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Best Mountain Bikes Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Jul 12, 2019

Bicycles have always been the first rite of passage for kids. Suddenly, with two wheels the world opens up. Excitement would hit as we would find a bright new colorful bike under the Christmas tree or on a birthday, ready to be ridden around the neighborhood. Now as adults, biking has become so much more versatile, whether you desire to meet a group at the trailhead for an adventure over a dirt trail hidden among the trees, perhaps a new physical training program, or losing yourself in the peace of a ride on a trail. It’s important to select a bike that fits you and your needs. Here's our list of the best.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

icon
 Mongoose Dolomite
95/100 our score
Style
96
Materials
95
Size
94
Bottom Line
94
Value
96
Mongoose Dolomite
Why is it better?

Easy to assemble

Comfortable for any person to ride

Inexpensive

Eye appealing

Additional accessories available

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 Mongoose Dolomite
Test Winner: Mongoose Dolomite
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
10k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Style Materials Size Bottom Line Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Style
96 %
Materials
95 %
Size
94 %
Bottom Line
94 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$276.29
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Style
94 %
Materials
93 %
Size
94 %
Bottom Line
93 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$378.05
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Style
92 %
Materials
91 %
Size
91 %
Bottom Line
92 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$355.57
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Style
90 %
Materials
89 %
Size
89 %
Bottom Line
90 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$179.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Style
85 %
Materials
84 %
Size
86 %
Bottom Line
85 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$219.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Style
82 %
Materials
81 %
Size
82 %
Bottom Line
82 %
Value
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$176.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Style
81 %
Materials
82 %
Size
82 %
Bottom Line
81 %
Value
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$164.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
Style
80 %
Materials
79 %
Size
81 %
Bottom Line
81 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.8
Style
80 %
Materials
79 %
Size
79 %
Bottom Line
78 %
Value
78 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$107.21
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.6
Style
75 %
Materials
74 %
Size
74 %
Bottom Line
75 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
In Depth Review Top 10
  •  Mongoose Dolomite Mongoose Dolomite
  •  Raleigh Raleigh
  •  Schwinn Schwinn
  •  Stowabike Stowabike
  •  Merax Merax
  •  Northwoods Northwoods
  •  Diamondback Bicycles Diamondback Bicycles
  •  Huffy Huffy
  •  Dynacraft Dynacraft
  •  Beiou Beiou
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Best Mountain Bikes Reviewed and Rated for Quality

1. Mongoose Dolomite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
 Mongoose Dolomite
Amazon Link
Style
96
Materials
95
Size
94
Bottom Line
94
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$276.29
Pros:

Easy to assemble

Comfortable for any person to ride

Inexpensive

Eye appealing

Additional accessories available

Cons:

Heavy bike

Some customers found the gears tricky to manage

The Mongoose is one of the most well-known brands in the biking world, so it’s no surprise it is one of the top 10. This steel-framed mountain bike stands out with its supersized all terrain knobby tires, measuring 26” diameter and 4” wide, as well as creating a comfortable ride whether for a long cross-country trail or just an everyday ride and is available in blue or red.

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Materials and Features

This steel-framed mountain bike features a rear derailleur with 7 speeds. The twist shifters will make those hills easier to climb and transitions smoother as you easily change gears, and the front and rear disc brakes provide all-condition braking ability, even more, important when traveling off the beaten path. Complete with a headset that is threadless and completely adjustable, you can keep the weight down because the rims are lightweight and strong. This bike also has the beach cruiser pedals and many other extras to recommend it.

Style

This bike is versatile and ready to ride, wherever you need to go, you can ride year-round on the Dolomite Fat Tire Bike. Many customers also shared they received positive comments from others while riding this bike. This bike is good for adults, creating a comfortable ride, especially with the larger tires. It may seem heavy to some as you travel up hills, especially when comparing to other bikes, but it definitely meets the need to provide a comfortable ride.

Cost and Value

This bike is a great bike, especially for those who are new to the mountain biking world, at a cost comparable to other bikes available. It provides you with options to ride wherever and whenever and has upgrade potential.

2. Raleigh

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
 Raleigh
Amazon Link
Style
94
Materials
93
Size
94
Bottom Line
93
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$378.05
Pros:

Value priced

Lightweight

Good quality

Easy assembly

Cons:

The top gear seemed short

The Raleigh Talus also makes it into the top 10 list providing fun riding experiences on the pavement and light dirt trails. The lightweight aluminum frame is designed to provide a riding position comfortably and reducing strain on the neck and lower back. Travel across varied terrain, including up and down the hills, will still feel smooth and enjoyable on this bike.

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Sturdy Frame and Features
The frame of this bike is made of lightweight aluminum and includes its 27.5” and wide 2” tires and 21 speeds.

Size
This 19-inch bike allows for adjustments to easily fit a person anywhere from 5’ to 6’4”, and it’s upright geometry provides a comfortable riding position to put the rider in a comfortable position.

Cost and Value
This is a quality bike, allowing for enjoyable rides for many miles to come.

3. Schwinn

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
 Schwinn
Amazon Link
Style
92
Materials
91
Size
91
Bottom Line
92
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$355.57
Pros:

Built for mountain biking

Handles smoothly over rough terrain

Easy to assemble

Cons:

Some customers complained of issues with gears and brakes

Customers had issues with the rear derailleur

Schwinn, another popular name in the biking world, so it’s no surprise it has one of the top 10 mountain bikes in our list. Grab this bike to ride with friends on some of the more serious mountain biking trails. The performance features available on the S29 will help give you the boost you need on a little more difficult terrain.

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Material and Features

This bike boasts an aluminum suspension frame and wheels that will allow you to glaze right over any sticks or rocks on your daily rides. The rear derailleur and speed trigger shifting will provide ultimate shifting for quick gear changes as you climb mountains or race down the hills you love to race, and the front and rear disc brakes will provide you with the ease needed in stopping and cornering even in dusty conditions.

Style

This bike is designed for the mountain biking enthusiast. It’s design and features provide the rider to move into the next level of biking, closer to the professional biker experience. This bike fits well for riders 5’8” and above and is generally recommended for ages 14 years and older. The quick release seat post provides easy seat height adjustment.

Cost and Value

This bike is also a great value for the cost, especially meeting the needs of those who want to hit a few more of the aggressive mountain bike trails.

4. Stowabike

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
 Stowabike
Amazon Link
Style
90
Materials
89
Size
89
Bottom Line
90
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$179.99
Pros:

Great for storing in small places such as an apartment or car

Rides well

Sturdy bike

Quality bike for the price

Cons:

Very limited on who it fits, not easy for short, tall or large person

Heavier bike

The Stowabike MTB V2 is another great option when looking for a mountain bike. What is special about the bike? It “stows,” meaning you can basically fold it in half and store it with little space taken.

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Material and Features

This red bike features the 26” steel stowable folding frame, 18-speeds and steel v-brakes. While this bike may be able to store in a small area, it has the ability to take you to the wide-open areas. It’s steel frame and 18 speeds will allow you to travel on the open trails on this durable quality bike.

High Quality

What really sets this bike apart is the foldable frame. Just because space at home or in your car is limited, doesn’t mean your outside activities have to be. This mountain bike provides you to explore cross-country, and no matter how much room you have to store your bike

Cost and Value

The bike still provides a quality mountain bike that is very comparable to its competitors, and is built to last but offered at a lower cost than most of its competitors.

5. Merax

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
 Merax
Amazon Link
Style
85
Materials
84
Size
86
Bottom Line
85
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$219.99
Pros:

Quality looking bike

Affordably priced

Able to add other accessories

Easy to assemble

Cons:

Some customers complained about the quality of the products on the bike

Some parts needed adjustment before riding

For smooth riding and easy transport, the Merax Finiss is another great option, especially with the color options of black/red, gray/green or black and the fun design of the bike with its special wheels. This bike is made of an aluminum frame and magnesium alloy wheels designed to create a smooth ride and allow the rider to increase control using the Shimano system.

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Material and Features

Features such as the heat-treated aluminum 6061 frame, lightweight magnesium alloy wheels, and advanced aluminum mechanical lock-out suspension fork help smooth the ride and increase the control. And you will feel in full control with the Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters, providing reliability, and front and rear mechanical disc brakes for safe stopping power.

Style

Not only is this bike built to create a smooth ride, but it also has an adjustable saddle for distance, allowing you to move the seat in order to have a comfortable long ride.

Cost and Value

This bike not only has a fun look to it coming in white/blue red/black or green/gray, but it also provides a great mountain biking experience for about the price as other brands available.

6. Northwoods

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
 Northwoods
Amazon Link
Style
82
Materials
81
Size
82
Bottom Line
82
Value
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$176.99
Pros:

Good bike for the investment

Well built

Smooth ride

Great for young teenagers

Cons:

Some quality issues on parts

Another fun option for your mountain bike selection is the Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain bike, with its fun design and colors of grey/orange or grey/green, and sizes available of the 24 or 16 inches.

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Material and Features

This bike comes with a full suspension aluminum frame is available as a 24 or 26-inch with 50 mm Steel Crown Fork, 24” allow rims and 21-speed twist shifters.

Fun to Ride

There is nothing quite as fun as heading down a mountain at top speed on this bike. Perfect for everyone in the family, this is one you don’t want to miss.

Cost and Value

This bike provides you with the full suspension options at a slightly lower cost than the competition.

7. Diamondback Bicycles

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
 Diamondback Bicycles
Amazon Link
Style
81
Materials
82
Size
82
Bottom Line
81
Value
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$164.99
Pros:

Smooth shifting

Comfortable ride

Easy to ride

Great for the smaller rider

Stylish looking bike

Versatile between trail and road

Cons:

Few issues with gears sticking

The seat can be uncomfortable when during extended rides

The Diamondback, another popular name among bicycle enthusiast, and this bike is a great option for those wanting a smaller bike since this is available in a 15” or 17”, and has an adjustable stem to customize the height and angle of the steel handlebars for the perfect fit.

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Materials and Features

The 6061-T6 aluminum frame with Sport Hybrid Geometry is designed to help you pedal. It also features a step-through frame that lets you get on and off of your bike with ease. Complete with An HL Zoom suspension fork and a Shock suspension seat post you are assured a smooth ride and it also smoothes out the bumps on the road. You will be able to fly over whatever trails, mountains, or just simple roads that you travel, feeling the wind in your hair as you go. The wide range of gears ensures that the tight corners you come to are easily taken as well.

Slow Down Quickly

The bike also features Tekto linear brakes, which make it safe for you to slow down and doesn’t require much maintaining or adjustment.

Cost and Value

The Vital 2 is reasonably priced in comparison with its competitors, and very low-maintenance. It’s generally ready to roll when you are.

8. Huffy

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
 Huffy
Amazon Link
Style
80
Materials
79
Size
81
Bottom Line
81
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Good bike for the price

Smooth ride

Transitioned smoothly between gears

Cons:

Customers complained of brake issues

Handlebars did not always align with seat or moved

The top 10 on our list also includes the Huffy Alpine bicycle. This 24- or 26-inch is available in fun colors of gloss process blue (with pink accents) or gloss grape bike (with crimson red graphic accents).

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Material and Features

Its hi-ten steel frame with comfortable hand grips is made for the mountain-sized fun. It uses an 18-speed gear allowing for quick thumb shifting skills while navigating trails woods and even neighborhood roads, and also has a front and rear linear pull brakes to provide stopping action on which you can rely.

Absorbs Shock Well

The Kolo 1200 suspension is designed specifically to absorb shock and the padded ATB-type saddle. This bike is ideal for all around riding and continues to support Huffy’s motto: we make fun.

Cost and Value

The Huffy bike is one of the lower cost mountain bikes, providing an enjoyable riding experience within budget needs.

9. Dynacraft

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.8
 Dynacraft
Amazon Link
Style
80
Materials
79
Size
79
Bottom Line
78
Value
78
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$107.21
Pros:

Okay for the casual rider

Sturdy bike

Nice value for the price

Easy to assemble

Fits well for a smaller rider

Cons:

Doesn’t do as well in the dirt

Some parts didn’t seem to be high quality

Another uniquely built bike on our list is Dynacraft’s women’s 24” 21-speed Rip Curl Bike. This bike provides a full suspension mountain bike frame with the linear pull brakes to give the rider solid control and ease of stopping.

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Features

This bike is a 21-speed index derailleur that comes complete with shifters that are Shimano grip that will help you fly across the trail cornering with ease, slowing down using front and rear v-brakes. The padded mountain bike saddle provides a comfortable ride and a seat post that is easy to release.

21 Speeds

The speed of this gorgeous ride will have you zipping through the mountains, or anywhere else you choose to ride fast. Just remember that helmet and be safe, above all else.

Cost and Value

This mountain bike is one of the lowest priced options on our list, providing users with a great bike with a lower investment to meet their budget needs.

10. Beiou

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.6
 Beiou
Amazon Link
Style
75
Materials
74
Size
74
Bottom Line
75
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Enjoyable bike for this level

Very lightweight

Quality look

Fast ride

Able to upgrade accessories

Smooth to ride

Cons:

Seats were uncomfortable

Some quality issues with carbon material and the suspension fork

Another great mountain bike option is the Beiou Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike, setting it a step above the rest of the competition and being known more as for cycling enthusiasts and professional entry-level riders. It’s lightweight frame and Shimano system will give the experienced rider an enjoyable adventure. It is available in black, red, white and white/red and a choice between the 17-inch or 19-inch frame.

Read more

Material and Features

This bike is made of Toray T800 carbon fiber for the frame, handlebar and seat post, making it into an ultralight, weighing less than 25 pounds, and includes the Shimano M610 Deore System. Features also include the 3*10 speed control system, the hidden disc brake, air fork suspension, and the Hardtail MTB.

Gorgeous Color and Design

This beautiful matte black, white and red bike is great for the everyday rider, but even more so for the cycling enthusiast and professionals.

Cost and Value

If you are an enthusiast (or plan to) or are starting to become professional, this bike might be the one for you as it has stepped up to be more than just the beginner bike being made out of carbon fiber and boasting of its lightweight frame and many system enhancements, setting the bar higher than the beginner bikes. The price matches the quality, providing a bike that will serve the beginning of many miles traveled, and perhaps competitions to be won.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

While we categorize them as mountain bikes, there are still a variety of mountain bikes, such as all-terrain, fat bikes, all-mountain, cross-country, and others.  To select a bike based on style, this may be dependent on where you want to ride, and possibly even where you live.  Living in a flatter area may not provide as many opportunities for racing down mountains, jumping over fallen trees, while those living in the mountains may not have the opportunity to hit the straight stretches and let it fly.

Materials

Bikes are made from a variety of material, as we saw in the reviews, from aluminum to steel to carbon fiber or even the size and weight of the tires and wheels.  The material chosen will influence how the bike rides, such as it might seem heavier and may not be the best selection for the person planning to competitively race, while someone else might just want to plan some trail riding and may not need such a lite bike.

Size

Size can make a tremendous impact when choosing the right bicycle, and it can go both ways.

A larger person may not feel comfortable on one of the shorter, smaller bikes, and it could even cause more damage to the bike due to the excess weight.  A smaller person riding a larger bike could also be a cause for disaster since the bike could be bigger than what they can handle should they get into a dangerous situation.  They might come to a sharp corner and are not able to manage a larger bike should they begin to lose control, resulting in an injury.

Another part of the size equation is how big/bulky the bike can be.  One of the bikes we listed was a stowaway bike, so it can be easily folded and put out of the way.  Sometimes bikes can become too bulky and/or heavy making them nearly impossible to mount on the bike rack.

Bottom Line

Just as when we were kids, we want a bike we can be proud of. The one that looks “cool.” So there has to be a level of design appeal. Maybe a few tweaks to the frame that make it stand out from the rest, or a color combination making the bike pop from amongst those it is surrounded by.  While you may be riding for recreation, it’s still nice to have the bike that causes a head swivel and a more thorough glance at passersby.

Value

A really good mountain bike is going to cost a lot of money. But with bikes sometimes it's all about getting what you pay for. But there are decent bikes that'll get you quickly and safely from point A to point B. Our list is going to have all kinds of bikes from top end trail bikes to the bikes that are way more affordable but hit our high-quality mark.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
Incremental Value

Bikes are like wine. Unless you know exactly what you're doing, or if money is no object you shouldn't be throwing money at the problem because money isn't the only guarantee of quality. You should avoid cheapo specials, but you don't have to spend thousands in order to get a great bike, take some time to learn about the features you want and then find a bike that delivers.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is a mountain bike?

a:

While there are a variety of bikes available on the market today, this product is designed more for cycling off the road, varying away from the cruisers who spend more time on the roads.  Enhanced durability and performance in rough terrain are the features setting these bikes apart from others. 

Usually, with a mountain bike, heavier duty front or even full suspension is needed, larger tires, durable wheels, powerful brakes, straight handlebars, and extensive gear ratios are necessary to endure the terrain these bikes will travel.  Rocks, roots, loose dirt, sand, and steep grades are to be overcome by the riders of these mountain bikes.  Many trails are even designed and constructed today with the mountain bike enthusiast in mind, by including everything from log rides to whatever else you want to get into. For a mountain bike to be a true testament to its design and endurance, it must be able to overcome these obstacles.

There are many different subtypes of this product as well, so do your research carefully to find the right one for you.  Advancing the level of the types of mountain biking has increased the technology of the mountain bike, even providing 27 speeds on some bikes for both climbing and rapid descents.

q: What is the difference between aluminum, carbon, and steel?

a:

When selecting a mountain bike, some look very closely at the type of material used for the frame. Understanding what the frame is made of will help you know the endurance of it.  There is no one best material, but there might be a “best for you” material, and that’s why it is important to look at the difference.

Carbon
Carbon is a raw material that is dependent on how it’s heated, a resin used and layering, including the direction of the fibers to determine the ride quality. Every brand has a special name for its carbon. Good quality carbon will achieve the stiffness and compliance in desired areas.

Carbon is incredibly stiff while remaining incredibly light. Unfortunately, signs of weakness in carbon are not always obvious, so careful assessment must be conducted after a heavy crash to prevent future failures.

Aluminum
Aluminum is also relatively light and stiff and is generally cheaper to produce than carbon. In bike frames, it is usually combined with another metal. The tubes of this “alloy” are welded together for an even join.

Aluminum road bikes are fairly inexpensive.  These are not quite as light as the carbon bikes, but still, have a lighter feel and technology continues to progress. Aluminum may also dent, but unlikely fail completely, which is helpful in some minor crashes to not damage the bike completely.  Aluminum can last a lifetime, but it is open to fatigue and corrosion.

Steel
At one time, steel was the only option.  It’s a really, strong metal, but that means it is also heavy.  It does have a notably springy ride quality which provides comfort over long miles.  It is easily repaired and durable, but, as with aluminum, open to corrosion.  Steel is a better option for touring bikes and winter bikes.

q: What is a derailleur?

a:

The derailleur is part of the shifting mechanism, allowing the chain to move and shift through different cogs.

q: What is the difference between disc brakes and rim/v-brakes?

a:

The difference between the disc and rim or sometimes called v-brakes is where and how the braking force is applied in relation to the wheel of the bicycle. The base of the braking force is on the outer edge of the wheel on your traditional rim brakes. We generally saw these on our own bikes as kids, the clamp on the wheel when we applied our brakes.  The disc brake focuses force on a smaller rotor towards the center of the wheel.

Rim Brakes:  Advantages

·         Lighter

·         Easier to maintain

·         Cheaper

Disadvantages

·         Delay in breaking during wet/muddy circumstances

·         Takes more power to engage the brake fully

Disc Brakes: Advantages

·         Tremendous stopping power, needing less power from the rider to slow or stop the bike

·         Braking force is more consistent

·         More precise on braking

·         Rarely impacted by weather

Disadvantages

·         Squeals when muddy

·         More expensive to repair

·         More complex

Overall, disc brakes are the most advantageous because of the stopping power, which is generally needed when hitting those rough trails.  It’s also important if the trail is rainy and/or muddy to have those disc brakes so you can control your stopping power without locking the wheel in these wet and muddy situations.

q: What are the differences in suspensions?

a:

There is always a certain amount of suspension from the effect of fat tires, but having a good suspension system will help provide a more comfortable ride and less beating on your body.

Front suspension mountain bikes are generally lighter and a tad more efficient. They only have one shock, with frames simpler than full-suspension models. This results in a lighter bike that is also easier to clean and maintain.

Full suspension mountain bikes offer speed, comfort, and control. People who enjoy these types of bikes do not mind the extra weight the full suspension adds. Pedaling efficiencies are made up in the faster downhill and flat-terrain speeds, giving you a little more energy on the long rides as work is more distributed.

q: How do I find the right size bike for me?

a:

It’s important to get the right size bike for you. If the right size is not selected, it could result in less control, less comfort, back pain, wrist pain, and increase the crash risk.  Choosing the right size of the bike will make your rides more enjoyable and relaxing, creating the desire in you to head out and hit the trails, enabling you to enjoy the bike for many miles and years to come.

There are a couple of measurements needed for finding the right size bike: height and the inseam. For the inseam, stand against the wall with a book between your legs, and measure from the top of the book to the floor to find the inseam.

Using those measurements, many websites can guide you on the right size bike for you.  If you are between sizes, it can be argued either option.  Either way could be uncomfortable, either stretching to reach or crouching to fit. Some parts could be shortened to fit better, but it all depends on the bike and the user’s preferences.