This is a bike that has lived up to its reputation for over 10 years, continually adapting to changes in technology and riding styles.
It has a light, tough but compliant steel frame. It also runs with a slacker head angle to inspire bolder descending and allow a full 130mm of fork travel, courtesy of the superb Fox Vanilla. You can see the key elements of the tough hardtail have all been considered.
How does it ride? Just as you'd expect from a bike like the P7, it has an instantly comfortable feel to it. Big 2.3in Conti tyres, a well balanced frame and supple forks all make you feel reassuringly in control, and that feeling remains as you fly along technical terrain. It's still light enough to sprint up climbs but the slacker angles and burlier fork make it a shade slower uphill than the Marin and Gary Fisher.
You get Hope hubs and good quality eyeleted rims: this is very important now that we ride with disc brakes because you want those wheels to last, unlike the old days when your V-brakes wore them out in one winter. You can also choose to upgrade from Hayes disc brakes to Hope, but whichever you choose you should have ample stopping power.
Overall this is a true all-rounder and a great package at £1200. It looks good, rides good and has everything going for it whether you're a weekend trail blaster or a long-haul adventurer.