With bike prices soaring, due to currency fluctuations and rises in the cost of raw materials, it's becoming increasingly rare to find a sub-£500 mountain bike that can actually cut it off-road.
However, it looks like UK high street chain Halfords are on the right track, if this picture of the new £449.99 Carrera Kraken is anything to go by. It looks to use the same heat treated, double-butted 7005 alloy frame as the current (2009) bike, with a 120mm-travel Suntour XCR-D air fork up front.
Spec highlights include Clarks hydraulic disc brakes, SRAM X5/S600 gearing and alloy wheels with Continental Mountain King 2.2in tyres. It even comes with alloy flat pedals instead of the throwaway plastic ones you often get at this price.
We haven't reviewed a Kraken for a few years, but it was a hit with both our testers and readers back in 2007, and the new version looks even better. From a distance you could easily mistake it for a bike costing twice as much. Claimed weight is just over 30lb.
Carrera Kraken 2011 spec
- Frame: 7005 T6 aluminium, Satin Ice White
- Fork: Suntour XCR-D w/ lockout, 120mm
- Chainset: SRAM S600
- Front derailleur: Shimano FD-M430
- Rear derailleur: SRAM X5
- Shifters: SRAM X5 nine-speed
- Brakes: Clarks SX hydraulic disc
- Headset: Semi integrated
- Handlebar: Alloy riser, oversize (31.8mm), 30mm rise
- Stem: Alloy
- Saddle: Carrera
- Pedals: Wellgo alloy platform with toe clips
- Wheels: Double wall alloy rims, alloy quick-release hubs
- Tyres: Continental Mountain King 2.2in
- Weight: 13.8kg