9 of the Best Mountain Bikes for Epic Off-Road Adventures

Climb technical steeps, navigate rock gardens, and bomb down singletrack with a killer new set of wheels.

best mountain bikes 2018
Yeti Cycles

Mountain biking has boomed in popularity over the past few years. Options vary from affordable single suspension (hardtail) cruisers made for light trails, to more pricey, run-over-anything cycles that cost more than a used car. However you ride, get your wheels spinning with one of this year's best mountain bikes, and get ready to venture off-road for some dirt-kicking, mud-flinging exercise (and fun).

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Diamondback
Diamondback Release 3 Full Suspension Mountain Bike​
$3,678.21

In the last few years, Diamondback has taken over the full suspension all-mountain bike market. The Release 3 is packed with new features, including a shorter rear end with 130 millimeters of travel and a KS LEV Integra Drop seat, a RockShox Pike Fork with 150 millimeters of travel up front, Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes, and a lightweight, hydroformed aluminum frame. 

It's a fully loaded machine with top-tier components, offered at a fraction of the price of bikes with similar make-ups. 

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GT Fury Elite Mountain Bike

$2,112.95

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This adventure-seeker, built with GT's Independent Drivetrain, has over 210 millimeters of travel, so you can seriously rage at high speeds on some of the gnarliest trails.

Some of the world's best riders contributed to this build, so there's no surprise it competes with much more expensive models. It features a single front gear and eight in the rear for ease of use and effortless uphill climbing, hydraulic brakes that stop on a dime, and top-notch fork and rear shock, which help this do-it-all comp bike outperform the few peers in its class.

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Yeti Cycles
Yeti Cycles Beti SB5 Carbon XT/SLX Complete Mountain Bike (Women's)
$4,799.00

Yeti makes some of the best, most expensive bikes out there, and this, despite the price tag, is one of their more affordable models. If you aren't hooked by the bright, colorful design, you'll be sold on the carbon-fiber frame and top-notch components, including a smooth SRAM shifter, dampening FOX front and rear suspension, DT Swiss wheels, and 29-inch Maxxis tires. 

It's designated as a cross-country (enduro) cycle, but it's more than capable of crushing hard climbs and intense downhills. 

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Mongoose
Mongoose Teocali Comp Bike (Men's)
$2,130.39

There's no trail that this Mongoose mountain bike can't handle, thanks to its dual suspension with 150 millimeters of rear-wheel travel. Hydraulic disc brakes and 27.5-inch wheels ensure you'll feel safe, even if you're taking more risks, and the 30-speed drivetrain allows for countless micro-adjustments to perfectly match the grade and intensity of the terrain you're riding. 

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GT Karakoram Elite Mountain Bike

$599.99

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A light aluminum frame and a cross-country build make this hardtail GT (front suspension only) perfect for long rides on rocky, uneven paths. The rebound control of its front fork is unmatched, so you'll always feel in control, no matter how sketchy the trail becomes, and the hardtail design reduces energy-wasting on longer, flatter rides.

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Santa Cruz
​Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson 2.0 Carbon Complete Mountain Bike
$2,999.00

Santa Cruz dominates the mountain bike industry year after year because they're continuously refining and breaking ground with new technology and style. This Carbon Bronson 2.0 features a revised VPP3 suspension, which has a cleanly tucked away lower link that avoids damage from rock strikes and keeps dirt out. The new suspension also improves traction over small bumps, is great with midlevel features, and has more uphill power than most bikes with 150 millimeters of front travel. 

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Schwinn Sidewinder 26-Inch Mountain Bike (Women's)

$252.00

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If your favorite commuting towpath is washboarded, or your town desperately needs road maintenance, this bike will make you feel safer and more comfortable. Roll over cracks, potholes, or small curbs with ease, thanks to the capable front suspension on this 26-inch hardtail bike. It has a nice casual style that isn't overkill for city riding, and men can get one, too!

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Giant
​Giant Anthem 2 Complete Mountain Bike
$2,650.00

Giant's Anthem is perfect for long distances, technical trails, and everything in between. It combines a killer dual-suspension, a cross-country-inspired frame, trusty 27.5-inch wheels, and well-liked Shimano components for a dream of a mountain bike capable of conquering long distances, steady climbs, and rolling downhill races.

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Ghost
Ghost Kato FS 7.7 Mountain Bike
$2,028.93

Ghost has crammed a ton of top-notch specs into this bike, making it an incredible value for the price. It combines a hydroformed aluminum frame with a full Fox Float Series suspension, Shimano XT components, a hydraulic dropper seat post, and a geometry that's playful for morning rides, yet comfortable enough for multiday bikepacking trips.