Boardman’s X7 triple-butted 6061 alloy has an angular, purposeful design, where its shock is mounted horizontally beneath the top tube. The bike’s cables are routed externally along the underside of the down tube, which should help make maintenance easier, but there’s a port on the rear of the seat tube for internally routed dropper post cables.
Overall, the MTR 8.9 is comfortable, especially on less steep trails. The relaxed riding position its geometry generated didn’t mean I put too much weight through my hands, not being forced to lower my shoulders forwards towards the bars because of an over-stretched top tube. I also wasn’t forced too far over the back, needing to cling onto the bars with my fingertips, usually a problem on bikes with slacker seat-tube angles.
Despite these issues, I really liked the feel of the MTR 8.9, and found it perfectly suited to a speedy trail-centre blast, especially when the climbs or descents remained fun rather than break-neck fast. It’s ripe for upgrades, which in this case I’d choose to make it a lighter, faster, mile-munching machine, rather than turning it into a downhill destroyer.
"A fantastic all-rounder with potential to turn into a rocket ship" 4.5/5