There is no feeling quite like peddling down a steep hill at top speed is there?
The sound of the wind whooshing past, the dust clouds from the gravel and rocks beneath you, and that sweet, sweet rush of adrenaline. There is nothing like it!
Downhill mountain biking is all about pushing yourself to the extreme. The steeper the hill, the rougher the road, the better!
This means that you need a bike that can handle these extremes and keep your bum firmly on the seat!
Finding the best downhill mountain bike can be a challenge can’t it? There’s a wide range on the market, all claiming to be the best. It’s overwhelming, especially for any beginners out there!
But fear not, we have found the best downhill mountain bikes for you!
Keep reading for our choices, a buyer’s guide to help you navigate the bicycle world, and an FAQ section to ensure you leave here a bike buff!
In a hurry? Check out our top pick to grab your bike and go!
OUR TOP PICK
Hiland offers a mid-price mountain bike that is great for downhill biking.
Offering the bike in a range of 3 sizes (small, medium, and large) with a handy conversion chart for you to pick the perfect size for you! If you are a shortie like me, rejoice, as this bike can cater to those 5 footers in the room.
Made of lightweight aluminum, the bike is also available in a range of colors (grey, black, blue, and red) great for those after a stylish ride.
Featuring 26-inch wheels it's great for those rougher terrains as they will absorb the vibrations from any bumpy pockets of road.
Made with a double disk brake you get stable and strong braking force. This is in the front and rear, providing you with excellent stability!
The bike includes Shimano’s 24-speed gearbox for total control in every situation, exactly what you need when you are speeding downhills!
Some customers did find the seat a little uncomfortable, so be sure to pull out your padded pants for this bike!
The Hiland bike arrives pre-assembled, with 85% of it done for you! You also get the required assembly tools and a kickstand thrown in!
All you need to do is assemble the handlebar, front wheel, saddle, and pedals and you are good to go.
Customers praised the easy assembly of this bike, giving you more time to spend riding.
Range of sizes
Comes with a kickstand included
Arrives 85% pre-assembled
Some customers found the seat hard and uncomfortable
More time to browse? Check out our great recommendations below…
Kent’s dual-suspension mountain bike is a great option for those looking to achieve top speeds downhill!
The affordable bike is great for beginners or more seasoned riders and is easy to assemble, giving you more time to spend riding those hills!
Made with a lightweight aluminum frame, the bike is easy to handle especially at speeds. Customers found that despite the material being lightweight, it is a strong and sturdy construction.
Made with a 26-inch full suspension and suspension forks of 65 mm the bike is sturdy enough to support you on steep descents. The suspension will help to absorb shock on rougher terrains, giving you a smoother ride.
The combination of the front disk brake and rear linear-pull brakes will provide you with a secure stop no matter the terrain.
The Shimano 21-speed shifters will also help to give you greater control when traveling at speed, great for those chasing the super fast speeds!
Kent’s bike also features alloy wheel rims, which will add needed durability to your wheels as you push yourself and the bike to its limits!
Some customers did note that after a while some of the bike parts such as chains and tires needed to be replaced. This is not uncommon with mountain bikes or any bike that is used a lot, but something to bear in mind as it will cost you to replace these items.
Those after an affordable bike that will absorb shock and deliver fast speeds downhills should consider this option from Kent!
Full suspension for a smoother ride
Easy to assemble
Some customers found parts needed to be replaced after a while
Max4out’s mountain bike offers great quality at an affordable price. The bike is made with a solid high carbon steel frame to provide a strong durable bike for you to push to the limits.
It features front-rear disc brakes for an enhanced stopping power suitable for a range of terrains. You have a 3-speed front derailleur which provides 21-speed super-smooth shifting making it ideal for those tougher terrains.
The gears change smoothly and work well on any terrain or slope.
You get 17 inches of the frame, great for riders between 5ft 2 and 6ft tall, with the weight up to 200lbs.
You get 3-spoke fashion rims with a suspension fork to provide that added stability and shock absorption that you need traveling at high speeds down steep hills.
The bike comes 85% assembled, although some customers did find it tricky to assemble and would have liked more detailed instructions to do this.
Customers praised the sturdy feel of this bike and the excellent customer service as well.
26-inch wheels and 21 speed
Made with high carbon steel
Great for off-road terrains
Some customers would have liked more detailed assembly instructions
Merax’s mountain bike is made of lightweight aluminum with 26-inch wheels great for riding on rougher terrains!
Made with a dual-suspension design, the bike is designed to shock absorb from bumps to provide greater control for you and a smoother ride.
The full suspension forks help to absorb shock from bumps for a smooth ride, great for when you are on those rougher terrains!
Fitted with Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters for reliable and smooth gear shifting.
These are great to help you power down hills at great speed and then glide on flatter surfaces. And these will even help you get up those tough hills right before you shoot down them again!
Using linear-pull brakes to provide enhanced stopping power, because, at some point, the fun does indeed have to stop!
At an affordable price, Merax designed this bike to be the most full-featured and economical entry-level mountain bike to meet all riding needs, but thanks to its great suspension and lightweight frame, it’s a good option for those after a downhill mountain bike too.
The bike comes with a 1-year warranty to provide you with peace of mind should anything go wrong while you ride.
Customers did find the seat uncomfortable and many opted to replace it, so bear that in mind if you intend to ride without padded shorts.
Customers praised the excellent value for money and for those looking for an entry-level mountain bike that can handle downhill biking, this is a very good option!
Some customers found the seat uncomfortable.
Schwinn offers an affordable bike that will help you achieve those desired downhill speeds!
Made with dual suspension and a suspension fork, bumps, and thumps are soaked up to provide you with a more durable and smooth riding experience.
Featuring a 21-speed Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifters and a Shimano rear derailleur, gear changes are smooth and easy to do! Exactly what you need when you are pelting downhill at top speed.
The mechanical disk brakes are designed to offer no-slip stopping power, great for rougher terrains, and all-condition riding.
The bike uses double-wall alloy rims which are light and strong to provide added durability. The tires are 2.25 inches wide knobby mountain tires designed for bumpy terrain without bumping you off the bike!
The durable Schwinn alloy cranks provide steady gearing which means less maintenance for you, a win!
Customers were pleased with the lightweight feel of the bike and its ability to shift through the gears flawlessly when in use.
Some customers found the seat a little uncomfortable so you may find yourself replacing this, or investing in some good quality padded shorts!
Wide knobby tires are great for rougher terrains
all-condition stopping power
Customers found the bike seat uncomfortable, with some swapping the seat out.
Best Downhill Mountain Bike Buying Guide
Not sure where to start?
Keep reading to find out what factors to consider when making your purchase.
When picking your bike you want the one that’s going to suit you best and having one made of the appropriate material is very important.
Generally, bikes are made from carbon or aluminum frames.
Carbon tends to be lightweight, but the more expensive option. Thanks to its lightweight feel it’s easy to handle and pick up those quicker speeds you want downhill biking.
Carbon is also good at absorbing vibrations, great for those riding on rougher terrains with more bumps. However, it is not as durable as aluminum, making an already expensive option more costly should anything happen.
For those on a smaller budget, aluminum bikes are a great option. They are usually cheaper, but still fairly lightweight and easy to handle.
You may not get as good vibration absorption as you would with carbon, but aluminum is a very durable material and should stand the test of time.
When riding downhill at a fast pace, shock absorption is a factor you will need to consider. The better the bike is at absorbing shock and vibrations, especially on rougher terrains, the better your riding experience will be!
Make sure that the bike has good shock absorption through the tires and frame, check out our top picks for bikes that will absorb shock and give you a smoother ride!
Not just for Math class, geometry needs to be considered when purchasing a bike too!
If the bike has good geometry and a good price, you can upgrade parts over time, improving the ride quality. This is always a good option for beginners who don’t want to spend a lot straight away.
Downhill bikes generally need greater stability than any other bikes due to the hills and terrain they are used on. These bikes are pushed to go down steeper and rougher terrain, so the bike needs to be able to handle that.
A longer wheelbase or longer front triangle will place the rider in a more centered position than you would on any other bike. This positioning is really important, as the rider will be going down steep gradients at top speeds!
A longer frame is also desired by riders to improve the quality and control while you ride steep gradients!
Be sure to check the specifications of the bike before purchasing and make sure the parts will be easy to swap out as your love for downhill biking progresses!
To cope with the high speed, making sure you have the right wheel size for you is an important factor.
Those beginners may want to consider a 29-inch wheel, as they are fast and stable, which should help your confidence grow the more you ride. Look for those that also have a long wheelbase as they will be able to cope with the faster speeds.
More experienced riders or those looking to hit jumps might find a smaller wheel (27.5 inches or 26) as a better choice. The smaller wheel is generally easier to move around in the air, and looks good while you are doing it!
Mountain biking can be an expensive pastime and if you are like me, it’s easy to get caught up in accessorizing!
Those chasing the steep hills and supreme speeds know that safety is a key part! A helmet is an essential extra to purchase to ensure the safety of the rider at all times.
You can, of course, pimp your ride, by increasing the suspension, swapping the tires, or changing the seat. These will impact your budget. Some beginner riders do exactly this, buy a more affordable bike and as their love for riding deepens, make changes to tailor the bike to their needs.
Clothing such as gloves and padded shorts can help to provide comfort and increased grip whilst cycling and are often affordable extras to purchase.
None of this is essential, but these personal choices and adjustments can of course improve your riding experience! Just remember your helmet!
Depending on the choice you make, purchasing a downhill mountain bike can be expensive. Be sure to set a clear budget before you begin your search to avoid any nasty surprises!
Keep an eye out for offers, or flash sales to get a bargain! Those with a bigger budget can consider opting for carbon fiber bikes, but those with a smaller budget will find aluminum bikes a better option.
You don’t need to worry about compromising on quality with your budget as there are some great bikes at a great price!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a downhill mountain bike?
A downhill mountain bike is designed perfectly for, you guessed it, going downhill. It’s designed for downhill biking (DH) where the goal is to go down the steepest and roughest terrain at super high speeds.
The bikes will generally have more suspension to allow for big jumps and drops, making them more forgiving than a normal bike.
Downhill mountain bikes are designed to allow you to push yourself to go bigger and faster!
What are fat bikes?
Fat bikes, or fat tires, are designed to offer more grip and traction when riding. They are great options for wet or dry terrains, with fat tires made to decrease the pressure from the bike and biker through the extra contact surface.
Some riders enjoy the fat tires for those tough gradients and rough terrains as they provide increased grip and support. However, some riders find them heavier to handle, opting for a lightweight bike that is easier to maneuver.
Is downhill mountain biking dangerous?
Downhill mountain biking involves traveling at fast speeds down steep hills, which can sound dangerous, and thrilling.
Making sure that you have the right safety equipment is important, especially your helmet to reduce the risk of trauma to the brain. Gloves, elbow, knee, and shin pads are also worth investing in to protect your body.
Generally speaking, it is no more dangerous than other biking activities or sports, but the greater speeds can of course increase the severity of the injuries. The most common injuries are fractures to the hand, wrist, and forearm, fractured shoulders, and trauma to the head and face.
Along with the correct safety equipment, be sure to keep your bike well maintained, especially your brakes, as this will help reduce the risk of accidents.
Planning your route will help assess any potential risks, but be prepared for unexpected risks such as fallen logs, and be sure to mitigate the risks as best as possible in these situations.
As long as you are sensible and appropriately dressed then downhill mountain biking is not more dangerous than other sports.