Cheap means cheap but it doesn’t mean that the cheap mountain bikes should never be bought. In fact for newbies, cheap mountain bikes should be preference so that they can know how a mountain bike works or what features they should find in their next bike.
In this article I have covered everything from cheap mountain bikes to cheap mountain frames, giving you information about everything before starting your first ride. Read our reviews on each product and get a good bike for a reasonable bike.
Cheap mountain bikes under $100
Dynacraft Men’s 26″ 21 Speed Alpine Eagle Bike
For less than $100, this bike is an ideal for a newbie. I know that it’s very difficult for a person who rides a mountain bike for a long time and has hands over many of professional ones to use this primarily for mountain ride. But for a newbie, it’s definitely a thing to learn the basics of a mountain bike, how it works and what should be the pros and cons of a mountain bike.
The frame of this bike is made up of alloy and is sturdy. Although, not the best quality but worth the money. The bike is for the people who are shorter in height and even kids from age 10-15 can use it perfectly. For a person like me who is 5 feet 8 inches, it’s not ideal. When amazon will ship it to your home, you will have to assemble it a little. It comes pre-assembled but requires the tyres and some other small parts need to be assembled.
The bike has 21 speeds but these are actually gear variations and not actual different speeds. There are 7 gears at the rear derailleurs and 3 modes for ranging from 1-21 speed variations. But the problem is that the left hand gear shifter doesn’t has the markings in numbers like the right hand ones, so you have to practice a little to get in use with it. But it would have been great if they had provided this with markings.
The bike is good for normal tracks and mountain trails but not good for extreme curbs or you will have your bottom out at the rear and the front. But as it’s already been used by a lot of bike riders and many of them had good experience with it. Overall a good bike for less than $100 which will last a couple of months giving you fine experience.
Huffy Bicycles 26327 Men’s Alpine Bicycle
I couldn’t find any good full suspension bikes for around $100. If there were, then either the quality of materials used in those bikes were very poor or the bikes didn’t performed like a suspension bike at all. This forced me to include only hard tail bikes and for $100 I am sure you won’t find anything like a good full suspension bike which you can use for a downhill journey.
This bike is from Huffy, a very well renowned brand which produces all types of bikes for men, women and kids. Again like the previous bike, it has a fine sturdy steel frame and has alloy rims for wheels. The good thing about Alloy is that they won’t get rusted so easily but the steel frame is not that sturdy at all for a bike’s body. But for a cheap bike like this, it’s reasonable.
The bike has 18 speeds in total, 3 less than the Dynacraft’s bike but that is not a big concern as the speeds are similar. This bike is pretty good for riding on a path with small curbs and won’t suffer that much damage but don’t take it out on an extreme mountain trail. Be sure you check all the parts regularly especially the tyres as they are not that strong to resist thorns or big curbs.
The bike is meant for kids about 13 years old and is also good for teens just getting started in mountain biking.
Women’s cheap mountain bikes
Granite Peak 26″ Ladies Mountain Bike
Well a woman can use the above two mountain bikes that are made for men. But as the anatomy of a woman body is different from a me’ns body, there are some tweakings companies have made in order to produce the best comfort. As you can see the frame is different, the upper frame is much lower and inclined than a men’s mountain bike. But there will be no problem whatsoever if a woman rides the men one.
The handle, the grips, the seat are changed a little making it more comfortable for a woman to control the bike in all aspects. I don’t consider a women’s mountain bike to be the fittest one on a rough mountain trail but actually an overall all rounder bike. It can serve you as a commuter and will take you easily on different kinds of paths.
This bike has 26 inches wheels and why shouldn’t it be as most of the girls are generally shorter than the male counterpart but this bike can be used by a woman with a height near to 5 feet 5 inches. But you can expect anyone to be comfortable with it if her height is around 5 feet.
Technical features includes 18 speeds and a common steel frame which are present in cheap mountain bikes. It also has a water bottle mount if you ever need to go for some serious mountain biking and that will come in handy. The wheel rims are made up of aluminium which is great as it’s reliable and light. The gears can be changed using the handle grip by just twisting them like on a bike. So here we find comfort as compared to a normal men’s mountain bike where you need to use levers on both sides.
Schwinn Women’s High Timber Mountain Bike
Going above $100 you will start to find some decent mountain bikes. As $100 mountain bike is not sufficient for long run, you may need to invest more if you don’t plan to buy a mountain bike again and again.
This one is from Schwinn, a well renowned brand for bikes and delivers performance to justify the sub $200 price. The frame is again made up of steel which is not that good but the brakes, wheel rim are made up of alloy which makes it durable and light. The gears mechanism is just like the previous bike with Sram twist shifters present on the handle grip making it comfortable to handle.
There are 21 speeds in a total which is a good thing especially in a cheap bike like this. However, these are not the real 21 speeds but gives you flexibility to change the gears at any point. The bike performs absolutely fine on tough tracks and mountain trails. The sturdiness is better than the Granite Peak bike and the bike won’t suffer from any kind of damage.
As for assembling, you need to have some experience or you can get it assembled at any local store if you don’t want to mess up with anything. Or just learn from some articles or youtube video. As this is also cheap, the seat is not that comfortable but in $15-$20 you can get a new one. You can adjust the seat height according to your comfort but make sure when you stand with both legs on it’s sides, you should have around 1-3 inches space between your cloth(pants)seam and the seat. This will ensure proper control over the bike when and will help you to stop the bike better in case of any dis balance.
Cheap 29er mountain bikes
Kent Thruster T-29 Men’s Mountain Bike
It’s true many people don’t like 29ers but there are a lot of facts that prove it is a complete different experience for an experienced rider. The 29 inches diameter wheels provide smoother ride on a tough trail and in an experiment Dr. Howard Hurst clearly declared 29er winner in speed when compared to the 26er. But there are a lot of experts who won’t agree and have good reasons as well. Nonetheless, a 29er is unique and provides comfort to tall bike riders.
This bike has 29 inches wheel with wheel rims made up of alloy for an overall lightweight bike. The gears are Shimano RS25 Shifters which are easy for switching gears and are present in the handle bar. Now the best thing in this bike is the aluminium frame which is light and strong. Unlike the bikes we saw before it, for $200, an aluminium frame is a very good deal. Although the bike doesn’t feels very light because of big tyres but using the aluminium for frame and alloy for rims makes it an overall moderately heavy bike.
There are 21 speeds and the bike comes 85% assembled. Like all the other bikes, you need to assemble some of the parts like handle bar, seat, wheels etc. But it’s easy if you ever did this in your life. The seat is moderately comfortable. If you feel to change it, you should get a good one for $15-$20. The brakes are made up of alloy and are corrosion resistant. All these things contribute for this bike to be a good deal for the price you pay especially if you are ready to try the 29er for the first time.
Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bicycle
This one is not much different from the Kent Thruster T-29 bike. But Schwinn is very renowned brand for bikes and bikers trust it very much. The bike has 29 inch tyres with alloy rims and a solid aluminium frame which is light and strong. The brakes are linear pull and work perfectly even after a lot of use for several months. The bike is equipped with 21 speeds and is operated with SRAM twist shifters. Many bikers like the lever type gears but the twist shifters are easy to use.
The seat is however not that comfortable and a little hard to sit on. You should get a good one if you are going to use it on a difficult mountain trail. But don’t expect to use it to jump from 20 feet. It won’t handle that much. As it’s hardtail, it’s easier to use on a moderately difficult trails.
Now the second problem is with the pedals. These are made up of plastic but can be replaced similar to the seat. However, if you don’t replace the pedal or seat, it will still serve you fine. You can use the bike for a long time without any type of big physical damage which will cost you a lot. The bike is very good for medium or a tall person but it’s not recommended for a person above 6 feet as there is a lot of possibility of having trouble with pedaling and getting the front tyre in contact with the foot when taking a turn. But people like me who is 5′ 7″ will have no problem whatsoever.
The bike is sturdy and comes under a $200 price mark which is reasonable.
Cheap full suspension mountain bikes
Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Full suspension bikes are different from hardtail in various ways. As they have suspension at the rear, the cost of the bike overall increases. As the structure of frame is to be made properly, it looks complex. If you are going to buy a full suspension bike then remember this, a cheap full suspension mountain bike costs as double as it’s hardtail counterpart. i.e., if you think you can get a decent one at $100, then you are mistaken. For full suspension bikes, $200 is the start mark.
Now this bike costs $200 and has some good amount of positive reviews. The frame is made up of aluminium which makes it lighter and reliable, and the silver finish makes it look shiny. This bike is present in two sizes: 24 inch and 26 inch. 24 Inch is good for kids and 26 inch for teenagers. The bike is sturdy and assembly process is simple but this bike needs proper adjustments of handle ar, brakes and gears.
The gears use twist shifters on handle bar and there are a total of 21 speeds. The rims of wheels are made up of alloy which is again corrosion resistant and lightweight. For $200 this is the cheapest that I can recommend although there are some bikes which cost less than $150, but they are made up of very cheap material and you don’t want to get injured on a mountain rail for sure.
Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle
I have read a lot of reviews on this bike. First of all it’s a 29er and is a tall bike. So make sure your height is no less than 5’10” to ride it comfortably. The 29 inch tyres are very good for difficult trails and give you easy ride on bumps.
This bike is equipped with a lot of decent features. The whole frame is made up of aluminium and parts like seat post, handle bars and calipers are too made up of aluminium which you can clearly see in the image above. This results it to have low weight and makes it stronger at the same time. The wheel rims and the brakes are made up of alloy which are corrosion resistant and the disc brakes really work well.
There are 21 speeds and the shimano gear system uses twist shifters for easy gear switching. For some it might not be favourable because I have seen people admiring the gear levers more but a lot of bikes use SRAM twist shifters because of the ease they provide.
All other features like seat comfort, suspension quality, gear shifting are well equipped in this bike. Personally I like how the frame is designed which makes it stronger than it’s competitors in the same price range. But the only CON I found in this was the front suspension system which doesn’t uses any hydraulic suspension making it not “SO” comfortable for big bumps. But the overall quality of this bike is just admirable and that’s the only reason this bike is in the market for a long time.
Mongoose Stasis Comp 26-Inch Full Suspension Mountain Bicycle
This bike has a unique design as you can see clearly the rear suspension is of different kind than in previous bikes. It’s a 26 inch wheel sized bike with 21 speeds Shimano rear derailleur operate by SRAM twist shifters. The frame body is made up aluminium and the wheel rims, brakes are made up of alloy for corrosion resistance.
These are some basic features every mountain bike should have for a light weight and a reliable ride. The wheels are quick release and many people prefer it over thru axle. The disc brakes are fantastic and you should adjust them when you assemble the bike. Make sure you properly align and tighten everything as good as you can to have a smoother ride. I don’t need anything more to say about it, you should try it yourself and you will easily know why a lot of people recommend it.
Cheap mountain bike frames
Ridley Ignite A7 27.5 inch Frameset
Coming to the parts, we have some very good frames on amazon. If you have a cheap bike and somehow it’s original frame is damaged, then you may need to buy a separate one. Now with a cheap bike, I can only recommend a cheap frame that is strong to tolerate difficult conditions. But actually these frames are very decent even for some expensive bikes, so you can count on these.
This one is for 27.5″ wheels mountain bike and the type is hardtail. For $200, some may argue it’s not cheap at all, which I agree but for a cheap bike it’s a very good upgrade as it’s made up of Triple-butted hydroformed 7005-T6 aluminum which is still and light. Steel is not welcomed if you buy a dedicated mountain bike frame.
It has some very good features like internal cable routing as well as compatibility with mechanical shifting which will make the assembly process neat and clean. The welding is done well with double pass flat welding which makes the corners look smother. So it’s a good deal for $200.
CFG Cycle Force Cro-mo MTB 26 Frame
When you are short in cash then going for a $200 frame alone will break your bank. Here is one solution. The CFG Cycle Force Cro-mo MTB 26 Frame is a cheap and reliable frame for mountain bikes. The frame as it’s cheaper is made up of steel but the quality is still good. However there are welding imperfections and the edges are not smooth.
The frame is heavy weighing around 6.75 pounds and the red colour is very bright which makes it look good. However the paint is not that perfectly done and will be scrapped with time. But may be it’s a cheap frame, it will gonna last long and is worth the money.
Gravity FSX 26 inch Wheel Aluminum Dual Suspension Bike Frame
We should not forget the suspension bikes. Usually the suspension mountain bikes are much more expensive than the hardtail ones, so their frames are also costly. But fortunately I was able to fine this one for under $200 which has good reviews and perform very good for difficult mountain trails as well as downhill ride. Although it’s not meant for jumping from 30 feet, but is good for a little steep mountain ride.
The welding is done properly and the body is made up of light weight aluminium which also has disc brakes mount. The frame is a little heavy and does not include seatpost clamp. It also comes with rear triangle having replaceable rear derailleur hanger. So in under $200, you are getting some good features.