bikes

Sure, it’s winter but this is the Front Range where we are always thinking about bikes. Times are tough, though, and it’s hard to pony up a wad of cash for your ride. With that reality in mind, we offer the best bikes for your money.

RIDES

BEST MTB
Giant Trance X2

Armed with Giant’s adaptive Maestro suspension that goes stiff or supple according to the undulations of the trail and five inches of rear travel this bike absolutely bombs downhill. Need to climb? Lock down the Fox 32 120mm fork and Fox RP2 shock and it turns into a goat. It may not be as fast as your trust-fund buddy’s $7,000 carbon machine, but it blows away any other bike at this price (and if you do have the coin, check out the carbon version). $2,725; giant-bicycles.com

BEST ROAD
Felt F4 SL

Meet the ideal recession racing machine. At a price far below a lot of bikes with racing pretensions, the F4 offers more, including a high-modulus carbon frame and fork and Shimano Ultegra SL componentry. It’s all the ride you need to race competitively, train or just grind out some high-intensity miles. $2,999; feltbicycles.com

BEST ‘CROSS
Redline Conquest Team

‘Cross is all about competion, mud and suffering and a bike that can perform while being punished makes a huge difference. Upgraded with SRAM New Force, A-Class ALX 730 tubeless wheels, and custom TRP Euro-X brakes, the Conquest Team is better than HGH. And costs less. $900; redlinebicycles.com

BEST SS
Kona Unit

Kona is only offering this sturdy, responsive single speed as a 29er this season because those big wheels roll—both up, once you get them moving, and confidently down, to suck up technical terrain. Plus, the seven-inch Avid steel brakes give it quick stopping power. It’s a ride ideal for all the new local trails popping up in the Front Range. $799; konaworld.com

EXTRAS

extras

Dakine Ventilator
Dakine has been offering a version of these comfy, breathable full hand gloves for years—for good reason. We like the protection and even wear them when it’s hot. $30; dakine.com

Gregory Diablo
Just big enough to fit the gear we need on a long trail ride and fitted with a suspension technology that allows the straps to move with the body, this has become our go-to bike (and quick hike/run) pack. $59; gregory.com

Prologo Vertigo
Your seat is the main contact point between bike and body—and, well, there’s some important stuff down there. Thanks to its carbon-injected base, super-light foam and a grippy cover, we felt a real difference when we switched to this mountain bike saddle. $180; prologo.com

Cutter Tech Knickerbocker
Go ahead and call them man-pris if you dare, but we think these knickers, built with weather-resistant Polartec Powershield and designed for riding, look far better in the coffee shop than your tight chamois, bro. $149; cutterbike.com

SmartWool Rambition
You have heard it before. No longer scratchy, merino wool has become the outdoor-sport superfabric (see page 26), so why not take advantage of its wicking and temperature-management qualities in your chamois? $125; smartwool.com

Swobo 753
If the sponsored billboard style just ain’t your thing, you’ll be right at home in this light, wind-resistant merino top. $110; swobo.com