It’s said that sex sells and with that in mind, there’s a fair chance that Intense is going to sell truckloads of the Carbine 275 (at long as interest rates remain low and lenders easy to come by, in any case). Draw up a checklist of all the desirable features that you’d like on a modern long-travel trail bike – make it a long and uncompromising list – and there’s a pretty good chance that the Intense Carbine 275 will tick every box.
The Merida Big Ninety-Nine – let’s just call it the BNN from now on – is Merida’s first go at a dual suspension 29er. Merida produces more high-quality bikes than anyone else on the planet, the majority being bikes branded other than Merida, so you’d expect the BNN to be a well-constructed machine, although you could say it’s a year or two late to the 29er party.
Dreams are a funny thing. We know they’re not a part of ‘real’ life, but we all have them just the same. Perhaps a large part of the attraction is that we can play them out in our minds countless times, and every one of those times everything will be perfect.
Of late there’s been an overwhelming focus on new wheel sizes. It’s enough to have you thinking that any 26-inch wheeled bike is inherently and unavoidably inferior. Forums are loaded with talk of new 29-inch and 650B bikes, along with a good deal of bemoaning directed at brands that haven’t released a model to suit one of these new-school wheel sizes.
Us dirty mountain bikers have a lot to thank our smooth-legged roadie cousins for. Sure, we could live without their seemingly genetic ability to look like they don’t enjoy riding their bikes, or the fact that we seem invisible to them when we pass on the black top.
For several years Scott’s Genius all-mountain bike has cut one of the most distinctive silhouettes on the MTB scene; its dramatically sloped seat tube and rear-mounted pull shock could not be mistaken for anything else. For 2013 the Genius hasn’t just had a facelift; it’s undergone major reconstructive surgery as if it was entering some witness protection program, and is now all but unrecognisable when compared to its former self.
Long predicted and highly anticipated, for 2013 Giant has transformed their best-selling 120mm travel Trance X platform into a 29er. So confident are they in its performance that they’ve dropped the 26-inch wheeled Trance X completely; a brave move considering how many people have owned and loved the Trance X 26er. How entranced is the Aussie market? Well for our country only, there’s an extra model above the Trance X 0, aptly called the 00. In James Bond world that means it’s licensed to kill; singletrack we assume, rather than other riders or foreign intelligence agents.
There is no mistaking the Myroon 29er hardtail as anything other than a KTM. The KTM brand name (and distinctive orange branding) is synonymous with dirt bikes of the petrol motor variety, and many will make an immediate identification of a KTM from quite a distance. I don’t ride motorbikes but I know KTM nonetheless, I couldn’t even tell you why or how, I just do. It’s that kind of brand.
The Stereo is a longstanding model in the Cube range and its distinctive frame design has graced their line-up for around five years now. A click on the Cube website quickly reveals that a redesign is on the way, but we won’t be seeing the newer Stereo in Australia until mid 2013. For the next six months, the bike ridden here will remain the go-to model if you are fishing for a Cube in the 140mm travel trail bike category.
As a community of riders we can be a bit conservative; no-one wants to be the first to try a bike from a new brand just in case it turns out to be a waste of money. There’s a reasonable chance you may have never heard of Polygon bikes; they don’t feature in US mountain bike media, they haven’t had a world cup winner (yet), and until recently you couldn’t buy their bikes in Australia.