September 30, 2015
2014 Atlas XP
Short chainstays and wheelbase make for a 29er that rides like a 26er. Very nimble and maneuverable with quick acceleration. The suspension is spot on. There is simply no need to lock out the rear shock as it has very little peddle bob but still has outstanding small bump compliance. Match that with the 29" wheels and you have an XC bike with the sensibilities of a trail bike. Also has the "chips" that allow a slight but noticeable geometry change from trail to more XC oriented.
Those short chain stays mean you have to slide some weight forward when climbing technical bits to ensure the front wheel doesn't wander. Easy adjustment and well worth the quick handling this bike has. I only give it 4 stars because of the lack of internally routed cables and guides for a dropper post (both sort of standard on bikes at this price point) but that's a bit of nit picking I'd say
The 2015 is the last model year of this bike and no doubt one can be had at a great deal. I would say snatch it up. It's a Canadian made frame (not designed in Canada and made in China) with Canadian sourced materials. The 2015 model has Shimano SLX drivetrain where the 2014 is equipped with SRAM X7 complete drivetrain. I picked up a new 2014 model for 1799 CDN (MSRP is 2799). A bargain for sure. Don't be overly seduced by the allure of 27.5 tires. The 29er still has it's place in mountain biking and on a rig like this it's place is solidified!