Best On Test

Trail bikes

LAPIERRE FROGGY 718 £4,599 CHEAPEST ONLINE PRICE £3,679.99

The Lapierre Froggy 718 positively excels on the big terrain where HammerSchmidt gearing is most appropriate. It's obviously very expensive, but the spec is fantastic, rider balance and set-up is perfect and the bike is truly confidence-inspiring, while still being a better climber than it has any right to be. The jury is out whether HammerSchmidt actually makes this a better bike, but it certainly doesn't hurt as long as the downs are big enough. Lapierre has discontinued the Froggy 718 for 2011, so if you're a HammerSchmidt fan, now's the time to buy. ^^

Tested February 2010 www.lapierre-bikes.co.uk

LAPIERRE ZESTY 514 £2,799 CHEAPEST ONLINE PRICE £2,380

With great styling and a killer specification, the Lapierre Zesty 514 is an easy sell, even with its lofty asking price. Factor in the best Fox suspension and you'll quickly realise that the Zesty isn't just a pretty, sporty face; it also delivers in spades where it counts the most — out on the trail. Lapierre has tweaked the fit for 2010 making the Zesty 514 better than ever and easily deserving of our Trail Bike of the Year award. Tested May 2010 1Q

www.lapierre-bikes.co.uk

ORANGE ALPINE 160 £2,958.99

You won't find the Alpine 160 discounted online, but this just shows how popular this all-mountain icon is. If you want to push your limits, the Alpine 160 will take whatever you can throw at it and keep coming back for more. Perfect geometry, amazing suspension and superbly balanced handling make this the ultimate go-anywhere, try anything bike. The future's orange. ^JL

Tested March 2010 www.orangebikes.co.uk

CUBE STEREO THE ONE £2,499.99 CHEAPEST ONLINE PRICE £1,874.98

The Cube Stereo The One is a great-looking bike with a sharp finishing kit. It's a super-stiff frame package, with capable suspension performance, and long, low-slung geometry that makes the Stereo feel stable and confidence-inspiring at speed. Depending on where you ride, the 330mm (13in) bottom bracket height could either leave you grounded or railing turns like you've never done before. Tested May 2010 www.cube.eu

TREK FUELEX8 2,000 CHEAPEST ONLINE PRICE £1,850

With its capable, confidence-inspiring ride, the Trek is a bike you simply can't go wrong with. Everyone who threw a leg over it loved the bike and kept reaching out for it at every opportunity. The suspension isn't the supplest available, but it's well built and looks slick. Hats off to Trek for producing a great all-rounder. For 2011 the price of the EX8 goes up to £2,300. Tested April 2010 www.trekbikes.com

TTTÎ BEST ON TEST

Budget hardtail

GENESIS CORE 10 599.99 CHEAPEST ONLINE PRICE £539.99

Lacking big brand decals, and showy bells and whistles, the quality Core 10 frame takes on a kind of anonymous guise ripe for a devoted hardtail fan to build on. And even at £600 in standard trim, it's certainly a financially attainable start to an involving long-term trail-loving relationship. Tested July 2010 www.genesisbikes.co.uk

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