Mtbr’s top 10 most read articles in 2016

First looks, bike reviews, and product round-ups lead the way

27.5 29er Components Cross Country E-bike Enduro Plus Tires
YT Jeffsy CF Comp 1

With a roster that includes freeriding legends Cam Zink and Andreu Lacondeguy, YT’s choice to release a long travel 29er drew lots of attention.

1. YT Jeffsy CF Comp 1 first ride review

YT, short for Young Talents, is best known for its well-priced direct-to-consumer model, which leans heavily towards the rowdy side. Until earlier this year, their entire product line consisted of a dirt jumper, enduro rig, and downhill bike. The obvious missing piece was a trail bike, but no one expected the form it would eventually take. Learn more about the YT Jeffsy here.

Santa Cruz Hightower Plus 29er

The Santa Cruz Hightower is the ideal bike for high mileage adventures.

2. Santa Cruz Hightower launched

The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT was the bike that sold many riders on the concept of a long travel 29er. It was efficient, versatile, and feathery light. When it launched back in 2012, it arguably set the standard for big-wheeled trail bikes. Naturally, we were all curious if its successor, the Hightower, could live up to the reputation. By now, you probably know Santa Cruz has hit another home run.

Scott Spark RC 29er

After 24 months of development, Scott ditched the previous top-tube mounted shock design in favor a seat tube mounted rocker.

3. 2017 Scott Spark first look

This year Scott completely revamped the Spark line up by revising the suspension linkage, shaving weight, and offering a plus option. You could say it’s now a family of three different bikes: the 100mm race rig Nino Schurter rode to a record-tying fifth world championship title and Olympic gold, the more trail oriented 120mm travel bike, and of course a plus version. Curious about the full range? Check out our detailed first look/ride impressions on the Scott Spark here.

Specialized Enduro 650B concept drawing

The Specialized Enduro fills the role of a pedal friendly Demo, so we wondered if the new enduro rig might borrow design cues from the DH rig.

4. Is this the new 2017 Specialized Enduro

Specialized was one of the last major players to embrace the 27.5 wheel size, and their initial foray was a bit of a Franken-bike. It shared the front triangle from the prior 26” version and paired it with a revised rear end and shock yoke. Surprisingly, the end result rode pretty well. After two years, however, the design was feeling dated. The bike was obviously due for an upgrade and many of us wondered if the new bike would borrow design cues from the gorgeous single-sided Demo. Now that the new bike is officially here, you can enjoy our early speculations.

9 Dream Bikes

Nine Dream Bikes: GT Fury World Cup, Marin Attack Trail Pro, Norco Aurum C7.1, BMC Team Elite 01, Intense M16 Factory, Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 799 MSL, Pivot Cycles Mach 6 Carbon XTR Di2, Scott Spark 700 Ultimate, Cannondale Habit Hi-Mod Black Inc.

5. Nine dream bikes that will break your budget

We all love to hate on the cost of new bikes, but if money was no object, who wouldn’t love one of these carbon wonder machines?

Specialized Enduro 650B

The new Specialized Enduro will be available in 27.5, 27.5+, and 29er variants.

6. 2017 Specialized Enduro first ride

Ok, if you’ve been reading through the list, you’re probably laughing at us. While we did guess correctly that the Enduro was due for a refresh, we were wrong (and right) about a lot of other details. If you want a refresher on all the facts, you can find Mtbr’s first look and ride review of the Specialized Enduro here.

Fat Bike Tires

Choosing the right tires for your fat bike is arguably the most important component decision you’ll make.

7. 10 top notch fat bike tires

When it comes to fat bikes, choosing the right tires is key. Depending on your use, you’ll need to balance durability, weight, tread pattern, and budget. Luckily, we did the homework so you didn’t have to. Here’s a round-up of 1o top notch fat bike tires.

SRAM Eagle 1x12 Drivetrain XX1 Gold

That 50t cog may look ridiculous, but it’s welcome on brutal climbs.

8. and 9. SRAM Eagle 1×12 drivetrain

Our Nos. 8 and 9 stories revolved around SRAM’s new 12-speed Eagle drivetrain. This topic was so hot, that three different Eagle related stories made into our top 30 most trafficked articles this year. If you haven’t ridden the new drivetrain, you might wrongly assume this new drivetrain was merely an attempt to escalate the drivetrain wars. Turns out, they’ve also added a host of non-gearing related improvements, as well as a huge range. For launch day specs, check out our story here. We also have affirst ride review here and long term impressions.

Kona Honzo

It used to be that hardtails where the weapon of choice for World Cup level XC racers. But recently that’s changed.

When Did XC racing get so gnarly

In 2016, a flood of new cross-country bikes hit the market. While they continued to be marketed as lighter and faster, this was also a distinct shift in geometry. Many of these short travel thoroughbreds grew longer, slacker, and more capable. To find out why these bikes morphed, Mtbr interviewed World Cup racers Lea Davison and Howie Grotts.

Specialized Turbo Levo

The Turbo Levo is Specialized’s first crack at the electric MTB market.

10. Specialized Turbo Levo e-bike

The emergence of the eMTB category in the U.S. sparked a ton of controversy. Whatever your stance, there was enough interest in this topic to catapult the Mtbr first ride review of the Specialized Turbo Levo e-bike to number 10 on this list.

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