12 Enduro Bikes Singletracks Tested and Reviewed in 2020

Santa Cruz Megatower

While it hasn’t been a big year for enduro racing, it has been a big year for enduro bike testing, at least here at Singletracks. In case you missed any of our tests, here’s a rundown of the 13 bikes we checked out this year. Be sure to click the links to read the full reviews and to see video reviews for select bikes as well.

Ancillotti Scarab Evo

It’s unusual for a Singletracks writer to review a bike they own, but sometimes the story behind the bike is so good that it just has to be shared. Gerow explains how this bike has fared through endless component swaps, and interviews the frame builder himself, Tomaso Ancilloti.

I take it to the trail any time I’m not testing another bike, both because it’s my favorite whip and because I need to test the components that I mount on it. The Scarab is truly a “work bike” in that sense, and it has endured more component swaps than any other bike I have owned.

Gerow

Banshee Titan

The Banshee Titan is a burly bike, with 155mm of rear travel and a front that can accommodate 150mm-180mm forks. The bike’s KS2 linkage design is a virtual pivot type linkage with a progressive leverage curve.

The Titan is Banshee’s first attempt at a big travel 29er enduro sled, and it has some pretty big boots to fill if it wants to go toe to toe with the competition. At first glance, everything appears to be in the right place and Banshee’s revised frame designs across the board look modern and aggressive. Dare I say it, but it’s been a little while coming. 

Sam

Guerilla Gravity Gnarvana

Utilizing 160mm of rear travel and 170mm of fork travel, the Gnarvana offers plenty of squish and stability with their proprietary Freedom Linkage and lengthy 450mm chainstays.

This is obviously a bike that is meant for serious speed, air, and impacts. There are going to be a lot of riders stoked on the Gnarvana who have been eagerly awaiting a long-travel 29er from Guerrilla Gravity to come In Bloom. It’s a light, and capable climber, and it won’t Drain You on the way to the top. For gravity-only riders, it gets even better and is a great A-Scentless Apprentice for shuttle or bike park riders. After all, that is the primary mission and the Gnarvana is made to get to the bottom of the mountain as fast as possible, taking away All Apologies.

Matt


Ibis Ripmo

The Ibis Ripmo V2 is built for fun out on the trails with 29″ wheels, 160mm of travel on the front, and 147mm of travel on the rear. When it comes to the new Ibis Ripmo, they made it a little slacker, a little longer, and made it more progressive and coil-compatible. Matt charged through Posse Grounds Park in Sedona, Arizona on the new Ripmo.

The amazing thing about the Ripmo is how efficient and agile it feels on flat and buff trails. The 147mm-travel 29er is far from feeling like a heavy, slacked out enduro sled on more moderate trails, which is refreshing. Instead, it is efficient and energetic to pedal. Even in standing sprints on flat trail, the Ripmo is eager to fly forward. The traction over anything loose is as good as it gets, and the efficient and sprite DW-Link rear suspension makes the Ripmo ready for long, all-mountain slogs in the saddle.

Matt

Merida One-Sixty 700

In a world where 29er enduro bikes have started to dominate the industry, the 27.5″ wheel Merida One-Sixty 700 comes with a 440mm reach, 430mm chainstays, 65.3° headtube angle, and a wheel base of 1189mm, in a reasonably priced top alloy model at €3,290.

I have greatly enjoyed some long trail days on the One Sixty, but it’s simply not the right bike for my riding style. If you enjoy an uber-active platform beneath your feet, this one might be just the ticket. […] At nearly 15 kilos (33lbs) the One-Sixty 700 build holds a respectable weight for an enduro big squisher.

Gerow

Mondraker Foxy RR

The Spanish based Mondraker designed the Foxy RR to offer playfulness out on the trail with its shorter 435mm chainstays. It is a confidence inspiring bike, with a 66° head tube angle rolling on 29″ wheels damped by a 160mm fork and 150mm of rear axle travel.

This is a race bike after all. With 100% power to the cranks, the Zero Link Suspension continues to smooth out the trail without zapping your preciously-pedaled watts. While it’s common to say that a suspension platform feels efficient under maximum pedal forces, this one does so without sacrificing grip or bump sensitivity.

Gerow

NS Define 160

NS Bikes’ Define AL Race 160 mixes wheel sizes to maximize the advantages of both 29″ and 27.5″ bikes. This is an enduro bike that likes to climb, and comes with a moderately steep 76° seat tube angle, 170mm fork, and 160mm of rear travel. The shock mount can be flipped to adjust the BB height up and down by 5mm, or you can purchase a different shock mount to cut the bike’s travel down to 130mm.

At €5699, the Define AL Race 160 has a great component spec and a decidedly comfortable ride quality. Though it didn’t sell me on the mixed-wheel platform just yet it does ride very well and would undoubtedly be a fun bike for racing enduro. I want to re-highlight the steep turn love for this model, as it truly is something special. On a good day, I love to push traction speed in the turns and this bike was a pleasure to lean over.

Gerow

Privateer 161

The UK-designed Privateer 161 is a robust bike to take on fast and rough descents. The front to center (reach) on our test bike is a stabilizing 470mm, matched with 440mm chainstays to culminate in a 1250.29mm axle-to-axle measurement based on the stock build’s 170mm RockShox fork with its 42mm offset leaned into a 64° headtube angle.

The more notable dimension across this gravity wagon’s clean physique is its perfect-postured 80° seat tube angle. My first spin on the bike included a few thousand feet of climbing, and that steep post was noticeable from the moment I kicked off the curb. The frame is simple to maintain and decidedly robust with an aim at enduring multiple fast and rough descents.

Gerow

Production Privee Shan

The Production Privee Shan N°5 is a unique steel full suspension with a 76° seat tube angle, 437mm chainstays, and a 1218mm wheelbase. The frame can chameleon between 29″ wheels or 27.5″ simply by changing the shock extender and dropouts. 

The Shan N°5 is a bike for folks who want to dial in every element of their custom build around a solid chassis that’s designed for fun as much as it is for pure speed. I would certainly line up for an enduro race with this bike, or take it on a weeklong backcountry backpacking trip.

Gerow

Rocky Mountain Altitude

The Rocky Mountain Altitude bike frame can be set up in a slack, neutral, or steep position that adjusts the geometry for different terrain using the Ride-9 geo system. An adjustable chainstay length allows riders to choose from a longer, more stable setting or a shorter, more playful feel. The Altitude Alloy 30 comes at a reasonable, $3,500 price with 160/170mm of travel.

The new geo keeps the bike right under you, and for a 160mm enduro ride, the Altitude’s heft is easily managed. The standover height seems low, and the 1218mm wheelbase feels very stable. Rocky Mountain tends to be fairly conservative on geometry changes from one generation to the next, but so far, we’re getting along great.

Matt

Santa Cruz Megatower

Santa Cruz Megatower

Designed for elite-level enduro racing, the Megatower is a 160/160mm bike with 29″ wheels that can accommodate up to a 180mm fork. Adjustable BB height, headtube angle, seat tube angle, and chain stay length via flip chip allow the bike to handle steep and gnarly terrain even better.

With few necessary upgrades and complaints, the Megatower is a fantastic bike for folks who race enduro or ride enduro race trails. The adjustable geometry should help it fit a wider variety of trails than some long travel 29ers, and the short seat tubes will allow buyers to choose their ideal reach — to a point. As it is, with free lifetime pivot bearing replacement, Megatower owners will likely be keeping this bike in the quiver for quite some time.

Gerow

Specialized Enduro

all photos Jeff Barber, unless otherwise noted.

With the rear shock now moved to a lower position, the newly redesigned Specialized Enduro lowers the rider’s center of gravity, while at the same time keeping the bike planted to the trail with its aggressive 1302mm wheelbase and 511mm reach on the size S5. This bike was made for enduro riding, as the name states.

It’s clear the Specialized Enduro is built to win races, making use of the latest innovations in research and design to create an efficient and consistent weapon of attack. While it may not offer the cushiest, sled-like way to reach the bottom of the mountain, it’s definitely one of the fastest on the trail.

Jeff

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