The 7 Best Mountain Bikes Under $500

Cycle like a pro on rugged terrain

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Our Top Picks
The gear shifting provides a flawless experience.
Has high-end drivetrain and top-grade Unenjoy components.
The perfect fit for mountain biking on flatter terrain.
Full-suspension traction and stability for fearless mountain biking.
A top choice for anyone looking to broaden their biking horizons.
The aluminum aqua frame is powerful yet lightweight.
For men who need larger bike dimensions without a hefty price tag.

Mountain biking is a vigorous, fun, and adventurous way to exercise outdoors. However, investing in a mountain bike is not always the cheapest endeavor. While you may feel the need to drop some major dollars on a proper bike that will perform well and keep you safe on any type of terrain, it's not necessary to do so. There are plenty of durable and reliable mountain bikes on the market that won't break your bank.

Here are the best mountain bikes under $500, based on your needs.

Best Overall: Merax Finiss 26" Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes

Merax Finiss 21 Speed Mountain Bike

The Merax Finiss 21 Speed Mountain Bike shifts and brakes with the best of them whether you’re navigating an obstacle-filled trail or speeding down a single-track path. This hardtail bike has an 80-millimeter suspension fork for quick, sharp handling on a lower center of gravity. You’ll get the gold standard 21-speed Shimano derailleurs usually found on pricey rides, and the aluminum frame is lightweight without feeling flimsy.

Overall, this bike is a great alternative to pricier options, with gear shifting that provides a flawless experience.

Best Budget: Murtisol Mountain Bike 27.5 inches Hybrid Bicycle

Mountain bikers on an even more restricted budget can still find the suspension, durability, and comfort of pricier bikes with the Murtisol Mountain Bike. You’ll get smooth mechanical disc brakes, a tough front fork for absorbing shock, a Shimano derailleur for simple, fast shifting, and an adjustable seat for riders of all sizes. It comes in four sharp color combos for showing off your personality on the trail, and the high-end drivetrain and top-grade Unenjoy components take it from a good option to a great one.

With great quality for the price, the bike also has good alignment and lever shifters.

Best Hardtail: Schwinn Bonafide Men's Mountain Bike

If you prefer biking on smoother trails or enjoy taking on large hills to push your cardiovascular endurance, you’ll want to invest in a hardtail mountain bike. These single suspension bikes don’t have the shock absorption of full-suspension bikes, but they’re the perfect fit for mountain biking on flatter terrain or shifting up steep slopes. Schwinn’s Bonafide Mountain Bike is a durable ride that helps you tackle single-track trails with ease.

This ride has full-sized 29” tires and 24-speed Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifters for a gear range that’s ready for varying terrain. Wide knobby mountain tires give you traction when you need it most, and front and rear mechanical disc brakes guarantee impeccable stopping power when you’re out on a ride.

Schwinn customers were impressed with this bike’s brisk pace, sharing they reached speeds up to 28 mph.

Best Full Suspension: Mongoose Impasse Men's Mountain Bike

Full suspension mountain bikes are must-haves for tackling tough trails, jumps, and obstacles that a hardtail can’t handle. They tend to be pricier than single suspension bikes, but Mongoose’s Impasse has full-suspension traction and stability for fearless, affordable mountain biking.

This lightweight aluminum pick has an Element Suspension fork for smooth rides over bumpy trails and increased control when you’re navigating a complex route. It’s got the gearing and SRAM twist shifters of significantly more expensive full-suspension bikes, and with full 29” wheels you’ll be ready for any outdoor adventure without breaking the bank.

Other great features include the bike’s ZOOM disc brakes, comfortable seat, and full-size wheels.

Best Fat Tire: Mongoose Malus Fat Tire Bike with 26-Inch Wheels

Mongoose Malus Fat Tire Mountain Bike

Fat tire bikes might look a little silly at first glance, but they’re a serious pick for riders who love conquering unpredictable ground. The supersized beach tires can take on sand, mud, dirt, and snow, and fat-tire bikes have some of the best shock absorption around. Mongoose’s Malus Fat Tire Bicycle is a top choice for anyone looking to broaden their biking horizons.

The Malus has 4” wide tires and front and rear disc brakes for stopping power in the wettest conditions. You’ll clear rocks with ease thanks to the bike’s generous cruiser frame and take on hills easily with seven-speed shifting.

Best for Women: Diamondback Bicycles Lux 1 Women’s Mountain Bike

Women who are looking to hit the trail for less should check out Diamondback’s Lux bike. The eye-catching aluminum aqua frame is powerful yet lightweight, with an efficient hardtail design for climbing hills and an 80-millimeter suspension fork for stably traversing rocky paths. It’s created to fit many different body shapes and sizes, and with a 24-speed drivetrain, it’s ready for your next adventure.

Reviewers said that this was one of the best bikes they’d ever owned and that it rode well on both light trails and more intense backwoods trips.

Best for Men: Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

Kent’s Dual Suspension Mountain Bike is perfect for men who need larger bike dimensions without a hefty price tag. This 26-inch, 21-speed bike has a floating beam suspension design for better shock absorption and a funkier look. Dual suspension bikes tend to be pricier than hardtail rides, but this pick provides the full dual suspension experience for a bargain.

Men who love mountain biking liked this bike’s value for the price, simple assembly, and head-turning good looks.

What to Look for in a Mountain Bike

Frame Material

Aluminum frames are generally found on cheaper mountain bikes, rather than ones made of steel, titanium, or carbon-fiber. They're durable, lightweight, and perfect for those looking to find a reliable mountain bike for a great price.

Gears

Mountain bikes come with a variety of gear options. If you're a beginner, it may be beneficial to look for a bike that has multiple gears to help you cover different terrains. Single-speed bikes can be a bit more challenging, but they can help you improve your riding skills.

Suspension

Different suspensions offer different price tags and riding experiences. Mountain bikes with hardtail suspension are great for tackling smooth terrain and large hills and are generally cheaper than bikes with full suspension. However, full-suspension is great for tackling rocky, unpredictable terrain.

Wheel Size

If you're looking to bike through sand, snow, mud, and dirt then try going for a bike with bigger tires. They will allow you to cut through any terrain while providing great shock absorption.

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