We begin 2020 by taking a good look back over the mountain bike and gravel reviews that have been read the most on our site. These bikes are the bikes that have drawn in the viewing crowds in their hoards and been clicked on many, many more times than we have had hot dinners. Have a guess what comes in at the top spot and scroll down to see if you were right.....
Of course, we do have to mention, this isn't particularly scientific, the older reviews certainly get more clicks just through the nature of being on the interwebs for longer. Still, it's fun to look over older reviews and see the trends occurring and what you, our readers, like to click on.
10. Calibre Dark Peak
The Calibre Dark Peak was our 'bargain buy' award winner last year and it's a review that is still being read in 2019. Word on the street is that there are two new Calibre drop bar bikes in the pipeline to be released early next year - watch this space!
9. Mason ISO
Our reviewer loved the Mason ISO when he rode it, giving it a prestigious five stars in review! he reckoned it redefined what a drop-bar bike is assumed to be capable of, completely delivering in its capabilities, looks and build quality.
8. Specialized Fuse Comp 29
The first mountain bike in our top 10 and not the last either, the Specialized Fuse Comp 29er is a 130mm trail hardtail that blends balanced handling with some very neat features. It's got a very respectable spec list for a shop-bought bike, but dedicated distance sluggers will find it too heavy and those after techy thrills will find the geometry a bit tame.
7. Specialized Chisel Comp X1
Back to back Specialized in the top ten proves that you guys like reading about reasonably priced hardtails from big brands. The Chisel Comp X1 is a cross-country racing machine that delivers a solid spec for the money. On paper, it might struggle to match direct-sales rivals, but it makes up for that with a truly impressive ride quality and sorted, if old-school handling for anyone that wants to cover ground, quickly.
6. Canyon Grand Canyon AL SL 7.0
This one is another 2019 review pitching up in this year's 'most read' list. The Canyon Grand Canyon AL SL 7.0 is cross-country racer with winning intentions that will be easier on your wallet than its competitors and can provide you with just as much speed.
5. Bergamont Grandurance 6
The Grandurance 6 from Bergamont turned out not just to have a banging paint job, it was also a bit of a bargain to boot. This is a classic endurance road bike with allowances for gravel tyres, mudguards and racks but for the price, I think it’ll make any owner a great weekend gravel adventure bike that will commute with ease on the weekdays too.
4. Specialized Diverge E5 Sport
The £1,000 Specialized Diverge E5 Sport brings the brands adventure and gravel bike design down to an attractive price point and produced a package that works well in a multitude of uses. Our reviewer said it only really wanted a tyre upgrade to open it up to more varied terrain.
3. Ribble CGR AL Shimano 105
Coming into third position is Ribble's CGR AL Shimano 105 which Jon said was a hugely versatile, superb value bike for everything from gravel bashing to cyclocross and road commuting. The aluminium frame isn't overly compliant and the kit needs a few tweaks if you intend to mostly stick to dirt, but that's easy enough to custom spec it to your heart's content when you order.
2. Nukeproof Digger Pro
Seeing as we are a mountain bike and gravel site it makes sense that one of our top reviews would be a MTB inspired gravel bike! Our reviewer sad if you are a mountain biker looking for your first drop bar bike for some sneaky training on a variety of surfaces, the Nukeproof Digger Pro could be for you. The chunky WTB Sendero tyres, dropper post, wide handlebar and short stem ensure it really shines on the dirt with great handling poise that’ll have you ripping, popping and sending in no time. There is a new one just out too, that comes with the new Shimano GRX groupset.
1. Canyon Grail AL 7.0
Our review coining the most views is the Canyon Grail, bike which got into the top 5 of our most-read content too! The Grail proved to be a huge amount of fun on twisty trails and is able to provide good speed on a wide variety of surfaces, from road to gravel tracks. It’s also great value, as you’d expect from Canyon and is well specced, though I’d prefer to see a sub-compact chainset for tackling steep off-road climbs or laden with bikepacking equipment.
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