Santa Cruz Hightower LT
Having my bike stolen this year, a big insurance check came in and I was let loose to buy a new Carbon Wonder bike! After many sleepless nights of research and anxiety of picking the right bike, I settled on the 29'er Hightower LT. A wagon wheel convert from my Cromag hard tail, this bike is an absolute beast. I threw on some carbon NOBL wheels with proprietary hubs and am loving life.
MSRP: $6,799 | Where to buy: backcountry.com
Nothing like breaking your back to re-evaluate. Four months in a back brace and on the couch gave me heaps of time to think. Mostly, I thought about bikes and the result was this purchase, a 29er hard tail with 160 mm fork and aggressive geometry. The idea was to have a bike that would help get me back in shape and keep me in check. In reality, I sharpened my bike skills and was blown away by how capable this bike is...scary really.
MSRP: $3,600 | Where to buy: Jenson USA
Evil Bikes The Following
I took a leap of faith coming from a Santa Cruz Nomad to an Evil The Following. I'm 5'8 and 150 lbs fully geared up. My hesitations going to 130 mm/120mm travel 29'er were quickly put to rest as this bike punches well above its numbers. From Bellingham to Pemberton, I'm faster, clearing more doubles and having more fun on my bike than ever before. I'm sure the bike has its limits but I've yet to find them. This is my one and only MTB and I ride it everywhere including the Whistler Bike Park with my son. I run wide carbon wheels with 2.3 Maxxis minions and a super short (30mm) stem in a size medium for an "in the bike" feel. While my kids and wife were in Europe this summer, I crashed hard and cracked the rear triangle (bike met huge rock). $400 and 48 hrs later I had a new crash replacement triangle and could make the most of my Dad time bike week. Thanks to the guys at Evil!
MSRP: $6,299 US | Where to buy: backcountry.com
Yuba Spicy Curry e Bike
This bike was a game changer for our family. Hesitant at first, this kid/grocery hauler replaced our second car for 8 months of the year. Sure...with crap weather, we left it in the garage. That said, both pilot and passenger preferred taking the bike over the car in any other circumstance. Easily capable of 2 kids (we have squeezed four little ones on) and a load of groceries in the beefy basket, we rode this thing everywhere. To the beach, Grandma's house, mall, grocery store, soccer...anywhere within 40 miles return trip was in play. The new system uses a Bosh motor which is great. It is capped at 20 mph of motor assist which is plenty when carrying the little ones. Hills are easy with the 4 levels of electric assist and 8 mechanical gears that are rated to 300 lbs plus rider!
MEC Chinook/CTY 1.1 Step Through
This is our trusty steed that both my wife and I use to haul the kids around the neighbourhood. It’s a MEC Midtown hybrid equipped with an ibert front toddler seat and DIY balance bike carrier. We use it almost daily, be it a trip to the kids’ bike park, the play park, the store, or the rec centre. Having used rear mounted toddler seats in the past, we prefer the front mounted seat for stability and the ability to have our DIY balance Bike rack/storage container mounted on the rear. I also prefer the female sloping top tube on Chinook over a traditional flat male top tube because of the standover clearance. This makes it much easier as a parent to get on and off the bike when fully loaded.
MEC Chinook MSRP: $6,25 CDN | Where to buy: MEC
CTY 1.1 MSRP : $499 USD | Where to buy: REI