So we’re down, or up, depending on your viewpoint, to eleven gears it seems, or even seven if downhill is your game. Clean, crisp reliable shifting has never been so good. You could argue that many riders are very brand loyal in their choice of drivetrain but seeing as there are only two major players our choice is relatively simple here. It’s also no surprise that those same two companies, SRAM and Shimano, are by far the leading lights this season on the braking systems with some truly stunning stoppers. Pretty easy then? Well, reasonably until you turn to pedals. Of course pedals can be personal too, just like drive, especially when it comes to clips, but you can never take away performance from the equation no matter how intimate you want to get. Nevertheless the flat pedal call was one of the hardest product choices to make given the huge variety.
The most coveted of groupsets. Light, stiff and impeccably finished. Shimano XTR '1 X Trail' Drivetrain review
Shimano Zee is the workhorse downhill groupset that delivers on performance and price
Tough and reliable performance. The 2016 Shimano XT is our choice in anchors from the Japanese giants
As the name suggests, it doesn't get much better. Our best mountainbike brake 2016 is the Sram Guide Ultimate
Silky downhill anchors the Avid Code mountainbike brake delivers immense power smoothly
Never misses a beat, has a beautiful engagement - our best trail/enduro transmission 2016 is Sram XX1
Carbon specialists Race Face introduce the Six C crank, allowing riders to get the power down quickly with this super stiff chainset
Sram X01DH is our best downhill transmission 2016
Simple, effective and not too bulky the NS Radiance has been our go-to pedal for most of the past year
If you're clipped in the Crank Brothers Mallet DH Race Pedals are the No 1 choice in downhill pedal. Simple.
A convincing alternative clip pedal, the HT X2 Pedals offer great support and security. The choice of the World Cup downhill champion.
The DMR Vault is a flat pedal you can bank on. A benchmark, part of the mountainbike furniture.