We reveal the most popular bike reviews this week - are these the UK's favourite bikes?
Video: Hardtail of the Year 2016: £500-£1,000 (VIDEO)
These are the hottest bikes on the site in the past week:
10. Whyte 901
Every once in a while, a bike comes along that defines a category. The Whyte 901 is one such bike; it’s the best trail hardtail bar none. What makes it so good? In a nutshell it’s the geometry. With it’s long, low-slung top tube, the reach feels perfect with the short 50mm stem that comes fitted as standard. The slack steering angle complements the short stem, and combined with the low BB height, the 901 feels sure-footed and confident in every situation. It’s basically got the same angles and attitude as the best 140mm suspension bikes at sag, which means it can be ridden every bit as hard.
9. Trek Remedy 7
Even though the Remedy 7 27.5 is the entry-level model, it’s got all the bases covered. The alloy frame is bomber solid, the 140mm travel suspension is superbly tuned and easy to set up, and while the specification isn’t standout, it’s competitive and, more importantly, functional. The bike feels built to last too. Of course, there are some things we’d change to gain those final few per cent in performance — like swapping the handlebar and tyres — but these are easy fixes. Trek’s already got the perfect blend of ingredients, and any changes would just be the icing on the cake.
8. Trek Marlin
For a first step into the world of mountain biking, the Trek Marlin 7 is an impressive option that allows the rider to take on most challenges with confidence. It’ll be there to rescue you when you run out of talent, and it’ll treat you right if you’re planning a full day in the saddle. In fact, as your new best friend on the trail, it’s hard to beat. And best of all, the frame is so good you can happily use it is a solid base to start upgrading and enhancing your bike as you improve your skills.
7. Calibre Bossnut
Bike tech, geometry and sizing are always evolving, but with cutting edge geometry and a build kit that rivals similarly priced hardtails, the Calibre Bossnut is still well ahead of the development curve. For a penny shy of a grand, the price tag is certainly entry-level for a 130mm-travel bike; the ride quality however, is anything but. From local lunchtime loops, to bike park blasting, the Bossnut proved time and time again that it’s a trail bike without compromise. It’s not just about going fast, however, it’s also guaranteed to put a massive smile on your face every time you take it for a blast.
6. Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo
Last year, the Stumpy Evo was the best trail bike on test — great handling with a great spec — but this time round the superior attire of some Cubes and Canyons take away some of its lustre. Despite the cheaper build, the Stumpy Evo is still a notch or two above its rivals in terms of ride quality, and it also has the most potential because, unlike poor geometry or lacklustre rear suspension, the fork and spec are easily upgraded.
5. Specialized Pitch Sport 650B
While the Pitch frame casts a similar shadow to other £500 hard tails, the complete bike is the best part of half a pound lighter. And as we’ve come to expect from Specialized, the frame finish is top rate with a refreshingly simple design. The new Specialized Pitch Sport comes with the benefits of a lively, direct ride, but also features a fair slab of comfort and stability.
4. Giant Reign 27.5 1
Some bikes are fun to ride, others are plain fast. The Giant Reign 27.5 1 is something of an enigma in that it’s an eye-wateringly quick race bike, but still a barrel of laughs on a social ride. Maybe it’s the subtle flex of the quality alloy frame that makes it such a forgiving ride. Equally, it could be the superbly tuned rear suspension that never gets hooked up and lets you keep pressing ahead. Either way, if we had entered an enduro race, it would be the first bike we’d reach for. Even if it won’t win any awards for value, it’ll give you the best shot at a podium finish.
3. Specialized Camber Comp
After a few tweaks to the cockpit and suspension, the latest Specialized Camber Comp revealed a rewarding, flowing ride and barely put a foot wrong. It’s plenty fast enough for big days out, and solid enough for shredding, but it’s not quite the new version of our favourite ‘switchblade’ play bike that we were hoping for. It’s hard to say whether sharing a front triangle with the sturdier Stumpjumper or altering the magic numbers is to blame for calming the Camber’s wild attitude; while our grins remained intact, they definitely weren’t quite as manic as they were with the previous version.
2. Giant Stance 27.5
Giant has the focus of the Stance firmly fixed on XC. And as an XC bike, it’s by far the best option in this test. It’s light, it pedals like stink and the generous frame proportion make it a comfortable companion for chalking up the training miles. Also, with an XL size option, it’s still one of the best options for taller riders with £1k to spend. It could be so much more, however. With a wider bar, shorter stem and a beefier fork, the Stance could be a short-travel trail bike with rapid acceleration and a tight, reactive suspension response. Maybe next year…
1. Voodoo Bizango 29
In the £750 category there are better made frames than the Bizango, better components, lighter wheels and suspension forks with better damping, but the Bizango is our test winner because it has the best frame shape and feels like a proper trail bike. Even the 725mm handlebar on the Bizango is fairly narrow, but the 60mm stem is the shortest here, so you’re never fighting for control when you’re trying to pick your way down a technical trail. Despite the name, there’s no black magic going on here; VooDoo has just got the basics right and it really shows in how the bike feels. Killer value with a great ride quality, this bike easily deserves top marks.
Looks like our website visitors have great taste – all of these ten bikes are great rides!