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Whether you are racing or just cruising the mountain trails, cross-country bikes are all-around mountain bikes that are lightweight and efficient. These bikes live for the flats and the climbs, but can still manage some technical flow. If you're looking for an efficient mountain bike that is designed to cruise a variety of terrain at high speeds, a cross-country bike might be what you're looking for.
What is a cross-country bike?
A cross-country bike is a lightweight mountain bike that has anywhere from 80-110mm of suspension travel and is generally a hardtail but can be a full-suspension bike. Cross-country bikes excel on climbs and long rides and are fast and efficient. Cross-country bikes most often have 29” wheels, have around 2.0 - 2.4"-wide tires, and have steeper headtube and seat tube angles than a trail mountain bike.
What is a cross-country mountain bike used for?
Cross-country bikes are used for getting around a variety of mountainous terrain as quickly and efficiently as possible. Speed, agility, and versatility are the three main characteristics of cross-country bikes that make them attractive choices for mountain bike riders.
Which bike brands make the best cross-country bikes?
While there are numerous brands that make exceptional cross-country bikes, brands like Marin, Niner Orbea, Ibis, and Santa Cruz are some of the top producers of quality cross-country bikes. Check out our selection here.
What is the difference between a cross country and trail mountain bike?
Cross-country bikes have less travel and steeper frame angles than a trail bike. Trail bikes generally have between 110 - 130mm of suspension travel while cross-country bikes generally have 80-110mm of frame travel.
How to choose a cross-country bike for a beginner.
Beginner riders who are picking out a cross-country bike should consider the types of trails they will be riding most frequently and pick a bike that is most compatible and has the most suitable components for those trail conditions. A beginner rider should also consider whether having a hardtail or a full-suspension bike is more suitable for the type of riding they are doing. A quality cross-country bike from a reputable brand that would suit a beginner rider is the Niner Air 2-Star Bike.
What makes a good cross-country bike?
A good cross-country bike should have progressive frame geometry that positions your body on the bike for optimal efficiency. Modern cross-country bikes have become more capable than ever, have 29” wheels and the higher-end ones are usually made of carbon fiber and have other carbon components like handlebars, wheels, and seatpost.
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