This is the first article of our 2016 Reader’s Awards where you, the readers decide which are the best products of the year. Let’s start with the Trail Bikes category: our crew chose 16 finalists that we tested during the year, now it’s your turn to cast your vote for the bike you prefer. For more information about the bikes, click on their names.
The poll will be open until the end of 2016.
The bread and butter trail bike in the consumer direct German brand’s lineup. The Spectral CF features carbon fiber frame with a steering lock and 140mm of Horst suspension rolling on 27.5″ wheels.
The Big C’s 120mm travel offering uses Canondale’s Zero suspension to eliminate a pivot near the rear axle, instead relying on the carbon fiber rear end to flex. 27.5″ wheels and the iconic Lefty fork wrap the Habit’s package up.
Split Pivot suspension on carbon frame with alloy chainstays. Adjustable geometry are the high points of Devinci’s 120mm rear/130mm front travel Django.
The Pacific NorthWest bran’s 29er has a carbon frame with a single pivot suspension system named DELTA System by Dave Weagle, driving 120mm of rear travel. Adjustable geometries. The Following works best with a 120mm fork.
The brand new bike from Focus. JAM C has 140mm of front and rear travel, full carbon frame, 27.5″ wheels and an attention grabbing new suspension system: F.O.L.D.
The new Trance sees a completely reworked Maestro suspension platform with a 1 piece forged carbon fiber rocker link driving 140mm of rear travel and a 150mm fork up front the bike. Carbon front triangle, aluminum rear end and 27.5″ wheels. The meat and potatoes of Giant’s lineup.
The winner of our comparative 27.5″ trail bike test. Out back 130mm of buttery DW Link runs on the sleek carbon fiber frame. Up front the Mojo 3 features a 140mm fork.
The Foxy has a particularly light full carbon frame, Zero Suspension system with 140mm of travel and forks with either 140mm or 160mm depending on the spec level, 27.5″ wheels and the very aggressive “Forward Geometry.”
This Canadian brand’s Trail Bike is available both with 29″ and 27.5″, but in our direct comparison between the two versions of the 29 came out the winner. With a front triangle of carbon and an aluminum rear end, ART kinematics with a Horst link running on 110mm travel and a 120mm fork.
The Spanish super light full carbon frame with a rear end that flex’s in lieu of a pivot manages to provide 140mm of travel with a matching fork. The wheels are 27.5″ and the bike has great attention to detail.
The German brand also exclusively sells online. The Slide is full carbon fiber with 140mm of front and rear travel and it is particularly light, with 27.5″ wheels and and a proven Horst link suspension.
The German brand offers the Miller trail bike with an aluminum frame and 29″ wheels. A Horst link drives 130mm of travel out back which is accompanied by a 140mm travel fork.
Santa Cruz’s trail bike offerings are broad and share similarities in design, carbon fiber construction and VPP suspension system. The differences lie in the wheel size, travel and geometries. The Hightower has 29 wheels, 135mm of rear suspension travel and a 140mm fork.
The winner of our comparative 29″ trail bike test. Full carbon fiber frame, with the Horst/FSR linkage providing 135mm of travel to the rear wheel and features 140mm up front. The practicality of the SWAT system makes this bike in a league of its own.
Trek redefined its range last June, and in the trail segment the new Fuel EX stands out. Its carbon frame has 29″ wheels and adjustable geometry. The ABP kinematics and Full Floater boast 130mm of rear travel. The fork has 140mm of travel and thanks to Knock Block the steering locks before the fork crown would hit the massive downtube.
The trail bike from Young Talent Industries. The Jeffsy, soon became one of the best sellers in the online market, it is equipped with 29″ wheels, 140mm of front and rear travel, Horst kinematics and a full carbon frame.