The Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000 for 2020

Great mountain bikes for beginners that won't break the bank

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Here are the best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars.

Here are the best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars.

The Best Mountain Bikes Under 1000 Dollars

Updated on 8/12/2020 with the best options currently available 

They may not be the lightest or come equipped with the latest high-end gear, but there are plenty of quality entry-level mountain bikes that sell for around $1,000. These are great options for beginner mountain bikers and young riders who may soon outgrow their current bike. Keep reading to learn what to look for in your first mountain bike and check out our list of the best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars (or close to it).

Are you a new mountain biker? Learn more in our Beginner’s Corner


What to know before buying your first mountain bike

Best mountain bikes under 1000: Trickle-down technology means you can get a lot of bang for your buck in a budget-friendly mountain bike. 

Trickle-down technology means you can get a lot of bang for your buck in a budget-friendly mountain bike.

But before you head out to your nearest bike shop or online bike seller, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the best mountain bikes under $1,000. For starters, no matter what bike you buy or how much it costs, make sure it fits you well. Because if a bike fits, it’s going to be a whole lot more fun to ride and will be less likely to end up collecting dust in the back of your garage. And while pro-level bike fits are pricey, any decent local bike shop should be willing to help get your position dialed, adjusting saddle height and swapping stem to get you the best fit.

Related: 5 things you need to know when buying your first mountain bike

The second thing you should know when searching for the best mountain bikes under $1,000 is that you are going to want to opt for a hardtail. Sure, there are some budget-priced full suspension options out there, but unless you happen to catch a super sale, the odds are that at this price point, you’re going to get a bike with inferior components that may not work very well or last very long. That’s why we suggest you stick with a hardtail and make the jump to a full-suspension down the road when you have a little more budget to work worth.

Best mountain bikes under 1000: Mountain bikes without rear suspension, commonly called "hardtails," are lighter, more affordable, and require less maintenance at the $1000 price point.

Mountain bikes without rear suspension, commonly called “hardtails,” are lighter, more affordable, and require less maintenance at the $1000 price point.

At this price point, hardtails are the best choice for their lightweight and efficiency. The other big advantage of choosing a hardtail, especially for beginners, is that they can help you become a better rider because they force you to develop your skills and make better line choices instead of just being a passenger and plowing through things. And once you’ve mastered the basics (and saved a little more money), your second bike can be a full-suspension model.

Related: 5 Best MTB Upgrades

The other option, if you really want a full suspension bike but only have $1,000 to spend, is to shop the used bike market. Online re-sellers such as The Pro’s Closet have a massive inventory of bikes, but you’ll need to keep an eye on their ever-changing inventory and hope the right bike in the right size turns up. Craigslist, eBay, and the various bike website forums are other good places to peruse. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before you transfer your hard-earned money.

Related: 5 tips for buying a used bike

As for buying new, aside from fit, if possible, opt for a bike that’s spec’d with parts from respected component brands such as Shimano, SRAM, Fox, and RockShox. All these companies make a wide range of products, meaning that their lower-priced options typically benefit from trickle-down technology. They also have reputations to uphold, so it’s unlikely that they’ll put out parts that are going to fall apart in a few months.

Now that you have some basics shopping strategies, here are the best mountain bikes under $1,000 (or reasonably close to it) listed from most affordable to most expensive.


Best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars in 2020

Schwinn Axum

Take on new trail challenges with the Axum mountain bike by Schwinn. This mountain bike is the lowest-price on our list. It’s a suitable entry-point to cross-country riding for riders new to the sport. The Axum features a light aluminum frame and a 100mm suspension fork. It has a 1×8-speed drivetrain and front and rear mechanical disc brakes to deliver reliable stopping power. Plus, the Axum rolls on high-volume 29×2.6 tires that make it easy to roll over just about anything. It’s available with or without a dropper seatpost—our advice is to upgrade to the dropper-post equipped version.

Related Reading: Click here to for our full review of this bargain-priced mountain bike. 

Price: $398-$498 (with dropper seatpost)

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Cannondale Trail 8

 

 

If you’re just getting started and expect to spend half your time riding pavement and half on beginner-friendly trails, Cannondale’s Trail 8 is the perfect gateway to mountain biking. It features a lightweight aluminum frame, a 3×7 drivetrain a suspension fork and mechanical disc brakes.

Price: $485.00

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REI Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0

Product image for Mineral Blue

 

The DRT 1.0 is designed to bridge that gap between youth and adult mountain bikes. It’s a great option for young teens as well as small adults. It features a lightweight aluminum frame with a low-slung top tube that gives rider plenty of standover clearance and small diameter 26-inch wheels that are easy to handle. The 3×7 drivetrain has plenty of range and it comes with hydraulic disc brakes for confidence stopping.

Price: $549.00

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Diamondback Mason 1

The Mason 1 is a hard-charging hardtail designed to plow through the rough stuff. Plus-sized, 27.5×3.0-inch. tires add incredible levels of traction and control without added complexity of and expense of a rear suspension system. UPfront a SR Suntour XCR 34 fork provides 120mm of travel, while Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes keep your speed under control. The 1×10 Shimano drivetrain makes shifting simple—no pesky front derailleur to fiddle with while you monster-truck over rocks and roots.

Price: $850.00

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Diamondback Overdrive 2

Best mountain bikes under 1000: Overdrive 29 2

Diamondback describes the Overdrive 2 as the classic 29er hardtail. The Overdrive is build around a strong and light aluminum 29er frame with a confidence-inspiring RockShox FS30 TK Coil Spring fork with 100mm of suspension travel. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes supplies reliable stopping power and a 2×9 Shimano drivetrain provides you with plenty of granny gear for steep climbs. Thanks to its 29er wheels, cleaning tricky rock sections and log-overs is a whole lot less tricky. If you’re looking for a great entry-level hardtail for cross-country riding and racing, this is it.

Price: $1,000

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About the author: Mtbr

Mtbr.com is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.


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Comments:

  • Ken Wilson says:

    Do you have any recommendations for bikes that are in stock? None of the reviews I’ve read include any bicycles that can be purchased without a 6-12 month wait.

    • Glenn says:

      Facebook Marketpace. Get a killer deal on a used bike. People are hard up for money these days.

      • Francis Cebedo says:

        >> Facebook Marketpace. Get a killer deal on a used bike. People are hard up for money these days.

        Facebook Marketplace is a great place to buy and sell bikes these days since you can view the profile of the other party. Less scammers and anonymous flakes.

        But… great deals are few and far between. There is very little supply of used bikes and so many, many new folks who are getting into bikes since there’s not that many sports options these days.

  • Josh Patterson says:

    Ken,

    It’s a frustrating time for people who want to start mountain biking. Demand is high and supply is low. As of yesterday, all the bikes on this list were in stock. We will keep updating this list frequently to hopefully give readers options that are available to buy.

  • Brent says:

    FB Marketplace is really hit or miss. Seen a lot of “fake” bikes and people buying up new bikes to flip to desperate people on Marketplace. But it is probably the best thing going right now for an immediate need. You can find a good deal on a quality used full suspension bike, but entry level hardtails are mostly overpriced, even for heavily used stock.

    I’ve been shopping for a month and haven’t been able to find a deal I want (but I have something for now). Been thinking about just ordering a factory direct hardtail from Fezzari and just waiting for it to show up around Christmas.

  • Larry Sayler says:

    Looks like Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI bought a nice advertisement.
    These are all brands those two sell.
    There are better equipped IBD models for the money.

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