The best mountain bikes under 1000 are the perfect choice for those who are new to off-road bike riding, or do not plan on riding often. They are affordable and yet strong enough to handle the rugged terrains. Here is a complete guide into the world of budget-friendly bikes.
How to choose the best mountain bikes under 1000
When buying a mountain bike for the first time or making an upgrade from the current one, there are certain selection criteria that you need to use. It is not a matter of walking into a bike store and walking out with one.
Do this, and you will end up with a bike that might disintegrate on your first ride or one that is extremely uncomfortable to ride. This is why you need an outline of the features that you need the bike to have and some sort of mountain bike interview. You then separate the chaff from the grains. Here are some of the very key things to look for.
Mountains bikes are meant to tackle the rough and rugged off-road terrains. To accomplish this task seamlessly, they need to have the appropriate suspension to handle such terrains. For a bike under $1000, you do not expect it to have a high-end suspension system.
Most of these bikes have a hardtail suspension, meaning it is only fitted with a front suspension. The amount of suspension travel, i.e., the displacement the suspension fork is capable of is very important to be considered. The larger this figure is, the more capable the bike is to handle those bumps in the mountains. The travel mostly ranges from 80mm to 120mm.
Manufacturers sometimes keep down suspension travel to minimize the weight of the bike, so you have to prioritize what you need. Considering the amount of time you will be spending on your bike while off-road, choose a suspension type that will handle all the roughness (or at least most of it)
The wheel size of your bike should be right for the terrain you are setting out to. Larger wheels have better traction, are more stable and roll better on the trails. Until recently, the wheels have been the 26” ones. These have been swapped with bigger sized wheels.
From around 2010, the 29” wheels have become more popular. These wheels handle better the terrains than the 26”. There is a second option if you do not fancy the 29”. You have a choice of the 27.5” wheels if you do not need more height.
For a mountain bike, the frame is a very critical aspect of its construction. The frame determines how rigid the whole set up is and the bike’s ability to withstand your weight. The frames are made from two materials: Carbon and aluminum.
These two are both light and strong enough to support the loads on the bike. However, carbon performs better than aluminum and is mostly found on more expensive bikes. For a bike under $1000, aluminum frame will be all you will get. There is third-party carbon out there, but the benefits of a well-constructed aluminum frame outweigh them.
At these prices, you will be able to get good quality aluminum frames. They are strong, considerably light and sturdy too.
The frame that has been discussed influences much of the weight of the bike. Carbon is lighter than aluminum, but you might not find a carbon one at under $1000. You would rather stick with aluminum. Couple this with the front only suspension and 29” or 27.5” wheels and you get a good combination for a relatively light bike.
The qualities become more lucrative as you near the $1000 mark. Either way, you should be able to get a mountain bike that can be fun to have. The lighter the mountain bike, the more expensive it becomes.
How many gears?
When we were young, we used to have this debate about whose bike had more gears. The bike which had the most gears was considered the best. However, these days, fewer gears are considered to be better than more.
About 9 to 11 gears should just be fine. This reduced number makes the bike lighter as it has fewer parts. It also helps you in that you have fewer parts that could potentially break. The number of gears is just a matter of preference and how easy you want your shifts to be. You could as well fancy a 2 x 10 gear bike.
However much you need a cheaper mountain bike, it does not mean you have to compromise on quality. $1000 should be able to get you good quality and light components. The heavier and cheaper ones can break at any time when the going gets tough.
The stem, saddles, seat post gear trains, handlebars should be up to your high standards. Better still, you can change these parts when you decide to upgrade your bike at some point.
The best mountain bikes under $1000 reviews
Here is a comprehensive review of some of the best bikes on the market today that could help you in your tour search for a budget-friendly ride.
This mountain bike is designed for the ladies who are just venturing into mountain biking. With a frame constructed from 6061-T6 Aluminum, this bike is both lightweight and durable. This bike features a low slung tube design to enable you to get on and off it easily as it provides for adequate standover clearance.
27.5 inches wheels and an SR Suntor fork are fitted on to the bike for more comfortable and confident rides down any trail. The gearing of this bike consists of 3 chainrings fitted on the crankset and 9-speed drivetrain. This allows it to handle any terrain and road condition. This drivetrain is also responsible for the comfortable pedaling.
The gear train allows for a possibility of 24 gear ratios. Add this to the 27.5 inch/650B wheels, and you get a bike that picks up speed efficiently when you reach flatter terrains. The 650B wheels have better traction than the 26 inches ones.
This bike is fitted with high-quality components to make women riders feel most comfortable on rough and wild terrains. The DB saddle, the grips and the handlebar all scream comfort. Being a hardtail, energy wastage when the suspension system is compressed is eliminated.
This women’s bike is made to specifically fit their comfort needs while exploring the world unknown. It is built purposefully for beginner riders in mind. It has a low standover height for easy getting on and off for ladies with a gender-specific geometry.
With an SR Suntour suspension fork and double walled Weinmann 27.5 inches wheels, you are assured of durability and breezy tackling of trails. The Shimano Revo shifters give reliable gear shifting so that you always ride in the right gear. The braking system is upgraded to hydraulic disk brakes so that you can bring the bike to a stop in any condition.
This bike brings you the advantage of a “27.5 inches wheels, 75 mm” front suspension fork. When coupled with an 80mm suspension travel, the bumps become no match for your bike. To bring down the weight of the bike, the lightweight 6061 aluminum is used to construct the frame. You will not only get less weight, but also a durable and strong bike.
When off-roading, you need reliable brakes to stop the bike immediately you spot a barrier or get off the trail. Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes are incorporated into the design. They provide sufficient stopping power, no matter the weather conditions.
At first glance, the aluminum frame might seem so fragile. Do not be so quick to judge it though. The frame is durable, light and has high endurance. This frame enables it to power through the rugged terrains for a very long time, no matter how rigorous your riding is.
Shimano 3 x 8 shifters give you 24 speeds to choose from. If you are ascending up a hill; you simply choose the right gear to lessen the burden your legs feel all the way up. For that descend downhill, be sure to make it in one piece in minutes. The shifters work efficiently in collaboration with the crankset and chain to provide you with a reliable bike drivetrain.
To mitigate the effects of a long bumpy beaten track, this bike is fitted with Suntour XCT Suspension fork. This fork provides 100mm of suspension travel for absorbing the shocks from a beaten track. This minimizes the aches and pains you may feel after riding. The 27.5” wheels are not cowed by any obstacle and powers through with ease.
Mechanical disk brakes give you total control over the bike when in motion. They respond impeccably when called upon in any weather.
Are you a fan of fat bikes? Well here is one that could fit right into your tight budget. Its Spanish name translates to “the big bear.” It truly lives up to its impressive name. The frame is made from heat treated steel. This gives it the strength and compactness to handle the rugged terrains your adventure takes you to.
This bike is fitted with 26 x 5 inches pair of wheels to get you over just about anything. A rear 150mm QR axle and a front 135mm QR axle seamlessly accommodate these massive wheels. A rigid steel fork and a tapered steerer tube complete the drive set. A 9 speed Shimano Alivio group set handles the shifting.
Slowing down this massive bike requires plenty of power which is provided by a set of Shimano Alivio mechanical disk brakes. This brings you to a halt wherever you want. The wide wheels provide lots of traction to take you just anywhere that you want to go to.
Fat bikes are trending among mountain bike lovers. They are hard to miss these days because of their “fat” tires. The increased traction and width allows you to roll over any obstacle in your path. The giant tires also give you more control in very loose conditions such as mud, deep sand bogs, and snow, perfect for winter.
This bike features super wide 26 x 4 inches high traction wheels. It is only your imagination that will limit where you can ride to. The drivetrain components are comprised of high quality 16 speed Stram Drivetrain.
To absorb the relatively huge weight, this bike is fitted with an aluminum frame. This guarantees you fantastic strength and quality. Powerful Tektro Disc brakes are what will tame all that massive rolling power on a hill. Be sure to stop when you need to.
Nothing should get between you and your adventures. Not even your tight budget should hinder you from getting that mountain bike you have always wanted to. The best mountain bikes under 1000 provide all you need for your adventures.
This article has provided you with a guide on what you should keep in mind when buying any low-cost mountain bike. A review of some of the best bikes (in no particular order) has also been provided to ease your choice making.
In this review, the Diamondback Overdrive ST Hardtail Mountain Bike stands out due to its superior features. The aluminum frame meets the choosing criteria that were set, the 24-speed gears provide for an easy uphill ascend and downhill descends.
When you then factor in the 100mm of suspension travel, you get a less bumpy and painless ride. This suspension lessens the shocks from bumps along the paths. The 27.5” wheels too are within the selection criteria.