The Top 6 Cheap Mountain Bikes For Sale Online
SRAM 1x8 w/ chain keep
Shock Trave :
Sun tour XCM 120mm
160mm Mechanical Disc
SE Big Bikes
Shock Trave :
SR Suntour 75mm
160mm Mechanical Disc
Shock Trave :
SR Suntour XCT 80mm
180mm Front/160mm Rear Disc
Shock Trave :
SR Suntour M3030 XC 75mm
The Best Mountain Bike For The Money: The Diamondback Hook Hard Tail.
This isn’t your “cheap” mountain bike. So if that’s what you are here for, you might want to run down to the next one on our list.
However, if VALUE if something that catches your eye, you might want to pull out that credit card and get a closer look at this guy.
Bike companies — like most other companies — exist to make money. So when they design a bike they barter with all of the parts manufacturers to see who will give them a good deal. And, every year, there is at least one model that seems to be a much better deal for the money than all the other bikes.
For 2017, that bike is the Hook Hard Tail
What I love most is the frame. The lines are very sleek and rugged — this machine looks like it’s just raring to go off-road. The extra-large downtube allows them to use a more light-weight metal configurations without sacrificing any frame strength. And the end result is a bike that is perfectly balanced, ascends like an angel and shreds corners like a demon.
The single front sprocket is something we are seeing a lot more of on high-end bikes. It prevents a lot of chain slap, mis-shifts and provides one less opportunity for failure. Plus, it is so much easier to clean after a sticky day of riding. You get 8 gears in the rear and the Sram x3 is one of the fastest-shifting systems I’ve ever ridden in this price range.
No modern mountain bike would be complete without front shocks. The name-brand SunTour shocks with 120 mm ( approx 4.7″) of travel. It’s a brutal setup that you could take anywhere.
Finally, you know what a manic I am about wheelsets. This one is s 27.5″, so that means plenty of speed without sacrificing roll-over ability. But they are also durable for your off-road craziness.
The only thing I wish is that it had hydraulic brakes. The mechanical brakes are good, but there’s something about the stopping power of Hydraulics that are really attractive. However, hydraulics are a lot harder for the average rider to maintain at home. So mechanicals will probably save you money in the long run.
Pros: Built for hardcore, off-road riding. Single chainring allows faster shifting with significantly less maintenance.
Cons: Mechanical instead of hydraulic brakes. Single chainring is limiting for heavy or out-of-shape riders.
The Best Cheap Mountain Bike: Diamondback Overdrive 29’er
If you’ve made it this far, I am certain that you are anxious to hear which mountain bikes I would recommend. I’ve spent hours online, reviewing the bikes that are most readily available, and comparing specs and charts to choose my favorite.
Diamondback bikes are consistently some of the top performers out there. They provide value where it is most needed, and upgrade the components that are most likely to have problems, thus creating a complete package that has it where it counts.
This 29″ bike is one of my favorites. For the price , you are going to have a hard time finding a better spec. If you like the looks of the Hook Hard tail, but you’d rather have 29″ wheels and don’t want to spend as much, this is going to be your best bet.
The frame on a mountain bike is critical. I’ve seen cheap frames shear in half due to poor construction. With the Overdrive frame you are getting top-notch 6061-T6 aluminum which is the best when it comes to lightness, durability, and price. Diamondback knows bike frames, and I like this one.
Double Walled Rims: A lot of the competition tries to get away with the cheapest wheels that they can. This bike uses a double-walled rim. Basically, this is a wheel that has two layers of metal for greater strength. That way you bend your rim on the first curb that you hop. This also helps make the bike more suitable for heavier persons who need reinforced components.
Top-notch gears: This bike setup uses the Shimano Altus. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to go any cheaper, and as soon as you get $40 saved up, run down to your local bike shop and by the next level up. But for the price, I’m not going to gripe. The component setup on this bike is going to last you until you decide to wrap yourself around a tree. (Even then, they should take minimal damage). The disc brakes are especially nice to have at this price-point and these are a high enough quality that they won’t be getting bent or causing all those other problems folks hate about discs.
Best Setup For The Heavy Rider
It’s a shame, but those of us trying to get in shape on a budget keep running into weight limit on these bikes. If you are over 300 pounds, you should go for the Overdrive. It has enough robust features built into it’s design that you won’t have to constantly deal with it breaking as you workout.
This bike is designed to go off road. It’s going to be excellent for single track riding and should even handle some pretty rough riding.
Oh, and the free shipping that Amazon offers is cool, too. Just act fast, these are going to move quickly as the days get warmer. Diamondback is now shipping all of these bikes as “ReadyRide” which just means that you pretty much slap on the wheels and handlebars, air up the tires, and you are ready to go.
Pros: Affordable 29″ Wheel Bike
Cons: Less travel on the shock than some of the similarly priced models.
For The Recreational Rider: The Diamondback Sorrento
All right, so we all are in love with the Overdrive. But it might not match your definition of “cheap”.
For 2016, they’ve rolled out the Sorrento, just for you. ‘
The Sorrento is surprisingly robust for the price. Now, I understand that it doesn’t look that flashy.
But it is so much improved over “Walmart Specials”. The frame is lighter, the parts are better. The frame is still that top-notch 6061-T6 aluminum construction, and the Shimano gears with the easy fire shifters makes it really easy to get the right shift every time.
The Sorrento is that mountain bike that you are always going to love. The smaller 27.5″ tire size also makes it easy to fit in the back of your car, and is a total hoot whether you are riding through a dry river bed or competing in your first Xterra competition.
The front shock is 75-mm long, offering nearly 3″ of travel, and the SunTour shock brand is considered quite reputable inside the industry.
The double-wall wheel rims are also re-assuring, especially if you plan on putting a crazy teenager on this bike (or if you personally happen to be on the insane side of normal)
It you are looking for a mountain bike that is ready for adventure and wont’ break the bank, this is a great one to go with. This would also be an ideal bike for a 10 to 13 year old who is getting serious about starting to do some dirt riding (see the sizing table above to get the right size)
The Cheapest, Good Quality Mountain Bike: The Nashbar AT1
Nashbar has recognized that there are a lot of people who really need a mountain bike that is rock-bottom affordable. So they got creative and did just that.
The frame is durable, if a little heavier than the Diamondback. (However, it will still be significantly lighter than a department store bike). It uses a very similar 6061 aluminum to that of the Diamondback, so you can see that they aren’t cutting corners on the frame durability.
The components are an excellent blend designed for the value shopper who actually does plan on riding their bike off road. You get 24 speeds to give you enough low gears for that hill climbing you plan to do, and enough high speed gears to keep you clipping along at a good speed. The entire setup uses Shimano and Sram gears, which are two of the industry leaders.
I just wish the wheels were stronger. The AT1 uses a single-walled alloy wheel, so if you do hit something wrong, you can knock it out of true — or bend it — relatively easily. Its just something to be aware of. Replacement wheels that are reinforced (double-walled) like the Diamondback bikes use, run about $70-$90 apiece should you ever need to replace one.
Cheap Mountain Bikes With Full Suspension
Full or dual suspension isn’t cheap. Sure, you can drop $300 for a Mongoose that offers “full suspension” (notice the quotes), but it is much heavier, and more poorly built than the the cheapest hard tail that I’ve reviewed above. (that spring on the back of a Mongoose-branded bike is just there for decoration — and to make pedaling more difficult. Sorry to burst that bubble).
Bottom line, if you want a cheap mountain bike with full suspension, you are going to need to outlay some cash. If you buy some piece of Chinese-made crap that you find at the big department stores, it will not only be heavy and hard to ride, it won’t fit you well, and it will break after 12 months (if you are lucky).
If I were you, I would keep an eye out for mountain bikes that might be on sale. If you are lucky, you can pick up year-end closeout that are worth $2,000 – $3,000 but that only cost $1,000 or less. I consistently see great deals out there — you just have to know where to look.
Full Suspension vs Hardtail bikes
More Springs = Better Bike, right?
I remember the first time we got a full-suspension bike. It was a WalMart special, so we got a great deal on it, and road the snot out of it (took about 3 months to wear it out riding it around the city.. the crank was hanging out of it)
The advantage with full suspension is that it provides incredible cushioning on extremely violent terrain. So for those crazy times that you decide to throw yourself face first off of a cliff, the bike can help absorb the impact.
There are two huge downsides. First off, it takes a really well designed bike frame, and a high quality rear shock to withstand the impact of the frame. There is a lot of stress, and most of the cheap springs you see out there don’t last very long. All of the cheap bikes that offer full suspension are just introducing more cheap parts that will break on you. (Does it look cool? Yeah. But it rides like poop.)
Secondly, these full suspension frames bend and flex with every pedal stroke, costing you a significant amount of power when you are just riding on the road, or trying to climb a mountain. Unless you buy a bike that has a mid shock that lets you lock it out, you are likely going to consistently find yourself at a tiring disadvantage.
On the other hand, Hardtail bikes tend to be stronger, stiffer and lighter. You can power up hills and down the paved road just fine — but you still have the front shock to help absorb those bumps and rocks and let you carve out some pretty gnarly trails.
Good quality full suspension bikes that I really recommend are going to start off at about $1,000. And, unless you are going to be riding 99% off road on some serious terrain, they may not be the best choice. If you do decide that you need to go full suspension, spend the extra money and do it right.
26″ Wheel Vs 29-ers Vs 27.5
One of the neatest advancements in the sport of mountain biking are all of the new 29″ wheels to hit the market.
The 29-er was first invented nearly 15 years ago, by an enterprising adventurer who noticed that road bikes went faster, thanks, in part, to the taller wheel that road bikes use. So, he built a mountain bike with special tires that let the mountain biker get the speed advantage of taller wheels, with the width of mountain bike tires.
What is neat about a 29-inch tire is that for each pedal stroke, you are going to travel further, faster and with less fatigue. In addition, the bigger wheel rolls over rocks and logs more easily.
Bottom line, 29 inch mountain bikes are where the fun happens. You’ll pay more, but you will get a much better bike.
HOWEVER, the 29″ can be a little harder to handle if you are under 5′ 11″. I’m right on that cusp, and while I can ride a two-niner, I just don’t enjoy it as much on technical trails.
Thankfully, someone got the cool idea to make a “medium” tire… the 27.5.
Oh yeah, this dog can bark. It’s small enough that you get the faster “roll up” (acceleration) that we love with the 26″ tire, alongside the better handling in corners. But it is that “little bit extra” we always felt like a 26″ needed when rolling over obstacles.
The 27.5 is truly the best of both worlds.
What Size Mountain Bike Should I Get?
Cheap mountain bikes are often sold by their tire size. So you see bikes sold that are 24″ or 26″. This is incorrect. You need to instead look at the frame height.
The frame is measured from where the crank enters the bike to where the seatpost begins. (See The Red Line On The Image On The Right)
Here is your mountain bike sizing chart:
- 4’11″ – 5’3″ = 13 to 15 inches
- 5’3″ – 5’7″ = 15 to 17 inches
- 5’7″ – 5’11″ = 17 to 19 inches
- 6’0″ – 6’2″ = 19 to 21 inches
- 6’2″ – 6’4″ = 21 to 23 inches
- 6’4″ and taller = 23 inches