Full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes are a wonderful alternative if you’re looking for the best mountain bike on a budget. Additionally, hardtails have a suspension fork and no back suspension. As a result, they are less expensive to develop and maintain. Bicycle manufacturers are offering some terrific value bikes with 29-inch wheels, efficient drivetrains, and disc brakes as the demand for better specifications and prices drives product planning.
These are mountain bikes that may not have all of the high-end elements of a fantasy build, but they nevertheless provide an enjoyable ride. Mountain bikes have the advantage of being easily upgradeable. As your riding skills improve, you might look for the finest mountain bike forks or greatest dropper posts to upgrade your bike.
Keep reading for our top picks for the best full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes under $1,500, or scroll down to learn how to pick the best mountain bikes under $1,500. We also have some informative article on the top MTBs under $2000, the best under $500 and best mountain bikes under $1000.
The 10 Best Mountain Bikes Under $1500
If you’re looking for a mountain bike under $1,500, consider the following options:
- 2022 Marin Bobcat Trail 5 – Mountain Bike
- 2022 Marin San Quentin 1 – Hardcore Hardtail
- 2022 Polygon Xtrada 7 1×12 – Mountain Bike
- Rocky Mountain Growler 20
- Ragley Marley 2.0
- Vitus Rapide 29
- Giant Fathom 2
- Vitus Mythique 27 VR Bike 2021
- Marin Hawk Hill 1 Bike
- Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike
Quick Comparison Of Our Top Picks
Our Top pick
|Marin Bobcat Trail 5|
The is what you want......and need!
|Marin San Quentin 1 - Hard Tail|
Our pick for the best hardtail MTB under $1500
|Polygon Xtrada 7 Hardtail MTB|
Our pick of the Polygon bikes!
|Giant Fathom 2|
The best of the Giant bikes.
2022 Marin Bobcat Trail 5 – Mountain Bike
The Marin Bobcat Trail is a powerful mountain bike with a current trail geometry that was designed to explore singletrack as well as your local trail center. When designing the new Bobcat Trail, Marin wanted to create a bike that is both sturdy and functional, as well as one that allows the user to progress as their confidence grows. This was accomplished by expanding the bike’s reach and lowering the head angle to increase stability, while a steeper saddle angle enhances climbing comfort and efficiency.
The lightweight Series 2 aluminum alloy frame, which is constructed around 27.5″ or 29″ wheels, is the true essence of the Bobcat Trail (based on the size). All versions have internal housing routing, 120mm of rock garden-ready travel, and hydraulic disc brakes, so they’re trail-ready as well.
Additionally, the Marin Bobcat Trail is a great option for recreational riders wishing to upgrade to current geo and go deeper into mountain biking, as well as experienced riders looking for a budget-friendly upgrade.
2022 Marin San Quentin 1 – Hardcore Hardtail
The San Quentin is designed for the hardtail trail rider who wants a mix of singletrack performance and prolonged air time.
This hardtail mountain bike may be used for singletrack, BMX and pump tracks, dirt jumps, as well as downhill routes. Its tuned frame geometry makes it ideal for pinning down singletrack or rough terrain while remaining light enough to not wreck you on the way up.
Slack head tube angles are combined with steep seat tube angles and extended reaches in this San Quentin line, giving the cyclist the fun factor of a dirt jump bike. As a result, you’re going to have a hardtail mountain bike that’s unlike any other.
Built on a sturdy frame, chunky tires, and strong frame geometry, the result is a bike that revives the hardtail craze, with a slack geometry that excels on steep descents while also winning on long rides in the woodlands.
This bike is the result of a collaboration with renowned Matt Jones, a freerider and dirt jumper, who is sponsored by Marin. The geometry and frame details were fine-tuned for almost a year to ensure you have a great time.
2022 Polygon Xtrada 7 1×12 – Mountain Bike
Well, you’re new to mountain biking and want a bicycle with progressive modern geometry that’s good for racing, local XC trails, or daily adventures? The 2022 Xtrada is the ticket to all of it: a flexible, lightweight, and capable aluminum hardtail bike that carries you wherever your heart desires.
Xtrada’s revolutionary lightweight frame incorporates high-performance Hydroformed 6061 Aluminum, super-smooth welds with internal cable routing for clean appearances and cable safety, and substantial weight-saving butting, as well as easy modifications like a dropper post for even more potential. The Xtrada frame is built around Polygon’s Wheel Fit Size System, which pairs each frame size with the wheel size that best suits the rider for power transfer and maximum efficiency. It uses 29er wheels on mountain bikes that are 18.5″ and larger, and more proportionate, better-fitting 27.5-inch wheels on bikes that are 17.5″ and smaller.
The 120mm suspension forks on the Xtrada series provide an engaging, controlled, and smooth ride. This route is ideal for current cross-country riding, as it can manage high climbs and difficult descents. With Shimano drivetrains, you can be confident that your performance is not going to be harmed and that you can have trust in every ride! Finally, thanks to clutch-equipped derailleurs that completely hold the chain and minimize any bouncing, the ride is surprisingly quiet.
This Xtrada is a fantastic cross-country mountain bike with a lightweight frame and sophisticated handling that creates a stiff, lively, and most importantly, enjoyable ride.
Rocky Mountain Growler 20
If hardtails result in more skilled riders, Rocky Mountain’s Growler is just about as capable a trail teacher as you can find. It’s one of the best hardtail mountain bikes on the market.
The Growler boasts 130mm of travel as well as 29-inch wheels, making it capable of cushioning big landings, helping you up steep hills, and smoothing out the roughest terrain.
This Growler mixes very daring angles to build its frameset, which is designed for cyclists who like descending difficult singletrack routes rather than slogging up long road climbs.
Even at this price, 64-degree head angles are still extremely advanced. It stays committed to the most daring of lines through tricky singletrack stretches with its 475mm reach.
When it comes to further torsional stiffness, the Growler’s overbuilt aluminum tubing is sculpted for strength and combined with a Boost spaced rear 12mm thru-axle. Tubeless tires are also available for flat protection and improved grip.
Ragley Marley 2.0
To provide faster steering on the Marley, Ragley’s product team chose a 130mm RockShox Recon fork. When descending steep climbs, this bike’s trail feedback is balanced at a 65.5-degree head angle, which is flexible enough to avoid any over-the-bar concern.
The rigid frame has enough tire clearance, so any muddy rides in the middle of winter shouldn’t be a problem. Maxxis Minion DHFs in a spacious 2.6in size casing provide traction for the Marley 2.0, making them one of the best hardtail mountain bikes on the market.
Shimano M4100 hydraulic brakes, activating 180mm rotors at both ends of the mountain bike, keep this Ragley’s potentially raucous trail behavior in check. This Marley may only have 10 gears, but it’s all about keeping it relaxed on the climbs and then beating everybody on the descent.
Vitus Rapide 29
This Vitus makes a compelling case for bikers who prefer the 29er wheel size and would like to cover ground as quickly as feasible. The Rapide 29 is a good compromise between predictable and progressive handling geometry. It doesn’t feature a tremendous loosehead angle or a similarly long reach number.
The Rapide is a size large and sits at a 67-degree head angle with a fairly modest 435mm reach number, thanks to a RockShox Recon Silver front fork. Furthermore, Rapide’s mix of a small reach and stabilizing 29-inch wheels appeal to riders who want an instinctively responsive bicycle on less steep trails. The 148x12mm thru-axle has been added at the rear by Vitus, which might keep the 29er wheel tracking with outstanding stability when tackling rougher terrain.
Furthermore, the Shimano 1×10 transmission might be a few gears short; however, Vitus offers a high-quality wheelset, and the wider 29er wheels help to compensate for a few of the gearing disparities when riding on a flat dirt road.
The Rapide is equipped with WTB’s i25 rims and Racing Ralph Evo 2.25in tires and is aimed at riders who ride long distances. Schwalbe’s rubber is a tried-and-true popular among XC riders, offering a good balance of low rolling resistance and grip.
Giant Fathom 2
Another one of the best hardtail mountain bikes available is the Giant Fathom 2. The Fathom 2 is a 27.5in hardtail by Giant, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. This massive bike company remains devoted to the 650b wheel size and the advantages it provides in terms of bike handling on tight and difficult trails.
If you’re not sold on smaller wheels, Giant also makes a 29er version of the Fathom. The dropper post, which matches nicely with the 27.5″ wheels for twisty and jumpy flow trails or tight singletrack through the wood, is a highlight feature for us.
Giant manufactures practically all of the components in-house to provide the most characteristic-rich spec for the money. The Fathom’s ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum frame is paired with a Crest 34 130mm travel suspension fork. This includes Giant wheels and cockpit elements.
Vitus Mythique 27 VR Bike 2021
The Vitus-designed Mythique 27 is a manufacturing miracle. Its aluminum frame and full suspension MTB provide a unique mountain biking experience.
Moreover, the huge and strong frame, combined with the horst-link four-bar suspension system, provides strength, agility, outstanding control, and dependability to help you reach greater levels in performance. This full-suspension mountain bike is made for those who enjoy going off-road and exploring the rough terrain that nature offers.
When it comes to improved control and comfort, the Mythique 27 has an x-fusion front and rear suspension system. Furthermore, the integrated mt-401 hydraulic disc brakes and tubeless rims reliably guide you through these challenging terrains.
Vitus Mythique takes your trail riding aspirations and goals to the next level and turns them into a reality. It helps you to have a reliable and pleasant performance for riding on anything the high terrain decides to toss your way.
Marin Hawk Hill 1 Bike
Mountain biking is about having a good time while shredding the technical trails; if you are not having a good time, you’re doing something wrong. The Marin Hawk Hill 1 Bike is a fun-to-ride trail bike built for exploration.
Every bump and barrier gives you a burst of air, making your ride fascinating and enjoyable.
Additionally, the aluminum frame and MultiTrac suspension system give you a balanced ride and buffers big knocks while not impairing the pedaling platform. Internal cable routing is also included in the frame for a sought-after look.
The Hawk Hill 1 also features a Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain including a hill-crushing cassette with an 11-5it gear range, allowing you to easily climb those hills.
Furthermore, even in dirty or damp situations, the hydraulic disc brakes offer complete confidence and outstanding braking force. The tubeless-ready alloy rims and Vee Tire Crown Gem tires provide the nicest possible ride.
Truthfully, given the price, this bike is a steal, ready to rip through any trail that grabs your attention.
Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike
The all-new Schwinn Traxion dual-suspension mountain bike takes you into the future. A bike designed specifically for thrill-seekers and adventurers.
This Schwinn Traxion is equipped with an aluminum frame and high-performance mountain tires to provide you with the best biking experience possible. Traxion also sells 24-speed EZ-fire shifters, which are known for their accuracy, speed, and unrivaled performance.
The cherry on the cake, Traxion comes with a cutting-edge double-wall alloy rim that ensures efficiency and balance. This bike is ideal for riders of all ages, thanks to its lifetime warranty and robust attachments.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Mountain Bike Around $1,500 or Higher Price Ranges
The elements you need to consider are:
- Long travels
- Future proof
Can you afford to replace or upgrade parts as they wear out at the same degree of quality? It’s pointless to buy a bike with high-quality components if you can only afford cheaper parts in the future. 11-speed chains, for example, wear out faster than seven-speed chains, so set aside money for future maintenance and repairs.
It’s also possible that you are not going to be able to downgrade your bike in the first place. You cannot switch from a high-quality to a no-name brand without replacing the entirety of your shifters and drivetrain.
When you start buying more expensive bikes, they begin to take on a more defined role. There are certain lightweight XC bikes that don’t care for downhill racing. You might find that bikepacking bikes are less agile than cross-country bikes. Make sure you get a model that suits your riding style at least 90% of the time. You don’t want to purchase a downhill bike if you only ride downhill three times a year because it is going to ruin your other riding styles.
As the price of a mountain bike rises, you’re going to notice that it offers more travel. Is it true that you require more travel? If you avoid the downhill courses, you are almost certainly going to be paying for something you are not going to utilize. You can really make it increasingly challenging to ride your bike this way.
Because of the longer wheelbase required for the additional suspension, your bike may be more difficult to turn. To achieve the optimum handling effects, you need to ride at higher speeds with a longer wheelbase. If that isn’t you, don’t feel obligated to get a bike with a larger range.
Your $1,500 mountain bike is probably not going to come with pedals, or if it does, they might be no-grip, cheap test ride pedals. If you don’t have a set of pedals when your shiny new mountain bike comes, you have to wait a little longer to take your first ride. Rather than relying on outdated pedals, invest in new pedals to make your new bike feel even better.
$1,500 is a significant investment, and you want to be sure it pays off. You want to check your mountain bike’s spec sheet to ensure it has thru-axles, press-fit bottom brackets, and a tapered headtube. Threaded bottom brackets look to have had their day in the sun, and we’re going back to utilizing them. Additionally, threaded bottom brackets save you from making any annoying creaks on the trail. Because creaks can mar a ride, make sure the bike you’re considering does have a threaded bottom bracket.
What to Expect from Mountain Bikes Under $1500
A mountain bike that costs roughly $1,500 is more than capable of taking on your local terrain, as well as some larger trails. You don’t need to modify the bike once it’s out of the box to realize its full potential. Furthermore, you can unbox it and prepare yourself to hit the trails.
You must acquire forks with air springs. Coil-sprung forks are more difficult to set up. If you want to adapt them to your weight, you need to disassemble them and replace the springs, which might not be available for more affordable forks. If you’re purchasing a full-suspension bike, you are going to want to avoid coil sprung forks because they’re difficult to tune in with the rear shock.
If you have a shock pump, you can easily tune air-sprung forks to your specific riding style. You risk harming your rear shock or fork if you try to use a handy track pump. Bikers may expect to pay roughly $30 for a nice shock pump. It can help you construct a low-cost fork and a high-cost fork, and it can also help you set up the high-cost fork properly. You also probably want to try to avoid copying your buddy’s settings. On YouTube, there are a plethora of helpful setup guides. If you stick to them, your mountain bike is going to feel fantastic.
The bicycle should preferably come with SLX or Deore. If the mountain bike includes SRAM, the groupset is going to be at the NX level. These groupsets are ideal for striking a balance between quality and price.
These groupsets provide you with some high-end functionality. One of the most compelling reasons to purchase mid-range components is that, while they may not be flashy, you can rest assured that they are going to perform admirably on the trail.
You may also notice that there are fewer gears than you anticipated. Mountain bikes are increasingly using a single front chainring instead of two or three as they once did. This is done to reduce drive train wear and to make choosing a gear to cycle in a lot easier. When you go once, you might even lose a small amount of weight.
At roughly $1500, mountain bikes should feature hydraulic disc brakes. At this pricing point, no mountain bike should not have hydraulic disc brakes. Look at the next option if the mountain bike you’re considering doesn’t include them.
Do You Need to Spend More than $2000 on a Bike?
If you can comfortably budget $2,000, you should really consider it. You are going to notice that the regular bike-buying regulations apply. As the price of the bike rises, you may expect a better groupset, lighter bike, and better parts. However, that isn’t to say you must spend $2,000 on it.
You can be guaranteed to get an excellent bike if you invest $1,500. Any bike that costs less than $1,500 should be a decent bike. Your largest issue may be purchasing a bike that doesn’t suit your riding style; this is not a fault of the bicycle but rather of the individual who purchased it.
Between the mountain bikes that cost under $1,500 and the bikes under $2,000, there are a few variances. If you prefer a full-suspension bike, you’re going to notice that the suspension systems are becoming more user-friendly. Moreover, you might also notice that they get a little lighter over time.
The next thing you might notice, and this is true for both hardtails and full-suspension is that there’s more variety in groupsets, as well as higher-end groupsets. Shimano Alivio is no longer available. 1x bikes with numerous front chainrings almost certainly become exceptions to the general rule.
Some of the bikes under $1,500 might have a dropper post, while others might not. The bulk of mountain bikes that include dropper posts cost around $2,000. A dropper post is a type of seat post that descends when a switch is flipped, making downhill riding safer and easier. The seat is going to return to your selected riding height when you flick back the switch.
Mountain biking can be a pricey pastime. Fortunately, bike companies are becoming better at bringing low-cost bikes to market each year. We looked for the best full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes under $1,500 so you can get out on the tracks without breaking the bank.