If you had never ridden a mountain bike, you might be unsure of what you want and not have any idea about wheel size, suspension, or hardtail when buying your first bike. That's where our list of 10 best beginner mountain bike comes in.
There is a wide range of options to choose from, and the best model can vary based on each biker's experience and skill level. This article offers the shortlist from that vast array and our reference guide to the top recommendations for the title of the best-beginning mountain bike. Let's dive into it!
1. Mongoose Impasse Men's Mountain Bike - Best Overall
The Mongoose Impasse is our pick for the best-starting mountain bike title thanks to its affordability and stable over-average performance in all aspects.
First of all, we usually recommend the budget-friendly category for most newcomers. It's better to start your hobby with an affordable option that can accommodate basic requirements and standard fundamentals.
Besides, the bike integrates both front and back disc breaks to improve the bike's stopping capacity. It's a plus for those beginners who put safety as their priority. You can stop quickly on any surface.
What's more, the Mongoose Impasse's construction is relatively sturdy. The bike frame is made from aluminum alloy and rust-resistant. Meanwhile, the 29-inch wheels add more grip and momentum to offer a firm ride.
However, the solid design can be both good and bad up to each rider's perspective. The thick 29-inch wheel size makes the bike significantly more massive than others in the same price range.
Also, the suspension slightly lacks comfort when riding on rough terrains. Light off-roading is fine, but we're not sure about the intense training.
2. SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike - Best Durability
The SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike has one of the most solid and durable constructions on the market. The impressive frame made from carbon fiber shows a sleek design. Carbon fiber is a material known for its lightweight and long-lasting.
What’s more, the aerodynamic contour can considerably boost the mountain bike's performance. The bike also has a 3x10-speed gear system from the infamous manufacturer Shimano. This system offers multiple speed choices for any terrain you want to conquer.
This bike also uses the M315 disc brake from the same brand. You can’t see the brakes when look.
However, sometimes the gearing system can be noisy, especially in heavy off-road riding.
3. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike - Best Budget
The Huffy Hardtail mountain bike is an ideal option if you're building initial confidence in this hobby on a tight budget. This bike is one of the cheapest starting bikes on the market to deliver decent efficiency, speed, comfort, and control without any significant downfall.
It allows beginners to navigate their first rocky tracks as well as familiar roads. You can adjust speed levels quickly with the 21 speeds produced by the rear derailleur TZ-31 from Shimano and the microshift twist shifter.
In terms of comfort and safety, you can rely on the pedals made from ATB resin and located on the 3-piece crank. They are in charge of responsive feel, while the Kraton grips maintain smooth touching. You will have smooth operation when you climb uphill, go downhill, or ride on flat roads.
Besides, the slight-leveled handlebar offers an upright ride to reduce stress on your back and shoulder, creating better posture and comfort.
Moreover, this model comes in multiple colorways (6 in total compared to 2-3 of other picks).
The only area that we feel that the Mongoose Impasse model did fall short on was that all of its features are more fundamental than other models with higher prices. It doesn't excel in any factor.
Read more: The 7 Best Mountain Bikes under $500
4. Diamondback Bicycles Cobra 20 Youth 20" Wheel Mountain Bike - Best for Kids
The DiamondBack Cobra 20 Youth is suitable for drivers of 44˝ – 54˝ tall, ideal for kids from 4 to 9 years old. A durable and reliable steel frame can help the bike cope with those problematic off ridings that the little riders might experience during their practice.
The 6-speed Shimano drivetrain with Trigger shifter makes speed shifting quicker and more comfortable, delivering power boosts when climbing. The Hl Zoom 40mm suspension fork and the big tires make it easier to travel on rocky roads.
Besides, the linear-pull brakes have interchangeable levers for a safe and better-controlled operation. This feature makes the Cobra Youth a trustworthy long-distance adventure buddy for your kids, along with the rear derailleur guard.
Moreover, the small bike comes hand-built in a package. All you need to do is unboxing and putting on the front wheel, seat, and pedals. And your bike is ready to ride! This DiamondBack's ReadyRide program reduces the time for assembling and increasing the time for riding.
On the downside, the bike weighs about 10-11 lbs with 41.8 x 21 x 9 inches dimensions, and it's quite heavy for kids under 6. Therefore we recommend this model for 6-8 years old riders instead of 4-9 like the brand's advertisement.
5. BESPORTBLE Mountain Bike - Best Gears System
The mountain bike from BESPORTBLE has one of the most excellent derailleur systems on the market. You can quickly change your gears and experience the speed excitement with the combination of Shimano ST-EF500, Shimano RD-TZ500, and Shimano freewheel.
This Shimano 21-speed gearbox makes sure the newcomers have full control in any case. In addition, the removable rear derailleur helps to guarantee stable gear operation.
Besides, the alloy mechanical front and rear mechanical disc make the braking force steady, allowing you to stop confidently under any circumstances. The wheel's lightweight double-wall alloy rim and all-terrain tires offer a durable riding experience for even every ride or adventurous ride.
Furthermore, one big plus point for this model is that it does come with a water bottle and a holder. This bonus will keep you hydrated during the challenging ride.Nevertheless, the painting is quickly fallen off and rusted, especially on the rear wheel lever and some lower parts of the bike.
6. Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike - Best Compact for Adult
Having a 27.5-inch wheel size, the Mongoose Switchback model is not only stable and smooth in operation but also lightweight and more compact on the look. The Tectonic T1 aluminum frame also adds more lightweight durability to the bike.
Additionally, the Tektro aluminum mechanical disc brakes offer precise speed control for the dirtiest pavements and superior stopping power. You can rely on this bike in all riding conditions.
Moreover, the 18-speed shifting gears smoothly even though the number of levels is not as much as some other models. The Mongoose MTB saddle ensures comfortable touching for long handling. There are also internal cable routing offers clean lines with additional security to the riders.
On the downside, the suspension fork is somewhat standard when compared to the price. The frame might be stable, but the fork's wicked construction and its all-perfect interiors take the edge off at low to moderate velocity impacts.
7. SIRDAR S-900 27 Speed 27.5 inch Mountain Bike - Best Speed Control
The S-900 model from SIRDAR has the most speeds among our list with 27 professional speeds. The finger-type shifting between 27 speeds is ultra-smooth thanks to the 3 gears front derailleur and 9 rears derailleur.
The 27.5-inch tires with premium aluminum suspension fork help smooth out the dirt and add more grip to the ride, especially on rough terrains. The full aluminum alloy body with high carbon steel parts can prevent destruction, even in harsh environments.
What's more, the S-900 model comes 95% assembled, so newcomers can easily install with the remaining parts, including front wheels, handlebars, pedal, and saddle (tools included).
The bike also comes with 2 replaceable saddles, one is the streamlined mountain cross-country, and one is the wide soft for more comfort. It means you can use your favorite bike for both mountain roads and highways.
The Achilles heel of this entry-level bike is that the instructions were not very clear. Although the whole bicycle is easy to assemble, the brakes and front derailleur are a bit tricky to get set ready.
8. Sirdar S-700 S-800 26/29 inch Mountain Bike - Best for Adult and Youth
The Sirdar S-700 S-800 mountain bike has the compatibility with every age group and gender to easily blend into your family's daily ride as well as training progress.
This model fits people from 5'2' to 5'7' the most and can handle up to 264 lbs. Average size teens, women, and small men can comfortably sit on this bike.
The finger shifter 3 front rear derailleur and 9 rear derailleurs make it simpler for acceleration and speed. You can handle the uphill and downhill routes effortlessly and pedal it faster on a regular road.
Moreover, there are lights at the front and back of the bike to alert other vehicles on the roads. The tires are made from anti-skid materials and designed with a wear-resistant pattern for strong anti-puncture.
On the downside, the 26-inch tires are not suitable for extraordinarily rough or rocky terrains since they provide less rolling momentum and grips than other wheel sizes. We recommend this model for hilly terrain, regular mountain trails, smooth roads, etc.
9. Hiland 27.5 Inch Mountain Bike - Best for Tall Guys
If you're a big guy, we recommend considering the Hiland 27.5 Inch Mountain Bike. It comes in 2 frame sizes, both are high, and together they support a wide gap of height. The 18" frame fits people from 5'7" to 6' tall, while the 19.5" structure is suitable for 6'- 6'6" riders.
Also, the high-quality ultra-light aluminum frame and 27-speed Mircoshift TS38 shifter deliver absolute control and a solid feel in any case. The brake mechanism consists of a double hydraulic disk-Brake that provides a practical and powerful stopping effect.
Furthermore, the lockout suspension fork has shown outstanding performance in many riding terrains and conditions such as mountain paths, highways, and forest roads.
When receiving the package, you will get an 85% pre-assembled bike, assembly tools, handlebar, front wheel, saddle, and 2 pedals. The installation is quite simple, though.
Unfortunately, this model does not come with adjustable reach levers that allow you to adjust the gears. To have proper adjustments for the derailleurs, you have to get a bike shop with professional mechanics to do it for you.
10. Hiland 26/27.5 Inch Aluminum Mountain Bike for Women - Best for Women
Hiland 26/27.5 Inch Aluminum Mountain Bike is an ideal choice for female riders. You can feel it in the frame's unique geometry with an additional upper tube and small structure. This design makes the model fit perfectly into women's stature.
The 2 frame sizes cover women's height from 5'1' to 6' tall. The 16-inch frame is for 5'1-5'9 riders, and the 16.5-inch frame is for those who are 5'3- 6' tall. Even the purple and baby blue colorway speaks up the female sweetness.
However, the saddle included in the package is quite stiff that it will make you feel like sitting on a cement block. It does bounce back when you are pedaling, but it's nothing compared to the wide soft, comfy saddles of other options.
M ountain bike for Beginners - Buyer’s Guide
The modern suspension is incredible since it can simultaneously ease bumps that will rattle your fillings loose and give a stable base for pedaling to prevent you from missing wats bobbing up a climb.
You should seek the air suspension at the novice level as it helps to change the sag that can accommodate your weight.
Besides, a hardtail bike is also a great first choice for off-road cycling. Hardtails deliver dual suspension that fits the riders' beginning stage.
The simple frame design makes a hardtail have better components than a full suspension bike in the same price range. It will also help you build a stronger foundation to develop more with your bike in the future.
Every mountain bike comes with this specification as one of the essential product descriptions. While the 26" and smaller wheels are now only available on some affordable models, the 29" and 27.5" ones are more common.
29" wheels have big tires' diameters (>2.5 inches), which results in superior smooth bumps. In other words, these wheels can not easily fall into small holes on the mountain road, thus maintaining momentum over rough terrains.
Additionally, this wheel size's sturdy dimensions add more stability and grip for a more comfortable ride. However, bigger wheels mean heavier weights for you to handle on the ride.
This drawback leads to the popularity of 27.5" wheels. These wheels can simultaneously overcome the bulkiness of 29" tires and improve the performance of the 26".
Furthermore, the manufacturers have developed a new edition called the "plus-size." This type runs with a thicker tire diameter (2.8-3.0") than all of the above. This enhancement increases the contact patch for extra cushioning and grip.
The innovative design and the cost of tires make this "plus" size more expensive. We don't recommend beginners to buy bikes with such wheel size, but if you decide to go from "zero to pro" with a hardtail and rigid bike, it's not a bad option.
Our list of 10 best beginner mountain bike includes assorted wheel sizes to give you a more comprehensive range of choice. So choose wisely according to the guideline since we don't want to limit your option to any specific bike type.
Also read: 10 Best Mountain Bike Helmets
Mountain biking is a perfect way to keep fit in challenging terrains while enjoying stunning outdoor landscapes.
Long story short, we've picked the Mongoose Impasse Men's Mountain Bike as the best mountain bike for beginners. It has a significant performance that does not break your bank account. Therefore, we assume that most newcomers might find it adequate for their needs.
Finding the top 10 mountain bikes is difficult but choosing the 10 best beginner mountain bikes is even more challenging. We hope our article will help those riders who are on a hunt for their new hobby's equipment.