With Downhill Mountain Bikers reaching speeds of 104 mph, its hard to imagine the humble beginning Mountain Biking had when it first gained traction in the 70’s.
Today, Mountain Bikes are being manufactured with some of the most advanced technology available. From Dropper SeatPosts to Electronic shifting, there is a new industry standard from Manufacturers when it comes to the quality and technology being built into Mountain Bikes today.
As Mountain Biking continues to expand and grow in popularity, new manufacturers have emerged, building high quality bikes that rival even the most seasoned Brands. With all the manufacturers who have come and gone in the last 40 years, here is a list of the Best Mountain Bike Brands available today.
Trek has endured a long and lucrative history with cycling itself. In fact, Trek is typically the first bike that comes to mind when you ask someone about a quality bike brand.
Founded in 1975, Trek began manufacturing steel touring bike frames just as Mountain Biking started to form as a sport. By 1983, Trek had released its first Mountain Bike, the “Rough Terrain” model 850. Over the years, Trek would continue to build quality bikes and gain ownership of the earlier brands on the market, including the reputable Gary Fisher bike brand.
Today, the Waterloo Wisconsin based company has grown to occupy most of the major bike retailers in the world. The name Trek is often associated with a standard of quality, and they have definitely earned their spot as one of the best Mountain Bike Brands available today.
Plus, all Trek bikes come with a standard Lifetime Warranty.
Credited with manufacturing the worlds first major production mountain bike, Specialized released the immortal StumpJumper in 1981.
With mission statements like “Innovate or Die” and “Made for Riders, by Riders”, it’s no surprise that Specialized has continued to be a leading brand in the market. Take a quick scroll through their About Page and you will get a good sense of their dedication to their customers and their craft.
Proving their confidence, this is another Company on the list that provides Lifetime Warranties on all bike frames. Very deserving of the name, Specialized will continue to be one of the most trusted Mountain Bike Brands for years to come.
A 2012 article by Rick Vosper showed the changing market of leading bike manufacturers in the US. In his article, he broke down the statistics from the most recent NBDA report to reveal how bike sales have changed over the years.
While we used to think of Trek, Specialized and Giant as the top names in the industry for Mountain Bikes, statistics show that majority of sales are spread among the smaller Bike Brands on the rise.
One of the leading Bike Brands in the market is Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Where most companies simply adopted Mountain Biking after decades manufacturing Road Bikes, Santa Cruz was first founded by Professional Skateboarder Rob Roskopp. Going further against the grain, Santa Cruz chose to focus on Full Suspension Mountain Bikes, an uncommon concept at the time.
Since releasing their first bike in the 1994, Santa Cruz has been regarded as one of the highest quality builds on the market. Maintaining the finest standard of quality, they stand behind all of their bikes with a Lifetime Warranty.
In the words of its US general manager John Thompson, Giant is “the best-kept secret in the bike business”.
Manufacturing bikes for Schwinn shortly after forming in 1972, Giant would go on to supply bikes for some of the biggest names in the market. After years of building bikes for Schwinn, Trek and Scott, the company finally released its very own bike in 1981.
Today, this massive company is now recognized as the worlds largest bicycle manufacturer. With years of experience, dedication to the industry and Lifetime Warranties on all bikes, Giant will continue to be one of the Best Mountain Bike Brands available today.
Alluding again to the changing landscape of Mountain Bike manufacturers in the US, this Company has been making waves with its unique sales model.
Where most Mountain Bikes go through the Manufacturer, Importer and Bike Shop before reaching the customer, Canyon ships their bikes direct to consumer. Eliminating the middlemen, the company is then able to cut unnecessary costs and reinvest the savings into building a quality Mountain Bike.
The result of this new sales model? Canyon is able to sell high quality bikes at lower cost than the competition. With the extra wiggle room, they then take the time to design some of the best bikes on the market. Although they only provide a 6 year warranty, Canyon is 100% devoted to their products and full customer satisfaction.
One of the best Mountain Bike manufacturers and certainly one of the most innovative, Cannondale easily made the list.
Originally founded as an Outdoor gear company, Cannondale would develop the worlds first bike-towed trailer. Continuing the tradition of pushing the envelope, they would also go on to introduce innovations such as the BB30 bottom bracket and the appropriately named “Lefty”.
Developing the revolutionary BB30 bottom bracket, Cannondale released the design as a free industry standard, further proving their devotion to the consumer.
Carrying Lifetime Warranties on most of their bikes, you can always count on Cannondales dedication to quality and innovation.
There are a lot of Mountain Bike Manufacturers who could have made the list, including brands like; Scott, Yeti, DiamondBack, Evil Bike Co, and YT. With the changing landscape of available manufacturers, we now have more choice on which brands to support.
If you have any comments or recommendations for the Best Mountain Bike Brand List, please comment below.