The 5 Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Under $2000 in 2021

The Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes under 2000

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Finding the best full suspension bike under $2000 can be a massive job. It was personally an experience that raised my heart rate. This selection includes bikes for both men and women.

The best full suspension mountain bike in this selection is the Vitus Mythique. It is available for both men and women and with 27.5” or 29” wheels. It features a dropper seatpost for your convenience, Shimano MT401 disc brakes with great stopping power, and Shimano 1×10 Deore drivetrain – simply an excellent price-value ratio. Read more…

Below, you also find out more about the most important features you should look out for when buying a full suspension mountain bike. 

Let’s not waste any more time, it’s time to get you lined up with the perfect match today. 


What Are the Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes?

If you are new to full suspension bikes, don’t hesitate to check the buyers’ guide first.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the shortage of bike components and high demand for bikes, many bikes are out of stock online. Unfortunately, it is necessary to wait even several months for some bikes.

Giant Stance 29” 2

MY20 Stance 29 2 Color A
Source: Giant-bicycles.com

Main features

  • You’ll be laughing whilst pedaling up the hills effortlessly with the SRAM 11-speed Drivetrain.
  • You’ve got some great stopping power with the Shimano MT200 Brakes.
  • Reap the rewards of being tubeless with the Giant AM 29 tubeless-ready wheels and wave goodbye to those repeat punctures.

Combined with the RockShox suspension, 29in wheels, and high-volume 2.6in Maxxis tires – it’s sure kitted out for long days out on the hill and got enough ability to keep you safe for when you run out. It also has a stunning frame finish that wouldn’t look out of place on a high-end Trek or Specialized. The Fluid FS 3 is sure to tick all of the boxes and is an absolute steal for under $2000.

The Fluid offers an amazingly generous 470mm reach ( based on the size L). It boasts a low-slung top tube and elegant seat mast, ensuring that standover clearance is equally impressive – perfect for leaving you feeling stable and in control on those descents, where it’s most important. With the 29 inch wheels, you’ll be finding stability on both rocky/rooty sections as well as the descents with its easy rolling ability. No excuse to get those KOMs/QOMs now.

The sleek alloy frame has size scaled tubing profiles to maintain the desired stiffness characteristics and handling across all four frame sizes – no compromises here. Norco also takes the sizing up a notch by designing the small frame size around 27.5in wheels to guarantee a better fit for shorter riders, meaning you won’t get booted up the backside whilst descending.

Weighing in at 35.10 lb (15.92 kg) [in a size L], the Fluid FS 3 isn’t the lightest bike out there. However, it’s still lighter than a vast majority on the market and that’s with its burly tires and a 130mm TranzX dropper post.


Decathlon 29” All Mountain Bike AM 100 S

29+All+Mountain+Mountain+Bike+AM+100+S
Source: Decathlon.co.uk

Main features

  • A dropper post = more saddle time. 
  • Large brakes to help you stop when you need to, giving you that confidence in your riding. 
  • 29” meaning it’s large and in charge, making obstacles easier to roll over.
  • Decathlon is an international brand – issues with contacting then if you have any queries or picking one up wherever you are is more accessible.

Decathlons’ very own Rockrider in aluminum is a great full suspension bike for beginners. It is the perfect all-mountain machine, ready to pull you up the hills at your local trail center or a day out with the family exploring on two wheels. With 29” wheels, you will be rolling over obstacles and climbing the hills rapidly without much effort. 

It comes with a 66° head angle, short stem, 1×12 SRAM NX drivetrain, dropper seat post – perfect to get you straight on the trails. The dropped seat is a great bonus too, so you’re able to drop your seat down ready for those descents without the need to get off your bike and whip out your tools. 

This bike boasts a handsome Rockshox 150mm fork on the front and a Manitou McLeod 140mm rear shock when it comes to suspension. The perfect amount of travel for most trails and enough suspension to get you out of trouble when you need it. 

It features a Hutchinson Tubeless Ready Taipan 29″ x 2.35 tire up front and a Toro 29″ x 2.25 tire out back, so you’ll have bags of grip whilst shredding it up on the trails. Be aware that the 29” maybe a bit of a handful if you’re short.

When it comes to the braking power, you’ll be in good hands with SRAM. It’s kitted out front and rear with SRAM Level T brakes – 180mm front disc brake (2 pistons) and 160mm rear disc brake. 

Our take on the Rockrider – a great all-rounder with some seriously good spec for the price. This bike will want to keep going even when you’ve run out of energy. With Decathlon being a worldwide brand, it makes the sport more accessible by the masses. 


Are you buying a mountain bike without pedals? Don’t forget the choose from these selections of the best flat mountain bike pedals OR the best clipless mountain bike pedals, depending on which style you prefer.


Norco Fluid FS 3 29″ (Not Available Anymore)

bi002060 red~green
Source: Jensonusa.com

Main features

  • 29-inch wheels for ease of rolling over features.
  • Eagle drivetrain to make those hills seem flat.
  • Reputable Rockshox suspension on front and rear for ease of mind.
  • TranzX Dropper Post so you can drop the seat in a heartbeat.
  • Tubeless-ready set up – no more fixing those tube punctures.

Combined with the RockShox suspension, 29in wheels, and high-volume 2.6in Maxxis tires – it’s sure kitted out for long days out on the hill and got enough ability to keep you safe for when you run out. It also has a stunning frame finish that wouldn’t look out of place on a high-end Trek or Specialized. The Fluid FS 3 is sure to tick all of the boxes and is an absolute steal for under $2,000.

When it comes to sizing, the Fluid offers an amazingly generous 470mm reach ( based on the size L). It boasts a low-slung top tube and elegant seat mast ensuring that standover clearance is equally impressive – perfect for leaving you feeling stable and in control on those descents, where it’s most important. With the 29 inch wheels, you’ll be finding stability on both rocky/rooty sections as well as the descents with its easy rolling ability. No excuse to get those KOMs/QOMs now.

The sleek alloy frame has size scaled tubing profiles to maintain the desired stiffness characteristics and handling across all four frame sizes – no compromises here. Norco also takes the sizing up a notch by designing the small frame size around 27.5in wheels to guarantee a better fit for shorter riders, meaning you won’t get booted up the backside whilst descending.

Weighing in at 35.10 lb (15.92 kg) (in a size L), the Fluid FS 3 isn’t the lightest bike out there, however, it’s still lighter than a vast majority on the market and that’s with its burly tires and a 130mm TranzX dropper post.


Vitus Mythique (27.5”, 29” & Women Specific Model)

Vitus Mythique 27 VR Full Suspension Mountain Bike 2021
Source: Vitus.com

Main features

  • The hills will fear you with a bike that will plough down and winch you back to the top.
  • Serious stopping power with the Shimano MT401 Brakes.
  • Personally tried and tested – the WTB i30 Rims are hardy and will keep you running true even through the roughest of rock gardens.
  • The magic combo of Schwalbe Magic Mary/Hans Dampf Tyres (a great combination for both dry and wet weather riding).
  • A Brand-X Ascend dropper = more time in the saddle.

Vitus has really hit the nail on the head with this offering by providing not only a great all-rounder 27.5” option but also making a female-specific model of the bike. But they didn’t just stop there… They also made a 29” model as well for the same price! Yes, that’s right – all 3 models are priced identically – a breath of fresh air in the biking world. So let’s take a deeper look into what they have to offer.

Similar to Trek, Norco, and Kona, to name a few, these bikes run on a horst-link 4-bar suspension design, a well-proven race-winning design that’s proven it’s worth time and time again when put to the test on the trails. Honestly, the Mythique is a good all-rounder that is capable of descending as well as climbing. 

The suspension uses a well-balanced X-Fusion fork and shock with 130mm travel, along with a dropper post to boot, so you don’t need to be hopping off your bike every time you want to drop into a steep descent with your friends.

Mythique features Shimano’s 1×10 wide range Deore drivetrain, providing you with reliable shifting for those long days out in the saddle. With the fantastic feel of Shimano’s shifting, I wouldn’t mark this bike down for not having 11 or 12 gears. The Shimano MT401 brakes also provide ample stopping power for those moments in need, giving you full comfort and trust in the bike. 


Liv Embolden 2 (Women Specific)

MY21 EMBOLDEN 2 Rosewood RDedit
Source: Liv-cycling.com

Main features

  • A great price for a well known branded women’s specific bike.
  • 11-speed gearing – perfect for those uphills (and downhills!).
  • Decent brakes to help you stop when you need to.
  • Enough travel to make the roughest of terrain quiver.

If you’re looking for a women’s specific full suspension mountain bike, look no further than the Aluminum Liv Embolden 2. Unleash your wild side on the trails and discover endless amounts of unknown territory comfortably with the trail-ready Embolden, the perfect bike to get you onto the trails and singletracks – away from the hustle and bustle and into a world of your own. 

This Embolden is designed with women’s-specific geometry with 130 mm front/120 mm rear suspension and runs on a single-pivot Flexpoint’ platform, making the bike feel stable, fast and energetic – perfect for when the terrain toughens up and gets technical. 

It is a 27.5” model but doesn’t compromise on stability nor being nimble and allowing you to execute even the most daring of descents without batting an eyelid.

When it comes to its components, it doesn’t scrimp on quality. With a full SRAM 11 speed cassette, Suntour 130mm front and 120mm rear travel and Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic disc brakes front and rear – you’re in safe hands with not only capability but stopping power alike.

The only downside to this build is that they stop at a Medium, at which point you would be usually recommended to go to one of the models in the Giant range (as they’re part of the same company). Also, there isn’t a dropper post included in the build, but this is a luxury extra item that you can add on later down the line.


My Verdict

Vitus Mythique wowed me with the price and componentry. It is the best full suspension mountain bike under $2000 that I found.

It not only had a great setup with the components but also had a dropper post included which many other brands didn’t offer. Vitus has knocked me off my feet with not just one but three amazing options with the 27.5” standard model, 27.5” women’s specific, and the 29” model. 

Vitus definitely offers a great build, and I feel it is the best bang for your buck-all-rounder option that will grow with you as your riding develops.

With them not warranting a higher price bracket as many other brands do for this type of build, this is an absolute steal. You’ll be able to grab an amazing bike and still have cash left over for extras.

Model 
Vitus Mythique 29 VR
Check Price (US)
Check Price (UK)
Vitus Mythique 27.5 VRCheck Price (US)
Check Price (UK)
Vitus Mythique 27 VRW (Women Specific)Check Price (US)
Check Price (UK)

How to Choose a Full Suspension Mountain Bike?

Choosing a full suspension mountain bike under $2000 is not easy. In the following part, you find out what to expect from full suspension bikes at this price and how to spend your money wisely.

Suspension

The $2000 budget does not allow manufacturers to equip the bike with the latest and greatest. Full suspension MTBs in this price range feature lower quality components compared to more expensive bikes.

When choosing a full suspension mountain bike, you also have to think about the types of terrain you want to ride in.

The more difficult terrain, the longer travel of suspension should you get. Longer suspension travel is capable of absorbing large impacts, bumps, rocks, etc. so your ride will be more convenient.

Depending on the type of MTB, the suspension travel will vary. The following table shows the suspension travel for different types of mountain bikes.

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

Front Suspension

Cheaper full suspension mountain bikes (for under $2000) feature lower-end front forks. These differ from the high-end models by reliability, efficiency, performance, and weight.

Lower-end front forks don’t provide as good a riding experience as high-end forks. They also may not feature as good adjustability of compression and rebound dampening (learn more).

But, this does not mean that bikes with low-end forks are bad. They can still absorb bumps pretty well.

mtb front suspension 1
Front suspension

Rear Suspension

There are 2 types of the rear suspension – coil and air suspension. Bikes below $2000 are usually equipped with air suspension. Coil suspension is used on high-end full suspension mountain bikes.

Every bike manufacturer uses a slightly different type of rear suspension. It is a pretty complex topic, but Bikeradar explains it extensively in their guide on the rear suspension systems. Feel free to read it to find out more.

mtb rear suspension 1
Rear suspension

TIP: To adjust the air suspension, you will need a mountain bike shock pump. If you don’t have it yet, make sure to get one.

Frame Material

There are 3 main materials bike frames are made from:

  • Aluminum
  • Carbon
  • Steel or titanium

Full suspension bikes under $2000 are mostly made of aluminum (carbon full MTBs start at around $3000). Aluminum offers a great weight to stiffness ratio and durability for a given price.

This means that the manufacturer can spend the money saved on the frame on other important components such as groupset, wheels, or brakes.

A good full suspension bike under $2000 should weigh around 32 lb (15 kg) in an M size (without pedals).

Groupset

The groupset is one of the most important things to look for when choosing a bike. It is put under pressure every time you pedal, so it pays off to get a bike with a better groupset.

There are 3 types of chainrings – 1X, 2X, and 3X. Full suspension bikes mostly feature 1X chainring.

Yes, the gear selection is limited with a 1X chainring. But there is no need to have 22 gears on a full suspension bike as there are on road bikes.

The 1X chainrings differ with the number of teeth (usually 30, 32, or 34). With 34 teeth in the front, you can ride faster in downhills, but you may have a problem in steep uphill sections. On the other hand, thanks to the 34 teeth chainring, you will climb very steep hills.*

*This also depends on the cassette and the gear ratio (learn more).

Most 1X chainring bikes I have ridden were equipped with 32 teeth chainring; I did not struggle anywhere, even with a 10 or 11-speed cassette.

1x chainring
1x chainring
2x chainring
2x chainring
3x chainring
3x chainring

Wheels

Most modern full suspension mountain bikes use 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. Some MTBs still use 26″ wheels, but they are not very common anymore. So, should you get a bike with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels?

29″ wheels are better for speed and stability. Thanks to their size, you can maintain your speed more easily. On the other hand, you will accelerate slower.

If you ride off-road, they will handle bumps better, and your ride will feel smoother. The bike will be more stable in downhills, and you get better traction and brake power thanks to the larger contact area with the surface.

27.5″ wheels are more suitable for shorter people. Because of the smaller size, the bike is more agile and is easier to handle in tight spaces. Since they are bigger than the 26″ wheels, the speed, traction, and stability will be still noticeable.

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

Brakes

Bikes use rim or disc brakes. I did not find many full suspension bikes with rim brakes around the $2000 mark during my research. Disc brakes provide efficient braking power in all weather conditions. There are 2 types of disc brakes:

The vast majority of good full suspension bikes use hydraulic disc brakes. So, I recommend passing bikes with mechanical disc brakes.

Dropper Seatpost

A dropper seatpost is a nice to have feature. It allows you to drop your saddle anytime you need. This is useful in downhills or technical sections where you need a lower center of gravity and more space to control your bike.

Not all full suspension bikes under $2000 offer dropper seatpost because they are not cheap. The pros and cons of the dropper seatpost are the following:

Pros

  • Quickly drop/raise seat
  • Better riding convenience
  • Better riding experience

Cons

  • Higher price
  • Added weight
  • Added complexity

Full Suspension Bikes 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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