Top 10 Best Mountain Bike Brands

Do you remember the nostalgic days of your childhood, when you would hop on your bike and race through the streets, jumping off curbs and splashing through puddles? Those sweet memories are still alive and well, but nowadays, you can take your biking game to a whole new level. With modern technology, you can now experience the thrill of hitting big jumps and speeding down hills that you never could have imagined tackling back then.

Of course, to tackle these new challenges, you'll need a ride that's up to the task. Fortunately, today's mountain bikes are engineered to the highest standards, with incredible strength, lightweight designs, and smooth functionality that make riding a breeze. By investing in a quality mountain bike, you'll enjoy a ride that works with you rather than against you, giving you the confidence to tackle any trail with ease.

However, choosing the right bike can be a daunting task, especially with so many quality brands and models to choose from. It's important to find a bike that fits both your budget and your individual riding style. While this list of the best mountain bike brands is a great starting point, it's important to remember that the best way to choose a bike is to test-drive a variety of models and find one that fits you perfectly. With the right mountain bike in hand, you'll be ready to hit the trails and experience the thrill of the ride like never before.
The Top Ten
1 Trek Trek Bicycle Corporation is a major bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor under brand names Trek, Electra Bicycle Company, Gary Fisher, Bontrager, Diamant Bikes, Villiger Bikes and until 2008, LeMond Racing Cycles and Klein.

I may only be a lightweight girl, but in my opinion, that makes a bike harder to fit me properly. I tried a Mongoose, Diamondback, and a Huffy, and they could not be adjusted to give me a good ride. My Trek came to me perfectly tuned for my frame and weight. Believe me, I am hard on it, and it gives me a smooth ride without wearing me out. The Huffy especially gave me blisters and made me sick of riding. I never thought a brand of bike would make so much difference, but I learned that fit is everything. Even after many miles of hard riding, I want to keep going. Trek sold me. I love mine and will never own another brand, even if they paid me to ride it.

I own a Trek. Sadly, I am poor, so I own a Marlin 4. It's meant to be a rugged commuter, but I use it for freeride and downhill. Black diamonds, jumps, and just plain abuse - it has survived. No, it's not nearly as good as it was when I bought it. It's not super comfortable to ride downhill, and the suspension is a joke. But it has survived. The only parts that have broken are ones that wear out anyway, like the chain, tires, derailleur, and so on. I am looking to get a bike suited for the kind of riding I am doing and plan to do. For now, it works. That's why I voted for Trek on this top ten list. The entry-level bike that I own has survived things that generally aren't considered entry-level. So, kudos to the team at Trek Bicycles for making a beginner hardtail that survives advanced-level abuse. All it needs is a new suspension.

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2 Giant Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer that is recognized as the world's largest bicycle manufacturer.

I just got the 2014 Giant Revel, and compared to my 2012 Revel, it takes my cycling to an amazing level I could never imagine. For the price of only R4999, I could not have asked for a more amazing piece of machinery than this bike. It's smooth on the incline and super fast on the descent. If you don't believe me, try out Giant. There's no comparing. My first bike was a GT Avalanche 1.0, a great bike, but Giant's smooth feel and smooth acceleration make me not want to ride any other bike.

I have owned a Giant Mountain Bike since 1995 and have never had any problems with it. I have ridden it in Michigan on ski trails in the spring and summer, and I have suffered more than the bike ever did. I've also ridden it in light snow in the winter, and it is great. Yes, it was expensive, but I am glad I spent the money. If I had purchased a less expensive bike, I would have had to replace it at least once, if not more.

I own both a new Trance and a used Reign (8 years old). A bike is best judged at an old age. New bikes are always pretty and fine. The build quality is in the top ranks. Maestro suspension is impeccable. For the 8-year-old Reign, I only had to change the linkage bearings, and the bike feels 100% again. Giant bicycles are the kind that can be kept as long as the interest of the rider still remains.

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3 Specialized Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc., more commonly known simply as Specialized, is a major American brand of bicycles and related products.

I bought my first mountain bike in 1991, a Specialized Rockhopper with no suspension. I put a lot of miles on that bike. I upgraded to a Specialized Comp Elite with full suspension in 2010. Wow, what a revelation. I should have upgraded to a full-suspension bike a decade ago. The riding position is more upright, and I go down trails faster with less fatigue. I have put several thousand miles on the bike with only a broken spoke. It has never left me stranded. I've had only one flat, caused by hitting a rock too hard. I will buy another Specialized and recommend one for my son. By the way, does anyone like the new 29ers? I rode one and it's not as much fun. It is faster, but I feel disconnected from the trail. It will roll over rocks that would send me over the front of the bike.

If we're talking hard downhill, I would never choose anyone else other than Specialized. The bikes are quality. They maintain a level of durability while staying mobile. Another factor to consider is that Specialized, growing in popularity, is now producing more parts. It seems irrational to pay higher labor fees and whatnot when getting your bike repaired. Parts can be bought cheaply through websites such as eBay, saving you a large amount of money in the long run.

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4 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Bicycles is a manufacturer of high end mountain bikes based in Santa Cruz, California. They sponsor the Santa Cruz Syndicate, a downhill racing team.

I have a fully customized Superlight. The frame is a decade old now and still commands admiration from many people. I have some high-end kit bolted to it, and with a total weight of just a fraction over 11 kg, it flies along dirt tracks and climbs like a mountain goat. It's a killer bike and still outperforms many newer models from the bigger manufacturers.

The quality and engineering put into my Santa Cruz is incredible. When you look at the design and style this bike has over the competition, there is no competition. Anyone can attach the best components to their frame. Santa Cruz's frames are in the top 4!

Santa Cruz all the way. I've also got a Marin, a Giant, and a Trek, but nothing comes close. The geometry of the 2013 Superlight frame is superb, and the single pivot is easy to maintain in the muddy slop here in Yorkshire, UK. Don't be fooled by the name. It's built like a tank!

5 Cannondale The Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, is an American division of Canadian conglomerate Dorel Industries that supplies bicycles.

I have a Cannondale Trail SL4 and I love it! You can't beat the frame. It does so much more than just hold the parts together. It makes you comfortable, which is what I checked with Diamondback, Specialized, Giant, GT, Scott, Marin, Novarra, and so many more. Cannondale jumped out at me as being both comfortable and rugged. I have so much control and feel like I'm on a magic carpet ride. The parts range from good to great. No regrets.

This is an American company that actually makes all its own bikes rather than outsourcing to other brands for manufacturing. They innovate and break the mold whenever possible in a meaningful and well-thought-out way. They stick to their roots and don't chase the fancy new trend just to jump on sales. They adhere to tradition and what works for them.

Trigger-1 (29r) is an efficient climber and smooth DH rider, all with a flip of a switch on the handlebars and a push of a button on top of the Lefty. In addition, you can change the seat position from full extension on a climb to 'down in between the front and rear wheel' with a push of a button, giving you a sense of lower center of gravity. I started with a Cannondale Super-V Full Suspension for donkey's years. It's all aluminum and was a great bike for its time. AKA - Old Faithful.

6 GT GT Bicycles designs and manufactures road, mountain, and BMX bicycles - originally in the United States, and now as a division of Canadian conglomerate, Dorel Industries, which also markets Cannondale, Schwinn, Mongoose, IronHorse, Dyno, and RoadMaster bicycle brands; all manufactured in Asia.

Each frame looks beautiful. The bike switches between gears seamlessly and is perfect for just enjoying some wonderful trails. There's a version for everyone. They are true mountain bikes with high-quality statistics, and I don't understand why anyone would prefer another brand.

I worked at a bike shop and had to fix up to 30 bikes daily, most from subpar Walmart brands. I never once saw a GT in for anything other than upgrades or a simple tube change. We also hosted trail rides, and the mountain bikers I knew only had good things to say about this brand. If you know your bikes, you choose GT.

I have an 8-year-old Avalanche 3.0, and it has barely gone wrong. When it has, it has been due to my neglect. Everything except the seat (for comfort reasons) is the same as it was when I bought it. The color and decal design haven't really dated much, and the shape of the frame is the same as it is on the new bikes. Despite being made from aluminum, I find it noticeably (but not much) heavier than my friend's Giant bike of a similar specification. I would happily recommend this brand to anyone.

7 Kona Kona Bikes is a bicycle company based in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1988 and still owned by Dan Gerhard and Jacob Heilbron in Vancouver, BC, their World Headquarters are located in Ferndale, Washington, with Canadian distribution offices in Vancouver, and European distribution offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

I have ridden mountain bikes since '95, and my first real bike was a Kona Cinder Cone. Since then, I have had a lot of bikes in between and went back to Kona after being unimpressed with other brands. Kona is very careful with the geometry of all their bikes. Often, the only difference between a lower-end bike and a top-end bike is the components, but the rest of the bike is the same. This makes for amazing value.

The big guys like Trek and Giant produce subpar bikes on the lower end. No matter how much you try to upgrade them, they will always be subpar bikes. This is not so with Kona. You can take an $800 bike, change the drivetrain and fork, and have the exact same bike as a $1,300 race-ready bike.

This is the best brand. I'm from Mexico, and it's complicated to get a Kona, but once you have one, you're going to love it. This brand offers the best price-to-quality ratio. You should check what Kona offers in the same price range before buying another bike because you'll always find a better bike for the same price. Kona is always innovating, while other brands simply copy the designs that Kona and others are doing. Also, don't forget about the Africa programs that Kona is running. Sorry about my English writing. I hope this is helpful for new cyclists.

8 Scott A Swiss company founded in 1958, SCOTT Sports specializes in producing high-quality sporting goods. The company offers a broad array of products across multiple sports categories, including cycling, winter sports, and motorsports. SCOTT Sports is known for its innovative designs and cutting-edge technology.

I compare and narrow things down before buying anything. I've had all different brands over the years and recently bought a SCOTT. The quality and the components you get far exceed a lot of the brands on this list. Two of these brands shouldn't even be on this list, let alone in the top five.

Great bikes. I am surprised how light they could make an alloy full-suspension large frame 29er, clocking in at 12.7 kg (the Spark 950 2014 model). The stiffness is also remarkable. This really amazes me, as my previous 26er hardtail (also alloy) weighed 15.6 kg with a large frame (Titan Sport 2013). They definitely know how to produce great-quality products that their customers can be proud of riding.

I spent three weeks searching for the perfect bike, and Scott and Giant seemed strides above the rest! The Scott edged it out due to the utter smoothness and perfection of gear changing. I'm not surprised to see Trek up there because I hear Giant is making their frames. But yeah, Scott gets my vote!

9 Yeti

I've had tons of bikes over the years: Giants, Specialized, Scott, and more. Yeti is in a class of its own. This list is based on votes - most widespread appeal is based on price, accessibility, popularity, etc., not Yeti. The best premium hand-built mountain bikes are made by Yeti, all day long.

I have owned bikes from Giant, Bridgestone, and multiple Specialized models - all good. However, once I owned a Yeti, there was no turning back. I am on my second Yeti, and they are simply amazing. I can do things on that bike that I could never do on mass-produced brand bikes.

Probably 8th on the list because the general public knows the high-production brand names before they know the high-quality brand names. More people have heard of McDonald's versus McCormick and Schmick's, but I know where I'd rather eat.

10 Pivot

There are many "top" bikes and brands out there now. At each price point or category, it's hard to find a bad bike. Bikes often appeal to different people for various reasons. After almost 50 years of riding, I have found the Pivot brand to be my go-to equipment for everything from DJ to XC to trail, park, and DH. Quality, technological advancement, and customer support have been stellar. They would be at the top of the list for me, as I have owned, ridden, and enjoyed almost every brand on the list. But for the past several years, they have remained my favorite overall ride.

Being a smaller and more boutique brand pushes Pivot down such lists. However, on the merit of technical brilliance, workmanship, and most of all, riding experience, it should be sitting at the very top.

I know this list is bad. Pivot needs to be up there with Santa Cruz. They have great quality bikes. They are the top 1 and 2 brands out there for sure. It's obvious that Giant is a top manufacturer of bikes, but that doesn't make them #1. Maybe they rank around 6th.

The Contenders
11 Cube

I have a Cube AMS 130 SL (2013), and it is without a doubt one of the best all-mountain bikes I have ever ridden. Although not cheap, its frame and rear linkage are beautifully made and create a responsive ride that absorbs small and big hits with ease. This gives you the confidence to go faster than you would think possible! The bike has awesome components for the money, is seriously lightweight, and looks amazing. I highly recommend Cube and their German engineering and manufacturing.

After having driven a Merida for seven years, I went ahead and tried out a Cube Reaction GTC. Man, what a killer machine! I love it every time I ride it, and I haven't seen many known brands offer the same specs for the money. I won't go into comparing my Merida with the Cube since a lot has changed in seven years and my Merida never let me down either. But Merida was much more expensive to get the same quality parts as on my Cube, so I switched brands.

12 Merida

I recently bought my Merida Big Nine 20D, and I'm absolutely in love with the bike because of the ride quality it provides. It's indeed a marvelous piece of engineering. Ultralight with 29" tires, it makes you feel like a king and offers superb ride quality. The 29" tires also give a sort of confidence I've never had on a bicycle. I tried other brands before buying it, but the Big Nine completely blew me away with its ride quality. Big fan!

From 2014, Merida mountain bikes have been as good, if not better, than big-name brands. I've owned many different brands, and Merida is now my personal favorite. The quality and performance you get for your money is beyond compare. If you want a great bike, buy a Merida. If you're a brand snob, buy something else for more money and lower-quality components.

I have bought three Merida bicycles so far, and all I have to say is that this brand is awesome. You pay for the quality and equipment, not just the name. For example, if you choose between the top 2-3 brands and Merida for the same-priced bicycle, you will definitely get better equipment with Merida.

13 Canyon

Best STW-ratio of any frame (including Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale), excellent value, consistent quality components throughout, anodized frames, great geometry. To sum up, these are the best bikes in the class.

These brands offer top equipment and frames for a beautiful price. I have a Canyon AL 6.0 that has withstood three years of punishment and works perfectly. I love it.

Best-looking and highest-quality bikes on the market. The reason they aren't higher is that you can't order them in the U.S. yet. But they are coming.

14 Rocky Mountain Bicycles Rocky Mountain Bicycles is a Canadian bicycle manufacturer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company was incorporated in 1981, its name a reference to the mountain range that stretches from eastern British Columbia to the southwest United States.

I just bought a soon-to-be 17-year-old 1999 Rocky Mountain 'Soul' Core series bike. The color is Magic Yellow.

It was a garage find, and it's pure eye candy. It's been stored away and ridden very little. Everything is original except for the saddle. There are literally no dings, scrapes, or scratches, and no rust or pitting - this includes under the bottom bracket and so on. I had to repair a front flat tire and dial in the front derailleur. It even has the OEM grips with Rocky Mountain embossing, in near-mint condition. All stickers are mint and intact, including the bike shop sticker from where it was purchased.

I'm so in love with it right now. It rides as if it has a heartbeat of its own. It's such a vintage jewel that it will be stored in a room where I can stare at it and admire its beauty. I can't bring myself to ride it and risk damaging it now, especially after it has survived all this time.

I've ridden Specialized bikes for years. When I decided to get a new 29er, I couldn't find a geometry that felt right. Charles at Trailhead Bicycle Company in Cleveland, TN, suggested a Rocky Mountain Vertex. Since he didn't have my size, I tried the Trailhead 29er. It fit so well it could've been made just for me. Because of my size (I'm 310 lbs and 6'), I upgraded my wheels and switched to tubeless for riding here in East TN. When I ride Thunder Rock at 28 to 35 MPH, this bike is everything I wanted. Rocky Mountain is top-shelf!

15 Turner

See the above two comments.

If you have ridden a Turner downhill once, you will agree it is among the top 5 bike brands. If you haven't, it may be because you are intimidated by the brand. It's like going to a Ferrari dealership and asking to test drive a 458. Not many people have the guts to do it. But once you have driven a Ferrari, you will understand why it is always the pinnacle in the auto world. Turner is the same as Ferrari, but in the Downhill/Mountain bike world.

Giant/Trek/Specialized. Top 3? Bullshirt! Maybe they're the ones with the most politicians paid off. Give me a break. You said "BEST MTN BIKE EVER," not the most affordable. Turner, Ellsworth, Marin - these have the three best frames. And with top components, they are the best mountain bikes on the market. Yeah! How do you like the truth: corporate "advertising"?

Best bike ever, WHAT? Number 88, right? No corporate paying off. I guess because Target and Walmart don't have your bikes, RIGHT? Wow. When can we ever trust advertisement? I guess never!

16 Bianchi

I'm stationed in Japan, and the NEX is stocked with $300 Mongooses. I had two, and each went bad. They both easily rusted, and neither had a chance to be taken out on the trails. This is a shame because there are some good trails out here. I decided to go to a bike shop off-base and was willing to shell out more money for the Kuma. A year later, I'm still in love with this bike, and it still looks almost new even though I use it for daily transit and occasional trail riding.

I ordered a Kuma 29.1, and it should be here by Monday. After a few rides, I'll give a review. I considered other brands such as Ghost, Centurion, Bergamont, and a few others. However, it seems the name on the bike is superficial. Most bike frames are made in China or Taiwan, and the rest of the components are SRAM, Shimano, or cheap. So, for about $900, bikes in that price range are pretty much the same.

Bianchi may not be known for MTBs, but they have not shown a lack of knowledge when it comes to their frames. I've been riding a Methanol for two years now, and it has blown me away. It's easily the best bike I have ridden.

17 BMC

I've ridden for about 20 years. I recently bought a high-end TF01, and it's the best bike I've ever had! It climbs like a goat and turns on demand. The attention to detail is unlike any other bike I've ridden. You get what you pay for, and it's worth it. However, you won't appreciate the bike unless you've had the displeasure of riding other bikes. So take your time and get to know what you like. Then give them a try. You won't regret it.

Superb mountain bikes. I've had a Sportelite SE01 SLX for over a year now, and it has seen plenty of tough action with no problems. Mine isn't even top of the range. The paintwork still looks new, and nothing corrodes. It's the best-balanced bike I've ever ridden. A 3-year frame warranty is also included, extending to 5 years if registered within 30 days. This is reassuring.

I ride a Teamelite. This bike begs me to pedal harder and just wants to go fast. The acceleration is fantastic. It doesn't lose a bit of energy in the chainstays. It also has very good handling. Overall, I feel that every single hard-earned euro I spent has been compensated. The bike does what it's made for, and the trail is its natural environment. You can feel it as soon as you step on it.

18 Norco

I own two Norco bikes: a 2014 Norco Fluid 7.2 and a 2015 Norco Range 7.3 Carbon. Easily the best bikes I've ridden, and I've spent a fair amount of time on Trek, Specialized, La Pierre, Rocky Mountain, Giant, and Merida. Norco is hands down the best I've ridden.

I owned a Norco Rampage, and it was a great hardtail bike. I was able to get into jumps, go down mountains, and also use it in the city to go everywhere. Very strong frame and build quality! I would recommend anyone to try a Norco. They should be higher on this list!

I had a Norco women's hybrid for a while. It was the best ride and best-geared bike I've put my behind on, before or since. It went almost 7,000 km with me over 10 years with almost no maintenance before I broke its frame. I should have fixed it and gone another 7,000 km.

19 Fuji

I had a Tahoe and now have a Reveal. Both are great bikes, better than GT (I had this too). I weigh 270 lbs and am 6'1. Fuji never had any issues. It rides perfectly. It's very sturdy yet smooth, and makes you confident while riding.

My old Fuji still runs amazingly, and I haven't done any upgrades. I throw this thing around and it's like seven years old. It runs as if I bought it yesterday.

I can't believe this isn't number one. I recently got a Fuji, and everything is nice, clean, and smooth. My favorite part is probably the ability to switch gears from 1-7 on most bikes. Fuji is amazing, and that's the bottom line. This should at least be in the top five. Wow.

20 Gary Fisher

Best is different for everyone, but just so everyone's aware - Gary Fisher is Trek's "High-End Line," similar to Audi vs. Volkswagen.

Regardless, it took me years to realize how great Gary Fisher's geometry is. Gary Fisher himself was the father of the 29er. Don't buy these bikes for their specs. Buy them because the company actually knows what it's doing and delivers bikes that are ahead of their time.

I've had two Gary Fishers across thirty years - one of his first and a remake of the same (I still have them). Both have been more responsive and had better geometry for climbing and maneuvering than any other mountain bike I've ever ridden. This is after racing for several years and leading bicycle tours all over the country. My colleagues and guests have had the same experience when we would arrive at a destination and were given the opportunity to ride a Fisher and then other brands. The only reason it's not #1 in this survey is that other folks haven't ridden them and compared them head-to-head. Sadly, the brand got subsumed under Trek.

21 Ibis

Ibis makes remarkable mountain bikes. They have won many awards and consistently come out on top in many comparison reviews in popular MTB magazines and press. The reason they don't feature highly here is that they are more of a "boutique" brand and are out of the reach of many riders.

I proudly own an Ibis Mojo HD. It's a gem, and all I've done is put wider carbon bars, a shorter stem, and offset bushings for the rear shock. It performs just as well downhill as it does uphill. I wouldn't choose any other bike.

Ibis can't win in this situation. They don't make enough bikes, and they aren't available in every corner bike shop. However, they are the best there is.

22 K2

I have worked for a number of bike shops and companies, and I spend a lot of time riding. That said, I've tried numerous bikes: Raleigh, Kona, Specialized, GT, Haro, etc. Of all of them, K2 is definitely right at the top. Sometimes they get a bit of a bad rap because of some of their economy lines found at places like Sports Authority and Dick's. Those are okay introductory bikes made specifically for those companies. However, their primary lines that they sell via The Hub and other K2 shops are definitely legitimate bikes.

Yes, K2 is really good. They make strong, durable bikes with professional detail. You can tell a lot of attention is put into them. If you don't believe me, go buy one for yourself.

I can't complain. I've never had any problems. In my opinion, my K2 should be in the top 5. I'm not sure what model I have, but it's about 5 years old and has everything that the other top ten have. It's also light. My top 5 bikes are Trek, Giant, Specialized, Yeti, and then my K2.

23 Marin

I have a 2014 Pioneer Trail (Bolinas Ridge 6.2). It's a well-engineered bike. I am a mechanical engineer. The shot-peen process on the hydroformed 6061 aircraft aluminum alloy has created a very strong and durable frame. The component mix, although inexpensive, is good quality. It includes Schwalbe Tires, Alex Rims, a Shimano Drive train, and a Suntour XCT suspension fork. As an engineer, I know how much things cost to manufacture, and this bike is a great value. It also has great performance as a cross-country bike. It weighs 30 lbs. I am impressed by Marin's well-thought-out designs combined with proven in-field testing.

I bought a Jamis Dakota in 1993 and rode it for about five years. I quit riding when my back started hurting badly due to herniated disks. My prayers were answered to ride again when I bought a 2013 XC7 Rift Zone, which has full suspension. I'm 53 and can shred the trail again with my 20 and 22-year-old sons. All of us are riding Marins. The bike is very fast and comfortable. I love it! I've been riding for two years now, and my back is feeling better than it has in the past 20 years. Great bike. No problems.

24 Raleigh

This is the first 'branded' bike I own. (I wouldn't consider Walmart bikes as 'branded'. They're more generic.) I have had very good rides on it, both on paved and dirt roads. The longest ride was a 50-mile journey along the Baja coast. It performed excellently going uphill, being very light, and on the way down it zoomed up to 45 MPH very smoothly, with no vibration or shakes. I'm very pleased with my bike. I wonder why it's so high up in the rankings.

Raleigh bikes are on the comeback. They slipped a little in the past, but the bikes are top-notch now and still priced well. The Euro pro team is going to help change the dated perception that some people may still have.

Their bikes are very long-lasting. I had a mountain bike from Raleigh that I bought in 1990, and it's still running well today with its upgraded components!

25 Felt

I bought a Felt MTB for my son after comparing specs. It was between Felt and Specialized. There was a misunderstanding at the bike shop, so they gave me an upgraded model for a lower price on the Felt, which helped me decide. We're in the SF Bay Area, so all brands are available. After six weeks, he loves the ride but has only been on streets and light trails so far. And that, my friends, is how we Felt.

I love my Felt. It's the best ride for the best price, as someone else said, without having to sell a kidney to own one. I got mine on sale because it was a year old, and they were trying to get it off the showroom floor. I couldn't pass it up for the money.

Felt is a better racing bike than over half of the bikes on this list. I love my Doctrine 3 and wouldn't trade it for anything.

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