With 27.5-inch wheels and 5-inches of travel, the SB75 combines the best features of its siblings. It has the maneuverability of the 26-inch SB66 plus the shorter top tube and wheelbase of the SB95 29er, plus its ability to tip. As a result, the SB75 could be the most versatile of the three. It has some of the lowering force of the 66 and the climb efficiency of the 95. The unique Switch suspension, which has a pivot that changes the direction in which it turns as the bike moves along its travel, provides efficient pedaling and masterful shock absorption. The SB75 is available in five full versions, ranging from $ 2,900 to $ 6,900, or as a frame for $ 2,000.

Santa Cruz might be best known for its VPP suspension designs, but the company’s original bikes were single-pivot workhorses. They were simple but effective. That legacy lives on in the company’s three current single-pivot machines, including the Bantam. It features 27.5-inch wheels, 125mm of travel, and nearly identical geometry to the 5010, Santa Cruz’s VPP-equipped trail bike. Full builds start at $ 2,600; frames cost $ 1,300.

Trek’s venerable Remedy was first developed as a 26-inch trail bike, but now it only comes in either 29-inch or 27.5-inch versions. That’s not a bad thing: the increased rollover capacity is remarkable, and the 140mm travel bikes still come with plenty of Trek tech: DRCV shocks have a secondary air chamber to better absorb big bumps; Full Floater suspension design mounts the shock between two moving links to improve responsiveness; and the active brake pivot, which rotates concentrically around the rear axle, reduces the impact of braking forces on the suspension. Each wheel size has its advantage, but on this bike we prefer the added maneuverability of option 27.5. Prices start at $ 2,800 for the Remedy 7 and peak at $ 8,300 for the 9.9.

The Trance SX 27.5 is made for enduro racing. It features the same 5.5-inch travel Maestro suspension as other Trance models, but comes with a 1×10 drivetrain (with MRP chain guide), heavy-duty Schwalbe Hans Dampf Evo and Razor Rock Evo tires, and a Fox 34 TALAS fork. 160mm CTD giving the bike a 66 degree head tube angle. As the parts show, the SX is more downward-facing than typical Trance, but can still pedal to the top of a hill without dropping a lung. The aluminum SX is available for $ 4,050; the Carbon Advanced SX adds $ 2,400 to the price.

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