BEST FOR: Cheap thrills.
THE TEST: We took to calling this the Captain America for its bold, fun-loving looks. For such an affordable bike, this aluminum hardtail 29er rode heroically, too. It diced up tight singletrack and smoked bikes twice as expensive. The RockShox Recon fork is jouncier and less adjustable than the company’s top offerings, but testers loved the bar-mount lockout control. The fast, low-profile Maxxis Aspen tires were the perfect choice for such a quick steed; it’s always nice to get quality parts like those—and a Crank Brothers seatpost and Formula RX brakes—at this price.
THE VERDICT: Best bike for the money. 25.7 lbs.