A "beautiful bike, this Sonora from Stevens, that's all I can say" is the conclusion of the Velozine test rider. Above all, the well thought-out, proven geometry of the carbon frame finds favour, as it creates an efficient yet relaxed riding position that can quickly be made a good deal sportier with the help of a few simple and above all self-executable tricks, such as inverting the stem, should this be desired by the rider.
The well thought-out design of the rear triangle, which is comparatively comfortable for a hardtail mountain bike, is also rated positively. "The Stevens engineers have also worked on optimising ride comfort and traction. Because a super stiff rear end may feel fast, but in practice a rear end that yields a little more is actually faster." And the online magazine goes on to state "The seat tube of the Sonora is therefore flattened at the bottom and the seat stays are slim. Theoretically, this makes it easier for the seatpost to bend backwards when the rear wheel hits an uneven surface. [...] With the relatively slim construction of the seat fork and the slight flattening of the seat tube at the bottom, Stevens has managed to create additional comfort".
The combination of both - proven, not too extreme frame geometry and coherent rear triangle concept - then also ensures a balanced, safe and predictable ride. "The fact is that this Stevens looks familiar from the first few metres. [...] The front and rear axles are well balanced, the steering is neutral and both wheels have plenty of grip. And when it starts to slide, it's usually with the rear wheel first," says the test driver.
The test editors also praise the coherent equipment: "Lots of good material from Stevens' own [...] Oxygen brand, powerful and reliable Shimano XT brakes, fast and light Schwalbe XC rubber with super-light Aerothane tubes and – not unimportant – a light and fine SID SL Select+ fork from RockShox.
And so the Velozine magazine concludes: "With the Stevens Sonora, all your mountain bike desires are more than fulfilled [...]". You can't ask for more than that.