Let’s not kid ourselves. If you’re just about to get into mountain biking, and buying your first bike, you’re prone to choosing the wrong one. Why? You might be tempted to choose a cheap mountain bike, and that’s okay. But the main thing you have to keep in mind is that you need to choose the best beginner mountain bike for the kind of riding you want to do. And while there’s a selection of bikes ranging from cheap to super expensive, choosing a beginner mountain bike means knowing what kind of riding you want to do, and how much you’re willing to invest to get a bike that’s going to do what you need it to do when you’re out on the trails. Here’s our pick of the best five.
The Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners
Forget about gears. You only really need one, right? Well, if you’re a beginner mountain bikers, this might be a good place to start. This 29er knows how to have fun. A lightweight 6061 aluminum frame gives newbies easy handling. A rigid front end fork is good enough for bike paths and some light dirt track riding. Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes with 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors are strong enough to stop you in your tracks when you need it. You’ll have to work extra hard to climb those hills, but descending them will be just fine.
Why should you buy a bike like this, especially with no speed selection? Simple. If you’re getting started, want to ride level bike paths, rarely go off road, and don’t really plan on climbing hills, this beginner bike is right for you. Or, if you’re crazy enough to go uphill on a single gear bike and want to burn out your legs on leg day, that’s also a valid reason to choose this one.
The Diamondback Outlook is a great beginner mountain bike with 27.5” wheels, front suspension, basic rim brakes, and just enough features to get you out on the trails riding. The durable MTB steel frame is not has light as aluminum, but for beginners you’ll hardly notice the difference. Shimano 7-speed derailleurs (21 speeds in total) provide accurate gear changes with smooth shifters.
The front suspension fork is an SR Suntour with 75mm travel, enough for a newbie rider to appreciate. Shimano Altus makes up the drivetrain. Affordable at under $500, this beginner mountain bike will let you appreciate city path and dirt trail riding without forking over too much cash.
A full suspension beginner mountain bike priced under $500? Have we gone crazy? Turns out we haven’t. It’s the Mongoose Status 2.6. With a jaw dropping 24 speed drivetrain, 40bar linkage full suspension frame, Element Suspension front and rear suspension, Shimano EF-51 shifters, this bike is meant to be taken seriously.
Not only will it perform impressively during your recreational bike riding adventures, the full suspension body means you can take it for some serious off-road mountain biking without feeling guilty about beating it up too much. The only question is, will you be able to handle this bike, or will it take control over you?
4. Trek 820
If you’ve never ridden a mountain bike before, start here. The Trek 820 is meant as an entry-level beginner’s mountain bike meant for easier trails just as much as it was meant for city riding. You’ll be able to handle dirt paths and bumps as well as city potholes and curbs.
The frame is made from Trek Custom Steel with a front suspension fork provided by SR Suntour giving riders 75mm of travel. Wheels are Trek’s own Bontrager with Formula alloy hubs offering sufficient grip and durability. The drivetrain is powered by Shimano Tourney with 21 speed gear selection. Bontrager saddle, septets, handlebar and stem round out the component set with Tektro alloy linear-pull rim brakes for stopping power. It’s priced less than $400, giving you absolutely no excuse to go out and buy one today.
The Lux line at Diamondback is especially designed for women, and we purposefully included a beginner’s women’s mountain bike in our collection to show you just how easy it is for guys and gals alike to get into the sport. The Lux entry level model is priced at a mere $600, but offers a lot of features you’d find in more expensive bikes.
Let’s consider the Devine Designs Women’s Specific fit 6061-T6 frame made of aluminum alloy, 27.5” wheels for great ground grip and stability, SR Suntour Soft Spring 80mm suspension for plush front end bump domination, and reliable performance from Shimano 8-speed shifters and derailleurs. The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors offers effective stopping power. Not that you’ll need it that much, especially since you’re in it to gain some speed and feel the breeze as you traverse the outdoor trails.
We have a few final tips before you start mountain biking. Firstly, if you want to be cheap in choosing a beginner mountain bike, make sure you understand the features and functionality of the bike you’re buying. Choosing any one of these five bikes we’ve handpicked for you, depending on your price point, will give you the best beginner mountain bike.
Secondly, you get what you pay for. Even if you’re a beginner mountain biker looking to ride your local bike paths every weekend, you’ll eventually get more serious about riding and exploring off road trails. Invest in a bike that will give you the ability to ascend to mountain biking greatness when the time comes.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com