Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 in 2020 Review

Believe it or not, even with a budget below 500, you can snag an irresistible deal for a high-quality mountain bike. Without spending a fortune, you can get yourself a bike that is tough enough to accommodate even rough terrains.

Most mountain bikes will cost thousands of dollars, especially ones with premium components. From carbon fiber frames to advanced hydraulic brakes, the different features of a mountain bike can instantly up its price tag. For those who are on a budget, however, no need to fret. You will have a long list of options for the best MTB under 500.

Most of the mountain bikes that fall under 500 dollars have basic features, which will be more than enough for beginners. For those who are looking for an entry-level bike, you do not need the bells and whistles that are common in higher-end models.

If you are looking for the best mountain bikes under 500, read on! We’ll let you know some of the most affordable mountain bikes that do not compromise quality and performance.

Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 Review

Merax 26″ Mountain Bicycle with Suspension Fork 24-Speed

Economical but full-featured – this is what you can expect from this Merax 26-inch mountain bike. It is one of the cheapest from the products that are briefly reviewed in this article, but it is packed with powerful features to deliver unrivaled performance.

For a mountain bike that can tackle even tough trails, we love how lightweight it is. This is one thing that we can attribute to the aluminum frame, which keeps the bike’s weight at a minimum. The frame has also been heat-treated, which will make it long-lasting.

The dual suspension system is also a plus, making it a notable option for quality mountain bikes on a budget. The suspension allows the bike to handle bumps, making sure that you won’t feel most of its impact. This is responsible for promoting your highest level of comfort throughout the ride.

Regardless of the terrain, you can shift gears smoothly. You will love how it comes with a 21-speed Shimano shifting system. The mere fact that it is from a reliable brand should be enough to provide you with peace of mind. The gearing system will help optimize the performance of the bike regardless of the environment where you are riding.

The linear-pull brakes are also great. They may not be advanced, but the brakes are pretty decent considering the price of this mountain bike.

Lastly, it has molded high-grade rubber grips on the handlebars. They follow the natural contour of the hand, making them easy and comfortable to hold, even for an extended period.

Pros:

  • Lightweight but durable
  • Stylish
  • Great suspension system

Cons:

  • Hub can be noisy

Dynacraft Slick Rock Trails 26″ Mountain Bike

Another top choice for the best full suspension mountain bikes under 500, one of the things that we like in this product is its ability to eat bumps. Since it comes with a full suspension frame, your body won’t feel how rough the terrain is. Instead, it will be the frame absorbing impact, preventing fatigue on the rider.

The quick-release seat post is also a plus. With the latter, you will be able to quickly customize the height of the seat depending on what is most suitable for your inseam. Plus, you will also have a padded saddle, which adds to the comfort that you will feel. Like the bike’s suspension, the padding in the seat can also help in absorbing impact.

Whether you are going uphill or downhill, there’s no need to worry. The bike is fitted with a high-quality 21-speed shifting system. This is from Shimano, so you can trust that the performance is hard to match. You can quickly set the bike into the right gear.

When it comes to its stopping power, the bike has front and rear V-brakes. They are not the most premium braking system, but for an entry-level bike, it will be sufficient. On most surfaces, it will be easy to engage the brakes and put the bike to a stop.

As for the frame material, it is made of steel. We would have preferred aluminum, but steel is equally great, especially at its price point. While steel is quite heavier, we like how it is more forgiving, especially on bumps.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Comes with a full-suspension frame
  • Attractive paint finish

Cons:

  • Tire quality can be better

Flying Pigeon 20″ MTB Children’s Bicycle High Carbon Steel Frame

If there is one thing that differentiates this product from most of the alternatives in our list, it would be that it is designed with the needs of kids in mind. The mountain bike is small and suitable only for users who are 3’11” to 5’3”. Nonetheless, this is a great investment because it won’t be easy to outgrow by the rider.

For its construction, the frame of the mountain bike is made of carbon steel. It is thicker than aluminum, and hence, you can expect that it will also be heavier. This should not be an issue since it is a durable material.

Another thing that we love in this product is its paint filtering technology. The latter is the one responsible for making the paint long-lasting since it is fade-resistant. Even after several years, you can expect this bike to look as good as new.

The shock-absorbing fork is one more thing that we love in this product. The latter helps to minimize the vibration that is sent to your body, which is crucial for ensuring the most comfortable ride even of rough terrains.

It also comes with a specialized saddle bottom. It is small and padded to fit kids comfortably.

The single-speed changing system is also a plus, especially in terms of simplicity. It may not be as versatile as the adult bikes in our list,  but for most kids, this product has almost everything needed by little riders.

Pros:

  • Lightweight frame
  • Excellent shock absorption
  • Fade-resistant paint

Cons:

  • Only for kids

Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail Bike

The Huffy Tekton is designed for riders who are 12 to 19 years old. Especially for most adult riders, this can be too small.

Among others, one of the best things about this product is the lightweight aluminum frame. Similar to many options for the best mountain bike for $500, the aluminum frame is exceptional because it keeps the weight of the bike at a minimum. This makes it easier to maneuver, even in tight corners. However, for a mountain bike, aluminum may negatively impact comfort. It does not absorb impact as efficiently as steel, which raises the possibility that your body will be feeling most of the impact, and hence, can make you uncomfortable.

It is impossible to notice how this mountain bike comes with oversized tires. They add weight to the bike, but the tires also improve the bike’s performance. Even on dirt paths, the tires will effortlessly conquer any terrain. From climbs to descents, you will happy with how the tires will work.

This mountain bike from Huffy comes with linear-pull brakes. Together with the alloy wheel rims, it will provide smooth braking and exceptional stopping power.

The slight-rise handlebar is also worth noting. It is designed with the needs of riders in mind. It promotes upright riding, which will minimize back strain and optimize comfort.

The best thing about this bike is that the frame comes with a 10-year limited warranty from the manufacturer. This should be enough to provide you with peace of mind regarding its quality.

Pros:

  • Easy handling even on technical terrains
  • Comfortable saddle
  • Excellent warranty

Cons:

  • Can be too small for some riders

Mongoose Vinson Fat Tire Mountain Bike

If you are looking for the best fat bike under 500 that can tackle rough terrains easily, this is one of the best options that should be on your list. We like how it comes with an aluminum frame, which is known for being lightweight but durable. However, since this is a fat-tire bike, expect that it will be heavier compared to traditional mountain bikes.

The added weight is because of the tires. They are wider than regular tires, which will also make them more capable of tackling even difficult terrains. The knobby 4-inch tires can beat even snow, so you won’t have a hard time going to different trails.

It is also a good thing that it comes with a 3-piece alloy crank. With the latter, changing gears will not require a lot of effort on your end. Speaking of gearing, this bike comes with a 24-speed SRAM X4 trigger shifter. You will be prepared to confront almost any terrain because of the versatile gearing system that you will find in this mountain bike.

Another thing that makes this a notable mountain bike is the dual mechanical disc brakes. From paved roads to muddy surfaces, the braking power is great.

The assembly of the bike, however, is not the easiest. This can be frustrating for many, especially if you are a novice. To make things easier, ask for professional installation. The added cost is sure to be worth it.

Pros:

  • Good gearing
  • Easy to stop
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Stock risers can be uncomfortable

Magna Echo Ridge 24″ Mountain Bike

The Magna Echo Ridge is one of the cheapest of the options for the best mountain bike under 500 dollars in this buying guide. Despite the price, this does not mean that quality is inferior. While it is pretty much basic, for most newbie riders, this will be more than enough. For an entry-level bike, the features are pretty impressive.

One thing that we love in this mountain bike is the solid steel frame. This isn’t for you if lightweight is what you are looking for. Since it is made of steel, the frame can be quite heavy. However, this should not be an issue, especially because steel is more forgiving. It manages bumps efficiently, making sure of the comfort of the rider.

The front fork shock is another good feature of this product, which is amazing given its price point. This will do a great job of absorbing shock, which is another reason why it can promote your highest level of comfort.

It features 18-speed index shifting, which isn’t as advanced as what you will find in most mountain bikes. Nonetheless, it provides plenty of gearing options to ensure the best performance of the bike regardless of the environmental conditions.

Lastly, it has front and rear linear-pull brakes. It is a common type of braking system in bikes within its price range. However, many people noted that the braking system can use some improvements, especially in terms of its responsiveness.

Pros:

  • Has an easy to adjust seat post
  • Comfortable handlebars
  • Lightweight frame

Cons:

  • Braking system needs improvement

Dynacraft Vertical Alpine Eagle 24″ Mountain Bike

For the best affordable mountain bike designed for young riders, this is one option that should be on your radar. The full suspension frame is one of the mountain bike’s best assets. This is crucial for the comfort of the rider. Even bumps will be easy for the suspension to handle, which also improving shock absorption.

It also comes with an 18-speed index derailleur, similar to the product mentioned above. This will provide young riders with versatility regardless if they are going downhill or uphill. The Shimano shifters are also great, especially because of their ergonomic design. They will be easy to hold and will not require significant arm strength to activate.

For the bike’s stopping power, it has front and rear V-brakes. These are common braking systems you will see in the best 500-dollar mountain bike. It is basic but it will do the job properly.

We also love how the bike comes with a quick-release seat post. It will be easy to customize the height of the seat depending on the requirements of the user. Because of this, it will not be easy to outgrow this bike. Even after years, it will remain functional.

As for the frame of the bike, it is made of steel. This may not work for some people, especially those who prefer a lightweight mountain bike. Before you ditch the idea of choosing this bike, take note that steel also has its pros. For instance, aside from being durable, it is also forgiving, which will have an impact on comfort.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Great full suspension
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Brakes require frequent adjustments

Merax FT323 Mountain Bikes

Another option for top mountain bikes under 500, one of the best features of this product is the dual suspension. This is also the reason why it is impressive in managing bumps. Even on rough terrains, your comfort is a sure thing. The suspension does a great job of absorbing impact so that it won’t be transferred to the body. This means that you can stay on the bike longer and will not easily complain of fatigue.

The 21-speed derailleur is also worth highlighting. It is form Shimano, so that alone is already a compelling reason to love this mountain bike. You can expect smooth gear shifting in a variety of environments.

Meanwhile, with the linear-pull brakes, it will demonstrate an enhanced stopping power. The brakes may not be as advanced as what you will find in premium models, but they are reliable and strong.

The assembly of the bike does not need to be a nightmare. You can do it even by yourself, unlike others that will require professional installation. The good thing is that most of the parts are already pre-assembled. When you receive the bike, it is almost ready to be used.

One of the biggest problems with this bike, however, is the seat. Most of you might find it to be quite uncomfortable. It is too stiff and the shape is also quite awkward. Fortunately, it is easy to replace it with a better aftermarket seat.

Pros:

  • Durable frame
  • Excellent suspension
  • Gear shifting is easy

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable seat

Mongoose Status Mountain Bike

The brand name alone is already a compelling reason to choose this in your search for mountain bikes under 500. The reputation of the manufacturer speaks about the bike’s quality.

You will love the off-road performance of the bike. Even if it is budget-friendly, it is tough on the trail. It has a powerful front suspension, so you will love how it absorbs shock efficiently instead of making your body feel every vibration. Even if you pedal aggressively, your body does not have to suffer.

The 21-speed Shimano gearing is also impressive. There’s nothing special about it since it is one thing that you will also often see in many of our recommendations for the best bike under 500 dollars. It will make gear changes smooth.

To ensure quick stopping power, it has front and rear V-brakes. Even if you are on wet and slippery surfaces, you can expect the brakes to engage in almost an instant, which is important for your safety.

Some might not notice but the mountain bike’s riser handlebar is also impressive. It is slightly raised to a point that you can hold it in an upright position. While your fingers are wrapped on the grips, you can position your back better so that you will be moving more efficiently. This is a good way to prevent back strain, which will also make you more comfortable as you ride.

Pros:

  • Has an aluminum frame and rims
  • Ergonomic handlebar
  • Tires roll smoothly

Cons:

  • Pedals may hit the tire

Kent T-29 Men’s Mountain Bike 29-Inch

Another great pick for the best mountain bikes under $500, the 6061 heat-treated aluminum frame of this bike is one of its most impressive features. Aluminum in itself is already good, especially when it comes to being lightweight. The heat treatment makes it even better, making the material withstand the test of time. Despite keeping the weight low, the frame will not easily bend or break.

Aside from the frame, the rims are equally lightweight. It has 29-inch alloy rims, which are also long-lasting. The lower rotational weight of the material is also a good thing, especially in terms of agility. You can expect the bike to be fast.

It is also worth noting that this model comes with Shimano RS25 shifters and TZ31 derailleurs. Even if you are a newbie, you will find that shifting will be smooth and effortless. You will easily learn the fundamentals of biking on various surfaces.

The bike has a 170 mm crankset. Steel is the main material of the latter, but it does not add significant weight to the mountain bike. Because the crankset is made of steel, you will be happy to know that it will last many years.

We fell in love with the all-terrain knobby tires of the bike. Sure, they are not as exceptional as those in higher-end models, but they will be more than enough for most people. The tires will have a great grip on a variety of surfaces.

Pros:

  • Agile wheels
  • Lightweight but durable
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Small seat

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

Call us biased, but this is one of our favorites in this list of the best $500 mountain bike. The fact that it is from Schwinn can already be a compelling reason to buy this mountain bike. At its price, this bike is a win!

Looking at this bike, you will see that it has a more premium appearance compared to most of the products in this buying guide. Do not be surprised that you can turn heads because this is a stylish bike despite being-budget friendly.

The versatility of this bike is one of the many things that we love. This is expected from a Schwinn bike. From smooth pavements to unforgiving terrains, this mountain bike will conquer a variety of surfaces. One of the reasons for this is the Schwinn suspension fork. This will be the one absorbing the vibrations so that your body does not have to suffer from impact. With this, your comfort is a sure thing!

It comes with 7-speed Shimano twist shifters. The shifting mechanism is quite more basic compared to most of its competitors, but that does not mean that the performance is any less. You can expect smooth and precise gear changing when using this mountain bike.

All of the components of the bike are praise-worthy. For instance, it has alloy rims, which are known for being lightweight but durable. The rims also have excellent resistance and roll smoothly, which will contribute to the speed of the mountain bike. To add, it also comes with durable alloy cranks, which will require minimal maintenance while also ensuring steady gearing.

Pros:

  • Powerful brakes
  • Built for any terrain
  • Stylish

Cons:

  • Not for short riders

Vertical Equator 26″ Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

Searching for the best full suspension mountain bike under 500? You don’t need to look far! This is one of the top products that should be on your radar!

Looking at its features, one thing that captivated our attention is the full suspension frame. This is great in improving the handling of the bike, especially on rough terrains. The suspension will absorb impact efficiently so that it won’t be transferred to the rider. The result is that it can promote the highest level of comfort.

The deluxe paint finish of the bike is also impressive. This will instantly turn heads because of its aesthetic appeal. The best thing is that the paint on the frame does not easily peel. Even after years of using this mountain bike, the paint will look as good as new.

The 21-speed Shimano index derailleur is also great. Riders of this bike will enjoy smooth gear shifting depending on what is most suitable for a given environment.

As it is with most of our recommendations, this mountain bike is also equipped with front and rear V-brakes. While they work most of the time, many users were quite unhappy with how there can be a lag in its response. The best solution to this problem is to engage with more pressure.

However, take note that this is designed with the needs of young riders in mind. If you are an adult, we recommend that you consider other amazing options.

Pros:

  • Has an excellent paint finish
  • Comes mostly assembled
  • Comfortable saddle

Cons:

  • Braking system can be better

Roadmaster 26″ Granite Peak Men’s Bike

From cruising the streets in your neighborhood to going uphill in unfamiliar terrains, this is another great option for the best mountain bike for 500. The design itself is already a good reason to consider choosing this over others. Nonetheless, there’s more to what meets the eye. Looking at the features and performance, you will understand why this is one of our favorites.

The bike comes with smooth-rolling 26-inch wheels. According to the manufacturer, at its size, the mountain bike is recommended for users who are 5’4” to 6’2”.

The steel frame isn’t the best in terms of weight. As you would most probably know by now, steel is quite heavy, and hence, it can affect the weight of the bike. Looking at the bright side, steel is a forgiving material, which means that it absorbs shock better than aluminum. This means that the bike will be more comfortable.

The front suspension fork is also contributory to your comfort. Like how steel absorbs shock, the suspension of the bike will limit the impact of vibration to the rider.

It also comes with a tool-free customizable seat post. You won’t need anything to customize the height of the seat depending on what you find to be most comfortable, such as based on your inseam.

However, one thing that you might not like is how it requires professional assembly. You need to find an authorized store to handle the assembly for you, although, it is free.

Pros:

  • Good impact absorption
  • Comfortable cushioned seat
  • Smooth-rolling tires

Cons:

  • Assembly is required

Kent Hawkeye Mountain Bike

For an MTB under 500, this product is a steal! If you are a budget-conscious buyer, you will love how affordable it is without being deprived of impressive features. Among others, one thing that makes it stand out is the 6061 aluminum frame. It also has an aluminum crown front suspension. The best benefit of aluminum is its lightweight construction, so you can also expect that the bike will be easy to maneuver, even in tight spaces.

The 29-inch double-wall alloy rims are also exceptional. They are designed to complement the weight of the aluminum frame. The rims, however, are quite big. This may not work for short people. According to the manufacturer, it is recommended for riders who are 5’7” to 6’2”. As you can see, this may not work for people who are not gifted with height.

It is equipped with front and rear mechanical disc brakes. These brakes are common in affordable bikes, and there isn’t anything special in them. Nonetheless, for most rides, they have a decent stopping power to help you stay safe.

The assembly can be quite tricky. The bike needs professional tuning. We recommend that you let the pros handle the bike’s assembly to unlock its full potential. They know better, so let them assemble your bike.

Pros:

  • Aluminum frame
  • Good shifters
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Not for short riders

Huffy Bicycle Company Hardtail Mountain Bike

If you are looking for an entry-level mountain bike that does not cost a fortune, this is one product that deserves your attention. However, take note that this is designed only for riders who are 12 to 19 years old. For most adults, this will not be a suitable choice.

The durable steel frame is one thing that can convince you to choose this mountain bike. This is if you do not care about its weight. It is heavier compared to aluminum. The added weight, however, should not be a problem. It will make the bike more comfortable. Plus, the steel frame is also impressive because it is backed by a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.

Another good feature that you will find in this mountain bike is its indexed Shimano TZ31 rear derailleur. It is complemented by a micro-shift twist shifter. Plus, it has 21 speeds for versatility. From uphill climbing to downhill riding, this bike is designed to handle a variety of situations.

The 24-inch knobby tires are also great. They are wide enough to tackle several terrains, even rough surfaces. The tires will make the bike more forgiving even on bumpy rides.

For consistent stopping action, the bike comes with linear-pull brakes. The brakes are not the most impressive, but they will be enough in most situations to guarantee your safety on the trail. We also like how easy it is to engage the brakes.

Pros:

  • Frame has a lifetime warranty
  • Comfortable hand grips
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Heavy

Mongoose Impasse Men’s Mountain Bike

Even reliable brands have options for great mountain bikes under 500. This model from Mongoose is proof of such. While it is from one of the most reputable manufacturers in the global market, we love how it is easy on the pocket.

While it is affordable, this bike packs a plethora of impressive features that can satisfy even discerning riders. Among others, one of our favorites in this bike is the aluminum frame that keeps the weight at a minimum. The frame has internal cable routing, which will provide a seamless look. This also means that the cables are protected from dust and dirt, among other things that could result in wear.

Another good feature of this bike is the thread-less headset. The latter is the one responsible for having crisp steering. This makes it easy to direct the bike exactly where you want it to go even if you are in tight corners.

The extra-large 29-inch tires are also notable. They are bigger and heavier than most mountain bike tires. They are more capable of handling rougher terrains. They also provide extra grip. Plus, because they are wide, you can expect that they will also improve the stability of the bike.

Lastly, it comes with a 3-piece crank. One of the good things about the latter is that they do not require heavy maintenance while ensuring exceptional performance.

Pros:

  • Lightweight but sturdy
  • Great wheelset
  • Dual suspension

Cons:

  • Requires tuning

Raleigh Talus 2 Mountain Bike

Similar to many of the options for good mountain bikes under 500 that are included in this list, this also comes with a custom-formed aluminum frame. The frame’s heat treatment provides reinforcements, making sure that it will withstand the test of time.

Aside from the aluminum frame, this is also well-loved by many because of the SR Suntour XCE-28 fork. The bike comes with a coil-sprung suspension, which will be effective in managing bumps. Even when you are on rough roads, you don’t need to worry about your comfort since the suspension of the bike will minimize the vibrations transferred to your body.

It is also worth noting that it comes with a Shimano 3×7 speed drivetrain. With the latter, it will be easy to find the perfect gear depending on what the situation requires. Even if you are a newbie, the gearing mechanism of the bike will be easy to master. Plus, shifting from one gear to another will be a smooth experience.

The Tetra M280 mechanical disc brakes are also great. They provide advanced stopping power to the bike to ensure your safety. Even on slippery roads, the brake will put your bike into an immediate stop after being engaged.

Lastly, for your peace of mind, it is also good to know that the manufacturer is offering a limited lifetime warranty on the frame. However, to be eligible for this warranty, you must be the original owner of the mountain bike.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Solid construction
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Saddle can be uncomfortable

Mongoose Malus Fat Tire Bike with 26-Inch Wheels

Concluding our list of the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars is a product from a trusted global brand. This bike from Mongoose is a fat-tire bike. Nonetheless, one thing that makes it different from most of the fat-tire mountain bikes is the frame. It has a cruiser-style frame, which is sleek and slim.

One of the best features of the product is the knobby tire. With a width of four inches, the tires are massive. They contribute to most of the bike’s weight, so make sure that you are comfortable with a heavy mountain bike before you buy this product. It has excellent traction and stability even on the toughest terrains.

The bike comes with a 7-speed Shimano rear derailleur. For most situations, the gearing mechanism will suffice. You can use the bike in various environments because of the several gearing choices available.

The frame quality is also notable. It is made of steel, which also contributes to the bike’s weight. The frame can withstand many years of use and will be forgiving even if you are on rough trails.

We also love the dual disc brakes. It will be effortless to engage the brakes and stop the bike even if you are on wet surfaces. The powerful brakes will not require a lot of hand strength to activate, so you can be confident of your safety when riding this mountain bike.

Pros:

  • High-quality knobby tires
  • Manages impact well
  • Sleek frame

Cons:

  • Heavy

Conclusion

With the best mountain bike under $500, you do not need to spend a lot to have a reliable companion on the trail. Even without the luxury of a huge budget, you can get yourself a decent mountain bike.

At a price under 500, you can find bikes with a lightweight aluminum frame, reliable brakes, and a range of gears to suit various conditions, among other features.

What are you waiting for? Now is the time to get yourself a good mountain bike without spending too much.