Trail bike is a specialized kind of bike which is literally built to succeed on a specific kind of terrain like singletrack XC trail with little rock gardens and drops. Trail bike comes in between XC mountain bike and “All Mountain” bike category. It normally has moderate weighed fork suspension with 120mm – 140mm travel. This full suspension bike comes with both rear suspension and front suspension. The overall weight of the bike would be around 25-32lbs (11.3 – 14.5 kg) and not more than that. The trail bike frame would have slightly slacker geometry than XC bike but not slacker than All Mountain bike.
This article is about Top ten best Trail bikes for the year 2010 which, is priced from £1500 to £3000. The following collection of the trail mountain bikes are suitable for those who wants to switch from hardtail bike to full suspension bike. The collective information about these mountain bikes are gathered and presented based on many users experience, consumer reviews, beginners & advanced rider opinions. These are the most popular branded trail bikes that exist in the market for more than five years so, obviously it has many improvements. The following mountain bikes are not presented based on ranking because it is unfair to number these bikes.
Trek Fuel EX 6 Trail bike has 120mm RockShox Recon air spring suspension that caters the need for all round trail biking which corners, climbs and decent well. This Fuel EX family from Trek has better combination of sorted geometry and ABP full floater EVO link, which could be considered for light XC trail riding and suits well for ultimate trail bike challenge on extreme marathon. The rear end fitted with Fox Float RP-2 ProPedal platform, which gives consistent traction and minimizes the bounce. The unique design in the front end of the bike along with 15mm screw through fork axle let the riders to drive the bike with increased stiffness.
It is impressive to see that all the bike models that comes under Fuel EX family has the full technology such as EVO link, E2 tapered head tube, oversized BB shell and ABP technology so, no need to go for higher model. This full suspension bike includes shock pump and sag meter along with your purchase and it is easy to set up proper sag by referring the pressure chart given by Trek. This mountain bike is fast and great climber, if you don’t set proper sag and dial in the rear end suspension based on your weight then it would not perform as you expected. Fox Float RP2 is highly tuneable and excellent shock. The bike kit are top of the line with impressive components such as Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano drive train, 9 speed shifter and Bontrager XR3 tyres.
|Good: Great value for money, top of the line components and light weight all round trail bike|
|Bad: Need to setup the rear suspension with correct sag, which most of the beginners fail to do and they feel little weight of the bike while climbing. 2010 Fuel EX 6 range comes with all the help provided by Trek so, there is no need to worry about.|
You would be amazed to see what Commencal Meta 5.5 Pro Trail bike can offer, from local XC trail rides to full trip on singletrack trial, it would never let you down. This mountain bike falls under 140mm (5.5 inch) category and equipped with Rock Shox Revelation SL dual Air motion control fork suspension. The unique rear end is designed with contact system suspension instead of single pivot swingarm. It gives more stiffness boost and smoothly decent its way down. Fox Float R rear shock and 15mm screw through axle fork is additional benefit and fast moving Hutchinson Barracuda cobra tyres bring the weight down.
This full suspension bike has updated frame design for 2010 with low center of gravity which, lets you increase the speed in the corners and climbs the steep technically like a goat. More fork travel means that this bike does the trail riding and dowhill with far more confidence. Even you have less riding skill, this trail mountain bike let you ride with full throttle and all the component setup would work well in hard riding condition. Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brake provides enough stopping power.
|Good: Contact point suspension enables you to corner well, fun to ride, good climber and smoothly decent.|
|Bad: Long travel slightly adds up the weight and need to put little effort while climbing, overall weight comes around 13.6 kg|
Giant Trance X4 is a great value for money and you cannot find any issues with overall bike setup. This trail bike is made with Gaint’s own Maestro Suspension System in the rear end and the frame is built with fluid formed aluminium material. With 120mm Rock Shox Tora coil fork and Giant’s own branded air shock, this mountain bike make the rider feel in control both while climbing and decent. The new Maestro suspension design is boosted by fluid formed chassis to produce solid stiffness and well balanced ride on the trail. Though it is a trail bike which performs XC trail riding you can throw lots of “All Mountain” type riding and this bike will take all the abuse.
Giant Trance X4 2010 model comes with Shimano branded Drivetrain unlike the 09 model. Shimano branded crankset and Deore rear derailleur works well to produce consistent power with sorted and good speed on all filthy condition. This full suspension bike has Shimano Hydraulic disc brake with 180/160mm rotor and it performs well with required stopping power. The roomy cockpit with raised little handle bar gives a cross-country feel on the XC trail. Giant Trance X4 is one of the best trial bikes for the money you pay and it is affordable with reasonable mid-range components.
|Good: Great control on all riding condition with appreciable mid-range components. Climbs and decent well with steady cornering, best bang for the buck|
|Bad: Average spec|
Lapierre Zesty 214 is both trail bike as well as “All Mountain Bike” and it is the most popular design from Lapierre. The unique frame is designed with impressive details and it enables the rider confidently push the bike to the extent while climbing and descent. Proportionately designed frame tubes are made with hydro-formed alloy material. The front end is fixed with 140mm Rockshox Recon and the rear end has Fox Float R shock. The fork suspension had sensitive damping adjustment for more traction on the trial. The suspension action is well organised by OST (Optimized Suspension Technology) that gives more stiffness and stable ride over the hill.
This trial bike has press fit BB shell and built in chain guide mounts for added advantage. Smooth flow of transmission is provided by Shimano Deore and Formula RX hydraulic disc brake provides sufficient braking control. This full suspension bike comes with top notch component setup that improves overall performance. With long travel, zesty 214 is also better for downhill and fun to ride. It is a light weight bike due to well built component setup and the overall bike weight comes around 13.3 kg.
|Good: Long travel and flexible enough to enjoy trail riding and “All Mountain” riding style. Good component setup and affordable|
|Bad: Not much|
Boardman Pro FS is a low budget full suspension mountain bike with top notch spec and adds great value for your money. There is no need for any upgrades at the time of purchase and it is a well built mountain bike that performs effortlessly on rock gardens and technical drops. Other branded trail bike would cost you double the price with the same quality kit which, is found in Boardman Pro FS. The frame design has simple 4 bar linkage system that gives more strength and stiffness on the trial. With fully butted aluminium material, the frame is not an advanced design but has impressive details.
The front end is fixed with 120mm of RockShox Reba Race fork with motion control damping and the rear end comes with RockShox Monarch 3.3 shock. Both the suspension provides external lockouts, motion control damping and floodgate. Initial stiffness would be provided by the rear suspension to avoid pedal bob and it quickly picks up to absorb big drops. This trail bike is suitable for both climbs & decent. With 20mm of Maxle lite screw through axle in the front, this mountain bike gives good precision in steering. It is a light weight bike that induces good speed on technical section and well controlled by Avid carbon hydraulic disc brakes.
|Good: Valuable kit and budget trail bike suitable for both climbing and decent|
|Bad: Little stiffness while climbing that gives inactive feel and the exact weight of the bike is not available|
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Elite has upgraded suspension technology from Fox Brain rear shock with remote tune and adjustable rebound facility. The front end is fixed with 140mm Fox F140 RL with rebound adjust and external lockout. It is just a flick of the lever through which you can easily drop the travel to 100mm or 120mm. The rear shock has good bump compliance with better pedalling platform and with the flick of the switch, the propedal offers firmer platform while climbing. Proportionately designed riser bar and short stem let the riders have controlled ride with standard position. It is good fun to ride in any “All Mountain” style of ride and this trail bike goes well hand in hand with cross country and mountain bike marathon race.
It is also pleasure to ride this mountain bike downhill with the help of shorter stem, wider bar and obviously 5.5 inch travel. Stumpjumper FSR Elite is built with 4 bar linkage FSR rear suspension platform and this popular FSR geometry from Specialized has come with many improvements for 2010 model. The light weight M5 manipulated alloy frame is just 100 gm more than the carbon version and performs well on climbing. This full suspension bike is glued to the trail through all sort of nasty rides and it is light enough to pedal up and rips 5.5 inch travel when heading downhill. shimano SLX shifters with XTR rear derailleur provides smooth transmission and along with the Custom Avid Elixir hydraulic disc brake you would get satisfactory performance.
|Good: Fox quality adjustable suspension technology, best branded parts, tweaked FSR geometry and smooth Shimano transmission|
|Bad: Geometry can feel like a little short and works well during downhill, just a little light weight in the front end during ascents|
Whyte E-120 XT is a well constructed and strategically designed trail bike. It encompasses the purposeful shape and size of frame tubes that thoroughly enhances the total bike performance. Whyte has incorporated a unique frame design for its trail bike and the frame construction speaks a lot about the bike. Big squared downtubes, flat top tubes and full carbon swingarm with sealed pivot bearings completes the full woven construction. The bike frame is made with unidirectional carbon fibre material with lifetime warranty. There is no chainstay in the rear end only big and bolded seatstay that connects the rear wheel to the bike. The frame tubes are well tapered behind the support point e.g top tube well tapered behind the seatpost and downtube fully covers the headtube at the joints.
Though the frame tubes look big it is totally a light weight carbon frame material. Due to its light weight the speed of the bike is outstanding and the rigid frame design gives more stiffness under the suspension to give solid feel while riding. You can ride the bike on big hits and rock gardens without strain and the bike gives good traction. Fox Float RP2 rear shock capacity is well accompanied with new linkage and it takes up the rockier terrain with full stroke. This trial bike comes with 120mm Fox F120RL fork and fixes with Shimano XT shifters for smooth transmission. Shimano XT Derailleur works hard to keep up the bike performance while driving power is taken care by Shimano XT crankset.
|Good: Unique cockpit construction, Shimano XT drivetrain and response well on technical terrains|
|Bad: Little expensive but worth|
Mondraker Foxy is a great looking mountain bike and definitely there is a buzz around 2010 model. Less burly sporting Foxy Stealth alloy frame especially designed with Mondraker’s own Zero Suspension System looks with the tip of “All Mountain” styling as well as cross country trail breed. Equipped with 140mm travel Rock Shox Recon 335 SL fork and Rock Shox Ario 3.2 rear shock, it looks the Foxy is fully equipped for tough trail riding. With a little elevated top tube and bolder front end makes the bike ready for efficient downhill character as well. With downhill style front end and wide fronted geometry, this trail bike let you push the bike to the extent.
The reliable suspension in the rear end gives stiffer ride to less bump compliance while climbing as well decent. The front end does not come with bolt through axle fork but feature quick release axle which, is in average performance. The suspension design and the unique frame finish would yield full stroke action and make Rock Shox Ario a capable shock. In order to achieve the attractive price tag, Mondraker made the Foxy bike with SRAM Trigger X-5 shifter and Truvativ Firex 3.1 crankset but concentrated more on suspension. This full suspension bike is available in M, L and XL size and short rider must check the size of the bike before making a purchase.
|Good: Excellent suspension technology, good downhill and technical trail terrain character, Stealth alloy frame design|
|Bad: Average component setup|
Orange Five Pro trail bike has been in the market for more then 10 years and it has come with many improvements and refinements by Orange. This trial bike well suits for riders who willing to try the bike on Rooty and rocky trial. It is an efficient climber and stays controlled on rough downhill. The best thing is low maintenance and very quick on singletrack XC trail riding. Orange Five Pro is a decent full suspension bike that produces satisfactory performance on handling, decent and climb. The suspension platform produces smooth action and this bike is much suitable for British muddy weather.
This mountain bike is equipped with monocoque Reynolds custom butted aluminium frame and this rigid frame is well supported by 140mm Fox 32 Float RL fork and Fox Float RP23 XV rear shock. The unique frame design has enough mud clearance and the big Maxxis Advantage tyres drive the bike with great speed. It comes with Shimano XT rear mech and SLX shifters, which produce smooth transmission. Brakes and Mavic rims are more than satisfactory.
|Good: Good stability and handling with enough mud clearance. Well constructed frame design for smooth suspension action, low maintenance and tweaked geometry|
|Bad: Industrial looking design, low height BB and little chainsuck and suspension jack under filthy and wet condition but it happens normally|
Saracen Ariel 1 trail bike is one of the favourite UK breed that most of the rider love to own. This Ariel range of bikes from Saracen has undergone major change in frame design and rear end suspension platform for 2010 model. A simple round shaped downtube with sharp curve on top tube adds more strength to reinforced head tube. The frame tubes are neatly welded at connecting points and feature single pivot suspension design.
This trail bike comes with Fox RP23 rear shock which, is well driven by linkage for full suspension action on tough trails. Strong bearing on pivots and CNC linkage parts add more stiffness to the shock action in order to utilize the full capacity of Fox RP23. This mountain bike comes with Shimano Deore shifters and Derailleur. The continental mountain king tyres keep up the traction on the ground for controlled ride.
|Good: Well built frame design and Fox suspension|
|Bad: not much|