June 2017 Update
The Santa Cruz Nomad and Ibis Mojo HD are completely redesigned for 2018, both get burlier. The Nomad shifts from the downhill focused V3 frame to the downhill obsessed V4. The trail-ish Mojo HD line takes a bigger step into enduro territory with the HD4. There are some 2017 tweaks for the other bikes as well. Check out the individual reviews for details.
Best All-Mountain Enduro Bike
Yeti SB5.5C 2016
at Competitive Cyclist
Fastest enduro bike uphill and down
Rolls over everything
Unmatched all-mountain performance
Not our favorite for big technical descents
Not very flickable
The Yeti SB5.5c
is an excellent light to mid-duty enduro rig that is also happy performing trail riding tasks. This turquoise trail charger won our benchmark timed testing for both climbing and descending. Don't let the 140mm of rear wheel travel fool you, when paired with 29-inch wheels and a burly 160mm Fox 36 fork, it is capable of attacking nasty terrain with confidence. The SB5.5c
feels better the harder your push it. Climbing is reliable and predictable. While you can feel this bike's heft motoring up smooth and buff singletrack, it performs very well when the going gets rough. The Yeti
certainly fits the bill of an excellent quiver-killer that is comfortable anywhere you take it. We tested the 2017 TURQ carbon version with a SRAM Eagle drivetrain in our Trail Bike Review. It won that too. The 2018 Yeti SB5.5 TURQ X01 Eagle
remains unchanged save for the addition of the impressive Fox Transfer dropper post to replace the RaceFace Turbine found on the 2017 model.
Read full review: Yeti SB5.5c 2016
Best Downhill Enduro Bike
Santa Cruz Nomad 2016
A super stable descender
Playful at speed handling
Best rear suspension in the test
The fork is more adequate than amazing
The Santa Cruz Nomad
is a hard charging, long travel bike that prefers to live its life at speed. With a slack 65-degree head angle, bottom bracket, and 165mm of rear wheel travel, the Nomad
feels better the harder you push it. This bike likes to get rowdy and has no qualms with taking the airborne route over rock gardens or off of outcroppings. Make no mistake, this rig does not climb like a cross-country bike, but climbing is respectable for a bike with 165mm of squish. The low bottom bracket doesn't do you any favors when navigating up bony terrain and can result in jarring pedal strikes. Enduro racing, bike park, or burly quiver killer, the Nomad is up for it. The Nomad
has been redesigned for 2018 and has been dubbed Nomad V4
This bike has more travel, a redesigned suspension linkage, and can stretch out with 64.6-degree head tube angle. In other words, a whole lot has changed. It is important not to apply too much focus on our 2016 Nomad
review when considering the purchase of a 2018 version as frame designs are substantially different.
Read full review: Santa Cruz Nomad
The Santa Cruz Nomad, Pivot Mach 6, Ibis Mojo HD3, Yeti SB 5.5c and Specialized Enduro Expert are five top enduro mountain bikes in the world. We put them through the most extensive testing and rating process ever completed to find out which are the best of the best.
2016 Analysis and Test Results
We invested nearly two years, engaged a team of 20, rode thousands of trail miles, and bought 16 cutting edge enduro bikes — all to create the most exhaustive mountain bike review process ever. We spent a year in R&D, working out our testing process. We started in April of 2015 with 11 of the most highly regarded enduro mountain bikes in the world. A team of consultants rallied them across the Sierra Nevada for a year while working to dial in specific testing and analysis procedures. In April of 2016, we put the resulting test plan to work with four testers and five brand new 2016 model bikes: the Yeti SB5.5c
, Santa Cruz Nomad
, Ibis Mojo HD3
, Specialized Enduro Expert
and the Pivot Mach 6
. We summarize results in the table below.