Mountain Bike XC Bikes Reviews

Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes AMS 100 C:68 TM 29 2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes AMS 100 C:68 TM 29 2019
CUBE Bikes AMS 100 C:68 TM 29

There is a trend developing which is somewhat at odds with the gravity fed world of enduro and downhill. Recent history has seen the proliferation of exceptionally capable bikes which can be winched back to the top of a hill time and time again, but what happens if rather than making downhill bikes climb better, you make an XC bike…

XC Bikes
2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Silex 9000 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Silex 9000 2018
Merida Bikes Silex 9000

Merida isn't a brand that tells you what to think about their bikes. Having undergone a transformation over the past few years, they have quietly released some exceptional bikes into the mountain bike world. Not shy of trying something new, the traditionally Lycra focussed brand now have class-leading ebikes, enduro bikes and even a hardcore hardtail. This meant I wasn't…

XC Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Kinesis Tripster AT 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Kinesis Tripster AT 2018
Kinesis Tripster AT

The Tripster AT is the long-awaited sibling to its titanium counterpart the Tripster ATR. Respected and lusted after in the adventure biking world, it's price tag put it firmly out of reach for most, but not anymore. This version is mostly the same, but with some tweaks from the late, great Mike Hall who was integral to its development. Now…

XC Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Big Nine XT 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Big Nine XT 2017
Merida Bikes Big Nine XT

Merida has hit the ground running in 2017, they have launched a barrage of bikes into the arena to do battle with the trail, enduro and e-bike establishment. With bikes like the Big Trail, the ONE SIXTY and their electric equivalents, this has been a special year for the brand. But what of the heritage, the kind of bikes Merida…

XC Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Top Fuel 9 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Top Fuel 9 2016
Trek Bikes Top Fuel 9

Trek's previous incarnation of the Top Fuel was retired in 2012 with the appearance of the Superfly, pretty much as Trek ditched the 26” wheel size on its cross-country line-up in favour of the 29” rolling stock we have become used to in the last few years. 2015 saw Trek launch a new XC range, the Procaliber hardtail and the…

XC Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Stereo 120 HPA SL 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Stereo 120 HPA SL 2016
CUBE Bikes Stereo 120 HPA SL

The Stereo range from Cube is large, and the name doesn't best describe the bikes which are grouped within it. Featuring the 120, through 140 and 160, with many options including wheel sizes and frame materials, it is a large line-up incorporating a lot of different bikes, styles and intended purposes. This is the shortest travel of the Stereo range…

XC Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles LES 27.5 2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles LES 27.5 2015
Pivot Cycles LES 27.5

Subtlety has never been a strong point of mine, but at least you always know where you stand, something that is shared by the lime green LES 27.5. From the moment I opened the box I could tell this bike wanted to be ridden, and ridden fast. Pairing the bright paint job with a solid build and still coming out…

XC Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Momsen Bikes Vipa Team Issue  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Momsen Bikes Vipa Team Issue  2015
Momsen Bikes Vipa Team Issue

The South African brand, Momsen, might not be one that you’ve heard much about, if indeed anything, but that is set to change over the next year, thanks mainly to this bike, the Vipa and it’s new rider, regular World Cup XCO top ten finisher, Emil Lindgren. The Vipa is the first full-carbon, full suspension bike to be designed and…

XC Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Team CXR 29er  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Team CXR 29er  2015
Marin Bikes Team CXR 29er

When I opened the box from California, I instantly got delusions of grandeur; I’ve raced to a high level in several disciplines, so with a shiny white carbon steed, surely I could add another to that list! Lightweight, stiff, bolt thru front and rear and a tapered head tube, the CXR 29er certainly looked like it would fit my delusions…

XC Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Scott Bicycles Scale 920  2014
Mountain Bike Reviews - Scott Bicycles Scale 920  2014
Scott Bicycles Scale 920

Whilst unwrapping the green and black carbon race bike, the first thought that entered my head was that this was going to be a fun, but potentially painful test! After all you can’t test an XC bike without some suffering on the climbs! The XC race hardtail is growing in popularity at the moment, with many riders looking to add…

XC Bikes
2014
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles XR 529  2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles XR 529  2013
Lapierre Bicycles XR 529

Lapierre have become a major player in the European market over the past few years, this came on the back of the highly regarded Zesty and Spicy ranges. So it was always going to be interesting to see how they approached the 29er sector. They have clearly put a great deal of R & D into the XR which sports…

XC Bikes
2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Superfly FS 100 Elite SL  2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Superfly FS 100 Elite SL  2013
Trek Bikes Superfly FS 100 Elite SL

Trek announced this year that they will no longer be releasing bikes on a yearly deadline, instead they will be working on frame design and bike design and releasing the bikes when they are ready. As such for 2014 some of their bikes remain unchanged, in terms of the frame, with new graphics and component upgrades. The Superfly FS therefore…

XC Bikes
2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Elite Super HPC Race 29  2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Elite Super HPC Race 29  2013
CUBE Bikes Elite Super HPC Race 29

As the winter has drawn in I’ve been spending a lot more time on hard tails, working on my fitness and skills for the year ahead. There’s nothing quite like putting the miles in and being able to feel every rut and root to make you a better rider for next season. The Cube has definitely helped with the mile…

XC Bikes
2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - Velocite Bikes Flux 1  2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Velocite Bikes Flux 1  2012
Velocite Bikes Flux 1

Quite literally ‘’ the Velocite Flux looks like a force of nature. Strong, purposeful and fast is how it looks and the top draw kit that adorns the Flux only serves to enhance that impression. Velocite are a reasonably new company, being formed in Taiwan in 2008. Rather than see their lack of history as a disadvantage they see it…

XC Bikes
2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Big.Nine Carbon 1200-D 2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Big.Nine Carbon 1200-D 2012
Merida Bikes Big.Nine Carbon 1200-D

Having tested a couple of Merida bikes in previous issues it came as no surprise to see that the Big.Nine Carbon is a striking looking bike that gives off an air of speed. The black, white and blue livery in complimented by the handsome DT Swiss forks. It is not all about good looks however, the bike has to perform…

XC Bikes
2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Scott Bicycles Spark 29 Expert  2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Scott Bicycles Spark 29 Expert  2012
Scott Bicycles Spark 29 Expert

Having ridden and loved the Scott Genius last year I was looking forward to putting some miles in on the Spark 29er and had the bike ready to roll the afternoon it arrived so that I could get an evening ride in straight away. Tech heads The Spark 29 has a carbon front triangle mated to an aluminium rear end.…

XC Bikes
2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Twenty-Nine Lite XT Edition-D 2011
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Twenty-Nine Lite XT Edition-D 2011
Merida Bikes Twenty-Nine Lite XT Edition-D

Few companies have the pedigree that Merida boast when it comes to making fast XC mountain bikes. This fact is borne out by the fact that Jose Antonio Hermida won the XC world cup on one. So what can a company that has a history of making fast XC bikes bring to the 29’er table? We got our hands on…

XC Bikes
2011
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pronghorn Racing PR6-SW  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pronghorn Racing PR6-SW  2010
Pronghorn Racing PR6-SW

Pronghorn are a Danish bike company that actually manufacture their carbon frames in Denmark using their own patented Smooth Wall Construction, they are obviously confident that they have things right as they offer an impressive 99 year warranty on their frames. The PR6 is their 100mm full suspension race bike and it looks a little odd as the rear shock…

XC Bikes
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Top Fuel 9.8  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Top Fuel 9.8  2010
Trek Bikes Top Fuel 9.8

Trek have made huge strides over the past few years and now they are amongst the top bike producers in the world with innovative design and plenty of R and D setting their products apart. The Trek Top Fuel 9.8 is the second in command of their 100mm XC race range and it certainly looks the part. Tech heads The…

XC Bikes
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles Pro Race 300  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles Pro Race 300  2010
Lapierre Bicycles Pro Race 300

The Pro Race is the XC hardtail offering from Lapierre and higher up the range comes in a full carbon fibre frameset but we were only let loose on the aluminium version. The 300 is the second from bottom in the line up but still comes well stacked! Having been testing some pretty exotic bikes this issue the Lapierre is…

XC Bikes
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Cannondale Bicycles Flash Hi Mod 2  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Cannondale Bicycles Flash Hi Mod 2  2010
Cannondale Bicycles Flash Hi Mod 2

When the Flash was delivered to the office the courier hung about to see what was in the box as he was convinced it was empty! With a flourish the Cannondale Flash was pulled from the box and even the courier could see that this bike is a bit special. It is beautifully made and Cannondale have clearly used all…

XC Bikes
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes AMS Pro R1 Mag  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes AMS Pro R1 Mag  2010
CUBE Bikes AMS Pro R1 Mag

A bright blue and white euro style paint job grabs your attention but Cube has managed to resist the urge to round out the look with flat bars and bar ends. Having heard good things about the way the AMS rides I was looking forward to getting out and putting the Cube through its paces Tech heads The frame of…

XC Bikes
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles Pro Race 300  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles Pro Race 300  2010
Lapierre Bicycles Pro Race 300

The Pro Race is the XC hardtail offering from Lapierre and higher up the range comes in a full carbon fibre frameset but we were only let loose on the aluminium version. The 300 is the second from bottom in the line up but still comes well stacked! Having been testing some pretty exotic bikes this issue the Lapierre is…

XC Bikes
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Corratec Super Bow  2009
Mountain Bike Reviews - Corratec Super Bow  2009
Corratec Super Bow

Well the Superbow is certainly eye catching, the question is does that unique frame design do more than just look good? Corratec’s Superbow has been around a while and has some staunch fans in Europe and beyond which backs up its German designers claims that ‘it is different but not just for being different sake, it is for efficiency’. This…

XC Bikes
2009
Mountain Bike Reviews - Giant Bicycles XTC 2  2009
Mountain Bike Reviews - Giant Bicycles XTC 2  2009
Giant Bicycles XTC 2

Giant have spent years refining their XTC range and this bike looks sorted and fast! The angular white frameset finished off with bold black decals gives a simple, smooth, but purposeful look to what is a race breed beauty. Little touches such as the blue anodised lock on grip clamps, blue anodised mech hanger and blue trim on the saddle…

XC Bikes
2009
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