1) Yeti SB-66
The SB-66 has turned heads since Yeti unveiled it. They have engineered a new technology they call SST or Switch Suspension Technology, that implements a lower pivot that regulates strain on the chain. Basically, when the dual-link suspension compresses it turns counter-clockwise at first, but then it snaps and goes in a clockwise rotation. This helps you pedal and is amazing when you go up mid-level inclines, or just less than 45 degrees.
Yeti did not forget about the suspension. The SB-66 provides a rugged suspension that takes the blows in stride.
2) Trek Fuel EX
Trek has long been a reliable manufacturer, who place heart and soul into both the performance of their bikes and their appearance.
The Fuel EX is no exception and among our editors, is the best looking bike in this line-up.
But it’s not all looks. It has some serious brain and brawn as well. It’s new design features a 68-degree head angle, giving riders a solid stance and grip on the bike while allowing them a full view of what’s ahead without putting too much strain on the neck. This ultimately makes riding safer, as cyclists will be less likely to hang their head from neck fatigue.
The one reason why this did not make the number one spot on the list is because of its price: $8,500. Far too steep for even a few hardcore mountain bikers we know.
3) Santa Cruz Blur TRc
If speed is what your in need of, then the Blur TRc definitely feeds that need. The frame with shock included is an incredible 4.9lbs. The seat has you sitting up high, allowing for a nearly full extension of your leg, which means that you can get maximize power, which is great for going up inclines and building up speed on the flats. Coupled with its amazing light-weight you can tackle any course.
This feather-weight packs a heavy-weight punch.
4) Niner Jet 9 RDO
It’s black. And it’s frame is relatively boring, yet the subtle curves and simple, clean styling are easy on the eyes. Your rump is going to be above your hands, but legs nearly fully extended for maximum power.
Niner set the cables inside of the frame, which will help ensure its longevity in all weather; we say “all” because there really isn’t such a thing as “nasty” weather for mountain bikers.
It is incredibly light, in fact with shock and stock hardwire accessories, it comes in all at a whopping 5 pounds.
It also comes in four different sizes, for people of all sizes.
It’s price is around $2,600 which is great, when compared to another bike on this list, such as the Fuel EX.
5) Rocky Mountain Element 29
Ah, the Element 29. At first, some of us thought that the cables were placed inside of the frame, but then we saw they were neatly placed on the outside.
The key feature of the Element 29 is its Smooth-Link four-bar platform. What does all that mean? Well, it helps to manage the suspension, of course.
The shocks offer one of the best rides out there. However the pedaling system remains rather basic and does not have quite as ease in acceleration as other bikes.