While there’s loads of decent bikes (and one or two not so decent) on the market for a grand, what are the best £1000 hardtail mountain bikes?
Why are we only looking at hardtails? Well while there are a small number of really good full-suspension mountain bikes costing around £1000, to get the most bangs for your bucks, you’re much better off going for a hardtail at this price. Being less complex than a full-sus bike, you’ll get a better frame and components as a result.
If you can manage to stump up a grand to spend on a new bike, you’ll usually get the best possible value. Under the Bike to Work Scheme the most you can spend is £1000, so manufacturers really squeeze their profit margins to hit this price as it will mean that they sell more bikes as a result.
Here’s our pick of the five best £1000 hardtail mountain bikes…
Saracen Mantra Trail
Weighing in at 12.67kg in a size large, the Saracen Mantra Trail is up there with the lightest bikes at this price. This is no delicate cross-country bike though, as well balanced trail geometry and capable components make for an excellent all-rounder that is equally at home full gas charging as it is playing around on the trail.
The Mantra Trail’s spec is decent with a Suntour Raidon 120mm fork, 2×10 Shimano Deore drivetrain, Araya 27.5in rims on Shimano hubs, fast rolling tyres in the shape of a Schwalbe pairing of Nobby Nick 2.25 front and Rcaing Ralph Performance 2.25 rear and 740mm bars for confident handling.
Sonder Transmitter SRAM NX1 Sektor
Sonder’s Transmitter comes in five different builds ranging from the £999 version here to the top of the line £2799 incarnation.
Whatever form it takes, this is a bulldozer of a bike that can take on pretty much anything a trail can throw at it. With massive amounts of confidence inspiring control, chuck a leg over a Transmitter and you’ll soon feel able to take on anything as well.
The spec is good value too, with the triple butted alloy frame coming paired with a 130mm RockShox Sektor Silver Boost fork, 11-speed SRAM NX1 chainset, 740mm Love Mud bars, 27.5+ Love Mud Boost wheels and WTB 3.0 Trail Boss front/ 2.8 Trailblazer rear tyres.
Ragley Marley 1.0
With its long reach, slack front end, short chain stays and aggressively treaded tyres, the Ragley Marley 1.0 is a total hoodlum of a bike that massively eggs you on to properly hoon it down every descent and off every ledge you can find.
The custom-butted aluminum frame is properly stiff for excellent power transfer, but can also be a bit of a bruising ride. The 130mm, through-axled Manitou Minute Comp fork is capable of taking care of most trail hits, the drivetrain comes in the form of 1×11 SRAM NX, you get WTB i23 27.5in rims on Novatec hubs shod with a WTB Vigilante 2.3 Light/High Grip tyre up front and a Trail Boss 2.25 Light/Fast on the rear. Total bike weight is a very respectable 13kg.
Diamondback Heist 3.0+
A dropper seatpost as standard on a £1000 bike is extremely rare, but to have one on a machine as that’s already as well specced as this is incredible!
Not only does the Heist 3.0+ have an internally routed remote dropper, but you also get RockShox Recon RL 120mm fork with a bolt-through axle for front end stiffness, a light and reliable Shimano 1×11 XT/SLX drivetrain, 2.8in WTB Ranger tyres on properly wide WTB Scraper i45 27.5in rims for tons of trail traction, relaxed frame geometry for confident descending and decently wide 740mm RaceFace bars for accurate piloting. All in all, an amazing package and massively capable ride.
Vitus Sentier VRS
Like the Ragley Marley 1.0, Vitus’ Sentier VRS is an aggressive trail hooligan. The spec is pretty similar but here you get a 140mm RockShox Sektor Silver fork with a through-axle which we reckon slightly outperforms the Manitou Minute.
Other componentry highlights come in the form of an 11-speed RaceFace/Shimano SLX drivetrain, WTB i23 rims on Novatec hubs, WTB Vigilante High Grip 2.3 front tyre and Trail Boss Comp 2.25 rear and 740mm bars with a 55mm stem.
The triple-butted alloy frame is light and more compliant than the Marley’s aluminum version. Total bike weight for a size medium is an impressively light 12.55kg too. The Sentier and the Marley both share the same 65.5 degree head angle, but where they crucially differ is with their reach, with the Sentier being 12mm or so shorter than the Marley. It may not sound much, but it makes the Sentier a more lively and playful ride, the flipside being that it can feel a little cramped on the climbs.