Mountain biking is a great sport. It’s a way to explore nature which is friendly to the environment, and it’s also an excellent way to improve your fitness, motor skills, and also can introduce you to lots of new friends who share the same hobby as you. Mountain bikes come in all different shapes and sizes and are designed for different disciplines of off-road riding.
Many people ask us here at Cycling Hacker about what a mountain bike weighs, not just generally but by discipline too. In this article, we’re going to tell you about the different types of mountain bike disciplines, how much each bike should roughly weigh, and what factors affect a mountain bike’s weight.
The Mountain Bike Disciplines
Mountain biking, unlike other forms of cycling, comes with multiple disciplines; hence there are so many different types of mountain bikes. Here are the main four you will currently find on the market.
XC / Cross Country
XC, commonly known as cross country, is the lightest form of mountain biking and uses both hardtail and full suspension bikes, which are light, fast, and super agile. Typically the courses are not hugely technically demanding, but you will need excellent fitness as they can be short bursts or long treks. Typical suspension travel on an XC bike is 100mm to 130mm.
Trail / All Mountain
Trail riding is like XC but typically more technically demanding. You will race short and long distances as quickly as you can. You will require a better equipped bike, typically full suspension. A trail or all mountain bike comes equipped with suspension travel from 130mm to 150mm.
Enduro bikes are like Trail and All Mountain but are made for steeper downhills and rougher trails with huge tree routes and rocks. They need the ability to go up and down elevations quickly and also require a lot of technical ability. These will be full suspension bikes with 150mm to 170mm of travel.
Downhill racing is an incredibly tough sport and very challenging to compete in. The bikes have to be incredibly strong and capable. They will be full suspension bikes and have a huge amount of suspension travel, sometimes up to 210mm.
What Affects the Weight of a Mountain Bike?
Aside from the discipline the bike is made for. Many other factors affect the weight of the bike. In this next section, we will tell you everything that also has an effect on the weight of a bike.
Bikes come in different frame materials. You get super featherweight carbon fiber frames, lightweight aluminum frames, and weighty steel frames. The weight of the frame can have a big difference on the overall weight of the bike.
Then we have the bike’s components. Some bikes are made to be super lightweight for speed and to help climb, but they will lack the ability to take on challenging terrain. A good example is a hardtail XC bike will be much lighter than a downhill bike but won’t have the ability to get around a downhill course.
The more ability the bike needs, the better, bigger components that are required. Take suspension as an example 100mm XC forks will weigh much less than 210mm downhill forks. You will also find that full suspension bikes have two forms of suspension in a front fork and a rear shock, while a hardtail mountain bike only has one, the front forks.
Same with tires, the larger the tire, the more rubber compound is needed, and the heavier the bike will weigh. You might use inner tubes, which can be heavier than if you were to run a tubeless system. Components make a huge difference because the frame and fork are only about 30% of the bike itself. Components make up the rest.
Another thing many people don’t take into account is the size of the bike. Larger frames use more material and need to compensate for heavier riders, so they tend to weigh more than a smaller frame. The same goes for larger handlebars, seat posts, and wheel sizes.
Then we come to price, which is a very big governing factor regarding weight. The cheaper bikes are made of materials that weigh more. A high-end bike will be made of a carbon fiber frame and be paired with wheels to match and lightweight components. A budget bike will be made of steel and have heavy components, so naturally will be much heavier. Then you have mid-range bikes that sit in between and have a mix of both.
So How Much Does a Mountain Bike Weigh?
The best way to explain the weight of a mountain bike is to break it down into a chart so you can roughly see what weight each bike should be;
|Mountain Bike||Budget||Mid Range||High End|
|XC / Cross Country||13.6kg||11.4kg||9.5kg|
|Trail / All Mountain||16kg||13.2kg||11.5kg|
These are obviously rough figures. You will find some bikes might weigh more or less and because all bikes are made up differently.
Mountain bikes are not the lightest of bikes you will find on the market. This is because they also need to have ability and require more components than a road bike. The lightest mountain bikes will be around 9kg, and the heaviest can be up above 17kg. We recommend not worrying about the bike’s weight unless you are racing professionally.