Mountain bikes are one of the most convenient rides you can get for yourself. It is versatile, it is heavy-duty, and most of all it is super durable best suited for rougher roads. If you are someone who lives in well, mountainous areas who need to traverse off-roads often then this is a perfect choice.

Also, the mountain bike has long been used for competitive racing and the quality of the bikes you can now buy in the market improves every time. There are high-end bikes there are also some that are best suited for exercise only or everyday use.

No matter what your purpose for the bike is, one thing is for sure, it’s going to help you get to your destination not only fast but also safely. In this article, My Bike Reviews team are going to discuss some of the best budget mountain bikes for you to decide which one best suits your needs, style, and well – budget. Ready? Let’s go!

Best Mountain Bike under $500 Reviews

True to our word that this is the best budget mountain bike review then we start with mountain bikes that are less than $500. Don’t underestimate these rides as they have a quality that might surprise you. In this context, the price can be deceiving. Let’s get to it!

1. Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike

Key Features:

  • Aluminum MTB frame infused with a Hydroformed tubing plus a powerful front suspension fork 
  • 21 speeds infused with a Shimano rear derailleur guaranteed to make smooth gear changes every ride 
  • Front & rear v brakes to ensure quick stops on the trail 
  • Light plus durable alloy rims and a 26” x 2.125” (diameter x width) tires to roll over any kind of trail 
  • Comes with a Riser handlebar w/ colored end plugs that completes your MTB look and style

mongoose status bicycle

Product Information and Review:

Take a gander at the first entry on our best budget mountain bike review, the Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike. It comes in a 26” wheel size and optional black and red colors. The Mongoose Status 2.2 unisex mountain bike is a versatile model for that fun ride that you’ve been waiting for. This model features a strong aluminum full suspension frame plus a powerful suspension fork with a rear shock to smoothen all that bumps. 

Thus Status 2.2 model is super ready to take you on your next adventure. It has a 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur paired with SRAM twist shifters that guarantee quick shifting with the right gearing for whatever trail you encounter. This Mongoose bike has not only light but strong alloy rims that promise the ultimate durability plus a support knobby 2.125 inches Wide Mountain tires that can take on any path. The brand boasts that it’s the ultimate mountain bike to take you on those off-road trips and it sure won’t let you down. 

To be honest, we like this bike as it’s got all the desirable features you’d be looking for plus it’s affordable. It’s from a trusted brand with the right credentials so we think you might like this one too. Try it out!

Pros

  • Quite a durable bike for its price
  • It comes with everything that you need and ready to go
  • Few adjustments necessary 
  • Great for both men and women 
  • Can accommodate rather tall riders

Cons

  • The brakes and the tires have reportedly been problematic

What do people say about it?

Well, we don’t only put in our two cents into these awesome bikes but at the same time, we’ve gathered some opinions from other buyers who also had the chance to ride them. First up, with this Mongoose 2.2 model, it’s doing fairly well on online reviews. Surely it could do better with its 3.5 out of 5 stars average but most of the complaints were in shipping delays, not much on the product itself. People are saying that it’s a good bike, especially for its price.

2. Schwinn Bonafide Men's Mountain Bike

Key Features:

  • Features an aluminum mountain frame
  • Powerful Schwinn suspension fork that will soak up all the bumps and thumps and will provide you a fun, and durable riding experience
  • Shimano EZ Fire trigger 24-speed shifters plus front and rear Shimano derailleurs for extreme ease in making gear changes 
  • Front and rear disc brakes (mechanical) to provide crisp and all condition stopping on the trail 
  • Durable Schwinn alloy cranks to provide steady gearing and also less maintenance needed 
  • High-quality double-wall alloy rims that are light and strong for needed durability 25 inch wide tires (knobby mountain) are ready even for the bumpiest terrain 
  • The bike is ready to be assembled upon shipping 29-inch wheels Product Dimensions when assembled (L x W x H): 71.00” x 26.00” x 44.00”

schwinn bonafide mountain bike

Product Information and Review:

The next entry on our best budget mountain bike list is the Schwinn Bonafide Men’s Mountain Bike, Front Suspension, 24-Speed that comes with big 29 inch tires, high-quality 17” aluminum frames, and high profile alloy rims in matte black and red. This hardtail mountain bike is built for none other than the toughest trails and terrains. Its alloy rims are superbly durable without the disadvantage of weighing you down. 

The aluminum frame adds to its credibility and it won’t let you down for sure. The lightweight frame and the powerful front suspension fork will let you glide through trails and cut through the brush with you leading the pack. The color-matching end plugs and also rims make this 29er look so cool and stylish. Owning trails has never been this easy. It’s not just quality but also top-notch design. The brand boasts lightweight and durable mountain bikes that are always ready for action. 

Their trail mountain bikes including this one are built to handle even the rockiest and toughest trails and are more than capable of soaking up on all the bumps along the way. In our opinion, if you adore crisp air and the natural beauty of your surroundings especially the great outdoors, then this trail mountain bike is the perfect ride for you. This is a one of a kind ride for its price and if you’re already itching for a ride, beginner or a veteran then go grab this one now!

Pros

  • One of the cheapest bikes to offer this kind of quality
  • Trusted brand 
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Rather a mountain bike for the neighborhood than outdoor trails

What do people say about it?

This model fairs better when it comes to online and user reviews. With 3.9 out of 5 stars in Amazon people are saying that it’s a good bike, easy to assemble, and looks really good. It’s a serious bike given its price and can take on any trail right away.

3. Roadmaster 26” Granite Peak Men's Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • Designed with 26-inch wheels;
  • This mountain bike will fit riders that are 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall
  • Steel mountain frame plus front suspension fork for a smooth ride
  • 18-speed twist shifters for smoother shifting on the trail
  • Front plus a rear linear-pull brake for not only quick but crisp stopping
  • 3-piece mountain crank made of strong alloy wheels for added durability
  • Tool-free and adjustable seat post aims for easy height adjustments
  • The seats and handlebars are padded and come with comfort grips
  • Knobby tire treads Comes in black, blue, or both colors
  • Assembly is required

Roadmaster 26” Granite Peak Men's Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

Roadmaster has been one of the most trusted American brands when it comes to recreational bike riding for decades now. This Roadmaster 26 inch Granite Peak Men’s Mountain Bike is their entry on our list and it is a product that is meant for a rugged and unpaved path or whether the streets in your hometown. Its steel mountain frame and the front suspension fork ensures that your rides are comfortable and smooth. 

This mountain is also so easy to navigate and handle that it’s perfect for beginners too. This Roadmaster bike features awesome knobby tire treads that will provide plenty of security along pavements or dirt roads, while the alloy rims will offer added durability plus stability. It also comes with the standard 18-speed twist shifters and Shimano rear derailleur that will allow for maximum shifting out on any trail. Wait there’s more! 

The adjustable seats and grips that are padded on the handlebars are for sustained comfort and smooth control. This Roadmaster is meant for some fun ride all over town. This is one of the cheapest bikes on our list but boy we tell you, its quality will surprise you.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest bikes to offer this kind of quality
  • Trusted brand
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Rather a mountain bike for the neighborhood than outdoor trails

What do people say about it?

This mountain bike has decent reviews online, one thing that people say is that this is a good quality bike for its low price. Also, it may not be for the outdoors but great for going around town.

4. Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • 17” lightweight 6061 Heat Treated ALLOY frame
  • Full-Suspension
  • Shimano ASLRS35LNBC & ASLRS35R7ET Shifter
  • Shimano ARDTZ50GSBT Derailleur
  • VB-968SK Linear pull brakes
  • 9/16″ Pedals
  • Weighs 40 pounds
  • 330 pounds weight capacity

Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

The next entry on our best budget mountain bike review is the Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike. This bike is for both men and women and it’s only lightweight but also built with quality and toughness. The full suspension is specially designed for smooth bumps while increasing your control over it for more fluid riding experience. The fitted Shimano 21-speed derailleurs plus the shifters are reliable and aim for seamless gear shifting. The linear brakes will provide more than enough stopping power to ensure your safety and for cruise control. This mountain bike is designed not only to be economical but to be jam-packed with featured compared to other entry-level mountain bikes to create a better experience.

Pros

  • Great entry-level bike
  • Got all the features that beginners would appreciate before jumping to a more complex ride
  • Safe and smooth to ride
  • As always this one is also a great bang for your buck
  • Easy assembly
  • Great for slightly heavier guys

Cons

  • Can work on the actual durability of the bike overall

What do people say about it?

This mountain bike is getting lots of love from its users. Overall, it’s got decent reviews surprisingly an underdog brand. It’s affordable it comes with all the features you’d expect and it’s great for both the young and adults.

5. Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • Comes with the Schwinn signature aluminum dual-suspension frame
  • Powerful Schwinn suspension fork
  • Shimano EZ Fire 24 speed trigger shifters
  • Front and rear Shimano derailleurs
  • Disc brakes front and rear
  • Double-wall alloy rims that are extra wide
  • Durable Schwinn alloy cranks

Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

The second entry from Schwinn is their Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike 29er. It features an 18-inch medium aluminum frame with mechanical disc brakes, plus a Shimano Drivetrain 24-Speed. This mountain bike is perfect for downhills and to rip through gnarly trails. The mean full-suspension on this mountain bike will always keep you on the go.

Durability is what this product boast and it’s all thanks to its high profile alloy rims (double wall) that are ultra-thick. And boy, trust us when we say that the knobby mountain tires are designed to take a beating.

Pros

  • Ultra-durable bike
  • Meant for any trail
  • Probably the best value for its price
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • Rather mediocre reviews online

What do people say about it?

This mountain bike suffers from slightly lackluster reviews from its buyers. There are reported parts issues and inconsistencies in the quality. But one thing is for sure, it’s perfect for trails. 

6. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Men's Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • 17” medium-high and Tensile Steel Frame,
  • 7-Speed
  • 26” Wheels
  • Shimano rear derailleur with twist shifters
  • Threadless adjustable headset
  • Beach cruiser pedals
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • Rear Hub is 26”
  • Assembly ready
  • For adults 5 feet and 6 inches tall to 6 feet tall

Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Men's Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

We are in the middle of our best budget mountain bike list now and surely we won’t disappoint. This next entry is another one from Mongoose, this is the Dolomite Fat Tire Men’s Mountain Bike. We know what fat bikes are for, they are meant for all terrains, and this product surely just like us doesn’t disappoint as well. The 4 inch thick tires are built tough to take on any trail and a beating.

With this mountain bike, you can conquer any of the off-road trails you so desire and you can do it with ease. The steel frame on this mountain bike is perfectly paired with the supersized all-terrain knobby tires. Speed, performance, and strength are what this bike is all about plus its lightweight alloy rims are sure to allow you to keep it under control. They don’t make fat bikes like this brand too, trust us!

Pros

  • Great all-terrain bike
  • Durable and strong
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • The very good price point

Cons

  • It’s got some cheap plastic parts

What do people say about it?

This best budget mountain bike is the best-reviewed model so far on our list. It enjoys a 4.1 out of 5-star average rating on Amazon whilst getting praised by its users for its price and durability.

7. Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • SR Suntour XC-E28 suspension fork
  • 21 Speeds Shifters
  • 27.5-inch wheels with Mongoose 2.1-inch wide tires
  • Trail ready alloy mountain frame
  • Disc Brakes
  • Mongoose MTB saddle
  • Comes in multiple colors of your choice
  • Double-wall alloy rims
  • Fits riders 5’4” to 6’2” tall

Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

Back to the Back product from Mongoose, this is the Switchback Adult Mountain Bike. This model is a bit unheralded but that doesn’t mean that it won’t soon share the spotlight with the other Mongoose products on our list.

This one has a lot of potentials and boasts design and technology that is set up for all-terrain fun. It doesn’t just look beautiful but it also offers smoother rides. Durability is what it promises and that it will work well no matter the condition is on the trail.

Pros

  • Ultra-durable frame
  • A true all-terrain mountain bike
  • Stylish design
  • Built for long rides

Cons

  • Not a very popular model

What do people say about it?

This product does not have many reviews online just yet and who knows you might be one of the first to attest to its quality. The testimonies we found though are mostly positive alluding to it being a great all-around best budget mountain bike.

8. Royce Union 27.5 inch RMT Men's 21-Speed All-Terrain Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • 20″ Aluminum Frame
  • Twist shift
  • Comes in matte black color
  • Choose the size that fits you
  • 21 speed
  • Padded saddle
  • Front suspension fork
  • Shimano drivetrain
  • Double-wall alloy rims
  • Fits riders 5’4” to 6’2” tall

Royce Union 27.5 inch RMT Men's 21-Speed All-Terrain Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

The second last best budget mountain bike that’s under $500 on our list is the Royce Union 27.5″ RMT Men’s 21-Speed All-Terrain Mountain Bike. This is actually an Amazon exclusive, and that alone speaks for its quality.

This RMT is built from quality construction, the hardtail frame is durably molded, no-rust aluminum, and is lighter than steel. That ultimately makes the bike easier for acceleration, maintain momentum, and overall easier to handle. Its Zoom suspension fork is not to take lightly as it offers top-notch performance. Its Shimano drivetrain and Revoshift promises seamless gear transition. This is definitely an all-terrain setup. The machined alloy rims unlock superior brake pad contact that enables it to consistently stop. The Krayton pedals and grips are also highly desirable.

Pros

  • Top-notch features
  • Great value for the price
  • Safe and durable ride
  • True all-terrain mountain bike
  • Find the size that fits your height

Cons

  • More like an entry-level bike rather than for veterans

What do people say about it?

This mountain bike can definitely work on improving its ratings online. This one has one of the lowest at 3.6 out of 5 stars. That’s quite baffling for a model that boasts all these great features and to us, it delivers quite well.

9. Huffy Hardtail 26 inch Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • 5 different colors (Charcoal, Metallic Cyan, Purple, Red, Solar Flare)
  • Lightweight alloy 26” matte black wheels
  • Hi-ten steel Hardtail 17” frame
  • 21-speed with indexed Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur
  • A micro shift twist shifter
  • Knobby 26”x1.95” Tires
  • 3-piece Kool steel crank
  • Kool 1200 fork
  • Premium padded ATB saddle
  • Front and rear steel linear pull handbrakes

Huffy Hardtail 26 inch Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike a combination of striking look and solid performance, and best option for accelerating on a straight surface, uphill climbing, or downhill riding. This Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike performed its best in any condition- wet or dry, on dirt, gravel, or even pavement. So if you’re looking for an all-rounder bike with a good price that will provide you the best riding experience then go for it.

Pros

  • Strong acceleration
  • Smoother- feeling ride
  • Durable steel frame
  • All-terrain mountain bike

Cons

  • People with a height below 5 feet may feel difficulties.

What do people say about it?

From all the reviews it reviles that this Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike is all in one bike. People loved it for easy adjustment. Overall regarding this bike we can say it must satisfy you with its solid performance.

Best Mountain Bike under $1000 Reviews

Have a little bit more budget? Then we have a couple of should we say medium-priced mountain bikes for you to check out.

1. Mongoose Impasse Men's Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • 18” Frame
  • 29” Wheels
  • Disc Brakes front and rear
  • Mountain-style Mongoose aluminum frame
  • Internal cable routing
  • 21 speeds
  • Thread less headset
  • 3-piece aluminum crankset
  • Extra-large 29” x 2.35” tires
  • For adults 5’4” to 6’2” tall
  • Comes in a cool charcoal color

Mongoose Impasse Men's Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

Adaptability is the name of the game for this Mongoose Impasse Men’s Mountain Bike. It’s the perfect bike you take out on any terrain and guess what it’s on a perfect price point. It’s a pretty durable ride and the brakes offer a controlled stoppage whenever you need it. It’s also quite a bike that’s easy to maintain.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Perfect for taller people
  • Good for beginners
  • Great for off roads and city streets alike

Cons

  • The front wheel and the pedal are a bit closer than desired

What do people say about it?

This Mongoose bike has fairly good reviews online. It’s a great mountain bike that fits most people’s budget and at the same time, it is something that you can really bring out on tougher trails and don’t have to worry about its performance.

2. Mongoose Men's Tyax Expert 29" Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • 29″ and 27. 5″ wheel & tire options
  • Lightweight Tectonic T2 aluminum frame frame
  • 147 mm rear hub spacing
  • Internal cable routing
  • Kraton lock-on grips
  • Tektro HD-M290 hydraulic disc brakes

Mongoose Men's Tyax Expert 29" Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

If you’re looking for a well-priced bike that offers well-balanced features then look no further. This Mongoose men’s Tyax Expert Bike delivers exactly the features that you want for a decent all-terrain bike. Challenging trails? No problem. This is built for long rides and will keep you comfortable all day. You can expect this mountain bike to deliver consistent performance every time it is built to last. The brand’s longevity is a testament to its quality.

Pros

  • Decent reviews online
  • Great bike for its price
  • Extra steering stiffness
  • Increased braking power
  • Added agility and easier climbs
  • Well-balance mountain bike

Cons

  • The saddle may need adjustment.

What do people say about it?

This entry from Mongoose has good reviews online. Probably better than most on our list. Common feedback is that it’s not only great for its price but that it’s a superior bike overall.

Best Mountain Bike above $1000 Reviews

Looking for a mountain bike that’s on the high-end side of the spectrum? Here are a couple of models for you to choose from.

1. SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • 5″ and 29″ Hard Tail MTB Bicycle
  • 30 Speed w/ M6000 DEORE Group Set
  • Carbon Fiber Frame TORAY T800
  • SR Suntour fork
  • M6000 DEORE 3*10S Shimano Derailleur System
  • Also includes RD-M6000 Front Shimano derailleur
  • MT200 Shimano Disc Brake System plus Continental Tire
  • Mechanical Double Disc Brakes

SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

We have a couple of high-end mountain bikes for you and boy does this product deliver. This SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike is for serious riders. The carbon fiber frame is built tough and is super lightweight. Speed, strength, and consistency are what this model promises and it is tried and tested to fulfill those. It’s just quality that cuts above the rest.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • True smooth gear transitions
  • Cool overall frame design and durable quality
  • Stylish look
  • Jam-packed with features
  • Durable and heavy-duty

Cons

  • Some reported issues with the suspension

What do people say about it?

These bikes are a lot more expensive but do that translate to quality? Apparently yes! This mountain bike has almost perfect scores online and that’s quite a testament to its quality. People are raving about it.

2. Diamondback Bicycles Release 3 Full Suspension Mountain Bike:

Key Features:

  • Level Link design equates to 130mm of efficient supple rear suspension
  • Boost Maxle dropout 148x12mm
  • Aluminum Hydroformed frame
  • KS LEV Si dropper post with Southpaw remote
  • Shimano Powerful hydraulic XT M8000 disc brakes with 180mm front and rear rotors
  • XT 11-speed Shimano drivetrain paired up with Turbine Cinch Race Face cranks
  • Comes in a stylish Tan color

Diamondback Bicycles Release 3 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Product Information and Review:

The last entry on our best budget mountain bike review is the extraordinary Diamondback Bicycles Release 3 Full Suspension Mountain Bike. You read the features section, it is jam-packed and built using only the newest technology in the industry. Once you get receive yours and assemble it, then you’re ready to roll. If toughness and durability are what you’re looking for then this is the bike to invest in. It’s just uniquely strong, lightweight, and performs like the top quality bike that it is all the time.

Pros

  • Top-notch quality mountain bike overall
  • Still a great investment for its price
  • For serious bikers
  • For the toughest trails
  • Superb features and durability

Cons

  • It’s got great reviews but we only found a few

What do people say about it?

This one is a no-brainer candidate as the best mountain bike on our list. It’s just superb in terms of features and even though you’d be spending more than usual it’s well worth the investment. It’s for serious bikers as these are the people that are most pleased with it online.

The next few sections will be all about information that you’d need when it comes to choosing the best mountain bike that suits your needs and style.

What is a rigid mountain bike?

A rigid mountain bike or sometimes called a fully rigid classic mountain bike is a type that does not employ any suspension system or maybe a specialized system that is used to insulate the rider and the bike from rough trails.

While these classic rigid mountain bikes were considered the norm back then, many mountain bike riders have now switched to full-suspension bikes. But it is important to take note, that there are still a significant number of advantages with the use of a fully rigid mountain bike.

This is probably because of the lower cost, fewer breakdowns, improved feedback, and also repairs. Some entry-level suspension mountain bikes are even more expensive than a rigid mountain bike. This is just an economical choice simply because it’s got fewer parts then you’ll have a few more to maintain.

What is a hardtail mountain bike?

A hardtail mountain bike is probably one of the most versatile amongst all these types. It is an all-terrain bike and employs no rear shock but is equipped with rigid forks or a front suspension. A hardtail is usually lighter and also cheaper compared to a full-suspension bike. You can’t go wrong with this type of mountain bike as it is great for beginners and experts alike.

There are also a few types of hardtail mountain bikes and beginners and veterans alike can choose which one suits their game best. We are talking about the XC hardtail mountain bikes or what you call a cross country hardtail, a trail hardtail, and Enduro hardtail, and the electric hardtail.

What is a full-suspension mountain bike?

We’ve come to the higher end of the mountain bike spectrum. A full-suspension (full-sus) mountain bike employs both a suspension fork in the front and at the same time a rear shock. As discussed above a hardtail bike employs only a suspension fork.

The variety of suspension your mountain bike utilizes will affect your control for the bike, the traction, and as well as comfort. It would also generally affect how enjoyable the ride will be.

High-quality, full-suspension bikes are quite expensive. Even entry-level ones go for about $1,500. Make sure to determine whether a full-suspension bike is good for the terrain which you’d traverse for you to utilize its full potential before you buy it.

It’s perfect though for what you call technical trails. Do you pedal through rock gardens? Or maybe up and over roots? If you are the rather adventurous type then a full-suspension bike would be perfect for you.

The front and rear suspension combo yields smoother rides with improved traction and handling that will translate to more fun experiences over rougher terrain.

A full-suspension mountain bike is perfectly comfortable. It will handle most of the bumps that would otherwise jar you and be detrimental to your body and maybe sometimes buck you off your bike. This will reduce fatigue and strain to your body, and in turn allow you to instead ride faster, longer, and with greater comfort.

Speed is also one of the most desirable features of a full-suspension mountain bike. Its front plus rear suspension works so well in absorbing bumps that you will then carry more speed through any technical section of a trail. This is where it has a clear advantage over the hardtail types.

Think this is the mountain bike for you?

Which wheel size is best for my mountain bike?

Mountain bikes today are almost offered in just one of these two-wheel sizes, 27.5″ also called the 650b or 29″ called the 29ers. The traditional 26″ wheels on the other hand are reserved for dirt jump, kids’ bikes, and free ride.

These widely utilized measurements refer to the diameter of the tire. It is then typically paired with its tire width also in inches. Example measurement would be 29” x 2.0”.

Usually, a wheel is paired with the frame size that best suits the body of a rider. The 29″ wheels are paired with 17.5″ and with larger bikes. Wheels that are 27.5″ is paired up with a 15.5″ frame size and smaller bikes. Smart wheel sizes are best for cross country (XC) mountain bikes.

Plus tires on the other hand are 2.8″ to 3.0″ wide, it offers even more rollover capability and traction plus it makes them the excellent choice for newbies or those riders who prioritizes grip above anything else.

Overall the 27.5” wheel size is best for those who prefer maneuverability and also wants a snappy bike, one that they can get off the ground easily. It generally offers a playful ride feel to it, plus quicker acceleration out of corners and off the line.

It also provides nimbler handling around obstacles and is the perfect choice for smaller riders, gravity riders, and downhill racers.

The 29-inch size is best for those who refer to rollover capability and speed plus those who want a versatile bike overall. It’s the perfect wheel for bikes who go through a variety of rides. It offers better stability which is good for increased confidence, offers more rubber on the ground which is good for traction.

It also holds speed longer and better momentum plus it rolls over obstacles rather easily. It is such a great choice for beginners, cross country or enduro racing, and most trail rides.

Cannondale vs Specialized mountain bikes?

These are the two leading brands in the mountain bike industry. This section is about to shed some light in detail of the attributes of each hoping for you to decide for yourself which one suits you better.

Frame

Both Specialized and Cannondale mountain bikes boast light frames. Specialized mountain bikes infuse A1 premium aluminum in the structure of their bikes, while Cannondale exhibits a specialized C3 alloy which was created to improve the strength and also the endurance of their material.

Most alloys will have aluminum as a major part of its ingredients. Thus making premium aluminum feature similar effectiveness of properties compared to their alloy counterparts.

The Bike’s Chain

Specialized mountain bikes take the trophy for this attribute as they add anti-corrosion coating to their chains. They also provide a reusable missing link with every purchase. This is an often overlooked aspect so always keep your bike’s chain in mind.

Bike Geometry

Another important property to consider when you look at a bike is its geometry. A good quality mountain bike allows for a comfortable and relaxed position when riding. This may be achieved only through some particular designs of the bicycle’s structure and frame. Specialized mountain bikes implemented their Sport Trail 27.5 Geometry in a lot of their models. This allowed for versatility for the bike and easy navigation in different terrains.

Cannondale mountain bikes on the other hand come in an upright riding position, and also an easy-reach ground elevation. You may comfortably set your feet to the ground if you come to a stop, which enhances your balance and also safety. This upright riding position makes sure that your back won’t suffer from severe exertion because of maintaining an uncomfortable posture for long periods.

The rest of the properties of a good mountain bike are discussed in different sections. Things like size and other features are pretty similar across multiple brands so either a Cannondale or Specialized mountain bike won’t have much difference.

So, have you identified which brand suits your style and needs best? Check our another article where we reviewed the two best mongoose mountain bikes.

So which of our best budget mountain bikes best suits your style based on the sections you’ve just read? Proceed with our next informative section if you want to learn more.

What kind of mountain bike should I get? (A Buyer’s Guide)

This is a summary of the qualities of a good mountain bike that you should get (other factors we haven’t discussed above). Some of the best budget mountain bikes that we’ve listed above have all these qualities and we’ll break it down to you further right here in this section.

Gear

First up is the gears in your mountain bikes. This part is super essential and should definitely be taken into consideration. Mountain bikes come in a single speed to thirty or more gears. Factor in the several combinations of the chainrings and cogs and then the number of teeth on them, then that’s when things can get a bit more complicated. To keep things simple, a few important things to consider is your overall fitness level and what type of terrain you will be riding. If you know that you will be riding in lots of steep hills and climbing is a challenge for you, then more gears for your bike should be a solution.

But if you’re quite a strong mountain biker or if you only ride in flat terrain, then you won’t need many lower gears to power up a hill so fewer gears should suffice. This will also result in a lightweight bike. Mountain bikes traditionally come with 2 or 3 chainrings which provide several easy gears for climbing. However, bikes with single chainrings plus a wide-range cassette having 9 to 11 cogs are very popular nowadays.

Mountain bikes with one chainring are simpler and lighter because you need only utilize one shifter to go through the gears on your cassette, and it offers most of the gears that you’ll need. Bike gearing is also easy to modify so have fun tweaking!

Size and Fit

A mountain bike that fits well is something right for your height, your flexibility, and also your riding style. A properly fitting bike will naturally improve your confidence and handling on the trail and will help you tackle even technically challenging rides. Mountain bikes standard sizes are small, medium, and large. Most of the time this is similar across all of the brands. Sizes usually correspond to height. Bike manufacturers will include size charts with a height range for the bike sizes. In-between sizes are generally advised to go for the smaller size as adjustments can be easier done.

Try it out, don’t hesitate to go for a test drive of the bikes you like. This will go a long way, comfort, safety, and the different features are necessary for you to check thoroughly before making that purchase.

Brakes

Next up, brakes! Needless to say, a very important element to your bike especially for your wellbeing out in the trail. Disc brakes have almost replaced traditional rim brakes except on entry-level mountain bikes. Disc brakes feature brake pads that hold onto a brake rotor that is mounted to the wheel hub. Disc brakes have two versions, the hydraulic disc brakes which offer stronger and more progressive braking but with less finger effort plus it self-adjusts for brake pad wear. And cable-activated or mechanical brakes that need manual adjusting while the pads wear. 

Common advantages to rim brakes are that it is more consistent in all conditions. It is also cheaper to replace, superior performance in wet and steep terrains, not mentioning less finger strain. It’s just more difficult for you to inspect pad wear and in turn replace them. Hydraulic brakes are also more expensive to service.

Rim brakes on the other hand are usually mounted on entry-level mountain bikes. Rim brakes employ pads that hold onto the wheel rims. Rim brakes are economical, easy to notice for brake pad wear, and also to replace worn pads. But rim brakes gradually wears out its wheel rim, and it requires wheel replacement. It has less stopping power, it is also less effective in muddy or wet conditions and it requires way more finger effort for the levers to aggressively brake.

Brakes can make or break your mountain bike’s performance, so choose wisely!

Frame Material

The frame has a lot of influence on your mountain bike. It can determine the weight, longevity, strength, ride quality, and most of all its price. Aluminum alloy is one of the most commonly utilized materials as frames for mountain bikes. More-expensive models may have lighter aluminum frames because of a more thorough selection for materials done by manufacturers. The tubing design as well as the manufacturing process also affects the weight of the frame. Other frame materials that you can choose from are steel, carbon fiber, and titanium.

Steel is known for its toughness, it is inexpensive but offers a smooth ride, and is relatively heavy even for a mountain bike.

Titanium is strong but lightweight. It is also too expensive and is employed by high-end mountain bikes.

Carbon fiber on the other hand is fairly common especially on cross-country bikes, high-end trail bikes, fat bikes, and all-mountain bikes due to its strength and lower weight. But carbon fiber is also relatively expensive for it requires manufacturing that is labor extensive.

Most if not all of our best budget mountain bikes featured have most of these qualities.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

We may have not covered everything in the previous sections so here are some burning questions about mountain bikes and concise answers to them.

Question: What is the best entry-level mountain bike?

Answer: Most of the mountain bikes we listed under $500 are great for beginners. To ease yourself in or your kids in the mountain biking craze then you may want to spend a bit less on their bikes and gears first. This will not only be friendly for your budget but at the same time give you a lot of room for a lot of other things and possibilities.

Another huge thing you should consider when purchasing a beginner’s bike is safety. The bike should have all the safety features needed and should be durable enough to take on a beating and prevent any mishaps or accidents.

Question: Are cheap mountain bikes any good?

Answer: Most of the time, price is not a direct reference to the mountain bike or bike’s quality in general. You can get bikes that are way cheaper than leading brands but exhibits really good qualities. It’s just a matter of research as the options can be overwhelming not mentioning confusing at times. That’s why you check out a review like ours, take a second look at our best budget mountain bikes!

Question: How much does a decent mountain bike cost?

Answer: You can get a decent mountain bike at around $300 to $500 or maybe even less. Again, research is key and talking to some users, and scouting your brand should go a long way. Other than the bike themselves it’s also important to study biking in general to maximize the product that you choose. Our best budget mountain bikes are up for the challenge that we can assure you.

Question: What do I need to know before buying a mountain bike?

Answer: First of all, you need to consider the size of the bike that you want to buy. Size can determine the level of comfort and other important things that will come into play when you start riding. You also have to consider the wheel size, consider whether you will go for a hardtail or full suspension too. Don’t worry too much about weight as strength is more valuable, beware of any flashy features and do your research beforehand. Also, when it comes to suspension, quality trumps quantity. Also, consider your budget and make sure the bike is futureproofed when it comes to design.

Question: Is it cheaper to build your own mountain bike?

Answer: Like most DIY stuff we expect to save money from building our own bike. But in reality, 9 times out of 10 building your own mountain bike may cost you more. Pre-built bikes are actually still your best bet at saving money as they are cheaper. If you still want to save more then maybe buying second-hand bikes is another option.

Buying parts for building your own mountain bike may cost more due to accessibility and the wholesale pricing most suppliers impose. If you want to invest in something, invest in quality, trust us, it will pay off.

Question: Are there any rules of the trails for mountain bikers?

Answer: Of course, there are a few rules of the trail that you need to remember and practice in order for you to be a responsible biker. The first thing you got to remember is that you don’t overtake any other rider without a warning signal of some sort. Always signal that you are approaching even just by using your voice. A lot of mishaps could’ve been prevented if only this simple rule was observed. Usually, other riders become unbalanced because they are unprepared for someone overtaking them.

It’s also important to identify beforehand which trails you are riding on and learn any existing rules of the trails before you head out. Lastly, always make sure you have control over your bike while you are on a trail and also avoid behaviors that could inflict others harm or to yourself. Safety, safety, safety!

Question: How do I secure the right safety gear for my mountain biking?

Answer: When starting out in your mountain biking journey, it might be too easy to get overwhelmed with excitement especially when it is time to hit the trail. Preparation is a must when doing so. First, for safety, you will need a helmet that’s properly fitted for you, make sure it is not too loose or too tight. You also have to make sure that this helmet is of good quality and not the cheap ones that break upon minimal impact.

The next thing you got to secure is properly fitted shirts and pants. Your clothing must not get caught on any parts of your bike or even in the terrain you will be riding in. You’ll also want to invest in a tire repair kit for you to fix blow-outs wherever you may be. Lastly, always travel with water, a first-aid kit, and sunscreen for you to avoid overexposure to the sun. Take care of yourself out there and don’t forget to ride with buddies. It can also be a perfect way to meet new friends.

Common Mountain Biking Terms and Tips:

We are not just here to discuss the best budget mountain bikes but at the same time infuse some biking knowledge and safety tips for all of you. Make sure to take down notes!

  • Air means the space between the bike and the ground
  • Bomb means riding without any regard for safety
  • Carve means riding with speed towards a curve
  • Dab means placing a foot on the ground intended for balance while you ride
  • Granny gear means the lowest gear on your bike
  • Honk means vomiting due to excessive cycling
  • LBS means your local bike shop
  • Mo means momentum while you ride
  • Pimp means someone is trying to sell some bike stuff on a trail
  • Road rash means dermatitis because of contact with dirt or asphalt

Always mount your bike with your dominant leg to properly stabilize yourself. Always make sure you wear proper clothing and footwear. Your seat and handlebars should then be adjusted that you won’t have to hunch over when riding your bike.

They should be perfectly straight with your seat and not too high. Hunching over too much and frequently will cause problems for your buttocks, back, and legs. You should also be familiar with your brakes and gears before you go for a trail. It is imperative that you understand how they operate. Always brace yourself whenever you hit the brakes to avoid any sudden stops and also jarring movements.

Lastly, take advantage of any downhill rides as this will help you gain speed but at the same time proceed with caution if you don’t want to lose control of the mountain bike.

Final Words on Best Budget Mountain Bike:

Knowing that you’re riding a good quality mountain bike gives you peace of mind whether you are racing or just out under the sun with some friends. These best budget mountain bikes are not the only kind to the pocket but at the same time have proven quality that will keep you safe when out on the road.

To be honest, it’s just a matter of style and maybe some subtle features that you may want to consider when picking out any of the mountain bikes we reviewed. They are all superb choices! By the end of the day, we urge you to always ride safe and most of all have lots of fun!

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