9+ Best Mountain Bikes for Under $500

Finding the right mountain bike can be a challenging task, especially when you are on a budget. After extensive research, we have compiled a list of the top 9+ mountain bikes available for less than $500.

From this guide, you will discover the ideal mountain bike to fulfill your biking dreams. We will introduce you to some of the best options available on the market. Before selecting a bike, it’s crucial to match the bike size to your height. Let’s dive in!

Our Top Picks of The Best Mountain Bikes Under $500

Mongoose Impasse Full Suspension Mountain Bike,…
  • Enhance comfort and performance with the 18-inch aluminum suspension frame, while the 29-inch wheels fit riders 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall
  • Element suspension fork smooths the bumps and increases control
  • Effortlessly switch gears with the 21-speed rear derailleur equipped with SRAM twist shifters
Schwinn Bonafide Men and Women Mountain Bike,…
  • 17-inch aluminum mountain frame with high-performance suspension fork effectively absorb bumps and thumps, while the 29-inch wheels fit to riders 5’4 to 6’2 inches tall
  • Effortless gear change with 24-speed trigger shifters and front and rear derailleurs
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes deliver precise stopping power in any condition, while the durable alloy cranks ensure reliable gearing and reduced maintenance hassle
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Mongoose Malus Mens and Women Fat Tire Mountain…
  • Comfortable and stable ride with a steel mountain-style fat tire frame and 26-inch wheels, fit to riders 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall
  • Seamless gear transitions with the 7-speed shifter, ensuring smooth and effortless changes for a more enjoyable riding experience
  • Ensure crisp stopping and precise speed control with the front and rear disc brakes, adding an extra layer of safety to your rides
Mongoose Flatrock 21-Speed Hardtail Mountain Bike,…
  • Hardtail MTB with a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and 26-inch wheels is perfect for all terrain adventures, best fit to riders 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall
  • Element suspension fork improves performance and control while providing a smoother ride
  • 21-speed twist shifters and rear derailleur provide effortless gear changes when riding up an incline or speeding down a decline
Huffy Stone Mountain Mens 26 Inch Mountain Bike,…
  • Frame: The durable steel hardtail frame comes in beautiful blue and features front suspension to smooth out the bumps along the way
  • Speeds: 21-speeds help you find the perfect cadence to navigate your path ahead; equipped with a Shimano rear derailleur
  • Control: Front and rear linear pull brakes provide control and strong stopping power
Huffy Stone Mountain Boys 24 Inch Mountain Bike,…
  • With a gloss red hardtail frame and 21 speeds to conquer the trails, the Huffy Stone Mountain is ready for outdoor adventures
  • An Amazon exclusive: Ideal for ages 12-19 and a rider height of 58-70 inches; durable steel frame is backed by our limited lifetime warranty (see owner’s manual for details); Kolo 1200 suspension fork handles bumps and dips for a smoother-feeling ride
  • The indexed Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur combines with the micro-shift twist shifter to deliver 21 speeds on-demand for uphill climbing, downhill riding, or pure acceleration; removable rear derailleur guard ensures consistent gear operation
Huffy Stone Mountain Boys 24 Inch Mountain Bike,…
  • Frame: The durable steel hardtail frame comes in sharp charcoal grey and features front suspension to smooth out the bumps along the way
  • Speeds: This 21-speed bike helps you find the perfect cadence to navigate your path ahead
  • Control: With front and rear alloy linear pull brakes, control and strong stopping power is yours

9 Things to Consider When Buying a Mountain Bike

Type of Riding

  • Cross-Country (XC): These bikes are lightweight and designed for speed and efficiency on less rugged trails.
  • Trail Bikes: Versatile and balanced, suitable for a variety of terrains with a focus on fun and comfort.
  • All-Mountain/Enduro: Built for challenging terrains, these bikes are sturdier with better suspension to handle technical descents and climbs.
  • Downhill: Specifically designed for steep, downhill terrains, these bikes feature robust frames and advanced suspension systems.

Frame Material

  • Aluminum: Most common, offers a good balance of strength, lightweight, and cost.
  • Carbon Fiber: Lighter and stronger than aluminum but more expensive.
  • Steel: Durable and provides a smooth ride but is heavier.
  • Titanium: Strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant but very costly.

Suspension Type

  • Rigid: No suspension; cheaper and easy to maintain but less comfortable.
  • Hardtail: Suspension in the front fork; good for most trails and less expensive than full suspension.
  • Full Suspension: Suspension in both the front and the rear; provides comfort and better control over rough terrains but more expensive and heavier.

Wheel Size

  • 26-inch: Agile and responsive, good for intricate, technical maneuvers.
  • 27.5-inch (650b): A balance between 26-inch and 29-inch, offering a mix of responsiveness and obstacle clearance.
  • 29-inch: Rolls over obstacles more easily and provides better traction; however, it can be less maneuverable on tight trails.

Brake Type

  • Rim Brakes: Cheaper and easy to maintain but less effective in wet or muddy conditions.
  • Disc Brakes: Provide better stopping power in all conditions; can be hydraulic or mechanical.

Gearing

Consider the bike’s gearing based on the terrain you plan to ride. More gears offer more versatility over diverse terrains but add weight and maintenance.

Fit and Comfort

Ensure the bike fits your body size. A poorly fitting bike can reduce efficiency and enjoyment. Test rides are crucial to assess comfort and ergonomic fit.

Budget

Determine how much you are willing to spend. More expensive bikes typically offer better performance and durability but may be overkill for casual riders.

Future Upgrades

Consider the potential for upgrades. Some bikes are easier to upgrade than others, with more compatible parts available.

9+ Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 in 2024

Diamondback Overdrive Mountain Bike

Vipdrive Electric Bike for Adults, 750W/500W…
  • 【POWERFUL 500W MOTOR】Featuring a 500-watt high-speed brushless motor and peak power up to 750W and 21 mph, the Vipdrive Climber electric mountain bike blends off-road performance with power to make your ride as enjoyable as possible.
  • 【48V 13AH BATTERY】Powered by a 48V 13Ah removable lithium-ion battery, easy to take off and recharge, with a range of 25-50 miles, the e-bike makes your adventures and daily commute more practical and cost-effective.
  • Description: This Diamondback model is visually appealing and provides a comfortable ride, popular for its durability and quality.
  • Specifications: Includes a Shimano Acera rear derailleur, an Overdrive 29r aluminum frame, and Shimano BR-M395 Hydraulic Disc Brakes.
  • Features: Features a DB Race saddle seat and 32h Diamondback SL-7 Double-wall Rims.
  • Pros: Excellent value, ideal for beginners, durable components.
  • Cons: On the heavier side, some assembly required, derailleur may be noisy.

Mongoose Status Mountain Bike

Mongoose Status 2.4 Men and Women Mountain,…
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum dual suspension mountain bikes frame with front suspension fork, with 27.5-inch wheels fit riders 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall
  • For precise stopping power in any condition, the bicycle features a front disc brake and a rear V-brake, ensuring crisp and reliable braking performance
  • Equipped with alloy rims, oversized 2.3-inch wide tires for extra stability
  • Description: If high ratings are crucial for you, the Mongoose Status with its full suspension frame offers robust performance.
  • Features: Includes 26” wheels, SR suspension fork, padded seat, and front and rear disc brakes.
  • Pros: Good for beginners and offers a smooth ride on various terrains.
  • Cons: Lower quality wheels and limited storage space.

Schwinn Protocol Mountain Bike

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men and Women Mountain Bike,…
  • Schwinn aluminum full suspension frame with front suspension fork for reliable, responsive riding; 26-inch wheels fit riders 64 to 74 inches tall
  • 21-speed trigger shifters provide a wide gear range and smooth shifting out on the trail
  • Description: Ideal for beginners looking for a reliable mountain bike for single tracks or downhill rides.
  • Features: Lightweight aluminum suspension frame, 24-speed Shimano Derailleurs.
  • Pros: Handles dirty and dusty trails well, excellent for downhill cycling.
  • Cons: Wheels might be of lower quality.

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

Schwinn High Timber ALX Mountain Bike for Youth…
  • Lightweight 12 inch aluminum mountain frame is the perfect bike for rides around your neighborhood or trails with 24-inch wheel frame fit riders 4’8” to 5’6” inches tall
  • Bicycle is equipped with an alloy crank that delivers smooth gear changes, requiring minimal maintenance
  • Description: Comfortable and easy to handle, perfect for long mountain biking sessions.
  • Features: Sturdy steel frame, Shimano twist shifters, and alloy wheels.
  • Pros: Durable frame, easy to control.
  • Cons: Requires more effort to maintain.

Merax Finiss Aluminum Mountain Bike

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Hiland 29 Inch Mountain Bike Aluminum 17/19 Inch…
  • 【High-tech Frame】Hiland MTB has a strong and ultralight Aluminum frame for safe and faster ride.It’s corrosion resistant and easy maintenance.Internal shift and brake cable can help your cables last longer by protecting them from any environment and reduce wind resistance.
  • 【29 Inch XC Tire】The 29-inch sports tires over more distance per roll and are easier to climb over obstacles,has a good performance for off-road and long-distance riding.Double wall aluminum rim protects the inner tube and reduces the risk of having a flat tire when outdoor.
  • Description: This stylish and comfortable bike is perfect for beginners due to its lightweight and durable aluminum frame.
  • Features: Comes with Kenda 700*28C tires, a 700C steel threadless fork, and Shimano SA050 shifters.
  • Pros: Aerodynamic design, easy to assemble, and features a range of gears.
  • Cons: Braking can sometimes be problematic, and it requires some setup.

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Dual-Suspension Bike

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men and Women Mountain Bike,…
  • Schwinn aluminum full suspension frame with front suspension fork for reliable, responsive riding; 26-inch wheels fit riders 64 to 74 inches tall
  • 21-speed trigger shifters provide a wide gear range and smooth shifting out on the trail
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide crisp all-condition stopping
  • Description: Among the best in our roundup, the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 features a robust dual-suspension frame that makes it a top contender.
  • Features: Comes with an SR Suntour front fork and Promax disc brakes.
  • Pros: Durable and comfortable for all riding conditions.
  • Cons: A bit on the heavier side, which might affect maneuverability.

Victory Vegas Jackpot Mountain Bike

  • Description: This adult mountain bike is great for mountain adventures, thanks to its sturdy aluminum frame and dual suspension.
  • Features: Features Shimano Trigger Shifters and a 24-speed drivetrain.
  • Pros: Good control and stability.
  • Cons: It’s pricier than some other models and also quite heavy.

GMC Yukon Fat Bike

  • Description: The GMC Yukon stands out with its stylish looks and comfortable ride, equipped with a seven-speed Shimano Rear Derailleur.
  • Features: Boasts 26 x 4” tires and a high tensile steel fork.
  • Pros: Affordable and versatile, can handle various conditions.
  • Cons: Its weight makes it less ideal for more strenuous trails.

SE Mountain Bike

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JOYSTAR Gemsbok 20 Inch Kids Bike Freestyle BMX…
  • Freestyle & Color – With sleek gloss jelly paint, JOYSTAR Gemsbok is a stylish BMX style 20″ kids bike that offers everything a beginning rider needs to hit the streets or bike park! It’s an entry level bmx bike with standard 20” wheel size. Front pegs make it easy to try hops and tricks for boys and girls.
  • Safer riding – 20 in kids bicycle with double hand brakes, front & rear caliper brakes provide more safety. Wide 2.125″ pneumatic air tires add more stability, Sturdy steel frame and crank, Non-slip resin pedal, chainguard, front & rear reflectors and wheel reflectors.
  • Description: Perfect for mountain trails, this bike offers a robust performance with its 24 speeds and a steel, 30mm rise handlebar.
  • Features: Equipped with SE 1 Double Butted alloy frame and efficient fork.
  • Pros: Durable and heavy-duty for long rides.
  • Cons: Its heavy construction might not suit all riders.

GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

  • Description: The Topkick is a top choice for those seeking a blend of style and function in their mountain biking experience.
  • Features: Features full-suspension, 21-speed gearing, and sturdy aluminum body.
  • Pros: Stylish, high-quality build, and excellent braking system.
  • Cons: The seat can be uncomfortable, and it might feel a bit heavy for some.

    Final Thoughts

    Choosing the right mountain bike under $500 doesn’t mean compromising on quality or performance.

    Each of these bikes offers a balance of affordability, durability, and features suited for different types of riders.

    Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned biker, there is an option here for you. For further updates and detailed reviews, continue to check our website.

    FAQs about Mountain Bikes

    What is a mountain bike?

    A mountain bike is specifically designed for off-road cycling, featuring robust frames, durable tires, and advanced suspension systems to handle rough terrain. They are versatile for trails, dirt paths, and rocky environments.

    What should I look for when buying a mountain bike under $500?

    When purchasing a mountain bike under $500, consider the frame material (aluminum is common at this price), the type of suspension (hardtail or full-suspension), gear range, and brake type (disc brakes are preferable). Ensure the bike fits your height and riding style.

    What are the differences between hardtail and full-suspension bikes?

    Hardtail bikes have a suspension fork at the front but no rear suspension, making them lighter and less expensive. Full-suspension bikes have both front and rear suspensions, offering better control and comfort on very rough terrain but at a higher cost and weight.

    How important are the brakes on a mountain bike?

    Brakes are crucial for safety and control on a mountain bike. Disc brakes, whether mechanical or hydraulic, offer better stopping power and performance in wet and muddy conditions compared to rim brakes.

    What size mountain bike should I choose?

    The right size depends on your height and leg length. Most brands provide a size chart that correlates your height with the appropriate bike frame size, typically ranging from extra-small to extra-large.

    Can I use a mountain bike on roads?

    Yes, mountain bikes can be used on roads, but they are not as efficient as road bikes due to their heavier build, wider tires, and lower gearing. For mixed-use, consider a hybrid bike as an alternative.

    What maintenance does a mountain bike require?

    Regular maintenance includes cleaning the bike after muddy rides, lubricating the chain, checking tire pressure, and ensuring that brakes and gears are functioning correctly. Periodic checks on suspension and professional servicing once a year are also recommended.

    Are there mountain bikes suitable for children?

    Yes, there are mountain bikes specifically designed for children, featuring smaller frames, wheels, and lighter components suitable for younger or shorter riders.

    What accessories should I consider for mountain biking?

    Essential accessories include a helmet, gloves, a hydration pack, a repair kit with spare tubes and tools, and appropriate cycling clothing for comfort and protection.

    How do I improve my mountain biking skills?

    Improving mountain biking skills involves practicing on different terrains, learning to handle the bike’s controls (like shifting gears and braking efficiently), and possibly taking lessons or joining a biking group.

    What are the benefits of mountain biking?

    Mountain biking is excellent for physical health, improving cardiovascular fitness, building muscle strength, and enhancing coordination and balance. It’s also beneficial for mental health, offering stress relief and a sense of adventure.

    What are the best conditions for mountain biking?

    The best conditions depend on the rider’s preference and skill level. Generally, dry conditions are ideal for beginners for better control and safety. More experienced riders may seek out wet and muddy conditions for more challenge and excitement.

    How do I choose the right tires for my mountain bike?

    Choosing the right tires depends on the terrain you plan to ride on. Wider tires with deeper tread are better for muddy and rocky terrains, while thinner tires with lighter tread are suitable for dry and hard-packed surfaces.

    Can mountain bikes be upgraded?

    Yes, mountain bikes can be upgraded in various ways, including better suspension systems, higher-quality tires, advanced gearing systems, and lighter components to improve performance and comfort.

    What should I do if my mountain bike breaks down while riding?

    If your mountain bike breaks down while riding, use your repair kit to fix common issues like flat tires or loose chains. If the problem is beyond field repair, seek help to transport your bike to a professional repair shop.

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