Gone are the days of parents buying you random-brand bikes that miraculously worked. This is why I reviewed only the best bikes for adults for you.
The current bike market is saturated with too many options to allow you time to think straight. The bike price now does little to convey the reliability and functionality of most bikes. On top of that soup, there’s a bike category for every occasion, which is why it’s so difficult to find a dependable bike with matching components for your use-case within your pocket’s means.
- Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01
- Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Comp
- Yeti SB130 TURQ X01
- Trek Farley 7
- Pivot Switchblade
- Cannondale Quick Disc 3
- Giant Escape 1 Disc
- Cannondale Treadwell EQ Remixte
- Kona Sutra
- Ridgeback Voyage
- Trek 520
- Cannondale Adventure Neo 3 EQ
- RadMission 1
I know it’s exciting to have a direction to head toward finally. However, if you aren’t willing to mission just a bit more and peruse each review, you might be left to continue wandering around the unwieldy bike cornucopia. Each bike has its attractions and drawbacks, which I will help you consider.
Despite my decades of bike experience, I’m still only a tadpole. That’s why I’ve researched each entry thoroughly. I’ve considered customer reviews, listened to expert musings, and looked in-depth into first-hand reviews from some of my trusted sources like Wired.
5 Best Mountain Bikes For Adults
Mountain bikes are a great way to rekindle the inner child in you by effortlessly and comfortably taking you through dirt tracks, muddy slopes, gravel valleys, and towpaths, all in the audience of some of nature’s best offsprings.
1. Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01
The 5010 is a fun bastion of the 27.5-inch era, but this bike will cost you a pretty dollar. The bike’s wheel size might be a point of contention, but it is almost straight out of a sci-fi universe.
With a 130 mm rear travel complemented perfectly by a 140 mm front traveling fork, Santa Cruz’s patented Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension design makes the bike a dual-suspension beast that obliterates the competition.
The Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01 has been redesigned to be capable of absorbing fast-paced descents even with the humble travel. Santa Cruz lets you customize some of the final construction, getting the most out of your penny.
This 5010 has a modified frame well to the chainstay length and an inviting standover height, which keeps the bike grounded and nearly as low as a BMX build. The bike’s slack head angle allows steering, instilling confidence in the rider even at high speeds.
Although this rendition of the 5010 is a tamer and more grounded successor, I struggle to accept that the bike’s lifetime warranty and limited production line warrant its monumental $8349 price tag.
The carbon CC frame is lighter than a carbon C frame, but if Santa Cruz gave me a choice, I would opt for a carbon C frame to cut some of the cost while reaping similar rewards. The SRAM X01 Eagle front and rear derailleur seem like grit machines that will stand the rigors of daily grinding.
Santa Cruz has brought their patented game while making this bike because the fit almost feels professional. The seemingly low bottom bracket doesn’t stand in the way during unkindly terrain. If you keep up with maintenance, this bike will take care of you.
2. Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Comp
Are you one for muddy and fierce trails? Then the Stumpjumper has you fully covered. This terminator smashes rough terrain with its 160 mm front and 150 mm rear travel. The new king-of-the-hill has Santa Cruz 5010 beat in travel and market uproar.
Gliding on the company’s in-house RX Trail Tune, the bike takes any climbing challenge straight on its perfectly chiseled jaw. Each bike settles to a set value once you are on it and doesn’t just sit on the lowest suspension, meaning you still have plenty of responsive travel when needed.
Honestly, there’s a ton to say about this bike, like the FACT 11m carbon chassis and asymmetrical design made to conform to any terrain and the standard SRAM hydraulic brakes, but the painful price has us taking double-takes.
It’s a given that you are paying for the company’s professional take on what trail bikes should strive to be, but the carbon frame and mid-range tires don’t quite justify the asking price. Yes, you will have fun, and the bike will be your closest partner and confidant, but you might end up too broke to take it out.
3. Yeti SB130 TURQ X01
Yeti’s SB130 Turq X01 is an almost mythical silver bullet that decimates any trail that you can think to throw its way. The SB130 is built like a powerful beast and hides more than you could ever imagine behind that enthralling, low-slung, laid-back carbon fiber frame.
The bike is another mid-travel bump-absorbing machine with a 130 mm rear and 150 mm fork travel. You won’t be in want of traction during demanding climbs because of the climb-primed geometry but also because of the rear wheel tracks.
The centered riding position makes this bike one of the most comfortable off-road bikes currently on Yeti’s line and is ridiculously swift on cross-country trails. Yeti has also made it a point to improve the bike’s reach for more comfort on hilly routes while not having an atrocious sag value.
I also loved the slack head tube on descents because of the added control and balance you’ll feel while rocketing down mountains. However, the sporty looks and professional build could get away from less experienced riders, especially on those tight turns.
With pristine handling and outstanding performance, downhill riding is also a breeze on this machine. Being a jack-of-all-trades on the muddy track doesn’t seem to come cheap because this bike is also one that might need you to lease out your bionic limbs to afford.
4. Trek Farley 7
Although it is a better-priced entry than the other preceding options, the Farley 7 is still a pricey pick. Fitted with some enviable Bontrager Gnarwhal 27.5x4.50" front and 27.5x3.80" rear tires that offer even more range in size, the Farley 7 feels native on many off-road sandy or snowy tracks.
Trek hasn't shied far from their signature versatile geometry build. Even with the 35.82-pound weight, you won't be struggling on ascents, especially with the help of some generous 12-speed gearing.
The bike is comparable to the pricier options when discussing descending trails. Although it doesn't seem like it would wholly hold up during the rigor of competition riding, the bike is a near-perfect companion on mountain riding.
You can drop the adjustable seat post out of the way for added freedom of movement. This Trek bike is one of the most capable instruments for riding in challenging conditions.
5. Pivot Switchblade
Like the company's name, the Switchblade is yet another pivot for the company. The Switchblade upgrades the geometry of its predecessor to something that's not only longer but is also slacker for the most gleanable stability and balance on steep descents.
The bike is an excellent climber and entirely uses the 142mm rear travel and 160 mm front travel for nimble climbs and still retains the presence of a bike when descending a mountain.
The balance of the bike build is impeccable, and the addition of the Flip Chip allows quick and easy customization of the Switchblade's geometry.
You can also use 27.5" or 29" tires on either end of the bike. This unique ability is also due to the Flip Chip. You don't have to worry about the swing arm's geometry across the different sizes of the bike because they are all made standard.
3 Best Hybrid Bikes For Adults
In the past, cyclists have been less-than-genial towards hybrid. Who wants a bike that tries to do it all without doing a single thing properly? Hybrid bikes have since evolved beyond their jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none status to a more formidable demeanor.
You can now enjoy the diversity the inception of hybrid bikes promised, all without compromising the performance of both the road and mountain bike qualities.
6. Cannondale Quick Disc 3
Despite being a rigid-frame bike, the Cannondale Quick 3 knows how to soften the punches. The carbon frame absorbs some vibrations while riding and significantly suppresses road noise.
The bike has smooth gearing for those knurly roads, and its minimalistic design makes it comfortable to ride.
The Shimano Altus\Alrus groupset is kept together magnificently by the unassuming KMC Z9 9-speed chain. Because of the generous gear spread, the bike makes a perfect companion for anyone that needs a workout partner.
The upright, flat-bar riding position also helps one enjoy cruising around the city. Cannondale even put in some reflective accents to the bike to improve visibility and stamp the bike with uniqueness.
Versatility and capability were the brief for Quick Disc 3, and the brief has been fully realized. The ability to attach fenders and racks quickly transforms the bike from a smooth fitness ride to a casual commuter without batting an eye.
Although the Quick 3 compete valiantly against its Quick 4 sibling, it straggles behind when it comes to the quality level of the components in the Quick 4.
This bike remains my top pick in the sibling rivalry because of the lighter aluminum frame and carbon fork, compared to the aluminum frame and steel fork of the Quick 4, and better gearing range.
7. Giant Escape 1 Disc
No hybrid-bike post can safely go through editing without teasing the Escape line of Giant's top-notch quality bikes. Giant Escape 1 Disc costs a bit more than the Escape 2, but it has a slightly better Shimano Alivio\Acera groupset than the Altus\Tourney on the Escape 2.
These Shimano groupsets lie at the bottom of the Shimano groupset category, but they aren't laughable, especially on entry-level bikes like this one. Giant advertises the bike as a great all-rounder that elevates your fitness game and makes you feel like riding a premium cruiser-like machine.
Fitted with 160 mm Tektro R280 hydraulic disc brakes, the Escape 1 provides impressive braking power even on slippery surfaces. Good hydraulic disc brakes must be accompanied by rocking tires, and Giant provides their brand Giant CrossCut Metro ERT 700x38c tires.
Although the tires help bring together great comfort for the bike, they drag on tarred roads and prevent the bike from going at the speed that the sleek geometry promises. They do, however, fair exceptionally well off-road.
8. Cannondale Treadwell EQ Remixte
If you've seen our other posts on hybrid bikes, you would have noticed that the Treadwell EQ Remixte keeps rearing its tempestuous head. That's not because of affiliation with the line but because Cannondale knows how to start a party.
The bike is not only a love letter towards bikes that have come before it but also an intrepid hand for what's to come.
The low-step 6061 aluminum alloy makes mounting and dismounting a pain-free ordeal on this steed. Cannondale's 6061 aluminum alloy frame is called SmartForm C3 alloy because of the more cost-effective production of the material.
Even though the complete bike is fun and lively to ride, the Shimano Altus 9-speed gearing is quite lacking. It's excellent to give a wide gearing range, but the Altus groupset struggles with providing and maintaining smooth and fast shifting, especially with heavier loads on the bike.
3 Best Touring Bikes For Adults
Touring bikes are becoming increasingly popular with riders that take their riding seriously. A good tourer should not only allow you to travel the country with all the gear you need restfully, but it should also competitively function as an exercise and daily commuting bike at home.
9. Kona Sutra
I fell head-over-heels for the Kona Sutra well before looking for what was under the surface. Kona has a flair for style, and the Sutra is no exception. The genuine Brooks B17 leather saddle and the brown microfiber tape drop bars accentuate how handsome this rigid butted Kona Cromoly frame is.
The $1,699 Sutra might be around three-fifths of the Sutra LTD price, but it still packs a considerable punch. The latest rendition of the Sutra uses much of the same frameset material that its sibling uses.
I could not rave enough about the butted Kona Cromoly frame, an improvement from the steel frame used in previous generations. The Kona Cromoly is as durable as steel but swallows road bumps better than steel. The fork sees similar improvements, a welcomed addition for a bike that will see many roads in different conditions.
The Sutra is the perfect companion for touring around town or through the mountains with attached mudguards and ample space to attach racks. The bike carries around 300 pounds without feeling sluggish, which is more than enough capacity for carrying all your bags and equipment while touring.
The 700x40c Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires might not be the fastest on the tarmac, but they are exceptionally reliable offroad. Kona also blessed its loyal followers with another version of the Sutra with tubeless-ready rims.
There might be some contention regarding using disc brakes on a touring bike because of the weight, expense, and hassle of replacing the brakes. But, I don't see the issue, and all these other inconveniences are acceptable for non-competitive riders for the added security that disc brakes provide.
The Sutra Tektro Racing Products (TRP) mechanical to hydraulic brakes aren't perfect. Still, they are reliable in most riding conditions; they work well to reel in the back high on its Shimano Deore/GRX 600 groupset.
10. Ridgeback Voyage
Don't be fooled by the humble $1,349.99; the Ridgeback Voyage can effortlessly go from exploring the little trodden paths to being your best companion for daily commutes. The Reynolds 520 Chromoly frame is incredibly robust without weighing the bike down.
The steel frame is reminiscent of touring bikes past, even if it significantly contributes to the next 28.66 pounds of the bike.
The Ridgeback custom saddle is inviting initially but smiles quickly fade as you feel like you are sitting directly on the alloy seat post. It's not the thinnest saddle out there, so if you are coming from something that felt like sitting on prickly rocks, this saddle won't pose any issues for you.
However, I usually end up installing my own plush Selle Royal or something stylish for the long haul from the Brooks catalog.
I don't usually mention bottom brackets, even though they are the cornerstone of your bike and my very own unsung heroes. I just liked the confidence the outfitted Shimano BB-UN55 exuded. They were there—by being not there. You'd know if you've had a shaky or rattling bottom bracket from a cheap bike.
The Chromoly fork doesn't feel heavy, even if it doesn't match the spunk of lighter carbon fiber or aluminum. The handlebars don't sit too high, and the headset allows for some responsive steering.
The Shimano sora group set is a bit more thoughtful than the Tourney, but reliability, shifting, and general functionality are comparable, if not slightly better. They are all entry-level stuff, so I wasn't expecting a split of the heavens, so I wasn't disappointed.
The 11-34t cassette paired with a 48-36-26t crankset isn't too shabby. There's relative speed when needed, and an adequate climbing capability when the road you are riding is so inclined. I hope you got all my sass; been working real hard on that.
To reel things back in, the Tektro 992AG rim brakes aren't all that. Even though some people prefer these Tektro Oryx cantilever brakes over similar Shimano Altus, they don't have much to them besides being dirt cheap and strong. Sigh. I guess that's most of what you need from brakes.
You can have some fun with the Continental Contact 700 x 32c tires on and off the beaten track. The width is enough to help with the bumps you'll have to deal with on longer rides.
11. Trek 520
I know that there is stiff competition against the Trek 520. The 2018-2021 Salsa Marrakesh Drop Bar Brooks and Surly Disc Trucker touring bikes offer comparable performance and pretty-much matching gears at a lower price.
However, I do stick with my expensive $1,800-plus 520 entry. That's because Trek has a proven run record over the years as one of the most reliable tourers to go cross-country with and abuse daily.
The 520 sees incremental improvements with each rendition, like a master chef tweaking their menu to respond to feedback and push their culinary boundaries.
There's plenty of familiar and new flavor on the 2022 release of the 520. Don't get me wrong; if you can get your hands on earlier versions like the 2018 Disc model, you can probably get a taste of the 2022 model's performance and longevity at around half the price.
Trek is highly proud of the three decades they've put into the development and continuous improvement of the 520. The butted Chromoly steel frame is a tanker that doubles as a subtle aid to ironing out bumps and vibrations attempting to damper your long pushes.
The entire frameset is disc only, so if for some nostalgic reason you wanted to outfit rim brakes, now you can't. The setup starts to break down a bit with the quick-release ThruSkew securing the tires. However, it's nothing major; thru-axles have just become a default for me.
The plentiful and rock-solid racks, fenders, and additional mounts are all Bontrager. The stem is also Blendr-compatible, which means you can effortlessly mount gear like lights or a computer without further cluttering the bike's front end.
The road and gravel mix of a groupset is relatively standard for a touring bike, and it is a reliably functional Shimano Sora/Alivio combination. The 9-speed Shimano HG200 11-36t cassette and Shimano Alivio T4060 48/36/26t 2x crank gives mightily low and high gear. The chain guard keeps your clothes clean, while the 27-speed drivetrain will keep you keen.
You'll find exceptional comfort from the 700x38c Bontrager H1 Hard-case Ultimate tires, but if you contest that comfort, there's a maximum tire clearance of 29x2.00" without fenders. The Shimano Sora R3000 brake/ shifter levers are mostly prime, quick-acting operators.
TRP Spyre C 2.0 mechanical disc brakes bring dependability to your descents and retain their impressive power even in wetter weather. However, they seem to get chewed up faster in these soiled conditions. They keep silent even after you've worked hard so you can let your head enjoy the trip around you.
Finally, the finishing kit complements that non-aggressive geometry, and it hardly contributes to the 31.4 pounds of the bike and its 275 total vehicular load capacity.
2 Best Electric Bikes For Adults
Hey, let's be real for a sec–your knees, back, and just the general state of fairs on that worn vessel isn't as lively as it used to be. That's why it's becoming less of a faux pas to own an electric bike in the cycling community. These commendable electrics prove that It's not cheating to have a little help out there.
12. Cannondale Adventure Neo 3 EQ
At $3,000, Adventure Neo 3 isn't a cheap electric bike. Heck, you can get cheaper electric bikes like the Batch Step-Thru e-bike for $2,599 and the lesser appreciated Ride1Up Core-5 for $1,195, which both have comparable specs. However, few electric bikes at any price bracket come as complete as the Adventure Neo 3.
The bike's seamless and beautifully crafted SmartForm C3 Alloy step-thru frame is tough as overcooked steak. Although the Bosch PowerTube 400Wh battery is removable for convenient charging, it also has an easily accessible charge port high up on the tube frame.
I would've loved to see a 500Wh battery at least, but the battery operates well with the silent Bosch Active Line 250W mid-drive motor. The 250W isn't the best on the American market because it's made to meet European regulations.
Here in the States, we can get a 750W motor instead. Even with this humble setup, you can zoom up to 20mph with the four-level pedal assistance and comfortably span 30 to 60-plus miles.
Don't be alarmed by the 40Nm of torque; Bosch is one of the leading runners in the electric motor market because of their ingenuity. Climbing hills with the assistance of the motor, a hand from the 38t FSA Bosch E-Bike crank, and the 9-speed microSHIFT 11-36t rear cog will see you through, albeit not as smoothly as a higher-powered motor would.
The meticulously crafted finishing kit adds flare to the otherwise minimalist aesthetic of the two-color option.
There's a 50mm travel suspension underneath the TranzX seatpost and a 63mm travel suspension from the SR Suntour Mobie A32 fork. You don't only get bump absorption from the front, but the coil suspension has a preloaded adjuster and lockout for when you don't want any momentum-stealing movement.
The 27.5 x 2.20 inch Kenda Kwick Seven.5 tires roll quickly and probably add extra miles to your range. They are also comfortable running a sneaky towpath. If you add some Kevlar lining to further buff up the puncture resistance, you can probably rest even easier knowing that you are safer from James Bond glass or thorns.
Cannondale also has its Wheel Sensor installed on this model, which means you'll get lovely and accurate cycling metrics. Tektro M275 hydraulic disc brakes bring in the rear with a formidable braking force you can always count on.
Finally, 3 EQ already comes with everything you'll ever need for daily commuting: racks, fenders, and lights. Unlike more expensive electric bikes I've reviewed, the only other accessory you might want to add is a bell. Ding-ding.
13. RadMission 1
I was super tempted to add the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp, but the weight, motor inadequacies, and blistering $7,600 asking price had me going, "I do, I do declare, this I cannot do!"
Therefore, here we are with the more affordable RadMission 1. I know the $1,199 price tag isn't great, as we are still trying to claw our way out of the last couple of years. However, it is maybe the [humblest and most affordable] e-bike from Rad Power Bikes.
It's not as noteworthy as its commuting-centric, 750W RadCity 5 Plus elder sibling. But, the RadMission 1 is considerable for almost half the price of the RadCity.
The mid-step RadMission 1 can accommodate riders with an inseam height of as low as 28 inches. This bike is built not to stand out, and the 504Wh battery on the downtube is the only indicator that this is an electric bike.
The geared hub-drive 500W motor isn't the most powerful, but it will get you up a hill despite the bike being single. The rear cog is a freewheel that lets you relax and rest your legs on the pedals as you cruise through the streets.
The 6061 aluminum frame is sturdy, and the steel fork has enough clearance for mudguards which the bike doesn't come with. Many of the accessories the bike has mounts for don't come pre-installed, including racks and a kickstand.
Fortunately, there is a meager headlight and a rear light that doubles as an automatic brake light.
You should be able to get around 24 to 45-plus miles on the bike without too much gripe. The wiring that hasn't been hidden within the frame is weather-resistant and predominately clutters the headset.
The braking situation seems to follow the simple track of the build as they don't have hydraulic brakes that'll need bleeding for maintenance. You are graced by Tektro Aries caliper MD-M300 mechanical disc brakes, which give you the function you need.
27.5 x 1.95 inch Kenda Kontact tires bring in the rear and keep you firmly grounded. The contact points seem to swap comfort for practicality, but you can always upgrade those whenever you want.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson