Video: Welcome to the 2022 Downcountry Field Test

Oct 24, 2022 at 18:50
by Mike Levy  

WELCOME TO THE 2022 PINKBIKE
DOWNCOUNTRY FIELD TEST
6 New Short-Travel Bikes



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards

The last Field Test series saw the crew riding enduro bikes in Bellingham, Washington, but things are a lot more en français this time around, and there's a lot less suspension to save our asses. That's because we packed up our gear and flew to Quebec City, Canada, with six of the most interesting (and available) short-travel bikes to see how they compare and perform away from our usual trails. There are a few different names for this category, some of them more silly and more made-up than others, but the gist is 125mm or less out back and a focus on covering ground quickly. Call the bikes whatever you want, but I think we'll just call them fun.


Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Matt Beer with the ol' poutine lean aboard Evil's Following.


6 Downcountry Bikes

There was a time when all full-suspension mountain bikes were short-travel mountain bikes, but then they started to get more and more specialized, people started to make up categories and, well, here we are. In this Field Test series, most of our test bikes are designed to pedal well, cover ground quickly, and not weigh a lot, but it's always more interesting when you include a few outliers. That's why we brought RSD's aluminum Wildcat V3 to Quebec City, which sells for $3,999 USD, and Evil's very black Following, both sitting on the sturdier side of the short-travel spectrum.

The other four bikes in this group include Ibis' Exie and Allied's BC40, both manufactured in the US and with prices that reflect that. BMC's gorgeous green Fourstroke LT One is also here and it was almost a shame to get it muddy, and Lapierre sent us their new XRM, a cross-county racer with an all-day, marathon kind of mindset.

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Allied BC40 X01 Eagle AXS
• Travel: 120mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.5° head-tube angle
• 76° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 445mm (med)
• Weight: 24.9 lb / 11.2 kg
• MSRP: $10,755 USD
• More info: www.alliedcycleworks.com

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
BMC Fourstroke LT One
• Travel: 120mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.5° head-tube angle
• 74.8° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 440mm (med)
• Weight: 25.2 lb / 11.4 kg
• MSRP: $8,999 USD
• More info: www.bmc-switzerland.com


Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Ibis Exie X01
• Travel: 100mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 67.2° head-tube angle
• 73.8° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 439mm (med)
• Weight: 24.6 lb / 11.1 kg
• $10,048 USD
• More info: www.ibiscycles.com

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
RSD Wildcat V3 29" Deore
• Travel: 125mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65° head-tube angle
• 76° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 462mm (med)
• Weight: 34.2 lb / 15.5 kg
• $3,999 USD
• More info: www.rsdbikes.com


Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Evil Following X01 I9 Hydra
• Travel: 120mm rear, 130mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.9 / 66.4° head-tube angle
• 76 / 75.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 460mm (med)
• Weight: 28.7 lb / 13 kg
• $9,050 USD
• More info: www.evil-bikes.com

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Lapierre XRM 8.9
• Travel: 110mm rear, 120mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 74.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 440mm (med)
• Weight: 26.5 lb / 12 kg
• 5,199 EUR
• More info: www.lapierrebikes.com




How Do We Choose the Bikes?

The first step in figuring out which bikes we want to have at a Field Test is making sure that we won't have the one you want to read about, which has turned out to be surprisingly easy to do for every single Field Test ever held. Jokes aside, the factors that go into choosing bikes are pretty straightforward. First, they need to be new-ish or at least interesting, and second, they need to be somewhat available to purchase by someone somewhere in the world. As you can imagine, that'd been a difficult box to check over the last couple of years but availability is improving.


Allied's 120mm-travel BC40 uses flex-pivots, much like the Lapierre XRM, but they couldn't be more different on the trail.


Another consideration: We always want bikes that do things differently from one another, even if they have similar intentions. Sure, there's an argument to be made for having the exact same type of bikes going up against each other, but do you know what that'd be? Boring.

Instead, we wanted a couple of bikes that are all about efficiency and speed, a couple that would be just fine with your sketchy jumps and - here's a crazy idea - how about one or two that don't cost over $10,000 USD? Yes, some of these bikes cost a lot of money, but that's why we also do our Value Bike Field Tests every single year; if you want outright bang for your buck, that's the Field Test for you. And that's also why we've got RSD's $3,999 USD Wildcat in this round, so we can talk about what spending twice as much money does - and doesn't - do for you on the trail.


Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Sarah Moore and the RSD Wildcat don't care that Quebecois rocks are a lot slipperier than British Columbian rocks.


How'd We Test the Bikes?

There's really only one way to review a bike properly: Ride the hell out of it. But when it comes to Field Tests, we need to ride the hell out of all of them back-to-back-to-back so we can talk about how the bikes compare to each other. After all, that's what these Field Tests are all about, comparisons and talking about the strengths and weaknesses of each, and what kind of rider and terrain each bike best suits.

That means that if you were to run into us on the trail, you might find us swapping pedals, working shock pumps, and doing other things while we rotate bikes between us during countless rides in Quebec City. And while that means that we can't comment much on long-term durability, it does provide us with plenty of impressions and disagreements to argue about on camera. We did get out for some big laps, but most of our time requires more compact and concise test loops that allow for those back-to-back impressions that are so important.


Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Sarah and Ibis' Exie on the way up.
Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Matt and the Lapierre XRM on the way down at Vallée Bras du Nord.


Equally important is the terrain we rode the bikes on; as much as I enjoy skidding down some sketchy line on a short-travel bike, we need to ride them how they're intended to be ridden. In the case of our six short-travel bikes, that meant plenty of rolling trails full of roots and rocks, but nothing more than any of these bikes should be able to brush off easily.


VBN Secteur Shannahan mountain biking trails


Most of our test laps were in the forests around the legendary Mont-Sainte-Anne ski hill, which is where you'll find everything from smooth berms to as many of those roots and rocks as you want and then a whole bunch more. We also headed down the road to Massif de Charlevoix to ride the lifts, the Empire 47 trail center for some Impossible Climb action, and both Sentiers du Moulin and Vallee Bras du Nord for some of the best Quebecois singletrack around.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Field Test without a Huck to Flat and Impossible Climb and, given that these are short-travel bikes, there was zero chance of me talking my way out of yet another Efficiency Test.


Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Sentiers du Moulin had plenty of trails that were a blast on our short-travel bikes.


Who Tested the Bikes?

This time around it was me, Matt Beer, and the always-smiling Sarah Moore who signed up to ride these bikes. The three of us, along with our video and photo crew, flew from the Pacific Northwest to Quebec City to ride bikes and eat far too much cheese, if there is such a thing. Luckily for us, Sarah can speak French better than Matt and I can speak English, so she was in charge of feeding us, directing us, and generally making sure we didn't say or do anything too embarrassing.

And speaking of doing things, Tom Richards, Max Barron, and Stefan Licko ran the cameras and yelled, "One more time!" about a thousand times; we wouldn't have any of these videos or photos without their hard work.

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Matt Beer
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 170 lb / 77 kg
Notes: Tech editor, allergic to everything
Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Mike Levy
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 150 lb / 68 kg
Notes: Tech editor, impatiently waiting for aliens to arrive
Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Sarah Moore
Height: 5'7" / 170cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Notes: Content manager, too fast to be so nice


Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
When in doubt, head straight down the middle.
Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Dropping in 3, 2...

Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
Only looking, no touching.
Quebec Field Test Tom Richards photo
"Again!"






The 2022 Downcountry Field Test is presented by Quebec City Mountain Bike, Sweet Protection and Specialized Ground Control Tires





496 Comments

  • 245 13
 And the winner is…
The Transition Spur!
  • 40 2
 Agreed. The spur is the bike that all these others should be compared to
  • 60 10
 Spur, Epic Evo, Blur, Lux Trail, etc, have already been reviewed. I bet they will mention a few of these in their reviews of the new bikes. The Spur is a sweet bike, but it really depends on your intended use. Spur is not exactly a race bike.
  • 13 2
 @jferroRx: I mean to be fair the following has been in Evils lineup for yearssssss longer than the spur has been around.
  • 12 3
 @Lokirides: Spur not a race bike but this is the downcountry field test and the Ibis Exie is in it? I am confuse.
  • 6 1
 @gravitybass: Exie has a 120 fork on it - just like all of the above mentioned bikes. Yes it's a race bike, but so can the Blur, Epic Evo, etc, if the course is longer and has extended steep downhill sections. There are a lot of great races that demand "downcountry" geo and travel - and the Exie fits that bill. That Allied BC 40 is every bit the racebikje as the Ibis.
  • 4 0
 @Lokirides: Somewhat related... Pivot learned their lesson not to submit the Mach 4SL with 120 fork. That was a brutal beatdown by James (and Sarah, I think).
  • 15 0
 Even with slack seat angle and horrific paint, the Intense Sniper Trail 120/120 would've been a contender.
  • 6 0
 @Lokirides: Yea, the Spur probably belongs in a Downcountry Field Test instead
  • 14 4
 My vote is for the Scott Spark. Light and sleek looking with hidden shock.
  • 7 0
 @bikewriter: The Mach 4 SL hasn't undergone any changes since they last reviewed it.

FWIW, I rode the Mach 4 SL for a couple of years down in the Utah desert and cleaned every big descent (Zen, Portal, Ahab, Grafton Mesa) on that bike without any real issues... And it's the fastest XC bike I've ever pointed up the hill. It's certainly not the most fun to descend, but it wasn't that much slower or uncomfortable to ride down big descents than my modern trail bike.
  • 10 1
 THe current stumpjumper might be just out of the category with its travel numbers, but dang that thing is light and pedals so freaking well. I bet if you built it up with aggro-XC ("downcountry") wheels and tires it will climb as well as any of them here but then have a competitive edge on the descents from its geo and travel. As I think Scott Sebb said in a previous article, take a simplistic suspension design and just add 10mm more travel and now it will probably perform as good or better than a complex one at the lower travel.
  • 10 4
 I'd rather have an optic over a spur personally
  • 7 1
 @pdxjeremy: Climb roughly 91.379% as well, descend 16.741% better.
  • 6 0
 @Lokirides: even if they've already been reviewed they should still be compared to the best bikes from previous years. Would love to see how favorites across the years stack up, if a 2020 is better than the best 2022 it should be mentioned.
  • 15 3
 The definition seems to be shifting slowly so that soon we'll need a new definition for what initially was called Downcountry. From what I understood, downcountry was basically an XC race bike with a slightly longer travel fork, better tires and the right stem and handlebar for more control. All these bikes here seem to have way more rear travel than a typical XC race bike and I'm not following the race scene closely, but I suppose these frames aren't being used in WC XC racing. Look, I'm fine with a little evolution but it gets pointless to keep up with this stuff. Let's just call these trail bikes and whatever was first called downcountry can still be called downcountry.
  • 6 0
 @pdxjeremy: Ditto. But in fairness they're 5mm away in travel, but further away than that in intention. The Optic is a beefy trail bike.
  • 7 0
 @hamncheez: I have a 25 pound Stumpjumper. Good on trails, not good on steep powerful climbs. Maybe the anti squat? I'm 160 pounds, Cat 1 racer xc/marathon, climbing is my jam, and it has no advantage anywhere. I call it the Honda SUV of trail bikes: pretty good everywhere, very good in certain situations, not spectacular anywhere or anytime. Cleaning it up for sale as we read. YMMV.
  • 3 3
 @tacklingdummy: you ridden one? Cable rattle and cable routing through headset was a mess. Sold mine after 2 months. Didn’t really ride all the well either honestly.
  • 4 0
 @bikewriter: The Evil Following, RSD Wildcat, etc are in this category. Do you think that the stumpjumper climbs worse than these?
  • 3 1
 @jferroRx: Have you ridden all of the other bikes? If not, how can you definitively state the Spur is the one the others should be compared to?
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: Didn't even know what an RSD was until this week. I've ridden the Following V3 just once in a very flowy descending lots of corners ride so no big climbing days. I would never presume the Following to be a climber. Owned the Stumpy for a year. It's a nice bike, more trail/xc than the Evil, but it's not a fast powerful explosive climber with 25% sag and cockpit set up to feel more marathon/xc. Rode best in middle shock setting, even Open with the shock tune and flex stays wasn't a great descender (better than my Ripley V4). Firm had a bit of give, but regular trail obstacles made lockout a real bad idea, obviously. 1500 gram i27 carbon wheels, variety of tires. A very good trail bike. It's not meant to be a climber. In my opinion.
  • 7 0
 @hamncheez: What's crazy is the Stumpjumper is a pound lighter than the Evil w/ an equivalent build. The current Stumpjumper is a phenomenal bike.
  • 5 1
 They seem to have skipped over any meaningful testing (field test or otherwise) of the Pivot Trail 429
  • 3 1
 @bikewriter: I guess being a cat1 XC racer you have a completely different perspective haha. I can't really feel the climbing difference between any XC bike (i weight north of 190 pounds), and no matter what I was doing the lightest tire I'd ever run would be an Aggressor EXO+, even on a hard tail.
  • 2 0
 @bikewriter: I'm assuming you're talking about the previous gen Stumpy. The new one is 65/65.5 HTA and doesn't feel like a marathon bike at all. It rides like a short travel enduro bike.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: The frame is sleek looking, the cockpit is a whole different story lol
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: some would beg to differ. there were some folks crushing at bcbr on the spur. 52k and 3000m vert isn't xco, but it's sure something!
  • 1 0
 @arcatern: Fair enough, I'm sure they crushed the descents! I guess it just wouldn't be MY race bike, even for bcbr. It's a sweet bike, but I want something a bit lighter to race. Could definitely see it as a daily driver tho, esp with a 130 fork?
  • 7 0
 I know we have offered this feedback before, but the Field Test Winner needs to be included in the subsequent field tests until that winner is supplanted. I think the TR Spur and Spesh Enduro are still the champs of their respective categories 2-3 years running!
  • 2 0
 @bikewriter: This is interesting, I love my Rascal (best riding bike I've ever owned) but that frame is a tank. Was considering a Stumpjumper. What are you looking at to replace it?
  • 2 0
 @harryhood: www.specialized.com/us/en/stumpjumper-frameset/p/200002?color=321264-200002
I never said it was a marathon bike. I was giving opinions on how it climbed because that was the question asked versus the Following V3.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: ibis exie was on the wc xc podium several times in 2022 under Risveds.
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez:
I feel you bro. 210lb rider. Give me party or give me death.
  • 1 0
 @harryhood: I was wondering about that. I get pretty burly vibes from the stumpy when I look at it, except for the scrawny rear birdcage.
  • 1 0
 @MillerReid: The cable routing through the headset I probably would not like much. However, you able to silence cables with foam specifically made to wrap and silence cables. It works well.
  • 2 0
 @cgreaseman: what about Kong?
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: Yeah, good one. I noticed that Lapierre XRM is an XC marathon bike so that might qualify too. Marathon always had a bit more travel than multi-lap XC. But for the bikes with 120mm rear travel or more, were they initially intended as XC race bikes too?
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Ah, "Scott Sebb", the new co-host to Lev Mickey Wink
  • 6 0
 Would still like to repeat my suggestion that the previous winning bike returns... but as a used bike. Find a local-ish guy who has owned one for a year. See how the bike has held up, any upgrades the owner felt necessary, any breakages or warranty issues.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: WeAreOne Arrival may surpass them.
  • 2 0
 Canfield Tilt in 125mm mode beats all of these with its superior CBF suspension
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: glad someone caught it
  • 3 0
 @SixxerBikes: dude super stoked to see your review of riding all these bikes..
  • 3 0
 @bikewriter: interesting thst your climbing experience with the stumpjumper is so different from mine - I feel like it climbs amazingly fast for it’s abilities, and only slightly slower than my xc race bike. But then it descends way faster than my xc race bike, and also faster than my previous enduro bike. Basically I guess I love it so sorry you don’t enjoy yours as much, but it’s great there are so many great bikes these days!
  • 1 0
 I think it makes a lot more sense to categorize bikes by fork they are designed for and frame weight than by rear travel. A 120 fork can be lighter. Once you go 130 on fork, you may as well go 140 and have more rear travel as well. This is just based on current fork designs of course.
  • 1 0
 @NoahJ: lmao no way jose. Muy scary.
  • 2 0
 @SixxerBikes: but the water bottle is under the downtube.
Regardless it is still in my list
  • 4 2
 I don't really understand the fawning over Spur. I rode my buddies' for a couple weeks while I was waiting for my Stumpy Evo to come back, and I didn't really feel like it climbed that much better. It was a good descender, but it wasn't better than my stumpy in any regard, or the . I got some time on an Epic Evo and a Revel Ranger and those two climbed like rocketships compared to the Spur, and while the Evo was a little more skittery on the descents (but also so much faster on anything rolling), the Revel was every bit as confident as the Spur in the steeper stuff. Don't get me wrong, it's a good bike, but if I can only have one I'm going Stumpy Evo (or something similar) every day, and if I can have a quiver, I feel like there are plenty of bikes that pedal better, and certainly bikes that are better descenders, so I can't figure out where it would fit. TLDR: I'm weird and didn't think it was that great.
  • 1 1
 @adamszymkowicz: Agreed. Trying to turn a Spur on tight and flowy is not fun. It needs room to run.
  • 3 0
 @adamszymkowicz: "I don't really understand the fawning over Spur."

Its the most aggressive and most capable bike in its class, probably the best looking, and its hard to come by... rare in the wild so to speak. Those broad-based elements probably address the "fawning over the Spur".

Of course there are competitors in the class... and each have their strengths and weaknesses. Some are short on rear travel, some have steeper HTAs, some have short wheelbases, some are too heavy, some are too light, some have weak component specs, some are too expensive. The Spur checks all of those boxes.

Most riders here consider themselves pretty bad ass... so of course they are best suited for the most aggressive bike in the class.
  • 1 0
 @bikewriter: Love my Sniper. No issues and is 23# ready to ride. Size Large. Also about $4-5k cheaper than most of these bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Lokirides: I would like them to compare to bikes tested in the past, particularly interested to hear how the BMC and Ibis compare to the Top Fuel and Blur TR tested last year.
  • 2 0
 @Baller7756: I might agree with you on the "most aggressive" label, but definitely not the most capable. Usually when people use the word capable here, they're saying "it goes the best down chunky, terrifying descents" but that's not really capability, that's specialization. Capability means excellence across a variety of terrain, and the Spur really didn't feel that great on the terrain I was riding it on (East Coast, tech xc, handbuilt jump and berm lines, steep and chunky stuff, all of it in tight woods). It felt weirdly sluggish under sustained power, wallowed in sprints, got bounced around in pinball descents, and got hung up in rockcrawler chunder gardens. For me it was a bike that couldn't make up its mind about how it wanted to be ridden, and as a result it ended doing a bunch of things ok, but not really excelling in any area. For reference, the Epic Evo I rode climbed better, was faster under power and in tight flowy stuff, was super light and agile in the tricky uphills, and didn't give up that much on the downhill chunk. It also had basically the same component spec for $1000 less than a comparable Spur (which I just learned). I'm not ride or die for Specialized, but it was a bike I rode in the last year that stood out that was of similar intentions. As for the Spur being rare in the wild...I guess? I see a few here in MA, but according to their website if you're either a size Medium or XL and have a budget of $6k-$7200 you can have one shipped to you today.
  • 1 1
 @bikewriter: I even tried to find room by taking it on stuff that I love on my Stumpy. Wasn't a fan. It would get up to speed well, but then at speed when hitting rough stuff (which my bigger bike will suck up and smooth out) it would get squirrely on me right when I needed it to be calm. Now you could chalk some of that up to rider error, I'm not any magician on the bike, but it felt like the Spur had this weird intermediate sweet spot of terrain where it felt really good, but those sweet spots were few and far between for me.
  • 1 0
 @adamszymkowicz: I have ridden what I consider the top 3 DC machines. Fortunately, I was able to sample them all before the shortages. I think they all serve the intended purpose and will bring smiles to anyone.

The Epic Evo felt more like an Epic that was converted to DC. Its was too light in the ass and really got pinged around. Yes, it did pedal well and rolled fast, but again thats because its more toward the XC side of the spectrum.

The Ranger was complete opposite of the Evo, it was planted beyond its intentions with that CBF, but the weight was noticeable, and that HTA was just way too steep.

Both felt like 2018 geo with relatively steep HTAs and short reach and wheelbases and both had less rear travel.

The Spur is a purpose-built DC rig with modern geo. It suits my riding style and intentions. I can see how it may not suit all riders though. It rewards an aggressive riding style, and can of course be set up for XC in the 24lb range or for Trail in the 27lb range with different components while letting the geo work its magic.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: the spur isnt significantly better (or worse) than any other in its class. We need to be honest and realize that it's because it says Transition on the downtube. Before anyone freaks out, there's nothing wrong with a brand having a following, just that it's a big reason why the Spur gets fawned over in the comments and, for example, the Trail 429 gets shrugged off. They're fundamentally the same bike, just that one "is for dentists" and one is for "partying in the woods".
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: I found that the epic evo did exactly what it was billed as, which was an adventure bike that you can do pretty much anything on. Ride from the house and go for 50 miles? Sure. Rip the occasional xc race? Definitely. Set it up with some bigger tires and absolutely rip apart any singletrack you can find? Totally. For whatever reason the Ranger I rode felt great on the climbs, a little slower on the rolling stuff than the evo, and was always wanting more downhill speed but would get overwhelmed in the same way the spur did. The spur was slower on the climbs and rolling terrain, and in the descents needed the speed you’d carry with a 140/150 bike to come alive, but wouldn’t be able to hack it once it got in over its head. I don’t think a 24lb spur would actually be that much fun to ride because of those characteristics, it’d be even less stable on the descents, and the suspension is too active to make it a viable xc racer. Honestly, if it had 15mm more travel front and rear and everything else was the same I think it’d be a great bike, but that would put it in a different class of bikes. For me it rode with the characteristics of a 140mm bike, without the safety net that extra travel gives you, and with the extra length that 140mm of travel needs.
  • 1 0
 @peterman1234: I agree the 429 trail doesn’t get enough love. I have a couple of friends with them and they definitely ride well. There is totally the association of Pivots with “dentists” but they’re the same price generally as Transitions, from a similarly sized company. They just don’t have the same marketing department or the Bellingham locale benefit. All props to Transition, they do a great job of engaging with the community and self-promotion, and seem like cool people with good business practices, but their bikes aren’t any better than anyone else’s.
  • 1 0
 Spur owner here, 100% agreed. They couldn’t compare one as there isn’t a comparison.
  • 1 0
 Mike Schlubby is the kinda guy that has a giant cock but doesn't know how to rhythmically thrust while he makes love...guy doesn't know how to fuck is what I'm sayin
  • 2 0
 @adamszymkowicz: I had a mach 4sl, switched to the new 429, it rips. Why is it for Dentists? I'm not a dentist. I tested the new revel rascal and really disliked it. The next bike I have my eye on that never gets love is Spot Ryve. I wish pinkbike would throw that in a test as it is def in the travel categories of these bikes.
  • 1 1
 @PGT34: I was just saying that Pivot for whatever reason has gained that reputation. It is also somewhat hilarious to me that my close friend who has one actually is a dentist. That being said, he rips, and so does the bike.
  • 165 4
 They were able to test an Evil??!!
  • 23 0
 This is going to be the entire comments section today.
  • 3 0
 yeah I'm confused by that as well
  • 23 1
 An Evil with ENVE would break the WWW.
  • 2 0
 I was shocked when I saw that!
  • 21 4
 @bikewriter: And also...just break.
  • 1 0
 Yep, on flat trail and pumptrack as well!
  • 16 12
 Good to see Sarah but How is Alicia doing? Or are you guys still not able to comment!!! The silence if deafening.
  • 7 6
 @Three6ty: They won’t say anything or share gofundme but there’s public updates on her fundraiser. Makes no sense why they are doing anything to support her.
  • 2 2
 Good to test Evil
  • 15 0
 @zpedals: as her employer I’m sure they can’t legally say what happened to her, where GoFundMe is run by friends and family and can say what they want. Maybe there’s some sort of release that could be signed but without someone having power of attorney, who knows? I don’t know for sure but people seem to forget that Pinkbike is her employer and there’s legalese that has to be dealt with
  • 5 9
flag Three6ty (Oct 26, 2022 at 17:22) (Below Threshold)
 @Jdricks: makes me think there may be litigation in place against Pinkbike. For them to not even throw up a little article wishing her well or even acknowledging she is badly injured is fishy to say the least.
  • 19 1
 @Three6ty: I dont disagree that it sucks, but we dont know what is happening behind the scenes. Her go fund me says "Alicia does have ... good support from her work." So just remember it's probably not PB making this call, but rather Outside's legal dept. It still seems odd that PB cant work with legal to find a way to address it on the site. It would be the human thing to do and it could dramatically boost her financial support. Yet another reason why big corps suck and the enemy is not people on the other side of the political isle, but rather the corps that are puppeteering/buying our govts and society. www.gofundme.com/f/alicia-and-her-family-with-medical-costs
  • 6 0
 @DubC: I have been reading her updates and glad she is making some progress. Just sad all the way around, and I'm sure it's killing the Mike's and others at PB for not being able to address it. This is not just a colleague but a friend to them as well. ( I would think anyway )
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to that.
  • 1 0
 @DubC: thanks for sharing the link!
  • 3 0
 @DubC: I didn't know she had an accident. She was outstanding reviewer in this year test and I was blown away by how good she was riding! I hope she will be alright.....
Thx for sharing the gofundme
  • 1 0
 @Soucy: agreed, she is such an amazing contributor!! Thanks @DubC for the GFM site, wishing a speedy recovery!
  • 1 5
flag CaptainSnappy (Oct 28, 2022 at 11:08) (Below Threshold)
 @Three6ty: A person's health is private and is not for an employer to talk about. This is not rocket science.
  • 1 4
 @zpedals: How do you know they aren't? Easy, you made an assumption and you don't actually know. To the point; this isn't our business. It's hers. Period.
  • 3 1
 @CaptainSnappy: This has nothing to do with her Health ( details). It is acknowledging that someone had a bad accident and her friends and employer ( who is a Social media/ interactive based website ) have not even acknowledged it happened. When Kyle Crahsed at Rampage, it took about 5 minutes to have his sponsors, his friends, etc to wish him the best after a bad crash.........
  • 3 0
 Welcome to the dog shit morality of corporate PinkBike..super cool folks
  • 2 0
 @CaptainSnappy: Did you sellout to Outside magazine too? All anyone is saying is post her (public) go fund me and let her know the whole pinkbike community is thinking of her. Sorry you’re so triggered about people advocating for her.
  • 90 14
 Call the bikes whatever you want. You call them fun. We call (most of) them overpriced.
  • 23 12
 I would have called the test : Dentist low cost Bike review
  • 28 39
flag nzandyb (Oct 26, 2022 at 10:33) (Below Threshold)
 @Mecadav: Lol DENTIST, this jokes never gets old. Let's flog this dead-horse joke a little more!
  • 7 2
 Glad I'm not the only one who kept getting more and more shocked every sticker price I saw.
  • 24 7
 @nzandyb: how to win pinkbike: within the first 5 seconds of an article going live, post a worn out thought or comment that everyone else has posted within the first 5 seconds of every other article this month. If you can't think of anything relevant, use the word "dentist" or generally post some sourpuss drivel about how the product featured in the article actually sucks and we should mock it.
  • 5 3
 @WaterBear: Sorry but there is a new universal standard. You now need to post in less than 3 seconds to win.
  • 10 2
 @nzandyb: Must be a dentist
  • 2 0
 Wait 1-2 years slightly used half price.
  • 3 0
 Overpriced or overweight.
  • 4 0
 @WaterBear: completely agree with you. Dentist stigmatization should not hide the real fact that bikes are overpriced. Nor technology, carbon layers, electro shifters or so whatever fancy stuff will justify that we are ready to pay that sum of money because we are pationate hobby bikers
  • 2 3
 All of them save the RSD, and honestly for what you're getting, that's a bit steep too.
  • 4 4
 @Tacodip420: @Tacodip420: One does not need to be a dentist to be tired of lazy, played-out jokes and boring diatribe. I for one will not stand by tolerating such a lack of originality. A person may as well be on the MTBR forums if they'll abide such things.
  • 3 0
 @WaterBear: if it ain't broke, don't fix it
  • 4 0
 @mi-bike: Don't you mean 2.99 seconds?
  • 2 0
 @adrennan: I hope you meant to say: "if it doesn't have a cavity, don't fill it"?
  • 1 0
 @adamszymkowicz: Yeah that bike used to be like 3500 to 4000 cad.... yeah it does have DVO suspensions instead of cheap Rockshox one but still.... 4000us so probably at least 5500 cad, a lot more than before covid. So yeah, like you said, not cheap but I guess we'll have to get used to it as they are all rising their price a lot.
  • 4 0
 @WaterBear: fxking antidentites, next thing they'll want to put them in separate schools.
  • 3 0
 @nzandyb: ...the dentist entered the chat.
  • 1 1
 @nzandyb: True. Everyone knows that dentists only ride road.
  • 1 0
 @nzandyb: ur so kool
  • 60 14
 Can't wait for the Bring Jobs Back To USA cheerleaders bitching about $$$$ given that the most expensive bike is Made ...in the USA.

Put your wallet where your mouth is!
  • 20 5
 Murican Ceptionalism
  • 15 3
 Cheerleaders just barf out a programmed narrative, they don’t actually do anything besides make noise. Fuuh, they probably can’t even identify products made in the US.
  • 17 0
 There are other options out there that are not hand laid in small batches like Allied and the Ibis. GG Trail Pistol is made here and fits into this "category."
  • 16 0
 I'm not sure this even makes sense. The bikes are at somewhat different spec levels. If you buy the BMC FourStroke with the same spec level as the Allied (Fox Factory, X01 AXS), it's notably more expensive (12500 euros). The cheapest bike is sporting a Deore build kit and weighs 34 pounds, so it doesn't really seem comparable either.

If you want to know actual cost differences, it would be better to take a look at something like Ibis's internal prices between USA made and foreign made models. The Exie frame is $1000 more than the Ripley and $800 more than the Ripmo. That's probably your upper bound, though, as the Ripley and Ripmo likely benefit from much greater economies of scale in production, as the Exie is a handmade, lower volume frame. So if they brought everything to the US, we'd probably expect the price differences to be less than the current differences between the high and low volume models as they'd be using the less expensive production methods in the US as well.
  • 3 4
 @MarcusBrody: They could 100% keep the price differences relatively similar but they would have to be willing to forego some of the profit margin. The Ripley does not cost $2900 to produce. It just does not. They are using the same DW link that they have been using forever so there is not any development cost there either.
  • 2 1
 These Walmart bikes though
  • 8 0
 Reeb bicycles, murican made and the price seems close to what non-us manufacturing is
  • 33 0
 @schlockinz: I've got the SST in for review. Stay tuned, such a neat bike.
  • 2 7
flag Varaxis (Oct 26, 2022 at 11:22) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: Yikes, the price on that SST is steep, at $3150. GG Revved looking even more attractive in terms of value and quality, if wanting US-made.
  • 4 0
 The USA bikes in this test are upper-crust small numbers production stuff. Which is fine. But there is no reason something like the RSD Wildcat couldn't be made in the USA at a similar price point. The problem is there isn't a bike company doing this.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: The DW licensing costs are the same though
  • 2 1
 @CycleKrieg: Except there are no production builders for AL frames in the USA.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: This is true but you can adjust around that. A mass produced Chinese made carbon frame for $2900 is a lot. Even transportation costs can be amortized across the production.


My next bike will be either US or Canadian made. I was bummed to see Banshee is not. GG looks really appealing. Devinci has a couple of alloy bike offerings. It will not be an Atlas or Ibis though as those are silly money.

How close could you get to a fully North American build? GG frame, Cane Creek suspension, i9 wheelset. Drivetrain is probably a no go as well as tires though.
  • 1 0
 @jmhills: White Industries single speed set up? Is SRAM's design/development team in the US? (only half credit for that)
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Yeah! If it's good enough for Jeff Lenosky, it's gotta be a great bike! Can't wait to see what you have to say about it!
  • 1 0
 @Varaxis: the equivalent GG alternative (Trail Pistol) is $3,295. $145 dollars cheaper for a solid metal frame. The SST is very well priced relative to GG
  • 8 0
 @jmhills: For both of my FS REEBs, I put some effort into sourcing NA made or assembled components. It's tough with some stuff.

The easier components are headset, cranks, bb, wheels/hubs, stems, seatpost clamps, and rear shocks. You can also source flat pedals from either Yoshimura or North Shore Billet. Now with Wolf Tooth assembling their seatposts in the US, you can at least get a US assembled seatpost, but the components are made overseas. I run revgrips that are made in the US, also.

Forks are trickier, the Helm is great but tire clearance is limited if you run a 2.6. I usually end up with something made overseas there. I have specific needs for bars due to nerve issues in my hand, so I run bars made overseas also, even though there are some US made options.

Brakes are also tricky, I run Hayes on my SST and Hope on my Sqweeb. At least the Hopes are made in the UK, but I don't think there are any companies in the US manufacturing brakes stateside (EDIT: I lied, Cascade Components makes some calipers that look sweet, but are very expensive and is just the caliper).

Drivetrain, saddles, and tires are just a wash, they are all made overseas best I can tell.
  • 1 0
 @shinook: isn't Manitou also American made? Mezzer and Dorado are great forks
  • 2 0
 @wburnes: They are a US based company and the engineering/support is here, but I believe they are manufactured and assembled overseas. I could be mistaken.

Agree, though, both excellent forks.
  • 1 0
 @like2pedal: this is the way.
  • 5 0
 @wburnes: MRP is US made (in Denver). Manitou is not.
  • 6 0
 @Ososmash: Colorado, but Grand Junction, not Denver.
  • 1 0
 I have. My 3 bikes are all USA made. And were within reason compared to similarly exotic competitors.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: this pleases me to hear. I have a sqweeb and a Sam's pants and they both rip
  • 1 0
 @shinook: Excellent! That is my goal for my next bike. It will not be easy but it is something I will attempt to do. There are just some things that cannot be sourced here. Like you said, a lot is designed here but that is where it ends.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: How's Alicia doing? Any chance of an official update from PB?
  • 3 0
 @darkstar66: I wouldn't expect an official update from Pinkbike, I am no lawyer but I doubt an employer can publicly announce a medical condition of an employee without prior approval, which she isn't really in a place to give. The GoFundMe is probably the best place to get more info, they are giving near daily updates on where she's at and what her condition is.
  • 2 0
 @shinook: nice one, just been and donated, it all helps!
  • 1 0
 @Ososmash: pretty sure mrp is assembled in grand junction, but the parts are produced overseas
  • 46 2
 No Alicia. Anyone know how she is doing?
  • 26 0
 Updates are posted on her GoFundMe periodically: www.gofundme.com/f/alicia-and-her-family-with-medical-costs
  • 15 0
 @panders: Thank you for posting this. Heartbreaking.
  • 9 0
 @panders: Oh no, holy shit I had no idea! Get better soon Alicia, damn it....
  • 7 0
 @panders: Those updates are so appreciated. Thank you for the link.

She's a warrior that's for sure.
  • 7 0
 I hope she can recover to a point she can come back to PB. Reading those updates is really devastating, she is making progress but it seems had a severe brain damage and so so much work to do. It's so unfair. Still believe she can make a Gee-level comeback.
  • 17 1
 I was hoping Pinkbike would give us some updates on her. I keep on having to look for that link whenever I think of it.
  • 18 17
 The silence on PBs part has been deafening and is starting to look bad. Do the right thing PB, make a short post and share the go fund me link. A brain is a lot harder to heal than a bone and Alicia's future riding bikes, forget being a bike journalist, is in real jeopardy.
  • 11 3
 @Kiltymac: It has to be a conflict of interest to report on an employee's personal news, otherwise they would have mentioned.
  • 13 4
 @Kiltymac: Or you can respect a person's privacy.
  • 7 0
 as someone also going through TBI/PCS from a bike crash, I really feel for her. shit is no joke. it's insane how difficult it can be to do things when your brain isnt firing the normal way. best of luck with the recovery, alicia.
  • 19 11
 @MisterChow: Any decent employer would acknowledge that she needs help and point concerned readers to her GoFundMe. You can do that without disclosing ANY details and still help her. The silence leaves absolutely no doubt that Outside is more concerned with their own liability than with their employee's health. It's f*cking gross.
  • 1 0
 I'm crushed to hear about Alicia. My sister had a similar injury. I wish her the best. I hope to see her return soon.
  • 10 2
 @abbottt1: It's pretty callous to assume they don't care about her health or what happened, but you can't just broadcast medical conditions of an employee especially on a platform like pinkbike. You also assume she would want the front page of PB to have details of what she's dealing with, which is a pretty significant assumption and one that she currently isn't capable of agreeing to. You also don't know what she's willing to consent to being released, if they release something that is incorrect or the wrong information then there could be legal issues for them and issues down the line for her.

There are laws protecting confidentiality of employees, it's not as simple as being afraid of liability, not publicizing details on a megaphone of a platform until she is capable of approving the message is absolutely the right thing to do, both ethically and legally. No employer would do this without approval of the person involved. Even if you remove the legal aspect, she should be allowed to have say in what is said and she currently can't do that.
  • 4 0
 @lkubica: This will be my only comment on this subject. Those of you clamoring for information on this woman’s condition and wondering when she will be riding and writing again need to read the go fund me updates. You need to read between the lines of those updates. Hopefully you can realize the gravity of her situation.
  • 2 1
 @Baller7756: I am reading those updates and honestly do not expect any info from PB and definitely realize the gravity of the situation. But still miracles happen and you simply cannot loose hope. Hope and determination is the only thing that may help her. The only certain thing is that nothing good will happen when you just give up.
  • 3 0
 @shinook: Came in to say this. There is a very real possibility that with her current TBI, she doesn't have capacity to provide consent for PB or Outside (or anyone) to share the details of her accident/condition/recovery/rehab.

I worked in a TBI neuro rehab unit of one of our hospitals (and still work with TBI's on a regular basis in our trauma unit) and they're definitely no joke. The body is a resilient mf'er, but messing with the brain is a bad time with a long, slow recovery and the very real possibility of permanent damage and/or deficits.
  • 2 0
 @Baller7756: unfortunately have to agree with you. I got a much milder TBI this summer riding park, and out of frustration with my slow recovery and the lack of info from doctors, I joined a few online TBI support groups. I've learned that in the grand scheme of TBI's, mine isn't that bad (which doesnt make it less frustrating that at 3 months I still can't do exercise without getting migraines and vertigo). Also, from all the stories I've read, after reading the lastest update on Alicia, it sounds like she's in the "years of recovery" category. I hope I'm wrong, but at the very least, I don't believe she'll be back writing for pinkbike soon.

for anyone else reading this that may be dealing with or end up dealing with a TBI/Post Concussion Syndrome, dont let your doctor tell you there's no treatment except rest. Vision therapy, neuro optometrist, hyperbaric chamber, OT/PT, clean up your diet, hydrate more than you thought you could ever hydrate, get regular sleep, stay away from computers and smart phones.
  • 40 4
 @mikelevy, @mikekazimer, do you guys just bang your head against s sweet Squamish slab when you read these comments?
The amount of bitching, and whinging about what is or isn’t a DC bike, or “why don’t you validate my opinions by including this thing or that thing”

It’s f*ckin entertainment, basically free to you entertainment. Tune in or tune out, but for Christ sake, just try to enjoy it.
It’s super cool that there’s some rad super bikes, and heavy Canadian bikes (just today was perusing RSD’s website) and bikes that seem different, and bikes that are black. It’s all just good fun, talking about, watching, riding, and general frivolity with recreational toys in the woods.

Stop being so adamant that it needs to be your way, and enjoy what you’re being presented with.

To all PB staff and contractors involved, thank you for the awesome work, I enjoy it, please continue, I appreciate it.
If you come to the Okanagan, please stop in for a beer, or a Timmies
  • 7 0
 This 100%. No matter how much nuance the PB team try to build into the article - whingers gotta whinge. Keep up the excellent work PB team. Please be sure to have a good old yarn about the field test on the Podcast too, always enjoy the more 'unchanined' comments outside of the more polished actual written/video reviews.
  • 2 0
 @lennskii: I have never in my life heard someone say the word "whinge." Is it whine with a silent "g"? Is this a global conspiracy to gaslight me? And while you're at it, is it ginch or gonch?
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: think of it as a smashing of "whine" and "cringe." The person is whining in way that makes the other person cringe. *Insert some whine about nonsense* The other person thinks internally "Really? THAT'S what you're whining about?" and cringes.

Thus, whinge.
  • 1 0
 @Cerrone: wine-j or win-j?
  • 3 0
 @rrolly: I'd go with win-j. Sounds more natural.
  • 1 0
 AMEN !!!
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: I hear a lot of "whinge" in the UK. Or maybe it's just a lot of whinging that I hear?
  • 3 0
 Amen. Also it is insane all the comments of why didn't you include this bike or that when it is clearly stated in the article how bikes are picked.
  • 45 11
 so what are we considering Down Country now-a-days? The RSD and Evil should be considered trail bikes. Anything over 120mm in the front is a trail bike
  • 8 0
 I'd say an average of 120(ish) millimeters of travel (be that 120/120, 130/115) and a weight hovering from 25-27ish pounds.
  • 9 5
 pretty sure 120 120 has always been a trail bike.
  • 51 0
 @StewP: 120 used to be all mountain, before that it was freeride, and before that it was downhill.
  • 8 1
 This. The RSD and Evil should not be in the same test category as an Ibis Exie. However you may look at the DC category, but one of those bikes clearly doesn't belong there.
  • 23 1
 @Muscovir: the RSD being 34 lbs(!) should disqualify it on weight alone. Down Country should be based off a XC platform, there is nothing XC about the RSD
  • 13 0
 @SATN-XC: YES! You're speaking my language! A Downcountry bike IMO is a fundamentally an XC bike frame, but build up with a slightly longer fork, a dropper post and slightly heavier tires.

Neither the RSD nor the Evil qualify for that.
  • 20 4
 Y'all are arguing over a made up classification? They stated that they are *trying to* compare different bikes, to give more points of contrast. I imagine this could help a consumer trying to decide what type of bike they want, not just which specific bike of this made up category is right for them.
  • 1 2
 @StewP: In 2010 you'd be totally right.
  • 7 1
 @Lokirides: 100% true (there are Trail Bikes and XC bikes and less/more rowdy versions of each in each category)...but PB opened this can of worms when Outside made them use the title "Downcounty Field Test" instead of simply calling it "Short Travel MTB Field Test" or something.
  • 3 0
 @Lokirides: I don't want to be shopping Enduro bikes (side note: every classification is made up, so there's no real point in mentioning that) and see a Demo or a Stumpjumper in the comparison, and this isn't any different.
  • 1 0
 I thought downcountry was just applying the latest gravity-inspired geo, that is finding its way onto Enduro and Trail bikes, to XC bikes. The Spur and RM Element are two that come to mind, but people don't consider them XC bikes, for some reason. The Top Fuel seemingly counts though. After the masses started using downcountry as a term, the definition seems to have been hijacked from the original creator and now seems to imply something between XC and trail. The way I see it, the gravity geo inspires confidence, which demands a heavy-hitting spec to tap it, making the downcountry bikes seem like short-travel trail bikes. The longer-legged conservative XC bikes seem to have no special name, so people just started calling them downcountry instead, I guess.
  • 6 0
 People, "Downcountry" is a made up PB category. It is whatever they want it to be. Arguing over what is or is not a part of this mythical marketing category is useless.
  • 17 11
 ...hang on wait... I thought it was... let me know if I am wrong> :]

Zero = Gravel
sub-110mm - XC
111mm-120mm = DC/Down Country
121mm-130mm = All Mountain
131mm-150mm = Trail
151mm-170mm = Enduro
171mm-180mm = Super Enduro
181mm-200mm = Free Ride \m/
201mm+ = Down Hill and The Grim Donut
  • 18 0
 @threesixtykickflip: Mmmhhh, in my time, AM was almost a synonym to Enduro, i.e. 150-160mm travel. Maybe I'm too old.
  • 6 0
 Seeing the bike list, with 1 exception, it seems to be:
- looks fast
- around 25 lbs
- costs a liver + a kidney
  • 26 0
 @threesixtykickflip:

I've always thought of it closer to:

Zero = Gravel
Up to 100mm - XC
101mm-120mm = Down Country (distinction between XC/DC is more dependent on geo than travel IMO)
121mm-140mm = Trail
141mm-160mm = All Mountain (this could be removed and Trail and Enduro meet at 150mm)
161mm-180mm = Enduro
181mm-200mm = Super Enduro/Single Crown Free Ride
201mm+ = Down Hill and The Grim Donut
  • 4 1
 Evil is definitely a trail bike not "down country" and more like aggressive trail like norco optic, transition smuggler. It's burlier and has suspension components to take the abuse.
  • 4 0
 @someguy101: @mikelevy please provide a written apology. Thanks.
  • 6 0
 @threesixtykickflip: I think you have Trail and All Mountain flipped
  • 1 0
 I'd say that 34 pound weight is the disqualifier, not the travel
  • 1 0
 @tpfenning: Looks much better - I failed :]
  • 2 0
 @cool3: Yeah, the AM should be after the trail.
  • 2 3
 @cool3: @cool3: Im in the same boat man, we had dh/freeride, all mouintain, hardtail, trials when I got into biking. I think all the 'modern' nomenclatures are stupid personally, the obsession with names is beyond me. Just ride what you enjoy and who cares what nerds online feel it needs to be classified as.... Its a mountain bike...
  • 2 0
 @Dopepedaler: the RSD won't be included in future downcountry tests. It seems to have eaten too much at the buffet and is stuck in the chair.
  • 2 0
 @VPS13: Hardtail can be anything between DH and XC. It is not like you only have different full suspension bikes for different disciplines. A DMR Exalt isn't great for XC and so isn't a DMR Switchback good for DH.
  • 1 0
 I remember when PB called the 120mm Kona Bear a "light freeride bike"
  • 3 0
 @vinay: I'm just saying what bikes used to be called 20 years ago before the terminology went nuts. We used to have dual crowns on hardtails back then too, I'm quite aware they can be used for different things. I don't get the obsession with the terms is all.
  • 2 0
 @VPS13: New terms don't bother me too much. If I realize they do, I know I'm taking this too seriously Wink . I'm just surprised to see that the setup that Pinkbike initially named "downcountry" has already been replaced by the kind of trail bikes the industry has been making for years (or evolutions thereof). Maybe it is the versatility of hardtail mountainbikes that typically drives them into a generic "hardtail" category. Which is fine as long as people realize that there may be a hardtail for nearly every type of riding, but no hardtail will be enjoyable in every single one of them. As for the dual crown forks, remember that single crown forks were limited to 130mm travel until they came with the onepointfive steerers. Until then (and Lefty forks aside), there were also mid travel dual crown forks like the WP/Rond Mid Ego (as opposed to their Big Ego DH fork). It was what people used on DS bikes. Actually, I'm pretty sure that if someone would release a mid travel DC fork (and such bikes would accept such a fork), it would sell.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Perhaps I've become too much of an old crusty in my early 30s lol, I don't get too bothered by it, I just ride my bike. I do get a kick when people ask me about my 'trail' bike and how it handles the DH trails (like its not meant to ride such things) I ride it on because it feels more capable than my 2004 A line I used to ride the same trails on way back when. I think no matter what you're riding, if you're having fun and progressing your riding, that's all that matters Smile
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: Arguing over made up shit is the M.O of the internet.
  • 22 1
 I try not to buy into hypes, but the downcountry segment got me and got me a Spur. I gotta say, the hype is real. Lightweight package, good suspension and geometry really makes these bikes amazing trail bikes for just about everyone. My quiver is made up of 5 very nice bikes by most standards, if I had do narrow it down to one, it would most likely be the Spur (or equivalent).
  • 20 0
 That Spur is SO good.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: What's crazy is if you put the same rear shock on the S-Works stumpy there's only a 50g difference between them. I was comparing them the other day, and given the stumpy has 10mm more travel front and rear I was really surprised to find this.
  • 2 0
 Compared to this BMC...a relative bargain. $7,100 USD, XO1, 25.2 lbs. $1,900 buys a lot of churros.
  • 21 1
 How do we disable autoplay on the PB video player?
  • 15 4
 Whoops, it had the wrong code in there. I've replaced it—it'll still autoplay, but on mute now.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I tried changing the auto-play setting in my profile but it didn't work. Real annoying!
  • 2 1
 downvote accidentally given. sorry!
  • 2 0
 You gotta give!
  • 10 0
 @brianpark: yes but how do we disable auto playing video on the PB video player?
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: will the videos also be going on YouTube? So I don't have to watch them on my phone screen?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: ignore me! Thought it was a different video on YT, but it's just got a different name...
  • 2 6
flag coombsd (Oct 26, 2022 at 13:07) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: I like this auto-start embedded video, looks really slick, not just another YT window.
  • 1 0
 @JonnyTheWeasel: same here, there is no reason why all videos should now suddenly autoplay.
  • 18 2
 remember when there was only one bike over $10k in the field test? ...those were some good days.
  • 4 0
 That has to change soon - maybe 2023. The party of cheap credit is almost ended ... maybe we'll only see wealthier folks riding the more expensive bikes.
  • 18 3
 Glad to hear some French and to see Sarah as one of the main hosts. Great job, Sarah, BTW!
  • 14 0
 SARAH IS ALIVE!!! Hi Sarah how ya been looking forward to the reviews great test btw.
  • 14 0
 no way the evil and the ibis are in the same category
  • 13 1
 Good choice of tires for the control. Still don’t know why people sleep on specialized tires
  • 5 0
 I run them on a couple of bikes. Great tires and actually affordable.
  • 2 0
 I run them cuz I paid 45 CAD per each Big Grin They work better then what bike came with
  • 11 3
 Recovering downcountry owner here. I bought a Spur, and I like it fine, but as a heavier guy (205 lbs) I find myself reaching for my trail bike more often. I do feel like I overwhelm the Spur a bit, and the mid-travel trail bike is more fun on the descents. The Spur is excellent for big pedally days, but some folks act like there's absolutely no compromise, and that's not true for me. Descending with a dad bod really is more fun on a mid-travel bike.
  • 6 0
 I virtually never ride my short travel bike. I grab my 170mm coil bike for every ride, because I just prefer that style of riding better. And I weigh sub 150. DC isn't for everyone.
  • 2 0
 as another big fella—6'5", 210lbs—and also riding a "downcountry" bike in the 120mm range, I found I had to tune my shock a bit to get it to accommodate my weight and riding style better. A volume spacer in the shock helped a ton! It took some experimenting which how large a spacer to use but once I got it dialed in it's been a great change and I love riding it.
  • 7 1
 recovering DH owner here. I got a Trek Session and I like it fine, but as a heavier guy (205 lbs) I find myself reaching for my XC bike more often. I do feel like it is hard to pedal Session a bit, and the XC bike is more fun on the climbing trails. The Session is excellent for big park days, but some folks act like there's absolutely no compromise, and that's not true for me. Climbing with a dad bod really is more fun on a XC bike.
  • 3 0
 @valrock: how dare you sir
  • 2 0
 I'm also a big guy with a dad bod and I really love downcountry bikes. Granted, I live where there's endless backcountry trails and not that much enduro, but I had so much fun on the short travel bike this year. it's sketchy AF in the rough stuff but it makes the blues and easier blacks way more fun than pedaling the long travel around.
  • 4 2
 @valrock: You made me chuckle so hats off, but in reality no one says there's no compromise in a DH bike while plenty of PB commenters act like the Spur is a magical unicorn farting rainbows out its arse and offering all things to all people.
  • 3 0
 I beefed my Spur up a bit for the type of riding I pursue.

1.Try a 130mm Pike on the front and a reservoir 120mm shock, and of course add volume spacers till you get it right.
2.Try a little wider rim (27-30mm).
3. Run larger brake rotors 200/180mm (180/180mm minimum). Also consider Codes in place of the G2s.
4. Of course taking the tires up notch on both ends will help with that descending as well.

The Spur geo is the real secret sauce. You can configure it more toward Trail, or more toward XC... it shines in any configuration.
  • 10 0
 Is that a crack in the Lapierre at 2:49 near the rear dropout and cable port?
  • 2 1
 @shoreboy1866 ...Nah that's just a new type of pivot-less flex stay type design--horst link be damned!
  • 1 0
 I think the horizontal mark is an impact gouge and the vertical one is the end of the frame tape
  • 11 0
 This video player is atrocious.
  • 7 0
 Sick. That RSD is pretty porky compared to the others but the geo looks fun. Might be able to shave off two or three pounds with a bling build.
  • 8 0
 I feel like Levy has been waiting for this field test all of his adult life, and possibly even before that.
  • 3 0
 Sitting on the edge of his seat since the last dc test.
  • 5 0
 The Exie is a WC XC tested platform. This proves that slacker geometry works better……everywhere. The term “downcountry” is likely to fade away now that even racers like Rissveds and Schurter have validated modern geometry for racing.
  • 8 0
 wait can we get a porcupine field test next?
  • 5 0
 Huck-to-Pop test
  • 7 0
 I think Kona needs to bring back the Process111 with new geo and 140 up front.
  • 4 0
 I just wish they would update the Hei Hei
  • 4 0
 Isn't that what the Process 134 is?
  • 1 0
 @fruitsd79: Yes, it is.

IMO, what KONA should do is a Process 134 ESD, with a 150mm Fork and a 64 degree head angle. That would be really nice and I'd have a hard time not buying one..
  • 6 1
 I think this is a cool category of bikes. Interesting that proportional XXL offerings in this category effectively do not exist. Not even poorly done, just not at all.
  • 1 0
 It's a struggle. Nicolai has a 105mm model with 445mm chainstays. They're not propositional per se, but they suit larger folks for once.
  • 1 0
 *proportional :-/
  • 7 0
 So stoked to see an RSD on there!
  • 5 0
 I'd just like to go on the record as saying... I'm not 100% sure what downcountry is, but I'm pretty sure it's not a bike with 140mm fork and 65 degree headtube angle.
  • 2 0
 My OIZ M10 TR was cheaper and had 120 front and back. fox 34/float factory. The new version even has carbon wheels.
But yeah theres a ton of brands that have the same design :\
  • 4 0
 the Oiz is getting updated Nov 3rd...
  • 16 11
 Everything but looks aside, none of these bikes hold a candle to the evil. They sure know how to make a sexy looking bike.
  • 22 3
 You think that Evil is better looking than the BMC?!
  • 5 2
 @mikelevy: Not saying the bmc looks bad, but yes the evil looks a lot more aggressive and fun than the bmc. again I´m saying all this not knowing anything about how they ride
  • 17 3
 @mikelevy: The BMC is clearly the most polished looking bike. That Evil linkage has more bolts than my couch cushion has loose change.
  • 1 4
 @mikelevy: I have eyes, yes.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: All day and twice on Sunday.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Is the Lapierre a lot less gorgeous looking in person?
The lines and paint on that thing absolutely pop on the screen
  • 2 0
 Kona Hei Hei CR or CR/DL would have been a good one to include.

That said, I own both a Hei Hei CR/DL and an RSD Wildcat v2 (very similar to the v3 but without some very reasonable updates they made).

Even though they are both 120mm rear bikes, they couldn’t be more different. The Wildcat definitely feels like a trail bike and can handle big burly lines with ease but is kind of a pig. Having a 140mm fork helps the trail bike feel. It pedals well but the weight is noticeable. The rear end feels much more bottomless than my Hei Hei which truly is a downcountry bike. I guess I’m agreeing with others here that the RSD belongs in a trail bike category as it feels nothing like an XC bike, mostly in a good way.
  • 4 0
 "a cross-county racer with an all-day, marathon kind of mindset."
This bike pedals so good it's crossing county lines.
  • 5 0
 Aaaand the old model Fourstroke. Nice.
  • 2 0
 You keep working on that time-machine.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, like WTF are BMC thinking. The new one looks WAY better (real dropper, 2 bottle cages, etc). But I guess it makes sense... it's BMC. They thought an 80mm dropper was all that would ever be necessary. Even their US Reps were like "wtf" when that thing came out.
  • 4 0
 You should put a -2 angleset into one of those bikes and give your impressions.
  • 6 2
 Give the people what they want: consider doing a Field Test for aggressive trail/enduro bikes under $5k.
  • 2 1
 I get that the point of this downcountry field test is to review new bikes, but there are still some bikes from the last 2 tests that are very relevant (Epic Evo?). I hope you guys keep those in mind when discussing the results.
  • 2 1
 Yup, I feel like all of these bikes need to be compared to the Epic EVO, Spur and the Top Fuel. Not just the other bikes tested.
  • 2 0
 Some off bike choices, but it’ll be more interesting that way, not a bunch of big names, two domestic carbon frames (boom!), and Evil (wtf?!), and RSD doing what they do (ie doing it smart).
  • 1 0
 The choice of bikes for the Downcountry Field Test is a bit weird. RSD Wildcat V3 29" has almost the same numbers as Norco Optic, which is like a mini downhill bike. In Norco's product line Revolver 120 would be a Downcountry bike, so I would say that something like Optic (In this case RSD Wildcat) can't be in the same test as something like Revolver 120 (Other bikes in this field test, except Following).

Speaking of the Following, since Evil was not present in PB's tests for a long time, you could omit it now also. If I remember correctly, the first generation of Following was marketed as a "Mini Downhill" bike. It is clearly a short-travel trail bike.

Also, the Field Test would be more relevant if the latest generation of BMC Fourstroke LT was included.
  • 1 0
 This field test makes more sense if you ignore 'down country' and see it as a lollapalooza of short travel bikes. Which is cool and fine.
  • 2 1
 3 riders weights - 150 lbs, 160 lbs, 170 lbs. 3 riders heights - 5'10, 5'7, 5'10. Not much for diversity of rider sizes. You need to get a larger person and a petite person in your test riders. At 6'04 260 lbs I fit the bill for one of the spots. I can start Monday. Feel free to PM me and we can discuss my salary. In all seriousness - it would help your field test and reviews if you had more variety of rider sizes.
  • 1 0
 The Orbea Oiz TR really should have been included in the test. 120/120, custom paint options, starting at $3999 and topping out at $8999 (or about $12,000 for one like mine) it is quite the value for most riders. Mine is 21lbs. race ready with dual lockouts, has zero cable noise and the most predictable handling I've had out of a slew of bikes I've owned.
  • 1 0
 Don't care about the bikes in the test (I already have a Marin RiftZone, thank you), stoked to see WHERE these were tested.
Some really nice riding out here, after living in the Lower Mainland for 6 years, much enjoy riding in the East again.
  • 1 0
 Wasn´t there talk, that Outside+ members got to see the Field Test videos all at once, instead of slice by slice like now and before? Personally, I joined O+ because of Trailforks+. But is there any bonus on pinkbike at all? Or did they dismiss that idea due to all the flak that they got?
  • 6 1
 no reeb sst?
  • 27 0
 We were supposed to have the SST included in this test but had some delays. I've got one now and have been riding it - review really soon.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: thanks for SST.
Deaf rider here, much in need for SST to understand it all!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Would be interesting to see how it compares to all these bikes. Excited for the reviews coming out!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Wild. As an SST owner, it'll be interesting to see how you guys get on with it.
  • 3 1
 Most interresting bikes in the class are for me the Arc8 Evolve FS and the Transition Spur. I would wish me a Field Test with these Bikes.
  • 2 0
 Apart from the headtube cable routing that ARC8 is an awesome, awesome bike.-
  • 4 0
 Does this category really exist if it’s not on PB’s BuySell page? Wink
  • 4 0
 And my new bike for 2022 is someone else's "new" bike from 2019.
  • 16 15
 It's pretty ironic that probably one of the best bikes in this category, the Pivot Trail 429, was never fully reviewed and was not included in this test. You guys did a first ride and then never a full review.
  • 101 7
 It took a whopping 75 comments until I saw the first "Why isn't xxx bike tested?!" That's gotta be a new record.
  • 12 12
 @mikelevy: "All of those bikes that you mentioned were previously reviewed - we keep the focus of Field Tests on bikes that we haven't tested before." -Mike Levy.

This bike was not previously reviewed in full is my point. Readily available, relatively new, and kickass bike in the category.
  • 23 7
 @cmb47: I can say the same thing about many other bikes that many other readers would have liked to see more than that Pivot... but we didn't have time or availability to include those either. Desperately sorry, we'll try to do better next time.
  • 22 1
 @cmb47: if you know it's "probably one of the best bikes in the category" and a "kickass bike in the catagory" why do you want a review so bad?
  • 17 2
 @cmb47: How Do We Choose the Bikes?

The first step in figuring out which bikes we want to have at a Field Test is making sure that we won't have the one you want to read about, which has turned out to be surprisingly easy to do for every single Field Test ever held.

THIS WAS WRITTEN JUST FOR YOU. YOU ARE VERY SPECIAL.
  • 10 2
 Because the Illuminati hates Superboost.
  • 15 0
 @Beaconbike: if you don't seek out positive reviews of stuff you bought recently what are you doing with your life.
  • 4 2
 @mikelevy: Based on your other 75 replies below this article, I initially thought you were feeling salty. But then I saw your riposte to @cmb47 and realized you're having some good ol' fun in the comment section, rubbing salt in commenters' wounds and taking the proverbial p1ss. Well done.
  • 3 6
 @Beaconbike: we'll, if you can imagine this, I went out and bought the bike despite the fact there was no review on Pinkbike. I wanted a review a year ago when I was considering buying one, since I've historically agreed with the reviews on here after buying the bikes reviewed.
  • 10 2
 @mi-bike: Never salty! Okay, a little salty but usually not in the comments. I like to poke but it does admittedly sometimes come across a*shole-ish when it's written comments and not video haha I swear I'm not one in real life Smile
  • 2 2
 @bikewriter: Superboost is BS, as is every other company trying to make up extra standards to make life difficult when hub shopping.
  • 3 1
 @Beaconbike: Same reason I always see comments in every review:

"Please review ______! I just bought one and love it!"

Kinda late now.
  • 3 0
 @bikewriter: The Evil is Superboost. That's why I didn't buy it.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: yes, you can´t serve everyone, it´s all good. Arc8 Evolve FS (120 mm Version), or the new generation BMC Fourstroke LT would be great. Maybe these bikes, as an example, could make it for the next DC field-test. :-D
Looking forward to the ReeB SST review!
  • 2 2
 @cmb47: If you know it kicks ass, why do you need to see a review of it?
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: Speaking of which, why didn’t you review the DC bike I just bought so either 1) You validate my belief it is the best, or 2) I can tell you that you are an idiot for not validating my purchase.
  • 1 0
 @bikewriter: You have it backwards, Superboost is the Illuminati with Dave Weagle as the supreme emperor.

Did you not see the shipping logs showing that in recent years all of the DW superboost bike carbon frames are made in the military junta of Myanmar? (Evil, Pivot, Devinci, etc carbon frames are actually all made in Myanmar)
  • 1 0
 ...
  • 6 3
 Apparently you're not allowed to wear kneepads when you ride bikes with 130mm travel, even when riding on sketchy wet rocks.
  • 22 2
 I very much dislike wearing any and all knee pads whenever there's any pedaling involved. And those rocks weren't as sketchy as what I see most days at home, but I just make them look really sketchy tbh haha. You're 100% allowed to wear them whenever you want, though.
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: Strongly agree
  • 3 0
 I broke a patella into 2 pieces and a couple of chips a few years ago... I wear knee pads on anything rowdier than a gravel bike Wink
  • 4 3
 Always the ATGATT police somewhere.
  • 3 1
 @Killerclam: Indeed. I have never broken my patella but when you get older, more out of shape, lose some of what little skill you had and heal slower I'm ok if there's ATGATT police throwing reminders for knee pads out. Elbow pads and gloves too. I can't afford to be injured for 6 months if I fall over in an SPD mishap in the parking lot.
  • 4 1
 the ol 4k vs 10k bike test. well that immediately jeopardizes part to part comparisons so... lets talk frame geo baby!!
  • 20 2
 Nah, we've all been riding long enough and have ridden more than enough bikes to know and, even more importantly, communicate how the bikes are different and what these price tags actually mean on the trail. Personally, I love having outliers like the RSD in group tests because it makes it much more interesting.

For example, we've got Norco's $4,000 Fluid in our upcoming trail bike Field Test where the other bikes cost twice as much or more. It's very eye-opening and we're usually impressed with how the less expensive bikes perform.
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy: I have a feeling the 4k trail bike is more equally matched to their 10k opponents.
Where as a 4k xc bike is really going to struggle to compete with their 10k comparison.

I'm glad you include these outliers and I can't wait to see if I'm correct!
  • 3 3
 I always assumed RSD was a Taiwan catalog bike reseller and not really a credible brand. I guess i shouldn't complain as it is the only bike in the test that I could buy if I sold my car and used the cash to get a new bike. Sad that when I had no money i dreamt about owning the bike in the shop window, now that i have money i dream about a bike a mid range bike that I don't spit out my coffee when I scroll down to the price.
  • 2 1
 If we disqualify every brand who has their frames made in Taiwan by another company like Giant, there would be few left outside the boutique brands. Then the trail would be nice and quiet for all the dentists to ride in peace I guess.
  • 3 1
 @Kiltymac: subtle but important difference between pointing to a stock design from the catalog (and ordering 1000 of each with your name on it) and doing the design and farming out manufacturing to your design and spec.

PS The dentists don't ride their bikes , they don't have the time so nobody would be on the trails...sad sad world.

PSS the boutique brands pricing isn't as out of line with mid-high range large brands anymore.
  • 5 0
 This isn't true - RSD designs all of their bikes in Ontario, and Alex (owner/designer) partnered with a top-notch manufacturing site in Taiwan to build his designs. rsdbikes.com/about-us

Fun fact - if you go to their website and start the chat, you're actually talking to Alex, owner of the company and designer. He is super responsive and great to deal with.
  • 2 0
 @coginthemachine: Good the hear, they pop up more and more on my search adds. Never seen one in the wild. I gave them a look when buying a fatbike a few years back but had no stock like most shops during covid. Getting in the PB review gets them more street cred with me for sure and I will take them a little more seriously.
  • 2 0
 I wish I knew how my 2018 Scott Spark compares to these new bikes. I always read about the latest downcountry bikes and think, hey my bike has that
  • 2 0
 I was waiting for the Yeti SB120……

ARC8 Evolve FS woulda been nice in this test….

I’m digging that Allied, and the Lapierre.-
  • 3 0
 If the RSD with 140/125mm is a DC bike, what is my Trek fuel ex with 140/130mm?
  • 2 0
 gravel obviously... Gen 6 Fuel EX is 150 so enduro is prob minimum 170 these days Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I wonder why BMC send you the old frame. The new one already replaced the bike you tested so only few ppl will be able to buy one when they like the Test.
  • 4 0
 Buy the RSD and save for your future.
  • 4 0
 How Do We Choose the Bikes?
"Omg, this looks sick"
  • 3 0
 Sweet. Stoked to see the Exie and BC40 reviews so I can compare to last year's Blur LT review.
  • 2 0
 *Blur TR
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: @sarahmoore, a question about prices: The Lapierre is 5199 INCLUDING SALES TAX. I'm assuming the USD prices are before tax? That's about a grand difference with ~ 20% EU VAT. I think that's worth a mention, no?
  • 5 1
 Really missing Alicia in this review
  • 3 1
 Why can't PB just get bikes in the mid-price range to review. Come on, how many of your readership can afford 9K-10K bikes, really? Do you not use demographics?
  • 3 0
 I'm guessing the companies are sending out top (or almost top) spec test bikes because they want the best impression possible? I could be wrong, but not sure PB (or Vital or NSMB or whoever is testing) gets a ton of say in what build spec is sent to them?
  • 2 0
 Because bike brands are reluctant to send anything other than their higher end when pitted against other bikes (because you wouldn't want say a component spec to be the reason your frame gets a less favorable review). If I were the marketing manager of a bike company I'd do the same. There are lower spec options easily viewble on their websites and PB already do a Value Field Test.
  • 1 0
 I think it’s a question of commitment more than income. I’d say I’d you are not spending 9k on your bike, but do ride a lot, then you are selling yourself short. Stop compromising on your favorite hobby and compromise in other areas. 9k bikes are totally worth it, and not just for rich people.
  • 1 1
 So downcountry is marathon, which was around 75mm back in the day. The short clips of your downcountry trails look like UK blacks!! Quite excited by this review, would love to see enduro bike v down country with the control tyres on, switch the tyres around between the bikes and ride enduro and downcountry.
  • 5 1
 Really well done, love the french intro with Sarah!
  • 3 0
 I'd ride, and certainly enjoy, all of them. The BMC looks sensational and the RSD is a great inclusion and a good price.
  • 2 2
 I know a lot of the popular choices have already been reviewed, but these bikes kinda look crap to some of the popular downcountry choices. I agree the Spur or similar needs to be a baseline comparison to all these bikes, because frankly I feel like it beats out most of them with ease. One bike I would like to see get reviewed is the banshee phantom v3.2, I figure the RSD isn't too far off but I've been liking the look of the banshee frames these days, pretty sweet looking...
  • 1 0
 Not interested in downcountry bikes but took a look at the video thinking I could see them eating some poutine....haha What a surprise to see that Sarah Moore is a french canadian !!! :O
  • 3 0
 The moniker downcountry needs to die the same fiery death as the label acoustic bikes.
  • 1 1
 MULGA BILL'S BICYCLE by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson
'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight."

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But 'ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dean Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."

The Sydney Mail, 25 July 1896.
  • 1 1
 Unrelated to pretty much anything here, my big takeaway: @mikelevy has the most vascular elbows I've ever seen. Check @5:56 if you're remotely interested. I wanted to suggest Levy throw down a burger or six but I've changed my stance on that now.

#jackestelbows
  • 1 0
 Shouldn't they include last year's winner in the tests? I mean, this year's winner might be a great bike, but how does it compare to last year's great bike that's still being sold, and basically unchanged?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy and co. It would be great to see this test series take place over her in Kelowna some time, I also think it would be great to get an experienced customer involved in the testing in some way.
  • 3 0
 Edited. I hope they compare this group of bikes to last year's
  • 1 0
 they already did it
  • 1 0
 they reviewed it last year
  • 1 0
 They tested it last dc field test
  • 1 0
 @jalopyj: As soon as I submitted my brain went "hey dummy, pretty sure they looked at this last year when it was a new frame"
  • 4 1
 can you just post the huck to flat video, everything else is irrelevant.
  • 2 0
 seriously though, going to be interesting to see the flex stays in action in the slow-mo
  • 2 0
 I'd like to see a 99 spokes version geo overlay. Big things to consider in this category: bb clearance, max tyre width
  • 2 0
 Is the RSD too slack and have too much travel to be a downcountry bike? - A guy that just looked at the pictures
  • 1 0
 My 115/130 Top Fuel is my race/trail/all-mountain bike.

Tho I’m eyeballing the new Fuel EX, which while ugly, might open up some greater opportunities
  • 2 1
 As usual. It would be great to see a review of whatever is not on test and in whatever particular fashion you have not chosen. “Per the mtb peanut gallery”
  • 1 2
 How is the ARC8 Evolve FS missing...

- 10.7kg
- XT drivetrain (XX1 and XTR options available too)
- 1700g frame weight incl. non proprietry shock
- 100 - 110 mm rear travel (210x50 or 210x55 shock)
- 110 - 120mm front travel
- 65-66deg HA
- 73-74deg SA
- long reach / short stem
- BSA threaded BB
- Euro 6,299.- / AU~$10,000.-

Ticks all the boxes.
  • 3 0
 maybe cause nobody has ever heard of this bike or this company ever. So they cant pick a bike they dont know exists.
  • 1 0
 @deknarp: I think Pinkbike is aware of this bike, it got quite the review here: www.pinkbike.com/news/first-ride-arc8-evolve-fs-2022.html
  • 1 0
 @cru-jones: slightly embarrassing that you read enough pinkbike to know that they've reviewed this rando xc bike
  • 3 1
 Très hâte de voir cette série! Je ne me doutais pas que Sarah Moore maîtrisait autant le français!!
  • 1 0
 I can’t read all the comments because my eyes would melt, but was the Banshee Phantom mentioned? That bike is the absolute king of “down country”
  • 1 1
 Why didn't you test bike x?
Jokes aside, I want to buy a dc bike and the bmc is the only one in this test which I'm remotely interested in...
  • 3 1
 The rent is to damn high.
  • 2 0
 Hyped! Great selection of bikes this time round
  • 3 1
 How did we choose our bikes? Are they unaffordable.
  • 3 0
 Bonjer Mike!
  • 2 0
 Less travel pay more, i see how it works now.
  • 1 0
 Was hoping this would double as a release for a new spur/smuggler like you did with the new carbon patrol!
  • 2 4
 If the cost is over $7,500 US, the weight is over 25 pounds, and the travel is only 120mm then there is no way I'm going to buy that bike. There are plenty of 130-150mm bikes that I can setup with lightweight wheels/tires and XC parts that are good for long pedaling rides that will be far more capable than a 120mm bike at a bit under 30 pounds.
  • 1 0
 25lbs? I thought that's even light for a hardtail. My hardtail is cheaper than that (luckily) but it may not be below 25lbs (with the 120mm travel fork). That said, the fork was a 150mm travel fork which I lowered to 120mm but to my absolute horror didn't get any lighter.
  • 2 1
 I am just happy @mikelevy can tell me if I should like my Evil Following or not.
  • 2 0
 I had a great time on my following v1. Dope bike!
  • 2 0
 It's kind of shocking how heavy the Evil is for a 130/120 carbon bike.
  • 2 0
 just 1,5 kg less than my 140mm ALUMINUM entry-level trail bike!!!!! Also, it is 3 times more expensive Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I have one. It's a beefy frame with burly suspension and brakes. Definitely a short travel trail bike and heavy compared my buddies' "down country" Blur, Ripley and Trail 429. Whatever...I bumped the fork to 140 and ride it/love it.
  • 2 0
 @jasbluboi: People seem to like them. Though I think it shouldn’t be in this test. It’s more comparable to the Tallboy, Stumpy or Ripley then these XC bikes with slacker HTAs.
  • 2 0
 Downcountry, the new word for Cross-country. #savecrosscountry
  • 1 0
 Bienvenue dans notre bout de pays!!! Hope you had a blast in these great eastern destinations! Vive la poutine!!!
  • 1 0
 Is my Outside + getting me early access to the vids on BETA? Oh that's right...
  • 1 0
 To be clear...I have no problem supporting PB and Outside. Levy deserves a donut fund. I just found the abrupt shutdown and lack of communication about BETA or perks for support to be a bummer.
  • 1 0
 You really couldn't find some other bikes in the $4-6k range for us non-dentists out there??
  • 2 0
 EVIL?! IN A FIELD TEST?!
  • 1 0
 poopybutthole
  • 3 6
 @mikelevy Once again, very eclectic selection of bikes. Could you maybe explain why you don't just pit the most relevant models against each other?

A test that compares the Scott Spark, Specialized Epic Evo, Trek Top Fuel and other popular bikes would have surely been a lot more relevant to most people, no?

@brianpark Remember when you promised your readers a 6k price limit?
  • 9 2
 It comes down to availability, just like it has over the last couple of years, but we do also like having different bikes meant to do similar-ish things - it makes it much more interesting IMO. Especially as we eventually do review almost everything out there. Obviously, the Evil isn't up against the Lapierre, and neither is in the same buying bracket as the RSD, but comparing how they perform is much more interesting than, "Another 120mm bike that pedals super well!" because all of them are basically the same thing.

As for the price cap, I'd love to have that but we might not have as many bikes to review.
  • 8 0
 @mikelevy: Budget tests are great, but it'd be cool to see a base vs bling test. Get the base and top spec of the same model and see if there is any actual performance difference there is between a $3600 Stumpy Alu and a $17000 S-Works Stumpy Ltd.
  • 1 0
 Also side-by-side suspension (linkage, flex, etc) in the overview
  • 1 1
 these look One step up from real gravel bikes(xc bikes) so well done on picks.
  • 3 4
 Hilarious to see people who own all mountain/enduro bikes bitching about the difference between XC race, downcountry, and trail.
  • 2 1
 You did this to yourself. :⁠-⁠)
  • 3 1
 Love my Pivot Trail 429.
  • 1 0
 That Lapierre looks like a big bang for your buck.
  • 1 0
 So, will Levy be the designated Head Chief of Poutine Inspections?
  • 1 1
 No Yeti SB115 ??? Wasn’t that considered the bike that started the whole “Downcountry” term?
  • 2 0
 That Exie is XC
  • 1 1
 Are they calling single pivot bikes flex pivots? Seriously I cannot tell where the chainstay is suppose to flex
  • 1 0
 some say 'down country'. some say retirement bike..........
  • 1 1
 Is Evil still the only bike manufacturer where the shock is compressed by pulling?
  • 1 0
 Ancillotti comes to mind.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Nope. I have an Ancillotti and the link is pulled but the shock is pushed.
  • 2 0
 Lapierre already broken?
  • 2 0
 YT IZZO ???
  • 1 0
 Would have loved to see a Revel Ranger in this test!
  • 1 0
 Woo, smoores! Good to see ya out in front of the lens!
  • 1 0
 Testing in Canada and forgot to get a Rocky Mountain Element? Weird.
  • 1 0
 wagonwheels...charming. Faster is not more fun
  • 1 1
 @ElDebarge: it was a slow week at PB, haha.
  • 1 1
 I wonder if Ibis is considering an Exie AF? ...I love my Ripmo AF
  • 3 1
 A heavy alloy xc race bike. Suuuuure.
  • 2 0
 @bikewriter: Didn't you read the headline of this article? The Ibis is a downcountry bike.
  • 1 1
 Allied huh? The should have name the company u-haul instead.
  • 1 0
 deleted
  • 3 3
 Came for the huck to flat tests. Left disappointed Frown
  • 1 1
 The entire comment section is fapping at Evil... what is going on? Big Grin
  • 1 2
 Most of those look like XC bikes rather than down country. And then theres the Evil....
  • 1 1
 poopbuttholes on the trail
  • 2 2
 I would have put the Ibis Ripley in. Not the Exie.
  • 1 0
 Too bad, no Mondraker!
  • 1 2
 BMC not rocking a dropper?! love it
  • 5 0
 It's their integrated RAD dropper with 80mm of travel.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: just watched video...I see now it was mentioned in there. Excited to see how well it performed
  • 14 0
 @SATN-XC: I broke it Smile
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: diet time?
  • 1 4
 Don't really see the point in these bikes when 150 even 160 bikes peddle just as good are more comfortable and a whole lot better.funner on the descents
  • 9 1
 More travel can mean more speed and capability, but also a very different personality on the trail. I love me a good all-mountain bike, but far prefer riding short-travel bikes most of the time on the same kinds of trails. Just a different way to do the same things.
  • 2 0
 Beacause most rides in terrain a lot of riders consider as requiring a 150/160 bike do require climbing for 80% of that ride.
  • 1 2
 Great review of bikes I will never ride.
  • 2 1
 did you know that posting comments consumes resources and creates CO2 emissions... you are destroying planet with your useless comment Big Grin
  • 3 5
 Field Test on
1) Bikes that 95% cannot afford
2) Bikes that are not in stock/available if you could afford them
  • 4 2
 Yeah I'm angry too. I wish Top Gear to review mostly Toyota Camrys and Hyundi i20s...
  • 1 2
 That one guy from this site a few months ago died from the vax
  • 5 8
 Wait, no Spur, Element, HeiHei, or Revolver? 4/6 bikes cost >9000CAD!? What is happening.
  • 14 1
 All of those bikes that you mentioned were previously reviewed - we keep the focus of Field Tests on bikes that we haven't tested before.
  • 12 2
 All bikes we've reviewed in the relatively recent past Wink
  • 15 0
 @mikelevy: Yes, but they're available in all new colours now, which surely must have affected the ride?
  • 2 4
 @mikekazimer: But why is that? Why would you compare a "new" and very eclectic crop of bikes that mostly don't even fit in the same category rather than the established and most popular bikes of a category? I honestly don't get it.
  • 5 0
 @Muscovir: I mean...you can go back and check out the earlier reviews
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer: but you haven’t answered the question, why 4/6 bikes beyond the 9k price range all of a sudden seem to represent the majority of pinkbike readers interest in your eyes. Or what exactly has been the driving motor behind this special dentist selection? There is no real world comparison for the majority here who will never in a lifetime sell all their belongings and their souls in order to buy a bike in this price range.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer @mikelevy Fair enough, I'll go re-drool over those bikes. Thanks for the responses!
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: downcountry?
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