Best For: Looking as fast as you feel.
The Test: Though it’s a trail bike, with 5.1 inches of travel to swallow up the obstacles and a slack headtube for confidence blasting down rubbly chutes, the carbon Virtue feels faster than that label suggests. It’s partly the spicy styling—“It just looks fast,” one tester noted. It rode fast, too, especially on crisp singletrack and out-of-the-saddle efforts, where the firm rear suspension hooked up to punch the bike forward with every pedal stroke. That stiff feel wasn’t as welcome on more technical trails, though, with several testers complaining that the Virtue lacked plushness. Everyone, however, loved the meaty WTB Wolverine tires, which tore into loose desert sand and loamy mountain trails alike.
The Verdict: Cross-country guys looking for a bit more will love the solid feel and quick steering. 28.5 lbs