Discovering How You Can Get the Best Budget Mountain Bike – 2017
When you are first starting to mountain bike, you don’t want to make a significant investment right away. You should take your time to see if you enjoy mountain biking enough to invest in a more expensive bike.
You will need to understand how to choose a mountain bike size that compliments your body height and weight and will benefit you as a rider.
Best Budget Mountain Bike
**You'll find detailed comparison below, but you can also check the prices or read Amazon Customer Reviews by click the links above.
The Overview of Budget Mountain Bikes
There are good mountain bike brands when you are looking for budget bikes with decent quality. As we consider the best mountain bikes under 200, we’ll be able to see who they’re for, what uses they give the rider, and what to look for. Let’s get started so we can find you the best budget bike!
Who These Bikes are For
These bikes are for three ranges of people. First, these are considered the best mountain bikes for beginners, so if you have just entered mountain biking, these are the best budget mountain bikes you should start with.
Secondly, these are perfect for those who have a limited income, want to buy their kids a cheaper bike, and want to save cash with a small investment in their bike.
Lastly, they are not designed for pro riding or rough trail riding. These are basic bikes made to hand dirt paths, some curb jumping, and minimal rugged terrains.
What to Look for in the Price Range
The price range of these mountain bikes are in the budget of $200 and under, so there are some factors when considering the parts and materials that your bike will come with.
Frame Material and Suspension
In this price category, you can find all-steel and aluminum bikes. Carbon bikes will be out of this price range, so steel and aluminum are your best bet.
Aluminum is lighter than steel frames but is not a primary concern if you are just starting. You’ll need to get the feel out for your bike and what you like as you ride.
Steel bikes are more durable and can take more damage than aluminum frames. However, steel bikes are cheaper but heavier, but you’ll want to aim for aluminum frames.
The wheels can come in many assorted sizes, but the most common sizes are 24”, 26” 27.5”, and 29”. The wheel size you will need will be dependent upon your height. Some bikes only have one option of wheel size, so that is a factor to consider.
Tires are for different heights and sometimes geared towards ages. 24-inch tires are mainly for children bikes, 26-inch tires are for riders under five feet, 27.5-inch tires are for those shorter than 5’3”, and 29-inch tires are best for taller riders.
Wheels can also come tubeless tires or with alloy rims. It’s rare for budget bikes to come with tubeless tires; you will most likely have alloy rims.
Gears and Shifting System
In a budget mountain bike, you’ll likely get between 18-speeds to 21-speeds, which usually consists of three gears to switch between and 6 to 7 shift styles. Due to the budgeting on these bikes, the gears and shifting equipment take a decline in updated parts to save on costs.
If you were to invest more money, you could easy find yourself with new Shimano equipment and up to a 27-speed bike.
The budget bikes are where you’ll find some of the best hardtail mountain bikes that are made. The reason for this is that most budget bikes don’t include full suspension, so their money goes into developing better front suspension forks for these bikes. You can get a full suspension bike, though it will be tough.
It’s hard to say if hardtail or full suspension is better than the other. They both have their benefits and their disadvantages. Unfortunately, hardtail bikes tend to do just what they say; they take a hard impact on the back of the bike. The front will absorb most of the impact, but that back wheel doesn’t have any impact protection.
Hardtail is a better suspension system for beginners to get used to. You don’t want to wreck your full suspension bike you spent a fortune on because you were unsure of your skills and confidence as a rider.
Full suspension bikes are made for the more dedicated mountain biker. The one who wants to test their skills and gauge their abilities by jumping small cliffs, riding downhill through rugged terrain, and biking up twisted mountain paths.
Choosing a Cheaper Model
With choosing a cheaper model, you’re going to find yourself having a challenging time finding a full suspension, lightweight bike. The parts you get on your bike may be outdated to save on costs, but you’ll also find that your bike might need to have pieces upgraded sooner, rather than later such as pedals and the seat.
There are benefits to choosing the cheaper bikes within your budget, and that is that these are designed for beginners. These bikes are made to help you figure out what you do like and don’t like about a bike, what you desire, and what you might want to think about upgrading.
Budget mountain bikes are made to save you money by making your initial costs low and providing you with a bike you can learn with and grow with until you’re ready for the next level.
The Best Mountain Bikes Under 200
There are six of these budget bikes I’m going to breakdown for you so that you can choose the best fit for you.
The Roadmaster Granite Peak Women's Bike features a steel frame with front suspension, making this a hardtail bike.
This bike has linear pull brakes, a 3-piece crankset with a Shimano rear derailleur and SRAM twist shifters offer up to 18-speeds that provide you with a smooth shifting during rides.
The 26” wheels are alloy rimmed wheels with terrain control. These tires give your bike added stability and control as you ride.
The saddle is hard and would benefit from an upgrade or a padded seat cover, and the pedals are cheap plastic that will need to be replaced quickly.
- This bike has an affordable price tag for the number of upgrades it could benefit from. This is a bike you can customize to your standards and grow with through the years.
- This bike might state that it is a women’s bike, but men can also ride this bike. Bikes are unisex for riders, and the only difference is where the top bar rests.
- With its all-steel frame, this bike is durable and can handle impacts, bumps, and obstacles. This bikes’ frame will last you a good while.
- This bike is ideal for heights above 5-feet and can be adjusted to fit up to 6-feet for a comfortable ride. The bike manual shows how to get your proper fit on this bike.
- This is a great beginner bike for daily riding, commutes to work, easy bike trails, and light mountain biking. This bike is not for downhill riding or extreme terrain.
- This bike features a full steel frame that weighs about 40 pounds. This bike is hefty for riding.
- The bike does not come with the tools you need to assemble the bike correctly. The toolkit needs to be purchased separately.
This Schwinn Men's High Timber Bicycle comes in matte black with 29-inch wheels on a steel frame with front suspension.
This bike features a Shimano rear derailleur with SRAM twist shifters for a 21-speed shifting system.
This bike does weigh in at 44 pounds and is very heavy to ride, making your biking experience slow.
The 29-inch wheels offer for a wider tire that give better control, support, and durability to your ride. These wheels can handle multiple terrains and help keep your balance.
- The 29-inch wheels are perfect for the taller riders, giving added height to fit those between 5’4” and 6’0” comfortably. For heights over 6-feet, you should purchase a longer seat post for added height.
- The Schwinn front fork suspension gives significant impact and bump resistance to allow you to have a smooth and comfortable ride.
- This bike is easy to assemble and requires no extra tools. The manual is very helpful with putting your bike together and adjusting for your height.
- This bike is affordable enough also to start upgrading without breaking the bank, making this bike a cheap, upgradeable bike.
- The shifting system offers a smooth shift while you continue on your ride at high speeds and in rough terrain.
- This bike has a steel frame that weighs about 44 pounds. This bike is heavy for riding and makes for a slow riding experience.
- The crankset makes a clicking sound while you’re pedaling and doesn’t go away. The crankset is cheap and will sometimes move from its location.
The Stowabike 26" MTB V2 Folding is a unique folding bike with a steel frame. This bike features linear pull breaks, a 3-piece crankset with 18-speeds, and a front suspension fork designed to keep your ride smooth and comfortable.
The 26” wheels feature a single walled alloy rim set. This steel frame folding bike weighs in at 38 pounds and has a foldable dimension of 38.2-inch x 12.6-inch x 29.5-inches, saving space when traveling with your bike.
- This bike is a folding bike which will save space while traveling, doesn’t require a bike race, and is easy to unfold and lock into riding position.
- The bike offers a smooth shifting system with a 3-gear shifter on the left and a six gear shifter on the right. This provides you with the perfect gear for any terrain you choose.
- The packaging this bike comes in is very secure and keeps the bike in perfect condition. It’s like unwrapping a gift!
- This bike comes with the tools needed to assemble the bike, so you don’t need to buy any extra pieces.
- This bike is ideal for commuting to work, riding on bike trails and for cycling through natural terrain. This bike is not made for rough terrain or extreme biking.
- The parts on this bike are medium-quality parts and will need to be upgraded over a shorter period.
- The pedals do not fold on this bike, so when you are storing it or traveling with it, the pedals may stick out and get in the way.
The Merax 26" Dual Disc Brakes 21 Speed Hardtail Mountain Bike is a hardtail bike that features a hardtail suspension system and dual disc brakes that give a reliable stopping power.
There are double aluminum rims that provide a durable and a reliable ride that gives maximum performance.
This bike can handle up to 330 pounds of weight and is ideal for riders between 5-feet and 6-feet in height. This bike also comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and frame support.
- This bike comes with an easy to read manual and support for assembling your bike to the right standards.
- This bike has dual disc brakes which offer a controlled stop with high precision. These brakes are high-end and made from high-quality materials.
- This is a 21-speed bike that has a 3/7 gear shift. Three gears on the back and seven on the front with dual shifting hand shifters.
- This bike has a high weight limit of 330 pounds.
- The front suspension provides a smooth and comfortable ride.
- This bike is a folding steel framed bike which features more parts and makes this bike heavier than others. This bike is 46 pounds and is heavy for mountain biking.
- The brakes are very noisy and squeak as you ride and brake.
The Mongoose Ledge 2.1 Boys' Mountain Bike is at the higher end of our budget pricing but offers an aluminum frame with full suspension.
Shimano rear derailleurs and twist shifters give a smooth shifting up to 21-speeds.
This bike has linear pull brakes, and alloy rims give this bike a lightweight design and sturdy design. This bike has dependable parts and offers high performance.
- While this is a boys bike, girls can ride this bike just as easily.
- This bike offers full suspension to give a very smooth and comfortable ride capable of handling rough terrain.
- Shimano parts create a high-quality shifting system at an affordable price.
- This bike is lightweight and is easy to ride.
- Assembling this bike is very easy and can be assembled in under an hour.
- This bike is designed for children, but with the linear pull brakes, they could find themselves over the handlebars without knowing the proper use.
- If you don’t know how to shift correctly, you can drop the chain off the gears of the bike.
The Roadmaster Granite Peak Boys Mountain Bike is a steel framed bike with a front suspension fork.
With Shimano parts and SRAM twist shifters offer 18-speeds with a smooth shifting. There are linear pull brakes for a controlled stop at your command.
The tires are 24-inches of knobby tires to provide traction and support for a reliable ride on various terrains.
The alloy rims provide a reliable support system that is durable.
- With the rugged tires, this bike is ideal for rugged terrain and rough biking areas.
- The front suspension fork is an excellent system for beginner bikers to experiment with terrain types.
- This bike weighs just 31 pounds and is ideal for cycling to work and to improve your speed.
- While this bike states it’s for boys, girls and even adults can ride this bike if they fit comfortably.
- The seat is padded for added comfort on top of the suspension system and tires.
- After using the bike a few times, you will see scratches on the tires and may have to replace them.
- The rear derailleur and back gear crankset come apart quickly and will need to be replaced soon after your purchase.
Image Credits: Amazon.com
The Winner of the Best Budget Mountain Bike
The best bike in the budget class under 200 is the Mongoose Ledge 2.1 Boys' Mountain Bike. This bike features a full suspension, lightweight aluminum frame with linear pull brakes and 21-speeds.
While this bike states it is a boys’ bike, this bike is suitable for girls and adults as well. You can even adjust the wheel size if needed.
With this bike coming into the higher part of the price range in our budget, this bike features high-quality parts, hard-to-find features in a budget bike, and high performance.
Featured image source: wallpapercave.com