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Video: 5 Value Full-Suspension Bikes Ridden & Rated - Field Test Roundtable

May 3, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST


Value Full-Suspension Roundtable


Cascade Peak vs Stumpjumper vs Izzo vs Spectral 125 vs Process 134



After we'd finished picking cactus spikes our of our hands and drank another gallon of horchata, it was time to see which of these five full-suspension trail bikes stood out from the rest. The two clear favorites ended up being the Canyon Spectral 125 and the YT Izzo. Both bikes are very well spec'd for the price, and deciding which one to go with really comes down to what type of terrain you prefer – the Izzo does better on rolling terrain, with a light, lively feel that makes it well suited to long trail rides, while the Spectral 125 has the edge at higher speeds and on steeper trails thanks to its longer and slacker geometry.

The Specialized Stumpjumper is also worthy of a mention, thanks to its well thought-out frame design and geometry. While we weren't totally impressed with all of the Stumpy's components, the chassis itself is a great starting point for riders who want a bike that's worth upgrading as time goes on.

On the topic of components, Fezzari's Cascade Peak has the best spec for the price – somehow they managed to put a top of the line fork from DVO and a SRAM GX drivetrain on a bike that's less than $3,000 USD. Once again, it was Shimano's Deore and SLX drivetrains that won us over – in a head-to-head battle, we'd pick either of those drivetrains over SRAM's SX and NX options. Brakes were another factor in separating one model from another – the Kona Process 134 and its Alhonga brakes is a prime example of a bike with modern geometry that couldn't reach its full potential due to lackluster stopping power.

Watch the full roundtable video for more insight into our favorite and least favorite bikes, and vote below for the bike you'd most like to try.



photo
Fezzari Cascade Peak
• Travel: 130mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.4° head-tube angle
• 75° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 463mm (large)
• Weight: 32.9 lb / 14.92 kg
• $2,999 USD
FULL REVIEW

photo
Specialized Stumpjumper Alloy
• Travel: 130mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65 / 65.5° head-tube angle
• 77.2 / 77.7° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475 / 480mm (S4)
• Weight: 35.6 lb / 16.14 kg
• $2,650 USD
FULL REVIEW

photo
Canyon Spectral 125
• Travel: 125mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 64° head-tube angle
• 76.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 486mm (large)
• Weight: 34.9 lb / 15.83 kg
• $3,499 USD
FULL REVIEW

photo
YT Izzo
• Travel: 130mm rear, 130mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66 / 66.5° head-tube angle
• 77 / 77.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 472mm (large)
• Weight: 30.40 lb / 13.78 kg
• $3,399 USD
FULL REVIEW

photo
Kona Process 134
• Travel: 134mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 76.3° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (large)
• Weight: 35.30 lb / 16.01 kg
• $2,599 USD
FULL REVIEW

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These tests take a lot of time and money to make happen, and we genuinely try to give riders useful, honest feedback about the bikes we review. We appreciate everyone's support!


Which value full-suspension bike would you most like to ride?







The 2022 Value Bike Field Test was made possible thanks to Visit Tucson and Norrona clothing.





Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,763 articles

152 Comments
  • 70 0
 I basically live my whole life in the "value" category, so THANK YOU for the focus on bike models that cost less than most used cars or new motorcycles. Ever since my first mountainbike in the late '80s it's been a journey of finding a basic model with a great frame, riding hard and breaking stuff, and two years later end up with almost an entirely new bike built off upgraded replacement parts on that original frame. Newer bikes are pretty amazing for what they can do and how long some components last, so new folks may not have to follow this path, but I still do! Just pulled the trigger on a $1700 full-sus enduro frame and can't wait to get it and get rollin. It was not easy finding a frame-only for $2k!
  • 12 4
 complete bikes even ENTRY models like that Stumpy are great bikes and cheaper than building up your own. You get amazing frames and components that are good enough to start biking. Then you can start upgrading after a season or so. Frame geos in 2021 - 2022 models I think reached PERFECT numbers.
  • 14 2
 @valrock: I think you're right about geo, but I think that in most case here in the Alps with natural trail 2019-2020 geo are even better, if you aren't doing super speed all the time. My sweet spot is about 66 headtube and 76 Seat tube with about 1200 wheelbase. Some agility over stability full gas.
  • 8 1
 @valrock: Complete bikes are cheaper than a frame and building your own only if have to buy all new components at retail prices. If you have parts or can get parts for less than retail (used, takeoffs from your old bike, closeouts, etc.), building up a frame gets you a better bike for the same money or less.
  • 7 1
 @Alexh1983: I agree with you. Even here in BC where the going can be rowdy super slack head angles and monster wagon wheelbase don't make sense a lot of the time. I am nervous about moving on to my next bike as I feel 65 is the perfect headtube angle for all-around riding.
  • 2 0
 @Alexh1983: these days trail bikes have the same geo as a few years old Enduro bikes. So yeah I agree with you there, a 2-3 years old enduros are great, I see less and less DH rigs at my local parks because new enduro can do all the stuff DH can and comes with ridiculous 180 travel ( and sucks ass on anything but going down at the same time). But I would take modern ( 2021 - 2022 ) trail bike everyday over anything that was made before 2020.

My perfect setup 140/130 trail bike for all riding I do in AB and BC and 203/203 DH rig for parks like Kicking Horse with real techy stuff and not machine build flow
  • 1 0
 @valrock: It would be better if they started off with non-shit parts to start with at a price point that's not taking the piss. Is a Revelation or even entry level Pike really that much more expensive than a Rockshox 35 Silver at the OEM level? And SRAM SX should be set on fire. I hope SRAM make XD the default driver for NX going forward.
  • 64 13
 Do they go over the fact that two of the cheapest bikes are almost a thousand dollars less than the two most expensive bikes?

Surely at this level going from approx $2500 to $3500 puts the bikes in a completely different price bracket.

Edit - Mike says below there is a $3500 price cap - fair enough but $2600 is a bloody huge amount under.
  • 31 1
 Yep, that Kona plus a $900 upgrade budget is my pick
  • 80 3
 If we sliced the price bracket any narrower it'd become more difficult to do a group test. You're right, a $1,000 price difference is significant, but hopefully watching and reading these reviews will make it easier to see what you gain or lose by going up or down in price.
  • 30 1
 The stumpy has a $3600 model that solves all/most of the complaints that they had about the stumpy they had here and compares well against the Izzo on components. It would be my pick at the price. But I understand the need to set a cutoff, even if it is arbitrary.
  • 5 6
 @VtVolk: £900 gets you a pike (£600) and a GX groupset (£350) in the uk. Component prices are reasonable cheap at the moment. When buying a complete you’ve always had to budget for tyres, grips, pedals, stem and bar anyway, I think we’re back at the point where it’s much better value to build up a frame than it is to buy one of these overpriced completes.
  • 4 0
 @jaredmh: Exatly, rather take valuebikes one would actually want to buy not the cheapest if it's got a lot you don't want on a bike!
  • 2 0
 I think they were just working with what they got. Would have been nice if they had the alloy Jeffsy vs the Izzo.
  • 4 0
 @jaredmh: Stumpy frameset, please. Stumpy Evo geo is too similar to the old Enduro.
  • 1 2
 @VtVolk: might want to consider new brakes first, or just ride brakeless (as you essentially are with them installed)
  • 5 0
 @plyawn: Yep, fancy brakes (new) and a fancy fork (lightly used or new take off) and I'd be in business for under my $900 budget, not including anything I could get for the new take of Recon on the used market ($150-200? maybe?). I'm 100% fine with 11 speed Deore. Cockpit, wheels and tires are all a bit "meh" but I'd ride 'em til they died and then replace them with something better.
  • 5 4
 For the average price of these all-sussers I'd really prefer to build myself a good steel hardtail. Definitely!
  • 4 0
 @VtVolk: Same here. If it had to be one of the bikes on this list, I'd choose the Kona Process 134 and invest the cash I saved into a 150mm fork for a slacker head angle and a set of 4 piston brakes.
  • 2 1
 @thenotoriousmic: probably even a bit less for Marz Z2, deore gruppo and brakes I'd think? (Without looking obvs)
  • 6 11
flag carlwheezer69 (May 3, 2022 at 15:02) (Below Threshold)
 I could buy all these bad boys and still have gas money left over for my H3 Hummer. #staywokepal
  • 22 0
 Want a more apples-to-apples comparison? Make all the bikes the same price by allowing upgrades.

If the cheapest bike in the test is $900 less than the most expensive, allow $900 in upgrades, preferably after you’ve ridden them a little so you can see their shortcomings. You can buy a nice set of brakes and some good drivetrain parts for 900 bucks.

I understand this adds complexity, and there’s subjectivity in parts selection, but I trust Pinkbike staff to know where this money is best spent.

What do you think about that, Kazimer?
  • 5 0
 @mrosie: This would be difficult to facilitate but pretty cool. Dunno if it fits in the value field test though, more like a new series entirely. The nice thing about these value tests is it caters to multiple viewpoints on what "value" or "budget" is. To some, $1000 is a TON of money to spend on a bike. For others, $3500 is no big deal. So this provides a nice range and also helps call out bike manufacturers when the spec absolute garbage on these "value" bikes, which is important.

That said, would love this as a standalone series. $4000 budget, one bike at $4k out the door, another maybe 50% of that price, and then the rest is based on used or new part upgrades to get to the $4k mark. A few test days first to get an idea of what components suck and what are worth keeping on.
  • 2 1
 @alexhyland: definitely. Parts are super cheap in the UK right now that I can’t see where bike companies are getting their prices from.

Commencal meta frame / shock £1300
Lyrik ultimate £550
Hunt wheels £350
Gx groupset £350
Bars, stem, tyres, grips £350
Obviously a few bits I’ve missed where do you get a £5k NX build with yari’s with todays component prices.
  • 2 0
 @snowwcold55: Oh I like that idea! Come on PB, make it happen!!
  • 2 0
 @carlwheezer69: Woke don't necessarily mean broke lol. Dammit you triggered me!
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Whether the tyres suit your trails or riding style is legit, but stem and bar? Unless the stock stem is grossly too long or short for the bike, what do you think you'll possibly gain from upgrading? Ditto for bars - the amount of sweep/rise/flex may be different to your preference but any performance benefit of upgrading is an illusion.
  • 6 0
 @thenotoriousmic: out of interest (I'm in the market for one!), where are you finding a GX groupset at that price, let alone in-stock? A SRAM NX group on CRC costs £346, and the difference in price between NX and GX cassette alone is £120.

A Lyrik Ultimate at £550 is also about £200 better than I can find but you may know somewhere that has 2020 stock at that price.

As far as the other bits you missed, brakes (?£300) & rotors (?£100), dropper post (£140), saddle (£50), headset (£20) are the main ones.

Overall still comes out below £5000.
  • 1 0
 @carlwheezer69: heyyyy look who it is!
  • 3 0
 It's honestly kinda crazy to look back on the MTB mags I read back in 2005 or so, when tests would be done across pretty price brackets. Every bike in a group test would be right around the same price range, and there were just as many mid-range bike tests as superbike tests. Now it seems that the only price categories in group tests are "money no object" and "everything else".
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: dito.. even just judging by the looks.. hands down!!!! Also, I am not a particularly skilled rider.. a 2k bike is more than sufficient for me...
  • 1 1
 @dsut4392: you don’t have to buy most people do. Everyone has their favourite bar, grip, stem, pedals and nobody really wants to cheap bars, stem grips etc that come on stock completes.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Why not just ride with the stock cockpit?

I've only used the stock bars and stems that came with a build-up bike. 760-780mm and with pretty standard/contemporary rise and sweep.

Am I missing something here???
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Thanks. Seen too many bad stories about shipping delays and interminable 'backorder' status on tradeinn/bikeinn etc that I've never taken the plunge with them, but my wife ordered a helmet from them a few weeks ago so we'll find out soon enough how that goes.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: not too sure about the "most people" bit. I think most people probably couldn't tell a Renthal bar from a budget in-house bar in a blind test, and the proportion of people who actually change would be in the tiny minority. I'm a bike nerd with plenty of money and didn't like the sweep of the bar that came on my last bike, but still couldn't be bothered changing it. I've changed stems for fit, but never because of the original stem being "cheap" - in most cases what I've replaced it with has come from the LBS bargain bin.
  • 46 1
 None of the above is my answer. $2600 USD buys a Giant Trance 29 w/ a Marzocchi Z2, a full Deore drivetrain, decent brakes, and even a good tire spec.

Don’t like that? Want/need more travel and stupid aggressive geometry? Cool. $2850 will buy you a new Giant Trance X. 160mm travel Yari up front, 140ish mm travel in the rear with a Fox DPS shock, 1X12 Deore drivetrain, 4 piston brakes that work properly, and a solid tire spec. 27.5 wheels suit this bike perfectly. It’s so good I bought one.

The days of compromising on geo when buying a Giant are over, ignoring the too-long seat tubes. The component spec is super solid, they ride well, you get proper warranty support from the biggest manufacturer in the game (not that you’re likely to need it), and the pricing is outrageously good. They’ve even started to make an effort with colours and graphics. What more can you ask for in a budget bike???
  • 3 0
 Now if only the Giant Canada actually brought a decent amount in or with any priority.

The Anthem I ordered in October should be here by October - it was one of only three (any level or size) coming into my local shop. It's tough to see that bike being delivered and ridden all around the world when it's still six months before it lands on Canadian shores.
  • 1 0
 100% agree - bought the only Giant Trance 29 2 in BC for my 13 year old just before Xmas - price has gone up another $200CAD since then Perfect trail / downcountry bike now Giant have updated the geometry.
  • 5 0
 Those are about it for the low price point. That Trance X model you mentioned is unfortunately a 27.5 which seems to be out of vogue for many people. Wish the Trance X 29 had a similar spec but it doesn't and is more inline with the rest of the junk unfortunately. That would be the killer bike at 2800$ with a Yari and Deore.

Its pretty much only these or its the Polygon Siskui T8 2500-2600$...and that's literally about the only bikes that have a spec that isn't disposable junk and can be maintained with a very nice value. Maybe the Fezzari but its so dang ugly and on the expensive side. Marin Alpine Trail 3k$ build is pretty nice too actually, very nice bike there too. The other great value entry will certainly be the new Vitus Mythic (or whatever they call it) assuming its still around 2600$. Old one was nice as well but geo was a bit dated for better or worse. I'm all about supporting the local bike shop and do, but these junky spec bikes (aside from the few Giants) just aren't worth it and don't turn into great used bikes either.
  • 1 0
 Been looking at that trance x 27.5. Do you know how much yours weighs?
  • 5 0
 @Svinyard: so lame that manufacturers aren't producing 27.5" bikes anymore. It's a great tire size. I think it was marketed and pushed on people more than something they needed Frown
  • 4 0
 @SeanC1: There are a bunch of 27.5 bikes out there, granted not en masse like 29, and it seems like I've been seeing new models with 27.5 coming out lately. I have two 27.5 bikes..no interest in 29. I'll probably get a 26 again, just because(obviously older, used bike)
  • 5 2
 @SeanC1: I'm 5'6" and bought into 27.5" bikes are for short folks and they're more nimble and fun. Recently bought a medium Fuel Ex 8 with 29" wheels and there isn't anything I can't do on this bike that I can do with smaller wheels. I live in central PA where we have tons of rock and awkward techy climbs and the 29-er rolls up it all so well and is more than nimble enough for the switchbacks and tight turns.
  • 2 0
 Hell ya, I've got a 2021 Trance X2 with a DPX2, full Deity cockpit, and Slx brakeset and it's a blast in and out of the park!
  • 2 2
 @schu2470: They are more nimble, but if you’re just rolling up and down rocky terrain 29 will obviously roll better. It’s not a conspiracy, it just doesn’t apply to your skillset/terrain.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for pointing that Trance 29 out! I've been trying to find a good budget bike for my buddy and I think that's perfect. That's a pretty sick build for the price! I think it's probably better than all bikes in the field test expect maybe the YT, but almost $1k more and always sold out.
  • 2 3
 @schu2470: And yes, 27.5 is more fun, if fun is playfulness rather than bigger wheels that help you go faster. If you suck and just need more traction and roll over, then yeah why not have 29.
  • 2 2
 @emptybe-er: You came back 20 hours later just to be an a*shole. Thanks.
  • 1 1
 @schu2470: I’ll try to be more on the ball for your next time. While I forgot to mention that 27.5 is more fun unless one sucks, I totally forgot to mention that only riding sucky terrain also makes sense for 29. I didn’t mean they were necessarily mutually exclusive.
  • 1 1
 @schu2470: 10 years ago this exact paragraph was used to differentiate between 26" and 27.5" bikes. They are putting 29" tires on small and xsmall womens and kids bikes and it looks downright goofy let alone being awkward to ride. Save this paragraph for when we nex have 31" tires so you can regurgitate the same marketing crap.
  • 15 0
 jus feel like im taking crazy pills, when we are talking about a value field test... The Deore spec Canyon Spectral is 2900 USD. and the SLX spec is only 100 dollars more than YTs NX build. I mean, I guess that speaks a lot about the frames if the team felt this way, and good on YT, but again as a VALUE test I'm surprised both specs of the Canyon weren't talked about more. as an overall value, not 'the bike if you wanna get rowdy'.

I think sometimes the information gets lost in context when you force yourself to stay within the field test options. and people have been begging for field tests to include references to previous bikes in the same category. which ultimately just means they want more relevant context. comparing a 2600$ Kona to a 3500$ Canyon punch for punch muddies the waters. mentioning the Deore spec as a middle ground and competitor to the Fezzari would have been reasonable.
  • 9 1
 $1,000 dollar spread in price is a lot, but throw in that the expensive bikes come from consumer direct and the cheap bikes come from "bike shop" brands and the test doesn't seem fair, probably just working with what you could get but just my two cents..
  • 9 0
 I really think they need to at least add the shipping cost to any consumer direct bikes. They mention service and support, which are less tangible costs, but never mention the price of shipping, which is pretty upfront and obvious. It is something every potential buyer should be aware of in their considerations.
  • 4 0
 @jspier: WAY too much variance. For Canada I understand that is actually a massive issue. For US viewers, we are accustomed to getting free shipping from a LOT of companies, including direct order bike brands. As well as odd situations like when I buy from Polygon, the shipping is free but there is tax because they've put a warehouse in the US. The sale comes from within. When I bought from Vitus, there was no 'tax' being that its from Ireland but there was a standard import fee. That import fee generally worked out to less than the sales tax of a mountain bike in California. But if you live somewhere like Oregon, there is no sales tax. Presumably, you could order a Polygon shipped to Oregon for free shipping and no tax. Literally just paying out MSRP.

That's why they won't even begin to touch 'extra' fees. Even MSRP is difficult to track in 2022. Have you seen the Ibis price bump??
  • 4 0
 @jspier: 100% agree. The Canyon Spectral 125 reviewed costs Canadian consumers $475 in taxes and $100 in shipping on top of the price of the bike. Budgeting that in properly makes the price point significantly less attractive.
  • 8 0
 I guess the bike industry won - it seems we're now regarding a $3500USD bike as 'budget' Frown

How MTB is a growing sport at all is bewildering to me. How many new riders outgrow their $500 hardtail-from-the-garage, look into an upgrade, see the 'budget' full-sus bike is the price of a used car and just nope out of the sport forever?
  • 4 0
 I hate when people are like 3-4K? That's a good deal! Is it really? I mean sure compared to the other bikes out there maybe but the bigger issue is why does it cost thousands and thousands of dollars for a damn pedal bike in the first place. The cost of entry is definitely a huge gatekeeper into this sport.
  • 12 1
 The Izzo might be my next bike.
  • 5 24
flag DoubleCrownAddict (May 3, 2022 at 10:36) (Below Threshold)
 And a goat might be your next tatt?
  • 17 20
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Tattoos are very stupid.
  • 7 6
 Let me be clear, I don't mean that people who get tattoos are stupid people, I'm just saying that putting something permanent on your body that you may or may not be interested still in 5 years is a really dumb thing to do. If it's there for medical purposes, or to say that you are a cancer survivor, or a veteran, great. That's fine. But to tattoo a goat on yourself because you ride a YT? Very stupid.
  • 17 1
 @danielfloyd: The most stupid thing about tattoos is that the vast majority of people have for some reason came to the conclusion that a tattoo isn't stupid if it has a "meaning" or some type of shallow dumb excuse to get one. "My great aunt's cousin died when I was 12 so I got a tattoo of a pinecone."

Just get the pinecone tattoo and tell people that you got it for the sole reason of enjoying the tattoo of a pinecone and you think that shit is dope.
  • 2 4
 @nskerb: Ha! So true. Finally someone said it. I always ask people their tatt stories for a good laugh, and so I can make fun of them later. And yes, I have a tattoo. I drew it up, it has no meaning, just decoration.
  • 3 4
 @danielfloyd: let me be clear no one who gets a tattoo should care about what you think about them and maybe you should just shut up about it because no one needs your opinion on it. I have a lot of tattoos that might be stupid and I don’t care at all because it’s just a tattoo and not really a big deal. It’s not 1950 any more, life is short maybe get a tattoo, it will age better than your hairline, waistline or eyesight.
  • 4 1
 @thisspock: then don't care. I don't care. I was just stating my opinion.
  • 1 1
 @thisspock: I have one on my back from 1993, and they definitely age
  • 1 1
 @thisspock: And then there’s the whole thing with lymph nodes and ink, people finding lymphatic tumors (caused from lymphatic vessels removing pigment) the same colors as the ink. So injecting a ton of ink into your skin might not be a great idea.
  • 12 3
 I really wish there was a written summary instead of putting it in a video. I would much rather read this summary than be forced to watch a video to see the summary.
  • 5 1
 Question for the PB testers: as somebody who has broken a knee cap on these same desert rocks, I noticed almost none of you guys are wearing kneepads. Is it a cool kids thing or did the trails just seem really tame to you compared to the mountain biking Mecca that you guys live in?
  • 20 0
 More of a hot kids thing - the temperatures in Tuscon were pretty warm, and it felt nice to let our pasty white legs get some sun. Knee pads aren't a bad idea, though; it's really poky and sharp down there.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer: ah makes sense. Living here I ride fullface and kneepads when it’s 120F because im so used to it. If it gets down to 65F tho, im by the fire with an Irish hot chocolate. Haha
  • 11 5
 H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A 100
  • 5 0
 What's going on with that water bottle in the Kona at 9:34? USD bottle cages becoming the new standard?
  • 8 0
 Ha, good eye. There was an incident with a cactus and the bottom of Levy's water bottle, so he had to run it upside down so it wouldn't leak.
  • 2 0
 Up here in the great white north, we run bottles upside down to keep the nozzle end from freezing.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent:
The Rouge Bulle sinks to the bottom (top ?) then the SupaShuga prevents the nipple from freezing. How's that for Canadian science?
  • 3 0
 I wish the reviews would also talk to after service care, warranty and availability. The YT is a good bike but they have such a horrible reputation for aftercare and availability, I just wouldn't go there for any money.
  • 3 1
 I'm sure it's case by case, but US customer service has been great to me. They've responded to all my questions within hours. They even shipped a replacement stem cap using overnight shipping. Shout out to Austin!!
  • 3 0
 @wutamclan: Thats great to hear. Maybe things are getting better. I have literally cancelled two bike purchases from YT. Bridges are burnt on my side but if people are having better luck thats great to hear.
  • 2 1
 @dsut4392: Got my Izzo last fall, and for me, customer service has been great. They've been quick to respond, thorough and helpful. Even sent me a Christmas card! Whatever issues they've had in the past seem to be resolved.
  • 3 1
 You do a bike shootout in Tucson but do your testing at Starr Pass/TMP?!! That has got to be the worst trail system in the region...well, unless you like zero flow and climbing up chunky rocks for zero reward. There are so many better options for a bike shootout in Tucson.
  • 6 0
 It was actually a great zone for testing. Testing doesn’t always involve the best / most fun trails - we needed somewhere with short, repeatable loops, ideally that don’t require a shuttle, and Starr Pass was perfect for that.
  • 2 0
 To each his own. I was visiting Tucson (from NorCal) just a few weeks back and thought Starr Pass was super weird and surprisingly fun. Definitely not at all PNW riding though.
  • 1 0
 @quehill: I hope you were able to experience more than just Starr Pass. If you only ride XC then it's probably a good choice but Tucson has so much more to offer than SP. If you didn't want to venture up to Mt. Lemmon, the 50 year trail system is pretty great with slick rock-esque trails, flowy sections, and some pretty gnarly B-lines.
  • 20 15
 And ibis Ripley AF wins again
  • 25 0
 Unfortunately, the Ripley AF wouldn't have qualified for this year's round of value bike testing - the Deore model is now priced at $3,799, which puts it above our $3,500 price cap. It's still a great bike, though.
  • 13 1
 Especially at 2021 price... I still feel like I robbed the shop getting that bike fully GX equipped for $3200
  • 12 4
 @deez-nucks: then you look at the frame and fell robbed back again ahah
  • 10 0
 My Ripmo AF Deore is still the first "value" bike I've purchased that didn't need any upgrades quickly. But the 2022 pricing has taken a sad hit...
  • 3 1
 @burnbern: That bike is 3.8k Chf (3.9 USD) here. Hardly a value bike
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Izzo Core 2 vs Ripley AF Deore. Your pick?
  • 3 0
 I took delivery of my new, Deore spec'd Ripley AF last week. $3199 USD.
  • 1 0
 @deez-nucks: Agreed. Similar experience here, got my 2020 Mega Factory build for less than $5K USD, now it's $7000 US now! Frown
  • 1 0
 Not at all. It's so expensive that it doesn't even fit the category.
  • 1 0
 @burnbern: Recently borrowed a friends Ripmo AF w/ Deore and DVO for an afternoon. It's a great bike, but at 4000€ it's not good value at all.
  • 3 2
 @mikekazimer The biggest miss was not including the Specialized Status (either model) in this roundtable. I am well aware that Mr Beer already reviewed it, but it seems an ideal choice for this group and I'd contend it would outperform everything here save the Izzo going up hill. Spec to price nothing here comes close.
  • 1 0
 How and why does everybody say the Status is good value? It's not. Compare it to something like a Canyon Torque AL or Propain Spindrift AL and the Status ends up looking quite disappointing.
  • 1 1
 @Muscovir: Both of those bikes are more costly (at the entry level) than the Status by $300-600 more for the Canyon and the Propain respectively. Nearly the same geo with the Canyon, but yr choice is either 27.5 or 29 vs MX (at the entry level) with a Deore drivetrain/Deore brakes (Hayes rotors...weird) and not actually available currently. The Propain is a notably bigger step up in cost and spec (save the G2 brakes...meh). Both of the bikes lean more into the super enduro freeride category versus a trail/enduro designation. As such, I stand by my statement above specifically regarding the Status and the bikes in this test.
  • 4 1
 I still do not understand how effective top tube length isn't mentioned alongside reach #'s when doing a quick rundown of a bikes geo.
  • 4 0
 It's all about reach these days. Nobody considers TT or stack because everybody is just obsessed with reach, chain stay length and HTA/STA. I find certain dimentions have their time in the sun and right now TT is not popular. With all the different frame designs now TT (or more likely theoretical TT) is becoming harder for some to understand too, reach is constant.

Reach is also more relevant to the downhill side of things and Enduro bikes are king right now.
  • 2 0
 @warmerdamj: I'd agree that ETT is a little bit too un-standardized at the moment right now. They need to agree how it should be measured. I vote from center of seatpost to center of stem when both are equal height above ground.

I do not think reach is un-important, I just think that considering they way enduro style riding has taken off (i.e. peddling uphill, mainly seated) that ETT is hugely important. You're seated climbing at probably like 75% of the total time of a ride in my experience.

Words from a chronic lower back pain sufferer lol.
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: I would agree on all fronts, especially the one on lower back pain. These young kids though still have backs of steel so they don't care lol.
  • 2 0
 I chose the Stumpjumper, because of 80's nostalgia of having them as my first 2 MTN bikes.

But currently YT is beating out Specialized by a margin of 3:1. And agreed, the Izzo is purdy and I prefer the frame design.
  • 1 0
 I just rented a Stumpy exactly like the one tested. I rode it for four days and honestly I couldn't wait to give it back. The fork is horrible, the brakes are almost as bad as the fork and the SX drivetrain is pretty bad too. I agree with PB you could upgrade the parts. However, I would put my money down on something else before I paid $2650 just end up spending another $1500 - $2000 to get the bike where it's enjoyable to ride.
  • 2 0
 I've just bought the Stumpjumper Comp alloy. This will be my first full suspension. Does anyone know if I can upgrade to a piggybag shock?
  • 2 0
 You absolutely can.
Just make sure the shock you want to buy has the same eye to eye length (center of bolt hole to center of opposite end bolt holes) and the stroke is the same as what is on there now. You can look it up on the specialized website.
  • 2 1
 FYI I have a friend doing downhill runs on an electric Commençal (125kg total). I think it has 180mm travel. Not equipped with a piggy back shock, and he doesn't report issues...
I guess you won't be riding only downhill since you got a 130mm, and in that case the need of bigger shock is not obvious to me
  • 1 0
 I have been running a Float X Factory 190x45 on my 2021 Stumpy Comp Alloy for 6 months now. Significant upgrade from the DPS, no issues at all.
  • 1 0
 Thank you dear sires
  • 1 0
 Not bad bad list of bikes. All of them have great price points for their specs. I wouldn't have minded seeing an Intense 951 XC or Trail on this list. I think they might be a tad more expensive than this group.
  • 2 0
 Fezzari is underrated and perhaps not widely known yet. Their new models are really worth considering them as a serious contender for the big names.
  • 2 0
 Big hug to whoever put that video on the page with the "media-full-width" class
  • 3 0
 One with 27.5 wheels . Just saying….
  • 3 1
 Marry the Stumpy, sleep with the Izzo and kill that Kona
  • 3 1
 29” no thanks I already have a road bike for when I’m lazy
  • 2 2
 Leaving out solid affordable full suspension choices from Giant and Marin in this comparison.
  • 8 0
 Do you just mean within the narrative or just this test? The Trance X and Rift Zone were reviewed in the last test, and pitted against each other. Search those keywords on PinkBike's youtube.
  • 3 2
 So no 27.5 wheels then? Nice to have a choice these days!
  • 1 0
 Loved the outside subscription ad. Made me laugh
  • 1 0
 No Giant no party
  • 1 0
 #freethelevy
  • 4 5
 I would like to see the Polygon Siskiu in this mix
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: $2369 siskiu fools you into thinking its under $2400.
  • 1 1
 H to tha...
  • 5 6
 What? No Yeti?
  • 11 0
 Their frame-only option doesn’t even come close to qualifying as a value bike.
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