Best Mountain bikes under 500

Top 5 Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 Reviews

Recently, I got really into riding. I used to ride the mountain bikes around the neighborhood when I was a kid, but then I had not been on a bicycle in almost twenty years. However, after I had kids of my own, I knew that I wanted to get back in shape. Therefore, I need the best mountain bikes under 500.

In addition, when they are old enough, we can go on family rides throughout the city and the woods by my house. Speaking of riding through the woods, if you are into off-road riding at all, then you need the best mountain bikes under 500.

When I first got back into riding, I just got a bike from my local department store. However, now I am much more discerning in my tastes, and I now have a bike for street riding and another for off-road tracking.

One of the biggest hurdles for most people, however, is the price of a new bike. If you want a high-quality bicycle, you will need to shell out big bucks. Thankfully, however, I have compiled a list of the best mountain bikes under 500 so you can get on the road without breaking the bank.

How to Choose the Best Mountain Bikes under 500

When trying to find the right bike for your needs, there are certain things to keep in mind. The top four factors you should look at are:

Material

The three most common bike frame materials are steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. Since carbon fiber is the most expensive, you will not be able to get the best mountain bikes under 500 that are made of this versatile material.

When it comes to steel vs. aluminum, however, steel is heavier and more durable, but prone to rusting. Aluminum is lightweight and may not rust, but it can bend easier. Choose depending on your needs.

Style

The best mountain bikes under 500 come in a variety of styles to match the terrain and your ride. The most common styles are:

  • Trail: all around usage
  • Cross country: designed for fast riding and climbing uphill
  • Fat Bikes: thicker wheels for better traction on slippery surfaces (such as snow)
  • All Mountain: an upgraded version of the trail bike, designed for more hardcore riders
  • Downhill: Designed for racing, as well as encountering obstacles. These are very durable bikes

Wheel Size

As far as wheels are concerned, the bigger the wheel, the more terrain you can conquer. Since you are higher off the ground, larger wheels, give you an edge, allowing you to navigate much more rough ground than you would with a smaller wheel. Sizes are usually between 26 and 29 inches.

Suspension

To help get a smoother ride, make sure that the best mountain bikes under 500 come with a sufficient suspension. There are three types of suspension:

  • Rigid: no suspension at all
  • Hardtail: front suspension fork, but nothing on the rear wheel
  • Full: suspension on both front and rear wheels for a smoother ride overall

Recommended Best Mountain Bikes Under 500

Schwinn Women’s High Timber Mountain Bike, 16-Inch/Small

First on the list of the best mountain bikes under 500, is the Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike. I have always liked Schwinn products, both because of the high quality and the relative cost effective options that they have.

The High Timber is an excellent mountain bike for the money, coming with all the features you need to make the most of your journey. The best mountain bikes under 500 have a durable steel frame, which helps you take on almost any terrain.

While steel frames are generally heavier, I find that they are much sturdier, especially if you ride on rough and uneven surfaces. If you should ever crash into anything, I think you will want a steel frame that will not bend upon impact.

To help your ride, the best mountain bikes under 500 also come with a high-quality derailleur for shifting. Shimano is arguably the best at making shifters, so you know that you can depend on it during your ride. The High Timber has 21 different speeds, allowing you to navigate both uphill and downhill with ease.

Other features of this bike include a SRAM twist shifter in the handlebars (as opposed to shifting with a lever), linear pull brakes, a hard tail suspension system, and 26-inch wheels. For the most part, 26-inches is standard for the best mountain bikes under 500, so you should get a broad range of coverage with this model.

Finally, this bike comes with Schwinn’s limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Durable steel frame
  • Suspension fork for a smoother ride
  • Twenty-one speeds
  • Shimano derailleur
  • SRAM twist shifters
  • Easy to shift between gears
  • Durable alloy wheels
  • Linear pull brakes
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Thick padded seat
  • Rugged tread tires
  • Limited lifetime warranty included

Cons

  • Kickstand is not as durable as the rest of the bike
  • In rare cases, the wheel may be bent
  • In rare instances, brakes may squeal

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Laurito Hardtail Complete Mountain Bike (27.5-Inch Wheels)

Next, we have the Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Laurito Hardtail Mountain Bike. This particular model is a bit of an upgrade to the High Timber model, especially if you like an aluminum frame. While I tend to prefer steel, I do have to say that this bike has it all.

In addition to the durable aluminum frame, the Laurito also comes with a high-quality Shimano derailleur for smoother shifting while you ride. The best mountain bikes under 500 has 21 speeds so you can go up and down the mountain with ease, and it has a hard tail suspension system for a smoother ride overall.

What sets the best mountain bikes under 500 apart, however, is the size of the wheels. As I mentioned above, the larger the wheel, the easier it is to navigate rough terrain. To that end, this bike has 27.5-inch wheels, which are much better suited for off-road riding.

The larger wheel size also means that it takes a little more effort to get up to speed, but once you are rolling, you’ll find your ride much easier.

Pros

  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Replaceable derailleur frame
  • Front suspension fork for a smoother ride
  • 27.5-inch wheels
  • Twenty-one speeds
  • Shimano derailleur
  • Compatible with fenders and a rack
  • Quick release wheels
  • Front pull braking system
  • Thick padded seat

Cons

  • In rare cases, the shifter may not work properly
  • In rare instances, the wheels may come damaged
  • In some cases, the gear shifters may need to be re-aligned

Mongoose Women’s Status 2.2 Mountain Bike, 16-Inch/Small

When talking about high-quality bike manufacturers, another top brand is Mongoose. These best mountain bikes under 500 are highly popular for kids and teens, but that doesn’t mean adults can’t benefit as well.

The Status 2.2 Mountain Bike is an excellent example of the durability and reliability of the Mongoose brand. The best mountain bikes under 500 has a high-quality aluminum frame, which means it’s lightweight and rides like a dream.

A front suspension fork also makes your ride much smoother overall. In fact, this bike has a full suspension system, so you have a much better experience than with a hard tail model. Like the other bikes on this list, the Status 2.2 comes with a Shimano derailleur for shifting and comes with 21 speeds for going up and down hills with relative ease.

It also comes with SRAM twist shifters in the handlebars and a front pull braking system. What sets this model apart is the fact that it comes with two V brakes (front and rear) for better stopping power. Finally, the best mountain bikes under 500 have 26-inch wheels with alloy rims, and three-piece cranking system for a wider range of speeds.

Pros

  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Suspension fork for a smoother ride
  • Twenty-one speeds
  • Shimano rear derailleur
  • SRAM twist shifters for better shifting
  • Front and rear V-brakes
  • Front pull braking system
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Three-piece cranking system
  • Alloy rims
  • Thick padded seat

In rare cases, the chain may break under pressure

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • In some cases, the braking system may need a tune-up upon arrival

26″ Schwinn Sidewinder Women’s Mountain Bike, Matte Black/Pink

Coming back to Schwinn, we now have the Sidewinder Mountain Bike. These best mountain bikes under 500 is very similar to the High Timber, meaning that you still get all of the features and benefits you need for a smooth, quality ride.

The Sidewinder comes with a sturdy steel frame that can take almost any abuse. Although the frame makes the bike heavier, I find that steel is much better at absorbing impact should the worst happen. These best mountain bikes under 500 also has a hard tail suspension system, making it smooth, but not as smooth as a model with a full suspension.

Using a Shimano derailleur, you can shift between 21 speeds, meaning that you can take on almost any terrain. In addition, the 26-inch tires will help you go over most uneven terrain without issue. The tires also come with alloy rims for better durability overall.

Other features of this bike include a linear pull braking system, a quick-release saddle (for easier adjustment), and a thick padded seat for extra comfort. Unfortunately, this model does not come with Schwinn’s limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Durable steel frame
  • Suspension fork for a smoother ride
  • Twenty-one speeds
  • Shimano rear derailleur
  • Shimano Revo brakes
  • Alloy linear pull braking system
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Alloy rims
  • Quick-release saddle for easier adjustment
  • Thick padded seat

Cons

  • Seat is a little firm for some riders
  • Brakes may squeak upon arrival
  • In rare cases, the shifters may not work properly

Mongoose Girl’s Maxim Full Suspension Bicycle (24-Inch)

Finally, we come to the Mongoose Maxim Bicycle. This particular model is designed for young women. However, I find that it works on women of any age, as long as you are within the designated height range.

The Maxim comes with a high-quality aluminum frame that makes it both lightweight and extremely maneuverable. You are lower to the ground, however, since the wheels are only 24 inches instead of the standard 26. Nonetheless, you have 21 speeds to choose from, thanks to a high-quality Shimano derailleur in the back.

What I like about this bike is that it comes with a full suspension system, so your ride is as smooth as possible. You also get linear pull brakes and a three-piece cranking system for a wider range of speeds. Overall, this bike is easy to use and very smooth to ride.

Pros

  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Suspension fork on both wheels for a smoother ride
  • Twenty-one speeds
  • Shimano rear derailleur
  • SRAM twist shifters for better control
  • Three-piece crank system
  • Alloy linear brakes
  • 24-inch wheels
  • Alloy rims
  • Easy to adjust seat

Cons

  • In rare cases, the brakes may be out of alignment upon arrival
  • In rare instances, the tires may burst under pressure
  • In some cases, the shifters may not work properly
  • Heavier than some other models

Final Verdict

When it comes to picking out the best bike on the list, I have to say that I love Schwinn. Part of the reason is that my old kid’s bike was a Schwinn, so I guess I am feeling a little nostalgic.

Nonetheless, the weight of your bike is probably going to be a big factor for you, so you will need to decide between steel and aluminum.

Personally, I prefer steel for mountain bikes because they are sturdier, and I like to ride hard. For this reason, I would like to choose Schwinn Women’s High Timber Mountain Bikefor mine.

However, if you ride casually and want something more lightweight, then I would recommend either of the Mongoose models, as they are both aluminum.

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