Mountain Bike Hard Tails Reviews

Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Big Wig 2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Big Wig 2019
Ragley Bikes Big Wig

Ragley is back! After a short break they are back with a full range of bikes and have lost none of their hardtail swagger. With a range of models in both aluminium and steel, Ragley has all the bases covered with a hardtail for everyone. The Blue Pig, Piglet, and Big Wig represent the steel side of the family, each…

Hard Tails
2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal META HT AM Essential 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal META HT AM Essential 2018
Commencal META HT AM Essential

Commencal has long been of the belief that “it’s better to have a good hardtail than a bad full suspension bike.” The Commencal META HT has very similar numbers to the full bounce version and even sports a similarly aggressive looking silhouette. As hardtails go, this one looked from the off like it was going to be fun. The AM…

Hard Tails
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Vitus Sentier 29 VR 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Vitus Sentier 29 VR 2018
Vitus Sentier 29 VR

At a penny short of a grand (currently just £899.99on CRC), Vitus' Sentier 29 VR sits on that price point on which mountain bikes really start to get good. It's also at this price where a decision is made about hardtail versus full suspension. Full suss rigs can be bought around this price, but the level of quality kit on…

Hard Tails
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Big Trail 900 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes Big Trail 900 2017
Merida Bikes Big Trail 900

When Merida announced their 2017 lineup, I thought it would maybe feature a few new models or a colour change here and there. What I wasn't prepared for was an almost complete overhaul of the range, changes to style, geometry, specs and nearly everything else. Hidden amongst this brand new set of machines was the Big Trail, an aluminium hardtail…

Hard Tails
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Meta HT AM Race 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Meta HT AM Race 2017
Commencal Meta HT AM Race

Hardtails are still very much commonplace around the world, but there are only a few countries in the world that produce the type of bike we have here. The UK, Canada, they've been at it for years, but the Andorran brand have also been on the same page for some time. What I'm referring to is the idea of a hardtail,…

Hard Tails
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Nail Trail 7 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Nail Trail 7 2017
Marin Bikes Nail Trail 7

Marin are gradually re-vamping their range of bikes, and this year we see the new Hawkhill, the Pine Mountain, and this, the Nail Trail. Available in 2 models, this is the Nail Trail 7 and sees a few key upgrades over the lower spec 6 including a dropper post, SLX shifting, but most notably a Yari fork to dish out…

Hard Tails
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Blue Pig 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Blue Pig 2017
Ragley Bikes Blue Pig

The UK is the home of hardcore hardtails, and Ragley’s offering in the form of the Blue Pig stays faithful to that with this beast of a steel hardtail. For those that don’t know them, Ragley Bikes are a UK company who specialise in the gnarlier end of the hardtail market, and the Blue Pig sits at the top of…

Hard Tails
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pipedream Cycles Moxie 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pipedream Cycles Moxie 2017
Pipedream Cycles Moxie

British brand Pipedream are back with a hardtail to truly get the pulse racing. Launched at Eurobike, the pink machine was hard to miss, and certainly got lots of media attention throughout the week. It's reassuring to know that a steel hardtail can still turn heads at a trade show overflowing with enormous tyres and e-bikes. The Moxie is currently…

Hard Tails
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Sonder Transmitter Carbon 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Sonder Transmitter Carbon 2017
Sonder Transmitter Carbon

Sonder is a relatively new bike brand from British outdoor experts Alpkit; they have been turning heads since launched at the London bike show in 2015. The well-reputed Brant Richards was involved at the beginning, and now Neil Sutton holds the reigns of this exciting brand as it brings with it a rapidly expanding line up. The Transmitter has been…

Hard Tails
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Reaction GTC SL 29  2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Reaction GTC SL 29  2016
CUBE Bikes Reaction GTC SL 29

The Reaction SL is a race ready full carbon 29er with speed on its mind and not much else. Aimed at the rider looking for a fast XC bike that isn’t going to break the bank it sits just below the Elite models in their XC race range. Two sizes are available in 27.5 wheeled guise, 16” and 18” and…

Hard Tails
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - DMR Bikes Trailstar  2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - DMR Bikes Trailstar  2016
DMR Bikes Trailstar

Arguably the first hardcore hardtail ever produced, the DMR Trailstar has a solid place in mountain biking history. This new version aims to bring it firmly into the 21st century while retaining the characteristics that made it such a classic in the first place. The update obviously sees a wheel size increase to 650b and can even take tyres up…

Hard Tails
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Meta HT AM 650B Race  2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Meta HT AM 650B Race  2016
Commencal Meta HT AM 650B Race

Everyone needs a hardtail in their life, fact. Not only do they teach you how to ride properly, but they also provide endless amounts of fun and excitement, at any speed. With the recent, frenzied developments in full suspension bikes, an opportunity has risen for bike manufacturers to take a seat back at the drawing board and create a modern…

Hard Tails
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Stache 9  2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Stache 9  2016
Trek Bikes Stache 9

The world of wheel sizes and widths is no longer simple, not only do we now have three 'standard' wheel sizes, the advent of 'plus' sized tyres and fat bikes have given us a multitude of wheel and tyre options. Perhaps one of the more niche combinations is in the form of the 29er plus option, and here we have…

Hard Tails
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes The Bruce 3  2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes The Bruce 3  2016
Rose Bikes The Bruce 3

The Bruce 3 is the top model in the Bruce line up from German direct sellers Rose. Designed for 'brave deeds' and the 'best moments in life' it's a bike that certainly promises a lot. The small frame and massive diameter tubes suggest a very stiff and strong chassis, and combined with 26-inch wheels (shock horror!) give an air of…

Hard Tails
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Big Wig 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Big Wig 2016
Ragley Bikes Big Wig

Ragley have been through a few changes behind the scenes in recent years, but at their core has always been the desire to make hardtails of a very British persuasion. Originally from Yorkshire and the brainchild of Brant Richards, they were some of the original “hardcore hardtails”. Times have moved on, people and locations have changed (they’re now based in…

Hard Tails
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - ONZA Jackpot 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - ONZA Jackpot 2016
ONZA Jackpot

Onza have been around for 25 years, and in that time have been pioneers of mountain bike components and tyres, as well as manufacturers of trials bikes good enough to win world championships. Now, after a spell away from the sharp end of the industry they have returned to the mountain bike scene with a duo of steel hardtails. Their…

Hard Tails
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Nukeproof Scout Comp  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Nukeproof Scout Comp  2015
Nukeproof Scout Comp

Hardtails are great fun to ride, especially when they come in the more “aggressive” guise such as the Scout Comp on test here. All too often riders skip the learning curve of riding a hardtail and jump straight onto a full squizzer. Honing your trail skills on a less forgiving bike though will make you a better, faster rider and…

Hard Tails
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Stanton Bikes Sherpa 853  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Stanton Bikes Sherpa 853  2015
Stanton Bikes Sherpa 853

I know it’s meant to be all about the carbon nowadays, but there’s something about the clean crisps lines of a steel hardtail that are just so appealing and once the Sherpa was unboxed, it didn’t disappoint. Stanton are a brand known for their aggressive trail and 4X hard tails, in short they make fun play bikes. With the addition…

Hard Tails
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Orange Mountain Bikes Crush AM 27.5  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Orange Mountain Bikes Crush AM 27.5  2015
Orange Mountain Bikes Crush AM 27.5

When I started racing, the Animal Orange Team was in full flow, with Greg Minnaar, Steve Geall, Tim Ponting and the Kitchin brothers. Despite racing at the top level, they also made regular appearances at races in the south of England, so their bikes were never far away. Often I would get to see strange prototypes, but the bike that…

Hard Tails
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Blue Pig Custom Build  2014
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes Blue Pig Custom Build  2014
Ragley Bikes Blue Pig Custom Build

Ragley describe themselves as a hardcore hardtail company with the design ethos of “long front centre, slack head angle, steep seat angle and FUN”. As soon as the bright yellow Blue Pig left the box it was obvious that it more than met their ideals. With a steel frame, slack head angle, long travel fork and dropper post, there was…

Hard Tails
2014
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Stache 8  2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Stache 8  2013
Trek Bikes Stache 8

The Stache is a new bike this year from Trek, aimed at anyone who likes having fun on the trail. It’s a hardtail 29er with a more playful geometry than an XC bike designed to be fun and lively. It should appeal to the hardcore hardtail fans out there, although it is only a 120mm travel bike those wheels are…

Hard Tails
2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - Genesis Bikes Core 26.4  2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Genesis Bikes Core 26.4  2012
Genesis Bikes Core 26.4

At first glance Genesis are a British brand that have been building decent bikes and a decent reputation so I was looking forward to a chance to see if the positive buzz about the company and their bikes was well earned. A combination of clean lines and an eye pleasing Cyan Blue paint job make the Core a very pretty…

Hard Tails
2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Evil Bikes Sovereign  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Evil Bikes Sovereign  2010
Evil Bikes Sovereign

The Evil Sovereign has been at the top of the hardcore hardtail pile for sometime now and there have been some changes that have bought the price down from very, very expensive to just very expensive! There was a scuffle when the Sovereign arrived as we were all keen to get out on it and see whether it could live…

Hard Tails
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Genesis Bikes Alpitude  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Genesis Bikes Alpitude  2010
Genesis Bikes Alpitude

Genesis are building a reputation for thoughtful and well designed bikes so it is fair to say that there had been a sense of expectation once we knew the Alpitude was winging its way to us. There has been much talk about the Alpitude and the clear design ethos behind it, which was to make a bike that you could…

Hard Tails
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Rocky Ridge  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Rocky Ridge  2010
Marin Bikes Rocky Ridge

The Rocky Ridge has built a steady following over the past few years and it is particularly popular with heavier riders that still want light weight and performance from their tough frames. The combination of low weight, strength and value make it an attractive proposition and we were more than happy to give it a good thrashing to see if…

Hard Tails
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Norco Bicycles Bigfoot  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Norco Bicycles Bigfoot  2010
Norco Bicycles Bigfoot

We let Mike the Bike loose on a test rig, and although at first we live to regret it, he comes up smelling of roses with a new found friend! Hirsute Beauty - The Legend of Bigfoot In the dead of night, a distant phone rings. Struggling from my slumber I manage a muttered response. “Get round here Mike! I've…

Hard Tails
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes mmmBop  2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ragley Bikes mmmBop  2010
Ragley Bikes mmmBop

A classic looking frame that reveals a number of clever features the harder you look at it the Ragley mmmBop is striking in its Quick Lime finish. Brant Richards has been at the forefront of common sense based design for sometime now and his latest Alumimum offering looks to be a hard hitting no nonsense bit of kit. Tech heads…

Hard Tails
2010
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Gary Fisher Piranha  2009
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Gary Fisher Piranha  2009
Trek Bikes Gary Fisher Piranha

The Gary Fisher comes in a matte Root Beer colour that looks considerably better than it sounds. Big beautifully formed tubes host bold decals that give the Gary Fisher a look of quality and the bike has an air of promise that had us dying to get out on the trail. A little surprising is the fact that the fork…

Hard Tails
2009
Mountain Bike Reviews - On One Inbred  2009
Mountain Bike Reviews - On One Inbred  2009
On One Inbred

At first glance There are a number of things that strike you when gazing at an Inbred for the first time… It is not a good looking bike and the super wide wiggly bars will draw a rye smile but look closer and you will start to understand that function is the key here. Richard Brant has now left On-One,…

Hard Tails
2009
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