Throwback Thursday: 9 Bikes Turning 10 in 2023

Jan 19, 2023
by Ed Spratt  
As we kick off 2023 and await all of the exciting new product developments, let's look back through the archives at some of the bikes turning 10 during a year when we saw the beginnings of the EWS and the mainstream introduction of 27.5" wheels.



1. Santa Cruz Blur TR Aluminum

Launched as one of the last full 26" bikes from Santa Cruz, the aluminum Blur TR aimed to offer the same performance as its carbon companion but in a cheaper package. The bike was built up with 125mm of rear travel and could be paired with a fork from 120 to 150mm of travel. A lot has changed in trail bike geometry since the Blur TR with a 68-degree head angle, 72.5-degree seat tube and a reach of 426mm on a size large.

As with most Santa Cruz launches at the time Josh Bryceland put the bike through its paces.


Read more here.



2. Specialized Enduro SX
Specialized Enduro SX

Launched in 2013, the Enduro SX was purposely designed by Specialized for gated racing with a lowered bottom bracket and 100mm of travel. The SX branding from Specialized has been featured on a number of bikes from the longer travel SX Trail range to the original SX Trail which the Enduro SX evolved from.

The Enduro SX used the FSR suspension platform with the chain/seat stays and rocker link borrowed from the standard Enduro models, but the travel dropped to just 100mm at the rear. Initially Specialized made just 100 frames in a limited run of the model. Although more would be made, and now the Enduro SX has built a cult following as the bike of choice for dual slalom and 4X racers.

Specialized Enduro SX

Read more here.



3. Ibis Ripley 29
Ibis Ripley 29 side shot

While a lot of brands were releasing 27.5" bikes in 2013, Ibis launched its 29" Ripley trail bike with 120mm of rear travel. Unlike other brands who were releasing 29" bikes in sizes medium and up Ibis managed to create the Ripley in a size small, allowing smaller riders to test out the larger wheel size.

Work on the Ripley reportedly started as early as 2005 when Dave Weagle came up with the idea that you could replace the linkages of his signature rear suspension design with eccentric, rotating cams.

Ibis Ripley geometry


Read more here.



4. Pivot Firebird 275
Pivot Firebird side shot

Launched as the brand's first mid-size wheeled bike, the Pivot Firebird 275 had 167mm of rear travel although it was not too different from the previous 26" offering. Interestingly, the 26" Firebird was able to fit certain 27.5" wheels and tires unchanged but for the official model from Pivot there were a few changes to make it work slightly better.

For the 275 production model, the Firebird swingarm remained unchanged with enough room for 2.5" 27.5" tires, and the BB height even stays the same as the 26" wheeled bike at 14 inches. To keep a similar ride height the head tube was shortened slightly and the head angle was slackened out slightly using a Pivot-designed headset cup to create a 66-degree head angle.

Pivot Firebird details

Read more here.



5. Redalp Enduro Bike
Abstract background. EPS 10 vector illustration. Used opacity mask and transparency layers of background

After launching a downhill bike the year before, 2013 saw Redalp launch its take on an enduro bike with the 180mm Cascadeur FR. Developed by Redalp to take on the then newly-formed European enduro races and the EWS, the bike used the same frame as the previous downhill bike including the high pivot layout and the unique chain drive system.

Read more here.



6. Santa Cruz Bronson 650B
Black Bronson C with orange decal kit Enve XXI build

The Bronson formed part of Santa Cruz Bikes' first steps into 27.5" bikes after previously being reluctant to step up to 29" wheels. The new Bronson was said to be part of a move to take on the new enduro races and EWS. The fresh Bronson frame uses design improvements first used by the Tallboy LTC with a simplified swingarm design, sturdy aluminum rocker links, and adjustable angular contact bearings in the suspension pivots. New for the Bronson was internal dropper post routing and a direct-mount front derailleur.

bigquotesTwo decades of evolution at Santa Cruz brought us here. An entirely new frame, new wheel size and new perspective on what a 6" travel bike can conquer.

Bronson is not some rehashed 27.5" tribute act to anything else in our range. It stands alone as testament to the years of designing and refining at our old Bronson Street facility.

Locked up for months of secret testing, Bronson breaks straight onto the scene as the Syndicate's race bike for their Enduro World Series campaign.

From Tazmon to Bronson... Santa Cruz continues to lead each new era in mountain bike design.
Santa Cruz Bikes

Read more here.



7. Devinci Troy 650B
Devinci Troy

2013 saw Devinci launch its 140mm 27.5" Troy trail bike. While sharing a similar appearance to Devinci's Dixon, the Troy was designed fresh for the largest wheel size with slightly less travel although both bikes used the same Split Pivot suspension layout. With less travel than other bikes in its range and the slightly bigger wheel Devinic altered the pivot locations.

The 27.5" Troy was also the first carbon bike from Devinci to use internal cable routing with entry points just behind the head tube with port exits near the bottom bracket.

Devinci Troy

Read more here.



8. Liteville 601 Mullet
Interbike

Offering a look forward to the present the 10-year-old Liteville 601 MK3 offered up a scaled sizing system with three different mullet wheel options from 26/24 to 29/27.5" pairings.

Liteville offered up its 190mm 601 mullet with a 26/24" front and rear wheel combo on its extra small sizes with a bump to 27.5/26" wheel on medium frames with then a bump up to 29/27.5" on the larger shorter travel versions of the bike. Liteville said at the time: "The answer to the question of the correct wheel size (front and rear) is always dependent on the frame - and hence the rider size."

Read more here.



9. Orbea Rallon
Side profile

Another bike being redeveloped with the rising popularity of enduro racing in 2013 was the Orbea Rallon. Previously the brand's longest travel offering maxed out at 150mm and found its current lineup leaned more towards trail than true enduro racing.

At the time Orbea MTB Product Manager, Xabier Narbaiza, said: "We asked our dealers and our riders what they were looking for. We realised that our previous bike was more of a trail, or all-mountain bike and it wasn't right for enduro. The seconds in the race are won downhill, but it needs to be an economic bike going uphill. You don't want to waste energy, so you have 100-percent for when the timing starts, but we really wanted to make it fast, to perform going downhill. And uphill, you will have to sacrifice. Whether it's the main pivot point or taking a fork that isn't lockable, we'll do that."

To fit the growing enduro market the Rallon saw a bump to 27.5" wheels and travel increased up to 160mm front and rear. The head angle could be changed between 66.5 and 66 degrees with the seat tube angle also adjusting from 75 to 74.5 degrees.


Read more here.





208 Comments

  • 217 0
 That Liteville looks like its aged nicely.
  • 24 1
 Probably also because they don't do fashion that much. Their designs hardly change over the years, just minor details. And they didn't boast any race pedigree (just bikes for riding) so they didn't see themselves limited by the silly UCI ban on dissimilar wheel sizes front and rear.
  • 8 32
flag A-lightweight (Jan 19, 2023 at 12:54) (Below Threshold)
 That's because it's a painted 2020 Orange Alpine.
  • 53 0
 Liteville wins this article.
  • 16 0
 Agree so much,
The rest is "aaaaw, f*ck, how could we ride this stuff" (apart from the spesh).

BUT: Liteville a nice outside the box thinking, German engineer run brand has been sold end of last year,
now belonging to Pierer Mobility (Austria), better known in EU for Husqvarna & GasGas Ebikes, plus they bought FELT.

Syntace (lightweight but super solid/robust) was the component branch of Liteville and is under same umbrella as well, now

The Liteville / Syntace team is still the same, let's see if they get more momentum on an int. level with the new owner, focusing on development and rides, less the daily business hassles like accounting & sales.
  • 10 0
 Mullets in 2013… either a hockey player or drives a clapped out pickup truck..
  • 1 0
 @one38: If pierre bought it ktm mtbs will be a much better option to buy
  • 8 1
 @A-lightweight: Don't try to make Orange bikes look cool, that's not going to happen. XD

imgflip.com/i/ozx8k
  • 1 0
 @Noeserd:
Yes, Pierer owns KTM Motobikes,
But KTM bicycles is a totally different brand, even if they both come from the same, small town in Austria,
don't ask, its a loooong story.
  • 3 0
 @sportstuff: Mullets in 2023. . . either a hockey player or a teen that doesn't want a perm.
  • 1 0
 Are we allowed to say “ Redalp”in 2023? It dosent feel right for some reason.
  • 3 0
 The Liteville could have been released yesterday and would still look handsome AF. What a bike. Oozing quality.
  • 81 1
 The enduro sx is still super legit, perfect trail jib bike. I had a Transition Double around that time but that was unfortunately discontinued, but also a ridiculous jib machine
  • 12 0
 I still have my Double. Almost never ride it, but every time I do I'm amazed I ever ride anything else. Just the most fun bike, especially on 4X tracks and flowy DH
  • 7 1
 Can confirm, I mini mulleted mine and it’s super playful on the trails
  • 29 0
 We need more bikes like the enduro sx. Maybe not 'downcountry' but fun, short(ish) travel jib bikes.
  • 9 0
 If you want a modern one, NS still makes the soda slope, which at one point sold with a 120mm fork.
  • 16 1
 bikes like that is why i bitch about 26" discontinuation. that's both fun and PERFECT bike to learn everything on. small enough for all the tricks, has suspension for downhilling full blast
  • 13 0
 The Enduro SX didn't originate from the SX Trail as mentioned in the article. The SX Trail originated from the 2003 Enduro SX. The regular Specialized Enduro didn't have a tunnel around the shock, just an interrupted seattube. The 80mm travel Enduro SX (the one Anneke Beerten raced to second place at the Lisbon urban DH race and which Matt Hunter used to chase cows in the first The Collective video) was the one which has this tunnel around the shock and which the next generation of Specialized Enduro bikes were derived from.
  • 8 2
 @baca262: banshee rune and spitfire. Still 26.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: I still have my 04 SX and an 09 SX. As you pointed out, the SX Trail evolved from the SX, not the other way around.
  • 3 12
flag CSharp (Jan 19, 2023 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 The Enduro SX basically became the 2011-2018 Stumpjumper. Great bike except for the SRAM crap that was on there. Had to put XTR/XT components and changed out the rear shock and wheels. Just an awesome all-round bike!

The Spesh Enduro then took on the X-Wing look and I really wanted that frame! Now, they've redesigned the Enduro and it looks like any other modern day MTB. Frown

I can't believe all the bikes here are classified as throwbacks. The only one I'd classify as a throwback is the Redalp Enduro Bike. That thing looked like it's from the 80's/90's!
  • 7 0
 long live fun bikes
  • 9 1
 The Status 140 is the spiritual successor to the SX Supercross. Same suspension linkage. I'm short-stroking a 140 which should put it around 133mm of travel in the back.
  • 16 16
 Can we please stop using "jib" when talking bikes please?
  • 5 2
 @kookseverywhere: After looking at Urban Dictionary, I still don't know what "jib" means. But in the context of @artistformlyknowasdan, I think it's a good usage. Add that to the Urban Dictionary! Big Grin
  • 4 2
 @CSharp: technically it’s a sailing term but we stealing it
  • 12 0
 @CSharp: the term "jib" originated from snowboarding, it is used to describe riding on anything besides snow, such as: rails, boxes, tree stumps... etc. It dose not perfectly apply to the mtb realm, but I do think it makes sense especially when riding wooden features.
  • 8 0
 @vinay: yeah yeah, I had an '04 SX in silver that I bought from Jordie Lunn (RIP), that thing was soo fun back then. still have a pic of it. ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb444160/p4pb444160.jpg
  • 3 0
 @The26rider: Every bike is fun!
  • 5 0
 I have a commencal meta4x and it always brings a smile to my face every time i ride it. Is it a twitchy handful to ride on trails at speed yes but my god it is a stupid overly excited puppy of a bike that makes every ride a joyful if somewhat nutty adventure.

the bike in question Big Grin
i.imgur.com/urxn9sm.jpeg
  • 3 0
 @atariwarrior: Nice! Camo Shermans. I had a Shiver SC on mine.
  • 2 0
 @ratedgg13: Throw a leg over a Spesh Status 140
  • 1 0
 @seraph: Why short stroke it? You buzzing your tyre on the seat or something?
  • 1 1
 @DemoBuster: a jib is a small sail at the front of a sailboat. So it's more like this Jib= sailing snowboardingMt Biking
  • 2 0
 @slowerthanmydentist: You don’t get it- it’s “look- I just rode over these 3 2 feet drop steps” or “oh shit I went over this and made it f*** yeah!”
  • 3 0
 I had (nephew still rides it) a clapped out Kona Howler for this exact reason (and the fact that I couldn’t get hold of an Spesh SX or Commencal Meta4X for love nor money) and absolutely loved thrashing around all the trail centres and XC stuff near us. It was super fun and was great to chase all the DH biked guys down the Blues and red DH tracks near me on the Saturday, go for an XC ride (slowly) on Sunday and pop over to a BMX or pump track on Monday while all the kids are at school.

Apart from people riding these bikes for 4X I think they were used as Downcountry bikes before such a thing actually existed.
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: nice! Always liked the look of the Howler but never ran across one. I have a Dudu that was the previous 4X/DS bike and it’s a lot of fun to ride.
  • 1 0
 You could say the same thing about the Pivot M4X!
  • 3 1
 @MikeGruhler: oh my god, it's almost like words in the English language can have more than one meaning
  • 2 0
 A jib is also the main horizontal arm on a crane. And also a persons nose. But remember kids, you are only EVER allowed to use words in the way some guy on the internet first heard it used.
  • 1 3
 @Edgibson: stfu troll, it's 27.5
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: to reduce the rear wheel travel and make the rear end more snappy.
  • 2 0
 @seraph: Short stroking it won't make the rear end feel any more snappy, as it won't change the kinematics of the linkage at all. It will feel identical to how it does with the longer stroke, it will just bottom out sooner. Simply running a stiffer spring at the rear (while keeping the standard stroke) will give you all of the advantages I think you are looking for, with the added benefit that it wont hit the bottom out stop unnecessarily.
  • 1 0
 @baca262: look it up
  • 1 4
 @Edgibson: I DID, that's why i say stfu troll
  • 1 0
 @baca262: as a banshee owner, this is correct. Banshee does specifically state that the spitfire and rune are designed to take 26 wheels if you so choose.
  • 3 0
 I used to assemble Banshee bikes for the UK. There are bolt on dropouts that allow the use of either 26 or 27.5 wheels. So technically there is a 26" specific variant of both bikes, that (with the correct dropouts fitted in the correct position) will not accept wheels larger than 26.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Weren't these called Mythic over there?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: yeah there were trademark issues with bikes that were sold a halfrauds from i can remember leading to them being mythic in the UK for a bit
  • 1 6
flag baca262 (Jan 23, 2023 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 @gabriel-mission9: you literal trolls (liars) just don't want to see the real world, do you? it's a 27.5 bike with 26" OPTION, not the other way around. it's a 27.5 bike.
  • 1 3
 what yall saying is, you can put 26" wheels on a 29" bike and it's a 26" bike. does that work?
  • 2 0
 @baca262: ok. You win.
  • 1 0
 @baca262: absolutely. Or 24. But 29 front and 20 inch rear is the real sweetspot for me.
  • 1 0
 My bike is 26" specific front and rear. My 26x2.4" front wheel (Conti Trailking on a 29mm inner width rim) is about the same diameter as someone elses 27.5x2.2" wheel. So yeah, pretty sure you can put 26" wheels in a 27.5" wheeled trail bike. 2.2" wide is probably narrow by modern standards but bike designers probably still take them into account.
  • 1 5
flag baca262 (Jan 23, 2023 at 8:39) (Below Threshold)
 @Edgibson: damn straight i win. you can't outright make shit up, wtf? that koolaid that good?
  • 4 0
 @baca262: No. There are dropouts that make the bike 26" specific, rather than just a 27.5 bike with small wheels fitted and wonky geo. But you enjoy your impotent rage. Try not to have a coronary over it eh?
  • 1 2
 @gabriel-mission9: certainly, and i'm the ruler of the universe
  • 1 0
 @baca262: What if he says the bike is 26" specific and there are dropouts that allow you to run a 27.5" rear wheel too? Goes for the DMR Bolt Long too.

Good luck with your universe.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: thank you.
  • 3 0
 @baca262: maybe you should put down the crack pipe, pour out all the beer cans full of piss, and go outside and get some fresh air. We are all worried about you. We want to support you.
  • 1 5
flag baca262 (Jan 23, 2023 at 12:27) (Below Threshold)
 @Edgibson: good good, let the butthurt flow through you.

how on earth can a bike be "26" specific" if it can run both wheel sizes? yall talking out of your asses, the bike was by necessity designed for both wheel sizes and therefore cannot be "26" specific". go on worshipping what the internet tells you, bootlickers.
  • 1 5
flag baca262 (Jan 23, 2023 at 12:32) (Below Threshold)
 oh oh, i saw the light, i get it, how it can be 26" specific. because some trolls told me so lol. my god the modern kids really need to get over themselves, they'll get themselves in trouble
  • 3 1
 @baca262: Didn't you just say a few posts ago that the Banshee is a 27.5 bike even though it has the 26" OPTION?

You're talking to me through the internet too, but I won't be licking anything.
  • 1 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: ha it was the fancy one with the Ti spring too.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: I'll keep that in mind.
  • 1 0
 @8a71b4: and you can find Specialized P.Slope's around. Plus Canyon has the Stitched 720 and doesn't Trek have something similar that Semenuk rides?
  • 1 0
 @mca896: Trek has the Ticket S but it's not quite the frame that Semenuk rides. Also it doesn't have a concentric BB so you have to run a tensioner if you want to go single speed.
  • 3 0
 @mca896: All of those are Slopestyle bikes, and are smaller size. Soda slope is slightly larger (which is why you don't really see it on the slopestyle circuit cause it makes it harder to throw tricks), but on the flip side its slacker and you can set it up with a dropper and gears to be an actual trail bike as long as you are not overly tall.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: as with a crane, it is also the name of the large apparatus with a horizontal arm that holds a video camera like you see in concerts and sporting events.
  • 60 2
 So glad we got rid of the front derailleurs...
  • 15 47
flag CSharp (Jan 19, 2023 at 13:08) (Below Threshold)
 Still have mine - just gotta know how to tune them and know when/how to use them.
  • 30 3
 @CSharp: nope. The world is a better place without them.
  • 14 2
 @CSharp: im glad they still exist for all three people that like them. Bikes have gotten alot better by not needing to fit them though.
  • 7 0
 Front mech is the most annoying thing on my road bike - so glad the "proper" bike doesn't have them any more! When I bought my Whyte G150 (also 10 years ago, to match the article!), I asked the shop to 1x it, and they actually gave me a discount, as they could resell the mech, chain rings and shifter for less than the labour and the single ring!
  • 3 4
 @CSharp: I miss having the big gears to get from/to the trailhead. It takes me longer to cycle to the trails than ten years ago...
  • 2 0
 @korev: maybe a bigger chainring is an option for you, I cant Imagine someone having these troubles on a 38t
  • 2 0
 @korev: are you secretly dangerholm? Or at least have his thighs? I don't spin out on road except down pretty big hills, where gravity or aerotucking makes a lot more difference than my legs. I've got 32x10-50 on 29 - I do occasionally ponder dropping to a 30 for winching up steep stuff...
  • 3 4
 I used single ring in the front forever. Decided to put a front derailer on and love it everyday. Then they started makes bikes without even having the option now. Imagine that
  • 1 7
flag CSharp (Jan 20, 2023 at 8:25) (Below Threshold)
 @mountainsofsussex: It's so annoying because you don't know how to tune it properly. For road bikes, there's actually great trimming with the front derailleur. For MTB of the past with friction based shifters, that trimming was possible but most people riding MTB didn't know how to ride bigger gears and 99% of the people didn't even know that the chain was constantly rubbing in between the front derailleur cage. I like to see SRAM try to get rid of this for road biking because you won't get that power sprint without having that front gear switch. LOL, come on, downvote me! Big Grin
  • 1 1
 @nfa2005: Unless your seat tube is rectangular (like my Stumpjumper) or some taper odd shape, you won't be able to put a front derailleur on unless you brazed on either the direct mount holes for direct mount from derailleurs. For round seat tubes, you can get ones with a band like most old bikes have. Most bikes never actually came with direct mount options anyway until somebody decided to make one. Then SRAM came along and used the E1-E3 direct mount standards to screw up everything. Then, they totally abandoned them afterwards and in came the big dish cassette races (which they lost BTW to Campagnolo LOL).
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: you make a good point. front derailleurs seem reasonable on a road bike, where theres no reason to be dropping the chain and an even wider range is helpful. my fatbike in 2016 came with a 2x10, and ill certainly admit that it was kinda nice being able to move to a way harder or easier gear with one click. The 2x10 wasnt nearly as bad as people make it out to be. that said, overall, 1x10 was wayyyy better. the 2x10 had one small upside, compared to everything else about a single ring setup being better.

but again, like you said, front derailleurs are useful only on road bikes, so im not sure why we're even talking about them here.
  • 3 0
 @CSharp: as requested. You're welcome
  • 1 0
 @Torbo24: I think that front derailleurs make sense on a road bike to give closer ratios rather than a wider range. I never had any problems with one on an MTB. For me, the main advantage is the removal of design restrictions and the more consistent suspension performance.
  • 1 0
 I have the actual specialized enduro sx in these pictures if anyone wants to buy it. In nearly perfect condition and barely ridden. I purchased it as a complete build from the specialized warehouse after they used it for the launch media tour. I made a few small changes over the years. Frame, fork, crank, and wheels are all the same still. The wheels weigh nothing. Very fun bike.
  • 1 0
 For the same gearing range, using a front mech allows you to run a smaller cage rear mech than if you'd use a 1x setup. No, the manuals won't agree. But just use the short mech and make sure that the chain is long enough that you can (accidentally) shift big-big. Worst that can happen is that you (accidentally) shift small-small, in which case your chain will go slack. But you probably won't shift small-small anyway, it doesn't make sense. And use a grip shift for the front mech, triggers will never work well. With a grip shift (and two front rings) you need next to zero cable adjustment as with nine positions at your disposal, you can always force the front to shift and not rub.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: if i were worried about a smaller mech, id just go with 1x10 and do like an 11-42 with a 30 tooth. Which is exactly whats on my fatbike, and honestly i like it alot more than the mostly slx 12 speed on my other bike.

seriously though, all the rattling and clanking and dropped chains doesnt bother you about using a front derailleur? again, makes sense on a road bike where nothing dynamic is happening anyway
  • 1 0
 @Torbo24: I haven't used a front mech in a while so I can't comment on the modern front mechs, nor what they're like with a rear mech with clutch. For your information, my current setup is a Shimano Zee rear mech with a 11-36t cassette and a single 34t oval front ring with top guide and taco bashprotector (the latter two in a combined unit from One Up). It works well and the Shimano Zee has the shortest cage I could find for this kind of range.

Before this, I indeed used a bottom swing front mech (22t, 32t and bash ring) with the shortest cage SRAM X9 rear mech I could find with a 11-34t 9sp cassette. This X9 rear mech didn't have a clutch so yeah, it wasn't as silent as a setup with clutch. Won't blame that on the front mech. As for the rattling, as I said the grip shift allows you to put the front mech exactly where it should be. If you hear a rattle, shift it one click and you're good. I preferred a bottom swing front mech as it was more open (hence easier to clean out) than the top swing ones but I have no experience with the modern side swing ones. They're said to be better, but I can't tell. As for dropping chains, how? One side has the bashring. I can't imagine how a chain would cross that. The other side has the granny gear as a catching net so even if it does drop, you can quickly put it back on with the front mech shifter. But the front mech is a top guide. The chain doesn't just drop. But see, I'm currently using a top guide and bash protection (mounted to the ISCG05 tabs). Nowadays I'm seeing loads of bikes without any guidance nor protection. I can't see how they're less likely to drop a chain (or damage a ring) than with the setup I had.

So yeah, I am worried about smaller mechs and am just using the smallest I can get. The question is, if you also want a bigger gearing range. I'd prefer to keep the small cage and consider a dual ring setup whereas others accept the big modern cages to keep the single ring setup. It is also a matter of money. Cassettes for 12sp drivetrains are incredibly expensive and you can't replace individual sprockets as far as I know. The 32t steel Deore chainring was 9 euro a piece to replace. And on my 10sp XT cassette I can still replace individual sprockets for which the smallest ones are about 3 euro a piece (or 6 euro if you go for XTR).
  • 1 0
 @vinay: 1x with 11=36T cassette and 34T chainring is a hard go for uphill with more than 5% grade for short climbs without speed. For longer ones with that cassette range, you need the 2x setup with the 22/24T granny.

As for the XTR 11-36T cassette, it's one of the lightest and high durability cassette I've had. However, the only flaw in it is the constant creaking it makes on the last 4 rings because of the rivets. I tried putting in lube or anti-seize but man, the constant creaking drove me nuts. This was a known issue for the Dura-Ace cassettes for road bikes as well.

I'd go with XT and buy some SLX for that gear range. Why SLX? the last 5-6 biggest rings are interchangeable and are XT chainrings on the SLX and the whole cassette is like $10-$30 less. The smaller ones on the SLX cassette are heavier than the ones on the XT cassette. You can also interchange pieces from the XT/SLX with the XTR but it won't look as nice. The XT's biggest rings are titanium.

11-spd Shimano cassettes still have interchangeable cassette rings. It's too bad the 12-spd versions are all one single unit.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: I turned mine by putting them in a box, and now I know exactly when and how to use them.
  • 22 0
 In 2013 I set up a size large Blur TR with 150mm Pike fork, -1.5 Cane Creek Angleset, and two -.5 burgtec offset shock bushings. I also ran it with 27.5 wheels.

Results? I did the best sub 1 hour Downieville run of my life, despite stopping multiple times to make sure my friend was still alive.

My takeaway:

Friends>Strava times

Short travel > Long travel (on this route)

and... old tech was stunning with some tweaks!
  • 24 0
 The bronson still a fun bike to ride, such a balance a playfull feeling!
  • 12 0
 I second this. I tear it down and rebuild it once a year and it's still running strong.
  • 16 0
 The Bronson still looks great ten years later, Sure was fun to ride
  • 8 0
 That bike was my first carbon fiber frame, first carbon fiber wheels, first 27.5, first 1x drivetrain, first dropper post. A shame it got smashed a year later by a 90 year old man going into the back of my car at 50mph with no brakes, and then its crushed remains got stolen off the back of my totaled car while it was being hauled from the wreckage site to the salvage yard.
  • 7 0
 @tbmaddux: Hell of story for an insurance claim. Kudos!
  • 15 0
 @pmhobson: thanks. I'd rather have kept the car and bike intact and not experienced the trauma of the wreck, but I wound up happy with the replacements. More here with pictures (or just search for "wrecked car stolen bronson"):

www.mtbr.com/threads/wrecked-car-stolen-bronson-new-nomad.977596

I should add that someone found the stolen bike (frame only) about a year and a half later on Craigslist and was suspicious, did a search, found my post, and called the police. They recovered the frame and, with my permission, auctioned it off with proceed going to charity to help local kids in Eugene, OR.
  • 2 0
 I rode mine as my main bike until a few months ago (not the 2013, but the same generation). It's a lot of fun and i plan to keep it around.
  • 2 0
 The Bronson makes any ride a fun ride - got a Spire last season and was worried my Bronson wouldn't have much of a place in my bike lineup. Nope, the Bronson shines even more when I'm not trying to go stupid fast. The Spire can handle the race duties while the Bronson is a 'pedal' bike. Maybe one day I'll replace the Bronson with the new Tallboy...
  • 1 0
 @deaf-shredder: almost same boat. I bought a Patrol not too long ago and thought my Bronson 2 would be redundant. Now it’s my mellow trails/long rides bike.
  • 22 0
 That Enduro SX though!
  • 19 0
 That Ibis Ripley looks like it rear ended a car at full speed. Funny how our aesthetical perception got so used to LLS bikes. Also, geo chart without reach
  • 1 0
 Haha! Yes, the reach was so short, they could not print a number that small! Seriously though, I had the "long" LS version and it was a great bike...sadly was stolen from my garage.
  • 17 0
 That Specialized Enduro SX, Damn I miss DS/4X so hard right now.

*Marty, we have to go back"
  • 15 0
 Still gutted that PB never got the Redalp on test. It might have ridden great, you never know...
  • 3 0
 they should have tried it since in the last 2-3 years there is nothing but high pivot talk
  • 16 1
 I still ride a 2013 Enduro, it shreds just fine!
  • 15 0
 Liteville.... so hot right now
  • 12 0
 I just wanna ride a Transition Bottlerocket again!!!!
  • 7 0
 The second generation (2015) Troy was an awesome bike. I had a carbon one and beat the crap out of it for 4 seasons with no real issues other than replacing the wear items. I wish they kept that style of frame for the newer generations,.Im just not into the swoopy lines of the new ones.
  • 1 0
 Totally with you on those lines.
  • 6 0
 Got my '13 Superfly 100 Elite SL here on PB classifieds back in '20 for $1300.
Doesn't seem like a 10 year old bike! Can't imagine a faster XC bike (for me). Feels to me like it was ahead of its time with 29" & G2 geometry.
1x conversion and upgrades, 19" frame=- 22.2 lbs with pedals. I don't think I can buy a current bike that gets down to that for under $10k. I'm $2k all in.
  • 2 0
 I’ve got a ‘13 Stache that I still ride as a singlespeed and I love it despite knowing the geometry is pretty outdated.
I love going back and reading descriptions/reviews of it when it came out since it’s always described as having ‘aggressive trail’ geometry, and these days it’s not even as ‘aggressive’ as an XC race bike.
  • 5 0
 Find these on the buy/sell with desperate 3rd and 4th owners still trying to squeeze another $1500 out of them. Fun list, and 2013 is about when I got into riding bikes! My 2013 bike was much much less advanced than anything on this list though.
  • 7 0
 Covid worked in the favor of those owners. A friend bought an old RM alititude for $1700, upgraded a few things and rode it for two years and sold it for $2400. Saw it on FB marketplace the next season (early 2021) for sale for $3300.

Absolutely stupid and definitely wasn't worth that, but people were willing to pay...
  • 8 0
 The Orbea Rallon looks pretty decent still!
  • 3 4
 Really? I think that humpback top tube look is the absolute worst
  • 2 0
 @Torbo24: I guess I meant as far as Geometry goes. Pretty long reach, decently slack head angle.
  • 1 0
 @Endurahbrah: oh yes absolutely
  • 6 0
 Banshee brought its V2 frames out in 2013. Rune, Spitfire, Phantom, Prime etc... They all look (and probably ride) better than most of the bikes in this list.
  • 1 0
 Are you sure? The phantom V1 was from the end of 2014 and V2 2017...
  • 1 0
 @RottenFR: my V2 Spitfire was from 2013. They did a frame details refresh later, but the geometry stayed the same until V3.
  • 4 0
 The fact that Enduro SX bikes sell for nearly retail a decade later is a clear indicator that that style of bike, a 100mm mini dh / 4X bikes, have a market. A slopestyle bike isn't quite the same.
In short, make more Enduro SX bikes specialized, ya jokers. Maybe that'd fix your money woes.
  • 5 0
 I love how they push the enduro name So much the RedAlf FR which stands for "FREE RIDE" is magically an enduro bike. Ah no it's a freeride bike!!
  • 16 0
 enduro is what they renamed freeride bikes when they realized the sport had to get dulled the f*ck out to sell $8,000 bikes to dog walkers and north face van life types
  • 8 0
 @luckynugget: "then they came for the north face van life types, and I did nothing"
  • 6 1
 Still riding my first gen Bronson in that same colorway. Suspension, drive train, and wheels still original. Has seen many a brutal day at Snowshoe and keeps on truckin'.
  • 2 0
 PB’ers love to shit on SC, but can’t deny they are very well made.
  • 5 0
 Fun article. It'd be interesting to see the MSRP at the time. Maybe beside what it'd be today adjusted for inflation.
  • 5 0
 An old Dutch saying goes: 'One should learn on an old bike'. So much fun to be had here!
  • 3 0
 NICE. In all sorts of ways.
  • 6 0
 That RedAlp looks like it stole the concept drawing for a folding bike
  • 2 0
 First real modern mtb I bought was an aluminum V1 Bronson, bought right here on PB. It was frame only, and the douche that sold it to me passed it off in the ad as in "perfect condition" when in reality it had a ton of scratches on the downtube. He didn't even bother to pack it even remotely adequately and just threw the frame in the box. Lots of hard lessons learned that 1st couple of years of mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 Secretly pleased as hell to see the Redalp make the list; Its taken some serious (usually justified) flak for its looks over the years.
I’d love to take one down a mountain one day, kinda suspect it probably rides deceptively well.
  • 4 0
 Secretly, huh?
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: Yup. Shhhhh, don't tell a soul.... Wink
  • 2 0
 I still have my original era Specialized SX from 2008 (the black and red one with the checkerboard graphics). Used it for dual slalom racing from 2016-2019 at a local ski area series, and it was so great for that style of riding. Long and low, the low bottom bracket really made it corner like a demon, and the short travel smoothed out track ripples just enough to keep the wheels from skipping away from you... I now just take it for short trail rides (got a 60mm rise bar on it now for comfort), and will probably never sell it because, frankly, nobody wants such a weirdo bike!
  • 5 0
 this is my favorite article in a min
  • 4 0
 I find myself thinking back to my 2013 Blur TRC at times and breathing a sigh of regret at ever selling it.
  • 2 0
 I got back into mtb around 2011 2012, and that Troy was the first new bike that i saw that really blew me away. Also i remember the bible of bike tests review of that bronson. Got that issue of Bike on my shelf
  • 4 0
 The only reason why bikes got longer and slacker is because those 29-ers caused immediate eye cancer back then.
  • 1 0
 Trek released its first 29er Fuel EX "Trail" bike in mid 2013. It had a terrifying 69.5 degree head angle, 120mm travel from/rear, an 80-100mm stem.
It was also a crazy fast on climbs and rolling terrain.
Descents were a different story...
  • 1 0
 Why is the default answer to over forking, "too much stress could crack and kill you" when ten years ago a bike with a 68 degree headtube angle could be forked from 120-150mm? I always thought this was bullshit to begin with as I've heard of plenty of people way overforking (myself included) but not much about anyone breaking there bike because of it.
  • 1 0
 the Pivot Firebird climbed like a goat and descended like a mini-Sunday. With a 170mm fork and a coil shock it was unstoppable (but short...). A friend's got one with an angle headset, and if you focus on suspension performance, it's still an incredible performer
  • 2 1
 Pivot Firebirds (275 and previous) were THE WORST bikes ever.... so short and cramped, with linear suspension.
when other brand had already slacker and way longer (reach) bikes....
  • 2 1
 They’ve come along way. The new one is really nice.
  • 3 0
 Had that Rallon in '15 and still one of my favorite bikes. Avy tuned BOS fork and DB inline coil. Awesome bike.
  • 4 0
 The Orbea and Liteville look like they were YEARS ahead
  • 1 0
 My OG Blur will be twenty next year. Can it get its' picture on Pinkbike to mark the birthday? The anodized frame still looks awesome, unlike the many painted bikes that followed it.
  • 3 0
 the specialized really stands out to me as the nicest looking bike. looks fun to ride too. they should bring them back.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, whatever happened to Specialized?
  • 2 0
 Had one of those Troys and loved it. Struggled with the reach though. They were too short, especially for tall guys like me. That rear suspension was dialed IMO.
  • 1 0
 I kept my 2013 Turner Burner . Anodized finish looks new. Journal bearings with grease fittings are quiet and don’t wobble. Clears a 2.4. I guess I’ll drag it out and get some mud on it, thanks
  • 3 1
 Fashion is cyclical, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the red alp starts looking great...
  • 4 0
 People hated it when it came out, but I secretly didn't hate it
  • 1 0
 they're out of business
  • 3 0
 PB thinking they are funny bringing attention back the Redalp.
  • 3 0
 still have my 2012 Giant Reign 0, which is my wife's ride now
  • 4 0
 2005 version still in service.
  • 2 0
 Wow I remember when the Bronson came out and I wanted one so badly... Until the Transition Patrol hit the scene that is
  • 3 0
 I would still rite the liteville! all day long
  • 4 0
 Rallon
  • 2 1
 I wanna look way way waaaaaay back to the end of last year when there was this contest that was supposed to have winners. Advent was its name.
  • 1 0
 Wow, my bike at the time was way ahead of the game with its 1x Sram drivetrain (which everyone thought the chain would drop) it never has.
  • 2 0
 that ladies and gentlemen, was the golden age of mountain biking Fab
  • 1 0
 The Liteville and Enduro SX haven't aged a day! The Ripley on the other hand looks very wrong. RedAlp was terrible even when it was brand new.
  • 3 1
 Redalp Enduro bike - with Ardents. GLWT
  • 1 0
 Lol
  • 2 0
 I was expecting to see: 10. Norco Sight Killer B darn it!
  • 2 0
 The redalp and bronson don't feel that long ago.
  • 3 1
 That Santa Cruz started at £4300 retail and weighed 26.5lbs
  • 1 0
 I lusted after a Rocky Mountain Slayer (2013) and that 650b Bronson. Almost bought an alloy one in the green-on-green color.
  • 2 0
 Crazy how much has changed in just ten short years
  • 1 0
 that redalp looks eerily similar to a certain e-bike from... what was it... post?
  • 2 0
 That liteville was WAAAAy ahead of its time wow
  • 3 0
 I feel old
  • 1 0
 10yo forks still go hard.... the Liteville looks like the only one to have held its own into post modernism haha
  • 1 0
 I believe that the Canyon Spectral is also turning 10 this year. I have fond memories of mine.
  • 1 0
 Too bad no mention of one of the great bikes to come out in 2013, the Turner Burner!!
  • 2 0
 Are you SURE this was only 10 years ago?!
  • 2 1
 I miss my 27.5 Bronson. Such a rad bike. MX killed it IMHO. R.I.P. Bronson.
  • 2 0
 Rat Boy wins this article.
  • 2 0
 That Ripley still does it for me.
  • 1 0
 I still have that Blur TR. I have it set up as my skatepark bike. Lots of fun and great geo for that stuff.
  • 1 0
 If this had gone back another 10 (....or 15 lol ) years or so maybe mine would be in here. Facepalm
  • 11 10
 26 ain't dead, oh wait, yes it is.
  • 11 5
 maybe in your boring local scene
  • 6 6
 It ain't dead
  • 3 1
 26 FOR LIFE DUDE!
  • 3 0
 cant agree more
  • 2 0
 Turner Burner dude
  • 1 0
 My frame turns 25... Bazooka FTW
  • 1 0
 The liteville still looks very modern
  • 1 0
 The Redalp wins the International Beauty Contest hands down!
  • 1 0
 No wonder I didnt ride much back then bikes sucked lol
  • 1 0
 It's so cool seeing these 50 year old mountain bikes!
  • 1 0
 Turning 20 this year-

m.pinkbike.com/photo/23190090
  • 1 0
 Those chain guides look funny
  • 3 3
 We really got it good now, don't we?
  • 2 0
 There's something to be said for pre-strava and pre-social media mtb
  • 1 1
 External cable routing looks gross
  • 1 0
 So many chain rings....
  • 3 5
 #2 Specialized Enduro SX looks like the modern day 200 lb Huffy locked up in every schoolyard in the country.
  • 5 0
 Wash your mouth out!
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