Reader Bike Checks

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    • #258048

      Singletracks readers, we want to see what you’re riding! We are starting a series, which we’ll be picking out a bike to share with other everyone on the site and on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) If it has a story, is a piece of MTB history, has been through a painstaking color and component matching process, or you think it’s a rad bike worthy of sharing, we’d love to see, and is something we’ll plan on sharing on a monthly basis. We’d like to start by readers posting ONE shot of the bike (photographed clearly), and a paragraph of two about why the bike is interesting. From here, we’ll contact you if your bike is chosen for the feature, so check your messages on your Singletracks account! After that, we’ll follow up with you for more photos, and details on the bike. We’re stoked to see what everyone is riding, so let ‘er rip!

    • #258058

      My 2017 Orange Crush. Probably the only Orange bike in Tennessee. Long, slack, aluminum hardtail made for getting rowdy. The picture isn’t quite up to date; now it has Stan’s Flow mk3 wheels, Deity CZ38 handlebars, WTB Vigilante tires front and back, (27.5 x 2.5, tough, high grip) and a 170mm travel Oneup dropper post. It’s more fun than any other bike I’ve ever ridden and has been rock solid on every ride, from xc to the occasional trip to the Windrock Bike Park. It’s very composed on steep and loose terrain, and corners like a dream. I think that the frame is one of the nicest blues I’ve ever seen on a bike, and it looks amazing with the orange accents. It’s been a year and a half since I got it and I still get excited to ride it. It’s battle-scarred, it’s a little heavy on the climbs, and it rattles my bones a bit on the descents, but it’s still kicking after all the crap I’ve put it through, and it has greatly increased my average smiles-per-mile rating.

      I don’t think I’ve had any other bike that my skills have progressed on as much as this one. I’ve learned a lot about riding smoothly, a necessity with the rigid rear end, and I’ve ridden more trails that I would have been absolutely petrified on two years ago. It’s amazing how much better each ride is when you’re riding the right bike for you.

    • #258211

      BIKE CHECK: check, check check the mike, Boy!

      My bike check will be my back-up hardtail, the 2006 ironhorse maverick team. This poor bike has been through more upgrades and changes, all while carting my ass all over creation on a number of rides: commuter machine to get me to work, eliminating the need and security risk of running my expensive trail bike, enduro bike for days when i don’t wish to take my number 1, for reasons of weather, terrain, or too much climbing…

      All around fun machine for bike path days with wife and son… The list goes on. This beast has been through 4 sets of tires, a chain, brake and drive cables, grips and 3 bars, climbing bars(remember those?) and a couple saddles or 4. This thing is still going strong. Not bad for a 13 year old bike that cost me $347 online with free shipping. HAH! There you go, toots.2006 Iron horse maverick team


    • #258319

      As a contributing writer for Singletracks, it may put me out of the running for having a reader bike.


      This is my 2019 Salsa Fargo, fully kitted out for bikepacking.


      This has Force 1, Cane Creek EEWings titanium cranks, Hope RX4 brakes, WTB KOM light rims built to a SON Dynamo hub and a project 321 rear hub, Xpedo Ti M Force Pedals, Redshift suspension stem, a Thomson dropper wired to the left shifter, and a Gilles Berthoud saddle. It also has custom bags from the Spindle in Atlanta.


      This is the bike I’ve ridden CFITT and Tally Tango on. I also plan to do TNGA with it using a Fox 34 Stepcast fork.

    • #258323

      In 2018, I decided to buy a new bike to celebrate my 25th anniversary of riding MTB.  After an exhaustive search I decided to go with the Santa Cruz Chameleon.  Buying a hardtail was a tribute to my beginnings as a rider in the 90s but the LLS geo, plus tires and dropper brought me into a modern setup.  It was a perfect match.

      I have never been an aggressive rider but this bike has surprisingly pushed my limits.  At 37 years old, I’m now learning how to drop and jump in ways I have never attempted.  And on a hardtail! This is also the first time where I have become obsessed with color matching.  Green and purple is pure sexy!  Purple grips, pedals, cable housing, seat post clamp, and rotor.  After getting into it I decided to start throwing some gold into the mix because why the heck not!  Currently waiting on carbon wheels to arrive (with gold nipples).

      This obsession has definitely gone over the top, but hey, what better way to celebrate 25 years of pure joy.

    • #258378

      2018 Calibre Bossnut Evo

      Love this bike. I’ve only upgraded the pedals.

    • #258384

      My main bike. Picture taken at Graham Swamp, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


    • #258388


      My XL Scott Genius 900 Ultimate with:

      Fox 36 / 160 Kashima FIT 4 w/TwinLock

      DMR Vault Lacon Pedals – These pedals get all the love when a new rider pulls up to chat!

      Eagle XX1

      (Not Pictued, Magura MT7 Brakes w/203 rotors)

      WTB Volt Saddle and Wahoo Bolt.

      Bars are 800mm Syncros 35mm

      Rollin on the Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29’s.  –

      Custom Black Oil Slick Scott Decals. (more photos in Bio)

      This bike is awesome because I ride it. I ride it every week, sometimes 2-3 times per week, 40-50 miles. But as many here will talk about the components and why their bike is the quiver killer, I believe the bike is only part of the equation. Nothing on earth can give you the experience of hanging with your buddies, shredding the gnar, dropping into a new trail run or poppin’ a cold beer discussing Strava segments after a hard ride. These rolling foothills are just a 3 minute ride from my front door and with some of the best trails, canyons and drops within a few hundred miles, my fellow riders and I are so spoiled to have this much beauty and space to ride within arms reach. And my LBS are all riders so before the shop opens or when they close down the shop for the evening, they are out here pedaling with everyone, having a great time. We get to meet many riders that have driven hours to ride here. Not to mention a ton of motocross and super cross pros that come here and shoot sick jump shots all day long. Having the open space to ride freely for hours on end, with your buddies that challenge you to be a better rider and have fun doing it, on a bike that fits not only your body but your style and 90% of the terrain you will be riding….that my fellow riders is the trifecta. The Holy Trinity. Its this combination that makes us a mountain bike rider. Thanks to Singletracks for keeping us informed, engaged and envying the new gear whenever something awesome is released. Keep the Singletracks podcasts coming!


    • #258393

      My favorite bike along with my favorite sign.

      Hey Singletracks, I’m a life long rider who just turned 57 (yikes) a week ago and though I’m getting older I’m still progressing in my skills. I’m riding harder, stronger, faster and ever more technical trails than at any time in my life and this is the bike that takes me there. A Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29er. I’ve made some upgrades to the bike that make it one Rad Ride, just checkout the spec’s.

      This bike has taken me all over California to ride from “Demo” to Downieville, Skeggs to Mr Toads, North Star to Mt Wilson in SoCal., and places in between.

      I grew up drinking and doing drugs, but in my late twenties I turned my life around, quit a that stupidity, married the most incredible woman and started a family. Life is fantastic, I’m truly livin’ the dream! So now my drug of choice is Mountain Biking. I get a joy out of riding that is unmatched by any other activity in my life, I’m addicted (in a good way). Ha!


      Jeff “Banzai” Brooks

      Livermore, Ca.


      Specialized Expert Carbon 29er


      Color: Black over white with orange pinstripe.

      Frame type: Carbon, size large.

      Fork: Fox Factory 36 TALAS with Kashima coating

      Shock: Fox Factory X2 with Kashima coating

      SRAM: Eagle 1×12

      Chain guide/bashring: Truvativ

      Brakes: Shimano Saint with Icetech rotors

      Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb Stealth with Wolftooth remote.

      Cranks: Raceface Turbines

      Bars: Santa Cruz carbon 800mm

      Stem: Raceface 50mm

      Pedals: Shimano XT caged clipless

      Saddle: Specialized BG

      Wheels: Bontager (prototype) carbon 29er

      Tires: Schwalbe Hans Dampf

      SWAT: mini tool & chain breaker

    • #258405

      2018 S-Works Stumpjumper 29er, Industry Nine Torch hubs and Enduro 310 Carbon rums, Hopetech Tech 3 E4 brakes, Hopetech 200/180 mm floating rotors, Bike Yokes Revive 160mm dropper post, Deity Blade Runner pedals, Specialized Phenom Anza saddle. Drivetrain and suspension is stock… SRAM XX1 cranks and tear deraileur, Ohlins RXF36 fork (which I LOVE), Ohlins STX shock. I think it’s very pleasing to look at, but more importantly very fun to ride. Probably unique because not many people go through the hassle to upgrade a bike that only comes complete, but  picky about what I like.

    • #258416

      This is my 2017 Norco Sight C9. My whole life I had ridden mtbs or 26ers and this is my first modern bike with big wheels.
      I am a chronic disease fighter who saw life almost slip by in 2017, this bike has literally saved my life… through MTB I found ways to recover my mental stability, get my body in motion and fight back to those things that will never change. Enough about me though and let’s get to it… Why is this bike special?

      There are quite a few neat things about this bike. Here are a few:

      • This bike used to belong to the one and only, berm slasher Bryn Atkinson. Bryn and I got in contact through a bike selling forum and he was super kind and understanding of my situation. I got this bike for a steal… like… literally a symbolic amount!
      • When I went to buy the bike he has not available to come to meet us so instead we met with Jill Kitner who happens to be an amazing person!
      • Some parts of this bike are quite unique for example: The serial code on the fork will say this is a “black fox 36” – this is one of those forks of the wave when orange was exclusive to pro riders and Fox did not have a serial modifier for Orange versions
      • The rear shock has the inscription: “Kitner” engraved on it. According to my mechanic (who is a suspension guru in the PNW) Fox does that to shocks specifically tuned for their sponsored riders
      • The bike is mounted on full Shimano parts but I have added some personal tweaks and customizations that make it special to me including a Wolfcage extender to run a 49T rear cog (this helps me in climbs since I have a fused rib cage)

      Hope you guys like the build. I will be happy to share more (:


    • #258428

      Here’s my 2018 Scott Contessa Spark 910 – the same bike Sonya Looney raced last year!

      This bike has taken my to amazing places and helped me achieve big goals. It has raced and ridden in Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Arkansas, and this June will be headed to Mexico to train in the Carmen Mountains for my 2nd attempt at a 100-miler at the High Cascades 100 in Bend, OR in July.

      I race Cat 2 XC events, XTERRA triathlons, and endurance events and this bike has been like a friend to me. Comfortable, loyal (even though I wrecked her on my first ride and bent the derailleur hanger!) She’s comfortable, reliable, and always up for adventures!

      This bike is my tool for empowerment as well. I currently mentor for Little Bellas, a young girls’ program that teaches confidence through mountain biking, and lead rides for Ride Like a Girl, a women’s-only program of our local IMBA chapter that gives women of all skill levels a safe and welcoming place to grow in the sport. I even have a “Ride Like a Girl” decal on the side that my Bellas think is soooo coool (which is great, because it’s hard to get kids to think you’re cool!)

      I’ve added pink ODI grips, DIRT Components Rough Country 29er wheels with pink I9 hubs and pink spokes (and sparkly pink decals, ‘natch.), and pink ISSI pedals to make it just loud enough for its presence to be known. It’s definitely the one thing I’d save in a house fire! Love my bike!


    • #258484

      This was my first full squisher. It’s a 2015 Motobecane Fantom Pro 6by6. This pic is not the latest iteration, but mostly how it still looks. Since this pic, I added a Chromag Fubar 780mm with Ergon grips. I’m still rockin’ a wide geared 10spd cassette by Sunrace (11-40), Shimano SLX shifter and brakes. RS Revelation fork and Monarch shock. RS Reverb dropper with WTB Volt saddle and Wolftooth B-Rad dual bottle adaptor. I recently added a strap for spare tube/CO2 cartridge/tire lever, 203mm front rotor and a Maxxis Minion DHF. Great bike and it has handled EVERYTHING I threw at it.

    • #258488

      My older Specialized Epic Expert Carbon from 2011, bought it gently used from a former racer. Light and quick. 

    • #258512

      2019 Evil “the Offering”

      After 5 years of riding my XC bike with 100mm travel (front & rear) I was looking to upgrade to a more capable bike.  As much as I wanted to have more travel to shred downhills, as someone that takes pride in climbing I didn’t want to compromise too much on the climbs.  What really intrigued me about some of the new bikes is the modern geometry with fairly slack HTA and steeper STA.  With the GX package the Offering checked virtually all the boxes.  Ride-wise I have not been disappointed.  This bike climbs very well but it’s when you point it downhill that it really shines.  It rides like a bike with more than 140mm of travel.  But what really stands out is its playfulness.  Can’t wait for spring so I can really test the limits of this baby!

    • #258532

      Totally stock 2018 Diamondback Release 5C. Ridden hard for 8 months now and not a problem! Pictured here above Salida Colorado right after Christmas.

    • #258581

      This is my 2014 Merida Big Nine. I owned it for a few years as a commuter, but decided to give trail riding a go early in 2018. I use this beast as a daily driver on local trails, since it seems capable of taking a serious beating. What makes this bike special is that it’s not pretty, carbon, expensive, or top shelf. It’s a solid workhorse of a marathon-oriented hardtail. Weighs approximately 15kg with all the aftermarket parts. I’m not out for podiums, or to count grams. XC courses in Wellington (NZ) can be pretty gnarly, with sharp rocks, steep descents, and thick mud, making the old girl perfect for the odd race.

      Since picking her up, she’s gotten a few upgrades or tweaks. I’ve specced a dropper to save me on long chunky descents. 780mm Specialized bars (100mm more than stock) with a 60mm stem flipped to -8 degrees, to keep weight relatively forward. Deity Grips (nice and tacky.) The brakes have been upgraded to Shimano Deore from Tektro. Since I’m pretty casual, I’m using GR500 flat pedals, which provide a solid platform. Some things, like the drivetrain (3×9 Shimano) and the 20mm rim width wheel set, are stock. The rear tyre is a Merida Race 2.1 tyre, as per stock. I’ve found them to be tough at low pressures and pretty fast rolling. I’m also not able to spend big on high end rubber. However, on the front I have a WTB Ranger. Good sized cornering knob rows, excellent mud clearing (essential), and good tacky rubber.  Very versatile as a front tyre. This bike isn’t your top end Yeti SB100. She’s been crashed multiple times, slogged through swamps, dragged through countless rivers, plus shaken half apart over fist sized gravel. A real survivor.</p>

    • #258595

      2011 Tallboy One

      With over 5,000 Colorado miles on her, she deserved a make over. New bearings, bushings, saddle, and new paint… matte pale sage. What makes her special is quick 70.5 degree headtube handling with a 120mm fork, very stiff roval control carbon wheels, a stiff 10mm rear axle, and fresh brake and shift tune. Going on year eight the fit is perfectly dialed and the ride is sublime.

    • #258656

      My dream bike – 2018 Tallboy

      CC Carbon, Factory front and rear, XX1 Eagle, i9 Torch hubs.  I installed Invisiframe on frame and forks….and it only took 8 IPAs.

    • #258795

      Well here it is!!! All new for 1998, the KONA Hahanna, It was around &400.00 brand new, rode the crap out of it for 10 plus years, then got out of the bike kick for a while, I moved to the shore. The I decided to rebuild it into a KONA/AUDI beast of the east bike, painted to match my Audi color scheme!!! Put a lot of ching into it. Rides great except for that stupid back brake and cheap front shock. This bike is older that most of the readers here!!!

      I actually attempted to enter a downhill race at Thunder Mountain in Mass, Got kicked off the course, they said I will kill myself!!  Oh well!! The smaller pic is the before one!!

    • #258889

      Here’s my Ellsworth Absolute Truth at last years Brutal loop at Mulberry  Gap. I love this bike, the red frame with carbon weave looks like artwork. I gave it the reverse mullet treatment with a Fox 34 140mm then had to match it with the factory Transfer post. Full XT with Race Face & ENVE/DT240’s, what’s not to like?

    • #259606

      This is what started out as my entry level 2014 DB Sortie 1 – 29er.

      After riding a bunch when I was younger on my fully rigid 1994 Kona Fire mountain back in Kansas, I hadn’t really seriously ridden for 20 years. My 11 year old got me back into the sport after mentioning on a hike at 3-Sisters that he wanted to try mountain biking after seeing so many bikers. Since then,  mountain biking has been a key in me becoming more fit in my 40’s and keeping off over 40 lbs that I lost some years ago.

      This was my first full squish bike and first 29er and I just loved riding it. The huge hoops and low center of gravity gave me all the confidence as I bashed down the mountains. As I got better, I realized I needed to upgrade a few things out of necessity. I love to tinker and upgrade rather than just buy something new. I have done all the upgrade work myself. First came some wider carbon bars, a shorter stem and a tubeless upgrade. Then I upgraded the 3×9 to a 2×10, but then realized my mistake and went to a 1×11. I outrode and killed my original 130mm Fox Float 32 CTD fork, so I upgraded to a Fox Factory 34 and upped it to 140mm. A Race Face Turbine dropper came next, and then I realized I needed better stopping power, so new XT brakes and ICE-tec rotors were in order. Once again, too aggressive and dented my original WTB rims, so a set of Spank Oozy 345 rims was the answer. I decided I needed a better rear shock (why not?) so the Fox DPX2 was put on. Finally, I wanted to modernize the geometry a bit. With the longer fork, I had lost a little off the original 69.5 degree head angle, and then with a Works 2 degree angle set, I was able to get the head angle to 67 degrees and widen the stance a little. So all I have left from my original purchase is the frame and the seat. All the components are Shimano XT.  Yah, it’s aluminum, it’s a little heavy and it doesn’t have a fancy brand name, but this bike kills it. This is my one quiver bike, she climbs like a mountain goat and I have yet to find a trail that she won’t go down and I don’t have a huge smile on my face! Only one problem, nothing left to upgrade!!

    • #259698

      This is my factory-direct 18.5lb 29er hardtail, built up with a 1060g $400 carbon frame, an integrated carbon handlebar, 280g carbon rims, and a mixed XTR and XO1 1×11 drivetrain. I opted for a 120mm travel Fox Float 34 SC fork to slacken the HTA to 68.5-degrees and tackle technical XC trails. The bike is incredibly versatile (I’ve also ridden it in a 27.5+ configuration) and has a playful character. It’s easy to accelerate, get sideways on the berms, and riff off ruts and rocks.

      While there is an exploding number of brands marketing made-in-China carbon bikes, there are still only a handful of carbon bicycle factories in China. Some of these factories recently have started to ship “catalog” frames designed in-house directly to the consumer, thus cutting out industry middlemen. These frames are becoming increasingly popular and are surprisingly affordable ($400-550 for hardtails, $500-1000 for full-suspension). I’ve bought frames and wheelsets directly from several factories, and have been repeatedly impressed by their excellent communication and commitment to outstanding aftersales service. This particular bike is just another build which proves that a great bike doesn’t need to break the bank. It costs $3000 to build this one new.

    • #260361

      This is my downcountry race rig!  Built up with the new Light Carbon 937 full-suspension frame, featuring a single-pivot suspension design with the linkage tucked inside a split seat tube. The result is an incredibly stiff ride feel with impressive control. What’s even more impressive is that Light Carbon retails the entire frame for $700 including shipping!  What a beast.  My build weighs 22.5 lbs and features the Fox Float 34 SC fork up front with 120mm travel and a Fox Float DPS factory shock in the rear with 40mm stroke, corresponding to 115mm rear wheel travel.

    • #260657


      My cross country rig. It’s a 2015 Felt Edict 3. Full carbon frame using Felt’s FAST suspension. There is no rear pivot, the carbon frame is designed to flex. This pic is from last summer. It’s full XT now. 1×11 with One-Up’s Shark 11-50 conversion. 34 tooth Absolute Bike chainring. Hope Pro 2 hubs laced to Stan’s rims w/ DT swiss butted spokes. Continental Trail King 2.2 up front and Mountain King 2.2 rear. Upgraded to a Rock Shox Monarch RT3 rear shock. Loaded Precision stem and seatpost. RaceFace Turbine handlebar. Specialized Rival SL that has moved from more than one bike.

    • #319224


      Tell us about the custom mountain bike build you recently finished and we might just share it in an upcoming article!

    • #324803

      2018 Evil Insurgent. Bought it in pieces and built it myself.

    • #327633

      The pithy little singlespeed. 2019 RSD MiddleChild steel frame.


    • #330568

      Rolling Fat

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