29in wheels and solid frame which can be easily upgraded means the Trek Marlin 7 is the winner of our £500 category in the Hardtail of the Year test
All the latest bikes comprehensively tested. If we don’t think a product is worthy of our hard-earned, we won’t tell you to part with yours for it. That’s the promise we make with our bike and equipment tests. For all our tests we guarantee that:
1. They’re conducted by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable riders in the business.
2. Ratings are awarded only after a thorough testing process on a variety of terrain.
3. Tests are independent, and in no way influenced by our advertisers.
In most cases, we fit control tyres, bars and stems to the test bikes to ensure a level playing field and to highlight differences in handling. Tyre pressures are equalised to keep grip levels identical. We also weigh and measure the bikes ourselves, because this data doesn’t always tally with the manufacturer’s official figures. The numbers you read in the tests are the actual angles and measurements.
Our ratings are awarded out of 10, with 10/10 being the top mark.
1-4 means something’s wrong. Possibly a design flaw or a major weakness.
5-6 OK – one or two faults but has potential
7 Worth considering
8 Very good – for the money, we’d buy it
9 Excellent – a slight mod or two and it might be perfect
10 Simply the best!
The Scout marks a new era for Transition Bikes, with a new suspension design and UK importer
Compact, capable and completely free of flowery graphics, the Whyte 802 takes top honours in Janet Coulson’s women’s specific test.
Last year's £1000 hardtail winner comes back for more. Can it deliver two years in a row? Tested by Danny Milner
The Canyon Grand Canyon AL 5.9 is the German brand’s mid-range aluminium hardtail. The direct-sales approach means you get an impressive frame and quality components for your money, but does mean…
Paul Burwell takes Scott's entry level trail bike for a first ride.
A radical new take on an established classic: we ride Marin's latest Mount Vision
Launched in 2014, Orbea’s Rallon X-Team marked a major change in direction for the XC-focused Spanish brand. Designed in conjunction with Simon Andre, an accomplished elite downhill racer, only the…
Commençal’s determined approach to reliability over the years has led to some hefty, over-built frames, but now the pendulum has started to swing back in the opposition direction. This Meta…
Watch footage from Bike Park Wales as MBR tests the best hardtails on the market