Whether your budget is under $1,000 or less than $300, it’s possible to find an affordable mountain bike for your lifestyle and riding demands. Aside from price and brand, one of the top considerations when looking for a mountain bike is whether to choose a hardtail or full suspension 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. Full suspension mountain bikes have many positive features, including better handling thanks to their rear suspension and enhanced absorption on trails.
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 which mountain bike is best for you. Amazon’s bike buying guide can help you locate the best size and type of bike for your budget.
You can find a wider selection of mountain bikes on Amazon if this list doesn’t have what you need. If you’re searching for riding gear and accessories, be sure to check out the best bike helmets, best cycling shorts, and best bike lights.
1. 2018 Diamondback Overdrive 1
The 2018 Diamondback Overdrive 1 is an affordable bike with 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″. This bike has a hand-crafted hydroformed aluminum frameset for added stability. Heading for the hills? You’ll have a choice between 24 gears to help conquer the terrain. The bike is equipped with several 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 a price tag around $400, several Shimano components and specific frame sizes, this bike is best for enthusiastic riders looking for a solid yet budget-friendly entry-level mountain bike that can withstand regular use on the trails. The frame weighs just under 30 pounds, meaning the Overdrive isn’t the lightest bike out there.
Price: $392.40 – $529.99
- Entry-level bike
- Comes in several different sizes
- Shimano components
- Only available in one color
- Uncomfortable seat
- Assembly instructions could be better
2. Mongoose Impasse
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 enthusiasts think that the bike is a steal, with 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 really have room for a water bottle holder.
- Aluminum frame
- Shimano rear derailleur
- Element suspension fork
- Lacks space for a water bottle holder
- Shocks could be better
- Uncomfortable seat
3. Schwinn High Timber
With a price tag of just over $200, the Schwinn Men’s High Timber is a respectable budget-friendly bike if you’re just getting into the sport. 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.
- Durable Schwinn suspension fork
- Shimano components
- Improved mountain bike frame
- Assembly can be tricky
- Several mention the seat is uncomfortable
- Not the lightest frame
4. Huffy Alpine
The 26-inch Huffy Men’s Alpine Mountain Bike is a budget-friendly bike with a durable hardtail frame and a padded seat. While the knobby tires provide traction on dirt trails, they’re also suitable for paved surfaces. This bike is ideal for riders ages 13 and up, and features weather-resistant alloy rims that can withstand outings in inclement weather. Linear pull brakes in the front and back make it easier to stop quickly and safely when necessary.
Is the Huffy Alpine right for me? If you’re not sure yet whether mountain biking is the right sport for you, but are willing to give it a shot without spending too much on a bike, the Alpine can be a solid investment. Common complaints include the lack of frame sizes and some cheap components.
- Hardtail frame
- Ideal for riders 13 and up
- Knobby 26-inch tires
- Only available in one size/color
- Not ideal for serious mountain bike riding
- Some find the seat uncomfortable
5. BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B
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.
Price: $1,259.00 – $1,339.00
- Ideal for serious mountain biking
- Durable carbon fiber frame
- May not fit some smaller riders
- Hard seat
6. Merax Finiss
Even if you didn’t set out with the intention of buying a bike for its looks, the Finiss might make you reconsider. There’s no doubt that the Finiss will turn heads, whether you’re cruising down the road or hitting the trails. It also comes in several color variations in case red and black isn’t really your style. For less than $300 you’ll also get a well-equipped mountain bike, especially for new riders. Highlights include a heat treated aluminum frame and magnesium alloy wheels. The Finiss also has 21 speeds and comes with front and rear mechanical disc brakes. A mountain bike fork helps absorb bumps for a smoother ride.
Is the Merax Finiss right for me? For less than $300, this stylish bike is a steal for many beginners. Unless you have prior experience working on bikes, you’ll probably need to bring it to a local bike shop for a tune-up and adjustments.
- Shimano components
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Dual aluminum rims
- Not ideal for heavy trail riding
- Some complain of squealing brakes
- Weight limit of 220 lbs. is recommended for longevity
7. Kent Thruster
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 your preferred riding position is a bit lower with more room to stretch out, you’ll appreciate the lower handlebars.
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.
- Designed for men
- 26-inch wheels
- Shimano components
- A bit heavy
- Some plastic components seem cheap
- Lacks breakaway hangers
8. Schwinn Protocol 1.0
The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 comes with 26-inch wheels and a full suspension aluminum frame. Unlike the standard 21 gears to choose from on most bikes, this one has 24 gears. It’s also outfitted with a Shimano rear derailleur for smooth and reliable shifting, even when going up or down hills. Knobby tires have enough grip for when you want to hit the trails, but are also smooth enough for paved surfaces. The Protocol 1.0 has a rust-resistant frame and can support up to 220 pounds.
Is the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 right for me? If you’re a casual rider or a beginner looking for a bike that’s best suited for street and light off-road rides, this bike is worth a look. Common concerns include limited places to put a water bottle holder, and the fact that it doesn’t come with a rear disc brake.
Price: $315.96 (21 percent off MSRP)
- 26-inch wheels
- Dual suspension frame
- Mountain bike handlebars
- No place to put a water bottle cage
- Best for casual trail riding
- Setup instructions aren’t very helpful
9. 2018 Gravity FSX 1.0
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 a respectable budget-friendly bike. If you’re serious about taking this bike on the trails, you’ll probably want to swap out the stock tires first.
- Alloy frame
- 24 speeds
- Fits a wide range of sizes
- Only comes in one color
- Components aren’t built to withstand lots of jumping or downhills
- Subpar suspension
10. Raleigh Bikes Eva 3
The Eva 3 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 3 has several Shimano components, including the front and rear derailleurs, and 27-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 3 a good fit for most riders from 5′ to 6′ tall.
Is the Eva 3 right for me? If you’re a female rider, especially one who is just getting into the sport, the Eva 3 is a great value overall. However, you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a bike that can handle regular serious trail rides.
Price: $327.27 – $449.99
- Comes in a wide range of sizes
- Ideal entry-level bike for women
- Includes several Shimano components
- Assembly can be tricky
- Some find the stock seat uncomfortable
- Not ideal for more demanding 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.
Discuss on Facebook