Rock Steady

This year’s trail bikes are lighter and more forgiving than ever. We tested the best.

    Photo: Mark Weins

Giant Trance X0 PERFECT FOR: Downhillers searching for a top-tier trail cruiser at a mid-tier price. WHY IT’S COOL: Giant is synonymous with value, and the five-inch-travel Trance X0 reinforces the image, with a complete XT/XTR drivetrain, feathery but tough Mavic CrossMax ST wheels, and a Fox 32 F120 RL fork and Float RP23 shock. Though it’s plenty light for a trail rig, this bike is built for descents, where the snappy aluminum frame and slack geometry make rock gardens feel like nothing. BEFORE YOU BUY: Make sure you like the upright position, which can feel precarious on the climbs. $3,700; 26.8 lbs (18"); giant-bicycles.com

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