Another game changer?
By Charlie Collins
Calibre Line 10 need to know
- Brand new hardcore hardtail from Calibre, designed with Bossnut ethos in mind
- Contemporary geometry and great sizing in a low cost package
- Well-rounded specification including dropper post and 1×10 gearing
- Available in M, L, XL for now
Game changer was the phrase many of us used when we first hopped aboard Calibre’s original Bossnut. For less than a grand, you get a full suspension trail bike with proper geometry and components, forming what is now our benchmark £1k trail bike. Their latest release, the Line 10 delves head first into the world of hardcore hardtails, drawing on the pedigree found in the Bossnut.
The premise behind it is simple, two mates searching for a winter hack at a price the wife can’t complain about. That price is £750 (with the £5 GO Outdoors discount card), bridging the gap between Calibre’s lower-end models and the Bossnut, providing a decent platform for both novice and experienced riders.
First impressions of the Line 10 naturally come in the form of incredible value for money. You get a dropper post, 1×10 gearing, a wide handlebar, short stem, and air-sprung suspension forks. Together with a frame that features a slack 66.5° head angle, low bottom bracket height and contemporary sizing, they produce a ride that’s head and shoulders above what its price tag would suggest.
The ever-common notion of longer, lower and slacker geometry found in many of the latest higher-end bikes is very rare for hardtails in this price bracket. This modern geometry allows the Line 10 to be ridden as hard as the rider is able to thanks to a super balanced riding position. You feel right at home on classic undulating trail centre singletrack as well as technical steeper descents.
In fact, the only thing holding it back is the thin walled, hard compound Schwalbe tyres. They meant riding with more tyre pressure than usual to help reduce the risk of punctures, but in turn giving a harsher ride on rougher terrain and less grip. Fortunately, the WTB i29 rims are tubeless compatible, so there’s room to upgrade the tyres and lose weight when riders want to make upgrades.
Although it missed our hardtail of the year test, there’s no doubt the Line 10 could be a headline act in the £750 category. The bomb-proof spec and modern geometry mean it’s certainly a bike Calibre’s competitors should be afraid of, and perhaps another game changer?