Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners – Complete Guide (Updated 2024)

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about buying your first mountain bike!

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Mountain bikes are the best to experience hilly adventures, don’t you agree? I remember when I had to get my first mountain bike. It was already intimidating and on top of that, having so many options to choose from did not make things easier. 

There were so many things to consider like the wheel size, hardtail, and suspension before even jumping into the specifications. But here’s the good part! I have run detailed research on many beginner mountain bikes to help you decide which one suits you the most!

With my guide, you will be able to choose the best budget mountain bike for yourself, and that too at the right price. I have categorized every kind of bike so there are enough options for everyone.

Best Budget Mountain Bikes For Beginners in 2024

Let’s get started with the guide!

Best Feature Bikes Price/$
Best Overall Trek Roscoe 8 1,999.99
Best Dropper Post Norco Fluid FS3 2,499.00
Best Tire Clearance  Commencal Meta HT AM Origin  1,540.28
Best Comfort Vitus Mythique VR 1,699.99
Best Grip Kona Process 134 2,024.94 
Best Tires Vitus Sentier 29 VR  1,399.99
Best Aluminium Frame  Orbea Laufey H30 1,499.94
Best Assembly Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 698.93
Best Components Tommaso Gran Sasso 699.99

Note: All the prices mentioned are subject to change.

1. Trek Roscoe 8 

Price: MSRP $1,999.99

Roscoe 8
Roscoe 8

The Trek Roscoe 8 is my pick for the best overall bike and it certainly lives up to that grandeur. The bike has an amazing wheel size of almost 28 which makes it comfortable and flexible for any kind of rider out there. This is a fast bike that will offer the best performance without breaking the bank, the price is certainly worth it considering the features and performance.

I have enjoyed a few rides on this bike and let me tell you, the construction of this bike is exemplary. The exceptional geometry of the bike allowed me to handle the roughest tracks easily. One more thing that I found impressive about this bike is the frame. It is made from the signature Gold Aluminium combined with a tapered headtube. This results in amazing steering accuracy while also eliminating the flex in the front.

Let’s talk about the construction of the bike, first of all, it does not have any rear suspension. That’s the only thing I found disappointing about this bike. It does consist of a 120mm RockShox 35 fork which is situated at the front, this is combined with the SoloAir spring and Turnkey hydraulic lockout. The cockpit of the bike is protected by the company’s exclusive Knock Block, which makes sure that in case of a crash, there are no damages.

Don’t worry about the handling or performance, the bike consists of 12 gears which will ensure performance. Furthermore, the bike is equipped with SRAM’s NX Eagle drivetrain.

Advantages 

  • Amazing Geometry 
  • Responsive Handling 
  • Multiple Sizes 

Disadvantages 

  • Lacks Rear Suspension 
  • Drivetrain Requires Fine Tuning 
  • Slower Than Market Competitors 
Editor's Choice: The Trek Roscoe 8 is a perfect trail bike if you are a beginner in mountain biking. It has the right amount of gears, and the handling is amazing, making things easier for you. This bike lets you enjoy the track without a care in the world!

 

2. Norco Fluid FS3 

Price: MSRP $2,499.00

Norco Fluid FS3
Norco Fluid FS3

If you are looking for an amazing entry-level mountain bike, then the Norco Fluid FS3 should be one of your top priorities. This bike is my second pick but only because of the price bracket. The frame of the bike is 120mm which is then paired with 130mm, the wheels of the bike are 27.5 so expect amazing performance and handling. The size of the bike makes it accessible to a lot of people, while also making it flexible.

If you are worried about the reliability of this bike then know that the fork and suspension of this bike are made by X-Fusion, which is very trustworthy. Norco Fluid FS3 consists of an SRAM SX 1*12 drivetrain and a TranzX dropper post, all of these are amazing specifications. 

Advantages 

  • Incredible Dropper Post 
  • Outstanding Performance
  • Reliable Components 

Disadvantages 

  • Heavy 
  • Less Smooth 
  • Difficult Maneuvering 
Why I Like It: The Narco Fluid is a very capable bike. Whether you are going downhill or are planning to climb up. it will not disappoint you. Overall, this bike is a full-suspension entry-level bike that can prove to be a good first mountain bike.

3. Commencal Meta HT AM Origin 

Price: MRSP $1,540.28

 

Commencal Meta HT AM Origin
Commencal Meta HT AM Origin

Commencal is known for its direct relationships with its customers, their bikes are sold through its website which offers amazing prices that cannot be matched easily. Their brand confidence is seen in their bikes where performance is prioritized without breaking the bank.

Their Meta HT bike comes under the category of enduro bikes that is because of the 160mm fork and amazing 65-degree headtube angle. Considering taking on an EWS course, the Meta HT has got you covered as it descends smoothly like butter. The exceptional geometry of the bike ensures that you get top speed with amazing handling. 

For the money’s worth, the Commencal Meta HT AM Origin is an amazing enduro bike.

Advantages 

  • Durable
  • Internal Cable Routing 
  • Sufficient Tire Clearance 

Disadvantages 

  • Lacks Dropper
  • Support One Bottle 
Why I Like It: This is the kind of bike that you don't forget about once you have a ride on it. It's a good option if you plan to ride on the slow slopes. Something that is not too technical. At least that's what I enjoyed more on the bike.

4. Vitus Mythique VR 

Price: MSRP $1,699.99

Vitus Mythique 29 Vr Bike
Vitus Mythique 29 VR Bike

If you are planning to get competitive, or just up your game then the Vitus Mythique VR has got you covered. The bike comes in variable wheel sizes of 27.5 and 29, so you can choose according to your preferences. 

The Vitus Mythique comes fitted with an X-Fusion fork and shock that ensures a fully shock-absorbing traveling experience. The drivetrain and hydraulic brakes of the bike are exceptional as they are made by Shimano. What makes the bike truly spectacular are the Schwalbe tires.

Advantages 

  • Comfortable 
  • Quality Components 

Disadvantages 

  • Only 10-Speed- Gears
  • Riding Position Not Suitable For Downhill Riding 
Why I Like It: This bike is much more suitable on medium gravel tracks only because of its riding position. Still, its comfortable saddle and geometry allow you to ride your heart out without getting tired.

5. Kona Process 134 

Price: MSRP $2,024.94 

Kona Process 134
Kona Process 134

The Konsa Process 134 is a perfect balancing bike between the Process 154 and Process X. It is a mid-entry-level MTB with an affordable price tag. If you are one of those professional racer types then the bike also comes in 29″ and 27.5″ options that give the best possible speed. 

The Process mountain hard-tail bikes are an amazing choice for all-mountain adventures and racing because of the 6061 aluminum frame. This makes the bike lightweight but also durable. The bike also supports RockShock Deluxe suspensions.

In my opinion, this suspension is the best that you can get on a mountain bike. It makes the bike take in all the hits smoothly. It also makes this trail bike more suitable for more technical terrain. For maximum control, it has hydraulic disc brakes. The highlight of this bike has to be the Shimano Deore 11-Speed groupset which makes switching gears a breeze even on the toughest hills.

Advantages 

  • Better Fit 
  • Internal Headset 
  • Amazing Grip 
  • Beamer Independent Suspension 

Disadvantages 

  • Skinny Tires
  • Low-Quality Brakes 
Why I Like It: The became independent suspension makes the roughest of the tracks smooth. You won't even feel a bump when you are on this one. The grip coupled with the speed that you will get on this bike gives your confidence a massive boost. That is all you need to become a pro mountain biker.

6. Vitus Sentier 29 VR 

Price:  MSRP $1,399.99

Vitus Sentier 29 VR
Vitus Sentier 29 VR

Vitus is yet another one of the amazing brands that keep a direct relationship with their customers, so rest assured they have amazing bikes in their portfolio. The Vitus Sentier 29 VR is one of those bikes, the geometry of the bike is amazing and you can fully trust it when things get fast and intense.

The bike is fully kitted with an SRAM 1*12 Eagle groupset and a 140mm Marzocchi fork. Expect great handling and speed from the bike.

Advantages 

  • Marzocchi fork
  • Solid Tires 
  • Smooth Ride Feel 

Disadvantages 

  • Lacks Dropper Post 
  • Short Reach 
  • Dragging Tires
Why I Like It: The bike lacks some things like a dropper post, but it is good enough for just testing if mountain biking is your thing or not. Also if you are just learning, this bike can be a good option to start with as it allows you to test your limits without losing confidence.

7. Orbea Laufey H30 

Price: MSRP $1,499.94

Orbea Laufey H30
Orbea Laufey H30

Do you want a bike for some hardcore trail riding? The best option to go for is the Orbea Laufey H30. This bike features an amazing 140mm fork and dropper post which enables the best performance. The specifications of the bike allow riders to seamlessly enhance their skills without enabling the wear and tear of the bike.

The construction of the bike is very impressive, apart from the triple-butted aluminum frame it comes kitted with a Shimano Deore drivetrain and the Shimano M201 hydraulic disc brakes. Expect amazing grip and handling from the bike that only a handful of bikes can muster up.

Advantages 

  • Tripple-Butted Aluminium Frame 
  • Shimano Components 
  • Sleek

Disadvantages 

  • Heavy
  • Lacks Dropper Post 
Why I Like It: I love the geometry of this bike. It is amazing for off-roading but the bike is a bit on the heavier end. Nonetheless, its amazing handling got me to overlook this drawback in no time.

8. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2

Price: MSRP $698.93

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 Bike
Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 Bike

 

Next up we have the Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1, it may sound like a new addition to the market but it is not. This brand has been around for quite some time now, it is owned by REI.com. They are the makers of amazing mountain bikes that are under $500, do check them out. Although this bike falls in the category of cheap mountain bikes, it does not fall short on performance.

The DRT 1.1 bike is best suited for professional cycling enthusiasts, you can take it up for some serious trail riding or races, it is completely your choice. You will notice that the bike has a curved top tube, making it an amazing choice for men and women, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Once you use the bike for yourself you will notice that it has amazing features, providing more than enough value for its price tag. The bike has a lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy frame, which will surely make all the trail surfaces that you ride on smoother. The DRT 1.1 boosts the performance and confidence of riders in a big way!

One of the exclusive features of the DRT 1.1 is the hydraulic brakes you will need less power to operate them, which is a relief!

 The bike is lightweight (31 lbs) you won’t have any problem with carrying it around. Another plus point of the bike is that it requires minimal assembly knowledge, just follow the guidelines in the manual. We tested this bike out thoroughly, and so did other users, I concluded that this bike is easy and very comfortable to use! 

Advantages 

  • Sturdy 
  • Lightweight
  • Shimano Components 
  • Easy Assembly 

Disadvantages 

  • Lacks Traction
Why I Like It: The high-quality Shimano components paired with hydraulic disc brakes are the best combination you will find on any mountain bike. This bike comes with the option of installing a kickstand or a very convenient rack.

9. Tommaso Gran Sasso 

Price: MSRP $699.99

Tommaso Gran Sasso 29er Mounain Bike
Tommaso Gran Sasso 29er Mounain Bike

If you are looking for a great mountain bike but are on a tight budget then the Gran Sasso from Tommaso is one of the best options to go for. With the bike, you seamlessly get 100mm of travel and it even has amazing customization options. This bike is perfect for any kind of singletrack racing or trail riding.

The bike comes fitted with high-end components like the Shimano hydraulic brakes and a 24-speed train to enhance performance.

Advantages 

  • 24-Speed DriveTrain
  • Shimano Components 
  • Quick Delivery 

Disadvantages 

  • Bouncy Suspension
  • Uncomfortable Saddle 
  • Basic Pedals 
Why I Like It: The bike is very easy to assemble. It took me less than 30 minutes before I was out testing mine. The wide handlebars provide better stability. If you just change the saddle, the bike will become all that you need.

Best Beginner Mountain Bikes- How To Choose The Perfect One?

Here are some tips that you can follow up on to ensure that you get the best bike at the best possible deal.

1. Choose The Compatible Bike Size

Bike sizes are very important, especially when it comes to mountain bikes. You need to get that perfect size or the kind of size that you will grow into. The frame size of the bike matters, if you are looking to use a bike that will be used for a long time then look for a size that you will grow into.

Check if the bike is the right fit for you, the saddle, the handlebars, the wheels, everything needs to be perfect.

2. Wheel Size Is Very Important

You have many choices for wheel size when it comes to mountain bikes. The standard is 27 but you can also opt for the 29 if you want. If you are looking for a stronger option then I would suggest that you go for the latter as they would become more common in the future. Getting a stronger option results in an amazing performance and also enhances the endurance of the bike.

Learn more: Bike Size using  charts 5 easy methods

3. Bike Types Are Very important from Enduro, XC, Trail, and Downhill

If you didn’t know, mountain bikes are also further down categorized because of their builds and suspension. They are categorized into Enduro, XC, Trail, and Downhill and you can choose according to your preferences. Each of these types is made for specific terrains and performance capabilities.

If you are planning on racing then the best option to go for is trail bikes, I would suggest researching your type of bike first before purchasing.

4. Don’t Forget About The Suspension

The suspension of the bike can smoothen out the handling and the performance so do consider that while purchasing. Full-suspension bikes ensure balance, it can be very useful while going on hilly terrains. Go for air-suspension bikes, even if you are a beginner, that would ensure the best performance.

Hardtail bikes with straightforward frames would be one of the best choices for beginners. Although sometimes, fully kitted bikes with amazing components average suspension also does the trick.

5. Do Consider The Price Factor

If you are a beginner then the price factor will be very confusing, especially when justifying higher price points. The technique is to get the best possible bike at an amazing price, but while being bombarded with so many options, it can become very challenging. If you have enough money, then choose the bike which suits you the best. You can also take the bike for a test ride at a local bike shop before buying one.

There are good options then there are amazing options, although don’t go buying a $500 mountain bike because it is only going to be riddled with horrid parts and will most probably cost you more in the long run (Maintenance expenses etc).

Know that you won’t just be paying for the bike alone, you will have to invest in accessories as well. For example, track pump, helmet, shock pump, and pedals. So keep all of that into consideration!

Check more Mountain Bike Review and Guides:

FAQs

What are the best mountain bike brands?

Some of the best mountain bike brands out there are: Yeti, Kona, Cannondale and Trek.

Are Walmart mountain bikes good?

For a budget of a few hundred dollars, they are good enough but don’t expect them to compete with the high-tier brands.

What's better Schwinn or Mongoose?

In terms of pricing, Mongoose bikes are amazing. Although if you are looking for lightweight bikes then no one does it better than Schwinn.

Recap

There are countless amazing mountain bikes out there but the perfect mountain bike will only be defined according to your preferences. My job is to point you in the right direction. Do some research, find out what you want, and then get the best possible mountain bike for yourself.

Remember, you define your perfect mountain bike!


Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Rhodes Perry by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry

Rhodes is a writer, social justice advocate, and passionate cyclist. He primarily spends his time in the saddle commuting or riding multi-day, self-supported tours, and volunteers time wrenching at his local bike coop.

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