10 Best Mountain Bikes From Our Expert Recommendation

Although mountain riding sounds extreme, there are surroundings and tracks for every ability level, of course, it requires mastery. There is a mountain bike, an off-road experience for everyone, regardless of whether you have years of expertise conquering difficult terrain or you’re a newbie tearing down easy trails.¬†

Because there are so many various kinds of mountain bikes available, choosing the ideal one for your needs could involve navigating a maze of technical jargon and new terms. 

Trends seem to change overnight, and modifications to components, wheel sizes, tire widths, and frame geometries just add to the confusion.  What sort of mountain bike do you require, then? We’re here to assist you in finding the solution to that query.

The greatest trail bikes produce a performance that’s both super-fun and super-capable by finding the ideal balance between boisterous enduro bikes and sleek cross-country bikes.

Due to this, in recent years, trail bikes have become one of the greatest mountain bike categories. In comparison to other types of mountain bikes, they provide you with a little bit of everything and probably allow you access to the most terrain and riding.

On the other hand, selecting the ideal trail bike for you can be quite a confusing task because there are so many possibilities available. Fortunately, you’ve found the correct spot because our knowledgeable mountain bike testers have tested and reviewed dozens of trail bikes over the course of years, resulting in this list of the top trail bikes. 

1. Bird Aether 9

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Photo by the loam wolf

The silver aluminum frame and exposed wire routing of the Bird Aether 9 give it a pleasingly basic appearance. The 2021 Trail Bike of the Year winner, the Bird Aether 9, excelled in practically every condition, from extended days in the saddle to quick sprints through the woods.

With a 65-degree head-tube angle and a 77-degree seat tube, the Aether 9 maintains the long, slack geometry that Bird is known for. This results in a bike that is unflappable and at home on winding, steep descents when paired with the RockShox 140mm Pike Ultimate fork and Super Deluxe rear shock. You may put your body mass in the proper position by leaving enough room between the saddle and the bar.

2. Boardman MTR 8.9

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Photo by Andrew Lloyd

The geometry and suspension of the cheaper MTR 9.0 and the Boardman MTR 8.9 are identical. With a RockShox front fork, an SRAM NX Eagle transmission, and Maxxis tires, it boasts a well-chosen specification that strikes a compromise between affordability, performance, and robustness.

The triple-butted metal frame has externally routed cables and a purposeful appearance, making maintenance simple. There is also a bottle mount, however, we found that there was little room for it.

Modern shape with a generous reach and no excessive angles makes for a comfortable ride. The bike is rather noisy going downhill, and you do have to transfer your weight forward to maintain front-wheel traction on tough ascents. In other words, this bike is more suited to quick trail center rides than to extremely difficult terrain.

3. Canyon Spectral 29 CF 7

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Photo by outdoor Gear lab

The Canyon Spectral 29 CF 7 offers a smooth ride, and we believe most riders could get on it right away and start breaking personal records. With the Spectral, Canyon returns to 29-inch wheels and predictable geometry, producing a bike that rides like a trail bike should and has lots of control.

The Spectral’s superb ride quality is also a result of the suspension, with Canyon’s modernization of the conventional four-bar linkage rivaling the best rear suspension. 150mm of smooth travel from the RockShox rear shock absorbs trail chatter. While it has a lot of pop in the middle of the stroke, it is nevertheless incredibly stable when you press the pedals.

4. Devinci Troy Carbon XT 12S LTD

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Photo by devinci bike

The Devinci Troy Carbon XT 12S LTD trail bike is designed for downhill riders. The progressive 160/140mm travel is wonderfully quiet over difficult terrain, and the handling is composed.

The Troy, which is currently in its fourth iteration, features improved geometry that is longer and slacker and greater tire clearance to help with downhill stability. The Troy is arguably the closest thing to a one-bike quiver that Devinci has to offer. 

Despite its downhill performance, the bike is effective when pointed upward, albeit a steeper seat-tube angle would be advantageous to help shift body weight over the bottom bracket. Devinci also sells the Troy, which was the top-of-the-line carbon bike that we tried and had parts to match. 

5. Ibis Ripley AF NGX

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Photo by beta mtb

Despite having a shock with only 120mm of travel, the Ibis Ripley AF NGX is nonetheless a powerful trail-slaying partner. In the middle of the stroke, the suspension performs exceptionally well. This creates a dynamic atmosphere and makes it simple to accelerate quickly around corners, making even the most boring downhills a ton of fun.

When climbing, the frame geometry makes for a quick climber, and when pedaling out of the saddle, the reach figure gives you enough room to transfer your weight about. The cassette’s 42t and 52t sprockets are maximized by the bike’s SRAM NX Eagle and the 30t front chainring selection.

6. Propain Hugene Custom

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Photo by Enduro-mtb

In 2020, the Propain Hugene was named the Trail Bike of the Year. However, in 2021, Propain updated the bike’s geometry and increased travel. To further balance the 140mm or 150mm front fork options, the Propain now features 140mm of rear travel.

Additionally, the geometry is longer, effective, and comfortable, with a 76.5-degree seat angle and a 65.5-degree head angle that are more acute. The new shape is very effective. It is very stable, and the back wheel closely follows the ground. 

Its agility and fun nature encourage you to toss the bike around the turn. When you begin pedaling, the bike is stable, and the seating position is comfortable. When you press down on the pedals, there is a slight pedal bob. 

7. Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS

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Photo by bike radar

The Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS is an amusing motorcycle that excels in a variety of riding circumstances.  The Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS combines an aluminum back triangle with a carbon front triangle. It is outfitted with some excellent equipment for its price, including DT Swiss E 1900 wheels and a RockShox fork, and a rear shock.

The Escarpe’s geometry has been revised by Vitus, making it more adaptable than the prior design. With less pedal bob thanks to an upgraded four-bar linkage suspension system and a steeper seat tube, you can log more kilometers in comfort. It isn’t the quickest climber, but when you direct it downhill, it more than makes up for this. 

8. Santa Cruz Tallboy

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Photo by bikepacking

The Tallboy, which has been among Santa Cruz’s best-selling bikes for years, is currently on its sixth edition. This bike is the one-bike quiver that enables you to take on a range of trails and riding conditions since it is lightweight, agile and has just the right amount of suspension.

With mid-level travel (120mm of rear travel and 130mm of front travel) and 29-inch wheels, this bike, often known as the “downhiller’s XC bike,” can glide over the largest rock gardens while climbing up steep, technical terrain like a chamois. 

Santa Cruz increased the travel on this model in addition to mimicking the geometry of its long journey bikes to provide a more secure and stable ride on those nerve-wracking descents or when negotiating difficult terrain.

9. Huffy Stone Mountain

Photo by 99 spokes

The Huffy Stone Mountain is the best option for novice riders looking to get into off-road riding without going over budget for a new bike. As you gradually acquire confidence on the trails, you can put this entry-level mountain bike through some serious damage thanks to its tough steel hardtail frame.

 To make climbing hills a little simpler, a twist shifter on the right grip allows you to switch between 21 different speeds, while front and rear pull brakes make sure you can stop swiftly and safely whenever necessary. 

For new riders who are still perfecting their technique, a modest rise in the handlebars puts you in a more upright riding position to reduce stress on your back and shoulders.

10. Decathlon Rockrider ST520

Photo by decathlon

The Rockrider ST520 is the ideal hardtail mountain bike for people looking to engage in some basic off-road exploring. This mountain bike easily transitions between 24 different gears to get you up and over any terrain with its lightweight aluminum frame and 27.5-inch wheels.

On lengthy or steep descents, mechanical disc brakes make stopping simple, and the relaxed frame design makes handling simple. An ergonomic saddle and a more upright riding position increase comfort on the trails, while a front suspension fork with up to 80mm of travel and 2.0-inch tires work together to smooth out your ride. The bicycle is available in four sizes to accommodate riders. 

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