Hardtail: Without rear suspension, this style is really only comfortable on your butt and lower back if you predominantly ride smooth terrain and focus on climbing or racing.
Cross-country trail bike: According to Lopes’ book, this is the best all-around bike if you mostly ride varied terrain. This bike tends to climb well with middle-ground travel on the shocks that absorbs bumps but maintains pedaling efficiency.
All-mountain: If you ride lifts and love to plunge downhill, this is your bike. Riding position is more rearward for control and confidence on descents, with greater travel than the others—around six inches.
Downhill: Downhill bikes, with burly construction and seven or more inches of travel, are best for flowing fast and smooth downhill and are able to take a beating on big jumps. The drawback? They’re clunky and inefficient for climbing.