Check out the results fast – here are our review winners

Are you looking to get into mountain biking but limited to a budget?

Well, you’re not alone, mountain bikes can be very expensive and in turn, it’s very daunting when you’re just entering the world of cycling.

Luckily for you though, I’ve spent the last 9 hours looking at the best mountain bikes money can buy for under $600 all so you don’t have to traipse through the thousands of bikes available.

It’s important to have an idea of what to look for when it comes to finding the right mountain bike for you. For example, not all bikes are built for the same kind of terrain and if you bought the wrong kind unknowingly it would surely put you off cycling which nobody wants because when done right, cycling is a blast!

Fortunately, I have analyzed the best of the best and put every ounce of vital info into this buyer’s guide so you know what to look for and have numerous suggestions that are all of the highest quality.

Here’s a tip – using gears is so important, since you may be going up and down bumpy paths changing gears before you hit these changes in the trail are going to help you maintain your momentum which is everything when trail biking.

Now, if you’re looking for something that looks as good as it performs then I wholeheartedly encourage you to take a look at my second pick. There’s something special about its aesthetic that I just adore.

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:

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Best Mountain Bike Under $600

1.

Trek marlin 5 Women's

At a staggering price tag of $599, Trek brings you their marlin 5 women’s bike.

A sleek and beautiful-looking mountain bike that knocks it out of the park in terms of sheer looks and elegance. The breath-taking color combinations straight from the factory include orange/lithium grey, dark aquatic/trek black, and trek black/lithium grey.

Now while the budget-friendly option is women’s, the men’s Marlin 5 can also be bought for an extra $100

The lightweight aluminum frame is plenty strong and durable. Not only is it great for quick takeoffs, but it also houses the gear shift and braking cables neatly to keep the bike looking sleek. The frame is also rust-free, so it can be washed without a problem.

Now, you’re probably thinking this can’t get any better, but,

The suspension fork can take a great deal of beating while keeping the riding experience smooth. The saddle is also height adjustable and ergonomic. The 21-speed drivetrain offers a variety of shifting options and the hydraulic disc brakes provide quick and easy stops. Overall, this is a great option for you to pick.

This is the perfect choice for anyone who’s just entering the world of trail bikes and wants to stick to that $600 budget.

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry though because at this price the Marlin 5 won’t be around forever.

Pros

  • Aluminium frame
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Height adjustable saddle and tough suspension fork

Cons

  • Could use a smoother chain

Latest deal: Trek marlin 5 Women’s

2.

Cube AIM SL hardtail

best hardtail mountain bike under 600

Cube carries on the tradition of your everyday mountain bike in a rather unique way by bringing you their AIM SL hardtail bike. The ride has great angular looks and the tires have a golden lining along the sides to make it stand out. The dark and light blue combination with a hint of lime looks elegant and beautiful on the bike.

Coming towards the build quality, you get the best in a class aluminum frame that is lightweight and durable. It is also rust-free which means you can wash it without issue any time you desire.

And adding even more to this already great bike,

The SR Suntour fork can withstand bumps and absorb shocks easily. The Shimano 9-speed drivetrain along with the crankset works smoothly while shifting gears. Shimano disc brakes are also on board for a powerful and smooth braking experience. The saddle is height adjustable and the ride is comfortable overall. You will love how it feels on the track.

Don’t wait around though, get your hands on this bike before it’s too late!

Pros

  • Aluminium frame
  • SR Suntour fork
  • Shimano 9-speed drivetrain
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes

Cons

  • Could use more color options

Latest deal: Cube AIM SL hardtail

3.

GT aggressor comp bike

If simplicity and elegance are what you look for then you have come to the right place.

The GT aggressor is a beautiful and sleek mountain bike that will happily serve all your riding and minimalistic desires.

The all-red and black look makes the bike stand out in a unique way. And the minimal blue branding stays out of the way while looking great. Coming towards the build quality, you have a 6000 series aluminum frame that provides plenty of strength and durability all while keeping the weight low.

Better yet,

This enables quick takeoffs and confident riding. The SR Suntour fork does a great job at shock absorption and the Shimano 21-speed drivetrain provides a variety of gear shifting levels to choose from. Tektro cable-actuated mechanical brakes are on board for a more smooth and powerful braking experience that is reliable and consistent.

The saddle is also height adjustable as always and is comfortable to ride on. Overall, this is a great bike for the price and will give you a riding experience that rivals one of a bike that costs over double the amount.

This is everything you need to enjoy trail biking.

Pros

  • Aluminium frame
  • Shimano fork
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Tektro cable actuated mechanical brakes

Cons

  • Could use better tyres

Latest deal: GT aggressor comp bike

4.

Schwinn high timber

Schwinn is greatly known for its contribution to the world of bikes. And their high timber mountain bike is no exception to the excellence they are bound to deliver.

The bike, as expected, comes in a variety of colors that include blue, black, coral, orange, red, silver, teal, grey, light purple, navy blue, and yellow. So, there is no shortage of customization when it comes to color.

The build quality is also great as you get an aluminum and steel frame which keeps the bike feathery while providing plenty of strength and durability. The Schwinn suspension fork offers great shock absorption and the Shimano 7-speed drivetrain is also on board for a smooth gear shifting experience.

Now, that’s not all,

The alloy linear-pull brakes provide a good deal of braking power when needed. The alloy crank further improves the longevity of the bike. The saddle is also height adjustable and ergonomic. Overall, this is a great bike for the price tag it holds.

This bike is a great choice for beginners and definitely worth considering! 

Pros

  • Aluminium and steel frame
  • Shimano 7-speed drivetrain
  • Schwinn suspension fork for shock absorption
  • Linear pull brakes

Cons

  • Could use disc brakes

Latest deal: Schwinn high timber

5.

Ghost kato 2.9

best 29er mountain bike under 600

If stealth is the name of the game in your neck of the woods, then ghost bring you their stealthy Kato 2.9.

This bike has a mean dark orange color with black branding. The bike looks sleek and screams class while riding along the road. The attention to detail with thin orange branding on the tires compliments the ride even more.

You get an aluminum frame to keep it lightweight while providing plenty of durability and strength when needed. The frame is also rust-free so you can wash it whenever you desire. The Shimano Acera 3×8-speed drivetrain is one of the smoothest you will find, and the suspension fork is great at shock absorption.

Hold on, there’s more,

Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes are also on board for a powerful and quick braking experience. The saddle is also height adjustable and ergonomic. You can ride this bike for a long time before feeling the need to rest.

The Kato will see you through a good amount of time before needing to change. Overall, this is a great bike for the price you pay.

Pros

  • Aluminium frame
  • Shimano acera drivetrain
  • SR Suntour suspension fork
  • Hydraulic disc brakes

Cons

  • Could use a better saddle

Latest deal: Ghost kato 2.9

6.

Marin Wildcat Trail WFG 1 27.5" Bike

Whether you’re shredding the singletrack or looking for a leisurely ride down the trails, you want a bike that is a bundle of fun in one package. The Wildcat Trail WFG by Marin is the ideal entry-level bike for those looking for a bit of joy down the trails. 

This one is for the ladies. 

With a Series 1 6061 women’s specific frame and 27.5 wheelsets and 100mm of travel at the front, this frame is designed for a fair amount of abuse down the trails, whether running over roots or shredding sharp corners– this badass bike has you covered.

This frame additionally features a low standover and 135mm forged dropouts making it easy to get on and off with a breeze. 

When tackling the unpredictable terrain, we all need a bit of confidence both in the bike and in ourselves; luckily, this bike is a real confidence booster for beginners; it is packed with disc brakes that will be sure to get you out of trouble down the trails. 

But that’s not all…

The Wildcat Trail comes with a Shimano Tourney 3×7 speed drivetrain, with a wide range of gears that will be sure to get you out of trouble when tackling all-day riding and steeper hills– you’ll be sure to have equipment for whatever the mountain throw at you. 

Plus, with double-wall alloy rims and MTB tires paired with the mechanical disc brakes, you’ll be sure to have all the traction you need for shredding the trails. 

What’s stopping you?

Pros

  • Aluminum frame
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • double-wall alloy rims
  • 3×7 drivetrain

Cons

  • Could use better tyres

Latest deal: Marin Wildcat Trail WFG 1 27.5″ Bike

7.

Cube access WS (Women’s hardtail bike)

Cube brings you their access WS, a mountain bike made for women.

The bike is in an all-black color scheme that makes it stand out from the rest. It also looks sleek and stealthy. The low-profile design looks understated in a unique and great way. The minimal, almost non-existent branding also stays out of the way while letting the ride shine.

When it comes to the build quality, the bike uses an aluminium frame that is plenty lightweight and durable. It is also rust-free so you can wash it any time you want. The cable housing is also smartly done to keep it out of the way.

I know what you’re thinking, is there more?

The SR Suntour suspension fork is on board for great shock absorption and the Shimano 8-speed drivetrain is plenty smooth when it comes to shifting gears while the Tektro mechanical disc brakes provide you with great power when it comes to quick and easy stops. The saddle is also height adjustable and ergonomic. 

This bike is an absolute steal so act now or you’ll regret it!

Pros

  • Aluminium frame
  • SR Suntour suspension fork
  • Shimano 8-speed drivetrain
  • Mechanical disc brakes

Cons

  • Could use more levels to the height adjustment

Latest deal: Cube access WS (Women’s hardtail bike):

8.

Tommaso Siena Disc 40c

Now, while this bike doesn’t come under the best mountain bikes under $600 it’s still well worth a mention on this list,

Using an alloy frame, the Tommaso Siena Disc holds up to the stresses of mountain biking. Moreover, the bike has large 40c wheels with exemplary gripping capability. When you’re on this nothing will stand in your way.

When it comes to reliability, the 21-speed mountain bicycle uses a purely Shimano drivetrain. As a result, the parts blend with incomparable exactness. Therefore, you won’t suffer constant breakages or any bending of the frame. Also, the Shimano parts are backed up by 2 years warranty. So those of you who are a little more hesitant when it comes to committing to purchase can rest easy adding this to your basket.

By now though you should know that there’s more on offer,

Above all else, you want efficient brakes when it comes to your mountain bikes and that’s exactly what the Avid BB5 hydraulic disc brakes provide. Compared to mechanical brakes, they offer double-stopping power. This means you can be confident when it comes to building your speed and staying safe.

This bike really is worth investing that little bit extra, it has a lot to offer and will see you gliding over the toughest of terrain like you’re skating on ice.

This bike has glowing reviews all over the shot, so you know you’re in safe hands. Don’t believe me? Go and take a look for yourself!

Pros

  • Pure Shimano parts supported by two years warranty
  • Large wheels adapted to rugged grounds
  • Wide range of gears for any terrain
  • Sturdy frame

Cons

  • Exceeds $600 budget

Latest deal: Tommaso Siena Disc

Best Mountain Bikes Under $600 Buyers Guide:

When buying a mountain bike under a budget, it is no easy task, with so many features to consider and bikes to choose from, it becomes quite a challenge, especially as you want a bike that is trail-worthy, a bundle of fun but most importantly, safe enough to use on the trails. 

For an entry-level rider, let me tell you that setting a budget between $500-$1000 is ideal; you can still have a good pick of what features you’d like, and you’re still going to get a fun and reliable trail shredder. 

But can you buy a mountain bike for under 600 dollars?

Absolutely! But I would recommend sticking closer to the 500-600 dollar range as anything below that will not be worth your time or money. Whehter you’re looking for something to get you started and don’t want to spend too much, there are some serious hidden gems for this price range. 

For around 600 dollars, you should expect an aluminum or steel frame, mechanical disc brakes (if you’re lucky, then potentially hydraulic), with a good suspension fork to help soften the rough and wild trails. These bikes are ideal for recreational riders, families, and beginner riders. 

So, what should you be looking for in the best mountain bikes for under $600? Stay tuned to find out!

Different Types Of Mountain Bikes:

It can be pretty daunting for a beginner to buy a mountain bike; there are so many to choose from and many different types. I’m here to break them down in more detail so you know which one is best for you. 

Hardtail:  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. 

Hardtail mountain bikes are super versatile and ideal for all kinds of terrain; they have no rear shock and are equipped with rigid forks. They’re suitable for entry-level riders and pro riders, and they’re a super fun ride. 

Full Suspension Mountain Bike: Full suspension mountain bikes feature both a suspension fork up front and a rear shock, whereas a hardtail bike has only a suspension fork.

Full suspension mountain bikes are a real confidence booster. They often include better handling due to their rear suspension and absorb more shock on the trails. They also offer more control, traction, and comfort while riding down the trail.

The only issue with full-suspension mountain bikes is the stupendous price tag; they tend to be the most expensive mountain bike on the market; if you’re a pro rider, this may be brilliant for you, but a beginner on a budget, not so much. 

You won’t find many full suspension mountain bikes under $600, and if you do, it will be a crappy one off Amazon that claims to be “full suspension,” but in reality, it’s not; you’ll probably get more suspension off a regular bike…

But, if you are interested in giving a full suspension mountain bike a go, check out my guide for the best full suspension mountain bike under $1500 here! 

Downhill/Enduro Mountain Bike Downhill bikes are mainly for experienced riders who love the taste of danger; these can tackle even the most challenging terrains. They have more technical features built to withstand this environment.

Downhill mountain bikes are complete suspension mountain bikes designed for downhill cycling on tricky, steep, and technological terrains. The durability and stability are much higher, and it’s designed for serious riders. 

Again, for a budget under $600 you’re unlikely to find this kind of bike, they tend to have higher quality suspension forks and a more durable bike frame. But if you’re interested then I’ve got a guide of my top enduro bikes here. 

Fat Bike: Fat bikes come with large and wide tires; they absorb vibrations and shocks while offering a good amount of traction. These bikes are ideal for beginners or riders that aren’t quite confident with the mountainous terrain.

Fat bikes can travel over diverse terrains, from snow to sand. The wide tires provide you with extra grip and traction, making it easier to shred technical trails or an extra bit of confidence and control if you’re a beginner. 

Plus combined with low tire pressure these bikes can pedal over all kinds of terrain in which regular tires may usually sink. 

Trail Mountain Bikes:  You will find trail mountain bikes are very popular for climbs; they’re very casual and perfect for those who love the mountainous terrains without racing. They’re also known as XC bikes and they have benefits for all kinds of riders. 

Cross country bikes are built more for speed; their climbing power is unrivaled and ideal for more confident riders. They are great climbers as they are super lightweight plus they have the right geometry meaning they descend well too.

Which one would I recommend for beginners? Full-suspension bikes are probably the best choice for beginners; their capability and versatility make them extremely popular among a range of riders. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, it is best to go for a hardtail.

Since you’ve come to this guide on a tight budget I would definitely recommend going for either hardtail or a trail bike, these are the cheapest options that still offer an excellent ride.  

Health Benefits Of Mountain Biking:

Mountain biking is not only super fun, but there are some profound health benefits of getting into mountain biking; plus, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a mountain bike, especially if you’re looking to do mountain biking for fun and to benefit your health. 

Heart Benefits:

Everyone knows that the heart is the most essential muscle; it is the difference between being alive and dead. It is crucial to keep it in shape at all times; when you do workout, your heart rises, but the benefit of doing regular cycling is that you will have an overall lower resting heart rate.

Cycling can strengthen your heart and has significant benefits for your heart’s health.

Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular fitness. The British Medical Association found that riding a bike at least 20 miles a week lessened the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 50%! Mountain biking in itself uses large muscle groups, which increases your heart’s fitness by 3-7%!

The lower the heart rate, the better; a healthy resting heart rate should be 60–100 beats a minute. While exercising, your heart rate can rise between 130-150 beats per minute to pump blood around your body.

You and your heart will feel less stressed, and regular cycling will also reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases. If you suffer from high blood pressure, a stationary bike can lower your blood pressure and improve your arteries’ blood circulation.

Builds muscles in your legs and upper body:

One of the significant benefits of mountain biking and cycling, in general, is that it helps tone your muscles and strengthen your legs, thighs, and glutes. Mountain biking significantly can also benefit your upper body by trying to balance and tackle rough terrain. 

Mountain biking is brilliant for building muscle as it puts far less strain on your legs and joints than other forms of exercise like running. It is a low-impact form of exercise that will build muscles up gradually without causing injury.

Plus, there is a fair share of hills and descents for many trails, so gravity is in your favor when going downhill, so riding is much easier. 

Plus, as you progress, you can push yourself further and tackle more technical and challenging trails with ease, mountain biking will also build your endurance so you can ride for longer, and before you know it, you’ll be spending a whole day down the trails, tackling new terrain and discovering fun rides.

When you stand up out of the saddle, the muscles in your arms and your lower back muscles will begin to work more than the muscles in your thighs. So not only will it strengthen your legs but your upper body too!

Increased brainpower:

Believe it or not, there are some studies that found a 5% improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness by cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% on mental tests, according to researchers at Illinois University. 

This is because cycling can actually build brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain responsible for memory. Cycling in general boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain which fires and regenerates receptors

Some researchers even suggested that cycling could help prevent illnesses like Alzheimer’s. 

Improved balance and coordination:

Unlike running or taking yourself down the gym to go on the treadmill or stair-stepper, mountain biking is such a dynamic activity, it requires the rider to constantly adjust terrain, pitch, elevation. It requires a lot of concentration and is quite a skill to master. 

Making sure you stay steady and secure will not only keep you from crashing but it also reinforces muscle memory which improves balance and coordination. Keeping our brain, senses, muscles and nervous systems active will help improve balance and coordination along with reducing the risk of injury from falls. 

Excellent team sport:

Cycling is one of the top team sports you can do with friends; you don’t have to work out alone. Mountain biking with friends is a brilliant way to burn calories as you’re less likely to suffer from boredom.

You can even motivate each other along the way!

Mountain biking in general is a very social activity, whether you join a club, go with friends or go alone and meet people down the trails, it is a brilliant way to make new friends, build personal bonds with loved ones and have a fun day out. 

There are millions of mountain bike trails all over the world!

Reduces stress levels:

When we exercise our body produces the happy hormone also known as endorphins and serotonic which can help regulate moode, relieve stress, anxiety and it even has an anti-depressant effect on our mood. 

Mountain biking is a brilliant way to relieve stress as not only is our body releasing endorphins but it is a brilliant way to experience the great outdoors, with some insane views and dusty, fun-packed trails for you to enjoy. 

It is brilliant to get off the beaten path and enjoy the wonders of nature, but nature can also improve relaxation and reduce stress levels. The busy built-up city life can actually create fear and anxiety in the brain. 

 So the more you spend down the trails on your bike, the happier you will feel. 

What to look for in a mountain bike under $600?

There are a few things you should look for when buying a mountain bike under 600 to get the very best product for the money. Since $600 is one of the lowest budgets out of all mountain bikes, you also need to keep an eye out for things to avoid.

Design: Since mountain bikes come in a wide range of different designs and types, you should consider what type is best for you and your budget level. While the best mountain bikes for beginners will be full-suspension mountain bikes, you will have to pay at least $1500 for a good quality bike.

For budgets under the 1000s range and this instance under $600, the best mountain bike type would be a hardtail model, especially if the primary purpose is to hit the trails with numerous drops and climbs.

Alternatively, cross-country or trail bikes are brilliant for entry-level riders looking for climbing speed and power; they can be real trail shredders and ready for all kinds of terrain. You should be looking for a bike that offers a good level of traction for all weather conditions.

Including mud, sand, and snow, you need to be prepared for everything with the mountain trails. For entry-level riders, you should also look for a lightweight model to make climbs and steep descents a breeze. Suspension is also another essential factor to consider to smooth out rough trails.

In general, if you’re spending under 600 bucks, you’re not going to get much more than an entry-level recreational rider. This price range will be ideal for beginners, without outgrowing too quickly but if you’re looking for more advanced features, then the $1000-$3000 range is ideal.

Performance: The performance you’ll get out of a mountain bike will depend on the suspension and wheel type, specific models aren’t necessarily better than the other ones, but rather different models will perform better on a particular terrain.

You’ve probably heard the word travel being thrown around when talking about mountain bikes, but what does it mean? Well, ‘travel’ means the suspension movement in the mountain bike, which takes impact from the trails and softens it making the ride much more comfortable.

Even if the trail is rugged and uneven the wheels will have better contact with the ground, which will help soften the ride, the more suspension the better the bike will be at tackling challenging, rough, technical trails. But the more suspension the bike has then the more expensive the price.

Full suspension is best, as it offers suspension at both the front and the rear. You can still get some pretty amazing full-suspension mountain bikes for under $1500 but none for under 600 bucks and, along with quality components it is unlikely.

The travel of mountain bikes will range between 80-200mm in the front and rear, downhill bikes will have more travel as they are designed to tackle tricky, technical, and rough tracks while cross country mountain bikes will have no more than around 100mm in travel, as they need to be lightweight.

Wheel size: The wheel size is another important feature that will impact the performance of the bike. Mountain bike wheel sizes range from as little as 24 inches to as big as 29 inches. 24 inches is ideal for kid’s mountain bikes aged between 10-13, the bigger the wheel size the bigger the bike. 

So in order to choose your mountain bike, you should measure how tall you are and buy a mountain bike accordingly. 

26-inch mountain bikes are the most common wheel size, while 29 inch and 29ers are more efficient for longer rides. They are far more comfortable on cross-country trails as they keep momentum more efficiently than any other wheel size. 

27.5-inch wheels are the best of both worlds really, they have an acceleration of the 26ers and the easy-rolling and comfort of the 29ers, so if you want both features then I would recommend going for 27.5-inch wheels. 

On the other hand, the 27.5 inches or the 650B wheels offer the best of both worlds. They have the smooth maneuverability of the 26ers and easy rolling of the 29ers.

Quality: Obviously, you will be thinking that at a price tag as low as $600, how can you get a good quality bike. You will be surprised to see just how much quality you can find.

There are full aluminum and steel frame mountain bikes available at this price range that can see you through a great amount of time. If you’re lucky then the aluminum frames may also come with a carbon suspension, which is ideal for smoothing the rough trail. 

Drivetrain and suspension fork: There are some great companies out there when it comes to bike parts. And at a price tag of $600, you can find Shimano and Suntour drivetrains and forks, respectively.

Now, if you know about cycling, you will know how respected and well-trusted these companies are.

Disc brakes: Keep in mind that not all brands at this price tag will provide you with great disc brakes. Some will even have linear-pull brakes on. It is better to go with a great quality linear-pull brake than a low-quality disc brake.

But you will find some great quality disc brakes at this price too. Disc brakes offer superior stopping power for all kinds of weather conditions, paired with grippy tires that are ideal for unpredictable terrain. 

Summary:

We looked at some of the greatest offerings you can possibly find at a price tag of $600. The bikes we reviewed today had great build quality by using materials like aluminum and steel for their frames. We also found disc brakes along with smooth drivetrains that shifted gears like a champ.

The suspension forks were also great at shock absorption and the saddles were height adjustable and ergonomic. The bikes are comfortable to ride and will meet the standards you have.

My top pick for the best mountain bikes under 600 dollars was the Trek Marlin 5, this bike has an aluminum frame, 31-speed drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, height-adjustable saddle, and a tough suspension fork so you can power through anything that dares oppose you.

Cycling is a great hobby hence we bring you the best of the best under $600 today. No matter which one you choose, you will absolutely love the experience.

Alex Bristol

Content Manager at Pedallers

ABOUT

Alex is a cycling expert at Pedallers 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.

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