Niner Air 9 RDO: With the new Air 9 RDO, not an inch of frame
material has been overlooked. The frame has been sculpted to
be an exceptional blend of lightweight and efficiency aimed at
the cross-country racer who doesn’t want a watt of energy
wasted getting to the finish line. Starts at $3300.
Orbea Alma 29 S30: Orbea was one of the first manufacturers to offer a carbon fiber 29er cross-country race bike. Their
newest addition to the Alma lineup improves upon the first
version, with a lighter and stiffer frame and more size options.
The S30 features a Shimano XT drivetrain, Formula R1 brakes
and Mavic Crossride wheels. $4000.
Rocky Mountain Element 970 RSL: Designed to rule fast and flowing singletrack, the new Element 970 RSL features a full-carbon
frame, a Shimano XT drivetrain, XT brakes and DT Swiss wheels.
Scott Scale 920: The Scale 920 looks to offer race performance
without a big price tag. It uses an HMF carbon fiber frame, Shimano
XT drivetrain components and Shimano SLX brakes. $3260.
Trek Superfly Elite SL: For 2013, Trek wiped the slate clean and started
from scratch to design the new Superfly SL frame. They dubbed the effort
the “Apollo Development Project.” The result is their lightest, fastest cross-country hardtail ever. $5090. ;
Specialized S-Works Epic Carbon 29 SRAM: This
is Specialized’s top-of-the-line rocket ship for cross-country racing, and no expense has been spared.
The 2013 edition is decked out in SRAM’s new XX1
drivetrain with GripShift twist-style shifting. $10,000.