Distributed exclusively by UK-based outdoors retailer Go Outdoors, the Calibre Bossnut Ladies V2 provides a ride that is as fun and capable as a bike that's twice the price. In fact, this is a fun and exceptionally capable ride regardless of the cost.
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While the Bossnut Ladies (and its male-focused equivalent) are technically listed as £1,300, they are available for £999 after purchasing a £5 Go Outdoors membership. For that kind of money, you're getting very good value in terms of spec.
Go Outdoors also ships internationally to a huge range of countries including the US and Australia from £9.95 for a parcel under 30kg and 1.5m in length, and from £22.95 for a parcel between 30kg and 50kg and longer than 1.5m, which means should you decide to order it from anywhere other than the UK, you'll still be getting a good deal.
Calibre Bossnut Ladies V2 frame
The new 2018 Bossnut V2 is slightly longer than the 2017 model, but is largely the same ride with the same kit for the same price, although I can’t deny the new paint jobs are pretty slick in the flesh, with the women's coming in matte teal and the men’s in racing red.
Based around a unisex, aluminium frame, the Bossnut V2 includes a new one-piece rocker linkage, which adds noticeable lateral stiffness.
Cables are externally routed for ease of maintenance, and while the Bossnut doesn't come fitted with a dropper seatpost, there are routing points should you wish to add one.
Calibre Bossnut Ladies V2 specs
The women’s version has smaller grips, narrower bars and a women’s specific saddle compared to the unisex/men's version, as well as a 'light tune' on the rear suspension. The stem length is also frame-size specific, with 45mm for 17.5in/Small and 19.5in/Medium frame sizes, and 60mm for 21.5in/Large frame size.
Though the Shimano Deore 2x 10-speed groupset may seem basic in a world full of hype about SRAM Eagle’s 12-speed gearing, the Bossnut’s set-up will have a very similar range to Eagle, offering a 36T and 22T chainring up front and 11-36T at the back, which is more than adequate for most hills in the UK and will save you thousands of pounds.
The Shimano M447 brakes are a cracking base-level hydraulic disc brake, often exceeding higher level competitors on modulation and stopping power, and are also hugely simple to service and find parts for.
WTB ST i25 wheels and aluminium Richey Trail finishing kit are a reliable and attractive addition to the spec also, and would not be sniffed at when found on a bike twice its price.
The V2 version has wider rims than the original Bossnut, and are tubeless ready, which means cutting weight and running lower pressures with a better tyre profile become an option, both of which mean squeezing extra traction and grip from your rolling stock. The frame also has a wider rear end so you can pop in a 2.35in tyre should you want — or just leave space for winter mud.
The RockShox Monarch R rear-shock performed beautifully in its women’s specific light-tune guise, as did the RockShox Sector forks. They may not be the most up-to-date looking forks with silver stanchions, but they work really well for an entry-level fork and I wasn’t left wishing for much more when I threw it around my local trail centre.
In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how capable this bike was in challenging terrain, as well as just cruising the paths and fire-roads. This is by no means a mountain-bike-shaped device — it's a true contender in the market.
While I’m not a fan of the 20mm rise in the Richey Trail handlebars, nor would I have chosen my bike to have been increased in top-tube length, this move is in line with what most major brands are doing at present, particularly with trail bikes.
I prefer a shorter bike, and thus found the high front-end and long reach to be a bit vague when I really smashed out some fast descents. However, when it came to cruising around without a care in the world, it was controlled and composed, and I can see how this change would offer a more stable and confidence-inspiring ride for the novice/intermediates out there.
It's this minor change that has lost it a fraction of a star, but I’m nit-picking on what is an exceptionally good ride, regardless of the price. A smaller size may have changed my mind also.
Calibre Bossnut Ladies V2 verdict
This bike was fun, controlled and more than capable of tackling expert trails, and yet it is still seemingly perfect for novices alike. I felt at home on this bike straight away and would easily pitch this against bikes twice its price when it comes to ride quality and aesthetics. The kit is good for the money too.
This bike may start off as a budget gateway into the trail-riding world, but its efficient and playful demeanor will easily grow with a rider over time, and wouldn’t be out of place competing in a UK enduro either.
Calibre Bossnut price, sizes and availability
The Bossnut Ladies is available in three sizes: S, M and L.
As mentioned above, the Calibre Bossnut Ladies is only available from UK retailer GoOutdoors, and while its RRP is £1,300, for the price of a £5 membership card you can get it for £999, which effectively brings the price to £1004. That’s great value for a bike like this.
International shoppers can also get their hands on the Bossnut Ladies as, somewhat amazingly, GoOutdoors offer international delivery.
Using currency conversion rates correct at time of writing, that makes the Bossnut Ladies $1,823 / AU$1,831 full price and $1,822 / AU$2,370 at the discount card rate.