Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 Dollars: A Must-Read for Buyers

If you want adventure, enjoy nature, or simply love physical activities, mountain biking is an activity that you should definitely try. It is a good way to explore new destinations while being eco-friendly as well. To make the most out of it, there is one thing that you need to have – the best mountain bike. Given the abundance of the options that are available, however, making a decision will not be an easy feat.

If you are on the lookout for the best mountain bike under 500 dollars, keep on reading and we will help you to come up with the right decision. We will have short reviews of some of the top options that can be taken into consideration and we will also have a discussion of some of the factors that you should keep on mind. By the time that you are finished reading, for sure, you will find it a lot easier to get settled with the best pick.

Top Picks for the Best Mountain Bike Under 500 Dollars

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

When it comes to mountain bikes, Schwinn is one of the names that you can definitely trust, making it an option that is hard to rival. Among others, the dual suspension frame, which is made from aluminum, is one of its best features. This makes it lightweight and reliable.

In many of the reviews that have been shared by the users of this bike, emphasis has also been given on the quality of its wheels. It has alloy rims and high-profile tires. Regardless of the condition of the terrain, you can be confident that it is going to perform well.

It is also worth noting that it comes with a 24-speed gearing mechanism. This will make it impressive when it comes to versatility. As it has been shared by many of its users, changing the gear is going to be smooth and easy.

Lastly, it is an option that is well-loved by many because putting the components together will be effortless. Once it is taken out of the box, you do not have to suffer from complicated assembly. Within a few minutes, the bike will be ready for your first ride.

Pros

  • Effortless to assemble
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Requires fine tuning
  • Requires fine tuning

Merax Finiss 26” Aluminum 21-speed Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes

For those who are searching for a mountain bike with decent quality and an affordable price, this product should be on the top of the list. This is an excellent price for beginners, given the fact that it is an economical model.

While it is cheap, it does not run short in terms of features that make it exceptional. For instance, it can be assembled within just 20 minutes. There is a comprehensive instruction manual from the manufacturer, making its assembly a piece of cake.

Another feature that many liked is its design. From the first time that you see it, you will definitely be captivated. This bike is going to be a head-turner and with its stylish appeal, many would actually think that it is expensive.

Taking a look at the reviews of many people, it is also apparent that many chose this bike because of the dual disc brakes. Braking does not need to be hard, allowing the bike to demonstrate superior performance, especially when it comes to safety.

Pros

  • Economical price
  • Aesthetically-pleasing

Cons

  • Front shock can be soft
  • Looks flimsy

Merax Finiss 26-inch Aluminum 21-speed Mg Alloy Wheel Mountain Bike

When looking for a mountain bike, you will be confronted with options that have staggering price tags. For the budget-conscious buyers, this is one product that will prove to be best. The price is right, making it ideal for those who are on the lookout for entry-level mountain bikes.

It is important to take a look at the overall construction of the mountain bike to evaluate its quality. In the case of this model, it is made with an aluminum frame that has been heat-treated. This is impressive not only because it is lightweight, but also because it is long-lasting. Even if it is frequently used in rough terrains, you can be confident that it will be long-lasting.

The reliability of this bike is also superior. It comes with 21-speed derailleurs, which can be good when it comes to flexibility. You will have the option to shift gears smoothly, making it user-friendly. There is no wonder why it is well-loved even by beginners.

To make it even more reliable, the mountain bike is integrated with mechanical disc brake systems. With powerful brakes, you can be assured of your safety. Whether it is in a smooth surface or rough terrain, the brakes will never disappoint.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Economical price

Cons

  • Problems with braking
  • Some parts look cheap

2016 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike Shimano Acera Suntour

If you are searching for the best mountain bike under 500 dollars, this is one option that should be part of your list. While it has an economical price tag, if you take a look at its technical specifications and features, you will realize that it is indeed comparable with some of the high-end options available on the market.

This mountain bike is packed with innovative features, giving it an edge above other models within the same price range. For instance, it has CantiBeam Single Pivot Technology, a revolutionary feature that makes it reliable. It also has Suntour fork, which is adjustable. With these features, among others, the bike can perform excellently.

The Tektro Novella brakes, placed on the rear and front of the bike, is another technology that makes it top-notch. Even if you are driving in a steep terrain, the stopping power of the bike will be impressive.

Lastly, it has also been given word of praises because of its durability. Many of the components are made with the best materials that are available. Even through the years, the bike will be in its best condition, especially provided that it is well-maintained.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Comes pre-assembled

Cons

  • Wheelbase is short
  • No kickstand

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Overdrive Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike

Made by one of the most trusted names on the market for mountain bikes, choosing this model is going to be a decision that you will not regret. It is an economical option, although not necessarily as cheap as the other bikes mentioned above.

It is filled with countless features that give it an outstanding appeal. Among others, one that is frequently noted is the ease of assembly. All of the tools that you need are already provided by the manufacturer. The tires, just like in other models, will need to be pumped. Instructions are also provided to make things a lot easier.

Being well-built is another reason why this is a popular option. You can use it for several years without having to be worried that the quality will deteriorate. However, there are some who complained that the pedals are not as long-lasting as those from the competition.

Technically speaking, if you look at the specifications of the bike, you can see that it is comparable to expensive models. From the brakes to the quality of the tires, it can demonstrate superior quality in more ways than one. With these things, it will surely be an excellent investment for people who are searching for a reliable mountain bike.

Pros

  • Solid frame
  • Impressive wheels

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Flimsy pedals

Essential Factors to Consider

Clueless about which is the best mountain bike to choose? Aside from considering the models that we have mentioned above, make sure to also think about the factors that will be discussed below.

Frame Construction

Quality is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider in your search for the best mountain bike. You should take a look at the materials that are used for the frame, which will be indicative of its overall performance. The following are some of the most common materials:

  • Aluminum: For the affordable mountain bikes, this is perhaps the most popular material that is used. This is excellent because it makes the bike lightweight. It is also well-loved by many because it can resist rusting. Most importantly, this is a material that can make the bike affordable.
  • Carbon Fiber: For bikes that are under 500 dollars, this is a material that is less common. It is expensive, but the quality is hard to rival, especially when talking about being lightweight. It is also able to resist corrosion, and more importantly, it can dampen vibration. This means that it is going to be comfortable.
  • Titanium: Like aluminum, this is also metal. While other materials are painted, titanium can be simply brushed or polished, while also being able to resist corrosion, scratches, and other external damages. This material, however, can be costly.

Type of Suspension

For the uneducated and novice buyer, suspension is one thing that is often ignored. In reality, however, this is a critical concern. When it comes to mountain bikes, the following are the types of suspension:

  • Front Suspension
  • Dual Suspension

Also known as hardtail, these bikes are equipped with a suspension fork on the front. This is effective in being able to have excellent shock absorption capability, but such benefit is exclusive only on the front. They are preferred by many because the moving parts are fewer compared to its counterpart, which translates into being easy to maintain. These bikes are also affordable.

Wheels and Tires

Similar to the frame, the wheels and the tires will also be essential considerations in your quest towards finding the best. When it comes to the wheels, the right size will be important. Wider wheels can be better. It is also important that they are made from the right materials, especially those that will be able to withstand the weight of the rider and the demands of its use.

When it comes to the tires, on the other hand, the grip on the ground is one of the most important. The tires must have impressive traction regardless of the terrain. The tread patterns will be indicative of how easy it will be to have the bike controlled. It should also be strong enough to avoid being flat.

Comfort

Mountain biking can be an enjoyable activity, but it can be physically tiring. To avoid the latter, make sure to pay attention to the different features that will be indicative of comfort:

  • Seat: Being seated on a bike for an extended period while driving on a rough terrain can lead into discomfort. More often than not, choosing the right seat will be a matter of personal interest. It should be wide enough to provide unrivalled comfort. It should also be well-cushioned and must be able to wick moisture.
  • Handlebars: There are generally two types of handlebars: flat bars and riser bars. Regardless of which one you decide to choose, one of the most important is that it should be comfortable to grip.
  • Pedal: Having a bike pedaled can be challenging. With this, it is also critical to choose the right type of pedal. Clipless pedals are popular for more experienced bikers. This will be beneficial in terms of speed and energy. For most beginners, on the other hand, they are more comfortable with strapped pedals, which will make their foot stay in place while pedaling.

Brakes

The brakes of the mountain bike will be important for many reasons, the most significant of which will be in terms of safety. The brakes should be superior, especially when driving downhill or in rough terrains. There are generally two options when it comes to the brakes of mountain bikes:

  • Disc Brakes: This is the common type in newer models of mountain bikes. It can be further divided into two types. The first one is a hydraulic disc brake, which is stronger and can be activated even with less effort from your fingers. Cable-activated disc brakes, on the other hand, will require manual adjustments. Aside from minimal strain in your finger, it is also exceptional in different road conditions.
  • Rim Brakes: This is the traditional brakes found in mountain bikes. It is chosen by many because the wear of the pad can be easily observed, providing you with immediate warning that it is in need of replacement. It is also preferred by budget-conscious buyers because bikes with rim brakes are often cheaper. The stopping power, on the other hand, is less impressive.

Maintenance

A good mountain bike must be able to withstand many years of use. Durability, however, will be dependent on a variety of factors, such as maintenance. Whether you like it or not, you will have to exert an effort in terms of maintenance. There are bikes, however, which can be easy to maintain. This will be the better option. You can expect the performance to be superior while requiring less effort on your end.

Feedbacks

There are hundreds of options that can confront you. For many buyers, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Nonetheless, you should spare time and effort to differentiate one from the other and the best way to do this is to take a look at what other people are saying. You can simply read online and read reviews from past users. If you are not comfortable about trusting the opinions of strangers, you can also ask around from people you personally know. With their experiences and the insights that they will share, it will be easier for you to weigh the pros and cons of the various options.

Conclusion

From the things that have been discussed above, it is apparent that making the right choice is going to be challenging, especially if you are uneducated about the features to look for. At all times, make sure to look beyond price. Consider what other people have to say as this is going to make it easier to evaluate the pros and cons of the possibilities. Make sure to pick one that is going to be unrivalled in terms of comfort, as this will make your ride more enjoyable.

To make things easier. Keep an eye on the five options that we have mentioned above for the best mountain bike under 500 dollars. We have taken a look at the reviews shared by other people and also evaluated their different features. With confidence, we can say that they are indeed amongst the best brands and models that you will ever be confronted with.

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