The Mamba’s frame is trail worthy, with stable geometry and a suspension fork offers the best control in the test. The 100mm-travel RockShox Tora with lockout, preload adjustment (to cater for different rider weights) and rebound damping was the highlight of the Mamba and turned out to be a favorite within the test. Unfortunately, advantage gained by the frame and fork are quickly offset by the bike’s concessionary spec. The Mamba is one of only two bikes in this test with a 3×8 drivetrain, and the tall 32-tooth cog limits its climbing prowess. Trek picked a strangely bent handlebar that’s much more appropriate for a city bike, and has no business being on a mountain bike.
- Standout features: Best suspension fork in the test, a RockShox Tora 29 w/G2 geometry, solid frame (both construction quality and geometry)
- Pros: Best suspension fork; contemporary 29er geometry
- Cons: Too many concessions – eight-speed, cable actuated disc brakes, square taper bottom bracket spindle; worst handlebar in the test; also heaviest of the hardtails in the test
- Weight: 14.5kg/31.96lb. Wheelset: 5.31kg/11.7lb