Enduro Compare-O: Mtbr’s Best of Test Award Winners

Find out which bikes took home the hardware from our first-ever Enduro Compare-O.

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Compare-O Bottom Line: Scalable Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 0 a lightweight, versatile winner

The versatile Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 0 changes colors like a chameleon making it one of the most versatile bikes in our test. See how it does with the rest of the mountain here.

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Compare-O First Look: Felt Virtue Nine 20

The Felt Virtue Nine 20 offers 130mm of Equilink suspension and looks sick with its “Fool’s Gold” finish. Will its performance match up to its good looks?

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Compare-O First Look: Cannondale Trigger 29 Carbon 2

The Trigger 29 Carbon 2 eschews traditional technology with a unique two-in-one shock and dual crown, single legged fork. Is Cannondale being different just for the sake of it? Or will this technology tame the trail?

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  • LJ says:

    That is just a strange-looking bike. I used to like Cannondale way back in the day, but they are just over-thinking things a bit these days!

  • Paco Taco says:

    To everyone who have never ridden one, all I can say is please ride one on a proper trail before making any comments. Riding is believing.

    I’ve got the aluminum 2013 Trigger 29er 1. I’ve been riding it for almost 10 months and all I can say is HOT DAMN! This bike does what it says it does. It can fly like a cross country bike (well..not quite..but almost) on tame trails and rip down technical, rocky, rut infested sections.

    Just as an example, I was finishing my 4 hour ride having ridden to different trail sections. I had arrived to the very last section which was considered a downhill section (though I admit it’s nowhere near true WC DH difficulty). It’s a trail that is mostly ridden by riders on downhill bikes. It didn’t matter because I was passing guys on downhill bikes left and right. Yeah I was grinning from ear to ear.

    Thanks Cannondale for the killer bike!

  • buriedundersnow says:

    Personally, I’d reserve judgement on a bike until after I have ridden it. When I look at the frame’s design, it looks well thought out to me and not “over-thought”.

  • Shawn says:

    Unless it is non-production spec, the Trigger Carbon 2 comes with the alloy Lefty Max, not the carbon version.

  • Guy says:

    I just purchased the Trigger1 carbon. This is one of the best bikes I have ever ridden!
    No kidding! Read what pink bike has to say. Is this bad form to bring up Pinkbike?

    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Cannondale-Trigger-29-Carbon-1-Reviewed-2014.html

    • Paco Taco says:

      @Guy. Congratulations on your new bike. I’m sure you’re going to absolutely love it even more over time. I love this bike not only for its good looks (seriously) but also for it’s versatility. Easy going up, flying on the way down and cruises in between.

      I have a Niner Jet 9 RDO with XTR brakes/shifters, Race face Next crank, Enve bling bling but it’s been hanging up on the rack collecting dust because I’m having too much fun on my Trigger 29er.

      By the way, thanks for the pinkbike.com link 😉

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Compare-O First Look: Specialized S-Works Enduro 29

The S-Works Enduro 29 is one of the hottest bikes on dirt right now thanks to a remarkable combination of a 67.5 degree head tube angle, 155mm of rear wheel travel, super-short 16.9-inch chainstays despite its big hoops. See what else we found remarkable in our First Look.

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  • mr.habanero says:

    The 29er that all other 29ers wish they were.

  • A. Anderle says:

    This bike deserves it’s attention and prizes it won. It’s an engineering feat that worked out well. My testimonies come first hand, with lots of comparative experience… So far, it stands alone in its category. Thumbs up.
    Climbing: Very good for it’s category. I achieve same times as on my stumpjumper and can keep pace with buddies on hardtails, expecially on rough, long climbs.
    Handling: predictable. Confidence inspiring. Smiles bringing.
    Descending: There seems to be nothing, this bike can’t handle well.
    Weight: sub 13 kilos!
    Price: I have tried Comp and Expert before my Sworks came to my garage and they were both great to ride. Of course there are progressive drawbacks as the price dops. (frame, brakes, shocks, forks, rims, seatpost)
    If you get a bargain price somewhere or you can simply afford it – just go for one of the carbon versions. You’ll never end smiling on trail.

  • Pachinko Johnson says:

    It’s unfortunate that people will let their subjective feelings about Specialized (Cafe Roubaix, lawsuits, they’re too big, etc.) get in the way of objectivity: that this bike is simply better than nearly all other bikes. Again, don’t let the Big S’s reputation cloud the analytical, logical areas of your brain.

  • Archt.Marte Brion says:

    Guy remember this…especially MTB and BMXer Riders..ITs THE MAN behind theBIKE!…not the price or how much the bike is@#$#@$$$.

  • skipper says:

    Looks like they forgot to engineer in some mud clearance or even larger tire clearance in the rear triangle. Short chainstays yes but there is no clearance there for any type of mud/debris. This bike looks awesome but it would be unusable on the east coast in real world conditions on anything but dry days. Forget a stream crossing.

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Compare-O First Look: GT Sensor Carbon Expert

This once hallowed bicycle brand lost its way for a while, but now it’s attempting a major comeback with two new high-zoot trail bike. Can they return GT to a place among mountain biking’s elite?

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Compare-O First Look: Intense Carbine 29

Intense sets out to change minds about 29ers with burlier, longer-legged version of the big hooper that’s well-spec’d to boot. Take a First Look with us.

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Compare-O First Look: Trek Remedy 9.8 27.5

Trek boots 26-inch hoops in favor of 27.5s on the all-new 2014 Trek Remedy 9.8. Dressed in premium Bontranger componentry, their full-carbon, 140mm-travel flagship is looking leaner, meaner and readier than ever.

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  • andrew says:

    Isn’t the EVO link magnesium, not aluminium?

  • Alex Bo B'Alex says:

    “The bike’s rear triangle is OCLV Mountain as well, and connects to the main frame and shock via Trek’s magnesium EVO Link one-piece rocker arm.” Yeah, I remember when undergrad classes used to make me read a lot. I would forget what I just read too.

  • victor says:

    “Seat Tube Angle: 67.5/68.2 degrees actual” is this correct ???

    • Mtbr says:

      Victor- We checked with Trek…the ‘actual’ angles are correct (it matches the head tube) but the ‘effectivel’ or ‘virtual’ angles are 73/73.7 degrees…which makes for better comparison with other bikes, as well as much more sense–thanks for the catch!

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Compare-O First Look: Orbea Rallon

Engineered to dominate the Enduro World Series circuit, the all-aluminum Orbea Rallon features 27.5-inch wheels and 160mm of travel with adjustable geometry

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Picking The Perfect Enduro Bike: The most (and least) important components

Enduro Compare-O Feature: What spec is worth spending extra coin on? With weight less important than on XC bikes, our experts skew towards parts that improve the ride rather saving grams. So what do you do when there are two bikes you’re equally enamored with, same cost, same test ride performance? It’s time to look at components. Where should you spend a little extra? And where can you hold off and upgrade later?

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Compare-O First Look: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon

The Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon is one of the most anticipated bikes in our test. See what the buzz is all about.

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  • Roger says:

    Highlighter called, they want their color back! haha

  • GG says:

    I don’t get why the test is on rigs with XTR/XX1/ENVE builds!
    MTBR staff seem to get a hoot out of drooling all over these crazy bling’d out rides.
    Of course it’s going to be pricey and awesome… what’s the point to evaluate that?
    Why not build up or request the bikes with a solid SLX/XT/X9 & good hoops like most consumers can afford?

  • roger says:

    Carbon wheels makes all the difference. They should either test all the bikes with carbon enve or none at all.

  • isaidso says:

    These comparos are meaningless since they aren’t all equipped with the same components. Some bikes get anchored with deore XT, some get XX1. Some get stan’s flows, others get carbon ENVEs. How could you not prefer a bike with XX1 and ENVE rims?

  • rynoman03 says:

    What a beautiful bike that i’ll never be able to afford!

  • james12345pt says:

    The real world rider would benefit more from a review of this bike equipped out at a price level of ~$5000 dollar which is a more realistic pricepoint.

  • Bikethrasher says:

    Having ridden both the 10k version and the 3500 aluminum version. They are both really good. There is no denying the improvement in dampening and ride feel of the carbon vs the aluminum. Carbon is for the rich and fools like myself who sacrifice pretty much everything else to ride really nice bikes. That being said, when I demoed the 5010 in Fruita. That would be the bottom of the line aluminum build with a crap 3×10 and low end Fox fork and Shock. I still managed a dozen PRs and 3 Top 10s. The 5010 is a special bike. With very few rivals if your looking for all out speed everywhere. Would I be faster on the 10k build? Probably not by much but it would have been more comfortable, controlled, and I wouldn’t have dropped a single chain. Oh I almost forgot that extra 3-5 pounds that didn’t really bother me too much until I was hiking up out of Horsetheif

  • VB_MTB says:

    Why not build up or request the bikes with a solid SLX/XT/X9 & good hoops like most consumers can afford?
    Agreed!”

    Who puts SLX components on a Carbon Enduro bike??? While I believe SLX and even X9 components have there place I just don’t believe a bike like the Carbon Bronson or Pivot Mach 6 is there place.

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Compare-O First Look: Pivot Mach 6 Carbon

The Pivot Mach 6 is one of the most anticipated bikes in our test with 155mm of plush dw-link suspension. It’s laterally stiff with short stays and a smart bottom bracket height designed to corner well and clear rocks and rough stuff.

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  • Roger says:

    $4699 with the SLX kit, that’s $1400 difference w/ XT? Proof that money grows on trees!

  • Fred says:

    Why do you insist on saying that seat tube angles place a rider forward or rearward on a bike??? You know you can adjust the saddle position relative to the BB very easily. Seat tube angles are chosen for many reasons, but saddle position, and thus rider position, isn’t one of them.

    From the look of the Mach6 , I’d bet the slack seat tube angle serves to make room for the shock. Steeper seat tube angles are typically chosen for tire clearance throughout the suspension travel, but the DW-link design doesn’t bring the wheel forward as much as it travels up, so a slack seat tube works just fine.

    • Andre says:

      I agree with you 100%…
      Francis sees only one explanation of a steep vs relaxed STA on a bike, which is grossly misleading and incorrect.

  • Roger says:

    BTW, I see your picture bike has ENVE WHEELS and X1 COMPONENTS!!! Where is the bike that you have LISTED SPEC on your COMPARE-O? SHIMANO XT and SRAM X1 components, ENVE WHEEL AND BONTRAGER ARE not the same!!

  • JMichael says:

    Additional to what Roger has to say, I’d be interested in knowing how much the $9000+ build shown in the photos weighs in at!

  • Joe Millionare says:

    Why did the review team put a Walmart seat dropper on a high end bike. Makes no sense.

  • dre says:

    thats a diff spec build altogether ah well got 9k to drop on a bike then by all means

  • iansettlemire@yahoo.com says:

    The cable routing is hideous. The factory routing isn’t great around the rear shock, but at least it doesn’t bow outward and look like a 13-year-old did it. Yikes. MTBR, take a look at how it should really be done and then repost pics so people don’t think this is how to do it.

  • LJ says:

    Tough crowd here! For every 2 people that complain the components are too nice, another complains that the dropper post isn’t good enough, and then they complain that the components are not exactly like they spec’d from the factory.

    Why does everybody have to be so negative about these guys trying to do a cool write up of some of the best bikes around? You wouldn’t expect them to be doing a big write up about a bunch of low-end bikes with $hitty components, right? Stop complaining and being such no-it-alls and enjoy the awesome free content!

    Agree that the cable routing needs some work though!

    • Mountain Biker says:

      Amen LJ!
      We are talking about what we love here – BIkes. Enough with the negative nancy attitude. This bike LOOKS FUCKING AMAZING by the way.

  • John says:

    LJ, agree 100%.

    Thanks for the review and for running a killer site, Francis!

  • Jim says:

    Looking forward to hearing your impressions after riding it. Any guess when that will come out?

    +1 for LJ

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Picking The Perfect Enduro Bike: Which wheel size is right for you?

Enduro Compare-O Feature: Three wheels, no waiting: Our experts agree to disagree when it comes to wheel size in Part 2 of our three-part series, “Choosing the Perfect Enduro Bike.”

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  • XR600 says:

    26″ was the right size all along, just get over it!
    Seriously, lets not just sit back and let them kill off the best all round wheel size.
    Nothing wrong with having 29 & 650b also, just make sure to keep the most important one too though eh?

  • Roger says:

    Would a 4-11″(Little People) be faster on a 26, 27.5, or a 29er?

  • ray says:

    It’s like the choice of blond vs. brunette vs. redhead. There’s no wrong answer, but we all have a preference. At the end of the day, the hair color (or tire size, or head tube angle, or weight) is not what we remember, it’s the ride we had.

    Get out there and ride. Ride what you enjoy most. Feel free to ride a bunch and choose a favorite, they don’t get jealous.

  • Roger says:

    I’m dumber everytime I read about what wheel size is best.

  • Tom says:

    I’ve decided and stick with 26″ and my new Canyon Strive will arrive in a couple of days. I am 5’11” and I have have a HT 29 and a FS 26 but never been a fan of the 29 I just couldn’t get used to. I know the new “trend/fashion/best of both worlds’ is the 27,5 but with the same parts they cost 2-300 euros more than 26”. As I am not a racer just riding for fun the choice was obvious for me and I spent the difference on pedals and a good light set for night riding.

  • roger says:

    26inch bikes never went away! The 27.5 and 29er Marketing push is creating some great deals on 26inch products in the 2nd hand market! Got a barely used set of ENVE AM carbon wheels for $1200 at PINKBIKE BUY/SELL.

  • bicirila says:

    Good point! Even if it’s only the price/ratio I would still choose a 26″…I get a much much better configuration for a used bike then on a 27.5 or 29…Many people are just “throwing” them away to jump on the bigger wheels. Got a 3000 + Euros bike for a 1000…perfect working order…How much better can a bigger wheel be for like 3-4 times the price?

  • Skidder says:

    My two cents…instead of focusing on ‘which is the best size wheel’, and argueing til your blue in the face…why not just be THRILLED that you have options? Chevy vs Ford, Sig Sauer vs Glock, or 26 v 27.5 v 29…all just choices some of us are very fortunate to have. After accepting this thought, here’s another…the USAF Weapons School teaches the first answer to any question is “It depends…”. Since that works for some of the best fighter pilots in the world in one of the world’s most dangerous professions, it should certainly work for “what size wheel do you want/need on your bike?”.

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Compare-O First Look: Ibis Ripley

It took six long years for this purported do-anything 29er to go from idea to actuality. Now it’s time to find out if it was worth the wait.

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Compare-O First Look: Yeti SB95 Carbon Race

Traditional trail bike geometry, innovative Switch Technology suspension design, a well-equipped Shimano XT build kit and stunning looks—the Yeti SB95 C is one of the most anticipated rigs in the Compare-O.

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  • Marc says:

    I have this bike built with a KS Lev (no cable rubbing/growth issues) and with the X01 build, like most of the other “lighter” bikes you’ve tested. With pedals, dropper and a Havoc carbon bar, my bike weighed in at 27.25lbs. Swapping out the rear stock Ikon for another Ardent puts it around 27.5lbs, almost 2lbs lighter than the tested bike WITH pedals. Weight is all in the build kit, gentlemen.

  • DaveG says:

    Nice shed.

  • Scott says:

    Ditto what Marc said: 27.5 for mine, equipped similarly.

  • Pete says:

    Yeah, what gives? My XO1 custom build with Reynolds 29 R AM wheelset (nice and wide) 140mm Pike, KS Lev, XT brakes, carbon bar, shorter stem (a must for this bike.. .55mm FTW) weighs in at a hair over 28 lbs.

    Why handicap this bike with a heavier 2x drivetrain, porky dropper and heavy bar?

  • Marc says:

    I wonder what pedals were used. I had heel rubbing with my Mallet 2’s and swapped to XT Trails and haven’t had that problem since. I have pretty good size feet too at 11.5

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Choosing The Perfect Enduro Bike: How much suspension do you need?

Enduro Compare-O Feature: Pro riders Aaron Bradford, Andreas Hestler, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Heather Irmiger and Boulder Cyclesport owner Brandon Dwight weigh in for Part 1 of our 3-part series, “Choosing the Perfect Enduro Bike.”

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  • Roger says:

    Good thing I don’t race Enduro, seems to be an elitist event. Ride the bike you already have, ride a lot, and learn some DH skills on a hard tail, go to the bike park and learn some jumping skills too!

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Compare-O First Look: Norco Range Alloy 7.1

Available in both carbon and aluminum, the Norco Range offers 160mm of all mountain travel derived straight from the North Shore. The Range Alloy 7.1 may be one of the best value bikes in our tests.

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  • roger says:

    Buy carbon wheels, not carbon bikes.Weight weenies, man up and ride more! These all-mountain capable bikes were never meant to be sub 30s.They are meant to take the rigors of the downhill sections!

  • bryan says:

    Is this what the “enduro-compare-o” is supposed to be, or is this just an intro??? Seems like a spec listing and basic bike information. When are the ride reports coming?

  • J says:

    Roger, we should still be riding fully rigid 40lb bikes yeah? Lighter is cheating and so is better performance. The 80s was the golden age of mtbing and it has just been downhill from there, all in the name of progress.

    I’ll enjoy my sub 30lb carbon bike, might even get some carbon wheels for it too. I’m sure it’ll love the downhill sections as much as your heavy alloy tank.

  • Big Daddy A says:

    looks like a preview, not the conclusion yet.

  • J.D. Greilinger says:

    Took my Range out today for its first ride, AND wasn’t it impressive! Was muddy as hell but it was so quick and nimble through the DH sections! smashed through the S’s like no tomorrow and held more than its own through the rutts and rocky desents. Was a little heavy though for the uphill sections, the legs were protesting.

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Compare-O First Look: Scott Genius 710

Scott’s stealthy Genius 710 now comes Fox-equipped. Will the new spec equate to more customers?

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  • Charlie386 says:

    Are the tires on backwards?

  • Derek fetko says:

    I absolutely love this bike. It climbs to the top fast with the Twinloc and rips the downhill. Super stable at high speed

  • John says:

    xt 2×10 dated?
    whatever …

  • DPB says:

    I bought the last 2014 Genius 720 in Calgary. I just happen to be passing a LBS (Pedalhead) and they had a large at an attractive price. I bought it and honestly can say it is fast, stable and comfy. I have done a number of long rides and can say it is a great climber and a pretty good decender. Well worth the money.

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Compare-O First Look: Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition

Rocky Mountain’s Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition has a long name, big tires and tall gears. Check out what else this Euro-style sled brings to the enduro party.

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Compare-O First Look: Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR EVO 29

No doubt this $9,000 silver-painted super bike will shine, but just how brightly when compared to the competition is the real question.

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  • 92gli says:

    Man…They have some giant balls asking 9k for that bike. That frame has had the same basic design for years, and it still has an alloy rear end.

    • Kiev says:

      The normal S-Works 29 (non EVO) version’s had full carbon for quite some time actually, and carbon rims as well. Wouldn’t get one since I’m not into long travel bikes, but frinds of mine have it (the non EVO s-works version) and they’ve told me they like it even better than their ibis and santacruz.

    • Chuck says:

      You never took an economics class, did you? What you’re willing to pay is–surprise–not the same as what someone is wiling to pay. The gripe about “Is it worth X amount” on bike forums is beyond cliche.

  • Brandon says:

    Seriously, $4500 for a frame that’s only half carbon??? I have almost the same frame and they would go for $1800 if specialized even sold aluminum stumpyfsr frames to consumers.
    I think they have lost their minds. Like offering a lifetime warranty on FRAMES and calling the rear triangle part of the suspension so they say it’s not covered under warranty. AND it’s the only aluminum part of the frame in this case, still not covered under warranty on a $5k frame.

  • Roger says:

    $10K bikes marketed for ENDURO. Does anyone Mt. Bike anymore? Mt. Biking is becoming an ELITIST sport!

  • DaveG says:

    Sounds like the MTBR testers needs to grow some legs. A 32 tooth ring and XX1 shouldn’t be a big deal.

  • Greg says:

    Well, I don’t know how the bike handles but the price is just goofy. The frame is over $1,000 more than my 2012 Transition Bandit 29, which came with a pretty decent parts spec. Don’t ever see buying a Specialized.

  • VII says:

    That frame is NOT $4,500! It’s $2,950, and it comes with a dropper post with internal routing and the Kashima shock. A dropper post runs $300. So that frame is priced like all other premium carbon frames.

  • cp says:

    Zero 27.5….wrong [wait til spring:)

  • Kuttermax says:

    Nice bike but price is steep. Niner Rip 9 RDO would seem like a reasonable alternative, although Niner’s XX1 $6499 5-star build kit includes only the Revelation front shock and not the nicer Pike. The Niner kit comes with non-carbon American Classic wheels as well.

  • Loll says:

    You mentioned there is a chain tensioner at the top cap. What top cap are you talking about?

  • Mike says:

    Where is the “compare” in these reviews. They read like one long commercial for these bike companies. Blah.

  • Pete says:

    It may be an expensive bike, but what a bike……. I own one and it is spectacular. I love it. I dont care if i could get i bike that is close for less. I want this one. I know its overpriced, but you get what you pay for. If you cant afford it it is a stupid buy, if you can afford it, its not. I hate to burst some bubbles but expensive bikes are sometimes amazing.

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Compare-O First Look: Niner WFO

Madeover 2014 Niner WFO challenges the 27.5 status quo with bigger wheels and bigger travel, yet a small(ish) price tag.

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  • pfs says:

    While the lunchbox is pretty neat and shorter in the CS I think the WFO is better performing. I had the opportunity to ride one recently and it blew me away in terms of handling and pedaling and suspension performance. Shorter is not always best if that is all it has going for it. Not saying that the luchbox is bad, just that shorter is not always better.

  • Greg says:

    The new WFO looks great and represents one hell of a value compared to many other bikes in its class. Kudos to Niner for making so many design changes to the WFO – looking forward to trying one out.

  • Joules says:

    That’s a pretty impressive weight for a 6″ travel aluminum 29er with a dropper post. Especially at that price.

    I wish… since they are specing brakes that will go straight to the trash where they belong anyway, I wish they’d spec Elixer 1s or tektros or something that saves a couple bucks.
    Or, you know, spec Shimano’s that I’d actually keep.

    Also, no internal post routing…

  • phil says:

    I have ridden this wfo and own one. All though didn’t need to I had some i-9 wheels already and carbon bars and made mine 27.4 lbs. The bike climbs like a trail bike and gives you a lot of confidence on the downhills. Although there are a couple (very few) 29ers out there with shorter chainstays the bike turns well and is surprisingly nimble. Just shortening the stays from 17.9 ish and even longer on some bikes a big deal. I have a devinci atlas 29er with 16.9 stays and that is a crazy fun bike but the wfo is a different kind of beast. its ready to haul ass and will save you a few times doing it.

  • Shawn says:

    It needs to drop three pounds.

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Compare-O First Look: Ibis Mojo HDR 650b

The tried and true Ibis Mojo HDR is now offered in the trendy 27.5-inch wheel size. But do the bigger wheels enhance or detract from the performance of this legendary bike?

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  • isaidso says:

    The Spec Highlights copy says it’s a fox 160; the spec list says fox 140. (the photo looks like a 140) Which is it? Either way i’m surprised you didn’t go with the X01 build. Lighter, cleaner, better-er.

  • Lucas H says:

    I don’t know what press release you were reading from when you wrote this “While they were at it, Ibis incorporated much asked-for ISCG-05 chain guide tabs, cable routing for a dropper post, a 12x142mm rear end, and a tapered head tube.” My 2011 Mojo HD has dropper post routing & a tapered head-tube. Also I am running 150mm of 650B love. What’s nice about the HDR is it would be so easy to run the same 150mm of rear travel and have the greater clearance for this tire size. I think that Ibis just didn’t want to deal with having to custom shim the rear shocks for this much travel.

  • Jon says:

    Absolutely love, love, love this bike.
    I have the HDR in the 26/160 setting with the CCDBair CS option.
    A remarkable design. And incredible company.

  • Joe Millionare says:

    Boring. It’s an old bike, old design, and not purpose built for 27.5. Ibis needs to piss or get off the pot.

    • mwandrusz says:

      yeah, its a boring old bike with an old design that looks and rides better than 98% of the mountain bikes in its class 10 years later. Ibis should pay you for your market expertise because it seems no one is buying them 😉

  • derby says:

    Nice Bike! I was one of the early adapters of 650b wheels on my original Mojo Carbon #84 ever made in summer 2006. One big improvement I mad in late 2007 was bolting on 650b x 2.3 wheels and tires and limiting bottom travel very slightly, to raise the BB and pedal clearance from 13.1 to 13.6 inches measured, for cleaning the rough and rocky trail climbs I like to ride with deeper suspension sag. The all new design Mojo HD introduced almost 5 years ago raised the BB about 1/4 inch to 13.75 inches measured with 650b x 2.3 tires, slacked the head and seat angles, and increased travel and tire clearance, which in fact never “buzz chain stays” in either bike 2.3 tires with well built wheels. The HDR has room now for 2.4 tires, without any rub or buzz. Bottom travel with the HD and HDR must be limited to about 150mm with 650b x 2.3 tires to clear the seat tube. For mostly smoother trails, the shorter travel shock and very low BB height HDR 650b makes a snappy 130mm of travel with plenty of seat tube bottom clearance for 2.4 tires. Handling for the more stable 650b size wheels with the HD and HDR is ideal for advanced riders from tight twisty to high flyin’. The newest design Mojo HDR again stretches the lead for all around versatile use Trail/AM/Enduro bike performance : )

  • MB says:

    Maybe for a guy like his name suggests, Joe Millionare, his comment is striaght up and real. But for a guy like me, if I was given the chance I would gladly ride a bike that has good design and good engineering. My 2004 Giant NRS coupled with a hardy engine still leaves many a rider coughing dust. Come ride with us Joe.

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Compare-O First Look: Lapierre Spicy 527

Lapierre’s burly Spicy 527 is ready to rumble with its stout four-bar Horst Link-style suspension, but is the world ready for its electronically-controlled suspension?

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Compare-O First Look: Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon

Santa Cruz’s playful all-day adventure rig looks to have plenty of climbing chops. But will the Fox 32 fork and trim-profile frame be up to the task when things get rowdy?

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  • Shawn says:

    Isn’t the Bronson Santa Cruz’s enduro bike model? I’m curious whh this bike was picked for the comparison instead, unless both are being included.

  • Roger says:

    34T is pretty standard for Enduro Racers. If you are not capable to run 34T gear, how are you qualified to review these Ferraris of Mt. Bikes? I, myself run 34T w/ 1×10 on my NomadC that weights 36lbs.

  • BobbyD says:

    I am pretty sure that chain tension is not used on VPP to minimize rear end bobbing. Is that a typo?

    • Dan Roveto says:

      Nope – The chain does work to keep the rear end in place. If you notice the rear axle’s first movement in the travel is away from the BB thus changing the chain length from BB to rear axle. If you’re pedaling, the tension pulls the rear axle back into place. That is one of the benefits of VPP. The negative of that is that it doesn’t pedal the smoothest because of that changing chain length but I’ve never noticed that on mine.

  • luis says:

    Great looking rig but internal routing is a must here. Specially with the ludicrous price tag!!

  • Richard W says:

    “ENVE carbon AM model, which goes a long way to explaining this bike’s weight .” According to the “bikebuilder” section of the Santa Cruz web site deleting the ENVE upgrade reduces the weight .38 pounds (6 ounces), and the price by $1,745. Does ENVE offer more than a weight savings advantage? I know, its the whole rotating mass thing. Unless I was a sponsored professional racer(not even close), I would delete the ENVE option and get a SUPERLIGHT for the Mrs.

  • Kevin Woodward says:

    If I was a XC rider — and not 6-foot-5 and already madly in love with my Tallboy LT — this would be a ride I would seriously consider. IMHO would give it the nod over the Bronson if I was racing Enduro, too. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the unbridled pleasure of flying down a singletrack on a SC carbon equipped with Enve wheels wouldn’t question the admittedly high price (it’s about the ride, not the weight). The difference is stunning, to say the least. Personally I think you can go with XT rather than XTR and shave the total cost down to a second (as opposed to third) mortgage level. I realize that this is still well out of the range of most riders, for sure, but you have to realize this is a dream bike. If you can afford it, test ride it on your favorite trail and decide for yourself.

  • dmx1 says:

    Enve weels are not much lighter but a lot stiffer than the competition. And that makes a big difference

  • Dan Roveto says:

    I really wouldn’t put any 68 degree head tube angle/125mm suspension bike in the enduro category. The 5010 is a 650B Blur trc which is an awesome trail bike.

  • Sawyer says:

    I hope Santa Cruz never uses internal cable routing, I would pay more not to have it. I have a bike that has internal roughing now and I hate it. Swapping parts is a pain in the rump.

  • Marbroz says:

    Is this bike a good climber? I look for a stumpjumper 2007 replacement, i love the bike but how does it climb vs. E.g. Stumpjumper 29 or Giant Trance? Can anyone answer?

  • Mountaingoatepics says:

    Dan Roveto, sometimes you just have to ride a bike to see what it does. I demo’d a Bronson and a 5010 back in April. I went in thinking the Bronson would be the bike for me with the longer travel but came away disappointed with experience. It felt sluggish and front heavy.
    I had actually dismissed the 5010, getting ready to demo a Rip 9 when a buddy said, “just try it”. It absolutely slayed the trails of Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. Riding like a bike with 30mm more travel. It felt bottomless and snappy responsive.
    Marbroz..This bike can climb as well. It digs in and wants to climb technical climbs and the VPP works so well that if you have to climb a fireroad, I could happily hang with my singlespeed buddies, standing up and punching the pedals to maintain pace.
    I was soo happy with that demo (one that lasted 5 days, 120 miles and close to 20,000 ft of climbing and descending) that I just bought a frame and am slowly building it up as I can.

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Compare-O First Look: Fezzari Timp Peak

Fezzari ain’t a Ferrari, but its Timp Peak AM Bike is still pretty damn sexy and light to boot.

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Compare-O First Look: Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 0

Giant’s 24-pound Trance Advanced has us both a little excited and a little nervous. Can a bike this feathery handle our aggressive test track?

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Enduro Compare-O 2014 Reviews and News


Compare-O Bottom Line: Scalable Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 0 a lightweight, versatile winner


The versatile Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 0 changes colors like a chameleon making it one of the most versatile bikes in our test. See how it does with the rest of the mountain here.

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Compare-O First Look: Felt Virtue Nine 20


The Felt Virtue Nine 20 offers 130mm of Equilink suspension and looks sick with its “Fool’s Gold” finish. Will its performance match up to its good looks?

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Compare-O First Look: Cannondale Trigger 29 Carbon 2


The Trigger 29 Carbon 2 eschews traditional technology with a unique two-in-one shock and dual crown, single legged fork. Is Cannondale being different just for the sake of it? Or will this technology tame the trail?

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  • LJ says:

    That is just a strange-looking bike. I used to like Cannondale way back in the day, but they are just over-thinking things a bit these days!

  • Paco Taco says:

    To everyone who have never ridden one, all I can say is please ride one on a proper trail before making any comments. Riding is believing.

    I’ve got the aluminum 2013 Trigger 29er 1. I’ve been riding it for almost 10 months and all I can say is HOT DAMN! This bike does what it says it does. It can fly like a cross country bike (well..not quite..but almost) on tame trails and rip down technical, rocky, rut infested sections.

    Just as an example, I was finishing my 4 hour ride having ridden to different trail sections. I had arrived to the very last section which was considered a downhill section (though I admit it’s nowhere near true WC DH difficulty). It’s a trail that is mostly ridden by riders on downhill bikes. It didn’t matter because I was passing guys on downhill bikes left and right. Yeah I was grinning from ear to ear.

    Thanks Cannondale for the killer bike!

  • buriedundersnow says:

    Personally, I’d reserve judgement on a bike until after I have ridden it. When I look at the frame’s design, it looks well thought out to me and not “over-thought”.

  • Shawn says:

    Unless it is non-production spec, the Trigger Carbon 2 comes with the alloy Lefty Max, not the carbon version.

  • Guy says:

    I just purchased the Trigger1 carbon. This is one of the best bikes I have ever ridden!
    No kidding! Read what pink bike has to say. Is this bad form to bring up Pinkbike?

    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Cannondale-Trigger-29-Carbon-1-Reviewed-2014.html

    • Paco Taco says:

      @Guy. Congratulations on your new bike. I’m sure you’re going to absolutely love it even more over time. I love this bike not only for its good looks (seriously) but also for it’s versatility. Easy going up, flying on the way down and cruises in between.

      I have a Niner Jet 9 RDO with XTR brakes/shifters, Race face Next crank, Enve bling bling but it’s been hanging up on the rack collecting dust because I’m having too much fun on my Trigger 29er.

      By the way, thanks for the pinkbike.com link 😉

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Compare-O First Look: Specialized S-Works Enduro 29


The S-Works Enduro 29 is one of the hottest bikes on dirt right now thanks to a remarkable combination of a 67.5 degree head tube angle, 155mm of rear wheel travel, super-short 16.9-inch chainstays despite its big hoops. See what else we found remarkable in our First Look.

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  • mr.habanero says:

    The 29er that all other 29ers wish they were.

  • A. Anderle says:

    This bike deserves it’s attention and prizes it won. It’s an engineering feat that worked out well. My testimonies come first hand, with lots of comparative experience… So far, it stands alone in its category. Thumbs up.
    Climbing: Very good for it’s category. I achieve same times as on my stumpjumper and can keep pace with buddies on hardtails, expecially on rough, long climbs.
    Handling: predictable. Confidence inspiring. Smiles bringing.
    Descending: There seems to be nothing, this bike can’t handle well.
    Weight: sub 13 kilos!
    Price: I have tried Comp and Expert before my Sworks came to my garage and they were both great to ride. Of course there are progressive drawbacks as the price dops. (frame, brakes, shocks, forks, rims, seatpost)
    If you get a bargain price somewhere or you can simply afford it – just go for one of the carbon versions. You’ll never end smiling on trail.

  • Pachinko Johnson says:

    It’s unfortunate that people will let their subjective feelings about Specialized (Cafe Roubaix, lawsuits, they’re too big, etc.) get in the way of objectivity: that this bike is simply better than nearly all other bikes. Again, don’t let the Big S’s reputation cloud the analytical, logical areas of your brain.

  • Archt.Marte Brion says:

    Guy remember this…especially MTB and BMXer Riders..ITs THE MAN behind theBIKE!…not the price or how much the bike is@#$#@$$$.

  • skipper says:

    Looks like they forgot to engineer in some mud clearance or even larger tire clearance in the rear triangle. Short chainstays yes but there is no clearance there for any type of mud/debris. This bike looks awesome but it would be unusable on the east coast in real world conditions on anything but dry days. Forget a stream crossing.

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Compare-O First Look: GT Sensor Carbon Expert


This once hallowed bicycle brand lost its way for a while, but now it’s attempting a major comeback with two new high-zoot trail bike. Can they return GT to a place among mountain biking’s elite?

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Compare-O First Look: Intense Carbine 29


Intense sets out to change minds about 29ers with burlier, longer-legged version of the big hooper that’s well-spec’d to boot. Take a First Look with us.

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Compare-O First Look: Trek Remedy 9.8 27.5


Trek boots 26-inch hoops in favor of 27.5s on the all-new 2014 Trek Remedy 9.8. Dressed in premium Bontranger componentry, their full-carbon, 140mm-travel flagship is looking leaner, meaner and readier than ever.

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  • andrew says:

    Isn’t the EVO link magnesium, not aluminium?

  • Alex Bo B'Alex says:

    “The bike’s rear triangle is OCLV Mountain as well, and connects to the main frame and shock via Trek’s magnesium EVO Link one-piece rocker arm.” Yeah, I remember when undergrad classes used to make me read a lot. I would forget what I just read too.

  • victor says:

    “Seat Tube Angle: 67.5/68.2 degrees actual” is this correct ???

    • Mtbr says:

      Victor- We checked with Trek…the ‘actual’ angles are correct (it matches the head tube) but the ‘effectivel’ or ‘virtual’ angles are 73/73.7 degrees…which makes for better comparison with other bikes, as well as much more sense–thanks for the catch!

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Compare-O First Look: Orbea Rallon


Engineered to dominate the Enduro World Series circuit, the all-aluminum Orbea Rallon features 27.5-inch wheels and 160mm of travel with adjustable geometry

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Picking The Perfect Enduro Bike: The most (and least) important components


Enduro Compare-O Feature: What spec is worth spending extra coin on? With weight less important than on XC bikes, our experts skew towards parts that improve the ride rather saving grams. So what do you do when there are two bikes you’re equally enamored with, same cost, same test ride performance? It’s time to look at components. Where should you spend a little extra? And where can you hold off and upgrade later?

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Compare-O First Look: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon


The Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon is one of the most anticipated bikes in our test. See what the buzz is all about.

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  • Roger says:

    Highlighter called, they want their color back! haha

  • GG says:

    I don’t get why the test is on rigs with XTR/XX1/ENVE builds!
    MTBR staff seem to get a hoot out of drooling all over these crazy bling’d out rides.
    Of course it’s going to be pricey and awesome… what’s the point to evaluate that?
    Why not build up or request the bikes with a solid SLX/XT/X9 & good hoops like most consumers can afford?

  • roger says:

    Carbon wheels makes all the difference. They should either test all the bikes with carbon enve or none at all.

  • isaidso says:

    These comparos are meaningless since they aren’t all equipped with the same components. Some bikes get anchored with deore XT, some get XX1. Some get stan’s flows, others get carbon ENVEs. How could you not prefer a bike with XX1 and ENVE rims?

  • rynoman03 says:

    What a beautiful bike that i’ll never be able to afford!

  • james12345pt says:

    The real world rider would benefit more from a review of this bike equipped out at a price level of ~$5000 dollar which is a more realistic pricepoint.

  • Bikethrasher says:

    Having ridden both the 10k version and the 3500 aluminum version. They are both really good. There is no denying the improvement in dampening and ride feel of the carbon vs the aluminum. Carbon is for the rich and fools like myself who sacrifice pretty much everything else to ride really nice bikes. That being said, when I demoed the 5010 in Fruita. That would be the bottom of the line aluminum build with a crap 3×10 and low end Fox fork and Shock. I still managed a dozen PRs and 3 Top 10s. The 5010 is a special bike. With very few rivals if your looking for all out speed everywhere. Would I be faster on the 10k build? Probably not by much but it would have been more comfortable, controlled, and I wouldn’t have dropped a single chain. Oh I almost forgot that extra 3-5 pounds that didn’t really bother me too much until I was hiking up out of Horsetheif

  • VB_MTB says:

    Why not build up or request the bikes with a solid SLX/XT/X9 & good hoops like most consumers can afford?
    Agreed!”

    Who puts SLX components on a Carbon Enduro bike??? While I believe SLX and even X9 components have there place I just don’t believe a bike like the Carbon Bronson or Pivot Mach 6 is there place.

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Compare-O First Look: Pivot Mach 6 Carbon


The Pivot Mach 6 is one of the most anticipated bikes in our test with 155mm of plush dw-link suspension. It’s laterally stiff with short stays and a smart bottom bracket height designed to corner well and clear rocks and rough stuff.

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  • Roger says:

    $4699 with the SLX kit, that’s $1400 difference w/ XT? Proof that money grows on trees!

  • Fred says:

    Why do you insist on saying that seat tube angles place a rider forward or rearward on a bike??? You know you can adjust the saddle position relative to the BB very easily. Seat tube angles are chosen for many reasons, but saddle position, and thus rider position, isn’t one of them.

    From the look of the Mach6 , I’d bet the slack seat tube angle serves to make room for the shock. Steeper seat tube angles are typically chosen for tire clearance throughout the suspension travel, but the DW-link design doesn’t bring the wheel forward as much as it travels up, so a slack seat tube works just fine.

    • Andre says:

      I agree with you 100%…
      Francis sees only one explanation of a steep vs relaxed STA on a bike, which is grossly misleading and incorrect.

  • Roger says:

    BTW, I see your picture bike has ENVE WHEELS and X1 COMPONENTS!!! Where is the bike that you have LISTED SPEC on your COMPARE-O? SHIMANO XT and SRAM X1 components, ENVE WHEEL AND BONTRAGER ARE not the same!!

  • JMichael says:

    Additional to what Roger has to say, I’d be interested in knowing how much the $9000+ build shown in the photos weighs in at!

  • Joe Millionare says:

    Why did the review team put a Walmart seat dropper on a high end bike. Makes no sense.

  • dre says:

    thats a diff spec build altogether ah well got 9k to drop on a bike then by all means

  • iansettlemire@yahoo.com says:

    The cable routing is hideous. The factory routing isn’t great around the rear shock, but at least it doesn’t bow outward and look like a 13-year-old did it. Yikes. MTBR, take a look at how it should really be done and then repost pics so people don’t think this is how to do it.

  • LJ says:

    Tough crowd here! For every 2 people that complain the components are too nice, another complains that the dropper post isn’t good enough, and then they complain that the components are not exactly like they spec’d from the factory.

    Why does everybody have to be so negative about these guys trying to do a cool write up of some of the best bikes around? You wouldn’t expect them to be doing a big write up about a bunch of low-end bikes with $hitty components, right? Stop complaining and being such no-it-alls and enjoy the awesome free content!

    Agree that the cable routing needs some work though!

    • Mountain Biker says:

      Amen LJ!
      We are talking about what we love here – BIkes. Enough with the negative nancy attitude. This bike LOOKS FUCKING AMAZING by the way.

  • John says:

    LJ, agree 100%.

    Thanks for the review and for running a killer site, Francis!

  • Jim says:

    Looking forward to hearing your impressions after riding it. Any guess when that will come out?

    +1 for LJ

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Picking The Perfect Enduro Bike: Which wheel size is right for you?


Enduro Compare-O Feature: Three wheels, no waiting: Our experts agree to disagree when it comes to wheel size in Part 2 of our three-part series, “Choosing the Perfect Enduro Bike.”

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  • XR600 says:

    26″ was the right size all along, just get over it!
    Seriously, lets not just sit back and let them kill off the best all round wheel size.
    Nothing wrong with having 29 & 650b also, just make sure to keep the most important one too though eh?

  • Roger says:

    Would a 4-11″(Little People) be faster on a 26, 27.5, or a 29er?

  • ray says:

    It’s like the choice of blond vs. brunette vs. redhead. There’s no wrong answer, but we all have a preference. At the end of the day, the hair color (or tire size, or head tube angle, or weight) is not what we remember, it’s the ride we had.

    Get out there and ride. Ride what you enjoy most. Feel free to ride a bunch and choose a favorite, they don’t get jealous.

  • Roger says:

    I’m dumber everytime I read about what wheel size is best.

  • Tom says:

    I’ve decided and stick with 26″ and my new Canyon Strive will arrive in a couple of days. I am 5’11” and I have have a HT 29 and a FS 26 but never been a fan of the 29 I just couldn’t get used to. I know the new “trend/fashion/best of both worlds’ is the 27,5 but with the same parts they cost 2-300 euros more than 26”. As I am not a racer just riding for fun the choice was obvious for me and I spent the difference on pedals and a good light set for night riding.

  • roger says:

    26inch bikes never went away! The 27.5 and 29er Marketing push is creating some great deals on 26inch products in the 2nd hand market! Got a barely used set of ENVE AM carbon wheels for $1200 at PINKBIKE BUY/SELL.

  • bicirila says:

    Good point! Even if it’s only the price/ratio I would still choose a 26″…I get a much much better configuration for a used bike then on a 27.5 or 29…Many people are just “throwing” them away to jump on the bigger wheels. Got a 3000 + Euros bike for a 1000…perfect working order…How much better can a bigger wheel be for like 3-4 times the price?

  • Skidder says:

    My two cents…instead of focusing on ‘which is the best size wheel’, and argueing til your blue in the face…why not just be THRILLED that you have options? Chevy vs Ford, Sig Sauer vs Glock, or 26 v 27.5 v 29…all just choices some of us are very fortunate to have. After accepting this thought, here’s another…the USAF Weapons School teaches the first answer to any question is “It depends…”. Since that works for some of the best fighter pilots in the world in one of the world’s most dangerous professions, it should certainly work for “what size wheel do you want/need on your bike?”.

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Compare-O First Look: Ibis Ripley


It took six long years for this purported do-anything 29er to go from idea to actuality. Now it’s time to find out if it was worth the wait.

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Compare-O First Look: Yeti SB95 Carbon Race


Traditional trail bike geometry, innovative Switch Technology suspension design, a well-equipped Shimano XT build kit and stunning looks—the Yeti SB95 C is one of the most anticipated rigs in the Compare-O.

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  • Marc says:

    I have this bike built with a KS Lev (no cable rubbing/growth issues) and with the X01 build, like most of the other “lighter” bikes you’ve tested. With pedals, dropper and a Havoc carbon bar, my bike weighed in at 27.25lbs. Swapping out the rear stock Ikon for another Ardent puts it around 27.5lbs, almost 2lbs lighter than the tested bike WITH pedals. Weight is all in the build kit, gentlemen.

  • DaveG says:

    Nice shed.

  • Scott says:

    Ditto what Marc said: 27.5 for mine, equipped similarly.

  • Pete says:

    Yeah, what gives? My XO1 custom build with Reynolds 29 R AM wheelset (nice and wide) 140mm Pike, KS Lev, XT brakes, carbon bar, shorter stem (a must for this bike.. .55mm FTW) weighs in at a hair over 28 lbs.

    Why handicap this bike with a heavier 2x drivetrain, porky dropper and heavy bar?

  • Marc says:

    I wonder what pedals were used. I had heel rubbing with my Mallet 2’s and swapped to XT Trails and haven’t had that problem since. I have pretty good size feet too at 11.5

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Choosing The Perfect Enduro Bike: How much suspension do you need?


Enduro Compare-O Feature: Pro riders Aaron Bradford, Andreas Hestler, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Heather Irmiger and Boulder Cyclesport owner Brandon Dwight weigh in for Part 1 of our 3-part series, “Choosing the Perfect Enduro Bike.”

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  • Roger says:

    Good thing I don’t race Enduro, seems to be an elitist event. Ride the bike you already have, ride a lot, and learn some DH skills on a hard tail, go to the bike park and learn some jumping skills too!

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Compare-O First Look: Norco Range Alloy 7.1


Available in both carbon and aluminum, the Norco Range offers 160mm of all mountain travel derived straight from the North Shore. The Range Alloy 7.1 may be one of the best value bikes in our tests.

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  • roger says:

    Buy carbon wheels, not carbon bikes.Weight weenies, man up and ride more! These all-mountain capable bikes were never meant to be sub 30s.They are meant to take the rigors of the downhill sections!

  • bryan says:

    Is this what the “enduro-compare-o” is supposed to be, or is this just an intro??? Seems like a spec listing and basic bike information. When are the ride reports coming?

  • J says:

    Roger, we should still be riding fully rigid 40lb bikes yeah? Lighter is cheating and so is better performance. The 80s was the golden age of mtbing and it has just been downhill from there, all in the name of progress.

    I’ll enjoy my sub 30lb carbon bike, might even get some carbon wheels for it too. I’m sure it’ll love the downhill sections as much as your heavy alloy tank.

  • Big Daddy A says:

    looks like a preview, not the conclusion yet.

  • J.D. Greilinger says:

    Took my Range out today for its first ride, AND wasn’t it impressive! Was muddy as hell but it was so quick and nimble through the DH sections! smashed through the S’s like no tomorrow and held more than its own through the rutts and rocky desents. Was a little heavy though for the uphill sections, the legs were protesting.

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Compare-O First Look: Scott Genius 710


Scott’s stealthy Genius 710 now comes Fox-equipped. Will the new spec equate to more customers?

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  • Charlie386 says:

    Are the tires on backwards?

  • Derek fetko says:

    I absolutely love this bike. It climbs to the top fast with the Twinloc and rips the downhill. Super stable at high speed

  • John says:

    xt 2×10 dated?
    whatever …

  • DPB says:

    I bought the last 2014 Genius 720 in Calgary. I just happen to be passing a LBS (Pedalhead) and they had a large at an attractive price. I bought it and honestly can say it is fast, stable and comfy. I have done a number of long rides and can say it is a great climber and a pretty good decender. Well worth the money.

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Compare-O First Look: Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition


Rocky Mountain’s Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition has a long name, big tires and tall gears. Check out what else this Euro-style sled brings to the enduro party.

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Compare-O First Look: Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR EVO 29


No doubt this $9,000 silver-painted super bike will shine, but just how brightly when compared to the competition is the real question.

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  • 92gli says:

    Man…They have some giant balls asking 9k for that bike. That frame has had the same basic design for years, and it still has an alloy rear end.

    • Kiev says:

      The normal S-Works 29 (non EVO) version’s had full carbon for quite some time actually, and carbon rims as well. Wouldn’t get one since I’m not into long travel bikes, but frinds of mine have it (the non EVO s-works version) and they’ve told me they like it even better than their ibis and santacruz.

    • Chuck says:

      You never took an economics class, did you? What you’re willing to pay is–surprise–not the same as what someone is wiling to pay. The gripe about “Is it worth X amount” on bike forums is beyond cliche.

  • Brandon says:

    Seriously, $4500 for a frame that’s only half carbon??? I have almost the same frame and they would go for $1800 if specialized even sold aluminum stumpyfsr frames to consumers.
    I think they have lost their minds. Like offering a lifetime warranty on FRAMES and calling the rear triangle part of the suspension so they say it’s not covered under warranty. AND it’s the only aluminum part of the frame in this case, still not covered under warranty on a $5k frame.

  • Roger says:

    $10K bikes marketed for ENDURO. Does anyone Mt. Bike anymore? Mt. Biking is becoming an ELITIST sport!

  • DaveG says:

    Sounds like the MTBR testers needs to grow some legs. A 32 tooth ring and XX1 shouldn’t be a big deal.

  • Greg says:

    Well, I don’t know how the bike handles but the price is just goofy. The frame is over $1,000 more than my 2012 Transition Bandit 29, which came with a pretty decent parts spec. Don’t ever see buying a Specialized.

  • VII says:

    That frame is NOT $4,500! It’s $2,950, and it comes with a dropper post with internal routing and the Kashima shock. A dropper post runs $300. So that frame is priced like all other premium carbon frames.

  • cp says:

    Zero 27.5….wrong [wait til spring:)

  • Kuttermax says:

    Nice bike but price is steep. Niner Rip 9 RDO would seem like a reasonable alternative, although Niner’s XX1 $6499 5-star build kit includes only the Revelation front shock and not the nicer Pike. The Niner kit comes with non-carbon American Classic wheels as well.

  • Loll says:

    You mentioned there is a chain tensioner at the top cap. What top cap are you talking about?

  • Mike says:

    Where is the “compare” in these reviews. They read like one long commercial for these bike companies. Blah.

  • Pete says:

    It may be an expensive bike, but what a bike……. I own one and it is spectacular. I love it. I dont care if i could get i bike that is close for less. I want this one. I know its overpriced, but you get what you pay for. If you cant afford it it is a stupid buy, if you can afford it, its not. I hate to burst some bubbles but expensive bikes are sometimes amazing.

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Compare-O First Look: Niner WFO


Madeover 2014 Niner WFO challenges the 27.5 status quo with bigger wheels and bigger travel, yet a small(ish) price tag.

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  • pfs says:

    While the lunchbox is pretty neat and shorter in the CS I think the WFO is better performing. I had the opportunity to ride one recently and it blew me away in terms of handling and pedaling and suspension performance. Shorter is not always best if that is all it has going for it. Not saying that the luchbox is bad, just that shorter is not always better.

  • Greg says:

    The new WFO looks great and represents one hell of a value compared to many other bikes in its class. Kudos to Niner for making so many design changes to the WFO – looking forward to trying one out.

  • Joules says:

    That’s a pretty impressive weight for a 6″ travel aluminum 29er with a dropper post. Especially at that price.

    I wish… since they are specing brakes that will go straight to the trash where they belong anyway, I wish they’d spec Elixer 1s or tektros or something that saves a couple bucks.
    Or, you know, spec Shimano’s that I’d actually keep.

    Also, no internal post routing…

  • phil says:

    I have ridden this wfo and own one. All though didn’t need to I had some i-9 wheels already and carbon bars and made mine 27.4 lbs. The bike climbs like a trail bike and gives you a lot of confidence on the downhills. Although there are a couple (very few) 29ers out there with shorter chainstays the bike turns well and is surprisingly nimble. Just shortening the stays from 17.9 ish and even longer on some bikes a big deal. I have a devinci atlas 29er with 16.9 stays and that is a crazy fun bike but the wfo is a different kind of beast. its ready to haul ass and will save you a few times doing it.

  • Shawn says:

    It needs to drop three pounds.

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Compare-O First Look: Ibis Mojo HDR 650b


The tried and true Ibis Mojo HDR is now offered in the trendy 27.5-inch wheel size. But do the bigger wheels enhance or detract from the performance of this legendary bike?

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  • isaidso says:

    The Spec Highlights copy says it’s a fox 160; the spec list says fox 140. (the photo looks like a 140) Which is it? Either way i’m surprised you didn’t go with the X01 build. Lighter, cleaner, better-er.

  • Lucas H says:

    I don’t know what press release you were reading from when you wrote this “While they were at it, Ibis incorporated much asked-for ISCG-05 chain guide tabs, cable routing for a dropper post, a 12x142mm rear end, and a tapered head tube.” My 2011 Mojo HD has dropper post routing & a tapered head-tube. Also I am running 150mm of 650B love. What’s nice about the HDR is it would be so easy to run the same 150mm of rear travel and have the greater clearance for this tire size. I think that Ibis just didn’t want to deal with having to custom shim the rear shocks for this much travel.

  • Jon says:

    Absolutely love, love, love this bike.
    I have the HDR in the 26/160 setting with the CCDBair CS option.
    A remarkable design. And incredible company.

  • Joe Millionare says:

    Boring. It’s an old bike, old design, and not purpose built for 27.5. Ibis needs to piss or get off the pot.

    • mwandrusz says:

      yeah, its a boring old bike with an old design that looks and rides better than 98% of the mountain bikes in its class 10 years later. Ibis should pay you for your market expertise because it seems no one is buying them 😉

  • derby says:

    Nice Bike! I was one of the early adapters of 650b wheels on my original Mojo Carbon #84 ever made in summer 2006. One big improvement I mad in late 2007 was bolting on 650b x 2.3 wheels and tires and limiting bottom travel very slightly, to raise the BB and pedal clearance from 13.1 to 13.6 inches measured, for cleaning the rough and rocky trail climbs I like to ride with deeper suspension sag. The all new design Mojo HD introduced almost 5 years ago raised the BB about 1/4 inch to 13.75 inches measured with 650b x 2.3 tires, slacked the head and seat angles, and increased travel and tire clearance, which in fact never “buzz chain stays” in either bike 2.3 tires with well built wheels. The HDR has room now for 2.4 tires, without any rub or buzz. Bottom travel with the HD and HDR must be limited to about 150mm with 650b x 2.3 tires to clear the seat tube. For mostly smoother trails, the shorter travel shock and very low BB height HDR 650b makes a snappy 130mm of travel with plenty of seat tube bottom clearance for 2.4 tires. Handling for the more stable 650b size wheels with the HD and HDR is ideal for advanced riders from tight twisty to high flyin’. The newest design Mojo HDR again stretches the lead for all around versatile use Trail/AM/Enduro bike performance : )

  • MB says:

    Maybe for a guy like his name suggests, Joe Millionare, his comment is striaght up and real. But for a guy like me, if I was given the chance I would gladly ride a bike that has good design and good engineering. My 2004 Giant NRS coupled with a hardy engine still leaves many a rider coughing dust. Come ride with us Joe.

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Compare-O First Look: Lapierre Spicy 527


Lapierre’s burly Spicy 527 is ready to rumble with its stout four-bar Horst Link-style suspension, but is the world ready for its electronically-controlled suspension?

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Compare-O First Look: Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon


Santa Cruz’s playful all-day adventure rig looks to have plenty of climbing chops. But will the Fox 32 fork and trim-profile frame be up to the task when things get rowdy?

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  • Shawn says:

    Isn’t the Bronson Santa Cruz’s enduro bike model? I’m curious whh this bike was picked for the comparison instead, unless both are being included.

  • Roger says:

    34T is pretty standard for Enduro Racers. If you are not capable to run 34T gear, how are you qualified to review these Ferraris of Mt. Bikes? I, myself run 34T w/ 1×10 on my NomadC that weights 36lbs.

  • BobbyD says:

    I am pretty sure that chain tension is not used on VPP to minimize rear end bobbing. Is that a typo?

    • Dan Roveto says:

      Nope – The chain does work to keep the rear end in place. If you notice the rear axle’s first movement in the travel is away from the BB thus changing the chain length from BB to rear axle. If you’re pedaling, the tension pulls the rear axle back into place. That is one of the benefits of VPP. The negative of that is that it doesn’t pedal the smoothest because of that changing chain length but I’ve never noticed that on mine.

  • luis says:

    Great looking rig but internal routing is a must here. Specially with the ludicrous price tag!!

  • Richard W says:

    “ENVE carbon AM model, which goes a long way to explaining this bike’s weight .” According to the “bikebuilder” section of the Santa Cruz web site deleting the ENVE upgrade reduces the weight .38 pounds (6 ounces), and the price by $1,745. Does ENVE offer more than a weight savings advantage? I know, its the whole rotating mass thing. Unless I was a sponsored professional racer(not even close), I would delete the ENVE option and get a SUPERLIGHT for the Mrs.

  • Kevin Woodward says:

    If I was a XC rider — and not 6-foot-5 and already madly in love with my Tallboy LT — this would be a ride I would seriously consider. IMHO would give it the nod over the Bronson if I was racing Enduro, too. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the unbridled pleasure of flying down a singletrack on a SC carbon equipped with Enve wheels wouldn’t question the admittedly high price (it’s about the ride, not the weight). The difference is stunning, to say the least. Personally I think you can go with XT rather than XTR and shave the total cost down to a second (as opposed to third) mortgage level. I realize that this is still well out of the range of most riders, for sure, but you have to realize this is a dream bike. If you can afford it, test ride it on your favorite trail and decide for yourself.

  • dmx1 says:

    Enve weels are not much lighter but a lot stiffer than the competition. And that makes a big difference

  • Dan Roveto says:

    I really wouldn’t put any 68 degree head tube angle/125mm suspension bike in the enduro category. The 5010 is a 650B Blur trc which is an awesome trail bike.

  • Sawyer says:

    I hope Santa Cruz never uses internal cable routing, I would pay more not to have it. I have a bike that has internal roughing now and I hate it. Swapping parts is a pain in the rump.

  • Marbroz says:

    Is this bike a good climber? I look for a stumpjumper 2007 replacement, i love the bike but how does it climb vs. E.g. Stumpjumper 29 or Giant Trance? Can anyone answer?

  • Mountaingoatepics says:

    Dan Roveto, sometimes you just have to ride a bike to see what it does. I demo’d a Bronson and a 5010 back in April. I went in thinking the Bronson would be the bike for me with the longer travel but came away disappointed with experience. It felt sluggish and front heavy.
    I had actually dismissed the 5010, getting ready to demo a Rip 9 when a buddy said, “just try it”. It absolutely slayed the trails of Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. Riding like a bike with 30mm more travel. It felt bottomless and snappy responsive.
    Marbroz..This bike can climb as well. It digs in and wants to climb technical climbs and the VPP works so well that if you have to climb a fireroad, I could happily hang with my singlespeed buddies, standing up and punching the pedals to maintain pace.
    I was soo happy with that demo (one that lasted 5 days, 120 miles and close to 20,000 ft of climbing and descending) that I just bought a frame and am slowly building it up as I can.

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Compare-O First Look: Fezzari Timp Peak


Fezzari ain’t a Ferrari, but its Timp Peak AM Bike is still pretty damn sexy and light to boot.

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Compare-O First Look: Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 0


Giant’s 24-pound Trance Advanced has us both a little excited and a little nervous. Can a bike this feathery handle our aggressive test track?

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