Video: Arrival vs Range vs Force vs Spire vs Capra - Field Test Roundtable

Sep 12, 2021
by Henry Quinney  


Enduro Bike Round Table

This year, we had five enduro bikes to compare. All of them are positioned as EWS-worthy race bikes, but within that remit there's certainly a lot of variety. The We Are One Arrival, sporting just 152mm travel and only a Fox 36, is the shortest travel and lightest of the bunch but has still seen some impressive results on the international circuit thanks to U21 rider Johnathan Helly. At 32.04 lb / 14.53 kg it's 5 pounds lighter than the almost-downhill Norco.

Speaking of which, the Norco Range offers to bridge the gap between downhill and enduro bikes. The 170mm bruiser not only has a downhill rated frame but also dual crown compatibility. The idler-equipped bike puts emphasis on descents, but thanks to low gearing, modern geometry and tuned kinematics, will still get you to the top of your chosen mountain, albeit a bit slower than a lighter bike.

The Norco wasn't the only bike with an idler-enabled rearward axle path, there was also the GT Force. Again, this is a bike we've seen raced at World Cups with a larger fork bolted on the front. The GT, while still a very capable bike, did seem that little more versatile, if only thanks to its air shock, but still had all the hallmarks of a modern enduro bike, including an adjustable rear end and a front end that was both slack whilst also offering a generous amount of stack height.

Another bike that tried to offer it all was the Transition Spire. This bike is not only second lightest on test at 33.20 lb / 15.05 kg but also offered a lot more versatility than its ultra-slack numbers would suggest. It does beg the question though, can a 29" 170mm bike ever really be more than a one-trick-smash-pony? Well, apparently so, but does that mean there's a trade-off somewhere along the line?

Last but not least, the all-new YT Capra. This bike is available in both MX and 29" platforms. On test, we had the latter. This bike is denoted by YT as their race bike, but can it hold a candle to the World Cup pedigree of the GT and Norco? And what can it offer apart from its standout value for money?

So which did we like? Which would we have ourselves? And how do they compare against a previous Field Test winner and a bike that we all have a great amount of appreciation for - the Specialized Enduro? After a few years has bike designed really moved on? Or would we still be reaching for the old favorite?

We Are One Arrival
• Travel: 152mm rear, 160mm front
• 29" wheels
• 64° head-tube angle
• 77° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (Z2)
• Weight: 32.04 lb / 14.53 kg
• $8,899 USD
Norco Range C1
• Travel: 170mm rear / 170mm front
• 29" wheels
• 63.25° head angle
• Seat tube angle: 77°
• Reach: 480mm (lrg)
• Weight: 37.05 lb / 16.80 kg
• Price: $8,999 USD

GT Force Carbon
• Travel: 160mm rear, 170mm front
• 29" wheels
• 63.5° head-tube angle
• 78° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 480mm (large)
• Weight: 35.77 lb / 16.22 kg
• $6,000 USD
Transition Spire GX Carbon
• Travel: 170mm rear, 170mm front
• 29" wheels
• 63 / 62.5° head-tube angle
• 78.1 / 77.6° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 485 / 480mm (large)
• Weight: 33.20 lb / 15.05 kg
• $6,000 USD

YT Capra 29 Core 4
• Travel: 165mm rear, 170mm front
• 29" wheels
• 64.2 / 64.5° head-tube angle
• 77.6 / 77.9° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 467mm (large)
• Weight: 33.69 lb / 15.28 kg
• $5,999 USD (approx.)

Which bike would you like to ride most?

The 2021 Summer Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel and protection, and Sun Peaks Resort. Shout out also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.

Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
294 articles

  • 195 4
 Just wanted to say thanks for doing these field tests, you guys are doing a great job like always. Extra thanks for comparing to the previous winner. I remember having a discussion a couple years ago about how that would be nice to include.
  • 108 2
 Yup, including the Enduro makes a lot of sense, so thanks to the Pinkers who suggested that in the comments - we probably wouldn't have done of it otherwise. Future Field Tests might also have some wildcards included.
  • 47 3
 @mikelevy: Dude, seriously, Mr. Levy, you’ve been kicking ass with these field tests. A very sincere thank you.
  • 6 4
 @mikelevy: Another question that would have been good to ask is rather than what bike out of the 5 on test would you choose but what about if you could also choose the Enduro in its 2021 build form which now comes with the 38 on the front?
  • 22 1
 @mikelevy: Thanks for implementing those suggestions. I think Matt and Henry did a good job highlighting the good and not so good spec choices too. Except I think one was missed on the Norco... I was looking at their website and noticed that they only give you a GX cassette on the C1. Seriously, a $9K top spec build and they don't even give you an X01 cassette?!
  • 3 3
 @lj17: unfortunately most 9k bikes do that. Look at WR1, Yeti, Pivot, etc. it’s an easy place to save $150 per bike sold for manufactures.
  • 18 1
 @whitedlite: Most? I see that a couple like Pivot are doing it, but if someone is going to spend $9K+ they should be getting top spec everything. It's inexcusable. The SB150 T2 Turq is $8400 and has full X01. So does the Megatower for $8449. The '22 Stumpjumper EVO Expert is $6100 and has full X01 minus alloy cranks. Hell, the $8600 SJ EVO Pro has X01 AXS. It's just annoying to see certain brands downgrade parts like that, usually on things that aren't as noticeable like the cassette or especially hubs, and I think they should be called out for it.
  • 5 0
 This! Thank you so much for including the previous year's winner. The tests make so much more sense this way. It's not like bike technology is progressing leaps and bounds every single year. Sometimes a particular bike remains "the bike to get" in a particular segment for a couple years.
  • 8 0
 The winner is anyone rippin on one of these dope machines.
  • 4 2
 @lj17: and the cassette is probably the only XO1 or XTR level part I’d ever consider when kitting out a drivetrain.
  • 6 0
 @mkpfaff: surely it would be the shifter, the one thing you can feel every time you shift?
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: I'd love to see comparisons between previous bikes of the year or in general your long term bikes like Transition Spur vs Stumpjumper vs Norco Optic etc
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy: yall should do a dh bike field test so Jason's wrists can survive the huck to flat.
  • 3 0
 @mior: We did a DH Bike Week awhile ago: But we'll be doing another for sure. Safe to assume he'd rather huck to flat on one of those!
  • 7 0
 @lj17: I don’t know man, quick look at the bikes mentioned, Stumpy, and Yeti, and they’re all basically within a couple hundred bucks of one another pricing wise, with some considerations made.

I’d argue the Norco, absolutely cutting edge suspension design right now (whether it’s successful, or something you like, different argument) and comes with all top shelf, name brand parts.

Both the Yeti, and Stumpy (which isn’t AXS on the on the EVO pro here, or maybe I’m looking at 21’ bikes?) come with lesser wheels, tires, rear shocks, etc. Different priorities man.

The product managers are threading a needle, and saving a couple hundred on the cassette (wear item) vs a higher spec wheel set, rear shock. I’m cool with that decision, clearly you’re not, that’s cool.

Long and short of it, specs are written for you (and the rest of us) to read, and make a decision based on your particular preferences or priorities. Interestingly, those don’t always align with other peoples, but fortunately you’ve got loads of options.

Range and the Spire were on my short list for a bigger travel bike this year, the availability of alloy in the Spire (and the added cost savings that goes along with it) helped to make up my mind. Currently a Transition and a Sight in our garage, so both brands are near and dear to me.

I don’t see anything to “call them out on”, leading edge suspension design, on what’s likely to be a very low volume bike, with a top shelf component spec….we have things so good.

Be good to one another out there, ride your bike, kick ass, have some fun!
  • 80 6
 And that concludes the mountains bike field test. Cheers for the good work Now to look forward to that trail and down-country test in a couple months.
  • 35 79
flag Mugen (Sep 12, 2021 at 13:25) (Below Threshold)
 Glad we are done with the appetizers, and can move one to the main course (e-bikes) and the dessert (comments on ebike reviews).
  • 28 87
flag PHX77 (Sep 12, 2021 at 13:29) (Below Threshold)
 So excited for the moped reviews!! I have the commencal and can’t wait to get their take. It’s definitely best if you swap to a coil.


Down vote this comment if you’ve ever contracted VD from a farm animal.
  • 19 0
 @PHX77: What VDs can you contract from farm animals?
  • 30 3
 @PHX77: Y'all are acting like coal-rollers.
  • 12 2
 @PHX77: wow.. since the popularisation of electrics, the lvl on this website started to really go downhill.
  • 11 2
 If I could, I would downvote you to oblivion @Mugen:
  • 15 2
 @eugenux: actually, Pinkbike used to be far more downhill than it is now. (Those who know, know)
  • 4 0
  • 34 2
 @Mugen: It's funny how ebike riders always think about food and dessert.
  • 1 3
 @tarik28: and now Owen Something will explain sarcasm to a mouse

@boozed: brucellosis. Don't ask how I know
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: Oh bugger...
  • 52 1
 Afraid to click knowing Levy's eye brows await
  • 10 2 so everyone can sleep soundly tonight
  • 27 0
 Me too tho
  • 10 0
 @cmitchell: You had an opportunity to link directly to the brows, and you chose to be a good person instead. Yet people still downvoted you. Truly there can be no better example that society doesn't deserve good things.
  • 8 0
 @mikelevy: you should definitely troll everyone by shaving your eyebrows off. That'd make the PBers look like idiots!
  • 4 0
 My favorite clip of the field test
  • 28 4
 Im confused. Wasn't the YT the fastest bike on the laps?
  • 29 4
 It also sounds like The Enduro kicked ass and would still be chosen as the winner.
  • 14 0
 @Thirty3: Cracking news
  • 3 0
 So ?
  • 28 2
 yeah, it is kinda odd to set up something that is arguably quantitative - a timed test - but then resort to qualitative "feel" metrics for the rest, all the while throwing in statements like perhaps the other bikes would have been faster on a rougher track so they must be superior. Well, why not set up a tougher timed track and find out? Great content nonetheless, but I am very surprised that they could not get the YT to work for them. Perhaps a coil shock and a larger size for the brit would have made the difference - who knows.
  • 12 0
 @klinkekule: possibly because although it is quantitative, the very small sample size and lack of controls precludes drawing meaningful (meaning statistically significant) results, so they end up reverting to qualitative assessments.
  • 6 0
 So excluding the Enduro what bike would you choose as your race bike? "The Slowest one"
  • 35 0
 @Daaaaaaaan: I honestly don't think these are enduro bikes, if we're talking about actual racing. Look at the bikes the fastest guys are racing- Richie is on an SB150, a three year old design, not exactly known for being very plush. Melamed is in on a Rocky Mountain Altitude, not the 170mm Slayer (which they tried and didn't stick with). Jack Moir is on a Strive with 150mm rear travel and a 65 degree HA. Like, literally all the fastest guys are on bikes that would be classified as "all rounders" in this test. I'd say most of the bikes here are "pedalable DH" or park bikes with benefits category. Enduro races are won by bikes that are good at changing directions and can actually pedal a little.
  • 7 2
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: the strongest guys win on slightly smaller bikes, but us sport class hacks need the extra cushion to help stay fresh after 4 big descents.
  • 10 0
 @mtb-thetown: as someone who has dabbled in enduro racing for the last couple years my counter points are:

1.) Most sport class hacks aren't racing EWS stages. Most local series have shorter stages and less gnar. Maybe not in BC, but I'm guessing most places. I have 1, maybe 2 races a year where I feel under gunned on a YT Jeffsy.

2.) Most sport class hacks are not crazy fit, so the difference between pedaling a 37 pound bike and a 31 pound bike to the top of the stage is significant!
  • 3 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Richie is riding a 170 fork still, Jesse is riding a 170 fork and 160 rear with a coil, Jack has been know to run a 180 fork and a longer stroke shock to have closer to 160 rear travel
  • 2 0
 Henry = Doublecrownaddict??
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I've raced some of the tougher enduro races in the UK. Admittedly, miles off winning, but I guess so are most riders. My Mega 290 feels about right for them and possibly slight overkill for the less hardcore local races. I'd love to do some back to back runs with one of these super enduro/freeride bikes and something at the burly end of trail, to see what's actually better for us mortals. Is the light bike easier to flick around, or is the burly bike less fatiguing over all the impacts?...
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: ha, I'd love to try that. In some bike park enduros I'm sure the super sleds would feel nicer, but for the most part, my money would be on the 150-160 range of bikes.
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: lots of the California enduro series races are at bike parks with pretty serious terrain, but I agree it depends where you are racing. For the races I do, the extra travel helps me stay in control especially on wide open rough sections and let's me do less comfort braking
  • 1 0
 @mtb-thetown: As with so many things mountain bike, it all depends on the train you're (un) lucky enough to live nearby. Rather than bigger bike park style terrain, lots of the UK race stages are quite tight and techy, rather than fast and open (though there's plenty of that), which would tend to favour the burly trail bike end of the spectrum, whereas it sounds like your terrain would favour a pedallable DH bike.
  • 6 0
 The Capra test is a joke. Comes out as the most nimble and agile, one of the most pedal friendly, best specced yet cheapest and fastest bike of the bunch. Still loses the test because the suspension "felt a bit harsh".
  • 1 0
 @stefkrger: And yet none of the testers felt great about it so maybe there is more to it than a 3 minute section of timed trail. I think it is just a case of the bike being uninspiring but it sounds like you are a fan so go for it.
  • 22 4
 I'm trying to imagine having almost $9K to blow on a bike. That's 3X what I spent on my current ride (currently old enough to be in 3rd grade), and I had to pull in some freelance work to fit that into the household budget.
  • 47 1
 I remember putting a down on my last bike, and then having that oh shit moment when I couldn't figure out how to pay the last few hundred lol

Thank goodness for good old fashioned hard work and the high prices people pay for recreational drugs.
  • 27 0
 It's all about perspective. To my colleagues at work a $350 bike is crazy expensive. 3 grand for a bike... They can't even process that.
  • 8 13
flag xxinsert-name-herexx (Sep 12, 2021 at 10:53) (Below Threshold)
 @HollyBoni: It's because it is. You could buy a car that could do 200mph, a plane to fly to different countries whenever you want, or if you really want 2 wheels, a dirt bike if your choice for that 3 grand mark. We're all just numbed.
  • 1 5
flag xxinsert-name-herexx (Sep 12, 2021 at 11:21) (Below Threshold)
 @jayacheess: I thought I was clear, but yes you can buy any of those for that price if you're okay with buying used and getting your hands dirty. Maybe you'll struggle if you want some niche dirt bike, but the rest is no problem.
  • 7 5
 I've never spent more than $1500 at a time while building a bike from a frame up. Spacing out the parts purchases makes it way easier to manage financially and allows you to customize the bike to your taste.
  • 7 3
 @HollyBoni: I started riding "the expensive bikes" in the early 1990's. At the time, dropping $1000 on a new bike meant you had a "pretty nice" bike. In 1995, spending $3,000 on a new bike meant you were probably riding something top-of-the-line that was pretty close to what the pros were riding.

Adjusted for inflation, that $3K would be $6,300 today, but now that will only buy you a "nice" bike. What the pros are riding is now twice that - well over $10,000.

Sure, the bikes of today are better than the bikes of 30 years ago, but there's also no denying that we're paying through the nose for those bikes.
  • 10 2
 @pixelguru and those "nice" bikes in the early 90's had aluminum frames, wheels and parts. That aluminum frame had maybe a 1 year warranty and your handlebars needed to be replaced every 24 months otherwise you risked death.

You can get a fantastic new aluminum bike that significantly outperforms that early 90's bike for $3500 right now. Deflation is alive and well in bikeland.
  • 2 15
flag sanchofula (Sep 12, 2021 at 20:36) (Below Threshold)
 There are less expensive sports, such as hiking, trail running, rock climbing, roller blading. You also do t need a full suspension bike. So yeah, enough with the poverty whining, being poor in America is weak ass excuse.
  • 3 2
 Step 1: Invest some money in Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Step 2: Wait a few years.
Step 3: Go buy a 9k bike.
  • 3 1
 @salespunk: umm, not quite. In the early 90s, most bikes were steel, and if you spent enough, you got a name brand tube - usually just the seat tube - that was Tange cromoly steel tubing, and the rest was high-tensile steel. If you spent big bucks you got the main triangle made out of “the good stuff”.
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: Ha! You want crypto currency to crash, because encouraging me to get involved is how you make that happen.
  • 2 0
 @sledMXer: nope, Specialized M2, Manitou, Yeti, GT etc were all building in aluminum. For sub $400 bike you got a mix of chromo and hiten. Above that you could get a full chromoly frame. I sold a lot of bikes in that timeframe at the show I worked in.
  • 21 6
 $9000 for 37 pounds of (non e-)bike. As was said on the initial review, gonna need to use some grocery store price per pound marketing tactics to promote that bike.

Also love that they outright start with how they'd get the Specialized over all these bikes anyway. There might even be a good amount of them hitting the secondhand market this holiday season. That's definitely where I would put my 6k or less.
  • 41 7
 Except for the part where a huge number of Specialized Enduro's have frame cracking and warranty issues.
  • 19 2
 @ratedgg13: I too heard the percentage is huge, like 99%. I guess I'm in the lucky 1%.
  • 3 19
flag bradwalton (Sep 12, 2021 at 10:43) (Below Threshold)
 @ratedgg13: apparently the S-works frames utilize a higher quality carbon than the standard frames and don’t have this issue
  • 23 2
 I own both a Range and S-Works Enduro. Like for like parts, Range is 1.8lbs heavier. I swapped some parts from the Enduro over to the Range including the 300g lighter 31.8mm dropper post and have the Range at 34.5lbs. Not exactly that heavy. How do the bikes compare? I am less fatigued after a 3 hour day of riding on the Norco. The difference climbing isn’t what gets me fatigued. It’s my legs during long descents. Your legs burn less on the Norco because the suspension feels that much better
  • 3 28
flag vanillarice19 (Sep 12, 2021 at 10:53) (Below Threshold)
 My SWorks is for sale if anyone is interested. Check my listings. S-Works S3 for $5500
  • 11 0
 @bradwalton: The frames are the same, the difference is a carbon link.
  • 4 0
 @bradwalton: nope they use same type of carbon from comp to s works
  • 1 15
flag rtclark (Sep 12, 2021 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 @vanillarice19: I don't quite get what you're saying. You said the specialized is better (because it's less fatiguing) but the Norco has the better suspension (and your legs burn less)?
  • 2 0
 @ratedgg13: Had mine crack on me after 1 Year of riding. Right now I'm on a Status and eventhough it is a nice Bike I still think that the Enduro is the best for racing or just going fast
  • 2 1
 @vanillarice19: somewhere up in here I heard the frames cracked, and the S-links. The transferable warranty is about out but the parts look like $2500. Suspension service will be $300. So...$2200 plus freight and fees? Pickup available?
  • 2 1
 @ceecee: Yes, $2200 is a deal. I’ll PM you wiring instructions
  • 8 1
 I laughed out loud when Matt said he would take the Spez Enduro. I still hope they will make a mid-life-cycle update on it and, with that, introduce an alu version for it.
  • 4 0
 @vanillarice19: But what is the smal bump like on the Range, according to Pinkbike the Enduro had the Range beat in terms of off the top sensitivity...and I have to see if there is one thing I try to achieve with all my bikes it's off the top sensitivity, most bike absorb big hits at speed good enough, it's the constant small bump vibration and traction issues with some bikes with an overly firm top of stroke that bothers me the most.
  • 7 0
 @Danzzz88: I’ve run my Enduro with an X2, SuperDeluxe air, CC DBCoil, and PUSH shock. It was the most sensitive with the Push coil off the top. I would rate the Range and the Enduro about the same off the top and through the suspension travel except a few key differences. Enduro loses the sensitivity as soon as you drag your rear brakes. If you don’t use the rear brakes it’s fantastic. The pedal kickback and brake Jack is really noticeable. Even more so with high engagement hubs. Worse mistake I made was upgrading to Hydra hubs.
  • 6 0
 @vanillarice19: Norco is on fire these days! That Range sure looks tempting.
  • 2 1
 @vanillarice19: disagree. Range isn’t nearly as soft off the top as Enduro. Enduro is progressive whereas Range is linear. They ride completely different.
  • 3 1
 @eugenux: I disagree with an aluminum Specialized Enduro, but only because I just bought one. Honestly, an alu Enduro would be absolutely awesome.
  • 2 0
 @TheStabbyCyclist: that would the one I could afford. I wanted to buy the blue comp one from last year but, the covid hit and what should have been a little bro deal + the off-season sale transformed itself into lack stock and no discounts. I only could have afforded comp at a discount.. at full price.. well.. not quite as life happens and you have adult shite to do. So.. alu for me, if they will ever make one.
  • 2 0
 @TheStabbyCyclist: An Alu Enduro would be the absolute Dream for me or the give me the Option to fit a Dropper Post on a Demo
  • 6 1
 @bradwalton: I don’t know what you are talking about. I own both bikes and have almost 2 years of riding on the Enduro and a month on the Range. The Range is very progressive (not quite YT Capra progressive), more so than the Enduro which is why it comes ONLY with a Coil shock. My Enduro currently has a coil shock also but many people have to buy a cascade link to make it more progressive as it bottoms out easily for some. I never had problems but I’m not a heavy rider at 145lbs. I mentioned earlier, they feel about the same off the initial 0-15mm of travel (off the top) as the Range’s rear end has more resistance I can feel when I remove the shock and just move the rear triangle up and down. It’s everywhere else however in the suspension travel where the Range blows the Enduro away. Hitting anything on the trail, you feet don’t feel it through your legs as much so during a 4-10 minute descent, your legs simply are not as tired. I’m sore the next day after 12,000’ of descending at the bike park on the Enduro. On the Range, my 42yr old body feels like I only descended 7000-8000’.
Is it for everyone? Absolutely NOT. The Enduro is a better all around bike that does everything well. Each has their strengths and weaknesses and everyone values things differently and it’s also very trail dependent. I would never take the Range on anything more than a 3500’ climb while the Enduro i would do up to Mabe 4000’ max. Anything more than that I’d take my Ebike and do 4000-10,000’ epics.
  • 2 0
 @vanillarice19: all of this stuff I do agree with. I still find my Range to be way more linear in feel than my Enduro was. I miss the suppleness, until I get up to speeds I’ve never ridden at before on the Range. You are so right about the Range never finding the end of travel, it instills so much confidence. The faster/harder you ride, the faster the bike wants to go. Enduro is way more fun at a casual pace or hitting jumps.

What spring weight are you on for 145 lbs? I’m 205 and had to move up to a 600#. Less sag than I was comfortable with, but the Range rides better as Norco’s Ride Aligned suggests with less damping overall.
  • 2 0
 @bradwalton: 400-488lb Cane creek progressive spring. Feels poppier/livelier than linear. I just open HSC a bit to ensure I use all the travel.
Perhaps try out the 550-670lb or open up LSC a tad? I’d even try running 1psi less rear tire air pressure. I read that the rearward axle path slightly reduces the chances of pinch flats and potential rim dings but that’s still to be proven…. I emphasize the word “slightly”
  • 2 0
 @vanillarice19: I was considering a CC progressive so thanks for that feedback! Compression circuits are wide open.
  • 14 1
 Wonder how the Trek Slash and Yeti SB150 would hold up to these bikes and the Enduro
  • 12 0
 We Are One getting high praise. Congrats guys!
  • 1 0
 It's what I would have picked. That bike is gorgeous
  • 10 0
 Feel like should line up at WR1 headquarters with a suitcase full of money early Monday morning
  • 8 0
 My Spire is supposed to ship October 5 and I’m glad after these reviews I’m still excited about the purchase! Would love to try the WAO, maybe in a magical future when pennies are flowing a little more freely.
  • 8 0
 The Spire looks like a great choice
  • 1 0
 I'm jealous
  • 8 1
 I wonder if the YT was just a victim of a shit shock tune. It seems like HL suspension layouts with descent anti squat often need a shock with super light compression settings to deal with chattery sort of bumps. I know they run the bikes stock, but having some alternative suspension options to slap on the test rigs to could be helpful to illuminate whether a bike really actually sucks or if its an OEM problem that could be addressed by a buyer after market. Lets be honest, unless you're spending 8, 9, or 10K on a bike your spec is going to suck somewhere and you'll be looking to upgrade something, suspension often being the first since suspension is where one-size-fits-all miserably fails.
  • 2 1
 YT seems to be consistent in their air shock tunes. Sold my Tues because of that, I just wasn’t willing to go down that rabbit hole of custom tuned coil shock to test and test to get something that doesn’t feel as good as my trail bike does off the showroom floor. Yay Covid for keeping used bike prices up enough I could sell a 2 year old dh bike the week before school started here got a decent price.
  • 1 0
 My 2018 XXL Capra came with a shit tune, I couldn't get the rebound slow enough for the pressure used. After playing around with the shim stack (ultimately adding shims) and removing all volume spacers I got the bike to work very well.
  • 3 0
 YTs have always been very progressive, more so on previous models. A coil shock transforms the bike, but they have to review the bike as sold, otherwise where does it end if you modify every bike.
  • 2 2
 the YT was also the fastest, the cheapest and the most fun (poppy)
  • 10 0
 How tall are the people testing those bikes?
  • 10 0
 Matt is 5’10” and Henry is 6’ tall.
  • 7 1
 I don't know with these huge heavy high pivot bikes. My type of riding is 90% non lift assisted and I'm lazy. I need a bike that still makes getting up easy, so that I end up actually having more descends. And regarding fun going downhill, I do not really see this increase in amount of fun I have with increased travel starting at 150 mm. And regarding racing the timing was in favor of the sporty feeling bikes and this can be seen in EWS results, though, of course, it's maily up to the rider.
  • 2 1
 Maybe for you. Obviously there are those that want more travel.
  • 1 13
flag eugenux (Sep 12, 2021 at 16:12) (Below Threshold)
 @Joecx: sure, there are some who go for hours on their DHs at one of the parks in my town where there is a small hill. For them, that's dh-ing.., mtb-ing.. or whatever the fveck it is. For mtb-ers, that's a nice 200m little trail with 3 roots, one 5 m off-camber and a little ramp that can be included on a pedaly city ride loop and that you can mostly do on every bike; I even tried it with my gravel bike.. of course, chicken-line-ing the off-camber roots but tried it none the less. So, if lots of travel makes you happy, go for it. If electrics are making you happy, go for that as well. In my experience, longer travel electrics are actually better bikes for ppl who want the secure feeling of a long travel bike.
  • 7 1
 @eugenux: Not sure who you are talking about but I live in an area that has rough, steep trails and though my bike only has 150mm of travel I can understand why some want more that that.

And why the f**k are you bringing e-mopeds into this?
  • 1 0
 @Joecx: they are obviously extremely studly.
  • 2 1
 @Joecx: I was ref to the fact that some want more travel than they need.. hinting at the fact that some even go on DH bikes on some mini park trails and then pedal them on flat grounds.

as a side observation, ppl who "always need more travel", tend to want electrics as well.

I posted my comment at 3 AM last night.. and, as anyone can see, it mostly made no sense.. sorry for that.
  • 9 0
 Ahahahahah, 2019 enduro for the win, that was nice! Thanks PB for quality content
  • 1 2
 2019 or 2020?
  • 2 3
 @mikelevy you have clips of riding a 2020 specialized Enduro but say numerous times it's the 2019 that wins. Much confuse
  • 1 0
 @makripper: latest iteration, with demo like suspension
  • 1 1
 @nickmalysh: that ain't 2019
  • 2 0
 @makripper: so 2020, my mistake; anyway comparison in video for best enduro bike was surprising to me
  • 6 1
 @makripper: He means the bike came out in 2019. The geo hasn't changed.
  • 1 7
flag taskmgr (Sep 12, 2021 at 18:01) (Below Threshold)
 @mick06: it's a 2020 though. Google 2019 specialized Enduro. Or look on the website.
  • 5 1
 @makripper: Regardless of the model year put on it, it was out in 2019. Just like a 2020 car comes out in 2019.
  • 2 6
flag taskmgr (Sep 12, 2021 at 18:59) (Below Threshold)
 @mick06: a 2020 model year is a 2020 model year.
  • 1 1
 @makripper: The bike came out in 2019 and the point of it all was to compare the other bikes to that generation of Enduro regardless of what model year was written on the price tag. It's unfortunate you got confused and thought they were referring to the previous gen enduro.
  • 2 10
flag taskmgr (Sep 12, 2021 at 19:42) (Below Threshold)
 @mick06: then call it a 2020. Not a 2019. They aren't accurate. Or even call it the latest model. It's a bike site. This is just weak
  • 1 6
flag taskmgr (Sep 12, 2021 at 19:43) (Below Threshold)
 @mick06: I own a 2019. Lol at you assuming I'm confused. I'm more surprised by their inaccuracy.
  • 11 0
 @makripper: you said in your 2nd post you were confused. Turns out you were just being a dick
  • 9 0
 @makripper: They said the specialized enduro that was the cream of the crop in the Feild test that they did in 2019

So yeah 2020 model year, 2019 review, is there really a need to argue the semantics, in the video you can clearly see which enduro model they are referring to.
  • 2 14
flag taskmgr (Sep 12, 2021 at 20:07) (Below Threshold)
 @ppp9911: it's not. They called it a 2020 when it's a 2019. It's not semantics. A fact is a fact.
  • 2 15
flag taskmgr (Sep 12, 2021 at 20:08) (Below Threshold)
 @mick06: looks like you can't read. I didn't say I was confused.
  • 7 0
 @makripper: The fact is, you’re being a pedantic dickhead.
  • 1 17
flag taskmgr (Sep 12, 2021 at 21:30) (Below Threshold)
 @BrambleLee: nope. A 2019 is a 2019 and a 2020 is a 2020. You keyboard warrior just have your tampons in a bunch. Facts are facts. Time for you to just shut up and move on.
  • 9 1
 wtf happened at 1:14 and 14:09?? secret bike reveal or just a mistake?
  • 2 0
 I didn't see it as a reveal at 1:14 i didn't hear anything out of the ordinary @14:09.
  • 5 0
 Sorry about that! Our editors are working around the clock and the tired eyes missed those two moments. We will increase the caffeine and tighten up on the next batch.
  • 3 0
 @jasonlucas: lol its alright. I just thought it was some kind of secret message.
  • 7 1
 I haven't started drinking the high pivot idler mullet coolaid yet. It seems a regular old horst link still works pretty dang well.
  • 3 0
 I’m holding out for an 26” AL Split Pivot Pinion.
  • 6 1
 I would like for them to throw in the 2016 Kona Process 167 running on 26s for comparison. Just to see how much faster and better are these new bikes.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy This was great. The review (with you in the middle) seemed like a game of "Who can convince Mike Levy the most!" That smooth British gentleman to your right was like a silky argument assassin lulling you into a deep restful sleep on your over-biked Transition.
  • 4 0
 Does it bother anyone else that the table wasn’t round…. And that Levy, Matt and Henry weren’t symmetrical against the fireplace behind them.?.? Oh, thanks for making me want a Transition even more Henry!
  • 6 0
 I just want to "party in the woods" Smile
  • 3 5
 Cocaine and hooker's partying it up in the woods!
  • 3 0
 @Thirty3: Don't mess with that bar-mix blow - the Fenty might kill you.
  • 5 0
 Based on how much I love their wheels and bar/stem package, I’ll take the WAO please and thank you.
  • 5 0
 Agreed! Also pretty cool that the Range comes spec with WAO wheels.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy Yo man I didn't ask this at the beginning (not sure why), but why no Commencal Meta AM in the test? Seems like its been flying off the shelves for the past 2 years, was wondering what your guys opinion of it would be in context to these others.
  • 6 5
 That YT suspension looks genuinely awful in the slow motion shots. It's amazing to me that a company like YT will be sold out, collecting revenue for bikes they don't have, and then put four pence into R&D. A private investor needs to buy that place and clean house, and I'm generally against PE chop shops.
  • 19 2
 And yet it was the fastest on their track?
  • 4 11
flag fullendurbro (Sep 12, 2021 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 @4thflowkage: I believe it was the YT video where they said they suspect that's because they track wasn't gnarly and required a lot of pedaling, which is where the poor suspension design of the YT would be beneficial.
  • 23 3
 @fullendurbro: the YT does not have a poor suspension design, in spite of the endless harping on it in these videos. It has a highly progressive setup that will feel very different than bikes like for intstance the low leverage GT (that gives up vertical travel relatively easily to provide horisontal speed). YT's rear ends are so progressive that they kinda gel better with coil shocks, but still - I am very surprised that they were not able to tune the highly tunable X2 to give the kind of suppleness highly progressive designs are designed to give. Their issue is to use all the travel, not get the initial suppleness dialed - so I am kind of at a loss at what can cause this in this case. But "a poor suspension design" it is not.
  • 3 2
 Yeah I noticed that too that the shock was just kinda stuck mid travel and not moving over the roots and bumps in the slow motion
  • 5 1
 @klinkekule: Honestly, having owned a YT bike, I think their suspension design (at least the one on first gens of capra and jeffsy) is mediocre at best (but mediocre these days is actually pretty good). The progression feels kinda nice on smooth flow trails where you pump bigger features but it is just harsh and skittish everywhere else and their bikes always feel like they have way less travel than they actually have. Even YT admits that too much progression is a mistake by basically reducing the amount of progression with each new generation. You are right in saying that some of those characteristics can be tuned out and then I'm sure some riders just like the way these bikes ride but I feel like a lot of other brands just do much better job in that department. But the top guy from YT is a passionate marketeer not passionate bike designer and it shows in the way the brand operates ...
  • 12 1
 @klinkekule: kinda surprised how much people shit talk yt these days. Couple years ago I swear everyone loved them lol. Also got to laugh at the constant "well its not a tough track so that's why the yt won". Just give it the credit it deserves..
  • 6 2
 Get better tracks or test on a few tracks, which seems obvious for what they should be doing.
  • 6 0
 @fullendurbro: have you ever jumped and took a dh section on a pro or pro-ish ride?.. well, let me tell you..their 160-170 mm of suspenssion have the feel of my 130 mm trail bike. A little more harshness.. in fact, more progressivity and support are not detrimental in racing.
Even for mediocre lvl like ours, probably the Capra has nothing that can't be cured with a coil.
  • 2 0
 @PetrC: reading this eases my mind about my Capra since I’ve been going crazy trying to dial in the suspension for so long. Always felt like it has less travel than my friends 150mm bikes. Good to know that’s just the nature of the bike I guess.
  • 3 0
 @tsewhsoj: it's an incredibly progressive frame throw a coil on it and it will transform it.
  • 1 0
 @Thatfield1: already have a rockshox super deluxe coil and it’s having the effect I described. Could be the tune tho… it’s a MM.
  • 2 2
 @klinkekule: Not really buying that. I qualified for the EWS this year on a 142mm bike that has a lot of progression, and I used an intentionally progressive shock to keep it as progressive as possible. I like progressive bikes, but not even on the roughest tracks I raced this year did I feel fatigued because of a not-supple ride.

A 160mm+ enduro bike should never, ever leave a rider feeling fatigued on a 1:46 second track. I raced tracks that were 13+ minutes long this year on my bike with 34% progression and didn't feel fatigued from the rear end.
  • 2 0
 @fullendurbro: interesting things you say. all the ppl I know, solved the *capra problem* by puting a coil.
  • 2 0
 @eugenux: my Capra came with a coil (Shred) and I couldn’t be happier. Sucks up the bumps, feels planted, but supportive in the mid stroke. Coils work well with Capras…as long as you have the right spring weight.
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: I mean, if that’s the fix then that’s the fix. But I’m still mystified as to why these guys couldn’t tune the X2 to feel better since it’s such a tunable shock. I would think that if the problem was just high progressivity it could be worked around.

I would definitely be curious to ride (not own) one to see for myself.
  • 1 0
 @Pw3669: i weight 170ish kitted and have a 400lb spring on my MM tune super deluxe. Had a 350 spring on before and small bump was better but felt like I was blowing through travel fast, the 400 still goes through travel fast but not as easy if that makes sense. Both give the feeling of hitting a wall deep in the travel which I’ve determined to be the bump stop as I can reach the bumper just doing a bunny hop on flat ground.
  • 1 0
 @tsewhsoj: maybe you are sending it harder than me, but I have yet to bottom out my rear shock. Maybe something with the compression damping on your super deluxe?
  • 1 0
 @bryanbreynolds: I doubt that lol. I'm debating on wether or not I should get a custom shock tune in the near future.
  • 4 0
 Am I crazy or was the all new enduro launched as a 2020 model? (I understand some folks were getting them in 2019)
  • 2 0
 Nope. The 2020 is the first year of the new frame design.
  • 3 0
 Great Field Test! So stoked for the solid impression WR1 got. Such a great company.
Would’ve liked to have seen the Forbidden Dreadnought thrown in this mix.
  • 1 2
 but its dreadful. literally, like all other HP longer travel bikes
  • 6 3
 Can you guys put some subtitles up for Henry? His voice really doesn’t come through well compared to Mike’s and Matt’s.
  • 4 0
 Can someone clear something up for me, did Henry like the transition? Couldn’t tell.
  • 3 2
 Speed isn’t a factor, it’s the only factor. Whatever floats your boat I guess (looking at you Spire, Force, Range). All great bikes I’m sure, PB just needs to find the terrain to confirm they really are faster.
Super enduro’s aren’t for me though, unfortunately I don’t have the local terrain to really enjoy them. I like a lively feel more compact bike, which sounds like the Arrival or Capra. The Capra is as fast (faster in the right hands), and a top spec. The $3k I’d save (plus cost to replace the Arrival bar/stem), could provide one hell of a shock/suspension tune.
  • 2 1
 They aren’t for anyone. Matt Beer says he wants to ride the WAO in Squamish where it would really come alive. Lol. Super enduro is just the free ride bikes of 10 years ago. We will all look back and think how dumb they were.
  • 1 0
 Great work on the Field Tests. I am not in the market for an enduro bike yet I find them very interesting and entertaining. Also love the inclusion of the baseline bike (reminds me of top gear with a morris haunting them as they went about doing their stunts)
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy I suppose it's hard for you guys to give a personal opinion seeing as you're all like 150-170lbs but how do you think your reviews would differ if you we say 6'3" 210lbs? I always wonder how the bigger pros would rate bikes differently, or which one they'd buy if they had to ride just one bike. Seems all the reviews and ratings are based on pedalling from much smaller (read fitter) guys lol
  • 2 0
 I'm 6'4", 225 on an XL Spire. Fits like a glove and climbs surprisingly well, but that's just my 2 cents.
  • 1 0
 @kingpine: Cheers! I'm on a 2016 Range (~29lbs) and trying to decide if the extra 7-9lbs (and $9000) for this beloved new one, would to make climbing a lot more difficult for my increasingly fat ass lol Maybe go with one of the lesser travel bikes, but then I may be too hard on it ... decisions decisions
  • 1 0
 @adamkat: Lighter Carbon hoops, Lighter Casing front tire, SLS coil spring, X01/XX1 Cassette, Change dropper from 34.9mm to 31.8mm (+ shim) will shed a lot of weight. Mine is well under 35.5lbs with pedals, cage and frame tape and still on Alloy wheels. Strange thing is your legs get less fatigued in long descents so strangely you are not as sore the next day (less lactic acid burn in the legs). Also on fireroad climbs, you will be slower. However on semi bumpy climbs (imbedded rocks and roots) I feel like it doesn't lose momentum as easily and seem to climb faster than my 33lb all in Spesh Enduro. So total energy at the end of the day is very close.
  • 1 0
 Nobody liked the YT and it was the fastest. The only variable setting it apart was the shorter reach. I think there were similar findings in the last big test. Would be interested to see the times on a sized up YT or sized down Norco etc. These long reaches are stable and fast like a dragster. Enduros are won in the corners and flats. Probably the least popular opinion here, but I think the longer reach thing has swung too far.
  • 4 0
 So errrr... Which one died?
  • 17 6
 That was one of the e-bikes. Sad it wasn't all of them.
  • 1 0
 Probably already said before by somebody else but why no test of the Nukeproof Giga 290. For me it really outperform the Spe Enduro on the descents (i almost never pedal up à long time).
  • 3 0
 There aren't many bikes available right now, so our fleet is a bit smaller than usual. Here's a (non-Field Test) review, though:
  • 3 0
 Looking for a long travel version of the WE ARE ONE? It’s the Pivot Firebird. Brilliant bike.
  • 1 1
 I must be missing the option in the poll for "keep 10k usd and ride the shatheap i have in the shed"

Without that option i go capra. Just rip it apart and build it right with some grease and a torque wrench.

They always say "you can upgrade a frame" but fer some reason my high end parts always hang around. The frames get xchanged.
  • 1 0
 Seems like Henry likes a bike that is ~10-20mm long reach than Matt because he is 2" taller. I bet the timed test would be different if they switched the riders. Fit trumps a lot of other factors.
  • 1 0
 Thanks a lot to the great wrap up and the comparison to the Specialized Enduro!

Can you say a few words about the rear suspension of the Enduro and the Range?
  • 2 0
 I think there’s some text missing…unless those are supposed to be rhetorical questions there!
  • 1 0
 Great round table and reviews, very enjoyable and informative.. I don't think anyone could go wrong with any of those bikes, they all seem to be well sorted..
  • 3 0
 As someone that just built up a Specialized Enduro, I feel so validated.
  • 2 0
 @mattbeer needs a little more dippity-do. A hair fell out of place.
  • 2 0
 Aqua Net Extra Super Hold. Or just reach for the Knox Unflavored Gelatin for rock-hard hold.
  • 2 1
 Be interning to test these bikes agains say a 5 year old transition patrol so see how much things have changed.
  • 1 0
 Suppressor would be cool… but nobody is willing to sell one haha!
  • 3 0
 @mtb-scotland: that’s a sweet looking bike!
  • 1 0
 Did they have a “major failure” on one of these? Or on the huck to flat? I thought they mentioned it somewhere?
  • 1 0
 Ebike I think.
  • 1 0
 htf fail 2.0
  • 5 3
 Pivot Firebird > WAO Arrival
  • 4 0
 New Firebird is legit..
  • 3 0
 Just got one. The new Firebird is ridiculously good.
  • 1 0
 I have to agree, but I might be biased.
  • 3 2
 Instead of the Enduro, why didn't they toss the 2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude ?
  • 7 0
 Because we still had the Enduro on hand, and it's a pretty common bike that a lot of people have seen or ridden.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Thanks for the reply, I asked because I saw a few comments mentioning the reference to the previous winner (Enduro) was great, then I remembered in 2020 the the 2021 Altitude was the fastest and had good comments.
  • 2 1
 Y'all may get onto Richie and tell him his 150mm bike isn't an enduro bike.
  • 2 0
 WRO Arrival….what the ibis HD5 should have been.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy - Where's the Grim Donut? The "future" is now closer than it was.
  • 2 0
 I'm confused... which bike "won"? Or is that going to be announced later?
  • 1 0
 It still leaves us with a question: why the hell the least-like bike on the descends (the Capra) was the fastest?
  • 1 1
 What's will the YT hate? They didn't even show a picture of the bike in the intro.
  • 1 0
 I’d be interested to see how the Firebird compared to this group.
  • 4 7
 The Transition is the best looking bike, the We Are One is the bike I’d most like to try. We Are One and YT are the ones that I’d maybe actually buy. GT retains its title as ugliest. Marry, kiss, kill… bike edition.
  • 5 5
 Out of that list l would choose the YT or the Enduro.
  • 1 1
 anybody on here interested in a large spire frame, dm me
  • 8 11
 Great. Now let have what we've been waiting for. Bring on the eebs !
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