2022 came and went, and with it brought a lot of awesome mountain bike parts, accessories, and rides. As usual, we're here to present to you the top mountain bike products of the year, organized by category for your viewing pleasure. Tune in as we dazzle, delight, and deliver the goods of 2022.
This year didn't see many game changing innovations in the drivetrain department, however, parts availability improved slightly over the previous couple of years (which isn't really saying much) which helped our cause in determining the top selling products of the year and having an even playing field. Starting off our list in the #6 spot is the SRAM GX Eagle cassette, followed by BOX and their Three Prime 9 X-Wide Multi Shift Groupset. It's definitely awesome to see a brand like BOX sneak into the top 5. Up next is SRAM's NX Eagle cassette, presumably a popular product due to people upgrading their drivetrains to 1x12 or simply because they were replacing their current cassette. Speaking of replacing drivetrain parts, the RaceFace Narrow Wide Chainring comes into the #3 spot for the same reason, also because a lot of ebike drivetrains feature the 104 BCD mounting standard and they certainly go through a lot of chainrings. Rounding out our top drivetrain products is SRAM's GX AXS Upgrade Kit at #2, and their mechanical GX derailleur and shifter coming in at the #1 spot.
Grips are one of the most essential parts of your bike, connecting you to the bike and the trail. This year we have some classics in the mix as well as a couple of newcomers that are ready to change the game. PNW starts off our list with their Loam grips that came out in 2019. These grips have a design that feels comfortable in the hand and are offered in several different colors to match your other PNW flavored components, as well as an XL option for meatier paws. Up next in the #3 spot is Ergon and their GE1 grip which has been a popular option for several years now. Ergon was founded on the principle of creating ergonomically optimized contact points for a pain free ride, and we think they've achieved that with their range of products that riders everywhere seemingly have been loving. Next up is ODI's Elite Pro, one of the few grips that is actually made in the USA. These grips are tried and true and are loved by tons of riders and racers, including our good friend Neko Mulally. Speaking of being loved by riders and racers everywhere, Trail One and the Hell's Gate grip comes in at the #1 spot which really stokes us out. 2022 marks the first full year we had these grips available for sale and the fact that they already made it to the top spot means a lot to us. Thanks to everyone who contributed to our mission of giving back to the trails we love and got themselves a pair.
Something we absolutely never tire of talking about. You guessed it, rubber! This year we saw a couple of brands that rose to new heights as Continental came into the ring swinging with their full new lineup of tires, as well as Delium who came into the game hot with their extremely reasonably priced tires that offer quality that's sure to make the big dogs shake in their boots. Speaking of Continental, they'll start us off with the honorable mentions since availability wasn't great (as expected with a full new line of tires in this day and age) and we didn't have enough stock on hand to actually have them compete saleswise with the likes of Maxxis and others. With that said, we have been extremely impressed with them so far and our favorite from them has to be the Kryptotal.
Starting off our official lineup is Vittoria and their Mezcal, a tire named after a Mexican drink from an Italian tire company. Maybe Italians love drinking Mezcal Margaritas? We will never know. Right in front of Vittoria is their German neighbors at Schwalbe and their Nobby Nic tire, an extremely versatile tire that finds its way onto bikes of all types. Next up is Delium and their Rugged tire, which offers a ton of grip in a durable casing for serious enduro and gravity riding. Our top 3 is rounded out with all Maxxis with the Dissector in the #3 spot followed by the Assegai in #2 and the DHRII reigning supreme, presumably due to its versatility.
Mountain bike handlebars have evolved particularly well into the bars we currently know and love. Gone are the skinny and dangerous bars of years past, and the nice and wide carbon and alloy bars of the present and future and here to stay. Perhaps this evolution was due to an influence from the motocross world which have historically had wider bars for increased control. Regardless of the handlebar history, this year we've got some familiar faces as well as a couple of newcomers.
Starting off our list this year in the #5 spot is RaceFace's Chester - a bar that is offered at a great price from a brand that's known for durable and quality components. On the flip side, in the #4 spot is the Enve M6 bar which is one of the more premium offerings in the handlebar segment. Starting off our handlebar podium is Trail One with the Crockett Alloy handlebar. Again, it's awesome to see another Trail One product make it into one of the top spots after just its first full year of sales. Up next in the runner-up spot is the Carbon version of the Crockett handlebar from T1, interestingly showing us that the carbon bar is slightly more popular than the alloy version. Finally, in the #1 spot for the second year in a row is the OneUp Components carbon handlebar. This bar features a unique design that offers lateral stiffness and vertical compliance which is basically unprecedented in the handlebar world, and is also offered in an EMTB version that's designed to hide the cable from most handlebar mounted speed controllers.
Nothing can transform the way a bike rides like a wheelset. From heavy and durable to lightweight and nimble, each wheel is going to drastically change the way your bike rides and how the trails feels underneath you. With that in mind, starting off our list in the #5 spot is Berd and their Hawk27 wheels. These wheels are an incredibly light offering in the MTB world and give an impressively energetic feel on the trail. The light weight due to the fancy ultra high molecular weight polyethylene spokes means they accelerate quickly while remaining incredibly durable thanks to the We Are One Composites made carbon rim, manufactured in North America. Up next is a wheel that is somewhat on the other end of the pricing spectrum, the DT Swiss E1900. This wheel is a solid choice for a wide variety of bikes that won't break the bank and offers that classic DT Swiss bulletproof quality. Rounding out our podium for the wheel category is a shop favorite, Industry Nine. Their Enduro 305 wheel takes the #3 spot while the Enduro S Hydra is the runner up to their 1/1 Enduro S wheel that took the top spot. We love i9 here at the shop, and based on the sales data, it looks like riders everywhere have been loving them as well.
"Drop it like its hot" - Snoop Dogg. Little did he know that when he sang those prophetic words, there would one day exist a bicycle seatpost that we would all drop like its hot, and those words would live on in our heads for eternity. Or at least mine. Dropper posts have found their way onto tons of mountain bikes by now, and like all other mountain bike parts, there's a wide variety available to riders that vary by quality, features and price. Starting off our list for this year is PNW and their Loam dropper. This post is easily serviceable by the user, is offered at a great price, and is adjustable in increments to give you the best possible drop for the rider and their bike. Next up is OneUp and their V2 dropper post. This post has been popular for some time now due to its great price, serviceability, and user friendliness, and travel adjustability. The post that claims the top spot this year is none other than Fox's Factory Transfer dropper post. This post is easily one of the fanciest posts on the market (next to the Reverb AXS) and is sure to please the eye with its Kashima stanchion to match your Fox Factory suspension.
A new category for this year, we thought it would only be appropriate to feature and highlight the remotes responsible for our love for dropper posts. Starting off our list in the #3 spot is the somewhat recently redesigned Fox Transfer lever. Their last lever left a little something to be desired, since it had a tendency to fray cables and squeak like a baby bird, among other unmentionable traits. This updated lever, however, hangs with the big dogs and features a roller bearing and a nice, high quality finish - things you would expect from Fox. Next up in the lineup is the PNW Loam lever which has been a shop favorite for years now with its beautifully machined fit and finish, colored rubber traction pad, and great style. Coming in at the #1 spot is Wolf Tooth's Light Action ReMote, the slightly longer version of their classic remote that offers increased leverage and a remarkably "light action", hence the name.
Dropper Seatpost Remotes
Mountain bike brakes have become something seriously impressive. They offer incredible stopping performance in a compact, lightweight package. The brake category this year is a nice and diverse array of products from some of our top brands which is great to see. Starting us off in the #5 spot is the TRP DH-R Evo brake, which is TRP's heavy duty offering for enduro and DH riding. Up next is one of Magura's 4 piston brakes, the MT5. This brake offers great quality, value, and performance, perhaps unrivaled at its pricepoint. Starting off our brake podium this year is Shimano and their SLX 4 piston brake. This brake also offers great performance for its value and bulletproof durability to boot. In the #2 spot is SRAM's Code RSC brake, their highest power brake that they offer. This brake may be their most powerful, but that doesn't stop riders from putting it on their beefy downcountry steeds, trail bikes and downhill bikes alike. Winning the brake category this year is Magura with their MT7 brake, one of their more premium brake offerings that's used by a number of factory race teams and some of the world's best riders.
One must wonder, do they call it a saddle because you mount and ride a bike like you would a horse? Nobody knows, and will ever truly know. Just kidding, that's exactly why they call it a saddle.
Our list of top saddles this year comes with a couple of "yeah sure I knew that would be a top seller" as well as a "wait... really?" Starting us off is SDG with their Bel-Air 3.0 saddle. This saddle has been around for years, and with its third iteration brings some updates in profile and construction that riders will be sure to be stoked to see. In the #4 spot is WTB's Silverado saddle which is especially sleek and is one of Jeff's favorites to rest his buttocks upon. Starting off our podium is Title and their MTB JS1 saddle. This was somewhat of a shocker since we don't necessarily think of Title as a popular saddle company but here we are, proven wrong for the first time ever, but who's counting? Next up in the #2 spot is a usual suspect, the Ergon SM Pro. This is one of my personal favorites and has been for a few years now. I usually go for the Titanium railed version in the medium/large size, but other versions are available. Taking the top spot in the saddle category this year is WTB's Volt saddle, which makes sense because it is seemingly on every bike at the trailhead. Whether people are replacing their worn out saddles or upgrading to something more comfortable, it makes sense that the Volt takes the top spot with its good looks, performance, and wide range of prices.
Without pedals, we'd all be riding adult strider bikes. Not that that's a bad thing, but its just not our preference. After completing our list for this year, we found that a large majority of pedal purchasers were of the flat pedal preference, so we vowed to make a separate category for flat pedals and clipless pedals for next year. Jumping into the top pedals of 2022, the RaceFace Chester Composite pedal starts us off at the #5 spot. This pedal has been a top seller for us for years now, and with other heavyweights in the composite pedal ring, they have some serious competition - which brings us to our #4 pedal, the Deity Deftrap pedal. This pedal was modeled after the famed TMac pedal which is one of the most popular and revered flat pedals of all time. In the #3 spot is PNW with their Range composite pedal. Similar to the other composite pedal offerings, the Range has great durability, serviceability, and a great price. In the runner up spot is OneUp and their Aluminum pedal, the only alu pedal that squeaked into the top spots. With high quality, great looks and a competitive price among other options, its easy to see how it made its way into the top 5. However, it wasn't popular enough to beat out its OneUp Composite brethren, who made the top spot for 2022.
Like many mountain bike components, the fork you want will be determined by the type of bike you have, the trails you like to ride, and your general riding style. The forks that made it into the lineup this year have their toes dipped into a few different disciplines, which makes things all that more interesting. Starting us off is Fox with their 36 in the #4 spot. The 36 is perhaps the most versatile fork in Fox's lineup, which can be configured from 130mm travel to 160mm travel, so it makes sense that it could end up on a wide variety of bikes and is quite popular. Next up is their 34 Step-Cast fork, which is only available in 120mm of travel and is typically found on XC and light trail bikes. In the #2 spot is the RockShox Recon, which is one of the most popular wallet friendly forks that we sell that still offers great performance. Reigning king in the #1 spot is the Fox 38 factory fork. This suspension masterpiece is available from 160mm to 180mm of travel and is typically found on enduro bikes to superenduro bikes and freeride bikes as well. It offers a huge range of adjustability, chassis stiffness, and an incredibly plush air spring among other features.
Like we mentioned with mountain bike suspension forks, your rear shock will also depend on a few factors. You likely aren't going to see a massive coil shock on an XC featherweight machine. The bike and its components should match its trail intentions. Speaking of intentions, lets get on with the top rear shocks for 2022! Starting us off is the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Air shock. This revised shock hosts a full suite of updates including a new piggyback reservoir and damper adjustments. Speaking of RockShox, they also took home the #3 spot with their Monarch RL shock. On the other end of the price range spectrum from the Super Deluxe, this shock is a popular replacement for older bikes with rear shocks that may be beyond repair or are deserving of an upgrade. Fox's Float X2 snuck into the #2 spot as its incredible range of adjustability and gravity focused performance is about as close to riding a coil as you can get, but with the on-the-fly adjustability and light weight of an air shock. Taking the top spot this year is Fox's Float X rear shock. This shock saw some updates from the outgoing DPX2 in the way of numbered compression and rebound adjustments, a larger reservoir and air can, and metric only sizing. Featured on a wide range of bikes and travel ranges, it makes sense that this shock took the top spot this year.
Maintenance is a key part of mountain bike ownership. Take care of your bike and it will take care of you! And it won't try and kill you when you go down hill. Most mountain bikes require similar items for maintenance such as certain types of lube and grease, and a little love goes a long way. With that said, let's dive into our top selling maintenance items for 2022!
Starting off our list in the #4 spot is Park Tool's SAC-2, the SuperGrip Carbon and Alloy compound. This is a great product to use when inserting a seatpost into a carbon frame, carbon bars in a stem, and many things of the sort where you wouldn't want anything to move around once installed. Next up is Buzzy's Slick Honey. This slickoleum grease is our grease of choice when doing suspension and dropper post service and rebuilds. Buy a big jug and you'll have enough for years of servicing parts for you and your friends. Coming in at the runner up spot is Muc-Off's Bio Dry Chain Lube. This lube has been extremely popular the last couple of years because of its great lubrication properties, clean application, and it doesn't grime up your drivetrain like some others. Taking the #1 spot in the maintenance category this year is SRAM Butter Grease. Made for fork, shock, dropper post and hub services, this is SRAM's version of slickoleum grease and it works quite well for its intended purpose.
Many things may find their way into the missle anus category, anything from bottle cages to shock pumps and everything in between. Without further ado, lets jump into our top 5.
Starting us off is the Lezyne Grip Drive HV Frame Pump which has gained a lot of popularity lately. People have seemingly been jumping off of the CO2 train and getting more frame pumps which frankly just makes sense for most riders unless you are racing and every second counts. Up next is another type of pump, Fox's High Pressure Shock pump, the analog version. They recently updated their shock pump to feature a swivel head that makes it easier to thread onto valves in tricky to reach places, which could be one of the reasons why it sold better than its RockShox counterpart. Which brings us to our #3 item on the list, Pedro's Tire Levers. These are some of our favorite tire levers that we've used (on the trail and in the shop alike) and the fact that they are one of the top selling tire levers also shows that they are popular among riders everywhere. Up next in our lineup in the #2 spot is another product from Lezyne, their Flow Side Loading Bottle Cage. We've been installing these bottle cages on our demo bikes for years now, and clearly riders everywhere have been loving them too. They work great, look great, and are offered at a great price. What's not to love? Speaking of love, people have definitely been loving our #1 product in this category, the RaceFace T2 Half Stack Tailgate Pad. This is a great tailgate pad if you don't find yourself consistently shuttling a group of riders, or want to pay extra to have a full length tailgate pad when you really only transport yourself and maybe a buddy to the trailhead.
And least but not last, the loneliest product of the year....