This week, on the unseasonably dry slopes of Park City, Utah, two dozen bike manufacturers rolled out their 2013 product lines to a handful of journalists. The biggest talk in bikes was of 650B, the (re)new(ed) ‘tweener wheel size—it’s approximately halfway between a 26 and a 29—that’s set to flood the mountain bike market this year. There was also lots of excitement about disc brakes for road and cross, as well as a renaissance in steel and titanium bikes. Here, we present the five most interesting bikes we saw this week; we’ll be getting them for comprehensive testing in the coming months. Stay tuned for Episode 2’s roundup of compelling soft goods, electronics, and gadgets.
1. TURNER BURNER
Though it looks like both the Five Spot and the Sultan (respectively the Murrieta, California, bike manufacturer’s 140mm 26- and 29-inch bikes), the Burner sits right in between with 650B-size wheels. The new size, which is actually an old French standard that is now making a resurgence, is touted as being as quick and snappy as smaller wheels but still having the momentum and rolling benefits of bigger ones. We absolutely loved the Turner Sultan we tested last year. But we have to admit that where it felt a bit portly on steep climbs and a touch ponderous in tight turns, the Burner seemed peppy all around. It’s the vanguard of a whole fleet of 650B bikes and related products rolling out next year.