Browsing category

Bike Tests

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 […]

Trail Testing: Ibis Mojo HD 160

An Inside Look at What’s In the Test Fleet: The Ibis Mojo HD 160 Good Mojo: The Mojo has always been a popular bike. It delivers sound performance and clean lines at them same time. While you won’t see this bike at the top of the podium at any cross-country or hill climb events, it […]

Bike Test: GT Karakoram 1.0

A Bike Ready for Many Peaks The GT Karakoram line of 29er aluminum hardtails is named after the Karakoram mountain range that borders Pakistan, India and China. This range is known for the highest concentration of mountain peaks over five miles tall found anywhere on earth. It is GT’s lofty goal to reach as many riding peaks […]

Bike Test: Turner DHR

Low-and-Slack Aluminum Rocket Ship Turner has been making the DHR since 2000, and since its inception, it has been a privateer racer’s dream bike. It has been through four iterations, and many of the previous generations can still be seen in the lift lines at bike parks worldwide. This is not a disposable bike; it’s […]

Bike Test: Cannondale Jekyll 4 Aluminum

The year 2012 marks the second year for the redesigned Cannondale Jekyll trailbike. This bike uses what Cannondale calls Enhanced Center Stiffness Torsion Control, or ECS-TC for short. We asked to test the lowest- priced version so that this everyman trailbike would be close to affordable for every man. WHO IS IT MADE FOR? The […]

Bike Test: Intense M9 FRO

On Any Sunday The Intense M9 FRO Intense’s M series bikes have been at the forefront of downhill racing since the iconic M1 was introduced in 1994. Though the bikes have been through many incarnations, Intense has always stayed true to their design theory: build bikes for the fastest racers; listen to their input, and […]

Bike Test: Rocky Mountain Element 950

A 29er Smooth as Maple Syrup   Rocky Mountain Element 950   The Element line has long been a staple in Rocky Mountain’s cross-country offerings. For 2012, 29er fans can finally rejoice, thanks to the addition of three new 29-inch wheel models. The Element 950 is the middle child of the series and does a […]

Bike Test: Trek Slash 9

Get Ready to Slash Some Singletrack The Trek Slash 9 Trek has improved their suspension technology by leaps and bounds over the years. Their commitment to excellence can be seen in their dedicated SoCal suspension R&D facility and their partnerships with world-class riders Rene Wildhaber, Ross Schnell and Aaron Gwin. When you’re building bikes for […]

Bike Test: Niner R.I.P. 9

Your Favorite Trail Just Got Better The Niner R.I.P. 9 Niner specializes in bikes designed around 29-inch wheels. They are so committed to the wheel size that the company has never offered a model with traditional 26-inch wheels and have no plans to do so. This laser-like focus has allowed them to concentrate all their […]

Bike Test: Pivot Phoenix

Pivot founder Chris Cocalis made a name for himself building legendary cross-country race bikes and do-itall trailbikes, but his passion for speed (Chris is a former BMX and motocross racer) led him to sponsor a downhill race team. This commitment meant Pivot could not simply modify their Mach 5.7 or Firebird; a dedicated downhill race […]

Bike Test: Giant XTC Composite 0

The Giant XTC Composite 0  A racing thoroughbred that loves to shred trails   Giant, despite its namesake, entered the 29er game a bit late. They unveiled their first alloy 29er hardtail, the XCT 29er, in 2009. Now they are making up for lost time with an expanded line of 29ers that includes everything from […]

Bike Test: Orbea Alma 29er S30

The Orbea Alma 29er S30 Pride Of Spain Two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion Julien Absalon has been racing for Orbea since 2005. When he’s not winning races or training, Absalon spends time with the engineers at Orbea, bouncing around ideas and testing prototypes to further develop fast race bikes. Arguably, the Alma […]

Bike Test: Spot Rocker SS

The Spot Rocker SS Taking the Belt to You Single-speeders have carved out a niche for themselves in the mountain biking universe. These riders place far more emphasis on the rider than the bike. Their four-pronged attack of the mountain includes mechanical simplicity, physical superiority, honed bike handling skills and raw determination. Inside this exclusive […]

Bike Test: Niner Jet 9 RDO

Niner Jet 9 RDO Carbon here we come Niner has always been a small company willing to swim with the sharks instead of the guppies, and this means they cannot and will not release “me too” products. That’s why after three years of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and testing, Niner has come to the table […]

Bike Test: Giant Glory 0

  The Giant Glory 0 World Championship Performance The Giant Glory downhill race bike was thrown into the limelight last fall when team rider Danny Hart annihilated the field at the Downhill World Championship. At an event that is usually won by thousandths of a second, Danny and his Glory decimated the field by putting […]

Bike Test: GT Zaskar Expert

The all-new GT Zaskar 100 takes the place of GT’s Marathon line, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. While it will handle all the chores that the Marathons set out to accomplish, this little rocket has its sights set on a larger target. And it bucks the big wheel trend by sticking to 26-inch […]

Bike Test: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon Evo

  Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon Evo Blurring The Lines Of Conventional Wisdom The Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon Evo (whew, that’s a long name) aims at being a more aggressive version of the do-it-all Stumpjumper. The Stumpy Evo sits between the standard Stumpjumper FSR model and their at- home-at-a-bike-park Enduro in terms of suspension travel, […]

Bike Test: BMC Trailfox TF01

Swiss Army Knife BMC’s 2012 Trailfox TF01 We promised to follow up on our preview of the 2012 Trailfox (MBA, August 2011), and we have now spent enough time on the bike to give the final verdict. Did our initial impressions change? WHO IS IT MADE FOR? All-mountain and enduro riders rejoice; the Trailfox is […]

Bike Test: Airborne Wingman

The growing popularity of jump bikes, based more closely on conventional 26-inch-wheeled mountain bikes than 20-inch-wheeled BMX bikes, has been paralleled by another growth trend?their cost. Jump bikes were once thought of as disposable?use ’em, abuse ’em, recycle ’em. These bikes were often built using tough components on used frames. Now, it is not uncommon […]

Bike Test: The Ellsworth Evolution 29er??

If 29-inch wheels had not gained wide acceptance, the concept of one bike that does it all would be a pipe dream. You would have to have one bike for your daily rides (say an Ellsworth Glimpse), one for those times you wanted to slap a number plate on (an Enlightenment) and one for when […]

Bike Test: The Pivot Firebird

Long-Travel Bird Of Prey: The Pivot Firebird The Firebird is a remarkable bike. No doubt about it. With nearly 7 inches of rear wheel travel, it’s almost a downhill bike on paper. However, this test bike was built to show the frame’s versatility. It tips the scales at less than 30 pounds and is obviously […]

Bike Test: The Scott Genius LT

Long-travel trailbikes have become a popular weapon of choice for riders looking to blur the lines between cross-country, all-mountain and downhill. Scott’s most recent venture into this segment is the 2011 Genius LT, sporting 7.3 inches of travel. While this amount of travel is typically reserved for heavier and more aggressive black-diamond bikes, the Genius maintains […]

Bike Test: The Kona Unit Singlespeed

In this day of dual-suspension mountain bikes, with their heavily defended patents, licensing agreements, rising rates, falling rates, single pivots, multiple pivots, pedaling platforms and special tools just to set them up properly, there are riders who long for a simpler time when you could just hop on a bike and go riding. Kona senses […]