The 7 Best Chinese MTB Frames for Your New Build (2021)

Best Chinese Carbon MTB Frames

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Chinese carbon MTB bike frames manufactured by reliable Chinese manufacturers are an interesting and often more affordable alternative to mainstream brands.

I researched this topic in-depth to recommend you the best Chinese MTB frames you can get without worrying about their quality.

This roundup includes hardtail and full-suspension frames that are covered by at least a 2-year warranty. After comparing more than 50 frames and evaluating customer reviews, I selected the following frames as the best:

Below, you find even more frames. I also explain how to find reliable Chinese carbon manufacturers and what to look for when buying MTB carbon frames.

Let’s dive in!


What Are the Best Chinese Carbon MTB Bike Frames?

For the selection below, I selected frames only from reliable Chinese manufacturers. They cover their products with a warranty and sometimes even with crash replacement programs.

Keep in mind that the frames below are shipped from China, so that the delivery can take several weeks, and you may have to pay import fees (learn more).

NOTE: All frames below are designed for disc brakes and thru-axle and are compatible with electric and mechanical groupsets.

Trifox MFM200 Hardtail Mountain Bike Frame

MFM200NewColor
Trifox MFM200 Hardtail MTB Frame | Source: trifoxbike.com

Main Features

  • Frame Type: Hardtail
  • Frame Weight: 1200g
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Crash Replacement: 12% discount on the retail price
  • Bottom Bracket: BB68
  • Travel: 120mm
  • Head Tube: 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″, 70°
  • Seat Tube: 31.6mm, 73°
  • Chainstay: 440mm
  • Recommended Wheel Size: 29″
  • Maximum Tire Size: 2.35″

MFM200 is the most popular hardtail MTB frame by Trifox. Its modern, timeless design is worth upgrading in the future, so you don’t have to worry it will be outdated in a few years.

In addition to an affordable price, this frame will also surprise with its nice paint job, high built quality, 3-year warranty, and also the crash replacement program, which covers accidental crashes or misuse (big drops, rock strikes, etc.).

Trifox MFM200 was designed for up to 2.35″ wide 29-inch wheels. You can equip it with a 1X, 2X, or 3X chainring and 120mm fork.

Choose from plenty of colors and 3 sizes:

  • 15.5″ (150-165cm)
  • 17.5″ (165-175cm)
  • 19″ (175-185cm)

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.trifoxbike.com to get 4% off your purchase.


Trifox MFM100 Full-suspension Mountain Bike Frame

MFM100
Trifox MFM100 Full-suspension MTB Frame | Source: trifoxbike.com

Main Features

  • Frame Type: Full-suspension
  • Frame Weight: 15.5″ (2170g) / 17.5″ (2250g) / 19″ (2235g) / 20.5″ (2420g) including hanger and screws (about 300g)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Crash Replacement: 12% discount on the retail price
  • Bottom Bracket: BB92 Non-Threaded
  • Travel
    • Front: F 100mm / R 103mm
    • Rear: 165×40 100mm; 165×45 115mm
  • Head Tube: FSA NO. ACB1 42 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″), 68.5°
  • Seat Tube: 31.6mm, 74.7°
  • Chainstay: 438mm
  • Recommended Wheel Size: 29″
  • Maximum Tire Size: 2.35″

MFM100 is one of Trifox’s flagship MTB frames. It is popular especially thanks to its high built quality, stiffness, and durability.

MFM100 may remind you of Scott Spark. Although these two frames differ slightly, one is most likely a copy of the other.

Anyway, you get a pretty good value frame for your money. Furthermore, the MFM100 is covered by a 3-year warranty and crash replacement program.

You can choose from several colors (the blue-orange is probably the most iconic) or order a custom color for an extra 350 USD.

The main downsides of this frame are the weight (MFM100 is about 400g heavier than Specialized Epic, for example) and some important parts (rear-shock, headset, seatpost clamp, bolts, etc.) are not included, so you have to buy them separately.

Trifox MFM100 full-suspension frame is available in 4 sizes:

  • 15.5″ (150-165cm)
  • 17.5″ (165-175cm)
  • 19″ (175-185cm)
  • 20.5″ (over 185cm)

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.trifoxbike.com to get 4% off your purchase.


Combine your new frame with a pair of Chinese carbon mountain bike wheels.


ICAN P1 Full-suspension Mountain Bike Frame (Trail)

ICAN27.5erSuspensionMTBBikeFrameTrailP1130mmTravelKahkiPainting
ICAN P1 Full-suspension MTB Frame | Source: icancycling.com

Main Features

  • Frame Type: Full-suspension
  • Frame Weight: M, UDM (2410g), S, Pink (2445g)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Crash Replacement: 15% discount on the retail price
  • Bottom Bracket: BSA
  • Travel: F 130mm / R 200 x 51 mm
  • Head Tube: 1-1/8″ to 1- 1/2″, 68.5°
  • Seat Tube: 31.6mm, 73.8-74.2° (depending on the frame size)
  • Chainstay: 443mm
  • Recommended Wheel Size: 27.5″ or 29″
  • Maximum Tire Size: 27.5×2.8″ or 29×2.3″

ICAN’s P1 trail mountain bike frame was inspired by Trek Fuel. They designed it for 130mm front shock travel and 51mm rear shock travel. For comparison, the ICAN P9 (enduro MTB frame) has longer 150mm and 55 mm travel.

Customers praise the P1’s packaging (the frame is securely packed in a double bubble wrap and foam protection), durability, and build quality. I also did not find a single case of the frame’s failure.

I cannot forget to mention that P9 is also much more affordable than the Trifox MFM100, so if you have a tight budget or want to equip your new trail bike with more expensive components, you can save some bucks here.

You can choose from 5 sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL) and plenty of colors including the original Khaki.

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.icancycling.com to get 5% off your purchase.


ICAN P9 Full-suspension Mountain Bike Frame (Enduro)

ICANCarbonMTBframemountainbikeframeEnduroP9150mmtravel
ICAN P9 Full-suspension MTB Frame | Source: icancycling.com

Main Features

  • Frame Type: Full-suspension
  • Frame Weight: 2400g
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Crash Replacement: 15% discount on the retail price
  • Bottom Bracket: BSA
  • Travel: F 150mm / R 210 x 55 mm
  • Head Tube: 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″, 66°
  • Seat Tube: 30.9mm, 74°
  • Chainstay: 452mm
  • Recommended Wheel Size: 27.5″ or 29″
  • Maximum Tire Size: 27.5×3″ or 29×2.3″

If you look for an enduro frame, P9 should catch your attention. It is the best-selling enduro frame that ICAN manufactures.

It is designed for 150mm front suspension and 55mm rear suspension. Logically, this is more than on the ICAN’s P1 trail frame.

This frame is durable, according to customer reviews (no major issues or failures were reported) and stiff. As one owner says, it can take “everything you throw at it.”

Of course, it is shipped properly packed to avoid any damage during shipping. Just keep in mind that the package includes frame, thru-axle, and headset only.

P9 is available in 4 sizes only (XS, S, M, and L), a few glossy colors, and a UD matt finish.

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.icancycling.com to get 5% off your purchase.


Rinasclta Hardtail Mountain Bike Frame

carbon mtb 29er boost hardtail frame.jpg
Rinasclta Hardtail Mountain Bike Frame | Source: rinascltabike.com

Main Features

  • Frame Type: Hardtail
  • Frame Weight: S (980g), M (1050g)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Crash Replacement: n/a
  • Bottom Bracket: PF30
  • Travel: 130mm
  • Head Tube: 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″, 69.5°
  • Seat Tube: 31.6mm, 73°
  • Chainstay: 438mm
  • Recommended Wheel Size: 29″
  • Maximum Tire Size: 3.0″

Rinasclta carbon products are known for their customizability. And this frame is no exception. You can choose either a matt or glossy finish or upload your own design for an extra charge of around 150 USD (depending on the number of colors, etc.).

From my experience, communication with Rinasclta is very good and quick so if you have any questions regarding the custom paint job, feel free to reach out to them.

If you care about the weight, you will be pleased that this hardtail frame is much lighter than Trifox MFM200 or ICAN M17.

Of course, this frame was properly tested (20,000 cycles), and according to Rinasclta, it is one of their best-selling MTB frames.

There is one uniqueness, though. This frame was designed for 130mm suspension travel, which is a little more than standard XC bikes (learn more).

This frame comes with a thru-axle, clamp, headset, and hanger. You can choose one of the four sizes (S 15″, M 17″, L 19″, XL 21″).

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub10‘ at www.rinascltabike.com at the end of the checkout page to get 10 USD off your purchase.


Rinasclta Full-suspension Mountain Bike Frame

29er full suspension carbon enduro mtb frame with shock absorber 122mm travel 1.jpg
Rinasclta Full-suspension Mountain Bike Frame | Source: rinascltabike.com

Main Features

  • Frame Type: Full-suspension
  • Frame Weight: 2480g (19″)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Crash Replacement: n/a
  • Bottom Bracket: PF30
  • Travel
    • Front: F 120mm / R 122mm
    • Rear: 51mm
  • Head Tube: 1-1/8” to 1-1/2”, 69.5°
  • Seat Tube: 31.6mm, 74.75°
  • Chainstay: 455mm
  • Recommended Wheel Size: 29″
  • Maximum Tire Size: 2.4″

Although Rinasclta names this frame as an enduro frame, its maximal front suspension travel of 120mm falls more into the trail bikes category.

However, this does not change the fact that this full-suspension frame offers a great price-performance ratio. The packing includes rear suspension DNM AOY-36RC 190*51mm shock, headset, thru-axle, seatpost clamp, and bottom bracket.

According to owners, the frame feels stiff and lightweight. It comes well-packed to avoid any damage during transport.

The only minor challenge you may experience is with internal cable routing. Otherwise, you should not encounter other issues during your build. If you look for a full suspension carbon frame for a budget, this one is the one.

Choose from 3 sizes (S 15″, M 17″, L 19″) and 2 finishes (matt or glossy 3K). You can also upload your own design for a fee (around 150 USD).

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub10‘ at www.rinascltabike.com at the end of the checkout page to get 10 USD off your purchase.


My Verdict

This article’s main point was not only to recommend the best Chinese carbon mountain bike frames but also to help you find reliable Chinese brands.

I don’t recommend buying unbranded Chinese carbon or counterfeit carbon products. Always make sure that the frame (or any other product) is covered by a warranty and eventually also with a crash replacement program.

Also, keep in mind that the delivery from China will take a few weeks, you may be required to pay import fees, and the eventual claim process is a little bit more complicated than for mainstream brands (learn more).

Overall, Chinese carbon products often provide a better price-value ratio for the money, but it is necessary to buy them from established manufacturers and brands.


How to Choose the Best Chinese Carbon MTB Frame?

Before you click on the “BUY” button, you should take into consideration a few things. This section will guide you through the Chinese carbon MTB frame selection so you spend your money wisely.

I explain what the Chinese carbon market offers and what features to be aware of when choosing a mountain bike frame for your new build.

Brand

I guess you browsed some online marketplaces already, and you found many unbranded Chinese carbon frames. Well, I don’t recommend buying unbranded carbon products because it is a lottery. Buy products from established Chinese carbon manufacturers instead. Here are 3 main reasons why:

  1. Once a brand puts its name on a product, it is responsible for it. Brands will less likely risk their reputation by producing low-quality products than an anonymous manufacturer.
  2. Most brands also cover their products with a warranty or crash replacement programs. So if something goes wrong, you know you can contact their customer support and eventually, claim a refund.
  3. And finally, reputable brands extensively test their products and have quality control processes to detect, if possible, any defective products before they reach you, the customers. You can contact brand’s customer support and ask for more details on how they processes look like.

Hardtail or Full-suspension

You can choose from the basic two types of MTB frames – hardtail or full suspension.

mtb bike icon
A hardtail mountain bike
full suspension mountain bike icon
A full suspension mountain bike

If you are not decided what type of MTB you want to build, check the following table that summarizes the pros and cons of both types.

 ProsCons
Hardtail• Lower overall weight of the bike
• Lack of rear suspension maintenance
• Lower price
• Lower energy loss when pedaling
• Better for uphills
• Right riding technique for rough terrain needed
• Not as comfortable as full suspension
• Doesn't handle rough terrain as well as full suspension
Full suspension• Better comfort in rough terrain
• More versatile (jumps, drops, rock gardens, roots...)
• Easier to ride in more difficult terrain
• Better for downhills
• Higher price
• Higher overall weight of the bike
• More parts that can break
• Rear triangle maintenance

Frame Type

There are 5 basic types of mountain bikes (cross-country, trail, enduro, fatbike, and downhill). This article focuses on the first three.

  1. Cross-country (XC) bikes are typical for their hardtail (front suspension only), shorter wheelbase, and shorter suspension travel (90-120mm).
  2. Trail MTBs can be either full-suspended or hardtail. They have a wider wheelbase than XC bikes and longer suspension travel (120-150mm). They are ideal for, yes, you guessed it, trails.
  3. Enduro bikes have a lower center of gravity, allowing you to ride in even more demanding terrain than trail MTBs. They have an even longer wheelbase and suspension travel (150-180mm).

So which type to choose? Simply put – the more challenging the terrain you want to ride, the more you will appreciate the longer suspension travel.

Learn more about mountain bike types.

Recommended Wheel Size

Some frames are designed for different wheel sizes, even when they fit larger/smaller wheels. This is to maintain the best riding and handling characteristics possible. This means that if the frame is designed for 29er wheels, it is probably not a good idea to equip it with 27.5er wheels.

26" vs 27.5" vs 29" wheels
Comparison of 26″, 27.5″ and 29″ wheels

Fork Travel

Do you have a fork (or a shock suspension) already? You have to make sure they are compatible with the fork travel that the frame allows. For your easier orientation, I included the fork travel ranges into the main features of all frames in this selection.

Mbr.co.uk doesn’t recommend running more than 20mm over the intended amount. You also shouldn’t use a shorter fork for a frame designed for a longer fork. Otherwise, the bike’s riding characteristics will be bad, and riding such a bike in demanding terrain may be dangerous.

The table below shows standard fork travel for various mountain bikes.

Type of MTBSuspension Travel
Cross-country bikes90-120mm
Trail bikes120-150mm
Enduro bikes150-180mm
Downhill bikes180-200mm

Head Tube

According to Bikeradar, the standard steerer diameters are 1”, 1 1/8”, 1.25”, and 1.5”. Most modern frames features tapered tubes that provide better steering stiffness and save some weight.

You have to make sure your fork is compatible with the head tube. If your fork has a smaller diameter, you can use conversion headsets, but why make things more complicated?

Bottom Bracket and Groupset Compatibility

There are 2 basic types of bottom bracketsthreaded and press fit. This topic is pretty complex, so if you want to find out more about bottom brackets, feel free to read one of the following resources:

The groupset compatibility (whether you use electric or mechanical, and 1X, 2X, or 3X chainring) is luckily much simpler.

Most modern carbon mountain bike frames are compatible with mechanical and electric groupsets from brands like Shimano or SRAM.

Trail, enduro, and downhill MTBs almost always feature a single chainring drivetrain. If you plan to do your own build, I assume you don’t go for 2X or 3X chainrings because they don’t bring many benefits for experienced riders. However, I would like to point out that lower-end (hardtail) mountain bikes can come with a 2X or 3X drivetrain.

Seatpost Size

According to mbr.co.uk, seatpost come in three main diameter sizes (27.2mm, 30.9mm, and 31.6mm).

The 27.2mm are not very common anymore. If you want to use a 30.9mm seatpost for a 31.6mm seat tube, you can, but you have to use a seatpost shim.

Some Chinese bikes come with a seatpost clamp but not always. Keep this in mind when ordering all parts for your build.

Rear Dropout

There are different axle standards. Basically, there is a traditional quick-release axle (QR) or a thru-axle.

quick release vs through
Quick release vs. through axle (thru-axle)

Most carbon frames in this selection are compatible with thru-axles. Make sure you choose the right axle length and diameter compatible with your current wheels (or with wheels you want to buy).

I recommend this MTB Axle Standards Guide from BikeRadar if you want to find out more about this topic.

Weight

Depending on the type of frame, size, and even the painting, frames’ weight will vary. Logically, full-suspension frames are heavier than hardtail frames. Just like a larger frame size is heavier than a small one.

The lightest frame available may not be the best choice for your MTB. Other features like durability and stiffness are also very important.

Size & Color Option

Did you find a frame you like? Great, all you have to do is to choose the right size. Feel free to use this mountain bike size calculator to get the recommend bike size depending on your inseam length.

The color is up to your preference. A lot of Chinese manufacturers offer the possibility to do a custom paint job for you. You upload your own design, and they take care of the rest. Of course, this service costs something extra (a few hundred dollars depending on the number of colors, etc.). This is a paid service and is not included in the price of the frame.


Chinese Carbon MTB Frames FAQ


This post is regularly updated to provide you with the most up-to-date tips on products. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

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