6 Best Beginner Mountain Bikes in 2021

Last updated 24. June 2022

The world of mountain bikes is a vast and complicated one filled with technical jargon and seemingly impenetrable lists of specifications, making it hard to find out exactly what the best beginner mountain bikes in 2021 are. Most guides are focused on more advanced mountain bikes aimed at experienced cyclists who know what the complex language and concepts mean, neglecting the needs of beginners who just want a good, simple bike to ride on rough trails.

There are many great options out there for beginners, but cutting through the technical details to find the best can be difficult and time-consuming.

To save you the effort, we’ve done the work in cutting down the wide market to 6 good choices of an entry-level mountain bike, narrowing the field for you to make your life easier. In the list below, we’re going to break down the specifications of 6 of the best beginner mountain bikes on the market in 2021 to help you find the ideal mountain bike for your personal needs.

Related: Budget Mountain Bikes

View The Best Beginner Mountain Bike in 2021 Below


1. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike

Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike

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The Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Bike more than earns its name, coming equipped with monstrously large 4 inch tires. These offer padding similar to suspension, allowing you to glide over almost any surface with ease and comfort. The width of the tires also gives an advantage when crossing more unstable surfaces such as sand or mud, and the rough knobbed surface of the tires themselves gives a strong level of grip against the ground. The frame is made from durable steel rather than the more common lightweight aluminum construction of most bikes, which adds to the weight but also offers a stronger construction than many alternatives.

+ Extra large tires
+ Tough alloy wheel rims
+ Twist shift gears
+ Sturdy construction
+ Front and rear disc brakes

Why We Liked It – The 4 inch tires of the Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike make it stand out from the competition. No other bike offers quite such large tires, and they make a substantial difference to the comfort of riding on rough surfaces.

Alternative; all mountain bikes in-review.

2. Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

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The Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike’s compact 26 inch aluminum frame is lightweight and relatively small but comes with both standard front fork suspension mechanisms and a rear floating beam suspension mechanism to absorb shock and prevent it from impacting your arms and shoulders, reducing the risk of injury when biking on rough terrain.

This advanced dual suspension design absorbs the highest level of shock possible, ensuring a comfortable ride even at high speeds over rough, difficult terrain. The bike is equipped with 21 speed Shimano gear shifters and a rear Tourney derailleur, giving a high level of control and precision in gear shifting, and the front wheel includes a disc brake to give more refined control over your stopping distance. The Kent KZ2600 is a compact trail bike packed with premium comfort features, making it an excellent high-end choice for anyone who wants to get started with the highest comfort on the market.

+ Large gear range
+ Floating beam suspension system
+ Tough alloy wheel rims
+ Front disc brake
+ Lightweight aluminum frame

Why We Liked It – The Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike is equipped with a more advanced and comfortable suspension system than much of the competition. The floating beam suspension system built onto the rear of the bike adds an extra level of comfort and smoothness in addition to the more common front fork suspension system expected from most mountain bikes.

If you’re not too worried about budget, there are some fantastic mountain bikes for under $1500.

3. RALEIGH Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike

RALEIGH Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike

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The RALEIGH Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike is an unusual design in that it is specifically focused on helping beginner mountain bikers to build skills and confidence without getting overwhelmed by extraneous features and details. This is a hardtail mountain bike, featuring only front suspension, which reduces comfort a little in a trade off for reduced weight, complexity, and cost; the difference in comfort is minimal, and the ease of maintenance is significantly increased.

The RALEIGH Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike does not compromise on components, however, featuring disc brakes for precision stopping control and a full set of advanced Shimano gear shifters and derailleur.

+ Range of sizes available
+ Designed to build skills
+ Lightweight aluminum frame
+ Disc brakes
+ Wide gear range

Why We Liked It – The RALEIGH Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike is an exceptionally accessible choice for newer mountain bikers looking to learn more about trail riding without getting overwhelmed by complex high end bikes. It is a sturdy, well designed piece of equipment with a focus on simplicity but does not compromise on the details.

4. Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle Womens Road/Mountain

Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle Womens Road/Mountain

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The Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle Women’s Road/Mountain bike is a hybrid design, combining features from both standard mountain bikes and women’s road bikes to make a bike that fits comfortably on either a busy urban road or a wild mountain trail.

This model of bike features the shock absorbing front fork design of a mountain bike to reduce impact and shock before it reaches your arms and shoulders, protecting them from strain and injury, as well as the simple hardtail rear of a road bike, keeping weight and costs down. Both the mountain bike seat and handlebars are padded for comfort, and the seat can be easily adjusted or removed with the quick release mechanism built into the seat post.

+       Tough alloy wheel rims
+       Wide gear range
+       Front shock absorbing fork
+       Comfortable padding
+       Easily adjustable

Why We Liked It – The Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle Women’s Road/Mountain Bike’s hybrid design offers it a level of versatility missing from most mountain bikes. This is ideal for riding on any surface, reducing the need for dedicated mountain and road bikes and allowing you to get by just fine with a single bike.

5. Kent T-29 Men’s Mountain Bike

Kent T-29 Men's Mountain Bike

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The Kent T-29 Men’s Mountain Bike is a lightweight, simple model designed for minimal weight and complexity. The main frame of the bike is made from lightweight aluminum, while the wheel rims are made from a tough aluminum alloy, balancing low weight with high strength and ensuring that your wheels do not deform and harm your riding experience.

The wheels themselves have a 29 inch diameter, reducing the feel of impacts and rough terrain under your wheels for a more comfortable ride. The bike is delivered approximately 85% assembled, but some further assembly is required on arrival. Fortunately, it has been designed to be easy to assemble, reducing the potential difficulties of getting started on mountain biking.

+ Lightweight aluminum frame
+ Wide gear range
+ Tough alloy wheel rims
+ Large wheels
+ Easy to assemble

Why We Liked It – A simple option, the Kent T-29 Men’s Mountain Bike does not compromise on comfort or weight. It is an exceptionally lightweight option with an aluminum frame and alloy wheel rims, and its large wheels and wide gear range ensure that your ride should always be comfortable.

6. Mongoose R3577 Girl’s Maxim Full Suspension Bicycle

Mongoose R3577 Girl's Maxim Full Suspension Bicycle

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The Mongoose R3577 Girl’s Maxim is a lightweight aluminum framed mountain bike with a range of premium components for added control and comfort. The 21 speed Shimano rear derailleur, in combination with SRAM twist shifters for smoother and more intuitive gear changes, offers a high level of control over your riding experience, while the strong alloy brake system gives strong, fast braking power with minimal added weight.

In addition to this, the bike features full suspension on both the rear and front wheels, ensuring your comfort by reducing the shock and impact against your arms at the front and reducing the feel of bumps against your body at the rear.

+ Lightweight aluminum frame
+ Wide gear range
+ Shimano derailleur
+ Alloy brakes
+ Full suspension

Why We Liked It – The Mongoose R3577 Girl’s Maxim Full Suspension Bike is a lightweight option that does not compromise on comfort and control, making it a great higher end beginner option for those relatively new to mountain biking who want good control over their experience.


Buyers Guide


Alloy wheels

The wheels of your bike are constantly pressed against the ground and have to strike every bump in the road, meaning that they take far more strain and punishment than most other parts of the bike. Especially with cheaper wheel options, this can lead to damage if you use your bike a great deal. A slight bend in the wheel rim from an unfortunate impact can have a major effect on your riding experience, hurting the level of control you have over your bike in the field and impacting the precision of your steering and the comfort of your ride. Alloy wheels are stronger than aluminum without making a massive difference to the weight of your bike, reducing the chance of damage and helping your bike to stay in perfect riding condition throughout its lifespan with minimal maintenance.


Tire sizes

Different mountain bikes come with different sizes of wheel, changing your experience of riding the bike substantially. Larger wheels prevent you from feeling the roughness of the terrain to its fullest extent, making otherwise uncomfortable bumps seem smaller and easier to ride over comfortably and smoothly and reducing the shock of impacts as you cycle, protecting your arms slightly. Conversely, smaller wheels allow you to feel the full range of textures beneath your wheels, giving you a better sense of what exactly you are riding across. Larger wheels may seem like a clear winner when it comes to comfort, but smaller wheels also come with certain advantages; their increased ability to feel the ground beneath you gives more control, helping you to feel closer to the trail beneath you and to adjust your riding approach to fit changing surfaces more rapidly and fluidly.


What’s the difference between full suspension and hardtail?

Hardtail bikes offer suspension systems at the front fork but not the rear wheel, while full suspension bikes incorporate both front and rear mounted suspension systems. This helps to absorb the shock of rough terrain more effectively, reducing the impact shocks that reach your body. Hardtail bikes tend to be cheaper than full suspension bikes, which is a worthwhile consideration, but affordable full suspension bikes are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible. Dual suspension designs are likely to provide a more comfortable riding experience, while hardtail designs are more common in road bikes and other models aimed at smoother terrain.


What are disc brakes?

Disc brakes feature a larger pad than alternatives, giving a far greater contact area against the wheels. This enables your bike to stop faster and more smoothly with a full squeeze of the brakes, or to stop slowly and gently with a gentle squeeze, giving more control and a more comfortable braking experience. Plus, as a lesser but still valuable benefit, the larger and stronger pads of disc brakes tend to last a little longer before requiring replacement, reducing the level of maintenance needed to keep your mountain bike in good working order.



There are a number of great beginner mountain bikes on the market in 2020, as well as a far wider range aimed at more advanced, confident users. The 6 above are among the best simple, entry level models of mountain bike available, and all of them are great starter options. All of these are balanced, lightweight, and durable while avoiding unnecessarily complex features that could easily overwhelm a newer mountain biker.

The question of which beginner trail bike is ideal for you and your preferences will depend on which features you would prefer to prioritize; some of these focus on comfort, while others focus on smooth gear shifts or precision braking and still others on a completely stripped down, basic experience. Your decision should focus on your personal plans for your mountain bike as well as your level of knowledge and confidence. Are you planning on using this for road cycling as well as mountain biking, or just for trails?

Do you feel confident maintaining more advanced suspension systems? How many gears is too many for you to easily keep under control? All of the bikes we’ve broken down for you above are great choices, but your answers to these questions and more can help you to choose the best option for your personal needs from our curated list, allowing you to buy with full confidence that you’ve chosen an excellent bike for your needs.


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