If you are a keen mountain bike rider, there may be one aspect of riding that is thrilling, but you think could be even better. That is the jumps. Jumping on a mountain bike is exhilarating when you hit the bump with enough speed and control that you leave the ground and land with ease. But, this isn’t quite the same as all the impressive jumps that you can get with a dirt jump bike. So, those that want to explore this area of riding further might want to invest in a new dirt jump or slopestyle bike to get some more height and make the most of those sorts of trails.
In this guide, you will find reviews of a series of different bikes, some of which are dirt jump bikes and others that are better described as slopestyle bikes. These reviews will highlight the different features on offer and the benefits provided – whether that means a lighter weight, cool design, or something special in the components. We will also mention any drawbacks, such as the weight, size options, or the way it looks. From there, you can learn more about the most important considerations for choosing your new dirt jump bike and the best features. Before all that, let’s take a moment to learn more about the difference between dirt jump and slopestyle bikes.
What is the difference between dirt jump and slopestyle bikes?
To the untrained eye, there isn’t really a whole lot of difference at all between these two bikes. Both are characteristic in the way that the frame descends at a steep angle with the seat post low to the ground. The dirt jump bike came from the BMX bike, which is why you can see similarities in the shape. You may also find some people taking old BMX frames and doing them up with new components for use as a dirt jump bike. The aim of the sport is similar but while BMX takes on a more urban environment with concrete jumps in skateparks, dirt jump bikes do as the name suggests and take the rider out into the dirt.
With slopestyle bikes, you get the chance to boost your performance with rear shock systems as well. These are popular for those that want to improve their skills on trails and get an even better jump with no risk on the landing. You may also find that the look and feel of a slopestyle bike are more in line with a mountain bike. That is because there is that crossover of users that like to use a mountain bike for racing around the countryside and a slopestyle bike for tracks with big jumps or where they can do more tricks. Essentially, there is an evolution here for riders. Start out with a BMX in your teenage years in the parks around town, move on up to a dirt jump bike into adulthood as you head further afield, and then upgrade to a slopestyle bike when you start to get more confident.
Best Dirt Jump & Slopestyle Bikes: Top 10 Reviews
- Scott Voltage YZ 0.1
- Marin Alcatraz
- Commencal Absolut Dirt
- Polygon Trid ZZ Slopestyle Bike
- NS Bikes Soda Slope
- Canyon Stitched 720 Pro
- Norco Rampage 2
- DMR Sect Bike
- Mongoose Fireball
- Black Market Malice
Best Dirt Jump & Slopestyle Bikes:
The following bikes are some great examples of dirt jump bikes and slopestyle that you may find are perfect for your needs. They all have a great specification and quality build that makes them popular with riders. But, be aware that they aren’t all perfect and you also need to pay attention to the price. It is surprising the difference you can get between these different bikes. Compare your favorite options carefully and look at the choices in the sub-categories.
The first bike that we want to highlight today is this model from Scott. The Voltage is definitely an interesting model to choose if you are looking for something a little more grown-up than your normal BMX bike. The design is really nice with the deep metallic ray frame and the black components. This also means that you can swap out anything you might want to at a later date and not worry too much about how it looks.
There are some great reviews about the multi-purpose feel of this bike. While it has the ideal geometry to get riders through jumps and off-road trails with ease, there is also a street-legal set-up and comfortable ride that shouldn’t make it too difficult to ride on the streets as well. The bike comes with 26’’ wheels, an adjustable chain, tapered headtube, and other high-end components that should set you up pretty well if this is your first bike.
We have also seen the word bomb-proof used in reviews by keen riders, which bodes well for those that want to put it through its pace a bit on tougher jumps. The X-Fusion Slant DJ fork should help with that for decent shock absorption upfront. While you might assume that the bike is a tougher steel alloy because of this apparent durability, it is actually made of aluminum. So, it is also going to be nice and light to help you get a little more air time.
When it comes to the price, this one isn’t as bad as some other bikes because it is around $1500. This is probably fair for what you are getting, especially if you are keen to get a more age-appropriate upgrade for serious riding. As for downsides, one problem to consider here is the fact that it is one size only. While this isn’t uncommon for this sort of bike, you have to be sure that it is a good fit and read up on the dimensions first, especially if you are new to this sort of riding.
- A nice metallic, grown-up look for older riders
- Easy to ride in different situations
- The promise of a bomb-proof build
- Just the one size available
The Marin Alcatraz leaps off of the page when you see in listing for the top dirt jump bikes. We had to include it for that wow factor if nothing else. One of the most popular designs is bold, and arguably a little more feminine, which may appeal to a different group of riders than some of the more overtly masculine designs. The blue/pink makes a nice change from the array of metallic options.
This striking frame is made from aluminum, making it one of the lighter options around. This light weight should help when it comes to performing jumps, tricks, and anything to impress other riders. In fact, critics praise this bike for its potential for trick riding because of the geometry and build. Once you get up in the air, you can be sure of a better landing than most from the X-Fusion Slant DJ fork. There are also 26’’ wheels with 14g stainless steel spokes and Vee Tire XCV 26×2.25 tires that should be tough enough to take the impact.
Other cool components in this bike include the choice of brakes and the extras of the comfortable saddle and chain tension device. There are brakes on both wheels here, which we know isn’t the preferred choice for all riders. But the lightweight frame can take a tiny bit more weight and the Tektro hydraulic brakes and levels should be responsive enough for most riders. Any component that you don’t is easy to remove and upgrade with something better down the line.
This prestige and cool look does come at a price. This one is going to set you back four figures and while it isn’t the pricier option out there, there are cheaper models if you do plan to upgrade in the future. There is also the fact that this bike has one size of frame only.
- A really cool design with wide appeal
- A lightweight aluminum frame
- A nice front fork
- The high cost compared to similar bikes around
Starting off with the look of this bike once again, we have something a bit different. One thing that older riders can’t resist is the idea of a vintage look or an older concept in a new model. That is one of the reasons we spend so much time doing up old frames to create custom rides. Anything with a retro feel always grabs a consumer’s attention, and that is the vibe that we get here. The older version, if you can find it, has classic tan tires and a chalk grey paint job. The 2021 model is in “heritage green” with black tires. In some ways, it looks like its seen a few jumps already. But, it also looks like it is built to handle a lot more.
There is a lot of praise for this bike because of the components used and the sense of quality throughout. One feature that many people love is the use of the 3-piece BMX type crankset. While you may see BMX bikes as the younger brother of the dirt jump bike, they do have some important features to share with these bikes. There are also the benefits of the grip on the tires, the strong handlebars, and the dustproof hubs.
Also, it should be noted that you can get different sizes in this 2021 model with a small, medium, and large in the listing. This is great for taller or shorter riders fed up with the medium specs. If that wasn’t enough, riders can get all of this at a fair price. These bikes tend to retail around the $1200 mark. This is more than fair when we consider what is on offer.
When it comes to the downsides, there some aspects that you could improve upon and it is worthwhile going over the spec to see what you might upgrade. There is also the fact that there are no pedals included, so that is an extra cost up front.
- A “heritage” look that gives it a vintage feel
- BMX-friendly components for a great jump
- built to last with quality features
- Pedals to be bought separately
Let’s change direction for a moment and talk about a quality slopestyle bike. As you would expect, this one has a different approach with the use of full suspension. The rear system is sturdy and responsive, taking all the impact and also allowing for a faster recovery thanks to the rapid recovery system. This, along with the
quality of the front suspension, should allow riders a little more confidence as they hit the jumps.
In addition to the quality suspension, there is also praise from riders for the frame. There is an alloy frame, rather than pure aluminum, which means that it isn’t too heavy but is also quite tough. The frame is also stiff with the 69-degree tapered head tube and low height.
This is also another model that uses VeeTire XCV DJ tires. This seems to be a popular choice when it comes to finding something reliable with the right grip for the terrain. You aren’t going to veer off anywhere but it is still smooth enough to pick up speed. Other helpful components here include the SRAM GX DH 7 speed drive train and SRAM hydraulic disc brakes.
Unfortunately, there are actually two disadvantages that we want to mention. The first is the quality of the brakes. Some users say that they could be better, but we will leave that up to your own opinion. The other is the design. After raving about the heritage feel of the bike above, it was a shame to look at this new 2021 model and see that it is just plain black. There is no fancy detailing, no interesting accent, and no option to switch to something else.
- The suspension on both the front and rear of the bike is stable and reliable
- The alloy frame adds to the feeling of quality and durability
- Many of the components are high-end – although there is mixed opinion on the brakes
- The design is as dull as it gets
This next option is something a bit more fun. If you want other riders to see you coming on the trails, you may as well go for a bright orange bike. There are also some nice details in the design here with the little trees and the font on the branding. It looks like something made for cruising around in Florida, although the spec suggests it is much tougher than that.
This aluminum bike uses a combination of a Manitou Circus Expert fork and RockShox Monarch RL shock with 26’’ wheels. Another thing that riders really like about this model is that it is adaptable. You can take this out as it is and ride it with ease for a great time on the dirt jumps. But, there is also the option to adapt the bike into a single-speed option or to add a derailleur if needed.
Other features of note with this bike include the Kendra tires for a decent grip, 16mm SRAM Level brakes on both wheels for double the stopping power, and the finishing touches. You get a quality NS saddle with a matching design, grips, and alloy pedals.
With all of this adaptability and the great specification on offer, you are going to pay a premium price. This is the most expensive of the slopestyle bikes, unless you can get a good deal somewhere. Is the price tag too much to pay? Some would say it is, especially when there are dirt jump bikes that are a third of the price that are just as fun. Others would disagree and say that there is value here for what you are getting. This could be a good investment item for those serious about expanding their skill set.
- A cool eye-catching design
- An adaptable design for future modifications
- A quality frame with a reliable suspension
- A premium price that could be too much for everyone.
Next, we have another model with full suspension to help riders go higher and harder when practicing slopestyle riding. There are a few options in the Canyon range. You can go all out on this 720 pro for full suspension and a bigger impact. Or, you can opt for the lower-grade 360 dirt jump bike to lower cost and keep things simple, or you can go for the frame-only option. This version is attractive with the purple/black “trasher” option for those that want something a bit different.
That frame is aluminum and while it only seems to come in one size, there are positive comments about the way that it handles itself. The two forks mean that riders can tackle tougher jumps and tracks with ease, making it ideal for those ready for an upgrade. It uses a RockShox Pike DJ suspension fork at the front, a RockShox Monarch RT at the back, and has a stiff feel with the stem and handlebar.
Other key components here include the 26’’ DT Swiss 533D wheels, the MAXXIS Ikon 2.35” tires, SRAM Level TL disc brakes, and the KMC Z510HX 1s drivetrain. Overall most are pleased with what they receive and find it to be of good value.
One thing to be aware of here is that while there are some nice major components here, the finishing touches aren’t as great. The saddle is their basic Canyon stitched model, you get some standard grips, and there are no pedals included. You would probably want to add your own anyway, but the option to keep the Canyon ones would have been nice. What you do get, however, is a bonus tool kit to help you keep the bike at its best.
- The quality of the full suspension system
- The lighter aluminum frame
- Some quality components in use throughout the bike.
- The finishing touches to the package
The first thing that stands out with the listing of this bike is that the company seems to be keen to provide a quality bike to everyone. Not only does this mean two versions of the Rampage, but it also means three different sizes – small, medium, and large.
One of the great things about this bike is that the designers seem to have thought of everything. Let’s start with the most important components. You have a lightweight aluminum frame with a pretty standard RST Dirt 100mm Travel fork upfront. Stopping power comes from the Tektro MD-280 Mechanical disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels, while the Kenda K-Rad 26×2.30 Skinwall tires help with speed and control.
From there, you start to notice some of the extra details on this bike. There are VP flat BMX resin pedals with round pins here. So, not only have they bothered to add in pedals – unlike some brands above – they do so with a pedal that is well-suited to the bike’s purpose. You also get the simple Norco One Piece saddle, grips, and a pretty nice finish to the whole thing.
Be aware that you are going to get a little more if you opt for the Rampage 1 rather than this model. The Rampage one has better hubs on the wheels, a different fork, and a little more padding in the seat. The small details can make a difference, as does the cool metallic bronze paint job. But, you have to pay a lot more for the Rampage 1. That one is $1,499 while the duller Rampage 2 is $899. It is probably worth saving those $600 and getting this one instead.
- A good frame and suspension system for new riders
- Some nice extra details in the specification
- A choice of sizes
- The Rampage 1 is more impressive, but also pricier
If you have seen our other guide looking at frame-only dirt jump bike options, you will have seen the DMR Sect bike there. This is a model where you can get it as a frame or as a full bike. This is great because it gives riders options on how they want to proceed and a little more control over their budget. The frame on this bike is no different, with the same great use of tough chromoly steel for a durable bike that can handle whatever you want to put in front of it.
When you go for the full bike rather than the frame, this means that you get the benefit of having a range of different components fully-installed. The majority of these seem to be pretty impressive. There are Tektro M275 hydraulic 160mmbrakes on both the front and rear wheels. Those wheels are Alex DM24 26” wheels with double-wall rims and Kenda Small Block 8 26×2.1” tires. Then, of course, there is the RST Dirt 100 fork at the front.
Another appealing thing about this bike is that you get a lot of extras thrown in for the £800 price tag. Yes, this is a UK site so you will have to figure out shipping costs as well. This includes the finishing touches like
the usual pedals, grips, and saddle, but also nice extras like the reflectors and the bell. A bell is an underrated feature.
When it comes to the downsides, be aware that this product has a warning that it is 95% built on arrival. So, you will have to figure out the last 5% yourself. This might not be an issue at all. In fact, you might prefer the chance to do a tune-up to avoid any issues. But, you do need to fit the handlebars, front brake, and front wheel.
- A tough steel frame that is made to last
- Some quality components for an enjoyable ride
- Nice extra features to finish it all off
- Not 100% assembled on arrival
Mongoose is a popular brand when it comes to top bikes for more adventurous riders. You can find a wide range of models that are suitable for BMX riders, slopestyle riders, and those that want to get into dirt jumping. This one is particularly interesting because it is the model used by a pro rider by the name of Greg Watts. If it is good enough for him to get the height and aerial abilities needed, it has to be worthy of consideration for any new riders.
This bike has a durable Tectonic T1 aluminum frame with a tapered head tube and an RST Dirt-T 100 mm travel suspension fork.it also boasts a Shimano Altus derailleur and shifter as well as mechanical disc brakes on both wheels. The saddle grips and pedals finish it all off.
One of the surprising things about this bike is the price. You might expect that a bike of this reputation, with this sort of aluminum frame, would be on the higher end of the scale. Instead, you can pick this up for around $700. That makes it even more accessible to first-time riders that want to emulate the tricks and speeds of professionals.
There is a common downside here is the fact that there is only one size available. This is a shame because it does put a bit of a dent in that accessibility. Smaller and taller riders may end up having to look elsewhere. There may also be mixed opinions over the design. The Fireball isn’t all that fiery, with a bland bit of green branding on a purple frame, or a more standard black and silver option.
- The fact that the geometry is appreciated by professional riders
- The lightweight aluminum frame and strong fork
- The surprisingly low price for what is on offer
- Only one size and not the best design
The name Black Market Malice may sound a little sinister, but rest assured that there is an accessible bike here that is just as fun to ride as the other options available. We highlighted this company in our frame-only guide as one that is pretty impressive for those that like custom options. This bike is another example of where they seem to be happy to give users a little more choice, even if it isn’t in color.
This bike has a choice in forks for a better landing. The site talks about riders getting the Manitou Circus Comp 100mm, with the opportunity for optional upgrades in the Manitou Circus Comp 100mm or Rockshox
PIKE DJ 100mm forks. There is also the choice of the 2’’ Black Market, 3? Moly Hatchet, or the 25.4mm Bada Boom handlebar. You can pick your preferred pedal too if you want, or stick with the basic one offered.
Other key features included in this bike include the chromoly frame, FSA 10 speed chain, Profile Racing Elite MTB 10mm x 135mm hubs and Kenda Small Block 8 2.1? tires. This should allow for a tougher bike with longevity that will handle the jumps again and again, all while being nimble and easy to handle. Another interesting feature is the use of the Avid DB1 160mm brake on the rear wheel only. That shows that the company understands the preferences of many keen riders. From there, you also get the finishing touches of the Black Market grips, kevlar seat, and pedals.
The problem here, as was the same with the custom-friendly frame, is the price. The cost of having all that extra choice to adapt the bike to your preferences is the privilege of paying between $2,595.00 and $3,095.00. This is a significant amount of money and you have to be careful it doesn’t shoot up with the options you choose. Experienced riders with money to spare will see this as a worthwhile investment. Newcomers are better off elsewhere.
- The number of choices and options available while building your new bike
- The high-end components, such as the brakes, tires, and fork
- The decision to only put a brake on the rear wheel rather than a dual system
- The extremely high cost compared to other quality bikes in this guide.
Buyers Guide: Important considerations when choosing a dirt jump or slopestyle bike
The reviews above all showcase the best and worst features in these top models. Many of them share a lot of similarities in both cases. There is clearly a lot to consider when comparing your options and finding the very best model for your needs. So, let’s take a moment to look at those key features and possible drawbacks in more detail.
- The weight of the bike
- The geometry of the frame
- The size
- The brake system
- The response of the tires and wheels
- The quality of the fork
- The overall look of the bike
- The cost
1) The weight of the bike
Riders like to choose bikes that are as light as possible to that they get more air time. It doesn’t look that impressive if you only hop a couple of feet off the ground. When you start to soar and go above 6ft, with a little hang time for good measure, that is when you start to catch the eyes of other riders. So, look for aluminum or chromoly steel. The former is much lighter, providing plenty of height off the jump. But, the latter is stronger to handle all the landing.
2) The geometry of the frame
Brands should give you a good idea of the geometry of their bikes through diagrams on their websites. It is up to you how much you intend on deciphering it all to figure out the best shape for your needs. But, as long as there are that strong angle and low seat post, that is a great start.
3) The size
As you have seen with some of the bikes in this guide, there is a likelihood that you will end up with a one- size-fits-all model. This can be a little alarming for any rider that is more used to being able to pick the best frame for their height. You have a few options in this case. Either you narrow down your search to models that offer different sizes and potentially miss out on the design and spec you desire, or you can find the perfect spec and design, figure out what the dimensions mean, and adapt where possible.
4) The brake system
There are different ideas on brake set-ups. Some riders like to add brakes to the front and back, and this is often provided by bike manufacturers. But, a back wheel-only set-up is also common as some riders don’t see the need to weigh themselves down with two systems. Others like to not use brakes at all, but this is for the experienced rider.
5) The response of the tires and wheels
When it comes to the wheels and tires, a 26’’ wheel is standard here. This is a good fit for the frame and allows for good handling of courses. With the tires, you are better off with small treads for a smoother, faster roll. As with many other features on these bikes, you can swap these out as and when you need to.
6) The quality of the fork
You need to be sure that your bike has firm front suspension for optimal cushioning when you make your landings on the hard ground after a big jump. Every bike has a fork, but some are better than others so you may need to upgrade. If you want slopestyle then the full dual suspension is a must.
7) The overall look of the bike
Design is also important here because these bikes need to have visual impact, especially in a more competitive environment. So, make sure to check out the colors on offer and any fun design features. They may show a duller black model on the front page and hide a cooler version in the listing.
8) The cost
Finally, there is the price of the bike. This can vary greatly between brands as they try and justify higher prices for the best materials and components. Typically, you seem to be looking at around $800 to $1500, with room to move for bigger sizes or any extras. Figure out your budget and see if there is true value there. Other options around $3000 may be impressive but not always worth the extra money.
There are some impressive bikes out there that will help you get the speed and elevation you need to tackle all those jumps in a way that your trusted mountain bike never could. A change in weight and geometry is just the start as you can choose bikes with great specifications and interesting features at various points across the price scale. Take your time to make sure that this bike is exactly what you want and that you can take it out with pride at your nearest track. It shouldn’t take long, with the right model, to fall in love with the sport and wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner.