Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000 in 2018

Mountain bikes under the $1,000 price range are more commonly referred to as ‘hard tails’. This means that the suspension is only on the front wheel. Mountain bikes over $1,000 will have or should have suspension on the front and back.

There are some models which have both and are under $1,000 but in all honestly they lack the quality and we recommend staying away.

What is a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

Designed for handling tough terrains, the frame of these bikes are generally more upright. Why are they referred to as hard tail? This is because the rear of the bike doesn’t have suspension so this is where the bike is ‘driven from’. The front suspension works to soften the vibrations and bumps along the path.

Additionally hard tail mountain bikes have a fairly high clearance which make it easy to ride over logs, rocks and other large obstacles. The front suspension buffers the bumps and stress along the way which at least makes the ride comfortable for you.

As well as the suspension the tires are typically wider and knobby which directly relates to improved grip and traction. Rims and spokes tend to be stronger than other bikes in order to handle the rough terrain as well.

There are more gears on a hardtail mountain bike which make it easy to get through tough hill climbs and other sticky situations.

Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000

1.Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Comp 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Diamondback Overdrive Comp 29ER Hardtail Mountain Bike


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as of October 23, 2018 7:20 pm


  • 29 inch wheels help you roll over the obstacles in the trail
  • 6061 aluminum alloy frame with forged dropouts
  • Rockshox Recon Silver 100mm coil fork
  • Shimano M447 hydraulic disc brakes (180/160mm rotor)
  • Shimano Deore 2x10 drivetrain

The Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Comp 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike is one of the most popular on the market and is a clear favorite with the team at Fitness Equipment Reviews.

Key Features

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Rockshox Recon Silver 29inch Fork, 32mm Stanchion
  • Front travel 100mm
  • Shimano 2 x 10 speed rapidfire drivetrain
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Kenda Honey Badger tires 29 x 2.2″

The Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Comp 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike is a high quality, lightweight cross-country trail bike.

With a total weight of 32.9 pounds the light aluminum frame is still extremely responsive on trails.

Featuring 29″ wheels this bike can easily make it across all terrains and still be able to fly up hill.

The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes (w/ 180mm front /160mm rear rotors) as well as a 2 x 10 drivetrain and RockShox fork make this mountain bike a dream to ride.

The mountain bike is hand built and shipped all ready to use in a few steps. You will just need to put on the front wheel, seat, pedals and pump up the tires – everything else is all done!


  • Handbuilt and very easy to assemble the final pieces
  • Lightweight aluminum bike frame
  • 29″ wheels
  • 2 x 10 drive train
  • Hydraulic disc brakes


  • Price

While it is near impossible to find a negative with the Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Comp 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike the only thing we can really suggest is the high price. You definitely get what you pay for with this bike so if your budget allows we highly recommend it.

2. Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike

Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike, Red, 17"/Medium

4 new from $699.99
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as of October 23, 2018 7:20 pm


  • Designed for rooty, rocky, mountain trail riding
  • Sizing: s=5'3"-5'6", m=5'6"-5'9", l=5'9"-6', xl=6'-6'4"
  • Made with lightweight AL-6061 SL custom butted aluminum frame and SR Sun tour XCR 32 120mm travel fork for clearance and comfort on the bumps
  • Features easy to operate Shimano Alivio 1x9 drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes for the ultimate in stopping power in all weather conditions
  • Includes weinmann U28, 27.5 inch , 32H, 28mm wide rims and wide Kenda Honey badger 27.5 x 2.2 tires for stability

The Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike is a another great option for a mountain bike under $1,000. Slightly less popular than the Diamondback but still boasting many great features.

Key Features

  • Designed for rough terrain 
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • 120mm travel fork
  • 1 x9 shimano drive train
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Kenda Honey Badger 27.5 x 2.2 inch tires
  • Different sizing options available

The Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike has a total weight of 29.6 pounds which appeals to many customers. The other feature is that it is available in different sizes. The size guide is s-5’3″-5’6″, m=5’6″-5’9″, l=5’9″-6′, xl=6′-6’4″. 

Included are the Kenda Honey Badger 27.5 x 2.2 tires as well as Weinmann U28, 27.5inch, 32mmH x 28mmW rims.

The Raleigh comes partially assembled but will still take anywhere from 30minutes to 120minutes to assemble.


  • Excellent brakes
  • Lightweight bike
  • Handles all terrains well
  • Different sizing options available
  • 120mm suspension


  • Low on gears
  • Issues with suspension lockout failing
  • Challenging for some to assemble

In this price range the Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike presents the best value for money. The only downside is less gears and the suspension lockout has failed for some people. However, it is still a great bike and many attest to it’s quality.

3.Diamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike

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as of October 23, 2018 7:20 pm


BrandDiamondback Bicycles
Product GroupSports
TitleDiamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Another Diamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike. It is quite rare to find a good quality full suspension bike for under $1,000 but this bike has some great features worth considering.

Key Features

  • Aluminum frame
  • 3 x 8 speed rapidfire shifter
  • 100mm travel suspension fork
  • Kindshock coil rear shock
  • Different sizes available- s, m, l

The Diamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike is a cheaper yet still quality entry level full suspension mountain bike. The total weight of the bike is around 35 pounds with a maximum user capacity of 300 pounds.

The different sizes available are: S/16″ / Rider Height: 5’4″ – 5’7″, M/18″ / Rider Height: 5’7″ – 5’10” and L/20″/Rider Height: 5’10” – 6’1″.

Bike arrives partly assembled and it is relatively easy to put together the rest. The more difficult parts are done for you leaving the handle bars, front wheels, pedals and disk brake. It can be put together in roughly 30minutes.


  • Different sizing available
  • Good amount of gears
  • Easy to assemble


  • Quite heavy
  • Brakes aren’t that good

With positive reviews the Diamondback Bicycles Recoil 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike shows good value for money. It is an excellent entry level mountain bike for those new to the sport.

4. Mongoose Men’s Tyax SUPA Expert 27.5+

Mongoose Men's Tyax SUPA Expert 27.5+ Wheel, Burgundy, 17.5 inch / Medium

1 new from $902.38
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as of October 23, 2018 7:20 pm


  • Mongoose trail aluminum hard tail frame and SR Suntour XCR Air 100 mm travel fork with lockout and rebound adjustment is forgiving and responsive
  • Shimano Deore/Micro Shift 2 x 10 drivetrain with Alivio shifters offer quick shifting and optimal gearing options for varied terrain and trails
  • WTB Trailblaze 27.5 x 2.8" tires supply added traction and stability with a larger contact patch with the ground for tough climbs and tight corners
  • Shimano B-M365 hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors provide intuitive stopping power in all weather conditions
  • FSA Comet Boost crank with 36/22T gearing for more efficient pedaling on tough trails

The Mongoose Mens Tyax has an XC aluminium hardtail frame with a SR Suntour 100mm travel fork suspension. With a lockout and rebound adjustment this is a forgiving yet responsive mountain bike.

Key Features

  • Lightweight frame
  • Shimano Deore/Micro Shift 2 x 10 drivetrain
  • Alivio shifters
  • WTB Trailblaze 27.5 x 2.8″ tires
  • Hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors
  • FSA comet boost crank

Designed for smooth riding without compromising on strength and comfort this is a quality hard tail bike. Suitable for hardpack singletrack and everything in between, this is a versatile bike.

With plus sized tires there is plenty of traction on steep climbs and it handles well on steep and bumpy descents. Plus size wheels and tires are still the typical 27.5 inches in size but offer more width- these are 2.8″ wide. Significantly larger than a standard tire yet still smaller that the fat bikes.

With Shimano B-M365 hydraulic disc brakes along with 180 mm rotors means stopping in all weather conditions is easy. 

The FSA Comet Boost crank and gearing make for more efficient pedaling on those challenging trails. 


  • Lightweight
  • Great price
  • Reputable brand
  • Plus size tires
  • Hydraulic disc brakes


  • Only available in medium

The Mongoose Mens Tyax offers a well priced and highly responsive mountain bike with a high level of comfort and forgiveness. The drive train offers quick shifting as well as optimal gearing for all different terrains. The extra wide or plus sized tires make for extra traction and stability.

5. Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bike

Schwinn High Timber Men's Mountain Bike, White (27.5-Inch)

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as of October 23, 2018 7:20 pm


  • New Schwinn mountain frame with Schwinn suspension fork for controlled riding
  • Shimano twist shifters with 21 speeds and Shimano rear derailleur for quick gear changes
  • Alloy V brakes for sure stops
  • Alloy wheels
  • 3 piece alloy crank offers wide gear range

The Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bike is the first budget mountain bike to make this list. More so for casual riding this bike will handle off road trails to a certain extent.

Key Features

  • Steel frame
  • Front suspension fork
  • Alloy V Brakes
  • Alloy wheels
  • 3 piece alloy crank
  • Available in black or white
  • Limited lifetime warranty

The Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bikeis a budget mountain bike that is good for absolute beginners. Don’t expect too much with this bike but the suspension at the front will smooth out your rides.

Measuring at 18″ this bike is classified as a medium bike.


  • Easy to assemble
  • 21 speed bike
  • Shimano twist shifters – 21 speed bike
  • Limited lifetime warranty


  • Heavy

The Schwinn High Timber Men’s Mountain Bike is a great entry level bike for those who aren’t too serious about mountain biking.

If you do the occasional off road trails then it will be a lot more comfortable than a standard bicycle but if are more serious about mountain biking then opt for a different model.

6. Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike

Merax Finiss 26" Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes (Classic Black&Red)

4 new from $269.33
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as of October 23, 2018 7:20 pm


  • Lightweight Heat Treated Aluminum Mountain Frame
  • 26" Double Wall Aluminum Rims Wheels for Easier Rolling
  • Shimano 21-speed Derailleurs and Shifters for Reliable Shifting
  • Front and Rear Mechanical Disc Brakes
  • Suspension Fork 80mm Travel provides Smooth Bumps and Increases Control

The Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike is another budget mountain bike on our list.

Key Features

  • Frame size of 19″
  • 80mm travel suspension fork
  • 21 speeds
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Aluminum frame
  • Available in black & red, gray & green or white & red

The Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike has been designed for a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds however it is recommended by the company for those 220pounds and under.

At this price the bike is quite surprisingly lightweight at 33pounds and handles terrain reasonably well.

A good entry level bike but like the previous model if you are serious about getting into mountain biking then opt for a different model.

The bike comes 85% assembled you just need to put on the pedals, front wheel, handlebar and pump up the tires.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Lightweight
  • 21 speeds
  • Different colors to choose from
  • Good entry level mountain bike


  • Only 80mm travel suspension fork

The Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike is a very basic, entry level mountain bike. Great for those who only rarely go off road and onto rough terrain.

Key Features of Mountain Bikes under $1000


The reason why you can spend hundreds on mountain bikes is largely due to the quality of suspension. For those who can afford it having the best suspension completely changes your ride and comfort level.

There are of course negatives and positives associated with both full suspension and hardtail bikes so familiarizing yourself the pros and cons of each is important.

As a rule of thumb, under $1,000 mountain bikes with front suspension will range from 80mm to 120mm.

If you have plans to tackle bumpy and rock terrain then the more suspension you have the better. However, the less suspension the lower the weight so the amount is entirely up to how you plan to use it!


Considering the standard mountain bike wheel and tire combination is 26-inches there is now much more variety on the market.

Initially many bikes had large 29- inch wheels but that has since been reduced to 27.5 inches.

Nowdays you can purchase tires and wheels from 27.5 to 29 inches which seems to be the magic number for providing optimal traction and stability.

The Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Comp 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike remains one of the most popular 29 inch mountain bikes on the market. Generally the larger the tire and wheel size the more comfortable it is for taller people. 


Entirely dependent on what you want to use the mountain bike for. For lightweight bikes it is recommended that your bike has an aluminum frame, front suspension for and either 27.5 or 29 inch wheels depending on your height.

The lower you get in price the more weight you can expect on your bike- some becoming quite heavy due to the materials used. Top end hardtail bikes are generally 1kg lighter than a full suspension bike.

Extra weight isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it depends on your mountain biking goals.

Hardtail Versus Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

A debate than can go on! There are arguments for and against both types, one can research and test different bikes out but the final choice is always going to be personal. The type of bike you decide on will also be influenced by your budget so one also needs to be realistic in this sense.

Differences Between Full Suspension & Hardtails

The key difference as mentioned earlier is that hardtail bikes only feature front suspension whereas full suspension is both front and back.

Simplistic in design, hardtails offer a lighter, easier to maintain bike that has less moving parts and therefore less potential issues.

Depending on your budget, hardtail bikes have carbon frames that improve flex and comfort but they really don’t compare to the comfort of a full suspension bike.

That being said, for under $1,000 you will find a few decent hard tail bikes whereas a full suspension bike is going to cost significantly more.


In terms of climbing ability, hardtails offer better power transfer to the rear wheel which on even terrain results in more acceleration. One can also maintain a fairly consistent speed with a hardtail bike.

When the terrain changes and becomes more challenging, rear suspension means there is more rear wheel power available. This translates to more control and better handling over obstacles. The extra suspension helps to maintain traction on the climbing difficult terrains.


Full suspension bikes offer a huge advantage over hardtails when it comes to technical downhills. Sure, hardtails handle the terrain well but front & back suspension offers much more comfort on the legs and body.

This is important because the more energy you can conserve in your legs and body the better your endurance.

With these considered when it comes to technical downhills I feel you make better choices on a hardtail which also translates to better skills and becoming a better rider.


Less moving parts means less maintenance so hardtails are a much better choice for those who want a low maintenance bike. Full suspension bikes need periodic servicing on the pivots and linkages as well as the rear shocks.


Lightweight mountain biking is growing in popularity with advancements in technology we can expect frames to only improve. As mentioned previously, hardtails are roughly 1 kg lighter than full suspension bikes but there are many lightweight full suspension bikes.

This is also reflected by your budget so if you rate a light weight then this should be reflected in your budget.


Younger riders aren’t really going to be affected too much by the comfort level of their bike. This is just the way their bodies are designed. For me, nowadays I seem to feel every bump on the road so comfort is pretty high on my priority list when it comes to choosing a bike.

Bottom Line

For those looking for the best mountain bike under $1,000 we hope this review helps! I highly recommend the Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Comp 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike as it presents great value for money. If you are budget restricted then try the Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike. If are completely unsure what bike you want to get have a read of our road bike reviews too. 

9.8 Total Score

If you are looking for a quality mountain bike but don't want to spend over $1,000 then the bikes in this review will be perfect! For this price range you will be able to get a good suspension system making it a comfortable ride.

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Comp 29er Hardtail
Merax Finiss 26" Aluminum 21 Speed
Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike 
Airborne Seeker
Mongoose Tyax
Merax Finiss
User Rating: 4.64 (11 votes)
1 Comment
  1. They might be under $1000 in the US but they are not in England!

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