Finding the best Mountain bike for you can be a really tough task. You are ultimately going to invest in a bicycle that comes loaded with brilliant features at the affordable rates.
But WAIT!!! Do you know buying a new mountain bike can be a stressful experience…especially if you walk into a bike shop and ask: “Which mountain bike should I buy?”
That’s exactly what I did, and after asking the same question at the 2nd mountain bike shop, I realized that I was just being sold what the bike shop had in stock and not really exactly what I needed. The variety, language and pricing left me confused and I did what all confused buyers do – I left without buying anything!
When I got home I researched what I needed on the web, and then I sourced the best price and delivery!
There are a large variety of bikes which are called “entry level or beginners bike.” For under $300 you will be buying a steel framed mountain bike, while over $1000 you will be getting a lighter frame with better equipment. The prices continue going up and up with the bike and equipment getting better and better.
However, we are not going to discuss any of those segments because we presenting here some mid-range mountain bikes.
At a Glance – Top 9 Mountain Bikes Under $600
To save our readers time in searching one of the great mountain bikes at affordable price range, we have now come up with a compiled list of best mountain bikes under 600 dollars. This list will help you to get some ideas about those top-notch MTBs.
|Trek Marlin 4|
|Gravity FSX 2.0 Dual Suspension|
|Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire|
|Vilano Blackjack 3.0|
(Best Entry Level)
|Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er||Hardtail||4.4|
|Tomasso Gran Sasso 29er Mountain Bike||Hardtail||4.1|
|Raleigh Tokul 2||Hardtail||4.2|
|Upland X90 Bike||Hardtail||4.0|
|Mongoose Detour Mountain Bike||Full Suspension||3.8|
1. Trek Marlin 4 – (Editor’s Choice)
Whether it’s mountain biking or a simple commute, you may find it challenging, if you don’t have the correct bike for the terrain. That’s why we decided to bring something on the table which gives you complete freedom whether you’re riding on the bumpy terrains or just cruising around college campus.
The Marlin 4 belongs to the Trek’s cross-country mountain bike lineup. As a starter bike, the Trek Marlin 4 provides superior performance, responsiveness, and versatility for the efficient daily rider in all types of terrains.
If we talk about the build quality – this bike is crafted from Alpha Silver Aluminum which is lightweight, durable and known for being corrosion resistant. Due to this fairly lighter frame, you will experience greater control over your bike and can handle different terrains at your own pace.
Pedaling this bike, you will experience the versatility of its design and its real-world performance capabilities. This bike has entry-level Shimano parts that provide a fine balance of handling and feel for every day rides and the toughest trails.
It is quite smooth to shift the gears with the Shimano 21-speed drivetrain. Getting used to trigger shifters may be confusing at first, but you’ll soon realize that it’s much more convenient than conventional rotary shifters.
Featuring an SR Suntour XCE 28 Suspension Fork with 100 mm of travel, this bike is best suited for rougher terrain and technical trails. However, there is one negative feature about this bike: It doesn’t have a lockout feature, so you can’t lock it while riding on paved roads.
The Marlin 4 is equipped with reliable and durable Bontrager tires and wheels. With these tires, you’ll be able to cross challenging terrains and environments without much effort. In terms of size, there are seven different Marlin 4 models, with smaller models having 27.5′′ wheels and larger models having 29′′ wheels.
Known for its versatility, whenever you are off the trails, this bike features a rack and fender mount that can be used to carry light cargo as you run errands. The Marlin 4 is an excellent choice not just because of the many features it offers, but because of the lifetime warranty that is granted to all Marlin bike models.
So, if you’re looking for an entry-level trail bike with a sleek design and quality components, the Marlin 4 could be a perfect fit for you.
- Lightweight Alpha Silver Aluminum Frame
- Powerful Tektro MD-M280 mechanical disc brake
- 21-speed Shimano Drivetrain
- Best suited for commuters and beginner Trail riders
2. Gravity FSX 2.0 Mountain Bike – (Best Overall)
This is an amazing choice for entry level riders – something that is both affordable and reliable. It features dual suspension, advanced frame made of aluminum, and the 24-speed control system.
The Gravity FSX dual suspension mountain bike utilizes the Single Pivot technology that has received world-wide acclaim by many riders to be the best full suspension bikes to be produced in recent memory.
The frame is made of lightweight Hydroformed Aluminum, which enhances its overall running performance and durability. Also this frame can withstand different body weights.
This bike comes loaded with Tektro Novela disc brake which considered one of the best braking system, that provides quick stopping power in any weather and ensures rider’s safety on the tracks.
The Gravity SFX is by far one of the most versatile bikes on the sports market today, being used by riders for everything from XC and endurance racing. The SFX 2.0 benefits from some creative geometric adjustments and spec changes to make it both lighter and faster on the trail.
The benefits to the non-competitive riders are to many to list. This mountain bike will turn an ordinary day trip into an extraordinary experience. Gravity FSX 2.0 is designed with some of the unique features that makes this bike a best one for riding. Anyway, you can buy this bike for commuting, do a workout or even for fun.
The choices that you have in this mountain bike is simply outstanding. It will fit everyone’s size quite comfortably.
Though it is cheaper than most mountain bikes it doesn’t compromise on the crucial features of gear shifting experience, superior levels of comfort, and also offers full shock suspension along with an overall control on speed.
If you are new to the world of mountain bikes, then this is the best choice for you. However, it isn’t a bad choice for intermediate level riders as well. The sturdy material and durable main parts of the bike is something you need.
3. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Men’s Mountain Bike – (Best Budget)
Fat tire mountain bikes are designed for smooth and comfortable rides, and Mongoose Dolomite is among the very top when it comes to this category. It comes with a ton of amazing riding features, which makes it a very versatile bike.
It’s simply a beast that conquers off-road trails effortlessly. Whether you are riding on a sandy beach, in snow, rain, or on a rough dirt road, the fat tires enable you to enjoy your ride. They are designed for heavyweight riders. The 4” thickness means stability and balance. The wheels are 26” and thus will fit most heights up to 6 feet.
It comes with seven speeds, which you can select depending on the terrain, which makes it easier and enjoyable to ride up and down hills. Shifting gears is smooth and precise as it has twist-style shifters. And the fact the drivetrain is from Shimano caps it all up.
This bike has a cruiser-style frame design which is aesthetically pleasing. The design also maximizes performance. Now that it has no suspension, the frame design is also responsible for its comfort. The 17” high tensile steel material makes it one of the sturdiest bikes on the market today.
You will find incredibly powerful and effective dual mechanical disc brakes on this bike. It translates to never having to worry about safely stopping when riding at high speeds. The stopping power is adequate, no matter the weather conditions.
4. Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike – (Best Entry Level)
It could possibly be shocking to some people, but there are still several situations where you’re significantly better on a hardtail rather than a full-suspension mountain bike, for instance when riding to class, dirt jumping, on smoother trails, or just cruising around the suburbs.
A bike that can meet your everyday travel needs and doubles up as your off-road travel buddy is finally here.
The Vilano Blackjack 3.0 mountain bike is every cyclist’s dream that works perfectly for trails and for commuting purposes. The modern look and sleek design offer a lot of features to riders. The frame and suspension fork on this bicycle are made from lightweight, handcrafted 6061 aluminum. Together, they let you cruise over obstacles with ease.
This mountain bike’s impressive system provides easy maneuverability and superior grip. And, if it is speed that you are concerned about then you will enjoy the excellent Shimano 8-speed EF-51 integrated shifter, which offers 24 gears and a wide range of torque and speed.
Whether traveling on the road or on a trail, mechanical disc brakes provide superb stopping power. Its large 29-inch alloy wheels and 29 x 2.1 tires are easy to maneuver over any obstacles.
You can expect smooth rides even on rough terrains, thanks to the 80mm travel fork suspension. Also with the lockout feature, the suspension can be disabled while you are on smooth surfaces or paved roads.
So, If you are looking for an affordable yet quality entry level hardtail bike, then this bike certainly live up to your expectations.
5. Diamondback Overdrive 29″ Hardtail Bike
If you are looking for great design, amazing looks, and solid built – then Diamondback Overdrive 29er is the best choice for you. It comes with SR Suntour Suspension Fork that is sturdy, durable, and will fit right into your budget.
This Mountain bike is rather classy and has SR Suntour suspension fork which gives you complete fun while you ride through tough terrains, however since it is a hardtail bike I would stick to smoother trails instead.
You can have the aluminum frame in four different sizes based on your body shape and height. The framing is done on 29 inch wheels, butted 6061-T6 aluminum frame with formed top and down tube and integrated head tube.
The wheels are highly durable and strong making it possible for the rider to ride through different trails. You can zoom around in this incredible mountain bike in a variety of different speeds.
Compare to the standard mountain bikes, these wheels are wider and thicker. They are still in many ways same as wheels used on road bikes but still mountain bike wheels, that are designed to be tougher and provide a better absorption to the shock of riding over rough terrain.
On the other hand 29er which is most popular type of mountain bike wheel. It is becoming increasingly more popular for Cyclocross and cross-country riding as these wheels is 29 inches tall and use a clincher style.
From comfort to easy assembling, high quality features, strong built, comfortable and easy rides make it one of the best choices.
So, if you are looking for a mountain bike under $600, then the Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail is an ultimate choice for you.
6. Tommaso 2018 Gran Sasso 29er Mountain Bike
The Tommaso Gran Sasso mountain bike is best suited for every entry level biker but also meets the demands of mid-level bikers.
From climbing high mountains to riding across rough terrains and cruising through the dirt and gravel with ease – this bike can offer it all. Think about the place that you want to go, and you are bound to reach it with the Tommaso Gran Sasso.
The alloy 29” sturdy frame will meet your commuting and adventure needs. You get to enjoy a wide range of options when it comes to gearing, thanks to Shimano components. The smooth and consistent shifting hands you over more performance and power. Tackle the difficulties that lie on the streets, mountains, and trails with immense confidence.
7. RALEIGH Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike
It is a challenging job for a riding enthusiast to find a mountain bike that meets all their needs and especially when the number of choices that is available will make you go crazy.
The RALEIGH Bikes are best suited for tough terrains and hilly areas. The several amazing features of this bike makes it a must have. It offers incredible stability. The wide enough rims and tires make will make every ride your best.
The use of superior quality frame and fork will enhance the feel of your rides with its intriguing features. You get to choose from an array of four different types of sizes to ensure the comfort of the rider. The powerful braking system ensures happy, safe, and ultra-smooth rides.
8. Upland X90 Hardtail Mountain Bike
This 26-Inches Mountain Bike is the best choice for people who love exploring and adventuring new places. This could be your true companion that would take you anywhere at any time. This main advantage of this bike is that this is different from normal bikes and can take you places where normal bikes can’t reach.
Upland X90 Hardtail Mountain Bike is a true value for money product. Any beginner or an experienced rider can ride this model well. You don’t need to a professional, any commuter or a beginner will love riding this adventurous bike for fun.
Its frame designed with high-grade aluminum ensures strength, quality, and longevity of the bike. In addition to this, the aluminum frame is stylish enough to give this bike an appealing look.
Things that make it unique includes Suntour fork and 75 mm suspensions that allow you to travel smoothly at any place even on roads with bumps, pebbles, like obstacles.
9. Mongoose Detour Full Suspension Bicycle (26-Inch)
If you are looking for some Mountain Bike that can be true friends while riding outdoors then buy Mongoose Detour Full Suspension Bicycle today to explore new locations without any hassle.
A regular Mountain bike may not meet the basic requirements of a rider but high-quality bikes just like Mongoose Bicycle have come through all the obstacles to making it a perfect fit to your choice of bikes. The look and the feel of this model are expensive but the price is affordable.
The bike comes with features like full suspension aluminum-frame just like other models we discussed above and so the bike has the strength and durable nature.
The main advantage of this model is that it comes with high-grade alloy wheels (26-Inch) to offer stability while riding.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Mountain Bike
Regardless of your love for mountain bikes, it can be extremely confusing and overwhelming to choose one that is best suited to your needs. The latest upgrades and new shiny parts of the mountain bikes can blind your decisions.
When it is about finding the perfect mountain bike you will need to have a thorough understanding about it and do the necessary research. It’s no surprise that there are a few things you must consider and luckily, we have all of that covered for you.
Mountain Bike Suspension Types
When you are trying to understand the geeky details of a mountain bike, suspension is that mystifying and deep vocabulary that you need to pay complete attention to. Earlier choosing a race bike was way easier – it was all about rim brakes, flat tires, and of course holding on to dear life. The hardtail at the front and full suspension on the rear end makes mountain biking way more fun and easy, however, the entire process of choosing a dream bike becomes quite tough.
Both hardtail and full suspension have their unique importance in mountain biking.
The simplicity that hardtail add to a mountain bike is something that suspension bikes can’t compete with. When bike manufacturers add only front suspension, it makes the hardtail frames very light. Hardtail are easier to maintain for they lack every moving part like pivots, bushings, and bearings.
Does mother nature give you a hard time riding through the rain and mud, salt and sand? In order to work your way through all of this you need moving parts that are highly functional and extremely easy to replace.
Manufacturers have started showing their magic and working their charm on the carbon frames. With added flex and some compliance, it will offer you super smooth rides.
Of course, this doesn’t compete with rear suspension. But, the hardtail can takes out the sting from the trail. There are companies that add both compliance and comfort. Hardtail regardless of being old school come with proven technology and are highly reliable.
Full suspension offers you the confidence that is hard to find when you are handing a hardtail. Full suspension mountain bikers don’t suffer from any poor pedaling performance.
Today, manufacturers offer both rear and front lockout with an easy flick. This means you can turn your full suspension into a pedaling machine. But, if you choose to avoid the lockout, then you can make the most of the efficient pivots and linkages. The rider will hardly lose any energy when the full suspensions are open.
The full suspension bikes do have their own issues. These mountain bikes are way more expensive than the other one. It is costlier to maintain the extra parts of this bike. And, you have to consider maintenance cost after buying a full suspension bike – which is costly in the first place.
Full suspension bikes are versatile and exciting machines where the maintenance and cost might be a bit hard to handle.
Mountain Bike Frame Material
You need to consider several factors before choosing the right kind of mountain bike frame material. From your body weight to how long will you be owning the bike along with your budget. All of these things are important for you to consider.
Try to choose a frame material that is of higher strength. This might add a little extra weight to the frame, but you will be happier to own a bike that has the potential to flex without breaking.
If you’re riding through mist then you need aluminum frame that won’t rust quite easily. Steel frames are the least expensive metals that you can opt for. Titanium on the other hand will be extremely expensive. Carbon frame and Aluminum are starting to become very affordable.
Mountain Bike Gears
When you’re looking to upgrade your mountain bike then you have to pay attention to gearing and what suits your riding style the most.
The two most common choices that you have are – 2*10 and the 1*11. The number 1 and 2 indicates the total number of chain rings present at the front of your bike’s drivetrain. The numbers 10/11 indicated how many cogs are present on the cassette that lies at the drivetrain’s rear. Strong riders can go for a combination of gears lying at the rear and front, which will offer an amazing cadence when you ride through steep, long hills.
However, if you want more choices along with a wider range in gears, then you can stay put with the 2*10 gearing. It will help you optimize cadence and you will have more power during the longer races.
Mountain Bike Brakes
Rim brakes have been replaced by the disc brakes on every mountain bike (especially the entry level ones).
The disc brakes in comparison to the rim brakes offer more consistency in every condition. It is also very cheap to replace the worn-out rotor in place of the whole wheel. You get superior levels of performance in wet and steep terrains. Not to mention the strain on your fingers will be way less.
Rim brakes on the other hand are very economical. It is extremely easy to observe the wear and tear of brake pads. You can easily replace worn pads too. These brakes have pads that offer superior grip onto the wheel rims.
Wheels: Difference between 29er vs 26er Mountain Bikes
If you love to ride bikes then a discussion of cycles could happen without mentioning two of the best bikes around-the 26 and the 29er. Both of these two models of bikes are among the favorites of riders and racers everywhere. One thing you need to decide if you are a serious mountain bike rider is: Are you a 26er or a 29er?
The 26er has a tunable suspension that a lot of cyclists prefer over the 29er. Also the 26er simply fits a lot of riders better. If you desire a bike with a nimble feel and handling then the 26er is the bike you need to ride.
The 26er has a better acceleration than the powerful 29er. On the other hand if your riding is less technical and demanding then you might want to consider a 29er.
- Better handling
- Typically stronger
- Can be paired with longer travel
The big wheels on the 29er mountain bike can be run on lower pressure than the 26er. It also allows a bigger contact area to the ground. The extra weight and momentum they carry also give you much more speed. This in turn allows you to cover a lot more ground. If it comes to speed, the 29er out does the 26er. This is the opinion of many bike enthusiasts.
However, the 29er is an amazingly large bike and too big for some riders. If you are a smaller rider the 26er may be the choice for you. The 29er also has a better rollover than the 26er and is a champ in rough and craggy terrain.
If you combine this with the bigger contact patch, the 29er bike just seems to be a better mountain climber. Also many short travel bikes have 29er options and a lot of hard tails as well.
- Better traction
- Better rollover ability
- Smoother ride
For a given gear set the 29er is geared higher versus the 26er. This means if you struggle in the bottom gear on a 26er you’ll struggle even more on a 29er. If you decide to swap from a 26er to a 29er you need to keep in mind what gear set suits you.
Also for entry level riders who aren’t quite as aggressive with their racing style the 29er is a bit more forgiving over bumps and loose terrain.
It’s All about Personal Preference
The verdict is still out on which bike is best. When it comes to the 29er vs 26er you will hear varying opinions. It seems to all come down to your personal riding style and what you like in a good bike.
If you like nimble quick moves with easier handling the 26er is definitely the bike for you, but if racing up mountains and maneuvering through rougher and less forgiving landscapes is your choice, then you might want to consider the amazing 29er.
It truly is all about the person riding the bike and what they like when it comes to the “feel” of the ride. Either way you go both of these bikes are awesome performers.
The Bottom Line
Practically nothing is worse than spending your hard earned money on a mountain bike, and then a month later wishing you had spent $50 more, and got the next model up or even a different brand or being sold by a bike shop and realizing the cheaper model would have done you perfectly.
Hope our list of best mountain bike under $600 will give you an easy way to do your research. You can select any of the Mountain bikes to start your adventurous journey on hills.
These Mountain bikes are power-packed with unique features and have been Adventure Tested by several riders who love riding. These bikes are a perfect selection even from safety and reputation point of view.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and check out the above mentioned bikes, start your exciting journey in no time.