Are you looking for the best mountain bikes under $500? If so,you have landed the right place. We have researched and summarized several cheap mountain bikes reviews to assist you in making the right decision.
According to the NBDA (National Bicycle Dealers Association) industry overview for 2015, specialty bicycles from dealers were sold from around 200 dollars with an average of 753 dollars. However, whether you require a cheap mountain bike for just recreation, moving around or mountain biking, a $500 budget can give you a decent brand. There is a wide range of cheap mountain bikes that offers a satisfactory experience.
You can be rest assured that these bikes are strong, durable and give some level of warranty too. Whether you are male/female or a teenager, you can get a best budget mountain bike that suits your size and expertise.
Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 Comparison
This guide offers you a list of the best mountain bike for the money that strikes a balance between quality and price. With this budget you can get a hard tail or even a full suspension bike of up to 29″ for men.Below is a list of carefully selected Budget mountain bikes .
Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Under $500
1. Vilano 26-Inch Frame Bike Ridge ‘mtb 2.0 ’ 21 Speed Shimano with Disk Brakes review
A good looking bike, perfect for light trail riding, commuting to work, or just cruising around! This quality entry level bike has got a lot of amazing components you would love. It’s amazing designed coupled with wonderful features makes it one of the cheapest high-quality mountain bikes available.
- Frame made of double butted 6061 Aluminium
- A 26” suspension fork alloy
- A wheel made of 26” alloy.
- A mechanical disk brake
It arrives partially assembled, and while assembling is easy, It is highly recommended bringing the bike to a qualified bike mechanic in a local shop for a safety check/tuning.
This is an impressive entry level bike that looks and performs great as well. This brand has offered affordable, inexpensive quality bicycles right from 2008.
2. Schwinn Protocol Mens Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike (26-Inch Wheels)
Editor Choice : Recommended for you
The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 mountain bike is a best full suspension mountain bike with aluminium frames of trusted quality. Needless to say that this bike is durable and very lightweight. The nature of aluminium frames makes the bumpy ride a little bit more comfortable. It is also a high speed bike with up to 24(Shimano EZ- fire shifters) speeds.
It is an excellent bike for off-road biking, cross country riding and occasionally downhills. With this bike you can climb the steepest hills and ride trails with large obstacles.
It’s an ideal bike for professional bikers who literally want to go up and down the mountains repeatedly. It features a rear alloy linear pull brake and a Promax front disc brake which specifically offers a great brakes system for stoppage irrespective of the trail condition. This is one of the top entry level mountain bike .
3. Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual Suspension Mountain Bike (26Inch)
The Kent Thruster KZ2600 is a full suspension bike with a very strong aluminium frame. This means it is perfect for mid-range biking on various trails. The aluminium frame is an excellent choice for rough or steep terrain because of it’s ability to repel the vibrations from rocks, roots and obtacles on the trail.
As a result, it minimizes the wear and tear of your muscles during rough trails, especially during downhill biking. If you’re a downhill biker, or you intend to get a mountain bicycle for downhill riding, I suggest you stick to full suspension bikes.
The Kent thruster KZ2600 especially suits you. This product is especially good for downhill trails and rough terrain in general. This is because the rear suspension enables the wheels to go smoothly over obstacles. The Kent thruster KZ2600 also features discs brakes on the front and linear pull brakes at the rear. This gives it a very strong stopping force when compared to bikes with other brake types. This mountain bike has been reviewed to have an excellent brakes system.
4. GTM 26”7 Speed Foldable Mountain Bike Bicycle Shimano ‘Hybrid’ Suspension MTB review:
If you desire a mountain bike that is flexible, efficient and relatively cheap, GTM Foldable mountain bike is the deal. 85% of this Mountain bike is factory assembled, lightweight (38.60Lbs), and can be folded very easily within 10 seconds.
It is comfortable for athletic riding positions and has a responsive handling. The steel mountain frame provides easy control, while the mountain crank delivers a wide gear range.
GTM 26″ Folding Mountain Speed Bicycle Shimano Hybrid Suspension has a size of about 26/17 and frame of about 26 inches. It weighs 38.60Lbs.
- Comfortable premium quality2. A heavy-duty kickstand
- Can be folded in easy steps
- An adjustable Seat Height
- An adjustable handle
- Size: 26″
- Colors: It comes in Blue, Gloss Black
5. Mongoose Cache 26″ Mens Mountain Bike Grey
The Mongoose Cache 26″ mountain bike is a full suspension bike with a relatively light aluminium frame and a front suspension fork. It is very strong and durable and allows for riding of all types of terrain or trail. It also features front disc brakes and a rear linear pull brake.
The brakes system allows for very effective stoppage irrespective of the trail condition. This product is a great choice for rough trails, downhills and is very appropriate for cross country racing. This is because the bike is designed for a comfortable athletic riding position.
This bike also features a 26″ alloy wheels which is relatively very light, making it easy to use. If you’re looking to get good quality and durable bike that meets your athletic riding needs, irrespective of the terrain or trail, I suggest you get this product. The Mongoose cache offers an overall satisfactory biking experience. With aluminium as the frame material, good performance is guaranteed.
6. Monogoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch) review:
This is one of the best mountain bikes with an average price tag. It is designed to face light to challenging mountain trails and off road tracks and also look decent enough to go on cruises up town. It also has a 21 speed gear setting that gives you the versatility you need, while the disc brakes on the front/rear helps deliver an instant stopping power.
Components of the Mongoose Impasse
Frame : An aluminum tough and steady full suspension frame, is fashioned to provide the users with a maximum comfort and performance. Meanwhile, though the solid aluminum frame is heavier than other light-wieght mountain bikes, it provides optimum control for a very responsive.
This frame works together with the suspension system to give you the best in full suspension bike no matter if you are just a casual rider around town, or a trailer by heart.
- Rear Element shocks at the rear to handle light off-road runs with ease.
- A combination of MTB front derailleur, 21-speed TX-35 rear derailleur and SRAM MRX twist shifter that makes riding smoother and more convenient.
- Reliable disk brakes (both rear and front) that ensures smooth braking system.
- A 28 “ by 2.1” wheelset.
The Mongoose Impasse measures 31 by 9 by 56 inches; approximately 42 pounds and weighs over 33 pounds. It’s backed with a 2 year limited warranty on parts and service.
7. Schwinn High Timber Mens Mountain Bike – White (27.5-Inch)
The Schwinn Timber mountain bike is relatively strong and durable. As the name implies, it is excellent for high timber trails. It features a front suspension fork which helps reduce the vibrations of bumps and roots on the trails. This makes your biking experience fun and more comfortable.
The Schwinn timber mountain bike also features a schwinn front shock system, a padded seat and tyres predisposed for very rough timber trails. The padded seat accounts for a comfortable seating while on the rough timber trails.
However, this bike is excellent for recreation and on-road biking. You can ride on a stony path, bike paths, dusty trails and even steep pavements. Generally, riding on Schwinn bikes are enjoyable. You can look out for a very good performance if you get this bike.
8. Northwoods Aluminum is the Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike
The Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension mountain bike features an aluminium frame with a 50mm steel crown fork. It is relatively lightweight (about 25 pounds) and offers great efficiency. The strength and durability of the Northwoods aluminium mountain bike makes it appropriate for all terrain or trail types.
It’s full suspension and aluminium components makes the downhill ride a bit more comfortable and less bumpy.
The Northwoods Aluminium full suspension bike is appropriate for mid-range bikers and mountain riding professionals. You can be assured that good performance is guaranteed. I would also recommend this product for cross country bikers because of it’s speed. Check price on Amazon
9. Schwinn Women’s High Timber Mountain Bicycle, 26″ Wheel 16″ (Small Frame Size)
Designed exclusively for women, this mountain bike is light and is very easy to handle. With its special features to suit any mountain condition, it is considered relatively cheap compared to other bikes of similar features.
- Mountain frame
- It has a suspension for shifter with an average speed of 21 rear.
- Light and Strong alloy rims for durable riding experience.
- Weighs about 42.6 pounds
- Has a wheel size of 26 inches
- This is one the top rated bikes for women rider.
Best hardtail mountain bikes under $500 reviews
10. Kent Thruster T-29 Men’s Mountain Bike, 29-Inch
The Kent Thruster T29 mens mountain bike features a lightweight heat treated aluminium frame. It is a hardtail mountain bike that is ideal for first time bikers and mid-range riders. Just like the Merax Finiss, this bike also comes 85% assembled. All you need to do is install the front wheel, handle bar, pedals and also pump the tyres.
The heat treated aluminium frame accounts for its strength and durability especially for off-road and cross country trails. Whether you are a first time rider or a cross country biker, looking for a bike with good technical control and foundation? I suggest you stick to the Kent thruster T-29 mountain bike. It is a unique hard tail and it is highly durable, especially for its price. It is also very fast and will make cross country riding a wonderful experience.
11. Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Sorrento mountain bike has an aluminium frame which ensures strength, durability and overall good performance of the bike. The frame size ranges from 16 inches (small) to 22 inches (XL) to suit your individual height and size. You can scroll back to our size specifications to guide you on the size that best suits you. Like other hardtails, the Diamondback sorrento is known for its apt acceleration and great technical control.
Hence, this bike is an excellent choice for cross country riding and first time bikers or learners.
It is also an ideal bike for plus sized or larger sized individuals because of the absence of a rear suspension. This bike can be assembled easily and is very easy to use. Hence, you can groom your biking skills with this product. If you get this bike, you should look out for very satisfactory performance and durability is assured. This is one of best hardtail mountain bike .
12. Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes
Editor Choice: Recommended For You
The Merax Finiss 26 Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike features a 6061 heat treated aluminium frame for enhanced strength and durability. Also, the cranks, brake leavers, seat post and pedals are in aluminium. This accounts for the lightweight properties of the bike.
This product also features double wall aluminium rims which is slightly denser than magnesium alloys. This feature offers a very good foundation for the mountain bike.
The Merax Finiss 26 Aluminum Mountain Bike also offers a good athletic performance in terms of speed and brakes system. This product runs very fast and is easy to use. The brakes system features mechanical discs which are excellent for any type of riding.
The mechanical disc brakes is also preferred. This is an excellent choice for plus sized bikers. The double wall aluminium rims and absence of rear suspension, makes it comfortable for plus sized individuals.
13. Merax Finiss Aluminum Speed Mg Alloy Wheel Mountain Bike
The Merax Finiss 26-inch Mountain Bike is a bike with a heat treated aluminium frame. Heat treated aluminium is generally stronger and more durable. It also features unique aluminium pedals for the left and right sides which work mechanically to install anticlockwise and clockwise movement respectively.
However, this bike comes 85% assembled and you need to install the pedals yourself. Unlike other bike assembly that require the use of tools, the Merax Finiss mountain bike can be assembled without tools. Apart from the pedals, you will only need to install the handle bar, the front wheel and pump your tyres. This means you may not need to spend hours assembling your bike (if you go for this one).
This bike also features lightweight stylish magnesium alloy wheels (which is slightly less dense than aluminium) and mechanical disc brakes. The stoppage power of the mechanical disc brakes cannot be over emphasized. If you’re looking to get a very good quality and durable bike with a stunning appearance, this would make a good choice for you. This product will also be great for first time riders because it features very efficient pedals. I would also recommend the merax finiss mountain bike for cross country riders.
This is because it is generally very fast, lightweight and the pedal action will enable you to work less to maintain your speed. The unique pedals of the Merax Finiss mountain bike are also labeled appropriately (L/R). This way, it is easy to know which pedal is meant for the left and right side during assembling.
How To Choose Best Budget mountain bikes
In choosing the mountain bike under 500 dollars, you need to answer some key questions that will guide your choice. You need to consider ::
- what type of terrain or trails you plan to ride your bike?( will it be rocky, off-road, high timber, or no obstacles)
- What size of bike is best for you?
- What frame material should you go for..
- or Which bike accessories should be prioritized?
Type of terrain you intend to ride..
Where you plan to ride your bike is very important in choosing the right bike for your budget. Going on mountain biking? Will you be riding on steep hills? Or are you just going to stick to off-road cross country biking?
If you are a first timer, there’s really no need to consider entry level mountain bikes meant for very steep hills. You should consider comfort bikes with comfortable sitting positions and high durability. Hybrids for instance, are an excellent choice for road riding and dirt trails that don’t necessarily involve big jumps or difficult obstacles. However, if you want to learn or master biking skills, you should consider a hard tail. Hard tails are excellent trainers and they have a considerably higher technical control.
If you will be mountain biking, riding off-road or over a very rough terrain, there are specially designed bikes that will suit you. Such bikes would have features designed to enhance performance and durability in rough or very steep terrain. However, you would have to choose from a range of best affordable mountain bike types. Ensure that you get a bike with full suspension if you would be going through rocky or rough terrains. Don’t forget to check the speed as it will help you climb steep slopes comfortably.
Mountain Bike Sizing ( What size of bike is perfect for you? )
Are you a gentle man or a lady? Teenager or child? Skinny or plus sized? Less than 4ft or over 6ft tall? If you’re not sure what category you fall under then you should determine that before you decide. The size of mountain bicycle that is perfect for you is directly related to your individual size/height or even sex.
- If you’re about 4ft to 5ft 2″ tall, I would recommend a 13 to 15 inche frame size for your bike.
- For 5ft 3″ to 5ft 10″, a 15 to 19 inches frame size would be appropriate for you.
- From 5ft 11″ to 6ft 3″, a 20 to 23 inches frame size would work for you.
- If you are 6ft 4″ and above, you would require a mountain cycle frame of about 24 inches and above.
You should note that getting a bike that is not appropriate for your height would result in great discomfort and dissatisfaction.
Aluminium Frames VS Titanium & Carbon Fiber Frames
What frame material should you go for?
The frame material of mountain bicycle’s determine the weight and durability of the bike. Hence, I would suggest you should go for lightweight and durable frame materials. The type of frame material used also accounts for the strength of the mountain bike because some frames are stronger than others. The frame of the bike is also going to determines the price, as the most durable frames are more expensive.
Generally, beginner mountain bike frames are made of strong metals. Some of the metals include aluminium, steel, titanium and carbon fiber (non-metal). Budget mountain bike frames made from steel are generally strong and at the same time very heavy. Steel is the oldest frame material in use so far.
Aluminium frames ..
Best mountain bikes made from aluminium frames are durable and relatively lightweight. However, they tend to bend easily (because it is light). If you’re riding on steep terrains or rocky places, ensure that you get an aluminium frame that has a thick width. The nature of aluminium bikes causes it to repel the vibrations on bumby rough terrains, making the bumpy ride trails a bit comfortable.
Titanium & Carbon fiber frames ..
Titanium and Carbon fiber frames are used for affordable budget mountain bikes of the highest standards. The quality and price of bikes with these frames are on the high side. The durability, strength and lightweight properties generally exceeds that of the mid-range aluminium frames.
On a 500 dollars budget, however, I would suggest that you stick to aluminum frames and also avoid getting frames that are heavy.
Which bike accessories should be prioritized?
Having discussed your height and your preferred terrain of use, it is important to take note of the top mountain bike accessories you should look out for. The accessories to be carefully considered are the wheels, saddle (seat), suspension and brakes.
The wheel components determine the type of terrain a mountain bike under 500 dollars would generally support. Some wheels have tubeless tyres and this feature increases the rolling resistance of the bike. Such a feature is suitable for downhill riding. Some wheels also allow for use in very rough trails while others do not.
You should also consider the various types of seats in use in mountain bicycle’s. Ensure that you prioritize your comfort over aesthetics when making this decision. Best cheap mountain bike saddles range from very comfortable to thin or small, your choice should be based on preference and expertise.
Full suspension Vs Dual suspension which is perfect
Mountain Bike Types
Some bikes have dual suspension (i. e both front and back), while others have just one on the front side. Your emphasis on bike suspension should be based on your preferred biking trail. This means if you’re thinking of steep and rocky trails, you should consider full or dual suspension on your bike.
There are generally two types of brakes on mountain bikes. The rim and disc brakes. Rim brakes are more common than the disc brakes because they are the oldest brakes in use. Both of them work perfectly fine, except that the disc brakes have a stronger stopping force than the rim brakes.
In making your choice, carefully go through the considerations until can picture a bike that suits your preference, expertise and body size. I would recommend hardtails for beginners and full suspension bikes for mid-range and experienced bikers. However, remember to go for mountain bicycle’s with relatively lightweight frame materials as they are more durable. Do not forget to check for warranty too.
Some of the cheap mountain bike have aluminium steel frames which are excellent in terms of strength and durability. On this budget, you are assured of a bike with very good and satisfactory performance. Whether you’re riding with family, for leisure/recreation, for stress reduction or as a vital part of your wellness/fitness goals, mountain biking is a good experience.
However, the recommended products above covers all biking needs. Whether you are a beginner or mountain biker, you can get a Best mountain bike under $500 that suits your preference within your cheap budget.
Mountain biking is one of the most effective ways to keep fit. So if you’re still deciding to indulge in biking, I suggest you go through our review and order for the bike that best suits you. Finally, According to NBDA (National Bike Dealers Association) industry overview for 2015, between 1992 – 2015, the average yearly purchase of bikes has reached about 16million. On this note, I suggest you shouldn’t be left out in the riding experience.
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