12 new mountain bikes we want to see in 2023 | Our wishlist for YT, Specialized, Santa Cruz and more

These are the bikes we want – or expect – to see launched this year

Jess Blewitt riding the 2023 GT Fury at the Red Bull Fox Hunt

With 2023 beginning to gather pace, there’s surely no shortage of new mountain bike releases on the horizon.


Indeed, last year brought us a wave of new rides to froth over, from enduro bikes with integrated shocks to bespoke high-pivot frames.

But the bike industry never slows down and we think this year is going to be even more exciting.

Here are 12 new mountain bikes we want to see in 2023, covering machines we expect to see – including prototypes from GT, Specialized and Nukeproof already spotted – and bikes we’re simply hoping for.

YT Decoy

The YT Decoy has been iteratively updated since its 2019 launch, but a more significant overhaul is due.
Andy Lloyd / Out Media

Launched in spring 2019 as YT’s first foray into the electric mountain bike market, the YT Decoy remains the only eMTB offering in the German brand’s stable.

Offered as a full 29er and a mullet bike, the arrival of the existing Decoy preceded Shimano’s current EP8 motor and came specced with the older STEPS E8000 motor and a proprietary 540Wh battery.

In 2021, the Decoy was treated to a spec upgrade starring the improved EP8 motor, while, more recently, YT launched a larger-capacity 720Wh battery for all Decoy models. However, due to the size of the battery, this update works only with size-medium frames or larger.

Is it time for a more meaningful update, then? The Decoy’s geometry is looking somewhat outdated four years after its launch. We’d love to see a new model with updated geometry, featuring the 720Wh battery across all sizes and the value for money YT has become renowned for.

Specialized Turbo Levo SL

The Specialized Levo SL helped redefine the electric mountain bike, but MTB tech waits for no rider and things have moved on considerably since its 2020 launch.
Etienne Schoeman

Going some way to redefining the eMTB market, the Specialized Turbo Levo SL was first launched in early 2020. Weighing just 16.9kg in its lightest configuration (S-Works model, size small), this lightweight motor-assisted machine changed the game, shaving around 4kg compared to Specialized’s standard Turbo Levo.

In the three years since then, a lot has changed. Compared to the recent crop of lightweight ebikes, such as the Trek Fuel EXe, Transition Relay and Pivot Shuttle SL, the Specialized falls a little short of the mark, with outdated geometry and just 35Nm of torque (compared to Fazua’s Ride 60 motor with 60Nm or TQ’s 50Nm offering).

We’d like to see the next Turbo Levo SL packing more torque and more adjustable geometry, enabling it to thrive on a wider range of trails.

Focus SAM²

There’s a question mark over the future of the SAM² after Focus stopped production of its non-electric counterpart.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media

The Focus SAM² is the German brand’s enduro eMTB. Last updated in 2020, it still comes specced with Bosch’s lowest-spec 625Wh battery and Purion display, which omits Bluetooth connectivity and other smart features found on the latest crop of ebikes.

Having recently updated a host of bikes in the Focus portfolio, including the JAM² electric trail bike, the SAM² should be the obvious next choice for a revamp. However, it’s uncertain if we will see the return of this enduro eMTB after Focus stopped production of its non-electric counterpart.

It’s hard to predict what Focus has planned for the SAM², but we hope to see the next generation specced with an up-to-date motor and battery combination, future-proof geometry and geo-adjust features to bring it up to date with the rest of the Focus range.

Scott Ransom

Will a new Scott Ransom feature a hidden shock, as pictured here on the updated Scott Genius?
Daniel Geiger / Scott

Last updated in 2018, the Scott Ransom is a 170mm-travel big hitter.

At present, the Ransom rolls on 29in wheels as standard, however, a flip chip in the frame enables you to swap out the rear wheel for a smaller 650b option if desired. While that all sounds quite on-trend, its geometry, especially the 75-degree seat tube angle, is a little conservative by today’s standards.

After acquiring Bold Cycles in 2021, famous for its futuristic-looking mountain bikes, Scott has gradually revamped its full-suspension MTB line-up to feature sleek, integrated shock technology. Seen on the latest Genius and Spark models, we think Scott may have similar plans for the updated Ransom.

Only time will tell.

Specialized Enduro

We want adjustable geometry and a mullet option for the new Specialized Enduro.
Dan Milner/MBUK

When it was last updated back in 2019, the Specialized Enduro made a big jump from its predecessor, with a new suspension layout and geometry.

Rolling on full 29in wheels and sporting 170mm of suspension travel front and rear, the Enduro also features Specialized’s SWAT integrated frame storage.

While its geometry is still on point for enduro racing, the Specialized Enduro lacks adjustability. We’d love to see the next generation of Enduro take inspiration from Specialized’s current Stumpjumper Evo and Turbo Kenevo SL models, offering on-the-fly geometry adjustment.

A mullet option also wouldn’t go amiss and is certain to please smaller enduro riders looking for a bit more backside-to-rear-wheel clearance.

Santa Cruz V10

The Santa Cruz V10 is ridden by Greg Minnaar and a new version is being put through its paces by the brand’s sponsored riders.
Jack Tennyson / Our Media

Santa Cruz has been busy this off-season, building up test mules of its V10 downhill bike for its riders to decide between the tried and tested VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) suspension design and the new high-pivot trend.

After extensive testing, it sounds as if the Californian brand is sticking to its guns with a modified VPP suspension design for the eighth iteration of the World Championship-winning V10.

Santa Cruz has revealed some details of the eighth-generation V10 on its website, but we’ll have to wait and see how fast it is out on the track.

GT Fury

The new GT Fury has already been spotted out in the wild. Here’s Jess Blewitt at the 2023 Red Bull Fox Hunt in Wanaka, New Zealand.
Henry Jaine / Red Bull Content Pool

The last time we saw the GT Fury downhill bike updated was in 2018, so it’s no surprise GT’s factory racers were spotted riding prototype rigs at last year’s downhill World Cup races.

The new prototype Fury looks quite different from the current model. Although it still uses a high-pivot suspension design, the pivot and idler look to have been moved down, sitting closer to the chainring and bottom bracket than previously.

The prototype Fury also has a new suspension layout, with the rocker link housed inside a split seat tube.

Judging by its carbon frame and extensive World Cup testing throughout last year, the prototype is likely almost ready for production.

We’re excited to see the finished product, but hope to see some more sizing options, because the current Fury is only available in sizes small to large.

Specialized Demo

Finn Iles took his first elite World Cup win on an unreleased Specialized Demo, with the suspension covered up.
Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

2022 saw Specialized Gravity’s Finn Iles take his first elite World Cup win onboard a prototype Specialized Demo downhill bike.

Due to a neoprene frame cover, the prototype’s suspension design is completely open to speculation, although it looks unlikely to be a high-pivot system. However, we were able to see that the frame itself was made out of carbon tubes joined by metal lugs, a design similar to that of Atherton Bikes.

Will we see a new production Demo in time for the 2023 downhill World Cup season and will it use the tube and lug design spotted on the prototype?

Nukeproof Dissent

Ronan Dunne has been spotted riding a new Nukeproof Dissent (rear of photo).
Nathan Hughes / Red Bull Content Pool

It’s no secret that UK cult brand Nukeproof has a new Dissent downhill bike in the works.

The current Dissent was launched in 2019 and helped inspire the long-travel Giga enduro bike. Now it looks as though the tables have turned, with the new prototype taking inspiration from the successful Giga platform.

The prototype Dissent has already seen a fair share of success, landing a spot on the World Cup podium under the young Irish ripper Ronan Dunne and taking the win at a very wet Crankworx Rotorua downhill piloted by Louise Ferguson.

YT Jeffsy

The Jeffsy is YT’s do-it-all bike. Will this 2019 release get a revamp in 2023?
Steve Behr / Immediate Media

As with the Decoy eMTB, YT’s Jeffsy trail bike has also been on the market since 2019. At the time, YT was almost ahead of the game with the Jeffsy’s geometry, meaning it’s still very much on trend with the best trail bikes today.

However, after a four-year product cycle, we’d like to see the Jeffsy updated in 2023 to feature integrated frame storage and capacity for a larger, aftermarket water bottle.

Currently available as a full 29er and 650b configuration, we might also see YT drop the small-wheeled Jeffsy in favour of a mixed-wheel mullet version.

GT Force

Could GT drop the Force’s high-pivot idler?
Russ Burton / Our Media

Despite being treated to a high-pivot suspension design in 2021, GT Factory Racing riders Ethan Craik and Wyn Masters have been spotted riding a GT Force enduro bike with a regular drivetrain setup.

This suggests GT may have a new Force up its sleeve, binning the high-pivot idler and resorting back to a conventional chain line.

High-pivot designs can make for a beautifully cushioned ride feel. However, the design can also negatively impact pedalling performance, which is crucial on a modern enduro bike.

Could we see GT reverting back to a traditional chain line in 2023 for better all-round performance?

Nukeproof Reactor

We want Nukeproof to reimagine the Reactor so it’s a better fit for the trail category.
Russell Burton / Our Media

Released in 2019 as the brand’s aggressive trail bike, the Nukeproof Reactor is so capable it almost treads on the toes of the Nukeproof Mega, bridging the gap between trail and enduro bikes.

The build reflects this, with some models coming specced with Fox 36 or RockShox Lyrik forks, which are arguably overkill on a 130mm-travel trail bike.

The Reactor’s geometry is also a little outdated in the current trail bike market, especially the 75-degree effective seat tube angle.


We would love to see a Reactor with revised geometry, namely a steeper seat tube angle, and a build that helps it find its feet in the trail bike category.