Top 5

Mountain Bikes UNDER $500

by LemondBikes

Purchasing your first mountain bike can be overly complicated due to the numerous options available and the potentially confusing terminologies synonymous with biking. While it is entirely possible to spend thousands of dollars on a mountain bike, you can also get amazing brands on a budget of less than $500. Do not be fooled by the relatively low prices; the bikes discussed in this guide are almost as good as some that cost hundreds of dollars more and can last for years with the right care.

Best Mountain Bikes Under $500

Huffy Hardtail 21 Speed Mountain Bike

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Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike, Stone Mountain 24 inch 21-Speed, Lightweight, Dark Blue

Last update was on: 15 June 2021 21:34

$349.96


Pros

  • Extremely sturdy
  • Amazing looks
  • Smooth rides
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Saddle is not very comfortable
  • Chain often comes off when changing gears

The Huffy Hardtail 21 Speed Mountain Bike is a fantastic choice for outdoor adventurers. The Huffy comes with a handy 21-speed configuration to easily conquer any trail. This hardtail is ideal for a wide range of people; if you are more than 13 years and 5 feet or taller, you will be right at home with this bike. The bike’s front suspension fork handles dips and bumps excellently, resulting in a smooth ride.

The Huffy Hardtail 21 Speed Mountain Bike comes with an ATB saddle with premium stitching on the sides. This hardtail comes in a steel frame fully backed by the manufacturer’s warranty in terms of quality. At the rear, this bike features a SHIMANO TZ-31 derailleur with a nifty micro-twist shifter designed to deliver the bike’s 21 speeds upon demand for smooth uphill climbing. The derailleur has an easily removable guard. The bike uses Knobby 26-inch tires to provide excellent performance in wet and dry conditions and various terrains. The rims are made from a lightweight alloy finished in matte black to match the bike’s overall look.

To further enhance a riders’ comfort, the Huffy Hardtail 21 Speed Mountain Bike comes equipped with an innovative slight-rise handlebar that allows the rider to assume an upright position when riding, resulting in less shoulder back strain. If you are a beginner, hobbyist, or seasoned biking enthusiast, you will find this Huffy quite enjoyable to ride.

One small misgiving with this hardtail is the relatively uncomfortable saddle, making the bike unsuitable for long-distance cycling. However, you can always replace the saddle anytime you want.

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

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Schwinn High Timber AL Youth/Adult Mountain Bike, Aluminum Frame, 24-Inch Wheels, 21-Speed,...

Last update was on: 15 June 2021 21:34

$404.99


Pros

  • Excellent clearance with 29-inch tires
  • Extremely sturdy steel frame
  • Quick-release seat post is handy

Cons

  • Mechanical pull brakes are outdated
  • Hard to assemble

The Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike is designed for people with a love for outdoor adventure. With its 21-speed drivetrain and a quick-release seat post, this bike is ideal for beginners and seasoned cyclists as well. The bike rides on massive 29-inch all-terrain tires that are suitable for a wide range of surfaces. Some potential buyers might scoff at the use of steel in the frame instead of lighter materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber. However, the latter often come at a significantly higher price. The bike has linear-pull brakes for smooth and firm braking.

In terms of quality, the manufacturer includes a limited lifetime warranty with the Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike, so you can rest assured that you will be in good hands. During motion, the bike uses Shimano-sourced twist shifters and rear derailleur coupled with a Schwinn freewheel. If you are looking for a friendly-priced mountain bike and can live without hydraulic braking systems, look no further than the Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike. The only minor misgiving with this model is that it is significantly harder to assemble than alternatives at its price point.

Hiland 26″ Mountain Bike

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Hiland Mountain Bike,Steel Full Dual-Suspension 26-Inch Wheels Bicycle with Disc Brakes, 21...

Last update was on: 15 June 2021 21:34

Pros

  • Extremely easy to assemble
  • High quality parts and construction
  • Appealing color options

Cons

  • Handle bar tilts at high speed
  • Does not come with a standard valve for pumping

The Hiland 26″ Mountain Bike is instantly recognizable from its appealing blue and white paintwork and bold labeling. The bike features a dual-suspension frame made of steel. It is worth noting that the frame is as sturdy as anything you can get on pricier mountain bikes. The wheels are 26-inches in diameter and use Kenda tires. The bike has a disc brake at the front, which is quite interesting to see in bikes of this price range. At the rear, there is a conventional V-brake. The front also features a handy Taiwan ZOOM fork suspension to damp out bumps on the road.

For motion, the Hiland 26″ Mountain Bike uses a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain with nifty twist-grip shifters that makes uphill climbs easy. The bike comes 85% preassembled, thus significantly reducing the amount of work the buyer has to do before getting the bike up and working. Additionally, the manufacturer also includes a basic assembly kit with all the necessary tools to put the bike together. If you want an extremely easy-to-assemble bike under $500, few options can outdo this bike.

One downside with the Hiland 26″ Mountain Bike is the lack of a standard pumping valve.

BESPORTIBLE Mountain Bike

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BESPORTBLE Mountain Bike with Aluminum Frame Suspension, 21 Speed Drivetrain, Shimano derailleur...

Last update was on: 15 June 2021 21:34

Pros

  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Includes a PP water bottle
  • Durable double-walled rims

Cons

    • Rear bracket easily slips out
    • Unclear assembly instructions

The BESPORTIBLE Mountain Bike is an excellent mountain bike for beginners and enthusiast bikers. The bike features a high-quality 21-speed drivetrain system with a derailleur and freewheel made by Shimano. The wide gear range gives riders the capability to climb hills and make descents easily. To further enhance performance, the bike includes a removable derailleur guard to keep the gears operating smoothly.

The seller also includes a PP water bottle in the package, which comes in handy for carrying water on long trips. The bike has mechanical disc brakes on the front and rear, which is quite rare for bikes at this price. The use of disc brakes results in smoother braking compared to the V-brakes used in some bikes. The bike’s wheels also feature double-walled rims for durability and strength.

The manufacturer includes handy tools such as an Allen key and an open-end wrench for easy assembly and repair. The BESPORTIBLE Mountain Bike comes with an impressively padded saddle that absorbs shocks from bumps resulting in a smooth ride. The seat is attached to a height-adjustable quick-release post.

Vilano Blackjack 29er Mountain Bike

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Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike MTB with 29-Inch Wheels

Last update was on: 15 June 2021 21:34

Pros

      • Large wheels make it easy to clear obstacles
      • Aluminum frame makes the bike quite light compared to steel models
      • Disc brakes on the front and rear

Cons

      • Front fork is not very durable
      • Derailleur breaks down after a few months

The Vilano Blackjack 29er Mountain Bike is an excellent choice for people who are often on different surfaces, including pavement, dirt paths, and trails. The bike’s frame is made from lightweight 6061 aluminum resulting in an incredibly light bike. The drivetrain includes Shimano EzFire shifters that provide precise and fast shifting. Additionally, the bike has rear and front disc brakes for smooth and powerful stopping action.

Upon purchase, the Vilano Blackjack 29er Mountain Bike comes in a cardboard box. The buyer needs to carry out some tasks before getting the bike to work. These include installing handlebars, saddle, pedals, front wheel and brakes, and turning the wheels, derailleurs, and brakes. While most seasoned riders can easily carry out this assembly, it would be better to take the package to a bike shop for assembly if you are a beginner.

The Vilano Blackjack 29er Mountain Bike features large 29-inch double-walled rims with similarly-sized tires for easy obstacle clearance.

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What to Look for When Buying a Mountain Bike

If you are looking to have outdoor fun or even exercise, you have probably considered getting yourself a mountain bike. While purchasing one is a seemingly easy task, it can become overly complicated once you encounter countless options. The technical jargon used in the bike industry does not make this choice any easier. Don’t worry, though; we have outlined all the critical factors you need to keep in mind before purchasing a mountain bike.

Easy to Assemble

If you have done some window shopping or browsed online shops, you have possibly realized that most bikes are sold as pre-assembled parts. You will rarely find a brand new fully-assembled mountain bike. This means you have to do the assembly yourself or find a bike mechanic to help you out. The latter comes at an extra cost, which in some cases is quite significant. This possible cost makes it very important to buy an easy-to-assemble mountain bike. The ease of assembly is determined by how much preassembled the bike is and the assembly tools included in the package.

Generally, a 95% pre-assembled bike will be much easier to put together than one that is 80% preassembled. If you plan on doing the assembly yourself, make sure that you have the required tools or that the manufacturer includes them in the package.

Comfort

Factors such as saddle quality, suspension, and frame quality determine how comfortable a bike is. Since you will be spending considerable time on your bike, making the experience as comfortable as possible is important. If possible, select models with padded saddles, full-suspension systems, or those with significant travel on the front fork. You should also ensure that the seat post is adjustable to make it easy to get the ideal riding height.

Build Quality

Have you noticed the massive price difference between cheap supermarket brands and other quality ones? The main factor leading to this difference is usually the build quality. The popular phrase ‘cheap is expensive’ has never been more accurate. When evaluating a mountain bike’s overall quality, you need to consider two main elements; the frame and the components. A poor-quality mountain bike will fail after some time or force you to make numerous trips to the bike repair shop.

Mountain bike frames are often made from aluminum, carbon fiber, or steel. Other materials such as titanium are also found in bike frames, albeit ones that cost an arm and a leg. Aluminum is among the most common frame materials due to its lightweight, sturdiness, and durability. Carbon fiber is found in more premium mountain bikes and is extremely lightweight and sturdy. Lastly, steel is also quite common, although significantly heavier than carbon fiber and aluminum.

In addition to the frame, it is also vital to ensure that your bike has quality components such as brake discs, cassettes, derailleurs, chains, and wheels. Quality components will save you significant time and money that would otherwise have been spent on replacements and repairs.

Size

If you are shopping for a mountain bike, you have realized that they come in different sizes. It is important to choose a size that you will be comfortable riding. While bikes feature adjustable seats, the adjustability can only do so much when the frame and wheel sizes are wrong. If you are relatively short, go for bikes measuring 24-26 inches. Bikes measuring 27.5-29 inches are suitable for people of average height or tall ones. Since it’s difficult to assess the ideal size online, you can visit a local bike shop to feel different sizes. However, you may also find bikes labeled as large, medium, or small. In this case, remember that the labels might have different measurements across manufacturers.

Value for Money

Buying a mountain bike involves spending a considerable amount of money. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the bike you purchase does not require to be frequently repaired, maintained, or get its parts replaced. A good mountain bike should provide you with enough utility to reflect the amount you spent on it.

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Summary

Choosing the ideal mountain bike can be quite daunting, but this should not be the case. By considering value for money, comfort, size, build quality, and ease of assembly, you can quickly get the ideal bike. Hopefully, the five models described above make it easier to choose a mountain bike.