What Mountain Bike Should You Choose For Your Riding Discipline?

Published by Darron Toy on

– [Neil] Mountain biking has evolved a
lot over a history of about 40 years. There’s all sorts if disciplines now that
fall under that mountain bike umbrella. So we thought it would be a good time to
explain all the different types of bikes, and what their intended use is. ♪ [music] ♪ So let’s start with cross-country bikes.
This is the Canyon XC, the cross-country race bike. This is
where weight is really important. So it’s a carbon fiber frame. These bikes
are often 29ers because they’ve got that extra rollover. So once you’re up to
speed, they’ll carry speed really well. Like I say, weight is really important, so
it’s all about being as light as possible because fitness and speed
is really important. The tires are fairly lightweight so
they’re really fast-rolling. They don’t offer great puncture
resistance, but more importantly, they’re really fast tires. The bikes have
relatively steep head angles, so they’re agile at low speeds, also good
for climbing. You’ve got that long stem and low handlebars to keep
weight on that front wheel, so you’re not wheelie-ing too
much when you’re climbing. This is a full-suspension cross-country
bike, something that people would race in marathon races, probably longer distance
than the pure thoroughbred cross-country bike. The full-suspension is a more
comfortable ride, you’re going to get slightly more grip on the rear tires.
The tire tracks [inaudible 00:01:29]. a little bit better. Obviously the
payoff is slightly more weight. They tend to have single or double chain
rings, probably more likely to have a double than the pure cross-country bike,
because you’re going to be riding this bike for longer. Again, the idea
is a light, fast bike still. – [Marc] So moving up to scale a little
bit now, what I would call a general trail bike. They tend to be
anything from 120- to 140-mill travel, which this bike is. With a trail
bike, they tend to be overbuilt. You can see it’s a lot chunkier here
around the head tube and also here around the pivots to take that punishment.
Also, compared to a cross-country race bike, has a longer wheel base and
therefore more stable at speed, able to ride a descent more comfortably, but
yet again, it won’t climb quite as well. Most trail bikes tend to come with a
dropper post, really cool feature also. – Moving up the scale again
slightly, this is a 160-mill travel. This is the area that a lot of bike
manufacturers are trying to throw their resources at finding that one do-it-all
bike, so you’ve got a really good downhill bike that also climbs. Again, the bike is
to be designed really aggressively, so to help with that, we’ve got bigger,
chunkier tires, more puncture-resistant, but the payoff, again,
is they’re heavier. – Slopestyle bike. Main factor about these
is companies are still developing bikes around 26-inch wheels, so old
technology as far as trail bikes and downhill bikes, but these guys are still
riding 26. There’s no need for bigger wheels. I guess it makes the bike
more maneuverable in the air, having the smaller wheels. Short amount of travel, probably only 100
mill, just to take the shock out of those massive jumps when they’re landing heavy.
As you can see they have a low standover height, small frame which means it’s easy
to move around the bike to do all the tricks that they do. Really low seat, just
getting it down and out of the way. – A fat bike. Originally these bikes were
designed for riding on sand like we are today and on snow. The huge
tires give you that floating ability. These tires are 4.8 inches wide. Compare
that to your average mountain bike tire, maybe 2.2, 2.4. So they’re twice the
width. You don’t even need a bike stand for it to stand up on the beach today.
The bikes are designed solely around these wheels, really. They’re so wide that
the front and the back ends of the fork is wide to fit in that larger hub and that
huge tire. More often than not, these bikes are hardtails or in fact fully rigid
like this bike, and they’re becoming more and more popular. You see
these out on the trails and away from the snow and the sand. – Downhill bike. Definitely a very limited
use as far as what you can do on this bike, purely designed to go over the
roughest terrain, top though bottom, down a hill. As you can see, extremely
overbuilt, all the way from the front forks, which are a triple clamp, very
similar to a motorcycle, very large aggressive tires, super strong, often
tubeless. Two hundred mills of travel, front and back, is usually about the
ballpark. A very slack head angle, so you feel comfortable going down
steeper descents, really long wheel base so the bike is super stable at high
speeds. Also, wide handlebars, up to 800 mills, all help give the bike that
extra stability. Usually find a 26-inch wheel like this one here, or more
recently, manufacturers are making them in 27.5-inch wheel. – A hardtail. They come in all
different shapes and sizes, 26-, 27.5-, and 29-inch wheels. Steel alloy,
carbon frames, obviously no rear suspension, and they do often have a
suspension fork. They’re quite often the cheapest mountain bikes and are such the
most accessible way to get into the sport. More often than not, people
ride a hardtail as their first bike. And they’re still really good fun. I
want to say the humble hardtail, but there’s still a place for these bikes. – So there you go. That’s it for our “What
mountain bike for what discipline.” – We actually got the idea for this video
from the comments in one of our Dirt Shed Show. So don’t forget to leave your
comments down below. We do read them all. – I should imagine you want to watch
more videos here on GMBN, so if you click up here, you’ll see my
video on “Suspension explained.” – And if you click down there, you
can see “Are fat bikes fun?” – Are they fun? – They are fun. Give us a thumbs-up
like if you enjoyed the video. Thumb-up like. – And click on us and the
hardtail to subscribe to GMBN.


GAMO CRACY · December 24, 2018 at 3:31 pm

A simple one without disc brakes , shock absorbers, threaded stem

ScamExe · January 2, 2019 at 10:22 pm


Michael Alberto · January 9, 2019 at 11:19 am

I use a fuking hardtail like a down hill

Phil · January 14, 2019 at 7:34 am

I ride enduro

Yuuup · January 16, 2019 at 4:29 am

"I guess it makes the bike more maneuverable in the air." It does.

Ravencarlo Deguzman · January 19, 2019 at 3:58 am

I ride a hardtail

cj juszczak · January 21, 2019 at 2:05 am

You keep misusing what "Payoff" means 🙂

Wyatt Stone fishing · January 28, 2019 at 10:56 pm

I ride dirt jumper

Alouis kamanga · January 31, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Good reviews …except you didn't cover what hardtails are used for! Seems you couldn't wait to dismiss them, I could be wrong but felt that way!

Conrad Mullins · February 3, 2019 at 10:29 am

Around here in Atlantic Canada a fatbike is for snow.

Ants Arumäe · February 4, 2019 at 7:47 am

Is a 550 € hardtail good for dirt jumping

David Amora · February 8, 2019 at 4:12 pm


Dick Metselaar · February 15, 2019 at 7:22 pm

Hi, can you guys tell me de difference between the first and the last bike in you video, the difference between the XC and the hardtail? To me it looks pretty much the same.. 😉

Kilian B. · February 19, 2019 at 5:52 pm

weight is really important, mostly 29", double chainrings? He just tells about the canyon, not only for xc, but for all disciplines. Describing provided bikes and just take them as standards??? Baaaaaad call, very bad call

Glenn Mendoza · February 20, 2019 at 4:51 am

If money is not an issue, will someone still buy a hardtail?

Crabby · February 22, 2019 at 6:25 pm

i ride the 2008 specialised sx trail two ✌️

Ak Skrrt · February 24, 2019 at 12:48 pm

I had a gt hardtail and recently upgraded to a giant trance x4 and the ride quality on a full suspension is defo worth the maintenance and price point

Binny Falco · March 3, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Geez, is GMBN owned by Canyon? I mean they are certainly not bad bikes but the amount of Canyons on GMBN is disconcerting to a point almost harmful for GMBN's own sakes.

Indrajeet Naik · March 7, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Hardtail. Just enough ruggedness to get me where I want to go. Also great for light trails.

Jim Wagner · March 14, 2019 at 12:00 am

I'm 55 I live in Denver I still ride once a week on the trails outside of town what kind of bike do you think I should be riding

Daily Philippine Biker · March 16, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Hardtail, Fat bike, BMX, and trail bike.

All borrowed exept hardtail and BMX

DELTACX10 · March 17, 2019 at 8:04 pm

Carbon fiber :good as long as you don't hit a bump

Daniel Sambrook Smith · March 25, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Hard tail

The Dalgs Do · March 25, 2019 at 6:04 pm

I ride a DH bike

BananaSwag 701 · March 27, 2019 at 10:20 pm

What was the blue at 2:40

A Savescu · March 31, 2019 at 2:39 pm

I ride a hardtail

RANJIT DAS · April 5, 2019 at 6:29 am

Dart jump

Ashwin Johnson Kalathiveetil · April 7, 2019 at 6:08 pm

I Like To Buy And Ride In A Full Suspension MTB. But I Don't Have That Much Money To Buy These High End Bikes. I Like 'SPECIALIZED', 'FRR', 'CANNONDALE', 'SANTA CRUZ', 'BANSHEE' etc. I Love To Ride These Bikes. So I Bought Hardtails. I Have 'KROSS MAXIMUS' 26Inch Wheels With 18 Speed Gears (3×6) Gear Combination (Shimano 'TOURNEY') & Front Disc Brake (Mechanical) , 'COSMIC TRIUM' 27.5Inch Wheels With 21 Speed Gears (3×7) Gear Combination ( Shimano 'ALTUS & ACERA') & Dual Disc Brakes (Mechanical) (Brand – 'Tectrodracko') , 'FITTRIP VIPER' 29Inch Wheels With 24 Speed Gears (3×8) Gear Combination (Shimano 'DEORE') & Dual Disc Brakes (Hydraulic)& Front Suspension Lockout & Weight Adjustment . These Are The Three Hardtail MTB I Have Now. From This Year I Started To Save Money To Buy A Full Suspension MTB With 'Dropper Post' Available & 'Suspension Lockouts' . So Thank You For Reviewing Me Some Latest Nice Bikes.🖒👍🚩❤😎😃🙄. Full Suspension Bikes Are Cool & Fun To Ride I Think .Talking About The Front Suspension "Air Suspension Is Better Than Coil Suspension" . That's For Sure. No Doubt.

Savage Bro · April 11, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Hard tail . Raleigh talus 2

Bryce s Langford · April 13, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Down hill hard tail

Victor Hazell S · April 15, 2019 at 3:15 pm


TimeCode 1330 · April 18, 2019 at 7:12 am

Where's the enduro bike

Hamfish · April 19, 2019 at 4:40 am

Full rigid 26 inch fixie for the win

Finn Foster · April 22, 2019 at 3:51 am

i ride hardtail but dont know really what to call it

M̷!̷h̷e̷t̷o̷ · April 22, 2019 at 8:00 pm


Beast Mode · April 23, 2019 at 2:52 pm

I ride the crapiest mtb ever, the supencion barley works ( it’s a kids bike )

Calum Ramsay · April 23, 2019 at 9:34 pm

how many times have you watched this video?

BiWax · April 28, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Which 1 do i need for driving in the woods

Mustafa Nawab · May 2, 2019 at 3:42 pm

down hill biks look so good but it looks like down hill is all its good for which is sad.

Andrew Zhu · May 4, 2019 at 11:30 pm


Liam Maclean · May 12, 2019 at 2:02 am


Yasuo Main · May 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm

How about the enduro?

Nick Peters · May 17, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I ride enduro

Izmail Iminov · May 22, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Downhill 4life 🤙

Archie · May 23, 2019 at 4:26 pm

super aggressive 27.5+ hard tail

Nick Lehmann · May 24, 2019 at 6:29 pm

I have a 26inch hard tail with fat high rolling tires and 100mm rock shock forks. Also have a 20inch bmx. I usually ride dirt jumps and skate parks on both. If I'm not riding park I'm up in the rocky mountains riding a mile or higher..

Glenn Kenneth · May 24, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Lol they say like hardtails are just cheap low-level rubbish and there exist only full-suspension. I'd like to see you livind in a big city riding your bike to work or university and often going to some trails, spots or just riding urban freeride with the same bike. It's only a hardtail. Try to pedal 30 kmh for an hour with your full sus – you'll die.

Will P · May 25, 2019 at 7:31 am

Ride a hard tail so xc

Darfderkevinspielenkommen · May 25, 2019 at 6:26 pm

I don't know in which category it fits but it's a bergwerk moonraker carbon

MIKE PORTILLOS · May 26, 2019 at 11:14 pm

What would a full suspension bike with 150mm front and rear be considered Trail or Enduro?

Brenda Vorster · May 29, 2019 at 4:57 am


Markus Patients · May 29, 2019 at 6:03 pm

So none of the bikes come with peddles, save one that had clear ones ?

Harter Hardy · June 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

I've got a cross country

GALAX ZORD · June 1, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Idk what bike to buy but we don't have trains here at uae more of a sandy country so I'll accept it and buy a fat or thiccc bike

GALAX ZORD · June 1, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Idk what bike to buy but we don't have trains here at uae more of a sandy country so I'll accept it and buy a fat or thiccc bike

Casper Purkis · June 1, 2019 at 9:06 pm

What is the cheapest but still good slopestyle mtb I can get ??

Nik Yeeeah · June 4, 2019 at 2:44 pm

I ride BMX and I want to get into Mountainbiking

Scariestash 8216 · June 5, 2019 at 10:55 pm

I ride a 2017 KONA FIRE MOUNTAIN hardtail.

Caesar.14 · June 11, 2019 at 5:01 am

Would a hybrid bike be good for street riding??

Lucky You · June 17, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Specialized epic for cross-country
Best ever

Jubnx · June 20, 2019 at 2:40 am

Is a trail bike still ok at jumping? There are jumps in my area but not that many so a slope style is no feasible.

Mikey Brown · June 28, 2019 at 7:14 am


Craig Allen · June 29, 2019 at 5:00 pm

a slopestyle is just a BMX with 26'' wheels and suspension

Kami · July 4, 2019 at 6:23 am

I ride a DJ. I guess it may be interchangeable with a slopestyle bike maybe.

Elilel05 · July 9, 2019 at 10:19 am

I ride an enduro bike

David decider · July 10, 2019 at 7:39 am

i can see what the bikes look like .. didnt go into any details as to what kind of riding a hardtail bike for.. E.L. bike.. why i see blake riding one and saying its one if his faverut bikes..come on guys .. we love you but u didnt bing home the bacon that time,,,love your chanel more than my wife she said… not true your a close second next to riding my sext looking hardtail.. will be supperniceing its wasy to the B.S. soon

DreaM_ Jazz · July 12, 2019 at 3:13 pm

I ride a Specialized Fatbike

Thenoob 93 · July 17, 2019 at 11:49 pm

Dirt jump bike

xd brothaz · July 18, 2019 at 4:48 am

I only have a fully but i am going to buy a dh bike

Frosty Vortex5 · July 24, 2019 at 11:28 am

My favorite and my always using bike i like my hardtail

Leonardo Vigini · July 27, 2019 at 8:20 am

hard tail

Trevor Glenny · July 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Trail bike with 160mm and 140mm

James Rail · July 31, 2019 at 5:00 am

Looks like he’s on my home town but I don’t know

XxJoshSTx X · August 1, 2019 at 6:42 pm

I ride a Carrera Vengeance

BigStreams - · August 7, 2019 at 1:47 am

This video kinda makes me feel stupid for buying a hard tail mtb…

DumleJäätelö · August 10, 2019 at 9:15 am


Unlessyouarefree ACTS238 · August 13, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Nice 👍🏼

Sendy Max · August 14, 2019 at 8:36 am

i ride a hardtail as you can see on my picture. i want a downhill bike next.

GhostRider2224 · August 17, 2019 at 3:04 pm

I ride a hybrid on trails at the moment lol. I think I should buy a MTB.

iulyanah * · August 19, 2019 at 11:25 pm

Good video, you should make it again with more details.

Alicia Johnson · August 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Hardtail for life.

Sam_ tha_bridge · August 26, 2019 at 11:09 am


JP Dirt · August 28, 2019 at 7:49 pm

ALL of you have tooo much Money! I ride a Rigid FatBike all season long, Technical trails, and yes I bounce a little and it gets scary sometimes but its a fun factor! And I am a lot stronger from using this bike!