These handful of rad machines are the absolute best hardtail mountain bikes out there right now. We thrashed 24 hardtails for this definitive shortlist.
The Orange Crush MX is a mullet hardtail that combines the improved rollover of 29in up front with the extra strength and comfort of 27.5 Plus out back.
The Ribble HT 725 has a mainframe that's UK-designed Reynolds heat-treated chromoly steel hardtail featuring slack and long geometry.
Dedicated hardtail brand Ragley has all bases covered with the Ragley Blue Pig being the entry-level 27.5in steel offering with regular-size tyres.
Canyon Stoic frame is constructed from 6061 alloy, there are 3 models to choose from all built using the same frame, of which this Stoic 4 is the flagship.
Stif Squatch Pro is a progressive hardtail with a steel frame and super-low bottom bracket height, 29in wheels with 2.6in tyres enhance grip and comfort.
Ragley Blue Pig loves nothing more than rolling about in the dirt. The name's been recycled but there's nothing old school about this hooligan hardtail.
With its latest hardtail - the Yeti ARC T1 - this iconic brand reimagines one of its retro classics for the modern era. If only the pricing was retro too...
With a single-minded focus on success, Canyon’s new Exceed hardtail is aimed at vanquishing long-distance stage races, such as the Cape Epic, and blitzing short-course XC sprints. Need to know…
The Merida Big Trail 600 is the eerily quiet new hardtail from Merida, with 29in wheels, modern geometry and some delicious little details.
If you’re after a cross country race hardtail with a proven track record, then look no further than the Scott Scale 920.
From the very first pedal stroke, the Mondraker Chrono Carbon R felt purposeful, poised and precise, instantly reacting to the most subtle of rider inputs.
The Trek Procaliber 9.7 crossed our finish line first because it’s the fastest bike on test. And in XC racing, that’s all that counts.
The Ribble HT Ti is Ribble Cycles' first mountain bike in 20 years and it blends the old and the new with classic titanium tubes and modern geometry.
For 2020, Cotic Bfe has been revamped. The head angle is now a degree slacker for more control, while a steeper seat tube improves the climbing position.
The Pace RC 627 has the ride quality and specification to back up the geometry, and with that sleek, slender look, it will become a modern classic.
Slender steel tubing gives the Norco Torrent S2 a distinctly retro look. But make no mistake; this is a thoroughly modern 29er trail hardtail.
The new Specialized Fuse Expert 29 lends a lightweight alloy frame with 29in wheels and a 130mm fork. Ther most aggro trail hardtail.
The acclaimed Bizango has a carbon stablemate but can Voodoo conjure up another classic? Read our first ride review of the Voodoo Bizango Carbon.
Successfully defending its 2018 title, the handsome Vitus Sentier 27 VR defies its sub £1,000 price point with the best spec, geometry and overall finish.