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Best Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes Under $3,000 in 2022

By Sam Millers   /  Last updated - August 30, 2022   /  Best-Of-Reviews, Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Reviews
ibis ripley bikes

Ibis Ripley – One of the best all-mountain carbon play bikes is now available on an aluminum frame!

Full suspension trail bikes are ideal for long-distance trail or enduro racing, which involves a lot of rough, downhill riding. Trail bikes usually have larger 29″ wheels which make them faster over long distances, whereas smaller 27.5″ or 26″ wheels are easier to handle on the downhill and technical sections.

But is $3,000 enough for a proper full-suspension mountain bike?

We wouldn’t recommend anything below $2,000 new when it comes to rideable dual-suspension trail MTBs, therefore $3,000 is somewhat great for beginners, or intermediate riders looking for a comfortable ride on tougher terrains!

First Things First: What is a full-suspension mountain bike?

Full suspension mountain bikes are bicycles with both front and rear suspension, as opposed to only front suspension like that found on ‘hardtail’ mountain bikes. The key advantage is a smoother ride and softer landing when coming off of big drops or landing jumps in bike parks.

Depending on what kind of cycling you intend to do, full-suspension bikes may have several advantages or disadvantages. Full suspension bikes are usually a bit more expensive and heavier due to the added mechanics on the rear, which can make them less ideal for fast or uphill riding.

However, when it comes to downhill riding, full-suspension bikes are often a necessity. With steep, tricky descents it is far easier and more comfortable, not to mention safer, to ride a full-suspension bike.



1. Ghost – Kato FS Base

ghost kato fs base full suspension mtb

HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 69° SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 75° CHAINSTAY: 430mm

MSRP: $2,099
REI.com

Starting off with a  new model by Ghost – The Kato FS includes SRAM SX gearing and SR Suntour suspension on the front and rear with 130mm travel. This is a 27.5″ full suspension trail bike that is built for tough, long-distance riding over all types of terrain. You’ll be taken care of by the known and proven combinations in the MTB scene.

The slack(ish) head tube angle balances control on descents with a solid climbing position; steep seat tube angle creates an efficient riding position for climbs

The excellent WTB Ranger Comp 2.25″ tires roll nicely over the smooth terrain while holding tightly through gravel, stones, or wet mud. With the right frame geometry and large wheels, some descents can feel a bit sketchy when things get really steep but the JD dropper seat post and instant, one-finger braking certainly help.

This bike boasts a decent set of bikes for beginner and intermediate riders and sits on the low of the selection in terms of price!

  • Fork – SR Suntour XCR 34 Coil 130mm 
  • Rear Shock – SR Suntour Raidon 130mm
  • Frame – Ghost Kato FS aluminum
  • Derailleur – 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle
  • Brakes -Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic, 180mm rotors
  • Rims – Ghost double-wall alloy
  • Seat Post – JD
  • Saddle – XLC

Frames available: M to XL 

Buy from REI.com


2. GT – Force 29 Sport

gt force 29 full suspension mtb

MSRP: $2,800
Jenson USA

The Force by GT is an affordable full-suspension Enduro mountain bike with advanced components for this price range. This build version comes equipped with all the essentials to hit the trails with:

  • Fork: RockShox 35 Silver TK 160mm
  • Rear Shock: X-Fusion 02 Pro 150mm
  • Shimano Deore M5100 11-speed
  • TranzX dropper post
  • Maxxis Minion 29×2.5/2.4″

The level of components is often found on $3,500 – $4,000 bikes, and the only thing that keeps the price low is the alloy frame instead of carbon. Other than that, mountain bike brands have worked hard to release full-suspension mountain bikes at a more affordable range, and GT is no exception here!

GT might not be a boutique-type brand so they might not hold the second-hand selling value as good as other brands on this list. However, there’s more than enough to customize the bike according to your needs, all the extras are there to get you through whatever the road throws at you. If you are thinking of upgrading the bike, there’s literally nothing to swap out at the first glance.

Available frames – S and L

Buy from JensonUSA.com


3. Rocky Mountain – Element Alloy
29″

rocky mountain element alloy mountain bike

HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 65° SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 76° CHAINSTAY: 436mm

MSRP: $2,559

With its large and thick tires, mid-travel, and slack geometry, the Rocky Mountain Element makes for a surprisingly powerful trail bike that also flows freely on demanding trails. It takes on technical offroad riding with impressive confidence, sailing over obstacles, and shredding terrain of all kinds.

The tubeless-ready rims fit nicely with the 2.4″ WTB Trail Boss Comp tires that take on the sand and slippery surfaces with ease while rolling more than adequately cover the tarmac. Add a Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain, and you have a fully-fledged competitive trail bike that offers excellent value for money.

After all, many intermediate/expert cyclists prefer Rocky Mountain, a bike brand specializing in all types of off-road riding.

  • Number of Gears – 11
  • Fork – RockShox Judy Silver 130mm
  • Rear Shock – RockShox Deluxe Select 120mm
  • Frame – FORM Alloy, RIDE-4 Adjustable Geometry
  • Shifters – Shimano Deore 

Buy from JensonUSA.com


4. Diamondback – Release 29 1

diamondback release full-suspension mountain bike

MSRP: $2,550
REI.com

This 29er full suspension all-mountain bike is the perfect intermediate bike for all-around adventure cycling over varied terrain. It benefits from SRAM’s excellent Eagle SX drivetrain coupled with Diamondback’s Level Link suspension technology for a highly efficient system.

With a medium 140mm of front travel and 130mm on the rear, the Release 29″ can tackle the steepest descents with comfort and confidence. There’s a lot to be adjusted according to the rider to make ascending as suitable as possible. SR Suntour Aion combined with SX Eagle is a great bang for the buck at under $3,000.

  • Number of Gears12
  • Fork – SR Suntour Aion  w/ 140mm travel
  • Rear Shock – Suntour Edge R 130mm travel
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc

Buy from REI.com Buy from GovVelo.com


5. Co-op Cycles – DRT 3.3
27.5″ / 29″

REI Score: 4.7 / 5 out of 10 ratings

co-op cycles drt 3.3

HEAD TUBE – XS, S: 66° / M-XL: 67° SEAT TUBE: 75° CHAINSTAYS: XS, S: 433 / M-XL: 441

MSRP: $3,299
REI.com

The DRT 3.3 is the newest addition to the Co-op Cycles DRT family with tons of durable components to rely on. With size-dependable wheels, travel, and dropper-post sizes, Co-op has always managed to squeeze a lot of bikes into the best-value price tag.

With a remote-control dropper seat post included and deep-treaded WTB 2.4″ tires, you’ll be ready to hit the mountains right out the box with the DRT 3.3. At under $3,000, it represents one of the best value aluminum full suspension mountain bikes available today. DRT-series full suspension mountain bikes start as low as $2,199!

  • Number of Gears – 12
  • Wheel Sizes – XS – S: 27.5″ / M – XL : 29″
  • ForkRockShox Revelation – Motion Control RC (120-130mm)
  • Rear Shock – RockShox Monarch R Solo Air – Rebound adj. (120-130mm)
  • FrameCo-op Cycles 6061 aluminum
  • Shifters – Shimano SLX 12-speed
  • Rear Derailleur – Shimano SLX
  • Brakes – Shimano SLX hydraulic
  • Rims – WTB ST light i30 – tubeless-ready
  • Tires – Maxxis High Roller (2.4″ width) – tubeless ready
  • Seat Post – X-fusion Manic dropper with remote; 100mm/150mm (XS – S / L – XL)
  • Saddle – Giant

The maximum weight limit is 300 lbs. total, including rider + gear

Buy from REI.com


6. Devinci – Troy 29″

devinci djangi sx mtb

HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 65.5° SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 78.1-76.9° CHAINSTAY: 443-438mm

MSRP: $3,499
Jenson USA

Devinci has never messed around when it comes to serious mountain bikes, and won’t be doing that even when it comes to the ‘cutting corners’ price range. They have managed to combine a much of a beast at such a limiting price tag, as the brand is known to be making bikes on carbon frames by using the most compatible components in the range.

Built for the trails, Devinci Troy is well suited for demanding cyclists who know how to push through the trails with the least amount of effort. 150mm/140mm suspension by RockShox, an aluminum frame rolling on 29″ wheels that get powered by SRAM SX Eagle 11-50t drivetrain should be quite a funky mixture! There’s a lot to look into that deal!

  • Number of Gears – 12
  • Fork – RockShox Revelation, 150mm travel
  • Rear shock – RockShox SuperDeluxe Select R Db. Trunnion, 140mm travel
  • Frame – Aluminum Optimum G04
  • Drivetrain & Shifters- Shimano Deore
  • Brakes – Shimano Deore M4100/MT420 203mm rotors
  • TranzX 34.9mm Dropper Seatpost
  • Cassette – 10-51t
  • Front tire – 29 x 2.5″ Maxxis Minion DHF
  • Rear tire – 29 x 2.4″ Maxxis Minion DHRII

Buy from Jenson USA


7. Marin – Rift Zone 2 27.5″

Alternate Image

MSRP: $2,349
Jenson USA

The Rift Zone 2 is another great example that some decent large bike brands, like the Marin, know how to reel in new mountain bikers on a limited budget. No, it is not a cheap bike, it will definitely stand the test of time most beginner and intermediate mountain bikers have the courage and skill to push this bike through.

In essence, the Rift Zone 2 is a decent deal packed in a surprisingly attractive price tag. The main features that stand out are the  Vee Tire Flow Snap, 27.5 x 2.35″ tires, boost spacing, internal cable routing, and all the specs listed down below.

  • Gears – 11-speed Shimano Deore, 10-51T cassette
  • Fork – RockShox Recon Silver RL, 130mm Travel
  • Rear Suspension – RockShox Deluxe Select R 120mm Travel
  • Brakes – Shimano BR-MT200 Hydraulic
  • TranzX dropper post

To conclude, this is an awesome bike at an unbeatable value by a decent brand that knows its way around mountain biking.

Buy from JensonUSA.com Buy from GovVelo.com


8. Rocky Mountain Instinct

rocky mountain instinct

MSRP: $2,899
Jenson USA

Rocky Mountain’s mountain bikes range is well-known for its performance-focused builds.

The Instinct is based on the latest trend among mountain bike brands that are producing high-quality bikes at a more affordable rate.

It is nice to see such an awesome bike with decent components during the shortage of entry- and mid-range bikes. Take a look at Jenson USA’s page to see more.

  • Fork – RockShox Recon Silver RL, 150mm travel
  • Rear Suspension – RockShox Deluxe Select
  • Derailleur – Shimano Deore 11-speed
  • Brakes – Tektro hydraulic disc brakes

Buy from JensonUSA.com


9. Norco – Fluid FS 3
29″

Best under $2,500 full-suspension MTB

norco fluid fs 3 full suspension mountain bike

HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 66.5° SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 76° CHAINSTAY: 429

MSRP: $2,249
Jenson USA

The Fluid FS 3 is a well-priced enduro and park bike with striking looks and some strong features. The X-Fusion suspension is particularly impressive on a bike in this price range, with the air-sprung fork a noticeably better choice.

Another great feature is the SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain and cranks, which together provide super smooth transitions with a broad range of gears. The 6061 aluminum frame is slightly heavy but is clearly strong and holds up very well to all kinds of abuse.

  • Number of Gears – 12
  • Fork – X-Fusion RC32 Boost Air 130mm Travel
  • Rear shock – X-Fusion 02 Pro R 120mm Travel
  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Rear derailleur – SRAM SX Eagle
  • Brakes – Tektro HD-M275 Hydraulic discs
  • Wheelset – Stan’s NoTubes Flow D Rims
  • Tires – Goodyear Newton 2.4″ / Goodyear Escape 2.35″
  • Saddle – Norco XC

Buy from JensonUSA.com


10. Orbea – Oiz H30
29″

Best value entry-level dual suspension bike by a big name brand

Orbea Oiz H30 Mountain Bike

HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 68° SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 74° CHAINSTAY: 435mm

MSRP: $3,299
Jenson USA

It is always the case that the grass seems greener on the other side. Especially when it comes to mountain bikes, where paying that little bit of extra gets you to a whole new dimension of the equipment. Ever since the Oiz was created, it has been a huge hit in the full-suspension trail bike communities.

Although the Deore is on the entry-level of the whole Oiz full-suspension range – many reviewers on Youtube just can’t say enough about how good this bike really is.

What stands out most about the new Oiz H30 is that it is a perfect bike for both climbs and descents. There are Oiz owners who have only been riding carbon frames for the past 10 years but have chosen the H30 version due to their lightweight and zippy characteristics.

There’s hardly anything to add or remove the bike as the stock model is equipped with well-above-average components!

Orbea is a very tight-knit bike brand in the mountain bike community, and the Oiz is a revolution on its own little section of trail riders!

  • Number of gears 12
  • Fork Fox 32 Float Rhythm 120mm
  • Rear Shock Fox i-line DPS Performance 120mm
  • Wheels – Orbea OC1 25c Tubeless Ready
  • Tires – Maxxis Ikon 2.20″ FB 60 TPI Dual
  • Brakes – Shimano MT201 Hydraulic
  • Rear Derailleur – Shimano Deore M6100 SGS Shadow Plus
  • Saddle – Selle Italia Model X Fec

Buy from Jenson USA 


11. Co-op Cycles – DRT 3.1
26″/27.5″

co-op drt 3.1 full suspension MTB

HEAD TUBE ANGLE 66-67° SEAT TUBE ANGLE 75° CHAINSTAY: 434.5-441

MSRP: $2,399
REI.com

This trail/all-mountain beast is one of the best full suspension mountain bikes you can get in the $2,500 price range. The new model features a decent 140mm of travel on the front and 130mm on the rear for the M-XL models, 120mm front and rear for the XS/S models, making it an ideal all-mountain bike for sure.

Designed to satisfy the needs of all mountain bikers, you know Co-op Cycles doesn’t cut any corners. With top-quality parts including RockShox suspension, Shimano Deore drivetrain, and Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes, this is a machine built to tame the harshest mountain trails.

  • Number of Gears– 12
  • Fork – RockShox Recon Gold RL 140/120mm travel
  • Rear shock – RockShox Monarch R Solo Air 130/120mm travel
  • Frame – Co-op Cycles 6061 aluminum
  • Shifters – Shimano Deore Rapidfire Plus
  • Rear derailleur – Shimano Deore,  Shadow +
  • Brakes – Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc
  • Wheelset – ST i35 TCS 2.0 27.5/26″
  • Saddle – Giant

Buy from REI.com


12. Ghost – SLAMR 2.9
29″

ghost slamr 2.9 mountain bike

HEAD TUBE: 66.5° SEAT TUBE: 77.5° CHAINSTAY: 438m

MSRP: $2,399
REI

Designed by Ghost to match bikes double the price and inspire confidence during aggressive trail riding, the SLAMR 2.9 is hard to beat. This is an impressive full-suspension aluminum trail bike. 

The 29″ wheels help to keep things quick and stable, adding control and momentum. Additionally, the SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain is a strong addition. Other notable components include the Shimano BRMT-400 hydraulic discs and RockShox Judy Silver 130mm fork.

  • Number of Gears – 12
  • Fork – RockShox Judy Silver, 130mm 
  • Rear Shock – RockShox Deluxe Select+ 130mm
  • Frame – Aluminum Alloy
  • Rear Derailleur – SRAM SX Eagle 
  • BrakesShimano BRMT400 hydraulic
  • Rims – Alex MD30
  • Tires – Maxxis Minion 2.5/2.4″
  • Saddle – Ergon SM10 Stealth

Buy from REI.com


13. Devinci – Django A 29″Devinci Django A 29 Mountain Bike

HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 66.5° SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 77.1°-77.6° CHAINSTAY: 435-445mm

MSRP: from $2,799
Jenson USA

Devinci’s full-suspension Django series for the 2021 year is extensive, and this is the most affordable model. This 29″ trail bike is built for blasting along mountain trails just like the Django bikes before.

Firstly, it uses a 140mm suspension on the front and back including a RockShox Revelation RC fork and a RockShox Deluxe Select+ RL optimized with a Split Pivot suspension system that provides one of the smoothest rides possible without sacrificing power and efficiency. 

This bike easily meets the growing needs of competitive trail riders who aim to push the boundaries of mountain biking. Add a Shimano Deore 10-speed groupset with Maxxis Minion/Aggressor tires and you have a top-quality MTB trail bike that takes no prisoners.

  • Number of Gears – 10
  • ForkRockShox Revelation RC fork 140mm Travel
  • Rear shockRockshox Deluxe Select+ RL 140mm Travel
  • Shifters – Shimano Deore M6100
  • Rear Derailleur – Shimano Deore M6100
  • Crankset – Shimano Deore M6130, 32t
  • Cassette – Shimano M6100, 10-51t
  • Rotors –  203mm Front / 180mm Rear
  • Saddle – SDG Fly Mtn
  • Front TireMaxxis Minion DHF EXO | 29 x 2.5″
  • Rear Tire – Maxxis Aggressor EXO | 29 x 2.5″

Buy from Jenson USA 


3 Best Women’s Full-suspension MTBs


14. Cannondale – Habit 4 Women’s 2021
29″

Best women’s under $3,000 trail bike

cannondale habit womens mtb

HEAD TUBE: 66° SEAT TUBE: 66.3° CHAINSTAY: 435mm

MSRP: $2,999
REI.com

Cannondale never fails to impress with groundbreaking new designs and the Habit 4 Women’s bike is no exception. At first look, the aluminum frame seems almost bizarre with its sharply indented downtube but one ride, and everything starts to make sense.

A trail bike with its priorities straight: progressive design, playful agility, and killer capability – all in the name of fun.

This Trail-focused bike tears through singletrack and over rocky trails with reckless abandon, making short work of small and large obstacles alike. It’s certainly better suited to fast trail riding than mountainous descents but although it wobbles a bit, it can take on the downhills with a degree of success.

Habit 4 Women’s Specific trail bike is also equipped with a reversible chip that allows riders to tweak the geometry by raising the bottom bracket (Which steepens the head tube angle by a half degree).

Where it thrives? Light trails, going up and down the hills
What it’s built for? Traction, handling, durability

  • Number of Gears – 12-speed. SRAM SX Eagle
  • Fork – 140mm, RockShox 35 Gold RL, Coil, 15×110 thru-axle, tapered steerer, 46mm offset
  • Rear Shock – 130mm, RockShox Deluxe Select+, adjustable rebound
  • Brakes – Shimano MT200 hydro

Buy from REI.com


15. Marin – Rift Zone 1 2021
27.5″

Best under $2,000 full-suspension mountain bike!

marin rift zone under $2000 best full-suspension mtb

HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 65.5° SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 76° CHAINSTAY: 425

MSRP: $1,899
Jenson USA

We’d recommend going through the list of components and looking at the price tag again! Not sure where and how Marin has succeeded to cut corners here, but they sure have put together a great value full-suspension trail bicycle for those who had been pushed away by the humongous prices before.

Although the new 2021 ‘Rift Zone’ doesn’t come with a dropper seat post, it’s still a decent choice who likes to explore trails – up and downhill.

Marin’s previous under $2,000 full-suspension mountain bike has received great feedback and has upgraded its weak spots. After all, the bike’s suspension can be tuned to a fine degree that suits you the best, but the MT201 hydraulic disc brakes might hold back your full potential.

For $1,599, this is one of the best mountain bikes under $2,000 with dual suspension!

  • Number of Gears – 11
  • Fork – RockShox Recon Silver RL, 130mm Travel
  • Rear shock – X-Fusion O2 Pro R, Custom Tune, 210 x 50mm
  • Frame – Series 3 6061 Aluminum
  • Shifters – Shimano Deore, 11-Speed
  • Rear Derailleur – Shimano Deore SGS, Shadow Plus
  • Brakes – Shimano BR-MT201 Hydraulic
  • Wheelset – Marin Aluminum Double Wall Rims, Shimano MT200B/MT400B Hubs
  • Tires – Vee Tire Crown Gem, 27.5 x 2.3″ TR

Buy from JensonUSA.com Buy from GovVelo.com


16. Diamondback Catch 1

Best value women’s full suspension trail mountain bike

diamondback catch 1

MSRP: $2,550
Jenson USA

The Diamondback Catch 1 features intricately detailed frame geometry that allows for aggressive downhill riding without sacrificing power on ascents, making for an ideal all-around mountain bike. The custom-tuned 130mm of front travel combined with 27.5+ wheels and tires results in smooth riding on descents and exciting speed over flatter terrain.

The stiff and strong Hydroformed Aluminum frame has a slack head tube angle for control on descents and a steep seat tube angle that creates an efficient riding position for climbs

While the Catch 1 is marketed as an all-rounder, it clearly finds its feet best in the park or on a trail-racing course. Its quick response and excellent SRAM SX Eagle components make it ideal for jumps, drops, and general rock-hopping activities.

  • Number of Gears – 12
  • Fork – SR Suntour Aion, 130mm Travel
  • Rear Shock – Suntour Edge R, 200 x 57mm

Shimano SX Eagle / Aluminum frame / Diamondback Blanchard 38R Rim  / KS EXA Form 900i Internal Dropper

Buy from JensonUSA.com


Where to look for the best Full-Suspension MTB deals online?

Jenson USAYeti, Ibis. Rocky Mountain, Orbea, Evil 🏆

REICannondale, Co-op, Ghost, Salsa

AventuronSalsa, Surly, Cannondale, Pivot, Yeti, All-City

BackcountrySanta Cruz, Yeti, Juliana…much more

Gravity CoalitionGreat variety of last-size models


Other Popular Mountain Bike Types

XC vs. Trail vs. All-mountain

XC Mountain Bikes

70-110mm fork travel with a 70-71 degree head angle.
Fast trail riding & racing.

Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes

Trail Mountain Bikes

120-140mm suspension travel, 67-69 degree head angle. The most universal and affordable MTB.

Best Trail Mountain Bikes

Enduro / All-Mountain Bikes

140-180mm fork travel, 65-68 degree head angle. For steeper climbs/descends and advanced trails, faster and rougher terrains

Best Enduro Mountain Bikes

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