Best Entry Level Mountain Bike Reviews

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To be hit in to-be-fit game, cycling plays a fun part. Mountain biking is a sport that rewards those who practice, those that are adventurous and those that want to learn.

Our 8 Favorite Entry Level Mountain Bike

Which One: Hardtail Vs Full-Suspension MTB

There are many different types of mountain bike but they can be easily split into two main categories — Hard-tail and Full-suspension mountain bikes.

  • Front suspension bikes (usually called hardtails) are a great starting point if you are just getting into mountain biking and are ideal for learning new skills. These have a suspension fork up front to cope with bumpy terrain so that your body doesn’t have to, while the rear remains rigid.
  • Full (dual) Suspension MTBs – As the name suggests these mountain bikes have suspension on both the front and rear wheels. Generally speaking, the more technically demanding the terrain the more suspension travel you will need.

Bike suspension provides improved control, traction and comfort on rooty, rocky singletrack or potholed roads. The efficiency issue largely has to do with “bobbing” suspension. Of course, with most frame designs, force on the drivetrain will have some effect on the suspension.

Unlike the road bikes, a mountain bike is a technical product and, the wildly varying prices and mix-matched groupsets of hardtail and dual suspension bikes, so we don’t recommend choosing a bike based on its drivetrain components or groupset.

Travel refers to the amount of distance the suspension will move before it is fully compressed when shocks. With travel options ranging from about 75-220mm (3-8 inches), it can be daunting deciding which range of travel is right for you. Suspension may be referred to as short or long travel:

  • Short-travel suspension (less than 120mm) suspension provides all-around riding performance with an emphasis on smooth trails and going uphill.
  • Long-travel suspension (greater than 120mm) is best for descending rough terrain at high speeds with greater control. The longer the front travel, the stronger the emphasis is toward descending.

As a beginner, the first step in determining travel amount is to define your needs in terms of terrain and style with an understanding of how terrain and style work together.

Women’s mountain bike

Women are no different in their bike buying needs! As a woman you just need a bike that fits you well and works with your body shape, this is exactly the same rule that applies to men.

A mountain bike trail doesn’t care about your gender when it throws in a steep gnarly rock section for you to tackle.

You may need a women’s specific mountain bike, but not all women share such stereotypical physical dimensions. It all comes down to personal fit.

where to buy mountain bikes

If you’re a starter, I always suggest you pick a 650B (27.5 inch) hardtail mountain bike. For cross country or trail ride, these bikes won’t be hurt your enthusiasm.

If you like Downhill or Freeride, don’t be silly, you need an inexpensive full suspension for practice technique to circumvent breaking your purse.

As your ability improves you will find that you get a lot more from your riding if you are using an improved level of equipment as well.

A high-quality mountain bike can be as lightweight as a road bike. You don’t have to have an expensive bike for this purpose. If you are low on budget (under 500), then following picks of mountain bikes can be the best choices for you to hop on!

Best Beginners Mountain Bike

#1 Diamondback Bicycles Lux Women’s Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles LUX Comp Women's Hardtail Mountain Bike

For just under 500 bucks, the Diamondback bicycles lux women’s hardtail mountain bike is designed particularly for the unique proportions of women. The geometry, in particular, is straight up quite impressive for me since it is geared towards women’s or kids comfort.

If you first started cycling, you are looking for something that had crazy speed and could adjust to different terrains. The women’s hardtail bike was that bike for you because it has 24 speeds and has the right gear that enables you to change to fit any terrain and trails.

It is made of an aluminum 6061.-t6 framework that makes it lightweight and durable. While I think that the frame is a good quality, it weighs a little extra because the components made some compromises at this price.

To make it easier for the ladies to get on and off the bicycle, there is a slung top pipe that gives an extra standover clearance. I found the brakes to be quite delightful as it provides intense stopping energy. Lastly, it has an SR Suntour travel suspension fork that helps you roll over any obstacles.

Among the many things that attracted me to the lux women’s hardtail mountain bike, cost vs. performance balance stood out the most. This is hardly the most supple bike, but it’s among the best women’s mountain bike for sale and is the best 27.5 hardtail for women.

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#2 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes Aluminum Frame

Beginners who are looking for a performance-inspired yet cheap mountain bike, then Gravity FSX 1.0 is great.

New, 2017 Gravity FSX 1.0 dual suspension mountain bike along with 24 speed Shimano shifting technology. Rear adjustable coil-over holder and Suspension Fork with adjustable preload.

This 26-inch full suspension mountain bike features powerful front and rear disc brakes and wide range Shimano 24 speed drivetrain for smooth shifting on rough ground. The adjustable preload provides higher efficiency.

These full suspension adult mountain bikes have some of the finest quality and design. I think that the Bike is a little bit heavy but the gearing makes up for that.

Some users complain about the Fork, that it is the lowest quality sun tour. The main thing which is holding the top and bottom sections of the fork together is a single bolt through just a single stanchion, which is strung to the bottom leg. No nut on the bottom of the fork, it’s strung straight into the lower tubes.

So, if you are planning on jumping, spinning and flying into the rocks the Fork may create some problem.

Just like other cheap mountain bikes, Gravity FSX 1.0 is a great bike for an affordable price and highly recommend it for the beginner to intermediate riders.

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#3 Diamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles 2014 Recoil Comp Full Suspension Mountain Bike with 29-Inch Wheels

From experience, I would say that this 29-inch full suspension mountain bike is the perfect full suspension bike for beginners. Built using an aluminum alloy, it is sure to last for a long time to come without faltering on performance.

If you want to get into aggressive mountain biking and tackle all obstacles in your path, then Diamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Mountain Bike the best dual suspension bike. The single track machine seamlessly adapts to any terrain because of its sturdy building.

What particularly stands out for me is its adjustable suspension fork that absorbs any shock from rough terrains ensuring the ride is controlled and smooth.

Additionally, the fork comes with an external preload adjustment that enables you to tailor the fork to suit your weight and riding style. It has tektro aires mechanical disk that is very reliable in any condition, unlike many trail mountain bikes.

What I found a little off-putting was the plastic pedals which are extremely slippery in muddy and wet conditions. Also, the instructions given for assembly are a bit hard to understand, and the mechanic brakes make unnecessary noise.

Personally, I love it because of its great suspension, strong rims, brakes that work very well, and the handle bar that is wide and light. This will be an ideal choice out of any large mountain bike for sale.

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#4 Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike

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Diamondback Overdrive 29er can be seen as Recoil’s hardtail suspension version and is an entry level hardtail bike ideal for riding on smaller bumps, gravel tracks and rough roads, less technical trails you can get but will be more difficult to ride on technically challenging terrain.

This 29-inch wheels bike is ideal if you are new and want to do trail riding. This is a solid bike that can take any beating since it is engineered to withstand everything.

Generally, all the parts of this bicycle are well designed, well built, high quality, sturdy and can absorb shock. It has butted tubes that are custom formed to create a structure which is lightweight and uniquely strong. The tektro disc stoppers of this hardtail mountain bike allow restraint before things get out of control when you are driving.

This men’s xl mountain bike was a little bit heavy though for me. I was also not pleased with the fact that it has a hard stock saddle and has stiff shift levers.

I really love this bike because it is lightweight, authentic and is one of the best hardtail 29er you will find. If you are looking for fitness and fun at a fabulous price, this bike will be your best bet.

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#5 Raleigh Bikes Talus 2 Mountain Bike

Raleigh Bikes Talus

As far as good mountain bikes go, the Raleigh Talus 2 mountain bike has been highly recommended by a wide variety of users. It has multiple size options going from 5’3” to 6’4”, xs size available, I think, this men’s mountain bike also suits well for your kids/boy.

For an entry-level mountain bike it’s very reasonably priced, especially when compared to other mountain bikes that are basically the same. It has an aluminum body with 27.5” tires.

This bike is meant to be a mountain bike but the hard tail mountain bike reviews have stated that it doesn’t do so well when off-road or in wet conditions though it does ride smoothly on most other outdoor surfaces.

You need to assemble the bike, before you can actually ride it. We feel that those of you, who are not good with assembling things, should ask for help.

Overall this is a nice quality bike with little problems and has a very good price tag when compared with the quality.

If you compare mountain bikes then as a cross country mountain bike, you will find this one useful. As the writer of hardtail mountain bike reviews I think this mountain bike is moderately okay.

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#6 Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike with 27.5' Wheels, 20'/Large, Red

Diamondback overdrive sport 27.5 is a solid starter mountain bike that barely disappointed me when I first used it. The front suspension gives power to the rear wheel for better acceleration and efficiency.

If you are looking for a good deal, the overdrive sport 27.5 is something you should consider as it is arguably among the best hardtail mountain bike for cheap.

I found the bike to be particularly ideal because of the powerful mechanical disk brakes which helped me maintain control on bumpy rides and the descents.

The overdrive sport 27.5 has a rigid frame made from aluminum alloy and the material is renowned for its ability to endure the hardest falls.

What I loved most about this bike is the 24 speeds and the big knobby tire. They grip any rocks and roots making you comfortable and confident. The plush 4-inch Suntour suspension fork allows you to feel less fatigue on rough terrains.

Needless to say, there are some features I didn’t like. For starters, I found the seats a bit hard and uncomfortable even after doing adjustments.

I also had a tough time trying to assemble the bike and later discovered that with this bike, you need some technical know-how.

Overall, I am always a bit reluctant but I think that this bike is great especially for its price. For me, simplicity is very appealing when I am looking for a bicycle, and this entry-level bike cuts it.

For beginners, this is a solid mountain starter bike that has been classified among the best 27.5 men’s mountain bikes hence worth the investment.

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#7 Diamondback Bicycles Laurito Hardtail Complete Mountain Bike

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There are a lot of mountain bikes for women. But if you are looking for a real good buy, you might want to check out Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Laurito Hardtail Complete Mountain Bike.

If you are on a tight budget, the bike will serve you well as the performance and durability are fantastic at that cost. It has a comfortable saddle, and the high quality 75mm trail XC suspension of the bike gives it a smooth ride and absorbs all the shock.

To my utter surprise, I found that I could comfortably also use the small mountain bike for casual purposes like when I am going shopping or going to meet a friend.

It comes with 7-speed Shimano derailleurs and allow you to mount fenders and racks. If you looking to buy one for yourself or for a female friend or relative, you want to make sure the bike can bring her back home safely.

If you are looking for a girl mountain bike, safety and comfort should be the top priorities. Bike’s solid frame can be for any road conditions and with Shimano derailleurs, there is the least possibility of the chain slipping out and make problems.

It’s a lightweight bike that’s comfortable to use yet, durable and suitable for women for casual purposes. The efficiency, durability, and cost of this bike, nevertheless, stand out and have made it popular.

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#8 Iron Horse Men’s Maverick 2.1 Mountain Bicycle

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Iron Horse Men’s Maverick 2.1, this trail or starters mountain bike is one of the best-selling men’s mountain bike so far.

To push the limits of a winding trial or a rough mountain passage, you need a speedy bike that is both sturdy and lightweight. Iron Horse serves both purposes for cross country.

For pinpoint control and solid floor gripping, it has 27.5-inch wheels. Aluminum hardtail frame adds a long-lasting appeal. It is easy to assemble, just follow the guide and there you go!

Promax mechanical front and back disc brakes are elevated with Shimano Ef51 brake levers. In addition to that, Shimano Altus 24-speed drivetrain give you plenty of control.

You may find it an affordable item but every feature of this high-quality mountain bike is worth your money.

I think that as a cross-country bike this one would be a perfect one. But the users will take some time getting used to the bike and for that they need to be patient.

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#9 SE Bikes Big Mountain 1.0 27.5″ Bike

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The SE Bikes Big Mountain Bike as the name implies, a trail mountain bike made specifically for beginners who want to try out mountain bikes.

This mountain bike has an aluminum frame giving it a light weight of about 31 pounds and has 27.5 inches wheels. It is easy to assemble and comes in different sizes for users of different heights and weights. The bike is colored satin red but it has been noted that the paint chips away rather easily.

The brakes aren’t a problem as they are Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors but the bike doesn’t do so well on sand patches so a word of caution to beginners: don’t go into sand patches.

Most people have been noted to say that the parts on this bike would not be good enough to handle on real trails so you might want to change everything plastic and replace it with proper materials.

As the trail mountain bikes at the entry level, I think this mountain bike is okay. But one needs to look for better ones for the adult mountain bike races.

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#10 Raleigh Bikes Eva 2 Women’s Bike

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Raleigh Bikes Eva 2 Women’s Bike is a made-to- fit xc mountain bike for moderate distance adventure travelling. This model comes in various sizes and is specifically designed for women with its geometry from the saddle to the grips. It is equipped with a Shimano Revo twist shifter that can take you to 21 different speeds.

There’s no wonder why hardtail mountain bike reviews are very kind to this bike. First, this model comes in different sizes that can fit women of all sizes.

Second, it was totally conceived with comfort in mind with its female friendly saddle and grips. And last but not the least; it incorporates a reputable brand, Shimano, into the mix for its shifter.

There is no “one-size-fit-all” when it comes to bicycles. The most comfortable bike is the one that fits one’s physical dimensions. Raleigh Bikes Eva 2 Women’s Bike scores a “A+” with this versatility. Choosing the right size for your specs is one of the most important decisions in choosing your personal every day bike.

Yes, it’s going to be a little harder because there is this “bike size” consideration. But, it will be well worth it. I am sure that you will be amazed at this Raleigh Bikes Eva 2 Women’s Bike available in Blue.

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