It may be well equipped to reach giddy summits but Evans Cycles’ entry level creation doesn’t quite set the trails alight when you’re after some good old fashioned bombing. The low slung, dare we say traditional XC theme is set at the cockpit with a longish stem and riser bar so short on uplift that it might as well be flat. Generic race intentions continue with the roadie-esque saddle and even the Kenda Nevegal tyres (popular at this price point) are nipped in from traditional 2.1in to a less confidence inspiring 1.95 width. Nevertheless, the Peak’s frame does offer a degree of compliance — we didn’t get completely battered riding this bike. We reckon with a tweak in the bar and stem it could be brought in line with the more trail-friendly among the dozen. As it stands the Peak makes an affordable starter to both blend in among the ranks of an XC start line, while providing a fighting chance when you stamp on the pedals.