Trail Bike Roundtable
4060 ST vs Jibb vs Stumpjumper EVO vs Murmur vs Hugene vs Riot Trail
There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to bike categorization, and trying to figure out exactly what the difference is between an an aggressive trail bike and and all-mountain bike is like trying to eat soup with a fork. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying (the categorizing, not the soup eating), which his how we managed to put together a somewhat eclectic, and very interesting, selection of bikes for this year’s Field Test. The contenders in the aggressive trail category all had between 135mm to 150mm of rear travel, and were designed for big days of pedaling up and down technical terrain
Which bike is the best? That’s a tough one, and there’s really no clear answer. Alicia Leggett and I were both very impressed by the Scor 4060 ST, but its Achilles heel emerged during the countless wet and muddy rides we took it on – it’s a tough bike to keep clean, and the shock tunnel is an absolute mud magnet. That took it down a notch in our books, which put the Propain at the top of Alicia’s list, due to its all-round abilities, and snappy pedaling performance.
For me, I’d put the Stumpjumper EVO alloy on the top of my list thanks to its high level of adjustability, and that SWAT box. Honestly, I’d be at home on any of the bikes in this group, with the exception of the Ghost Riot Trail – I just wasn’t able to click with that bike due to its geometry and suspension kinematics.
When it comes to surprises, it was the Starling Murmur that ended up riding differently than I expected, in a good way. Yes, it had that oft-touted extra-compliant feel of steel, but it didn’t feel completely glued to the ground, with a nice amount of pop for hitting jumps or hopping over mid-trail obstacles. The weight wasn’t out of the ordinary either – it was right in line with the aluminum-framed Stumpjumper EVO and the Raaw Jibb. That Jibb felt like a mini-Madonna, which may be exactly what some riders are looking for – a stout, shorter travel trail bike that’s no slouch on chunky, rough trails.
Watch the roundtable video to see more of our thoughts on this batch of bikes, and keep an eye out for an upcoming Pinkbike Podcast where we go even deeper into our pros and cons lists.