From soaking up technical lines on downhill sections, to fast flowing trail rides and everything in between, BikeExchange has a large selection of full suspension mountain bikes available to suit all styles, abilities and budgets. More information on full suspension mountain bikes is available below.
As their name suggests full suspension mountain bikes, also known as dual suspension or a “dually”, feature suspension both at the front and rear wheels of the bike. The added suspension provides an increase in overall control and comfort when tackling technical or rough terrain. The amount of suspension movement, known as “travel”, often dictates what riding style the bike is best suited to. Other factors to consider when looking at full suspension mountain bikes are budget, wheel size, frame material, and components used.
The different suspension, wheel size and frame style options on offer with full suspension mountain bikes can be daunting. It's important to identify what style of rider you are, or purpose you want to use your bike for. The infographic below may prove helpful, and if you’re still unsure, be sure to check our a complete guide to buying a mountain bike.
There are 3 different wheel sizes to consider when looking for a full suspension bike. 26in wheels had previously been the industry standard before 29” and 27.5” sizes became options. They are rarely seen on new bikes, however, they’re a great option if looking for a bargain used bike.
27.5in wheels, also known as 650b wheels, have largely replaced 26in wheels as the norm. Whilst being slightly heavier, any potential weight penalty is canceled out by the positives of increased traction, roll-over ability, comfort and rolling efficiency. They typically provide greater agility over larger 29in wheels, making it easier to handle your bike when throwing your weight around on more technical terrain. For this reason, 27.5 wheels remain the more popular choice on longer travel mountain bikes such as those for Enduro, All Mountain, and Downhill along with smaller sized Trail and Cross Country mountain bikes.
29in also known as 29er’s, provide even greater roll-over ability if you are tackling technical terrain along with increased rolling efficiency and increased stability. Being larger in size, they do carry a weight penalty and slower acceleration over smaller 27.5 and 26in wheels and can be more cumbersome to smaller riders on those on bikes with long suspension travel.
There are also plus sized options available in all 3 wheel sizes. Plus sized wheels sit in between a standard mountain bike and a fat bike, with their larger sidewalls and increased tread width providing increased traction and comfort. Bikes that feature tire widths of 2.8 to 3in are considered Plus bikes.
Compared to a Hardtail, Full suspension systems are more complex and require more maintenance, due to this they are typically more expensive too. That said, the common belief amongst mountain bikers is that if your budget can stretch to a decent full suspension bike, it’s money well spent for the added control, comfort and confidence provided on the trail.
Chasing more information on which type of mountain bike is best suited for you? The BikeExchange blog team has you covered, see our detailed mountain bike buyers guide.
If you’re keen to get shopping straight away, our blog team has covered the best 2017 Trail bikes under $2500, our most popular mountain bike category on BikeExchange.