Top 9 Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 (May 2020)
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. Slapping down the credit card for a large purchase requires serious research. All of this research can bring to light loads of jargon and terms. Terms like mid-travel, short-travel, and enduro are thrown around all the time.
Modern Day Technology
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 $500
While not overly sexy (or light), there are plenty of quality entry-level mountain bikes under $500. 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 $500.
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.
What To Expect In This Price Range
With the best mountain bikes under $500 it’s unlikely you’ll get your hands on hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes are more powerful than mechanical ones as well as offering a better feel. Mechanical disc brakes however are quite achievable in this price range. In this review, we have picked five of the best hardtail mountain bikes under £500 for XC and recreational cycling.
Mountain Bike Wheels
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 29” wheels. If you plan on using your bike for commuting then a 29” wheel bike will get you to work quicker.
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 $500 is a good start.
Finding a first-rate mountain bike for under $500 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.
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. All the MTBs featured here have aluminium frames as they are both strong and lightweight. 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.
The best mountain bikes are usually made of either carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, steel, or some combination of these.
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.
Addmotor Motan Folding Electric Bike
- ✔ Designed for both male and female riders
- ✔ 500W brushless motor
- ✔ Strong rear bike rack perfect for shopping
The Addmotor Motan has the right idea: Start by constructing an outstanding fat bike, ensuring it has the perfect parts and layout. When that’s done, determine a way to mount a motor in there.
This sensible technique results in a fat bike that destroys almost anything in its path, with the choice to switch the motor on when the times you need a little muscle, or wish to feel like you’re on a dirt bike for a little while.
The controller and battery pack offer the Motan a beefier look, with the assembly positioned under frame tube. The regular joe may simply presume you have some sort of large water bottle or storage case.
The Motan’s bike frame is made from light weight aluminum, and also has a remarkable front fork that helps to soak up bumps on the ride. The frame has some flexibility to it, and obviously the fat tires aid with the shock absorption as well.
Steering the Motan is very simple, many thanks to a properly designed saddle as well as handlebar mix, positioning the biker in an excellent position to both relax and also steer without placing added strain on their arms or back.
The Motan’s drivetrain consists of 7 different gears, with a ration spread that is perfect for the size and style of the bike. Shimano TX55 parts compose the drivetrain as well as the shifter, for a smooth speed changing feel that operates in perfect synchronisation with the electric motor.
Fat bikes require some additional braking power, which’s exactly what the TEKTRO disc brakes provide on each end. Not too delicate, yet not too much effort needed for an abrupt and sudden stop.
The tires of the Motan stand out. 26 x 4-inch Kenda tires offer it the right amount of traction, letting the bike conveniently ride over snow, sand, and any various other surface that smaller sized tires might not have the ability to deal with.
A 500W motor powers the Motan, whether you are requiring pedal aid, or want to allow the bike to propel itself while you merely guide it in the right direction. The motor is operated with a twist-shift throttle, and offers different speed as well as pedal support settings to completely match your riding atmosphere in any kind of scenario.
The Samsung lithium battery uses 48 volts, and also can power the bike for 30-55 miles, which is one of the longer distances you’ll see on an electrical bike. It’s not unusual to expect rates of around 23 miles per hour on flatter portions of roadway. The battery requires 4 hours for a complete recharge.
The Addmotor Motan is a true beast of a bike, allowing you ride even in harsh weather, loose soil or gravel, as well as pretty much anything else it can get grip on. The motor is a perfect companion for the bike’s grit and stature, providing all that’s required to navigate any place such as the roadway or trail paths.
Mongoose Vinson Mountain Bike
- ✔ Chunky Aluminum Frame
- ✔ 24-Speed SRAM X4 Trigger Shifter Setup
- ✔ High Performance Dual Mechanical Disc Brakes
- ✔ Knobby 4" Wide Fat Tires
Easily navigate through all types of terrain with the 24-inch Mongoose Vinson fat tire mountain bike. Equipped with a durable aluminum frame and rigid MTB fork, the Vinson delivers a high action ride whether you’re ripping through sand, snow or super bumpy trails. You can ride over anything thanks to those gnarly, supersized 4″ wide fat tires and durable alloy rims. Which means you can still get out and ride when everyone else is couped up in the winter. Dual mechanical disc brakes supply crisp all-condition stopping, while 24-speed SRAM X4 trigger Shifters, the reliable Shimano/SRAM X4 drivetrain and a durable three-piece alloy crank make for smooth shifting and a versatile, wide gear range. Everything is there for you to get out and rip on this fat bike, so what are you waiting for? There’s nothing you can’t do on a Mongoose!
This bike is a lot of fun. The lack of suspension is completely replaced by those chunky 4″ tires. They soak up the shock of impact very well. It’s clear to us that this bike can take some beating. The only worry is that the chain and gear setup might not appreciate too many major bumps.
So far so good though, the disc brakes help you tame this beast when you’re out on the track. You never feel like you’re not in control of this bike. We love it, how about you?
Mongoose Status Mountain Bike
- ✔ Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame
- ✔ Powerful Front Suspension Fork
- ✔ Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Gearing System
Many things in life seem to hold us back. There are always errands to run, dishes to do, bills to pay, and it all gets in the way of what you really want to do: ride. Hop on the 26” Mongoose Status 2.2 mountain bike for a ride that won’t hold you back. Featuring a strong aluminum full suspension frame with a powerful suspension fork and rear shock to smooth out bumps, the Status 2.2 is ready for your next adventure. A 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur with SRAM twist shifters guarantees quick shifting and the right gearing for any trail you encounter. Light and strong alloy rims add durability and support knobby 2.125” wide mountain tires that roll over anything in your path. Don’t let life hold you back – get out and ride with the Status 2.2. Finally, a mountain bike that elevates your ride and won’t break the bank along the way.
The Mongoose Status 3.0 is yet another dual suspension marvel from biking magnates Mongoose. This 26 inch bike is outfitted with all of the features needed for trail riding, making it easy and fun to be on the move.
These features include a full-suspension frame, an SR suspension fork; 24-speed Shimano trigger shifters, front disc brakes, rear disc brakes, a Shimano rear derailleur, alloy pedals, alloy rims, and quick-release hubs (front and rear).
With the review given above, you can see that the Mongoose Status 3.0 establishes itself as a perfect bike for trail riding, fitness riding, and commuting to work. Take your mountain biking experience to a new level. With its sturdy and durable construction, smooth suspension, reliable gears, and great brakes, the Mongoose is a bike that should be in your sights.
Royce Union RMA 27.5" Mountain Bike
- ✔ Lightweight Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame
- ✔ All-Terrain Mountain Bike Ideal For Trails, Gravel Paths & City Paths
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano EZ Fire Plus Shifter Gearing System
- ✔ High Performance Front Zoom Suspension Fork
Scarlet red with a clear gloss overcoat yields an exceptional, rugged look. The lightweight hardtail frame will never rust. Molded from tough 6061 heat-treated aircraft-grade aluminum, the frame is backed by our limited 10-year warranty (see owners manual for details). Durable aluminum, lighter than steel, makes this bike easier for uphill acceleration, easier for keeping momentum, and easier for gliding downhill.
This RMT has a hardtail frame moulded from aircraft-grade aluminium making it lighter and stronger than steel. This makes it easy to speed up while maintaining the balance. The ZOOM suspension in the front absorbs shocks from a bumpy ride. The raised handlebars allow for an upright ride that causes less fatigue to the upper body. There is an alloy front load with a threadless headset which is rigid and strong for less stress while riding.
The padded and railed saddle is well-stitched and easy to adjust in angle and height using the quick release binder. The Royce Union All-Terrain Mountain Bike comes with a 10-year warranty on the frame. Delivered 90 percent completed the rest of the 10% can be assembled using the tools in the package.
Overall we think this bike is another no brainer by Royce Union. The RMA mountain bike is a top entry bike. It could even be considered a mid-tier option due to it’s good quality gearing system and Zoom suspension fork. As an upgrade or first time mountain bike we highly recommend you take a look.
Merax Finiss 26" Mountain Bike
- ✔ Lightweight Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame
- ✔ Front Suspension Fork Offers Shock Absorption When Riding
- ✔ 24-Speed Shimano Gearing System For Smooth Transitions
- ✔ Powerful Dual Disc Brakes
Being able to sell a bike like this for so little is only achievable one way. The reason why this is such a cheap mountain bicycle is because the components that are fitted on it are budget options. That’s not necessarily a bad thing however. Overkill is something that many riders end up with when they go hunting for their next bike.
Being able to race professionally on your hobby bike might not be such a huge advantage. Especially if it cost you hundreds more for the privilege. That being said, the saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is worth remembering.
The plan is to strike a balance between the two methodologies. Something that’s good enough for your personal needs without spending more than you need to.
This Merax Finiss Aluminum 21-Speed Mountain Bike Racing Bicycle features a lightweight heat-treated aluminum mountain frame. The 26-inch double-wall aluminum rim wheels make for easier rolling. Features Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters for reliable shifting. Front and rear mechanical disc brakes. The suspension fork 80-millimeter travel provides smooth bumps and increases control.
The bike has some very positive reviews. They aren’t all positive, however many of the negative reviews are simply down to packaging and delivery issues. Although this isn’t ideal it shouldn’t effect your opinion on the bike itself.
If you want a cheap, budget/entry model mountain bike with some element of suspension then this is a good consideration. If you’re new to mountain biking then a hardtail (front suspension only) is a good idea. Hardtail bikes take less time to setup and require far less maintenance over time.
Polaris 600RR Mountain Bike
- ✔ Hydroformed Steel Frame
- ✔ Force SCR2 Front Suspension Fork
- ✔ 21-Speed Revo Twist Shifter Gearing System
- ✔ Alloy Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
- Frame/fork: 18.5″ hyrdoformed steel frame, force SCR2 suspension fork
- Wheels/tires: aluminum rims with WD 26″ x 1.95″ tires
- Drivetrain: aluminum 170mm crank arms, Shimano 21-speed revo twist shifters, Shimano front derailleur, Shimano tx35 rear derailleur, nylon pedals, Shimano cassette and alloy seat post
- Brakes/cockpit: alloy front and rear V-brakes, Promax brake levers, Polaris MTB saddle
- Extras: kickstand, front wheel quick release and quick-release seat post clamp
- Weight limit of 250 pounds
- Polaris bicycle has a sleek style
- Rides smoothly
- Hardtail bicycle features stylish graphics
Get out into the wind and hit the trails with the Polaris 600RR M.1 Hardtail MTB Bicycle. It features a full Shimano drivetrain with crank arms, revo twist shifters, front and rear derailleurs, nylon pedals and seat post. This Polaris bicycle has a steel hyrdoformed frame, aluminum rims and quality tires that make it ride like a dream. It comes with alloy front and rear V-brakes and Promax levers for smooth and efficient stopping power. This hardtail bicycle includes a kickstand and front wheel quick release. It has a stylish design with sleek graphics.
The Polaris 600RR Hardtail 26 Inch Men’s Mountain Bike is an affordable mountain bike that is is anything but basic. You’ll love getting out in the fresh air and into some great adventures. If you’re in the market for a new mountain bike. Give this bike some consideration.
Merax FT323 Mountain Bike
- ✔ Dual Suspension For Easy Shock Absorption
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Gear System
- ✔ Reliable Linear V-Type Braking
- ✔ Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike Frame
- Super lightweight 26” aluminum frame and stylish 6-Spoke magnesium alloy wheels.
- 21 Speed shifters & derailleurs provide easy pedaling and smooth shifting with 21 gear transmission system.
- High performance mountain bike suspension fork with comfort shock absorption provides a smoother ride on bumpy surfaces and increases control.
- Top of the line disc brake offers safe stopping power.
- Heat treated aluminum 6061 Mountain frame for long lasting durability.
Born In The USA
Established in 1995, the creators of Merax noticed a gap in the American market for a brand that specializes in day to day products for consumers. With over a decade of experience coupled with the desire to provide our loyal customer base with products they know and love, we have maintained a strong online presence that continues to expand on a national level.
Hand-picked and tested for quality, we constantly strive to provide our consumers with the finest Merax products that are tailored to fit into their lifestyle. With unmatched quality when leveled with competitors, we put our products through rigorous testing to ensure that our customers are offered the greatest selections that you can only get from Merax.
Experience a softer ride that absorbs impact with ease from both ends with front and rear suspensions, resulting in less disruptive bounce when riding on rough terrain for optimum riding efficiency.
High grade rubber gripped handle bars and bicycle seat are manufactured with the natural contours of the human body in mind for a natural fit when riding.
21 rapid fire shifter and derailleurs allow you to power down hills, comfortably glide on flat surfaces and persevere up angled hills.
Some previous customer comments
“Nice bike. Definitely need a better seat.”
“My uncle loves it.”
“I give this bike a 7 out of 10 out of the box.”
“Everyone things I paid far more than I did for it.”
Royce Union RMT Women's Mountain Bike
- ✔ Amazon Exclusive RMT Model
- ✔ Aluminum Step Over Lightweight Frame
- ✔ Zoom Front Suspension Fork For Shock Absorption
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Revoshift Gearing System
Backed by a limited 10-year frame warranty (see owner’s manual for details), the lightweight hardtail frame is molded from tough 6061 heat-treated aircraft-grade aluminum and will never rust! Durable aluminum, lighter than steel, makes this bike easier to accelerate, easier to maintain momentum and easier to handle.
We deliver this bike with the tools you need to quickly finish assembly so you can get riding! All bikes are equipped with an alloy quick release binder enabling easy height adjustment of the padded saddle for a proper fit.
The front ZOOM suspension fork delivers solid performance – it easily absorbs shock from bumpy trails and dips from uneven terrain. The slight-rise handlebar enables an upright, riding style with a more comfortable ride for the shoulders, back, and arms. The alloy front load 4-bolt stem together with the threadless headset is stronger and more rigid to handle any riding stress.
Unlike cheaper models, the RMT utilizes a complete SHIMANO drivetrain for optimal performance. Just twist to shift! The 21-speed SHIMANO Revoshift combines with the SHIMANO Tourney indexed rear derailleur to deliver seamless shifting between gears as you adjust to your path. The removable rear derailleur guard protects gears from accidental damage to ensure reliable operation time after time.
Larger 27.5 inch wheels maintain rolling momentum; the all-terrain tread pattern provides less rolling resistance than typical mountain bike tires. Alloy linear pull brakes with machined alloy wheel rims enable superior brake pad contact to deliver smooth, dependable, stopping power.
The padded, railed saddle can be adjusted for the perfect height and angle; the alloy quick release binder lets you customize for a proper fit. Krayton grips feel good to hold and pedals on the alloy -piece crank maintain a responsive feel no matter how long you ride.
Lots of great reviews, a hugely popular best seller. What’s more to say.
Schwinn Siro Hybrid Bike
- ✔ Great All-Around Bike
- ✔ Comfortable Ride Experience
- ✔ Great Value For Money
- ✖ Quite Heavy
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Features and Specifications
There’s inexplicably cool about the Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle. It has a sleek black finish, complete with red and gray accents. The frame is made out of lightweight aluminum and sports a low top tube, which allows you to get in and off the bike effortlessly.
The adjustable stem of the Siro measures 27.2 millimeters in diameter. It works with a handlebar that sweeps backward to give you a nice, upright riding position. What’s more, you can adjust the angle of the handlebar, so you can choose the most comfortable angle for you.
Comes with Shimano 21-Speed Trigger Shifters and Derailleurs
The Shimano EZ Fire twin-lever, trigger shifters will help you change gears for every terrain, whether you’re going up and down inclines, riding for pleasure, or occasionally sailing along light dirt paths. It has an easy-to-view gear display, so you’ll know exactly what gear you’re in.
Here’s how the Shimano EZ Fire shifters work:
- The left lever controls the rear derailleur, while the right lever controls the front derailleur.
- The EZ fire shifters feature a 2-way-release design. Meaning, you push the lower lever (which is a little longer) with your thumb, while you pull the top lever with your index finger. This allows you to maintain your grip at all times.
High-Profile Rims and Quick-Release Wheel
Like most road and hybrid bikes, Schwinn Network 3.0 700C Men’s Hybrid Bicycle, the Schwinn Siro uses smooth, skinny tires that measure 700c (around 28 inches) by 2 inches wide. The tires are designed for cycling on paved roads, trails, and light fire roads, but not on extreme off-road trails.
The wheels have high-profile rims, which are strong, have less drag, and useful for flatter rides. Replacing the front tires is easy and doesn’t require tools because of its quick-release mechanism.
Siro’s Comfort Features
Schwinn equipped the Siro with comfort features. There’s the front suspension fork (without a remote lockout lever) to absorb the small bumps in the road and give you better control of the bike.
It also has a wide padded seat with a suspension seat post. These will help dramatically soften your rides.
The adjustable stem makes sure you’re comfortable and fit problems are avoided.
Sizing and Assembly
The Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle is best suited for people who are 5’11” to 6’2” tall or have an inseam of 33 inches. This isn’t only big, but it also weighs 34 pounds, making it heavier than the typical hybrid bike (around 24 to 28 pounds).
There’s minimal assembly required. You only need to attach the front wheel, seat, pedals, and handlebar, and then fill in the tires with air.
Makes a Good All-Around Bike
As a 21-speed hybrid bike, the Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle has a wider range and does a good job hitting up multiple road surfaces. Since it’s a hybrid, it has the genes of a road bike and a mountain bike.
You can use the Schwinn Siro for exercising on weekends, daily urban riding, and occasional rides on unpaved rural roads (but not extreme mountain bike trails and poor or dangerous road conditions).
Note: You don’t always need a bike with the widest gear range possible, especially if you’re only going to ride on flat, paved surfaces all the time. Most of the time, a 7-speed bike, like the Schwinn Continental Commuter 7 Speed 700C Wheel Bicycle, would be enough.
Provides Comfy Rides
You could use a gel bike seat cover for added comfort, but you don’t really need to because the seat is already comfortable. The seat post suspension and front suspension fork absorb small road bumps and cracks. The riding position is a little aggressive, but it’s not too much that you become uncomfortable during long rides.
A Solid, Entry-Level Bike
The frame and wheels are able to support well riders who are 5’7” to 6” in height and weigh less than 200 pounds. But, since it has skinny tires, you might need a bit more rubber under the rims if you weigh over 200 pounds.
It holds up well to a daily 7- to 10-mile trip. Even if you put 250 plus miles on it, it still works great. Although you’d probably need to adjust or replace some parts by that time.
A do-it-all hybrid bike with your comfort in mind—that’s the Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle is all about.
Difficult to Calibrate Some Parts
If you’re a beginner rider or haven’t rode a bike since you were 2 years old, it’s best to let the professionals do the assembling and fine tuning for you. The linear pull brakes and derailleurs are especially a pain to calibrate.
Too Heavy to Carry by the Frame
The Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle is as heavy as 27 basket balls or 90 cute kittens. A heavy bike isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we can’t really ignore the advantages of a lighter bike, like the Raleigh Bikes Cadent 1 Fitness Hybrid Bike. One benefit of light bikes is they allow a faster climb and acceleration.
A Few Components Issues
This is a great hybrid bike for the price, but there are a few things about it that bother other people. Weak front fork, “untrue” rear wheel, cracking noises coming from the bottom bracket, air leaks from the valve stem—these are just some of the things you need to watch out for if ever you decide to get this bike.
Who Is It For?
The Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle is best for the fitness enthusiasts and cyclists who plan to regularly or occasionally use it in urban settings. If you’re an off-road adventurer, this isn’t for you.
This is more of a men’s bike because of its large size and heavy weight. The step-over frame design is perfect for people who have mobility issues (due to old age, injury, or health problem). But, as long as you’re taller than 5’7” and weigh less than 200 pounds, this bike is a suitable option for you.
For the price, the Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle does what it’s promised to do. It’s comfortable, efficient, cool-looking, and holds up well for an entry-level hybrid bike.
It’s not for off-road use or heavy riders (who weigh more than 250 pounds). As expected, it has its fair share of components that need to be repaired, replaced, or adjusted.
Overall, the Schwinn Siro is a good bike for city riding.
The Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Bicycle is more than ready for your city adventures.