Types of Mountain Bikes

Last Updated on August 30, 2020

Nowadays mountain biking is one of the most familiar and popular riding sports in western countries. After the 19th century for the first time, cycling was enrolled as a sport, and until now it is popular among sports lovers. Time to time, the types of cycling changed. Mountain cycling is quite different, which was introduced in the 20th century. It is off-road biking on the high mountains.

Types of Mountain Bikes

A mountain biker always finds challenging and adventurous experiences from their riding. If you are a cyclist, then you must know that mountain biking is not just cycling as usual but also it requires some basic training and long term practices before biking on the risky devious way of the mountains. And so you have to choose the right bike for mountain biking.

You will find different types of mountain bikes in the market. Before having a mountain bike, you should know about the types of mountain bikes so that you can choose the right one for your biking. In this article, we are providing you the basic idea of five major types of mountain bikes depending on the routes of biking.

1. Cross Country Mountain Bikes

The Cross Country (XC) bikes are standard bikes for cross country mountain racing. These types of bikes provide the maximum climbing speed with perfect endurance.

There are two main types of Cross country bike.

  1. a) Hardtail (suspension in front for 80 mm – 100 mm travel)
  2. b) Full suspension (suspension both in front and rear for 100 mm – 120 mm travel)

Hardtail: In the very beginning, the XC bikes had only front suspension. In the rugged and rough road, it’s very tough to get control over the bike. Such a bike has a very lightweight design. That’s why bikers love this hardtail bikes to make smooth moves. Besides, these types of bikes are quite inexpensive. If you are a beginner, you may choose such a hardtail XC mountain bike for simply mountain biking, not in the rough off-road. Its primary approach is racing.

Full suspension: For a rough mountain biking, you need a bike of full suspension. However, in recent times, XC bikes introduced their many new features along with the full suspension travel system. With the full suspension, you can ride over all rough off-roads with proper control and stability.

Such bikes have more weight than hardtail bikes. Bikers who are in the pro level, they choose such bikes with full suspension. Bikers have to pedal a lot to move in such XC mountain bikes with full suspension for climbing. Its main approach is climbing and riding in a tough zone. These bikes are more costly than hardtail bikes.

So it depends on your skill and budget, which bike you will choose for your mountain biking.

  • Wheel size: 26-29 inches
  • Seat position: Elevated
  • Main purposes:  Mountain racing, Ascending, Easy to ride.

2. All Mountain Bikes

All mountain bikes are stronger than XC mountain bikes. Obviously, there a full suspension travel system (for 100 mm to 160 mm travel) with about 4-6 inches, is installed. Its main approach is climbing and descending both.

All mountain bike is also known as a trail bike. Although It is manufactured for both ascending and descending, many bikers basically use this bike for the only downhill (descending) purpose.

Such a bike is more costly than an XC bike. Those bikers who want all-rounder types of bike, they may choose such a bike.

  • Wheel size: 26-29 inches
  • Seat position: Elevated
  • Main Purposes: Ascending (bottom to the top of the mountain), Descending (top to the bottom of the mountain), to show various skills of cycling (jumping).

3. Downhill Bikes

Downhill biking is riding the bike from the top to the bottom of the hill. A biker has to ride the bike on a vertical, rough, and devious terrain. There must be many obstacles on the way. A biker has to jump over those obstacles and ride very proficiently.

That’s why, for downhill biking, one must need a hard and extreme level of bike. In the question of weight, the downhill bikes are heavier than any other model of bikes. Its heavy weight provides extra support to go downhill at the maximum speed. So, mountain bikers never choose such a bike for uphill riding or ascending to the top of the mountains.

In such a bike there must be a full suspension travel system (for 160 mm to 200 mm travel) with about 7-10 inches, which is installed for riding smoothly on the rough off-road. Those who are beginners in the sport, we recommend them without perfect riding skills, don’t ride in downhill.

  • Wheel size: 26 inches only
  • Seat position: Low lying
  • Main Purpose: Riding downhill at the maximum speed, Racing.

4. Dirt Jumping Bikes (DJ)

Dirt jumping biking is a type of biking, where a biker has to jump over dirt or soil. In this jumping, the biker shows the skill, style of riding in air. In different terrain, they show their moves with various style.

The weight of such a bike is very light. In such a DJ bike, there no full suspension system is installed.

There are two types of Dirt Jumping bikes:

  1. a) Hardtail (single front suspension for 80-100 mm travel)
  2. b) Rigid (no suspension).

There are many BMX bikes, which are specially designed for such dirt jumping. There is no gear and only rear gear in such a bike. Dirt jumping bikes are quite inexpensive. Beginners are required more and more practices for dirt jumping in the mountains.

  • Wheel size: 26 inches only
  • Seat position: Lower lying, this sloping design helps to make speed.
  • Main Purposes:  Showing the cycling skill on the air, jumping over the dirty park or dirty, rugged soil, or other obstacles.

5. Freeride Bikes (FR)

Freeride biking is easy accessible biking. There is no goal or target to reach in such biking. You alone can go for such free riding in different types of terrain or areas of the mountain. You no need to follow any hierarchical orders and rules.

In such a riding, you need a compiled bike with all features. In previous times, freeride bikes were the heaviest bike (almost 18 kgs) in the sector of mountain bikes. But in recent times, you may find many lights framed FR bikes. Such a bike has a full suspension system for 180 mm travel.

  • Wheel size: 26 inches only
  • Seat position: Low lying
  • Main purposes: Biker’s show own riding skill on different terrain as well as to Ascend at the top, Descend at the bottom, and to make personal records.

All these types of mountain bikes are mostly available and noticeable in mountain biking. However, many bikers who are pro, they ride with their own customized bikes. As we say before, the types of a bike depend on the biking routes; a biker may customize the bike according to the route or the type of biking.

There are Some More Mountain Bikes

Slope Style Bike (SS): Where in a dirt jump biking, a biker flies in the air with either a rigid or a hard-tail bike, on the other hand, when the biker wants to fly higher then he needs a bike with full suspension. Such a bike is called Slopestyle bike. Such a slope-style bike also has a low lying seat. In other features, the SS bike is similar to the DJ bike.

Enduro Bike: Enduro bikes are the same to All Mountain bikes. The difference is in their biking style. In endure biking, a biker has to ascend without any time limit and descend within a time limit.

Trail Bike: Such a bike is the upgraded version of the XC bike. So the frame is almost the same as XC bikes. Trail bike provides more suspension travel (120 mm – 140 mm) than an XC bike. For up-hill biking, such a bike offers a better performance rather down-hilling biking.

All these three categories of bikes are the Customized version. You can customize your bike as your terrain.

Final Words

Most of the time, a beginner can’t choose an appropriate bike for his first biking. We hope, from this article you may get the idea of different types of bikes that you may able to choose the right bike for you. You can also set your gear and customize the suspension system of your bike. When you have the right bike, then you can ride confidently on your track. So, all the very best for your first mountain biking.


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