The bikes are split into two categories: Trail covers those with 110-140mm of travel and Enduro refers to those with 150-175mm.


All sit between £2,600 and £3,400, so they're generally the more affordable models in the brands' ranges.

Each one has been through a rigorous testing process and subjected to a lot of miles in some pretty brutal UK winter conditions. From a starting shortlist of 20, we whittled things down to a top five in each category and took the top contenders out to San Remo in Italy for a final test. The fast, rocky conditions allowed us to hone in on the finer points of each and come to a definite conclusion about which ones we believe are worth your money.


The winners are revealed in issue 355 of the mag, in shops now!


Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 £3,246.98 (inc. shipping)

Canyon Spectral CF 9.0

Commencal Meta TR V4.2 Essential £2,650

Commencal Meta TR V4.2 Essential

Cotic FlareMAX Silver 29 £3,399 (inc. shipping + fork, shock, wheel and tyre upgrades)

Cotic Flaremax Silver 29

Marin B17 3 £2,900

Marin B17 3

Norco Sight A2 29 £2,750

Norco Sight A2 29

Orbea Occam TR H10 £3,329 (inc. shipping + fork, shock & wheel upgrades)

Orbea Occam TR H10

Santa Cruz Tallboy R Aluminium 29 £3,299

Santa Cruz Tallboy R Aluminium 29

Transition Scout NX £2,999.95

Transition Scout NX

Trek Fuel EX 8 29 £2,700

Trek Fuel Ex 8 29

YT Industries Jeffsy 29 CF £3,106 (approx. including shipping)

YT Industries Jeffsy 29 CF


Bird AM9 GX £3,363.95 (inc. shipping)

Bird AM9 GX

Canyon Torque CF 8.0 £3,246.98 (inc. shipping)

Canyon Torque CF 8.0

Giant Reign 2 £2,649

Giant Reign 2

Merida One-Sixty 800 £3,150

Merida One-Sixty 800

Mondraker Dune £3,199

Mondraker Dune

Nukeproof Mega 275 Pro £3,349.99

Nukeproof Mega 275 Pro

Radon Swoop 170 9.0 £2,912 (approx. inc. shipping)

Radon Swoop 170 9.0

Specialized Enduro Comp 29 £2,999

Specialized Enduro Comp 29

Transition Patrol NX £2,999.95

Transition Patrol NX

Whyte S-150 S £2,850

Whyte S-150 S


James Costley-White is the editor of Mountain Biking UK (MBUK), the UK's best-selling mountain biking magazine, founded in 1988. James, often known as JCW, has been an avid mountain biker since 1992, during which time he's amassed a huge amount of knowledge about the sport and masses of riding experience. He can regularly be found riding the trails around Bristol and south Wales. As well as editing MBUK, JCW contributes regular product reviews and other articles to the magazine. He's a fully-qualified professional journalist, certified as a senior reporter by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and holds a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture. As well as heading up MBUK, he's worked for other cycling titles including, and Triathlon Plus magazine, along with the Bristol Post, Western Daily Press, Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen newspapers.