10 Best Budget Mountain Bikes: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

best budget mountain bike

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Whether your budget is under $2,000 or less than $300, it’s possible to find an affordable mountain bike for your lifestyle and riding demands. Some budget bikes have more durable frames and components for off-road riding, while others are ideal for paved surfaces and light trail use. As you search for the right mountain bike, it’s helpful to know whether you’re better off investing in a hardtail or full suspension bike for your outdoor adventures.

Unlike full suspension mountain bikes, hardtails are mechanically simpler as they don’t have pivots or rear shocks. Hardtails generally don’t wear out as fast as full suspension bikes, and they are typically cheaper as there aren’t as many parts. Hardtail mountain bikes tend to be lighter and fun to ride on the trails.

Full suspension mountain bikes have many positive features, including better handling thanks to their rear suspension, and enhanced absorption on trails. While full suspension bikes are a fine choice for beginners, their overall capability and versatility makes them especially popular among more experienced riders. If you’re looking for more stability over bumpy terrain and during descents, a full suspension mountain bike

Wheel size is also important. Some of the most popular wheel sizes include 26 and 29 inches, although you may also see bikes with 27.5-inch wheels. The 26-inch tires have long been the most popular on mountain bikes due to their overall stability and agility. It’s also easier to find replacements when you need them.

The 29-inch tire is becoming increasingly prominent for its increased stability and control, especially on rougher terrain, along with sustained momentum once the bike is moving. However, because this tire is a bit larger, some riders find it tougher to maneuver the bike in tighter spaces or when it’s time to make a sharp turn. If you’re looking for a tire that can roll over obstacles as effortlessly as the 29-inch but don’t want to compromise maneuverability, consider a bike with 27.5-inch wheels.

Factors such as riding style, the type of terrain you typically ride, personal preference, and budget can also help determine the best affordable mountain bike for you. Amazon’s bike buying guide can help you locate good mountain bikes within your budget. Keep in mind that bikes purchased from Amazon require at least some assembly before riding. If you’re not comfortable with this part, it’s worth asking for help from an experienced mechanic before hitting the trails.

What Are the Best Budget Mountain Bikes Available Right Now?

mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Entry-level bike
  • Comes in several different sizes
  • Shimano components
Price: $600.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch), dual suspension bike, mongoose, mongoose mountain bike, mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Aluminum frame
  • Shimano rear derailleur
  • Element suspension fork
Price: $198.36 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Schwinn Men's High Timber Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable Schwinn suspension fork
  • Shimano components
  • Improved mountain bike frame
Price: $231.36 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
folding bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Folding frame
  • Free pedals included
  • Shimano components
Price: $289.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike 27.5-Inch T800 Ultralight Frame, carbon fiber mountain bike, mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for serious mountain biking
  • Durable carbon fiber frame
Price: $1,219.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap mountain bikes Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Shimano components
  • Hand-crafted alloy frame
  • 24 speeds
Price: No price available Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Designed for men
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Shimano components
Price: $183.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • 24 speeds
Price: $299.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
2017 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Alloy frame
  • 24 speeds
  • Fits a wide range of sizes
Price: $359.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes
  • Ideal entry-level bike for women
  • Includes several Shimano components
Price: $350.58 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Entry-Level Mountain Bike: Diamondback Overdrive 1 (27.5″)

    Pros:
    • Entry-level bike
    • Comes in several different sizes
    • Shimano components
    Cons:
    • Only available in one color
    • Uncomfortable seat
    • Assembly instructions could be better

    The  2018 Diamondback Overdrive 1 is the best affordable mountain bike with for an entry-level price. The 27.5-inch wheels for quick, mindful handling on the trails. It also fits a wide range of riders, with frame sizes for those approximately 5’3″ to 6’4″. The hand-crafted hydroformed aluminum frameset adds a sense of security and will help you feel in control on various surfaces. Heading for the hills? You’ll have a choice between 24 gears to help conquer varied terrain.

    The Diamondback mountain bike is equipped with several dependable Shimano components, including the cogset along with front and rear deraileurs. Owners generally find this bike to be a good overall value for the money, especially if you don’t mind spending a bit more for extras you may want, such as water bottle cages and a kickstand.

    Is the Diamondback Overdrive 1 right for me? With its Shimano components and specific frame sizes, this bike is one of the best affordable mountain bikes if you’re looking for a solid yet budget-friendly entry-level. While it’s sturdy enough for regular trail use, the frame weighs almost 30 pounds, meaning the Overdrive isn’t the lightest bike out there.

  2. 2. Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike: Mongoose Impasse (29″)

    Pros:
    • Aluminum frame
    • Shimano rear derailleur
    • Element suspension fork
    Cons:
    • Lacks space for a water bottle holder
    • Shocks could be better
    • Uncomfortable seat

    The Mongoose Impasse is a full suspension mountain bike with a sturdy aluminum frame and 29-inch tires. While the frame isn’t the lightest out there, it’s ideal if you want to feel completely in control as you ride. SRAM twist shifters make it easy to choose between the 21 available gears, especially when you’re heading up and down hills. Front and rear disc brakes provide fast stopping power if necessary.

    Is the Mongoose Impasse right for me? Many Impasse fans think the bike is a steal given its solid components and a sturdy build at an affordable price, especially with 29-inch tires. However, it only comes in one size, and doesn’t have much space for a water bottle holder.

  3. 3. Best Starter Mountain Bike Under $200: Schwinn High Timber (27.5″)

    Pros:
    • Durable Schwinn suspension fork
    • Shimano components
    • Improved mountain bike frame
    Cons:
    • Assembly can be tricky
    • Several mention the seat is uncomfortable
    • Not the lightest frame

    With a price tag of just over $200, the Schwinn Men’s High Timber is a respectable choice if you’re looking for the best starter mountain bike within your budget. Highlights include Schwinn’s own suspension fork and frame, which is made from steel. Combined with 27.5-inch tires, you can expect a controlled ride, even when the terrain gets rough.

    Shimano twist shifters pair with 21 gears to help you conquer your favorite trails. The High Timber comes with knobby all-terrain tires so that you don’t have to waste any time hitting the trails after it’s assembled.

    Is the Schwinn High Timber right for me? The High Timber has a heavier steel frame and knobby 27.5-inch tires, which makes it particularly well suited for controlled riding on rougher terrain. However, it only comes in one size and can be tough to assemble if you don’t already own the right tools.

  4. 4. Best Folding Mountain Bike Under $300: Kingttu G6 (26″)

    Pros:
    • Folding frame
    • Free pedals included
    • Shimano components
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Not ideal for serious mountain bike riding
    • May be a bit small for larger/heavier riders

    If space is an issue, not to mention portability, consider a folding mountain bike. The Kingttu G6 is a dual suspension mountain bike that folds up neatly for storage and portability. Another advantage is its lightweight frame. Disc brakes provide fast and reliable stopping power when necessary. This bike is also equipped with Shimano derailleurs in the front and back. With a total of 21 speeds, you won’t have to hunt around to find the right gear. Free pedals are included with the bike, which has a weight limit of 330 pounds.

    Is the Kingttu G6 right for me? A folding mountain bike can be a sensible investment, especially if you’re concerned about storage and portability. Keep in mind that the handlebars and pedals don’t fold in flat.

  5. 5. Best Mountain Bike Under $2,000: BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B (27.5″)

    Pros:
    • Lightweight
    • Ideal for serious mountain biking
    • Durable carbon fiber frame
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • May not fit some smaller riders
    • Hard seat

    You’ll get your money’s worth with this mountain bike if you don’t mind paying a bit more up front. One of the main features that sets this mountain bike apart from the rest is its carbon fiber frame. Although it’s pricier than the aluminum or steel frames found on less expensive bikes, the carbon fiber frame makes up for the initial cost with its lightweight construction and superior durability.

    The frame is made from T800 carbon fiber, a material that holds up well even on the most demanding trails. It also has Shimano components such as fast-responding hydraulic disc brakes and a speed control system. Serious riders also appreciate the lower riding position, which allows for higher speeds.

    Is the BEIOU 650B right for me? If you’re willing to spring for a more upscale mountain bike with a lightweight carbon fiber frame, the 650B is a sensible choice. Shorter riders, around 5’7″ and under, may find that the smallest available frame is still too large.

  6. 6. Best Budget Mountain Bike Under $300: Vilano Blackjack 3.0 (29″)

    Pros:
    • Shimano components
    • Hand-crafted alloy frame
    • 24 speeds
    Cons:
    • Not ideal for heavy trail riding
    • Only comes in one size
    • Uncomfortable stock seat

    The Vilano Blackjack 3.0 comes with larger 29-inch tires, which are designed to conquer various obstacles along the trail. A hand-crafted alloy frame adds an extra element of stability. The Blackjack 3.0 is equipped with mechanical disc brakes for faster stopping power.

    It’s technically a mountain bike, but the Blackjack 3.0 is just as capable on roads and paved bike paths. Double wall alloy rims keep the ride stable and secure. Other features include a Shimano shifter, and Shimano derailleurs in the front and back. With 24 available speeds, you won’t have to hunt around to find the right gear.

    Is the Vilano Blackjack 3.0 right for me? For less than $300, this budget bike offers 29-inch wheels and an array of Shimano components. However, it’s only available in one size.

  7. 7. Best Budget Pick: Kent Thruster (26″)

    Pros:
    • Designed for men
    • 26-inch wheels
    • Shimano components
    Cons:
    • A bit heavy
    • Some plastic components seem cheap
    • Lacks breakaway hangers

    The Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike features 26-inch wheels and a durable full suspension aluminum frame that can withstand off-road demands. The bike also comes with front and rear disc brakes for enhanced stopping power. Other highlights include a 21-speed Shimano shifter and rear derailleur. If speed is a priority when considering good mountain bikes for your money, not to mention having more room to stretch out, you’ll appreciate the lower handlebars on this bike.

    Is the Kent Thruster right for me? If you’re looking for an affordable mountain bike for light riding, and don’t plan on heavy trail use, the Kent Thruster is a solid choice for a full suspension mountain bike.

  8. 8. Best Affordable Mountain Bike for New Riders: Columbia KM One (26″)

    Pros:
    • 26-inch wheels
    • Front and rear disc brakes
    • 24 speeds
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Best for casual trail riding
    • Some complain the stock saddle is uncomfortable

    If you’re just getting into mountain biking, you’re probably looking for a budget-friendly bike that can help you decide whether the sport is right for you. The Columbia KM One has an affordable price tag of just over $150. Features such as Shimano components, including the derailleurs and shifters, along with sturdy double-wall rims make this bike a well-rounded option for your money.

    Unlike most bikes, which have 21 speeds, the KM One has 24 available speeds to help conquer varied terrain. Another bonus is the fact that the bike has mechanical disc brakes in the front and back. It also has a lightweight yet sturdy aluminum frame. The 19-inch frame is generally recommended for riders from 5’10 to 6’3.

    Is the Columbia KM One right for me? If you fit on the frame, the Columbia KM One is a solid choice for first-time riders.

  9. 9. Best Mountain Bike Under $400: Gravity FSX 1.0

    Pros:
    • Alloy frame
    • 24 speeds
    • Fits a wide range of sizes
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one color
    • Components aren’t built to withstand lots of jumping or downhills
    • Subpar suspension

    Compared to the 2017 model, this bike has a new, lighter aluminum frame along with higher-performance hydroformed tubing for more stability and control on the trails. The bike has 24 speeds, which is a bit more than the 21 speeds you’ll find on most bikes in this price range. It’s also equipped with front and rear disc brakes for added stopping power.

    Sizes range from 15 to 21 inches to comfortably fit most riders from 5’6 to 6’1 and over. Other highlights include a Shimano rear derailleur, adjustable rear coil and an adjustable front shock.

    Is the Gravity FSX 1.0 right for me? With its all-around solid construction and components that can be upgraded, the Gravity FSX 1.0 is just as suitable for newer mountain bikers as it is for more experienced riders looking for the best cheap mountain bike within a desired price range. If you’re serious about taking this bike on the trails, you’ll probably want to swap out the stock tires first.

  10. 10. Best Mountain Bike for Women: Raleigh Bikes Eva 2 (27.5″)

    Pros:
    • Comes in a wide range of sizes
    • Ideal entry-level bike for women
    • Includes several Shimano components
    Cons:
    • Assembly can be tricky
    • Some find the stock seat uncomfortable
    • Not ideal for more demanding trail rides

    The Eva 2 is an entry-level mountain bike that’s particularly well suited for women who are just getting into the sport. Don’t be fooled by its affordable price tag though, as the Eva 2 has several Shimano components, including the front and rear derailleurs, and 27.5-inch Kenda tires for off-road riding.

    Aside from the frame, the bike comes with a plush mountain saddle and small diamond grips for female riders. A wide range of available sizes makes the Eva 2 a good fit for most riders from 5′ to 6′ tall.

    Is the Eva 2 right for me? If you’re a female rider, especially one who is just getting into the sport, the Eva 2 is the best affordable mountain bike if you’re looking for an overall value. However, you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a bike that can handle regular serious trail rides.

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

Jesse

I just saw your Blog.After seeing your Collection I’m really impressed.I know in future your collection is much better than others.that’s it..

Jesse

This is a great site for mountain bike..Just i saw a lots of collection is here, so the bike finder can find his best mountain bike.