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If you've read any recent trail bike review, you probably already know the tired old line about how incredibly capable a modern mid-travel bike can be. For the most part, this stopped being news a few years ago. We get it: a lot of these bikes are really friggin great.

But, and this is an important 'but,' a lot of them are great in very different ways. What I mean is that while so and so's new rig might blow your mind on one type of terrain, another rider on another continent on another type of trail will have, ahem, another type of experience. So maybe it's time we looked at bike reviews in another way? The most important aspect of a bike test that could always be underscored further is how one machine compares to another. And in these times when there aren't exactly a ton of duds out there, straight-shooting comparisons like that are more important than ever.

Please, just don't call it a shootout. Suspension design and travel, wheel size, and especially geometry, all vary widely between the five choices, making the bikes too different in intention (and price) for it to be thought of as anything like that.

So, what is a trail bike these days? All of the rigs here have 130mm (ish) or less when it comes to rear-wheel travel, and they're designed to, you know, ride trails. These aren't heavy-hitting all-mountain bikes, although some could be that capable in the right hands, and they're certainly not enduro race bikes, either. What they are, however, is all-around'ers and do-it-all bikes that can be ridden nearly anywhere and everywhere. Whatever you want to call them, below are a few of the most interesting examples that we've ridden over the past twelve months.








With just 114mm out back, it'd be easy to misclassify the SB 4.5C as a cross-country bike. Its angles tell a different story, though, one of a cross-country bike with a bad attitude, or of a lightning quick trail bike with a penchant for being playful. The 29'' wheeled Yeti, with its Switch Infinity suspension, is efficient - it better be with so little travel - but it's the bike's descending manners that are more surprising. ''Even with 'only' 114mm of rear travel, the SB4.5 is capable of handling seriously rough trails, thanks to the combination of its big wheels, well managed rear travel, and dialed geometry,'' Pinkbike's Mike Kazimer explained in his review of the turquoise flier. ''In fact, if I didn't know better I would have guessed that there was 130mm of travel on tap.''

The bike's relatively progressive geo means that some riders may find it a bit slack if they're used to and hoping for knife-edge type of handling or something more in-line with such little suspension travel. There are also no ISCG 05 tabs, which is excusable-ish despite the SB 4.5C's capabilities, but it's a shame that the sole bottle mount is in a prime location to scoop up as much giardia as possible.

SB 4.5C Details

• Intended use: XC / trail
• Rear wheel travel: 114mm
• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon fiber frame
• BB92 bottom bracket
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 25.75 lb / 11.68 kg
• MSRP: $6,899 USD
www.yeticycles.com

Yeti SB 4.5C review

Don't let that 114mm of travel fool you, because the SB 4.5C is one hell of a capable bike. It's yet another short-travel machine that uses progressive geometry to remind us that suspension doesn't define a bike, thereby making it tricky to define the SB 4.5C. It's not a pure cross-country rocket, of course, but it's good enough to be nearly anything you want it to be.

Read the full review



• Progressive geo = FUN
• Impressively efficient, even for its travel
• 114mm that feels closer to 130mm

• Progressive geo won't be for everyone
• Sole bottle mount is under the down tube
• Expensive frame-only option











Long this and slacker that is all the rage these days, and there's no doubt that approach works for some riders. But for many others, it makes more sense to stick to classic, proven geometry numbers as used on the 120mm-travel OG Ripley. Call them conservative if you must, but there'll always be a place for a quick handling trail bike that doesn't employ a top tube longer than a FEST Series gap jump. This, the OG version of Ibis' Ripley, gets an updated frame that features more tire clearance and a stiffer rear end, as well as internal cable routing, but it retains the 406mm reach (size large) and 69.2-degree head angle that it had when it was first introduced.

The bike's conservative geo, at least compared to the latest crop of trail bikes, makes it a quick handling demon when it comes to technical climbs or any sort of trail that demands near-telekinetic steering prowess. But it also means that it's not as planted as a longer, slacker bike like, say, the Ripley LS that employs more contemporary geometry. Both this and the LS model employ dw link suspension and can be run with anything from a 120mm to a 140mm-travel suspension fork depending on where and how you like to ride.

Ripley Details

• Intended use: XC / trail
• Rear wheel travel: 120mm
• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon fiber frame
• Threaded bottom bracket
• Internal cable routing
• dw link suspension
• Weight: 27.3 lb / 12.38 kg
• MSRP: $3,999 - $7,899 USD, $2,999 frame / shock only
www.ibiscycles.com

Ibis Ripley. Photo by James Lissimore

This ain't a bike for a rider who frequents steep and/or rowdy trails. But if you like to cover a lot of ground, value top-notch climbing manners, and prefer a quick handling package, the Ripley will be a great friend to you.

Read the full review



• Classic, quick handling geo
• Efficient dw link suspension
• One of the best climbers in the biz

• Classic, quick handling geo
• Not as surefooted as some
• Like to monster truck? The Ripley isn't for you












The T-130C may sound like it's named after a fax machine, but Whyte has created a package that, while not exactly as exciting as a new Yeti, manages to not be a facsimile of the countless other Horst Link-equipped bikes out there. The 27.5'' house-brand carbon wheels with a 30mm internal width, Maxxis High Roller II rubber, and dialed Fox suspension package make it more of a bruiser than the shorter-travel SB 4.5C or Ripley, but it still dishes out solid pedaling manners that won't have you hating life halfway through a long ascent.

The Whyte is a solid performer that doesn't really surprise or disappoint, which may make it seem less exciting to some, but the British brand could be just the ticket for a rider who is looking for something different at a trailhead full of Giant, Santa Cruz, and Trek bikes. It also sits in the odd middle ground where it doesn't have the travel of a more capable all-mountain rig but is certainly not as spritely or novel as a next-gen, short-travel trail bike with less suspension and longer and slacker geometry.

T-130C Works Details

• Intended use: trail
• Rear wheel travel: 130mm
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Carbon fiber front triangle
• Threaded bottom bracket
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 28 lb / 12.70 kg
• MSRP: $5,999 USD
Whyte USA

Whyte T-130C Works

We'd recommend the T-130 Works to riders searching for a particularly versatile and stout trail bike. It climbs well and does not ask much from its pilot at the controls. It is built tough enough to go the distance, it has an excellent suspension system, and it's brave enough to demonstrate how deep you can go into the abyss with only 130mm of suspension travel.

Read the full review



• Excellent price considering specs
• Geo favours descending
• Will be an uncommon rig at the trailhead

• Integrated seat post clamp is fussy
• Rubber sealed frame didn't seal that well.
• Precise cornering and steering may not suit beginners.












The Primer is a sweet looking machine that stays true to the appearance Intense has created throughout the rest of their range. Its sleek carbon fiber chassis has a classic profile that communicates lightness, efficiency and a measure of confidence - but with its 29er wheels, up to 130mm-travel rear-end and modestly modern geometry, it appears too balanced and sensible to capture the imaginations of the sport's emerging cult of self-ordained gravity gods. It would be easy to categorize the Primer as a gentleman's trail bike that's targeted at the accomplished rider who has a taste for finer things, and it could fulfill that role quite well. We also discovered, however, that there is a beast lurking beneath the Primer's mild-mannered profile. The Primer 29 may, in fact, be the best performing trail bike that Intense has ever made.

The bike's suspension is a modified version of the VPP dual-link configuration dubbed, 'JS Tuned Suspension,' which is said to produce better pedaling performance, and it can deliver either 115 or 130mm of travel, and both settings deliver a smoother ride than those numbers would suggest.

Primer 29 Details

• Intended use: trail
• Rear wheel travel: 115mm - 130mm
• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon fiber frame
• 92mm press-fit bottom bracket
• Weight: 25.43 lb /11.56 kg
• MSRP: $9,499 USD
www.intensecycles.com

Intense Primer 29 2016

The Primer's easy to live with handling likely comes from a relatively roomy wheelbase that, when combined with a 75-degree seat tube angle, enforces a centralized riding position that sees the pilot have to move their weight around only minimally to get the bike to do as he or she wishes. Throw in excellent pedaling manners and the new Intense is hard to fault.

Read the full review



• Great handling manners
• Efficient suspension design
• Steep seat angle

• Needs more capable tires.
• Rear suspension over-extends while climbing with the shock "locked out."
• Will convert more riders to big wheels.











Kona was one of the earlier companies to adopt the long-and-low geometry movement, and their Process series of bikes quickly became legendary thanks to sublime handling and build kits that focused on reliability over low weight. Their 167 and 111 models got most of the attention, with the 134 suffering from a bit of that 'middle child' syndrome. That's a shame because the 134mm-travel Kona makes a great do-it-all bike for someone who's idea of do-it-all really does mean doing everything - large jumps and drops included. The nearly 30lb Kona is a burly machine that a more cross-country focused rider might find to be a bit too much, even though it does pedal admirably well, whereas someone with more courage than the average trail rider is going to be loving life on the 134.

The frame is nearly completely aluminum (there's a carbon bridge on the rocker arm, for what it's worth), and the rear-end isn't Boost, which may put off some riders who suffer from FOMO, but others will probably be indifferent to those points.

Process 134 DL Details

• Intended use: trail
• Rear wheel travel: 134mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• Aluminum frame
• link-driven, single-pivot suspension system
• Weight: 29.12 lb/ 13.2 kg
• MSRP: $3,799 USD
www.konaworld.com

Photos for Rachelle Frazer s Kona Process review.

The 134 DL may not have the glitz and glamour of the latest carbon super bikes, but Kona has never been about either of those things. That's more than okay because the 134 is a hoot to ride hard, and you won't be blaming the bike for not doing any jump or drop if you're on it.

Read the full review



• Burly frame and build kit
• Confidence inspiring handling
• Aluminum frame, no Boost

• Heavy
• Sole bottle mount under down tube
• Aluminum frame, no Boost






And the winner is...

None of the above. The trail bikes shown here are simply too different to say that just one of them is head and shoulders above the rest in overall performance, but there is some very clear distinction when you parse it down to some of the different types of riders who are out there, so let's do exactly that.

Trail riders who enjoy the climb as much as the descent, or cross-country bandits looking for something a hell of a lot more capable than a pure race rig, will be happiest with either the OG or longer and slacker LS Ripley from Ibis. While it's not at home on truly rowdy trails, it is a bike that puts an emphasis on efficiency and nimbleness, and it's my first choice for someone who enjoys covering a lot of ground quickly. And if you want similar efficiency but paired with a bit more relaxed (and capable) personality, the beautiful Yeti SB 4.5C is going to just the ticket.

There's an obvious winner when it comes to trail rides that include any type of challenging descending: the Kona 134 DL, of course. She ain't light, which is partly due to the 134 DL's price point, but I'd rather have a chunky bike with sublime handling than a lighter weight one that has me on my tippy toes anytime things get serious. Sure, the black Kona isn't made out of carbon fiber - although they're likely working on a version that is - but it simply doesn't matter how much a bike weighs or what it's made out of when it's this much fun to ride.



Want to read even more shootou... er, comparisons?

Ridden And Rated - Six Dropper Posts
Ridden And Rated - Six Helmets
Ridden and Rated - Five Trail Knee Guards

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245 Comments

  • + 249
 This was the perfect type of comparison. Showing the different handling characteristics and strengths of all great bikes. Keep em coming.
  • + 27
 Yeah. Loved the pros & cons for easy scannin' and appreciate the little dash of humour.
  • + 17
 I love a good "Shootout".
  • + 19
 It's Levy Vs Vernon in a literal shootout in Pinkbike HQ tomorrow morning.
  • + 5
 This got me thinking. Take 5 bikes and review them in three distinctly different areas like Utah, the Shore, and East Coast or, if you want to spend: Spain, UK, and the Shore (of course). That would really help define the bikes.
  • + 7
 I like when magazines in other industries produce lists kind of like this that encompas all of the major products available with simply the "pros and cons" listed and no fluff. It's a quick way to thumb through a hundred models and boil it down to a handful to spend your time researching further.
  • + 1
 @ninjatarian: Number ratings are the best. Then you only need to look at the pictures and check out the rating... Let's dumb this right down so we don't even need to ride the bike before deciding if we like them. (yes I am being facetious)
  • + 8
 I like the style, but wish they'd add something along the lines of "if this bike appeals to you, go ahead and demo it versus these other bikes". Example - if you like what they say about the Process 134, i.e., if that's the style of bike you're after, then based on my experience, you should also take a look at Transition's Scout, and the SC 5010 - and there are probably a few others that fit the same niche.

And what's completely missing, again, is some explanation on how all this is impacted by rider size/weight/strength. Just reading this, I would think that the Process 134 is exactly what I need (and that bikes like it, i.e., 27.5 with about 130-140mm of squish and a long/low geo) would perfectly fit my needs. And in the process (no pun intended...), I would completely miss that the Process 111 actually fits my needs a lot better - because I'm 230# and 6'1", and so I don't mind the extra effort to throw the bigger wheels into a turn, but I can benefit from the stability they provide, whereas the 134 is almost twitchy in comparison. Yet someone lighter than me might prefer the 134 for the exact same trails and riding.

And what's also missing, again, is some explanation of how body geometry plays into this. I'm of somewhat symian build (long torso relative to my legs). So a bike with low standover, short chainstays, and long front center makes fore/aft balance much easier for me. Someone with longer legs/shorter torso dimensions, on the other hand, might prefer their wheelbase to be distributed more towards the rear triangle.

And yet another thing that's missing is any real explanation of the impact of different build levels and prices on the whole thing. Example - the Whyte is carbon, and about two pounds lighter than the Kona, and quite a bit more expensive. There's some talk about how the Kona is burly, and therefore the weight is not a problem - but if I were looking at that niche (130-140mm DS 27.5 trailbikes with relatively progressive geometry), I'd be left wondering to what extent the differences between these bikes are a matter of build level/weight, and whether that extra money is worth it. And because they're different bikes, that comparison is hard. So why not have a feature that looks at three build levels of a particular bike from the high, medium, and low bits of the range - and really go into what the tradeoffs are, and to make some conclusions about where you're best off investing money, and where it's not going to have much performance impact. Example - do the lighter wheels that come with higher-end builds make a real difference? Hell, ride two bikes with the same build but different wheel sets, then tell us how much impact that had, and put that in perspective to the dollar cost of that upgrade. Then do the same for drive trains, brakes, suspension, etc.

The MBA style shootout is bullshit - Vernon and Mike are completely correct on that. But just saying they're all great, and here's a bit of the pros and cons on a handful of bikes is just a start. I hope Pinkbike is going there - having read very thoughtful reviews I know these guys have the chops to take this further.
  • + 12
 @L0rdTom: Vernon would win.
  • + 11
 @ninjatarian: For sure. I like to write and read about gear, but the easy to find pros and cons simply make sense. We may include those in all bike reviews in the future to make it simply.
  • + 11
 @g-42: Good feedback. Noted.
  • + 7
 @mikelevy: I liked the format too, though I would like to see a few categories based on the broad segment with winners. Say Best Climber: Yeti or Ripley? Best Descender: Kona, Best All-arounder: White? I guess all around would be hard with different price points, but that could even be another category of best value.
  • + 2
 @g-42: Great post. I completely agree.
  • + 3
 How about value, compare the builds of different bikes at a similar price point. Upgrades anything that might need changing, narrow bars, poor tyres etc. Grip, how about putting the same tyres on all bikes riding the same trails and comparing grip when climbing descending cornering. Nice to finally see some direct comparrisons keep it up!
  • + 83
 We asked and you delivered... Well done Mr Levy! First the gearbox article and then this... Keep up the great work!
  • + 59
 Kona wins. Mainly cos i have one.
  • + 8
 I don't have one, but it was clear to me that the Kona was the obvious winner based on burliness, handling characteristics, and price. Oh, and of course, huckability.
  • - 2
 i agree !! @theo98
  • + 1
 I was going to say the 130, and for the same reason Wink
  • + 30
 Such a good comparison... but they so should have had the YT Jeffsy in it too. Then again, there are so many good trail bikes now that you'd need a 30 bike shootou... er, comparison. Bring on more of these comparison type reviews though PB
  • + 4
 It would have been great to have the Jeffsy in there, but I don't think PP has reviewed it, and this comparison only included bikes that PB has already reviewed.
  • + 1
 @Jubbylinseed: I really am looking forward to a proper review. All the current ones I can find have nothing more than explaining the marketing campaign and saying it rips downhill. Does it climb well?
  • - 6
flag ryan83 (Jan 10, 2017 at 7:30) (Below Threshold)
 They probably like to review bikes that people can buy. The Jeffsy has been sold out for a while now in the US so what's the use of doing a review on it?
  • + 2
 @Monty It's called (BIKE MAGAZINE) Bible Of Bikes
  • + 19
 @mikekazimer is working on a Jeffsy review right now. You'll be able to read it soon.
  • + 5
 @ryan83: you do know there are other countries in the world besides the USA right? and in fact pinkbikes offices are in Canada. strange breed you americans. GO trump!
  • + 10
 @jbob27 Oh hey, yet another Canadian who assumes people from the US are close-minded Trump supporters. Am I to assume you play hockey? Smile

That said, a quick search of YT bikes on the Canada site will tell you that many of the Jeffsy's are also sold out... GO Nickelback!
  • - 5
flag jrocksdh (Jan 10, 2017 at 14:39) (Below Threshold)
 @ryan83: oh yay, another liberal who thinks trumps supporters are close minded.
When is the last time you debated a non white conservative? Especially one whom escaped a socialist country/regime...
  • + 10
 @ryan83: Dude!! The Nickelback dig was uncalled for. You only pull that one out for emergencies : )
  • + 4
 @ryan83: Apologies. Canadians are a sanctimonious lot. We're ostriches, really, head in the sand when it comes to our own discretions but eager to point out the faults of others. Real or imaginary and especially with Americans.
F@#&k Nickelback. ☺
  • + 24
 "Finally, and this is really the main reason, I think shoot outs are just so much bullshit."
Vernon Felton. Pinkbike. Yesterday.
  • + 13
 This isn't a shootout, with a final winner. It's just a group review.
  • + 3
 I don't get why PB is so adamantly against the term "shootout" or any such type of article.
  • + 34
 @robwhynot:
Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
  • + 8
 @robwhynot: as it would involve saying that one brand's product is better than another's.
  • + 9
 I personally think this is the way pretty much all reviews should be done. This format creates the necessary context and gives the reader something they can relate to, better understand what a particular bike excels at, and then think about what best matches what they want out of a bike. The purpose of a shootout is for a clear winner to emerge, which doesn't particularly help anyone and can often do more harm than good by steering a person away from a bike that really might suit them better, just because it had half a star less than another bike based on someone else's arbitrary opinion.
  • + 3
 @robwhynot: Shoot Out is indicative of a winner! A bike which is a "winner" to someone may not be the best bike for an other. I'm very content with "comparisons"
  • + 2
 @robwhynot: Because it's not. There is no official "winner" and no ranking, which would be the case for a shootout (think MBA).
  • + 1
 @cool3: Thanks guys. Makes sense. I too could care less about a "winner". These comparisons are much better.
  • + 2
 I enjoy the BIKE bible reviews the most, especially the videos. It really sheds light one why reviews should always be taken with a grain of salt since different people will have differing opinions and thoughts on a given bike. The "Roundtable Reels" can be very insightful having three or four guys talking about the same bike and bouncing thoughts off one another.
  • + 25
 @Andy-Ridefast, While we're quoting me, I'll quote myself from yesterday as well...

vernonfelton MOD PLUS (22 hours ago) [Edit]
@saskatoonbikeguy, Thanks for the input--you raise a good point. I'd like to see us review more bikes in group settings and I think you'll be seeing more of that in the future. At the end of the day, most of us really do want to know how does this bike compare against other bikes like it. Thus, I think reviewing a handful of similar bikes and weighing the pros and cons of each is entirely valid. Entirely. That's why I endeavor to compare a bike like the Hightower to similar models within my write up. It's also the basis of how we did things at Bike's Bible testing sessions. What I object to with the "Shoot Out" model of reviews, is that there is always a single bike that is the "winner". The "top bike" is an attractive proposition that sells a shit ton of magazines and generates clicks online, but it is massively simplistic. The best bike? For whom? For what style of rider? For which trails? Even when we are talking about a distinct style of bike (say, enduro, for example), different riders will want different things from a bike. To bring this closer to home, I wanted to stress in this partiular review, what sets the Hightower apart from some of its contemporaries that I've spent a lot of time on. In this case, the standout attribute is neutral and stable handling. Wide open, fast and chunky terrain? This bike kills it on that stuff. It's not a slouch in tighter terrain, but the other bikes I mentioned have a more lively feel.... Which is better? That's a question for you, as a rider. There's no way any editor can/should make that judgement for you....which is what always happens with "shoot outs". I've been writing reviews now for almost 20 years and I'm sick of the premise that any of us editors possess a magical ability to tell readers what they should and shouldn't buy. The best we can do--the most honest we can be--is to highlight strengths and weaknesses. Again, group tests are fine. Single absolute winners? Not fine. At least, not since the late 90s (I will agree that there was a time when bikes were so crude that a few stood out as massively ahead of the pack, but nowadays, that's a whole lot less common). Thanks again for speaking up. Cheers.
  • + 3
 @vernonfelton: brill idea. The bike I ride got slated by a reviewer only getting three stars, yet another reviewer who works for the same dam magazine chose it as his personal bike to ride all year and gave outstanding reviews over a long test period.

One man reviews aren't good, even the video games magazines now have multiple reviewers on the same subject and contrasting opinions. Plus it minght mean instead of just getting one bike you get a few.
  • + 8
 @Cefn: Good points. I think the disagreement over bikes--when people weigh in on the things that worked for them on a given model and the things that didn't--are often the most illuminating types of reviews. Thanks. There are a lot of different ways to skin this cat (the bike review feline, that is) and we're working on always trying to better what we do. I was personally stoked when Levy started working on this one--it's a good piece.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: and @cefn:
I feel the same way. My tool magazines have multiple people trying multiple tools. Same thing happens, one guy will love a particular drill/saw while another will not. Personal preference or brand loyalty perhaps. But I love how Pinkbike has been able to put up reviews of multiple items. Keep the great work coming!
  • + 4
 Here's an example of "a winner" review being off. I had an experience with a bike that won a shootout about 4 years ago. The magazine said it was,"stable, fast, capable..our testers always turned to that bike..". I was going to buy that bike, without riding it offroad first. The shop owner invited me on a ride and he had just picked up one for himself. I rode it first! A 12 mile loop. It was all of that that the magazine said it was, but it wasn't fun, for me. It was a $6000+ carbon beauty and had every bell and whistle, but I could not wait to get back on my bike. Had super long chainstays, like way out there. I manual thru stuff, a lot. I could barely loft the front end. The steering was so neutral, it felt numb. Like driving a dump truck, only giving you feedback if you jerked on the bars. I wasn't blown away or like,"Oh yeah, I get it". I was like,"Oh yeah, I rode one of those once". It was just a bike. Not the bike for me. But I have friends who love theirs, so different strokes. And it is nice not being envious of a $6000+ bike Wink
  • + 1
 @oldschool43: So you have to tell us what it was ....
  • + 1
 @DARKSTAR63: Started with T... Had an R in the name... Looked like a session, but wasn't.. It was white with black stickers.. People love them..
  • + 1
 @oldschool43: Everything looks like a session lol, one more clue ?!
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: is there any thought to adding some scoring such as climbing, descending, XC, fun to ride etc?
  • + 2
 @DARKSTAR63: Uhhhhh... But I'm trying to avoid all the hate.. Haha... Remedy 9.8. I really tried to like it if that matters at all. It was really nice, just wasn't for me.
  • + 2
 @oldschool43:That's interesting. Yeah I just came off a Remedy although an older 26 inch model. I loved it. But yea, people always need to consider their needs and what they like in bike. There is no real point in a purely objective review that proclaims the "best". Can't be done.
  • - 1
 I think pinkbike could easily do a shoot out but they might be afraid in offending some companies. Kidding. A shootout between similar type bikes in theory should be easy. even though biking and terrain might seem so different, in the end it's all quite similar. It seems like the writers are refusing to acknowledge they prefer one of these bikes over the others. I'll say it myself, out of a YT capra, Santa Cruz hightower, s works enduro 29, s works 650b, nomad cc, intense carbine, and a pivot Mach 5.7, the hightower is my favorite, even though all of these bikes are so different(some being 29" others 27.5, etc) I clearly enjoy the hightower the most, some of my old bikes climbed or descended better but the overall ride on the Hightower is my favorite, that's all people want to hear. If I ride the Hightower in WA, or Utah, it still will perform similarly as long as the suspension is setup properly for the terrain. The reasoning the writers are proposing for refusing to do a shootout can be appropriated for many things out there. A Mercedes C63 and a BMW M3 are extremely different, yet people always compare them and compete with both cars on the track and determine the superior car. BMW is focused on track and stiffer suspension while Mercedes focuses on luxury and interiors, but why do people do shootouts with both cars and determine a winner? Both cars are very diff but people want to know which car outweighs the other in superior subjects. And since the biking industry is much smaller than the automotive, wouldn't shootouts have a direct influence on manufacturers putting out the best bike they possibly can to beat other brands rather than adjusting the head angle every year? This is just my view. I know someone can find one sentence in this paragraph and focus on that and try to prove me wrong since I'm a noob and obviously really want a real, MANLY AS SHIT SHOOTOUT with a clear winner. LOL
  • + 1
 @pigit77: I think the point is that it would be a true disservice to you and to the other great bikes that don't "win". Just like it is when motorcycles or cars are tested against each other. And in those scenarios at least it's a completely controlled environment (race track). And the bottom line is everyone is going to value different things in a mountain bike. You could take one persons opinion of which is their favorite and call that "best" but that's incorrect. The Hightower is YOUR favorite but the BEST that does not make. Now back to shootouts..... I used to be really into street bikes, and I would read all the magazines and since I worked at a dealer I rode a lot of the bikes. They would always take the sport bikes and whoop them around the track and proclaim a "winner". This was almost never my personal favorite, in my opinion most refined machine. Because in the real world, I valued the smoothness and cohesion of certain bikes over the one with the most outright power. The point is, a selected winner doesn't serve you, the reader, at all. Yea they could take a bunch of bikes and rip down a timed track and then we could pick the fastest ? Would that be helpful? Maybe to some, but it might not mean that it would make you the fastest of all the choices. Now I'm not saying we should gloss over shortcomings or hand out participation medals at all. Certain bikes have some real shortcomings in certain situations and that should be discussed. I think if you read something like BIKE's bible reviews all the information is there as to which bikes rule which type of terrain.
  • + 1
 @DARKSTAR63: let's put it this way. What would you rather read? A shootout, or a short write up of 5 bikes combined into one article that have all been reviewed before? No matter what you have against a shootout, I guarantee you would enjoy that type of reading and it would get much more traffic to pinkbike.
  • + 1
 @pigit77: Truthfully neither.(I did enjoy this read but if you want me to pick a format neither is my favorite) I appreciate in depth discussion of a given bike, it's ride qualities and shortcomings. "Shootouts" where a clear winner is picked is so subjective it's meaningless to me. Would I enjoy the read? Of course. Thats not what I'm saying at all. There are so many blurred lines and category defying bikes these days I don't even know how you would pick proper groups of steeds to be honest. I guess it comes dow to how do you measure? This isn't like a car. Skidpad g's, 0-60, stopping distance... You can't do that with a mountain bike. It's not as quantifiable. You can, and I have read articles elsewhere, time bikes under different riders down a track and arrive at conclusions, yes. This may or may not translate to something useful to all riders and all that it accounts for is outright speed. I don't know, I consume so much mountain bike media that I feel like I am of course interested in that - but I have enough experience riding and reading about it that I personally don't think its the best format.
  • + 15
 The fact that Kona is being compared to a lot of 'fancy' bikes says a lot about Kona.
  • + 13
 Kona has been through a long stinky process.
  • + 15
 Anyone ever have trouble reading these on iPhones? Format lops off the LHS of the page
  • + 11
 Same problem on android
  • + 2
 On iPhone, same problem
  • + 2
 Same here on samchung
  • + 2
 Same problem on my android phone, (Nexus 6p with latest Android build) only started recently to my memory as well.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy @vernonfelton any chance the tech boffins can look at this? It's not the first time it's occurred
  • + 2
 Yep got it too. Only started a week ago.
  • + 9
 @dwojo, it should be fixed now - there were a couple lines of code missing.
  • + 9
 @mikekazimer: it's fixed over here, thanks! Now I can read pinkbike articles again while pooping.
  • + 11
 You are supposed to consume Pinkbike at work. That way you are paid for your comments.
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades:

Unfortunately I'm paid on commissionFrown
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: thanks guys. Yep nailed it.
  • + 15
 Kona is probably the only one here that'll look nice with mud.
  • + 11
 Great comparison!
It would be nice to see such a comparisons for bikes in different price levels too!
Like a seperation for bikes above and below 4000$.
But anyways thanks for this one!
  • + 3
 My first mtb was an old hardtail that cost less than $100. I rode it for over a year including porcupine rim, and it helped me develop skill and endurance. These traits should be more important to any rider than how much your bike costs or weighs. As we progress, we notice more of the benefits having a nicer bike can bring. Its all about the experience, and for some riders less is definitely more. BMX!! Quit looking for excuses and go ride a friends bike if you dont have one. Also, don't listen to people who say you need a new bike every year.
  • + 1
 @Chonky13: To go out and ride more is always a good advice! I would support all you are saying! I am not even looking to buy a new bike and i am still happy with the one i got a few years ago!
I was just thinking it would be nice to see a comparison for bikes which i might be able to afford without selling essential organs Wink .
  • + 11
 nice i liked this....probably would go with the kona myself and that intense is crazy expensive.
  • + 7
 I'm so sick of Intense. Parts on their bikes don't fit together correctly, customer service is sh!t, and they have the nerve to charge top-dollar for their bikes.
  • + 0
 @skelldify: They are also, in my opinion, pretty ugly. I never see an intense and think "Oh man, I want that!" or even "Oh man, that looks expensive!" all I do is look at the pricetag and think "Y tho?"
  • + 4
 I used to own an intense M1 back in the day. I bought it because I was young and stupid with my money. I rode several other bikes at a fraction of the price that we're just as capable as my intense. Don't ever think the price of a bike is going to reflect in the way it rides on a trail.
  • + 1
 @skelldify: yea their kits are $hit. I was forced to buy a complete bike for the first time. Now in the process of swapping out the bars, brakes and wheels. But gawd dam that Primer is bad a$$
  • + 11
 T-130 - Will be an uncommon rig at the trailhead depends on the country you are in.
  • + 8
 I never understand why bottle mounts seem to come up as a review requirement time after time and I scratch my head as to whether it constitutes a determining characteristic when buying a bike? As someone who rides predominantly bush/forest away from amenities, a 3L-reservoir, camel back, with tool carrying capacity is a must. Maybe I am missing something - maybe the northern hemisphere is fitted with water fountains every few kilometres which means that 600ml water bottles on bikes will suffice?
  • + 3
 All about average ride duration. If 80% of rides are an hour or less, and near amenities, then water bottle is a really relevant way to make that work with less mass carried high up.
  • + 7
 So nice they save the best for last. You just can't beat the price point and the performance of a Kona Process. We have two of them and are stable. Both of the bikes have been absolutely phenomenal. The process has the ability to circumcise a gnat at eye watering blinding speed. Yet still turn baby heads into marshmallow fluff. Even though I have never been to Kona fan they definitely hit the mark with the process line.
  • + 3
 I agree 100% @properp After much deliberation I finally picked up a 2017 Process 153 DL. I'm a large individual (6'4" 250lbs) and have been struggling to find a bike that fit's the bill. Couldn't be happier with the Kona. I'll admit I was skeptical coming off a full carbon Mojo HD, to a fully (almost) aluminum rig, but the pure grin inducing fun of this bike cannot be ignored. I'm positive that the 134 gives the same vibe. (Doesn't hurt that it's the only one I've seen living here in the sea of Santa Cruz, ibis and Specialized brand bikes) Smile
  • + 4
 @Nagrom77: so funny you say that. My carbon bikes now sit. After breaking two Cannondale jackals in the exact same spot and being left hung out to dry. I have no issues with the aluminum frames. I've been riding bikes since the 80s. I have never broken an aluminum frame. I have broken a few carbon fiber ones now. So maybe all in all the latest and greatest really isn't that great.
  • + 2
 @properp: Indeed. I like the 153 so much that I am tossing about the idea of bringing a 134, and possibly a 111 into the stable. Beauty of it is you could practically get at least two of these joymachines for the price of one plastic fantastic (I in no way dislike Carbon bikes, I simply no longer feel the need to own one considering my riding goals, which are to have maximum FUN!).

Cheers friend, and happy riding!
  • + 3
 @Nagrom77: I ride 153dl. Just bought 134 frame. Going to build it tonight. All new high end parts at a total price of less than 1\2 of the off the shelf bikes. Pics to come soon.
  • + 1
 @properp: Looking forward to seeing it! Cheers
  • + 7
 Aluminium-Frame on the down side? Seriously?
Maybe Pinkbike (and we all) should start thinking about ecological aspects… or do you know any serious recycling program for carbon-frames which isn't just blabla?
  • + 29
 Yeah because aluminium production is totally eco friendly........
  • + 9
 @bluumax: Don't talk about production (which is more or less the same eco (un)friendly), i'am talking about the life after (for carbon the death after) and in meaning of lost resources.
And there is still a difference between worse and the worst!
  • + 3
 @bluumax: In case of alu, extraction from the ground seems to do most of the damage.

recyclenation.com/2010/11/aluminum-extraction-recycling-environment
  • + 14
 The alu frame is in the Pros and Cons to account for the fact that people value certain things differently. Quit your whining.
  • + 2
 Carbon frames seem to last 2x as long as aluminium since they dont fatigue and they are more easily repaired than a aluminium frame. I was always told carbon production may pollute more but it's better since it lasts longer.
  • + 2
 Who cares, we are destroying the planet anyways. MTB in virtual reality is the future!
  • + 2
 I really think that they didn't found another down side and wanted to complete 3 points.
  • + 3
 @justwan-naride: bamboo frames?
  • + 2
 Carbon composite "recycling" is mostly just done in waste-to-energy facilities, which is better than landfill, but still not great. It's definitely less environmentally friendly than aluminium production, but the difference is totally negligible if you drive to the trails or go on biking holidays.
  • + 1
 @bastian: Don't be silly...
  • + 1
 @justwan-naride: What about just extracting beer cans from the dumpster then? Surprised there's no frames marketed as "recycled" Alu, or if there is, I'm unaware.
  • + 7
 The aluminum frame is listed as a con simply because that's how a lot of people think - they view alloy as being below carbon, that's all. Me? I'm indifferent about it so long as the bike is fun, and the 134 DL is exactly that.
  • + 2
 @el-nombre: Exactly. Thank you.
  • + 1
 @L0rdTom: It seems it can be recycled as a powder additive to reinforce concrete
  • - 2
 Keep bikes metal!!! Plastic bikes suck!!! Wink
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I agree.
  • + 6
 So PB finally compares a group of bikes and, like moths to a flame, the commenters all begin offering their 'suggestions' for imrpoving it. This is because PB failed to give the people what they really want - validation that the bike they spent $5k on is better than their buddy's bike!
  • + 5
 What is not having Boost a con?
How many crutches do people need to ride a bike
If if it doesn't have a boost hub will the bike crash more
But every ass has a seat so stupid people will buy what the industry says is better but you can't buy Talent......
  • + 19
 Not having boost is also listed as a plus. It means the bike is not as future proof and you will likely find it more difficult in a few years to find top end wheels to fit it. It also means that the wheels you have now which are likely not boost will fit it and spares will probably be easier to come by right now.
  • + 6
 since i got my kona 134, i don't use my other dh and enduro full travel bikes, ii don't need no more for get the fun i get with my process, love it.
vimeo.com/146342627
  • + 5
 Still confused how a MSRP of $5999 is considered an excellent price... If there is anything wrong with the bicycle industry, that has got to be it. Truly giving credence to the joke that mountain biking is the sport of dentist and lawyers.
  • + 1
 Excellent price as in for what you get......I assume. I really like what Santa Cruz does with their different price points.
  • + 3
 @CodeBlue: I understand its a top tier spec and ride for $5999 instead of $9000. Maybe that's a steal of a deal. And I know you can sense a big, fat, hairy, nasty butt lurking just around the corner. BUT, $5999 is a lot of money. Especially for a bicycle. I used to think skiing and golf were more expensive than biking, but I'm starting to think otherwise.
  • + 5
 $5,999 USD is a hell of a lot of money, but it's actually a relatively good price considering the specs. Race Face carbon cranks, top tier Fox suspension, and (house brand) carbon wheels that are wide and work very well. All that is hung off a carbon frame.

"Excellent price considering specs"
  • + 1
 You are talking about price and they are talking about value. Two totally different concepts since price is absolute and value is opinion.
  • + 5
 @CodeBlue: I used to really like Santa Cruz Bicycles. Then one day they were like mushrooms after a rain at the bike trail. Every Trail I went to was invaded with Santa Cruz bikes. I don't know where they all came from. There are so many of them now that I no longer want one. It might as well just say Specialized or Trek on the side of it to me.
  • + 2
 @properp: HA! Yea me too. Where I live they are everywhere......and I mean EVERYWHERE. There are some brands I refuse to ride (regardless of how good they are).....Santa Cruz made that list within the last few months.

Recently my son I went to ride in a populated area and it was like a Santa Cruz demo day. Bunch of noobs on blinged out Nomads and Bronsons....crazy.
  • - 1
 @CodeBlue: Seriously?! you're not going to ride a Santa Cruz because "noobs" ride them and they're blinged out? what's the matter, you got laughed at because the nomad pics you faved look like a craigslist special.
  • + 1
 @properp: That's ridiculous logic. That's like when a kid stops listening to his favourite band simply because they got a song on the radio. Who actually loses in that case?
  • + 1
 @fraggler: easy fellas....this is PB.....the logic wasteland. Actually just came off a SC Tallboy and the Hightower was the runner up to the Primer.
  • + 2
 @properp: SC was cool when they were owned by a skater. But he sold out awhile ago. I liked them up until I talked to their lead engineer Joe Graney. He was a total douchebag. And he makes sucky bikes that haven't really improved for nearly 10 years.
  • + 3
 @allballz: I still ride their skateboards but not the bikes. There are to many other brands just as capable at 1\2 the price.
  • + 1
 @fraggler: Its ridiculous to spend that much money for a brand. I want my rides to be unique. When they run a song into the ground on the radio I like guess what? I quit listing to it also. You sound like one of the many sheepople in society. That just buy stuff to fit in. I prefer to stand out and be different.
  • + 1
 @properp: The final three words on Santa Cruz: Falling Rate Suspension.

Next!
  • + 1
 @properp: Yet you're the one that's worried about the sticker on the side of your bike. I'm an engineer: I was born uncool to never fit in. I'm more concerned about value, quality, fit-for-purpose. And to really show you how uncool I am - I ride a Giant I bought a year out of date and I have a stack of fun on it.
  • + 1
 @fraggler: Giants are good bikes. There's nothing wrong with a giant. I use the stickers to cover up the dents and scratches bro that I get from riding my bicycle. It is just a tool for me to have fun on.
  • + 9
 Yesterday SC and today this.. I like this new and improved Pinkbike.
  • + 5
 Love how the cheapest and most aluminum bike gets a shout out at the end..... Wish more people would look into ride quality that feels good to them rather than buying a $8000 - $10K wonder bike cause their line of credit allows them too
  • + 4
 ThePrimer...."needs more capable wheels".."will convert more riders to 29"...... At almost 10k , what should it possibly f*cking need? If you think that bike needs better anything for that kind of money, than its a total failure by Intense or the reviewer. And how will a 10k bike convert more riders to 29? Its not exactly a bike that most can afford, so exactly how many riders do you think will get to ride it, to be so impressed as to convert? Bullshit, the kind of bikes that will impress those that are curious or doubt how much fun a 29er can be are the Smugglers, 111's, ect... bikes that are designed for fun around the 29 wheelset but that are way more affordable to the masses.
  • + 4
 I would replace the stock 800mm bars on all those bikes with 950mm bars. When is the bike industry going to learn that 800mm is way too narrow for getting the most leverage around a turn, or riding around your block.
  • + 5
 I just take my bars off and ride with a four-foot carbon broomstick.
  • + 6
 @TheR: I would try a paddle board handle. I haven't seen too many carbon Broomsticks.
  • + 3
 @properp: That's the spirit!
  • + 1
 @TheR: Double duty too!
  • + 3
 I wish the Transition Smuggler or new Carbon Scout would've been included in this as the Al Scout was so well received by Mike Levy. I intend to order a Smuggler soon. Not that I care how it compares to these but I am curious.
  • + 1
 @briceps: Just buy it. I get what you mean about how they compare, but if you've done any reading at all on the Smuggler, you know it'll tear up and down a mountain.
  • + 5
 Good suggestion. We'll look at getting those in as well.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: are you guys planning to review the Smuggler? That would be sweet.
  • + 1
 @kingsx: oh I fully plan on it. Already have new flows and a 140mm Lyrik for it. Just curious what the reviewers have to say because the Scout and Patrol were so well received.
  • + 6
 I'm very happy with my Scout, like your bike of the year winning patrol but with more trail friendly travel.
  • + 6
 Don't call it a shootout we're all different here just rocking my peers Puttin' suckers in fear
  • + 11
 Did you just paraphrase LL Cool J? I think you did. And I thank you for it. Well played, sir.
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: I did , I like old school LL
  • + 2
 Actually the 153 and the 111 got all the attention , they dropped the 167 from the line-up all together after 2 seasons . It,s too bad the 167 is a great bike had lots of fun on mine , too bad it,s a small wheel design if the wheels where bigger I think it would still be in the line -up .
  • + 3
 You can get a 167 delivered to your local kona dealer today. Sneaky tip you can slip a 27.5 wheel in the frame....
  • + 1
 @scottiemac: got one sitting in my shop , and I am aware of the 27.5 fitting the frame , I test fit one on my bike back in 2015 when I first got it . Talk is Kona tested the 167 with 27.5 wheels and the testers did not care for it . Be interesting to see what Kona comes out with when the Process line-up is revamped .
  • + 2
 I wonder if PB had to ask permission from the brands? And some said "No"...These don't look like the 5 most obvious or available trailbikes one might pick?

That said, great work, loving this kind of thing. Hopefully with more time and proof of concept we might see a Trek lovingly compared to a Specialized and a Santa Cruz...!
  • + 2
 right, what happened to the bikes they just nominated for Bike of the Year? Mine was on that list but not this, don't really understand (same travel). consistency
  • + 5
 Ask permission? For what? No, we didn't. I just went through and looked at the interesting trail bikes (130mm-ish) that we reviewed over the last twelve months. There are obviously way, way more options out there, and we'll cover most of those in the future as well.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Thanks for your straight up honest reviews! It's both refreshing and a bit like watching the trio in Top Gear (and hopefully Grand Tour once they loosen up a bit). Both honest and opinionated, but not bought off.
  • + 3
 Good review/comparison.

I like the Kona.
A mate has a Whyte T130 - brilliant bike.

Strange how we now consider 13.2kg's heavy for a FS bike! Still about 800g's lighter than my Mega TR.
  • + 5
 a shoot out? bu... nevermind.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy and/or @vernonfelton. Loved this post and really enjoyed the comparisons between the Hightower and the Tallboy the other day. From a layman perspective, intense and Santa Cruz models bear a lot of resemblance. That said, would you slot the primer in between the tallboy and the Hightower? (E.g. Similar characteristics slightly less aggressive than the HT) or does the primer have a distinctly separate feel/ethos? Thanks in advance for the insights.
  • + 3
 I haven't spent much time on the latest Intense models but, from what I've heard, their dual-link 'JS Tuned' suspension behaves differently than the VPP on a Santa Cruz. @RichardCunningham might have the answer for you.
  • + 1
 And the winner is.. the yeti! For me at least, as it's the kind of bike of this category that i like (though the price is high as usual)

Nice review, just how I like em, with bullet list points and a short opinion of the ride.
  • + 3
 I own a 2015 Kona Process 134DL(exactly like that one in this article) and I love it. Very Capable and Allot of fun to ride. Waiting for a Carbon Version to be Released
  • + 2
 If you are not riding a bike for a paycheck I would choose aluminum over carbon. I've had a lot more luck with aluminum frames and I have a lot thicker checkbook because of them.
  • + 1
 I am an old downhiller that is looking for a more all around bike. I don't have room to house a dh bike and a trail bike so I need something that can take on everything whistler has to offer but I can also ride places like the north shore and Bend Oregon where I have to do a lot of climbing. Does anybody have any suggestions ?
  • + 1
 I would like to see an equal budget comparison. If you would spend 3k$ on some carbon wheels and other parts for the Kona, can you get it down to similar weight as the Yeti? And will it climb just as well? In the real world, we are always limited by our budgets when we make choices. A comparison review should take this into account, and in a more thorough way than adding the price to the pro/con list. Pick a budget, then start comparing. That's fair.
  • + 1
 Got about 3 months in on my Whyte T130 now and it is amazing. "Versatility" is a highly underrated quality! I also didnt get the Works version, I got the C-RS. It isnt quite as blinged out, but also only cost $4600 for carbon frame, Eagle drivetrain, Pike fork, Stealth dropper, guide RS brakes, and raceface wheels. Pretty solid all around setup, which is presumably why it got "Bike of the Year" from 4 different magazines.
  • + 5
 A 13KG is heavy weight? you must so weak rider them
  • + 1
 13kg is the upper limit for me, it's the way i use it that counts more, after 3000 meters climb up i feel a little tired and one or one and a half kilo can be a difference, that's why the meta 4.2tr for me looks heavy, it's over around 14kg, even the Kona 134. f
  • + 1
 @flavio-san: Hm i i dont making such big climbs but i agree with you now. i am accustomed to an Dh bike what weights around 18kg and a older XC bike what weight around 12-14kg ..
  • + 1
 Would like to see a "low budget trail bikes comparison" with bikes around or lower than 2000€ (yes there are some)
i'm pretty much into the Meta 4.2TR (2100€) even tho i think it's too heavy for me...
F
  • + 1
 great to hear. some where in those lines i got the impression that the process is the 'pinkbike kind of trailbike'. great stuff!! dont really like kona but the process has been on my mind for a while now...
  • + 4
 if only the Kona 134 DL would come with 29"...
  • + 0
 wishful thinking , I would ride one
  • + 0
 Wtf u smoking?
  • + 3
 Comparisons of bikes in similar price brackets please. I know it's been done before, but it makes sense.
  • + 1
 I'm surprised they didn't throw the new Tallboy into the comparison, since the day earlier they were comparing it to the hightower, i would have figured it would be easy to get a few more testers on it to compare.
  • + 3
 The winner is the readers because we finally get a review we can really give props to!
  • + 1
 awesome review! please do more. Although I very much doubt that a "beginner" will be splashing out $6000 on a Whyte. not criticising it just made me chuckle
  • + 1
 @mikelevy

On the Intense review, under the thumbs down category, it says "Will convert more riders to big wheels".

What is this implying?
  • + 1
 Liked the short review and summarys. Never read the long ride report blah blah on other reviews.

Why these bikes alone though? Tranny scout, 5010 etc??
  • + 2
 There's a ton of other bikes we could have included, but it would have made this article way too long. Instead, we'll do more of these with other bikes.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: wow! A reply from the Jedi master! Cool thanks, think I'm biased as I'm starting to think I should have bought a whyte 130 over my tranny scout!
  • + 2
 @jamesdippy: The Scout is badass.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: YEyyyy!!!
  • + 3
 Process 134... soooo goood!
  • + 3
 lol how do you know that a 114mm feels like a 130mm.....
  • + 2
 Ya know, it feels like it has 16mm more than it really does. Lol.
  • + 4
 Evil Following?
  • + 1
 Agree....this was good read. I like the negative on the Primer "will convert more riders to bigger wheels" 2017 and still fighting the same fight.....:-)
  • + 1
 Those Whyte bike look pretty sweet. Some of the pros and cons were a bit questionable, but other than that I liked the article. Thanks PB!
  • + 1
 Or you could buy a frame set and build your own for thousands of dollars less, are these bikes seriously in anyone's budget right now?
  • + 3
 Out of those bikes I'd choose the whyte.
  • + 1
 Under the Intense why is "Will convert more riders to big wheels" under the negative column? Can we just get over this whole wheelsize thing already?
  • + 6
 no, we can't. And I'd like to take this opportunity to remind people that 26 inch wheels are the best wheels and every other wheel size is wrong. pick a side.
  • + 2
 This is so cool. My question is tire limit? Will a 2.6 be happy back there?
  • + 1
 PB scores another winning bike review this early in 2017. Fantastic review ! Can't wait to get one of these beauties on the single tracks this spring.
  • + 1
 Processes are amazing for the price point. Love my 153. Go demo one if you're looking for a trail bike.
  • + 2
 Holy hell... They listened!
  • + 0
 This would be a great category for the made in Colorado, Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol. Completes start at $2,995...rad bike that is a trail slayer, 29 or +.
  • + 2
 Enough with the clown bikes already.
  • + 2
 kona bois!! love my Process 134 Smile
  • + 1
 I love how the kona is fitted for internal cables and there all just tied to the frame
  • + 1
 What is this about the Primer's shock over-extending when locked-out and pedaling??
  • + 2
 That Yeti is simply gorgeous. That is, until you put a bottle cage on it.
  • + 0
 I'm just baffled by the color choice.
  • + 1
 Would love to have seen the Commencal Meta TR 4.2 included in here as well. Maybe next comparison?
  • + 2
 The Sb 4.5 could just be about perfect except for the bottle mount
  • - 2
 What the hell. All that for you to only say the winner is "none of the above"? Dude how typical and unoriginal! You can't tell me out of all those bikes you didn't have a favorite?! You couldn't tell us if you had to pick one, which one it would be? Lame.
  • + 2
 That's the way to do it horses for courses thanks PB
  • + 1
 First rule of shootouts is there are no shootouts!..... on another note, great article!
  • + 2
 Pffffft these don't hold a candle to a new Ellsworth
  • + 1
 Ha!
  • + 4
 I actually have the new Rouge - it looks great in person. Review down the road.
  • + 2
 Man. We are really being beaten down with 29.
  • + 1
 No love for the Pivot Mach 429 Trail?
  • + 1
 Travels getting shorter. Wheels are getting larger.
  • + 1
 Now that's some bike porn right there!
  • + 2
 4x bikes
  • + 2
 Trek fuel
  • + 1
 Needs to be reworked for moble can't be read. @pinkbike
  • + 2
 Yes Pinkbike!
  • + 1
 Dig this. Would like to see one with longer-travel bikes.
  • + 8
 We'll be doing another one of these with all-mountain / all-mountain bikes.
  • + 1
 Great idea to collect all five reviews!
  • + 1
 Finally, bikes have flaws! Great non-sugar coated review!!!
  • + 1
 The only problem I have with the Jeffsy is the name Jeffsy....
  • + 1
 I want to see a video with the new Pivot Firebird
  • + 1
 Ripley looks bloody cool tho
  • + 1
 NorCo Optic
  • + 0
 which is the least ugly though?
  • - 1
 There's a reason the yeti is listed first. Simply amazing.
  • + 4
 Don't you know they always save the best for last they introduce the loser first.
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