As a novice biker, it is better to know about different types of mountain bikes before you go and buy one for yourself.
Why is this important? This is necessary so you can choose something apt to your taste, requirement, and likeness.
So, how to know all about mountain bike types? Always have a mentor, if not around, then online. You can join any platform to learn.
I am Trevor Humphres, a 39-year-old biker. I have spent almost my entire life biking. With that, I have more than 20 years of experience as a biker riding on rough terrains.
I run a free blog to offer guides and tips about mountain biking. My readers send me queries and I cover them in my blogs too. You can check all my guides at mtbknowledge.com.
Returning to the discussion, we have many types of mountain bikes. They differ in version, style, and brand wise. Let’s find out all about it below.
Mountain Bike Differences: Why do we have different types of MTBs?
A mountain bike is simply a bike manufactured for off-road cycling. But why a mountain bike is distributed into different types? What are the differences?
Well, mountain bikes are divided into different types based on their performance and version. It doesn’t depend on any brand; however, prices can diverge.
Mountain bike differences occur based on:
- Hottest model
- Build kit and components
On its basis, mountain bikes are further divided into different categories, where each category further holds various types of mountain bikes.
Mountain Bike Categories
Here I am adding details on different mountain bikes and what sort of riding experience they offer. Stay tuned to learn all about mountain bikes.
1. Rigid MTBs
For beginners who are yet to start with off-road biking, rigid MTBs are ridden on slightly rough terrains, specifically, pavements that are uneven but don’t require upward riding.
You can say that rigid is the most outdated category of mountain bikes.
I personally don’t recommend you to go with this bike because maybe you get a reasonable price or rate, but it can lack many features at such a low price.
Let me explain with examples for better understanding. Suspension is a feature we require the most important for MTBs to provide off-road grip.
However, different types of mountain bikes that come in a rigid category do not have this feature, which means you will be unable to maneuver your bike in peace.
In my point of view, if you want to hate mountain biking before you even become a biker, get rigid bikes. The annoying pedaling and less control will make you hate the cycle and activity.
2. Hardtail mountain bikes
The second category I am discussing here is hardtail mountain bikes.
Hardtail mountain bikes can be used by beginners to novice-level bikers who need to ride on flat to rugged trails. They have much better quality and enhanced features than rigid mountain bikes.
You can call them the latest and most budget-friendly versions of mountain bikes.
The best thing about hardtail bikes is that they come with various necessary gears you need while mountain biking.
It has suspension shocks on the front forks. Although the rear suspension is not present, it still helps a lot in maneuvering the bike.
Still, hardtails are different mountain bike types to provide enough control on rough terrains and decent speed on flat city roads.
These bikes can be recommended as the perfect bikes for entry-level bikers because they are hard to break, come with moderate controllers, and fit within a beginner’s budget.
3. Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
These are the latest versions and offer the most expensive mountain bikes to professional mountain bikers who want to use all the latest features.
Full-suspension bikes have all the necessary features that an MT Biker will need.
The best thing is that full-suspension bikes come in different types of mountain bikes for beginners, novices, moderates, and professionals.
You find suspensions attached to the front and rear forks to offer ample control and drive on the most technical pathways with jumps, pebbles, and upward and downhill terrains.
However, one thing everyone hates is that these bikes are expensive and not affordable for everyone due to having all the latest features.
But, as a beginner, you don’t even need as many features as full suspensions have because you don’t even know using them.
So you can wait until you are pro enough to ride on the technical landscapes and collect some amount to buy your first full-suspension MTB.
Different Types of Mountain Bikes
Every category has further different types of mountain bikes. No, the discussion is not getting complicated but a little deeper so you can make a wise decision while choosing a bike for you.
Now, I will explain some other types:
4. Downhill mountain bikes
Different types of mountain bikes are used for various racing tracks, and downhill, as the name denotes, is for high-speed descended rides.
They come with higher front suspension, while the backrest is usually not required in this type of downhill biking. You can identify them with their big and knobby tire styles.
5. Enduro Bikes
Enduro bikes are the latest versions of mountain bikes, providing a good grip on moto tracks that require racing on different types of terrains at one time, such as downhill, uphill, jumps, and turns.
Their weight is pretty high, while suspensions are attached to their front and back forks. However, front fork suspension has more impact.
6. All-mountain bikes
Different types of mountain bikes to go on technical terrains are known as all-mountain bikes. These can be expensive for MTBs and something that requires a skillful rider.
As a beginner, buying all-mountain bikes is not recommended because they can be expensive and require the utmost mountain cycling experience. First, you should enhance your skills. However, the decision mainly depends on your budget and then likeness.
7. Trail bikes
Comfort, performance, low weight, and easy driving are some features of trail bikes, and they provide an excellent biking experience to novice and professional mountain bikers.
These bikes can be taken for off-road terrain and on-road cycling, providing a comfier experience on different road types. However, these are also a bit expensive.
8. XC bikes
XC bikes, aka cross-country bikes, are a love for mountain bikers because they help them go on extended expeditions, no matter what comes ahead.
Riding on a cross-country bike is way more efficient and comfier than you think. It provides smoother shifting from one gear to another.
9. E Mountain bikes
Among different types of mountain bikes, there are also e-bikes. These bikes are mountain bikes but come with batteries.
But you cannot call them motorbikes. Electronic bikes provide extra pedaling strength to the bikers. These are usually used for faster speed on roads and terrains.
10. Hybrid bikes
A hybrid bike is a median version of mountain bikes and road bikes. These bikes are strolled as mountain bikes as well as road bikes. Hybrid bike tires on mountain bikes are used.
You get speed on the roads and strength on the terrains. The feature makes them ideal for all types of pathways and streets. Once again, the price can be a bit daunting.
11. Converted bikes
These bikes are not available on brands but are often created by mountain bikers to use and be converted from mountain bikes to road bikes.
In my garage, I have 4 converted mountain bikes. Here, I can tell you that the conversion of a mountain bike is never final. I keep switching tires and other kits based on the requirement.
Well, this is done to save bucks because mountain bikes are highly expensive, and converting them into street bikes looks like a handy option. However, you need to be 100% skillful in this regard.
Here, I want to clarify that I don’t personally recommend using a converted bike (this should be an optional addition to your collection). For the primary purpose, you should buy a good bike according to your skills, gear requirements, and budget.
12. Fat bikes
Fat bikes, you might consider these are mountain bikes to lose weight, but it is not like that. These are called fat bikes because of their rough and tough 5-inch wide tires.
These are offered for maximum grip on the road and for cycling versatility all seasons long.
Different Mountain Bike Styles
Mountain bike styles vary frame-wise. Here you can check different styles. The pictures given below show different types of mountain bikes varying frame-wise:
Types of Mountain Bike Frames
The bicycle frame is the primary part of the bike to which all other gears are attached. The structure is usually based on two triangles, one bigger and one smaller.
All other gears of the bike are screwed together using this structure. Bike frames vary in size, strength, and weight, mainly due to the material used to engineer them.
13. Steel frame
Steel frames are the relatively earlier versions used in the frames of different types of mountain bikes. The best thing about steel is its strength and inability to get easily rusted.
However, the bad thing about it is its high weight. Steel frame MTBs are so hefty.
14. Carbon frame
Carbon makes the expensive types of mountain bike frames because of the high engineering cost. Yes, carbon fibers are glued together to create several plies.
As carbon is a metal and can regain its shape, so it makes lightweight frames for mountain bikes. Nevertheless, these are expensive too.
When introduced, the price of an aluminum frame was relatively high. However, with advancements in manufacturing capabilities, the cost of aluminum has decreased.
Different types of mountain bikes now come in aluminum frames because they are lightweight to pull, too strong to break, and quite affordable when it comes to price.
Cross-country mountain bikes that are built to give equally good support on streets and narrow off-road terrains are made with titanium.
You can call this frame type a lighter version of steel because its sturdiness is just like steel, while its weight is too-lit. Something that makes it expensive too.
Some say that Chromoly is steel, but I have checked, and it is not pure steel but butted and shaped. During this procedure, the weight of the steel is decreased but not the strength.
Still, this type of frame is too hefty compared to other types.
What are the different types of mountain biking?
Although there are plenty of off-the-record types of MT biking, officially, mountain biking has 8 types. These are:
- Free Ride
- Enduro (the most technical)
- Cross country
- Trail riding
- Downhill (also called slopestyle)
- Four cross
- Racing (involves different hurdles)
The discussion on different types of mountain bikes is over here. For your help, I have enlisted 25 mountain bikes based on categories, types, styles, and frames.
If you still have queries, feel free to write to me, and don’t forget to bump in the comments and let me know which bike you have chosen.
Until next time, ciao.