8 Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 Dollars in 2021

We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more

Looking for the best mountain bikes under 500? Well, if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that there’s no shortage of them on the market today.

Biking is quickly becoming one of the most accessible sports and recreation activities thanks to the sheer availability of options and how competitive the market is.

Not only is it super easy to find good mountain bikes under 500, but most of them come with amazing features, and have cutting-edge technology and design. Don’t believe us? Check out the following picks of the top mountain bicycles on a budget.

Mountain Bike Reviews Under 500

As mentioned above, there’s no shortage of options for someone who’s looking for the best mountain bikes under 500.

But, the problem is; which one do you choose and how do you know you’ve found the right one?

To help narrow down your options, we went out and tested the best models on the market to bring you the following options and advice.

1. Schwinn Bonafide Men’s Mountain Bike

When it comes to quality mountain bikes under 500, Schwinn bikes are unbeatable.

Here we have another example of their expert craftsmanship and attention to detail with features like high-quality front fork suspension, a durable aluminum alloy frame, and rubber tires with a pretty symmetrical tread design.

Taken together, these features guarantee a stable and balanced ride, while the mechanical disc brakes are a great way to maintain control of the bike, whether you want to speed up, slow down or make a careful turn.

Pros
  • It’s an affordable off-road bike
  • Offers precise gear shifting
  • The seat height is easy to adjust
  • Knobby tires provide a firm grip
  • A well-made crankset is constructed from durable metal
  • Can handle high and low jumps, thanks to its sturdy suspension, fork, and frame
Cons
  • Flimsy pedals but it’s nothing you can’t improve later on

2. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike

If you’re looking for a versatile mountain bike that you can take on off-road applications, then look no further than the Mongoose Dolomite Bike.

It’s constructed from a stainless-steel frame with the capacity to handle riders as tall as 5’6″ to 6′, as well as knobby tires that make light work of any and all obstacles.

This is in addition to the bike’s Shimano drivetrain which makes it even more precise on the road.

It doesn’t have the sturdiest pedals but this is not a $1,000 bike after all so it’s understandable. Besides, with reliable brakes and a wide central rib to keep things balanced, there’s a lot to like.

Pros
  • Comes with a flat handlebar and cushioned saddle both of which are adjustable
  • Features Shimano derailleurs on the front and back
  • Comes with 21-speed Shimano shifters
  • It can carry up to 330 pounds
  • Linear V brakes on the back and front
Cons
  • Pedals and saddle could use some improvement

3. Kent KZ2600 Mountain Bike

Next up we have a full-suspension mountain bike under 500 by Kent.

Referred to as the Kent Thruster KZ2600 mountain bike, this model comes with the crème de la crème of the latest bike features and it’s made from premium components, despite its low-price tag.

To start with, it’s made from an aluminum frame making it lightweight yet durable, and this is complemented by the reliable aluminum fork which makes for a smooth ride over those challenging and rough roads.

To top it off, Kent has fitted this baby with a 21-speed Shimano shifter so that you don’t have to struggle with changing gears.

Pros
  • Convenience is at the forefront of this model’s design
  • Its components are easy to acquire and access
  • Makes it easy to maintain a comfortable posture
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Made with alloy wheel rims
  • Full suspension fork
  • Made with linear brake at the back and disc brake at the front
  • Features a 21-speed Shimano shift system
Cons
  • It doesn’t have a water bottle holder
  • Poor quality seats and pedals are the prices you pay for its affordable price tag

4. Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

Almost all mountain bike reviews under 500 mention the Diamondback Hardtail mountain bike and for good reason. It’s a pretty decent bike for the price and it’s perfect for exploring those nearby mountain trails in your area.

This bike also comes highly recommended for beginners as it sports a lightweight aluminum frame that can surprisingly take a lot of abuse.

The 29-inch wheels will give you a lot of confidence as you overcome even the most difficult obstacles on the road, and you’ll be glad to know that this is one of those bikes that are suitable for riders of different heights.

We must commend Diamondback for making a quality bike at this price range and we just don’t know how they do it. Whatever their secret is, they need to keep at it because the fact that this bike comes with a Shimano Tourney front derailleur and Shimano Acera rear derailleur is part of what makes it one of the best mountain bikes under 500.

Pros
  • It comes with an 80mm suspension fork
  • 2.25-inch-wide tires
  • It’s made with Shimano parts
  • Comes with 29-inch wheels
  • Made with an aluminum frame
Cons
  • The frame can feel a little bent

5. Merax Finiss Aluminum Mountain Bike

It’s no surprise that Merax makes some good mountain bikes because here we have again from them a quality offering.

This model is quite robust and it’s made to last with a durable drivetrain, a superbly welded frame, and mechanical disc brakes on the front and back.

This is further complemented by its 80mm front fork which allows you to tackle any type of obstacle with ease and grace. Basically, you won’t feel a thing and will just enjoy a smooth ride no matter how many rocks you bump up against.

Pros
  • Rubberized grips and padded seats make it comfy
  • Comes with double-wall alloy wheel rims
  • Sports mechanical disc brakes
  • Features Shimano derailleurs on the front and back
  • 24-speed Shimano EZ fire trigger
Cons
  • It takes a lot of time to install this bike and you must be able to adjust the gears and brakes

6. Mongoose Malus Adult Fat Tire Mountain Bike

Next, in our exploration of great mountain bikes under 500 we have the Mongoose Malus model which lives up to this brand’s name and reputation in every way imaginable.

This bike comes with huge wheels and is made from a durable stainless-steel frame that can easily handle tall riders.

Not only that, but the Mongoose comes with strong mechanical disc brakes that’ll make control of the bike that much easier, while the paintwork makes it one of the most stylish models on this list.

Pros
  • Responsive brake levers and strong mechanical disc brakes offer powerful braking force
  • Perfect for off-road applications thanks to the rigid bike frame
  • Compatible with riders of all heights and weights
  • The seat post and handlebar are easy to adjust
  • Beautifully designed and attractive to the eye
Cons
  • It’s only available in one color unfortunately
  • Doesn’t offer many speed settings

7. Merax Mountain Bicycle with Suspension Fork

Merax Finiss is considered to be one of the best mountain bike brands under 500. It sports a durable aluminum frame and suspended fork combo which allows you to enjoy a smooth and comfy ride no matter how challenging the terrain.

You’ll find that turning corners is a breeze, thanks to the balanced 26-inch wheels, and the mechanical disc brakes will bring this bike to a stop on a dime, ensuring your safety on the road.

This is one of the best mountain bikes for someone that enjoys a more aggressive style of riding and it won’t hold you back if speed is your thing. Shifting gears is also effortless, thanks to the Shimano 3×8 drivetrain and components.

Pros
  • Backed by a one-year warranty
  • Has a weight carrying capacity of up to 330 pounds
  • Comes with all the features that you need from a mountain bike
  • Features dual disc brakes for maximum safety and control
  • Shimano 24-speed derailleurs and shifters for easy gear shifting
  • Allows you to smoothly tackle rough terrain with front suspension forks
Cons
  • There have been some complaints about this bike arriving with defects

8. Gravity 2020 FSX Full Suspension Mountain Bike

A list of the best mountain bikes under 500 wouldn’t be complete without this model from Gravity, with its impressive gear shifting mechanism and Shimano drivetrain, it’s all you need to tackle off-road terrain with ease.

Of noteworthy mention are its mechanical disc brakes which allow you to effortlessly control its speed and bring it to a stop whenever you want to.

As if that wasn’t enough, this bike comes with a flat handlebar, which makes it even easier to maneuver and operate.

Pros
  • It’s made from a strong yet lightweight frame
  • Offers reliable traction on any type of terrain
  • Easy to steer and control
  • Offers precise gear shifting thanks to the grip shifters and derailleur
  • Both wheels offer firm stopping force
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Easy to maintain
Cons
  • There’s room for improvement with the pedals and saddle

How to Pick the Best Mountain Bikes Under 500

What’s the key to finding the best mountain bikes under 500? Well, it all starts with knowing what to look for in terms of features and functions.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered with the criterion that we used to come up with the list provided here.

Material

It’s also important to pay attention to the types of materials utilized to make your mountain bike. You want something that’s made from durable materials that can handle shocks, different kinds of weather, and road conditions.

Since this is a mountain bike, you’re probably going to be taking it out on the wide-open road pretty often, where it will face all kinds of rugged terrain.

High-end bikes are often made from sturdy materials like titanium, carbon fiber, aluminum alloy, and stainless steel.

The best mountain bicycles are usually made from affordable yet durable materials such as aluminum alloy or steel. Ideally, you want a lightweight frame that will make the bike easy to maneuver.

Type

Mountain bikes come in five different categories namely; park bikes, all-mountain bikes, fat-tire bikes, cross country bikes, and trail bikes.

All of these have different features and are constructed uniquely.

Suspension System

Mountain bikes operate according to three main suspension mechanisms, namely, dual suspension, hardtail, and rigid.

Most affordable mountain bikes come with shock-absorbent aluminum alloy or rigid steel front forks.

Hardtail suspension means that the front fork is responsible for taking all of the shocks sustained by the bikes.

On the other hand, a dual suspension bike typically comes with both front and back forks that make for even better suspension and a smoother ride for you.

Drivetrain

The more you take your bike out on challenging terrain and to face the elements, the tougher its drivetrain and tires are going to have to be.

The good news is that most mountain bikes are made for these conditions and sport 18 to 27-speed gear combinations for you to choose from.

Plus, the more gear combinations you have access to, the more front sprockets and rear cassettes as well.

Brakes

Last but not least, you should consider the brake system utilized for your mountain bikes. The main two types that you have available to choose from include disc brakes and linear v-brakes.

V-brakes are great at bringing the bike to a stop on a dime and they’re usually more affordable too, while disc brakes come in hydraulic and mechanical categories.

Mechanical disc brakes are more affordable and low maintenance when compared to the pricier hydraulic disc brakes.

Wheels

Most mountain bikes are made with wheels that measure 26″, 27.5″, and 29″.

Wheel size is important to consider because it affects your performance and comfort on the bike based on your height.

For the most part, a bike with 26-inch wheels is more suited to shorter rides while larger 29-inch wheels will allow you to travel for long distances with ease.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it! That is our selection of the best mountain bikes under 500. If we were to choose just one option from this list, it would be the Schwinn Bonafide Men’s Mountain Bike.

Why? Because this affordable off-road bike is made by one of the most well-known manufacturers on the market.

It’s constructed from durable materials, it’s easy to operate and assemble, and we were majorly impressed by its ability to shift gears precisely.

James Mattis

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

BikingBro
Logo