Best Of

Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike

A ‘full-suspension’ mountain bike is a machine intended for off-road riding which offers cushioning suspension travel at both the front and rear of the bike.

However that’s pretty much where the generalisation stops – perhaps more than any other bike category, full-suss MTBs encompass a broad spectrum of riding disciplines and bike types, ranging from short-travel cross-country bikes built for speed to big-hitting gravity sleds. Whatever you’re using it for, here is our take on the Best full suspension mountain bikes 2022.

Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes 2022

  • Vitus Mythique: Best full suspension mountain bike under £2000
  • Commencal Meta: Best Enduro mountain bike
  • Cube Stereo: Best All Mountain MTB
  • Nukeproof Reactor 290 Comp: Best full suspension mountain bike under £3000
  • GT Force Carbon Elite: Best full suspension MTB under £4000

Why choose a Full Suspension Mountain Bike?

Why choose a full suspension MTB?

Full-suspension mountain bikes are incredible at absorbing big impacts when you land a jump or drop-off, transforming trail features like rocks and roots into more easily-rollable obstacles.

  • Full suspension MTB’s are more costly: often on the more expensive side of things; with a high quality, entry level full sus bike starting at around £1,500.
  • A bike built for comfort: due to the level of suspension and travel on the bike, full suspension bikes are good at soaking up most bumps on the trails.
  • A need for speed: With the ability to soak up more bumps, on more technical sections you are able to carry more speed.

Therefore, it should go without saying that the ‘best’ full-suspension bike for you will depend on your specific needs, taking into account the kind of riding you want to do, and how much money you have to spend. Although the range of choice out there can seem overwhelming, the good news is that bikes have never been better, and you’re sure to find something to suit.

Types of Full-Suspension Bikes

Cross-Country (XC)

Designed as a bike to be ridden over long distances that climbs very well.

Cross Country Full Suspension MTB


All-rounder designed to tackle almost any terrain thrown its way.

Trail Full Suspension MTB


For riders looking for the qualities of a trail bike in a sturdier, longer travel and slightly slacker bike.

Enduro Full Suspension MTB

Downhill (DH)

Gravity ignoring daredevils, downhill bikes are all about soaking up the big hits with suspension travel around 180-220mm.

Downhill Full Suspension MTB

Technology-wise, the full-suss category has largely settled into two main camps – those who favour larger, fast-rolling 29” wheels and those who plump for the smaller and more agile 27.5” (or 650b size).

Personal preference plays a part, as does rider physiology – many smaller riders opting for smaller wheels, and vice-versa – but in recent years we have definitely seen a subtle shift towards 29” as the ‘standard’ size, especially as manufacturers adjust their geometry and suspension systems to suit the larger wheel size.

Faster-rolling over obstacles and more stable on descents, 29” wheels have begun to dominate the DH and trail bike sub-categories as much as cross-country bikes, but that said 27.5” wheels aren’t going anywhere. It’s not a question of one being better than the other, but of which one feels right for you.

Our Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes – 2022

After years of riding bikes and with the knowledge of what makes a good and bad ride, we have spent time getting our hands on the best full sus mountain bikes and putting them through the ringer so you don’t have too.

We’ve taken into consideration price, specification and that riding feel to bring you the best full suspension MTB for 2022!

Vitus Mythique 27 VRS

  • Frame: Mythique Alloy 6061
  • Front Fork: X-Fusion Sweep Boost RC, 140mm
  • Rear Fork: X-Fusion 02 Pro R (140mm)
  • Groupset: Shimano Deore – 11 Speed
  • Wheels: 27.5″ (650b)
  • Designed for: Trail Riding
  • Price: £1,649.99

For an entry level bike – don’t look any further than the Vitus Mythique! A trail shredding machine under £2000, the Mythique offers a fun geometry with an excellent array of components.

With angular aluminium tubes rounded out with superb 140mm travel front and back giving you a blast around the trails.

A bike that can be upgraded easily, with excellent gearing that allows you to fire up the steep climbs and still have enough for the gnarly descents.

Verdict: Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike under £2000

 ✅ Excellent spec for price
✅ Superbly balanced for trail riding
🔧 Suspension may need more tuning

Commencal Meta SX Ride

  • Frame: Alloy 6066, triple butted tubes
  • Front Fork: RockShox ZEB – 170mm travel
  • Rear Fork: RockShox Deluxe Select + – 160mm travel
  • Groupset: SRAM SX Eagle – 12 speed
  • Wheels: 29″ front, 27.5″ rear
  • Designed for: Enduro
  • Price: £2,999.99

Commencal recently released the Meta SX Ride, a mullet enduro race bike designed for all-mountain adventures. A bike full of life, the Meta SX Ride is fitted with a RockShox ZEB up front with 170mm of travel and on the rear a RockShox Deluxe Select + with 160mm travel. Commencal worked on making this bike sporty and comfortable.

The geometry of the Meta SX focuses slightly towards the downhill end but it sits in the middle of playful and high speed ability across all terrain. To compliment this geometry, Commencal have ensured the bike is fully equipped; with a SRAM SX Eagle groupset, E13 rims with Maxxis Assegai and DHR II tyres and a KS Rage-I dropper seatpost.

Spec-wise, the Meta SX Ride is one of the best value for money bikes on the market, compared to other bikes in this price range.

Verdict: Best Enduro Full Suspension Mountain Bike

✅ Excellent spec for price-point
✅ Mullet gives you best of both worlds
🔧 Geometry could be more modern

Cube Stereo 150 C62 Race

  • Frame: C:62 Monocoque Carbon Frame
  • Front Fork: RockShox Lyrik Select 160mm
  • Rear Fork: RockShox Super Deluxe Select + DebonAir
  • Groupset:  SRAM GX Eagle 12-Speed
  • Wheel Size: 29″
  • Designed for: All Mountain
  • Price: £3,698.99

A top performing full suspension race bike can be difficult to choose, but Cube have spent years developing the Stereo 150 C:62 alongside their Enduro World Series team to create a superb All-Mountain bike.

Out of the box you will notice the stunning paintwork layered onto the full C:62 carbon frame that’s durable and lightweight for the demanding off-road riding you’ll be taking on. To keep this a versatile bike, Cube have fitted SRAM’s Eagle 12-speed groupset with a wide-ranging 10-52 tooth cassette and a 30 tooth cassette up front.

Once you hit the trails on this beast there will be no stopping you, until you engage the superbly powerful Magura MT Thirty 4-Pot hydraulic disc brakes; that ensure all weather stopping power.

Verdict: Best All Mountain Full Sus MTB

✅ Amazing specs for the price
✅ Brilliant all round package
🔧 Could upgrade to a better dropper seatpost

Nukeproof Reactor 290 Elite

  • Frame: Monocoque Carbon
  • Front Fork: Fox 36 Float, 150mm
  • Rear Fork: Fox Float X, 160mm
  • Groupset: Shimano SLX – 12 Speed
  • Wheel Size: 29″
  • Designed for: Trail Riding
  • Price: £4,399.99

Described by Nukeproof as a bike designed from the ground up to become the ultimate aggressive trail bike and we can’t disagree. The Nukeproof Reactor is a bike full of burly componentry to ensure you can blast down the steepest, roughest trails.

Featuring the ever reliable Fox 36 Float fork and Float X rear shock which is built upon a 4-bar linkage, with a pivot sitting at the end of the chainstay. Nukeproof has also said the increase in anti-squat figures for lower gears means the suspension shouldn’t soak up as much pedalling energy.

To round off the Reactor, Nukeproof have equipped the 29″ Elite model with Shimano SLX 12-speed groupset, Horizon V2 wheelset, handlebars and stem, a Brand-X Ascend dropper seatpost and Maxxis Assegai (front) and Dissector (rear) tyres.

A bike with bags of potential and a contender for BikeRadar’s Bike of the Year, this is sure to be a blow-your-socks-off kind of bike.

Verdict: Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike under £3000

✅ Decent spec
✅ Suspension is balanced out well
🔧 Heavier than competitors in it’s class

GT Force Carbon Elite

  • Frame: Force Carbon
  • Front Fork: RockShox Yari RC, 170mm
  • Rear Fork: RockShox Super Deluxe Select
  • Groupset: SRAM SX Eagle
  • Wheel Size: 29″
  • Designed for: Enduro
  • Price: £3,649.99

The ability to soak up the bumps and lumps on even the roughest of trails, the GT Force Carbon Elite is a seriously rapid trail shredder. Designed around a high main pivot, it’s unsurprising that the GT Force may not climb the best but can shred down trails FAST!

The 2022 model features a 29″ wheel setup, carbon frame with an alloy rear end, high pivots, updated geometry and internal cable routing.

As a long travel enduro bike with a high main pivot, GT have worked the Force to be as efficient as possible. With long-travel bikes having more chain growth than shorter-travel bikes, they utilise an idler pulley above the high pivot to massively reduce that chain growth.

Verdict: Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike under £3000

✅ Excellent suspension setup
✅ Can alter chainstay lengths
🔧 Not the best climber

Give your bike some TLC!

Basic Bike Maintenance

Basic bike maintenance will extend the life of your bike’s components, so with a little knowledge and experience, you’ll be able to ride confidently knowing your bike is ready to go. Learn to carry out some basic maintenance like:

  • Bolt Checks: ensure they are tightened securely.
  • Tyre Pressure Checks: having properly inflated tyres helps prevent flats.
  • Handlebar Angle: stops unwanted neck pain.
  • Chain Stretch: wear and tear can cause problematic gear changing.

Check out the full article here:

Check out some of our other relevant articles!

Mountain Bike Buying Guide
Best Hardtail MTB

Tom Adams

Tom is a bike enthusiast! Originally a mountain biker, Tom enjoys going fast on two wheels, whether it's on the road or on the gravel, mountain bike or commuting! Tom has been riding bikes for almost 18 years and loves nothing more than getting out on the roads or trails and testing out the newest and most innovative things on the Chain Reaction website!

Related Articles

Back to top button