Lighter and quicker than 27.5 Plus bikes on most terrain, the Dispatch series of classic 29er hardtails from Felt are still capable of some pretty nice mountain biking.
The Dispatch 9 | 80 is Felt's most affordable 29er and is the least expensive bike we would consider off road capable.
It features Tektro Hydraulic disc brakes and the basic SR XCT fork with 100mm (4 inches) of suspension travel, but the real deal is the drivetrain.
New for 2020 is a Microshift Advent 1x (single chainring) drivetrain, which eliminates the poor shifting double or triple cranksets and front derailleurs, while still providing a wide gear range for both grind it out hill climbing and fast single track and rail trail riding.
1x drivetrains have been standard on $1,000+ bikes for years and it's nice to see them finally come down to more affordable price points.
This seems to be the best mountain bike on the market this year at this price point.
|Felt Dispatch 9/70||$649||Suntour XCT||Microshift 1x|
|Cannondale Trail 6||$650||Suntour XCT||Shimano 2x
|Trek Marlin 6||$650||Suntour XCT||Shimano 2x
|Specialized Pitch Comp 1x||$700||Suntour XCM||Microshift 1x|