Mountain Bike of the Year: NomineesWhat sort of attributes should the Mountain Bike of the Year winner possess? The champ obviously has to offer best-in-class performance, that much is a no-brainer, and it's something that all three of our candidates can lay claim to in one way or another. But beyond that, the MBOY nominees include the ultra-pricey Trek Remedy 29 9.9 that makes other do-it-all bikes look like they'd be better described as do-it-all-so-so bikes, Cannondale's questionably coloured Habit Carbon SE that is among the best handling rigs out there, and YT's insanely priced, carbon fiber Tues CF Comp downhill bike that looks and rides like it should cost twice as much as it actually does.
Will a 208mm travel downhill bike win, or is it the 140mm travel 29er that's going to take home the MBOY honours? And don't forget about the 120mm travel, 27.5'' wheeled bike that dares to be different.
Trek Remedy 29 9.9 For when you have $9,000 burning a hole in your pocket
Given that it has a $8,799.99 USD price tag on it, the Remedy 29 9.9 better perform well. But it doesn't... it performs incredibly well, almost to the point where it's not fair to other bikes in the same travel bracket, not to mention shaming some shorter and longer travel machines when talking about areas where they should be able to easily beat the Remedy. The 140mm travel 9.9 weighs just 25.8lb, a number helped in no small part by its obviously lightweight frame and XX1 drivetrain, but let's not look past the dropper post and 140mm travel Pike RCT3 fork, components that say, "I may be light, but I'm ready to get rowdy if you are."
The Remedy 29 9.9 is here because it blurs the lines between categories
- I'm trying really hard not to refer to it as a "quiver killer" but that is basically what Trek has created. The bike ascends like a Saturn V rocket, but it's also the very same chassis that's won hairy stages at Enduro World Series events, making it an all-rounder that's worthy of putting on your list of dream bikes. Of course, the 9.9's price is also a good reason that many of us will only be able to dream of it.Cannondale Habit Carbon SE Low on travel, big on fun
It's probably not out of line to say that the 120mm travel Habit Carbon SE's mother might have been a cross-country whippet and its father a husky trail bike, with their 27.5lb offspring clearly growing up to be a high-spirited thing that doesn't give a shit if it confuses people about its intentions so long as the rider is having fun. Sure, you could do a cross-country race on the Habit, and no one would tell you that you can't show up to an enduro with the bike, but, having spent a handful of months
rallying the turquoise machine around B.C., I can vouch that it's best suited to simply riding like a delinquent as often as possible.
The $4,480 USD Habit's otherworldly handling is the reason it made the shortlist, and it's like a cross-country bike if cross-country bikes were more about having a good time than breathing through your eyeballs for a few hours while pretending you're enjoying yourself. You can ride it all day without feeling like you're being punished for something, but then it reminds you exactly why you're out there: for fun. It's also a good reminder that travel doesn't define a bike, and neither does its appearance. YT Tues CF Comp Pick all three: performance, carbon fiber, and saving money
You may not agree with YT's direct-to-consumer sales model, but there's no denying that their business plan allows them to absolutely slaughter the competition when it comes to what you get for your dinero. Case in point: $4,295 USD will buy you the 208mm travel Tues CF Comp, a mostly carbon fiber downhill bike that includes things like a RockShox BoXXer Team RC fork, a Vivid R2C shock, SRAM's Guide brakes, and a DT Swiss wheelset shod with a 2.4” Maxxis HighRoller II tires. And, almost unbelievably, spending another $500 USD will get you the CF Pro model that comes with BOS suspension and a seven-speed X01 DH drivetrain, although it's the Comp that we reviewed earlier in the year.
It wouldn't matter how well the Tues is priced if its geometry was wack, but it most certainly isn't - the bike features smart numbers that won't hold any downhiller back. The bike rides extremely well
, even forgetting about its superb price that looks like it's lifted out of a Black Friday sale flyer, all of which puts it firmly on the Mountain Bike of the Year candidate list.
Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards.