In the market for a new ride? Meet the bicycles that put a smile on our faces when we put them to the test this spring.
Giant Anthem Advanced 0
Giant’s top-of-the-line, 27.5 beast may cost a bundle but you won’t complain about your credit card debt when you put this composite baby out on the trail. The buttery 110-mm, Maestro rear suspension and the addition of a trunnion mount shock and Advanced Forged composite rocker arm give it real guts on both on the ups and the downs. Add in a 120-mm RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air fork and SRAM componentry and you have the perfect machine for singletrack.
Why We Loved It: It rides as advertised. If you are serious about your game, it’s worth all that cash for a bike with this kind of poise on the trail.
$8,750 | giant-bicycles.com
Cannondale Quick 1 Disc
The Quick 1 Disc delivers a lot of performance at an outstanding price point. The most noticable componentry is a super smooth Shimano BR-M396 hydraulic disc brake system. And a 2 x 11 gear ratio gives it some oomph even when hauling a trailer. Top it off with geometry that’s forgiving but not too upright and you have a crowd-pleaser.
Why We Loved It: You won’t be racing on this bike, but you will be cruising all over town and getting out for the occasional spin. The bottom line? It’s the perfect bike for casual riders.
$1,300 | cannondale.com
Liv Pique 2
Liv delivers just what a woman wants out of a bike: female geometry. A playful 27.5-inch ride, the Pique 2 features a lower stand-over height than a men’s model, which makes it easier for women to navigate tough technical sections on both gutty climbs and raucous descents. Add to that the full benefits of 120-mm Maestro suspension that sucks up downs and stays stable on climbs and you have a bike that can keep up with, and pass, the boys.
Why We Loved It: It’s refreshing to hop on a bike that simply feels like it was made for a woman on the trail—and the price is not too steep.
$3,150 | liv-cycling.com
LOCAL CRED: TRAIL
Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail
Denver bike makers Guerrilla Gravity are interested in more than just manufacturing plush rides. That’s not to say they aren’t damn good at doing that and keeping the whole process local by testing and building everything here in Colorado. Beyond the bikes, however, the brand is determined to promote advocacy: Encouraging more people to join the sport and keeping trails accessible are part of Guerrilla Gravity’s mission. The brand also wants to be sure bikes are not too expensive. Case in point is the Megatrail. The aluminum frame bike comes from an engineer with a background in race car suspension, and features two modes, Gravity (160 mm of travel) and Trail (150 mm), which shift the head angle and bottom bracket height to correspond to the terrain. It basically gives you two bikes in one. Plus, the Megatrail can be fine-tuned to suit the ride and rider preferences. And while it’s focused on charging downhill, it’s also quite effective on the climbs, too.
Why We Loved It: Once you learn how to dial it in, this bike is a true quiver of one, able to adapt to most rides, be they a backcountry sufferfest or a few lift laps at Keystone. And all that comes at a very reasonable price. Plus, it’s easy to support a local brand with an eye on growing the sport.
$2,095+ (frameset/custom) to $5,295 (race build) | ridegg.com
LOCAL CRED: ROAD
Hand building frames with meticulous care here in Denver, Alchemy has made our A-list of bike brands for the past few seasons. The Atlas puts that love into a carbon-frame road warrior that weights in at less than 900 grams. The 2017 version features clearance for 30-mm tires and flat mount disc brakes.
Why We Loved It: The bike is ideal for typical Colorado road riding, stable on fast descent and stiff on those big, long climbs. Plus, it may seem pricey but the cost is quite reasonable for a hand-built carbon ride. Want a different look? For $750 extra, you can get a custom paint job. $3,999 (frame only) to $5,699 (full build) | alchemy.bike
The key to the best enduro bike is to find that fine balance between downhill stability and the quick reflexes of a trail bike. The Patrol delivers on both counts. Credit the slack 65-degree head angle and GiddyUp Link suspension for the confidence it inspires when you point down an ugly line. But this bike is not just for riding the lifts: It will thread through tricky trails and climbs with real gusto, too.
Why We Loved It: No bike felt better when we pointed it down the fall line.
$1,999 (frame only) to $7,799 (full-spec build) | transitionbikes.com
You get a lot for your money in this sleek commuter: The bike’s stocked with disc brakes and a smooth Nuvinci hub and Gates Carbon Drive system that’s quiet, effective and won’t crap out when you are late for your morning meeting.
Why We Loved It: We simply adore belt drives and the even, easy ride they impart when we are headed in to work or just cruising to the farmer’s market.
$899 | prioritybicycles.com
Haibike Xduro FullSeven S RX
Sure, we get it. You think e-bikes are ruining the sport … until you hop on one, and suddenly you are hooked. Coming in at a very reasonable price, this baby is a true mountain bike with Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes, a 120-mm of travel and 27.5-inch wheels. Oh, it can also hit 28 mph at full pedal assist. That makes for a bike that can ferry you to work without breaking a sweat and can also get you out on long rides on backroads and trails where e-bikes are permitted (be sure to check).
Why We Loved It: It’s the best trail-performing e-bike we have tested—the ideal machine for big rides, with a little bit of help.
Want to simply enjoy the ride? Saddle up on this fat boy with its meaty 26 x 4.0 tires and soak it in. The Momentum can handle anything from a jaunt to the distillery to a bit of swoopy singletrack to packed snow. Disc breaks and a seven-speed drive train seal the deal.
Why We Loved It: This bike reminded us that riding is supposed to be fun. It’s a cruiser that can handle some impromtu commando rides. Just get on and enjoy it!