The MATTS TFS 800 looks very attractive for budget-minded racers. It sports some neat frame design touches, sound spec highlights - including Hayes Nine hydraulic discs and a Shimano XT rear mech - and even comes with a pair of Shimano's clipless SPD pedals.
A mid-pack cross-country racer in price, the Giant XTC 2.5's combination of a stiff frame and high-value parts pick puts it at the front for performance and value.
The Van Nicholas range represents the rebirth of web company Airborne'sradical line of low cost, 'customisable', titanium framed bikes. Thenew company have a more European focus but have lost little of their enthusiasm