Here at Cycle Travel Overload we are big fans of bikes that are able to go where others are not! But we also have a thing for gravel bikes, or drop bar and off-road capable bikes. However, the niche genre of drop bar mountain bikes seem even more cable then your standard gravel bike and they take it a step further.

It is debatable whether some of these bikes could be officially considered a “mountain bike”. But our main criteria for bikes making it into this list is on wheel and tire sizes. They need to big and wide enough to attack some of the most demanding terrains. Much like a true mountain bike. The minimum tire width for this list is no less then 2.1″ tires. Some come with something like a 50 mm gravel tire but also they have the option to house larger and knobby tires for a complete drop bar mountain bike build.

Along with that these bike needed to be most easily available to the consumer weather that be in store or online. While obviously only having drop bars. One could say though that most of these bikes have a more touring/adventure or gravel bike geometry more so then a true mountain bike. But the main use for these such drop bar mountain bikes is for adventure and bikepacking.

These bike are designed around a drop bar. While you could change your MTB flats to drops on your current MTB it is not recommended as the geometry for a mountain bike generally has a much longer reach and it would not work well with drop bars.

Please keep in mind that these top 8 are out personal favourites here at Cycle Travel Overload. There are many other mountain bike options out there with drop bars. But here are some of our favs!

Kona Sutra LTD

The Sutra is a bike that I personally own and that is why it is up here at the start. I have had experience riding this bike and it rolls like a dream on so really rough terrains. Such a supple bike, I really cannot get over how nice it rides! The vision Sutra had for this bike was for them to design a drop bar bike that felt like a mountain bike and rode like a mountain bike but had the speed of a road bike. And that is what they have accomplished! It is a great bike that merges between a mountain bike and a touring bike! Priced from $2,199.00

It features SRAM Rival 1 hydraulic disc brakes, a 1x drivetrain and beefy yet fast-rolling 700x50c tires. And also does feature a SRAM Rival 1 groupset. The wider bar comes with a 16-degree flare. Fits up to 29×2.2″ without fenders and comes with the 73mm race face bottom bracket. If you are after a more in-depth review check this out!

Salsa Fargo

My good bikepacking buddy owns one of these bikes and it is so great! The new 2020 Fargo Apex 1 features our steel frame and carbon Firestarter 110 fork, paired with a SRAM Apex 1 drivetrain for smooth shifting. The 29 x 2.2” wheel and tire combination provides excellent rollover, low rolling resistance, and great momentum. Fits into the categories, bikepacking, off-road and singletrack riding perfectly! As usual you get a large range of mounting options. Prices start from $2,199.00 at

Salsa Cutthroat

The all new Salsa Cutthroat is a beast of a drop bar mountain bike! Give this article a read if you want a buyers guide and in-depth review of the bike, also covers the different models available. A bike that was built to tackle the Tour Divide it has been a successful bike for this route. The Cutthroat is a full carbon drop bar mountain bike! A lighter, more compact, and comfortable bike for longer rides. It would probably be one of the most important bikes designed in the last decade! Prices start from $2,699.00 at

Breezer Radar Expert

Look no further if you are after a drop bar mountain bike that is capable for hauling gear but for a budget price! Under $1000 you can get this rig! A full steel bike bike built from a Breezer Steel Chromoly frame & fork with Multi-Mount bottle-cage and rack options on frame & fork. You also get the capacity for up to 29 x 2.2″ MTB tires. A wide-range Shimano 2×9 drivetrain with 46/30T crank. It comes with Tektro Spyre C, mechanical disc. There are some lower quality components but still sits in that mid range and for a amazing price tag! You cannot go wrong!

Ghost Fire Road Rage

Has to be on of the nicest looking bikes and this is why we love it! Not only that but with the wide 29” tires and the vario post, it demonstrates MTB qualities, while the stiff frame and variable luggage loading options expresses touring bike qualities as well. Offering so many mounting options I lost count! The full carbon bike has a max tire clearance for up to 29 by 2.1″ prices from $4510.00 AUD or $2,773 USD

Curve GMX

Available as a frameset from Curve Cycling in Australia. It is a gravel bike with a tyre clearance for a 29 x 2.0 – 29 x 2.4 wheel platform. For riding long and rough, fast off-road touring and weekend jaunts in the bush. The GMX has an oversize triangle to make room for frame bags and 1L water bottles. The BP fork features triple M5 mounts for Rocket Pooches or similar oversize cages. Prices for frame start from $3,999.00 AUD

Genesis Vagabond

Considered the UK love child of a road and mountain bike is the Vagabond. As the name suggests it is a bike suited for adventure and can be used in a range of disciplines. You get a 2×10 Shimano Deore groupset with Mechanical disc brakes. A fully chromoly steel bike with touring like bar end shifters. Priced from £1099.99

Ibis Hakka MX GRX

This bike might be on the verge of not quiet making it into a list of drop bar mountain bikes. As it only has clearance for up to 700c tires that are 40mm wide, but you can get 650’s with up to a 2.1” tire. Which no is not a 29″ tire but it is wide which counts, right? Maybe! If you want to see how capable this bike is head over to our review.

The Hakka was built to handle technical terrain with ease, while still tackling smoother, high speed roads with grace and stability. The build offers a excellent Shimano GRX drivetrain with a 1×11, 11-42 speed cassette. The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes give you high powered stopping control, and the Ibis Alloy wheels give you great power transfer and smooth control, with options for wide, grippy tires. Prices from $4,399.00 at Jenson USA

About The Author



Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.