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Are KTM Mountain Bikes Good? (Honest Review)

Many people stumble online over KTM mountain bikes and are left confused because they know the brand from the motorcycle industry.

So are KTM mountain bikes any good or is it just a brand that is taking advantage of their success in another industry?

The short answer is that KTM mountain bikes are good bikes and really excel in the cross country category but sometimes fall behind their competitors in the trail, all-mountain, or enduro categories.

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the KTM bicycle brand and we will explore the price range and build quality of KTM mountain bikes, so keep reading!

Is KTM A Good MTB Brand?

KTM Mountain bike
KTM Mountain bike

KTM is a reputable brand in Europe and has a lot of history behind it, at first they become renowned for their motorcycles (production of motorcycles started in 1954), and after ten years (in 1964) they began producing bicycles.

By 1989 around one million KTM bicycles were produced, this was a great achievement but the total number of KTM bicycles produced until the year 2012 reached the 4 million mark.

Despite the good reputation in Europa KTM still was an unknown brand in the USA until distribution was established in 2014, if you will check KTM’s official website you will find that they have more than 2500 distributors worldwide but still the majority of them are in Europe.

As you can see KTB is a big company with a lot of history behind it and has many loyal fans.

For How Long Does KTM Been Making Bicycles?

KTM started producing bicycles in 1964, so it has over 60 years of bicycling tradition behind it but they are present on the US marketplace since the year 2014.

In 2010 KTM became the first company to produce an e-mountain bike, the Bionix system e-Race, which laid down an early foundation for the bicycle market that is now skyrocketing.

To be able to be present on the market for so many years is a strong indication that their bicycles are of good quality, otherwise, they would be long gone by now.

Where Are KTM Mountain Bikes Made?

KTM Bicycles are made in Austria. The design, prototyping, and assembly are done in the Austrian city of Mattighofen. This HQ has a full assembly line, plus a powder coating and a wheel building department.

Here KTM has a large testing facility, in just 70 hours a bike’s complete life cycle can be simulated and tested.

KTM Mountain bikes Build Quality

KTM mountain bikes have great build quality with increased attention to detail, one of the biggest advantages of KTM mountain bikes is the bike design, these mountain bikes are gorgeous and will attract attention almost anywhere you go.

The bikes have a premium feel to them. The welding on the aluminum frames looks very good and the overall design even on the lower budget bikes is very nice, you will find little spots where it becomes obvious that costs were cut.

I owned 2 KTM mountain bikes by now and I tested more than a dozen, every time I was pleasantly surprised by their build quality and I must admit that I really love their design (how they look).

In the last few years, the geometry of KTM mountain bikes has improved a lot, they are longer now and feel more stable on the trails but still KTM mountain bikes really shine in the cross-country category. But still, they feel a little bit outdated when you compare them with Trek, Specialized, or Santa Cruz bikes.

KTM mountain bikes bring a lot of value and if you are a more cross-country-focused rider then a KTM mountain bike will suit you well.

If you are a more visual person and you what to see the build quality of a KTM mountain bike I encourage you to watch the very short video below.

KTM Mountain bikes Components Quality

KTM mountain bikes are equipped with components manufactured by the top brands in the biking industry, they are not met to be budget bikes and so only brands like Shimano, SRAM, Rock Shock, and Fox are trusted by KTM to produce parts for their full-suspension mountain bikes.

Only the cheapest entry from the full-suspension bikes (SCARP 294) are equipped with a Suntour Raidon 32 Air fork but the shock is RockShox Monarch RL.

On the hardtail lineup, we can see that the models that come with a price tag that is lower than 1500$ are equipped with Suntour forks which in my opinion is not optimal taking into consideration that the cheapest hardtail sits around the 1000$ mark.

If we compare the KTM hardtail lineup with Trek’s lineup, we can see that Trek Marlin 8 which has a price of around 1330$ is equipped with a RockShox fork, and only from Marlin 6, we can find Suntour forks. Let us not forget that the Marlin 6 comes with a price tag of 830$ which is cheaper than the cheapest KTM hardtail.

In the past, you rarely would see a Suntour suspension on a KTM but it seems like the standard was dropped. To be honest I am a little disappointed by this!

When it comes to cross country raising the weight of the bike really matters so let us see how is a Marlin 8 compares to a KTM ULTRA GLORIETTE 29:

  • Trek Marlin 8 (price: 1330$): 13.20 kg / 29.1 lbs
  • ULTRA GLORIETTE 29 (price 1150$) : 14,8 kg / 32.63 lbs

So the ULTRA GLORIETTE 29 is heavier than a Marlin 8 but the real problem is that is heavier even than a Marlin 6 which weighs 14.11 kg / 31.11 lbs.

In the past, KTM offered more value than its premium competitors but I am sad to see that this isn’t the case anymore.

How Do Customers Feel About KTM MTBs?

There aren’t too many opinions online about KTM mountain bikes because they don’t share the same popularity as Trek or Specialized bikes do.

But almost all who came in contact with a KTM mountain bike were pleased by the bikes and there were only good things said about the bikes designed to be used for cross-country racing (SCARP series for full suspension, MYROON and ULTRA series for hardtails).

Many people think that they are overpriced and you tend to pay more for the brand, and after a few price comparisons with the Marlin series from Trek, I understand their frustration. But we need to remember that KTM doesn’t buy the frames from Taiwanese companies, and they are producing them in Austria and this is not cheap.

KTM MTB bike prices

Some people think that KTM mountain bikes are on the budget side but the price lineup shows a different story.

Now I will give you the price range for their hardtails and full-suspension mountain bikes that aren’t designed for casual use:

Full-suspension MTBPrice range
SCARP series2800 – 11160
PROWLER series3600 – 10000$
Hardtail MTB
ULTRA series1160 – 2560$
MYROON series2560 – 10000$
KTM mountain bikes’ price range

As we can see in the table above KTM mountain bikes have similar prices as their big competitors like Trek and Specialized and are on the expensive side when compared with Giant mountain bikes.

Conclusion

KTM mountain bikes are good bikes that can handle a good trail ride but the general opinion is that their price is too high and you end up paying for the brand.

The best KTM mountain bikes are the cross country one’s which tend to perform very well but are not in the expensive bike category they are equipped with great components and have well-done frames manufactured in Austria and not Taiwan.

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Sources:

I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.