The 7 Best Mountain Bikes to Buy in 2018

Hit the trails with the right model for you

Over the years, mountain biking has become a four-season activity thanks to the innovation and technology of their creators. Of course, different bikes are made for different terrain, regardless of whether you’re riding under the blaze of the summer sun or on a ground of snow-covered ice.

Once you figure out how you want to use the bike and where you will be riding most, the next considerations usually come in these areas: suspension, wheel size, frame materials, brakes, and gearing. And of course, the cost is always a factor.

It may seem like a lot to consider, especially if you’re new to the sport, but don’t let that scare you away. Biking is a great way to get outside, fit in your cardio and free the mind all in one ride. So a little research certainly goes a long way. And, we’ve done a lot of it for you! here are the best mountain bikes for you. 

 

1

Best for Beginner: L.L. Bean BeanSport Trail Mountain Bike, 27.5

L.L. Bean has teamed up with Schwinn to bring this mountain bike, just right for a beginner. If you’re getting started, this bike is a great way to break in. Using your height as a guide, the bike comes in four different aluminum frame sizes. Equipped with mechanical disc brakes, a new rider will feel secure in stopping as this type of brake is quicker to react than the standard caliper-style brakes. The drivetrain is like those found on more expensive bikes and features 24 different speeds certain to be suitable for just about any terrain. The gears change quickly and smoothly according to users.

Some assembly is required when this bike is shipped to you. This bike weighs about 35 pounds when assembled. 

2

Best Under $1,000: Savadeck Ultralight

With its carbon fiber frame, fork, and seat post, the Savadeck rides like a dream and comes in under $1000. The lightweight bike (about 21 pounds) is desirable for everyday use or an entry-level racer. Other features include hydraulic brakes and internal cable routing. The design of a short rear triangle makes the frame stiffer and easy to control which can also enhance the instant explosive force while riding. This 18-speed comes in four different colors to choose from.

You can purchase this model not assembled or pay an extra $79 to have someone put it together for you. Reviewers praise this as an excellent carbon frame bike at under $1000. 

3

Best Under $500: Titan Fusion PRO

For those not looking to spend a whole lot of money but want something durable and lightweight, the 21-speed dual suspension Titan Fusion-Pro is a smart option. The bike has a hybrid frame which includes both Alloy and Steel components. The frame size is 19” so be sure to use a height-guide to see if this will work for your needs. The bike also comes equipped with 26” Double Wall Alloy Wheels. Some users recommend getting a different seat for longer rides because the included one might be a little uncomfortable. 

4

Best Lightweight: BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

With great suspension and smooth, instantaneous gear-changing, the Beiou is enjoyed by mountain bike enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Three different frame sizes allow for a bike that is best suited for your body type. The 30-speed Beiou is incredibly responsive with reliable brakes and a spot-on derailer. The front suspension even comes with lock-out. While the seat is aesthetically pleasing, many users prefer a seat cover for comfort. This model comes in five colors.

Reviewers comment that this bike has a lot of the same great features as a more expensive model will have and note the gears and suspension are top notch. 

5

Best Fat Tire Bike: Diamondback El Oso De Acero

There are some who say the fat tire bikes are for beginners, but really, they’re enjoyed by everyone (especially if you’re looking to take on snow, sand, or any rough terrain that requires some strong traction). Though the tires are big, the ride is as smooth as can be. Equipped with front and rear thru axles, heat-treated steel frame and fork (which riders claim is: stiff, durable and lightweight), this Diamondback is ready for adventure.

Reviewers comment this bike has great traction but the brakes might take a little to break in so use this on some short trips before any extreme biking. 

6

Best Carbon Fiber: BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B, 27.5

For a Carbon Fiber bike, this comes in at an affordable price and provides a stellar ride. If you’re new to mountain biking, carbon fiber tends to be lightweight compared to others (so when you win that triathlon, you can easily hoist this above your head in celebration!). Not only is the acceleration top notch, but users also love how well the hydraulic brakes engage, making you feel completely in control from the first pedal to the last. While the bike won’t take on hardcore trails, it’s built to tolerate medium terrain. The bike comes in a variety of different frame sizes and colors.

Reviewers note the bike is easy to put together and they include an Allen wrench to assemble. One reviewer commented that this bike outperformed his road bike. 

7

Best High End: Diamondback Release 3 Full Suspension

​Aside from not having a carbon frame or wheels, the Diamondback has a lot of the high-end features of a premium brand bike, but at a more affordable cost. These top-notch parts include SRAM drivetrain, dropper seat post, SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes, and wide Blanchard rims. The hydroformed aluminum frame takes a modern approach: a shorter rear end and longer top tube, making for a zippy yet stable bike. With 130mm of rear travel and 150mm in the front, this bike takes on rugged terrain like a much bigger bike. It’s efficiency shows in its ability to climb in elevation (or roll singletrack). The bike is warrantied for up to 300 pounds.

Reviewers commend this bike for its solid frame, reasonable price in this market, and excellent customer service with live help and videos online. 

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