5 Best Mountain Bikes

Mountain biking is a great way to keep fit, enjoy the great outdoors and socialize with likeminded people. However, in order to do this, you need to find the right bike for your riding level and goals. By following a few simple tips, you can find a bike that meets your requirements and enjoy many happy hours indulging in your favorite activity.

5 Best Mountain Bikes

Mountain biking is a fun and healthy way to get in some much-needed exercise while exploring the great outdoors. It is a popular outdoor activity and a report published by outdoorindustry.org shows that nine million people aged six and above take part in mountain biking on a regular basis.

Mountain bikers can expect to enjoy a variety of benefits including: improved cardiovascular health, reduced stress, improved balance and coordination and many others. It is also a great way to socialize and meet people with shared interests.

In order to fully enjoy mountain biking, you need the right bike. Size, quality suspension, build, fit, performance and terrain are some of the things you should consider before purchasing a new mountain bike. There are also bikes for beginners, intermediate and pro bikers.
Below are five of the best mountain bikes on the market today to guide your purchasing decision:

[1] Ragley Marley 1.0 - Best for beginners

Buying your first mountain bike can seem like a daunting task, especially since you are still figuring out biking jargon. The first thing you need to do before purchasing your first bike as a beginner is to figure out how many types there are available. There are four basic types of mountain bike including; Downhill (DH), Cross-country (XC), All Mountain and Enduro, and finally, trail bikes.

Mountain bikes are also classified into hardtail and full suspension bikes. The main difference between these two is that full suspension bikes have a front and rear shock while hardtails have none. Hardtails work best on smooth terrain and are lighter in weight than full suspension bikes which are built for tackling rough terrain at high speeds.

As a beginner, you should focus on size, weight and performance while choosing your bike. You should therefore go for a hardtail trail bike that can help you tackle smooth terrain before you move on to more advance options.


  • Lightweight thanks to a frameset that is made from airport aluminum tubing.
  • Available in different sizes from S to XL.
  • Designed with advanced geometrical features to give you stability on rough terrain.

(-) The wheels are much smaller on the Marley compared to other models. This has a direct impact on speed and performance (+) An easy ride thanks to its lightweight nature
(+) Affordable price
(+) Shimano drivetrain for maximum performance

[2] Juliana Furtado - Best trail bike for women

More and more companies are making gender specific bikes that are easier for women to control and maneuver. Before the advent gender specific motorbikes, women had to settle for bulky and difficult to maneuver mountain bikes that made for an uncomfortable and tiring ride.

If you are looking for an all-round bike that performs well on different types of terrain, you cannot go wrong with Juliana Furtado. The bike comes with different sized saddle bars, cranks, stand overs and other features. It has also been customized to suit women ranging from 4'8 to 5'9. Tire sizes have also been customized to suit smaller women.


  • Smaller saddles.
  • Wider range of bike sizes.
  • Cockpit with smaller handlebars, adjustable brakes and smaller grips.

(-) Does not cater to tall women (+) Heights have been customized to suit women's smaller frames
(-) The price is higher than average (+) Comes with smaller tires to allow for easier maneuvering
(+) Presence of a flip chip that allows you to adjust your bike's geometry to the terrain you are in

[3] Rocky Mountain Growler 20

The Growler 20 is a sturdy hardtail with travels ranging from 130-150mm. It has an aluminum frame, a shimano 1X9 drivetrain and hydraulic brakes. It also has the following additional features.


  • A steep seat tube angle for more efficient climbing.
  • 27.5X2.8 inch tyres for quick rolling and greater traction.
  • A toonie dropper post for easy navigation on low descents.
  • A variety of sizes designed to fit riders from 5'2 to 6'4.
  • Wide handlebars for even greater control during your ride.

(-) Brakes have limited stopping power which may be dangerous for novice riders (+) Starting at the low retail price of just $1300, the Growler 20 is cheaper than many options on the market
(-) It looks a bit dated (+) Sturdy aluminum frame that will serve you for many years. Can also withstand crashes without breaking apart
(+) Firm wheels great for covering rugged terrain
(+) The hydraulic brakes perform well on steep descents

[4] Trek Marlin 7

Hardtail bikes are the Hyundai's of the mountain biking world, delivering great value at an affordable price. Because they are made simply, they cost less and often contain superior components than you can find on a pricey full suspension bike.

The Trek Marlin 7 is among the best and most affordable hardtails out there. Ideal for commuters and first-time trail riders, it comes with a variety of simple features that are best suited for those who want smooth riding without attempting harder terrain.

The Trek Marlin is great for commuting to work or going for long, slow trail rides with friends and family.


  • A lightweight and durable aluminum frame that makes for easy riding and longevity.
  • Internally routed cables for a sleek and aesthetic look.
  • 1X10 shimano drivetrain with several gearing options.
  • 2.2 inch botranger tires mounted on 29 inch rims.

(-) A substandard fork whose performance is inconsistent with the rest of the bike (+) Due to its lightweight nature, it is ideal for the first-time racer
(+) Retailing at slightly above $1000, it is one of the more affordable mountain bikes on the market
(+) Availability of a smaller sized bike for women
(+) It has a superior suspension system
(+) It has an 18-gear shifter that allows for great performance on varied terrains and conditions

[5] Marin Rift Zone 27.5 - Best budget full suspension bike

The Marin Rift Zone 27.5 is a high performing, full suspension short travel bike. Created with great quality parts and featuring superior suspension, it is a multi-terrain bike that can be used on even the most hostile of conditions.


  • Hydroform aluminum frame with 120mm travel.
  • 27.5 inch wheels.
  • Multitrack suspension technology for more balanced rides and greater shock absorption.
  • Modern trail geometry for quick bike handling.
  • Internal routing for a snag free ride and clean, sleek look.

(-) It is more expensive to maintain than a hardtail bike (+) The Marin 27.5 is an excellent climber thanks to its superior suspension system
(-) It's missing a shimano chain and crank (+) It is one of the more affordable full suspension bikes
(+) Evenly distributed shock absorption even on hostile terrain
(+) Easily the best bike for short travel

Buying Guide

Whether you are a novice rider looking to upgrade or a pro looking for the most efficient bike, it pays to follow a few simple steps and tips that will help you identify the best MTB for you. Below are a few things you need to do before forking out your hard-earned dollars for a mountain bike.

  • Familiarize yourself with the types of bikes available:
    Mountain bikes are categorized by type i.e., Cross-country, Downhill, all mountain (endure) and trail. They are also classified by suspension hardtail and full suspension bikes.

  • Research bike features:
    There are literally, thousands of bike models on the market all with different features and specifications. Visit your favorite brand's website and go through different reviews in order to discover what features the bike you want to buy has. Consult your local bike seller for information on the best features for your level of riding.

  • Make sure it fits:
    There are bikes for people of all shapes, heights and sizes. Make sure you find out whether the bike you are interested in will fit. Look at manufacturer's size charts in order to discover which sizes are available.

  • Visit your local bike store:
    Once you have an idea of the type of bike you are looking for, head to your local store to see if they have something that meets your requirements. Even if your bike of choice is not in stock, you will get some great advice about the right bike for you.

Feature image created by Freepik