Hubba hubba x 6
We hunted down and shot (with a video camera) six of the hottest and most exciting mountain bikes due to hit us in 2018. Enjoy these stunners!
1. Orange Stage 4
The latest addition to the Orange range is the Stage Four.
It’s billed as the replacement for the longstanding Orange Segment, but it is still rolling on 29in wheels and it still has 110mm of travel. So what’s changed? Well it features all of metallurgical magic found on the other Orange Stage bikes, including an open swingarm design with boost dropouts.
The Stage 4 is also the first Orange to get a Metric size shock… this combined with the new pivot and shock location will bring more progression to the rear suspension.
2. Transition Sentinel
Fork offset is the latest talking point in bike geometry and Transition is one of the first brands to really spell it out.
SBG stands for Speed Balanced Geometry and it uses a reduced offset fork, combined with slacker head angle, steeper seat angle and longer top tube to improve the fit and handling.
There are three bikes in the 2018 Transition range sporting SBG, the newest of which is the Transition Sentinel.
It’s a 140mm travel 29er with geometry that’s been designed around a 160mm travel suspension fork. The frame also has a revised seat tube layout so it can accommodate the latest crop of 170mm dropper posts.
3. Pivot Shuttle
There’s a raft of new ebikes for 2018, but the Pivot Shuttle stands out because at 44lbs, it’s one of the lightest Emtb trail bikes on the market.
Built around Shimano’s popular Steps E8000 motor, the Shuttle has a private uplift built in to the full carbon frame.
The battery is concealed neatly within the down tube and like every other Pivot suspension bike the Shuttle employs a DW-Link design… where the two short links combine with the latest Fox Float DPX shock to pump out 140mm travel.
A Fox 36 fork takes care of the front end and with 10mm more travel than the rear, the new Pivot Shuttle should blast the descents just as quickly as it boosts the climbs.
4. Merida One Forty
If the new Merida One Forty looks familiar, it’s because it shares a lot of the same frame tech as Merida’s test winning One Sixty enduro bike.
The floating metric shock pumps out 140mm of travel, and you can see from the new frame layout that the geometry has been revised to bring the Merida in line with modern trail riding standards.
5. Intense P2 29
The race within downhill racing to produce a 29er DH bike really gained pace this year… as Fox and RockShox brought 29er forks on line.
And while Santa Cruz and Trek have been modifying existing bikes for their race teams, Intense has been welding up bespoke prototypes in its manufacturing facility in California.
And while that’s nothing new for Intense, it had a 29er DH bike almost a decade ago, the P2 brings a production Intense 29 DH bike one step closer to reality.
6. Marin B17 Two
When we put together our 2017 Trail Bike of the Year test… we struggled to find four trail bikes with Plus size tyres.
But fat tyres are slowly starting to gain traction and the new B17 from Marin is one bike that is taking advantage of the extra grip wider tyres afford.
It’s also taking advantage of the new metric size shock to deliver 120mm of travel via Marin’s Multi Trac suspension design.
With three models in the B17 range and prices starting at £1,795 for the entry-level bike, Marin is well placed to bring plus size tyres to all trail riders.