Top 10 Bike Reviews of 2020

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It’s been a pants year for a lot of reasons, but we’ve still managed to test some great bikes. Here are our top 10 bike reviews of 2020.

Below are the 10 most read mountain bike reviews of 2020. If you’re after eMTB reviews, we’ll have a separate post listing the top reviews of 2020 over on Charged.

2021 Specialized Epic Pro

Wheel this new Specialized Epic Pro out of the box and you’re immediately struck by how neat and purposeful it looks. Thanks to the SRAM AXS Eagle wireless shifting and a puritanical approach to dropper posts, there are only brake hoses coming from the bars. The bike looks low, long and lean – and lifting it up confirms a truly astonishing lack of weight. It’s barely more than 23lbs or 10kg. I’ve ridden road bikes heavier than that.

Chipps

Read the full review here.

2021 Kona Hei Hei

  • Reviewed by: Daz
  • Price: £5249
  • From: Kona

The new 2020 Kona Hei Hei is the latest XC bike to jump on the bandwagon, and is targeted specifically at the XC/trail market. The previously race-proven Hei Hei has been redesigned and updated to improve its capability on more technical terrain, with updated geometry, 120mm travel both front and rear, and some other features which combine to attract the typical trail rider. If you believe the soon to be released promo video, it even offers the potential for gnarly freeriders to ride with XC race whippets without falling out.

Daz

Read the full review here.

2021 Orange Five Evo

  • Reviewed by: Andi
  • Price: £5300
  • From: Orange
2021 Orange Five Evo

Like all of Orange’s UK made full-suspension frames, the Five Evo starts life as a selection of alloy sheets which over time are folded, moulded and formed into a complex monocoque structure. Ok, so the single-pivot suspension is hardly complex, but the frame details are hardly simple either. Take a close look at the tubes on any modern Orange and you’ll see folds and curves that prove there’s nothing simple about the manufacture of these bikes.

Andi

Read the full review here.

2021 Privateer 141

  • Reviewed by: Ross
  • Price: £2989
  • From: Privateer
privateer 141

Based around the same platform as the 161, the all new 141 is crafted from 6066-T6 aluminium by industry renowned welders in Taiwan. The 141 uses the same Horst Link suspension layout as its stable mate to deliver 141mm rear wheel travel via a one piece rocker link. Privateer opted for a one piece link to not only add stiffness and strength to the frame, but also to ensure a high level of alignment for increased bearing life.

Ross

Read the full review here.

2021 GT Zaskar LT Expert

  • Reviewed by: Chipps
  • Price: £1299
  • From: GT

What first surprised me when unboxing the bike was its great moss green colour and modest price (and slightly chunky weight…) – I guess we’re all used to thinking of the Zaskar as a premium, top end bike ridden by pros at high speed, but at £1299 for the Zaskar LT Expert (and £999 for the Elite) it’s a pretty everyday price for a mid-level hardtail. The spec on the LT Expert is pretty competent, with a few UK-friendly flourishes. For a start, the 2.5/2.4WT Minions show that Expert means business – this really isn’t a ride to work hybrid. There’s a workable dropper post with a great lever, some chunky but serviceable wheels and SRAM’s 12 speed NX/SX Eagle.

Chipps

Read the full review here.

2021 Kona Honzo ESD

  • Reviewed by: Andi
  • Price: £2699
  • From: Kona
kona honzo esd

The Honzo ESD launched at the same time as the Process X and that’s no mere coincidence. While this slender steel stunner might be a hardtail, it shares some of the same DNA as the new enduro bike. The slim Chromoly steel tubes are neatly welded together using modern numbers. The front end is a slack 63-degrees and the seat post is 77.5-degrees. These figures combined with a reach of 460mm on a medium frame and a super short 417mm chainstay give us a hardtail that can rock with the enduro crowd and chill with the BMXers at the dirt jumps.

Andi

Read the full review here.

2021 Merida Big Trail 600

  • Reviewed by: Antony
  • Price: £1500
  • From: Merida
Merida big trail 600

Merida’s new Big.Trail series seems to embody all of these virtues, with a great value spec combined with a versatile 29er wheel size and thrashable geometry. I was able to get a cheeky few days of riding on the range-topping Big.Trail 600 ahead of its official launch this week, in some amazing weather too. I love it when a plan comes together.

Antony

Read the full review here.

2020 Transition Spur

Transition Spur Ross

Based around a brand new full Japanese Toray carbon frame that is manufactured using latex EPS moulding in Transition’s new carbon factory, the Spur delivers 120mm rear travel via their GiddyUP suspension system. Where the rest of the Transition range uses a four bar Horst Link system, the GiddyUP system on the Spur utilises a carbon tuned pivotless flex stay that allows Transition to get rid of the chainstay pivot helping keep weight to a minimum. Claimed weight for a size M frame with shock is 2500g. 

Ross

Read the full review here.

2020 Propain Tyee

  • Reviewed by: Ross
  • Price: From €2999
  • From: Propain

Designed to be Propain’s definition of the ultimate enduro bike, the new Tyee utilises their tried and tested PRO10 suspension system to deliver 160mm of rear travel, paired with a 170mm fork upfront. Add to that a slack 64.5° head angle and steep 77° seat angle, combined with decent length reach numbers and the Tyee starts to look the business on paper.

Ross

Read the full review here.

2020 Orbea Occam M10

  • Reviewed by: Ross
  • Price: £4566
  • From: Orbea

The new Orbea Occam has been designed to take the best traits of those two bikes – the climbing and efficiency of the TR, the longer travel and stability of the AM – and combined it with the design features of the enduro biased Rallon to create the new do everything trail bike. 

Ross

Read the full review here.

If you enjoyed these reviews then wait and see what we have in store for 2021!

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