While it’s excellent value for a SRAM AXS-equipped bike, £7000 is still a vast sum of cash but the same carbon frame (with an alloy linkage) is used down to the £3200 Oiz M30, with triple butted alloy framed Oiz H models starting at just £2100. If you want a bit more speed stability then the TR versions come with a 110mm fork to tip the angles back half a degree and grippier Maxxis Rekon rather than Aspen tyres. Wheels: 27.5 Marin also specs an e*thirteen TRS+ 11-speed cassette with a Shimano SLX shifting setup, which saves on costs while increasing the range to 511 percent. The Fuel Ex 5 doesn’t come with a dropper post, but the frame is routed for it once you pick one out. The Fuel EX 7 has the potential to be a do-it-all trail bike with either 29in or 27.5in Plus wheel options that you can change to suit your riding style or locals trails (only 29in available as stock in Australia). But it still offers Ride 9 geometry and suspension rate adjustments. All things considered, the Anthem 1 is probably a bike you’ll buy and have no trouble running bare-bones-stock. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window). Trek’s ‘Knock Block’ steering limiter allows a massively oversize downtime for serious steering accuracy despite a progressive 475mm reach on the large sized frame. The Synonym is clearly based on its intimate knowledge of chaos control though, with some truly radical geometry numbers. However NS is one of the few brands to fit a short-stroke, carbon shafted KS dropper post as standard on its race bikes and you even get a 180mm front brake rotor in recognition of the speeds this bike encourages even on extreme terrain. It's efficient up climbs and fast on sprints, but it's not afraid of letting loose when you want to get rowdy. Truly state of the art racer loaded with Fox’s Live Valve suspension tech, Weight: 9.4kg | Travel: (F/R) 100/100mm | Remote lockout: Auto | Wheels: DT Swiss XRC 1200 carbon | Group: Shimano XTR. The short 50-60mm stems keep steering feather-light for tweaking traction and flicking the Podium into and out of corners. The full carbon-framed Jeffsy is adorned with Rockshox suspension—a Pike RCT3 and Monarch RT3. Few bikes divide opinion during our tests as much as Specialized’s Epic FS, but with a very successful race and sales history stretching back nearly 20 years a lot of people clearly think the BRAIN-equipped Epic is brilliant. It also offers a range of four different colourways or a complete custom paint option. The rear end uses an inverted, trunnion bearing mounted Fox shock and slim centred flex stays to minimise unsprung weight for a super responsive suspension action. Wheels: 27.5 Despite only weighing 1680g the broad, carbon rimmed Reynolds TR309 wheelset is very stiff and precise under power. View and share reviews, comments and questions on mountain bikes. Expensive for mixed SRAM spec, Superlight yet stiff race frame with balanced handling and neatly integrated remote control suspension, Excellent value, direct or dealer delivery model with extensive custom spec and colour options, Direct delivery takes a bit longer than straight shop supply, Lightweight, smooth full carbon frame and unique Ocho fork, Good price for the ride quietening, gram shaving carbon wheeled spec, Not the stiffest under power or when pushed hard. On a smooth surface such as a fire-road climb or flat-out sprint down the start/finish straight nothing is faster than a super-light hardtail like the ones in our sub 10kg XCO bikes buyers guide here. Travel (R/F): 100/120mm Visit our corporate site. This helps to bring the price into the perspective of some of the other bikes on here from consumer-direct brands. The bike closing fastest on the ‘winningest’ crown of Scott’s Spark is the new Lux from German cost-effective champions Canyon. On that note, Fezzari offers quite a few options for customization during checkout on the web, including input fields for custom fitment. Trek Top Fuel 9.8 or Santa Cruz Blur S build - posted in Buyers Guide: Hi everyone! Top Fuel is a full suspension cross country mountain bike that’s equally suited to XC racing and off-the-beaten-singletrack adventures. The Trance boasts a Pike-like Suntour Aion fork and a 10-speed Shimano drivetrain. Inside Line cabling keeps the rear shock remote cable totally hidden within the broad, flat top tube and the combined fork, shock and dropper post (if fitted) Squidlock remote lever is a really neat piece. Mondraker was the first major brand to use extreme DH bred slack and super-long geometry on its trail bikes and now it has gone super-progressive on the new XC FS bike. It’s literally far out in front for a 100mm XCO bike though and gives the Synonym outstandingly crazy section stability and control. Headtube Angle: 67°giant-bicycles.com. However, realistically there’s not much you’d really need to change out of the box—the Process is more than capable of handling the stress of repeated bike park laps. Travel:120/120mm Add super quick Maxxis Aspen tyres and you’ve got a proper performance wheel pack. Kona’s new Process made waves when it was first announced, which only grew taller when the 29er 153 was released a short time later. Trek Top Fuel 9.8 kit. Most other bikes with a comparable price lacked a dropper or burly suspension, or they were from consumer-direct brands and out of stock until the spring. Travel (R/F): 153/160mm Headtube Angle: 68.7° – 69.8°bikes.com. You will no-doubt notice not all of these bikes are, in fact, under $2,500. The 29er version of the Fuel EX has been a long favorite of Bike, and the plus-size version is aimed at bringing a capable trail bike to riders who want something that boosts the confidence but doesn’t drain the wallet. We’ll outline here the different models in Scott’s MTB lineup, organized from most cross-country-oriented (XC) to downhill-oriented (DH). It’s long, slack and comes with a 180-millimeter Rockshox Yari fork. I ride mainly single track on mild to medium difficulty trails. If i'd had to replace my top fuel right now I think I would go Scott Spark or something like that. Top value World Cup-proven ultralight racer with impressive stiffness and custom configuration options, Weight: 9.6kg | Travel: (F/R) 100/100mm | Remote lockout: Both | Wheels: DT Swiss XRC 1200 carbon | Group: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS. If you want to add more suspension to a similarly radical yet lightweight package then there are two 120mm travel Synonym TR models with suitably beefed up specs to match. For the 2020 model year, the Trek Top Fuel is evolving from a light weight, competition focused race bike to become a more versatile and capable bike capable of … While it’s weird looking down at just one leg at first, the Lefty fork is much stiffer tracking than most lightweight peers. Also while the front end holds a line really well, the rear end is noticeably more twangy and flexible, straying offline and twisting tangibly if you put serious horsepower through it. Please refresh the page and try again. Good value for the features they offer. The rear end uses massive chainstays for rock-solid power transfer and all-carbon Top Fuel models are now completely carbon rather than using fully or semi-alloy swingarm set-ups. The great news is that’s creating some really versatile high-velocity, short-travel machines that are as happy raving on your favourite singletrack as they are ripping up the race track. You can get on a full carbon Epic from £3700 upwards too and if you fancy something slightly rowdier, then the Evo versions get 120mm forks, chunkier tyres and a dropper post but still come out lighter than many ‘race’ bikes. Reach is reasonably roomy at 460mm on a large but the 69-degree head angle is still fast and furious for hustling tight singletrack and pilot prioritising on flat-out descents. Honorable Mention: Rocky Mountain Element AL 30 — $2,500, Penny Pincher: GT Sensor Alloy Sport — $1,900, Splurge: Giant Anthem 1 NX Eagle — $3,150, Top Pick and Penny Pincher: Giant Trance 3 — $2,000, Honorable Mention: Fezzari Abajo Peak-$2,000, Spurge: YT Jeffsy 29 CF — $3,100 (reg: $3,400), Honorable Mention: Marin Alpine Trail 7—$2,750, Bible Review: Ibis Mojo Deore XT | $6,900, Revel Bikes Introduces the Ranger Brunch Ride Edition. ... Scott Spark RC 900 Team Issue AXS Carbon 2021. Carbon weight for alloy cost with super-supple suspension for stand-out, fast and floated fun, Weight: 12.3kg | Travel: (F/R) 100/90mm | Remote lockout: front/rear/both | Wheels: Giant XCR alloy | Group: Shimano SLX. This translates into a carbon-competitive, 12.3kg complete bike weight at less than the cost of some composite frames, making Anthem a superb entry-level lightweight. A spring-loaded brass-weighted valve by the back axle closes the compression damping for a fully hardtail feel until it’s knocked upwards by a lump or landing. Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR Red/Smoke 2021. That 115mm-travel, air-sprung rear end is matched to a 120mm Fox 34 Performance fork. And so are plenty of other brands who have bikes that line up against the Trek Top Fuel, like the new Norco Revolver 120, Scott Spark, Santa Cruz Tallboy and more. It has not sacrificed control either as you still get a custom-tuned DW Link suspension system from go-fast guru Dave Weagle. Because they can go faster on more challenging courses, the latest full-suspension race bikes tend to have slightly more ‘trail-style’ geometry with 67-69-degree head angles for more stable steering. When it comes to race full-suspension mountain bike benchmarks, Scott’s Spark family has always been the measuring stick with more World Championship rankings, Olympic gold medals and World Cup overall wins on its mantlepiece than any other machine. The totally new Top Fuel chassis is 400g heavier than the old Top Fuel SL (2.04kg vs 2.46kg) but it’s a far more capable bike as a result. Compare forks, shocks, wheels and other components on current and past MTB’s. Travel (R/F): 140/150mm Your information has been successfully processed! It was only the increased complexity of the TwistLoc (a grip shifter style suspension lockout) and the weak brakes that pushed it off the top spot. A Trans-X dropper and WTB ST i29 TCS rims round out the build. The frame leaves lots of room for upgrades in the future as well for things like a dropper post, which doesn’t come on the Sport build. Bike Perfect is supported by its audience. So while there are some 120mm (5in) travel bikes with identical geometry to 150mm (6in) travel enduro bikes, they’re in a different listing. The 2019 Oiz is a wholly new bike designed for the Orbea KMC World Cup team complete with contemporary race geometry and neatly synced remote suspension built into a very light (sub 2kg) yet versatile frame. Wheels: 29 Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Anthem frame isn’t the most rigid rig you can pump your watts into, and the trunnion-mounted shock is tuned for smoothness not sprinting. Wheels: 27.5 Every bike in the six-model range is a 100mm travel cross country race rocket. Travel (R/F): 120/120mm It’s 350g lighter than the previous Epic and the latest, neatest BRAIN 2.0 set up is only adding a similar amount of weight to a double remote and cable set-up. Despite a lightweight 2.1kg, flex stay frame the power kick from the Lux is seriously solid. NY 10036. Pivot didn’t mess around when it set out to speed up its well-proven Mach 429 race bike, with the all-new Mach 4 SL carving 340g of carbon off its predecessor to come in at 1840g for a medium frame and shock. Giant’s own dropper post is known for its reliability, as is the super plush Maestro suspension design. Even as it stands this is a truly radical race bike that looks as stunning as it rides and has already repaid five years of development by the Spanish company with some impressive World Cup results in 2019. But which are the winning machines and what do you need to know to work out which is the best bike for you? Bottom out is more controlled if you push it to the limit and the whole bike is impressively stiff when you’re working the tyres to the limit or stamping down max power on a climb. By signing up you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. The original hard-kicking Blur was a breakthrough bike for Santa Cruz, delivering its direct driving VPP twin link suspension tech in a short-travel but trail-tough format for blisteringly quick and punchy performance. Polish podium hunter mixes EWS geometry with XCO weight to crush technical courses, Weight: 10.5kg | Travel: (F/R) 100/100mm | Remote lockout: front/rear/both | Group: SRAM X01, X1, GX mix. Trek’s ‘Knock Block’ steering limiter allows a massively oversize downtime for serious steering accuracy despite a progressive 475mm reach on the large sized frame. Related to The Best Mountain Bikes Under $2,500: Subscribe to BIKE’s Newsletter to receive stories like this straight to your inbox. On the way down though, you could probably just straight line everything in sight if you wish. A few of the parts might be a little prim for the 153’s intentions—namely the brakes and rear shock—but this is a reasonable starter setup if you want to tame colossal terrain on a conservative budget. Like the new Giant Trance, the Trek Fuel EX carries on with few changes following a significant update in 2017. Travel (R/F): 140/140mm The component spec on the Sport build isn’t anything to write home about, but that’s not to say it won’t get the job done. Standing out on any start line and then charging head down round the race track is definitely where the Scalpel family are still most at home though. There’s no saggy middle stroke section for suspension fettlers to worry about and it syncs well with the lightest suspension forks. The Element was one of Rocky’s first bikes to depart from the hard-line favoritism of bushings over bearings in its frame pivots. In terms of specifics, that can be as simple as wider handlebars (that you can trim down to taste) or enough space in the frame to run wider tyres. This is certainly more of a budget component spec, but the frame is the same as higher-end builds so upgrades later down the road are always an option. © Wheels: 29 2020 Chromag Rootdown Ti X01 Eagle Bike. At 1790g with shock, the frame is still the lightest mass-production, full-suspension frame available and even the affordable alloy Sparks are lighter than a lot of brands’ carbon bikes. A Rockshox Deluxe R rear shock lacks a lockout, which is a bit of a bummer, but the Trance makes up for it with the inclusion of a dropper post, tubeless tires out of the box and an integrated front fender on the Aion. The suspension performance is okay on the latest versions, too, although finding the sensitive V-control sweet-spot over bigger hits can take a while. In most cases, full-suspension mountain bikes for racing will have a remote lockout so you can turn them into pseudo-hardtails at the flick of a switch for sprinting. However, it’s worth noting that take-up tends to be lower among female racers where the effect of an extra kg of frame weight is proportionally a lot more significant for lighter, less powerful riders. Headtube Angle: 65°marinbikes.com. Giant’s own lightweight wheels keep rotating weight low for excellent acceleration. Check out this post for a selection of hardtails starting below $1,000. The settings are all well within the XC range, but you can choose precisely where in that range you want your Element to perform. Travel (R/F): 130/130mm The full carbon frame uses a single-piece, double-strut rear end and stout, short linkages to tie front and rear tightly together. There are 120mm fork options to tip the head back to 68-degrees and there’s space for aggressive 2.35in tyres if you want to fit tougher rubber. Full suspension isn’t just a cost in weight either, as more complicated frames equipped with several hundred bucks of shock absorber and pivot bearing, along with increased construction costs will always hit your wallet harder than an equivalent hardtail. A 75 - 75.5-degree seat angle shifts weight forward for aggressive climbing and Bontrager’s new XR3 2.4in tyres sit on wide 30mm carbon rims for low-pressure traction and rough surface flow. The Alex rims laced to Bontrager hubs don’t come set up tubeless, but are compatible if you want to go sans tubes. Compare forks, shocks, wheels and other components on current and past MTB’s. With the frame weight of the Spark at 1749 grams, Scott has created their all-new HMXS carbon fibre grade to deliver minimum weight, without compromising on efficiency. But Giant’s full sus racer is superbly smooth and super fast even in its cheapest alloy frame format. While the twin linkage system holds a superb skill and fitness boosting line between pedal efficiency, tenacious traction and drop control, the Mach 4 SL is also one of the few Fox Live Valve-ready frames. With no fewer than eight RC models and nine standard Spark models, there’s a huge range of specifications and prices to choose from, ranging from the £1800 Spark 970 to the superlative £11,000 SL. A half push the TwinLoc lever makes the XC-oriented Spark even more XC oriented by dropping the travel from 120 millimeters to 85, and pushing the lever all the way will turn it effectively into a rigid. A deliberately low shock ratio keeps the feel taut off the top but gives the Canyon an impressively controlled response to serious slams, so you can go full gas through any situation. This ‘automatic’ activation removes any worries about remote lockout flicking. Enough suspension for the trails I do, and at 10,45kg a lot lighter then the new model (I also don't need a dropper). The lightweight RockShox SID fork, steep 70-degree head angle and short wheelbase mean the emphasis is on you to keep it straight and safe in tougher technical sections though. Best lightweight mountain bikes under 10kg While Scotts Spark has always had a unique multi-mode (open-traction - 70mm of firmer travel - locked) functionality, the current bikes are the first with a really sorted open-mode for flat out technical terrain speed. We actually started with a price ceiling of $3,000, but decided to shrink our budget to $2,500, weeding out the average values for the exceptional ones. Out of the box, the Fuel EX 5 that can handle nearly anything you throw at it—but you might just have to stop to lower your seat before the really gnarly stuff. The drop-dead gorgeous Podium frame with muscular, power-proof down tube, straddle seatpost and chainstays contrasting with super thin seat stays and top tube comes in under 2kg. As far as component spec goes, the Apine Trail 7 is on par with any of the other bikes in this price bracket. A flip-chip in the linkage also lets you toggle between a 67.5-degree and 68-degree head angle. Or, if you’re looking for the fancy plastic, check out these carbon bikes under $4,000. That’s how it keeps the Anthem’s Aluxx SL frame weight to below 2.6kg with shock, despite proper twin-link Maestro suspension instead of a flex stay set-up. Santa Cruz’s own bombproof Reserve Carbon 25 wheels are standard on top models and optional on cheaper bikes, with the heavier ‘Carbon C’ frame used to offer three cheaper complete bike options. Trek's Top Fuel 9.9 SSL is a bike that hits the target of what a premium-level cross-country race bike should be squarely in its centre, yet it's also capable of … An efficiency optimised ‘XCO’ version of Mondraker’s highly evolved Zero Suspension uses a trunnion top mount for maximum sensitivity and a low shock rate for impressive impact appetite. New York, While dual lockout is standard on all bikes the Zero suspension delivers excellent pedalling and traction even fully open. That means even this relatively affordable ‘BallisTec Carbon’ framed version will likely sneak under 11kg if you turn the tyres tubeless. The Trek Top Fuel is a testament to a new way of thinking. There was something about that generation that was lost when Trek … That lets Orbea use exactly the same frame for the 120mm Oiz TR with the longer fork also leaning the angles back a degree to 68-degree head and 74-degree seat tube. Trek is the only brand brave enough to fit 2.4in rubber as standard on its new Top Fuel though. The short reach also makes it nervy rather than stable on more challenging trails. Our top choice among the short-travel bikes is the Marin Rift Zone 2, with its go-anywhere, ride-anything pairing of 120 millimeters of front-and-rear suspension and 29-inch wheels. Test riding one might be as simple as heading to your local dealer, and if you actually decided to make the purchase, you’ll get the accompanying service, support and advice, which have measurable value. Fezzari might not be a house-brand name you recognize, but that might change in the near future. Travel (R/F): 130/140mm Also especially if you’re a fan of Giant’s Maestro linkage, which has earned its place among the leading dual-link designs of today. A genuine rocket ship at a remarkably affordable price, Weight: 10.8kg | Travel (F/R): 100/100mm | Remote lockout: Both | Wheels: Reynolds carbon | Group: SRAM XX1 Eagle. Scott Spark RC 900 Team Issue AXS Prizm 2021. The cherry on top? Specialized S-Works Epic full-suspension: 48 wins from 2016 – 2018 2. Trek Top Fuel 9.7 - 2021. Best XC forks 2020: the best cross country forks you can buy today Every model has a 120mm fork and 115mm of rear travel, along with the advanced frame and suspension tech you need to ride fast … Travel (R/F): 153/160mm A set of WTB i29 TCS wheels (like many other bikes in this roundup) are mounted with Maxxis rubber, and can be set up tubeless from the factory if desired. Check out this post for a selection of hardtails starting below $1,000. The Trance has earned both our Penny Pincher and Top Pick badges, as we struggled to find another bike at this price point with specs to topple the Trance. Short reach and twitchy handling, Light but very tight feeling and lifetime warrantied frame and wheel set, Totally future-proofed and trail-capable, yet still superlight frame, Brilliant base suspension enhanced with Fox Live Valve auto adjust, Cutting edge design means credit card melting price, Progressive trail handling in a hyperfast lightweight format, Excellent Zero suspension and brilliant power metered speed spec, Radical geometry deserves a dropper to maximise control, Super light, seriously efficient suspension frame, Pick the SL version for more forgiving geometry, XCO World Champion, Nino Schurter, aboard his Scott Spark RC 900, Full-suspension mountain bikes: everything you need to know, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, Best lightweight mountain bikes under 10kg, Vee Tires launches new Attack HPL gravity rubber option, MS Mondraker Team welcomes three new riders to all-star lineup, UCI Announces 2022 MTB World Cup Calendar. Snap up the 2019 alloy Evo fast if you want a real super light bargain though as it’s not in the 2020 line up. Headtube Angle: 65°commencalusa.com. A healthy dose of e*thirteen goodness comes stock as well, including a TRS+ cassette, tires, seatpost and TRS wheels. Im in the process of replacing my bike and I am completely stuck with a decision between the Trek Top Fuel 9.8 and the Santa Cruz Blur S build. The 25mm internal rims are seriously light though and that combines with a race-ready weight watchers spec including a carbon-railed saddle, SRAM’s wireless AXS group and even a Quarq power crank as standard on this money-is-no-object flagship model. It also keeps the rear wheel more consistently connected for better technical climbing traction and cornering speed. Wheels: 29 Bigger or more belligerent riders should note that the 780mm bars have more than enough leverage to tie it in knots if you get too excited with them though. Hit the release button and you’re back to full travel for descents, and Scott now specs a dropper post on the Spark 960 so you’ll be able to conquer even steeper grades. Headtube Angle: 66°konaworld.com. We’re still talking about race-focused bikes built for close-combat responsiveness, not short-travel trail bikes for flat-out mountain descents here though. A 68-degree head tube is slack but not crazy for a 100mm bike, but the short offset fork increases stability further. At 10.5kg with carbon wheels and cable-operated SRAM Eagle, the RC900 World Cup is definitely a high achievers’ high-velocity sweet spot to aspire to. As a result, even the ultra-light 1750g Scott Spark is still 900g heavier than the hardtail Scott Scale and most head-to-head, in-brand comparisons are significantly heavier. I really like my 9.8 from 2018. Headtube Angle: 67.2°trekbikes.com. The impressive accuracy of the frame definitely helps tough out the most treacherous sections though and rearward axle path means impact appetite is impressive for a 100mm frame. Spin rather than stomp though and the super supple, short-stroke suspension flows over roots, rocks, ruts and other speed-choking chatter like it isn’t there. The Trance 3 is a solid option, especially if you prefer to buy your bikes at actual, real-life brick-and-mortar bike shops. It also comes with a rigid seatpost instead of a dropper, which doesn’t help with its “I only ride lifts” vibe. Geometry is still spicy from a trail bike point of view, but the 69-degree head and 460mm reach (size large) are reasonably confident and roomy for a race bike. Choose the 120mm travel ‘Trail’ Spark and that angle is 67-degrees but it’s still a lighter chassis than most race frames. Shop now! This combines sub 2kg frame weight (sub 10kg bike weights) with 60mm of rear wheel travel via its unique IsoStrut ‘pump-action-shotgun’ top tube embedded shock set-up. – The “Penny Pincher” is the least expensive bike that we found that still looks like it will perform well on the trail. Wheels: 29 However, if you’re someone that prefers to ride lifts, shuttles and occasionally will go for a pedal to earn your turns, the Clash might be your ticket to fun. The suspension is set up perfectly for the Lux’s predatory character, too.