7 Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 | Top Picks & Reviews 2018

Mountain biking season is now definitely in full swing and I guess it’s here to stay. If you’ve been caught with the bug, then I’m sure you are now so tempted to cough up the dough and buy one fancy ride.

But let me share a piece of advice. Since you are just new to the sport, I don’t think a high-end model may be worth the cost, especially if you will only be out every so often. If you think spending beyond $1000 is the sole way to get your hands on a good-quality mountain bike, then you might want to think again. As a beginner, all you will ever need is a solid model with excellent adaptability to transition, with quality tires and a $500 budget. Sounds absolutely cool, isn't it?

However, I have to warn you, looking for a reasonable yet sturdy mountain bike under $500 can really be a challenging task, I’m sure you will have to spend countless hours finding the gem. So to make things easier for you, I’ve rounded up seven of the best ones in the market. If you want to know what brands made it to the list, then please continue on reading below.

How To Choose A Good Mountain Bike With $500 Budget?

There are a lot of factors that you have to consider if you want to purchase the best mountain bike. The first thing will be the budget! But since will already have sorted out the price, then keep these following factors in sight before picking your ride.

  1. Suspensions.There are actually three different types of suspensions used in mountain bikes:
      • Rigid. This does not have any suspensions at all
      • Hardtail Bike. It has fork suspensions on its front
      • Full Suspension. It has both rear and front suspensions

    You should purchase a mountain bike with sufficient suspension ability according to the type of adventures you have in mind.
  2. Wheel Size.
    There are about five various wheel sizes you can choose in the market for a mountain bike and you should choose one according to the terrains you’d like to explore, be it the hills or the mountains.

    The bigger the bike’s wheels are, the much easier it will be to overcome tough obstacles and blockades.
  3. Frame.
    Luckily, most of the mountain bikes nowadays feature aluminum frame. What's great about aluminum is that it is durable and even lighter. Though there are still other choices of frame material you can find in the market like carbon fiber, steel, and titanium, aluminum frame is still the best and even the most ideal since it has been heat-tested.
  4. Gears.
    Even if mountain bikes do not need regular changing of gears, it will still be helpful to have a 7-speed gear system. Actually, this will likely depend on your body's strength. If you are someone that is well-built and is also a seasoned biker, then even lower gears would help you going up and down. However, if you’re a rookie, it would be best to opt for bikes with higher gears to help you get to your destination.
  5. Brakes. 
    This is an important part for every low-cost mountain bike, especially that there will be countless of times the brake will be applied during mountain biking.

    There are actually two different types of brakes, rim brakes, and disc brakes. Rim brakes are conventional brakes connected to the rims that provide solid bike grips but not entirely in every weather conditions. Disc brakes, on the other hand, are the more powerful brakes that can withstand all types of conditions and is also much easier to replace.

My Top Choices of Mountain Bikes That Will Suit Your Budget

Image

Bike

Rating

Suspension

Brake

Wheels

Frame

Size

Raleigh
Bikes Tekoa
Bike

100 mm (front)

Disk Brakes

29-Inch

Aluminum

S,M,L,XL

Merax Falcon Full Suspension Bike

Full Suspension

Disk Brakes

26-inch

Aluminum

L

Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Bike

80mm(front)

Mechanical Disc Brakes

29-Inch

Aluminum
Carbon Fiber

S/M

Mongoose Men’s Switchback Comp Bike

63mm(front)

Mechanical Disc Brakes



27.5 Inch

Aluminum

XS,S,
M,L,XL

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Bike

80mm(Front)

Disc Brakes


27.5 Inch

Aluminum

M

Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Bike

Full Suspension

Tektro Novela Disc Brakes

26-Inch

Aluminum

XS,S,
M,L,XL

Raleigh Bikes Women’s Eva 3 Bike

75mm Suspension Fork

Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes

27.5 Inch

Aluminum

XS,S,
M,L,XL

1. Raleigh Bikes Tekoa Bike

Overall

Design

Features

Quality

Price

For a comfortable ride that will take you far with so much ease, you should keep an eye on this Raleigh Mountain Bike. This can be the best companion you’ve been longing for, for your fitness goals!

What I Like About This Bike!

This bike features upright geometry that brings so much comfort and will even bring relief to your neck and back so you can now say goodbye to strain after long rides. Also, I like how this bike allows you to have a good view of the road or what’s ahead. I must say this is a well-designed bike since it makes sure that you ride efficient and quick.

Let’s take a closer look to its notable features!

Strong and Durable Hydraulic Disc Brakes

First, let's talk about its frame. I was very impressed with the geometry of the Overdrive. It has a lower riding position compared to most bikes in this category, so you will be nicely stretched out and even well centered over the wheels, this allows you for a quick cornering as well as amazingly nimble handling. However, even though its frame is made from aluminum, you will get a bit hefty bike when you total all the budgeted parts. The bike weighs around 32 pounds.

Well, there's no doubt to that, especially that the disc brakes work excellently in any biking activities compared to traditional rim brakes. This will give you an abundance of confidence to safely navigate all over your neighborhood. This is a good feature that will really make a big impact on your future rides.

In addition to that, even if the disc brakes will eventually get dirty, there's no need to fret as you can effortlessly clean them. All you will ever need are mild detergent, soft brush, and hot water and you're good to go. Whatever the weather condition is, you can easily maintain the brakes.

Superb Fork and All Terrain Wheels

For the bike’s fork, it features 100 mm travel which can smooth out, even flatten the bumps as you are enjoying the ride. It features a more innovative damper that comes in a broader range of adjustment as well as more scope for you to tune in. I must say 100 mm travel is already stiff enough so there’s no doubt that it can increase your ride’s quality.

When it comes to its wheels, it has been designed with 29-inch so you will just be floating over bumps and rocks with efficiency and so much ease. The bike's wheels speed, fender mounts, and gears will keep the ride quick as well as efficient.

I love the design of the wheels since it is strong so it is capable to withstand any abuse you will encounter on the trail. The wheels' size and design will definitely keep you rolling.

Double Wall Rims

It is very impressive how this bike has been mounted well with the double wall rims which are made from a state-of-the-art aluminum frame. Its wall rims are both light and strong enough to hold the rider's weight into a proper position. And I'm sure every rider will be amazed to know that the rims are capable of reducing the biker's rotational weight during the ride, so this means you will be able to go much faster with lesser effort. And for downhill racing, this bike's rims are wide and strong enough to avoid folding.

Overall, I can really say that Tekoa Mountain Bike’s rims are of good quality, making it one of the best if you are just new to biking activities.

Adjustable Suspension

With this bike’s adjustable suspension, the wheels will be able to be rolling up and down at the same time absorbing the small bumps. This means that the tires will be in close contact with the track and will provide you with better control and handling.

With this bike’s adjustable suspension, the wheels will be able to be rolling up and down at the same time absorbing the small bumps. This means that the tires will be in close contact with the track and will provide you with better control and handling.

Overall, this is an excellent mountain bike that can help you keep moving around your neighborhood. For its affordable price, it can give you more control whatever the kind of obstacles you will meet in the terrain. Whether you love the thrilling trails on the mountain or keep moving from one city to another, this bike will make your ride a fun and more enjoyable one

Pros

  • The bike is highly durable
  • It makes it easy to ride in whatever terrain
  • It is easy to maintain
  • It features 29-inch wheels and adjustable suspension that absorbs shocks well, making the ride enjoyable

Cons

  • The brakes have the tendency of failing to work

2. Merax Falcon Full Suspension Bike

Overall

Design

Features

Quality

Price

Merax is known for being a brand that constantly strives to deliver the finest products to their customers. Their products are put into rigorous testing to make sure that you will get the greatest selections from Merax.

And this full suspension mountain bike from the Falcon series is no exception.

What I Like About This Bike!

This mountain bike features a durable aluminum frame as well as a dual suspension design that will let you increase the control and to smooth out any bumps. Thanks to Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters, you will get reliable and smooth shifting. This bike also features linear pull brakes which comes with amazing stopping power.

Well, let’s take a closer look to its other notable features!

Beautiful Design

This bike features a beautiful and sleek frame that makes it appear to be a high-end mountain bike without robbing a bank. It comes with a 26-inch magnesium alloy wheels that help improve your ride quality, specifically over those demanding terrain and bumpy roads; it also makes the bike more lightweight compared to its competitors.

But what's more impressive is its heat-treated aluminum frame that is pretty resilient.

Travel Suspension Fork

The travel suspension fork of this mountain bike enables sturdy expansion that allows it to be used even on the most demanding and toughest terrain. In addition to that, the advanced aluminum mechanical lockout suspension fork of this bike adds an extra layer of your protection and allows you to have a much smoother ride with a lot of control.

Braking System

This mountain bike is equipped with linear press braking system and this is the most-widely used braking-system for bikes all over the world. What made this brake popular is that it is pretty powerful due to its leverage.

Also, it’s worth to mention that the brake pads of this bike are inexpensive and easy to replace.

To sum it up, this mountain bike is among the best ones you will find in the market. It comes with durable, sturdy and lightweight frame and is also ideal for the taller riders. It has been fitted with Shimano 21-speed shifters and derailleurs which we are guaranteed to be of high quality.

Pros

  • This is a lightweight bike and is a good choice if you want to use this bike on the road
  • It's made from a strong aluminum, making the bike durable and longer-lasting
  • Shimano brakes, as well as 21-speed derailleurs and shifters features of the bike, are one of the best you will find in the market
  • The bike is very easy to maintain

Cons

  • You should know that the chain hasn’t been lubed right out of the box, which is a little tedious.
  • It is not suitable for longer rides

3. Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Bike

Overall

Design

Features

Quality

Price

What I Like About This Bike!

The first thing you will notice about this 29er mountain bike is absolutely its handcrafted aluminum frame that makes this bike lightweight, robust and absolutely durable. Since it is lightweight, you will never find yourself struggling whenever you are traveling over bumpy terrain or steep hills.

In addition to that, the frame's geometry of this bike has been designed to conquer hilly terrain, this means that it will be possible to ride over different landscapes with ease.

Suspension Fork, Drive Train, and Brakes

Since this bike uses suspension forking of 80mm travel, we are guaranteed that it can efficiently absorb the shock over bumpy roads. You will be able to feel comfortable all through your ride.

Another amazing feature of this bike is the drive train and brakes that are of high quality. This mountain bike features 21-speed drive train that includes Shimano EZ Fire shifters and these shifters just work magnificently! This means that you will be able to change gears quickly and accurately during your ride. This will give you the freedom to be traveling at whatever speed you like.

Rims, Wheels, and Handlebars

This bike features a strong double wall alloy rims that will give you a smooth and stable ride. Add to that the large 29-inch wheels, you will absolutely have a bike that is capable of handling every terrain with comfort.

Last but not the least, this bike takes advantage of low profile handlebar design that makes it easy to handle and maneuver the bike. This makes sure that you will be able to keep full control of the bike even over a rough terrain.

Pros

  • It comes with good frame geometry
  • It is easy to handle, especially that it can shift smoothly
  • It has strong wheels

Cons

  • There are customers complaining about loose bolts and screws
  • The brakes might need some replacement

4. Mongoose Men’s Switchback Comp Bike

 

Overall

Design

Features

Quality

Price

The Switchback series by Mongoose offers three bikes to attract new riders and this Comp Mountain Bike sits smack in the middle of the line-up.

What I Like About This Bike!

This mountain bike is a sturdy entry level that has been perfectly designed for a cross-country ride. We know that when it comes with cross-country ride, you have to be technical with your ride especially that you will be climbing or descending on the terrain under rigorous condition.

This where this Mongoose Men’s Switchback comes to work.

Aluminum Mountain Frame

This mountain bike is made up of Mongoose own crafted aluminum frame to make sure that the bike will be lightweight and sturdy and make it possible to ride perfectly over a rigorous condition you will find off road.

The frame also makes the bike more responsive and efficient, allowing you get a good control of the bike whenever you pedal on the terrain.

Front Suspension Fork

Whether you are ascending or descending, this bike’s front suspension fork will keep the comfortability from a side and just absorb the bumps. The suspension fork will also make the bike more controllable, giving you more confidence to go through whatever condition.

Pros

  • It has a durable aluminum frame
  • Its suspension fork can withstand and absorb terrain’s roughness
  • Its seat is well padded

Cons

  • Though its V-brakes are powerful, it doesn’t work great whenever the rims get wet.

5. Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Bike

 

Overall

Design

Features

Quality

Price

Overdrive Hardtail by Diamondback is definitely one of the best budget mountain bikes you will find in the market. Diamondback in the first place is a popular brand among bike enthusiast and it’s very easy to see why.

What I Like About This Bike!

This mountain bike is absolutely a beautiful representation of all the classic hardtail mountain bike. Diamondback has spent years just to develop and refine this bike and make sure it performs as beautiful as how it looks. As a matter of fact, this bike tends to outperform some higher priced products.

High-Quality Durability

Thanks to the bike's quality of construction, it provides a lot of strengths. It has a frame constructed from a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy that can hold even the most adverse condition. It has the classic ability to provide composition, strength so we can be sure it will withstand every bumps and twist and turns.

Rugged Wheels

This bike comes in large wheels that will let you traverse through multiple objects, there will nearly be no obstacle that will stand your way. Thanks to its 27.5 inch Kenda Honey Badger tires, you can roll over to almost any surface, making your ride comfortable and smooth

Amazing Gears

I must say there's magic to its gears. It uses a Shimano 9-speed drivetrain that gives up to 27 gears. This means you will get to experience an instant transfer of power for unbelievable speed. You will be able to get where you want to go as fast as you want it to be.

Overall, this is a good bike that will help you traverse through some of the roughest terrains without any difficulty.

Pros

  • It can smoothly shift
  • It is lightweight
  • It comes with a sleek appearance

Cons

  • The seat can be uncomfortable
  • There is no lockout available

6. Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Bike

 

Overall

Design

Features

Quality

Price

This is a good entry level mountain bike for the rookies and is recommended by most mountain bike riders since it is lightweight and of course, affordable.

What I Like About This Bike!

It is Reliable

Even with its affordable price, you can definitely rely on this bike. First of all, it has an amazing stopping power, tiers with good grips and consistent gears.

This bike features Custom Formed TIG welded 6061 aluminum front Triangle with Hydro Formed tubes, so we can be sure that it will be easy to control.

Perfect Control

This bike features a Suntour suspension fork with 750 psi rear shock and you will really see that it is pretty well built. It can help you while you are descending or ascending in an offtrack ride. The gears quickly shift too and even quite smoothly.

The bike’s lever, on the other hand, has been built to make every ride enjoyable; you can just choose the ideal gear for you.

Very Comfortable

But what impressed me is how comfortable the saddle of this bike is, unlike most cheap bikes. We all know that the comfort of the ride should come first or else we will find ourselves suffering from a stressed elbow, knee pain and so much more.

Pros

  • It is lightweight compared to most cheap departmental bike, allowing you to move fast
  • It comes in industry standard size you can easily upgrade or replace it whenever you want to
  • It can absorb most of the bounces and will give you excellent control

Cons

  • It requires a professional to assemble the bike, but you should be able to assemble it with a proper guideline.

7. Raleigh Bikes Women’s Eva 3 Bike

 

Overall

Design

Features

Quality

Price

This mountain bike has been specifically designed and manufactured for all the women out there. I know the ladies will start to feel giddy, how much more if you get to hear the features that make it perfect for you.

What I Like About This Bike!

This lightweight bike is made from aluminum frame, which is great as it means that you can have enjoyable rides for a longer period of time and be able to cover the longer trail. Moreover, you can adjust the handlebar and the seat according to how high or low you want it to be during assembly, so we can be sure that it will be comfortable for both your back and neck.

Anyway, let’s see some of the best stuff about this bike.

Reliable Tires

This mountain bike features the Kenda slant six tires which have been proven to be one of the best tires not only for the beginner but as well as intermediate and difficult terrain. The tires have been intended for speed and comes with amazing grip, in both the non-treacherous and treacherous turns.

The tire also features cornering knobs which can be found down the casing, making your turns more accurate and even more limited.

Saddle and Suspension

The cushy and wide plush saddle of this bike makes sure there will be maximum comfort whatever terrain you want to conquer. While the suspension forks of this bike are steady and even have this nice feel that softens your overall riding experience.

I can't express enough how efficient this mountain bike is. It's definitely in the details! It is on top of the best products out there for ladies who are now ready to face the trails.

Pros

  • It has a dual-suspension design that smoothes bumps during your ride and maximizes control
  • It has been fitted with Shimano 21-shifters and derailleurs for reliable gear shifting

Cons

  • The seat is a little uncomfortable since it is very thin

Final Thought

Looking for the best mountain bike can definitely be a little tricky! Of course, we want to bring it up to the mountains and it should definitely perform. After all, we all just want a good bike that will actually last.

Anyway, among the mountain bikes I’ve mentioned above, the Raleigh Bikes Tekoa Bike is the one that tops my list. I like how this bike can provide you with so much comfort, especially during long drives and it’s amazing how its adjustable suspension can give you better control and handling. For the ladies out there, the Raleigh Bikes Women’s Eva 3 Mountain Bike is absolutely the one made for you.

Well, I hope this article will be able to help you find the bike that will suit your needs. So go ahead, pick out your dream model and get yourself ready for the ride of your life.