Trail and Enduro Bikes

Calibre Beastnut – Review

How does this trail bike improve on the bargain Bossnut?

The Calibre Beastnut is the better specified brother to the already loved Bossnut, a bike that featured in the 2017 Dirt 100. With the Go Outdoors brand coming out fighting in the sub thousand pound trail bike category how much better is this take on their original formula?

Words and Images: Ieuan Williams

There are very few full suspension bikes at the sub £1500 mark that are both well spec’d and up to date in terms of sizing and geometry. Many are hanging on to their XC roots and will have you looking for an upgrade before you can commit to serious trails.

The Calibre Bossnut caught many brands napping and took a slot in our 2017 Dirt 100 line up. This followed with the Bossnut V2, a ‘hugely important bike‘ in our words, which nudged things forward even more. The limited edition ‘Beastnut’ is a glimpse at what Calibre have the potential for going forward into 2018.

They’ve addressed most comments and suggestions that have been made regarding the Bossnut V2 and produced a bike that can hold its own with machines at many times the price. OK, so it looks like they’ve all been sold at the moment but let’s see what Calibre have in the pipeline next…

Here is a our full review of the Calibre Beastnut.

Shape and fit

This “limited run” Beast features the new geometry of the latest Bossnut – the V2. With an extra 10mm top tube length and a shorter stem allowing for a far more comfortable and stable ride. If you compare this bike to others it has to compete against it really does look a great package. Calibre offer the Beastnut in three sizes from the 17.5” small to the 21.5” large. As with the original Bossnut this mid travel trail bike rolls on 27.5″ wheels.

With the high standover on the largest bike the size chosen to test was the 19.5”. This really has a great feel to it but it would be good to see the larger model with a lower standover and even shorter stem.

A rebound adjustment dial is standard but no compression lockout switch.

Suspension and chassis

The Beastnut rolls on the same chassis that the Bossnut has with a simple linkage giving 130mm of rear travel from a RockShox Monarch R damper – the same as the cheaper model. There’s an adjustable rebound damping dial but no lockout switch. We’d take this well mannered shock over a budget brand with more dials and features though.

Up front is where the changes start. Here Calibre spec a far more capable RockShox Revelation RL Solo Air fork with 140mm travel. This is a great upgrade and offers more support than the previous Recon fork.


The Beastnut answers most of the minor issues that were found on the original Bossnut. This bike runs a single chainring on the front with the SRAM NX 11 speed groupset, so there’s no more losing the chain whilst keeping more than enough of a low ratio to climb up them hills.

The addition of a dropper post is always a great weapon to have in the arsenal of a trail bike too. It’s externally routed but again at this price point it’s usually a standard rigid post on similar bikes.

One final upgrade comes in the form of a good powerful set of SRAM Guide RE stoppers. These are one of the brakes of choice with us and another pick in the 2017 Dirt 100. Not that there was any issue with the cheaper Shimano brakes on the Bossnut.


There isn’t a great deal to say here. With a price of £1,300 this bike is great value but the cockpit isa little out gunned by the handlebar dimensions. The Ritchey bar is a touch narrow for our tastes but will be suit many riders. If you are going to push this bike into harder terrain (or are a taller rider) then a 780mm alloy handlebar is an easy and affordable upgrade. The standover height on the largest frame size could also be a little lower but the reach is bang on.

One more small mention is the rear damper. Something with a firm switch or lockout would be a great addition to this bike as it could transform it into a mile muncher or a family ride bike with this option. But hey, what more do you want for the money?

The short stem is a sound spec choice but the Ritchey bar maybe just a shade narrow for some riders.
A rebound adjustment dial is standard but no compression lockout switch.
The SRAM Guide RE brakes are a Dirt 100 pick and great to see on this bike.


Longer, slacker, bright enough to ride at night with no lights and a specification that can’t be frowned at. The Calibre Beastnut really does answer all the questions in performance that were asked of the Bossnut for a fraction more money. This has to be a winner for anyone wanting that step up from a hardtail or even an introduction into riding bikes.

If you can get past the slightly industrial look, the ride is on the money with this bike. The Beastnut never comes up wanting from the terrain you throw at it. Would I ride one you ask? YES.

PRICE: £1300

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