Pinkbike Awards: Mountain Bike of the Year Nominees

Dec 13, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  


Mountain Bike of the Year Nominees


There was no shortage of new bikes this year, with over 50 reviews and first rides making their way onto the Pinkbike homepage over the last 12 months. There were a few notable trends, including the fact that the push for longer and slacker geometry is continuing, and numbers that once seemed insane are starting to hit the mainstream.

29ers continue to gain traction (no pun intended), and while they didn't completely dominate the DH World Cup scene like some expected they certainly made their mark. Don't worry, though, 27.5” bikes aren't going away any time soon, and several excellent options rolled out this season.

After plenty of heated arguments and name calling sessions we narrowed down our favorite bike of the year to the following five contenders. The nominees run the gamut from World Cup capable DH race rigs to do-it-all trail machines, a smorgasbord of 2018's top bikes.











Why it's nominated

If you took an Ibis Ripley, combined it with a Mojo, and then stretched things out a little bit, you'd get the Ripmo. It's a light and spirited 29er that can still handle plenty of punishing terrain, with 145mm of rear travel and a 160mm, reduced offset fork up front. Ibis managed to bake in their trademark liveliness into the Ripmo - this is the type of bike that encourages its rider to get airborne at every possible opportunity.

It may have debuted on the EWS circuit, but it's really more of an all-rounder than an outright race machine, with impeccable climbing performance that matches well with its descending capabilities. That balancing act is what placed the Ripmo on our list of nominees for Bike of the Year – there aren't many bikes out there that are as easy to ride up and down just about anything.


From the review:

bigquotesIbis embraced modern geometry trends with the Ripmo, and the result is a bike that remains composed no matter which way the trail is pointed. It's a well-rounded machine that still has that classic Ibis efficiency, but with extra stability and composure for the rough stuff. Mike Kazimer






Why it's nominated

After much internal debate, it was Yeti's SB130 that ended up earning the nomination, edging out its longer travel sibling, the SB150. Both bikes live up to the Super Bike moniker, but the SB130 excels in a wider range of terrain; the 150 needs some proper rowdiness to really come alive.

It's certainly not an inexpensive option, but that's not as much of a factor when it comes to choosing the Bike of the Year. Performance is the focus here, and the SB130 delivers a smooth, balanced, and efficient feel, and makes the most of those 130 millimeters of travel out on the trail. Yeti's new geometry is right on target, with a roomy front center that creates a stable ride while descending, and a steep seat tube angle for climbing comfort. Of course, the fact that it now holds a water bottle in the right place is a welcome improvement, but even if it didn't there's a good chance it would have still earned a nomination due to its excellent ride quality.

From the First Ride:

bigquotesDescending aboard the SB130 is a joy, and no matter the terrain, the bike has a planted and confident feel. It makes the most out of its 130mm of travel, and with the 150mm fork up front it's easily been able to handle any situation I've piloted it into so far. Daniel Sapp








Why it's nominated

A string of World Cup DH victories doesn't guarantee a Bike of the Year nomination, but the performance of Commencal's Supreme DH 29 under Amaury Pierron sure didn't hurt. The Frenchman racked up three victories aboard the aluminum rocketship, a testament to just how capable this chassis truly is.

The high-pivot suspension layout isn't a new design for Commencal, but for 2018 they added in a big-wheeled option, and increased the frame's reach. It's the Supreme's combination of stability and traction that elevate it above other current downhill bikes, delivering controlled comfort even at warp speed. There's also the fact that Commencal's consumer direct sales model allows them to offer the Supreme DH at a very reasonable price, making it an extra-appealing option for aspiring DH racers.


From the review:

bigquotesCharging into rough rock gardens and braking bumps is unreal - the Supreme was the first bike I have ever ridden that got easier to handle the harder I pushed it. It never even came close to flinching. Paul Aston









Why it's nominated

Santa Cruz gave the Bronson a full revision this year, changing the suspension layout in addition to making it a little longer and a little slacker. It still has 150mm of rear travel and 27.5” wheels, but those alterations created a bike that somehow manages to feel better in the rough stuff than the previous version, while still offering excellent climbing performance.

For riders looking for a bike that can be used for a big enduro race one weekend, and a long backcountry adventure the next, the Bronson is a worthy option. The fact that Santa Cruz didn't go too crazy with the geometry updates is part of what makes the Bronson so enjoyable – it feels just right, right out of the box.

From the First Ride:

bigquotesDoes the Bronson feel like a mini-Nomad? In a way, yes, although the word 'mini' might be underselling the capabilities of this bike. That 150mm of rear travel is incredibly supple and well controlled, which makes it feel almost bottomless in the really rough stuff. Mike Kazimer








Why it's nominated

That's right, another high pivot downhill bike made it onto the Bike of the Year nominees list, and for good reason. Norco's new Aurum HSP is a force to be reckoned with between the tape, capable of maintaining a blistering pace with ease. The suspension design allows it to glide through whatever nastiness lays on the trail without losing speed, and it feels right at home in steep, rough terrain.

Norco earn extra credit points for giving the Aurum HSP different rear center lengths and tubing stiffnesses for each size, a feature other manufacturers would do well to adopt. It was the 29” version that won us over, but there is also a 27.5” option for those who prefer the smaller wheel size. Overall, it's a highly adjustable race bike that can be fine-tuned to exactly suit a rider's preferences, and one of the best out there for DH riders with a need for speed.

From the review:

bigquotesNorco have done a stunning job on the HSP, the finish is superb and everything has been considered down the final details. It's a premium product, at a premium price, with premium performance. Paul Aston





Remember, there can only be one winner of the Pinkbike Mountain Bike of the Year award. Last year it was the Trek Slash - any guesses as to who will take home the prize this year? The victor will be revealed next week, but until then let the debating begin.










216 Comments

  • + 61
 Cue the “I think my bike should win because it’s mine” comments, but the SB130 is fun as hell. The Ripmo similarly gets raves from every single owner I’ve talked to. So it seems like they did a great job nominating this year.
  • + 5
 To me SB130 is the most exciting of all beefed up Down Country bikes aka Up Duros. I love all new Yetis. Fanboi AF. I think I lost all feelings for Specialized...
  • + 9
 The SB130 is the best trail bike i've ridden, hands down. As an Ibis and a Yeti fan, I have to give the nod to the switch infinity although the DW Link is close. Yeti nailed it with the 130, it's the bike everyone has been waiting for. It's like they perfected the all-rounder.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: like I said I’ve got my own biases-not a hardcore fanboi but definitely a bit of emotion since Yeti was big back when I first got into mountain biking, but yeah—couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Ride, fit and finish of the frame, hell-even the cable and hose routing. It just rocks.
  • + 1
 @gooutsidetoday: agreed. It absolutely rips. Built mine with a MRP Ribbon to keep it Colorado too. Very pleased.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 13, 2018 at 8:27) (Below Threshold)
 @DrPete: No worries, at the same time I can barely afford Stumpy evo...
  • + 2
 Got a test ride on SB130 recently, OMG!!! No words to describe, plus the look of it - dream bike for sure IMO. Good job Yeti.
  • + 2
 I like the SB 130, and if I were to buy one of the Yetis, I would probably go with this one over the 150. That said, I think the 150 pushes the boundaries a little more in terms of geometry and travel, so that would make it a little more of a contender in my head for Bike of the Year. I also think in the spirit of innovation and pushing the boundaries, the Stumpjumper EVO should be in there. Also, I like the Pivot Firebird 29er -- that's another one in the category of the SB 150, though maybe not as extreme.
  • + 10
 Cue the “cue the ‘I think my bike should win because it’s mine’ comments” comments from those that already ride one of the ranked bikes. Wink
  • + 10
 Ripmo regressive leverage rate is a joke.
  • + 7
 Six weeks in and I'm a big fan of my Ripmo. It straddles that Enduro/Trail line quite well and it really shines in our terrain in Oz.
  • - 3
 @garrettstories: Garrett just imagine how fast you'd be on a Yeti. If you ride the b40 on Saturday just remember that you'd be faster on Sean's 130
  • + 6
 I rode a couple of these and the Norco is by far my favourite
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Up duro is so much cooler than down country.
  • + 4
 I'm no longtime fanboy, but Yeti really figured it out with the 130. I was always a hater, but I bought a frame after I rode the 130. It is the perfect bike (for me). With a 160mm fork, I don't feel any less confident hitting big stuff than I did on a sb150, RIP9 RDO, or a few other bigger bikes I demo'd. The geo is just so spot on, you really can ride anything on it if you have a decent skill set to do so.

The Ripmo I demo'd was pretty damn good too.....you can't loose right now!
  • + 4
 @gooutsidetoday:

What about that rear flex?
  • + 4
 @sarah-maude: I can't really say I've noticed anything adverse or good regarding flex. I'm a heavier rider, and I'm not Sam Hill but I'm not the slowest guy in the pack, and if Im not noticing flex, then I doubt 99% of others will.
  • + 2
 @sospeedy: Insertion queue. I only ride quips
  • + 0
 @sarah-maude: Thats a "feature"!
  • + 1
 @gooutsidetoday: sounds like we’re pretty similar. I was also nervous about the flex thing but haven’t been able to bring it out in any apparent way. Maybe an on the fly rear triangle change? Who knows.
  • + 1
 @jclnv:

That is interesting and merits a discussion. Firmer in the beginning of the stroke and softer at the end. Needs a shock that's soft off the top and a bunch of spacers to help with ramp up at the end. Not sure how Lopes is running a coil on his. Tons of HSC packed into that shock for sure. I still liked the bike though and think it rips. I did like the sb130 more tho. The dentists just don't know how good they have it!
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: I can’t get any of my dentist friends to ride. Unlike on the MD side the private practice model is still the norm and any down time for a riding-related injury can be a killer. Those guys work too hard to be out riding bikes with us slackers. Haha.
  • + 1
 what does one do if their bike isnt on the list? Any love for Trannys? Frown
  • + 1
 Sb130 is awesome...but I don’t think it’s as sturdy as say a new pivot 429. My sb130 has gotten a bit creaky and needs tending...trail429 keeps rolling strong.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: please elaborate
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: To be fair, the SB130 is pretty rad. Even for dentists.
  • + 1
 @Shralpophiliac: The latter 75mm of travel is regressive. How people ride them is beyond me. Would love to see what the EWS guys have to do with shock volume/compression damping.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: I can’t imagine a company like Ibis would build that in without a reason. Is there some advantage that it’s supposed to have?
  • + 2
 @DrPete: I wouldn't use the word "advantage", but I'd assume they would suggest that floppy, regressive end end stroke would work well with most air shocks since they're naturally progressive. Either that or to let enduro-bro check the "hai guys, I got full travel!" box.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: Kazimer's solution is straightforward: '19 X2 w/ three volume spacers. www.pinkbike.com/news/review-ibis-ripmo.html. Joke must be elsewhere, or conspiracy that makes Ripmo a nominee.
  • - 1
 @DrPete: Maybe to offset the bushing friction?

Smile
  • - 1
 @ceecee: Mike is 160lbs. If you're 180+ I think you might run into issues. Spring rate would definitely be getting up there.

Anyway the bottom line is there's better kinematics out there that have more mechanical advantage and subsequently don't require higher spring rates and the static friction that goes along with it.
  • + 1
 it might be an awesome machine, but for what they charge for it its almost completetly out of most mountain bikers reach,
  • + 2
 If the SB130 is better than my SB5.5, then it’s a clear winner
  • + 2
 @ibiscycles is it accurate that the end stroke is regressive?
  • + 4
 @gooutsidetoday: I just rode both of the new Yeti SBs and I didn’t notice flex anywhere on either bike. The 150 needs really chunky terrain before it wakes up. Too much bike for most trails. The 130 is amazingly capable in the right hands. Probably the best 9er I have ever ridden.
  • + 3
 @Bikethrasher: I think people are hearing about this "engineered compliance" in the rear triangle and taking it and running with it as most internet trolls do.
  • + 1
 @Dnik: It's 90% skill set (rider) and 10% bike! Watch Nate Hills and others on the "short travel" bikes. They do stuff that we "wannabes" can only dream of......because of rider skill.
  • + 1
 @gooutsidetoday: You’re probably right. I haven’t ridden a bike in a long time that was flexy. Definitely not one in the last five years.
  • + 2
 @Bikethrasher: The only bikes that I rode that were awfully flexy were SC Bullit, older Oranges and all Commencal Metas V1 Like Meta 4X, Meta 5 or Meta 6. Other than that it's usually fine. Funny enough I owned a skinny light Blur TRc at 2.2kg (w/o shock) and didn't find it flexy at all so I put those first world worries about flex of modern Yetis into the same bag as whether Lyrik is stiffer than 36. It's pure horse shit. Oh I can actually load a corner or land sideways from a bigger jump so I can say a thing or two about "needing stiffness".
  • + 41
 Norco outdid themselves with the details of the aurum. Can’t think of another frame with as much design input through the range of sizes and even within a size. Doesn’t hurt having those lines. Work of art
  • + 17
 +1000
  • + 13
 Yea but its not just pretty, it rides good too
  • + 3
 And its a Downhill bike, something those other bikes dont have except the Supreme. Top two right there. But the Supreme had more wins this year.
  • + 14
 @Boardlife69: Yea but they also had a better team. Look how much Sam Blenkinsop improved once he got it.
  • + 5
 Both are great bikes (Supreme and Aurum) but I really like the details on Norco. In my opinion Norco Aurum should get the first place. Great piece of engineering. The price is high but you get one of the best bikes out there.
  • + 6
 I hope they win and do a big ad campaign on it, and maybe a big team signing while keeping Blenki. I don’t think a lot of people know that their frame can be made to fit any riders dimensions with the adjustable headset cups and differing rear centres . I usually run a medium but I’d get a small Aurum for the short rear Center and put the headset cups in the long setting, to accommodate my long torso short legs. Lots of SO on their bikes too. Not many frames if any have done this so well. Price gives me pause but it’s still hard to say you don’t get what you pay for
  • + 41
 Really had my fingers crossed for Redalp this year but yet again I've been disappointed.
  • + 5
 the only thing more disappointing than not seeing the Redalp is seeing the Cool Run CR-1
www.pinkbike.com/photo/16516871
  • + 3
 May Gwin following the money will end on this swiss beauty?
  • + 1
 It's ok, the Red Alp has been nominated in a different category - best thing in overall awesomeness
  • + 36
 IMO the new Yeti frames are ugly, look like they are designed around a water bottle. They aren't stiff and they weigh too much because of switch infinity. Price is high and made in Vietnam with no justification in terms of construction quality or features for the high price paid. Lots of issues with tire rub and other things detailed on mtbr. How is this a contender?
  • + 11
 Enduro bikes without enough space for capable tires.
  • + 7
 so true...underrated comment. But they have a nice ride quality... I personally would love to have the sb100 if I could get a good deal...but you just know that theyre putting such a premium without that much backup from the the actual bikes' overall ride
  • + 8
 designed around a water bottle.. this is the future pinkbike commenters want
  • + 2
 The seat tube also looks like it has a severe spinal deformity. The Marin Attack Trail is the only bike I've seen with an uglier seat tube.
  • + 29
 if the Remedy was favored over the Bronson in the Field Tests, how is the latter here and the former not? Does not make sense...
  • + 15
 I agree with that... I also thought the remedy was the most negatively reviewed bike during the field test I was surprised it won in the first place
  • + 3
 I was wondering the same thing.
  • + 15
 There's no direct correlation between the Field Tests and the Pinkbike Awards. A strong performance in the Field Test certainly doesn't hurt, but it doesn't guarantee a nomination either. All of Pinkbike's tech editors, not just the three that picked their favorites on screen for the Field Test, have a voice in the nomination process.
  • + 1
 Along these lines, I found it odd they included 3 "all-rounder" bikes and 2 full-on DH race machines. Perhaps there's not enough DH bikes to make a separate category, but I'd suggest the "HSP DH Bike of the year award" with the new GT Fury, Aurum, and the Supreme. Maybe throw in a Balfa for poops and giggles Smile
  • + 1
 I found that interesting, too. It's almost like the side-by-side format of the field test is necessary to make riders consider Trek, because otherwise they'll immediately go to what their mind wants them to like: the "cooler" brands.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer: there should be direct correlation between what you say in one article to the next. It'd show continuity and solid opinions, otherwise you seem to be all over the place, recommending the Remedy there over the Bronson, and the Bronson here with no mention of the Remedy. The lack of direct correlation shows your reviews aren't very trustworthy.
  • + 1
 I initially had the same reaction and was a little confused myself. My guess is that while @mikelevy and @danielsapp may have favored the Remedy among that particular set of bikes, it was not the ideal bike overall this year for either of them and wouldn't nominate it as BOTY. On the other hand, @mikekazimer has been consistently impressed with the SC, as reflected in the first ride impressions and the field test so I'm guessing it made his short list. Either way, I think the head-to-head comparisons are a great new review format.
  • + 3
 I would argue bikes can only really be better of worse depending on your criteria. The Field test is taking a bunch of bikes and saying okay which of these is the best trail bike (fulfills X, Y, Z criteria we want out of a trail bike). For those criteria the Remedy came out on top - but you would probably rather ride the Bronson on a downhill track or Enduro race. If you prefer a bike that sits deeper in it's travel you would probably get on with the Bronson better. I think the field test conveyed really accurately that the Bronson is a damn good bike (they actually couldn't really fault it) but they just preferred the Remedy for trail riding.
  • + 27
 It HAS to be the Commencal. I don’t even need to explain this one.
  • + 3
 Some people will need you to explain. Not me of course but others will need it.
  • + 3
 @RussellTinka @iqbal-achieve yeah obviously! No need to explain it to me. But maybe you should explain it for others, that are totally not me. Just in case, you know. Not that I care. Whatevs.
  • + 9
 Yeah but the Norco is better
  • + 9
 Attention to detail on the Aurum puts it ahead in my mind. Size specific geometry and layup, incredible tuneability (and a great setup guide), etc.
  • + 6
 Looks like the Norco if it was made from lower end materials
  • + 4
 @theredbike: the Norco is a copy cat with some gimmicks attached. I’m not saying it’s better or worse but the Commencal came first and has helped catapult fresh talent to the top of the game. It is the epitome of a modern DH race bike and everyone else is playing catch up/ following suit.
  • - 8
flag iqbal-achieve (Dec 13, 2018 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 @salmonbike: anyone else’s ally bike is higher end than Norco’s wank carbon.
  • - 5
flag iqbal-achieve (Dec 13, 2018 at 9:57) (Below Threshold)
 @RussellTinka: I get it now, you meant the Canadians, right? lol
  • + 6
 @iqbal-achieve: commencal might have got to market first, but the word is Norco had been developing the Aurum for YEARS. The longest development process of any bike they've made. I don't think there's any question of copying designs here.
  • + 6
 @iqbal-achieve: I think you'll find a few companies before Commencal came first. Balfa for one.

So a 2019 Trek Session is playing catch up to a 2001 kona stinky???

The commencal is undoubtedly a rad bike, but the Norco is just a better all round product!
  • - 7
flag iqbal-achieve (Dec 13, 2018 at 11:36) (Below Threshold)
 @dkidd: under development for “YEARS” you mean like all other bikes ever made? Or is caps better years or something? All they did was put the rear end off a Commencal on the back of their current Aurum, how’d it take so long?

@ali-chapple: shrug. If you wanna go historic I guess but I think you know that wasn’t my point. I was discussing which one got here first, the Norco or the one that isn’t Canadian.
The Commencal maybe isn’t made out of carbon like a road bike or have more gimmicks than a Transition but it’s an unapologetic DH race bike that has only one goal and that is to win all the things, something it seems to be helping it’s riders do quite well.
  • + 4
 @iqbal-achieve: you're coming across awful chapped here, sorry. Didn't mean to rustle any jimmies. The point was that production timelines make it very unlikely that any copying happened. Hate to speculate here, but your appraisal of the frame design indicates that you might not be as informed about the subject as your bold stance suggests.
  • + 0
 @dkidd: lol ironically I was just trying to ‘rustle jimmies’ since you guys seemed so fond of the Norco.
PS my post about the wank carbon was actually my frustration at myself having accidentally deleted my post twice. Dumbass. My apologies everyone I’ll go away now and sob while I try and come to terms with the Norco being a better all round bike.
  • + 2
 Canfield Brothers has had this suspension design for years along with may others. Now all of a sudden Commencal is revolutionary? I'm sure top racing results are giving the company more exposure, but I'd say Yeti or Ibis are the winners for this category.
  • + 1
 @digitalsoul: who said it was revolutionary? *goes to check it wasn’t me*
That’s a lie I’m way too lazy to scroll up. It hurts my thumb.
  • + 1
 @iqbal-achieve: thumbs must be tired from typing all that, eh?
  • + 1
 @dkidd: you know it sir. It’s a hard life
  • + 1
 @digitalsoul: if Canfield had a Jedi 29, I would take that any day over the Commencal 29. I might pick the commencal for next year, but only because the HSP1 is $10,000.
  • + 1
 Hard to argue with the Commencals' palmares, especially under multiple riders. As for the Norco... who knows.
  • + 20
 I'd agree that it's likely between the Yeti and the RIPMO, but I think the RIPMO has the edge. The lower seat tube height allows you to run a MUCH longer dropper post, and that is really transformational on bikes like these. For those that haven't tried it, a 185mm dropper really changes what you can do vs. a 125 or even a 150.

Add in a threaded BB (the Yeti has a pressfit design) and more suspension travel (with a lighter frame weight) and you end up with a bike that is more capable, lighter, and less expensive. I'd say the RIPMO is the winner here.
  • + 1
 Agree on the BB issue. I have a 5.5 where it died after 9 months of use. Less than a hundred dollars to fix, but definitely annoying to have a failure so soon.
  • + 4
 threaded BB always wins
  • + 1
 The press fit BB was a downer when I decided on the SB130–thankfully no creaking so far—but as far as droppers go I’m running a 185 Revive with room to spare. I am pretty tall, though. It would definitely be tough to get a 185 in there for shorter legs.
  • + 4
 I was between the SB130 and the ripmo and I went with the ripmo because threaded BB and bushings. Yes, I consider bushings a feature, not a glitch. I prefer less maintenance over a slight performance advantage all day long.
  • + 18
 HSP FTW.
  • + 8
 Norco bicycles number 1
  • + 15
 That new Aurum makes me wet...
  • + 5
 Right! Obviously the best
  • + 9
 The Commencal should probably just be disqualified since the logo on the front e*thirteen rim and tire aren't lined up. Pretty sad to lose on a technicality...
  • + 4
 I love my Ripmo. PB often complains about the price of high end bikes, but we seem to overlook some of the lower end builds. Part of the reason I ended up on a Ripmo is that the cheapest build doesn't suck. The NX build is ready to go out of the box for about $4k, and, unlike some other companies, it comes with solid suspension (DPX2 and Performance 36) and wheels (Ibis' house brand). SB130 looks pretty great too, but the $1k price difference between a GX SB130 and an NX Ripmo is too much for me.
  • + 1
 I got a Yeti SB6 a couple years ago with GX and fox performance suspension for 3.5k. Just gotta find those internet deals.
  • + 7
 I haven't tried any of the nominees, but watching Jeff Kendall-Weed bounce around on the Ripmo all year gives it my spectator vote and makes me drool for one.
  • + 1
 @joregon: Or slightly used. Friend just picked up a minty Slash 9.9 for 3k
  • + 1
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus: he does make a persuasive argument.
  • + 7
 Why didn't the Guerrilla Gravity Smash get a mention? The review of it here was glowing.
  • + 2
 Yes but it's not in another league like say the supreme DH. That bike really is. Everyone who rode it went faster. Myself went slower on the smash than other bikes I demoed over the summer
  • + 5
 Any and all butthurt Pinkbike readers, please fill out the form below:
I can't believe the (*insert adjective) editors didn't nominate (*insert bike). What a (*insert exclaimation)!
  • + 26
 I can't believe the highly regarded editors didn't nominate any turds. What a pleasant surprise!
  • + 3
 I can't believe the pimply, crab louse-nfested editors didn't nominate any sick-ass YT bike! What a never-ending deep-state conspiracy!!
  • + 1
 @wowbagger: Well done, my friend. A+
  • + 6
 I can't believe that pinkbike thinks these other bikes could compete with that Norco
  • + 0
 @salmonbike: I can't belived that the admittedly rather knowledgable editors did nominate the Bronson, even though Mike Levy, the legend himself, completely dissed it on Pinkbike's very own field test. What a strange nomination! Good bike, ya. BOTY? Na, Holmes.
  • + 1
 I thought the Scott Ransom might make it in here.
  • + 3
 What's with the neg props for Commencal Supreme votes? The Supreme completely killed it this year. It's a single pivot, alloy bike in a world of plastic, and yet Pierron and Thibaut both took the overall, Nicole had a strong showing, Reece Wilson got his first podium (a privateer), and even Ravanel got in on the DH action. Obviously Commencal has a very strong team, but there must be a little bit of magic in the bike too.
  • + 5
 Which one will win you ask? well clearly it's the Bronson... and why you ask? Well it's clear.... because i just ordered one for a custom build!! merry Xmas to me!!
  • + 1
 Congrats man. Haven’t ridden the new one but the older generations have been rad. Pretty safe bet. Smile
  • + 4
 I'd have the norco everytime, my best mate rides one and it's a dream to ride.
That said, I'm not sure why we're comparing dh rigs with am rigs here?, so my decision would depend purely on its application
  • + 2
 Watching that Commencal win weekend after weekend really speaks volumes. None of the other bikes even come close in racing success. Now, whether or not wins should be the sole adjudicator of BOTY is a valid question, but if this were "fastest," "most successful" or "winningest" BOTY - Commencal - no competition. But there are just so many ways to judge a bike... maybe "most popular" or "most groundbreaking" should be the criteria? If former, Bronson. If latter, Norco. But the discussion is fun... personally, I'd choose Pole Machine.
  • + 4
 All of the top 3 are pretty stinking good bikes. My vote would be the Commencal, but I would probably choose the Yeti if I was going to own one.
  • + 2
 Read somewhere: "there are bikes that climb excellently and descend well and others that descend brilliantly and climb well. And then there are bikes that are extremely agile, and others that are stable and composed. The best trail bikes master the art of perfectly uniting supposedly opposing characteristics, that are not only fun on flowing sections or on narrow technical trails but shine on rough terrain too. The bike that manages this balancing act is the Ibis Ripmo. On top of that, it impressed us with ingenious features such as the fully insertable 175 mm dropper seat post, excellent finish and the superb performance of the DW-Link rear end"
  • + 2
 Kinda surprised to not see the Fury here, at least nominated. Pretty remarkable what that bike accomplished under Marty Maes. Now, before I get downvoted to pieces I do realize that Maes is a big freak of nature and quite the anomaly. But, you really can tell how much better that bike is vs the last version. It’ll be neat to see Maes and a healthy Brannagan ripping this year.
  • + 3
 I have the '19 Bronson therefore it must win :-) be seriously it's such a rad bike ... got it before the Yeti's changed things up.
  • + 3
 ML sure enjoyed the Foxy 29, while we are talking about cost is no object bikes, where does this machine fit in ya'lls annual rankings?
Thanks
  • + 3
 Norco wins as well with the detailed set up guide on their website. No other brand has offered this to date. Fastest and most fun bike I have ever ridden
  • + 1
 You need an award for custom build of the year. We've had some SICK bikes this year. Rheeder's White Crankworx bike. Many of the world DH bikes. Bryn Atkinson's snake bike. Loam Wolf's new Trek Remedy. ETc. That needs to be an award on it's own as any of those would beat these for bike of the year. LOL!
  • + 6
 Norco 100%
  • + 2
 I felt half stupid when I ordered a Supreme SX before there were any reviews but ever since it arrived I have doubted my decision 0 times, high pivot design is, well its supreme i guess. Well done Commencal, and thank you!
  • + 1
 Are you still able to have fun on jump lines at the park? That's my worry about a big wheeled dh rig
  • + 1
 @freeridejerk888:
the supreme SX is 27,5” so its not the bike in the text (but the frame is pretty much the same) so cant really answer your question sorry
  • + 1
 I guess DH sleds go up well enough and really shine when pointed down . This makes them inline with a standard mountain bike review, which i would assume is how they got thrown into said category.
  • + 2
 I love Commencal, but that Norco is stunning! Since I'm not in the market for any of these bikes I am voting based on looks alone. Give it to the Norco!
  • + 1
 Guess this spoils the "who is the favorite in the Field Test trail bike category?" Kind of makes waiting for the final two reviews and round up less exciting when they just revealed the Yeti is their favorite.
  • + 4
 Where's the Sentinel !!????
  • + 1
 THE BRONSON ! This bike can do anything you want it to do. It climbs like a lesser travel bike and descends as good as any bike other than DH bikes. It should be called the Swiss Army knife of bikes.
  • + 4
 Commencal! Commencal! ( read in football chant...)
  • + 0
 First question is do i vote for a DH Bike or an enduro bike...For the enduro i only tried the bronson in south of France and i had a nice time with it. For a DH Bike well, i spoke with some guys riding the commencal, and they said it's just a weapon,full speed and really stable...
  • + 1
 These selections are 100% on the $$$$$$
RESPECT to the reverse now all I have to do is rob a few banks.

Damb I wanti wanti cyan getti getti
  • + 3
 Love my ripmo. Best all around bike to date!
  • + 2
 It took me almost 2 months to get really comfortable on my Ripmo, but once I did... Holy cow! 100% best bike ever.
  • + 2
 I think that M.Kazimer is a little modest about the Ripmo! This bike makes you laugh like a child at the end of the trail.
  • + 1
 Norco Aurum HSP for sure, this beast is so much fun to ride and it just trucks over everything! Can't wait to ride the 29" version next year!
  • + 1
 These seem like great bikes, but that's it? No Evil Offering? Not even a review? You guys have to broaden your range of bike reviews before I take this seriously.
  • + 1
 SB130 is the winner for sure. On top of performance Yeti frames and paint are gorgeous! No kudos for coming with clear frame protection?
  • + 2
 The ripmo was the first thing that came to mind even before I opened the article. It was ment to be!
  • + 2
 If the Ripmo is half as good as reviews claim, it's the one. Climbs well, descends well, fun to ride-yes please!!
  • + 1
 To me it can only be the Supreme. It is a stunningly beauty and fast as hell.
  • + 2
 I love my ripmo. The perfect long legged trail bike for me.
  • + 1
 It’d be nice to see some smaller brands that are doing some really innovative and exciting work: Pole Machine, Zerode...
  • + 1
 No Evil's again! The god father of modern geo, especially for 29'ners. Show me the $$$$
  • + 1
 Their only new bike this year was the Offering, and I haven’t seen it reviewed on here. It did come out later in the year too. Everyone who has one seems to think it’s a pretty rad bike in the same class as Ripmo and SB130.
  • + 1
 Godfather of modern geo? Shirley, you must be joking.
  • + 1
 Why even stick a 27.5 when clearly you’ve already decided was a 29er year!
  • + 3
 Definitely the Ripmo
  • + 2
 Between Ripmo and SB130 it seems like the big difference is whether you have a bigger soft spot for Yeti or Ibis. Smile
  • + 2
 Wait... Didn't you sell your Ripmo for a Fezzari? Hm.....
  • + 2
 No Fury? Bahh humbug
  • + 2
 Ripmo
  • + 1
 I’m looking forward to the sb130 review
  • + 2
 commencal. 100%
  • + 5
 Have you ridden the norco? Way better
  • + 2
 @theredbike: and which bike won 2 overall titles this year? Plus, neither Pierron or the junior kid had ever won a race before this year.
  • + 1
 I’m leaning towards the Norco HSP. They did a great job designing it
  • + 2
 Kona operator!
  • + 1
 no Party in the Woods ? Frown
  • + 1
 where is scott ransom/ genius with fox live valve ?
  • + 1
 No XC bikes make the cut?
  • + 0
 Where is the bike that has the shock penetrating the seat tube shaft. That, is the ticket.
  • + 2
 Ripmo!
  • + 2
 Knolly Fugitive
  • + 1
 So neither of the fastest bikes in the world on that list ????
  • + 1
 Supreme. Supreme. Supreme. Supreme. Supreme. Every One Shut Up Supreme
  • + 2
 Knolly Fugitive
  • + 1
 Finally! An award that people actually give a damn about!
  • + 1
 and the winner is..... Pole Stamina!
  • + 1
 I don't know if it will win or not, but that Commencal sure looks hot.
  • + 1
 Is the evil shutout now in its tenth year? Consistency is key
  • + 2
 Its been discussed before, but PB can only review what they are sent to review. They cant magic up a bike. For whatever reason they dont get bikes from Evil or im sure they would. There might be background to why they dont get sent bikes but I have no info on that.
  • + 0
 I love my Insurgent, but looking at the bikes that are eligible you basically have the Offering and a couple very minor updates to Insurgent and wreckoning. My guess is that either Evil didn’t send an Offering for review or it was just released too late in the year.
  • + 1
 BRONSON.
  • - 1
 My vote is for the yeti for turning up the geometry to 11 on a 130mm travel 29er! I want one!
  • - 2
 It was a splurge, but work has been good to me and after growing up watching team Yeti back in the 90s I finally got my own turquoise beast. Holy hell, is it fun.
  • + 1
 Ripmo fo sho!!!
  • + 0
 Tough competition this year, lucky for the riders.
  • + 1
 No XC bikes?
  • + 1
 Enduro or Gravel. Whatelse??...
  • + 1
 Bronson FTW
  • - 2
 Everyone I know with a Yeti complains switch infinity although great never lasts long. It gets scratches easily and parts don’t last.
  • + 1
 Clearly the commencal
  • - 1
 Funny to see the Bronson after it was pretty much disregarded in the recent test.
  • + 1
 Disregarded!? It had a great review...!?!

“the Bronson's numbers make it enjoyable on much more than just the steepest trails. It's certainly capable of holding its own in an enduro race, but it's also just as useable as a trail bike with plenty of travel for the technical stuff. When it comes to cornering performance, the Bronson's low center of gravity makes it feel extremely stable and planted, and testers were unanimous in their praise about the grey machine's tenacity in the turns.”
  • - 1
 I would drop the Yeti and SC from the list and replace the with the Scott Genious and Knolly Fugitive.
  • + 0
 Having ridden two of these bikes, serials? These are the BOTY choices?
  • + 0
 The Yeti will win!
  • + 0
 i love the Bronson!!!
  • - 2
 Should probably be the Stumpy Evo but the SB130 is the best of that bunch by far.
  • + 2
 not a fan at all of the new Stumpy, to tell you the truth. To be fair, I only demoed it, but I was not impressed.
  • - 2
 @JakinM: EVO? If your not impressed with that bike, you must live in Florida or something.
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