MTB

7 great all-rounder full suspension trail bikes

© YT Industries
By James McKnight/Ric McLaughlin
These are some our top picks of ready to roll trail mountain bikes for anyone on a budget.
When it comes to choosing an all-round trail mountain bike, the almost infinite options available can seem overwhelming. If you're looking to buy a new bike for the summer, though, we've compiled some of our favourite trail options around or £2,000/€2,300/$2,600 mark, and couple slightly above the price point to help you out.

What is a trail bike?

There are many varying interpretations of this, but we have defined 'trail' as a full suspension bike that will be fun and reliable for trail centre adventures, local jaunts, epic rides in the mountains and Sunday razzing alike.
These aren't race bikes for Enduro World Series thrashing, and they also aren't lightweight cross-country steeds. They balance weight, geometry and practicality in order to ensure fun times are had on the flat, the uphills and the descents, too. These are versatile workhorses that can take a hammering yet still have a spring in their stride when the going gets flat.

1. Focus Jam Elite 27 – £1,949/ €2,270/ $2,540

The Jam Elite 27 from Focus Bikes
Focus Jam Elite 27
A brand of the Dutch Pon.Bike group (which includes Santa Cruz bikes), Focus bikes have been revitalised in the last year or so and their range including some great budget offerings – namely this Jam Elite.
As this list of bikes proves, you can get a whole lot of bike for under £2,000 now, and the Jam Elite is just that. Its 34 Rhythm fork and Float Performance shock will appeal to Fox fans and Maxxis Minion 3C DHF and standard DHR tubeless-ready tyres are ready for all terrains, while RaceFace AR30 rims on Shimano Deore hubs (boost sized) offer reliability and big-brand assurance. Shimano Deore XT brakes and a KS E30i dropper post round out a great package.
Travel: 150mm front/ rear suspension travel.
Wheel and frame sizes: 27.5” wheels only, available in four frame sizes

2. Marin Rift Zone 3 – £2,100/ €2,450/ $2,740

Marin Bikes' 2020 Rift Zone 1
Marin Rift Zone 1
Marin's range has had an overhaul in the last few years and the result of their toils really show in their latest bikes. The Rift Zone 3 packs great value and looks into a sturdy package – it's a bike that’ll take all the singletrack you can throw at it and more, powering along the flats and punching up the hills. This model is the priciest of three versions, with the Rift Zone 2 and Rift Zone 1 offering decent entry-level packages for folk looking to get started at the trail centre.
Travel: 120mm front and rear.
Wheel and frame sizes: 29” wheels, available in four frame sizes.

3. Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 – £3,999/ €4,650/ $5,175

Canyon Bikes' Spectral CF 9.0 for 2020.
Canyon Spectral CF 9.0
German mail order specialists Canyon have dodged the mountain bike categorising bullet by labelling the Spectral an "all mountain trail bike" – clever. Luckily, the Spectral is just as adaptable as its title. Developed with the help of Joe Barnes and his motley crew in Scotland alongside the brands factory EWS team, this bike is a downhill shredder that likes to pedal up and around as well. A handsome component list on this CF 9.0 PRO model makes it a great package for the price, and there are also six other price-point models, as well as a female-specific range available.
"The Spectral rebels against overly complex linkages to deliver pure performance you can rely on time after time," says Canyon. Sounds good to us.
Travel: 150mm from and 140mm rear suspension travel.
Wheel and frame sizes: 27.5” wheels, available in four frame sizes.

4. Specialized Stumpjumper ST Comp Carbon 29 – £3,700/ €4,300/ $4,790

A profile view of the Specialized Stumpjumper ST Comp Carbon 29 from the side.
Specialized Stumpjumper ST Comp Carbon 29
An absolute classic, the Specialized Stumpjumper has appeared in various guises in the Californian company's range since their beginning in the 1980s. A workhorse and all-round trail destroyer, the 2019 Stumpjumper is more practical than other recent versions, with a threaded BB, internal cable routing with tubes to make replacing cables/hoses easier, a SWAT storage section within the frame and, ahem, "no more proprietary BS", in the words of Specialized themselves.
The ST version (one of a family of three Stumpjumper options) has slightly steeper angles and shorter travel, making it perfect for singletrack shredding and pedalling. Women's versions are also available with specific shock tunes.
Travel: 130mm front and 120mm rear suspension travel.
Wheel and frame sizes: 29” wheels, available in four frame sizes.

5. YT Jeffsy 29 CF Pro – £3,499/ €4,070/ $4,520

The YT Jeffsy 27 Pro for 2020.
YT Jeffsy 27 Pro
YT's Jeffsy is an unashamedly hard-hitting take on what a trail bike can be: it has a punky character that likes to be thrashed around trail centres and singletracks. 140mm travel front and rear, a sturdy carbon fibre frame and solid build kit pitch Jeffsy at the burlier end of trail riding. Decent components and low price are part of what make all YTs so popular – and sometimes a little hard to get hold of. Check their site for availability. A 27.5”-wheeled Jeffsy and other price points are also available.
"Just like your best friend, Jeffsy inspires you to new performances: together you climb the highest mountains, discover the most remote locations, and shred the trail on the way back down," say YT.
Travel: 140mm front/ rear suspension travel.
Wheel and frame sizes: 27.5” wheels, available in four frame sizes.

6. Orbea Occam H20 Eagle £2499 / €2900 / $3229

Orbea's Occam H20 Eagle for 2020
Orbea Occam H20 Eagle
Basque company Orbea are based in the centre of some of Europe's best natural mountain biking areas, and it shows in their line of bikes. Over the last couple of years their brand has gone through a massive rework in terms of the machinery it's producing and, heavily influenced by a top flight EWS race team, the new-look Occam is proof of this.
We've selected the H20-Eagle on account of its mid-range all-round credentials but there are a myriad of Occam's to suit just about every need and budget. And that's before you get into Orbea's 'My O' custom program...
Travel: 140mm front and 140mm rear suspension travel.
Wheel and frame sizes: 29” wheels, available in four frame sizes.

7. Santa Cruz Tallboy X01 Carbon CC £6199 /

The all-new Santa Cruz Tallboy mountain bike.
Santa Cruz Tallboy
OK, so Santa Cruz pricing isn't for the squeamish BUT in the all-new Tallboy they have crafted what may just be most peoples perfect do-everything mountain bike. On top of that there's the peace of mind which comes from perhaps the best build quality and finish in the business.
Santa Cruz have a habit of coming up with exactly the right bike at exactly the right time and the new Tallboy looks to be a continuation of this. The travel of a Trail/XC bike mated to the geometry of a full-on Enduro bike gives some credence to their marketing claim that this is 'the downhillers XC bike'. Fast, playful and pretty to look at - there's not much more that you can want.
Travel: 130mm front and 120mm rear suspension travel.
Wheel and frame sizes: 29” wheels, available in five frame sizes.