The best full suspension mountain bike under $2000 [buying guide and review]

Full suspension mountain bike

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Are you looking for the best full suspension mountain bike under $2000? These bikes are designed to absorb shocks when you’re riding on rough terrain.

We recommend the Trek Fuel EX 5 full-suspension bike, which features a 1400mm fork and 1300mm of rear travel, helping to absorb impact when riding on bumpy roads. This bike is also fun to ride, as it offers a ground-hugging experience and flows downhill smoothly.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  rating price
Best OverallFuel EX 5 Trek Fuel EX 5
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Gear: 10
10
Best Runner-UpGHOST Kato FS 2.7 GHOST Kato FS 2.7
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Gear: 12
10
Stance 29 1 Giant Stance 29 1
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Gear: 12
9
Hawk Hill 2 Marin Hawk Hill 2
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Gear: 12
9
Best for PriceTrance 3 Giant Trance 3
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Gear: 12
9
Fezzari Abajo Peak Fezzari Abajo Peak
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Gear: 12
8
Scott Spark 970 Bike Scott Spark 970 Bike
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Gear: 12
9

Review of the Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike under $2000

We’ve researched the best full suspension mountain bike under $2,000 that 2020 has to offer. Read about these seven bikes we’ve researched for you. All of them are ideal for riding on tough terrain and uneven surfaces, so you can have more fun on your bike without damaging its frame.

Trel Fuel EX 5 — Best Overall

Fuel EX 5

The Fuel EX 5 full-suspension bike has all the features you need. It’s equipped with a 140mm fork and 130mm of rear travel, which helps absorb shocks and impact when you’re traveling on tough terrain and bumpy surfaces. It’s designed for riders who aren’t that aggressive or intend to race other cyclists up hills.

Most importantly, this mountain bike is enjoyable and fun to ride as it’s quite active. It offers a ground-hugging experience with incredible stability – even on descents – which is ideal if you regularly ride up and down hills. It flows smoothly down trails, thanks to its modern geometry which is versatile on a range of surfaces.

Its supple rear suspension kicks in when you’re traveling downhill, and this helps you to stay safe and makes the bike more user-friendly. The features we mentioned earlier are ideal for most riders.

The EX 5’s suspension system offers a smooth and enjoyable experience, hugging the ground along the way and further enhancing smooth trails. Finally, the tires come with plenty of air volume, which results in a versatile tread pattern for enhanced cornering traction. 

Pros

  • Tires have a versatile tread pattern
  • Creates a ground-hugging experience
  • Rear suspension system is reliable for downhill riding

Cons

  • Suspension system can be slightly unreliable over larger bumps 

GHOST Kato FS 2.7 — Best Runner-Up

GHOST Kato FS 2.7

The Ghost Kato FS 2.7 is another one of the best full suspension mountain bike under $2000. It’s excellent value for money while providing high-quality materials and features. Firstly, the 27.5-inch wheels improve the bike’s performance by offering further control, speed, and maneuverability.

These tires also provide excellent grip and traction, which makes them ideal for situations when you’re cycling on tough terrain or highly uneven surfaces. Considering the size of the wheels, they’re also quite lightweight, and they will help you accelerate quickly, so you’ll never fall far behind. 

The bike is equipped with a full suspension system which is paired with the CTD shock. Together, these features provide a smooth yet firm feel which you’ll love. In fact, this bike’s suspension system takes away the negative effects of riding on soggy surfaces. You’ll need to cycle slower than on the Fuel EX 5 for downhill descents, but the Ghost FS 2.7 quickly picks up when cycling uphill. 

The Ghost Kato FS 2.7 comes with hydraulic brakes and 180mm rotors. As a result, you’ll experience easy braking using one-finger braking and modulation. Finally, the bike’s comfortable and padded saddle will enhance your riding experience. 

Pros

  • High-performance 27.5-inch wheels
  • User-friendly hydraulic brakes with one-finger action
  • The suspension system provides a smooth and enjoyable ride

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform as well as other bikes at higher speeds

Stance 291 — Best for Climbing Uphill

Stance 291

The Stance 29 1 bike comes with large 29-inch diameter wheels which perform well over rugged terrain, and offer excellent balance and stability. These wheels also allow you to really fly on fast, rugged descents, while tackling bumps and edges along the way. Also, the Stance 29 1 can tackle technical uphill climbs with ease. 

Most significantly, this bike features Flexpoint suspension technology, which allows it to take on the most challenging terrain while improving your riding performance and enjoyment. This suspension system also ensures you don’t feel impact or stress from bumps in the road. It has 1200mm of smooth suspension travel in the rear and 130mm up front.

This bike is further enhanced by its lightweight, yet durable aluminum frame — the perfect addition to a full-suspension system. In fact, this material enables you to pick up speed while traveling up or down hills, no matter the terrain.

To further improve your comfort and enjoyment when riding the Stance 29 1 bike, it has a fully adjustable seat, which helps you attain the height that’s right for you. Alternatively, you can share this bike with other riders.

Pros

  • Large 29-inch wheels for traction
  • Moves uphill with ease
  • Suspension system absorbs impacts and pressures

Cons

  • Not as cheap as other bikes on this list

Hawk Hill 2  — Best for Comfort

Hawk Hill 2

The Hawk Hill 2 is a highly capable trail bike. With 120m of front and rear wheel suspension travel, you won’t feel much impact when you ride over rough terrain and uneven surfaces. The ergonomic geometry enhances the bike’s comfort, so you maintain a lively feeling, even at higher speeds. 

Comfort and stability are two primary features of the Hawk Hill 2. For example, the wide 780mm handlebars and short 45mm stem make this trail bike comfortable and responsive when turning corners. In fact, you won’t have to put in much work when steering around bends, which is perfect if you’re constantly on the road and regularly need to turn corners. 

Many riders are impressed by the performance and comfort of this bike when traveling uphill. Its seat tube angle of 73.2 degrees keeps your weight just behind the bottom bracket, which results in easier and more predictable uphill steering. Also, thanks to the rear tire, you’ll receive excellent traction over mud, grass, and in rainy conditions. Even when you remain seated, the bike handles balanced weight distribution on both wheels, so you will always feel in control.

Pros

  • Wide handlebars for comfortable and reliable steering
  • Handles well on rough terrain and uneven surfaces
  • Excellent even weight distribution

Cons

  • Isn’t as lightweight as other bikes on this list

Trance 3 — Best for Price

Trance 3

The Trance 3 bike is an excellent purchase, especially considering its reasonable price tag. As soon as you sit on the Trance 3, you’ll notice that you feel confident and in control. This is all thanks to its modern geometry which makes the bike capable and inspiring. Its frame and design also improve your safety and performance when tackling even the toughest terrain. 

The bike comes with a 115mm rear-wheel travel and modest rear suspension travel with a 130mm fork. The bike’s suspension system is highly effective for making you feel capable and confident during descents. 

In fact, the bike’s suspension system is one of its highlights and this makes it an impressive purchase. Its rear shock works well to control and dampen any impact when climbing. Also, you’ll experience a supple and smooth ride.

The bike features an advanced forged composite upper rocker arm which offers increased stiffness and strength while reducing the frame’s overall weight. Overall, this bike is particularly supple and can handle highly-demanding surfaces and conditions.

Pros

  • A high-performing bike which makes riders feel comfortable
  • Effective suspension system to dampen impact and reduce shocks
  • Supple yet durable bike 

Cons

  • Wheels are quite narrow, which reduces traction

Fezzari Abajo Peak — Best for a Smooth Ride

Fezzari Abajo Peak

The Fezzari Abajo Peak is another one of the best full suspension mountain bike under $2000 for many reasons. The most significant factor about this bike is how fun and smooth it is to ride. Specifically, the pedals are smooth, which helps to conserve your energy while riding.

Its full-suspension system makes riding smooth and enjoyable. It’s designed with the new Tetra-Link suspension design, which is combined with GA-Link Geometry to improve the bike’s performance and efficiency. The suspension kinematics are refined in order to increase pedaling efficiency, which helps you reach the top of a hill faster without using as much energy in your legs.

The bike’s suspension system provides a plush ride which preserves mid-stroke support. The Fezzari Abajo Peak also comes with active braking, which ensures the suspension stays active during braking, even when you’re exposed to technical terrain.

Finally, this full-suspension mountain bike features simple SRAM NX Eagle shifting and SRAM hydraulic disc brakes which make riding and stopping effortless. The high-quality brake system also improves your safety.

Pros

  • Conserves the rider’s energy when cycling uphill
  • Bike’s geometry improves performance and efficiency
  • Reliable braking system

Cons

  • Wheels aren’t as thick as others on this list 

Scott Spark 970 Bike — Best for High-Quality Tires

Scott Spark 970 Bike

The Scott Spark 970 Bike features a lightweight aluminum frame for an optimized ride and to prevent any unnecessary weight on the bike, which helps you pick up speed better. The bike is built for durability and comes with 12 speeds, which help you to tailor the bike to your settings and environment.

Its wheels are 2.4 inches thick, helping you travel over bumps and rough terrain with ease. The Syncros X-25 rims and Maxxis reckon tires are perfect for riding uphill and even through mud. Also, you can ride this mountain bike when it’s wet, so you don’t have to postpone your ride when it’s raining.

It’s equipped with Shimano disc brakes for reliable and user-friendly braking. These brakes help you stay safe when riding in rough environments or during a descent. Also, the flat handlebars help you to remain in control when turning corners at high speeds.

This mountain bike comes with a RockShox Judy 120mm Fork which helps absorb shocks and impact during your rides. This improves your comfort and prevents any damage to the bike’s frame.

Pros

  • Flat handlebars keep you in control
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Thick tires for excellent traction

Cons

  • Seat isn’t very padded

Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike

It’s understandable if you’re confused about how to choose the best full suspension mountain bike. All of the above options are great, but to help you choose the most appropriate one for you, we’ve created an easy-to-follow guide.

Wheel Size

Wheel sizes depend on your height and the routes you’ll take with your bike. For mountain bikes, there should be a three-inch clearance between you and the top tube of the frame. One way of calculating this is by measuring your inside leg measurement to the floor and subtracting three inches. Then, subtract 10, which is the average distance from the bottom backer to the ground.

You should also consider the thickness of your tires. The thicker the tire, the better the bike will manage tough terrain, such as when riding over bumps and across rocks. Alternatively, if you’re looking for more speed than traction, you should choose thinner tires.

More: Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike Review

Gears

Not everyone uses their mountain bike in the same situations or has the same riding style. You should choose the number of gears and speed based on how you typically ride. Adjusting gears when riding requires skill and knowledge. 

Generally speaking, the more gears you have, the more riding styles you have available. More gears represent lower speeds, so you can climb uphill, which makes this ideal for routes up mountains, or simply if you’re looking to put less effort in and have more versatility.

However, there’s not much use in having a bike with 18 speeds if you don’t properly use them. You can get by on a bike with one gear if you don’t plan on riding uphill or using the bike for vigorous exercise, where you’ll typically need more versatility to make the ride challenging.

Bike Suspension

A suspension system is important for a bike, particularly if you intend on riding up and downhill or over rough terrain. Without a suspension system, you’ll feel every impact as you ride over surfaces which aren’t smooth. This can also take its toll on the bike. 

A bike suspension fork connects the bike’s front wheel to the rest of its frame. This fork has been developed to use a spring which helps manage bumps and shocks when you’re riding in off-road conditions.

Typically, a mountain bike will have between 130 and 160mm of travel with the highest number offering more protection against shock absorption. If you’re looking to purchase a mountain bike, it’s probably because you don’t plan on riding just on smooth surfaces and require a bike which can handle various surfaces.

Enduro bikes typically have between 150 and 170mm of travel. This suspension system is designed to handle the toughest off-road tracks while still remaining light enough to reach the top of hills with minimal effort.

However, the more travel a mountain bike has, the heavier and stiffer the fork will be, and this can take its toll on the bike. To combat this extra weight, the bike’s frame will be made from a durable material, such as steel or titanium, depending on the price range you’re looking at.

More: Best Mountain Bikes Under $500

Brake Type

There are two types of braking systems on mountain bikes: mechanical and hydraulic. For a budget-friendly bike, you’ll most likely end up with mechanical brakes. These are reliable and provide all-weather stopping power. With this type of braking system, you’re more in control, as you can apply as much or little stopping power you want. Also, they are suitable for those with less hand strength and they help prevent muscle fatigue.

Alternatively, hydraulic brakes provide greater stopping power with less effort. In fact, this type of brakes provides more braking compared to mechanical disc brakes. Most importantly, grit, debris, and grime can’t find their way into the bike’s system, and this leads to virtually no maintenance and a longer lifespan.

More: The Best Fat Tire Bike

Bike Frame Materials

You’ll notice that all of the above full-suspension mountain bikes have aluminum frames, which appears to be the most popular material on the market right now. You should take the frame’s material seriously as it affects the bike’s durability, weight, and overall strength.

Aluminum

Aluminum has an incredible strength-to-weight ratio which makes it popular for use on bikes. This material has all the benefits you could want in a bike, such as being lightweight. When you’re riding a bike, you don’t want excess weight, as this will make it harder to ride.

Fortunately, this material is also durable, so it won’t crumble easily if you drop the bike or are involved in a slight collision. Aluminum-frame bikes are stiffer than frames which are made from other materials, and this can result in less give when riding on bumpy terrain. This stiffness may be an advantage for touring cyclists though, because it helps with speed and agility.

This material isn’t prone to rust, which makes it a low-maintenance material and is ideal when cycling in wet conditions.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is significantly lighter than aluminum, which is ideal for cyclists who are looking for speed. It’s also a low-density material which does an excellent job absorbing shocks and impact from bumpy surfaces or vibrations from roads, and results in a more comfortable and safe ride. 

Most bikes with a carbon fiber frame are designed to maximize the aerodynamic efficiency of the frame, which results in improved comfort and increased speed. This is because carbon fiber can be molded into any versatile or complex shape. However, this results in an increased price for carbon fiber bikes.

Titanium

This material isn’t as common as the above as it’s the most complex to make and is expensive to purchase. The most beneficial reason for purchasing a frame made from titanium is because this material offers a comfortable ride because it deals well with bumpy surfaces. A titanium bike is usually paired with a carbon fork which also improves comfort when on the road.

Titanium is robust and impact-resistant. Also, it won’t ever corrode and is extremely difficult to chip or mark, which makes it ideal for situations with pieces of rock and debris flying everywhere. In addition, most titanium bikes come with a 100-year warranty, so they are very long-lasting.

Steel

For budget-friendly mountain bikes, steel is a common material. Compared to aluminum and carbon fiber, steel can be easily repaired. However, it’s prone to rust, so you’ll need to carefully consider when you ride outdoors. Also, if you live on the coast, you’ll need to take some time out to care for your bike and prevent any corrosion from forming.

Steel is heavier than the other materials, which doesn’t make it the best choice if you want a mountain bike with speed. However, the advantage of this is a lower price, but steel can absorb many shocks, which makes it a great material for mountain bikes and for riding over bumps. It’s also strong and highly durable.

More: Best Hardtail Mountain Bike

The Runners-Up

If we had to declare two of the above mountain bikes as runners-up, they’d be the GHOST Kato FS 2.7 and Hawk Hill 2

The Ghost bike features tires which provide a great amount of grip and traction to keep you safe and in control in off-road conditions. Most importantly, it offers a full suspension system which reduces shocks and impact when cycling on bumpy surfaces or rough terrain.

The Hawk Hill 2 mountain bike is designed with rear wheel suspension travel, so you don’t feel any impact or shocks when riding over rough terrain or uneven surfaces.

It’s also comfortable to ride, thanks to its wide handlebars which keep you in control when turning corners. You can also easily ride the Hawk Hill 2 uphill and its seat angle provides a more comfortable and thrilling experience.