Video: Stumpjumper vs Trance X vs Mojo vs P-Train vs Blackthorn - Field Test Round Table

Dec 2, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Trail Bike Round Table




The definition of a modern trail bike continues to be up for debate, but for this Field Test we decided to keep the rear wheel travel between 130 – 140mm. Even with that limitation in place, the five bikes on test exhibitited a wide range of personalities out on the trail, running the gamut from the quick and nimble Ibis Mojo 4 to the plow-through-it-all Actofive P-Train.

That aluminum and steel P-Train, which is made in small batches in Germany, stole Levy's heart, and ended up as his top pick if he could only have one of these bikes as his daily driver in Squamish, BC. The new Specialized Stumpjumper, which is a whopping 7-pounds lighter than the P-Train, also earned high praise, and makes sense for a wider range of riders than the P-Train.

Giant's Trance X was ultra-efficient on the climbs thanks to that electronic Live Valve suspension, but it wasn't as impressive on the descents – choosing the next model or two down, which don't require any batteries, might be the way to go. The Blackthorn is a big step forward for Salsa, and that purple trail singletrack eater falls into the same 'pretty-much-an-enduro-bike' category as the Actofive.

As for the Ibis Mojo 4, well, it hasn't lost its ability to turn on a dime, aided in part by those 27.5” wheels. That liveliness put it neck and neck with the Stumpjumper on the climbs, but on the descents it wasn't quite as surefooted.

At the end of the day, what constitutes a trail bike will depend on your definition of a trail ride, but hopefully this discussion helps shed some light on which bike might make the most sense for where you live and your riding style.



Ibis Mojo 4
• Travel: 130mm rear, 140mm front
• 27.5" wheels
• 65.4° head-tube angle
• 76.6° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 485mm (large)
• Weight: 28.6 lb / 13 kg
• $6,267 USD
Salsa Blackthorn
• Travel: 140mm rear, 160mm front
• 29" wheels
• 64.6° head-tube angle
• 76.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 490mm (large)
• Weight: 31.9 lb / 14.5 kg
• $7,499 USD

Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works
• Travel: 130mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65° head-tube angle
• 76° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (S4)
• Weight: 27.4 lb / 12.4 kg
• $9,499 USD
Actofive P-Train
• Travel: 135mm rear, 160mm front
• 29" wheels
• 64.5° head-tube angle
• 76.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 480mm (medium)
• Weight: 34.2 lb / 15.5 kg
• 3,440 EUR (frame only, w/o shock)


Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29 0
• Travel: 135mm rear, 150mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65.5° head-tube angle
• 77.2° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 486mm (large)
• Weight: 30.7 lb / 13.9 kg
• $8,500 USD


Which of these five trail bikes would you most like to try?








The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel & protection, Sierra Nevada refreshments, and Smith eyewear and helmets. Thanks also to Maxxis, Garmin, and Freelap.





278 Comments

  • 595 16
 Marry the stumpy, sleep with the P train and kill the Ibis
  • 12 0
 lol. This.
  • 94 1
 This needs to be incorporated into all the round table discussions moving forward!
  • 151 11
 I'd kill the Trance, personally.
  • 28 0
 @WildboiBen: This particular spec I agree, maybe not a good ole analog offering
  • 37 0
 Am I the only one who always reads it as t-pain?
  • 2 0
 I approve this message. Lol.
  • 13 0
 If this doesn't make comment gold I will be disappointed
  • 3 0
 My god this is just hilariously accurate
  • 10 0
 @WildboiBen: def this version. I just picked up the advanced pro 1. its sick. great price point . they should of sent this bike not the live valve.
  • 5 2
 @krandrup:

for serious. the giant looks like a great all arounder and with the right suspension setup i'm sure it would descend great.
  • 17 0
 @krandrup: I agree and think the Giant may have done better with the Pro 1 version compared to the Pro 0. The Fox Performance with Grip 2 would have probably done better that the live valve on the downhills and faired better on this test. I definitely like the Maestro suspension design on the Giant Trance but the best part is Giant has very good CAD pricing (Orbea and others please take note) and another reason I support Giant

I have the 2019 Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 and it weighs only 26.4lbs. It is a great bike but only gripe is to maybe have a bit more rear travel. I was thinking of getting the new 2021 Trance X Advanced Pro 1 and swapping some of my lighter parts from my Pro 0? However, I see the 2021 Pro 0 in the PB test nearly weighs 31lbs, so don't think I could get it light enough? That's over a 4lb increase from my 2019 Trance to the 2021 Trance X which is a lot of weight added. Curious, what does your 2021 Trance X Pro 1 weigh?

I like that Giant added a flip chip and now offer the new Trance X with more travel, but would have liked to see Giant go more the 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper route with 130mm/140mm travel. I think this is the perfect travel front/rear and the new Fox 34 with Grip 2 would have been nice and saved 1/2lb alone compared to the Fox 36. Despite Specialized increasing the reach and making a bigger bike, they were still able to lighten the frame and bike. With 135mm/150mm travel on the 2021 Trance X, I think it now starts to approach too close to Giant's (enduro) Reign.
  • 8 0
 @RowdyAirTime:
I agree. Often giant fairs well but not great in reviews based in US dollars. However the pricing in Canada makes giant an extremely good bang for buck. I’m not sure if it’s an importing tax difference or what but the bikes often are the equivalent of 25-30% cheaper in Canadian dollars for giant.
  • 6 0
 I might date the Salsa but it will never last
  • 14 0
 @bainer66: 100% agree and well said, Giant does have the best bang for the buck in Canada and surprisingly this is not stated in any Pinkbike reviews. I find Giant's CAD pricing is usually only around 1.15% higher compared to their USD pricing and many other bike companies are close to the current exchange rate, around 1.3-1.35%. However, some other bike manufacturer's like Orbea and others are as high as 1.5-1.6%, which is a complete ripoff and will certainly hurt their sales in Canada.

Giant also has great year end sales and I paid only $6,000 CAD for Giant's top of the line Trance Advanced Pro 29 0. Other bikes with this kind of build retail for at least $11,000 CAD, so thanks Giant and please keep the good pricing in Canada. Canadians will support you as money counts...
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: Maybe one quick dance is all...
  • 5 0
 @RowdyAirTime: Giants favourable pricing a Reign29 in my garage over comparables. $1000 more for a brands offering NX and guides while I got GX and Code RSC’s and an extra grand.
  • 36 6
 Stumpy sounds like the Joe Biden of trail bikes, a little something for everybody, not too threatening to anybody. And they've both been around since the Paleolithic Era
  • 5 2
 @WildboiBen:
You would have an easier time killing the Trance as the Ibis will never arrive. LOL. Been waiting for my Ibis since the second week of March with a new arrival date of March 2021. Ibis is terrible.
  • 1 0
 @RowdyAirTime: I weighed one a Trance X pro 1 at the shop, it was a large, it weighed 30lbs 11oz, with no pedals, I also weighed it against a Reign pro 1 (2020) (Medium size cause that's all they had) and it was 31 lbs 1oz. so not much difference. I think they must have really beefed up the Trance X frame.
  • 2 0
 @brownstone: Thanks for the weight info, much appreciated. I always thought just a bit more travel on my 2019 Trance 29 and it would be even a better all around trail bike. I would be really interested in getting a 2021 Trance or Trance X, if Giant had gone with 125-130mm rear travel & a 140mm fork (as 1/2lb saved with the new Fox 34 Grip2 over the Fox36) and no live valve. With this kind of build, it would hopefully weigh around 27lbs, similar to what like Specialized did with their 2021 Stumpy. If Giant had went this route instead, they would probably have won this field test and had a real killer light trail bike...

I wonder what the Trance X Pro 1 would weigh with my TRX1 wheels, carbon bars and complete X01 drivetrain & X01 cranks, if bike could be less than 28lbs? Besides the flip chip, I also wonder if Giant made the 2021 Trance X frame a lot heavier than the Trance?
  • 1 0
 @DaFreerider44:
Not only you. Fac to Ive T-Pain
  • 7 0
 If you look at the weights I would say your chances are much higher of marrying the p train and hoping to sleep with the stumpy.
  • 7 0
 Don't need to kill the Ibis, just tell it what to do and let the bike do the work
  • 2 0
 @krandrup: Agree. I have the 2020 Advanced Pro 1. Awesome bike for the price so far.
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: The DV9 is sold out for 2021 now so at least a year for that model. Whats up w/ their suppliers?
  • 3 0
 @RowdyAirTime: I have a 2019 Trance 29er 1, top spec alloy. With pedals it's 13.8 kilos, just over 30 pounds. Great bike. I,too, would like more travel as well. The advanced pro 1 looks the pick of the bunch. The Giant pricing and spec is very competitive in Australia, especially compared to Spec, Scott, etc. Though low on stock I have seen a few of the advanced pro 1's available. Might look at the next lower model and swap a few components and drive train..
  • 3 0
 @RowdyAirTime: just weighed my size medium trance x advanced pro 1 and with pedals its 29 pounds even.
  • 2 0
 Too funny!!! Smile

where's the Poll for "which of these two all mountain/enduro bikes would you most like to try"? Smile

Always seems like these tests have some real outliers that don't quite fit the category being tested??

Still, LOVE the content and look forward to them every time...
  • 1 0
 @warmerdamj and @monkeybizz with amazingly underrated comments hahah
  • 3 1
 @krandrup: Thanks for the good info. Although I would have liked the new Giant Trance to have 125-130mm rear travel and a Grip2 Fox 34 for lighter weight, 29lbs w/pedals is is not bad at all. It sounds like with my TRX1 rims, entire X01 drivetrain, X01 cranks, including carbon bars, etc and lighter 2.3" Minions, a medium Pro 1 should weigh under 28lbs.If Giant had gone this route with their build (lighter and no live valve), the new Trance would have probably won this field test?
  • 1 0
 @Socket: thanks man :')
  • 1 1
 @krandrup: Correction, I have TRX 0 wheels I could put on the 2021 Trance Pro 1, besides my X01 drivetrain/cranks, carbon bars, 2.3" Minions, etc to try and bring down the weight?
  • 5 1
 @ChrisNJ:
I have been buying mtn bikes for 25 years. I have never had such a terrible experience like I have had dealing with buying a bike from Ibis. Literally blatant lie after lie to keep me strung along for 9 months. I have never told a bike company I just want an honest answer...but Ibis brought me to that point.


If they give you a date for that DV9 just be prepared for them to change that date over and over.
  • 3 0
 @RowdyAirTime:my shop weighed a Med pro 0... no pedals was 28lbs-11oz
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: Well they do have one hell of an excuse.
  • 5 0
 @KBicycle:
If you implying the delay is due to covid related supply chain issues...the order was placed prior to covid with a "the bike is in stock in the warehouse and ready to ship" confirmation.

I run a company what distributes products. A primary rule is to be honest about product quality and lead times even if it is not what the client wants to hear. Being honest with your clients is the only way you will make it long term in business. I don't believe Ibis ever got the note.
  • 135 0
 @mikelevy How does last years trail bike winner the Norco Optic compare to these new ones? Would you go with the new stumpy or P train over it?
  • 8 0
 This definitely
  • 11 0
 I would also like a comparison of the Stumpy vs the Optic. I own an Optic, its a great bike, but its a tad bit heavy for being my "small" bike for big days.
  • 2 0
 +1 would love to get an idea how the latest generation compares to last years tops
  • 15 0
 @kdiff: remember when the Stumpy was more of a Norco Sight competitor? Pepperidge farm remembers.
  • 3 0
 Great question. Last year all you heard about was how great the Optic was. This year I have not seen anything on it. I wonder if the Optic just isn’t available this year.
  • 1 0
 @edummann: The 2021 Optic seems scarce, and no firm delivery dates (that I've seen). Norco seems to have spent their time pushing the 2021 Sight instead.
  • 4 0
 @Starsky686: Oh, I member
  • 1 0
 Agree! Would really like to see what you think between the Optic and new Stumpy. Did you ever find the Fox 34 to be flexy compared to the other trail bikes that had a 36?
  • 1 0
 Norco would have probably done well again in this years bike field test. Norco's C1 build looks awesome and CAD pricing is also good. I really like that they have gone with all XTR drivetrain and XTR brakes (as not many companies offer XTR builds), + Oneup carbon bars, carbon cranks and good Fox Performance Elite suspension. However, with 140mm front travel, I would have liked to see Norco offer a choice for the new Fox 34 Grip2 fork. My other gripe is not having carbon wheels at this price point and most importantly, a carbon fiber rear triangle to help keep weight down. I guess you could also say maybe the colours are a bit bland....
  • 2 0
 @njcbps: I got my 2021 Optic C2 Shimano already : ) but yes it does seem scarce. I was bugging my shop for a long while.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Also would like to hear about the Optic vs this batch of Trail bikes. Thx
  • 1 0
 @laBoeuf: Thanks ... yeah, that's typical. I'm 20mins away from their headquarters in Port Coquitlam BC and can't find it. lol

I recently visited a major Norco bike shop in the area and the fellow I spoke with said everyone who rode the Optic all preferred the Sight. Maybe given the terrain and their riding styles.
  • 1 0
 @laBoeuf: darn it I'm still waiting on mine!
  • 110 36
 we need more 27.5 trail bikes
  • 45 13
 Yes! This full shift to 29er is crazy, what happened to having the option?
  • 66 7
 @RadBikeBro: it's okay in 2022, 27.5 trail bikes will be REVOLUTIONARY
  • 46 13
 I'm sure if "we" were buying undersized wheels instead of normal sized wheels "they" would be selling them.
  • 20 51
flag hbar314 (Dec 2, 2020 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 Agreed. Stopping forcing oversized wheels on us just because the road riders like them.
  • 19 11
 @tempest3070: I'm 6'4" and ride 27.5, never owned a 29" and yes I've tried. Would definitely do a mullet but I don't like a full 29" setup personally. Of course everyone likes to buy into the marketing hype so we just need the bike industry to blow the wind in the other direction and people will follow.
  • 31 4
 @monkeybizz: Also 6'4 and only want 27.5(would like to build up a 26 again!). I find it funny when a much shorter guy on a 29 tells me I need to ride 29 because of my size...only to have him in my way on the trail
  • 20 8
 @RadBikeBro: Simple, the market has spoken.
  • 28 5
 @monkeybizz: Ride what you want, but I don’t think 29-inch wheels are a matter of marketing hype. Just as you prefer 27.5, many (most?) people prefer 29. There are merits to both wheel sizes. Someone else said it above — they’re just selling us what we want.
  • 20 2
 @GlassGuy: 6'3" and just shifted into a 27.5 after 3 years on a 29er. Wish I would have done it sooner....
  • 11 2
 @TheR: It is, people read stuff online, online stuff says go 29"! For racing yes 29" has proven to be faster. not everyone wants a 29". I have no problem if people wanna buy that but don't stop selling 27.5's that's the problem.
  • 22 4
 @monkeybizz: I'm OK with people preferring 27.5, and if that wheel size sells for these companies, by all means, continue to sell it. But to chalk it up to purely marketing hype is absurd. A lot of people genuinely prefer the performance of 29-inch wheels. If they try it, and they like it, that's actual experience, not hype.
  • 14 3
 @TheR: word of mouth is the best marketing ever. "You're new, buy a 29" it will roll over everything nicely." Can't argue that point. But what about tight switchbacks, jumps, playfulness. I feel like a lot of these get left out at bike shops (at least the ones I go to). I think we can both agree at the end of the day bike manufacturers get lazy, cut costs, produce one bike at the same price to increase margins to account for the "majority"
  • 21 13
 We need more riding. Honestly, 26, 27.5, 29, this makes real difference for 1% of riders. You can adapt to 29, you can adapt to 26. Your technique, suspension, tyres this is what's important. Riding is different, but you can adapt to most of the differences. Turning just needs bit more strength, any switchback can be done on 29 just like on 26. What can be harder are whips or any other tricks involving spinning the bike and the tire buzz on very technical slow sections, but this does not affect 99% of riders ... Otherwise, all you do on 27.5 can be done on 29, all of it. Especially this "switchback" whining, 10 years ago bike were like 10cm shorter and the WB is what determines the turn radius, not the wheel. So saying that you can do switchback on long 27.5 but not on equally long 29 is a total BS. Turning 29er is harder only at speed, this is simple physics.
  • 3 5
 @monkeybizz: My issue as a rider with a 30" inseam is that I can't run a dropper with more than 150mm travel on a 29er that has more than 130mm travel. I can fit a 175mm post on my Optic, but with the seat down and slammed all the way forward, I only have like 5mm of clearance tire-to-saddle at bottom out. If I want to have my cake and eat it too, I would need a mullet bike if I ever wanted to ride a longer travel 29er and get my long travel dropper too.
  • 15 3
 @lkubica: disagree. i'm 5'1 and owned 29, 27.5 and 26 bikes. i'm now on 26. fun, snappy, fast. why am i being forced to wagon wheels? 29 isn't for everyone
  • 8 1
 @GlassGuy: This!! I am also 6'4" and I've demoed a few different 29ers and hate them! They feel so tall, muted, and cumbersome. I don't get why body size has recently been tied to wheel size.
  • 5 9
flag lkubica (Dec 2, 2020 at 9:49) (Below Threshold)
 @crysvb: I used to ride 26, now ride 29, could 100% adapt. We were all forced to leave 26 this was not ideal, but we survived and still are stoked riding bikes. This is life, you are constantly forced to something and need to adapt, whining about it will not change anything. Embrace the change and keep riding.
  • 3 0
 @monkeybizz: As a 5’6 rider I’d be interested to see just how much faster 29ers are compared to 27.5. Stand over is hugely important to me (and anyone who says it does not matter once you’re on the bike is too tall to appreciate the need for crotch clearance when having to unexpectedly dismount on a tricky uphill). Basically I find myself pretty limited in bike options in 29ers especially if I want longer travel. Going to 27.5 would alleviate that a bit, but then I also don’t want to lose speed when I am already working hard to keep up with my younger faster brother.
  • 11 5
 @lkubica: You're forgetting the all important physics and centrifugal forces that play a part in wanting to keep the wheel upright. Regardless 29" will always be harder to corner unless big swooping berms. so the "whining" you talk about is scientifically founded and you should stop pretending to know stuff you don't Razz
  • 6 2
 @monkeybizz: > I have no problem if people wanna buy that but don't stop selling 27.5's that's the problem.

Are you going to personally finance this money losing endeavor?
  • 5 2
 @crysvb: I know this might sound pedantic, but if you're on 26" now have you been forced onto 29?
  • 6 1
 @tempest3070: You're right, of course. But it seems there is still a market for 27.5, judging by the comments here. If they're all buying, there will be options. If they're only talking, that option will disappear.

As for the rest of it, wheel size is a pretty tedious argument at this point. Ride what you like, either way. But just know that your opinion on the matter is just that -- an opinion. Some people genuinely prefer 29, as hard as it is for others to accept. I don't find 29ers lacking in cornering, playfulness or fun. It's not marketing, it's my experience.
  • 5 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: I am 5'8" with a 30" inseam and run a One Up 180 mm dropper at full travel on my 2020 Giant reig 29er (146mm travel)
  • 3 0
 @monkeybizz: Or another way to think of it: just because it's marketing hype doesn't necessarily make it wrong. A lot of people will legitimately prefer the 29 over 27.5 and have a more positive experience on the bigger wheel size.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: Hey look I found the guy right at the center of the bell curve.
  • 5 0
 @RadBikeBro: agreed, options are great. Had a couple friends wanting 27.5 bikes last year and couldn't find any local shops that stocked them. The sales people were pushing my friends to buy 29ers. My buds ending up getting their 27.5 bikes online instead which also saved them money and time. Maybe shops sell more 29ers is because that's all they stock...
  • 4 2
 @mhaager2: devils advocate. It's skill holding just about all of us back from going faster. 29ers are slightly harder to handle, so it's actually easier to improve your skill on 27.5 which will make you faster in the end.
  • 2 0
 @Nwilkes: I do as well, I'm 5'10" with a 30-31" inseam. I have a One Up 180mm drop on my medium Wreckoning V3 (could've gone 200 but not enough space to insert it) and a 175mm drop on my Ripmo V2. Still have post exposed.
  • 5 0
 @friendlyfoe: I've had a couple of 27.5's, Bronson V3 being my favorite but I can tell you hands down that bike isn't any easier to handle than my Wreckoning. Actually, my Wreckoning is super agile and a ton of fun. I'm easily outpacing the Bronson on some of my favorite double blacks, super tight trails with big rollers and drops. I'm not sure why people say 29ers aren't agile because they definitely can be. It all depends on what bike you buy. I sold my 2020 Enduro S4 size, it was a great bike but it was just too long and kind of a handful.
  • 3 0
 @zarban: wasn't really talking about geo or cornering. More so the way it responds to physical inputs. A smaller bike is always easier to handle (think bmx), and 29ers are at the largest end of the bike spectrum.
  • 3 6
 @TheR: 100% agree.
I don't find 29ers lacking everywhere.., coming from a guy who had and used(albeit to a lesser extent, because I had the big enduro 27.5 as well) a 26" full susp until 2.5 years ago, had a couple of carbon HTs in 27.5 and only last year I did let go my big 27.5, changing it with one of those agressive trail-enduro-ish 29ers(of course, since 2018 I changed from 27.5 XC to 29ers and found those better as well); basically, I ride just as fast and only on big hits and big drops I feel the difference between my former 160mm and my current 130mm. I call BS on anyone who says the 29ers are not *insert whatever* as the 27.5 wheeld bikes are. And I'm 5'8.

Edit. I actually still have a 26" full susp, converted to 27.5 with crazy light wheels(around 1350 grams) and gravel 2.0 semi-slick rubber, which I use for buzzying around town, get out for a beer with the guys, going to work, when we worked from offices and not from our homes, things like that. I even done a 80 mile loop on it, half on gravel roads and easy xc trails and half on asphalt; it is the good for everything bike. Even so, I still call on BS at anyone who says 27.5" bikes are better, easier, jump higher, do whatever, than 29" wheel bikes can.
  • 12 2
 @eugenux: *sigh* also *yawn*
  • 2 0
 @mhaager2: I am the same height and ride a medium frame 29er (2020 Trance Advanced Pro 1). I have no issue with stand over height but I also do not worry about unexpected dismounts on tricky uphills (lean the bike and put your foot down). I also went to 29 to keep up with my son. So far so good.
  • 6 1
 @tempest3070: jesus, now 27.5 is undersized? can't roll my eyes enough.

This is a big statement, but is only true: Kaz and Levy are the most influential bike journalists in the world today, and they're openly 29er guys, that has a lot to do with what people want.
  • 2 0
 @monkeybizz: Because all of the demo programs are delayed, we only have a chance to guess at which would be best. I'm only ridden 26", and have spent 5mins on a trail with 29" wheels. I was amazed at the rollover capacity–but could be equally amazed at 27.5" if there was opportunity to try them.

Slight digression. I recently sat on a 2020 XL Sight (both 27.5" and 29") and they felt like Winnebago's compared with my 2003 Gary Fisher. And close to 194mm longer too. O.O I think even with both wheel sizes, the Norco is not going to feel like a playful bike.
  • 1 1
 @provin1327: exactly! I tried a Trance 29er and liked it for the conditions (Croatia, easy trails but rocky as hell), but forget about taking off easily, cause little lips and transitions turn into mere bumps. Not for me.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: I personally like both. It just depends on what I'm riding. For FS XC and HT's I prefer the 29 for the smoothness. For trail riding, exploration rides, fun in the sun days, trail clearing rides etc. I prefer the playful agility of the 27.5. I'm not very pleased with the fact that Specialized has stopped making a 27.5 Stumpy; but who knows what next year will bring.
  • 1 0
 @Augustus-G: I also have no problem with either wheel size. I currently own and ride a 27.5. It’s a great bike. But one of the smoothest, best-handling and most-playful bikes I’ve ever ridden was a 29er. It was just fun. That will be my next bike.
  • 3 1
 QUESTION FOR ALL THE PINKERS! And especially the ones always saying THIS bike should be included,...

What is your 27,5” trail bike (130-150mm rear, 140-160mm front) of choice? 2020/2021 only,... bonus points are for any 27,5” trail bike which is ALUMINUM! Are there any ALU 27,5” left in this world?
  • 1 0
 @Spiral23: I don't think it's a pinkbike issue. Most of them have already been reviewed and it seems every year one or two more get dropped from production. It's a bit of chicken and egg. The industry is pushing it so it's what people want, and since it's what people want it's what the industry makes.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: yeah I understand the issue, but wondering if there are still good bikes with this setup,... i find only handfull, some with very outdated geo (rocky mountain, giant) , some with real shitty components only,... so im just wondering what im missing,..

Btw reminds me same situation happening in car industry with manual transmission, more and more brands are done with it. But people still want them (about as many as 27,5” wheels). The thing there is, that people that buy NEW cars and NEW bikes (often) want the newest, best for most part,.... like 29” and CVT,... where most ppl wanting smaller wheels and stick are those which buying used, or keeping their stuff for years,... which does not help manufacturers to sell more of them.
  • 2 1
 What I have is:
Trek Remedy
SC Bronson
Norco Sight
YT Jeffsy
All these 4 have 160/150mm travel so its pushing bit out of trail bike,.. all I can fin with less travel, but not like 120mm fork is :
Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt and
Giant Trance
Both of which have 140mm in rear but very outdated geo?

One bike I found just recently is Banshee Spitfire, it checks many boxes, 160mm fork, 135mm rear, good geo,.. but only as frame only option. For $3000 Canadian.... so looking at $5000 at least for finished bike.
  • 5 0
 Funny how people allways want the 27.5 bikes, but never the 26" bikes.
  • 2 1
 @phops: I had 3 bikes with 26inch wheels before my 29er. Oddly enough all 2010 models Haro Flightline two, Specialized Rockhopper SL and a Specialized Stumpjumper Expert fsr. The Ragley Big AL 29er is better than all of them to me. I have tried a friend's 27.5 Kona and it is pretty good. I prefer the 29er though. I have thought about picking up another Rockhopper 26er for fun.
  • 2 0
 @Spiral23: Comparing 27.5 to the manual transmission might have been the moment that I just accepted 27.5 is dead. Unfortunately not enough people want manual transmission for it to make sense to produce them. The same seems to be true of the cool wheel size, although I'd say 27.5 probably has a greater chance of making a comeback than the transmission.
  • 3 1
 @monkeybizz: I am not forgetting anything, it is exactly what I said, that 29 require a bit more force to lean. But this is not something that makes difference in the real world. This is what 99% do not get, the fact that you can feel the difference coming from a different equipment does not mean that this difference will impact your riding in a visible way. If you can lean the bike, you can lean any bike. If you can jump, you can jump on any bike. After a month on 29er you do not notice it. And I know it well because came from a 26er, which was also 30mm shorter.
The hardest thing in this transition was the suspension setup, totally not related to wheel size.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: I experienced a little bit of that myself when I went to a 29er.
  • 2 1
 @friendlyfoe: Actually people wanting manual transmissions is not main reason for them disappearing. Manufacturers are moving away from them to meet fuel economy regulations as well as to make driving assistance features easier to implement. I think what people want is not the only factor that determines what is available. There's also predictions, available components, cost, ...
  • 3 2
 @iiman: "Kaz and Levy are the most influential...." thanks, I needed a laugh this morning.
  • 1 0
 @TeddyC: oh this is AMAZING! I mean the bike is little old school looking, but maaan all that customization you can do! Select everything you want for reasonable price.... shimano sram whatever! So many brands can learn from this!
  • 1 0
 @TeddyC: thank you for this!
  • 1 1
 @iiman: Finally someone reacted to this finely crafted line. It's a change in perspective, really - loads of comments about 'wagon wheels' and the like about 29" wheels, but once you've acclimated everything else feels small and easily hung up on dumb obstacles that 29ers generally crush.
  • 1 0
 @Spiral23:
Bronson v3, easy peasy
  • 2 0
 @TylerD119: i would agree, except i dont have $5700 for good spec bike,... and $4700 for NX and Guide brakes? If they remove the SantaCruz tax and offer the S model for the R price Im all over it!!
  • 2 0
 @tempest3070: I didn't mean it as a possitive, I'm not a racer and my idea of fun is more of popping everywhere rather than monster trucking. I could acclimate, I just don't want to. No need to.
  • 2 0
 @TylerD119: and as I just did build that Bird Aether with Code RSC, GX, Pike Ultimate and proper tires under $5grand, it’s obvious it is possible to be in that price point ,... if you remove the $1000 santa cruz tax
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: Out of curiosity, who would you give that title to? It's an interesting question "who tells mtbikers what to buy". Let's say we're only talking about MTB, no roadies/dirt roadies. And only currently active journalists, no retirees included.
  • 2 1
 @bicyclelifestyle: I am 5'8" riding an E29 with 170mm travel and 150mm dropper.

A friend of mine only rides 27.5. I started out 26" (but shitty bikes), went 27.5, now I am on 29". I prefer the wagon wheels. And contrary to popular belief, it does just fine in tight trails and jumps (even more crazy, I like jumping with a coil suspension). But my prefered riding is tight and technical rock gardens.

A friend of mine and I about a year ago swapped rides for the night (we are both the same height and weight). H is 180mm, 26" Intense Uzzi for my E29. We both walked away thinking about how fun we had, but looked forward to having our bikes back.
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: Who tells mountain bikers what to buy? I’d say more than Kaz and Levy, it’s people’s riding buddies. Then it’s the guys down at the shop. Pinkbike is big for the industry, but the industry is relatively small compared to other sports and hobbies out there. And my guess is only small percentage of that small industry visits Pinkbike regularly and knows who Mikes Levy and Kasimir are and what they say about certain products. Hell, the marketing divisions at big companies like Specialized and Trek probably have more influence.

As far as industry media goes, I will give them that — they probably are two of the biggest names. But that probably doesn’t reach as many people as you might think.
  • 1 0
 @JustAnotherRiderHere:
market = us (bikers)
or
market = marketing dep.

which one were you referring to?
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Yeah I agree about riding buddies and shop staff, 100%. But the 2 comments I was replying to referred specifically to media reviewers. So I'm wondering, if we focus on MTB journos and the part of the market where these bikes sit (i.e. definitely not XC race), the Mikes have to be among the most influential. I mean, manufacturers now officially use the term "downcountry". That says something.
  • 2 2
 @iiman: To be clear, I know Pinkbike is a highly popular site for the industry. And I said they were probably two of the biggest names out there as far as mountain bike media goes. But what those analytics don’t show is who is not coming to the site.

For example, I ride every year with a group of about 10 guys in Moab. They ride a lot and buy new, expensive bikes every couple of years. But my guess is I’m the only one who knows who Levy and Kazimer are. Their purchasing decisions are based on what everyone else recommends.

I have other friends who are just getting into the sport. Have no idea this site even exists. They go to the shop or other friends for recs.

The media in these niche markets, even if they are relatively big, don’t reach as many people as you think.
  • 1 1
 @bananowy: Yes, as far as the industry specific media go, and for people who consume that media, I would agree. They are probably the most influential voices out there.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I wish I have buddies like you, most of mine riding buddies still think plus size wheels are the best
  • 1 1
 @iiman: And besides, all those numbers were inflated by WAKI. Now that he’s gone... Smile
  • 1 0
 @tempest3070: well ya because my bike is six years old. if i want a new trail bike i have two options and now many bikes are only coming out as 29, so yeah i'm being forced onto 29 just like everyone else has been LOL. 26 was phased out why? because they stopped making them.
  • 2 0
 @Spiral23: 2020 norco sight 27.5 wheels alum frame. Best bike I've ever owned.
  • 4 1
 @TheR: pretty unsrealistic, sorry. Whoever is gonna dump 6k in a new bike goes online first with a short list (based on friends recommendations or whatever) and reads reviews, even if they don't know the reviewer or remember their names, or they don't visit another mtb website until is time for a new bike.
  • 1 4
 @iiman: Maybe. But when it comes to reviews, I don’t think people use them to see how their potential chosen bike performs in the opinion of others, but rather to confirm the biases they already had toward purchasing the bike. For example, say a guy wants to buy this stumpy. If he’s not already a regular user of this site, he’s probably made his decision through his buddies, or a visit to the shop. He’s 80-90 percent of the way there... so he checks the reviews, and as long as there’s nothing catastrophic going on, he’s going to buy the bike. Any of the cons he sees from the review will most likely be written off.. And even if there are big cons (like the Rocky Mountain snapping last year), he will probably still buy the bike if he has come that far in the decision making process, and will rationalize his decision. So I’m not sure how much the reviews influence anyone, if any.
  • 1 0
 @iiman: That's actually a good point. You don't have to be a PB regular or remember Mikes' names and faces to be influenced by them at some point.
  • 3 2
 @iiman: Also, I’d say the commenters here on this site probably hold more sway in influencing the mountain bike community as a whole than the site contributors. A lot of people don’t read the articles — they come down to the comments to see what everyone has to say about it.
  • 1 1
 @Spiral23: Actually one of my buddies lives his plus-sized wheels.
  • 3 1
 7'2" and still riding 24" wheels. You short people need to learn to ride. Damn Im tall AND tough.
  • 1 2
 @bananowy: I'm not sure where most MTBers get their information. I consume a lot of what these clowns put out, but it's for entertainment. I don't take them seriously. They're just not good enough riders to be taken seriously. This whole website is like reading a high school newspaper. Endearing, funny, but not informative. Wait, that guy with the cats who does the suspension articles stands out. I like his stuff.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: thats a very good point. No doubt there are a metric crap ton of riders out there who could kick my ass on my kids 20” wheeled bike no doubt
  • 1 0
 @ismellfish: I’m actually quite interested in that bike and was disappointed with how the Trance did in this review. How do you find yours on the descents with the non-electronic suspension? What bike did you come from?
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: maybe 7M visits/month don't have any influence, maybe brands send them bikes to review just for shits and giggles...
  • 4 1
 @TheR: I think you're pretty out to lunch, there's really no point in rationalizing with you
  • 2 1
 @monkeybizz: Sorry, what did I say that you object to?
  • 4 0
 Totally agree.

I'd argue that a 27.5 "trail" bike and a 29er "trail" bike are really just different categories of bike. I've owned both, and they hit the same trail with a completely different feel. I see the merits of 29er wheels, especially for racing or for big frames. For a mid-travel bike, out in the woods riding around for S's and G's, I'm not so sure.

If I could only own one FS trail bike it's definitely going to be a 27.5.
  • 1 0
 @Spiral23: Marin Hawk Hill/ Rift Zone 27.5. Its 120 rear 130 front
  • 48 0
 @mikelevy please can we have a timed DH shoot off between the P train and whatever wins the Endurobike category? Thanks
  • 2 2
 And a meta TR!
  • 10 0
 And the Grim Donut
  • 2 0
 Levy should be on the phone with Simon working on the GD 2.0, same geo, with the P-train suspension design.
  • 46 13
 Specialized is knocking it out of the park right now. As much as we hate their business tactics, it is hard to not like their entire lineup from the Epic to the Demo.
  • 13 2
 I agree, but the SWorks PB just tested is $14,000 CAD???
  • 23 5
 @salespunk: has Specialized done something recently that was unethical/unfair? I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. I’m wondering if we’re still penalizing them for actions they took years ago.
  • 10 35
flag Xlr8n (Dec 2, 2020 at 8:23) (Below Threshold)
 Actually...it's pretty easy not to like their lineup...
  • 7 0
 @RowdyAirTime: The $5300 model looks like a decently priced carbon bike from a lbs. Hopefully next year we see bikes like the Trance X Pro 29 2 and the carbon comp in the test instead of these much more expensive models.
  • 16 0
 @Hayek: @Hayek: nothing recently, but people still penalize them for the past.

What is crazy about their new builds is that they are within a few hundred dollars of comparable builds from Canyon, YT, etc. They are getting aggressive on pricing with the mid tier builds.

SWorks still doesn't make much sense financially unless it is the exact build you want. Even then you could probably build it cheaper yourself if you can actually find a frame only.
  • 6 0
 @salespunk: I think that's what it must be. There's a lot to like right now, and aside from S-Works, there's a lot of value in the builds. I catch myself rooting against them and I can't put a finger on why. They aren't doing anything egregious that I know of and their bikes are really well thought out.
  • 2 2
 There is always a few long time specialized fan boys that have to put this comment into every specialized article. Do they give you 5% off your bike price to do this?
  • 3 0
 @jwdenver: Free socks to put in the cubby hole
  • 2 0
 @JayUpNorth: Good points, but do you mean the Ibis Mojo4 with the SLX build for USD $5,400?. I agree, the Ibis carbon Comp looks nice. However, I think any bikes with NX drivetrain and having that heavy anchor on the rear wheel do not really showcase what some of these bikes can do. I think XT/X01 builds (or even SLX/GX builds) are the best bikes to test to compare against each other in a field test.

They could have tested bikes more like the Trance X Advanced Pro 1 and Specialized Stumpjumper Pro. Giant's Pro 1 ($6600 CAD) has better suspension and drivetrain than the Pro 2 and would be a really good bike to test. The Stumpy Pro is $4,000 CAD less than the ridiculously priced $14,000 SWorks model PB tested, but looks almost as good with X01 drivetrain and Fox Factory suspension. However, a closer bike from Specialized to probably test against Giant's Pro 1 would be the Stumpy Expert ($7,100 CAD). The Stumpy Expert has the same suspension (Fox's top end but w/o the Kashima) as the Trance X Pro 1, but has some better X01 drivetrain components, but the Giant Pro 1 has carbon wheels. Ibis does not advertise their CAD pricing, but the $5700 USD GX build would be a good match to test against these other bikes. mentioned.
  • 2 0
 @Hayek: I agree, I think Specialized are making some great bikes (even EMTB's), but $14,000 for the new SWorks Stumpy, really???. SWorks sure look nice but talking about way too pricey even for a Dentist...lol. The Stumpjumper Pro looks almost as nice for $4,000 CAD cheaper than the SWorks and has the Fox Factory suspension, X01 drivetrain + carbon wheels and bars. The main difference is the SWorks has the wireless drivetrain and AXS dropper. I sure like the clean cockpit look with AXS, but don't like the extra weight and more things to go wrong, + have to make sure battery is charged to even shift or use the dropper which would suck big time part way through a ride. The SWorks also has better hubs, but no where worth $4,000 more than the Pro 1. Even the Stumpy Expert looks like a great build.
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: No. I meant the Stumpjumper Carbon Comp for $5300 with slx build. It deserves better wheels but I currently have a mental block around the $5000 price point and I think I'd still want to change wheels on the expert model. I have take offs from a 2020 Specialized Enduro on my GT trail bike and they were pretty disappointing. It was almost a sidegrade for a GT Sensor that cost me $1850 on sale. Maybe the oem stuff meets their listed specs now, but last year they sent out 2300g wheels with mediocre engagement. I think the $5000-8000 range would let people know what they need to know for a wider range of purchases. I'm all for people buying the fancy stuff that let's me enjoy trickle down tech eventually though.
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: I agree and Specialized has actually been pretty good about offering frame only options. I may get some shit for this but they have the S-works Stumpy frame and shock option for $3000 is really not a crazy price when you compare to a trek slash at 3800 for frame and shock.
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: Unfortunately we don't get the option for hardly any Specialized frames in Canada, but, would be nice to have the new S-Works stumpy frame available here. Browsing the U.S. website, I see you can buy a S-Works Turbo Levo SL frameset for "only" $6,500 USD, or a Troy Lee Design LTD frame for "only" $7,000 USD....,or in CAD funds (hang on....I'm still counting $$$....)
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: Damn I didn't look at the Levo. That is hefty.
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: Exactly what I thought, as that's nearly $10,000 CAD for the frame...Come on???
  • 1 0
 @RowdyAirTime: I think the $14K price tag is just "throw at it at the wall [market] and see if it sticks". It if sells YAY. If not, discount is 35% and someone get a "smokin' deal" for only $9K! The MFG's still make a heap of cash either option.
  • 16 0
 Damn. I do believe that’s three “Best in Shows” for Specialized in the Field Tests this year. And if they hadn’t reviewed the Stumpy EVO earlier, my guess is that it would be in contention for the top spot in the upcoming Enduro tests, too. Specialized was on it this year!
  • 15 0
 Try is easily the P train. Buy is the stumpjumper Evo (I know its not on the list). I went to buy a trail bike last time and came home with an “enduro bike” that may be 2 pounds heavier but climbs like a goat. If i were considering strapping on lycra once a year probably the regular SJ, Spur or Ripley.
  • 8 0
 This. With a headtube adjustable between 63 and 65.5, the EVO can be transformed between "enduro" bike and trail bike especially with a tire swap.
  • 14 0
 Honestly, Levy being so stoked on the Stumpy would influence my decision if I was in the market right now. It's been getting such mixed reviews elsewhere I don't even know what to think. But if it's really that good at pedaling, while not sacrificing much on the downs, that's the one for my East Coast riding. The Ibis too, I bet it's a ton of fun, once you take it out of the high consequence Squamish, trails context.
  • 9 0
 We don't usually go too deep looking at other folks' reviews, but who's not liking it? Pretty hard bike to dislike...
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Guy Kesteven was pretty critical of the bike's rear suspension in his review. Which kind of went to some of the concerns of going with the flex stays. www.youtube.com/watch?v=81ZmwOK99Mk

I think I saw some others question its descending chops too. Maybe the Brits just aren't that keen on Stumpies Smile
www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/mountain-bikes/full-suspension-mountain-bikes/2021-specialized-stumpjumper-expert-review
  • 21 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity, keep in mind that those two examples you cited are first ride 'reviews' based off a couple hours of ride time - Levy has spent a lot more time on the Stumpjumper than that.
  • 18 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Alex is a great rider and I understand a lot of what he's saying. Most of his complaints are with not having a 36 on the front of the bike, which I can see, but IMO Specialized made the right choice keeping it lighter and more balanced to its shorter travel back end. The 34 is a great fork with the Grip2 damper stuffed in there now, and Specialized has the EVO platform for 36 people. We're trying to assess the bike for its intended use rather than for what we wish it was—but ultimately I think Levy likes the intended use of the Stumpy more, and Alex would like the intended use for the Evo more, and both their reviews reflect that.
  • 22 2
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Maybe the Brits just aren't that keen on bikes without garish anodized parts
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer: agreed, which is why Levy's stoke on the bike is definitely influencing my perception of it. Also, I seem to recall he wasn't super into the previous iteration.
  • 2 0
 @tempest3070: hope would argue that point
  • 7 0
 BikeRadar and Mr. Kesteven probably got their suspension setups all wrong......


Look at Vitalmtb’s or Flow’s review.

I got my Stumpjumper the other week and it’s amazing. And I’ve been riding a Mojo 3, SB140, Ransom and Spectral over the last two years. This Stumpy is by far the most fun and nimble bike.
  • 5 0
 Just another guy wanting a trail bike to be a enduro bike. Hard to find objective reviews in these categories for some reason.
  • 3 9
flag OnTheRivet (Dec 2, 2020 at 15:36) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: Seriously, dial it back, that Specialized ad space ain't going nowhere.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: I agree and think Specialized did the right thing by going with the new Grip 2 Fox 34 on the 2021 Stumpjumper, and fits this bike perfectly and it's intended use.

Like you said, if someone wants a FOX 36, buy the EVO. However, I think bike companies should have the option (in the trail bike category) for either a Fox 36 or the new Fox 34 Grip2, and even a piggyback or just inline rear shock option. This would solve all problems, as someone who is a heavier and more aggressive rider that still wants a lighter and shorter travel bike like the Stumpjumper can have the bigger Fork/shock option instead of having to go to a EVO. Other riders who are lighter and less aggressive (not hitting huge gaps and not plowing down every downhill non-stop at Mach 10) can still have their cake too (a light whippy trail bike).
  • 1 0
 I think you also have to take riding styles into account. Levy pretty consistently mentions he'd rather be under biked instead of over biked, and from the videos he prefers to kind of ride on the edge of control. Maybe the new stumpy plays into this feeling.
  • 2 0
 @DutchmanPhotos: would you say it has loads of nimbility?
  • 2 0
 @ShortJeffsyOwner:

Haha lots of nimbility for sure.
I have an Expert but upgraded it with AXS and some other stuff, carbon cranks, bars, saddle. Slightly burlier wheelset and tires. Bike is a blast to ride!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Nailed it!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Flow Mountain bike has some very good detailed reviews also. Here is Will's review of the 2021 Stumpjumper Pro which is very close to the S-Works model, but $4,000 CAD less: flowmountainbike.com/tests/2021-specialized-stumpjumper-pro-review


I always enjoy Pinkbike's field tests and think it helps many people narrow down their new bike search comparing the different bikes. My one gripe is PB does not show the CAD pricing, despite being in Canada?
  • 20 4
 I love these field tests. Except you forgot to test the bike I was interested in.
  • 11 1
 Just wondering if the P-Train could be a result of the coil shock? Whenever I put a coil on my bike (which I'll never go back) it instantly transforms the bike into a different beast. Do you think with an air can it would still be your top pick? (Since the stumpy is 7lbs lighter, throwing a coil on there would still be significant weight savings).
  • 18 6
 Where's the Pivot Switchblade?
  • 9 2
 Ditto. It's probably number1 on my list in this category.
  • 13 0
 Pinkbike tested 130-140mm travel bikes only on this test, so looks like the Switchblade's 142mm travel suspension was just too much for this test...lol
  • 3 1
 Yeah i agree, but PB has never given a very good review to a Pivot that I’m aware of. I also feel this category is kinda vague and the Switchblade would be sitting next to the salsa in the “enduro light dare i say all mtn “ category. If pivot redesigned the trail 429 i think it would be a better comparison. longer,slacker,adjustable blah, blah, blah
  • 10 0
 @Dangerhill @exrcyst definitely one we could have slotted in here. I honestly don't remember why we didn't. Compared to the Specialized the Swichblade has 5mm less reach, 1° steeper HTA, .5° slacker STA, and a 14mm higher BB. Other than the BB there's nothing major but it'd be a touch more conservative than the Stumpy. Daniel had good things to say about the suspension kinematics as well. Pivot makes great bikes, and the Swichblade could be a good option if you're looking for something a little taller.
  • 5 1
 @brianpark: You definitely could have added more bikes to the test for an even better comparison, but I think you nailed it with a 130-140mm rear wheel travel category, as I think that is the perfect travel for a trail bike.
  • 1 0
 @RowdyAirTime: not saying the selection of bikes for this test is bad and of course you can always add more bikes

But thinking in mm of travel to define the purpose of bikes is so 2019 Wink Just think of the Optic and similar concepts.
Also people have different understandings of what a trail bike is supposed to be.
For me it seems this test was on bikes a bit more capable than what is now knows and down-country. On the other end of the trail bikes spectrum would be "not yet an full enduro bike".
From this point of view one could argue that the p-train doesn't fit in here others are missing.

Currently I'm trying hard to get my hands on a sj evo testbike which seems impossible atm. Not sure I would put it into the light enduro or heave trail bike category but the 2021 looks like a perfect one bike solution for technical alpine trails and fast enduro trails.

I'm curious what bikes will be in the enduro field test.
  • 10 0
 Most want to try - P-train If I had to pick one as a money no object 1 bike to do it all - stumpy
  • 8 1
 I really want the Giant to be re-reviewed with either 36 Grip 2, or Pike RC2 and what ever non live valve rear shock. I feel like its number could have still climb really well(maybe still the best?) while being more equal with the Salsa/Stumpjumper descending.

You have the parts there to make it happen. Seems like this is the biggest gripe with the field test. Plus I bet more of us would buy either the AL Giants or the 4500 Pro 2 than the 8500 dollar Pro 0.
  • 7 0
 Love these shootouts. As many have stated, we wish you could do more bikes but understand the limitations too. Ever considered a "wall of bikes we love"? Top gear used to do this, nothing too scientific, take your field test results, plop them on a board with favorites on the left, and as you test more bikes, plop them somewhere in between the others. Could make for good podcast arguments too Wink
  • 7 0
 I don't understand the obsession with bikes just released this year. For example in this case I would live to see how these bikes compare to the Ibis Ripmo and the SantaCruz Hightower, arguably the gold standards in this category. Why compare the rest of the 29er bikes to the Mojo. If you have to include an Ibis, include a 29er Ibis!
  • 1 0
 Kinda surprised the ibis did so poorly in thia test. Wonder if the ripmo would have faired better but still the same suspension platform so guessing not too much differently. And really surprised the stumpjumper did so amazingly.
  • 10 0
 Try: Blackthorn or P-Train.

Buy: Stumpy.
  • 7 0
 Man I wish Giant would have sent the Trance X without the Live Valve. The review is more about Live Valve than the Trance X itself. Bummer.
  • 6 0
 I'm more a bike enthusiast. What's the difference between a rocketship and spaceship?
  • 43 0
 A rocketship is designed to excell at overcoming planetary gravity using thrust to escape orbit, whilst being equally capable of travel once out of orbit.

A spaceship is designed to excell at travellling once out of orbit, whilst being equally capable of overcoming planetary gravity using thrust to escape orbit.

Then you've got up-stellar, down-stellar and cross stellar (although the space suits are rather snug).
  • 1 0
 @DidNotSendIt: Comment (solid) gold.
  • 7 0
 Would like to see a Banshee Spitfire reviewed
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer @MikeLevy Do you guys think we will ever get the bigger manufactures to allow consumers to start specing bikes a-la-carte? Might help compete with the direct to consumer competition? Seems like you two are always talking about how the Deore or SLX drivetrain is plenty good enough, but the suspension on the lower end models is lacking. Would be cool if it was like cars where you could pick the model, then prioritize suspension and wheels and save on drivetrain and cockpit.
  • 6 1
 I think it's awesome to showcase small brands but what's the point of reviewing the P-Train for everyone to see when there's only 20 in existence?
  • 11 9
 Love Levy, but watching the videos, he kinda sounds like he's presenting under duress.

Blink twice slowly if you're being forced to present against your will. We'll either come get you or start a podcast about it.

#FreeLevy
  • 5 1
 yeah I had the same feeling, sounds like he's forcing himself to talk slow and overly pronounced
  • 2 0
 thanks for the round table debate guys this is what we need!
Yes I would ride any of them 24/7 but I want the X without live valves and then we compare it to the Stumpy. I have a long standing love for Specialized bikes since buying my 1st Rockhopper in 1999 so the Stmpy would be easy to jump on.
  • 3 0
 Overall I have to say great reviews! I always love the reviews, and usually end up reading ones on bikes that I am not even really interested in. Keep up the great work Pink Bike!
  • 3 0
 A spindly single pivot released by the progenitor of horst link bikes wins the shootout because weight is everything all the sudden. And digressive damping is cool again somehow. 2020 keeps delivering.
  • 7 2
 I wonder how the aluminum stumpy compares?
  • 2 0
 I test rode the Stumpjumper Comp alloy, and the Trance X 2, they both ride pretty nice. My only complaint was they both feel pretty Chunky, and both of them had kind of lackluster brakes. The Stumpy felt more enduro-ish, and the Trance felt more 'springy' in the rear, so more tuned for climbing and easier flow trails.

Luckily I found a 'low milage' Trance 1 in 27.5, here on the Pinkbike Buy/sell and couldn't be happier.
  • 2 0
 @Glory831Guy: I have a 27.5 Trance Advanced. I love that bike
  • 3 0
 I wonder how the p-train would have faired if it was built up more as a trail bike than an enduro... IE air can and 150mm fork like the rest of the test field. ????
  • 2 1
 Looking forward to the mid priced trail bike shoot out someday when they start to be available again. This content is great entertainment though.
The P train (so cool) and E-trance are such outliers, it's a little odd for this format. I agree with others that some more affordable and available bikes probably should have those spots for these tests.
  • 4 0
 I just spent a couple of days aboard the new stumpy and oh man does that thing rip!
  • 2 0
 I love how despite the fact that Levy loves some hard uphill riding, when pressed, he picks the most sluggish climbing P-train for Squamish. Must really be that much fun on the rowdy downs!
  • 1 0
 All talk about wheel size but not much on S sizing, Specialized should still provide some reference to height etc. on there size chart unless you have a good shop that allows you to demo a bunch of sizes it will be hard to feel confident about the fit.
  • 3 0
 test rode stumpy and trancex (non live valve) for several rides, edge to the trancex. thought it did everything a bit better. enough to order one too
  • 1 0
 So the P-Train was the worst climber due to its weight and suspension design. Would it be more comparable on the climb if it weighed the same as the stumpy? Alternatively would it be comparable if it were equipped with the livevalve system?
  • 1 0
 would be really cool and helpful if the lucky PB test guys and gals would rate the tested bikes against each other under one big radar. no need to worry about classifying them too much. we will see which ones lean more to climbing vs descending. nice simple list so many sick bikes its mind bending to remember all the choices. some are slipping thru the cracks.
  • 4 1
 @Mike I am offended by your generalization of the East Coast as not rowdy. Come to NH or VT
  • 6 1
 No need to be offended - I know there are lots of fun, techy trails out there. It's just that for a daily driver the bike that would work well for most East Coasters is likely to be a little different than what someone in the Squamish / Whistler area would pick.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: A lot of trails here are pretty boring and dumb, but that's because of strict regulation on the sanctioned riding zones. However, most of the guys I ride with, along with myself, only ride unsanctioned trails due to the sanctioned ones being boring, having no flow, and joeys getting in the way. We have strategically built up a myth that the east coast is the tame, easy zone, so that we can build crazy stuff under the radar
  • 1 0
 First, thanks for the great content you guys provide! Regarding the Giant, I wonder if just unplugging the cable would have given you the chance to get a non-live-valve experience.
  • 4 0
 would still be FIT4 though and not Grip 2.
  • 4 0
 Can we get Mike's header crash into the next FF video?
  • 1 0
 Ha, ha, maybe Mike was doing a new helmet review to really test it?
  • 1 2
 I know that bikes are designed with certain shocks in mind and a lot don't even take coil springs, so it's fair to compare them, but a frame designed to take a coil is going to get that huge coil advantage on descents...and the penalties on climbs. It just feels...wrong. It feels similar to comparing computer-controlled suspension on climbs to regular suspension on climbs that you didn't even bother to use the climb switch for.

Would it be safe to say that the Blackthorn just underwhelmed? It wasn't great on climbs, it wasn't great on descents.
  • 3 2
 I wouldn't really class any bike with 160mm front travel regardless of rear travel as a trail bike, 140mm at most on the front.
  • 1 0
 I call my 170mm E29 my trail bike.
  • 1 0
 It would be rally interesting to see a combined overall time or even a third, longer timed section that included rolling technical terrain for bikes in this category.
  • 1 1
 Why don't we get the times presented in a convenient manner? It seems like the P-train was not that far back on the climb relatively (40s over 12 minutes), but quite far ahead on the descent (10s over 4 minutes).
  • 1 0
 Proportionally, it's farther back on the climbs than it is ahead on the descents. It's 40s over 12 minutes down on the climbs. If you did 12 minutes of descending at 10s gained per 4 minutes, you'd end up 30 seconds ahead for the whole descent, or 10 second less than you lost on the climb, even if you did three descents per climb.
  • 2 0
 @MarcusBrody:Sure, but listening to the discussion they make it seem like the bike is a terrible climber. Considering the weight and spec, the climbing penalty seems really low for a relatively good downhill gain.
  • 4 0
 Kona Process 134 CR/DL
  • 2 3
 Longtime lurker of pinkbike but rarely comment. You can talk all you want about which 9k bike is better but at the end of the day it's just unattainable for the working (wo)man. Haven't biked in two years after I broke my rear triangle because this shit is just too damn expensive. New (to me) car to get to work, or a new bike? Unreal man.
  • 3 2
 I really appreciate that PB does these kinds of tests and has no problem calling out the winners and losers.......oh
  • 2 1
 My feeling with the uninspiring review of the Ibis is the 27.5 wheels. After all, @mikelevy rides mainly 29er.
  • 1 0
 ... but it was fast up... thats not whats expected out of small wheels.

Id suspect the unbalanced front to rear.

Coming from 20" bikes I expected to like short back ends. Short rear ends work great on infinite traction like soiltac and pavement. Not so much when things get bouncy & greasy.
  • 1 0
 Doesn’t seem fair to compare a 27 lb Stumpy with a 32 lb Salsa. I’m guessing a 30+ lb Stumpy isn’t so exciting.
  • 4 0
 except a 30lb Stumpy build would probably mean its a 35 lb Salsa.....
  • 1 0
 @JoshMatta: exactly, and Salsa does not make a 27lb Blackthorn to compare to the much lighter Stumpy.
  • 1 0
 If they are basically different takes on a trail bike (lighter vs heavier) then that's not unfair - but if it's just due to top-end components on one bike it's a different story and you have a very valid point @AdamKos
I would expect the PB reviewers are capable of filtering out pricing and spec differences, and I believe when this field test was launched they said they are going to be more assertive with brands about not sending the silly priced top-end models for review.
It's a waste of all our time TBH (see also that Giant with Live Valve, FFS).
  • 1 0
 So it’s the P-Train or the Stumpy! But I love the ups as much as I do the downs! Decisions, decisions, decisions!
  • 1 0
 Looks the winner here is the Giant Trance X due to vast majority of comments
  • 1 0
 That opening scene is the reason I use back protection, and nothing in the back pockets...
  • 2 1
 Mike - Can you definite "things?" That was a very common term you used. Wink
  • 1 0
 It’s been an awesome field test. Thanks Levy, Yinz rocked it.
  • 1 0
 Nevermind. Looked like the logo.
  • 1 0
 So which is the blurred out bike?
  • 1 0
 No insider knowledge or anything but seems the Nomad is due for a refresh.
  • 1 0
 Kona Process 134 CR/DL 29 for the win!
  • 8 7
 Devinci Troy?
  • 2 2
 Just get to the slash already..
  • 1 1
 LAMEEE. No Forbidden Druid
  • 6 6
 Blackthorn
  • 2 3
 Imma goin still keep my offering
  • 1 2
 Yeti 130 would crush in this catagory.
  • 1 0
 Don't yetis have a habit of breaking, and fairly often?
  • 10 12
 Only bike I would even consider buying is the Ibis
  • 5 0
 Why only the Ibis?
  • 1 2
 The worst bike out of the bunch???
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