CLASSY MID-PRICED HARDTAILSIn the world of the conservative medium spender, the hardtail still appears to be king. So what sort of hardtail can you score at a price where the full sussers start to rear their pretty heads?
Steve Worland writes: For September we are testing:
The ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRAILHEAD - £770
A pedigree Canadian all-rounder with an excellent sub 4lb frame, a 100mm Rock Shox Pilot fork and a slick Deore based drivetrain.
The CUBE LTD - £750
A comfy and unusually specced race-ready bike from Germany, boasting a top value feature- laden frame, way better than average componentry specification and a top of the range Rock Shox Pilot 100m fork.
The SINTESI MOAB - £679
A superbly equipped Italian thoroughbred with an unusual hard-hitting frame design, a 105mm Marzocchi Bomber MX Comp fork and some great finishing kit for the price.
The SCOTT BOULDER - £700
A good-looker which boasts a well sorted frame, excellent geometry, a surprisingly comfy and well controlled ride feel and the best drivetrain on test.
First Impressions: Image wise, each bike is very different, so our first impressions were mixed, with two bikes slotting happily into the 'exactly as expected' speedy XC category, one encouraging some hard hitting antics and another surprising us with its softly-softly approach.