10 Best Mountain Bikes Under $500

Last updated 13. January 2020

Have you been looking for a new bicycle, but you don’t want to spend too much money on it? You’re in luck because we found the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars. Since you’re spending a little bit less, you might be worried that the quality would be lower.

In most cases it is. But after looking through all sorts of blog posts, article reviews, and checking out a handful of videos, we’ve come up with enough to find the best mtb under 500 bucks for you.

While there are certainly plenty of mountain bikes that are top-notch, we wanted to make sure that we only included the ones that you’d approve of. Comfort, ease of handling, safety, and how well they conquered terrain were the main attributes that we looked for. Let’s jump into the list!

As the demand for high-quality mountain bikes increases, so does the consistent improvements made by each company. There’s never been a better time to find new mtb under 500 that suits your style and preferences.

View The Best Mountain Bike Under $500 Below

1. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men's Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

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Schwinn is one of the best brands when you’re shopping for a budget mountain bike. They’re always super lightweight, making them easy for any rider to control. The aluminum construction of the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike is no exception to this benefit. Switch between 24 speeds and you’ll be off to the races!

Finding good full suspension bikes under 500 is easy when you’re looking through Schwinn’s catalog. This bike is comfortable, especially when you add in the cushioned seat. Roll right over roots and other debris in your path thanks to the bulky 26-inch tires. They won’t get clogged up, but if they do, you can spray them off in seconds.

The three colors that are currently available include Red, Red & Blue, and Matte Blue. They all come with a light set of alloy rims, adding to the top-notch handling of this bike. Quickly shift through the speeds with a trigger right by your hand. This setup makes it so you don’t have to stop every time you want to change the gears.

+ Comes in three different colors and two styles
+ Comfortable suspension and seat
+ Bulky tires to cruise right over debris

Why We Like It – This is one of the best mountain bikes for under 500 dollars because it’s lightweight, easy to handle, and comfortable to ride.

2. Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

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After looking through all of the mountain bike reviews under 500, we noticed that the Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike constantly showed up on the charts. There are all sorts of necessities and natural comforts that make it well worth checking out. For example, the suspension lets you go off ramps without feeling a drop of achiness.

Choose between 21 speeds, giving you more than enough control over your environment. You’re the only one who knows exactly what makes you comfortable, which is why this variety is such a nice addition to the bike. The familiar alloy wheels are also super lightweight, letting you climb hills quickly.

If you choose to go with this bike by Kent, you’ll be able to use two handbrakes. These brakes let you stop the rear and front tires respectively. Depending on the surface and speed you’re encountering, you can choose one over the other (or both). Either way, you’ll have the best protection offered from a full-suspension mountain bike under 500 bucks!

+ Comes with 21 different gear speeds
+ Full suspension to give you comfort from every turn, ramp, and landing
+ Fantastic brand to shop through

Why We Like It – This is one of the best trail bikes under 500 because you don’t have to worry about running over roots, dirt, grass, and another terrain.

3. Schwinn Bonafied Mountain Bike

Schwinn Bonafied Mountain Bike

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Another one of the top-rated mountain bikes from Schwinn sits right under 500 dollars as well. The Schwinn Bonafield Mountain Bike has an adjustable seat to let you get the perfect angle for comfort and performance. Whether you’re after speed, exercise, or leisure, you’ll be all set for the roads and trails ahead.

Much like the previous entry on the list by Kent, this Schwinn bike comes with two handbrakes. Slow down or stop at your own pace, choosing which brake to activate based on circumstances. These 2.25-inch wide tires are chunky and designed to cruise over tough obstacles that you might come across on a dirt trail.

You’ll be able to choose between 24 speeds, much like the other Schwinn bike at #1 on the list. Shift quickly for a smooth transition, reducing the impact and preventing the gears from skipping or jumping when you’re riding. It’s made almost entirely out of aluminum to cut the weight down to 39 pounds.

+ Incredibly wide, tall tires (29 inches x 2.25 inches)
+ Adjustable seat and handlebars for a customized fit
+ Smooth gear shifting through 24 speeds

Why We Like It – We like this mountain bike by Schwinn because it combines smooth comfort with the ability to conquer diverse trails.

4. Mongoose R2780 Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle

4. Mongoose R2780 Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle

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Mongoose is another reputable company when it comes to low-cost bikes. Their R2780 Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle is a great choice for cyclists who want to stick to a budget. There’s no reason why you can’t hit up your favorite trails on this bike. It’s a top example of why you don’t have to spend all of your money just to enjoy the fresh air!
Adjust the seat and the handlebars to your liking for a comfortable fit.

Speaking of the handlebars, both of them have handbrakes to let you slow or stop as soon as you need to. The aluminum frame lets you take on heavy-impact trails without aching up a storm the next day. We’ve all had to deal with suspension issues (or lack thereof), but that won’t be a problem with this Mongoose bike.

Use the 21-speed Shimano shifter to incline or decline without feeling too much strain. Increase the workload for a better exercise or decrease it to soak in the views without gassing yourself. The handlebars also have a nice textured pattern to maximize your grip. Similarly, the tires have a design to prevent you from falling over on the trail.

+ Several speeds to fit your riding style
+ Maximum suspension to land smoothly
+ Adjust the aforementioned speed and handbrakes right from your fingertips

Why We Like It – We like this Mongoose mtb under 500 because it’s meant to fit your style specifically.

5. Diamondback Bicycles Lux 27.5

The Diamondback Bicycles Lux 27.5 is a fantastic women’s mountain bike under 500 dollars for an active lifestyle. The 27.5 in the title refers to the massive 27.5-inch tires. They’re crafted with attention to detail, enabling you to go on any trail that you can ride a bike on. It also has a soft suspension system to reduce the initial impact.

Choose through 8 different speeds on the Shimano shifter to fit your personal preferences. You can also adjust the seat to raise or lower to the desired level. The seat cushion is as good as it gets, so you can forget about having to buy a new cushion to replace the stock seat. Most other bikes have this issue, but you’ll save money on this one!

Similar to most other mountain bikes, this Diamondback Bicycles mtb is made with aluminum throughout the frame and alloy rims. The reduced weight doesn’t reduce the longevity and overall durability, though. Accidental falls or crashes won’t break your investment anytime soon, nor will the weather.

+ Comfortable fitting for women
+ Bulky 27.5-inch tires
+ Soft suspension that helps to reduce the impact

Why We Like It – We like this bike by Diamondback Bicycles because of its super lightweight and easy to handle on most trails.

6. Huffy Mountain Bike Summit Ridge

Huffy Mountain Bike Summit Ridge

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Are you trying to find a good hardtail mountain bike under 500 dollars? The Huffy Mountain Bike Summit Ridge is just about as good as it gets. Hundreds of customers love it for the smooth cruising, easy air control, and the multitude of variations to choose from. For example, you can pick out a color, style, and speed shifter.

The available colors include Metallic Cyan, Solar Flare, Denim Blue, and all sorts of other unique shades. You can pick the frame as well, ranging from 20-inch wheels on a 13-inch frame to 26-inch wheels on a 17-inch frame. Finally, choose either 6 speeds for casual trail riding or 21 speeds for intense cycling.

Regardless of the previous settings you pick out, you’ll get an unbelievably smooth riding experience. The hardtail dips with every hill and drop, letting you relax without feeling discomfort. Adjust the handlebars and the seat level, use both handbrakes, and enjoy the heavy-duty rubber handgrips.

+ One of the most customizable bikes on the market
+ Comfortable for hills and dips
+ Designed for riders 13 years of age and up

Why We Like It – We like this bike because it customizes to your exact preferences. What gets better than that?

7. Schwinn Men’s Protocol 2.7 Mountain Bike

Schwinn Men's Protocol 2.7 Mountain Bike

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If you liked the Schwinn bike that opened the list up, then you’ll love this product. The Schwinn Men’s Protocol 2.7 Mountain Bike is a step up for riders who want the most upgraded edition. It has 27.5-inch tires with a unique textured pattern that cuts through trails without an issue whatsoever. They’re incredibly dense to protect them from thorns and rocks.

Much like the 1.0, the 2.7 comes in Red, Red & Blue, and Matte Blue. It also has a highly-adjustable seat that can go lower or higher than most other bikes that we’ve come across. The low-profile handlebars are perfect for people with small hands, though they don’t cause a negative impact for those with large hands either.

As far as suspension systems go, we can all agree that this is top-notch, even when compared to bikes over the budget we’ve set. Take sharp turns, cruise right over bumps, and take small jumps without noticing a difference. It’s also made to be low-maintenance, making it an ideal bicycle for beginners.

+ Massive 27.5-inch tires with a textured pattern
+ Low-profile handlebars for people of all heights
+ Easy to maintain with very little mechanical parts

Why We Like It – We like this bike because it’s a good starter mountain bike under 500 dollars, it’s comfortable, and you don’t have to be an expert to fix it.

8. Huffy Escalate 21 Speed Hardtail Mountain Bike

Huffy Escalate 21 Speed Hardtail Mountain Bike

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Huffy has several hardtail mountain bikes, the Escalate 21-Speed Bike being one of their best for under $500. It’s very similar to the other Huffy bike on our list in the sense that it’s incredibly customizable. However, the forefront of creativity comes in the bulky tires and cushioned seat that makes it feel like you’re riding on a smooth road at all times.

Stunning colors that you won’t find anywhere else are right up for you to choose from. They include Gloss Lavender, Metallic Mint, Ocean Blue Gloss, Nickel, and a plethora of others. You can also choose from a huge range of frame and tire sizes from 24-inch wheels on a 15-inch frame to 27.5-inch tires on a 17.5-inch frame.

The Shimano shifters on this bike prove why so many companies choose this style over any other on the market. Smooth speed changing has never been quick, easier, and more comfortable than it is on this hardtail mountain bike. Switch between 21 speeds for a variety of terrains without skipping a beat.

+ Several tires sizes and frames to choose from
+ Comes in a unique assortment of colors unlike anywhere else
+ The smoothest speed shifting available for the price

Why We Like It – We like this mountain bike because it’s comfortable to ride and you can truly make it be however you’d like.

9. RALEIGH Talus 2 Complete Mountain Bike

The RALEIGH New 2015 Talus 2 Complete Mountain Bike is unique in the sense that it can be adjusted to work for people from 5’ all the way up to 6’4, making it one of the most diverse bicycles on the planet. You can quickly raise or lower the seat, giving you the precise fit that you need to feel comfortable on the road or trail.

While it’s not meant to be used on the roughest paths around the mountains, this is an ideal choice for light trails and almost any road around town. If you’re someone who wants to get out and exercise or enjoy the views, then you’re going to love this bike from the first minute of cruising around.

The tires come in at 27.5 inches by 2 inches, making them narrower than many other mountain bikes. This can reduce the profile, which allows you to fit into tighter spaces. You’ll still be able to climb over rocks and other small debris since they’re designed with a deep tread to absorb the initial impact of the trails.

+ Ideal for inner-city and light trail activity
+ Low-profile, narrow design
+ Perfect for people of all heights

Why We Like It – We like this mountain bike because it’s budget-friendly, easy to ride, and it’s perfect for exercise.

10. Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes

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Last but certainly not least on our list is the Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that you have a decision to make that most other mountain bikes don’t have. You can pick from a steel frame or an aluminum frame. We’ve seen all of the benefits of lightweight aluminum, but steel is a bit more durable and long-lasting. If you’re able to handle the extra weight, many riders feel that steel is well worth using.

Next in your selection is to pick out a size. The sizes include 24-inch wheels, 26-inch wheels, 27.5-inch wheels, and 29-inch wheels. You can make this decision based on your personal height, ensuring that your feet can firmly be planted flat on the ground with the size you pick. You can also look through the color list that has Light Purple, Teal, Silver, Black, and several others.

The other notable features that come with this Schwinn mountain bike are an adjustable, comfortable seat, two handbrakes for maximum stopping control, textured tires to roll over obstacles, and a fantastic suspension system. We also can’t forget to mention the speed shifter to choose whichever gear you find most comfortable to ride with.

+ Several sizes and colors to look through
+ Choose between steel or an aluminum frame
+ Designed to last for many years on end

Why We Like It – We like this Schwinn bike because it’s one of the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars that gives you everything you need to feel comfortable. Why settle for anything less than the best?

Mountain Bike Under 500 Buyer’s Guide

There’s a common misconception that you have to spend tons of money to get a decent mountain bike. While that might’ve been true in the past, there are plenty of good mountain bikes under 500, and some of them are well below that budget.

However, you still have to make sure that you’re getting the look, feel, and style that you’re going after. This guide will teach you exactly what to do to find the cheap mountain bike for you!

Hardtail vs Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

The basic differences between hardtail mountain bikes and full suspension mountain bikes are the overall weight and the actual suspension system. With a full-suspension bike, you’re going to get front and rear suspension for a smooth ride. On the other hand, hardtail mountain bikes only have front suspension.

Who would want less suspension in the back? Plenty of people, and you might be one of them! Hardtail bikes are often cheaper, lighter in weight, and better for smooth, level roads and trails. You don’t have to pay for the additional suspension that adds weight, and you won’t be bouncing around on relaxed paths.

However, full-suspension bikes have massive advantages as well. For example, they’re one of the only bikes that can be ridden over rocks, roots, and other pesky obstacles. With a hardtail bike, you’d feel the discomfort of every nook and groove on the trail.

While full suspension bikes are more expensive and usually heavier, they’re much more comfortable for most riders. This is because it feels like you’re rolling on a cloud rather than feeling every possible issue that you ride over.

How to Choose the Tire Size of Your Mountain Bike

Beginner cyclists often wonder why there are so many tire sizes to choose from. In short, it’s due to the cyclist’s height combined with the terrain they’re riding on. If you didn’t read it earlier in the article, the size of your tire should be chosen based on how your feet sit on the ground when you’re resting. You should always be able to firmly plant the bottom of your feet on the ground below you to know you have the right tire size.

As far as width goes, the bigger the tire, the better it can handle rough terrain (in most cases). A good size range would be from 2 inches up to 2.75 inches, though you’ll rarely see anything over that in traditional mountain bikes. Another feature to look out for is the texture of your tires. Make sure they’re bulky and textured to roll over the debris in your path.

Expert Tip

Reduce the impact of landing and rough trail cycling by standing up a bit in the tough areas! The impact with spread throughout your body rather than hitting right on your spine and lower back.

Did You Know?

Many mountain bikes these days are actually hybrid bicycles, meaning they can be used on roads, sidewalks, and trails as well.

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