As a mountain biker, you need to make sure you are riding the best mountain bike that your wallet can buy. There are many brands out there that will try to sell you their bikes with empty promises. The truth is, most of those brands don’t make very good mountain bikes. They might be able to get away with it on the street but, when it comes to mountain biking, they will leave you in the dust.
Most of the major brands offer a range of bikes. But there are some brands that you should definitely avoid. These are the brands that are Unknown, too expensive, have had many products recalls, or have been involved in safety issues. The ones who have a cheap frame, poor-quality components, and have no regard for the needs of the rider.
There are so many brands out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are reputable and which ones aren’t. We’ll give you sure-fire ways to identify a scammer in the mountain bike industry.
Are There Any Mountain Bike Brands To Avoid?
Generally, the more expensive the bike, the better the quality. The only real difference between brands and what sets one above the other is the price. But, with the internet, you can get an idea of quality just by reading a few reviews written by people who own that particular product. So, in this case, I would say the only real brand to avoid is the one where nobody has reviewed the product positively yet.
What makes a bike brand worth the money you spend on it? Is it a company’s reputation, the warranty, the price, or the quality of the product?
Here are the key factors to consider when looking for a mountain bike brand:
Avoid These Worst Mountain Bike Brands at all Cost
Avoid Unknown Brands
If you are looking to buy a new mountain bike, make sure the brand is well-known. There are several online retailers that sell cheap Chinese copies of expensive brands.
Make sure you are getting the real thing. Also, make sure the brand you are buying from has an authorized service center near you, just in case of returning the bike or for testing it out.
They are usually cheap, and have very poor quality. You will be disappointed. Instead, go for a well-known brand.
Avoid Brands on Superstores
Non-specialized stores will sell you an expensive bike which will only cause you more problems than good. Specialized stores will give you a good deal of value for your money with good warranties and service.
There are many brands that make mountain bikes that are sold in superstores like Walmart, Target, etc. They might offer better deals but these bikes don’t last long. Those brands have really Cheap Frames, Poor Quality Components, and no regard for the needs of the rider. You can get a good deal on a well-known brand from a reputable dealer.
Brand With Low Customer Satisfaction Rating
What does the customer think? That’s the first question to ask yourself when you’re looking to buy something. The first thing I look at is the brand. You see, if a brand has a high customer satisfaction rating, then I know that the product or service will be of good quality. If the brand has a low customer satisfaction rating, then I know that the product or service will be of lower quality. In other words, a low customer satisfaction rating means that there are issues with the product or service.
Brands who do not have a physical presence in the U.S.A.
This is one of the most obvious points on this list. If a company does not have a physical presence in the U.S.A., it’s unlikely that they are going to be able to offer you any kind of support or service. It’s also more than likely that they will be selling products that are not available here in the U.S.A. It’s a good idea to avoid these companies.
Brands that don’t have good reputation
If you’re going to do a little research (and who isn’t?) you can find out if whether a certain brand has a good or bad reputation. Ask around your cycling friends and colleagues. You might be surprised at the negative feedback you get.
When people purchase a brand with a bad reputation, it is usually because the features of owning that particular product (or service) are more important to them than the quality of the brand.
Brands that don’t provide the right kind of warranty for the bike
What makes a bike brand worth the money you spend on it? The first thing you need to look at is the warranty. This is very important when purchasing any mountain bike. There are many brand names that offer a good warranty, but the type of warranty can vary. A great example of this would be a lifetime frame warranty. It’s important to make sure the warranty is what you want.
Brands that have gone out of business
Don’t you hate it when that happens? When a well-known brand goes out of business and the low-priced imitators come out of the woodwork? Well, guess what? That’s what’s happening right now with mountain bike brands and companies. You see, there are thousands of new entrants into the market every year thanks to the Internet. However, many of these “newbies” don’t survive their first year. And, those that do survive often have to slash their prices to remain competitive. The result? You end up with tons of brands selling at a loss and, in some cases, going out of business altogether.
Brands with bad after-sales service
If you want to avoid getting stuck in a situation where your bike has been damaged in some way, you need to be very careful about who you buy from. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to identify the companies with good after-sales service. You should check the customer reviews to see if the company has any complaints.
Avoid bikes that are too expensive.
Mountain biking is one of those hobbies that are very expensive. The average budget mountain bike costs $400 to $600 and can go as high as $5,000 depending on the brand and model. However, if you know what to look for, you can find a great bike at a reasonable price between $800-$1200. Again, it’s absolutely ridiculous to spend $10,000 for a casual bike, isn’t it?
Avoid bikes that have been over-marketed.
As a buyer, you want to be able to make an informed decision about your purchase. You don’t want to feel like you are being sold to. If you have seen a mountain bike brand marketed more than a few times in the media, chances are they have over-marketed their product and you may be at risk of being sold to.
What Are Some Of the Best Mountain Bike Brands to Buy?
Who doesn’t know about Stumpjumper? well, Stumpjumper was the first mass-produced Mountain bike which is in continuous production till today. Specialized Stumpjumper has helped to popularize MTB culture in the world, notoriously Specialized has earned a great name and fame in the world of cycling. Established in 1974 by Mike Sinyard, the founder of Specialized bikes, began to mass-produce Stumpjumper in 1981 when Mountain biking was still in its infancy. Specialized bikes produce quality bikes in all disciplines of Mountain biking.
Wisconsin-based Trek Bikes is widely known for its high-end road bikes, but they have done a tremendous job in Mountain biking, especially in Downhill mountain biking. They have bikes across a wide range of prices from middle-priced bikes to high-end bikes. Trek produces in all categories of MTB. Trek is one of the few companies that provides a lifetime warranty on its frames.
A part of the Giant Bikes, which was founded in 1972, their in-house brand is known as “giant” started later in 1981 is one of the biggest manufacturers in the world. Giant bikes are a very well-known brand in the cycling industry. Giant bikes produce bikes in a wide range of prices with entry-level and mid-priced bikes being some of their popular price points. It’s no wonder Giant is the biggest seller of mountain bikes in the world. The Trance line has been their go-to trail/all-mountain bike for over a decade.
Cannondale is one of the most innovative companies in the American bike market. Since its founding, Connecticut-based Cannondale has never been afraid to take chances, when it comes to innovation, which can be seen with their single-sided lefty forks. When most other companies were still using steel, Cannondale took a unique approach to build bikes out of aluminum and carbon fiber.
Santa Cruz was founded in a small garage in 1994 in Santa Cruz, California. Back then, full-suspension bikes were unusual, and a bike with a do-it-all attitude (‘Trail’ or ‘all-mountain’) with a rear suspension was considered highly unusual. The Tazmon was the first bike from Santa Cruz bicycles and featured a single-pivot, dual suspension bike that challenged the established norms. Santa Cruz Bikes is a premium hardtail and full-suspension mountain bike maker. Santa Cruz is a sister company of Juliana bicycles with some of the most aggressive price points in the industry, and their lineup includes 27.5″ and 29″ MTBs, as well as electric and gravel bikes.
GT Bicycles is a division of Canadian Large corporation, Dorel industries were founded in 1972 by Gary Turner and Richard Long in Santa Ana, California. GT bicycles is a well-established name among the BMX community for its innovative BMX designs. Dorel Industries behind the idea of GT Bicycles also markets some of the popular brands in the bike industry like Cannondale, Schwinn, Mongoose, and DYNO.
Canyon is based in Koblenz, Germany, the first brand to really make DTC (direct-to-consumer) sales model in the bike industry was Canyon. Their superbly designed bikes and amazing price to performance ratios have made them a huge hit in the industry. The biggest concern with Canyon bikes is their high demand which means bikes are out of stock. If you are looking for the best trail/enduro bike, Spectral is one of their best bikes to go for.
A welder named John Parker founded Yeti Cycles in 1985 at the time when mountain biking was a thing. Yeti is typically known for its vibrant “Teal” colored frame, its unique rear suspension platform called “Switch Infinity,” and the fact it is a very expensive bike. Yeti Racing has been a dominant force in the mountain bike world for many years. They’ve had numerous champions including John Tomac, Jimmy Deaton, Miles Rockwell, and Missy Giove to name a few. Undoubtedly, Yeti bikes are indeed well-made, but they are hell expensive, at least a couple of hundreds of dollars more, if not thousands.
Pivot is a relatively younger brand, which was started in 2007 by Chris Cocalis in Phoenix, Arizona. Before starting pivot, the founder has founded Titus bikes in 1991 and eventually sold it in 2006.
Pivot focuses on building high-quality carbon bikes in various disciplines of mountain biking. Their lineup includes 26″, 27″, 27.5″, 27.5+” and 29″ MTBs as well as E-bikes and gravel bikes.
Starting Pivot is a community-focused brand that focuses on making the best. The company culture is built around giving back to the community, and that’s what you can expect.
What kind of warranty should you get when you buy a mountain bike?
Mountain bikes typically have a warranty covering the frame, fork, shock absorber, paint, and decals. Each brand has its own terms and conditions. Some brands offer a lifetime warranty on frames, while some only offer for 2 years. It is advisable to you read warranties carefully before purchasing a new mountain bike.
Mountain bikes have been around for decades, but in recent years, there has been an explosion of brands and products that cater to every type of rider. If you want to buy a quality bike, look for a brand with a strong reputation, a good warranty, and good customer service.