Your Ultimate Guide for the Best Budget Mountain Bike
Getting the right mountain bike is not a universal affair, we all have our own preferences and choices when it comes to what we intend to achieve with what we see as the best mountain bike. There are two things that may limit our choices, one is the budget and the other one is the value for the money spent. You may have heard of the general perception that the more features a bike has, the more you will spend and you are likely to get the best value for the money. Today I will be more sincere that you can still go for the best mountain bike for the money you have and still get to enjoy the value on a bike. The bottom line has always been we all want the best budget mountain bike that is affordable and gives the best returns for on the money spent. This reasoning should apply to both new and accomplished riders.
If you opt for the best cheap mountain bike thinking that you may miss out on the value others are getting on bigger spending, you are wrong. Some bike manufacturers are known to create a good balance between an affordable (cheap) price and quality.
What to expect from the best budget mountain bike
A seasoned biker will be able to know that bikes are made from three common materials for the frame i.e the aluminum, hydrocarbon or steel frames. As an entrant into the market, it is worth noting that most mountain bikes are made from aluminum which is light in weight compared to steel or hydrocarbon and cheaper to produce in a mass production environment. If you can get the best mountain bike for the money (same price range as an aluminum bike) made from a steel frame, then you will be one lucky biker.
The featured bikes in the best budget mountain bike category tend to have parts that are mid to low level specifications. Most manufacturers tend to create a balance between price and value by using cheaper components which should perform well for the new rider at the expense of weight and durability of the bike. Weight and durability of a mountain bike determine the smoothness of the shift when using the bike. Their pedals are considered to be basic which should not lead you into thinking that these bikes cannot get the job done.
There are several things to look at when buying a mountain bike, like when considering the price you should ask yourself the following questions
- Are you looking for a future upgrade?
- Is the choice you have value for your money or you can spend more to get what you want?
- Is this the best time to buy a bike? (Are you better off purchasing last year’s mid-level mountain bike or the latest low-end mountain bike?)
The mountain bike reviews covered in this article cover a wider scope of the best budget mountain bike from a wide range of prices. Our list may look comprehensive in all these aspects, but we can also accept the reality that we cannot cover every possible brand we have in the market. We do hope that this guide will give the best assistance to you as an experienced biker or as a new bike enthusiast so that by the end of the article you will be able to get the best mountain bike for your money.
What should I look for in the Best Mountain Bike for the Money?
In as much as there is a lot of fun that comes with mountain bikes, especially when used for outdoor activities when looking for the best budget mountain bike, you need to do a thorough analysis by looking at the most common features that are found on bikes in all categories. Looking at the following specifications will save you a lot of time when buying.
The wheel size to opt for is determined by how easy you want to maneuver or the level of comfort that you need to cut through rough terrain. The best size is determined by the terrain you use.
The suspension also goes hand in hand with the terrain in question. You can choose from the following three suspension types:
- Rigid suspension: this is a mountain bike with no suspension
- Hardtail suspension: bikes in this category have the front wheel suspension
- Full suspension: these bikes have both the front and the rear suspension
As you look for the best budget mountain bike, look at the terrain and determine the level of comfort that you need.
The frame material
The weight and durability of the bike are influenced by the material used. The frame weight also determines the ease in which you will be able to control the bike. The best way to look at it is always to strike a balance between the cost, weight, and durability. The materials used in bikes today can either be titanium, steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber.
A mountain bike can either have several gears or be a single spread. If you are surrounded by a steep terrain, you will need more gears to make navigation easier, but if you are on a relatively flat terrain you can opt for a single gear bike.
You have a choice of either cable activated disc brakes or the hydraulic brakes. There is an option of the rim brakes that are commonly fixed on what others consider best cheap mountain bike. These brake mechanisms tend to be effective but have bigger maintenance overheads.
Weight should not compromise the sturdiness of the bike but should be comfortable enough for you to lift the bike when the occasion demands.
What Should I Avoid When Looking for the Best Cheap Mountain Bike?
When you are looking for the best budget mountain bike, do not be carried away from the usual stereotypes and sales pitch made by the salesperson. Before engaging they make sure they know about your budget and preference in terms of value and terrain. Other things to look at are:
- Do not buy a bike that does not suit your riding area, to help you with this you can either for a cross country bike, downhill bike or an all-terrain mountain bike.
- Do not take a bike home without test riding it, the best way to achieve this is buying a bike at a store and not an online platform
- Always ask for any accessories that come with the bike, it could be a safety jacket, helmet or even a tool box which may prove to be vital in handling future repairs.
- Do not forget to ask for price discount or any offers that the store may be offering to its buyers.
- Do not leave the bike store without them having done a proper fit for you. Note that all bikes can be adjusted to fit in with your specific requirements such as height, brake and saddle re-alignments etc.
Top 10 best budget mountain bike reviewed
Regardless of your budget, it is possible to buy the mountain bike that will still fit your lifestyle and in line with your riding terrain. In this section we will look at all these ten mountain bikes we will look at their distinctive features that can be used to separate one from the others. If up to this point you have not yet made up your mind on the type of mountain bike you should opt for, consider the following three key areas:
- Your budget
- Bike frame material
- The best value for your money
The three regardless of the bike’s individual features will be able to guide you in terms of your budget and the value expected from the mountain bike of choice.
1. Stowabike 26" MTB V2 Folding Dual Suspension 18 Speed Shimano Gears Mountain Bike
This is an 18-speed mountain bike made from high-quality components and has a dual suspension system that adds to its features and overall performance. The tough frame has been built to last and at the same time be able to fold in the shortest time possible. Stowabike is available in two versions, the city road and the mountain road version; the latter are good for all off road experiences. The left shifter has a 3-speed grip shifter while the right one is a 6-speed shifter.
- Sturdy and aesthetic frame made from durable steel
- Fold-able for portability and storage
- 18-speed gear ensures smooth performance on different surfaces
- Spring shocks made from alloy give comfort when riding.
- Comes with a toolbox for assembly
- The frame may be heavier because of the steel
- The seat is highly placed
- Fragile brakes
- Has to be fine-tuned for initial use
This is the best cheap mountain bike when you consider its price range. It has all the qualities that a frequent traveler would need. The price is quite competitive, therefore gives the best values in terms of features on the product. Great for day to day riding that can be used both on and off road.
2. GTM 26" 7 Speed Folding Mountain Bike
This is an entry level mountain bike with a 7-speed gear that should enable you to get through your terrain through the best performance. It has been on the market for quite some time now and seen as one of the best budget mountain bikes suitable for all ages. This particular bike can be used by both men and women comfortably and can work well on all terrains. It has a good swift response, especially when navigating the hills. The powerful dual suspension system is made from springs that reduce shock. The folding mechanism is meant to be efficient because disassembly is needed. The 26-inch frame is made from the HI-TEN folding frame with a suspension fork, and steel handlebars.
- Quite an affordable model for a bike with great features
- Comfortable ride on all terrains because of the powerful dual suspension system
- Has a steel made heavy duty kickstand
- You can adjust both the seats and height of the bicycle to fit your measurements of comfort.
- The high intensity folding frame and light weight steel handle bars are does not add to the weight of the bike
- Poor quality brakes
- The seat is not comfortable for a long ride
This is a brilliant choice for an entry level bike enthusiast who wants the best cheap mountain bike that they can use on a daily basis or just for outdoor activities.
3. Kawasaki K26 Hardtail Mountain Bike
The Kawasaki K26 Hardtail suspension mountain bike offers a quick, smooth and a joyous ride. The steel frame is durable and gives it the sturdy look. The front fork is also made from steel ensuring that the bike can be used to race on pavements and rough terrains. Kawasaki has an 18-speed Drivetrain, the rear derailleur brackets are made from Shimano and it uses linear brakes for easy brake control.
- Light frame made from durable steel MTB frame
- The rims are made of alloy for both durability and lightweight
- Derailleur made from the reliable Shimano
- Uses linear brakes that are easy to use when cycling at high speeds
- Assembly required before initial use
- Difficult to maintain linear brakes
- The seat has no padding
This is another affordable mountain bike that may not give you the best comfort while using it, but guarantees speed, durability and managing difficult terrain. This is not a bad choice for an entry level biker who simply wants an affordable mountain bike for casual use.
#4. Meraxs 26" Dual Disc Brakes 21 Speed Hardtail Mountain Bike
The Merax 26-inch dual disc brakes mountain bike has an aluminum frame that has been subjected to heat treatment giving it the lightest weight for convenience and portability. The suspension fork is well placed to offer a comfortable ride as you gain control of the bike in the most difficult terrains. All these features against the price tag Merax 26 inch Dual Disc Brakes, Mountain Bike looks like one of the best mountain bikes that a beginner should look for. The 21 gear speed limit has been designed using the reliable Shimano components making handling of the shifters an easy task. The dual disk brakes are placed on the front and rear section of the bike which increases the brake accuracy, especially when cruising at high speeds.
- Disk brakes are a good choice for safety and control at any speed
- The design is simple and elegant for a comfortable ride
- The derailleur and shifters are made of the reliable Shimano
- Easy to control and maneuver on different terrain due to its light weight
- High-quality components at an affordable price.
- The disc brakes need constant adjustments
The Merax 26 inch dual disc Mountain Bike is designed for an entry level biker who needs to have an outdoor experience that is enjoyable while experimenting new terrains. The light weight makes it ideal for an average rider who wants to experience the comfortable handling. For its price we can say that it is one of the best cheap mountain bikes you can find for an entry level mountain bike.
#5. Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Octane 24 Complete Hard Tail Mountain Bike
Diamondback bicycles 2015 Octane is a Hardtail from suspension bike with an aluminum frame to give it its light weight that makes it easier to handle. The handle bar is made of a steel riser to add more comfort when handling the bicycle. The brakes are an alloy linear pull type; they are made from an alloy to protect the brake linings from rust. The frame is formed of a heat treated 6061 aluminum alloy construction. Even though the derailleur is made to be durable, it is also replaceable. The front suspension shocks are good for reducing the shocks from a bumpy ride. The 7-speed Drivetrain gives you more possibilities in gear shifting.
- The bikes frame is made from an aluminum alloy construction that enhances durability
- Good suspension shocks and the riser handle bar gives the rider a comfortable feel when cycling
- Linear brakes are quite efficient and reliable especially at high speeds
- You can adjust the seat to a comfortable height
- All the assembly tools needed to assemble the bike are included upon purchase
- The bike does not have a kickstand
- You may experience some problems with the front wheel after assembly
- Does not have a dropper post
Diamondback bicycles may prove to be best mountain bike for your money and one that is appropriate for mountain biking and cross country biking style. It is an awesome choice and may not be considered a bad choice of value on the money you will spent on buying it.
#6. ORKAN Folding Mountain Bike
The OKRAN Folding Mountain Bike has a 7-speed gear derailleur with a hybrid suspension system. The seat and the handle bars are adjustable for a perfect fit. The frame is made of HI-TEN folding frame and a 26-inch suspension steel fork. The brakes are made of steel v-brakes and the hybrid suspension are there to make sure you get the best ride possible regardless of the terrain. The bike is foldable for convenience which can be a great feature, especially for frequent travellers. The folding has been made easier because no assembly is required when unfolding the bike. The manufacturer says that this is one of the best mountain bike for the money spent.
- The overall structure and design of the bike is the best value for money
- The high tension fold-able frame makes it easy for both portability and storage
- Hybrid suspension for a comfortable ride on any terrain
- The seat and frame height can be adjusted to suit your preference
- Many customers complain on the durability of the bike’s frame
- Folding the bike needs a little know-how
This bike is the best mountain bike for travellers and those who need to use it on an everyday basis. You do not have to worry about storage or assembly when not in use.
#7. Mongoose Men's Status 2.2 Mountain Bike 26" Wheel, Medium Frame Size
This is a full suspension men’s Mountain bike with 21 gear speed, a SRAM shifter and a Shimano derailleur that can easily take you down a hill or through the woods while enjoying the most comfortable ride. Its structure is made up of a three piece alloy rims and V shaped brakes that give an instant stop in the most difficult terrains. The aluminum frame made from a hydro formed tube giving the bike it slight structure that you will not feel the pressure of the bumps. The light but strong alloy rims can support much weight and tension without compromising on speed. The tires are widely spaced to give you the best traction on any type of terrain that you encounter. For good control the v forks, brakes are installed on the front and the rear wheels that should help you control the speed at any given time. The handlebars are made from the riser material for a more comfortable handling experience.
- The aluminum MTB frame is made from hydro formed tubing giving it a lightweight structure
- Shimano rear derailleur is specially made to make it easier for gear shifts
- Reliable V forked brakes are installed on both the front and the rear tires for quick stops
- The alloy rims are made of light and durable materials
- Riser Handle bars for easier handling and comfort
- The bottom brackets on the rear end fall off easily
- It is not easy to assemble the bike for the first time
- Brakes need constant realignment to work properly
- Poor product packaging
Mongoose Men's Status 2.2 Mountain Bike seems to be a reliable bicycle when it comes to comfort because gear shifting is reportedly never been that easy before. For men who want to experience the thrill of cruising downhill comfortably, then this is the mountain bike with all the right features for the downhill terrain.
#8. Mongoose Status 2.2 Women's 26" Wheel Mountain Bike
The Mongoose 21 speed and 26-inch Wheel Mountain Bike are one of the best choices of bikes that a woman can use to experience the outdoors. You will enjoy the comfort and cycling experience as you go through the most difficult terrain. This is a full suspension bike that has a light aluminum frame linear brakes, front shocks, SRAM shifters and a four bar frame linkage. All these intricate features have designed to work seamlessly as you move from one area to the next. The linear pull brakes are made from durable cables that ensure all the rides through a tough terrain are do not wear them out easily.
The brakes are said to be good on the downhill because of their stopping power. The rear derailleur is made from the powerful Shimano that combines well with the SRAM shifters to give you more options when shifting. The comfort you get from this entry level like mountain bike even on uneven paths is unmatched because of the shock absorbing components. The entire frame is a fully suspended aluminum that is quite handy for a bumpy ride. The rims, wheels, and tires are made from strong and durable materials that do not compromise on the weight of the entire bike. The tires are designed for the best traction that one may ask for both mud and dirt surfaces.
- This is one of the mountain bikes with a straight forward assembly
- The finish has been done to and attractive finesse
- The linear pull brakes are made from durable cables ensures all rides through tough terrain are do not wear them out easily.
- Great suspension gives the rider comfort when faced with uneven paths because of the shock absorbing components.
- Shimano derailleur and the SRAM shifters gives more options when shifting
- Durable kickstand made from stainless steel
- Simple height adjustments to suit the rider
- Plastic pedals may not be durable
- Uncomfortable seat with no padding and keeps shifting
This is a great investment and it can be said to fall into the category of the best mountain bike for the money because of its amazing features and experiences it gives its riders. A great braking experience which is ideal for new bikers or those trying out the new terrain. The poor pedal and seat design may not take it from being the best entry level mountain bike for the women.
#9. Gracelove 26" Folding 6 Speed Mountain Bike
Gracelove 26 inch mountain bike is a combination of all the features that you will find in a sturdy bicycle frame. It has a 6-speed derailleur with an adjustable stem and seat. The fine adjustments can be made to fit a person of any height and age. The arm length adjustment is made to give you a comfortable ride when cycling for a long distance. The derailleur is made of aluminum that gives it the light weight and durability. The bike can be folded, stored or moved from one place to another in a compact size that can fit virtually any storage space.
- Sturdy and structure aluminum frame
- Good aesthetic design
- Heavy duty kickstand
- Easy to fold for both portability and storage
- The stem, seat, and handlebar are adjustable
- It is adjustable on many parts such as the stem, seat, and handlebar to give more height adjustment options
- Comfortable to ride on all terrain
- Heavier than models in the same category
- No instruction manual for assembling the mountain bike.
This is another great bicycle that may be heavier than others in its category, but the manufacturer did not compromise on both performance and quality. The materials used for various components are durable therefore is a good recommendation for both new entrants and professionals.
#10. GTM 26'' Mountain Bike 18 Speed Bicycle Shimano Hybrid Suspension, Black&Red
GTM 26 inch Mountain Bike is an 18-speed fashionable bike that has the best comfort when going through all terrain. The suspension fork mounted on a light frame gives you an easy way of controlling the bike and this is further enhanced by the Shimano derailleur that makes shifting easy and precise. The weight of this best cheap mountain bike makes it easier to navigate through rough terrain. The entire frame is made from HI-TEN GTM Designed steel frame giving it the sturdy frame and the assurance of durability.
- Has a heavy duty kick stand
- The handle bars and seats can be adjusted to any setting that matches the cyclist
- Ergonomic design and good value for money
- Durable steel frame based on the HI-TEN GTM design
- Sold with assembly tool box for convenience
- The bike has to be fully assembled
This is an ideal choice for a bike when you want to commute to work, enjoying the outdoor environment, or take it with you to a camping site. Looking at its mid-level materials it can as well be the best mountain bike for the money.
Finally, we hope that we have been able to give you all the information needed when you set out to buy the best cheap mountain bike of choice.You may not have a limited budget on the type of bike that you want to take home, but looking at the points in this article go for one that will blend your taste and the nature of terrain. If you were looking forward to having a better mountain bike or owning one for the first time, there will never be a better time to do so than now!