The 8 Best Mountain Bikes to Buy in 2018

Hit the trails with the right model for you

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Over the years, mountain biking has become a four-season activity thanks to the innovation and technology of their creators. Of course, different bikes are made for different terrain, regardless of whether you’re riding under the blaze of the summer sun or on a ground of snow-covered ice.

Once you figure out how you want to use the bike and where you will be riding most, the next considerations usually come in these areas: suspension, wheel size, frame materials, brakes, and gearing. And of course, the cost is always a factor.

It may seem like a lot to consider, especially if you’re new to the sport, but don’t let that scare you away. Biking is a great way to get outside, fit in your cardio and free the mind all in one ride. So a little research certainly goes a long way. And, we’ve done a lot of it for you! here are the best mountain bikes for you. 

Our Top Picks

1

Best for Beginner: L.L. Bean BeanSport Trail Mountain Bike, 27.5

beansport-mountain-bike
Courtesy of L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean has teamed up with Schwinn to bring this mountain bike, just right for a beginner. If you’re getting started, this bike is a great way to break in. Using your height as a guide, the bike comes in four different aluminum frame sizes. Equipped with mechanical disc brakes, a new rider will feel secure in stopping as this type of brake is quicker to react than the standard caliper-style brakes. The drivetrain is like those found on more expensive bikes and features 24 different speeds certain to be suitable for just about any terrain. The gears change quickly and smoothly according to users.

Some assembly is required when this bike is shipped to you. This bike weighs about 35 pounds when assembled. 

2

Runner-Up, Best for Beginners: Gravity FSX 2.0 Mountain Bike

If you’re just starting to dip your toes in the mountain biking pond, you probably don’t want to shell out a ton of cash for a bike before you know if you’re going to stick with the sport. This full-suspension mountain bike from Gravity gets high marks all around as a solid performer that’s a good value for beginners and beyond.

It has 24 speeds and features an aluminum frame. Known for being strong and durable, it also has quick-release wheels, and its Tektro Novela disc brakes are lauded by some reviewers as among the best and safest on the market. You can purchase this bike in 15-, 17-, and 19-inch models to get the right fit, and there are three color options for the wheels as well (black, red, or green).

Customers say it’s sturdy, easy to handle and simple to set up. It’s not as light as some bikes, but riders say it moves easily and it provides a comfortable ride. For a basic bike that rides and shifts well (and at an affordable price), most customers say you can’t go wrong with this one.

3

Best Under $1,000: Savadeck Ultralight

With its carbon fiber frame, fork, and seat post, the Savadeck rides like a dream and comes in under $1000. The lightweight bike (about 21 pounds) is desirable for everyday use or an entry-level racer. Other features include hydraulic brakes and internal cable routing. The design of a short rear triangle makes the frame stiffer and easy to control which can also enhance the instant explosive force while riding. This 18-speed comes in four different colors to choose from.

You can purchase this model not assembled or pay an extra $79 to have someone put it together for you. Reviewers praise this as an excellent carbon frame bike at under $1000. 

4

Best Under $500: Titan Fusion PRO

titan-fusion-bike
Courtesy of Walmart

For those not looking to spend a whole lot of money but want something durable and lightweight, the 21-speed dual suspension Titan Fusion-Pro is a smart option. The bike has a hybrid frame which includes both Alloy and Steel components. The frame size is 19” so be sure to use a height-guide to see if this will work for your needs. The bike also comes equipped with 26” Double Wall Alloy Wheels. Some users recommend getting a different seat for longer rides because the included one might be a little uncomfortable. 

5

Best Lightweight: BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

With great suspension and smooth, instantaneous gear-changing, the Beiou is enjoyed by mountain bike enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Three different frame sizes allow for a bike that is best suited for your body type. The 30-speed Beiou is incredibly responsive with reliable brakes and a spot-on derailer. The front suspension even comes with lock-out. While the seat is aesthetically pleasing, many users prefer a seat cover for comfort. This model comes in five colors.

Reviewers comment that this bike has a lot of the same great features as a more expensive model will have and note the gears and suspension are top notch. 

6

Best Fat Tire Bike: Diamondback El Oso De Acero

There are some who say the fat tire bikes are for beginners, but really, they’re enjoyed by everyone (especially if you’re looking to take on snow, sand, or any rough terrain that requires some strong traction). Though the tires are big, the ride is as smooth as can be. Equipped with front and rear thru axles, heat-treated steel frame and fork (which riders claim is: stiff, durable and lightweight), this Diamondback is ready for adventure.

Reviewers comment this bike has great traction but the brakes might take a little to break in so use this on some short trips before any extreme biking. 

7

Runner-Up, Best Fat Tire: Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Bike 

For a fat tire mountain bike, hundreds of customers say this one from Mongoose is a great choice. Made with a steel frame, the supersized tires measure 26 inches in diameter and 4 inches wide. It’s made to take on snow, sand, rocks or whatever elements you encounter while you enjoy a fun, cushy ride.

It features seven speeds, a three-piece crank, and front and rear disc brakes, all on a beach cruiser frame. This bike best fits adults who are between 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet tall. It can hold a substantial amount of weight, with customers close to 300 pounds reporting a smooth, comfortable ride.

It’s definitely on the heavier side (nearly 50 pounds) when it comes to mountain bikes, and some report the need for a bit of adjustment and fine-tuning, but overall, customers say it rides well and is sturdy and well-made. At well under $300, the price is right too. It does require assembly, which many customers report to be fairly simple, but you can request expert assembly for an additional fee if you prefer.

8

Best Carbon Fiber: BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B, 27.5

For a Carbon Fiber bike, this comes in at an affordable price and provides a stellar ride. If you’re new to mountain biking, carbon fiber tends to be lightweight compared to others (so when you win that triathlon, you can easily hoist this above your head in celebration!). Not only is the acceleration top notch, but users also love how well the hydraulic brakes engage, making you feel completely in control from the first pedal to the last. While the bike won’t take on hardcore trails, it’s built to tolerate medium terrain. The bike comes in a variety of different frame sizes and colors.

Reviewers note the bike is easy to put together and they include an Allen wrench to assemble. One reviewer commented that this bike outperformed his road bike. 

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