Do you have more than £1000 to spend? Want to know what is the best mountain bike under £2000? Answer: decent parts, good geometry, rewarding handling.
We’ve got a theory at mbr that the category of the best mountain bike under £2000 is where it’s at these days. The reason is simple: the frames on mountain bikes under £2000/$2800 are often identical to the more expensive flagship models. Frame geometry and suspension play the biggest part in differentiating machines, so if these are dialled then everything else should fall into place.
Unlike the huge gains from going from the best mountain bikes under £500 up to the best under £1000, spending more than £2000 and sure you’ll gain small benefits in weight but you’re unlikely to find huge leaps in overall performance. These sub-£2k pound-for-pound performers that are hard to beat and are arguably the best mountain bike value options bar none.
Best hardtails under £2000 (or $2800)
- Whyte 905 review, £1750
- Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp review, £1799.99
- Ribble HT 725 review, £1899
- Orange Clockwork Evo 29 S review, £1750
- Specialized Fuse 29 Comp review, £1599
- Canyon Stoic 4 review, £1749
Best full suspension bikes under £2000 (or $2800)
- Calibre Bossnut review, £1500
- Vitus Mythique 27 VRX review, £1799.99
- Trek Fuel EX 5 review, £2150 (sorry!)
‘View Deal’ links
You will notice that beneath each product summary of these mountain bikes under £2000/$2800 is a ‘View Deal’ link. If you click on one of these links then mbr may receive a small amount of money from the retailer should you go to purchase the product from them. Don’t worry, this does not affect the amount you pay.
Best mountain bike under £2000: hardtails
We’ve picked our favourites, some of which are £2000/$2800 on the nose and the rest will leave you with enough change for a helmet, knee pads or even a dropper seat post.
Attacks every type of trail
Price: £1,750 | Frame: 6061 Hydroformed Aluminium | Fork: 130mm travel | Weight: 13.53kg (29.83lb)
Whyte has never been afraid to follow the path less travelled. And while it’s not the first brand to go down the Plus size hardtail route, it’s one of the only bands to implement the more extreme geometry that make hardcore hardtails so much fun to ride. The combination of the chunky 2.8in Maxxis tyres, custom offset RockShox Pike fork and dialled geometry made the new 905 an instant hit. Whyte claims that this is the best 905 it’s ever built and we wholeheartedly agree. It also the best hardtail we’ve ridden period and easily deserving of a perfect 10 rating.
Nukeproof Scout 275 Comp
Silky smooth as well as capable
Price: £1,799.99 | Frame: Triple-butted aluminium | Fork: 140mm travel | Weight: 13.06kg (28.76lb)
After taking it on the chin for two years straight, the new Nukeproof Scout has come out swinging. The completely revised frame design and fatter 2.6in Maxxis tyres totally transforming the bike. Gone is the eyeball-rattling ride of old, replaced instead by a smooth, reactive, playfully bike that still punches hard out of every turn. And with a full Shimano Deore groupset in its corner, the Scout easily stood toe to toe with the Whyte 905. And much as we were rooting for the underdog, Whyte’s polished performance left nothing to chance.
Ribble HT 725
Great first MTB from roadie Ribble
Price: £1,899 | Frame: Reynolds 725 Steel | Fork: 150mm travel | Weight: 14.46kg (31.87lb)
A classic steel frame with bang-up-to-date geometry and a wallet-friendly price – that’s the Ribble HT 725. This Enthusiast build comes in at £1,899/$2,567, but there’s also a Sport build at £1,449/$2,026 and a Pro Build at £2,199/$2,972. You can also customise the accent colours and tweak the spec with an array of component options.
Orange Clockwork Evo 29 S
Pace and comfort by the bucketload
Price: £1,750 | Frame: 6061-T6 Butted Aluminium | Fork: 120mm travel | Weight: 14.14kg (31.17lb)
With the Clockwork Evo 29 S, Orange has nailed all of the fundamentals. The geometry and sizing are bang up-to-date and, more importantly, the ride quality of the 6061 alloy frame is second to none. As such, Orange has delivered a 29er that’s easy and fun to ride. It’s also fast and engaging, without feeling painfully harsh.
Specialized Fuse 29 Comp
High tech hardtail masterwork
Price: £1,599 | Frame: M4 Premium Aluminium | Fork: 130mm travel | Weight: 14.12kg (26.72lb)
The Fuse 29 is a fast, fun and efficient alloy hardtail, but best of all it doesn’t shake the life out of you on rougher trails. But rather than simply making up the numbers in the trail hardtail category, Specialized could tweak them and lead the way. With a slacker head angle, lower BB height and extra length in the front end, the Fuse would have the attitude to match the ride quality of its superbly engineered frame. Maybe Specialized needs to roll out a Fuse Evo, just like it did with the Stumpy.
Impressively balanced handling
Price: £1749 | Frame: 6061 Aluminium | Fork: 140mm travel | Weight: 13.98kg (30.82lb)
We’ve been asking for a trail hardtail from Canyon for years, and had almost given up hope of ever seeing one when the Stoic arrived. Yes, the geometry on the Stoic isn’t as progressive or as hardcore as some, but the bike is all the more versatile for it. The alloy frame makes it light, agile and ultra-fast to accelerate, while the competitive build kit leaves nothing wanting. Would it be even better in a mullet configuration with a 2.6in rear tyre? Probably, but it’s still a great trail hardtail that can also hang with the hardcore crew.
Best mountain bike under £2000: full-suspension
Now it’s the time of the full-sus shortlist. Any of these five best mountain bike under £2000 full-sussers will be a blast to ride if your terrain or riding style is better suited to full sussers.
Best budget baller by far
Price: £1,500 | Frame: 6061 T6 Aluminium | Fork: 130mm travel | Weight: 15.43kg (34.02lb)
Calibre’s Bossnut redefined the entry-level performance full-suspension bike category when it was introduced, and is still winning tests and collecting awards six years later. And while the Bossnut has evolved with successive iterations, the latest version is by far the best yet. It’s seen a raft of revisions to the geometry, tubing profiles and specification, but let’s address the elephant in the room first – the price has crept up to £1,500.
Vitus Mythique 27 VRX
Progressive geometry and sizing
Price: £1,799.99 | Frame: 6061 T6 Aluminium | Fork: 130mm travel | Weight: 14.24kg (31.39lb)
With a riding position that’s totally dialled, and superb geometry, the Vitus Mythique 27 loves to shred. There’s also a 29er version of this bike, but we preferred the lower bottom bracket of the 27.5in option, as we sat in the bike, rather than on top of it, and that let us attack trails with a speed and confidence totally unexpected on a bike at this price.
Trek Fuel EX 5
Punches way above its price point
Price: £2,150 | Frame: Alpha Platinum Aluminium | Fork: 140mm travel | Weight: N/A
Yes it just exceeds our price limit by a small margin, but the Fuel EX is a classic trail bike from one of the world’s leading brands. All of the changes Trek has made to the Fuel EX platform are positive. The tweaked suspension makes it more capable, while the revised geometry bring it up-to-date. It’s a bonus, too, that you can actually change the geometry via the Mino-Link.
Full suspension or hardtail mountain bikes under £2000
Almost certainly most folk will at least be eyeing up full suspension at this price level (£1500 to £2000/$2000 to $2800), as well they might. The rise in particular of direct sales brands and own brand marques from the bigger retailers mean you can have your cake and eat it ie. you can have full suspension for £2k and not suffer too many compromises.
If you want to check out what you can get in the front-suspended world, go check out our Hardtail of the Year test as well as the bikes here in this round-up.
The term ‘trail bike’ is as generic as mountain biking itself. It is synonymous with singletrack shredding, but with as many styles of bike as there are varieties of terrain; it’s easy to see how you could drown in a sea of choice. And that’s without even considering all of the different wheel sizes on offer.
One category that has always hit the trail bike sweet-spot, at least in terms of suspension, are 120-140mm travel full-suspension bikes. With a broad spectrum of freshly designed or updated models to choose from, the good news for riders is that performance is better than ever.
You can expect well-damped shocks and suspension forks that can easily be adjusted to different rider weights and riding styles. It’s also the price at which components become light enough that they can be used to make longer-travel bikes viable as all-day companions.
Shopping for best mountain bike under £2000
We’re more than happy to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. The real question is: should YOU have to? We don’t think so, which is why a lot of the bikes that scored low could be improved with a bit of tinkering, especially where suspension is concerned.
Bikes that are easy to set up are easy to ride and even easier to love.
Let’s not pretend that looks aren’t important. Sure, a cool looking bike that rides like a dog is a no-no but if you’re drawn to the styling of one particular bike even if it scores the same as – or even a point lower than – another bike, we reckon you should go for the bike you actually want to ride.
Try not to be overly put off by the weight of a bike if it appears to be a pound or two heavier than a rival. Chances are the weight won’t translate to much on the trail and all it may take is a couple of choice component changes further down the line (in a year or so basically) to hack some weight off it.
Sure, you can study the geometry charts and go through the specs with a fine-tooth comb, but even experienced testers can’t predict how a bike is going to ride.
A trained eye can possibly spot a dud a mile off, but you can never tell how a bike will perform until you actually ride it. Yes it’s our job, but it’s also big part of why we all ride.