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The best mountain bikes, according to serious mountain bikers

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The very best mountain bikes, in response to critical mountain bikers

From its roots as a fringe pursuit, mountain biking has grown into mainstream recognition over the previous few a long time and spawned a multibillion-dollar trade. The bikes have advanced, however so, too, have their costs.

These days the best mountain bikes go for round $5,000, and greater than a handful high $10,000. What you get for all that dough is sensible engineering, a well-machined body and strong-yet-light parts with designs examined and perfected by firm race groups.

I spend all summer season filming professional mountain bike racers and get to see the newest choices from the highest manufacturers—usually earlier than they’ve on sale to the general public. I spoke to high execs and trade specialists to convey you the highest picks for whenever you’re prepared to purchase the most effective of the most effective.

Word: Whereas bikes have been flying off the cabinets throughout COVID and shortages abound, these higher-end bikes are simpler to search out than extra inexpensive fashions—for now. If you happen to’re contemplating a purchase order, don’t wait too lengthy, as these smaller producers usually promote out of stock, even in a traditional 12 months.

Greatest General

Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson Carbon R Mountain Bike – backcountry.com

4399.00Shop Now

Since 2013, the Bronson has been the prototype of an all-mountain bike and the flagship of the Santa Cruz lineup. It balances beefy full suspension with stiff uphill efficiency to make longer cross-country using doable whereas retaining the power to get pleasure from rocky, technical terrain and reasonable drops. The 27.5-inch wheels assist roll over obstacles and are a neater transition in the event you’re coming from the previously ubiquitous 26-inch wheels. The pretty lengthy wheelbase (distance between the axles) makes for a secure, assured trip, necessary in the event you like hitting high speeds on the path.

There are multiple configurations available for the Bronson, and this Carbon R provides you the sunshine and responsive carbon body with high quality parts whereas conserving the worth underneath $5K.

Greatest for Bike Parks

Yeti SB150

Yeti Cycles SB150 Carbon C1 GX Eagle Mountain Bike – backcountry.com

5699.00Shop Now

Golden, Colo.-based Yeti Cycles has lengthy had a cult following for its race-ready lineup of enduro path bikes, however the SB150 epitomizes the designers’ pursuit of a gravity-oriented smasher that may nonetheless pedal uphill.

The Yeti marketing copy focuses on the advantages of it being a 29er (as in 29-inch wheels), however Yeti athlete and popular mountain bike YouTuber Nate Hills says it’s the geometry and engineering behind the 150 that makes it his go-to bike for the previous 2+ years (and he owns each bike Yeti makes).

“I like taller bikes and the 150 is fairly raked out and slack and simply feels actually secure going quick. For me, it brings again recollections of racing downhill and that type of using which places a smile on my face, principally,” he stated.

Hills bulked up his SB150 with even beefier entrance and rear shocks, pushing the 150 into freeride terrain, however even in its inventory configuration, it comes with the already burly Fox Performance 36 170mm fork up entrance and 6 inches of journey in again, which Hills says makes it “a park rat’s path bike you can trip actually abusively and aggressively.”

This isn’t your all-rounder in the event you principally pedal rolling path, however in the event you usually trip chairlifts to descend massive strains, you’ll recognize the additional journey and received’t thoughts the additional weight in change. Like most Yeti bikes, the SB150 isn’t low cost, however it comes with a lifetime warranty and de facto membership within the die-hard Yeti proprietor neighborhood.

Greatest 29er

Transition Sentinel

2020 Transition Sentinel 29″ Carbon 150mm NX / GX / X01 Full Bike – probikesupply.com

4499.00Shop Now

Gone are the times when all mountain bikes got here with 26-inch wheels. Now you could select: The now “old-school” 26-inch? 27.5? 29?

Increasingly more riders have moved as much as 29-inch wheels for the elevated traction and improved method angles supplied by the larger-diameter wheels. Whereas the 29ers may be barely heavier and slower starters, they’re nice for velocity and dealing with in chunky terrain, particularly for larger and taller riders. The most recent Sentinel has added 10mm to each the entrance and rear suspension, increasing the charging capabilities of the wildly well-liked authentic.

Marco Osborne, a Northern California-based professional enduro rider, prefers the Sentinel as his one-bike quiver and describes it as “a really playful and enjoyable 29er that may and can deal with something out of your yard path, native bike park, or enduro race observe. Plus it seems to be like a fighter jet.”

This bike is enduro-ready, however on the extra downhill finish of the spectrum, good for larger riders that like larger strains. Builds on the Sentinel vary from $4,499 to $6,599.

Hearst Newspapers participates in varied online marketing packages, which implies we might receives a commission commissions on editorially chosen merchandise bought by way of our hyperlinks to retailer websites.

Justin Park is a Breckenridge, Colorado-based reporter overlaying well being, health, and the outside (and the gear related to every). He was a part of a small staff overlaying the 2016 Rio Olympics for USA Right now Sports activities that earned a Related Press Sports activities Editors’ Award for Investigative Writing. He additionally co-owns a video manufacturing group and shared a Webby in 2019 and 2020 for his video contributions as a part of the staff on the Breckenridge Tourism Workplace. He is a proud Central native who has a M.S. in New Media from Syracuse College’s Newhouse College.


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