Last year, as part of our annual gear survey, we asked you to tell us which mountain bike you thought was the most innovative. While the list had five different bikes from five different companies, it turns out our readers definitely had a “type.” Or maybe, like many, you were just plus-curious. Every selection on the 2016 most innovative mountain bikes list had the ability to run plus wheels or 29er wheels — save for the Ibis Mojo 3 which can’t run 29er wheels. All had between 130-135mm of rear travel, and 140-150mm of fork travel.
The 2017 list of the most innovative mountain bikes is much more diverse, both in terms of the type of bikes you picked, and also the companies making them. Without further ado, here are your Top 5 Most Innovative Mountain Bikes of 2017.
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Since the launch of the Tracer 275C in 2014, Intense has been working on its update, which is now available. The latest Tracer has a small bump up in rear travel — from 160 to 165mm — along with revised geometry and suspension linkage. Intense offers five different builds on the Tracer, starting with the Foundation and topping out with the Factory. Gone, however, are the aluminum frames available in years past. The latest Tracer, and all of Intense’s new bikes for that matter, are full-carbon affairs. Similar to what some other companies are doing, the upper echelon builds (Pro, Elite, and Factory) use a different carbon fiber to shave weight, in this case 200g.