Video: 7 Enduro Bikes Assembled and Reviewed – Field Test Roundtable
Round table on enduro bikes
Contra MC vs. Claymore vs. Tracer S vs. Meta SX vs. Patrol vs. La Sal Peak vs. Megatower
This time around we traveled to the Pacific Northwest to test a group of enduro bikes in their element: rain, hills and seemingly endless wet roots awaited this eclectic mix of bikes. With a mix of 29″ and mixed wheel setups, some tall pivots, and 160mm to 170mm of rear travel, these bikes have everything it takes to turn in fast times on the enduro track, but this In this video, we discuss our ups and downs, which components make or break bikes, and which ones we would like to have as our own.
Looking at the selection, the obvious standout is the Contra MC, with its big, shiny idler pulley, gorgeous paint job, and sleek tubing. We found it to be a very goal-oriented machine: the weight capacity and ground contact made it a handful in twisty terrain, but when pointed in steep terrain and rugged, she truly lived up to her “MC” (magic carpet) moniker. The bike is a stunner.
The Deviate Claymore is another one that caught our attention. While the Contra MC makes the high steerer out of steel, the Claymore opts for carbon fiber and has a totally different personality. It’s less of a monster truck and more of a rally car, and what it loses in bump absorption to the Contra is gained in pop and versatility. We all agreed that Deviate struck gold on this one.
We also tried three mule setups, with the Commencal Meta SX, Transition Patrol Carbon and Intense Tracer all offering very different rides from each other, but with a small rear wheel in common. We will also discuss how these compare to 29er double bikes.
And what about the classics? We also tried two 29″ carbon enduro bikes without high steerers. While that description sounds pretty vanilla by today’s standards, these two were anything but boring. The Fezzari La Sal Peak came with a splash of purple, a great spec and perhaps the most versatility of the bunch, while the Santa Cruz Megatower won a frame storage box and an astronomical price tag to go with it.
Each of these seven bikes brought their own strengths and weaknesses to the table, and we put them to the test with all the shuttle rides, massive pedal days, torrential rains and raving laughs we could handle.
Watch the roundtable video to learn more about our impressions of this heavyweight group.