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DIAMONDBACK RESPONSE SPORT $500, diamondback.com Ready for almost any trail, the Response Sport’s 4.7-inch front suspension fork will smooth out the bumps. And its mechanical disc brakes provide dirt- skidding stoppage. The result is a solid, affordable mountain ride.


MID-GRADE:


COMP 29ER $990, specialized.com Built for speed, the latest in the Specialized Rockhopper series offers fast-rolling 29-inch wheels and a durable component set. Its aggressive frame puts a rider in a position to crank hard and roll fast for miles in the woods. And when it’s time to stop, the bike comes standard with hydraulic disc brakes. The Rockhopper Comp 29er is an entry point into the realm of high-end bikes built to last for years and thousands of miles on the trail.


CROSS-COUNTRY RIDER: SPECIALIZED ROCKHOPPER


SALSA FARGO $1,650, salsacycles.com Created for long distances and multiday tours, the Fargo is a unique mountain bike with drop-bar-style handlebars and attachment points for gear racks, fenders, and up to five water bottle cages. Though it has no suspension, the Fargo provides a cushy ride with 29-inch wheels and a shock- absorbing seat post. The company calls the Fargo an “off-road touring bike,” and its unique design places the bike at home on long mountain trails or 100-mile days on a gravel road.


LONG-DISTANCE CRUISER:


GIANT BICYCLE FAITH 1 $3,050, giant-bicycles.com Big air. Ramps. Drops. Technical downhill runs. A bike like the Faith 1 can take on the gnarliest terrain imaginable on two wheels. This model has seven inches of shock absorption in its suspension system, letting advanced aerialists boost big jumps and land in cushioned bliss. Its aluminum frame is stout and made to take a beating. It has geek touches, too, like an asymmetrical head tube and replaceable dropouts for adapting the bike’s wheelbase for varying terrain.


FREERIDE EXPERT: 35


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