Outerbike photo preview of 2015’s hottest mountain bikes

Demo fest a magic mix of Moab trails, sweet rides and a little Western Spirit

27.5 Event Fat Bike News Outerbike Test Sessions
Outerbike gives riders a chance to check out next year' bikes in a premier mountain bike destination--Moab, Utah. Photo by Matt Woodley

Outerbike gives riders a chance to check out next year’ bikes in a premier mountain bike destination–Moab, Utah. Photo by Matt Woodley

Scoring credentials to Interbike’s Outdoor Demo used to be the über bike geek’s golden ticket to riding all of next year’s bikes before anyone else. But because Interbike is a trade-only event, the practice is frowned upon, and ultimately an expensive and less-than-ideal scenario, given the traditionally blistering hot temperatures, and loose, unforgiving terrain of its Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park demo venue.

Sensing an opportunity, the smart folks at outfitter Western Spirit Cycling created the consumer-centric Outerbike event in their home town of Moab, Utah, figuring the allure of a real mountain biking destination would be a more fitting scenario for bringing brands and riders together. If their growing attendance numbers, ever-expanding list of exhibitors, and the addition of more such events in 2015 are any indication, they were right.

Longtime Mtbr forum contributors Kent Robertson and Matt Woodley made the pilgrimage to Moab a couple weeks back and graciously lent us their photos here. They’ve also done some of their own reviews which you get to through the Mtbr Forums here. We’ll be covering a number of these whips in our own upcoming reviews, so consider this a visual preview. – The Editors

2015 Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1

File under: Mean Green Enduro Machine

Giant Reign 27.5 1 Yellow-Green

The green and yellow livery of the Giant Reign 27.5 1 reminds us of the old tagline “Nothing runs like a Deer,” but you’d never mistake this 160mm-travel carbon beauty for a lawn tractor. Photo by Matt Wooley

Giant Maestro Suspension

Giant’s Maestro suspension just keeps getting better and the 27.5-inch-tuned version of it is dialed. Photo by Matt Woodley

Race to the bikes

Despite its non-competitive vibe, there’s a frantic LeMans start each morning to get to the most coveted demo bikes first. Photo by Matt Woodley.

Reign spec highlights

Spec highlights include a 130-160mm RockShox Pike RC Dual Position Air fork, RockShox Monarch Plus Debonair RC3 shock and a Rockshox Reverb Stealth seatpost. Photo by Matt Woodley

Giant drivetrain

The Reign also features a Shimano XT/SLX 2×10 drivetrain, an MRP 2x chainguide and a Giant performance wheelset wrapped in Schwalbe tires. Photo by Matt Woodley

Travel: 130-160mm f/160mm r Wheel Size: 27.5-inches
MSRP: $4,750
More info: giant-bicycles.com

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About the author: Kent Robertson

Kent Robertson (better known to Mtbr forum users as KRob) is just a guy who likes to ride. A lot. Kent’s 52 and has been riding mountain bikes for almost two decades, though he says his love of two-wheeled conveyances began when he was 5. His favorite trail type is any, be it fast and flowy, steep and chunky, or jumpy and droppy. Even a mellow bike path cruise with his wife makes him happy. “If I’m on two wheels it’s a good day.” Kent calls Ely, Nevada, home, but he’s ridden all over the western U.S. from Moab and Fruita, to Tahoe and Oregon, to a bunch of places in between. And while Kent focuses on the ride more than the bike, he’s ridden and tested a ton of bikes and knows what makes for a good ride — and a good bike. You can read more from Kent on his personal website, www.stuckinthespokes.com

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  • AZGoat says:

    No Kona Process 134? It’s one of the standout bikes at any price. When cost is considered, it becomes a top pick…

    • Kent Robertson says:

      Sorry guys, I just didn’t get to the Kona tent. The Process was on my list. Just too many bikes, and not enough time. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Process. Would love to have ridden it.

  • Tom says:

    So are bicycles with 29 inch wheels even made anymore?

  • Colin says:

    29ers was a fad ,which never caught on in Europe.
    Best bike by far over here – YT Capra

  • jack says:

    if you ride rocky . rooty trails like we do up here in BC. 29ers rule

  • Mark says:

    Kent –
    We’re hoping that KONA will be back at Spring Outerbike, March 13th-15th and if so, you should come on down again and try one of the Process models

    • KRob says:

      Had a chance to ride the Process 111 with 27+ tires/wheels down in St. George a couple weeks ago. Not sure what was more impressive, the Process, the 27+ Trailblazers, or the combination.

  • J H says:

    I dig the review so far in that they give pros and CONs. Most of the time when I read bike reviews its all roses, which doesn’t help me any. I like how we get opinionated reviews here, keep it up

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