A new mountain bike that we love

Yeti ARC ($3,600)

(Photo: Courtesy Yeti Bikes)

Soul Riders Will Love It

Hardtail mountain bikes are all the rage right now. Perhaps it’s a desire for a more tactile connection to the trail or a return to the sport’s fundamentals. Whatever the cause, this season has seen a slew of these rigs, with Yeti’s ARC being one of our favourites. The trail-oriented shape, which is slacker and more reassuring than the jittery hardtails many of us grew up riding, appeals to us. Unlike the legendary ARC from the 1990s, its modern remake wasn’t built for racing, however it’s built to keep up with the pace at your weekend cross-country race. With a 130-millimeter fork to absorb impacts, high-volume 2.6-inch tyres that provide plenty of grip, and a lightweight (2.8-pound) carbon-fiber frame, this 29er strikes the sweet spot between efficiency and pleasure.

Bullit by Santa Cruz ($11,499)

(Photo: Courtesy Santa Cruz)

Descenders with a single-minded mindset will benefit the most from this.

Downhill and enduro riders are increasingly using mixed-wheel setups. A 29-inch front wheel’s confident handling and rollover benefits, combined with the mobility of a 27.5-inch rear tyre, form a convincing case. The Bullit follows this trend, with a business-like front end and a party-like back end—plus a motor in the middle that eliminates the need for a lift. When switching lines on this large 50-pound machine, we liked the agile smaller wheel. Practice makes perfect, and there’s no substitute for going over and over the jumps, drops, and turns that give you pause. This 170-millimeter-travel brawler allows tough trail riders to accelerate upward and spend more time on the descents pushing their boundaries.

The Canyon Spectral 29 costs $5,699.

Photo: (Photo: Courtesy Canyon)

All-Mountain Adventurers Will Love It

When the cycling industry focused its attention on enduro racing ten years ago, the term “all mountain” fell out of favour. However, there is a significant difference now between a modern enduro bike built to shave seconds off the clock and a well-rounded mountain bike capable of descending but not exhausting you on the climb. Enter Canyon’s category-defining Spectral 29, which has a carbon-frame kit with 160 millimetres of front suspension and 150 millimetres of efficient rear travel. The steep seat-tube angle (76.5 degrees) provides a superb stance for tackling the most difficult hills. The slack front end (64.5 degrees) makes pointing and shooting down white-knuckle plummets a breeze. On every trail we rode, the Spectral 29 felt quick, exciting, and capable.

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