Trek Fuel EX 9.9. With wheel and suspension technology continually improving and brands embracing new fork offsets, trail bikes are becoming ever more capable. Volume spacers can help to a limited extent, but the suspension lacks the all-round qualities necessary for the test victory. Best mountain bike under £2,000 At £2000, you can start to expect capable full-suspension models Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media The best mountain bikes under £2,000 If your main whip is a downhill bike or you are looking to try out the odd bit of enduro lite, there is no harm beefing up components like wheels, tires or brakes to handle the extra stresses. Last year, the Rip­mo won Enduro Moun­tain Bikes “ Best Trail Bike of 2019 ” award. The Trek Fuel EX, the new Santa Cruz Hightower, the Orbea Occam, the Nukeproof Reactor and the Norco Optic (recently awarded a Design & Innovation Award) have all attracted a lot of attention. With 130mm of rear travel, the SB 130 feels like it has considerably more squish thanks to the Switch Infinity suspension. Here is our review of the SCOTT Genius 900 Tuned AXS, Looking at the price and spec of the RADON SLIDE TRAIL 10, it’s difficult not to order it right away. The motor can give you a proper push on the climbs if needed but it’s just as much fun to ride the bike with minimal support and to really tire yourself out. On the other hand, there are always brands that don’t take up our invitation to take part in the group test. We're seeing XC bikes with over 100mm of travel, trail bikes pushing up against 160mm of squish and enduro bikes that bottom out at 150mm. Best Trail Bike Makeover . The hardtail category in 2020 is a broad church, ranging from long, slack gravity fun machines to lightweight and aggressive XC racers. Speaking of tires: the MAXXIS tan wall tires look cool but they’re only available in the hard dual-compound version. You’ll see this reflected in our group test too. The Fuel EX is an efficient and quick climber and it is more than comfortable enough for long days in the saddle. Grip, damping and puncture protection are definitely more important here than weight savings. The bike’s super direct handling fires your synapses from the first turn of the cranks! With 150mm of front travel provided by a Fox 34 Performance Float fork, the Release 3 would make a nice mid-travel bike. The only exception here is for particularly short riders up to around 165 cm tall. A bike with mixed wheel sizes benefits from better rollover behaviour at the front while staying agile thanks to the smaller rear wheel and usually shorter chainstays. With the brief overview of these products, you will be able to gain a perfect knowledge regarding choosing, getting, assembling, using as well as maintaining the bikes. After all, one of the main criticisms of eMTBs from traditional mountain bikers often concerns their increased weight. ... Before you buy a new, or even your first mountain bike, you should first be clear about what you actually want to do with it. On Santa Cruz Bicycle's latest Hightower 29er, riders get more travel and a bigger fun factor compared to previous generations. Group tests don’t only serve to find the best bike in a certain category but are also the perfect indicator by which to evaluate new trends and developments in the industry. Now Shimano have made an impressive comeback with their new 12-speed drivetrain, particularly with its very smooth shifting and powerful clutch mechanism, which is even more effective at suppressing chain-slap than SRAM Eagle. If you live in the low mountain ranges and are looking for a direct and down to earth bike, you should definitely take a closer look at the Norco Optic! The new MAXXIS Shorty Gen 2 first ride review. The Expert model is made from the brand's Fact 11 carbon and has dropped down in travel this model year. However, its long front triangle in combination with the short rear end requires a very active riding style. In-depth reviews of the best mountain bikes to hit the market. On a trail bike, where efficient climbing and balanced handling are essential, we can’t see any advantages in running mixed wheel sizes with a 27.5” at the rear and 29” up front. Admittedly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any really bad mountain bikes in the high-end segment in 2020 and there were no total failures in this test either. The geometry is great, with a really well-centered feel descending and easy poise when climbing. The geometry and chassis dynamics are excellent, the component spec is superbly pitched to flatter feel and capability and the suspension is pretty much a perfect balance of ingredients to cook up a flat-out banquet on every trail. With the exception of the Orbea, Trek and SCOTT, no brand showed any real weakness with regards to tire choice. If the rear end wallows on the climbs, the seat tube angle slackens even further. This model comes with an alloy frame, 1x12 drivetrain, RockShox Recon fork, X-Fusion Pro shock, and a TranzX dropper seat post. In addition, suspension and sag also have a strong influence on the pedalling position. However, there was one bike in the test field that put an even bigger grin on the faces of our eight-person test crew, eliciting many involuntary cries of joy: the Specialized Levo SL. For everyone else, 95% of the time we recommend stick with a pure 29er for now. The Honzo has come a long way since the original and now there plenty of model options between the Honzo and Big Honzo. Copyright © 2021 ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine. It also filters out bumps on the descents and offers enough feedback from the trail – here the bike is in a league of its own. Case in point, the Cannondale Habit and the Nukeproof Reactor are almost identical with 74.5° and 74.6° seat tube angles respectively, but while you feel like you’re sitting way over the back of the Cannondale, the pedalling position on the Nukeproof is super central. Here are some of the best models for 2020. YT have combined this with a low slung top tube and plush suspension kinematics, giving you a bike that is lots of fun to ride and that excels on demanding trails. It’s practical, well priced and even the cheaper bike still packs all the play essentials into the package. While hardtail trail bikes are becoming less common, there are still a few holdouts. As the defend­ing cham­pi­on, they invit­ed the bike back this year, to com­pete against four­teen of the hottest new mod­els. But there is a dark force that often has a big influence on a bike’s handling that is difficult to assess on paper – we are talking about stiffness. When else do we have the opportunity to compare so many bikes directly against each other? Trail bikes are the most versatile of the lot. If you’re looking for a bike with excellent cornering abilities, great suspension, lots of pop and a comfortable pedalling position on the climbs, this is it. Riding like an over-suspended XC bike with a short wheelbase and reach, the geometry is on the conservative side - combining with a firm suspension tune to keep handling and pedaling inputs crisp. Nevertheless, we were able to identify some components that none of our eight riders could get on with: the saddles and grips some brands spec on their bikes almost amount to assault. The latest iteration of the Trance X 29er is precisely what you'd hope for from an entry-level trail bike. The Best Mountain Bike Helmets of 2020 After countless rowdy test days, here are the best mountain bike helmets for all types of rides, from casual singletrack spins to enduro pursuits. With a flip-chip adjustable geometry, the head angle is now 66/66.5-degrees, the seat angle 77/77.5-degrees. The Ibis Ripmo was the defending champion going into this test and ended up holding on to the top spot. In addition, the VPP lower link suspension mount is said to create a near-linear leverage curve, meaning it gobbles chunder and Santa Cruz goes as far as saying it still maintains the progressiveness normally reserved for its V10 DH bike. When it comes to choosing an all-round trail mountain bike, the almost infinite options available can seem overwhelming. The SCOTT Genius is a bike for a very small target group. That may seem like an odd statement for the SB115, which sits with only 115mm of rear travel, but Yeti has paired that with a 130mm fork. The Genius plays in its own league on the climbs where it is super efficient, quick and light-footed. Another Bird we loved - the Zero AM hardtail. Trail bikes thrive on quick, direct handling and efficient suspension. Here is our review of the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon. Here is our review of the Nukeproof Reactor 290C RS. Similar to the way that suspension forks, disc brakes and dropper posts have revolutionised mountain biking, so will the small and compact Specialized SL 1.1 motor also have an impact. Thanks to its long and slack geometry, the bike punches well above what its travel would suggest and masters even the most demanding trails. To this end, we returned to Massa Vecchia once again. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Much of the component choice will be dependent on your local trails and riding style. Packing 135mm of rear travel, Giant has employed its quality not quantity' suspension ethos. Frame type: Carbon | Wheel size: 29-inch | Rear travel: 140mm | Sizes: S, M, L ,XL. Here is our review of the Trek Fuel EX 9.9 AXS. © The V2's geometry has been tweaked to make it slacker and longer, and the suspension kinematics adjusted to make it more progressive at … It’s still the best trail bike in 2020! Trek does not offer a women's specific Fuel EX as it did in previous years, but the XS and S size frames will roll on 27.5-inch wheels and feature a curved top tube to maximize standover height. Some have been redesigned with an extensive list of new features, while others have seen minor tweaks. Although the effective seat tube angle slackens as you extend the seat post, it is never too slack. Wheel size: 29-inch | Rear travel: 130mm Hailing from Golden, Colorado, Yeti's SB130 is a bike that rewards aggressive riding but can be a handful if you hesitate. The latter is the best eMTB currently on the market. To make the bike suitable for a long day out riding, and with the odd ascent or two in mind, the Release 3 comes … Due to its decreased weight, the Levo SL sounded like a super exciting candidate for this group test. While 40% of our readers are indifferent about eMTBs, only 13% see them as a no-go. Blurring the lines between XC and trail riding, Frame type: Carbon | Wheel size: 29-inch | Rear travel: 115mm | Sizes: S, M, L, XL. From simple flow trails to a shuttle day in Finale Ligure, the Ibis simply does it all and it never gives you the impression that you’re on the wrong bike. The range of application for trail bikes is broad, which was exactly what the test conditions had to mimic. Both the head tube angle and bottom bracket height are adjustable as well. That difference is most pronounced when comparing the super stiff Orbea Occam with the very flexible rear end of the Radon Slide Trail. If you live in the US, the Expert version of the Stumpy comes with a SRAM XO1 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain among other quality components, which comes out to $4,700. The greatest strength of the Ibis Ripmo is its versatility, but this could also be interpreted as its greatest weakness. It is not even possible to define exactly how much stiffness is good and when it starts becoming negative. The … It's here where the Neuron will shine. We think the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon represents the next level of mountain biking and therefore secures this group test’s coveted Best Buy tip! Marin is known for creating bikes at a great price point, and the Rift Zone is no different. If possible, we recommend having these parts upgraded in the shop before you buy the bike. The 17.7 kg Levo SL Expert descends like any other trail bike in the test field. Devinci has size-specific chainstays so that all riders have the same optimized handling and stability and there is a split pivot at the rear to help isolate brake forces from the suspension for better sensitivity and control. When we think of the Cannondale Habit, images of Josh Bryceland sailing through the air with the bike doing 180s immediately come to mind. Best for those whose vocab doesn't include rowdy, Frame type: Carbon | Wheel size: 29-inch | Rear travel: 130mm | Sizes: M, L, XL. See our guide to the best mountain bikes under $2,000 in 2020, with top men’s and women’s mountain bike models from Trek, Giant, Specialized, Salsa, and more. When we started planning this group test, we already knew that Specialized would launch a particularly exciting new bike shortly before the release of this issue – the Levo SL. We declared 27.5” to be dead from frame size medium upwards after our most recent enduro bike group test and we’re seeing this development even more clearly on trail bikes. The Levo SL is the logical evolution of non-motorised bikes and takes the riding experience to the next level! However, even if there is nothing to complain about in terms of the stopping power on their current model and we prefer the friendlier mineral oil brake fluid, we find the loud rattling of brake pads and the constantly wandering bite point on many of Shimano’s brakes to be very annoying. With a head angle of 67.6-degrees, a 74-degree seat angle, the SB115 is not as progressive as the longer travel bikes on this list, but it sure blurs the line between XC and trail riding. Credit where credit is due, Kona is the brand that shifted hardtails from just being for beginners and XC whippets, to do-everything-trail-munching machines. Of course, we couldn’t ignore the classics in this category and so the Specialized Stumpjumper, Canyon Spectral, YT JEFFSY, SCOTT Genius and last year’s group test winner, the Ibis Ripmo, are back to fight it out for the crown. It is striking that apart from the Canyon Spectral, all of this year’s bikes are rolling on 29” wheels. If the wheels are heavy, the bike will feel sluggish trying to get up to speed. Frame type: Aluminum | Wheel size: 29- or 27.5-inch depending on size | Rear travel: 130mm | Sizes: XS, S , M , ML , L , XL. If you’re looking for a fast-rolling combination with an aggressive profile, but you can accept compromises in damping, we can recommend the 2.3” MAXXIS Minion DHF and DHR II as on the Giant Trance 29. What started out as an experiment for this group test quickly emerged as the most important development of the year. Bike Perfect is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. We compared the bikes on the El Nino and Freeride trails, but we regularly rode the Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen, Benedetto and Scopine trails as well. Thanks to the storage space in the down tube, the most important essentials can be stowed in the frame. It pedals with aplomb, it feels light and agile on flatter trails and when it’s time rumble, the extra travel and dialled geometry means it’s every bit as comfortable going 12 rounds as delivering a knockout blow. The ultimate list. The past weeks and months have seen some very exciting bikes being launched. There are great bikes in both materials, and ultimately your budget will determine what your new bike is made from. See all reviews of mountain bikes from Bike Magazine. The best trail bikes are designed to be all-rounder style mountain bikes that can tackle any trail, all day long. The SB115 loves speed, whether you're going up or down. If you want a little more grip, damping and puncture protection, use the same tires but in the 2.5” or 2.4” WT width. The alpine trails around his hometown serve as the perfect testing grounds. We asked professional and recreational riders, bike shop owners, and bike bloggers to tell us about the best mountain bikes. As a rule, we always have three to four testers ride the bikes at ENDURO in order to get the most complete picture possible – this time it was eight! However, there were some bikes that we wouldn’t recommend to our readers – sometimes in spite of good componentry, balanced geometry on paper, or being well priced. However, as things have progressed, brands seem to be embracing the larger wheel size. The Rift Zone Carbon 2 is Marin's top of the range model featuring a carbon frame, Fox suspension and Shimano drivetrain. With 140mm of front and rear travel, Trek's Fuel EX is the brand's most popular line of trail bikes. That said, on the climbs the bike revealed no weaknesses. Hailing from Golden, Colorado, Yeti is known for making aggressive bikes that love going downhill. On the descents, the Fuel EX is extremely agile and fun to ride. If you’re not careful, you quickly lose grip on the front wheel and wash out. A trail bike that will put a smile on any rider's face, Frame type: Carbon | Wheel size: 29-inch | Rear travel: 130mm | Sizes: S1-S6. For the most part, if you are choosing an XC bike, you will choose lightweight XC parts, and if you are going enduro, you will go full enduro. With such a range of geometry figures, one trail bike could ride very differently from another, so if you are unsure what would suit you many shops or retailers offer test rides or demo days so that you can try before you buy. You get that typical Trek feeling the moment you climb aboard, mainly due to the super comfortable riding position and the suspension set-up. Best 27.5in mountain bike under £3000 Pound for pound, there is no better 27.5in trail bike that the Canyon Spectral AL 6.0. In the past, bikes were often categorised based on the length of their travel. Particularly on long rides, a good saddle and high-quality grips can do a lot to increase riding comfort. Choosing the best electric mountain bike for you. Frame type: Carbon | Wheel size: 29-inch | Rear travel: 147mm | Sizes: S, M, L, XL. Trail bikes are the undisputed all-rounders of the bike industry. Below is a thorough review of the best mountain bikes for purchase in 2020. While one could argue the Ripmo falls more into the category of an enduro bike (even the Ibis EWS team chooses this bike), we still class it as a long-travel trail bike because the suspension doesn't quite offer the pillowy bottomless feel, as it's a bit tighter and firmer. Best mountain bike helmets 2020, as rated by our expert testers. Alloy frames are cheaper to produce, so it's no surprise to find them at the lower end of the pricing spectrum, while carbon dominates the upper end. Today, however, travel tells us very little about the handling of a bike. They perform on the quick after-work lap just as well as they do on long multi-day rides and don’t have to shy away from bike park excursions either. Having reviewed the NOX Helium and Lapierre eZesty in the past, we already had an idea of how much potential there is in this new type of light eMTB, but during our testing, it took us completely by surprise again. From burly downhill runs to extended techy climbs designed to test you, the Trance X will glide through it all. Over the years, the wheel size debate has become as hotly contested as whether you heard Yanny or Laurel (it’s totally Laurel by the way). With 130mm of rear travel matched to 140mm at the front, the new Stumpjumper does everything well. Best folding bike: Brompton M6L This 26-pound, six-gear bike from the folding-bike leader is easy to fold and unfold down to 23”x 23” x 11”. Pop off obstacles and lips or pick up the front wheel to manual – it’s child’s play on this bike! With each pedal stroke and each pump, you pick up speed and the grin on your face grows. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike. Thank you for signing up to . If you run out of battery power, it’s not a huge problem on the Levo SL because you can still pedal it comfortably without the support of the motor. It's one bike to do it all and have a blast on. The Trek Fuel EX has won this test in the past and it was among the top contenders here once again. It’s no wonder that we absolutely had to include them in this group test. Besides forest service roads, we also took on a lot of technical climbs. Many staple manufacturers have updated their classic models for 2020. The Nukeproof Mega made a very positive impression on us in our enduro bike group test and here the Reactor also stood out from the crowd. Fresh off a 2020 redesign, the Ripmo V2 impressed our testers and is the best overall trail bike we've ever tested. While the rear suspension feels very defined that also means that it’s not overly comfortable. The unanimous favourites were the ODI Elite Pro grips which offer good damping and lots of grip and the super comfortable WTB Silverado saddle on the Yeti SB130. Trail bikes are a little different and really blur the lines between disciplines. A 130 mm travel bike can feel astonishingly cumbersome while a 150 mm travel bike can be very agile. By Leon Poultney 2020-10-23T14:32:33Z. We wanted more grip, especially on the front wheel…, Here is our review of the RADON SLIDE TRAIL 10. Who needs an all-mountain bike with freeride DNA? To find the perfect bike amongst these top competitors is no easy chore. We don’t hold back in the tops and flops of this test. Aggressive geometry makes it more capable, and the geometry is adjustable, Lower end models don't get down-tube storage, Well rounded climbing and descending with the best of them, Handling makes for a fun ride across the spectrum of skill levels, Specialized's own sizing system can be confusing, Capable of keeping up with longer travel bikes on the descents, Suspension upgrade may be necessary for more advanced riders, Absolutely outstanding suspension performance from the custom DH shock, Superbly balanced geometry and frame dynamic for flat-out riding, Totally sorted and well-priced aggro specification, Soft Shimano brake pads and rotors wear quickly, Stiff frame tracks well through chunky corners, Available in a wide range of specs and prices, VPP suspension design limits shock options, Light and irrepressibly lively trail feel, Naturally efficient pedaling with compliant grip, Geometry suits intended riders really well, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, Specialized Stumjumper ST Comp Carbon Review, Cannondale launches Lefty Ocho 120mm fork, Best full-suspension mountain bikes for tackling the toughest cross-country courses, Specialized Trail-Series Short Sleeve Rain Anorak review, Best e-MTBs: electric mountain bikes that can get you up and down the mountain. However, one thing is clear: stiffness is noticeable on the trail. See our guide to the best mountain bikes of 2020, with top men’s and women’s XC, trail, all-mountain, and e-mountain bikes from Trek, Santa Cruz, and more. Frame type: Aluminum | Wheel size: 29-inch and 27.5+ | Rear travel: Hardtail | Sizes: S, M, L, XL. This bike is ideally suited for a rider that doesn't mind a long climb and always takes the chunkiest descent back down. This provides grip, traction and saves you energy while riding. All 82 mountain bikes ranked by the best – based on reviews from 11,209 cyclists. For a long time this made a lot of sense, but then those categories became increasingly specific and niche until the individual designations became absurd. But none of us have ever ridden a bike that is as well thought out as the Levo SL! If you compare the bikes, most geometry tables look very similar on paper, but often their handling is worlds apart on the trail. There was a problem. On flat, flowing trails and when jumping, the suspension absorbs a lot of energy and the rear end wallows slightly. With 145mm of rear travel and a 150mm fork, the new Hightower sees a 65.5-degree head angle, 77-degree seat angle, and 433mm chainstays. Trail bikes can range from 120mm of travel all the way up to about 160mm, and quite often we see forks that are about 10mm longer than rear shocks. YT also do a 27.5-inch version with the same spec but a more playful character and a little extra suspension travel. From the weekend warrior and bike park shredder to the bikepacker and suspension nerd, we included every sort of rider! YT has kept the seat tube low cut, not only allowing for a longer dropper but also enabling riders to choose frames based on length, not saddle height. When the trail points up, the 76-degree effective seat angle and the DW-link rear suspension combine for velcro-like traction. 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