PINKBIKE FIELD TEST
5 Hot Trail Bikes Test Traction Limits in Whistler's No Flow Zone
The trails were dry and brittle like a bucket of dusty old bones.
When anyone mentions the name Whistler around mountain bikers, A-Line’s groomed berms and jumps come to mind, but the surrounding valley offers some incredible riding too, it’s just very steep and extremely technical. That’s why the No Flow Zone was the perfect place to host another Impossible Climb.
I honestly started laughing hysterically when we arrived at the bottom of the trail that a local friend suggested for this segment of the Field Test. He did say these exact words, “There’s no way you’ll be able to make it up there.” Standing in front of the wall filled with rubble, I’d say he was right. Once I got on a bike and tested the grip though, there was hope.
There’s no real rhyme or reason as to which bike I should grab first, but I decided on the very purple Yeti SB140 with its Switch Infinity link. Surprisingly, it laid down an impressive result. Maybe I underestimated what these bikes were capable of.
Next up, the Scott Genius lined up with its four bar suspension that hides the shock in the frame. This was the lightest bike in the group, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best climber. On the left side of the handlebar, you’ll notice a cluster of levers for the shock lock out and dropper seat post. That makes lowering the seat height a little more challenging to find, but the suspension, when opened, does grip very well.
Like the Genius, the Fuel EX felt on the longer side. Navigating these through this super tight trail corridor was tricky even though both bikes were on the lighter side. The rear wheel tracking and pedaling efficiency were top notch on the Trek though. Santa Cruz’s new Hightower sat just about in the middle of all the other bikes’ geometries and weights, and that’s exactly where it landed on the Impossible Climb.
The only aluminum bike of the bunch, the Norco Fluid, was the heaviest, but it did have less travel than the others. So, how did the Fluid make it the highest up the Impossible Climb? I can tell you that the 130mm of Horst-link suspension did work incredibly well and the geometry put me in a very neutral position for climbing.
I’d award the SB140 with the most climbing-oriented riding position. On longer, more mellow climbs with more space between moves, I could see the Fuel EX and Genius battling it out for the win. It is comical that the cheaper and heavier Fluid made it furthest up the trail. This isn’t the most highly scientific test, but there is something to be said for the little bike’s abilities. That’s just how the Impossible Climb works out sometimes.
The 2022 Fall Field Test is presented G-Form
Yet on both the efficiency test and climbing one Norco came a v close second and won one. "Much to the surprise" of the hosts.
You fall? You fall.
You ever gotten on a bike that ]s just kinda meh?
That’s how you end up riding it, kinda meh. Then you get on a bike that’s really energetic, wow, what a difference right, like something that rewards your inputs, whether it’s corners, or jumps, or…..you get the idea.
Then you get on a DH bike, even pedalling across a parking lot, you’re prolly not sprinting.
That’s how I look at, not saying that one is better than the other, just sometimes, a bike, and platform suit you better. Add to that, that it’s entertainment, nothing more, nothing less, entertainment. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, bunch of cool bikes, slow climbing up a hill, it shouldn’t be much surprise that the shorter bikes did a bit better…..
I think maybe you guys put too much stock into this, stop trying to have PB validate your opinions or purchases and watch the videos like they were any other form of entertainment
I'd like to see a whole hour of these tests - multiple riders | multiple trails | multiple attempts.
I really enjoyed the older ones too - with the heckling and the beer cans, etc.
Also Pinkbike: "Let's only make him ride uphill"
I'm joking obviously, but would have been nice to have his opinion and times in the individual bike videos.
Any time someone compliments a bike trailside, it's usually the bike brand. Nobody says "sweet XT shifter bro". They say "sweet Santa Cruz bro". Many (most?) mountain bikers are willing to splurge for the name on the downtube over prioritizing performance and components.
Anyone who buys that bike, obviously did not do any cross-shopping or use their brain. I guess they chugged the Kool-Aid from the halo bike?
Lots of bikes to compare against... but the Norco is an easy one. At least in Canadian prices, that shit base Hightower is $7250... you could even downgrade the Norco to the "2" (from the "1") at $4000 and still have a better bike/spec (mix of XT/SLX)... That saves you $3250! Yes it's not a carbon bike, but there are other carbon/carbon comparisons that save you at least $1000.
So, rant over... it's just frustrating to see. And yes, I have had extended demo's (3 days each) on various Santa Cruz bikes, great bikes, but nothing that makes them worth anymore than any other comparable bike. The problem for Santa Cruz is that most bikes have suspension figured out and all right really really good. So even if you like VPP a little bit more... do you like thousands of dollars more??
There is nothing more beautiful than a well-trained dog, but you can tell those people have no ability, and no interest when it comes to that. I think your video belongs on a community forum so that the people in your area can be warned. Imagine if this had been a child on a bike.
For the sake of the public, and the animals themselves, people should have to pass a test or be vetted thoroughly before being allowed to keep any animal. Those 2 f*ckers have no business owning any dog at all, let alone big powerful ones like that.
As the guy said, sorry isn't really good enough.
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