When it comes to mountain biking, having the right bike can make all the difference in your experience on the trails. The best mountain bike brands are known for their innovative designs, high-quality materials, and superior performance. Whether you're a seasoned rider tackling rugged terrain or a beginner exploring off-road paths, these brands offer bikes that cater to all skill levels and riding styles.

Best mountain bike brands in 2024


The pioneers, pure and simple. In mountain bike history, the name of Californian-founded Specialized stands tall. Best mountain bike brands? More than that: these are mountain bike people through and through, beginning with an advertising slogan back at their founding in 1974 of "A dream. A vision. A great excuse not to get a real job". Specialized is not just one of the best mountain bike brands, they're cyclists as renegades. The company's pioneering Stumpjumper, introduced in 1981, was the first ever mountain bike, inviting cyclists to expand the freedom that two wheels provide on-road to include a little off-roading too. Or as Specialized put it at the time, the Stumpjumper, still available today, is "the essence of adventure engineering, with an appetite for the Great Outdoors". That first mountain bike was the beginning of a great adventure for Specialized too. Their in-house design found fans around the world as one idea turned Specialized into one of the very best mountain bike brands, underlined by the inclusion of an original Stumpjumper in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.


Multiple award-winning Trek is one of American cycling's great success stories and easily one of the world's best mountain bike brands. They've been around since the 1970s, beginning as a maker of frame sets and quickly branching out into the manufacture of complete bicycles. The mountain bike boom is very much part of early Trek history as this Wisconsin-based bicycle maker added hi-tech components to its engineering background in a vast new factory in the 1980s. It's the relentless search for new materials and new ways to bring the best to its cycling customers that sets Trek apart and maintains the company's place as one of the best mountain bike brands. Trek was the first to produce a hybrid bike, combining the best of road bike and mountain bike in one versatile machine. Now one of the biggest bicycle manufacturers in the world, Trek hasn't forgotten its roots: with the enthusiast rider.


The Giant difference - the difference that makes this Taiwanese companies one of the greats among the world's best mountain bike brands - is a relentless search for new technology, the latest materials and future-proof design. Giant was one of the pioneers in the use of composites in frame construction and its Maestro suspension system is good enough to be used by world champions, who regard Giant as a leader among the best mountain bike brands. Latest range of mountain bikes includes competition-ready machinery aimed at the serious enthusiast as well as entry-level mountain bikes for those of us who admire this Giant among mountain bike brands without the need for winning too much in the way of actual races. The company's calling card of high-end engineering is built in to every mountain bike that Giant releases, with aluminium used extensively and a wide range of electrically assisted mountain bikes also now available.


Yeti is the company that's always had mountain biking front and central in all that they do, easily qualifying this Colorado-based company as one of the world's best mountain bike brands. Confirmation of that status? Yeti's founder John Parker is a proud member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. At first Yeti made mountain bikes aimed at competitors only, each of whom would happily name Yeti as one of the best mountain bike brands. As the company put it at the time, they made "no frills bikes for core riders". Yeti survived a brief ownership by larger rival Schwinn to emerge once more in enthusiast ownership making this independent maker a perfect choice among the best mountain bike brands for the committed mountain biker. Or, like us, the cyclist who wants a great name and a great history behind every off-road ride.


German design and engineering sets Canyon apart among the world's best mountain bike brands. Canyon began as a supplier of bike parts to support co-founder Roman Arnold's competition cycling. This enthusiast backdrop is essential to understanding the place of Canyon among the best mountain bike brands today. As Canyon moved from parts wholesaler to manufacturer, the first Canyon-badged two-wheeler in 1996 was a mountain bike, setting the stage for today's illustrious place among the best mountain bike brands. Wide current range of mountain bikes includes hardtail bikes, e-mountain bikes and rugged trail bikes, all aiming to, as the company puts it, "set the standard for innovation in cycling". Count us in for the ride.


"Wherever you ride, whatever you ride," Cannondale urge us, "ditch the rulebook and let’s ride together." This rebellious spirit, to reinvent the simplicity of the bicycle from ground up, has been present from the start. The company was founded in Connecticut in 1971 with a focus on pioneering new materials, ergonomics and technology, a focus that's led many to regard Cannondale as one of the best mountain bike brands of the moment. Stellar mountain bike history began in 1984 with the revered SM500 and continues today with a wide range of cross-country, e-mountain and trail bikes. At the high end, there's carbon fibre frames, while all Cannondale mountain bikes feature rugged engineering designed to cope with the highest of peaks on your weekend adventures and the deepest of potholes on your daily commute. Best mountain bike brands? Cannondale is way up there.

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