A bike that is intended for say racing, may not yield much value to a regular commuter and vice versa. All content on this web site is the property of Dante Petri ©, unless otherwise noted. 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… This is still one of the very besyt examples of the experienced enduro racer’s downcountry rig. Read first ride review of Santa Cruz Tallboy. BUT! Its 67.5° head angle breaks the ‘rules’ for a kick-off. Powered by, WInd River Range- Titcomb Basin new routes, Alaska Performance Backcountry Skiing Web Site, Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, First Time/Entry-Level XC Bike Racing Tips. Tales from the trails and far beyond: a photoblog from Alaska. say thank you. It’s really awesome to see all walks of the riding scene taking flight here. I was able to keep all this in mind and take mental notes on what to improve on for next week! The finishing kit is perhaps the most significant difference though really. If you like to spend your weekends between the tape, then the Specialized Epic is the bike for you. Non-XC geometry is the key thing that must be included if a bike is to be classed as downcountry. Trek makes both cross country bikes and trail bikes to fit your needs. Others just have 180/160 twin-pot combos. We’re talking head angles here. Whit-woo. would unload a little of the decade-worth of experiences I’ve had as it relates I thought I Okay, we’re only into the second bike on the list and we’re breaking the downcountry ‘rules’ already. don’t want to finish, tell a race official before you leave the course so they The old Orange Four is no more it seems. The first characteristic of the Giordano Libero 1.6 is obvious from the moment you take the first look at it, which is the design. The new version continues to lead the way. Want the latest MBR delivered to your door every month?…, Specialized Power Comp Mimic saddle review, Gore Bike Wear Gore-Tex Paclite jacket review, Santa Cruz Nomad CC X01 RSV (2021) first ride review, Specialized Turbo Levo Alloy Comp (2021) review, Best hardtail mountain bikes under £375, £500, £750 and £1000. Now then, this is where downcountry gets really interesting. The Nail Trail is an entry-level XC hardtail from Marin. regardless of how you thought the race went: I make it a point every week to go Read the XC/Marathon blog. Cannondale Trail 7 is the epitome of a straightforward trail bike perfect for beginners and casual off-road riders. This is a good example of the pumped-up XC race bike incarnation of downcountry. Read review of Evil Following V3 GX Eagle. And though we say ‘geometry’ we really mean head angle. 2. Follow the latest updates about XC/Marathon on BIKE Magazine. It’s a bike that does well on aggressive XC rides, moderate downhills, and also climbs well. For this terrain – and the racing that shares the name – XC bikes are the best option. You should thus ascertain your intended use first and foremost. 66° is arguably the most commonly seen number. And even though there are many types of mountain bikes for a variety of uses and conditions, in adventure racing, we're only interested in two types: XC (cross-country) mountain bikes and "all mountain" bikes. Nope, not even just on the rear as a modern mullet setup. And given that the size large is relatively short, there’s not much head room for taller riders. That’s the whole point. know you didn’t die. The Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive is listed as a trail ready 6061 aluminum alloy framed cross country (XC) bike. And what isn’t? Since then XC racing has continued to grow, with it being the only Olympic MTB sport. This might be the biggest consideration when thinking about a cross-country bike. When your child is between the ages of 8 and 10, they are the perfect age to get started with a great xc mountain bike. The archetypal downcountry bike should have closer to 100mm of rear travel. Bonus ball. Read review of Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 2. The Lux; a full suspension race genius, and one of the best we’ve ever ridden. Otherwise the whole thing just gets far too close to a regular trail bike. The Hei Hei is a classic example of not being able to judge a book by its cover, or a bike by its geometry. Boardman‘s entry level road bike, the SLR 8.6 Alloy has had a price drop for 2021 and now comes in at exactly £500. You will notice that beneath each product summary is a ‘View Deal’ link. Full suspension is the way to go if you have the budget. Still, if you’re 5ft 10in and you’re upgrading from a bike that’s three or four years old, then the size large Trance will feel like a whole new world, and one that you’re going to love exploring. So here it is. This is … Vlad Dascalu was incredible while racing as a U23 rider in the XC World Cups last year. More than any other bike name, the Tallboy is to blame for downcountry. There’s currently not much concensus about the other angles and measurements on downcountry mountain bikes; they don’t all have longer reach numbers, nor steeper seat angles, nor super low BBs. A friend asked me for some tips before his first race, and aren’t exactly making a killing, if any profit at all. A Supercar against an SUV. REI sells the Cannondale bikes for under $1000 which is a great XC bike. you probably would not ride otherwise. Other downcountry bikes are aimed at the all-out aggro brigade who have tired of their super-capable enduro bikes and wish to inject a level of limit to their Sunday shredding. Some have 4-pot brakes and huge rotors. Transition are very much ‘the little brand than can’. It’s a little bit slacker too; 67° head angle instead of 68°. The weight should be in the 24- to 27-pound range or lighter. This type of bike is also considered ideal for marathon riding/racing, which are typically XC-style routes of 50 or more miles. The hardtail mountain bike is a timeless design, and it’s what helped proliferate the sport from the antics of small pockets of ragtag cycling rebels into the worldwide phenomenon we know and love today. Unfortunately out of 24. Read more: Best XC race bikes – hardtail and full suspension. On the face of it the Hei Hei might not look like a downcountry mountain bike. ―BEST VALUE XC BIKE― ... Like the Trek Marlin 7, this bike is equally well suited to entry-level racing as it is to recreational rides. All that thanks to its versatile geometry and clever design solutions.Although this is far cheaper than you’d normally go for – it still does a great job for the price! Later, another friend asked a question about passing etiquette. We tried to keep the costs under $2,500 and endeavored to offer different brands, and even include the direct consumers brands that are becoming more ubiquitous (and disruptive) in the cycling industry. But the typical hardtail bike will be mated to a suspension fork, meaning that the front end of the bike has some vertical travel to soak up the bumps, ru… Don’t worry, this does not affect the amount you pay. The Whyte S-120. Despite clearly being part of the downcountry bandwagon, the Stage Evo is unashamedly its own thing. Whatever. 3. They can easily … Not so with the Santa Cruz Tallboy. But beyond the sharp but friendly aesthetics there lies a very good exmaple of a modern short travel mountain bike. It’s a little bit slacker too; 67° head angle instead of 68°. If you click on one of these links then mbr may receive a small amount of money from the retailer should you go to purchase the product from them. 65.6° head angle, 120mm travel at both ends, 480mm reach on a Large, big dropper post, capable kit. Because it seems to straddle the widest remit of any downcountry bike thu sfar. As you can see, there’s a huge variance in price between the least and most expensive models, but every Epic is a full-bore race bike. The finishing kit is perhaps the most significant difference though really. This bike is ready for anything the road throws its way, with dependable shifting and high-quality components this will sure to kick start your confidence while riding. A hardtail bike has a rigid frame, meaning that there are no suspension components. You’ll not find any 27.5 wheels here. After a day on one, we’re big fans of this bike. There is a trend developing which is somewhat at odds with the gravity fed world of enduro and downhill. But, much like the Evil Following above, we’re including it in this list because it was an impressive early-adopter of downcountry that paved the way for the whole movement. You can be sure there’ll be a whole load more downcountry mountain bikes appearing in bike shops throughout next year, that’s for sure. Often this also includes long sustained climbs and long, fast descents with some technical sections, but mostly flowy terrain. Bring it on. Slacker, longer, lower… shorter. Dropper seatpost, shorter stem, wider handlebars and bigger volume tyres. Two weeks ago was the first XC race of the season here in Why do we say this? It is arguably limited by sizing, or rather the lack of it. to entry-level XC racing. Finally, thank the race director at the end of the race, An XC race bike pretending to be a trail bike is not as rewarding a proposition as an enduro bike pared down to its adrenaline essentials. They're sub-130mm travel bikes with progressive geometry. Your effort will always go If it’s mainly for crushing dirt or fire roads, or smooth singletrack, then a hardtail will probably work fine. Hardtails are still lighter than most full suspension bikes, although weights are getting pretty close these days. What is a downcountry bike? It’s surprisingly easy to make the leap from causal XC rider to XC racer, and race series are held all over the UK. But if you’re planning to ride a lot of natural singletrack, with rock and roots and technic… Once again the fork travel (130mm) may step over the downcountry lines but seeing as the rear travel we actually only measured as 116mm, we’re calling it quits. Anchorage, and the event had record turn-out: 154 entrants! CUBE Bikes AMS 100 C:68 TM 29 . While some of the lower end models have a 110mm front fork, which will suit marathon riders. Most XC bikes offer scope for big days out away from the tape but the Supercalibre is Trek's take on the 'for race only' mantra. Lastly, freaking have fun. No more than 120mm of suspension travel at either end. Specialized Epic. It’s the finishing kit that is perhaps key to the downcountry experience. Cross-country bikes are very much a niche category. It’s a good choice to get used to pedaling, improve your fitness, and fall in love with the sport. Evo.com sells the Giant trail bikes as low as $2400 which isn’t bad for 50% off. Seeing as it’s our job to help clarify the mixed-up world of mountain biking to as many folk as possible, we’re going to list our criteria for what makes a downcountry bike – and then ignore it anyway, because if recent history has taught us one thing, the rules rarely apply to the ones making them. Some downcountry forks have all-out XC race forks. The flagship Lux rolls out with 100mm of suspension travel, front and rear. Some have dinky stems. Hubba-hubba. Fortunately, I have made your work easier by providing you with high quality and affordable road bikes reviews that will suit your budget. Like all Oranges, it will either appeal a lot, or you won’t see the appeal at all. I took this article to heart. In fact, the very first version of Tallboy way-back-when in 2009 was probably the bike that tipped a lot of bike media journos into a love affair with 29in wheels that has held sway ever since. Get an MBR subscription for just £16.99 and  Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<. Folks interested in a true cross-country bike are likely thinking about racing and value weight and efficiency over fun, comfort, and practicality. And so forth. There are some outliers than we allow into the downcountry fold. Short on travel but big on geometry, these downcountry mountain bikes are at the forefront of the next wave of mountain bike. Unlike most mountain bike classifications, downcountry is not just signified by how much travel it has. XC bikes are fun on a more limited range of trails. The race is just an excuse. As is often the case with listicles like these, we publish them into the big wide world and then loads of people pipe up with “but what about bike x?”. The industry disruptive, German brand – Canyon – have got a rocket of an XC bike themselves. If you have never bought one before, it can be mind-boggling to dig information from thousands of websites online. Read more: Specialized Epic goes on a diet and gets a new Brain. In the UK, Giant only offers the Trance Advanced Pro in three frame sizes – medium, large and XL. Too trail-bikey. little harder than you would on your own, meet some new people, enjoy a course Another all-time classic XC bike is the Specialized Epic, which was ridden to victory by Kiwi Sam Gaze in the first round of the 2018 World Cup season. In it splace is a scaled down version of their trail slaying Stage models. Meet reigning XC world champion Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark RC 29er race bike, complete with SRAM Eagle drivetrain. Despite their desirability level forever being premium, Santa Cruz are often ever so slightly behind the cutting edge a lot of the time. XXXC bikes? Much like their pioneering Enduro 29, the Epic Evo appears to be arguably the first truly, properly executed example of where downcountry is going to go. Usually. For 2020 he is off the Brujula Bike Racing team and joins the brand new Trek Pirelli XC team. If not then id go for something with 120 travel that can do both. It is a great choice for riding around your local forest or … If you’ve never bought a bike before, it’s easy to get lost in all the different brand names and features. Other things I consider unofficial advice: If you do have a mechanical, just feel like crap, and can’t or Ride a Most of the time the suggestion isn’t very good. If you think there was a problem with the event or something But the head angle on all downcountry bikes cannot be steeper than 67°. So, no Norco Optic, Nukeproof Reactor 290c ST or YT Izzo here we’re afraid. Consider what kind of rides you’ll use the bike for. The reason is the SR Suntour XCT fork is a coil sprung suspension fork that offers 80 mm of travel. And if there’s a 130mm travel fork up front, it’s ruled out. And what does ‘progressive’ geometry really mean? (tie) Specialized Epic: $1,900-$9,500. As one of our testers in this year’s Bible of Bike Tests put it, “ The SB100 is an XC bike without the suppressed rage.” Yeti’s Switch Infinity linkage climbs like you’d expect a hard-core 100-millimeter travel XC bike should—damn quick. 80 -100 mm travel is more suited towards XC than trail riding. Some still sport stems over 50mm long. We sought out some diversity in entry level bikes to compare more endurance oriented machines with aggressive race oriented bikes. It Read more about the Cannondale Scalpel SE. Pumped up XC bikes? that could be done better, shut your mouth, get involved, make a difference. What else will 2021 bring? It’s really awesome to see all walks of the riding scene >>> Best fitness bikes We’ve always been impressed by … Gosh darn it, the new Transition Spur may well take the crown for the best looking downcountry mountain bike. If you are reading this, chances are most of these bikes probably aren't for you. Cannondale have taken their Scalpel XC race bike and added 20mm of extra travel at both ends. A Stallion vs a Donkey. Top 5 Best Entry Level Road Bikes – 2019 Reviews If you go to the store to find a bike, you may be amazed at how many different makes and models are offered. Just at it. Some downcountry bikes appear to be aimed at ex-XC lycra-heads looking for more fun and less sketch in their rides. See more XC Mountain Bike reviews and comparisons here: Santa Cruz Tallboy Review; Best XC Mountain Bikes for Kids. With so many full-suspension bikes on this list, it would be a real shame if we couldn’t include another hardtail in 2021 . The Nail Trail E1 is the e-bike version. Cannondale have taken their Scalpel XC race bike and added 20mm of extra travel at both ends. Canyon’s new Exceed XC race bike. Downcountry? taking flight here. In fact, the reach measurement on the XL Trance is still shorter than the size large Marin, even if the seat tube is 70mm taller. Scott Spark Nino Schurter is arguably the best cross country racer in the world and his bike of choice is the Scott Spark (bike check here ). This bike comes with a 130mm travel fork (shock horror) but we’re including it here because we feel Evil deserve muchos kudos for being right at the front of the whole rad short travel bike phenom. First Time/Entry-Level XC Bike Racing Tips Two weeks ago was the first XC race of the season here in Anchorage, and the event had record turn-out: 154 entrants! You could do a World Cup XC race on it and you could sling it down whatever radness your Sunday sessions take you. Having said that, neither rear travel nor fork travel should have less than 100mm. Picture Window theme. This is a good example of the pumped-up XC race bike incarnation of downcountry. You should then proceed to acquire a bike that closely mirrors your intended use. Theme images by Josh Peterson. takes a lot of work to put on most races, and except for a few big events, most Neil and Blake compare their favourite hardtails. farther than your hot air. Here’s our current faves. But how much travel is ‘short’ travel? It is on the list for not only the best entry-level women’s road bike but it is also on my list for the best entry level road bike under 500 which means this is a real catch. And expectation. If I was racing regularly or at the sharp end of the field id want a dedicated xc bike. When Swiss brand BMC announced a new XC hardtail for 2021 we figured it’d be a super high-end, super-sharp weapon of a race bike, so were surprised when we … In that case I would get a cube carbon 29er frame from zee Germans, get some new stans crest mk3 in the superstar new year sale. In our opinion, it’s the latter type of downcountry bike that is most interesting and exciting. Giant has nailed the suspension and the specification perfectly for a do-it-all short-travel shredder. As an entry-level rider, how are you going to find the best entry level road bike? Some have middling 34-35mm stanchions. Save that for XC race bikes. Here we have the best entry-level road bike for women in our opinion. But this time we really should have included this particular bike x. The Superfly uses a 27.2 seatpost, signaling its XC race intentions. Downcountry bikes are all about the combination of short travel and progressive geometry. Read first ride review of Orange Stage Evo. They are expensive, but top of the line. We feel that it veers more towards an XC bike. in typical fashion, I probably gave him a lot more info than he was expecting. >> Don’t miss our Black Friday sale. 29in wheels rule the downcountry roost. XC mountain biking is perhaps the most popular discipline of the sport, with the first World Championship event taking place way back in 1990. All walks of the downcountry fold like to spend your weekends between the tape, then hardtail. Hot air extra travel at both ends, 480mm reach on a more range. ’ t see the appeal at all miss our Black Friday sale with it being the only Olympic sport! Geometry really mean, Giant only offers the Trance Advanced Pro 29.. Season here in Anchorage, and one of the lower end models have a front... The ‘ rules ’ for a kick-off Tallboy is to be aimed at ex-XC lycra-heads looking for more and... 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