Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes: If riding rough is your thing, then you must be no stranger to the importance of a full suspension mountain bike. Mountain bikes, or MTBs as they are more commonly known, are rigs specially designed for riding hard on rocky terrains, and as we all know, off the road biking needs great suspension for riders to stay insulated from the terrains. The fact is, MTBs that are meant for the most hardcore kinds of action warrant something extra by way of the suspension. So a full suspension is a feature that is found not only on the best mountain bikes, but is also a key feature in many of the world's best hybrid bicycles.
Full Suspension Mountain Bikes is actually quite an umbrella term, and these bikes tend to branch off in a number of categories. For instance, Downhill bikes are a kind of full suspension mountain bikes, but the latter is not limited to DH only. Full suspension mountain bikes are a mountain racer's best friend, as not only do they provide protection from the sometimes unforgiving terrains that you ride them through, but being a feature on many racing bikes, they can also be incredibly fast. However, the best full suspension mountain bikes can be used both for racing and for the times when you simply feel like cruising around.
What are Full Suspension Mountain Bikes?
Mountain bikes are usually of two kinds, ones that come with a hardtail build, and the other that comes with a full suspension frame. The basic difference between the two is the kind of suspension that they come with. It is quite obvious that a full suspension rig comes with a dual suspension system, both at the front and the back.
The hardtail variety, on the other hand, refers to the kind that comes with suspension at the front. But while many prefer to go for a hardtail for the more traditional "solid" feel that they afford, our vote goes straight to the Full Suspension variety. The best full suspension mountain bikes have suspension travel typically ranging between 180 mm and 200 mm, and for biking across challenging terrains, they provide the best kind of protection. The fact is that Full Suspension Mountain Bikes are a favorite with mountain racers for the dual support and protection that they offer. Suspension on both the front and the back ensure that the rider is well insulated against impacts due to hard landings and throughout the ride.
Why Should You Need A Full Suspension Mountain Bike?
Like we said, mountain bikes come in all different kinds, and they can be either Rigid (lacking any suspension), Hardtail (no suspension at the back, only in the fork), and full suspension (this is pretty self-explanatory). The latter kind is the most preferred among professional bikers for the kind of insulation they offer. Many beginners may want to opt for the first two kinds for their easier availability and lower price point, but the truth is, they offer little comfort and protection against unforgiving terrains. It is worth noting that if higher speeds are what you want to achieve, then the hardtail variety is definitely what you are looking for. Many comparative studies have shown that if all other factors remain exactly the same, including the track, rider, and all components of the bike except for the suspension, then the hardtail will almost always prove to be faster. However, there are little doubts about which kind is more forgiving on the parts of a mountain track that are especially rough.
So to put it simply, you should opt for a mountain bike if racing in more comfort is your thing. Unless you're a pro who needs to emerge at the top of the game everytime, then a full suspension mountain bike could well be the rig for you. They prove particularly suitable towards those who like to partake in long marathons across the mountains, for while the hardtail will let you pick up all the speed in the initial parts of a track, thus letting you come out faster on a shorter track, their full suspension siblings are meant to make you last longer. That means if the track is significantly longer, a hardtail will leave you fatigued earlier for the lack of any support at the rear.
On the other hand, what an FS bike lacks in speed it makes up for in course longevity. This means that you can endure lengthy, more difficult technical tracks while flying over the rocks without feeling their wrath while using full suspension mountain bikes. And because they do not leave you as fatigued as a rigid or a hardtail, the speed hardly ends up mattering in the aftermath of a long track that really tests your endurance.
As a final word, we suggest bikers who like the challenge of a particularly rough and extended technical track to invest in a Full Suspension Mountain Bike rather than a Hardtail. While the latter might give you more sense of control, an FS rig will undoubtedly let you sail through the roughest patches with much less effort.
Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Buying Guide
Buying a bike is no mean feat, and especially if you want a bike that will take you across some of the world's most challenging tracks with greater ease. The fact that mountain bikes belong to a special league of their own makes it even more difficult to pick out that perfect one for all occasions. There are trail bikes, all-terrain bikes, cross country bikes and more to choose from, and it does not exactly help that more often than not one category will overlap with the other.
Full Suspension Mountain Bikes fall into a pretty broad category themselves, as the suspension does not define the other essential parts of the bike. However, once you have your mind set on the kind of riding you are more likely to do and have settled on the FS variety, picking the right bike will become easier. The most extreme kind of FS bike that you can possibly get your hands on is the Downhill Bike, but unless you are an experienced DH racer, you are not likely to need one of those. DH bikes, like we have discussed in our post about them, are entirely specific in nature and you will never be able to do anything else other than riding technical DH tracks on them.
For all other kinds of FS bikes, there are a variety of conditions to consider before you end up buying one. In fact you should invest your time wisely even if a "full suspension mountain bikes for sale" advertisement has lured you into buying one for yourself. So take a look at our guide below for what you need to look out for.
Frame: The frame is undoubtedly the most important part of a mountain bike. The best full suspension mountain bikes will come in either of two materials- aluminium or carbon fiber. Those with a higher budget tend to go for a carbon fiber bike rather than the former kind as they are made to be ultra lightweight, durable, and can take a lot of damage without the fear of denting. However, bike manufacturers have been experimenting with a lot of new technology in the past few years, and that has made the introduction of stronger, more impact efficient aluminium build a much bigger commonality.
You will find that most of the best full suspension mountain bikes sporting an aluminium frame are equipped with 6000 series or higher graded aluminium to make them durable as well as lightweight. However, it is worth taking note of the fact that many quality aluminium built bikes will in fact not be much cheaper than a carbon frame bike. You may wonder why one would choose a metal frame over a carbon fiber one when they cost nearly the same. However, many riders who prefer things old school actually like the responsiveness (for the lack of a better word) of a metal rig compared to carbon frames. If you are one of them ut are afraid that these will not be as impact resistant as a carbon framed bike, you are in for a surprise and can safely go for an aluminium rig from the right manufacturer.
- Wheel Size: As with all mountain bikes, the best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes come with a variety of wheel sizes, and each comes with their own advantage. When you look for an FS bike online or in a store, you will be faced with options ranging from 26 inches to 29 inches for adult riders. The most commonly favored option is the 27.5-inch wheels, as they offer the right balance between control, maneuverability across all kinds of terrains, and acceleration. However, the kind of wheel size you need also largely depends on your own build, so you need to get an idea beforehand.
- Suspension: Quite obviously, the most important bit in a full suspension bike will be its suspension travel. FS rigs come with dual suspension typically ranging between 120 and 200 mm. But to get the most out of them, you need to adjust the settings perfectly to your requirement. This will also ensure that your FS bike lasts you longer on the tracks and help you scale the mountains with flying colors. We suggest taking a newly bought bike to your local bicycle technician to adjust them to your purposes, if you're not confident about doing it yourself.
- Select the ride: A full suspension can end up being an integral part of a number of different bike kinds. The differences in the ride that they are best suited for will depend on their overall geometry and other important factors. So the buyer needs to be aware of exactly what hey need before making an investment. So if you're a cross country rider who prefers dual suspension mechanism, then you should be looking for something like that.
- Price: When it comes to choosing the best FS rig, a lot actually depends on your budget. And as with all things, a more expensive bike will require lesser maintenance and be more productive. However, that does not mean that you need to spend thousands of dollars whenever you need to buy a bike. So make sure you have a flexible budget or wait for the season of 'full suspension bikes for sale' to come while going into buying the best bike.
Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes 2017
So now that we have tried our best to communicate what to look for in an FS bike, let us get to the actual list of the best full suspension mountain bikes 2017 that you can get for your money. So check our full suspension bike reviews first before selecting your own precious one.
GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
In a market where most dual suspension mountain bikes cost upwards of $1000 (as do some of the bikes on our list), we understand how difficult it is to find full suspension mountain bikes under $500 without sacrificing on the basics. Besides the aluminium frame that will take you anywhere from hard concrete roads to rocky mountain terrains, the GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike scores big with the inclusion of disc brakes at both the front and the back. The front and back suspension systems offer riders a comfortable, protected ride across any kind of track.
- Comes at a great price
- The disk brakes work great in any condition
- Looks and feels durable
- Great controls
- Not the lightest FS MTB you can find
- Set up is far from being easy
While this bike is certainly not an ideal rig for professional bikers, the fact that it provides quality construction and materials at such a bargain price makes the GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike a winner. It is not the lightest bike that you will find, but the controlled handling and solid brakes make up for that. The GMC Topkick has its shortcomings, including a somewhat hassle some set up procedure, but at the price it comes for, this one couldn't have been any better.
The GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike may not be the best bike you can find, but it is an unbeatable rig that comes in this price range. The solid frame ensures you get a great buildable bike that you can tweak to your liking to suit your needs.
2017 Gravity FSX 2.0
The Gravity FSX 2.0 is a great MTB for beginners. If you like the GMC Topkick but wish to explore some other options that come at a similar price range, you could consider going for this one. The biggest advantage that the Gravity FSX 2.0 has over the GMC Topkick is the much easier and hassle free set up procedure. It is also much lighter than the option above. Even some professional bikers consider it as the best full suspension mountain bikes under $500 price range.
- Aluminium build is lighter than the Topkick
- Shimano parts
- Priced well
- Easy set up
- Doesn't pack in as many great features as the Topkick
The good quality Shimano parts also make it an attractive deal for the price. It does not match up to all of the features of the Topkick, but if you are looking for a no-nonsense MTB with an adjustable dual suspension system at a budget price, then this one could be for you. It rides well, has great controls, and performs well across all kinds of terrains. With sufficient adjustments, it could also be the perfect rig to take along for a spin on a medium track.
The 2017 Gravity FSX 2.0 model is a good bike for beginners looking to step out of their comfort zones.
Foldable bikes have a rare number of takers, but it does have its advantages for those who prefer them. The Cyrusher FR100 not only looks awesome, it also boasts of some cool features. As a full suspension mountain bike, it affords the rider a very comfortable ride across a number of different terrains. The bike's frame is made of high quality aluminium, making it very lightweight and extremely easy to carry around in a car, courtesy of its foldable build. That also makes it easy to store inside a garage or to stow it away somewhere in your home.
- Great option for those who prefer bikes that are easy to carry and store
- High quality aluminium build
- Good controls
- The saddle is quite uncomfortable, so you need to invest in a new one.
It also comes with front and back disc brakes, and that along with its 26 inch wheels make it nicely balanced and controllable. What sets it apart, besides its next generation looks, is the fact that it really easy to set it up. Another big positive is the customer service- a number of satisfied users have reported having received prompt service with regards to any complaint. But what makes it absolutely worth the price is its overall efficiency as an MTB. You can take it along on any kind of trail that you like, only to find that picking up top speeds and flying along them is much more comfortable than you thought.
The Cyrusher FR100 Foldable Bike does not only look great, but also is an extremely efficient mountain bike.
Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Recoil Comp
If you are looking to up your mountain biking game, yet want to fulfill your desire of riding full suspension mountain bikes under $1000, then the Recoil Comp 2016 model will take you on any kind of technical trail and make sure that you come out flying on top, thanks to its quality build and strong wheelbase that can take all kinds of battering. The bike is made of top notch quality aluminium which makes it both light in weight and durable. There are also some really good parts and features attached to it, including a fully adjustable suspension system, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, and smooth gear shifting.
- Comes with some great parts
- Great hybrid bike that can double as a DH rig for beginners
- Great brakes lend great control
- Can survive nearly any track
- Needs a good bit of maintenance
The wheels are 27.5 inches, so they are perfect for picking up speeds with lesser effort and help the bike perform really well on challenging terrains. Those who swear by this model assure us that it has not failed them once on a track, no matter how gruelling it is. It does need maintenance, so make sure you know what you're doing around this one. It is also pretty easy to set up, thanks to the fact that it come partially assembled so you don't have to put it all together. But if you're a newbie, we recommend taking it to your local bike store to get it adjusted to your liking.
If you don't mind the upkeep, we recommend you go for this bike if you're on the lookout for a quality full suspension unit under $1000.
2017 Gravity FSX 1.0
Another one among the best full suspension mountain bikes under $500 is the 2017 Gravity FSX 1.0. Like its more expensive cousin, the FSX 1.0 is also built with quality material and packs in some great parts for delivering a great riding experience even when you're on a tight budget. Despite the price, this bike has no issues with being treated roughly as it is perfect to be taken along on an offroad track. It climbs and cuts downhill with equal ease, and the adjustable suspension at the front and back allows you to tweak it to perfection.
- Adjustable Suspension at both Front and Rear
- Strong and durable frame
- Handles well on any track
- Not a lightweight model
- Seat is uncomfortable
The aluminium frame is not exactly light weight, but it makes for a bike that is high on endurance. The 26-inch wheels ensure maximum control, and the brakes and Shimano shifters work smoothly and are reliable. It is also available in a variety of frame sizes, so you will without a doubt find the best model for your build. Another great thing about the 2017 Gravity FSX 1.0 is the ease of set up, so you will really be hard pressed to find a better deal at the price.
The 2017 Gravity FSX 1.0 is a great alternative for those who want a solid and buildable frame along with great parts.
2016 Rocky Mountain Element 950 RSL
We are traveling into the world of carbon frame bikes with this inclusion, and the 2016 Rocky Mountain Element 950 RSL is one of the absolute best you can get your hands on. For all those who are familiar with the Rocky Mountain name, this bike should need no introduction. This particular model of the Rocky Mountain RSL comes with a 29 inch wheelbase on a fully carbon fiber dual suspension frame with accents of 7000-series a;luminium where necessary. Not only is the bike's geometry totally race worthy, it can also double as an all-terrain all-rounder. It is one of the best full suspension mountain bikes 2017 for sure.
- Carbon fiber bike at a competitive price
- The geometry is perfect both for track races and bumpy rides in the mountains
- Shimano parts
- Not much upgrading required
- Considering everything, can't really complain
Another highlight of this bike is the price. We have all been skeptical upon finding a carbon bike at such a competitive price and it certainly not uncommon to think that perhaps all we're paying for is the frame and fear that the parts will not live up to the claims of the manufacturer. For those thinking that way about the 2016 Rocky Mountain 950 RSL, we can put our fears to rest, thanks to the Shimano parts. Everything from the gear shifts to the brakes is absolutely top notch. It is surely the best full suspension mountain bikes under $3000 price range.
With a few minor adjustments. you can really own the tracks with the 2016 Rocky Mountain Element 950 RSL.
LAUXJACK 26 Inches Soft Tail Aluminum Alloy Downhill Mountain
Downhill racing is not only a demanding sport but also an expensive business. Professional downhill rigs are nearly impossible to be used for anything other than racing downhill at top speeds, and add to that the fact that they are very expensive, often costing over $5000 for a quality, race efficient rig. So what do you do when you want to try your hand at downhill racing without shelling out an arm and a leg for a bike that you may find way too challenging and expensive, and not end up using it again?
- Inexpensive bike to get started with downhill racing
- Good geometry
- Can reach high speeds with minimum effort
- Parts are Shimano dupes
- Not meant for technical downhill tracks
For beginners who want a taste of the surge of adrenaline that DH racing offers, we recommend the Lauxjack Soft Tail Bike for being the perfect combination of a trail bike and a downhill bike. It is heavier than most MTBs designed for DH racing, but then it isn't really one. instead, it is built around a solid aluminium alloy frame that offers controlled handling for use in the mountains. It can be termed as the Junior Full Suspension Mountain Bikes, as it is basically targeted for beginners mainly. The tires are great for facing the rocky terrains, and the dual suspension system makes it very comfortable for the rider, even as they are coursing downhill at top speeds.
Let's not fool ourselves here, no downhill racing bike with Shimano parts come with a price tag like this one. But in its defense, it performs well off the road. Give it a try if you don't mind.
An aluminium frame bike designed with downhilling in mind, the Mongoose Boot'r Full Suspension Bike offers great comfort and stability on the roughest terrains. The bike boasts of some of the best quality parts that you will find manufacturers using in today's date, and it beats most MTBs at this. It should your first pick if you are looking for full suspension mountain bikes under $2500.
- Very stable frame, ideal for taking it downhill
- Suspension is excellent
- Great geometry and components
- Doubles as an all-terrain MTB
- At this price, none
You may think that a downhill bike is better off sporting a carbon frame, but the beauty of the Mongoose Boot'r is that it is greatly adaptive, which means that unlike most Downhill Bikes, you can actually ride this one across a variety of mountainous terrains. The 6000-series aluminium frame gives the bike the right amount of endurance needed on medium technical tracks, while letting those who prefer a feel pf the terrain get a good feel. Don't mistake that with discomfort, however, as both the front and back suspensions are great enough to absorb any kind of shocks that you may feel off the road.
The Mongoose Boot'r Full Suspension Bike is the best dual suspension bike to get started on you downhill racing kinks. It is stable, has the smoothest ride, and is one of the most comfortable full suspension mountain bikes 2017 on this list.
The Schwinn S29 18 inch frame bike sports an all-aluminium build made with series 6000 aluminium, and that for the price it comes for makes it absolutely unbeatable. At under $500, the Schwinn S29 full suspension mountain bike might weigh in a little heavier than other bikes, but for the price you pay for it, it is a quality bike. We recommend this bike to anyone who is looking to upgrade to a faster, more powerful bike to explore the trails. It's a great MTB for trail beginners.
- Fully adjustable suspension
- Very good frame that is not prone to impact
- Front and rear disc brakes are present
- Pedals aren't great, so those will need to be changed
You can ride this bike up rough terrains or choose to race it at top speeds down a bumpy road, and it will never fail you. The only places where it might need a bit of adjustment is perhaps in the saddle and the pedals, so don't be surprised if you need to invest in new ones even on a new bike. However, you will find that the rest of the bike will never be compromised. No matter where you take it or what you put it through, the Schwinn S29 will prove its mettle as one of the best full suspension mountain bike sunder 500 out there.
The Schwinn S29 full suspension bike is a great choice for those looking to upgrade to a better, meaner bike.
Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Mission 2
To round things off, take a look at the Diamondback 2016 Mission 2 MTB perfect for all mountainous terrains. This updated bike handles and shifts like a dream, and most testers and users swear by the speeds it can reach. In fact, it is capable of going significantly higher than most other bikes in its price category, making it one of the fastest and quietest bikes on our list. Certainly not a budget piece (it comes in the range of full suspension mlountain bikes under $2000), the Diamondback Mission 2 bike is a great performer all-around, which means you can take it along anywhere on the mountains, including technical tracks that test the lungs out of you.
- Very comfortable ride
- Endurance levels are great
- Set up is easy if you're used to it
- Speedy and quiet in its category
- On the heavier side
Its solid frame lets you crash without fear of impact, and the suspension offers one of the best rides you can experience. All in all, we would say that the Diamondback 2016 Mission 2 MTB is a winner all around.
The Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Mission 2 MTB is the perfect all-rounder. Go for it if you take mountain biking seriously.
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Well, that concludes our list of the best full suspension mountain bikes 2017 presently available on the market. We have tried including bikes that focus on quality ride and endurance, with pricing serving as one of the primary highlights as well. So no matter if you are a bicycle enthusiast who wants to get a fell on the mountains on a brand new MTB or a seasoned rider looking to upgrade your rig, this list covers them all. So go ahead and pick one for yourself. Also, don't forget to let us know your preferred dual suspension MTB in the comments below.