Bike of the Year 2019 – the 20 models ridden & reviewed
Grab a copy of our April issue for your 36-page 'Bike of the Year' guide
After splitting our 2018 Bike of the Year test into two categories defined by suspension travel, we're keeping things simple this year, with just one class and one overall winner. Because trail riding is the most all-encompassing discipline and trail bikes are the most versatile all-rounders, these are what we've tested.
In this instance, we've defined a trail bike as having between 120 and 150mm of travel, but within that there's still big variation, with some models being light, snappy mile-munchers and others blurring the line between a trail bike and a bigger, burlier enduro rig.
In the interests of affordability and comparability, we specified that the bikes had to cost between £2,800 and £3,600. This is £200 higher than last year, but that's simply because bike prices have increased. It should be noted that many of the models tested also come in more budget-conscious builds.
Full reviews of all the bikes and the story of how we tested them can be found in the 36-page Bike of the Year supplement included with the April issue of the mag – on sale now in all good outlets! Read on to see the 20 bikes that we've reviewed and rated...
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Bergamont Contrail 9 £2,900
Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 £3,299.99
Canyon Spectral CF 8.0 £3,246.98 (shipped)
Cotic FlareMAX Silver £3,449 (inc. upgrades)
Commencal Meta Trail 29 British Edition £3,487.24 (shipped)
Cube Stereo 140 HPC TM £3,500
Giant Trance 1 £3,199
Ghost SL AMR 6.7 £2,800
Lapierre Zesty AM 5.0 Ultimate £3,199
LAST Glen Trail €3,899 shipped (approx £3,360)
Merida One-Twenty 6000 £3,300
Norco Sight A1 29 £2,800
Rose Pikes Peak 3 AM £3,232.08 (inc. upgrades and shipping)
Santa Cruz 5010 R+ Aluminium £3,499
Scott Genius 940 £3,299
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp Alloy 29 £3,400
Trek Remedy 9.7 £3,200
Vitus Escarpe 29 VRX £2,999.99
Whyte T-130C RS £3,499
YT Jeffsy CF 29 Pro £3,566.80 (shipped)
Thanks to the following for facilitating this year's Bike of the Year test:
All photos by Dan Milner
Former Mountain Biking UK features editor Ed Thomsett is a downhiller at heart but has been riding bikes of all types since a young age. He's raced both nationally and internationally in downhill and enduro, and has spent several summers living in the Alps and Canada, riding, roadtripping and living the dirtbag lifestyle. Now Ed calls upon his years of experience riding bikes to the limit as a writer and reviewer for MBUK and BikeRadar. He's also an avid trail builder and has scraped out numerous steep and technical lines in the woodlands of his native North Yorkshire. These days Ed will happily turn his hand to any discipline and believes the sign of a good week is when every bike in his shed ends up muddy by the end of it.