Although very similar to the traditional mountain bike, a ‘full suspension’ model is one that has two sections to the frame. Using pivots, a front and rear triangle are connected but can move independently while the shock absorber controls the movement and ability to remain steady. Today, we have a full review of what you should be looking for with a full suspension mountain bike. After this, we have some fantastic examples of models to consider so let’s head into it!
Features of a Full Suspension Mountain Bike
- Frame Materials - Ultimately, the materials you see will depend on the price range you are assessing, but the most common materials are carbon fiber and aluminum. With all mountain bikes and cross country models, aluminum is the most popular option. Regardless, the manufacturers will have considered the suspension to create a frame that is sturdy enough to support the movement that will be seen by the user.
- Long Travel - With long-travel models, they remain gripped to the surface underneath which makes them perfect for downhill runs. With flexible steering intersections, the user can change direction quickly even at high speeds, and the suspension ensures durability and strength. For the designer, the reliability of the brakes, frames, and controls are pivotal, so this is something you will find on most mountain bikes. Although long-travel bikes will be heavier and very hard to climb on, they suit downhill riding and remove all limits if this is something you enjoy.
- Full Suspension - Finally, the third most important feature that makes a full-suspension mountain bike is…well, the full suspension. As well as offering a fantastic ride for all cyclists, this feature adds more in adjusting to your body weight and style. Rather than being rigid, they mold to the action of the user which is one of the many reasons why they are so popular. Before we head into our suggestions, we should also point out that within the ‘full-suspension’ category of mountain bikes, you will find many different types. For example, some will be for a particular niche and others will be for a variety of tasks.
Without further ado, let’s look at our 10 best suggestions!
Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Recoil
Victory Vegas Jackpot
GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension
Steppenwolf Tyler Ltd Pro
Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Polaris PO2608-1 MT RMK
Kawasaki DX 26
TITAN 128 Punisher Bike
SOGAR 4.0 Large Coarse Tire Beach Gear
1/ Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Recoil
First up, we have the recoil model from DiamondBack which features 27.5-inch wheels as well as a sleek design. Using aluminum as the primary material and a pivot layout, this model at first seems a little small, but you can feel the sturdiness as soon as you hop on. On a mountain trail, this bike will have no problems supporting your weight.
In terms of suspension, the Suntour XCM suspension fork is noticeable. As well as boasting a superb suspension design, the user can play with the outward preload adjustment which means that you can spend some time finding the right combination for you. For the brakes, they are strong enough to stop the powerful 27.5 wheels as you would expect but we also found them to be extremely responsive. Since the model uses Tektro Aires mechanical disc brakes, the bike can be controlled without any great difficulties regardless of whether you are a beginner or an expert.
As mentioned, DiamondBack has decided to use 27.5-inch wheels. When you first look at the bike, you feel as though the wheels are too big for the design and that this would make it heavy. Surprisingly, it remains a good weight and acceleration is even easier than many 29-inch models. Finally, we should also mention the 24 speeds on offer thanks to the gear system in place. With an eight-pinion cassette working with Suntour three-way chaining cranks, speed can be controlled depending on the surface under the wheels. When on mountains, this is important, but it isn't something that all manufacturers allow for their riders.
Overall, it is a simple bike that has many great features. If you’re looking for a new model, this could be the one for you!
2/ Victory Vegas Jackpot
When it comes to the latest technology and bicycle design, look no further than the Victory Vegas Jackpot. When you combine a long-travel suspension fork, disc brakes, all-terrain tires, 24-speed Shimano drivetrain, a fantastic aluminum dual suspension frame, and Shimano Trigger Shifters, you have a recipe for success. In truth, this bike is a favorite for many, and it isn't hard to see why. Not only does it offer the fancy bells and whistles, but it also delivers with double-wall amalgam wheels and an 18-inch aluminum alloy which provides durability. As a nice finishing touch, you can also enjoy a quick-release seat!
3/ GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension
Boasting 21 different speeds and a stunning aluminum body, this GMC model provides an excellent option for all mountain bike lovers. With Promax front and rear brakes, you will have a reliable bike offering a complete Shimano gearing system as well as long-lasting disc brakes and micro shifters. Compared to other options on the market, it is relatively light, and the wheels create a beautiful ‘V’ shape supporting the metal hubs and rounding off the model nicely.
4/ Steppenwolf Tyler Ltd Pro
While some bikes are known for sheer power, others prefer a smooth rider with a delicate suspension, and this is what Steppenwolf offer here. As well as being 99% convened, you can enjoy a Shimano XT 175mm crankset, Triple-Butted Ultralight aluminum frame, an 11-36 Z cassette, and this can all be supported by a superb-quality Fox FIT CTD 120mm fork. Finally, we should also mention the Fox Float CTD Factory extrasolar suspension, and you will feel the benefit of this as soon as you ride off. If you like a smooth ride, this is certainly a bike to consider.
5/ Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Ever been riding down a mountain on a Sunday before riding to work on the streets less than 24 hours later? If so, you will know how different the two feel but, despite popular belief, you don’t need a different bike for each. Instead, this Northwoods model can do both with an aluminum frame, a comfy seat, and 50mm of steel crown fork. Don’t be fooled; you can gather speed with this bike thanks to the 21-speed shifters next to the Shimano rear derailleur. Sometimes, security can be an issue, but Northwoods has addressed this with a steel threefold crank, 24-inch amalgam rims, and an alloy seat clamp. With this in mind, you can have a good time with peace of mind that nothing will go wrong.
6/ Polaris PO2608-1 MT RMK
Although Polaris has an extensive range of bicycles, this is actually one of their introductory models with front-wheel braking. In addition to this, the model has an aluminum stem, aluminum linear pull rear brake, and steel handlebars with a seat post. With Alloy dual suspension and an 18.5-inch frame, this bike has everything you will need. In terms of tires and rims, they are WD 26 x 1.95, and you can utilize 21-speed to help the drive power. On the whole, this bike has all the basics to be successful (such as a Shimano Mega Range Casette, reflectors, quick release seat, and a kickstand) as well as some advanced features that make it worth the investment.
7/ Kawasaki DX 26
Of course, Kawasaki is one of the most well-known brands in the world regarding motorbikes, but they also have an excellent bicycle in the DX 26. With a 26-inch full suspension, the tires are designed for off-roading, and you will also have a Shimano 21-speed RS-35 Twist Shifter. Since the bike utilizes an aluminum frame, the model will be with you for years to come. Furthermore, the Kawasaki DX 26 has a front disc brake, three-piece aluminum cranks, four-bolt aluminum stem, 19-inch frame, rear V-brake, and more.
8/ TITAN 128 Punisher Bike
If you want the smooth cycling experience regardless of the terrain, this 26-inch dual suspension model from TITAN will be perfect for your needs. Thanks to the design, the suspension on both the front and the rear tend to hug the ground to soften all bumps which make it a good choice for beginners or those who are prone to injury. Additionally, the Shimano gear system allows for 21 speeds to help with climbing and riding downhill too. Once again, the model is durable, reliable, and you will have complete control with the V-style brakes and alloy front shock absorbers.
9/ Cyrusher RD100 Orange Shimano ALTUS
If you haven't yet found a model you want to look into, don’t panic just yet because we have two final solutions. As our penultimate option today, we have a bike from Cyrusher, and it is a folding design. However, this doesn’t limit its abilities for suspension as it can handle even the bumpiest of downhill slopes. Overall, we would say that it is well-built and this goes back to the bright design. When you create a folding bike, you need to be clever, and Cyrusher has this in abundance.
As well as absorbing shock with the strong forks, the brakes are heavy-duty so they will work in all weather conditions. When going downhill in the rain, trust in your full-suspension mountain bike is essential, and you can have this quite easily. Finally, it has also found the balance between weight and grip. Although it is relatively lightweight, it seems to hold onto the ground as you ride and the tires complete this - they are high pressure, puncture-resistant, and allow for flexibility.
10/ SOGAR 4.0 Large Coarse Tire Beach Gear
Finally, we have a model from SOGAR that offers performance and speed along with a comfortable, steady ride. Using aluminum as the core of the bike, it boasts a good fork and handlebar with an entirely new design. Above all else, most people notice the weight as they pick it up for the first time. However, it is the fork suspension that gets attention from the experts because it has an elasticity which means that it rebounds quickly and has the potential for the rider to push the limits.
There we have it, some key features to look out for in a full suspension bike as well as some of the most popular models on the market. Whether you end up buying one from our list or just using our list as inspiration for the type of bike you need, it is completely up to you. As long as you remember the key considerations, you can make a good decision and have a mountain bike to last for many years!