The MTR has come a long way since we tested its last iteration in 2018. The bike now rolls on 29” hoops and gets a bump in travel, pairing 150mm at the front to 145mm at the rear.
Those aren’t the only changes. It gets a lengthier reach and seriously tweaked the geometry to make it an even more capable machine. It also gets a dropper post on all models but the base MTR 8.6.
On the subject of pedaling, the MTR’s 75.5° seat tube angle places rider weight at a really comfortable position over the pedals. Paired with the relative lack of pedal bob (it's not completely lacking) it makes for a keen and comfortable climber that doesn't sap too much energy. I’ve been able to wrench myself up climbs with surprising speed and comfort, making that one last descent extra appealing. Not that 'one last run' is ever a good idea...
If you’re looking for a solid first full-suspension bike, or you’re simply on a budget, it’s pretty tough to go wrong with the 2021 Boardman MTR 8.9. Its geometry is spot on for a range of riding; if you're a newbie it’ll grow with you as you progress, while if you're a veteran it’s ready and raring to be thrown down your favourite tracks. / 4.5/5