If you have been looking for a mountain bike lately, you may have noticed that they can be expensive, ranging in price from anywhere between 190 to 12,000 dollars. Check out our articles on mtbs under $1000 and mountain bikes under $2000.
While mountain bikes with a lower price point may not last you long or give you the performance you require, many cannot afford high-end, top-of-the-range bikes, so if you would like to start cycling, but cannot fork out a large amount of cash, do not despair.
If you are looking for good-quality bikes at the right price, read on to choose from this list of the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars.
(Full details of each bike further down the page):
Please not some prices may of changed due to various reason.
What Is a Mountain Bike?
Before beginning the list of the best bikes you can choose for less than 500 dollars, it is helpful to understand first what a mountain bike is, and its function.
Mountain bikes are bicycles that are made to be used off-road.
They are comparable to conventional bicycles, but have features meant to improve performance and reliability in rough terrains, making them stronger than the typical bike.
A suspension fork, durable wheels, big knobby tires, powerful hydraulic or mechanical brakes, wide handlebars with extra grip add stability and comfort while traveling over harsh terrain.
These bikes also include lower gear ratios to assist cyclists in climbing steep inclines.
They also often have rear suspension to help smooth out the journey and have dropper-posts to let cyclists adjust the seat height efficiently.
Mountain bikes are designed to be used on unpaved surfaces such as singletrack, mountain trails, and fire roads.
Stones, loose dirt, roots, grass, and steep hills are typical in mountain bike terrain.
This bicycle is also popular among city commuters and courier commuters who must navigate over potholes and curbs.
They are ideal for this purpose thanks to their durable design, stronger wheels, and bigger tires.
What You Can Expect from Mountain Bikes Under 500 Dollars
While buying the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars may not get you the highest quality build or components, but you still get great quality mountain bikes.
Here is what you can expect from budget mountain bikes at this price.
• Aluminum Frame
This type of frame provides adequate durability and makes the bike more lightweight, which is beneficial to improve performance and speed.
• Seven or Eight-speed Drivetrains
Triple front chainrings with seven-speed rear cassettes, plus a few eight-speed cassettes, or a double chainring with a nine-speed cassette are likely in bikes at this price.
• Disc or V-brakes
Brakes are one of the most important aspects of any bike. Mechanical brakes are common at this price point, but for bikes that cost less than $300, you can expect to get V-brakes.
Hydraulic brakes are ideal but are often uncommon at this price point. However, if you invest a little more, you can get higher-quality brakes.
• Adjustable Seats
The seats of value mountain bikes under 500 dollars are height adjustable, so you can cycle comfortably.
• 26, 27.5, or 29-inch Wheel Size
Although 26-inch wheels have been common for decades, more and more bikes are being made with 29 wheels or 27.5 wheels. You can expect wheels in any of these three sizes in trail bikes.
• Long, Straight Handlebars
Handlebars on bikes designed for harsh terrains must be long and straight with a good grip to prevent the rider from losing control of the bike and falling. You can expect this from bikes in this price range.
The Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 Dollars
Here are the top mountain bikes for under 500 dollars.
1. Giant ATX 3 $480
Giant’s ATX 3 is one of the lightest entry-level mountain bikes on the market, weighing only 30.6 pounds. If you are a beginner, looking to purchase your first mountain bike, why not consider the Giant ATX 3?
The bike is lightweight due to a substantially thinner frame than other bikes at this price point. The Giant ATX is a great climbing bike thanks to this thin frame, its quick-rolling wheelset, suspension, large rear cassette range, and a high saddle post.
While the tires are appropriate for hardpacked trails, they lack the necessary tread for singletrack, so keep this in mind if you intend on traveling singletrack.
Shimano Tourney front and rear derailleurs, Tektro mechanical disc brakes, and Giant’s custom mtb seat are all high-quality components that you can get with the best mountain bike for under 500 dollars. You can take this bicycle home for just $480!
2. Diamondback Overdrive 27.5/29 Wheel Size $499
Diamondback bikes are very affordable. With prices starting at just $200, you can easily find the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars by shopping their range. However, it is advisable to choose the 29-inch bicycle priced just under 500 dollars, as you may not receive the best quality with cheaper models.
Despite the fact that the Diamondback Overdrive 29 bike is an entry-level model, perfect for a first bike, it has some impressive specifications. The bike features a Shimano Acera front and rear derailleur for this extremely low price.
It also has thumb shifters, making shifting gears easy, so you can ascend inclines. If you expect to traverse rough roadways, do not fear, the SR Suntour XCT fork can handle them effortlessly.
The disc brakes are another feature of this bicycle that make it one of the best value for money bikes on the market. Additionally, the brakes are cable-actuated, so you need to stop quickly, you have more power at your fingertips to do so.
They are a considerable step forward from V-brakes, which can still be found on many budget mountain bikes. Furthermore, the tires have a width of 2.25 inches with strong knobs, making them appropriate for any terrain.
The Diamondback Overdrive 27.5 is a fantastic choice of mountain bikes for under 500 dollars, especially if you are a beginner, and want to treat yourself to a quality bicycle.
3. Polygon Cascade 2 Mountain Bike 2021 $499
The 2021 Cascade 2 is a great choice for a bike under 500 dollars. It features an aluminum frame for durability, rust resistance, knobby tires, and stability that makes it suitable for use in rough terrains.
It also includes a Shimano Tourney 7 speed drivetrain to help you travel comfortably at seven different speeds. An SR Suntour XCE fork with 100mm of travel does a good job of reducing trail chatter for smooth and comfortable riding by keeping the front wheel on the ground for better handling.
If you want the greatest in safety and control, with low maintenance, and all-conditions braking power, it includes Tektro mechanical disc brakes. The best part is that you can pick up this amazing bike for only $499.
4. Bolinas by Marin $420
Marin’s new generation 29er mountain bikes with 100mm travel has been quite popular. These mountain bikes start at $420. The lightweight and robust 6061 aluminum frame, as well as the mechanical disc brakes, are ideal for this price range.
Shimano parts with a SunRace 11-34t cassette make up this bike’s drivetrain. This trail bike was designed for different terrains and has a great range of features for the price. If you are on the taller side, this mountain bike under 500 dollars may just be the one for you.
5. Cannondale Tango 6 for Women $485
Not just men, but also women, should hit the trails. Cannondale has taken steps to make this a reality by creating the Cannondale Tango 6 bike, which is specifically designed to meet the demands of women.
This is a budget-friendly hardtail with a stunning turquoise paint job.
Whoever claimed biking trails and getting muddy is not feminine will reconsider after seeing this stunning bike.
It has modern geometry, and is the best hardtail mountain bike, specially designed to support a woman’s body while traversing rough terrain, and at $485, it is quite the steal, making it a great option bike for under 500 dollars.
6. Merax Finiss $300
This bike is by far the cheapest on this list, and it is an ideal trail bike for first-timers on a limited budget.
It has a good quality aluminum frame and is easy to ride for less than $300. Furthermore, if you are larger, and intend to use this bike to lose some weight, Merax Finiss has you sorted with a maximum load capacity of 330 pounds.
Mechanical disc brakes are also included on the Merax Finiss, which is a significant benefit in this price bracket.
When compared to rim brakes, they deliver a considerably more consistent and reliable braking feel. When the bike has disc brakes, it is easier to move faster and corner more aggressively.
This bike also boasts a 38-speed drivetrain with Shimano parts, which means it should change gears effortlessly. If you are looking for the best budget mountain bike to start your cycling trip, take a look at this model.
7. Fluid Method Mountain Bike for Men in Navy $399
This high-end bike has 160mm mechanical disc brakes for better stopping power than V-brakes, and a front suspension to smooth out bumps over tough terrain.
The aluminum frame ensures a comfortable and effortless ride.
It also features a Shimano Tourney 3 speed front derailleur, and a Shimano Tourney 7 speed rear derailleur, with 26-inch wheels. It comes with a 12-month warranty and has a load capacity of 220 pounds.
It is also portable, weighing only 34 pounds, so you can carry it with you everywhere you go. The best part about this bike is that it can be yours for the price of just $399 if you are an Anaconda club member.
8. Fluid Method Mountain Bike for Men in Grey $299
If you are looking for an even better deal on a mountain bike, the Fluid Method Mountain Bike for Men in grey is a good choice. It is suitable for a variety of surfaces, including roads, light gravel, grass, and walkways.
This bike comes in three sizes and has suspension at the front to assist in smoothing out tiny bumps.
Shimano’s 21-speed gearing makes it simpler to accelerate on flats, and climb steep climbs, while double-walled rims provide greater grip on and off the road.
It has a weight capacity of 220 pounds and includes a 26-inch steel suspension fork. Thanks to its lightweight aluminum frame, the bike weighs a mere 35 pounds, making it a great value bike.
This entry-level bike is a steal at a low price of only $399. If you are an Anaconda club member, however, you can get this mountain bike for $299.
9. Fluid Method Mountain Bike for Women in Black $399
This stylish mountain bike for women is a great choice of mountain bike under 500 dollars because it has a lightweight aluminum frame, and disc brakes, making it suited for riding on a range of terrain.
This bike also has Tourney Revo shift levers, 21-speed gears, and 26-inch wheels with disc hubs.
It has a Shimano Tourney three-speed front derailleur, and a Shimano Tourney seven-speed rear derailleur to assist you in traveling at seven different speeds comfortably.
It also has a 14-28T freewheel cassette, and 160mm mechanical brakes. The regular price of this bike is $599, but if you are an Anaconda club member, you pay the low price of only $399.
10. Fluid Express White Mountain Bike for Ladies $299
This bike was designed for a wide range of terrains, including grass, gravel, roads, and paths, so you can take it anywhere!
Thanks to its low price of only $299 for Anaconda club members, this bike is the best budget mountain bike for women.
It has a white steel frame that gives it an aesthetic appeal and has front and rear Shimano Tourney derailleurs. The brake levers are made from resin and alloy steel, and a 24-34-42T 170mm crankset.
The bike features double-wall alloy 26-inch wheels and 31.8 alloy handlebars that provide a good grip. It is also great as an entry-level bike for women.
Three Mountain Bikes over 500 Dollars That You Should Know About
The mountain bikes in the list below do not classify as the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars. They cost an average of $100 more, but are extremely good value for money, and are worth a mention.
1. Trek Marlin 4 $530
The Trek Marlin 4 is the ideal bike for beginners who want to get started with mountain biking. It is by far one of the best mountain bikes on the market.
It has an aluminum frame, Shimano Tourney components that offer 21 speeds, an SR Suntour XCE fork, and mechanical disc brakes.
The Trek Marlin comes with a few extras that you would normally only see on high-end bikes, such as internal brake cables that run through the bike’s frame, and Trek’s own Bontrager bike saddle.
Internally routed cables are less likely to become tangled and force your brakes out of position. The Trek Marlin 4’s components have a seven-speed rear cassette with a 14-28T range.
Triple chainrings with a 42/34/24T range are mounted on the front crank.
2. Cannondale Trail 8 $599
The Trail 8’s sleek and straightforward design is one of the first things you notice about it. Additionally, the graphite color gives it a tough appearance.
It is ideal for those who practice regular mountain biking and need a durable bike.
The aluminum frame has a trail geometry design, which reduces the overall weight of this bike, while a loosehead tube angle of 68 degrees allows for responsive, smooth-riding.
The Shimano Tourney seven-speed drivetrain features a rear cassette with a wide 11-34T range, making ascending difficult terrain a breeze.
A triple chainring with a 42/32/22T arrangement is featured on a Prowheel aluminum crankset. Except for the tiny frame, which features 27.5 wheels, the Cannondale Trail 8 has 29” wheels.
Tektro disc brakes and a 75mm travel SR Suntour fork are also included.
The Cannondale Trail 8 can be yours for $530.
3. Polygon 2021 Cascade 4 $599
The Polygon Cascade bikes are some of the best budget mountain bikes available.
The Cascade 4 bike features a Shimano Altus or Tourney 3 by eight-speed drivetrain, a 27.5-inch aluminum frame, Alhonga hydraulic disc brakes.
Hydraulic disc brakes are superior to their mechanical counterparts because they have greater stopping power and require less force to bring the bike to a complete stop.
Other features include a 100mm travel XCE SR Suntour fork, and an entity sport alloy seat.
This bike is priced from only $599, which is a great value mountain bicycle for the price, considering the great features it includes.
Is a $500 Bike Worth It?
At $500, you can certainly get your hands on a worthy trail bike that includes all the features you could want.
Before purchasing, be sure to take into consideration your personal needs, including height and weight requirements to avoid any disappointment.
Whether you intend on commuting to and from work, cycling as a form of exercise to help you stay fit, and lose weight, or see the world from a different perspective, a bike for under 500 dollars can help you achieve your goals.
If you are looking for the perfect trail bike to help you travel along rough terrain, and experience nature as never before, you should consult this list of the best bikes to buy while on a tight budget, so you do not have to fork out a large sum of money to enjoy cycling.