Last week we offered up some of the hottest bikes for you to traverse the city streets this summer. This week, we thought we’d kick up the adrenaline and show off some of our favorite sport and mountain bikes to hit the trails with. These bikes may be a little harder on your wallet than the average city cycles, but what they lose in flashiness, they make up for in speed, endurance, and hardcore ability to get pushed to the limit.
MARIN Mount Vision XM6
As part of MARIN’s new 140 mm travel QUAD 3.0 Series, the Mount Vision XM6 is a practical update of the line, increasing its durability by increasing the component stiffness, as well as improving the material’s strength in order to lighten its weight. The superior suspension system allows for a variety of uses, be it going long-distance down the road or roughing it up in the back country on a joy ride. With an entry variant at a meager 28.3 lb. and higher-priced siblings sitting around 27 lb., you’re getting a decent weight for the $2,099.99 entry price tag on this sinister black-and-white demon. That being said, we might consider holding off for the carbon-fiber version due out later this year, which will reportedly be in the 25 lb. category. Check out more at www.marinbikes.com
Weight: 28.3 lb./27 lb./25 lb. (entry/advanced/carbon)
Brakes: Avid Elixir 1 Hydraulic Disc 7”/6”
Gears: SRAM X-7, 10-speed
Intense Carbine SL
While Intense Cycles is known for its strikingly gorgeous aluminum frames, it recently ventured into the carbon-fiber market with the dangerously sporty Carbine SL. Priced at a moderate $2,820 to start, the SL frame itself weighs in at an unbelievably light 5 lb. and features titanium bolts, carbon-fiber shock links, and an adjustable 4.75-5.25 mm of efficient VPP suspension. Only available as of a month ago, this German-American design hybrid is versatile enough to tackle the most challenging ascents, while springy enough to handle the jaw-dropping drop on the other side. Check out more at www.intensecycles.com
Weight: 5 lb.
Shocks: Kashima-coated Fox RP23
Kona Tanuki Deluxe
To finish up our list of our favorite mountain and sports bikes for the year, we’ve decided to go with a relative beginner model for those of you who aren’t ready to join the extreme or carbon-fiber clubs yet. The Tanuki Deluxe delivers a light-but-durable 7005 Aluminum Butted tubing with a rear suspension of 130 mm. While the price is also in the moderate $2,500 range, we would still bet this starting model will earn its worth with many years of solid downhill performance. Check out more at www.konaworld.com
Brakes: Avid Elixir 5 180/160 mm
Gears: Shimano Deore 10-speed