Mountain biking is an amazing sport for all skill levels. Not only does it get your heart rate up, but you also experience the great outdoors while having a blast! The full-suspension mountain bike was invented to make riding over rough terrain more comfortable and enjoyable. However, be warned—there are many full-suspension bikes out there, but not all of them are created equally.
A full-suspension mountain bike is one of the best investments you can make if you want to enjoy a full day on the trails. These bikes offer dual suspension, which means that they will be able to handle any terrain that comes your way, and with ease! So, if you want to find out which full-suspension mountain bike is right for you, keep reading.
Is a Full-Suspension MTB Right for You?
Today, full-suspension bikes are quickly gaining popularity among bike enthusiasts. A full-suspension bike has a fork on the rear and front, which greatly affects the performance of the bike and the comfort of the rider. Compared to other bikes, a full suspension is more expensive and requires more maintenance. So what are the components of a dual-suspension mountain bike that makes it the better choice? Let’s take a closer look:
An excellent shock absorber
The suspension fork on the front and rear of the bike help absorb the shock from riding. Riding on rough roads and jagged trails can be hard on a rider’s back. This bike is perfect for people with lower back pains but who love going on extreme rides.
The dual fork suspension that absorbs the shock of bumpy rides allows less stress on the arms and back, letting you enjoy extreme terrains for a longer time.
Faster on tough terrains
The front and rear suspension make the riding smoother, even on rough terrains. In addition, the suspension fork allows better handling and traction, so you have full control of your bike. If you like rocky trails and mountain uphills with a bit of speed, a full-suspension bicycle will not disappoint.
Perfect bike for any trail
If you like biking on different conditions and terrains to test your skill or simply enjoy the activity, a full-suspension bike can take you anywhere. Whether it's a cross-country ride, snowy and sandy terrain, uphill or downhill, you perform at your peak while experiencing a smooth and comfortable ride.
This bike is also friendly for beginners. You can enjoy the performance of a dual-suspension even if you are not a professional rider. Also, you get to level up your skills with this bike and might see yourself participating in extreme rides in no time.
What Makes Suspension Bikes Different?
There are a lot of good things you can say about a full-suspension mountain bike. However, if you are new to the hobby or looking to shift from your old bicycle to a full-suspension bike, some things may feel different on the first ride.
Some riders take time to adjust to the different feel and build of the bicycle but eventually, the performance of a full-suspension proves to be an overall great experience. Here are some elements that mark the difference between dual-suspension bicycles:
Lightweight bikes are very popular these days because of their convenience. But full-suspension bikes are heavier than other bicycles mainly because they have two suspension forks. When coming from aluminum or titanium mountain bikes, you may easily get tired when you switch to full suspension.
But the heavy bike rides can build your strength, give you better control on your bike, and have a more durable frame that absorbs shock and can withstand strong impacts.
Repair and maintenance can be expensive
The components of a full-suspension bike are a combination of top-quality materials. However, repairing and maintaining the overall build of your bike requires a professional touch unless you are knowledgeable on bike repairs.
Aside from maintenance and repair, a full-suspension bike's base price costs twice as much as a standard mountain bike. But with its monster performance, it is a wise investment.
The Top 5 Full-Suspension Bikes On a Budget
1. TREK Fuel EX 5 - $2,449
What to love:
- This mountain bike features a Boost148 in the rear hub of your bicycle, adding more strength and stiffness to your ride. It also has an Active Braking Pivot (ABP) that increases brake efficiency and stopping power without eliminating the shock absorption of the suspension.
- The TREK Fuel EX 5 is the best trail bike for endurance and marathon racing.
- It has a RockShox fork's DebonAir spring the weighs significantly lighter than coil springs and can be easily adjustable to work perfectly with the rider’s weight.
- You can choose from different wheel sizes depending on your preferences. For example, the bike can fit the wheels 27.5" and 29".
2. Scott Spark 960 - $2,500
What to love:
- Modern bikes mostly choose carbon steel for their frame. But the Scott Spark 960 introduces a new material for their frame, the Spark Alloy SL. This latest generation of alloy can compete with the lightweight feature of carbon steel and is also a stronger material.
- It comes with an entry-level RockShox Judy 130mm Fork compatible with 27.5" and 29" wheels that provide additional stiffness and control for your ride.
- It has an X-Fusion Nude 5, 120mm, TwinLoc system that connects the fork via cables in the handlebar that allows you access three distinct modes of your suspension.
- The Scott Spark has a Syncros dropper seat post that is made from lightweight alloy AL7050. The seat post is cable-operated and lets you shift your seat instantly with a remote even on uphill rides or speedy descents.
3. VITUS MYTHIQUE 27 VRX Mountain Bike - $2,400
What to love:
- It has a Shimano 1x12 SLX/Deore Drivetrain that allows the smooth shifting of gears on any terrain you want to take. It is also coupled with Shimano MT501 Brakes that give you superior stopping power.
- It has WTB i30 Rims that are one of the most durable choices in the market. The WTB rims are tested to run for 3000 miles on an uneven and rough road without experiencing any issues. This bike is perfect for endurance races as well as downhill rides.
- It sports a Hans Dampf Tyres that allows you to ride at maximum speed. In addition, the tires' thread gives you control over your rides whether you take on rough or smooth terrains.
4. Cannondale Habit 6 - $2,100
What to love:
- The Cannondale Habit 6 has different size options that you can choose from, so rest assured that there is a perfect bike frame that will fit you.
- The Cannondale uses a SmartForm C1 Alloy frame, boasting precise measurement for thickness distribution and tube size throughout the bike frame. This can help you pinpoint the exact part of the bike that needs strength reinforcement and stiffness.
- It has hydraulic disc brakes that give more consistent braking efficiency. In addition, the disc brakes are not easily affected by water, mud, or oil that usually targets braking.
- It comes with a Proportional Response suspension tailored to the rider's size, giving maximum traction and control.
5. Giant Stance 29 1 - $2,190
What to love:
- The Giant Stance has 29" wheels ready to take on jagged terrains. The larger wheel size gives more stability and control on technical terrains without compromising the speed.
- It comes with a Giant connect trail handlebar of aluminum construction for a sturdy and steady grip. It has a 25mm rise with a 6-degree upward sweep and a 9-degree rearward sweep.
- The bike has a Giant contact seat dropper with a remote with an anti-twist technology that ensures your saddle stays in position. In addition, the remote allows you to adjust your seat instantly, giving you confidence and control during bike rides.
- The saddle is a Giant Romero model that gives ultimate comfort for riders. It is designed for optimal shape and flexibility and has enough padding to give your inner thighs comfort even on long rides.
Tips on Taking Care of Your Bicycles
Even with the most high-quality bike components and construction, it is still very important to learn how to take care of your 2-wheeled companion so that you can take it anywhere and for longer periods. Here are valuable tips you can use to maintain your bike and continue riding at maximum performance.
Washing your bike
Going on intense rides on muddy terrains, passing through grime and water can make your bike dirty. It is important to wash your bike regularly, especially when covered in dirt after your rides. Don't let the muddy substances dry on your bike because it can affect the metal plating of your bicycle's frame.
Use a gentle spray with water and mild soap for washing your bikes. Using a pressure jet can peel off the plating of the frame. Using oils and lubricant for cleaning your bike can loosen the gears and bearings of your bike, so avoid this stuff too.
Maintaining your bike chain
Wipe your bike chain regularly with a dry cloth to keep its shiny, silvery appearance. Also, remember to lubricate your chains every after ride. Only put the lubricant on the chain and not on the cassette because it can cause corrosion. WD40 bike chain lubricants are perfect for oiling up your bike chains.
Checking the tire pressure of your wheels is important, especially if you are going on a long ride. A flat tire can ruin your momentum. In addition, too much pressure can make the wheel explode, and not enough pressure can make your bike ride sloppy and slow. You can find the right tire pressure for your wheels embedded on the side of your bike tires.
Check the brakes and loose components.
Regularly check your brakes for their stopping power. After prolonged use, the brake pads can thin down and eliminate the friction with the wheels for proper stopping. Make sure to replace them before they are completely worn down to avoid accidents.
Small particles such as dirt, mud, and tiny rocks can penetrate the brake pads and affect stopping efficiency. So make sure to free your brake pads from these tiny particles.
Riding on long bumpy rides can loosen a few bolts in your bike. Bounce your bike a few times to feel if components are loose and tighten them to keep the parts of your bike secure while riding.
Invest in a bike stand and high-quality pedals
Bike stands keep your rides upright. Leaning your bicycles on the wall and hard surfaces can dent the metal body frame. Also, pedals are one of the most overlooked parts of the bike. Some bicycles come with plastic pedals, and some bicycle manufacturers give you the option to install your own.
Invest in a lightweight metal pedal made from aluminum and titanium. These pedals are less likely to wear down even after a long time and will not require you to replace them frequently, giving you significant savings after a long time.
Have your bikes serviced
Make it a habit to have your bikes checked by an expert at least once a year. Take your bikes to service shops for maintenance. Some components of your bikes require professional help. Service shops can maintain the excellent general health of your bike and help it last longer.
Owning a full-suspension bike is every cyclist's dream come true. It comes with an expensive price tag, but it will not disappoint you in the quality of the individual components and its monster performance. It is the perfect bike for beginners and professional riders alike. Choose the bike that fits your interest and skill level. Invest in a dual suspension bike and feel the difference of riding an all-star bicycle that catches up with your performance at every ride. There are several options for the best full-suspension mountain bike under $2500, and we hope this article was of great help.