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The 8 Best Mountain Bikes To Hit the Trails With This 2022

Mountain biking is an adrenaline-rush sport and hobby. Many cyclists venture to the great outdoors to get some fresh air and visit their favorite mountain bike destinations. Some people engage in the sport to get fit. In fact, mountain biking helps build stamina, as well as improve heart health and muscle strength.

It’s a fun activity, but choosing the best bike is a not-so-fun process. Thankfully, there are quite a few manufacturers out there producing quality mountain bikes. We suggest asking yourself these questions before purchasing a bike: Where will you be using it? What’s your budget? How often will you be using it? What size bike do you need?

If you’re ready to start the bike-buying process, we’ve rounded up the best mountain bikes to hit the trails with this 2022. For newbies, check out our beginner’s guide to mountain biking, which gives an overview of the sport, including a brief rundown of the types of bikes to consider.

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Best Overall: Cannondale Trail 8

The Cannondale Trail 8 is every mountain biker’s best friend. It boasts terrain-ready components, including the shock-absorbent SR Suntour M3030 suspension fork (75-millimeter travel) and stiff SmartForm C3 alloy frame. The Trail 8 is also budget-friendly (it’s a big plus), but don’t let the price fool you, die this bad boy is capable of handling rough terrains and descents rain or shine.

Best for Slopes: Nishiki Men’s Pueblo Mountain Bike

Be it hills or slopes, Nishiki’s Pueblo can traverse the most rugged terrains with the help of its hardy 26-inch wheels and aluminum rims. The bike’s 60-millimeter travel fork and heat-treated steel frame add a layer of durability and shock absorption— handy for all-day rides to your favorite bike trails. No need to worry about unpleasantries on the trail since the Pueblo comes with a comfy sport saddle seat and grip handlebars.

Best for Rocky Terrain: GT Aggressor Pro Mountain Bike

Exploring rocky terrains or dirt trails? The GT Aggressor Pro can handle them all. Featuring a 6061-T6 Aluminum Triple Triangle Frame and 80-millimeter travel suspension fork, this mountain bike is engineered for easy handling and maximum durability on the road, no matter the elevation. The ergonomic handlebar grip, meanwhile, helps maintain bike control while ensuring that your cycling adventure remains enjoyable and pain-free.

Best Beginner’s: Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0

The DRT 1.0 is a great entry-level bike for mountain biking. Its responsive 26-inch wheels enable quick steering, while the 100-mm. SR Suntour suspension form allows you to cross over obstacles smoothly. Meanwhile, the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer adequate stopping power regardless of the weather, making the DRT 1.0 a highly dependable bicycle on the road. The DRT 1.0 boasts an approachable price point, and we recommend snagging it if you’re new to mountain biking.

Best Trail Bike: Niner RKT RDO RS

Trail bikes are a bit of a Goldilocks item— just the right combination of suspension travel, gear range, and geometry to handle about any type of mountain biking. The Niner RKT 9 RDO RS is the star of all trail bikes. Although it is built for cross-country racing, the RDO RS can withstand the rigors of mountain biking with immense speed thanks to its dependable 100-millimeter suspension form and stable 90-millimeter CVA (Constantly Varying Arc) rear suspension travel. The Enduro Max black oxide pivot bearings ensure the durability and longevity of the bike. Overall, the Niner RKT 9 RDO RS is a mountain bike you can count on in your outdoor or racing endeavors.

Best Enduro/All-Mountain Bike: Yeti SB140

140mm of rear suspension and 160mm of front suspension give the SB140 the ability to handle almost any terrain. It’s more specialized for downhill performance vs. uphill efficiency, but then again, riding fast downhill is a lot more fun than riding slowly uphill, anyway. SRAM G2 R 4-piston hydraulic brakes give fantastic stopping power, and a massive 52t “granny gear” on the rear chainring gives you a super wide range to maximize pedaling efficiency. The 27.5-inch wheels strike a great balance between low rolling resistance and high responsiveness.

Best for Kids: Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike

All right, so, the 14x Sport balance bike from Strider isn’t a true mountain bike, per se. However, you weren’t planning on taking your kids on gnarly trails yet either, right? Help them build the balance and handling skills they’ll need to excel at mountain biking when they’re a little older. The 14x has an adjustable seat and adjustable handlebars to accommodate kids as they grow. Additionally, you can buy a pedal kit (sold separately) to convert this into a true bike.

Best E-MTB: Marin Nail Trail E2

The Nail Trail E2 from Marin is a front-suspension mountain bike with a twist — a 500wh battery and electric motor to help extend your range and lessen your pedaling effort. 140mm of travel in the fork helps soak up bumps on the trail. A combination of quality Shimano and SRAM components helps get the power to the ground — whether from your legs or from the motor. 27.5-inch wheels and tubeless tires give you great grip in all offroad conditions.

Editors' Recommendations

The Best Walmart Bike Deals to Shop Today
Hyper Bicycles 26-inch Shocker Mountain Bike parked on a street with blue sky, trees, and a small mountain in the background.

If you are looking for new bikes for family members or yourself, you'll want to take a look at today's Walmart bike deals. Bike prices can range from under $100 to multiple $1,000s depending on the bicycle brand, purpose, and special features. Unless you're a professional rider, chances are you'd like to buy one of the best bicycles available without blowing up your budget. The trick for getting the most for your money is to watch for sales and to be ready act when you find the best bicycle deals. Walmart sells a wide selection of bicycles for many purposes and we found five of the best Walmart bike deals you can buy today.
Todays Best Walmart Bike Deals

Dynacraft 26-inch Aftershock Bike -- $98, was $140
Hyper Bicycles 26-inch Shocker Mountain Bike -- $128, was $140
Mongoose Excursion Mountain Bike -- $148, was $190
Schwinn Sidewinder Mountain Bike -- $198, was $240
Decathlon Rockrider ST520 -- $328, was $479

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The 6 Best Gifts For Hiking Enthusiasts
A hiker walking up toward a mountain.

Hikers are a tough group to shop for, especially if you're not a hiker yourself. The amount of hiking gear on the market has exploded in the last few years, and it can be especially difficult to identify the good stuff that a hiker will actually use and enjoy amidst all of the advertising and marketing hype. But fear not, because we've put together some of the best gifts for hikers we could find, no matter their skill level. Every gift on this list was selected by an outdoor enthusiast on our team, so you won't find anything in the list below we wouldn't use (or don't already own) ourselves.

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A Beginner’s Guide on How to Shift Bike Gears
how to shift bike gears bicycles parked on road

The days are steadily getting longer, and we're all slowly emerging from our winter period of inactivity. Thoughts of racing a bicycle along a forested single-track trail, or a tight city street, might soon begin to fill our minds. Biking is a nice middle ground -- a bit more exhilarating than hiking, but not as expensive as buying a motorcycle. Perhaps you're a mountain bike beginner, considering buying your first setup. Maybe you're upgrading from a single-speed. You could even be looking to ditch your city-dwelling folding bike and start heading for the hills. Either way, shifting gears on your bike is almost always necessary for you to maintain optimum pedaling efficiency. Let's explore the basics of how to shift gears on a bike.
Bike Gears Explained

A gear is a component of the drive train of your bike. Gears, simply put, are pulleys that help you transfer power from your legs, through the pedals and cranks, then through the chain, and eventually to the rear wheel. A single-speed bike only has two gears -- one attached to the crank and one attached to the rear wheel. Bikes with shifters and derailleurs (more on that later) have one or more gears attached to the crank and multiple gears attached to the rear wheel. On both types of bikes, a chain connects the gears on the crank to the gears on the rear wheel. Gears have a cogged outer rim, which meshes with voids in the chain to help you transfer power efficiently.
Why Do I Need to Shift Gears?
Gears help you keep maximum efficiency while pedaling, no matter where you are riding. Approaching a hill? Downshift so your legs make more revolutions than the rear wheel, resulting in lower speed but higher torque. This makes pedaling feel easier. Descending a hill? Upshift so your legs make fewer revolutions than the rear wheel, leading to higher speeds but lower torque. This makes pedaling feel harder, but you'll also go faster.
How do Gear Shifters Work?

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