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Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000 | 2015 Reviews

Updated on April 14, 2015

If you want to find the best mountain bike under $1,000, you are in luck. These days it is absolutely possible to find a bike in this price range. You probably only need a little bit of help so that you are aware of what to look out for and what to reasonably expect.

A little bit of knowledge, like the quality of the frame and the components you can expect on a sub-$1,000 mountain bike, will help you find a good bike that you will enjoy riding, without having to spend an arm and a leg.

If you already take the sport seriously, you can start with an affordable bike and gradually upgrade crucial parts or components as your ability improves and as funds become available.

Most mountain bikes under a grand are more suited to cross-country (XC) or trail riding. So if these are your preferred trails, you are sure to find a bike that you like here.

In general, the mountain bikes showcased here are not suited to heavy mountain biking, such as riding all mountain (AM) trails, free-ride (FR) trails or downhill (DH) trails.

Best All-Around Mountain Bike Under $1,000

Diamondback 2015 Recoil Comp Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Diamondback 2015 Recoil Comp full suspension mountain bike.
Diamondback 2015 Recoil Comp full suspension mountain bike.

The latest in DiamondBack's Recoil line is a feature-packed and consistently popular full-suspension mountain bike. All the components and parts are high quality, so you get satisfaction immediately upon assembly and for years to come. It comes with a good, strong basic skeleton and parts that you can upgrade as you progress.

This bike is a good entry-level XC mountain bike, and has exceptionally high-quality components for the price. Compared to some of the cheaper mountain bikes available, it's a bit pricier, but it's worth the price, especially if you know mountain biking will be more more than just a fleeting interest.

Technical details:

  • RECOIL 6061-T6 aluminum four-inch trail frame.
  • SR Suntour XCR-RL with remote speed lock, 100mm fork, RockShox Monarch R Air Spring rear shock.
  • Shimano Alivio rear derailleur w/SLM-310 8spd rapid-fire shifters.
  • 32h Weinmann SL-7 double-wall disc rims.
  • Hayes HMX-5 Mechanical disc brakes with six-inch rotors.

The assembly and tuning of this bike is pretty straight-forward, with most of the necessary tools included with the bike. However, it does not come with instructions, so assembly might be difficult for anyone who has no experience assembling bikes.

How to Buy a Mountain Bike

Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $1,000

A hardtail mountain bike only has front-wheel shocks, versus a full-suspension bike which has a complex rear-wheel suspension mechanism. In general, they're sturdier and more affordable than full-suspension bikes, which have more intricate and hard-to-replace breakable parts. Since they are less expensive in general, you're likely to get higher-quality components for your dollar.

Hardtails make good beginner mountain bikes, as apart from the comparatively cheaper price, they force new riders to develop strong fundamentals and technique. Many advanced riders opt for hardtail to eschew the supposed "purchased talent" of a full-suspension setup.

The bikes in this category are all unisex or men's, and should be fine for many women. Smaller women or those who don't find the fit of unisex bikes to their liking should scroll down to the women's section.

Diamondback Overdrive Comp Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Overdrive Comp hardtail mountain bike.
Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Overdrive Comp hardtail mountain bike.

The Diamondback Overdrive Comp hardtail is a solid starter 29-inch bike. It has a solid hand-built lightweight aluminum frame and equipped with pretty good components for the price. Not just for the beginner, the Overdrive would also make a good intermediate bike, and is read for reasonably technical trails out of the box.

Technical details:

  • Butted 6061-T6 aluminum 29-inch frame.
  • SR Suntour XCR-LO 29 100mm travel fork.
  • Shimano Acera rear derailleur with SLM-310 eight-speed rapid-fire shifters.
  • SL-7 double-wall rims.
  • Shimano BR-M395 hydraulic disc brakes.

Montague Paratrooper Folding Mountain Bike

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Montague Paratrooper folding mountain bike in matte cammy green, unfolded.Montague Paratrooper Mountain Bike folded up.
Montague Paratrooper folding mountain bike in matte cammy green, unfolded.
Montague Paratrooper folding mountain bike in matte cammy green, unfolded.
Montague Paratrooper Mountain Bike folded up.
Montague Paratrooper Mountain Bike folded up.

With a sturdy frame and reasonably good components, this is a unique bike for people who need to commute with a mountain bike or easily store it in their car or house. In about thirty seconds, this bike can fold into a compact 36" by 28" by 12" without any tools. Don't let the convenience features fool you. This unfolds into a full-sized rugged mountain bike deployable on almost any terrain.

Nashbar Big Ol' Fat Bike

Nashbar fat mountain bike.
Nashbar fat mountain bike.

A fat-tire mountain bike offers high traction for riding in any element: mud, rain, snow, and ice. They're a bit heavier than regular tires, but are tons of fun. The Nashbar Big Ol' Fat Bike runs at around $1,100 retail, but can often dip below $1,000 during sales. It has a strong chromoly frame while still being relatively light for its size. No more winter off season!

Best Full-Suspension Mountain Bike Under $1,000

Mongoose Salvo Sport Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

Mongoose Salvo Sport Dual Suspension Mountain Bike with 26-Inch wheels.
Mongoose Salvo Sport Dual Suspension Mountain Bike with 26-Inch wheels.

This is the best full-suspension mountain bike out there for the price. With its well-made frame, the Mongoose Salvo Sport Dual Suspension has the base and specific components that make a really good mountain bike for any cross-country mountain biker.

Technical details:

  • Hydroformed alloy frame.
  • Shimano/SRAM 24-speed drive-train.
  • Adjustable 95-120mm rear travel.
  • Floating shock-mount and alloy linkage.
  • Customize the pivots with your favorite bottle-cap!

Women's Mountain Bikes Under $1,000


Mountain bikes made for women have a shorter frame, which is more suited to women's shorter torsos and overall height. The reach from seat to handlebars is shorter and more comfortable for many women than it is on a man's bike. These proportions can greatly reduce back, shoulder, and neck strain while riding.

Sizes range from 13 inches to 19 inches, with the 15, 16, and 17 inches being the most common sizes.

Though women's bikes are especially recommended for shorter women, taller women may also benefit from the sizing.

Diamondback Bicycles Lux Sport Women's Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles 2014 Lux Sport Women's Mountain Bike with 27.5-Inch Wheels
Diamondback Bicycles 2014 Lux Sport Women's Mountain Bike with 27.5-Inch Wheels

Technical details:

  • Lightweight aluminum women's-specific trail frame.
  • SR Suntour XCT 80mm travel suspension fork.
  • Shimano FC-M171 crankset.
  • 32h Weinmann SL-7 double-wall rims.
  • Tektro NOVELLA brakes with three-finger women's-specific levers.
  • The width and low rise of Diamondback’s signature alloy stem and Lazer Bar are built to suit women and create the perfect riding position for the female rider.

Best Electric Mountain Bike Under $1,000

X-Treme Scooters Lithium Electric Powered Mountain Bike

X-Treme Scooters Men's Lithium Electric Powered Mountain Bike
X-Treme Scooters Men's Lithium Electric Powered Mountain Bike

An electric mountain bike may seem like an odd choice at first, but they have their utility. For downhill biking, for example, you may want a boost on the way up the mountain. The X-Treme Scooters Lithium Electric Powered Mountain Bike is one of the most popular mountain e-bikes. It is sturdy, attractive, and well-built. To put it bluntly, a high-powered motor is likely out of your price range, but this is a solid option for an affordable electric mountain bike.

This mountain e-bike is easy to ride and easy to assemble, but some users find it a bit under-powered.

Technical details:

  • Lithium battery, running on a 30- watt rear-hub motor.
  • Seven-speed Shimano tourney gears and shifter system.
  • All-aluminum-alloy frame
  • RST Capa T7 front fork.
  • Maximum speed: 20 miles per hour.
  • Distance per charge: 20 to 25 miles.
  • Maximum rider weight: 350 pounds.

What is your ideal price range for a mountain bike?

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    • profile image

      Bolo 2 years ago

      Good article but you left out the classic GT Zaskar. I found a good write up on it here:

    • profile image

      Fred 3 years ago

      I would recommend the Diamondback Bicycles 2014 Recoil Full Suspension Mountain Bike, as mentioned on this site. It is only $600, £470. It is a bike that will surprise you because of its quality and cost.

      Site :

    • Leiping profile image

      Leiping 4 years ago

      I stopped mountain biking about 10 years ago but I think they were a lot more expensive back then because $1000 wasn't going to buy you a lot!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love my Mountain Bike and exploring the many Bike Trails near where I am from!! :D

    • profile image

      bigpoppa3ross 5 years ago

      You've got a great lens here. Great information and beautifully packaged. Keep up the good work!

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 5 years ago

      Since I love anything outdoors, your lens may have introduced me to my next late spring or early summer endeavor. Thanks for a really informative site

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      @RonnieRocket: Yes I'm leaning there as well, at least for best value. Been looking at the Fox forks and they do look like they are a great choice.

    • profile image

      RonnieRocket 5 years ago

      Go hardtail with the most expensive front fork you can afford.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      No, I don't have a mountain bike, but if I ever decide to buy one, i know where I have to look for great bikes for reasonable prices. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, I have and got a great bike

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      congrats, useful information

    • Hammocksaustralia profile image

      Hammocksaustralia 5 years ago

      I've bought one for less than $1000. It rides very well, but I'm not into heavy mountain biking, more just cruising about and the odd offroad trail.

    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      Nope, not into mountain biking myself but a very nice selection here.