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The 7 best mountain bike brands in 2024

If you want to choose the best mountain bike of any given day or month, one of the better ways to do so is to look to great brands and see what their newest bikes are. But what brands are consistently trusted year over year? There are certainly famous bike brands like Schwinn, but nowadays we’re featuring them more for things like their recumbent stationary bikes for seniors and less so for their mountain bike prowess. Instead, check out the following brands that have stand out mountain bikes on a recurring basis.

Specialized

A man riding a Specialized mountain bike down a difficult trail.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With prices that range from the hundred to the thousands and names ranging from ‘Rockhopper’ to ‘Stumpjumper’, the Specialized line is built to endure a tough mountain or trail. While each of their mountain bikes are specialized in some way or another to take a beating on the trail, there are some features you should know about that appear time and time again. The first is their SWAT technology, which appears on their biking apparel and mountain bikes. This puts a storage pouch inside the metal frame of your bike without sacrificing frame integrity. It’s perfect for your energizing snacks. The other is their ‘Body Geometry’ system, which designs bicycles to fit the specifics of the human body. Check out their mountain bikes by tapping the button below and you’ll see a ton of information about each mountain bike’s specific measurements and parameters. They really care about this stuff.

Giant Bicycles

The Giant ATX on a trail.
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When you browse the best mountain bikes under $1,000, you’re going to see a ton of options from Giant. That isn’t to say that the brand doesn’t have super premium mountain bikes, but it is to say that this reliable brand is ready to help bikers and would-be bikers of all levels and budgets get on a ride. Whether you’re just getting used to riding over exposed tree roots or are at the beginning of doing hops and small jumps, we’ve found great Giant mountain bikes designed to help you along your journey to trail riding mastery.

Ibis

Ibis Ripmo v2 XT Mountain Bike on a white studio background.
Ibis

The Ibis Ripmo V2 XT, featured above, is considered one of the best bicycles and a fantastic choice of mountain bike. Part of the reason is that the Ripmo bikes — and all other Ibis mountain bikes — are a build your own bike experience. If you have a friend that gets all sweaty over shopping for computer parts on Newegg, you can join them when you design your own bike at Ibis. One thing that makes this brand stand out is how un-corporate it feels. The site has pictures of all the staff and their dogs, too, phone numbers to the company, and it’s full old-school blog style story. We’ll let you check out the bikes on your own, as you’ll be the one building your own style after all, but the company seems ready to help if you need a hand getting your gear together.

Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Blur is all about quality suspension.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Santa Cruz is a maker of quality bikes, some of the best e-bicycles, and more. Perhaps because of their experience with electronically-assisted riding, their bikes — such as the Santa Cruz Blur, featured above — put an emphasis on quality suspension and smooth riding. They also have one of the wider selections of types of bike (again, including powered ones) so be sure you know the types of mountain bike well before making a purchase.

Kona

The Kona Big Honzo is a mountain bike with thick tires.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Kona, established in 1988, is a brand going through a bit of a shift in recent years, with a change in ownership in the past couple of years. As a result, we’re excited to keep tabs on the company and see where they’re headed. What we do see, presently, is a diverse range of mountain bikes, some with unique features (the Big Honzo, pictured above, has thick tires) and all with a solid chassis. Their store features ten types of mountain bikes, including those for kids, meaning you can get started teaching your young ones proper mountain biking habits early. We appreciate this brand’s diverse range of colors for both the chassis and, sometimes, the wheels (check out the Shonky to see what we mean).

Trek

Trek Marlin 7 (Gen 2) Mountain Bike on a black studio background.
Trek

Trek provides hugely popular mountain bikes that are often geared for something in particular. This can mean going fast in a competitive arena or going down technically difficult trail paths. And don’t forget bikes with a great suspension system for better handling after sticking a post-jump landing. This all being said, Trek admits that the Fuel EX — the company’s all-rounder that is fun for any mountain biking destination — is their most popular trail bike. Check out their full collection of mountain bikes, trail bikes, and more by tapping the button below.

Cannondale

Two men on Cannondale mountain bikes.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Last, but certainly not least, on our list is a mountain bike brand that we have a ton of first-hand experience with (check out our Cannondale Scalpel SE review from way back when) and thoroughly enjoy. Their designs can be “dangerously fast” and are quite light. Exemplary of this, and the overall Cannondale experience, is the Cannondale Lefty Fork. This fork, a specialized frame mechanic, holds the front wheel by a bar that juts down to the left side of it. It looks weird and seems like it would throw your balance completely off, but the result is actually fantastic. Not all Cannondale mountain bikes have a lefty fork, but you should strongly consider trying one if you want to get a truly unique experience out of your next mountain ride.

Editors' Recommendations

John Alexander

John Alexander is a former ESL teacher, current writer and internet addict, and lacks the wisdom to know what the future holds. His writing has appeared in PopSci, HeadPhonesty, WIRED, and Digital Trends. When not working, he can be found playing board games, drinking too much tea, taking long walks, and attempting to read foreign language books.

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