The best mountain bikes under £2,000

Our pick of the best mountain bikes between £1,000 and £2,000

There’s a staggering array of great mountain bikes available under £2,000. Luckily, the good ship BikeRadar has done the heavy lifting for you and put together the very best mountain bikes under £2,000 for 2018 and beyond.

Between £1,000 and £2,000 is the point that — with a few notable exceptions — full suspension bikes begin to make more sense, with decent builds that make few compromises.

If you’re looking to buy a hardtail in this price range, you’ll also have a hard time buying a bad one — this price bracket is a popular one for enthusiast cyclists, which has made for an incredibly competitive market, forcing brands to spec bikes with increasingly high-quality builds.

If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, be sure to check out our guide to the best mountain bikes under £1,000, £750 and £500.

If you’re feeling a little more flush, our guides to the best mountain bikes under £3,000 should tickle your pickle.

Lastly, for a more overall guide, check out our guide on how to choose the right mountain bike for you.

The best hardtail mountain bikes under £2,000

Sonder Transmitter GX Eagle Revelation

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Sonder has shaken up the UK gravel and mountain bike market in recent years
Sonder has shaken up the UK gravel and mountain bike market in recent years

  • £1,899
  • Lively ride
  • Great build for the money
  • Highly adaptable

Sonder — budget outdoor gear expert Alpkit’s in-house bike brand — has shaken up the UK mountain and gravel bike market in recent years, releasing a number of high-scoring, incredibly capable and well-equipped bikes.

The Transmitter is Sonder’s plus-tyred, hardcore hardtail, which is available in a number of different builds.

The SRAM GX Eagle and RockShox Revelation-equipped bike stands out as one our favourites that we’ve tested in recent years, with great handling and a top-notch build to boot.  

The Transmitter NX1 Sektor is also worth looking at if you’re on a budget, coming in at a full £1k cheaper than the GX Eagle-equipped bike.

Specialized Chisel Expert 1x

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Specialized Chisel Expert 1x is 'pleasingly flexy'
The Specialized Chisel Expert 1x is 'pleasingly flexy'

  • £1,700
  • Low weight makes for a snappy yet smooth ride
  • Pleasingly ‘sproingy’ ride
  • Good spec for the money

If you prefer faster, more XC-focussed riding, the Specialized Chisel may be a great option for you.

The ride is pleasingly flexy, with a degree of trail-taming suppleness that encourages hard efforts.

Power-meter-obsessed XC nerds may wonder why on earth you’d want a flexy ride bike, but the feeling of acceleration the bike gives is remarkable.

The build is also bang-on for the money, though very XC-focussed, with a fixed seatpost.

Whyte 905

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Whyte's 905 is one of our all-time favourite trail hardtails
Whyte's 905 is one of our all-time favourite trail hardtails

  • £1,699
  • Amazing geometry
  • Light, lively and capable ride
  • Great value for money

The Whyte 905 is one of the best technical-trail hardtails that we’ve ever tested.

The bike pairs Whyte’s much-loved radical geometry with a lightweight frame, which makes it just as much fun on an after work jolly as on a long day in the saddle.

As is typical of Whyte, the build also presents spectacular value for money, with a full SRAM GX groupset, a RockShox Revelation RC fork — which, rather uniquely for the price, features a custom shorter offset fork for improved handling — and a great wheel/tyre combo.

If your budget can’t quite stretch to 905, there is also the cheaper 901 to consider, which shares the same geometry as the 905, but features a more budget-focused build.

Nukeproof Scout 290 Comp

BikeRadar score4/5

Nukeproof's Scout 29 is a very capable bike
Nukeproof's Scout 29 is a very capable bike

  • £1,700
  • Relatively light and a smooth ride
  • Absolutely bang-on, enduro-capable geometry
  • Decent build for the money

Nukeproof’s Scout 290 hardtail is a very capable hardcore hardtail with sorted geometry and a great build to boot, with an excellent cockpit, wheels and fork.

We tested, and loved, the 29in version, but for fans of more rowdy riding, a 27.5in version is also available.

The Scout has been updated with improved specs for 2019, though the frame remains the same, so it’s still a sure bet.

Whyte 901

BikeRadar score4/5

The 901 shares its geometry with the pricier 905
The 901 shares its geometry with the pricier 905

  • £1,199
  • Smooth ride for a hardtail
  • Much-loved progressive Whyte geometry
  • Decent build

Whyte’s 901 shares its geometry with its higher-scoring and more expensive sibling, the 905, but swaps the more expensive build in favour of a more value-focused package.

The RockShox Sektor fork is ripe for an upgrade, but there’s little else that will leave you wanting.

It’s worth noting that the spec of the bike has been considerably upgraded since we wrote our initial review.

We haven’t spent much time on this new model, but on paper at least, everything looks arguably better, so it’s well worth considering.

This also means that older bikes can be picked up with a considerable discount, further boosting value.

The best full suspension mountain bikes under £2,000

Vitus Escarpe

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Vitus Escarpe has bang-on-trend super-long geometry
The Vitus Escarpe has bang-on-trend super-long geometry

  • £1,450
  • Forgiving and confidence inspiring ride
  • Bang on trend geometry
  • Excellent value for the money

Vitus’s Escarpe is one of the best full suspension mountain bikes that you can get under £2k, matching top-notch kinematics with excellent geometry.

The bike is available in a number of different builds, but the Shimano Deore and RockShox Recon-equipped model is the clear budget-priced winner, coming in at just under £1,500.

Sonder Evol NX1 Recon

BikeRadar score4/5

There's a lot to love with Sonder's Evol
There's a lot to love with Sonder's Evol

  • £1,599
  • Great geometry
  • Decent spec for the money
  • Very stiff frame

Alongside its hardtail, Sonder’s incredibly capable full-suspension Evol platform also gets an entry.

The bike matches up-to-date progressive geometry with a build that is, for the most part, spot on.

This adds up to make a value-packed bike that encourages rowdy behaviour as soon as you climb aboard.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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