Best Mountain Bikes Under £1000
 

The Best Mountain Bikes Under £1000

Not all bikes are created equal. It can be a bit of a headache tracking down the bargains from the bin-worthy with so much information to sift through pre-purchase. The sub-£1000 Hardtail is perhaps the hardest bike purchase to get right. Go into any bike shop looking for a Road or hybrid bike with a grand and you're almost guaranteed to come out with a solid, relaxed geometry, high-geared, aluminium bike. Differences between models will be subtle and follow a very similar design process - But go in looking for an entry-level Hardtail and you'll be faced with a plethora of choices and styles. It's a little like walking into an inner-city barbers and trying to determine the style you want from some faded pre-soviet era photos white tacked around the shop. You can listen to the barbers advice that a Mohawk would be a great choice for your job interview but how do you know they aren't trying to stitch you up? Meanwhile the cool kids with their stylish locks mock your ignorance and snigger behind bottles of Tresemme in the corner. Just swap barber for a LBS, the Mohawk for a unsuitable bike, the cool kids with nice hair for roadies with all the latest gear and the Tresemme for a TT bike and you've got yourself an airtight simile.


Do you go for better frames and worst components? Do you get the base model in a range and upgrade as you go? or maybe you want to get a complete package without breaking the bank. Discs or callipers? Fat tyres or not? It's a minefield of figures,numbers and product ranges that, unless you're a really savvy and experienced cyclist, you'll struggle to decipher.


Fear not dear readers, our 'Hardtail Mountain Bike guide' explains in detail the different frame materials and components you can expect to find on a Hardtail bike and the common pitfalls experienced by first-time shoppers and experienced riders alike. From there we have selected our favourite models for the year, in the hope of guiding you towards the best possible purchase for your money. We haven't included any full-suspension models as very few fall into the sub-£1000 range and as a general rule FS bikes at that price won't be as comfortable or perform as well as a well-made, better spec'd Hardtail.


Here’s five of the best bangs for your buck if you’re in the market for a sub-1k Hardtail MTB:


 

Specialized Rockhopper elite.

This bike is ideal for novice to intermediate riders. If you want to get into upgrading, it has several tricks up its sleeve. It has tubeless compatible wheels and tyres, RockShox front air suspension forks that soak up trail bumps to keep you comfortable and let you to tackle bigger challenges while the bike does the heavy work for you. Shimano Deore 11-speed gears ensure smooth and dependable shifting.


The A1 premium aluminium frame from Specialized boasts hydroformed top and down tubes to save weight, internal cable routing for a sleek appearance, and is dropper post compatible.


Available in 27.5 inch and 29 inch flavours.


How does it compare to other Rockhoppers?

Rockhopper Comp

  • Lightweight and durable A1 Aluminium frame
  • Dropper-post compatible
  • SR Suntour XCM lock-out fork
  • microSHIFT Advent 1 x 9-speed
  • Clutch equipped rear derailleur
  • SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes

Rockhopper Elite

  • Specialized A1 premium butted alloy, zero-stack head tube, internal cable routing
  • Shimano Deore drivetrain
  • Shimano Deore M5100, 11-speed shifter
  • RockShox Judy air-sprung fork
  • Shimano BR-MT200, hydraulic disc, 180mm
  • Dropper post compatible

Rockhopper Expert

  • Lightweight and durable A1 Aluminium frame
  • Dropper-post compatible
  • SR Suntour XCM lock-out fork
  • microSHIFT Advent 1 x 9-speed
  • Clutch equipped rear derailleur
  • SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes
 

Marin San Quentin 1

The San Quentin is for an aggressive hardtail rider who looks for a blend of single track capabilities and extended air time. It has Suntour 120mm forks and hydraulic disc brakes allowing you to push trails to the max.


Featuring internal cable routing, SR Suntour XCM32 Boost forks which you can lock out for smoother surfaces.


If you like the look of this but still want to go one better, the San Quentin 2, replaces the microshift 9 speed gearing with deore 11 speed and takes you from a Suntour Coil Fork to a RockShox Air Sprung Fork. The 2 also gains Shimano brakes over the Tektros on v1 and dropper post as standard with tubeless-ready wheels.


How does it compare to other San Quentin versions?

San Quentin 1:

  • Series 2 6061 Aluminum frame
  • SR Suntour XCM32 Boost 120mm Travel forks
  • Microshift 9 Speed drivetrain with clutch mechanism rear derailleur
  • Tektro M275 Hydraulic Disc Brakes (rotors 180mm front, 160mm rear)
  • Vee Tire Co, Flow Snap, 27.5x2.6", MPC Compound, Wire Bead

San Quentin 2:

  • Series 3 6061 Aluminium frame
  • RockShox Recon RL Forks
  • Shimano Deore, 11-Speed, SL-5100R shifters
  • Shimano Deore, 11-Speed, SGS rear derailleur
  • Vee Tire Co, Flow Snap, 27.5x2.6", MPC Compound, Wire Bead

San Quentin 3:

  • Series 3 6061 Aluminum Frame
  • RockShox Revelation RC Forks 130mm travel
  • Shimano Deore, 12-Speed, SL-7100R shifters
  • Shimano Deore, 12-Speed, SGS rear derailleur
  • Vee Tire Co Attack HPL, 27.5 inch Tyres - Tubeless compatible