This year, Jamis has upped the stakes. The price of the entry-level Jamis Dakar A2 has crept up by £100 and Jamis has made some key revisions to the spec.
The Nukeproof Scout 275 Sport's slack head angle and long wheelbase gives it stacks of stability when the going gets steep and rough.
Absent from last year’s test after taking top honours in 2016 and pushing close in 2017, the Ragley Marley is back with a bang for 2019.
With slackest head angle, longest reach and shortest stem, the Sonder Transmitter is built for bombing, inspiring confidence to fully attack descents.
French outdoor pursuits supermarket, Decathlon, has listened to what the British rider wants and delivered this, the Decathlon Rockrider AM 100 HT.
Rocking a burly 34mm Suntour fork, and rolling on the biggest, stickiest rubber on test, the Merida Big Trail 400 feels solid and well built.
With its double-butted aluminium frame, the Saracen Zenith Pro is one of the lightest bikes in the whole 2019 Hardtail of the Year test.
Kona Mahuna doesn’t feel as bomber as the Shred, it’s just as much fun to ride with great shape, excellent standover and a lively and forgiving ride.
The Cannondale Trail 5 is a new addition to the £750 category and features a Smartform aluminium frame, which is one of the most comfortable here.
Trek Roscoe 6 is a plus bike with 120mm travel fork, a bolt through axle, and an aluminium frame that wouldn’t look out of place on a £1,000 hardtail.
At the heart of the Scott Aspect 930 is a lightweight aluminium frame making this one of the lightest bikes in the Sub-£750 Hardtail of the Year test.
With an excellent four sizes in the range the GT Aggressor Sport should suit pretty much every rider’s size, lanky old me included.
With progressive geometry and a top quality frame the Pinnacle Kapur 2 has a really nice feel to it – direct and efficient without any jarring.
Though all of the bikes in the sub £500 category L, the Calibre Rake is by far the biggest; and not simply because it has 29in wheels and meaty WTB
The first of two 29er to make it into the sub 500 category, the Trek Marlin 6 certainly didn't behave like a fish out of water.
Specialized Pitch Sport underwent a round of revisions – updates to the geometry and layout that dramatically improved handling and standover clearance.
In its black and orange livery, the KTM Chicago Classic makes you think of motorcycles blasting though the desert at events like the Dakar rally.
The Norco Storm 4 is our only 29er on test and as such it gets off to a good start, rolling over rough ground more easily than the 27.5in wheel
Carrera Vulcan has some of the best components and spec on test, and it’s clear this is where Carrera has spent its money, creating a good entry level bike.
The Saracen Tufftrax is a fun bike to ride, the frame is just big enough to accommodate my frame and there’s something playful and poppy about it.