Top 3 Race-Ready Mountain Bikes for 2017

 

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Posted September 10, 2016 by

Our team gathered up some impressive race-ready mountain bikes and put them through their paces – through some rough terrain and down the single-tracks, to find the top 3 most capable race-ready mountain bikes for 2017.

When looking for a race-ready bike, the term race-ready can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. To us at ProMountainBiker.com, race-ready basically means a bike that can stand up to the rigour of true mountain bike racing, and will come through 50km to 100km events with aplomb. The bikes need to be agile yet tough, in fact any bike that suggests it is race-ready needs to ensure its tough enough to last for a day’s racing, and can also withstand the strains from a multi-day mountain biking event.

So, in no particular order, the best race-ready mountain bikes for 2017…

 

Merida Big Nine 500 Mountain Bike

Merida’s marketing department must have been on holiday when this bike was rolled off the production line – it really does not look visually appealing at all. In fact, its pretty non-descript as a mountain bike in the visual appeal stakes.
Merida Big Nine 500 Review

However, the bike certainly does not disappoint when it comes to performance, so you could forgive the dull looks if all you are after is a bike with solid all-round performance and are not too concerned about visual aesthetics. The Merida Big Nine 500 is a 29er hardtail mountain bike designed for cross country mountain biking. Weighing in at just under 13kg, the Merida is certainly one of the lightest bikes on the market, and coupled with its great specification list, makes it a great choice for a race-ready bike.

Thankfully, the Merida has some form of striking visual appeal coming from the 29″x2.2″ MAXXIS IKON tires and the rims accentuated by a red-swish on an otherwise black canvas. The Merida Big Nine 500 component specification is certainly best in class – with a Shimano 3×10 drivetrain offering a wide selection of gears, making it a bike suited to riders looking for increased range. Deore shifters with an SLX mech rear are somewhat let down by the Octalink BB and non-series crankset though.

Merida makes bikes that handle anything the mountain throws at them
Lightweight yet well-specced offering

Merida 500 Series

The Merida Big Nine 500 is a great bike if you enjoy fast and flowing trails, with the 29 inch wheels allowing you to easily cruise over small obstacles and light terrain with minimal loss of speed and momentum. The 500 series is aimed at the off road user who is just starting out and includes a triple butted alloy, providing lighter, stronger frames.
PROS
  • Maxxis Ikon 29er 2.2 tires – providing a plush ride
  • Lightweight – overall bike weighs in at just under 13kg
CONS
  • The black version of the bike is a little dull from a visual point of view – but Merida have introduced a striking Yellow version in certain markets

 

 

Titan 29er ELITE Mountain Bike

Looking to break away from the pack – then the Titan 29er Elite is a capable package that seems to urge you to go out and ride. The Titan 29er ELITE features Titan’s new hydroformed lightweight aluminum frame, that makes the bike quick in and out of the turns, and it just screams that it is race-ready.
Titan 29er Elite Review

Weighing in at just over 13kg, in fact at 13,6kg, the Titan is heavier than the Merida, but the bike comes with a full Shimano drivetrain, Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance Wire 29″ X 2.25″ tires and Selle Royal grips. The Titan comes with a 2×10 configuration, which is better suited to fitter riders and gives no bail-outs on the climbs, whilst the Rockshox adjustable air fork is the chosen piece of equipment for those breakneck speed descents

Overall, the Titan 29er ELITE is a balanced mountain bike, with its bullet proof Shimano SLX groupset promising those lightning quick shifts and thunderous stops. Its a bike that will give you a lifetime of happy cycling and a bike that will not only get you anywhere, but always get you home.

Full Shimano drivetrain for smooth transmission
2×10 configuration for fitter riders

Bullet proof Shimano SLX groupset

The Shimano SLX groupset achieves an unrivalled level of high performance, efficiency, durability and value, letting you focus on what matters, getting maximum fun and enjoyment out of your rides.
PROS
  • Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29″ x 2.25″ tires provide reliable control
  • Bulletproof Shimano SLX groupset
CONS
  • Slightly heavier than the Merida Big Nine 500

 

 

Scott Aspect 910 Mountain Bike

The SCOTT Aspect 910 is a mountain hardtail that is designed to be light, efficient and reasonably priced. Scott designed the bike to offer aspiring racers a competent race-ready bike capable of standing up to the demands of numerous mountain bike races. The Scott Aspect 910 also won’t break the bank – its not the cheapest bike of the top 3 race-ready bikes, but it’s also not Scott’s premium hardtail bike, namely the Scott SCALE.
Scott Aspect 910 Review

The Scott Aspect 910 also offers a 3x crankset, yet it does not offer the same crispness of transmission as the Titan 29er.

The Scott 910 Aspect comes specced with Shimano Rapid Fire Deore shifters, but once again, the Scott designers have really come to the fore with the design aesthetics. The Scott 910 Aspect also features a wide Syncros M3.0 720mm handlebar which can make a significant difference to the bike’s trail handling. The wider handlebars are a personal preference, so some might like them, whilst others may not.

Racy looking race-ready mountain bike
Wide handlebar for handling any rough terrain

Scott 910 Aspect – superb handling in the rough

A solid contender in the top 3 race ready bikes – the Scott 910 Aspect features mid-range components at the higher end of the budget.
PROS
  • Striking design and aesthetic appeal
  • Syncros M3.0 – 720mm wide handlebars
CONS
  • Slightly lower specced components for this price level

 

 

 

Top Race
Ready Bikes
  •  
  •    Bike Weight
  •    Frame
  •    Fork
  •    Rims
  •    Tires
  •    Shifters
  •    Crankset
  •    Saddle
  • MERIDA BIG NINE 500
  • 12.95 kg
  • Alloy
  • RockShox XC30, 30mm
  • Merida Big Nine Comp D
  • Maxxis Ikon 29×2.2″
  • Shimano Deore
  • Non-Series 3×10
  • Merida
  • SCOTT ASPECT 910
  • 13.87kg
  • Alloy
  • RockShox XC30, 30mm, with remote lockout
  • Syncros GX19
  • Kenda Slant 6 29×2.2″
  • Shimano Deore
  • Non-Series 3×10
  • Syncros
  • TITAN 29er ELITE
  • 13.61kg
  • Alloy
  • RockShox XC30, 30mm
  • Titan 29 RC
  • Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29×2.25″
  • Shimano SLX
  • Shimano SLX 2×10
  • Selle Royale Seta

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