Cross Country Reviews and News


Ellsworth Interbike 2016

Ellsworth launches the Rogue Forty all-mountain bike, tightens up of its proprietary suspension design, and unveils a company rebranding.

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Chris Chance’s personal Fat Chance Ti

If you’re a vintage bike nerd, you’re going to love this bike. Just try not to drool all over your phone or keyboard.

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REI retires Novara brand, launches Co-op Cycles

REI may not be the first place you shop for a bike, but their new brand offers a lot of value for the average consumer looking to break into the sport.

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Fastest Bikes at the Vail Outlier Offroad Festival

The Vail Outlier Offroad Festival teamed up with USA Cycling to host the Rocky Mountain Regional XC and enduro championships. Photographer Eddie Clark was there and caught these shots of the fastest riders and their bikes.

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When did XC racing get so gnarly?

It used to be that hardtails where the weapon of choice for World Cup level XC racers. But recent years have seen an explosion of slacker, full suspension bikes, wider rims, and even dropper posts. Why the shift? Two of America’s fastest pros explain.

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WTB Ranger 27.5×3.0” TCS Light/Fast tire review

One of the best all-round, XC/trail, plus size mountain bike tires we’ve tried with options for more aggressive riding.

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2017 Pivot 429 MachSL Carbon first look

The 429 Mach SL is already one of the best XC race bikes on the market, so how did Pivot make it even better?

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Bike Check: Jerome Clementz’s Cannondale Habit

Former EWS champion Jerome Clementz has recently been spotted aboard a new prototype Jekyll, but here’s what he rides when he’s not on the race course?

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Moots Farwell 27.5-plus Ti hardtail debuts

Meet the Moots Farwell, a 27.5-plus hardtail ripper spec’d with 2.8” tires that’s designed for all-day trail fun. And like most 27.5-plus set-ups, the Farwell can do double duty as a 29er.

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Salsa Woodsmoke first ride

Salsa introduced a lot of bikes this week with the Woodsmoke taking much of the mountain bike spotlight.

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Orbea Alma XC race bike first look

While most XC race bikes are getting slacker and more trail worthy, Orbea’s latest remains a purebred XC whippet.

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Commencal relaunches Meta SX at a price that can’t be beat

For model year 2017, Commencal has re-released revised versions of older frames with modern geometry and product spec at price points you won’t believe.

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Niner RKT 9 RDO XC race bike review

Do you want a bike with a precise, narrow focus? Or are you looking for something more diversified? How you answer those questions will go a long way towards whether or not you’re a fan of the Niner RKT 9 RDO. Read our full review to learn more.

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Santa Cruz brings back aluminum, kills single pivot models

Santa Cruz bikes just got more affordable with the introduction of three all-new alloy bikes.

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The most exciting new XC bikes of 2016 (so far)

In recent years, cross country race courses have become more technical. To help give their athletes a competitive edge, a number of brands are launching bikes that are more capable of tackling technical terrain. Check out the most versatile new XC bikes released this year.

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Scott Scale XC hardtail drops significant weight

The new lighter Scott Scale goes a long way toward defining what the company is all about: racing — and winning.

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New Orbea Oiz XC race bike gets stiffer and lighter

The Orbea Oiz has proven itself as a competitor with numerous podium finishes and titles to its name. For 2017, this proven formula has received major updates to increase stiffness and reduce weight.

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Kona Honzo gets the carbon treatment

The original Kona Honzo was a forward thinking hardtail for all mountain enthusiasts. In its newest incarnation, the bike has been reborn as an XC race bike and given the carbon treatment.

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New Giant XTC and Fathom hardtails

Whether you prefer singlespeeds or gears, big wheels, big tires, or 27.5″ hoops, Giant’s new line of hardtails has you covered.

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Rizer Rival 2.0 27.5 hardtail review

The appeal (or lack thereof) of the Rizer Rival 2.0 depends greatly on your budget and bike riding abilities. Get all the details in our full review.

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Giant goes longer and slacker with new Trance and Anthem

Longer, lower, and slacker. That’s the theme for Giant’s 2017 updates to the popular Trance and Anthem.

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Rocky Mountain releases thoroughly updated Element 29er XC race bike

The Element has been Rocky Mountain’s premiere XC race bike for two decades. It’s evolved considerably over the years and the newest version is claimed to be the most capable to date.

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GT Pantera 27.5 Plus hardtail first ride

We’re often asked by beginnners or intermediate riders what bike to get and it’s often a balance between budget and interest level. These new Plus hardtails by GT offer a very attractive option now with their attractive price and versatility.

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Wilier Triestina 101X cross-country bike review

If you’re looking for a race-ready hardtail rocket ship, this bike is a fantastic option with Italian flair. Its blend of carbon frame construction, and geometry that allows for improved comfort and application beyond the specific race setting.

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Is this Nino Schurter’s new Scott Spark?

In the lead-in to Scott’s annual Scott Week media event in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, the Swiss bike maker is showing off a “spy shot” 27.5 rig that is very likely an updated version of the Nino Schurter’s dual suspension Spark race bike.

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