Mountain bikes come in three primary styles: no suspension (or traditional), front-suspension (or hardtail) and full-suspension. The frames are made from steel, aluminum or carbon fiber. Tires are usually 26″ with some newer models having 29″ tires. All mountain bikes are measured the same way – by the length of the seat tube, even if it is not one continuous tube, as with some full-suspension bikes. Here are the three types of mountain bikes, each with detailed measuring instructions and a frame diagram showing you exactly where to measure.
What style mountain bike do you have?
Traditional Mountain Bike
Traditional mountain bikes have sturdy frames, 26" tires, and no front or rear suspension.
Hardtail Mountain Bike
Hardtail mountain bikes have front suspension and 26" or 29" tires.
Full suspension mountain bikes have both front and rear suspension with 26" tires.