Calibre The Don – The £1,000 full-sus we’ve been waiting for

UK outdoor lifestyle chain Go Outdoors has been pushing its mountain bike brand Calibre for a few years now and they’ve had some seriously impressive results. 

Take Calibre’s £399 Two.Two hardtail for example – which is one of only four mountain bikes to have achieved a full five star rating on BikeRadar over the last year. So when we had a heads up that the brand was focusing their efforts on a full suspension trail bike, they quickly had our full attention.

Expected to land in stores for August, Calibre’s The Don is a 130mm travel full suspension trail machine and, although a final retail price hasn’t been signed off yet, Go Outdoors are aiming for the £1,000 mark.


So, why should you take notice? There are plenty of full sussers about for a grand, right? Yeah, there are a few – take the £1,000 Boardman Team FS 650B or even the £900 Decathlon RockRider 720S for example. But all budget full sussers aren’t born the same and at this price point manufacturers have to really be smart with their buying power. Just a couple of bad component choices and your bargain bike will soon need expensive upgrades.

It might sound like a tired cliché but Calibre bikes really are designed by riders for riders.  GO Outdoors’ Chief Bike Buyer, Mike Sanderson, is the guy behind this bike and the rest of the range.  A racer himself and a man obviously passionate about his job, Sanderson understands the people he’s designing for and knows his kit inside out. What this translates to in the case of The Don are touches that are easily overlooked on the shop floor, but not out on the trails.

The frame isn’t just plucked out of a catalogue like some other brands at this price, instead it has been designed and developed in and around Sheffield – something that the brand is proud of – you’ll even find a Yorkshire Rose on the frame of production bikes. The geometry can be described as more reserved than radical at 68 and 73 degrees for the head and seat angles but generous front centre lengths across all sizes makes for a comfortable position without handling compromise.

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