Video: Welcome to the 2022 Value Bike Field Test - Reasonably Priced Full-Suspension and Hardtails

Mar 25, 2022 at 12:36
by Mike Levy  


WELCOME TO THE 2022 PINKBIKE x BETA
VALUE BIKE FIELD TEST
9 Full-Suspension and Hardtails Ridden and Rated



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards


Remember that one time we reviewed a $9,000 trail bike and it really disappointed us? Yeah, me neither. It turns out that when you throw a bunch of fancy parts at a fancy frame, the finished product is also fancy and probably doesn't suck, which sometimes leaves us with not much to say beyond stale platitudes and trivial criticisms about cable routing or chainstay protection.

But dial that number down to less than $3,500 for a full-suspension bike, or hardtails that come in under $2,100 USD, and things get a lot more interesting. This time around the crew headed south to Tucson, Arizona, for our annual Value Bike Field Test that saw nine reasonably-priced machines face off against each other on the rough, rocky desert trails. Two weeks of riding later and we can (almost) agree about which bike is the most impressive, which one scared us the most, and how much horchata the human body can consume before needing serious medical attention.
Over the next few weeks we’re rolling out this Field Test on Pinkbike and YouTube as usual, but Beta MTB members get early access starting today. Head over to betamtb.com to see all the Field Test videos and reviews right away, or sign up for Beta MTB if you're not a member yet.

These tests take a lot of time and money to make happen, and we genuinely try to give riders useful, honest feedback about the bikes we review. We appreciate everyone's support!


Beta's Ryan Palmer dodging cactus, rattlesnakes, and sunburns on Canyon's Spectral 125.


5 Full-Suspension Bikes

Let's be honest with ourselves: hardtails can be a lot of fun, but I suspect that most of us would prefer to be riding a full-suspension bike most of the time. The holdup for some is that while they certainly can give you more comfort, traction, and speed compared to only having front suspension, the extra moving bits also mean more money, weight, and complexity. Those are less of a concern if you're okay spending big bucks, but it's a different story if your budget tops out at $3,500 USD or less as ours did with our five full-suspension trail bikes. Plenty to talk about in our upcoming reviews, then.

Fezzari Cascade Peak
• Travel: 130mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66.4° head-tube angle
• 75° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 463mm (large)
• Weight: 32.9 lb / 14.92 kg
• $2,999 USD

Get Early Access on Beta
Specialized Stumpjumper Alloy
• Travel: 130mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 65 / 65.5° head-tube angle
• 77.2 / 77.7° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475 / 480mm (S4)
• Weight: 35.6 lb / 16.14 kg
• $2,650 USD

Get Early Access on Beta

Canyon Spectral 125
• Travel: 125mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 64° head-tube angle
• 76.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 486mm (large)
• Weight: 34.9 lb / 15.83 kg
• $3,499 USD

Get Early Access on Beta
YT Izzo
• Travel: 130mm rear, 130mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66 / 66.5° head-tube angle
• 77 / 77.5° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 472mm (large)
• Weight: 30.40 lb / 13.78 kg
• $3,399 USD

Get Early Access on Beta

Kona Process 134
• Travel: 134mm rear, 140mm front
• 29" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 76.3° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 475mm (large)
• Weight: 35.30 lb / 16.01 kg
• $2,599 USD

Get Early Access on Beta



4 Hardtails

Want to get a mountain bike but don't have a ton of money to spend? While full-suspension rigs made nearly entirely out of carbon fiber get most of the headlines, hardtails offer a simpler, and therefore less expensive, way to get into riding. And because you're not paying for the extra engineering, material, and all those pivots, they often sport an impressive spec sheet that a similarly priced dual-suspension bike can't even get close to.

But they're not just for budget bikers, either, as those who can't get through a season of riding without cracking yet another set of chainstays, destroying another set of bearings, or blowing yet another shock might have better luck - and less time off the bike - by choosing a hardtail.

Commencal Meta HT AM Origin
• Travel: 160mm
• 27.5" wheels
• 65° head-tube angle
• 74° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 445mm (large)
• Weight: 29.80 lb / 13.51 kg
• $1,500 USD

Get Early Access on Beta
Diamondback Sync'r
• Travel: 140mm
• 27.5" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 74° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 440mm (medium)
• Weight: 32.75 lb / 14.85 kg
• $1,500 USD

Get Early Access on Beta

Marin Team Marin 1
• Travel: 120mm
• 29" wheels
• 67° head-tube angle
• 74° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 450mm (large)
• Weight: 28.10 lb / 12.74 kg
• $1,598 USD

Get Early Access on Beta

Salsa Timberjack XT
• Travel: 130mm
• 29" wheels
• 66.4° head-tube angle
• 75.1° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 454mm (medium)
• Weight: 30.60 lb / 13.87 kg
• $2,099 USD

Get Early Access on Beta



How Do We Choose the Bikes?

By "choose," what I really mean to say is, "Please, just send us any bike that you have in stock." If you've tried to buy yourself a new ride anytime over the last few years, or even just parts of a bike, you already know that you're more likely to stumble onto the Ark of the Covenant than the 12-speed chain and derailleur you were actually looking for. Even so, Kazimer somehow sweet-talked his way into getting five full-suspension bikes that retail for $3,500 USD or well under, and four hardtails that come in at $2,100 USD or less.

Yes, a couple more bikes would have been good. Yes, some of the prices have gone up after the fact. And yeah, Kazimer can be downright enchanting when he wants to be, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't tell him how disappointed you are that he wasn't able to get the exact bike you wanted - needed - to see reviewed at this Field Test.


Kazimer would never let a little thing like "Not enough speed" keep him from trying a jump.


How'd We Test the Bikes?

This is our tenth Field Test, and that's not even including all the trips Kazimer and I did over the years before we had a name for them, so we've got the testing process on lock by this point. It's not complicated: head out for a short test lap and then do another. Then do another, and another, and then a bunch more. After we've done that, we head out for some test laps before heading out for some test laps after we get back from doing test laps. Then, after we've returned, we go for a few more la... Okay, you get the point; nothing beats short, repeatable laps on a course that suits whatever kind of bikes we're riding.

That back-to-back testing is key because it lets us compare, er, comparable bikes far better than if we were riding them in isolation, and it highlights standout differences in geometry, suspension performance, and the bikes' specs. Just don't call it a shootout, alright?


Palmer on his way up aboard the Canyon.
Kazimer on his way down on the YT.

Desert trails are rough, but Alicia knows that it's way smoother in the air.


All those laps wouldn't count for much if the trails were more pumptrack than singletrack. But on the same hand, as much as we like to look like we know what we're doing in photos of us riding sketchy terrain, none of these reasonably priced bikes were made for do-or-die lines. In reality, they need to be ridden on singletrack that matches their intentions, which I'd argue is light to medium duty trail riding with some rough stuff thrown in for good measure.

And that's exactly what Tucson served up for us; undulating trails with a mix of tricky, low-speed climbs and fast, rough descents, all of which were paved in pointy rocks and either all the traction or none of the traction to keep us on our toes. It was mostly smooth sailing, although there were a few crashes over our two weeks of riding, as you might expect, and we also had some mechanical concerns that we'll talk about in the upcoming review videos. Oh, and that time Palmer had to hand-sew his Maxxis rear tire in order to get out of the desert before dark, but we'll get to those behind-the-scenes stories in a future podcast.


Matt Beer late for something and coming in hot on the Fezzari.


Our Value Bike Field Tests are a little different from the normal group reviews in that we're less concerned about using control tires to equalize traction and efficiency, and we put far less emphasis on timing our laps. Why? Well, we suspect that if you're looking for a bike in this price bracket, you probably want to know more about how it performs as-is rather than how it works after we've installed $250 in rubber that's way better than whatever tires came stock on the bike.

In other words, if you're spending all your hard-earned fun tokens on a bike that costs $3,500 or less, the spec definitely matters and we didn't want to gloss over such an important factor.


Plus-sized tires suit the desert's endless kitty litter and pointy ground, even if I don't.
Alicia: "These trees sure do look strange."

Palmer on Commencal's Meta hardtail.
Value Bike Field Test photo by Tom Richards
In case you haven't been before, every desert sunset is the best sunset.


Speaking of glossing over things, timing our laps will always be a thing at these get-togethers as it gives us another metric to compare and talk about, but we also know that a couple-second gap between two value-priced bikes certainly doesn't mean that one is better than the other. After all, maybe our legs felt better in the morning, or perhaps it was all the horchata that had me going so fast and dropping Kazimer?

That said, given that our nine test bikes vary so much in geometry, suspension performance, and spec, don't be surprised to see some notable differences on the timing sheet. How much stock you put in those numbers is up to you, though.


This version of the Impossible Climb nearly lived up to its name.



Impossible Climb, (No) Efficiency Test, & Huck to Flat

While the stopwatch doesn't lie, it's really the Impossible Climb and Huck to Flat that we're all basing our buying decisions on, right? I mean, it wouldn't be a Field Test without some senseless climbing before bottoming out on a pancake-flat landing, so you can expect the series to wrap up with Matt Beer riding all nine of these bikes up something steep and then off of something silly.

What we're not doing this time around is the Efficiency Test. I know, I know, you're probably as bummed about that as I am, but hear me out; with the value bikes having different tires, and four of them being hardtails, we thought our time could be better spent doing something else, which is why the extra climbing has been replaced with a video breaking down each of the components across all the bikes that impressed us the most. In it, we'll talk about which budget forks, drivetrains, brakes, dropper post, and other parts worked the best, along with a few things that definitely didn't.


Max Baron: "This light is amazing!"
Max Baron: "f*ck this light!"

This little fella isn't quite as soft and cuddly as the bears we're used to seeing on our rides.
I finally had an excuse to wear my favorite vest.



Who Tested the Bikes?

Mike Kazimer, Alicia Leggett, myself, and Beta's Ryan Palmer spent two weeks in Tucson, Arizona, evaluating and comparing our nine test bikes while eating Mexican food for every meal of every day, including pre-lunch lunch, second dinner, and warm midnight churros.

As usual, testing duties were split between multiple riders to give us a few perspectives on how each of the bikes performed; we agree on most things but not on everything, and that lets us calmly discuss our differing opinions like well-adjusted adults. Yeah, that's how it went...

Value Bike Field Test photo by Tom Richards
Matt Beer
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 170 lb / 77 kg
Notes: Tech editor, allergic to everything

Mike Kazimer
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Notes: Managing tech editor, noted alien skeptic
Alicia Leggett
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 148 lb / 67 kg
Notes: News editor moonlighting as a tech editor

Mike Levy
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 155 lb / 70 kg
Notes: Tech editor, unsure whether it's aliens or lizard people
Ryan Palmer
Height: 6' / 183cm
Weight: 200 lb / 90 kg
Notes: Senior Tech Editor at Beta, way too poor to be this snobby


Matt inspecting his latest send on the Fezzari.
I'm practically a sound engineer by this point.

The video team shot us all day, then shot bike beauty shots all night.
That's a wrap!


While it's Ryan, Kazimer, Matt, Alicia, and I that's in front of the camera for these Field Test projects, the five of us don't even know which way to pull the focus or where to install the film. We'd be completely lost without our overworked video and photo crew - Max Baron, Tom Richards, and Lear Miller - who not only make sure we're mostly in focus but also manage to make us look far better than we actually are. And then, after we film for two weeks, we lock them away inside the Pinkbike editing cave and only feed them Timbits through a small hole in the wall until they come out the other side pale, fat, and with a finished video series.

Speaking of finished videos, which bike review are you most looking forward to? Which bike looks the least promising?




The 2022 Value Bike Field Test was made possible thanks to Visit Tucson and Norrona clothing.





315 Comments

  • 206 6
 The embargo lifts on my riding vest next week. Stay tuned for the review.
  • 37 1
 I sense this has been your podcast outfit for some time.
  • 28 0
 @TwoNGlenn: Video podcasts are incoming, so you'll find out soon.
  • 5 0
 your pants are too long
  • 20 0
 That was a teddy bear cholla shown, not a prickly pear FYI. That’s OK though, when I’m in Canada I keep calling toques, beanies.
  • 29 0
 @mikelevy: I'm a cowboy, on an alloy horse I ride
  • 22 2
 @PHX77: What's a beanie?
  • 8 0
 It's like jorts for your arms
  • 11 0
 @PHX77: Watched a terrifying video explaining cholas, WTF. Had no idea a plant could attack you like that.

Now too cactus phobic to go below 49th parallel.

youtu.be/govDx6IcYhk
  • 2 0
 @50percentsure: between these and the rattle snakes!
  • 5 3
 Levy - Please never wear those shorts again.
  • 1 0
 @ridestuff: Grew up in New Mexico. Never go for a hike without a Leatherman, you will be pulling out needles a some point.
  • 167 0
 Always stoked to see affordable bike tests.

Amused you’re charging extra to see the results sooner. Like, you’ll have an extra 2 weeks of knowing what bike you want that’s on backorder.
  • 38 2
 #commentgold
  • 9 98
flag wyorider (Apr 18, 2022 at 13:42) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: I have my moments. When I’m not being downvoted 10,000 times.
  • 88 0
 The first time you have to pay extra to see the results early is on the value bike field test. Ironic.
  • 24 0
 @epoit: yep, target market: swing and a miss!
  • 6 1
 If you have an iPhone you can turn on reader view in safari and read beta mtb without paying a cent.
  • 1 0
 @louiefriesen: where is this option on the iPhone? Smile
  • 6 0
 @louiefriesen: Thanks. Enabling reader mode in Chrome works as well.
  • 1 12
flag bananowy (Apr 19, 2022 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Marsupilami: Yeah, just read all the "early access" reviews using reader mode. Unsurprisingly, the Canyon seems to be the best (or rather the only decent?) bike here. Shame its review was written by probably the weakest tester, but I would assume/hope there was some input from others.
  • 5 4
 They use HTML and CSS for their paywall. It's very easy to bypass. And there is no value in their Beta articles ever. I'd be surprised if they weren't losing money paying people to write them.
  • 1 0
 @hitarpotar: Beside the website on the top left or bottom left, it shows to As (like AA), tap on that then tap on enable reader view.
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: What do you mean by "Shame its review was written by probably the weakest tester"?
  • 1 3
 @pmhobson: I mean exactly what I wrote. Palmer doesn't seem to be as good on a bike as the Mikes and Alicia.
  • 2 0
 @louiefriesen: thanx, figured it out. Smile
  • 114 0
 The American southwest wasn't ready for mike levy in booty shorts.
  • 113 0
 He's been zwifting all winter in preparation for the big reveal.
  • 91 0
 @henryquinney: The only thing it revealed was how little sun the pacific northwest gets
  • 44 0
 @henryquinney: So many lunges.
  • 22 4
 The absence of assless chaps was a missed opportunity @mikelevy.
  • 2 0
 there is not doubt@henryquinney:
  • 14 0
 Petition for next Pinkbike Field Test to co-star @dangerholm for a booty shorts competition.
  • 2 0
 ...The Rip and Beth of Pinkbike
  • 9 0
 @sjc88: I don't think it was
  • 7 8
 If I had to put a picture beside the definition of misspent youth, Mike's tatted up legs would be a front runner. Wink
  • 10 0
 @sjc88:

Ummmm, all chaps are assless
  • 3 0
 I’m just relieved Levy didn’t go full Daisy Duke
  • 3 0
 @sjc88: All chaps are assless.
  • 3 1
 Better then the xc outfit last year or 2 years ago that required some editing to not get it pulled off youtube! Can we have a real Yeee haaa please Alicia.
  • 1 2
 @henryquinney: LOL. @henryquinney trolling @mikelevy. is LOL still a thing??
  • 90 0
 Convinced that Levy is just using these field tests to satisfy his cosplay fantasies.
  • 78 0
 Mountain biking looks like a cosplay fantasy sometimes fwiw
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: I wish there was any evidence to the contrary... it does not appear to exist.
  • 71 2
 Love that you guys are doing this, and really do appreciate you keeping it free for the masses. Think it was a really smart idea to go w/ an early access model vs. limiting the content in any way. So appreciate the decision makers there, and shoutout to Levy on the cut scene -- that was cheeky/hilarious.

Thanks for making these happen, at the end of the day they are entertaining, informative, and a great way to spend a half hour during the work day!
  • 2 0
 Good things come to those who wait.
  • 47 1
 Cool bikes, but why aren’t you reviewing a 2015 Big Kona Honzo? I used to own one and still need to justify the phase in my life where I thought 27.5 plus tires were the be-all-end-all.
  • 22 2
 That stumpy is awful value lol
  • 17 1
 Anybody wanting hardtail info should go check out Hardtail Party on YouTube. Taking nothing away from our friends at Pinkbike, but having a hardtail-focused POV with a huge variety of reviews adds a bit more valuable perspective IMO. They are very different beasts than FS.
  • 25 0
 Hardtailparty does a great job.
  • 17 8
 That channel is too-try hard and totally dad kook style
  • 1 4
 Yeah, given where they were testing and that Steve isn't too far away it would have been interesting to have him come along for the impossible climb. The fact that (spoiler alert) none of the hard tails made it anywhere interesting probably says less about the bikes and more about the rider and possible the too-high tire pressure on the bikes with huge tires.
  • 18 4
 @mariomtblt: sorry I don’t speak millennial.
  • 6 2
 Steve "reviewed" some really cool bikes, but I can't recall a single video in which he said something negative. He just seems to like every bike he rides, but some of them just a tad more than the other, which can be really confusing if you're not familliar with this my-channel-relies-on-stuff-that-bike-brands-send-me kind of view. I'm not saying it's biased, but I feel that Steve smoothes his opinion so as not to make anyone angry.

Again - it's not an accusation of any kind, it's just an impression I get from those reviews.
  • 2 0
 @akkwlsk: I do appreciate his point of view that most bikes are good bikes - the challenge is understanding if a bike is right for the rider. Rather than simply listing pros and cons. However, he does occasionally speak negatively on certain bikes. A perfect example is the commencal meta ht (harsh feel) or the previous version of the honzo st (geo mismatch).
He also does a good job considering the real value of a frame, but sometimes gets carried away in the middle-aged-man mentality with things like titanium, etc.
  • 2 0
 @FranklinHaith: with you fellow "dad look"
  • 3 0
 @FranklinHaith: kook,. Dam auto correct.
  • 2 1
 @mariomtblt: Just think of all the suffering your parents had to go through...riding hardtails so that you could could grow up shredding 130mm "short travel" wünderbikes.
  • 1 0
 @akkwlsk: he destroyed the Meta HT, it is his NoGo bike. I think he is fine
  • 23 8
 I am not sure most of those are value bikes, some are just "cheap" bikes (meaning they are expensive for what they are, but still the least expensive you can get these tough times). Cheap does not mean value, on the contrary, paying 2.5k for a bike with crappy suspension and no brakes is not smart in any way.
  • 27 0
 Cheap or inexpensive doesn't mean value, you're right. That's a big talking point in many of the videos from this Field Test.
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: speaking of value, would’ve been sick to see a Giant Fathom in the test since they run like $1500 and come with decent geo, spec, and are finally thru axle front and rear.
  • 16 0
 Did you ask us not to call it a shootout @mikelevy because you missed the chance to do so while filming in your cowboy outfit??
  • 22 5
 Stoked to see Palmer take part in this, IDC.
  • 14 0
 No knee pads...in the desert...yall crazy.
  • 10 3
 I virtually never wear pads. Not that crazy.
  • 6 0
 @JSTootell: Problem solved then. lol
  • 12 1
 The one thing I learnt from this is that you guys are nearly all bang on the same height....and that i'm way shorter but also packing a full bikes worth of extra weight on my bod.
  • 16 0
 Us being close to the same height isn't by accident Wink
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: gene jacket therapy? gotta be able to share all the slick desert fits amongst the group
  • 8 0
 Brian 3D prints the review team, but he's only got enough CAD skills to do relatively minor alterations to the "Bicycle reviewer" plans he got off Thingiverse. He's essentially Anthony Hopkins in Westworld
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: 100% accurate.
  • 19 10
 Alarmed by Alicia shredding in eyeglasses. Are those from a sport brand? Last thing I'd want during a frontal digger is thin metal wire and glass edges crumpling near my eyes. Although if Riddle can ride Rampage with them I guess... It is what it is.

Always love to see Salsa in the mix. Their MTBs get lost in the shuffle when they're known for road/gravel/tour bikes.

Levy needs to do a sunscreen field test after his stint in Sedona and then Sea Otter. Give us the sweet deets, Mike!!
  • 83 0
 Yeah, ugh, I'm in the troubleshooting phase. Recently discovered I can see WAY better with glasses on, and the feeling of wearing contacts is pretty horrifying so far... but I'm trying to force myself to get used to it. We'll see how this plays out.
  • 16 3
 @alicialeggett: LASIK!

Best decision of my life. Don't have to bring glasses and/or contact lens case and solution everywhere.
  • 7 1
 @alicialeggett: As an adult? I was furious when I discovered I was nearsighted at 18. So many adults, parents and teachers, not connecting the dots for me when I'm in the front row squinting and taking twice as long to jot notes.

Your glasses look great but yeah, I think there are a few brands that make 'sport glasses' (SportRX or something is the most common one) that have sturdy frames and shatter proof lenses. Not sure what Riddle wears, he might have some insight if he's doing 50 foot drops with specs on.

I'm still on eyeglasses too. Haven't considered contacts. Being nearsighted I'm comfortable doing basically everything but driving without glasses.
  • 13 0
 @alicialeggett: Unfortunately for us sight challenged riders, glasses are a must. As someone who has ridden bikes for decades, and worn glasses for almost twice that, contacts can be less then ideal. I personally recommend getting a pair of prescription glasses specifically for cycling. You can keep your regular glass for everyday use, and have a more "technical" pair for riding. That way you can have ample protection (from the environment, or from the glasses themselves) while on the trail without having to look like either a cop, a bro, a just trying to hard, when not on your bicycle.
  • 4 0
 @alicialeggett: lensandframe.co/collections/ombraz they're quite expensive but great for riding - you can get prescription + photochromic lenses
  • 9 0
 I’ve been shortsighted (-5.0 if North Americans use the same system of measurement which is unlikely) since I was early teens.
Had contact lenses since 16, and monthly lenses since 18. No issues bike riding in them whatsoever.
  • 5 1
 @lepigpen: you can get most of Oakley's riding glasses with a prescription, the two piece lens work better than the one piece due to the lower weight. Definitely worth the investment when riding a few days a week.
  • 3 0
 It can be hard to find prescription riding glasses, particularly if you're looking for lenses that darken when exposed to sunlight (aka photochromic lenses), but they are out there from the major brands.

There's also prescription safety glasses, if you're on a budget. My experience is that I have worse luck with helmet interaction with these, compared to glasses designed for mountain biking.

Recommend avoiding anti-glare coatings. They easily craze when left in a hot car. I had this happen a few times on my non-riding glasses that were left in the car while I went for a ride, before I learned to avoid getting the coating on new lenses.
  • 25 11
 wow what a bunch of damn NERDS!
  • 3 0
 @alicialeggett: I've just been through this. Deathly afraid of anything eye related. Tried, really really tried to do contacts. I just can't. Went through a few different types of glasses, settled on prescription Smith Pathways from SportRX. Went through two types of lenses, they are pretty easy to deal with and willing to make it right.
  • 9 0
 Contacts are the best. My eyes are still getting worse so lasik isn't an option, but contacts give me the ability to wear whatever sunglasses I want. They're not the best to get used to but I'm six years in and so glad I switched when I did.
  • 1 0
 @notu: Amen.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett: some are happy with contact lenses, I have an older model Julbo Run with slightly tinted prescription glasses. It is quite a challenge to get it right with those lenses, many opticians don't know how to focus them for MTB sport. Maybe ask Raphaela Richter Wink
  • 2 1
 @tbmaddux: Oakley makes a trail lens. Mine look super dorky but they work pretty good in low and bright light.
  • 26 2
 @AyJayDoubleyou: In the USA, we grade nearsightedness from 1 to 50. It's based on how many stars you can count when a 15 by 20 foot American flag is flying at the other end of a football field (100 yards). A perfectly sensible, freedom-rich measurement system.
  • 4 0
 @lepigpen: "Not sure what Riddle wears, he might have some insight if he's doing 50 foot drops with specs on."

It's why he prefers blind lips.
  • 2 0
 @owl-X: yup…fast, blind, old.
  • 4 1
 @alicialeggett: I was about to write the same as @lepigpen.

I use Shimano Equinox with optical clip. When i bought them there were cheap and that set works fine for most of the time.

There are two annoying things. First problem are eyelashes touching the optical lenses. You can used to it but it's not cool.

The second thing is dirt and water going between the optical lenses and lensnses on the actual glasses. That's FKING annoyng because you need to disasemble the whole glasses.

Normal glasses with stright lenses (as perpendicular to the ground) are very dangeuros because the angle of the lens creates air vortex when you ride fast. I was riding like that for a long time and I'm still amazed that I didn't kill myself not seeing where I'm going Wink

Equinox and all the "sport" glasses with curved lenses solvs that problem immediately and are way safer when crashing.

My next glasses will be dedicated optical sport lenses.
  • 2 0
 @bocomtb: that's gold
  • 1 0
 @bocomtb: naturally
  • 2 0
 @alicialeggett: I had to make that jump a few years back. Sucks because can't find cool prescripiton (affordable) riding glasses so just have to use the ol regulars.
  • 2 0
 @ghebinkim: fully agree! I remember staring at the ceiling fan after walking up, because I can see it clearly lol
  • 10 0
 @alicialeggett: surely it's time for a group test of prescription riding glasses, OTG goggles and clip in lenses. Probably easier to get hold of than derailleurs...
  • 4 2
 I'll wear my glasses on commutes and whatever counts as my "road rides"...almost always contacts on MTBs though, cuz fogging (even in summer). 30 years ago I had hard contact lenses for a few months because that's what my dad had, so those were "contact lenses," even though looking back I cannot believe those exist. (ed? is anyone wearing those in 2022?)

Are you guys for serious that riding in your eyeglasses is dangerous? Cuz that seems ridiculous.
  • 26 0
 The only girl at the party has left thanks to you dorks
  • 2 0
 @alicialeggett: I have a friend in a similar situation, and they picked up a pair of Shady Rays as a prescription. They have a lost or broken warranty too, which I would really appreciate if I would be using them for biking. I ended up picking up a pair of their sunglasses, and they are well made.
  • 3 0
 @alicialeggett: One word: SportRX.
  • 4 0
 @alicialeggett: ROKA glasses are the best I've tried in 30 years of wearing glasses and wearing them riding, running, etc
  • 3 0
 @alicialeggett: Please do a review of your findings.

Love,
an adult with late-developing astigmatism who both HATES contacts and fiddling with glasses slipping down my nose.
  • 3 0
 Jaxson Riddle, glasses, Red Bull Rampage. He seems to have figured it out!!
  • 1 0
 @owl-X: steady on homer
  • 2 1
 @ConMan05: absolutely. After struggling with contacts years ago, I tried again with modern daily wear, and they’re still not perfect, but I’m finished with dealing with foggy glasses. I just make sure I wear goggles on the descents to keep grit out and to battle eye-watering.
  • 2 0
 @vw4ever: I was struggling with the dry eyes (and consequently eye-watering) issue for quite a while, despite putting in saline solution before every ride. I ended up get a more sports-oriented, wetter daily contact from my optometrist and haven't had any issues since. It's a bit of a pain to try out different contacts but no regrets here.
  • 5 0
 Modern glasses are almost bullet proof glass and the worst that might happen would be they get smashed into your face along with the tree or rock but in that case your face was not going to like it anyways. Your plastic PitVipers will do as much or more damage. Contact team sports are another story where balls, elbows and hands can jam into you but then again most of the time the glasses take more of the beating then your face. I wear regular glasses all the time riding and never had an issue. For sun my goto has always been Adidas as they have excellent clip in prescription inserts and if you are wearing contacts then you just pop them out. They aren't cheap but none of the clip in or sunglasses options really are.
  • 7 1
 @bocomtb:
"In the USA, we grade nearsightedness from 1 to 50. It's based on how many stars you can count when a 15 by 20 foot American flag is flying at the other end of a football field (100 yards). A perfectly sensible, freedom-rich measurement system."

For the 'Murican vision test do you use open sights or a scope?
  • 2 0
 I struggled with riding RX eyewear for a while trying to find something that stays put so I can stay in an aggressive position and not be looking through the top of the frame. Oakley Portal’s we’re the ticket and I’d imagine anything else with their Unobtainium nose piece will work just as well. I went full dad mode with transitions so I don’t need to carry an extra pair when the lights get turned on and they’ve been fantastic for the year I’ve had them. Dustin Klein has some decent recommendations for RX eyewear if you dig in his YT and Insta.
  • 4 0
 @gomeeker: Emmet Hancock did ok with glasses in Pinkbike academy too...
  • 1 4
 yall are ridiculous, just get a set of specs with composite lens (the norm for "active" lifestyles...) and a decent set of "sport" frames... fk's sake don't spend $ on oakley or shimano BS just because some people perceive them as safer. The most safety you could add is by wearing a glasses lasso so they act more like goggles than glasses.
  • 1 1
 @pink505: thank you for this, four eyes!
  • 2 0
 @alicialeggett: I finally invested in a pair of Rx Oakleys. They look stupid but are my favorite cycling purchase of the last few years.
  • 11 0
 Mike Levy Day Planner

AM: Film for Pinkbike Field Test

PM: Village People call-back
  • 7 0
 I can’t wait to hear the opinion on those “no-name” Process 134 brakes. . As a 2020 Process 134 owner, I look forward to being crapped on. I like the frame design and the playability of mine. But the spec at entry level is just not good.
  • 3 0
 It's weird they have such a big jump from the $3600 base with alhonga brakes to $5500 mid range option. Rocky can sell the element for $50 more with 12 speed and shimano brakes vs 11 speed and alhonga's and offer a pretty nice $4600 version. Point might be moot as everything sells anyways, but it's pretty disappointing.
  • 9 0
 Daaaaaamn this Marin lookin gooooooood
  • 3 0
 Best looking bike in test,IMO.
  • 8 0
 Please please please do the first review standing around 3 of you holding a beer Bike magazine style.
  • 6 0
 I wish we’d done that. All flannel all the time.
  • 4 0
 35 lbs for that stumpy?!? what an absolute pig. some of these look surprisingly good but that mise well be a 2000s freeride bike with less travel and slightly better geo. I've ridden friends stumpys and if that is their formula for a bike I will never own one.

A few thoughts: 29ers with heavy rims/tires= lots of weight. low rolling resistance yes, but if you cant afford good wheel I think a 27.5 or gasp 26 would be significantly lighter. there is a break even point where lower weight nets bigger gains than the wagon wheels. I mean, these things need pedaled uphill! If your bike weighs 35lbs why not just spec out a dual crown and go all in? pedaling a 35lb bike uphill blows.

Low cost dinner plate cassettes are boat anchors. If low cost is a factor It starts to look like fewer gears like the microshift options or a wide range nine speed or even a 2x9/10 setup would be the smarter spec to keep the weight down. My old sb66 is aluminum from front to back with beefy wheels and tires and reasonable priced modern parts and weighs about 28lbs. How are these better? If i really wanted to I could mullet out the front end and run the same basic layout as the rampage guys!

I have ridden some 29ers that freakin rip, but if 35 lb trails bikes is the tradeoff, then no thank you.
  • 2 1
 Maybe just get stronger at pedaling?
  • 4 0
 @Whataboutism: that's a dumb argument. Trail bike implies riding up and down, about equally. Especially since these "low cost" rigs are aimed at beginners it is even more of an issue. Climbing a heavy bike sucks and yeah you can do it buts no where near as enjoyable. If you've ever ridden a sub 25lb xc bike uphill the difference in how sprightly the climbs and tech moves can be is night and day. 30lbs for trail bikes is a reasonable target and it's not hard to build an affordable ripping bike at that weight. 35 lbs is a bike park shuttle bike and should just be spec'd as such. I just don't think it's doing anyone any favors to sell newbs boat anchors like this.
  • 13 10
 What's amazing is specialized now has the Status, arguably the "ultimate" value bike (seriously, if you can find one, the pricing is unbelievable for what you get) and the worst value "value" bike of all time w/ the stumpy. I rode one during a demo day and my lord is it bad. One step up from a walmart bike suspension-wise -- and this is coming from someone who currently owns a spesh and am a big fan of the brand.

(yes I know the walmart comment is dramatic/not true, but im trying to make a point, nerds)
  • 11 1
 Strong disagree here. I did not like the Status, felt so inefficient, and conversely felt like I was on a rocket ship riding a Stumpy. Likely depends on the terrain.
  • 2 1
 Buddy just ordered one. Arrived at his door 15 days later.
  • 7 0
 @Ellocomotive: I think that has to do w/ the intent of the bike -- status is more of an all mountain/enduro bike, where stumpy is intended to be a trail bike. You can't hide all the heft/extra squish on the status. That said, if I had to ride a proper trail once gravity takes over, I'm 100% choosing the status over the stumpy.

Also, higher end stumpys are incredible bikes - I'm referencing the components of the entry level iteration more than the geo/anything else.
  • 3 4
 It's a shame that the alloy version of the Stumpy is SO much worse than the carbon version. Like, look at what Scott has managed to do. They've got the Spark and the Spark Alloy and they perform literally identical, except for the additional weight of the alloy version. They even managed to make the alloy version look the same as the carbon version.

So Specialized saying that the suspension of the Stumpy would be hard to recreate in aluminium is just a poor excuse for not wanting to put in the effort to do things properly.

In regards to the Status: I think that would be my kind of bike if it was available as a full 29er. As an alloy-frame alternative to the carbon-only Enduro. As of right now, it's unfortunately irrelevant to me as it's only available as a mullet.
  • 3 0
 My girlfriend got herself a base model stumpy just like in the test and I have a Status, albeit with a GX drivetrain now. My bike is half a pound lighter, surprisingly (hers is an S2, mine's an S4). Her bike climbs insanely well with only mod being tubeless setup - mine feels like I'm fighting for every foot vertical. An alloy stumpy comp with the same suspension as the Status (rhythm Fox stuff) would be the absolute BEST sweet spot new bike I can think of, but the pink/salmon color is hard to beat.
  • 3 2
 @Muscovir: It's because alu flex stays break! sooner or later
  • 2 0
 @snowwcold55: Status is a fun bike, but that short rear chainstay isn't exactly stable when gravity takes over in the chunk. One of my son's friends followed him on some steep chunk and described the rear wheel as "pinballing" through the rock garden.
  • 2 1
 @LDG: no flexstays on the allow version. horst
  • 1 0
 @sjma: my partner has the stumpy you’re describing, I think it’s the comp alloy, and it’s great, but it’s $3500.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: what exactly is worse on alloy? I thought it's the better version because no flex stays.
  • 1 0
 I rented Status 160 in Revelstoke bike park... that is only thing that bike is good for... bike park... you know... going down Big Grin Specs on it are nice... but as a trail bike, for climbing and pedalling it absolutely sucks.
  • 2 0
 @valrock: agreed, while it’s definitely one of the better deals out there, it’s very clearly made to be an affordable park bike
  • 6 0
 I think the Nukeproof Scout is is the best bang for your buck and is really fun to ride. And available!
  • 7 1
 Obligatory but totally serious: "Wow, as a kid getting my first real new bike $3,500 is totally within my price range!"
  • 1 5
flag mknott9 (Apr 18, 2022 at 14:08) (Below Threshold)
 Said kids better start studying for a good job, any hobby worth doing is expensive.
  • 16 0
 I’m 16 and got a 2017 diamond back mission 2 for $450 from right here off of pink bike. It has 160mm travel and absolutely rips. You can’t really beat buying used, I work at my lbs so I knew the right questions to ask and things to look for, and it has yet to let me down… yet.
  • 2 9
flag VtVolk (Apr 18, 2022 at 17:25) (Below Threshold)
 McDonalds pays $20/hr. now. Not a bad time to be a kid saving up for a bike if you’re willing to actually work
  • 5 0
 @LukeDeGriselles: Right on! Used totally is the way to go—the point being that you shouldn't even bother trying to buy new because it's a lot of money for something that's not very good.
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: Luke got an Ibis, which does the work.
  • 7 4
 Sx is insideous garbage. Add an 8lb fork with a matress sping and junk tires and that rider is gonna be friday fail fodder. This is a build package on a budget comparison. Decent spec hardtail always tops FS trash even at a grand cheaper.
  • 6 0
 Not always Calibre etc proved it can be done. Those were the days of plenty though
  • 5 0
 SX IS garbage. However, of you never have been on a 5000+ dollar bike those crappy forks and budget parts make for some seriously fun bikes. Replace the SX, however.
  • 7 0
 What if some jerk copy n pasted the results on this side of the Wall?
  • 5 3
 @mikelevy I have a question. I know a guy who is a former strongman competitor who want to get back into biking. The dude is huge! I'm talking up around 300lbs. Where can someone that big get a bike that won't fold up under them at a reasonable price?
  • 12 0
 Big guy here: it can be difficult and will take a bit of extra research. Some bikes have explicit weight limits that are stated on the website but most others will have some other limiting factor. Any bike with a high leverage ratio or a high volume air shock (Fox Float X2) you will run into shock PSI limits well before 300lbs. I haven't typically had any issue with max PSI on forks.

I know from direct emailing that Norco designs their frames for riders up to 300lbs (if you play around with their ride aligned you will notice that some models like the Sight the shock will hit max PSI around 240lbs)

He should go ask around on the MTBR Clydesdale forum to see what those guys are riding.
  • 1 0
 Depends on the type of riding he wants to do.

I’m 300lbs current hardtail is a giant xtc advanced 1, full sus is a intense carbine 29, cx is a trek Boone and my road bike is a carbon BMC which I think was £1200 new, none of which are bikes that are specifically built for heavy people and none have broken yet.

Road and cx seem to be quite happy bunny hopping things and the mtbs haven’t broken yet either, I’m not a big sender though will jump and hammer the trails.

As long as it’s decent bike it should been fine. If getting full sus consider air shock and fork, at these weights we don’t need to worry about stiction and having the air is cheaper than having to by springs if you loose or gain weight.

Only thing I did have to alter was the front brake on the Giant as I was getting over heating issues on fast steep descents where you had to brake hard into corners. Icetech disc and swap of pads solved this.
  • 1 1
 Upsize the bike one or two riding categories and as mtmc99 said, high leverage curves are your friend and make sure the shock air pressure limit is going to work for someone 300lbs. I have a Devinci Troy and I think that it would be a good trail bike for someone heavier riding moderately. I am 250lbs and the super deluxe shock was set to 230-240lbs and max psi is 325. Really depends how hard your friend wants to send it though.
  • 3 0
 265lbs checking in, I've been through the ringer with this issue and you'll get crazy advice from people. You might hear "use a coil shock", and I can promise, you don't want to use a coil shock.

Pick any frame you like that fits you well, they'll all hold a 300lb rider easy. I ride a carbon frame trail bike.

Look for a Rockshox Monarch or Super Deluxe, both of those shocks will take up to 350psi easy.

If you want to spend more $, get a Fox X2 **2019 model year OR NEWER**, the production year matters, I had a 2017 X2 with a 250 psi limit, it was not enough for my weight. They re-upped the PSI limits on the newer X2, I believe to 300 PSI which will be cutting it close unless your friend drops to 290ish lbs.

Don't worry about the fork, as long as it's air, it'll do.

Don't run low PSI like some people say is "better". I've absolutely destroyed DT Swiss and Roval wheels trying to run low-PSI tubeless. Just use what works. I ended up using about 30psi and running tubes in my tires. It makes almost no difference to me lol.

And that's about it. Prepare for overheating brakes if you go on extended downhill sessions. I just swapped my Hope Tech brakes out for Hayes Dominions, trying to avoid the overheating issue. Good luck.
  • 1 0
 @uh-no: can confirm that the Super Deluxe is big guy friendly. The Fox float X is another solid option for larger folks
  • 1 0
 Thank you all for the advice. I'll pass your internet wisdom along and he can do with it what he wants.
  • 5 0
 Best field test preview yet. You two are looking good. Look cool. Ride cool. Safety third.
  • 5 0
 If we all took @mikelevy 's approach to fashion, we'd save enough money to afford elite level bikes.
  • 23 0
 “Brian can we spend $100 at the thrift store I have a terrible idea for field test.”
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I want to know how you got Alicia to work with Levy in short jorts. She definitely needs a raise to pay for the additionnal counselling...
  • 1 0
 I'll stop going to the pub so I can afford a house in Squamish.
  • 2 0
 Since when is 35 lb a reasonably priced full sus ?? the weights on bikes is getting silly ( except race bikes ) but even my Cannondale Trigger 140 mm is only 29 lb albeit carbon front triangle and race face Arc 30 carbon rims .. its funny when customers in my bike shop bring in old hardtails etc and they weigh way less than new bikes and yes we all know they are not as strong or have the travel etc.
  • 2 0
 Love the field tests. Great content. Was a little bummed to see the potential "Beta" creep. I hope this isn't the start of a gentle slide behind the paywall- like the popular meme of homer into the hedge. This time it is "get it earlier" for a subscription, next time "get added perspectives/ videos" behind the paywall and eventually... we are just on different sides of a paywall. Not the end of the world- no gloom and doom- you are a business with a product I dig... just curious to see that slipped in there.
  • 2 0
 Thing I love: The bikes! Love the variety, models, heck, the colors.
Thing I like: The background and back story behind the test; obviously a massive show of passion all around.
Thing I'm neutral about: The format, but that should be neutral, yeah? Or maybe the title... it's titled, "Video...," So I almost glossed over the article entirely, because I prefer photos over video content for general web browsing.
Thing I dislike: The glaring Beta ad at the beginning of the article. I thought I had muted ads for Beta...?
Thing I hate: The link to Beta under every bike. This is sorta silly, but I really dislike it.
Thanks for reading this far, there is no prize.
  • 2 0
 I like your approach to making comments Smile
  • 4 1
 That canyon is so coooooool! I can't imagine it being a very well balanced bike but what a rad concept for a bike combined with a great build and price.
  • 8 3
 Save a bike ride a cowboy
  • 4 3
 I'm not going to complain about X,Y or Z bike not being tested, and I fully appreciate you're forced to essentially test whatever you can get your hands on right now, but, personally, I'd prefer to wait another six months for a test that doesn't feature Commencal, Specialized, Canyon, YT and the same old, same old brands again.

Good to see Diamond Back here, but a test with smaller but not overly obscure brands such as Cotic, Bird, Orange, Mondraker etc. would be cool and perhaps more helpful in helping folk decide between big brands or value-boutiques (I just coined that; you're welcome).
  • 20 1
 I really like riding bikes from smaller brands as well (it's more interesting) but there's not much from them at these price points. You'll be stoked about the upcoming enduro bike Field Test - likely going to be a few neat / weird bikes in there!
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: SIA (stoked in advance), thanks.
  • 20 0
 If you like seeing the oddball brands, you're gonna love the test we're putting together for this summer. Turns out you can have this spring edition AND more tests with more obscure brands later on Smile
  • 2 0
 @alicialeggett: Oh stop now, you're spoiling us Wink Appreciate the info, thanks.
  • 1 0
 Excited to see stuff with smaller brands! Also, as y'all do this, would love to see 1 bike from prior tests thats readily more available and talked about/reviewed a lot included in future tests as a baseline. Ex: Stumpjumper included in test with more obscure boutique bikes or next season's bikes.

Its nice to be able to test/demo a bike you guys talk about to see if I agree/get a sense of what you're talking about so I have a baseline of comparison for bikes that I can't test ride without some serious effort or would have to special order... Or to be able to have one reference point to compare a whole new group of bikes the following season. And at the risk of provoking ire of everyone - I don't mind seeing one higher price point bike being compared to the value ones - if done right it helps to get a sense of what to upgrade.
  • 1 0
 I was hoping for the Rossignol that debuted a little bit ago. It had a good price point and I was curious if it was any good.
  • 5 0
 You had me at “ warm midnight churros”
  • 6 1
 I would buy None Of those bikes
  • 4 3
 This is a great test but I'd love to see a future test with race ready value enduro bikes for those of us who have been in the sport for decades and have the skills to shred any trail, but only enough funds to buy one versatile bike for anything from backcountry epics and after work trail rides, to bike park and enduro racing. How cheap can a bike like that get compared to the S-Works (or equivalent) models before the performance falls off.
  • 4 1
 Enduro bikes for the next Field Test Wink
  • 4 1
 Is it really that bad out there these days that you can't find a FS bike under $3500 that is under 30 lbs? Looking forward to see how well a 35 lbs bike climbs.
  • 9 0
 you can't really find a FS bike with 32mm stanchions, tires narrower than 2.3", wheels smaller than 27", and rims narrower than 30mm. I'm sure you can build a lighter bike, but all of our components have gotten heavier over the years. Not to mention our 52 tooth cassettes, long dropper posts, and 35mm handlebars. It all adds up.
  • 3 0
 @Spencermon: You forgot frames being overbuilt because warrantys.
  • 2 0
 @nozes: that too. not just overbuilt, but bigger. Stems went from 120-140mm to 35-45mm and frame length did the opposite.
  • 2 0
 @nozes: I would take the weight penalty every day. My YT Izzo started its humble life as a 30-pound 130mm down-country bike and now lives as a 34-pound 150mm enduro bike. Even with the light component spec from the start, putting the heavier stuff on has made it faster, more capable, and more fun. Also who likes XC racing anyway Smile .
  • 2 0
 @FloydTShark: At that point, why not start off with the Jeffsy?
  • 1 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: Because that would be too easy and I already bought an Izzo. Plus the Izzo climbs better and comes in carbon.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy, Welcome to the desert, and, that's a cholla, not a prickly pear Smile
  • 3 0
 I'm liking the inclusion of the Team Marin. Just a smidge more tire clearance and no seat tube water bottle bosses would make it near perfect for me.
  • 1 0
 If I remember correctly the seat tube water bottle doesn't get in the way of the dropper.
  • 1 0
 @MxMizrahi: I would run a longer dropper, so indeed it would unfortunately.
  • 2 1
 As for value trail/enduro bikes Specialized's Status bikes are nearly impossible to beat for price and performance. $3k gets you more aggressive geometry than anything in these tests as well as base level component spec that will do the job.
  • 1 0
 Instead of USD can you put the price in " years of Outside+ membership". So I can ask " Hey do I buy that new Izzo or 35 years of Outside+, decisions decisions" It would make the membership seem cheaper and make bikes look less expensive. As well as bike prices go up so will the outside membership so we wont feel like bike prices are going up. " hey that new 2023 Rallon is still only 100 years of Outside plus+, I can do that"
  • 4 0
 Thank you Alicia for the proper amount of enthusiasm on that closing yee-haw..
  • 1 0
 Have watched 3 reviews on Beta and @mikelevy Levy is a great moderator - "What's it feel like on the trail?" is the best question. I dislike when a reviewer says "i could tell right away it had a slack head angle" but then doesn't say how or why it matters. Definitely need to have the moderator push to ask where all these differences matter.
  • 1 0
 Reviews are professional undertakings. That means you get bikes that are true examples of your review category. Yes, bikes are difficult to get. But they're being produced and sold. You guys need to jump through the same hoops everyone else does. That's what it takes today. Get on the notification lists for CRC bikes. Emails go out at 8am GMT. Stock comes in every few weeks. If you had put in the effort necessary today, a Ragley Big Al 1.0 with a Z2 fork, good geo and some vertical rear compliance would be in this test. A Costco Intense 951 Trail too. C'mon, guys. Getting a bike is just as important as how it rides.
  • 1 0
 Some vertical compliance lol Appreciate the feedback
  • 3 0
 you all kept this under wraps until the performance denim could be revealed at Sea Otter last week....I get it, no spoilers
  • 2 0
 "These tests take a lot of time and money to make happen"

If only there was somewhere closer to home for Mike to test the bikes Big Grin
  • 12 0
 I know, but home is so cold and wet right now that I'd even test hardtails if it meant I get some sun.
  • 15 0
 Tucson was kind enough to help offset some of the costs, and I try to have us leave our PNW bubble at least a couple times a year.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: ha yeah, even my dog wasn't overly stoked this morning....
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Getting that blazingly white takes some protracted sun deprivation.

Anyone who's lived it knows escaping the months of damp darkness is absolutely essential for sanity.
  • 1 1
 I am surprised that canyon spectral 125 is so heavy. Almost 35lbs seems like a lot. Sure the aluminum frame adds a little, but dang. My 2021 29 cf8 is 30.3lbs with only an update to carbon bar and nobl tr37 wheels, which together saved only about 350g total.
  • 4 1
 That shot of Alicia! Tweaking harder than Jim Carrey on crack. Other than that, don't care about cheap bikes.
  • 1 0
 If you want to know the 2 sentence conclusion to every bike tested then click on the link for the Beta advert. The kona breaks don’t work and it doesn’t climb very well. I wont go on as I don’t want to write a spoiler
  • 1 0
 You don't have to limit yourself to just the 2-sentence conclusions with reader mode. And yeah, those brakes, predictably, don't seem to do anything haha.
  • 1 0
 I beta cant guess which bike will win?

Loved the filed tests up until now, but if its on the dark side of PB then fair play to the payers, they get their 20 mins of entertainment.
  • 3 0
 The comments are going to be awesome!
  • 8 3
 "PB still refuses to test bikes in the midwest. Not interested"
  • 16 0
 By Midwest do you mean Coventry?
  • 19 0
 @henryquinney: no that's in Middle Earth I think. Common mistake
  • 3 10
flag mtb-scotland (Apr 18, 2022 at 10:53) (Below Threshold)
 @henryquinney: more upper south central UK than mid west. mid west would be around Liverpool, Preston and blackpool.
  • 1 1
 @mtb-scotland: he's (probably purposefully) ignoring Scotland
  • 3 4
 @pen9-wy: Its a common theme unless they need something from us like oil, fishing, renewable energy etc etc etc
  • 3 0
 @mtb-scotland: Coventry is in a County called the West Midlands. Not everything is named due to its proximity to Scotland.
  • 1 2
 @henryquinney: I take it you mean Coventry is a city in the county of the West Midlands. I know where the city is hence my comment. Nothing is named by the proximity to the whole of Great Britain. Its almost as if the England is the only country in GB.
  • 2 0
 Component level difference is huge, how is it going to be a healty comparison?
  • 13 0
 Comparable bikes are compared. So the $1,500 Sync'r gets talked about in the video about the $1,500 Meta and vice versa. Same goes for all of them Smile
  • 2 0
 Sick! Happy to see Ryan Palmer out here testing the bikes for the 200lb bois.
  • 2 0
 The new trek Roscoe is the best value and a ripper..it would make f blown all these others away
  • 3 1
 Unpopular opinion is don’t get a hard tail, full suspension is a much better experience.
  • 2 1
 Depends what you want. Full suspensions are better for plowing through rough ground and that’s about it. Hardtails are better for everything else. If you’re not super bothered about going flat out and just want to go for a ride then the hardtail is perfect.
  • 1 0
 Ignorance is bliss though, and much cheaper and easier to maintain
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: dammit I want it rough and fast.
  • 2 0
 I knew Levy was cool, but didn"t know he was the Bee's Knees till just now.
  • 2 0
 These hucks to flat are going to be useless if it’s not Jason Lucas doing them.
  • 3 1
 Cheap trailbikes are easy to find. Do a cheap enduro bike test. Especially ones that are available to buy before 2100
  • 1 0
 That Meta HT has 445m reach in large!! Combined with a seat tube that is miles too long for the intended purpose of the bike.
  • 1 0
 I hope you guys got to do some riding with Lear one of your film crew guys. I had the opportunity to ride with him in Phoenix and he is one seriously talented rider.
  • 1 0
 Excited to see the trails in Tucson. My sister is moving there for her residency and I'm gonna want to ride when I visit. Town looks pretty nice too, good food, etc.
  • 1 0
 No offense, but $2,600 starting price and "value" are antonyms. A Giant Stance 2 is a value bike. Zero of these bikes qualify for value.
  • 1 0
 Sometimes, I’ll skip having a starter to ensure that I leave enough room for a dessert.
Oh wait, the article features desert…..
  • 2 3
 What? No (insert 1 of the 100's of potential bikes that could have been here but is not because they clearly would never have time to test all the bikes)!!!

Awesome read Levy, thanks.
  • 2 0
 Sync'r: Username checks out.

"Anch'r" would be more accurate though...
  • 1 0
 Beta: Edit the Specilaized Stumpjumper Basics data. Should be "140mm front and 130mm rear"
  • 3 2
 Why so many hardtails? I don't see the market for a 160mm hardtail without a dropper to be frank.
  • 1 0
 Is that Brown Mtn? If so, kudos on you guys for going up and down that damn trail multiple times. That climb is a byotch!
  • 2 4
 Can you guys do test of FS 275 bikes only...and every year?...and can you get the powers that be to make more and more of them. Some of us don't want any 29" wheels on our bikes, no matter what product managers and racebros say. .
  • 2 0
 @alicialeggett, your doppelgänger is actress Lauren Lapkus
  • 3 0
 deliciously awkward!
  • 7 0
 Our new tagline.
  • 5 0
 That's kind of my thing, if you haven't heard.
  • 1 0
 thank you for flirting back, day made! @alicialeggett:
  • 1 0
 For the love of god can Alicia please post her flow drop crash! That thing was heavy!
  • 1 0
 Aaahh 2016 just won't stop haunting me! Also hey man, hope you're doing well!
  • 1 0
 I was unaware Norrona even made MTB gear. Maybe I'll have to order those Norrona denim booty shorts!
  • 1 0
 Saw that the Sepctral 125 rides like a hardtail. Not sure how true that is.
  • 1 0
 I’ve got a YT Izzo and aside from the shitty tired it came with, It’s a really enjoyable bike.
  • 2 0
 Oh and the sram brakes. I dislike and bicycle brake that uses dot fluid. They are soon to go.
  • 3 1
 Ibis Ripley AF for the win....
  • 1 0
 So excited, love my Martin Team 1! Though I run a dropper which makes the bike more versatile!
  • 1 0
 Geometry matters, a cheap enduro hardtail (made out of steel or alloy) can be done.
  • 1 0
 All these fantastic pics really make me miss riding in Tucson. Stoked to go ride my bike now though. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 Name checks out!
  • 1 0
 Budget bikes with not so budget kit. Niiice
  • 2 0
 Bike, is that you?
  • 4 7
 The Spesh looks nice. The izzo is looking dated. The Kona,, kill it with fire. Whats with kona for always making alloy bikes that look absolutely hideous? The canyon looks nice but it's a whole other $1, 000 but it looks good
  • 4 1
 The Izzo looks dated until you replace the fork with a 150mm 36 or 34 and stick bigger tires on it. Then it rides like a mini enduro bike.
  • 2 0
 @FloydTShark: Yup, swapped to 150mm Pike, and Schwalbe MM/HD, back to happy.
  • 2 1
 The hardtail frames look more modern that that Fezzari ...
  • 1 0
 Mike Kazimer/Reptile from MK3 wins. Flawless Victory.
  • 2 1
 No Marin Rift Zone? Bummer.
  • 1 0
 Unrelated, but I'm pretty sure the new Canyon Strive launches this week.
  • 1 0
 In which century i can buy one of those?
  • 1 0
 Can't wait for Ryan Palmer's take on the hard tails LOL
  • 1 0
 Trail bikes that are actually trail bikes. Nice
  • 1 2
 I always found the Bike video reviews cringeworthy and Palmer the worst of the lot. This is a marriage .made in Hell. Sorry,.
  • 1 0
 Wow! Is 16kg normal for a trail bike these days?
  • 1 0
 Love seeing the out takes / bloopers. Great opening video.
  • 1 0
 The Canyon Neuron 6 is also a great budget option.
  • 1 0
 At almost 33 pounds that synk'r seems like a sinker.
  • 1 0
 well at least this time @mikelevy is not wearing tights.
  • 1 0
 Hey it's actually pronounced Norrøna.
  • 1 0
 All that cactus and hardly a kneepad to be seen
  • 1 0
 Living dangerously. We had a few spills but nothing terrible.
  • 1 0
 Why are there so many direct to consumer bikes....
  • 1 0
 If that Fezzari is really 33 pounds that's amazing for a value bike.
  • 1 0
 Why aren't you reviewing the exact bikes that I want?
  • 12 11
 That beta plug tho.
  • 14 4
 Yeah those bastards trying to tell you that there's a huge world of extra bike articles available to you for $0.33/month! Did you notice the plug for YT, Specialized, Kona, Fezzari, Canyon, Commencal, Diamondback, Marin and Salsa too! This is getting out of hand.
  • 1 0
 hurts
  • 3 3
 Cowboy boots and shorts?!?! GTFO.
  • 16 0
 It's a vibe
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy:
Some of these fashion comments are coming from people who obviously have never been to closing weekend at a ski hill. Thrift stores rock!
  • 1 2
 Well I'm never getting the image of levy in denim shorts burned from my mind
  • 5 6
 That's an excellent idea to ride rocky terrains without knee and elbow pads, BRILLANT!!!
  • 1 2
 which ones can you actually go pick up at your LBS though? Both stores in our town have a paltry inventory these days...
  • 3 1
 I’m sure they’ll phone every LBS in the world and get back to you.
  • 1 0
 Oh boy
  • 1 0
 Howdy there partner
  • 2 0
 …yee haw.
  • 5 6
 And the winner is… YT Izzo.
  • 7 0
 Jokes on you, the Sync'r beats everyone Wink
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy: Just happy an Izzo made it into the start gate! ...be kind, I've convinced myself it shreds.
  • 1 2
 Hey Levy, what's up with those shorts?
  • 3 0
 Thankfully not the hemline.
  • 1 1
 Finally a Commencal!!!
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.026813
Mobile Version of Website