Best Budget Mountain Bike [2021 Guide]

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Are you shopping for a reasonably priced mountain bike that will let you move quickly, efficiently, and safely? We found 5 great bikes to get you started in your search. Let’s get to it and help you find the best budget mountain bike.

Best Budget Mountain Bikes: Reviews

Comparison Chart

51RZrAKcDHL. SL500
Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike
51 3ciw7LYL. SL500
Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike
Mongoose Impasse Mens Mountain Bike
519s5T1S+nL. SL500
Mongoose Malus Adult Fat Tire Mountain Bike
51GrPL6Ej7L. SL500
Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

Merax Hardtail Mountain Bike

51RZrAKcDHL. SL500

If you’re looking for a good mountain bike that comes loaded with features yet don’t want to spend a fortune on it, the Merax Hardtail Mountain Bike is worth a closer look.

Review

The Merax Hardtail Mountain Bike features a 19” mountain frame made of heat-treated aluminum. The aluminum frame makes this bike relatively lightweight to allow you to move with speed, and the heat treatment allows for additional durability.

When moving downhill at high speeds, you need to stop quickly when you have to. The Merax Hardtail Mountain Bike’s dual mechanical disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, not to mention that they’re quite durable.

This mountain bike features 21 speeds, with Shimano derailleurs and shifters for fast, smooth, and effortless shifting at all times – whether you want to gear down and bike uphill or gear up and move downhill with speed.

It comes with 26-inch wheels and double-wall aluminum rims for added durability and flex to help you move around on rough terrain with both speed and efficiency. The tires are designed to perform great on uneven terrain.

The Merax Hardtail Mountain Bike features a front suspension fork with 80 mm of travel to absorb as much impact as possible. Finally, this bike features a good handlebar grip, so you can easily hold on and maintain control at all times.

Pros

  • Quite durable
  • Lightweight
  • Good price
  • Great disc brakes
  • Good front suspension
  • Large wheels with high-traction tires
  • Good for uphill and downhill riding

Cons

  • Assembly is not easy
  • Needs immediate tuning after assembly

Related: Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes

Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike

51 3ciw7LYL. SL500

If you need a good mountain bike for an affordable price, one that will allow you to move with speed, the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike is an option that will last.

Review

One of the standout features of the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike is the 24 gears, so you can really gear up and move downhill or across flat ground with speed when called for.

Both the trigger shifters and the derailleurs are made by Shimano, a great brand known for its durable components. This gear system is very smooth and easy to operate. Moreover, the high-quality Schwinn alloy cranks are worth mentioning.

The Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike has 29-inch wheels, large enough to move quickly and easily roll over rough terrain; the 2.25-inch wide knobby mountain tires are designed for maximum traction off-road tracks. The wheels are high-profile double-wall alloy rims, which are both lightweight and durable.

This r mountain bike features an aluminum frame, nothing too special, but it gets the job done. It’s durable enough to take a beating and lightweight enough, so you don’t have to use too much energy to propel it forward. You might also like the quality front suspension system that helps absorb impact.

Next, the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike has front and rear mechanical disc brakes that will provide split-second stopping power to keep you in control at all times. The handlebar grip consists of durable yet soft and grippy materials that allow you to hold on as you traverse a mountainside.

Pros

  • Decent durability
  • Very lightweight
  • Quality Shimano shifting components
  • 24 gears for versatility
  • Very large tires with excellent grip
  • High-quality disc brakes

Cons

  • Poor assembly instructions
  • Tires need a lot of tightening after long rides

Mongoose Impasse Mountain Bike

Mongoose is a popular brand in the world of bikes. With their Impasse Mountain Bike, they again deliver a quality mountain bike e with all the features you need, and all for a reasonable price.

Review

The Mongoose Impasse Mountain Bike is made with aluminum, making it one of the lightest bikes on the list today. It’s something that will allow you to easily maneuver and move with speed, not to mention that it is relatively durable. It might not be the strongest mountain bike, but it’s more than enough to take on a good deal of punishment.

Moreover, the Mongoose Impasse Mountain Bike comes with an in-frame suspension located under the seat, so your backside doesn’t feel too many bumps. It also has a pretty decent aluminum front fork with front suspension. This bike is one of the best on the list today in terms of eliminating bumpy rides.

This mountain bike features a 21-gear system with pretty good derailleurs and SRAM twist shifters for fast, easy, and smooth gear shifting at all times. The Mongoose Impasse Mountain Bike has 29-inch alloy wheels, which are both lightweight and durable, plus they feature wide tires with a knobby texture for maximum traction on off-road tracks.

The Mongoose Impasse Mountain Bike also features front and rear mechanical disc brakes to allow you to come to a full stop at a moment’s notice. It features a reasonably comfortable seat combined with handlebars with excellent grips to allow you to hold on safely at all times.

Pros

  • Front and rear mechanical suspension
  • Great at shock absorption
  • Large wheels for easy riding
  • Good gear system
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • Pedals may come loose over time

Mongoose Malus Mountain Bike  

519s5T1S+nL. SL500

Here we have another mountain bike from Mongoose. This one is unique because it has extremely wide and fat tires, so the bike is designed for the most extreme terrains, and still, it is reasonably priced.

Review

The Mongoose Malus Mountain Bike features 4-inch-wide alloy rims, which are, of course, very large. The fact that they’re made with an alloy makes them very lightweight despite their size, and moreover, they’re pretty darn durable.

The 4-inch-wide knobby mountain bike tires feature great texture to allow the bike to grip any surface. Tires like these are made for rough terrain. Keep in mind that the wheels are 26 inches, which may not be as good for speed as the 29-inch tires that the previously reviewed bikes have. However, they’re still fast enough to move with efficiency.

The Mongoose Malus Mountain Bike features a steel mountain-style fat tire frame; this is the first bike on the list today with a steel frame. Although aluminum is much lighter, steel is much stronger, and it has a good deal of flex. Steel is better suited for mountain bikes for both of these reasons.

The bike features front and rear mechanical disc brakes for superb control at all times. It features alloy handlebars and an alloy front fork to help keep you in control while also keeping the weight down. They’re still quite strong but lightweight, too, not to mention that the handlebars feature excellent grip.

The Mongoose Malus Mountain Bike does not have any suspension, but it does have an excellent seven-speed system that allows you to easily maneuver mountainous terrain. This bike is not really built for speed, but it is made for maximum control and safety on the mountainside. The rear derailleur and the shifters are quality-built.

Pros

  • Very durable steel frame
  • Frame has a bit of flex
  • Super fat tires for excellent traction
  • Seven speeds for maneuvering hilly terrain
  • High-quality disc brakes
  • Alloy fork and handlebars
  • Good price

Cons

  • On the heavy side
  • Brake levers are not the best

Kent KZ2600 Mountain Bike

51GrPL6Ej7L. SL500

If you are looking for a lightweight mountain bike with plenty of shock and impact absorption capabilities, the Kent KZ2600 Mountain Bike is a good option that comes at a reasonable price.

Review

The Kent KZ2600 Mountain Bike features an aluminum frame, and most of the other components are also made with lightweight materials. In terms of weight, this is one of the lighter mountain bikes out there, which means that it’s easier to maneuver and won’t cause you to fatigue.

What really stands out is that the frame is a full-suspension frame with a high-quality suspension coil connected to the rear wheel and frame. This combines with the suspension system on the front fork, with 65 mm of travel, to maximize impact absorption.

The Kent KZ2600 Mountain Bike features a 21-gear system with Shimano shifters and Tourney derailleurs to help you move with both speed and efficiency. Both components are very high-quality, and they provide easy, smooth, and reliable shifting at all times.

The Kent KZ2600 Mountain Bike features standard rear and front mechanical disc brakes for great stopping power. You may also like the bike’s high-traction tires.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great for shock absorption
  • 21 gears for versatility
  • Quality shifting components
  • Great price
  • Decent level of durability
  • Good size tires for mountain biking
  • Nice disc brakes

Cons

  • Somewhat limited durability

Buyer’s Guide

When shopping, look into the following factors to know you’ll be getting a quality mountain bike that will serve you well and fit your budget.

Frame Material

The first thing you should look for is what the frame of the mountain bike is made of. When it comes to budget-friendly options, there’s steel and aluminum. One on hand, aluminum is very lightweight, but on the other hand, steel is much more durable, and it has some flex to it, although it is heavier. There are also bikes with carbon fiber frames, although they’re not really very budget-friendly.

Tires

Another critical aspect of any mountain bike is the tires. You need to have tires with a really knobby and rough traction pattern. Remember, you need good traction to ride over rocks, sticks, bumps, dirt, and more. Smooth tires on a mountain bike are useless.

Brakes

When mountain biking, you need to have excellent stopping power. It’s all about safety, and the only reasonable option is front and rear mechanical disc brakes. Although regular caliper brakes might be okay, they aren’t as good as disc brakes.

Rims

Wheels take a lot of punishment when mountain biking, which means that having double-wall rims is called for. Moreover, to help you move with speed and efficiency, aim for rims that are between 26 and 29 inches.

Budget

You, of course, need to consider your budget.  When buying a mountain bike, you get what you pay for, so try not to go for the very cheapest option. You could end up having to continually repair and tune it, which won’t end up being very time- and cost-effective.

Related: Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000

Conclusion

If you want the best budget mountain bike, our top recommendation is the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike, as it has excellent features and is the all-around best option considering its low price. That said, any of the other four mountain bikes reviewed today are great alternatives.