In this episode of the Singletracks podcast, Aaron, Greg, and I discuss our favorite bikes from 2016 and talk about the bikes we really want to test in 2017.ย We also talk about some ofย our favorite gear items in 2016, in case you need a last minute gift idea for yourself.

# Comments

  • Joel DH

    You guys are really big Trek fans. Don’t blame you, Trek makes a great machine. But it ain’t the best. Ask anyone who has ridden a 2015-16 Specialized Stumpjumper. I have, and it is, in a word, stunning. Basically is a giant sized BMX bike on the parking lot. I also have very recently purchased a 2015 Specialized Enduro, and the unboxing will occur within two days. I very eagerly await to share my riding experience of this nearly legendary machine with everybody, as I will be posting a short-term and long-term review soon on the Forum.
    Good podcast, listened to the whole thing, but you guys have got to get some Specialized tech to try out! Until proven otherwise [which has yet to happen!] I will believe that Specialized builds the best trail, XC, and Enduro bikes on a consistent basis.

  • bikerboy13

    Ya dunno… ๐Ÿ™‚ Trek and Specialized really seem to be seriously close to each other… and I FA with Joel you’ve gotta get some Spez rides… Great podcast

  • mongwolf

    So you guys spoke about the Eagle 1×12 and it’s 500% range. For comparison purposes, what are the normal ranges for 2x and 3x systems?

      • mongwolf

        Thanks Greg.

    • Aaron Chamberlain

      A 3×10 drivetrain with 42/32/24 rings would yield about a 570% gear range.

      A 2×10 with 36/26 rings would yield 450%

      A SRAM 2×11 will get you 630%

      A Shimano 2×11 with a 42T cog on the cassette is 520%

      A Shimano 1×11 with a 42T cog on the cassette would be around 380%

      Shimano now makes an 11-speed XT cassette with a 46T cog, which bumps the range up to 418%

      A SRAM 1×11 with a 42T cog would be 420% (you get more range because SRAM has the 9T small cog whereas Shimano smallest is an 11T. This is why you need that special xD driver for SRAM cassettes.)

      And finally, the SRAM Eagle 1×12 gets you 500% range

      Hopefully, that helps!

      • mongwolf

        Most definitely helps. Thanks so much.

  • bikerboy13

    Could somebody tell what about the Fuel Ex makes it better because I actually think it’s pretty sweet. Just wondered how it compares to the Optic and Camber?? Thanks

    • Jeff Barber

      I tested the new Camber last year and the Fuel EX this year, and they are very different bikes, despite having similar travel front and rear.

      The Camber, like most Specialized bikes I’ve tested, is very snappy and responsive. It climbs great and on the downhill it tracks the ground really well. The only ding I personally give it is that it can feel stiff and harsh on fast descents. The SWAT system seems really useful too.

      The Fuel EX, on the other hand, feels much more relaxed. It’s good for climbing (though it seems slightly less efficient than the Camber) but on the descents, it’s more supple and just more fun. Is the Fuel EX “better” than the Camber? Depends on what kind of riding you do. If you are competitive and race from time to time, the Camber is probably a better choice. If you just ride for fun on the weekends, you might prefer the Fuel EX.

      I stand by my assertion that the Fuel EX is the best bike I tested this year, but keep in mind I tested the Camber last year. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Added: I forgot that I also rode the Optic (both the 27.5 and 29er versions) this year. The Optic is pretty similar to the Camber in that it’s more on the XC end of the Trail spectrum. Again, fast and efficient bike, but it doesn’t get quite as rowdy on descents as the Fuel EX.

    • Joel DH

      A more accurate question would be: Stumpjumper vs Fuel Ex. A Camber is much more XC oriented than a Fuel, and a Fuel is a trail bike. Jeff’s descriptions on his testing I found very correct. Like, to a letter correct. But a Camber really doesn’t compare well to a Fuel because, again, a Camber is basically a long traveled(?) XC bike, and the Fuel is designed for more fun stuff. As a result, a Stumpjumper vs Fuel test would be very interesting and more relevant as a question.

      • Jeff Barber

        True, comparing the Stumpy and Fuel EX would be more appropriate. The last time I rode a Stumpy was in 2012 and clearly much has changed since then.

      • bikerboy13

        No, Not if I’m not interested in the Stumpy, I don’t care how the stumpy stacks up against the Fuel Ex, Thanks for that info Jeff!

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