WELCOME TO THE 2020
PINKBIKE XC FIELD TEST
9 cross-country and down-country bikes ridden and rated
Words by Mike Levy, photography by Margus Riga
There are days when, if your only view of mountain biking was through Pinkbike, you might think that no one has less than 160mm of travel or ever hits the trails without kneepads. We all know that's not the case, though, and the truth is that cross-country bikes vastly out-sell all other types, despite what it might look like around these parts. And if you're thinking, ''But Levy, why would I buy a bike that tries to kill me on the downhills just because it's faster on the uphills,
'' I'm right there with you. Thing is, the latest generation of cross-country bikes aren't anything like the old skittery flyweights synonymous with the fitness-focused slice of our sport.
No, these are entirely new animals that, thanks to ever-evolving geometry, components, and materials, are far more capable than some of us might expect. And we're here to review nine of the latest and most interesting examples of the breed; four are made to be as light, efficient, and as fast as possible for the racecourse, while the other five are what certain people might refer to as "down-country" bikes.
The latest generation of cross-country bikes are still all about crushing the climbs, but they should also be far more capable on the way back down. We tested nine examples to find out if that's true.
The race-focused rigs have only 100mm of travel (or less, in the case of the 60mm Supercaliber), and because cross-country racers spend more time going up than down, you'll find things like suspension lock-outs that turn off both the fork and shock, steeper geometry, and only the lightest of components grace their spec sheets. The heaviest race rig on test, Canyon's aging Lux, weighed just 22.5lb. Downright chunky, I know.
On the fun-focused side of the mountain, we have five bikes with a bit more travel and a lot more capability that, truth be told, has next to nothing to do with an extra 10 or 20mm of suspension. Instead, it's coming from brands combining (mostly) progressive geometry with newly capable suspension and a clever parts spec that keeps aggressive types happy (wide handlebars, short stems, powerful brakes, etc.) without adding too much heft. And talk about different perspectives; while the race bikes are straight forward in their approach, every brand seems to have a different idea of what down-country means. The results are wildly dissimilar on the trail.
Those nine cross-country and down-country bikes, along with a couple of guest appearances by the Grim Donut and a race-y hardtail for some perspective, saw endless miles of testing over the last month here in Squamish, BC, and below is how we did it.
4 Cross-Country Race Bikes
Evaluating different mountain bikes properly calls for a ton of back-to-back riding, and that's especially true if we're going to compare them against each other, which is exactly what the Field Test series is all about. So that's how we did it, with each bike facing the same 20-minute-ish course over and over again during the last four weeks, a course that was carefully selected to tell us as much as possible about how the bikes perform.
While the lap is relatively short for testing purposes, the climbing added up after a month of doing it over and over again.
The bottom of our test lap was wider, smoother singletrack climbing that put a focus on speed and efficiency, but that transitioned to steep, tighter trail about halfway up the mountain that, with our near non-stop rain, challenged both the bikes and ourselves. The climb took up about three-quarters of our 20-minute lap, followed by a descent that, while not overstepping what these cross-country bikes are capable of, definitely taxed their suspension and handling.
Subjective feel will always be the biggest factor in our reviews, but we also had the clock running each and every time we went out; timed sections were split into the bottom half of the climb, the more technical upper half of the climb, and the descent.
You know, just your average cross-country terrain here in southwestern BC.
A lot of our testing is (and always will be) us simply riding the hell out of the bikes and then telling you all about it, but it never hurts to sprinkle in a bit of science to the process. Actually, calling it bro-science is probably more accurate. And yes, it turns out that it does hurt - our Efficiency Test required me to do countless laps up a steep gravel road while holding a steady 300-watts on all nine test bikes (as well as a hardtail and the Grim Donut
for some perspective) to see which suspension design stole the fewest of my meager ponies over a timed course. There was a clear winner and a very, very clear loser; any guesses?
The Impossible Climb is back, of course, partly because I obviously didn't get enough climbing when I did that godforsaken Efficiency Test, but also because these are cross-country bikes and, well, tricky uphills are precisely what they should excel at. That's why this episode of the Impossible Climb was the most difficult I've ever faced, even if there were no cactus for me to fall into
Which way to the start line?!
And speaking of falling, their cross-country focus doesn't give these bikes a free pass on the Huck to Flat
, either, although we did down-size our take-off ramp slightly. No, we're certainly not aiming to break any of them (despite what it might have looked like in the past), but we do want to show you what's happening to the bikes when they use all of their suspension travel. To do that, we brought out the Phantom camera for those ultra-slow-mo glory shots that I know you want to see.
As you might imagine, watching a 21lb cross-country machine use up what little cushioning it offers and then a whole bunch more at 1,000 frames-per-second is quite revealing and, depending on your armchair opinion, maybe a bit worrying. Speaking of being worried, we also included the Grim Donut in the slow-motion smorgasbord, and while it survived, the footage is a bit unnerving.
5'7" / 170cmWeight:
160 lbs / 72.6 kgNotes:
Content manager, too fast to be so nice
5'10" / 178 cmWeight:
155 lb / 70.3 kgNotes:
Tech editor, gas station snack connoisseur
All nine of our review bikes were equipped with identical sets of control tires - a Schwalbe Racing Ralph out back and a Racing Ray on the front - so we could eliminate a variable that has a massive effect on performance. Tire pressures were consistent, too, which allowed us to focus on the handling and suspension, and to compare the bikes on more equal footing. Aside from that, they were kept completely stock, including handlebars, stems, seat posts (whether they drop or not), and everything else.
Oh, and one last thing to note: While I did grow to love the sausage suit, I'd like to personally apologize for the amount of Lycra you're about to be subjected to in the coming videos.
The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with clothing, protection, and support from Giro. Control tires provided by Schwalbe, and power meters provided by SRM. Filming took place at The Backyard pub in Squamish.
Light weight is a key aspect of these designs. Light is expensive. I say let the whippets be whippets.
Sharp trough Mikey you look fast standing still.
Pinkbike needs an XC/DC t-shirt
I do have one request though. Please, in the name of love and everything that is good, sensible and base-10, please, please, please list bike weights in both pounds and kgs. You have for the riders, but not the bikes. It does my weak little head in.
Yours in expectant admiration.
I was under the impression that a real racing mx is from 50k to 100k per pcs.
Marginal gains all over the bike. They can add up to a big difference overall, but your wallet might not agree.
Marketing marketing and marketing.
Its how the world works
They will also need to replace quite a few of these frames under warranty, so that's also part of the equation.
The biggest problem I've had demoing "downcountry" bikes is balancing tire weight. Too light and you puncture and can't utilize the modern geo to it's full extent, too heavy and they loose the XC agility and feel too much like a trail bike.
It seems to me that it’s most important to match tires to terrain and riding style first, and then match bike to tires.
Nino seems to cope just fine with 17psi and 2.4” slicks (more or less).
Of course you can ride what would be considered a typical rear tire on an Enduro with a lighter casing in the front, and an XC tire in the rear, but so far, I’ve been less than impressed with these combinations.
I normally run Assegai and DHR2.
Great combo so far.
Bottom line is there’s a thing called talent to tire ratio. The more of the former you have, the less of the latter you need.
They make the SE version of both tires which have burliest sidewalls. I never cut tires though, so I go with the lighter versions.
But if you can’t handle that fact and want to get personal no worries. I couldn’t care less.
I've tried running under 20psi myself. Performance was great, but I bottomed out my rim on every big hit. Skill can't save a tire from your body weight and gravity.
Just wanted to say you guys have done a great job at respectfully and kindly responding to so many hot trash comments in one day.
Cheers to you three, the field test looks like it gonna be great to watch while I sip some coffee before the wife wakes up.
Go have a beer or two! You worked hard today.
didnt take a dump
ate too much
not enough beer
no graphen lube
It's a great line up of bikes and information.
Thanks lots guys, keep it up.
2015-2017 - 4*XC HTs, between 23 and 21.2 lbs
2018 Oiz - 21.5 lbs(~9.8-9 kgs)
2019 Oiz XC - 21.3 lbs(~9.6-7 kgs)
2016 sanction team - 34.7 lbs(15.7-8 kgs)
2019 sanction custom(full gravity oriented; dh casting tires, 180mm fork, etc) - 36.4 lbs(~16.5 kgs)
Sold them all.
Currently owning a 33.1 lbs nukeproof reactor 290(130-150mm bike)
The 2018 Oiz felt like a whip; the 2019 Oiz XC less so but was faster; the two sanctions were a drag, especially the '19 one and getting now to the 130mm, 33 lbs reactor. The reallity is that it is a good pedaling bike. I could keep with xc guys on 22-23 lbs bikes for 20-25 miles courses on flat-lands but, as soon as the gradient started to show up, it was game over. Also, the legs start to protest a little more after 30 miles; the DD casting minions for sure helped with that. On tech climbs, with full strength, I don't feel that much slower than on the Oiz-es(actually I do, when comparing it with the '18 one); but, the reality(time) is very different. On fire roads, it is game over. Much more faster than my former big bikes though.
With a carbon frame, lower weight wheels and tires, the diff in climbing should be even smaller, comparing it with my former xc bikes.
But, as I'm using the Reactor as a downsized enduro bike and not like an up-graded xc bike so, I have no interest in making it lower weight.
Bottom line is, they rocket up-hill, feel twitchy on the downs and generally prefer smoother courses, at least with a person like me on them.
I do like to mention one more thing. In my favourite race, 50 miles of (90%) trails in the big hills with over 6000 ft of total climbing, the '18 Oiz felt faster but, the overal time was 18 minutes slower than on the '19 Oiz - and I was less fit in 2019 than in 201 -; goes to show that even if the bikes does not feel like an electric whip, it can still be deceptively fast.
Hei Hei review: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-konas-fresh-hei-hei-can-make-cross-country-fun.html
Revolver first ride (admittedly a bit thin): www.pinkbike.com/news/norco-revolver-2020-first-ride.html
And seriously, do we need another classification/designation for an ever narrower classification of bike? "Downcountry" bikes are still Trail bikes (remember that classification?). Trail bikes, the group of bikes that were relaxed from XC bikes but weren't Downhill bikes that then broke down into Enduro, Super Enduro, Aggressive Trail, Downcountry, and of course, Trail bikes. Adding another classification to break apart XC doesn't make sense as it downplays that XC bikes have been evolving with the modern geo trends (which is very much a good thing for nearly all riders) and that already, they have become far more capable than the XC bikes of even the early 2000's.
(Note: not criticizing this review. This obviously took a huge amount of time and effort. I, for one, appreciate it and: Thanks!)
But I have spent a ton of time on XC and DC bikes and I am very aware of limits of a DC bike. And racing a DC bike in an XC race is like racing an Enduro bike in a DH race. You can do it, and the right rider on the right course might even come out on top, but for most they are significantly slower.
DC vs XC is just as much about the sum of parts vs geometry.
Like others have said though, my E29 is pretty damn good even on full DH trails. But it's not a DH bike. And anyone who has experience on a wide range of bikes wouldn't confuse their performance.
A DC bike would be worthless to me. Too slow on an XC race, not capable enough for my general riding.
XC bikes at the WC level now were "Downcountry" bikes 2-3 years ago....go figure.
None of us are racing XCO, 1-2 lbs isn't going to make or break a race for the majority of us...that is the reality. Maybe your local guy knows something Nino doesn't...since Nino is on a FS bike with a dropper? Or maybe just really easy courses there?
It's the new XC, even amongst those who get paid to ride.
Jeff Kabush races and developed the sb100/115 and even he admits it wouldn't be a competitive XCO bike due to its weight and geometry. Do you think he's clueless?
1. DH bikes can't climb because you can't raise the low 'for DH only' seat. Enduro seat goes up and down all day long.
2. 27 tooth big cog vs 50 tooth big cog.
3. On average an almost 5 pounds weight difference.
4. As much as 50 mm travel difference.
5. Completely different design of forks and stems between DH and Enduro bikes.
6. Limited turning ability on DH bikes make some tight corners impossible to ride.
7. DH specific tires vs Enduro specific tires on most bikes.
8. The variety between clipless and flat pedals in DH/ Enduro vs xc and stupidly name downcountry bikes being virtually 100% clipless.
9. Different axle sizes and hub sizes for most DH and Enduro bikes vs xc and 'downcountry' standards being all pretty similar.
10. Water bottles on most Enduro bikes, water bottles NEVER on DH bike.
I could probably go on, but I'll just end things by reminding you that downcountry is absolutely the dumbest niche name ever in cycling history. Good luck with your list, and I look forward to comparing my list to Levy's "massive" list of differences between xc and downcountry bikes in one of his future videos.
An XC bike race bike has four distinguishing factors.
1. The position is long and low.
2. Fast rolling tires
3. Agressive suspension tune.
4. Low weight
DC bikes are usually off all of those marks just a bit.
One of the biggest challenge is the 120mm forks. That extra 20mm travel lifts everything up making it harder to achieve a position that is good for XC racing. For a tall rider this is a non-issue but for a short rider this is particularly challenging.
And to DoubleCrownAddict, did you see the waterbottle mount on the new Norco DH bike featured this week? There goes point #10?
Theres a 5lb difference between some of the bikes above... and suspension is different between the bikes too. I could go more into the comparisons between your points if you’d like.
Jeff Kabush was on a SB100 which is not a traditional XC bike, most the guys also had 120mm forks, fat tires and droppers....well removed from the traditional XC bikes....
Also regarding the earlier stuff, a better comparison is freeride vs dh. Not sure why it was enduro vs dh.
Being done with that, what do you mean by "fat tires"? Think size is becoming less of a thing and tread is becoming more of the dictator. Nino runs 2.4" tires but minimal tread and then trail bikes run 2.4" tires with more tread. 2.3" is pretty common in XC now as far as size goes, but still minimal tread. No one(elite level) is breaking out burly tires on their XC bikes(in races, with the rare exceptions like BCBR).
Also, I am coming at this conversation with the mindset/objective of XC being in the context of Elite level. Amateur racing, run what you got. The best tool, is the one you have, hopefully. DH racers, enduro racers, xc racers etc all approach their craft with an objective mindset, running what is fastest regardless of what everyone else thinks. I know we've seen remote lockouts and droppers in DH WC racing
I am down the path of the DC bike. It is super fun but even for the marathon XC races here in BC it is slower than XC race bike.
As for other bikes, they can only test so many bikes.
"The new Top Fuel is not a pure XC race machine, and a pure XC race machine is not what you want at BC Bike Race. There’s 120mm in front and 115mm in the rear and slacker geometry. I knew this race was technical, but it’s actually been really eye-opening how it races. Most of the races I’ve done it plays out in the climbs, but this race is the opposite, the descents are more selective and that’s where the group is breaking up."
And Kabush, maybe you've heard of him?:
"Well, it was a good time when I came to Yeti. They launched this bike, which is sort of XC-ish or “down country,” but it’s the perfect kind of bike for these types of events. For the events I’m doing now, it’s a lot more singletrack, and a little more travel with the Stepcast 34 and a little more travel with the dropper, so it’s a lot more fun. It’s exactly the kind of bike I think I’d buy for the XC-ish set up here in BC."
Nino almost never uses a dropper in World Cups. He used one on a hardtail in Albstadt 2018, but had the drop limited to like 80 mm. I think that’s the only World Cup in recent memory (since about 2016) where he’s used one.
He’s increasingly in the minority, though. But he doesn’t lose any time on the descents.
significantly slower..unless that bike is a spez enduro with a 180mm fox/zeb/whatever. Then, it is at the same lvl. - I should mention that, at our DH nationals, from 4 categories, 2(20-29 elite and 30-39 elite(licensed riders) were won on enduro bikes(one 180mm fork spez and one overstroked coil with a 180mm fork megatower); only the youngs(14-19) and the masters(40+) were won on DH bikes -
So, as the lines get more blurry in gravity, a similar thing happ. in cross-country/marathon races.
And his spark has 120mm travel. Basically, his set-up is 110 in front with 120 underneath him.
Hardtails still are faster on most tracks, that's why people still race them,and don't even think about droppers or slack HAs.
McKay Venzina and enduro racer was there on a 130/115 rig, crushing it, 8th overall.....again representative of what can be done....
Yeah..and the riders, if they would have not been on sponsored bikes and instead of 100mm forks, would have ride 120mm forks, 1000% sure, they would have been dead last. Last, I say, and not on the same podium finish. Yep, for sure!
You can argue all you want, but the simple fact is that XC bikes are faster than some bullshit "downcountry" bikes, and that's true across every discipline.
Sort of ironic that in the article you linked to there is only one rider who can easily swap their bike from 100mm to 120mm (Katerina) and she chose to race it in 100mm, because she doesn't need 120mm for BCBR.
Of course there are exceptions, there always will be, Nash is one of them, doesn't define the rule or disprove what the rest of the field did.
I rode with Andreas for several stages and got to chat with him several times, he was on what I would consider a fairly ideal bike, 100mm/120mm, large dropper, shortish stem, burly tires and I think he had 4 pot brakes up front....
This is largely coming down to a semantics argument of what "XC" is and what "DC" is....
Most efficient climber - Epic S-works
Least efficient - the long travel SB100
Thank you for correcting me, though.
Well yes, because the racers spend most of the climbing section of WCO races locked out. At that level power/weigh ratio trumps "efficiency". If you look at longer races the heavier 4 bar bikes that pedal well start to shine. The pivot bikes have done well domestically in marathon races, and the XCM world championship was won on a giant anthem last year.
Next bike is most likely optic or sight. I'm fence sitting on whether I need the extra travel of the sight. Apparently the sight climbs like a dream (according to a previous range owner.. ).
At a minimum, it wouldn't be wise. A better word would be 'safe'.
Crappy tires, brakes and fork. Those are not AM-enduro-agressive trail HTs. They are cheap-ish bikes with XC geometry and very low spec components.
I'm sure they'll update it soon, but I'm not totally sure how they make it better. The only obvious shortcoming is just one water bottle, but Nino has a pit crew to worry about that.
Maybe a little longer front triangle and shoter links to have the shock closer to the ST. I do hope that they will not place the shock horizontally, like every (almost)other cross-country bike outhere.
Also, what about drag in the rear derailleur? Lower model versus higher? What about clutch tension etc.....
Really just Bro science so take the test with a grain of salt.
Unless the more capable bike leads you to riding more aggressive stuff...
PS Most looking forward to the Specialised EVO review (my whip is a Stumpjumper Comp)
Another bike I'm surprised to not see in this field test is the Rocky Mountain Element, basically the local legend and original BC XC rig. Its design may may not be fresh (are the others now playing catch-up?) but, because of that, it would have made a viable benchmark, especially pertinent for riders in the PNW. I know you have a metric shit tonnne of time on Elements, plus raced at least one in BCBR, having the top end 2020 version in the mix would have made for great comparisons.
Were the hometown boys invited to the party?
I might be wrong but I would bet a couple of cold ones that the Lux is the red lamp of the group. It, being a podium winner was mostly a MvdP affair.
No I didn't. I just did not know about her. I just don't have/make the time to check women's races/results. I barely make yine to watch the re-runs on men's races(usually, watch the first lap, then started to skip forward, then watch the whole final lap; what to do?!, there's little time and too many things to do).
Is this because low-end department store level hardtails are lumped together in the same "XC" category with XC race bikes?
29ers with between 100-130mm at both ends:
1. GIANT Trance Advanced Pro 29
2. Yeti SB115 (upcoming release?)
3. Revel Ranger
4. Transition Spur
5. Ibis Ripley v4
6. Pivot Trail 429
7. Santa Cruz Tallboy
8. Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol
9. Orbea OIZ M10 TR
10. YT Izzo
11. Scott Spark XC/Trail
12. Banshee Phantom v3
13. Evil The Following
14. Specialized Stumpjumper ST
15. Jamis Portal
16. Canyon Neuron
17. NS synonym TR
18. Spot Ryve 115
19. Whyte S-120
20. Knolly Fugitive
21. Nukeproof Reactor 290c ST
22. Kona Hei Hei
23. Cotic FlareMax
24. Bird Aether 9C (limited info)
25. Trek Top Fuel
26. Cannondale Scalpel SE
27. Intense Sniper T
28. Norco Revolver FS 120
29. GIANT Stance 29 1
Regardless, I'm really looking forward to the DC portion of this review (and Grim Donut, of course). Thank you ahead of time for all the hard work!
@mikelevy please add any of these you haven't yet reviewed to the queue and have the comparisons ready by the time your final thoughts episode hits. Brahahahaha!
@opetruzel as mentioned some of these are strict xc bikes and some downcountry, which is "aggressive xc" or "lightweight trail" or "short travel trail" or something.
To be fair an 'ultimate downcountry shootout' would be rad if that could even be defined. Vital did a great short travel trailbike shootout and some of those were downcountry (e.g. Banshee Phantom) whilst some were clearly just trail bikes (e.g. Tallboy)..... or maybe that's not clear.
Are you suggesting that the 5 DC bikes included in the battle are the only 2020 models that qualify as DC? I'm fairly confident that Mike himself wouldn't even agree with that implication.
I've read the original articles where Mike coined the DC term; but, I'd still love to know what, exactly, distinguishes any short-travel 29er with modern geometry from a "DC" bike. I think it may be a bit more grey than you're letting on.
Your snarkiness is much appreciated, though!
I think you're overthinking it bro. It doesn't matter what the exact definition of DC is.
The great news is we can now pretty much pick the geo we want on the amount of travel we want.
lol... I don't even know what's happening any more... BRING ON THE GRIM DONUT PORN!
Bikes for test need to be 120mm or less, removing about 8-10 of your bikes. Another 8-10 already tested so that leaves ~ 10 bikes left. Sure a head to head of all DC would be ideal but their time is not unlimited and a dog fight is a bad business move.
I'm not asking for a new review, but I'd love it if @mikelevy could go through my list above and write "DC" or "not DC" next to each one so that I can begin to understand the boundaries of this unique category. Doing so would really help me figure out which bikes I should personally compare to one another versus any that are clearly in a different category altogether.
Not a big deal if it doesn't happen, obviously, but just thought I'd try...
Whatever the case, it really doesn't matter at this point. I'm no closer to understanding wth qualifies as "DC" than I was when I first posted my list. Such is life. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
(Our helmet rule for the kids in our training group is: a max of two fingers are allowed to fit between the chin and the strap)
To be clear I am not an advocate of 'need to sell my kidneys' bikes, but I am curious of the impact of 2-3 lbs, at that level of weight and for the intended purpose of those bikes.
Forgot to add "I prefer to get the 'tries to kill me' part by using the 'wrong' tires"
The most similar thing I have done is Dew Drop at Jakes Rocks: www.trailforks.com/trails/dew-drop-145718
It took me an hour. Not sure that I mountain bike.
So 15 minutes is very fast (KOM speed in Squamish is serious business).
The uphill rock gardens were killer. Can't wait to go back now that I have my full suspension trail bike built now and try again.
I did not comment on his nipples.
Tires, on the other hand, are always swapped out.
Having the Canyon Lux in there kinda ruins your point.
It'll be interesting to see how it does with its outdated geo though.
I have a feeling that the Lux is going to have a big change. I'm not sure about the spark though, they might up the travel to 110, and slacken, but not change the suspension design. Who knows about the lux though.
Here's a hell of a stat pull if you have it: how many 1st place spots have been either Spark or Lux in Men's Elite in the last 5 years?
I’ll stick with my Habit SE, it’s got the geo and spec for “Up County with just enough bouncy” riding.
Seriously, what would suck is riding any of these bikes, other than the Transition Spur, on real single track.
I like the clip where is shows Levy careening down a root trail completely out of control. This is what happens when you take an XC bike to a trail ride.
There’s a lot of fantastically proprietary technology that will be an absolute nightmare to find replacement parts for while traveling for races. I would love to see that factored in to this and future tests so that people can get an understanding of what it’s like to actually live with these bikes.
Most of these get flipped by racers yearly as part of EP programs so it would be helpful to second hand buyers to know that a Yeti hardware kit is $240 or how long until things need to be serviced. Get the pressure washers out boys.
Today, an XC article on PB. Coincidence?
Do they though? Pretty sure most (all?) XCO course are loops. I can't recall a point to point race with a summit finish...
And lockouts I'm pretty sure are used way more for sprints on stupid paved start/finish sections and other flat & smooth sections, than just for climbing.
That's why most of the reviews focus on how the bike handles rather than parsing out how the components performed, although that can't always be the case. Especially when the $10k bike comes with the best suspension. But that gives you an idea
Also, is the Slayer going to get a round 2?
I mean, every other bike site/magazine/YouTube rider seems to think it slays. Not to mention the pro riders sending huge with it. Why not have a round 2?
I wish I worked for them but no. And if any bike broke I'd like to see it get another shot because freak accidents happen
Oh - just do one!
LOL Having just read all these bikes back-to-back-to-back-to-back, the differences between a cross-country bike and a down-country bike are massive. But we'll chat about that in the upcoming videos
We only wanted to include newer XC bikes, and the Lux was in the test as a benchmark for comparison's sake
It's a great line up of bikes and information.
Thanks lots guys, keep it up.
I'm personally offended that you're happy with your current setup and haven't bought in to the need to switch wheel size yet based on the opinions of others.
@peleton7 -> personal preference for how a rider wants their bike to handle trumps everything...... but I do think @rsmisko should demo the wagon wheel equiv of his current whip for comparison (I digress).
Well at least we get to see subjective analysis etc...
Perhaps I'm being presumptuous, it seems you have an ex Scott engineer and a "By The Numbers" contributors that could have helped you design a proper test of the suspension designs' efficiency. A shame that all the efficiency analysis is meaningless *sigh*
I'm hoping a "By The Numbers" analysis of these bikes will be forthcoming.
But we did the test anyway, after pretty much all the other riding and filming had been wrapped up and both Sarah and I had a good impression of our bikes. Funny thing, the results of the admittedly maximum bro-science "test" paralleled with what both Sarah and I had in our notes about the bike. As in, the bike that *felt* like it had the firmest, most efficient feel on the trail was also the bike that seemed to consistently have the least traction. And, despite my not wanting to do the test in the first place because it didn't hold water, it was by far the quickest bike up the climb used for the Efficiency Test.
That doesn't prove anything of course, other than confirmation bias. Could we have used Dan (or someone here) to design some rig? Yes, for sure. Do you want these videos this year? Does anyone want to watch Grim Donut part 2? There's only so much time, but it's good that it isn't a science project
I think some of your concerns will be addressed when you see the efficiency test video, but an XC By The Numbers is a pretty good idea to dig into once @dan-roberts has some time on his hands.
It's a great line up of bikes and information.
Thanks lots guys, keep it up.
I want to see the efficiency test done on all future field tests, including the DH one. @mikelevy
Pity its nicer than the lot.
PS. Having ridden all of the bikes way too much, it's very nice but calling it "nicer than the lot" wouldn't be accurate
* Yes I know it is gramatically incorrect to start a sentence with And but it seemed to work better.
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