Whether you’re looking for a mountain bike for the daily commute or a great exercise, we’ve got your back. In this post, you’ll find the top 9 best budget mountain bikes reviews. Considering many mountain bike models these days cost well over $1000, your wallet will thank you later for going with these inexpensive but high-quality choices. Together, let’s look at each of them in details!
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Top 9 Best Cheap Mountain Bikes Under 500$/1000$ Reviews Reviews 2020
Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike, Summit Ridge
First up on our list is this amazing ATB (all-terrain bike) Huffy Summit. It’s the #1 best seller in our category. The price is also unbeatable. As of now, there are two color choices you can pick from metallic cyan and solar flare.
There are three sizes available: 20, 24, and 26 inches. Corresponding to these sizes are 13-, 14-, and 17-inch frames respectively. You’ll also get 6 speeds with the bike. There are one chainring and 6 rear cogs. Removing the packaging, the overall weight is around 30 lbs. This is pretty decent, in our opinion.
Assembling the bike took some folks 30 minutes. For others, it may take well over 30 minutes. We recommend taking it to the bike shop if you’re not very handy and can’t find the time to assemble the bike. It may cost you around $20 or more.
Shifting gears on this bike is super easy. You just twist the right grip away from or toward you. We bet you and your kids will get this in under 5 minutes. Overall, this is a great bike at an incredible price. You don’t need to pay $1000+ for a good bike. This Summit will get the job done.
- Super affordable
- Nice color
- 6 speeds
- Easy to use
- Safe stopping
- 3 sizes
- Great for beginner to advanced riders
- Smooth shifting
- May be difficult to assemble
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike with 27.5″ Wheels
If you haven’t heard of Diamondback, they’re huge in the bike industry. With this Overdrive hardtail mountain bike, they also don’t disappoint. They use an excellent SR Suntour XCT 27 coil spring fork with 80mm travel on this bike. This feature helps the bike soak up bumps easily.
Also, the drivetrain sports Shimano 3×8 speed drivetrain with Suntour XCT crank arms. To change gears, simply use your index finger to click the shifters. With such powerful speeds, you’re also equipped with an equally powerful Tektro Aries disc brake. You’ll have a safe and reactive stop every single time no matter which terrain you’re on.
We also like the big 27.5” wheels. They make riding over trails, rocks, and bumpy spots ease. Overall, this is a great all-around mountain bike. We highly recommend this Overdrive for die-hard hardtail aficionado and even beginners to this amazing sport.
- Super durable
- 24 speeds
- Shimano drivetrain
- Big fat wheels
- Suntour suspension fork
- Easy to ride
- Smooth shifting
- Easy to stop
- On the pricey side
Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes
We fell in love with this bike the first minute we looked at it. If you want a bike that’s best-looking and powerful, this Merax Finiss is the one. The bike body is made from lightweight and heat-treated 6061 aluminum. The total frame (from the bottom bracket to the seat clamp) measures 19 inches. The overall bike is around 33 lbs. This is very manageable.
The wheels measure 26” and are equipped with two little reflectors. You’ll get 21 speeds with the bike. They use Shimano EF51 shifters on this one. To change speed, simply use your index finger to click the lever while pedaling. It’s super simple.
The rider’s weight won’t slow down this baby. It can take riders up to 330 lbs! Also, the bike comes 85% assembled, so you may need to do some assembling, inflating, and tuning. If you need help, see this: http://www.merax.com/helpcenter.html. They have crystal clear instructions to help you out.
Overall, we’re very satisfied with this Merax Finiss. You may love it just as much as us and even more. Take it out on your next adventures. You’ll have a blast!
- Incredibly sturdy
- Super cool look
- Powerful Shimano drivetrain
- Clear instructions
- Responsive braking
- Reasonable price
- High quality
- Only 85% assembled
Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes, Multiple Sizes, Multiple Colors
Now, there’s a reason this Schwinn High Timber makes the #1 spot on many lists. It just works. And it works amazing! What we love about this bike is that it’s quite humble-looking, but features incredible specs.
You’ll get 21 speeds in total. To shift gears, simply twist the grip on the handlebar. The unique Schwinn suspension fork is also super helpful. It helps absorb shocks and bumps, making the riding experience over tough trails super enjoyable.
There’s a little dummy clear disc at the rear wheel if you look closely. You can remove this if you like. It’s no big deal and won’t affect your performance.
The standover height is 32”. Some folks as tall as 5’9” still find this a bit too high. For such cases, we recommend setting the seat at its lowest level. The bike would be a perfect fit for them. The seat, however, is quite narrow. You may want to replace it with a wider and comfier one to make your butt happy over long rides.
Other than that, this is a solid bike from a reliable manufacturer. You’ll be happy you go with this one!
- High quality
- Durable materials
- Powerful performance
- 21 speeds
- 3 wheels’ sizes
- Smooth shifting
- Easy braking
- Shock absorbent
- Narrow seat
Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike with Aluminum Frame, 26-Inch Wheels, Red
This is another attractive bike for your consideration. What makes it stand out is the dual-suspension fork system. Unlike the previous hardtail (only front suspension) you’ve seen, this Protocol 1.0 features both front and rear suspension. You’ll find a shock absorber between the down tube and the seat tube.
The advantage dual-suspension bike has over hardtail is that it’s much easier for riders with back or joint issues to ride, even over rooty, rocky roads, or high-speed descents. You’ll get 24 speeds with the bike. The shifter they use is Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifter. It’s super easy to use: Just use your index finger to click the lever to change speed.
The wheels measure 26 inches with strong alloy rims. Stopping is also straightforward with V brake system. Maintaining this bike is also not a very pesky task. Overall, this is a well-rounded bike with great specs at a super affordable price. Thumbs up for the quality!
- Nice design
- Strong performance
- Dual-suspension fork
- Easy-to-use shifters
- Wide Tires
- Alloy rims
- Quick braking
- Highly durable
- Missing parts upon arrival
Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike, Featuring 17-Inch/Medium High-Tensile Steel Frame, 7-Speed Shimano Drivetrain, Mechanical Disc Brakes, and 26-Inch Wheels, Light Blue, Navy Blue, and Red
You may chuckle and say, “Huh” when you first look at those beefy tires. If we line all the bike models up in a line, this Dolomite right here would sure look bulky and stand out most. Yeah, it’s quite heavy as you can imagine. However, the bike performs really well under many conditions.
We love the gearing on this Dolomite. It features one chainring and 7 rear cogs, giving you 7-speed combinations. You can change gear by simply twisting the right grip. Stopping the bike is so simple with front and rear hand brakes.
You can adjust the headset up or down to suit your height. The recommended rider’s height is from 5’6” to 6’. You’re backed by a limited lifetime warranty if you buy this bike. It’s also very supportive for riders over 300 lbs.
We’re sure you’ll have lots of fun riding this around town. You’ll get looks and smiles, too. If you’ve seen other fat tire bike models that are priced way over $1000, you’ll quickly see why this Dolomite is a no brainer. Buy it, you’ll love it!
- Fat tires
- Reasonably priced
- Simple gear
- Highly supportive
- Good customer support
- Quite heavy: over 50 lbs
Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike, 26-Inch
This is another “Whoa” bike on our list. Once again, we have a dual-suspension system. Unlike the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 that we saw earlier, the rear shock absorber on this Kent bike is spring loaded and placed vertically.
The wheels measure 26 inches in diameter. The frame (from the bottom bracket to top tube) is 18.5 inches. You’ll get suspension fork with 65mm travel on this one. The bike sports Shimano 21 speed shifters with rear Tourney derailleur. To adjust speed, use your index finger to click the shifter lever.
Overall, this is a decent bike. Several issues we find with this model, however, are the quite thin inner tube and loose bolts. Other than that, the price of under $200 for a mountain bike is pretty hard to beat.
- Nice colors
- Easy braking
- Easy shifting
- Rear shock absorber
- Easy to assemble
- Very affordable
- Issues with inner tube and bolts
Avigo Double Divide 26″ Bike, White, 18″/One Size
This Avigo bike will get the ladies’ attention. It not only has a hot pink color, but it’s also sparkly pink. Yes, it sparkles under bright sunlight. Some riders compare this to a pearl. Now, the price for this baby is under $100.
We should warn you beforehand that you should adjust your expectations logically. In a practical sense, don’t expect a $1000 bike quality for a bike that’s 10x less. For casual riding and the daily commute, this baby will get the job done.
You’ll get 21 speeds with Shimano grip shifters. This is also a dual-suspension bike. In our opinion, these specs are amazing enough. The front and rear V brakes will make you feel confident when riding the bike.
We wouldn’t recommend doing any gnarly tricks on this one. There’s a kickstand that comes with the bike which might hurt you if you crash. Other than that, the stand is a nice little bonus.
Your wife and daughters are going to love this one! For the price of under $100, it’s totally worth it.
- Great bike for ladies
- Incredibly affordable
- Cute color
- 21 speeds
- Has a kickstand
- Dual-suspension fork
- Easy to put together
- No colors for men, sorry
Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike Aluminum Frame 21-Speed 26-inch Bicycle
Alright riders, this is the last stop on our journey. We want to introduce this Merax Falcon to you. The design of the bike is super inspiring. It reminds us of the colorful plumage of those Amazon rainforest birds. We’re sure it’s fast like a falcon, too!
Also, this is a dual-suspension bike. Your back, shoulders, knees will thank you later for this choice. We love the 21 speed Shimano shifters and derailleurs. They have the Shimano RevoShift system on this bike. You can just twist the grip to jump to the gear that you want.
Did we mention that there’s also a built-in bell that ships with the bike? Yes, it’s such a nice little touch. We also love the little tail light.
The bike comes 85% pre-assembled. If there are no bike shops near you, you can choose the Amazon assembly service right on the checkout page. Overall, we love this bike and highly recommend it to you. You’ll have enjoyable rides with it!
- Beautiful design
- Strong drivetrain
- Easy to use RevoShift
- 21 speeds
- Has a tail light
- Has a little bell
- Easy braking
- Natural fit seat
- Heavy duty pedals
- No kickstand
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Cheap Mountain Bikes Under 500$/1000$
Which suspension type would you like: Full suspension or Hardtail?
Full suspension (or dual suspension) and hardtail are bike terms for saying 1 or 2 shock absorbers. With the full suspension, you’ll get a front and rear absorbers. With hardtail, you’ll only get a front absorber.
We’ve summarized some points for consideration in the table below:
|Suitable for||Tough rooty, rocky, and potholed roads||Smooth singletrack, doubletrack, fire roads|
|For riders / purposes||With shoulder, back, joint issues riding over rough trails||Riding over trails, climbing, and gliding hills|
What’s your budget range?
Just like any other buying decisions, we understand that when you’re looking for budget mountain bikes, your #1 concern would be the price. So, here are our buying tips:
If your budget is within the $100 range, your best bets are Huffy Summit, Merax Falcon, Avigo, and Kent mountain bikes.
If your budget is within the $200 range, the top picks are Schwinn High Timber, Schwinn Protocol 1.0, Merax Finiss, and Mongoose Dolomite.
If you have more than $300 to spend, you can check out the Diamondback Overdrive bike.
What size is right for you?
Getting the right bike size is important for your safety and riding experience. Typically, you’ll find manufacturers list their bike sizes in two ways:
- The wheel size: 20, 22, 24, 26, 27.5 inches; 700c; 49 cm and so on
- The frame size: 13, 14, 17, 18, 19 inches (usually measured from the bottom bracket up to the top tube)
From our experience, folks from 4’10 to 5’1 would fit bikes around 47cm (around 18.5 inches). Folks within the 5’ range would suit bikes 49 – 55 cm (19 – 22 inches). And riders from 6’ and taller would be comfortable riding 58 – 61 cm (23 – 24 inches) bikes.
But remember, these are not hard-and-fast rules. Like shoe manufacturers, different bike manufacturers may have different sizings and geometry charts. Our best advice is to check with the manufacturer first before making any purchase decisions. That way, you’ll be sure you’ll get the best bike that suits you well.
Also, some bikes (like Mongoose Dolomite) allow you to adjust the headset up or down to fit you comfortably. You can also adjust the seatpost for maximum comfort. Some tall folks set the seat up if they find the bike short. Others set it down if they find the bike too high. So, you can also be flexible with your bike.
Which kind of shifters are you more comfortable using: Twist grip or Trigger shifter?
In our budget mountain bike category, you’ll usually find two types of shifters:
- Twist grip (RevoShift) shifters: you twist the grip to adjust the speed
- Trigger shifters (EZ Fire, EF51): you use your index finger to shift gear
You can find twist grip shifters on Merax Falcon, Huffy Summit, Schwinn High Timber, Dolomite. Whereas, you can find trigger shifters on Schwinn Protocol 1.0 and Merax Finiss.
Personally, we find the trigger shifters a bit easier to use. It’s easier to keep balance while you’re rolling on the road.
The twist grip, however, gives you a greater sense of control. You’d get that “vroom vroom” feeling when you twist the throttle on your motorbike. It’s a little harder for beginners to maintain balance while twisting the grip.
Either way, we’re sure you’ll get used to using the shifters with practice!