The Best Mountain Bikes Under $500

In the mountain bike market there are hundreds, if not thousands of bikes available, and it can be overwhelming to find the right one. Many people start with one important factor, their budget, before getting into the many details that define mountain bikes and riding styles. If you are looking to purchase a quality bike without breaking the bank, you’ve come to the right place. We have gathered a list of the best mountain bikes under $500, so for those looking to spend a little less, quality bikes are conveniently listed here in one place. All in all, here are our picks for the best mountain bikes under $500 that do not skimp on quality and allow you to stay in your budget.

The Best Mountain Bikes Under $500

Vilano Blackjack 2.0 29er Mountain Bike MTB with 29-Inch Wheels
  • Vilano Blackjack 2.0 29er

  • Suspension Frame

    Hand Built Butted 6061 Alloy 29er Hard Tail Frame

  • Wheels

    29’’ Wheels Double Wall Alloy Rims

  • Breaks

    Mechanical Disc Brakes

  • Gear
    Shimano 8 Speed EF-51 Integrated Shifter / Brake Lever
  • Our Rating:
GMC Topkick Dual Suspension Mountain Bike
  • GMC Topkick Suspension Mountain Matte Black

  • Suspension Frame
    Full-suspension, strong aluminum frame
  • Wheels
    Strong aluminum wheelset featuring V-shape rim profile and high-flange alloy hubs
  • Breaks
    Front and rear Promax disk brakes
  • Gear
    Micro shift push shifters and Shimano TZ-30GS derailleur
  • Our Rating
Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike (19-Inch Frame)
  • Thruster KZ2600 Dual Suspension

  • Suspension Frame
    26-inch full suspension aluminum MTB frame
  • Wheels
    Alloy Wheel Rims
  • Breaks
    Disc Brakes
  • Gear
    Shimano 21 Speed Shifters with Rear Tourney Derailleur
  • Our Rating
Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch)
  • Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension

  • Suspension Frame Aluminum dual full suspension frame
  • Wheels
    29’’ Wheels
  • Breaks
    Alloy front & rear disc brakes
  • Gear
    21 speed Shimano rear derailleur with SRAM twist shifters
  • Our Rating
Schwinn Men's High Timber Mountain Bike, Grey, Medium
  • Schwinn Men's High Timber

  • Suspension Frame
    New Schwinn mountain frame with SR Sun tour suspension fork
  • Wheels
    18’’ Wheels
  • Breaks
    Alloy linear pull brakes
  • Gear
    SRAM Grip Shift shifters with 21 speed Shimano rear derailleur
  • Our Rating

Thruster T-29 29er Men's Mountain Bike
  • Thruster T-29 29er Men's Mountain Bike

  • Suspension Frame

    A lightweight 6061 heat treated aluminum frame

  • Wheels

    Lightweight alloy 29-Inch rims and 29 x 2.1 inch all terrain knobby tires

  • Breaks

    Linear Pull Brakes

  • Gear
    Shimano RS25 Shifters and TZ31 Derailleurs
  • Our Rating:
Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike
  • Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike

  • Suspension Frame
    Durable 6061-T6 heat-treated aluminum alloy frame has replaceable derailleur hanger
  • Wheels
    27.5" wheels
  • Breaks
    Linear pull brakes
  • Gear
    Shimano 7-speed derailleurs and shifters
  • Our Rating
Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bicycle, Matte Black, 29-Inch
  • Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bicycle

  • Suspension Frame
    Schwinn aluminum mountain frame with front suspension fork
  • Wheels
    Alloy 29’’ wheels
  • Breaks
    Front & rear linear pull brakes
  • Gear
    Shimano 21 speed rear derailleur with SRAM twist shifters
  • Our Rating
Schwinn Capitol 700c Men's 18 Hybrid Bike, 18-Inch/Medium, Grey
  • Schwinn Capitol 700c Men's 18 Hybrid Bike

  • Suspension Frame Schwinn aluminum hybrid frame with Schwinn suspension fork
  • Wheels
    Alloy 18’’ wheels
  • Breaks
    Front and rear alloy V brakes
  • Gear
    Shimano 21 speed EZ-Fire shifters with Shimano rear derailleur
  • Our Rating
Stowabike 26
  • Shimano Stowabike 26" Folding Dual Suspension

  • Suspension Frame
    26" steel Stowabike folding frame
  • Wheels
    26’’ wheels
  • Breaks
    Front and Rear V-brakes
  • Gear
    18 speeds total with Microshift 3-speed grip shifter on left and 6-speed grip right shifter on right
  • Our Rating

1. Vilano Blackjack 2.0 29er Mountain Bike MTB with 29-Inch Wheels

Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Review

The Vilano Blackjack is a mountain bike that does well on both the road and the trails. An ideal bike for beginners, it proves to give a comfortable ride. Once it arrives it is easy to assemble if you choose to do so by yourself with just an allen wrench and a phillps head screwdriver. However if you choose to have it assembled professionally, it can be done quickly and cheaply. Equally when you are out on a ride you will the quality drivetrain, solid wheels, and lightweight frame very durable. The pre-adjusted gears give you a smooth shift while the mechanical disc brakes can stop immediately in an emergency. Overall it is difficult to find such a high quality bike in the $300 price range.

 

2. GMC Topkick Suspension Mountain Matte Black

Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Review

The GMC Topkick Suspension mountain bike comes with a very popular and well-loved feature, dual suspension. This bike is excellent for riders that encounter rough terrain or live in mountainous regions as the full suspension will make the ride smoother and more controlled. Its 21 gear shifts might seem overwhelming, but ascending and descending is easier as you can fine tune your bike depending on your terrain and physical ability. The disc brakes are ideal if you live in a wetter climate as they perform much better than rim brakes. At the same time, the GMC Topkick weighs in at about 38 pounds, which isn’t the lightest bike out there, but what it lacks from not being lightweight it makes up for with durability and comfort. In short, the GMC Topkick is perfect for rougher trails by giving you a smooth and comfortable ride.

3. Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike (19-Inch Frame)

The full suspension of the Thruster KZ2600 will give any rider a great ride, no matter the trail. Likewise, the ease of assembly ensures you will be out on the trail in no time at all. Its beautiful design not only serves esthetic purposes, this bike is designed to be lightweight and give you all the speed you could ask for. The suspension linkage and shock are aluminum, which is not seen often as most bikes are fitted with steel in this price range. Many riders find that they will have to replace the seat, due to comfort issues yet this is not abnormal as many riders will upgrade the saddle as soon as possible to suit their needs. In essence, the Thruster KZ2600 is well suited for beginners or those looking for an affordable ride.

 

4. Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch)

Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch)

The Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension mountain bike is known for longevity and its durability. Riders who take this bike out on to the roughest of trails have no complaints. The Mongoose Impasse can hold up to just about anything you put it through from downhill racing to rocky terrain, for this reason many riders are very pleased with the performance. Upon arrival there will be some assembly, but it will not take too long. You will find that you will have to adjust the disc brakes right away to ensure proper functionality, but this is quite simple to do as long as you follow the instructions in the manual carefully. When you get to take the Mongoose Impasse out for a ride, you will be surprised at how light it actually is considering the durability. Furthermore you will find that each ride is quite comfortable and shifting gears can easily be done. Overall you will be more than happy with a Mongoose Impasse as it rides like a higher end bike, yet you can have it for less than $500.

5. Schwinn Men’s High Timber Mountain Bike, Grey, Medium

Schwinn Men's High Timber Mountain Bike, Grey, Medium

The steel frame of the Schwinn Men’s High Timber is extremely durable, yet it is much heavier than those made from aluminum. Its heavyweight frame does ensure that the bike remains very sturdy throughout any trail or ride. In addition this bike will arrive being mostly assembled, with all the more difficult tasks assembled by the factory. As a result assembly can be done quickly and easily even if you have never assembled a bike before. The front forks provide a nice shock absorber enabling you to ride rougher terrain and the alloy linear pull brakes are very reliable letting you stop on a dime. In summary, the Schwinn Men’s High Timber is a wonderful choice for those who are beginners or for those looking to ride on a casual basis as it is a sturdy, fun bike within an excellent price range.

6. Thruster T-29 29er Men’s Mountain Bike

Thruster T-29 29er Men's Mountain Bike

The Thruster T-29 29er is a durable and very lightweight mountain bike that will give any level rider a fun experience. The linear pull brakes are well tuned to the bike and do not give technological challenges that disc brakes can in terms of use and replacing them. The gear shifters and front derailleurs are effective and efficient, however the rear derailleur may need to be replaced or upgraded after time, depending on how often/hard you ride. Other than this minor issue, the Thruster T-29 29er is a fun, lightweight mountain bike that is a beauty on the trail due to the flawless design. Given these points, the Thruster T-29 29er is a popular choice amongst riders due to ease of use and a great price, even if you have to upgrade a derailleur or have it professionally assembled, this mountain bike provides an excellent ride and loads of fun.

 

7. Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike

A mountain bike that is easy to assemble in about 30 minutes, the Diamondback Sorrento Hard Tail is known for being one of the best bikes under $500, so it is perfect for those on a tight budget. Similarly, this is a great beginner bike with solid construction and you will find yourself enjoying each and every ride. Not only is this bike durable on several different terrains the Diamondback Sorrento Hardtail features larger tires which offer riders more effective control. Consequently, the saddle is not comfortable for many until after getting used to it through multiple rides. Once again, it is normal to replace the saddle as soon as possible to suit your needs, riding style, and comfort. All in all, the Diamondback Sorrento Hardtail is a high quality, excellent bike that gives riders high performance and smooth rides.

 

8. Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bicycle, Matte Black, 29-Inch

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bicycle, Matte Black, 29-Inch

The Schwinn High Timber features a smaller frame with larger wheels giving the rider a closer and comfortable ride with the ability to maintain high levels of control on any terrain. Straight out of the box there is a quick and easy assembly, just ensure the front forks are not facing backwards as the smaller frame will not allow enough space between the front tire and the pedals for your feet once you start pedaling. Carefully follow the instructions in the manual and compare with photos to prevent installing your bike the wrong way. If you are having doubts about assembling yourself take it into your local bike shop. Professionals will be able to assemble and adjust to your particular needs. When you are on the trail you will find that this mountain bike rides smooth, works well, and is very fun to ride. In addition, the gear shifts are easy to use and shifting is a smooth transition between each gear. Several experienced riders recommend the Schwinn High Timber mountain bike due to ease of use, comfort, durability, and a great price for what you are getting. In conclusion, Schwinn High Timber mountain bikes are a good choice for beginners or experienced riders looking for a quality bike within $500 price range.

9. Schwinn Capitol 700c Men’s 18 Hybrid Bike, 18-Inch/Medium, Grey

Schwinn Capitol 700c Men's 18 Hybrid Bike, 18-Inch/Medium, Grey

The Schwinn Capitol 700c Hybrid bike is a great combination between a road bike and one that is an off road bike. The features offer you the best of both worlds and you will find that the ride itself, as well as shifting gears, is smooth and comfortable. Schwinn’s are easy to assemble and you can assemble the Capitol 700c Hybrid with a multi-tool that has an allen key and a screwdriver in no time. The lightweight frame allows you to easily transport it, and of course, you will have lots of speed when you are out on the trail. Since the Schwinn Capitol is a hybrid bike it is suitable for different riding styles and this is a bonus for those who are just starting out and are not sure which riding style suits them best. In addition there are a few other features that this particular bike comes with such as the ability to attach a rear rack and the handlebars have a deluxe grip, instead of the straight round ones many low cost bikes feature. Of course you will need to adjust the bike to your height and preferred comfort. Once you have done so, many riders report that the Schwinn Capitol 700c Hybrid is a sturdy, fun, fast, and reliable mountain bike. In conclusion, riders are extremely happy with purchasing a Schwinn Capitol 700c Hybrid and always look forward to taking it out on the trail. Not to mention the unique design is pleasing to the eye gives riders a true beauty to take out on the trail. The Schwinn Capitol 700c Hybrid is a mountain bike that is definitely worth considering as it does not easily disappoint in functionality or fun.

10. Shimano Stowabike 26″ Folding Dual Suspension Mountain Bike 18 Speed

Stowabike 26

One of the reasons that this Shimano is so popular is due to the lightweight and foldable frame. Riders who want the best out of a mountain bike and a foldable one, the Shimano Stowabike is for you. Its ease of storage and portability is great for those with a small car or those who do not have a bike rack installed. Likewise, the 18 speed gear system is a rarity for a bike of this size allowing you to shift easily and choose a gear perfect for the type of terrain or your riding style. Not to mention the full size wheels and rear shocks enable you to ride with control as well as comfort. Many riders easily forget that this bike is foldable when they are on the trail due to its performance and durability. The Shimano Stowabike is not known for its speed but what it lacks in speed in makes up for in functionality, ease of use, and long lasting durability. Overall the Shimano Stowabike is a great choice for those looking to save space and still enjoy a high quality ride without spending a lot of money.

All in all, finding the perfect mountain bike for you that is also within your budget can be a daunting task, yet given a list of the best mountain bikes under $500, it makes choosing a bike a little less challenging. Whether you are looking for speed, durability, or great features, you can still find a quality mountain bike among the best mountain bikes under $500. In the long run you will be able to get yourself out on the trail, make a commute, or enter a race, faster without having to spend too much money on a great mountain bike.

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