Finding the best bike for long day trips, a tour about the alps or a fast round on the hometrails, that was our goal of the next group test which will be published in Issue #011 of ENDURO. Therefore, we have traveled with the 7 most interesting Trailbikes with 130-150 mm of travel to South Tyrol for a intensive week of testing. In addition to several rounds in a direct comparison on a specical test track, the bikes had to prove on an alpine tour too.
If you sit countless hours in the saddle, torment yourself laboriously up steep climbs and be physically at the end of your tether, factors lke an efficient suspension and a good position on the bike become more and more important.
The range which these bikes have to cover is enormous, because he who torments himself uphill, wants to be rewarded for it on the downhill. Here moves next to the fun, the aspect of safety comes to the forefront. In the rugged alpine terrain, far from any civilization falls are not advisable.
The 7 most interesting Trailbikes:
Enduro Director Robin with the Trek Fuel EX 9 29.
Enduro long-term tester and Bike-Guide Vinzenz presents the Scott Genius 910.
The Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Elite 29 was ridden by Walter on our long tour.
Iwan not just liked the colour of the Rocky Mountain Instinct MSL 950.
Thumps up for the Cube Stereo 120 HPC Race 29.
Martin rode the only 27,5″ Bike of the test, the Giant Trance Advanced.
Christoph liked the Forward Geometry of the Mondraker Factor XR.
It was really interesting to see that all bikes came with a pretty similar spec list. For instance, there were only Fox suspension parts, 2×10 drivetrains and six of seven bikes where 29er. So the main difference is the concept which all manufacturer followed with their frame design or special suspension setups.
Here some of the concepts:
With the Scott Twinloc System the rider can choose three different suspension modes with a lever on his handlebar.
With the Rocky Mountain Ride9 System you can not only change the geometry of the bike, it also allows you to optimize the characteristic of your suspension.
The DRCV System on the Trek Fuel EX 9 opens, depending to the intensity of the hit, a second air chamber to improve the best performance of the suspension.
The Brain System thinks for the rider. An inertia valve on the brain shock opens the damping of the rear suspension if hits come from the ground and close the damping system if the rider pedals. So the full efficiency is always guaranteed.
lso on the Mondraker Factor XR the well known Forward Geoemtry of the Spanish bike company consisting of a long top tube and a short stem is used.
Base camp for our multi-day test trip was the Bike-Hotel Steineggerhof. At this point, once again many thanks to Kurt and his family for the great time!
A correctly tuned suspension is essential to obtain good test results. Here Robin helps Martin with the setup of the Giant Trance Advanced.
All together we took an extended tour to test the bikes under real conditions.
After a long uphill we had to push and carry our bikes to the summit of the mountain.
But before we went to the summit, we stopped for a break at the Tschafon Hut.
Here we refreshed ourselves with delicious goulash and fresh “ski water”.
Yeah done! A good feeling!
From the summit we had an awesome view over the different valleys around Bolzano.
On the downhill our guide Kurt set the pace and showed us the right way back down.
Bike guide and Enduro long-term tester Vinzenz on the Scott Genius 910.
Robin feels comfortable on the Trek Fuel EX 9 29 – is this the winning bike?
In the alpine terrain, going over the bar is not an option!
On steep trails the forward geometry offers a lot of security, but how will the bike handle on the hometrails?
At the end we left the beautiful South Tyrol with many new insights and a clear winner at the search for the perfect trail bike. You can read in Issue #011 which bike won the group test.
In the meantime check out the current issue here.
Teaser: Enduro Mountainbike Magazine Issue #010 INT from WWW.ENDURO-MTB.COM on Vimeo.
Words & Pictures: Christoph Bayer