Thomas Genon performing at Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle
© Boris Beyer / Red Bull Content Pool

9 of the best dirt jump, pump track and slopestyle mountain bikes for 2023

Whether you see yourself as the next slopestyle superstar, or you're simply looking for a great bike to send it at the local skatepark, these are the rides for you.
Written by James McKnight
7 min readUpdated on
What is a good mountain bike for pump tracks, dirt jumps and slopestyle biking? For these forms of aggressive riding you need to be able to throw the bike into turns, jumps and tricks. That means it should be compact, low-slung and robust.
When it comes to the world of mountain bike dirt jump and pump track riding, at first glance it might appear that all bikes are the same – small, burly hardtail frames with minimal gears and one brake.
But look a bit closer and it turns out that there are a few areas of the bike to consider before buying a dirt jumper:
  • Is the frame aluminium or steel? The former will be lighter, the latter more forgiving
  • Does it have MTB or BMX cranks? Steel BMX cranks will be bombproof (and allow smaller chainrings) but the MTB alternatives are still pretty strong and often lighter
  • Does it have a big-brand dirt-specific fork? You’ll need one, as a standard MTB fork or a cheap alternative might be too long and won’t take the big hits of those massive jumps you aren’t always going to get right
  • Are there sizing options? Many brands only offer a ‘one size fits all’ frame, but shop around and there are options for taller riders
Of course, it’s always worth evaluating the full bike spec too, but most dirt bikes are pretty much indestructible and spare parts are reasonably cheap anyway, so don’t sweat too much over the build.
Want to see how slopestyle riders have pushed mountain biking to its limits? Join Matt Jones as he delves into the evolution of the sport's most iconic trick – the 360 – and its gradual development

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1. Airdrop Fade

Airdrop Fade

You have to be quick off the mark to bag yourself an Airdrop release

© Airdrop

Price: £399 (frame only)

Frame sizes: One size

Material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 26”

Suspension travel: NA

Airdrop Bikes is a small British company run by riders from Sheffield. It produces a popular line of mountain bikes, made in batches, that generally sell out shortly after hitting the shelves. For good reason too: frames like the Fade hardtail, which is made for ripping around pump tracks and boosting big jumps, are beautifully produced and feature spot-on geometry. Keep your eye on the Airdrop Instagram account to be in with a chance of getting one of these great-looking releases.

2. Saracen Amplitude CR2

Saracen Amplitude CR2

The Amplitude is the best value entry-level dirt jump bike

© Saracen

Price: £699.99

Frame sizes: M

Frame material: 4130 chromoly

Wheel size: 26”

Suspension travel: 100mm

Saracen’s Amplitude hardtail is a fantastic budget offering at one of the lowest prices you’ll find for a complete dirt jump setup. Its 4130 chromoly frame and chromoly three-piece crankset should be bombproof and able to cope with all the flat landings you can throw at them. Some components are quite basic, but this is a great base to build around. Saracen also offers two other price points for higher-level component builds – the CR3 and AL Team – both of which are still excellent value for money.

3. Santa Cruz Jackal

Santa Cruz Jackal 2022

The American company's frame is the perfect base for a dirt jump bike build

© Santa Cruz

Price: £899 (frame only)

Frame sizes: M, L

Frame material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 26”

Suspension travel: NA

If you are looking to rip around the pump track and know every millisecond counts, the Jackal could be the bike you need.
Santa Cruz’s dirt bike has been in the Californian brand’s line-up for a long time, and it's easy to see why. It is a luxury, super-fast, solid frame with a super short chainstay for a snappy riding characteristic.

4. NS Bikes Metropolis 3

NS Bikes Metropolis 3 2021

This ace starter bike has had input from pro riders to dial its geometry

© NS Bikes

Price: €939

Frame sizes: One size

Frame material: 4130 chromoly

Wheel size: 26”

Suspension travel: 100mm

NS makes a range of well-priced mountain bikes, including a number of hardtail and full suspension dirt jump and slopestyle frames and completes. The Metropolis 3 is a fantastic starter bike that NS says has had input from its pro riders to ensure solid geometry.
If you are looking to get into pump track riding and jumps, it offers a robust 4130 chromoly frame with decent components list including BMX cranks. You won’t find many cheaper alternatives.

5. DMR Sect

DMR Sect 2021

The Sect is one of the most popular frames for dirt riders


Price: £900

Frame sizes: One size

Frame material: Chromoly steel

Wheel size: 26"

Suspension travel: 100mm

British company DMR pretty much invented mountain bike dirt jumping – or, at the very least, the brand has been around since its earliest moments. And it’s no surprise that it’s still going strong – the Sect is one of the most popular frames for dirt riders.
The frame features a short rear end for easier spins and flips but its hydroformed chainstays for maximum clearance help ensure you can still fit a decent width tyre. Its super-low-slung top tube makes it ideal for tricks and tailwhips where the bike needs to be as compact and out of the way as possible. Meanwhile, an array of own-brand and carefully selected components adorn the bike (seeing as DMR is essentially the authority on mountain bike dirt jumping, this is a good thing) and the package is rounded off with its almost unbeatable price tag.

6. Commencal Absolut

Commencal Absolut 2021

The Absolut also comes in a smaller, 24-inch wheel version

© Commencal

Price: €1,500

Frame sizes: S, M, L

Frame material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 26”

Suspension travel: 100mm

Commencal’s great-looking Absolut is fast becoming one of the most popular complete dirt bikes available, and for good reason. Solid components and an unbeatable price make it hard to look elsewhere.
The Absolut’s 6061 alloy frame is adorned with a super range of components for the price: Manitou Expert Circus fork, three-piece BMX crankset, SRAM Level brake, Novatec hubs on Alex rims, Maxxis dirt-specific tyres and a splattering of Commencal in-house brand finishing parts. By the way, if you happen to be in Andorra you can pick the bike up directly from the brand showroom and you get 10% off the price.

7. Scott Voltage YZ 0.1

Scott Voltage YZ 0.1 2021

If it's good enough for Brendan Fairclough...

© Scott

Price: £1,449

Frame sizes: One size

Frame material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 26”

Suspension travel: 100mm

Scott’s Voltage dirt frame is great-looking, bombproof and a nippy ride for pumptracks as well as dirt jumps. It's the bike that makes Brendan Fairclough so steezy at the trails. Or is it the other way around?
The Voltage YZ 0.1 is a little pricier than some similarly equipped completes, but with Scott you are buying quality and assured customer support as the company sells online and in-store. It comes as a singlespeed with two brakes, three-piece cranks and Kenda dirt tyres so it’s ready to hit the jumps, BMX track or street straight from the box.

8. Marin Alcatraz

Marin Alcatraz 2021

The Alcatraz is a favourite of Red Bull athlete Matt Jones

© Marin

Price: £1,385

Frame sizes: One size

Frame material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 26"

Suspension travel: 100mm

If you liked what you saw in Matt Jones’ Design and Conquer series, then the bike you’ll need in order to replicate his various world-first tricks is Marin’s Alcatraz. It’s a great-looking hardtail built for the biggest tricks, and you’re getting a competition-proven bike that Jones has piloted at many-a slopestyle event.
Not quite ready to send it on a whale tail? The Alcatraz is just as happy sprinting around a BMX track or pumping through a rhythm section as it is boosting massive jumps.

9. Canyon Stitched 720

Canyon Stitched 720 2021

The Stitched 720 is one of very few complete full-suss dirt/slope bikes

© Canyon

Price: £1,999 complete

Sizes: M

Wheel size: 26”

Frame material: Aluminium

Highlights: RockShox Pike DJ fork and Monarch RT shock

For a little extra comfort at the trails or slopestyle course, Canyon’s full-suspension Stitched 720 is a solid, reasonably priced (for its level of quality) option. It comes with a six-year guarantee, but it probably won’t provide you with the style and skill of Canyon’s team rider, Thomas Genon.
The Stitched 720 is one of very few full suspension dirt/slope bikes available as complete builds, but despite the lack of competition Canyon has still managed to put together a great package with a relatively modest price tag. The slightly beefier front tyre than you’ll find on most of the complete hardtails featured alludes to the bike’s intentions: big jumps, high speeds, enormous tricks. Is that you?