Carbon may be the most desirable frame material for a mountain bike but don’t let that put you off good old aluminium. Aluminium has been more than good enough for many years and that doesn’t change just because a lighter material comes along. In fact, we sometimes prefer the damping that aluminium provides over carbon and, of course, it’s a lot cheaper.
Here are 10 downhill bikes that are more metal than James Hetfield in a Sheffield mill:
Orange 324 Factory
Of course an Orange was going to make this list – the sun is more likely to rise in the west than these boys starting to experiment with fancy plastic. The Orange 324 works so well due to the steady refinement of its angles at the hands of master craftsmen so we think they should carry on doing what they do best.
We reckon the numbers are spot on and, when loaded with the right kit, this is a bike that simply flies.
Nukeproof Pulse Team
If it’s good enough for Sam Hill you can bet it’s probably good enough for you too. Hill’s downhill weapon of choice is the aluminium Nukeproof Pulse and it delivered him to consecutive World Cup wins in 2014.
For 2016 the Pulse is longer, slacker and sleeker. With a range of four sizes from small to extra large and a build mixing Sram with Nukeproof’s own established components, 2017 is looking good for the small bunch of enthusiastic – actually change that – obsessed Nukeproof bunch who eat, sleep and drink bikes. Cheers to that!
Specialized Demo 8 Aluminium
We think the S-Works Demo 8 is the greatest downhill bike ever built and earlier this year, Specialized announced a budget aluminium version. We were amazed that Spesh were able to keep the one sided design – it truly is an amazing feat of engineering.
We will only be seeing the Demo 8 1 version here in the UK. At £3500, with a RockShox BoXXer RC fork, Fox Van RC shock it is sounding like a good buy. Sure there’s a weight penalty, but when you save £3,000 on the price can you really complain?