Let’s be honest: We love riding and testing top-notch bikes, these bikes are the industry’s avant-garde showing off the latest and most innovative technology and components. These bikes pioneer development and shape our sport by pushing new boundaries. But in our modern world even the things we love sometimes have to be a compromise, and for many of our readers, these dream bikes will remain just that, a dream! However, as every new exotic model hits the market in a fanfare of media and acronyms, last years technology filters another step down the ladder, making the more affordable offerings more competent than ever before.
Bikes that are now considered “entry level” bring technology and design that would have been ground breaking just a few years ago, designed for fun and aimed at riders like you! This is why we organised a group test in the Alps, testing eight of the most interesting and popular trail bikes for the upcoming issue #009. In this article you’ll find a sneak preview of the testing process, and discover some interesting impressions from our testing days in the Garmisch Partenkirchen mountains .
Before heading out to the trails we meticulously prepared the bikes in the workshop.
Fine tuning on the 2 x 10 setup!
The workshop of meiksbikes was to be our base, the perfect location for preparing the test bikes. Thanks for this!
Below you’ll find five out of the eight test bikes; to discover which other three hot bikes made the test, you will have to check out the next issue!
The Cube Stereo 140 HPC Pro is one out of two 29inch bikes of this group test.
Race Ready – this was the first impression of the Focus Sam 3.0, after pulling it out of its box. How does it perform on the trail? Stay tuned for issue #009!
Fancy color! The German Alutech Teibun immediately impressed with its vivid paint job!
Black Beauty! The Rose Granite Chief with 27.5″ wheels is the stealth bomber of this test. And the price is super hot!
One of the lightest bikes of this group test is the Canyon Spectral.
Living the dream: The bike setup was carried out in front of the amazing Alpine backdrop. Our mobile workshop was a Mercedes Sprinter.
Yes: Lady power to support the male test team, complementing the reviews with some fresh and different angles on how a bike has to perform on the trail for different kinds of riders!
Sandra and Florian adjust the bike’s suspension.
Pump it up! The FOX air pump has a digital display to measure and document exactly the air pressure in the fork and the rear shock!
On the trails around Garmisch Partenkirchen we tested all the bikes – full throttle of course!
The test crew rolls through a Bavarian village to ride another trail. While the first one was super flowy, the next would be steep and gnarly!
Talk show: The first riding impressions of the bikes are exchanged.
What a scenery: Three days in the middle of snow-covered mountains and traditional architecture. It’s easy to forget that this is work.
Keep your eyes on the track: German Enduro Pro Markus Reiser makes an interesting line choice at high speed!
Florian is the man for the rough stuff and rockets down the trail at full pace. The Focus Sam 3.0 is his first choice for this.
Fine adjustments are made on the trail after a basic setup in the car park.
ENDURO editor & photographer Christoph Bayer and the Cube Stereo 140 HPC Pro.
After each loop the test riders had to write a report, including impressions about the bike’s performance on the trail, components and their conclusions.
Which bike impressed our test riders the most? This sheet might reveal all… You’ll find out soon!
You can read an in-depth feature about the group test and our conclusions in the upcoming ENDURO issue #009, being released in mid-February (German) and shortly after in English. In the meantime check out the current issue – as usual it’s free & only digital: Issue #008.
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer
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