Needless to say, a majority of us regularly scour the internet for high-end cycles, especially the top-notch and premium mountain bikes. While some might say that these bikes are precisely designed for cycling through the most challenging of terrains, they, in a way, are like the most premium additions to the extensive repertoire of an adventurer. However, not every mountain bike is the same and in the subsequent sections, we shall enlisting the top 10 mountain bikes of all time besides discussing a fair bit regarding the metrics against which enthusiasts measure the performance of each.
We have specialized testers who take a note of each attribute pertaining to a mountain bike and evaluate the best ones in the market, on the basis of performance. The most obvious estimations are conducted on the basis of full-day riding comfort, park laps, and condition of the vehicle in regard to 5000-foot climbs. What needs to be understood that mountain bikes have evolved over the years and in this discussion we would touch upon all the existing points with a hawk’s eye.
Checking out the Design
The most important aspects of selecting a mountain bike is to closely look at the geometry, suspension, and even the dropper posts pertaining to the same. What needs to be understood is that individuals usually prefer longer fronts on bikes as compared to tighter rears.
When it comes to the key geometric and structural considerations, longer handles are certainly in fashion. Moreover, even the most experienced of cyclists are advocating in favor of slack tube angles which in a way lengthens the wheelbase and gives more area to work with. Moreover, the elongated nature of the modern day bikes is adding to the stability quotient besides rendering smoothness to the functioning. However, when it comes to selecting lengthier structures, one need to be careful at slower cycle speeds where maneuvering the vehicle can be a bit difficult, especially when the terrain isn’t giving a lot of side space.
This is why certain bike manufacturers are persisting with smaller frames but adding extra length in certain parts for better maneuvering. Another feature that is being prioritized is the inclusion of steeper seats which now positioned at 76 degrees or more. What most cyclists need to realize is that despite the added steepness, the seats are good at improving the climbing positions. In addition that, these seat angles allow for increased travel of the vehicle, ability to include bigger wheels and tires, and lowering of the chain stay length.
Types of Mountain Bikes
Before we get to discuss about the top 10 mountain bikes, it is necessary to acclimatize a layman on the basis of the bike types and varieties on offer.
These are basically short and robust travel bikes which are great at offering efficient suspension and even sharper handling. Moreover, they are great marathon fits and can also be used for XC racing. When it comes to the physical structure of these bikes, they are added with sharper tube angles which can go as high as 70 degrees. Moreover, most of them are fitted with 29 inch thick wheels, offering a rear suspension that’s second to none. Last but not least, the 90mm to 120mm travel is an enviable inclusion.
Be it the rowdy downhill or the intricate XC trails, these bikes are great choices for handling diverse terrains with ease. Most importantly, the bike geometry is completely in sync with the user requirements as the head angles vary anywhere between 68 to 65 degrees. Most importantly, the longer wheels are extremely comfortable and offer travel of almost 120 to 150mm even in the most challenging conditions.
Downhill Mountain Bikes
These high-end cycles are precisely designed for bike parks and downhill races as they are added with ultra-long and thick wheel bases. Moreover, with a travel of more than 200mm these mountain bikes are extremely efficient when it comes to assisting users rip down a steeper slope in a straight line. Most importantly, the dual crown forks added into the scheme of things are great at rendering stability to the mountain bikes in case of massive jumps.
Last but not least, this is one mini-downhill mountain bike model that is extremely efficient when it comes to climbing hills. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to consider purchasing these mountain bikes if the enthusiast is looking to tread onto bike parks and roads with steeper descents. Moreover, the head angles pertaining to these gadgets is somewhere between 62 to 66 degrees. The most exciting aspect of this efficient mountain bike is the weight distribution.
How Top 10 Mountain Bikes are evaluated?
As mentioned previously, all the bikes that we would be talking about are thoroughly tested, depending on user preferences, terrain attributes, geometrical considerations, and more. While our experts even rode all the mentioned bikes, they evaluated each on the basis of individual requirements.
So here are our recommendations when it comes to enlisting the top 10 best mountain bikes
Ibis Rimpo: Model GX 2018
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the Ibis Rimpo is already in the contention for the best mountain bike in this supposedly long list of powerful vehicles, especially in the trail category.
Firstly, this is one product precisely designed for an aggressive rider which also boast of powerful maneuvering and climbing abilities.
Although, the rider needs to be equally strong, this bike is the one that’s more than capable of treading difficult terrains with seamless ease and precision.
Moreover, even the slowness of the ride is taken into consideration as this bike is capable of climbing hilly terrains even when mid-level crowd is present.
When it comes to the downhill performance, the Ibis Rimp GX 2018 is extremely potent and offers a steady performance.
While on paper, the rear wheel offers a decent enough travel of 145mm, the athletic nature of the same isn’t compromised a bit.
Most importantly, the tube angles are slack and tis bike has a wheelbase that’s second to none.
The best part about this kind of wheelbase on the Ibis Rimpo is that the stability is excellent even at a higher speed and the bike doesn’t show any signs of instability even during a sharp descent.
When it comes to the enthusiasts who prefer this best mountain bike over others, it is the descent performance that scales above any other trait.
Moreover, this excellent bike is equally competent in regard to the climbing skills where it feels like home. Moreover, even the rolling terrains cannot deter the power and competence of this bike.
Pros and Cons
- Aggressive bike geometry
- Sporty rear that feels athletic
- Perfect choice for shaper descents
- Climbing skills are top-notch
- Not the best mountain bike for bigger hits
- Not entirely suitable for the truest of Enduro terrains
Yeti SB130: Model TURQ X01 2019
This mid-travel bike is a more than decent cycle that has all the attributes of an eye pleaser.
While this slayer is probably the best option for a daily mountain rider, the 130mm travel also makes a lot of sense in regard to the all-round capabilities of this product.
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the Yeti SB130 is a great mountain bike for flow trails and even day-long mountain missions.
Moreover, bikers who are looking to frequent the fast lanes can easily go with this powerful cycle.
When it comes to the technical specifications, this one of the best mountain bikes is a great choice for climbing the most difficult of terrains.
Moreover, the efficiency of this vehicle is also great to say the least. Therefore, the climbing traction associated with this cycle is excellent whereas the rear wheel is precisely designed for handling rough climbs with considerable ease.
Moreover, when it comes to the downhill performance of this mountain bike, the Yeti SB130 is also a good choice as compared to some of the other mountain bikes in the market.
The downhill performance of this bike is exceptional and even the handling is sharp, even for lower speeds.
Last but not least, the angles are extremely aggressive and this bike is a perfect fit for the truest Enduro trails.
While the exceedingly higher price point can be an issue, every feature set validates the price tag on display.
Most important, this is nothing less than a balanced trail bike which delivers the best ever performance and that too even during the downhill journey.
Moreover, this bike feels extremely competitive when used for competing on single tracks.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent biking choice for terrains that require traction
- Extremely competent in regard to climbing efficiency
- Perfectly suitable for almost any kind of trail
- Expensive mountain bike
- Lacks finesse
- Burly fork
- Over-aggressive geometry
Ibis Ripley: Model GX Eagle 2019
Here is the much-anticipated Ibis Ripley that comes across as the 29-inch flagship. This trail bike is extremely competent and best known for the unrivaled playfulness.
Moreover, this is one of the most well-rounded mountain bikes, known for the enhanced downhill efficiency and a crafty demeanor.
Most importantly, this mountain bike is capable of remaining stable even at higher and lower speeds.
While we did talk about the Ibis Rimpo in the previous sections, the Ripley also comes forth with an inspired design.
This feature also makes way for an increased reach and even decent wheelbase measurements, which render athletic capabilities to the same.
If technical specifications are concerned, the slack yet efficient 66.5 degree tube angle is a decent enough addition followed by the steep 76.2 degree seat angle.
This feature makes it easier to combine bigger wheels with this mountain bike besides adding a special flexibility during the climb.
Strictly based on features, the Ripley readily encourages trail slides and pops and even doesn’t come with a speed limit.
This makes sure that riders can continue riding with confidence even in rougher and steeper terrains.
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that this is a very sensible bike that is meant for a more generic riding population.
Moreover, this is a light-weighted entity that is as good during the climbs as it is during the descents. The unmatched versatility on offer is actually the best for any short bike that we have tested, in quite a long time.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely lightweight and compact
- Well-rounded and covers all bases
- Modern geometry that is capable of handling different terrains with ease
- Playful and athletic
- Brawling features aren’t added in plenty
- The design can be underwhelming for certain experienced mountain bikers
Santa Cruz: Model Hightower CC X01
In the world of minimalistic trail bikes, the Santa Cruz Hightower comes across as an aggressive version with feature sets second to none.
Needless to say, this is an upgraded model that comes forth with a real-wheel travel of 140mm. The 150mm travel fork is a decent addition which is perfectly complemented by the slack and long design.
The VPP suspension is a near-perfect inclusion and the existing flip-chip is one feature that allows an individual to adjust the cycle geometry on the basis of riding style and trail.
In simpler words, the new Hightower is more of a downhill crusher with more than satisfactory climbing feature.
When it comes to the performance, this mountain bike inspires confidence even at higher speeds.
Most importantly, this bike remains stable when a person is coming down a slope and that too at higher speeds. Even the more intricate trial sections are handled with ease.
The technical aspects of this mountain bike include the comfortable and roomy cockpit followed by the extremely comfortable pedal platform, and the steeper angle of seat tube which makes climbing easier than usual.
It wouldn’t be wrong to consider this as a pure trail mountain bike which wins the race in terms of overall performance. Last but not least, this is a complete mountain bike that is perfect for a trail rider who is aggressive.
However, during certain instances the downhill performance for this bike overshadows some of its other attributes.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent build quality
- Commendable downhill performance
- Support for deeper strokes
- Stable even at higher speeds
- Maneuvering can be a restricted option
- Expensive bike with low price to performance ratio
Comp Carbon: Model- Stumpjumper
Any discussion regarding the best mountain bikes would be incomplete without mentioning this Women’s trail bike that is currently selling like hot cakes.
Firstly, this Stumpjumper Comp Carbon comes forth with a 150mm trail travel that still gives it an athletic performance.
Therefore, this mountain bike is a great choice for someone who is looking to cruise on a flowy trail or even climb up a steeper one with equal ease.
In regard to the geometrical considerations, this powerful cycle packs in slackest of aesthetics, clubbed with 150mm rear and front wheel travel.
While this gives excellent high speed stability to this product, it also makes room for an aggressive descent. Moreover, as tested by our female experts, this mountain bike is also extremely maneuverable despite the girthy tires and rim on display.
Needless to say, this is a powerful cycle that is suitable for almost any trail length, regardless of the surrounding conditions.
Other technical and physical details include the availability of a wider bandwidth and ability of this bike to showcase multiple skill levels, depending on the expertise of the person who is riding the same.
Therefore, for a woman searching for unicorn, this best mountain bike is an automatic choice.
Be it a casual ride across the hilly terrains or a seasoned shredder looking to nail down her opponents in a race, the Stumpjumper is the perfect ally for every situation.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely stable at different speed levels
- Progressive geometry
- Descending capabilities are top-notch and aggressive
- Can be bit heavier to manage
- The build quality might feel a bit underwhelming to certain seasoned riders
Pivot LES: Model Pro XT
While we previously talked about the most suitable trail bikes, the time is appropriate to take the fat bikes into account.
For the more snowy terrains, this fat bike would allow an individual to steamroll right across the snow clad roads with ease and precision.
While most individuals who own trail bikes would sit and home, the person owning a Pivot can easily work his or her way through the misty terrains, just to satiate the adventurer inside.
When it comes to the technical specifications and physical attributes, this fat bike is exemplary, precisely for its light chassis.
The limitless demeanor on offer is an additional trait. To be exact, the Pivot makes room for hollow-core bike molding, just to make way for a stiffer, stronger, and lighter mid-section; something that’s usually missing in typical fat bikes.
Moreover, there is a decent follow up of carbon fiber that assists further in weight shedding.
The triangle at the rear comes equipped with the dropout system which was a hit in the Swinger II series from the same company.
This feature makes sure that different tire sizes and certain combinations can be accommodated with ease. Moreover, for someone looking for a more playful ride, this Pivot allows the inclusion of shorted chain stay.
However, when stability is required while maneuvering at higher speeds, longer chain stays can be accommodated with equal comfort.
Needless to say, the front portion of this bike is the one that supports adjustability and makes way for dual headset options at the lower point.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent build quality
- Additional features in regard to aesthetics
- Decent price to performance ratio
- Absorbs harsh vibrations with ease
- Not suitable for a lot of conventional trails
- Restricted usage
- Stiff seat spot might be a mood dampener in certain cases
Juliana Maverick: Model Carbon R
If we would have only three words to describe the Maverick, we would categorize the same as unbelievable, unconventional, and unlimited in its offering.
While there are many mountain bikes in the marker that are fast and offer aggressive riding capabilities, this one is one playful option that is perfect for the steeper climbs.
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that this mountain bike was precisely manufactured while keeping the Enduro trails in mind.
In regard to the technical aspects of this product, the 140mm VPP suspension is a great addition and allows the rider to scale beyond any significant obstacle.
Moreover, the geometry is slacked out which renders additional stability to the same.
There is the integration of the flip-chip feature which allows the rider to alter the bike geometry on the basis of terrain, trail, and preferences.
Moreover, the 29-inch wheels and decent depth also makes this a great riding experience, courtesy of the stability on offer.
The pedals here are equally efficient which makes way for better support and extended levels of road traction on the more challenging of terrains.
The RockShox technology is positioned at the rear wheel for absorbing all the vibrations while offering exceptional levels of tune-ability to this premium product.
Last but not least, the suspension at the lower link is a visionary change from the previous models which makes this a maneuverable bike in most environments.
Pros and Cons
- The existing Enduro handling machine is a potential powerhouse
- Slacked geometry for better climbs and descends
- 140mm VPP suspension for flying across obstacles
- Shock absorbing technology that would assist the light-weighted riders
- NX Eagle drivetrain feature offer better gear stability
- Swappable geometry with the flip-chip functionality
- Carbon layup offering decent aesthetics
- Price to performance ratio could have been better
Alchemy Arktos: Model 29 X01
This version of the Alchemy Arktos is more of a complete mountain bike that is further validated by the exceptional price tag on display.
Most importantly, this product features the top-grade, carbon-infused fiber technology for offering an aesthetic covering to the riders.
Moreover, the existing Sine Suspension technology is also a great addition that pairs up perfectly with the modernized trail geometry and more.
With a real travel of 140mm and 160mm front travel, the Arktos is a great ally for any trail and the slack chassis helps the rider and company validate the claims.
As per the technical specs sheet, the carbon frame is a revolutionary addition followed by inclusion of a light-weighted chassis for better riding conditions.
Besides the exceptional frame and chassis construction, the Arktos is also known for Super Boost+ technology for guaranteeing a supportive bike stroke.
Moreover, the fork length on this cycle is somewhere in the 150 to 160mm ballpark which renders added stability to the bike.
The existing Turbine Cockpit makes maneuvering easy and the SRAM X01 drive train makes sure that this bikes fires off and glides across diverse terrains.
The XT blinders on offer from Shimano are there to slow down descend as this can be a pretty aggressive bike trait.
Last but not least, the Swiss 1700 wheel set renders additional strength and grip to the Maxxis tires, regardless of the trail condition.
Pros and Cons
- 29-inch wheelbase that is perfect for climbing and pedal across the rough terrains
- EWS proven
- 140mm SINE suspension
- Superboost + technology
- Carbon Construction for added stiffness
- SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain is a great addition, precisely for climbing
- The design might look overwhelming to some
- Price is on the higher side
Niner RKT 9: Model RDO 5-Star X01
For an ardent mountain biker who is looking for exceptional downhill and climbing performance, the RKT 9 from Niner is probably the most reliable companion.
Needless to say, bike enthusiasts would know that this is an upgrade from the XC, precisely manufactured for increasing the race-centric capabilities of the bike.
While the frame still remains as impressive as the predecessor, the 29-inch tire frames are more like revolutionary additions. Moreover, the boost axle has been included for additional pace and to minimize the chain stay length to 439mm at max.
Some of the best feature sets courtesy of the minor improvements include better acceleration, aggressive cornering, an d agile translations.
When it comes to the technical aspects of this best mountain bike, the RDO carbon frame steals the show. Most importantly, the CCS or Carbon Compaction System is available which in a way renders stability at higher speeds.
The stiffness is evident and all the structural imperfections as seen in the preceding model have been eliminated.
Most importantly, this mountain bike makes room for the much-anticipated CVA suspension that makes it a low-travel and certainly a high-speed cycle.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that CVA makes room, for better climbs and helps the rider of the rockier terrains. Apart from that, this is a massively capable bike that comes forth with significance rear wheel athleticism courtesy of the tight triangle.
Pros and Cons
- Boost axle technology for better grip and clearance
- Longer cockpit for better descents
- Strong frame and the 29-inch suspension adds to the overall stability
- Expert construction
- Not many changes as compared to the XC
- Higher pricing and lower price to performance ratio
Pivot Trail 429: Carbon 29 Pro X01
Quite fittingly, we saved the best for the last with the Pivot Train 429 coming across as the best mountain bike, regardless of the trail or terrain.
Firstly, from a more abstract point of view, this bike comes equipped with exceptional levels of speed, power, adaptability, and versatility. While the redesigned structural components make room for a steeper seat and slacker geometry, this bike is way better for climbing hills as compared to the predecessors.
Moreover, the Super Boost technology, in the form of decisive rear spacing is also an innovative yet powerful addition. This feature makes sure that the DW link suspension pertaining to this bike works effectively and it can reach exceptional speed levels without having to worry about stability.
Before moving onto the technical aspects, we need to talk about the structural redesigns in details. Firstly, the Trail 429 is known for the progressive geometry, courtesy of the restructured frame and angular additions.
The slacker tube gives an elongated shape to this mountain bike and the steeper seat allows the rider to push through the punchy switchbacks with ease. The internal cable arrangement or routing is yet another feature that needs added description and makes room for a better arrangement of wires.
The Super Boost technology as mentioned previously makes room for a 157mm wheel width that aims at stiffening up the bracing angle. This feature makes room for better bike control, increased maneuvering responsiveness, and unmatched power when it comes to making difficult climbs.
Moreover, this feature also assists the bikers who have difficulties at the blind trail corners. From a more technical perspective, the wider wheel hub makes room for better bike clearance which eventually allows the rear wheel to remain closely tucked to the seat tube.
This physical modification makes room for a more responsive biking experience which eventually goes a long way in improving the confidence of the biker.
Pros and Cons
- Highly progressive and competent steed
- Best bike for clean climbs and downhill descends
- 74-degree seat which remains locked within the cockpit for better stability
- Redesigned chassis including resin and composite fibers for added strength
- Super Boost technology in regard to rear-spacing
- Hollow-core layup of carbon for additional strength
- The design elements can become a bit too overwhelming for a new biker
- Price to performance ratio isn’t quite significant
- Takes a while to get a feel of the controls and other bike components
How to Purchase the Best Mountain Bike?
While individuals are quite crazy for mountain bikes, only a handful actually understands the requirements and terrain specific preferences. Needless to say, best mountain bikes are costly and there are quite a few terms that need to be understood clearly before the person can even contemplate purchasing one.
A mountain bike is all about the region where the bike is to be ridden, the wheel size, bike category, and a host of other relevant factors. Moreover, female riders need to select different biking alternatives depending on their physical strength and reach.
The most realistic aspect, however, is to consider the terrain and nature of the trails in question. Needless to say, there are generic cross-country mountain bikes followed by hardtails for different trails. In addition to that, there are certain bikers who prefer short-travel versions for efficient climbing. Moreover, riders can also choose between mid-travel and Enduro trail bikes, in order to prioritize the descents.
Now that the trail considerations are out of the way, we need to take a closer look at the Rim and Tire Width followed by size of the wheels, both rear and front. Apart from that, an experience rider also takes a closer look at the rear and fork shock, frame of the bike, and even the Drive Train before making the purchase.
We believe that this exhaustive guide will allow individuals to choose from the very best collection of mountain bikes. Our extensive list of top 10 mountain bikes, however, takes every factor and price-specific considerations into account and each product mentioned in the list is a great choice, provided the preferences are given out in advance.
The last bit of advice would be that mountain biking is a dangerous sport and the concerned individuals must be trained and completely sure before purchasing the most suitable mountain bike for travelling through the roughest of terrains.