BikeRadar’s 2016 Most Wanted Awards are underway. You can cast your votes by clicking here.
Our editors assembled the list of nominees based on the following criteria: bikes with a proven record of success under our own testers; bikes that push the envelope in terms of technology and design for their respective categories; and last but certainly not least, bikes and gear that make us want to get out and ride.
Our team of sprocket junkies may have chosen the contenders, but it’s up to your, our readers, to the make the final verdict on which bikes deserve the title of ‘Most Wanted’.
Let’s take a look at the gravel/adventure bikes that are ready to explore.
According to Cannondale, the Slate is “a full-tilt road bike with legitimate off-road chops. Slate is the bike for cyclists that want to ride roads without having to ‘road ride’.”
With a 30mm travel Lefty fork, fat 42c rubber wrapped around 650b wheels, and a tough aluminum frame from the masters of the material, the Slate is eager to take on the whatever the roads throw your way.
Niner RLT 9
The RLT stands for 'Roads Less Traveled' and that's precisely where Niner's gravel bike shines. Niner's gravel geometry is ready for conquering the zones that fall between tarmac and singletrack.
It's an alloy machine that can run a one-by drivetrain, multi-ring setup, or single speed with Niner's BioCentric eccentric bottom bracket shell. Front and rear thru-axles and disc brakes are ready to play.
U.P. stands for 'Unbeaten Path,' and Open's do-it-all frame is built to take on everything from paved roads to light trails. The rear end accepts 700c x 40mm gravel tires. If the terrain calls for even more cushion, riders can opt for 650b wheels shod in 2.1in (55mm) rubber. Thru-axles front and rear, 15mm and 12mm respectively, are the same standards as its burly mountain bike brethren for easy wheel compatibility.
Ridley developed the X-Trail as a bike that can excel in a variety of conditions. The full carbon frame features thru-axles front and rear, disc brakes, and loads of clearance for wide rubber.
The X-Trail's geometry leans more towards the road side than the cyclocross side, as it's designed to take the place of more than one bike.
Salsa's Cutthroat is designed for riding long distances. Like really, really long, as in this bike was built for the Tour Divide Race across the US.
To handle those big-time goals, it's basically a fully rigid drop bar mountain bike with loads of room in the main triangle for gear bags, and tons of braze ons for attaching racks and cages for water and fuel. The frame features Salsa's Class 5 VRS to quell vibrations and limit fatigue when taking on huge adventures.
So which gravel/adventure bike is your Most Wanted?
To vote, head to our awards page below and select the bikes and products you think deserve the title of 'Most Wanted'.