Deciding upon the 100 greatest products of the year is no easy task, especially when you’ve got an office that’s as skilled at arguing as ours. I’ve lost count of the number of draft lists we’ve made months ago, but I do remember that somewhat magical day when we all finally agreed on the definitive list. I never thought it would actually happen, but there it was a list of 100 products, not 99 or 101. Fast forward a couple of months and everything has been sourced, shot, and written about, the designer has even started putting everything together, and then in walks Dirt Deputy Editor Steve Jones one morning and firmly states that the bike he’s just wheeled in HAS to go in the Dirt 100.
Now he’d been riding this Slopestyle for well over a month by this point, and apparently he’d found himself having to bite his tongue harder and harder after every ride on it, until he got to the point where he just had to let it out and cause another day of heated debate. To be fair we quickly saw how strongly he felt about this bike needing to be included, and so we accepted it was going to happen despite the hassles it was going to cause, but we still had to decide what product it was going to replace. To cut a long story short, that proved to be an impossible decision and so I just finally said “sod it, let’s just have 101 products”. We then thought about sneaking it in with the rest of the products hoping that some uber geek wouldn’t go counting them, but then as a kind of celebration of the fact that great products can turn up any day we thought we’d just be honest and stick it at the end. So here it is… Oh yeah, I guess you might be wondering what’s so special about this frame that warranted all this extra trouble. Well, for a bike with such a specific name it’s actually one of the hardest to stereotype. If we had to put it into a category it would sit with its other all–round 6” Enduro and Alpine friends, but it is different.
Firstly this bike climbs way better than it ever should (even with the limitation of a short seat tube), but more importantly it has geometry that’s about as perfect as it gets for travelling at serious speed. It’s so good in that respect that we can easily forgive the fact that the suspension might not work quite as well as that on the Alpine, which I guess is proof if ever any was needed that it’s geometry that can really make or break a bike. This one is most certainly made.
Check out the Intense Slopestyle 2