to top 10 table

Our Favorite Mountain Bikes Tested and Reviewed

last updated Feb 20, 2019
Mountain biking is a super fun way to change up your training while getting outside and having a great time, either with friends or by yourself. If you've shopped for mountain bikes before you know they can easily run into the thousands of dollars, and if you're just looking for a way to do some cross-training and have fun that can be a little intimidating. So for this update, we focused on entry-level bikes that won't break the bank but still give you a high level of quality and performance. The bike’s components; the shifters, derailleurs, etc. all come from just one or two companies and are pretty much the same across bikes in the same price range even ones that come from different brands. So choose a bike with a good frame within your price range since the components are easily upgraded later.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research

icon
Mongoose Dolomite
95.2/100 our score
Style
94
Features
93
Ride
97
Value
98
Durability
94
Mongoose Dolomite
Why is it better?

Great frame

Good price for a fat tire bike

Comfortable, smooth ride

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Mongoose Dolomite
Test Winner: Mongoose Dolomite
Researched Sources
4
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1250
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
19
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By EJ Callanan:

We added two new products to this buying guide in today's update: the Schwinn Protocol and the Mongoose Dolomite. The latter is a fat tire bike, which has become an increasingly popular style because of its super stable ride and ability to roll over anything in its path.

Sorting Options
Style Features Ride Value Durability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Style
94%
Features
93%
Ride
97%
Value
98%
Durability
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$265.54
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Style
96%
Features
95%
Ride
93%
Value
96%
Durability
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$330.66
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Style
88%
Features
93%
Ride
95%
Value
95%
Durability
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$249.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Style
96%
Features
94%
Ride
92%
Value
80%
Durability
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$1,259.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Style
91%
Features
93%
Ride
90%
Value
80%
Durability
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$600.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Style
94%
Features
87%
Ride
87%
Value
93%
Durability
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$199.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Style
81%
Features
89%
Ride
87%
Value
94%
Durability
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$359.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Style
80%
Features
87%
Ride
85%
Value
89%
Durability
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$389.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
Style
81%
Features
80%
Ride
83%
Value
93%
Durability
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$249.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Style
75%
Features
90%
Ride
90%
Value
70%
Durability
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$1,499.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Mongoose Dolomite
  • Schwinn Protocol
  • Merax 26" Hardtail
  • BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B
  • Diamondback Overdrive 27.5
  • Merax Falcon Mountain
  • Gravity FSX
  • Raleigh Eva 2
  • Merax Finiss Aluminum Road
  • Diamondback El Oso De Acero
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorite Mountain Bikes

1. Mongoose Dolomite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Mongoose Dolomite
Style
94
Features
93
Ride
97
Value
98
Durability
94
best offer for today
$265.54
Pros:

Great frame

Good price for a fat tire bike

Comfortable, smooth ride

Cons:

Quality of components don't match that of the frame

This is a super fun option with big fat wheels that easily roll over anything and everything in your way. This style of bike has become increasingly popular lately because of the smooth and easy ride it gives the user and how much fun they are.

Read more

Style and Features

This one has big fat tires that give the user a stable ride. It is fairly unique on our list in that it doesn't have a front or rear suspension, which some users like and some don't. It has front and rear disk brakes, beach cruiser style pedals for comfort, and the 7-speed drive train has twist style shifter on the grips.

Ride and Value

The super fat tires give make it a nice and stable cruising option. The price is low and it can often be found online at a discount as well.

Durability

Some users felt like the quality of the frame far exceeded that of the components, making this an excellent candidate for rebuilding into the fat tire bike they really wanted at a less expensive price.

2. Schwinn Protocol

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Schwinn Protocol
Style
96
Features
95
Ride
93
Value
96
Durability
92
best offer for today
$330.66
Pros:

Great frame

Lifetime warranty

Good value

Cons:

Chinese made

Larger users may experience bounce pedaling uphill

This option comes from the oldest, most trusted name in the United States and every bike they make comes with a lifetime warranty. It has a 24-gear shifter and the Shimano rear derailer is of good quality.

Read more

Style

This is an entry level product from a reputable company that comes with a lifetime warranty.

Features

It has front and rear suspension, Shimano components, front disc brakes, and comes with nice grippy tires.

Ride

Users reported a smooth and comfortable experience with this product, easily going over obstacles without a lot of drama, although heavier riders may experience some bounce while climbing due to the dual suspension.

Value

This is one of the best products on the market in this price range.

Durability

We didn't find any major, consistent longevity issues with this product.

3. Merax 26" Hardtail

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Merax 26" Hardtail
Style
88
Features
93
Ride
95
Value
95
Durability
89
best offer for today
$249.99
Pros:

Affordable

Highly rated

Cons:

Must assemble and tune

Possible poor tire alignment

Less than comfortable seat

Not ideal for long bike rides

The Merax 26" 21 Speed Hardtail Mountain Bike with Dual Disc Brakes is among the best economy mountain bikes available online. In fact, it's one of the two most affordable bikes on this list. It has a moderate range of features that are a good match for most riders.

Read more

Style

This Merax 26" Mountain Bike is designed as a trail mountain bike with a hardtail. Bikes within this price range do not typically offer hardtails. It is available in three colors: red, lime green, and blue.

Features

Like many of the other mountain bikes on this list, this model's suspension fork design helps to smooth out your ride over rocky terrain. The dual disc braking system makes it easy to stop. It can accommodate riders up to 330 pounds.

Specs

This bike is constructed from a steel frame, so it's not as lightweight as many of the other mountain bikes on this list. In fact, it's 46 pounds. It comes with a kickstand and dual aluminum rimmed wheels.

Value

This is one of the most affordable mountain bikes on this list. With a full list of features that will enable new riders to have a safe and comfortable ride.

4. BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B
Style
96
Features
94
Ride
92
Value
80
Durability
92
best offer for today
$1,259.00
Pros:

Lightweight

30 Speed

Hardtail

Cons:

Expensive

10 day wait time for shipping

The BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B tops our list of the best mountain bikes. Despite being the most expensive mountain bike on this list, this model is one of the more popular options sold because of its large number of features and its lightweight design. Made from carbon fiber, the BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B weighs less than 11 kg and is very sturdy.

Read more

Style

This model is available in white, red, black or a combination of white and red. Its trail style with a hardtail and front-only suspension. Combined, the style and the specs create a secure ride for trails, uneven terrain, or urban rides.

Features

This bike's air fork suspension makes for a smoother ride, though it is a hardtail without rear suspension. Its hidden disc brake system and 30-speed functionality are in demand among enthusiasts.

Specs

This mountain bike is constructed from carbon fiber, which makes it sturdy and lightweight. Many competitive level bikes are made from carbon fiber, so it's the perfect choice for an entry-level professional. It is available with 27.5-inch or 29-inch wheels.

Value

The BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike is the most expensive option on this top 10 list, largely because of its carbon fiber design. This is not the model for a beginner. However, considering its construction and list of features, this is a great option for someone who wants an advanced mountain bike but doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars for a competition level bike.

5. Diamondback Overdrive 27.5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Diamondback Overdrive 27.5
Style
91
Features
93
Ride
90
Value
80
Durability
92
best offer for today
$600.00
Pros:

Great customer service

Hardtail

Easy to assemble

Cons:

Uncomfortable saddle

No kickstand

Not cheap

The Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike with 27.5" wheels is a hardtail mountain bike that provides riders with a lot of stability and traction while traveling on unstable terrain. It's a mid-range mountain bike that is popular with both beginning riders and seasoned enthusiasts.

Read more

Style

This model is a hardtail-style mountain bike created for the trails. The hardtail is made to offer precision handling and an efficient ride. It's available in a variety of bright colors, including red and lime green.

Features

This mountain bike was created to overcome rough terrain. Its coil spring fork suspension system means that you'll have a smooth ride and less fatigue. The Shimano 3/8 speed drivetrain enables you to have the tension you need to ride up steep hills and cruise down rocky paths.

Specs

The Diamondback Overdrive 27.5" uses mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm rotors that help improve stability and traction. It's available in four standard sizes, based on your height. It's an easy model to assemble, with only the wheels, seat, and pedals left to put together.

Value

In terms of value, this model stands somewhere in the middle. For the ease of assembly and access to a hardtail mountain bike with overdrive, it's an okay deal. Where Diamondback stands apart from the others is its dedicated customer service team known for trying to make any issue right.

6. Merax Falcon Mountain

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Merax Falcon Mountain
Style
94
Features
87
Ride
87
Value
93
Durability
82
best offer for today
$199.99
Pros:

Easy to assemble

Rides smooth, built with double suspension

Tires hold up well

Lightweight aluminum frame

Can be stored easily

21 speed with easy shifting

Cons:

Brakes should be adjusted

Bad stock seat

The Merax Falcon is an option on this list for cyclists looking for a low cost mountain bike that would be either good for an introduction to mountain biking or as a low price base to invest in for more costly customized modifications. The Falcon is an affordable option for riders looking for a reliable bicycle.

Read more

Style
The Falcon is a full suspension mountain bike, making it better for dealing with rougher terrain and leading to a smoother ride overall. This Merax bicycle is only available in 26in, which is best suited for people between 5 ½ and 6 feet. The bikes max weight capacity is 330lbs.

Features
The Merax Falcon assembles easily and its front wheel remains removable for so that it be loaded up into a trunk or back seat when you want to take your Falcon to more remote riding spots. The Falcon has 21 speeds with a derailleur and shifter to make your ride a little easier.

Specs
The frame of the Merax Falcon is designed with aluminum for a strong but lightweight build. The stock tires also reported as being of noteworthy durability, lasting through multiple long and challenging rides.

Value
The Falcon is a wholly good deal, solid features and a reliable build that make this Merax bike well worth its affordable price.

7. Gravity FSX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Gravity FSX
Style
81
Features
89
Ride
87
Value
94
Durability
85
best offer for today
$359.95
Pros:

Affordable

Available in different sizes

Adjustable suspension

Very popular model

Cons:

Must assemble after shipping

The 2018 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike is a popular option with many in-demand features that cycling enthusiasts love, such as a full suspension and a very lightweight frame that makes it easier to transport. It's easy to use a bike that's affordable. These factors make it a great option for beginning cyclists who want to start with a bike that works for most.

Read more

Style

This model is a cross country bike that's perfect for most occasions, whether on a trail or a city street. It's available in four different sizes, including 15", 17", 19", and 21". The 15" is perfect for petite women who may feel that other bikes are too large and cumbersome.

Features

The 2018 Gravity FSX offers dual suspensions that are completely adjustable, so you'll be able to ride with a suspension level that you like. The Shimano shifters are easy to use, even for beginners.

Specs

This mountain bike is constructed with an aluminum frame that’s lightweight and durable. It disc brake system increases safety. The double wall rims enhance the feeling of security and stability while you're riding.

Value

Overall, this model offers a tremendous amount of value. It's in the low to mid-range of prices on this list. As a result, it's a solid model for beginners looking to invest in a mountain bike that will last as long as they need it to.

8. Raleigh Eva 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Raleigh Eva 2
Style
80
Features
87
Ride
85
Value
89
Durability
85
best offer for today
$389.99
Pros:

Available in XS sizing

Designed for women

Affordable

Wide tires for stability

Cons:

Not great for long distances

Most unisex bikes are designed for men's bodies. That's not the case with the Raleigh Eva 2. It's a mountain bike designed for women, with the appropriate dimensions and features. It's a good option for a moderate ride on light trails and urban terrain.

Read more

Style

This cross-country bike was designed for a woman's sensibilities. It's bright design and a saddle designed for women's bodies make it a popular choice for female riders. It's available in silver, blue, and black.

Features

Made for comfort, the Raleigh Eva 2 features a softer suspension fork, a comfortable saddle, and grips designed just for women. The Shimano Revo twist shifter offers 21 different speeds.

Specs

This mountain bike is constructed from aluminum, so it's lightweight. It comes with wide Kenda tires that help improve the stability of the bike, even on unstable terrain. It weighs just under 30 pounds.

Value

For a women's mountain bike, this is an affordable option. In fact, there aren't too many bicycles available for less than this with size options and a female first design.

9. Merax Finiss Aluminum Road

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
Merax Finiss Aluminum Road
Style
81
Features
80
Ride
83
Value
93
Durability
84
best offer for today
$249.99
Pros:

Cost-effective

Lightweight wheels and frame

Smooth ride

Easy to assemble

Supports up to 330 pounds

Cons:

Only 21 speeds

Not great for very tall riders

The Merax Finiss 26" Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike is a solid moderate option if you're looking for a mountain bike that's stylish and durable. It offers a well-balanced set of features, including 21-speed derailleurs. Plus, it's one of the most reviewed and popular bikes that you can buy.

Read more

Style

This mountain bike is a cross-country style. Its stylized wheels stand out among standard models. It is designed to offer easy assemble with a quick release pin, so you won't need tools to put it together.

Features

The Merax Finiss 26" Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike offers a smooth ride because of it's advanced all-aluminum mechanical lockout suspension fork. The Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters provide a good degree of personalization for your riding style.

Specs

This Merax Finiss is constructed from a heat treated aluminum frame that's durable and lightweight. Combined with magnesium alloy wheels, this mountain bike is easy to transport.

Value

When it comes to price, this mountain bike is a good low to mid-range choice. Although it's more expensive than some of the economic models, the lighter weight frame and suspension system make it a good choice if you plan to frequently travel on your bike.

10. Diamondback El Oso De Acero

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Diamondback El Oso De Acero
Style
75
Features
90
Ride
90
Value
70
Durability
90
best offer for today
more shops
$1,499.99
Pros:

Increased stability

Wide wheels

Unique look

Cons:

Not as lightweight as other models

Need non-standard wheels to replace

Another model from Diamondback Bicycles, the Diamondback El Oso De Acero Fat Mountain Bike is unique because of the wide wheels that improve stability. It physically looks different than the other mountain bikes on this list because of its wide tires and unique frame. Not to mention, customers who buy this model love it.

Read more

Style

The Diamondback Bicycles El Oso De Acero Fat Mountain Bike has a unique look that makes it stand out from other mountain bikes available. The wide wheels increase stability, traction, and security for bike riders. It's available in three sizes: 16", 18", and 20".

Features

The wide wheels of this model are the most obvious feature that you'll find, which can help improve stability for riders. To accommodate this wheel, there's clearance space for a tire up to 26" by 5". There is a 9-speed groupset available.

Specs

This model is constructed from heat-treated steel. As a result, the bike is durable and lightweight. The Shimano Alivio mechanical disc brakes are capable of stopping this bike despite its wide wheels.

Value

This mountain bike is one of the more expensive mountain bikes that made this top ten list. Because of its unique design, it is worth spending the extra money if the added stability is something that you're looking for.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

The style of a bike includes the type of bike it is, from cross country to trail riding. It also includes the physical style of the bike, in terms of color. If different sizes are available, it’s an important consideration for people who don’t necessarily fit the standard bike riding size. These factors are extremely important things to look out for first. If the bike won’t support a rider of a certain size, there’s no reason to consider it. The best bikes for style offer many different sizes, such as the Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike.

Features

Because this is a best of list, the type of features that the mountain bikes offered became extremely important. Features such as type of braking system, number of speeds, and suspension were evaluated to determine which models had the most impressive features to offer. The more features that the bike had, the higher its chance of being high up on the list.

Ride

It's important how a bike rides because you want it to now only be comfortable, but be able to clear obstacles and go over them. Some of the things that make a mountain bike ride well are the suspension and the seat. Products with both rear and front suspension will ride better than those with just front suspension, but it will also be less responsive to the input power of your pedaling. This is because the suspension can cause some of the momentum from your pedaling to go up as you pull on the handlebars instead of forward with your momentum. So if you plan on doing a lot of uphill pedaling you may want to consider a hard tail bike, which is one without rear suspension because it will allow you to climb the hills more efficiently. Another feature that some bikes have that makes them ride nicely is a seat with suspension or springs. Most of the bikes on our list don't have this feature but if it appeals to you they can easily be purchased and installed at a local bike shop.

Value

In terms of value, this metric focused on cost relative to the amount of features and level of customer satisfaction. For example, there are bikes such as the ORKAN 27.5”’ Shimano Hybrid Mountain Bike that deliver quality and value to riders.

Durability

These are called "mountain" bikes for a reason; they're meant to be used out of doors, going up and down mountains, over rocks and branches, and generally doing stuff that puts a lot of stress on the product and its components. This means it's really important to consider how durable a product is before you buy it. Especially if you plan on riding your bike consistently you'll want to purchase one with a high level of durability. Some of the things that make a bike long-lasting or not are the quality of the frame and the components, and the level of quality in the construction. We looked at all of these things and scored each bike according to how long lasting it is, as well as taking over a thousand user reviews into account.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Style
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Features
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
Ride
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
Value
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
Durability
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Form vs function

Find out what you really want to do with your bike and make sure it has features to support that, whether it be commuting, trail riding or leisure.

Add ons

There are many ways you can customize your bike once you have it: new pedals, gear shifters or even a comfier seat.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

The mountain bikes on this list aren’t simply included because of their affordability or availability. There is an important set of metrics that we used when choosing the mountain bikes that made this list. As previously mentioned, these bikes on our list are geared toward enthusiasts and beginners, not professionals in competitions. Each of the key factors used to create our list of the best mountain bikes is explained below.

Ease of Use

When buying a mountain bike online, it’s important to consider assembly needs and tuning. This is because bikes are large and need to be disassembled while they are shipped. If you’re uncomfortably assembling a bike on your own, it might be worth paying for assembly online or through a local bike shop.

It’s important to assemble a mountain bike correctly for safety and performance reasons. Some of the bikes on this list are easier to assemble than others because of how they are designed. Make sure to carefully read through the instructions when you receive the bike before starting to assemble it.

Tuning is an important part of bike maintenance, which includes steps like cleaning the bike’s chain and adjusting the brakes. When you buy a bike new from a store that’s already assembled, this has most likely been done for you. After you assemble your bike, make sure you go through the tuning process. You can repeat this process every so often to keep your mountain bike in great shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What’s the weight limit?
a:

Most of the bikes on this list can accommodate riders up to 250 pounds. However, each bike is different so it’s important to make sure the bike you buy can accommodate your weight.

q: What’s the best size for my height?
a:

Not all bikes are comfortable for everyone. You want a bike that’s comfortable in terms of seat height and frame height combined. Many bikes with size options list rider heights by size.

q: What’s a hardtail?
a:

A hardtail bike is one where the suspension fork is located only in the front of a bike, the name hardtail referring to the less cushioned back end. Full suspension would be the other style often seen in mountain bikes, both ends of the bike having suspension instead of just the front.

q: What different types of bikes are there?
a:

There are several styles of mountain bike that all have varying levels of specialization. Cross county bikes are fairly middle of the road, so to speak, good for most things. Trail bikes are what you go to looking for stability. Enduro is about endurance and the ability to travel long distances. Lastly, downhill bikes are designed for steep terrain.

q: Should I buy a mountain bike online?
a:

There are many reasons to buy a mountain bike online. First, it’s likely to save you money. Second, some brands are only accessible online. If you have a local bike store, it’s possible to see the bikes in person, though their selection will be limited by the retail space inside the store.

Sources

  1. Chris Cassidy, How to Do a Simple Tune-Up, Bicycling.com, Apr 30, 2010
  2. REI Coop, How to Choose a Bike, Website, Jan 12, 2019
  3. Kyle Livingston, How to Choose a Mountain Bike, How to select guide,
  4. Corey Maddocks, How To Choose Your First Mountain Bike, Blog, Jun 21, 2016