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Bike Tests

Bike Test: Niner RIP 9 RDO

Niner is a small company with a strong sense of identity and big ambitions. Whereas others may waver in the face of ever-changing public opinion, the folks at Niner have remained steadfast in their dedication to building the best 29er bikes possible. In fact, Niner believes they’re the only bikes worth building. Don’t even bother […]

Bike Test: Specialized Enduro Comp 29

After years of fighting to prove the benefits of 29-inch wheels for cross-country and short-travel trailbike designs, most 29er proponents were satisfied with what they had accomplished and accepted that the limit had been reached. Most mountain bikers assumed that the big wheels were only compatible with so much suspension travel and that there would […]

Bike Test: GT Xizang 9R

Back in the ’90s, the GT Xizang was highly coveted by cross-country racers everywhere. Based on the popular Zaskar’s geometry and using GT’s signature triple triangle frame design, the Xizang took things one step further, as it was built from titanium rather than aluminum. Flash-forward to 2012. GT reintroduced the Xizang as a frame-only option, complete […]

Bike Test: Foes F275

Foes is a small outfit nestled at the base of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Pasadena, California. The trails right outside its door are some of our favorites for testing bikes, and it’s not uncommon for us to run into Foes employees out testing their new prototypes. The F275 is Foes’ first experiment with the […]

Bike Test: Specialized P.3

If you search the Specialized website for P.Series models, don’t look in the mountain bike section. They are not there. Specialized set up a BMX/dirt jump section to showcase this little stick of dynamite, because the P.Series doesn’t fit neatly into any mountain bike category?and that may be its appeal. For a devoted segment of […]

Bike Test: Cannondale Trigger 29er 1

We joked when we tested the over-mountain-category Cannondale Trigger 1 (November 2012), “there might only be one reason why you would hold off on getting the Trigger 1. There is a Trigger 29er coming down the trail in 2013. Sorry if we just made your decision a little harder.” Well, it turns out that we […]

Trail Testing: Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon Evo R 29

The 2013 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon Evo R 29 is a purpose-built cross-country race bike. As if the Stumpjumper Expert Carbon hardtail wasn’t efficient enough, the Evo R takes it one step further with a rigid carbon fork and a 1×10 drivetrain. While it’s certainly not the one bike for every riding situation, there will […]

Bike Test: Giant Anthem X 29er 4

American trail riders have spoken. Just two years after Giant first introduced a 29er to the Anthem X family, it stands alone as the sole offering for 2013. We were blown away when we tested Giant’s first full-suspension 29er, but that was with their top-level component spec. Now that Giant is offering their popular Anthem […]

Bike Test: Pivot Firebird Project Build

We tested the Pivot Firebird for the September 2011 issue of Mountain Bike Action and loved it. This time, we opted to approach the bike as a “Project MBA” build rather than relying on a standard Pivot build kit. We decided to go with a dreams-do-come-true component mix, top to bottom, with no expenses spared. What […]

Bike Test: Moots Divide MX 29er

Moots handcrafts each one of their frames in their small factory nestled in the Rocky Mountains in Steamboat Springs. Their suspension designs date back to 1987, when the first YBB (Why Be Beat) soft tail rolled off the production line and quickly became Moots’ signature bike. Since then, despite many changes to the company and […]

Bike Test: Trek Stache 8

At a time when bike companies and riders are endlessly looking for ways to improve full-suspension trailbikes, Trek is taking a different approach with the Stache. While it is not the first aggressive hardtail trailbike, when a company as large as Trek breaks the mold with a new bike, riders take notice. That must be […]

Bike Test: Norco Sight Killer B-1

As 27.5-inch wheels are taking the mountain bike world by storm, there are still questions as to where the standard will fit into the big picture. Over the last few years, we have ridden 27.5-inch-wheeled bikes designed for all types of riding, but many believe that the optimal place for them is in the trailbike […]

Trail Testing: Specialized Enduro Comp 29er

This month we are logging miles on the trail on the brand-new Specialized Enduro Comp 29. This bike is a first of it’s kind, blending 29-inch wheels with 6.1-inches of travel.  From Specialized: “They said it couldn’t be done?a 155mm-travel 29er. The groundbreaking Enduro 29 is the ultimate All-Mountain machine for riders in search of […]

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 […]