2019 Pinkbike Awards: Value Mountain Bike of the Year Nominees

Dec 15, 2019 at 18:44
by Richard Cunningham  
2019 Pinkbike Awards


Value Mountain Bike of the Year Nominees


Before you get too excited, "Value Mountain Bike of the Year" nominees include a much wider swath of the marketplace than we focused upon in our popular under $3,000 USD trail bike series. To make the cut, nominees must deliver performance that meets the needs of experienced bike handlers. We're also looking for up-to-date geometry and component selections that exceed their pay grades. Most of all, we had to like them. "Sharp-handling," "inspiring" and "enjoyable" top our short-lists.

Selecting nominees was made more difficult this year because the industry is waking up to the fact that the mountain bike community isn't heir to the corporate one percent. Smart money is betting on more moderately priced machines, packed with trusted second-tier components that deliver performance approaching, sometimes matching, what we expect from heinously priced superbikes. That said, we'd like to introduce our choices:

Ranging between $2,400 and $5,900 USD, our four nominees span the gamut from aggressive trail bike to downcountry. Congratulations to the Vitus Escarpe 29 VR, the Marin Alpine Trail 7, the Ibis Ripmo AF, and the Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol - spear points of a coming revolution that we believe will be well received.








Why it's nominated

The Ripmo AF earns a place on this list because it was conceived to fulfill this role. Overwhelmed by the reception of its carbon fiber Ripmo, Ibis could have capitalized on the momentum by cloning a longer travel, more aggressive version at a higher MSRP. Instead, the design team surprised us with an aluminum framed version sporting a starting price that would barely cover the cost of the original's carbon frame. The official word was, "We wanted a bike that killed it and shredded on its own - not just a lower-level, more affordable model. The idea was to bring that Ripmo trail feel to a larger audience."

Ibis went further, giving the aluminum Ripmo AF a slightly slacker, 64.9-degree head angle and rear suspension kinematics that suited more aggressive riders. It's got 29 inch wheels, room for tires up to 2.6 inches, a 147-millimeter travel rear end and a 160-millimeter fork, supercharged by a collaboration with DVO suspension that raised the bar a magnitude above anything in its price range. In case you were wondering, that's $2,999 USD, and if you want to spend a little more, you can upgrade components, or choose from three standard builds.

Riding the Ripmo AF, however, is the real joy. With one revolution of its Maxxis Assegai tires, you'll forget everything about price and spec. It's the kind of trail bike that feels as if you've owned it for a season on its first ride. Balanced and capable, the aluminum Ripmo was happy to take on anything we pointed it towards.


bigquotesIbis' Ripmo AF is the right bike at the right time - an affordable, needs-nothing trail shredder with font-line geometry that is an absolute blast to ride on anything from mild to wild.








Why it's nominated

When Pinkbike began reviewing trail bikes priced below $3,000 USD, we didn't have high expectations. Marin was one of the first brands to prove us wrong. Look no further than their Alpine Trail 7. Marin knows that there are a busload of riders out there with skill sets that far outpace their expendable income, so they designed the Alpine trail with a well-built aluminum frame, big wheels, up-to date geometry, enough suspension to take on the big lines, and a carefully curated component selection to squeeze the most performance you can get from its $2,750 sticker price..

Big wheels and good numbers, backed up with 150-millimeters of rear- and 160-millimeters of front-wheel travel made the Alpine 7 a composed descender. Corners were predictable. It could scratch its way back from bad line choices and land off-angle jumps with a no-worries attitude. Climbing and pedaling were in the eighty percentile of long-travel trail bikes, with extra credit for sketchy technical ascents, where the Trail 7 was a hero. We didn't get along with Marin's tire choice, and its X-fusion shock was under gunned for the bike's capability. That said, the Alpine Trail 7's performance leaves little to be desired for modern high amplitude riders.

Modern numbers, a chassis that exceeds its pay grade and top honors in the handling department earn the $2,750 Marin Alpine Trail 7 a rightful place on the start line for Pinkbike's Value Mountain Bike of the Year.

From the review:

bigquotesGreat geometry and contemporary handling should not be restricted to high-priced superbikes. Marin gets it. The Alpine Trail 7 hands you the keys to the kingdom hall of aggressive trail bikes for less than half of what it used to cost to join the club. Let's hope that this trend catches fire.








Why it's nominated

Guerrilla Gravity's Trail Pistol finds its way to this esteemed nomination from the upper end of the definition of affordable trail bikes. We featured the high-end Trail Pistol Race in our Field Tests this year, which is priced competitively at $5,895 USD. The reason that the Trail Pistol appears here, however is that you can also buy the entry level Ride 2 version with the same made-in-USA carbon chassis, outfitted with a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain and a host of name-brand components for $3,840 USD. Sweetening the pie is that Guerrilla Gravity will customize your purchase should your desire an upgrade. The Trail Pistol's asking price, is further underscored by the fact that every build is based upon Guerrilla Gravity's elite-level adjustable geometry carbon fiber chassis that is crafted in their Colorado factory - and they offer custom upgrades and colors so you can tailor your bike to suit your riding style.

We reviewed the Trail Pistol in the "Downcountry" category. With 120 millimeters of wheel travel out back and 130 up front, it slots into the cross-country side of the modern trail bike, but don't let that fool you. Good numbers (75.8º effective seat tube and 66.6º head tube), "Freedom Linkage" kinematics, composed handling and 29-inch wheels made the Trail Pistol one of the fastest descenders in the category - the only contender that excelled on Whistler's double blacks. And, it climbs pretty well too.

Guerrilla Gravity's Trail Pistol earns its turn in our Value Mountain Bike of the Year awards by its custom options, impressive performance and spec' for its asking price, and because it slashes almost $1,000 from its more established competitors at every build level.


From the Field Test:

bigquotesObviously, it's not a bike park bike, but it speaks to the do-everything versatility that is one of the best things about this bike. There are no other bikes in the downcountry category that I would even consider riding in the bike park.








Why it's nominated

The aluminum framed Vitus Escarpe 29 VR comes from Chain Reaction, the UK-based online mega-retailer that knows more than a little about the price vs performance equation, expertise that helped earn the Escarpe 29 its nomination. We reviewed the Escarpe as part of PB's affordable Trail Bike series, where its $2,399 USD sticker price and excellent component selection earned high marks. It ticks all the boxes: modern numbers, beautiful construction, spot-on suspension kinematics, a pro-feeling cockpit, and it doesn't skimp on the essentials.

Vitus starts with a SRAM Eagle NX drivetrain. The Escarpe's 140/140-millimeter suspension is powered by a RockShox Revelation Charger RC fork and a trunnion mounted Deluxe RT shock. It rolls on WTB i29 rims and Maxxis Minion DHF/ DHR rubber, and stops on SRAM Guide R brakes. In short, it's a buy and ride trail bike with a frame and suspension well worthy of future upgrades, should its owner decide to keep it for the long haul.

Riders praised the Escarpe 20 for its cornering magic and efficient feel under power. It's a good technical climber too, and you can trust its predictable steering and calm demeanor to get you down some crazy stuff. Push it hard, however, and you'll find its limits, but it never feels on edge.

Why are we excited about the Escarpe? I'll quote the review:

"Vitus redefines the basic mountain bike with the Escarpe 29. Its component selection reads like a wish list, and on the trail, its 29-inch wheels, 140 millimeters of suspension travel and composed, confidence-inspiring handling will encourage any level of rider to go faster and farther. If you need a burly enduro machine, this isn't your best choice. Escarpe 29 is the ready for anything bike that you'd grab to mix it up with your riding group on weekends and for anything that smells like an adventure."


From the review:

bigquotesVitus joins a handful of visionary bike makers who have nearly bridged the performance gap between elite-level trail bikes and the ones that enthusiast level riders can actually afford. The Escarpe 29 VR expresses that equation quite well.











156 Comments

  • 146 64
 a value-oriented list missing all the major direct to customer brands can't be taken very seriously....
  • 127 9
 Guerrilla Gravity is direct to consumer just not Asian made.
  • 60 1
 Isn't Vitus owned by CRC and also "direct to consumer"?
  • 89 2
 @onespeedbrian: I'm asian made
  • 25 2
 @onespeedbrian: notice the "major" part.... YT, Canyon, Commencal all have maybe 100 times higher revenues than these small brands
  • 21 0
 Like it or not, industry "Best of Year" lists tend to focus on products that were new for that model year. YT didn't release anything new did they? Canyon released the Neuron and Strive (at least they became available for the first time, but those only come in CF and builds start at $3500 and $4000 respectively, so not super "value" oriented (though good spec for the money). They are currently on sale, but usually sale prices aren't considered when talking about value for money.

Edit: I guess Canyon did later release an Aluminum Strive that comes in at $2500 and might be a candidate here.
  • 14 1
 @MarcusBrody: The Jeffsey came out earlier this year.

My impression is that Canyon & YT seem to have got more expensive in recent year and aren't really "cheap" any more.
  • 4 0
 @korev: you're right. Man, it seems longer than that.

But I agree. They're often really good value, but not in the "Holy shit how can they do that?" Range they were at one time compared to the big brands.
  • 32 4
 Direct to consumer pffft.. Don't you mean; here are some cool photos of our always out of stock bikes"
  • 1 3
 @korev: Was the Jeffsy rework really a new bike? Geo barely changed on the thing, got only 20mm longer due to chainstay changes, the front triangle barely changed. I don't think we could call that a 'new bike'
  • 2 0
 @Ajorda: if you look closely at the geo and kinematics -> yes, the new model is practically a new bike. Other than its intended use and slight resemblemce in terms of outline, the new model is a vast departure from the old design. Both are sweet bikes though.
  • 2 0
 @korev: cheap is realtive. They aren't as affordable as they once were true - having a pro peloton and wc teams will do that to you - but spec for spec especially YT are usually a lot more affordable than for instance Trek or Spesh. For YT's pro race versions vs for instance S Works the pricing is not even close. And, without doing the research it is also my impression that big brand mid tier bikes are better bang for buck nowadays - probably due to the competition from YT/Canyon/etc. So we all end up ahead imho - better bikes for less.
  • 1 0
 @Ajorda: No. The Jeffsy changed significantly. However, I agree with them no including it because it's been available for years at the same or similar price point. They've always been good value.
  • 2 0
 No Giant Trance?
  • 49 1
 The Ripmo AF is the perfect bike for that price range
  • 6 1
 Ripmo AF, I mean seriously, does anything else come near the bang for buck as this bike does?
  • 4 0
 Ripmo: the bike so nice I bought it twice!
  • 2 0
 @cole-inman: can you compare the AF to the carbon model a bit?
  • 1 0
 @schlockinz: Your spot on. Insanely good bike and ready to go out of the box. No questionable tire choices or lowend fork, just a great spec that rips the way it is!
  • 4 2
 @MarcusBrody: Carbon- expensive AF, Aluminum- not expensive AF
Surely that answers all your questions
  • 1 0
 @cole-inman: my wife needs a new trail bike. Ideally itll climb and corner well etc. Ripmo AF is a bit more bike than she needs but hard to pass on the value and sick suspension design (all other value bikes seem to have average designs). I'm guessing you love the bike as a quiver killer?
  • 22 1
 @kjjohnson: Our frames are living proof that carbon doesn't have to be expensive AF. You just have to use the latest material and manufacturing advantages.
  • 4 0
 @Svinyard: Just give her your bike and get the Ripmo for yourself. Isn't what everyone does?
  • 1 0
 @zarban: Lol, always a good idea. We are far from the same size tho... Medium to XL.
  • 1 0
 @kjjohnson: I think his question was more about the bikes specifically, the AF and carbon models have a different spec, different geo, and obviously different feel. I think he was asking about that.
  • 8 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: You guys have done an awesome thing and put some of the more prominent brands to shame (I'm guessing they are just chasing that Taiwan/Chinese margin and acting like they can't do the carbon local). Nevertheless, is doing a Shimano SLX spec that much more than a SRAM NX on your cheaper build? It really seems like SLX stuff is an incredible sales tool but hard to find despite being affordable. I'm a SRAM guy at the moment (brakes too...the good ones) but man the NX stuff sucks compared to SLX. I'd imagine you sell more of those value builds if it was Shimano's cheap spec, even if the price was bumped a bit.
  • 1 0
 @goldencycle: Yep! That's it. They are somewhat different bikes in HTA and suspension curve and I'm curious how it translates to the trail.
  • 2 6
flag greenblur (Dec 18, 2019 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 @schlockinz: Demoed a SLX build. Ibis spent all their budget on suspension, tires, drivetrain and dropper. The trade-off is that the frame is heavy, the fabrication quality isn't refined and the paint sucked (both colors are ass + thin looking paint). Heavy/slow asseguys don't help. She wasn't a lively trail bike. More mini-enduro.

It's impressive Ibis sells this in shops for $4k. They cut the "right" corners if that makes sense. Especially the NX build, I'm guessing Ibis is using it as a loss leader to get people in shops and on their bikes, hoping they buy a carbon one later.

Orbea Occam is a more trail-ish bike. Comes in alloy and you can upgrade to Fox Factory and good wheels for around 4k.
  • 3 1
 @MarcusBrody: only similarity is pedaling feel. Both have the DW/Ibis "hover" feel.

Carbon is a trailbike that can't really take a coil.

Alloy is a mini Enduro that can.

Ibis is either using the AF as a loss leader to get people in shops or as a way to prototype new design ideas. Wouldn't be shocked to see a 165mm carbon ripmo.

If they make a Ripley AF, they'll sell a ton. That's the bike most riders need.
  • 1 0
 @kjjohnson: mm mostly but carbon is genuinely stiffer material that transfers energy better and feels better for longer. Arguable about which will fail first. Personally I prefer carbon if buying retail I generally wouldn't suggest its X amount of $ more valuable.
  • 3 1
 @greenblur: True story on the Ripley AF, especially if they bumped travel to 130r/140f (or maybe even 150mm). I think DWLink does awesome with a little extra travel being that its so efficient. Hell the Ripmo pedals dang near as good as a few 120mm bikes I've ridden.
  • 6 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: please stop writing useful things please, we're currently trolling so please don't disturb.
  • 3 0
 Plus it actually looks good, unlike some of their other bikes.
  • 2 0
 The Orbea Occam H20 build comes in at $3000 and comes with an SLX build over the garbage NX build on on the Ripmo. However, the Ripmo is equipped with the better DVO suspension.

Both are great buys and come in at the same price point.

www.jensonusa.com/Orbea-Occam-H20-Bike-2020
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: No, leave the travel on the Ripley alone. If you feel you need a 150mm fork, then that’s what the Ripmo is for.
  • 1 1
 @ninjatarian: Ripley isn't changing tho...this is the Ripley AF! Wink
  • 2 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: To be fair, YT, Canyon and especially Radon have been proving for years that carbon doesn't need to be expensive.
  • 41 1
 No Calibre Bossnut? You guys are missing out.
  • 22 11
 No non-29ers either...
  • 52 13
 @southoftheborder: Pinkbike editorial staff only ride 29ers. They need all the help they can get.
  • 9 2
 @chriskneeland: lolololoolol
  • 5 0
 Seriously....wth?? These are all 3k$ish bikes, which is mid-price. Calibre might be the only somid value bike out there. Not some CRC brand either. Now if only they would get GoOutdoors to start shipping internationally again...
  • 2 1
 @Svinyard: Mid price these days seems to be around $5000,at least here in PB.
  • 29 2
 It’s hard to decide when comparing to my YT that came with a lyrik, superdeluxe, code brakes, dt swiss and NX for $2600
  • 7 0
 Yup, on my second YT, I could have gotten a higher specced model, but the entry level aluminium Capra 29 is race ready out of the box for 2500.
  • 1 0
 And the AL Comp Capra has XT/E13 mixed drive train, Code brakes, and a Fix 36 with GRIP2. Sure the shock is a bit of a low point with it being just a Float X2, but there was nothing on the bike I felt compromised performance. It was under 3k.

I really wanted to get a bike at a local shop and was really looking at the Ripmo and the GG Smash. But that same spec point (GX, Lyric, Fox 36, 4pot brakes) cost $1500-2000 more.
  • 4 0
 Yt is a good value and I had intended to get one last year but they sold out before they were even released so I ordered a Vitus Sommet. It came with full GX, superdeluxe shock, lyrik, carbon descendant cranks etc.. and it was $2400 usd on closeout. Ended up being a better spec for price and a pretty fun bike.
  • 1 0
 How do you like the sonnet @shami:
  • 1 0
 @ejopdahl: I'm pretty happy with it. My only complaint is I would like to be able to run a longer dropper, I like my seat really low on the downhills. I don't think it's any worse than most bikes for insertion length, better than many, I just like a lot of room.
Other than that it's a great bike, suspension feels good, geo is good, had it a year and no other complaints.
  • 1 1
 I agree with them no including the Jeffsy as even though it's a new frame, it remains similarly priced/speced as the old one and they have always been good value, so little is new with it. - A Jeffsy owner.
  • 28 11
 6k and value in the same paragraph.
  • 4 0
 ooooof
  • 11 1
 Did you read the article, or just scroll to the comments when you saw $6000?
  • 2 0
 @littleskull99: That is their top end spec, while the low end is around $3k and is still a decent spec for the price. On top of that, you can upgrade specific components to put your money where it will give you the biggest benefit. GG was on my short list prior to going a different direction and their specs were very reasonable, with an absolute top of the line just over $7k after a couple of upgrades. I ended spending nearly $8k on a full custom Evil build and the spec was on par with the GG top tier after upgrades.
  • 28 15
 While it's a great bike, I don't consider the GG Trail Pistol to be a value bike at $3840. Plus no major direct to consumer brands on this comparison makes this list feel incomplete and not a big picture view of what's available.
  • 13 1
 Vitus is a fairly major brand where I live. Might be different for you though.
  • 21 1
 It says “value” not “cheap”. And I think the Trail Pistol is a great bike at that price point.
  • 5 10
flag Ttimer (Dec 18, 2019 at 5:28) (Below Threshold)
 @FuzzyL: I don't really see the value proposition here. Unless you feel that a half carbon frame with aluminium weight is worth the increased price over the pure alu options by the competition.
  • 18 1
 Came here for the comments about misuse of the value word.
  • 3 0
 Not disappointed
  • 12 0
 As recent member of a new bike clube (to give my father as a Christmas gift) I can say, as far as trail oriented full sussers go, there's no better deal than a Radon Slide Trail 8. For less than 2600€ you get a carbon frame, 12sp gearing, chain guide, 150mm dropper post and MT5 brakes. There's even the 2019 bike for less than 2200€.
Not a single bike on this list comes even close to that
  • 11 0
 "When Pinkbike began reviewing trail bikes priced below $3,000 USD, we didn't have high expectations."

Uhmmmmmm, why? In my experience modern bikes at 3k mark are exactly what most of us actually need and anything above 4k usually gives very little advantage to the average rider. The thing is, when you put an average rider on a nice, well designed 3k bike with legit components, the bike is not the limiting factor. The rider is.
  • 2 0
 @kanioni the most sensible post I’ve read for ages. Totally agree. I have a 2018 Giant Trance, circa £2,600. It is perfect for my trails and skill level, it’s progressed (or has helped me progress) my skills and passes many a super bike on the trails. Put me on a £5k Yeti/Santa Cruz (insert brand of choice) and I doubt I’d be substantially quicker (except for the weight saved from my wallet).
  • 1 0
 @GazeeMW: Unless you paid with your credit card
  • 3 2
 @GazeeMW: Why do poor people always feel the need to justify why they are poor? Hahaha. Obviously kidding. But seriously, you can't say that a 9500 bike offers little to no advantage over a 2500 bike. That is like saying that a $25k miata has little to not advantage over a $85k lotus evora. You really think that extra money saved has no advantage?
  • 3 0
 @Squarepedaler12: "very little advantage to the average rider". That's what I said and that's what I think. Obviously it's not completely equal but it's not like the 9500$ bike gives you twice the horsepower.
  • 1 2
 @kanioni: I respectfully disagree. A 36mm 180mm travel fork is substantially(in some cases more than double) the capacity, load capacity, movement, and stiffness compared to a 32mm 100mm travel fork. But this is why we are bikers. My, as well as many others here, pursuit to get just 1 measurement faster down a mountain for X number of dollars it what funds your ability to buy a bike for less than 3k with the level of tech it has. Not being snobby, but it isnt the 1200 bikes that fuel this industry. Sorry. It is the $9500 bike that does with the 50% markup.
  • 3 0
 @Squarepedaler12: fair enough but these days you can get full on dh and enduro bikes with very decent spec (fox 36/yari etc.) for 2-4k. Sometimes we just forget this 'cause top of the line models often get reviewed. Adding carbon, fancier dampers and more gears sure does improve performance and if it's worth the $$$££€€ is totally up to the rider. Not saying theres anything wrong in spending your hard earned money the way you want. But my original point still stands: 3k bikes aren't the kind of half assed wallmart shed sleds that Pinkbike seems to have expected.
  • 1 0
 @kanioni: ok, I think you and I agree on more than we want to agree on. haha Smile 3k =/= junk.
  • 18 6
 Dude when did we become sick and blinded enough to the industry that feeding us $4,000. bikes is a value? It's like fueling a crack addiction
  • 2 0
 Totally agree. I had the carbon Ripmo, sold that, and bought the Ripmo AF just to vote with my wallet that bikes need to be cheaper.
  • 16 1
 @cole-inman: Lol. You voted by buying a second bike. Got it.
  • 1 0
 @jmvcolorado: this was....funny lol
  • 3 0
 Another magazine had an article earlier in the year titled "Budget Enduro Showdown: 8 bikes under €4000"

I have no idea how €3000-€3999 can be 'budget'.

As alluded to in other comments, 'value' is subjective/contextual. A £5k-£6k bike could still be considered to be good value if what you get in the sum of it's parts is far greater than the asking price.

However, budget should be much easier to define:- low-cost, cheap, affordable.

If you drop £2500-£3000 on a bike with one of the direct to consumers (YT, Canyon, Propain); you get a seriously tasty and gunned-up machine with no compromises.

Given this, surely 'budget' (for normal people at least) should be around £1500-£2000?

One last thing...

I was browsing Propain's website last month. Their most basic build on the Tyee was about £2200 (full rrp, they did have a sale on). You had the option to upgrade to Magura brakes for a mere £13 and for an extra £300 (approx.) You could upgrade to Fox Factory shock and fork.

It is a shame the sizings of the Propains didn't quite suit me, because the thought of having a sweet bike with Fox Factory front and back for approximately £2600 (can't remember the exact price) is ridiculous.
  • 7 0
 For me, its the Cube Stereo 150 C:62 SL29 2020 AT, for cca 3,300€ you have Kashima Fox Grip 2 fork, Kashima Fox DPX2 shock, Kashima Fox Transfer Seatpost, XT 1x12 drivetrain, Carbon frame enduro/trail bike with amazing design, thats just crazy deal.
  • 9 1
 Great selection. The Giant Trance Advanced 2 is also a great option. It has a carbon frame and wheel set for $3150.00, includes a lifetime frame warranty plus 2 year composite confidence warranty. Seems hard to beat.
  • 1 0
 The 29 or 27.5? Both good bikes but the 27.5 has been out since 2018 and definitely due for a reboot. The 29 has been out for a couple years now too hasn't it? So it doesn't really apply to this article. Have heard good things though. Still would rather have an Norco Optic or a Ripley in that category. Both can be had for a decent price.
  • 10 0
 Norco Fluid?????? One of the most capable bikes for 2k CAD out there!
  • 1 0
 My thoughts exactly (but in £ Wink )
  • 1 0
 They did a bikes on a budget video at the end of last years shootouts and the 2019 fluid was on there. It sounds like they will do a similar video this year. Hopefully, they make an aluminum optic at a reasonable price but it might cannibalise fluid sales. The Sight A3 probably deserved to be on this list at $3600.
  • 7 0
 Surprised YT or Commencal didn't make the list. Although their prices have increased over the last couple of years they're are still bargain bikes when you compare them to a Session
  • 1 0
 They will be included in an upcoming shootout. It was mentioned by PB staff in another post.
  • 7 1
 Mountain Bike Industry: $3k is a value bike.

Starving Children of the World: ...

I kid, but let’s not fool ourselves. $3k is a lot of money. It’s the very definition of “Fist World Problems.” No need to wring our hands about it. Just recognize for a second how fortunate we are.
  • 7 0
 any manufacturer that has the good sense to build an alyoo-mini-um frame with top level suspension and reasonable everything else wins this one...
  • 3 0
 So, Ibis is gonna win?
  • 3 0
 Glad the vitus made it - I've had the escarpe 27.5 for a year now and it rips - even made it down the Andorra World Cup DH track (I found myself on by accident) and handled that! Now all stripped for a nice winter respray and rebuild with some new forks and I can't wait to get back on it.
  • 8 0
 GG TP For the Win!!
  • 6 1
 You guys have become completely jaded by touching nothing but high-end bikes all the time and living where you do. No hardtails? That's a real shame.
  • 5 0
 2 years ago, at 2000-2500 USD can get you a bike spec'd with GX Eagle drivetrain. Sad to see that you need to spend 4000 USD now to have it.
  • 2 0
 thank the guy who came up with the brilliant idea that China will pay an import tax
  • 7 0
 No polygon siskiu?
  • 1 0
 I love my T8. On sale for under $2k with 1x11 XT, Revelation RC, Deluxe RT3
  • 7 0
 Trek Slash 8???
  • 1 0
 Came here to say this.
  • 3 0
 Indeed, pretty good value. The remedy 8 is even better.
  • 1 1
 @jurassicrider: right, but only if you like to stay on 27,5, just from the value perspective its awesome with the lyrik.
  • 4 0
 Slash 8 is the raddest bike for the money......all day!

Same rear shock as the big money carbon version, and a $200 damper away from the same fork.
  • 2 0
 Interesting take on 'value category', which clearly is a difficult segment to quantify considering its subjectivity. Might be easier to accept the term if the 'value' model's price were a particular proportion of an 'pro' model price with the same or similar performance based on PB's reviews. For example, the Ibis Ripmo AF might best fit this terminology given it's less expensive aluminum frame while fulfilling it's more expensive carbon sibling.
  • 2 0
 I think this is an adequate list. All the bikes are at least similar full suspension bikes that would last most people a season without changing anything. I pick the Ripmo mostly because your getting a dw link bike that is an all mtn slayer.
  • 6 1
 2020 Trance 29er 2? $2900 with full SLX 12spd, DHF/DHR tires and Fox suspension
  • 2 0
 I'd say Slash 8, but that Trance is a good deal for the price.
  • 2 0
 Another not terrible deal, if you're into the Aluminium Orbea Occam: $2599 with a Marzocchi Z2 Bomber and Fox DPS, SLX 12spd drivetrain (Sunrace cassette). You can then upgrade to Minion DHF/DHR for $49, and Fox DPX2 for $249. I personally would also upgrade the brakes to MT501s for $75, and up the fork to 150mm. Awesome shreddable trail bike for under $3k, with a limited lifetime warranty.
  • 5 0
 The GG Pistol is the best bike I've had, and It cost $1000 less than the equivalent from a big company.
  • 7 1
 No Walmart bikes?
  • 1 1
 This.
  • 3 0
 Even at 300$ they still are a ripoff
  • 2 0
 Mongoose and Diamondback have traditionally been big box bikes, but their higher-end bikes are remarkably decent.
  • 3 0
 Walmart does own a new "high-end" bike brand called Viathon. (check out viathonbicycles[dot]com)

Just sayin'...
  • 4 0
 Just got my kid the polygon Siskiu 1199, amazing bike. Now that's value, stop feeding us your BS pinkbike!
  • 1 0
 This cracks me up. Value described as several thousand.... The best value bike of recent years has been the Trek Marin. At 500 bucks you get hydraulic disc brakes, great frame and good wheels and for someone starting out its the best offer around.
  • 1 0
 Guerrilla Gravity all day. If I was in the market for a new bike, I would go for a Pistola (Trail Pistol with a little more suspension) or another Shred Dogg. I'm currently on a 2018 Shred Dogg and it's the best trail bike I've owned. Rode it in every situation, including a bike park DH trail and it was only limited by my abilities. AND, the customer support is beyond good.
  • 4 0
 2020 Norco bikes? Oh ok cool cool cool
  • 1 1
 “Obviously, it's not a bike park bike, but it speaks to the do-everything versatility that is one of the best things about this bike.”

Do everything except Bike park, and aggressive riding in general? I hate how contradictory statements like that are. Why say a 100-120 mm Bike is a do everything Bike. That’s just false lol
  • 1 0
 Nvm I guess it makes sense in context seeing as they were riding it in whistler. Sorry for the attitude lol.
  • 1 0
 Don't forget about the 2020 Stumpy! That thing is great. I've used that for everything including, Cross country racing, trail, and downhill. My stumpjumper has seen its fair share if hucks to flat, and even urban downhill
  • 1 0
 Why is it very uncommon to see Pinkbike testing Giant bikes? (Very popular bikes and worlds biggest bike manufacturer).
Do they not contribute to PB as other manufacturers do?
Just curious.
  • 1 0
 The Trance 29 got love when it came out two years ago and was even in the PB Field Test. The Reign that just came out got some press but seemed underwhelming. What else have they put out lately that deserves tons of press? XC bikes as a whole don't get tons of press unless they do something different like the Trek Supercaliber.
  • 1 0
 I feel like Marin is continuing to nail the geos on their bikes as the update them. They are not the most exciting in your face bikes, but they do the job they are meant to really well.
  • 2 1
 I can not believe the YT Capra Raw LTD didn’t make this list. That deal can not be beat for the price with fox Factory suspension
  • 2 0
 "Value" is way too subjective... pick a number, like $3000 USD? Then rate the bikes up to that price.
  • 1 2
 This, Finally someone got it. Value is way too subjective. Atleady for this audience who take things far too litterally anyway. Ive not ridden any of these bikes but perhaps with their MSRP, ride quality, component package they do represent a value for money buy. I dunno, maybe not. But maybe so, maybe some users need a lesson on the meaning of the word value and to inderstand that this Does not nevessarily mean cheap
  • 1 0
 That would be the best “budget” bike, value in this sense is getting the most bang for your buck.
  • 2 0
 Strange assortment of value bikes without Canyon, YT, Radon, Cube, Calibre and partly Commencal (used to be higher value).
  • 2 0
 Ripmo AF is a pretty amazing value. $1500 in suspension on a $3k bike is awesome.
  • 2 0
 I just wish they'd make a Ripley AF...
  • 2 1
 No love for the $3150 full carbon Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29? No Radon bikes? No Canyon? No Walmart Viathon?

The list of nominees obviously needs to be longer...
  • 2 0
 My broke self came on here expecting a couple $1500 hardtails.
  • 1 0
 The new Bossnut
  • 1 0
 Sorry, best of 2019 or 2020? These are all 2020 models and we're not available until late fall of 2019 or am I wrong?
  • 1 0
 Radon Swoop 29 is an obvious omission here, but I guess you're only considering bikes that have been in for review?
  • 2 0
 This would have been a great Field Test Category
  • 2 0
 Really surprised the Stumpy Evo isn't on here.
  • 1 0
 Damn. Wish I got back into this awesome sport when I was still a bachelor.
  • 4 2
 No Giant ?
  • 1 0
 How about a 'best used bikes' feature?
  • 4 0
 Boulder Craigslist......dentist and trustafarian bikes all day.
  • 2 0
 @peleton7: there's a reason the pro's closet opened where it did...
  • 1 0
 Word on that. Spoiled brats at CU get a new high dollar bike each semester and unload the barely used one for a song @peleton7:
  • 1 0
 Surprised to see no Canyon. Their whole market is value
  • 2 0
 What about YT?!
  • 1 0
 Ripmo AF stands for "Aluminum Frame" right?? Right. Smile
  • 1 0
 The trail pistols angles you guys posted doesn't match their website.
  • 1 0
 How about the alu Orbea Occam?
  • 1 0
 I LOVE my Vitus Escarpe! Exceptional value for the money, snobs be damned.
  • 1 0
 UUUUUHHHHHHH..... COMMENCAL!!! FULL AXS BUILD BIKE FOR $5,500!!!
  • 1 0
 best way to get a good value bike: BuySell Section
  • 1 0
 Still waiting on that Ripmo AF review...
  • 1 0
 how are 3.000$-5.000$ bikes "budget"??
  • 1 0
 @VZLNMTB: "Value" is a category that weighs performance, longevity, components selection and future-proof attributes as well as the bike's MSRP. We judge a wider price range for this award, so we can reward outstanding values across the landscape of the sport, from enthusiast-level, to elite-level offerings.
  • 1 0
 Pongale #ripmo!
  • 2 2
 Sad to not see the Forbidden Druid in the mix...
  • 1 0
 I`ll take the Ripmo.
  • 1 0
 the new Sunn kern en!!!
  • 2 2
 No Canyon?
  • 2 5
 No canyon?

This review is trash.

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