Every year mountain bike brands release new models, and they are often difficult to distinguish. Brands like Trek Bikes, Cannondale, Yeti Cycles, and Ibis Cycles are constantly evolving, and without any knowledge of how one bike differs from the next, it can be difficult to know which to buy.
So if you are looking for a mountain bike for your next expedition, what should you look for? The answer is simple: try out different bikes before buying one. Go demo a few of the best mountain bike brands for 2021 and see which one fits your needs best.
Best Mountain Bike Brands for 2021
1. Trek Bikes
Location: Waterloo, Wisconsin
Popular models: Fuel EX and Supercaliber
Trek is one of the best mountain bike brands in the world, and they are one of the “Big Four” American manufacturers.
Trek has created mountain bikes for every type of rider, from beginners to semi-experienced cyclists who want to take their riding to the next level.
Trek is so popular that they have gained a cult following of sorts. Trek fanatics are known as “Trekkies,” and they often wear Trek-branded clothing and memorabilia.
If you get into mountain biking enough to become a Trekkie, then first check out their full line of bikes and gear online – then collect your favorite pieces on your own Trekking adventures.
Location: Morgan Hill, California
Popular models: Stumpjumper and Rockhopper
If you are into mountain biking, it is hard not to come across a Stumpjumper or Rockhopper. Stumpjumper was the first MTB to be mass-produced anywhere in the world and still remains a top-seller.
It is this reason most people credit Specialized for the boom in mountain biking in the US. Oh, and the Evo design, is just what the hardcore bike needs.
But that’s not all. From entry-level mountain bikes to gravel, road, and electric bikes, Specialized has something for everyone.
3. Santa Cruz
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
Popular models: Bronson and Hexx
Santa Cruz is a top brand for mountain bikes. The Bronson is a great entry-level mountain bike that won’t break the bank, but still provides riders with a stable ride.
If you want to step up to a more advanced rig, then the Santa Cruz Tallboy will have you covered. Regardless of your skill level or budget, Santa Cruz has a bike for you.
Location: Taoyuan City, Taiwan
Popular models: Trance Advanced 2 and Anthem Advanced 1
Giant is an industry leader, having created some of the best-selling bikes in history. Giant is a technology giant too – from their e-bikes to their disc brakes and frames.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, they are home to top endurance mountain biker Jaiwon Chon, who won the 2014 Ultra Tour de Taiwan. They are also the official bike supplier of the UCI World Tour.
5. Yeti Cycles
Location: Golden, Colorado
Popular models: SB5 and SB6c
Yeti Cycles has been making bikes since 1997, and they are known for being some of the most durable mountain bikes on the market.
They are also made in the US, which distinguishes them from other brands that manufacture their bikes in Asia or Europe.
So if you want to support local manufacturing while you go out adventuring on a new Yeti MTB, then look no further than this brand.
5. Pivot Cycles
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Popular models: Mach, Switchblade
Pivot Cycles first came to attention with the 2005 release of their original Flow bike. Since then they have continued to innovate while keeping an eye on value for the consumer.
Now in 2018, Pivot has released an even more affordable line – the Switch series – along with other models such as the Locksmith and Bolt Ripper that can be customized to your exact specification for great quality and performance.
Plus their customer support is the best we’ve seen from any brand on this list.
6. Ibis Cycles
Location: Moab, Utah
Popular Models: Ripmo, Ripley, Mojo
Ibis is a big name in the cycling industry. In addition to making mountain bikes for top riders, they also sponsor several professional mountain bikers and recently opened their own bike park in Moab, Utah – appropriately named the Ibis Ripmo Bike Park.
They have built their reputation on quality and affordability – a difficult balance to achieve!
The Pros: Great value; lifetime warranty on frames; fast shipping.
7. Scott Sports
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Popular Models: Scale, Genius, Ranson, Contessa, Voltage, Gambler
Scott is a relative newcomer to the mountain bike industry – only having started in 2014. They are confident that they will be around for many years to come.
Scott has taken on board the feedback from its riders and quickly gained a reputation for making solid bikes at all price points. So if you are after a mountain bike brand that is new to the market but has a proven track record of making great bikes, then look no further than Scott!
Location: South Lake Tahoe, California
Popular Models: Habit, Trail, Catalyst
This is the bike that can take you from your local trail to the big race. Cannondale has been around since 1970, and they have always been at the forefront of mountain bike design and technology.
In fact, Cannondale literally invented the suspension fork in 1970…the same year they introduced their first full-suspension mountain bike.
So if you are looking for a dependable and durable ride, then look no further than the Cannondale lineup.
Location: Huntington Beach, California
Popular Models: Atroz, Overdrive
If there is one brand that can claim to be an industry leader, it is Diamondback. They have been in the market for 40 years and have remained true to their roots – developing bikes that can be used at a wide range of extreme levels of climbing.
This results in a superior ride – whether you are riding down the local trail or hitting your limit on Mt. Everest.
10. Rocky Mountain Bikes
Location: Golden, Colorado
Popular MTB Models: Altitude, Growler, Element
Rocky Mountain Bicycles would have been a brand you never heard of if their headquarters in Golden, Colorado hadn’t been at the center of the mountain bike boom in the US.
In fact, their central location had a huge impact – which is why they are an important part of any list of best mountain bike brands.
11. Evil bikes
Location: Morgan Hill, California
Popular models: Following, Ripley, Remedy
Evil bikes burst onto the scene in 2010, but they never looked back. They are now among the fastest-growing brands in the industry because they manufacture everything completely in-house.
This means they are nimble enough to keep up with all the latest innovations while making sure every bike is perfect for its purpose.
They also stand out from other brands because of their edgy design style and big attitude. So if you want to ride a bike that has character, then an Evil Bike might be just what you need!
12. Niner Bikes
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Popular Models: Jet, Rip, Air
Niner Bikes have been around since 1974 and have made a name for themselves as a leader in both the mountain bike and road bike industry.
They devote 100% of their resources to bike development – which means they put all their energy into making bikes that work better.
13. Canyon Bikes
Location: Koblenz, Germany
Popular Models: Spectral, Strive, Neuron
Canyon Bikes have their headquarters in Germany – but that doesn’t mean you will have to pay European prices for a bike from this relatively new brand.
They make every effort to manufacture high-quality bikes at affordable prices – so if you are looking for a solid bike at a great price, then Canyon might be just the right brand for you!
14. Salsa Cycles
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Popular models: Timberjack, Horsethief, Spearfish, Rustler
Salsa has been manufacturing bikes since 1991. They have recently become one of the leaders in the market because they continue to develop their bikes with a focus on creating high-quality products that are stylish and fun to ride.
In addition, their lifetime warranty on manufacturing parts is certainly a big reason for their success.
15. Transition Bikes
Location: Petaluma, CA
Popular Models: Sentinel, Patrol
Transition Bikes has been around since 1995, making them one of the oldest brands in the industry – but they have also made a huge impact on the mountain bike industry because they are still making great bikes for an equally reasonable price.
Transition Bikes also make it easy to customize your bike with a wide range of accessories and parts – which means you can have just the right set-up to make your bike perform how you want.
16. Intense Cycles USA
Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Popular Models: Tracer, Primer, Carbine, Sniper
Intense Cycles has been manufacturing mountain bikes since 1998. They make high-quality mountain bikes that are dependable and durable…which is why they are a popular brand in the industry.