MTB

7 exciting dirt jump, pump track and slopestyle mountain bikes for 2020

© Marc Müller/Red Bull Content Pool
Whether you see yourself as the next slopestyle superstar or you're looking for a great bike to send it at the local skatepark, these are the rides for you.
By James McKnight and Ric McLaughlinUpdated on
What's a good mountain bike for pumptracks, 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 jumping and pumptrack riding, at first glance it might appear that all bikes are the same – small, burly hardtail frames, with few gears and one brake.
But look a bit closer, and it turns out that there are a few aspects of the bike to consider before buying a dirt jumper:
  • Is the frame aluminium or steel? The former will be lighter, the latter more durable.
  • Does it have MTB or BMX cranks? The 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? Most brands only offer a ‘one size fits all’, but shop around and there are frames available 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.
Oh, and what’s that about slopestyle? For the likes of the slopestyle competitions on the Crankworx World Tour you’ll notice that some of the big name pros are on short-travel full-suspension bikes. These take the character of dirt bikes and add a rear shock to take those 40-feet-to-flat senders.
Here are the best mountain bikes for pumptracks, dirt jumps and slopestyle.

1. DMR Sect

DMR Sect
The Sect is one of the more popular frames out there
  • Price: £750/€895/$970
  • Material: Chromoly steel
  • Size options: One size only
  • Colour: Black or red
  • Wheel size: 26"
  • Components highlight: RST Dirt 100 fork
British company DMR pretty much invented mountain bike dirt jumping – or at least have been around since its earliest moments. And it’s no surprise that they’re still going strong – the Sect is one of the most popular frames for dirt riders.
“The complete DMR Sect Pump and Dirt Jump Bike uses the same legendary dirt geometry as found on our DMR Sect frame, including a super-short rear end for spins and flips, 69 degree head angle for stability, great toe clearance for barspins and low standover for tailwhips.” – DMR

2. Scott Voltage YZ 0.1

Scott's Voltage YZ 0.1 dirt jump bike
Scott Voltage YZ 0.1
  • Price: £1,199/€1,400/$1,519
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Size options: One size only
  • Colour: Silver
  • Wheel size: 26"
  • Components highlights: X-Fusion Slant DJ fork
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?
“Equipped with ultrashort adjustable chain stays, a tapered headtube and high-end components, this bike is perfect for hitting the pumptrack, the dirtjumps or jibbin’ through the streets.” – Scott

3. Marin Alcatraz

The Marin Alcatraz
Three words: Frames of Mind. That is all you need to know
  • Price: £1,245/€1,460/$1,580
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Size options: One size only
  • Colour: Blue/black
  • Wheel size: 26"
  • Components highlights: X-Fusion Slant DJ fork
If you liked what you saw in Matt Jones’ Frames of Mind video (and if you haven’t seen it, get out from under that rock), then the bike you’ll need in order to replicate the flips, spins and, er, ridiculous camerawork is Marin’s Alcatraz. A great-looking hardtail built for the biggest tricks.
“The Alcatraz allows the rider to follow in Matt Jones’ footsteps to build and personalise the best dirt jump bike possible.” – Marin
Bike · 5 min
Matt Jones: Frames of Mind

4. Commencal Absolut Dirt

The Commencal Absolut Dirt
Solid components make the Absolut Dirt a bomb-proof option
  • Price: €1,199/£999/$1,277
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Size options: S and L
  • Colour: Chalk grey
  • Wheel size: 26"
  • Component highlights: Two-piece BMX crank, Manitou Circus fork
Commencal’s great-looking Absolut Dirt 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.
“If you’re a fan of the dirt genre then you’ve probably already seen Remy Morton’s ABSOLUT beauty build of this bike. We watched his first rides on the bike at home in NZ and when he instantly took to the air like a rocket, we knew he liked it! So here’s our version.” – Commencal

5. Santa Cruz Jackal

Santa Cruz Jackal MTB 2020
Available as frame-only, the Jackal is a great starting point for any build
  • Price: £669/€787/$850 (frame only)
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Size options: M and L
  • Colour: Raw
  • Wheel size: 26"
If you're 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. A luxury, super-fast, solid frame, it’s favoured by the likes of Mitch Ropelato, winner of the 2019 Crankworx Ultimate Pumptrack Challenge.
“Dirt-jumping, pump-tracking, bike-parking or prowling the streets with your pack, Jackal is an opportunistic scavenger of man-made terrain.” – Santa Cruz

6. Canyon Stitched 720 Pro

Canyon Stitched 720 Pro MTB 2020
The Stitched 720 Pro can handle both dirt jumps and pump tracks
  • Price: £1,649/€1,946/$2,103
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Size options: Medium
  • Colour: Frost Blue or Jet Silver/Grey
  • Wheel size: 26"
  • Component Highlights: RockShox Pike DJ fork and Monarch RT shock
For a little extra comfort at the trail or slopestyle course, Canyon’s full suspension Stitched 720 Pro 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.
“If the jumps are getting bigger and the tricks are becoming more technical, it’s time to upgrade to the Stitched 720 Pro.” – Canyon

7. NS Bikes Soda Slope

NS Bikes Soda Slope
The Soda Slope’s perfect for those who want (and can afford) a premium ride
  • Price: £2,399/€2,799/£3,099
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Size options: One size only
  • Colour: Black
  • Wheel size: 26"
  • Component highlights: Manitou Circus Expert fork, RockShox Monarch RL shock
The Soda Slope frame is a trick-friendly sled that’s ready to hit any jump or slopestyle course you can throw at it. Plus, you can run it as a single-speed or with a derailleur thanks to the concentric bottom bracket.
“If you really want to go big, the Soda Slope is worth checking out.” – NS Bikes