A Business That Makes Nothing but Money Is a Poor Business. “Henry Ford”

Mountain biking might sound hardcore—and of course, it certainly can be—but there are trails and environments for every skill level. Whether you have years of tackling rough terrain under your belt or you’re just starting out, there’s a mountain bike and an off-road experience for you. Even so, buying the best mountain bike for your needs can be stressful because you need to contend with a slew of terminology and technology. Trends shift seemingly overnight with changes in wheel sizes, tire widths, frame geometries and components. Just one small example: 26-inch wheels were all the rage a few years ago, yet are now nowhere to be found.

So what kind of mountain bike do you need? It’s important to understand the basics of today’s mountain bike design, be honest about your own riding style and ability, and know what kinds of trails you’ll be spending most of your time on. See our tips below for choosing the right type of mountain bike and other things to consider before spending your hard earned cash.

Don’t sweat it, though; save the sweating for the trail. We’re here to take some of the stress out of buying a new mountain bike with our thoroughly researched and informed favorites in each category.

Best Mountain Bike Overall

The Swiss Army Knife Of Mountain Bikes

Best Entry Level Mountain Bike

Don’t Break The Bank On Your First Mountain Bike

Best Mountain Bike Under $500

A Great Value For Basic Off-Road Exploration

Best Mountain Bike Under $1000

A High-Spec Hardtail At An Affordable Price


Best Mountain Bike For XC Or Race

A Full Suspension Mountain Bike Engineered For Speed

Best Electric Mountain Bike

A Little Assistance On Climbs And Long Rides

Best Mountain Bike For Bikepacking Adventures

This Bike Can Handle Heavy Loads

Best Women’s Mountain Bike

Great Components, An Affordable Frame Made With Women in Mind