"Less travel would make it a little faster," remarked one tester, "but that's not the point of this bike." He's right: The point is a 5.5-inch-travel bike that can actually be ridden up the mountain. Testers were quick to praise the Altitude's climbing prowess, due in large part to a steep seat angle that delivers more of a cross-country, rider-forward position for efficient pedaling. Of course, when it comes to technical descending, the farther back the better, and some testers did knock the Altitude's "jittery" downhill handling relative to similar bikes. $3,999; 28.0 lbs (18"); bikes.com
What You Missed
Our most important headlines, sent to you every weekday.