All Mountain Vs. Cross Country Bike (In-Depth Comparison)

Mountain Vs. Cross Country Bike

Before purchasing a bike, you must have specific attributes to note. The all-mountain and the cross-country bike have some features to compare.

This article puts the all-mountain bike and the cross-country bike side in all aspects.

All mountain biking and cross-country bikes have several similarities and differences. Amongst these differences, the bikes are unique in look, speed, and terrain that they run. Other features differentiate them, including the price and maintenance cost.

Difference Between All Mountain Vs. Country Bike?

Mountain Vs. Cross Country Bike

Some difference exists between the cross country and the all-mountain bike. The differences affect the way they can be handled and also the kind of terrain they can run on.

In some cases, the terrain they run on is one major differentiating factor between them. 

Here are some differences between the mountain bike and the Cross-country bike:

  • Weight
  • Composing parts
  • Geometry
  • Terrain
  • Personal preference


The cross-country bike is generally lightweight compared to the Mountain bike.

All mountain bikes are more rigid and studier. The weight of a bike is dependent on the material of the bike. 

The Cross-country bike is made majorly with carbon fiber making it lightweight. You can consider your bike lightweight if it weighs between 17 and 17.5 pounds.

The all-mountain bike is heavier than the cross-country bike. The trail bike weighs an average of 30 to 33 pounds. 

The bike’s weight depends on the materials that make the constituting part. All mountain bikes have aluminum and steel frames.

Composing Parts

Some composing parts of the cross-country bike differ greatly from all mountain bikes.

All mountain bikes have forks that are heavier to handle the terrain you may encounter while riding the bike.

On the other hand, the cross-country bike has a lighter fork much suited for a smooth ride.

All mountain bikes have a rear suspension, giving an easier ride through rough terrain.

The cross-country bikes lack rear suspension. This feature makes them hardtails, a factor that increases their efficiency when pedaling. 

This feature sacrifices the speed and efficiency of the trail bike for the need for rigidity. The rigidity allows it to withstand the roughness of the terrain.

Another difference spotted between the trail bike and the cross-country bike is the diameter of the wheels.

The wheel of the cross-country bike is 29 inches wide. This size is more efficient for pedaling, which is best for cross country.

The wheel of all mountain bikes ranges from 27.5 inches to 29 inches. This variety in sizes allows riders to choose which best suits their terrain and is most comfortable. 


The bike’s geometry is another feature that significantly differentiates the cross-country bike from the all-mountain bike.

The handles & distances between the basic parts and the frame define the bike frame’s geometry.

These basic parts are the tube, the seats, and the chain stays. Measure the geometry from the center of the bottom bracket to where the top tube meets the seat tube.

Based on the geometry, cross-country bikes have steeper angles than trail bikes.

This feature improves the handling of the cross-country bike over the all-mountain bike. The geometry being in degrees provides a fair idea of the head angles.

All mountain bikes have an angle of 65 to 68 degrees. The cross-country bike has a head angle of 69 and 71.


In general terms, the terrain you ride the bike is the most important differentiating factor. The cross-country bike is suited for smoother rides through flatter terrain. 

This terrain could include woodland paths, sandy trails, or dirt roads. Any ride that includes going downhill or uphill does not work well with cross-country bikes.

On the other hand, the all-mountain bikes are ideal for riding on steep surfaces. They can go uphill or downhill with no difficulties at all.

They are also suited for alpine trails requiring technical sections, steeper descent, and ascents. 

Personal Preference

Another difference that stands as an unwritten rule is your preference. The cross-country bike places more emphasis on endurance and distance.

On the other hand, the trail bike places more attention on talent. The all-mountain bike is suited for a mixture of terrains while maintaining its rigidity.

This bike is for climbs, flats, rocks,  and even woody paths. Depending on which terrain you want to thread, the differences are glaring for you to pick.

All Mountain Vs. Country Bike: Price Comparison

The prices of the bikes are a major difference between the all-mountain bike and the cross-country bike.

All mountain bikes range between 400 dollars and 5,000 dollars. At the same time, the cross-country bike price ranges between 1,000 dollars and 9,000 dollars. 

The difference is significant when placing the prices of the cross-country bike beside the trail bikes.

Cross-country bikes are more expensive than all mountain bikes because of the materials used to make them. 

The lightweight nature of the cross-country bikes requires special materials to make them.

These materials must be light and durable to suit the purpose of the cross-country bike. Materials deployed in the production of cross-country bikes are carbon fiber elements. 

In the case of the all-mountain bike, the materials used in making them are not entirely specialized.

A large part of the composing parts consists of aluminum and steel. These materials are less expensive and heavy.

The composition of the materials is the major determinant of the pricing of a bike.

Which Is Best for Trail Riding All Mountain or Cross-Country Bike?

All mountain bikes can withstand the roughness of trail riding better than cross-country bikes.

The all-mountain bike is best suited for trail riding. The cross-country bike is best suited for a flat surface trip.

When you want to navigate through terrains that combine several contours, it will be best if you stick to the all-mountain bike over the cross-country bike. 

The disadvantage of using the cross-country bike on a rough trail is that you may experience some wear and tear after every trip.

This wear and tear may be minor but always require you to fix them after a trip. The cost of riding the cross-country bike becomes significantly high.

All Mountain Vs. Cross Country Bike: Which Is Faster?

Cross-country bikes are faster than all mountain bikes. This variation in speed is because the cross-country bike is lighter and quicker in acceleration. 

The cross-country bike is made to thread through flat terrains without obstruction. Most of the parts that make up the cross-country bike are carbon fiber.

This material is light and durable, making the weight of the cross-country bike an average of 17 – 17.5 pounds.

On the other hand, the all-mountain bike is heavier and studier than the cross-country bike.

The bike is made mostly of heavy materials like aluminum and steel. This weight is suited to withstand rough terrain while speed is minimal.

FeatureCross-Country BikeAll Mountain Bike
WeightLight about 17.5 poundsHeavy more than 30 pounds
Composing materialCarbon fiberAluminum
GeometrySteeper 69 – 71 degreesLess steep 65 – 78 degrees
Terrain preferenceFlat surfacesClimb and descent
Hard tailsNo rear suspensionRear suspension present
Width of tires29 inches27- 29 inches wide


There are different types of bikes: of which the All mountain and cross-country bikes are one of them.

These bikes are different in many aspects. The most significant difference is the terrain that the bikes ride on. 

Other differences include the price, the composting materials, and the geometry. Your choice can be based entirely on which you prefer.

Josh Matthews

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