There really has never been a better time to get your first proper mountain bike
You can stop searching now: you will find the best mountain bikes under £1000 right here. From rapid hardtails through to burly full suspension bikes.
The 10 best mountain bikes under £1000
In order of cost…
- Voodoo Bizango, £650
- Whyte 605, £699
- Saracen Zenith Pro, £699.99
- Calibre Line 10, £749
- Sonder Transmitter NX12 Recon, £999
- Vitus Sentier VR+, £999
- Ragley Marley 2.0, £999
- Nukeproof Scout 275 Sport, £999.99
- Voodoo Bizango Carbon, £1000.00
- Calibre Bossnut, £1100*
*yes, we know that’s over £1000 – but you at least need to be aware of the amazing Calibre Bossnut
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What to look for with a sub-£1000 mountain bike
- A sub 30lbs overall weight (if a hardtail)
- A butted aluminium frame with modern geometry
- An air-sprung fork with a degree of damping adjustment
- Hydraulic disc brakes from a big brand
- Grippy tyres with a good compound and tubeless capabilities
- Dropper posts are rare but worth their weight in gold
- Similarly, bolt thru axles are a bonus
- A single-ring drivetrain with a wide range of gearing
Our top mountain bikes under £1000
Any and every one of these stellar rides is well worth your cash. Truly, we are living in an amazing period for trial capable mountain bikes for three-figure sums. Ride on!
Nukeproof Scout 275 Sport, £999.99
The Scout would win its mountaineering badge were it not for a lowest gear of 32/42t – you’ll need strong legs to make the best of the Nukeproof’s technical climbing prowess. Having said that, it’s set for adventure, the Nukeproof Scout is a bike that will feel comfy and competent on longer rides … and when the going gets gnarly it won’t get tied in knots.
Saracen Zenith Pro, £699.99
Instead of opting for the tired and tested, the geometry the Zenith Pro is cutting edge – it’s the longest bike on test, the slackest and one of the lowest. The Zenith Pro is lively, agile and also comfortable, with the frame having just the right amount of flex to take the sting out of rocky and rooty trails. In fact, riding hard technical trails only one bike could keep up and that was the Nukeproof Scout (above).
Voodoo Bizango, £650
The latest Bizango is slightly longer and slacker, and gets a shorter stem to reflect the slight shift in attitude. Voodoo has also added a 22in size option, so that even more riders can enjoy this amazing bike. A lot has changed in the last few years, but one thing remains the same, this bike is an absolute joy to ride. It feels fast and efficient when the trails are dull, but springs to life as soon as you engage with the bike and you’re environment. So weather you racking up the miles for fitness or smashing turns for fun, the Voodoo Bizango 29 will leave you spellbound.
Whyte 605, £699
In 2017 the Whyte 605 was our Hardtail of the Year in the £750 category, but it isn’t quite 10/10 perfect. There are a couple of iffy component choices, like the square-taper crankset, none-branded hubs and summer only WTB tyres, but what stops the 605 getting a perfect 10 is the fact that Whyte’s award-winning 800 and 900 bikes are totally dialled. If Whyte could trickle down the geometry and handling, and fit a proper front tyre and a wider bar, the 605 would be on a completely different level to any other bike in the category.
Calibre Line 10, £749
The Calibre Line 10 is the only hardtail in the £700+ category to get a dropper post. It’s externally routed, so the cable flaps about a bit, but it has 120mm of drop and it means you can lower the saddle quickly without having to muck about with a quick release collar.
Sonder Transmitter NX1 Recon, £999
The entry-level Sonder comes fitted with bombproof SRAM Level disc brakes and SRAM NX gearing, both of which give no frills high performance right where you need it most. Love Mud, the own-brand componentry, handling the bulk of what’s left, including the wide handlebar and super short stem that combines perfectly with the aggressive geometry.
Vitus Sentier 275VR, £999.99
Couple the Sentier’s impressive sizing and weight to its aggressive geometry, then add in the perfect selection of components and the 2.6in Maxxis tyres and you’ve got a mind-blowing hardtail for £1,000. And it looks like Vitus has made it even better for 2020, so we’re confident that it will still the bike to beat in our Hardtail of the Year test.
Ragley Marley 2.0, £999.99
Even if a little short in the reach compared to some rival bikes, the Marley maintains its incredible trail prowess, thanks to a low bottom bracket and slack head angle. When the terrain gets rowdy, it never feels fazed, and its ability to rail corners is simply unrivalled in this category.
Voodoo Bizango Carbon, £1,000
What’s better than Biznago? A Bizango Carbon of course! Yes the Voodoo Bizango Carbon is £300 more expensive than the aluminium original, but that extra cash gets you so much more bike for your money. In fact, if we put this bike up against the Vitus Sentier 27 VR, the winner in the £1,000 category in last year’s Hardtail of the Year test, it’d definitely be vying for one of the top spots – it really is that good.
Calibre Bossnut, £1100 (yes, we know that’s over £1000 but read on…)
What sets this bike apart is that the geometry and attitude of the Bossnut has never been dumbed down. As such, the Bossnut Evo isn’t hamstrung by some preconceived notion about what the entry-level customer wants or needs. In fact, they want what every rider wants, and that’s the best bike for the money. The end result is that you get a bike that’s designed to make mountain biking easier and more fun. So whether you’re new to the sport and just learning the joys of carving corners on a blue trail, or you’re a seasoned veteran smashing down natural trails, the Bossnut Evo will leave you buzzing after every ride.
Best mountain bikes under £1000
There you have it. The ten best options if you have anywhere between £500 and £1000 to spend on a serious mountain bike. Keep checking back to the site, we’re adding bike reviews each and every week.