Our Buyer's Guide Favorites

Each season brings new innovations and trends to the bike industry and keeping tabs on all the best stuff is no easy task.  Every year we do our homework, and every year we are excited to see our favorite bikes included in the 'best of' lists throughout industry publications both printed and online.

Whether you are hitting the pavement, ripping through dirt, seeking out new adventures, or just looking to cruise around the neighborhood, these bikes fit the bill. And we aren't the only ones that think they're the best at what they doother folks happen to agree.

Yeti SB4.5c

All of our testers were blown away by how well the SB4.5c climbed up steep, technical terrain, its 29-inch wheels decimating trail obstacles regardless of which shock was being employed. The XC tune rode higher in the travel and felt firmer under hard pedaling, but some riders noticed a slight increase in chatter over our test track’s bony root sections. The trail-tuned shock was more plush across the board but still pedaled incredibly well, and when pointed downhill it really unharnessed the Switch Infinity platform’s suppleness through bigger bumps.

For a bike that so clearly excels at climbing, the SB4.5c felt incredibly balanced, its longish toptube and sensibly slack 67.4-degree head angle instilling confidence on challenging descents. Describing the ideal buyer as “Shred Schralperson,” one tester wrote, “It’s just so damn versatile, so damn fun.”

-Words by Bike Mag Bible

Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 6Fattie

Keeping track of the various mountain bike wheel sizes and widths is daunting. But if you understand just one thing, know that wider tires mean better traction going up and down. That’s why plus-sized bikes such as the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 6Fattie are garnering so much buzz. The 3-inch tires wrapped around 27.5-inch wheels chew up terrain like a tank tread, but also roll plenty fast on smooth surfaces. Add in a bump-absorbing 150mm Fox 34 fork and Fox Float rear shock, and this bike is ready to take on any trail.

-Words by Bicycling.com

Specialized Amira SL4

"From the first second I jumped on the Amira it immediately felt comfortable. I didn’t feel stretched out or stressed in certain areas. The bike was stiff and super responsive during forced intervals and sprints. After completing the 10k TT I couldn’t believe the time I had shaved off. This in part to how low/aero I could now get as well as reducing my bike weight by 3 lbs." - Michele C. of CBC Women's Racing Team

For a bike that can deliver you to the line first in a race, and also take on meandering triple-digit miles, the Specialized Amira SL4 Expert is a great option (and one that our staffers love). It’s a rather affordable carbon race bike at $3,600 with a full Shimano Ultegra 11-speed drivetrain. "It’s so comfortable and light,” one editor raved. “I totally love it.”

-Words by Bicycling.com


Cannondale CAAD12 105

Chosen by BikeRadar and Cycling Plus Magazine as 2016 Bike of the Year, the CAAD12 is the ultimate for roadies looking for performance and value. The CAAD12 beat out 54 other bikes ranging from $1,000-$14,000. At just $1680, the CAAD12 has all the performance and comfort of it's higher priced competitors and continues to demonstrate Cannondale's quality and innovation in aluminum road bikes.

Cannondale Supersix EVO

The Cannondale Supersix EVO was named Velonews Road Bike of the Year in 2015 and for all the right reasons. A perfect example of what an all-around race bike should be, it is light, stiff and compliant in all the right places. The Ultegra Hi-MOD version weighs in at 15lbs and will set you back $4260. 

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Dura Ace

This endurance-oriented carbon fiber machine spares its rider from rough roads via what Cannondale calls SAVE Plus technology, where the fork, seat tube, and seatstays provide flex to deaden road buzz. That means you’ll feel fresher longer, even if your adventure includes time on bumpy dirt roads. Propulsion is provided by Shimano’s best-in-class Dura-Ace drivetrain, the groupset that all other drivetrains are measured against. Quick spinning aluminum Mavic wheels and an eye-catching neon yellow and black paintjob round out this adventure-ready package that will get you to the finish line whether you’re lining up for a gran fondo or heading out on a solo vision quest.

-Words by Bicycling.com

Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc

As the model name implies, this bike is designed for the rough roads of cobblestone classics such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The lightweight carbon frame and fork are outfitted with a quartet of Zertz elastomer vibration-damping inserts designed to buffer road chatter without sacrificing efficiency-enhancing stiffness. A Shimano Tiagra build kit and mechanical disc brakes help keep cost down, while still delivering confidence-inspiring braking and gear shifting performance. Axis 2.0 Disc wheels are tubeless compatible, meaning you can run lower tire pressure without fear of pinch flats.

-Words by Bicycling.com

Salsa Marakesh

Tough and dependable, with a lower center of gravity for added stability under weight, the brand-new Salsa Marrakesh is designed to be the ultimate bike for quitting your job and going on an around-the-world bike tour. With three water bottle mounts, a spare spoke mount, a kickstand plate, disc brakes, and room for 40mm tires, this bike is designed to go long and not give out when you’re in the middle of nowhere without a cell signal. Get it in drop bars or flat bars.

-Words by Bicycling.com

Yeti SB5c BETI

Yeti couldn’t really go wrong with its first women’s-specific bike, one of two models in the newly branded ‘Beti’ line. It uses the same frame as the popular SB5c, which is based around the highly efficient Switch Infinity suspension platform. Yeti tweaked some components to better suit smaller riders, choosing a narrower handlebar, a women’s saddle and lighter wheels, and dressed the frame in shiny coral paint inspired by its best-selling Norrie women’s short.

Testers hailed the Beti’s climbing abilities, noting snappiness and speed more akin to a lightning-fast cross-country bike than a 5-inch trail bike. Climbing with the shock open didn’t hold it back, either, and the Beti’s 27.5-inch wheels charged up root sections. Partially because it is so light–the Beti tipped the scales at just over 26 pounds–testers felt it wasn’t as sure-footed on the descents as expected, and one reported that the rear suspension felt harsh in technical terrain. But its seemingly stiff personality quickly grew on us. “It is not the easiest descender, but once used to it, it totally rips,” read one test sheet. With 17.4-inch chainstays, it’s not the poppiest of the bunch, but it feels planted and stable, and the 66.8-degree headtube angle enables both wander-free climbing and steep descending.

-Words by Bike Mag Bible