WELCOME TO THE 2020
PINKBIKE FIELD TRIP
8 value-oriented bikes put to the test on Sedona's unforgiving trails.
Words by Mike Kazimer, photography by Anthony Smith
If you've followed along with the Pinkbike Field Test
in the past, then the idea behind the first annual Field Trip will be familiar. Take a whole bunch of bikes, ride them as much as possible for a couple weeks, and then report back on the pros and cons of each one. What worked, what didn't, what's worth upgrading - you'll be able to watch and read about all our findings in the coming days. Sedona, Arizona, served as our test location, where the dry desert conditions were a welcome reprieve from the seemingly endless rain back home.
We added a twist for the Field Trip – the focus was on value priced trail bikes, in this case four bikes that sell for under $3,000 and four bikes under $2,000. All of the bikes had less than 140mm of rear travel, and we even included two hardtails in the mix. Don't worry, they were all still subjected to the infamous Huck to Flat, as well as the Impossible Climb, which took place on a course that just-so-happened to be lined with a whole bunch of cactus. There's also a roundtable discussion for both groupings of bikes, along with a video that goes over the do's and don'ts of buying a used bike.
4 Trail Bikes Under $3,000* USD
4 Trail Bikes Under $2,000 USD
For our test loop, we selected a short, easily repeatable combination of trails that had a little bit of everything a modern trail bike should be able to handle. It began with section of climbing on the Peccary trail, with a few punchy, moderately technical climbs to get things going. Next came a traversing portion on Hog Wash, where the trail repeatedly dipped into small gullies and made its way up the other side, terrain that served as a good way to gauge how well a bike carried speed. The 1.6 mile loop concluding with a quick rip down Pig Tail, which begins with a short rocky S-turn that leads into series of trail bike-appropriate jumps and drops. The entire loop takes around 12-minutes, which meant that we were able to take multiple timed laps on each bike without completely exhausting ourselves.
There's a brief discussion of the timing results in each video, but as you'll see, that wasn't the main focus of these reviews. More than anything, the test lap served as a way to get accustomed to each bike's handling before heading out for longer, more difficult rides in the Sedona area.
One difference between the Field Trip and last year's Field Test is that this time we didn't use control tires. Why not? It's because the focus of this trip was on value-priced bikes, and if you're on a budget, the last thing you want to do after purchasing a bike is spend even more money to swap out the tires. For that reason, we made sure to mention if the tires were up to the task, or if they'll need to be replaced sooner than later.
We'll be kicking things off tomorrow with the first review, and we'll be releasing the rest of the Field Trip coverage over the next two weeks. Stay tuned!
Photos: Anthony Smith
Additional footage: Lear Miller