Words by: Liam Woods
Welcome to the grand finale, our top MTB products for the entire year of 2020. This year has been unlike any other with companies across the industry selling out due to the incredibly high demand for bicycles and bike parts. More riders getting into the sport has been great to see but it also means limited availability when looking to upgrade your bike. Instead of picking only what is available, we decided to break it down from our top three best selling individual products for the year, then into categories; Drivetrain, Grips, Tires, Handlebars, Wheelsets, Dropper Posts, Brakes, Saddles, Flat Pedals, Forks, & Rear Shocks. Scroll on through to check out what we sold the most throughout this crazy year!
It should come as no surprise that our top selling product of the year was the DT Swiss 54t Ratchet Kit. With so many stock bikes coming with a DT Swiss star ratchet hub, this $107 upgrade makes an immediate improvement to your hub engagement. With most hubs coming with an 18t star ratchet, a few with 36t, the 54t really takes it to what we consider, the benchmark on what hub engagement should be. At 6.66 degrees, the 54t engagement makes that dead zone less noticeable when hitting those tech climbs or getting a few quick cranks out of corners. We have made a video explaining the 54t ratchet kit, as well as featured it in many monthly Top Product articles because it really is an amazing value and a great upgrade to your DT Swiss hubs.
Another great product (and new for 2020), is the Stan’s NoTubes DART Too. The DART is a tubeless tire plug that improves on the previous versions currently available in the market. We did a complete video explaining the Stans DART Tool, so make sure to check that out if you are interested in buying one. The DART tool is able to seal larger punctures in the tire by forming a chemical bond with your sealant. Not only did we test it out, but we compared it to the bacon strips many of us are used to using, and maybe completely fed up with as well. Since this tool was released, I have carried it on me for almost 100% of my rides. It has saved my tire a handful of times, so don't be that rider, get a Stan’s DART Tool and save your next ride, or your buddies ride!
The 3rd best selling product for 2020 is the Quarq ShockWiz, a suspension tuning device that helps you dial in your suspension according to your riding style and terrain. When the Quarq ShockWiz first came out, we knew it would be a great product but wanted to try it out for ourselves. With some testing and messing about, we decided it could be a great tool for any beginner to advanced rider looking to dial in the air suspension on their bike. We even made a full video explaining how it works and what features you can see when using it. Not only does it help you adjust things like air pressure, compression, rebound and volume tokens, but you can also see how much airtime you got, how many harsh bottoms out happened, and much more! While it's a bit expensive for personal use, we admit, we think if you and a buddy go in on it, or you get one with the use to share with your friends, it can be a great investment to help everyone improve their riding experience.
The drivetrain on a mountain bike has a huge job, it's needed to propel your bike forward and makes it easier to climb or go fast. The difference between an entry level drivetrain and a high end drivetrain is pretty massive. It's no surprise that the drivetrain category is a big one for us. With tons of products to choose from, multiple ranges from entry level to top of the line, and so on. Let’s run through some of our best sellers! To start, the SRAM Eagle extended ecosystem range came out this year, with an improved range of 520% and a cassette with a 10-52t range. SRAM GX Eagle, SRAM X01 Eagle, and SRAM XX1 Eagle all received the same upgrade. We also saw a few new colors with the most notable being the copper colored cassette and chain. One of the best selling products is the SRAM GX Eagle rear derailleur for the 520% range. We have a full video on the new SRAM Eagle Extended Range, so check it out. Another SRAM product that was released this year is the SRAM AXS Rocker Paddle. If you already own SRAM AXS this rocker paddle is only a $20 upgrade and makes the ergonomics of your shifter feel more like a traditional shifter. A few other great sellers for 2020 is the Box Three Prime 9 x-wide multi shift groupset, with a 11-50t range. Similar to the Box Three Prime 9 is the MicroShift Advent X groupset, an affordable option to get some upgraded shifting on your bike. Last but certainly not least, we have the Shimano XT RD-M8100 rear derailleur, a constant seller and a workhorse of a component. The Shimano XT line is something you can't go wrong with, so we always see tons of these going out the door.
Fact, it would be really hard to ride your bike without grips. Grips also happen to be one of the cheapest things to swap out on your bike. Much of it comes down to personal preference. If you aren’t sure which grips to go with, we have no shortage of grip videos such as our Top 10 MTB Grips.. A top seller and a shop favorite is the ODI Elite Pro Grips. These feature a padded top and waffle bottom and you can find them on most of our personal bikes. Ergon is always a top seller for us and the GA3, GA2, and GE1 have been the best sellers all year. We have videos all about Ergon grips as well, so check those out. The last grip but certainly not the least in sales or popularity, is the PNW LOAM grip. The Loam grip is fairly new and features a nice slim shape with ribbed sections for grip. There are also a ton of PNW color options to choose from, check out the video all about the PNW LOAM grip to learn more!
Tires can make a huge difference in the way your bike rides, either adding grip, faster rolling, or thicker casings for more protection, a tire upgrade can not only change the performance of your bike, but make you much faster going up or downhill. You can get very obsessive over tires, as well as get a bit lost on what tire is best for you. That is why we have so many tire videos, like Best Maxxis Tires, Best Maxxis Tire Combos, Best Enduro Tires, and Best XC tires. So if you are lost, check those out. To keep it short, I'll just name the top 3 best selling tires for 2020. Yes, they happen to all be from Maxxis and no we haven't made that up. The best selling tire for the year is the Maxxis Minion DHRII, specifically the 29 x 2.4 EXO+ version. Next we have the new Maxxis Assegai, a very grippy tire meant to provide the most grip in as many conditions as possible, learn more in our Assegai video. Finally, we have the Maxxis Dissector tire, Maxxis’ newest trail/downhill tire. We have a video on the Dissector as well if you want to learn what that tire is all about.
Handlebars, you can't ride without them! We recently did a video comparing different carbon handlebars to see if we could notice a difference when swapped between the models. The results were definitely surprising so if you haven't seen that video, go watch it! The top selling handlebars are the OneUp Components Carbon handlebar, 35mm x 35mm. At $138 for a pair, not only are they affordable for carbon, but they also have some engineered flex as well. Next, we have an alloy handlebar, the PNW Range Handlebar.. With 5% of sales going to NICA, the PNW handlebar feels great and gives back! Last, a classic from RaceFace, the RaceFace Chester handlebar, a solid alloy handlebar that gets the job done and makes for a great replacement or upgrade!
Wheelsets can be one of the more expensive upgrades but also some of the most worthwhile for your bike. From weight, to strength, to internal width, and ride performance, there is a lot to look at when choosing a wheelset. For us, not only do we love this wheelset but we also sell a lot of them, the Industry Nine Enduro S Hydra Wheelset. At just $975, the Hydra wheelset sits in the mid range for wheelsets but comes with high end performance in the form of the Hydra hub with 690 points of engagement. Next, we have the Stan’s NoTubes Flow S1 wheelset, another alloy wheelset that comes in a bit cheaper while still packing as much performance as possible. Last, we have the DT Swiss E 1900 Spline wheelset, a solid and strong wheel that also happens to come stock on many complete bikes. So if you are looking to upgrade or just replace a damaged wheel, the DT Swiss E 1900 Wheelset is a great one to look at!
The dropper post is a product that when you start using one, you will never go back. And why would you? With the press of a remote, you can lower your saddle for going downhill and with another press, have it raise back up to start pedaling again. But it's no secret that they ALL have had their fair share of issues to some point. Our top selling and what we consider the most reliable post out there, the Fox Transfer Dropper post, and the Factory version to boost, is the best selling dropper post of the year. Next, we have the OneUp Components V2 Dropper post. This post really changed up the dropper post game by coming in at a very affordable price and also having some of the most service parts available to work on it yourself. At just $209, the OneUp V2 Dropper post is air adjustable, travel adjustable, and comes in every length and diameter you need. Last, and possibly the coolest dropper post on the market, the RockShox Reverb AXS post. Since it comes with AXS technology, that means it's 100% wireless. While the price doubles, removing a cable from your bike is pretty damn amazing and we would be lying if we said that doesn't factor into our decision when buying a dropper post.
Having a good set of brakes you can trust not only makes your riding safe, but also increases your confidence and therefore makes you faster. I think a brake upgrade is a great place to look for improvements and choosing the right brake style for you is important. SRAM is a very popular option for us and one we think has some of the best power to modulation ratio in the game. Magura is more on the full power, full bite point, not a ton of modulation but when you want to stop, they stop! The SRAM G2 RSC brakes are our top selling brake for the year, closely followed by the SRAM Code RSC brake. Check out our video on SRAM Brakes to learn more! Next was the Magura MT7 Pro disc brake coming in 3rd. Also worth mentioning, in 4th place is the Magura MT5 brake set. Both great brakes and some very powerful stoppers right there.
You will not be riding very far if your saddle is not comfortable. Luckily for you, we have a video explaining what to look for in a saddle and what our Top MTB Saddles are! Depending on how much you ride and the type of riding you do will determine the best option for you. The top brands we saw selling this year were Ergon and WTB. Both brands have a huge range of saddles as well as different ways to make sure your saddle is right for you. The top selling saddle comes as no surprise, the Ergon SM Pro. From the day it was released, the SM Pro has been selling out! Second is the WTB Volt, a classic MTB saddle that is great for so many riders! Third, we are back to Ergon with the SMC Sport Gel, a more comfort saddle great for long rides or casual riders. Last, the WTB Silverado. Many riders pick this saddle for its shape and style as it's great for xc riding and enduro.
If you run flat pedals, finding that perfect shoe/pedal combination is key to having a great match. Choosing a flat pedal is like answering what kid you love the most, they all have great features, but it's a hard choice. Luckily for you, we have a video going through our Top MTB Flat Pedals to help narrow down your choice...sorry we cant help with what kid you love the most. The OneUp Components Composite Pedal is our top selling flat pedal. With OneUp making amazing products and having service kits available, it's quickly become a very popular pedal. Next is the RaceFace Chester Pedal. Since this pedal came out a few years ago, it has always been a consistent seller and still remains in our top 3. Next, the Crank Brothers Stamp 1 pedal. Another composite pedal that also has two sizes to choose from, a very cool feature to see. Along with the two sizes, Crank Brothers just released some flat pedal shoes to help make that shoe/pedal combination the best possible, check it out!
2020 was an amazing year for the suspension fork. With both Rockshox and Fox releasing fresh products like the Fox 38 and RockShox ZEB, these really took the lead in suspension sales. Fox not only released the new 38 fork, but also revised the classic Fox 36 fork, both getting a new look and new features. We have a full breakdown on the new Fox Suspension lineup so make sure to check that out. In order from best selling, we have the Fox 38 fork coming in with top honors and just behind that, the Fox 36. The RockShox ZEB was our 3rd best selling while also coming out later in the year than the new Fox products. For more info on the RockShox ZEB make sure to check out the video we made when it was first released! For some more affordable top selling options, the Manitou Markhor and RockShox Recon Silver RL are great forks for the price and we have more forks to see in the Best Forks Under $500 video!
Along with suspension Forks, rear shocks saw some improvements too. The Fox Float X2 rear shock got a full revision and is even better than last year's model. Our top selling rear shock just happens to be the Fox Float X2, specifically 210 x 55mm variant. Next, is the classic RockShox Monarch rear shock. While it still has the older imperial shock sizing, it's a great upgrade for many bikes out there! In third, the RockShox Super Deluxe rear shock. What we love about the RockShox Super Deluxe is the ability to run the RockShox MegNeg can to further tune how your rear shock feels. A product to help with that is the top selling Quarq ShockWiz we mentioned in the beginning of this article!
A product with many uses and receiving this year's honorable mention, the Buzzy’s Slick Honey. Slick Honey can be used on tons of parts on your bike, from suspension seals, to shift cables, dropper post seals and more! The 16oz jar will probably last your average rider/mechanic a very long time, but the performance and value this one jar brings you is unmatched when you compare the price to performance gained. That is why it's getting our honorable mention. I always have some Slick Honey around. It has a permanent spot on the workbench as well as a spot in the travel bag. You never know when something needs to be more slick, and that is when I grab some Buzzy’s Slick Honey!
This article was written / authored by Liam Woods. Liam has been in the bicycle industry for over 10 years as a racer, professional mechanic, service manager and as of late, media and content creator. Liam has ridden thousands of different bikes, ridden countless components, tested endless MTB apparel of all kinds and written reviews on it all. He's a key piece to the Worldwide Cyclery "All Things MTB" content creation puzzle. He also makes consistent appearances on the Worldwide Cyclery YouTube channel and Instagram.