29er Reviews

Best new mountain bikes of 2015

Our favorite new 27.5”, 29”, and plus sized steeds

This past year, the Mtbr staff has ridden everything from electric assist fat bikes to ultra light cross-country whippets. But only a handful of those bikes could make it onto our Best of 2015 list. And the winners are…

We predict The Following is going to be one of the most emulated bikes of 2016.

We predict The Following will be one of the most emulated bikes of 2016 (click to enlarge).

Evil The Following

With its impressive BMX-like handling and downhill prowess, the short travel Evil 29er doesn’t handle like anything else we’ve ever ridden. Think of it as the two-wheeled offspring of a Mazda Miata and a trophy truck. Check out our First Ride Review.

The Ripley is now available in two different versions, one with the original geometry we loved for XC ripping, and this more trail oriented slayer.

The Ripley is now available in two different versions, one with the original geometry we loved for XC ripping and this more trail oriented slayer (click to enlarge).

Ibis Ripley LS

How do make an already incredible bike even more fun? You make it longer and slacker. The new Ibis Ripley LS also features improved cable routing, better tire clearance, and has a threaded bottom bracket. Learn more here.

A complete Mach 6 Alloy retails for nearly the same cost as some carbon frames!

The complete Mach 6 Alloy costs about the same as some carbon frames. (click to enlarge)

Pivot Mach 6 Alloy

We loved the original Pivot Mach 6 but the price tag kept it out of the reach of most mortals. This year, the brand has righted that wrong with a new alloy version that starts at $3500. Check out our first ride impressions here.

The 5010 and Bronson couldn’t be more different in terms of handling, but we’re grouping the two together due to their similar appearance and impressive versatility.

The 5010 and Bronson couldn’t be more different in terms of handling, but we’re grouping the two together due to similar appearance and impressive versatility (click to enlarge).

Santa Cruz 5010 2.0 and Bronson 2.0

While sequels rarely live up to the originals, Santa Cruz has outdone themselves yet again. The new 5010 and Bronson are slacker, longer, and even more capable than the previous models. They also retain a threaded bottom bracket and have some of the best internal cable routing on the market. For more info, check out our full length review of the 5010 and First Look at the Bronson 2.

Continue to page 2 for more of the best new mountain bikes of 2015 »
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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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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