Best Mountain Bikes Under 500 – Best Budget Bike

If you love mountain biking, then you know that your experience can only be memorable if you have a high-quality mountain bike with you. However, most mountain bikes are ridiculously expensive, leaving you wondering what you are supposed to do. Thankfully, the last few years have seen a shift in the attitudes of bike manufacturers, who have decided to go with bikes that are affordable to a majority of the population.

I personally own 3 bikes under 500, and I cannot fully express how happy I am with their performance. That is why below we will look at the best mountain bikes under 500 so that you can take part in your riding passion while on a budget.

Bikes Name


Wheel Size


Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes



Schwinn Protocol Men's Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike



Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle



Raleigh Bikes Tekoa Mountain Bike



Mongoose R5208 Detour Full Suspension Bicycle



Mongoose TYAX Comp Men's Mountain Bike


Diamondback Hardtail Mountain Bike



Iron Horse Men's Maverick 2.1 IH22216S 16 Mountain Bicycle



Picks of Best Mountain Bikes under 500

Like I said above, there a range of affordable mountain bikes that deliver fantastic riding experiences. From my experience come up with the first class mountain bikes under 500, based on their performance, versatility, and quality of craftsmanship and components. Here they are:

01. Schwinn Men’s High Timber Mountain Bike

Best Mountain Bikes under 500

Sometimes you just want to head out with your schwin mountain bike and let it rip. The wind blowing across your face, the ground rushing beneath your wheels, and the sun warming up your body, is one of the most amazing feelings out there.

But to do this you need a quality mountain bike that can handle all terrain you throw at it.

Cue in the High Timber, which is a men’s mountain bike designed with an agile Schwinn mountain frame and an efficient SR Suntour suspension fork. This frame and fork work hand in hand to smooth out the rough tracks below you so that you can have a smooth and comfortable ride. But it doesn’t stop there. The bike also comes with a 21-speed drivetrain for smooth and wide gearing choices. And when it’s time to stop, just use the alloy linear pull brakes to halt your movements.

This MTB is popular and highly rated men’s bike, which comes in a resilient and sleek package. This bike has been expertly crafted to make all your riding experiences memorable, making it is a perfect option for you.


  • Good looking and strong design
  • Inexpensive
  • 26 inches large wheels
  • Quick and easy release saddle
  • Mostly assembled


  • Low braking power
  • Has only 21 speeds

02. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Mountain Bike

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Mountain Bike

This is a must-have mountain bike for an on and off-road user. Men love outdoor activity and outdoor experience shouldn't be struggling with choices at all. the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Mountain bike has got you covered.

The bike weighs just 51 pounds. It usually comes in red color, very attractive; you will always catch people's attention I tell you. 

The bike possesses double suspension aluminum frame. The bike thus is sturdier and feels lighter. The braking system of the bike is efficient. The Pro max front disc brake and rear alloy linear pull brake comes in handy here.

The bike wheels are 26 inches with double walled alloy rims. They should have been even larger considering the bike's abilities though. See the bigger picture buddy! The bike uses the SR Suntour front fork for its suspension. The smoothness of your ride is never compromised at all no matter the terrain.

The bikes rear derailleur is a 24 speed Shimano Altus. I cannot see this letting you down even at the steepest of hills and the toughest of ravines.


  • Beautifully designed
  • Seamless gear shifting
  • Easy to assemble (just about 30 minutes)
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Powerful and responsive brakes


  • Uncomfortable seat design
  • No place for water holder

03. Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle

Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle

If you want to get a quality mountain bike without spending too much, the Mongoose Impasse will be a great purchase. You will never get a bike that combines style, comfort, and performance like this bike.

The bike's price, design, technology, components, and comfort ability is indicative of the manufacturer's predilection for amateur riders. The bike weighs around 45 pounds. You are also going to enjoy its aluminum suspension frame making it lighter.

The bike boasts of dual suspension. Starters also get to enjoy an extra suspension fork for smoother bumps and improved control. Mechanical disk brakes accompany both the front and rear wheels. This is probably the safest bike for you due to its abrupt stopping capabilities.

The bike comes with a front derailleur, a 21 speed rear Shimano derailleur and SRAM twist shifters. Shifting gears is that easy! The bike possesses double walled rims, receptive alloy pedals and probably the largest wheels in the world, at 29 inch!


  • Large wheels ideal for great momentum.
  • Disk brakes on both wheels offer good stopping power.
  • Has an adjustable saddle.
  • Smooth rides on normal trails


  • Heavier and more difficult to accelerate
  • No place for water holders

04. Raleigh Bikes Tekoa Mountain Bike

Raleigh Bikes Tekoa Mountain Bike

This Raleigh Tekoa is another awesome option if you want to purchase the best mountain bike under 500. The design, versatility, strength and geometrical frame structure must amuse you.

Like the other bikes within this budget, this bike is also made of Aluminum. The front fork comes with SR SuntourRaidon. It also features rebound/lock-out control and 100mm of travel. So, it is easily imaginable that you will get a great performance with this bike. Riding this bike is lots of fun too!

You will get SRAM NXas therear derailleur and shifters with this Raleigh Tekoa. I know, you are thinking that it’s a mid-level component. But, it will last longer than the other similar bikes. This SRAM NX 1×11 offers you a massive 11 to 42 range. It will get you up even on the vertical pitches.

When it comes to rims, you will get 29 inches diameter rims manufactured by Weinmann. This 29 inches huge rim will keep you upfront on the mountains. This rim is covered with KC 27 Shimano chain. Further, you can consider the Tektro-Auriga hydraulic disc brakes as a supplementary advantage. This brake will keep you under control.

Just like the previous one, this bike is also available in different sizes. So, if the specs can satisfy you, don’t hesitate for the size.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable hydraulic disc brakes
  • Geometrical frame structure
  • 100mm Suntour XCT suspension fork
  • AL 6061 Aluminum frame
  • Shimano Atlus&Acera drivetrain


  • RockShox suspension fork
  • Strong TektroAuriga disc brakes
  • Kenda Slant tires
  • double wall rims
  • Perfect for taller riders


  • Quite heavier air fork
  • No water bottle holder

Summary: Bikes for the taller persons are not something like everyday meals. It’s hard to find a perfect bike for the taller persons within this budget range. So, if you are a tall rider and love the mountains, choose this bike. The geometrical design with the perfect suspension fork and Tektro disc brakes must amaze you.

05. Mongoose Detour 26 Bicycle

Mongoose Detour 26 Bicycle

So, you always long for a controlled and smooth ride? The Detour 26 inch from mongoose bike is the best choice you can make for your biking adventures. With a breeze front suspension fork and a suspension frame; it will give you all the comfort.

You can easily ride this 26-Inch bike on different terrains. Its Shimano gearing consisting of micro shifters makes biking easy and enjoyable. Its alloy quick release wheels make transportation easy.

It has a disc front brake and an alloy linear pull rear brake as well for all conditional stopping power. You don’t need to order a kickstand as it is already installed in this bike. Even if you’re not a biking enthusiast you should try this mountain bike with a full suspension.

Best of all, it is easy to assemble with or without the manual. Disc brake pads adjustment works best too though only small adjustments are required.


  • Made with aluminum frame
  • 21 speed shimano gears that provide good control on speed
  • 26 inches large wheels
  • Easy to assemble
  • Quick and easy released wheels


  • Slightly heavy
  • Seat is not soft

06. Mongoose TYAX Comp Men's Mountain Bike

Mongoose TYAX Comp Men's Mountain Bike

Experts provide opinions to the general peoples. But, the Mongoose already become beyond to the expert opinions. Day by day they own the heart of thousands of customers by their quality bikes.

This Mongoose TYAX Comp Men's Mountain Bike is none other than another feather of their crown. Mongoose specially designed this TYAX Comp for the single track cross-country riders.

You know the performance of these bikes depend on how great the fork performs. And fortunately, the Mongoose provides their best fork in this bike. Mongoose added SR Suntour XCM V3 fork in this bike. It will definitely tempt the riders.

You must add a quality brake with this fork. So, they added Tektro Draco Pro hydraulic disc brakes with this. It’s sturdy and comfy too. Now it’s time for the tires. You will get 2.1 inches Kenda Small Block 8 speed chain with this bike. And who don’t know that bigger tiers are blessing for the riders?

Along with all of these special features, the remaining features will also satisfy the users. The 6061 T6 Aluminum made frame, Suntour XCM front derailleur, Shimano Alivio rear derailleur,and the Suntour XCT chain set must bring a mind-blowing smile on every die-hard riders.

Highlighted Features:

  • SRAM X-4/SR Suntour XCM drivetrain
  • Tektro Draco Pro hydraulic disc brake
  • Pseudo suede saddle top
  • SR Suntour XCM V3 fork


  • Lightweight
  • Stock tires
  • Solid Aluminum-made frame
  • 27-speeds drivetrain system


  • The disc brakes seem sticky few times


This Mongoose is a cool looking, sturdy and well-built bike. This TYAX is another proof that Mongoose is one of the elite bicycle manufactures of the world. So, why shouldn’t you keep it? The choice is yours!

07. Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike

Do you want a multipurpose bike that will offer high performance, versatility, simplicity, gorgeous outlook and of course, something worthy of your money? Well, in a short word, you will need the Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike.

This Diamondback Overdrive frame is built with 6061 T6 Aluminum. Then, this frame is mated to a 100 mm suspension fork. Along with this solid structure, Diamondback also added a decreased head tube with this. Along with this,the drivetrain is comprised of Shimano 2x10 shifters. It is used both on the front and rear derailleurs. So, the biker will get a perfect control even on the rough trails too.

This Override Comp contains a RockShox XC30superior suspension system. This special suspension system is mostly famous for an additional feature. It contains TurnKey lockout controls. It absorbs nearly all shocks from the ground and offers a comfy ride.

Another worthy mention of this bike is the different sizes. This bike is available in four different sizes. The smaller or 16 inches sized one will fit well for the riders between 5'4" to 5'7" feet taller riders. Sequentially, the medium one (18 inches) will fit for the 5'7" to 5'10" feet taller riders and the riders with 5'10" to 6'1" feet height should go for the large (20 inches) one. Further, there is also an extra-large size which is 22 inches. This one will suit with the riders whose height is between 6'1" to 6'4" feet.

Highlighted Features:

  • 29-inches huge wheel
  • 6061-T6 Aluminum frame
  • RockShox XC30 suspension fork
  • Shimano 3×8-speed drivetrain
  • Tektro mechanical disc brakes


  • Available in different sizes
  • Perfect braking system
  • Specially designed for rough landscapes
  • Comes around almost 90% assembled


  • Quite bulkier
  • Smaller grip

Summary: A decent bike with every premium features, that’s how I will present this Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike. If you are a fan of rough riding, you should go for this one.

08. Iron Horse Men's Maverick 2.1 IH22216S 16 Mountain Bicycle

Iron Horse Men's Maverick 2.1 IH22216S 16 Mountain Bicycle

The Iron Horse Men's Maverick 2.1 is an elite category bike. This Iron Horse surprises me from the very first day I have started to use it for testing purpose.

There are several reasons to buy this bike. I was so impressed by this bike that I can’t resist myself to inform you about its unique features.The most mesmerizing fact about this bike is its suspension system.

This Iron Horse Men's Maverick 2.1 mountain bike comes with a perfectly balanced suspension system. So, you can ride this bike on the extremely rough terrains very easily.You can feel premium paddling with this suspension fork. You know nothing is more frustrating than unpleasant bicycle paddling.

This versatile mountain bike has a great weight limit. If you are a heavy rider and love the mountain riding, then you should go for this one without any second thought. You know most of the general mountain bike can afford 200 pounds weight. It is such a limitation which breaks the heart of every heavy rider. That’s why Iron Horse made this bike with a weight limit of about 275 pounds!

Further, the big wheels also prove the versatility of this bike. This bike has a 27.5 inches huge wheel. Along with this huge wheel, this bike is also available in three different sizes. The smaller one has 16 inches frame, the medium one has 18 inches frame and the larger one has 20 inches huge frame. That means the Iron Horse take a good look at not only the weight but also the size too!

Highlighted Features:

  • Available in different sizes
  • 27.5 inches wheel
  • Very lightweight design


  • Easy to assemble
  • Versatile
  • Good for weighted riders


  • The handlebars are not up to the mark as expected

Summary: Though there is a couple of things to fix, overall thisIron Horse Men's Maverick 2.1 IH22216S 16 Mountain Bicycle is really a good deal. With the design and technical components, this bike will be definitely a worthy choice for your garage.

Expect Before Buying the Best Mountain Bikes Under 500

I know that you are not looking to waste your time and money on an inferior bike that will let you down. When you go shopping for your mountain bike you will be confronted with an equal amount of superior and inferior choices, which you will need to differentiate. Using the advice, I will provide below, you can narrow down your choices until you determine which bike will suit your demands best.


Design is the first thing which catches our eyes while choosing a perfect mountain bike. Looks and appearances should be catchy enough. Brands spend plenty of effort in designing their bike with all features so that it looks appealing at first glance. Bike frame, material, suspension, color, pattern, brakes, wheel, geometries are all included in the mountain bike’s design and style section.

Mountains Bike Type

Cross country: these bikes have long handle bars, longer stem length 90-100 mm approximately. It has a shorter travel suspension than trail bikes, which helps to enhance a quick uphill sprint power.

Enduro/All Mountain (AM): They are focused on gravity oriented riding styles. These help you to ride on rough terrain with speed, agility and style. These mountain bikes are very efficient.

Downhill (DH): Downhill bikes are for downhill cycling, especially on steep, rocky trails. They have good durability and stability. They are lightweight and versatile. Downhill bikes are used for high speed descent from hills and mountains.

Free ride (FR): Free ride mountain bikes are used for downhill biking, also for dirt jumping and mainly focused on technical style and trick trail features. It is a popular bike type for mountain riding enthusiasts who love trying out new things.

Riding Styles 

Some people ride mountain bikes professionally, for adventure, for fun, for everyday commute, to run errands etc. Just as there are different reasons to drive bikes, there are different riding styles as well, including cross country, trail riding, all mountain, downhill, free ride and dirt jumping. Mountain bicyclers also ride off trails too, like back country roads, single tracks, wider park trails, fire roads. There are many who also perform advanced techniques using mountain bikes such as long jumps, berms and drop off. For each type of bike riding styles you need a specific type of bike, which contains special features for the trails.

Frame Materials

Frame is like a mountain bike’s skeleton. It helps to support the bike and maintain all its proper function. Frame can be made from 4 different types of material: titanium, aluminium. Carbon fiber and steel. Steel is the strongest component and accounts for stiffness of the bike. Aluminium results into a very lightweight bike. Titanium is considered best frame material but its expensive. Carbon fibers provide good durability and tensile strength to the bike.

Suspension Types

Bicycle suspension is a type of system, or systems, which is used to insulate or prevent roughness of the terrain from laying an impact on the rider. Mountain bikes with only front suspension are called hard tail bikes. Bicycles with suspensions at both front and back are known as dual or full suspension bikes. When a mountain bike has no suspension it’s called rigid.

Gears and Shifters

Gears are the device on a bicycle which helps you ride a bike efficiently and unfailingly. There are many types of gear shifters present in mountain bikes: indexed shifters, friction shifters, and MTB and road shifters. MTB shifters are most commonly found on mountain bikes. These shifters can be activated by thumb and fore finger. These provide the best control when riding rough mountainous terrain.

Bike Brakes

Brake is an instrument which prevents the bicycle from proceeding or moving further. Bike brakes are highly essential and needs to be present in all bikes. Bike brakes are of three important types disc, rim and drum brakes. Rim brakes help to induce the friction pads to the rim in its rotating wheel, causing the bike to slow down. Disc brakes are attached to the wheel hub and are mostly commonly found in mountain bikes. They are actuated either hydraulically or mechanically. Drum brakes uses it two pads to press outward against the bike’s braking surface, from the interior of the hub shell. It works similar to a car’s braking system.

Wheel Size concepts

There are 3 main wheel sizes available; 26-inches, 27.5-inches, and 29-inches. Go with 26-inch wheels if you want to navigate tight spaces or go with 29-inch wheels if you want to ride on trails with obstacles. Alternatively, you can opt for 27.5-inch wheels as they provide maximum versatility for riding.


Check if the seats have the adjustable feature. You seat must be close to the riders height. Too short seats or too long seats would be a hindrance to the rider. Seat is the place where the rider balances his entire body mass at. Thus check if the seats are wide enough and at perfect position.


The weight of mountain bicycles range from 29 to 31 pounds. Fram material, suspension type, wheels size and material and also type of tires contributes in building the weight of the mountain bike. The bike should not be too heavy or too light for the rider. Full suspension system bikes have more weight than all the other types of suspension system bikes. As full suspension system bikes have additional features which help to provide a smooth and comfortable riding experience.


There are different mountain bikes of different prices. Brands are an important factor, while buying a bike of your choice. But it may surprise you that many good brands, with all proper features which help you to get a full riding experience are available at very reasonable prices. Grab a reasonable bike with which you can try all types of mountain riding styles and a bike whose pattern and style suits your personality.

Final Thought

The short guide provided above will help you determine your final mountain bike choice. As you can see, there are plenty of choices available to you while on a budget, meaning that you don’t have to break the bank just to indulge in your passion for riding. Good luck to you.

Robert Blackshire

This is Robert S. Blackshire, I am a cyclist and blogger. I start cycling when I was at the age of 18. I love to write about my cycling, bike review and parts review. Regularly writing about cycling for various magazines, newspapers and websites.

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