Top Pick for
Overall mountain bike
Our editorial team selected the products on this list based on expert reviews, customer reviews and key specs and components. We carefully selected parameters based on our research and mountain biking experience, and then identified the mountain bikes that best satisfied the key requirements in each category.
If your curious as to whether a electric bike might be best for you, check out our guide to electric bikes vs regular bikes.
Searching for a mountain bike that offers everything you need to tackle tough trails? The Polygon Siskiu T8 is our top pick as the best overall mountain bike for a number of reasons.
First, there's the spec sheet, which includes features like Fox suspension, a Shimano drivetrain and a dropper post. Second, there's the fact that this bike has picked up plenty of positive reviews, with an average score of 4.9/5 from 79 Bicycles Online customers. Third is the fact that the Siskiu T8 has also come in for plenty of praise from bike reviewers around the world.
And last but not least is the $3,499 price tag, which represents excellent value for money. So if you're searching for a dual-suspension MTB that's affordable while also being a very capable performer on the trails, it's hard to go past the Polygon Siskiu T8.
The T8 features a hydroformed aluminium frame with a tapered head tube, and with geometry designed to maximise stability and confidence at speed and on steep descents. A Fox 34 Rhythm fork provides 140-150mm of travel depending on frame size, while the Fox Float DPS shock absorbs bumps at the rear with 135-140mm of travel.
A 1x12-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain ensures smooth gear changes, with stopping power provided by Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano Centrelock rotors. At 2.6 inches wide, the Schwalbe Hans Dampf Evo tyres are tubeless-ready and provide plenty of grip.
And with a TranzX dropper post also included, the Polygon Siskiu T8 is one very impressive all-round package.
With dozens of high-quality options available, choosing the best dual-suspension MTB is a huge challenge. But if we had to stump up our hard-earned cash for a dually tomorrow, we'd find it very hard to go past the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp.
This long-travel trail shredder boasts plush suspension, a carbon frame, and the convenience of adjustable geometry. It also has an average score of 4.9/5 from 15 Google reviews, and has earned plenty of positive feedback from expert bike reviewers around the globe. As a result, the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp is our top pick as the best dual-suspension MTB.
Specialized first started producing the iconic Stumpjumper way back in 1981, so it's a name that every mountain biker will be familiar with. Of course, this iteration looks a little different to the original, with a carbon frame and high-quality modern components from top to bottom.
One of the main selling points of the Stumpjumper EVO Comp is that you can adjust the geometry of the bike with 6 different settings. Things like adjusting the bottom bracket height and the head angle, or even adopting a "mullet" wheel set-up, allow you to tailor the bike to suit your riding style.
There's suspension travel aplenty on the Stumpjumper EVO Comp, with a Fox Float 36 Rhythm fork and a Fox Float DPX2 Performance rear shock. Tyres are 29x2.3-inch Specialized offerings, Eliminator at the back and Butcher at the front, and the brakes and drivetrain are Shimano gear.
Throw in Specialized's very handy SWAT door, which provides storage space for things like tools and spare tubes and now also includes a water bladder, and you've got a bike that's well equipped to handle just about anything the trails can throw at you.
And while it's not a cheap bike, the old saying that you get what you pay for certainly holds true here.
From the Marin San Quentin 3 to the Commencal Meta, the Giant XTC Advanced to the Santa Cruz Chameleon, there are a lot of quality hardtails around at the moment. As a result, choosing a winner in this category certainly wasn't easy.
But, for our money, there's a whole lot to like about the Norco Torrent S1 HT. This aggressive hardtail boasts a sturdy build, quality components, and reportedly offers a fun and confidence-inspiring ride. As a result, it's our pick as the best hardtail MTB.
An all-mountain bike, the Torrent S1 HT features a chromoly steel frame and rolls on 29-inch wheels. The fork is a RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, providing 150mm of travel for all your off-road exploits.
Shimano supplies the drivetrain kit, with 1x12 gearing ensuring simple efficiency while out on the trails. The brakes are Shimano too, with 4-piston calipers and SM-RT64 rotors at the front and at the rear. And with Stans Flow S1 rims paired with a Maxxis Assegai 2.5-inch tyre at the front, and Maxxis Dissector 2.4-inch rubber at the back, you'll enjoy ample grip when you're ready to start shredding.
Finally, the Torrent S1 HT also comes with an X Fusion Manic dropper post. The amount of travel varies depending on the frame size you choose with 125mm for small bikes, 150mm for medium, and 170mm for large and extra-large models.
So if you want to bid farewell to rear suspension and tear up the trails on an aggressive hardtail, the Norco Torrent S1 HT is definitely worth checking out.
Buying a mountain bike with a maximum budget of $2,500? You'll want to check out what the Polygon Siskiu D7 has to offer.
When shopping in this price bracket, buyers are faced with a key conundrum: Should they buy an entry-level full-suspension bike, or opt for a mid-range hardtail instead? And if you decide to opt for the smoother ride and better handling in rough conditions that a dually provides, the Siskiu D7 will be high on your shopping list.
Another model from the Indonesian manufacturer behind our top pick, the Siskiu D7 also offers great value for anyone shopping for an affordable dual-suspension MTB. The D7 boasts modern trail geometry, RockShox suspension, a dropper post, and a host of other essential features.
It's also picked up a stack of glowing customer reviews, with an average score of 4.8/5 from over 900 customer reviews. And with the Siskiu D7 fitting neatly in this price bracket, it's our top pick as the best mountain bike under $2,500.
Featuring a hydroformed aluminium boost frame, the D7 boasts a slacker head tube, longer reach and lower centre of gravity. The ride is cushioned by a Rockshox Recon RL front fork and a RockShox Deluxe Select Plus air shock at the rear. It rolls on Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres, with 27.5-inch wheels on small and medium frames and 29-inch wheels if you choose a large, medium or extra-large.
And with 1x11-speed Shimano gearing and a TranzX dropper post that offers either 150mm (small and medium frames) or 170mm (large and extra-large frames), it offers everything you need to start exploring some single-tracks.
If you’ve got a maximum budget of $1,000 to spend on a new mountain bike, you’re pretty much restricted to hardtails. And if you’re searching for the best hardtail under $1,000, there’s plenty to like about the Giant Talon 2.
If you’re willing to stretch your budget a bit, you might want to consider upgrading to the Talon 1, priced at $1,099 and with slightly better specs. But if there’s no wiggle room in that $1,000 limit, the Giant Talon 2 is well worth a closer look.
A cross-country bike, this aluminium hardtail is designed to provide you with plenty of speed regardless of whether you’re going up or downhill. It comes with 27.5-inch wheels if you opt for an extra-small or small frame, or 29-inch wheels in small, medium, large or extra-large form.
The SR Suntour XCM30 fork up front provides 80 or 100mm of travel depending on frame size, while a Shimano 2x9 system takes care of all your gear shifting needs. Tektro hydraulic brakes help you keep control on those steep descents, with grip provided by Kenda Booster 2.2-inch wide tyres.
Best of all, the Talon 2 has an $849 price tag, so you’ll have a bit of cash left over from your $1,000 budget to spend on kitting your bike out with all the must-have accessories. So if you’re searching for an affordable mountain bike for all your off-road adventures, the Giant Talon 2 ticks a lot of boxes.
Want to buy a mountain bike for less than $600? There are plenty of good reasons why you should check out the Trek Marlin 4. Along with its affordable price tag, the Marlin 4 offers all the essentials you need to start trail riding, but is versatile enough to double as a rugged commuter bike too.
Marketed as an introductory mountain bike, the Trek Marlin 4 is a hardtail MTB that boasts plenty of useful features. It all starts with the 21 gears provided by the 3x7-speed Shimano drivetrain, which will ensure that you can find the right gear for everything from steep climbs to fire trail cruising.
Up front, the SR Suntour coil spring suspension provides 100mm of travel to absorb bumps on the trail, and grip is provided by Bontrager tyres. Bontrager also takes care of the saddle, seatpost, handlebar and stem.
The bike weighs in at around 14kg, so it's not going to be too heavy to drag up those challenging hills. Stopping power is provided by Tektro M280 mechanical disc brakes, and 27.5-inch or 29-inch tyres are available depending on the size of the frame you choose.
Finally, if you want to use your bike for commuting, or maybe pack a picnic or some supplies when exploring off-road, the Marlin 4 also comes with mounts for a rack and mudguards.
So if you're shopping for a mountain bike on a tight budget, make sure you add this versatile Trek hardtail to your shopping shortlist.
If you want some assistance pedalling up those steep hills and lung-busting pinch climbs, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp is our number-one pick as the best electric mountain bike. The Turbo Levo Comp is no stranger to positive reviews from the experts, offers great battery life, and is well set up to tackle a wide range of trails.
It all starts with Specialized's custom Specialized 2.1 motor, which the manufacturer says is more efficient, lighter and smaller than its predecessor. When combined with a 700Wh battery, you can rest assured that it'll provide enough power to keep you going all day long. The integrated battery also comes with a rock guard for added protection from trail debris.
The motor and battery are paired with the Levo's Turbo Connect Unit, which displays the battery level and the power-assist mode selected. It also communicates wirelessly, via ANT+ and Bluetooth, with an optional handlebar display if you want to check out even more details of your ride.
Up front, a Fox Float 36 Rhythm fork provides 160mm of travel, while a FOX Float DPS Performance shock brings up the rear. Gearing is taken care of by a 12-speed Shimano set-up, with 4-piston caliper hydraulic disc brakes providing all the stopping power you need.
A 29x2.6-inch Specialized Butcher tyre leads the way, with the rear tyre a 29x2.3-inch Specialized Eliminator. An X Fusion Manic dropper post is included for when you want to attack a descent, and the Turbo Levo Comp comes in 4 frame sizes from small through to extra-large.
It's certainly not the cheapest eMTB out there, but the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp is well worth a look if you're searching for the best electric mountain bike.
If you're searching for your first mountain bike, the Trek Marlin 7 is our top pick.
We restricted our search in this category to hardtail MTBs only, for a number of reasons. Hardtails are cheaper to buy upfront and easier to maintain than dual-suspension bikes. They also help you develop better riding habits — without rear suspension cushioning every impact, riding a hardtail forces you to get up out of the saddle and improve everything from your control of the bike to the lines you choose.
With this in mind, the best hardtail mountain bike for beginners had to be reasonably affordable, have good-quality components and be well set up for a first-time rider to take it out on the trails straight away. Happily, the Trek Marlin 7 ticks all those boxes.
Retailing for $1,200, the Marlin 7 offers much more than an entry-level bike but doesn't have the sort of price tag that'll make your eyes water. It's also picked up its fair share of positive reviews, and is well specced for anyone making their first foray into the world of mountain biking.
The Marlin comes in sizes ranging from XS to XXL, with XS and S models getting 27.5-inch Bontrager tyres and all other models riding on 29-inch Bontrager rubber. Suspension duties are taken care of by the RockShox Judy, while the 1x10-speed Shimano drivetrain keeps things simple while still providing all the gears you need.
So if you're looking for your first mountain bike, the Trek Marlin 7 offers a great introduction to the world of off-road riding.
Searching for a kids mountain bike so your youngster can join you out on the trails? We recommend checking out the Marin Rift Zone Jr.
This kid-friendly bike boasts front and rear suspension, an 11-speed drivetrain, and everything any young shredder needs to explore single-track with mum or dad. It's also picked up an average rating of 5/5 from 14 customer reviews, so it's our top pick as the best kids mountain bike.
Before going any further, we should point out the one thing that may put many buyers off the Marin Rift Zone Jr: its $2,500 price tag. There's no getting around the fact that this is a big chunk of cash to pay for a kids bike, and if you're looking for something a whole lot more affordable, the $579 Polygon Relic 24 has picked up plenty of positive reviews.
But with its rear suspension, extra gears and the fact that it's been genuinely designed for rigorous off-road use, the Rift Zone Jr takes the win here.
The Rift Zone Jr rides on 24- or 26-inch wheels, so you can start out with the smaller option and then upgrade as your kid grows. The X Fusion Velvet air fork at the front provides 120mm of travel, while an X Fusion O2 Pro air shock brings up the rear.
The Shimano 1x11-speed groupset offers simplicity without compromising too much on gear choices, and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes provide stopping power.
In terms of build quality, the bike features Marin's Series 3 6061 aluminium frame.
I bought a Rift Zone 1 with the same frame for myself back in 2018, and it's given me 3 years of faithful service without missing a beat.
So if your son or daughter wants to tackle some single-track with you, the Marin Rift Zone Jr is definitely worth a closer look.
I caught the mountain biking bug back in 2016, when I bought a cheap hardtail to start exploring my local trail network in southeast Queensland. More than 5 years and thousands of dollars on gear and maintenance later, I now ride a dual-suspension bike on single-track at least a couple of times a week. I'm not particularly fast or skilled on a bike, but I am passionate about the sport.
To pick the best mountain bikes in Australia featured here, we cast a pretty wide net. We started by finding the highest-rated bikes among expert reviewers around the world, as well as from customers at popular bike retailers.
We then compared these top options against other highly-rated MTBs in the same category. This is where we drilled down to the nitty gritty of the specs sheet, considering everything from the quality of the components to the length of the suspension travel, and also taking price tags into account when deciding on our top picks.
In the "best cheap mountain bike" category, we considered models that retail for $600 or less. In the "best high-end mountain bike" category, we considered models priced over $5,000.
We considered mountain bikes from the following brands: