BEST mountain bikes

Edited by:

Issabella Emily

Updated by:

Issabella Emily

Have you ever wondered if you could ride a mountain? Imagine yourself seated on an omni-controlled bike and riding mountains without the fear of death! What would it be like?

I would say that riding a mountain bike is an experience of a lifetime. I would compare it with riding a dragon where you can feel the gushing wind, dodge pine trees, challenge the steepness of hills, meet new animal friends, and get airborne almost every second. But don’t think that all these adventures cost you nothing! Well maybe, sometimes it can cost you your life!

But don’t worry, because if you hone your skills, condition yourself physically and mentally, and most importantly, buy safety and protection you can be eligible for mountain biking! Alike other sports, where equipment and gear play an important role, mountain biking entails durable and safety-ensured biking gear.

History of Mountain Biking

It was not until the 1800s, during the expedition of Buffalo Soldiers when bicycles were modified specifically for off-road use. To keep themselves fit and warm, road racing cyclists would ride bicycles off-road in the event of cyclocross. The name “mountain bicycle” was first used by one Chemeketan club member, D. Gwynn, who built a rough terrain trail bicycle in 1966. By 1979, Geoff Apps designed a customized lightweight mountain bike which exclusively befitted wet and muddy off-road conditions.
The first purpose-built mountain bike was introduced by Joe Breeze in 1978. During the 1990s, mountain biking relocated from an unfamiliar sport to a conventional interest. The first presence of mountain biking in the Olympic games was in 1996 when mountain biking made its debut as an Olympic sport at the Atlanta Games.

Types of Mountain Biking

Categories of mountain biking vary according to the terrains. There are wide varieties of mountain biking each with a different purpose.

Cross Country (XC)

Cross country biking is the only mountain biking discipline which is included in the Summer Olympic Games. If you want to ride your bike from point to point and experience various terrains then cross country mountain biking would be the best option for you. However, you may have to select a mountain bike that is light weighted as well as durable due to the variety of natural obstacles and man- made challenges in this original form of mountain biking.

All-mountain/Enduro

If you searching for a bigger challenge and a daring experience, then All- mountain/Enduro is the best candidate. This form of race mostly incorporates uphill and downhill racing. Mountain bikes with moderate-travel suspensions but stronger than the XC models with moderate weight (suitable for ascending and descending) are most preferred for this discipline.

Trail

Trail biking is considerably a recreational form of mountain biking. The difficulty level of trail biking sits between cross country and all-mountain/endure. Similarly, a trail bike lies somewhere between a bike designed for cross country (XC) and Enduro racing. These are designed to seamlessly balance both ascending and descending.

Downhill

If you are willing to fly down and experience adrenaline rushes, then downhill mountain biking is all about flying down to the foot of the hill as fast as possible while maneuvering the jumps and drops, gaps and rocks, slips and slides. This form of racing demands mountain bikes with wide wheels, secure hydraulic brakes, and long wheelbases for stabilizing and handling bikes at high speeds.

 

Dirt Jumping

As the name suggests, dirt jumping is all about flying over piles of dirt and performing stunts while airborne. Mountain bikes for dirt jumping are relatively smaller, lighter, and sturdy. Lightweight bikes allow riders to perform airborne stunts with higher control.

Freeride

If you aren’t ready for following rules or getting restricted to certain terrains, then start with this “do anything” discipline. Freeride combines different mountain biking styles along with BMX style tricks and stunts. There are no distinct bikes for freeride, but general specifications are 13-18 kilos with 150–250 millimeters of suspension front and rear. However, it’s up to the rider to customize his bike according to his preferences.
Selecting a mountain bike is crucial for both pro and amateur riders. A wide variety of options and customizable preferences somehow prove to be mind- boggling. Variations in wheel widths, suspension technicalities, hardtails, frames, sizes, and rider-geometry seem to have no limitations. To help you select the best-suited mountain bike, we have created a buying guide.

Types of Mountain Bikes

There is a whole new world of mountain bikes! Getting the right one for you is our job! Be it a top pick, best value, best for beginner, best for cross country, best for enduro, best for trail, best for dirt jumping, best for downhill, all-rounder, or best for you!

To deal with extreme terrains and rough trails, some bikes have front and back suspensions. Riders who race on smooth trails mostly prefer lighter no- suspension bikes for speed. Limited suspension bikes mostly used in cross country racing balance between weight and durability to sustain on a wide variety of terrains.

Different bikes have different head tube angles. The head angle is the angle from horizontal, to the angle that your fork sits at. Head tube angles of mountain bikes range from 62 degrees (slack) to 73 degrees (steep). Bikes with steeper head tube angles are preferable for cross country while bikes with slacker head tube angles favor downhill.

Dual-suspension / Full suspension


Bikes with both front and rear suspension are known as dual-suspension or full suspension bikes. Rough trails entail generous suspension to reduce the impact of jumps, obstacles, and climbs. The suspension aids in keeping the wheels on the ground for traction, as a result, the rider experiences a comfortable and smooth ride even while riding on rough trails. Downhill bikes are engineered for fast and steep riding experiences. Therefore, these bikes require high suspensions to ensure wheel traction and higher maneuverability. While cross country trails favor lightweight and efficient bikes to meet the requirements of different types of terrains. These are the “suspension travel” requirements for different categories:
  • Cross country 80-100mm
  • All-mountain/Trail 100-160mm
  • Freeride/Downhill 160-200mm

Hardtail


Going on the more affordable and easier to maintain side, these bikes contain front suspensions but no rear suspensions eventually, creating “hardtails”. A hardtail bike is versatile, lighter, and cheaper on the same hand. If you are an entry-level or a pro who wants to have a pure mountain biking experience, then don’t think twice. The lightweight and stiff nature of hardtails make them best suited to less challenging trails and cross country riders who are pursuing speed. The limited suspension still offers plenty of comfort, so apart from the bumpiest of trails or sharp downhills, hardtails befit a variety of different off-road trails.

Rigid


With no suspension, rigid mountain bikes are lighter and convenient but offer no protection from high bumps and rough trails. These bikes are comparatively a lotcheaper than hardtails and dual suspension bikes. So if you are a beginner and aren’t prepared to ride rough trails than these bikes are best for practicing.
If you are an Amazon fan and you want a mountain bike, then to make purchasing easier for you, we have highlighted 9 best mountain bikes available on Amazon, each with a distinct feature.

In depth Reviews of top 9 Mountain Bikes

1. Top Pick: ZHANGZHANG Folding Bike
2. Best Value: Adamant - HydroRush H7
3. Best All-rounder: NYGSTORE Outroad
4. Best Folding: Mongoose Impasse
5. Best Automatic: Kent Hawkeye
6. Women's Granite Peak Mountain Bike: Roadmaster R8047WMDS
7. Best Budget (Rigid): Huffy Hardtail
8. Best Budget (Hardtail): Schwinn High Timber
9. Best for Beginner: MuGuang Foldable Bicycle MTB

Table of content

1. Criteria Used for Evaluation
2. Frequently Asked Questions

top 9 Mountain Bikes

What to expect?

  • Multi-mode remote suspension
  • Super lightweight
  • Best for cross country races
If you are looking for the best full suspension Ebike, then this our top pick!

With double-walled wheel rims aluminum alloy and non-slip, wear-resistant tires, this mountain bike is an all-rounder. Suitable for a wide variety of terrains, this bike can withstand slopes, gravel, and snowy terrains. The Zhangzhang mountain bike dominates its contemporaries in maneuverability and handling. With its electrical system, you can achieve a range of 70 to 90 km at a maximum speed of 45 km an hour per charge. The handlebar cushion can be adjusted freely: the handlebar and the seat cushion can be adjusted up and down, and the height can be adjusted according to the height. High-strength aluminum alloy suspension fork and the rear suspension have twice absorbing cushioning bumps.

2. Adamant - HydroRush H7

What to expect?

  • Value for money
  • Versatile
  • Latest trail taming technology
The HydroRush H7 provides ultimate mountain biking experience with a wide range of features suitable for fast ascents and descents. The shifter is a Shimano M310, and the rugged tires are 26 inches by 1.95-inch Kenda Tyre with a double- wall alloy rim. With a Prowheel chain wheel, the HydroRush can take any trail, anywhere, anytime. No holds barred. Featuring an alloy frame, durable enough to withstand rough trails and obstacles, this mountain bike showcases an alloy Zoom Suspension Fork and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes to keep you off-road.

What to expect?

  • Shimano shifters
  • Strong and durable aluminum frames
  • Quick-release wheels
Are willing to buy an all in one package? Well, if you are, then NGYSTORE’s Outroad Mountain Bike with its sturdy frame, durable alloy wheels, and 26-inch- wide tires offer an all-terrain experience. With 21 different speeds and seamless gear shifting this mountain bike is suitable for mountains, wastelands, trails, and snow.

Distinctive Features

  • Foldable frame
  • Lockable suspension fork
  • Hardtail
A stellar hardtail that is unimaginably tough, comfortable, and fun. With its foldable frame, the Mongoose Impasse is convenient to carry and easy to be dissembled. Adjustable speeds provide a customizable experience to its users. This mountain bike is durable enough to withstand rough trails with its aluminum alloy lockable suspension fork, aluminum alloy high wall rim, and aluminum alloy disc brakes.

Distinctive Features

  • Multiple riding modes
  • Aluminum suspension fork
  • Hardtail
If you want luxury along with fitness, then this semi-automatic mountain bike will cater to your needs!
Multiple modes of riding provide the user with a hassle-free experience. If you are opting for fitness then switch to ride mode, if you want some assistance then its direct-inductive electric power assistance system will smoothly and naturally intervene and exit smoothly. However, if you want an effortless ride, then its fully automated system will handle the rest.
The aluminum suspension forks can effectively absorb and filter the vibration of bumpy roads.

Distinctive Features

  • Dual Aluminum suspensions
  • Cheap
  • Wide variety of trail compatible
The Roadmaster R8047WMDS is the best value full suspension mountain bike. With dual aluminum suspensions, this mountain bike offers a wide variety of trail experiences. The aluminum suspension fork also plays an important role in absorbing bump-shocks and providing a smooth experience. The Shimano gear shifters allow you to change up to 21 different speeds.

Distinctive Features

  • Fat tire
  • Mechanical Brakes
  • Cheap
Triumph over any off-road trail effortlessly with the Huffy Hardtail. Although it is a no suspension/rigid bike, the supersized all-terrain fat tires absorb most shocks. The Shimano rear derailleur makes hills and slacker ascents easier to climb, while twist shifters allow convenient and smooth gear changing experience. Mechanical front and rear brakes ensure rider safety and protection. Of course, there are no hydraulic brakes or suspension forks, but that’s the reason why the Huffy Hardtail is cheaper and easy to maintain.

Distinctive Features

  • Ergonomic
  • Shimano twist shifters
  • Hardtail
If you are looking for the best budget hardtail bike with front suspension forks and seller guarantee, then Schwinn is always a name you can rely on in the bicycle game. Ride on a variety of terrain without any worries as Schwinn steel mountain-style frame and suspension fork withstand off-road bumps and absorbs unwanted shocks.
Extra durable tires and front and rear pull brakes provide extreme traction while ascending and descending. The Shimano rear derailleur makes hills and slacker ascents easier to climb, while twist shifters allow convenient and smooth gear changing experience.
So, if you are short of dimes and want to have a taste of rough off-road biking, then Schwinn High Timber is the perfect solution for you!

Distinctive Features

  • Easy to maintain
  • Knobby tires
  • Hardtail
If you are new to mountain bikes and want to have an off-road experience this low budget and high-efficiency mountain bike is just for you! With a steel mountain frame and a front suspension fork, the MuGuang Foldable Bicycle MTB Mountain Bike is an excellent all-around mountain bike. Be it cruising the streets or riding off-road, MuGuang Foldable Bicycle MTB ensures total comfort and durability.
18-speed twist shifters and a Shimano rear derailleur ensure that you have maximum comfort. The knobby tire treads provide plenty of security on pavement or dirt roads, while alloy rims offer added durability and stability.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Compatibility

The compatibility of mountain bikes varies according to their parts. High suspension or full suspension mountain bikes are compatible to endure, dirt jumping, and freeriding, while hardtails and rigid mountain bikes favor cross country and smoother trails. So, it is important while purchasing to verify the specs according to use. Wheels also play a key role in the compatibility of mountain bikes. Rigid bikes with no suspension can fly on rough trails with fat tires. The wider the tires, the more shock they will absorb. While on the contrary, the thinner the tires, the faster they will be. Three major types of mountain bikes are available at stores: Full suspension/dual suspension, hardtails, and rigid bikes. Even if you are a beginner and want to have an all-mountain experience than riding rigid bikes with no suspension would be challenging.

Portability

As time passes, mountain bikes are being recognized on a wider platform. From luxury to sports good to casual activity, the use of mountain bikes is increasing day by day. Similarly, the foldability and portability of mountain bikes have become an important factor. People carry their bikes to different landscapes to have a new set of terrain experience. However, along with foldability, the weight of mountain bikes matters to the most during ascents and descents. A lightweight mountain bike with high suspension will be costly but worth it. Because veteran mountain bikers are in search of bikes with the highest suspension and least weight. So, they can reach new heights in the lowest time.

Optional Features

Along with the increasing demand for mountain bikes, different manufacturing companies are adding optional features to make their product stand out. Mountain bikes with added features tend to be expensive in comparison to bikes with no extra features. For example, Electric bikes with added batteries and electric motors are way more expensive than traditional bikes. Sacrificing the main spec for optional features would not be preferable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: WHAT IS “CHOOSING A LINE”?
A:Choosing a line means selecting a route according to your preferences. If you want to rush through winds, then downhill would be the best option. However, if you want to take up challenges, then cross country would be the best candidate. If you want to experience the “Trials Fusion Game” in reality, then go for trials. But in the end, if you are more of a nature-lover, then don’t think twice and fly up the mountains. But choosing a line also entails choosing the best-suited bike.
Q: WHAT ARE THE GENERAL RULES OF THE TRAIL FOR MOUNTAIN BIKERS?
A:There are times when mountain bikers share the trail with other mountain bikers. However, a rider has various responsibilities while sharing a trail with other bikers. For example: Never overtake another rider without alerting him/her. Approaching a rider with your voice is a better option for alerting him/her before overtaking. Mountain bikers take extreme risks sometimes, pushing, kicking, or any kind ofbehavior resulting in mishandling may cause serious or fatal injuries. Always control your bike while you are on the trail and avoid behaviors that could cause you or others harm.
Q: HOW CAN I BE ELIGIBLE FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING?
A:Physical and mental fitness are the key requirements for a mountain bike. Agility, dexterity, coordination, and endurance are some characteristics of veteran mountain bikers. To be eligible for mountain biking, you need to condition yourself both physically and mentally. Performing stunts and trials without any technical knowledge or biking experience can cause serious injuries. To start performing mountain biking, you need to practice biking control and balance.
Q: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SAFETY GEAR FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING?
A:Apart from safety-ensured mountain bikes, you need to buy appropriate accessories! You might be overawed with thrill about hitting the trail, but you need to take the necessary measures before setting out to explore. First of all, you need to protect yourself from serious injuries with proper helmet and knee pads. Gloves, padded shorts, and biking glasses can however enhance your biking experience. Other than that, you need to have a handy repair kit in case you face some technical issues. Mountain biking comes with a lot of injury-risks. Therefore, first aid kits are a must when going out for a trail.
Q: HOW TO AVOID CRASHING WHILE MOUNTAIN BIKING
A:It is important to know that using mountain bikes that best befits a trail is essential for avoiding crashes. A mountain bike with a steep head tube angle (usually preferred for cross country) if used fordownhill can cause mishandling. If you are unsure about mountain biking, then practice on-road biking before performing mountain biking. To avoid crashes and prevent serious injuries you need to practice handling and balance. Start with a smooth trail and then take up more challenges once confident.

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