Author: Guy Kesteven, What Mountain Bike & MBUK

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Pace RC405 Free Floater
£1295 4.5

It's taken Yorkshire suspension and frame fanatics Pace nearly two decades of development to finally get their XC full suspension bike honed to their satisfaction. Yet it seems the best things are worth waiting for.

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Norco Shore Two
£1899 4.5

The unshakeably confident, hard-hitting Shore Two shows Norco's design preference for bikes that can tackle the most extreme riding on an everyday basis.

Rocky Mountain ETS X 50

Rocky Mountain ETS-X 50
£2495 4.5

The fact that Rocky Mountain were the ones to scoop www.bikes.com as their company URL shows how quick they are to push new technology. It's the same with their attitude to bikes and new riding styles too, with the ETS (Energy Transfer System) still at the cutting edge four years after its launch.

Nicolai Helius FR

Nicolai Helius FR
£1600 4.5

With a website that looks more like the official site for the latest techno geek sci-fi blockbuster than a bike builder, Nicolai take every part of their obsessively detailed operation to the Nth degree.

Kona Coiler Deluxe

Kona Coiler Deluxe 2007
£2200 4

Kona's Stinky line is their full-on freeride family, but triple-crown forks limit their versatility. The single-crown Coiler gets an inch less travel, but it's a great bike if there are also pedalling and cross-country style trails on the agenda.

Scott MC 50

Scott MC 50
£1500 4.5

Scott's MC bikes pack in more innovation than almost any others out there. Unique frame design features and homegrown shock and suspension system create a remarkably adaptable multi character ride, though.

Scott Boulder

Scott Boulder
£64.99 4

Scott's Boulder boot family is a long running one, but this evolved version is probably the best trail shoe they've made yet. While the All Mountain is broader than most shoes and the Urban is narrower, the Boulder sits somewhere in the middle.

Ram XCII Comp

Ram XCII Comp
£799 4

What better way to welcome Bulgaria into the EU than by getting one of their full sus bikes into this test, courtesy of Ram Bikes?

Scott Shield Windjacket

Scott Shield Windjacket
£45 4

Scott clothing may not show up on most rider's immediate choice clothing radar, but it makes some really thoughtful, stylish threads that are worth hunting down.

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