Our guide to 2014’s hardtail mountain bikes
There may still be a couple of months of 2013 yet remaining, but the mountain bike industry has been pumping out new 2014 model year bikes for the past couple of months, and they’re already starting to appear in local bike shops.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to look at some of the hottest and most interesting of those new bikes, and we’re starting today with hardtail mountain bikes. Hardtail mountain bikes still represent a huge percentage of new bike sales, and these days there are a lot of very well kitted-out bikes to choose from.
The big change sweeping through the industry revolves around the wheel size. As these five bikes show, 26in wheels are being faded out in preference to 650b, with three in this guide. 29ers are still being well supported and we’ve included a couple of options. Let’s dive in and take a look.
Giant XTC Advanced 27.5 0 Team (£4,999)
As has been reported on BM previously (read about it here), Giant has made the decision to commit to 650b wheels, believing it’s where the future lies for mountain bikes. And that includes its hardtails too.
The flagship model, the XTC Advanced, is now available in four models with the new wheel size. Prices start from £1,599, but we’ve picked the £4,999 Team here, far and away the most expensive hardtail in this roundup. You get a full carbon frame and it’s dripping in top-draw components, from the RockShox Sid XX fork to the SRAM XX1 groupset and Giant’s own brand carbon wheelset. One undoubtedly for serious racers, or very keen trail riders that want the lightest hardtail they can lay their hands on, but either way you have to admit it’s a hell of a bike.
More information: Giant XTC Advanced 0 Team