Whether you’re an experienced mountain biker or someone who is just looking to take their first trail ride, you know that it can be an expensive sport. Mountain bikes of the modern era are not like the models that were available 20 years ago. We now have bikes that would blow their older competition out of the water. With the evolution of mountain bike technology, we can have our pick of exactly what we want in the perfect mountain bike.
Tires have gotten wider, frames have gotten longer, seats are more easily adjustable, bars have become stronger and more customizable, and gears are much quicker to change. And, these are only a few of the modern innovations that you can expect from the mountain bikes of today.
We have put together a list of the 6 best mountain bikes under $1000. This way you will be able to see what is available to you without burning a hole in your pocket. The more you can save on your bike, the more you’ll have left over for gas money to get you to the trailhead.
Alternative: Best Electric Mountain Bikes.
View The Mountain Bikes Under $1000 Below
1. Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike, 29″ Wheels
Schwinn has long been a widely trusted name in the world of biking. You will have a super smooth, floating experience with the aluminum dual-suspension frame and fork. The EZ-fire trigger shifters will allow you to fire through the 24 speeds with ease and precision while going down the mountain. With front and rear derailleurs, everything will slide into place seamlessly.
No matter what elements you face on the trail, you will be confident with the front and rear mechanical disc brakes. The 2.25 inch tired will provide all the grip you need, and the double wall alloy rims give riders strength and stability. The 18″ frame is well suited for riders between 5’6 and 5’10. This is a great bike for multiple levels of terrain.
+ Dual suspension
+ Extra-wide rims
+ Mechanical disc brakes
+ 24 Speeds
+ EZ Fire gear changers
Why we like it – This bike offers everything you want in a solid mountain bike. The suspension is really smooth and allows you to take bigger drops with less stress on your joints.
2. Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive
Diamondback has designed an extremely reliable hardtail mountain bike that will stand up to whatever you need it to on the trail. This mountain bike is best designed for riding cross country as opposed to ripping it down the rocky slopes. You will have a good amount of control with the mechanical disc brakes which are mounted on DB Sl-7 tires. These tires will keep you locked securely against the earth and prevent unwanted slips.
The drivetrain is made by Shimano and offers 24 speeds with 8 on the back sprocket and 3 on the front. Your gear shifting will be effortless and seamless. The 80 mm Suntour suspension fork also helps to offer a smoother ride. This bike comes mostly pre-assembled and is made to ship easily. It only takes 30-60 minutes to finish assembling when it shows up.
+ Durable/simple design
+ DB SL-7 tires
+ Cross-country specific
+ Mostly assembled
Why we like it – Sometimes you just need a no-nonsense bike to get you across the trail in a reliable fashion. That’s exactly what this bike offers and comes with the suspension, speeds, tires, and brakes that you need.
3. Diamondback Bicycles Hook
This bike has been designed with the tighter trails in mind. Along with its close siblings the line and sync’r, Diamondback Hook has a low center of gravity, short tail and long front to offer you exceptional levels of control. The low center of gravity allows you to be maneuverable and stable on any type of terrain, at any speed. A 120mm Suntour suspension fork adds to the prestige of this ride as it gives you a real suave ride.
The 1/8 drivetrain allows you to pick between 8 different speeds and doesn’t bother with any additional speeds. This bike is mostly meant to be going downhill for that reason. You won’t need to worry about losing control with the wide 27.5″ wheels. This bike is great for the trail or shorter road trips in between bombing sessions.
+ Long front
+ Short tail
+ Low frame
+ Downhill trail bike
Why we like it – Although this is still a fairly simple bike, it does the trick when flying down the hill. You’re able to keep good control of it and the lower center of gravity really makes a difference in those tighter and quicker turns.
4. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike
This fat tire mountain bike is purely designed to conquer the off-road echelon. The steel frame sits on supersized all-terrain tires. You may not be able to keep up to the road bikes, but you’ll be sticking to the trail whether its dirt, rocks, grass or otherwise. Twist shifters allow you to switch between the 7 speeds to get you up hills easier.
Although the tires are supersized, the rims are made of alloy and are a real help when keeping the weight to a minimum. The simple beach cruiser pedals are comfortable to lay your feet on and the mechanical disc brakes will keep you from breaking yourself. This bike ships ready to be assembled and comes in at a weight of 52 pounds.
+ Fat tires
+ Disk brakes
+ Alloy rims
Why we like it – This is a really tough bike and is going to get the job done on the rugged terrain. You’re not looking for a lightweight speed bike and this one is not meant to be treated as such. You can beat this bad boy up and down the trail all day and it’ll still come back for more.
5. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
Looking for a bike with a little more of a flashy design? Here you go. This Schwinn Protocol 1.0 mountain bike offers dual suspension by way of the front fork suspension as well as the rear “under-seat” spring suspension. They have chosen Shimano as the main provider of the moving parts with a 24-speed derailleur that is easy to shift with the EZ fire shifters.
No matter what type of terrain you are on, you will have the confidence to stop on a dime with the front disc brake and the rear alloy V-brake. The knobby tires sit nicely within the alloy rims and will aid you whether you are riding the trails or on the road. This is a pretty versatile bike for a good price point. At 43 pounds, it’s starting to get a little lighter on the mountain which will make it easier for you and your bike to make it from point A to B.
+ 43 pounds
+ Dual suspension
+ Front-end disc brakes
+ Versatile design
Why we like it – As far as a mountain bike under $1000 is concerned, this bike does the trick. It is a pretty versatile machine and will work whether you’re on the trail or the road. It’s fairly easy to set up and will have you on the road in no time.
6. Schwinn Men’s Protocol 2.7 Mountain Bike
The newer version of the aforementioned Protocol 1.0, the Protocol 2.7 will have you eager to get it off the website and under your feet so you can get on the trail. This bike has everything you need including 2.7″ wide tires, 21-speeds, EZ fire shifters, and dual suspension. You will have a really smooth ride that can conquer many trails over and over again. This is considered to be a really great weekend warrior bike for less than $1000.
With descents you will have no trouble as the front-end mechanical disc brakes keep you where you need to be. Grip the trail and feel the wind soar past you as you rip down your favorite bike tracks.
+ Mechanical disc brakes
+ EZ fire shifters
Why we like it – This bike just ups the anti from the Protocol 1.0 It’s slightly wider and easier to handle and can take on a little bit more roughness. Whether you’re going up or down the hill, you’ll want a bike exactly like this one to get you where to want to go and how you want to get there.
Mountain Bike Under $1000 Buyers Guide
What to look for in a mountain bike under $1000
As innovations improve and expand in the world of mountain bikes, so many more options open up to consumers. In the old days, there were only a few frame styles, a few pedal styles, and limited accessory add-ons. Now we are able to have our pick of the litter. This is fantastic for mountain bikers but also can add to buyers confusion.
How do you know what you should be looking for in a mountain bike? Especially when you’re talking about budget options, you want to make sure you’re still going to get the trail runner you need. Here is a short explanation of what you should look out of in a mountain bike under $1000.
Bikes are not one size fits all. If you’ve ever ridden a bike that is too small or too large, you may know the discomfort doing so can cause. If a bike is too small, you won’t be able to get the amount of power thrust into the pedals to push you up the hill. If it is too large, you maybe won’t be able to reach the pedals at all. Bikes are made with different heights in mind. The typical sizing options are as follows:
Height – Frame Size
4’11” – 5’3 – 13-15″ inches
5’4″ – 5’7 – 15-17 inches
5’8″ – 5’11 – 17-19 inches
5’11 – 6’2 – 19-21 inches
6’2 – 6’4 – 21-23 inches
6’4 + – 23 + inches
If you stick with this general outline of frame sizing for your height, you will generally be okay and have a bike that is the right size for you. Keep in mind that mountain bike sizing is different from a road bike and hybrid bike sizing. This is not an umbrella sizing chart.
The tire size and width will be determined by a few factors. What type of terrain you are riding, what experience level you have, and what kind of control you want to have over the bike. It is recommended that at some point, riders test out some wider tires. Tires between 2.5 and 3 inches will offer a ton of stability on the bike.
This is great for people who want a little extra peace of mind on the bike and to help you steer clear of trees and rocks. Wider tires will absolutely help you stay in a little better control. With wide tires, you lose a little bit of speed and agility. You are a little less able to pick up the velocity you may need on a flatter or dryer trail.
If you are going to be riding a lot of rough, unpredictable, downhill terrain, then try out some wider tires and see how they feel. If you can afford to gain a little bit of speed and mobility by dropping your tire size, eventually you will need to replace tires anyway, so you can always give them a try. Riders on more dry and straight terrain will definitely benefit from a smaller tire width.
Wheel and tire size are a bit different. We covered the tire size already, but you also want to note what size of wheel you want. This means the diameter of the entire rim. The larger the rims, the smoother your ride may be. Generally rims come in sizes such as 25″ – 29″. 29-inch tires are a large standard for mountain bikes.
If you want to be able to gain a little bit of a smoother ride, then a larger tire may be what you want to try out. Although, the more size you have in a tire, the more weight your bike will have. This will affect the maneuverability and portability of your bike.
There are various types and sizes of frames you can choose from. A typical term that is used is reached. Some bikes are being made with longer reach as they offer riders a more centered weight distribution. This can give a lot more control on faster downhill descents while decreasing stability at slower speeds.
Again think about the type of terrain and riding you’ll do. Where you need more control, you may want to go with a frame that puts your center of gravity a little lower. On flatter terrain, you can afford to be a little higher off the ground.
Dual suspension is great if you are going to be bouncing off of rocks and want to save your keister. Added suspension simply keeps things less rigid and allows for some play. If you’re on extra rugged terrain, having back suspension may allow you to ride for longer and with more comfort. On flat terrain, a dual suspension is not always necessary.
You will only need a slightly loosened front suspension to help save your wrists from any unexpected jolts. The length and allowance of your suspension will be determined by how hard and rigorous you ride. If you need the extra cushioning, then having dual suspension can be a butt-saver in the long run.
Some bikes come with derailleurs in the front that give you more variety in the speeds. Although in the larger picture, the speeds you will have will generally be very close. A front derailleur offers a little more of a smooth transition between your speeds. This also means there is more in between your pedals and the frame.
With a more simple design, and losing the front derailleur, you gain stability and tightness in the bike. You may not need the extra derailleur at the front, so decide whether or not you want that extra stability over the more versatile speeds. Also, front derailleurs add more moving parts and possible components that can break later on.
Are you ready to hit the trails? Hopefully, we have summed up the necessary information that you will need to make a confident buying decision. There are still a ton of factors that could come into play and many of them you will learn as you gain experience on the trail. Enjoy your next ride.
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