PINKBIKE FIELD TEST
Enduro Bikes Roundtable
Contra MC vs. Claymore vs. Tracer S vs. Meta SX vs. Patrol vs. La Sal Peak vs. Megatower
This time around, we took to the Pacific Northwest to test a group of enduro bikes in their element: rain, slop, and seemingly endless wet roots awaited this eclectic mix of bikes. With a mix of 29" and mixed-wheel setups, a couple of high pivots, and rear travel from 160 mm to 170 mm, these bikes all have what it takes to put down fast times on the enduro track, but that doesn't mean they're all the same. In this video, we discuss our highs and lows, which components make or break the bikes, and which ones we'd want to have as our own.
Looking at the selection, the obvious standout is the Contra MC, with its big shiny idler pulley, gorgeous paint job, and elegant tubing. We found it to be a very purpose-oriented machine: the heft and ground-hugging ability made it a handful in meandering terrain, but when pointed down the steep-and-rough, it truly lived up to its "MC" (magic carpet) moniker. The bike is a stunner.
The Deviate Claymore is another one that grabbed our attention. While the Contra MC does the high pivot thing in steel, the Claymore opts for carbon fiber and has a wholly different personality. It's less monster truck than rally car, and what it loses in bump absorption compared to the Contra is gained in pop and versatility. We all agreed that Deviate struck gold on this one.
We also tried three takes on mullet setups, with the Commencal Meta SX, the Transition Patrol Carbon, and the Intense Tracer all providing vastly different rides from one another but with a small rear wheel in common. We'll chat about how those stack up against the dual 29" bikes, too.
And what of the classics? We also tried two carbon 29" enduro bikes without high pivots. While that description sounds pretty vanilla by today's standards, these two were anything but boring. The Fezzari La Sal Peak came with a splash of purple, an excellent spec, and maybe the most versatility of the bunch, while the Santa Cruz Megatower has gained frame storage box and an astronomical price tag to go along with it.
Each of these seven bikes brought its own strengths and weaknesses to the table, and we put them through the wringer with all the shuttle laps, massive pedal days, torrential rain, and delirious laughter we could handle.
Watch the roundtable video to hear more of our impressions from this group of heavy-hitters.
The 2022 Enduro Bike Field Test is presented by Rapha, POC, and Continental. Thanks for keeping us dressed, safe, and rolling rubber side down.