Apparently the people love speculation, so I'll keep playing the guessing game for your entertainment with another (inexhaustive) list of bikes that I suspect could see an update before the year is up. We're headed to California for all that Sea Donkey business next month and we expect brands to show up with their new tech, so it's time to take another stab at predicting the bikes we might see released.
Again, a reminder: While some Pinkbike editors do have knowledge of some unreleased bikes, those bikes are not on this list. As my colleague James Smurthwaite wrote a year ago
, "The methodology was as simple as going back through our archives and going, 'Huh, haven't seen that updated in a while.'" For more information on how we deal with embargoed information, check out Episode 51
of the Pinkbike Podcast.
With all of that said, here are some more "Huh, haven't seen that updated in a while" bikes for 2022.
With some heavy hitters on the roster like Hannah Bergemann, Jaxson Riddle, Johny Salido, and several more, Transition must be keen to stay current in the downhill bike department. The TR11 was released in 2017 and updated in 2019, so even though Transition has been busy lately with developing the Repeater eMTB, I'd imagine there's an updated downhill bike in the works, too.
Plus, it just looks out of place next to the rest of Transition's current bikes, with their angular tubes and dramatic lines that make them look futuristic in the best possible way. I'd love to see Transition come out with a downhill bike that looks ready for some space-time travel adventures.
Canyon last updated the Strive enduro bike in 2019 and, although the colors and spec were updated for 2021, the geometry could do some catching up wtih the rest of the current enduro bike market. Canyon does make the Torque, its 170mm - 175mm long-travel enduro and park bike, but there remains a gap between the Torque and the Spectral. The Strive, with Canyon's Shapeshifter geometry and travel adjustment system, seems to balance the needs of downhill performance and pedaling efficiency nicely and fill a particular niche in Canyon's lineup.
With Jack Moir now dominant in the enduro world and riding for Canyon, it's clear that racing is still a priority to Canyon, so the brand will very likely update its enduro race bike to suit Moir, who raced last season with a 15mm spacer under his headtube to raise the bike's front end and slacken the bike.
YT Tues & Jeffsy
Returning to the downhill bike theme for another minute, we'll likely see YT come out with an updated Tues this year, and it'll probably have mixed wheel sizes if we consider the prototype mullet link spotted last summer
. Although the YT Mob has taken a break for 2022, YT has continued to support a downhill team with former successful junior Oisin O'Callaghan moving up to the elites for 2022. Throw in some riders like Erik Fedko and Dylan Stark putting the Tues through its paces on the freeride scene and we can be sure that YT will want to stay current. Plus, on the Facebook share of the last set of bikes that could see an update, YT commented "maybe you forgot us," and if that's not a big hint, I'm not sure what is.
We may well also see a new YT Jeffsy, since the current version came out in early 2019 and has a 66-degree head angle in its slackest setting, which is basically sacrilegious for a trail bike nowadays.
I guessed that the Scott Genius and Ransom would be updated in my last speculation article, but I'll throw out a few words for the Scott Gambler here, too. (Yes, downhill bikes make up a very small part of the mountain bike at the moment so these guesses are all gambles, but hey ho.) The current Gambler was slimmed down and re-released in late 2019 as a sleek, sub-35-pound carbon superbike. There's nothing wrong with it - it's actually remained an extremely successful downhill bike. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if Scott updated the bike just because it's about time based on the industry's arbitrary bike update timeline, even if the update is just to make small tweaks, like using paint that's less susceptible to chipping. I also wouldn't be surprised if the pendulum swung back the other way from this extremely nimble version and the Gambler regained some of its pre-2019 monster truck capabilities.
Rocky Mountain Slayer
Okay, I'll stop talking about downhill bikes for a little bit... kind of. The Rocky Mountain Slayer came out (most recently) in late 2019 and slots nicely into the long-travel freeride / freeduro / bike park / almost downhill / whatever niche with its 170mm of travel and aggressive downhill capabilities. The elephant in the room here is that the Slayer broke catastrophically at the 2019 Field Test while Luca Cometti was JRA - not good. The Slayer has massive potential at the gravity end of Rocky Mountain's lineup, and it would be great to see a revamped version.
Giant Reign, Glory, & Stance
The Giant Reign is due for an update, as it was once at the pointy end of the enduro field but lately enduro bikes have gained more travel and become even more capable than they were in 2019, when the Reign was given its 29" wheels and 146mm of travel that it still sports today.
Speaking of the long travel side of the range, it's also time for Giant to update the Glory. While the Glory remains a 27.5" bike, there was a 29" prototype spotted
at the Vallnord World Cup back in 2019, and since 29-inch and mixed-wheel downhill bikes are here to stay, we're waiting for Giant's to make an appearance.
And then there's the Stance. The Stance is Giant's budget pick, and the geometry was on the conservative side even when it was released in 2019, but the egregious offense is that it uses a quick-release rear axle. We can only hope that Giant updates the Stance with a thru-axle sooner rather than later.
We don't know whether Norco's next downhill bike will be an iteration of the Aurum or something new entirely, but I suspect it will come out this year, based on the prototype
that Sam Blenkinsop was testing last year. The prototype shares the same frame as the Norco Range that came out last year, but has a different shock link and dropouts to make the geometry a bit friendlier to use with a dual crown fork. It's been a while since the Aurum HSP was released, and I bet we'll see something like the Range or that prototype for dedicated downhill use sooner rather than later.
Trek Fuel EX
Now that the Trek Top Fuel has been updated, it's time for its longer-legged sibling to receive the same treatment - especially since now the head angles on the two bikes are virtually the same. The Fuel EX was last updated in 2019 and was well-received as a mid-travel trail bike. To keep this space in its lineup current, we expect Trek will make moves with the next version of its 130mm / 140mm trail bike to fill the gap in Trek's lineup between the Top Fuel and the Slash.
Santa Cruz V10
Sure, you could argue that the current Santa Cruz V10 is already a work of art (and you'd probably be right), but with plenty of downhill bikes out there with sub-63-degree head angles, the V10 is a bit conservative in the geometry department, and Greg Minnaar was reportedly using a headset with half a degree of adjustment to slacken out his race bike last season. Through the development and release of the mixed-wheel version of the V10 in 2020, Santa Cruz likely made steps toward creating a new V10 when it comes time. Plus, the seat tube on the last version was long enough to hinder short riders. Santa Cruz will probably want to remedy that.
And if we suppose Santa Cruz will update the V10, it seems equally likely that Specialized will update the Demo. Even though the Demo was last updated for last year, Loic Bruni seems to always be at the sharp end of product development, and has ridden variety of configurations on the latest Demo - including one with an idler wheel. While it seems the idler wheel didn't actually help him and he ended up racing his standard version, we wouldn't bet against a high pivot version of the Demo emerging sometime soon.
The Cube Two15 was likewise updated pretty recently in late 2020, but with Danny Hart testing both a mixed-wheel setup
and a high pivot version
, we'd imagine at least one of those tweaks will make it into a new Two15 bike as Danny works to gain as much speed as possible on his new(ish) team.
With Max Hartenstern making up the other half of Cube's downhill factory outfit, it seems that dialing in the best downhill bike possible will be high on Cube's priority list, and it appears Cube has been making plenty of room for experimentation and development.