Not long ago the simple answer would of been: YT Jeffsy or Canyon Spectral, but not any longer.

We are considering a trail bike to be around 120-150mm of rear travel and we aren't including any really budget £80 Argos bikes.

We haven't tested any of these bikes (with the exception of the Jeffsy 29), this is more just a starting point to help people know what's available and how they compare on paper.

We wanted options around £1000, but that proved harder than we initially thought!

YT Jeffsy/Izzo

The cheapest 130mm bike is the Izzo at £25990, with the Jeffsy coming in at £1,999. We've ridden the entry level Jeffsy and it's excellent, but it doesn't seem that long ago that they could be picked up for much cheaper.

Canyon Spectral

The cheapest Spectral model is now £2,499, for the spec it's not a bad price, but they used to be at least 1 or 2 models under £2k.

Calibre Bossnut

With Go Outdoors suffering this year the future of Calibre might be a little uncertain. The "Buy" link on the Calibre website just goes to a 'not found' page on the Go Outdoors site. Whether this is just because it's out of stock or if it's ceased production we are not sure. When available they could be had for £1,100, which is really good value for the spec and geometry.

Giant Stance

When the Stance first launched a few years ago the entry level model could be had for £1000, but now that's bumped up to £1,449.

Boardman MTR 8.6

Finally, something that whilst not exactly 'cheap' could be considered attainable by a few more people. The Boardman MTR 8.6 comes slap bang at £1000 from Halfords. So what do you get for your money?

  • Deore 1x10 drivetrain with 11-46t cassette
  • Suntour XCR 34 fork
  • Rockshox Deluxe Select R shock
  • Tektro M285 brakes
  • Tubeless ready rims
  • Maxxis Minion DHF in the front and DHRII rear tyre
  • 780mm bars
  • 45mm stem

That's all really good stuff, and is ready to ride out of the box, even the tyres are good! What about the geo?

455mm reach on a medium, 66° headtube angle, 75.5° seat angle. All nice and modern, it's clear Boardman have kept an eye on current developments with bike geometry and applied it to the MTR. Impressive.

We've not ridden the Boardman, but plenty of people have on the internet.

Jamis Dakar A2

At £1,250.00 how does the geo and spec compare to the Boardman?

  • Shimano 1x10 drivetrain with 11-42T cassette
  • SR Suntour Raidon 32mm fork
  • Rockshox Monarch R shock
  • Shimano MT200 brakes
  • Tubeless ready rims
  • Vittoria Barzo tyres
  • 760mm bars
  • 50mm stem

The fork is similar but 32 rather than 34mm stantions mean it's a win for the Boardman, the shock is the older Monarch model, although performance is likely to be near identical. Brakes are similar, tyres probably a bit worse, bars are 760mm which for taller riders might be an issue. It's hard to see what that extra £250 is getting you purely from a components point of view.

As for the geo?

68° headtube angle, 75 seat tube angle with reach not stated on the website. This is fairly conservative geometry and so the Boardman takes it again easily.


Another £1250 bike from direct brand Vitus.

Spec wise:

  • Shimano 1x10 M4100 Deore Drivetrain
  • Shimano MT401 Brakes
  • X-Fusion RC32 Forks
  • X-Fusion O2 Pro R shock
  • WTB i30 Rims
  • Schwalbe Magic Mary/Hans Dampf Tyres
  • Brand-X Ascend Dropper

The big benefit of the Vitus is the dropper seat post, however these are only around £130 new so even adding that the Boardman  works out a little cheaper.

Geo wise 456mm reach 66.5 headangle and 76.6 seat angle put it broadly in line with the MTR.

VooDoo Canzo

If you fancy a 27" rather than 29" wheeled bike then the £1000 VooDoo Canzo is one option.

Specs are:

  • Rockshox Recon RL 32mm fork
  • Monarch R shock
  • Clarks brakes
  • 12-speed SRAM SX cassette 11-50t
  • WTB Trail Boss tyres

On the geometry front the Voodoo comes out more dated than the Boardman with a 67 headangle and 74 seattube angle. The handlebars on a medium are only 740mm wide, which might be an issue for some. Fork and shock are similar, but with narrower 32mm stanchions. We'd take the Boardman over the Voodoo.