Im starting to think that bike manufacturers are onto something with steel 29er hardtail mountain bikes. The Raleigh XXIX Pro shows why this is such a winning combination: its lightweight, supple, and rolls fast and smooth. Not content with just that, Raleigh ups the ante on the XXIX Pro by including the SRAM XX component group thats a lot of Xs!

For this test ride I hit the trail with element22 and just tried to hold onto his rear wheel. While the Raleigh XXIX Pro is a strictly cross-country bike, I was able to cruise the rocky, rutted trails at Bootleg Canyon without feeling like I had taken a beating.

The XXIX Pro sports a sexy, slender profile and shows why steel frames arent going away anytime soon. Add to that an edgy yet sophisticated graphic scheme and youve got a head-turning bike that melds the old (steel) with the new (29 wheels and SRAM XX components).


Clearly this is a great bike but heres the bad news: this hardtail retails for north of $4,000. Most of the expense comes from the SRAM XX components and from what I gathered there isnt a cheaper component configuration available at the moment (for that you’ll have to downgrade to the XXIX+G). Start saving your pennies!


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