Finding the right mountain bike is like searching for that special someone that completes your world. Here are six 29ers you should test ride before getting into a serious mountain bike relationship.
Weighing in at about 26lbs, this carbon fiber Niner RIP 9 RDO is just about as close to perfect for an exploring-the-unknown rig as you’re going to find. Fitting 125mm of rear travel and 120-140mm of front travel (130mm tested) into a 26-pound package is no small feat!
There are two key impressions we took away from my time on the Rocky Mountain Instinct. The first is the holistic nature of the bike. With most bikes, it’s as though a frame was designed, and then all the goodies are afterthoughts. With the Instinct, it feels like it was designed from the ground up with all the goodies in mind. The Ride 9 system, the CTD suspension, and all the components come together and perform as a seamless unit. It’s truly something to behold.
At less than $2k, this complete bike retails for drastically less than many high-end frames. If you’re looking for a capable, decently-spec’ed, cross country trail bike in an affordable package, be sure to consider the Mongoose Salvo Expert 29er.
The Niner WFO 9 is a burly bike built for burly terrain. Tons of travel, a spot-on component selection, and dialed geometry makes for a bike that absorbs nasty terrain so easily that it feels like cheating. And if you have a penchant for the descents but still want to climb, don’t fear: at less than 30lbs (with pedals) and sporting highly-adjustable suspension, the WFO 9 is more than capable of all-day big-mountain epics.
According to Ibis, their ”goal was to bring the advantages of a 29” wheel to a lightweight, nimble and fun trailbike.” Well guys: mission accomplished. With the release of the Ripley Ibis continues to defy expectations by packing a very pedal-friendly bike into an aggressive, capable package, all at a supremely low weight.
If a Formula 1 team were to build a mountain bike, it would probably look a lot like the Carbon Overdrive Pro 29er. Diamondback knows that this is a proven frame design, because it’s one they have employed before on the aluminum Overdrive mountain bikes. But this time, for 2014, they are making those bikes in that most coveted of all bike frame materials: carbon fiber. This is an expert-level bike, with an MSRP of $5,500 and a street price hovering in the $5,000 range.