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27.5″ Enduro Bikes

Richie Rude, one of the world’s top enduro riders, races mostly on a 27.5″ Yeti (photo: Yeti Cycles)

There’s certainly no shortage of 27.5″ enduro bikes on the market today. In fact, they’re much easier to find than 29″ enduro bikes, which is why this list is nearly twice as long. The 30 bikes below come from a variety of manufacturers and take different paths to reach the same destination.

Head Tube Angle: Slackest to Steepest (°)

The Transition Patrol with its 64° head tube angle is the slackest of the bunch (photo: Transition)

Hands down, the geometry number riders focus on the most seems to be the head tube angle. HTA isn’t the be-all, end-all, but it does give you a fairly good indication of how the designers want the bike to descend. Take the two bikes at opposite ends of the list below, the Transitional Patrol and the Fuji Auric. It’s true that the Patrol is spec’d with a 170mm fork while the Auric has a 160mm fork, but the 3° difference in head tube angle is going to have a much greater impact on descending performance.

Is one inherently better than the other? Not necessarily. What it really boils down to is how and where you ride. If you have ready access to steep, fast, and gnarly terrain, you’ll likely want a bike with the slackest HTA available. However, if your trails aren’t as steep, or if you prefer a snappier bike, a steeper HTA might be a better fit.

Average HTA: 65°

  • Transition Patrol – 64
  • Banshee Rune – 64.5
  • Orange Alpine 6 – 64.5
  • Santa Cruz Nomad – 64.6
  • Evil Insurgent – 64.8
  • YT Capra – 64.8
  • Ibis Mojo HD4 – 64.9
  • Cannondale Jekyll – 65
  • Devinci Spartan – 65
  • Giant Reign – 65
  • Mondraker Dune – 65
  • Norco Range – 65
  • Nukeproof Mega 275 – 65
  • Rocky Mountain Slayer – 65
  • Specialized Enduro 27.5 – 65
  • Whyte G-170 – 65
  • Commencal Meta AM V4.2 – 65.5
  • Guerilla Gravity Megatrail – 65.5
  • Intense Tracer – 65.5
  • Knolly Warden – 65.5
  • Yeti SB6 – 65.5
  • Pivot Mach 6 – 65.8
  • Canyon Strive – 66
  • Cube Stereo 160 – 66
  • GT Sanction – 66
  • Kona Process 153 – 66
  • Marin Attack Trail – 66
  • Polygon XquareOne – 66
  • Jamis Defcon – 66.5
  • Fuji Auric – 67

Reach: Longest to Shortest (mm)

The Mondraker Dune features the longest reach in this comparison followed closely by the Guerilla Gravity Megatrail (photo: Mondraker)

Here we see huge variations in the reach measurements of modern enduro bikes. A whopping 58.1mm or 2.28 inches separate the longest bike, the Mondraker Dune, from the shortest, the Fuji Auric. What does that extra real estate give you? For one, you get a longer wheelbase which provides stability at speed, and you also get a lot of room to move forward and backward depending on what the situation calls for.

Again, reach comes down largely to personal preference but I, for one, am a huge fan of longer bikes. Do they need to be as long as the Mondraker? Maybe not, but in my opinion, most of the bikes here still have plenty of room to grow.

Average Reach: 461mm

  • Dune – 493
  • Megatrail – 490
  • G-170 – 478.8
  • Patrol – 475
  • Process 153 – 475
  • Reign – 473
  • Jekyll – 470
  • Mega 275 – 470
  • Strive – 468
  • Enduro 27.5 – 466
  • Spartan – 465
  • XquareOne – 461.8
  • Alpine 6 – 461
  • Sanction – 461
  • Tracer – 460
  • Warden – 460
  • Mach 6 – 460
  • Attack Trail – 460
  • Meta AM V4.2 – 458
  • Nomad – 456
  • Rune – 455
  • Mojo HD4 – 455
  • Range 452
  • Insurgent – 451
  • SB6 – 447
  • Slayer – 446
  • Capra – 443
  • Stereo 160 – 442
  • Defcon – 436
  • Auric – 434.9

Chainstay Length: Shortest to Longest (mm)

The Cannondale Jekyll has stubby 420mm chainstays — impressive for a bike with 165mm of rear travel (photo: Cannondale)

Chainstay length is probably the second geometry figure people look at, right after the head tube angle. Shorter chainstays make for a snappier bike around corners, but the flipside is they give up some stability at speed. Like the head tube angle, chainstay length has a large impact on the character of a bike, so brands settle on a particular length to give their bikes a certain ride quality.

We don’t see quite the variance in chainstay length as we did with the reach, but there’s still a significant 22mm (0.87″) difference between the Cannondale Jekyll and the Yeti SB6.

Average chainstay length: 432mm

  • Jekyll – 420
  • Strive – 423
  • Process 153 – 425
  • XquareOne – 425
  • Megatrail – 427
  • Slayer – 429
  • Warden – 429
  • G-170 – 430
  • Spartan – 430
  • Alpine 6 – 430
  • Patrol – 430
  • Dune – 430
  • Capra – 430
  • Mojo HD4 – 430
  • Mach 6 – 430.5
  • Nomad – 431
  • Insurgent – 432
  • Tracer – 432
  • Enduro 27.5 – 433
  • Range – 435
  • Attack Trail – 435
  • Mega 275 – 435
  • Reign – 435
  • Defcon – 435
  • Stereo 160 – 436
  • Meta AM V4.2 – 437
  • Rune – 437
  • Auric – 438.1
  • Sanction – 439
  • SB6 – 442

Bottom Bracket Height: Lowest to Highest (mm)

The American-made Guerilla Gravity Megatrail has a belly-dragging 330mm BB height when in “Gravity Mode” (photo: Guerilla Gravity)

Low bottom brackets are nice up to the point where pedal strikes become common. Again, where you ride factors in to how high you prefer your BB to be. As an East Coast rider that has to pedal through technical, flat terrain, I like a slightly higher than fashionable BB. The higher BB keeps my pedals from smacking into rocks when gravity isn’t on my side.

Another thing to keep in mind here is that the heights listed are static, meaning this is how high the BB is before the rider sits on the bike. Adding weight to the bike and setting the suspension sag properly will result in a lower BB.

Average BB height: 342mm

  • Megatrail – 330
  • G-170 – 333.5
  • Insurgent – 334.4
  • Attack Trail – 335.5
  • Warden – 337
  • Spartan – 337
  • Stereo 160 – 338
  • Rune – 338
  • Nomad – 339
  • Strive – 340
  • Slayer – 340
  • Patrol – 340
  • Mega AM V4.2 – 340
  • Mega 275 – 341.9
  • Alpine 6 – 342
  • Range – 342
  • Reign – 342
  • Auric – 342
  • Mojo HD4 – 343
  • Tracer – 343
  • Defcon – 345
  • Sanction – 345
  • Mach 6 – 345.9
  • Process 153 – 348
  • Capra – 348
  • Jekyll – 349
  • Dune – 350
  • Enduro 27.5 – 350.5
  • XquareOne – 354

Wheelbase: Longest to Shortest (mm)

The Whyte G-170 doesn’t lead any one category, but overall, it’s one of the longest, lowest, and slackest bikes on the list (photo: Whyte Bicycles)

The longer the wheelbase, the more stable the bike will be at speed. Longer wheelbases are the byproduct of LLS geometry becoming the norm. That’s because adding suspension travel, slackening the head tube angle, and increasing the reach all have an impact on the overall length of the bike.

It’s really only on the tightest of switchbacks that a long wheelbase becomes a detriment. Unless your trails are overly twisty, the benefits of a long wheelbase will outweigh the downsides.

A massive 67mm (2.6″) separate the longest and shortest bikes on this list.

Average wheelbase: 1214mm

  • Dune – 1243
  • G-170 – 1240.6
  • Megatrail – 1240
  • Patrol – 1238
  • Reign – 1232
  • Alpine 6 – 1231
  • Mega 275 – 1226.1
  • Enduro 27.5 – 1225
  • Spartan – 1224
  • Jekyll – 1220
  • Mojo HD4 – 1219
  • Nomad – 1218
  • Process 153 – 1216
  • Meta AM V4.2 – 1215
  • Range – 1215
  • Sanction – 1215
  • SB6 – 1215
  • Slayer – 1211
  • Rune – 1208
  • Strive – 1207
  • Tracer – 1207
  • Attack Trail – 1205.2
  • Mach 6 – 1204.5
  • Capra – 1203
  • Insurgent – 1202
  • XquareOne – 1201.5
  • Stereo 160 – 1198
  • Warden – 1189
  • Auric – 1180.4
  • Defcon – 1176

Click to page 3 for 29″ Enduro Bikes.

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# Comments

  • Dr Sweets

    Nice round up of the numbers. One particular thing I’ve noticed in the long-travel 29er realm is that most manufacturers bikes tend to have long reaches, shorter effective top tubes and long if not sprawling wheelbases. The couple of bikes I’ve demoed with this (Kona Process 153 29, Orbea Rallon) I had to size up (I usually go with mediums and went with larges instead). Both were decent pedalers, however they both had that tugboat steering when came time to corner. I would expect the same from bikes with similar numbers. This trait is pleasantly absent from my own whip a medium Evil Wreckoning, which has a longer effective top tube and a shorter wheelbase. This combined with it’s short chainstays and low bottom bracket (both among the shortest and lowest available) allows it to corner like mad and remain incredibly nimble despite have more travel than most of the bunch.

  • mongwolf

    Aaron, you must be very tired. =) Thanks for the great resource. Definitely, an article I’ll be looking at over and over again in the future reference. I assume you have all the data in Excel. It would be fun to do some further analysis using some boolean logic.

  • mongwolf

    And speaking of tired, I cracked up when you pictured the Pivot Firebird as an example of a longer travel bike that you wouldn’t want to pedal up the transfers. When I am back in the States, I usually ride my son’s 2012 XL Firebird on the trails in CO (and elsewhere). That thing weighs like 34 lbs and is a freight train on the descents with 180mm of travel up front. And somehow it also climbs amazingly on steep technical climbs. But man, will that bike wear you out over two or three hours of riding. I get back to Mongolia and jump on my Mojo HD, and ride like the wind … or so I think. =) I did 38 miles and 4700′ of climbing on the Firebird one day last summer in CO … … oh man, was I digging deep for all I had to finish out that ride.

  • Natemtn

    I love this article. With so many bikes on the market and bike geometry playing a huge part in how a bike feels and fits a friend and I created a website to compare all the numbers. It’s easy to select a group of bikes and see the deltas. Plus, if you register you can add bikes to the database. Have a look!

    bikenerd.io

    Enjoy!

    • Jeff Barber

      Wrong URL? Couldn’t load the site…

    • Natemtn

      Sorry. Needs an “s” on the end.
      Bikenerds.io

  • Plusbike Nerd

    We are living in a Golden Age for mountain biking. That Mountainbikes could come with 29×2.6 or wider tires and have 6+ inches of travel and still climb well was unimaginable 10 years ago. I easily ride over stuff that I used to get off and walk. It seems like you can’t fall off these new bikes. No more flying over the handle bars, spinning the rear wheel on climbs, getting beat up absorbing hits, pogo-ing during hard efforts, etc. The list of woes could go on. Now it’s just smooth, controlled and composed. If you’re new to the sport, you don’t know how good you have it.

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