Spring Is Here and You Want (Need?) a New Ride. No Fear. We Have Some Hot Recommendations for the Best Bikes We Tested This Season.
Bring It On
Giant Reign 27.5 1
This 27.5-inch beast represents the full evolution of the trail bike. With 160mm travel in its plush Maestro suspenson, the aluminum-frame Reign 27.5 1 can tackle hardcore downs that you want to attack at full speed—think everything from enduro racing to showing off for the GoPro on Porcupine Rim. And while it’s not a cross-country race bike, it can climb without beating you down (a plus for those enduro races when you don’t want to be trashed by the time you need to focus on the descent). It’s a fine choice for anyone who wants to have a blast on burly terrain.
Specialized ALLEZ DSW SPRINT X1 EXPERT
Ah, the joys of aluminum in a carbon-centric world. Quite simply, this bike is hard to beat for anyone who does not want to shell out over a month’s worth of paychecks for a stiff, competitive road ride. Credit that bang for your buck to the time Specailized spent testing this machine in the wind tunnel. It’s a ride that excels in crits, but can handle a lot of abuse anywhere you want to take it.
Try the Homegrown
Few things up our Colorado stoke more than buying local, especially when it’s from a brand like Denver-based Alchemy Bicycles, who craft beautiful carbon rides out of a shop tucked away right alongside the REI flagship store. Weighing in at under 900 grams, the Atlas is the culmination of the brand’s hard work when it comes to a do-it-all road ride. Best of all, Alchemy offers up a ton of build options for all budgets.
$3,999 (frame set), $5,699–$9,299 (built); alchemybicycle.com
Save Some Cash
GT Verb Elite
It’s a question we get a lot: How can I buy a full-suspenison mountain bike on a tight budget? The answer has always been you can’t … until now. With a respectable 160mm of travel and SR Suntour XCR fork, this value cycle has guts on both the ups and the downs. It’s the ideal mountain bike for those who want to hang with friends on the trails but don’t have the ability to tap into a trust fund.
Know What Women Want
Liv Lust 1
Giant sought to build a line of bikes specifically for the needs of female riders with its new Liv brand. And when our women put it to the test, they were quite impressed by the handling and ability to suck up the trail that this 27.5-inch beauty served up. It’s a do-it-all cross-country ride that has the oomph for big climbs but also rails down through steep switchbacks on those big wheels. $2,900; giant-bicycles.com
Take on Adventure
Salsa Vaya Deore
Adventure bikes are hot right now (see page 12) and this steel dirt banger is a blast if you want to head out on rides that require long stretches of gnarly dirt. The relaxed geometry means those jarring paths won’t take a toll on your body and the WTB rims and macho Surly Knard tires add up to make this nine-speed masterpiece our favorite off-the-beaten-path ride. That’s not to say it can’t handle the blacktop. The drop bars and ease of maneuverability make it a stable road ride, too.
Belt to Work
We are big fans of Priority’s smooth, simple, belt-drive town bikes (you will see them parked in front of our office, in fact). The NYC-based brand orginally launched the new Eight—which features sportier design and an eight-speed hub—in a limited release, but it’s now opening the chance to order the bike to the public. Best of all, it rings up at about half of what it should cost. $799; prioritybicycles.com
We couldn’t ignore fat bikes in this little roundup (especially since we had so much time to get out and play on them this winter) and Reeb came through with a ride that combines size with simplicity. With the ability to fit up to a four-inch tire and weighing 38 pounds, this monster can crush snow and mud. Don’t worry about the size: A Gates Carbon Drive cuts down on componentry and delivers quick responsive power when you want to drive this big boy. $1,600–$4,800; reebcycles.com