Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 Reviewed [2021]

It can be a bit confusing to figure out the best mountain bike to buy that can last you a long time while also meeting your budgetary requirements. How do you go about looking for a new or first mountain bike for yourself? Which one do you opt for? Take a look at some great criteria and options to pick from!

Everything You Need to Know About Mountain Bikes

There are several things you should know and consider when it comes to buying a mountain bike. Let’s take a look at some of these in further detail.

Size

Size is an important element in mountain bikes. It is essential to make sure that the size of the mountain bike is compatible with your own size and weight, as some bikes tend to be designed specially for a certain body size.

You should also take into account the frame size, height, distance between the components of the bike and more.

Wheels

The wheels of the bike can be of a variety of sizes. Most commonly, 26, 27.5 and 29 inches are popular in the wheels of modern mountain bikes. Bigger sizes of wheels can be sturdier on certain terrains but can also be a bit more difficult to manage, especially in murky conditions.

Ultimately, the wheel size will depend on how often and where you plan on riding your mountain bike.

Design

The design of the bike mainly includes what purpose the bike is specifically made for and how. For instance, it could be made for cross-country or trail rides that can also impact its components. This includes the saddle and how comfortable and adjustable it is, the spacing, presence of headsets, rear structures and more.

The brake design and how smooth it is can also matter.

Price

Mountain bikes can be expensive since they are meant to offer safety, speed and control measures along with some extra features that can make the riding experience smoother. The wheel size and frames can also alter the price a bit.

This guide and review section only includes bikes that are under $500, although a couple of them are slightly more as well to account for some adjustments.

Use

How much usage can the mountain bike withstand? What kind of terrain do you plan on using your mountain bike on? How often will you go out on your bike? Make sure you clarify these questions and their compatibility with the features of the bike as well.

Regular cleaning and maintenance requirements of these bikes are also essential here.

Weight

You must also consider the weight of the bike. Usually, mountain bikes are made from light frames that can make it easier for you to transport and maneuver them around. In this case, you should focus more on the overall sturdiness of the bike itself.

Another important element here is also how much weight the bike can carry, including your own weight along with any other equipment.

Quality

Mountain bikes need to be strong and durable so that they can last you for a long time. They should also be able to withstand rough terrains and weather conditions. The aluminum frame of these bikes, sufficient protective elements and sturdy grips on wheels can maintain the quality of the bikes.

Looking into the warranty period can help you make repairs whenever required within the time frame. Most bikes will ideally have a limited lifetime warranty.

Brakes

There are generally two kinds of brakes in bikes that include V-brakes and disc brakes. Disc brakes are now replacing V-brakes due to their efficiency and reliability, so it can help if your bike has disc brakes installed in them.

The disc brakes can further be hydraulic or mechanical, with the latter being more affordable.

Distance

How much distance your mountain bike can cover is significant as well. This will depend on the suspension fork travel. For instance, 100 mm or more of such travel facilities can help you ride cross-country and on trails, but anything lesser than that can be a bit limiting.

15 Best Mountain Bikes under $500

Now that you know about all the considerations involved in buying a mountain bike, you can move on to the product reviews of some of the best mountain bikes under $500.

Batch the Mountain 29

This mountain bike is durable, light and dependable for your ride through the off-roads and mountains. It has a sturdy aluminum frame along with smooth-rolling wheels that can withstand rough terrains well. The alloy rim brakes can help you control the bike better. You can also access some extra features through this purchase.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: 6061 alloy frame
  • Wheel Size: 29 inches
  • Size: 18.3 inches
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • It has a light aluminum or alloy frame.
  • It includes an attachable rack mount for commuting.
  • The alloy rim brakes can help stop the bike in a controlled and steady way.
  • The rims include two walls that are reliable and easy to ride.
  • It has shifters that come in 21 speeds.

Pros

  • The lightweight nature of this bike makes it easier to control and carry through rough terrains.
  • Its 100-mm suspension fork is suitable for long distances and riding uphill.
  • The brakes are made in a way that they can let you stop efficiently and smoothly.
  • The tires are sturdy and come with a strong grip.
  • It comes with a limited lifetime warranty in case you need to make any repairs or replacements for certain parts.

Cons

  • The V-brakes might not be able to work well on mucky roads.
  • This bike might not work well for advanced or experienced bikers.

You can buy this bike here.

Co-Op Cycle DRT 1.0

This mountain bike is another great choice for traveling on off-road terrains. Made for a trail ride, this bike can offer a 100-mm suspension fork travel that can help for ascent and descent as well as good speed control. It also has a sturdy aluminum frame that can withstand rough conditions.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Size: 12 inches
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • The aluminum frame is lightweight and strong.
  • The wheels are designed to make steering simpler.
  • It comes with a 100-mm suspension fork travel designed for trails.
  • It has hydraulic disc brakes.
  • It can carry an overall weight of 300 pounds.

Pros

  • The light weight of the bike can make control and movement easier.
  • The 100-mm travel fork can work well for uphill and trail rides.
  • It is specifically designed to suit people with shorter heights.
  • The wheels can grip onto all kinds of surfaces, making this bike suitable for rough grounds.
  • It includes free adjustments for up to a year.

Cons

  • It cannot suit all kinds of heights.
  • You will need to assemble some parts on your own after receiving the bike.

You can purchase this bike here.

Vilano Blackjack 3.0

The Vilano Blackjack 3.0 is a light mountain bike that can be great for beginners. The frame is comfortable enough. You can also ride the bike over long and rough distances. It includes a lockout that you can use for security and simpler management of the bike.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: 6061 alloy hardtail frame
  • Wheel Size: 29 inches
  • Size: 17 inches
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 24
Features
  • It has an alloy hardtail frame that is lightweight and durable.
  • The suspension fork comes with a lockout that can help adjust the rate of compression.
  • The wheels are 29 inches, making them large and strong enough to ride across all kinds of terrains.
  • It includes alloy rims with two walls.
  • It has an 80-mm suspension fork travel.

Pros

  • It has a high number of speeds or gears that can make this bike versatile and adjustable.
  • Since it is light in weight, this bike can be easy to carry around and maneuver across different roads and off-roads.
  • It has disc brakes that you can make good use of for controlling the speed of the bike.
  • The shifters are part of the structure and can help manage the speeds or gears.
  • It comes with all the necessary instructions required before biking.

Cons

  • The 80-mm fork makes riding more limited.
  • You will need to assemble parts of the bike on your own.

You can buy this bike here.

Schwinn Mesa Mountain Bike

The Schwinn Mesa Mountain Bike is a dependable bike that can work well for more advanced riders. It has a small, light and sturdy frame that can make rides comfortable. It includes 21 speeds as well as a strong grip, durable design and accurate steering possibilities.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: Small frame
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • It has a linear-pull braking system.
  • The drivetrain comes with 21 speeds that make shifting simpler.
  • It has a small and lightweight aluminum frame.
  • The wheel size and tire strength can offer a stable ride.
  • It comes with an 80-mm suspension fork travel distance.

Pros

  • It is simple to maneuver this bike across all kinds of terrains.
  • The linear braking system can be a simple but reliable way to control the bike.
  • You can accurately shift and change the speeds through the 21 speeds or gears.
  • These bikes are made for paths that are rocky, muddy and uneven.
  • The wheels of this bike are wide and strong enough to withstand rough conditions.

Cons

  • The 80mm travel can be a bit limiting at times.
  • It might not be able to survive extremely harsh conditions.

This bike is available on Amazon.

27.5” Royce Union Bike

The 27.5” Royce Union Bike comes in a matte black color and is specifically designed for riding trails and long distances. Since this bike is light in weight, you can manage it well by controlling it easily. With front suspension and a 21-speed shifting rate, this bike can offer a smooth experience.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Hardtail aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: 20 inches
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • It has mechanical alloy rims on the wheels for better and smoother braking.
  • The hardtail aluminum frame can keep the bike sturdy and long lasting.
  • It has a Shimano 21-speed train that can work for all kinds of bike riders.
  • Acceleration and management of the bike are seamless.
  • The saddle is adjustable for different heights.

Pros

  • The frame and height are ideal for people with taller heights.
  • Since the wheels are 27.5 inches, they can maintain a good speed and grip in a consistent manner.
  • The bike can be used on pathways as well as rocky and rough terrains.
  • The suspension fork is made for long trails and can last for a long time.
  • It comes with a limited warranty of 10 years for simpler access to repairs and replacements.

Cons

  • It might not be compatible with a variety of heights and sizes.
  • The stem handles tend to be a bit loose.

You can click here to buy this bike.

Outroad Mountain Bike

The Outroad Mountain Bike has 27.5-inch wheels and is an affordable mountain bike that can serve your purpose well. It comes with 21 speeds along with disc brakes for greater stability and control. The tires come in good and reliable quality and can ensure better grip.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: Standard
  • Suspension Type: Dual
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • It comes with a light aluminum frame along with welding elements.
  • It has a dual suspension system for both front and rear parts of the bike.
  • This bike has disc brakes for greater control.
  • It comes with anti-slip or anti-skid measures on the tires of the wheels.
  • There are 21 gears or speeds for simple shifting.

Pros

  • The anti-slip protection on the wheels can ensure better safety while riding through all terrains.
  • Dual suspension for the front and rear can make control and shock absorption more effective.
  • This bike is quite affordable while still maintaining quality.
  • The process of changing gears or speeds is smooth and quick.
  • This bike can work for most kinds of heights of the riders.

Cons

  • This bike is slightly on the heavier side.
  • The shifting can be a bit unclear.

Buy this bike from Amazon here.

Hiland 26” Mountain Bike

The Hiland 26” Mountain Bike, as the name suggests, has wheels with a size of 26 inches. With disc brakes and front suspension, this is another bike that you can consider for your mountain biking needs. It is also available in three different sizes that you can opt for depending on how compatible it is with your height.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Size: Various
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 24
Features
  • It comes with a disc brake system.
  • You can choose from three different sizes including small, medium and large.
  • There are 24 speeds or gears for diverse and smooth shifting.
  • It comes in gray, black, blue and red colors.
  • It comes with the necessary assembly materials.

Pros

  • A high-quality structure is designed for safety and durability.
  • This bike comes pre-assembled to a large extent, making it easier for you to complete the setting up process.
  • Multiple sizes and colors can be ideal for selecting an option that fits well with your requirements.
  • The double-disc brakes can offer control, stability and strength.
  • The 100-mm suspension fork travel is ideal for cross-country and trails.

Cons

  • The remaining setup process requires some prior skill and knowledge.
  • The seat is slightly uncomfortable.

You can buy this bike here.

Mongoose Switchback Trail

The Mongoose Switchback Trail is another lightweight bike that can suit most kinds of rider heights well. It has mechanical disc brakes, an aluminum frame, double suspensions and an overall comfortable structure.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: Various
  • Suspension Type: Dual
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • It comes in small, medium and large sizes that you can opt for.
  • There are 21 Shimano shifters for easy adjustments.
  • It has dual suspension at the front as well as rear.
  • It comes with mechanical disc brakes for better control.
  • It has an 80-mm suspension fork travel.

Pros

  • The dual suspension can offer better control along with a safer ride due to shock absorption.
  • The alloy rims are double rimmed, creating a more secure and durable structure.
  • The multiple size options can suit your height requirements well.
  • The tires are wide and long enough to ensure a smooth ride across most terrains.
  • It comes with the necessary instructions for assembly and usage.

Cons

  • The 80-mm suspension fork can be slightly restrictive.
  • The gears can be a bit difficult to figure out.

Buy this product by clicking here.

Neffice 27.5” Mountain Bike

The Neffice Mountain Bike is a strong and durable option that you can consider. It has 24 gears or speeds that you can keep shifting depending on the terrain and conditions you’re riding in. The seat is also adjustable and comfortable. The overall assembly required is only minimal on your end.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: 17 inches
  • Suspension Type: Dual
  • Number of Speeds: 24
Features
  • It has 24 speeds that you can shift.
  • It comes with dual suspension at the front and rear.
  • The suspension fork is strong and lockable.
  • The tires have stable and strong grips in place for most kinds of terrain.
  • It is possible to adjust the height of the seat.

Pros

  • This bike can handle a weight of 330 pounds of both the rider and additional equipment.
  • The dual suspension is useful for accurate control and braking.
  • The suspension fork has a lock switch for smoother shifting and greater control.
  • The bike is light and durable. It is easy to carry it around and maneuver it.
  • The final assembly process is simple as most of the assembling is done by the time you receive the bike.

Cons

  • There have been some issues with pedaling the bike easily.
  • You might need to keep adjusting the brakes.

You can buy this bike here.

Merax 26” Aluminum Bike

This Merax bike has an aluminum frame with 24 speeds for easy shifting. It also comes with disc brakes that can make it convenient for you to control the bike in difficult conditions. The overall bike design also contributes to greater precision.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Size: 17 inches
  • Suspension Type: Dual
  • Number of Speeds: 24
Features
  • It comes with the required assembling materials.
  • It has a weight capacity of 330 pounds, including the rider and their equipment.
  • It has a suspension fork of 80 mm.
  • The suspensions are present at the front as well as the rear.
  • The bike comes with mechanical disc brakes.

Pros

  • The dual suspensions can make it easier for you to control the bike in a more precise way.
  • The mechanical disc brakes can be helpful for regulation in rough conditions.
  • Since there are 24 speeds, you can easily shift gears when required.
  • This mountain bike is already 85% assembled when you receive it.
  • It comes with a one-year warranty period for repairs or replacements.

Cons

  • It might be difficult to assemble the remaining parts without prior knowledge.
  • The height might not work for everyone.

You can buy this bike here.

Cannondale Quick 24 Kids’ Bike

If you are looking for an option for your kids so that they can safely accompany you on your bike rides, then this bike can be a great option for them. It comes with an aluminum frame along with relevant safety features.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 24 inches
  • Size: Small
  • Suspension Type: None
  • Number of Speeds: 7
Features
  • There are seven speeds or gears that can be appropriate enough to adjust for kids.
  • The wheel size of 24 inches can help handle off-road situations.
  • The size is small to ensure suitability for kids.
  • The bike has rim brakes for accuracy and precision.
  • It contains a saddle, grips and handlebar that are specifically designed for kids.

Pros

  • The bike design is made to suit kids so that they can be as comfortable as possible.
  • The light aluminum frame can make it convenient for kids to manage.
  • It is made for both on and off-road riding, allowing it to withstand uneven surfaces.
  • The brake is smooth and precise to ensure safety while riding.
  • The saddle is adjustable.

Cons

  • The seven gears might be a bit restrictive.
  • These bikes can only be used recreationally, although this can be safer for kids.

You can buy this bike here.

TREK Marlin 4

The TREK Marlin 4 is designed for trails, making it strong, reliable and durable suspension fork travel. It has 21 speeds and can work well for off-road biking as well as for regular commuting.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: Various
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • It comes with disc brakes for greater regulation and balance.
  • It comes with rack mounts to use the bike for daily commuting.
  • There are multiple sizes and colors that you can choose from.
  • The height and reach distances vary according to the size.
  • The suspension fork travel is 100 mm.

Pros

  • There are a greater number of choices that you can select depending on your requirements.
  • It has maximum fork travel of 100 mm, which can be perfect for riding trails.
  • You can use it for multiple purposes, including commuting and recreational riding.
  • It can work well for all kinds of sizes and body types.
  • It has internal cables and protection measures to resist different weather conditions.

Cons

  • It might work well only for beginners.
  • It can be a bit heavy.

You can buy this bike here.

OBK 27.5 Mountain Bike

The OBK Mountain Bike has 27.5-inch wheels that can work well for various kinds of terrains. It can particularly work well on gravel. It further comes in both red and yellow colors that you can choose from. It has 21 speeds for a good amount of control.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: 17 inches
  • Suspension Type: Front
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • There are 21 speeds or gears for shifting while riding the bike.
  • There is a front suspension system to make the ride safer.
  • The suspension fork allows for secure and even rides.
  • It comes with additional assembly materials.
  • You can choose between aluminum or magnesium rims or wheels.

Pros

  • This bike can hold up to 300 pounds of weight, making it suitable for riders as well as additional equipment.
  • Sufficient installation instructions are provided.
  • Most of the structure comes assembled beforehand, limiting the amount of assembly to be done.
  • The presence of disc brakes can offer stability and better management.
  • You can ride this bike easily in harsh conditions as the suspension fork absorbs the shock.

Cons

  • There have been complaints about the functioning of the gears.
  • The bike can be a bit too short for easy riding.

This bike is available on Amazon.

Hiland 27.5” Mountain Bike

The Hiland 27.5” Mountain Bike comes in a gray and blue color with an aluminum frame. It includes an internal wire structure and a hydraulic disc brake. It comes in three different sizes that you can pick from. It also comes pre-assembled but requires you to install a few additional structures.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
  • Size: 16 inches, 18 inches, 19.5 inches
  • Suspension Type: Dual
  • Number of Speeds: 27
Features
  • This bike comes in three different sizes.
  • It can be used for both commuting and trail riding.
  • It comes with a lock-out suspension fork.
  • It has hydraulic disc brakes for greater control and accuracy.
  • It has 27 speeds or gears that you can shift while riding.

Pros

  • Since there are 27 speeds, it is possible to have greater control as well as flexibility while riding.
  • There are three different sizes that you can pick from, offering greater variety to ensure compatibility.
  • The wide wheels with a lock-out suspension can allow you to ride the bike on most kinds of terrains.
  • The frame is made from aluminum, making it both sturdy and light enough for comfortable riding.
  • It is easy to assemble.

Cons

  • There have been issues with loose bolts and structures.
  • It can be difficult to use the shifters well.

You can buy this bike from Amazon by clicking here.

Mongoose Exlipse Mountain Bike for Kids

The Mongoose Explise Mountain Bike is specially made for kids. It has a small steel frame that can suit kids and their sizes. It is pink in color and works well for ages 9-12. It is also light enough to allow them to maneuver it easily.

Features and Spec Sheet

Specs
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 24 inches
  • Size: 15 inches
  • Suspension Type: Dual
  • Number of Speeds: 21
Features
  • It comes with a dual suspension on the front and rear ends of the bike.
  • It is lightweight.
  • It has three cranks within the structure.
  • The brake cables and pedals are adjustable.
  • It is small enough to be comfortable for kids.

Pros

  • The dual suspension can offer safety.
  • It is compatible with the heights of kids in the age bracket of 9 and 12, offering them a comfortable ride.
  • It comes with a kickstand for security.
  • Since there are 21 speeds, it is easier for kids to shift gears and have a smooth experience on rough terrains.
  • The brakes are smooth and the saddle is adjustable for greater comfort.

Cons

  • The brake wire can be a bit loose.
  • There have been some complaints about missing components in the package.

You can buy this bike by clicking here.

Final Thoughts

Through this guide, we have taken you through some important considerations, along with detailed product reviews. We hope that these were helpful to you in making your decision. Happy biking!