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10 Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes in 2020 (Latest Bikes)

Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
Photo by Andhika Soreng on Unsplash

Are you looking for a mountain bike that would help you conquer more technical trails with ease? Does riding faster on difficult, uneven terrains or downhill excite you heavily? If your answer is a resounding “Yes”, a full suspension mountain bike would fit the bill perfectly.

Finding out the best of these specialized bikes often becomes a daunting task because you need to consider several things – from the best suspensions and disc brakes to huge tires and excellent grips, and a lot more, not to mention the sheer variety of available types.

To help you out, we’ve created this comprehensive guide on the best full suspension mountain bikes that you can buy right now. Here, we’ve also included a buyer’s guide and an FAQ section to help you make an informed decision

Is it worth getting a full-suspension mountain bike?

While most mountain bikes come with a good suspension to help you keep control over rough terrains, not all of them have the same type of suspension.

As the name suggests, a full-suspension mountain bike comes with a front fork and a rear shock.

You may choose a cheaper and simpler bike (the hardtail ones, for example) that foregoes the rear shock but you’d also need to forget getting some major advantages offered by full suspension MTB.

These essentially include more versatility, better capability, better handling, and more comfort and safety.

Therefore, though buying a full suspension mountain bike heavily depends on your personal circumstances and the terrains you’re willing to conquer, it’d be worth getting if you can spare the cost and maintenance aspect.

How much should you spend on a full-suspension bike?

This is one of the most frequent questions we come across from our visitors. As with most things in life, you simply get what you pay for and this is applicable to full suspension MTBs as well.

Though the prices of these bikes vary widely, you can get an entry-level machine at the $1500 price point (there’re exceptions to this, see our list below).

By paying around $3000, a decent full suspension bike with high-quality components would be easily available. And if you can shell out something around $5000, getting a top-notch machine shouldn’t be a problem.

Things To Consider When Buying a Full Suspension MTB

While full suspension mountain bikes offer amazing control and comfort, you also need to check a couple of key things out when buying one to maximize your riding experience. Here’re the things you should consider.

1. Springs

Two types of mechanisms are commonly used for providing suspension on these bikes – air springs and coil springs. The former is comparatively lighter and comes with wide adjustment options.

On the contrary, coil springs are long-lasting and highly durable but come at the cost of added weight and less fine-tuning adjustment options.

2. Suspension Travel

Generally, the suspension travel found in these bikes ranges between 120mm and 140mm to help you handle tougher terrains with more stability and comfort.

But if you plan for downhill riding frequently, you should look for a bike having suspension travel of about 150mm to 170mm so the bigger bumps won’t hurt you.

However, you should understand that, in the case of the latter, it won’t climb efficiently.

3. Suspension lockout system

If you’ve been spending time researching on full suspension bikes, you’ve probably observed a common problem that says it sometimes becomes difficult to pedal uphill when riding one of these machines.

With the help of a suspension lockout system, it’s possible to turn a full suspension MTB into a hardtail for riding those steep climbs with ease. You can even get the feel of a fully-rigid frame by turning all suspension off if need be.

4. Wheel size

Since mountain bikes, including the full suspension ones, come with versatile wheel sizes, knowing what size would work for you in the best possible way is one of the major deciding factors when purchasing your ideal bike.

These days, the majority of MTBs come with either 27.5” wheels or 29” wheels, unlike the earlier times when all mountain bikes used to have 26” wheels.

Also, there’s a “plus” tire standard, which comes with extra-wide wheels and tires, which can be found now. Ideally, you should focus on getting a bike with 27.5” wheels as they offer better rolling over hard terrain compared to 26” wheels and better maneuverability than 29” wheels.

5. Bike weight

Your mountain bike’s weight is something that directly impacts your performance in the terrains and a bike’s frame material plays a major role in deciding its weight.

Mountain bikes come in four options in terms of frame materials – aluminum alloy, steel, carbon fiber, and titanium. Aluminum frames are the most widely used ones in this industry and come in varying qualities.

While steel frames offer better durability, comfort, and cost-effectiveness, they’re relatively heavier.

Titanium frames are strong and extremely lightweight but are highly expensive.

While carbon fiber frames offer a fine combination of low-weight and cost, they’re relatively expensive than aluminum frames.

6. Bike size

Put simply, if you want to get the most out of your riding experience in the trails, you need to get a properly fitting bike. Though you’ll get a size chart at every store, it may seem to be a little complicated and you should understand that bike sizes vary from one brand to another.

It means a small size for brand A might be a medium one in brand B. That’s why it’s extremely important to check and test the bike models that you’ve shortlisted before picking up one.

List Of Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

While there’re lots of cheap full suspension mountain bikes that can be found in the market, here, we’ve included only 10 best full suspension mountain bikes all of which would be a great option to start your adventure.

1. Top Fuel 9.8 ($5,499.99 – $5,999.99)

Top Fuel 9.8 black

If you’re looking to get a fine combination of the best qualities of trail and cross-country bikes, Top Fuel 9.8 would be worth checking out.

Designed to go faster on every terrain, this bike features an OCLV Mountain Carbon frame that brings you a truly lightweight bike.

You get 120mm Fox Performance 34 Step-Cast fork and a Fox Performance Float shock offering 115mm of rear travel to enjoy maximum comfort.

It comes with a RockShox TwistLoc remote (bar-mounted) that lets you lock out both the ends simultaneously, offering a firm pedal platform.

The 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain helps you get the high-end performance that usually delivered by the bikes with a premium price tag.

With Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes, you get to leverage amazing modulation and stopping power.

It comes with the Bontrager Kovee Elite 30 carbon wheels with 29×2.4” XR3 Team Issue tires that would help you ride confidently and faster, regardless of the terrain.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – S, M, M/L, L, XL, and XXL
  • Weight – 26.02 pounds (M)
  • OCL Mountain Carbon frame
  • 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain
  • Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes
  • Bontrager XR3 29×2.4” tires

2. Fuel EX 8 ($3,449.99)

Fuel EX 8 black

Widely considered as one of the best full suspension 29er mountain bikes, the Fuel EX 8 combines versatility, affordability, and impressive capability.

Made up of an Alpha aluminum frame, this bike is equally efficient for killer descents and steep climbing. You get 140mm fork with 130mm of a rear suspension that would help you soak the bumps effortlessly.

The bike features ABP (Active Braking Pivot) technology to ensure that your braking action doesn’t affect the tension on the frame’s rest parts and the effectiveness of the suspension.

With its 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, you can ride assured of getting a wide range of gearing while the Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes ensure you get maximum stopping power whenever needed.

You get Bontrager XR4 Team Issue 29×2.6” tires to maintain sufficient speed and a robust grip.

The Fuel also features RE:aktiv damper technology which is intended to offer it a supportive pedal platform while maintaining high sensitivity with outstanding small bump compliance.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, and XXL
  • Weight – 30.39 pounds (M)
  • Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame
  • 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain
  • Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes
  • Bontrager XR4 29×2.6” tires

3. Co-op Cycles DRT 3.2 ($2,799.00)

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.2

If you’re an adept trail rider and looking for the best full suspension bike offered by Co-op Cycles, you should check DRT 3.2 out.

Featuring a lightweight yet durable 6061 aluminum frame, this bike seems to be the perfect yet affordable option for real trail connoisseurs.

The DRT 3.2 offers a RockShox Revelation RC fork along with RockShox Monarch R Solo Air rear shock.

On the smaller frame sizes (XS and S), you get 120mm of fork travel and 140mm on the larger frame sizes (M, L, and XL) – couple these with 120mm (on smaller sizes) and 130mm (on larger sizes) of rear suspension travel and you’ll be highly comfortable on demanding terrains.

And since these are air-sprung suspensions, you’d get lots of adjustability options like external rebound adjust.

It comes with 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain to ensure you get gear in every situation. You get 2.8” wide WTB Ranger tubeless tires – 26” (XS and S) and 27.5” (M, L, and XL), so you can ride assured of having a better grip and excellent puncture protection while Shimano hydraulic disc brakes give you excellent stopping power.

It comes with an X-Fusion Manic dropper post (remote-control) to help you adjust to the terrain.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – XS, S, M, L, and XL
  • Bike weight limit – 300 pounds total
  • Lightweight 6061 aluminum frame
  • 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • WTB Ranger tubeless tires (26×2.8” – XS and S, 27.5×2.8” – M. L, and XL)

4. Men’s Stumpjumper ST Comp Carbon 29 ($4,220.00)

Men’s Stumpjumper ST Comp Carbon 29

With its asymmetrical FACT 11m carbon frame, you can rest assured of getting a lightweight, stiff bike perfect for technical climbs and difficult descents.

The frame sports Specialized’s patented SWAT (Storage, Water, Air, Tools) system to offer excellent integrated storage solutions. It also features full internal sleeves for simplifying the cable routing process, giving the bike a clean look.

The bike comes with a FOX Float Rhythm 34 suspension fork and Float DPS Performance shock – both having a custom Rx Trail Tune, which means they offer a wider operating range.

With its drivetrain containing 11-speed Shimano XT rear derailleur, SLX cassette, and SLX shifter, you’d be getting precise shifting and an adequate range.

The 29×2.3” Butcher front and Purgatory rear offer plenty of traction while Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes with a large 200mm front rotor take excellent care of the braking tasks.

It also comes with a 150mm X-Fusion Manic dropper post to help you get adjusted on the fly.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – S, M, L, and XL
  • Weight – 31.37 pounds
  • FACT 11m carbon frame
  • 11-speed Shimano drivetrain
  • Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes
  • 29×2.3” Butcher front and Purgatory rear tires

5. Remedy 8 ($3,999.99)

Remedy 8 black

Remedy 8 offers a perfect combination of agility and the strength of good quality components. Featuring a durable Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame, this bike is a strong contender in the domain of all-mountain bikes.

It comes with an impressive RockShox Lyrik 160mm fork along with a 150mm RockShox Deluxe shock.

The shock features Trek’s RE:aktiv technology that allows it to respond smoothly to the trail’s small irregularities even when the climb switch is engaged.

With its 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, you’d be getting a wide range of gears to maintain perfect on-trail performance.

You get solid 2.6-inch wide Bontrager Team Issue tires that are capable enough to help you manage aggressive maneuvers while SRAM Guide R hydraulic disc brakes (200/180mm) give you excellent stopping power.

The bike features the ABP (Active Braking Pivot) suspension design that offers a highly comfortable downhill ride with outstanding bump compliance.

You also get a Bontrager dropper post to get adjusted to the terrain easily.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – S, M, M/L, L, and XL
  • Weight – 31.73 pounds (M)
  • Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame
  • 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Guide R hydraulic disc brakes (200/180mm)
  • 27.5×2.6” Bontrager Team Issue tires

6. Niner RIP 9 RDO 2-Star Bike 2020 ($4,400.00)

If you’re looking for one of the best lightweight full suspension mountain bikes that strike a perfect balance between multifaceted performance and the benefits of updated geometry, you should look no further than the Niner RIP 9 RDO 2-Star.

Featuring a full-carbon frame, this bike offers increased stiffness and extreme durability while maintaining a low weight.

The frame also features Niner’s CVA suspension design that lets you drop into challenging lines with confidence. You get a top-quality suspension from Fox Factory in the form of a 36 Float Rhythm Grip EVOL fork along with a Float Performance DPX2 shock.

Its 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain ensures you always get a broad range of gears. It comes with Maxxis tubeless-ready 29×2.5” tires but can fit up to 2.6” wide tires and the SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes ensure you get maximum stopping power whenever needed.

Both installation and maintenance are made easy in Niner RIP 9 RDO 2-Star as it comes with end-to-end cable guides.

You also get extremely durable and smooth pivot bearings – Enduro Max Black Oxide.

And if you’re thinking of smooth transition between descending and climbing, the Niner has taken care of that too with the KS LEV SI dropper post.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – S, M, L, and XL
  • Weight – 31.3 pounds
  • Niner RDO Carbon fiber frame
  • 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes
  • Maxxis 29×2.5” tires

7. Powerfly FS 5 ($4,799.99)

Powerfly FS 5 grey

The Powerfly FS 5 could be one of your best full suspension electric mountain bikes if you’re looking to explore more technical trails and demanding terrains with ease.

Featuring a robust Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame, this bike comes with a long-range 500Wh batter together with a Bosch Performance CX drive system that lets you easily sustain speeds of up to 20mph.

It comes with the Purion controller having Walk Assist and an eMTB mode. In this mode, the continuous engine support adapts automatically to your individual riding style based on the pedal pressure.

With 130mm RockShox Recon RL suspension fork together with 130mm RockShox Deluxe RL shock, you can ride assured of soaking up bigger bumps.

Its 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain ensures you always get a gear no matter if you’re climbing or descending.

You get Bontrager XR3 Comp 27×2.35” tires to ride rougher terrains with confidence while Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes take excellent care of the braking tasks.

The bike features the super user-friendly RIB (Removable Integrated Battery) system from Trek. This system fully protects the battery while ensuring it can be removed without tools.

If you need your saddle to be lowered on the fly, all you need to do is a dropper post upgrade, which is made easy with internal routing ports.

And if you’re concerned about looks and custom setup, FS 5 features the most versatile Control Freak Cable Management system that would let you route any combination of shift, lockout, brake, and dropper post through the frame.

It also features the ABP suspension design to help you experience the smoothest downhill ride.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – S, M, M/L, L, and XL
  • Weight – 52.65 pounds (M)
  • Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame
  • 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain
  • Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Bontrager XR3 Comp 27×2.35” tires

8. Kona Process 153 CR 27.5” 2019 ($3,249.95)

Designed for more aggressive riding, the Process 153 is ideal for riders who want to conquer the most technical lines and have fun at the same time.

Here, the front triangle and seat stays are crafted from Kona DH Carbon and the chainstays are made of 6061 aluminum, making it lightweight, strong, and extremely durable.

The front suspension duties are handled by the sturdy RockShox Lyrik fork while the RockShox Deluxe takes care of the rear end.

The rear shock is paired with the Beamer suspension platform to provide robust deep stroke support and good small bump compliance.

Thanks to the perfect location of the trunnion-mounted shock, you’d be able to fit a water bottle in the front triangle.

The Process 153 boasts the 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain to ensure you get reliable performance, crisp shifting, and a broad range of gears even in the steepest of climbs.

It comes with Maxxis Minion DHF tires (front – 27.5×2.5”, rear – 27.5×2.3”) to provide lots of support over technical terrains and all the needed traction while SRAM Guide R hydraulic brakes act as powerful stoppers.

The cockpit is handled by the combo of a robust Kona branded 35mm handlebar and step along with a comfortable saddle and grips.

You also get a RockShox Reverb dropper post having a 1x style remote lever, which means adjusting yourself to the terrain would be effortless.

While the Process 153 helps you hit the climbs efficiently, it’s heavily focused on the descents as well.

It remains predictable, stable, and precise whether you’re on a high-speed terrain filled with rocky, loose ruts or slow technical trails.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – M, L, and XL
  • Weight – 34 pounds (XL)
  • Kona DH carbon with 6061 aluminum frame
  • 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Guide R hydraulic brakes
  • Maxxis Minion DHF tires (front – 27.5×2.5”, rear – 27.5×2.3”)

9. Ghost Slamr 2.9 29” Bike – 2020 ($1,699.89)

The Slamr 2.9, from the house of Germany-based MTB specialists Ghost, is one of the best full suspension mountain bikes that can be found at this price range.

The durable and lightweight aluminum frame along with impressive features makes it a reliable, consistent all-mountain bike that performs equally well when climbing, as well as, descending.

This full-suspension build features a 130mm RockShox Judy Silver fork with a RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock that makes it perfect when it comes to plowing through rocks and roots or fast-rolling terrain.

You also get a lockout option to help pedaling efficiency and minimize your energy loss. It comes with SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain that ensures you get a wide range of gears to choose from.

The Slamr 2.9 features a very desirable tire combo of Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5” (front) and Maxxis DHRII 29×2.4” (rear) tires so you can hit some pretty demanding trails straight away.

The Shimano MT400 hydraulic disc brakes along with 180mm rotors provide perfect modulation and stopping power to provide an outstanding climbing and safe downhill ride.

With the help of a JD dropper post (with remote), you can adjust the saddle when the terrain gets tricky.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – S, M, L, and XL
  • Weight – 33.5 pounds
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain
  • Shimano MT400 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5” (front), Maxxis DHRII 29×2.4” (rear) tires

10. Giant Stance 29” 2 Bike 2020 ($1,550.00)

If you’re searching for a budget-oriented full suspension mountain bike that’s modeled on the popular Giant Trance 29, you should check out the Stance 29er.

Built around a lightweight ALUXX Aluminum frame, this bike offers a perfect combination of good quality and a fine ride.

It comes with a modernized geometry and offers a 130mm Suntour Raidon 34 fork along with a 120mm Suntour Raidon R shock so that you can soak up the bigger bumps efficiently.

Though it’s rare for a mountain bike, at this price point, to offer a comfortable downhill performance, this bike offers responsive and quick handling and confidence-inspiring performance.

This version of the Stance 29” features a 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain that combines simplicity with reliability and ensures you get a broad gear range whether you’re climbing or descending.

Fast-rolling Maxxis Forekaster 29×2.35” tubeless tiers along with Giant-branded wheels make the Stance 29” a spirited climber that offers good traction on firm surfaces while Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors take care of the braking tasks.

The modernized geometry offers a 750 seat angle to offer riders a more efficient climbing position. And the head angle is kept at 67.50 for providing improved descending stability.

While the numbers might not seem as radical as other mountain bikes in this guide but it’s certainly much more modern than what we usually see from budget full suspension bikes.

Bike Specifications

  • Available frame sizes – S, M, L, and XL
  • Weight – 30 pounds (S)
  • Lightweight ALUXX Aluminum frame
  • 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain
  • Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Maxxis Forekaster 29×2.35” tubeless tiers

FAQs

Why are full suspension bikes so expensive?

Full suspension bikes offer a number of key advantages than their hardtail counterparts. Investing in a full-suspension bike means you become more than equipped to conquer more challenging trails.
These bikes are significantly different in terms of safety, performance, and durability – all these come from using high-quality components and materials that are pricey.

Is it cheaper to build a full suspension bike?

While it’s true that building a full suspension bike from scratch gives you a unique bike exactly tailored to your preferences, but usually it won’t be cheaper than buying a new bike.
Probably the biggest reason behind this is manufacturers buy components in bulk and thus, their selling price usually would be a bit lower than the total amount of money you need to invest in buying the parts at retail.
And even if you’ve got access to components at wholesale pricing, you need to add in a significant amount of labor, because building a full suspension bike takes some serious efforts and robust technical expertise.

Are hardtails faster than full suspension?

It depends on the type of terrain that you’re planning to ride the most. If your type of riding mostly involves lots of flatter sections and steeper climbs, you’re most likely to be faster on a hardtail.
But if the riding involves going downhill a lot, a full-suspension bike can help you push the speed limits more because the bumps will be absorbed by the extra suspension.

Do full suspension bikes need more maintenance?

With more moving parts, full-suspension bikes are more complex machines and thus, need more regular maintenance than their hardtail siblings to keep them in perfect working condition.

Final Thoughts

Put simply, if you belong to the league of mountain biking enthusiasts who like to take things to the maximum extent, a good full suspension mountain bike is a must-have. These bikes not only excel in terms of performance and safety but help you tackle almost any kind of terrain with confidence as well.

Even though it’s a broad category, we’ve tried our best to make this ultimate buyer’s guide as useful as possible and have included only those full-suspension bikes that are taking the mountain biking world by storm. And finally, you must shop around before finalizing a particular bike. While these machines could be the best at MSRP in their respective categories, it might be possible to find a better retail price at someplace else.

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