Many believe that full suspension features define mountain bikes. Though bikes with full suspension are more expensive than the rigid bikes and the hardtail mountain bikes, many riders prefer to have front and rear suspension simply because it equates to a fluid ride.
Getting a full suspension mountain bike allows users to withstand difficult trails. It allows them to ride comfortably and experience less stress on their hips and their lower back. As it drastically lessens the impact, it makes the unforgiving trails a bit more enjoyable. You also get to have more traction since you don’t bounce your bike too much.
So what are the best full suspension mountain bikes in the market today? Here are some options that you might want to consider.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Review
- 1.1 Schwinn Traxion
- 1.2 Diamondback Bicycles Hook 27.5 Hardtail Mountain Bike
- 1.3 ANCHEER Electric Bike Folding Electric Mountain Bike
- 1.4 Diamondback Bicycles Atroz
- 1.5 Head Rise Mountain Bike
- 1.6 Diamondback Bicycles Release 3 Full Suspension
- 1.7 Eahora AM100 27.5inch 48V Mountain Electric Bicycle Dual Hydraulic Brakes, Air Full Suspension
- 1.8 Diamondback Bicycles Release 1 Full Suspension
- 1.9 Release 4C Carbon
- 1.10 Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike
- 1.11 Merax FT323 Mountain Bike 21 Speed Full Suspension Aluminum Frame
- 1.12 Raleigh Bikes Talus
- 2 How to Buy Good Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Review
The Schwinn Traxion is a 29-inch full suspension mountain bike that you can rely on even when you deal with the most difficult terrains. With a 29-inch wheel expect it to have an easier time conquering the usual bumps that you encounter on some difficult road. It has double-wall alloy rims that are both durable and lightweight preferred by both experienced riders and those who are simply trying to get used to modern mountain bikes.
This bike is made of a lightweight aluminum frame that is known for its durability that can withstand long hours of off-road adventures. Also, in case that you are going to try to conquer uphill terrains, this bike offers 24-speed options. With its 24-speed Shimano EZ fire trigger shifters along with front and rear Shimano derailleurs, you get the right gear that can make your ride smooth.
The Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike has both front and rear disc brakes that can give you the stopping power that you need. You can make a complete stop with ease even when you are going full speed downhill.
This bike also has a decent range for the riders that it can accommodate. Pretty much, it can even be used comfortably even by tall individuals over 6 feet. And on top of that, this bike feels like it can take a serious beating without compromising comfort.
Though it is arguably a candidate for best dual-suspension mountain bike in the market, you can say that it does have some flaws to come with it. Some riders commented that there are parts that failed to meet their expectations such as the pedal. Also, if you plan on using it for downhill rides, the fork wasn’t made for this. But despite these flaws, if you are looking for the best bikes under 500, this is a good candidate. It can be considered a decent first full-suspension mountain bike for a novice rider or even for someone who is already experienced in riding different mountain bikes.
- Comfortable even in rough terrain
- Frame made of lightweight aluminum
- Decent stopping power by front and rear disc brakes
- Affordable full suspension MTB
- Some parts are flimsy
Diamondback Bicycles Hook 27.5 Hardtail Mountain Bike offers simplicity and durability in its design. But is it a good option despite the lacking rear suspension? If you are someone who isn’t exactly going for tough terrains, this is a practical choice.
The Diamondback Bicycles Hook 27.5 Hardtail Mountain Bike may not have rear suspension but it offers something that you don’t usually see on full-suspension MTBs. For instance, if you are looking to train your technical skills in riding mountain bikes, then you might as well go for this option. The margin of error is quite thin whenever you are using a hardtail mountain bike. This bike will teach you more about the best way to ride the bike such as your body positioning.
This bike made use of 27.5-inch wheels coupled with powerful Tetra Aries mechanical disc brakes. This combination gives you the control that you need whenever you are going to use it on different terrains whether it’s off-road or for your daily commute to work. It has the SRAM single ring 1×8 drivetrain that offers smooth shifting options. If you compare it with other bikes, it doesn’t even have the many gears available on affordable full-suspension bikes. The reason for this is quite simple. This bike isn’t exactly made for downhill or uphill trails.
You will also notice that you have a progressive and low slung geometry. For some, they find this to be a bit tight for their liking though it was designed initially for comfort whenever you are going to use this bike for your trail rides.
- Made for flat terrains
- Decent mechanical disc brakes
- Designed for technical rides
- Not made for downhill
- Geometry is too tight for some users
One of the best full suspension mountain bikes that you might want to consider is the Ancheer Folding Electric Mountain Bike. It’s everything you want in a bike if you are the type who tends to go hard on difficult trails. This bike combines the perks of a full suspension mountain bike in withstanding tough roads and the comfort offered by an e-bike. It can help assist you whenever you feel that you are already tired. You can simply use either the assisted or the e-bike mode to lessen the effort on your part and let the motor alleviate your legs in pedaling.
This bike runs with a 250W motor that can run 15mph at a distance of 15-30 miles. It is a perfect option for those who want to go to work without having to pedal all the way.
It comes to your doorstep 85% assembled which means that you can finish the bike on your own. You also don’t need to have an experience with bikes to be able to appreciate its combination of an electric system and a mechanical system.
Unfortunately, the wheels are a bit small compared to other mountain bikes. It makes use of 26-inch magnesium alloy wheels integrated with anti-slip tires. What it means is that it isn’t as fast as bikes with larger wheels. On top of that, you also don’t expect this to conquer bumps on the road as smoothly as let’s say a 29-inch MTB.
This bike has 21-speed options that can help even if the terrain gets difficult uphill. However, if you are running solely using the normal bike mode, the motor can get heavy.
- With 21-speed option
- Powerful motor to help riders pedal
- With anti-slip tires
- The motor can run the bike up to 15mph
- Full suspension to reduce shakes
- Smaller tires
- Heavy due to the additional weight of the motor
Diamondback Bicycles Atroz is a model that has gained popularity over the years. This line of mountain bike already has different versions because of its success. The Diamondback Bicycles Atroz is built with an aluminum alloy frame plus it is equipped with a superior full suspension system that lets riders to weather the tough roads. It has the RockShox Recon RL 130mm travel fork and the Monarch R air rear shock.
One of the things that make this model stand out is the rebound adjustment option. It means that the rebound-dampening can be dialed up or dialed down according to how you want your bike to feel when you bring it outdoors.
You also get to enjoy the SRAM NX 1×11 speed drivetrain that promotes comfort, especially when dealing with difficult roads such as going uphill. As for the brakes, you have the Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes that have decent stopping power whether you need to slow down or make a complete stop. This bike is also perfect for different body types ranging from a petite 5’4” to someone as tall as 6’1”.
Of course, there are a few complaints about the Diamondback Bicycles Atroz. You have the handlebar that’s a bit wide plus you have the seat that isn’t that comfortable. These are just small things compared to the performance that it can deliver in different terrains.
If you are looking for full suspension mountain bike brands that can offer a sub-$1000 option that doesn’t disappoint, then you might want to give the Atroz a try. With its 27.5-inch wheels, it can conquer different types of tough terrain that you could think of.
- Rebound adjustment on the shocks
- Durable frame
- 11-speed option
- Available in three different sizes
- Uncomfortable seats
- The handlebar tends to be a bit wide
The Head Rise Mountain Bike is made of a 17.5” aluminum frame with full suspension features that allow riders to experience a smooth ride despite difficult terrains. It is arguably one of the best 29er full suspension mountain bikes in the market today considering the traction and how it was designed specifically for the outdoors. It made use of Shimano SL-310 shifters 3 x 8 to offer a 24-speed option to its riders. This makes rides uphill easy considering the number of gears that you can choose from.
You also don’t have to worry whenever you are going downhill or when you are going fast since this bike has powerful disc brakes on both front and rear. The Head Rise Mountain Bike makes use of the Zoom DB-280 which is a favorite even by seasoned riders.
So what are the possible issues that you might encounter with this bike? It has some minor flaws such as the questionable quality of the chain. On top of that, some riders complained about the geometry of the bike giving them a difficult time riding the mountain bike for long hours.
- Durable aluminum frame
- 24-speed option
- Great stopping power
- A great suspension that works on rough terrains
- Chain’s quality is questionable
If you are a serious rider looking for a superior quality ride, then you might want to check the Diamondback Bicycles Release 3. It’s a bike that costs roughly around the $3,500. Considered pricey, this can turn off a lot of casual riders. However, you get what you pay for. You can consider the Diamondback Bicycles Release 3 as one of the best mountain bikes under 4000.
You don’t get anything cheap when it comes to this bike. You have everything constructed specifically for serious riders. It has an alloy frame that is lighter than most high-end mountain bikes in the market. It has the Boost 148x12mm Maxle that was integrated into the frame to provide additional sturdiness to the hydroformed aluminum frame.
It offers a suspension design dubbed as “Level Link”. What it means is that the lower linkage parallel with the chain. This design is equivalent to the 130mm suspension travel which is considered by many as the “sweet spot” when it comes to picking a suspension.
When used on tough trails, the suspension is quite responsive. This alone made the price of the Diamondback Bicycles Release 3 Mountain Bike worth it.
The alloy wheels are lightweight and durable at the same time. It made use of 27.5 wheels that perform a decent job when it comes to different terrains. It offers great traction plus it allows riders to conquer small bumps along the way.
As for the brake system, it has the Shimano XT M8000. These hydraulic brakes are installed on both front and rear allowing riders to have an easier time stopping the bike or slowing things down when they have to. You also have the Shimano XT 11-speed drivetrain that is paired with the Race Face Turbine Cinch cranks to give you the freedom to choose the most appropriate gear whether running on flat roads or uphill.
Though this bike isn’t exactly the most expensive option in the market, you get to enjoy some spurts of high-level components mixed with some mid-level parts. Come to think of it, it doesn’t have a carbon frame despite having high-end components. Nonetheless, it’s something that can attract not only intermediate riders but even serious riders who want to max out their performance.
- Stable on different surfaces
- The suspension system does a good job in eliminating discomfort in rough terrains
- A mix of mid-level and high-level components
Eahora AM100 Mountain Electric Bike is a hybrid electric bike that offers riders the chance to enjoy tough trails and relax when they are tired. It runs on a 350W motor that is powerful enough to run a maximum of 30MPH if you do the assisted bike mode. But on pure electric mode, it still offers a decent performance as it can run up to 26-28 mph. The motor is powered by a Samsung Lithium Battery that can be charged via USB for 5-6 hours.
Its frame is a 6061 aluminum alloy that was designed to withstand different trails whether you wanted to take it off-road or you simply need a bike that can take you to work. With its full suspension system, it has air front suspension fork and a rear suspension for easy and smooth rides.
Assembly is also straightforward giving first-time riders an easy time to get everything ready without the help of their local bike shop.
With a Shimano 9-speed Freewheel along with derailleur guard, this bike makes climbing uphill easy to traverse even without the motor. Brakes are also decent with the Eahora AM100 Electric Mountain Bike. It has front and rear hydraulic brakes powerful enough to make the bike stop or slow down whenever you need to.
There are a lot of issues that go along with this bike. For one, this bike is quite heavy. It weighs 60 pounds which is twice the weight of your lightweight mountain bike. Also, some parts are flimsy according to some riders.
- 9-speed option
- Can run up to 30mph with assisted mode
- Has a durable aluminum frame
- Flimsy parts
The Diamondback Bicycles Release 1 can easily be the best full suspension bike if you will read some of the most popular full-suspension bike reviews. This model was so popular that it had updated versions. But what are the things that made this bike good?
The Diamondback Bicycles Release 1 Full Suspension Mountain Bike has an aluminum frame just like most of the good full suspension mountain bikes. However, this bike is priced somewhere around under $3,000. This bike made use of a Level Link suspension system that made the Release line of mountain bikes popular among intermediate and even among advanced riders. This feature allows the bike to offer less shakes even when you are dealing with unforgiving terrains. This is the reason why a lot of reviews considered this as a contender for the best 27.5 full suspension mountain bike.
The rear suspension offers 130mm suspension travel while the SR sun tour anion fork has a 150mm suspension travel. It gives the bike the necessary stability regardless if going downhill or you are simply dealing with small bumps.
This bike also allows users to relax with its long and slack geometry. This means that you don’t have to go low unlike the racing bikes. You also get to enjoy the hydraulic brakes that give you the stopping power that you need whether you are running downhill or running on a flat road.
It has a Shimano HG500 10-speed gear. Though it isn’t an impressive gear option, this has been improved by Diamondback Bicycles when they brought the Release 3 and Release 5C models in the market. Also, this is the heaviest version of the Release mountain bikes. It weighs 32.4 pounds.
- 10-speed option
- Stable suspension on both front and rear
- Allows a relaxed geometry
- Durable frame
- Heavier than other Release mountain bikes
The Release 4C Carbon Mountain Bike is an answer to the resounding complaints to the past high-end aluminum mountain bike models. The Release was made popular due to the Level Link Full Suspension system that allowed easy rides despite difficult off-road terrains. It is known for the 130 mm of rear travel combined with the 150mm of the front suspension. This bike is a good option in case you have a budget of around $4,000.
This bike is known for the relaxed geometry that allows the rider to not stay low. And because it is a lighter weight bike, it gives you the ability to sprint especially when you need to conquer steep terrains. If you are going to compare this bike against the first Release, it has 12-speed options compared to the 10-speed option of the very first Release. The brakes are also powerful thanks to the Shimano Deore brakes with 180mm rotors.
However, weighing 31 pounds, this isn’t exactly the best carbon full suspension mountain bike. It weighs close enough as its aluminum frame counterparts.
- High-quality suspension system
- Lightweight frame
- 12-speed option
- Heavy for a carbon mountain bike
Between a good full suspension mountain bike and a hardtail mountain bike, the latter is always lighter. The Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike compensates the shakes by having a carbon frame. As for the suspension system, it made use of a RockShox Recon gold RL fork that is known for 100mm of travel.
Also, you get to have the SRAM NX single-ring 11-speed drivetrain that can help riders get the right gear especially when they need to climb uphill. The brakes are also decent thanks to the Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes that can help you control your speed especially when you need it the most. With its suspension system, you can expect this to be used a lot during downhill terrains. And because of this, the brake system plays an important role in the safety of the rider.
- Made of lightweight carbon frame
- Has decent brakes
- 11-speed option for different terrains
- No suspension at the back
Merax FT323 Mountain Bike is among the best entry-level mountain bike options out there in the market. It offers everything that you need to get acquainted with the world of mountain bikes and off-road biking. The Merax FT323 Moutain Bike is made of an aluminum frame, typical of affordable full-suspension mountain bikes.
But unlike other entry-level mountain bikes, you get to enjoy full-suspension features. It offers fluid action, especially on tough terrains. The Merax FT323 Mountain Bike is also a favorite by many riders especially in climbing uphill terrains. It has the Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters that can help minimize your efforts when you are going uphill.
Next, the advertised weight capacity of this bike is up to 330 pounds which means that it can support some serious weight.
Despite the good points that we’ve mentioned, you still get what you pay for. The Merax FT323 Mountain Bike has some flaws such as its uncomfortable seats. But other than that, it feels like a decent mountain bike.
- 21-speed option
- Decent weight capacity
- The suspension system allows smooth ride experience
- Uncomfortable seat
The Raleigh Bikes Talus is a 27.5” mountain bike that is a good option for those who are looking for an affordable mountain bike for weekend adventures and even for daily commute. For starters, it’s a sub-$1,000 mountain bike. With a steel frame, a lot of intermediate and advanced riders may have already dismissed this bike. However, despite the additional weight on the frame, you still have features that make it such a good bike.
For instance, you have the 21-gears to choose from thanks to the Shimano EZ-fire trigger shifter. It means that you don’t have to worry so much about uphill climbs because you can tweak the right gear and lessen the effort on your legs.
The brakes, on the other hand, are also dependable. It made use of V-brakes that has enough stopping power regardless if you are going slow or fast. You can get the bike slow down or make a full stop according to your needs.
A common complaint that you get from the Raleigh Bikes Talus is the tires tend to show signs of wear and tear easily. Other than that, it is considered as a good quality bike for its price range.
- Affordable option
- 21-gear option made for uphill climbs
- Decent brakes
- Heavy frame
- Tires show signs of wear and tear fast
How to Buy Good Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
There are a variety of full-suspension mountain bikes that you will see in today’s market. Different brands also bring different technologies to the table. But for someone who has no experience whatsoever picking his or her first full suspension mtb, these are some things that might come in handy.
Finding the right sizing
If you will look at some of the top-rated full suspension mountain bikes, you will notice that different brands follow different size standards. Some trail mountain bikes’ medium might feel like a large if you try other brands. It is all about finding the right size that fits your height.
To know if the bike is right for you, the top tube should be around 3 fingers below the inseam of your pants.
However, always consider your comfort whenever you are going to pick a bike. One of the things that you might want to consider is the distance between the saddle to the bars. Also, you want to consider its overall length. A lot of novice riders tend to buy an entry-level full suspension mountain bike that isn’t longer than your typical road bike. Having a longer bike can get your front wheel planted.
Choose the right wheel size for you
Nowadays, full-suspension mountain bike reviews will recommend different wheel sizes. Some would recommend a 29er while other review websites recommend a 27.5 full suspension mountain bike. But what’s the difference between a 29-inch full suspension mountain bike and a 27.5-inch version?
A lot of riders think that bigger is faster. Though the 29ers are harder to accelerate, you can pick up speed once you have your momentum. These are popular nowadays especially when it comes to beating difficult trails. However, if you are concerned about weight, then the 27.5-inch wheels are lighter and can be easier to maneuver.
But in recent years, 27.5 full suspension mountain bikes are losing the popularity contest to the best full suspension 29er because of the latter’s attack angle. What’s the attack angle? That’s the angle formed when a round object gets to touch a square object. The 29-inch wheels have a shallower attack angle than its 27.5 counterparts. It means that the 29-inch wheels can get to conquer small logs and rocks that you might encounter along the way when you ride your bike.
The Type of Spring Used?
There are two types of springs used when it comes to your bike’s suspension system. You either have the air suspension design wherein air trapped inside an air chamber brings resistance. This can be adjusted as well depending on how reactive you want the air spring to be.
On the other hand, you have the coil springs that work exactly like the spring pens. Depending on the manufacturer, some full-suspension bikes even used carbon to make the bike lighter. Despite being heavier than your air spring, some of the best full suspension bikes provide better sensitivity due to this feature.
Suspension travel is the term used to describe how much can the spring compress and elongate whenever there’s pressure applied or removed. Should you choose suspension systems that have 80-100mm suspension travel or should you go for the 160mm or above?
Now, it depends on what you are planning to accomplish. Suspension with 80-100mm travel usually designed for fast and lightweight bikes. These are more for cross-country racers. However, if you prioritize downhill travel, then you want something that has at least 140mm suspension travel. A lot of elite riders consider suspension systems that have 120-140mm suspension travel to be the “sweet spot” when it comes to handling different off-road terrains.
You also need to take a closer look at the frame used on your mountain bike. Some of the common materials used on mountain bikes include steel, aluminum, and carbon.
Steel is a durable option for mountain bikes. However, you will have to bear extra weight whenever you are using this type of mountain bike. What makes it a popular option is the fact that it is affordable. Cheap full suspension bikes use steel. Now, a more sophisticated good entry-level full suspension mountain bike tends to have aluminum. This is a more common material used on a full suspension mountain bike under 500.
Now, some manufacturers also used lighter versions of aluminum on the mountain bike’s frame. These tend to be the more expensive than your average aluminum mountain bikes.
If you are willing to splurge, and you want the gold standard frame for a full suspension bicycle, then you want to go for carbon material. Carbon is lightweight and durable at the same time. It isn’t surprising why most mountain bikes under 2000 have aluminum frames.
A lot of mountain bikes can offer multiple-gear options to its riders. Now, a lot of riders think that more gears are always the best option. This isn’t always the case. There are two things that you want to consider whenever thinking about the number of gears in your full suspension mtb.
You want to consider your fitness and the trail. If you are going for uphill trails, then you will most likely need more gears to assist you and to lessen the effort on your part. However, if you are simply going to use the MTB in a flat terrain, then you only need fewer gears. You have to account for the additional weight on your bike if you opt for more gears. As rule of thumb, if you don’t need the more gears, then don’t get it.
Brakes are important to make sure that you are safe. You want something reliable especially when you are running downhill. Nowadays, an affordable full suspension mountain bike will most likely have a disc brake. Disc brakes use pads gripping on the brake rotor that is attached to the wheel hub. You can also have either the cable-activated or the hydraulic disc brakes.
Hydraulic disc brakes are known for stronger stopping power than a cable-activated option. Plus, you will need to adjust the pads with the cable-activated option.
In case you still consider rim brakes, this option is cheap and easy to replace the worn pads. However, it offers less stopping power.
The saddle is also an important part of any mountain bike. If you look at the mountain bikes, these bikes have flatter saddles compared to road bikes. Some saddles are now made of sophisticated materials and with additional comfort for its riders. It ranges from carbon shell to titanium rails.
Mountain bikes are designed for the toughest terrains. And part of what can give you a smooth ride is the suspension system used on the mountain bike. The good news is that you now have several good options. Whether you are looking for a good cheap full suspension mountain bike or you are planning to splurge $5,000 on a full-suspension carbon mountain bike, there’s always a bike that will match your budget.
Apart from the suspension system, try to compare different specs such as the material used on the frame and the gears that can make your uphill climbs easier. This way, you can get the best value for your money regardless if you are a novice rider or someone who plans to regularly ride the bike on different terrains.