These are the 5 hottest enduro bikes for 2017
© Robot Bike Co.
Fancy taking on a tight-flight enduro race in the new year? Then you’ll want one of these.
In the last couple of years, enduro mountain bike racing has taken off across the globe, forcing the hand of bike designers to push the limits of what's possible. But race machinery doesn’t come cheap, and to tame the wildest stages on the planet you’re going to need some pretty bombproof kit.
Whether you’re after a 27.5in trail ninja or a 29in locomotive, here’s our guide to the best enduro bikes out there for 2017.
1. Trek Slash 9.9 Race Shop Limited
There are lots and lots of gimmicky marketing terms swirling around the world of enduro bikes, but Trek’s approach to their latest top-flight machine's reassuringly straightforward – combine 150/160mm of travel with the ‘pick any line’ sure-footedness of a 29er. The Wisconsin-based firm’s ‘Race Shop’ monicker denotes machinery specced to the maximum so that you can be sure there are no weak links, anywhere.
If pedigree's your thing then you can rest assured that the Slash is one of the most thoroughbred mounts out there, with names like Tracy Moseley and Justin Leov having played vital roles in its development.
Price: £6,000 / €7,200 / US$7,500
2. Santa Cruz Nomad CC
The kings of Californian cool, Santa Cruz offer two really hard-hitting options when it comes to tackling stage racing, with the Hightower offering bigger wheels and the Nomad offering 27.5in fun. Again, this is a machine which hasn’t just leapt into existence via a PowerPoint presentation. Santa Cruz’s suspension platform (Virtual Pivot Point) has been widely acclaimed since its launch back towards the turn of the century.
Squint slightly at the rear of the Nomad and there’s the DH DNA of the most successful machine in UCI World Cup racing, the brand's own V10. Santa Cruz seem to turn out some of the most desirable machinery in any pits and the Nomad's no exception.
Price: From £5,499 / €6,600 / US$6,875
3. Yeti SB6 Enduro
If we’re talking about competing in enduro races, then we need to talk about the bike that’s been winning most of them – the Yeti SB6. Between the knees of the big American Richie Rude the Yeti is the first ever back-to-back Enduro World Series title winner.
Yeti’s own Switch Infinity suspension system relies on what they call a translating pivot, set low in the carbon fibre frame to change the bike’s damping characteristics the instant it needs to.
Price: £4,599 / €5,530 / US$5,750
4. Nukeproof Mega 290 Pro
The Mega 290 has an interesting international backstory – designed in Northern Ireland before being raced by an Australian to a race win in France all in the livery of an American monster truck. The Gravedigger paint may not be available to us mortals, but when Sam Hill took the win at the EWS in Valberg towards the end of the 2016 season it was a statement as to just how good the Mega platform is.
It’s available in both 27.5in and 29in wheel sizes and has a price tag which is slightly more palatable thanks to its aluminium (as opposed to carbon fibre) construction. But rest assured that all the fineries are there, including suspension by RockShox and a smattering of Nukeproof’s excellent own brand kit.
Price: £3,199 / € 3,840 / US$4,000
5. Robot Bike Co R160
Yes, it's a lot of money for a frame, but if you’re a stickler for detail and have a penchant for the artisan, then this is the bike for you. The result of a coming-together of various engineers and sciences, in a nutshell the Robot's made up of carbon fibre tubes coupled together via custom laser-melted titanium junctions. This is a very brief description of what's going on here and if it’s piqued your interest we recommend that you feed your inner geek on the Robot site.
Each frame is custom-made to order, with the R160 available in a ‘stock’ set of numbers or tailored to your own needs. At this money it almost feels ludicrous to chuck it down between the tapes, but rest assured, that's what it’s been built for. You won’t find a more individual machine anywhere.
Price: £4,395 / €5,280 / US$5,500 (frame only)