If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for cross country road bike:
- Best Overall Cross Country Mountain Bike: Steppenwolf Tundra Carbon Race
- Best Cross Country Mountain Bike for Beginners: Diamondback Bicycles Atroz
- Best Cross Country Bike for less than $2000: Savadeck Deck300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
- Best Cross Country Mountain Bike for Women: BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
- Best Budget Bike: Yeogned 27.5
- Our Top Cross Country Bike Pick: Savadeck Deck300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
The best cross country bike for you is out there. You just need to research, talk to other bikers, and even visit your local bike store.
And, cross country bikes are getting more efficient, aggressive, and inspirational to new mountain bikers.
Looking for a cross country bike can be challenging. Enduro and downhill bikes are an amplified version of trail bikes. However, there are more factors to consider for cross country bikes.
In this article, we’ll discuss those factors in our buyer’s guide and FAQ section. And, we’ll provide a product review.
Before we talk about what to consider when buying a mountain bike, be sure you do some homework for yourself.
First, set a clear budget for yourself based on what type of biking you’re currently doing and the level of biking you’d like to reach.
Second, look for a local shop you can trust and have employees who are knowledgeable in mountain biking. Even if you don’t buy from them, you might want the store to assemble a bike you ordered online.
Third, talk to your friends and ask what they recommend for buying a bike.
Now, we’ll take a look at the different factors to consider while you’re shopping for your bike.
- Best Entry Level Mountain Bike
- (TOP 6) Best Beginner Road Bike
- (TOP 8) Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike
- (TOP 22) Best Mountain Bike
- (TOP 10) Best Mountain Bike Under 300
Arguably, the suspension might be the biggest and most important decision when you buy your cross country bike.
The right amount of suspension will keep you feeling comfortable in the saddle and won’t interfere with bike handling and pedaling efficiency.
If not, you could find yourself at a disadvantage on your very own bike which is the last thing you want.
How do you decide what suspension is right for you?
Think about what type of riding you’ll do on your bike.
If you’re going to be on dirt or fire roads, or smooth single track trails, then a hardtail will suffice.
If you’re going to ride on natural courses with rocks, roots, and other technical features, you’ll need full suspension.
Generally, hardtails will have a 100-120mm travel suspension fork to keep your wrists and hands from feeling sore.
And, full suspension bikes will have the same amount of travel in the rear.
The best move is to talk to your bike shop and other bikers about what might be the best fit for you.
Over the years, cross country bikes have become more aggressive and confident for downhills. Cross country bikes aren’t as slack as trail bikes.
For cross country bikes, look for head angles that range from 68-70-degrees. This angle keeps the bike afloat when you’re on steeper more technical courses. And, it keeps your weight forward enough for the bike to be responsive to your movements and handling.
Seat angles range from 74-75-degrees which keeps your weight centered over your bike’s bottom bracket and rear wheel. This helps with traction when you’re on steep and technical courses.
Compared to older cross country mountain bikes, the handle bars are now wider and the stems have become shorter to offer riders stability. And it puts riders’ weight toward the front of the bike rather than the back.
You’ll see the handle bars are about 720-760mm wide depending on the height of the rider.
And, the stems are commonly 60mm in length which is similar to what you’d see on trail bikes. However, the stem length can go up to 90mm for taller riders.
If you’re participating in cross country racing, rigid versus dropper posts are a big factor to consider. Possibly even more than wheel size.
A dropper post weighs more than rigid ones but does make descending easier when you can put the seat down.
On the other hand, rigid posts made of carbon or titanium saves weight but makes descending harder.
Think about if it’s worth saving the weight and if it will help you in your cross country races.
This really isn’t for much of a debate, unless you’re brand new to biking.
You’ll want to put clipless pedals on your cross country bike.
The power transfer is better when you have clipless pedals and they are also lighter.
Drivetrain and Brakes
The best drivetrain for mountain bikes is a 1×12 drivetrain.
It’s simple and easier to maintain for mountain bikes. And, the drivetrain provides you with enough gears to get you through steep climbs and downhill efficiently and quickly.
Some cross country racers will want a 2x drivetrain, which offers a wider range of gears.
When it comes to brakes, you’ll want to choose hydraulic disc brakes. These are more reliable than rim brakes, which are affected by weather and riding conditions.
Disc brakes will have a consistent performance no matter where and what type of weather you’re riding in. And, it requires less finger effort.
SRAM Level and M9000 XTR brakes are made specifically for cross country riders and will be something to check out before buying your bike.
Wheels and Tires
If you can afford the upgrade, 29ers are the preferred wheel size for racers of any level. These wheels roll over rocker better and carry your speed for even longer.
If you decide to upgrade to carbon wheels that is a great decision. These wheels will be lighter, stiffer, and more responsive to the standard material. It will save you energy and have better power transfer, and steer more quickly.
Of course, if carbon isn’t for you, aluminum wheels are a great fit and can save your body from feeling sore after rides.
1. Where can I ride?
You can ride anywhere that allows mountain bikes. Either on trails or a designated park that has obstacle courses and technical handling skills, you can practice.
2. How can I begin to race?
All you need is a bike, the willingness to train, and a cycling license. This license will let you sign up for sanctioned events in your country. This will keep track of your race results and rankings within the sport.
If you want formal training, talk to your local bike store. They can point you toward bike clubs, racing specific clubs, and even coaches that specialize in cross country biking.
3. What additional gear will I need?
If you don’t already have one, buy a helmet which is critically important if you want to keep your head safe.
A pair of cycling gloves would help if your hands fall asleep on the handlebars and can help if your hands feel sore after a ride.
If you don’t have biking-specific shoes, you’ll need them for clipless pedals. And you’ll need them especially if you plan to race.
4. What bike accessories will I need?
You’ll need bike tools and you can accumulate them over time.
However, what you do need when you buy your bike is a repair kit when you get a flat. This kit includes tire levers, extra tube, tube patches, a mini pump or carbon cartridges, and dispenser to fill your tube up with air.
Other tools you might want to think about is something to make small adjustments on your rides. This can be a tool that holds multiple tools in one.
Bike lights will be needed if you’re biking at night and if you’re sharing the course with other riders. You’ll want to be seen.
5. What bike clothes will I need?
If you’re not racing, you won’t need any clothes that would make you more aerodynamic on the courses. You will need clothes that are comfortable to move in and you won’t mind getting dirty or ripped up.
For those who are racing, check out your bike store for jerseys and bike shorts or bibs you can wear. Or, if you’re a member of a club team, it might offer a team kit for you to wear at competitions.
Bike gloves would be a good option to check out. It will help your hands from feeling sore after rides and might prevent them from falling asleep during your rides.
And, the gloves can protect your hands when you fall down.
Some type of protective eye gear would be useful. This will keep dirt out of your eyes and will reduce glare on sunny days while riding.
1. Best Overall Cross Country Mountain Bike
Steppenwolf Tundra Carbon Race
Steppenwolf makes a reliable bike that can be companion like. It was made for racers and has a short rear section and steep steering angle that makes it agile, smooth, dynamic, and sensitive. Everything you want for a cross country bike race.
The bike is well suited for beginners and advanced bikers alike. It’s a versatile bike that goes on different surfaces.
Although the frame is made from carbon fiber, bikers buy the bike because it is durable. The bike has RockShox SID RLT 100 mm remote fork.
It’s a strong and lightweight bike which makes it an ideal choice for cross country racers. The steep angle and short rear section keep the bike agile and efficient for getting technical courses.
The wheels and tires are the best features of the bike. The two combined can roll over different terrain and durable so that getting flats is rare but does happen.
The drivetrain is made of SRAM x0 shifters, SRAM x0 175 mm crankset with 36/22t, and SRAM x0 front and rear derailleurs. The cassette has 10 speeds, which gives you a wide range of gears that are suitable for many terrains.
The bike has disc brakes made from Avid X0 180/160 mm for the best security and was made to last for several years. You can be sure that you can stop when you need to.
Bikers like this bike because it is lightweight and has many features of a more expensive bike. This bike is versatile and many intermediate riders like that it can be used on courses and on some trails. The bike is responsive and easy to move around the trails and nearly every surface riders are biking on.
I recommend this bike to anyone who is looking for a bike with a lot of high-end features for less than $2000 and can get it through Amazon.
2. Best Cross Country Mountain Bike for Beginners
Diamondback Bicycles Atroz
Diamondback Bicycles is a reputable company that makes high-quality reliable bikes. And, sometimes bikes that are a better deal than stores.
While some bikers want a cross country bike with only front suspension, others are more comfortable with full suspension.
Diamondback is a good option to consider if you are looking for a full-suspension mountain bike for cross country.
The Atroz bike has an aluminum frame is that more durable than a carbon frame. And, can withstand a few crashes and falls before it needs to be repaired or even replaced.
The frame has 100 mm of travel at the rear wheel thanks to Suntour Raidon-R shock that has rebound adjustment. And, the front fork has 120 mm of travel is made from Suntour XCM.
The 1×9 speed drivetrain is great for beginner and intermediate riders. The gearing is simple and easier to maintain. And, the drivetrain gives riders a good selection of gears for flat and rolling hills.
The wheels are 27.5 inches and are equipped with Vee Rubber Flow Snap tires which makes it very capable of roads, trails, and courses.
This bike great for beginners who are just getting their feet wet in the sport. It’s under $1000 which is ideal for those who are on a tight budget. And, you can use this bike for other purposes.
If you are sure you want to do cross country racing, this bike wouldn’t be the best option. You’d be better off with a hardtail bike with bigger wheels. And, one with better components.
Bikers who have bought this bike like it because it is versatile and can be used even after they upgrade. The gearing is adequate and riders like it because it is simple and helps them get through different terrains.
I’d recommend this to anyone who wants a durable and well-built bike for less than $1000. It’s great for beginner riders who aren’t so specialized in mountain biking just yet.
3. Best Cross Country Bike for less than $2000
Savadeck Deck300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
The Savadeck Deck300 mountain bike is for those who are willing to upgrade to a bike that will help them be more competitive at the races.
The bike has a carbon fiber frame which great for racers of any level. It makes the frame lightweight and more responsive to handling and steering on the bike. And, the material absorbs more vibrations from the terrain. This would be beneficial since you’ll be on rocky and uneven roads at times.
The bike was made with SR Suntour fork which has 100 mm of suspension, which not only gives you more comfort on the bike but also gives you more control on any surface and riding condition.
The bike comes equipped with Shimano Deore M6000 3 x 10- speed shifter level, front derailleur, and rear derailleur. This gives riders 30 speeds to play with which is great for more technical courses you’ll encounter.
And, the drivetrain will let you grow your bike skills without outgrowing the bike.
The bike has an internal cable routing which makes the bike look clean and guarantees clean airflow.
The bike’s drivetrain was complemented with Shimano MT200 disc brake which is high-performing and is reliable. You’ll be confident and feel secure that you can stop when you need to no matter the weather and riding condition.
The handlebars were designed and placed well so that you have the best comfort and can maintain the right position on the bike. The bars have a solid grip so that you can have a firm hold on the bike.
Bikers who have bought this bike like it because it helps them improve their biking skills and helps them learn how to handle technical courses. The bike has high-end components and a wide range of gears that are suitable for intermediate to advanced courses.
I recommend this bike to anyone who has a few years of experience in the sport and wants a bike to match and grow their skill level.
4.Best Cross Country Mountain Bike for Women
BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
The BEIOU carbon fiber mountain bike has many of the same components as the Savadeck bike. But, this one has a smaller frame that is more suited for women and shorter riders.
The carbon frame is lightweight and durable and weighs about 22 lbs. which includes the carbon fiber seat post.
The material shows very little sign of damage even after years of use so it is great all types of off-road riding.
To complement the frame, the bike has rugged tires and wheels that can handle most surfaces. The bike comes with Kenda 26 x 1.95 tires which have an excellent grip on the terrain and can handle mud and dirt.
Even though the tires are specifically made for rough trails it does ride smoothly on roads and paved trails.
The air front filled suspension absorbs the shock as riders go along trails and obstacle courses. It makes riding uphill on rough terrain easier. And, it keeps riders comfortable for the entire ride which is great if you have back or joint pain.
The bike has Shimano M610 Deore system which gives riders 29 speeds that are best for high-speed performances. It does a good job for commuting, racing, and participating in marathons. The bike accelerates well and is very manageable to control.
Riders who have bought this bike like it because the bike positions them so that their back doesn’t hurt. And, most of the weight is put on their arms, so they get stronger each ride. And, the carbon bike is great since it gives riders the needed control and power.
I recommend this bike to any woman biker who wants a high-end bike that can be used in high-speed races. It can be used to advance skills as well.
5. Best Budget Bike
If you’re looking for a bike to go back to school or want to buy one for your kid. The Yeogned mountain bike is a good option to consider. It is cheap and is versatile for commuting to school and can be taken on the trails and some beginner cross country courses.
The bike is made with an extra-light aluminum frame, hydraulic lockout adjustable traveling aluminum suspension fork. All these components make the bike light and strong for whatever the commute throws at you.
The bike comes equipped with Shimano hydraulic disc brake and Shimano Chainwheel. This lets riders stop at the drop of a dime if needed. And, gives the riders more control over the bike.
The bike comes with a variable speed depending on what components you choose when you purchase the bike. But, the bike can go up to 27 speeds which are more than enough for a beginner rider who does mostly commuting.
I recommend this bike to those who are avid commuters and social riders who occasionally go to a cross country course.
6. Our Top Cross Country Bike Pick
Savadeck Deck300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
Our top pick is the Savadeck Deck300 Carbon Fiber Mountain bike. It is a good bike for those who want to build up their technical and handling skills without outgrowing their bike overtime.
The carbon frame is great for racers of all levels. It gives riders a lightweight bike that is responsive to handling and absorbs the vibrations of the terrain.
The travel suspension is well-designed for cross country. It supports the rider and doesn’t bounce them out of the saddle.
The bike provides riders with 30 speeds for efficient accelerations and hydraulic brakes for reliable stopping power. It’s a perfect combination.
Emily Schaldach is a professional cyclist from Colorado. She grew up racing mountain bikes and competed at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she expanded disciplines to race downhill, road, and cyclocross. Emily is currently on the Firefly Bitchstix Cycling team, also known as Team BitchnGrit, and competes primarily in cyclocross and gravel events.