What is a full suspension mountain bike?

Are you planning to buy a mountain bike?

If yes, the first thing you have to figure out is whether to buy a hardtail mountain bike or a full-suspension mountain bike. You can easily make a choice among these bikes by considering the terrain you intend to ride and, obviously, the budget.

What do you think are the differences between hardtail mountain bikes and full-suspension mountain bikes? It is really essential to know about both types of mountain bikes before you make a choice.

So, let us discuss hardtail mountain bikes vs. full-suspension mountain bikes and more about full-suspension mountain bikes in the upcoming sections of this article. You will get to know a lot more about full-suspension mountain bikes here, including its benefits and disadvantages.

Hardtail Mountain Bikes vs. Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

Do you know what makes a difference between Hardtail mountain bikes and Full-suspension mountain bikes?

It is the suspension of these bikes that differentiate both of them. Full-suspension mountain bikes come with both suspension fork up in the front as well as a rear shock. Meanwhile, hardtail mountain bikes only possess a suspension fork.

Also, hardtail mountain bikes are much cheaper than full-suspension mountain bikes. They are perfect for smooth trails and unprofessional uses.

At the same time, full-suspension mountain bikes are a bit expensive and suitable for professional trails and rides. Also, full-suspension mountain bikes demand maintenance more than hardtail mountain bikes do.

So, that is all about the differences between a hardtail mountain bike and a full-suspension mountain bike. Now, we will see into the details of different types of full-suspension mountain bikes

Different Types of Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

You can find four different types of full-suspension mountain bikes on the market. Each of these come with varying features and specifications.

Don’t you want to know what to know more about different types of full-suspension mountain bikes?

Yes, let us now look into the details of the four different types of full-suspension mountain bikes.

  1. Cross-Country Or XC Mountain Bikes

Cross-country or XC mountain bikes are best for covering long distances and lapped races. They are very similar to hardtail mountain bikes but much lighter and quicker.

XC mountain bikesweigh just around 22-28 pounds. They are, in fact, the lightest form of full-suspension mountain bikes available in the market. However, they possess excellent climbing and descending features

A cross-country mountain bike offers ultimate rolling efficiency and better traction and thus is perfect for technical trails. This mountain bike allows you to lock out shocks to achieve higher pedaling efficiency on trails and better power on smooth terrains.

The long stems, steep head angles, and narrow handlebarsof XC mountain bikes help riders to achieve a comfortable low and stretched position. They possess a tight geometry with a wheelbase of 29 inches that allows higher speeds and reactive handling for straight roads and technical routes, respectively.

Altogether, cross-country mountain bikes are perfect for professionals who are willing to invest a large amount in their bikes. They fit well for people who want to travel faster on a tight-geometric and lightweight bike in ultimate comfort.

  1. Trail Mountain Bikes

Trail mountain bikes are the all-rounders among the full-suspension mountain bikes. They are perfect for versatile riders who love experimenting and exploring. These are one of the most popular types of mountain bikes.

Trail bikes come with increased travel than XC mountain bikes. They possess a traditional and relaxed geometry, consisting of short stems, relaxed head angles, and wide handlebars. These traditional features balance the comfort, performance, and durability of the trail mountain bikes.

Travel of the trail mountain bikes is distributed uniformly except at the front fork to aid the descending capabilities of the bike without affecting its ability to climb.

Most trail mountain bikes come up with a wider ratio cassette and s single front chainring to keep up the momentum during gear shiftings.

  1. Enduro Mountain Bikes

Enduro mountain bikes are a less versatile form of full-suspension mountain bikes. They are perfect for descending faster on steep and technical trails.

The geometry of the endure mountain bikes are sturdy and possess a slacker package with a higher travel. They are built especially for uphill or downhill-specific riding trails or races. You can consider enduro mountain bikes for not so technical or enduro races in which speed is an important criterion.

Enduro mountain bikes possess single front chain-rings, high-end suspension coil forks, and shocks. These features make the enduro bikes well capable of climbing as well as descending. The frames of the endura mountain bikes are heavier than other full-suspension mountain bikes in the market.

  1. Downhill Mountain Bikes

As the name suggests, downhill mountain bikes are, especially for downhill trails. They are perfect for the gravity-ignoring riders out there. The super-slack geometry of these bikes offers better balance and control.

Downhill mountain bikes possess travel of about 180 to 220mm, as in most of the full-suspension mountain bikes. They are built for heavy landings and big hits. Thus, the frames of downhill mountain bikes are strong and durable.

The hydraulic-disc brakes with 8-inch rotors offer maximum speed control, and slack geometry gives high-speed stability to the downhill mountain bikes.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

Like everything else, full-suspension mountain bikes also have their own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages will definitely help you make a better choice. Isn’t it?

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of full-suspension mountain bikes that would help you make a choice wisely.

Advantages of full-suspension mountain bikes

  • Easier to ride

A full-suspension mountain bike is a lot easier to ride than a hardtail mountain bike. They are actually twice easy to handle as the suspensionless hardtail mountain bikes. The front and rear shocks of the full-suspension bikes make it easier to ride on any terrain, even for beginners.

  • More comfort and efficiency

Do you know why even cross-country riders choose full-suspension mountain bikes nowadays? It is because of the better comfort and efficiency full-suspension mountain bikes have to offer.

The rear shock of the full-suspension mountain bikes absorbs the bumps, rocks, and roots and allows you to sit comfortably without tiring out your body.

  • Better traction and control

Full-suspension mountain bikes help you not lose contact with the ground when riding over tough and rough terrains. These bikes move over obstacles by sticking on to the ground.

Therefore, full-suspension mountain bikes offer better traction and control by helping riders stick to the ground, even in rough terrains. The better traction provided also helps in performing well on the turns and curves.

  • Speed

The front and rear suspension of the full-suspension mountain bikes absorb bumps and other obstacles and help you maintain a considerable speed when riding over rough terrains.

Disadvantages of full-suspension mountain bikes

  • Expensive

A full-suspension mountain bike will definitely cost you more than a hardtail mountain bike. Full-suspension mountains are expensive due to their complex features and high-end components.

It is ok to spend more, and the money you invest in a full-suspension mountain bike definitely pays off when you can ride on a tough terrain comfortably.

  • High maintenance

The complex design and the high-end components of full-suspension mountain bikes demand more maintenance than a hardtail mountain bike does.

So, that is all about the advantages and disadvantages of full-suspension mountain bikes.

Haven’t you yet made a decision on which mountain bike to buy?


We hope this article helped you understand more about full-suspension mountain bikes.

Do you still have queries about full-suspension mountain bikes?

You can read related articles on our website to know more about full-suspension mountain bikes, or please do leave your query in the comment section. We are happy to help you anytime.

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