Different Types of Mountain Bikes – The Complete Guide

Hundreds of sports exist globally; some remain just at the regional level, and some gain popularity at the international level. Mountain biking is one of the sports which has an international level of recognition. 

One type of mountain biking called cross country cycling has been part of the Olympic sports since 1996. It is even part of the Olympics happening currently as Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Okay! Now you know the worth of this game, want to start mountain riding. Of course, mountain biking.  But wait, do you know what an important ingredient is to starting mountain biking?

But what type of mountain bike to buy is suitable for you? Don’t know? Don’t worry; we have elaborated what types of mountain bikes; based on which you can select the best one for you.

Mountain bikes are very versatile bikes and specially built for off-road rides. You can ride them around the world, can achieve mountain heights, and do other crazy stuff. 

There are several types of mountain bikes for different purposes; we have listed down all these types.

First, you should have known about the frame types of Mountain Bikes.

Mountain bikes

ALSO READ: how to adjust front derailleur on mountain bike 

Mountain Bikes Frames


Rigid is a mountain bike with no suspension. There are certain qualities it contains.

  • Save energy
  • Responsive
  • Great Momentum

Rigid bikes have no suspension and are more likely the choice of beginners for off-pavement rides. It will be better to avoid direct mountain biking with this; otherwise, you will hate it. But for pavement riding, these are very comfortable and safe bikes. 

If you are very demanding about mountain biking or picky with line choice, then Rigid bikes are the best options because they will provide more technical experience.


These are the bikes that contain suspension shocks on the front of the bike only. The backside of the cycle is without suspension. These are not very hard on the wrist and are pretty much shockproof. 

If you want to avoid bumpy shocks and want a comfortable ride, this one’s for you. These are in between rigid and non-suspension bikes, so not as efficient as rigid bikes and not as comfortable as full-suspension bikes.

  • Better than a full suspension for weight reduction and efficiency
  • Comfortable compared to rigid MTBs
  • Mountain bike with best all-around capabilities
  • Climbing ability is good

Suspension fork types are also very important in hardtail bikes. Two types of suspension are Air fork and Coil Fork.

Coil fork is

  • Cheap
  • Old technology
  • Lower-end bikes have these.
  • No in-demand fork.

Air fork is

  • Lighter
  • Adjustable
  • Compression adjustable
  • Lockable


There are two suspensions on a full-suspension bike on the front and rear sides, making the cycle comfortable as it can be used to ride a bike on rough passages. These are one of the more expensive mountain bikes but not as lightweight as rigid bikes. Below is the advantage of a full-suspension bike.

  • It makes uneven terrain feel smoother
  • Great for riders with previous injuries
  • Suspension lockout for more efficient climbing

Experienced bikers mostly use it; beginners hardly use it—the bikers who rode on rough roads and regularly do mountain biking.

Full suspension bikes provide:

  • Front and rear shock adjustment
  • Rear shock lockout
  • High speed and low-speed compression

Types of Mountain Bikes

So we have talked about frame types of a mountain bike. Now we will explain the types of mountain bikes so it will be easy for you to choose between them.

#1- Cross Country Mountain Bikes

The first type of mountain bike is a cross-country mountain bike. These are fast and have quick movement qualities. From street riding to mountain trailing, they will be your partner on any route. Its pedal moves smoothly and easily bears small bumps and jumps.

These bikes are especially those who want to take mountain bikes as entertainment and their passion and consider bike performance their top priority.

Dimensions of cross country bikes are almost similar to any road bike but what makes it superior to them is its efficiency and lightweight, which gives the best performance and does not compromise on the best output.

Fun Fact: These bikes are used in the Olympics. 

  • Available in a hardtail, full-suspension, or a rigid frame type
  • 27.5″ or 29″ wheels
  • 80 – 120mm suspension travel
  • Relatively steep head angles (69-degrees or steeper)
  • The prices range from $500 to $9,000+

XC bikes are further divided mostly into two subdivisions 

1- XC Racers: These bikes are fast, efficient, and lightweight. 

2- XC Trails: These bikes are slightly heavy and can even make dirt roads and single-track trails.

#2- Trail Mountain Bikes

We have discussed these bikes a little bit while discussing cross-country mountain bikes. These are types of cross-country bikes but have different dimensions than XC racer bikes. Trail bikes are famous for their longer suspension range and their heaviness which helps in rougher trails. 

The dimensions of this bike help to travel on longer routes with ease and comfort and can handle jumps effectively.

27.5″ or 29″ wheels

Slack head tube angles around 67 degrees

Prices start at $800 for a decent one

#3- Enduro Mountain Bikes

Enduro is the best-recommended mountain bike if you don’t know what to buy. It has the best suspension system, almost like full-suspension bikes, better for the rough tracks and hefty trails. Enduro bike’s geometry is quite similar to trail bikes but has strong joints and frames, which helps gain better suspension.

One thing that is a plus point, as well as a drawback, is its weight. Most bikers have complained that it is heavier than any other bike, which makes pedaling hard.

Plus points

Easy climbing


Best for technical trails

Adjustable suspension

Other Features

95% full-suspension, 5% hardtails

Mostly 27.5″ wheels, sometimes 29″ size as well

Tubeless wheels & tires

Slack geometry – head tube angle is generally less than 67 degrees.

#4- Downhill mountain bike

These bikes are truly made for racing on mountains; they are specially designed for fast steeps that’s why their efficiency level is way higher than any other bike we have discussed above. Its gears provide a maximum range for high and fast paddling over rough terrains.

DMB has wider wheels and wider rims, and the gears and frame will withstand tremendous pressure better than ever before.

This kind of bike is not cheap, and if you ever come across a bike less than $3000, it must have a problem or compromised quality; please avoid buying it.

The last thing to remember is that they are designed for downhill trails, not for everyday use.

Always a full-suspension bike.

  • Usually 27.5″ wheels (rarely 26″ or 29″)
  • Slack head angle of fewer than 65 degrees
  • Single front chainring, 6 to 8-speed drivetrains are standard.

#5- Freeride mountain bike

Freeride mountain bikes are like a crossbreed between downhill and cross country bikes; their most prominent lightweight feature. Although it is lightweight, it still ensures that it has the best grip and components and great suspension quality to bear mountain jumps with great accuracy.

It is specially designed for steep terrain to handle technical obstacles and trails and manage long and short jumps.

Plus Points


Small and Lightweight

Can do tricks with it

Bear high and low jumps

Other Bikes

Fat bike

These bikes have thick tires and are specially designed for snow and sand riding.

Slopestyle Bike

Slopestyle bikes use aerial tricks. You can do high jumps with its ramp and drops as well. In short, demonstrate your tricks and cycling skills while heading to the slope.

Four-cross Bike

Jumps, bermed corners, and other features make the courses short and intense. These bikes are designed for hardtails with suspension on the front.

Pump Track

These bikes are a mix of hardtail and BMX mountain bikes, having a strong body but with the minimum size and efficient performance. Front suspension is also there in pump track bikes.

Electric Mountain Bikes

Electric mountain bikes have a full suspension system. They are designed for different people. That is why it comes in many forms and variations.


Mountain Bikes are really fun and when scrolling them down on the screen makes you get this, this, or even this one too. Getting obsessed with every single model sounds normal. So, get your requirements enlisted first and choose the one that meets your needs and suits you the best.

There are differences among bikes because of variations in geometry, design, and build. So get the one that makes you fly, and don’t forget to jam on proper practice first.

Ride to Fly!

Adrianna Tori

Every day we create distinctive, world-class content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people across the globe.

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