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What Are the Best Mountain Bike Brands?

what are some of the best brands

When looking for dream mountain bikes, sometimes we don’t have a brand in mind. We think about parts and what we want it to do, but we often don’t think about a brand as such. In this article, we are going to speak about why you should go for top brand mountain bikes and what are some of the top mountain bike brands out there.

Why Use a Branded Bike?

why use a branded bike
Image by bones64 on Pixabay

As cycling gets more and more popular, we are seeing many brands pop up and express they now have the best product for much less. We are even witnessing shops selling unbranded goods and telling us they are exactly the same as some of the bigger brands. So why are we still buying branded goods for more? Well, here are a few reasons why.

Safety

When you buy with big brands, the quality control is much better, and they get a much better quality check than many of the smaller brands. Not everything is made perfectly, issues can happen, and companies need to check they are sending out a road-worthy product. The last thing you need is your bike to brake, and you crash and hurt yourself.

Understanding what you are getting

With big brand mountain bikes, you often see many reviews on the products, and this is great for getting the right bike for you. I think reviews are vital to understanding the pros and cons of a bike you’re interested in. Getting reviews from an end-user and not the company is essential information as they are willing to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly. With smaller brand companies, we get much less information and sometimes no reviews. We have to go with what the company tells us, and it’s not as informal as we like.

The standard is always High

When companies like Canyon and Trek make new mountain bikes, they are making them to be better than their competitors. If you spend a little more and buy a big brand, you will find that the standard will be high, and they will perform well.

Typically better components

When it comes to big brands on the high-end and mid-range models, they typically don’t cut corners and go cheap on specific components. You will see Groupsets like Shimano and SRAM. You will get branded wheels and tires which won’t break easily. The value is definitely in the parts, not just the frame. Cheap brands will often cut corners to get the price down as much as they can, and you will notice that gear changes less smooth, more punctures, etc. This is especially with an electric mountain bike.

Better warranty and bike shops understand how to fix them

When you shop big brands, you always get a good warranty, and if you have any issues at all, more than likely, your local bike shop will be able to fix it quickly and also have the parts right on the shelf. It can be very challenging for smaller brands to find things such as derailleur hangers.

Better resale

It’s much easier to resell a branded bike than an unbranded bike. People trust branded bikes, and they know the quality is very high. As someone who has cycled for many years, I wouldn’t go for anything less than a big brand.

We Think You’ll Like It: Why Are Mountain Bikes So Expensive?

Should I Avoid Less Known Brands?

cyclist riding one of the other types of mountain bike leaping
Image by Randgruppe on Pixabay

No, not always, but it’s essential to know a little more about them before buying. You want to make sure you’re getting a quality, safe product. I have seen many Mountain bikes on trails break, and many of them are unbranded cheap frames. Many companies will say that there are bikes are made in the same factory as Giant bikes and Trek, but it doesn’t mean the quality is the same, and you will be able to see this when you first get the bike.

What Are Some of the Best Brands?

Man standing with a mountain bike on a dirt road
Image by photosforyou on Pixabay

There are so many Mountain Bike brands on the market, and listing them all would take some time. We, through many choices, have come up with what we think are some of the best brands to go for currently.

Kona

Kona has been a leading brand for over 30 years, and we can see why. They make an excellent quality bike, and the product speaks for itself. If you look at their current range, you see incredible bikes such as the Process and the Honzo, to name a few of their trail bikes. If anything Kona makes a mean Enduro bike in my opinion. They have also got into other styles of bikes such as Road and Commuters. 

Salsa

If you have been in Mountain biking, you will hear Salsa mentioned all the time. They make incredible bikes and are often seen on the podium by the pros. Some of the bikes they currently have are the Horsetheif, and the Range Finder not only look great, but they perform on a very high level.

Cannondale

Cannondale do pretty much all types of bikes now, and you will see them in plenty of bikes shops. Typically this is because they are excellent bikes. Though as far as mountain bikes go, they have a great heritage and offer some fantastic bikes such as the Habit and the Scalpel in their current range. An amazing bike they make is the Fat CAAD and as far as fat bikes go it is just unbelievable.

Specialized

Specialized is known for just making quality with anything they touch. One of the most popular mountain bikes around is the Rockhopper, and I always remember them from when I was going up. They continue to perform and create excellent mountain bikes such as Stumpjumper and the Status. They also make amazing electric mountain bikes.

Trek

Trek has made some amazing Mountain bikes and seems to tick many boxes for pro riders. A trail bike like the Top Fuel and the Super Caliper are just amazing. They also offer the option to customize when you buy as well. The Slash Trek make, is also one of the most amazing enduro bikes available.

Pivot Bikes

Unlike many brands on this list, Pivot is mainly just off-road bikes. The closest thing they have to a road bike is a Gravel bike. They have been around since 1992 and are still huge in the MTB market. They produce fantastic quality, and my favorites they currently have are the Les SL and the Firebird.

Cotic

Cotic bikes have only been around since 2002, but they are moving from strength to strength. They are a UK brand, and you can tell so much has gone into the bikes, and we highly rate what they are doing. Some of their current bikes we like are the Jeht and the Tonic. Cotic also make some great gravel bikes if your looking for something lighter and more road.

Giant

How could we talk about amazing mountain bikes without talking about the legendary Giant bikes? They have been making high quality mountain bikes since 1972 and excelling at it too. When it comes to Mountain bikes and Giant, they have the Trance, which is one of the longest running models. They also make a women’s specific mountain bike range, and they brand them as Liv. They also make some incredible electric bikes too.

Canyon

Canyon has been very strong the past few years, and we often see many of their bikes with pros and winning races. These are high performance mountain bikes. Let’s be straight in saying some of what they make is very quirky, and I personally love it. Bikes like the Spectral and the Neuron are ridiculously good, and if anything, I think they are probably the best looking MTBs on the market.

Santa Cruz Bikes

Santa Cruz mountain bikes are incredible. They make some serious quality, but if you plan to get a Santa Cruz, it is worth having some deep pockets as they are not the cheapest. They have only been around since 1994 but have established the brand quickly. You have some excellent bikes in the current range, such as the Highball and the Blur. You wouldn’t be going wrong with a Santa Cruz bike.

Niner

Niner bikes are becoming a more prominent brand every year, and we are starting to get impressed at what they have the ability to turn into. They make some incredible bikes, such as the Jet on the full suspension mountain bikes side and the Air on the hardtail bikes side. The quality is good, the price point is great, and they look incredible. I can also highly recommend the gravel bikes they make too.

Marin

Marin is a very established brand when it comes to Mountain bikes and has been around since 1986. They produce a great bike and what I love about the brand is that the quality is at every price point. Even on the cheap kit, they are not cutting corners. Some of my favorite bikes in the current range are the Alpine and the San Quentin. As far as price and buying a new mountain bike, Marin are amazing value for money.

Conclusion

Mountain bikes come in all shapes and sizes, and you will find many brands on the market. Whatever mountain bike brand you pick, before you buy, it’s vital to do your research and understand what you are buying. Read your reviews, watch youtube videos, and know precisely what you are getting before spending your hard-earned cash. Then when you get it, ride hard and have fun.

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Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri is a cyclist living in Norfolk in the UK. From breaking World Records to competing in some of the hardest Bikepacking races in the world he is not shy of riding the miles. He has been lucky enough to work at some amazing shops and with some big cycling brands. Alongside this he even had input in designing bikes and has also been a tester for unreleased products. He absolutely loves cycling and believes everyone should have a bike.