11 Best Budget Mountain Bikes: Your Buyer’s Guide

best budget mountain bike

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If you’re just getting into mountain biking or are simply looking for a cheap mountain bike, we’ve got you covered. From lightweight bikes that ride more like hybrids to bikes with robust steel frames and large, knobby tires such as those found on fat tire bikes, here’s a look at the best budget mountain bikes for your off-road adventures.

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
best mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 29-inch tires
  • Wide gear range
  • Lightweight frame
Price: $491.32 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: $323.97 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
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: $274.23 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: $1,209.00 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
cheap mountain bikes Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight
  • Shimano derailleur
  • Comes in several sizes
Price: $188.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
huffy mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ideal for teens
  • Upright handlebars
  • Comes in several colors
Price: $142.64 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
womens mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Designed for women
  • Shimano components
  • Comes in two colors
Price: $123.47 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
folding mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Shimano components
  • Folding frame
  • Easily portable
Price: $215.00 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 29er: Diamondback Overdrive 29 1 (29″)

    Pros:
    • Multiple Shimano components
    • Tektro disc brakes in front and rear
    • Coil-sprung suspension helps dampen ride
    Cons:
    • Not the cheapest
    • Only available in one size
    • Stock saddle isn't the most comfortable

    If you’re in the market for an affordable 29er, consider the Overdrive 29 1 by Diamondback. It’s not the cheapest mountain bike available, but if you don’t mind a bit of a budget stretch, there’s a lot to offer. For starters, this bike is packed with Shimano components. Both the front and rear derailleurs are made by Shimano, along with the cogset and shifter. An eight-speed KMC chain ensures smooth shifting on off-road adventures. Tektro mechanical disc brakes in the front and back provide ample stopping power when necessary.

    For those who haven’t experienced a 29er for themselves, this type of bike offers a more unique ride. Today’s 29ers offer a mix of off-road capabilities (the larger tires can more easily conquer tricky terrain and obstacles) and performance. Most bikes have more pronounced frame geometry for ride that’s much more similar to your average mountain bike. Its larger tires make this Diamondback bike a top choice for your favorite trails.

  3. 3. Best Starter Mountain Bike: 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 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.

  5. 5. Best Budget 29er: 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.

  6. 6. Best High-End Mountain Bike: 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.

  7. 7. Best Budget Full Suspension Mountain Bike: Gravity FSX 1.0 (26″)

    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.

  8. 8. Best Lightweight Frame: Huffy Escalate (26″)

    Pros:
    • Available in multiple colors
    • Padded mountain bike seat
    • Kickstand included
    Cons:
    • Lacks a rear shock absorber
    • Some find the instruction manual confusing
    • Not ideal for heavy trail use

    Huffy’s Escalate falls on the smaller and lighter spectrum when it comes to mountain bikes, from its 26-inch wheels to its lightweight aluminum frame. The result is an affordable mountain bike that lets you accelerate faster without compromising your ability to tackle trickier terrain.

    While it’s lighter than steel, the aluminum frame is just as strong, and is just as dependable when climbing hills as it is for speedy accelerations.

    A 21-speed Shimano drivetrain ensures smooth shifting, along with plenty of gears for your off-road adventures. The bike is also equipped with a padded saddle that easily adjusts to fit various heights. Linear pull brakes provide reliable stopping power when necessary. Frame sizes range from 15 to 20 inches.

    Is the Huffy Escalate right for me? Its relatively lightweight aluminum frame and smooth-shifting 21-speed Shimano derailleur makes the Huffy Escalate a practical investment if you’re looking for a solid entry level mountain bike.

  9. 9. Best for Teens: Huffy Summit Ridge (24″)

    Pros:
    • Multiple sizes available
    • Generous 21-speed gearing
    • Twist-shift gearing is easy for new riders
    Cons:
    • A bit heavy
    • Some riders find the seat uncomfortable
    • Instruction manual is a bit vague

    For teens who are just getting into the sport or who want an affordable ride, the Huffy Summit Ridge is a solid option. The bike is recommended for riders ages 13 and up, with a rider height of at least 60 inches. You’ll find a range of wheel sizes, from 20 to 24 to 26 inches. While the 21-speed bike is most popular, as it provides a range of gears for tackling varied terrain, a six-speed model is also available. A simple hand twist changes gears, allowing even new riders to comfortably and confidently find the correct gears for their riding adventures.

    Several colors and styles are available to suit the tastes of male and female riders. The handlebars rise up slightly, which helps to alleviate stress and pressure on the shoulders and back. A padded seat provides extra comfort for off-road excursions. The bike has a quick-release seat post for fast and easy seat height adjustments. Other highlights include a Shimano rear derailleur and a removable rear derailleur guard.

  10. 10. Best Bike for Women: Schwinn High Timber (26″)

    Pros:
    • Ideal for all-terrain riding
    • Comes with 26-inch wheels
    • Sturdy alloy frame
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Some find the stock seat uncomfortable
    • Not the most lightweight frame

    The Schwinn High Timber is an affordable all-terrain bike that’s specifically designed with female riders in mind. The handlebars sit in an upright position to help make rides more comfortable while reducing strain on the shoulders and back. Shimano components include convenient twist shifters, which allow you to quickly change gears to suit varied terrain, along with a 21-speed rear derailleur.

    Standard 26-inch wheels make it easy to avoid obstacles along the trail without compromising performance or slowing you down. This women’s mountain bike is outfitted with a sturdy alloy frame. Two color options are available.

  11. 11. Best Folding Mountain Bike: Xspec Folding Bike (26″)

    Pros:
    • Folds up within seconds
    • Disc brake system enhances stopping power
    • Comes with 21 gears
    Cons:
    • A bit heavy for a folding bike
    • Uncomfortable stock seat
    • Assembly instructions are lacking

    With their generally heftier frames and larger wheels, most mountain bikes aren’t exactly easy to transport. This folding bike by Xspec folds up to a fraction of its original size within seconds, allowing you to easily store it in your car, carry it up stairs and more. Aside from the fact that it folds up, you’ll find plenty of similarities between the Xspec and other cheap mountain bikes within this price range. For example, the bike is outfitted with Shimano components in the form of shifters and a derailleur. Then there’s the dependable disc brake system for enhanced stopping power. With 21 available gears, you’ll quickly find the gear you need at any given moment.

    Shock absorbers in the front and back dampen rougher rides. This versatile bike is outfitted with a high tensile steel frame, and feels just as natural on the trails as it does for your daily riding demands. The bike is available in three colors and is best suited for riders standing 5’3 to 6’0.

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 best cheap 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.

See Also:

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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