We have compiled a list together of our top five suspension bikes from £1000.00 - £3800.00 to highlight some of the ranges we do and the best bikes as close to the price range as possible. We have chosen these bikes with the modern day trail rider in mind. Travel ranges from 100mm to a modest 160mm. The bikes chosen will be happy on any of our trails that we have in the UK and further field than that. When it comes to choosing what amount of travel you need it can sometimes be confusing though the more travel you have if you just remember these simple points from Formby Cycles;
* Less travel, faster uphill, usually steeper angles (head tube and seat tube)
* More travel, slower uphill, better downhill and usually steeper angles.
* More travel, more weight
* Less travel, less weight.
* Trail bikes come in a variety of guises but all listed here will do the job. Just depends how much you like to climb, or descend...
In this price range we have to choose the Giant Stance suspension bike . It's a penny under the £1000.00 mark at £999.99. Rockshox air forks and a rockshox air rear shock make this bike well equipped to deal with the trails around the world. Shimano gearing gives you confidence knowing that when you want to shift, you can shift without delay. The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes provide great stopping power on a budget without compromise to performance. This bike doesn't have the Maestro suspension system - it has a single pivot suspension system that uses a Flexpoint between the seat stay and the chain stay to provide a lightweight durable suspension design with proven performance.
At as close to £1500.00 we can get with the best spec we recommend the Trek Fuel EX 7 suspension bike. This bike comes in at £1599.99 but is full of great features. 120mm of travel aims this at the trail rider with mile crunching in mind. The normal 15-20km trails that you ride will feel like you have ridden less with the new 27.5 inch wheels and ABP (Active Braking Point) suspension smoothing out all the bumps in the trail. Rockshox are in charge of front bounce with the Rockshox Revelation fork. This is a solo air fork so you can't change the travel when you are climbing, but the EX is driven towards performance up and down! Bontrager finishing kit is seen throughout this bike and it's a welcome sight indeed. The Bontrager brand is a great choice for bars, stems, saddles, tyres and wheels! They just work. We are happy with the performance of Bontrager throughout their range. We've all owned something Bontrager on our bike over the years and we have always been impressed.
The bike that we have considered for this price point is the Cannondale Habit 4 suspension bike with the awesome lefty fork! Contrary to contrary to popular misconception this fork is stiffer than most dual legged forks! You have to ride it to believe it. We love the look of the lefty - it's upside down, missing half of its legs and it just awesome! With a Shimano Deore groupset at this level isn't a bad thing. It's a solid choice for shifting when the going gets tough on climbs and descents alike. We'd like to see a dropper post too, but this is saved for the £3000.00 Habit Carbon bike. Makes the extra cost of a dropper post a little more easy to digest. All in we really like this bike120mm rear travel and 130mm front travel means it's aimed towardsa more cross country / trail rider with surprising off road capability.
We have gone a little over again with this one, but it's worth considering the Giant Anthem 27.5 SX1 suspension bike. Short travel makes a few people worry about only having 100mm on the back, but with 120mm up front, this bike will handle the most technical trail and will give you a lot of positive feedback on the trail. The slight difference with this bike is that it doesn't have 29er wheels like you'd expect, it has the more playful 27.5" wheels. Still a lot of fun to ride but where 29er wheels would roll over roots etc, 27.5 want to jump over them! Sram X1 1 x 11 speed set up is just flawless. Sram are always on the move to make their shifting easier all the time. Sram Guide hydraulic disc brakes will scrub off the speed that you will get up on the technical trails you find yourself on. Giants own P-XC wheels are stiff and light to directly transmit the drive to the back wheel for a fast riding wheel set.
For this price range there's so many decent bikes to choose from - though one really stands out to us for £3799.99. The Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1 suspension bike comes with 160mm front and rear travel, carbon fibre frame - the fork has dual position settings - so even the steepest climb can be conquered by flipping the lever and having the fork drop to 130mm travel. This not only brings the bars closer to the ground, but steepens off the slack head angle and seat tube making it easier to get to the top to rip down the other side of the mountain. 160mm travel is enough for what most of the UK has to offer - we have even seen these at Revolution Bike Park, Antur Stinog and other lift assisted riding around Wales - for the likes of Fort William etc, you are looking at getting a DH bike - but for most of the riding you will do - this is the one! Giant have their own uppy downy post - it's really smooth to use! It has our favourite tyres on it, Magic Mary up front and a Hans Dampf on the rear - just reminding you of it's gravity orientated roots.
If you`re looking for a suspension bike, check out our range of suspension bikes at Formby Cycles. Happy cycling