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2020 Mountain Bike Preview

Mountain bikes are better than they’ve ever been, with modern geometries and suspension layouts making for incredibly capable bikes that excel not only on descents but on climbs, too. Constantly striving to improve, manufacturers have added a new set of tweaks and improvements to their 2020 mountain bikes to take things up another level. This year, we’re seeing some completely new designs from brands like Santa Cruz and Juliana, and updates to existing models from many other brands like Devinci and Transition. Some major trends in 2020 mountain bikes are seat tube angles getting steeper, coil shocks making a comeback, and the continued push to more aggressive modern geometry.

2020 Devinci Mountain Bikes

2020 Devinci Mountain Bikes

29ers are back in full force, from DH racing to trail bikes. With many brands updating or adding long-travel 29ers to their lineups recently, mid-travel trail bikes have been the next style to get an update. Devinci hopped on this trend with updates to the 2020 Django. The travel stays the same, 140/120 front/back, but the frame is completely reimagined. This makes for a very capable trail bike that suits a wide variety of rider. The steep seat tube angle should give great pedaling performance, with slacked-out geometry making for a fun downhill ride.

2020 Devinci Django

  • Clearance for up to 2.6” 29” tires or 2.5”x 2.8”
  • 29” wheels
  • 77.8 degree seat tube angle
  • 470mm reach (Size L)

2020 Evil Mountain Bikes

After some time with small iterations to their flagship models, with the Following getting “more better’er” and the Wreckoning getting a “little beter’er,” Evil has introduced a whole new bike to the lineup - the Evil Offering. The Offering bridges the gap between short and long travel 29ers with 140mm of rear travel and the option for 140mm or 150mm in the front. One of the most exciting parts of the Offering is the steeper seat tube angle, a trend we’re seeing across the industry. At 77 degrees, the STA is even steeper than the short travel Following - giving this new model arguably the best seated climbing position in Evil’s lineup.

2020 Evil Offering

  • 140/140mm travel front/rear
  • 77 degree head tube angle
  • 29” wheels
  • 2 build kits with SRAM X01 and SRAM GX drivetrains

    2020 Giant Mountain Bikes

    For years, Giant has produced some of the best value mountain bikes available. New to the party this year is the 2020 Giant Stance 29er. 130/120 front/rear travel puts the Stance in the shorter travel category, however, paired with 29” wheels, this makes for a platform that can handle a wide variety of terrain, from pedaly XC rides to enduro-style riding. The 67.5-degree head tube angle is on the steeper side for modern trail bikes, which favors pedaling performance and handling over descending.

    2020 Giant Stance 29er

    • 130/120 front/rear travel
    • 29” wheels
    • 67.5-degree head tube angle

    2020 Santa Cruz Mountain Bikes

    2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy

    Santa Cruz continues to roll out updates to their existing models, making them more fun and capable, while also bringing an ebike to the party in 2020. With many changes across their lineup over recent years, Santa Cruz’s 2020 bikes continue the shift to new shock layouts and longer travel. The 29er lineup of the Megatower, Hightower, and Tallboy continues to see the most changes for 2020. The brand new Santa Cruz Heckler e-mountain bike, is Santa Cruz’s first foray into the pedal-assisted realm, with a long travel platform reminiscent of the Nomad.

    2020 Santa Cruz Tall Boy

    Pairing the geometry more similar to its longer-travel siblings, the 2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy is completely redesigned. With 130/120mm travel front/rear, the Tallboy slots in nicely to the short-travel 29er category. New this year is the aggressive geometry that better matches the bigger Hightower and Megatower. The shock placement for the Tallboy moves down towards the bottom bracket, as has been done with Santa Cruz’s other models. These changes make the new Tallboy way more capable on descents while retaining many of the great pedaling characteristics that it’s known for.

    • Clearance for up to 2.6” 29” tires or 2.5”x 2.8”
    • 29” wheels
    • 65.5 degree head tube angle
    • Threaded bottom bracket
    • 130/120mm travel front/rear
    • 468mm reach (Size L)

    2020 Santa Cruz Hightower

    The 2020 Santa Cruz Hightower has seen a handful of updates as well, moving to the new shock position, and getting geometry updates as well. Bumping up to 150/140mm of travel front/rear, the Hightower is ready for almost any trail. Paired with a head tube angle that’s almost 2 degrees more slack than the old model, the 2020 Hightower rips descents. Read our full review of the new Hightower here.

    • 150/140mm travel front/rear
    • 29” wheels
    • Head tube angle 65.2 to 65.5 degrees adjustable via flip chip
    • 470mm reach (Size L)

    2020 Santa Cruz Heckler

    Powered by Shimano’s E8000 STEPS drive unit, the new Santa Cruz Heckler is a polished eMTB, built on Santa Cruz’s fun and well-loved VPP suspension platform. With 160mm of front travel and 150mm in the rear, paired with 27.5” wheels, the Heckler closely mirrors the Nomad, with a few ebike specific tweaks. For riders looking to go further, and maximize their time on the descents, the Heckler e mountain bike should be a treat - carrying the fun downhill characteristics that Santa Cruz is known for and adding pedal assist for the climbs.

    • Shimano DU-E8000 STEPS drive unit
    • 160/150mm travel front/rear
    • SRAM Guide RE brakes with 200mm rotors
    • 504Wh Shimano battery

    2020 Juliana Mountain Bikes

    Similar to Santa Cruz’s new mountain bikes for 2020, Juliana has updated one 29er and added a completely new one - the 2020 Juliana Maverick. The Joplin, which is the same frame as the Santa Cruz Tallboy, sees similar updates, in shock position and geometry, with a women’s specific setup. The Maverick, meanwhile, brings a whole new bike into the 2020 Juliana lineup. With the same frame as the Santa Cruz Hightower, the Maverick is a great all-around trail bike for women riders that prioritize descending performance but still want to be able to handle long days of pedaling. The 150/140mm travel is plenty of bike for all but the gnarliest of trails.

    2020 Transition Mountain Bikes

    Transition has been relatively quiet in introducing new models since the long-travel 29er Sentinel, however, for 2020 they have a few tricks up their sleeve, namely the new 2020 Transition Scout Carbon and the addition of a coil shock to the Patrol.

    In years past, Transition has rolled out alloy models of their bikes, then brought out the carbon version a couple of years later. This trend continues with the Scout, which still hasn’t seen a carbon version since the SBG updates, however, there are also some major updates, too. 10mm of rear travel get added to this poppy and nimble 27.5” ripper, bringing the total to 150/140mm front and rear - with the option to run a larger shock and bump the rear travel to 150mm, as well. For geometry, the head tube angle gets a degree more slack at 64 degrees, and the effective seat tube angle bumps up to a climbing-friendly 77 degrees.

    • 150/140mm travel front/rear
    • 27.5” wheels
    • 64 degree head tube angle
    • 77 degree effective seat tube angle (Size M)

    2020 Transition Patrol Coil

    Under the motto of “On Coil” the 2020 Transition Patrol gets a Fox DHX2 coil shock. Promising the plush, ground-hugging feel that riders know and love with coil shocks, the new Patrol will be an awesome gravity-focused bike for riders seeking to go big and tackle the gnar.

    • 170/160mm travel front/rear
    • 27.5” wheels
    • Fox DHX2 coil shock
    • Available in carbon and alloy frame, with 3 build kits, NX, GX, X01

    2020 Revel Bikes

    2020 Revel Bikes

    Launching in 2019, Revel Bikes may be new to the scene, but the people behind the brand are not. With the team boasting credits like co-founder of Enve, Trust Performance, and positions at Specialized, RockShox, and others, the team has a wealth of experience. It may take some serious mountain bike nerding-out to remember and recognize the Canfield Balance suspension linkage featured on Revel bikes, but whether you recognize it or not, it rides amazingly well. Revel has two models, the 27.5” Rail and 29” Rascal.

    2020 Revel Rail

    The CBF suspension linkage from Canfield is featured on both models. At its core, this design seeks to isolate pedaling and suspension forces, something all full suspension mountain bikes try to do, but try is the operative word for most. The anti-squat values on the Rail are almost 100% throughout the full suspension stroke and gear range. At 170mm/165mm of travel front/rear, the Rail sites nicely in the all-mountain/enduro category. It’s an all-around ripper, with a unique suspension design that will make it a favorite for many riders.

    • 29” wheels
    • 170/165mm travel front/rear
    • Threaded BB
    • 65 degree head tube angle

    2020 Revel Rascal

    This isn’t your grandpa’s Rascal Scooter, it’s an awesome trail bike built to shred. While the 140/130mm travel front/rear may be modest by today’s standards, the geometry leans a bit more towards the aggressive side, meaning it should ride well on descents.

    • 29” wheels
    • 140/130mm travel front/rear
    • Threaded BB
    • 66 degree head tube angle

    2020 Yeti Mountain Bikes

    For 2020, Yeti has continued to update their entire mountain bike lineup. New this year are the SB140 and SB165 27.5” wheeled models to compliment the SB130 and SB150 29ers. The shorter travel SB140 sports it’s namesake in rear travel - 140mm, with a beefy 160mm up front. One thing that sets the SB140 apart from other bikes in the category is the super long reach, 460mm in a size medium. This makes it one of the longest trail bikes you can buy. With smaller 27.5 wheels the SB140 is a really poppy and playful bike, thanks to a more progressive version of Yeti’s Switch Infinity suspension, yet it still has a solid backbone for high speeds and gnarly technical riding.

    2020 Yeti SB140

    • 160/140mm travel front/rear
    • 27.5” wheels
    • Room for a bottle cage in-frame
    • 433mm chainstays
    • 65 degree head tube angle

    2020 Yeti SB165

    The SB165, meanwhile, takes things up a notch, for an all-around downhill destroyer. This is a big and burly bike perfect for shuttling and bike park riding. While you might not want to take it on all-day epics, it can still do a but of pedaling, too. With a whopping 180mm of front travel and 165mm in the rear, the SB165 is built for the biggest hits. While the new model effectively replaces the SB6, it’s a whole new longer and slacker beast, with a head tube angle equal to that of many downhill race bikes, 63.5 degrees.

    • 180/165mm travel front/rear
    • 27.5” wheels
    • 63.5 degree head tube angle
    • Optimized for a coil shock
    • Progressive shock tune at 27.5% compared to the SB150’s 15%

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