Mountain biking is a daunting task, but what is even more daunting is finding a bike that fits your taste. There are plenty of mountain bikes in the market today, and finding the best beginner mountain bike for yourself is surely a challenge. As a beginner, you hardly have enough knowledge about these bikes. Hence, you cannot say certainly what type of entry level mountain bike you should get.
With so many options and a lot of confusion, finding your perfect mountain biking partner becomes more of an underwhelming challenge. We understand the kind of concerns anyone looking for a good beginner mountain bike would have.
Therefore, we crafted this guide with the 15 best beginner mountain bikes. In case reviews are not enough, we are also sharing a buyers’ guide to help you find the best beginner mountain bike for yourself. So, without further ado, let us jump right in.
How Do I Choose A Beginner Mountain Bike?
Below, we share some specific features to evaluate a mountain bike based on various factors. Keeping these features in mind when you are searching for that perfect entry level mountain bike will surely help you get your hands on the most suitable bike according to your needs.
Nothing defines the ease of riding a mountain bike more than its frame size. While most of the bikes come with standard frame sizes, we strongly urge that you compare the bike’s seat and frame with your body dimensions and then decide if those will be a good fit for your body. Also, make sure you know the seat’s height and the distance between the seat and the handles. Keep in mind that a mountain bike should be longer than your conventional road bike with an elaborate front triangle. If possible, go for a bike that allows you to tweak the seat’s height to suit your riding style.
There are several types of mountain bikes, with trail bikes and cross country being the most common ones. Cross country bikes offer limited tire clearance and have steep angles. These bikes usually have hardtail or dual suspension varieties and offer around zero to around 100mm of suspension traveling. Compared to these, the downhill bikes offer slack features with around 200mm of suspension and are perfect for steeper area biking. The most common type is the trail bike which offers around 140mm of suspension travel and has a generic body frame and angles to suit long bike rides both on and off-road. As a beginner, you would want to go with such a bike because of the ease of learning.
As a beginner, you can choose between bikes with affordable front suspension that can keep your arms from feeling tired even on the bumpy road. However, a full-suspension bike is considered a luxurious option that offers both air and coil suspension. So is the case with hardtail ones.
Experts suggest choosing air suspension because this lets you adjust your riding style according to your weight. Air suspended bikes are also great at offering precision and hence are a safer option for your mountain biking.
Mountain bikes are available in a range of wheel diameters. The most common ones include 26″, 27.5″, and 29″. You should go for wheels with larger diameters even if they are costing you more than others. This is because the bigger wheels tend to be more stable and reliable, something that you need to ride a bike comfortably and safely uphill.
Mountain bikes either have the cheaper Rim brakes or the high-end Disc brakes. Rim brakes work fine but can show decreased performance in muddy and watery surroundings. On the other hand, Disc brakes give you full control over the bike and have immense stopping power in all sorts of conditions. If you have enough budget, going for the latter is better.
Using all these features as your way to judge a bike, we are sure you can easily get your hands on the best beginner mountain bike on a budget.
Best Beginner Mountain Bike Under $500
Mongoose Malus Adult Fat Tire Mountain Bike – 4.5 stars out of 5
Mongoose is currently making it at being an affordable riding and related gear offering brand. This adult mountain bike is pretty affordable. It features a 26-inch wheel, rigid suspension, fat tires, and seven different optimized speeds. The bike’s frame is made of steel and is 18 inches long, perfect for riders with an overall height between 5.2 and 6.1 feet. Thanks to its powerful gear, the shifting between its seven speeds is quite smooth. As for the brakes, the bike offers disc brakes both at the front and rear with crisp control. The wheels are 4-inch alloy rims for powerful rolling on rugged trails, and the overall functioning of the bike is pretty safe for its price.
- Smooth speed shift
- Seven different speeds
- Narrow wheel diameter
- Average handlebar control
Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike – 4.1 stars out of 5
This is a sleek and smart-looking mountain bike by Schwinn that boasts 27.5-inch wheels with dual suspension type and 21 different speeds. It has a lightweight 16-inch frame perfect for people with a height anywhere between 5.5 and 6.1 feet. This frame is probably what best explains the low price tag of this bike. As for the gear, the alloy crank backing helps ensure smooth speed changes and keeps the riding experience safe. The smooth gear shifts are also supported by the twist shifters and rear derailleur that this bike houses. The seating and everything else is pretty good, and the bike provides great value for its money.
- Wide enough tires
- Comes with quick-release seat posts
- Smooth gear shifts
- Strong alloy rims
- Average frame build
- Slippery handlebars
Dynacraft 26″ Slick Rock Trails Bike – 4.2 stars out of 5
This Dynacraft bike is a perfect purchase for anyone just starting in the world of mountain biking and is no more than 15 years old. This affordable and minimalistic bike eases learning with its decent 26-inch wheels and dual suspension type for safe trail rides. The frame offers full suspension to let you easily manage your body weight while riding, and you also get to shift between up to 21 speeds. As for the brakes, you get V-brakes for both the front and rear wheels. Overall, this bike offers a very easy operation that makes it the best beginner mountain bike for very young and scared learners.
- Minimalistic style
- Easy to ride
- 21-speed index
- Slip-resistant handles
- Easily affordable
- It could have a better grip
- Gear shifts are not smooth
Best Budget Mountain Bike
HH Hiland Mountain Bike – 3.8 stars out of 5
If you have just started learning mountain biking, it is understandable why you wouldn’t like to spend a lot on them and yet want something solid to ride on. This one ticks both of these boxes. It is a great mountain bike with decent features on its strong aluminum frame. The bike has 26 inches wide wheels and offers front suspension riding. It also comes with a kickstand and 21 speeds, which are very easy to achieve with smooth gears. The wheels are all magnesium-made and hence light in weight. The wide variety in gears lets your control the bike while moving uphill and ensures great control over the bike’s maneuvering. All such features make this bike a great vehicle to learn with, and you can surely get it.
- 21 speeds
- Smooth gears
- Comes 85% pre-assembled
- Spacious pedals
- Brakes aren’t as powerful
- Assembly tools aren’t durable
Dynacraft Magna Front Shock Mountain Bike – 4.1 stars out of 5
This one is a hardtail mountain bike, which is perfect for riders as young as 15 years of age. This bike has narrow 24 inches wheels with a front suspension style body and 18 speeds. The front shock fork works pretty well, and linear-pull brakes make it safe for an inexperienced rider to use this bike. Overall, this one is a very minimalistic bike with simple features that would be perfect for a new biker but would not make a very good option for those who want to go uphill every other day.
- Perfect for learners
- Thick tires
- Suits almost all body types
- Narrow wheels
- Gears aren’t too good
Mongoose Dolomite Men’s Mountain Bike – 4.4 stars out of 5
Here comes another bike with fat tires as its distinguishing feature. This bike has features like 26-inch wheels with a rigid suspension body, good enough for trail rides. The bike’s body is very light and perfect for all sorts of off-road adventures. The bike has a medium-sized 17-inch-long frame, perfect for individuals with 5.6 to 6 feet in height. The headrest of this bike is easily moveable to suit a wide range of riders too.
- Offers lifetime warranty
- Easy to assemble
- Threaded headrest
- Narrow wheels
- Unstable at some trails
Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike – 4.2 stars out of 5
The next best beginner mountain bike that we have here is this one by Huffy that comes with 26-inch wheels and has a full front suspension style. The bike comes with a suspension fork with 21 speeds and has a 17-inch long frame perfect for individuals with normal to tall height. This bike’s frame and other body components are very lightweight and therefore perfect for off-road and tricky trails. Overall, this is a great beginner bike with all the necessary features housed in its perfect denim blue-colored hardtail body.
- Great looks
- 21 speeds
- Soft gear shift
- Suitable for a wide range of users
- Durable steels frame
- No warranty offered
- Tricky assembly
Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000
ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike – 4.3 stars out of 5
This one is for the planet-conscious riders setting out to try mountain biking. This easy to maneuver bike has 26-inch wide wheels, strong and flexible enough for trail rides. The bike has a lightweight aluminum frame with 21 speeds and works with a powerful electric system with a 374.4 WH battery that easily takes you as far as 40 miles. This means you can pack your amazing yoga blanket, and other yoga accessories and use this bike to go far away to a meditative spot and then come back without any fear of your bike ditching you on your way.
The bike houses a 350 W brushless and noiseless motor that can provide you with a stable ride experience at the top speed of 20MPH. The bike has four power assistance levels, and you can either use the thumb throttle or pedal to start the motor. Overall, this is a very easy-to-use and reliable bike that costs nothing compared to the features it provides. If you can afford it, getting this one is surely recommended.
- Environment friendly
- Four power assistance levels
- Stable wheels
- Brushless and noiseless motor
- Parts replacement is a bit costly
Schwinn GTX Comfort Mountain Bike – 4.1 stars out of 5
Next up, we have this good beginner mountain bike with broad 28-inch wheels, a rigid suspension style, and a lightweight aluminum frame. There are up to 21 different speeds, and the wide 20-inch length of this bike is perfect for even the bulkiest and tallest of individuals. The bike’s suspension fork works quite well and is designed for versatile riding. A rear derailleur also lets you smoothly shift between the gear without any balancing issues, while the alloy V-brakes ensure maximum stopping power.
- Stable gears and brakes
- Allow double-walled rims
- Durable body
- No warranty
Mongoose Impasse Men’s Mountain Bike – 4 stars out of 5
Here comes another best entry level mountain bike by Mongoose. This one has 29-inch wide wheels, perfect for trail rides. This bike’s other notable features include its dual suspension type, 21 different speeds, aluminum frame, and a great gearbox. The frame is 18 inches long, thus perfect for average-height folk while ensuring maximum comfort and performance. The alloy wheel rims come with a quick-release front for efficient braking.
- Medium-sized frame
- Sturdy build
- Strong alloy rims
- 21-speed derailleurs
- Easy gear shift
- Disc brakes aren’t too good
Best Entry-Level Mountain Bike Full-Suspension
Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike – 4.5 stars out of 5
This entry level bike comes with adjustable suspension with 26-inch wide wheels, dual suspension, an aluminum frame, and 17 inches size that is perfect for medium-sized individuals. When purchasing this bike, you also get a bicycle pump for free. The bike has 24 speeds, disc brakes, and strong rims for perfect transition between different speeds and safe braking.
- Stable disc brakes
- Strong frame
- Rust-free Aluminum
- Strong rims
- You need to tune it before riding for the first time
Schwinn S29 Mens Mountain Bike – 4.2 stars out of 5
Here comes another bike with 29-inch wide wheels, perfect for trails. This one offers dual-suspension housed in its perfect and strong aluminum body and has 21 speeds. This one is a simple bike, yet sturdy and stable enough to offer a great off-road experience. The gears are wide enough and ensure smooth shifts. The same is true with the brakes, which are smooth and pretty reliable.
- Sturdy build
- Rust-resistant frame
- Smooth gear shifts
- No warranty
Mongoose Status Mountain Bike – 4.1 stars out of 5
This one is for those looking forward to investing in an MTB-style bike for off-road rides. It has 26-inch wide wheels, 21 different speeds, and a wide enough aluminum frame to ensure comfort to almost all normal-sized individuals. The frame has been granted hydroformed tubing, and the front suspension fork it comes with is very reliable. Overall, this one is a good bike for its price that first-timers and experienced riders alike can trust.
- MTB style frame
- Easy to operate
- Stylish looks
- Reliable brake system
- A bit expensive
- Wheel diameters are narrow
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike – 4.6 stars out of 5
Here comes another perfect bike for learners on the rocky trails, thanks to the 27.5-inch wide wheels with strong rims that can take enough tear. The bike offers full front suspension for ultimate balancing at its 24 speeds. However, if you are a tall person, this bike might not be for you.
- Aluminum alloy build
- Formed and butted tubing
- Sharp suspension fork
- Not wide or long enough
Accolmile 27.5″ Electric Mountain Bike – 3.8 stars out of 5
Lastly, we have this minimalistic and environment-friendly bike to suggest to all novice mountain riders. This one has eight different speeds and is made out of an aluminum frame. The bike is powered by a powerful 48V 750W removable battery that runs up to 50 Km/h at maximum speed. The wheels are 27.5 inches wide with alloy rims that ensure perfect off-road balance. The bike also comes with an LCD that gives you a detailed review of your riding activity and range. Overall, this one is a great investment if you are a serious learner and want to stick to your riding activity in the long term.
- Environment friendly
- Removable battery
- It can go up to 50KM/H
- Comes with an LCD
What Is The Best Entry Level Mountain Bike To Buy?
There are many great entry level bikes with features that make them perfect mountain bikes and help the riders attain the perfect benefits of mountain biking. What suits you the best depends on many factors, including your budget and your body type. Read on, and you will surely find some more amazing options for yourself.
Is Mountain Biking Hard For Beginners?
Whether or not mountain biking is hard for a novice biker depends on how you define hardness. Mountain biking is all about going against the gravitational pull, and that makes it a tiring and energy-consuming task. When you are starting, mountain biking can be a challenge for your body, especially if your muscles are not used to such kind of activity. Thus, even with the best beginner mountain bike at your assistance, you might feel very tired and out of breath when starting as a mountain biker.
The idea is not to give up because once you master the art of mountain biking, you’d find yourself how there is no going back. Also, if you have no experience riding a bike at all, we suggest you get a good recumbent bike for exercise and spend some time on it to train your muscles. This will make mountain biking a bit easier for you.
Is A Mountain Bike Good For Street Riding?
No, a mountain bike is designed to be used on mountains and is given the gear ratio that suits such tricky upwards trails. Hence, riding it would not be a good and smooth experience on our normal streets.
However, if you want, you can still use your mountain bike on the streets while being careful of the sharp turns and speed limit. Again, it would not be an amazing experience, so make sure you don’t have any high expectations.