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Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes For Trails

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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.

If you are looking for the best eMTBs, then click here


— For Beginners —


Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1

Winner! Best FS Bike for Descending

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1

MSRP $2,199

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.

Schwinn Traxion

Best for Budget-Minded Riders

Schwinn Traxion

Schwinn Traxion is one of the most affordable full-suspension bikes you can get. As such, it’s equipped with entry-level components and its suspension is not ideal for serious trail riding.

Still, this is an all-around capable model that does well on singletracks, in parks, and even on downhills thanks to its large 29″ wheels. Just don’t abuse it too much and it will provide you with years of fun.

The front and rear suspension will dampen vibrations when you’re riding off-road, so this bike is best suited for casual riders who have long scenic unpaved roads close to their home.

Schwinn Traxion is a fantastic full-suspension bicycle for absolute beginners who want 29″ wheels and the best bang for their buck thanks to an affordable aluminum frame.

Schwinn Traxion also comes with a 3×7 drivetrain that puts 21 wide-range gears at your disposal. There’s a granny-gear as well that will never leave you lacking the right cadence for any hill. The stopping power is ensured by mechanical disc brakes with plenty of strength that is not often seen in this price range.

All in all, Schwinn Traxion is a bargain as it gives you more than enough in terms of performance and style but doesn’t leave you without a dime in your pocket!

 


— For Trails & Racing —


Scott Gambler 730

Best DH with 27.5 Tires

Scott Gambler 730

MSRP $3,700

The brand-new 2021 Scott Gambler 730 is an attractive and capable DH bike that will make itself visible on the trail in numerous ways. The most important of those are speed, great components, sturdy 27.5″ wheels, and versatile capabilities.

Scott Gambler 730 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 DH rider or you’re planning to become one, the Gambler 730 bike is right for you. It offers 203mm of front and 210mm of rear travel with its X-Fusion RV1 Coil fork and the X-Fusion Vector R Coil rear shock.

If you want to have a bike that’s capable of bombing any descent, you should aim for a bike with the biggest amount of travel you can get, such as Scott Gambler 730.

Related: Best Gravel Mountain Bikes

Scott Gambler 730 has a super-slack 63-degree head tube angle that allows the bike to react the moment it gets input from the rider.

Other positive aspects include powerful Shimano MT500 four-piston hydraulic disc brakes, and a DH-specific SRAM X5 Medium Cage 8-Speed rear derailleur.

The only consideration with the Scott Gambler 730 bike is its weight, which is a bit higher than ideal due to the wider aluminum tubing. However, a responsive ride balances the weight out, so you won’t feel it much when riding.

Norco Revolver

Widest 29″ Tires

Norco Revolver

MSRP  From $4,699

A top-notch carbon trail bike for around $4,700 can give you a lot in terms of on-trail performance, precision, and fun. Norco is shaking the market with this high-end carbon trail machine that we can best describe as exciting! Of course, we understand it costs a lot of money, but it’s not that much when you consider the value you receive.

Norco Revolver is an outstanding trail bike that features 29er wheels, stiff and responsive handling, and mid-range reliable 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 Revolver boasts a RockShox SID Select RL fork with 100 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 SIDLuxe Select+, which also has several levels of adjustability to fine-tune your ride.

The head tube angle on the Revolver is 68.5 degrees, which is well balanced and helps make this bike ideal for steep climbs and technical descents.

On top of that, this Norco model comes with ultra-strong SRAM G2 R hydraulic disc brakes with massive rotors, as well as Maxxis Rekon Race 2.25″ tubeless-ready tires. It’s a combination that translates to confidence on the challenging trails.

If you have more money to spare, you can get the Revolver FS 1 model with more travel, wider tires, better brakes, and SRAM GX Eagle components.

All in all, not many bikes will give you as much as Norco Revolver for such an attractive price.

Salsa Cassidy SLX

Best For Enduro Riders

 

Salsa Cassidy SLX

MSRP  $4,099

Salsa Cassidy is one of the best full-suspension bikes for enduro riders you can get right now. It has super-long travel and super-slack geometry, so there are few downhill courses that will present a challenge for it.

Salsa Cassidy is built around an aluminum frame with a 63.8–64.1-degree head tube angle. This aggressive geometry will help you descend faster and tackle more technical trails.

Component-wise, the Shimano SLX groupset puts 12 gears at your disposal and the Shimano SLX 4-piston hydraulic brakes will stop you on a dime and help you control your speed easily. That’s possible thanks to 203mm rotors.

One of the more impressive parts of Salsa Cassidy is its Maxxis Assegai 29″ x 2.5″ (f) and Dissector 2.4″ (r) tires that grip any kind of surface. Plus, they are wrapped around WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0 aluminum rims that are tubeless-ready.

All in all, if you want some of the best components with a reasonable price tag, the aluminum Salsa Cassidy is the best FS bike for enduro courses.

Get from REI.com

Ibis Ripley AF NX/GX

Multi-Faceted 29er Trail Bike

Ibis Ripley AF

MSRP $3,299

Ibis Ripley 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.

Ripley AF NX/GX 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 $3,300, 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 Fox Float 34 Performance fork and Fox Float DPS Performance rear shock. They provide 130 mm of travel and come with some handy adjustments.

Few things can get in the way of Ibis Ripley AF and hold their ground against its massive wheels, progressive geometry, and 130 mm of travel.

What makes Ripley special are the Maxxis Aggressor tires. They’re 2.5″ wide and there’s clearance for even wider rubber in the frame.

The head tube angle is 65.5 degrees, which is just right for more aggressive rides. This slack geometry is excellent for riders who like testing their limits and choosing challenging lines.

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

Orbea OIZ M10

Best Race-Ready Full Suspension XC Bike

Orbea OIZ M10

 

MSRP $5,199

If we had to use just one word to describe Orbea Oiz M10, it had to be FUN. If we could use two, then we’d characterize it as FUN and Capable.

Orbea Oiz M10 is a versatile high-end XC bike that can jump, descend, drop, and set rough and loose trails on fire.

The Oiz M10 plows trails with a pair of Maxxis Ikon 2.20″ wide tires. These are some of the best tires you can find on any XC bike out there IMO.

The Shimano XT is a real treat in this price range — it gives you 12 speeds, a wide-range drivetrain, and precise shifting.

Braking is provided by Shimano XT hydraulic discs, combined with massive Shimano rotors that will disperse heat and enlarge the braking surface.

For those who like spending the day outside, or even multiple days, Orbea has allocated enough room for two water bottle cages on the frame.

Don’t hesitate to get Orbea Oiz M10 if you want a high-performing and fun XC bike that’s ready for races and all sorts of mountain adventures.

Get from Jenson USA


— For Maximalists —


Intense Tracer Expert

Best Value Race-Ready Enduro Rig

Intense Tracer Expert

MSRP  $4,000

If you still haven’t considered this modern USA-based manufacturer as your next bike supplier, maybe it’s time to change that. We’ll try to do it by showing you the fantastic new Intense Tracer Expert which is this company’s entry ticket into the enduro bike scene.

Intense Tracer Expert rides on par with the most expensive enduro bikes, but comes at a lower price compared to the same class of bikes made by the competition.

This bike comes with a super-stiff carbon frameset with premium JS tuned enduro link suspension. This combination will fill you with confidence and give you utmost control when storming technical descents.

One thing that puts Intense Tracer Expert in the enduro category is the luscious 170 mm of travel on the DVO Diamond D2 fork, combined with a DVO Jade X rear shock. Thanks to the JS tuned enduro link, the pedaling and braking forces will not affect the suspension performance.

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

This bike has a slack head tube angle of 65.5 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 Intense bike 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 Shimano SLX 12-speed derailleur operating on an 11-51T cassette, with a rich gear ratio for any hill profile. The brakes are Shimano M6120 4-piston hydraulic discs, which have an impressive stopping power in all conditions thanks to massive Shimano rotors.

Santa Cruz Megatower

Best-Equipped and Most Expensive

Santa Cruz Bicycles - Megatower C XT Reserve Complete Mountain Bike 2021

 

MSRP  $8,149

Santa Cruz Megatower is a carbon fiber masterpiece of a trail bike with lots of amazing features and massive 29″ tires to support you on your way to the top of trail riding.

First of all, we should tell you about the Fox 36 Float Performance Elite 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 Select+ rear shock with 160 mm of smooth travel.

When you get this bike out on the trails and the suspension starts working its magic with the help of the huge 29″ tires, you will realize that Santa Cruz Megatower’s price is more than justified.

Related: Best Mountain Bikes

This Santa Cruz model also boasts high-quality Shimano XT components. It comes with an XT M8100 12-speed drivetrain that will let you pedal where you thought it was impossible to do so before. The brakes are Shimano XT 8140 hydraulic discs, with 203mm front and rear rotors.

Santa Cruz Megatower is the perfect trail bike to choose if you have big dreams but you need a tiny push up the steepest climbs.

Get From evo.com

Salsa Rustler Carbon SLX

Most Attractive Design

 

Salsa Rustler Carbon SLX

MSRP $4,799

Salsa Rustler is made for fast rides on challenging trails that demand both guts and skills. It comes with 27.5-inch wheels, which makes it perfect for quick descents. It’s built from carbon fiber, so it’s impressively light and stiff.

The biggest highlight on Salsa Rustler is its suspension, as both the front and the rear suspension is capable and adjustable.

The fork is a RockShox Pike Select with 150 mm of travel, whereas the rear shock is Fox Float DPS Performance. 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

Salsa Rustler has Shimano SLX components, including a 12-speed drivetrain with a 10-51T cassette. The Shimano SLX 4-piston brakes are paired up with 180mm rotors, so you’ll be able to stop on a dime anytime.

Salsa Rustler is one of the models from Salsa’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 27.5-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 fast-paced trail riding and a lot of challenging downhills that get your heart pumping hard, Salsa Rustler Carbon SLX will be your best friend.

Get From REI

— For Women —


Trek Fuel EX 5 Deore

Best Unisex 27.5/29 FS Bike

Trek Fuel EX 5

 

MSRP $2,400

Trek Fuel EX 5 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.

Fuel EX 5 is built around an aluminum frame with a tapered head tube, internal routing, downtube guard, and a magnesium rocker link.

The fork is a RockShox Recon Silver DebonAir Spring (140mm) with a motion-control damper, lockout, tapered steerer, and a 46mm offset.

The X-Fusion Pro 2 rear shock has a 2-position damper that allows you to customize how the bike behaves depending on the terrain and your riding style.

Trek Fuel EX 5 also touts a Shimano Deore mid-range 1×12 drivetrain with a huge 10-51T gear range. You can climb a wall with it!

The star of the show is the Bontrager XR4 Comp front and rear tires. The XS and S frame sizes come with 27.5″ x 2.60″ tires, whereas larger frame sizes roll on 29″ x 2.60″ tires. This way, short riders get plenty of standover clearance and maneuverability.

Experienced riders will also know enough to appreciate Shimano MT200 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, Trek Fuel EX 5 Deore is the one.

Get Directly from Trek Bikes

 

Juliana Furtado CC X01 Reserve

Best Women’s Full-Suspension Bike

Juliana - Furtado CC X01 Reserve Complete Mountain Bike - Women's 2021

MSRP $8,949

We can wrap up this list with an excellent women’s trail bike that easily proves its worth on the rides. Juliana Furtado CC X01 Reserve is a high-end full-suspension bike with a steep 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 and excel in different categories, Juliana Furtado CC X01 Reserve will meet all your needs.

This is a versatile 27.5″ carbon trail bike intended for a little bit of everything on the trail. It has 140 mm of front and 130 mm of rear travel provided by a RockShox Pike Ultimate fork and a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 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 Furtado CC X01 Reserve 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 Furtado has a bulky FS setup, it has a slightly higher weight as well. The SRAM G2 RSC 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 Furtado 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 Trek Fuel EX 5  and you will get great value for your money. If you’re looking for a capable beginner model with 29″ wheels, you can go with the Schwinn Traxion.

But, if you’re updating to a more capable aluminum DH bike, Scott Gambler 730 is for you. If your ideal type of mountain biking is free-riding or riding in parks, definitely check out the Intense Tracer Expert. However, if you’re looking for a more versatile high-end mountain bike that you can use for different types of rides, then the Santa Cruz Megatower is for you. We can’t recommend the Salsa Cassidy any more if you want a fun and versatile enduro bike that can do it all in the mountains.

If you have money to spare and you want a top-of-the-line carbon 27.5″ bike, Salsa Rustler will make you happy. On the other hand, if you want the best spec’d carbon all-rounder that’s fun and challenging to ride, choose Norco Revolver. The Orbea Oiz M10 is a phenomenal XC bike that you can buy if you want an all-around great performer.

If you want the best suspension setup you can get on this list for the money and 29″ tires, then Ibis Ripley 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 Furtado CC X01 Reserve if you wish to get great value for your money.

Happy trailing!

This Article Has 4 Comments

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  • Hello Jeff:

    Thanks for your super quick response when I wrote on the Bike Size article. The suspension article you directed me was super. Now I have a clear idea of what should be the front and rear travels for all-mountain. Also that my size is an L for sure.

    Having said that, you ask me If I rode on pavement, and I do not only on trials. Based on what I told you about me in the other article that I wrote to you, an been an intermediate rider, what full-suspension bike will you recommend me worth $3000 or under.

    If you can give me 3 choices that will be great if I do not put you on a spot.

    The choices I gave seem only OK and not great so I need to explore other great options. Can you help me, please?

    Thanks so much for all your help.

  • I like the the Ghost FR AMR 6.7 . Due to tire size and coil over rear suspension. Does it come in carbon or just aluminum ?

    • Avatar Jeff Balton says:

      All FR AMR models come with aluminum frames. But Ghost has other FS bikes with carbon frames, such as SL AMR 6.9 and 9.9.