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Bike Tests

Bike Test: Kona Process

There seems to be an unwritten mountain biking law that says if you ride a Kona with over 4 inches of travel, you are expected?no, required?to abuse it beyond reason. Kona owners expect their steeds to be tougher than they are, and complaining or whining is not tolerated. Kona seems to understand this better than […]

Bike Test: GT Zaskar 100 9R Pro

When Gary Turner built the first GT bike in 1979, he probably didn’t know that GT would become one of the most iconic brands in mountain biking. While the company has been through its share of ups and downs since the first bike rolled off the production line, their lineage is second to none. The […]

Bike Test: Trek Fuel EX 9

When Trek set out to design the new Fuel EX, they up when the wheel moves deep into its travel. We’ve had wanted to set the bar for mountain bike versatility. The bike they came up with pulls from their extensive ride time and research with some of the best riders on the planet. The […]

Bike Test: Scott Genius 710

For the last year, the buzz in the mountain bike world has been all about 27-inch wheels. While this new wheel standard has become the talk of the town, many of the most well-known bike makers have not jumped on board. Scott Bikes, however, has committed to the new standard by introducing the Genius 700 […]

Bike Test: Giant Trance X 29er 0

With the majority of 29ers, there is just no hiding the fact that you are riding 29-inch wheels. Experienced riders raised on 26-inch wheels can articulate the pros (less affected by the trail surface, increased momentum and amazing traction) and cons (additional wheel weight and great momentum until you lose it) after a short ride. […]

Bike Test: Yeti SB-66 Carbon

Many riders believe that Yeti is a Colorado company through and through. They overlook the fact that the ocompany was originally founded in Agoura Hills, California, by Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member John Parker when mountain biking was in its infancy. The current company is a whole new crew, but they’re just as passionate […]

Wheel Wars: 26″ vs 27.5″ vs 29″ Shootout Video

Last year Mountain Bike Action took three Jamis hardtails and conducted a shootout. The difference? The wheel sizes. There was a 26, 27.5 and a 29er in the mix. You can read the entire shootout by clicking here. Three wheel sizes go knob-to-knob; 26-inch, 27.5-inch and 29-inch. We pick our favorite and give you the […]

Bike Test: Cannondale F29 3

While full-suspension bikes have become popular in cross-country racing, hardtails still have an important place in the world of mountain biking. They are easy to maintain, incredibly efficient on fast and smooth trails, cost less than their full-suspension counterparts, and can teach valuable skills by forcing riders to choose their lines carefully. Cannondale’s F29 may […]

Bike Test: Transition TR250

While we love to watch World Cup downhill racers smash down gnarly terrain on the edge of losing it, most riders’ experience at the local bike park is a far cry from that scenario. If you are like us, you gravitate toward the trails that have the most fun features: jumps, technical but not necessarily […]

Bike Test: Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR Carbon 29

If you are steadying yourself because you already saw the $9900 price tag, take a deep breath. Specialized offers the Stumpjumper FSR 29 and 26-inch-wheeled versions at various price points. Specialized didn’t build the S-Works to hit a predetermined budget; instead, they built this bike to see how far they could push the boundaries of […]

Bike Test: Intense Carbine 275

Yep, that’s better: While the larger wheels would kill the handling of a normal bike, the Carbine is ripe for the change. We were skeptical when we heard about it, but were impressed with the changes the new hoops make.  Intense takes a lot of pride in being an American company. Their production has always been […]

Bike Test: Felt Edict Nine LTD 29er

The year 2013 is an important year for Felt Bicycles. With the introduction of several brand-new and redesigned models, the Southern California-based company is making yet another big push. Back in 2009, Felt Bicycles was one of the first companies to introduce a carbon fiber 29er. This year, they are again pushing the boundaries in […]

Bike Test: Foes Shaver 29

Brent Foes didn’t set out to be a bike manufacturer. Nearly 20 years ago, after a number of years as a professional motocross racer and then designing and building off-road race trucks, he looked at the state of mountain bike designs and thought that he could do better. Drawing from his design and engineering experience, […]

Trail Testing: Trek Stache Eight

“Welcome to the future. Stache breaks new trail bike ground, blending 29er hardtail simplicity and fun with trail-tuned suspension, geometry, and spec. Trail, meet your new master.” – Trek Bicycles The Stache is the latest addition to Trek’s Gary Fisher Collection and in a sense embodies the collection better than any other bike in the […]

Our Long-Term Pivot Mach 5.7 Gets SRAM-erized

Southern California needs the rain so we are not complaining. Still our SRAM project Pivot Mach 5.7 is ready to roll and the trails this weekend were too soft from the rain to set a knobby on them. The sun will shine again and we’ll be putting a lot of hours on this little beauty. […]

Bike Test: Cannondale Trigger 1

Many choices: Riders need to fine-tune the shock to get everything out of the Trigger. Cannondale’s System Integration extends to the stem. The long stays would be noodles if Cannondale hadn’t connected everything with massive 15-millimeter axles as the pivots. Cannondale felt something was missing. Their aggressive trailbike/gravity category, referred to as “Over-Mountain” by Cannondale, […]

Bike Test: Windsor C29 Pro

We traced the Windsor brand name back to a Mexican bike company that had a tie-in with Eddy Merckx in the ’70s, but don’t quote us on that. The history is spotty and doesn’t have any bearing on what Windsor is today—a new line of bikes from the same guys who are behind Motobecane. Like […]

Bike Test: Marin Mount Vision XM6

Secret trick: There is one add-on component that would greatly enhance the XM6’s already impressive downhill chops. For many riders, the adventure of mountain biking is all about tackling a wide variety of terrain, and that is exactly what this bike is all about. While the Mount Vision shares its model name with many before […]

Bike Test: Ibis Mojo HD 160

Scot Nicol started Ibis Bikes way back when mountain biking was in its infancy in 1981. The first bikes were rolled out of a garage shop in Mendocino, California. These first versions were not like the technology-driven super bikes of today, but they were based on the motto Ibis has always built their bikes by: […]

Bike Test: Rocky Mountain Element 970 RSL

After being impressed by Rocky Mountain’s aluminum Element 29er, we couldn’t help but think about how the rig would improve with some carbon DNA. Only a year after Rocky Mountain entered the 29er market, our wish came true. It’s time to see if the Element has really been taken to the next level. WHO IS […]

Bike Test: Turner 5.Spot

We tested our first Turner 5.Spot way back in 2003 and have witnessed years of evolutionary (as well as revolutionary) changes to Turner’s Swiss army knife of mountain bikes. The 5.Spot we test here, called version 4.2, uses the same dw-link rear suspension as the 5.Spot we tested in 2009, but that’s pretty much where […]

Bike Test: Felt Virtue Elite

Full-Tilt Carbon On A Budget Felt redesigned their Virtue lineup to offer all-new carbon and aluminum versions. Think of this as the classic trailbike. WHO IS IT MADE FOR? With 5.1 inches of travel, the Virtue is a mid-travel trail- bike with very tight and nimble geometry. The design caters to the cross-country rider or […]

Bike Test: Specialized Camber Comp Carbon 29er

It’s no secret that here at MBA we have touted the 29er’s benefits in many cross-country and trail situations. But with the recent push for longer-travel options, we were curious about how much travel is necessary for the big-wheel platform. Specialized’s Epic and Stumpjumper big-wheel, full-suspension options have been big hits with us. Could the […]

Bike Test: Norco Sight 3

While mountain biking can be divided into countless sub-genres, the bulk of mountain bikers consider themselves trail riders. “Trailbike” is definitely a less-than-specific term, but that is the great thing about it. Norco looks to please the masses with the Sight 3, classified by Norco as an “all-mountain trail/enduro” bike. WHO IS IT MADE FOR? […]

Bike Test: Niner Air 9 RDO

As their name implies, Niner Bikes is committed to big wheels. An early adopter of the 29er wheel size, Niner has been pushing the limits of the standard ever since—from minimalist, rigid single-speeds to burly, 5-inch-travel bikes. While Niner’s Air 9 Carbon previously occupied the dreams of cross-country racers everywhere, there is a new sheriff […]

Bike Test: Nukeproof Snap Comp

In 4-Cross and dual slalom, every second counts. The races are short, the tracks are packed with obstacles and, with up to three other riders on the course at a time, banging bars is almost a given. While this style of racing is not what comes to most riders’ minds when they think about mountain […]

Shootout: Attack of the Killer B

   Developed when mountain bikers had one bike for everything from cross-country to downhill, the 26-inch wheel was the undisputed standard mountain bike wheel size. As designers pushed the limits of frames and suspension, manufacturers began experimenting with larger-diameter, 29-inch wheels for specific types of riding. Cross-country and trail riders slowly (we are talking about a […]

Bike Test: Specialized Demo 8 II

Unleash the Monster   The Demo 8 II is Specialized’s top downhill race platform. It’s been refined over the years by the fastest bike racers and some of the best bicycle engineers on the planet. The Demo 8 is on every serious downhill racer’s shortlist of gravity race whips. WHO IS IT MADE FOR?   This […]

Trail Testing: Marin Mount Vision XM6

An Inside Look at What’s In the Test Fleet: Marin Mount Vision XM6 The Mount Vision receives a new frame design with goals of improved handling, increased stiffness and a lighter overall weight. At the heart of the new design is Marin’s Quadlink 3.0 suspension. The design is claimed to improve the leverage rate on […]