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Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes For Trails

Jeff Balton

Best Full Suspension Bikes

Looking to bring your rides to a whole new level with full suspension mountain bikes for trails? Well, read on.

We’ve gathered some of the best full suspension mountain bikes you can actually buy. Consider these if you want to take your rides up a notch. Here, you can find bikes from under $1,000 to much higher price points, with top-notch quality components.

These are versatile workhorses that you can use to discover the best trails hidden all around the place.


— For Beginners —


Best Mid-Price Full Suspension Bike

Kona Satori SE 29

MSRP $2,400

Part Of Our Best MTBs Under $2,000

Kona Satori SE is the result of an intelligent redesign Kona did to come up with a bike that will suit the demands of their team better.

Even though the ideal number of bikes in your garage is n+1, this Kona Satori model is adamant about changing that, as it is an all-around capable model that does well on singletracks, in parks, and even on downhills thanks to its large wheels.

You can also confirm that if you consider the RockShox Recon RL fork with 140 mm of travel which is more than many other bikes in the same price range. The rear shock is a RockShox Deluxe RL DebonAir Trunnion, with 130mm of travel.

This is just the right amount of travel for this bike to act well when tackling roots, rocks, and bumpy descents. The $2,400 price is quite competitive and reasonable considering the components.

Kona Satori SE is a fantastic full-suspension bicycle for trail enthusiasts who want 29″ wheels and the best bang for their buck thanks to an affordable aluminum frame.

The head tube angle on the Kona Satori SE is well-balanced at 68 degrees, and the seat tube angle is 78.3 degrees, which will put you in a nice, upright position and give you the most control.

Kona Satori SE also comes with an 11-42T Shimano Deore 1×10 drivetrain, with a granny-gear that will never leave you lacking the right cadence for any hill. The stopping power is ensured by Shimano MT401 hydraulic brakes with plenty of strength.

Kona Satori is an excellent bang for your buck, as it gives you more than enough in terms of performance and style to meet and exceed your high expectations!

 

Winner! Best FS Bike for Descending

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1

MSRP $2,200

FULL REVIEW of DRT series

What is the best affordable full-suspension mountain bike? Do you know? We do.

Please keep in mind that building a full-suspension frame raises the costs of the bike, even at the entry level. So, when it comes to expensive bikes, you have to cut the costs somewhere to offer them at a more affordable price.

Here we have the Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1 which introduces mid-range riders to the dual suspension world with ease. DRT 3.1 is meant as a starting point in the full suspension world, especially for riders who plan to stick around.

It comes equipped with a Shimano Deore Shadow Plus 1×10 drivetrain with a wide-range 11-42T cassette and an FSA Gamma Pro crankset.

When it comes to colors, this Co-op model is available in a beautiful pirate black color with red details!

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1 is by far the best full-suspension mountain bike for trail enthusiasts who are interested in learning the ropes of riding front and rear squish.

Thanks to an aggressive head tube angle of 66-67 degrees, the handling is precise and perfectly suitable for challenging trails and descents, which is what most riders aspire to do.

It has 120mm of front travel provided by RockShox Sektor RL. The rear shock is a RockShox Monarch R Solo Air from the same quality class with the same amount of travel. A dropper post is included in the package as well.

Co-op DRT 3.1 is equipped with Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes which means a lot on the trails when you’re attacking sketchy descents and need precision and power.

This bike is available in five sizes and rolls on 26+ tires that are 2.8″ wide, so it’s suitable for short and tall riders.

Get it if you want limited costs but unlimited fun.


— For Trails & Racing —


Best with 29er Tires

Cannondale Habit 4 AL full suspension bike

MSRP $3,250

The brand-new 2020 Cannondale Habit 4 AL is a stealth-looking FS bike that will make itself visible on the trail in numerous other ways. The most important of those are speed, great components, sturdy 29″ wheels, and versatile capabilities. The Habit 4 model is a member of the Cannondale Habit series, which includes six men’s and three women’s models.

Cannondale Habit 4 AL is a full aluminum bike that offers outstanding value for its price which is reflected in the carefully picked parts. Moreover, it has tons of travel, which makes it a serious contender on the trails.

If you’re an experienced trail rider or you’re planning to become one, the Habit 4 bike is for you. It offers 140 mm of travel with its Fox Float Rhythm 34 fork and the same amount of rear travel thanks to a Fox Float Performance DPS EVOL rear shock.

If you want to have a bike that’s versatile and capable of riding different styles, it’s good to know that Habit 4’s rear suspension is adjustable in three positions that can completely transform the character of this bike.

It’s able to perform well both on technical trails and on bombing descents!

Related: Best Gravel Mountain Bikes

Cannondale Habit 4 is known as a “Trail bike on steroids” thanks to the perfect 66-degree head tube angle that allows the bike to react the moment it gets input from the rider.

Other positive aspects include a dropper post, powerful SRAM Guide T hydraulic brakes, and a wide range 12-speed drivetrain managed by a SRAM NX Eagle shifting system.

The only consideration with the Habit 4 bike is its weight, which is a bit higher than ideal due to the massive 29″ wheels and wider tubing. However, a responsive ride balances the weight out, so you won’t feel it much when riding.

Widest 29″ Tires

Ghost SLAMR X5.9

 

MSRP  $3,000

A top-notch aluminum trail bike for around $3,000 can give you a lot in terms of on-trail performance, precision, and fun. Ghost is shaking the market with this affordable yet high-end Trail machine that we can best describe as FUN! Of course, we understand $3,000 is a lot of money, but it’s not that much when you consider the value you receive.

Ghost SLAMR X5.9 is an outstanding trail bike that features 29er wheels, stiff and responsive handling, and high-end race-category SRAM NX Eagle components.

When you’re on the trail and hit the downhill part of the track, all you will be worrying about is travel. Luckily for you, the SLAMR X5.9 boasts a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 150 mm of adjustable travel and a lockout option for climbing. Therefore, you will have maximum squish when the trail becomes the hardest.

The rear shock is a RockShox Super Deluxe Select + with 145 mm of travel, which also has several levels of adjustability to fine-tune your ride.

The head tube angle on the SLAMR X5.9 is 66.5 degrees, which is pretty slack and helps make this bike an excellent climber and a perfect all-rounder.

On top of that, this Ghost model comes with ultra-strong TRP Quadiem hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors, as well as Maxxis Minion 2.5″ / 2.4″ tubeless-ready tires. It’s a combination that translates to confidence on the challenging trails.

Not many bikes will give you this much for such an attractive price.

Best For Tall Riders

Salsa Rustler Full Suspension Bike

 

MSRP  $2,649

Salsa Rustler is one of the best full suspension bikes for tall riders you can get right now. As its name tells you, it was made to ride where the bears live and that’s what it will allow you to do.

The Rustler is built around a aluminum frame with a 66-degree head tube angle. This aggressive geometry will help you descend faster and tackle more technical trails.

Component-wise, the SRAM SX Eagle groupset puts 12 gears at your disposal and the Shimano MT401 hydraulic brakes will stop you on a dime and help you control your speed easily. It is thanks to a 180mm rotors.

One of the more impressive parts of Salsa Rustler is its Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.6″ tires or front & DHR II Tubeless-ready on rear that grip any kind of surface. Plus, they are wrapped around WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0 aluminum rims.

All in all, if you want some of the best components with a reasonable price tag, the carbon Salsa Rustler is the best FS bike for tall riders

Get from REI.com

Strong Performer

Ibis Ripmo AF Deore

 

MSRP $3,200

Ibis Ripmo AF is an aluminum bike with a versatile nature that will allow you to use it for different types of riding. This bike is an improved version of the previous model, with 29″ wheels that put it in a completely different dimension when you’re out on the trails.

Ripmo AF Deore has a very high bottom bracket which means that you can finally start going more “over” obstacles than trying to find a way “around” them. It’s a great choice to tackle rockier terrain thanks to the higher ground clearance.

For $3,200, this trail bike is a bargain considering what you get in terms of components and performance. What impressed us the most and what you’ll like the most is the DVO Diamond D1 fork and DVO Topaz T3 Air rear shock. They provide 160 mm of travel up front and a 210 x 55 setup in the back, and come with some handy adjustments.

Few things can get in the way of Ibis Ripmo AF and hold their ground against its massive wheels, progressive geometry, and 160 mm of travel.

What makes Ripmo special are the Maxxis Assegai tires. They’re 2.5″ wide and there’s clearance for even wider rubber.

The head tube angle is 65 degrees, which is just right for Enduro and downhill rides. This slack geometry is excellent for aggressive riders.

One thing is out of the question; you’re bound to fail if you try to find more value at this price point in another bike.

Get From Jenson USA

Best hardcore full suspension for downhill

Transition - Patrol Alloy GX Complete Mountain Bike 2020

 

MSRP $4,399

If we had to use just one word to describe Transition Patrol, it had to be FUN. If we could use two, then we’d characterize it as FUN and AGREEABLE.

Transition Patrolk is a versatile allow high-end downhill bike that can jump, descend, drop, and set rough and loose trails on fire.

The Patrol plows trails with a pair of Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5″ & 2.4″ wide tires. These are one of the best tires your can find on any DH bike out there IMO.

The SRAM GX Eagle is a common sight on bikes in this price range — it brings the price down while giving you 12 speeds, a wide-range drivetrain, and precise shifting.

Braking is provided by SRAM Code RSC hydraulic discs, packed into a lightweight package and combined with Centerline Rotors that are 200 & 180 mm wide.

For those who like spending the day outside, or even multiple days, Transition has allocated enough room for a water bottle cage on the frame.

Don’t hesitate to get Transition Patrol Alloy GX if you want a high-performing and fun downhill bike that’s ready for races and all sorts of mountain adventures.

Get from REI.com


— For Maximalists —


Best Value Race-Ready

Ghost FR AMR 6.7 Bike - 2020 Model

MSRP  $4,200

If you still haven’t considered this modern European manufacturer as your next bike’s supplier, maybe it’s time to change that. We’ll try to do it by showing you the fantastic new 2020 Ghost FR AMR 6.7 which is this company’s entry ticket into the Free Ride bike scene.

The FR AMR 6.7 rides on par with the most expensive trail bikes, but comes at a lower and more affordable price compared to the same class of bikes made by the competition.

This bike comes with an aluminum frame which is quite stiff and does not increase the weight too much.

One thing that puts Ghost FR AMR 6.7 in the Free Ride category is the luscious 170 mm of travel on the FOX 36 Float fork, combined with 160 mm of travel on the FOX DHX2 rear shock. This is a coil shock, so it might cause you problems if you need a different-weight coil.

Check out, what are the best bicycle chain lubes & waxes.

This bike has a slack head tube angle of 64.5 degrees which makes it ride really well on the descents and roll over obstacles with its 27.5″ wheels. On the other hand, the seat tube angle is quite steep, which makes this Ghost a great climber as well, as you will need to get yourself up those hills before you can go down.

Let’s also not forget the SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed derailleur operating on a 10-50T cassette, with a rich gear ratio for any hill profile. The brakes are SRAM Code R hydraulic disc brakes, which have an impressive stopping power in all conditions thanks to massive 200/180 mm rotors.

Best for Nailing Jumps

GT Force dual suspension bike

MSRP  $3,200

GT Force is an aluminum masterpiece with lots of amazing features and 27.5″ tires to support you on your way to the top of trail riding.

First of all, you should learn about the RockShox Lyrik Select RC fork with 160 mm of travel, which is more than enough to get you over any obstacle on a high-paced run down the trail. It also comes with a RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select R rear shock with 150 mm of smooth travel.

When you get it out on the trail and the suspension starts working its magic with the help of the nimble 27.5″ wheels, you will realize that GT Force’s price is more than justified.

Related: Best Mountain Bikes

The slack head tube angle of 65 degrees puts you in a more aggressive position and in more control of the action. The handling is very responsive, so any experienced rider will be able to create magic in the corners on this all-mountain machine.

This GT model also boasts high-end SRAM components a SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain that will let you pedal where you thought it was impossible to do so. The brakes are TRP Slate T4 hydraulic disc brakes, with 203mm and 180mm front and rear rotors.

It’s the perfect way to go if you have big dreams and big capabilities and you need a quality all-mountain bike that can keep up with your pace!

Get From Jenson USA

Most Expensive Model

Cannondale Habit Carbon 2

MSRP $5,250

Cannondale Habit Carbon 2 is made for fast rides on challenging enduro trails that demand both guts and skills. It comes with 29-inch wheels, which makes it perfect for quick descents. However, there is no 27.5″ version, which makes it less customizable, and it’s something that a lot of riders will not like.

The biggest highlight on Habit Carbon 2 is its suspension, as both the front and the rear suspension is capable and adjustable.

The fork is a RockShox Pike Select+ RC with 140 mm of travel, whereas the rear shock is a RockShox Select Deluxe+ RT. You can select the perfect setting for any trail that you ride, which will help you break boundaries and reach new heights on the trail.

Related: Best Fat Tire Bikes

Habit 2 has SRAM X01 Eagle components, including a 12-speed drivetrain with a 10-50T cassette. The rest of the drivetrain is a mix of SRAM and Truvativ parts.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 2 is one of the models from CD’s carbon series aimed towards experienced Trail riders who want to get as much bang for their buck as possible!

This bike comes with a relatively slack head tube angle, and in combination with the massive 29-inch wheels, it’s able to conquer any rocks, tree stumps, and other obstacles you put in front of it.

If your ideal trail ride involves a lot of enduro riding and a lot of challenging downhills that get your heart pumping hard, Cannondale Habit Carbon 2 will be your best friend.

Get From REI

— For Women —


Best Unisex 27.5 FS Bike

 

Santa Cruz Bicycles - Hightower A D Complete Mountain Bike 2021

MSRP $3,000

Santa Cruz Hightower A D is a capable unisex full-suspension mountain bike intended for brave men and women who want to completely immerse themselves in the world of off-road riding.

Hightower A D is built around an aluminum frame with Lower-Link Mounted VPP® Suspension that provides huge design flexibility.

The fork is a RockShox 35 Gold RL (150mm) with Air Spring Pressure, Low-Speed Compression to Lockout, and External Rebound Adjust.

The Fox Float DPS Performance rear shock offers 145 mm of travel. It will show you exactly what an FS bike can do when put to work.

Santa Cruz Hightower A D also touts a SRAM SX Eagle mid-range 1×12 drivetrain with a huge 11-50T gear range. You can climb a wall with it!

The star of the show is the Maxxis Minion front and rear tires. They’re 2.4″ wide and 27.5″ in diameter, so they’re nimble, dynamic, and extremely grippy.

Experienced riders will also know enough to appreciate SRAM Guide T hydraulic disc brakes that will embolden both male and female riders to take new and more challenging lines on their future rides.

So, if you’re on the lookout for an affordable and capable trail bike with massive tires and dependable components, Santa Cruz Hightower A D is the one.

Get Directly from evo.com

 

Best Women’s Full-Suspension Bike

Juliana - Joplin A R Complete Full Sus bicycle

MSRP $3,400

We can wrap up this list with another excellent women’s trail bike that easily proves its worth on the rides. Juliana Joplin A R is a high mid-range full suspension bike with a very reasonable price and several aces up its sleeve.

If you’re a female Trail enthusiast looking to have as much fun on the trails as possible but not spend too much, Juliana Joplin A R meets your needs.

This is a versatile 29″ aluminum Trail bike intended for a little bit of everything on the trail. It has 130 mm of front and 120 mm of rear travel provided by a Fox Rhythm 34 fork and a Fox Float DPS Performance rear shock. This setup will let you go absolutely berserk on the downhills, as it’s more than enough to deal with most obstacles on your rides.

Juliana Joplin A R has a slack head tube angle of 65.7 degrees, which is perfect for downhill trail rides. It ensures a nimble, springy, and responsive ride, and you will truly feel the response of the bike to every bit of input you give it.

However, considering that Juliana Joplin has a bulky FS setup, it has a slightly higher weight as well. The SRAM Guide T hydraulic disc brakes do a fantastic job of supplying you with more than enough stopping power at demand.

All in all, if you have expectations and you want a well-equipped women’s trail bike that can do a little bit of everything, we believe that this Juliana model is the one.

Get From evo.com

Didn’t find it? Consider pre-owned Full Suspension bikes on The Pro’s Closet

But, which one should you choose?

suggestedWe’ve analyzed thousands of bikes so far which has taught us a lot of details about them, so we can help you out to make the right choice.

Riders wanting to excel on trails on an FS bike should choose Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1. If you want one of the best unisex models and you plan to ride hard, choose Santa Cruz Hightower A D if you wish to get great value for your money. If you’re looking for a capable mid-range model with 29″ wheels, you can go with the Kona Satori SE 29″.

But, if you’re updating to a more capable aluminum bike, the Cannondale Habit 4 is for you. If your ideal type of mountain biking is free-riding or riding in parks, definitely check out the Ghost FR AMR 6.7. However, if you’re looking for a more versatile bike that you can use for different types of rides, then the GT Force is for you. We can’t recommend the Salsa Rustler any more if you want a fun and versatile fat bike that can do it all in the mountains.

If you have money to spare and you want a top-of-the-line carbon 29er, the Cannondale Habit Carbon 2 will make you happy. On the other hand, if you want the best spec’d aluminum all-rounder that’s fun and challenging to ride, choose the Ghost SLAMR X5.9. The Transition Patrol is a great fat bike that you can buy if you want to downhill.

If you want the best suspension setup you can get on this list for the money and 29″ tires, then Ibis Ripmo AF is the right pick for you. If you want the best women’s model and you have the money to spare, choose the Juliana Joplin A R if you wish to get great value for your money.

Happy trailing!

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