There is a great, affordable mountain bike for you whether your budget is under $1,000, under $500 or even under $300.
After spending hours on research, we have created a list of the 10 best cheap mountain bikes in the market. Their price might be cheap, but trust us, their features are not.
- 1 Hardtail Bikes vs. Full Suspension Bikes
- 2 Diamondback Overdrive Sport 29er Mountain Bike Review
- 3 1. Diamondback Overdrive Sport 29er Mountain Bike
- 4 Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bike Review
- 5 2. Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bike
- 6 BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike Review
- 7 3. BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike
- 8 Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bike Review
- 9 4. Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bike
- 10 Roadmaster Granite Peak Men’s Mountain Bike Review
- 11 5. Roadmaster Granite Peak Men’s Mountain Bike
- 12 Diamondback Women’s 2016 Lux Sport Hardtail Mountain Bike Review
- 13 6. Diamondback Women’s 2016 Lux Sport Hardtail Mountain Bike
- 14 Diamondback 2016 Overdrive Hard Tail Mountain Bike Review
- 15 7. Diamondback 2016 Overdrive Hard Tail Mountain Bike
- 16 Alton Mammoth 2.0 Fat-Tire Bike Review
- 17 8. Alton Mammoth 2.0 Fat-Tire Bike
- 18 Diamondback 2016 Laurito Hardtail Review
- 19 9. Diamondback 2016 Laurito Hardtail Complete Mountain Bike
- 20 Schwinn Protocol Mountain Bike Review
- 21 10. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
- 22 Mountain Bike Buying Guide
- 23 Frequently Asked Questions
- 24 What type of MTB Frame is the best?
- 25 What size Wheels are suitable for me?
- 26 What features to look for?
- 27 What material is best for frame?
- 28 What size Mountain Bike will be perfect for me?
- 29 What kind of Brakes are better?
- 30 What is your Budget?
- 31 Buying a New MTB vs Used MTB!
- 32 Assembling Your Mountain Bike
- 33 Affordable Mountain Bikes Review / Comparison Table
- 34 Our Top Pick for The Best Budget Mountain Bike
Hardtail Bikes vs. Full Suspension Bikes
This list includes both full suspension and hardtail bikes. Hardtail mountain bikes are somewhat lighter and fun to ride. On the other hand, full suspension bikes offer enhanced shock absorption on trails. The right mountain bike for you depends on your riding style, the type of terrain you intend to ride on and your personal preferences. Most importantly, you want a great bike that will actually last. You can also check out Online’s Bike Guide to help you find the right size and type of bike.
If you are looking for excellent bike racks for your car, be sure to check out our guide to the best bike racks.
Diamondback Overdrive Sport 29er Mountain Bike Review
The first one on the 10 best cheap mountain bikes list is the Overdrive Sport 29er by the famous bicycle brand named, Diamondback. This is an entry level mountain bike with a lot features to offer and also has an affordable price tag.
The best thing about this bike is that it is designed to fulfill different kinds of biking demands. If you want to use a bike mainly as a mountain-bike but also want to use it for transportation and fun rides, this bike by Diamondback would be the perfect option.
Its features include a high quality aluminum alloy frame along with super lightweight and robust tubing, durable SL7 aluminum rims, . One might think that its lightweight design wouldn’t be ideal for use as a mountain-bike but don’t worry as the frame is really strong and absolutely perfect for mountain trails. Other features include the Shimano components like Acera rear derailleur and the Altus shifters that give a much smoother overall experience.
In addition to all that, you get Shimano hydraulic disc brakes in this bike as well that offer better stopping power. The only downside can be the noisy derailleurs.
Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bike Review
The Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bike is next one on the list. It is a mountain bike primarily but is considered as one of the best multipurpose bike as well, as it can be used for rides on different kinds of surfaces. You can take this bike and ride it smoothly on your local streets and you can use it for transportation purposes as well. It really is an all in one kind of a bike.
The features included in this bike are the top-notch Shimano components such as the rear derailleur and 21 speed shifters that provide an effective and fast gear changes.
One of the coolest things about Schwinn High Timber is its advanced robust design, that is basically a mountain bike frame. This design adds stability and gives you control over the bike, especially on the mountain trails. Also included is the Schwinn suspension fork that ensures a comfortable and smooth ride in all kinds of conditions.
Some of the other features include the alloy brakes for stopping quickly and high quality alloy wheels. Also, the alloy crank system offers a wide range of gears.
BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike Review
The BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike is a bit expensive than the other ones in the market, but it definitely is worth that amount when you get to see its features and performance.
The major factor that makes this bike one of the best and different from the other mountain bikes is its top-notch frame made of carbon fiber. Mostly, the mountain bikes have those aluminum or steel frames which are good but this T800 carbon fiber frame is absolutely brilliant. It’s durable, extremely lightweight and tough as well. Just perfect for a mountain bike.
Its other features include the Shimano components including the speed control system, hydraulic disc brakes for quick response, fork suspension and a lot more.
The bike has a very cool look as well, thanks to a 3k matte white black and red combo. All in all, if you’re looking for a mountain bike for your extreme biking demands, want a super cool looking bike, having all the advanced features, this BEIOU carbon fiber 650B mountain bike will be the best option.
Thanks to all its features, BEIOU 650B gives you a very comfortable ride over different surfaces.
Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bike Review
The next one on the list is the Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29″) by Mongoose. It certainly is one of the best 29ers out in the market at a cheaper price. This mountain bike is equipped with a strong aluminum frame (full suspension) that offers a very comfortable riding experience even on the rougher areas.
The bike itself has a very solid design and a super cool look so if you’re looking for a durable bike with a stylish modern design, this bike would be ideal for you.
Its features include the Element suspension fork that provides a nice controlled ride over bumps, the Shimano components including the Shimano gearing, front and rear disc brakes and the SRAM twist shifters as well.
And that is just not it, Mongoose Impasse has alloy wheels that feature a quick release front to provide more convenience.
One of the other best things about the bike is that it is really lightweight, it weighs only 44 pounds. The downsides of the bike however, can be the uncomfortable seat and a very short kickstand. Other than that, the bike is simply awesome and perfect for its price tag.
Roadmaster Granite Peak Men’s Mountain Bike Review
This 26″ Roadmaster Granite Peak mountain bike for men certainly has to be in this top 10 list of affordable mountain bikes. It offers all the advanced features and a stylish design in a much affordable price.
This bike really is one of the cheapest ones in the market, but you will be surprised to see its features and its performance as well.
The bike has a very nice solid and super lightweight design. It has a high quality steel mountain frame that is ideal for riding on mountain trails.
Roadmaster Granite Peak features a very smooth suspension fork, a 3 piece crank system that gives you a wide gear range, pull brakes, 26 inch wheels with durable alloy rims and SRAM twist shifters as well.
It gives you a very comfortable riding experience, you have control over bumpy surfaces as well, thanks to its features. And not just on rugged paths, you can enjoy a ride on the streets as well.
One downside of this bike is that the brakes need frequent adjustments. All in all, the bike is amazing and really budget-friendly. So, if you’re looking for a really cheap mountain bike that has nice set of features and looks good too, this will be the answer.
Diamondback Women’s 2016 Lux Sport Hardtail Mountain Bike Review
This one is for all the ladies. The 2016 Lux Sport Hardtail Bike by Diamondback is certainly one of the most ideal options for women.
The bike has a solid aluminum frame design that is pretty lightweight and the high quality material makes it quite durable as well. Also, the bike has a nice light blue and gray color combo which looks pretty cool.
The features of this mountain bike includes the Shimano Altus/Acera 9 speed derailleur, a low top tube which provides a good standover clearance, suspension fork and shimano hydraulic brakes as well. These features are carefully designed to offer a comfortable ride with firm grip and control on this bike for women.
In addition to all that, the Diamondback lux sport hardtail mountain bike has Schwalbe Rapid Rob wheels with doublewall rims as well. These tires have a Kevlar guard that prevents the tires from being punctured. Also, it is a 27.5 inch version, this size gives better control over bumpy surfaces. (Suitable for small and medium height riders).
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro biker, this mountain bike is absolutely perfect to give an awesome riding experience on rugged surfaces.
Diamondback 2016 Overdrive Hard Tail Mountain Bike Review
Next one on the list is again by the famous company, Diamondback. This 2016 model Overdrive hardtail mountain bike is designed to meet all your riding demands. The bike has a very smooth shifting system along with 24 speeds. This version is the 27.5 inch wheel as compared to their 29er.
Its features include a robust design, quick responding disc brakes, large tires to offer a nice firm and comfortable grip on the surface and suspension fork as well. All these features combine together to give you a very smooth and comfortable ride on round about all kinds of surfaces.
The Diamondback Overdrive Hard Tail is available in an amazing red and black color combo. Some of the drawbacks of this mountain bike however, are that the seat can be a little uncomfortable on longer rides and the assembly of the bike can take more of your time and effort.
All in all, the bike is really good with offering features like 24 speeds, suspension fork and disc brakes, not something you can easily get for a price tag below $500. Also, if you’re a tall guy or girl, don’t worry, its 27.5 inch wheels and frame will be perfect for you.
Alton Mammoth 2.0 Fat-Tire Bike Review
The next one on the list is the Alton Mammoth 2.0 fat-tire bike. One can see right away that this is a heavy duty top-notch bike especially made for mountain trails. Its design and specifically its tires give a very solid and tough look.
It is made for extreme trail use. So, if you’re looking for a mountain bike that has all the features, that can fulfil your extreme biking demands and is affordable too, this Alton Mammoth 2.0 mountain bike will be just ideal for you.
Now let’s talk about the features of Alton Mammoth, it has the Shimano components such as shifters (ALIVIO SL-M4000), front derailleur (DEORE FD-M611), rear derailleur (ALIVIO RD-M4000), disc brakes and 27 speeds system. These all features combine together to offer a comfortable ride and control over the bike and the surface.
The best thing about this bike, as mentioned before is its powerful frame and tires design that allow you to ride through all kinds of surfaces and in all kinds of conditions. The fat tires are made to offer control no matter you’re riding over sand, snow or any kind of terrain.
Diamondback 2016 Laurito Hardtail Review
This is another mountain bike for women made by the famous bicycles brand, Diamondback. This 2016 model Laurito Hardtaill is 27.5 inch version that is perfect to give a very smooth and comfortable riding experience for women.
The bike has a strong frame design and a cool light blue look as well. Just the perfect combo for all the female mountain bike lovers.
The main features of this 2016 model include the Shimano derailleurs (7 speed), 21 gears and suspension fork designed to withstand the bumpy surfaces on the mountain trails.
This mountain bike has a step through frame design that makes getting on and off the bike very easy and convenient.
Also, one cool thing about this frame is that it is made of high quality, heat treated aluminum, which makes the frame quite durable.
All in all, the bike is ideal if you are looking for a nice affordable mountain bike with the advanced features but not for very extreme riding demands. The downside of the bike is that there is no kickstand and the assembly can be a bit difficult as well.
Schwinn Protocol Mountain Bike Review
This Schwinn Protocol 1.0 mountain bike is another one in the list made by Schwinn. This dual suspension version for men is absolutely one of the excellent yet affordable bikes out in the market.
The best thing about this bike, as its name suggests is its dual suspension frame design. This design gives riders an even more comfortable grip and control over their bikes on bumpy mountain trails.
This mountain bike is 26 inch wheel version. Its main features include the mountain bike handlebars that provide quick shifting, fast responding front disc brakes, Suntour suspension fork, 24 speeds set along with Shimano trigger shifters as well.
This 26 inch version has high quality alloy rims, aluminum frame with steel used in the rear end as well.
Other cool features that make Protocol a standout bike include the handlebar as mentioned before. Its an MTB handlebar and it comes with Schwinn four bolt A head stem as well.
All in all, it’s a super cool bike with durability, looks amazing with a black white and red colors combo. The only downside one can see is that there is not water bottle cage and the assembly can be a bit tricky.
Mountain Bike Buying Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
The following is basically a guide on how to select the perfect and affordable mountain bike for yourself – what things to look for before buying a cheap mountain bike and what are the common issues related to buying mountain bikes that you need to be aware of.
What type of MTB Frame is the best?
There are mainly two types of mountain bike frames. The full suspension frame and the other one is the hardtail frame. Both frames have their pros and cons, it actually depends on the rider and the surface where the bike is going to be used.
The full suspension frame offers ultra comfort on the extreme rugged surfaces. The mountain bikes with such frames have the ability to absorb the impact no matter how big it is. There are however, 2 major drawbacks of this frame. One; it requires a top-notch designed frame and an excellent quality rear shock that can withstand the impact. The amount of stress is huge on the frame and those cheap springs installed in the bikes can’t really last much longer. Second drawback, such frames tend to bend and flex during pedaling. As a result, the rider has to apply more power while riding on streets or even mountain trails.
The hardtail frames are considered stiffer, tougher and lighter than the full suspension frames. You can ride on streets and climb mountains just fine. You do however, will need to have a front shock that will absorb the impacts on a bumpy surface.
You need to spend a little in order to get the right full suspension mountain bikes, and if you do, these will be perfect for riding on bumpy surfaces. While, hardtail frames are recommended for cross country riders.
What size Wheels are suitable for me?
There are 3 main wheel sizes available in mountain bikes. The first one is the 26 inch wheels. Second is the 27.5 inch wheels. And the third is the 29 inch version that is commonly called the 29er.
The best thing about the 29er is that with every pedal stroke, you get to travel faster, further and requires less effort. Also, the big sized wheels can roll over bumpy surfaces more easily. It is however, expensive as compared to the other two sizes.
Remember, you have to be at least 5′ 11” to ride the 29er as it can be pretty uncomfortable for people under that height. For such people, the 27.5 will be the perfect choice. Also, there is a smaller version available too that is the 26 inch wheels mountain bike.
The 27.5 inch version is basically a blend of both 26 inch and the 29er as well. It has that little extra feature a 26 inch version needed and it is perfect for people who can’t ride the 29er comfortably.
All in all, the 29er is absolutely the perfect one if you’re 5′ 11” (or above) and you need a bike with all the advanced features needed in a mountain bike.
What features to look for?
There have been many developments made in the mountain bikes with time. A lot of advanced features have been added to make the whole riding experience even better. There are many different bike manufacturing companies and brands now. There are a lot different versions and models available for all kinds of people. There are different sizes available too.
But what are some of features that you need to look for before purchasing a mountain bike.
- Frame: The first feature is the design of the bike frame. What type and what material is used in the frame.
- Brakes: Brakes are very important. There are two types available, rim and disc brakes. Both have their pros and cons. Disc brakes are better but are expensive than the rim brakes.
- Wheels: You’ve got to consider the hub material, width of wheels and spokes as well.
- Suspension: A mountain bike can have suspension in the front, or rear or even at both ends. A rugged and bumpy surface requires a more solid suspension system.
- Shifting system: There are many different types of shifting systems available in mountain bike. There is the trigger shifters, thumb shifters, paddle shifters and etc. This shifting system basically determines how the gears are going to be changed. So you can check and see what system suits you best.
What material is best for frame?
It was mentioned before that the frame of the mountain bike is one of the most important things you need to consider before buying a mountain bike for yourself. The type of the frame basically determines how the bike should be used. However, it is not the only factor that is significant, the material used in the frame is also equally important.
There are mainly 3 types of materials used in frames. Most common one is the aluminum, the second one is steel. While the third type is the carbon fiber. All three of these materials have their advantages and disadvantages.
The aluminum frame is used in some of the best mountain bikes out in the market. It gives a superb look to the bike and in addition to that, it adds up the durability of the bike as well. The steel frames are also used oftenly in mountain bikes. They can also provide a robust design.
However, the carbon fiber frames are of extremely high quality. They are super lightweight and offer even more durability and toughness to the frame of the bike. The only drawback of the carbon fiber is that it is really expensive as compared to the aluminum and steel frames.
What size Mountain Bike will be perfect for me?
The next and one of the most important things you need to consider is the actual size of the mountain bike. Mostly, people buy mountain bikes based on the size of the wheels. That is actually a misconception. Yes, you can check the size of the wheels as they do play an important role in the whole riding experience. But in order to select and purchase a mountain bike that will be suitable for your height, you need to consider the actual size of the bike.
That means, you need to consider the size of the frame. This size is measured from the seat to the crankset of the bike.
You can take help from the following size chart’
- 4’10″ – 5’3″ (height) = 13″ to 15″ (frame size)
- 5’2″ – 5’7″ = 15″ to 17″
- 5’7″ – 5’11″ = 17″ to 19″
- 6’ – 6’2″ = 19″ to 21″
- 6’2″ – 6’4″ = 21″ to 23″
- 6’4″ and taller = 23″
What kind of Brakes are better?
There are 2 main types of brakes available in the mountain bikes. Disc brakes and the rim brakes. The disc brakes are an advanced technology and they took over the traditional rim brakes.
There are two kinds of disc brakes available, the Hydraulic ones and the Cable Activated ones. The hydraulic disc brakes provide stronger and fast braking with very less effort and they are self adjustable as well. While the Cable Activated disc brakes also offer strong braking but they require a manual adjustment.
The rim brakes are mostly used in entry level mountain bikes. The best thing about rim brakes are that these are pretty cheap as compared to the disc brakes. So, you can easily replace the worn pads.
Overall, the disc brakes can be expensive but are a better option as they are more powerful, operate in all kinds of conditions and require less effort as compared to the rim brakes.. Also, a big drawback of the rim brakes is that they wear out the wheel rims. As a result one has to completely replace the whole wheel.
What is your Budget?
Obviously, you need to first of all look at your budget and then select the bike accordingly. There are many mountain bikes now available in the market that are pretty affordable and the best thing about them is that they offer all the advanced features like the Shimano components, disc brakes, shifters and etc. These bikes have excellent designs and high quality frames.
So, if your budget is even below $500 or $400 you don’t need to worry as you can still easily get an awesome mountain bike.
Now, of course, you will have to make compromises in some areas because of your budget, and be extra careful in choosing the right components as well. But you can actually get a nice solid mountain bike in a low budget too.
The quality of the components may not be that great if you go lower than the $300 price tag, but still, if you’re lucky you can find a gem.
Also, do remember to include all the initial assembly setup and maintenance cost in your budget. You will need to replace wheels and other components often as riding on bumpy surfaces and mountain trails can be hard on tires.
Buying a New MTB vs Used MTB!
When you have decided to purchase a bike, have calculated your budget and selected the bike you like as well, there is just one last little research you should do.
If you’re buying a totally new bike, make sure you get those warranty documents of the bike. It is very important that you check the model year and the time warranty starts. You need to purchase a bike whose warranty starts the year you buy it. Not when that bike was put in the shop’s inventory. In addition to that, ask for tune-ups as well. A lot of shops provide the tune-up service for 1 to 3 months after the purchase date.
If you’re buying a used MTB, you need to check the bike very carefully. You need to check each and every component from the frame, shifters, brakes, seat, handlebars and even the nuts. Make sure the frame is not cracked, the wheels are not worn out, check all the fittings and suspension linkages as well. If it’s possible, have a local shop check out the bike for you. After all, you’re going to be spending money on this bike, so it’s better to be a bit careful and save yourself from spending hundreds of dollars on its repairs.
Assembling Your Mountain Bike
Mostly, when you will buy a new mountain bike, you will have to assemble it yourself. The bike manufacturers do include a step by step instructional manual which can be very helpful. But still, the whole process of assembling the mountain bike can be a bit tricky and take your time and effort as there are many components involved.
Nowadays, there are a lot of different video tutorials and how-to guides available on the internet as well. So, you can take help from them as well. Many famous and big name brand mountain bikes have assembly tutorials for each of their models.
You need to have the appropriate tools like different size wrenches, screwdrivers, cutters, grease and etc. Make sure all the components are included in the package. Mostly, there will be a checklist available so don’t worry about that.
Carefully follow the instructions and details given in the manual. Once you’re finished assembling the mountain bike, make sure to check all the components once again. Look for any loose fittings and bolts.
If you’re confident that you can assemble the bike yourself, then go ahead and do it. If not, then it is strongly recommended that you take your bike to a local shop and get it assembled.
Affordable Mountain Bikes Review / Comparison Table
|Product Name||Product Price||Buy|
|Schwinn High Timber||$|
|Roadmaster Granite Peak||$|
|Diamondback Lux Sport||$$|
|Alton Fat Tire||$$$|
- Diamondback Bikes
- Schwinn Bicycles
- Zhe jiang Beiou
- Mongoose | MTB Bikes, Mountain Bikes
- Roadmaster Bikes
- Alton Bikes
- Taking Sports to the Extreme
- Mountain Bikes
- How I Get It Done
- Mountain Bike