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    The Best Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes Under £2000

       Words by Harry Archer

       on 22/11/2017 11:40:25

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    The age-old debate of hardtail versus full suspension continues to rage on in the cycling world. The general consensus being that if you’re shopping on a smaller budget you’d be far better off buying a higher end hardtail than a lower end full suspension, saving yourself on the extra weight, expensive components and maintenance.

    But the goalposts have shifted. In the modern market, competition between the mass of manufacturers has meant that it is now possible to get yourself a very accomplished bike for a far more manageable price than before. Larger brands have tended to use the same frames and basic technology in their model range, with only small weight gains and spec increases seen between the top and bottom model. This has led to a new generation of well proportioned, versatile and high performing full suspension bikes from a variety of reputable brands becoming available within the £1500-£2000 price bracket.

    But how do you separate the diamonds from the donkeys? To help you out we’ve put this quick guide together of our picks for ‘The best Full Suspension bikes under £2000'.

    Trek Fuel EX-5

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    Trek’s entry level Fuel EX has been a consistent favourite for new riders on the trail for a good few years. A fantastic all-round performer, The Trek Fuel EX 5 has had a complete revamp for 2018. The re-modelled 29 and 27.5” compatible, 130mm Alpha Platinum Aluminium frame provides an aggressive geometry with a long travel, ensuring a rugged downhill bike that is also extremely capable at XC.

    The Fuel EX 5 doesn’t shirk on the spec either, boasting a number of highly intuitive components. Via the ‘trickle-down effect’ the base level Fuel EX 5 has many of the features of the far more expensive bikes in Trek’s Fuel range, and with a 2x10 Shimano Deore drivetrain and 140mm of suspension the Fuel EX is a fast yet sturdy ride.

    • Boost148/110-Using wider 110mm front and 148mm rear dropouts the Fuel EX-5 enables the use of wider tyres and a longer chain ring without negatively effecting pedalling efficiency.
    • Suspension tech with ABP/full floater– A full floater rear shock mount offers the feeling of bottomless travel by using two suspended contact points allowing a vast range of movement for the rear shock. Coupled with Anti-braking pivots to provide the same level of performance regardless of whether the brakes are under pressure or not, these features ensure the Fuel EX-5 has high performing suspension and a comfortable, efficient ride.
    • Straight shot stiffness/knock block frame defense – Creating an incredibly responsive ride, the new Straight shot frame design features knock-block frame defence to optimize weight-stiffness ratios and to stop spinning handlebars and fork crowns from damaging the frame.
    • £1799.99

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      View the 2018 Trek Fuel EX-5

      2018 Specialized Camber

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      £1699.99

      Another established favourite, The Camber 29 is the entry-level full suspension offering from American giants Specialized. Another excellent all-round performer, the camber has a good balance of durability and lightweight components.

      Combining Specialized trail 29 Geometry, an M5 alloy trail chassis and a Camber FSR rear end, the Camber 29 is equally at home on the steepest of climbs as it is on tricky, downhill descents. With 120mm of travel and 32mm stantions It offers less flex than the Trek Fuel EX-5, But with a variety of very clever tech provided the Camber is definitely an option to consider at this price point.

      Fitted with internal cable routing and a customised double ring crankset from SRAM, the Camber 29 shifts smoothly ensuring efficient gear changing that allows you to maintain your speed over any terrain. Combining with strong Tektro hydraulic brakes and 29x2.3” tyres, the camber offers fantastic handling and traction with all the benefits of the added speed from the 29” wheels.

      The 120mm travel in the rear shock can be adjusted to fulfil your individual requirements and can be locked out to create a stiffer ride up climbs and on the flat. The 120mm is a little on the low side for steep, hard hitting descents but is nonetheless responsive and intuitive, creating a fast, strong and comfortable full suspension bike that performs well on single-track trails and moderate descents.

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      Scott Spark 740 2018

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      One word comes to mind when you ride the new Scott Spark 740 is ‘Fun’. Taking inspiration from the ideas behind a world-cup level XC bike and sharing frame geometry and most tubing profiles with the higher-level models in Scott’s Spark range, the 740 offers an incredibly enjoyable riding experience and is brilliantly versatile - with a variety of intelligently designed components that work to create an affordable full suspension bike with a whole lot of punch.

      The 2018 model has seen a number of changes to the frame geometry:

      • A Slacker head tube and longer reach- This Improves the handling and smoothness of the bike on descents, Allowing you to grow in confidence and tackle those more technical rides with ease.
      • Shorter Chain stay –Shorter stays work to maximise the efficiency of your pedalling, Ensuring top performance across the flats and up the hills
      • Updated rear shock placement- The decision to move the rear shock from the top tube to along the seat tube and bottom bracket reduces the overall weight of the bike and combined with the new pivotless rear swingarm and rocker link it creates a stiff and lightweight ride, making those tough ascents far more approachable.
      • £1998.99
      The changes in geometry have been complimented by internal routing and a quick-shifting 1x11 SRAM NX1 drivetrain and wide 27.5 x 2.8” tyres that provide up to 21% more traction than standard MTB tyres. The smaller 650b wheels provide excellent handling due to the wide SRAM Boost hubs at the front and rear whilst SRAM 180mm hydraulic disc brakes give an added level of security should you need to stop in a hurry.

      The Spark 740 provides all the fun and dynamic riding that is synonymous with Scott’s Spark range – But at a fraction of the cost!

      Giant Trance 3 2018

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      £1898.99

      The 2018 Giant Trance 3 shares the same frame and rear-shock Maestro suspension set-up as its higher spec sibling the Giant Trace 1. Easy to update and develop, the trance 3 is an excellent choice for an affordable full-suspension bike that you can add to and improve as you go along. That being said you may not feel the need to as the new 2018 Trance 3 boasts a very high level of tech as standard – continuing Giant’s reputation of developing high performing and quality bikes at an enticing price point.

      Offering the most travel of any bike on this list, The Trance is an undisputed Downhill demon. The maestro rear suspension is Adaptable and reactive, ensuring an equally comfortable ride on a tough descent or rugged XC route whilst the Suntour Aion 35 fork offers 150mm of travel. This increased level of travel makes the Trance 3 a fantastic descender able to conquer anything you can throw at it no matter how steep or rough!

      Fitted with tubeless ready tyres and with a dropper seat post as standard, the Trance 3 doesn’t suffer from a lack of good spec. The shimano Deore 11x42 10 speed is fast and efficient whilst the hydraulic disc brakes are of a good enough to successfully handle the steeper descents associated with a longer travel full suspension bike. Furthermore, by using 27.5” wheels, the handling of the Trance 3 is confidence-inspiring and feels really smooth.

      The Trance 3 is also fitted with Overdrive technology. This increases the size of the headset bearings within the fork steerer tube. This creates high levels of steering stiffness by approximately 15% which contributes to a reactive and responsive steering experience – Making both ascents and descents more accessible due to the larger amount of control over the bikes direction.

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      2018 Cube Stereo 120 Pro

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      £1898.99   

      Another established model, The Cube Stereo has been a mainstay of the full-suspension market for a number of years. The 120 Stereo Pro is both affordable and well made. Featuring many of the same components as models higher up the Stereo range and at a considerably lower price point than its competitors, The Stereo 120 Pro could be your ticket into the trail riding party. Designed to be an All-round performer, the 120 Pro is an upgrade on the basic Stereo 120 model (£1398.99) and combines reliable and decent level specifications with a balanced geometry that provides an enjoyable ride whether you’re climbing, descending or pounding along the flats. The 2x11 Shimano drivetrain, Rockshox Judy Silver TK front fork and Manitou Radium Expect RL rear shock work beautifully well together which makes the bike feel very responsive and sporty to ride.

      The frame itself has been designed in accordance with Cube’s Efficient Trail Control Kinematics which uses a low leverage ratio, steep seat tube angles and a slack head tube that works in tandem with and the stable their Agile Trail Geometry The use of that lowers the top tube and stand over height. These features combine to form an aggressive, reactive bike that is also surprisingly lightweight and strong due to the use of advanced hydroforming on the frame that lowers the overall weight whilst increasing the durability of the frame.

      Integrated cable routing and post mounts come as standard. This not only gives the bike a sleeker, smoother appearance but it also increases the protection given to the cables, reducing maintenance costs. Furthermore, press fit Bottom bracket bearings allow for extra width and a wider downtube improves the lateral stiffness of the ride whilst a tapered head tube offers a secure and controlled ride with very little flex.

      Overall then a very accomplished and well finished bike for the price. The Cube Stereo 120 Pro truly is a brilliant entry-level full suspension bike that can tackle most moderate and difficult trails with relative ease. As with the Camber, the 120mm travel is a little on the low side for full on, hard-hitting descending but nonetheless the 120 Pro is a worthy entry onto this list due to its quality of spec and technology – and its quality price!.

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      Whyte T-130 SR 2018 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

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      £2249.99

      The entry level to Whyte’s full-suspension range, The T-130 SR is slightly above our £2000 price point but my word what a machine it is. Totally redefining the ‘do-anything’ category of mountain bikes, The Whyte T-130 has taken the market by storm over the last couple of years picking up numerous 10/10 scores and ‘Best Bike’ awards.

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      As you would expect from Whyte, The geometry of the bike has been meticulously designed to give the rider full stretch and maximum control. The 2018 model has upgraded Fox Rhythm front fork and a Fox Float DPS rear shock that work together to produce an extremely smooth and comfortable ride.

      Weighing in at 14.3kg, The T-130 SR is light enough to race up climbs and across the flats whilst the improved 130mm suspension ensures that you can attack even the most treacherous black runs with no fear.

      Designed in the UK, The T-130 SR is impeccably strong and has been thoroughly tested on a host of UK trails and designed to be immune to the constantly unpredictable British weather.

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      • Frame - 6061 T6 SCR Aluminium Frame
      • Fork - Fox Rythm 34
      • Shock - Fox Float DPS Performance w/Rebound Adjust
      • Drivetrain - Shimano SLX M7000 1x11
      • Brakes - Shimano SLX M7000 Hydraulic Disc

      View Our Full Range Of Full Suspension Bikes

      Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

      You can browse the entire Mountain Bike range online, or you can get your hands on it in your nearest Rutland Cycling store.

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