Men's Journal

Hit the Trails

Tackle any off-road route with these killer climbers.



The Ripmo’s wider gear range lets you tackle steeper climbs than the Fuse can. The standard air shock (shown) absorbs the impact on jumps, without sacrificin­g pedaling efficiency uphill. But for maximum bounce and bigger air over rougher terrain, upgrade to the coil shock. Either way, beefier than normal brake rotors control the momentum. $4,295;

BEST FOR: NEWBIES Specialize­d Fuse 27.5

Those new to riding trails will appreciate the Fuse’s build, which puts your center of gravity farther back for better uphill traction. A Sunrace and Shimano drivetrain, instead of a generic one, and hydraulic disc brakes, rather than mechanical ones, help you ride with confidence, and the 2.8-inch-wide tires create grip for laying into corners. $1,250; specialize­

BEST FOR: EXPERTS Pivot Switchblad­e Team XTR

For seasoned riders who want one bike for the whole mountain, the Switchblad­e lets you roll on 27.5-inch-diameter tires, up to 2.8 inches wide, or 29ers up to 2.6 inches, so you can crush any trail. Fox’s electronic suspension (optional) reacts within 3 millisecon­ds, smoothing out the ride. $8,999; pivotcycle­

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