The penultimate Bike Demo Day of 2010 took place over the weekend at the mountain bike Mecca that is Coed y Brenin, north
Craig Turner, 29, from nearby Gellilydan, was riding an orange Ragley Blue Pig hardtail when we stopped him for a chat. He said it was a bit of a change after riding full-suspension bikes – including the Lapierre Spicy and Rose Uncle Jimbo – all day on the fairly punishing terrain of our test loop.
"The forks are good and the steel frame takes away the buzz of the trail," he said. "I really like it. I'm definitely thinking about it for a hardtail, but the Lapierre Spicy is the next bike for me!"
Kris Thomas, 37, from Montgomery in mid-Wales, was aboard a Scott Genius 50, which he seemed unsure about. "This feels a bit low at the back end because I normally ride a hardtail," he said. "I haven't got it on full travel. I've already tried a Scott Spark and I preferred that – it's a little bit more me.
Kris said he was planning to buy a full-suspension bike later in the year and was trying out some of the different options. "I enjoyed the demo loop," he said. "I was at Cannock [Chase] a few weeks ago and enjoyed this a lot more."
Kris Thomas puts the Scott Genius 50 through its paces on our demo loop
Ian Hough, 49, from the West Midlands, was trying out a Norco Fluid 3. "This is the first bike of the day," he said. "It's okay but it's got a bit too much suspension for me. I usually ride an Orange 5; this seems more plush but I don't think I'd swap my Orange for it."
Ian was at the demo day with his nephew Liam Brindley, 16. "We've got lots of bikes booked for test rides," he said. "We're going to ride the Lapierre X-Control 510, Red Bull Tusk 600 and Rose Granite Chief 2. Today is a nice bit of a warm up for the Dyfi Enduro."
Ian Hough was trying out lots of bikes in preparation for the Howies Dyfi Enduro
Chris Birt, 28, from the Peak District was impressed by the Bionicon Ironwood, with its unique adjustable-on-the-fly geometry. "This thing's incredible!" he said. "You just float over everything. It's amazing on the descents and it climbs brilliantly too.
"I've got a hardtail but after riding a full-suss I want to get one – I can't go back to hardtails now!" Chris also enjoyed trying out the Rose Granite Chief ("really nice"), Bionicon Edison and Tomac Snyper.
"This thing's incredible!"
The final Bike Demo Day of the series (not including BikeRadar Live, of course!), takes place at Glentress, near Peebles, Scotland on Sunday (18 April), so why not come along and try out some of the latest bikes for free? Go to the Demo Day website for more information.
Every rider gets a free Buff and there are prize giveaways from Rose Bikes, plus we'll give anyone who buys a bike that they rode during the series a free gift of a set of Ritchey Comp V4 pedals, a CamelBak Slipstream hydration pack or a Lezyne Roadside Repair Kit.