Reviews and Awards
iF Design Award
This all-rounder with the extra powerful and silent Bosch mid-mounted motor is ideal for day-to-day trips as well as long distance rides. The motor provides effortless assistance, on both flat and hilly terrain.
The Best Mountain Bikes Under $2,500
*Top Pick and Penny Pincher*
"The Trance 3 is a solid option, especially if you prefer to buy your bikes at actual, real-life brick-and-mortar bike shops. Also especially if you’re a fan of Giant’s Maestro linkage, which has earned its place among the leading dual-link designs of today. The Trance has earned both our Penny Pincher and Top Pick badges, as we struggled to find another bike at this price point with specs to topple the Trance. Most other bikes with a comparable price lacked a dropper or burly suspension, or they were from consumer-direct brands and out of stock until the spring."
"Trek's 130-millimeter-travel Fuel EX chassis can handle just about anything outside of bike parks and full-on downhill tracks. The 29er version of the Fuel EX has been a long favorite of Bike, and the plus-size version is aimed at bringing a capable trail bike to riders who want something that boosts the confidence but doesn’t drain the wallet. The Fuel EX 5 Plus has a fairly base-level build, complete with a Rockshox Recon fork, Deluxe RL shock and a mixed Shimano/SunRace/Race Face 10-speed drivetrain. The Recon fork is bumped up to 140 millimeters of travel from the standard 130 millimeters for the 29er. The Fuel Ex 5 doesn’t come with a dropper post, but the frame is routed for it once you pick one out. The Alex rims laced to Bontrager hubs don’t come set up tubeless, but are compatible if you want to go sans tubes. Even set up with tubes, though, the 2.8-inch Schwalbe Nobby Nics will certainly provide gobs of traction. Out of the box, the Fuel EX 5 that can handle nearly anything you throw at it—but you might just have to stop to lower your seat before the really gnarly stuff."
"In past years, there’s been three levels of aluminum Anthems: 1, 2 and 3. This year, there’s only the top end, Anthem 1, build. While not quite as value-focused as last year’s mid-level builds, the Anthem 1 still offers a serious bang for your buck. For the $3,150 price tag, you get full Fox Performance suspension with a GRIP damper in front, as well as SRAM’s NX Eagle drivetrain and a set of Guide T brakes. A set of Giant’s own hoops come stock (with a 30-millimeter inner width) already set up tubeless on Maxxis High Roller II rubber—a nod toward Giant’s designation of “XC Trail” for the Anthem. Giant’s own dropper post is known for its reliability, as is the super plush Maestro suspension design. All things considered, the Anthem 1 is probably a bike you’ll buy and have no trouble running bare-bones-stock. No upgrades or vicious maintenance cycle required."