The 2018 Outside magazine Bike Test is a wrap, and it unfolded like the nine before it that I’ve run: tons of outstanding bikes (50 to be exact), a scrum of psyched and capable testers from South Dakota to Germany; two weeks of heavy riding, spinning bike after bike on test laps; and long days marked by bracing coffee before dawn and bourbon-fueled debates over gear and politics into the wee hours.
This year we returned to Tucson, Arizona, where I launched the test in 2005. It was good to be home. If there’s a better town in the U.S. for cyclists to winter, I don’t know it. From road riding on Mt. Lemmon to a network of mountain bike trails that spiderweb the edges of town, Tucson offers so much breadth and depth of riding that we barely even scratched the surface. Even still, it was diverse and plenty enough to put the bikes through the proverbial ringer. And on the other end, in a few short months, we’ll release our best-of bikes picks for 2018.
In the meantime, a few great memories from the test.