Best Budget Mountain Bikes [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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We all want a bike that can tackle the exciting but unpredictable nature of the trials but do I really have to be spending thousands in order to get a quality mountain bike?
Of course, you don’t.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Coming across a great quality bike under a budget can be a bit of a challenge, as many cheap manufacturers cut too many corners to get the most out of you but only deliver passable quality.
But no need to worry I’m here to help get past this and get into the best budget mountain bicycle that won’t break your bank, getting you on the trails in no time.
Whether you’re looking to be getting back into cycling, or just don’t want to spend a fortune on a new mountain bike I’ve got you covered.
I’ve looked into 27 different budget mountain bikes ready for shredding the trail, looking at control, grip, and most importantly comfort. I will help you find your comfiest and best fit within your budget.
That’s enough for now, let’s dive into my top choices.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Best Budget Mountain Bike
GT Aggressor Expert 29 Hardtail Bike (2021)
What better way to start my list than with one of the very best at one of the lowest prices. The GT is ready for treacherous trail descents and long, unrivaled fun rides in the mountains.
This is a definite go-getter for the price point. Its tough and light aluminum frame is combined with reliable MicroShift gears and Tektro disc brakes will get you up the hills in no time.
This bike also has a lockout feature for more efficient climbing, providing a versatile performance output that’s suited to riding anywhere on the mountainside.
This is an all-around brilliant mountain bike for the price point- go check it out.
- Smooth riding
- Fast-rolling performance
- Strong frame
- None so far
Latest deal: GT Aggressor Expert 29 Hardtail Bike
Marlin 4 is the perfect gateway to trail riding. This is ideal for newer riders or riders looking about getting back into cycling this is a great starting point.
If you want an introductory mountain bike at an incredible price, this is the one for you.
With disc brakes, front suspension, 21 speeds, and mounts for a rack and fenders making this a great bike for tackling a new trail or taking the edge off bumps and rough terrain.
This bike provides a comfortable and confident riding experience- making the best budget mountain bikes with hydraulic brakes.
The lightweight aluminum frame with internal shift cable and brake hose routing protects your cables and adds to the bike’s sleek look. Also with 21 speeds and a wide range of gearing so you always have the right gear for your terrain, so you’re ready to tackle anything.
This makes this bike super high quality for such a great price point, making the best budget mountain bikes for beginners. With all the glowing reviews you can’t go wrong.
- Fast gearing
- Internal shift cable
- Protection of the cable
- Uncomfortable seat
Latest deal: Marlin 4
Salsa Rangefinder Deore 27.5 Bike
Are you looking for a confidence-boosting trail hardtail, designed to deliver thrills on the venture into unknown territory without hesitation? Then look no further than Salsa Rangefinder Deore.
Its lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum frame allows you to really push on those treacherous climbs while the suspension fork matched with the dropper post will allow you to have unmatched traction and control.
The drivetrain provides a wide gear range with simplified shifting allowing you to easily get up those tough hills but stay safe on the descent.
The trail geometry of this bike will provide stability for riders of all skill levels.
Go have a look.
- Smooth ride
- Superior design
- Comfortable ride
- Pedal efficiency
- None so far
Latest deal: Salsa Rangefinder Deore 27.5 Bike
Fuel EX 5
Now I know what you’re thinking, there are so many full-suspension mountain bikes out there but you always need to pay a fortune to get one. But not to worry with Fuel Ex 5, it is a brilliant full suspension mountain bike while still remaining under $2500.
With so many glowing 5 star reviews you can’t go wrong.
Fuel EX 5 is one of the best budget full-suspension trail bikes. With trail-taming front and back suspension, a 12 drivetrain, and dropper posts for getting low on descents this is one of the very best.
If you want a versatile trail bike at a great value this is the one for you.
The hydraulic disc brakes make the Fuel EX 5 a high-value, high-performance mountain bike with exceptional versatility. The lightweight aluminum frame with a Straight Shot down tube will give you that extra stiffness in the rough, rocky terrains.
Here’s the kicker:
You’ll get a high-end ride at an exceptional value and this bike will give you confidence and room to grow and upgrade parts. This is an all-around number one for the price point, one of the cheapest and best full suspension mountain bike.
- Comes assembled
- Great control
- Smooth gearing
- Cassette wobble
Latest deal: Fuel EX 5
If you’re looking for a lightweight but strong and durable frame that’ll be your best friend on the trail then the Schwinn is one of my best picks
It comes with a powerful Schwinn suspension fork that’ll absorb the bumpy road’s bumps and vibrations to provide a smooth riding experience.
This bike provides easy and smooth gear shifting as it comes with 24 speed Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifters and front and rear Shimano derailleurs giving you great control over the hills.
The front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide crisp all-condition stopping out on the trail. Whether you run into a bump in your path or a wild animal passing through, these brakes will get you stopping on the dot.
The durable Schwinn alloy cranks provide steady gearing and less pain in the ass maintenance.
This is a go-to if you’re looking for a quality mountain bike for the pricepoint.
- Comes assembled
- Great control
- Smooth gearing
- Cassette wobble
Latest deal: Schwinn-Bonafide-Wheel-Mountain-Frame
Cube Aim Race 29 Hardtail Bike (2021)
Ready to turn up the heat and tackle rock gardens, tree roots, and debris on the trials with this beauty? I definitely am. Cube is a hardtail mountain bike with SR Suntour forks, which provide fantastic shock absorption perfect for the hills.
This beast is ready for adventure, the hardtail is kitted out with a Shimano drivetrain to provide quick acceleration with smooth shifting performance while weaving in and out of the mountain trails.
That’s not all though the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes will ensure you have complete control when darting around corners and tackling tricky descents.
This mountain bike is built for speed and smooth-rolling riding, complete with Schwalbe Smart Sam tires, so you can enjoy superior grip, speed, and consistency on your off-road adventures.
This bike is a giver, go check it out.
- SR Suntour folks
- Shock absorption technology
- Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
None so far
Latest deal: Cube Aim Race 29 Hardtail Bike (2021)
Ribble HT 725 - SX Eagle
Looking for a bike that’ll have all the heads turning? Looking for a bike that is both durable and will provide a plush and predictable ride? The Ribble Ht 725 is top-class.
This bike offers an introduction to the lightweight and durable Eagle 12 speed family. There are easy to use shifts and gear changes along with a double drivetrain so you’ll never run out of gears.
This is a stunning, head-turning bike while still remaining below $2000
These wheels are tubeless-ready allowing the tires to sit lower on the rim allowing better grip, comfort, and rolling resistance, providing impressive traction no matter what condition you’re riding on.
The aggressive geometry will be exactly what you are after for tackling the trails.
- Internal cable routing
- Tough frame
- Comfortable riding
- None so far
Latest deal: Ribble HT 725 – SX Eagle
Outroad Mountain Bike Sand Bike Double Disc
If you’re looking for a fashion supersized all-terrain knobby tires, that are durable, have a strong grip, and non-slip the Outroad mountain bike is one of the best. You’ll be riding comfortably ride in snow, mud, or dirt with this bike.
Given the way it rides you wouldn’t believe that this bike weighs less than 450lbs!
Designed with a high carbon steel frame, thickened with a front fork gives this bike amazing shock absorption, making it suitable for a variety of trails or terrains while giving both quality and performance.
You’ll be riding in no time with all the tools being in the package that you’ll need for building and maintaining your bicycle.
But what does this mean for you?
You can be showing off your best skills down the trails with these grippy tires, speed around those corners, and whiz down those rocky hills knowing you’ll be covered with this bike.
- Confident riding
- Carbon steel frame
- Grippy tires
- Assembly issues
Latest deal: Outroad Mountain Bike
Nukeproof Scout 275 Race Bike 2021
Looking for an agile, versatile, and fun bike that’ll get you up and down the mountains in a speedy shift? The Nukeproof Scout 275 Race Bike will give you that exceptional stability, pace, and comfort whatever trail calls your name.
The Scout is built for all-mountain explorations and fast descent.
It features a custom triple-butted alloy frame, RockShox suspension, built with Shimano Deore 10-Speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes so you’ll be stopping in a heartbeat, even on those gritty trails.
Versatility is the name of the game for this bike.
The low bottom bracket, slack head angle, and stiff frame means that the Scout is ready to take on anything you come across on your ride. Whether you want to explore the neverending single trail or the hilliest of terrains.
You’re in the right hands here.
While remaining robust and versatile, this bike provides the ultimate comfort for the longest of rides, but confidence-boosting enough to tackle the steepest and roughest trails, no questions asked. This is an all-around quality bike for under $1500.
- Confident style
- Stable ride
- Great efficiency
- High quality
- None so far
Latest deal: Nukeproof Scout 275 Race Bike 2021
Schwinn Mesa Adult Mountain Bike
This bike is ideal for smaller riders who want to take their biking to the next level. Schwinn Mesa is built with a mountain-tuned aluminum frame and aluminum suspension forks that are ready to tackle dirt trails and gravel paths.
This is a definite go-getter for the hills.
With a 21-speed drivetrain and Shimano EZ-FIRE shifters, you’ll be shifting through the gears in a fast sweep. Along with aluminum mechanical disc brakes that deliver crisp stopping power in every c0ndition.
But that’s not all,
The MTB 27. 5” wheels and tires will provide the traction and stability needed on the rockiest of trails. This is an awesome ride with nice hand grips, so you can tackle your favorite mountain trails and paths.
This is the best bike for you if you fit in the height range of 5’2 to 5’6 and struggling to find a quality bike range under a budget.
- Mechanical disc brakes
- Lightweight aluminum frame and suspension forks
- Suitable for 5’2 to 5’6
- Had issues with assembly
Latest deal: Schwinn Mesa Adult Mountain Bike
Vitus Sentier 29 VRS Mountain Bike 2021
This hardcore trek bike is ready for anything that the fun-packed day down the trials will bring you. Vitus Sentier 29 gives you that perfect balance between speed, skill, and extreme control no anywhere on the mountainside.
Built with a strong and lightweight aluminum frame that technically engineered with modern geometry. With Fox 34 float suspensions, a 12-speed drivetrain, and hydraulic disc brakes mean you’ll have total control even on the rockiest of hills.
But wait, here’s the best bit
The 2021 Vitus Sentier is ready to tackle the most fierce hardtails that we all know and love. This bike will give you the feel of total control while rewarding confidence knowing that this bike will attack anything the trail hits you with.
It is also fully capable to climb the mountain ahead and come alive when faced with a downward trail. The agile and playful character of this bike will keep you flowing and owning the trail.
Overall this bike has a brilliant spec so you’ll be ready to tackle the fun-packed trails in no time, the glowing reviews will definitely speak for themselves- go check it out!
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- 12-speed drivetrain
- Confidence boosting
- Smooth riding
- Very popular so stock goes quick
Latest deal: Ghost Kato 1.6 Hardtail Bike (2020)
Best Budget Mountain Bikes Buyers Guide
If you want to buy a top available product on the market, you will have to look for different factors. One should be the features, cost, reviews, and ratings.
For example, if you want to buy the best budget mountain bike, then the first factor that will matter is the cost as you first have to select the products that will lie in your price range.
After that, you’ll see other factors to get the top product out of these products. Many other things will help you to buy a good mountain bike, such as material, forks, suspension systems, and other features.
Here are some factors one should think of to buy a top budget mountain bike:
Cost – The cost is the main factor if one wants to buy a budget mountain bike to go for those products while lying in the range. After selecting the products lying in the price range, one can select the best one.
Ratings and Reviews – These are important factors as it defines what type of product is. If the rating and reviews are good, that shows that the product is good. So, ratings and reviews provide a great way to judge the quality of the product.
Hardtail vs full-suspension mountain bike?
Hardtail is a mountain bike with the suspension at the front but has a rigid, unsuspended mainframe and rear-wheel. They generally are lighter don’t wear out as fast as the full-suspension bikes and are often much cheaper as there aren’t as many parts.
Full suspension mountain bikes such as featuring both a suspension fork up front and a rear shock, whereas a hardtail bike has only a suspension fork. They often include better handling as a result of their rear suspension and absorb more shock on the trails.
Which one would I recommend for beginners? full-suspension bikes are probably the best choice for beginners, their capability and versatility makes them extremely popular among a range of riders. However if you’re looking for a cheaper option it is best to go for hardtail
The following are some recurring features of the products mentioned above in the article:
Material: While buying a budget mountain bike, one wouldn’t think of going for the best as it would cost much more and will be out of budget. If you want to buy a budget mountain bike, then the bike’s material would be of less quality. There can be different types of materials, such as carbon steel, aluminium, and others.
Carbon steel is the material of high-priced bikes. You can get the aluminium frame as the best one in the budget mountain bikes. Most of the products mentioned above have an aluminium frame, which makes them a considerable choice for you.
Tires and Brakes: The tires and brakes of the mountain bikes should be such that they can provide a smooth riding experience. They provide good control and powerful stopping in all weather conditions. Most of the mountain bikes mentioned above in the article will lie in your budget and provide a smooth riding experience. They provide good control and good stopping power.
Frequently asked Questions
The following are the questions that most people ask about this product:
How much should I spend on my first mountain bike?
If you want a high-quality, intro-level bike, the price will lie from $2,000 to $2,500. The range of the price depends on the components and features. There would be different prices for different bikes depending on the riding experience they provide.
But don’t panic my list provides you with brilliant bike options below the price of $2000 so you don’t have to spend a fortune to get into cycling or get back into cycling after a break.
You can easily get a bike in your budget with good components and features. But while buying a budget mountain bike, you should do some research to get the best product in the price range.
Is it cheaper to build a bike from parts?
It will be more costly for you to build a bike yourself. If you made a comparison, you would get to know that most of the pre-assembled bikes are cheaper than the DIY build bikes. When you build a bike yourself, you have to buy the groupset or components separately while being 30-40% more expensive than the same groupset installed in an assembled bike.
Does wheel size matter when it comes to mountain biking?
In some ways yes, the bigger the mountain bike wheel, the better it is at tackling the uphill and remaining in a straight line over the rough terrain. The smaller wheels are often more nimble and have more suspension.
Wheel size can impact everything from the quality of your ride to how your bike is handled etc. The most popular mountain wheel size is between 26 and 29 inches as they provide the best stability and agility.
On the other hand, if the tire is a bit larger, some riders find it more difficult to maneuver in higher areas or when making tight turns. Overall the best wheel for mountain bikes would probably be 27.5 inches.
There are many choices available for mountain bikes in the market, but every product differs in different features and components. If you want to buy the best budget mountain bike, you would first have to separate the products based on cost and choose the best one out of the selected one. Many other factors differentiate a good bike from a bad one.
The features or factors for mountain bikes include material, suspension system, fork, brakes, etc. If you’re buying a budget mountain bike, then aluminium will be the best material for the frame of your bike. It is not expensive and makes the bike lightweight, strong and reliable.
The suspension system and forks are responsible for the smooth shifting of gears and smooth riding experience. If the forks are of good quality, it makes the ride smooth by absorbing the road’s bumps and vibrations. The brakes and tires of the bike are responsible for providing powerful stopping and control for making the ride safer.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.