Looking for that perfect mountain bike means setting a budget that your present income will allow.
Mountain bikes often range from $200 to over $2,000 or more. Without a preset budget, your dreams may well become a nightmare. Good news, they’re a lot of affordable mountain bikes these days.
With an unlimited selection of mountain bikes available, the following bikes outlined throughout this review will give you a guideline to follow.
Priced from $200 to over $2,000, your chances of finding that right bike for you have just gotten much, much better.
When all facts and figures have been presented and studied, the Diamondback Overdrive 29 come highly recommended.
Based on overall value, quality, and durability, these bikes are good mountain bikes with an affordability factor that will fit into your preset budget restrictions.
Best Budget Mountain Bikes
1. Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike
All other bikes move over and make way for the “bad boy” of mountain bikes, the Diamondback 29er, also known as Diamondback Lux Women’s Mountain Bike!
Revising the already light aluminum frame, increased stiffness and handling with the Boost 148 spacing through the front and rear axles make this bike even tougher.
With Shimano RockShox RL forks and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes gives you the control no matter where you are riding.
Combined with Shimano’s latest in drivetrains, you will find plenty of lower gears to climb steep hills.
Classis hardtail design with lightweight frame makes for easier handling to show off your riding expertise.
Additional Shimano /SR Suntour 3×8 drivetrain provides the ability to go farther, to do more with less hesitation.
WBT nine-line, large deeper tread design tires take a bigger bite on tough trails with better traction and stability.
Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes keep you in control on the steepest of descents with gradual speed reduction when needed. 29-inch wheels are big and tough and only one of the features offered on this bike.
- Aggressive styling and design
- 24-speeds will give you the versatility to climb
- Amazing lower end power
- SRAM NX/GX 1×11 drivetrain makes for simple and efficient shifting
- No need to worry about assembling as it shipped 95% assembled
- Shimano Mt500 hydraulic disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power
- Sluggish gears
- Uncomfortable saddle
- Generic assembly manual
Very good current rating on Amazon. Price point is reasonable considering the quality of this bike. Front fork suspension travel is good.
Available in sizes from small to extra-large to accommodate all riders. Pedals are less than desirable and should be replaced before undertaking more serious riding adventures.
Look to this link for more information:
Speaking of diamondback bike, check out our top 6 Diamondback bikes review here!
2. Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 27.5 Hardtail Mountain Bike
Creating a race-ready lightweight mountain bike that is also wallet-friendly is not easy. That is exactly what Diamondback has accomplished with its impressive line of mountain bikes.
This hardtail bike is designed with the latest in features without sacrificing performance. Components from Shimano including the Suntour fork to the Tektro mechanical disc brakes add quality to an already very well-built bike.
It only gets better from here. Depending on the model and size selected, Diamondback Overdrive is also equipped with the latest in tubeless tires.
Providing more traction on difficult trails, these exclusive set of wheels and tubeless tires will take a bigger bite of the ground.
The lightweight frame has been reinforced with Boost 148 rear spacing thru both the front and rear axles for additional toughness and durability.
Adding to the already exciting Shimano components, this Bike goes one step further to include the 3×8 drivetrain with Shimano gears for tough and steep climbs.
There appears to be no end to the superior quality of this inexpensive bike including:
- Superior shifting
- Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- Suntour fork
- No complex derailleur system
- Perfect rider geometry
- Bad downhill racer
- Freewheel sticks
- Cheap plastic pedals
This bike has a good rating on Amazon. Price point is well within limits for a bike of quality with an affordability factor that is hard to believe. Check out this link for more information on this mountain bike that will get you moving:
3. Merax 26″ Mountain Bicycle
Merax is one of the top bike choices for many avid riders. So when you see Merax 26’’ Mountain Bicycle listed within a price range of 300 bucks, you are likely to ask, “what’s the catch?” well, there’s no one.
At around $200, most budget mountain bikes will have a steel frame, no suspension and, two-disc brakes. However, very few like Merax 26’’ can give you an aluminum frame, dual disc brakes, and a fully-functioning front suspension.
This bike takes on a versatile design as well, which makes it suitable for road bike adventures. It’s already stripped of secondary features, so when you lock the suspension and shift to a higher gear, you have yourself a worthy road bike.
Merax 26’’ Mountain Bicycle also boasts of reliable Shimano drivetrain with a maximum of 24 gear options. Add that convenience to the suspension forks and 26’’ tires, and the comfort you get will make an elderly person go “yippee.”
- Affordable yet it packs high-end features
- Can shelve heavy riders-up to 330 pounds
- Multiple gears for changing terrains
- Secured with one year warranty
- Comes with assembly tools
- Has a versatile construction
- No quick-release wheels
- Some assembling has to be done
Merax 26’’ Mountain Bicycle is inarguably one of the best budget mountain bikes ever that can give you the best bang for your hard-earned bucks. You don’t even need to think twice or close your eyes because it’s a solid deal.
4. Diamondback Bicycles Atroz 2, Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Full suspension mountain bikes are typically expensive, or at least that is the belief. Not anymore!
This Diamondback full-suspension mountain bike is not only tough but good-looking.
In cooperation with Shimano, the latest component on this bike make it stand out not only as a rugged mountain bike but a leader throughout the industry.
From the Atroz 6061 T-6 aluminum frames to the SR Suntour XCM 120mm travel forks, this bike is designed to take on the toughest trails anywhere.
With Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, stopping or gradual braking on rapid descents keeps you in control and focused. A good feature for downhill racers.
A unique approach to the suspension styling of this bike is a reliable single pivot suspension point with sealed cartridges.
Full suspension frame of this bike is designed for a variety of riders with varying heights, making this good mountain bike even better.
14g stainless steel spokes with 32H, DDM-5, 27.5 double wall rims only begin to outline the numerous features on this bike.
- 9-speed will allow you to get through even the most rugged terrain
- Optimized single pivot with sealed cartridge bearings for smooth, durable performance
- 27.5” wheels offer quick handling
- DBL4L alloy platform pedals
- 5-year warranty of front triangle, 1-year on swing arm
- Cheap saddle
- Heavy for some riders
- No suspension lockout
Overall a good mountain bike and with a budget affordability value that makes this bike a good choice the many mountain bikes that are presently available.
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5. Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike
When you don’t wish to (or cannot) spend over $300 on a bike, it can get a bit challenging to get a solid deal. To avoid settling for imitations, you would be better off with Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike.
Like any other reliable budget bike, this one bears a front suspension to help in absorbing the road impact and has just a good amount of stiffness. With some bikes, suspensions bottom out, thus becoming an unnecessary burden. However, it’s not lockable.
The bike doesn’t hold back on the gearing system. It has a total of 21 options and is operated by Shimano components. The paint job is stellar, and there are many more color options to consider. With a little knowledge, it’s easy to get it together.
- Extremely affordable
- Designed with dependable components
- 21-speed rear derailleur for quick gear changes on the trail
- Quality Shimano drivetrain
- The front-wheel can be quickly removed and attached
- Slight-rise handlebars to allow for
- There are no surprises with this bike. It rides smoothly without any issues
Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike doesn’t sacrifice on performance, and rather, it just cuts down on the number of high-end features to become affordable. To be exact, you’ll only lack disc/hydraulic brakes, lockable fork, and quick-release rear wheel. In our opinion, those are prestigious nuances anyone can do without.
Additionally, this bike’s frame lies a little lower and, therefore, ideal for you and your better half. It’s available in many colors, too.
Big fan of the brand schwinn? Check out our top Schwinn bikes review here!
6. Raleigh Bicycles Tokul 2 Hardtail Mountain Bike
When you are a performance freak, you don’t want anything to hold you back. You don’t want to keep stopping to tweak something. All you want is to ride a top-quality bike that is almost error-free. Guess what, one such bike is Raleigh Tokul 2.
Tokul 2 is an advanced bike with high-end parts that include a lightweight aluminum frame and hydraulic brakes. This means you can achieve the best speeds, perform some stunts, and stop when you need to. Unlike the rebound motion of dual suspension, this hardtail sets you loose.
This bike comes with a strong 1×9 Shimano drivetrain that gives you a few more gear options when going uphill or downhill. The reduced number of gears should be a welcome idea because it translates to low maintenance.
Other impressive features of Tokul 2 include a lockable fork, formed tubing, knobby tires, and alloy hub, pedal, and seat post.
- Tokul 2 has the best brakes in the bike industry
- Designed in a lightweight package
- Secured with a lifetime warranty (although limited)
- Fork lockout switch
- Impeccable construction for years of service
- At its price point, having quick-release wheels could have been in order
With glamorous reviews from thousands of other buyers, there is no way you can go wrong with Raleigh Tokul 2.
This bike already features top-end technology you’ll spot in bikes that cost thousands of dollars. To put the cherry on top, the frame is secured with a limited lifetime warranty just as long as you are the one who made the purchase.
To read our full review of the Raleigh Bicycles Tokul 2 Hardtail Mountain Bike by following this link.
7. Cannondale Trail 5 Bike
Taking one look at this rugged looking trail runner mountain bike will be a clear indication of what this bike was designed to do.
Built for those who love to push the limits, this bike is forward-thinking all wrapped into an aluminum lightweight frame with stiffness to handle the most extreme trails imaginable.
Featuring the best bike components from Shimano begins the riding adventure that only a few dares to attempt.
For a lightweight aluminum frame, the thirty-pounds overall weight seems heavy.
With only 10 gears, this bike is capable of conquering the toughest of trails but may limit the climbing ability that other bikes in this class possess.
The Suntour XCM fork is good but could be better.
With no significant spring adjustment, this bike soon gets irregular on tougher mountain trails. Included remote lockout switch for tearing through tougher sections of dense trails may help keep you focused and in control.
Square-axle triple crankset feels soft and unresponsive when needed. Pressed steel chainrings are not replaceable, which may be a problem in the future.
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Balanced quickness and confidence
- Shimano Deore groupsets
- Small to extra-large frame sizes
- Lifetime warranty
- Average forks
- Stubborn straightforward guidance
- Straight head tube limits upgrades
This bike is not sold on Amazon. This bike remains somewhat of a disappointment considering the higher asking retail price.
Designed for rough and extreme trail riding only, purchasing this bike on even the tightest of budgets limits your riding options. Follow this bike at:
8. Trek Stache 5
Entering into another realm of more expensive mountain bikes comes the Stache 5 from Trek.
There is no cover charge to join the party celebrating this hi-end mountain bike that is as mean to challenge courses as it looks.
This 29er is the bike most riders dream about. Premium hardtail designed bike rolls on 3-inch mid-fat tires, flying through rough and loose terrain. You may like our full discussion about fat tire bikes reviews in-depth.
Burly suspension fork keeps you online when tougher conditions suddenly appear.
The Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame with elevated mid stay keeps you moving and looking for yet another challenge to take on.
Additional clearance for installation of larger optional tires is accomplished by Boost hub for a larger tire upgrade.
Wide 3˝ tires mounted to 50mm SUNringlé rims deliver the best traction but are still nimble enough to get in a few quick jumps before heading back to the top.
Shimano Deore 1×10 drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes, a Manitou Machete 32 fork with 120mm of travel, are just a few of the features offered on this simple looking but aggressive mountain bike.
- Alpha platinum aluminum
- The super-short chainstays make it really easy
- Unbelievable handling
- Lifetime warranty
- Poor brakes
- Bouncy with too much tires pressure
- Saddle needs replacing
Once again, this bike is not sold on Amazon. Price point is at the top of nearly all preset budgets.
You really have to enjoy mountain biking to get your return on the money spent.
This would bike would not be a good choice for a weekend or occasional riders. Look for more valuable information at:
9. Trek Roscoe 7
This bike is a mid-fat, hardtail beast that will conquer all that you have planned and more. 27.5+ inch tubeless ready Bontrager wheels with Schwalbe Rocker Run 27.5 x 2.8 tires will chew up anything in your way.
Featuring the premiere Alpha Gold aluminum frame and 120 mm RockSock Judy Silver fork, this bike is ready to take on and pass all challengers.
Turnkey hydraulic lockout with adjustable rebound, get you to the top faster with additional cranking power.
Shimano Deore1x10 drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes keeps you in control and focused on the trail ahead. The shorter stem of this bike with wider handlebars is a good pairing allowing for a higher degree of control not found on competing models.
The aluminum frame features a tapered head tube and Boost 141 spacing allowing options for wider tire applications.
Responding distinctively to the rider, this bike is continually in sync with perfect geometry with the ability to tackle varied and more challenging terrain with a stress-free ride.
Selected as one of the 10 best budget mountain bikes in 2021, there are other features of this trail eater that makes this well-rounded bike much better:
- 28 tooth chainring
- Slacker head angle
- Sizes up to XXL
- Rack mounts
- Women’s models available
- Heavy 31.38-pounds
- Brakes need upgrading
- Chainring is a little too small
This bike is not sold on Amazon however available online through other retail outlets.
Price point is reaching maximum budget limits for a large majority of riders.
Bike may be better suited for professional riders, not for entry-level, beginning riders. More information can be found on this bike at:
10. Giant Stance 1
This bike is an open door to all who love to experience full suspension trail performance.
Proven with a single-pivoting rear suspension this bike is not only lightweight but super smooth. 120mm of travel on the SR Suntour Axon RL-R fork absorbs shocks with a return that is hardly noticeable.
Suntour Epixon R rear shock gives you complete control of the bike on all terrains.
Frame geometry is dialed into perfection for the 27.5-inch wheels for a variety of riding styles. ALUXX-grade butted 6011 aluminum frame with 120mm of FlexPoint suspension travel is rugged tough with the best-in-class strength-to-weight ratio. Unique welding technologies provide for a ride that is remarkably smooth.
The Stance 1 original oversized fork steerer tube gives accurate front-end steering performance from flat even terrain to treacherous mountain trails.
This bike is designed for harder trails featuring a trunnion-mount shock and advanced forged composite rocker arm.
Other features of this top-of-the-line budgeted bike include:
- Giant XC-2 Disc wheelset
- Maxxis Ardent tubeless tires
- Shimano 2×9-speed drivetrain
- Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes
- SHIFTERS Shimano Alivio
- There remain no negative issues from consumers at this time.
This bike is currently not sold on Amazon. Price point for this bike currently sits at top of the mountain as one of the 10 best budget mountain bikes in 2021.
Realistically, there many riders that can appreciate the quality of this bike however an unlimited number with tighter budget restrictions.
Look for more information on this beautiful styled bike at:
Thing to Consider Before Buying Budget Mountain Bike
Before choosing a mountain bike style, you should have a pretty good idea as to what type of riding you will be doing.
There are four styles of mountain bikes to select from Cross-country, Trail, Enduro/All-mountain, and Downhill.
Each style of bike is designed for a specific style of riding.
Cross -country bikes are built for speed and efficiency. These bikes are pedal-focused.
Trail bikes are considered to be a do-it-all bike with a wider range of versatility.
Enduro/All-mountain is as the named implies, uphill friendly however more downhill focused.
Downhill bikes are heavily built, designed to handle descents with speeds, jumps, and steep terrain.
This is where size really does matter. Choosing the right size bike is a crucial factor that will determine your overall riding enjoyment.
It is always best to get fitted for a bike at a bike store.
With more consumers making the purchase online, ordering the correct sized bike becomes doubly important.
Always look for the sizing chart available on the manufacturer’s website.
These charts are very accurate and a very valuable source in purchasing the correct sized bike. Sizes (S, M, L) correspond to your actual height.
Always choose the smaller sized bike should your height fall in between available sizes.
Mountain bike suspensions fall into three main categories: Rigid, Hardtail, and Full.
RIGID suspension bikes are not the most commonly selected mountain bike.
These bikes have no suspension are easier to maintain and typically less expensive.
HARDTAIL bikes have suspension on the front fork only. These bikes have fewer moving parts and are less expensive than a full-suspension bike.
FULL suspension bikes have shock-absorbing qualities on both the front and rear forks. These bikes have a tendency to “bob” slightly.
Full suspension bikes have the ability to “lock-out” the rear suspension for better powerful hill-climbing ability.
There are three (3) common wheel sizes found on mountain bikes: 26-inch, 27.5-inch, and 29ers (29-inch).
26-INCH wheels were common on all bikes in the past. Today, 26-inch wheels are still used on mountain bikes, however, for a less intense method of mountain biking.
27.5 INCH offer a middle ground option between the 26-inch and then it’s big brother the 29-inch. 27.5-inch wheels are typically found on both full-suspension and hardtail bikes.
29 ERS (29-inch) wheels are slower to accelerate; however, cover more ground faster once you get moving. More efficient for longer rides. Found on a rigid, hardtail and full-suspension bikes.
Mountain bikes have either an aluminum, carbon, steel or titanium frame. The frame you select controls the weight, strength, longevity, quality, and ride performance.
Carbon and titanium frames are expensive and commonly found on higher-end bikes. Aluminum frames are made of aluminum alloy and the most common bike frame used.
More expensive models have lighter aluminum frames as a manufacturer chooses to spend more dollars.
Steel framed mountain bikes are more durable, however heavier. Carbon frame bikes are usually found on cross-country, fat bikes, high-end trail, and all-mountain bikes.
The aluminum frame still remains the most widely chosen.
The number of gears is determined by the number of front chainrings times the number of sprockets on the cassette.
Gears on mountain bikes range from a single speed to 30 or more. Considering the style and type of mountain bike riding, you will be doing determines the number of gears that you will need.
The large majority of mountain bikes in use today typically are equipped with either two or three chainrings. Bikes with a single or a wider range of chainrings with 9, 10, or 11 cogs are becoming very popular. Changing or upgrading gearing is always an option after you purchase your bike.
Good mountain bikes use either disc or rim brakes.
DISC BRAKES are either hydraulic or cable operated. Disc brakes are preferred, however, add to the overall increased cost of your bike.
Disc brakes offer less finger effort and are self-adjusting for wear. Disc brakes provide for more consistent braking in all types of weather conditions.
RIM BRAKES are simply pads that apply pressure to the bike wheel when stopping.
Found on most entry-level mountain bikes, disc brakes are economical, easy to observe wear, and easier to replace.
However, the application of disc brakes will eventually wear out the wheel resulting in full wheel replacement, which can be expensive.
Mountain bike riding is one of the fastest-growing extreme sports. It gives you the best workout for little money. It is the only exercise that has the option to bring you back to nature and give you a break from the daily madness of life.
You can spend a lot of money to get a good mountain bike, but we highly recommend that you do not spend more than your budget.
We have already researched and made a list of top mountain bikes that can help you achieve your workout goals and keep you within your budget. So pick the one that fits your budget and needs.
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- Buying Guide of High Quality Mountain Bikes for Entry Level Rider