A bargain bike, if you take up the discount card offer, that offers easily adjustable suspension, but has a tendency to drop its chain
Buy if, You're after an impressively specced and good looking hardtail at a very affordable price
Pros: Decent shaped frame with really well shaped cockpit at a great price after you take membership savings into account. Easily adjustable suspension fork as well as confidence and speed boosting tyres
Cons: Not as smooth as some cheaper 29er bikes we’ve ridden, which means regular chain drop. QR fork reduces accuracy compared to thru-axle competition and SRAM X5 doesn’t last long
Calibre is the bike brand of outdoor equipment retailer Go Outdoors and they’ve produced an impressively well specced hardtail with a contemporary character at a great, affordable price. And while the official price is £699, if you spend £5 on a 12 month discount card, the cost of the bike drops to an even more attractive £600 / US$945 / AU$1,260.
It feels good on the trail straight away thanks to a 65mm long stem and wide 760mm handlebar for a power assisted steering feel. The WTB tyres provide a good grippier front, faster rear balance, and sit on 23mm wide rims to add more support when you’re cornering hard.
Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic brakes have much better feel and feedback than Tektro anchors too, although we’d like to see a 180mm not 160mm rotor up front for more power.
While the RockShox XC32 fork only has a QR skewer holding the wheel in place rather than the thru-axle, you can occasionally find on Suntour forks at this price it’s still stiffer than more common 30mm legged forks. The pressurised air (rather than solid) spring and basic rebound control makes it easy to tune the fork response to your weight too.
The RockShox XC32 fork only has a QR skewer holding the wheel in placeRussell Burton
Weight is acceptable at 13.75kg/30.3lb and compared to most bikes at this price it’s very fun and capable on average trails. Don’t expect the SRAM X5 transmission to last long compared to the Shimano alternatives though.
Like other cheaper 27.5in wheeled bikes, the Gauntlet also struggles to keep its chain on when the terrain get really rowdy over rooty or rocky sections.
Geometry based on size 18"
Seat Tube (in)
Avid Elixir 1
Calibre Trail 70mm extension
Alloy 30.8mm 350mm
Calibre disc specific
WTB Trail Boss 2.2"
KT Alloy 32H
16in 18in 20in
Ritchey MTN Trail 760mm width, 20mm rise
WTB Vigilante 2.3"
KT Alloy 32H
Lightweight 6061 hydroformed alloy frame with one piece wishbone seat stays