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Santa Cruz Bicycles
$4,199.00 $3,569.15 at Backcountry.com

If you've recently perused Santa Cruz's Enve/XTR spec'd offerings, the experience most likely involved a bout of sticker shock. Th...ankfully, though, Santa Cruz isn't an exclusive manufacture for the world's elite. Instead, you'll find that the 5010 Carbon's R AM build kit creates an accessible entry to the 27. 5-inch arena. And, if the fear of a diminished experience due to inferior parts is going to haunt you, keep in mind that this 125mm trail bike features respected Shimano SLX components. Additionally,it retains front and rear FOX Racing Shox suspension. But, components aside, the big news with this bike are its mid-size wheels and dedicated geometry. Together, they take full advantage of the rolling stock. A quick look at the geometry makes this perfectly clear. The 5010's chainstay length is only a quarter-of-an-inch longer than the Blur TRc, yet it's three-quarters-of-an-inch shorter than the Tallboy LT. Another key number is its bottom bracket height -- the 5010 is . 04-inches higher than the TRc and a quarter-inch lower than the Tallboy LT. This means that aboard the 5010, you'll enjoy that 'seated within' feeling of two-niners, while retaining the nimbleness that would otherwise be lost to long wheelbases, high-center of gravity, and flex'y wheels. In fact, the 5010's wheelbase is a full-inch shorter than the Tallboy, and it has a trail-worthy 68 degree head tube angle. That should be enough numbers to expose the playful, yet composed nature of the 5010. But, just as essential to that balance is Santa Cruz's carbon mastery. The 5010Carbon uses a one-piece layup and curing process for the triangles, as opposed to assembling joints, which would require bonding, wrapping, or rivets. And, because this process allows continuous interlocking fibers to wrap between tubes, the resulting structure efficiently distributes loads and absorbs impact energy. All the while, this process eliminates any excess material. As you might imagine, each size's dedicated tooli... Read More

Juliana
$5,399.00 $4,099.99 at Backcountry.com

Carbon fiber, 29-inch wheels, and Virtual Pivot Point suspension is a combination that's satisfied the need of dirt worshipers for... close to a half-decade. But, if you were of the fairer sex, you were stuck changing multiple parts in the hope that a bike not designed with your needs in mind would work. Juli Furtado is making sure that this issue no longer exists with the Juliana Joplin Carbon Primeiro complete mountain bike. What was once a lone model in a sea of testosterone-fueled mountain bikes, Juliana is now a new division of Santa Cruz, led by non-other than Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee and multi-championship winning Juli Furtado. This means that each model meets her expectations -- not Joe Sixpack. If you take a look at the saddle, bars, and cranks of this Joplin Carbon Primeiro you'll see that they're sized proportionally for female riders. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of a carbon fiber 29er out of the box. One of those carbon advantages, aside from the obvious -- weight -- is it allows the frame to offer superior line-holding stiffness. The front triangle is constructed as once piece. Rather than have components produced separately, and then bonded or wrapped, the carbon fibers are continuous around tube junctions to distribute loads and absorb impact energy better. One thing that you can't see without cutting the frame in half is that it looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. There's nothing there except smooth carbon, this actually prevents stress risers in failure prone areas of the frame. For that reason too, there are no riveted or bonded-on cable and hose guides--they're incorporated into the original layup. That layup provides stiff and solid mounting points for the latest generation of VPP rear suspension. The upper and lower links flatten out the shock rate and provide a more active feel to the early part of the axle path. The suspension allows the rear wheel to move up and back as you ride over a bump, and it ... Read More

Alpinestars
$99.95 at Backcountry.com

When the weather starts getting chilly or you just want the added protection of long pants, the Alpinestars All Mountain AP Pant W...ill take care of your legs with MTB-specific design and materials. Water-resistant fabric sheds water and dries quicklyStretch panels at the thighs add durability and allow an unlimited range of motionSide hook-and-loop adjustments for a custom fitZippered front pocket takes care of valuablesZippered thigh vents for added comfortHook-and-loop straps at ankles to keep your pants out of your drivetrainFit over knee pads Read More

Alpinestars
$99.95 at Backcountry.com

When the weather starts getting chilly or you just want the added protection of long pants, the Alpinestars All Mountain AP Pant W...ill take care of your legs with MTB-specific design and materials. Water-resistant fabric sheds water and dries quicklyStretch panels at the thighs add durability and allow an unlimited range of motionSide hook-and-loop adjustments for a custom fitZippered front pocket takes care of valuablesZippered thigh vents for added comfortHook-and-loop straps at ankles to keep your pants out of your drivetrainFit over knee pads Read More

Alpinestars
$99.95 at Backcountry.com

When the weather starts getting chilly or you just want the added protection of long pants, the Alpinestars All Mountain AP Pant W...ill take care of your legs with MTB-specific design and materials. Water-resistant fabric sheds water and dries quicklyStretch panels at the thighs add durability and allow an unlimited range of motionSide hook-and-loop adjustments for a custom fitZippered front pocket takes care of valuablesZippered thigh vents for added comfortHook-and-loop straps at ankles to keep your pants out of your drivetrainFit over knee pads Read More

Alpinestars
$99.95 at Backcountry.com

When the weather starts getting chilly or you just want the added protection of long pants, the Alpinestars All Mountain AP Pant W...ill take care of your legs with MTB-specific design and materials. Water-resistant fabric sheds water and dries quicklyStretch panels at the thighs add durability and allow an unlimited range of motionSide hook-and-loop adjustments for a custom fitZippered front pocket takes care of valuablesZippered thigh vents for added comfortHook-and-loop straps at ankles to keep your pants out of your drivetrainFit over knee pads Read More

Mountain Khakis
$69.95 at Backcountry.com

Accessorize your 2-wheel lifestyle. A nod to our Wyoming heritage, Jackson Hole's own John Frechette handcrafts each and every Gla...ss Bison Buckle. The colored glass is cut, layered into design, then kiln-fired for up to 12 hours at 1400 degrees. Made using hand-blown glass. 1 belt loop. Buckle only, order MK Leather Belt separately. Packaged in MK canvas drawstring gift pouch. Made in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Features: Dimensions: 3 W x 2H Read More

Alpinestars
$99.95 at Backcountry.com

When the weather starts getting chilly or you just want the added protection of long pants, the Alpinestars All Mountain AP Pant W...ill take care of your legs with MTB-specific design and materials. Water-resistant fabric sheds water and dries quicklyStretch panels at the thighs add durability and allow an unlimited range of motionSide hook-and-loop adjustments for a custom fitZippered front pocket takes care of valuablesZippered thigh vents for added comfortHook-and-loop straps at ankles to keep your pants out of your drivetrainFit over knee pads Read More

Juliana
$750.00 $449.99 at Backcountry.com

Though some cyclists may dismiss certain wheel sizes as being gimmicky themselves, we think it's pretty safe to call an aluminum, ...hardtail, 27. 5 mountain bike frame like the Juliana Nevis a setup that doesn't traffic in nonsense. It's a simple machine with a simple goal: to go from point A to point B across cross-country terrain as efficiently as possible. The Nevis is a hydroformed aluminum frame built on the fast rolling 27. 5 platform, and its hardtail design completely eliminates the common 27. 5 complaint that the slightly larger wheels limit rear travel. That's because it (obviously) eschews any rear suspension to focus solely on cross-country speed, which many feel is a 27. 5's strongest discipline. The replaceable dropouts can be swapped for sliding ones for the occasional single speed dalliance or a full conversion to the power of one. The bottom bracket junction incorporates an asymmetrical forged chainstay yoke for maximum power transfer that doesn't skimp on tire and chainring allowances. The stout chainstays and shaped seatstays are a welcome and necessary addition in so far as they help to smooth out noisy trail surfaces. They also complement the tapered head tube for extremely responsive acceleration over multiple types of terrain. Unwieldy chainstays are another common 27. 5 complaint that the Nevis's geometry addresses. Its relatively short 17. 3-inch chainstays are less than half-an-inch longer than what's on the versatile Furtado frame, so the Nevis places your center of gravity closer to the rear wheel for a surprising amount of flick-ability. The stays are once again co-conspirators with the head tube, which contributes a 70. 5 degree angle for a compact, fast-steering front end that goes some way toward addressing yet another criticism of 27. 5s: that they lack the agility of smaller wheels. It also allows you to get into a powerful cross-country position, which is where the combination of 27. 5-inch wheels and a hardtail really shine. ... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$2,000.00 at Backcountry.com

The Yeti ARC Carbon Mountain Bike Frame isn't another uniform 29er. It is a technology driven, race-ready hardtail that also uses ...27. 5in wheels for Small and X-Small variants. Yeti's notorious for doing things right, and the fact they've designed the ARC with rubber proportional to frame size, is case in point. The idea of X-Large frames rolling on 26ers or X-Smalls on 29ers is quite skewed when a little logic is applied. Yet, manufacturers, remarkably, still insist on offering those options. When different diameter wheels are applied to a proportionately sized chassis, packaging and construction is much more natural -- and ride characteristics are enhanced for the end user. A quick look at the geometry difference between the 27. 5 and 29 ARC brings this to light. The ARC's geometry is nearly identical to the Big Top, not surprising given the expertise of Yeti and development of that frame, but there was never a Small or X-Small Big Top option. Yeti saw the issues with packing 29in wheels in compact frames and smartly stayed away. The Small and X-Small ARCs, on the other hand, enjoy the benefit of shorter chainstays, along with a lower bottom bracket and standover height thanks to the mid-wheel option. While this is great news to anyone who fits the X-Small and Small ARC Carbons, there's much more going on here to warrant the coveted, heritage-rich ARC nomenclature. Born during the lightweight trend of the early nineties, ARC stood for Alloy Racing Composite, and the frames were constructed from aluminum Easton tubing. Carrying on that tradition, this ARC drops nearly a pound and a half from the Big Top by employing Yeti's extensive carbon proficiency. This is Yeti's first full-monocoque carbon hardtail, but it's far from Yeti's first dance with the black weave. From carbon pivots to full frames, Yeti's stable has had some form of carbon fiber for the better half of a decade. The ARC's smooth lines, tapered head tube, and 12x142mm rear axle complement the un... Read More

Juliana
$2,399.00 $1,999.00 at Backcountry.com

Simplicity and straight-forward, female-specific tweaks to Santa Cruz's Superlight made the Juliana a favorite among dirt divas si...nce '99. That was almost fifteen years ago, and now Juliana is being turned into its own division, with multiple models, and headed by none other than Juli Furtado. And, that original, successful formula soldiers on with modern updates as the Origin dressed here in the Premeiro complete mountain bike package. Now, Small and Medium models ride on 29in wheels, reserving 26in ones for the X-Small version. Like the Segundo build, the Origin Premeiro is focused on value, but it steps up the performance game with a FOX Racing Shock up front and Shimano SLX components replacing Deore. You'll still find the Origin Premeiro equipped with Deore cranks, but the rear derailleur, shifters, cassette, and chain are now SLX. The wheels consist of a Shimano M756 rear hub and Sram 716 front hub laced to WTB ST i19 rims with DT Swiss spokes. It also gets Deore disc brakes over the Segundo's Elixir 1's. While these components contribute to this Origin's impressive performance, the biggest contributing factor is its alloy, single pivot frame. Due to this, the Origin offers performance that can rival bikes costing twice as much -- with the reliability to keep it out of the shop and on the trail. The light yet strong, hydroformed aluminum front and rear triangles are shaped and butted to place more material where it's needed. This ensures strength and stiffness for confident descending. But that strength isn't going to hamper your climb to the top, because of the hydroforming. any excess weight is eliminated to keep the Origin feathery. With big, 29in wheels, stiffness is paramount, that's why you'll find that the rear triangle has an asymmetric shape. This prevents flex and ensures suspension motion is directed to the rear shock and not into flexing the frame, which would cause it to dog trot around switchbacks or across rock gardens. The Origin relies ... Read More

Niner
$6,099.00 at Backcountry.com

Anyone who rides mountain bikes but doesn't understand the concept of approach and departure angles with relation to wheel size wi...ll become immediately familiar with it as soon as they take a spin on a 29er. The wheels' larger diameter means much lower angles, which means that dips and bumps in the trail don't affect the wheels' path as much, so you can roll smoother and faster. Add in at least five inches of suspension travel front and rear? You get a monster like the Niner RIP 9 RDO 4-Star X01 Complete Mountain Bike. The RIP is a seriously capable machine, and it all starts with the frame. The 125mm-travel RIP 9 RDO (for Race Day Optimized) is a revolutionary monocoque carbon chassis, the design of which employed the latest computer modeling to explore every conceivable option. The result is a structure with a massive bottom bracket area, a direct-mount front-derailleur interface, 142mm rear spacing, titanium frame guards, and carbon linkages to boot. But, those attributes are worthless without a proven geometry, and, luckily, Niner's already sorted its mid-travel geometry with the alloy RIP 9. And while the RDO's angles are based on its alloy stablemate, it is, for lack of a better term, no carbon copy. The RDO treatment includes a redesigned rear triangle and suspension links, where the use of carbon allowed engineers to add 10mm of travel without compromising tire clearance. More impressively, however, is that Niner was able to knock 5mm off of the chainstay length. What this means is that the Niner's no-compromise approach resulted in an overall chassis that's not only significantly lighter with more travel, but it also feels sprightlier and pulls up easier due to a shorter wheelbase. So, to say that the RIP 9 RDO checks all of the right boxes is an understatement. Another key feature to all dual-suspension Niners is the Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension design. Niner placed extra stiff links in positions that isolated pedaling forces, while remain... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$6,599.00 at Backcountry.com

So you've been doing your research. You're trying to find that one bike that can do damn near anything, from marathon racing to al...l-day, all-mountain crushing. You know you want a top-notch build kit and a 1x drivetrain, but you can't spend the equivalent of a down payment on a condo on a bike. Allow us to introduce the 2015 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon X01 Complete Mountain Bike -- a machine that meets all your needs for a supreme piece, without pushing you into outrageous pricing territory. So what makes the 5010 such a well-balanced machine? Here are the highlights. First, 27. 5-inch wheels, the sweet spot between big-wheel 29ers and 26ers. Second, 125mm of rear-wheel travel, landing right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, perfectly neutral geometry that can climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. Fourth, in the case of the 5010 Carbon X01 Complete frameset, the all-conquering carbon chassis and the wonderful things that you can do upon it with the excellent parts you'll find on board. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is beautifully showcased in the 5010. The company's C carbon model framesets -- like that used for the X01 build here -- use a higher-grade carbon for a moderately lighter, stiffer overall chassis than the standard carbon frameset on which most less expensive models are built. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's a result of construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this.. Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$2,499.00 at Backcountry.com

As the longest-standing Santa Cruz model, the Heckler D Complete Mountain Bike has big shoes to fill, and it's up to the task. The... reliable aluminum single-pivot chassis features 27. 5-inch wheels and the same aggressive geometry as the Bronson, which lends ample versatility and an aggressive ride. And it's well matched by a durable, affordable build kit that's intended to keep you on the trails with less time in the shop. While the Heckler is a simple machine, that doesn't mean that it's not thoroughly modern. Its burly aluminum tubeset is built to withstand the rigors of aggressive riding, without being heavy. Like Santa Cruz's VPP bikes, it runs on super-stiff collet hardware, which has the added benefit of being easy to service. Further enhancing the stiffness is a 12x142mm rear thru-axle. The 30. 9mm seat tube offers compatibility with dropper posts should you choose to upgrade, as many riders will. Its tapered head tube makes room for a tapered fork -- significantly improving front end stiffness, especially under braking. And it's rounded out with 150mm of trail-smoothing travel, as well as geometry that's primed for wide-open descending and long days in the saddle. The result is a bike that's simple, trustworthy, and every bit as capable as you are.Santa Cruz's D kit starts off with an Evolution series FOX FLOAT CTD rear shock, which is nicely matched by the RockShox Sektor Gold RL 130mm travel fork. The drivetrain is a blend of Shimano's workhorse SLX groupset, rounded out with some select SRAM bits. Stopping comes courtesy of SRAM DB1 hydraulic brakes. The cockpit consists of a Race Face Ride bar, stem, and seatpost, which is topped with a WTB Volt saddle. The wheels are hand built at Santa Cruz, and consist of SRAM hubs laced with DT spokes to WTB rims, and they're wrapped in Maxxis tires for fast rolling and tons of grip in a variety of trail conditions.The Santa Cruz Heckler D Complete Mountain Bike is available in four sizes, from Small to X-Large... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$2,999.00 at Backcountry.com

The Tallboy is one of the most popular 29-inch mountain bikes in the world, which is saying a lot. Wagon wheels now rival 26-inche...rs in the numbers out on the trails (with 27. 5-inchers rapidly claiming market share now, too), so that's a lot of bikes. Hoping to ensure that everyone can get in on the action, Santa Cruz offers the venerable Tallboy frameset in a few different versions and with a few different build kits, the most affordable -- but no less capable -- of which is what you see here, the 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy R Complete Mountain Bike. So why step up to 29-inch wheels? They may be a bit heavier than 26-inch wheels, which can make the bikes slightly less agile and slightly slower to accelerate, but once you've adjusted to them, they offer tremendous advantages, like lower approach and departure angles to roll over obstacles more easily, and increased contact patch length for greater traction in cornering and climbing. The greater inertia of the larger wheels maintains your momentum better, as well. To be fair, it took a few generations before most manufacturers could dial in the proper geometry to 29ers so that they didn't feel awkward on the trails, but the Tallboy is an excellent example of it done right. The Tallboy's a well-balanced bike, with agile handling and geometry that's slightly aggressive, but not so much so as to compromise its comfort in non-aggressive situations. It's as capable on the climbs or descents as you want it to be. A size Small is available, too, with a very low standover height, making the Tallboy an exceptionally friendly 29er to shorter riders out there. Santa Cruz has long been established as masters in alloy formation, and the Tallboy showcases this, as well. Hydroformed and butted tubes create a laterally stiff and responsive chassis, with a tapered head tube for accurate steering and threaded bottom bracket to keep maintenance down. The bottom line is a fast, stable machine that's as happy to race as it is to quietly ... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$3,199.00 at Backcountry.com

The supreme capabilities of Santa Cruz's all-trail crusher, the Bronson, have been well documented, as have the eye-watering price...s that some models of it command. Cry not: The Santa Cruz Bronson R Complete Mountain Bike is here to dry your tears, putting Bronson's skills in your hands without taking your wallet out of them. Certainly, the carbon fiber version of the Bronson delivers the model's purest performance, but the alloy version here showcases the latest and greatest of Santa Cruz's expertise in the manipulation of aluminum, delivering a frame that's only slightly heavier than its fibrous friend. Butted and hydroformed tubes take optimized shapes that came to be as the result of countless test-riding hours and computer model simulation, resulting in, among other things, excellent standover height and a tapered head tube for steering precision. On the whole, handling and lateral stiffness are superb. Were it not for the scales or the ring from the flick of your fingernail, you'd likely never notice that this here Bronson is born from metal. At the heart of the Bronson is the highly refined VPP suspension platform that's been optimized for mid-sized wheels. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved among avid riders for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. The upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower-link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts and lengthen the wheelbase at the same time for greater stability. You'll also find the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight and are... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$6,599.00 at Backcountry.com

So you've been doing your research. You're trying to find that one bike that can do damn near anything, from marathon racing to al...l-day, all-mountain crushing. You know you want a top-notch build kit and a 1x drivetrain, but you can't spend the equivalent of a down payment on a condo on a bike. Allow us to introduce the 2015 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon X01 Complete Mountain Bike -- a machine that meets all your needs for a supreme piece, without pushing you into outrageous pricing territory. So what makes the 5010 such a well-balanced machine? Here are the highlights. First, 27. 5-inch wheels, the sweet spot between big-wheel 29ers and 26ers. Second, 125mm of rear-wheel travel, landing right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, perfectly neutral geometry that can climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. Fourth, in the case of the 5010 Carbon X01 Complete frameset, the all-conquering carbon chassis and the wonderful things that you can do upon it with the excellent parts you'll find on board. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is beautifully showcased in the 5010. The company's C carbon model framesets -- like that used for the X01 build here -- use a higher-grade carbon for a moderately lighter, stiffer overall chassis than the standard carbon frameset on which most less expensive models are built. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's a result of construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this.. Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$5,999.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon X01 Complete Mountain Bike is made for the cross country rider who pushes the boundaries. Built... off of the legendary Tallboy 2 platform, this lightweight carbon fiber trail rocket is stiff, lightweight, and responsive -- everything you need in a great XC bike. But when you turn up the heat, the Tallboy responds in kind, treating you to neutral handling that will bail you out of much hairier situations than you might have imagined. In other words, one of our favorite trail bikes is back, and it's not slowing down any time soon. When revising the Tallboy last year, Santa Cruz made sure that any improvements were exactly that -- improvements. After all, why mess with a good thing? Rather than make changes to the geometry on its best-selling model, Santa Cruz instead looked at ways to shave weight and improve stiffness. The resulting frame is significantly lighter than comparable designs on the market. But, saving weight isn't everything, which is why Santa Cruz managed to also make the Tallboy stiffer. You'll also find that Santa Cruz incorporated the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots will stay tight, while also making service a breeze. The main improvement that you'll notice in the saddle is the modified suspension rate. Specifically, the progressivity at the end of the stroke has been reduced in comparison to the original Tallboy. In translation, modern shocks are more capable of resisting bottoming-out than they were during the genesis of the Tallboy. So, this revised suspension layout provides full travel with the current generation of suspension dampers. More specifically, it's tuned for the FOX Racing Shox FLOAT CTD shock, which features FOX's CTD adjustment for simplified suspension tuning. And, piggybacking off of improved suspension action, the overall efficiency receives a boost as well. The suspension is a refinement of Santa Cruz's dua... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$4,999.00 at Backcountry.com

Yeti's own Nick Ramey describes the SB5-C Enduro Complete Mountain Bike as the perfect, one-quiver bike in that it straddles the d...ivide between gravity/enduro racing and the all-day trail bike. That's not surprising, given that Ramey is a Yeti man, but our own reviewer calls it a bike that, unlike the over-specialization being pushed across the industry, is just really good for going mountain biking across all terrains and disciplines. It's not strictly an enduro, trail, gravity, or cross-country bike. It's a mountain bike. This is because, like an enduro sled, it only gets more comfortable the faster that you ride it, and its trail-bike tendencies mean you can ride it very, very fast. To hit this enduro/trail sweet spot, the SB5-C Enduro blends two of Yeti's suspension philosophies in order to create a platform that climbs well, courtesy of its Switch Link heritage, without sacrificing the ability to take big hits, which it owes to its 303 pedigree. The result is the Switch Infinity. The original Switch Link has been written to death in publications across the industry, so we'll keep this brief by touching on the differences between Link and Infinity. When you get past the 30% stroke while really pushing the Link's limits, the eccentric creates a momentary harshness under rapidly successive big hits. The Infinity replaces the Link's sinuous travel arc with a linear plane of motion, so it changes direction without getting caught in the minute dead spot that produces that harshness. Of course, 95% of all riders won't ever push the Switch Link hard enough to experience this dead spot, but Yeti (being Yeti) went ahead and fixed it, anyway. Don't let the suspension's apparently complicated construction fool you into thinking this is a temperamental piece of tech-heavy maintenance nightmare. FOX has successfully tested production units to well over a million compression cycles while completely submerged in mud, a durability that's further proven by the three-... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$2,199.00 at Backcountry.com

The Santa Cruz Superlight D Complete Bike is one of the best values in mountain biking, period, and to bring that point into focus..., consider that the Superlight platform is one of Santa Cruz's originals, with high-dollar versions of it still screaming around race courses the world over. It's a frameset with a proven pedigree, here rendered with a build kit that's friendlier to the wallet of the weekend warrior. While the Superlight's single-pivot suspension design is nothing new, the company has taken the platform and refined it to perfection over the years, resulting in a durable, reliable frame. Evidence of this in found in the pivot's location. It's placed slightly above and forward of the middle chainring, to offer the best balance of pedaling efficiency and bump compliance (more on that in a minute). The hydroformed tubes of the Superlight are dialed for maximum rigidity. With bigger 27. 5 and 29 wheels especially, stiffness is paramount, which is why you'll find that the rear triangle has an asymmetric shape. This prevents flex and ensures suspension motion is directed to the rear shock and not into flexing the frame, which would otherwise cause it to flex or shutter around switchbacks or across rock gardens. The Fox FLOAT CTD Evolution rear shock on the Superlight has three distinct damping settings. Climb, Trail, and Descend settings (hence, CTD) are easily switchable via the lever on the top of the shock, and allow you quickly and easily adjust the shock to suit the terrain you plan to tackle. If you're going to sprint up a fire road, for example, the Climb setting will essentially lock out the rear shock -- but remain compliant over water bars or sharp edge bumps. The Trail setting provides a more active motion to assist with traction when traversing punchy, root-laden hills or flowy sections of trail. And the Descend setting offers unrestricted motion for technical downhill sections that would otherwise bobble you about. To squeeze every bit of per... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$8,719.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike is an XC race rocket with a little something extra. Sure, the l...ight, responsive frame is mated to a build kit that would make most pro cross country racers green with envy, but unlike so many race whippets, the Tallboy is built to thrive when things start getting hairy. So whether you're stomping people in your local race series, or tearing your buddies' legs off on your after-work hammerfest, this machine will gladly back you up every step of the way. When revising the Tallboy frame, Santa Cruz made sure that any improvements were exactly that -- improvements. After all, why mess with a good thing? Rather than make changes to the geometry on its best-selling model, Santa Cruz instead looked at ways to shave weight and improve stiffness. The resulting frame is significantly lighter than comparable designs on the market. But, saving weight isn't everything, which is why Santa Cruz managed to also make the Tallboy stiffer. You'll also find that Santa Cruz incorporated the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots will stay tight, while also making service a breeze. The main improvement that you'll notice in the saddle is the modified suspension rate. Specifically, the progressivity at the end of the stroke has been reduced in comparison to the original Tallboy. In translation, modern shocks are more capable of resisting bottoming-out than they were during the genesis of the Tallboy. So, this revised suspension layout provides full travel with the current generation of suspension dampers. More specifically, it's tuned for the FOX Racing Shox FLOAT CTD shock, which features FOX's CTD adjustment for simplified suspension tuning. And, piggybacking off of improved suspension action, the overall efficiency receives a boost as well. The suspension is a refinement of Santa Cruz's dual-link, counter-rotating VPP suspension design.... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$5,999.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon X01 Complete Mountain Bike is made for the cross country rider who pushes the boundaries. Built... off of the legendary Tallboy 2 platform, this lightweight carbon fiber trail rocket is stiff, lightweight, and responsive -- everything you need in a great XC bike. But when you turn up the heat, the Tallboy responds in kind, treating you to neutral handling that will bail you out of much hairier situations than you might have imagined. In other words, one of our favorite trail bikes is back, and it's not slowing down any time soon. When revising the Tallboy last year, Santa Cruz made sure that any improvements were exactly that -- improvements. After all, why mess with a good thing? Rather than make changes to the geometry on its best-selling model, Santa Cruz instead looked at ways to shave weight and improve stiffness. The resulting frame is significantly lighter than comparable designs on the market. But, saving weight isn't everything, which is why Santa Cruz managed to also make the Tallboy stiffer. You'll also find that Santa Cruz incorporated the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots will stay tight, while also making service a breeze. The main improvement that you'll notice in the saddle is the modified suspension rate. Specifically, the progressivity at the end of the stroke has been reduced in comparison to the original Tallboy. In translation, modern shocks are more capable of resisting bottoming-out than they were during the genesis of the Tallboy. So, this revised suspension layout provides full travel with the current generation of suspension dampers. More specifically, it's tuned for the FOX Racing Shox FLOAT CTD shock, which features FOX's CTD adjustment for simplified suspension tuning. And, piggybacking off of improved suspension action, the overall efficiency receives a boost as well. The suspension is a refinement of Santa Cruz's dua... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$10,299.00 at Backcountry.com

The Nomad has proven itself as one of the premier bikes for riders who choose to pedal, and are motivated by gravity. But just whe...n you thought it couldn't get any better, the Santa Cruz Nomad XX1 Enve Complete Mountain Bike comes along and redefines the genre. Now in the third generation, and built with ENVE's class-leading 27. 5 inch wheels, this setup was built as a no-compromises machine for winning Enduro World Series rounds. For the rest of us, that translates into a bike that's surprisingly easy to ascend on, even though the real fun starts when the trail turns back down.The Nomad's VPP suspension platform has been considerably improved as compared to the previous version, with particular focus being paid to improving mid-stroke support, as well as off-the-top small bump compliance. Much as it always has, it still maintains the snappy pedaling that's essential for piloting a long-travel bike to the top of your favorite runs. At the heart of VPP is two aluminum counter-rotating links. The upper-link, borrowed from the V10, provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which is responsible for the firm pedaling feel. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower-link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts. This affords you extra margin for error when you're experimenting with the ragged edge of control. It's a design that's well matched by the incredibly capable Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir rear shock, which has been redesigned to offer even better small-bump compliance than its predecessor. And you'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight, and are easily serviceable by home mechanics.Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is on display here as well. Both the front and rear ... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$9,999.00 at Backcountry.com

When you come across a bike like the Yeti ASR Carbon XX1 Complete Mountain Bike, even jaded professional bike nerds like us just h...ave to sit back and stare in awe for a moment before we can begin to absorb what we're seeing. Simply put, if you're an XC rider, endurance racer, or just all-around trail jockey looking for a light, fast bike that can also handle some big lines, this is among the most impressive and capable machines released so far this decade. Back in the day -- and even not so far back -- cross-country legends like John Tomac and Paul Rowney were practically yawning their way around rivals aboard bikes like the original Yeti ARC Hardtail, which was so light, stiff, and fast it was almost unfair. The ASR Carbon frameset proudly continues this tradition, and pulls both new and old tricks out of its hat to put on an amazing show of technical prowess. For starters, carbon reigns supreme here. Yeti's been poking and prodding its blend of high-modulus fibers for years, and in the case of the ASR Carbon, it takes the form of an extremely stiff but light frame (4. 2 lbs) that utilizes a single-pivot linkage system. Where you won't find a fancy multi-link suspension platform, you find good reason. The single-pivot design saves major weight, and the rate-modifying link that guides the carbon Loopstays rear swing-arm teams up with a FOX FLOAT CTD rear shock on which Yeti worked obsessively with FOX to dial in the proper tune. Efficiency on the climbs and confidence on the descents is yours, as the linkage/shock combo make for a highly controlled but also reactive platform that feels bigger than it is. Throw a relatively low bottom bracket and a somewhat slack head tube angle into the mix with that efficiency -- nods to Yeti's downhill expertise -- and you have a machine that can do damn near anything, and feels comfortable doing it, all day or night. Designed around a 120mm fork foremost, the frame can also happily accept a 100mm fork for a slightly lower, qui. Read More

Niner
$5,399.00 at Backcountry.com

While often considered irreconcilable attributes, the 2015 Niner Jet 9 RDO X1 3-Star Complete Mountain Bike brings together speed ...and low weight with a fair price for what you get, putting podium-topping cross-country and trail performance within reach for that many more riders. The Jet 9 RDO frameset is Niner's premium dual-suspension XC platform, the RDO (for Race Day Optimized) designation signifying a few key differences over its non-RDO brother, the Jet 9 Carbon -- namely a 142x12mm rear axle for greater rear-end stiffness, a lighter, stronger carbon layup to the front triangle, and a full-carbon upper shock link. That link guides Niner's completely proprietary, completely revolutionary CVA suspension system through all 100mm of its travel. Designed specifically around 29-inch wheels -- as opposed to being merely a tweaking of an existing 26-inch-wheel suspension design -- CVA (Continuously Varying Arc) is both taut and supple. Its low compression ratio means there's less need for suspension preload, so the mechanism can float more freely and react more readily to the terrain without being loose or sloppy. CVA's lower linkage placement beneath the bottom bracket means that pedaling forces are isolated to prevent the chassis from bobbing and bouncing under input, resulting in a smooth but efficient bike that's responsive to both your power and the trail's trickery. The included Fox FLOAT CTD shock with Kashima coating only further serves up CVA's suspension goodness. The switchable on-the-fly Climb, Trail, and Descend modes toggle the shock's compression settings for either firm, medium, or wide-open suspension movement, respectively, so you can decide what mode would be best for a given situation. The Kashima coating treatment of the shock allows for superb smoothness along with minimal maintenance thanks to excellent sealing mechanisms and a more durable exterior. The Jet 9 RDO frameset promises to deliver more than just a superb suspension experience, howe... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$4,999.00 at Backcountry.com

Yeti's own Nick Ramey describes the SB5-C Enduro Complete Mountain Bike as the perfect, one-quiver bike in that it straddles the d...ivide between gravity/enduro racing and the all-day trail bike. That's not surprising, given that Ramey is a Yeti man, but our own reviewer calls it a bike that, unlike the over-specialization being pushed across the industry, is just really good for going mountain biking across all terrains and disciplines. It's not strictly an enduro, trail, gravity, or cross-country bike. It's a mountain bike. This is because, like an enduro sled, it only gets more comfortable the faster that you ride it, and its trail-bike tendencies mean you can ride it very, very fast. To hit this enduro/trail sweet spot, the SB5-C Enduro blends two of Yeti's suspension philosophies in order to create a platform that climbs well, courtesy of its Switch Link heritage, without sacrificing the ability to take big hits, which it owes to its 303 pedigree. The result is the Switch Infinity. The original Switch Link has been written to death in publications across the industry, so we'll keep this brief by touching on the differences between Link and Infinity. When you get past the 30% stroke while really pushing the Link's limits, the eccentric creates a momentary harshness under rapidly successive big hits. The Infinity replaces the Link's sinuous travel arc with a linear plane of motion, so it changes direction without getting caught in the minute dead spot that produces that harshness. Of course, 95% of all riders won't ever push the Switch Link hard enough to experience this dead spot, but Yeti (being Yeti) went ahead and fixed it, anyway. Don't let the suspension's apparently complicated construction fool you into thinking this is a temperamental piece of tech-heavy maintenance nightmare. FOX has successfully tested production units to well over a million compression cycles while completely submerged in mud, a durability that's further proven by the three-... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$7,399.00 at Backcountry.com

Yeti's renowned SB66 departed this world to the screams of horror of its aggressively devoted fans. After all, it almost singularl...y ushered the phrase superbike into the industry's lexicon. It could do it all. So how does the new SB6 Carbon stack up? Simple: better in every single way, and the 2015 Yeti SB6 Carbon X01 Complete Bike is a proud showing off of the company's beastly new bones. First, let's look at the new suspension platform, called Switch Infinity -- an evolution of the Switch Link used on the SB66, the SB75, and a few other current Yetis. Like Switch Link, the Switch Infinity slider travels upward under the first phase of compression, when the SB6 is settling into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts. Think of it as everything that has earned the Switch Link such high praise, except that it rides smoother and is easier to maintain than the previous eccentric pivot. And because it travels in a perfectly linear plane, instead of the tight arc that Switch Link produces, Switch Infinity has allowed Yeti to achieve a set of unique suspension characteristics. Undoubtedly, there will be those who balk at the idea of having a seemingly complicated pivot, but in reality, it's lighter and more user friendly than the Switch Link pivot that it replaces. The lightness can be attributed to the Kashima-coated mini-stanchions and feathery forged shuttle, which were co-developed with FOX Racing Shox. Ease of use comes courtesy of the easily-accessible grease ports, which do away with the need for time-consuming rebuilds. FOX has successfully tested production units to well over a million compression cycles while completely submerged in mud. And the durability is further proven by the three-year-old test units that are ... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$9,699.00 at Backcountry.com

Yeti's all-new SB6 Carbon frameset is the steroidal sibling of the company's revolutionary new SB5 Carbon, the 5 being an any-trai...l rig so capable it threatens to cannibalize even Yeti's diverse lineup. Aimed at the biggest trails, the biggest lines, and the biggest gaps you can muster, however, the SB6 makes its focus clear when you take a look at its numbers. The SB6 X01 complete bike is already about as gnar as they come. So what could make it better? A wheel upgrade from none other than ENVE. The result is a machine called the 2015 Yeti SB6 Carbon X01 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike, and everything you can do upon it. First, let's look at the new suspension platform, called Switch Infinity -- an evolution of the Switch Link used on the famous SB66, the SB75, and a few other Yetis. Like Switch Link, the Switch Infinity slider travels upward under the first phase of compression, when the SB6 is settling into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts. Think of it as everything that has earned the Switch Link such high praise, except that it rides smoother and is easier to maintain than the previous eccentric pivot. And because it travels in a perfectly linear plane, instead of the tight arc that Switch Link produces, Switch Infinity has allowed Yeti to achieve a set of unique suspension characteristics. Undoubtedly, there will be those who balk at the idea of having a seemingly complicated pivot, but in reality, it's lighter and more user friendly than the Switch Link pivot that it replaces. The lightness can be attributed to the Kashima-coated mini-stanchions and feathery forged shuttle, which were co-developed with FOX Racing Shox. Ease of use comes courtesy of the easily-accessible grease ports, which do away with the need ... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$6,599.00 at Backcountry.com

The Yeti SB5 Carbon X01 Complete Mountain Bike builds on the storied SuperBike lineage to deliver a killer on-trail experience. Th...is carbon, mid-wheeled rocket ship is Yeti's first model to run on the all-new Switch Infinity suspension system -- a natural evolution of the Switch Link that made the SB series so popular. As befits its name, the geometry is low, slack, and long, which makes it far more capable than its feathery weight might imply. But this is no flimsy flier. The carbon fiber chassis is stiff and durable, so you need not hesitate when charging into hairy terrain. Like Switch Link, the Switch Infinity slider travels upward under the first phase of compression, when the SB5 is settling into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts. Think of it as everything that has earned the Switch Link such high praise, except that it rides smoother and is easier to maintain than the previous eccentric pivot. And because it travels in a perfectly linear plane, instead of the tight arc that Switch Link produces, Switch Infinity has allowed Yeti to achieve a set of unique suspension characteristics. Undoubtedly, there will be those who balk at the idea of having a seemingly complicated pivot, but in reality, it's lighter and more user friendly than the Switch Link pivot that it replaces. The lightness can be attributed to the Kashima-coated mini-stanchions and feathery forged shuttle, which were co-developed with FOX Racing Shox. Ease of use comes courtesy of the easily-accessible grease ports, which do away with the need for time-consuming rebuilds. FOX has successfully tested production units to well over a million compression cycles while completely submerged in mud. And the durability is further proven by the three year ... Read More

Juliana
$5,399.00 $4,099.99 at Backcountry.com

Carbon fiber, 29-inch wheels, and Virtual Pivot Point suspension is a combination that's satisfied the need of dirt worshipers for... close to a half-decade. But, if you were of the fairer sex, you were stuck changing multiple parts in the hope that a bike not designed with your needs in mind would work. Juli Furtado is making sure that this issue no longer exists with the Juliana Joplin Carbon Primeiro complete mountain bike. What was once a lone model in a sea of testosterone-fueled mountain bikes, Juliana is now a new division of Santa Cruz, led by non-other than Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee and multi-championship winning Juli Furtado. This means that each model meets her expectations -- not Joe Sixpack. If you take a look at the saddle, bars, and cranks of this Joplin Carbon Primeiro you'll see that they're sized proportionally for female riders. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of a carbon fiber 29er out of the box. One of those carbon advantages, aside from the obvious -- weight -- is it allows the frame to offer superior line-holding stiffness. The front triangle is constructed as once piece. Rather than have components produced separately, and then bonded or wrapped, the carbon fibers are continuous around tube junctions to distribute loads and absorb impact energy better. One thing that you can't see without cutting the frame in half is that it looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. There's nothing there except smooth carbon, this actually prevents stress risers in failure prone areas of the frame. For that reason too, there are no riveted or bonded-on cable and hose guides--they're incorporated into the original layup. That layup provides stiff and solid mounting points for the latest generation of VPP rear suspension. The upper and lower links flatten out the shock rate and provide a more active feel to the early part of the axle path. The suspension allows the rear wheel to move up and back as you ride over a bump, and it ... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$4,799.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Carbon Complete Mountain Bike adds a value-packed build kit to the reference big-wheeled trail slay...er. It all starts with the widely-acclaimed carbon fiber Tallboy LT frame, which is just as capable of enduro race wins as it is on all-day trail rides, and adds a well-considered build kit to the equation that reinforces the LT's strong points, without resulting in a stratospheric price tag. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into the LT. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the LT is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's a result of construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this ideal degree of compaction optimizes the strength. And the strength and stiffness are further enhanced with the mechanic-friendly, oversized 15mm collet-style hardware and a 12x142mm thru-axle out back. The result is a frame that's light enough for endurance racing and strong enough for anything you can throw at it.At the heart of the LT's handling is a highly refined VPP suspension. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. If you're wondering how it works, the upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$2,999.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy LT R Complete Mountain Bike picks up where last year's model left off -- ripping trails with aplomb. A...s ever, the stout aluminum frame is dressed in cost-effective components, which are built to take a beating all season long. Sure, you could save some weight upgrading to the carbon fiber version, but if you're looking for tons of value in a certified trail shredder, you've come to the right place. The Tallboy LT is made of aluminum, with Santa Cruz's signature hydroformed top and down tubes. A medium frame is about a pound and a half heavier than its carbon brother, but its price is much friendlier, and it's still amply strong. And the strength and stiffness are further enhanced with the mechanic-friendly, oversized 15mm collet-style hardware and a 12x142mm thru-axle out back. The result is a frame that's light enough for endurance racing, and strong enough for anything you can throw at it.At the heart of the LT's handling is a highly refined VPP suspension. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. If you're wondering how it works, the upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts, so the ride is smooth, not jarring. And you'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that has become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. That means that your pivots stay tight and are simple to service, even for home mechanics. Anyone who's ridden the LT will tell you that the feel is balanced, yet decidedly aggressive, and the geometry of the LT is an integral part of its... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$4,699.00 at Backcountry.com

There are more options than ever when it comes to quiver-killer mountain bikes, but the 5010 is arguably the benchmark against whi...ch we judge all others. With its combination of balanced geometry, efficient pedaling, and lightweight construction, it's easy to see why. And with the 5010 Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike, Santa Cruz brings this certified trail monster to a price point that the rest of us can live with. There are a few reasons that the 5010 has earned such a devoted following. First, 27. 5-inch wheels are the sweet spot between the rolling speed of 29ers and the responsiveness of 26ers. Second, 127mm of rear wheel travel lands right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, the perfectly neutral geometry will climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. The head angle sits at 68 degrees, which is slack enough for DH stability, but aggressive enough for capable climbing. At 17. 1 inches, the chainstays are long enough to provide plenty of climbing grip, but short enough to keep the 5010 carving turns with ease. And finally, the light, stiff carbon fiber chassis is ready for just about anything. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into 5010, although this version uses a slightly lower grade of carbon fiber than the higher end C frame. This requires more material be used to achieve the same strength, so it's about a pound heavier for a medium frame, but in every other aspect, it's held to the same astoundingly high standards as Santa Cruz's other frames. And the upshot is that you get a frame that's every bit as stiff and strong, with a more palatable price tag. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, y... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$4,699.00 at Backcountry.com

The Bronson wasn't the first mid-wheeled trail monster, but it sure made a splash. And the Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon S 2015 Comple...te Mountain Bike brings the lauded trail slayer to its full potential, without requiring a mortgage to own. As ever, it descends like a rocket, rips turns, and climbs far better than it should. And with a well-considered build kit that's ready for anything, there's just not much that the Bronson won't gladly take on. It's no secret that we love the Bronson, and it's fairly easy to see why. First, 27. 5-inch wheels have quickly become the de facto wheel size for aggressive riders thanks to the responsive handling and fast rolling speed. Then there's the 150mm of rear wheel travel, which is primed to smooth out harsh trails, while the VPP suspension platform lends efficient pedaling on the climbs. And we would be mistaken not to mention the neutral geometry that descends with aplomb and generally rips whether up or down. The head angle sits at 67 degrees, which provides plenty of high-speed stability, without being cumbersome at lower speeds. At 17. 3 inches, the chainstays are long enough to keep you centered in the bike, yet short enough to allow the Bronson to carve up turns with ease. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into the Bronson, although this version uses a slightly lower grade of carbon fiber than the higher end C frame. This requires more material be used to achieve the same strength, so it's about a pound heavier for a medium frame, but in every other aspect, it's held to the same astoundingly high standards as Santa Cruz's other frames. And the upshot is that you get a frame that's every bit as stiff and strong, with a more palatable price tag. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the Bronson is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupt... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$9,699.00 at Backcountry.com

Yeti's all-new SB6 Carbon frameset is the steroidal sibling of the company's revolutionary new SB5 Carbon, the 5 being an any-trai...l rig so capable it threatens to cannibalize even Yeti's diverse lineup. Aimed at the biggest trails, the biggest lines, and the biggest gaps you can muster, however, the SB6 makes its focus clear when you take a look at its numbers. The SB6 X01 complete bike is already about as gnar as they come. So what could make it better? A wheel upgrade from none other than ENVE. The result is a machine called the 2015 Yeti SB6 Carbon X01 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike, and everything you can do upon it. First, let's look at the new suspension platform, called Switch Infinity -- an evolution of the Switch Link used on the famous SB66, the SB75, and a few other Yetis. Like Switch Link, the Switch Infinity slider travels upward under the first phase of compression, when the SB6 is settling into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts. Think of it as everything that has earned the Switch Link such high praise, except that it rides smoother and is easier to maintain than the previous eccentric pivot. And because it travels in a perfectly linear plane, instead of the tight arc that Switch Link produces, Switch Infinity has allowed Yeti to achieve a set of unique suspension characteristics. Undoubtedly, there will be those who balk at the idea of having a seemingly complicated pivot, but in reality, it's lighter and more user friendly than the Switch Link pivot that it replaces. The lightness can be attributed to the Kashima-coated mini-stanchions and feathery forged shuttle, which were co-developed with FOX Racing Shox. Ease of use comes courtesy of the easily-accessible grease ports, which do away with the need ... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$9,519.00 at Backcountry.com

Bear with us while we make a pretty tall claim; the 2015 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike might just be the ...ultimate quiver-killer mountain bike. Sure, there is no shortage of contenders for the top spot, but with a feathery carbon frame that's astonishingly durable, and a build kit that pulls out all the stops, it's hard to imagine a more capable machine. Whether it's all day epics, racing XC in your local mid-week series, or throwing down a couple of laps in a bike park, this bike's only limit is the rider, period. There are a few reasons that the 5010 has earned such enormous respect. First, 27. 5-inch wheels are the sweet spot between the rolling speed of 29ers and the responsiveness of 26ers. Second, 127mm of rear wheel travel lands right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, the perfectly neutral geometry will climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. The head angle sits at 68 degrees, which is slack enough for DH stability, but aggressive enough for capable climbing. At 17. 1 inches, the chainstays are long enough to provide plenty of climbing grip, but short enough to keep the 5010 carving turns with ease. And finally, the light, stiff carbon fiber chassis is ready for just about anything. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into 5010. For 2015, Santa Cruz is offering two tiers of carbon construction, and this version makes use of the higher grade of carbon fiber. This material is stronger, allowing Santa Cruz to use less of it, so it's about a pound lighter for a medium frame than the lower end version. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the t... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$3,399.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon R Complete Mountain Bike brings the carbon fiber dream machine to an everyman price point. It s...tarts with the legendary Tallboy chassis, built from carbon fiber for durability and a smooth ride. It's then built up with components that highlight its fast, versatile handling without breaking the bank. And it all adds up to a top-tier ride that's ready for just about anything you can throw at it. The main improvement over earlier iterations of the Tallboy platform is the modified suspension rate. Specifically, the progressivity at the end of the stroke has been reduced in comparison to the original Tallboy. In translation, modern shocks are more capable of resisting bottoming-out than their predecessors. So, this revised suspension layout provides full travel with the current generation of suspension dampers. More specifically, it's tuned for the FOX Racing Shox FLOAT CTD shock, which features FOX's CTD adjustment for simplified suspension tuning. And, piggy-backing off of improved suspension action, the overall efficiency receives a boost as well. The suspension is a refinement of Santa Cruz's dual-link, counter-rotating VPP suspension design. When compressing the suspension from the beginning of the stroke, most of the rotation happens in the stiff aluminum top link, which pulls the wheel closer to the bottom bracket. That keeps the Tallboy soft off of the top, making for a supremely smooth ride. And, once you pass the sag point and get deeper into the travel, the forged aluminum lower link handles most of the rotation. This means that the rear wheel is traveling away from the bottom bracket, so it's better equipped to handle larger, square-edged impacts. VPP is also incredibly effective at neutralizing braking forces, which prevents either stiffening or extending under hard braking. But, the main benefit that you'll notice with this suspension platform is that it isolates pedaling forces in order to keep the bike from bobbing.... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$4,699.00 at Backcountry.com

There are more options than ever when it comes to quiver-killer mountain bikes, but the 5010 is arguably the benchmark against whi...ch we judge all others. With its combination of balanced geometry, efficient pedaling, and lightweight construction, it's easy to see why. And with the 5010 Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike, Santa Cruz brings this certified trail monster to a price point that the rest of us can live with. There are a few reasons that the 5010 has earned such a devoted following. First, 27. 5-inch wheels are the sweet spot between the rolling speed of 29ers and the responsiveness of 26ers. Second, 127mm of rear wheel travel lands right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, the perfectly neutral geometry will climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. The head angle sits at 68 degrees, which is slack enough for DH stability, but aggressive enough for capable climbing. At 17. 1 inches, the chainstays are long enough to provide plenty of climbing grip, but short enough to keep the 5010 carving turns with ease. And finally, the light, stiff carbon fiber chassis is ready for just about anything. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into 5010, although this version uses a slightly lower grade of carbon fiber than the higher end C frame. This requires more material be used to achieve the same strength, so it's about a pound heavier for a medium frame, but in every other aspect, it's held to the same astoundingly high standards as Santa Cruz's other frames. And the upshot is that you get a frame that's every bit as stiff and strong, with a more palatable price tag. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, y... Read More

Ibis
$5,599.00 at Backcountry.com

If Ibis was to blindly follow industry trends, we'd have half-decade old Ripley's on the dirt. But, those bikes would have been lo...st in the extended list of long-wheelbase, four-inch-travel, full-suspension 29ers that are already crowding the bandwagon. Instead, Ibis stuck to its goal of eliminating the yawn-inducing handling and overly-stable traits that haunt full-suspension 29ers. Not surprisingly, Ibis was successful, and we now have the lively, 120mm-travel Ripley complete mountain bike with a Shimano XT build kit. Scot Nicol's engineers set their sights on applying the advantages of larger wheels to a playful trail bike. To do that, they'd need a lightweight and nimble chassis that took advantage of all modern standards. With monocoque carbon fiber already mastered, the lightweight-chassis box was an easy one to check. But, in order to achieve nimbleness -- a mystical trait lost to wheelbase-stretching linkages and front derailleur placement -- the team had to push boundaries. So, they enlisted the help of a suspension specialist that goes by the name of Dave Weagle. Yes, the same Dave that brought DW-Link magic to the Mojo. This time around, though, suspension linkages were the focus of scrutiny, as they are a main contributor to elongated chainstays. Mr. DW had his work cut out for him if he was going to retain the lauded characteristics of his original design in a compact package. What he came up with is a twin-eccentric system, that's optimized for 32-34t front chainrings. It provides the same anti-squat pedaling efficiency and active motion that initially crowned Weagle as the suspension guru. It's no secret that the Ripley is overdue, and one cause of that extended development period was due to fine-tuning the eccentric bearing system. In fact, Ibis concurrently designed two systems -- one exploring long-life, lightweight, and adjustable bushings, while the other used proven, but heavier, angular contact bearings. In the end, steel balls triumphed ... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$3,199.00 at Backcountry.com

It's true: the Santa Cruz 5010 is inarguably one of the most all-around capable mountain bikes ever designed. It's also true: some... versions of the thing are painfully expensive. Santa Cruz knows this, which is why they cook up some excellent deals in the form of a 5010 frameset with fairly-priced premium parts, like the 2015 Santa Cruz 5010 R Complete Mountain Bike. So what makes the 5010 such a well-balanced machine? Many things, but here are the highlights: First, 27. 5-inch wheels, the sweet spot between big-wheel 29ers and old-school 26ers. Second, 125mm of rear wheel travel, landing right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, perfectly neutral geometry that can climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. Fourth, in the case of the 5010 R Complete you see here, is the light, stiff aluminum chassis and all the wonderful things that you can do upon it with the excellent parts you'll find installed. But frame first. We'll admit that the carbon version of the 5010 delivers the model's purest performance, but the alloy version here showcases the latest and greatest of Santa Cruz's expertise in the manipulation of aluminum, delivering a frame that's only slightly heavier than its fibrous friend. Butted and hydroformed tubes take optimized shapes that came to be as the result of countless test-riding hours and computer model simulation, resulting in, among other things, excellent standover height and a tapered head tube for steering precision. On the whole, handling and lateral stiffness are superb, and the chassis is still light enough to race but tough enough to take some drops. Were it not for the scales or the ring from the flick of your fingernail, you'd likely never notice that this here 5010 is born from metal. Santa Cruz's famous VPP suspension platform is a big player in the 5010's game, too. It's a system that's widely beloved among experienced riders for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VP... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$6,599.00 at Backcountry.com

So you've been doing your research. You're trying to find that one bike that can do damn near anything, from marathon racing to al...l-day, all-mountain crushing. You know you want a top-notch build kit and a 1x drivetrain, but you can't spend the equivalent of a down payment on a condo on a bike. Allow us to introduce the 2015 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon X01 Complete Mountain Bike -- a machine that meets all your needs for a supreme piece, without pushing you into outrageous pricing territory. So what makes the 5010 such a well-balanced machine? Here are the highlights. First, 27. 5-inch wheels, the sweet spot between big-wheel 29ers and 26ers. Second, 125mm of rear-wheel travel, landing right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, perfectly neutral geometry that can climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. Fourth, in the case of the 5010 Carbon X01 Complete frameset, the all-conquering carbon chassis and the wonderful things that you can do upon it with the excellent parts you'll find on board. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is beautifully showcased in the 5010. The company's C carbon model framesets -- like that used for the X01 build here -- use a higher-grade carbon for a moderately lighter, stiffer overall chassis than the standard carbon frameset on which most less expensive models are built. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's a result of construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this.. Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$2,999.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy LT R Complete Mountain Bike picks up where last year's model left off -- ripping trails with aplomb. A...s ever, the stout aluminum frame is dressed in cost-effective components, which are built to take a beating all season long. Sure, you could save some weight upgrading to the carbon fiber version, but if you're looking for tons of value in a certified trail shredder, you've come to the right place. The Tallboy LT is made of aluminum, with Santa Cruz's signature hydroformed top and down tubes. A medium frame is about a pound and a half heavier than its carbon brother, but its price is much friendlier, and it's still amply strong. And the strength and stiffness are further enhanced with the mechanic-friendly, oversized 15mm collet-style hardware and a 12x142mm thru-axle out back. The result is a frame that's light enough for endurance racing, and strong enough for anything you can throw at it.At the heart of the LT's handling is a highly refined VPP suspension. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. If you're wondering how it works, the upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts, so the ride is smooth, not jarring. And you'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that has become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. That means that your pivots stay tight and are simple to service, even for home mechanics. Anyone who's ridden the LT will tell you that the feel is balanced, yet decidedly aggressive, and the geometry of the LT is an integral part of its... Read More

Ibis
$5,599.00 at Backcountry.com

If Ibis was to blindly follow industry trends, we'd have half-decade old Ripley's on the dirt. But, those bikes would have been lo...st in the extended list of long-wheelbase, four-inch-travel, full-suspension 29ers that are already crowding the bandwagon. Instead, Ibis stuck to its goal of eliminating the yawn-inducing handling and overly-stable traits that haunt full-suspension 29ers. Not surprisingly, Ibis was successful, and we now have the lively, 120mm-travel Ripley complete mountain bike with a Shimano XT build kit. Scot Nicol's engineers set their sights on applying the advantages of larger wheels to a playful trail bike. To do that, they'd need a lightweight and nimble chassis that took advantage of all modern standards. With monocoque carbon fiber already mastered, the lightweight-chassis box was an easy one to check. But, in order to achieve nimbleness -- a mystical trait lost to wheelbase-stretching linkages and front derailleur placement -- the team had to push boundaries. So, they enlisted the help of a suspension specialist that goes by the name of Dave Weagle. Yes, the same Dave that brought DW-Link magic to the Mojo. This time around, though, suspension linkages were the focus of scrutiny, as they are a main contributor to elongated chainstays. Mr. DW had his work cut out for him if he was going to retain the lauded characteristics of his original design in a compact package. What he came up with is a twin-eccentric system, that's optimized for 32-34t front chainrings. It provides the same anti-squat pedaling efficiency and active motion that initially crowned Weagle as the suspension guru. It's no secret that the Ripley is overdue, and one cause of that extended development period was due to fine-tuning the eccentric bearing system. In fact, Ibis concurrently designed two systems -- one exploring long-life, lightweight, and adjustable bushings, while the other used proven, but heavier, angular contact bearings. In the end, steel balls triumphed ... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$3,199.00 at Backcountry.com

The supreme capabilities of Santa Cruz's all-trail crusher, the Bronson, have been well documented, as have the eye-watering price...s that some models of it command. Cry not: The Santa Cruz Bronson R Complete Mountain Bike is here to dry your tears, putting Bronson's skills in your hands without taking your wallet out of them. Certainly, the carbon fiber version of the Bronson delivers the model's purest performance, but the alloy version here showcases the latest and greatest of Santa Cruz's expertise in the manipulation of aluminum, delivering a frame that's only slightly heavier than its fibrous friend. Butted and hydroformed tubes take optimized shapes that came to be as the result of countless test-riding hours and computer model simulation, resulting in, among other things, excellent standover height and a tapered head tube for steering precision. On the whole, handling and lateral stiffness are superb. Were it not for the scales or the ring from the flick of your fingernail, you'd likely never notice that this here Bronson is born from metal. At the heart of the Bronson is the highly refined VPP suspension platform that's been optimized for mid-sized wheels. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved among avid riders for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. The upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower-link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts and lengthen the wheelbase at the same time for greater stability. You'll also find the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight and are... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$3,099.00 at Backcountry.com

Ubiquitous on trails all over the world, Santa Cruz's Heckler is a legend. For years, it's encouraged riders to push their limits ...on highly technical terrain. Now revamped for 2015, the Heckler's better than ever. Sure, Santa Cruz's more complex Virtual Pivot Point (or VPP) suspension system found on more expensive models may be more efficient, but the Heckler's single pivot design affords low weight, low maintenance, and exceptional durability. The 2015 Santa Cruz Heckler R Complete Mountain Bike is the company's entry-level Heckler build, and it makes a great place to start ripping open the trails. Taking geometry cues from its more expensive, VPP-equipped stable mate, the Bronson, the new Heckler has a 67 degree head tube, short chainstays, and a low bottom bracket to reward riders with quick handling that allows them to push limits and novices to hone skills. In order to ensure that this bike stays true to its goal of low-cost fun, Santa Cruz opted for hydroformed aluminum tubing. Because of Santa Cruz's expertise in working with alloy, the Heckler provides the ride quality of rival bikes that cost twice as much -- all with the reliability to keep it out of the shop and on the trail. The light, yet strong, aluminum front and rear triangles are shaped and butted to place more material where it's needed. This ensures strength and stiffness for confident descending and a generally rock-solid platform on which to roam. But that strength isn't going to hamper a climb to the top. Instead, because of the hydroforming, any excess material is eliminated to keep the Heckler feathery light. Still, you'll find that the rear triangle has an asymmetric shape and 142 x 12mm thru-axle. This prevents flex, and it ensures that suspension motion is directed to the rear shock and not into flexing the frame. Not to mention, asymmetric chainstays also helps avoid annoying chain slap. The Heckler relies on Santa Cruz's proven suspension pivot location that places it slightly abov... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$6,599.00 at Backcountry.com

The Yeti SB5 Carbon X01 Complete Mountain Bike builds on the storied SuperBike lineage to deliver a killer on-trail experience. Th...is carbon, mid-wheeled rocket ship is Yeti's first model to run on the all-new Switch Infinity suspension system -- a natural evolution of the Switch Link that made the SB series so popular. As befits its name, the geometry is low, slack, and long, which makes it far more capable than its feathery weight might imply. But this is no flimsy flier. The carbon fiber chassis is stiff and durable, so you need not hesitate when charging into hairy terrain. Like Switch Link, the Switch Infinity slider travels upward under the first phase of compression, when the SB5 is settling into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts. Think of it as everything that has earned the Switch Link such high praise, except that it rides smoother and is easier to maintain than the previous eccentric pivot. And because it travels in a perfectly linear plane, instead of the tight arc that Switch Link produces, Switch Infinity has allowed Yeti to achieve a set of unique suspension characteristics. Undoubtedly, there will be those who balk at the idea of having a seemingly complicated pivot, but in reality, it's lighter and more user friendly than the Switch Link pivot that it replaces. The lightness can be attributed to the Kashima-coated mini-stanchions and feathery forged shuttle, which were co-developed with FOX Racing Shox. Ease of use comes courtesy of the easily-accessible grease ports, which do away with the need for time-consuming rebuilds. FOX has successfully tested production units to well over a million compression cycles while completely submerged in mud. And the durability is further proven by the three year ... Read More

Yeti Cycles
$10,599.00 at Backcountry.com

If you're riding a dream bike, you may as well dress it in dream components, which is precisely the point of the Yeti SB5 Carbon X...X1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike. Starting with Yeti's flagship SB5 Carbon frame, the XX1 ENVE build adds an ENVE wheelset, SRAM XX1 drivetrain, and Chris King headset to the equation, among other notables. It's a fitting build to highlight how capable, and how versatile, the SB5 Carbon really is. Sure, it's light enough to be competitive in high level XC racing, but feel free to take on the hairiest trails around, because the SB5 is built for it. It's light, low, slack, and long, which help it to excel wherever you choose to take it next. Like Switch Link, the Switch Infinity slider travels upward under the first phase of compression, when the SB5 is settling into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts. Think of it as everything that has earned the Switch Link such high praise, except that it rides smoother and is easier to maintain than the previous eccentric pivot. And because it travels in a perfectly linear plane, instead of the tight arc that Switch Link produces, Switch Infinity has allowed Yeti to achieve a set of unique suspension characteristics. Undoubtedly, there will be those who balk at the idea of having a seemingly complicated pivot, but in reality, it's lighter and more user friendly than the Switch Link pivot that it replaces. The lightness can be attributed to the Kashima-coated mini-stanchions and feathery forged shuttle, which were co-developed with FOX Racing Shox. Ease of use comes courtesy of the easily-accessible grease ports, which do away with the need for time consuming rebuilds. FOX has successfully tested production units to well over a million compression cycles w... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$4,799.00 at Backcountry.com

The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Carbon Complete Mountain Bike adds a value-packed build kit to the reference big-wheeled trail slay...er. It all starts with the widely-acclaimed carbon fiber Tallboy LT frame, which is just as capable of enduro race wins as it is on all-day trail rides, and adds a well-considered build kit to the equation that reinforces the LT's strong points, without resulting in a stratospheric price tag. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into the LT. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the LT is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's a result of construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this ideal degree of compaction optimizes the strength. And the strength and stiffness are further enhanced with the mechanic-friendly, oversized 15mm collet-style hardware and a 12x142mm thru-axle out back. The result is a frame that's light enough for endurance racing and strong enough for anything you can throw at it.At the heart of the LT's handling is a highly refined VPP suspension. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. If you're wondering how it works, the upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower... Read More

Juliana
$2,399.00 $1,999.00 at Backcountry.com

Simplicity and straight-forward, female-specific tweaks to Santa Cruz's Superlight made the Juliana a favorite among dirt divas si...nce '99. That was almost fifteen years ago, and now Juliana is being turned into its own division, with multiple models, and headed by none other than Juli Furtado. And, that original, successful formula soldiers on with modern updates as the Origin dressed here in the Premeiro complete mountain bike package. Now, Small and Medium models ride on 29in wheels, reserving 26in ones for the X-Small version. Like the Segundo build, the Origin Premeiro is focused on value, but it steps up the performance game with a FOX Racing Shock up front and Shimano SLX components replacing Deore. You'll still find the Origin Premeiro equipped with Deore cranks, but the rear derailleur, shifters, cassette, and chain are now SLX. The wheels consist of a Shimano M756 rear hub and Sram 716 front hub laced to WTB ST i19 rims with DT Swiss spokes. It also gets Deore disc brakes over the Segundo's Elixir 1's. While these components contribute to this Origin's impressive performance, the biggest contributing factor is its alloy, single pivot frame. Due to this, the Origin offers performance that can rival bikes costing twice as much -- with the reliability to keep it out of the shop and on the trail. The light yet strong, hydroformed aluminum front and rear triangles are shaped and butted to place more material where it's needed. This ensures strength and stiffness for confident descending. But that strength isn't going to hamper your climb to the top, because of the hydroforming. any excess weight is eliminated to keep the Origin feathery. With big, 29in wheels, stiffness is paramount, that's why you'll find that the rear triangle has an asymmetric shape. This prevents flex and ensures suspension motion is directed to the rear shock and not into flexing the frame, which would cause it to dog trot around switchbacks or across rock gardens. The Origin relies ... Read More

Santa Cruz Bicycles
$4,699.00 at Backcountry.com

There are more options than ever when it comes to quiver-killer mountain bikes, but the 5010 is arguably the benchmark against whi...ch we judge all others. With its combination of balanced geometry, efficient pedaling, and lightweight construction, it's easy to see why. And with the 5010 Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike, Santa Cruz brings this certified trail monster to a price point that the rest of us can live with. There are a few reasons that the 5010 has earned such a devoted following. First, 27. 5-inch wheels are the sweet spot between the rolling speed of 29ers and the responsiveness of 26ers. Second, 127mm of rear wheel travel lands right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, the perfectly neutral geometry will climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. The head angle sits at 68 degrees, which is slack enough for DH stability, but aggressive enough for capable climbing. At 17. 1 inches, the chainstays are long enough to provide plenty of climbing grip, but short enough to keep the 5010 carving turns with ease. And finally, the light, stiff carbon fiber chassis is ready for just about anything. Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into 5010, although this version uses a slightly lower grade of carbon fiber than the higher end C frame. This requires more material be used to achieve the same strength, so it's about a pound heavier for a medium frame, but in every other aspect, it's held to the same astoundingly high standards as Santa Cruz's other frames. And the upshot is that you get a frame that's every bit as stiff and strong, with a more palatable price tag. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, y... Read More

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