Finding a bike that weighs under 30lb in this price range is incredibly hard, as is finding one that has a part specification as impressive as the Reflex. And, while it has a lot of similarities to bikes that cost between £400-£500, the extra tweaks and improvements make all the difference.
The low weight, fast rolling tyres and racier ride posture conspire to separate the Reflex from meatier bikes. Acceleration is rapid and you instantly notice that you can carry speed better up short climbs or through twisty singletrack, partly thanks to the low profile, summer tread of the Scott Oxyd tyres.
The ride on singletrack and rough trails is nicely comfortable, which is helped by a well-damped 100mm fork and a frame geometry that encourages you to put your weight forward and work the fork over the bumps, roots and rocks. You get a fair amount of speed to go with that comfort too, as the Reflex is a nippy little thing when you put the power down - and the ever-faithful Hayes Sole hydraulic brakes mean that you'll be able to stop with confidence if you need to mid-descent.
The Reflex isn't the ideal bike if you're a fan of jumpy action, but for full-on cross country riding, then it's hard to beat. The spec is well thought out and perfectly placed to keep the weight down, while the confidence it'll give you makes it easier to push your riding further. You can upgrade at your leisure, but the basic bike is impressive enough.