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Video: Welcome to Pinkbike's 2024 Value MTB Field Test

May 22, 2024
by Mike Kazimer  


Mountain biking is an expensive sport, and for newcomers who have never really thought about the price of a decent bike that first trip to a local shop can be a real eye opener. “It costs how much?” is a constant refrain when someone sees the price of the latest carbon superbike, inevitably followed by “I could buy a (insert unrelated item here) for that much.”

Luckily, you don't need a bike that costs as much as a year's rent to have a good time on the trails – far from it. That's where the Value Field Test comes in. For this edition, we brought in three hardtails and three full-suspension options, all priced under $2,800 USD. That's still a decent chunk of money, but what you're getting for that price these days is better than ever.

Modern geometry has trickled down to even the most affordable options, and brake, drivetrain, and suspension technology continues to improve. All of the bikes shown below could serve as excellent starting points for riders who are starting to get serious about the sport, or even for already-addicted riders looking to upgrade an aging ride without breaking the bank.

Marin San Quentin review
Marin San Quentin 29 3
• 140mm fork
• 29" wheels
• 64° head tube angle
• 77° seat tube angle
• Reach: 470mm (L)
• Chainstay length: 430mm
• Weight: 31.9 lb / 14.40 kg
• MSRP: $1,799 USD
• More info: marinbikes.com

Haro Saguaro review
Haro Saguaro 2
• 140mm fork
• 29" wheels
• 64.5° head tube angle
• 76.5° seat tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (L)
• Chainstay length: 435mm (L)
• Weight: 33.6 lb / 15.12 kg
• MSRP: $2,399 USD
• More info: harobikes.com



Devinci Kobain review
Devinci Kobain Deore 12S
• 130mm fork
• 29" wheels
• 65.5° head tube angle
• 75° seat tube angle
• Reach: 445 (M)
• Chainstay length: 435mm
• Weight: 31.2 / 14 kg
• $1,929 USD (on sale for less)
• More info: devinci.com

Cannondale Habit review
Cannondale Habit 4
• Travel: 130mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels (27.5" on XS)
• 65.5° head tube angle
• 77.5° seat tube angle
• Reach: 480mm (L)
• Chainstay length: 445mm (L)
• Weight: 35.6 lb / 16 kg
• $2,300 USD
• More info: cannondale.com


YT Jeffsy review
YT Jeffsy Core 1
• Travel: 145mm rear, 150mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65° head tube angle
• 78.3° seat tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (L)
• Chainstay length: 437mm (L)
• Weight: 36.3lb / 16.3 kg
• $2,799 USD
• More info: yt-industries.com

Giant Stance review
Giant Stance 29 1
• Travel: 125mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65.5° head tube angle
• 76.5° seat tube angle
• Reach: 445mm (M)
• Chainstay length: 440mm
• Weight: 34 lb / 15.3 kg
• $2,899 CDN (not yet available in US)
• More info: giant-bicycles.com


Testing Info


The bulk of our testing took place in Squamish, BC. Conditions were on the rainier side of things, perfect for finding the limits of budget brake and tire traction. Rupert served as our main test track, and as you'll see in the videos, it has a good mix of rock slabs and roots, without getting too crazy. It's a single black diamond trail that's extremely well built, and can be a good time on everything from a hardtail to an enduro bike.


Who Tested the Bikes?

Dario DiGiulio
Dario DiGiulio
Height: 6'3" / 191cm
Weight: 175 lb / 79.4 kg
Notes: Tech Editor, the king of customization.

2022 Trail Bike Field Test photo by Satchel Cronk.
Mike Kazimer
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Weight: 160 lb / 72.6 kg
Notes: Gear Director, serial cereal eater

Photo by Trevor Lyden
Sarah Moore
Location: Squamish, BC
Height: 5'7" / 170 cm
Weight: 160 lb / 72.6 kg
Notes: Content Manager, maple syrup connoisseur



Reviews, the Huck to Flat, and more value bike content is on the way this week and next.

Pinkbike's Value Bikes Field Test is presented by Ride Concepts
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216 Comments
  • 170 3
 How is $2400 for an aluminum Haro with NX a value? Am I missing something? Looks like an old Honzo frame with fresh paint.
  • 49 2
 It says haro on the downtube, is that not enough value?
  • 41 0
 On top of that, it's a nearly 34lb ht.
  • 74 10
 First thing I thought too lol. Whoever decided to put that bike in the test was higher than giraffe pussy
  • 82 5
 @twowheelfury, you’ll find out soon enough in the reviews. Not every bike gets 5 flaming chili peppers…
  • 3 1
 @nskerb: are you sure they weren't higher than senators socks?
  • 7 1
 It's pink... DUH!
  • 14 0
 An On-One Scandal with GX and pretty similar geo is $1400 USD right now. Parts are a bit mixed, but $1k is a pretty big spread.
  • 8 0
 @FatTonyNJ: Not even fair to compare to the vale of those Planet X bikes. Hands down the best bang for your buck in the game now that CRC is gone.
  • 2 2
 @AppleJack76: I thought you were referring to @nskerb 's comment, you meant the bike
  • 5 0
 Advertising, gotta pay the bills, but yeah, who'd pay $2400 for a Haro when for a few dollars more you can get a FS bike?
  • 1 0
 @sanchofula: or get a polygon t8 for a few hundred less.
  • 2 0
 @FatTonyNJ: I bought a Scandal frame during the pre-order sale October 2019. There was some sort of pound to USD conversion the website didn't calculate. Frame, sealed headset, bar, 50mm stem, rigid seatpost and shipping, $329. I had enough to build it complete (PNW dropper deal at X-Mas, was MORE then the frame). 4 1/2 years later, it has been perfect. I did put a 183mm rotor in the rear and it's very tight (med frame), not sure if the design has changed. Even at $1400, it's a good price for a quality frame. The listed 65 degree head angle is at sag.
  • 1 0
 @oldschool43: I did the same over COVID. Used parts I had, bought a few on sale. Awesome hardtail! I regret selling mine, but new job, moving, and multiple bikes meant it was time to say goodbye. No love for the company anywhere now that Brandt is gone, but that bike is as modern as anything on test today.
  • 97 4
 There is an empty space for Mike Levy... Frown
  • 31 2
 Rest in Power
  • 68 2
 Mike Levy Mike Levy Mike Levy Mike Levy Mike Levy Mike Levy
  • 5 5
 @edrenzi: You can't say stuff like that--is the lad no longer of this Earth? Or are we just mourning his departure from PB?
  • 7 0
 @mikealive: He might have found the aliens he's always been looking for, so who actually knows...
  • 18 4
 @brianpark: I've asked this many a time down the hollow echoing comment hole but...can't we get a Five Minutes of Levy every Thurs in the pod? Anything...ufo's, how to make the best cup of hot steaming Monster energy drank, his latest stank-shun problem... whatever. Is he OK? Just miss our boy. PB is stlll banger... but life is just not the same here, post Levy
  • 6 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: there's a recent feeding off each other 2 hour episode where you can get your Levy fix
  • 3 0
 @ShortJeffsyOwner: I appreciate the reply but… I don't know what you mean!
  • 2 0
 @Canadmos: Uh, weird. Levy now literally looks alien. Not sure how to proceed - except that as this is pod #88 - and I was comment gold callout on PB podcast #88 - I think me & Magic Mike might somehow be linked ???

@mikelevy - are ya out there buddy?
  • 88 1
 Spoiler: For US buyers the Giant wins on price alone. It's $2900CDN, which is currently worth around $99.99USD.
  • 1 0
 We'll collect all that import duty when they cross the border home. That's how it works right?
  • 1 0
 @duncanstrohnd: Ummm, nope. If the "we" you refer to is Canada Customs they wouldn't be involved as an American drives back in from Canada. I'm not sure if the US Customs agents bother much with collecting duty from their own bringing goods back from Canada.
  • 43 2
 YT Jeffsy looks very promising (and costs just 1999€ in Europe now), interesting test
  • 40 0
 don't really think the others have a chance
  • 17 3
 What's also intriguing is that the base carbon Jeffsy goes for US$3,500. That's a well reviewed new design (as opposed to, say, the on-sale Specialized deals on their soon to be replaced Stumpy everyone seems so excited about), and it comes with a spec that's good out of the box (GX drivetrain, Fox Performance level suspension, DT Swiss wheels - I'd probably replace the SRAM brakes, but that's just me not wanting to mess with DOT fluid in my garage). And that's not just YT - there are solid deals at Ari, Canyon, etc.

I get a little queasy every time I see bling bikes hitting 5 figures - but there are tons of DTC carbon full suspension bikes in the USD 3.5-4K range with really solid spec (mid-range suspension, solid wheels, good brakes, non-shitty drivetrains), and even lots of brick-and-mortar deals for only a little more. Back in 2015 when I was shopping, that amount of money got you alloy with entry level everything (and if you actually rode your bike a lot, you'd be swapping a lot of that stuff soon)

As for the bikes on test - I remember what $2,400 bought back in the early 2000s - man, we've come a long way in terms of value and performance.

I'd say the Covid-era bubble has definitely popped - and it's a pretty good time to buy bikes.
  • 18 0
 @twonsarelli: seriously...
The Habit is a decent frame, but that recon fork is hot garbage.
  • 8 0
 @ReformedRoadie:

I've opined before...using a Recon is like bolting a worn-out sofa to the front of your bike.
  • 3 0
 My 2020 Jeff Pro Race is the best bike I've ever had, still going strong! so tempted by the new one but bought the Capra Uncaged 9 last year so might have to hold off for a while.
  • 1 1
 After a few months riding one, I do not regret a single Euro invested on that beauty !
  • 2 0
 @thomasjkenney1024: well…maybe you could find last nights pizza between the stanchions?
  • 1 0
 YT USA also has bikes on sale, and an extra 20% off code right now (halfcab20) - which makes their whole line a killer deal.

The Jeffsy Core 1 is $1,800. The Core 4 with GX Transmission is just $3,600, and the Core 5 with Fox Factory suspension and an X01 Transmission drivetrain is $4,400.

That price/value ratio is so excellent right now that it makes me a little sad no-one in my family needs a bike at this moment.

Heck, at those prices you could get a well-equipped Capra and an Izzo and have the right bike for almost anything, for the same price as a midrange "quiver killer" bike from another manufacturer.
  • 28 2
 I challenge anyone to find a better bang for buck bike than the Polygon Siskiu T9. Fox 36 Performance Elite fork, Fox Float X shock, TRP DH Evo brakes, Shimano XT drivetrain, all for under $2800
  • 2 1
 Had a look, and the build on that bike is solid! Weak point would be the wheelset, and I believe the yoke to shock - which is basically the entire seat-stay - would wear out the shock (per Vorsprung's notes about buckling loads on MTB shocks).
  • 6 0
 I think the Polygon Colossus is an even better value. It's only $2k for a really solid enduro bike. Weight is high (41 pounds) but I don't think I've ever seen a better deal in mtb

www.bikesonline.com/polygon-collosus-n7-enduro-mountain-bike
  • 3 0
 @TurboDonuts: This depends on how stiff that Rotating support link is.
On the spectral for example if that bolt loosens, It destroys the bushing instantly.
My nephew has the collosus and its built like an absolute tank. the seatstay to shock interface is Extremely stiff.
  • 2 0
 @TurboDonuts: even then - crankbro's / hunt sets (and others) on sale here & there. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. It is a solid build tho... I'm not sure I even have any original components on my 2019 Capra (base) frame now... its litearlly a different bike even down to the bearings.
  • 1 0
 I was looking at second hand ones of these for my son, changed my mind when there were 4 bikes for sale on UK eBay all with cracked frames.
  • 3 0
 I have a friend with one, any time I need to convince myself it is a good idea that o don't have one, I try to lift it up. I don't think I've ever felt a heavier bike that wasn't an old school free rider. I'm not sure they even use tubes, just solid metal
  • 1 0
 @TurboDonuts: I could be wrong, but I think this applies to shocks where their mounting axles are perpendicular and they're parallel in Polygons. In this case some of the load would go into the bushings
  • 3 2
 @wburnes: 41lbs? Oof, at least the name is very accurate.
  • 2 0
 @wburnes: Can confirm, is awesome bike. The tires it comes with while very sticky, weight almost 1lb a piece. I switched to some specialized eliminator/butchers and it made a noticeable improvement in pedaling and rolling speed.
  • 28 6
 Go hardtails!
  • 2 0
 Would be keen to see how the Canyon Stoic performs against the other HTs on this test.
  • 3 0
 ...Hardtails - maximum yahz \m/
  • 24 5
 Praying for whoever had to ride the bike that Giant. What a horrifying spec
  • 8 2
 probably sarah because it says size m tested.
  • 20 1
 They must've hired the guy who was creating the spec sheets from Kona...at least it doesn't have Alhonga brakes.
  • 25 1
 The Stance will likely get clobbered by the Jeffsy in this test. But in reality, I'm sure Giant does just fine selling the Stance. Lots of people out there that don't spend their time watching Pinkbike reviews, and instead just walk into their local bike shop and buy a bike that fits them and is within their budget.
  • 1 0
 I have a kid on my NICA team with that Crest fork. poor guy rode a whole race with it sucked down in the travel.
  • 1 0
 @dwhere: is that a RS 35 on the Cannondale? Was wondering how bad it was.
  • 3 11
flag millsr4 FL (May 22, 2024 at 9:44) (Below Threshold)
 @jaredmh: To be fair, does that demographic of customer really need anything better?
  • 10 16
flag ryanandrewrogers FL (May 22, 2024 at 9:49) (Below Threshold)
 The spec isn't even the worst thing about that Giant: aluminum flex-stays providing 125mm of travel are the scariest part. The frame is going to be toast in 3+ years if ridden in mildly challenging terrain.

Flex stays aren't universally bad if done in Steel, Titanium, or Carbon, but aluminum is NOT a good material for repeated and concentrated fatigue.
  • 4 10
flag sideshowmel FL (May 22, 2024 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 I can't believe they are still using a quick release on the rear wheel. Makes it very difficult to upgrade or replace. How much money can that actually be saving?
  • 1 0
 One of my friends has the same spec. Ill ask him to ride it next ride and ill report back.
  • 14 0
 I bought one a few months back. I moved to a different country that doesn't have decent trails to ride and left my other bike at home. I needed to scratch the riding itch however, so the Stance fit the bill without wasting money on a higher spec bike living a place where that would be wasted. The old Stance I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole because of the crap geo and the dropouts, this one however, hasn't been bad at all. Yeah the spec isn't great, but I got a 2024 model new out the box for $1400 on discount, and for that kind of money, I've been more than happy what I bought. I can go out and have fun, and that's all that matters.
  • 2 3
 Nowadays getting something that rolls could be considered a good spec…
  • 1 0
 @The-Wheel: no the in house fork on the giant.
  • 13 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: I'd suggest not looking out the window next time you fly. You're not going to like what you see with those wings.
  • 4 0
 @sideshowmel: The new Stance does not have that...they announced it like a year ago, but it's still not available in US
  • 1 0
 @Spark24: Hahaha such a great point.
  • 3 0
 @The-Wheel: I’m still on the 35 that came on my Stumpy and it’s not terrible. A bit heavy and not great in the rough stuff, but handles most everything OK (IMO)
  • 3 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: Merida would like to have a word...... I've got one of their onesixty alloys with 'flex stays'
since release and its been an absolute tank... beautiful Quality.
  • 2 0
 @sideshowmel: the Stance has a rear thru axle. That was one of the new features from the previous gen.
  • 1 1
 @hardtail29errba: if they'd ever release it in the US....they announced it over a year ago and no word on it yet.
  • 14 0
 Good to see this part of the market highlighted. It's easy to think that mountain biking has become too expensive when you're always looking at bikes over $5k USD. I tell people frequently that the bikes you can get now for $1,200 are so much better than they were 10+ years ago: more durable, better suspension, better brakes, better more reliable 1x drivetrains and ride so much better with 29er wheels, high volume tubeless tires. It's a great time to be a new entry-level mountain biker.
  • 22 7
 Everybody seems to be pumping up the YT, but it's a 36lb trail bike. That thing is a tank. Add to it YT's nonexistent customer service/support/warranty and I'd be very skeptical.
  • 4 0
 The Jeffsey has a way burlier and better build than the habit, lyrik vs Recon, exo+ minions vs rekons, 4 piston brakes with 200mm rotors vs 2 piston/180mm rotors on the habit. I’d happily pedal around the extra .8 pounds.
  • 1 1
 @xciscool: Having a burly build is fine, and I'm not saying that the Habit is a bike I'd want, I'm just saying that the Jeffsy is a tank compared to bikes that it's supposed to be competing with. It's not an enduro bike, it's a 140mm trail bike. 36 lbs is about 3.5 pounds too much for a bike that's probably going to be ridden by most people as an overly capable xc bike.
  • 1 0
 @skywalkdontrun: why do you assume people buying the bike will use it as an XC bike? No argument there are better bikes if that’s what you are doing.
  • 1 1
 @xciscool: Because that's what 90% of people who buy a trail bike ride. I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all! I'd describe all of my rides as at least partially xc. In my mind a trail bike should be able to hang with xc bikes on the climbs and flats (or at least not get completely dusted), and outpace them on the downhills, while having enough travel to plow through the occasional rock garden or send the occasional huck that wouldn't be possible with a down/cross country bike. This ain't that. If I'm going to pedal a 36lb slug around, give me at least 20mm more travel front and rear, and make sure that the climbs are smooth and the descents are rowdy.
  • 2 0
 @skywalkdontrun: It's strong and it's cheap, and therefore as per Bontrager's law, not light. A 160 bike with a similar pricetag would probably be heavier again. I'm a fan of the trend of recent years where cheap bikes are more often strong and heavy than light and flimsy. Yes, many people will buy this when they would be better off with an Izzo. That's not the bikes' fault.
  • 1 0
 @skywalkdontrun: YT make the Izzo. Stop worrying so much about the what category the bike is in. Charles Murray is leading the EDR overall on a bike 5mm more rear travel. I doubt the frame is much heavier than a stumpy evo or fuel ex alloy frame. It just has cheap components. If they called it an all mountain bike would it make you happy you lol
  • 22 4
 No motors how do you expect people to get uphill
  • 16 0
 Like the look of that DeVinci.
  • 2 0
 All the numbers look very good on that one.
  • 6 1
 Canadian made alu frame too!
  • 3 0
 I have that one as the 2021 model, which is pretty much the same. It's a great bike, especially for that price.
  • 11 0
 Can someone tell me why especially for the less expensive/high end bikes they dont just set em up with 11 spd and a 28 or 30t chain ring? Less weight. Less finicky damn near similar ratio. Maybe just being forced into it idk.
  • 4 0
 I would guess that they use 12 speed as a marketing thing. You could have this budget 11 spped bike, but for a little more you get this 12 speed bike that has a similar drive train to that 5k bike over there.
  • 12 3
 So we basically get the under 3k test and the over 10k test, with a few direct to consumer exceptions on the 10K side. I would guess that most riders fall in that middle section being ignored. With that being said, I will watch them all anyways.

but I'd really watch a $4k-$8k test at some point.
  • 5 0
 Sagoodpoint
  • 2 1
 They’ve said it’s hard to get press bikes that aren’t top spec.
  • 3 0
 @sfarnum: they could buy them like everyone else, and then it wouldn't be so hard for Pinkbike to flip them once they're done
  • 1 0
 @sfarnum: Good info. A bit of irony in Pinkbike going - we can't get a free (or heavily discounted) bike in the price range 80%- 90% of you will buy a bike at so we will review the higher end version you can't afford because we get that one free (or heavily discounted)
  • 2 0
 @popo822: We don't "get bikes for free" for testing. Virtually all test bikes are loaned to us and we return them after the fact.

The end of year field test is generally high end stuff because we're looking at 2025 models, and brands are loathe to arrange mid-range specs for media samples. These are usually unreleased bikes at the time we are testing, so it's not like we could even go and buy mid-range at a store.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: kind of splitting hairs there between "get bikes for free" and they are loaned to us and returned.

As I said in the first place, I'm watching and enjoying anyways.

Never intended that to be shit talking. Just pointing out most buyers are in the middle somewhere and most content pink bike or anywhere else is either value bike or top end bike. I'd definitely be interested if the brands see that in their sales numbers or if it shows something else though.
  • 12 1
 That Jeffsey is a steal and look to be on sale right now making it an even better deal
  • 8 0
 at $1999 USD that's an incredible deal
  • 6 0
 The inline video player continues to suck. Typically it's too small, so I'd rather watch it on YouTube. This one is too big (I'm not baller enough to have a 4k monitor), so I'd rather watch it on YouTube.

Excited for the field test, though!
  • 7 0
 No polygons??? Every year I wonder why there are no polygons on the value field tests… almost every one of their bikes are under 3k lol
  • 3 0
 Pinkbike included the Siskiu T8 in a 2021 group test.
  • 2 0
 Because there would be an undisputed champ at that price point.
  • 9 1
 By default, that Haro has to win on this site right?
  • 38 1
 Well it has bmx background
  • 12 0
 @bok-CZ: and it is a PINKbike...
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: is it?

Yeah I got that Wink
  • 4 0
 Pepto Saguaro
  • 8 0
 Good stuff! Major props for testing the bikes stock,as it always should.
  • 8 0
 how didn't the 951 trail from costco make this?
  • 1 3
 Big problem is it only comes in one size.
  • 1 1
 @novajustin: Costco only stocks one size in their warehouse. If you buy elsewhere, all sizes avail.
  • 2 1
 @Chondog94: i've seen posts about people finding other sizes.
  • 4 0
 In 1989 I paid $1,200.00 (just over $3,000.00 in todays' dollars) for a Cannondale SM900 Red Shred. It was 100% rigid, had 26" wheels, rim brakes, 3X drivetrain, and no dropper post.

I'd say any one of these bikes are a great value......
  • 9 3
 In what planet is anyone buying these bikes over the the 50 or so much better bikes that are heavily discounted right now?
  • 15 1
 The sales won’t last forever…
  • 9 0
 They did note that the Devinci is on sale for even less. Plus it's a Canadian made ALU frame.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: but these will be discounted if current inventory clears. When FOXF releases new dampers, existing stuff is additionally devalued...race U to the bottom
  • 1 0
 @ratedgg13: the Kobain is already a heavily discounted better Canadian bike! Let's see if the Saguaro is on sale by the time the Devinci sells out. Used market seems decent about now

@pmhobson: *if and by the time current inventory clears. Probz I should be more concerned over the 'downward pressure' of USA national debt...

@chriskneeland: an example would have been nice
  • 4 0
 I'm really interested in how the Marin fares. MSRP is the lowest here and on paper the spec and geo look great. Considering one for my younger son.
  • 2 0
 Andrew Major at NSMB wrote about his and his daughter’s Marins frequently.
  • 7 1
 A moment of silence for 27.5" MTB...
  • 5 0
 Whatever happened to all that "choice" stuff we're supposed to be so spoiled with?
  • 2 0
 I'd like to see how the older geo (albiet still a steep head tube angle) does w/ the 445 reach compared to typical 475+ or large.

honestly, if you are taking longer, slacker, lower bikes to trails you are crushing with conservative geo, you likely aren't going to improve your strava times.
  • 2 0
 The industry is pulling the wool over unsuspecting bike buyers with the “value” bikes. Just like the 30% off sale bikes around at the moment. If you look closely you are getting the same frame but everything else is down spec’d considerably. Low spec suspension, drivetrain and components. A value or 30% off bike today is not the same as it was 3 years ago !
  • 1 0
 "Overpriced rubber" - ain't THAT the truth! Tires are the razor blade & printer ink part of the MTB business. Ridiculous prices compared to cost of mfr.

Also nice to see some color in the lineup. The monochrome or murdered look is played and tired. Reminds me of the 1930's pictures of Russians.
  • 3 0
 To the people who think these featured bikes are STILL too expensive, go watch Sam Pilgrim's FREE BIKE CHALLENGE for some reviews in your budget range.
  • 1 0
 Why are all value bikes trail or XC bikes. I'm more interested in value/mid range enduro bikers. Please do a group test to find the cheapest bike that is adequate for a mix of enduro racing, light freeride, bike park, and alpine epics.
  • 4 0
 Jeffsy will be the best bike on test by far
  • 2 0
 Dumb question, but would comparing geo of a FS bike in its sag position la better way to compare to HT geo?

Think about it…
  • 5 0
 What about sagged hardtail geometry?
  • 2 0
 @b-rider: Yeah OP has it backwards.
  • 3 0
 Haro coming in a bit hot with the pricing. Funny for a brand trying to be a thing again all of a sudden.
  • 1 0
 Praying for a bike that comes with half decent wheels even on mid-range bikes. Most come with boat anchors for wheels unless you're above the 5K bracket (I'm looking at you Rocky Mountain)
  • 1 0
 HARO!!!!! I'm rooting for the pinkest pink-bike bikiest of them all. I had a Haro bmx bike in jr. high and I rode that thing daily. It was rad. I don't know what happened to it.
  • 1 0
 I just got my Jeffsy core 1 TODAY and i'm sorry but in term of value, this is the clear winner. Especially since they are all discounted 25 or 30% rn. Insane bike for the price
  • 4 5
 The Pinkbike value field test is like going to a Tag shop for a budget watch.
You can get a Carrera Valour from Halfords for £300
Let's see a true value field test PB and get them shredding hard.

www.halfords.com/bikes/mountain-bikes/carrera-valour-disc-mens-mountain-bike---silver---xs-s-m-l-xl-frames-504814.html?_gl=1*17ly9nm*_up*MQ..&gclid=CjwKCAjwr7ayBhAPEiwA6EIGxK3869N75S2Trbw24h4YYguXhbgKNsayFLg2yCvNHAgACkdh3hEsmxoCsLUQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
  • 32 0
 @mikekazimer and I were just talking about how we should do a $500 feature at some point. Or maybe a $1000 challenge (500 for bike, 500 for upgrades).

What bikes would you want to see in there?
  • 5 1
 @brianpark: Kent Trouvaille mountain bike from Walmart
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: it would be interesting to see a modern budget bike, upgraded, compared to a used bike, also upgraded for the same total price
  • 5 1
 @brianpark: The Ozark Trail Ridge, sold at Walmart
  • 12 0
 @BenLow2019: I think doing something on how we'd upgrade an Ozark Trail Ridge for a total of $1000+tax would be interesting.
  • 11 0
 @brianpark: Seth's bike hacks already did it. Also don't give $$ to Walmart...

Start with a basic frame like a Rockhopper or Giant Talon.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Seth from Berm Peak pretty much did this. Agree it is interesting! www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_nq5RsJSg8
  • 12 0
 @ridedigrepeat: Damn it Seth. I should apparently spend more time on YouTube.

As for being picky with your dollars, I think it's a lot harder to do that in the ultra-value space. I make a personal choice not to buy big box stuff where I can, but I hate that we turn our noses up at truly cheap bikes. Like, I get it, but it's also all that some people can afford and I don't want to put up barriers for kids from low income households getting into the sport.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: that is totally valid, but PInkbike has a buy/sell section. There are tons and tons of used rockhoppers, talons, marlins, etc. floating around.

Those folks would be way better off with an old one of those vs. a new Walmart bike of equal price.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: I was shocked to see how acceptable my dad’s Costco Northrock hardtail was. Mech disc brakes, frame by giant, WTB tires, Altus (but not tourney)
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Muddy Fox Roadrunner
  • 3 0
 @ridedigrepeat: Seems like most people who would be in the market for a cheap bike from walmart. Wouldn't have a clue if they were getting a solid used bike or someone's roached out ride from the PB buy and sell.
  • 10 0
 @brianpark: Why not a staff challenge. Give each person a budget and buy/build the best bike possible. New or 2nd hand. Top gear style almost.
  • 1 0
 @whiskybiker: yes and they probably wouldn't be viewing an article or video on PInkbike... so no worries then!
  • 5 2
 @ridedigrepeat: I mean, not yet, but that's an important entry point to the sport. And despite all the banter about Outside, it's nice to have a channel to put content like a department store MTB shootout in front of potential mountain bikers.
  • 2 0
 MBUK used to do this years ago. It was £200-300 and what was actually rideable ! Became more like £5-600 but its still a neat idea.
  • 2 0
 @EzraZ5Zhq: I have a 2nd hand £1k1 DH bike that I race (2016 trek session 9.9)
It was the one that RC raced (when he didn't win) Hardline, and the one he crashed spectacularly too.
It's pretty much untouched since he raced it in 2016 and has served me well. If I upgraded the bike I would probably go no faster this weekend at Fort William, with age comes a known comfort speed, the bike might make a 2s difference on a run but that's about it if I spent 4 to 5k on a new bike. Don't think it's worth the outlay at my age and for a few races a year.
(I paid £1k1 for tallboy, £1k3 for my slightly beaten up orbea eeb, £120 for my CX bike, £100 for my road bike, hunting bargains takes time though).
  • 2 0
 @ridedigrepeat: Ah, rockhopper and talon, actual entry level bikes. Bikes you could actually convince a newcomer to buy.

Finicky $2500 bikes are not for newbies.
  • 1 0
 I once found abandonned in a parking lot a stripped frame of a similar quality MTB looking bike from a general sports good retail chain.

There was a clearly visible sticker on the frame saying that bike wasn't meant to be used off the pavement. So really some of these bikes aren't mountain bike but just MTB shaped road/city bikes. Like most SUVs nowadays aren't more capable than the regular hatchback off pavement.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: I'm all about the budget/entry level reviews - Everyone has to start somewhere, and too many review sites these days seem to be filled with articles regurgitating OEM specs without providing any insightful feedback.
I am curious to see where this goes. I understand the value to someone who already owns a $500 bike and is more likely to perform incremental upgrades, but wonder if starting with a $500 bike plus $500 upgrades ends up anywhere close to a $1000 bike? Marin SQ1 comes to mind for a good value, I'm sure there are others.
Also taking into account that someone with a $500 bike is less likely to have the comfort level to perform upgrades at home - Are shop rates taken into account with the upgrades?
Sorry to complicate the matter, I think this will be a fun exercise no matter how you handle it!
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: An Intense bike built by CostCo?
  • 3 0
 Which one of you is riding with the saddle angles like that on the Jeffsy?
  • 6 0
 Undoubtedly that is Dario
  • 3 0
 Ooooo that Marin looks good!
  • 2 0
 I'm sure the Stance used to be a sub $2K full-sus, and the Trance could be had for under $3000?
  • 1 0
 Interestingly, all these bikes are heavier and more expensive (maybe except with the Marin where it would be a tie) than my Fat Bike.
  • 2 0
 great, a new field test Smile
  • 4 3
 Good good, no headset tourism. Don’t give publicity to bikes that have it.
  • 4 2
 Mountain biking and value have never met in a sentence before!
  • 2 0
 Not since last year's test, eh?
  • 2 0
 You had me at young and supple.
  • 2 0
 Can’t wait for huck to flat
  • 2 1
 I just bought my two boys Honzos. They're perfect for where we live and we're a good value.
  • 2 1
 For the hardtail enjoyers, bird in the UK also has some phenomenal budget friendly bikes. Had a zero 29 and loved it.
  • 1 0
 I'm a little disappointed the newest orbea laufey didn't make it into this review series.
  • 1 0
 With the sale prices on some bikes these days, none of these are a great value.
  • 1 0
 I know they are not goose-stepping in that promo photo, but I had to look closely.
  • 1 0
 Honestly, you could get sooo much more on the used market right now, for 2800$
  • 1 0
 Not in Canada... used bikes selling for nearly as much as new.
  • 1 0
 I, too, very much enjoy cereal.
  • 1 1
 Canyon Torque Alum 5 2.5k seems like a screaming good deal when compared to some of these hardtails.
  • 1 0
 How is the harp as much as a Cannondale habit
  • 1 0
 I take that back, of course a harp is more expensive lol
  • 1 0
 The Core 1 Jeffsey is $1999 USD - That's a good value
  • 1 0
 Looks like they left Dario’s seat angle set up for the video
  • 2 0
 what's the stack?
  • 1 0
 Didn't watch.. don't like adds.
  • 1 0
 "not only is it one of my favorite prisons" lol
  • 1 0
 How about the Poseidon Norton? Stumpjumper alloy?
  • 1 0
 Nice
  • 3 2
 no marin, no test
  • 9 0
 There is one..?
  • 2 0
 you mean "no FS Marin, ... "?
The Marin Rift Zone 2 29" would fit right in this set of bikes: www.marinbikes.com/bikes/2024-rift-zone-29-2
  • 2 3
 In this day and age I would consider anything under 4k to be value.
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