Ridden and Rated: 7 Long-Travel 29ers

Nov 7, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Ridden and Rated


29ers have undergone a dramatic transformation over the last few years, and there's now a bumper crop of extremely capable options on the market from nearly every manufacturer. Components have caught up as well, and stiff wheels, wide tires, and long-travel forks are now readily available.

It can be overwhelming trying to sort through all of the options, which is why we've assembled this round-up of worthwhile contenders. All of the included bikes are designed for all-mountain / enduro riding, and they all have at least 140mm of travel. Of course, these aren't the only options out there, but they're all bikes that we've spent extensive time on over the last year or so, and are a good representation of what's currently on the market.








The Sentinel is Transition's first long-travel 29er, and the Bellingham, Washington, based company didn't hold back when coming up with the numbers for this beast. It may only have 140mm of rear travel, but don't be fooled – the Sentinel is designed with a very strong emphasis on descending.

Transition revamped their geometry this year, and in addition to giving the Sentinel a slack, 64-degree head angle, they also spec'd it with a reduced offset fork. The bike handles just fine with a 'regular' offset fork, but with the reduced offset it gains even more stability and front wheel traction. Let the Sentinel loose on steep, rough terrain and it comes alive, with no discernible upper speed limit, and loads of grip.

Transition Sentinel Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 140mm rear / 160mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• Aluminum frame
• 64° head angle
• 435mm chainstays
• Boost spacing front and rear
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 32 pounds (size L)
• Price: $4,999 USD
www.transitionbikes.com

It's not the lightest option out there, especially compared to some of the high-end carbon bikes in this category, and it's not the bike to pick if you're looking for a lively all-rounder. On the flip side, for riders looking for something that can take on burly downhill runs, won't hold you back in the bike park, and can still be comfortably pedaled to the top of any climb, put the Sentinel on your short list.

Transition Sentinel full review




• Progressive geometry
• One of the best descending 29ers around
• Holds a water bottle



• Not the lightest option
• 2.3” tires are on the narrow side given the bike's capabilities
• Chainslap protector is a little short










Whyte is still a relative newcomer in the North American market, but if the British brand keeps cranking out bikes like the S-150C they shouldn't have any trouble attracting loyal fans. As the name implies, the S-150 has 150mm travel, with a carbon front triangle and an alloy swingarm (there's also a full-aluminum version available).

The overall frame design of the S-150 isn't a radical departure from what's already out there, but the geometry is decidedly new school, with a generous reach, and a reduced offset fork to go along with the 65.6-degree head angle. As RC wrote in his review, “Whyte's delve into the relationship of fork offset and head angles pay dividends at any speed and in all situations when riding the S-150. The handlebar feels weighted just enough to feel connected with the bike, and it clearly communicates where the front wheel is and what the tire's contact patch is doing.”

Whyte S-150

• Use: trail/all-mountain
• Chassis: carbon front section/aluminum 150mm four-bar suspension. Internal cable routing. Boost axle spacing
• Wheel size: 29" standard, 27.5"+ compatible
• Fork: RockShox Pike RC, 150mm stroke, custom 42mm offset
• Sizes: medium (reviewed), large, X-large
• Weight: 29.14 pounds/13.25 kg (medium)
• MSRP: $4,799
• Contact: Whyte USA, Whyte UK


Despite the long and slack geometry, the S150 isn't a one-trick downhill pony – it's a comfortable climber and remains enjoyable even on mellower terrain.


Whyte S-150 full review




• Modern geometry creates excellent handling
• Good value considering price vs performance



• Guide R brakes aren't the best
• 760mm bars may be too narrow for some riders
• CrossMark rear tire isn't the ideal choice












Before the Hightower LT even officially existed, riders of the original Hightower were coming up with ways to eke a little extra rear travel out of their bikes. Santa Cruz recognized the demand for a longer travel Hightower, and the LT version was born, with 150mm of rear travel paired with a 150mm fork up front. It's not a radical departure from the OG Hightower – it's the shock link and rear swing arm that differentiate the two - and it handles very similarly to the original, but that extra cushion helps take the edge off of bigger hits and makes it easier to open it up a little more on rough terrain.

The Hightower LT's pedaling performance is excellent, making it an ideal choice for riders looking for an all-rounder, a bike that can handle just about any type of terrain, with a very natural, balanced feel that should suit a wide range of riding styles. However, it does ride a little more like a long-limbed trail bike than a full-blown enduro race rig; if EWS domination is in your game plan, there are stiffer and slacker bikes out there that would be better picks. There's also the fact that the seat angle is on the slacker side of the spectrum – taller riders may find themselves sitting further over that rear wheel than they'd like.

Santa Cruz Hightower LT Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 150mm
• 66.4º head angle
• Full carbon frame, C or CC options
• Boost hub spacing
• Size: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• MSRP: $3,949 - $9,249 USD (shown)
• Weight: 29 lb / 13.15kg (size large)
www.santacruzbicycles.com




• Excellent pedaling characteristics
• Versatile, well-rounded performer



• Seat angle could be steeper
• Feels more like a long-travel trail bike










The new Slash is a purebred enduro race machine, with a stiff carbon frame, 150mm of travel, and a slack 65-degree head angle when it's set up with a 160mm fork. This isn't a bike for timid riders, or for cruising on mellow terrain, but for aggressive riders who aren't afraid to let off the brakes, the Slash delivers a wicked good time.

There's plenty of tire clearance, which is good news for riders interested in experimenting with the 2.5” and 2.6” options that have been popping up recently, and there's also plenty of room to fit a full-size water bottle inside the front triangle. For taller riders, the Slash's seat angle may be too slack, and fans of bar spins are out of luck – Trek's Knock Block frame design prevents the bars from spinning all the way around.

Trek Slash Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro race
• Rear wheel travel: 150mm
• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon fiber frame
• BB92 bottom bracket
• Sizes: 15.5, 17.5, 19.5, 21.5
• Weight (size 19.5): 29.75 lb (13.49 kg)
• MSRP: $8,000 USD / $3,700 frame only
www.trekbikes.com

For 2018 the Slash comes spec'd with a shock that employs Trek's new ThruShaft design, which they claim creates a more responsive ride. We have one on the way to see if those claims hold true, but otherwise the geometry remains the same, and the Slash will continue on as one of the best big mountain brawlers out there.


Trek Slash full review




• Stiff frame
• Unflinching at speed – excellent race bike



• Seat angle may be too slack for taller riders
• Expensive as frame only
• Bontrager dropper post









The Enduro 29 deserves a good portion of the credit for ushering in the age of the long-travel 29er when it debuted back in 2013, showing that big wheel weren't just for cross-country bikes. The Enduro received a geometry revision for 2017, which entailed steepening the seat angle, slackening the head tube angle, and lengthening the chainstays a touch. For 2017 those figures have been tweaked again, and the upcoming model has a longer reach (462mm for a size large), along with the ability to chose between a 66 or 65.5-degree head angle.

The Enduro has the most rear travel out of any of the bikes mentioned here, but, remarkably, it's more of an all-rounder than a pedal-able DH bike. It's not as bob-free as the Hightower, but it's still a calm climber, and there's plenty of traction for keeping the rear wheel stuck to the ground on more technical ascents. When it does come time to descend, that 165mm of travel delivers a grin-inducing good time, and a very plush ride.

Specialized Enduro 29 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 165mm
• 29" wheels
• Full carbon frame
• 66° head angle
• 432mm chainstays
• 12 x 148mm rear spacing
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight (size L): 29.5lb (13.4 kg)
• Colors: Graphite / Black, Hyper / Red
• Price: $8,500 USD / $3,500 frame only
www.specialized.com



• Very manageable, especially for a 165mm 29er
• SWAT box provides room to carry snacks without a pack



• High BB on 2017 model, updated for 2018
• Short dropper post length – new WU dropper may help with this








If you were to go purely off the Yeti SB5.5's geometry numbers, it'd be easy to categorize it as a trail bike. After all, the 66.5-degree head angle isn't super slack, the 445mm reach for a size large isn't super long, and with 140mm of rear travel, the trail bike designation seems entirely appropriate. That is, until you let this wolf in sheep's clothing out onto the trails. The speed that it can carry is uncanny, and every test rider that swung a leg over the blue machine walked away impressed with just how fast and composed it felt.

It may not be the snappiest climber around, but the SB5.5 will still scramble up pretty much anything without much fuss, aided in part by its impressively low weight. The version we reviewed was spec'd with a Flock Float X shock, while the current model now has a Fox Float DPX2, which should only improve on an already excellent ride. The biggest downside is the location of the sole water bottle mount – it's directly in the line of fire on the underside of the downtube.

Yeti SB5.5 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm
• 66.5° head angle
• Carbon fiber frame
• BB92 bottom bracket
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Weight (size large): 28.5 lb (12.9 kg)
• MSRP: $7,095 USD as shown, $3,500 frame only
www.yeticycles.com

The 5.5 isn't quite as plush as the Trek Slash, or Specialized's Enduro 29, but it still has a very solid, unflappable feeling at speed. There's also a liveliness to its handling that differentiates it from the Sentinel and the Pole Evolink, the other two 140mm 29ers in this round-up.


Yeti SB5.5 full review




• Low weight
• Very quiet, extremely fast



• Poor water bottle mounting location








The term 'longer, lower, slacker' has become an overused cliché, right up there with 'game changing' and 'confidence inspiring', but the Pole Evolink 140 truly is longer and slacker than just about anything on the market, especially when it comes to 29ers. As longer reach numbers and slacker head angles become the norm, the Evolink 140's numbers are starting to look less radical, but we're still a few season away from numbers like this becoming standard, if they ever do.

With a 510mm reach for a size large, a 64-degree head angle, and a 456mm chainstay length the Evolink 140's dimensions are immense, and if spending all day working your way down super-tight switchback is your thing, you'll want to look elsewhere. The Pole falls into a similar category as the Transition Sentinel and the Trek Slash – these are bikes that need to be fed a steady diet of rowdiness to remain happy. Manualing and whipping through tight, consecutive corners aren't its strong suits, but those are easy to overlook given the stability and grip that this aluminum limousine delivers.

Pole Evolink 140 Details

• Intended use: trail, enduro
• Travel: 140mm
• 29" wheels
• 64° head angle
• 456mm chainstay
• 142mm or 148mm rear hub spacing
• 7005–T6 alloy frame
• Evolink suspension system
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L
• Frame Weight: 3.9kg inc. shock, axle, headset, seatclamp, size Large (actual)
• Price: €2,450 frame inc. shock, axle, headset
www.polebicycles.com




• Progressive geometry
• Extremely stable
• Two water bottle mounts



• Difficult to manual
• Quick direction changes aren't its strong suit
• On the heavier side of things




Specialized Enduro 29 review

Which One Should I Pick?

If you've made it this far, you've undoubtedly realized that not all long-travel 29ers are created equal. It's a matter of deciding what characteristics are most important to you in a bike and going from there. To make things a little easier, here's a quick breakdown of where the aforementioned bikes work best.

Racing: This category goes to the Slash and the SB5.5. They both have very different personalities on the trail, but the common denominator is just how fast they feel. For extremely rough courses – the Whistler EWS for instance – the Slash is the way to go, while the SB5.5 would be a worthy choice for tracks where the gnar factor isn't quite as high.

DH Performance: The Sentinel and the Pole earn high marks here, with stability in spades, and tough aluminum frames that can take a beating. The Enduro 29 and the Slash are also worth considering, but for riders who are almost entirely focused on descending, the geometry of the Sentinel and the Pole puts them on top.

All-Rounder: The Hightower LT earned high marks as a do-it-all machine, and its excellent pedaling performance makes it well suited to long days in the saddle. A 160mm fork helps improve its downhill performance, although it can still get a little overwhelmed in the really rough stuff compared to stiffer and slacker options. The Whtye-S150 is also a worthy entrant into this category, and although it's not quite a calm when pedaling compared to the Hightower LT, it's not far off.

Must Read This Week

432 Comments

  • + 635
 I must say, having had a quick read through the reviews and looked at pricing on all of these bikes, I wouldn't buy any of them - What is the point in a bike that costs less than £12k! Especially if it can be purchased by 'normal' people.

As a dentist, I like to buy things that nobody else can afford, usually made of hybrid carbon titanium mix, then I take them to my local trails where I can show off how good I am on a bike, after all, who else do you know that can bunny hop over a twig, or trackstand for over 5 seconds! That's right - Nobody!

Remember to brush boys and girls!
  • + 423
 Oh, and what is it with your poor folk and water bottles - I simply pay for a man to wait at the top and bottom of each hill with a choice of chilled Perrier or Dom Perignon for me - Carrying your own liquid is for camels!
  • + 128
 @Dentist: I appreciate you taking the time to create your profile. Please keep the condescension coming!
  • + 100
 @MTBrent: You are very welcome, I shall do my utmost to ensure that I post to Pinkbike whenever I feel that content is not to a sufficient level, wherein my buddies and I at the country club would deem it to be tolerable by members of the lower echelons of society. After all, why would anyone wish to read an article aimed at 'common' people! I feel soiled just thinking about it and may need to go and bathe in Moet now to cleanse my chakra!

Luckily though, I just this moment received payment from a client, so I can count my hundred dollar bills whilst I ponder what to purchase next - Should one go for Gucci, or Armani - Its so difficult to decide what to wear when digging trails on my estate!
  • + 64
 Wow. As a dentist I am wary of anyone that begins a statement with "As a dentist..."
  • + 67
 Hi Dentist, lemme know when youre selling last years bike dirt cheap thx!
  • - 29
flag onemind123 (Nov 7, 2017 at 6:35) (Below Threshold)
 How many of these have an e option?
  • + 17
 @Dentist: you should include a "that's because you don't floss" somewhere in your comments
  • + 9
 @hellbelly: indeed, imagine the aghast you would express if I had begun with "As an authodontist" though!
  • + 26
 @BryceBorlick: I don't sell them, I simply rush them and scatter the remains about my estate for the staff to make use of. One must provide some kind of incentive for the little people!
  • + 5
 @Dentist: do you have them add fluoride to the water?
  • + 2
 @Dentist: Actually then I would have just giggled more.
  • + 34
 @gooutsidetoday: that would be counter intuitive to my wealth management. My buddies and I prefer to add sugar and fruit acids to the water supply whenever possible. Increasing tooth decay means increasing revenue!

Stay in school kids!
  • + 5
 You typed this from the Porsche dealership where your 911 was being serviced, right?
Rock on, Dentist!
  • + 21
 @Twenty9andSingle: Porsche you say? Aren't they a little common? I am after all a Dentist and I prefer a slightly higher class of vehicle, such as the Zonda I'm in today! Tomorrow, maybe the Bugatti!
  • + 4
 @hellbelly: Agreed, I giggled myself thinking an authodontist could afford a mountain bike!
  • + 1
 @Dentist: Porsche...so down market. Puh-leeeeeze, the cops here drive Lambos... edbolian.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/IMG_5830.jpg
  • + 14
 @hellbelly: I'd have no idea what the police drive, I've made sure to bribe the right people so I never come into contact with traffic cops!
  • + 1
 @Dentist: Hopefully with the news of the offshore account holders being exposed you aren't getting heat. Stick with bitcoins eh?
  • + 1
 Life is full of compromises. Work harder, aquire more skills, live at mom & dad's, drive a beater, work in a shop, do what it takes, just stop yer crying. Each one of these bikes are available in more affordable yet totally shredworthy specs.
  • + 31
 @Golden-G: I think you have mistaken the comments on this thread as something very different to their intention. I for one am happy to spend money on whatever I wish and everyone else should do the same. People on this site regularly complain that expensive things are for people with a career such as mine, stating that reviews should be on affordable products. But, like you I feel that there are always alternatives and people shouldn't be so hung up on things. The reality of this world is that expensive and alluring products make for more interesting reading, and most forums have users who welcome these products.

For example, if you like food and trawl through restaurant reviews to see where you can eat well, you don't see people complaining about a review of a delicious steak, instead saying why cant ramen noodle cups be reviewed as steak is for the rich.

Now, I'm off to admire my watch collection and drink some 30 year old scotch.

Don't forget to floss!
  • + 11
 @Golden-G: you can have most of it, career, skills, bikes - it's a matter of time management. But accidents happen to good people... so next thing you know, your wife stumbles and falls on your coaches dick...
  • + 3
 @Sycip69er: Thanks for your concern, its most appreciate, however I'm adequately protected.

Never put all of your investments into places where they can be found, taxed or even traced is my mantra.

Bitcoin is an option, but I'll go with some good old fashioned laundering and cleverly hidden physical assets instead! The goonies will never take one eye willies treasure on my watch!
  • + 2
 @Dentist: u must be old to have discretionary income like that...most younger dentists i know have like 200k+in school debt!
  • + 3
 @Golden-G: not too mention used bike market is so so so soft. Wait a year
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: and then i have more money for bikes...but then u need to get laid so u start spending on dates...ha
  • + 5
 never spend to get laid. bad form.
  • + 7
 Now we need a PB account called Lawyer_at_specialized
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: I checked and it seems doing that would infringe on a copyright and the actual lawyer_at_specialized would take you to court for using his name.
  • + 0
 @jrocksdh: must be pretty old for that sort of cash, although 200k on education is crazy expensive
  • + 0
 Dad! I blew a tire doing stuff I saw in a Danny McCaskill video, can you take it to the shop to fix it?
  • - 24
flag codypup (Nov 7, 2017 at 11:08) (Below Threshold)
 Dentist, happy for your 280 upvotes, but you're like the overly drunk guy at the party, that just won't let that old joke, that was never that funny, just go.
  • + 17
 @codypup: apologies, clearly I've forced you to read the comments and be the person who hangs around that drunk guy at the party complaining, when you could have moved along.

My bad, I'll crawl back off to my corner now.
  • + 1
 @Dentist: and everyone else on this thread...

In order for anything to advance, there will be high end products built, and newer engineered products will always cost more.

Porsche / Honda / Subaru / VW for example all have race builds. THAT NO ONE HERE CAN AFFORD. ( Well, Maybe no one ) But we will read the reviews on those vehicles, and not complain that we can't afford those machines. That tech eventually trickles down to the masses, bettering what you can actually afford to drive. Works the SAME FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING, grow up.

If you can't afford it, don't bash those that can. Or, get a better paying job / career.
  • - 12
flag mikejk78 (Nov 7, 2017 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 @Dentist: You're obviously in the lower echelon of society no matter your monetary intake per year there bud. And if you can't afford a bike bro, your attitude is probably what stands between you and a better future.
  • + 9
 YES YES YES PINK BIKE! So good to see a comparison of similar bikes and come to a conclusion on what is best for each riding style. People always ask "what is the best bike" well it depends on what and how you ride.

We should also flag and delete all comments on people complaining about price. 80% of all comments are this and it clutters up the feed of comments. If you can't afford it too bad! Leave space for people that actually want to talk about the bikes. Work harder and smarter. Wait till you get into houses and cars, bikes look cheap after that.
  • + 10
 @Dentist: dude you killed ive been dying laughing this entire read!!!!! Great stuff,,must be alot of jokes in the office
  • + 1
 @mikejk78: I've already said similar in this thread, feel free to read it before thinking you have the high ground.
  • - 1
 @mikejk78: mike. The point isn't that there is superior technology on 10k bikes. The point is that there are cheaper bikes that do the exact same job, so why the mark up?
  • + 6
 @mikejk78: and again, good of you to make an I'll informed statement based on what is clearly meant to be a bit of fun based on my observations of pinkbike forum users comments every time high end products are reviewed. I'm not sure how you have concluded that I am in the lower echelon or how my attitude (in the car of this thread) is going to prevent me from having a better future. Clearly I must bow down to your incredible insight and intellect as I am merely an uneducated fool with a poor attitude that's ruining my life.
  • + 5
 This is all good fun
  • + 5
 @rjwspeedjunkie: as much as I genuinely hate moaning on pricing and the worn out stereotype of a dentist, I can appreciate a good joke. That was funny Big Grin
  • + 16
 @WAKIdesigns: Thanks buddy. I guess I'm coming clean that 'Dentist' is a really me. I'm with you. Genuinely I find it shocking that people on here hate on those who work hard and can afford to buy expensive bikes and components. I stand behind the fact that if you earn it you should spend it how you want. So what if someone has 3k to spend on a pair of wheels, does it cause any problem for anyone besides themselves? No! Does someone with that level of disposable income post up negative comments when someone less fortunate likes a cheaper or better value component? No!

I guess I just wanted to have a bit of fun with the whole dentist thing, which I have enjoyed and hopefully has given a few people a laugh :-)

Let's be honest here, it's all about getting out and riding bikes and being truthful, I am yet to meet anyone when I'm our riding who isn't a decent person, regardless of then having a crappy old bike or the latest top of the range carbon boutique bike. I just wish it was more like that on here and people just had fun rather than getting angry or uptight.

Anyway, it's been emotional - peace y'all
  • - 3
 @rjwspeedjunkie: as a part time psychopath I did categorize many riders I met on trails as non- decent people. I don't find mtbers to be different from any other group of people, you get cool dudes, decent people and idiots. I did meet many jerks... l reserve the judgmental side of me for judgmental people...

As to pricing I personally believe bikes like people come in all kinds, too expensive, too cheap and everything in between. I just want to burn the world when one day I read comments filled with outrage at 'immoral" production practices of carbon bikes (as if it didn't concern nearly all bikes) and on the other day people deman lower prices... uhm, ocean fill is a result of A.Poor education B.pressure on lowering prices...
  • + 3
 Damn I thought you was real. I was after a job on your estate mowing grass, sweeping leaves and collecting old bike bits. @rjwspeedjunkie:
  • + 2
 @Golden-G: Not to mention you can buy a 2 year old bike that was once $5k for $2k.
  • + 0
 @foggnm - exactly... I will put it like this. When I was 24, I studied city planning and many students were opinionated leftie aholes with nothing to show up with. One day we were talking about the horrors of gated communities and gentrification, and as designated class a*shole I couldn’t take it anymore and said that’s bullsht. One commie girl looked at me and said: I bet you would love to live in that X district yourself! I answered “hell yeah!” And she said that elites makes it impossible, everyone should be able to afford to live where they want... that’s freedom. According to her...

So what these whiny Pinkiebikies want is S-Works for 500$. By doing nothing. As simple as that.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I agree that mtbers can be like any other group of people and have a fair share of people who aren't good to be around, so maybe I'm generalizing a little to say that everyone is decent, but I have been quite lucky that in 20 plus years of riding I have barely come across anyone who I really disliked. Sure, some who I wouldn't bother to create a friendship with, but I can't recall anyone who really sucked. Maybe just luck :-)

I'm with you 100% on pricing. I say buy what you can afford or if you can afford anything, buy what you want and good luck to you. The filter down of products needs people with money to invest early so those who can't buy the latest and best need not be jealous as it will eventually benefit the more affordable end of the market.

I try and stay away from the moral dilemma in production as currently there is an impact regardless of what process or material is used (in common practice at least) but the take away is that a bike is still less of a problem than most other forms of transport.
  • + 2
 @Intensevp: haha, sorry bud, you're welcome to mow my lawn, I'll scatter some spokes and headset spacers for you to collect :-) not sure its the same as the illusion though!
  • + 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: A Bentley and a Subaru will both get you to the package store for a cold case, but people that can, still buy the Bentley for the price of ten Subarus or so. For better or worse, our (semi) capitalist society profits from selling people what they want, not what they need. I make what most people would consider great money, drive a thirteen year-old truck with 280,000 miles, with the pleasant consequence that I can afford whatever bike makes me happy.
  • + 3
 @Dentist: no apologies necessary. I never read comments while I could be riding, just when I'm supposed to be working.
  • + 3
 Fuck me, that was pure theatre.
  • + 4
 Great review, please do the same for 27.5" Enduro rigs
  • + 1
 @Dentist: cleanse your chakra??? Sure you aren’t a chiropractor?
  • + 1
 @BryceBorlick: you mean, you'd actually ride such peasant filth??
  • + 1
 @Dentist: know a few dentists... They ain't rocking those kinds of rides.. Although they are still wealthy
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: wife? Who's got time for that Waki? It's careers, skillz, bikes and bitches dude!
  • + 1
 @codypup: It was actually pretty funny! Lighten up..
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: buahahahahah...
  • + 0
 @rjwspeedjunkie: look into it...it costs around 200-300k for a good ortho school
  • + 2
 Dentist, banned for 20 years for being a troll . . . . SO awesome
  • + 4
 Which is more ironic, @Dentist and his excellent satirical parody, or the fact that it seems to go over most people's heads?
  • + 2
 @Waldon83: His keyboard is in Valhalla
  • + 2
 @mikejk78: If people didn't buy them at that price so willingly wouldn't they be forced to reduce the price? If everyone only bought YTs and Nukeproofs etc. the others would have to find some way to compete.
  • + 2
 @choppertank3e: the question that nobody is asking is whether YTs and Nukeproofs aren't too cheap?
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: I think u missed the entire point.

In it's most straight forward way: for whom exactly are these reviews?

Yep, you are right, there are more affordable options, but don't those bikes are not these bikes, existentialy speaking.

The point you make is more like the guy bragging about his 300 series benzito.
  • + 1
 @mikejk78: you're right. The advancement from last year's lightest possible carbon from company x's to this season's measured in R&D as the same as company z' s. Now both bikes cost 12k.

Smh
  • + 1
 @JCHILLTOPPERS: "for whom exactly are those reviews" - well definitely not for people whining in the comments. Those cannot be satisfied with anything, let's just get that out of the way... they are like Polish sport fans. They will moan on a sportsman, say he is worthless, that he will not get anywhere. Then he gets second, or third. So they moan that he put his country to shame, that a Pole could never stand at the top of the podium. Next year he wins a gold medal. Everyone is celebrating! They leave the dude alone. For a month. Then he wins another thing. And they start to moan that he didn't win with big enough margin and that his career is going down. I fkng hated it when I lived in Poland, I fkng hated this terrible, perverse indulgence of misery. Toxic pessimism in the face of events that do not influence one's life by a tiniest margin. That's exactly what Pinkbike comment board is.

THERE IS NO PLEASING YOU!!!

P.S. I feel sorry for any person who buys a bicycle based on a review on a website... demo it yourself. Bike reviews are entertainment filled with two three bits of valuable information, the rest is a brain candy filler.
  • + 0
 Enve spokes and and elite race carbon 29" enduro spacers? I'm there! @rjwspeedjunkie:
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: chill dude, just cos you got extradited.
  • + 3
 @hellbelly: 4 out of 5 dentists agree with this statement.
  • + 274
 I bought a Trek Slash and I absolutely love it! Within the first week of having it my wife found the receipt on the floor and went mental; I was even uninvited from her family gathering that month during which time I went out on my new bike and it was AMAZING!

Anyhow, fast forward a few months and she's over it, we're still happily married & still have the Slash. Great bike.
  • + 26
 Double win!
  • + 7
 Awesome.!
  • + 13
 Glad to see you stuck it out. I have seen guys bring bikes back that their wife did not approve, and they bring the look of shame and dissapointment. It's a sad sight.
Now, those that are having their SO encourage them to get a new bike, and you're hesitating... just know us single bike guys are like hyena's; we will wait until after the death of your relationship, then pounce. Wheelieing off into the sunset with your chick on the handlebars.
  • + 36
 "It's easier to ask forgiveness than to beg for permission.” - key knowledge if you want to progress your biking whilst in a relationship.
  • + 1
 Classic. I would not risk my marriage for the Slash (I have). XL geometry is crap.
  • + 2
 @unconvinced: I use this very saying almost daily.
  • + 3
 Shudd, do you have a joint bank account ? I would suggest you keep a close eye on it lol
  • + 1
 incredible story. if this is for real that was a committed purchase lol
  • + 49
 Hot tip: If you buy a frame and all the parts separately, it creates a paper trail way to deep and complicated for anyone to follow, especially if you take a couple of months to put it together. Oops, is that a receipt for grips on the floor? No big deal. Q: "How much was the rest of that bike anyway?" A: "I have no idea! Want me to take you to dinner?" If you don't know, you don't have to lie about it. Problem solved Smile
  • + 2
 You are my hero
  • + 16
 You got a brand new bike AND got uninvited from some event you probably didn't want to be at? Wow, hats off to that ultimate win-win!
  • + 2
 @kram: Exactly how I built my bike last winter... love it!
  • + 2
 @kram: pretty much how I built my MOJO G16.
Btw why isn’t the G16 29er included?
  • + 10
 @kram: My wife still 2nd looks my newest bike , but never says anything Smile . Keeping them similar colors and brands also helps Wink
  • + 2
 @cheetamike: Or she's waiting to use that against you?
  • + 1
 @kram: Haha funny! That's exactly how I've been doing it since 09...Now the problem is... To many extra damn parts piling up in our garage despite sell off of many.
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal: doubt it , I pay for my bike stuff thru my side work .
  • + 1
 @unconvinced: its just takes lots of oral, communication.
  • + 1
 You know how to handle that? Always go for black bikes and receipt should be photographed and burned immediately
  • + 1
 My wife can't tell the difference between my roadbike and my new slash since both are black. In this case ignorance creates bliss.
  • + 181
 No Evil Wreckoning???
  • + 53
 No Orbea Rallon??
  • + 52
 No Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition?
  • + 56
 No Nukeproof Mega 290
  • + 33
 I’ve been waiting for that review from Pinkbike for awhile. They never did one on the Wreckoning.
  • + 69
 YThe f* no Jeffsy?
  • + 79
 Bikes not reviewed didn't pay enough money in advertising.
  • + 28
 No Canfield Riot?!
  • + 17
 no pivot switchblade?
  • + 29
 I was going to type in ALL CAPS but I see im not the only one. WTF no EVIL?!?!?!?
  • + 48
 For me it’s obvious that Pinkbike has an issue with Evil...
  • + 15
 No Intense Carbine?
  • + 8
 What kinda surprises me is that most of the bikes people wish were included here HAVE been reviewed by Pinkbike. Especially given that these are kinda summary comparisons, why would it have been so hard to include ALL long-travel bikes reviewed by Pinkbike in the past few years? Heck, even your "First Ride" articles have more info than the summaries here - seems like those articles would even be enough to include a bike in this comparison. You guys already have the material, just summarize. Curious as to why these were the only bikes included.
  • + 6
 I picked up an old BMC trailfox (2014) with 150mm front/rear, carbon, DW linked rear suspension. I will bet anyone it climbs as good as the hightower, and after I put an angleset up front, the 65 degree HTA combined with a CCDBair in the rear, it descends like a madman. All for under $3300 new.
  • + 10
 @karoliusz: Jeffsy is a trail bike. No ISCG tabs, 34 fork & 67 dgr HA
  • - 2
 I never comment but I came here just for that...
  • + 11
 @gumbytex: Not the Wrecker - there seems to be a shortage of any of the EVIL bikes on here?
  • + 1
 No Devinci Django 29?
  • + 5
 @Misteur-Mont-Sainte-Anne: not long travel; more of a super playful trail bike
  • + 7
 Heck just to jump in here, where’s the Carbine??!
  • + 17
 Banshee Prime????
  • + 4
 @hamncheez: occasionally you hit chainstay with your right pedal but that's something one should expect Wink
  • + 7
 @enrico650: I read the title as 7 top advertising dollars provided.
  • + 3
 Include them all, then you can use the word shootout
  • + 1
 @pakleni: true, and the internal cables rattle. Still, I love this bike!
  • + 12
 At least we can talk about it in the EVIL forum...er wait nevermind.
  • + 8
 No Niner Rip 9?
  • + 84
 Come on Pinkbike......You didn't review all 47 options in the long travel 29" model. Bunch of slackers.......
  • + 2
 @rockyflowtbay: HAHAHA love youre comment ! no hate !! lol
  • + 7
 I have to agree. The Riot is such a killer bike. @raditude:
  • + 6
 @enrico650: Pole and Transition don't pay for advertising on Pinkbike according to their main page.
  • + 6
 Evil doesn't advertise with pinkbike.
  • + 4
 Or range 29
  • + 6
 No Scott Genius??? The 900 tuned only weighs like 27 pounds with 150mm travel, that should be a winner
  • + 2
 Maybe Pinkbike spends most of its effort only reviewing its sponsors. Evil isn't listed as a sponsor.
  • + 25
 "Of course, these aren't the only options out there, but they're all bikes that we've spent extensive time on over the last year or so, and are a good representation of what's currently on the market."

Seems like they explained themselves pretty well at the very beginning of the article?
  • + 3
 @NotAnotherClimb:
Maybe Evil just didn't send them a bike to test.
  • + 2
 @karoliusz: Yeah Like a Jeffsy 29 AL2 2016 upgraded 150mm front travel/ Luftkappe Razz

www.pinkbike.com/photo/15207039
  • + 2
 @Misteur-Mont-Sainte-Anne: trail bike. Different class. Great bike though!
  • + 3
 No Kona Process
  • + 3
 No Orange Stage 6?
  • + 1
 @jefftrancex1xtr: Noooooooo JEFFSY !!!! WTFF !! CONSPIRACY !!!!
  • + 2
 @EnduroManiac: One is on the way to me for a review.
  • + 7
 Considering it is probably the most requested comparison, from what I read, "how does ??? compare to the Wreckoning?" I'm really surprised it isn't on this list. Whyte and Pole? C'mon! How common are they? I understand they are probably more accessible in Europe, but Pinkbike being North America based, I figured they would have easier acces to the Evil, which is the O.G. in this category.
  • + 3
 @cvoc: Maybe they should have asked for one to test. I know I'd want my product tested, especially with the reputation that the Wreckoning has. Money well spent for some underground advertising.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: Amen.... the TF is an amazing bike.
  • + 5
 @mikelevy: sweet sidestep of the Evil question dude. Cmaaaaaan! Lol

Unless! Evil is like hey dude, we’re releasing the Wreckoning MB soon so don’t bother in which case I just crapped my pantaloons. Thanks a lot overactive imagination!! I’ll see myself out...
  • + 1
 @raditude: canfield toir now. Dont get the bros in any copyright trouble
  • + 1
 @NotAnotherClimb: maybe they should pay to advertise. I don't see them around much.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: Except It’s more capable than some of the bikes on here with a pike up front
  • + 1
 @raditude: Right?!?!
  • + 1
 @Misteur-Mont-Sainte-Anne: Great bike, not exactly long travel.
  • + 3
 Of all these bikes I've seen 2 Slashes around and I've seen about 8 Wreckonings since last spring. I guess the Evil peeps got into the wrong circle jerk at the pool party. There's a couple around my local trails and those guys love them.
  • + 1
 @Gmang: I haven't seen one in the east in a while. On local trails or at bike parks.
  • + 11
 no Raleigh Activator ?!
  • + 13
 "You're gonna stand there, owning a fireworks stand, and tell me you don't have no whistling bungholes, no spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, husker dos, husker donts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or one single whistling kitty?!"
  • + 3
 No Marin Wolf Ridge?!
  • + 1
 @Misteur-Mont-Sainte-Anne: Not even on the same playing field , I have a Django 29er and it,s a very capable bike . But is far more of a trail bike than these long travel 29ers
  • + 2
 @sledMXer: Actually we ship worldwide. We ship every week bikes USA and Canada. Pole Bicycle company is found 2013 so it's quite impossible to be very common yet Wink
  • + 0
 @hamncheez: cc db air? Not the CS? I have this shock and it sucks to pedal it even closed. Better off with a other shock if you must earn the DH.
  • + 1
 @evilized: Bike of the year by many editorials last year BTW
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: mine has the CS. The DW linked bike doesn't need it, but the switch does work pretty well. My BMC is the best pedaling 150mm travel bike I've ridden, or it would be if I didn't have DH tires on it.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: my latest bike is also a DW and this pedal blob is beyond anything. Sure bikes can be better or worse to pedal but this shock is a to much DH shock for anything who should get your self on top of a mountain.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Is there any way to get a wreckoning review ever? So suspiciously absent.. Did they piss in the PB wheaties?
  • + 1
 @ErnieK: why is it so suspicious?
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: If you think the CCDBair CS doesn't pedal well, you must have set it up incorrectly or had it on a poorly performing frame. My bike has minimal bob with the CS open, and when you switch it to climb mode, its better than a hard tail! There is no chassis movement from pedaling whatsoever, but it still reacts to the terrain and gives you decent grip (for a lockout). I can stand up and hammer away and the rear end will not bob.
  • + 0
 @cassman1759: if there's a bike faster than the Wolf Ridge, I'm not sure I want to ride it. Craziest bike!
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: ok I can not believe you that or you must be ultra light.
Even with max pressure it blobs to much. With right sag and closed cs it feels like to pedal a DH uphill. Okay my bike is half enduro, half DH with 180mm travel and 64° HA. However CC also said this shock is a DH/FR thing. My fox air shocks are much more stable and firm for the pedal part.
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: I'm 91 kilos, and my bike has 150mm travel front/rear. I put an angleset and offset bushing on it so my HTA is 65 degrees. The DW link is one of, if not the best suspension designs for a good pedaling platform.
  • + 2
 @pigman65: ahahahhaaa ... we need to meet again for a good ride, don't stay at home and brave winter mate
  • + 82
 All you people do is moan about what bikes are not included! Just appreciate the article for the bikes it has! Yes I'd like to see how the New Rallon Stackes up against the above but criticising every article that comes out is ridiculous!

There will always be bikes missed from tests- there is just too many out there! The article is free to read and informative so just stop b%#ching.

I always read the comments section of the write ups,never is there any appreciation or praise- just childish digs, seriously mountain biking is a fun past time and hobby not a big political war!

Thanks Pinkbike - I appreciate you!
  • + 7
 Hear hear! I was really hoping the new Scott Genius would be included but I’m not stressing, I recognize it’s probably just too new to be included since these are bikes the article says they’ve spent loads of time on. Good point that it’s free, sometimes peeps just need to say “cool, thanks”.
  • + 3
 agreed.
  • + 21
 Thanks guys. We have a new Rallon on the way, and a Scott Genius as well, so you'll be able to read about those in the near future.
  • + 2
 Couldn't agree more!!
  • - 3
 @cocacolakev - agreed!

@mikekazimer , it's a pity you guys weren't sent the Coil version of Enduro. Also interesting to read about the Pole, since both the Finns and Chris Porter talk of their long geos as if they were turning better than short bikes, which... makes no sense. I love the fact that such bikes exist, I'd love to try one, but no need to try to sell cool aid with the bike
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: After you've ridden and written about both these bikes, what are the chances of adding them to this page, making it a living document of sorts for people who want a quick overview of what's out there?
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I hope really soon cause it's should be my new bike.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I find those side by side comparisons helpful, but if you include lists with "details" for all bikes, could you have them contain the same set of data? The way they currently are they're rather useless.
  • + 1
 The problem is that the Wreckoning is one of the most popular LT 29ers out there, and pinkbike did a review of the Rock Mountain Instince BC edition, so they know how that one rides. They could have easily put it in here for a comparison.
  • + 40
 Boo!!! No Evil Wreckoning???
  • + 7
 Added the same comment at the same time!
  • + 21
 Seriously. The Wreckoning has been out nearly two years and PB has never mentioned it. Only the Enduro has more travel in this group and Wreck's geometry blows the Enduro outta the water. Another thing in particular regarding the Wreckoning's geometry is that does not have the sprawling wheelbase that most new long travel 29er's have which IMHO makes it far more agile in tight conditions.
  • + 3
 @hellbelly: it's a cool bike. Recently got to spend time on one and enjoyed it, but I'm too tall for the slack STA. That aspect of the wreckonings geometry pushed me to the Canfield Riot.
  • + 1
 @k831: I'm 5'9" and ride a medium Wreck. The medium has a longer top tube than most other brands size large. Running a 35mm stem I have little to no wander going up steep climbs, but the Wreckoning is more of a crawl up/bomb down kinda bike anyway.

@aputz: The Wreckoning is unparalleled in it's descending abilities and yes it is definitely a tank. That said, I really have not had any trouble getting it to play around and pop off of small stuff and the front wheel lofts easily.
  • + 3
 Yeah, the Evil was the first bike I was scanning the article for.
  • + 23
 With each scroll I thought...surely the Evil Wreckining is next, surely they’re not trying to do a 29er comparison without including one of the highest regarded 29ers out there atm. Good thing you got that Pole everyone is clamoring for in...lol. i guess hit us back up when you have a complete list!
  • + 8
 the Pole does not pass the dinghy test. That thing is hard to look at. At rest it looks like the suspension collapsed.
  • + 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: The Pole does not pass the Poul-test!
  • + 20
 Seriously Pinkbike, is there an editorial or personal issue with Evil? The Wreckoning is an obvious top contender in this class. Both The Following and Wreckoning are widely loved aggressive 29ers that have been universally positively reviewed elsewhere. PB having never tested an Evil is... odd.
  • + 3
 They did the Insurgent a couple of years ago. The Wreckoning arrived just after. www.pinkbike.com/news/evil-insurgent-review-2015.html
  • + 5
 Prepared for the downvotes... At a demo session this summer, the Evil Wreckoning was one of the only bikes in this class that forced me to use the shock lock out for a long slog of a climb. Sure, is was fun enough on the downhill, but it was overall underwelming. Also, the lockout is in an annoying position to find on the fly. I suppose one would get used to that.
  • + 16
 You people crack me up. Every time one of these gets an individual review the comments blow up begging for a side-by-side comparison.... now it finally happens and people are upset they didn’t include literally every bike in this category ????
  • + 2
 So true!! Same for the dropper posts! I don't know what's wrong with pinkbike users but they have a really childish attitude...


A couple months ago, 95% of the comments on the new Radon prototype was saying ''nicest bike ever, look like a jet fighter, etc''. Now that this frame is out, 99% of the comments are pure bashing! WTF lol
  • + 15
 I have ridden both the Wreckoning (for 1 season) and the Hightower LT for a test ride.
My general thoughts on the comparison are:
The Wreckoning is an unbelievably capable bike, yet given the nature of its suspension and stable feeling, these characteristics take away from its maneuverability as well as its acceleration. It is a tank of a bike. To get the most out of the bike I felt one had to work the bike quite dynamically and up to a certain speed (through corners especially) to get the most out of it. When this is achieved is and incredibly rewarding feeling on the bike.
In contrast
The Hightower LT is much more of a long-legged trail bike as stated above (I rode it with a 150mm fork). Yet, although riding at high speeds in rough terrain is drastically sketchier when compared to the Wreckoning, there was a sense of playfullness and flexibility that the Wreckoning doesn't offer. In addition, the Hightower LT, although it has a much more flexible riding feeling, is still there when you really need it in bail out situations (out of control/hucks into the unknown). However, once one approaches the Hightower LT with a playful sense (attempts ar riding like Ratboy) the bike shines by offering a playful experience while still being there when you need it.

In conclusion, given my personal goals of racing more, all day/multi-day epics and just having a more efficient rear suspension layout on the bike for what I need, I pulled the plug on the Wreck and went for the Transition Sentinel which I felt was a better allround option in terms of playfulness, stability, and pedalling efficiency. I have yet to ride the Transition.
  • + 3
 I don't disagree about the Wreck needing a bit of speed to come alive, but for me, the slow speed handling was something that was easily adapted to. Climbing was great. Any thing steep and fast? Oh my... still my favorite bike to date... the weight? Folks still think bike weight matters? Wink These things build up around 31 LBS. Not bad considering what it's capable of.
  • + 14
 Um. You rode the Wreckoning for a season, took the HT for a test ride, but have never ridden the Sentinel and decided it had "playfulness, stability, and pedalling efficiency"? That makes no sense (other than TR makes some cool stuff and seem like awesome guys).
  • + 1
 Hey aputz, thanks for sharing your experience on the Wreckoning! I own an LT, and agree with both the PB review and your summary. For what it's worth, I'd add that the LT needs to be maxed out on volume spacers in the rear shock, as the 'old style' regressive-flat VPP suspension curve gives the bike a muted feel with no spacers.
  • + 2
 @plume: Hey yeah that's also very true, slow speed handling and playfulness (when with an air shock) was way better than what one would expect. At the same time though, the ability to throw the bike around (be it in the air or slamming ruts) just felt more labored in some cases. Of course mine weighed about 34-35 lb with hope and coil so that affects my reasoning on that matter. But generally its a deceptive multifaceted and capable bike that really needs a pinkbike review.
  • + 3
 @Poulsbojohnny: Good point. But nowadays there's a certain feeling that I want from a long travel 29. And Transition's Sentinel seems to be right there with the geo. Also, I have had bad experiences with carbon recently so alu seems like a medium that's making a comeback. Sometimes the gut feeling and being stoked about a bike is more important than straight reason.
  • + 1
 @aputz: I hear ya. Carbon does not appeal to me for a frame. Too easy to damage and no real way to repair. Looking forward to swinging a leg over the new Smuggler when they are available for demo, myself.
  • + 4
 I've ridden the Wreckoning and Sentinel for a day each, and on the same trails. My guess is that you will find the Sentinel to be more of a tank, less playful, a little less efficient when you take total length and weight into consideration, and surprisingly faster on the downhills (assuming you didn't size down). The Sentinel is going to accelerate and stay glued to the ground in ways your mind won't comprehend, but you're gonna have to work harder than you did on the Wreckoning to pop off small lips and get to the top of the hill.
  • + 1
 @jcc0042: That's good to know. Thanks! I will be in for an adventure for sure but that's part of the fun.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: it's actually stronger than alu an is repairable easily whereas aluminium isn't. Whatever you wanna believe tho
  • + 1
 @jcc0042: After riding the Sentinel I actually found the opposite to be true. Pops and climbs like a dream while still maintaining stability on the downhills.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: After taking the plunge with the Transition I have to say that I couldn't be happier. The transition is an incredible bike. Its stable downhill, but still keeps the terrain alive enough to be playful. Also it climbs really well even in the open position. Would definitely recommend in comparison to the other bike's I have ridden.
  • + 1
 I also went with the Sentinel (size L) based on the factors you list, on price (GX version below $4000) and also on preference for buying from a local maker (I'm in Washington state). The Rallon was tempting, but too pricey and there are no local dealers. The Pole was very tempting but again getting local support is an issue and I hear that there are issues with the pivots. I have now ridden the Sentinel on a few local outings outside Seattle.
IMO, it climbs much better than the Wreckoning and the SB 5.5c. That truly surprised me. It's about on par with the Hightower. In spite of its weight, I am confident it will be a great bike for all day back country adventures on gnarly trails. It turns like a much shorter bike, and it feels incredibly planted. However, I'm probably going to have to spend the winter relearning how to manual: it is a big bike, and so far I can barely lift the front wheel. It's fast.
  • + 19
 do this for short travel aggressive 29ers too
  • + 7
 Amen. When the (non-LT) Hightower came out, there was a general sense that it was a bit of a monster truck, and perfect if you were a big guy racing enduro (as opposed to a smaller guy racing enduro, in which case you'd want to go 650b), but not great as a one-bike-quiver. Hearing that a longer-travel version of that bike is now considered a long legged trail bike (never mind that it's marked as a negative, that's a different story altogether) makes me think that perceptions/expectations have changed. I mean, geez, Kona didn't even both with a shorter travel 29er in this release. Sure, the longer travel bikes probably aren't as dead at slower speeds than they used to be, and are more efficient for pedaling. But I have a hard time believing that Transition would have pushed out a whole new Smuggler with their new slate of bikes if that niche had been made irrelevant by longer travel bikes.
  • + 5
 I'm interested in the Transition Smuggler - would love to see a review on the 2018 model
  • + 2
 @jubs17: OMG, I'm pacing back and forth waiting for some reviews to come in on this bike. It seems like the perfect trail bike from initial reads. I really want to buy from these guys as they are just up the road from me and are pretty cool from my initial meet at their HQ.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: they have a demo this Saturday at Galbraith. Supposedly, they'll have their while lineup available - that should include the Smuggler. Might be worth coming up for.
  • + 16
 I'm confused... How can "feels like a long travel trail bike" be a negative when all of these bikes are meant to be long travel trail bikes?
  • + 2
 I think that just mean that it’s less of a heavy hitter on rough descents. For most of us that have to work for our speed feeling like a long travel trail bike isn’t a negative.
  • + 2
 Its difficult to explain, but generally I feel like: one l feels more jittery at high speeds while the ideal riding speed zone (depending on the trail) being at a lower speed (20kmh) while the other ''more enduro'' feels more planted, like the race car sucked to the ground effect (at like 30 kmh roughly).
  • + 12
 So we all know that tall guys prefer 29ers and yet almost all of these have relatively slack seat tube angles. WHY? Tall guys need steeper STAs to keep them in a decent position when they are at pedalling height. I've never had a bike where I didn't have to slam the seat all the way forward to keep from sitting on top of the rear hub. A single degree steeper STA means a the saddle is 1" further forward at pedalling height.

And yet nearly every company offers the same STA for all sizes. WHY? Don't they understand that different people are different?
  • + 4
 going out on a limb here, but probably because of a desire to have geometric consistency with their aluminum bikes, which probably use the same hydroformed seat tube/link pivot assembly between all sizes?

in complete agreement re: seat tubes getting steeper with larger sizes. Just look for the brands on the steep end, the Enduro 29 even with their setback Command Post climbs steep stuff better than any shorter travel bike in my historical stable; with a zero-offset post i could even have the saddle mounted mid-rail for the first time ever.
  • + 1
 They do?
  • + 1
 Nicolai geometron g15. I tried the g13 it was fitwise the dream.
  • + 3
 Why do tall guys need steeper seat angles than us stumpy-legged types? Weight distribution? Unless you have disproportionate femurs and the seat angle is less than 45º then your knee is going to be same position over the BB or better. #stumpypeopleneedgoodseatanglestoo
  • + 1
 MOJO G16
77*STA 63*HTA headtube lengths increase with each size as well.
  • + 2
 @mrtoodles: I think almost everyone needs a 75 degree effective seat angle, but in bikes with seat tubes shaped like the Hightower, the effective angle gets slacker with more seatpost extension needed for taller guys. When I demoed the XL Hightower I had to over-pressurize the shock and use lockout to keep the rear end from sagging excessively on the extended climbs.
  • + 2
 Speaking of ESA’s... I find it interesting how it’s mentioned that one of the cons for both the Slash and Hightower LT is the slackish seat angle, but there’s no mention of that for the SB5.5. Yet the SB5.5 has a very similar ESA and RC to that of the Slash and Hightower LT, so would place a taller rider just as far back over the rear wheel. Was that forgotten as a negative trait for the SB5.5? Or as fun as it is to analyze numbers on paper maybe it doesn’t always mirror our preconceived judgements when on the trail?
  • + 2
 @danthepirate: A real STA on Slash and Hightower is visibly slacker (just visualize distance from BB where the line running through seat tube intersects line running horizontally through BB). Also, SB5.5 has longer CS than Slash 437mm vs 433mm. It is almost the same as length as Hightower's 438mm though.
  • + 3
 @jollyXroger: Yeah good point. Slack actual seat angles will effect taller riders even more so than effective seat angles. Totally missed that.
  • + 2
 @danthepirate: I also think these are abstracts of previous reviews. The Yeti review was from last year before 75degree and plus seat angles were common. When you are used to old school SAs, you don’t notice it. After riding steeper SAs that are more common, you do when you go back. I think SAs have been one of the biggest changes over the last year or so, which has me really interested in a Rallon, or even a new Enduro, first time I’ve looked at Spesh in years.
  • + 1
 @whambat: As a refined hybrid of Specialized Enduro and Trek Slash I believe Rallon has upended both. I hope some media out there has balls to do an honest test of these three side by side AND, while at it, avoid downplaying and sugarcoating the shortcomings of each bike.
Phrases like: "Seat angle could be steeper ", "Seat angle may be too slack for taller riders" should be corrected to: "Seat angle SHOULD be steeper" and "Seat angle IS too slack for tall riders". Accompanied by:"Riders above 6ft / 185cm are advised to look at competing products out there".
  • + 1
 I've been yelling around the internet about this for a while now and i always get shot down.

Can we just get the hell out with these bent/offset really slack actual angle seat tubes? Please? They are for the WURST!
  • + 13
 Beaten Dirt to it. Good skills Pinkbike.
  • + 5
 Good skills? Or snaked?
  • + 6
 Dirt was one of the reasons behind my love of mountain bikes, but what is going on over there? The mag is long gone and now we have an average site with patchy and often poor quality content. It’s a bit sad really. Sorry to go off topic!
  • + 3
 @jemscott: and Steve Jones is leaving as well.

I share your pain as I subscribed to Dirt for years and loved getting a glossy printed in the mail every month. Since going digital it has steadily gone downhill (excuse the pun). With Steve Jones leaving I think my love affair with Dirt is over. Hopefully he pops in some other mtb media and can add some of his uniqueness.
  • + 2
 @fartymarty: @jemscott I share in your laments! I used to love getting the glossy, especially after it having made it's way across the pond. I always thought I was sooo cutting edge, busting out this magazine that my friends had never heard of. The last time I looked at the Dirt site, they were reviewing Ebikes! RIP Dirt...
  • + 1
 Nah, best to read both the Dirt (once they have it finished) and PB article back to back. Probably Enduro-mtb.com/en has one going too, they seem to love group tests. Either way, PB forgot to test the Starling bike ("forgot" in the PB sense, like "forgot" the bottle mount, bottle opener, front rack, ash tray etc). Now obviously long travel is a vague term. Once when I brought up the BTR Ranger here on PB (under a different article) someone called that a long travel hardtail too. So my world is on its head now.

Mike Rose left Dirt too and Ed is probably too busy with Robotbike now. It is no longer Dirt as we know it (from print), that's for sure :'(.
  • + 1
 @vinay: I will def read Dirts top dozen when it is finally out as there are some interesting bikes in there like the Starling.
  • + 12
 Review the Guerilla Gravity Smash, it's awesome!
  • + 2
 I agree, mine is being built as we speak.
  • + 8
 The ONLY downside to a yeti is the water bottle placement? What happened to it "not being the snappiest climber around"? Tell me more about that if I'm going to spend 7 grand on a bike
  • + 10
 The Yeti is the best climber of the bunch, so there's that.
  • - 5
flag RedRedRe (Nov 7, 2017 at 6:40) (Below Threshold)
 @dualsuspensiondave: yeah yeti is probably the best climber and a great bike, however it feels like an xc. Very hard to lift the front wheel. It is made to go fast rather than have fun.
  • + 7
 Feels like a xc bike? And boobies feel like bags of sand right?
  • + 2
 @RedRedRe: Fast is fun!
  • + 0
 @topherdagopher: you obviously never rode one.
  • + 0
 @RedRedRe I have. Killer comeback though. I can see that unlike the 5.5 you are not very fast.
  • - 2
 @topherdagopher: I am sure you did.
Even the review says, it is best for smoother terrain.

It is low and long like an xc bike, you pedal the thing sitting down like an xc bike, very hard to lift the front wheel like an xc bike. It is feels very racy and fast.
BUT
It does not work on slower tech terrain, as a matter of fact, Richie Rude prefers the smaller wheels because in the east cost this bike would be just out of place.
More than a Colorado bike, it seems best for California style riding–smooth and long with the occasional rock.
Not too hard to understand if you try.
  • + 2
 @RedRedRe: I disagree, I have a 5.5 and ride it here in the Canadian west, I ride plenty of nut busting steep trails, it has no troubles rockin the gnar and popping off hips, roots and doing the odd wheelie! I moved from a Kona Process 153 to this and its a world of improvement for me anyway. The only issue I really have with it is climbimg pretty tight switchbacks, so yeah slower terrain it's a touch less nimble, but was surprised that it's not as noticeable i thought it would be. Going down is no contest...
  • + 9
 Correct names.... Sentinel Slasher Trek Racer Pole Barge Spec Sensible Whyte Black Yeti Smooth Santa Cruz I swear am not another Bronson
  • + 6
 It's important for these reviewers to review the top end bikes, because they should be a no-compromise example of the bike. What they SHOULD be reviewing is the bike frame. We all know how a Pike of 34 or 36 or SRAM 1x performs, these reviews need to be about the frame/ride. The only major difference between these bikes is the chassis in most cases. And that's pretty much all the reviewer and reader should be caring about.

And keeping with that thought, I think it's ridiculous that they're using tread volume or pattern of the tires as a con or even a part of the review. This is the first thing anyone buying a new bike should evaluate for there riding and terrain and keep or swap out. In fact, all of these bikes should be tested using the same tires to level the playing field and take out variables that will almost always change once the bike is in the customer's hands. Note what tires the bike ships with, and note what level of tire this bike should ship with. But don't consider a poor rear tire for your riding zone as a 'con' on a $8,000 bike--that's a waste of a review.
  • + 7
 Intense Carbine, Orange Stage 6, Starling Murmur, Nukeproof Mega 290, Cotic RocketMax, Niner Rip 9, Guerrilla Gravity Smash, New Kona Process 29.....there's lots more to choose from these days :-)
  • + 3
 Lots to choose from, but how many 2018's are there to look at? Seems like this is a bit of a preview list to me. And don't forget, manufacturers don't all just send in their latest and greatest all at once. Cut PB some slack, FFS.
  • + 9
 Pole #1. I mean... TWO water bottle, c'mon!
  • + 4
 I have an evolink and previously was on a long stroked hightower. the hightower was an am bike at best. The evolink is basically a dh bike that climbs quite well. I wouldn't trade the evolink (despite its weight) for any other bike currently available
  • + 1
 On a Large 140 here. I love it. Sure it's long but at 6'4" my bikes have always been longer than most so Ive adapted my riding years ago. For someone of average height it might be a bit much bike imo.
  • + 1
 I just pulled the trigger on one of the new evolink 158 pre-orders in an xl. Not due for arrival until April, so it will be a long wait, but I really think they're currently where most other long travel trail bikes will end up in a few years.
  • + 6
 Interesting to hear the gnar statement regarding the 5.5. I’ve been on one for over a year and completely disagree. The 5.5 wants to be fed. Don’t deprive it
  • + 3
 Only thing I can note is that the Slash reviewed is last year's and Bontrager admitted to having some issues with the cartridges in the first set of droppers. They have since fixed it for this year and these droppers are no fuss droppers. Best part is if you have one and its having issues its like 85 bucks for a new cartridge and can be installed in about an hour and off you go. Good little write up though.
  • + 0
 So they admit to having issues with the cartridge and you have to pay $85 for a new one? I will look elsewhere.
  • + 3
 @cornichons: No. Those would be under warrenty as would any and all Bontrager products within the first year and to be honest their customer support is so good they would probably extend it past a year if it was one of the first droppers that did get out. As for the cartridges I was referring to droppers later down the road so let's say in a few years kind of thing.

I thought I had explained it clear enough but I apologize, I should have been a little more clear in my post.

The droppers for 2018 are fantastic. The feel is nice they move at a quick but light feeling speed and the trigger is comfy to use. Maybe you shouldn't look elsewhere Wink
  • + 1
 @cornichons: No-they'll cover it under warranty, and the install actually takes like 5 minutes. Best post I've ridden when it comes to user friendly servicing. I replaced a cartridge on my tailgate in the rain-worked great.
  • + 1
 @2bigwheels: OK thanks for the clarification. I would hope that they would honour the warranty beyond 1 year knowing that their early dropper cartridges had issues.
  • + 5
 What are you guys, European or North Americans? Should have left out the Whyte and Propain and tested the Evil Wreckoning and Intense Carbine.
  • + 2
 Yeah well.. they left out the Propain.. But they are all from Asia anyway, so who cares about the stickers.
  • + 1
 ^ this.
  • + 3
 Transition Sentinel - Get 2.4 or wider. Add some tubes to chainstay. Not the lightest? Train harder.
Whyte s-150 - Shimano xt brakes (modulation is overrated anyway) Get wider bars. Go for your favorite set of tires.
SC Hightower LT - slack seat angle? Doesn't matter the bike looks great. It is a long-travel trail bike.
Trek Slash - Slack seat angle? For $8,000 you have no choice but to ride it. Bontrager post? Be more appreciative.
Spec Enduro 29 - High BB? Less chance of hitting carbon cranks/pedals yeah? If you can afford $8500 you can afford a longer post.
Yeti SB5.5 - Bottle mounting? With a bike that sexy, who cares?
Pole Evolink - Manuals without brakes are more difficult.

Not the smartest question, but is there a company out there that puts their bottle mounts on the top tube?
  • + 0
 the bottle cage on the HT cracked me up. Yes, it has a bottle holder, but no, you can't really put a bottle in it.
  • + 3
 I think the Starling Murmur has water bottle mounts on the top tube, but that's the only one I can think of off the top of my head.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Sharp. & since it's semicustom, atop top tube cage fixment, a la Salsa Woodsmoke, is also possible. Whether bots will stay put is a fresh question.
  • + 2
 Check out the Cotic: www.cotic.co.uk/product/rocket. Not a 29er though.
  • + 1
 @MattInNZ: Rocket or Flare Max--29ers. Cue complaints on STA. Good eye.
  • + 1
 ''Transition Sentinel - Get 2.4 or wider. Add some tubes to chainstay. Not the lightest? Train harder.''
Love this haha, how to make weight no issue.
  • + 1
 @00putz: comes with eagle too so the 32lbs sentinel should be around 30lbs when using the lowest gear in terms of feel.

@mikekazimer Maybe @OneUpComponents can Oneup the water bottle mounts on Yetis.
  • + 1
 @ceecee: The salsa mount makes sense, dont know about the weight distribution but if Im going to be dead tired climbing, the bottle is easier to reach versus downtube mounts
  • + 1
 @Vinnie1213: Unless it's exclusively for their top tube bag. I had to look it up. My error if that's the case.
  • + 1
 @Vinnie1213: Based on a few outings, weight is not an issue for climbing. The bike seems to ride high and there is plenty of weight on the front wheel. I do wish the GX version had stickier tires though, especially considering the core of the customer base lives in the Pacific NW. I do have to adapt to the length for manualing, and hopping. It's going to take me some time to be comfortable in this respect. Other than that, great ride.
  • + 1
 @Al-Zeimer: Hit the weights, Al-Z. The grandchildren will make videos of your manuals. That bike cries out for 2.5/2/4 WTs or Martellos. So many fine options. Thanks for steering clear of the Pole foolishness.
  • + 3
 If a motoring mag (Top Gear say) reviews a load of high end sports cars people love it - some even can go out and buy one.
It doesn't make them a better driver or allow them to drive any faster (most cases they just spend more on petrol and have a car that Is really impractical for most driving they do). It helps them be a twat and show off about it. They might even think they are a "proper" driver because of it.
Apply to bikes and bike industry.

Read this issues Cranked magazine - great article about n+1 in the bike world. IF you are an enlightened mountain biker you know what kind of riding you do and deep down what kit and spec you really need to do that.

You don't need to be envious of dentists because already you are a better biker than them .
  • + 3
 Two bikes that you left out of the review and would have been right at the top of the list, are the Kona Process 153 AL 29er and the Nukeproof Mega 290 29er. I demo a Kona Process 153 AL/DL 29er and I was impress with the handling & balance on the downhill, but was very impress with how the bike climb for its 32lbs weight.
  • + 1
 I bought the al/dl 29 and it’s handling is remarkable. The stability and ability really brings me confidence and Im not as beat up after a long day on the trail. You don’t really feel the weight or think about it when you are riding but its a little harder to do useless bunny hops over small root bumps at low speeds.
  • + 3
 I couldn't agree more about the slash, hence my name on pb! although most people just see the price tag and look the other way. the bike is like no other when it comes to frame stiffness (they aren't joking). it really is a race orientated bike!
  • + 1
 Pure race machine, glad I stayed with trek as others didn't match up to it during demo days. Only con is that cable rub rear brake line in/out of the rear chainstay
  • + 3
 knockblock and thrushaft! Even better than reactiv and drcv and full floater
  • + 7
 Bizet got robbed
  • + 2
 Which one is the liveliest?

I know Enduro is all about going fast over rough terrain, but I still like for my bike to have an engaged, lively feel.

I have a Santa Cruz 5010 and I love how responsive, playful and rowdy it is. I know these bikes are basically the polar opposite of that, but when I get my next rig it will prob be a 29er.

I’ve heard/read the Specialized Enduro is the most “playful” of the current crop of long travel 29ers, but maybe I’m looking in the wrong category and should just go with an Evil Following or something more “trail” oriented?
  • + 1
 I had a 5010 (amazing bike) and now have a standard hightower. I think it's a great bike, very playful for a 29er. Yeah, gets a little squirrley at speed on rough ground. That's a trade-off on the 51mm fork.

I had an enduro 29er before the HT. HT way more playful and responsive.
  • + 6
 Yeti 5.5 for the win! Orbea Rallon comparison would be appreciated.
  • + 6
 Where is the evil wreckoning!!!!
  • + 5
 Where is the Wreckoning? Instead of some brands I've never really heard of? But maybe that is just me.
  • + 1
 I used to love 29" wheels... on a steel hardtail bomb: a Transition TransAm... a big-wheeled BMX somehow... until I mounted a pair of 27,5" wheels on it, and suddenly it became something else... so much something else that I bought a Stanton Switchback framekit, and my conclusion is: 27,5" wheels give the best compromise between fun and capability, and full suspension bikes suck Smile
  • + 1
 Please stop the BS free advertising about specialized enduro 29 being the first at anything in 2013....
Lenz had the Behemoth in 2005 ffs...
Specialized did not even make hardtail 29ers until 2011 or something.

However if you like to manual, get a Lenz. Easiest bike to manual by far.
The ones in this review have the front wheel glued to the ground, except the sc ht lt (I have not ridden the pole).
  • + 1
 How about the Scott Genius 900 Tuned? Long reach, 65 HT, light weight and wicked climber with the lockout. Would love to get your take on that bike. Quite possibly the best Enduro Race bike, on paper, I have seen. Want more rider info on that one for sure. Thanks!!
  • + 1
 They didn't have one at the time of the article but they said they have one on the way.
  • + 4
 26 for li... Ah fuck it, almost all of these look super sweet, esp the Tranny. Might be time for some of that Koolade...
  • + 2
 Most affordable and one of the steepest seat angles: Mega 290. So for a lot of people the ONLY option. Performance loss over 10k plastic fantastic bikes (given correct suspension): None. Go figure.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer The Specialized website seems to state that the Enduro now has 160mm of front and rear travel...I am not sure if that is a typo or if the new yoke removes 5mm of rear travel.
  • + 2
 They've also changed it for 2017 so I don't think it is due to the yoke. Maybe a miscalculation on rear travel? Seems unlikely.
  • + 1
 The fact that the Rocky Mountain Instinct is not on this list makes me wonder if these articles are more pay to play ads than reviews.

I have ridden most of these and the Instinct would easily make it into the top 3 with the HT, and the Enduro. Also where is the Pivot, or Norco on this list?

I mean no disrespect, but leaving those candidates out while leaving in a bike like the Pole is pretty ridiculous!
  • + 6
 Have you ridden the Pole? As was mentioned in the article, these aren't the only options out there, and the Instinct is definitely a good choice as Levy expressed in his recent review: www.pinkbike.com/news/rocky-mountain-instinct-carbon-90-bc-edition-review.html.

As far as the "pay to play" accusation, that's absolutely untrue. This article is based on our experiences with these bikes, not on whether or not a company is an advertiser. No list will ever make everyone happy, but I do think the 7 bikes featured are a good sampling of what's on the market.
  • + 2
 I love me some shootout style reviews but I'm not a 29er guy so have no dog on this fight... however at least include all of the category heavyweights if you're going to do it. A Whyte and a Pole.. but no Evil?
  • + 3
 on the Whyte. "760mm bars may be too narrow for some riders". WTF is wrong with the bike industry? 760 is all most people need.
  • + 3
 @ryane Yeah, but the big downhillers have huge 800mm bars, so I must need them. I do quite well on 730s, actually. Anything wider and I'd be clipping trees on my local trails.
  • + 4
 Did you just give the opinion that 760 was all riders "need" as argument against the opinion that 760 "may not" be all riders need?

I'm unsure how that shows the industry has it all wrong? If all bars start at 800 it gives the riders the option to cut down to what they need.... If it's only 760 and riders would prefer something wider you would be buying a bike that now requires a new part... And from what I can tell all these bikes are too expensive according to most of the comments so I'm unsure just how stoked folks would be having to spend more after spending a ton...
  • - 4
flag ryane (Nov 7, 2017 at 19:41) (Below Threshold)
 @2bigwheels: Valid Point, ship all bikes with wide bars so they can be cut down. I'm just tired of the industry and fan boys pushing 800mm bars on every bike. You don't see roadies rocking 48cm bars cause all of the cool kids are doing it. It's just one of the many annoying fads these days. Same can be said about 2.6 tires, pizza plate cassettes, and 28t chainrings.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: Pro's(DH and Enduro) aren't running 800mm bars, more like 750-780mm.
  • + 1
 What's completely missing in all these 29er Tests is looking at mixed wheelsize dynamics. In MX they do it for a long time now, smaller rear wheel, bit more width, with a higher air volume for great traction, bigger front wheel with a smaller width for better cornering, braking etc.
I've been mixing 27.5" rear and 29" front for a year now on my enduros, and that mixed wheelsize rides so much better. It provides for a really dynamic ride, physics never lie. the lower the distance from the ground to the rear axle, the better the bike can be manualled, put on the rear wheel, and that's important with every step down, floater etc.
as well when it get's steep, it's nice to not always get that big 29" wheel into the ass. more ass clearance with a 27.5 rear wheel, and mud clearance is better too. sure, if its a flat, easy rolling trail with no technical challenges, 29" still rules. but if you like to play the bike, get it on the rear wheel, if you like steep technical descents in between, try a 27.5" rear.
  • + 1
 I'm looking to replace my Hightower with something that has a steeper seat tube angle, is a little bit more composed in the fast rough stuff. However, I don't want to give up a ton of pedaling efficiency, and still be able to have a good time if the trail isn't super gnar.

Is the Transition Sentinel the wrong choice?
  • + 1
 You guys asking about why XYZ bike wasn't included? Here's the answer: Pinkbike hasn't reviewed it by itself. For this article it does not appear they got all these bikes together for a weekend and had a bro-shred-sesh. No, they hopped on to a PC at night, presumably with a brew in hand, and mashed up articles they've already written. That's why it's not as much a "head-to-head" as it is a quick blurb about each bike and a surficial ranking at the end.

They hear us all asking for a head to head test. And so they bastardize several articles they've written several months apart. Missing the point Pinkbike.

Sentinel: www.pinkbike.com/news/transition-sentinel-review-2017.html
Whyte: www.pinkbike.com/news/whyte-s-150-carbon-rs-review.html
Hightower LT: www.pinkbike.com/news/santa-cruz-hightower-lt-first-ride-review.html
Slash: www.pinkbike.com/news/trek-slash-99-29-rsl-review-2017.html
Enduro 29: www.pinkbike.com/news/specialized-s-works-enduro-29-review-2017.html
SB5.5: www.pinkbike.com/news/yeti-sb55-review-2016.html
Pole: www.pinkbike.com/news/pole-evolink-140-review.html
  • + 5
 where is intense Carbine?
  • + 7
 Too bad the process 153 in 29 hasn’t been out long, would have liked to see it compared too.
  • + 5
 @nvidia Getting ready for the December sales section. Where else?
  • + 1
 @Protato: Sitting in a warehouse in the SoCal interior, waiting for depreciation to hit it just a little harder...
  • - 1
 @g-42: Stupid Metric shock from RockShox ruins everything.
  • + 5
 Choice??? Evil Wreckoning.
  • + 1
 Sorry, but we need real comparisons. I know there is a desire not to offend advertisers, but they can still be rated against each other. It is hard to buy a bad bike these days, but each has it's strength so come up with some categories and rate them on a scale of 1-10 and make the scale the same for ALL bikes, not just 160 enduro monsters. Where a Specialized Epic may be a 9 in climbing a HTLT should probably be a 5, etc. Then people can make informed decisions based on what is important to them. Hard to do that off some light opinions and vague statements about trail vs enduro etc.
  • + 1
 Hightower LT: " Weight: 29 lb / 13.15kg (size large)"
Yeti SB5.5: "Weight (as shown, size L w/o pedals): 28.5 lb (12.9 kg)

So put some pedals on the SB5.5 and it weighs exactly the same as the Hightower LT?
But the SB5.5 is incredibly light with no mention of weight of LT? or the weight listed is for an LT not shown bc "as shown" isnt stated??

Why even talk about weight when you list it in a way that make all the weights and statements about weight invalid?
  • + 1
 All weights are for the bikes as shown without pedals.
  • + 4
 Yt? Jeffsy 29? Great bike I think it would be near the top of this category! Just thrown that out there
  • + 1
 I concur - absolutely love mine.
  • + 4
 Mark Scott disagrees with your assessment on the LT not being to handle the roughness. 3rd at whistler!
  • + 2
 Another booo: You should have had time to check out the new kid on the block by now. Orbea Rallon! They say it does most thing better than most of the others...
  • + 2
 It's a good looking bike. But who's "they"?
  • + 2
 @heffernw: The people who manage the "cloud".
  • + 2
 @gautehovdal: We did a first ride as well - www.pinkbike.com/news/new-orbea-rallon-2018-first-look-and-first-ride.html, and we have one on the way for a long term test. Stay tuned.
  • + 2
 Good little round up, but as has already been mentioned, no Evil and also no Orange Stage5 or 6? Sure there a few more out there that should have been included.
  • + 1
 Good call with the Orange Stage bikes, also awesome machines!
  • + 1
 there are a lot of bike manufacturers out there, I guess they just picked a cross section of them. also having bikes to test long term to get a true feel for it, how many sites/mags etc are there and how many manufacturers could afford to send all of them test bikes.
though I would love to see a side by side of economical bikes rather than high end stuff. maybe bikes between 2-5k US where average joe would be looking.. I mean I would kill for a Yeti but at 5k just for a frame...yeah no, hence my decision to run with canyon, good frame with decent specs for a price that didn't break my account of 5k aus (about 3.5k US
  • + 4
 Does anybody own or have good review info on the 2018 Nukeproof mega 290?
  • + 4
 We reviewed the Mega back in 2016: www.pinkbike.com/news/nukeproof-mega-290-review-2016.html. It's a bit longer, and it now has a metric shock and a new tune for 2018, but otherwise it's very similar.

Although it wasn't included here, it's a really great bike, especially if you like going fast - those long chainstays turn it into a super fun freight train.
  • + 1
 I've shared some additional reviews of mine in the forums here and at mtbr. in summary... badass bike. buy one and be happy.
  • + 0
 The exclusion of the Evil Wreckoning is pitiful and diabolical. Constantly gets top marks as a class leader for long travel 29ers, and somehow, PB, the most widely looked at MTB website has it missing. Piss of PB. You fail here.
  • + 6
 Diabolical? Not exactly. We haven't reviewed the Wreckoning, which is why it isn't included here.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer: The question is, why haven't you reviewed the bike? It's been out for two full seasons, has been widely reviewed, and as noted, gets high marks in nearly all of them. You're posting a comparison of long travel 29ers, and you've left out one of the strongest competitors...
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: I'll bet you guys either sit around really bummed at all the negative posts you get after every article you post, or you're sitting around laughing at all the armchair magazine editors...I hope its the latter
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Yeah, not really diabolical. That's kind of an odd put down, but hail Satan and whatever. Seems like an oversight though as highly regarded as Wreckers are. I, like many here were disappointed it was not part of this comparison. I've ridden the Slash, the Yeti, the Enduro and the Hightower. I own a Wreckoning though and it summarily rides better than any of those. It's a ridiculously fun descender (peerless in that regard) that can play exceptionally well despite it's tank-like demeanor.
  • + 0
 PB may have approached Evil for articles and reviews since they have such rad bikes. But as you have pointed out "PB, the most widely looked at MTB website", Evil can't expect it's going to be free right...
  • + 1
 I have a 2017 Enduro 29er, and at first it sucked at cornering, but I got the new linkage which retails for $60 and it made a world of a difference. Sucks that I had to change it in the first place, but definitely worth it.
  • + 4
 Anyone feel like listing stock tire width as a con is always a cop-out?
  • + 2
 So close Pinkbike...
And then you didn’t include, arguably, the best bike in class. I would have let you guys borrow my Wreckoning in exchange for a full growler. Sheesh
  • + 2
 Can I borrow your Wreck for a full growler?
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: no problem!
  • + 3
 Good article. Helped me realize they're all too heavy and too much bike for my neck of the woods.
  • + 1
 I assure you they’re not
  • + 4
 Thanks for putting this together, lots of useful information here!
  • + 4
 What about the NS snabb plus 150?
  • + 1
 29er big bikes are a god send of the taller riders. Wheel size selection should be more decided around frame size, rather than bike purpose. This article needs an Orange Stage in it mefinks ('cause I ride a five29)
  • + 5
 Rocky Instinct BC??
  • + 4
 Wouldn't mind seeing how the new orbea rallon stacks up against these.
  • + 3
 Hmm should I buy one trek slash or two giant reign 27.5 for the same price??
  • + 3
 Glad to see the bike that I will buy in 2023 (the 2018 model) is being reviewed! Smile
  • + 2
 true about new bikes and marketing them...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj0uBQ7j5c4&feature=player_embedded
  • + 2
 Where is the Evil Wreckoning @mikelevy? Axiomatically a game changing bike from what I'm guessing is a non-ad buying brand.
  • + 3
 Epic fail by not having the king of 29ers, the Evil Wreckoning.
  • + 3
 So where are is the Evil Wreckoning ?
  • + 1
 Where are is ? Lol ha!
  • + 1
 They have to have the bikes to review them, any of you evil fanboys ever stop to think maybe Evil is the blame here?
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: fanboy? I was just asking a question.
  • + 2
 No Intense Carbine or Evil Wreckoning. Not a complete list. The Pole is a niche bike IMO.
  • + 3
 WHERE IS THE EVIL WRECKONING!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Pole??? White?? What tha???Damn woulda been nice to have had an evil, norco, intense in there.
  • + 2
 On the Hightower negatives, "Feels more like a long-travel trail bike.".....Well that's because it is a long-travel 29er.
  • - 1
 Good to see the bike industry going into the right direction with 29ers. Lots of interesting options although i would have limited the selection to more than 150mm rear travel, because rear travel + short chainstays are the biggest challenge in 29er design.
  • + 5
 Short chainstays are so 2016. Didn't you get the memo? It's all about changing CS length relative to the reach now. Short CS for small frame sizes, long for XL.
  • + 4
 @niplo: I know it's a radical thought, but i wish they'd take this a step further and do the same with wheel sizes. I have friends under or right at 5 feet tall, and even on 650b wheels they have a tough time manhandling the bike (woman-handling the bike?). A lot of tges e friends would be better on a 26" wheel, yet some of then own 29ers and keep clipping their feet on the front wheel when it turns. Imagine a 6' tall rider on 33" wheels. It would be ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as someone 5' tall on a 29er or even 650b.

It might be crazy, but I think a 26 wheel in the small, 650b on the medium and 29 in the large and xl might make sense for a lot of riders.

I've noticed that my tall friends don't care if a chainstay is 16.6 or 17.6" long, they're able to lift the front just fine . But for us short riders, even 1/4" makes a HUGE difference. It's tougher to get behind a bike when you have stubby arms and legs and less range of motion. I'm glad to see bikes adjusting chainstays for size, provided their smalls actually have sub 17" chainstays.
  • + 0
 @sixstringsteve: Your friends should get Litevilles. They have 26 front 24 rear combos for XSs.

www.liteville.com/en/40/technology/#technology_scaled-sizing
  • + 0
 ops, double post sorry.
  • + 1
 Why was the Pole's picture so low quality compared to the rest? Surely even a modern smartphone takes finer picture than that, as long as it's held steady?
  • + 4
 Why no Wreckoning...?
  • + 0
 Really expected to see the EWS winning Mega 290. Surely Nukeproof would have provided one. They seem to be giving them out like candy for reviews. Maybe they knew it would get shit on for its water bottle situation.
  • + 3
 275 won EWS
  • + 2
 @casman86: Not tall enough for a 29er....
  • + 1
 @euroford: I don't know about them but I'm 6'3" and switched to 27.5
  • + 1
 @casman86: conclusive evidence right there ^
  • + 2
 Why the hell is the New Rocky Instinct BC in the mix?
  • + 1
 Forget prices. Let's talk about the stem on that specialized. You could land a plane on that thing!
  • + 1
 Doesn’t seem right to leave the Evil Wreckoning off this list. Yeah, I know, not a new model, but still.
  • + 1
 Just buy an Evil Wreckoning and be done with it. Leaves all these bikes in the dust!
  • + 2
 No pun intended but...That Pole, to me, looks WAY to long.
  • + 1
 That's not what she said.
  • + 1
 1 the bintrager dropper is about the only good thing about the trek lol 2 yeti should have said it's not reliable
  • + 1
 MTBs are getting so stupidly expensive. Is there a pinkbike website version for cheap stuff?
  • + 2
 ..and Norco Range 29"?? i've got it and it's a beast!!
  • + 1
 Norco Range 29 is the best one of them all.
  • + 1
 Shhhhhh you guys, don't let the masses know so we can keep our speed weapons to ourselves Big Grin
  • + 1
 Norco Range 29 is very good agreed.

Spent a week in Whistler on a '17 Range C9 and was very impressed. So much so that coming home to my Yeti 5.5 was a bit disappointing.

Yeti 5.5 is good at everything I'd say but very good at one thing besides reacting to pedaling input. That can make it damn fast though as part of corner speed at least in lots of "enduro" type terrain one needs to pedal out of turns to really be fast.

Going to try a 18 Enduro 29 for next season. Will be interesting to see if I can better my times on it but '18 Enduro so far is seemingly going to be very good.
  • + 3
 no RAAW Madonna !!
  • + 2
 The Trek and Yeti look very nice. Price be damned.
  • + 1
 f*ck I am still torn between a Sentinel and a Patrol. 29 or 27.5 I don’t know. I wish the Sentinel had more rear travel..
  • + 3
 Chances are, if they are selling a Sentinel, there is a Patrol sitting next to it on the floor. Take em both for a spin. From everything I've read, the lower rear travel doesn't seem to be an issue on these bikes.
  • + 1
 “• Feels more like a long-travel trail bike” WTF! Isnt this what the review is all about? PB brain on BC greens!
  • + 2
 Would have loved to see the new KONA 153 in the mix
  • + 1
 It would be cool if there was a poll included in the article at the end to see which bike the users all preferred.
  • + 3
 No Trek X-Cal 8!?!?
  • + 1
 Yeah been waiting for this from dirt but they is well slow at putting shit out!!
  • + 1
 Are you too young to remember the old Guinness adverts?
  • + 1
 No guerrilla gravity ‘smash’ in the mix?
  • + 2
 Carbine?
  • + 2
 Pole ski
  • + 1
 can we get an edit for the enduro? 2018 29er is 160mm front and rear.
  • + 1
 BMC Trail Fox? New Carbine?
  • + 1
 so many integrated headset frames.
  • + 2
 where is the jeffsy?
  • + 2
 29er Mondraker Dune
  • + 2
 *your dad
  • + 1
 And the 2015 Remedy 29 w/ 150 up front wins!
  • + 1
 I've been waiting for a review like this since the dawn of the century!!
  • + 1
 Ridden and Rated: 7 Long-Travel 29ers
*for rich people.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the head to head review!
  • + 1
 I already ordered a slash I'm happy
  • + 1
 How are racing and DH performance separate categories...?
  • - 1
 down the hill has to be deciding factor.. do a point based system and call it out for gods sake... ; )...
  • + 0
 No e-bike options? fail..
  • + 1
 EVIL
  • + 1
 ooooo zing at bontrager
  • + 2
 In all honesty they should have said Bontrager everything. The fact their top end spec comes equipped with 3000$ worth of parts you'll want to change out is shameful...
  • + 2
 @m47h13u: doubtful-the bontrager stuff is actually really good- Only thing I've swapped is my grips. It's sooo mainstream to knock on an in house brand, but they have more money and better engineers than a lot of these component companies-stuff is solid and the customer service is the best I've come across. Might not have the "bling" factor- but if you're just looking for solid parts-look no further.
  • - 1
 What,No ebikes?
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