
 Pootour knows his shit when it comes to suspension. Don't even know who is right or if your both talking about the same demo, I just wanted to say that.
  • 5 2
 Waki, you are right, I am on a witch hunt. A true quest to demolish the new Demo. Progress has no patience and Gwin and Brosnan deserve better.

You are right that I am analyzing details of their suspension design. But the consequences are neither tiny nor little when a rider gets bucked over the bars by this suspension ejection contraption, or when the front tire knives and completely loses traction because of the radically changing wheelbase.

jclnv, can you read? Read this again:

Because the suspension appears to rotate around a point in the frame where there is no real pivot it is considered to be a virtual pivot point.

The Demo rotates around a point in the frame where there is an actual pivot, the main pivot. Therefore it is not a virtual pivot bike. You are dumb and done. But you've shown once again that you deserve to be at the top of the list of loyal and disingenuously desperate Specialized fanboys.
  • 3 0
 Radically changing wheel base? What is a radically changing wheelbase, can you give numbers and comparisons, to for instance... Trek Recession or V10 twobfefentysfantyfive? Please take your time and draw that in any CAD program and do measurements. Make print screens as a base, then draw with red lines on top of them. I can only tell you, that you will waste your time... the biggest factor in suspension action is the damper - period. And Demo S-Works has as good damper as there can be, but most importantly, unlike you and me, Spesh boys have professional people setting it up. Your assumptions are killing you, leave inner world, I know very well how attractive it is. Just do something in reality and anxiety will be reduced, energy wasted for internal buzzing will be freed and available.
  • 2 1
 The Demo is not a virtual pivot Frame? Enough internet for today.

@jclnv, you're right, we are waisting ou time.
  • 1 0
 Protour's ignorance continues to shine. He's probably pissed that he didn't get a deal on one.
  • 3 6
 Well, now we have Dumb(jclnv)and Dumber(Faul, coincidentally rhymes with Fail).

From the Santa Cruz site;

"VPP suspension designs balance different forces to eliminate unwanted compression without limiting bump absorption. The downward force on your pedals pushes most full suspension bikes down, resulting in unwanted suspension compression. VPP bikes use a patented link configuration and axle path to apply some of the pulling force from the chain to counteract that motion caused by pedaling."

The FSR design obviously doesn't have that patented link, does it?
  • 10 0
 "VPP" is a marketing name for "Instantaneous Center", which is an engineering text book parameter that results from 4-bar linkage designs. VPP, DW and FSR are all 4-bar designs, all with an instant center. The rear wheel rotates around this instant center. But since the instant center is a moving center (hence the "instant" or "instantaneous" part) the rear wheel doesn't move in a perfect arc, it moves more like a parabola. It does not at any point rotate around any single hard pivot such as the "main" pivot, and all force and motion calculations are applied about the instant center. In the case of the Demo, the fact that the chainstay pivot is concentric with the bottom bracket has nothing to do with the bikes performance. As several astute individuals already pointed out, the kinematic response of the new Demo is nearly identical to the old Demo, even though the pivots are in radically different locations.
  • 3 1
 Well said. Enough of this madness. That said, If Protour is a troll, he's a genius. He's dragged me into this crap on a number of occasions!
  • 3 2
 "In the case of the Demo, the fact that the chainstay pivot is concentric with the bottom bracket has nothing to do with the bikes performance."

Don't you wish. It has the most upward and inward axle path trajectory of any DH bike out there, right? Which actually goes in a completely different direction than the slacked out front end. Which creates the traction and stability issues that I described above, which you didn't address. But thanks for the response.
  • 6 0
 Perhaps you could post a chart or graph that leads you to this forward axle path conclusion of the Demo. And then compare it to some of your favorite bikes. I'd like to compare your method of calculation to my own.
  • 3 0
 Traction issue when braking? In this case, the lower the IC, the better. And the longer/lower the bike, the better, too (torque of the braking force is lower so the rear wheel is less prone to "take off"). That's why you'll see more floater brakes on bikes whith high main pivot, like kona stab, lahar, or BMW.

The issue with low IC is for stability on hard landings or big bumps, bump absorption, and things like that. But there is advantages like better braking ability, less chain growth (so you don't need chain pulley like a jedi to keep low kickback and ... to keep good bump absorption, the irony! Chain tension can reduce suspension performance on small impacts).
  • 2 2
 "Perhaps you could post a chart or graph that leads you to this forward axle path conclusion of the Demo. And then compare it to some of your favorite bikes. I'd like to compare your method of calculation to my own."

Somebody else has already done it, assuming your new bike has the "nearly identical" "kinemetoc response" as the old Demo, as you claimed.

tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2m3ialw&s=6

But I did get out the old architecture class equipment and charted the up and in axle path of the new Demo:

m.pinkbike.com/u/protour/album/2015-Demo-axle-path-Up-In-WTF

Considering the sag from the rider, there is essentially no rearward movement of the rear axle. Just up and in.
  • 2 1
 Comedy gold Protour.
  • 2 0
 Protour, look at the horst link. Biggest sucker this side of an XTC.
  • 3 0
 All about that rear axle path

p.vitalmtb.com/photos/stories/2012/07/20/max_Redalp_DH_Team_Bike_white_s.jpg?1342828061

These comments have been an interesting read.
  • 1 0
 Faul: "Traction issue when braking? In this case, the lower the IC, the better. And the longer/lower the bike, the better, too (torque of the braking force is lower so the rear wheel is less prone to "take off")."

So you think that moving a part that weighs weighs about 1 pound 3 inches lower will make a difference in traction because of the lower center of gravity? Considering the overall weight of the bike and rider is 180- 250 pounds overall, I just don't see it happening. Main advantage of lower cog is that it helps you move the bike around easier in turns, jumps, etc.

I actually don't think rear axle path is that important..... as long as you aren't creating any negative effects from it like the ones I've described with the new Demo.
  • 1 0
 Why are you talking about weight?
Average braking force is around 700-800N. With an IC at 340mm height (single pivot bike with main pivot concentric to bb) it creates a 270 Nm torque. It means a equivalent vertical force of 640N (140 pounds) on the suspension (applied on the rear wheel contact point), tending to compress the suspension or a 245N (50 pounds) force lifting the rear wheel around the frontwheel contact point. (tending to void the traction of the rear wheel)
These values are non-negligible. They are the cause of "brake bumps" and 'brake jack". (for brake jack you need to add the braking torque to have the correct value)

The effects you describe just doesn exist in the case ou describe. And you totally ignore the geometry of the bike, which dictates the rider's weight distribution between the wheel, therefore the magnitude of traction issues. And yes axle path is important. Just try a Jedi, or a Zerode, you'll see.
  • 6 0
 None of this is of bigger relevance. Any of top World Cup riders could win on V10, Demo, Session, Summum or Orange 224, Fox or Rockshox, Sram or Shimano - IF he gets enough time to get used to it and engineers get enough to time to tune his bike. That is true for all disciplines of MTB. Fine details are for two groups of people who are world's apart - suspension engineers working with suspension every day and geeks reading about shit and wrenching from time to time. By average, members of both groups would never ever qualify to a World Cup race, probably would never collect enough UCI points from national races to get a starting number plate at all, due to insufficient skill or lack of time to take part in those national races. Then no World Cup rider would chose a contract from a company like Zerode, over a contract and support like training facilities from a fat company like Specialized or Trek. There is more to being at the top than a perfect steed. Technology in biking is as overrated as meds for common cold. Regular Pinkbike users are too often prescribed tech-drugs and too seldom: exercise and practice. Self-diagnosis is the real disease of mountain bikers. Overexcitement on what idols and heroes use and why do they fly or fall, conspiracy theories and insinuations are on level with stories in magazines with Kim Kardashians boobs on the front page.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns You can discuss about how bike bike without racing. Because every bike is different, not every bike fit everyone needs. Knowing how bike work helps a lot when you have to choose your next rig or to help a friend searching a new one. A bike that fits your need certainly won't be faster, but it can put a greater smile on your face.
And your bike won't make you win, but it can make you lose.
  • 1 1
 I like your 3rd sentence, but the last statement is true not only for right compression tune or head angle, but also for a broken chain or a flat tyre. Not every bike fit everyone needs, yes. But if you ride for a Mondraker you may not have access to facilities that people riding for GT have. Your paycheck won't be as good, life settling race-focus providing as one form Specialized. Blaming a machine alone, prepared and tuned by professionals, for making someone not win world cups is plain delusion. Some people are so deluded they cannot see how deluded they are. Never ever zoom in too much and for too long, as your lens may seize.
  • 2 2
 Waki: "Any of top World Cup riders could win on V10, Demo, Session, Summum or Orange 224, Fox or Rockshox, Sram or Shimano - IF he gets enough time to get used to it and engineers get enough to time to tune his bike. That is true for all disciplines of MTB"

So, let's examine this claim within the context of Aaron Gwin and World Cup DH races.
After winning about 80% of the races in a two year period on a Session, he moved to the Demo. Two years later, after lots of riding, testing, spending time with the Specialized engineers, tweaking the bike, riding, more testing, more time w engineers, etc.....he still has not won a World Cup DH race on a Demo.
But I though Waki said anybody can win on anything?

Ok, Waki, now give me all the excuses for Aaron Gwin not winning on a Demo, as you slowly back away from your flimsy claim of yours.
  • 2 0
 Eee, I am not playing your speculative games. He said it in 2 interviews I saw that it wasn't the bike. He underlined it strongly in Behind The bike for DirtTV
  • 1 1
 No shit, of course he isn't going to blame his poor performance on the bike made by his sponsor who pays him $200,000 a year or so.

Are you completely clueless about public relations, or do you just naively believe everything you hear in every interview.

Your BS is always so easy to pick apart. But you are a very good eccentric, quirky, wannabe American failed internet comedian.
  • 1 1
 So Gwin and Brosnan both nearly won the World Cup overall this year. How do you explain that terrorist?
  • 2 0
 So why do you care for someone you believe to be a liar? This is my last write up here because I think that you are a salvageable idiot but well how many times can you try. I am really not trying to win an argument with you, I am just trying to help you. Do yourself a big favor, get some Cad software and design a frame that you think would be awesome. The best geo, best suspension, with best kinematics and ratio. Millimeter grid paper, pencil, protractor, drawing compass, setsquare and a ruler instead of a computer and cad software will be also good enough if not better actually. You will learn a lot and you will be calmer.
  • 2 1
 How do you explain Gwin not being able to win a World Cup race on a Demo in 2 years after being the most dominant racer the sport has ever seen aboard a Trek Session? Let's hear your excuses now....

It's part of an athlete's job to protect his sponsors reputation so I don't really consider Gwin to be a liar. He was just trying to do the best he can to deflect criticism of the Demo in a very uncomfortable situation.

Nice to see that neither one of you guys EVER attempted to make counter-points to my criticism of the Demo's stability and traction issues that are due to the too-low main pivot.
  • 1 0
 There are some butthurt fanbois on here......
  • 2 0
 "Nice to see that neither one of you guys EVER attempted to make counter-points to my criticism of the Demo's stability and traction issues that are due to the too-low main pivot."

I made counter points twice. I said that the """main pivot""" doesn't dictate the IC therefore it doesn't dictate the axle path. And I said what a low IC would do on a bike. So your sentence is false twice. Jason-at-specialized said that they have a lot of racers and riders that didn't notice this issue. What more do you want?

@Dobbs59 : I don't like the Demo, i wouldn't ride it, but it's not as bad as Protour can think.
  • 1 0
 The stupid thing is, the only way to find out is to ride the thing, and as I said earlier hardly anyone has as it a 2015 bike!
How it can be considered for bike of the year 2014??!?!
Nobody knows what it's like, it could be brilliant, it could be a dog.
  • 1 3
 I'm afraid that if Gwin once again fails to win a World Cup DH race in 2015, Specialized might double-down on this low c.o.g. idea and go even lower with the main pivot:

www.pinkbike.com/photo/11742494

I want to publically assure you that this bike has a nearly identical kinematic response as the old Demo, though I'm not providing in public info to back up that claim. The bike also adapts to Gwin's preferences while honoring the geometry Troy has been successful on.

Actually, I just wanted to prove a bad idea by taking it to the extreme. What do you guys think of that upward and inward axle path? Yeah, the wheel would probably hit the frame, but just pretend it won't. See any potential issues with that radically changing wheelbase yet? But hey, now it has an even lower c.o.g.! I'm sure the moto-proven Ohlins shock will make up for any deficiencies.
  • 2 1
 " How do you explain Gwin not being able to win a World Cup race on a Demo in 2 years after being the most dominant racer the sport has ever seen aboard a Trek Session? Let's hear your excuses now...."

I'll tell you exactly why. Everyone else caught up, including his team mate. Do you realise the Trek bike he was so sucessful on has a very similar axle path to the Demo?

You're fanatical about this non-existent issue and you keep terrorising the comments section when Specialized in mentioned. It's fanatical terrorism. Take a look at yourself before you do something you'll regret.
  • 1 1
 Everyone else caught up? Nice try, but Gwin's times were noticeably slower on some tracks aboard the Demo compared with his times on the Session the year before. VdS is the prime example, even the winners time (Gee I believe) wasn't even close to Gwin's phenomenal time the year before on the Session.

This is fanatical terrorism:

bearmarketreview.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/terrorist1.jpg

This is essentially what I am doing:

grewallevymarketing.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/man-on-computer1.jpg

I'm not surprised you didn't comment on my latest drawing, did you finally realize the main pivot on the Demo does largely dictate the axle path? Duh.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/11742494

Upward and inward on the Demo's bad axle path, looks like Devinci for the win:

tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2m3ialw&s=6

The longer you stay in denial the more desperate you become; This was sorta funny:

jclnv: "Take a look at yourself before you do something you'll regret."

Ok Dad, are you going to threaten to ground me next? And if I really hated Specialized, them why would I have suggested in this first comment here that they deserve the product of the year award for their bibs?

m.pinkbike.com/news/pinkbike-awards-product-of-the-year-nominees.html
  • 1 0
 So I was going to draw this out on autocad (out of interest) but I am lacking all the dimensions of the rear linkage, @Protour can you point me in the right direction.

So far with some rough estimates there is an up and out. This is super simple to do in autocad, but meaningless without dimensions. The rear movement is from the "floating" linkage rotating anti clockwise extending out. The idea of just up and in is false.
  • 4 0
 No worries, I got Protours perfect bike:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/11743393
  • 1 0
 Can you change that to PooTour @WAKIdesigns
  • 1 0
 looks like a carbon Redalp mixed with a GT and a Trek. Should work perfectly.
  • 1 0
 Richard: "The rear movement is from the "floating" linkage rotating anti clockwise extending out. The idea of just up and in is false."

The rocker arm that connects to the shock moves forward (inward), so it pulls everything forward. It does rotate the linkage slightly as it is moving inward, but with the rocker going inward, it would be impossible for the rear axle to go backwards(rearwards).

Look at these diagrams of 4 bar linkage bikes:

members.home.nl/vd.kraats/ligfiets/pa/pa41.html

Now imagine the main pivot by the bb being 3" lower(which is alot!), and you have nothing but upward and inward, much more dramatically than in those diagrams by Suzuki, actually. It's not much of a problem on a shorter travel bike because the shocks obviously travel less so the wheelbase length stays more consistent. But on a DH bike with a slacked out front end it creates the traction and stability issues I described above.

Excellent drawings on your latest blogs Waki, very creative of you. Nice work. When I finish my drawing of my new concept DH bike. I'll send you a copy and you can use it for a Wakileaks installment if you want. Might make for a good laugh. .. though at my expense. I'll call it the Protour Ridicule.
  • 2 0
 Protour - I have a license to Troll, I will grant you an audience but huh, man, I'll make it a real gold, because people will eat you for a tiniest bob on the curve.

Actually, that would be an excellent idea, because there is so much bitchin on literally every bike - let the online critics draw their own designs in any technique and level of detail they want and we could ask real designers, like Jason to have the harshest go they want have on those. If we could ask Joe Graney for opinion then it would be ace!

I'll try to setup this up! So, what do you guys think about Troll Gallery?
  • 4 0
 Guest reviewer for the Troll Gallery - count me in.
  • 1 0
 Can I submit a design with some nice leverage curves, wheel path etc but refuse to give the magic dimensions because it's my intellectual property.

Seriously though, this sounds like a good/fun idea
  • 1 0
 Sure! Let's figure something out after the New Year and save this world.
  • 1 0
 lol @ this thread, good times!
  • 27 7
 Bike of the year for 2014..... That you can't get until 2015.

Adverti$$$$$ing at it's best.
  • 5 0
 Shows ya how much bullshit and marketing props this industry up !
  • 18 3
 They're all really nice sleds, but if I had to choose a daily driver that I wouldn't be afraid to ride hard day in and day out it would be the TR500.
  • 14 1
 Pivot Phoenix Carbon????? Norco Carbon????
  • 14 3
 V-10 because Syndicate kicked some serious ass this in 2014 and had tons of podiums. #ratboy
  • 3 2
 When just looking at the bikes on the list, I'm not partial to any. But, then there's Ratboy's season. #RatboyFTW #HuckToFlat

You got my vote.
  • 3 2
 It's made in China though innit?
  • 4 1
 @jaame isn't everything?

Ok, seriously... Made in China used to mean terrible things about 10 yrs ago. Today there are some f*king state of the art products coming out of China and Taiwan. Just look at your iPhone.
  • 5 4
 I've got an HTC phone actually, made in Taiwan. I wouldn't touch any of that iSlave rubbish with yours. Everyone knows made in China is junk, made on the cheap to maximise profit and line the pockets of rich cunts at the expense of downtrodden workers! Get some!
  • 1 0
 taiwan is also made on the cheap to maximize profit........compared to our side of the pond.
  • 3 0
 @jaame Your phone probably has parts made in the same factories as the iPhones. Stop lying to yourself.
  • 2 2
 If you guys are happy to support virtual slavery at the expense of your own country's long term health, keep buying everything from China. Take a look who has all the money in fifty years.
  • 14 3
 No Canfield Brother's Jedi?
  • 5 1
 the perfect pinner bike, it sucks that canfield is so deceptive, anybody who doesnt know them assumes they arent big because they make shit bikes. But its the exact opposite! they make such a good bike, with so much research, that they cant afford to hype it like most other companies. Such a sick rig though, best for sure!!
  • 4 0
 bruh, canfield is just too good for some PB nominee BS. those who know canfield know they are the #1 DH all out, balls to the walls best gnar munching DH bike out there. those who don't, we just shake our heads as they drool over the likes of a demo.
  • 6 0
 There is issues with Jedi. Like when you reach mach speed, your helmet explode.
  • 4 0
 Wise, You are!
  • 1 0
 Why does the Jedi have that weird chain contraption? Is it just a chain tensioner?
  • 2 1
 No, it's for reducing kickback and chain growth. Jedi has a very high instant center, so without it it wouldn't work well. But with it, it's one of the best bike out there.
  • 3 0
 That's right Faul. It has both 8.5" vertical travel AND 2 1/2" of horizontal travel so that when you hit an obstacle, like a rock garden, the pivots allow the bike to roll right through without slowing down the bike. The "contraption" allows all that to happen without snapping the chain.
  • 1 0
 Thanks guys!
  • 12 4
 having to chose, i would go with the demo. complete redisign for the new year. that said...CanfieldBrothers, Intense, Knolly, YT and canyon would have deserved a nominee imho.
  • 7 1
 Gotta hand it to Scott with that voltage. Pretty much a full DH bike with the tune ability to become a free ride bike if needed. So sweet. Super surprised that i'm not seeing the new session(2015????) New devinci, or new gambler.
  • 6 0
 really annoys me to hear that 26" wheeled bikes are supposedly not even good for dh now.....that may be what the manufacturers wish but they can stick it for all i care...for that reason the transition gets my vote.....although its a very nice bike in its own right. Just to add i dont dislike choice in wheels i just get sick of hearing others tell me that i may as well have square wheels if its a 26" wheel.
  • 8 0
 shame the tues 2.0 isn't on here. definitely proved itself on gnarly terrain with a first and second at rampage
  • 10 1
 Want. That. Voltage.
  • 8 0
 tr500 makes my boy parts tingle
  • 9 2
 Is there a sexiest downhill bike of the year award? Because the TR500's got it.
  • 6 1
 it could probably win the versatility category too, it can drop its travel to 180mm and be a 26" freeride bike, or become a 650b race bike with 210mm travel, soooo many options, i think it should win
  • 4 9
flag src248 (Dec 18, 2014 at 21:20) (Below Threshold)
 I think it's one of the ugliest DH bikes available, but w/e
  • 6 2
 I doubt Mr Chamberlin will bother replying to your nonsense.

You keep talking shit about "axle path imbalance" without the slightest f*cking clue about the Demo's axle path. Have you mapped it? How does it differ to the other bikes in this test? Lets see your data, lets see your graphs.

Until then you're just a guy ranting bias shit like an idiot. Grow the f*ck up.
  • 3 4
 Always entertaining to watch meltdown like a little child yet never have any valid counter-points to mine.

I also doubt if @jason-at-specialized will defend his design, simply because he never anticipated the issues I am bringing up with the bike's instability and traction issues. Which is why this design won't last. The advantages of a lower cog will not make up for the extreme axle path imbalance and the serious problems that come with it.
  • 8 2
 @Protour is absolutely correct: we never anticipated the issues that he is bringing up...the test labs, test riders, world cup racers, computer models, demo owners, and trails continue to be unaware of the issues as well Smile
  • 3 1
 It's a unique phenomenon!
  • 1 0
 The knifing of the front wheel is something I have noticed on other DH bikes that didn't even have the extreme upward and inward axle trajectory of the 2015 Demo. The radically changing wheelbase on the Demo would obviously make it even more likely. True that it doesn't happen a lot, but when it does happen it can easily end up in a crash. When it comes to noticing details about suspension design there is always a first for everything. Just look at all the ideas about pedalling efficiency and the effect from rider weight that Dave Weagle brought into the sport that everybody was clueless about before he noticed some things.
  • 2 0
 Knifing front wheel? That sounds like a rider issue to me. We ought to ask Giant if Weagle is allowed to claim any original thinking about pedaling efficiency and rider weight...
  • 1 1
 I've seen knifing of the front wheel happen to World Cup riders. It probably is usually caused by using too much front brakes, but it is less likely to happen on a bike more stable than the 2015 Demo.
  • 4 0
 Protour - do you realize that your action is counterproductive and you are making a lot of buzz within arguably influential circle of Pinkbike commenters, creating a lot of sympathy towards Specialized, potentially increasing their sales? What would make you happy here? What is your goal? That someone (Please consider who, from which department) from Specialized came up here and said: thank you for your concern, you are right, we didn't realize this and that and we will be honored to have you as a member of a design team, redesigning Demo, so it is a bike worthy of talents of T.Brosnan and A.Gwin?
  • 4 0
 Or do you just want to impress us fellow commenters how clever you are? So that we would mention your arguments in the future? Would that suffice to satisfy your complex?
  • 2 1
 Go Specialized! Don't back down to the Internet terrorists!
  • 2 1
 Waki, I don't care whether people buy Specialized bikes or not. I simply think the main pivot is too low.

jclnv: "Go Specialized! Don't back down to the Internet terrorists!"

You are a complete douchebag. Go ride your carbon 29er up a hill and get lost.
  • 3 0
 maybe his wife cheated on him with a demo owner??
  • 3 0
 I haven't ridden any of these bikes, but I hope the Scott wins. It looks like the most fun bike and customizable one, especially for the 26 for life people. I am however here hoping to find out when a review on the new Trek Session is coming out. Pinkbike? Please?
  • 8 1
 Shitty list again pinkbike!!!
  • 3 0
 It's a sad day to be someone who likes to have fun on a bike. Every bike on this list (with the exception of the scott) is designed to pow through everything, not jump over it sideways...
  • 4 0
 true, 650b downhill bikes kinda suck the fun out of downhill in some aspects, they encourage us all to race as fast as we can, instead of enjoying the run, and getting sideways on the jumps
  • 1 3
 You can still jump around things sideways, you just have to go bigger!
  • 6 0
 if im going to do that, i might as well just ride my hardtail 26" dirt jumper. My point was that the bike industry is feeding us "faster times" instead of more fun
  • 3 2
 I see it a little differently, imo the bike industry is feeding us more "capable" bikes. I like riding natural terrain more than bike parks and trails (not always possible depending on where you live) and these new DH rigs make more things possible to ride. Something you'd just be able to survive turns into something fun! And something you'd normally be bouncing around on, you can now gap, style, and ride with more control. Just the way I see it.
  • 1 1
 @Coolbeans1235 my tr500 is playful as hell when set up right. It jumps well, hops and skips good, and to be honest, after following two of my friends on their demo's I would have to say plowing is a slight weakness of the bike, even if it's a stronger point of my riding. I am currently set up with 26" wheels, but I would imagine with my limited experience on 650b that the bike will remain just as playful (within reason).
  • 3 1
 I'll let someone else do the maths...but which bike had the most podiums last season? I'm guessing between Gee and rachel, its the Fury...else its the myst..with simmonds notching up one podium....the V10 podiumed every race except Fort Bill
  • 3 7
flag jaame (Dec 19, 2014 at 3:28) (Below Threshold)
 Girls don't count, so the Fury got 2 wins I think. Has to be the v10
  • 2 0
 why not something special like Alutech or Nicolai? Both introduced really nice looking bikes with a gearbox!? that's pretty rare, especially with low weight and a good looking design! Wink
alutech-cycles.com/bilder/produkte/gross/Sennes-Pinion-FR-10-Komplettbike-26.jpg
fthumb0.mtb-news.de/cache/950/auto/1/1/fstatic3.mtb-news.de/f3/16/1638/1638531-vidtyvigeskw-large.jpg
  • 2 0
 Are we forecasting the future or are we voting on bikes that HAVEN'T BEEN RELEASED YET?!? How can the Bike of the Year be chosen when 3 out of 5 bikes are technically 2015...way to ruin it for local shops trying to sell bikes, by showing people what's not attainable yet....just saying
  • 7 1
 Love my 500.
  • 4 1
 me too, way better than my old 450
  • 1 0
 I loved my 450, but my 500 is better in every way possible. I have zero complaints making the upgrade. I should have an opportunity to be on the V-10 next season, looking forward to that.
  • 1 0
 the new one?
btw, you run your 500 26 or 27.5?
  • 1 0
 I ran 26, had too much 26" stuff to make the jump at the time.
  • 1 0
 yes, like me, had some deemax at the time, already sold them , now just wating to sell my 40 and them i make the switch
the v10, is the new one?
  • 1 0
 TR500 in XL changed the game for me. A great option for tall riders.
  • 1 0
 i came from a M of the 450 where it was too small for me, and to a L on the 500 was perfect
  • 6 2
 I'm going to go with the new V10 the guys at Santa Cruz out did themselves but in suprised the glory is not up here
  • 1 0
 The list looks like with the exception of the Transition a list of the top advertisers of bicycling the Demo & the V10 are awesome bikes & if I hit the Lotto I'll get a V10, follow the money!

I'll be rolling along on my Mongoose for now.
  • 2 2
 I'd have personaly voted for the new demo.
Not because i'm a fanboy, but because the other nominies have pretty much just undergone some minor geometry changes to accomidate 27,5" wheels (not that that's a bad thing), whilest the demo frame has undergone a full overhaul and looks nothing like the older model. The big S has taken an amazing bike and made it even better!
  • 16 12
 Worst list ever, Really Pinkbike... Sponsors #1$t
  • 2 0
 Only one bike on this list gets on my Top 10 let alone top 5, Two of them are as exciting as watching 80's soap opera reruns.
  • 2 1
 Yep many more deserve to be there. The pivot is sick the kona is so much better than their predecessors and what about the 951 evo kickstarting the bigwheel dhers? The voltage may be a great bike but this category?
  • 2 0
 Of the nominated bikes, the V-10 is the only one of those bikes I'd murder for. The TR500 is solid AND versatile enough to where I'd at least break knees for one.
  • 5 1
 Please NOT the Demo....!!!!!!!
  • 6 6
 Dear Pinkbike, I have a feeling that these awards are unfair and are based exclusively on commercial criteria. But maybe I'm wrong, so I have a number of questions and if you dont mind I'd like you to answer me.

What are the criteria to choose these five nominees among all the possibilities?

How many DH bikes have you ridden to choose the nominees? Six, twelve, twenty, all of them?

Why are your advertisers always nominated? Is it just coincidence?

Thanks.
  • 1 0
 As far as most revolutionary and redesigned I would go with the demo. For pure want factor I would go with the tr500 for sure! Black frame with white transition decals would look amazing!
  • 6 3
 IRON HORSE Sunday forever FUCK YEAH!!! lml
  • 3 3
 Are you just trying to piss people off Pinkbike? Why would you nominate the Scott in the DH bike category? Its not a DH bike. There wasn't one other DH bike to put in there? Who made this call. I want names.
  • 3 0
 This'll be an interesting comments thread.
  • 4 1
 I think the v10 deserved to be up there, its a great bike regardless.
  • 5 1
 Where's the operator?
  • 3 0
 ikr?
  • 4 0
 Wheres even the review on the carbon operator?
  • 7 4
 Scott voltage looks like shit
  • 2 1
 surprised to see that and not the gambler, seems stupid
  • 4 1
 I thought for sure the mondraker summum C would be a nominee
  • 1 0
 Next year maybe?
  • 3 1
 Would have liked to have seen a Trek Session on that list. The Dirt 100 DH bike of the year, can't be too bad...
  • 5 1
 Thats not a 2014 demo
  • 1 0
 This new specialized is way different than all the previous ones, and Gwin made it fly on WC, just too bad for this flat tire ... Well specialized is my choice !
  • 3 2
 Mondraker Summum Carbon??? where are you?? pink bike make me sik! wtf? tr500??
  • 2 0
 a summum nao esta nesta lista porque nao é de 2014, tal como nao devia estar a demo nem a v10.ja para nao falar na voltage que nem de dh é
quanto a 500, qualquer dia que va andar ai mais para cima convido te a andar na minha, e ve se é assim tao descabida a opiniao deles.
  • 1 0
 Why would the new v10 be nominated if pink bike hasn`t even ridden it yet...
  • 5 5
 You guys are nuts not to include the Evil Undead. Voltage??? Really?? But then again advertising $$ is where the buck stops here...
  • 5 4
 For a bike to make this list it has to last more than a few hours on the trail which unfortunately puts all of Evils offerings out of the running..
  • 3 1
 @Hbay, I think you may need to update yourself on Evil Bikes quality. While they did have many problems with quality control when they made the Revolt, they haven't had nearly the same number (or severity) of problems with quality since releasing the Undead. Plus if an Undead frame can survive a season of riding under Cam Zink, including an over rotated back flip off the Bender Sender, I think it is safe to say that the bike is plenty tough enough. Though I still wouldn't have nominated the Undead this year because it hasn't had any updates from last year.
  • 3 1
 Kona Carbon Operator man. but of all the above choices, v10.
  • 4 3
 Biased nominees. No thx. Maybe if someone paid them enough to put some other brands on here..............
  • 3 0
 No Gambler??
  • 3 0
 Y fucking T.
  • 2 0
 What about the new Ellsworth Dare carbon?
  • 1 0
 I hope the PB boys are getting some decent money with all this data mining going on...
  • 2 0
 Man, no Devinci love... that Wilson is the shit.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a session.......of rabble rabble rabble suspension design math cad rabble rabble rabble
  • 1 0
 Did you guys really need to put so much emphasis on the 27.5? It barely changes a thing for most riders anyway!
  • 2 0
 v10...the end !
  • 12 11
 transition? Voltage? how much are they paying you Pb?
  • 11 5
 Seriously. Nukeproof should be on here, with Sam's comeback this year and winning Best Team at Windham.
  • 6 3
 It's a heavy aluminum single pivot... not the best DH bike out there imo.
  • 9 3
 @oriion - Have you ridden either of those bikes? They're both absolute riots to ride - fast, stable, and above all, fun. And that's what it's all about, isn't it?
  • 6 2
 And the TH500 is also an alu single pivot...without the racing pedigree. I'm missing your point.
  • 5 2
 @mikekazimer - sure have, owned a voltage as well . they were "good" bikes, but nothing like some other bikes that have been omitted.
  • 3 2
 @oriion saying the new voltage doesn't deserve to be on the list because the old one wasn't that great (in your opinion) is like saying a grad student doesn't deserve a PHD because 5 years ago they were working at first year level. The bike has changed. A lot. A very big lot filled with several gnarly jumps. Personally I don't know whether it should or shouldn't be on the list, as I have never ridden any of these bikes; but it's a bit of a raw deal to put down a bike you have never ridden and probably never even seen in real life because you disliked its predecessor.
  • 3 2
 I've ridden the new one as well @medievalbiking and it was still just "good" and nothing special compared to other bikes not listed.
.
In fact i spent most of this summer touring america riding most of this years models bikes. So can i have an educated opinion on these bikes? Yes, i can. Thanks for playing.
  • 1 0
 Fair enough. The phrase "sure have, owned a voltage as well . they were "good" bikes" sounded to me like you were talking about older models. Sorry about that Smile
  • 1 0
 The TR500 has a good racing pedigree, it put me on the podium all summer Razz
  • 1 1
 I own a voltage - it is fun and versatile, but it really shouldn't be in the same category as full on DH bikes, just because a good rider can ride it like one.
  • 1 0
 So what did YOU like?
  • 1 0
 ha ha…transition paying pb? transition doesn't even advertise.
  • 3 2
 The Transition is a good bike, but the voltage is a question.
  • 4 2
 commencal
  • 2 1
 Nothing really innovative, I have the old blue V3 and I like it... it's just not really up to date imo.
  • 1 0
 Beurk !!! Very bad list !!!
  • 15 18
 The V10 wins hands-down. It was already one of the best bikes out there and now it's faster. Without a doubt the best pedaling efficiency in this group, the most reliable and proven suspension design out there, and convincing results to back it up. And still a traditional BB to boot!

GT would be my next choice, with Transition coming in 3rd. The Voltage obviously doesn't even belong on this list but whatever.

As mentioned previously, the Demo has the worst axle path balance of any suspension bicycle ever created. They sacrificed virtually every aspect of suspension performance (suspension sensitivity, pedaling performance, stability, and ability to carry momentum)to get a slightly lower center of gravity and improve the appearance of the bike. Specialized engineers also have publicly admitted that it is an inferior design but disingenuouslt claim that the performance of the shock makes up for it, and they have never addressed any of my very public accusations against this bad design. Didn't work for Rotec, won't work here.

Since PB included the voltage on the list, I'm surprised they didn't include the Specialized Enduro S-works 29er; the bike that Mike Levy made this ridiculous claim about: "because the E29 has the wherewithal to offer downhill bike-like performance, and we'd say that it makes more sense for roughly 80% of downhillers to be on an S-Works Enduro rather than their gravity pigs, if cost was no factor, that is."

Pffffft!
  • 16 4
 Oh shut up you idiot.
  • 9 12
 Well, I suppose that is the type of meaningless personal insult one might feel they need to resort to when they have no valid points to defend their favorite brand with. Happy Holidays, jclnv.
  • 3 4
 its fun to read the reviews and see where the sponsors are spoon feeding the reviewers, have you ever watched the Bible of Bike tests review of the Specialized demo 8 on youtube? its instantly obvious that specialized is paying them, because they say that it out classes every other downhill bike, but they cant seem to tell why, Thats what happens when a company has a firm grip on their fan base, and they can hype the shit out of a inferior product, and still take a bath in the consumers cash.
  • 5 2
 I agree with jclnv. Your just kinda anoying. And none of these are my favorite brands, I'm not trying to defend anyone , your just anoying.
  • 6 2
 I think @Protour is the greatest living person on earth today. By far the best at everything, even things he hasn't done yet. I've seen his comments over the last few years, he is king of kings..
  • 3 4
 I'm obviously not too concerned if some find me annoying, but I am interested in discussing the merits of the Demo suspension design if anyone ever actually wants to bother defending it

@jason-at-specialized I call you out.
  • 3 1
 So I'm assuming you've riden the new demo...???

And just curious what do you think of spoons because ya know spoons just aren't very ergonomic and even spoons themselves hate their design so I'm just curious as to what you think we should do?
  • 3 1
 Obviously Brosnan and Gwin are making that god forsaken bicycle work.
  • 3 0
 Have YOU ridden the new demo?? thats the astounding part, that the demo is on this list. there is no general consensus on this bike because the public cant even touch it until next year, geometry wars and strong accusations aside, that is some bullshit.
  • 2 1
 Nope haven't laid a hand on one. But it's Pinkbike awards. Look Im not sure if their picking it because their paid or not, all I'm saying is that you shouldnt talk mad shit before you even try it.
  • 2 3
 The biggest problem with the new Demo is that it is an unsafe design because it compromises traction in some situations and in other steep, rough conditions the trajectory of the rear axle path makes the rider much more likely to go over the bars. The concentric BB and the extreme axle path that comes along with it is the culprit.

Consider this quote from Dave Weagle about the effect of instantaneous centre on suspension:

"Speaking strictly about static chassis reaction and negating dynamic concerns:

If your IC is above your ground plane and in front of the rear axle you will have some a suspension compression reaction during braking. 

If your IC is below your grond plane and in front of the rear axle you will have a suspension extension reaction during braking. 

If your IC is below your ground plane and behind the rear axle you will have some a suspension compression reaction during braking. 

If your IC is above your ground plane and behind the rear axle you will have a suspension extension reaction during braking."

Suspension extension during steep rough terrain, when you are leaning back trying to stay behind the bicycle, has a negative effect on the stability of the bike when it has extreme axle path imbalance: In a steep rocky terrain, if the rear suspension extension is happening just as the front fork is compressing, the wheelbase is getting dramatically shorter which destabilizes the bike and makes an over-the-bars situation more likely. And even if an o-t-b situation doesn't happen, rear tire traction is compromised in these situations because the rear tire is unweighted as the suspension extends.
  • 2 2
 The wheelbase on the Demo changes more radically than any bicycle in the history of mountain biking that I am aware of. The upward-and-inward rear axle path creates the "bucking bronco" effect that I have previously described on the Demo, when you consider the rebound curve of its rear axle path in steep terrain along with the wheelbase that gets shorter during the extension as the tires come toward each other. 

This extreme wheelbase change on bikes with axle path imbalance also creates traction issues, with the the front tire surging ahead and losing traction when you touch both brakes while the wheelbase is extending because of the rear suspension extension. This would increase the chance of the front tire to lose traction and 'knife' ahead, making the rider more likely to lose control of the bike.

 A bike with a traditional main pivot and a more consistent wheelbasewould provides not only more stability because of the more consistent wheelbase, but also would provide more rear wheel traction because the rear tire is more planted and in contact with the ground. 

It is also worth noting that these negative characteristics of bikes with axle path imbalance issues are more exaggerated on bikes with bigger wheels, unless you increase the wheelbase length in proportion to the increased wheel size.
  • 2 2
 The extreme axle path imbalance also would negatively affect the bike ability to maintain momentum because the wheels are essentially fighting each other as they both going in opposite directions.

A bike with perfectly matching paths might be impossible, but when it is as imbalanced as the Demo you are creating problems that certainly are not being made up for by the advantages of having a lower centre of gravity.

DH racing is a unique sport because of the light bikes, the steep, rough terrain, and much heavier rider who can't rely on an engine to maintain momentum. So comparisons to other wheel sports where axle path balance isn't so important are irrelevant.

I don't doubt Gwin and Brosnan can go fast on this bike; they are 2 of the fastest riders in the world. But I also have no doubt they would be faster and safer on a bike that did not have such an extreme axle path imbalance.
  • 4 1
 @Protour - Out of curiosity, how many hours of riding time do you have on the new Demo? Armchair engineering only goes so far, and in this case it seems like you've taken it about as far as possible.
  • 2 4
 I'm not engineering, I'm just thinking and typing my ideas into a keyboard. I'm critiquing a bike design based upon common sense ideas that apparently nobody here can refute.

Do you or anybody else actually have any counterpoints to any of my observations?

@jason-at-specialized is the man I really want to hear from. This is his baby and I would think he should be able to offer some type of defense of it against my serious allegations. And It is serious if people are more likely to get injured because of the design. I'm not just trying to put on a show here or hate on Specialized, I simply want to discuss the merits of the concentric BB main pivot.
  • 1 0
 So what do you guys think of the new voltage?
  • 3 3
 scott knows how to do good ski poles Smile
  • 4 3
 what's a scott doing here? I mean, they do good ski poles but bikes....
  • 2 1
 Yea bra
  • 1 0
 Pivot Phoenix Carbon should be at the top of this list.
  • 2 1
 what with the summum carbon?
  • 1 0
 Redalp DH should be the bike of the year.
  • 1 0
 Sorry for this bad joke.
  • 2 1
 Mondraker Summum CARBON!!!! Crushes all and so shall Danny Hart!
  • 2 0
 Mondraker Summum!!!!
  • 1 0
 so how about the scott gambler?
  • 1 0
 And the winner is… Trek.
  • 1 0
 Jedi should be on that list.
  • 4 0
 Pinkbike planned to include the Jedi, but the bike is too fast to be photographed.
  • 1 0
 tr500... klunkin' ain't easy
  • 1 0
 Just wondering if the Ventana revived any awards back in the day?
  • 7 6
 No Glory?
  • 1 0
 Dumb...
  • 2 1
 Zerode
  • 2 1
 Glory
  • 1 0
 V10!!!!!
  • 1 0
 intense M9
  • 1 0
 V10 for sure
  • 1 0
 DEMO!!!
  • 1 1
 No Saracen Myst?
  • 1 1
 no saracen myst?
  • 5 6
 No Knolly?
  • 4 6
 No intense?
  • 7 10
 Where is Airborne Bikes? they made a downhill NEW for $1,750 bucks
  • 1 0
 Last I checked it wasn't best budget DH bike. And besides that airborne has a pretty bad spec if I remember correctly
  • 1 0
 It looks pretty close to the Transition tr500. But the Pathogen is only a frame.
  • 5 7
 No trek?
  • 5 0
 I know! When they reviewed the session carbon they said it was the best DH bike they've ever ridden. Now with 650b not even a mention.
  • 2 1
 dirt downhill bike of the year... but PB might not have ridden it yet
  • 1 3
 vote polygon dhx
  • 3 5
 Its gonna be the Demo
  • 1 4
 Demo just for being gorgeous. Rest look like scaffolding on wheels
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