Five trail mountain bikes for less than £1,500 - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine


Trail and Enduro Bikes

Five trail mountain bikes for less than £1,500

Proper bikes on a budget

The question with budget suspension bikes is always: “how low can you go?”

As much as we’d all love to pay £200 for a bike, there definitely comes a point where you’re paying for a Bike Shaped Object, rather than something truly capable of tackling the trails.

In our mind you should be looking to spend at least £1,000 on a full suspension trail bike (you can afford to go a bit lower if you want a hardtail). This may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the alternative is a heavy, poorly designed, waste of money that will only end up putting you off the sport and rusting in a shed.

You probably get more bang for your buck with one of the direct sales bikes here, but none are totally perfect. If you have any money left over for upgrades we’d look straight into dropper seat posts and getting the cockpit sorted out.

Here are five budget, full-suspension trail mountain bikes for under £1,500 that provide a great intro to the sport:

Marin Hawk Hill

When Marin first showed us the Hawk Hill there were no presentations or PR bullshit, they just wanted us to ride it. We’re so glad we did.

With new-world geometry, a single chainring up front and good sizing this is a very promising start to Marin’s revised range. The Hawk Hill is a fun bike to chuck around, with good trail manners – a handy rider could take this bike into some challenging terrain with confidence. One model at £1450.

Calibre Bossnut

The Calibre Bossnut may retail at £1,200, but if you buy a GoOutdoors card (for a fiver) then the price is reduced to the magical £1,000 point.

This bike is picking up plaudits from media and riders alike and with a men’s and women’s version available, it makes a great choice for any rider.

Norco Fluid FS 7.2+

Interestingly this is the only plus bike on our list. While plus bikes aren’t massively proven technology, there’s no doubt the big volume tyres help smooth out the trail. If you’re after something to kickstart your riding, they could help make up for any damping inconsistencies you might find at this price point.

Commencal Meta TR V4

You won’t be able to get the newest Meta TR model from Commencal for under £1,500 but if the exchange rate is right then a V4 may not be out of reach.
The model is a couple of years old but it was a great bike then and remains so to this day.

Vitus Escarpe

Chain Reaction Cycles’ in-house brand, Vitus, produces great value bikes at every price point. The Escarpe is its trail offering and can be picked up for £1,450.

We actually picked the Escarpe over its enduro brother the Sommet for our 2016 Dirt 100. Although it’s hard to pick between them but we simply preferred the ride characteristic of the shorter travel bike and thought it was better suited to a lot of riding many people do.


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