MTB for Big Guys – 9 Best Mountain Bikes for Heavy Riders & Tall Men

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MTB for Big Guys

The 9 MTB for Big Guys – Full Suspension & Hardtail

The Best Mountain bikes for big and tall guys in 2023 – Maximum payload from 300 lbs (136 kg) to 450 lbs (204 kg)

As part of our “bikes for big guys” series, here we present our list of the best MTB for heavy and tall riders for 2023.

When it comes to conquering the trails and embracing the thrill of off-road adventures, one size does not fit all. For those who embrace the exhilaration of mountain biking and happen to carry more mass, finding the right ride that effortlessly blends performance, comfort, and durability becomes a paramount quest.

In this article we have selected 9 MTB for big guys, 4 hardtail and 5 full suspension, capable of holding from 300 lbs (or 136 kg) to 450 lbs (or 204 kg) and with the possibility of choosing a size suitable for tall men and women, all tailored to maximize enjoyment and confidence.

From frame geometry designed to handle the extra load to components that provide the perfect balance of strength and responsiveness, we embark on a journey to discover the best mountain bikes for big guys.

Whether you’re a seasoned trailblazer or a newcomer eager to explore the great outdoors on two wheels, this guide unveils a curated selection of mountain bikes that ensure an exhilarating and gratifying experience, no matter your size.

9 MTB for Big Guys in a Nutshell

How we compiled this list

In compiling this list, we gave attention to a number of characteristics we deem to be the most important when looking for the best MTB for big guys:

For tall guys, we firstly found a number of MTB that come with a XL frame option, filtering for size 61 minimum and then researching models with sizes of 62, 63, and even 64.

As frame sizes don’t always tell all the truth when it comes to bike fitting for big guys, we also researched stack and reach values of each bike model.

Stack and reach are geometric measurements that describe the vertical and horizontal distance between the center of the bottom bracket and the top of the head tube. A taller stack will provide more room for a tall rider’s long inseam (the distance between the feet and the crotch), while a longer reach will provide more room for a tall rider’s legs and longer arms.

We also had a look at other measures, such as top tube length (the distance between the seat tube and the head tube, the longer the more clearance for knees), seat tube length (the distance between the center of the bottom bracket and the top of the seat tube), head tube length (distance between the top of the head tube and the center of the fork’s steerer tube), and standover height the clearance between the top tube of the bike and your crotch when standing with both feet flat on the ground.

For overweight riders, we primarily looked for manufacturers’ info about the maximum payload their MTB can handle, secondarily we gave attention to components such as brakes (very important for heavy riders), tires, wheels (and number of spokes), and saddle – of course bike components can always be upgraded, so your priority as a heavy cyclist looking for a MTB should always be the sturdiness of the frame.

Check also:
> 6 Best Bikes for Plus Size Ladies – Road, Commuting, MTB, Utility, Electric
> Bikes For Big Guys! 25 Top Bicycles for Tall / Heavy Riders

> The Most Comfortable Saddles For Long Distance Cycling
> eBikes for Big Guys! 11 Best Electric Bikes for Tall / Heavy Riders

5 Best MTB for Big Guys

carefully selected, reviewed, and compared

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How we compile our gear guides: during the almost 10 years of our team personally tested dozens of similar pieces of gear. For what we can't test personally, we involve other people in the cycling community to give their feedback and opinion about gear they have used. Our decade-long experience in bicycle touring enables us to find the key cons and pros of every product we mention.

MTB for Big Guys

Hardtail MTB for Big Guys

1. Cannondale Habit HT 2 

mountain bikes for heavy riders


  • Model: Habit HT 2 
  • Max payload: 300lbs/136kg + 5lbs/2.3kg luggage (Seat Bag Only) or 55lbs/25kg luggage for Front suspension frames manufactured w/ original equipment seat stay and dropout rack mounts only
  • Max rider height: 6’5″
  • Materials: SmartForm C2 alloy frame
  • Drivetrain: 1 x 10 – 30T x 11-48T
  • Tire clearance: 29 x 2.5 and 29 x 2.4 in
  • Weight: N/A
  • Price: from $1,450.00

Founded in 1971 in Wilton, Connecticut, USA, by Joe Montgomery. Cannondale has gained a reputation for innovation and high-quality products over the years.

Cannondale’s Habit series refers to their line of hardtail mountain bikes designed for trail riding. These bikes are built to strike a balance between climbing efficiency and descending capability, making them versatile choices for a wide range of trail conditions.

The Habit H2 is Ia versatile bike but it is not exceptional in one particular condition, you can decide for yourself if this is a good thing or a bad thing. If you are a mountain bike beginner and want an efficient and robust bike without spending a fortune this is certainly an excellent choice.

Available in 4 sizes, the XL fits people up to 196 cm tall (or 6′ 5″) and 300lbs/136kg of weight + luggage, it is configured to accommodate both 29-inch and 27.5-inch wheels and tires. By using the flip chip adjustment, riders can modify the bike’s geometry, transitioning it from a configuration designed for 29-inch wheels to one optimized for 27.5-inch wheels.

It speeds up pretty nicely on dirt roads and turns smoothly on a gentle downhill at a good speed. The WTB Vigilante tires have a good grip and the breaks are fine too.

For all the Cannondale Models and weight limits have a look here.

2. Trek Marlin 8 Gen 2

mountain bikes for big and tall guys


  • Model: Trek Marlin 8 gen 2
  • Max rider’s height: 195 – 203 cm 6’5″ – 6’8″ (inseam 91 – 97 cm36″ – 38″)
  • Materials: Aluminum frame and fork
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 1×10-speed
  • Brakes: Shimano MT201 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tires: Bontrager XR2 Team Issue, 29×2.20″
  • Weight: Not specified by manufacturer
  • Price: around $1,100

Hail the bike gods and defenders of us larger folks, my fellow riders, for I bring you joyful tidings of the Trek Marlin 8 Gen 2. Behold, a hardtail mountain bike that’s a masterpiece, meticulously crafted by the skilled engineers at Trek.

The frame of this wondrous machine is built with lightweight Alpha Silver Aluminum, a material that’s both robust and enduring, ready to conquer the challenges of off-road adventures. The frame’s geometry is designed to accommodate riders of all statures, with a capacious XXL frame size and a lofty stack of 630mm, catering even to the tallest among us.

The Marlin 8 Gen 2’s drivetrain is propelled by the minimalistic Shimano Deore 1×10 speed system, delivering seamless and precise gear changes, free from the added clatter of a front derailleur and an extra shifter. The brakes also shine with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, providing potent stopping force and ensuring you maintain absolute mastery over your ride.

The bike’s tires are also top-tier, boasting Bontrager XR2 Comp, 27.5×2.20″ treads that grant exceptional grip and stability across diverse terrains. What’s more, this bike’s weight is astonishingly low, tipping the scales at a mere 13.51 kg (29.78 lbs).

Yet, perchance the most remarkable trait of the Trek Marlin 8 Gen 2 is its budget-friendly price, my companions. A bike of this caliber might typically command a premium, but the Marlin 8 Gen 2 stands as a beacon of affordability, welcoming riders of all skill levels and financial means.

Thus, if you seek a hardtail mountain bike that’s built to endure, rides like a reverie, and won’t dent your wallet, then the Trek Marlin 8 Gen 2 beckons. Tall riders and all, step forth and put this bike to the test, for I assure you, disappointment shall not find your path.

3. STEER – 29 PLUS

mountain bikes for big and tall guys


  • Model: Steer 29+
  • Max payload: 450lbs
  • Max rider height: from 5’9” to 7’3”
  • Materials: Titanium
  • Drivetrain: Sram NX Eagle
  • Tire clearance: Maxxis Rekon 29×2.8″
  • Weight: N/A
  • Price: from $4750

The Steer 29+ stands as a mountain bike tailored for individuals of substantial build. Boasting an optimal geometry for both All Mountain and Cross Country mountain biking, this 29 plus hardtail mountain bike emerges as the ultimate choice for those who are tall and robust. The 29 x 3 inch tires, a hallmark of this model, contribute an extra layer of cushioning to the ride, enhancing traction, stability, and control to a remarkable degree.

Crafted from titanium, the frame of the Steer exudes unyielding strength, specifically designed to accommodate larger riders. Available in sizes ranging from M to 4XL, encompassing heights from 5’9” to 7’3”, it caters to a diverse range of heights. Tailored for optimal pedaling efficiency, the Steer includes proportional length cranks, while its generously wide handlebars effortlessly accommodate broader shoulders.

Notably, the wheels are meticulously handcrafted on-site at the Colorado establishment. Employing proprietary Clydesdale hubs, the wheels are tailored for individuals weighing up to 450lbs. With 32 DT Swiss competition double butted spokes per wheel and DT Swiss brass pro-lock nipples, the enduring trueness of the wheels over countless miles is guaranteed. Each wheel undergoes precision assembly by adept wheelbuilders, who utilize advanced spoke wrenches, wheel building stands, and spoke tension meters.

Moreover, the Steer offers versatility for those who seek a more leisure-oriented experience, as it can be converted into a hybrid model. Thus, the Steer 29+ seamlessly unites durability, adaptability, and performance, presenting an exceptional option for the robust and tall rider.

4. Marin El Roy

MTB for Big Guys


  • Model: Marin El Roy
  • Materials: steel frame and fork
  • Max payload: 350lbs (160kg)
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore
  • 12-speed drivetrain with FSA Comet cranks
  • Brakes: Shimano MT420 four-piston brakes
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai 2.5”
  • Suspensions: Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Air fork with 140mm travel
  • Weight: 32.6 lb (14.8 kg)
  • Price: $2,699 for a complete build

Presenting the Marin El Roy, a fiercely aggressive hardtail that thrives on descents and occupies a captivating niche within the realm of mountain biking.

Crafted from “Series 3 CrMo” 4130 chromoly, with a tubeset of double- and triple-butted construction, coupled with a 140mm-travel fork, the El Roy is purpose-built for riders seeking an exhilarating and audacious experience astride a true workhorse.

The frame showcases a threaded bottom bracket shell, 148 mm Boost rear dropout spacing, a tapered headtube, and dual sets of water bottle/accessory mounts within the front triangle.

Available as a no-frills build, the El Roy boasts a reasonable price tag of $2,699 for a complete package. This includes a 140mm-travel Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Air fork, a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain with FSA Comet cranks, and Shimano MT420 four-piston brakes.

Catering even to heavier riders with dreams of an exceptional bicycle, the El Roy is capable of supporting up to 350kg of load—a feat akin to the finest touring bikes. While constructed from steel for durability, compliance, and resilience, it carries a weight of 32.6 lb (14.8 kg) for a size M frame.

Full Suspension MTB for Heavy Riders & Tall Men

5. Giant TRANCE Advanced Pro 29

Best Mountain bikes for big and tall guys


  • Model: TRANCE X 29
  • Materials: Advanced-Grade Composite front and rear triangles, Maestro Suspension with flip chip, 135mm travel, 12x148mm thru-axle
  • Max payload: 300 lb or 136 kg
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX
  • Brakes: TRP Trail EVO, 4 piston, Hydraulic Disc [F] 200mm [R] 180mm, Hydraulic Disc
  • Tires: [F] Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5WT, 60 TPI, 3C Max Terra, EXO, TR [R] Maxxis Dissector 29×2.4WT, 60 TPI, 3C Max Terra, EXO, TR,
  • Suspensions: SRAM RockShox Super DLX Ultimate Flight Attendant, Trunnion 185×55, custom tuned for Giant
  • Rider Height: 6’5” or 196 cm
  • Weight: N/A
  • Price: from 5,000 to 7,000 USD

The Maestro Suspension Technology is all about leveling up your ride experience – it’s dialed in to make bumps smoother, grip better, speed up your getaways, boost your control while cornering, and enhance those brake-powered maneuvers, no matter the terrain you’re tackling.

You’re looking at a nifty mid-travel trail frame with 135mm of rear-wheel travel and a solid 150mm up front. And to keep things extra sweet, it’s got RockShox’s Flight Attendant adaptive auto-damping system onboard. This smart system knows what’s up and tunes your suspension on the fly, making sure you’re always hitting that sweet spot while you roll through your ride.

Boosting the frame’s adaptability is a clever flip-chip in the frame linkage, giving you the power to tweak the head tube and seat tube angles, as well as the height of the bottom bracket. This means you can dial in the handling just the way you like it. Go low if you’re zipping through open expanses, or opt for the high position when you’re navigating more technical, tight singletrack. It’s like having your ride’s personality in your hands.

6. Specialized Stumpjumper Alloy

MTB for big guys


Model: Stumpjumper Alloy
Max rider height: 6’8″
Materials: Alloy, 38.6mm
Drivetrain: SRAM SX 12 speed – SRAM PG-1210 Eagle, 11-50t
Tire clearance: 29 x 2.3”
Weight: N/A
Price: from 1,960 Euro
Max payload: 300 lb or 136 kg

The ‘S-sizing’ geometry hits the sweet spot. It’s long, low, laid-back, with a snappy fork and a steeper seat tube, making the Stumpjumper steady, comfy uphill, and on point in any situation. You can also fine-tune your position using the FlipChip, so the Stumpjumper excels on all types of terrain.

This tailored design approach guarantees top-notch performance for every frame, even with the larger S6, ensuring smooth cornering with a well-balanced rigidity.

7. Trek Fuel EX 7 Gen 6

best MTB for Big Guys


  • Model: Fuel EX 7 Gen 6
  • Max rider height: 195 – 203 cm – 6’5″ – 6’8″
  • Materials: Alpha Platinum Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: Deore 12 speed – max chainring 1x: 34T round, 32T oval, min 28T
  • Tire clearance: Frame: 29×2.50″ (XS & S: 27.5×2.50″)
  • Weight: M – 15.97 kg / 35.21 lbs (with TLR sealant, no tubes)
  • Price: from 3,600 Euros

This bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider and cargo) of 136 kg (300 lb).

The Fuel EX 7 stands as an all-purpose trail marvel, honed to devour singletrack with finesse. Enhanced with a 150mm front and 140mm rear suspension, it effortlessly tames rugged and intricate descents, while the featherweight aluminum frame infuses vivacity into every ascent.

Introducing in-frame storage and adaptable geometry, it grants you the full spectrum of advantages akin to the carbon model, but without the accompanying hefty cost. Complemented by tubeless wheels and a dependable Shimano SLX 1×12 drivetrain, this configuration completes the package, ensuring an unparalleled escapade on the trails.

n search of a versatile full-suspension ride, you’ll discover enhanced features in the form of elevated components. Picture a supple RockShox Gold RL fork, eagerly devouring rock gardens and orchestrating seamless flow during descents. Crafted from lightweight alloy, the full-suspension frame boasts 150mm of travel with a RockShox Gold RL fork, armed with a DebonAir spring to master small bump compliance, alongside a FOX Performance rear shock. Encompassing a Shimano SLX 1×12 drivetrain, accompanied by expansive Bontrager wheels equipped with tubeless tires, and crowned by a dropper post for precision. Enter an era of adaptable geometry, enabling you to govern your configuration with finesse, thereby imbuing you with the prowess of all-mountain supremacy.

Our commitment to inclusivity is evident in our expanded size range, ensuring optimal fit for every rider. Each frame size is harmonized with the most appropriate wheel size: XS frames embrace 27.5˝ wheels, S frames bestow the choice between 27.5˝ or 29˝, while sizes M and above are elevated by 29˝ wheels. Engaging the dropper post liberates your saddle’s restraint, perfect for conquering corners and dominating descents.

Seizing control of your experience is facilitated through an adjustable angle headset (angled cups available separately) and Mino Link, offering six distinct geometry configurations. Seamlessly guided internal routing, a universal derailleur hanger, enhanced hardware, and a threaded bottom bracket collectively usher in an era of effortless maintenance.

8. Yeti SB160

big guy bikes
  • Model: SB160
  • Max rider height: XXL up to 6’11”
  • Materials: carbon
  • Drivetrain: Sram GX Eagle
  • Tire clearance: 2.6
  • Weight: In size M, with T1 set-up, without pedals + tubeless, weighs 15.50 kg
  • Price: around 11.300 USD

The Yeti SB160 represents the newest model of the thriving enduro platform, succeeding the SB150. The nomenclature hints at the transition from a 150mm to a 160mm excursion.

While the SB150 secured an impressive 49 team victories and 11 overall triumphs over four years in the EWS circuit, alongside a national championship achieved by the Yeti / Fox team, the SB160 reinforces the competitive spirit of this bicycle, striving to elevate its performance even higher.

The frame remains largely unchanged when compared to its predecessor. However, significant adjustments have been made to the carbon layers, resulting in a strategic redistribution that amplifies the overall stiffness.

Notably, ground clearance has expanded by 25mm over the SB150, accompanied by a substantial enhancement in tire clearance. Meticulous efforts have been dedicated to ensuring consistent torsional rigidity throughout, aiming to deliver a uniform sensation across all aspects of performance.

The SB160 T1 comes rocking a beefy 170mm Fox Factory 38 GRIP2 fork upfront and a 160mm Fox Factory Float X2 shock in the rear. Of course, they’re rolling with Yeti’s signature Switch Infinity suspension scheme. The cool upgrade in this department is mostly about how they’ve tweaked the bearing setup.

They’ve gone and locked those bearings in place with a floating collar axis, wiping out any wobbling or misalignment possibilities. This not only gives the bearings a longer life but also amps up the Switch Infinity’s toughness and responsiveness.

They’ve got the whole setup shielded from dirt and water, thanks to upgraded coatings and covers that pull double duty by cutting down the friction in the moving bits.

What’s even handier, there are two “doors” on the internal pistons for greasing, which is a job they recommend doing around every 40 hours of riding.

The deal with the system, which lets the back part move without messing up your pedal action, is pretty much common knowledge now, and it’s been put to the test plenty of times. It’s got a smooth, predictable feel with a linear progression, making it super rider-friendly and easy to grasp right off the bat.

9. Santa Cruz Hightower

mountain bike for big guys


  • Model: Santa Cruz Hightower XXL
  • size XXL and is suitable for riders up to 6’5″ tall
  • Materials: carbon fiber frame and fork
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 2×10
  • Tire clearance: 2.4 inches wide
  • Weight: 32 lb 0.9 oz (14,5kg)
  • Price: from $3,899

Let’s talk about the Santa Cruz Hightower. This bike is a beast, I tell you. It’s got some serious suspension capabilities and can handle the gnarliest terrains.

It features a carbon fiber frame that is both lightweight and extremely durable, making it a great choice for both cross-country and enduro riding.

One of the standout features of the Hightower is its suspension system. It utilizes a Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) design that is specifically optimized for aggressive riding. This allows for a very smooth and controlled ride, even on the roughest of trails. The rear suspension is 135mm and the front one is 150mm.

One thing that I really like is the geometry of the Hightower. It’s got a slack head angle and a long top tube which makes it super stable and gives you a lot of confidence when you’re ripping down the mountain. The chainstay is also relatively short, making it easy to maneuver and handle tight turns.

Talking wheels and tires, the Hightower is built for 29-inch wheels and comes equipped with Schwalbe tires, which provide excellent traction and outstanding puncture resistance. The wheels are also tubeless-ready and can be set up with a tubeless system.

All in all, the Santa Cruz Hightower is a top-of-the-line mountain bike that is designed for serious riders who want to tackle tough terrain. With its durable carbon fiber frame, top-notch suspension system, and stable geometry, it is sure to provide an excellent riding experience.

Now, one thing that I’m not too fond of is the weight. It’s a heavy bike, no doubt about it. But, I guess that’s to be expected with a bike that can handle such rough terrain.

It’s also on the expensive side, but if you got the dough and wanna shred some serious trails, the Hightower will definitely do the trick.

How Many Spokes?

MTB for Big Guys spokes

Mountain biking in itself requires a quality and durable bike; bumpy roads, rocks, and difficult descents. If this is one of your favorite sports and you are a big guy, you will need an even more resistant MTB that can easily support the weight.

When looking for a mountain bike for big guys, there are a few key characteristics to take into consideration. Wheels are one of the key factor, traditionally bicycles wheels come with 32 or 36 spokes, and they work well for most riders, including those who are heavier.

However, some manufacturers offer wheels with higher spoke counts, such as 40 or 48 spokes, which are designed for heavier riders or those who plan to carry heavy loads on the bike.

More spokes generally result in a stronger and more robust wheel that can better distribute the weight and handle the stresses from riding.

Hardtail vs Full Suspension

mountain bikes for heavy riders

The choice between a full suspension or a hardtail mountain bike ultimately comes down to personal preference and the type of terrain you will be riding on.

Full suspension bikes, as the name suggests, have suspension in both the front and rear of the bike. This provides additional comfort and control over rough terrain, as well as helps to absorb impact and vibrations. Full suspension bikes are also generally considered to be more capable of handling more demanding trails and technical terrain. For big guys, full suspension bikes can help reduce the stress on your joints and back, making for a more comfortable ride.

On the other hand, hardtail bikes have a suspension fork in the front and a rigid rear triangle. They are generally considered to be simpler, more lightweight, and more efficient to pedal. Hardtail bikes are also a great option for big guys who will be riding on relatively smooth trails or for those who want a bike that is more versatile for different types of terrain.

In summary, if you are big guy and you will be riding on rough and technical terrain, a full suspension bike will provide additional comfort and control. If you’re looking for a more versatile bike that can handle a variety of terrain or you are looking to save some weight, a hardtail bike will be a good option. Keep in mind also that full suspension bike may be a bit more expensive than a hardtail.

Can a big guy ride a MTB?

Absolutely! Big guys can definitely ride mountain bikes. There are various MTB models designed to accommodate different sizes and weights of riders. A mountain bike for a 300lb person is about the usual weight limit for most bikes, although some bikes might handle up to 400 lbs. Check carefully that the limit is enough to support your weight and that of any baggage or backpack.

What is a good mountain bike for a 300 pound man?

We have selected 9 MTB for big guys, 4 hardtail and 5 full suspension, capable of holding from 300 lbs (or 136 kg) to 450 lbs (or 204 kg) and with the possibility of choosing a size suitable for tall men and women, all tailored to maximize enjoyment and confidence.

1. Cannondale Habit HT 2 
2. Trek Marlin 8 Gen 2
3. STEER – 29 PLUS
4. Marin El Roy
5. Giant TRANCE Advanced Pro 29
6. Specialized Stumpjumper Alloy
7. Trek Fuel EX 7 Gen 6
8. Yeti SB160
9. Santa Cruz Hightower

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