Top 5 2020 cross-country bikes

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<img src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/TOP_5_2020_CROSS_COUNTRY_BIKES-c2c199c.jpg?quality=90&resize=620,413" srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/TOP_5_2020_CROSS_COUNTRY_BIKES-c2c199c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=960,639 960w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/TOP_5_2020_CROSS_COUNTRY_BIKES-c2c199c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=720,479 720w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/TOP_5_2020_CROSS_COUNTRY_BIKES-c2c199c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=576,383 576w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/TOP_5_2020_CROSS_COUNTRY_BIKES-c2c199c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=360,239 360w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/TOP_5_2020_CROSS_COUNTRY_BIKES-c2c199c.jpg?quality=90&amp;resize=180,119 180w, " sizes="(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-397872 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail" alt="2020 cross-country bikes" title="2020 cross-country bikes" /> <p> </p>
<p><iframe title="Top 5 | 2020 Cross Country Bikes" width="960" height="540" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5FRUVEifpWM?start=19&amp;feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p>
<p>Cross-country mountain bikes often feature some of the most exciting developments in bicycle design; the bikes must be light enough to handle lung-bursting climbs while also being capable enough to handle increasingly gnarly descents.</p>
<p>So, in no particular order, here is our pick of the top five cross-country bikes of 2020 that we think are pushing the envelope of bicycle design.</p>
<h2><strong>Specialized Epic HT</strong></h2>
<div class="img-container img-container–landscape-thumbnail"><img src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=620,413&amp;background=white" srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=1880,1252&amp;background=white 1880w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=1456,969&amp;background=white 1456w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=1112,740&amp;background=white 1112w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=940,626&amp;background=white 940w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=728,484&amp;background=white 728w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=556,370&amp;background=white 556w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=355,236&amp;background=white 355w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=340,226&amp;background=white 340w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/08/harookz_2202-7bf1161.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=320,213&amp;background=white 320w, " sizes="(min-width: 992px) 940px, (min-width: 768px) 728px, (min-width: 576px) 556px, calc(100vw – 20px)" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-389535 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail img-container__image" alt="Specialized Epic pack shot" title="Specialized Epic" data-source-name="Harookz"></div>
<div class="caption-hold">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text"><span class="caption-copy"><i class="icon-arrow icon-camera-circle"></i> Specialized’s new Epic HT claims to be one of the lightest in the world.</span></figcaption><span class="im-image-caption"> <i>Harookz</i></span>
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<p>Starting with one of the biggest releases for 2020, we have the Specialized Epic HT.</p>
<p>The previous generation Epic HT was a firm favourite here at <em>BikeRadar. </em>It was incredibly light and had relatively modern geometry for an XC bike, so when we found out Specialized had updated this already winning formula, we were obviously excited to see what the big S would come up with.</p>
<p>As you’d expect, it’s got <em>even</em> lighter, with an S-Works frame coming in at around 790g for a medium with paint and hardware.</p>
<p>This means a top-spec, complete build is claimed to weigh just 7.8kg. That’s incredibly impressive when you consider that, not that long ago, 7.8kg was thought to be pretty respectable for an aero <em>road </em>bike.</p>
<p>In a move expected by approximately absolutely everyone, the geometry has also been updated, with the head angle getting a touch slacker and the reach a smidge longer to improve handling on the technical XC World Cup courses of today.</p>
<p>And, finally, the seat tube is a more dropper-friendly 30.9mm.</p>
<p>Being Specialized it comes as no surprise that the top-spec S-Works model has a premium price, but we’re interested in the more affordable Epic HT carbon, which comes in just north of roughly 2,100 Great British pounds or US dollars, while still having a claimed 930g frame weight.</p>
<p>Could this possibly be the perfect privateer XC racer’s bike for 2020? Let us know what you would choose in the comments.</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="https://www.bikeradar.com/news/specialized-epic-ht-2020/">Specialized’s 790g S-Works Epic HT is the lightest of its kind</a></li>
</ul>
<h2><strong>Pivot Mach 4 SL</strong></h2>
<div class="img-container img-container–landscape-thumbnail"><img src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=620,413&amp;background=white" srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=1112,740&amp;background=white 1112w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=940,626&amp;background=white 940w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=728,484&amp;background=white 728w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=556,370&amp;background=white 556w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=355,236&amp;background=white 355w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=340,226&amp;background=white 340w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Pivot-Mach-4-SL-192dd81.png?quality=90&amp;lb=320,213&amp;background=white 320w, " sizes="(min-width: 992px) 940px, (min-width: 768px) 728px, (min-width: 576px) 556px, calc(100vw – 20px)" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-397920 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail img-container__image" alt="Pivot Mach 4 SL" title="Pivot Mach 4 SL" data-source-name="Pivot"></div>
<div class="caption-hold">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text"><span class="caption-copy"><i class="icon-arrow icon-camera-circle"></i> Pivot’s Mach 4 SL.</span></figcaption><span class="im-image-caption"> <i>Pivot</i></span>
</div>
<p>Arizona-based Pivot Cycles has long been known for its premium mountain bikes, but the new Mach 4 SL really pushes the boundaries for publicly-available bikes, as does its price tag with a top-spec build coming in at £11,800.</p>
<p>There’s no need to remind us that you could buy a really nice car or motorcycle for £11,800. You could even buy nearly 30 <a href="https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/mountain-bikes/calibre-two-cubed-review/">Calibre Two Cubed mountain bikes</a>. Which would you prefer?</p>
<p>The Mach 4 has gone through several iterations and has featured 27.5in and 29in versions in its lifetime. This latest version merges the Mach 4 and Mach 429SL into one superfast racing machine.</p>
<p>It features a revised DW-link suspension configuration with a vertically-positioned shock and settles on 100mm travel and 29in wheels.</p>
<p>And the weight? A size medium World Cup build with a full Shimano XTR groupset weighs a claimed 9.4kg, which is very impressive for a full-suspension bike.</p>
<p>We doubt you’ll be seeing too many of these special builds out on the trails though, but it’s impressive to see what a brand can do with a money-is-no-object design.</p>
<h2><strong>Santa Cruz Blur</strong></h2>
<div class="img-container img-container–landscape-thumbnail"><img src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=620,413&amp;background=white" srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=1456,969&amp;background=white 1456w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=1112,740&amp;background=white 1112w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=940,626&amp;background=white 940w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=728,484&amp;background=white 728w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=556,370&amp;background=white 556w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=355,236&amp;background=white 355w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=340,226&amp;background=white 340w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Santa-Cruz-Blur-872ec8f-e1568210044520.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=320,213&amp;background=white 320w, " sizes="(min-width: 992px) 940px, (min-width: 768px) 728px, (min-width: 576px) 556px, calc(100vw – 20px)" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-397921 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail img-container__image" alt="Santa Cruz Blur" title="Santa Cruz Blur" data-source-name="Santa Cruz"></div>
<div class="caption-hold">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text"><span class="caption-copy"><i class="icon-arrow icon-camera-circle"></i> Santa Cruz’s Blur.</span></figcaption><span class="im-image-caption"> <i>Santa Cruz</i></span>
</div>
<p>I’m sure you’ve all heard that famous saying… there are two guarantees in life: death and taxes.</p>
<p>Well, here at <em>BikeRadar</em> we have another saying… there’s one guarantee in life: if you don’t include a Santa Cruz in a mountain bike top 5, no matter the genre, people WILL NOT BE HAPPY.</p>
<p>Obviously, we jest, but in order to prevent commenter Armageddon, we present you with the Santa Cruz Blur.</p>
<p>It’s a thoroughbred cross-country racer, sporting 100mm of front and rear travel, a 69-degree head angle and a relatively steep 74-degree seat angle.</p>
<p>The reach is pretty long for an XC bike, with a size large coming in at 460mm.</p>
<p>This should hopefully mean the bike will be able to descend and climb with the best.</p>
<p>A medium frame claims to weigh just north of 2 kilos, and while there are lighter race whippets out there (sorry, we couldn’t make it past the third bike in this list before we used the phrase ‘race whippet’), the Blur’s claimed weight includes all of the hardware and shock.</p>
<p>But anyway, it’s a Santa Cruz, so everything it does is good because it’s the coolest brand on Earth, right?</p>
<h2><strong>Cannondale F-Si</strong></h2>
<div class="img-container img-container–landscape-thumbnail"><img src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Cannondale-FSI-d755f0f-e1568210347731.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=620,413&amp;background=white" srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Cannondale-FSI-d755f0f-e1568210347731.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=728,484&amp;background=white 728w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Cannondale-FSI-d755f0f-e1568210347731.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=556,370&amp;background=white 556w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Cannondale-FSI-d755f0f-e1568210347731.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=355,236&amp;background=white 355w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Cannondale-FSI-d755f0f-e1568210347731.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=340,226&amp;background=white 340w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2018/08/Cannondale-FSI-d755f0f-e1568210347731.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=320,213&amp;background=white 320w, " sizes="(min-width: 992px) 940px, (min-width: 768px) 728px, (min-width: 576px) 556px, calc(100vw – 20px)" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-397923 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail img-container__image" alt="Cannondale FSI" title="Cannondale FSI" data-source-name="Cannondale"></div>
<div class="caption-hold">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text"><span class="caption-copy"><i class="icon-arrow icon-camera-circle"></i> Cannondale’s F-Si.</span></figcaption><span class="im-image-caption"> <i>Cannondale</i></span>
</div>
<p>Cannondale released the newest F-Si back in 2018, and it’s been bothering the front of XC races ever since then.</p>
<p>The elephant in the room is the polarising Lefty Ocho fork, and we say polarising because you probably won’t have to look too far down the comments to see someone saying the Lefty is the worst fork ever made, while the next commenter will say it’s suspension perfection.</p>
<p>And while Leftys have their quirks, we kind of like them, so make of that what you will.</p>
<p>The F-Si is competitively light for a World Cup-ready hardtail, with top-spec builds weighing less than 9kg.</p>
<p>It also comes with Cannondale’s AI offset on the rear wheel, which pushes the drivetrain 6mm to the right. This means you need to have a neutrally dished rear wheel, but as you’d expect Cannondale claims this is better than the more conventional asymmetric dish.</p>
<p>Just like every other bike on this list, top-spec models don’t come cheap, but more affordable models are available if you’re keen on an F-Si.</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/mountain-bikes/cannondale-f-si-hi-mod-world-cup-review/">Cannondale F-Si Hi-Mod World Cup review</a></li>
</ul>
<h2><strong>Trek <span class="st">Supercaliber</span><br></strong></h2>
<div class="img-container img-container–landscape-thumbnail"><img src="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=620,413&amp;background=white" srcset="https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=1112,740&amp;background=white 1112w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=940,626&amp;background=white 940w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=728,484&amp;background=white 728w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=556,370&amp;background=white 556w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=355,236&amp;background=white 355w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=340,226&amp;background=white 340w, https://images.immediate.co.uk/production/volatile/sites/21/2019/09/AB1_4434-d158b4b.jpg?quality=90&amp;lb=320,213&amp;background=white 320w, " sizes="(min-width: 992px) 940px, (min-width: 768px) 728px, (min-width: 576px) 556px, calc(100vw – 20px)" width="620" height="413" class="wp-image-396915 alignnone size-landscape_thumbnail img-container__image" alt="Jolanda Neff Trek Supercaliber" title="Jolanda Neff Trek Supercaliber" data-source-name="Alex Broadway/SWpix.com"></div>
<div class="caption-hold">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text"><span class="caption-copy"><i class="icon-arrow icon-camera-circle"></i> Jolanda Neff has been racing on the Trek Supercaliber this World Cup season.</span></figcaption><span class="im-image-caption"> <i>Alex Broadway/SWpix.com</i></span>
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<p>We’ve saved possibly the most interesting XC bike of 2020 until last, with Trek’s all-new <span class="st">Supercaliber</span>.</p>
<p>The <span class="st">Supercaliber</span> has been hidden in plain sight, having already been ridden by Jolanda Neff at various World Cup rounds with a sock used to hide the ISO Strut suspension linkage.</p>
<p>But now Trek’s embargo on the bike has lifted and we can finally tell you a bit more about it.</p>
<p>The frame weighs just 1,900g with the shock and hardware, making it lighter than most conventional full-suspension frames, but the compromise is that you get 60mm of rear travel instead of the usual 100mm.</p>
<p>Trek claims this gives you the best of both worlds, with full suspension performance and hardtail efficiency.</p>
<p>The geometry is refreshingly modern, with a 69-degree head angle and 74-degree seat angle.</p>
<p>More crucial for the long-distance racers among you though is that the ISO Strut suspension linkage allows you to fit two water bottles into the frame.</p>
<p>Could this be the perfect marathon machine in 2020? We’ll have to wait and see.</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="https://www.bikeradar.com/news/2020-trek-supercaliber/">Trek <span class="st">Supercaliber</span></a></li>
</ul>
<p><em>What do you think of our list? Did we get it right? Or should we have picked something else? As always, let us know in the comments.<br></em></p>
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