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2017 Buyers Guide MTB Edition: Ready to Shred It?

By Christopher Ashley

Now that spring is here and the ground is beginning to soften, what better way there is to enjoy the blooming flowers of the season than by tearing through a patch on a brand-new mountain bike?

Ellsworth Rogue Forty

This fattish full-suspension carbon road bike looks hideous or beautiful, as if someone’s captured the cycling essence of Marmite. But most importantly, the longer reach and shorter stays will improve handling for the larger gentleman.

The bike comes Di2 ready, so keep a lookout for a wide range of specifications from different retailers throughout 2017 – the frame comes with an “e-Den” storage area in the downtube for any batteries and junctions. Rogue Forty is future-proof.

Norco Ithaqua 6.2

When I visited Toronto a few years back, I was so impressed with Norco I bought one when I returned to the UK. I’m not even a fan of fat bikes but I’m seriously tempted to get the Ithaqua 6.2.

Each time I’m asked to put a list together I like to sneak in at least one good looking bike and this is the one. The lines of the beautifully sculpted carbon frame are uninterrupted by unnecessary distractions like front or rear suspension, the cables routed out of sight. This bike is the consummate cruiser.

Yeti SB5 Beti

More astute cyclists know that female friendly MTBs are simply smaller, stronger MTBs. Consider the 2017 Beti – the gusset connecting the top tube to the seat tube is gone and the cranks are shorter, both of which offset the additional weight from the sturdier carbon fibre frame.

Women will be more than happy with this model, but I think lighter framed, modestly statured men should give the Beti a spin – you’d be surprised how quickly it climbs.

Surly Karate Monkey 27.5+

In a bike with no suspension, front or rear, no electronic gadgetry, minimal gearing, what exactly are you paying a premium for? Well, for Surly and not only because they’ve introduced “Gnot-Boost” rear drop outs at 145mm.

Before you yell “but I just got used to 148mm!!” remember the Karate Monkey is made from the amazing material called STEEL. Any half decent bike mechanic can stretch the drop outs to accommodate a slightly larger hub or give them a pinch to fit the standard 142mm. Surly are many things, but they ain’t stupid. This bike is a great investment.

Canyon Sender CF 9.0

Canyon live up to every cliché you’ve heard about German engineering. For a start, they don’t trust 3rd parties to build adequate accessories so the CF 9.0 comes with its own rear fender to protect the rear shocks and linkage. That’s a statement of intent.

The CF 9.0 has a reputation of being fun to ride although it’s not always immediately apparent why. Maybe it’s how quiet it is – after all, the rattle of internal cables is silenced by foam cushions. Maybe it’s the triple-phase-suspension. Maybe it’s the fact that it comes with Renthal stem and bar straight out the box. Maybe I can afford another bike…