Whether you’re a beginner or a pro mountain biker, finding the best affordable mountain bikes can be very tricky. You don’t really get to test drive your mountain bike like you test drive a car. You have to rely on reading good reviews and doing the proper research to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for and what you are seeking.
It’s a delicate balance at best. You may not like what you read about one bike but you love what you read about another. There are many price ranges and a myriad of features to wade through and you want to ensure that you’re getting what you think you’re getting.
Nothing could be more annoying than to have something break down on your bike when you’re several miles from home. Worse, you don’t know how to fix it and you have to walk that several miles, pushing your bike, back to civilization.
Let’s examine some of the most important details to consider before you purchase your next mountain bike. Whether you’re young or old, new or professional mountain biker, we’ve got the bike for you.
Best Mountain Bikes
No matter where you turn, you will see this term. “Best Mountain Bikes”. What does it mean? Who decided it’s the best? Keep in mind that the term “best” is in the eye of the beholder.
Obviously, it’s someone’s dream bike, but keep in mind that it may not be your dream bike. It may have several features that you’re seeking in your next mountain bike, however, it’s important that you really take the time to explore what features you really want.
Learn the terms that will be used in advertising such as “more springs”. Does this make it a better bike? Or more cushiony? You’ll want to understand what you’re seeking out. More cushiony (which is what more springs equal out to), means that when you’re on a tougher terrain, your bike will be able to absorb more of the impact.
You’ll also want to learn about frames and what equals a great frame compared to an “okay” frame.
Don’t forget the brakes. If you’re going trail riding you’re going to want to know you’ll be able to stop when you need to. It’s one thing to power up and down hills when you’re on the main trail, however, when you’re using those off-road trails, you want to ensure that you’ll have the right shock absorbers and be able to stop when you need to.
Best Inexpensive Mountain Bike/Best Mountain Bike Under $200
Everyone has their perfect idea of what a great price for a mountain bike should be. We’ve broken this down into a few different financial categories so that just about anyone can afford a mountain bike should they desire. Here is our first pick.
If you’re looking for the best affordable mountain bikes, this may be the winner. It’s a mountain bike with some great options and a very reasonable price.
The 26″ 2033 wheel Roadmaster Granite Peak Men’s 2019s Mountain Bike is first on our list. It comes in at $113. It offers a smooth suspension fork with 18 speeds as well as a 3-speed crank.
Heavy duty tires are ideal for on and off the road riding. It stops easily and efficiently and will provide many hours of riding pleasure.
This is ideal for the new rider who is just breaking into mountain biking but wants to explore it as a hobby. It’s a very affordable option and has some nice bells and whistles such as a smooth suspension fork, excellent tire tread and it’s the most affordable option we could find out there.
The biggest complaint is a smaller sized seat that can become uncomfortable on longer rides. It may not be as durable as the other bikes so it’s a low-end option for beginners that may be a great launching point in mountain biking.
Best Mountain Bikes For The Money/Best Mountain Bike Under $500
The Diamondback Bicycle Overdrive offers a Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike comes in at the mid-price range at $499.
This bike boasts powerful disc brakes, 24 speeds, and a four-inch suspension fork. However, the seat may become uncomfortable on longer rides and many of the riders have complained that the pedals are rather small and cheap.
Assembly of this model is also a bit tricky as the instructions aren’t overly helpful per other users. All in all, it’s a good bike for a beginner or a rider who is experienced.
This is excellent as a beginner bike or for a pro who is happy with the affordable bike in lieu of the more pricey models.
Excellent disc brakes as well as a four-inch suspension fork it’s an ideal choice for anyone whether they’re just starting out or competing with the pros.
Best Value Mountain Bike
This bike is excellent for the beginner who is just starting out and not quite sure whether or not they will like the sport of mountain biking. The Diamondback Bicycle Women’s 2019 2016 Lux Sports offers a Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike is an excellent choice and priced from $699 to $710 depending upon the model.
It offers a durable aluminum frame as well as an easy to shift 9-speed drive train. Puncture resistant kevlar guard tires offer a great bonus so you won’t have to worry about a flat if you’re going off road or if you’re traveling on rough terrain trails.
Keep in mind that this is a woman’s bike. It tends to be a bit heavy and the seat can become kind of uncomfortable when you’re on a long bike ride. This bike boasts Shimano brakes and is entirely designed for women.
Best Mountain Bike Under $1000
Diamond Back also offers several great mountain bikes that come in under $1000. Your choice will be dependent upon what you’ll be using your bike for. Here are two options:
The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Mens 2019s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike offers you a hardtail suspension. It comes in at just under $1000 depending on the size of the bike that you purchase.
It’s ideal for men or women, trail rides or off road riding, beginners or the pros. It has a 4-star rating in the charts.
The other option is the Diamondback Recoil 29er Mountain Bike. With a 5-star rating in the charts, it is priced at an extremely reasonable $599 plus shipping. Price will vary according to the size of the bike however, it’s not a high priced bike when compared to many others on the market today. If you’re out for quality, this is an ideal choice.
It boasts a full suspension and is less than 40 pounds in weight. The seat is fully adjustable so you can pick your comfort level.
The biggest complaint regarding this specific bike is that it doesn’t come with a kick stand although you can add one if you purchase it separately. Many pros started out with this specific bike.
If you’re looking for the best affordable mountain bikes under $1000 these are both excellent options and will give you plenty of bells and whistles.
Whether you’re new to the sport of mountain biking, or you’re old hat, these bikes offer you plenty of get up and go without sacrificing or breaking your bank account.
Best Mountain Bike Under $300
The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Mens 2019s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike is an ideal choice coming in at $289. Front disc brakes ensure that you’ll stop when you want to.
The only downside to this bike is that there is no rack for your water bottle (though you can buy a separate one and attach it yourself but for the price you’d think they could include it. The bike itself boasts a dual suspension frame and mountain bike handlebars which some find very comfortable.
This bike is perfect for a casual, everyday, trail ride but doesn’t do so well off the road on rougher terrain. Ideal for a beginner who is just a weekend rider and not into mountain biking as a heavy sport. The instructions for this bike aren’t really user-friendly.
Determining The Proper Height
For your new mountain bike to fit you properly, it should measure at approximately one inch below your inseam size.
Adjust the bike seat and the handlebars accordingly as well. A good rule of thumb would be for someone who is 6 feet tall, the bike should be 19 to 21 inches. Shorter persons should make sure to check the fit before they purchase a bike.
Keep in mind that although the seat and handle bars can be adjusted, you still don’t want them to be too low or too high, this can cause undue stress on the back and shoulders when riding.
Hardtail Or Full Suspension?
Many new mountain bike owners find themselves stumped with this question. A hardtail bike has a fork at the front of the bike frame. This allows for trick riding such as jumps and turns.
The lower suspension works well for allowing for these jumps and turns, however, it does affect how the bike is going to ride when you’re traveling long distances.
The full suspension offers shock absorbers that help to speed up the transition of the bike and balance the suspension. If you’re planning on speed and distance, you’ll want this option in lieu of the hardtail version.
Now that you know what questions to consider, you are much better equipped to find the right bike for your needs. It’s important to take some time and really focus on how you’ll be using your bike.
Professional mountain bikers may have many models in their repertoire to choose from. They usually start out with a moderate bike and work their way up. If they’re into some jumps and such they will opt for the hardtail over the full suspension bike.
If they are in it for distance and speed they’ll go with the full suspension. Some bikes tend to ride easier than others. The weight of the bike should also be considered. A heavier bike may not be as easy to maneuver in some areas as it is in others. This can be something to consider if the bike is heavier and you may have to push it if you have a flat.
Remember, the price isn’t always what you should base your purchase decision on. Sometimes the mid range bike is the better deal. Never automatically assume that the most expensive bike is the best nor should you assume that the least expensive bike is the worst. Each bike has much to offer when it comes down to the decision of which bike to purchase.
The biggest issues to watch out for are that many big store department stores are importing bikes that have cheap wheels and derailleurs as well as shifters. These break frequently and are very hard to replace.
Be aware that you may have to pay upwards of several hundred dollars to replace some of these parts. Take the time to review the names of the bikes and their benefits before you buy. You don’t want to get stuck with a cheap imitation that is made in another country and will cost nearly as much or more than you paid for it to repair or replace parts.
Just as other companies are in business to make money, so are bike companies, so keep this in mind when you’re shopping. You’ll want to check how the bike works and ensure that every part of your bike is quality before you embark on any long journeys.
Keep in mind that you can also negotiate with a reputable bike dealer. Ask lots of questions but make sure that you know what you’re talking about so that you’re not taken advantage of.
These reviews should help you in selecting the best affordable mountain bikes according to what you need and desire. Now that you’ve made your list of must haves and read the reviews, you’re ready to go out and purchase your new mountain bike.