DiamondBack might not currently have the profile of other high value brands such as Giant, Saracen, GT and Mongoose, but bikes like the new Apex look set to put them firmly on the map.
While the Tass's disc seems relatively conventional, subtle tubing tweaks and Genesis geometry mean it still feels totally fresh, with fast rolling tyres and good value componentry completing a lively ride.
For as long as Giant has been making their XTC hardtails, we've been hanging out high marks for high quality performance. A welcome move to UK spec rather than global kit makes them a more complete ready-togo package than ever.
Saracen's Zen hardtails have been impressing us for years now, bringing true hardcore hardtail performance to an affordable price point way before anyone else. The Zen 2 is the most evolved trail hooligan yet, but only if you swap the tyres...
Think Canadian mountain biking and you think elevated North Shore stunts, massive huck drops and other deranged escapades. No surprise then, that the 'Shore hardtail' series from Norco are designed to survive the worst unscathed.
If you like your reflective piping, then Cannondale's Roam is covered in it without effecting generally stylish 'normal' looks - and it's also available in a women's version.
Unsurprisingly, the new jacket from the Scots at Endura is a seriously warm heavyweight. As well as a fleecey lining, the front has deep double back flaps and a draught flap behind the zip.
Fox has a real knack of making even its budget gear look great, and this shell turns on the style on or off the bike.
It's no surprise that Freestyle makes great gear for UK riding because it's based and designed in England. The Ride 461 uses a Gore Windstopper fabric with a velvety mesh wicking layer laminated onto the inside for decent breathability.
The Cross is Howies' first softshell jacket, using the latest fabric from Scholler. Despite the softshell tag, the fabric is pretty rough and synthetic feeling on the outside, but a cosy bonded fleece inner face does its best to keep you warm and dry.
Northwave's trail boot is a non-winter boot with a full Gore Tex waterproof lining, which makes it stand out right away. It's made on a classic long and narrow Italian shape, which will immediately rule it out for some.
Security guards in shopping centres watch out, as this Race Face hoody is an absolute ASBO dream. In fact, it's so fashionable that we were reluctant to go out and get it filthy, but that would be a waste of decent wild weather performance.
Mid and lower range shoes have always been a Shimano strong point and the MT50 is no exception. The toe box is slightly narrower than most, but it's certainly not as long and narrow as Shimano shoes used to be.
Even the Ultimate Pursuits website describes this as an SPD hiking boot, which will put some folk off, but beneath the rambler looks lies a seriously tough trail performer.
Basically a simpler,cheaper version of the 120SL, the Buzzsaw uses a more conventional leather and mesh lace up design,but it's still a tough boot.Again,the Body Geometry fit is glove-like from the start,with all the initial lumps and bumps melting away.