Updated April 21st, 2023
How much does a good mountain bike weigh? One of the most common things to talk about at the trailhead or after rides is what does your bike weigh? The quick answer is that a good hardtail mountain bike will weigh 28 to 31 lbs. A good full suspension mountain bike will weigh between 31 to 34 lbs.
The really serious mountain bikers all know exactly what their bike weighs. They spend thousands of dollars to get lighter weight wheels and parts for their bike. Is the weight of your mountain bike really all that important? What parts are more important for bike weight? Let’s take a look at mountain bike weight.
What is a good mountain bike?
What is a good mountain bike? A good bike is one that is built to hold up to trail riding with durable components, good suspension and options such as dropper posts. A good bike will cost $1000 to $2500. $1000 to $1500 for a hard tail. $2000 to $2500 for a full suspension bike. Below $1000 there are almost always compromises such as spring forks or subpar components.
This will be Shimano SLX or SRAM NX or higher components. Below this level things such as rear derailleurs have a tendency to break (look up SRAM SX complaints). It will have a 1x driveline. These are lighter and the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of a front derailleur. The bike will have 10-12 cogs.
The bike will have hydraulic disc brakes.
The bike will have an air spring front suspension. The worse air spring front shocks are better than the best coil or elastomer shocks. Coil spring front shocks are typically made for value bikes. They don’t have features such as damping and adjustable pre-load.
Aluminum frames. There are very few steel frames on good mountain bikes. Carbon frames are a giant price point step up.
Most good mountain bikes will have dropper posts rather than regular seat posts. Some bikes striving to be lightweight cross country race bikes will omit the dropper post.
How much does a good mountain bike weigh?
We looked up the weights of several popular good mountain bikes. We looked at both hardtail and full suspension bikes from popular bikes makers such as Specialized, Trek, Giant, and Salsa.
A good hardtail mountain bike will weigh between 28 and 31 lbs. There are a few heavier and a few lighter weight options. Bikes that are more trail oriented are heavier. Bikes that are cross country race oriented fall on the lighter end.
A good full suspension mountain bike will weigh between 31 and 34 lbs. This is for a trail bike (130-150mm travel) and aluminum frame.
Carbon frames tend to drop 2 to 3 lbs and carbon wheels drop another pound. A bike with a carbon fiber frame and wheels will weigh 3 to 4 lbs less than it’s aluminum counterpart. It will also cost $2000 to $3000 more.
Why is my mountain bike so heavy?
You have a 38 lb mountain bike and you are wondering how it is so heavy. Let’s dig into it.
A mountain bike is a collection of parts. As those parts get more expensive, they also tend to get lighter. A good mountain bike will have Shimano SLX or SRAM NX or higher level components. At this level, durability and weight are at a good compromise. The parts are very durable and don’t feel like bricks attached to your bike. Below this point, components get both heavier and they break easier. The same holds true for all the other parts on the bike as well. Handlebars, stems, seats, etc..
Steel bike frames weigh 2-3 pounds more than an aluminum frame. A carbon frame weighs 2-3 pounds less than an aluminum frame. Full suspension adds 2 to 3 pounds to the weight of a bike frame as well. See more on full suspension mountain bike weight here.
The wheels on bikes have a huge range of weights. A set of cheap wheels with cheap tires can weigh 1-2 lbs a wheel more than a set of good wheels. Very expensive carbon rimmed wheels can be feather light. See more on custom mountain bike wheels here.
Some features we really like aren’t light. Disc brakes are awesome. No one wants to go back to u-brakes. They weigh more than u-brakes. Dropper posts aren’t lightweight. We love them too.
Does weight matter on a mountain bike? Is lighter faster?
Every pound of weight on your bike is another pound of weight you have to carry up every hill you climb up. If I asked you to carry a 10 lb barbell in your backpack for a ride you would complain. 10 lbs extra on your bike has the same effect.
Over the course of a few hours riding and a couple of thousand feet of climbing it makes a difference. More weight equals more calories needed. Or put it another way. If you can output a given amount of energy per hour, the heavier your bike is, the more energy goes towards moving that weight than making you go faster.
The wheels matter
The place you will notice excess weight on your bike the most is your wheels. Wheels are rotating mass. To move your bike you have to spin the wheels. The more mass your wheels have, the more mass you have to accelerate. To brake, you have to decelerate that mass.
If your bike has really heavy wheels you will feel it climbing and you will feel it braking. A bike with lightweight wheels is much easier to climb hills with. If you have the choice of dropping 2 lbs of weight from the frame or 2 lbs from the wheels. Choose the wheels.
The below video takes a good look at mountain bike weight and how much it matters.
Are more expensive bikes faster?
More expensive bikes are lighter weight. They use better components and lighter materials. A lighter bike is faster because you have to carry less weight up hills. It’s less weight you have to push around corners, over rocks, roots, and less weight to brake.
There is a point of diminishing returns with weight and cost. Moving from aluminum to a carbon frame and wheels will save a lot of weight. It will add a lot of cost. A carbon frame and wheels will add $2000 to $3000 to the cost of a bike. That’s a very expensive 3 to 4 lbs.
Going up in component levels weight starts being the most important factor over durability. Components with carbon will weigh less but they will break easier too.
If your racing and you are hunting for seconds of speed this extra cost might be worth it to you. If your a casual trail rider, shaving a couple of minutes off of a 2 hour bike ride probably doesn’t matter. If you are like most of us, you are probably carrying around a few extra pounds. If so spending thousands to save a few pounds on bike weight may not be the best money spent.
The below video takes a look at whether a more expensive trail bike is faster.
Why am I so slow on my bike?
If you are not the fastest rider in the world, chances are it is not the bike’s fault. If you want to mountain bike faster, the best thing you can do is go ride more. Finding group rides with faster bikers than you will also help you go faster. You will chase faster riders trying to keep up. You will see new lines and new ways to ride obstacles. You can find group rides by looking up mountain bike groups on Facebook or Meetup.
Can you be too heavy for a bike?
You can be pretty heavy and still ride a mountain bike. I have a good riding friend that is 6’5″ and well north of 300 lbs. He mountain bikes with the best of us and doesn’t destroy bike parts. He wears out chainrings, chains, cassettes, and tires a bit faster than other people. There is no reason heavier people can’t mountain bike. The bikes can take it.
Is 16kg (35 lbs) heavy for a bike?
16kg or 35lbs would be on the heavy end of a good full suspension mountain bike. It would be a few pounds heavy for a good hardtail mountain bike. Will you notice it? Probably not. It it was a 35 lb hardtail and the extra weight was in the wheels you would have to work harder going up hills. The bike would not feel light and snappy cornering.
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Co-Founder & Biking Editor
I have been riding bikes and messing with them my entire life. I have always loved the thrill of riding whether it’s down the street or in the woods on a trail. I have a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Reliability and am a complete gear nerd. I have 20+ years of product development engineering experience and a lot more years of biking. I currently reside in Michigan but grew up in Pennsylvania.