29er Reviews and News


Ritchey Ultra returns after 30-year hiatus


Like its predecessor from 30 years ago, the new Ritchey Ultra occupies a unique ride space for cross-country riders looking to get rowdy and go big.

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Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000


What if your current disposable income window is around $1000 — and you still want a new mountain bike? Well, you’re in luck. While not overly sexy (or light) there are plenty of decent entry-level type MTBs in that price range.

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Yeti SB130 debuts + short term review


If your ride objectives lean toward being able to go up and down without significant (or really any) compromise, you owe it to yourself to test drive this bike. It’s that good.

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  • Alex says:

    Hi, very nice written review. One question, given the fact that you have mentioned tire issues. What rear tire (preferably Maxxis) would you use or find best for general trail riding (hardpack, medium-loose, occasional soft or occasional-seldom mud), in respect to size, grip, rolling resistance and weight (for a 30 ID rim)? Thank you!

    • Jason Sumner says:

      I actually really like the Aggressor for a trail bike rear tire. Rolls really well, good all-around grip. But I’d opt for the 2.5 WT and even consider the double down casing model, as I’d rather pay a weight penalty than worry about fixing flats.

    • redmfbarn says:

      Try a Bontrager SE4 29 x 2.4. Great all-rounder, pedals well, V. good climbing & corner, and super tough. You’re welcome.

  • Kent Robertson says:

    Nice review Jason. Sounds about perfect.

  • stiingya says:

    They should have made a single 140mm bike with “filp chips” to adjust geo and shock progression. Could have had the PERFECT bike for ALL… instead they want us to buy 2 bikes cause if you didn’t notice by their prices they are some money gruppen you know whats…

  • Salespunk says:

    The Aggressors do not hold up at all. For some reason they constantly flat for myself and everyone I know. The Minion SS/DHR/DHF all work great and it should be the same casing, but I haven’t gotten one to last past 50 miles yet and refuse to run them now.

  • C. says:

    The Aggressor in DD carcass holds up exceptionally well, and, I myself am able to run it as low as 13psi for very nice dampning and grip. The DD Agressor is the way to go.

    As for the Yeti : Me thinks I’ll stick with my Wreckoning. Best handling bike I’ve ever owned.

  • abraham goldberg says:

    in the past 30yrs bike technology has increase multi-fold. But the fact remains that only 10% of bikers use this technology, the rest are throwing their money away!

    Technology does not equal skill, hence, a rigid single speed skilled rider can smoke 90% of bikers on full-suspensions!

  • Phil says:

    Would have demo’d this if available a month ago, but enjoying my Ibis Ripmo.

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Nino Schurter’s custom Scott Spark RC 900


Besides the chance to claim rainbow jersey No. 7, winning in Lenzerheide would mean taking triumph on home soil, as the mountainous Swiss region has long been Nino Schurter’s primary training ground.

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Scott Ransom enduro bike debuts


Available in 29er and 27.5, the Scott Ransom has 170mm of travel front and rear, modern, progressive geometry, and weighs just 5.84 pounds for frame, shock, and hardware.

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Best Mountain Bikes Under $2000


What if you’re not a member of the doctor/dentist/hedge fund manager club? Can you still get a decent MTB? The answer is an emphatic, yes, provided you know what to look for.

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Yeti SB150 review


The Yeti SB150 is a big bad beast of a bike that can handle just about anything this side of a World Cup downhill — and actually climbs really damn well, too.

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  • SunsPSD says:

    I appreciate the clarity on the bike’s climbing prowess on switchback climbs. Cool bike, but realistically not the one for me.

  • Ephraim Ingals says:

    Regarding your Pro statement, “Clearance for some 2.5 tires (though it may be tight in rear so measure first)”: As shops rarely display all tire brands and models inflated on wheels and actual inflated tire size typically varies between brands and rim width, measuring first would not be an option for most buyers. What specific tire/rim combination was used in Yeti’s 2.5 fit calculation?

    • ToffieWolf says:

      I would also like to know this. I specifically asked Yeti if I can fit an aggressor 2.5 WT on the rear and their reply was: “Thank you for reaching out to Yeti Cycles about the SB150 – the rear tire clearance max is 2.5” depending on the tread pattern. Since tread patterns vary from brand to brand it is difficult to say if they all fit. If you have any other questions please let me know. “

      • Jason Sumner says:

        I have not had chance to play with multiple tire configurations, but here is the answer I got from Yeti: “You can fit a 2.5mm Maxxis rear tire and most 2.5 rear tires, but as you know every tire company width is a little different so we encourage measuring first.” So sounds like you’d be okay with an Aggressor, but again Mtbr has not verified this, so we’re just going on what Yeti told us. Thanks for reading — Jason

    • Jason Sumner says:

      I have not had chance to play with multiple tire configurations (and do not know what they used to make fitment determinations), but here is the answer I got from Yeti: “You can fit a 2.5mm Maxxis rear tire and most 2.5 rear tires, but as you know every tire company width is a little different so we encourage measuring first.” But again Mtbr has not verified this, so we’re just going on what Yeti told us. Thanks for reading — Jason

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Yeti SB150 29er launched


If you’re already a fan of Yeti’s trail and enduro bikes, then the only thing you need to know about the new Yeti SB150 is that it has space inside the main triangle for a water bottle. But there’s much more to it.

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Fezzari La Sal Peak long travel 29er


Finally, Fezzari entered the long travel 29er market and they’re doing so with a capable bike that stands out in this very competitive field.

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Evil Following MB review


The Evil Following MB has upped the game with the same 120mm of rear travel, but 20mm more reach. But in today’s increasingly aggressive landscape can it still hold its own?

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  • Fry says:

    I absolutely love riding my Following V1. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever ridden. Class of it’s own. But the main pivot bearing, poor quality BB facing and cacophony of inexplicable squeaks make me think this will be my only Evil. I can’t abide by the somewhat sloppy finishing. And it sounds like they didn’t bother figuring it out for the MB. Which is a shame.

  • Structure says:

    I’ve had a Wrecking for something like 600-700 miles now and it’s still the quietest bike I’ve ever owned. Not saying yours wasn’t noisy but I’ve had none of the problems you describe. I do appreciate the honest review though!

  • Greg Lesoine says:

    I’ll stick with my lighter and squeak-free 2016 Stumpjumper 29er with a 135 rear and 150 fork. No issues after 2 years of Moab riding. Super nimble and fun as well as more travel than the Evil to handle the chunk.

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Rocky Mountain Instinct Alloy 50 BC Edition released


The Rocky Mountain Instinct Alloy 50 BC edition is the latest offering from the North Vancouver-based bike maker. It’s designed to shred the gnar — and do a reasonable job when the trail turns skyward.

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2019 Giant Trance 29er launched


Giant Bicycles launched the all-new line of Trance 29er to its 2019 lineup of full-suspension trail bikes.

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  • stiingya says:

    I don’t get why they didn’t go with an Anthem X for this bike. OR figured out how to get more travel. A trance without more rear travel just isn’t a trance. And coming back to trail 29ers with such a low travel number just makes it seem like there is something inherently incompatible with Maestro and long travel 29er geometry. (of which it seems really odd that someone couldn’t find some kind of work around after all these years…???) Anyway, no doubt it’s a good bike. Just doesn’t make sense the way it’s been brought to market to me.

    • Jay says:

      This is exactly what everyone wants to know…. it sounds like a HUGE FAIL for a trance AM/Trail bike to be anything less the 125mm rear like the first generations Trances!!! WTF Giant Get with the program or prove a 115mm rear acts like a 150mm!!!!

  • stiingya says:

    And also… bout flippin time with steeper seat post angles I see the newest Liv bike also runs a 74.5. Again, just don’t understand who’s making decisions at Giant. They should have had SA this steep like 4 years ago… I remember the last Reign refresh and Giant’s response was that their racers preferred the slacker seat post angle. First, probably BS. Probably they just didn’t want to invest in new frame molds? Second, if not BS; WHY would you let a hand full of racers who get frames/bike for free go against the overwhelming majority of riders who pay money to buy your bikes/frames. I used to be a die hard Giant fan. But they just aren’t making the decisions/product that gets me to spend my money their way..

  • James T Kirk says:

    You’re a day late and a dollar short Giant, 27.5 is the ideal tire size right?

  • Vincent says:

    After demoing this bike 3 times, I ordered the new Trance Advanced 29 0 build! The bike is SO versatile… so good at everything! It climbs, It pedals, it plays, and its definitely capable on the decent!

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Schwalbe Nobby Nic review


The Schwalbe Nobby Nic has a difficult job: Deliver great grip and durability while minimizing rolling resistance, and also provide good braking performance. Can it do it?

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  • R Parker says:

    The 2.35 could be sketchy on the front, but I haven’t found cornering to be a problem with the 2.6 width and the Addix Speedgrip compound.

  • servicemms@gmail.com says:

    Is there a real review here? This sounds more like a marketing release. What size? On what bike? Under what conditions and use?

    At least show me a picture of a dirty tire, or it didn’t happen.

  • Shark says:

    Decent rear tire, terrible up front.

  • tyrebyter says:

    Horizontal gaps? I think you mean lateral.

  • streighty says:

    I am riding the Magic Mary 27.5 x 2.35 up front on a 35mm inside diameter rim (Derby) with the same size Nobby Nic on the rear and it is a great combo for all kinds of riding: Sedona, loam in the PNW, dry, and wet. Really hard to top this combo for the weight and grip IMHO.

  • MBR says:

    What WIDTH was tested?

  • MBR says:

    And what DIAMETER was tested? 29… 27.5? Geez

    • Jason Sumner says:

      Sorry we had some text drop out during editing. Measures are 29×2.35. Article has been amended. Thanks for reading.

  • Marc says:

    Click “read more” and the page expands to a full review with all the details.

  • BCX says:

    29X2.35 is a decent rear tire, but just way too fragile in rough backcountry terrain. Snakeskin cuts pretty easily. I have 2 with boots in them if anyone would like to try them 😉

  • dickachu says:

    First ride 5 holes in 2 hours, but its was easy to fix.
    Dropped it in garbage bin, and putted back Contis Trail King apex protection.

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WTB Trail Boss review


With an armada of tightly spaced center knobs that are moderately ramped, the WTB Trail Boss is optimized to roll fast.

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  • Fred says:

    Recently purchased a new bike (Whyte T-130) that came with the Trail Boss rear / Vigilante front combo. Absolutely awesome tire combo! Rode on WTB’s 20 years ago, and had been on Maxxis and Kenda rubber since (all good tires). But with these new versions from WTB, I’m back to WTB to stay!

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Specialized Purgatory review


With a retail price of just $60, the Specialized Purgatory is one of the most affordable tires in the trail category.

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  • N says:

    Have they fixed the problem where the casing bleeds ethylene glycol through the sidewall from the Stan’s sealant inside? Had to eventually get rid of all my Specialized tires after 2 light riding seasons, on bikes bought in 2016, because they were all bleeding through, and it would eventually pollute the brake rotors/pads. So far, have not had the same problems with Maxxis or Bontrager tires, and mostly good luck with Continentals.

  • preston says:

    I’ve always had good results with the Purg when I want something that rolls lighter and faster than a DHF, but these days I’d like to see it in a 2.5.

  • BillD says:

    The 2.6 is 2.45 on a 30mm rim.

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Maxxis Ikon review


While not the fastest in this XC tire shootout, the Maxxis Ikon is arguably the best overall tire among the group. Find out why in the Mtbr review.

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  • rob says:

    From my experience, this has to be the hardest tire to mount tubeless out of the box on a narrow rim without a compressor. It did not work with a booster pump.

  • Dave says:

    Interesting. Did you mount this tire on both front and rear? I’ve been riding the Minion DHF on the front and Ardent Race on the rear. How would this tire compare? Thanks!

  • robert brown says:

    Never had an issue sealing an Ikon, Racing Ralph on the other hand is a complete pain

  • Teleken says:

    I’m with Rob a 120 TPI Ikon was a PITA too floppy to pop into the rim (24mm). Even mounted one side with a tube first. I sold it & went back to a Ground Control. MAXXIS should make more offerings in the Ignitor like a 29 x 2.35.

  • JDG says:

    May I ask why you guys didn’t reviewed the Maxxis Aspen? I think the Aspen and Ikon are very close.

  • Todd says:

    The 29X2,35 version is amazing for a HT and as a F&R combo to speed up a trail bike! They are a challenge to get seated tubeless though! I have had very few durability issues with the tire and have been riding and racing on it for years! I have not tried the Aspen but have heard it is not as durable and not as good in the desert conditions we have here in Western Colorado. Thank for the review/shoot-out!

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Vee Crown Gem review


Solid all-around tire with attractive price and impressive puncture resistance, that also rolls fast and grips better than expected.

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  • Timberline says:

    Hopefully Vee Tires has fully addressed the known issue of the Crown Gem ripping cornering knobs off through the casing. This was a common issue with this tire in the past, but Vee says it’s been addressed. I tried a Crown Gem some time ago with the torn knob issue and Vee customer service bent over backward to be helpful in replacing my tire.

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Hutchinson Toro review


Among their versatile tires, the Hutchinson Toro has evenly spaced knobs that deliver neutral handling. Center knobs are shorter for mud clearing, while side knobs are taller for enhanced cornering grip.

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Vittoria Mezcal review


Fast, dry conditions XC racer with low profile, densely spaced knob configuration and a defined center ridge tread for low rolling resistance.

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  • Teleken says:

    The XC tire reviews have been informative & confirm what most already knew- published tire weights are incorrect and the marketing peeps lied again. Tire weights are like snow reports “8” of new snow” = dust on crust.

  • Maciej Pike-Biegunski says:

    Did you try a Dynaplug or Innovations Bacon Strip? Bet either would’ve sealed the tire in a jiff if you hadn’t.

    I run double casing rear tires and pretty burly fronts but still always carry a tire plug with me-it’s saved several rides (and tires) for me or the people I’ve been riding with.

  • David says:

    What tire pressure did you run for all these tire tests? Please share that information as well.
    If you ran all the tires at the same pressure then that would not be a fair comparison.
    I would expect to run lower pressure on all the tires that came in at 2.2x than those that only came in at 2.1x. This improves puncture protection, climbing and overall handling. Things you appeared to ding the Mezcal on, but without even sharing the tire pressures used. When I switched to Mezcals I had to lower the pressure on them due to the larger volume and likely due to the graphene. I am able to hammer any condition on them here in SoCal. I am running 20 in front and 23 rear . I am 170 fully kitted.

  • RobertW says:

    5% off claimed weight and 1.3% off claimed width is pretty much bang on. Put it on a 25mm rim and it would be spot on width.

  • Irishpitbull says:

    Schwalbe( Ron & Ralph) and Maxxis (Ikon) are always at or below claimed weight on my park scale.

  • Ryan S says:

    “Easy to mount and take off” …never heard anyone say this about Mezcals, lol…quite the opposite in fact. Same with “corning grip” being on the “Pro” side of the list …say what? I ride 29×2.25 Mezcals when I can get them on/off, but only on gravel. Those tires suck on the trails, particularly cornering and stopping. They are tough though, I’ll give them that.

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Schwalbe Racing Ralph Addix review


As its name clearly implies, this is an XC racing tire. The tread pattern is familiar in this class of rubber – more tightly spaced center knobs to increase speed, but taller, more widely spaced side lugs for extra bite.

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  • Midgemagnet says:

    “Only two of seven XC tires Mtbr tested for this shootout exceeded manufacturer’s claimed width.”

    Bear in mind that tyre width is a function of inflation pressure and rim width, neither of which are specified in the article. Also tyres will stretch out as they break in with use so they’re at their narrowest when brand new.

    I mostly run Conti tyres on my bikes, but last year thought I’d try a Rocket Ron Snakeskin Addix Speed as a front tyre for Winter Bike. Overall I’m very impressed with it, and the Addix compound is a big improvement over the old Pacestar. One thing I did notice though was that the hardest Addix Speed compound is significantly softer (and by extension grippier and less durable) than Conti’s BlackChili compound, which is fine by me as a softer, grippier compound on the front works very well, and if it wears a bit faster then that’s just the price you pay for better grip with any tyre.

    I bought one of the original Racing Ralphs, many years ago. Back then it had a low profile, rounded tread pattern and rubber so soft I could hear it sucking at the little air pockets when riding over smooth asphalt. It was very fast and insanely grippy, but I tore it to shreds in ten hours of riding. That put me off race-spec Schwalbes until the new Addix compound came along. IMHO they’ve got their compounds just about right now, and it’s nice to have a range of rubber and carcass specs to choose from. If the hardest Speed compound is still relatively soft then I’d love to try out the Ultra Soft compound one day, just for fun.

    • Jason Sumner says:

      Up top it reads, “When mounted on a Stan’s ZTR Crest S1 aluminum wheels, which have a 23mm internal rim width, actual tire width measured by the Park Tools DC-1 Digital Caliper was 2.11 (versus the advertised 2.25).” Also make sure to take a look at the First Look post for this shootout. It has some of the answers you are looking for. Thanks for reading — Jason

      • Midgemagnet says:

        ^ My apologies Jason – I read your article twice looking for a rim width spec and still completely missed it. My bad.

        I did some width-versus-pressure tests on some Conti tyres I’ve got fitted to various bikes and put the results up on the mtbr forum. For the same rim width and tyre pressures there was a big difference between a well-worn 2017 Race King ProTection and a brand new never-before-inflated 2018 Race King ProTection, with the latter being much narrower. That was 2 months (and about 50 hours of riding) ago, and last week out of curiosity I re-measured the 2018 tyre: it has stretched to about the same width as the old, worn 2017 model. Original results can be found at

        forums.mtbr.com/wheels-tires/2018-race-king-cross-king-widths-1077666.html#post13664500

        I’ll update the graphs with the new measurements at some point – it’ll be interesting to see just how much tyres can flump up once they’ve been broken in.

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Kenda Saber Pro review


With its minimalist tread profile and 120 tpi casing, the Kenda Saber Pro is a dedicated XC race tire that is designed for fast, dry singletrack.

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Specialized Fast Trak review


Using finite element analysis, the Specialized Fast Trak tire’s consistent shoulder block layout improves cornering traction.

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  • Pynchonite says:

    Riding the stock Fast Traks that came on my Epic and every time I think about changing out the 2.1″ in the back to something wider, the tire’s grip and comfort surprise me and I decide not to.

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Fezzari Cascade Peak Pro review


The Fezzari Cascade Peak Pro is a versatile trail bike that can swap between 29er and 27.5+ set-ups, and has 130mm of Tetralink AT529 rear suspension with a more progressive curve and bottomless feeling.

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  • shawn says:

    You really put ‘limited color choices’ as a negative? You could put this for ALL bikes, short of custom build project bikes that allow for custom paint jobs. Why even bother to put this in the review?

  • bobsyouruncle says:

    I was primed to buy fezzari’s new signal peak (even nicer bike than this one), but alas, no 2x option. 1x sucks, it just does…

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Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup retro edition


With its 60 birthday this year, Scott is having a little retro fun. At the recent World Cup cross-country race in Italy, the Swiss bike maker presented Nino Schurter with a throwback Spark RC 900 World Cup.

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  • Teleken says:

    1990 version probably $850 2018 version what? $12,000?. I worked at a Scott dealer in the early 1990’s they had that great carbon suspension fork until the recall when the carbon lowers separated from the alloy end caps. At the time it was the stiffest fork on the market.

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Devinci Troy Carbon 29 rolls out


Latest Troy all mountain bike boasts the company’s fifth generation split-pivot suspension platform, which is claimed to increase bottom-out force.

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  • LarsV says:

    I like the dark orange accents!

    That rear end however, stacking superboost, split pivot and a DT RWS skewer, is going to be wider that yo’ mamma’s 🙂

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