Best of Test 2014 | The Bike Highlights of the year
Now, as we reach the end of the year, it’s time to look back. Throughout the year ENDURO brought you the most important bike reviews; testing each one thoroughly on tough trails, or against its peers in one of our group tests. It is now time for a quick summary of the bests bikes and highlights from the 2014 season. You can find all the full reviews in our magazine back issues, which you can read for free with our apps!
Our group tests were as diverse as our sport. No matter if you’re looking for a cheap entry level bike or a high-end race machine – we have you covered, testing the whole spectrum, even some bikes for cross country riding! Find all the highlights from this years group test and some of our other favourites below!
Issue #009 – Eight entry-level trailbikes
At the beginning of the year, we tested eight entry-level trail bikes and two of them were better than the rest: The Canyon Spectral AL 8.0 and the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo 29.
Also in this group test: Alutech Teibun 1.0 V1 | Carver ICB 2.0 26″ | Cube Stereo 140 HPC Pro 29 | Focus SAM 3.0 | Radon Slide 150 E1 | Rose Granite Chief 2. Read the complete review in Issue #009.
Canyon Spectral AL 8.0
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo 29
Issue #010 – 10 Enduro World Series Race Bikes
Just one issue later, we had another highlight of this years tests: With our truck packed with 10 of the fastest bikes on the planet, we headed to Finale Ligure to test the bikes on an original race stage from the Enduro World Series, against the clock. Which one was the fastest? The result was both surprising and clear: All testers had the fastest time on the Canyon Spectral!
Other Bikes in this grouptest: BMC Trailfox 29 TF01 XTR | Commencal Meta AM Factory | Cube Stereo 160 Super HPC SLT 27,5 Action Team Edition | Focus SAM Team Edition | Norco Range Carbon LE | Scott Genius LT Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 29 | Trek Slash 9 | Yeti SB66C Graves Edition. Read the complete review in ENDURO Issue #010.
Canyon Spectral AL 9.0 Team Edition
Issue #011 – seven trailbikes for tours & adventure
After the alps were finally snow-free, we headed to South Tyrol to test seven exciting trailbikes for tours and adventures under realistic conditions. Those bikes are build for long, physical rides and so we climbed to the summits with them. Best bike in test was the Trek Fuel EX 9 29 with its outstanding handling. The best-value award went to the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Elite 29, which pleased with a clever spec and great riding capabilities.
Other bikes in this grouptest: Cube Stereo 120 HPC Race 29 | Giant Trance Advanced | Mondraker Factor 29 XR | Rocky Mountain Instinct 970 MSL | Scott Genius 910. Find the full grouptest in ENDURO issue #011.
The winner – Trek Fuel EX 9 29
Best value – Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Elite 29
Issue #012 – six cross country trailbikes
Modern cross country bikes are the perfect proof that a fun bike doesn’t need lot’s of travel. Once you get on one of the bikes from this grouptest, you immediately fall for the speed rush. Best Bike in this group test was the GT Heliun CRB Team, with its great speed and agile handling. The Canyon Lux CF 9.9 is the best-value though, combining great performance with a superb spec.
Other bikes in this group test: Ghost AMR Lector 2990 E:I | Rose Thrill Hill 3 | Scott Spark 900 RC | Specialized Epic FSR Elite Carbon. Read the full reviews in ENDURO Issue #012 von ENDURO.
The Winner – GT Helion CRB Team
Best-value – Canyon Lux CF 9.9 SL
In addition to the group test, we tested many bikes by their own and found some highlights among them too. Here are some of the bikes, we would have kept in our office´if we could!
Specialized Rumor – Ladybike
The Rumor, the first Specialized female-specific full suss 29-er, is inconspicuous and elegant in appearance. According to the Californians, it will provide “unimaginable trail and adventure fun”…. just for ladies. We decided to look at the Rumor Expert a bit more closely for our female readers and see if the bike lives up to its promises.
Read the full review in ENDURO Issue #010
The new Soul Fire is Rose‘s interpretation of the ideal “Super-Enduro“ bike. In spite of the huge amount of rear travel (185 mm) the bike is suitable for epic rides and long climbs. A comfortable bike to shred, whip and generally be stoked on…. as our American colleagues would say. We gave the Soul Fire an extensive test over a six month period; read our impressions here and see whether the bike really does what it says on the tin.
Find the full review inENDURO Issue #010
Rotwild R.X1 FS 27.5
The R.X1 FS 27.5 PRO is Rotwild’s answer to the famous quest for one bike to do it all. With 145mm of suspension travel, 27.5″ wheels, and a short rear end it looks good on paper. We tested out the ‘pro’ spec for you.
Find the full review in ENDURO Issue #011.
Life in the Wild West of the mid-19th century wasn’t easy. Settlers from the East who were seeking their fortunes had to deal with endless distances. Riding horses with their carriages, they crossed the prairies for weeks and months searching for lush grazing or a suitable spot for their families.
In our modern era where almost every corner of the earth is accessible, we don’t experience our adventures in the daily fight for survival against outlaws, but in our leisure pursuits.
Sport and travel are a big part of the wish to escape everyday life and seek some thrills. The American cult brand Salsa Cycles promises us that their new bike, the Horsethief, is perfect for this type of rider.
This review was in ENDURO Issue #011
We tested so many more interesting bikes and products, make sure to check out our magazine. It’s free, digital and just amazing. Available for Tablets and your iPhone
Words: Christoph Bayer | Aaron Steinke | Sebastian Gierlurski Pictures: Christoph Bayer