Best Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bike History

I rode my first mountain bike over 25 years ago.  It was a Diamond Back Sorrento and from the first moment I started riding it I was instantly hooked on the sport of mountain biking.

Back then the sport of mountain biking was just emerging and the bikes design were relatively simple with no front or rear suspension and a 3 by 6 drivetrain which, at the time, seemed unthinkable given such a range of gears to choose from!

A few years later suspension forks started to appear on the market and I was lucky enough to get my first pair of Marzocchi

Best Mountain Bikes on the Market Today

Fast forward to today and we have gone through countless revolutions and evolutions in mountain bike design which can, in my humble opinion, make it very confusing for a newbie rider to try to figure out which is the best mountain bike and how to choose between them all.

I recently decided to buy a new mountain bike for under 1500 and went through a rigorous process of searching online, testing my shortlisted bikes and reading a variety of forum comments to really understand the pros and cons of each mtb I was considering.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2000"]Best Mountain Bikes The Marin Hawk Hill is the best full suspension mountain bike under 1500[/caption]

Having gone through this process and put so much effort into researching all the best mountain bikes I thought it would be a real shame to let that information go to waste and so I decided to write this post to share some of my thoughts with you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Mountain Bike

There are a huge range of factors to consider when choosing the best mountain bike for you.  Let me break this down very simply to three key areas which I think you should be looking at and considering carefully:

Budget - being clear on what budget you have to work with from the get go will make things a lot easier and can help narrow down the options of bikes you wish to review.  As I mentioned earlier my own personal budget was $1,500 or less because I felt that for that price you could get a pretty decent mountain bike which is trail ready and great value for money.

Full Suspension or Hardtail - this will depend on the terrain you are planning to ride and also your own desired level of comfort.  While full suspension bikes do offer extra comfort and control on rocky terrain, it comes at the expense of increased complexity and weight.

If you are looking for a mountain bike under $1,000 I would strongly recommend only considering a hardtail as the full suspension bikes in this price range are just not up to the job and involve too many compromises to achieve that price.  For under $1,500 you can get some pretty decent full suspension bikes such as the Marin Hawk Hill or Giant Stance 2.

Wheel Size - there is so much discussion nowadays around what is the best wheel size for a mountain bike.  Let me make it really simple for you: if you are under 5 foot 7 inches (approximately 160 centimetres) then go for 27.5 inch wheels, if you are taller than 5' 7" then I would recommend 29" wheel size unless you plan on riding very technical trails with lots of switchbacks.

This is as much about preference and philosophy as it is about riding benefits so I would also suggest you test ride any bike you have in mind before making your purchase.


I hope you found this brief summary useful, of course there are a lot more things to think about when choosing the best mountain bike but this should at least help to get you started.

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