We’ve ridden, tested and evaluated dozens of the most promising bikes of 2012. From flyweight full-suspension 29ers to carbon downhill bikes and a handful of beautiful and revolutionary trail bikes, here are 12 of our favorites.
One of the most exciting bikes unveiled so far this year has been Yeti’s radical SB-66, a six-inch trail bike that is more aggressive than the existing 575. The new bike features an entirely new suspension platform called Switch Suspension Technology, which uses an eccentric lower pivot to manage chain forces. As the dual-link suspension compresses, the eccentric initially rotates counter-clockwise. Then, comes the twist: a bit more than halfway through the travel, it reverses direction and rotates clockwise. This translates to a bike that pedals incredibly efficiently, and the suspension works smoothly sucks up bumps without being compromised by chain growth or rider input.