The Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes for Under £1,000
December 21st, 2017
December 21st, 2017
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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Hardtails are still as versatile as they ever were, and yet every year we get more and more variety to cover our ever-increasing list of mountain biking genres. Whether you're after a trail-smashing shredder, or a pure cross country climber, here's the low-down on 2018's hardtails for under £1,000:
You're likely to either love the shape of a Mondraker or hate it, either way, the Leader follows the brand's uncanny hunchback-style frame made from an aluminium alloy. This shape is particularly good for tall riders wanting good stand-over clearance on large frame sizes. For £945 you'll get Suntour XCR ATB RL 100mm forks (quick release), Shimano hydraulic brakes, and 2x 10-speed Shimano Deore, available in either 29er or 27.5" (650b) wheel sizes at the same price.
The Mantra is a self-proclaimed “trail shredding hardtail”, so naturally it’s only available in playful 27.5” wheel sizes. They've also beefed up the brakes, created slacker geometry, added a single chainring up front and given it longer front suspension than a typical cross-country bike. For £900 you'll get this 650b ride with Suntour Raidon XC LO-R 120mm travel Forks, Shimano Deore M6000 1x 10 speed (20 gears), and Shimano M396 180/160mm brakes.
Also cornering more of a trail-oriented hardtail is Giant with the Fathom. For £899 you also get Suntour Raidon XC LO-R 120mm forks, Shimano M315 brakes with 180/160mm hydraulic disc brakes, but with 2x9 speed (18 gears) Shimano Deore groupset, and 27.5" tubeless wheels.
Said to “dissolve the trails”, the Cube Acid comes with an aluminium frame, RockShox Recon Silver fork with 100mm of suspension travel (plus remote lockout), Shimano XT/SLX 2x11 (22 speed) and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, all for a shocking £899. If you’re a component snob, or want something that will last a good few years at least, you’ll struggle to do better than the Acid for bang up to date branded components on a budget. Also consider the Cube Attention for the 2x10 speed 100mm travel 29er.
Also displaying decent branded kit is Scott with their Scale; an aluminium frame based on their tried and tested (and World MTB Championship winning) cross country bike geometry. For £979 you get RockShox 30 Silver forks with 100mm of suspension plus a remote lockout, and SRAM NX1 1x 11 speed drivetrain for minimising weight with no front derailleur.
Trek Roscoe 8
The Roscoe is a 650 Plus bike, which is a 27.5" wheel size with extra wide tyres. The mid-fat tyres are said to provide extra traction and confidence on every trail, but are often associated with better comfort by offering more cushion over the rough stuff. Not only is the Roscoe one of few Plus bikes on offer for under a grand, it's also the only one to be displaying modern Boost technology - with extra-wide hub spacing and bolt-through axels - for extra strength and stability. £1,000 will get you SRAM NX 1x 11-speed gearing and RockShox Judy Silver TK Air spring suspension forks.
The Zaskar is one of few bike models still going strong from the dawn of mountain biking, updating itself time and time again, yet still maintaining a touch of 90s chic in the shape and graphics. For a penny under a grand (£999.99) you get RockShox 30 Gold TK Solo Air with 100mm of travel, Shimano SLX Shadow Plus 1x 11-speed gears and Shimano 160mm front and rear hydraulic brakes, available in both 29er and 27.5" wheel sizes.