Even with a limited budget, you can find a high performance, reliable and durable mountain bike. To find the best mountain bike under 200, you only need to know what you want and look keenly.
Gone are the days when a cheap mountain bike was associated with low quality and low performance. Nowadays, you can find a mountain bike with double the features for its costs. The word for such mountain bikes is not cheap, rather affordable.
Whether you are a beginner cyclist or an avid one, you can find your mountain bike. Affordable mountain bikes are available for various genders, age, weight, height, and any other specifications. Take a good look and you will definitely find one that suits your needs and fits just perfectly.
When shopping for a new mountain bike, you want to ensure that you reap value for each dollar you spend on the bike. Whether you are looking for a mountain bike for exercising, cross country racing, off road trail brazing or commuting to work at a budget of two hundred dollars and below, this article will point you to reliable mountain bikes in the market.
Types of riding
The type of riding is essential in determining your mountain bike. This is because the type of riding will determine the features to look out for in your choice of bike. The main types of riding are: Cross country racing, trail riding, gravity riding and enduro racing.
Initially cross country was all mountain bike riding was about. It involves riding in natural terrains which have wide range of terrains ranging from rocky, muddy, gravel, obstacles and tree roots. To enhance the adventure of trail riding, trail centers have built seesaws, bridges and jumps strategically placed on the paths.
Most kinds of mountain bikes are ideal for cross country riding. However, as the terrains get tougher a bike with full suspension is more suitable and dual suspension is required for extremely tough terrains.
Cross country riding requires a lot of pedaling so a lightweight drive train is a key consideration. Tire sizes ranging from 26” to 29” will work well. Riders maneuvering technical terrains prefer steeper head tube angle for more responsive handling.
Trail riding is essentially cross country riding without the racing aspect. The terrains in trail riding are more difficult. A trail bike is an in between a cross country bike and an enduro bike. It is built with an emphasis on balance between climbing and downhill riding. Although one can go on a cross country race with a trail bike, it is heavier and climbs slower.
Dual suspension bikes are best suited for trail riding. Wheel size of between 27.5”-29” will give the bike the ability to maneuver wide range of terrains. The head tube bike angles should slacker to an angle of 67-69 degrees.
Also known as all mountain riding, this is a unique type of mountain biking which emphasizes on downhill riding and less focus on uphill riding. So when racing, the riders are timed for downhill rides only. However, there is a maximum time stipulation for uphill rides. Enduro involves extremely tough terrains, big drops and challenging jumps.
If looking for the best endure bike, consider one with 140-170mm suspension, an adjustable seat post, 2.3+” wide tires and a head tube angle that is slacker than that of trail bike but steeper than that of downhill bikes.
Also known as gravity riding, this one is for the adrenaline junkies that are thrilled by flying downhill. Normally, riders will walk or take a lift to the top of the hill then from there it is all about getting down as fast as possible. Riders encounter jumps, extreme drops, obstacles and slips and slides that they must maneuver to get at the bottom of the hill.
To ride like this, you will need a bike that can handle steep descents well. An ideal one should have 170-210mm suspension travel, a wide wheel (at least 2.5”) to offer stability and hydraulic disc brakes for highly responsive braking. The numbers of gears do not matter so much especially with highly experienced downhill riders. The 27.5inch wheels work well. The head tube angle should range between 62-65 degrees to allow for speed.
This article reviews 10 best mountain bikes under 200. For each model, we review its features, pros and cons, who it is suitable, who it is not suitable for, where you can purchase and give a final verdict. We hope you find the information presented here valuable.
Top 10 Best Mountain Bike under 200 Reviews
1. 29" Genesis Men's GS29 Mountain Bike
The 29" Genesis Men's GS29 Mountain Bike frame is built with Stout aluminum hardtail frame and handle bars. It is equipped with a Shimano 21 speed drivetrain with Revo twist shifting. Revo shifts are a feature to look out for when choosing your mtb. It can be as good for communing to work as it is for off road trails. It’s suitable for both beginners and seasoned mountain bikers. Some riders find the 29’’ knobby tires too large for high performance and efficiency when riding.
- It is fitted with linear pull front and rear brakes that make it easy to brake whether riding downhill or around the block in your neighborhood
- The 29’’ knobby tires increase the maneuverability of the bike around obstacles
- It has a drop nose seat angle for comfortable seating
- The saddle has a quick release height adjustment knob for easy adjusting of the seat height
- The low-rise aluminum handlebars allow the back to arch appropriately for a comfortable posture and aerodynamic benefits
- Difficult to assemble: It requires advance bike mechanical skills to assemble
- The big wheels can compromise energy efficiency especially on muddy terrains
- Hiring a professional mechanic will come at an extra cost
The 29" Genesis Men's GS29 Mountain Bike is tough, high performance, durable, stylish, rides well and offers excellent value for your money. Regular maintenance and tune up is required to keep the mountain bike functioning at optimal.
2. Kent Thruster T-29 Men's Mountain Bike, 29-Inch
Since this bike is one of the few mountain bikes whose frame is made from heat-treated aluminum that makes it light it is our second best mountain bike under two hundred dollars.
The aluminum frame material is quite strong offering the bike strength and stability. It comes with big wheels whose rims are double walled making them thicker than the regular bike. It has Shimano 21 speed shifts. The bike utilizes linear pull breaks. It weighs 41 pounds with 8.6 x 28.7 x 58 inches-dimensions. It has only front suspensions.
- The light frame makes the bike easy to ride both uphill and down hill
- The bike arrives when it is 85% preassembled making it easy to assemble
- Due to the sturdiness offered by Shimano shifters, Shimano derailleurs and the dual rims, it is ideal for heavier riders
- It is a high performance bike
- The large wheels offer increased traction force that helps propel the bike forward even in rough terrains with less strength- another feature that makes it good fit
- It utilizes rim brakes which are less efficient in braking especially in wet and extremely rough terrains
- The bike has a small saddle which is uncomfortable to the rider
- It is not designed for light weight and short rider
It is an ideal bike for beginners and intermediate riders. The lightweight and big wheels make it an easy ride for even beginners. The bike is suitable for riders who are 5’6-6’ tall with 30’’ stand over. It is ideally a men’s bike.
Due to its high profile, it gives enough support to the heavier and taller rider. Kent Thruster T-29 Men's Mountain Bike, 29-Inch is a hardtail bike most preferred by cross country bikers for its light weight and high performance.
It is unsuitable for short and lighter men as the high profile best suits taller and heavier men. Seeing as it has only front suspension, the bike does not offer shock absorption on the rear wheel making it unsuitable for extremely rough terrains.
The Kent Thruster T-2 9 Men's Mountain Bike , 29-Inch offers great bargain for its outstanding design and features for a low budget mountain bike.
3. Northwood’s Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike
The Shimano rear derailleur facilitates gear changing and brake functionality. It has a full suspension frame with 50mm steel crown to absorb shock in the rough terrains. It has a crank steel triple. The Northwood’s Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike is best for rough terrain biking in snow, sand, gravel and bumpy terrains. It is also suitable for free riding, mountain biking. Both men and women can ride this full suspension mountain bike. It is unsuitable for smooth flat riding and downhill riding. This is because the full suspension is not necessary yet it takes extra energy to pedal a bike on full suspension.
- The aluminum frame offers sturdiness yet it’s light
- The 24’’ alloy rim and wheels offer a comfortable ride by dampening vibrations and impact well
- The bike is easy to assemble and maintain
- Instructions provided in the manufacturer’s manual are easy to follow when assembling and for repair and maintenance procedures
- The rear derailleur and twist shifters offer good speed, easy handling and efficient braking
- The full suspension feature may be detrimental when pedaling on smooth surfaces and downhill as it requires more energy
- The manufacturer does not warranty assembly related malfunctions.
It is durable and ergonomically designed to offer performance and comfort for all terrain riding. It is easy to maintain. With simple hand tools and basic bike repair skills, you are good to go. It is mostly a bike targeted for the teenage boy. Due to its full suspension feature, the bike is most suitable for riding in rough terrains so as to maximize energy efficiency. It would therefore not be ideal for smooth roads.
4. Schwinn Men's High Timber 27.5" Wheel
The Schwinn Men's High Timber 27.5" Wheel Mountain Bicycle features a Schwinn mountain bike steel frame and Schwinn patented front suspension fork. It has 21 speeds, Shimano twist shifters and Shimano rear derailleur to enable quick gear change.
It is installed with alloy linear pull brakes and alloy 27’’ wheels. The 3-piece alloy crank offers a wide gear range. This is an 18’ frame size (medium size) bike with 10.2 x 29.8 x 53.5 inches’ dimensions that weighs 47.55 pounds. The high timber is hardtail mountain bike designed for riding in trails, bike paths and beyond. It can handle the dirty and gravel trail as well as a relaxing ride around the neighborhood.
- The front suspension fork absorbs shock to smooth-en out pumps on off-road and on road surfaces.
- The big wheel size helps the bike to gain traction fast while overcoming big obstacles.
- The saddle has a quick release to allow for adjustments for a better fit and more comfortable seat.
- The bike is delivered preassembled with only a few parts remaining to be assembled. You can easily assemble the remaining parts by adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions and some standard tools.
- The 27.5’’ wheel is a little bigger than the standard 26’’ wheel size giving it a high profile look.
- Many customers have complained about an uncomfortable seat.
- The frame is a little bit heavier than standard bikes.
- It is not ideal for beginners
The Schwinn Men's High Timber 27.5" Wheel Mountain Bicycle is a resilient and sturdy bike that allows you to explore trails without breaking the bank to invest in one of best bikes.
5. 26" Schwinn Sidewinder Women's Mountain Bike
The 26" Schwinn Sidewinder Women's Mountain Bike is built on the Schwinn patented frame made of steel. It comes with an aluminum alloy suspension that works to absorb shock on rough terrains. The bike weighs 41 pounds.
It has front and rear alloy brakes and Suntour suspension fork that offer controlled handling. Its 21 speeds provide various gear options. It utilizes linear pull brakes and Shimano rear derailleur shifters. It has an adjustable saddle. In addition, it features the Shimano Revo shifters and 26’’ wheels. This is a women’s bike targeted for women mountain bikers. It is suitable for biking trails and backyards. This is an extremely light and strong bike suitable for both beginners and intermediate mountain bikers.
- It has a height adjustable pedals, adjustable handlebars and quick release saddle to easily fit a perfect fit for your height.
- The bike comes 85% preassembled and it is easy to assemble the remaining parts on your own by following the assembling instructions provided in the manual.
- It is a full suspension bike offering shock absorption in the rough terrains for a comfortable ride.
- It is rated as a considerable choice for the best mtb for beginners.
- It requires regular maintenance and tune up to operate at optimal functionality.
- The dual suspension can lead to energy inefficiency as it requires more effort to pedal.
It is a suitable choice for women looking for female specific hardtail mountain bikes.
6. Polaris Ranger B.O 24 full suspension bicycle
It’s a great choice of full suspension mountain bike in the market. The bike is manufactured by Polaris and just like all of their products, this bike is built exceptionally to offer comfort and performance.
The Polaris Ranger B.O 24 full suspension bicycle dimensions are 23 x 38 x 64 inches and it weights 37 pounds. The bike is available in black color only. Its frame size if 18” that has a dual suspension in the steel fork.
Its drive train is the Shimano Tourney TX35 rear Derailleur. The brake style is mechanical and utilizes the linear pull brakes. Polaris Ranger B.O 24 full suspension bicycle comes with a 21 speed twist shifters. An additional feature of the double suspension bike is the kickstand.
- It is built on a sturdy steel frame to hold all other bike parts together and offer great functionality.
- The twist shifters allow for ease of shifting gears.
- The 21speeds offer flexibility and more gear shifting options. A rider is able to pedal comfortably and adjust accordingly to elevation changes headwinds and tail winds.
- Most parts of the bike are shipped already assembled. The unassembled parts are few and easy to assemble with standard tools.
- This model is only available in one color.
- It requires regular maintenance to remain in top-notch performance. Otherwise, maintenance negligence can lead to major structural and performance defects.
- It is offers little to no adjustment options. It is therefore crucial that you find the best fit from the onset.
Polaris Ranger B.O 24 full suspension bicycle is suitable for both boys and girls. The 17’’ frame size was designed with 12-year olds in mind. The double suspension makes it suitable for navigating rough terrains with comfort and ease.
It’s unsuitable for the short and thin; and overweight and taller teenagers. It is also not an ideal bike for racing as the full suspension decreases speed significantly.
The Polaris Ranger B.O 24 full suspension bicycle should be well assembled and tuned up for it to function well and be durable. Otherwise it could possess major breakdowns and malfunctions. This is a good deal for a full suspension bike. However, do not expect it to serve as well as the high end full suspension mountain bikes.
7. Schwinn Girl's High Timber Mountain Bike
The Schwinn Girl's High Timber Mountain Bike has a steel mountain bike frame that maximizes sturdiness, comfort and performance. The bike has a suspension fork to smoothen out the bumps. The alloy wheels have a high thread per inch to ensure smooth riding even in rough and wet terrains.
The bike comes with a 21 speed Shimano rear derailleur. The saddle is well padded to ensure comfort as you navigate all kinds of terrains. The alloy breaks allow one to make quick stops whenever necessary. The Shimano shifters optimize fast gear changing and efficiency in handling.
- The bike is easy to assemble. It comes in two main parts that are easily assembled.
- The gears shift easily allowing for a smooth ride.
- Features such as easy to control shifters, padded seat and large wells enable resilient yet comfortable riding in a wide variety of terrains.
- The quick to adjust saddle makes it it possible to make a few adjustments for the best fit.
- 21 speeds offer a variety of gear shifting options
- The bike comes with a limited warranty which covers you for a limited time
- The warranty does not cover for wrong assembly malfunctions
- If you are not conversant with mountain bikes you may need to pay a local bike shop mechanic to assemble and tune up the bike for you for optimal operations.
The Schwinn Girl's High Timber Mountain Bike is ideally a teenage girls’ bike. However, petite and light weight adult women can use it too. The bike is designed and created with a keen focus on aesthetics to ensure it is attractive. It is also designed for easy riding and handling.
The Schwinn Girl's High Timber Mountain Bike is unsuitable for tall and heavy weight teenage girls and adult women.
The Schwinn Girl's High Timber Mountain Bike is for women as it is an easy ride. Although the 16’’ Schwinn Girl's High Timber Mountain Bike is made with the teenage girl in mind, the frame size is suitable for petite light weight adult women too. It is easy to ride, has easy handling and is resilient to maneuver even rough terrains.The bike is aesthetically attractive. The Schwinn Girl's High Timber Mountain Bike is resilient, durable and highly functional.
8. Navi RS100 Hardtail Mountain Bike
The bike is made of aluminum-alloy frame. The frame is light but also heavy duty hence durable. Majority of the major and minor parts of the bike are made of aluminum-alloy. These include hubs, stems, rims, handlebar, seat post and crank set. It has a quick release hub and a modern disc braking system. It has a SR SUNTOUR front suspension fork with a manual lockout.
The bike is designed to have Shimano front and rear disc brakes and a 160mm stainless steel disc brake rotator. The wheels have double wall 27.5 inches’ rims and spokes made of stainless steel with Wanda tires.
It also has Shimano tourney 3-speed front derailleurs and 7-speed rear derailleurs. The 3-speed crank set is made of Shimano aluminum alloy and has a sealed bearing bracket. It has 21 speeds. It shipping weight is 40 pounds.
- It utilizes disc braking system which is highly responsive even in extreme terrain conditions.
- The front fork suspension can be manually locked out whenever necessary.
- The huge wheels, discbrakes and double suspension offer comfort in rough terrains.
- The aluminum-alloy frame is light yet durable
- It has a wide range of gear shifting options
- You may need to hire the services of an experienced mechanic to tune it up.
- It may not be ideal for advanced stunt riding styles such as free riding and dirt jumping.
Navi RS100 Hardtail Mountain Bike is most suited for beginner mountain bikers. While the bike can be used for commuting purposes, it is most suitable for cross country riding and dirt-jumping techniques of mountain biking.
The bike size is not appropriate for short and light weight men. It is designed for people taller than 5’4’’.
Navi RS100 Hardtail Mountain Bike provides great value for money. This bike has numerous high performance and durable features compared to other mountain bikes at a similar price.This is a high performance and high quality bike that supersedes value for its price. Consider this one for beginner mountain bikes.
9. Huffy Bicycle Company Men's Vantage 3.0 Mountain Bike
Huffy Bicycle Company Men's Vantage 3.0 Mountain Bike is made with an outstanding crafted hard tail hi-Ten precious metal frame. It has Kolo suspension series 2700 fork which means it also has 21 speed twist shifting. The bike features Shimano derailleur.
It has a built-in alloy linear pull brakes. Since it is built for off-road rides mainly, it has big knobby 27.5’’ tires. The seat is padded to offer extra comfort as you maneuver the rough terrains. The Huffy Bicycle Company Men's Vantage 3.0 Mountain Bike is a unisex bike designed to beat the rough terrains easily. The steel frame and big wheel give it sturdiness and maneuverability for high performance. To ensure optimal performance, ensure that the mountain bike is well assembled, aligned and tuned up. It unsuitable for beginner as it is heavier than the standard bike.
- The frame, though larger than the regular bike, is strong, giving the bike sturdiness for its high speed performance when riding on both on- road and off road terrains.
- The big wheels give it excellent maneuverability on rough terrains by proving ability to overcome big obstacles and offering stability.
- The steel linear pull brakes are placed within easy reach to enable for easy control of speed and power.
- The brakes have anodized allow rims which offer high efficiency and balance in control.
- The Shimano 21 seed twist shifting system enhances easy gear handling for a smooth ride.
- The big wheels make the bike quite heavy.
- The big wheels compromise energy efficiency as you will need more effort to pedal especially at the beginning hence not ideal as a race bike.
- Can be hard to assemble: a local shop will assemble and tune it up at an extra cost of up to $50
The Huffy Bicycle Company Men's Vantage 3.0 Mountain Bike is a suitable choice for both men and women. Slight adjustments can be made by the rider to make the bike suitable for them. With that said, it is still a good choice for the best mtb that can be ridden by both men and women.
10. Mongoose Girl's Maxim Full Suspension Bicycle (24-Inch)
Mongoose Girl's Maxim Full Suspension Bicycle (24-Inch) weighs 36 pounds with 7.3 x 25 x 50 inches dimensions. It has a sturdy aluminum frame with a 14’’ seat tube length. It is a full suspension mountain bike with suspension forks on both the rear and front wheels. The full suspension girl’s bike has 21 speeds and easy to change Shimano gear shifts. It utilizes linear pull breaks.
- It is easy to assemble. The bike comes already partially pre-assembled which is good for people with little to no mechanical skills.
- It is light. Aluminum is one of the lightest frame materials in the market. It makes the bike light yet strong for an easy ride.
- It offers a comfortable ride. The full suspension design features neutralize bumpy effects on the road.
- It offers better speed than most other mountain bikes in its category. The light aluminum frame, small wheels and 21 speed make it relatively faster.
- The bike comes with small wheels which can pose as a challenge when navigating rough terrains.
- The bike is only suited for light weight riders.
- It comes with a limited warranty with strict terms and conditions.
Ideally, this is a teenage girl’s bike. The Mongoose Girl's Maxim Full Suspension Bicycle (24-Inch) is ideal for girls around the age of 12. It is appropriate for beginner as it is easy to ride and maintain. This is makes it a great pick for the best mountain bike under 200 in the women mountain bikes category and overall.
The bike is relatively small hence not suitable for taller and heavier girls.
The bike is easy to ride on different terrains. It is aesthetically attractive. It is durable, highly functional and light. Proper maintenance and regular tune up are necessary to keep it functioning optimally.
Evidently, a limited budget is not an excuse for not getting your mountain biking game on. Above is our choice for 10 mountain bikes. They may not be sophisticated, but they offer basic features needed to have an easy and fun ride.
You can find many more in the market. Before you settle for your choice of the best mountain bike look for customer reviews for the bike and find out whether its specifications meet your riding needs. Once you find a suitable one, remember the key to having your mountain bike last long is regular maintenance and tuning up.