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In this report

Mountain Bikes: Ratings of Sources

Total of 29 Sources
1. BikeRadar.com
As of June 2011
Bikes & Gear
by Editors of BikeRadar.com
Our AssessmentBikeRadar.com is the joint website for several U.K. biking magazines, including Mountain Biking UK and What Mountain Bike. The site reviews a huge number of mountain bikes, although some brands are not readily available in the U.S. Analysis is detailed, and each mountain bike is rated on a five-point scale, making it easy to tell which bikes perform the best. BikeRadar.com is also one of the best sources for critical comments -- they don't pull any punches and make no qualms about giving a low rating.
2. Bike magazine
Jan. 2011
The Bible of Bike Tests
by Editors of Bike
Our AssessmentBike magazine publishes a separate annual issue devoted completely to bike reviews. More than 40 mountain bikes are tested by a variety of riders over all types of terrain. The bikes aren't rated, although each bike receives a lengthy write-up and a "final take" verdict. Unlike last year's edition, no awards are given, which makes it difficult to determine the best mountain bikes overall. Bike magazine focuses on high-end bikes, so many of their tested models exceed $5,000.
3. Mountain Biking UK
Autumn 2010
Big Wheelers
by Editors of Mountain Biking UK
Our AssessmentMountain Biking UK tests four affordable 29ers (mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels) in this group test. Multiple testers evaluate each bike, and the test results are accompanied by lengthy analysis and an overall rating. The KHS Tucson is declared the winner of the test thanks to its excellent value.
4. Bicycling Magazine
June 2011
Trail Kings
by Editors of Bicycling
Our AssessmentBicycling magazine reviews six trail bikes at a variety of price ranges. Only these six favorites are included for this article, and the bikes aren't rated or compared to each other. However, each bike receives a lengthy analysis. Some of the recommended bikes cost well over $5,000.
5. Bicycling Magazine
April 2011
Buyer's Guide
by Editors of Bicycling
Our AssessmentBicycling magazine editors review dozens of bikes for their 2011 buyer's guide. One bike is recommended in each category, and several runner-up bikes are mentioned as well. The Scott Scale 29 Pro earns a recommendation for XC racers, while the Turner Sultan is the top pick for trail riders. Some of the reviews can be found online at Bicycling magazine's Gear and Bike Review Finder.
6. Bicycling Magazine
As of June 2011
Gear & Bike Review Finder
by Editors of Bicycling
Our AssessmentApart from its annual buyer's guide, Bicycling magazine publishes single-product reviews of mountain bikes on occasion. Although these bikes are not rated or compared to others, the Gear and Bike Review Finder is a good source for checking out current and past reviews.
7. Mountain Bike Action
Oct. 2010
Shootout: Cannondale vs. Giant vs. Specialized vs. KHS vs. Trek
by Editors of Mountain Bike Action
Our AssessmentMountain Bike Action periodically conducts group tests of similar mountain bikes. Each mountain bike is thoroughly evaluated on a variety of criteria, including fit and feel, components, climbing, descending and cornering. A bottom-line verdict is also included for each bike. In this shoot-out from 2010, Mountain Bike Action pits five mountain bikes against each other. The Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp is declared the overall winner, while the Giant Trance X3 comes in a close second. The editors were disappointed in the Trek Fuel EX 8.
8. Outside
May 2011
The Best New Mountain Bikes
by Aaron Gulley
Our AssessmentOutside magazine editors enlist the help of testers to evaluate dozens of mountain bikes. Each bike is ridden by at least a few different people, and the bikes are then rated on a five-point scale for climbing and descending. Out of the mountain bikes tested, nine score a recommendation. It would be interesting to see which mountain bikes weren't recommended, but that information is not included. In addition, several recommended bikes cost well over $5,000.
9. MTBR.com
As of June 2011
Mountain Bike Product Reviews
by Contributors to MTBR.com
Our AssessmentMTBR.com hosts thousands of user reviews for mountain bikes, components and equipment. Wading through the reviews to find the highest-rated bikes can be a bit tedious, but it is possible to find at least a few reviews for nearly every mountain bike on the market. Editors of MTBR.com compiled a "Best of" list in 2010, but it hasn't yet been updated for 2011.
10. Bike magazine
As of June 2011
Bikes
by Editors of Bike
Our AssessmentBike magazine editors publish detailed mountain bike reviews that are based on weeks of hands-on testing. The reviews are lengthy and critical, taking note of where each bike falls short. Unfortunately, Bike magazine tends to focus on higher-end mountain bikes, so most of their reviews are for bikes that cost $4,000 and above.
11. Women's Adventure magazine
Summer 2010
Mountain Biking…Give In to Gravity
by Editors of Women's Adventure
Our AssessmentWomen's Adventure magazine recommends five women's mountain bikes in its annual Editor's Choice award issue. The GT Sensor 2.0 GTw earns the highest rating (out of 5 stars) and the most detailed review. The other recommended bikes receive only a one-sentence overview. Some of the bikes have been discontinued.
12. Men's Journal
Sept. 28, 2010
Everywhere Bikes
by Doug Schnitzpahn
Our AssessmentMost of the recommended bikes in this review are quite expensive, but Men's Journal says the Mongoose Deception, a $200 bike sold at Wal-Mart, can be a decent choice for beginners. "Truth is, a worthwhile mountain bike with any suspension starts at $2,000, so if you're just looking to dip your toes in the sport or try the 29er experience on the cheap, you can't go wrong with the Wal-Mart special," says Doug Schnitzpahn.
13. Buzzillions.com
As of June 2011
Mountain Bike Reviews
by Contributors to Buzzillions.com
Our AssessmentBuzzillions.com compiles owner-written reviews from a number of online retailers. This is especially helpful for mountain bikes, which tend to accumulate only a few reviews at a variety of retailers and review sites. Over the past year, the volume of reviews on Buzzillions.com has grown considerably, and many models receive dozens of owner ratings and comments. Trek mountain bikes earn particularly high ratings here.
14. Men's Fitness
Not Dated
The 29er
by Brion O'Connor
Our AssessmentMen's Fitness reviews three mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels, also known as 29ers. Several price ranges are covered, although the bikes only receive a brief review. "Bigger is definitely better, whether you've got years in the saddle or you're a mountain-biking rookie," says Brion O'Connor of 29-inch wheels.
15. Los Angeles Times
Oct. 18, 2010
The Big Deal about 29er Bicycles
by Roy Wallack
Our AssessmentRoy Wallack, a cyclist and author, tests four mountain bikes for the Los Angeles Times. Each mountain bike is personally evaluated, and Wallack lists pros and cons for each model. The balanced analysis is definitely worth a read.
16. Elevation Outdoors magazine
March 7, 2011
Best Gear - Saddle Up
by Doug Schnitzpahn
Our AssessmentElevation Outdoors, a Colorado-based outdoors magazine, reviews a variety of bikes, including four mountain bikes. The magazine's editors personally evaluate the bikes, although the models are not rated and no awards are given.
17. Spoke
As of June 2011
Reviews
by Editors of Spoke
Our AssessmentSpoke magazine is a good source for mountain bike reviews, especially high-end bikes for serious riders. The detailed analysis is backed by extensive testing, and although the bikes are not rated, there is plenty of detail here for enthusiasts.
Gear of the Year 2011
by Steve Casimiro
Our AssessmentNational Geographic Adventure gives its Gear of the Year award for 2011 to the Yeti 575 mountain bike. Steve Casimiro writes a brief review of the bike, but the analysis doesn't explain why this bike was chosen over the others.
19. Men's Journal
Dec. 2010
Gear of the Year, Part 1
by Editors of Men's Journal
Our AssessmentMen's Journal doesn't review many mountain bikes, but the Santa Cruz Tallboy SPX earns a Gear of the Year award. Analysis is brief and few downsides are noted. Editors call it "our favorite off-roader of 2010."
20. The Gadget Show
As of June 2011
Cycle
by Editors of The Gadget Show
Our AssessmentThe Gadget Show, a television program on Britain's Channel 5, evaluates a few mountain bikes in test-based reviews. Several mountain bikes were rated on the May 2011 program, including the Trek Remedy 9.9, the Orange Five Pro and the Cannondale Jekyll Ultimate. The Orange Five Pro is the only one that earns a perfect rating.
21. Zest
April 2011
Buy Your Perfect Bike
by Editors of Zest
Our AssessmentBritain's Zest magazine reviews a good number of women's mountain bikes, including those available in lower price ranges. Not all the recommended bikes are widely available in the U.S., and analysis is brief.
22. The Independent (U.K.)
March 13, 2010
The 50 Best Bikes
by Editors of The Independent
Our AssessmentThe Independent, a British newspaper, has a slideshow article of the 50 best bikes. Editors asked two experts to select the bikes, although both road and mountain bikes are included. Each bike receives a brief overview, and expert comments are included on occasion. Some of the recommended mountain bikes are not available in the U.S., and this article hasn't been updated for 2011.
23. Dirt Rag
As of June 2011
Reviews
by Editors of Dirt Rag
Our AssessmentDirt Rag magazine hosts some detailed reviews of the latest mountain bikes, complete with lots of technical information for serious riders. The bikes are not rated or compared in any way, so it's difficult to determine which mountain bikes perform the best. Even so, Dirt Rag is a good cross-reference for other reviews.
24. Singletracks.com
As of June 2011
Best Mountain Bike Products of 2011
by Editors of SingleTracks.com
Our AssessmentSingleTracks.com is a website that allows riders to post reviews of their mountain bikes and gear. For 2011, the editors compile the best-reviewed bikes on the site, which are then awarded the Best of MTB award. A runner-up is also named in each category.
25. MountainBikeTales.com
As of June 2011
Bike and Equipment Reviews
by Editors of MountainBikeTales.com
Our AssessmentLike a few other sites, this site mixes reviews of mountain bikes with mountain-biking gear, leaving users to sort through various reviews to find what they are looking for. The reviews themselves are organized and detailed, with extensive specs on each model reviewed, but there are only a few recent reviews.
26. About.com
As of June 2011
Mountain Bike Reviews - Reviews of Bikes & Framesets
by Contributors to About.com
Our AssessmentThe mountain biking guide at About.com links to several resources and reviews for mountain bikes. The bikes are rated on a five-point scale, but most reviews aren't dated, so it's difficult to tell which model year the reviews refer to. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
27. FeedtheHabit.com
As of June 2011
Mountain Biking Archive
by Jason Mitchell
Our AssessmentFeedTheHabit.com is an outdoor sports blog that covers mountain biking and other recreational activities. On occasion, mountain bikes are tested and evaluated in detailed single-product reviews. Unfortunately, few mountain bikes have been reviewed recently.
28. Yahoo.com
April 5, 2011
High Heels on Two Wheels: Best Mountain Bikes for Women
by Carrie Clark
Our AssessmentCarrie Clark has brief reviews of women's mountain bikes at Yahoo.com. The bikes receive a short overview, and it does not appear that they were personally tested. Bikes from GMC, Specialized, Trek and Cannondale earn recommendations, but most are not female-specific models.
29. Walmart.com
As of June 2011
Mountain Bikes
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentThe vast majority of experts recommend buying a mountain bike at a dedicated bike shop rather than at a discount store like Wal-Mart. A bike shop will ensure you get the right fit and that your bike is properly assembled. Most bikes at Walmart.com get mixed reviews, but the Genesis V2100 performs better than most.

Mountain Bikes Runners Up:

Orange Five Pro MSRP: $1,870 (frame only)

3 picks by top review sites.

Trek 4300 Disc MSRP: $690

2 picks including: Bicycling Magazine, BikeMagic.com…

Giant Trance X1 MSRP: $3,850

2 picks by top review sites.

Scott Scale 29 Pro MSRP: $2,800

2 picks by top review sites.

Santa Cruz Heckler MSRP: $1,965

2 picks by top review sites.

Niner Jet 9 MSRP: $1,850 (frame only)

2 picks by top review sites.

Trek Marlin MSRP:$640

2 picks by top review sites.

Giant XTC 29er MSRP: $2,050

2 picks by top review sites.

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