As 2009 draws to a close, we’re wondering which mountain bikes have grabbed your attention this year.
So we’ve dug deep into the stats and come up with the most popular mountain bikes (’09 models) that we’ve tested, based on how many of you have looked and commented on the review.
What came out on top? Read on…
At number five in the list is the Commencal Meta 5.5.2 trail bike. It retails for £1,899 and comes in just under the 30lb mark. It’s not light enough to be a high-performance race machine, but it’s a lot of fun to ride.
The spec is good, with a Fox F32 RL 140mm-travel fork and RP2 rear shock, Formula Oro K18 brakes, Truvativ Firex cranks, SRAM X.7 trigger shifters, X.9 rear mech and a Shimano SLX front mech. The only criticism we had was a slightly flexy rear end.
At £1,399.99, the Specialized FSR XC Pro is a popular bike. Reviewer Guy Kesteven praised it for its all-round riding capabilities: it’s fast up hills and the 120mm of travel is generally enough to keep you out of trouble on descents.
Reader opinions were divided. Some of you didn’t like the lack of mud clearance, non-standard length shock and overall feel. But others loved the five inches of travel and fun handling.
The Boardman MTB HT Pro hardtail scored a perfect five thumbs up from our readers, and our reviewer Jenn Hopkins gave it 4.5/5 stars. That’s the sign of a very good bike.
The sub-£1,000 HT Pro represents excellent value for money. The aluminium frame, Rockshox Reba fork, SRAM X9 gears and Ritchey XC wheels combine to give a tight, balanced and efficient ride.
What you said: “Bought one of these last week, amazing spec, very light and all for under a £1k… can’t go wrong.”
Since their launch in mid-2007, Boardman bikes have proved massively popular in the UK, so it’s no surprise to find the FS Pro in our top five reviews of ’09.
At under £1,300, this full-susser is well specced, with SRAM X9 gears, and a RockShox Reba Race fork and Monarch 3.3 shock. It also rides brilliantly and weighs just over 27lb. All that made it a winner in the eyes of our reviewer, Guy Kesteven, and our readers.
What you said: “I have to agree that the bike itself is fantastic value. The weight, performance and kit are all comparable with a £2,000+ bike.”
This year’s popular winner is the Specialized Pitch Pro. Like the FSR XC Pro above, it sells for £1,399.99, but it’s aimed more at the all-mountain rider than the cross-country themed FSR XC.
It’s built to handle big hits, with a beefy M4 alloy frame, RockShox Pike 351 140mm-travel fork, Fox Float RP2 rear shock and DT Swiss wheels.
We thought it was an astonishingly fun and versatile all-mountain bike, and you gave it equally high praise: “My riding has just taken on a whole new level, it’s so stable on downhill sections, you can confidently throw it over jumps, roots, drop-offs way faster than I’d have dared before and it really complements the rider. I seem to be ‘getting away’ with much, much more hardcore riding in the space of a few months.”
Surprised at what BikeRadar readers picked this year? Have your say in the comments box below…