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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  • 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.

    • Ron says:

      13psi?! Haha! Okay! You must just ride in a straight line on pavement smooth trails. I would hit the rim doing a simple manual with 13psi and I weigh 165lbs. Your comment is a great reminder to consider the source when reading Internet opinion.

  • 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.

  • Daniel Mora says:

    Thanks for the awesome review! how tall are you? I’m 6’3” and thinking of going for the XL (35.5 inch inseam)

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