2020 Best Value/Budget Trail Bikes (Buyers Guide)

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[VidSitePro id=73 ]hey guys Phil from trail talk here and it’s time for the annual buyer’s guide month this is where I go over my best value bikes for the coming season so this year we’re talking about 2020 bikes and starting with the short travel dual suspension trail bikes so if you haven’t already subscribed to the channel make sure you click that subscribe button will have an enduro bike as well as an all-mountain black bias guide as well as an e-bike buyer’s guide so we’re covering all bases this year so I’ve listened to your guys advice from last year’s buy a guide I’m going to switch things up a little bit last year I couldn’t recommend any bikes under the sub 2000 Australian dollar category however there’s more bikes below that category that I can recommend this year so we’re going to do a few more budget options say this year we’ve got three different price points so we’ve got the one to two thousand Australian dollar mark we’ve got the two to three thousand as well as the three to four thousand dollar mark so all prices are listed in Australian dollars however just for reference one u.s. dollar equals one point five Australian dollars and one British pound equals one point eight Australian dollars so let’s start with defining what a short travel trail bike is so in my eyes it’s a bike that descends as well as it climbs so it’s secure all around us so if you do anything from XC riding to more enduro riding it’s going to be the best bike to do everything so for me this is around the 110 to 130 millimeter travel range Travel is not the full story you got geometry as well but that’s kind of what we’re sticking with for this video and then for the all mountain trail range we’re kind of going 130 to 150 saying that these bikes getting really really capable descending these days so it does blur the category between these shorter travel trail bikes and what used to be a more all-mountain black so one last thing before we get into the bikes I will be updating this list throughout the year so if any bikes come out after this video is posted I’ll update them and put them in the pin post so make sure you check that if I’ve missed the bike or anything like that check that first to see if I recommend it so let’s plays no more time let’s get into 1,000 to 2,000 dollar price category so as I said earlier I couldn’t really recommend any bikes in this price point last year because they were plagued with quick-release rear axles and dated geometry however there’s been a few bikes that have come out this year that actually really recommend so these bikes are gonna provide a good platform for someone entering the sport or someone that’s a bit more budget-conscious and the geometry is not going to let them down in the future so it really is a good platform to build on so the first bike that I recommend is the brand new for 2020 polygon Siskiyou d7 there is also the d5 at a cheaper price point however the d7 offers a better all-around package so if you can’t afford it I’d definitely go the d7 over the d5 so the d7 retails for 1899 dollars but is available for 1799 dollars at bicycles online and they’re also available in the US as well as Australia and bicycles online so definitely check those guys out so let’s have a closer look at the frame so over last year’s model you’re now going to bulb the rear axle so that’s going to improve things a fair bit so a bit more stiffness you also get refined suspension kinematics as well as the new frame so you’re getting upstate gear with that too so the bike comes in 27.5 inch wheels in the small and medium and 29 inch wheels for the size medium through to excel and sports 120 millimeters of travel front and rear so the geometry has been drastically improved over the last model so in a size large you get a 465 millimetre rich which as I said big increase over the last model you also get an up-to-date 76 degree seat angles so that’s nice and steep which is going to help with climbing and then you get a 60 7.5 degree head angle which is a good number for an all-rounder to round it off you get 436 millimeter chain says so nice and short which should keep things nice and fun so looking at the spec of the bike you got a RockShox recon up front which has a through axle so matching the rear and then you’ve also got an ex fusion shock which also has adjustable rebound and lockout which is good to see at this price point it’s also got a modern cockpit with a 45 millimeter stem as well as 780 millimeter wide bars so for the drivetrain you’re really seeing a trickle down with all this one by drivetrain stuff so you get a mix of shimano SLX xt as well as sun rays so you got a deal exterior ayla and select shifter and a Sun race 11 speed 11 to 46 tooth cassette so nice slide one buy setup you also get a tubeless wheel set and Shimano m2a1 hydraulic brakes the only downside you don’t get a dropper post at this price point however at this price to drop a person usually aren’t the most reliable so save up some some pennies and upgrade later so the new Siskiyou d7 is a great all-around package and a really good platform to build it up on I’ll also be getting my hands on this bike soon so make sure you subscribe for a review coming soon so the next bike in a list is for our UK viewers and that’s the caliber boss Knight which was recently updated for this year so like the polygon the boss nut has scenes very similar improvements for this year with updated geometry and the addition of a bulb the rear axle so looking at the geometry of the bike you get a modern 66 degree head angle 460 millimetre reach on the size large and a seventy four point five degree seat angles so slightly slacker than the polygon but isn’t a huge issue on a shorter travel bike the bike has 130 millimeters of rear and front travel and rolls on 27.5 inch wheels this bike is definitely made for fun with the 66 degree head angle and the smaller wheels the spec is also pretty impressive at this price point so it’s a SRAM heavy build it’s got level T brakes which aren’t necessarily my favourite but they do the job as SRAM SX 12 speed drivetrain so crazy that you’re seeing 12 speed on such cheap bikes you’ve got a recon fork as well as a monarch a shock what’s impressive about the caliber is that they work with rock shocks for accustomed to on their shocks so that’s awesome to see at this price point so the cockpits also modern like the polygons even also got 780 millimeter bars as well as a 45 millimeter stem you also get two bus ready rims to the tires aren’t cheerless ready but the rims are and there’s no chopper like the polygon but as I said this would be the first upgrade that I’d recommend so both these bikes offer something that really wasn’t available for riders at this price point a reliable update package that didn’t really sacrifice on geometry and also you get that through EXO as well this year so it’s really good to see that these bikes can really grow with riders now as I start off at a more budget price point and then you can upgrade it into a really really capable bike in the future so now we’re on to the 2,000 to 3,000 dollar price category this is where we start to see a lot of the major players introduce their short travel trail bikes so the good thing about bikes in this price category we’re seeing a lot of the same frames on these bikes on bikes that cost often up to double the price of them so you’re getting a lot of value here and the geometry of these better bikes so you can really upgrade as you go so they’re really a great platform to start on so the first bike we’re looking at is the brand new for 2020 Merryn rift zone one and two so two bikes in this price category you can pick either of them so last year’s model but also featured on last year’s buyers guide so updates for this year the typical longer low and slacker which make this bike super capable in descent is probably the best descending bike on this list so if you prefer to sending this is probably the one to go for so looking at the geometry of the bike you’ve got a roomy 480 millimeter reach on the size large so that’s the biggest out of all the bikes on this list you’ve also got an aggressive 65.5 degree head angle so this is a head angle you usually see on more aggressive all-mountain bikes so it’s good to see on a shorter travel bike and then you’ve got short 425 millimeter chainstays and a steep 76 degree angle so this will help with climbing too so this is the kind of geometry you’d expect to see on a more higher end bike like a santa cruz or a yeti so it’s awesome to see at this price point and it should be really capable to send up as well as an ice climber and then it’s also gonna be nice and fun because those short chain stairs so this will be an awesome bike so spec wise you’re getting really good value for money too so looking at the two so the higher end model you’re getting a better rear shock a one by twelve drivetrain and you’re also getting a dropper post and better compound tires on the cheap model you’re not getting that dropper as I said and you get a one by eleven drivetrain so both these bikes offer a great platform to build on so it wouldn’t be too concerned if you can’t afford the higher end model it is nice to have that job a post but don’t beat so you can send there you’re getting the geometry and that’s the main thing that you’d be buying this bike for and like the polygons the Marin’s available at bicycles online australia see again these bikes directly from factory so you’re getting really good value for money with these bikes so also beginning our hand on the rift zone soon so if you want to subscribe to the channel that review will be coming soon so the next bike is actually another one that I recommended last year and that’s the Norco fluid FS I actually reviewed the FS one last year as well so if you want to check out the review for that I’ll leave the link in the description so my main criticism of the bike was the front tire as well as the brakes which have both been changed for this year we see that it has Shimano MT for 24 piston brakes so they’re new for this year so it’d be good to see how those are but with Shimano 4 piston brakes I’m sure they’re going to be great and then you’ve also got a 2.6 million dhf in the three c-max Tara so that’s not a cheap tire and it’s got to offer loads of group so other spec includes a RockShox recon fork which has been pretty popular at this price point a deluxe our rear shocks a no lockout they’re just rebound adjustment you’ve got a hundred and thirty millimeters of travel up front and 120 in the rear you’ve got a shrimp SX 12 speed drivetrain the really impressive x-fusion manic dropper post which I’ve also reviewed I’ll put that the link in the description and then you also have stands floaty rims so really good rims and they’re cheapest ready and rounding off the package you’ve got a thoroughly modern cockpit too on this bike so nice white bars as well as a short stem in terms of geometry it’s pretty modern for a short travel trail bike as well so you’ve got a sixty six point five degree head angle long 470 millimeter reach on the size large and then you’ve got short 429 millimetre chainstays say keep things nice and fun you’ve also got a steep 76 degree C angle so 76 degree seat angle as I said gonna help with climbing a fair bit and it seems to be a popular number for this year so from reviewing this bike last year I noticed it’s a bike that loves fast flowy trails so if that suits you then it’s definitely worth a look and again if you want to check out an in-depth review of the bike click the link in the description so both these bikes off a really really good geometry they often see a more expensive bike so I definitely recommend these bikes if you’re in the two to $3,000 category and they’re really great platforms to build on so definitely check these two bikes out there now we’re getting into some real money of the three to $4,000 price category I feel at this point this is where you start to see diminishing returns with going really any more expensive so it really is my sweet spot when you’re buying a new black and you shouldn’t really have to upgrade really anything on these bikes there should be good to go and this is a very competitive price point so I’m going to include four bikes in this price point so for the first black another shock here it’s another one that I recommended last year and it’s the morita 120 in particular the 700 so I actually reviewed the 2019 model when the frame was updated but that was a 600 model but if you want to check out the review on that I’ll put the link in the description as well so the 120 is a really well rounded bike with some amazing rear suspension it’s efficient but still super active when you want it to be and it excels on both flowy as well as technical descents so the 700 comes with amazing spec for the money probably the best spec out of any of the bikes on this list you get a mixture of brand new Shimano 12 speed LX and XT you get the new SL x4 piston brakes so they’re absolutely amazing you get the great RockShox revelation Arcee fork and a deluxe set plus shocks so you get rebound as well as a lockout on that another good thing to see you also get a hundred and seventy millimeter dropper on the size large and extra large frames you get decent tires too you get a DHI up front in the three c-max Terra compound which is really good to see and then you’ve got a faster rolling tire in the rear in the maxes forecaster so although the marina probably has the best spec for the money on this list it’s probably also got the most conservative geometry so if you do a lot of high-speed descending this probably isn’t the bike for you but if you do a lot of mixture between technical as well as more flowy descents then it’s going to be a good balance so because the bike is slightly shorter it does feel a bit more snappy and agile compared to some of the bikes on this list too so it’s not all downsides because of this so looking at the numbers in a size large you have a 455 millimeter reach the head angle is 67.5 and then you’ve got a steep 75 point five degree seat angle and then you’ve also got four hundred thirty five millimeter chain stays so more balanced package so when I reviewed this bike I really enjoyed riding it balance was the main thing that came to mind you feel balanced in the bike you don’t have to move around that much at all and it really balances climbing descending really well so it really is a true trail bike another two words that I’d used to describe the bike is fun as well as comfortable it’s really good of those technical sections they knife and comfortable over those and also comfortable in the saddle when you’re riding it all day so a really good bike for the money so the next bike again is another one that I recommended last year and that’s the trench 29r and this is the only bike from the big three so specialize in track being the other two major brands that makes this list so the trans 29 is a great all-rounder like the Marita it offers 150 millimeters of rear travel and 130 up front and what you get for the money is amazing for a big brand so that’s good to see so when it comes to the spec of bike the suspension is a real highlight so you get the brand new muscle keep on the z2 up front so that’s 130 millimeters of travel so that’s a brand new Ford for 2020 it’s very stiff for a thirty four millimeter stanchion fork and it utilizes Mizuki’s new rail damper which is awesome to see Misaki doing their own dampers again but it utilizes fox’s evil air spring so all the stuff in servicing all handled by fox that’s good to say so you never really going to have any issues sorting out issues with this fork and then in the rear you get a Fox DPS shock as well so it’s good to see the getting good suspension on the bike like this other spec includes the SRAM SX 12 speed drivetrain you’ve got the Shimano MT 401 brakes you’ve got a giant dropper post and then you’ve also got a Maxis dhf and DHR however that only comes in the dual combo so not the three c-max hare that we’re seeing on a few of the other bikes on the geometry side of things it’s slightly more progressive in the Marita however it still aims to kind of give that good all-around package so on a size large you’ve got a 462 millimeter reach you’ve got a sixty six point five degree head angle a seventy four point five degrees seed angle so not the steepest and a 435 chainstay so a real good all-round package for a good trail black so this is a great bike for the money you’re also getting that great factory support from giant it’s a local bike shop brand as well so if you like to support your local bike shop then it’s one for you and if you do like shopping with a big three this is definitely the bike that I would recommend so now you’re probably sick of hearing all the same bikes but here’s another one that I recommended earlier in the list and that’s the Norco fluid FS but this time we’re talking about the one model so the highest end model in the fluid so looking at the spec of the bike the main upgrades you get over the two model you’re getting the brand new XT SLX 12 speed drivetrain you’re also getting the awesome rock shock spike select fork and it also comes in a sick copper color which is pretty much reason enough to go for this model as well and as I said earlier if you want to learn a bit more about this bike I definitely recommend checking out the long-term review it’s a pretty comprehensive review and will answer any of the questions that you have to do with this bike so we’ve finally made it to the last bike thanks for sticking around this long this bike is my MVP so if I was going to pick a bike this would be the one that I’d pick and again it’s a frame from earlier in the and it’s the meirin rift zone however we’re looking at the three model now so the top-of-the-line model in the rip zone so on the rift zone 3 you get the Bombers z2 Forks as I said this is an awesome fork and like the giant you get the Fox TPS shop too you get the shimano SLX hole speeds a railer and shifter however you getting a Sun race 12 speaker set so not the full drivetrain there you also get the V flow snap tires in the grippy tacky compound and then you also get the ex fusion manic dropper post so a really good dropper pace and then you also get the Shimano MT 420 brake so you get four piston brakes too which is good to see this bikes just the all-around package you’re getting great value for money and the geometry is amazing – it’s gonna be a bike that can handle anything that you really throw at it it’s the most progressive out of all the bikes that we’ve talked about here nice long reach just like head angle so it’s gonna be really capable in a sense and it should be comfortable in the climb sewer that steeper seat angle so I’m gonna be spending some time on this bike soon so make sure you subscribe for the review coming soon so there you go there’s my list of the best values short travel trail bikes for 2020 so as I said earlier I’ll be updating this list in the pin comments so if any bikes come out that I definitely recommend I’ll be putting it there and if you have any questions about any bikes or anything like that I’ll be answering all the comments.

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