11 Best Budget Mountain Bikes

best budget mountain bike

123rf.com (Maksym Protsenko)

The beauty of mountain biking is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a solid ride. Whether you’re shopping for your first mountain bike or a less expensive alternative to some of the high-end mountain bikes, we’ve reviewed and compared the best budget mountain bikes to help you save.

If you have some extra cash to spare and are looking for an even bolder ride, check out our best electric mountain bikes.

You can also save money and avoid getting rid of an old bike that’s still in great shape by converting it using one of our best e-bike conversion kits.

What Are the Best Budget Mountain Bikes Available Right Now?

mens mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for smaller riders
  • Stable 27.5inch-wheels
  • Mountain-tuned aluminum frame
Price: $449.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
trek marlin 5
  • Front suspension fork
  • Rack and kickstand mounts
  • Great overall value
Price: $599.99 Shop now at Trek Shop now Read our review
cheap mountain bikes for sale Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stylish
  • Comes in two colors
  • Suspension fork dampens bumps
Price: $268.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mountain bikes for sale Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight carbon fiber frame
  • Shimano components
  • Ideal for all levels
Price: $1,299.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Unique three-spoke rims
  • Large all-terrain tires
  • Great for stunts
Price: $259.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
full suspension mountain bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Trigger shifters
  • Large 29-inch tires
  • Shimano components
Price: $549.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap mountain bikes Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Shimano components
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Oversized tires
Price: $576.58 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best mountain bikes under 500 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Solid value
  • Quick-release seat post
  • 29-inch all-terrain tires
Price: $299.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap mountain bikes for sale Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Recommended for beginners
  • Portable folding frame
  • Dual suspension frame
Price: $225.99 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: $439.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full-suspension
  • Sturdy aluminum frame
  • Shimano components
Price: $251.11 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Schwinn Mesa 3

    Pros:
    • Shimano Tourney drivetrain with 21 speeds
    • Zoom aluminum suspension fork for extra stability
    • Shimano EZ-FIRE shifters for easy gear changes
    Cons:
    • Small frame only fits shorter riders
    • Doesn't have disc brakes
    • Not for heavier trail use

    The Schwinn Mesa 3 has a smaller frame, making it well suited for riders from 5’2″ to 5’6″. Don’t let its smaller stature fool you, though, as this entry-level mountain bike comes with robust 27.5-inch wheels for dependable grip when you need it, along with a Shimano Tourney drivetrain with 21 speeds.

    Shimano EZ-FIRE shifters won’t leave you searching for the appropriate gearing, whether you’re climbing hills or powering along flats. Plus, they’re conveniently located at your fingertips.

    Schwinn’s frames don’t disappoint, and this mountain-tuned aluminum frame is no exception. A Zoom aluminum suspension fork provides extra stability as you navigate your favorite off-road trails and paths. Aluminum linear pull brakes bring the bike to a safe stop when necessary. 

    Is the Schwinn Mesa 3 right for me? If you fall within the limited height range, the Mesa 3 offers several quality components for the price.

  2. 2. Trek Marlin 5

    Price: $599.99
    Pros:
    • Quality Shimano components for the price
    • Internal cable routing gives the bike a cleaner look and protects the cables
    • Gear can be clipped onto the stem
    Cons:
    • Not the best fork for aggressive trail rides
    • Chain noise isn't uncommon
    • Some riders wish the seat had more padding

    The Marlin 5 from Trek is a step up from your entry-level mountain bike in that it’s well-equipped to take your outdoor riding adventures to the next level. If you’re just getting into the sport, Marlin 5 offers plenty of room to build your confidence and improve your skills without needing to worry about upgrading to a more expensive bike, or even an electric mountain bike.

    This Trek mountain bike is just as comfortable getting dirty on the trails as it is on daily commutes and urban riding. Quality components such as Shimano Tourney TY300 front and rear derailleurs and a Shimano Altus M315 shifter bring out the best of this bike’s abilities on rugged terrain and steeper climbs.

    An SR Suntour XCE front fork dampens rough rides and has a coil spring with a preload adjuster to make rides on various surfaces more comfortable. The extra-small and small forks have a 42mm offset for 27.5-inch wheels, while the medium through XXL sizes come with 46mm offset for 29-inch wheels. The small through XXL forks have 100mm of travel, while the extra-small has 80mm travel.

    All bikes are outfitted with dependable Bontrager XR2 Comp tires. The extra-small and small bikes run 27.5 x 2.20-inch tires, while the medium through XXL bikes can accommodate 29 x 2.00 or 29 x 2.20-inch tires for your favorite off-road rides.

    Details matter when you’re investing in a new mountain bike. Trek caters to a wide customer base with this versatile bike, which includes rack mounts, chainstay mounts for installing a rear kickstand, and innovative stem technology that allows you to clip your gear directly onto the stem. Internal cable routing gives the bike a clean look and protects the cables over time.

    To ensure the Marlin 5 is accessible to nearly any adult rider, Trek offers its bike in sizes ranging from extra-small to XXL. The extra-small and small versions fit riders between 4’5.9″ and 5’5.6″ and have hydraulic disc brakes with a short reach lever. You’ll also find narrower handlebars for enhanced comfort and control on various surfaces. Plus, the two smaller frames have curved top tubes and lower standover heights for easier mounting and dismounting. 

    Cyclists from 5’3.4″ to 6’7.9″ should fit on the medium through XXL frames. These bikes are outfitted with hydraulic disc brakes and standard levers.

    Trek backs the Marlin 5 with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind.

    A separate women’s version is also available. Check out the Trek Women’s Marlin 5 or browse our best mountain bikes for women for more great options.

    Is the Trek Marlin 5 right for me? This popular Trek mountain bike bridges the gap between the most basic entry-level bikes and more expensive models, which makes it one of our favorite budget mountain bikes for beginners through intermediate riders looking for a great deal.

  3. 3. Eurobike TSMX1

    Pros:
    • Smooth-riding 27.5-inch aluminum rims
    • Comes with 21 gears
    • A Shimano shifter puts the appropriate gears at your fingertips
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Seat can be uncomfortable
    • Has some lower quality stock components

    If you’re looking for a cheap mountain bike that looks pricier than it actually is, the Eurobike TSMX1 stands out for its distinctive styling. This budget-friendly mountain bike is available in two colors. The bike has 21 gears, so you won’t find yourself struggling to find the right one on hills and flats.

    A Shimano shifter puts the appropriate gears at your fingertips and makes it easier to stay focused on the road and trails. Large 27.5-inch aluminum rims deliver a sturdy and comfortable riding experience. A suspension fork dampens bumps for a smoother ride.

    Is the Eurobike TSMX1 right for me? This stylish entry-level bike isn’t the best for heavy riding, but it’s easy on the wallet and works well for light use.

  4. 4. SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

    Pros:
    • Several available frame and tire sizes
    • SR Suntour fork with 100 milimeters of travel
    • Mechanical disc brakes for increased stopping power
    Cons:
    • Doesn't have an air suspension fork
    • Components only have a six-month warranty
    • Not equipped with hydraulic disc brakes

    The SAVADECK DECK300 sports a strong yet lightweight carbon fiber frame for even the most demanding off-road adventures. The bike comes with numerous Shimano components, including a Shimano M6000 derailleur system and Shimano MT200 mechanical disc brakes for increased stopping power.

    An SR Suntour fork with 100 milimeters of travel keeps you in control while cushioning the ride. Continental mountain bike tires provide a steady and secure grip on uneven terrain.

    Several frame and tire sizes are available, from 26 to 29-inch tires and 15 through 19-inch frames. This carbon fiber mountain bike is equally suitable for beginners and more experienced riders.

    Is the SAVADECK DECK300 right for me? If you don’t mind the steeper price tag, this mountain bike stands out for its lightweight yet durable carbon fiber frame. 

  5. 5. Max4out Mountain Bike

    Pros:
    • Has 21 available speeds
    • Suspension fork dampens ride
    • Dual front and rear disc brakes
    Cons:
    • Some cheap stock components
    • Frame is on the heavier side
    • Flimsy plastic bottle holder

    The first thing that might capture your attention when you lay eyes on the Max4out Mountain Bike is its unique three-spoke rims. Although they look sleek, the rims are wide enough for 26-inch all-terrain knobby tires for some serious off-road fun. This bike also has 21 speeds to boost your confidence in virtually any riding situation.

    It’s labeled as a stunt bike, but you can take this mountain bike on the trails and even to the beach. Dual front and rear disc brakes provide the necessary stopping power when you need it. This bike is a good fit for riders from 5’2″ to 6′ tall.

    Is the Max4out Mountain Bike right for me? It’s not for hardcore trail rides, but this mountain bike is a great pick if you’re on a budget yet still want a bike that’s sturdy enough to go off-road.

  6. 6. Schwinn Traxion

    Pros:
    • Aluminum dual-suspension frame
    • Knobby 2.25-inch tires expertly handle tricky terrain
    • Has 24-speed Shimano shifters
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Uncomfortable stock seat
    • Front shocks aren't the best

    With its large 29-inch tires, this Schwinn is a full suspension mountain bike that’s well suited for your favorite trails. An aluminum dual suspension 18-inch frame keeps you feeling comfortable and confident on the trails.

    The Traxion also comes with 24-speed Shimano shifters, so you won’t have to hunt for the right gears. Trigger shifters make switching gears a breeze, which comes in handy when you’re getting ready for some serious climbing.

    When you’re ready to ride, the knobby 2.25-inch tires expertly cruise over trickier terrain. They’re not quite as bulky as fat bike tires, but you’ll definitely feel comfortable and confident on rocks, roots and other obstacles. Front and rear mechanical disc brakes make it easier to stop quickly and safely, even when going downhill.

    Is the Schwinn Traxion right for me? Although it only comes in one size, the Traxion is a great budget 29er for exploring your favorite trails.

  7. 7. Huffy Tekton

    Pros:
    • Frame is backed by a 10 year warranty
    • Comes in a wide range of frame sizes
    • Quick-release seat binder for easy height adjustments
    Cons:
    • Doesn't have disc brakes
    • A few complaints about the front brakes rubbing
    • Front suspension fork isn't the highest quality

    Your favorite trails are calling, and the Huffy Tekton invites to you answer with its 21-speed Shimano drivetrain along with Shimano twist shifters so that you’ll never be left hunting for the right gears.

    This entry-level mountain bike’s lightweight aluminum frame makes you feel equally stable and nimble as you ride. Even better, the frame is backed by Huffy’s 10-year warranty.

    Oversized 27.5-inch tires securely grip rougher surfaces and provide maximum traction in various riding conditions. The Tekton comes in a wide range of frames, from the smallest 15-inch frame up to 20 inches. However, the smaller frames come with 26-inch tires. The alloy rims are lightweight and corrosion-resistant for longevity.

    Quick stops are an inevitable part of the sport, and the Tekton is ready with alloy linear pull brakes. This affordable mountain bike also comes with a padded saddle and a quick-release seat binder to easily make height adjustments as necessary.

    Is the Huffy Tekton right for me? Some stock components are cheap, but the Huffy Tekton is a great entry-level pick for its 21-speed Shimano drivetrain and a frame that’s backed by a 10-year warranty.

  8. 8. Schwinn High Timber 

    Pros:
    • Triple chain ring helps conquer steep inclines
    • Solid steel mountain bike frame
    • Knobby tires provide extra grip
    Cons:
    • Assembly can be tricky
    • Several mention the seat is uncomfortable
    • Not the lightest frame

    The Schwinn Men’s High Timber offers a combination of quality and comfort, making it a practical option if you’re looking for the best starter mountain bike within your budget. Highlights include a Schwinn suspension fork and frame, which is made from steel. Combined with large 29-inch tires, you can expect a controlled and secure ride, even when the terrain gets rough.

    Shimano twist shifters pair with 21 gears to help you conquer your favorite trails. The bike’s triple chainring can also help you feel more confident when climbing up those particularly steep inclines. 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 29-inch tires, which makes it particularly well suited for controlled riding on rougher terrain. However, it only comes in one size. The lack of disc brakes can also be a turnoff for some riders.

  9. 9. Outroad Mountain Bike

    Pros:
    • Anti-slip pedals for extra confidence
    • Comes with 21 available gears
    • Has front and rear disc brakes
    Cons:
    • Fits a limited height range
    • Only comes in one size
    • Not recommended for heavier users

    The Outroad is a sleek-looking mountain bike that caters to beginners. This folding mountain bike is highly compact and portable, so you can simply fold it up to get it into your car or up a flight of stairs as needed. When you’re ready to ride, the dual suspension frame keeps you stable and dampens vibrations for a smoother outing.

    You’ll find front and rear disc brakes along with quick-release wheels. Anti-slip pedals keep your feet firmly planted during your favorite adventures. A total of 21 speeds means you won’t be left wondering which gear you should choose next. The frame size is suitable for riders who are 5’3″ to 5’10”. The suggested weight limit is 220 pounds.

    Is the Outroad right for me? This affordable mountain bike is a solid value for beginner riders, as long as you fall within the relatively restricted height and weight range.

  10. 10. Mongoose Impasse 

    Pros:
    • Comes with front and rear disc brakes
    • Quick-release front wheel
    • SRAM twist shifters for easy gear changes
    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 durable enough to make your ride feel more controlled.

    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 when 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.

  11. 11. Kent Thruster

    Pros:
    • Has 21-speed shifters
    • High-flange hubs
    • Front disc brakes
    Cons:
    • A bit heavy
    • Some plastic components seem cheap
    • Lacks breakaway hangers

    The Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike is a full-suspension mountain bike with 26-inch wheels and a sturdy aluminum frame that can withstand off-road demands. Front and rear disc brakes provide dependable 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.

Which Are the Best Mountain Bikes for the Money?

Whether your budget is under $2,000 or less than $300, it's possible to find an affordable mountain bike. The best budget mountain bike is the one that suits your budget, 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 budget mountain bike, it's helpful to know whether you're better off investing in a hardtail or full suspension bike for your outdoor adventures.

What Is a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

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.

What Is a Full-suspension Mountain Bike?

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 make them especially popular among more experienced riders.

If you're looking for more stability over bumpy terrain and during descents, consider a full-suspension mountain bike.

Does Wheel Size Matter When It Comes to Mountain Biking?

In addition to finding the best mountain bike for the price, you want to make sure that the bike can handle everything that you want it to do. Wheel size can impact everything from the ride quality to how the bike handles and more.  Even the cheapest mountain bikes have a wide range of tire sizes for your off-road excursions.

Some of the most popular mountain bikes for sale have wheels between 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 recognized for its improved 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. You can also check out our best fat tire bikes and the best electric fat tire bikes if you're looking for a bike that can ride through just about anything.

What Else Should I Know about Mountain Biking?

If you're new to cycling, you might not yet be aware of the potential benefits. For example, cycling is easy on the joints and provides a serious aerobic workout, according to Harvard Medical School. Additionally, Bicycling.com says studies have shown that those who are active every day are 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure.

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 the cheapest mountain bikes within your size range and budget. Keep in mind that mountain bikes for sale on 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.

Many mountain bikes come with stock platform pedals. While these pedals are cost-effective and don't require you to actually clip in, they generally don't provide the same security and power transfer as an SPD pedal. The two-bolt SPD pedal secures your feet while allowing you to easily clip out and in, making it an especially popular choice amount mountain bike riders.

See Also:

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