The 10 Best Entry Level Mountain Bikes Under $500

best mountain bike under 500

Are you looking to invest in a mountain bike that promises quality at an affordable price range?

Finding a decent yet powerful mountain bike under $500 is really a challenging task, you have to spend countless hours to find the gem.

Having said that, a lot of manufacturers are designing new models of mountain bikes with features similar to the expensive ones, so you don’t have to worry about the quality.

The latest technology has introduced Aluminum frame that adds strength and durability to these lowest priced bikes. These bikes are best suited for entry level to intermediate level riders.

So, if you are looking for any model that is comfortable, durable and appealing, then check our reviews of these mountain bikes under 500 bucks to decide easily which model will meet your needs and requirements.

Top Picks: Best Entry Level Mountain Bikes under $500

To clear away this confusion, we have come up with the list which will help you to choose the best mountain bike in the mid-range category that won’t break your bank!

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1
(Editor's Choice)
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive
(Best Overall)
Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire MTB
(Best Budget)
Hiland Slycan 27.5
(Best Entry Level)
Schwinn Traxion Dual-Suspension Bike
(Best Full Suspension)
Full Suspension4.5
Schwinn Protocol 1.0Full Suspension4.2
Vilano Blackjack 3.0Hardtail4.4
Mongoose TYAX CompHardtail4.4
Merax Finiss Mountain BikeHardtail4.3
Gravity FSX 1.0Full Suspension4.0

1. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 Bike – (Editor’s Choice)

co op cycles drt 1.1

If you are looking for a mountain bike designed for beginners and casual riders, then you should consider the Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1.

In the DRT bike series from REI, the 1.1 is an entry-level model with an affordable price tag. Some of the key features of the DRT 1.1 include hydraulic disk brakes, a robust front suspension, and Shimano components. All these features guarantee a decent level of quality and a lengthy lifespan.

The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 is ideal for riders ranging from 5’0” to 6’3”. It comes in two colors (may vary) and 5 frame sizes. This is the perfect mountain bike for first-time riders that will help you explore all types of trails near your home.

Thanks to its 27.5” wheels and a strong front suspension, the DRT 1.1 can concur any sort of terrain. It is a versatile bike that can be used not only for exercise but other roles such as commutation.

Also, with the 100mm coil-sprung front suspension, you can be assured of accurate handling and comfort, ideal for both short trails and long cross-country adventures. This mountain bike boasts of 2.1” Kendra Kadre tires which offers steady grip, comfort, and stability even on off-road trails.

This key features section would be incomplete if we didn’t talk about the hydraulic disc brakes. This is one of the advantages of choosing the DRT 1.1 over other mountain bikes within the same price range, because, most feature mechanical brakes. Hydraulics guarantee better precision and higher braking power. Whether you are buying the bike for yourself or your teenage kid, you can be assured of maximum safety.

Being an entry-level mountain bike, the DRT 1.1 contains a group-set of 21 Shimano gears. The 3×7 drivetrain accompanied by a wide range of gears provides sufficient power for cycling both up and downhill. Not to mention, the Tourney rear derailleur delivers smooth and precise gear changes. This makes it excellent for riders with an active lifestyle.

Overall, the DRT 1.1 is the perfect mountain bike for beginners. It’s affordable and boasts of superior features compared to other bikes in its price range. The Co-op cycle comes in three main sizes: medium, small, and extra small. It can carry a maximum weight of 300 lbs inclusive of the rider and other gear. Also, REI, the manufacturers offer free tune-ups after 6 months of purchase.


  • Durable 6061 aluminum frame
  • SR Suntour suspension fork with 100mm of travel
  • Smooth gearing with Shimano Tourney derailleur
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Overall weight limit 300lbs


  • Tires doesn’t provide adequate traction

2. Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive – (Best Overall)

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

Getting your hands on a reliable mountain bike such as the Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive can help you explore all sorts of terrains. Packed with fascinating features and qualities, these bikes will guarantee comfortable and safe rides.

With two options of the 29.3 and 27.5 models, Overdrive brings you classic mountain bikes with an impressive style and design. Let’s dive straight into the features of Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive.

The 29-inch Butted 6061-T6 Aluminum frame makes these Diamond bicycles quite resilient and durable. The frame’s design is fine-tuned to take hard impacts and drops without causing any damage. It has also been configured to accommodate faster speeds and smoother climbs. Being made of Aluminum, the frame is quite light, thus making the bike quite stable.

Are you a fast rider?

Well, Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive has got you covered. Featuring its Shimano gear, riders have the freedom to choose from a wide range of gears depending on the terrain. It doesn’t matter whether you are climbing uphill or down a slope, the 24 variable Shimano gears will ensure a stress-free ride.

The Tekra Auriga hydraulic disc brakes take the safety of Overdrive bicycles to the next level. These brakes will provide you with an enormous amount of stopping power no matter how fast you are riding. Kindly note that these disc brakes have been designed to work in all sorts of environments: concrete, dirt, or mud.

Diamondback allows you to choose between 27.5 and 29-inch wheels. All of which are relatively tough and reliable. Both these wheels boast of a rugged design that enables them to easily run over medium-sized debris. It also contributes to the durability of the bike.

One of the key qualities of a good mountain bike is a comfy seat. Well, Diamondback Bicycles not only meets this requirement but exceeds it. There is a soft cushion within the seat that is optimized for both comfort and enhanced performance.

The features of the Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive are compelling enough to make you want to own one.


  • Decent hardtail bike
  • Sturdy Aluminum Frame
  • 24 speed provides smoother transitions
  • Perfect for trail riders
  • Best suited for 5’7″ to 5’10” tall


  • Stock seat is not comfy
  • Instruction manual not included, users have to go through Youtube video to set it up

3. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike – (Best Budget)

Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike

Mongoose Dolomite should be your top-of-the-line choice for a great fat tire mountain bike. The main feature with this bike are of course the super large tires. They are 26 inches high and 4 inches wide. This allows the Dolomite to ride through pretty much anything. It eats up rough terrain but rides through snow and sand like you were on hard asphalt.

It can ride over rocks while still staying perfectly under control and no matter what the conditions you can take this bike out into them.

Besides its large tires the Mongoose Dolomite features a shimano rear derailleur with 7-different speeds. This allows it to conquer hills while smoothly shifting between gears. It has a threadless headset which is adjustable so it can accommodate riders of all sizes and the front and rear disc brakes provides accurate stopping no matter what conditions you choose to ride it in.

This bike comes with beach cruiser peddles to give you an even more comfortable ride and provides a pleasurable ride through sand. It has a super-sized beach cruiser frame as well which not only makes it strong and durable but maneuverable and responsive.

If you’re looking for a no-fuss bike under $500 – this is it.


  • Best fat tire bike
  • Steel-frame mountain bike
  • 4-Inch Wide Knobby Tires
  • Comfortable beach cruiser pedals
  • Best suited for riders: 5ft 6inches to 6ft tall


  • Chain guard is made of cheap plastic
  • Subpar pedals quality – needs upgradation

4. Hiland Slycan 27.5 Aluminum Mountain Bike – (Best Entry Level)

Hiland Aluminum Mountain Bike

If you’re looking for a powerful, efficient, and almost all-terrain mountain bike – Hiland Slycan Mountain Bike can be a great option.

This MTB has constructed from a 6061 Alloy aluminum frame that makes it light and durable. The strong and lightweight aluminum frame enables the bike to be ideal for an array of riders and serves a broad market compared to other mountain bikes. Aluminum is also resistant to rust contributing to the durability of the bike.

The 27-speed drivetrain of Hiland Slycan MTB is among the unique features that the manufacturer of this bike can boast. The 27-speed drivetrain is appropriate for a lighter bike such as Hiland Slycan 27.5 because it enables the rider to accelerate, climb, and brake far better than heavier mountain bikes.

Coupled with a dual powerful hydraulic disc-brake, Hiland Slycan 27.5 Inch Aluminum Mountain Bike gives a rider enough control for smooth high speed or emergency braking. Hydraulic breaks facilitate smooth but powerful braking because of the reduced friction compared to regular cable brakes.

The 27.5-inch wheel makes this bike an excellent choice for handling a variety of terrains. Both the 27.5-inch wheel size and the lock-out suspension of this bike support different riding conditions like rough terrains and flat surfaces. For example: the rider can reduce wasting peddling energy from bubbling suspension by locking out the shock in a fixed position when riding on flat surfaces.

Overall, The Hiland Slycan 27.5 Inch Aluminum Mountain Bike is an excellent pick for people who love to spend their time on off-road cycling and looking for a value for money bicycle.


  • 6061 alloy aluminum frame
  • Features lock-out suspension fork
  • Hydraulic disc breaks
  • Best suited for 5’1″ to 6’2″ riders


  • Sometimes fork suspension doesn’t lock-out, needs mechanical attention

5. Schwinn Traxion Full Suspension Mountain Bike – (Best Dual Suspension)

Schwinn Traxion Full Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

The Schwinn Traxion features large 29 inch wheels that will make it a solid but smooth riding mountain bike.

This bike is made with the classic Schwinn aluminum dual suspension frame and a very powerful Schwinn suspension fork that combined with the large wheels will absorb any bumps with ease. With Schwinn you are getting history and quality and the Traxion gives you a durable riding experience.

This is a 24-speed bike that features Schwinn’s EZ-fire trigger shifters for rapid gear changes along with the Schwinn front and rear Shimano derailleurs, so you will go from gear to gear with the utmost smoothness. It has front and rear mechanical disc brakes that provide extremely crisp braking in all-conditions, whether out on a trail or on the roads.

Along with the 29-inch wheels you get extra wide double alloy rims that are very light but still extremely strong to give you even more durability while riding.

The knobby tires are also 2.25 inches wide so they can grip and handle cracks, roots, and rocks with ease. This bike can be ridden on roads, but it thrives on trails with its full suspension setup and will handle any kind of terrains.


  • Sturdy aluminum full-suspension frame
  • 24-speed drivetrain for smooth gearing experience
  • Disc brakes available on both front and rear
  • 2.25 inch wide knobby tires good for rough terrains


  • Minor issues in gear shifters
  • 80mm travel fork – could have been 100mm

7. Gravity FSX 1.0 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Gravity FSX 1 0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike

The Gravity FSX 1.0 is a dual full suspension bike that looks great and is also very affordable. This is a genuine trail riding bike that is under $500 which is tough to accomplish with how well it is made.

The FSX 1.0 has a hydroformed aluminum alloy frame that has extra reinforcement and ensures the highest level of strength in all riding situations. The areas on the frame that receive the most stress during a ride have the highest level of strength on this bike. For a dual suspension bike, it weighs in at only 26 pounds.

The suspension on the FSX 1.0 features front and rear Suntour shocks making it absorb even the toughest terrain like it’s not even there. The gears are all made of Shimano components including ultra light, but very responsive, EFT shifters. This gives you a very smooth shifting experience that provides 24 different gears.

This bike features brakes that you would normally find on a higher end bike. It uses Tektro Novela disc brakes for very strong stopping power along with very controlled braking. You can give slight squeezes and get a great response without having to apply too much force and pressure. For an aluminum frame dual suspension bike, the Gravity FSX 1.0 provides tremendous value.


  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • 24-speed shifters
  • Disc brakes provided on both front and rear wheel
  • Best suited for user height: 5’2 ft. to 6’1 ft.


  • Seat is not comfortable for longer rides, might need a upgrade
  • Hybrid tires – not suitable for trails or terrain

7. Vilano Blackjack 3.0 Mountain Bike

vilano blackjack mountain bike

The Blackjack 3.0 is the perfect choice for various mountain biking needs such as trail riding, road riding, or just commuting.

This bike features a hand-built hydroformed alloy frame that is incredibly strong and long-lasting to hold up to any style of rider. This is a light bike and to make it even lighter it has a larger 30.9mm diameter seat post to save weight.

It has Shimano EZ fire shifters for immediate gear changes to accommodate any type of riding intensity. Also it has front and rear disc brakes for quick and accurate stopping and a strong suspension fork that allows you to cruise over any type of obstacles.

The Blackjack has double wall alloy rims that are light yet strong and an MTB saddle that is also comfortable but supportive. The 29-inch wheels allow for great riding speed but the ability to grip on uneven terrain including roots and rocks.

This is a low-cost bike that has a lot of high-end features and will allow you to ride in wet or dry conditions whether it’s on the trail or roads. It’s been redesigned and has added in these features to give you a complete bike for whatever you’re needing it for.


  • 6061 lightweight Aluminum Frame
  • Double Wall Alloy Rims
  • Good for beginner trail riders
  • 17 inch frame – suited for riders with 5’1″ to 5ft 6inch height


  • Front brake cable is bit loose
  • Gear shifting issues

8. Schwinn Protocol 2.7 Mountain Bike


Schwinn is synonymous with cycling and has the legacy and history to provide quality. The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is a dual suspension mountain bike which gives it a high-end amount of support especially for intense trail riding and very tough terrain.

This is a bike for beginner riders but will allow you to start terrain riding without fear of damaging it. It has an alloy aluminum frame and suspension frame to make it strong and resilient. It has 24 speeds to provide you with a sufficient amount of gears for any riding intensity. As strong as it is the SR Suntour front suspension fork makes it a very comfortable bike and a pleasure to ride.

The Protocol 1.0 features Shimano EF-50 trigger shifters for rapid gear changes no matter how intense the ride is. There is also extremely accurate stopping with the Pro Max front mechanical disc brakes meaning you can feel secure in any conditions and speeds.

This bike is known for its high-end wheels and rims and has 26-inch wheels so can accommodate riders of all sizes. They also have great traction whether it be off-road high-intensity riding or more relaxed road riding.


  • Full suspension aluminum frame
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • 27.5-Inch Wheels
  • 2.25″ wide knobby mountain tires


  • Pedal quality isn’t upto the mark
  • Uncomfortable seat

9. Mongoose TYAX Comp Men’s Mountain Bike

Mongoose tyax comp mountain bike

The Mongoose TYAX hardtail mountain bike is perfect for everyday use—commuting and leisure rides. This is perfect for intermediate riders from men to women who are 5 feet or taller.

The XC aluminum hardtail frame makes it very lightweight as compared to the standard steel frame. It provides amazing shock absorption on whatever type of terrain, providing smooth ride on rocks, bumps, and rough terrain.

Precise and efficient shifting is ensured with the powerful 27-speed drivetrain system. The new and efficient Shimano Acera rear and XCR front derailleur shifting system is a whole lot better than an entry level shifting derailleur. The bike was built to handle the toughest mountain trails, across deserts and city roads.

The bike budget suits to everyone : entry level, mid range and high end bikes are available, so you get freedom to pick your dream bike in an affordable range.

The Mongoose mountain bike arrives at your door that is mostly assembled, and only minor assembling is needed before one can fully ride the bike.


  • Strong XC aluminum hardtail frame
  • 27-speed drivetrain system
  • Budget friendly


  • Substandard fork quality
  • Mongoose support takes time

10. Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 24-Speed Mountain Bike

merax finiss mountain bicycle

The Merax Finiss is a 26-inch bike with 24 speeds and features a very lightweight 17 inch Mountain frame. This will allow for quick maneuvering but very strong support while riding. This bike features Shimano derailleurs and shifters to move fast and smoothly between gears.

It also has front and rear disc brakes for precise stopping and quick response and every riding situation. The suspension fork has an 80mm travel which will give you a very smooth ride on even the bumpiest terrain. The wheels are made of double-wall aluminum rims for a smooth ride but strong support for hard cornering and tough surfaces.

The front tire has a quick release pin for added security and the front handlebars have a wider turning radius while still maintaining control. This lightweight and sturdy bike is a great choice for reliable riding no matter on roads on through trails. It can accommodate riders of all sizes while still providing a comfortable and relaxing ride.

It’s an inexpensive option to get into the mountain biking lifestyle while still providing you with a quality, long-lasting bike.


  • 17 inch steel frame
  • 24-speed gear shifters
  • Overall weight capacity: 330lbs


  • Not suitable for tall riders

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much should I spend on a decent mountain bike?

Quality mountain bikes range between $1000 to $5000. Although you may be tempted to pay heavily for the sake of quality, it’s advisable not to overspend. A budget of around $500 will give you a decent bike with all the great features you will need.

2. What is the best wheel size for a mountain bike?

The best option is the 26” which has been the standard for quite a long time. They are perfect for the 5ft to 6ft height range, which is the average for most people.

3. What size of mountain bike do I need?

A frame size that fits you depends on your height. For instance, if your height falls between 5’7” and 6’2”, you will need a bike with a frame size between 17 and 21 inches. You can refer to mountain bike sizing guided to get the precise frame size.

The Bottom Line

As you can clearly see that we have compiled a brief yet explained the list of top 10 mountain bikes under $500 that can be easily available in the market. Although there are various good mountain bikes in this range, but must be aware that there are plenty of dead ducks too.

Within this price range it’s possible to snag some items which you must need to stay away from. It is advisable to avoid cheap plastic components because they simply aren’t as solid as metal and are liable to rupture quickly.

One more thing I would like to add here is Heavy Frame – Please try to refrain from it, make sure that you are getting a lighter frame bicycle only.

So, what are you waiting for…Choose your dream model and get ready to ride!

Watch this video to find the right mountain bike for you: