Mountain Bike “Best Of” List Misleading To Potential Buyers

Singletracks, a mountain biking website, published a list of their “Best 2019 Trail Bikes.” I’ve always taken issue with this type of editorial for a lot of reasons.

IT’S ONLY NOVEMBER: How can anyone name the “best” of 2019 when all the 2019 models have yet to be released? So right off, “The Best 2019 Trail Bikes We’ve Ridden So Far” or “What We Guess Will Be The Best 2019 Trail Bikes” are both more accurate titles for the piece.

YOU DON’T WANT FIRST-EVER TECHNOLOGY: One of the six “Best Bikes” of 2019 uses a new suspension design and the article claims it is the first trail bike to ever do so. I would never recommend a friend to purchase any mountain bike the first year it uses a totally new design (or a highly redesigned technology). Why? I expect a new mountain bike to last me 5 years or longer (website and magazine staff get new bikes every month). New designs (like the Esker Elkat) are refined and dialed-in over subsequent model years. Jump on the bandwagon quickly and you may end up with an awesome bike. You might also get a bike with teething problems that you need to live with for the next five years (or sell at a substantial mark-down). Wait for version 2.0 and certainly don’t put that bike on your “Best-Bikes” list.

SOME MISSING BIG NAMES: Singletracks’ “Best 2019 Trail Bikes” article does not include a single entry from Pivot, Ibis, Kona, Trek or Giant? It is crazy to assume that none of these brands make a better bike than the six listed in the story.

This may indeed end up being the best trail bike of 2019. It is still a stretch to proclaim that in November of 2018.

If Singletracks’ goal is to generate clicks, I suppose the article’s title is pretty luring. If your goal is to assist riders looking for guidance, a better title would have been, “Six Trail Bikes That Look Pretty.”

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