Over the last twelve months we’ve seen an increase in sales of hardtails here at Worcester Cycle Centre – at all price points – so we thought a round up of the best of the bunch was needed.
Both 29″ and 27.5″ wheels sizes are now established with the main brands and geometry has evolved too – adding confidence and improved control in tricky terrain. We’ve seen tyre volume and size increasing too, with 2.8″ tyres now a big seller on 27.5″ wheel trail hardtails and lighter duty 2.3″ rubber a sound choice on mile-eating 29″ wheel XC bikes. With a move to simpler and lighter drivetrains (single and double ring chain sets are now common place) these bikes are lighter and quieter in the rough with less chance of dropping the chain. The sum of these developments allow you to push these bikes with bigger tyres into more challenging terrain than ever before with more comfort as well as control – just make sure you switch to more aggressive rubber for mud use and experiment with lower air pressures too. For local trail riding, multi-surface use and bikepacking the long legged nature of the 29″ wheel hardtails means versatility comes as standard. It’s good news all round regardless of your riding style or choice of wheel size – the hardtail is back and is better than ever…
We have quality hardtails from Trek, Specialized and Orange in stock and many 2020 models are now available either in-store or to order. Drop in for a chat to see what bikes will suit you and what frame size to choose.
Here’s a run through – in no particular order – of our best selling and favourite hardtail of the last 12 months.
TREK MARLIN 7 – £550
The lightweight aluminium frame with a low stand-over height is a class act at this price and is available in seven frame sizes with 29″ wheels on the medium frame and above and 27.5″ on sizes XS and S. It’s our most affordable bike with a RockShox fork, the 2020 model now has a 2×9 Shimano drivetrain and reliable Shimano hydraulic brakes. The Marlin 7 is a slick looking bike in either Viper red or a stunning Emerald Iris green/purple fade. A versatile and high quality ‘all-terrain’ mountainbike at an affordable price.
Read more about the Marlin 7 HERE
SPECIALIZED PITCH EXPERT 1X – £650
If fun is high on your agenda then the 27.5″ wheels on the Pitch Expert will give you the lively feel in the tight and twisty trails that you might miss on a 29er. The low slung aluminium frame is kitted out with an air-sprung SR Suntour suspension fork, a 1×10 Shimano transmission and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. Chubby 2.3″ tyres take the sting out of the trail and the FlakJacket technology helps reduce punctures. The black graphics on satin black paint makes for a stealthy looking trail bike.
This bike is in short supply – please contact us to check availability
Read more about the Pitch Expert 1X HERE
TREK ROSCOE 7 – £950
One of our best selling trail hardtails, the Roscoe 7 is built around 27.5″ wheels with 2.8″ tyres. It has an incredible spec for the money – SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, Maxxis tubeless ready wheels, Bontrager 40mm tubeless rims and a dropper seatpost. Plenty of stand-over height on the aluminium frame won’t compromise dynamics in tight singletrack or when the trails get steep. A very capable and fun hardtail that rolls fast on broken up trail centre tracks and rough natural terrain.
Read more about the Roscoe 7 HERE
SPECIALIZED ROCKHOPPER EXPERT 2X – £849
The Rockhopper has been in Specialized’s range almost since day one and it’s still here for good reason – it’s a cracking all-round mountainbike that’s as versatile as it is capable. A superbly finished aluminium frame rolls on 29″ wheels and sports a 100mm travel fork with a remote handlebar lock-out lever. Not everyone wants a single chainring transmission and the Rockhopper is available with either 1x or 2x gearing options – we’ve picked the 2x as we feel it works well with this bike’s ‘all-terrain’ capabilities. It will hack along back roads and towpaths just as well as it eats up twisting singletrack.
Read more about the Rockhopper Expert 2X HERE
ORANGE CRUSH COMP 27 – £1600
UK trail riders have a soft spot for long travel hardtails and the Orange Crush is always a favourite in this category. Back for 2020 with revised sizing and geometry, the Crush is available with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. We’ve picked the smaller wheels as we feel that work well for the gravity-induced fun that this bike encourages. The 150mm travel fork is teamed up with softer compound 2.6″ WTB tyres, a dropper post,a short stem and a wide bar. A slacker head angle a shorter seat tube all adds up to a bike that will help you push your limits – just add some flat pedals of your choice…
Read more about the Crush Comp 27 HERE
TREK X-CALIBER 8 – £850
Just like the Rockhopper, the X-Calber 8 has an aluminium frame and 29″ wheels (on all sizes except XS and S) with geometry that makes for a great all rounder. An air sprung fork is standard, along with the wide range 1×12 (single chainring) SRAM SX Eagle transmission and quality hardware from Bontrager (Trek’s in-house brand) finish this bike well. Seven frame size options allow a great fit for riders of most heights – great to see at this price. The X-Caliber 8 is a classy looking machine that will serve you well whether hacking local singletrack or trail centres – a true ‘all-terrain’ machine.
TREK PRO CALIBER TEAM ISSUE – £4500
The choice of Stu – one of the owners of WCC – a bike that’s a ‘no compromise’ carbon hardtail designed for fast paced cross country riding. The full carbon frame is both low in weight yet forgiving, thanks to Trek’s proprietary IsoSpeed technology taking the sting out of the trail. Carbon Bontrager tubeless wheels keep the handling sharp and the short travel fork has a twist grip remote for on-the-fly lock out. A single chainring 12 speed transmission is standard hardware but a dropper post and super wide bar aren’t – this Pro Caliber favours fast ‘point and shoot’ singletrack trails or XC racing.
Read more about the Trek’s XC bikes HERE