What Are The Best Mountain Bike Brands
There are lots of high-quality mountain bike brands to choose from. Some of the big-name brands that are well-known and reputable include Kona, Specialized, Trek, and Rocky Mountain. Instead of the brand, try to focus on what your needs are as a rider. The best mountain bike is the one that suits your riding style, fits your budget, and helps you have fun and become a better rider.
How Do I Choose The Right Size
Frames come in multiple sizes and its crucial to pick the right one. You want decent length in the frame so you dont feel cramped when seated, and have a stable bike when descending, but plenty of clearance over the top tube to inspire confidence in technical sections. For more advice, check out our guide to choosing the right frame size.
Short And Upright Riding Position
The Atroz 2 comes in 3 sizes, Small, Medium, and Large. Diamondback claims the Large fits riders up to 6 feet, 1 inches tall, but if youre close to that size, test ride this bike before buying it. The reach is just 435mm. Thats on the short side for a size medium mountain bike today. It also comes with a short 50mm stem. Stems are easy to change if you want a little more extension, but tall riders with long torsos may find it tough to get the position they prefer on this bike. That said, if you dont like the idea of stretching out and want a bike that can let you sit very upright, without reaching for the bars, youll get that here. The taller stack heights will also accommodate a more upright riding position without needing a ton of spacers under your stem.
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The Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Below $1000
There are so many mountain bikes in the market, both in the hard tail as well as in the full suspension category.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Therefore, buying the best cheap full suspension mountain bike for the first time can be a bit hard. Read the pros and cons below to help you make up your mind.
Best Hardtail Mountain Bike Under 1000
Heres the complete list of this years mountain bikes under $1000 we can recommend.
- Drivetrain: 2×9
- Fork: RockShox Judy Silver TK
The Marin Palisades Trail 2 is currently our favorite mountain bike under $1000 and is our Editors Choice! The Marin Palisades Trail 2 is a hardtail mountain bike with 27.5 wheels connected to a 2×9 drivetrain.
It comes in a single color but that blue is electrifying. It also comes in 3 different sizes and is currently well stocked .
Mountain bikes under $1000 have been particularly hard hit by pandemic stock outages, so if you see it in stock, buy it quick before someone else gets it.
The Marin Palisades Trail 2 has a Series 2 6061 aluminum frame that uses 100mm of travel on the front. While there are no official weight numbers out there right now, its rumored that the bike is light, strong and responsive.
It comes with the stout Shimano Altus/Acera 2×9-speed drivetrain with a Shimano Acera rear derailleur.
The Marin Palisades Trail also has Tektro M275 hydraulic disc brakes.
The Judy is an entry level XC type fork that is a good match for this bike. It does lack some of the features of a higher end fork and flex can be felt through the thinner stanchion tubes on occasion.
Overall, its a perfectly matched fork with the capabilities of the Palisades Trail 2 frame.
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Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike
- Shimano twist shifters and 21 gears
- 580mm bars and Jr PVC grips
- Dimensions: Wheel size: 27.5-29 Inch, Frame size: 13-21 Inch
- Weight: 45.8 to 47.3 lbs
- Available Color: Black
The Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive is one of the more affordable mountain bikes on our list. While its built tough, its not exactly ideal for rough terrain mountain biking. Its frame, suspension, and tires that are 2 inches wide are better suited for light gravel trails and paved paths.
The bike fits well with its 26-inch wheels and low standover height for mountain bikers with shorter legs. Its custom-tubed frame and 580mm bars also make it a good fit for lighter riders with a slim build.
When it comes to speed, the Diamondback Bicycle is a real lightning bolt, with 21 gears and Shimano twist shifters for switching between them.
The Talus 3 is not meant for experienced riders. But if you are on the lighter side, on a budget, and dont intend on using your mountain bike on hardcore off-road trails, then this bike could be exactly what you need.
State Bicycle Co Pulsar 10 Speed
- Weight: 28.9 lbs
The State Bicycle Co. Pulsar mountain bike is our Best Value Award winner this year. It has all the key features you want in a mountain bike and delivers it at the $1000 price point. You get a lot of performance and a ridiculously affordable price.
State Bicycle is known for its single speed and fixed gear urban style bikes, but back in 2016 they collaborated with Dustin Klein to create the Pulsar 29er mountain bike. It has a great geometry which is perfect for riding cross country terrain. The bike also comes with a nice set of components that will surely satisfy the needs of most riders in this price range.
The Pulsar is their entry into the mountain bike world and theyve been positively received. The Pulsar provides a high end ride at an affordable price.
The bike is available in either the 27.five or 29 inch wheel size, but both versions will provide you with a great riding experience on any mountain terrain and cross country course that your heart desires.
Many consider the Pulsar a budget mountain bike since the features it brings to the market you typically see on $2000 bikes.
Unlike the other aluminum bikes that made our list this year, this is the only one made out of a 4130 chromoly steel frame. Theyve designed it well as the final bike weight isnt reflective of the heavier metal.
Based out of Tempe, Arizona, we are huge fans of the Pulsar in this price point. If I only had a $1000 budget, this is the bike Id buy.
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What To Look For In The Best Budget Mountain Bikes Under 1000 / $1400
Start by looking for a butted aluminium frame with modern geometry. Aluminium is light and strong and cost-effective at this price point. Ideally the overall weight should be sub-30lbs . The lighter the bike, the easier it will be to accelerate, climb and corner. Make sure you choose the right frame size as this will really affect the bikes handling and how comfortable it is to ride. Most manufacturers will have a size guide on their websites, but it may not always provide the best recommendation.
In terms of suspension, look for an air-sprung fork with a degree of damping adjustment, as this will mean you can set the correct air pressure for your body weight. Air sprung forks are also usually lighter than coil sprung forks. Look for an air valve at the top of one of the legs if youre not sure which it is. Wed recommend 100-130mm of travel at this price point.
Hydraulic disc brakes from a big brand will give you safe and controllable stopping power. They need less set-up and maintenance than rim brakes or cable-operated disc brakes. Likewise grippy tyres are crucial unless youre only riding dirt roads and canal towpaths. Look for an aggressive tread with a good compound and the option to convert to tubeless. This will save weight, reduce the chance of punctures and often improve the grip and ride quality.
Dropper posts are rare but worth their weight in gold. Similarly, bolt thru axles are a bonus as they increase frame stiffness.
Boardman Mht 89 Ride Impressions
It was obvious straight away that the MHT was in a different class to other bikes in the same price category also tested. Its 2kg lighter than bikes such as the Diamondback Heist 3.0+, Jamis Dakar A2 and Voodoo Canzo, which is a huge benefit in terms of it feeling fit and healthy when you press on the pedals.
Light can mean flexy, but the Boost back end is shorter than that of the other bikes mentioned above and, along with the stiff, boxy mainframe, means it doesnt squander any of your pedalling effort. Its hardwearing tyres, rack mounts and low weight make cycle-to-work duties less of a chore too.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
The Boardman doesnt just feel sharp through the pedals. Its M500 brakes are more communicative than the cheaper Shimanos youll find on other bikes, and the straight-line external cable routing brings out the best in the SLX shifting.
With its bolt-through Boost axle, the Reba fork feels super-precise through the big bar and short stem. The slim grips, tight frame, firm saddle and fat seatpost turn feedback through the contact points from 1,080p to 4K, too.
Basically, the whole bike means serious business, compared to the chubby-tyred Diamondback and heavier, softer, more basically-equipped full-sussers.
As it stands, the wide rims shape up the tyres enough to give decent cushioning. The tread and compound are enough to cope with most mud and muck, yet still feel swift on the road.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
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Suspension: Hardtail Vs Full
A hardtail bike has front suspension but no rear suspension. Hardtails are generally cheaper, and they are a great option for relatively smooth terrain that isnt aggressively rocky or full of jumps and drops. Commonly, hardtail mountain bikes are fitted with wider, high-volume tires to add cushion and compensate for the lack of suspension in the rear.
A full-suspension bike has a rear shock and a front shock that compress and extend as you ride to absorb the bumps and drops that riders often encounter on uneven terrain. Full-suspension bikes help both wheels stay on the ground through the bumps, which offers stability and control, especially at higher speeds. Though full-suspension bikes offer lots of benefits, theyre often not necessary for riders who are just beginning to leave the pavement.
Diamondback Recoil Mountain Bike
Diamondback Recoil feels great for an entry-level mountain bike, with smooth curves and neat welds providing a great geometry, the recoil will push your limits to maximum.
The full suspension will give you smooth ride on rough trails. This bike is made with good looking single Flex Point light aluminum full suspension frame which give the bike expensive look and great acceleration while climbing uphill.
The Stance line is available in 3 sizes small, medium, large. Recoil has introduced Flex Points on the seat stays saving weight and eliminating cost of bearing. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes allow you to control the bike downhill with confidence. The brakes are of good quality and saves your from injury in all weather.
The base model is less than 1000 but others are over 1000. Somewhere on hard ride suspension lacks sensitivity. Upgrading the tires with more grips, impress you with the bike handling. At this price range, this is what the best you can get.
Customers are happy after purchasing this bike, some says this bike is good for uphill, downhill and others like to practice, exercise, and develop the skills on this bike.
Diamondback Recoil Mountain Bike
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What Are The Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000
The best mountain bikes under $1000 are mostly cross-country or hardtail mountain bikes . Unfortunately, this price range doesnt allow manufacturers to offer full-suspension MTBs. You can expect bikes mostly with 27.5, but there are also models with 29 wheels. Aim for bikes with disc brakes that provide better stopping power than rim brakes.
If you are new to mountain bikes, feel free to read the buyers guide first to find more info to help you decide what bike to choose.
Best Runner Up
- Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 2x9spd, 18 gears
- Wheels: 27.5 or 29
- Tires: WTB Trail Boss 27.5 x 2.4 in
- Fork: SR Suntour XCR dual piston suspension, 120mm travel
Co-ops one of the most popular bikes, DRT 1.2 is a great entry-level bike. It comes with a Shimano Altus drivetrain and 18 gears to help you conquer various terrains.
It is equipped with 27.5 or 29 wheels, depending on the size. This differentiates it from in a good way because 29 wheels are faster, and the bike is more stable.
To keep you on track at all times, the wheels use WTB Trail Boss tires that are known for their good grip and wont puncture easily.
DRT 1.2 is pretty comfy also, thanks to the 120mm travel fork that absorbs bumps in terrain. You can lock it on smooth terrain to save some energy.
This bike has included platform pedals, so you dont have to buy them separately. If you decide to do so, check out this selection of flat pedals for MTBs.
The Polygon Xtrada 6 offers surprisingly great value for the money.
Rear Suspension Is It A Good Idea Or Just A Gimmick
Bikes with suspension in the front and the rear are very rare in the $1000 price point and for good reason. Its difficult to get below this price point without a significant compromise in some kind of essential componentry. A full suspension bike that hits the $1000 price point has to compromise componentry because a decent full suspension frame will always be significantly more expensive than even a very well-designed hardtail.
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The addition of a full set of bearings, linkage components and most especially the rear shock, not to mention the additional work that has to go into designing a suspension system, makes it downright unheard of for a full suspension bike to hit the same price point as a hardtail without some compromise in another area of the build. Adding rear suspension to a bike doesnt automatically make it superior to a hardtail either.
The simple hardtail has a lot going for it, lightweight, efficient pedaling, predictable handling, zero frame maintenance and theyre cheap to build. There are a lot of things that have to go right for a full suspension bike to be considered over a hardtail, but these things dont come at a $1000 price tag. Thats why there isnt any full suspension bikes on this list and its going to take almost another thousand dollars before they even start to outshine hardtails in terms of performance.
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Cannondale Trail 8 Bike 2021
- Durable SmartForm C3 alloy frame is light and snappy
- Tektro mechanical disc brakes provide reliable stopping power
- 2 x 7-speed drivetrain offers the wide range of gears
- Dimensions: Wheel Size: 27.5 Inch, Frame Size: XS & S
If you are more inclined to freestyle/BMX riding with some aerial stunts instead of zipping through the trails, theCannondale Trail 8 is a bike to consider. The Reserve is a practical bike with a chromoly steel frame that is as minimal in design as it can get.
The steel frame is more suitable for freestyle riding, while the shorter geometry helps with taking off and landing for your aerial stunts. The bike comes with a single but reliable Tektro hydraulic disc brake on the rear. Its single speed with a relatively smaller chainring means you cant go at high speeds on flat roads, but it certainly helps with freestyle riding.
As an essential component of this bike, its front fork is top-quality and reliable the Manitou fork with 100mm travel is arguably the best you can get in this budget. The wheels sport extra-strong rims and wide Kenda tires for safer landings.
If your definition of adventure consists of aerial stunts more than forest trails, the Cannondale Trail 8 is for you.
Bulls Bikes Wild One $1699
As a direct-to-consumer brand, Bulls Bikes offers great value in their 140mm-travel Wild One. This bike is speced with a Suntour Epixon fork and shock, both with air springs. The drivetrain consists of a 2×11 Shimano XT/SLX combination with a Shadow-Plus clutch-style rear derailleur , and the brakes are Tektro HD-M285 hydraulic disc.
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How Much Is A Good Full Suspension Bike
It all depends on the type of trails you plan on riding, although almost all of the best budget full-suspension bikes focus on trail riding. Pricing starts at around $1,500/Â£1,500 for a bike that is going to give decent performance on the trail. That said it can vary between different brands and the price points they choose.
The amount of extra kit and performance you get on the next bike up in the range – and the price gap – can alter significantly. In some cases, brand managers will sacrifice some profit to create a really killer value entry-level bike. In other cases, itâs you whoâll be making those sacrifices. Itâs certainly always worth checking what saving a bit longer or digging deeper into your budget will get you and where relevant weâve flagged up whether the ânext bike upâ is the better deal here. If you can stretch your budget, check out our pick of the best mountain bikes under $2500.