An investment in a mountain bike certainly demands quality at a price that is reasonable enough to afford a mountain bike. The most challenging task is the hunt for a good and powerful mountain bike in the range of under $500, which is a time-consuming task. These days, there are many manufacturers coming up with a variety of new models of mountain bikes which possess the features of an expensive one.
Please remember, a low priced mountain bike doesn’t necessarily mean it is of low quality. The use of technology has led to the addition of an aluminum frame which adds to the strength as well as durability of the mountain bikes falling in the low price bracket. These bikes are good enough for beginners. Selection of a mountain bike as per your budget is quite challenging though.
Also, then you can have a look at some of the Best Mountain Bikes for Women and Best Mountain Bikes for Kids as well. In case you are on the hunt for a mountain bike model which is durable, safe, appealing, comfortable as well as light-weight, you can check out our reviews on the best mountain bikes under $500 in 2021 which gives you information on the pros and cons of each model and helps in your decision-making process.
Factors to consider while Purchasing the Best Mountain Bike Under $500
In general, mountain bikes are meant to be sturdy and durable. This doesn’t mean that you can trust all the products that the market has to offer. The variety of options available makes selection a tough process. The ways to identify that perfect mountain bike under 500 dollars are mentioned below.
Some other aspects need to be considered while you shop for the best mountain bike within a budget. With about 500 dollars, the choice of mountain bikes is quite limited but wider than the bikes that come under a budget which is smaller. There is a lot of difference between mountain bikes that fall under $500 than those that fall under $300.
1. Identifying your purpose and preference: If you prefer adventure and prefer rough and tricky roads in comparison to the smooth roads, mountain bikes are the best choice for you. Mountain bikes are quite sturdy and are designed for off-road cycling and offer the best performance on any terrain you wish to ride your bike on.
You can read on about some on the Best Trek Mountain Bikes and Best Rocky Mountain Bikes which will give you an idea about what you are looking for. Mountain bikes also help in achieving the fitness and healthy life you wish for. One needs to be clear about his or her purpose of going in for a mountain bike. This helps in selecting the perfect model for you, and it is helpful in the long run to achieve your goals and making them a success.
2. Budget to be considered: This buying guide caters to those who wish to purchase a mountain bike for 500 dollars. Budget is one of the main factors to be considered. Always ensure to match your expectations to your budget. You might like a mountain bike with amazing shifters, derailleurs, etc., but you might have to compromise on other aspects of the bike.
Components of mountain bikes vary as per the cost, and some mountain bikes might cost you more than a thousand dollar. Nobody would spend more money on mountain bikes if all the best parts were available on a mountain bike for a price under $500. There are mountain bikes that fall into the category of Best Mountain Bikes under $300, in case you aren’t able to stretch your budget.
3. Styles: Approximately, mountain bikes come in five distinct styles, which vary as per the purpose.
- Trail Bikes: The most common bikes are known as Trail Bikes, which are best-suited for commonly visited trails which have many climbs as well as descents. These bikes are the best all-around models of mountain bikes which are great for people interested in riding than racing. These bikes generally provide suspension travel of around 120-140 millimeters (suspension travel refers to the extent of movement that is offered by the front as well as rear suspension of a bike).
- Cross-Country Bikes: These bikes are best-suited for beginners. They are designed for speed and offer a better and improved climbing power, which helps you to move around turns at a pace that is quite faster than the basic bikes. Cross-country bikes are designed in such a way which makes them quite light-weight and they offer suspension travel of around 80-100 millimeters, and a head tube angle that is greater than the basic trail bikes. Fat mountain bikes indicate tires that are oversized, which are quite good for any beginner, as the shock is absorbed by these tires and additional traction is provided especially while traveling through snow or even sand. On average, the measurement of tires ranges between 3.7 inches to more than 5 inches
- All-Mountain Bikes: These are perfect for the mountain biker who is aggressive and who is interested in racing. Its features are best suited for steeper climbs and faster descents. The design of these bikes makes it a lightweight bike and efficient enough to pedal uphill. The suspension travel offered by this bike is in the range of 140-170 millimeters.
- Downhill Mountain Bikes: This is an extra style in the mountain bike range which is reserved specifically for the experienced riders who ride on the most deadly terrains, competitions and the like. You can check out some of the Best Downhill Mountain Bikes which will help you understand the difference.
- The Diverge Bike from Specialized: This bike is designed to suit any kind of trail and is best suited for the adventurous. It offers the best performance on various kinds of surfaces. The design gives the bike better clearance, speed, and a lightweight structure. The impressive new feature in this bike is the Future Shocks, which makes this bike one of the best options to ride on an off-road track and saves on wear and tear on the rider.
4. Bike Suspension Types: There are three types covered:
- Full Suspension: The bikes have the front as well as a rear suspension which provides additional comfort during a risky ride. Some of the Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes are listed here for your reference.
- Hardtail Suspension: These bikes have just the front suspension which leads to lightweight riders and enables a rider to pedal uphill quite easily than on a bike with full suspension. However, such bikes reduce the comfort for a rider, that is offered by a full suspension bike. Have a look at some of the Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes.
- Rigid Suspension: Such bikes have no suspension be it on the front or back. These bikes are designed for a specific purpose and are quite rare.
5. Geometry: The use of geometric figures such as physical factors, weight, and height are quite important than you can imagine. It determines and enhances the odds of selecting the correct bike for yourself. The ride is enjoyable when the rider is in sync with his or her bike.
6. Brakes: The plus point of any bike is the ability of the bike to stop when required. Mountain bike brakes can be classified as under:
- Disc Brakes: Except for the entry-level mountain bikes, the rim brakes of all bikes have been replaced by the disc brakes. Disc brakes can be hydraulic ones or cable-activated brakes. The hydraulic brakes are able to stop the bike better with a little effort and are self-adjusting brakes.
- Rim Brakes: These brakes have padding that presses on either the external or internal rim of the wheels of the bike. Many of the entry-level mountain bikes come with rim brakes. These brakes are quite economical when it comes to replacement when they get worn out.
- Cable-Actuated Brakes: The other name for these brakes is mechanical brakes. They are hand-controlled levers that are mounted onto the handlebars of the bike. Applying pressure on the lever helps in applying the brakes which can be either hydraulic or rim.
7. The Weight of the Bike: Weight is the crucial factor that determines the control factor, mobility, flexibility, and ability to carry when required. The frames of the bike can vary from aluminum to steel. It helps in easy loading of the bike on the bike rack at the end of a tiring ride.
8. Wheel Size: Mountain Bikes have three main wheel sizes- 26 inches, 27.5 inches, 29 inches.
- 26 inches: These are the standard size for a mountain bike and a good option for an entry-level rider or a casual rider, as they offer good control.
- 27.5 inches: They are a size that is in between the 26 and 29-inch wheels. They offer better mobility and flexibility along with a good amount of control over a mountainous trail.
- 29 inches: These are best suited for an aggressive rider who aims at maintaining momentum as well as being able to tackle obstacles easily on the trail.
9. Frame Materials: Majority of the mountain bikes are designed using an aluminum alloy which gives them the durability and makes them lightweight. The high-end mountain bikes make use of lighter aluminum which is manufactured specifically to reduce the weight for the frame. Steel may be tough and cheaper in comparison, but it makes the mountain bike too heavy.
However, you can have a read at some of the Best Cheap Mountain Bikes which will give you a proper understanding of these bikes and their components. Other materials as titanium, carbon fiber are components which make the bike strong as well as lightweight, but they are quite expensive. You can check out the Le Super Bike as an example. Hence, these materials are reserved for high-end mountain bike models. In addition, you could also get more information about the Best Mountain Bikes over $1500, if you can stretch your wallets.
This article aims at providing you with all the information you need on how to get the best mountain bike for under 500 dollars. A good variety of mountain bikes can be found in this range, but there can be many dead ducks as well. In this price range, it is quite easy to get your hands on items which ideally you should be staying away from.
It is recommended and advised to avoid cheap components made of plastic, a these are not as solid and sturdy as metal and are subject to wear and tear quickly. A lot of bikes are available that fall into the categories of Best Mountain Bikes under $200. Selecting the perfect mountain bike varies from one individual to another depending on various factors such as personal choice, ability to spend, and specific purposes.
One should keep in mind certain factors like wheel size, brakes, component material used, the weight of the bike, etc. while taking a decision on the bike to be purchased. Also, ensure to avoid the purchase of a bike with a heavy frame. Always get yourself a lightweight mountain bike. So, make your choice and get your hands on your dream mountain bike and set ablaze the trails!