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The 8 Best Mountain Bikes of 2022

By: Jon Kennedy: Bike Buyer | May 27, 2022

 

In the past, shopping for mountain bikes used to be simple with only a few brands making decent bikes, and even those brands had a limited selection of models. Now nearly every brand has a large, complicated lineup packed with various wheel sizes, geometry numbers, and amounts of travel. It can be harder than ever to figure out which style of bike will be the best mountain bike for you, so we’re here to break things down and make it easy.

New This Year:

These are the standout mountain bikes in every category. Looking for an ultralight XC whip? We’ve got our top pick on this list. Looking for a DH bike that you can pedal? We’ve covered those too, as well as everything in between. There’s never been a better time to be a mountain biker, bikes are more capable, reliable, and versatile than ever before. But, when making a purchase of this magnitude, you want to be confident in your choice. Every bike on this list has good, modern geometry, a smart component spec, and a well-designed suspension that will be efficient on climbs and supple on the way down. So what are you waiting for? New bike day is just around the corner!

best mountain bikes of 2022

Santa Cruz Bronson CR

Spend your time thinking about something other than whether your bike is right for the day's ride. With the Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson C R Complete Mountain Bike, it is. 99 times out of 100, a Bronson will fit right in: a competent pedaler and a confident descender for its whole career, the new Bronson gets even more capable with the addition of a mixed wheel setup. Set it up in low mode for max stability, or keep the flip chip in high for general-purpose mountain biking. With a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, solid suspension components, and the rip-any-trail pedigree that comes with being Santa Cruz's fan-favorite model, the Bronson is always on point. The Bronson defines versatility, it’s happy on everything from long XC days to bike park laps.

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
150 mmSram NX Eagle$5399

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best mountain bikes

Juliana Rubion CS - Women's

An enduro-ready racer that'll gladly pedal all day with the crew, the Juliana Roubion C S Complete Mountain Bike is a carbon / GX build with no discernable weaknesses. With mixed wheels in the small and medium sizes, this latest Roubion is even more downhilly than ever: the bigger wheel upfront tracks up, over, and through roots and rocks better than a 27.5", but by keeping the rear wheel size the bike maintains its quick maneuverability and lively personality. This mullet setup is proving to be the best of both worlds, and there's no turning back. Combined with world-class carbon construction and durable components, the Roubion C S model is a force to be reckoned with. The Roubion gets it all done, from big days on the trail to enduro racing.

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
150 mmSRAM GX Eagle$6349

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best mountain bikes

Evil Wreckoning GX

Smash, bash, and crash with a laugh: that's the name of the game with the Evil Wreckoning GX Complete Mountain Bike. A pedalable version of a dream DH bike, this bike is hard to classify and impossible to outgun. With its short rear end, it's a manual machine, but its long front end gives it a super stable high-speed straight line platform. And somehow it's not stuck in pudding on the climbs. Rockshox's new ZEB fork is a match for the stiff Superboost+ rear end, and gnarly meats on 29" wheels mean you'll be launching those iffy gaps with confidence. This Wreckoning is ridiculous, in all the right ways. The Wreckoning is an unapologetic bruiser, ready to handle anything you throw at it.

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
166 mmSRAM GX Eagle$7299

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best mountain bikes of 2022

Devinci Spartan Carbon 29 GX

Just when you thought everything had chilled out for a bit, the Devinci Spartan Carbon 29 GX 12s Complete Mountain Bike shows up to blow the doors off your current bike. It's all here: size-optimized chainstays, a geo flip chip, a high-pivot version of their Split Pivot suspension, and it's all wrapped up in classic Devinci beauty. It's hard to make a beast like this look pretty, but Devinci seems to be able to do it every time. A full-on enduro race bike that's down for absolutely anything, the Spartan 29 is your favorite bike yet. The Spartan gets better every year, and this version is truly the pinnacle of Devinici’s development.

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
160 mmSRAM GX Eagle$6579

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best mountain bikes of 2022

Norco Range C3

There's a fine line between "fun" and "terrifying" - none more so than on the enduro circuit. The Norco Range C3 Complete Mountain Bike stays on the right side of history with 170mm of trail chomping front and rear suspension and a speed-friendly philosophy that will inspire confidence on every ride, no matter how ill-advised your line choice. Kitted out with quality Shimano components and more vroom vroom than your local autobahn, the Range gets it done in style. This bike redefines what a big, burly bike that can still climb under human power can be.

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
170 mmShimano Deore$5599

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best mtbs

Santa Cruz Blur CS

If you only wanted a participation trophy, you could've just shown up to the start line with your current bike. But you've entered a race to do your best, and the Santa Cruz Bicycles Blur C S Complete Mountain Bike puts you in position to do just that. This latest incarnation of Santa Cruz's fastest offering is quicker than ever before, with a streamlined suspension design and lightweight components from SRAM. Of course, it's still a Santa Cruz, so it's fun to ride too. The Blur brings all the fun and efficiency of World Cup XC racing to a trail-ready package.

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
100 mmSRAM GX Eagle$5549

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best mountain ebike

Scott Genius eRide 910

The Scott Genius eRIDE 930 E-Mountain Bike takes one of the best all-mountain bikes on the planet and adds pedal assist and a long-lasting battery. When the trails keep going and there's plenty of light left, you can ride safely with the knowledge that you've got the juice to continue. And with an external auxiliary battery, you may not even need that. Rolling on 29" wheels and aggressive trail geo that can be locked out with the flick of a lever, even the dimmest among us can feel like a Genius rider! The Genius eRide is an efficient, and highly capable ebike.

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
150 mmSRAM SX Eagle$6499

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best mtbs

Santa Cruz Heckler 9 C R

It's difficult to identify anything from the first electrified Heckler as a "drawback" as the bike was simply amazing, but the Santa Cruz Bicycles Heckler 9 C R E-Mountain Bike improves upon that gem nonetheless. Shimano's fantastic EP8 motor is standard on all models now, as is a 720Wh battery to extend the range and improve performance. This full-29er version boasts everything you'd want to roast trails of all lengths, with great RockShox suspension and powerful brakes, a solid component build, and that unbelievable Santa Cruz build quality that makes every one of their bikes just that much more fun. The Heckler is even better - unreal!

Rear TravelDrivetrainOriginal Price
150 mmSRAM NX Eagle$8749

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The Selection Process:

Our bike buyer has an endless amount of knowledge on all things bike stemming from years of experience in the bike industry in tandem with their countless hours out on the dirt, gravel, and tarmac. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jon Kennedy

Jon is a Bike Buyer and joined evo in 2015 to help launch the category. He has a long tenure in the bike industry bringing over 20 years of experience.

Jon was formerly the Marketing Manager for Diamondback bikes and was the Executive Director for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance prior to that. His broad experience in the bike industry from the brand, advocacy and retail side has contributed to a well-rounded understanding of trends, needs and opportunities.

Jon grew up in the Seattle area and currently resides there with his wife Ilana, kids Erez and Lilah, and his Boston Terrier Marley. He is a daily rider packing countless miles in every year, loves all disciplines, and simply considers himself a cyclist… a title he embraces with great passion.