12 Best Mountain Bikes Tested and Reviewed

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Two of the most important factors when it comes to selecting a mountain bike are comfort and safety. Sure, there are other aspects to consider from materials to wheel height to the type of saddle but it’s important to not let all these attributes make you feel overwhelm. Every one of these options will boil down to your level of  comfortablewhile on your bike and preventing injury while on the trail.

We know that price point is an important factor in not only what bike you might choose but what bike you can choose. Mountain bikes can range any where from around $5000 for a top competitive model or a few hundred dollars for the inexpensive choice. The options of the list, considered under the criteria of safety, weight, and number of features, are not geared towards more advanced mountain bike riders. Runnerclick created this list those interested in a purchasing a recreational bike or looking expand into cross-training  in mind. So, if you are unfamiliar, this guide can help you select a great starter bike for a reasonable cost.

Last Updated: March 21, 2018
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By Mark Smith:

Runnerclick knows that those of us who love the outdoors are always push our boundries onto new fronties, so it is important for our gear to keep up with us. This article has been fine tuned and updated to feature the GMC Yukon and the Merax Falcon alongside our other picks for best mountain bike.

 

BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B
  • BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
Merax Finiss
  • Merax Finiss
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Smooth ride
  • Price: See Here
Diamondback Overdrive
  • Diamondback Overdrive
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Multiple sizes
  • Price: See Here

 

12 Best Mountain Bikes

 

1. BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B

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.
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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.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • 30 Speed
  • Hardtail
Cons
  • Expensive
  • 10 day wait time for shipping

2. Merax Finiss

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.
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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 its 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 economy models, the lighter weight frame and suspension system make it a good choice if you plan to frequently travel with your bike.
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

3. Diamondback Overdrive 29er

If you're looking for a sleek hardtail mountain bike, the Diamondback Overdrive 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike is for you. It's a popular hardtail mountain bike available in a variety of sizes to accommodate any rider. With more than 85 reviews on Amazon, it's a popular bike.
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Style

The Diamondback Overdrive 29er is a hardtail mountain bike with only a front suspension designed for the trails. It is available in four different sizes, including 16", 18", 20", and 22", so you can get a bike that fits you well. The color is black.

Features

The front-only suspension system and the hardtail enable riders to have more control. The large 29-inch wheels make it easier to ride over big holes and less stable terrain, without sacrificing any traction. Combined, this increases the level of control riders have.

Specs

The frame of this mountain bike is made from an aluminum alloy that's strong and lightweight. Its machined head tube improves precision, while the replaceable derailleur hanger means that you can replace parts in the unlikely event that they break.

Value

For a solidly reviewed trail mountain bike with a hardtail, the Overdrive 29er is a popular choice. It's more expensive than the economy models, but less expensive than some of the other bikes on this list.
Pros
  • Hardtail
  • Available in different sizes
  • Lightweight aluminum
Cons
  • More expensive than others
  • Only available in black

4. Gravity FSX

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 an easy to use 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.
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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.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Available in different sizes
  • Adjustable suspension
  • Very popular model
Cons
  • Must assemble after shipping

5. Diamondback Overdrive 27.5

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-ranged mountain bike that is popular with both beginning riders and seasoned enthusiasts.
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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.
Pros
  • Great customer services
  • Hardtail
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Uncomfortable saddle
  • No kickstand
  • Not cheap

6. Raleigh Eva 2

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.
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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 light weight. It comes with wide Kenda tires that help improve 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.
Pros
  • Available in XS sizing
  • Designed for women
  • Affordable
  • Wide tires for stability
Cons
  • Not great for long distances;

7. Diamondback El Oso De Acero

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.
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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.
Pros
  • Increased stability
  • Wide wheels
  • Unique look
Cons
  • Not as lightweight as other models
  • Need non-standard wheels to replace

8. Merax 26"

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.
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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.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Highly rated
Cons
  • Must assemble and tune
  • Possible poor tire alignment
  • Less than comfortable seat
  • Not ideal for long bike rides

9. Vilano Blackjack 3.0

The Vilano Blackjack 3.0 Mountain Bike is a fairly affordable mountain bike with 29 inch wheels. It's a great option for taller riders who would benefit from a taller wheel. It's available fully assembled for an extra fee.
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Style

This model is a cross country style mountain bike with 29 inch wheels. It is available in a stylish red and black combination.

Features

The Vilano Blackjack 3.0 with 29-Inch Wheels has mechanical disc brakes that reliably stop the bike on a variety of surfaces. It has a Shimano 8 Speed EF-51 Integrated Shifter and Brake Lever that deliver consistent performance.

Specs

It is constructed of a hand built butted alloy hardtail frame. The double wall alloy rims provide added stability without the additional weight.

Value

This mountain bike offers quite a bit of functionality for the low price. While it doesn't have all of the features you'd expect in more expensive models, it is made of smart materials that are designed to last.
Pros
  • Assembly available
  • Larger size
  • Smooth ride
Cons
  • Not as lightweight as other options
  • Specs may not be accurate
  • Larger size

10. Merax Falcon

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.
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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 it’s rather affordable price.
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

11. ORKAN 27.5

The Orkan 27.5 is a tough little bike, well suited for the smaller, lighter rider. Its the best of both worlds, being a mountain bike that can overcome difficult trails but also one you can pick up and carry with ease. The Orkan is proof that good things can come in small packages.
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Style:
The Orkan is a full suspension bike, both ends set up to give the rider the smoothest ride possible. This model of Orkan is a 27.5in design that recommends a rider between 5’1” and 5’9” with the rider weight advised between 200 and 250 pounds.

Features:
Many report that this bike is very easy to assemble. The Orkan 27.5 comes equipped with 21 speeds and a rear derailleur to guarantee the smoothest shifting.

Specs:
The Orkan 27.5 is constructed with a steel frame. While heavier than aluminum, most bike build require more aluminum overall to compensate for the metals lesser integrity. So overall the Orkan’s steel build is both lighter and stronger, with a 250 pound weight capacity. Additionally, the Orkan’s steel frame will deal with less turbulence and will ride more smoothly as a result.

Value:
The Orkan 27.5 is a great deal for the smaller rider looking for a mountain bike that won’t sacrifice durability for size. All of this plus a more casual investment cost makes the Orkan a 27.5 a good choice for a younger rider looking to get into mountain biking.
Pros
  • 21 speeds
  • Derailleur works well
  • Affordable
  • Performs well
  • Lightweight steel frame
Cons
  • Small adjustments needed to brakes

12. GMC Yukon

When looking for mountain bike alternatives, you usually end up finding much higher price tags. The Yukon from GMC is a reliable and cost effective option for riders shopping for a bicycle in the fat tire niche.
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Style:
The GMC Yukon is one of the fat tire bike options on this list. For the novice, a fat tire bike has larger lower pressure tires that make it able to travel over loose terrain. Which makes the Yukon a great choice in an area with a lot of snowfall or beaches. The Yukon measures at 26 inches which means it works best for riders under 6 feet.

Features:
The Yukon GMC features 7 speeds with a rear derailleur and shifter to make shifting gears as smooth as possible. The Yukon also features its suspension in the front, making it a hardtail bike.

Specs:
The Yukon is supported by an 18 inch aluminum frame, making it solidly lightweight and durable. The Yukon’s fat tires measure at 26 inches by 4 inches, able to easily move over many different types and consistencies of terrain.

Value:
Admittedly, this GMC bicycle is a higher price than many of the mountain bikes on this list. The Yukon is very affordable when compared to other fat tire options. It is a great option for riders looking to give fat tire cycling a chance and to acclimate themselves to the new style without investing in a high end fat tire bike.
Pros
  • Light and solid aluminum frame
  • Moves easily through a variety of terrains
  • Easily put together
  • Quality for price
Cons
  • Factory does not provide the best assembly for certain parts
  • May need fine tuning

 

The Criteria We Used To Find The Best Mountain Bikes

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.

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.

Specs

The specs of a mountain bike includes what the bike was constructed from. What the wheels and the frame are made of directly relate to its weight and durability. The top contender on this list and for specs is made from carbon fiber: the BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike.

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.

Other Important Factors To Consider

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 uncomfortable assembling a bike on your own, it might be worth paying for assembly online or through a local bike shop.

Assembly

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

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?

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?

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 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?

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: How much should I spend on a mountain bike?

This largely depends on what your purpose for buying the bike is. If you’re looking to ride often, it’s worth spending more for a more comfortable ride. However, mountain bikes can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Start with an entry level model first to make sure that cycling fits into your family’s budget.

Q: Should I buy a mountain bike online?

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
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