Posted April 14, 2012 by Adam in buying a mountain bike

Types of Mountain Bikes – XC,Trail, DH, FR…


There are many different types of mountain bikes all suited to a different purpose and even some which try to fit all purposes.

backBefore you get started, if you missed part 1 of this guide then click to go back and work out your budget.

To work out your bike type you need to work out what sort of riding you will be doing and where you will be doing it.

Take a moment to think about what sort of riding you want to do. Do you see yourself…

  • Riding tight flowing trails
  • Climbing big mountains
  • Riding stunts
  • Going off jumps
  • Going down technical downhill courses as fast as you can
  • Or just riding around and having fun

Now think about where you will be doing most of your riding.

If you want to go screaming downhills as fast as you can but don’t have any big hills around you then maybe you should think again before getting a downhill beast.

Types of Mountain Bikes – Which is for me?

Cross Country (XC)

Designed to be light, efficient and for pedalling long distances. They will get you up some big hills but aren’t the best for really rough trails and big drops. XC Mountain Bike

Downhill (DH)

Purpose built bikes for going downhills as fast as you can. Don’t use these bikes to get to the top of a hill because you will have a hard time doing it. They can handle terrain as rough as you can find it and have BIG travel. DH Mountain Bike

Freeride (FR)

These bikes are great for big, hard trails with lots of jumps and places to do stunts. Whilst not the best for getting you up a hill they will do the job. These are tough bikes for throwing around. FR Mountain Bike

Trail Bike (All Mountain)

These bikes are made to try and cover all situations and are a good choice for most people. They go pretty much anywhere and aren’t too bad for going up hills. Lots of fun and not many restrictions. Trail Mountain Bike


No not trails, tr-i-a-ls. Light bikes with good brakes and low gears. They are designed for going up and over stationary obstacles. A specialist bike not suited too many riders. Trials Mountain Bike

Want to Find Your Perfect Bike?

Your Essential Bike Buying Guide

Want to buy a mountain bike? Then you must check out Your Essential Bike Buying Guide. It will take you step-by-step on the process of finding your perfect bike (and saving $$ in the process). Find out more.

Click next to continue to step 3 and solve the hardtail/full suspension dilemma next