The results are in! We surveyed 1,123 mountain bikers to determine the best mountain bike products of 2015, and these are the winners! (Jump to commentary below.)
This year we asked a couple questions about the most innovative products in the market, and here’s what you said in order of popularity:
A few of these items were announced or even started shipping back in 2014, though many of them are finally making their way out into the real world.
Several survey respondents replied with trends in the MTB market instead of MTB products, so here is a round up of the trends that were mentioned the most:
Again, none of these trends started in 2015, though clearly they are on the minds of many mountain bikers this year!
Newly Top-Rated Mountain Bikes
There are a few new names on the top-rated mountain bike lists this year, notably in the trail and fat bike categories.
- Trek Top Fuel (#2 in XC bikes, #2 in trail bikes)
- Santa Cruz 5010 (#3 in trail bikes)
- Trek Remedy (#5 in trail bikes)
- Ibis Mojo (#5 in AM/Enduro bikes)
- Pivot Phoenix (#3 in DH bikes)
- Salsa Bucksaw (#1 in fat bikes)
- Pivot Les Fat (#5 in fat bikes)
We also added a new bike category for “plus-size” rigs, so it will be interesting to see how this changes next year. For now, the Trek Stache takes the top spot despite being one of the newer bikes on the list.
The Drivetrain Debate
Sure, the Shimano / SRAM debate has been raging for several years now but I’m talking about the big question for 2015: 1X or 2X (or 3X!)? Well, according to our survey, 1X drivetrains hold a slight edge over their portlier 2X brethren this year, but it’s ever so slight (42% and 40%, respectively). Add in the 3X holdouts (or new converts thanks to Shimano’s brand new 3×11 option!) and the 1X riders are certainly outnumbered.
Still, the overall favorite in the drivetrain configuration category is 2×10, and it will be interesting to see how this holds over time. It’s also interesting to note that last year, SRAM was the preferred drivetrain brand but this year, Shimano is on top, perhaps thanks to their new Di2 and 11spd offerings.
There were a few categories where the top product (or brand) simply blew away the competition. The most obvious example is in the helmet camera category where GoPro destroyed all comers, but there were others as well: Clif bars in the snack category, Thomson Elite in the stems category, and the Fox Float in the shock category. WTB snagged 4 of the top 5 slots in the best saddle competition, Garmin nabbed 4 of the top 5 GPS slots, and Oakley had 4 of the top 5 in the eyewear category. And Specialized had a bike in the top 5 of all 6 bike categories we polled (not to mention placing in 7 additional categories as well!)
It’s also interesting to note a couple “write-in” candidates that appear on this year’s list of the best mountain bike lights and GPS units. “Cheap Chinese Lights off Amazon,” as one respondent put it, are popular with riders, snagging the #3 spot in the light category. And in the GPS category, it would’ve been a sweep for Garmin if not for the iPhone (Android phones got a lot of votes too.)
You can find links to Singletracks member reviews and in-depth editorial coverage of each of these items right here. The following is a list of links to the top products in each category.
- Best XC bike: Specialized Epic
- Best trail bike: Specialized Stumpjumper
- Best AM/enduro bike: Specialized Enduro
- Best DH bike: Santa Cruz V10
- Best fat bike: Salsa Bucksaw
- Best plus bike: Trek Stache
- Best drivetrain: Shimano XT
- Best brakes: Shimano XT
- Best suspension fork: Fox 32
- Best suspension shock: Fox Float
- Best wheelset: Mavic Crossmax
- Best rims: Stans ZTR Flow EX
- Best hubs: Chris King ISO
- Best tires: Maxxis Ardent
- Best saddle: WTB Volt
- Best seatpost: RockShox Reverb
- Best handlebar: RaceFace Next
- Best grips: ODI Rogue Lock-on
- Best stem: Thomson Elite
- Best pedals: Shimano XT
- Best lights: NiteRider Lumina Series
- Best GPS: Garmin Edge 500 Series
- Best helmet camera brand: GoPro
- Best lube: ProGold ProLink
- Best pump: Topeak Joe Blow
- Best snack: Clif Bar
- Best clothing brand: Fox Head
- Best helmet: Bell Super
- Best shoe: FiveTen Freerider
- Best pack: Osprey Raptor
- Best glove: Specialized BG
- Best eyewear: Oakley Half Jacket
- Best protective gear brand: Fox Head
Which products or responses to the 2015 gear survey surprise you the most?