Based on its popularity, it comes as no surprise that the Giant Trance 2 tops our list. We found the Trance 2 to represent excellent value for money while being a fast, agile and capable trail-muncher that will happily do a race (XC, Marathon or Enduro) when called upon.
First runner up spot belongs not to Miss Columbia, but to the Garmin Fenix 3. In the conclusion we wrote "the fenix 3 is a beautifully designed, solidly built and ultra connective smart sports watch". We liked it so much the test unit stayed at Bike Hub HQ.
The Silverback Sprada 2 completes the podium for 2015. The Sprada is a 29er trail bike that features 120mm of fork travel and 110mm of rear suspension travel in an all alloy frame sporting Silverback's own IDS Revo suspension technology.
It was our first encounter with their Advanced Riding Dynamics (ARD) philosophy of bike spec and came away impressed with the end result.
Updated for 2014 with a Solo Air air spring and available in a variety of wheel sizes and travel options to please most trail riders, the Revelation RCT3 is RockShox's do-it-all trail fork. Improved over the years, the Revelation has grown into a solid option for many a bike thanks to its stiffness, low weight and on-trail feel.
The Forca dropper seatpost is a low tech, mechanical adjustable seatpost that is available to purchase through Cycle Factory Shop's online store. During testing we found the Forca SPS-400 is definitely a viable option in the current dropper seatpost market as it offers a reliable, easy to repair dropper seatpost at a suitably affordable price. The only chink in its armour was the need to sit down on the saddle to bring the spring into life and raise the seat again.
The Momsen Mount Graham is a collaboration between Momsen Bikes and Arisun to launch a South African specific casing under the Momsen Bikes banner, specifically designed for our XC and Marathon race conditions. For under R500 (when the review was done) Momsen gave us a tyre that is light, durable and inexpensive.
Not ones to shy away from trying something new, we gave the Lauf Trail Racer 29 a good go. Not your usual suspension fork, the Lauf is inspired by leaf suspension and uses carbon shafts and twelve composite springs to suspend the front axle to offer 60mm of travel but at a weight of around 990g in the version as tested.
Taking on the big guns at their game is not an easy task, but Mio did just that with the launch of the Cyclo 505 HC. After rigorous testing we found that as far as premium level bicycle GPS computers go, Mio have done an impressive job to offer a good performing and good value product.
Although not the first to launch properly wide rims, American Classic's Wide Lightning were the first to offer extra width in a light and strong alloy rim.
Rounding out the Top 10 is the Lapierre Zesty AM427. The Zesty AM we tested had Lapierre’s OST+ (Optimized Suspension Technology), a Horst-link suspension design which was first launched in 2008 with input from Nicolas Vouilloz. The bike was slightly let down by it's fork (Fox 32 Float Performance) and tyres (Schwalbe Nobby Nic front and rear) as it wanted to give more when the going got fun.