2015 giant mountain bike

2015 giant mountain bike DEFAULT

First Look: 2015 Giant Trance and Reign – Plus Actual Weights

2015 Giant Trance_Range_0

Last year, while the other members of the Big Three had not fully committed to the 27.5″ wheel size, Giant proclaimed that this was the future of the sport, and launched an extensively redesigned lineup that featured dozens of new 27.5″ models.

At Crankworx, we took the opportunity to visit with the company and take a closer look at the Carbon Trance and all new Reign.

2015 Giant Trance_Range_1

Roughly two years, Giant introduced a new headset standard called Overdrive that specific to their own bikes. Rather than having a 1 1/8th inch diameter, these forks has a diameter of 1 1/4, and tapered down to 1.5″, which they claimed resulted in a 30% increase in stiffness at the handlebar.

The new standard created a headache for customers, so the rep we spoke with stated that going forward all of Giant’s bikes will just use the industry standard for tapered head tubes.

2015 Giant Trance Weight

The Trance is available in two different versions. A SX trim which sports a 160mm Pike up front, or the Advanced pictured above which has a 140mm fork. Both bikes have 140mm of rear travel.

The fanciest trim of the Trance Advanced retails for $7,750. That kind of money nets you a 25 lbs 13 oz (11.7 kg) bike, but prices for a complete start at $3,600.

2015 Giant Trance_Range_2

The Reign 27.5 2 retails for $3,400 and is the entry level version of Giant’s new Enduro race worthy platform. With 160mm of travel front and rear, high quality suspension, and a Deore level build kit throughout, it’s a pretty solid build for the money.

2015 Giant Trance_Range_4

All of the Reign bikes, regardless of price point, will receive a dropper. In the case of this entry level build, it’s the Giant Contact SL. The cool thing about this post is that the internals can be flipped, so that the dropper cable can be routed externally or internally.

2015 Giant Trance_Range_3

Like the other bikes in Giant’s line up, the Reign utilizes the much heralded Maestro Link suspension platform.

2015 Giant Reign 27.5

Weight for this bike, with aggressive tire tread front and back, plus lots of room for upgrades is 32 lbs 9 oz (14.7 kg).

2015 Giant Trance_Range_5

On the other end of the spectrum, the Reign Advanced 27.5 0 Team model represents Giant’s top of the line offering. Retailing for $8,250, it’s sports a carbon front triangle, and the best of the best.

2015 Giant Trance_Range_6

Giant bikes have been rather beige in the past, but this year the graphics have been carried subtly throughout.

2015 Giant Trance_Range_7

Spec’d with a wide bar, short stem, and a top guide with a lower bash, the Reign is ready to shred right out of the box.

2015 Giant Trance_Range_8

Despite the huge 2.35″ Schwalbe tires, there is still plenty of breathing room in the rear triangle.

2015 Giant Trance 27.5 Team

Weight for the bike is a respectable 27 lb 10z (12.5 kg ).

Giant

Sours: https://bikerumor.com/2014/08/27/first-look-2015-giant-trance-and-reign-plus-actual-weights/

Just looking at the silhouette of the new Giant Reign, its intent is clear. It looks like it has been squashed by a mighty ‘gnar’ hammer – now lower, longer, and slacker than its previous incarnation. This thing wants to crush downhills.

Update August 2016: This is a review of the 2015 model, we’ve also reviewed the current Giant Reign 1 2016!

The Giant Reign 2.

Boy is it long: the reach is 458mm in the Large size, adding up to a whopping 1217mm wheelbase. Not only is it the longest, but it’s also the cheapest bike in the test by a long shot. At a third of the price of the most expensive bike, we were keen to see what you get for your money when buying on a budget.

[emaillocker id=”103612″]
The Reign has been around for a while and is tried and tested, how would the latest incarnation face up?

Looking at the frame we were impressed. The smooth, clean lines of the hydroformed frame and neat internal routing scream quality, a bargain at this price point. As we moved further down the build kit, as expected we started to see cost-cutting. The 2×10 Shimano Deore / SLX drivetrain adds a considerable range of gears, but also adds to the considerable weight. Despite their budget price tag, all agreed that the Deore brakes were faultless. The cockpit was ‘all business’ too with Giant’s own Contact 800mm bar and a 40mm Truvativ stem, and we were pleased to see a Stealth Reverb.

Climbing onto the long and low Reign, it feels like you could take on a world cup downhill race. The 160mm of Maestro suspension feels super active, and we knew it was going to love the descents. The Reign certainly proved its title on rough tracks; when all was going to hell in loose rock, the Maestro suspension kept everything under control. The long front centre holds ridiculous speed over rocks – sitting low and stable, it just bruises through everything in its path, allowing you to charge the direct lines without fear! The only limit to the Reign’s charging ability is your nerve, plus the fragile and cheap Schwalbe Performance 2.3” folding tyres that punctured regularly.

The longest wheelbas eon test at 1217mm.

On longer days we found ourselves creeping into the easier gears on the cassette. Although we were impressed with the Reign’s climbing ability, the hefty weight took its toll. The Reign is a bike that needs gravity to keep up momentum, struggling in undulating or flatter terrain, and at 14.79 kg it proved a little heavy going on longer rides. Most of the excess bulk is down to the cheaper build, and all testers were thinking that they would love to try a higher-spec model.

We did find that on long descents the Rockshox Monarch DebonAir RT started to lose its cool and we experienced spikes in the damping. We also found that the Reign’s brutal confidence becomes unravelled when you charge into a tight switchback too hot and physics take over, as squeezing that long wheelbase around tight turns caused the Rockshox Pike RC fork to run wide. Nimble it ain’t!

Details

Low and long: The Giant Reign is low and very long, giving it amazing stability on the descents. The stretched top tube made it a firm favorite with taller riders and provided a central riding position that inspired confidence in steep terrain.
A real maestro: The Giant Reign’s Maestro suspension makes easy work of big rocks and trail obstructions, smoothing out square edges effectively. The low-spec RockShox Monarch RT was great for trail riding, but was out of its depth on rough, lift-assisted trails.
Double up: On long climbs the extra ratios provided by the 2x10 drivetrain proved useful, but on the descents the double was noisy. The Shimano Deore / SLX drivetrain shifted well and even though the chain device did not stop every derailment, it helped keep everything in order.

Specification: Giant Reign 2 2015

  • Fork: RockShox Pike SoloAir RC 160mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Monarch RT Debonair 160mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore M615 203/180mm
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
  • Stem: Truvativ Holzfeller 50mm
  • Handlebar: Giant Contact SL DH 800mm
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Hans Dampf Performance
  • Wheelsize: 27.5″
  • Hubs: Formula Tracker
  • Wheels: Giant P-AM-2
  • Price: € 2,299
GiantReign-GeometryTable

Strengths

  • Amazing value.
  • Extremely stable handling.

Weaknesses

  • Fragile tyre.
  • Monarch DebonAir RT lacked support.
  • [/emaillocker]

Conclusion

For the price, we were incredibly impressed with the Reign, especially considering the entire bike could be brought for less than the ‘frame only’ price of some of the boutique competition. This is a bike that really needs a rear shock tune and a tyre swap to bring out the best of its hard-charging character, but we could not fault its dominance on rough descents. If you want a bike to slay the bike parks, the Reign is supreme.

For more information on the Giant Reign visit giant-bicycles.com.

All bikes in test:Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 1 | Canyon Strive CF 9.0 Race | Rose Uncle Jimbo 3 | Santa Cruz Nomad C X01 | Trek Slash 9 | Vitus Sommet VRX | Yeti SB6C X01 | YT Capra CF Pro Race.

This article is part of our Enduro Bike Group Test 2015.

Update August 2016: This is a review of the 2015 model, we’ve also reviewed the current Giant Reign 1 2016!

Words & Photos: Trevor Worsey

Sours: https://enduro-mtb.com/en/the-review-giant-reign-2-2015-enduro-group-test-2/
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The not-so-minor details

Giant has just re-birthed their much loved Reign and it’s a meaner beast than ever, a genetically enhanced freak of all-mountain awesomeness; 160mm-travel, 27.5″ wheels and carbon construction. It also looks good, with maybe the best graphics of any Giant mountain bike to date.

But what does it ride like? That’s the big question. As an executive summary – it’s really good.

At the recent 2015 launch of the Reign (and Glory) Flow got to spend a couple of days on the trails of Pemberton, Canada. It proved a great testing ground to develop some initial thoughts on the performance of the bike. Riding for two days isn’t long enough to a really get a good feel, but it is just long enough to get a taste of wanting more. And more we want.

[divider]The Bike[/divider]

Giant Reign in Pemberton, BC, July 2014

With the rise and rise of Enduro racing, long travel, slack angles, and aggressive geometry are the flavour of the year; with angles more akin to downhill rigs of yesteryear, you could easily excuse yourself for thinking that everything old is indeed new again. However what this new breed of aggressive bikes have when compared to their downhill ancestors is ride-ability, and more importantly, usability.

The Giant is no exception to that rule. With a 65 degree head angle and 160mm of travel it could be considered more suited to downhill shuttles than trail riding however we found the bike handled lengthy rides and all-mountain adventures with ease. We got to prove that very fact with one epic heli-drop adventure up, down and around the massive peaks of Pemberton.

At the core of the new Reign is an all-new frame and highly revised geometry. Longer, lower, slacker and shorter in the rear end is a quick summary of the new bike and the numbers add up to something that really is designed to go downhill. Even though the Reign now comes with larger wheels it’s shorter in the chainstays the the previous 26″ version, which makes it easier to move around corners and lift the now longer front end. That roomier cockpit and longer front-end can make any bike a slug to handle on flatter corners and Giant has attempted to alleviate this with a custom 46mm offset Pike. We actually found less “push” on the flatter turns than we expected.

The suspension design is the ever effective Maestro set up and Giant don’t look to be changing that platform any time soon. Adding to the performance of the system is the incorporation of a bearing on the upper shock mount which Giant says benefits small bump performance.

A big change, and it’s across the whole range, is the loss of Overdrive 2. Once marketed to us as the best-thing-since-sliced-bread to increase front end stiffness, it’s now gone.  Maybe it was true and the benefits where real, but the industry didn’t follow and Giant was left without a lot of choice given the absence of after market stems to suit the size.

The last point we’d like to mention is the aesthetics. The bike looks REALLY good. It has large, bold tubes and graphics, and really neat and functional internal cable routing. We just wish the prettiness of the cable routing was backed up by an absence of cable rattle, but unfortunately this isn’t the case (nothing that a piece of foam won’t fix thought!)

 

[divider]The Build[/divider]

Of course we were thrown the top of the range model! At such a high price point you’d expect some quality spec, and the Reign Advanced 0 Team won’t let you down. Suspension is taken care of by Rock Shox (no FOX out back, which is a surprise) with a custom 46mmm offset 160mm Pike handing the front end, and a Monarch Plus out back. Both performed really well during our riding and only after a 10km rocky and rough downhill on a hot day did we notice the rear shock starting to heat up and speed up a fraction.

The 50mm stem and 780mm bar combo was great and even though that bar length is a little wider than we normal run it was easy to get used to.  It is great to see a bike pretty much set-up how we’d run it, right out of the box. The only thing we didn’t like about the cockpit was the grips. We’ve never liked them, but that’s personal preference.

SRAM goodness takes care of all the shifting and we’ve written at length about how well the XX1 set-up works. No issues and great performance were experienced from the XX1 gear, but you wouldn’t expect any after only two days. The Reign does have a direct mount port for a front derailleur if you’re so inclined, but we’d love to have seen Giant ditch it as an option all together for supremely clean lines.

Our test bike had two differences from the OEM spec: the tyres and the brakes. The Giant Advanced 0 Team will come with the Schwable combo of Hans Dampf out back and Magic Mary front and from our experience they will be great. Our bikes also had Avid Codes but the final spec will be the new Guide brakes which we’re yet to experience and so can’t comment on their performance.

 

[divider]The Ride[/divider]

Giant in Pemberton, British Columbia, July 2014

Over two days we rode the bike on a mix of trails; from scree slopes straight out of any freeride film, to dry and loose soil, to baby head fields of doom – we rode it all. Our first impressions? It is a downhill beast. It sucks up the worst of it and gives confidence to let off the brakes a little more. We actually were able to ride the Reign side-by-side with the new Glory, and while it’s not quite up to the 200mm-travel performance of its bigger sibling it was just speed that was lost, not ability to navigate the terrain comfortably. We can easily say that this bike would be able to handle 99% of trails in Australia.

But all that downhill ability must come at a cost right? Well, we didn’t notice any.  Sure, it’s not World Cup XCO machine on the climbs but riding the Reign up hills never felt difficult and with the suspension adjustments front and back the geometry was easily changed to something a little more climb friendly. Just drop the Dual Position fork a little lower, and flick the easy-to-reach shock lever.

Cornering was great with a sub-340mm bottom bracket height really helped to keep traction through the turns. A few times we smashed our pedals,  but that was only when pushed through all the travel on trails littered with baby-heads. Any bike with a low bottom bracket will need more attention in that department.

Overall the ride was great, and the super descending abilities were’t to the detriment of an excellent all-mountain ride.

[divider]Overall[/divider]

Giant in Pemberton, British Columbia, July 2014

We really need to spend more time on the Reign, and we expect that we will. So far it’s proved to be an amazing re-birth of an old workhorse and a bike that really starts to blur the lines between downhill and all-mountain when it comes to descending, but which somehow retains genuine all-round usability. Only a few negatives for us: for the price we’d love to have seen some carbon wheels on the Reign 0, we still don’t like Giant grip or the rattly cables, but that’s it. The price tag of the Reign Advanced 0 Team will keep it in the realms of impossibility for many, however the exact same platform extends down to lower spec and price levels. If you’re after a longer travel bike for all-mountain riding, Enduro racing or even as lightweight downhiller you can still take out all day, the Reign has to be on your shortlist. We’re adding it to ours.

 

Sours: https://flowmountainbike.com/tests/flows-first-bite-2015-giant-reign-advanced-0/
Giant Lust 2 2015 Ladies Mountain Bike
Tom Collier reviews the 2015 Giant Trance SX 27.5 for Blister Gear Review

Giant Trance SX 27.5

MSRP: $4,250

Wheels: 27.5”

Size Tested: [S/16]

Travel: Front: 160mm, Rear: 140mm

Geometry: Here

Build Overview:

  • Pike RC Fork
  • Monarch Plus Debonair RT Rear Shock
  • SRAM Guide R Brakes
  • SRAM X1 Drivetrain
  • Giant Brand Wheels

Reviewer Info: 5’ 8”, 160 lbs, grew up with a New England love of rocks and roots.

Test Location: Fells, Boston Area, Massachusetts

I recently had the opportunity to hop on a Giant Trance SX 27.5 for a ride in the Fells Reservation, just outside of Boston.

Caveat: It was a single ride and offered plenty of technical challenge, but no sustained climbing or descending. One good ride can tell you a lot about how a bike handles, but it certainly doesn’t allow for the customary, in-depth, Blister analysis. For instance, a quick suspension setup and fiddling with the bike’s ergonomics gets it most of the way there, but it takes days to really get everything running just right. Furthermore, differences like tire selection and tire pressure can have a huge effect on how a bike rides, and I didn’t have the chance to get to tinker with those variables.

But after the time I spent on a Giant Anthem SX 27.5  at Interbike, I was excited to get on another Giant SX bike. Each SX model features a longer travel fork than the standard spec, beefier components, grippier tires, and a shorter stem. These changes all add up to a bike that is oriented more towards excellent technical and descending trail manners, but potentially diminished climbing abilities.

At the outset of the ride I had a few questions:

  1. Would it feel like the fork was too long, and made handling sluggish?
  2. Would the choppered out Trance SX lose a lot of climbing ability?
  3. Would the rear end feel outgunned by the longer fork?
  4. How would it compare to the Reign and other bikes in its class?

SX Changes

The longer 160mm-travel RockShox Pike fork on the front of the bike has the effect of both lengthening and slackening the bike. It slackens the head angle from 67 to 66 degrees, and increases the wheelbase by 0.3 inches.

The bottom bracket also gets a bit higher, but Giant doesn’t provide that info in the geometry chart – they also don’t show that the longer fork reduces the reach by a little bit, and increases the stack height by a little bit.

Additionally, a shorter stem than the one found on the standard Trance bikes positions the rider in a more aggressive, descending-oriented stance.

Like the rest of the Trance line, the SX has internal cable routing and a press fit bottom bracket.

The Ride

The 160mm travel fork made riding the Trance SX feel a little deceptive; when I looked down I could fool myself into thinking I was on the Giant Reign. However, within a few pedal strokes, I was stunned by just how much more nimble the Trance SX is.

I was riding a size Small frame, and in the past I’ve found Giant’s sizing to be true, meaning that a Medium would have been more appropriate for me. However, I’ve ridden a medium Trance in the past and I know that the nimble character I experienced in the Small isn’t entirely dependent on the size.

Putting a longer travel fork on a frame can have some negative effects and make the bike feel like it is choppered out. The handling can become slow and flop side to side, and the higher bottom bracket can make the bike feel unstable. To answer question #1 from above, neither of those traits were present on this bike. I wouldn’t have known that it wasn’t designed around the 160mm fork.

To answer question #2, the dual position fork can be adjusted down to 140mm of travel to aid climbing, but after playing with it initially, I never ended up using the feature because the bike climbed just fine and without significant wandering with the fork in the 160mm position. I did have to get over the front on steep climbs, but it never felt excessive.

Tom Collier reviews the 2015 Giant Trance SX 27.5 for Blister Gear Review

The RockShox Pike performed like any other Pike I’ve had the opportunity to ride. It was supple over small bumps, stiff enough to steer well, and the RC offered little meaningful difference from the RCT3 for my uses (I don’t like fork lockouts).

At the rear, the Maestro suspension pedaled reasonably well. It wasn’t snappy, but it didn’t sap too much of my energy, either. Most VPP designs have a bit more snap, but the Maestro was snappier than most Horst link bikes. It responded well to rough terrain, but without any long descents on which to test it, I couldn’t get a great feel for how well it handled high-speed impacts on square-edged bumps.

The RockShox Monarch Plus Debonair shock was outstanding, as it has been on every bike that I’ve tried it on.

Answering question #3, I did occasionally find myself pushing through the rear travel, and it happened more frequently than blowing through the fork’s travel did. However, it didn’t bother me much, and given more time to play with suspension settings, I believe I could have dramatically reduced its rate of occurrence. It felt as though more air pressure would mostly solve the problem, and that a last resort of reducing shock volume could help. The Maestro suspension on the Trance does offer some additional resistance to bottom out, but definitely leans on the ramp up of the air spring on the Monarch to provide the bulk of the resistance to bottoming out.

Tires, Brakes, Cockpit

The version of this bike that I rode had the factory spec’d Schwalbe tires swapped out for Maxxis High Roller II  and Minion DHF tires—personal favorites of mine. They don’t roll all that quickly, but offer predictable, aggressive grip. Paired with SRAM Guide brakes, they offered particularly good stopping traction.

The Guide Brakes are the first SRAM brakes in recent history that have swayed me from Shimano. They offer similar stopping power to Shimano XT brakes, but with more modulation. Importantly, they also don’t demonstrate the classic Avid warble or squeal. The lever shape also feels very similar to Shimano’s. If you blindfolded me, I’m not certain I could tell them apart.

The cockpit on the Trance SX is outfitted almost entirely with Giant brand items that performed well and disappeared from notice. The stock Giant Contact SL Switch-R dropper performed well for me. The Small I was on only had a 3” drop, while larger sizes feature 4” drops. Having previously run into problems with dropper posts that are too long for my legs, I appreciate that they match dropper post travel to frame size, but I think that they could increase drops by 1” across the board.

The wheels on the bike were also Giant branded items. They performed well and gave me no reason to think about them.

NEXT: Comparisons – Giant Reign, Santa Cruz Nomad 27.5 & Bronson, Etc.

Pages: 12

Sours: https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/2015-giant-trance-sx-27-5

Mountain 2015 bike giant

Giant Stance 0

There’s no shortage of blinged-out, $6,000 carbon bikes to choose from. But finding a capable full-suspension model for less than $3,000 is much harder. That’s why we think the 120mm Stance 0 is one of the year's best mountain bikes; it costs half as much as many of the top options, but sacrifices hardly any performance. To keep costs low, Giant gave the bike a single-pivot suspension design that’s cheaper to manufacture, but it still works great. The Stance is a crap-ton of fun to ride. This model comes with a dropper post, too; a huge asset to riders of all experience levels and a rare find on this level of bike.

Price: $2,650
Info:giant-bicycles.com

Giant Stance 0, $2650.00

At a Glance

  • A capable full-suspension model for less than $3,000
  • 120mm travel with single-pivot suspension
  • Dropper post included

Santa Cruz Highball 27.5 C

People keep saying the hardtail is dead, but the Highball shows that the category’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. One reason we love it: The bike’s geometry is more relaxed than many hardtails', splitting the difference between XC machine and playful trail bike. Santa Cruz offers several versions, but the Highball 27.5 C comes with the exact same parts and features as the most expensive option, but uses a lower-grade carbon fiber that shaves $1,500 off the price. It’s a little heavier, but it’s every bit as fun.

Info: santacruzbicycles.com

Santa Cruz Highball 27.5 C, $2599.00, $2,999 for Complete Bike S Build from Competitive Cyclist

At a Glance

  • Exact same parts and features as most expensive Highball option
  • 29er and 27.5 versions available; latter has an S option, while former has an XXL option

SHOP

Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5

Just because you want a light, efficient XC mountain bike doesn’t mean you want to skimp on fun. The hot-rodded SX Advanced takes Giant’s proven Maestro suspension and supercharges it with RockShox’s plush and supple Monarch DebonAir shock. Then, Giant added a dropper post and boosted travel by 20mm. That slacks out the head and seat angles by a degree, creating a versatile bike that blurs the lines between XC racing and all-day trail riding.

Info: giant-bicycles.com

Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5, $5575.00

At a Glance

  • Maestro suspension supercharged with RockShox Monarch DebonAir shock
  • Dropper post included
  • Blurs lines between XC and trail

Transition Patrol 2

We recommended this bike’s little brother, the Transition Smuggler, in our 2015 Buyer’s Guide because it was one of the most exciting short-travel bikes we’ve tried. But we are just as enamored with this model, which jumps in travel to 155mm. The company’s GiddyUp suspension is based on the proven FSR four-bar design and the Patrol’s geometry tends toward the rowdy side of the spectrum. GiddyUp indeed.

Info: transitionbikes.com

Transition Patrol 2, $4900.00

At a Glance

  • 160mm front, 155mm rear travel with GiddyUp Link suspension
  • Aluminum frame

Trek Stache 9

Trek completely revamped its line of Stache aggressive hardtails to work with super-wide 29+ wheels and tires. That setup allows you to run super low pressure, so the Stache 9 sticks to the trail like ink on a hipster. It’s fun to ride, surprisingly fast, and floats off rocks and logs despite (or perhaps because of) the massive tires. A cool thing about the 29+ system is that you can run 27+ or regular 29er wheels and tires (though you might need to—or have a shop—fiddle with the fork).

Info: trekbikes.com

Trek Stache 9 29+, $3699.99

At a Glance

  • Wider Boost 148 spacing
  • Adjustable wheelbase with sliding Stranglehold dropouts 
  • Elevated chainstay for extra strength and more clearance
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out (HBO) adjustment for a smoother pedal stroke

BMC TF01

Some folks roll their eyes when the see 29ers with more than 140mm of travel. Those monstrosities are too sluggish, they cry. We say Feh! The 150mm TF01 is so capable and fun to ride that it’s a great choice for all-day excursions in addition to lift-assisted runs. It's a baller, ready to punch back at even the burliest trails. And it climbs well, pedaling with just a touch of platform to the Fox Float X shock, then transforming into a rocket as you tear down the trail.

Info: bmc-switzerland.com

BMC TF01, $7999.00

At a Glance

  • 150mm of travel
  • Great for all-day excursions as well as lift-assisted runs

Ibis Mojo HD3 XO1

Lower, longer, lighter, and slacker geometry gives the third iteration of the Mojo its magic. For this version, Ibis stuck with 27.5 wheels and a DW-Link suspension, which combine to create a trail bike like no other. It climbs, descends, and leaps over obstacles with balance and poise. There’s even room for a water bottle for the days you don't want a pack. Its available in builds for every budget. We think the XO1 option offers truly exceptional parts and performance at a fairly priced (but in no way cheap) package.

Price: $6,200
Info: ibiscycles.com

Ibis Mojo HD3 XO1, $6200.00, $6,199 from Competitive Cyclist

At a Glance

  • Lower, longer, lighter, and slacker geometry than previous editions
  • DW-Link suspension
  • Enough room for a water bottle in the frame

SHOP

Niner Jet RDO 4-Star XO1/RS1

This bike is as much a work of art as it is a two-wheeled trail-eating machine. Outfitted with the stunning (and stunningly stiff and smooth) inverted RockShox RS-1 fork as well as Niner’s CVA suspension design, the carbon Niner Jet RDO is light enough to blaze through an XC race while being capable enough for tough-as-nails trail rides. It features Shimano XT M785 ICE brakes and a SRAM XO1 1x11-speed drivetrain. The massive 10-42 cassette and 32-tooth front chainring mean the ideal gear is only a few clicks away, whether you’re grinding up a steep ascent or barreling down a long descent. It’s a bike that rides as beautifully as it looks.

Info: ninerbikes.com

Niner Jet RDO 4-Star XO1/RS1, $6800.00, $2,299 frame only from Competitive Cyclist

At a Glance

  • Inverted RockShox RS-1 fork
  • SRAM XO1 1x11-speed drivetrain with expansive gearing
  • CVA suspension design

SHOP

Juliana Roubion XX1

The Roubion is essentially a prettier, petite version of Santa Cruz’s Bronson. And though it comes dressed in some feminine accessories, including a Juliana flat 720 carbon bar, Primeiro saddle, and luscious evergreen paint job, it’s equally baller. Decked out with a Pike RCT3 fork and Fox Float CTD shock, the 150mm-travel Roubion confidently handles high-speed descents replete with drop-offs and rock gardens. It also features a SRAM XX1 1x11 drivetrain, Shimano XTR brakes, and a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post for when the going gets gnarly. Women looking for a bike that makes them feel even braver should look hard at this offering from Juliana.

Info: julianabicycles.com

Juliana Roubion XX1, $8300.00, $1,739.40 frame only from Competitive Cyclist

At a Glance

  • Comparable to Santa Cruz Bronson
  • 150mm travel
  • Reverb Stealth dropper post included

SHOP

Scott Spark 900 SL

Now available in 27.5 (120 mm) or 29er (100 mm) versions, the Scott Spark 900 SL is a proven XC race and marathon champion—one of the best mountain bikes for racers we've tried. It’s one of the lightest full-suspension carbon frames out there and thanks to Scott’s Twin-Loc technology, which allows you to change the bike’s travel and geometry with the push of a button, this bike is also one of the most versatile and capable model’s we’ve tried. The Spark is dressed with a Fox 32 Float Factory CTD front fork and Nude rear. You get full travel on the descents, 70mm to keep the rubber down over rough terrain, and zero when charging out of the saddle. That makes the Spark one of the most fun, versatile bikes you can buy.

Info: scott-sports.com

Scott Spark 900 SL, $9000.00

At a Glance

  • 27.5 (120mm travel) or 29er (100mm) available
  • Twin-Loc technology allows you to change the bike’s travel and geometry with the push of a button
  • One of the lightest full-suspension carbon frames out there

Yeti ASR C Race

This is an ideal trail bike with XC speed for the rider who wants something that can climb fast but also pack heat on the downhills. With a claimed frame weight of just over 4 pounds, the ASR C will book it up any ascent but it also holds its own on fast, techy descents. In most situations, the bike feels like it has more than 100mm of travel, which encourages you to choose the rougher line and the steeper descent. This model also comes in two wheel-size options. The XS and S frames get 27.5-inch wheels; M, L, and XL sizes are 29ers. We tested both a small and medium version of this bike, and we can say that Yeti’s split wheel sizing approach on the ASR C works—both versions are a blast to ride.

Info: yeticycles.com

Yeti ASR C Race, $5499.00, $2,029.30 frame only from Competitive Cyclist

At a Glance

  • 100mm of travel
  • Two wheel-size options: XS and S get 27.5; M, L, and XL get 29. 

SHOP

Liv Intrigue 1

Several test riders rode the Liv Intrigue and all them came back impressed with this 140mm-travel trail bike. This aluminum, long-travel bike is super quick and pedals efficiently on the climbs. The suspension feels nice and supple over small bumps, and makes larger less jarring. No matter where we rode it, the bike had a fun, comfy plushness that smoothed out the trail. The women’s geometry fit our testers well, and we loved having a dropper post and carbon wheels. This bike is ready to crush an enduro or an all-day trail outing; you pick the adventure.

Info: giant-bicycles.com

Liv Intrigue 1, $4700.00

At a Glance

  • 140mm of travel
  • Aluminum frame
  • Dropper post included

Specialized Camber Expert Carbon Evo 29

Everyone wants a light bike that pedals with the urgency of a cross-country model yet has the chops to still tackle steep, fast trails. Specialized delivers with the Camber Evo, which has more travel and slightly relaxed angles compared to the standard version. This carbon-framed 120mm travel 29er also comes with exciting parts, including a RockShox Pike RC fork, SRAM X01 1X11 drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, and Specialized Command Post dropper seatpost. It even features Roval Traverse Fatty wheels with 29mm wide rims that push out the tire sidewalls for a better ride. If this model doesn’t fit in your budget, Specialized offers an aluminum version with less expensive components for $3,200.

Info: specialized.com

Specialized Camber Expert Carbon Evo 29, $5900.00

At a Glance

  • 120mm of travel
  • Specialized Command Post dropper seatpost included
  • Aluminum version with less expensive components for $3,200

Pivot Mach 429SL Carbon

Pivot took an already great bike, the Mach 429, and made it lighter and stiffer. Booyah. The second-generation 100mm-travel 29er is a whopping half-pound lighter than the previous version, and it’s more rigid too. The bike is designed to accommodate Shimano’s electronic Di2 drivetrain, including a downtube-mounted internal battery compartment. That’s great should you choose to upgrade to that chichi item, but we enjoyed some of the more practical features even better. The sag indicator on the Fox Rear Shock made suspension setup a snap and the SLX shifters worked flawlessly considering their low cost (the XT rear derailleur is great, too). The DW-Link suspension is excellent—pedaling was a sharp yet the bike felt calm and settled on our rocky trails.

Info: pivotcycles.com

Pivot Mach 429SL Carbon, $4599.00, $2,999.00 (frame only) at Competitive Cyclist

At a Glance

  • Lighter, stiffer alternative to Mach 429
  • DW-Link suspension
  • Designed to accommodate Shimano’s electronic Di2 drivetrain

SHOP

Evil The Following

Few bikes have as much X factor as Evil’s The Following. This 120mm travel 29er is one of the most unique rides we’ve encountered. It has slack geometry—especially for the category—which makes it way more capable on rough terrain than the travel would suggest. Nothing phases this bike. That geometry is adjustable, too. Evil’s Delta suspension system allows you to flip a quarter-sized plate to increase (or relax) the head and seat angles and bottom bracket height without affecting the suspension. You can even play with The Following’s offset headset assembly to further customize the geometry.

Info: evil-bikes.com

Evil The Following, $6599.00

At a Glance

  • Slack geometry makes it sturdier over rough terrain than its 120mm of travel would suggest
  • Delta suspension system allows for adjustable geometry

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Sours: https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/g20037990/great-new-rides/
2015 Giant Escape and Liv Alight Bicycles

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