In the second part of our MBUK Machines blog (read part one here), we introduce the rest of the 2016 long term fleet of Mountain Biking UK, BikeRadar's muck-encrusted sister mag. Some of us are lucky enough to have more than one bike this year, so check out our initial opinions on the rest of the our rides for 2016.
Rob's Cannondale Habit 2
I've ridden a few Cannondales over the years, some good and, well... some not so good. After a couple of rides on the Habit I'm relieved to say that it falls into the former category. In fact, it's bloody ace fun! Coming with a dropper post, the bike bike is ready to help make trails even more flowy. I'm going to have to do some changes to the bike to make it even more grin-inducing than it already is, and I can't wait…
With a Lefty 2.0 up front, RockShox Monarch XX DebonAir with XLoc, Shimano Deore XT 2x11 and tubeless-ready Stan's NoTubes Arch EX rims, the bike is trail ready. It weighs in at 12.88kg (28.4lb) with pedals and Maxxis Shorty tyres.
Alex's Nukeproof Mega 275 Pro
Coming into the new year, it's always a treat to be able to swing your leg over a new bike, and Santa has been exceptionally generous this year. Nukeproof's new Mega 275 Pro is going to be my hardcore steed for 2016, hopefully ready to take a pasting under my clumsy captainship.
Weighing in at 13.21kg (29.12lb) without pedals with a golden platter of components including a RockShox Pike RCT3, Monarch Plus RC3 and SRAM X1 1x11 drivetrain it's ready to smash both climbs and descents!
Jonny's Transition Transam 27.5
I spent the tail end of last summer riding various 'progressive' hardtails on my local trails in Bath and Bristol and was instantly impressed with how capable these modern bikes are. They also showed me that I'd become a bit lazy with my riding style – 650b enduro bikes can hide a multitude of mistakes and bad habits!
The kit all seems pretty competent and I don't see the need to swap anything straight away. I'd like to switch up to a 1x11 transmission from the stock 10-speed setup and maybe try a few different wheelsets to reduce weight, but otherwise I'm over the moon with my long-term bike this year.
JCW's Whyte T-129 S SCR
My year on the amazing Intense Carbine showed me that a well-designed 29er is hard to beat. So what next? We gave Whyte's T-129 Works SCR an almost unheard of five stars when we first swung a leg over it, so the more affordable S model was at the top of my wishlist! With a slack 67 degree head angle and a 1x11 drivetrain, I can't wait to hit the trails!
Matt's Specialized Fatboy Comp Carbon
That's right – another year, another fatbike! The Fatboy is almost a world apart from last year's steel Surly, weighing an impressive 13kg (28.8lb) out of the box! It looks pretty versatile and there's hardly any weight penalty for the fat tyres.
Ben's Scott Genius 720
I'm stoked to have joined the MBUK Wrecking Crew for 2016! My new Genius 720 sits in the middle of the range and is the cheapest carbon-framed model. With a Fox 34 fork, custom Fox nude rear shock and 650b Syncros wheels the bike has go-anywhere ambitions. Adjustable geometry, thanks to a 'flip chip', helps make the bike more versatile, but even in the slacker setting the head angle is a little steep for my tastes, at 67.9 degrees. In the future, I hope to slacken the head angle with a new headset and add some wider bars and a shorter stem.
Get your fix!
If you want to know more about our long term fleet, issue 326 of Mountain Biking UK magazine is on sale in the shops and online now! Every month we give you update on our long term test bikes so you know what's rad and what's bad. In order to never miss an issue of MBUK you can subscribe here or download our digital edition from Apple Newsstand or Google Play. You can check out a free taster of the mag here.