MTB

The most exciting downhill bikes of 2019

© The YT Mob
Written by James McKnight
Fancy upping your gravity game next year? Here are five top machines you should be considering.
Downhill racing is all about rampaging down a mountain at breakneck speeds and bulldozing through the roughest, most gnarled terrain thinkable. The victor is he or she who manages to remain calm and composed, mind on the goal of achieving the fastest possible time from A to B no matter how technical or steep or fast the going gets.
Another thing to consider is whether you want carbon fibre or aluminium. The choice comes down to personal preference – recent World Cup races have been won on every variant – and available budget. At the end of the day, whatever price point your budget fits you’ll get the same tried and tested geometry and suspension platform as the following five bikes’ race-winning high-end models.
This is a selection of some of what have proven to be the best, most successful downhill bikes of recent years, machines that are available to buy in 2019. 27.5 or 29” wheels.

Santa Cruz V10

Loris Vergier on his way to 1st place with his Santa Cruz V10
Loris Vergier on his way to 1st place with his Santa Cruz V10
  • Price: £3,599 (frame only)-£7,999
  • Wheelsize: 27.5” or 29”
  • Sizes: S, M, L (27.5” wheels)/M, L, XL (29” wheels)
  • Material: Carbon fibre
  • Credentials: 2018 Vallnord World Cup winner
Santa Cruz’s V10 is so much a staple of the downhill race scene that it should probably be described as legendary. With good reason: the world’s very best have piloted various incarnations of this bike to World Cup and Championships victories, including Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar and most recently Loris Vergier. It’s a bike that has changed shape over the years, but the most recent iteration is perhaps its most radical – the Santa Cruz Syndicate burst onto the 2017 season as the first team on 29-inch wheels, and from then the prototype has developed into this well-refined beast, ready to be raced at the very top level, as Vergier and Luca Shaw proved all season long in 2018. SC have also produced a 27.5”-wheeled version for riders who prefer that wheel size.
Santa Cruz V10
Santa Cruz V10

Commencal Supreme DH

Kyle Strait – Commencal Supereme DH
Kyle Strait – Commencal Supereme DH
  • Price: €3,999-€5,199 (about £3,480-£4,525)
  • Wheelsize: 27.5” or 29”
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL (27.5” wheels)/S, M, L (29” wheels)
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Credentials: 2018 elite and junior men’s World Cup series winner
Commencal’s latest Supreme DH. Available in 27.5-or 29-inch wheeled versions and with components packages that are hard to beat for the money, the Supreme also has several feathers in its hat: namely the successes of more or less everyone who races on it! In 2018 alone, the bike reached World Cup podium countless times, with riders like Amaury Pierron, Myriam Nicole, Remi Thirion, Thibaut Daprela, Cécile Ravanel and Reece Wilson finding form aboard the bike from Andorra. Its high pivot, idler-pulley design and progressive sizing and angles (read: long and slack) help the Supreme eat up everything in its path.
SUPREME DH 29 TEAM 2019 – €4499
SUPREME DH 29 TEAM 2019 – €4499

YT Tues

Andreu Lacondeguy – YT Tues
Andreu Lacondeguy – YT Tues
  • Price: £2,399-£4,999
  • Wheelsize: 27.5”
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Material: Aluminium or carbon fibre
  • Credentials: 3 x World Cup series overall wins (elite men and junior women)
YT Industries revolutionised the image of direct-sales-only brands when they signed Aaron Gwin in 2016. Could such a great value bike really take on the behemoths of World Cup racing? Absolutely: Gwin won his first World Cup aboard the bike and then went on to win the 2016 and '17 World Cup series. Another top DH athlete, Vali Höll, also flew the flag in 2018, taking the junior women’s World Cup and World Championships titles. Quite the CV. But beyond the highest ranks of racing, the Tues is a very rideable bike that is as suited to everyday enthusiasts and bike park riders as it is world champs. The price range reflects that: at just £2,399 for the well-equipped Tues AL (aluminium), it is one of the most affordable downhill bikes around.
TUES AL in black pearl and yellow
TUES AL in black pearl and yellow

GT Fury 2019

Martin Maes rides during qualifying at the 2018 UCI DH World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on September 7, 2018.
Martin Maes rides his GT Fury at the DH World Championships
  • Price: £2,999-£5,499
  • Wheelsize: 27.5” or 29”
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Material: Carbon fibre
  • Credentials: Winner, elite men, La Bresse World Cup finals 2018
If ever a bike could be credited with a complete overhaul of one company’s fortunes, it must be this latest Fury from GT. Martin Maes turned the world’s attention to the Fury as he swept a muddy La Bresse clean with one of the most memorable World Cup wins in history in September 2018. Fresh onto the bike, Maes would then go on to take second place at the World Championships two weeks later. The Fury’s creator, Luis Arraiz, is well known for his progressive thinking, and the bike’s success is testament to his design. Not as great value compared to some of its peers in terms of components packages, with the Fury you are getting a highly refined, highly desirable and unique bike in carbon fibre.
Fury Carbon Pro 27.5 – £3,999.99
Fury Carbon Pro 27.5 – £3,999.99

Mondraker Summum

Laurie Greenland – Mondraker Summum
Laurie Greenland – Mondraker Summum
  • Price: £3,599-£7,899
  • Wheelsize: 27.5”
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Material: Aluminium or carbon fibre
  • Credentials: Multiple World Cup podiums and wins
Mondraker’s Summum can be credited with starting the modern geometry revolution in downhill racing: when the Spanish brand released Forward Geometry the long, low and super slack frames were ground breaking. While the Summum’s design hasn’t changed drastically in a handful of years, it continues to be relevant with World Cup podiums a-plenty in recent seasons. Carbon fibre or aluminium models are available, both incorporating solid components packages and the same race-proven geometry and suspension design. The Summum’s only failing comes at its price tag.
Mondraker Summum Pro
Mondraker Summum Pro

Canyon Sender CF

Thoma Genon – Canyon Sender
Thoma Genon – Canyon Sender
  • Price: £2,299-£4,499
  • Wheelsize: 27.5”
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Material: Aluminium or carbon fibre
  • Credentials: Winner, Vallnord World Cup 2017; 2 x top-3 World Cup series overall
Like fellow direct-sales-only brand YT, Canyon’s Sender offers unbelievable value – fantastic components hang off this race-winning bike at all its price points. Its two lower-end aluminium models match the same proven geometry and refined lines as their higher-end carbon siblings, making the Sender one of the most accessible race bikes on the market. To ensure your next World Cup win, go for the priciest option, the team replica.
Canyon Sender Carbon Fibre
Canyon Sender Carbon Fibre