There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors, specifically a beautiful and scenic mountain trail. If you want to enjoy the view at double speed and get a good workout, you can bike your way over those mountains, but, of course, you won’t be able to use just any old bike, you’ll need a mountain bike for those steep inclines and bumpy paths.
If you’re uninitiated, buying a new mountain bike probably sounds pretty expensive, and it definitely can be. But it doesn’t have to be. There are always budget options to be found so you can save some money, and we’re going to help you do just that. We’ve put together this list of the best cheap and affordable mountain bikes so that you can enjoy those mountain trails in the best way possible without blowing your entire savings on an overly expensive mountain bike.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best budget mountain bikes, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
What Should You Look For in a Budget Mountain Bike?
You may be new to mountain bikes, in which case you’ll definitely want to have your priorities laid out clearly. Even if you’re a pro, it’ll help you to understand the criteria we used to assess the mountain bikes on our list. Obviously, these bikes will be pretty different from the regular bike you’d use around the neighborhood, and they’ll need a sturdier frame, among other things. Here are the criteria we used, clearly laid out so that you can understand our thought process and better assess the bikes on our list.
Criteria #1: Speeds – Everything in moderation, including moderation. There will be times when you’ll need to be more careful on bumpy and uneven terrain. There will also be times when you have a more open trail in front of you, and you want to kick things into top gear – and everything in between. The best mountain bikes will have a wide array of speeds and gears so that you can always adjust your bike to suit the terrain and your mood.
Criteria #2: Durability – Obviously, all bikes should be somewhat durable, but with mountain bikes, this is much more of an imperative. There is just an inevitable beating and wear and tear that mountain bikes are going to suffer, and we need to make sure they’re up to the task. We’re only looking for the strongest mountain bikes that can take a beating and that have a sturdy frame that will last longer and can stand up to the occasional tumble and to the elements.
Criteria #3: Weight – It’s tempting to think that bigger is better, but sometimes keeping things in a small package really pays off. A light bike will be easier on your legs, and you’ll be able to go faster with less energy, giving you the most enjoyable experience possible as you breeze down those mountain paths.
Criteria #4: Price – As this is a budget list, we’re obviously not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. That being said, meeting this criterion is just as much about justifying your price as it is about being cheap. We’d rather buy a relatively expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Budget Mountain Bikes
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We also made sure to look out for any extra features that may separate a certain mountain bike from the crowd. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best budget mountain bikes” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best budget mountain bikes.
#1: Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike (Best Value – All-Purpose)
The first mountain bike on our list is the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike, also known as the Eurobike SMX1. This is one of the best mountain bikes for anyone trying to save some money and still get the full exhilarating mountain biking experience. This Eurobike budget mountain bike comes equipped with 27.5-inch wheels that will give you a good combination of speed and maneuverability, and it has 21 speeds to keep you prepared for every single possibility.
You’re also getting a dual disc brake system that will help you stop quickly and smoothly, so you’ll be ready for any sudden interruptions or anything that may come into your path. Plus, Eurobike boasts that their suspension fork will soften bumps and that their bike’s seat will give you the most comfortable ride out there. On top of all of that, the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike gives you a dual-suspension design that’s sure to provide the smoothest ride possible.
Obviously, value is something we’re taking very seriously on this list, and it’s pretty hard to beat the value of the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike. If you buy this mountain bike, you’ll get all of the necessary tools to assemble it included with your purchase. It also comes with clear instructions, and according to Eurobike, this bike should only take you about 10 to 20 minutes to set up before you’re ready to ride.
And how can we talk about budget mountain bikes without talking about price? Our number one mountain bike has one of the most competitive prices on the market, so you won’t have to save up for months before buying this bike.
Besides being featured on blog posts about the best cheap mountain bikes, the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike has very positive reviews on Amazon, so you know that the paying customers were happy with their purchase. Reviewers praised this mountain bike for its reliable disc brakes, being easy to assemble, and having a smooth system for changing gears.
Our number one mountain bike is one of the best mountain bikes for anyone who wants to keep their options open and who wants an easy-to-use, safe, and cheap mountain bike. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, buy the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike.
#2: Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike (Best Overall Bike)
Depending on how much money you’re expecting to spend, our second-ranked mountain bike, the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike, may be a bit outside your definition of “budget,” but it has some features that the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike is lacking. Without adjusting for value, it just might be the superior mountain bike. If you’re willing to spend a bit more for the best, here are some reasons you might decide to splurge for the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Smaller Tires
There is a bit of give-and-take when it comes to tires. Basically, larger tires will give you more speed, but smaller tires will offer you better maneuvering and more control when turning. If you want as much control as possible, then the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike is the best mountain bike for you.
This affordable bike comes with small 24-inch tires to give you the smoothest riding experience so that you can weave around every bump on the trail. Remember that the tires on this bike are 3 inches smaller than those of our number one pick and much smaller than the rest of the competition, so you’ll really feel this bike listen to your every move.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Easily Adjustable Seat
If you’re either really tall or really short, it can be harder to find a bike that’s a good fit for you. But the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike has an adjustable seat that will be perfect for anyone. The seat uses a simple latch system that won’t give you any problems, and it’s perfect for anyone worried about finding a bike that’s the right size. This adjustable seat is also great if you’re fickle about your preferences, or if you’ll be sharing the bike with someone else. So if you want to stay flexible with our seating arrangement, the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike is your best option.
On top of the adjustable seat and the smaller tires, this mountain bike also has an alloy crank that provides even more stability, and twist shifters to help you quickly shift gears while riding.
Schwinn is pretty highly regarded when it comes to cheap mountain bikes, and this bike has over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon. Plus, if you’re really in love with this bike but you wish it were a little faster, you can elect to buy it with larger wheels, though at that point you may feel that you’re losing value and may want to opt for the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike.
But if you want the mountain bike with the tightest control, you’ll need to buy the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike. It’s one of the best mountain bikes out there at any price range.
#3: Max4out Mountain Bike 21-Speed with High Carbon Steel Frame (Best for Tricks)
Sure, sometimes it’s nice to have a bike that’s practical and reliable, but sometimes you want a little more than just to get from point A to point B. If you want to show off a bit and create an epic highlight video to show to your friends or upload to YouTube, you’ll need a mountain bike that can handle some fancy jumps and tricks. Lucky for you, the Max4out Mountain Bike 21-Speed with High Carbon Steel Frame fits that bill perfectly.
This mountain bike was specifically singled out on lists for being perfect for tricks, so you know you’ll be able to let things fly a little bit. One of the reasons it’s so great for tricks is its carbon frame, which helps keep this mountain bike as light as possible, giving you the best speed and mobility possible. You’re also getting solid 26-inch tires, which will help you stay in control and can handle all types of terrain.
Just like with our top-ranked mountain bike, the Max4out Mountain Bike 21-Speed with High Carbon Steel Frame comes with front-end dual disc brakes. The tires come with a three-spoke design and suspension fork to give you even more increased stability, so there’s not a single bump on the trail that you can’t handle when you’re riding this mountain bike.
Max4out boasts that their mountain bike’s “3-speed front derailleur and the 7-speed rear derailleur provide 21-speed super-smooth shifting” and that, because of this, the Max4out Mountain Bike 21-Speed with High Carbon Steel Frame is just as good for your daily commute as it is for the mountain trails.
This bike comes with all of the tools and parts you need to get started, and there’s almost no necessary assembly required. This bike also is suitable for a wide range of body types. It’s listed as being able to support riders between 5’2″ and 6′ tall. However, it does have a listed weight limit of 200 pounds, which is obviously not very heavy, so if you’re even a little larger than average, you may have to find a different bike.
But the Max4out Mountain Bike 21-Speed with High Carbon Steel Frame is a great value and comes in at an amazing price. If you want to get a bike that will make you feel ready for the X-Games, you’ll have to buy the Max4out Mountain Bike 21-Speed with High Carbon Steel Frame.
#4: Outroad Mountain Bike Foldable Bike (Best Portable Option)
There will, unfortunately, be times when you need to bring your new mountain bike somewhere without riding it to your destination. Maybe you’re driving somewhere a little farther than you’re willing to bike, or maybe you’re going on a flight across the ocean but want to have your bike with you on your trip. Or maybe you’re moving. Whatever it may be, if you want a bike that won’t weigh you down when it’s acting as luggage instead of as your mode of transportation, you need the Outroad Mountain Bike Foldable Bike.
As you may have guessed from the name, this bike features an incredibly convenient design that allows you to fold it up into a much more compact shape and easily fit in the trunk of your car. This portable bike is one of the best mountain bikes for anyone constantly on the move. It features disc brakes for the best stopping power, a dual suspension system, and a light carbon steel frame. It also has 26-inch tires and 6-spoke wheels to give you the safest and smoothest ride possible that can handle any bump along the way. As we’ve gotten used to, you have 21 speeds to choose from to keep you ready for whatever mood strikes you or whatever the situation calls for.
The honest truth is that, aside from the foldable design, not that much separates this bike from the rest of our list. That being said, it’s nothing to sneeze at, and it has specs that hold up to the rest of the competition. Just like all of the mountain bikes on our list of budget bikes, the Outroad Mountain Bike Foldable Bike is incredibly cheap, and it’s garnered its fair share of positive reviews. If you want a bike that’s not a hassle when you’re not riding it, you want the Outroad Mountain Bike Foldable Bike.
#5: Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike (Largest Tires)
So far, we’ve shown you the best mountain bikes for those who want control, those who want to pull off crazy tricks, and everything in between. Now we have a bike for those adrenaline junkies out there who want one thing and one thing only – speed.
The Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike comes with the largest tires on our list, massive 29-inch wheels, that will let you zoom up and down any trail and really feel the wind in your face. You’re also getting a full suspension system and a suspension fork to make sure that you still have some stability, so you don’t have to completely throw caution to the wind and risk any accidents.
Plus, you get 24 speeds to keep you ready for every possibility, and you have the Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifters that will help you stay flexible and shift gears as quickly as possible so you can adjust to the most sudden changes on the path. So not only do you have the largest tires that will provide the best speed, you have more speeds than any of the other bikes on our list, excellent disc brakes for the best stopping power, and a full suspension system to help you stay steady while zooming down the trail.
The big downside of this bike is that it’s a little more expensive than we’d want for this list. It falls into the same price range as our other Schwinn product, the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike. If you want to be able to outrun – or outbike – the devil themself, you’ll need to buy the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike.
How Much Am I Sacrificing by Staying on a Budget?
I can tell you right away that you’ll definitely not suffer from a lack of options as you try to save money on your budget mountain bike. You can easily find plenty of mountain bikes under $1000, and even a fair amount of mountain bikes under $500.
The real concern is quality.
The bikes on our list, and some that didn’t make the cut, are perfectly viable and will get the job done without costing too much, but as usual, you get what you pay for. If you want to pull out all the stops, the sad truth is that you may have to splurge a little but.
That being said, it depends on which features are important to you. The biggest difference in the super-expensive bikes is that they have more speeds, so if that’s our priority then you may be out of luck while staying on a budget.
The fancier bikes also are more likely to have the sleek and light carbon frame, though we’ve shown that you can find those without spending too much. You definitely don’t need to worry about needing tobreak the bank on your mountain bike, but you will have to ask yourself if you don’t in fact want to.
Just by definition of being so cheap, most of our bikes are more designed to be entry-level products, and if you’re more of a pro, you may want to consider spending more for a top-tier bike.
Verdict: Your Best Budget Mountain Bikes
We’re almost reaching the end of our list, and we hope by now that you’re starting to get a good idea of which bike is best for you. But we know that it’s not that easy. We gave you five great bikes to choose from, and you may need some more time and maybe a quick refresher to make your decision. That’s why we’re going to quickly and briefly recap all of our best mountain bikes and focus on their standout features.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Eurobike TSMX1 21-Speed Mountain Bike.
Our top-ranked product gives you everything you could ask for in a mountain bike without making you spend a lot of money. You’re getting a full suspension bike with a suspension fork and solid 27.5-inch tires, and you’re getting dual disc brakes in the front and the rear to give you the best stopping power so you can stay ready for anything. You also have 24 speeds at your disposal and one of the most comfortable seats on the market. This bike is the steal of the market.
If you need the smoothest riding experience, pick the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike.
If you’re trying to push the definition of the word “budget,” this Schwinn bike is the best option if you want the smoothest riding experience possible. It’s smaller 24-inch wheels and full suspension give you the most control and the stability to withstand any bump in your path. You also have a nice adjustable seat that’s perfect for making sure this bicycle suits your body perfectly.
If you want to pull off some crazy tricks, pick the Max4out Mountain Bike 21-Speed with High Carbon Steel Frame.
Sometimes you just gotta show off a bit for the Gram. With its light carbon frame and its 26-inch wheels, this bicycle is the best option for your X-games audition. Its wheels’ 3-spoke design and the suspension fork also give you great stability, and you have a gear-shift system that lets you shift gears as quickly as possible. This combination of speed and mobility is perfect for creating some amazing highlights.
That brings us to the end of our list. If you aren’t in love with the bikes highlighted above, you may prefer the convenient foldable Outroad Mountain Bike Foldable Bike or the super-fast Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike with its massive tires.
Remember, all of our bikes have one or two features that separate them from the crowd, so if you think about which features are most important to you, it should narrow down the search pretty quickly. That’s it for now, enjoy the trails!