26er Reviews and News


First Look: 2015 BMC Crossmachine CX01


The cyclocross racer’s BMC dream has been fulfilled as BMC announced the race-ready Crossmachine CX01. It sports the company’s SLR pedigree but it is firmly suited for cross racing.

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  • Trancer says:

    Bike looks great….little confused on the weight though…in the body of the article, first paragraph under “Ride Impressions” there is a confusing sentence that reads “Without weight 7.99kg / 17.41lb.”

    Then in the summary at the end the weight is listed as 16.97 lbs. Is 16.97 without pedals? and 17.4 lbs with pedals?

  • scentofreason says:

    This ‘one ring up front fad’ can not die soon enough. I suppose if you live where there are no mountains 1 ring would work ok. But in the pacific northwest, we have mountains. Need smaller gearing for the harder climbs, and need bigger gearing for the long descents. Oh, as you might of ascertained, I use my cross bike for more than just cross racing. You know, winter training, gravel grinding, etc. 1x up front limits this bike to cross racing only….

    • Josh Matta says:

      if you use your cross bike for more than just cross racing then just run a 9-42 cassette and MTB rear derailluer.

  • twain says:

    That would be the world’s most epic commuter bike!

  • Harrimore says:

    Ready for use all XC

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Review: New 2015 Fox 36 FLOAT and TALAS fork


The new FOX 36 takes the fight to RockShox in the battle for all-mountain fork supremacy. See who comes out on top in this epic clash of titans.

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  • tyrebyter says:

    20mm axle option with clamping bolts. Yes, definitely. Still a lot of money for a Chinese fork, but I’ll have to get over that.

  • Mtbr says:

    Tyrebyter- The 36 is not built in China, but in the US–Watsonville, Calif. to be exact. Many of the components are built there as well, though some are imported–Kashima coating comes from Japan for example.

  • tyrebyter says:

    So, I just found Fox’s Registration Statement to the SEC from July 2013 indicating their intention to move production overseas by 2015. Did they reverse course?

  • Mtbr says:

    Tyrebyter- Our understanding is that FOX has set up parallel production lines for manufacturing OEM shocks and forks to go on bikes that are produced overseas and sold worldwide. Aftermarket production will continue in the US.

  • MBR says:

    Maybe not a deal killer for 36mm forks, having to loosen four pinch bolts to remove the front wheel, but hope this doesn’t migrate down to 32-34 mm forks…

  • Outside! says:

    One more fork with cast in mud catchers on the back of the fork lowers bridge. Everyone does it, but it would be nice if function won out over form someday and the casting recesses faced forward.

  • Rod says:

    I AM in the market for a 120 fork……which one? Talk about getting confused.

  • Sylvain says:

    After 2 emails explaining my problems with my 2012 34 Float CTD 29er and no response from Fox, my next fork won’t be a Fox.

    I’ve spend hundreds of $ servicing my fork (3 times a year in a Rockies summer) and still works like a pogo stick. No advice, no courtesy email. Nothing from Fox. AND the steer tube in the crown creaks like crazy and it`s driving me nuts…

    Sad that my 1st generation ever Fox Talas (32 Talas, 26 RLC), Fox first fox ever produced, now on my daughter`s bike, works better. It`s over 8 years old!!! My old 36 Talas worked better too.

    But if you can`t get help from the source, I don`t buy it. Glad to see that Santa Cruz is spec’ing Pikes now on their Tallboy LTc…

    Doesn’t matter how good this 36 is. They seem to help only their racers and the bike media…

    Very disappointing customer.

    Sylvain Vanier

    • Sylvain says:

      It was a 34 Float 140mm CTD for 29er…

    • StJoeRider says:

      My sentiments too. I’m through with Fox. And I have several rides.
      My latest ride, a new left over 2013 FSR EVO Expert Carbon has
      an all Fox set-up, which I’m gonna swap out for RockShox. You
      don’t spend that kinda of money on a bike with no help or service
      from someone. Called Spesh, they blew me off. Called Fox, they
      blew me off. My LBS will help by selling me all new fork and shock
      from RockShox for wholesale to fix this deal. BYE BYE FOX!
      FOX SUCKS!

  • SC says:

    Interesting on the weight of the 2014 float 36 RC2. Are you SURE 4.85lbs is the weight of the float, or the Talas….;-)

  • Jombo Man says:

    If I spent $599 for a Fox Fork and then another 400 to 500 for a rear shock you bet I want help from the manufacturer. Place a complaint with the Consumer product protection bureau. Defective and Unsafe products are their speciality..Now that would get Foxes attention.. BTW thanks for all the advise. When I spend $8000 to $10000 on my next bike it will have ROCK SHOX all the way around.. Go to go..Momma is calling.. TTYL Jombo Man

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News: Mavic announces Crossmax XL wheel and tire system


Mavic’s new WTS wheels called the Crossmax XL and the matching Crossmax Quest tires are designed more for the adventure rider than the pure enduro racer. Unlike other brands, Mavic is still supporting the 26″ wheel size.

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  • pjm says:

    Bout time. Dirty little secret is that a bigger fatter and light tire on 26″ hoops makes total sense. Duh! Diehards? You mean “smart?”

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First Ride: SRAM Roam 30 and Roam 40 wheels


SRAM’s product release onslaught continues with Roam 30 and Roam 40—two high-value, low-cost wheelsets.

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  • gg says:

    Awesome another “special part” ! Standard J-bend please + normal nipples.
    … SRAM uses special Taper Grip nipples …

  • Shawn says:

    The wide rim revolution is coming. SRAM is missing it. See a Derby rims.

    • Mtbr says:

      Shawn- Interesting and timely comment…a pair of Ibis wheels with Derbyesque, 41mm-wide rims just landed on our doorstep today (http://reviews.mtbr.com/?p=107559). While we are very curious to see how they perform, the wide rims are unproven at this point. Time will tell.

  • Liberty555 says:

    What on earth is a “torque – stress” on the bearings? The whole role of the bearing is to provide no resistance to torque. If you are referring to an out of balance load given the tension in the chain is offset from the centre of the hub then as far as the bearing is concerned this is a radial load. Or if you are referring to distortion in the hub causing the bearing to skew about its centre, then it would be a very small distortion, because if it were large enough to be perceptible surely it would cause jumping off the chain. Can you clarify?

  • roger says:

    YOU MEANT 41mm CARBON RIGHT?! You couldn’t ride a 41mm aluminum 29er wheel!

  • ian says:

    How do you add the pawls to roam 30 hub?

  • Ian says:

    You mentioned that the additional pawls are available as service parts. Do you have a link? I can not find them anywhere.

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Hot News: New 36 RC2 fork highlights FOX 2015 releases


Suspension-maker FOX announced a new version of their 36 fork as well as updates to their 40, 34 and 32 models in a 2015 product release this week. The company launched 40th anniversary heritage graphics and stealth models as well.

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Bike Check #1: Nine cool bikes from pre-Sea Otter rides


Sea Otter starts today and we kick off our coverage with a bike check of bikes some of our industry friends are riding this weekend. Keep a sharp eye peeled and you may see some previously unreleased new product.

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Hot Product: ENVE launches new MSERIES rims, wheelsets


Wheel-maker ENVE has announced a new series of carbon wheel sets called MSERIES, designed to meet the needs of four specific user groups, according to the company.

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  • Art says:

    Just what the world needs, $3000 wheels. Nonsense.

  • Avg Joe Rider says:

    As a current ENVE wheel owner, I can say you are going in the wrong direction in price with the other competition out there. Technology usually gets less expensive over time. You have likely lost my business even though you make a quality product.

  • luisM. says:

    I’ll stick to my Mavic SLRs. Light weight and bullet proof. Oh and about $2000.00 less!!

  • BP says:

    $150 for stickers?

  • PinkFloydLandis says:

    So just for clarity, for $150 I can buy a good quality carbon rim direct from the supplier in Asia, or I can buy color-matched decals from Enve. That says a lot.

    Price aside, its good to see further validation for the hookless design.

  • Kevin Woodward says:

    AM or XC yes … 50-60-70-90 huh?

  • vv says:

    Throw in exchange rate (+10%), a Canadian border and taxes (+13%)
    and these puppies are costing minimum $3500.
    Wait… I want a color of my chosing $3750.
    Stupid price.

  • DH says:

    I demo’d the 50fifty’s today: amazing tracking, lightweight! The 5 year warranty and lifetime crash replacement make these a much better deal!

  • Cracker69 says:

    A $3000 wheelset……that is about eight regular quality wheelsets. Surely, its possible to enjoy mountain biking without this transference of narcissism to the bike ? Coveting items such as this is the sickness of consumerism and largely missing the point of the sport, ie, health, comradery, forward motion, challenge, accomplishment….all that good stuff.

  • madsedan says:

    I rarely ever feel compelled to comment on product write-ups on here but I have to agree with every other comment before mine, this price is insane. When I saw the title bar I was thinking “well its been a year or so since I checked out Enve’s wheels, maybe they’ve dropped down in price for 2014…”.
    Do a quick search on ANY mountain bike forum that has a wheel/tire section and see how many guys are discussing Enve’s new offerings versus how many are discussing the technical nuances and customer service of vendors with the latest $200 a piece carbon hoops available out of Asia.
    Outside of providing these to professional teams for marketing purposes at a greatly reduced cost how many units can they actually sell of these. Whoever the idiot in marketing is that’s advising your R&D guys to develop even more expensive wheels needs to be removed.

  • Bradstone says:

    Based on the new name system, I would like to know where I can ride 40% uphill and get 60% downhill or 30% uphill for 70% downhill – that would be amazing!

  • Enve Epiphany says:

    I’m a bit of a gear freak / weight weenie but every now and then in life some thing comes along and gives you pause to consider what is important.
    These rims are that thing – when you think about it spending this much money for a these rims, when the advantage is miniscule… It’s stupidity, what am I doing? Time to stop spending money on stuff and more on creating experiences with the stuff that I already have.
    Thanks Enve – seriously, the wheel just turned.

  • tonyp says:

    Seriously!!! For that price I’d rather buy a new bike…

  • John-John says:

    Can’t wait to ride the M60’s. Am getting them with my new Bronson C XX1 build with CCDBAirs CS and Pikes on the front. I’ve booked a week long mountain bike holiday for when I pick up the bike in a couple of weeks. I’m not going to know myself!!

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Review: Schwalbe Magic Mary and Rock Razor Tires


The Schwalbe Magic Mary is an excellent tire for loose, wet and muddy conditions, and excels as a front tire. The Rock Razor is a rear only specific tire, and excels in dry conditions, and the semi-slick center knob design offers a quick acceleration, response and control.

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  • Mr. P says:

    Any comments on what the wear is like on the Rock Razor. The Hans Dampf Trailstar is notorious for wearing and tearing down very quickly on the rear.

    P

  • gg says:

    Crazy expensiv ! Not on my radar at that price point.

  • Nicholas says:

    It’s important to note where the tires were tested… I have a feeling loose conditions in sunny California is not the same as a mid-winter’s ride in the grand ole Pacific Northwest.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Sorry, I’ll add that info. The local Colorado testing terrain is predominantly loose rocky conditions, with many long steep climbs and descents, rock gardens, slick rock, an occasional smooth singletrack and lots of ugly, loose gravel. If you have ever ridden in Colorado Springs area, you’d meet the most humbling trail conditions, the Pikes Peak gravel. Imagine long swaths of trails covered with pea gravel (sort of like the side of a fire road). Lately we have had a lot of snow with melt conditions between storms, so wet and mud interspersed with snow. So not sunny California, though I have ridden them in dry conditions and some hardpack.

  • mr.habanero says:

    I love both tires but i fear the MM might not work well for my area. The rr looks freakn badass!

  • Cmarsh says:

    So based on your picture it looks like the 3.35 RockRazr fits in the rear of a 27.5 converted Mojo HD? How is the clearance?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I am riding the HDR currently and they fit just fine. I wore away quite a bit of the rear yoke on my HD, so I can no longer accurately comment if they would fit. Let me check clearance on an older triangle I have laying around. I would think it would be pretty tight, since the Rock Razor’s are fairly tall (27 13/16″ tall on a Pacenti DL31 rim).

  • DoeBoy says:

    I got the 275 Rock Razor on the rear of my Intense and I’m not sure if I’m really liking how much it slips on a steep descent or a fast corner. I’ve got maybe 5 rides in with it, so I may like it once I adjust to how it handles. As for right now, I wish I’d have gotten the Hans Damph for the rear.

    I got the Hans Damph on the front and I love it.

  • Glenn b says:

    First time visit thumbs up

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Video: 26 Ain’t Dead


26ers are under attack and in the crosshairs is the bike most of us started with, the 26er hardtail. While sales forecasts may not show growth in this segment, they are still incredibly fun to ride. Do you still ride yours?

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  • WANNABE says:

    Because I am a total WANNABE, I feel as though I have to ride as pro as possible. So, I can no longer have fun Mountain Biking, but instead I feel the need to buy the lightest carbon fiber 29er my inheritance can get me.

  • carver says:

    Have not ridden a 26 in years. tried a 29 this season it was a hot mess lol
    650B is all I ride. Bury the 26 and save a few 29rs for the xc riders who want them.

  • Maxman6000 says:

    26 wheels and flat pedals to boot, just proves it’s more
    about the rider than the wheel size

  • Vytas says:

    I dont care about the inches, but this video is cool, I like the way you ride, man.

  • XR600 says:

    Great riding vid.
    I want to stay with 26″
    Especially when on full suspension.
    No matter what they do with 29 or 650B, they could always build the same bike stiffer. lighter, with shorter stays, and be more fun to ride if they stuck with 26″.
    If I could have literally 6 of road bicycles in my garage, then I would for sure have a 29 hardtail and and a 650B full suss or similar in there somewhere, as I like all bikes. I would also have a rigid, a fat bike, a cyclocross bike etc and ride them all.
    But 26″ will always be my preference for MTB.
    I hope the day is not to far away when the A-holes in the bike industry return to them, but there will be a lot of mixed wheel size combos and the like to be exploited first!

  • aliikane says:

    That guy is just ripping on a hardtail. Shows everyone on full suspension bikes that we aren’t going fast enough. Haha.

  • ginsu says:

    Jeez, I through out my 26er when I read the Press Release on 29ers like last decade…in fact, I saw some teenager on a 26er Wal-Mart bike and I beat the crap out of him and gave him my 29er because I felt bad about it afterward, and I know 29ers are old school so it gave me an excuse to get rid of it because I ride only 650b now anyway.

  • JimmyDee says:

    Yes, I have two bikes, both 26. One is an old hardtail I now use for commuting sometimes that has just been upgraded over the years. The other is a medium-old Cannondale Perp 1 that will probably never die. I have a brand new wheelset for it and tons of custom parts.

    It’s stronger, more versatile and more awesome than any newer FR carbon bike on the market. It can DH if I need and between the custom remote lockout (true lockout) coil shock and the rotor cranks and QR, I can ride it *to* the trail as well, not dependent on a gas vehicle. 36.5lbs is getting up there for weight, but not terrible considering the strength.

    I’d consider a larger wheel diameter for a city commuter, but I am not very tall, so I’m quite happy with 26″.

    Oh and I actually happen to understand the physics of the differences between the sizes, so I’m not sucked in by silly marketing claims.

    The wheel will roll better because of momentum. The more rotational mass and the farther it is from center, the more it will feel stable. But the opposite is also true. Lower rotational mass and closer to center makes it more nimble and faster accelerating.

  • ahaha says:

    This guy is faster than exactly 100% of MTB forum members despite riding a hardtail 26. Yes, he’s faster than the “If u can’t spend $5,000 then don’t bother” fatass “extreme bicycle collector” club.

  • tim walsh says:

    That kid can ride, no doubt about it. On a hardtail, no less. I feel like the larger wheel sizes have been forced on us to keep up bike company profits. Of course, ride whatever wheel size you want – but keep the 26″ for those who want a bike that handles.

  • patrick says:

    Good to know that a bike that rewards skill (and isn’t for the lost roadies) is still out there (I’ve been looking at BFe’s for a while, love cotic).

  • Rafael says:

    Tried a 29er, Too sluggish to get it going. Too long to get right in the air. The big wheel was just about impossible to turn in some tight switchbacks, I am short so it looked like a circus bike. Had a nasty crash trying to jump it (land it) and broke my humerus, a rib and tore my labrum, I have not tried any 650b so I don’t have an opinion yet. But between the 26er and 29er,,,the 26er wins hand down because it is just more fun to ride and that is what mountain biking is all about.

  • Mattias says:

    It’s not the size that matter guys, it’s how we use it…

  • James says:

    ‘Great riding. The kind of stuff a 26″ HT is great for, no debates, even if 95% or more of us are not capable of that level of almost 4-cross riding.
    —My personal comment on wheel sizes beyond that has no relevance to anyone else and is biased by whatever I own or my general perceptions of how I fit into this very broad thing called ‘mountain biking’ goes in here. I hereby recognise I am wasting my time posting on the internet on this topic. —
    Signed,
    A rider on one of three wheel sizes, some point between 0-200mm travel, any number of gears including 30 or just one and my own choice of handlebars’

  • bryan says:

    I own and ride bikes from all disciplines of the spectrum, 26ers, 29ers, downhill, carbon roadbike, singlespeed, fatbike, (although no 650b’s yet), blah blah blah. I’m really getting tired of the wheel size bashing thing and it’s starting to piss me off how stupid some diehards can be. If you don’t like it, ride whatever you want and STFU already!

  • Chinman says:

    Just goes to show it’s not the size of the sword, but the fury of the attack that is important.

  • john says:

    need help…..just standing 5’3″ in height, as a beginner how do i choose a right size mountain bike for me?

  • Steve says:

    Many good comments above. This video and conversation make me miss my 26 Turner Nitrous! Just can’t wait to ride.

  • bottom feeder says:

    What are you 12?

  • john says:

    So glad to see these comments! I love my 26ers, I have one 26 FS that is a total blast to ride, a rigid 26 SS bike and am starting to build a third. 26’s are light, agile and completely valid for any terrain!

  • Dave "doesn't normally leave replies" Jones says:

    Damn, I just got a 26er…

  • Cookie says:

    I’m waiting for the 36ers to catch on so there are better tire choices. 36 inch fat bikes are truly the way of the future (why go around stuff when you can roll over it nestled in between 2 tractor tires). Gary Fisher just needs to “invent” that idea too (oops, just gave away my secret plan to make millions).

    And don’t forget, DH’ers used to run 24s in the back. There needs to be another revival!

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    nice message cookie haha.

    first of all 26 inch wheels are the king!

    the bike company’s now days are trying to get us to buy a new bike all the time
    and there not making good products.

    example u can’t take a industry standard wheel size 26 inch and say its dead
    it been there for 30 years

    the bike companys did not do there research and development on the 29 inch wheel is a joke u can’t take a road bike wheel size and expect it to perform the same way
    in dirt not even dirt bikes use that wheel size

    lets do some research and development of are own guys
    ————————————————————————————
    The wheels on a dirt bike differ in size from front and back but other than that have the same features. The front wheel typically runs bigger than the rear wheel which offers a more comfortable ride over rough terrain. You can get front dirt bike wheels between 18- and 21-inches. The rear wheel ranges between 17- and 19-inches. The small rear wheel maximizes the acceleration efforts of the dirt bike.

    so here the solution to there problem you need wheel sizes numbers to be 1 inch
    between.

    26 inch bikes are here to stay you can run both wheel sizes if the frame geomtry allows
    27 inch bike are here to stay you can run both wheel sizes

    you also could do a dirt bike setup like 27 inch wheel on the front and 26 inch on the back

    and cookie i have seen 4x cross hard tail bikes that can run either 24 inch wheels and 26 inch wheels lets also not forget guys they never really made 24 inch wheels in adult frame sizes in the mountain bike world they did in the bmx cruiser class

    lets not forget the 20 inch wheels either they never had a chance in a adult mountain bike either

    26 and 27 about 1 inch difference

    24 to 26 inchs no big deal

    but 26 to 29 wow 29 is crap not even dirt bikes use that setup

    all i ride is dirt
    all i ride is hardtails i love 4130 cromoly i am a bmx trail racer as well i have ridden
    alot and i don’t care for all the new gimicks

    right before i went to college i got this mountain bike in college i was broke as hell
    i was pissed right when i got it disc brakes came out i needed a new bike i was sold
    lemon so i went old school and sup up a huffy bike with dope parts always a fan of rim brakes and 1 pc cranks even got some custom made sky way mags on that

    my point is all ride the crap out of any thing its the rider who makes the bike go
    not the sales company

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    instead of worrying when the next inch wheel comes out why not have a wheel size
    that will be able to take any tire size example a wheel that can take tire sizes
    20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 like a dirt bike people

    hey any one remember the old
    diamond back bmx bike that was a 7 speed now thats a mountain bike

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    last night i could night sleep with nightmares of wheels sizes

    i thought to my self today 650b 27.5 theres not alot of tire choices
    hopefully that will change in the future

    dam it they don’t make my favorite tire tioga comp 3

    so you know what time it is guys and get sick with it
    research and development R&D
    —————————————————————————–
    so today i called up a local dirt bike shop and talked a mechanic
    and said hey i want to take mountain bike hubs and put dirt bike rims or hoops on
    them with dirt bike tires he said wow that sounds cool it will only work with disc
    brakes of course and if the frame geomtry allows its holes line up
    of course no probelm

    then i asked him whats the bigest wheel they make for dirt bikes
    he said 26 inch dude is the bigest they make nothing more

    thats when i knew 26 inch was king then it got me all thinking

    remember those times riding your mountain bike up a 45 or 65 degree hill
    on the mountain bike trails guys and your climbing half way up and you look
    back your bikes not going any where and u just see your tire spining and no
    traction your like what the hell!!

    then it dawned on me this whole time remember when 29ers came out the big gimick oh they roll over ever thing haha what a joke!!!!!!

    the problem is we don’t need a biger wheel size

    what we need is a fat tire bike they roll over sand ice snow mud
    ——————————————————————————————–
    they roll over every thing guys 26 inch is king!!!!

    650b u have a place in my heart for 1975 27.5 keeping the funk alive
    retro all the way

    650b 27.5 is not made in the dirt bike world
    ——————————————————————
    it has its place in the mountain bike world the mountain bike gods or hall of fame made it back in the day with ritchey bikes but it did not become the industry standard back in the day when it was introduced in 1975

    it does have its place in the mountain bike world no remembers how they rode or handle

    back in the day it was hard to find tires and tubes mostly special order
    in the 80s it was like a euro odd ball wheel size that never took off

    the mountain bike hall of fame people had to make this choice back in the
    day and they choose 26 inch wheels for a reason and this issue came back up again
    in the 80s they tried to bring them back

    650b 27.5 is a european wheel size for sure i am retro kind of guy my self
    i think they could be good but i can’t remember what was bad about them
    does any one remember lol

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    its time to do some more research and development guys
    ————————————————————————————-

    29ers
    ———
    when they first came out they said they can roll over every thing
    what a joke!

    fat tire bike
    —————–
    has 26 inch wheel size and can roll over sand mud and snow
    wow!!

    dirt bikes
    ————–
    don’t use a wheel size bigger then 26 inchs
    confirmed by a dirt bike shop

    650b 27.5
    ——————————————————————————
    retro all the way keeping the 650b 27.5 1975 funk alive
    the story on this wheel size is interesting

    the wheel size was created by ritchey bikes in 1975
    i read this in a magazine and they still make this mountain bike hard tail today

    now thats not what i remember back in the day!

    yes the wheel size was created in 1975 but its was a european wheel size
    that did not catch on

    what happened was the founders of mountain bikes
    had to pick a industry standard
    they got into fights about which wheel was better

    in the 80s they again tried to bring the europeon 650b 27.5 wheel size back
    you had to special order your tires and tubes all the time and there
    was not alot of brands or companys making that tire size was a odd ball
    hard to find back then

    the 650b 27.5 wheel size was popular in euro in the 80s

    there was a guy i recall who use to ride the 650b 27.5
    in the 80s was old guy who loved euro bikes he said he loved the wheel size

    no now days its been so long no one can remember how they ride or handle

    and theres not alot of brands and companys making 650b 27.5 tires
    right now i am sure it will change in the future but not many seem to be
    supporting the euro wheel size

    some people say its too new right now it will catch on
    but the truth is its not new
    i am retro guy my self i say keep 26 inch and euro 650b 27.5

    yeah its euro wheel size dudes get use to it lol

  • rad says:

    whats up dudes i have to say 26 inch wheel accels way faster off road then any other wheel size.

    yeah that whole 650b thing is a euro wheel size,
    they act like its new but its not been around for many years.

    i have to say 26 inch wheels are by far the strongest wheels size
    i build my wheels up with chrome hoops and 14g spokes with brass nipples
    there bomb proof!!!!! and i use rim brakes so when the brake pads hit those chrome rims they stop on a dime.

    i hope they make some 650b hard tails with rim brakes
    and of course some chrome hoops too!!!

    559 wheel ain’t dead it will become the industry standard again
    thats 26 inch for those who don’t know lol

    659b will always be the other option
    euro wheel size

    you would think salsa and surly would catch on the whole 650b wheel
    by now

    can’t wait for the 650b single speeds to come out have a bike thats does it all
    26 and 27 inch wheels

  • rad says:

    yeah 559 and 650b bikes are here to stay

    i am sure the bikes frame geometry will stay 650b or 27.5 inch so you will
    be able to run 26 inch and 27.5 inch wheels

    with disc brakes u can run any wheel size u want

    they should make a bike with rim brakes to do any wheel size
    20 24 26 27 inch wheels

  • shred says:

    i wish the bike companys would still make high end hardtails in 26 inch wheels

  • short geezer says:

    I know several old school riders like me (White Rim/Slickrock on a steel Rockhopper) who clearly can tell, and say the 29s are more sluggish to turn, fail on tight trails, weigh more, more momentum to overcome in climbing/starting, with the rolls over things hype being of little real world value, especially when well-adjusted shocks accomplish the same thing w/ 26s. I added a front disc (Cable Avid- light, trail servicable but no issues) which did make a difference, but still run V brake rear, because it’s far lighter, and once you can skid the rear, what more do you gain from a disc, really? I’m still using the 13 yr old Grip Shifts but SRAM derailleurs are crap, flopping loosely after a year or two, versus Shimano’s decade or so at least.
    I blame SRAM for the current drive train insanity much like the BB dementia of the past ten years, but don’t know who to single out for the wheel size frenzy.
    The argument over constant changes of dubious merit is not moot, or a matter of taste, because typically once the switch occurs, support goes away soon after – either directly, or because parts and replacements are conveniently unavailable; THIS is the criminally negligent aspect of manufacturers planned obsolescence and the cost is borne directly by every consumer forced to “upgrade” because nothing else is available. Triples are far more versatile, wide-ranging, and appropriate for the majority, but they’re so outre (oh yeah, lowest gear on a 29er is like 11% higher than a 26) and soon won’t even be available, just watch- the frames won’t take front shifters, “a concession to changing consumer demand”. Ha

  • rad says:

    whats up short geezer i am formerly the dirt bike kid and shred
    ——————————————————————————————-
    i did my research and 26 inch wheels are the best!!!!!!

    here’s my test results

    26 inch wheels
    ———————-
    they accel faster up hills
    they turn better
    there stronger wheels for jumping and abuse
    you can get them in v brakes and disc
    u have way more tire options

    after studying wheel sizes in the dirt bike world
    ——————————————————————–
    i noticed that they ride 26 inch wheels and nothing bigger
    when u look at a dirt bike you will notice that a skinny wheel in front
    and a fat tire for the rear wheel which gives traction

    look at dirt bike races like enduro racing they ride there
    dirt bikes in the coil factorys, the country, rivers, 90 degree dirt hills that are cliffs
    how the heck they even get up them is insane on a dirt bike lol!!!!

    my current bike is a hard tail with v brakes
    aluminum frame
    ——————————————————————-
    one day i went to go hit the trails up
    i was climbing this hill this hill had to been about 70 degrees
    i attacked if perfect with speed to get up it
    i get half way up the hill and my bike stops and i am still pedaling like huh?
    i look at my rear wheel is spining and no traction

    now keep in mind the tread on my tires is good

    and i was riding standing stright up on my bike

    after that day of riding i knew some thing was wrong
    my bike was not getting any traction due to the bike being too light
    rear wheel was not making any contact with the dirt due to no weight or preasure
    on the bike seat

    to correct this problem
    ———————————
    there are a couple of different ways
    you could ride a heavier bike frame by riding steal 4130 cromoly,
    tange, prestige, are the kings in the bmx world for steal
    some of the lighter ones are renyolds tubing and columbus tubing

    you could also ride a heavier wheel set with a steal bike frame
    you could ride a wider tire

    the problem now days is the weight ratio with bikes
    yeah every one wants them lighter and faster but there so light theres no traction
    there so light your breaking parts like there cheap china crap and there not there high end parts.

    the parts are so light that they break and not reliable
    heck when i first got my bike i snaped the chain right in half
    people at the bike shop said yeah your puting out some toq u need a higher end chain

    your almost better getting a cheaper bike not worry about breaking sh@#

    so what i came up with was some thing interesting
    —————————————————————————
    if u get a fat tire bike you can run normal 26 inch wheels as well
    best of both worlds

    26 inch fat tire wheels roll over every thing

    but you can also take a fat tire bike and run normal 26 inch wheel up front
    and then run a fat tire wheel in the rear like a dirt bike setup

    no one knows how the fat tire bikes perform in a mountain bike race world yet
    but i can tell u this much

    26 inch fat tire is here to stay and its going to rip in the dirt of the race world a new one

    kiss 27.5 and 29er good bye and say good bye to the cross country racers
    wearing spandex when they race in the woods

    cause we wear motor cross helmets and jeans and when we race on hard tails
    new world order of trail racing you sissy’s and we also bring bmx trail racing to the table too

  • rad says:

    oh yeah lets not forget u can get rim brakes for a fat tire bike too
    if u do custom frame build

    and lets not forget any bottom bracket u want yes triple chain rings are nice
    don’t let the industry idiots bring u down man heck i don’t even think they
    ever did a bike shoot out of

    fat tire vs 27.5 vs 29er vs 26 all i can say is this
    ————————————————————————–
    if fat tire rolls over sand snow and ice and mud and is king in the dirt bike world
    haha get ready to buy a new bike

  • rad says:

    hey short geezer i like what you said about this whole being forced to upgrade
    is lame its always the parts companys to blame

    i think its time shorty we make a gyro that works with a geared bike
    with front and rear deriler and of course that triple chain ring LOL

  • rad says:

    26 inch wheels should be the industry standard
    ———————————————————————-
    dear bicycle company’s the standard 26 inch wheels are the best for racing
    up hills off road

    fat tire bikes are the worst for racing

    29er bikes are road bikes and cruzing around town the wheel size
    does not handle good off road peroid !!!!!!

    smaller wheels climb better and accel faster you need that for off road riding
    its hard to get wheels spining off road

    bmx bikes have small wheels for just this reason

    the bike industry is on the 29 trend to get you to think its better
    so they can make a $ale

    wheel size should be a choice by the consumer!!

    not by what the bike company’s decide to make!!!

    every bike company should make a high end 26 inch hard tail in there product line
    there’s no excuse for this people

    bike companys don’t allow you to pick what kind of setup u want
    if u want rim brakes it should be an option etc……..
    there is no custom complete bikes with options u can choose what u want your bike to come with from the factory this is the down fall of bike companys
    and it should be no different then picking the color of your bike

    thats how cheap and far it should be

    if dell computer company can build you a pc the way u want it

    then why the heck why not!!!

    its simple pick a bike in the product line u like and pick what options u want the bike to have for the stock price $ you should have tons of options for the stock price to get the options u want weather its a wheel size or rim brakes drops outs grip shifter what ever u want steel al ti 26 27.5 29er what ever your heart desires

    but know this the standard 26 inch wheel is the best!!!
    ——————————————————————————-
    and once the 29 inch wheels crazy is over with!!!

    standard 26 inch wheels will rise again !!!
    thats how there going to get you to buy a new bike

  • No change ! says:

    Never change 26″ wheels & tyres, no matter, how much are 27,29″ advertised ! MTB with huge wheels is look’s ugly, like some “bling bling” style cars !

  • chubacabra says:

    RIP 26’er your time came and gone.And you quit blaming the industry for trying to make a profit. You wanna make the same amount of money your whole life? 26 sales were soft anyway, it was time to shoot a little life into it. If the world thought like the die hard 26er’s we’d still be using flip phones without internet, OK grandpa?

    • GuyOnMTB says:

      “RIP 26′er your time came and gone… 26 sales were soft anyway”

      You obviously don’t follow DJ.

  • rad says:

    26 inch wheels are coming back!!! good luck trying to buy one used
    http://www.mbaction.com confirmed 2 or 3 years 26 inch wheels will be back people miss
    the playfulness of the wheel size and in march 2017 buyers guide of mbaction magazine 26inch wheels are king to give riders more options you have frame builders
    making 26 inch hard tails like crazy and companys like voodoo got a awsome line of 26inch hardtails. we had the 29er and boy was a peace of crap does not fit smaller riders nor taller riders dam foot hits the wheel when it turns now and 27.5 the old 1975 odd ball wheel size still not as strong
    as 26inch and not as fast as 26inch phsycis has proven 26 inch is the fastest
    and standard in the motorcyle world of dirts bike now we have 26+
    who cares when the dam industry idiots going to get it right!
    26 inch bmx bikes are out now 26inch is on the rise!!!!!!

    26inch don’t lie!!! power to the 26inch cause we will out race you!
    say could bye u industry dorks keeping the standard alive
    one frame build at time
    26 inch on the rise
    sincerely best regards
    yours truely
    the dirt bike kid
    shred
    rad
    eat my dust 26 inch don’t rust

  • rad says:

    were bring it back !!!!

  • pjm says:

    Hey dummies…..Our history on wheel size is clear. In the 1800’s bicycles had wooden wheels and 29-ers and 28-ers. Unfortunately, these wheel sizes were not as versatile as 26-er FAT, as dirt bikers understand. Oh my! Really? You mean, we abandoned 28 and 29ers in the 1920’s? You mean my 29-er was determined to be obsolete in the 20’s?!?!? Now everyone knows the inconvenient factual history of wheel size. 26-er wheels are stronger, lighter and faster to accelerate and decelerate. 26-ers are quicker. FACTS. Logic and physics are just too much for our 29-er group-thinkers to accept. The vitriolic slams coming from the 29-er crowd is clearly based on lack of knowledge:pure ignorance. When someone tells you “26-ers are for children” the alarm bells should go off. Those of you who say that should be spanked….You know who you are..Back off…

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Review: DT Swiss Spline One Wheelset


The DT Swiss Spline 1 is an excellent set of wheels, that are stiff, strong and light, and utilize their superb 240 hub internals.

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  • ginsu says:

    They should have some type of mechanical interlock between the two hub halves. When they say ‘bonded’ that is a pretty obscure phrase, they could simply have glued the two halves together which doesn’t seem very reliable to me. Of course, they could also do some kind of friction weld which would be better, but it kinda leaves the reader wondering.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I’ll check with DT Swiss, but I assume they used high strength epoxy, which they use to hold airplane parts together. Doubt it was a friction weld like a truck rim would use, not nearly the same weight or torque interactions.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I heard back from DT Swiss: The hub surfaces are scored prior to bonding, press fit together, and then bonded with high-strength adhesive. And even if both pieces are left unbonded, the flanges wouldn’t twist, since the tension and lacing pattern of the spokes and overall integrity of the wheels holds everything in place.

  • Jason Kidd says:

    I have a set of ex 1501 26″…. and I can’t praise them more!!!! And as far as the hub being a two piece is not a worry to me. Dt swiss provides RWS skewers that are different from quick-release. It uses a ratchet type mechanism, that is honestly refreshing and just as strong as a nut and bolt. The weight loss my old Gary Fisher got improved my ride time avs, and mvs.Its a solid wheel at a solid price.

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KRob’s Outerbike 2013 Bike Demo Reviews – Part 2


Part two of KRob’s Outerbike bike tests. Here he gives us his opinion on the new Norco Sight, Pivot Firebird 27.5, Intense Carbine 275, Devinci Troy, Turner Flux 27.5 and Santa Cruz Heckler 27.5.

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  • Bikethrasher says:

    Great work man! I always look forward to your reviews. Especially this year as I wasn’t unable to make it to I-Bike or Outerbike. Real jobs pay the bills but sure restrict my ride time.

  • Don says:

    Nice review KRob. I am a big fan of the Chilcotin. Curious about what you liked better about the Firebird. If you didn’t already have the Knolly, which one would you choose?

    • KRob says:

      The Firebird with its dw-link suspension rewards standing and hammering better than the Knolly. I liked the 27.5 wheels though that’s not a huge deal in a bike with this much travel IMO. The taller stack feels better when standing on flatter terrain and higher BB avoids pedal strikes…. though it gives up some to the Chili in railing turns.

      If I didn’t already have the Chili I’d still pick the Chili over the FB 27.5, but there’s a couple other bikes that aren’t quite in the same class as the Chili on the more aggressive side of things that would sorely tempt me, like the Pivot Mach 6, Devinci Troy, Turner Burner, and Norco Sight. Having said that, if I wanted a bike in that class I’d have to ride the Warden too before making a decision. Big Knolly fan.

  • Mike says:

    I rode the ibis ripley at outerbike and liked it . How does the devinci Atlas compare to the ibis I would realy love if I can get some info comparing the two thanks

  • KRob says:

    Hey Mike,

    Yeah the Ripley was cool. Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to ride the Atlas so can’t compare.

  • Jimmymats says:

    Great reviews KRob, did the Heckler you rode really have a Float R shock? When I look at the specs on the SC website it looks to come with a Float CTD Evo.

    • KRob says:

      You know, now that you mention it I’m not so sure. It did have a propedal lock out because I used it on the paved bike path.

  • Matty says:

    Hi,

    love the reviews! Thanks loads. Any advice to help me choose between carbon Norco Sight le1 x01 and Ibis mojo hdr 650b 2 x 10 xt?? For general all round trail use. Ibis costs a bit more here in UK but has kashima shock… Can only demo the Ibis due to Norco distribution.

    Thanks!

    Matty

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KRob’s Outerbike 2013 Bike Demo Reviews – Part 1


Part one of KRob’s Outerbike bike tests. Here he gives us his opinion on the new Ibis Ripley, Yeti SB95 Carbon, Intense Spyder Comp 29 Carbon, Ibis HDR 650b, Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt, GT Force, and Giant Trance 27.5

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  • Mark says:

    Thanks for the wide-ranging comparisons. You may want to pay more attention to the effect of tire choice especially in the 27.5 category. The HDR has limited rear tire clearance (by modern 27.5 standards) so they set it up w/ a very small diameter tire. I’ve ridden quite a few 27.5ers now and have noticed that when I use a truly large front tire (28+ inches) the rollover feeling comes close to an XC 29er, but when running something small diameter like the Neomoto it feels, frankly, not much different than the large volume 26er tires I tend to run.

    • Bikethrasher says:

      Mark, I have a HDR and easily fits a Hans Damp 2.25 which measures 27&5/8 on Enve wheels. I have just over a 1/4 inch clearance. But I wouldn’t go much bigger than that. Because not only will the clearance be limited, but the tire will most likely contact the seat tube as well. The 2.35 Hans damp measures 28″ even. If only Specialized would Release their 27.5 bikes so I could put some Purgatories on the HDR. Come on guys I know you are making them.
      As for feel. I can feel the bigger wheel on the climbs. Not as bad as a 9er but its there. I also notice they carry speed better and I can easily keep up with my friends on 9ers on the straights or in the rough. But just like on 26 bike you run over them in the corners.
      But I have to say I really miss my TRc with out a question the Best Trail bike I have ever ridden.
      My Ibis HDR XL in black with less than 5 rides on it is For sale if anyone is interested.

      • Andrej says:

        Are you going back to TRc? Or Solo?

        • Bikethrasher says:

          Haven’t completely decided yet. But I’m leaning towards the Solo. Mainly because I just spent a ton of cash on wheels and drivetrain for 27.5 wheels. Not that I couldn’t sell the wheels and chain rings. I tried to get a Solo before I ordered the HDR but It was looking like I wouldn’t be able to get one until August or later. I was supposed to get the HDR late June early July but as it turned out I didn’t get it until a couple weeks ago. I should have just ordered the Solo. But after riding the HDR the last two weeks I really need to demo a Solo before I make a decision. To me the bigger wheels are just kinda ok and I still don’t think the few benefits a 9er offers out weigh its negatives. If your over six feet tall I get it. If your not work on your skills and quit worrying about wheel size. There wasn’t and still isn’t anything wrong with 26″ wheels. I have a friend that rides an old 26″ hardtail and he makes all of us tech junkies look like fools up down and across. It’s the rider, not the wheels.

  • Andry says:

    Thanks for the report.
    You did not mention the winner, I know it is hard, and very subjective.
    they are all good bike. But I am surprised about the GT Force, you said sluggish. Is it harder for climbing? Not nimble enough on twisty? How bad it is? Seems like GT Firce is least fun bike on your report. I am interested in GT Force, because of the new look, really new and sexy. While HDR is also sexy, not new look anymore.

    You very lucky to be ableito demo those bikes.
    thank you so much.

  • Liberty555 says:

    Just loving these reviews. Could read them all day!

  • wadeholiday@gmail.com says:

    Hi Kent,
    sounds like a fun trip! sorry I missed it this year.

    we’ve liked many of the same bikes, and I think have similiar riding styles based on our past discussions, so I as interested to see your ripley impression..

    this was intersting…

    “It sounds odd to say, but it felt like it was a 29er just for the sake of being a 29er. In fact if I’d been blind folded I don’t think I would’ve guessed it was a 29er. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it was just a different feel than what I’ve come to expect from a 29er. Make of that what you want.”

    I think this was one of the main goals of ibis, and why I love it.

    you may not “feel” those things, but it is 29 inches, so it does have all those benefits, just doesn’t feel like a truck. put it on the clock and you start to see how those gains are stacking up.

    I do run mine w/ a fox 34, 140 always at 140 and feel it’s perfect for this bike, still super nimble and climbs better then any bike I’ve owned (and I’m an old XC racer that has owned more then my share of bikes over the last 20 years).

    sounds like you are going 650 based on your reviews, I may pick up a good one just do do some extensive back to back testing and sell it if the ripley wins, but none of the 650’s did it for me last year at outerbike. my impression was similiar to your statement after gettting back on one after the 3 9ers, it feels like a 26, no big wheel benefits. over 140mm, makes great sense, under 140, i believe 29 is still the target if you can get the sensations to work for you and find one that has that elusive nimble playful feel.
    cheers,
    holiday

    • Elliott Jones says:

      I’ve been riding a motion oh HDR 650 B for over a month. I have two other Niner’s that I enjoy very much. I’ve been very pleased with this bike. It has to be the best handling mountain bike I’ve ever ridden and is extremely stable and surefooted in all conditions. Although I am not sure I complete any of my familiar rides at a faster rate then my 29er, this bike certainly makes the rides more fun. It also climbs surprisingly well despite it being heavier than my other bikes. The overall stiffness of the frame really demonstrates a sense of stability under all conditions. I do notice in some rockgardens at lower speed that the 29er, clearly rolls over small to medium-size rocks better. However the Ibis can do this very well if you hit them at higher speed and use the shocks to compensate. Although I still prefer my Niners for longer endurance rides with less twisty singletrack, I would say this bike is by far the best all-around mountain bike I have riden. I would be surprised if it didn’t put a smile on anyone’s face.

    • KRob says:

      Thanks for the additional insight on the Ripley Wade.I did like it and think I would’ve liked it even better with a 140 fork. I agree, I think that’s exactly what Ibis was shooting for.with the Ripley. I guess I just kind of wonder why Ibis spent all that time and development money just to make a 29er feel like a 27.5. Not being a 29er guy it didn’t need to be a 29er for me… but maybe for folks who are all in on the bigger wheels it makes more sense.

      • TED says:

        Hey KRob, I have a Ripley with a 140 fork and the X Fusion shock, total with Lev. dropper post it comes in at 26.4 lbs. ,I have 2 other 26″ bikes, one all mnt. and one downhill . First 29er I bought, did a lot of looking reviewing etc. and chose the Ibis. In short I love it, can positively tell I am ridding a big tire bike. Been riding the 26″ for 10 + years and will stick to the Ibis for all mnt., cross country stuff. TED

  • Andrej says:

    KRob: Is the winner here still the Pivot Mach6?

    • KRob says:

      Ummmm…. yes, I think so. But I gotta say I’m very impressed with the Troy, the Sight, and the HDR. I’d say its a pretty tight grouping between those four. And for smaller Chilcotin complement bikes I’d have to throw in the Solo, Thunderbolt, Flux, and Ripley. Tough time to pick a bike. So many good ones.

  • Ron says:

    Trivial question but – what saddle is on this bike?

  • Mike says:

    Can you give me any comparisons you like between the ibis ripley and the santa cruz tallboyi rode a ibis ripley but have not rode a carbon tallboy. I loved the ripley but want to make sure before I pull the trigger. Which bike would work better for fast tight areas your help would be much appreciated.

  • Elliott Jones says:

    I have a medium Mojo HDR and am extremely happy with it. If I had to own one mountain bike I would have no issue with this being the one. For contrast I also have a hard tail and soft tail Niner which I also like very much. The aspect that is amazing about this bike is the handling, it just tracks through corners with security and ease like no other bike I’ve ever ridden. It is extremely nimble and fast in any twisty singletrack. The suspension also works very well allowing for aggressive tactics in downhill situations. This bike has definitely allowed me to ride better than I have before. If you do most of your mountain biking in the coastal west where singletrack is often less linear, this is a perfect bike. It also climbs extremely well which is surprising given that it is not as light as my two Niners. Maybe not as good, but not far off. The only situation that I found the HDR to be less-than-perfect is traction climbing out of the saddle. If you ride more linear singletrack or fireroad I would definitely think a 29 or would be more efficient. But if you love to ride in Oregon, Nor Cal, Downeville or like this is a great bike. I’m not sure that it would necessarily be the fastest for racing, but it’s definitely the most fun bike I’ve ever ridden in most conditions. There is certainly no shortage of great mountain bikes these days, but it’s really special to find one that’s so much fun. It also holds up really well to had use with the supper stiff and sturdy frame.

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Interbike 2013: Schwalbe Tires – Magic Mary and Rock Razor


For 2014, Schwalbe has two new gravity oriented tires, the aggressive Magic Mary and semi-slick Rock Razor, along with the cross-country Thunderbolt.

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2013 All Mountain Bike Tests at Interbike – Part 2


Part two of Krob’s Outdoor Demo bike tests. Here he gives us his opinion on the new Turner Czar, Santa Cruz Bronson C, Pivot Cycles Mach 6 Carbon, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29 and the Rocky Mountain Altitude.

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  • beerhunter says:

    Krob,

    Thanks for the write up, it is very informative.

    I am also 52, ride too much and am in the market for a new bike. I ride rocky dry trails in the Blue Mountains (Aust) but also go away on big mountain MTB trips. By and lkarge I earn my turns. The pivot is high on the list, and I am sure will bomb descents, but I have a concern that it might be “too much bike” for everyday “trail” riding. Does to front end wander on tight switchbacks, and is it a slow climber?

    cheers,

    Beerhunter

    • KRob says:

      Well, compared to my 34 lb Chilcotin it was certainly not too much bike for climbing and tight switch backs. I thought it could bomb the rougher stuff nearly as well as the Chili as well….. to a point. I would just need to ride it more to find its limits are. I think with a 160 fork with 35-36mm stanchions it would come very close.

      Built like it was it was still very capable on the descents, but was super light and super easy to climb on. I wouldn’t worry about its climbing ability unless you’re comparing it to a 22lb hardtail….. and even then it’d beat it on more techy, steppy climbs.

  • Kevin Woodward says:

    Hey Krob … Mega thank you for your outstanding Interbike test ride stories 1 & 2. Very helpful, overflowing with insight not just on the bikes themselves but also components … great reading and much appreciated!

  • Guyute says:

    Great article! But I have to ask, if this was supposed to be an all mountain bike test why did you ride the Turner Czar and not the Burner or 5.Spot? The Czar is more of a xc bike, while the Burner and 5.Spot are meant for the type of riding you claim to be testing. I just don’t think you gave Turner a fair shot, but that just my thoughts on it. Anyways, thanks for the article. I’m jealous you got to ride so many mouth watering bikes.

    • KRob says:

      Talk to Francis. Not sure why they titled it AM bike tests. Probably because most years that’s what I ride at I-bike, but this year I did mostly xc/trail bikes with a few stretching into the AM realm like the Mach 6, Bronson, and Enduro 29.

    • Bill says:

      Guyute,
      I own a Burner and have ridden the 5 Spot extensively. I also now have ridden the Pivot Mach 6 many times. I think KRob is spot-on with the Mach 6. Super fun descender (mind blowing even), pedals incredibly well up hill (may not be the best, but its up there), is very light for its travel (heck, its even light for a bike with less travel). People talk about its $3k price tag, and I feel thats a bit of a bummer too, but there is more value in their complete build prices. I do wish Pivot would drop the frame-only price a bit. But, its carbon competitors are barely off that price for frameset as well.
      The only gripe I have of my Burner is its weight. At 30.5lbs with XTR and King wheels its at least 3lbs heavier than the Mach 6. The Burner can climb. The Burner is a great descender. Ive taken my Burner to Moab twice and I couldnt have gone faster bombing down Porcupine if I tried harder. It was incredible. If Dave would build a carbon Burner weighing a bit less he’d have a best of category contender.

      • KRob says:

        Thanks for the added perspective Bill. Yes, very light and very capable. Wow.
        At Guyute,
        I have ridden the Burner a couple times and owned a 5 Spot so am pretty familiar with those. I would agree with Bill’s assessment. The Burner is very good and would be a close competitor with the Mach 6 and Bronson even as it is…. probably would rate it even better with a 5.5lb carbon frame. I’m hoping that’s what Dave is working on for next year. 150mm travel Carbon Burner FTW!

  • stephen haslam says:

    Hey Krob,

    Great write up’s!

    Im 5′ 9″ and Pivot say that that size on there web site is the change over between the small and medium, would you say I should run a medium if I used a 50mm length stem

    Thanks Steve

    • Eamonn says:

      I am 5’9″ on dot and just bought a small 429c after riding small and medium. 80mm stem and the seat is pretty far back but feels completely dialed. Some good threads on this in the Pivot forum on MTBR

    • KRob says:

      I would say small based on how well the medium fit me at 5′ 11.5″ but you might be able to stretch onto a medium with a shorter stem. Get a ride on both if you can. That’s a very expensive frame to make a mistake on sizing.

  • Mehukatti says:

    Strange setup… Long XC stem, tons of spacers under it, and saddle all the way to the front.

  • Drean says:

    The Mach 6 looks great but did it really ride like a $3000 frame? For that price, it should be lighter or at least the same as the Bronson’s 5.5ish (Med size) weight. It would be great to see the frame on a scale.

    • KRob says:

      Are they that much? Wow, that’ a bunch. I’m quickly becoming a carbon snob after riding mostly carbon bikes this I-bike so would probably opt for the carbon despite the cost. It felt plenty light to me. YMMV.

  • Tim says:

    First, thank you for your awesome article. I am very excited about the Pivot Mach 6 and am planning on making a purchase this week. Like you, I am 5’11” (okay you got me by .5″) and ride a large on most bikes (including 19.5″ Remedy and the large Bronson that I demo fit me like a glove). I am heeding your advice about this bike being very expensive to get the size wrong (referring to your response to Eamonn on Sept. 30th). My question is, based on the fact that you could have fit a L or M and after riding the medium Mach 6, if you could do it again, would you have chosen the medium still or would you have switch to a Large? Unfortunately there are no dealers in my area that has any Mach 6 in the show room for me to demo or test so I am hoping you can steer me in the right direction. Thank you!

    • KRob says:

      I also ride a large on most frames. My last three bikes have all been large and all the bikes I rode at Interbike except the Mach 6 were large as well. Tough call. If I were purchasing a Mach 6 I would have to ride the large before deciding but every Pivot I have ridden in the past felt (or would’ve felt) better in the medium for me.

  • klurejr says:

    I am not sure if you check these comments, but have you had the chance to ride the 26er Enduro? I am curious how it compares to the 29er. My local bike shop is only carrying the 29er with no plans to carry any 26ers. I currently ride a 2002 Enduro that I purchased brand new, so you could say I have gotton my monies worth out of that bike. I recently picked up a Specialized Big Hit for when I take it to the Mountain and ride the chair up. I want my new bike for both trail climbing and descending. Good pedaling, but it does not have the be the best, I don’t mind if I am slow on the climb.
    I replaced my Pyslo Forks with Revelations, so the 140mm’s up front helped slack the head angle a bit on my current Enduro, and I like the way it feels.

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2013 All Mountain Bike Tests at Interbike – Part 1


Krob is back from Outdoor Demo and he tested a bunch of bikes including the Santa Cruz 5010, Giant Anthem 27.5, Niner RIP 9, Niner JET 9 and the Yeti SB 75.

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  • Craig Manning says:

    Great job Kent! It was great to hook up with you again this year. Sorry I couldnt make it out there on tuesday. The 5010 was a great all around bike. I could see that as being a great all rounder. I really enjoyed the Anthem 27.5 clearly as an XC race bike though. One thing I want to mention. XX1 and XO1 are incredible drivetrains but for some riders there may not be enough range in the ratios to satisfy everyone’s needs. I know SRAM has gone on record to say that 1×11 isnt going to replace 2×10 and it wasnt meant to. The Anthem had a 34 tooth front ring, Bootleg doesnt have any really steep climbs and I found myself wanting an easier gear but on the other hand, I would spin out a 34/10 on a fast XC course.

    • KRob says:

      Thanks Craig and thanks for riding with me Monday. It was good seeing you again and I enjoyed your input. After getting back on some of my normal trails this week I got wondering if I overstated the 1×11’s range…. although with bikes that light I don’t think there’s much I couldn’t climb in a 32×42 and I rarely ever spin out in 36 x 11 on my chilli so 32 x 10 should be close. Although this view may only apply to me. I’ll have to get the gear inch calculator out and do some figuring before I commit to the upgrade.

  • Evan says:

    Pivot Mach 6 wins!!!!

  • Liberty555 says:

    Great review. It’s refreshing to get the sort of review you’d get from a mate rather than the superlative laden stuff you get elsewhere. Honest and to the point. More like this please.

  • Ben says:

    Cheers for reviews, where is the mach 6 did you demo?

  • Mark says:

    ‘All Mountain Bike Tests’ is the title, but I just saw reviews on XC/trail bikes in the 100-125 mm category. Will part II include at least a token AM bike?

    • KRob says:

      I guess because the bulk of my test rides have been AM bike in years past, mtbr titled the feature the same as previous years. You’re right, mostly XC/trail bikes this year with a few stretching into the AM category (Enduro 29, Bronson, Mach 6) in part two.

  • RJ says:

    How did these bikes compare to the Turner Burner??
    Get a chance to ride one for direct comparisons?
    or maybe you can remember from before to give us an idea?

    thanks for all the effor

    • KRob says:

      Here’s my response to a similar question in the Turner forum about comparing the Mach 6, Bronson, and Burner.

      “krob – always enjoy your impressions from Interbike. now the question: can you give us your thoughts on the Burner vs Mach6, Bronson, etc.? thanks!”

      Tough call there. I’d say they are all pretty close. It would come down to your preference (or lack thereof) for carbon, suspension type, and subtle geometry differences. I will say that dw-link on both the Mach 6 and Burner and the VPP on the Bronson offer nice controlled, plush action in the rough and efficient bob-free climbing on smoother stuff. I’d give the nod to the dw-link though.

      The Bronson is very close in suspension feel as well. It might not be quite as active while climbing square ledges but like I said in the review, I do not detect any pedal kickback.

      Geometry is a bit lower and slacker on the mach 6 compared to the Bronson and you notice that some. The mach just seems like it loves to run and is set up for the descent, although there was nothing really wrong with the climbing from the little I did either.

      The Burner seems to fall in between the two of them geometry wise (I haven’t actually looked at the numbers recently to compare) with low bb and 67 HA IIRC and feels like it falls nicely between the two.

      If I were buying a bike in this category I’d have a really tough time deciding. ….. and you know I’d have to throw the Warden in the mix as well when it came time to purchase. Good bikes all.

  • jgray says:

    If you look at the picture of the 5010’s top tube from above, you visually see why 5010 replaced S0l0…

    • KRob says:

      Yeah, I didn’t even catch that it *didn’t* say SOLO when I first looked at it due to the similarity in the font. It wasn’t until I overheard the techs calling it a 5010 that I took a touble take and noticed the change. Very clever of them. Still don’t like the new name.

  • Ron says:

    I am 65 years an started biking 9 years ago. I read everything from your sight to educate myself. All that I have seen is that the bikes keep getting better and the prices keep going way up. How does a average person young or old buy any of the bikes that you keep reviewing. I ride the western frontier at Snow Shoe Mountain and I have to rent them because I can’t afford $4000.00 and up for a good average bike. What can I do

  • Ben Permuy says:

    Very good review I just picked up my Solo from the bike shop about a week ago and have put in about 50 miles on it since, it’s a blast to ride very fast and responsive excellent components and looks sharp could not ask for anything more for the price. I have been looking and tested several bikes in this category and finally decided on the Solo this was the right choice for me. I have a 29er in a small frame and have never felt one with the bike the 29 in tires and small frame did not work for me. I am 5’6 and just could not find anything that fit me right. I was able to fit perfect on a medium frame size thanks to the awesome geometry of this bike.

    • Epacheco says:

      Ben, was the Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 one of your choices? I’m debating between the 5010 and the Anthem. I’ve ridden the Anthem and was very impressed on it’s swift climbing and the way it responds when pedaling. Can you give me some insight which way to go?

  • johnny D says:

    Seriously Matt, you must be a nob. The guy has clearly explained his background and his credentials and by the look of it they are are a shitload more impressive than yours. Thanks for the feedback Krob. You were telling me the things I was looking for. Lookout bank account…im diving in

  • Dan says:

    Really enjoying these (presumably) unpaid, unbiased, and honest reviews from Krob. My God, how refreshing, real criticism, where have you been the last 10 years! None of this, forget last years bikes, these new models are all awesome, endlessly repeated, year in and year out. What a load of absolute BS. Let’s call a spade a spade, they can’t all be equally good, and some are downright average. To always suggest all these new bikes are as good as each other devalues your currency as a review site and confusers your readers. You read Pitchfork because you know they’ll bag the latest Beck album, whether you agree with it or not, it’s always interesting to read an alternate, but not necessarily contrarian opinion. Keep the honesty coming, much appreciated!

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2014 Marin Bikes – More 27.5 Mountain Bikes


Marin Bikes shows their new bike line-up for 2014 including several new 27.5 models and several new women’s specific bikes. Check them out here.

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  • munir dastian says:

    all products marin perfect, but should be paid for with higher prices.
    marin issued when prosperity but good product.

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GT 2014 Fury DH World Cup Winner


GT makes some interesting updates to their Fury DH race bike including changing from carbon to aluminum and some how making the bike lighter, stiffer and stronger. Find out more here.

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Mongoose 2014 Meteore 27.5 and Boot’R DH mountain bike


Mongoose shows us two new models for 2014. The Meteore is reborn as a 27.5 hardtail and the Boot’R remains as one of the best bargain DH bikes on the market. Check them out here.

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  • GlenB says:

    I Own a 2008 Mongoose Khyber Super…. I Also own a 2009 Trek Remedy 8.
    If i could only keep one of them it would probably be the Mongoose. I know they don’t seem to get much acceptance in the MTB world compared to the bigger brands, but their bikes are fantastic and for the price and kit level they’re tough to beat.

    GB

  • Willis24 says:

    The spin doctor has spoken; everything is 2,600 bucks and triple butted. 😉

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Fox Float X Shock and 2014 Talas Fork


FOX unveiled new updates to their TALAS fork, along with a new rear shock, the FLOAT X. The 2014 TALAS fork’s internals should offer smoother travel and improved handling.

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  • Neil says:

    I would be very interested in the new damper if it will fit in my ’10 TALAS 36mm 160. I always thought the travel adjust lever should go the other way.

  • Sean Mac says:

    I have the 2013 TALAS (29er/34mm) and would love to upgrade to the new cartridge. Any idea of cost?

    • Cameron says:

      You are far better off by having your existing cartridge modified by Push, Avalanche or some other reputable tuning company than buying another stock Fox suspension cartridge. The stock system is always a compromise.

  • Nman says:

    Has Fox fixed the forks so one can actualize promised travel? Til they do, not touching them.

    • Kerry says:

      I get full travel on my 2013 34 Float all the time. Never had an issue – in fact I had to add more air to it than what the sag would suggest.

  • Scott says:

    I’m looking to order the rear shock but unsure if it will fit my 2013 nukeproof mega

  • MTBR COLORADO says:

    Just ordered my Float X, should have it this week. Cant wait to put it through some punishment. installing it on my Santa Cruz Nomad C. Hope this thing kills it or I’m am CC Double Barrel. The only thing i wondered is why such a small air volume? why not advance to the larger air volume like Rock Shox or Cane Creeks DB. Just a thought. Oh and by the way, never had an issue with my Talas 36 160, i get full travel.

  • Tony Daytona says:

    Any word yet on how this stacks up against the new RS Pike?

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Yeti SB95C and ARC Carbon


The SB95C is Yeti’s brand new carbon version of the excellent SB95 full suspension 29er bike. I have tested the normal aluminum SB95 extensively, and this carbon frame is livelier, lighter, has better damping and resiliency, and the sculptured lines and aesthetics were knockouts.

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  • Nathan Potter says:

    I believe that a careful review of the specs will reveal that this bike does not use the “Chip System” for the rear drop-outs but is available only as a 142mmx12mm rear axle rig.

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Schwalbe 2013 Tires – Hans Dampf, Rocket Ron, Nobby Nic


By Brian Mullin and Francis Cebedo For the 2013 product year, they’ll have most of the model range in 29er sizes (except gravity tires), and 650B will get the Hans Dampf, Nobby Nic, Racing Ralph, Rapid Rob and Rocket Ron. It’s nice to see Schwalbe stepping up to the plate with a big chunk of […]

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  • evasive says:

    By “complete model range” in 29″, does that include the Muddy Mary, and the SuperGravity Hans Dampf?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Sorry, none of the gravity tires (including Hans Dampf SG) will be in the 29er size. I fixed the article…”For the 2013 product year, they’ll have most of the model range in 29er sizes (except gravity tires)…”

  • Jimbo says:

    I had a pair of Knobby Nics once and they were the shortest lived tire I have ever had. Not impressed.

  • Skidad says:

    Hey, I’d like to know how you like that Magura fork pictured on the Mojo. NN looks like it JUST clears the arch.

    I have some new 2.35″ NN with Snakeskin on the way from Germany (great prices too) at this moment. Hopefully I wont have the same result as the post above.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      There isn’t much room above the NN 2.35 tire on the Magura TS8 150, and it took lots of outings before the paint on the more forward arch wore away from wet rides (no worries on loss of strength, since it’s only the paint). I like the fork a lot, and it’s plush, smooth and has a great feel. When the fork is used as with 650B tire, it’s supposed to be used with a smaller tire then the tall NN 2.35.

  • DoISmellBacon says:

    Hey Brian, I’ve seen you mention that the Nobby Nic is really big….maybe a little too close for comfort on the back of your HD….. Is this the 2.35 with Snakeskin you’re referring to, or the 2.25? Has anybody seen a 2.25 NN yet?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I haven’t tried the 2.25 NN. The 2.35 NN SnakeSkin barely fits in the rear of the HD, and it picks up too many rocks, and when it rains or snows it can chews things up, and quickly wear through any tape protection. To me, the 2.35 NN is a no go on the rear of the HD.

  • Jon Zechmeister says:

    The Nobby Nic is the worst tire I have ever owned! Not recommended for any type of terrain……I will stick with Kenda Navagal.

  • Sean says:

    I had a 26×2.25″ NN earlier in the season. No snakeskin. Lasted 3 weeks before the sidewall was fraying and tearing.

    Been running Hansies f&r ever since. knobs are starting to peel off like pencil erasers. Great tires other than the price though. Worked well setup tubeless too until I got a puncture and sealant culdn’t seal it.

  • dmx1 says:

    Have been riding the Rocket Ron in 26×2.25 tubeless. Crazy licht and very fast. But stay away from sharp rocks or concrete edges.

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2012 All Mountain Bike Tests at Interbike Outdoor Demo


Mtbr member KRob attended Interbike’s Outdoor Demo and test rode some of the hottest mountain bikes on the market for the coming year. These are his unsolicited ride impressions.

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Cannondale Jekyll Carbon – Over Mountain Bike


At the recent Bike Press Camp event, we talked to Cannondale’s Product Manager Murray Washburn about their updated “Over Mountain” bike, the Jekyll. What is “Over Mountain”? Well, according to Cannondale, it’s the more aggressive end of the All Mountain category. With the addition of the all new Cannondale Trigger appealing to the lower travel […]

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  • James says:

    This article fails to mention it’s rival the Scott Genius. Which offers 3 travel modes instead of 2. The Scott offers 120mm-180mm travel with a nice remote for complete lock out, travel mode and then full descent.

    The Jekyll isn’t the ONLY bike to have this like this article claims. Just FYI and no I don’t work for Scott.

  • berserk says:

    Specialized also has this feauture if I’m not mistaken.

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GT 2013 Mountain Bikes – Distortion 2.0 and Zaskar 100 9r Pro


Highlighted in this video are the new 2013 GT Distortion 2.0 and Zaskar 100 9r Pro. Chris gives us a quick view of each bikes features and uses. The Distortion wears many hats including dual slalom, slopestyle or enduro racer. Or just all around fun bike. The Zaskar 100 9r Pro is a full suspension […]

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  • ginsu says:

    All that money and they don’t even give you a chain on the Distortion? I was going to pull the trigger, but I think I will buy a Santa Cruz since they sell their bikes with chains installed. 🙂

  • ginsu says:

    Still a single pivot linkage driven shock suspension with brake jack. I keep looking at it and the main rocker could really benefit from some triangulation, at least on the non-drive side. I think an asymmetric brace would really improve the stiffness of the rear end.

  • chef says:

    Ginsu you have no clue what you talking about, Idrive bikes do not have brake jack. there is no linkage. Rear triangle is single pivot with a floating bb .

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Scott Presents the All New Gambler


The all new Scott Gambler is ready to ride. After extensive prototyping with Brendan Fairclough and Scott11, the Gambler is ready for its official unveiling. Race tuning and prototyping In late 2009 we started race tuning the original Gambler with Nick Beer and Fabien Pedemanaud of the Scott 11 WC DH race team. We made […]

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