Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 – 2021 Top Reviews

Spread the love

When it comes to health benefits, many people choose mountain biking as their activity of choice. Mountain biking is both exciting and easy to get started.  The only complication is choosing a bike that is a good fit for your body and fitness level.

Mountain bikes have a lot of components to them.  And there is a lot of technology available, but not all of that tech is worth the money.

Mountain bikes perform on demanding terrains, and there are many brands and bikes to choose from.

Let me be the first to tell you that you can get a fully functional mountain bike for under $500.  The guide below will detail the cons and pros of the hand-selected budget mountain bikes.  

In a hurry? The test winner after 17 hours of research:

editors pick
Schwinn High Timber Youth

Schwinn High Timber Youth

Why is it better?

  • Designed for trails and neighborhood rides
  • Alloy crank provides steady gearing and less maintenance
  • Wide knobby mountain tires sit on light and durable alloy wheels for added stability

94/100
our score


Our Buying Guide

We started with a thorough online research by identifying the best Mountain bikes in our price range. We went through the manufacturers' website of selected bikes to understand the complete process of building the bike and the underlying technology.

We look into the components used and the quality materials used and the time spent to get the best precision and comfort when delivered. 

Our reviews focus on the weight of the bike, the price range of the bike, brake technology, number of gears and quality of the wiring.  We also looks at all reviews irrespective of being positive or negative, geometry of the bike along with a few more characteristics.

How We Reviewed

To make sure that you get the best quality MTB, our team dedicated their time to research. We spoke to various local shops selling mountain bikes and also several online MTB sellers.

Beyond the sellers, we also spoke with active riders of the bikes. More than 30 mountain bikes along with their features were researched by our bike experts. They spent over 180+ hours and have completed evaluating these bikes after comparing them with every other product available.

This research effort concluded with the 10 best mountain bikes under $500 and those results are immediately below.  Have fun!


researched sources

10

Researched sources

reviews considered

100

REviews considered

hours researched

180

hours researching

products compared

30

products compared

Is $500 enough?

Well, for all the serious mountain bike riders and enthusiasts, we would say that mountain bikes below $1000 would be a 'no go.' However, in the past few years there has been a huge transition in bike manufacturing.

Big and up-start  brands have started designing Mountain bikes using less costly materials. These bike brands have stood the test of time for all kinds of recreational mountain bikers.


Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 For 2021

Schwinn High Timber Youth

Schwin High Timber Youth
  • Durable mountain bike designed for trails and neighborhood rides
  • Alloy crank provides steady gearing and less maintenance
  • Twist shifters with rear derailleur for quick gear changes on the trail

This mountain bike by Schwinn comes with two kinds of frame materials namely aluminum and steel. The frame made of steel is long lasting and reliable.

When it is coupled with an SR suspension fork, it performs smoothly on and off-road terrains with complete efficiency. 

You can hit your bike at high speed with the help of Shimano 21-speed rear derailleur and twist shifters. There are alloy linear-pull brakes which are super responsive brakes. The assembly is totally effortless as it is partly assembled when delivered.

Quick Facts

  • The weight is 34.70 lbs
  • The dimensions are 68 inches x 23 inches x 41 inches
  • The size of the wheels are 24’’, 26’’, 27.5’’, 29’’
  • The rear derailleur is of Shimano 21-5” speed 
  • It comes with Shimano twist shifters
  • The suspension fork are SR

What We Like

  • Adjustable seat with quick release technology of seat post

  • 2 kinds of frame versions - Steel and Aluminum

  • Smooth gearing mechanism due to 21 Speed Shimano
  • Steadiness in the gear due to alloy crank
  • Assembly is quick and easy

What We Don't Like

  • The paddles are plastic 

Neffice Men’s Mountain Bike

Sale
Neffice Men’s Mountain Bike
  • Durable & Lightweight: Neffice mountain bike adopting high-strength aluminum alloy frame and and excellent welding technology, loading 330lb.
  • Excellent Performance:27.5” tire with better grip, better off-road performance and safety; lockable front fork, a powerful suspension fork...
  • 17 Inch Mountain Bike Frame: Adjustable seat height, 17 inch frame recommend rider height: 5'5"-6’check you size before order.

A bike which provides unprecedented value for the least expensive cost has earned its place in the best $500 list. This is designed with the lowest weight which is achieved by the 6061 aluminum frame having a geometry of trail specific.

The rider can have a comfortable ride in an upright position.. It increases the confidence of the rider. With 2.1” wide tires and adjustable suspension fork along with the 27.5” wheels that are compatible with all terrains.

Quick Facts

  • Comes in various attractive colors
  • The frame is made up of high-quality aluminum 
  • It is built with powerful mechanical disc brakes
  • It has 24 speeds
  • The tires are wide and knobby being 2.1″ wide

What We Like

  • Suitable with all kinds of terrains

  • Comes with adjustable suspension fork

  • Wide and knobby tires provide stability

  • The pedals are platform type 

  • The cushioned saddle is comfortably ergonomic

What We Don't Like

  • A bit difficult to assemble

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike
  • Aluminum alloy hard tail frame is tried and true
  • Custom formed and butted tubing for great balance of strength and weight
  • Suspension fork provides added control and comfort on the trail

This bike is a super trade off being an affordable mountain bike which is available within $500. The frame  is suitable for riders having a maximum height of 5’7” from 5’4”.

It is compatible with short as well as tall riders having frames from medium to large. The only issue faced were with the pedals, however, all in all it is a great product at this rate.

Quick Facts

  • It comes with RL 100 mm fork by Rockshox Reba 
  • It comes with a NX Crank from SRAM
  • It has 11 speed shifters from SRAM GX
  • It has a rear derailleur by SRAM GX 
  • It comes with Shimano MT500 hydraulic brakes
  • The tires can be used without tube

What We Like

  • The construction is sturdy with lightweight yet solid frame 

  • There is a quick release mechanism in the rear wheel 

  • The smooth gearing mechanism is very precise and smooth ride

  • The fork is very reliable and good in absorbing shock

  • It is easy to assemble

What We Don't Like

  • The pedals are not up to the mark

Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail

Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail
  • Scroll down for an assembly video; attack trails and combat terrain on the mighty Huffy Exxo, a ruthless ride in military green; this exclusive...
  • The lightweight aluminum hardtail frame is backed by our limited 10-year warranty (see owner's manual for details); Aluminum (much lighter than...
  • Promptly draw on 21 speeds on-demand for uphill climbing, downhill riding, or pure acceleration with the indexed Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur...

The Huffy Mountain bike comes with a high tensile strong hardtail frame having 21 speed levels and TZ-31 rear derailleur of Shimano. It has tires of  26″/1.95″ which are knobby offering great traction for bumpy rides.

The rear steel linear-pull brakes are also designed in this bike. The handlebars are slightly raised which help in eliminating the back pain of the rider. It has an ATB cushioned saddle which enables customization of the seatpost.

Quick Facts

  • The weight is 42.7 pounds
  • The dimensions  are 55.51 x 9.06 x 27.17 inches
  • The frame is made of Steel which is high tensile hardtail
  • Has 26-inch wheel size
  • Steel high-tensile hardtail frame
  • It has a premium padded ATB cushioned saddle
  • It has 3-piece crank
  • It comes with front and rear steel linear-pull brakes

What We Like

  • The steel frame is light in weight
  • The bike is highly durable
  • It does not give back aches
  • Provides upright riding posture

What We Don't Like

  • Flat tires do not support too high jumps

Mongoose Impasse Men's Mountain Bike

Mongoose Impasse Men's Mountain Bike
  • Mongoose aluminum mountain-style frame with internal cable routing provides a durable ride
  • 21 speeds let you adapt to your terrain, while front and rear disc brakes provide extra stopping power
  • Threadless headset delivers crisp steering and an aluminum 3-piece crankset for easy maintenance

Made for all kinds of rough terrains this bike is great for the cost at which it is sold. A light steel frame is very convenient to ride on road riding and rough terrains as well.

It does not compromise in its sturdiness and intensity of mountain roads. It comes with super responsive rear suspension, dual shocks, padded seats and comfortable handlebar grips

Quick Facts

  • The front and the rear system have element suspension 
  • It comes with twist shifters which is 21-speed SRAM
  • It has rear derailleur of Shimano
  • It comes with front alloy wheels having quick release front 
  • There are mechanical disc brakes for both front and rear wheels

What We Like

  • It comes with precise gear shifting and responsive twist shifters 

  • It has very comfortable seat and durable frame

  • It comes with strong braking power

  • It gives a quality off-road terrains ride experience

What We Don't Like

  • In the process of assembly the brakes and gears need adjustment 

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 Bike

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 Bike

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 Bike

Why is it better?

  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes deliver reliable stopping power 
  • Shimano rear derailleur delivers smooth and precise gear changes
  • SR Suntour suspension fork's aluminum lower is lightweight

 If you are a nature lover and want to take up riding trails in the forests then this DRT 1.0 is meant right for you. It is made up of a very lightweight aluminium 6061 alloy frame.

The tubing is paired with a front impact-Absorbing suspension fork of 100 mm. The combination of all makes the performance very smooth providing confidence to the rider.

Quick Facts

  • Suitable for men and women
  • 21 smooth gears
  • Five sizes to accommodate riders from 5’0″ to 6’3” in height
  • Free warranty tune-up from REI
  • Powerful hydraulic disc brakes

What We Like

  • The 21-speed shifting system gear range is fit in

  • Easily traverses through the mountain trails

  • The smooth gearing change is easy

  • Shimano gears and hydraulic brakes is a boon at this price

What We Don't Like

  • The SR Suntour fork is heavy
  • A bit heavy

Cannondale Trail 8 Bike

Cannondale Trail 8 Bike

Cannondale Trail 8 Bike

Why is it better?

  • A slack 68° head angle creates exceptionally stable handling
  • Durable SmartForm C3 alloy frame is light and lively
  • SAVE micro-suspension delivers a smoother, more controlled ride

This Cannondale Trail 8 has a lightweight aluminum frame making it lighter to ride. It gives the rider a responsive riding because of the 68º slack head tube angle.

It comes with a 7 speed rear cassette being Shimano Tourney’s drivetrain. The steep climbing is easily achievable thanks to the 11-34T range. A 29” wide wheel is fit in the Cannondale Trail 8.

The frame size of the smaller variant has a 27.5” wheel-set. It is designed with Tektro mechanical disc brakes.

Quick Facts

  • The durable frame is SmartForm C3 alloy aluminum
  • It comes with the SR Suntour fork with 75 mm travel
  • The bottom bracket is of sealed cartridge

What We Like

  • Performance oriented mountain bike

  • Super comfortable bike

  • Great capability

  • Comes with a durable frame 

  • Can handle basic and intermediate off-road terrains riding

What We Don't Like

  • Designed with only entry level components

Hiland 26/27.5 Inch Mountain Bike

Hiland 26/27.5 Inch Mountain Bike
  • The special geometry of the Aluminum frame was designed for women.Special upper tube and small frame are more suitable for female cycling
  • The brake system consists of double disc-Brake. And 24-speed Shifters ensures total control in every situation.
  • The 26-inch wheels and Lock out suspension fork make for a great ride experience on mountain roads, highways, and forestways

This bike is designed with supreme quality of lightweight aluminum frame having a 27.5 inch front suspension making it very light to ride. Even with this the sturdiness is not lost.

The possibility of corrosion or rusting is reduced to a great level due to its inner cable routing design, which eventually increases the longevity. It comes with a 27 speed gear which is easily compatible with all kinds of terrains.

These gears help in smooth ride transition of the gears in various terrains. It has hydraulic disc brakes which are super powerful which will stop the moment you want it to. The impact-Absorbing suspension fork is great too. 

Quick Facts

  • It is build with top notch lightweight aluminum durable frame
  • The internal cable routing design is very convenient
  • The hydraulic disc brakes are great
  • It comes with a 27-speed trigger shifters
  • The suspension fork has a lock-out mechanism
  • The tires are wide
  • The riders with 6 feet height can also ride comfortably with its 18-inch frame 19.5-inch frame

What We Like

  • Very durable with the rugged construction

  • Prevent rust or corrosion for longer-lasting

  • Changing gears is very smooth and easy

  • Good at absorbing bumps when jumping

  • Offer a precise stopping power in all conditions

What We Don't Like

  • The saddle is not really cushioned and comfortable

Merax 26" Aluminum 24-Speed Mountain Bike

No products found.

An economical bike with quality fittings is Merax’s MTB. The welding and the engineering work is top class. The robust and super responsive drivetrain will simply make you ride it.

 It comes with mechanical disc breaks for both front and rear wheels. The ride is very smooth as it has an 80 mm front fork which makes it happen. 

Quick Facts

  • It comes with double-wall wheel rims
  • The Shimano 21-speed shifting system is great
  • It comes with Shimano RD-TZ50 and Shimano FD-TZ30
  • Both the front and rear have mechanical disc brakes
  • The frame is of 2 colors gray and green

What We Like

  • The frame is sturdy despite of it being very lightweight 

  • All its parts are engineered

  • It has precise shifters and drivetrain 

  • The braking force is very strong

  • It comes at an affordable price range

What We Don't Like

  • The assembling process can take time
  • Adjustments needed for the brakes and steady gearing

Max4out Mountain Bike

Max4out Mountain Bike
  • 【GOOD QUALITY】 Solid high carbon steel frame, front-rear disc brakes combine provide enhanced stopping power for a durable and responsive...
  • 【ENJOY CYCLING】 The 3-speed front derailleur and the 7-speed rear derailleur provide 21-speed super-smooth shifting is deal for daily rides...
  • 【THE BEST CHOICE FOR RIDERS】 17 inches Frame is for riders of different heights, conquer any off-road trail with ease. Recommend rider height...

This is the best bike for the entry level riders if you want to buy a mountain bike. It has great performance with an eye-catching unique spray design.

The rider can easily ride in speed with  26-inch rims. It has mechanical disc brakes and front suspensions which ensures your safety. It is delivered 85% assembled when you receive it. 

DIMENSIONS: 49.7'' x 25.7'' x 50.9''
SEAT: Extra-padded with an anatomic design
SEAT-HEIGHT: Tested for users five feet tall and above
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 300lbs
RESISTANCE TYPE: Wind resistance via the frictionless fan
DISPLAY TYLE: High-resolution LCD
NUMBER OF PROGRAMS: 0
PRICE: Check latest price on Amazon.com

What We Like

  • Ease of installation: The sensors have no exposed parts, no magnets to line up and are easily installed.
  • Self-calibration: Put it on and start peddling. The sensors self-adjust

What We Don't Like

  • The signal could be lost due to handlebar or water bottle interference. However: re-positioning the head unit on the handlebars fixes the problem.

Things To Check Before Buying an Mountain Bike

Frame:

The bike frames should always be light in weight yet durable. Aluminum frame is one such material which provides great durability, sturdiness and is light in weight at the same time. All the above mentioned bikes are of aluminum frame.

Schwin High Timber Bike Frame

Image Source: Amazon

Suspension Type

The mountain bikes come with various kinds of suspensions. The suspension should be such that all the shocks of the ride are absorbed by the bike.

Nearly all the above mentioned products above have SR Suspension for smooth gearing change and shock absorption.

Brakes

You cannot compromise with the brakes at any cost. Generally disc brakes and rim brakes are fit in mountain bikes. But at any given time the disc brakes are the best with superior power to stop. 

Gears

The bikes come with various kinds of gear sets. They are based on the kind of bike you choose as it gives you a wide range to shift through. For the beginners higher and steady gearing is best while for the experienced riders lower steady gearing is great.

Wheel Size

The mountain bikes come in various size starting from 26 inches to 29 inches. For new riders 26 inches wheel is best to ensure more control, while for riding on different terrains, 27.5 inch wheel is great.

For the most advanced riders, 29 inch wheels are best.

Tires

Depending on the size of the wheel, you can choose your tire. The tires are equally important as the wheel since they provide the ability to absorb shock to the bike while also providing control grip and stability.

MTB Tire

Image Source: Amazon

Common FAQ's

How to buy a mountain bike?

You need to consider following points while buying a mountain bike:

  • Use: will you be using the bike for recreational cycling? or would be used for progressing?
  • Budget: Bike ranging from $500 to $1500 all have different quality of components
  • Size: You need to know the brands size recommendations to find the best size for yourself.
 

What is the best mountain bike brand?

You can choose the best brand from the above mentioned depending on your requirement.

However, Trek,Specialized, and Cannondale are known to be the best bike brands that offer bicycles in the range of $400 to $15,000. 

Is it alright to use mountain bikes on paved roads?

The answer is yes and most of the riders choose MTBs over any other bike type because of its versatility and toughness.

What are the everyday dangers of mountain biking?

Even before you move out to take a ride ensure that you have proper attire and gears on. Mountain biking is no joke, so protecting from all kinds of injuries is cleverness. Fractures in wrist, knee and collar bones with bruises and scrapes is very common. 

How much should I spend on a full-suspension mountain bike?

Full suspension bike is costlier than the hardtails. You can spend around $1000 to $1500 for full suspension bikes.

Can you downhill with a hardtail?

Definitely you can as shocks are big time reduced with shock on front tires while riding downhill. 

Does mountain biking burn your belly fat?

The answer is yes, it burns your belly fat as a lot of fat in general is burnt while riding a bike. Although quads and glute muscles are not actually working out yet fat is burnt which also comprises belly fat.

How to choose the right size

You easily calculate the length and height of the bike from our Mountain bike size calculator.

Is it cheaper to build or buy a mountain bike?

A DIY build mountain bike is much more costlier that the pre-build one, also not to mention that it requires more time and effort.

Conclusion

We are glad that we could compile this guide for you. Hope this guide helps you in bike purchase. The Schwinn High Timber Youth is our best pick as it has really great engineering works that have gone into the bike which conquers all the off-road paths.

The suspension is great which can bear medium level to extreme level of jerks and rough terrain along with its supreme braking system.

Make sure to list down your requirements before buying the best mountain bike under $500. Match your requirements with the bike’s features and go for it.

Keep Scaling! Keep Riding!

In a hurry? The test winner after 17 hours of research:

editors pick
Schwinn High Timber Youth

Schwinn High Timber Youth

Why is it better?

  • Designed for trails and neighborhood rides
  • Alloy crank provides steady gearing and less maintenance
  • Wide knobby mountain tires sit on light and durable alloy wheels for added stability

94/100
our score


Take a look at this review video to help you understand the bike more.

Our top posts

Last update on 2021-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

adbanner

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *