The Singletrack Staffers pick the standout products and locations from their riding year. This article was originally published in Singletrack Magazine Issue 140.
The year has felt a little like approaching that nemesis feature on the trail: you roll up to it full of optimism, then at the last minute pull on the brakes in an attack of ‘nope’. Whether it was a ping that put paid to yet another plan, or a shipping container that didn’t arrive as expected (by now, perhaps, that should be ‘as expected, a shipping container didn’t arrive’), we had plenty of interruptions along the way. However, our northern hills had an unusually dry summer, so we managed a decent spell of short-sleeved riding on our doorstep, and there were a few chances to get further afield that we grasped and enjoyed. Like that trail feature, once we cleared it, the elation at meeting friends, riding new trails and generally enjoying bikes was all the sweeter.
Andi – Tech Editor
Another crazy year, but not quite as crazy as the last. It has been a challenge to get in test products, thanks to the ongoing cycling boom, but it has been awesome to see more riders on the trails. This year I also discovered gravel riding, which much to my surprise, is a hell of a lot of fun!
Nukeproof Giga Elite
If you follow me at all then you’ll know that I spent much of the year on a YT Izzo, and have now switched to a Santa Cruz Tallboy. Both of these bikes have been amazing as they climb really well and descend far better than a short travel bike really has the right to be able to, but the Giga almost changed all that.
To be totally transparent, I offered to purchase the Nukeproof Giga after reviewing it. Yes, that’s just how good that bike is, but I was able to keep it for a long-term review and it was eventually bought by someone else. If I ever have a big travel fork going spare though, I’ll certainly be hitting the ‘buy now’ button.
Why is it so good? Well, firstly because a 170mm travel Super Enduro bike shouldn’t really climb as well as the Giga does. It’s not Tallboy fast, but it isn’t Commencal Meta 29 slow either. For a big burly bike, it ticks off climbs with ease. Then when you do hit the top, you have a whole 170mm of front and rear travel to enjoy on the way back down again! It’s just so much fun. Nukeproof managed to make this big travel bike fun, lively and engaging – it’s a bike you ride, not something that takes you for a ride.
Read Andi’s First Look here:
And read the full review in Singletrack Issue 136:
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