In a world where bike prices only ever seem to head in one direction, bikes like Calibre’s Bossnut are a breath of fresh air. The predecessor of this bike showed the UK (and indeed the rest of the world thanks to a flat shipping rate of £10) that building a properly capable full-suspension mountain bike was possible despite a tight budget.
Calibre Bossnut V2 first look
The original Bossnut cost £1,299, however next to nobody ever paid that price thanks to a hefty reduction offered to members of GO Outdoors’ loyalty scheme (£5 per annum) that dropped the outlay to £999. This latest version of the Bossnut builds on what Go Outdoors learned with its first bike but still honours that same aggressive pricing.
Calibre’s careful component choices and well-considered geometry were key to the success of the original Bossnut and so it’s no surprise to see subtle rather than radical changes.
As far as the frame is concerned, the Bossnut V2 features a slightly longer top tube and a fresh lick of paint. There’s the same linkage activated single pivot suspension delivering 130mm at the rear wheel, but it’s now via a new one-piece rocker link for a stiffer rear-end with additional clearance. Calibre states the Bossnut V2 will accept a 2.35in rear tyre without any troubles.
Simplicity arrives in the form of a regular 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell and full external cable routing.
The 2×10 Deore transmission is retained by a clutch mech and scales a Sunrace 11-36t cassette Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
It’s available in three frame sizes, the largest of which provides a healthy 463mm of reach — that’s a fair bit longer than many bikes you’ll find at this end of the market, while the Bossnut’s 66.8-degree head angle, 73.5-degree seat angle and 436mm (16.7in) chainstays remain close to those of most big brand competition. Our size XL example tipped the scales at a reasonable 14.9kg (32.84lbs).
The simple RockShox suspension combo of the Bossnut V2 is the same as that of its predecessor. At the front end of the Bossnut is a RockShox Sektor Silver, which matches the 130mm of travel offered by the Monarch R at the rear end of the bike.
Both units are air sprung, with an easily adjustable damping range that should suit a majority of riders just fine.
The air-sprung RockShox Sektor fork is simple to set up and adjust for different rider weights Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
The Bossnut’s double drivetrain comes from Shimano’s Deore line and pairs a clutch-equipped rear mech with a 36t/22t chainset and shifters that — thanks to Shimano’s neat i-spec integration — tuck neatly into the Shimano brake levers. The brakes themselves combine Shimano’s M506 levers with M447 calipers and 180mm centrelock rotors at each wheel.
Talking of wheels, the WTB i25 rims of the Bossnut will allow riders to take advantage of a tubeless upgrade, that’s as soon as the standard fit 2.3in WTB Vigilante front and 2.2in WTB Bee Line rear tyres are worn out.
There’s no dropper post, it would’ve been unfair to expect one at this price, but the 31.6mm seat tube is ready to accept an externally routed item, which should be top of the upgrade list for anyone after this bike.
The version 2 frame still uses a quick-release rear axle Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
Finishing the package is a whole host of branded alloy kit from Ritchey, including a 760mm wide handlebar and a 45mm stem — wider and stubbier than the setup of the last Bossnut. The only exception is on the XL bike, which arrives with a 60mm stem.
Any women looking at this bike should be aware that the Bossnut Ladies V2 exists, which features women-specific contact points, a lighter suspension tune and a different colour.
Ritchey 760mm bars remain uncluttered thanks to Shimano i-spec integration Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
It seems like Calibre has played it safe with the Bossnut V2 by sticking closely to the formula that worked so well for the bike before it. At the same time, it’s now been more than three years since we first rode the original Bossnut and it’ll be interesting to see if this design still cuts the mustard among more recent competitors, such as Boardman’s Team FS or Voodoo Canzo.
We’ll be putting plenty of test time into this bike to find out so stay tuned for a full review.