Last month I shared my own experience/s in choosing my first mountain bike but what I didn’t go into as much detail on was that my first bike was on the cheap.

I had a limited budget (£1200) and limited options and those limitations ultimately led me to a 2012 Giant Trance X4 which I still ride today. Although I love my bike, a cheap bike understandably means low end components so it cost be around £800 before it was at a point where I would consider it “fit-for-purpose”. Much more has gone into it overall but will keep that number secret in-case the wife reads this.

In hindsight, I should have had more patience and waited till I had a round £2000 before making the step. So with benchmark of around the 2k mark, here are my 5 entry level full suspension mountain bikes to consider.

Specialized CAMBER EVO 2015

RRP | £1800

The Camber series has a solid reputation and seems everyone has something good to say about them. The EVO is a solid 29er with components which should stand the test of time. Lightweight and smooth handling makes it ideal for XC but moving out of the blue lines may throw you outside your comfort zone.

Full details/specs

specialized CAMBER EVO 2015

Yeti ASRc

RRP | 1900

The ASRc weighs in at only 1.9kg (4.2lbs) which is nothing for that price-tag. Yeti say that it is a “cross-country race machine with an enduro alter-ego”. Not sure how much I would hold that alter-ego to the test but I think the ASRc may have a little more to offer than just XC.

Full details/specs



RRP | £1999 (can pick it up from £1700 on chain reaction currently)

You’ll be forgiven for wondering who the hell Vitus is as they are not as well known in the biking world but that’s actually a good thing in this case. You get a lot more for your money than you would expect from an endure bike.

Full details/specs


Giant Trance 27.5 2

RRP | £1899

I’m not biased here but if you’re looking for something which is an all-rounder then the Trance 27.5 2 may be right up your street.

Full details/specs


Santa Cruz Heckler D

RRP | £2250

The Heckler is at the very top of our price range, well a little over, but it’s there for a reason. Santa Cruz say that it is “Renowned as one of the original all-mountain heavy hitters”, and they are 100% correct. The heckler has huge rep with competing riders for its ability to go through whatever you put in front of it.

Full details/specs


Note: I’ve not ranked these bikes and have been sourced based on the feedback from other riders and publications.