Four Mountain Bikes for Fall Shredding
From mullets to hardtails, a rig for everyone
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Every year we test tens of mountain bikes to determine what will make it into our Summer Gear Guide, but we only have limited room for what we include in that magazine. And every year there are just more and more good bikes on the market. Here are four of our favorites from testing that just fell short of making the cut.
Santa Cruz Bronson ($9,849 as tested)
Mullet mountain bikes are gaining popularity for the rollover ability of their 29-inch front wheels and nimble 27.5 inch rear wheels. In the past, testers felt that many such models were uneven attempts to hop on a trend, but not the Bronson. Sporting 160 millimeters of front and 150 millimeters of rear travel, this playful steed feels capable without being unwieldy. The larger front wheel provides confidence while cornering and easily maneuvers over rocks, while the rear wheel slides effortlessly through tight switchbacks and keeps up during sprints out of turns or on techy climbs. Dialed geometry, refined suspension, and carving competence through berms are all hallmarks of a top-notch mullet.
Polygon Siskiu T7 ($1,999)
If you can find a wellequipped, full-suspension mountain bike for $2,000, it likely has outdated geometry that hinders beginners honing their skills. Polygon is changing that with outstanding value and progressive frame design. The Siskiu T7 is a modern 29er (we tested the medium, which is also available with 27.5-inch tires) with astounding ride quality: it climbs, corners, and descends with poise. The RockShox suspension has 140 millimeters of front travel and 135 millimeters of rear travel at this size. The 1×12 Shimano Deore drivetrain fires off precise shifting just as capably as its more expensive groups. Aside from a few extra pounds, the Siskiu T7 can hold its own against any carbon wonderbike.
Scor 4060 LT GX ($6,599)
Scor was founded by a team of engineers and product managers from the Swiss brand BMC—a high-performance road and cross-country company— to develop lively, long-travel trail and enduro bikes. The 4060 is a fantastic first offering. Even with 170 millimeters of front travel, it climbs efficiently—but the real fun is on the descent. The lengthy front center and slack 63.8-degree headtube angle goaded us into riding faster and cornering harder. Plus, the full-carbon frame is loaded with rider-focused features, like a small cargo box integrated into the armored down tube with a spare derailleur hanger.
Trek Roscoe 9 ($2,729)
The Roscoe is one of the best hardtails we’ve ridden. Its slack 65-degree headtube angle, paired with a 140 millimeter Fox 36 fork, makes quick work of rock gardens, while 29-by-2.6-inch tires afford excellent grip. Most long-travel hardtails hold only one water bottle in the front triangle, so we appreciated that two can be accommodated here. We also found the Roscoe to be a solid bikepacking option: the aluminum frame is light yet sturdy, and powerful four-piston brakes provide ample stopping power—even with several days’ worth of gear on board. If you’re looking for a fun, well-equipped, low-maintenance, versatile bike, this is it.