Good entry-level full-suspension bikes for proper mountain biking start at around this price point. Here's our pick of the best on the market.
The sole purpose of the best cheap full-suspension bike is to provide the highest-performance bike at the most competitive prices. In many ways it’s at the entry-level that design is truly cutting-edge, the constraints of tighter budgets making every component choice that much more critical to ride quality.
Selling direct keeps costs down; whether that’s through high street multiples, in the case of retail-specific brands like Boardman, or by shipping direct to your door, as Vitus does. But it is no coincidence that there aren’t any bikes under £1k that we’d classify as being amongst best full suspension mountain bike candidates.
It’s not by chance either, that most of these affordable best mountain bike full-sussers come with 27.5in wheels. Not only are they lighter and stronger; because the fork can be shorter for a given amount of travel, they are also stiffer, so handling can be improved without having to fit a more expensive suspension fork.
Polygon Siskiu D5
The remarkable Calibre Bossnut with a different head badge
Wheel size: 27.5in | Travel: 120mm | Frame sizes: S, M, L | Frame: 6061 T6 Aluminium | Weight: 15.43kg (34.02lb) | Rating: N/A
Pros: Same frame and five star handling as the old Calibre Bossnut. Even cheaper too. Cons: Some of the parts are not as good. Doesn’t get a single-ring 1x drivetrain.
Sky Ineos would be proud of Calibre’s ability to aggregate marginal gains. Continual updates to sizing, geometry, shock tune and specification helped make the Bossnut the benchmark entry-level suspension bike. While Calibre has struggled with supply issues over the last couple of years – and Bossnuts have been off the shopping list as a result – Polygon (who manufactured the bikes for Calibre) still sells the frame as the Siskiu model through retailers Blacks and Go Outdoors. If you want a quality full-suspension bike that’s fast, fun and ridiculously good value, the Polygon Siskiu is a serious contender.
High performance trail bike at an unbeatable price
Wheel size: 27.5in or 29in | Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL | Weight: 14.6kg | Suspension travel: 150mm f/140mm r 27.5in, 140mm f/135mm r 29in | Rating: 9/10
Pros: Cutting-edge sizing and geometry. Cons: Needs a better shock tune and a dropper post.
There are three different models in the Vitus Mythique range, with prices starting at £1,349.99 and topping out at £1,799.99. All three models use the same alloy frame with four-bar linkage suspension, but wear different components depending on the price point. Like Polygon, Vitus uses both 27.5in and 29in wheels for the Mythique range, but in this case all four frame sizes are available with either wheel, so you don’t have to compromise on your ultimate combo. Cheaper bikes get X-Fusion suspension, which can be a little harsh in our experience, so if you can stretch to the top VRX model, with its Marzocchi fork and RockShox shock, you’ll find yourself going faster with greater control. All-in, the Mythique is a mighty fine way to spread your full-suspension wings.
Boardman MTR 8.6
Wheel size: 29in | Travel: 140mm | Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL | Frame: 6061 T6 Aluminium | Weight: 15.23kg (33.58lb) | Rating: N/A
Pros: Good fit and geometry Cons: Lacklustre rear suspension
When we last tested Boardman’s full-suspension platform, in MTR 8.8 guise, we had high hopes, but it didn’t quite deliver. The geometry and sizing were both on the money and it looks stunning, but the rear suspension on the MTR 8.8 felt stodgy and congested, robbing the bike of grip, pop and control. This MTR 8.6 is the new updated model, and it gains bigger wheels and a redesigned frame with more rear wheel travel and different geometry. Much more modern in sizing, components such as the bar and stem have been updated to allow riders to really exploit the more aggressive angles and generous fit. It also came up short on its claimed travel, 131mm instead of the advertised 140mm. If Boardman has woken up the shock tune to give the suspension more grip and the bike a more dynamic ride, then this could be a stone-cold trail bargain.
Wheel size: 27.5in | Travel: 140mm f, 145 r | Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL | Frame: Aluminium | Weight: 15.52kg | Rating: 6/10
Pros: SRAM Eagle 12-Speed drivetrain Cons: Frame sizing and geometry are dated
While the Voodoo Canzo would not be our first choice among the bikes in this guide, with availability so poor at the moment, and a couple of its main competitors moving up a price brand, or dropping out of the market, we’ve decided to include it. The sizing and geometry need an update, the Clarks Clout brakes are woefully inadequate and the ride quality of the rear suspension doesn’t match that of it’s rivals. However, the competitive pricing means it’s still worth a look if Halfords have it in stock and you’re not looking to swing your leg over the most cutting-edge bike on the market.