Mountain Bike Trail Bikes Reviews

Mountain Bike Reviews - Rocky Mountain Bicycles Altitude Carbon 70 2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rocky Mountain Bicycles Altitude Carbon 70 2019
Rocky Mountain Bicycles Altitude Carbon 70

The last few years has been a good journey for Rocky Mountain Bikes, and with the Altitude undergoing a progressive facelift their ‘aggressive trail’ bike has been well received around the globe. With the Slayer filling the big, hard-hitting enduro category, the Altitude is free to concentrate on being a long travel trail bike, or shorter travel enduro machine. It…

Trail Bikes
2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes One-Twenty 6000 2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes One-Twenty 6000 2019
Merida Bikes One-Twenty 6000

Continuing Merida's overhaul of their full suspension range, the 120 is the latest model to be brought up to speed. Sharing the style and layout of the bigger 160 and 140 models, the 120 aims to be everything the modern trail rider wants from a bike. Merida claim this new bike is the best balance of 'trail oriented riding on…

Trail Bikes
2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Cannondale Bicycles Habit 2 2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Cannondale Bicycles Habit 2 2019
Cannondale Bicycles Habit 2

Cannondale has undergone somewhat of a transformation of late. New riders, new style and new bikes, most notably the acquisition of Rat Boy and the latest incarnation of the Habit. Usually renowned for one-sided forks and quirky technology, they clearly have moved on from old habits in more ways than one. No Lefty, no switches and no special shock, this…

Trail Bikes
2019
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles Trail 429 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles Trail 429 2018
Pivot Cycles Trail 429

Pivot has wasted very little time in overhauling their range, delivering new versions and brand new models at what seems like an alarming rate. Switchblade, Firebird, Mach 5.5, Mach 6, all of these feel like they were released only yesterday. The style, engineering and even elements of geometry have been shared across the range to produce a coherent collection of…

Trail Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes B17 1 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes B17 1 2018
Marin Bikes B17 1

For those of a certain age, the name ‘Marin B17’ will invoke fond memories of early full suspension mountain bike design, happy hardcore on the radio and probably more than a little luminous lycra. Halcyon days indeed! The original B17 was one of the first bikes designed for throwing about and having fun on; making use of a more progressive…

Trail Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Pikes Peak 2 AM 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Pikes Peak 2 AM 2018
Rose Bikes Pikes Peak 2 AM

Since the beginning of the 20th-century, German company, Rose has grown through family generations from a tiny bike shop into a huge direct sales outfit, which employs nearly 350 people. Their latest to their bike range is the Pikes Peak which offers two different 27.5 bikes based on the same versatile lightweight (2380g) carbon frame. Aimed at the ‘enduro’ end…

Trail Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Vitus Escarpe VR 29 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Vitus Escarpe VR 29 2018
Vitus Escarpe VR 29

For 2018 the Vitus range gets an overhaul, with all the main bikes getting some updates. If the Sommet is the full enduro race machine, then the Escarpe is better described as a trail bike, but as I found out testing the previous version, it could easily play enduro if required. For this year the geometry gets a tweak, wheels…

Trail Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Stereo 140 HPC SL 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Stereo 140 HPC SL 2018
CUBE Bikes Stereo 140 HPC SL

When Cube rolled out their 2018 range last year it featured a mix of both old favourites and revamped models. The Stereo range didn't get a huge overhaul other than some tidy batteries on the electric range, and in the standard bikes, the 120 and 160 remained unchanged. It was the 140 that had seen the full makeover and was…

Trail Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Rift Zone 3 2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Rift Zone 3 2018
Marin Bikes Rift Zone 3

In recent years Marin have seriously stepped up their game. The appointment of Matt Cipes as their MTB Product Manager in 2015 putting them on a mission to bring their range back to the top level, where they belong. With a swathe of new bikes over the past 2 years, the output has been excellent, with well-received bikes across the…

Trail Bikes
2018
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Root Miller 3 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Root Miller 3 2017
Rose Bikes Root Miller 3

Rose Bikes may not be the first name that trips off the tongue when you ask anyone about big bike brands, nor are they even that well known when talking about the convenient and expanding world of mail order bikes. However, do your research, and you’ll find a company steeped in history and offering a banquet of bike build options…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Specialized Bicycles Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Specialized Bicycles Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29 2017
Specialized Bicycles Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29

Specialized’s Stumpjumper has been around longer than most of us have been in long trousers, first hitting the market in 1981 in steel hardtail guise and since then it has gone on to become the go-to, do-everything, jack-of-all-trades trail bike of the Specialized range, reinventing itself year on year to stay with - and often just ahead of - the…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Hawk Hill 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Marin Bikes Hawk Hill 2017
Marin Bikes Hawk Hill

Change is afoot at Marin, the long established brand with more MTB heritage than most is returning to form in a gradual and purposeful way. Those who have a keen eye for the detail may notice some subtle changes in the 2017 range, but they won't be found at the top end, rather it's happening where most riding occurs, in…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Giant Bicycles Trance 1 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Giant Bicycles Trance 1 2017
Giant Bicycles Trance 1

Giant's Trance has been around for a long while now in many different guises but has essentially stayed true to its original design as a versatile trail bike. It has had big wheels and small but is still focused around a mid-travel machine capable of riding all day, taking in both the ups and downs in equal measure. What we…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Stereo 140 HPA SL 27.5 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Stereo 140 HPA SL 27.5 2017
CUBE Bikes Stereo 140 HPA SL 27.5

The Stereo range is broad and is a name applied to lots of bikes in the Cube range. They all feature the same suspension platform but come in 4 different travel sizes, 120mm, 140mm, 150mm and 160mm. They are available in aluminium or carbon (in some models), 27.5 or 29er and the 150mm version is now with Plus size tyres.…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Granite Chief 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Granite Chief 2017
Rose Bikes Granite Chief

For 2017 Rose have updated two of their classic trail bikes, the Root Miller 29er and the Granite Chief in smaller 650b wheels. The geometry has been modernised and brought up to date to do battle in the fiercely competitive and difficult-to-define Trail category. The Granite Chief is based around a 150mm Horst link frame and matched up front with…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Orange Mountain Bikes Four RS 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Orange Mountain Bikes Four RS 2017
Orange Mountain Bikes Four RS

With so many new bikes and revised versions of the iconic single pivot machine coming out of Halifax, it's easy to forget that the Orange Four is still a very new bike. Having just dropped the Stage 5 and Stage 6 only recently, the focus seems to be clearly on the big wheelers, yet this short travel 650b trail bike…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Canyon Bicycles Neuron AL 9.9 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Canyon Bicycles Neuron AL 9.9 2017
Canyon Bicycles Neuron AL 9.9

German direct sellers Canyon have a solid range of capable bikes; we tested their Spectral last year and were very impressed, but what of the rest of the collection? The Neuron fits into the line up below the Spectral (in terms of travel) and the even more aggressive Strive, but above the XC orientated Lux. These four full suspension bikes…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes ONE FORTY 800 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes ONE FORTY 800 2017
Merida Bikes ONE FORTY 800

The One-Forty range is Merida’s contender for the (you guessed it) 140mm travel 27.5” All Mountain sector, with the top of the line 800 sporting a pair of 150mm RockShox Revelations up front, which gives some indication as to the persona of this solid looking bike. Revelations now share the same chassis at Pikes with 35mm stanchions and are much…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles Mach 5.5 2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles Mach 5.5 2017
Pivot Cycles Mach 5.5

Pivot appear to be on a non-stop bike producing mission. The last year has seen new models and revisions across the range including the well-received Switchblade and Firebird. As I write this they have done it again with the launch of their e-bike; the Shuttle, at Eurobike adding yet another bike to the range. The Mach 5.5 dropped into the…

Trail Bikes
2017
Mountain Bike Reviews - Kona Bikes Process 111 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Kona Bikes Process 111 2016
Kona Bikes Process 111

Kona have been on a winning streak with the Process family since they hit the market. A set of three bikes all looking to do something similar, but with very different style. They all share some forward thinking geometry in the form of long front centres and reach, coupled with slack angles and long wheelbases. These bikes are designed to…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Vitus Escarpe 29 Pro  2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Vitus Escarpe 29 Pro  2016
Vitus Escarpe 29 Pro

The Vitus range has seen a bit of a revamp over the last 18 months right down to a redesigned suspension platform. Vitus say they were aiming for a perfect balance of performance and aesthetics as they tried to create their ultimate bikes based around 'simplicity, integration and modernity'. The range now includes the 155mm Sommet, and the 135mm Escarpe…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Supreme DH V4  2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Supreme DH V4  2016
Commencal Supreme DH V4

The standout feature of the new Commencal Supreme DH V4 is the obvious deviation from the established norm in suspension design. There’s method in their madness, though, which has created one of the most exciting and fun downhill bikes in recent years. The foundation to their idea is simple: short bikes are fun and great to ride on technical terrain,…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles Mach 429 Trail 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pivot Cycles Mach 429 Trail 2016
Pivot Cycles Mach 429 Trail

Straight out of the box the Pivot Mach 429 Trail screamed ‘ride me!’ Big organic carbon tubes that hint at a strength in depth and a bang up-to-date wish list of geometry numbers and frame features had me salivating. The Mach 429 Trail is aimed at the rider looking for a capable and fast trail bike with the added bonus…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes One Twenty 8000 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Merida Bikes One Twenty 8000 2016
Merida Bikes One Twenty 8000

The Merida 120 sits in that middle ground of bikes that have become collectively known as “trail”, which covers seemingly everything from around 110mm-150mm of travel in a wide variety of combinations and indeed wheel sizes. Being neither cross-country nor enduro machines, they are realistically intended to do the sort of riding most people do, most of the time. Like…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - NS Bikes Snabb T1 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - NS Bikes Snabb T1 2016
NS Bikes Snabb T1

NS is a well-known name in the bike industry, but it is more often associated with the DH and dirt jump end of the market. Their bikes have always had a unique, built for purpose look to them like they really mean business. The NS Snabb fits right into that bracket, but at the trail bike end of the range.…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - KTM Bike Industries LYCAN 272 22s/33s Deore XT 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - KTM Bike Industries LYCAN 272 22s/33s Deore XT 2016
KTM Bike Industries LYCAN 272 22s/33s Deore XT

KTM have been making production bicycles since 1964, and they have a deep heritage in the industry. Mountain bikes entered their stable when the sport was started, and they made their first aluminium MTB frame in 1994. They had a lot of success on the XC race circuit in the early days and by 2005 they were making carbon machines…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Sting WLS 140 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - CUBE Bikes Sting WLS 140 2016
CUBE Bikes Sting WLS 140

First off, and for some most importantly, the Cube Sting WLS 140 looks great. In its vibrant Coral colourway, teamed with matching decals on the bars, saddle and forks, it looks slick. While away this summer, on more than one occasion, to friends' disdain, people looked straight passed an array of niche and top end bikes and the Sting became…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Forme Bikes Lathkill 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Forme Bikes Lathkill 2016
Forme Bikes Lathkill

Forme are based in the centre of the UK within touching distance of the Peak District National Park: an area renowned for steep hills, quiet dales and stark open moorland. The Lathkill, named after a particularly beautiful and declivitous Peak District valley, is Forme’s first offering in the full-suspension market, and represents the company’s most advanced and aggressive bike to…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pyga Industries Oneten29 2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Pyga Industries Oneten29 2016
Pyga Industries Oneten29

South African brand Pyga may not be overly familiar, depending greatly on which part of the world you call home. For me, this is my first time on a Pyga, and for this inaugural ride, we have the 110, the descriptive if unimaginative name for their 110mm travel full suspension machine. These bikes are the result of two guys, Patrick…

Trail Bikes
2016
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ghost Bikes Kato FS 3  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Ghost Bikes Kato FS 3  2015
Ghost Bikes Kato FS 3

The Kato is Ghost's entry-level price offering for the full suspension trail market. It comes in multiple builds and this is The Kato 3, yours for £1259.99. With a suspension design inherited from its bigger brother the AMR, it features 120mm travel out back paired with a 130mm fork courtesy of RST, a manufacturer I haven't seen much from in…

Trail Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Lush Carbon 27.5  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Lush Carbon 27.5  2015
Trek Bikes Lush Carbon 27.5

The Lush Carbon is the crème de la crème of Trek’s women’s range. The Lush series has no less than four models, each with a slightly different build package and price tag, yet the overall Women’s Specific Design, attention to detail and technology carries throughout the range. You can tell the minute you take the Lush Carbon out of the…

Trail Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles Zesty 429 TR  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Lapierre Bicycles Zesty 429 TR  2015
Lapierre Bicycles Zesty 429 TR

We tested this bike last year, and in terms of the frame design and geometry the changes have been very subtle. In essence, the new Zesty is longer and lower, a growing trend among mountain bikes that adds stability and control to your ride. The changes are small though, so if you own last years bike don’t be despondent! Geometry…

Trail Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Fuel EX 9.8 27.5  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Trek Bikes Fuel EX 9.8 27.5  2015
Trek Bikes Fuel EX 9.8 27.5

We were lucky enough to have a first ride on this bike when it was launched in the US about 10 months ago. We loved it then and after spending a lot more time on it over the last couple of months we love it even more. The Fuel EX has been the pinnacle of the Trek trail bike range…

Trail Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Scott Bicycles Genius 950  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Scott Bicycles Genius 950  2015
Scott Bicycles Genius 950

The Scott Genius 950 has to be something of a bargain. It is billed as being the ultimate trail bike, yet at a fraction of the cost. This is the entry-level model to the Genius range; there are no less than 16 different Genius models. The 700 series and the 700 LT series are aimed at the more enduro focused…

Trail Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Ground Control 2  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Rose Bikes Ground Control 2  2015
Rose Bikes Ground Control 2

The Ground Control 2 from Rose is a 130mm trail bike with 27.5” wheels that is exceedingly well specced for the low price it is offered at. You can also configure the bike however you like on their website and upgrade components to your heart’s content. In its stock guise though, it is still an impressive package; Rock Shox Revelation…

Trail Bikes
2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Meta Trail Race 650  2015
Mountain Bike Reviews - Commencal Meta Trail Race 650  2015
Commencal Meta Trail Race 650

The Meta V4 Trail Race from Commencal is a 120mm travel bike designed to be fast and nimble on a wide variety of terrain. It utilises the same Contact System suspension set-up as its bigger brother that we reviewed a few issues ago. The system has been fine-tuned for the type of terrain this bike is aimed for and the…

Trail Bikes
2015
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