Best

10 Best Mountain Bike Brands

Searching For The Best Mountain Bike Brands

Whether you’re looking for a simple trail bike or a rough-terrain racer, determining which bicycle to buy is a big decision. I’ve put together this list of the best mountain bike brands to show you your options.

With new models, light-as-air materials, and more advanced tech entering mountain bike design constantly, choosing your perfect bike can be an overwhelming process.

In this listicle, I’ll guide you through the details of my top 10 picks and navigate the ins and outs of mountain bike use so you can get out on the trail as soon as possible.

The 10 Best Mountain Bike Brands

#1: Santa Cruz Bicycles

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Santa Cruz Bicycles believes that “bikes are a force for good.” Founded in 1994 by pro skateboarder Rob Roskopp, the brand is known for its unique approach. Choosing full suspension for its first-ever model, it quickly became known as a company that pushed the envelope.

Today, Santa Cruz makes a huge selection of high-performance bikes. Designed for those who love cycling, it uses both carbon fiber and aluminum in full suspension and hardtail models.

With VPP technology for its full-suspension models, you’ll have a ton to pick through in terms of the level of stability that’s right for you.

Each bike is hand-assembled to your specifications and comes with a lifetime warranty. Known for its quality, hard-going, and long-lasting bikes, Santa Cruz promises “no missed rides,” meaning you’ll never miss an adventure.

With 26”, 27.5”, and 29” wheel options, simple models start at $2,700 while more advanced bikes cost about $10,400.

Highlights

  • VPP full suspension and hardtail options
  • Carbon fiber and aluminum frames
  • Range in price and quality
  • Three wheel sizes
  • Hand-assembled in California
  • Lifetime guarantee

#2: Yeti Cycles

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Yeti’s focus is on building bikes its team actually wants to ride. Founded by John Parker in 1985, the brand is one ridden by mountain biking greats including Juli Furtado, Jimmy Deaton, and John Tomac.

Passing through the hands of Schwinn and Volant, the company is currently owned by Chris Conroy and Steeve Hoogendoorn.

With a deep interest in designing bikes for real riders, Yeti cycles are simple in look but advanced in technology. It sticks by its “hand built, race bred” tagline. Its bikes have been the tool used to win many NORBA and World Cup races, and they’re designed to help you power through your own.

If you’re looking for a brand known for winning, Yeti is it. Offering a range of both race and rip bikes with 27.5” and 29” wheels, its carbon fiber cycles use Switch Infinity suspension—every model but one uses full suspension. Hit the finish line with one for $4,400-$8,800.

Highlights

  • Seven bikes + multiple models of each
  • All carbon fiber designed
  • Switch Infinity suspension
  • Designed for racing
  • High-end models
  • Makes only mountain bikes

#3: Ibis Cycles

Best Mountain Bike Brands

The Ibis Cycles story began in 1981. Since then, the brand has been through a lot including a shut-down and reopening which only made it that much more successful. 

Founder Scot Nicol made the brand’s first-ever bike frame in a garage in Northern California. But today, Ibis Cycles is owned by a total of five, including Roxy Lo, Tom Morgan, Colin Hughes, and Hans Heim who sits as CEO.

People gravitate towards Ibis for the performance of its bikes, and you’ll shop through seven different cycles in its collection. It offers 27.5” and 29” wheels and cool colors that match the brand’s Santa Cruz aesthetic.

Building both carbon and aluminum full suspension mountain bikes, they use a DW-Link suspension system for serious stability. Bikes range from $2,100 to $8,000.

Highlights

  • Seven cycle options
  • Built by Ibis in its North California factory
  • DW-Link suspension
  • 27” and 29” wheels
  • Carbon and aluminum frame
  • 7-year warranty

#4: Trek Bikes

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Trek Bikes started with a father-son trip to buy bicycles. Founded in 1976 by Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg as the middle ground in a market saturated with either low-end or too-expensive models, today, the brand is run by Dick’s son, John Burke.

Trek is known around the world for its fantastic mountain bike selection, including affordable options for kids, along with advanced styles for women and men.

No matter which one you buy, it’ll be made with the ride in mind. The brand’s bikes are designed with smart features to give you a smooth, stable ride on all surfaces.

Its collection includes cross country, full suspension, and trail bikes among others for $300-$13,000.

Highlights

  • Huge selection of bikes
  • Kids, women’s, and men’s styles
  • Advanced varieties for serious cyclers
  • Known for its reliable quality
  • Affordable options

#5: Juliana Bicycles

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Juliana Bikes is iconic bike maker Santa Cruz’s interjection to a male-dominated market. Since the majority of mountain bikes were, and still are, made for men, in the 1980s, there weren’t many options for smaller riders.

Named after Juli Furtado, a powerhouse mountain biker, the brand was founded in 1999 when it released one of the first-ever mountain bikes specifically for women called The Juliana.

Juliana Bicycles has grown over the years, though its dedication to designing bikes that fit women, perform well, and last has never changed.

The company uses VPP suspension technology across its line, along with carbon fiber frames. Juliana bikes are incredibly light, stable, and durable.

You’ll find both frames and complete mountain bikes in the collection. Completes range from $3,000 to $9,000.

Highlights

  • Bike options specifically for women and those with smaller frames
  • VPP technology suspension
  • Carbon fiber options
  • Lightweight, durable
  • Award-winning line
  • Range of prices

#6: Jenson USA

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Jenson is the only name on this list of best mountain bike brands that sells products from multiple bike companies. It doesn’t have its own line, but you will find a great range of well-known names like Yeti, Fox, and Ibis.

Also offering gear, accessories, and apparel, Jenson USA wants to inspire people to “ride, experience, and explore.” The brand has come a long way since its 1994 debut, launched by Michael Cachat who created it while he was still in high school.

With a customer-centric approach, Jenson USA is known for its customer service before, during, and after you buy your bike.

Its cycle selection is perhaps the largest on this list and includes models for cross country and downhill, with both hardtail and full suspension options. You’ll find both 29” and 27.5” wheel sizes here.

For riders of all levels, Jenson USA bikes start at $300 for Batch and sail up to $13,000 for a Yeti.

Highlights

  • Carries popular mountain bikes brands
  • Options for riders of all levels
  • Range of prices and quality
  • Affordable options
  • Customer-centric

#7: Pivot Cycles

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Pivot Cycles was created after founder Chris Cocalis realized he was never happy with his equipment. As a BMX rider, he found he was always breaking his bikes, regardless of their purported “quality.” In an attempt to deliver real quality—to himself and all other riders—he started Pivot in 2007.

Cocalis had previously designed bikes for his first company, Titus Cycles. Over the years, he’s created many patented innovations and was a driving force behind the creation of full-suspension bikes.

The numerous patents, unique suspension, and innovation are what have made Pivot such a successful brand, along with Cocalis’s expertise and passion for cycling.

Pivot makes downhill, trail, and XC bikes with options for 26”, 27.5”, and 29” wheels. Known for its advanced tech and science, this is one of the best mountain bike brands for serious riders. Bikes range from $7,800 to $13,100.

Highlights

  • Wide range of bike options
  • Full suspension and hardtail options
  • For advanced riders
  • Innovative technology
  • High-quality construction

#8: Rocky Mountain

Best Mountain Bike Brands

You can’t have a name like Rocky Mountain and make basic bikes. This brand is all about helping you to “love the ride,” and that means giving you a smooth and stress-free bike to take with you no matter where you’re headed.

With bikes for the train, cross country, and adventure, you’ll find fat styles within the line too. Rock Mountain was founded in 1981 in Vancouver, BC by a group of outdoor-loving bike enthusiasts—Grayson Bain, Jacob Heilbron, and Sam Mak.

Rocky Mountain is all about designing cycles for all levels of riders, so its large collection of mountain bikes comes as no shock. Whether you’re in it for the fresh air, steep declines, or competition, this company makes something for you.

Rocky Mountain’s range of bikes costs between $2,400 and $9,400.

Highlights

  • Large selection of bikes
  • Designs for all levels
  • Kid and adult options
  • Styles for all activities
  • Advanced cycles available
  • Affordable options

#9: Salsa Cycles

Best Mountain Bike Brands

There’s something spicy about Salsa Bikes, a passion for life you can feel from its designs. Simply said, its team is obsessed with life’s adventures.

Offering a range of beginner-friendly and racing cycles for any trail, the collection doesn’t skimp on technical features to help you along your own.

As a Certified B Corporation, Salsa Cycles sources materials and makes its bikes to high social and ecological standards. It was founded by Ross Schafer in the 1980s. Since then, it’s been on a mission to “make the best possible bikes and accessories for adventure.”

The company is loved for its signature ride style and innovative split pivot and design. Each piece of every bike is designed with purpose—and delight.

When the brand started, its focus was on bike frames and stems. Today, you’ll also find a ton of completes in its collection, six of which are mountain bikes with a handful of models among them.

Start your next adventure with Salsa for $1100-$2,800.

Highlights

  • Six styles available
  • Tech-forward designs
  • Certified B Corporation
  • Tons of fun colorways
  • Affordable

#10: Wilier

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Founded in 1906, Wilier is one of the oldest names on this list of best mountain bike brands. The idea was sparked when Dal Molin, a trader from Pietro, decided to build his own bikes. He constructed his bike frames in a home forge near the river Brenta in Italy.

It was in another 40 years that Wilier Triestina officially launched its signature copper-colored cycles.

And even though it wasn’t long after that the era of the scooter took over Italy and the cycle shop had to close, in 1969, it was opened again and has since made its way into the international market.

Chosen for its rich history and dedication to the craft of cycle making, Wilier doesn’t follow existing bike designs, it creates its own from the ground up.

Offering three styles of mountain bikes in its collection, each one blends historic Italian tradition with modern innovation.

Ride a Wilier for $2400-$6700.

Highlights

  • Three styles of bikes available
  • Affordable range of bikes
  • Sleek, innovative designs
  • 5-year warranty
  • Historic brand

How to Shop for the Best Mountain Bike

Best Mountain Bike Brands

Many variables go into creating a mountain bike and that means in terms of options, you’ll have a ton to choose from. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for can help, and if you’d like to zero in on what that is, check out the list below.

Brand

If you’re going to invest in a bike, then you want to know the brand behind it is credible. Coming to know a company’s reputation is critical in selecting a reliable cycle, so be sure to consider what each one is like while browsing the best mountain bike brands.

Mountain bikes are designed to be put under stress, so looking into the warranty your preferred pick comes with is smart too. Some names on this list offer 5-year warranties, while others back their bikes for life.

Materials

What your bike is made from matters. It all comes into play when riding, navigating corners, and climbing uphill. For serious racers, the lighter the frame, the better.

That’s why the invention of carbon fiber bikes has become the gold standard in the racing industry.

Aluminum is also a great lightweight frame, but not everyone is concerned with weight. The type of material you choose will either increase or decrease the price.

Quality and construction

Helping to absorb shock, bikes vary in suspension level depending on what they’re designed for. In the mountain bike world, suspension is king.

It’s what keeps you steady on rocky terrain and after jumps, and depending on what you’re using your bike for, this feature may be high on your list.

Since this is a list of the best mountain bike brands, quality isn’t something to question, but some cycles are built with more advanced features, higher-quality materials, and thoughtful construction than others.

When considering construction, look into the type of materials used, the angle of the handlebars, and the durability of the contact points (tires, saddle, handlebars).

Size

When it comes to mountain bikes, size matters. Especially for wheels. That’s why you’ll only find 26”, 27.5”, and 29” wheels among the majority of the best mountain bike brands shown here.

Larger wheels make for easier climbs as well as a smoother ride on rocky ground. Where you’ll use your bike is a deciding factor in how big your wheels should be.

Seat height is another thing to keep in mind. For many of the best mountain bike brands, there is no distinction between men’s and women’s-specific models. Seat height is something left up to you, as all bikes come with adjustable seats.

What you may want to pay attention to instead is frame size. Many brands give you the option of small to extra large frames. Be sure to consult the size guide, pull out your measuring tape, and choose accordingly.

Hardtail vs Full Suspension

Where you plan on taking your bike will be the deciding factor between hardtail and full-suspension models. Here’s the difference between them:

  • Hardtail bikes tend to be more efficient when pedaling, climbing, and are smoother on the trail. They’re typically lighter, easier to keep up with, and are ideal for those with little trail experience.
  • Full suspension bikes are great for all types of terrain. They can handle tough terrain and offer stability. Great for downhill racings, these bikes almost do the work for you and often come equipped with advanced tech.

Budget

The higher quality you go, the higher the price tag. If you’re looking for the best of the best, expect prices upwards of $9,000. The majority of models on this best mountain bike brands list range between $2,00-$6,000, and for a quality bike that’s built to last, that’s a reasonable price.

You will find some companies that offer models under $1,000, and if you’re a casual rider, this price point may be perfect.

Are mountain bikes good for everyday use?

Best Mountain Bike Brands

In one word, yes. Though they’re not designed for use on the road, they can be ridden daily. Since they offer great suspension, they easily handle potholes and uneven pavement. Offering stability, you can navigate on and off the curb without batting an eyelash.

The only drawback to using a mountain bike on the road is speed. If you’re used to weaving in and out of traffic to beat the red light, this style of bike isn’t for you.

How do I make my mountain bike safe?

Best Mountain Bike Brands

If you’re interested in the best mountain bike brands, then you probably have a plan or two that takes you down steep inclines and rough trails.

There are added risks to using your bike for these types of activities, but after all, this is what they’re made for.

Each bike is specially designed to handle uneven surfaces, sharp turns, and downhill rides. To make your mountain bike safer, consider doing this:

  • Installing wider handlebars: This will add stability by giving you a better grip
  • Stay in control: This is the next thing you can do to ride your bike safely, don’t tackle difficult trails without being ready.
  • Always wear a helmet: This one’s a no-brainer if you want to keep your brain intact.

 If you have rough plans for your bike, choose one known for high caliber quality and construction.

What regular maintenance should be done on a mountain bike?

Best Mountain Bike Brands

If you ride your bike often, be prepared for quite a bit of general maintenance. Every 4-5 rides, check your brake pads, tension, chain, and tire pressure.

With every 3-6 months of use (depending on how often you ride), take your bike to be serviced. If you’re experienced with bike maintenance, general servicing involves the following:

  1. Swap out fork seals and oil
  2. Check hydraulic brakes, drain if needed
  3. Clean the drivetrain
  4. Check sealant for tire fluid
  5. Monitor tire tread and sidewalls

Final Thoughts

Best Mountain Bike Brands

It’s the end of the road for the top 10 best mountain bike brands, but hopefully, your journey with one of them has just begun.

Since mountain bikes have a rep for stability, durability, and tread, no matter which one you pick, you’ll be glad when you meet that first bump on the trail.


Check out some of our recently published articles:

9 Best Electric Guitar Brands

9 Best Speaker Brands

10 Best Pool Table Brands

Ask the community or leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This field is required