12 Best Mountain Bikes in 2017

Most Americans learned to ride a bike at some point in their life. Once you get the hang of it, it is rather simple. Mountain bikes are a different beast however as they can have multiple gears and require more skill. They are generally more expensive than your typical street cruiser as well, which makes finding the right one a tall order for experienced riders and newbies alike.

Our list of the best mountain bikes covers several ranges from the entry level to experts. While a few fan favorites are missing, we have included something for everyone with every suspension imaginable. If you have been out of the biking scene for a while, you may be impressed by some of the features newer models have to offer.

Top 12 Mountain Bikes Comparison Table

Design Name Suspension Multiple Sizes Rating (1-5)
   1. BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike  Hardtail  Yes  4.9
   2. Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive ST Hardtail Mountain Bike  Hardtail  Yes  4.8
   3. Diamondback Recoil 29er Mountain Bike  Full  Yes  4.8
   4. Vilano 26-Inch Frame Mountain Bike Ridge 2.0 MTB 21 Speed Shimano with Disc Brakes  Hardtail  Yes  4.6
   5. Camp Alloy 26″ Folding Bike 21 Speed Dual Suspension Mountain Bike Rocky  Dual  No  4.4
6. BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike  Hardtail  Yes  4.4
7. Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike  Hardtail  Yes  4.4
8. Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike  Dual  Yes  4.3
   9. Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes  Hardtail  No  4.2
   10. Ancheer Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike  Hardtail  No  4.1
   11. Xspec 26″ 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike  Dual  No  4.0
   12. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike  Dual  No  4.0

Buying Tips

Before you pick the perfect bike for the trails, take these areas into consideration.

  • Suspension – This is the first and main area you will want to focus on before looking at exotic alloys or high-end parts. Finding a bike with the right suspension is paramount, and there are several options to choose from which can quickly confuse buyers.
  • Hardtail is a word you’re going to see often. These are bikes that have front-suspension through forks, but no suspension in the rear. As the name implies, Full Suspension bikes offer up support on both ends and will offer up the smooth ride. You’ll get maximum shock absorption with these models making them ideal for almost any off-road environment.

While Hardtail mountain bikes are top of the line at the other end of the spectrum, we have the Rigid frame mountain bikes. These have no suspension and are rather bare bones aside from the usual components. They are going to come in cheaper than the other types of bikes on our list, but won’t be quite as comfortable.

Where You Do Plan to Ride Your Mountain Bike?

They are named mountain bikes for a reason, but you shouldn’t expect to go flying down Everest on one. Trails and rugged off-road terrain are what these bikes are made for despite the moniker. That said, not everyone wants or needs an MTB that can tear through muddy trails with ease.

Regardless of the suspension, some bikes are geared towards specific areas. If you plan on going downhill more often than not, you will want a bike with full suspension or front suspension and strong forks at a minimum. You’ll also want one sturdy with tires and rims that can handle downhill speeds. On the flipside, bikes built for jumping are usually hardtail and single speed for a reason.

You can always change out your tires if you want to change the way you ride. You cannot change the frame out, however – always keep that in mind.

Extras

The best mountain bikes on our list will feature components from Shimano and other well-known brands. You don’t have to stick to stock however as there are thousands of aftermarket alternatives available. Some bikes will come with a few extras out of the box, but more often than not you’ll need to shop around. We won’t dig into the best aftermarket components for your new ride but will tell you about two things to look for.

  • Water Bottles – If you are going to spend any amount of time on the road, you will want to stay hydrated. Most MTB’s won’t come with a holder and if they do, it may not be to your liking. It’s one of a few things you may want to purchase alongside your shiny new bike.
  • Kickstands – This one may seem like it should be a standard option, but it is not on most mountain bikes. That could come as a nasty surprise to consumers new to the world of MTB’s, but it is one feature you may not need depending on where you ride. These are cheap and easy to add in most cases, and certainly something to keep in mind depending on your usage.
  • Seats – This one again boils down to preference, and it’s not necessarily something you will know about until you go on your first ride. If you’re doing a lot of jumping and pumping up hills, you’re not going to be too concerned about this one. On the other hand, many MTB’s are built to perform just as well on the sidewalks, which means you may want a bit more cushion in some cases.

Top 5 Best Mountain Bikes Reviews

1. BEIOU Carbon Fiber Ultralight Mountain Bike

BEIOU has produced some fine mountain bikes, and the BEIOU BO-CB005 is one of our favorites. It’s a Hardtail mountain bike that is extremely light on the trail or in hand at only 10.8kg. That’s due to the Unibody frame which is made from Toray T800 Carbon Fiber. Thankfully, that exotic build extends to the handlebars and seat post as well.

If you are looking for a bike that has all the bells & whistles, it is hard to beat this one. The 30-speed bike has external cable routing but with a hidden disk braking system sporting a Shimano M355 Hydraulic-based setup. The air suspension fork ensures for a smooth ride on rough terrain.

The BEIOU Carbon Fiber Ultralight will be easy to carry and lug around, but it is not foldable like some of the bikes on our list. On the plus side, you can get this bike in a variety of sizes ranging from 15 to 19-inches and several different colors including Green, Red, Orange, Yellow and White.

2. Diamondback Overdrive ST Hardtail Mountain Bike

If you’ve been on a bike for years, Diamondback is a name that will certainly ring a bell. This bike is a good one for beginners or consumers looking for an entryway into the wild world of mountain biking. That means it will be missing some of the extras you’ll find on more professional models, so you may want to upgrade some components once you get rolling.

Out of the box, the Diamondback Overdrive ST Hardtail comes with a Tektro Aires Disc Brakes, Chaoyang Hornet tires and a Shimano Altus EF-51 3×8 speed shifter. Again, you’re not going to find too many high-end components on this one as it’s a sturdy workhorse built to get your on the road quickly. On that note, it isn’t exactly light but will be tough thanks to the butted 6061-T6 aluminum frame.

The Diamondback Overdrive ST is only available in one color, but there is a size for almost everyone. These run from Small to Extra Large which covers the 16 to 22-inch range. The bike is also deemed RTR, which means it’s ready-to-ride with very little assembly required.

3. Diamondback Recoil 29er Mountain Bike

If Diamondback’s first entry on our list of the best mountain bikes didn’t impress you, we think this one will surely do the trick. The Recoil 29er is a full-suspension bike with butting tubing and a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame. It can take a beating and will ensure you stay on the trail due to a Shimano 3×8 drivetrain and 8-speed cassette cogset. It does share some similarities to the ST Hardtail as you can see, but the main difference lies in the frame.

The frame and SR Suntour XCT 100mm suspension fork work in conjunction to ensure a smooth ride. The fork allows for up to 4-inches of travel while the Kindshock rear coil shocks even things out on the backend over rough terrain. Other perks include double wall aluminum rims, Schwalbe Rapid Rob 29-inch tires, and 21-gears to peddle through.

The Diamondback Recoil 29er will require a little more time to put together but is far from something that requires an expert. It is available in three different sizes as well with the small 16-inch, medium 18-inch, and a large 20-inch model.

4. Vilano Ridge 2.o MTB Mountain Bike

In the market for a good looking MTB that won’t break the bank? Vilano has several options available including the Vilano Mountain Ridge 2.0. In the mountain bike food chain, this two-wheeled wonder comes in on the lower end. It’s not due to the build quality or features however as this bike is built to be affordable and get beginners on the road quickly.

A rigid ride is what you’ll get from the Mountain Ridge as the 21-speed bike has the extremely popular 6061 double butted aluminum frame. It’s decked out with parts from Shimano when it comes to the shifters, brake levers, and derailleurs. The brakes of are the mechanical variety but the manufacturer didn’t offer up any information on the brand.

Last but not least are the tires and wheels. The Mountain Ridge 2.0 has mag alloy rims and “all purpose” tires built for the street or trail. In other words, you may want to switch these out depending on your needs. If you like what this bike brings to the table, you can grab one in Black and Red sized at 17 or 20-inch.

5. Camp Alloy 26” Folding Mountain Bike

Camp’s MTB may be the last bike to make our top 5, but it’s the only one that you’ll be able to transport easily. There will be no need to take out or fold down a seat, and you won’t even need a bike rack. The Camp Alloy Dual Suspension Mountain Bike folds for easy storage and only measures 29” x 37” x 13” when fully folded.

If you are of ample girth or tall, have no fear as the bike is built to support up to 250 lbs with ease and can handle riders from 5’3” all the way up to 6’2”. It’s obviously only available in one size, but there are four different colors to choose from. Some of the tech specs to note include 26” x 1.95” double walled alloy rims, dual disc brakes, and a Shimano 21-speed tourney derailleur.

Final Thoughts

We only touched on the top models from the current crop of mountain bikes, but there are many exotic options available if you want something above and beyond. Electric mountain bikes would be one of them although they are still in their infancy and can set you back as much as a new car. Others options include bikes with built-in tech to monitor your performance and MTB’s built especially for children or people with special needs.