Mountain Bike Frames


Mountain Bike Frames

This is the heart and soul of your mountain bike. It’s also the backbone, which is why we carry a wide variety of mountain bike frames to help you build your dream machine. The first choice to make when shopping for a frame is whether you want a hardtail or full-suspension setup. This comes down to your riding style and terrain. Advancements in suspension technology over the years have made full-suspension frames the popular choice for most off-road situations, ranging from XC and trail to enduro and gravity riding.

Hardtails, on the other hand, are a great choice if you typically ride smooth, flowy singletrack or fire-road terrain where climbing and efficiency matter most. Hardtails are also a great choice for building up multi-purpose adventure bikes that can handle everything from weekend bike-packing trips to daily urban shredding.

Once you’ve chosen between full-suspension or hardtail, it’s time to get specific with frame materials, geometry and other details that will affect ride performance and price points. Your main choices for mountain bike frames are steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber. Each has its benefits, so do a little research to determine what will work best for you.

Frame geometry varies depending on the type of riding you do and also the suspension setup. Most mountain bike frames are optimized for a specific amount of front suspension (or at least a general range), so it’s important to know what type of fork you’ll be using. Racy XC frames are typically engineered for shorter travel forks (90-120mm). Trail-bike frames usually fall in the 120-160mm range, and enduro and DH frames are made for longer travel forks, 160mm and up.

If you’re looking at full-suspension mountain bike frames, the rear suspension system is probably your first consideration. For more on this topic, check out our Mountain Bike Suspension 101 article. At, we carry a full selection from top brands like Ibis, Intense, Kona, Niner and Yeti. Each has their own unique approach to suspension engineering and design, so take a look at their offerings and feel free to call one of our Gear Advisors today at 888-880-3811 if you have any questions.