Turner Sultan

How’d we pick 'em? Our primary evaluation process took place over seven days in January on the trails and back roads outside Tucson, Arizona. We spent three days on mountain bikes on the rugged and rocky singletrack at

Turner Sultan

Best For: True 29er believers. 

The Test: While other brands have just recently jumped on the big-travel 29er trend, this Murrieta, California, boutique shop has been making the aluminum 4.7-inch Sultan for years. The bike is better than ever for 2012, with an oversize headtube for razor-sharp steering, slacker angles and standard through-axles front and rear for stabler descending, and the burly but plush Fox 34 Float fork. Built around the ultra-efficient DW-Link rear suspension, the bike flew up techy rock gardens—surprising for a ride with this much travel (and heft). Even so, testers liked the substantial feel when scampering over loose ledge drops and down rubble-filled gullies. 

The Verdict: There was no terrain the Sultan didn’t rule. 28.7 lbs

Brand: Turner Bicycles $5,995
From Outside Magazine, May 2012 Get the Latest Issue