With buzzwords like Enduro and 27. 5 floating around this year, we couldn't blame you if you're feeling a little bit cynical. But thankfully, we have the Santa Cruz Bronson X01 AM complete mountain bike to remind us that despite the hype, bikes are better than ever. With a durable aluminum frame and SRAM's new X01 drivetrain, you already know that it's up to the task, whether you're racing everyone's favorite newfangled event, or just chasing some post work smiles. When you factor in the FOX suspension and RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, you're looking at a one bike quiver that's ready for anything you can throw at it.While the carbon fiber Bronson holds onto the flagship spot, aluminum remains the best choice for blending value with durability. And with the alloy version, Santa Cruz's decades of experience with the material are on full display. Through the thoughtful selection of butted tubing, and artfully sculpted machined bits, the Bronson's frame is kept to a very reasonable 6. 8 pounds for a medium frame with a rear shock. And while it's roughly a pound and a half heavier than its carbon fiber counterpart, it gives up almost nothing in regard to strength and stiffness. That's thanks in part to the oversized 15mm collet style hardware, and it gets better with the 12x142mm through axle out back. While the Bronson is decidedly aggressive in orientation, its Enduro racing focus means that exceptional pedaling efficiency is just as important as terrain taming smoothness. And with the latest version of VPP handling the terrain, that's not a concern. It uses two counter rotating links to achieve an optimal balance of firm pedaling and a smooth ride. Basically, the beginning stroke is controlled by the upper link, which starts the stroke in a high leverage position for a supple ride over stutter bumps. As the suspension settles into the sag point, the lower link takes over control of the suspension, enabling the rear wheel to travel backwards, out of the wa...