The Best Mountain Bikes

Some bikes simply get you from A to B or travel at speed on paved surfaces, but mountain bikes are perfect for those off-road adventures. If you’re the sort of person who’d rather ride up mountain trails, over bumpy terrain, rocks, and loose earth, a mountain bike is for you. You just need to make sure you choose a bike to match your nerve and adventurous spirit.

We researched and reviewed dozens of mountain bikes on our mission to find the best of the best. While we examined many factors, we focused on the most important, including suspension, brakes, frame construction, overall performance, and reviews from existing customers.

Top Pick
BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike

Offering exceptional performance and an ultra lightweight frame, this mountain bike is at the top of our list

$1,499.00 USD

After careful consideration, we chose the BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike. It might not be from a well-known brand, but its quality rivals the big guys, and it comes highly rated by existing users on Amazon. With its carbon fiber frame, it’s extremely light and strong, plus it’s naturally shock-absorbing, which is great news when riding those bumpy trails.

The 5 Top-Rated Mountain Bikes for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallMinn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (30" Shaft)4.6
Runner UpNewport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor4.4
Best Budget BuyColeman 12V Electric Trolling Motor3.6
Best Transom Mount Trolling MotorMinn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36" Shaft)4.4
Best Bow Mount Trolling MotorAquos Haswing 12v 55lbs Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor 4.1

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike

Out of all the options available to us, we chose the BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike as our top mountain bike pick. While it might not be cheap at roughly $1,300, it’s actually a bargain compared to other carbon fiber bikes of similar quality from big name brands.

But, what’s the big deal about carbon fiber frames? Well, first off, they weigh very little (the whole BEIOU weighs under 24 pounds), which makes them faster, quicker to stop, and easier to transport. Carbon fiber frames are also extremely strong and stiff, and can be molded into any shape. Since they absorb shock, you’ll get a smoother ride with less vibrations, which is ideal when mountain biking.

The Shimano Deore 610 shifters are lightweight and highly responsive, making it a breeze to switch between any of the 650B’s 30 speeds. This mountain bike comes in a range of colors and two sizes: 17-inch and 19-inch. There is some difference between the two sizes, as the 17-inch comes with Shimano M355 dual-pivot caliper brakes, whereas the 19-inch features Tektro HD-M285 hydraulic brakes. While hydraulic brakes are generally considered superior, both sets of brakes are excellent, so you won’t be missing out if you opt for the 17-inch.

BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike Key Features: 

  • Airfork suspension
  • Prowheel integrated crankset
  • MAXXIS 27.5 tires
  • Toray T800 carbon fiber frame

Our Runner Up Pick: Montague Paratrooper 24 Speed Folding Mountain Bike

Runner Up
Montague Paratrooper 24 Speed Folding Mountain Bike

It might be built like a tank, but it handles like a dream

Despite some cyclists’ reservations about folding bikes, the Montague Paratrooper 24 Speed Folding Mountain Bike is one of the best recreational mountain bikes on the market today. It has a unique way of folding that doesn’t affect the structural integrity of the bike and it was first designed for use by paratroopers, so it can literally survive a drop from a plane—how’s that for tough?

The suspension comes in the form of a SR Suntour XCT fork, which has 80mm of travel, giving it excellent shock-absorbing capabilities on rough ground. That said, you can adjust the shocks to get a smoother, more rigid ride on flatter surfaces.

While the frame is made from aluminum, its given extra durability thanks to some heavy reinforcing. The Paratrooper features 24 speeds and a Shimano RapidFire trigger shifter to quickly and easily switch between them.

You might expect a bike of these caliber to be very expensive, but it’s a steal at $900. Sure, it’s not the cheapest mountain bike out there, but it’s definitely worth the price tag.

Montague Paratrooper 24 Speed Folding Mountain Bike Key Features: 

  • Folding design makes it easy to transport
  • Choice of two frame sizes
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes
  • 26-inch alloy rims

Best Budget Pick: Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike

Budget Pick
Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike

An excellent mountain bike choice for the budget-conscious cyclist

$299.00 USD

Don’t be fooled by the $300 price tag, you get excellent value with the Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike. The hand-built butted 6061 alloy 29er hard tail frame might not rival the quality of high-end mountain bikes but it’s durable, lightweight, and gets the job done.

It features a suspension fork with a lockout, which means this is a great bike for someone who wants to commute on paved surfaces during the week and take their bike off-road at the weekends. We love how easy the Shimano EF-51 integrated shifter makes it to change gears, and with 24 speeds on offer, you can deal with a wide range of terrains.

This bike comes about 85% assembled, which means there’s some assembly to do yourself. If you’re not clued in, it’s best to take it to your nearest bike mechanic to put it together for you.

While this might not be a professional-quality mountain bike, it’s ideal for anyone who wants to ride on unpaved trails, with some steep inclines and rough surfaces, but won’t be venturing too far off the beaten track.

Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike Key Features: 

  • Large 29-inch tires and double-walled alloy rims
  • Shimano EF-51 integrated shifter
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Shimano TX50 derailleur up front and Shimano Altus RS-M280 derailleur in the rear

Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike: Diamondback Bicycles Release 5C Carbon Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Best Full Suspension
Diamondback Bicycles Release 5C

This high-end full suspension model is for anyone serious about mountain biking

$4,799.99 USD

If you want a full suspension bike with all the highest quality parts and latest technology, the Diamondback Bicycles Release 5C Carbon Full Suspension Mountain Bike is well worth your consideration. However, the $4,700 price tag means it’s only for people serious about the hobby. Available in four sizes, you can find a Release 5C to fit anyone of between 5 foot 4 and 6 foot 6.

The Fox 36 Performance Elite Float suspension gives you 150mm of travel in the front and the rear suspension offers 130mm, but it climbs and descends so easily you’d think it had much more. That’s thanks to the excellent Level Link suspension system that uses counter-rotating twin links to improve pedalling performance without losing the ability to absorb bumps effectively. You won’t have to worry about braking ability on the Release 5C, as the SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes will leave you feeling in control.

The fully carbon frame is lightweight, strong, stiff, and carefully designed to give you optimum performance for both uphill and downhill riding. The smaller 27.5-inch wheels and long 425mm chainstays means it’s an exceptionally nimble bike that’s easy to maneuver.

Diamondback Bicycles Release 5C Key Features: 

  • Excellent Fox front and rear suspension
  • Level Link system
  • SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12 speed shifters
  • Truvativ Descendant Carbon cranks with SRAM X01 Eagle rear derailleur

Best Kids Mountain Bike: HASA 2018 18 Speed Kids Mountain Bike

Best Kids
HASA 2018 18 Speed Kids Mountain Bike

The perfect bike for active kids who want to cycle off road

$299.00 USD

Decent mountain bikes for children can be hard to come by, but the HASA 2018 18 Speed Kids Mountain Bike fits the bill. The anodized aluminum alloy construction is strong and relatively lightweight. Although some parents initially expressed concerns that it was heavier than the bikes their kids are used to, they ultimately found it lightweight enough for most children to maneuver with ease.

While many kids mountain bikes offer 8 to 10 speed, the HASA features 18 speeds, controlled by dual SHIMANO shifters—plenty for riding on all kids of terrains. Measuring 20 inches tall, this bike is suitable for kids of between roughly 3 foot 4 and 4 foot 8, though if your child is approaching the upper end of this range, it might be wise to go one size up.

At $300, it’s fairly costly compared to other kids bikes, but this is a quality cycle that your child won’t need to upgrade until they get too tall for it.

HASA 2018 18 Speed Kids Mountain Bike Key Features: 

  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • HASA 20″ Alloy fork
  • Mechanical caliper brakes
  • Aluminum alloy frame

Who Should Buy a Mountain Bike?

Mountain bikes can be for anyone who wants to ride their bike off road, whether you’re a recreational cyclist or a professional. With impressive suspension, mountain bikes are designed to give you a relatively smooth ride over rough terrain. They also have tires that offer more grip on loose ground and other places where an ordinary bike would falter.

So, essentially, if you want to ride your bike off the beaten track, on unpaved surfaces or up and down mountain trails, a mountain bike is for you.

Top Pick
BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike

Offering exceptional performance and an ultra lightweight frame, this mountain bike is at the top of our list

$1,499.00 USD

Important Features to Consider

A mountain bike should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a mountain bike:

  • Frame material. Aluminum is the most common frame material as it’s fairly lightweight, fairly durable, and inexpensive. Steel is stronger than aluminum but much heavier, so a less popular choice. Carbon fiber is very light, strong, stiff, and has natural shock-absorbing properties, which an excellent high-end option, but it is expensive.
  • Frame size. Make sure you choose the right frame size for your height. If in doubt, look or a size chart or find the measurement of the top bar of the frame to the ground, measure your inseam, and compare the two to make sure your feet will touch the floor when standing over the bike.
  • Suspension. Mountain bikes generally feature much more impressive suspension than road bikes or basic recreational bikes. This is because mountain bikes must tackle lots of bumps and sharp inclines, and would give you a rough ride without suspension. Basic mountain bikes tend to feature fork suspension just on the front wheel, but full suspension models offer front and rear suspension. While this gives you a smoother ride, it can make your steering slightly less responsive, unless you opt for a high-end model.
  • Brakes. Caliper brakes tend to be the standard option on basic mountain bikes, but aren’t always the most effective. Disc brakes (especially hydraulic options) and V-brakes are generally more powerful, but can be trickier to set up.
  • Wheel size. Until the 1990s, 26-inch wheels were standard on mountain bikes. These offer good traction and maneuvrability, though somewhat at the expense of speed and a smooth ride. In the ’90s, 29-inch mountain bike wheels were introduced, which increased speed and rolled over obstacles more smoothly, but increased weight and made maneuvering in tight spaces more difficult. That’s where the 27.5-inch wheel comes in, offering a happy medium between speed and tight turning. Today, 29-inch and 27.5-inch options are the most popular.
  • Speeds. The gears on your bike help you to pedal more easily and efficiently on different types of surfaces and inclines. Your gears allow you to shift between a number of “speeds.” Because you’ll generally be going over varying terrain on a mountain bike, it’s important to have a decent amount of speeds. Anything less than 18 will make your life more difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a mountain bike and a road bike?

You’ll find a number of differences between road bikes and mountain bikes. Road bikes are made for speed and have smaller wheels, with thinner tires, which reduce weight and resistance to increase speed.  Mountain bikes, on the other hand, have wider, sturdier wheels to avoid damage from knocks and scrapes, and thick tires that improve traction and won’t puncture easily. Mountain bikes also tend to have better suspension to absorb shock from bumpy, off-road rides. Road bikes force the rider into a forward-leaning position to be more aerodynamic (again, for greater speed), whereas mountain bikes encourage a more upright position.

What are the different types of mountain bikes?

It’s not as simple as just choosing a mountain bike, there are a number of types to choose from. Here are some of the most common:

  • Cross country mountain bikes. These bikes are designed for speed and maneuverability over unpaved terrain, rather than high-impact jumps, however they’re generally quite versatile.
  • Enduro mountain bikes. Like cross country bikes, enduro models are versatile, but are more hard wearing with extra travel in the suspension, making them better for high-impact activities and steeper trails.
  • Downhill mountain bikes. As the name suggests, these bikes are meant for descents more than ascents, particularly for steep downhill trails. The tires are wider and designed to withstand a lot of pressure, and the suspension can have up to 250mm of travel.
  • Fat tire mountain bikes. The extra-large tires on these mountain bikes make them suited to riding on muddy and snowy trails. In fact, they make light work of almost all surfaces, taking you places other mountain bikes can’t.
  • Freeride mountain bikes. Freeride mountain bikes are compact and durable with a lot of travel. They’re primarily designed for doing jumps and stunts, so they need to be able to stand up to high-impact landings.

However, it’s worth noting that many mountain bikes are versatile and can be used for a range of activities.

How do you measure the size of a mountain bike?

The frame size of a mountain bike is the measurement of the full length of the seat tube. When buying a mountain bike, the frame size will be listed for your convenience.

What size mountain bike is right for me?

Even once you know the frame size, it can be confusing to figure out which is the right size for you, as you still need to factor in the height the wheels add. You should be able to comfortably stand over the frame with about two to three inches of clearance. Look for the standover height of your chosen bike, which is the measurement from the top of the frame to the ground, wheels included. The correct sized bike for your should have a standover height equal to roughly the length of your inseam, plus two to three inches.

Other Mountain Bikes We Reviewed

Top Pick
BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike

Offering exceptional performance and an ultra lightweight frame, this mountain bike is at the top of our list

$1,499.00 USD

We looked at 20 other mountain bikes. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best mountain bikes list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

Cyrusher FR100 Folding Mountain Bike

Cyrusher FR100 Folding Mountain Bike

With front and rear suspension, fat tires, and disc brakes on both wheels, this is a true beast of a mountain bike that can take you almost anywhere, plus it fold down for convenient storage and transportation.

Key Features:

  • Folds quickly and easily
  • 26-inch wheels
  • 24 speeds

Cost: $700

Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Reasonably priced for a model of this quality, this mountain bike offers adjustable front and rear suspension and simple, responsive Shimano shifters.

Key Features: 

  • Double-walled rims
  • Shimano M190 rear derailleur
  • Front and rear disc brakes

Cost: $360

Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike

This budget bike might be geared towards entry-level mountain bikers, but it offers good value for money. Features such as Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters make it well worth the low price.

Key Features: 

  • Linear pull brakes
  • 21 speeds
  • Easy to use shifters

Cost: $190

Mongoose Stasis Comp 26-Inch Full Suspension Mountain Bicycle

Mongoose Stasis Comp 26-Inch Full Suspension Mountain Bicycle

It may be a fairly basic model, but the Mongoose offers a smooth ride, thanks to the full suspension, and the quality Shimano rear derailleur means gears won’t slip.

Key Features: 

  • Quick release alloy wheels
  • Disc brakes front and rear
  • 21 speeds with SRAM twist shifters

Cost: $300

Raleigh Bikes Kodiak 1 Mountain Bike

Raleigh Bikes Kodiak 1 Mountain Bike

If you like to go far off the beaten track, this mountain bike is for you. The wide 27.5-inch tires give you extra grip and the serious front and rear suspension lets you comfortably ride on extremely rough surfaces and down steep inclines.

Key Features: 

  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • 24 speeds controlled by Shimano sl-m310 shifters
  • 120mm front travel and 100mm rear travel

Cost: $1,000

Carbon Fiber Mountain Bikes

BEIOU Toray T700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

BEIOU Toray T700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

The lightweight, yet extremely strong carbon fiber frame makes this mountain bike an excellent choice. The Shimano Altus 370 derailleur is top notch.

Key Features: 

  • Front suspension offers 100mm travel
  • 27 speeds
  • Mechanical wire disc brakes

Cost: $860

Eagle Patriot Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

Eagle Patriot Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

Sleek-looking and a pleasure to ride, the Patriot is a high quality bike, but still on the lower end of the price range of carbon fiber models.

Key Features:

  • Large 29-inch wheels
  • SUNTOUR XCT front suspension
  •  Quality Shimano Altus components

Cost: $1,000

SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

With front and rear disk brakes, 100m of travel in the front fork suspension, and a Shimano M610 DEORE 3*10S derailleur system, this bike is an excellent ride.

Key Features: 

  • TORAY T800 carbon fiber frame
  • SR Suntour suspension with 100mm travel
  • Front and rear disc brakes

Cost: $1,100

SAVADECK 700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

SAVADECK 700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

Thanks to its high-end components, including a Manituo air suspension fork and Shimano BD-785 disc brake system, this bike gives you a smooth ride wherever you venture.

Key Features: 

  • 27.5 inch wheels
  • Shimano SL-M8000 DEORE XT shifter with 22 speeds
  • Lockout on front suspension fork

Cost: $1,700

Steppenwolf Tundra Carbon Team LTD

Steppenwolf Tundra Carbon Team LTD

The high price tag means this is only for the serious mountain biker, but it will give you an exceptional ride. The 29-inch wheels make it quick over all kinds of terrain.

Key Features: 

  • Avid XX 180/180 mm brake
  • 20 speeds controlled by SRAM XX shifters
  • RockShox SID XXWC 100 mm remote fork suspension

Cost: $2,500

Kids Mountain Bikes

Huffy 20 Valcon Boys 6-Speed Mountain Bike

Huffy 20 Valcon Boys 6-Speed Mountain Bike

Designed for cyclists of between 5 and 9, this six speed mountain bike is perfect for riding on bumpy trails and comes at a reasonable price.

Key Features: 

  • 20-inch tires
  • Front and rear brakes
  • Full suspension

Cost: $130

Mongoose Girls Exlipse Mountain Bike

Mongoose Girls Exlipse Mountain Bike

Don’t be fooled by the bubble gum pink hue, this is a serious mountain bike for kids, with 21 speeds and a Shimano rear derailleur.

Key Features: 

  • Front and rear line pull brakes
  • Full suspension
  • Strong steel frame

Cost: $150

Roadmaster Granite Peak Boys Mountain Bike

Roadmaster Granite Peak Boys Mountain Bike

With 24-inch wheels, this bike is suitable for older children, between 4 foot 6 and 5 foot 6. An affordable choice for a young person looking for a starter mountain bike.

Key Features: 

  • Front fork suspension
  • Alloy rims
  • 18 speeds

Cost: $100

Roadmaster Granite Peak Girls’ Mountain Bike

Roadmaster Granite Peak Girls' Mountain Bike

Although similar to the above bike, this one is designed with the female cyclist in mind. However, it comes with the same rugged features for your child to enjoy off-road.

Key Features:

  • Front and rear brakes
  • Front fork suspension
  • 24-inch wheels

Cost: $100

Other Mountain Bikes

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

A basic all-rounder of a mountain bike. While it won’t stand up well to extreme high-impact jumps of very steep inclines, it’s fine for general use over rough ground.

Key Features: 

  • Suntour XCT fork suspension with 80mm of travel
  • Hand built 6061-T6 aluminum alloy hardtail frame
  • 21 speeds

Cost: $500

Diamondback Bicycles El Oso Grande Fat Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles El Oso Grande Fat Mountain Bike

This fat tire mountain bike can take you over surfaces that other bikes would struggle with, including mud, sand, and snow drifts.

Key Features: 

  • DB El Oso Custom rigid fork with 15mm thru-axle
  • 4.9-inch wide 26-inch tires
  • 20 speeds with SRAM rear derailleur

Cost: $1,400

Iron Horse Men’s Maverick 2.1 Mountain Bicycle

Iron Horse Men's Maverick 2.1 Mountain Bicycle

It might not be flashy, but this reliable aluminum-framed mountain bike is good for light off-roading and unpaved trails.

Key Features: 

  • SR Suntour m-3030 suspension fork
  • 24 speeds with Shimano shifters
  • Front and rear disc brakes

Cost: $430

Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike

Merax Finiss 26" Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike

This basic mountain bike comes at an affordable price, and is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an entry-level options.

Key Features: 

  • Mechanical disc brakes front and rear
  • Front suspension form with 80mm travel
  • Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters

Cost: $250

Raleigh Bikes Ziva Women’s Mountain Bike

Raleigh Bikes Ziva Women's Mountain Bike

The frame, saddle, grips, and brake levers on this bike are all designed and set out with a woman’s stature in mind, plus it comes in smaller frame sizes.

Key Features: 

  • Fork suspension offers 100mm of travel
  • Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes
  • 24 speeds with Shimano shifters

Cost: $450

Vilano Ridge 2.0 Mountain Bike

Vilano Ridge 2.0 Mountain Bike

Don’t expect wonders from this reasonably priced mountain bike, but it does have decent travel and optional suspension lockout.

Key Features: 

  • 26-inch alloy mag wheels
  • Shimano 21 speed drivetrain
  • Mechanical disc brakes

Cost: $300

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Lauren Corona