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Preview Group Test: 6 fast XC Trail Bikes

Full speed ahead! Pedal up to the start of the trail at high-speed, and then hammer down the downhill. That was the motto of our latest group test, featuring six fast XC bikes, which will be published in issue #012 of ENDURO. The bikes had to prove their skills on the many trails around Landau / Germany. It quickly became clear that with these bikes, despite only around 100mm of travel, far more will be possible than you might think at first glance.

If you take a look at the tracks of the current Cross Country World Cup, you will realize that these bikes despite their low travel and minimal weight, are well capable of mastering hard trails.

For this test, we were supported by the experienced World Cup proven Rotwild AMG team rider Nadine Rieder. She gave us useful tips and helped us to evaluate our test results.

The test field was full of six extremely interesting bikes, including highlights such as electronic E:i Shock Suspension System, frames with flexing seatstays and some unique suspension designs. In addition to four 29″ bikes we also had two 27.5″ in the group test.

Here are the bikes at a glance:

Rose Thrill Hill 3 & Specialized EPIC FSR Elite Carbon

Rose Thrill Hill 3 & Specialized EPIC FSR Elite Carbon

Canyon Lux CF 9.9 SL & GT Helion CRB Team

Canyon Lux CF 9.9 SL & GT Helion CRB Team

Ghost AMR Lector 2990 E:i & Scott Spark 900 RC

Ghost AMR Lector 2990 E:i & Scott Spark 900 RC

At the meeting point we waited for Nadine. After a short time, her arrival was announced by a sonorous hum from the distance. Not really hesitant, the young Rotwild AMG team rider hammered her Mercedes GLA 45 AMG up the narrow road to the agreed place.

Schnelle Frau mit schnellem Auto: Nadine und ihr Mercedes GLA 45 AMG.

Fast Woman with a fast car: Nadine and her Mercedes GLA 45 AMG.

Bevor es auf die vielfältigen Trails ging wurden die Räder gründlich auf die einzelnen Fahrer abgestimmt.

Before we went to the trails the bikes had to be thoroughly setup to the individual rider.

Bestes Wetter und gute Laune - perfekte Vorraussetzungen für einen langen Tag im Sattel.

Best weather and good mood – perfect conditions for a long day in the saddle.

Nadine macht die Pace und prescht mit dem Rose Thrill Hill voraus.

Nadine sets the pace and presses ahead with the Rose Thrill Hill.

Auf einer stillgelegten Downhillstrecke mussten die Bikes ihre Abfahrtsqualitäten unter Beweis stellen.

On an abandoned downhill track the bikes had to prove their descending skills.

ENDURO Redakteur Christoph auf dem Scott Spark 900 RC.

ENDURO editor Christoph on the Scott Spark RC 900.

Benny und Nadine fachsimplen über die Testbikes.

Which is the best bike? Benny and Nadine discuss the different concepts behind the bikes.

Gegen Mittag verlassen wir den dichten Wald und begeben uns auf die Suche nach etwas zum Essen.

Around noon we left the dense forest and rode into the city and started the search for something to eat.

Die Pfalz weiß zu überzeugen: herrliches Wetter, vorzügliches Essen und am Abend feinster Weißwein - was will man mehr?

The Pfalz convinced: great weather, great food and in the evening some fine white wine – what more could you want?

Super lecker und daher absolut empfehlenswert!

German cake, super tasty, and therefore highly recommended!

Noch einmal kurz das Essen sacken lassen und dann geht es wieder ab auf die Bikes.

After a short talk we got back on the bikes.

Bis die letzten Sonnenstrahlen hinter dem Horizont verschwanden wurden die Räder malträtiert.

We rode the bikes until the last rays of sun disappeared behind the horizon.

Die abwechslungsreiche Natur begeisterte die Fahrer wie den Fotografen gleichermaßen.

The varied nature was expressed by the enthusiastic riders and the photographers alike.

Which bike could convince the tester most and has secured the coveted Test victory you’ll see in the next issue #012 of ENDURO. For sure, free & digital and recently now on your iPhone too!

ENDURO Magazine iPhone App Teaser from WWW.ENDURO-MTB.COM on Vimeo.

Until then enjoy reading the current issue.

A special thanks goes to Nadine Rieder for the great support throughout testing process.

Words & Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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