No matter how much you’re willing to invest in buying some good mountain bike, buying the best mountain bike online is really a pain in the ass, Right?
Being an enthusiast cyclist, riding mountain and road bikes for more than a couple of decades, I can completely understand the headache one faces while searching to buy a top-notch mountain bike. And while looking at our cycling community’s common problem of buying durable mountain bikes, I decided to list down the world’s best MTBs in 2021.
Whenever you ask some professional and experienced cyclists for suggestions about buying a mountain bike, the questions most probably they will ask you are: What type of riding do you plan to do? What’s your budget?
Because there are many factors to consider, such as trails and terrain you plan to ride. It depends on budget and trails like a downhill, gravel road, enduro, cross-country (XC) – or starting off and on one of the above. Moreover, it also depends on your height because sometimes sizing is also an issue, especially for entry-level mountain bikers.
All the things mentioned above may have bothered you about buying a mountain bike! But you should not worry about it because after months of research, I have listed down the best mountain bikes while considering all the important factors to diminish the pain one faces while buying a mountain bike.
So, let’s take a quick overview of the Best Mountain Bikes available in the 2021 cycling market!
- 1 Top 10 Best Mountain Bikes 2021
- 1.1 1. Trek Supercaliber 9.8 GX – Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike 2021
- 1.2 2. SAVADECK DECK300 Mountain Bike
- 1.3 3. Mongoose Dolomite Mountain Bike – Best Cheap Fat Tire bike
- 1.4 4. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike – Best Cheap Mountain Bike Under $200
- 1.5 5. SANTA CRUZ Chameleon 29 R – Best Hardtail Mountain Bike
- 1.6 6. Giant STANCE 29 2 Mountain Bike – Best Mountain Bike for Trails 2021
- 1.7 7. Salsa Mukluk Carbon NX Eagle Fat Mountain Bike
- 1.8 8. Cannondale Scalpel Hi-MOD Ultimate – Best XC Mountain Bike 2021
- 1.9 9. Mongoose Malus Mountain Bike
- 1.10 10. Santa Cruz Tallboy Mountain Bike
- 2 Types of Mountain Bikes
- 2.1 Mountain Bikes Types According To Their Structure
- 2.2 Mountain Bikes Types According To Their Usage
- 3 Buyers Guide
- 4 Final Verdict
- 5 Related Cycling Buyer’s Guides
Top 10 Best Mountain Bikes 2021
|EDITOR’S CHOICE||EDITOR’S CHOICE
||Trek Supercaliber 9.8 GX||
|BEST UNDER $1500||BEST UNDER $1500
|BEST CHEAP FAT TIRE BIKE||BEST CHEAP FAT TIRE BIKE
||Mongoose Dolomite Mountain Bike||
|BEST UNDER $200||BEST UNDER $200
|BEST HARDTAIL MOUNTAIN BIKE||BEST HARDTAIL MOUNTAIN BIKE
||SANTA CRUZ Chameleon 29R||
|BEST TRAIL BIKE||BEST TRAIL BIKE
||Giant STANCE 29 2||
|BEST FAT MOUNTAIN BIKE||BEST FAT MOUNTAIN BIKE
||Salsa Mukluk NX Eagle||
|BEST OVERALL||BEST OVERALL
||Cannondale Scalpel Hi-MOD Ultimate||
|Best Hardtail Mountain Bike||Best Hardtail Mountain Bike
||Diamondback Overdrive Mountain Bike||
|BEST ENTRY-LEVEL MOUNTAIN BIKE||BEST ENTRY-LEVEL MOUNTAIN BIKE
1. Trek Supercaliber 9.8 GX – Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike 2021
Whether we look for the best road bikes, electric bikes, or Sturdy Mountain bikes, Trek bikes are listed at the top because of their classic attractive design, high-quality frame material, and other top of the line components.
Though Trek Bikes are way too expensive than other bikes but undoubtedly they’re worth the money. In the late 70s, Trek came into the market offering high-quality bike frames, but later on, they started manufacturing complete bikes.
In the early 90s, Trek produced a line of entry-level steel frame mountain bikes but now moved away from steel frames in favor of aluminum and other composite materials. Supercaliber 9.8 GX is the latest mountain bike model offering mountain-specific carbon to fulfill off-road racing’s extreme demands.
I listed Supercaliber 9.8 GX at the top of the best mountain bike 2021 list for three main reasons.
Firstly, IsoStrut integrated rear suspension, giving you just enough travel to stay in control with a racy feel. It is fully tunable like a standard rear shock without a traditional full-suspension bike’s complexity and weight. Secondly, its high-quality OCLV Mountain Carbon frame which I already discussed above and lastly, its Straight Shot w/Knock Block which optimizes the stiffness-to-weight ratio for a more responsive ride.
Supercaliber 9.8 GX bike is superfast, climbs, and descends mountains very well. In the locked position, it becomes like a rocket without vibration. It’s perfect for Downhill, Uphill, Singletrack, XC, and gravel roads.
Moreover, it has an SRAM drivetrain and Bontrager XR2 Team Issue tubeless-ready tires. The bike is extremely lightweight, weighs only 22.88lbs, and can load up to 300 pounds. It is offered in multiple frame sizes, which gives you an option to choose the best-sized mountain bike according to your height.
Carbon Fiber Mountain bikes are the most commonly used bikes all over the world. In the same way, these bikes are becoming high in demand, especially in the United States Mountain bike community. But unfortunately, they are much more expensive than aluminum and steel.
The bike I have listed here is SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber MTB. It is one of the best carbon fiber mountain bike for both men and women at a low price tag. Its carbon fiber frame TORAY T800 absorbs road vibration rather than transmitting, resulting in a very comfortable ride.
Moreover, it is significantly lighter than steel, aluminum, and titanium frame bike. The most common problem which bothers every mountain biker is frame crack, but Savadeck Deck300 stiffed bike material allows you to enjoy the trail ride without bothering about bike cracks.
Plus, Savadeck Deck300 uses a hydraulic fork suspension system, which takes its comfortability to the next level. Also, it has an SR Suntour fork, which delivers 100mm of suspension riding and provides additional comfort and control. Whether you’re planning for a downhill, gravel road, enduro, or XC, these features will smoothen your ride on every type of terrain.
The bike comes almost pre-assembled, and if you’re a little bit experienced in bicycling, the rest of the bike assembly is also not too difficult. Additionally, it has a Shimano RD-M6000 front and rear derailleur, making it the best mountain bike for off-road cycling enthusiasts.
The only thing I don’t like about this bike is the clicking noise while shifting gears, but it’s normal for this price tag bikes.
3. Mongoose Dolomite Mountain Bike – Best Cheap Fat Tire bike
When it comes to snow-biking, riders always prefer fat tire mountain bikes because of their stability level. They are considered as dependable snow-biking machines, and also they are trending in 2021.
My best mountain bikes 2021 list will be incomplete without Mongoose Dolomite Mountain Bike. It is an all-time favorite fat tire mountain bike and very well constructed, equipped with supersized 4-Inch wide knobby tires and can also be replaced with 4.6, 4.8-inch tire depending upon which fork you choose.
Whether you’re riding on-road or off-road, its sturdy steel frame and knobby tires help you conquer any trail with ease. The bike is perfect for both men and women height between 5’6” to 6’. Its seven-speed rear derailleur makes it smooth and easy for mountain bikers to climb hills.
Steel frame mountain bikes are usually heavy, but Mongoose Dolomite fat tire bike alloy rims make it lightweight and keep the weight down than normal steel bikes. It is also equipped with lightweight aluminum made stem, crank arms, and handlebars.
If you’re fat and looking for a bike that can bear your heavyweight, then this beefy bike is one of the best bike for fat people because it bears weight up to 500 pounds and works well as a fun way to do some exercise.
Things I don’t like in this bike are its pedals and seat because both seem too small to me, but yeah, you can spend a few bucks on replacing them instead of buying high price tag bikes.
4. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike – Best Cheap Mountain Bike Under $200
The Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike is not the perfect mountain bike for experts and professional mountain bikers, but if you’re looking for a low-budget Mountain bike then it is the best cheap bike for entry-level cyclists.
Overall, it’s a good entry-level mountain bike having a sturdy steel frame. Its well-constructed Hardtail frame is precision-crafted for durability along with comfort. Trails, woods, neighborhood road, or whatever path you choose to ride, Huffy Hardtail mountain bike is always ready for every type of ride.
It is equipped with 21-speed shifters and a Shimano derailleur, which allows you to easily twist shifters for smooth riding performance. Alloy quick release allows you to adjust the seat and handlebar easily according to the rider’s height.
It should be delivered entirely pre-assembled as it is an Entry-Level bike, but unfortunately, it is not. It is 85% pre-assembled, but you have to attach the saddle, front wheel, handlebars, and pedals. Moreover, the bike seat is uncomfortable.
5. SANTA CRUZ Chameleon 29 R – Best Hardtail Mountain Bike
As its name implies, the Santa Cruz Chameleon is a great pick for professional riders. It has 29-inch Maxxis Minion DHF front and rear tires. There are plenty of high-quality tire options available in the market, but Maxxis Minion tires sit as a benchmark when it comes to professional mountain bikes. These tires can be fit on any bike from a down country bike all the way up to a downhill bike.
For those professional bikers looking for the best high-end trail Hardtail mountain bike for their adventures in 2021, I highly recommend this Chameleon 29R carbon mountain bike.
Chameleon was consistently manufacturing aluminum frames in the past. In this model, the material used to build this bike is Carbon C, its second-tier carbon, making it extremely low-weight, durable, and shock-resistant. Moreover, Santa Cruz offers a lifetime frame warranty.
Geometry plays an important role, especially in mountain bikes. Santa Cruz mountain bike moderate geometry is always ready to hit unpaved technical trails. Short chainstays, equitably long reach measurements for each size, and a relaxed head tube angle plays a major role in the Chameleon’s versatility.
It can hit the jumps and berms in the bike park after work, ready to participate in a single-speed race one weekend and load up with a week’s worth of camping gear for a bike-packing vacation in 2021.
6. Giant STANCE 29 2 Mountain Bike – Best Mountain Bike for Trails 2021
There would be hundreds of people striving to get the bike that offers exceptional performance and does not cost much. If your sight never came across to this bike, then now you would love to purchase this bike.
One of the best parts of this bike is that it has a wide diameter of 29 inches to accommodate the wheel. These large, durable wheels help to move on any rocky garden. However, the bike is designed with a full suspension fork. Its rear and front suspension fork increases its shock-absorbing ability by 10. Also, it provides more excellent traction on tricky surfaces.
Its frame is designed with an ALUXX proven aluminum frame, which offers a balanced ride. The frame is strong, agile, and well-built to keep your ride in control. Its frame, combined with the flex point rear suspension system, always offers a smooth and unbeatable riding experience.
Moreover, the frame offers you four different sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large, which means anyone with thin or bulky posture can have their hands on this bike.
The Shimano brakes offer a quick and responsive braking power in all road types. At the same time, the handlebars and seat post create an upright posture for a healthy spine. Its SRAM shifters provide a smooth transition of speed to tackle different terrains. If you’re planning for a bike tour, it will handle everything you throw at it with ease.
So, this pick is from the SALSA brand, which has been designing their bikes with versatility. The features this Mukluk carbon fat bike possesses make it unassailable by all means and labeled it as one of the best mountain bikes in 2021.
The bike is built to combat the wide range of roads, so floating on rocky roads would be a breeze now. Its exceptional feature is the utmost reason behind why I have placed this bike in the ranking. SALSA provided this bike with a lightweight carbon frame for added agility.
This bike is not the same as other mountain bikes because they have constructed this bike with a low and rearward center of gravity that keeps the bike intact to the ground more strongly and increases its stability when your chosen voyage is a bit challenging.
Moreover, with its carbon frame, its kingpin carbon fork works as the best shock absorber as it features a four-set of the three-pack mount and accommodates the rider to cover their distance freely. However, the frame also features two bottle mounts, so whenever you feel thirsty, you can always make yourself hydrated from time to time.
If I talk about the brakes, this fantastic fat tire bike utilizes SRAM disc brakes. Many of you must have known that SRAM disc brakes are one of the powerful brakes for mountain bikes, and if a list of best and powerful brakes is created, then SRAM Guide hydraulic brakes disc brakes would be listed on top. Its exceptional performance in rough road conditions and its precise and controlled brake makes them no.1 choice among the manufacturers.
The bike is up for grabs in two radiant and eye-pleasing colors: dark green and simple green. Salsa Mukluk FX 2021 is perfect for commuting, dirty paths as well uphill, downhill and snowy trails.
8. Cannondale Scalpel Hi-MOD Ultimate – Best XC Mountain Bike 2021
Scalpel SE – the ultra-light trail bike is another one of the world’s best mountain bikes, especially for cross-country racing in 2021. It has Ultra-light carbon Flex Pivot bike frame, Ocho carbon fork, and integrated Cannondale app connectivity. This new Scalpel frame is one of the lightest full-suspension MTB frames in 2021.
It is equipped with high-quality disc brakes and a new SRAM wireless 12-speed groupset. The reason why I called it the best mountain bike for XC in 2021 is because it is equipped with the most advanced suspension ever made. Additionally, Cannondale Scalpel is the first bike of the series with the 10-52t SRAM.
Mostly manufacturers sacrifice performance to save weight, but Cannondale Scalpel patented Flex Pivot suspension delivers both. Cannondale Scalpel is incredibly lightweight, with unreal grip control, and acceleration which lets you go flat-out everywhere with more speed and fun.
Its progressive geometry has evolved even further – have full degree and a half slacker head tube angle, one-degree steeper seat tube angle – creates this bike more aggressive, lightning-fast, fun, and stable everywhere, from the Tour De France to your local loop.
Moreover, it has Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO 29 inch tubeless-ready tires and lightweight carbon rims.
Malus Fat Tire Mountain Bike is another great pick by Mongoose at a very affordable price. This bike is perfect for teenagers, boys, and Entry-level cyclists who are looking for the best mountain bikes for their adventures in 2021.
Regardless, I like Malus Mountain Bike because it is very well constructed with high-quality components at a reasonable price. In fact, this mongoose model is slightly comparable to some expensive mountain bikes in the market. And I bet if you compare it with bikes with high price tags, you will find a hair’s breadth of difference between them.
Moreover, Malus 7-speed mountain bike has a steel frame, twist shifters, mechanical disc brakes, and a pleasing look. You can comfortably ride it in the dirt, snow, mud, or on city roads.
The only thing I don’t like about this bike is its heavyweight, which is common in steel bikes but it is undoubtedly very sturdy, comfortable, and the best value for money.
Finally, if you’re planning to lose your heavyweight in 2021 and looking for a bike, you can ride with ease and bear your heavyweight, then invest in Malus Fat Tire Mountain Bike without any further research.
This sleek and admirable frame has never been the one to seek people’s attention, due to its unmatchable features that every biker person wishes to have in its mountain bike. But after the company decided to take its authority and installed it with some unbeatable features that made it stand out among the most powerful trail weapons of SANTA CURZ’S lineup.
If a record of all 29er is created, the reverenced Santa Cruz would have its own separate section, and hence it became the archetype of folk hero, preceding to the redesign of 2020 model, the TALLBOY got upgraded with new color technique schemes and components yearly with three editions, that is TALLBOY 1, TALLBOY 2 and TALLBOY 3.
Even though the improvement of 10mm does not sound like much, with the 120 plus 10 mm extra front travel and 120 mm rear travel, the capabilities of the TALLBOY mountain bike have upgraded further than ever before, this provides an added control to soak up the bumps and rough terrain.
The 10mm of rear axle adjustments ensures easy adjustments for all ages. Nonetheless, the more redefined carbon frame offers a responsive and fast ride that makes you wish to scoot up and down the mountain, thus you do not need to desist from having fun and fast trails.
Engineered with the same principle as the brand’s longest travel bike is, makes you feel at home cross-country riding when having extreme backcountry. The VVP suspension stabilizes the ride when you intend to add more power down on the pedals, gives you a much livelier and light feel when slamming the abrupt ridge.
Types of Mountain Bikes
As I mentioned earlier, there are numerous types of mountain bikes. Depending upon their rigidity, suspension, geometry, tire sizes, usage, and on and on. All in all, there are endless variations depending upon usage, trails, etc., but generally, they’re grouped into the following categories:
Mountain Bikes Types According To Their Structure
1. Rigid Mountain Bikes
Rigid mountain bikes don’t have front and rear suspension. Due to no suspension, you will feel too much uncomfortable riding these mountain bikes, and if you’re a beginner to mountain biking, I bet you will start hating mountain biking. But you will find them more user-friendly and safe than road bikes on paved surfaces.
2. Hardtail Mountain Bikes
Hardtail mountain bikes have suspension forks only on the front fork. These bikes are more comfortable than entry-level full-suspension mountain bikes, as well as they’re lightweight. Also, they have better handling than entry-level full-suspension bikes. Due to these specifications, they’re perfect for racing and cross-country rides. In my top mountain bikes 2021 list, SANTA CRUZ Chameleon and Huffy are listed as the best Hardtail Mountain bikes in 2021.
3. Full-Suspension Mountain Bike
Full-suspension Mountain bikes have front suspension as well as rear suspension. These bikes offer great comfort and make it sure to ride more technical terrain. Generally, they’re much more expensive and heavyweight than rigid and Hardtail mountain bikes. In my top mountain bikes 2021 list, Cannondale Scalpel and Giant STANCE are listed as best-full suspension Mountain bikes in 2021.
Mountain Bikes Types According To Their Usage
Mountain Bikes are further divided according to their usage and trail types, which are mentioned below:
1. Enduro / All-Mountain Bikes
The term Enduro mountain biking comes after getting inspired by European motorbike enduro racing and car rally racing. The concept of Enduro mountain biking is simple, that is: go to the top of the mountain and race to the bottom.
In Enduro Racing, downhill sections are time, but uphill sections are not. Generally, full-suspension bikes are used for Enduro, but you can also use Hardtail mountain bikes if you can bear uncomfortability. Usually, they have a 150mm front suspension. Enduro rides are risky and I highly recommend you to wear full face MTB helmet to avoid serious head injuries.
For enduro rides, you may go uphill on truck along with bikes! And you’ll definitely need a bike rack for hooking up your bikes and safety of vehicle. For a detailed guide, read Bike Reviews Hub Guide: Best Tailgate Pad
2. Park or Downhill Mountain Bikes
Downhill bikes are heavy because they’re full-suspension, with max suspension in the front (approximately 200mm+). Usually, their tires are big and knobby. You can also consider them as motocross bikes without a motor.
3. Trail Bikes
Trail bikes are the most commonly used mountain bikes. Mostly, full-suspension bikes are used, but sometimes Hardtail bike designs with longer forks and slacker trail bike geometry work fine. Usually, it has a 120mm – 160mm suspension.
4. Cross-country Bikes
Cross-country bikes, also called XC mountain bikes, are about speed and climbing for epic, long rides in the backcountry. While buying an XC mountain bike, you should consider weight and suspension because if you are putting a lot of burden on the bike, the more effective bike ride will become with lightweight.
5. Fat Bikes
Fat bikes are designed especially for riding on sand and snow, or anywhere you need big beefy tires (as wide as 4 inches) for maximum grip. They are all about 4-seasons cycling versatility and are perfect for fattish people.
As I already mentioned above, the types of bikes, I am sure that if you are a beginner mountain biker, you got it exactly what type of bike you have to buy from my best mountain bikes 2021 list. But in case you are planning to buy a mountain bike from a local bike shop, then you should consider some other necessary features to avoid fraud.
1. Bike Size
Bike sizing is not an exciting topic to learn about, but it is one of the crucial because riding an unfit bike can result in several problems like back pain, fatigue, and high crash risks. For this reason, you should be familiar with bike sizing and the standard measurements required.
The best way to make sure the proper bike size, go to your local bike shop and ride the bike around the block, OR you can also research about bike sizing online.
The bike frame is another essential part to look for while buying a mountain bike because if you don’t have the right frame, you’ll feel uncomfortable while riding as well as it can cause severe back pain. The frame should be lightweight.
There are different types of bike materials, like steel, aluminum, carbon, etc. If you’re not limited to the budget, then prefer to buy a carbon fiber frame bike because it is much more lightweight than steel and aluminum bikes as well as sturdier than an aluminum frame.
As discussed above in bikes types, there are two types of suspension: Front and Full Suspension. Deciding which one to buy is crucial, and in the cycling world, it is equivalent to whether to buy a Macintosh or PC.
Front suspension Hardtail mountain bikes are lightweight and less expensive than full-suspension bikes but choose them according to your needs.
4. Wheel Size
Lastly, wheel size is another important spec to look for while buying a mountain bike. 27.5 and 29er are the most common wheel sizes modern-age mountain bikes have. There was a time when a 26-inch wheel was high in demand, and people preferred 26-inch wheel size bikes, but now you rarely see it. It is replaced with 27.5 and 29er.
27.5 wheel is a little bit smaller in size, so it can feel a little bit more agile and flickable to ride, whereas the 29er provides a little bit more traction, and it is good in rolling over the stiff surface and rolls fast. As a trail biker, I really enjoy 29er.
Buying the best mountain bike is not easy, as there are lots of things to consider. But I have tried my best to give you each and every detail about mountain bikes and biking. All the bikes listed above are straightforward to ride with great comfort. I hope you can easily find the best MTB that fits your budget and fulfill your mountain riding needs in 2021.
Related Cycling Buyer’s Guides
- Best Mountain Bikes Under $500
- List of 10 Best Road Bikes Under $1000
- List of Best Mountain Bikes Under $200
- Top 10 Best Mountain Bikes Under $300
As much as I remember, I started cycling when I was 5 years old. So I got to know that the passion for riding it runs through my blood but buying the right bicycling equipment and trustworthy information is another story. Always betrayed by sellers and even by friends so I decided to revolutionize it. When choosing bicycling products, I evaluate user’s experiences, different forum discussions, and other social media debates. I do in-depth research on every topic I publish to share with you the most valuable and trustworthy information. Read more about the way I choose the best cycling products and my transformation journey from riding it as a hobby to becoming my passion.