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Video: Welcome to the 2021 Fall Field Test - Trail and Downcountry Bikes

Dec 1, 2021
by Mike Levy  


WELCOME TO THE 2021
FALL FIELD TEST
12 Trail and Downcountry Bikes Ridden and Rated



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards


While the numbers show that a new enduro or downhill bike garners the most interest, and especially so if it happens to be still a prototype or has a gearbox bolted to it, the truth is that the majority of us spend our time on bikes with much less suspension. Don't worry, it's still too soon to put you (or us) through another cross-country spandex series, but it is time to have twelve of the latest trail and downcountry bikes face off against each other in the fall Field Test.

We like to see some disparity in our fleet, and it's no different this time around. Rear-wheel-travel starts at just 110mm for the downcountry bikes and goes up to 150mm for the trail rigs, geometry is nearly as wide-ranging, and weights begin at 23lbs and balloon out to 36lb with more coils and less carbon. Speaking of that, there's plenty of fancy stuff, of course, but aluminum and even steel bikes are also included, as are brands from Germany, America, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK.


Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Alicia Leggett on the steel-tubed, Öhlins-sprung Starling Murmur. Not every trail was this good, some were even better.


6 Aggressive Trail Bikes

Depending on what you're looking for, today's trail bikes can blur the lines at both ends of the performance spectrum. If your main focus is pushing hard on the pedals and gaining elevation, but you want more surefootedness than a cross-country bike can provide, there's a trail bike for you. And if your rides always include steeps, jumps, and knee pads, or even the odd guilt-free shuttle run, there's also a trail bike for you.

What about if you're somewhere in the middle? Same here, but with these bikes able to do so many things at such a high level, it's a pretty good place to find yourself.

Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Raaw Jibb
• Travel: 135mm rear, 150mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65.1° head-tube angle
• 77.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 470mm (large)
• Weight: 34.0 lb / 15.42 kg
• $2,695.20 (frame only w/ Float X2)
Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Propain Hugene
• Travel: 140mm rear, 150mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65.1° head-tube angle
• 76.1° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 476mm (large)
• Weight: 31.25lb / 14.17 kg
• $6,737 USD

Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Scor 4060 ST
• Travel: 140mm rear, 150mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65.5° head-tube angle
• 78° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 485mm (large)
• Weight: 32.12 lb / 14.56 kg
• $6,599 USD
Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Starling Murmur
• Travel: 140mm rear, 160mm front
• 29" wheels
• 64.2° head-tube angle
• 76.6° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 485mm (large)
• Weight: 34.06 lb / 15.44 kg
• £2,087.50 (frame only w/ Ohlins TTX coil)

Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Alloy
• Travel: 150mm rear, 160mm front
• 29" wheels
• 63 - 65.5° head-tube angle
• 76.6° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 468 - 473mm (S4)
• Weight: 34.37 lb / 15.58 kg
• $5,600 USD
Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Ghost Riot Trail Full Party
• Travel: 140mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 77° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 467mm (medium)
• Weight: 36.0 lb / 16.32 kg
• €3,699.00



6 Downcountry Bikes

Well, this is awkward... The whole downcountry thing was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek name for overburdened cross-country bikes with real tires, and a cockpit and dropper post that's not trying to throw you out the front door every time you want to have a bit of fun. Regardless, it's been co-opted by the industry and media to describe things that we used to call trail bikes which, I have to admit, is a bit confusing.

Silly names aside, here we are with six short-travel bikes that could be used for everything from some not-so-serious cross-country racing to riding some surprisingly serious terrain. Even more impressive, some of the contenders are capable of doing both with little to no alterations. It's a good time to like downcoun... er, short-travel bikes, isn't it?

Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Canyon Lux Trail
• Travel: 110mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 67.5° head-tube angle
• 74.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 460mm (medium)
• Weight: 26.62 lb / 12.07 kg
• $6,299 USD
Trek Top Fuel Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Trek Top Fuel 9.8
• Travel: 120mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66 - 66.4° head-tube angle
• 76 - 76.4° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 480 - 484mm (large)
• Weight: 26.18 lb / 11.87 kg
• $7,499.99 USD

Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Niner Jet 9 RDO
• Travel: 120mm rear, 130mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66 - 66.5° head-tube angle
• 75.5 - 76° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 469 - 475mm (large)
• Weight: 28.31 lb / 12.84 kg
• $7,700 USD

Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90
• Travel: 120mm rear, 130mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65 - 65.8° head-tube angle
• 76 - 76.8° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (large)
• Weight: 25 lb / 11.33 kg
• $9,589 USD

Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Santa Cruz Blur TR CC
• Travel: 115mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 67.1° head-tube angle
• 74.9° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 457mm (large)
• Weight: 23.75 lb / 10.8 kg
• $9,449 USD

Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Embargoed Bike
• Travel: some rear, a bit more front
• 32" wheels...?
• A head-tube angle
• A seat-tube angle
• Reach: Yes
• Weight: Some
• 9,000 PB tokens


How Do We Choose the Bikes?

I'll be honest with you: We pretty much got what we could get. If you've been sniffing around for a new bike lately, or even just the parts for one, you already know they've been hard to come by. Even so, I'd argue that we managed to include some interesting rigs this time around, which always makes testing and comparing them more engaging for us as well. Why only twelve bikes and not twenty or thirty? There were five of us doing the testing over two weeks, split between the two categories, and we'd far prefer to put more time on fewer bikes than vice versa.

And by the way, we do feel terrible that the bike you want to see isn't here, but definitely let us know in the comments regardless. And maybe send Kazimer a direct message and tell him as well.


Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Mount Currie towers over Pemberton, the Soo river, and Lillooet lake.


How'd We Test the Bikes?

When it comes to testing and comparing, there's no substitute for countless back-to-back laps, and it doesn't hurt if the trails are amazing and the weather is dry and warm. Well, two out of three ain't bad. We may have nearly drowned and/or frozen a number of times during this Field Test, but we'd all argue that it was worth it.

With our house only a few hundred feet from the test loops, anyone watching would have been confused by the constant stream of five different riders coming and going every thirty minutes on a different bike. Thankfully, the rocky terrain and well-made trails drain incredibly well, and Pemberton in the fall has to be one of the most beautiful places in British Columbia. But if the locals ask, it wasn't me who said that.


Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
We did a lot of this...
Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
In order to get to a bunch of this.

Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Kazimer reaching for one of Pemby's countless rock transitions on Scor's new 4060 ST. Did he make it?


The bikes need challenging terrain, of course, but making sure they weren't being tossed down chutes far beyond their intentions was also a very real consideration. After all, Pemberton has more than a few trails that would put our short-travel test fleet to shame; so while the bikes definitely saw some things they probably weren't expecting to see in their life, it wouldn't be fair to judge them in that light. Even so, the downcountry test lap was full of rocks, roots, a few steep bits, a few speedy bits, and all the corners.

As for the trail bikes, their lap was a bit higher up the mountain and a bit higher consequence. The descent was longer, steeper, rougher, and faster in sections, but nothing that a solid trail bike shouldn't be able to brush aside.


Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
No brakes, all slides, maybe crashing. The number of skids and giggles a bike provides outweighs the timed testing results, at least in my mind, but the clock does give us extra insight into its performance.


Way back at the very first Field Test, I remember Kazimer and I arguing with Brian about how neither of us wanted to include a timing section in these review videos. We said it'd only complicate an already hectic few weeks of testing, and that there are too many variables for it to matter all that much. Oh, and that we already knew which bikes were quick and which weren't by feel, dammit, and didn't need no stinkin' computers to tell us anything...

Now I couldn't imagine doing a Field Test without some element of timing, even if we'll always lean towards on-trail feel for most of our impressions. And because all these bikes need to be somewhat decent at doing the down and up parts of mountain biking, we laid out timed sections on the test loops for both.


Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Henry is a long way from the shire, even if it doesn't look like it in this photo of him on Niner's Jet 9 RDO.
Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
"I think it's drying up out there," said absolutely no one at the fall Field Test. Alicia trusting the wet rock on Propain's Hugene.


Field Testing also means matching control tires. Why do we change them all? Tires have a massive effect on how a bike performs, but they also wear out fast, get torn, thrown in the trash, and finally replaced with something else that costs too much. So why not just get rid of that variable altogether? The shorter-travel short-travel bikes got Schwalbe's Wicked Will on both ends, while the longer-travel short-travel bikes got a much more aggressive Assegai and DHRII combo, all with appropriate casings and the stickiest rubber we could find.



Impossible Climb, Efficiency Test, & Huck to Flat

It's not a Field Test without some pseudo-science, which is where the Impossible Climb, Efficiency Test, and Huck to Flat come into the picture. Matt Beer did such a good job the last time in Sun Peaks, we couldn't not bring him back for another round of "How the fu*k did he get up that?" We also returned to the scene of the very first Impossible Climb, a steep granite slab made even more heinous with some carefully placed "natural obstacles" to hopefully make Matt fall over a few times.


Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
"That nose bonk looks good, Matt, but do you want to go get pumpkin spice lattes yet?"
Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Part-time editor, full-time assistant trying to keep Devin's camera from drowning.

Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
Just out for a lap on our shuttle-country bikes.
Fall Field Test Photo by Tom Richards
November is all-time fall time in Pemberton.


Henry Quinney was voluntold to do the Efficiency Test this time around as I had an important matter to attend to - one of my dogs needed to be walked at that exact time and she's very particular about it - but I'm sure he did an amazing job without me. There's no way I'm going to watch a boring video about climbing, so let me know how it went.

Speaking of how things went, prepare your eyeballs for yet another slow-motion bottom-out bonanza courtesy of Jason Lucas' can-do attitude and surprisingly sturdy ankles. Was there more carnage? The Huck to Flat video is always how we wrap the series up, so you'll have to wait until the end to find out how it went.



Who Tested the Bikes?

There were five editors at this Field Test, with Mike Kazimer and Alicia Leggett doing trail bike duties, and Matt Beer riding a bit of everything before tackling the Impossible Climb. Henry Quinney and I traded downcountry bikes, and Henry was also in charge of the Efficiency Test and getting lost in the woods at 3 am.

Shoutouts also to the outdoor hot water spigot, the mobile car wizard who fixed Alicia's Astro van, Meeshka the dog, fungi, friendly strangers, cereal, and shoe driers. Stay tuned for an upcoming two-part podcast that'll explain everything.

Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Matt Beer
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 160 lb / 73 kg
Notes: Tech editor, quick on a bike but never on time

Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Mike Kazimer
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Notes: Managing tech editor, noted alien skeptic
Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Alicia Leggett
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 148 lb / 67 kg
Notes: News editor moonlighting as a tech editor

Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Mike Levy
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 155 lb / 70 kg
Notes: Tech editor, knows the aliens are already here
Fall Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Henry Quinney
Height: 6' / 183 cm
Weight: 183lb / 83 kg
Notes: Tech editor, full-time Branston pickle enthusiast


While it's the five of us you'll see on the videos, the truth is that we don't even know how to turn the cameras on. This circus wouldn't happen without the video and photo team who have to do way more work than us, most of it with either bag that weighs as much as an eight-year-old on their backs or with an awkward gimbal in their hands. And all of it in the cold, wet fall weather while doing their best to make us look somewhat acceptable on camera. Shoutout to Jason Lucas, Tom Richards, Max Baron, and Devin Francis for not just knowing how to turn the cameras on, but for doing pretty much everything else as well.

Stay tuned for the first Field Test video review that, if everything's gone to plan, should go live tomorrow. You can expect to see the six downcountry reviews and roundtable arguments first, followed by all the trail bike videos, and then we'll wrap it up with the climbing and hucking that we're all here for.

Which review are you most looking forward to watching?




The 2021 Fall Field Test is presented by Rapha and Bontrager. Thank you also to Maxxis, Schwalbe, and Garmin for control tires and equipment.




Regions in Article
Pemberton


493 Comments

  • 510 2
 Pinkbike, you've had a lot of s*** thrown your way since the takeover, but this is the content I come here for. Thank you.
  • 108 36
 Most of the sh*t thrown is duly deserved. However, I must agree, this is the 'good' content they are known for with one of the 'Mikes' at the helm.
  • 39 222
flag dolores (Dec 1, 2021 at 9:46) (Below Threshold)
 Only available on Pinkbike+
Starting on December 3rd
  • 299 15
 @dolores, ugh, please don't start that. There's no paywall on Dec. 3rd - you're going to be able to view all of the Field Test content just like usual.
  • 34 195
flag dolores (Dec 1, 2021 at 9:59) (Below Threshold)
 Hi @mikekazimer, on December 3rd begins the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, that's it, I didn't say there would be a paywall.
  • 57 0
 Levy has been thawed out of carbonite.
  • 50 1
 @dolores: ok, but you strongly implied it. Swinging at ghosts.
  • 62 0
 ^^^ This. Hope they never quit letting Levy be all Levy'ish. The tongue in cheek sarcasm bordering on childishness is what we all need in our lives.
  • 41 0
 People like people, not editorial drivel. Mike & Mike's straightforward and tongue in cheek style is a key part of the entertainment that makes PB work. Think of it like Top Gear back in the day. It was partly serious, but not really at all.
  • 64 1
 @dolores: perhaps a paywall for anyone who consistently gets 40+ down votes????
  • 2 1
 Boom!!! Here for this
  • 23 0
 @mikekazimer: I would totally pay more to see Henry do the impossible climb on mushrooms
  • 4 0
 I like Levy's pants... all the bikes look cool too... At 1:45 Levy you trippin
  • 6 2
 That's a mostly lightweight test crew.
  • 3 2
 @headshot: comes with the job, I'm sure if you ride bikes for a living you too would be 65kg.
  • 3 2
 Hmm, will the economies of scale associated with the elimination of 27.5 wheels lead to reduced production costs? That will be transferred to consumers?? Nahhh....
  • 6 0
 @cougar797: 100%. No offense to the other presenters but @mikelevy really makes these vids really fun to watch. From one fourtysomething to another, don't ever change Mike!
  • 2 0
 @littleskull99: nope. I have ridden 3000+ k of singletrack this year and will remain above 100 kgs.
  • 1 0
 @tiffe: it’s almost like the little guys have a chip on their shoulder
  • 152 0
 All I want for Christmas is for the embargoed bike to be a new process 111.
  • 11 0
 Had two of them. Such great bikes!!
  • 8 0
 Oh please make this be true!
  • 68 1
 That’d be neato
  • 5 0
 You’re gonna make my cry.
  • 16 0
 Try a 134? I loved my 111 and was heartbroken when its frame gave up the ghost after almost five years. Got a 134 with the credit from the frame warranty, and man, it's a much better all around fun machine. Took a wee bit of dialing to get the suspension just so - but if my experience is anything to go by, if you liked the 111, you'll love the 134.
  • 23 0
 Not embargoed, floating off the coast of California.
  • 10 0
 @g-42: Or a Hei Hei?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Hey Mike, what are those hiking boots you're wearing? Scarpas?
  • 30 0
 The blurred bike is a Giant. There is a Giant dealership on my street and they already have it in the shop. From a passing glance it looked like possibly a new, refreshed version of the Trance 29.
  • 2 0
 @ATXZJ: I would wish for the GT Sensor. Don't think it'll fall in the downcountry niche though.
  • 1 0
 @styriabeef: trail bike though...
  • 10 8
 Since it’s clearly the Giant Anthem, y’all are about to be disappointed.
  • 1 0
 dlt
  • 3 0
 @g-42: I picked up a 2020 134 CR/DL used and I am loving it. Very capable bike and I don't think the geometry has changed in the later models. Pleased with how well it climbs. Working on dialing in the suspension. Love the pike just trying to get the superdeluxe perfect for my riding. Going to give the MegNeg a try on the superdeluxe next.
  • 6 1
 Nice to see a steel bike reviewed. The Starling is a beauty. Would be nice to see bikes like the Pipedream Full Moxie and something mid-travel from Cotic and Stanton also reviewed. Curtis XR650 is a beauty too but probably too much for this category. Not saying that one material is better than the other per se. But it seems like (in the comment section and these polls) that people consider bikes to last only a few years but to me it seems like a lot of money for something you'd keep that short. And my impression is that people hold onto steel (and titanium) bikes for longer, so I expect them to just stay good for longer too. So yeah, I'd probably gravitate towards a steel bike and it would be nice to see more of them reviewed in the same series. I know that Enduro-mtb did that for three steel bikes (Starling, Pipedream and Cotic), but with Stanton in there too you'd one-up them Smile .
  • 1 0
 @jalopyj: After the 111s, I built up a 2018 hei hei carbon with a 2* works headset and a 120mm short offset pike. Bike was super fun and way more capable than I expected. Raced an Enduro with it. Got to the end of the warranty and sold the frame. Currently on a Forbidden Druid and Commencal Supreme SX.

All I want for Christmas is a Transition Spur LoL
  • 2 2
 @ATXZJ:

Raced enduro on a trail bike.

Sold it before the warranty expired.

I’m certain that the buyer knew this, right?
  • 1 1
 @hllclmbr: have a bad experience?
  • 2 4
 @ATXZJ:

Nope. Just not an a*shole.
  • 2 1
 @hllclmbr: but you felt righteous enough to comment and pass judgement when you have zero knowledge of what was said.

typical
  • 2 1
 @ATXZJ:

Typical of what?
  • 2 0
 @Waldon83: Just some old Asolo boots. Time for some new ones.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Don't change, they are badass! However, can recommend the Scarpa Terra GTX if you can get them on sale.
  • 73 0
 @mikelevy & @mikekazimer: Can we get an idea of how long you guys hug each other when you got reunited? Rough numbers...
  • 263 1
 He never holds me for long enough Frown
  • 5 0
 I was also concerned that even tho they argue about aliens, they dress exactly the same including helmet.
  • 9 0
 It's actually a well kept secret that @mikekazimer and @mikelevy have a deep seated hatred of each other. Covid-19 was released into the world by @brianpark to keep the two of them apart for almost 2 years. True facts
  • 2 0
 I didn't even notice that both Mike's were humans, were they?
  • 7 0
 I would watch a video of those two going for a long ride together all mic’ed up so that we can see the exact point where Kaz gets so annoyed by Levy that he tries to push him off the mountain
  • 17 0
 Speaking of which, aren’t we owed a Mike vs Mike race? I believe that Levy told Kaz that he *pulls out note pad and puts on reading glasses* “couldn’t wait to step on his balls.”
  • 15 0
 @Giddyhitch, you sure are. @mikelevy, how's the training going?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I think it needs to be a minimum 6 seconds.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: do Timbits count as training?
  • 4 1
 @mikekazimer: Not well haha
  • 75 2
 hmmm hidden bike a giant??
  • 45 0
 Look like the Trance X advanced Pro with live valve, but maybe it's not even the photo of the embargo bike that is blured !
  • 16 0
 It's got a giant like silhouette. I wonder if we will figure it out in Advanced
  • 5 0
 It's weird. I'm thinking it's the new Giant Trance 29, but the silhouette looks different than the carbon model I've seen pics of. It's almost like they have the aluminum version instead. Maybe it's just my eyes playing tricks on me.
  • 5 1
 @pumpjumpnflow: hopefully they updated the geometry from the 66.5 hta and made it a little bit slacker
  • 22 0
 Definitely a new Session
  • 4 5
 agreed. most definitely not a trek, treks have abp, not maestro. also, the cassette to wheel ratio does not indicate 32" wheels. Its to throw us off.
  • 9 0
 New Anthem
  • 3 0
 @mikeyegan: 65.5 with flip chip and some other frame updates
  • 3 1
 Looks like the new Anthem
  • 12 0
 Its the new trance. Was supposed to be released back in October but has been delayed. Embargo should be lifted any day now. 120/130 and updated geometry. Rumor has it that it comes with in frame storage and live valve on mid tier models.
  • 2 1
 @snowbummer: you are likely right, after posting I realized the new Anthem had already been revealed, thus there would be no reason to blur it; however, I'm not sure why the Trance would be with the "downcountry" XC bikes. I always equated the Trance with a trail bike and not XC (were the Anthem is). The new Anthem is pretty much a "downcountry" bike with the 67.5 HTA (down from 69) and 110/100 on the suspension, up from 100/90 on the previous models.
  • 1 9
flag singleandluvinit (Dec 1, 2021 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 Kind of looks like a Mondraker
  • 8 0
 It is the new Giant Trance, new Anthem was already unvealed and is not looking like this.

If you look closely above you can see a picture with the bike not blurred (the one with Mike under an umbrella), bike is a the far back.

You can then easily spot Giant classic Romero Saddle & the Giant rim decals.

Giant is throwing Fox Live Valve on every of their bike it's getting crazy.
  • 3 0
 Yes. It's a the newly refreshed Trance 29.
  • 4 0
 @rick26: Oh yea, you can see the in-frame storage too.
  • 1 0
 @MathiasBd: In this photo, you can see that the fork does indeed have Live Valve. www.pinkbike.com/photo/21628868/?s6
  • 2 0
 @rick26: I'm confused about this PB hates the love valve last year why would Giant keep doing it? Then again... Different strokes for different folks
  • 3 1
 @Fullsend2-13: Live Valve is a terrible value for the "performance" that it adds - it blows my mind that Giant is so committed to it. @foxfactory would do well to reposition it to being just wireless lever actuated lockout.
  • 1 0
 @anotherbikerguy: It would make sense that its a new "Trance 29" as the current model is on its 3rd model year. Also, the current Trance 29 geo is fairly dated.
  • 1 0
 @mior: Maybe a new Giant range cassette.
  • 5 0
 Found a site that leaked some info on the Giant Trance Pro 29.

- 120R/130F
- internal downtube storage
- high-low flip chip
- 66.2° HTA (low, 66.5° high)
- 77° STA
- 480mm reach (size L)
- 437mm CS length
- BB drop 45mm (low, 35mm in high)
- $10.5k for top-end model with Live Valve (29.9 lbs in XL). Other two builds at the $7k and $6k price points

Wish these media outlets would give the WB length... prob around 1220mm in size L.
  • 1 0
 Yeti in raw carbon.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: definitely not as the new anthem, it uses flex stays and that clearly has a one piece rear triangle.
  • 1 0
 I Predict that there's gonna be a lot of rattle-can-custom paint jobs on this bike and the new Trance X 27.5 with their 'cookies and cream' colorway.

I think I prefer the old-school Giant paint jobs (90's early 2,000's moto style) to these new 'understated' ones.
  • 2 0
 Woops. Misread my source. Correction: 65.5° HTA (low, 66.2° in high)
  • 1 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: While I joke about it being a new Yeti (new designs are rumored to be coming soon) to sure does look like a Trance in the photo - same linkage shape, the extra brace between the chan and seat stay, the headtube junction... will be surprised if it isn't a Trance model.
  • 59 4
 wHaT nO 27.5 bIKeSSss????


(but for real, my new Ibis Mojo is my dream bike and rides amazing. Don't sleep on small wheels.)
  • 5 0
 Agreed. I ride mine more than my Ripmo.
  • 2 0
 my Ibis does the job for me!
  • 42 0
 What no benchmark bikes from the previous field test winners??? I really need to know how the downcountry bikes compare to the Transition Spur and the trail bikes to the Stumpy Evo Carbon. It's not like those bikes had any supply chain issues in the last year. All of us Pinkers had ample opportunity to demo/buy one.
  • 32 0
 Seriously, the Spur and Epic evo need to be there for the downcountry class.
  • 11 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: agreed and was hoping to see the Pivot 429 in the mix.
  • 8 0
 And Tallboy V4
  • 6 4
 They never do that unfortunately. Last year's field test would have been really interesting, because the new Stumpy would definitley not have won if the Optic was still in the mix.
  • 4 1
 @cmb47: Yeah, that's another good one. Just seems like most of the bikes included in this year's downcountry test are second-tier vs the OG DC bikes of last couple years.
  • 5 0
 how is there no Spur
in this article?
  • 7 0
 This isn't how the Field Tests go for some reason. However, its a great suggestion for improvement. The class champ should always be included... until defeated.
  • 12 0
 @Baller7756: We had a previous winner in the last Field Test (that Enduro) to compare the newer bikes to, but not this time. Bikes get sent back after the FT is wrapped, and sometimes having another bike or two just isn't feasible with time constraints. That said, we'll certainly be bringing back past favorites in some of the future Field Tests.
  • 7 1
 @mikelevy: Throw a 2016 Process 111 in the mix just for fun.
  • 3 2
 @mikelevy: would have been great to see if any of this year's DC bikes are up "for a fight" with the great epic evo. I believe they are not, like in the case of the enduro ones, where the overall best bike was still the spez enduro ; similar to it, I bet 20 packs of M&Ms and some bottles of hand made cola that the epic evo is still the DC king. Such a good bike... such a good looking bike as well. Probably just the new Spark is the one and only true contender.
  • 3 4
 @eugenux: You're onto something here... Yes the Epic Evo would destroy any of these bikes... but the Spur destroys the Evo. I dont recall all the details of that Field Test, but I do remember that Spesh sent over the $11k bike that weighed 21 lbs and that weight difference (and the AXS components) was the deciding factor in most of the comparisons... against bikes kitted in the $5000-$6000 range.

The Spur is the current king of DC...
  • 4 0
 @Baller7756: true but, I guess it depends what you think, understand and want from a DC bike. I'd never get a Spur because I'd want to occassionally go to xc races with my DC bike. I also live in the fields not hills or mountains so a Spur would not make sense to me.. it looks too trail-y. For me, a DC must go down the hill decently and nothing more. The fact that the Spur si faster on the downs is mostly irrelevant. It is a 100% prefference, I know but the feel about getting a Spur as a DC bike is the same as getting a Nicolai Geometron or a Pole Stamina for enduro; still in the category but a little too much for most of the ppl(myself included).
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: I think you are right. My idea of DC is closer to "light FS bike trail riding"... The furthest thing from my mind is an XC race across fields. But having said that, the Epic Evo isnt much different than the Spur in that regard... It was my second choice when I was shopping the segment. I ride my Spur on any and all trails (at ludicrous speed), and I would do the same on the Epic Evo.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: I used my Nuke Reactor for that.. be it in the fields, hills or mountains and, while it was a terrific bike in the mountains(more enduro-ish than trail), I feelt that I needed something zippier for the terrain I have access most of the time. I've not decided yet but the epic evo and the new spark are the best candidates IMO; I will look some more into this when I'll get close to the position of buying a DC bike. In the mean time, I'm just finishing up a 170-180mm bike.. for those 2-3-4 times a month when I head into the mountains. #newbikeday.. soon.
  • 1 0
 Agree. I'm interested in the Rocky Mountain, but only compared to the Spur (which I was fortunate enough to find in August). I love my Spur, but I'm always looking... you know N+1.
  • 39 0
 oh the starling
  • 38 0
 It’s gorgeous
  • 51 13
 @mikelevy: it looks like 2007.
  • 147 1
 @brianpark: You look like 2007
  • 1 1
 Looking forward to seeing that video.
So the mystery bike isn't the new Orange then, since that's already revealed yesterday?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: mine got stolen this year
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: see I always thought it looked like a Star Wars Rebel/Resistance vehicle.
  • 1 0
 They are beautiful! I love mine. Feel like it works better at 140/140 though.
  • 3 0
 My buddy has one in British racing green and it is probably one of the prettiest bikes out there. It's fun to ride with him as the bike gets a lot of oo's and aa's from folks we run into on the trail. Seems like he likes the way it rides too!
  • 2 0
 @militantmandy: gonna start with mine at 140/150 since I have a 150mm Yari already. I’m stoked.
  • 3 0
 Really stoked to hear thoughts on this bike. I almost pulled the trigger on one but when I was in the market the pound to dollar made it to crazy expensive. Apologies Joe.
  • 46 0
 @dmackyaheard: haven’t gotten dunked on this hard since, well, 2007.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: does it look just like the previous one? A broken gate?
  • 2 0
 Been fully enjoying noodling around on this bike for the past couple years. Interested what you all think of it
  • 2 0
 i adore mine, but thoroughly admit it mightn't be for everyone. it indeed has been fun
  • 1 0
 @steelispossiblyreal: get yourself a charger damper for that Yari. It will make it feel 100 times better!
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: That was just the greatest ever
  • 4 0
 Ah yes, the 'Starling Fallacy' (©NSMB)
  • 5 1
 @brianpark: I've got the Twist (mullet version with 160mm rear) and it rides like 2023. I love it!
Really interested to see how the Murmur goes in the field test.
I expect @mikelevy to complain about the weight but it appears that the looks have won him over at least.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I picked up a murmur last year... looking forward to seeing your take on it.
  • 2 0
 The list of wants is long. But Starling is at the tippi top!
  • 1 0
 @Dhast: I love it.
  • 2 0
 I am so happy right now.
  • 1 0
 @JamesR2026: definitely on my list of things to do. It’s coming off of a hardtail and the simple damper has been fine for it. Time to level up for the FS.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I'm just here to keep ya honest Smile
  • 32 0
 What is 9000 PB tokens in Stanley nickels?
  • 14 1
 should net you around 420.69 stanley nickels I believe
  • 15 0
 I would prefer a Shrutebuck conversion chart...
  • 4 0
 is this a new crypto?
  • 5 0
 Same as the ratio of Leprechauns:Unicorn Hairs
  • 33 1
 PLEASE film the huck to flat series from the drive side!
  • 1 0
 ... I second this!
  • 7 0
 If they want to swap out the huck to flat for the Pemby train gap that would be acceptable as well.
  • 2 0
 why not both?
  • 1 0
 With someone who rides left foot forward
  • 32 1
 Nice to see Kaz back over the border in the mix.
  • 46 1
 It was amazing to be back in Pemberton. I'd missed it so much.
  • 17 0
 @mikekazimer: The PB world needed Mike & Mike productions again.
  • 25 0
 @cougar797, I agree. Hopefully we can get some rolling this winter.
  • 16 0
 @mikekazimer: we're still waiting for the Mike vs. Mike race Frown
  • 1 0
 @Fullsend2-13: with all of the promised testicle stomping (I repeat myself because that level of trash talking deserves it)
  • 1 0
 @Fullsend2-13: it can’t happen though. Its all about the anticipation…i’d be like Clark kissing Lois, all goes downhill after that
  • 32 1
 Funny how a 150mm rear and 160mm front is considered a trail bike now.
  • 26 1
 I know, same here!
  • 4 0
 We wouldn't want to have to call it trailmountain or anything, but "trail bikes" now include all mountain bikes, it seems.
Mine is 150/170
  • 6 0
 all mountain
  • 23 0
 PB tech editor job requirements:
#1 - must be 5'10" or 5'11"
  • 24 0
 Honestly, height is a factor in hiring tech editors and for these group tests. We need to all be able to ride the same bike at Field Tests for back-to-back testing. Our settings are somewhat similar as well.
  • 2 0
 It’s because it’s easy to review when they get to ride the most balanced size
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: Curious - Are you riding Mediums or Larges? Because quite often this height is on the bubble between those 2 sizes despite it being very close to "average" height. Or is it all now S1,S2 etc with short seat tubes and it doesn't matter anymore...
  • 15 0
 @mikelevy:
PinkBike

Dear Mike Levy

I am writing you today in regards to the PB Field Management position. You will find I am highly qualified for this position measuring an even 6’0” and weighing an approximate 160lbs in proper XC kit. As a cycling enthusiast I own N+1 bicycles and am down with downcountry.
I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Kindest Regards
  • 1 0
 @sweaman2: size still matters, but more for reach and top tube length. Seat tubes should be as short as possible to fit max droppers, while still giving enough support for the tallest people the size is designed for. Seems like at 5 10 (like Me) a few years ago you'd be on a large, but as bikes have gotten longer a medium is often better. A bigger bike is still more stable, but as the rest of geometry has also gotten better it's not as necessary in my opinion. Also depends where you're riding and your riding style.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: it's kinda problematic though for riders that fit outside the norm. Some brands do a good job to cater to smaller and bigger, shorter and taller riders, but since the review is always of an average size person, we never know if the bike will work well for anyone else outside that average.
  • 5 0
 @sweaman2: With "medium" and "large" not meaning anything anymore, it depends on the reach and top tube numbers of the bikes. I like 475ish, but it depends on other things, of course, and I can be happy with 20-30mm of reach difference.
  • 1 0
 So yes you are all taller than me, you all probably rode a large or xl, but many of us ride mediums. And having ridden both mediums and larges in several types of bikes I find they can be quite different. I get the problem you have with consistency, but on the other hand ...
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: Being lanky, 5ft10in, 40yrs old, and 155lbs, I support this!

I also love riding short travel bikes beyond their intentions, and I enjoy long technical climbs. Keep reviewing bikes just for me, thanks Smile
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I’m 5’10” and 155 lb, I can help on the next one
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: don't let the sizing charts fool you man - get RAD!
  • 19 0
 I'm a little confused on how the Stumpy Evo is now an "aggressive trail bike." I always thought 160/150 was all-mountain or borderline enduro.
  • 3 0
 That line sure has been blurred in all kinds of ways, hasn't it? I guess all-mountain has morphed into "trail" now. And with suspension and geometry being where they are, it's like the angles on anything in that category are pretty similar, and then it's just a matter of do you want to have a bit more suspension to give you squish, or a little less to give you more responsiveness. I roll/pump more than I huck - so slack-ish (or, really, just modern) geometry and moderate travel will do just fine; if I were a bit sendier, I might want the same general layout but with a little more squish.
  • 7 0
 If you ride an SJ Evo back to back with the Enduro it makes sense. Evo is snappy/poppy vs the Enduro which is a full on plow bike.
  • 4 2
 The Stumpy Evo is a trail bike, the Enduro is an enduro bike.
  • 19 0
 @jwdenver: you can tell its an enduro because of the way it is.
  • 1 0
 While I wouldn't use the Enduro to plant the crops, it is quite different from the SJEVO despite looking similar on paper. My EVO is only 3lbs lighter than the Enduro, but climbs way faster and has a much more firm trail feel. Both of them pop just fine, but the Stumpy requires more precision.
  • 4 0
 @jwdenver: so what is the regular Stumpy? Trail country?
  • 5 0
 @arrowheadrush: reverse cowgirl
  • 4 0
 @arrowheadrush: seriously. Regular Stumpy should fall under trail bike. I own an Evo and love it but wouldn't consider it a trail bike...
  • 8 1
 @Rider-TJones: if it's not an XC or DH bike it's a trail bike
  • 4 0
 @salespunk: I mostly agree… but then what is the stumpjumper (non Evo)??

Answer- a trail bike. And the Evo is an all mountain bike. Why are we making new categories to slice up short travel bikes, and dropping categories to differentiate the character of longer travel bikes.

I find it all to be rather silly.
  • 5 0
 @chrisclifford:
If you could please stop with the common sense on the internet that would be great. Also, you are 100% correct.
  • 2 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: I don't disagree that the standard SJ is also a trail bike. I have both an SJ and Enduro right now, plus sold my Evo about six months ago. If you want one bike you can take anywhere get the Evo. It will handle XC, just not as good as the SJ, and full blown ugly gnar, just not as good as the Enduro.

BTW I rode my Enduro on a 35 mile XC ride last weekend because my SJ was down and set 20+ PR's so who knows what it all really means. Get the bike/s you like and ride them as much as possible.
  • 1 0
 @chrisclifford: if it has a squishy back and a single crown fork it’s a trailbike.
  • 16 0
 Would have loved to see the banshee phantom in the downcountry test to see how it stacked up. One of the OG downcountry bikes. I have one and love it.
  • 4 0
 My thoughts exactly, and I could have loaned them mine, was up there riding most days the testing was going down.
  • 11 1
 When changing the stumpjumper from carbon to alloy how did specialised manage to go from a relatively light bike to something that's heavier than a steel bike with a coil shock and heavier than a bike with a bottom bracket for a main pivot??
  • 9 1
 Is the weird looking single sided piece necessary or is just there to make it look like the carbon bike?
  • 8 0
 Because they prioritized making it look like the carbon bike, vs. what you can actually do with aluminum for weight and stiffness.

it's a real shame because Alu doesn't have to be much heavier than carbon when done well... but I think Spesh makes them heavy on purpose (or doesn't spend the R&D $$ to make them light) so they don't undercut their sales on carbon bikes.
  • 11 0
 @Bobadeebob: That is honestly the problem here. You absolutely hit the nail on the head. Alloy frames from most manufacturers suck compared to their carbon counterparts. Not because they are alloy, but because they are half assed. The manufacturers make absolutely stupid and ridiculous compromises to be able make the alloy frame resemble the carbon version. Those compromises result in inferior strengh, heavier weight and inferior suspension performance. That is what's wrong with bikes like the alloy Stumpy, alloy Hightower or alloy Spark.

What manufacturers should do instead is designing alloy bikes completely seperately from carbon bikes and work around the material properties of aluminium as well as possible. Basically exactly what Commencal does - prioritizing function over form or fancy materials.
  • 3 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Completely agree. You can design awesome bikes in AL if you really wanted to. Also from an organic appearance point of view. Look at the alloy Orbea Occam LT and Giant models especially. You don't have to make them look like bad carbon copies or "roasted" conduits.
Maybe the disclosure of carbon footprint can bring back higher quality alloy frames with higher speced components mid term. I hope, anyway.
  • 4 0
 And wtf is up with that price! $5k bought a carbon sj expert in 2020, with carbon wheels to boot and maybe. 28lb weight.
  • 8 1
 @mikelevy No META TR 29? Pinkbike never did a full review of the 2021 META TR 29 (only the First Look) and I was hoping it would make this one. Bummer. Not that it would change anything anyways...I already bought one! It's just my never-ending need to feel validated...LOL! Either way, thanks for the great content!
  • 2 0
 @mkpfaff: Oh sweet! Thanks! I stand corrected.
  • 1 0
 @ttollefsbol: yeah bud, still like your idea though
  • 6 0
 Rocky comes out SWINGING with those geo figures. Wonder if it'll come close to the bigger bikes on the downs. I've got an older 120mm T-Bolt and it certainly holds it's own on the North Shore tech... so I'd love to try and see what these aggro elements can do.
  • 21 0
 Not to jump the gun, but what a bike. I had a few of the previous Elements but this version is a whole other beast.
  • 6 0
 It makes an Epic Evo look like a good deal though. And that's saying something.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy:
Having also owned a few prior versions of the Element it, and the Blur TR, are the bikes I'm most curious about. Leading up to it's release my bet was on the new Element getting slacked out a couple degrees over its predecessor, going to a 67.5* HA (+/- 0.5* w/Ride9). If this one can move uphill as well as the last two versions plus follow close to an Instinct on the way down it'll be tough to beat in regions with an abundance of BC-style terrain.
Of course then there's price weighting to consider.
  • 2 0
 @BenTheSwabian: but the evo has a 66.5 degree HA- is it even worth riding at this point?
  • 1 0
 @Quinn-39: I don't think I get your point. Do you mean because the Epic Evo is sorta neither trail bike nor XC bike? Isn't that the point of "Downcountry" bikes?
  • 2 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Just making a joke about the "everything longer/slacker" trend.
  • 10 1
 i’ll bet that blurred one is the new giant trance
  • 1 8
flag wyorider (Dec 1, 2021 at 10:00) (Below Threshold)
 New Anthem
  • 1 8
flag SATN-XC (Dec 1, 2021 at 10:03) (Below Threshold)
 Anthem
  • 5 0
 @wyorider: ....after posting the same response, I'm not sure it is b/c why would it be blurred out? Giant already revealed the new Anthem
  • 5 0
 @SATN-XC: Its the new trance for sure.
  • 4 0
 @SATN-XC: hiding its bike pubes for the Japanese viewers.
  • 5 0
 As someone not shopping for a new bike I'm kinda glad PB had a hard time finding bikes hahah This spread is much more interesting than Trek vs Giant vs Spesh vs SC vs Norco vs Canyon. Gotta give those small brands a chance to shine!
  • 8 0
 For sure, the smaller guys always make it way more interesting. Like ActoFive and the P-Train.
  • 9 1
 That's what Google lens finds when searched, Giant Trance X 29
  • 1 0
 XD
  • 7 0
 Just checked the used bike section BuySell section on PB... no DownCountry category. Frown
  • 8 0
 Oh I'm looking forward to seeing the Scor!!!
  • 5 0
 And the Formula suspension assessment...
  • 1 0
 @Staktup: Just a shame that they chose arguably the worst version of the Ghost Riot. There is also an All-Mountain/Enduro version, which is a different frame from the Riot Trail. The Enduro and All-Mountain have much more aggressive geometry and also come with the Formula suspension. The All-Mountain version would have been a much closer match to the Stumpy Evo Alloy.
  • 5 0
 Considering they made a post about trek settling on 32" wheels on the post about 36" wheels I'd say that blurred bike is a trek
  • 2 0
 I read that too. I'm really excited to see what Trek comes up with regarding their 32" wheel down country/XC bike. That bike should roll over just about anything!!
  • 1 0
 @islandtrader: I'm begginging to think I know what bike it actually is and it's not a 32" wheel bike. So not a trek.
  • 2 0
 @islandtrader: That was like, satire Bro.

There are no main stream production bikes with 32" tires being released anytime soon. Thank goodness.

At a minimum there are no tires for the things.
  • 1 0
 @SunsPSD: yah I see that I didn't see all the ?? And stuff before on the post. I did get to the bottom of what bike it is.
  • 2 0
 @SunsPSD: Right... because there's no way a company like Trek who makes their own tires (Bontrager) could start producing a 32" tire in all flavors in a relatively short period of time. If Trek sells one bike, the industry will follow.
  • 1 0
 They’re not going to have two Treks in the same test.
  • 1 0
 @islandtrader: Technically, they don’t make their own tires either. I believe Bontrager tires are outsourced to Vittoria.
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: I did not know that, thanks for the info!
  • 7 0
 Can't believe I'm saying this, but that Niner looks pretty bang on.
  • 7 2
 Bang on ugly!
  • 7 0
 IMO the swoopy frame doesn't look great in photos, but it's a sharp bike in person.
  • 13 0
 @mikelevy: That's what Niner says on Tinder?
  • 1 0
 What's the consensus on Niner? I'm not familiar with them so I didn't really get Mike's comment in the video.
  • 1 0
 @mikeu412: you're good...
  • 5 0
 Shockingly the bike I want to see IS here! RM Element has rather caught my imagination since it was announced, looking forward to the thoughts on it.
  • 10 0
 It's a monster, nothing like previous Elements. Pumped on this bike.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: this is what I like to hear. I have a custom build coming in the next few days and I'm super pumped to hear the review so I can get proper stoked before getting my bike.
  • 3 0
 Excited to see the new Blur in the test. I demoed one and loved it. Both the Blur and Epic Evo stick to the formula of bumping up the travel slightly while maintaining modern XC geo rather than adopting trail bike geo with shorter travel. Would be nice to see the Epic Evo as a benchmark though.
  • 3 0
 Serious(ish) question: when does downcountry just become trail? At first it was an overforked 100mm bike. Now with rear travel creeping over 120mm and geometry being more…uh…”donut-like” for everything, the distinction is blurred.
  • 10 0
 Downcountry becomes trail when trail becomes enduro and enduro becomes DH and DH becomes Rampage (with single crowns) and 1993 mtb becomes gravel and gravel becomes XC and XC becomes downcountry and downcountry becomes trail and trail becomes enduro and enduro becomes DH and DH becomes Rampage (with single crowns) and 1993 mtb becomes gravel and gravel becomes XC and XC becomes downcountry and downcountry becomes trail and trail becomes enduro and enduro becomes DH and DH becomes Rampage (with single crowns) and 1993 mtb becomes gravel and gravel becomes XC and XC becomes downcountry ... circle of life really. What was the question again?
  • 2 0
 @Giddyhitch: my brain hurts now, but I think that was exactly the right answer. It was like the last episode of Loki combined with the end of Matrix: Reloaded but with bikes. Thank you.
  • 10 7
 Hey @mikelevy and Pinkbike. You should work on your acknowledgments in this series and generally. How about a mention of PORCA for all their work?.. or Voly builders and the community? First Nations? Missing in your content across the board. You have a huge audience and can be a big positive influence. Should come before the brand support in my opinion.
  • 3 0
 If there isn't a test where there is a group of kids shouting 'Oi mate, do a wheeeeelieee!!' and then you have to see how long you can keep it on the back wheel then I'll be very disappointed.
  • 2 0
 Downcountry Bikes should be timed on laps of the Nimby 50 route (the new one up middle earth). Suggest 3 laps per bike to reduce any bias/error.

Seriously - would you tell us what your test loops are? Would be good to see what trails you are using.
  • 6 0
 Ha, that'd be a great lap, we'd probably have to add a rest day in schedule, though. For the trail bikes, the timed descent was on both sections of upper Hawaii, and the downcountry bikes were timed in the Radio Tower / Crosstown traffic zone.

All of the bikes were ridden on bigger loops too - we definitely binged on all the classics while we were up there.
  • 1 0
 I believe this is the one from the last XC bike Field Test, not sure how official it is though. Pretty ideal loop for downcountry bikes. www.trailforks.com/route/crosscountry-field-test-lap
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: Downcountry bikes should have been a timed descent of Overnight just like the NIMBY50.
  • 6 0
 @shirk-007: Overnight is more rowdy than 98.15% of terrain global Pinkers will ride these "down country" bikes on. Good to keep the trails somewhat more reasonable for the rest of the world to compare against.
  • 2 0
 @btjenki, exactly. We rode plenty of rowdy trails in Pemberton, but for the timed laps we chose ones that we could ride consistently and that were appropriate for the category.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer
serious question - is the rapha stuff worth it's price? I know you guys normally mention the sponsors, but I'm wondering if we can get product impressions of premium softgoods after some "real" extended usage?
  • 14 0
 They were a sponsor for this Field Test, of course, but I do like their stuff. Pads are very comfortable - I hate wearing kneepads in general but these felt nearly invisible. Pants are light, fit well, and the pockets make sense - I hate baggy riding pants and dumb cargo pockets that let stuff fly around, but these are great. The jacket and shorts are a bit baggy for me, to be honest, but I'm on the small side of medium. I can't comment on long-term reliability, though.
  • 2 0
 I can't comment on their new mtb stuff, but I bought two of their classic road jerseys (merino/ poly blend) 10 years ago and they're both still going strong. They're as durable as any riding clothes I've ever bought.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: knee pads? When did rapha make knee pads?
  • 4 0
 @RaphaMTB: ? No comment eh
  • 1 0
 @MillerReid: check out the ones from chromag, same same but different…
  • 3 0
 Really looking forward to the review on the Propain, Element, Scor, and Blur. Although, I will not be able to afford 3 of them and will probably not be able to get my hands on any of them.
  • 2 0
 Let’s be honest, everyone is just going to complain how the test was done and the bike they wanted tested wasn’t, or didn’t win.

So just skip it all and get to the part everyone agrees on: Huck to Flat and what and/or who broke.
  • 3 1
 I'm a bit confused why the stumpy evo is back. Does changing the frame material make it a drastically different bike? I'm gonna guess not. I would have much rather seen a different bike that hasn't received the field test treatment.
  • 11 0
 The carbon version was Mountain Bike of the Year last year, so we thought it'd be interesting to see how the aluminum version stacked up. Also, it was the regular Stumpy that was in a Field Test - the new EVO hasn't been in one yet.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Glad you guys included it.
  • 2 0
 I cut my MTB teeth on solid frame bikes with steep HTA's, and my last bike (retired Dec 2020) was 71 degrees up front.

My Optic is 65 HTA, and it seems about perfect. It would be OK if it was ~66 too, but I don't want it slacker.
  • 2 0
 A bunch of people sharing their subjective apples-to-oranges opinions on a random assortment of bikes I can't afford, and talking about suspension tuning concepts I'll never understand. I shouldn't like field tests, but they're high on my list of favourite PB things! Looking forward to it!
  • 2 0
 Convince me I need short travel bike. My last few years went like this: Trek Roscoe 7 (hard tail) -> Giant Trance 3 -> Canyon Spectral 6 -> YT Capra base all in 27.5. Every time I upgrade I go for more travel and I love it. Riding hard on my local trails, popping of every rock, hitting every drop, rollers.. lots of rocks, roots and hard tech climbs on the trails I do here in Mass and more travel more fun and better climbing the steep tech.. I feel like going short would be going backwards for me
  • 4 0
 Happy I got my Murmur order in just before this dropped. I reckon the Starling HQ will be pretty busy soon.
  • 1 0
 didnt Mike just finish the other field test?? i thought it was a couple of weeks ago when i could still see that intro with the uncomfortable eyebrow lift... Mike must be getting big bucks from PB, 2 field test back to back, the podcast, website mascot, the list can go on...
  • 5 1
 Some of these downcountry bike prices are making my SB150 seem like a budget option.
  • 6 0
 Yeti and Evil are now making some of the best builds for price points. It’s amazing how what used to be dentist bikes are now cheaper than a trek…
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy I need some office trousers that have nice tapered ankles that won't get in my disgusting drivetrain on the way to work. What are you wearing in the intro? Can we get a "Steal This Look" feature in the print version of Outside or whatever?
  • 5 0
 It's the thrift store special uniform that I wear every day of my life haha
  • 2 0
 Kudos to PB for getting such a good lineup of bikes. I was wondering if they'd be hindered by supply chain, but they managed to piece together a properly interesting set here. Very excited about the Hugene and the Scor.
  • 3 0
 As someone whos interested in a new downcountry bike, im going to be deeply sad if they dont get compared to a spur as that currently tops my list.
  • 1 0
 Agreed
  • 5 0
 Would like to se a YT IZZO on this test next time.
  • 1 0
 Same yeah, was thinking it would have been good to see it compared in the mix there. I own one, and it took a few tweaks to get it dialed to my likings, but it's a hell of a bike, be nice to know how it measures up to other similar bikes though!
  • 1 0
 Great reviews and content. It's cool to see "XCish bikes" that are a little bit more capable. I personally wonder at what point do you get mediocre at most thing and great at nothing. I appreciate full commitment to XC almost with racing in mind. Otherwise, get a trail bike and be happy with an all-arounder.... OK, I'll go hide under my rock again.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, and "mediocre at most thing and great at nothing" is what all-mountain bikes used to be.
  • 3 0
 I am excited to hear how you get on with the Formula suspension on the Ghost. I have Formula fork and shock on my Druid and I absolutely love them.
  • 3 2
 Can we get some "real world" conditions for test riders? Why is everyone (short of Henry) supermodel weight, particularly at those heights? Surely a bike is going to perform differently for stick-boys like Mike&Mike than the gentleman or lady who has 75lbs on them...

Or is this a can of worms like the "Who Rides Bikes" comments section?
  • 1 0
 "supermodel weight" lol
  • 2 1
 @pinkbike - love the reviews but please get some 200lb+ riders on your review team. Suspension and brakes perform a lot different for us “plus sized” riders… (oops. Forgot Canadia is on metric system so amending my request to 95kg riders)
  • 1 0
 Did anyone else notice the testers are all between 5'10" and 6'0"? How about a 5'5" tester and a 6'5" tester?
Shorter and taller riders have massively different centers of gravity. If you're short getting your front wheel off the ground is a lot harder with out good geometry, and if you're tall you're prone to going over the handlebars and having the front end lift up on climbs.
  • 2 0
 Sorry, but it's just not realistic for us to have testers of drastically varying heights. Weight, yes. Height, no. We need to bring in test bikes that get ridden by two to four testers, and they need to all fit the test bikes. It's not feasible to be bringing in multiple sizes of one bike, so that's why all of us are around the same height. I'd be far more interested in how the bikes fare under someone who weighs 250lb over someone who's 180lb and 6'3.
  • 1 0
 I love the looks of that Blur and own a couple other Santa Cruz bikes (5010 and Stigmata). I pre-ordered the exact bike pictured (TR X01 AXS RSV) back in mid May after my local shop found out their allocation from Santa Cruz. This was before the bike was even introduced formally mind you.

I have yet to see the bike and my local shop keeps getting different dates from Santa Cruz. First June, then July, then September, then October. Now supposed to be here by Dec 6th but I'm sure that date will come and go.....I've yet to see even a single one of these on the trails or in shops. Does this bike even exist?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer - I know this is a bit late for this year, but for next time can I suggest you take your top-rated downcountry and trail bikes, swap the tyres and see how each performs against against the bikes in the other category. Same when you do a trail bike and enduro bike group test. It would be great to find out how far removed these categorisations are or indeed how much they overlap.
  • 4 1
 So they call the new ghost "full party" but I don't see any bush lights or mullets.... man I hate it here.
  • 1 0
 The real full party was at 3am in the woods. Pretty sure Henry saw some ghosts too.
  • 4 0
 Nice work Ghost getting four nouns into your five word bike name
  • 2 0
 Or is a trail being used as an adjective?
  • 1 0
 @Bobadeebob: a 140mm bike that weighs 36 pounds is gonna struggle at the tete of the de la course for sure
  • 1 0
 Good try counting!
  • 6 0
 They're a German brand - and German is the language of compound nouns. So be greatful they didn't stick all those nouns together into one...
  • 1 1
 True. Looks more like a Trek to me tho.
  • 1 0
 Thanks Pinkbike for this test, I’ve been looking forward to it. But why no Scott Spark in the field test? That bike seems to be more progressive than half the bikes in here and would love a head to head match up.
  • 4 0
 We can only include so many bikes in a group test before things get out of hand. I did review the Spark 900 not too long ago (www.pinkbike.com/news/review-2022-scott-spark-900-tuned-axs-a-hidden-shock-and-all-the-integration.html), and there's a review of its more XC race-focused sibling in the works.
  • 4 0
 Here's the review of the Spark: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-2022-scott-spark-900-tuned-axs-a-hidden-shock-and-all-the-integration.html

We generally try to keep the FT test fleet to bikes that we haven't already reviewed Smile
  • 4 0
 Want to see that Propain review!!
  • 3 0
 The Raaw Jibb gets my vote. But the weight… They should contact Liteville about how to make the frame lighter.
  • 1 0
 My vote as well. Epic shredder of a frame
  • 2 0
 It's just so pretty.
  • 1 0
 I gotta say kudos to PB for including some pretty "fringe" bikes that have not had a lot of press.

I've had a jibb for a few months ths now and like it, but I almost wouldn't be surprised if the review is lukewarm.

Compared to bikes I've owned in the past the front/rear center balance is quite different. I find this makes it pretty sensitive to cockpit setup and front fork setup.

It's definitely a niche machine and not really a plug-and-play type of bike, it takes some work on setup and riding style to get the best out of it.
  • 1 0
 Pulled this quote on the Blur TR directly from the Santa Cruz site..."It's not a trail bike, it's a XC bike for certain courses". Maybe you should be riding and rating the Tallboy instead?
  • 6 0
 But then what does TR stand for?
  • 1 0
 Canyon are doing the same thing, as if it were obvious that if you wanted a trail bike you should ride the Neuron instead of the Lux Trail
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: totally reckless
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer:HAHA! TOTALLY RACING? It's a weird one for sure, some contradictory market speak. Funny enough, the website used to say "this is not a downcountry bike", but that has recently changed. FWIW, I own the Blur TR and have accidentally ridden down country on it. I even took a wrong turn once and hit a bunch of jumps on it. I had fun, My 2 full water bottles soaring along with me. Very curious to see how it stacks up, but I can't help feel like it may be out gunned comparing it to some of the other bikes numbers-wise. I'm like a concerned parent who's worried their child is playing with kids much bigger.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: actually, I just had a thought, is it Trail Race? Is Trail Race different then Trail? I have so many questions.
  • 1 0
 The current Tallboy is a bit old for this test of ‘new’ bikes, and it’s also a lot more ‘trail’ … I owned one for 18 months and really enjoyed it. The frame is super solid, and you can push it into ‘mini-enduro’ territory easily. If you add a Fox36 and a Cascade Link, it can handle some seriously rough and steep terrain without flinching.

The new Blur TR is a very different bike. I’m happy to share more thoughts on the TB4 if you have any specific questions. Mike Levy’s review of the TB4 was very accurate, fwiw.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer:
TR = Twitchy Rowdy. In lieu of cheques Santa Cruz can just send me a size large Twitchy Rowdy.
  • 3 0
 I want to see the Element and Top Fuel go against the Revel Ranger and Transition Spur. But this will do too.
  • 1 0
 YES! That's a Fight Club I'd like to see.
  • 3 1
 Question: -Are 27.5 wheels literally dead?
- Can we have this same downcountry field test except with hardtails?

Ok, I'm done now.
  • 2 0
 Embargoed bike is a 2022 Giant Trance 29 for sure, its the only one on the Giant site not updated as yet for 2022. Plus the old one is old....too old!
  • 2 2
 I'm not going to pretend I read all the comments above, but seriously, am I the only one that was looking almost exclusively at the bike weights? Why would anyone ride a 34lb "trail bike" when they can ride a 25 lb "downcountry bike"? Those light bikes are for sure the ticket! I wonder how many ppl who only recently started riding in the last few years have ever even been on a light bike?
  • 2 0
 If everyone getting a yellow Rapha jacket is a coordinated goof i'm here for it.
  • 18 0
 Rapha were kind enough to colour coordinate the outerwear to the foliage. Really thoughtful of them.
  • 3 3
 @brianpark: should that not be Outsidewear?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer how waterproof were those Rapha jackets? Thinking of getting one..
  • 2 0
 @mattddrchs: not really that waterproof rapha even says it about the trail jacket on website. More of a wind layer. For a wind layer though it’s great and I love it packs into its own little bag with built in strap so I can put on frame when I start warming up.
  • 1 0
 @mattddrchs: there’s a goretex one around the corner…
  • 2 0
 @mattddrchs, it's a windbreaker with a DWR treatment rather than something you'd want to use in a torrential downpour. Still, I've found it to be a handy layer for cooler, drizzly days, and it packs down pretty small for tossing into a backpack or fanny pack.
  • 3 0
 Thought this was a bike falling down test..
  • 47 0
 No, this is where we test fields. Potato fields, corn fields, wheat fields. It's very thorough.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: It's Pemberton. The potato fields always come out on top.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: And Mike goes in for the win.
  • 2 0
 @dadof4: I heard the mushroom field won this time.
  • 3 0
 Let’s go a new tallboy! oh wait…
  • 4 0
 I like Mike
  • 3 0
 New bike is the Trance 29 refresh. 120/130 I believe
  • 1 4
 it has to be the new niner rocket because on mackays strava(he rides for niner) it says prototype and he was at an xc race
  • 1 0
 @Idaho-mtb: No for two reasons...

1) They already have a niner in the mix and they wouldn't double-up on brands.
2) The bike was unveiled in the trail category that's 130mm plus travel only.
  • 1 0
 @Idaho-mtb: I doubt Pink Bike would throw two Niners in the test, but I hope you're right about a new RKT. I'm looking for an XC bike next season and really like Niners (plus get a good hook-up through my LBS) but the RKT had outdated geometry when it debuted - 6 years ago. It's in desperate need of a reboot.
  • 3 0
 GT Sensor for the embargo, please!
  • 1 0
 They are quite past due for a re-boot.
  • 1 2
 It’s a Trek
  • 1 0
 @JohSch: I see how that also looks quite a bit like the first one. Probably is tho.
  • 3 1
 Fall Test? First day off summer yesterday. Put the rack on the car and it's raining today...
  • 6 0
 You need to try flushing a toilet up here. It will blow your mind.
  • 2 0
 How the heck do you have the first day of summer not on the 21st? Is this some strange Aussie voodoo?
  • 1 0
 Also can't wait for the alloy Stumpy Evo review. The 2022 I've ordered is now due in September 2023 . I guess that will be in time for another Fall Test.
  • 3 0
 You have to wait a year and a half??? Seriously?
  • 3 1
 @rrolly: Specialized is in the middle of screwing over all the smaller shops. Step 1 is no inventory to sell. Step 2 is huge wait times. Step 3 is dumping the shop for lack of sales. Happened to my local town we only sell Specialized shop very recently. I’m actually pretty annoyed that I bought a ‘21 Enduro recently from a shop 2hrs away that my local found for me (they don’t allow shop to shop inventory transfers).
  • 3 0
 @rrolly: Edit. Sorry that should be September 2022. Only nine months away. So that will be better than your average nine month delivery!
  • 1 1
 @DHhack: Specialized makes sick bikes that break a lot and then f*ck over their shops? Way to live up to the rep boys!
  • 3 0
 @DHhack: Our local specialized dealer has had more access to bike stock than the Trek, Giant or Norco dealers. They have also been able to tell me when stock was scheduled to arrive a few months in advance, vs the Trek & Giant stores saying "we'll know what we're getting when it shows up", and the Norco dealer saying in January "There's nothing coming until October, and we're not sure what's coming then".
  • 1 0
 @dsut4392: they only do that for large volume dealers in the US. They are actively removing smaller shops and buying out others. It’s a mess.
  • 2 0
 New Pinkbike Field Test. Gets excited! Takes a look at the prices. Becomes depressed. Buys a lottery ticket.
  • 2 0
 Hey, you didn't ask to borrow my Swarf 155 for this test. Hit me up next time!
  • 4 1
 Niner - Ugliest Scor - prettiest
  • 3 0
 Can’t wait for the jet 9 rdo
  • 3 0
 Where is the GRIM Timbit?!?!
  • 1 0
 Tim Hortons
  • 2 0
 Cutting edge geo figures for Run-Bikes coming your way soon.
  • 3 0
 I would love to see Scott Spark here in downcountry category
  • 1 0
 I don't know why I ever think there might be an Evil in one of these. Offering would have been great to see in the trail category.
  • 28 0
 We've been asking for 4 years, and they still haven't managed to send us one yet.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: surprised they aren’t Offering one for test. Right down the road.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: There has to be more backstory than that. Right? Come on PB, air the dirt. If it is not PB then please elaborate on why you guys think they won't send a bike to test.
  • 3 0
 Love all of the subtle trolling from Levy.
  • 2 0
 its,like, how much more unavailable can these bikes be? And the answer is...none. None more unavailable.
  • 2 0
 Interesting that the Murmur is weight competitive with the other longish travel trail bikes. Looking forward to the review.
  • 1 0
 Cotic mentioned it in one of their Geek pages. At some point (for certain uses), strength is going to be critical. If you have room for large diameter tubes and parts are subject to bending or compression (buckling), aluminium might win. But if you don't have so much room (where ankle clearance competes with the rear suspension and tire clearance), steel is actually more efficient as you get more strength for the same weight. Obviously on a bike different members are subject to different loads and combining different metals can be a challenge as you obviously can't weld them together. So it is is always going to be a compromise. And for certain configurations and uses, the advantage tips in the direction of steels.

Would be interesting if someone could braze a bike together from steel and aluminium, depending on how these different tubes are being loaded. You can braze steel and aluminium together, can't you? Or is the solder already too hot for the aluminium?
  • 1 0
 I am very interested in seeing how the Scor measures up. Luv the mint green. Its something different. Look forward to seeing the results
  • 1 0
 Thank you PB for this! Would love to see a part 2 -- DC and XC counterparts reviews. Like Blur TR vs Blur, Orbea Oiz Tr vs XC, Specialize Epic vs Epic Evo, etc ...
  • 1 0
 In the picture of T'szil (Mt. Currie), the river is the Lillooet River and way in the back on the right of the pic is One Mile Lake.
  • 1 0
 Bummed to see nothing from Revel. I'm going on 2 years of sore smile muscles with zero frame maintenance on my Rail, and yet there are so few reviews—why?!
  • 1 0
 I think they reviewed the Ranger last year.
  • 1 0
 Would’ve like to see the new Scott spark reviewed in the down country group. The redesign deserves a comparison against the others from this group.
  • 1 1
 I take it you could not get your hands on any one of several Ibis models for this test? That must be the reason one was not included. Otherwise you would be doing readers a huge disservice.
  • 3 0
 A disservice? No, you're incorrect. There is only so much time to ride the bikes, and these are the bikes we got in for testing. We've reviewed many Ibis bikes, including the new Ripley AF.
  • 1 0
 Seems to be a quite strong European bias this time round. Not that I'm complaining.
  • 1 0
 A positive imo, this is a great field test
  • 1 0
 Actually; way to mix it up a bit. Nice job! Although Santa Cruz always seems to find a spot.
  • 2 0
 You do a good Job Mike! Keep the Faith pal!
  • 1 0
 It would make sense with Giant having just released a new Anthem to release the new Trance shortly, fingers crossed
  • 1 0
 Yessssssssssssss !
The dark late autum season has just got a meaning again, phew Smile
  • 1 0
 Starling sends a bike yet @OrangebikesUK can't or won't. How embarrassing.
  • 2 0
 I'm more interested in those trails than I am the bike. Pemberton you say?
  • 4 2
 Disappointed there's not an Evil Following in this test...
  • 16 0
 We've asked them many times but no luck.
  • 5 0
 Everyone thinks PB has something against Evil, but I’m starting to think it’s the other way around. Whatever the reason, PB’s sister mag Beta seems to get all the Evil bikes in for review.
  • 1 0
 You need to put this as a disclaimer at the start. @mikelevy:
  • 1 2
 I propose XCduro instead of downcountry, Then I can be an XCduro bro and be cool. Oh Oh Oh even better: " XC+" a bit like how an Outside+ membership makes everything better!
  • 2 0
 A ghost in pinkbike, no way!
  • 2 0
 PB Field test > Beta tests
  • 2 0
 scor looks goods. big pass on the rest
  • 2 0
 i see XC and mild trail bikes... whats downcountry or gravel?
  • 4 1
 @mikelevy no 27.5 bikes?
  • 3 1
 27.5? What's that?
  • 5 0
 @gtrguy: It's like if a 26er and a 29er had a baby, and that baby came out wearing aviators while smoking a cig.
  • 2 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: and listening to John Mayer?
  • 1 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: that explains why 27.5 is dying so young.
  • 2 0
 That ghost looks like a poop load of fun
  • 1 1
 Looks like they tried to make the Propain linkage but got confused
  • 2 0
 i am so grateful for pinkbike. thank you guys
  • 2 0
 I feel like the Canyon is gonna have a tough time here :T
  • 5 0
 Yes, you're feeling it right tbh
  • 1 0
 No brand says “huck to flat” quite like Rapha. (re: editing order in video)
  • 1 0
 I must have missed the “yellow jacket” memo …… or is that a Pumkin Spice colourway @mikelevy?
  • 2 0
 Did not know that Alicia Legget was 7' tall.
  • 1 0
 really a pinkbike vs beta showdown with covid coming back we as a corp. need to realign with the current times..
  • 2 2
 Starling Murmur I’m watching to see if this makes it to the end of the review without cracking.
#awfulbuildquality #crackedframes #customerserviceisajoke
  • 2 0
 Any chance of a colab with Cyclingtips for an XC-race bike field test?
  • 1 0
 Possibly for a future Field Test, yup.
  • 3 1
 About bleedin’ time.
  • 1 0
 Oooh my, that's a fine selection!
  • 1 0
 Seat angle’s not steep enough on that SCOR, can already hear it
  • 11 0
 You'll have to wait for the review to find out, but 78-degrees seems pretty steep to me...
  • 1 0
 How do they even get all those bikes up to the top for this video?
  • 1 0
 I still don't know what Down Country means in relation to biking...
  • 1 0
 What a day! Both Pinkbike and BETA released field tests today.
  • 1 0
 So is last year's field test with XC and DC bikes now invalid?
  • 9 0
 Only if you think you need a newer bike, which you probably don't Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I do need a new DC bike so now I’m confused as to which series to base my purchase on. Is it a trail bike or an xc bike?!?!?
  • 1 0
 Id have the rocky and the stumpy i think.
  • 1 0
 Sooo happy to see this Smile )
  • 1 0
 Hmmm.. Pemberton... Nomnomnom Love it
  • 1 0
 Feel sorry for all the trail bikes that aren't steel. Not very fair
  • 1 0
 Would love to see a Mullet run alongside these 29ers
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to seeing how the new bike Scor's Wink
  • 1 0
 How many Timbits fit in that Raaw Jibb pivot?
  • 1 0
 Look at the average price of those DC bikes! Pay to climb?
  • 1 0
 Am I the only one wondering where the new Scott is in this test???
  • 2 0
 Looks like a giant.
  • 1 1
 It might be a Marin, Matt Jones said something about a white bike, and it looks kinda white on the top tube/seat.
  • 1 0
 Can't wait fot the Everesting bike test.
  • 2 1
 Why no Evil Following or Offering?
  • 1 0
 Is that TAPE over your jacket logo?? What is this, a 90's hip hop video?
  • 1 0
 Yes and I wish.
  • 1 0
 That's what you get when your video is sponsored by a clothing brand. The equivalent of a sharpied out Maxxis.
  • 1 0
 The new giant trance is a mullet, isn't it?
  • 1 0
 16,3 kg for a 140mm trail bike??? Outrageous
  • 2 0
 Agreed, it's getting out of hand. But they're also 200x as capable as they used to be, so...
  • 2 0
 I wouldn't be surprised if my Cannondale Prophet is heavier than that. 140mm travel from 2007. Whether these bikes are 200x as capable, now that would be an interesting test. Not sure how to approach this scientifically, but I suggest you ride a section on the modern bike that you fail on only once out of 200 times. Then ride the same section on the old bike and see if you fail every single time. Everything in the name of science. I understand this is going to take time so I wouldn't mind if you'd trade this for the efficiency test.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: agreed, i am looking forward to these tests
  • 1 0
 Shame rapha only gave you one yellow jacket to wear between you.
  • 1 0
 Wow nothing under like 6 grand
  • 1 0
 There was originally going to be a price cap for our Field Tests, but covid means that we're just happy to get some bikes to review. We've done two Value Bike Field Tests in the past and we'll certainly do more in the near future, though.
  • 1 0
 Spesh and Ghost are below 6 grand, ghost even by a considerate margin!
  • 1 0
 mystery bike looks like a giant.
  • 1 0
 Are the listed weights as tested? All the same size and on the same tires.
  • 1 0
 Yup, as tested with control tires.
  • 1 0
 When can we expect the element review?
  • 1 0
 Banger lineup!
  • 2 2
 Canyon quite a bit less than the Trek and axs dropper. Dang.
  • 1 0
 But also has worse geo, it is heavier and it is Canyon so always unavailable...
  • 2 2
 Now all you need is someone who is over 200lbs to test these bikes.
  • 1 1
 I would assume Big S will win in any of the category
  • 5 5
 No paywall yet? Yeah!
  • 1 2
 The embargoed bike is a Trek I can confirm.
  • 4 6
 Not a single 27.5? Fail. Not a single test rider under 5'10'' (let alone under 5'6")? Fail again.
  • 1 0
 Wrong. These are the bikes we could get in for testing, that's all. And all of our the testers do need to be able to ride the same size bike, otherwise how could we do the back-to-back testing? It's not realistic (or desirable) to bring in different sizes of the same bike just to have a shorter or taller person's perspective. I'd be far more interested in a muckiest heavier person than someone shorter.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: totally understand the dilemma in testing the bikes with all riders needing to fit the one size and totally agree a heavier rider (100kg+ similar height ) makes a lot of sense. Possibly highlighting inadequacies and bringing new perspective especially to the efficiency of the bikes. Although you could always put on a weighted vest for a laugh and find a new appreciation for 4 pot brakes.
  • 2 4
 And all 29ers. Such variety. Much wow.
  • 2 5
 New Giant Anthem probably? Wink
  • 3 0
 the new giant anthem just came out tho
  • 1 4
 the embargoed bike is the new niner rocket
  • 2 4
 sad they're all 29ers
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