You had a taste of cheap bikes, and it’s time to step up your mountain biking game. We’ve handpicked five of the best mountain bikes under $500 to help you do just that. You won’t find any weak bikes in this selection. In this price range, you’ll start to recognize the more renown brands in mountain biking. And you’ll see better specs, features and components. These bikes certainly aren’t for the lighthearted. Even if you’re a newbie, buying one of these bikes will let you enjoy the greatest aspects of mountain biking off road and cross country. Let’s have a look at them.
The Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 Dollars
Priced at just under $500, the Liv Bliss Lite gives you the versatility to explore paved bike paths around your hood, but more importantly, it packs enough chutzpah to take you off-road, through dirt trails and serious terrain. With 24 speeds, Shimano Acera front derailleur, Shimano Alivio rear derailleur and an SR Suntour XCE crankset, your drivetrain can handle serious speed.
Front and rear Tektro mechanical disc brakes give you superior stopping power while CST 27.5” tires gives you the ability to rip through dirt and handle whatever terrains you’ll uncover. The ALUXX-grade aluminum frame is lightweight to give you easier handling on those technical rides.
The Cannondale Catalyst 4 with 27.5” aluminum Alex rims and Innova tires will have you weaving in and out of city traffic just as well as you hop over wood and tear up dirt off road.
But let’s stop kidding ourselves. This bike is meant for serious mountain biking. Shimano Easyfire shifters throw 21 speeds with Shimano Tourney front and rear derailleurs and a Prowheel crankset. The front SR Suntour XCT-100-27 fork offers a generous 100mm of travel which is more than enough to handle tough terrain.
Jak-7 mechanical front and rear disc brakes gives you ultimate stopping ability. While top notch Cannondale parts round out the rest of the bike. The Catalyst, butted 6061 aluminum frame makes for ease of handling with enough strength to take a beating while you ride some tough grounds. Overall, it’s a reliable bike with well rounded components and great value for the price.
Don’t let the looks fool you. The Haro Double Peak Sport packs some serious performance capabilities in spite of its conservative looks. First of all, this 29er has a lightweight 6061-aluminum frame with 100mm SR Suntour XCT front suspension fork to smooth out the bumps on the trails. One thing to note is the lockout feature, which allows you to ride on level terrain in the city without fatigue.
The Shimano 24 speed with Easy Fire shifters gives riders ease of shifting with plenty of gear selection to handle level riding, uphills and downhills. Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes are found on the front and rear of the bike, with 160mm rotors providing supreme stopping power. Shimano Altus front and rear derailleurs and Haro components make it a well rounded bike.
4. Merax Finiss
The aggressive styling of the Merax Finiss makes it hard to take your eyes off it. But it’s not just good for the looks. This 21 speed hardtail has some serious riding power to it. A heat treated aluminum 6061 frame with lightweight magnesium alloy wheels makes it capable of handling technical terrains for more intermediate riders. The front and rear mechanical disc brakes gives you stopping power no matter what riding conditions you’re in.
Shimano drivetrain components and a front suspension fork with lockout gives you a higher level of performance. It may not be as well known as some of the established brand names in mountain biking, but this bike can give you an elevated level of performance out on the trails.
Diamondback is known for producing quality bikes at awesome price points, without giving up performance and functionality. The Overdrive is certainly no exception. With its hand built 6061-T6 aluminum alloy hardtail, 27.5” wheels, SR Suntour XCT fork with 100mm of suspension travel, and 24 speed Shimano drivetrain, any serious mountain biker will find it hard to overlook this bike when looking in this price range.
Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors, Suntour XCT cranks, Shimano Tourney front and Shimano Acera rear derailleurs shows you just how much importance Diamondback places in choosing the best parts for its bikes at a great value price point. This bike isn’t just for beginners. Experienced mountain bikers will appreciate the performance this bike has to offer especially for the price.
There you have it. Five of the best mountain bikes under $500 that will push you into ‘serious’ mode in this sport. These bikes are definitely not just for any hobbyist, but rather for up and coming enthusiasts. They’ll let you explore some more serious technical trails instead of just paved bike paths around your house. Sooner or later, you’ll be coveting the bikes on our list of best mountain bikes under $1000. But before you do, pick one from this list and start racking up the mileage on it. You’ll definitely feel the difference between a cheap bike and a good bike.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com