The best mountain bike can be a lot of things, depending on your personal riding style, tastes, budget, and local trails. Like other segments of cycling, the mountain bike pie has been sliced into different categories, each with a distinct flavor and discipline in which they excel. There is a bike for everyone from the cross-country racer who is all about climbing speed to the park rider looking to go big and everything in between.
Many of the bikes here have between 130mm and 160mm of travel, making them ideal for trail riding, all-mountain ripping, and enduro racing. We’ve also evaluated the top downhill mountain bikes of the year and the best hardtails. Check out those reviews if you’re looking to enter an XC race or use ride lifts. For everyone else, one of these 18 bikes will meet your needs.
Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 Pro
Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 Pro: $4,499
This German consumer-direct brand just launched in North American and promises prices that are substantially lower than the competition. One of its most exciting options is this carbon trail bike with 140mm of rear travel. The frame is paired to a 150mm-travel RockShox Pike fork and designed for all-around versatility. One unique feature is this bike’s semi-internal cable routing that hides in a plastic panel beneath the down tube, easing service and adding frame protection. A SRAM Eagle X01 drivetrain offers the simplicity of a single front chainring, and the clutch-style derailleur rolls the chain easily through the wide-ratio, 12-speed,10-50-tooth, SRAM X01 Eagle cassette.
A RockShox Reverb seatpost allows you to drop your saddle out of the way for technical sections then seamlessly pop it back up whenever you need to pedal. Mavic XA Pro 27.5-inch wheels are matched to Mavic Quest and Charge Pro 2.4-inch tires for all-around trail grip.