At the risk of sounding like a broken record, or for our younger readers, producing content that looks like it’s been created with Boomerang, the Calibre Bossnut returns to Editor’s Choice for the second year running.
No mean feat, given that brands like Jamis, Boardman and Giant were all keen to take the mighty Bossnut down in this year’s entry-level full-suspension bike test — a test that the Bossnut has won three years on the trot.
What makes the Bossnut so much better than any other bike in its class? It would be easy to assume that it’s some magic combination of geometry and suspension that gives it an edge, offering a ride quality that is greater than the sum of its parts. But that’s simply not the case. Because even though the geometry and sizing on the Bossnut are good, both have been improved for 2020, which we’ll get to in a minute.
So it’s the parts themselves, or more specifically how Calibre has sweated every single component on the Bossnut to offer the highest levels of performance at the given price point. As such, the Bossnut isn’t hamstrung by bad tyres, a dodgy shock tune or fork that isn’t effective at ironing out the bumps. In that respect Calibre has struck the perfect balance between performance and price, so you don’t have to compromise on ride quality. Nothing holds the Bossnut back, and the only limits here are your fitness, skill level and imagination.
Calibre Two Cubed
When we introduced the sub £375 category to our 2019 Hardtail of the Year test, we were headed for unchartered waters. It was the lowest price-point test we have undertaken for many years, as we’ve always believed that you need to spend £500 to get a proper mountain bike capable of withstanding the rigours of serious off-road riding.
Times change however, and firmly held beliefs need challenging too, the Calibre Two Cubed proving that trickle-down technology and modern approaches to business — like direct-to-consumer sales — bring unprecedented levels of performance to an even wider audience.
Calibre did the same with the Bossnut full-suspension bike, so it should come as no surprise that it is equally adept at disrupting the entry-level hardtail market.
That said, we were shocked by just how much bike you get for £350. With a RockShox XC fork pumping out 100mm of smooth, composed travel, the Two Cubed led the test from the front and never looked back. Confidence was boosted further by a wide handlebar, stubby stem and hydraulic disc brakes.
The Two Cubed also had the distinct advantage of being heavily discounted. A GoOutdoors loyalty card slices the list price from £599 from £399, then a further introductory promotion brought the price down to £350.
Impressive indeed, but its test win wasn’t simply about price. The Two Cubed frame had the best sizing and most modern geometry on test, making it easier and more fun to ride than its rivals. It’s still something of an anomaly at this price though, but we suspect that the Calibre Two Cubed will be the rising tide that helps elevate all bikes in this class.
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