The best components and accessories you can buy for your mountain bike are right here. We review lots of gear and bike parts at off.road.cc and this is a big old round up of the best of them. Whether you are looking for a wheel upgrade, a new backpack or a multitool for your pack these are the top scoring items from 2020.
Our test team has taken a long hard look at all the gear that scored well this year and come up with this list of kit that we'd all be happy to use or upgrade our own bikes with. It isn't all super pricey either, you'll see some great gear to suit all budgets. This is kit works well for its given purpose, is hardwearing, it won't let you down and is kit that we think is well worth the money should you choose to buy any of it. It's not all top dollar gear either, there are some awesome components and accessories to suit all budgets.
In this round-up we have only considered products that have scored highly on test, that means a score of 4.5 or 5 out of 5. Those top scoring products will have undergone a tough test period and been score on their performance, value and quality as well as getting an overall score.
Starting with pedals, through to tyres and wheels with some bike maintenance products at the end, we've included links to our original reviews below each product. There are also buying links in the articles too to help you find the best deals on the 'net.
The best mountain bike components and accessories of 2020
DMR V11 flat pedal
DMR's Vault flat pedal is one of the best on the market, so something that works just as well but is half the price should be off to a flying start - enter the DMR V11, which gets the same shape but a composite plastic rather than aluminium body. They're just as grippy, have the same internals and even weigh the same, but at £50 they're a bargain - there's very little not to like.
Nukeproof Horizon Pro 2 flat pedal
Nukeproof's updated Horizon Pro pedals improve on what was already an excellent pedal, with improved ground clearance married to superb grip and hard-knock durability. Quite simply, they're some of the best flat pedals you can buy.
Hutchinson Griffus 2.5 Hardskin tyre
Hutchinson may not be an obvious choice for many riders but they make some great tyres – and the Griffus 2.5 is one of them. It shares many similarities with the Maxxis Minion DHF but the Griffus’ compound, casing and shoulder tread may just trump the king of trail/enduro tyres.
WTB Verdict 2.5 TCS Tough tyre
The WTB Verdict 2.5 is a super-aggressive intermediate tyre that excels on loose surfaces whether it's wet or dry. The support and damping from the TCS Tough casing is up there with the best, and the High Grip compound is excellent. It's priced well too, but it's heavy and not quite at home on hardpacked surfaces.
Maxxis Minion DHF 29 3C MaxxTerra EXO TR tyre
The Maxxis Minion DHF is a household name in the world of mountain biking. It’s been seen on many a podium yet it’s brilliantly versatile for all kinds of trail and descending use. At its greatest in the dry, it's still excellent in the wet and a predictable, capable performer right up until you're axle deep in mud. This 2.6" does blow up a little narrow, though.
Maxxis Minion SS 29 TR/DD tyre
The Maxxis Minion SS TR/DD is a rear specific, semi-slick tyre that’s ideal for dry trails, and the DoubleDown puncture protection adds some well-damped support for aggressive riding. It’s grippy and brakes better than others, but this DoubleDown carcass is much heavier than the EXO or Silkworm versions, the tread is slightly draggy, and the 29er only comes in 2.3” width.
Osprey Siskin 12L pack
The Osprey Siskin 12 is a well-made, medium-size hydration pack with some considered features coupled with a comfortable fit. It’s a good benchmark for this size of trail pack. With a nice easy opening to get to the reservoir, a simple switch to left or right shoulder strap for the hose, and a solid webbing grab handle, the details impress. It's a really good size for all the most essential stuff you need, too, and comes in a variety of strong yet subtle colour schemes. Although the price sits at the upper end of things, Osprey has got it right with the Siskin – the design, build and functionality don't disappoint.
EVOC FR Trail 20L pack
The Evoc FR Trail 20L is a feature-laden pack that combines CE-certified back protection with a place for everything on a big day out – or even a few days. It’s well thought-out, well-made and near perfect for the rider who wants to carry everything. It's heavy and doesn't include a bladder, but its real flaw is its ability to take too much stuff...
EVOC CP 26L camera bag
The EVOC CP 26L is a camera-focused (ho ho) pack designed to protect your kit from the rough and tumble of mountain biking. It’s packed with useful features for the professional or hobbyist media squid, and makes light work of a lot of weight, but you do have to get creative with spares and tools.
RaceFace Aeffect crankset
Excellent value, robust and not too heavy, the RaceFace Aeffect direct-mount crankset is a great choice of replacement crank. It's tough, looks good and is well-priced as an entry-level upgrade, although its heft makes it better for trail and enduro riders than cross-country weight weenies.
Shimano Deore XT M8100 2020 drivetrain
The Deore XT 2020 groupset is a confident update to an already great product. With its huge range and 12-speed gearing, it’s shifting is market-leading, yet it sits at a reasonable price for the level of performance and weight. In short, it's one of the best examples of mountain bike drivetrains.
Spank Spoon 35 handlebar
The Spoon 35 from Spank offers the steering precision of a 35mm clamp at an attractive price, but don’t don't go thinking this stiff, comfortable bar is 'cheap'. Other than some finicky bar graphics, there’s very little to complain about.
RaceFace Next R 35 handlebar
The RaceFace Next R 35 carbon handlebar is a sleek, hardwearing 35mm diameter bar ready for some rough enduro riding. It's light, comes in three rises and is well-tuned for damping down trail chatter, but it's still pretty stiff – and it's wide, too, with no scope for going below 750mm.
Nukeproof Horizon Carbon Riser Bar V2
Nukeproof's completely redesigned Horizon Carbon Riser Bar V2 builds upon an already well-received design. It’s shaped very nicely, looks good and is well priced for carbon – but the new shape might not suit everyone.
Crud Catcher XL Front Fender
The Crud Catcher XL offers serious coverage for almost complete protection from flying filth. Despite this is only takes seconds to fit or remove, gives seemingly clog-proof clearance to front tyres and is flexy enough to last. It does leave your stanchions exposed, however, and it's best to add helicopter tape before fitting – but that, like its £30 tag, seems a small price to pay for superb performance.
Race Face Atlas Pedal
The Atlas is RaceFace’s high-end flat pedal. It’s a sleek, low-profile design that’s grippy and confidence inspiring thanks to a concave platform and 10 pins per side, and it’s tough. It’s also fully rebuildable for great longevity, though riders with big feet or small wallets may not find it so much to their tastes.
Brand-X Ascend XL Dropper Seatpost
The Brand-X Ascend XL is a well priced, nicely made and cleanly designed cable-actuated dropper post that works reliably. It's simple to fit and has a good remote lever, while the seat clamp is similarly no-nonsense. The long lower section won't suit small or kinked seat tubes, however, and it's relatively heavy.
RaceFace Turbine R 35 stem
Heavily-machined from aluminium to keep weight low and strength high, the RaceFace Turbine R is a quality all-mountain stem that looks great and is easy to fit. It's not cheap, but otherwise it's hard to fault.
PRO Koryak Stem
The Koryak stem from PRO combines low weight with useful stiffness and thoughtful design. The 35mm version we tested is very low profile, but the narrow clamp means it might not be as rigid as some for wide bars and wild riding, and it’s only available in the 31.8mm clamp diameter.
Wolfpack MTB Cross tyre
The Wolfpack MTB Cross is a cross-country and trail tyre with tread particularly suited to British riding. It works well on everything from forest mud to trail centre rocks, whether wet or dry, and while it's not the best at the extremes, it's a versatile year round performer. Though a little heavy for serious XC or racing, it's robust, dependable and well-priced.
Wolfpack Speed tyre
The Speed from new brand Wolfpack is aimed at XC racing, marathon and general XC riding. It's fast-rolling, tubeless ready and reasonably light, with more grip than you might expect and enough strength to withstand real-world use. It works well across a wide range of conditions – and even the price is good.
Schwalbe Magic Mary 29x2.6 Super Gravity ADDIX Soft tyre
Versatility is the name of the game with the Schwalbe Magic Mary. It’s a top performer for aggressive riding in almost all conditions, but it can feel a little nervous at the extremes of wet or dry.
Miche K1 Carbon wheelset
Miche's K1 wheelset is a super-light carbon fibre setup that'll satisfy the need for speed for even the most weight-conscious cross-country race head. They offer an impressively low weight for the money and decent 27mm width. The only downside is that the freehub has a relatively lazy engagement speed.
Sector 9i wheelset
The Sector 9i carbon wheelset is light, stiff and yet comfy on rough trails, which it can handle at anything up to enduro race speeds. If you ride 27.5" you'll have to build your own from just the rim, however, as this tubeless-ready wheelset is 29" only – and those looks won't be for everyone.
Halo Ridge Line 27.5 wheelset
The Halo Ridge Line 27.5" wheels are a bargain wheelset that has stood the test of time very well indeed. They might be a little heavy but at £240, tubeless taped and ready to ride, we are not going to moan too much about an extra 250g over pricer rivals.
Hope Tech 35W Pro 4 Wheelset
Hope's 35W Pro 4 wheels are super-sturdy, wide enough to make the most of aggressive trail tyres, spin on excellent hubs and offer impressive strength and durability. High weight means they're not the most sprightly option though, and climbing on them can be a chore.
Topeak Hexus X multi tool
Topeak's Hexus X updates an already award-winning format to store more tools and secure twin tyre levers. Its extended range – in a reasonably small and light package – makes the Hexus X extremely versatile and, at £23, it's seriously good value.
Topeak Tubibooster X tubeless inflator
Topeak's Tubibooster X makes short work of inflating and seating tubeless tyres, with a tough, high-pressure aluminium body that's charged using a separate track pump. It's easy to use, with quality connectors and it's a great addition to your workshop if you don't have a combined pump/inflator already.
Bontrager Air Support HV Pro mini pump
The Bontrager Air Support HV Pro is a lightweight mini pump that’s small enough to stash in a pocket, but capable enough to inflate large-volume tyres with ease. The design and build are impressive, and it does almost everything you need – the only thing holding it back is the lack of a pressure gauge.
Fenwicks Wet Weather Chain Lube
Fenwick's Wet Weather Chain Lube provides very effective winter protection for your drivetrain, and stays working over multiple muddy and rainy rides. It's easy to use, reasonably priced and environmentally friendly to boot.
Weldtite Pure Bike Wash
Made in the UK, biodegradable and environmentally friendly, this excellent bike wash from Weldtite is really effective choice for cleaning your bike. Pure Bike Wash comes in a one litre spray or smaller refill bottles of 200ml (its concentrated and makes another litre), which is another waste-reducing touch. Pure works very well and doesn’t kill the countryside while it's at it, which seems like a good combination to us. It’s well worth trying out.
LifeLine X-Tools Pro Chain Cleaner
The LifeLine X-Tools Pro Chain Cleaner is a simple, well-designed and extremely sturdy device that strips filth out of your chain with a few spins of the crank. It's easy to use, does an effective job and comes at a great price – there's really nothing about it to dislike.
Peaty's Disc Brake Cleaner
Peaty's Disc Brake Cleaner is a really effective way of getting grease and squeaky filth off your discs, safe in the knowledge that it's not going to contaminate your pads. It's biodegradable, so it won't contaminate anything else – though it's not made from peat, in case you were wondering, but named for legendary downhiller Steve Peat. It's his brand.
Fabric Hex Key Set
The Fabric Hex Key Set isn't going to win any prizes for being unique, but what it does offer is an attractive, useful and high-quality array of tools that will enhance any cycling workshop, without costing the earth. You get all the common hex sizes plus a T25 for those pesky star-shaped bolts, ball ends and a tough steel build.
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