Ridden & Rated: 4 Trail Bikes Under $3,000

Oct 13, 2018 at 15:52
by Richard Cunningham  



Why doesn’t Pinkbike review bikes that I can actually afford? Well, we do. I started testing mid-priced bikes back in 2017, and in this comparison I compare the first four trail bikes from this ongoing series. Priced under $3,000 USD, the following quartet explores the genre’s range of technical options, like wheel diameters, suspension technology, drivetrains, brakes, and cockpit arrangements, and also the choice to purchase from a shop or online.




Polygon Syskiu T8 29er
Diamondback Release 3 review
Giant Trance 2 2018
patrol 672


The Contenders: Four bikes from distinctly different brands

Diamondback's Release 3 has an MSRP of $2,849, rolls on 27.5-inch wheels, and packs 130 millimeters of rear-wheel travel, paired with a 150-millimeter fork. The Release is designed for the pointier end of all-mountain, with modern numbers and a tough aluminum chassis.

Giant's Trance 2 is priced at $2,890, and, in the Giant tradition, has a tough-to-match component selection. Its aluminum frame sports stable trail geometry, 140 millimeters of Maestro suspension travel backed up by a 150-millimeter fork and also rolls on 27.5-inch wheels.

Patrol's 672 is manufactured in its Indonesia factory and the brand has only recently entered the North American marketplace. Retailing for $2,899, the 150-millimeter-travel aluminum 672 strikes a modern profile, with a linkage-driven four-bar rear suspension and all-mountain frame numbers.

Our final contender is also the only one with 29-inch wheels. Polygon's Siskiu T8 also hails from Indonesia and is remarkably well appointed for its low, $2,499 asking price. With 140 millimeters of travel on either end, respectable numbers, and impressive pedaling, the Siskiu is tailor-made for adventurous trail riders.





Patrol's 672 has the looks, numbers, and nearly all of the components to make it a top-performing trail bike. On the scale, the medium-sized bike topped out at 32.4 pounds, which is borderline heavy, but still in the hunt at the $3,000 price range.

Riding high in its plus column, the Patrol's sturdy aluminum chassis has a well executed 150-millimeter-travel four-bar suspension that holds up well in the mid-stroke and doesn't shy away from boulder fields. The frame can handle long-stroke droppers and there is ample stand-over clearance, which allows riders who want a longer reach than its slightly dated geometry affords to go up a size.

Plus-side components include its well-matched 160mm RockShox Yaris RC fork and Monarch RT shock combo, wide handlebar and sharp-shifting Shimano SLX transmission. I also liked the capable stopping power that its 203/180-millimeter brake rotors produced from the bike's relatively ordinary SLX brakes.

The 672 falls behind on the details, some which, like the absence of a dropper seatpost, are inexcusable, while others are nuisances that can be addressed as those components near their service lives. The rickety rear axle QR was woefully underpowered for the bike's rigid chassis and its old-school Sun Ringle Inferno rims were neither tubeless-ready nor wide enough for a modern trail bike. Finally, many riders will decry its lack of down-tube bottle mounts.
672 Details:
• Intended Use: All-mountain/Enduro
• Aluminum chassis, 150mm-travel four-bar rear suspension
• 27.5" Wheels Boost axle spacing
• Threaded bottom bracket, ISCG mounts
• Shimano SLX one-by 11-speed transmission
• RockShox Yari RC Solo Air fork, 160mm
• RockShox Monarch RT shock
• Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-large
• Weight: 32.4 pounds/14.74 kg (medium)
• MSRP: $2899 USD
• Contact: Patrol Sports


patrol 672

In two sentences: Patrol's 672 is a capable handling machine that thrives on the downs and, while it requires more effort than some to climb and accelerate, it aces technical steeps. This bike has all the basics dialed, but needs to go to finishing school to compete at the top of the $3,000 class.

Read full Review



• Strong, good handling chassis
• Ample travel, good suspension
• Shimano SLX transmission


• No dropper post
• Average climber
• Needs some minor upgrades






Ahead of its time, the Release 3 pairs a short-travel 130-millimeter rear suspension with an all-mountain-strength chassis to create a lively handling monster that can survive enduro-intensity downhills and still deliver an inspiring performance on bike park jumps and flow trails. Some of that versatility is the product of its 150-millimeter-travel RockShox Pike RCT3 fork and Monarch Plus shock.

At the heart of Diamondback's do-it-all trail bike is its "Level Link" suspension configuration, which may be the bike's stand-out feature. Few all-mountain bikes feel this good under power without their low-speed compression dials cranked up to Cowboy. By contrast, the Release 3 is easy on the legs while climbing with the shock left wide open and the suspension tuned for the downs.

Diamondback missed the mark in a few places. The first being a short, 125mm dropper post where a 150 should be standard fare. I question the old-school 73-degree seatpost angle now that it's recognized that steeper is better for technical climbing, but I am sure that its designers are lamenting that they opted not to put water bottle mounts inside the front triangle. My final peeve - its slippery Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires - has since been rectified, which leaves very little to complain about.

In two Sentences: From the review: The Release 3 is a "good choice for an accomplished all-mountain sender who wants to step down from an uber-capable squishy 160-millimeter enduro bike to
Diamondback Release 3
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Travel: 130mm rear / 150mm front
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Frame construction: Aluminum / Level Link suspension
• Head angle: 66º
• Chainstay length: 425mm
• Colors: Black
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 30.05 lb (13.66 kg) - size medium, w/o pedals
• Price: $2,849.99 USD (*May 2018 )
• More info: Diamondback


Diamondback Release 3 review
a more playful, cross-country friendly machine, but still wants to go big on features." Diamondback sells consumer direct, so your Release arrives at your doorstep pre-tested, 90-percent assembled, with a needs-nothing build.

Read the full review.



• "I got this" technical skills
• Impressive climber
• Ready to shred build


• No 29er option
• Slack seat tube angle
• Needs a bottle mount






"The secret to the longevity of this 140-millimeter-travel all-mountain bike is a long string of improvements, which have made the Trance as reliable as a three-pound hammer."

Component selection separates the best from the rest in the affordable mountain bike ranks, but all is for naught if good parts are hung on a mediocre chassis. Giant's Trance 2 hits the mark on both counts, with its trail-proven 140-millimeter-travel aluminum frame, and an intelligent parts selection based upon a Shimano SLX drivetrain. Climb aboard, and everything falls into place. Hit the trail, and you'll discover a useful gear range, grippy tires and mistake proof handling.

The Trance's familiar profile, 27.5-inch wheels and Maestro dual-link rear suspension may seem long in the tooth, but there is no questioning its performance on the trail. Giant's suspension tunes are selected to erase the chatter and keep the tires carving up the corners, and there always seems to be enough travel in the bank for big hits. The same can be said about its impressive Fox 34 Rhythm fork.

Pedaling firmness is not as sharp as I like, but the bike maintains momentum well, and the flip-side of that softer suspension feel is the additional grip the Trance delivers while scratching up pointy climbs.

Any valid complaints about the Trance 2 would be
Giant Trance 2 Details
• Intended use: AM/trail
• Travel: 140mm rear / 150mm front
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Frame construction: Aluminum, dual-link Maestro suspension
• Head angle: 67º
• Chainstay length: 435mm
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 29.8 lb (13.55 kg) size large, w/o pedals
• Price: $2,890 USD as tested
• More info: Giant Bicycles


Giant Trance 2 2018
related to its conservative Shimano drivetrain, which helps keep this bike under 30 pounds, but has a limited range compared to SRAM's 11-speed options. Nit-pick, for sure, but Giant is tough to beat on its builds.

Two sentences: The strength of Giant's Trance 2 is in its proven build and performance, and also that they sell through bike shops, so you'll get the size and assistance you need to assure your riding experience. From the review: "After riding it for a number of months, I'd say it's a great value for riders (with or without skills) who want an affordable "needs nothing" all-mountain bike that can be trusted on any trail short of a DH run."

Read full review.



• Well made, good component spec
• Good technical climber
• Fits a water bottle


• Pedal smacking BB height
• Narrow rims
• Conservative geometry






Polygon's latest trail bike bears no resemblance to their rule-breaking XquarOne. By contrast, the 29-inch-wheel Siskiu T8 blends the better aspects of contemporary all-mountain/enduro designs into a sharp-handling, all-purpose trail bike. Wheel travel is 140 millimeters at both ends, which is amplified somewhat by its larger-diameter hoops.

Dated, perhaps, but the Siskiu's linkage-driven single-pivot-swingarm suspension delivers top-of-class pedaling performance, while doing an above-average job of managing the terrain. Its well-engineered aluminum frame is well worth upgrading in the future. Its geometry bridges modern and traditional - with a moderately steep 74.5-degree seat angle, and a moderately slack, 66.5-degree head tube angle. it's handling is sharp and agile, while maintaining enough forgiveness in the bank to keep its rider out of trouble down most black-line trails.

Priced at only $2499 USD, the Siskiu T8 is armed with a carefully plucked parts selection that blends features from a variety of component makers. The Drivetrain, for instance, mates Shimano SLX and XT shifting bits with a better-spaced Sunrace 11-speed, 11 x 46 cassette. Polygon didn't mess around with the Sikiu's suspension, choosing a RockShox Revelation RC fork, backed up by a Deluxe RT3 shock. The unexpected result of its eclectic build is a familiar feeling bike that needs no pre-shred introductions.

Polygon Siskiu T8 Details
• Intended use: trail/AM
• Travel: 140mm
• Wheel size: 29"
• Frame construction: Aluminum
• Head angle: 66.5º
• Chainstay length: 435mm
• Sizes: M, L, XL (S & M sizes available with 27.5" wheels)
• Weight: 30.75 lb (14.4 kg) size medium
• Price: $2499.99 USD as tested
• Contact: Polygon


Polygon Syskiu T8 29er
The Siskiu was one of the top performers in this series, but it is not without flaws. The absence of a down tube bottle mount is one, and it could use stronger stopping brakes. Also worth mention is that its suspension kinematics trade crisp acceleration and climbing for a notchy ride at slower trail speeds.

Two Sentences: (From the review) "Polygon's Siskiu T8 is a great choice for anyone who wants a modern do-it-all trail bike and needs to squeeze the most performance from a limited budget. High amplitude riders, however, would be better served by a bike with slacker angles and better big-hit suspension performance."

Read the full review.



• Acceleration and climbing
• Handling and cornering
• Excellent value


• No room for a water bottle
• Not plush in rough terrain
• No size small W/29" wheels



How to Choose?

Three factors come into play when choosing an affordable trail bike: the frame, the component selection, and the rider. Each play equal roles in the decision.

Starting with you, the person who is going to shell out $2,800 dollars for the best bike you can afford, knowing all the while that you'd want the pro version if your situation allowed it. If you are an enthusiast, well versed in bike tech and buying options, then your best values will probably come from a consumer direct, online purchase. In that case, I'd suggest the Diamondback Release 3, or if you prefer big wheels, my second choice is the Polygon Siskiu T8.

If you are unsure about any aspect of your purchase, like sizing, drivetrain options, or wheel
Giant Trance 2
Giant's Trance 2 offers a lot of security, with the best component spec' and dealer purchasing assistance.
diameters, then I'd suggest you team up with a proper retailer to ensure you get the right bike the first time. Most consumer direct purchases are refundable should something go wrong, but that can set you back a month of lost riding time. If that's you, the Giant Trance 2 is the winner. With global dealer support, versatile performance, a time-proven frame design and a no-worry component pick, you can't go wrong with that choice.

Component selection is the most contentious aspect of any affordable bike purchase. Unlike the frame, which is a fixed price, the multitude of parts that make up a mountain bike are an opportunity to down-spec forgivable items (like cockpit accessories, brakes, and cranksets) to drop the bike's retail price - while up-spec'ing key parts, like the fork, shock and drivetrain, that customers will scrutinize closely. Giant's comprehensive spec' earns the top spot in this category too - edging out the well-appointed Diamondback Release 3.
Patrol 672
Patrol's component selection is solid, but you'll have to buy a dropper post to make the 672 trail ready.

The frame locks in the bike's handling and pedaling performance - things you can't easily modify. Each of the four bikes in this feature have a well-constructed aluminum chassis backed up by a proven suspension configuration. The winner here is the Diamondback Release 3, because it has the strength and the suspension to handle a lot of abuse, ready-for-anything handling skills, and very good pedaling dynamics. The Release is also more salient to the times, and in this respect, it edges out the Siskiu (rough-riding suspension trumped its superior 29 inch wheels) and the versatile, but dated Trance.



Winner: Diamondback Release 3

Diamondback Release 3

bigquotesI've enjoyed every minute aboard the Release 3 - rides which have ranged from all day trail epics, to a few first descents down rock chutes and gravity trails that would have given me pause on longer-travel elite level bikes. Diamondback's decision to design the Release 3 from the ground up to be an affordable shredder was apparent every time I threw a leg over it. Excusing its original tire selection, out of the box, it's a bike that can keep a top rider entertained for life, or introduce a beginner to every genre of the sport.RC



279 Comments

  • + 217
 Here to see what people end up complaining about ....
  • + 73
 I've got popcorn in the microwave you want me to throw in an extra bag?
  • + 467
 Turn your heads away children, this article is for poor people
  • + 8
 Not fair you can get bikes this capable for under three grand
  • + 130
 Can we get some more reviews of $9,000 bikes? I'm not interested in this plebian fare.
  • + 92
 @NastyCanasta: Basel, fetch the Mondraker! The peasants are getting unruly again.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:
I know segregation is frowned upon in the 21st century but I shouldn't have to have to read articles about bikes that cost less than $10K (USD). Can pinkbike create preferences like the one that eliminates having to read anything about the Kardashians so we don't have to hear about poor people's bikes? LOL JK
  • + 10
 @NastyCanasta:
I would buy one...and put a $500 handlebar on it. LOL

www.pinkbike.com/news/fasst-company-announces-flexx-handlebar.html
  • + 25
 - Hi Clint! Look what I bought! A Brand NEW Diamon... - Gary! For the love of God! You could at least have installed a carbon headset spacer!
  • - 100
flag JRW82 (Oct 19, 2018 at 12:33) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: shut up douche
  • + 5
 @vjunior21: This is first class. It's nothing personal. It's just that we're better than you.
  • - 7
flag bohns1 (Oct 19, 2018 at 14:20) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Damn straight it is! Good thing I'm on the way to a dentists salary!
  • + 19
 Here to read all the comments about Randy...
  • + 3
 73* seat tube angle as being slack.....
  • + 3
 I think that I've seen drivetrains cost more than some of these bikes
  • + 1
 @yetirich: effective vs actual. As usual.
  • + 2
 @schlockinz: pfff so your derailleur is operated with a steel wire?! Hahahahhahah you are poor!
  • + 1
 That the al yt Capra isn't here
  • + 4
 @NastyCanasta: $9000 bikes=$3k bikes in @1.5-2years via pb classifieds
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: best comment ever! laughed so hard...
  • + 191
 What about one of those 100 Rockies that were stolen... Those ought to be selling for under 3K by now.....(too soon?)
  • + 19
 They got melted down for use in kayaks, prosthetic limbs and Porsche coffee makers
  • + 3
 @browner: add there was i thinking that carbon was nonrecycleable...
  • + 131
 PB: Reviews $6000 bike
User: We need reviews of affordable bikes!!!
PB: Reviews 4 bikes under $3000
User: (Insert complaint)

Me: Goddamn I hope I win something in the Christmas giveaway this year
  • + 3
 Lol came here to say this too, it's the same damn people as well.
  • - 27
flag chyu (Oct 19, 2018 at 9:24) (Below Threshold)
 Why review 4 bikes in 1 article? They don't deserve equality?
  • - 18
flag headshot (Oct 19, 2018 at 9:25) (Below Threshold)
 Actually this is just a rehash. The bikes were all reviewed separately already. I want fresh reviews!#!#@
  • + 25
 @chyu, this is a compilation of reviews that RC's done over the last year of relatively affordable bikes. There's a link in each section that'll take you to the more in-depth review.

And @headshot, don't worry, there are plenty of fresh reviews on the way.
  • + 5
 I’m with you but let’s be honest: one a $8k bike, what can I complain about, besides the obvious?
On a sub $3k, I can unload the frustration on the day... and then I go for a ride on my $1,850 that is the most perfect piece of machinery crafted by humanity, until I face plant.

Thx PB for existing (no joke)
  • + 8
 @mikekazimer: I'd love to hear how the sub-3k (by a dollar) versions of Transition's Smuggler, Sentinel, Scout, and Patrol acquit themselves, alning with the new base spec Process and the carryover Process SE models.
  • + 2
 @g-42: easy enough. The Transition bikes all go downhill very well, but not so great uphill. Same for the Kona bikes, save the 134 SE (it's a terrible bobbing mess of a bike without a climb switch).
  • + 123
 Without Canyon,YT, or Commencal's sub $3000 offerings (let alone all the other direct to consumer brands) this review is somewhat null and void.
  • - 3
 How do we get this freaking comment at the top?

chrisk if I could give you + 10 kudos I would.
  • - 1
 Something's fishy.
  • + 3
 Diamondback, at least, is D2C... idk bout the patrol.
  • + 9
 Norco has a pretty good component spec on its Sub-3k bikes too.
  • + 3
 Well, (nearly) technically, YT is in the party. The Polygon is about as dead ringer as you can get. Mod the seat tube reinforcement, shorten the rocker to reduce travel by 10mm and you have a neutered Jeffsy.
  • + 3
 My cousin picked up a new Kona Process 153 for 2800 Canadian, that's gotta be under 500 USD no? Smile Seems like there's lots of affordable capable bikes out there.
  • + 2
 Exactly what I was thinking! Lets do a review of affordable bikes and not include the most affordable ones. YT’s sub $3K bikes are cheaper then these with way better spec and have a very nice dropper on all models. This article missed the mark unfortunately.
  • + 2
 Sold out.
  • + 116
 Randy once rode a bike under $3k, but once he rode it, it increased in value exponentially--never standing a chance of making this list.
  • + 50
 And that's how the $8000 cannondale was created
  • + 32
 I only read the comments to find Randy name-drops.
  • + 13
 f*ck is up?
  • + 11
 @NoahsbuddyRandy: holy shit it’s Randy!
  • + 3
 Not sure why everyone's so keen on Randy, don't they remember what he was like as a kid?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=b71yUmWMQto
  • + 5
 @pimpin-gimp: yeah. Why so surprised?
  • + 5
 Frankly, I don’t think there is nearly enough Randy references here. I’m only commenting to increase the count.
  • + 3
 Cant wait for the Randy and Rat Team.
  • + 60
 Thanks Richard. These style of articles are what used to have me hooked on MBUK when I was growing up. I’m very happy to see a complete bike shootout on Pinkbike.
  • + 69
 Thanks. We've got some more affordable bikes coming up this fall that are very promising candidates.
  • - 18
flag Muckal (Oct 19, 2018 at 9:30) (Below Threshold)
 @RichardCunningham: more affordable than what?
  • + 5
 @Muckal: More, in this meaning additional. Good effort though.
  • + 2
 Yes. Thanks so much @RichardCunningham! I just saw the title and was hooked... this is more relevant to me... I may love to read about them, but the only way (barring finding a winning lotto ticket on the side of the road) I can apparently get an S-Works (or similar) is the scam for $700 on CL. I'm poor, I've gotta say "Please sir, may I have some more [affordable bike reviews]?" Razz Fab
  • + 2
 ‘Twas a different game back then!

£300 bikes were as far out of range then as a $10,000 bike is now!

All it took was a sick paint job and some v brakes and it was game on.
  • + 1
 @PAULO77: you damn right! My first giant in 1996 was £275 and even that was a stretch for my parents! 2 years later it had some £300 forks bolted to it!
  • + 59
 It is reasonable for a company to not offer their 29er in a size small.
  • - 1
 Think it's just that this 29er was designed when there was still a fairly predominant thought that 29ers only worked for medium to larger riders and didn't for smaller riders. I'll bet as they update product lines and geometry they'll add a small size.
  • + 18
 @islandforlife: I dunno man, you can't really cheat physics. Every 29er I've ridden, the tire has skrrped my ass on steep descents, and I'm just not about that.
  • + 4
 I disagree. I’m short and I like 29ers. I won’t argue with physics but the tyre buzz thing was never an issue for me personally. I don’t think wheel size is necessarily a ‘fit’ thing but I will concede that they will suit taller riders for gravity stuff where there’s a requirement to be more dynamic. This is a trail bike, if anything should be available in 29” across the board it’s this. I’m also a fan of 27.5” and 26” though and I don’t like the notion that something not being available in 29” has to be a negative (besides when it’s discriminated between the sizes) not all bikes should have 29” wheels (RC).
  • + 4
 @mnorris122: 26 for life ????
  • + 0
 The bike comes in 27.5 for XS, S & M then jumps to 29er for Large & XL
  • + 3
 @bizutch: 29er version of T8 (and its sub-2k sibling T7) is actually available in medium.

Please note that Siskiu's geometry is rather "Asian". I am 171 cm (~ 5ft 9in) and my personal bike is Large-sized 29er version of T7. I guess "short" riders can still fit in medium just fine.
  • + 1
 I'm currently riding an XS Pole Evolink 140 and I don't really get many issues with tyre buzz or the bike feeling "too big" for me. In fact, it feels just about perfect for my 1.67m height Smile
  • + 1
 @KxPop: I didn’t realise they did an XS. They don’t have that size listed on their website it seems? but I found the geo in Aston’s review. Wow, the numbers actually look great. We’re almost exactly the same height.
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: non issue if you got daddy long legs!
  • + 53
 Not as bike porny as the 10K builds but much more useful for 90% of readers. Good job PB
  • + 10
 for real. I get depressed always reading about bikes I cannot afford haha
  • + 42
 I'm boycotting any bike with bottle cage mounts now, just out of principal that I'm sick of it being such a seemingly important issue on all Pinkbike reviews. Is it just me, should I be wearing my foil hat??
  • + 8
 Never used a bottle mount and never will. I find my 2L bladder isn’t even enough water for some of those warmer spring and summer rides. Let alone a 750ml bottle.
  • + 10
 I ride a bike (Spot) and it is annoying and disappointing how the frame doesn't have enough room for a full-sized bottle. Sometimes I just want to grab a bottle and go and not have to mess with a hydration pack or hip pack.
  • + 30
 Get an e-bike, they you don't even need water!
  • + 8
 I like that they point it out. If I were looking for a bike with water bottle mount it will allow me to make an informed decision. If I were not specifically looking for a bottle mount then I do not care and will adjust the conclusion accordingly. Only one who should care is bike companies looking bad and insecure bike owners... and nobody should feel insecure about their bikes.
  • + 10
 @jamieSaunders: Depending on how long your rides are you my very well be drinking too much water during a ride. Too much water can cause dilution of sodium in your blood causing more cramping, fatigue, dizziness.. I personally find 750 ml fine for up to about a 25 km/1000m, my bike can hold a 1L water bottle no problem and rids my back of the labours of handling sloshing water through the whole ride. It's important to only drink when thirsty during physical activity as too much can actually cause more harm than good.
  • + 10
 @jamieSaunders: Also important to not start your ride dehydrated as you will not be able to recover from that during physical activity.
  • - 1
 Dh no mount all good. Not being funny who the f#@k wants sweaty heavy back when riding. Bottle sorted!
  • + 5
 @jamieSaunders: are u a horse
  • + 6
 Apparently so, I dunno I crush 2-3L of water a day working construction so draining my water bag on a 2-3hour ride isn’t a big stretch for me @JRW82:
  • + 4
 Depends on where you live. I used to ride the mayan jungle @40°-45°C during the summer. During a 3hr ride a 3 liter camelbak AND a bottle full of gatorade barely made it.
  • + 4
 @JackStephen: no doubt. I can drink that in the summer here in canada (barely 30C)
  • + 2
 @jamieSaunders: no shit.. Never understood it. Two gulps and my bottle is gone.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: those must be some big gulps.
  • + 1
 @COnovicerider: Sure are.. Canadian Rockies climbing will have u holding it to ur face and opening that gullet wide.. 2 to 3 litres easy on a ride... That's why it's packs only... Unless of course I'm taking the dog for a bike stroll around the block.
  • + 0
 @bohns1: first we're talking about bottles but then you switch to hydro packs. I'm confused.
  • + 1
 @COnovicerider: reading comprehension much?
  • + 1
 @gnarnaimo: Funny enough I stopped using a bottle because I can stand the sloshing . Hydradtion packs create a vacuum when you drink out of them so I'm not exactly sure how one would slosh. But pack vs bottle is boarder line a wheelsize debate .
  • + 4
 @blk91: mention packs on here u get Down voted bro.. Ha..
  • + 0
 I would never buy a bike without a water bottle mount. Maybe it's ok in the UK when you breath in cool Misty air for the whole ride, but I live in the desert and get thirsty.
  • + 1
 I only use my underside bottle mount for my tool kit. Jammed a peanut butter container with stuff, fits the cage nice, toe strap a tube on it and it's pretty secure. And since I'm not drinking my tools I don't care if it gets a little dirty. Water is on my back and I always roll a mouthpiece with a dust cover.
  • + 0
 Use my bottle mount to hold a can of bear spray so it's quick to get in case Mr Bear is having a bad day, it's about to get worse
  • + 37
 I want to see Top Gear on Pink Bike. All the guys have $1000 to buy a bike off the PB Buy/Sell then have to race the Trans Provance on said bike. I’d read that. Hell I may even watch the video.
  • + 5
 Holy crap!!! Genius ideia!!! I would watch the crap out of that!
  • + 3
 Yes, I want to see this!
  • + 3
 $500
  • + 27
 Wow crap bikes you could of put the santa cruz 5010 aluminium in under 3 k with lifetime warranty and such a better bike. There is Yt, commencial,canyon all with better bikes then these all under 3k.
  • + 10
 Not sure why you're getting downvoted, because you're not wrong. Half of these are obscure bike brands (at least for the American customer?)
  • + 3
 4 down votes. 4 bike brands up there.. conspiracy.
  • + 20
 "Learn how to pick the best affordable trail bike..."

That sounds painful. Could you maybe just write the article about what bike you prefer and then leave it to us experts in the comment section to write the header for you?
  • - 1
 Pretty much direct sales best options
  • + 14
 This was a weird comparison, because I know it's just a summary of past reviews, but the idea of comparing 29ers against 275 bikes seems weird, especially when your knock a bike for not being offered in 29er format. Not just that, but Polygon and Patrol are really obscure brands, where as Commencal, Fuji, heck even Specialized and Kona all makes sub-$3000 bikes.
  • - 3
 Their 3k build aren't competing with any of the above so that's why they weren't included. Thanks for your understanding
  • + 2
 Thought pretty much the same. Plenty of affordable bikes from large well known companies that would be a better comparison then 4 randomly picked bikes that have already been reviewed.
  • - 7
flag drunknride (Oct 19, 2018 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 Polygon and Patrol are obscure in North America and Diamondback is just a catalog brand. I think the Giant wins here.
p.s. You can get the Diamondback even cheaper on ebay or by looking up one of their discount codes; that should tell you something.
  • + 12
 @drunknride: armchair reviewing at it's finest
  • + 4
 To PB's credit, they did say that this would be an on-going series, so there will be other bikes coming and most likely from the bigger players.
  • + 7
 @drunknride: Hey thanks for the lesson Drunknride. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.
  • + 7
 @joebmx: the clue is in his username I think.
  • - 4
flag drunknride (Oct 19, 2018 at 13:38) (Below Threshold)
 @joebmx: Sure thing, maybe do some research yourself. Find me a group of people that are employed by Diamondback and only Diamondback. They're a brand name, not a bike company. Go to their website contacts. Google that address.
Never said they were junk or anything like that though.
  • + 6
 @drunknride: Lol - You are living up to your name today - take a lap (or maybe a nap). All bike companies are "brands"... Very few actually do their own manufacturing. Of these four brands Giant and Polygon stand out as having full MFG capabilities, it's not necessarily a guaranty of the best result in a comparison. I know and have known several people that work for Diamond Back, they are as real a bike company as any other.
  • + 3
 I would guess that companies will never send PB their lowest model if it has crap, auspension, brakes, drivetrain etc. You see that a lot on top brands' base models.
  • + 3
 @Rubberelli: like that fool whining about the transition scout not being featured... Dude it's got novatec self destructing hubs(even on the 4k model) and LEVEL brakes lmao
  • + 4
 Sorry, but Kona's sub $3k bikes are crap spec. The lowest of the low components to meet the inflated price point. You'd be better off with a Hawk Hill from Marin for half the cost.
  • + 2
 I'm curious as to how the Fuel EX7 would land here... NX Eagle, dropper, tubeless ready wheels and tires, around $2800...
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: The hawk hill was my first full suspension mountain bike. It did all the trails I’m still doing on my more expensive bike. I gotta say the hawk hill is a fantastic bike. It punches well above it’s $1500 price point.
  • + 2
 @lumpy873: you think Trek would send a bike with a Rockshox Reba (32mm) to PB for testing trail bikes? It would have to go through all the drops and rock gardens that these other bikes do.
  • + 2
 @Rubberelli: I do agree that the Reba isn't the best choice as far as forks go...
  • + 2
 @lumpy873: its heavy but I think it's definitely the better choice.. I rode the 8 and it smashed although u felt it on the climbs... Nice bikes!
  • + 13
 No Transition Scout NX?? Ok, I get that they can't do ALL trail bikes under $3k, but I love mine, it's amazing, blah blah blah, but if anyone cares:
www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_Scout.cfm
  • + 2
 Scout is the best mid travel bike out there, except for the weight Love mine too
  • + 1
 Damn! That build and price is something to get excited about. I’ll have to keep an eye out for one of these bad boys.
  • + 3
 @jamieSaunders: if you're in Canada check out the devinci Django. For 1000$ more you get better brakes, better wheels, better suspension, carbon frame. Overall 5 pounds lighter and way better value. If you don't mind the weight they have alu models too
  • + 1
 Only thing is I currently ride a Marin Attack Trail and it’s not quite beefy enough for me for some of the riding I do. So the Django is a little more light duty than I’d prefer @LOLWTF:
  • + 1
 @jamieSaunders: it has the same travel as the scout sorry I assumed you were looking for that category.

Happy riding Smile
  • + 2
 @dirt-klaud: how is your wheelset doing? I stripped that hub after 300km no joke and those are motherf*cking LEVEL T brakes on a 35 pound bike how are you supposed to manage a steep chute with that crap? Not to mention all the lower-end raceface crap
  • + 2
 @LOLWTF: 68 degree head angle and 29er wheels vs 65 degree head angle and 27.5 wheels.... Rear wheel travel size isn't the only thing that determines the category of a bike.
  • + 1
 @JaredHarzan: just like head angle isn't everything that determines a bike. The bike I was referring to is 27.5 as well FYI. I tried both and tbh the devinci is better for the steep stuff even tho it's got a steeper head angle
  • + 1
 Scout frame is almost 3K in Australia. Annoying cause I want one.
  • + 2
 @LOLWTF: yep, rather keep saving and pay more money than lug around 35lb bike up steep cad Rockies climbs!
  • + 1
 @LOLWTF: ya a 68ha on a 29 does not feel that scary on the steeps to me.. It wasn't all that long ago when 68 was slack on a new trail bike anyways.
  • + 2
 @LOLWTF: I only have a couple hundred miles on mine, and so far they're fine. I put zero miles on it with the SRAM brakes and immediately put on SLXs. I also just replaced the Revelation MC damper with the Charger2. The motion control just can't keep up in the rough chatter or rocks. I dunno, I probably should've just sprung for the GX build, but I did also swap the RF Turbine seatpost to my other bike, and pulled the Crank Brothers highline 160mm onto the Scout. NX drivetrain is fine for me. Basically, it was a great way for me to sneak in a new bike purchase and tell the wife I was spending less up front, when really with a few hundred bucks in brakes and a damper (although I was more optimistic about the stock Revelation, the fork is nice and stiff, but damper is still for the slower rider) and the thing is absolutely a blast to ride. I can't imagine finding a more fun bike for the money, and since I got one of the last 2018s, it was actually on sale, so I only have about $3200 in it now.

All that said: My buddy bought a GX build Sentinel at the same time and the hub lasted about one ride...so I'm not exactly optimistic.
  • + 9
 The concept of the Diamonback is something I’ve been hoping to see from more brands the last few years. As all mountain bikes morphed into Enduro bikes it was cool to have a load of travel and still be able to pedal up the hill back to the top but something was lost for me. The bigger bikes are great but what if not every ride is a DH track? What if your runs are less than a minute and packed full of as many features, jumps and turns as possible? What if you regularly hit the dirt jump line when you’re out on a trail ride...what if...you live in the UK? I’ve come to realise a short travel, short wheelbase ripper that is actually built to rip rather than just roll around an xc loop is my ultimate bike and quiver killer. Most of our bike parks are fine on them too. And when I go to Fort Bill maybe I’ll find a DH bike for the week...but I’ll probably be just as happy battering my little ripper with some big boy tyres. I would love to see more bikes like this.
  • + 4
 I live in Whistler and moved from an old MK1 Bronson to a 5010 because I didn't want or need the big travel - bigger fork and short rear end is a good compromise in my thinking.
  • + 1
 Short travel is more fun. So much poppier with less travel.
  • + 10
 Didn't expect to come here & see a Diamondback as the winner... Makes me excited to get my DB hardtail trail bike built up.
  • + 9
 My friend picked up a 2018 Diamondback Mission 1 from REI for $1500. It was a return but was in new condition. It is a beast. I was really impressed with it. I feel like they are underrated.
  • + 7
 Some updates to the Release 3 and Trance specs...

- Trance wheelset now 30mm inner width.

- Release shock now Fox Float DPS EVOL LV, Performance.
- Fork now Fox 34 Performance Float, Grip Damper
- And rubber now Maxxis DHF and DHR (EXO, TLR)

Richard or PBers - Would the Fox shock be a downgrade compared to RS Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir ?
  • + 0
 No, the fox performance series is not on par with rc3 products. Performance ELITE would be better than rc3 tho. Pretty sure Fox named their products to purposefully get people confused
  • + 8
 I don't get why no 29er option is a con. It is not like no 27.5 option is ever listed as a con. There are getting to be way more 29er options than 27.5 options these days.
  • + 6
 It's just a great time to be a mountain biker! The comment section is filled with dozens of options that anyone could ride for years to come and not have to lie to their wife about how much they paid...
  • + 2
 I’m a gear whore! I can’t keep a bike for years... I just can’t.
  • + 5
 Having owned a DB Release for just shy of two years, I can attest that it is a very capable bike and fun to ride. Granted I am not putting this bike trough the paces of super gnarly terrain, but in the Southeast US this bike is great for a lot of the trail you come across. I paid around $1k for a slightly used Release 1 (base model) and upgraded the cockpit, brakes, wheel set, converted to a 1x, and added a lever dropper. For all in just over $2k, I had a pretty sweet ride (for me). I grew up racing BMX in the 90s and DB was a big brand name. When picking up MTB about 3 years ago, I had no reservations about getting one, not really realizing this wasn't 'a cool' brand in the MTB world. This is a good bike and good value for those not able or willing to spend a used car note on a bike. I think a lot of riders would agree if they put the brand name stigma to bed and rode one.
  • + 9
 Let me correct your obvious typo

Pros:
No 29er option.
  • + 5
 These made up standards are getting ridiculous:
"old-school Sun Ringle Inferno rims were neither tubeless-ready nor wide enough for a modern trail bike."

People have been riding on trails just fine with 25mm inner width rims. That used to be a big increase over the narrower rims. What standard has RC set for a trail-capable wheelset? I know I'm doing just fine with my 22mm wheels.
  • + 5
 @SeanC1 WC racers seem to do just fine on 25mm IW rims too...

To much BS being peddled these days.
  • + 2
 and im doing just fine having NO IDEA what the inner width of my rim is... just know its 26" big, so I get 26" tires to put on it.. way too much fuss over things that have very little affect on fun
  • + 3
 Great article, will be nice to see the future ones as well. Very reminiscent of NSMB's Min Maxing articles where they take a bike like this and discover the best way to ad cheap but high value upgrades that can turn these bikes into true high value contenders.

While at the same time discovering that sometimes some of those cheaper parts (drivetrain, brakes, stems, bars, etc) perform pretty much the same as their bigger brothers... as long as you don't mind a drop in fit and finish and a little more weight.
  • + 3
 I hate how they always make it seem like only obscure brands make bikes around $3K, I am shopping in this price range and have found 20+ bikes under $3500, all with similar components (if not better) from mainstream brands like Trek, specialized, rocky mountain, santa cruz, kona, scott and of course the direct to consumer brands such as YT, commencal, and canyon. It is just kind of wired to me how they only use weird brands in group tests like this.
  • + 3
 Just because of circumstances and money I ended up with two recent Diamondback bikes in my garage. A couple of years ago I bought the El Oso fat bike which was the first hardtail I'd owned since 1998. I rode it exclusively for a couple of years and loved every minute. Come winter I'll be right back on it. I followed that up this year with a Catch 2 which i got for an almost unbelievable price. The Catch is simply the 27.5+ version of the Release reviewed here and, except for a couple of minor issues that DB has always been happy to help address, it's been amazing. It has 130/130 rather the 130/150 like the Release but I would almost rather have the slightly less travel. I've done local trail rides, epic length rides, and even some lift assisted riding and it can handle it all. Would I take it down some of the gnarlier trails at the local downhill mountain? Probably not, but it's a ripper for sure on the fast, flowy, and moderately technical stuff. I've been riding with guys who are on bikes WAY above my pay grade, and my Catch has never been a hinderance of any sort. In fact it makes me wonder even more why anyone would spend 6, 8, or even 10k on a bike. Does it really ride that much better? If I had the cash I likely would go for something more expensive, but todays middle of the road bikes like this are much better than the higher end bikes we were riding 10 or 15 years ago.
  • + 3
 I ended up with a Specialized Stumpjumper ST Alloy 29. $2000 out the door. Great ride and kind of a sleeper IMHO.
www.specialized.com/us/en/mens-stumpjumper-st-alloy-29/p/154985?color=253566-154985
  • + 2
 Incredible bike for the money. The frame is very well designed.
  • + 2
 You can't go wrong with the base model ST. So glad I waited...thank you Specialized!!
  • + 6
 I think this "mountain biking" thing is a fad.
  • + 4
 ... and all of you get off my lawn.
  • + 3
 @pinhead907: and turn off that rap music
  • + 5
 Does the "narrow rims" problem apply only to the giant or you had to find something to fill the blank?
  • + 3
 I love how the biggest thing they seem to note as a plus or minus is the lack or existence of bottle mounts, then get it wrong on the diamond back. isn't that a bottle mount under the downtube?
  • + 2
 Like the concept, but some of the pros/cons are weird. No 29er =/= con, even if they are trendy this year. Low BB isn't strictly a con either.

Would also make sense to include more of the competition, e.g. YT, Commencal, Canyon, and perhaps some low-specced expensive brands just to see how they compare.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham I was confused by this comment regarding the Patrol "The rickety rear axle QR was woefully underpowered for the bike's rigid chassis"... All the bikes in this article using Boost 148x12mm axles with the only difference being you don't need a wrench to undo the one on the Patrol? I can't see how that makes it "rickety" unless you didn't tighten it properly.
  • + 12
 @gtrguy: The lever binds so the axle is never torqued enough. It's poorly designed.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: Cool, thanks for elaborating.
  • + 1
 I am now a Giant fan. For over 16 years I have been on Santa Cruz, Ibis and Transition bikes and will only invest in giants from now on. The Trance 2 I abused for 5 months in Jamaica is the only bike that has survived the yearly trashing on what I consider the worlds nastiest testing ground. Every season world class riders come down and destroy parts like no one ever sees. Almost all who use tubes will have a bad time. Thorns, shop rocks and even fresh cut grass penetrates rubber and rips up sidewalls like no other. Maxxis and Shwalbe are my go to UST's and the HR2 did the job along with what Pinkbike calls 23mm inner old school[crossmax sx for 15 years] so using Giant's jhoops were my only concern as house brand scares me.
Giant's wheels and dropper are top drawer. The dropper works better than my Thomson and the hoops run true almost a year later.

I can not say enough about this bike.
Sponsored riders who came down to ride my tours were sceptical and ended up adoring the bike and that included Trek, Rocky Mtn. and Lapperier riders all could not say enough about the bikes.
I found myself calling my Ibis Mojo twitchy after a month on my Trance.

This bike is a deal breaker for me on the lust worthy rides I really want. I lust for Evil and Yeti but they are no longer on my list as I now want Giant's Advanced rides and the new wider 30mm inner rims for 2019.

I can't believe how much I love this bike.
  • + 1
 I missed one thing... I had zero issues with this ride. Not one dropped chain or false shift and not even a brake squeal over the 5 month test.
  • + 2
 Giant Advanced GX build MSRP is more expensive than Yeti GX build MSRP with current US prices, so Yeti is actually the budget bike compared to Giant...
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: not here in Canada as far as I can see but ya I do like Yeti
  • + 1
 We asked, they delivered. So we should be thankful! Just think how disappointed we'd all be one day if PB was gone because of all the hate and complaints. Bahhh, the page views are still in the bazillions, so the advertisers will still keep this going. Again, we should be thankful.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham

Can you elaborate on why you aren’t a fan of the Schwalbe Hans Damp‘s? Do you consider them slippery in specific situations like tech climbs or fast cornering, or any and all situations? Interested in anyone’s opinion really. My home bike shop in Tennessee switched out a Maxis Ardent rear for a HD when I got to do some rockier riding on a tip to Cali and I’ve been pretty pleased.
  • - 2
 Shit tyres, no grip, no sidewall support , fall apart, puncture easy but new versions look sweet
  • + 1
 @JRW82: New Addix are fine for a fast rear tire, but I'll be going back to a Mary.
  • + 3
 Kona Process 153 SE should be considered as well. It's sub $3000 canadian and it's performance is pretty fantastic for the money.
  • + 1
 More dentist bikes i can't afford, my park bench needs painting and the cost of wine is sky rocketing, i guess it's all relative really. Piss taking aside, excellent article on four bikes that would be more than capable and are sensibly priced, more of this stuff PB.
  • + 1
 Nice, it's good to see articles on bikes that a larger majority of riders can likely afford- for those of us not in, or no longer in, the bike industry. The Vitus Escarpe or Sommet seem like they'd be good contenders in a segment like this. As a Chain Reaction brand, they're available to pretty much the entire world, to boot.
  • + 3
 Interesting article. Could we get some similar ones in the dj/slopestyle and dh disciplines too? Model comparisons are fun to read.
  • + 1
 Good review! About time PB reviews more affordable bikes. Not everyone are doctors and lawyers!!! If I had to choose a bike out of the four I’d be doing for the diamondback release 3. Good amount of travel and a beast on the downs, plus it’s the only bike with a piggyback shock
  • + 4
 Yup, never satisfied, give em what they want, they’ll still find a reason
  • + 5
 I can't wait until the 2019 Fluid review.
  • + 1
 Whats amazing is that in most cases the complaints by the reviewer are the same as with many of the $$$ bikes... silly tire choice, slack seat tube angle etc. manufacturers make the same mistakes throughout the product lines..

The cheaper drivetrains and alu frames work just as well as the top of the line stuff bar being a couple hundred grams heavier... Bikes have come a long way that the cheaper bikes are so capable, almost makes you wonder what you are spending your money on with the more expensive ones...
  • + 2
 Thank you PB, this was great! I know several new riders currently looking to get bikes and this is a big help, especially the bits explaining what to look for when buying an entry/ lower-mid level bike.
  • + 3
 i like the diamondback, but the new one(2019) has a bad specification for the money.
  • + 4
 Marin Hawk Hill. Trail ready fully starting at $1,500.
  • + 2
 That's a good option as well - we reviewed one in 2017: www.pinkbike.com/news/marin-hawk-hill-review-2017.html.
  • + 0
 I would say the new Gt force has a pretty good shot at being one of the best trail bikes under 3000 usd
Retail is 3350 Cad you get a dropper 1 by 11 gears revelation charger rc with debonair. metric truinon shock tubless ready wheels.
$ piston trp brakes and for 4000 Cad you get a yari nx 12 raceface cockpit a 150mm dropper and a coil rear shock for harder riders
  • + 5
 Or Canyon, Commencal.
  • + 2
 Right. Canyon Spectral 8.0, RS Pike RC, Carbon Frame, SRAM GX Eagle, RS Deluxe RT, 13,3kg
  • + 1
 Whenever my friends ask me if they can get into mountain biking and I tell them they need to spend at least 1500 on a decent setup, my potential list of future ridge buddies dwindles. I pad that for just my frame lol
  • + 0
 A month + of wages for a bicycle is considered "affordable"? LoL

NO.

When bicycles, and bike parts, start to reach cost parity with automotive products there is a major issue. IMHO.

The media sure is working overtime to try to justify these insanely high bicycle prices. Spin it all you want. It won't work on me.
  • + 1
 This review is so spot on!.
Though i kinda feel that the models selected are a little "exotic" (aside for the Trance), and there are many more obvious options to throw in there, it's still very well put.
  • + 3
 diamondback FTW because no infernal cable routing
  • + 1
 I understand the point of the article but who pays full retail for a bike? End of the season clearance sales. I bought my 2016 Norco range A7.2 for $2k CAD.
  • - 1
 Love my giant trance and agree with this review, you can upgrade it to a 160 front and rear travel by putting a 200x57 stroke shock and 160 fork on, this also fixes the pedal strike issue it was bad for before and slackens out the head angle nicely. Also agree that its not the most efficient pedalling but gets the job done ok
  • + 2
 You didn't review any Kent, Genesis, Hyper, Huffy, or Schwinn mountain bikes, this bike comparison sucks Wink
  • + 1
 Pedal smacking BB height with .6" BB drop? My 27.5/150mm trail bike has a 1.3" BB drop and I haven't died, yet, despite riding in east coast roxx.
  • + 1
 Too expensive. Everything in mtb gets way too expensive, overprized. We talk 3k! and everybody seems to accept not having a xt specced.
  • + 2
 The releaae does have a bottle mount though? Its in a stupid place but still
  • + 1
 Can someone please buy my under 3k used 8k bike so in turn I can buy another 8k bike so I can spend the next 3-5 years turning it into a better 3k bike than the ones listed.
  • + 2
 Love my DB Release 5C, much more capable bike than numbers on paper would have one believe.
  • + 1
 Wow! Nice Polygon Jeffsy!!! Aaaaand yes, Canyon, YT, Commencal, Rose, etc. There are more options.......and yes, mooooore beautiful that those you put in this article
  • + 1
 It's ok to have a 2750$ bike in the trails, but you should not be allowed to use contemporary expressions like ''gnarly''. You should have to stick to ''rad'' and 'cool''.
  • + 3
 Here to see the comments complaining about the people who complain....
  • + 1
 One of my friends had that Diamondback. He's probably 120lbs (54kg) and he snapped the seat stays after a few months of riding it.
  • + 3
 Even under $3k, the Polygon comes with a wooden kick-stand...come on guys!
  • + 1
 For godsake... Who even buys bikes for under 5k..... Pinkbike can we please have some expensive stuff instead of this tat .... Lol.
  • + 3
 Don't worry... Levy's Unno Dash review is on the way.
  • + 0
 Bikes look awesome! Kudos to Giant for not having Sram splattered all over! By the way, why don't companies offer a "spec you own bike" in order to get rid of Sram and the 1x11 gearing offerings?
  • + 3
 Yaris fork ?
  • + 2
 How is a "con" of the trance being too conservative?
  • + 10
 it has a trump short reach, a trump slack STA, a trump steep HTA.
  • + 4
 @underhawk: if it was liberal it wouldnt go straight for very long
  • + 2
 reach is about standard. It's supposed to be a trail bike but TBH I think many of us want something burly that has a bit smaller wheelbase than an enduro bike. Kind of surprised they left the HTA at 67 when they went to a longer fork. My 2014 came with the same angle but 140mm travel and that extra bit of slackness when I went to a 150mm fork really made the bike perfect.
  • + 4
 @underhawk: Yet it handled everything well. So what's more important, that it ride well, or that it has "progressive" numbers?
  • + 4
 what isn't considered about the Trance is that every 'shortcoming' can be easily remedied with a minor part swap.
for example: HTA too steep? upgrade the fork to a 160.
at this price point, there is room to upgrade/personalize the bike to your liking. i really like my Trance btw.
  • + 3
 I've got a 160mm fork on my Trance and it's wonderful. Such a ripper of a bike and never holds me back.
  • + 1
 that patrol has some inferno 31s. where can i get a wheelset of those with hope pro 4s?
  • + 0
 resin pads that wear out before your chain does. Shit rims, when you could put on top of the line aluminum rims for $100 more
  • + 2
 So what about the YT Jeffsy AL? Where the frick is that bike.
  • + 29
 Probably a shipping container getting warrantied. No worries though, it should be back in 3-6 months lol.
  • + 1
 us.yt-industries.com/detail/index/sArticle/1928/sCategory/511

agreed . you would have a hard time beating the specs and ride quality of this bike at $2499
  • + 3
 Did you see the picture of the Polygon? Haha
  • + 0
 @Three6ty: You have to budget buying a proper cassette for that bike though. The E thirteen is pretty nasty as it wears out incredibly fast in the first 3 gears (I killed mine in 6 weeks of normal use). Best just to buy a sram gx cassette right off and just be stuck with a shimano/sram mixed drivetrain. Then you are only worried about the E thirteen rear hub that has super fast bearing wear.
  • + 0
 Didn't read the comments so maybe someone has said this already but curious how much faster shit breaks on a low end bike. Frame pivots wheels components etc....
  • + 1
 It would be interesting to see how these new cheapies stack up against a similar price range secondhand bike....
  • + 1
 How much does the polygon weigh? says 30.75 pounds but 14.4kg in brackets, 30.75 pounds = 13.947965 kg.
  • + 1
 I rode a rental Diamondback last Sat and Sun. It was a good ride. Solid and predictable but not special.
  • + 3
 ???? no 26" option
  • + 1
 Great article. Gotta say, though, that I’ve seen my LBS selling Santa Cruz 5010s on closeout in this price range...
  • + 2
 Don't waste my time , bikes gotta cost at least 6k !
  • + 1
 This is what I want to see, reviews of bikes in my price bracket, nice work! Smile
  • + 2
 Did you really complain about shimano 1x11 not having enough range?
  • + 5
 Maybe they should get a 3x drivetrain. Lol
  • + 2
 I agree 100%; bicycles can only climb so steep, no matter the gearing.
  • - 1
 its weird that something as commonplace as a bottle mount is found on only one of these bikes... how about a water bottle capable trail bike comparison... is that too hard? i piss on brands that can't get it done, its 2018.
  • + 1
 As an owner of a Trance 2, picked up used for $1200, bout what its worth, otherwise go Scout if you got 3k.
  • + 1
 Is the polygon 29+ compatible?
  • - 1
 What I love about this article....No carbon frames in sight. All Aluminium greatness! Or Alooooominum if you really want to pronounce it that way!
  • + 2
 Banshee spitfire or rune
  • + 0
 I bet you could get any 2019 rocky mountain for under $3000. I hear they're have a big sale on craigslist.
  • + 1
 where can we demo a diamondback , nukeproof and polygon in the states ?
  • + 2
 You can demo the Diamondbacks from a company in North Bend, Washington (near Seattle and within two exits of our best trails).
  • + 0
 Good article one on sub 4k and 5k bikes would also be helpful with direct sale bikes included
  • + 1
 Lack of water bottle mount is not a fault worth mentioning in cons.
  • + 2
 All you need is a banana strap
  • + 7
 @hmstuna: I gifted my wife a banana strap and my arse has never felt right since.
  • + 2
 @danny611: The lube!
  • + 1
 This is an awesome article to point new riders at thank you!
  • + 0
 YES!!! This, so much of this is good!!!
  • - 2
 I dont know if we live in the same planet but you can get a Carbon SC Tallboy or similar bikes for the same price. 150 travel is is too much for a trail bike.
  • + 1
 Patrol thanks.
  • - 1
 The title should be Underrated Battle Bike Brands. And should be added with Dartmoor, Mongoose, etc etc
  • + 1
 voted for poygon.
  • + 0
 Thanks RC! Can you do a comparison of used bikes under $1000 next Wink
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham: actually was just thinking that's a great idea, a street motorcycle magazine once had an article where 3 writers got like $1500 to buy a used bike and gear and review it, good stuff and very useful besides the laugh factor
  • + 7
 @RichardCunningham:
Fine. I'll settle for a PB staff downhill race on pre-1995 bikes to decide who will be crowned as the Elastomer Chancellor
  • + 8
 @RichardCunningham: The Pinkbike editors need to do a Top Gear-esque review, where they have $1,000 to spend on a used bike, and then they have to do a series of challenges.

It would be brilliant!

Also... you need to find a very generic frame, take any identifying stickers off, and have professional bikers to hot-laps on their reasonably priced bike.
  • + 0
 @RichardCunningham: maybe some new downcountry bike reviews together. difference between Specialized Epic vs. Orbea Oiz. Cuz for the average guy we can't see a big difference, other than "Brain". Intense sniper and yeti SB100
  • + 1
 Patrol please
  • + 0
 This is like looking at a top end bike review from 10 years ago.
  • + 1
 The Randy approves.
  • + 1
 Zzzzzzz
  • - 1
 Paid advertising.. Literally every brand on the market has an entry level model.
  • + 0
 Zzzz... Trail bikes, snail bikes...
  • + 1
 Thank you pb
  • + 0
 yeah custom builds are better
  • - 1
 DB and Giant prove that also cheaper bikes can look like... "not so good"
  • + 0
 Where’s the YT jefsey?
  • + 4
 Probably not in stock.
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