Mountain bikes are perfect if you want to explore the outdoors and take on more challenging terrain. Purchasing a mountain bike is an expensive endeavor and can be downright scary. That's why there is such a large market for cheaper mountain bike options. Riders looking for a solid mountain bicycle capable of a comfortable ride without the expense. So before we figure out the best mountain bikes under 200 dollars. Let's first consider what you can get on such a tight trail riding budget.
Modern Day Technology
Many of today's mountain bikes are sleek and lightweight. These bikes are designed to be easier to handle in the forest. Some of the latest models even come with semi-suspension. These bikes allow you to push further and ride longer. Many manufacturers also offer affordable components. Buying an expensive bike isn't the only way to end up with great components. You could choose to upgrade your bike over time. Components can be purchased separately and combined with each other. Allowing you to personalize your bike and make it your own.
Rapidly advancing technology and an increasing number of manufacturers mean an ever-increasing list of options to pick from. Mountain biking is a brilliant sport for which only the best bikes will suffice. The sheer difference between a mountain range and a tarred road is one reason why normal bikes aren't the best choice. Because of the differences in normal bikes and mountain bikes, the criteria by which the best is chosen is slightly different. Their tires are designed differently, as is their suspension, frame, and handle support. Price, ease of maintenance, suspension, life-cycle, weight, and construction material are some of the features we considered.
Best Entry Level Mountain Bike Models Under $200
The word "MTB" is an abbreviation of the term mountain bike. The MTB is a bicycle designed for high-speed riding in the woods. Some of the more popular features of these bikes include deep mountain tyres, full suspension, hydraulic brakes, long travel, and extreme price tags. Modern-day mountain bikes use a combination of innovative technology, premium materials and superior construction. The benefits of these bikes are many and they are an excellent choice for people looking to improve their riding and get their adrenaline pumping. A mountain bike is a great first step into cycling as it can be used in many other scenarios such as commuting and casual road biking. Although, it goes without saying, there are other bike types far more suited to these situations.
While not overly lightweight, there are plenty of quality entry-level mountain bikes under $200. These are great options for beginner mountain bikers and young riders who may soon outgrow their current bike. Keep reading to learn what to look for in your first mountain bike and check out our list of the best mountain bikes under $200.
Advice When Buying A Mountain Bike
The general advice when it comes to buying a mountain bike is to spend the most money you can possibly afford to. Choosing a mountain bike that uses quality parts and materials is a must. Invest in the best, buy the correct gear and reap the benefits for years to come. There are many different mountain bike brands and models to choose from. The right choice for you depends on what type of riding you want to do and what your budget is. The right gear will maximize your riding experience.
That being said, if your budget it tight, the next best thing is to buy a solid bike that will do the job while you decide whether cycling is for you.
Performance Vs Maintenance
Not all of us need a suspension fork. If your local routes are light terrain then don't get one. You'll save on maintenance of your bike. As well as saving on maintenance you'll also save on effort. A rigid fork will bring you less weight to push around, and you'll also not have the bob you get from suspension forks when you pedal. The bob can suck some speed from you and requires more effort from you to overcome it. If you need a full suspension then so be it.
Mountain Bike Brakes
The brake is often called the most important and most useful component in a mountain bike. A cheap mountain bike will commonly come with a linear pull brake system also known as a rim brake. Mechanical disc brake components are far to expensive and therefore will not be on any of the bikes in this list. Although, you never know I suppose.
Different Types Of Brakes
Whether you're looking at a hardtail mountain bike, hybrid bike or even a folding bike for that matter. It's important to consider what types of brakes are available. The best of the best in terms of performance is currently hydraulic disc brakes. These are closely followed by mechanical disc brake systems. If you're planning on completing high speed or rough terrain routes then it's important you choose a disk brake system. Powerful brakes could mean the difference between you keeping or losing control of your bike.
Rim brakes also known as pull brake systems are less effective. That's not to say they aren't useful. Most riders will be able to manage with linear pull brake mechanisms without an issue. They are perfect for the hobbyist or rider who is looking for a cheap mountain bike that isn't going to break the bank. It's safe to say that disk brakes are more common on expensive bike models.
Disk brake mountain bikes are far better in terms of performance and responsiveness. However we're somewhat restricted with our budget so we'll focus our attention on cantilever styled wheel rim brakes.
Most mountain bikers are familiar with cantilever brakes, but there are many other variations of mountain bike brakes. These include V-brakes, which are similar to cantilever brakes, but are mounted on the fork and are generally used on downhill bikes and those that are designed to be race-oriented.
Mountain Bike Wheels
How do you choose between the different types of mountain bike wheels? When it comes to wheels, it's all about how you want to ride and what terrain you'll be riding on. There are three different wheel sizes for mountain bikes. The 26 inch wheel is the standard in older models, but nowadays, you can choose between 26 inch, 27.5 inch, and 29 inch.
Wheel size is a big choice in mountain bikes at any price point. Nearly all the best mountain bikes being made at the moment will have 27.5" wheels or 29" wheels. Typically 27.5" wheels are seen as being better for technical off-road use where you will be riding on lots of tight trails with sharp corners and lots of rocks and routes. The basic idea being that the 27.5" wheel is more manoeuvrable (it will also be easier to pop a wheelie or do other tricks). A 29" wheel bike will normally be faster as the bike will 'roll' more easily once you are up to speed. Nearly all race bikes will have alloy rim 29" wheels. If you plan on using your bike for commuting then a 29" wheel bike will get you to work quicker.
Although mountain bike tires are chunky when compared to road bike tires. They are not to be confused with fat bike tires. Which are not only wider than road bike tires, but also sometimes 4 times the size.
Helpful Tip: The 29 inch tire is a great option for cross country riders who like to go on longer rides. If you're a fan of longer rides, we recommend the 29" size bike. It's not fast to accelerate, but this size might be a better choice for rougher terrain.
Different Types Of Mountain Bike Wheels
Mountain bike wheels fall into three main categories: rim, disc, and clincher. There are many different brands and models each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular types include rim and disc wheels. Rim wheels are lightweight and stiff. They are popular for their durability. Disc wheels are heavier than alloy rims. They are popular for their durability and have lower rolling resistance.
Clincher wheels are a modern innovation that have only been around for the last 15 years. They are smaller and lighter than disc wheels, but after years of use in mountain bikes, they have shown to be extremely durable and capable as well.
Mountain bike wheels come in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to the wheels, the "size" is not always the same as the "fit" of the wheel. We've all heard the saying, "bigger is better" - but that's not always true. While some riders prefer a wheel size that is larger than what they are used to, it's possible to find a wheel that fits the frame, and still has the size you're looking for.
Mountain Bike Suspensions
Suspension systems are of paramount importance when it comes to mountain bikes. The suspension system on a mountain bike is critical to how your bike rides. From a smooth ride with little resistance to a rough, non-responsive ride, the suspension has an effect on the control you have. The suspension system determines how much your mountain bike will resist gravity and how much the front end will bounce.
A mountain bikes suspension is a great way to flatten out a rough terrain. However, it can be difficult to find components that are both lightweight and effective on the trail.
Although there are many factors that go into designing a mountain bike suspension system, the key to a good system is to design it for your weight and skill level. If you are a beginner, you should consider investing in a suspension fork that will let you learn how to ride. If you are an experienced rider, you should consider an air shock system.
Expensive Doesn't Always Mean Better
It may seem counterintuitive, but when it comes to mountain bikes, lower price doesn't necessarily equate to lower quality. It's fairly common for bike manufacturers to make cheaper bikes with features that are quite similar to expensive models. If you happen to be a beginning-level rider who isn't yet ready to jump into mountain biking with both feet, and you're not comfortable shelling out a huge sum of money on a mountain bike, investigating the best mountain bike under $200 is a good start.
Finding a first-rate mountain bike for under $200 is no simple task and requires a considerable amount of research. To assist you in this endeavor and make sure you find a bike that not only respects your wallet, but is comfortable, safe, lightweight, reliable, and just all-around cool, we've composed this helpful guide to nudge you in the right direction. We may even consider a hybrid bike or trail bike here and there if the list is quite thin.
The Mountain Bike Frame
Another important thing to know about concerning how to choose a mountain bike is the frame. Of course, the heart of any bike is the frame. Many of the MTBs featured here have aluminium frames. As they offer the rider both a strong and lightweight base to build on. Many of our recommendations will have butting and forming to keep the weight down. Butting is a process that removes material from low stress areas of the frame to reduce weight. Forming also tends to reduce weight as the tubes are shaped more efficiently. Offering a stable upright riding position, for confident off-road handling, these hardtail MTBs are also suited to urban road riding as they offer extra visibility in traffic.
Mountain Bike Frame Materials
The best mountain bikes are usually made of either carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, steel, or some combination of these. Another type of mountain bike readily available on the market is the electric mountain bike. However it's highly unlikely we'll find any electric bike options with our restricted budget. In fact most of the bikes in this list will be either rigid or hardtail mountain bike models. The term hardtail bike simply means that the mountain bike has a front suspension fork but no rear suspension system. Rear suspension, usually found directly under the rider's saddle is a component usually found on more expensive bikes.
Choosing the right frame is somewhat limited by your budget. Obviously the stronger and lighter the frame is, the easier it will be to manoeuvre. It will be far less likely to break when ridden on rough terrain. The best we can hope for on a budget of $200 is to find an affordable mountain bike with a lightweight aluminum frame. A budget mountain bike won't be blessed with fantastic components. However we're setting the bar for the best mountain bikes under 200 dollars to offer a smooth ride over rough terrain.
Steel Mountain Bike Frames
Steel frame mountain bikes are the go-to for hardtail mountain bikers, as they're lighter, stiffer, and most importantly, they won't corrode, dent, or bend during your daily commute. Now, there are plenty of benefits to choosing a steel frame mountain bike over a steel frame road or hybrid bike: they're dynamic, economical, and they make a great training bike, too.
Steel bike frames are made of a steel that has been specifically designed to work with a mountain bike. The frame material is often designed to absorb the shock and vibration when you are on the mountain, and it also keeps the frame stiff, which makes the bike feel much smoother and more solid.
Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame
If you're looking to get into mountain biking, but aren't sure what to purchase, look no further than the aluminum frame. Aluminum bikes are rapidly becoming the favorite for beginner to intermediate riders, as they are lightweight and durable. As the cost of an lightweight aluminum frame is far lower than that of a carbon one.
Whether you're a seasoned biker or just beginning your love affair with mountain biking, a quality aluminum mountain bike will deliver the goods in countless ways. There are a ton of benefits, such as good quality and stability. Aluminum alloy frames are lighter, which means a more efficient and economical ride, and they're also slimmer and more versatile than steel frames. Steel frames are bulky, which can make them a handful of pounds heavier than similar aluminum frames. Plus, aluminum mountain bike frames are much more durable than steel mountain bike frames.
Aluminium has been a material of choice for bike builders since the invention of the humble bicycle. The light weight and low cost of the metal have ensured its continued popularity over the years, and today there are several different types of aluminium used in bike frames.
Different Mountain Bike Types
Choosing the right bike for your mountain bike riding adventures is tough. Whether you're on the look out for the best entry level bike, budget mountain bike or a quality mountain bike. You'll want to consider the type of bike you're looking for first. If you're shopping for a trail bike then some sort of suspension would be useful to maintain a comfortable ride. If you're planning on going off road then a hardtail bike with chunky tires might be perfect. Here are the different types of mountain bikes on the market.
Hardtail Mountain Bikes
Hardtails are the most popular mountain bikes. They're light, fast, and fun to ride, but that's not why they're so popular. Hardtail mountain bicycle models are popular because they offer a balance of speed and technical handling. Hardtail mountain bikes can be used for everyday riding on pavement as well as trail riding.
There are lots of benefits when it comes to riding a hardtail mountain bike. You can push your limits and ride through the rough terrain without worrying about damaging your bike. Plus, you'll be saving a lot of money on repairs. Hardtail mountain bikes are generally faster than full suspension mountain bikes. This is because they're usually lighter. Also you also won't have to pay for all of the added suspension system weight.
As the name suggests, a hardtail mountain bike has no rear suspension. A hardtail suspension system is primarily made up of a front suspension fork and strong tires. So you need to be more aware of your footing and make sure you get good, solid traction. Both on the road and on the trail. The truth is that a hardtail bike will provide a much smoother ride, since it won't bounce around when bumps are hit in the trail.
Rigid Mountain Bikes
When you want to get out and ride but can't make it into the hills, a rigid mountain bike offers a great alternative. If you're looking for off-road mountain riding, the rigid mountain bike is the ideal choice. A rigid mountain bicycle has no rear suspension or front suspension fork. Instead relying on the tires to absorb much of the shock on rough terrain.
A rigid mountain bike doesn't have the same flex and give that a soft bike does in the rear, which is usually what riders look for in a trail-ready ride. A rigid mountain bike is designed for a super heavy rider who wants a sturdier ride that can handle the harsh terrain. Rigid mountain bikes are more durable and less likely to break if the rider falls. They are also far more affordable than other, more complex mountain bicycle types.
If you're after a cheap mountain bike, rigid models avoid the cost of expensive suspension components.
Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
Full or dual suspension mountain bikes are bikes that use both front and rear suspension systems. The main benefit of full suspension mountain bikes is that they offer smoother rides over rough and bumpy terrain, especially in the bumpier parts of the trail.
A full suspension mountain bike is a pretty specialized product, but it can be key to a riders success in the mountains. An all-terrain bike is a bike that offers the durability and control of a mountain bike combined with the comfort and efficiency of a road bike. When used correctly, suspension makes mountain bikes more capable and enjoyable.
A full suspension mountain bike on the trail can feel a lot like a 4-wheeled motorbike on the street, but in the dirt it can feel totally different. There are no shocks or jolts with a full suspension bike.
Full suspension bikes are different from traditional mountain bikes. They have a wider and longer frame and all of the suspension is built into the frame. They are designed to travel over rocks or uneven terrain without causing damage to the frame or the rider above. The soft, low-friction suspension system, combined with the flexibility that comes with being suspended, means that you will not feel every small bump or crack in the trail. You will also be able to enjoy your full riding potential without becoming fatigued.
Mountain Bike Tires
Mountain bike tires are among the most critical parts of your bike. The tread, the rubber compound and the compound hardness are all factors to consider when buying a tire. In this article, we talk about the different options when buying mountain bike tires.
Choosing The Right Tires
Although wheel size is important, what's equally as important is your tire choice. Mountain bike tires are often key to a bike's performance, but choosing the right one can be a bit daunting. You can go for air-filled, over-inflated tires that give you ultimate traction. But air can be hard to maintain, so you are better off with a lightweight and durable rubber compound. And you will need to go for tubes that offer puncture protection, along with good grip and braking performance.
Mountain bike tires come in all shapes, sizes, and treads. The ones you use will depend on the type of trail you ride, the weather, your skill level, and other considerations. There are several different types of tires, including knobby or aggressive tires, which are ideal for off-road, or cross-country use, and treaded tires that are designed to grip the ground.
There are many different tire choices for mountain bikers, and one of the most notable ones is the knobby tire. A knobby tire is a tire that has small, raised bumps on the surface of the tire, which give the tire a more rugged, aggressive look. Knobby tires are mostly used for off-road mountain biking, and there are a variety of designs you can choose from.
Mountain bike tires that are "knobby" are a relatively new phenomenon to the Mountain Bike World. The tires are used in a wide variety of mountain bike disciplines and are especially popular in downhill and enduro racing, where they are used to increase traction and increase steering control.
Fat tires are a controversial topic in the mountain biking community. There is a lot of confusion about how fat tires perform, how they affect the ride, and how to properly fit them. Although you can add fat tires to your mountain bike. Fat bike models are readily available. Which are very similar to rigid mountain bikes, with fat tires.
Over the years, fat tires have become one of the most popular tire options for mountain bike riders. When you hear the word "fat," picture a tire that is filled with air. The "fat" name comes from the type of tire that is tubeless, with much wider beads than normal tires. Since it is filled with air, there is no need to inflate them with air. Instead, the tire's air pressure is maintained by the friction of the tire's rubber against the ground (hence the name). The wider profile of the fat tire allows the tire to absorb shock more efficiently, which aids in bump compliance. Although a fat bike is a type of mountain bike, we've decided to create a separate buyers guide for them.
Mountain Bike Shifters
If you ride a mountain bike, then you have probably at one point or another wondered which shifter setup you prefer. Grip shifters and twist shifters are the two most common shifter setups. While they both use the same (or at least similar) gear patterns, the differences between them are quite noticeable. Whether you choose a Shimano shifter system or SRAM twist shifters. Be sure to choose whichever is more comfortable and to your liking.
Grip shifters are sometimes known as trigger shifters. They rely on a slight squeezing of a lever or push of a button. Moving your chain from one gear to another. Grip shifters are available for both the front and rear derailleurs. They are typically used by riders who ride any type of terrain. Taking advantage of the large range of gears offered by their mountain bike.
Twist shifters rely on using a thumb or finger to move a lever to the next gear. Achieved either by twisting or turning a knob. The twist shifter has two main advantages. First, there is no need to take your hands off the handlebar and the indicator lever to change gears. Second, gear selection can be achieved without interrupting the natural movement of the hand. This is particularly useful when riding downhill or in high crosswinds.
Mountain Bike Gear Setup
The best mountain bikes can run the gamut from a simple single-speed bike to one with more than 30 gears. To simplify all complexity, you only need to hold two things in mind: your personal fitness level and the character of the terrain over which you plan to go riding. Rougher, steeper, and more hilly terrain will require more gears to help you power through obstacles. If you are a strong mountain biker, however, or if you'll be riding on flat terrain, you won't need as many gears to help push yourself up a hill.