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Six top trail bikes for 2021

Find the best mountain bike for you this year

2021 trail bikes

Trail bikes are the most versatile – and fun – type of mountain bike. They’re great at everything from all day adventures to daily rides, competent climbing and exciting descending.

That range can make trail bikes more challenging to design than dedicated XC or DH bikes. Right now the trail bike is going through a bit of a renaissance, with new exciting bikes being released all the time. We’ve collected six of our favorite trail bikes that are available right now.

Bikes may be harder to find but there’s no shortage of excellent options out there. If the specific bike you were set on isn’t available now keep looking around. Any one of the bikes below would make an excellent trail bike!

2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert review
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

Stumpjumper is one of the longest lasting names in mountain biking, and for good reason. Specialized’s marquee trail bike has now split into two more distinct lines, a lighter and spry Stumpjumper and the more burly, but refined Stumpjumper EVO. A little separation is a good thing, sometimes, and the EVO benefits from its own, dedicated design. This includes all kinds of adjustment options, from headset to rear axle.

Rocky Mountain Instinct C50
Rocky Mountain Instinct C50

Rocky Mountain Instinct

Rocky Mountain is celebrating 40 years of being one of Canada’s premier mountain bike brands. The new Instinct marks that anniversary in style, with a major overhaul for 2021. The spirit of a go-anywhere trail bike remains, but with more refinements to tailor the Instinct to your own brand of adventure.

2021 Trek Slash 9.9

Trek Slash

The new Slash may be Trek’s enduro race bike but it also makes a great trail bike for anyone who likes to go fast, even if you’re not thinking about racing. With quick acceleration and more than enough travel to save you should things go sideways, the Slash is as exciting to ride as it is to race.

Norco Sight
Norco Sight

Norco Sight

When Norco released the Sight and the Optic in close succession, it was the Optic that stole the headlines. While the Canadian brand’s short travel shredder deserved all the attention it got, the Sight is just as exciting. With a bit more travel, it’s an even more capable option than the Optic for anyone looking to blur the “trail” and “all mountain” categories. And it is also available in aluminum.

Canyon Spectral LTD

Canyon Spectral

Canyon landed in Canada with a splash this spring. Finally, Canadians can ride the same bikes as our hometown heroes on CFR, Mark Wallace, Emily Batty and Jake Jewett. The Spectral comes in two options, 160-mm or 150-mm front travel, and a range of parts builds. We tried out the baller LTD build and the more price-conscious CF7 and had a great time on both.

Knolly Fugitive

We liked the Fugitive when Knolly first rolled out its debut 29’er. With the updates for 2021, this boutique, but burly aluminum trail bike looks even better. Knolly’s excellent Fourby4 suspension returns, with a more modern approach to geometry from the B.C. brand.