The Best Beginner Mountain Bike Reviewed

best-beginner-mountain-bike-reviewed

Mountain biking is an incredible way to have a fun and healthy adventure outdoors. Peddling through the trails with the breeze flowing past is a great way to explore a greater area in a shorter amount of time than it would take you if you were hiking. You also get the benefit of the thrill of speed cruising along narrow trails and the stunning views after climbing to the top to look out over a mountain vista. It is such a great adventure you may even forget you are getting a workout.

High-end mountain bikes can be very expensive, but the reality is most people are not at the level where they require a high-end machine. As a result, we have provided you with a review of the best beginner mountain bike that will get you out on the trails. There are a lot of bikes on the market, many of which will drain your wallet. As a beginning or occasional rider, springing $3000 or more for a bike is way out of your price range. You want a quality bike at a reasonable price. We evaluated contenders to see how they compared to claim the best beginner mountain bike.

We selected the Diamondback Overdrive as the Best Beginner Mountain Bike.

The Best Beginner Mountain Bike Summary Table

Preview
Our Choice
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike with 27.5" Wheels, 20"/Large, Red
Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike, Front Suspension, 24-Speed, 29-Inch Wheels, 17-Inch Aluminum Frame, Matte Black/Red
Merax FT323 Mountain Bike 21 Speed Full Suspension Aluminum Frame MTB Bicycle - 26 inch (Gray&Green)
Mongoose 27.5" R4054WMC Ledge 2.1 Men's Bike for a Path, Trail & Mountains,Black, Aluminum Full Suspension Frame, Twist Shifters Through 21 Speeds
Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike, Full Dual Suspension, 29-Inch Wheels
Mountain Bike
Diamondback Overdrive
Schwinn Bonafide
Merax FT323
Mongoose Ledge 2.1
Schwinn Traxion
Manufacturer
Diamondback
Schwinn
Merax
Mongoose
Schwinn
Reviews
31 Reviews
131 Reviews
30 Reviews
38 Reviews
122 Reviews
Rating
Price
Price not available
$419.99
$419.99
$434.00
$1,143.98
Our Choice
Preview
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike with 27.5" Wheels, 20"/Large, Red
Mountain Bike
Diamondback Overdrive
Manufacturer
Diamondback
Reviews
31 Reviews
Rating
Price
Price not available
More Details
Preview
Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike, Front Suspension, 24-Speed, 29-Inch Wheels, 17-Inch Aluminum Frame, Matte Black/Red
Mountain Bike
Schwinn Bonafide
Manufacturer
Schwinn
Reviews
131 Reviews
Rating
Price
$419.99
More Details
Preview
Merax FT323 Mountain Bike 21 Speed Full Suspension Aluminum Frame MTB Bicycle - 26 inch (Gray&Green)
Mountain Bike
Merax FT323
Manufacturer
Merax
Reviews
30 Reviews
Rating
Price
$419.99
More Details
Preview
Mongoose 27.5" R4054WMC Ledge 2.1 Men's Bike for a Path, Trail & Mountains,Black, Aluminum Full Suspension Frame, Twist Shifters Through 21 Speeds
Mountain Bike
Mongoose Ledge 2.1
Manufacturer
Mongoose
Reviews
38 Reviews
Rating
Price
$434.00
More Details
Preview
Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike, Full Dual Suspension, 29-Inch Wheels
Mountain Bike
Schwinn Traxion
Manufacturer
Schwinn
Reviews
122 Reviews
Rating
Price
$1,143.98
More Details

Best Beginner Mountain Bike

1. Diamondback Overdrive

If you’re looking for a quality mountain bike that’s budget-friendly, then the Diamondback Overdrive definitely beats out the rest of the competition. Because it’s a classic hardtail bike, it has fewer individual mechanical parts compared to full-suspension mountain bikes. This means that you spend less time – and not to mention money – on maintenance and repairs.

What I love most about this bike is its durable construction. The frame is built with heavy-duty aluminum alloy that prevents rust and corrosion so that it holds up against the toughest weather conditions. Another prominent feature is the rugged Kenda Honey Badger tires that are big and knobby. They provide excellent grip power especially on rocky and bumpy trails – designed to give you full control over the bike even in the roughest terrains.

Whether uphill or downhill – this bike has a 9-speed Drivetrain from Shimano with Sontour cranks that allows you to enjoy a smooth ride on a variety of trails. Coupled with an SR Suspension fork, it delivers both comfort and stability so you can go as fast as you can when necessary.

The Diamondback Overdrive is hand-built and shipped pre-assembled – eliminating the usual tedious set-up process. You’re ready to hit the road in just three easy steps: put up the front wheel and seat, attach the pedals, and pump up the tires.

What We Liked

  • Sharp and sleek design
  • Paint job makes it look more expensive than it actually is
  • Smooth-shifting capability
  • Budget-friendly
  • Rugged tires have a good grip
  • Durable overall construction
  • Easy assembly process

 

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike with 27.5' Wheels, 20'/Large, Red
31 Reviews
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike with 27.5" Wheels, 20"/Large, Red
  • Hand built 6061-T6 aluminum alloy hardtail frame is Classic mountain biking
  • Custom formed and butted tubing combines lightweight and stiffness
  • 27.5 inch wheels roll well over obstacles and offer Quick handling
  • SR Sun tour XCT fork delivers 80mm of suspension travel
  • 3 gears in the front and 8 gear in the back give you a combined 24 speeds to choose from

2. Schwinn Bonafide

2-Schwinn-BonafideFrom city roads to wooded trails – you can take the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike practically anywhere. At the top of its many notable features is the Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifter that changes the game when it comes to gear shifting. It comes with 24 speeds so you can easily select the right gear for any terrain.

What stood out to me immediately about this bike is its color scheme – it comes in a combination of black and red that gives it a sleek and sporty design. It also comes with color-matching end plugs and rims that add to its overall aesthetic quality.

The main aspect that adds to this bike’s durability is the tires that are wide in size and have a tread pattern that adds excellent traction. The rims are double-walled – designed to stand up against the roughest terrain.

Another prominent feature worth mentioning is the front and rear mechanical disc brakes. Having two brakes is a critical safety feature for any mountain bike because it gives you the confidence to ride at breakneck speed, without having to worry about issues associated with abrupt stopping. Both breaks are easy to engage and control.

What We Liked

  • Excellent speed levels
  • Shifting gears is smooth and simple
  • Large tires are suitable for taller users
  • Brakes are easy to engage, especially for beginners
  • Reinforced rims add durability
Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike, Front Suspension, 24-Speed, 29-Inch Wheels, 17-Inch Aluminum Frame, Matte Black/Red
131 Reviews
Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike, Front Suspension, 24-Speed, 29-Inch Wheels, 17-Inch Aluminum Frame, Matte Black/Red
  • The Schwinn bonafied mountain bike features an aluminum mountain frame and a powerful Schwinn suspension fork that soaks up bumps and thumps to provide you with a fun, durable riding experience
  • 24 speed Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifters and front and rear Shimano derailleurs make gear changes easy and smooth
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide crisp all condition stopping out on the trail; Durable Schwinn alloy cranks provide steady gearing and less pesky maintenance
  • High profile double wall alloy rims are light and strong for added durability; 2.25 inch wide knobby mountain tires are ready for bumpy terrain
  • This bike ships ready to be assembled, has a 5 year limited warranty, and the wheels measure 29 inches. Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 71.00 x 26.00 x 44.00 Inches

3. Mongoose Impasse

3-mongoose-impasseWith affordable mid-range features, the Mongoose Impasse Dual-suspension Mountain Bike makes a good entry-level bike for beginners as well as intermediate riders looking for an affordable replacement bike. Constructed with an aluminum alloy frame, this bike provides you with a solid structure that is fairly sturdy.

As its name suggests, this bike is equipped with double suspension. It’s one of the best parts of the Mongoose Impasse because it absorbs the shock from impact on the ground – giving you better control over the bike, as well as adding comfort for those long hours of riding. The front and rear brakes also deliver adequate stopping power.

Not good with tools? Don’t worry – this bike comes partially assembled so that even beginners can put it together in less than an hour. The tires may be on the larger side at 35 inches, but they work best for normal offroad tracks and not hardcore trails.

What We Liked

  • Frame holds up well against ordinary wear and tear
  • Comfortable to ride on flat terrain
  • Front tire releases quickly for easy storage
  • Easy gear shifting
Mongoose Impasse HD Mens Mountain Bike, 18-inch Frame, 29-inch Wheels with Disc Brakes, Charcoal
503 Reviews
Mongoose Impasse HD Mens Mountain Bike, 18-inch Frame, 29-inch Wheels with Disc Brakes, Charcoal
  • Mongoose aluminum mountain-style frame with internal cable routing provides a durable ride
  • 21 speeds let you adapt to your terrain, while front and rear disc brakes provide extra stopping power
  • Threadless headset delivers crisp steering and an aluminum 3-piece crankset for easy maintenance
  • Extra-large 29 x 2. 35-inch tires provide extra grip and stability on road or trail
  • 29-inch wheels fit adult riders 5’4” to 6’2”

4. Schwinn S29 Men’s Mountain Bike

4-Schwinn-s29When it comes to steep downhill riding, you can expect the Schwinn S29 Men’s Mountain Bike to hold its own. Thanks to its full suspension system, this bike balances weight really well and even caters to riders over 6 feet. The frame combines a front suspension fork and rear shock that absorbs shock from the trail. This means that you have more protection from bumps with less stress on your wrists and elbows.

Another feature worth mentioning is its eye-catching design – the frame is dark and polished giving it a classic look, without any flashy or bright colors. Shifting gears with this bike is relatively easy even for beginners because of the SRAM 3.0 trigger. It operates like the auto gear of a car, so that you can navigate through 21 gears depending on your speed.

What I love most about this bike is that it solves one of the most common problems encountered by bikers – chain dropping. The Shimano rear derailleurs ensure that the chain stays in place for a smoother riding experience.

What We Liked

  • Almost zero chances of chain dropping
  • Responsive suspension
  • Good on and off-road performance
  • Sturdy build can accommodate heavier riders
  • Disc brakes are easy to control
Schwinn S29 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike with 29-Inch Wheels in Gloss Black/Red, Featuring 18-Inch/Medium Aluminum Frame, Mechanical Disc Brakes, and 21-Speed Shimano Drivetrain
175 Reviews
Schwinn S29 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike with 29-Inch Wheels in Gloss Black/Red, Featuring 18-Inch/Medium Aluminum Frame, Mechanical Disc Brakes, and 21-Speed Shimano Drivetrain
  • The Schwinn S29 mountain bike features a 18-inch/medium frame for a suggested rider height of 5'9"-6'2"
  • The SRAM 3. 0 rear derailleur and SRAM 3. 0 21-speed trigger shifting will provide ultimate shifting for quick gear changes
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide crisp stopping and steady speed control on descents and extra wide double wall alloy rims wrap around 2. 1-Inch wide knobby mountain tires
  • The S29 features SR Suntour 3 piece alloy cranks
  • Featuring lightweight and strong alloy 29-inch wheels

5. Merax FT323

5-merax-ft323Believe it or not – one of the most important parts of a bike is the handles. And when it comes to this feature, the Merax FT323 doesn’t disappoint. It features high-grade rubber handlebars that provide a good grip for better control and accurate steering. They have a contoured design that supports a good portion of the rider’s weight and so that leaning forward becomes a whole lot easier.

Every cyclist will tell you bumpy rides are the worst part of biking. To solve this problem, the Merax FT323 comes with dual suspensions that absorb impact from both the front and rear. With less disruptive bounce, you can ride smoothly through the usual road bumps.

Whether it’s flat surfaces or angled hills, this bike’s 21 rapid-fire shifter and derailleurs are designed to tackle all types of terrain with gears that automatically change when you need them to. As an added bonus, it comes with a free Velcro storage pouch for your water bottle or phone.

What We Liked

  • Stylish gray and green color scheme
  • Free Velcro storage pouch
  • Comes with kickstand
  • Comfortable handlebars
  • Automatic gear shifting
Merax FT323 Mountain Bike 21 Speed Full Suspension Aluminum Frame MTB Bicycle - 26 inch (Gray&Green)
30 Reviews
Merax FT323 Mountain Bike 21 Speed Full Suspension Aluminum Frame MTB Bicycle - 26 inch (Gray&Green)
  • Dual-Suspension design smooths bumps while biking and increases control for fluid riding
  • Fitted Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters for reliable and smooth gear shifting
  • Linear pull breaks provide enhanced stopping power
  • Designed to be the most fully featured and economical entry level mountain bike to meet all of your riding needs
  • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs, 1 Year Warranty

6. Mongoose 27.5″ R4054WMC Ledge 2.1

6-mongoose-ledge-2-1Part of what makes the Mongoose 27.5” R4054WMC Ledge 2.1 stand out is that it’s really fun to ride. The full suspension aluminum eliminates most of the bounce when going through bumpy roads to deliver a smooth and precise ride. It’s great for beginners who are new to the sport as well as someone looking for a casual 2-wheel ride.

This bike is one has one of the cheapest prices I’ve seen on the market, but it doesn’t sacrifice quality for the price. With a 21 speed shifter and a Shimano rear derailleur, it gives you the basic features that most mountain bikers look for in a bike. It also comes pre-assembled – so you’ll be up and riding in less than 30 minutes.

This bike may not hold up against the more high-end mountain bikes, but its affordable price and quality build make it a good choice for casual and everyday use.

What We Liked

  • Beginner-friendly design
  • Easy to assemble in less than 30 minutes
  • Suspension system is responsive
  • Great for casual and social riding
Mongoose 27.5' R4054WMC Ledge 2.1 Men's Bike for a Path, Trail & Mountains,Black, Aluminum Full Suspension Frame, Twist Shifters Through 21 Speeds
38 Reviews
Mongoose 27.5" R4054WMC Ledge 2.1 Men's Bike for a Path, Trail & Mountains,Black, Aluminum Full Suspension Frame, Twist Shifters Through 21 Speeds
  • 21-speed twist shifters with Shimano rear derailleur
  • Aluminum full-suspension mountain frame with front suspension fork
  • Mongoose men's bike features front and rear linear pull brakes
  • Alloy wheels and 3-piece crank
  • Assembled dimensions: 68"L x 25"W x 41"H

7. Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike, Full Dual Suspension, 29-Inch Wheels

7-Schwinn-traxionEven if you’re new to the mountain bike scene, you will definitely find that the Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike offers plenty of thrills. Built to last for years, this bike is extremely sturdy and durable because of the aluminum dual suspension frame and tires that are enforced with high profile double-wall alloy rims. At first glance, I could already tell that this 2-wheeled beast is designed to take a beating.

It’s impossible to talk about this bike without mentioning its drivetrain. Even the most inexperienced bikers can shift gears with ease because of its 24-speed Shimano EZ Fire Trigger that lets you enjoy riding across a variety of different terrains.

And then there are the brakes. They may seem simple, but disc brakes really offer better stopping power than caliper breaks. These brakes are also really responsive and almost effortless to engage.

What We Liked

  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Gearing is steady
  • 24 available speeds
  • Disc brakes are easy to control
Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike, Full Dual Suspension, 29-Inch Wheels
122 Reviews
Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike, Full Dual Suspension, 29-Inch Wheels
  • Schwinn aluminum dual suspension frame and powerful Schwinn suspension fork soak up bumps and thumps to provide you a durable riding experience
  • 24 speed Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifters and front and rear Shimano derailleurs make gear changes easy and smooth
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide crisp all condition stopping out on the trail
  • Extra wide double wall alloy rims are light and strong for added durability; 2.25 inch wide knobby mountain tires are ready for bumpy terrain
  • Durable Schwinn alloy cranks provide steady gearing and less pesky maintenance on your end

Check List For Buying A Beginner Mountain Bike

Looking for a little more information on how to buy a beginner mountain bike? Here is a good video providing a checklist for buying a beginner mountain bike. Check it out to make an informed decision.

A Few Thing To Consider for Beginner Mountain Bikes

First off, remember it is a beginner’s mountain bike and the price you pay should reflect that. For the most part, it should be under $1000. That being said, don’t expect superior parts and bike components. The quality will be entry-level, but that should be good enough to get you going. If you turn into an MTB monster, you will be searching for the best mountain bike you can get your hands on, and will be willing to fork out the extra money.

Second, the suspension on most beginner mountain bikes will be a hardtail design. This is a good thing because it will help you develop your cycling skills and fundamentals. Having a front suspension is nice to help absorb the bumps and ruts.

Lastly, have a good time and enjoy yourself but be safe. Make sure you take your time getting to know your bike and don’t forget to wear your bike helmet.