A mountain bike is a great way to exercise and connect with nature simultaneously. Compared to road bikes, they offer better stability and durability for off-road terrains. They also have better shock absorption, thanks to their unique suspension systems.
Most high-end professional mountain bikes will end up costing you a lot more than a couple of hundred dollars. However, if you’re a beginner who is just foraying into the avenue of mountain biking, then you should check out the best mountain bikes under $500, manufactured by some great companies.
So, what characteristics should you look for while buying a moderate-cost range mountain bike? In this article, there will be information on what basic features to look for in a bike with options of the best products that you can choose from. So, let’s ride with this!
Top Mountain Bikes Under $500
1. Huffy Hardtail Stone Mountain Bike
The Huffy Hardtail Stone Mountain, currently labeled a bestseller on Amazon, delivers quite the performance. Paired with its fabulous design, it is definitely a must-have for mountain bikers. With front suspension as well as 21 speeds, the Huffy Hardtail Stone Mountain is a dashing value-for-money bike.
It has a steel hardtail frame that accounts for its impressive strength and helps accelerate the bike so that you can conquer any outdoor trail you wish to. This model is suitable for people above the minimum height of five feet which makes it ideal for both men and women.
In addition to this, its ATB-type resin pedals placed on the 3-piece crank are pretty responsive, along with a kickstand already attached to the bike. The frame size of its 26-inch tire is 17 inches. The spoke count is 36 spokes and 14 gauge spokes in number.
The design of the bike is such that the handlebar is slightly raised. This ensures that the rider does not feel unnecessary exhaustion or fatigue in their back and shoulder. This model stands out because its removable rear derailleur guard performs really well as far as gear operation is concerned.
- With adjustable seat height, this 26-inch model comes with an ATB saddle with premium padding that provides a cushioning effect for the rider.
- Its suspension fork is quite efficient in providing a smooth effect while riding on bumps or uneven surfaces while maintaining the speed at which you are riding the bike.
- This bike is equipped with lightweight alloy knobby tires to ensure good traction features. These tires help maintain a safe amount of friction between the tires and the road’s surface in both dry and wet conditions.
- It has both front and rear steel-pull hand brakes that help you maintain reasonable control of the overall speed of the bike.
2. Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike
The Mongoose Status 2.2 looks quite similar to its previously launched model called the Mongoose Elbow Pro. It has a small and narrow diameter riser bar for you to rest your hands. It has small honeycomb grips in the handlebar that lead to the twist shifters.
It has low-end plastic brake levers and housings that are power branded. These join the rim brakes that are attached to both the front and rear wheels. The Aluminum-framed bike has a wheelset of 26 inches. It has hydroformed tubing as well as an enabling suspension fork that makes it a perfect mountain bike.
- Just like the Huffy Hardtail Stone Mountain, the Mongoose Status 2.2 also has a 21-speed derailleur that helps in easy transition during gearing operation.
- Another key feature of the Mongoose Status 2.2 is that it has fashionable alloy rims that ensure durability while remaining economical.
- These rims help attach knobby tires that are 2.125 inches wide. It has the classic V-brakes that will help you bring the bike to halt on demand.
- It is suitable for riders who have a height of 65 to 75 inches. The middle triangle rocker link is 120-millimeters wide.
- The front and rear bottom diagonal is measured to be around 53 and 63 millimeters.
3. Dynacraft 26-Inch Slick Rock Trails Bike
The Dynacraft 26″ Slick Rock Trails Bike is the perfect blend of both chic designs as well as performance. It has a great suspension system to aid a fulfilling experience in riding rugged trails and maneuvering activities.
- One of the most common features is the 21-speed index derailleur with top-quality Shimano grip shifters.
- Also, its front and rear V brakes are efficient to allow you to stop the bike in a dime. Its shifters allow you to experience stress-free climbing on any inclined surface.
- Best of all, it has a quick-release adjustable seat that helps you best coordinate your body to both the pedals as well as the handlebar.
- It has a black, full suspension that allows you to have a comparatively steady speed flow with beautiful strokes of varied colors on the bike (purple, white, and gray).
4. Hiland 27.5 Inch Mountain Bike
With a maximum weight capacity of 275 pounds, the Hiland 27.5 Inch Mountain Bike is fairly durable and is quite strong for you to travel the off-road trails. One of the highest selling bikes of this year, the Hiland Mountain bike has a great front full suspension system for a smooth biking experience.
In addition to this, this bike comes with an Aluminum frame that makes this bike a much lighter one compared to the ones that have a steel frame.
- There is an additional tool kit for you to stuff first aid material and other essential belongings.
- It has high-end tech since it has internal cable routing in order to keep your cables safe during your ride. This also contributes to its amazing sleek look.
- In addition to this, it has hydraulic disc brakes as well as a lock-out suspension fork that makes speed breakers and other bumps on the road less troubling.
- The tires of this product are claimed to be non-slip and wear-resistant which makes the tires durable, reliable, and most importantly, economical. These features make this bike one of the most compelling products for mountain biking.
5. Dynacraft Silver Canyon 26-Inch Bike
This rugged bike with an extraordinary matte finish aesthetic is the perfect mountain bike if you are searching for something that is both stylish and affordable. As the name suggests, it has a great affinity towards giving you excellent performance with respect to its 21-speed derailleur, which is equipped with quality grip shifters as well as adjustable seat arrangements.
- With its orange and white strokes in matt finish, this bike is ready for any adventure that you wish to partake in.
- It is equipped with front and rear V brakes as well as a padded saddle for the safest and most comfortable riding experience.
- Its key features entail a steel hardtail mountain bike frame with a one-year limited warranty.
- This product comes in varied sizes that will be suitable for men of all age groups and heights. The package comes with all the necessary tools required for you to assemble the bike.
Buying Guide – What You Need to Know Before Buying MTB
Now that you’ve seen our hand-picked list of the best mountain bikes under $500 let’s learn what the key features should be in a mountain bike that will ensure both safety and strength as far as your biking experiences are concerned. You need to consider a couple of things before you go out on a shopping spree for bikes. Consider the following pointers to not be disappointed later. Here goes!
1. Size Of The Bike
The height of the bike must correspond to your height. How do you know what the perfect size is for you? Do not simply go by the standard sizes of S, M, or L. Rather visit a store outlet and see if there is a comfortable gap of approximately 2 inches between your groin and top tube when you are standing with both feet on either side of the bike and on the ground.
The bike must preferably have an aluminum frame to reach a certain threshold as far as the strength of the bike is concerned. Steel is the best option if you’re looking for a value-for-money frame material.
It is the best as far as durability, affordability, and strength are considered. However, this makes the weight of the bike fall on the heavier side of the scale. The smartest frame to choose for an MTB would be an aluminum alloy.
3. Suspension System
There are basically three types of suspension systems available in the market. These are full, hardtail, and rigid. The ideal suspension system for really rocky and steep slopes is the full suspension type that covers both the front and rear wheels.
Even though this makes the bike a tad bit heavy, it contributes greatly to not putting any added stress and fatigue on the back and hips of the rider. Undoubtedly, you will require an air-sprung coil suspension that has shock absorbers. Air-sprung coil suspension systems produce a cushioning effect by compressing the air so that you can ride in challenging terrains, without it being a bumpy journey.
While riding your bike in challenging terrains, make sure that the wheels are at least 27-29 inches. It is more technically correct to check for their tread profile when one thinks of tires.
Tread is basically the proportion of rubber material that makes contact with the surface of the ground. It is the depth of the tread that determines the traction, which is a necessary feature for an MTB. Therefore, a bike with a high tread depth will serve the traction purpose better.
Your bike will also require mechanical disc brakes that help stop the bike with minimum effort while pulling the lever. This helps in inducing additional fatigue to your muscles and is generally quite effective while biking downstream.
One of the major debates in the brakes section is that of the comparison of efficiency between the hydraulic disc brakes and cable-actuated disc brakes. The former undoubtedly wins the race since it accounts for a much faster, immediate action on demand at the cost of very little effort in pulling the lever. This is one of the primal things that is required in an MTB.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of conditions to consider before you decide which mountain bike is the safe bet for you. It all depends on how much you can afford and also on the steepness of the slope on which you wish to ride.
Ensure you follow a proper and well-researched buying guide before you make your final choice. It is always preferable to feel, touch, and judge a bike by taking it out for short test runs for you to be completely sure, especially if you are a newbie in this.
1. What frame material is most suitable for a mountain bike?
Unarguably, aluminum alloy frame. These are extremely lightweight and provide solid strength for optimized performance. The second option after aluminum is carbon fiber and titanium. One of the demerits of the latter is that it is not cost-effective.
2. Does the bike company send the required tools to assemble the bike when the same is online-bought?
No, not usually. The seller is not responsible for the required tools to assemble the bike. If you are new at this, it is recommended that you take the product and its parts to a professional in order to safely align everything before you take the bike out for a run or a climb.
3. How many gears are ideal for an MTB?
The number of gears in an MTB or any bike, for that matter, is a function of how steep the slope is. For a steep mountain, you will end up requiring more gears. Therefore, this is exactly why bikes come with gears whose number ranges from 0 to as high as 20, depending on what kind of terrain you choose to travel.
4. What kind of suspension is ideal for an MTB?
A hardtail suspension system means suspension only on the front wheel. This is suitable for a beginner or amateur rider.