The Most Interesting Hardtail Mountain Bikes of Interbike

A few hardtail mountain bikes seen at Interbike 2018. Some are new, and some are rare.

A lot of brands come to Interbike to showcase the latest and greatest technology. Some of it’s impressive and some of it… not quite.

While it’s always intriguing to see new technology, there’s still something great about the simplicity of a hardtail mountain bike.

A lot of brands brought hardtails this year, and quite a few of them hadn’t touched American soil yet.

Here’s a range of hardtails that you won’t typically see on your local trail, although that might change this year.

Van Dessel

New Jersey based bike-maker Van Dessel showed some updated hardtails at Interbike last week. Van Dessel has been strong in the cyclocross and gravel market for some time and now are venturing deeper into the singletrack.

The Jersey Devil pictured below is an XC bike that accepts 100 to 120mm travel forks. The head angle is can be changed from 69.5 to 71-degrees with an adjustable head set and features a Boost-spaced frame and fork.

Pricing for the Jersey Devil starts at $2,600.

Van Dessel has a more aggressive hardtail called the Gnarzan. The Gnarzan is a Boost-spaced bike that accepts 120 to 140mm travel forks, and can be specced with plus size tires.

Pricing starts at $2,200 for the Gnarzan.


Bianchi isn’t new to making mountain bikes, but there aren’t many of them out there, especially in the US.

The company brought some good-looking and affordable mountain bikes to Interbike.

Pictured below is the Bianchi Magma. Currently, the Magma is only available in Europe, but that might be changing. This one had an SR Suntour fork with remote lockout, Kenda Tires, and a Shimano Deore drivetrain. Based on the build, it’s probably going to be priced close to $1,000.

photo: Jeff Barber


Bianchi also had an affordable carbon fiber hardtail on display named the Nitron.

The Nitron has a Fox 32 Rhythm fork, SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, and Shimano hydraulic brakes. We’d expect this build to be closer to $2,000.


Tom Ritchey had a huge hand in building mountain biking from the beginning and he’s still out there building bikes.

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His new Ritchey Ultra is sort of a commemoration of his original Ultra built 30 years ago. The new Ultra, which debuted this year, was made for a 120mm fork with Boost spacing in the rear. It’s also of course versatile enough for 29-inch or 27.5+ wheels.

The hardtail uses Ritchy’s proprietary Logic tubing and can accept an internally-routed dropper post. The Ultra comes in four sizes and can fit tire sizes from 27.5×2.8 or 29×2.4. The frame set costs $1,000.


Details are short on the updated Ridley Ignite, but it’s one good looking hardtail and a step up from their previous Ignite.

This version includes a SRAM XO drivetrain and SRAM Level TL brakes, and a Fox 32 fork.

Merlin Bikes

Last but not least are a few lookers from Merlin Bikes out of Boulder, Colorado. Merlin’s exhibit turned a lot of heads. The bikes are handbuilt with smooth titanium lines and a matte silver finish.

The Mendocino adventure is a trail-ready hardtail that can also excel as a gravel or adventure machine. It’s available in 27.5 or 29-inch.

The red colored cable housing and matching Chris King headset is a nice touch.

This is Merlin’s trail-ready Telluride XLM. It’s available to build up as a 26 to 29-inch, with plus sizes in between. The frame is said to weigh three pounds.

The secret to Merlin’s bikes is cold-worked titanium. By using this cold-working process, Merlin says that it results in a 45% increase in stiffness.

The tubes on this mountain bike build started the most conversation. Curved tubing comes up the rear axles, through the seat stays, and then down to the top tube.

This model isn’t available as a standard bike on Merlin’s website. The company does custom builds and discusses pricing during the purchase process.