Table Of Contents

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes of 2021

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This riding season (2021) has seen some serious investment in mountain bikes. Small town shops have been running out of stock across the country since people aren’t traveling and have decided to explore their backyards…on bikes. With that being said, short-travel mountain bikes fit the bill for a lot of newcomers to the full-suspension bike world; they’re built to climb well and descend confidently. This makes for an excellent combination for someone just getting started or who is looking to stay in shape while the world continues forward on this unknown trajectory.
So whether you are new to the mountain bike world or a seasoned berm basher, we think this article offers insight into the fleet of short travel 29ers that will propel you into the great outdoors as you explore unknowns on your mountain bike.
PRO TIP: In the world of mountain biking, just as in every other adventure sports world, there are pieces of gear for every setting, and bikes are no different. Every type of climate and trail will have a bike that may fit that niche better, so use this article as a broad guide of the short travel 29ers. But also research the bikes and trails that you may be riding. Mountain bikes aren’t cheap, but they are a great investment for getting into the outdoor world and staying active. Do make sure that you find the bike that is perfect for your location, build, and riding style.

Terminology

Don’t worry, as, in all sports and outdoor pursuits, it appears like a new language has been invented to describe bikes, trails, or anything really in mountain biking. In many ways, the new language is more challenging than other sports because there is just so much to know. Bike geometry, or how the frame is designed and set up to be ridden, is an important concept to understand when looking to purchase a new mountain bike. Below are a few of the main terms and phrases to understand, even slightly, as a guide to help you make decisions when purchasing a new bike.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Bike Terminology - Gear Hacker

A.) Reach: the distance between the center of the head tube (where the handlebars sit) and an invisible line that runs up from the center of the bottom bracket. Short travel bikes are getting longer and longer reach, meaning to keep up with steeper head tube angles (read on), the longer reach allows the rider to have more control over the front end of the bike. For a medium-sized frame, expect to see between 440mm and 470mm for reach.

B.) Rear Center (Chainstay Length): The distance between the rear axle and the bottom bracket. The shorter the measurement means the rider will be positioned closer to the back axle and this allows for easier manuals, greater control over the back tire, and overall, the bike will have a more responsive feel. The longer the chainstay length, the greater stability you will have at speed and over rougher terrain.

C.) Front Center: The distance between the front axle and the bottom bracket. As head tubes get slacker the front center distance is getting longer. A longer measurement again will mean more control at speed on downhills but potentially sluggish responsiveness on uphills and flats. A shorter front center will provide more agile steering and greater control on uphills but may feel sketchy when at speed on downhills.

D.) Wheelbase: Measure from the front center to the rear center of each wheel, and you get the measurement for the wheelbase. This is the distance between the front axle and rear axle. A larger wheelbase will provide stability on the downhills while a shorter wheelbase will be more maneuverable and give slightly better control over the front wheel. Both serve different purposes and each rider will likely prefer a different measurement depending on his or her discipline.

E.) Bottom Bracket Height: This is the measurement of the distance between the bottom bracket and the ground. A lower bottom bracket height will offer more control and a more stable feeling on the downhills, however the trade-off is the potential of bouncing your bottom bracket or pedals off of uneven roots and rocks.

F.) Head Tube Angle: This is the angle of the head tube from a flat plane (the ground). Head tube angles often absorb the most impact on the handling and stability of the mountain bike. You will hear the angles referred to as “slack” if they are a low angle or steep as they get higher. Cross country bikes and trail bikes have steeper head tube angles that allow riders to have greater control over the bike while climbing, whereas enduro and downhill mountain bikes have very slack head tube angles to give the most control while descending at high speeds.

G.) Seat Tube Angle: This is the angle that the seat tube stands up from horizontal. This angle determines the rider’s seated position over the back wheel and the amount of control that they will have over the front wheel. A steeper seat tube angle has traditionally been best for bikes that want to climb and keep the rider in a neutral position so they can power hard into the pedals. A steeper seat tube angle also offers the rider the option to have more weight over the front wheels and, in turn, greater control and traction over the front end.

H.) Trail: The distance between the bikes front wheel contact patch with the ground and the steering axis. Greater tire size will provide more trail as well as smaller fork offsets. The more trail, the greater amount of tire will be in contact with the ground and that equals more traction and control.

Other Terms to Know

Fork Offset: The distance between the front axle and the steering axis. Essentially, where the front fork comes down from the head tube is your steering axis, and the small amount of metal that connects the front fork to the axle is the offset. Traditionally, mountain bikes have gone with a 51mm offset for 29” wheels. However, there is a small push towards bringing in smaller offsets, like 44mm, which provide greater trail and more traction.

Travel: This is how far moving parts move on a mountain bike. Mainly referring to the suspension (rear and front). When reading about mountain bikes, specifically a “120 mm travel bike,” the travel they are mentioning is in the rear shock. Frames are built with a level of suspension in mind and are not often switched for different levels of travel, so that is why the travel often only means the rear suspension. Front travel in the forks is easier to switch around, depending on the rider’s preference and terrain, so those numbers will change more frequently.

Bikes with smaller travel (short travel) are better for climbing as the suspension won’t take away too much of your pedaling power as you move uphill, whereas the larger suspension is better for a more controlled and comfortable descent down choppy terrain. Most suspension systems are lockable, meaning you can reduce the amount of travel on the fly, and this helps with climbs. 

Overwhelmed yet? Me too.
Throughout the article, we will be referring to these terms a lot and throwing some numbers around. Every article would become the size of a large Greek tragedy if we described what the impact of the different sizes would do to the particular bike. So with that said if you run into a measurement and you don’t know what impact it would have on the bike, refer back to this section. Hopefully, it helps!
Now let’s talk about some bikes!
NOTICE: When we considered the weight of each bike, do take note that the weights we have listed were taken from the carbon framed version of the bike, which is closest to the $5000 mark, in order to try and get as close to an average build as possible across these bikes. If the bike does not have a carbon frame version, the lightest build weight was taken. Obviously, the weight will change depending on the bike budget you have, but we needed to measure and compare similar styles somehow.
ALSO: It might go without saying, but all prices are in USD.

Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes of 2021

 

Our Top Picks

Ibis RipleyBest Short Travel Bike of 2021 Santa Cruz TallboyBest Downhill Short Travel Bike of 2021 Marin Rift ZoneBest Budget Short Travel Bike of 2021
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Ibiscycles.com

  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Upgraded Rear Suspension

Cons

Bottom Bracket Has Had Some Issues

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 475mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.87 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Santa Cruz Tallboy - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 100% 100%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Downhill Ability

Cons

A Bit Heavy

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76.2

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.63 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Marin Rift Zone - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Marinbikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Budget All Day Rider

Cons

It Is Heavy

Travel: 125mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.6

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 32.25 lbs (aluminum frame)

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Downhill Prowess

Cons

Seat Angle Could Be Steeper

Travel: 115mm rear/120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.5

Seat Tube Angle: 75.3

Reach: 473mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.23 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Norco Optic - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Norco.com

  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

App To Dial In Custom Suspension Settings

Cons

Slow On Climbs

Travel: 125mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.2 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Evil the Following - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Evil-bikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

DELTA Link Rear Suspension

Cons

Expensive Build Options

Travel: 120mm rear/ 130 or 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.9

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.3 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Yeti SB 115 - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

New Rear Linkage

Cons

Not Different Enough From The Yeti SB100

Travel: 115mm rear/ 130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.6

Seat Tube Angle: 74

Reach: 450mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.63 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Trek Fuel EX - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Trekbikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Down Tube Storage

Cons

Suspension Sag While Climbing

Travel: 130mm rear/ 140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.94 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Orbea Occam - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Jensonusa.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Upgraded Rear Suspension, Customized Colour Options

Cons

Left Hand Only Water Bottle Access

Travel: 140mm rear/ 140 or 150mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 474mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.67 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Trek Top Fuel - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Trekbikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 100% 100%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
  • Overall Fun 70% 70%

Pros

Super Lightweight

Cons

Knock Block in Headset

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 68

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.08 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Bansheebikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

High Quality Components

Cons

Heavy

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120-140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 76.6

Reach: 470mm

Weight: 31.97 lbs (aluminum frame)

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Stumpjumper ST - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Specialized.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

New Rear Suspension Linkage, SWAT Bottom Bracket Storage

Cons

Price

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 74.5

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 27.80 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Alchemy Arktos ST - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

High Quality Build Components

Cons

Low Bottom Bracket, Under Bottom Bracket Water Bottle Attachment.

Travel: 120mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.1

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5

Reach: 454 (large frame)

Weight: 30.75 lbs

Ibis Ripley

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

Best Short Travel Bike of 2021

  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 475mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.87 lbs

Price: $4,199

What We Like: Upgraded rear suspension

What We Don’t: Bottom bracket has had some issues

You’ll be able to ride to your limits with confidence on the new Ibis Ripley. It is upgraded and ready to help you set some new PR’s on your backyard trails. Still super fast on the climbs, the new geo has added some forgiveness but keeps all the wheels on the ground during a steep climb and may have you trying climbs you used to ignore. A longer wheelbase has added a sense of security for your descents. Whereas the old Ripley would have gotten squirrely, the new version minds its manners and handles the cornering efficiently. It was easy to choose the Ibis Ripley as our Best Short Travel Bike of 2021.

Santa Cruz Tallboy

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Santa Cruz Tallboy - Gear Hacker

Best Downhill Short Travel Bike of 2021

 
  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 100% 100%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76.2

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.63 lbs

Price: $6,999

What We Like: Downhill ability

What We Don’t: A bit heavy

Built to be a charger on the downhill, the Tallboy does not disappoint. With a Trail frame but an Enduro mindset, this bike seems like it can do it all. Sure, it does not climb as well as the Ripley or the Fuel, but you will never hit a corner as fast on those bikes as you will on the Tallboy. With three styles of frame material and a huge variety of build options, the Tallboy is a great option for riders who may spend more time in the tailgate of their buddy’s truck than pedaling to the top of the mountain. It will do the climbs, but the downs are where the real fun is at, so we named the Tallboy the Best Downhill Short Travel Bike of 2021.

Marin Rift Zone

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Marin Rift Zone - Gear Hacker

Best Budget Short Travel Bike of 2021

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 125mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.6

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 32.25 lbs (aluminum frame)

Price: $1,679

What We Like: Budget all day rider

What We Don’t: It is heavy

Marin nailed it with their new Rift Zone. The new modern geometry that they have given this bike is excellent. It is the definition of “long, low, and slack,” and it is a blast to ride. The price of getting on some carbon framed bikes with well thought out components is great to see. This will offer a lot of people the chance to get out and explore their local trails. Marin even beefed up the front brakes so the bike can offer a bit more assistance when the geometry gets you in some tricky spots. For the price and the fun ride, the Marin Rift Zone is our Best Budget Short Travel Bike of 2021.

Other Mountain Bikes

Revel Ranger

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Travel: 115mm rear/120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.5

Seat Tube Angle: 75.3

Reach: 473mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.23 lbs

Price: $5,199

What We Like: Downhill prowess

What We Don’t: Seat angle could be steeper

A new short travel bike offered by Revel, the Ranger, is a mean (can be green) downhill riding machine. The climbing ability with this bike is solid, but the geometry could be a bit more climb-friendly and could have a slightly steeper seat tube angle. As for downhills, this thing rips. The Canfield Brothers Formula that was applied to the rear suspension is super impressive and makes for a surprisingly smooth ride with lots of traction. For being Revel’s first go at a short travel bike, they have done a lot of things right.

Norco Optic

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Norco Optic - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Travel: 125mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.2 lbs

Price: $5,799

What We Like: App to dial in custom suspension settings

What We Don’t: Slow on climbs

If you are looking to spend some serious time in the saddle, this Optic is built for those days. It may not climb super fast, but it is comfortable and puts the rider in a good position for climbing to keep things moving. The downhills are a blast because the bike has a ton of traction and demolishes small bumps for breakfast. The modern geo on the Optic frame puts you in a super stable position for the downhills, providing so much confidence it’s crazy. There is an Optic build out for every price bracket. Norco also offers the Optic in a fit for both genders, one of the few companies to do so.

Evil the Following

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Evil the Following - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 120mm rear/ 130 or 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.9

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.3 lbs

Price: $5,799

What We Like: DELTA link rear suspension

What We Don’t: Expensive build options

Evil has produced a really fun bike. With really modern geo to help with the climbing without compromising the downhill fun, it feels like the Following can do anything. The DELTA link rear suspension gives the bike a bottomless feeling which is impressive with only 120mm of travel. The frame geo offers so much control over the bike it almost disappears beneath you which is always a cool feeling. Be careful, the confidence you gain may land you in some trouble when the trail gets too chundery.

Yeti SB 115

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Yeti SB 115 - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Travel: 115mm rear/ 130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.6

Seat Tube Angle: 74

Reach: 450mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.63 lbs

Price: $4,900

What We Like: New rear linkage

What We Don’t: Not different enough from the Yeti SB100

The Yeti SB115 is a slightly longer travel ride than the SB100, but that is about the only difference. Yeti did not upgrade the geometry of the bike, which leaves us wondering if it could have been better with a more modern set up. The SB115 is also a fair bit heavier than the SB100 and just seems to be like an awkward pre-teen unsure of where it belongs. The rear linkage did get an upgrade from the SB100 and is now bulletproof, which is a great feeling when you take the bike into the chop. Yeti makes good bikes; unfortunately, this one just seems to miss the mark.

Trek Fuel EX

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Trek Fuel EX - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Travel: 130mm rear/ 140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.94 lbs

Price: $5,499

What We Like: Down tube storage

What We Don’t: Suspension sag while climbing

With more travel than most of the bikes on the list, the Trek Fuel EX is a very versatile ride. It has a neutral riding position to keep you comfortable on long all day rides and is fairly light. This bike is a very well rounded—and I hate to say it but—“safe” bike. It is built for smooth trails and long days, but the bike will help keep it under control when the trail gets bumpy. Also who doesn’t love a downtube storage pocket, so your friends can see what cool snacks you brought on the ride?

Orbea Occam

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Orbea Occam - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Travel: 140mm rear/ 140 or 150mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 474mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.67 lbs

Price: $3,999

What We Like: Upgraded rear suspension, customized colour options

What We Don’t: Left hand only water bottle access

With a redesigned rear suspension system, the Orbea Occam has become a super versatile trail bike. With updated geo, it is a super fast climber, due in part to a steep seat angle and light carbon frames. The handling on climbs is responsive, and the riding position keeps weight on the front wheel to improve traction. The extra travel on the Occam helps immensely on the downhills letting you pick the lines you want to ride. It does feel generic, but that is never a bad thing when you’re picking up some serious speed. The custom paint job is only available on the higher end carbon frame build options, but it is cool to know that is possible.

Trek Top Fuel

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Trek Top Fuel - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 100% 100%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
  • Overall Fun 70% 70%

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 68

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.08 lbs

Price: $8,999.99

What We Like: Super lightweight

What We Don’t: Knock Block in headset

The Trek Fuel is a “down country” machine. Made for clocking those bumpy 100 milers in no time. The short travel and lightweight frame keep the bike moving, and it responds very well to pedalling input. The bike also comes with a dual suspension lock out lever on all build options, showing that this bike was made to quickly transition from downs to ups and vice versa. The real suspension comes with Trek’s Active Braking Pivot to keep all tires on the ground while hitting rough stuff and allowing for controlled braking and handling. There is a Top Fuel for every budget, and some of the fancy wireless drivetrains are definitely worth a look as well!

Banshee Phantom

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120-140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 76.6

Reach: 470mm

Weight: 31.97 lbs (aluminum frame)

Price: $2,249

What We Like: High quality components

What We Don’t: Heavy

Banshee offers the Phantom in a singular frame style: aluminum. This choice has allowed them to invest in solid components for the ride and a great rear shock. Sure, it is heavier without a carbon frame, but with a well planned out frame geo, this bike still eats the climbs and can kick up some brown powder on the downs. The build quality on these bikes is impressive, and it shows that Banshee is a leader in alloy frames. It also has a really friendly price tag.

Specialized Stumpjumper ST

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Stumpjumper ST - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 74.5

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 27.80 lbs

Price: $4,700

What We Like: New rear suspension linkage, SWAT bottom bracket storage

What We Don’t: Price

The completely redesigned Specialized Stumpjumper ST is unreal. Specialized has simplified the entire Stumpjumper range and made some fairly dramatic changes. They have revamped the entire rear suspension set-up to reduce weight and improve rider feel. The new geo has improved rider position, and the travel adds so much versatility. A lot of work has gone into the new frame design, and it shows. The Stumpjumper was the first mountain bike, and it continues to be innovative. There is also a SWAT bottom bracket storage pocket on the carbon models, which is always cool.

Alchemy Arktos ST

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Alchemy Arktos ST - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Travel: 120mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.1

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5

Reach: 454 (large frame)

Weight: 30.75 lbs

Price: $6,099

What We Like: High quality build components

What We Don’t: Low bottom bracket, under bottom bracket water bottle attachment.

You won’t need to worry about what line you’re choosing while riding the Arktos because this bike has an uncanny ability to find it for you and just cruise through it. Some feel it is a better climber than the Ibis Ripley, and that is a high review. The Arktos ST is a bit of a surprise in how good it rides, and this bike is ready for any trail you can throw at it. The suspension was developed by David Earl, a suspension wizard, and it is so well dialed that the bike seems to hover. A negative of the suspension is that it takes up a lot of room in the triangle, so your water bottle will be riding beneath the bottom bracket. While this is another slight negative, fanny packs are only $40, so there’s an easy fix.
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