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The Best Beginner Mountain Bikes for 2021

Our experts have tested and arranged to help you find useful and comprehensive information on the Best Beginner Mountain Bikes. Your dream for the Best Beginner Mountain Bikes will come true with expert buying guides based on research as well as AI and Big Data. The list brands you can see right now: Eurobik, Eurobike, HH HILAND, Schwinn, Royce Union, Mongoose, OUTROAD OUTDOOR CAMPING GARDEN PATIO, Max4out, ACESPEE, TOUNTLETS, Diamondback Bicycles, Merax, Kent International.


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    8.6
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    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

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    Eurobik
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    8.6
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    Eurobike
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    8.4
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    HH HILAND
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  • SCORE
    8.2
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    Schwinn
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  • SCORE
    8.2
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    Royce Union
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  • SCORE
    8.0
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    Mongoose
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  • SCORE
    8.0
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    Royce Union
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  • SCORE
    8.0
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    OUTROAD OUTDOOR CAMPING GARDEN PATIO
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  • SCORE
    7.6
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    Max4out
10
  • SCORE
    10.0
    AI Score

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is known to be an industry in the field of computer science. This is a technology that simulates complex human processes for machines, especially computer systems. These processes consist of learning, reasoning, and self-correcting. AI can make its own decisions without pre-programming. AI includes two main types (Artificial Intelligence) and ABI (Artificial Biological Intelligence).

  • Brand
    ACESPEE

Last update on 2021-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

4.7
3 ratings

Overview

If you are into riding bikes and enjoying the fresh air? Riding on trails seems like the habit you should take up. But for ones who are new to this type of sports, it may take some time to decide on which is the most suitable bike for you since mountain bikes come with newly introduced features like the suspension designs, high-tech parts, and various accessories. Choosing the best bicycles for beginners can be intimidating sometimes.

If you have ever visited a bike brand website, the ‘Mountain Bike’ section with the list of options with vague words such as ‘Trail’, ‘All-Mountain’, and ‘Enduro’ would make it even more complicated for you to find a suitable bicycle. So, here we have the details broken down for you, from how to pick the best starter mountain bike to how to choose the designs, the components and the gears that would go with your bike. 

Here is what we come up with after considering all the pros and cons of some of the best beginner mountain bikes


Types of Products

After reading or finding out more about mountain biking, I bet that you are confused with all the types of mountain bike terrains or mountain biking styles. You may have been wondering what is the best type of bike for you. Don’t worry, we are here to help. We believe that the first thing you should look into is different types of beginner mountain bikes.

There are several ways to categorize these bikes and we will pick out the two most significant features.

1. Suspension Types

Many companies create their own suspension systems; the designs and configurations vary between each brand. There are three main types of suspension and you may need this piece of information for your very first ride on the rail.

  • Rigid

Rigid mountain bikes don’t feature any suspension. This means that you may find it hard sometimes to avoid the bumps on the trail on your first few rides. However, some riders find that the wide tires and low tire pressure provide all the control needed to absorb the bumps. Another plus for this type of bike is that they are easy to maintain and usually not as expensive as the other types.  However, rigid bikes are not popular among riders, especially for first-timers.

  • Hardtail

Hardtail bicycles feature a suspension fork in the front to help reduce the impact on the front wheel, but there is no suspension in the back. This type of bicycle offers top power transfer between the pedal stroke and the rear tire for a smoother and more controlled ride. Hardtails usually come at a lower price compared to full-suspension ones, and they also consist of fewer moving parts (or in other words, less maintenance required). There are some front-suspension bikes that you may like:

First, we have the Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail Bike that comes with three different wheel sizes of 24-inch, 26-inch, and 27.5-inch and an energetic design with vibrant graphics. The frame of this bicycle is made of lightweight aluminum and is backed by our limited 10-year frame warranty. Next, we have the Kent Hawkeye Mountain Bike. This hardtail offers 29-inch wheels that conquer considerably more terrain easier and the Shimano 7-speed freewheel and the Shimano rapid-fire 21-speed shifters. 

One more to add to the list, we have the SAVADECK DECK300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike that delivers 100mm of suspension travel and provides added control and comfort on the trail. 

Last, in this list, we would name the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike provides you with the front and rear mechanical disc brakes that give you crisp all conditions stopping out on the trail and in addition to that, the durable Schwinn alloy cranks provide steady gearing and less pesky maintenance.

  • Full suspension

A full-suspension bike has a suspension both in the front and the rear, which improves comfort and makes it easier for you to ride more technical trails. In the long run, it could reduce the impacts on riders’ bodies. However, generally, these bikes do not come at a nice price as it requires more additional cost to spend on their complex frames and shocks. 

Also, this type of bike can soak up almost all of the bumps on the trail, but it would be an obstacle once you’re done climbing uphill and suffering from a decrease in stamina. As a result, most mountain bicycles with full suspension have the ability to lock the rear suspension to provide superior power transfer. So, let’s dive into some outstanding model in this list:

To begin with, we have Eurobike Folding Bike that offers a foldable frame that makes it easy for us to store it or carry it around on vacations or holidays! And all the tools you need to assemble the bike is included, no extra tools needed. 

The next one we would like to introduce is the Huffy Oxide Mountain Bike equipped with 21-speed twist shifters with Shimano rear derailleur. The Mongoose R4054WMC Ledge 2.1 is also a choice worth considering when it comes to a dual-suspension mountain bike. Also from Mongoose, Mongoose Status 2.2 is another option with front and rear V-brakes ensuring quick stops out on the trail. 

Last but not least, Diamondback Bicycles Atroz is a full-suspension mountain bike with its durable single pivot with sealed cartridge bearings for years of smooth performance. 

2. Mountain Biking Styles

A lot of bike makers also take the mountain biking styles into consideration when categorizing their bicycles. So read what we have summed up after delving into some typical styles of mountain biking. 

  • Cross country (XC)

Cross country mountain bikes are all about speed, with an emphasis on climbing prowess. These bikes are light enough to handle climbs that require so much effort and energy that you may have difficulty breathing while also being able to handle dangerous yet exciting trails. They are often rigid (no suspension), hardtails (front suspension only), and occasionally full suspension. Another piece of information about these bikes is that they are built with steeper geometries that help with the pedaling. 

  • Downhill (DH)

Downhill bikes are surely for going downhill. They are usually full-suspension and are heavy which are really suitable for descents. They are designed to tame the roughest trails out there but not the perfect ones for pedal up, or across that mountain. We find bikes with dual suspensions and 180-220mm forks are perfect for this style of mountain biking. With these features, these bikes can perform really well with all the jumps and berms at high speed. During long rides with aggressive geometry and super-tough parts, downhill bikes would get you down a mountain safe and sound.

  • Trail

This is the type that comes to most people’s minds when they think about “mountain bikes”. Trail bikes are the most chosen and widest in range among mountain bikes. They are also the most versatile type of mountain bikes since they can offer more suspension, more gravity oriented components (like chunkier tires for better traction and bigger brake rotors), and more relaxed geometry than their XC brethren to make them more capable of being on all kinds of terrain. While there’s a huge variety of trail bike designs, they should be a bike that is comfortable to ride on a wide variety of terrains, from cross country trails to more aggressive and technical descents. 

  • Enduro/All-mountain

Enduro is an often overused buzzword coming from the racing world and describes a competition that has timed downhill stages and untimed uphill stages. Enduro mountain biking is becoming more and more prevalent in recent years. All-mountain or enduro riding may be the same as trail riding but on another level of stamina demanding. You can expect to burn more fat and energy with bigger climes, longer white-knuckle descents and more technical features both natural and artificial. These bikes are not tailored for long rides and will not be able to set any climbing records. They are made to focus on high speeds and tough downhills. However, the idea here is to make your own way up to the top of the hill while saving energy so as to complete several stages in each race. Therefore, although these bikes are equipped for climbing uphill, they are not as efficient in this area as XC or trail models


Buying Guides

In this section, I will show you all the information that you may need to find the first mountain bike for your own. After finishing the whole guide, it would no longer be complicated to pick the most suitable bicycle for your ride.

1. Choosing your mountain biking style

  • Cross country (XC):

Cross-country bikes are typically the lightest types that have the least amount of suspension. This mountain biking style is all for climbing and speed for long-distance rides. The most significant features of XC bikes are their light weights and efficient/smooth shifting. This style is usually associated with trails or tracks without too much technical difficulty. The tires of these bikes are made to reduce weight and enhance efficiency, faster rolling resistance rather than the traction, control or durability.

  • Downhill (DH):

Next with downhill bikes, these are completely geared towards descents. And we will rarely see a cyclist pedaling this style of mountain biking, just a few meters if at all.  Downhill bikes are designed for steep and rough terrains with big drops and jumps. With these bikes, you’re usually looking for some other ways to the top of the trail whether that’s hiking, shuttling, or a chairlift. These bikes are not tailored for any other directions but down. These bikes are usually really slack (less than 65° head angle) and have a very low center of gravity to boost your confidence to deal with rougher and more aggressive corners on steep terrain. Tires for this style are geared for traction and durability with 2-ply (double-thick) casings.

  • Trail:

If mountain biking uphill is your cup of tea and you are looking for the occasional drops or jumps, a trail bike is probably the one for you. This style of biking focuses equally between technical downhill riding and uphill cross-country terrain, this is tailored for enjoying the bike and the mountain landscape. Some may choose a hardtail but many would choose a full-suspension bike with the travel of between 120mm to 140mm. The general rule is that the more travel your bike has, the easier and more comfortable it is to overcome all the obstacles you may face on the trails.  Trail bikes’ tires mark a significant balance between durability, traction and rolling efficiency.

  • Enduro/All-mountain:

If you live near the rocky routes or want to focus on big-hit riding, this is the category to look at. An all-mountain bike is perfect for you if you want to earn the ride by pedaling up, but really are in it for the downhill with technical terrain.  But if you want to skip the pedaling and do a few laps at the bike park, an enduro bike can handle that as well. Generally, these bikes are not as versatile as XC or trail ones and they have more travel in the front suspension (around 150mm) and are heavier than XC or trail bikes with bigger tires. The geometry of the enduro type strongly favors climbing with the head angles ranging from 65°- 67° that may require some more finesse when it comes to difficult climbs. All-mountain bikes have tires that favor aggressive knobs for cornering and traction because one of the most necessary parts of the ride needs assisted gravity.

2. Wheel Size

Another factor to be taken into account is the wheel size. Besides the conventional 26 and 29-inch wheels, you will get another option of 27.5-inch ones on the market in recent time. The aim of this wheel size is to reduce the weight compared to a 29er and improve the performance of those 26-inch, and that is wide this 27-inch size has become more and more popular for mountain bikes at almost every price point. This also leads to the fact that the 26” wheels are now really hard on most bikes for mountaining, apart from the most affordable ones. 

Each riding terrain may need a different wheel size. If you’re on a fast-flow trail, the 29-inch wheels are essential. But for rougher trails, the 27.5-inch wheels are a must. And don’t forget about your height when choosing the bike for your own. If you are tall, consider buying a 29er and if you’re a bit shorter, smaller sizes are better options.

Don’t worry if you want to change the size of the wheels later on, you can easily buy other wheels at any time and replace the old ones.

3. Your budget

It is always a misconception when it comes to the price of a good beginner mountain bike. People have always been thinking that this is an expensive type of exercising or sport as a bike may cost up to $10,000 or even more. It is true, these bikes are indeed costly. But you may not know that those price tags are for top-notch bikes and you don’t need them to have the ultimate fun in riding. You don’t have to spend a lot on your first bike. Bike manufacturers’ makes a variety of mountain bikes for every use with just a small budget. Your very first bike can come at a more reasonable price of around $1,500 or less and then you can upgrade it with other gears and accessories. However, you may find these cheap bikes not comfortable enough for long rides.

If you only have a tight budget, we would recommend thinking about the features that you need for your biking style. Don’t be confused about getting a decent bike at less than $500 because it is possible. These days, many beginners start with hardtails and you can easily pick up some of the best front-suspension ones at around $500 or less. For a full-suspension mountain bike, you may need to raise your budget to up to $1,500 for smoother rides.


FAQs

1. Which bike wheel size should I pick?

As mentioned above, there are usually 3 sizes to choose from, the 26-inch, the 27.5-inch and the 29-inch wheel. For children or short adults, the manufacturers also provide a fourth option which is 24-inch wheels. Talk to a professional first before deciding if this is a good choice for you if the height is an issue.

The standard 26-inch wheel is the oldest but also is the standard. The 27.5 inches is gaining popularity and these wheels offer better rides on rough terrain compared to the 26s but are more maneuverable than the 29ers. Lastly, the 29ers are slower to speed up but are more efficient for long rides.

So for beginners, we would recommend either the 26s or the 27.5 and then you can move up to the 29ers when you attain more experience after actual rides.

2. What type of brakes should I choose?

Before, mountain bikes used to be equipped with rim brakes, but now, most entry-level bikes come with disc brakes and these brakes are just right for starters. There are two types of disc brakes which are hydraulic and cable-activated. The hydraulic disc brakes offer stronger brakes with less finger effort and they will switch to auto-adjust when worn. The other type, cable-activated or mechanical brakes requires manual adjusting when the pads wear out. 

Rim brakes still exist on a few bikes because they are more economical and easy to be noticed once they are worn out and need to be replaced. 

3. What is a derailleur?

This French-derived-sounding word refers to a device in the bike that changes gears by moving the chain from one sprocket to the next one. Most bikes are equipped with a front and rear derailleur. There are some other terms people may use instead of derailleur such as highest or lowest ratio. Highest means when the bikes are going the fastest and lowest is used to talk about when bikes are the easiest, like pedaling down hills or going very slowly. The use of the rear derailleurs is to help switch gears while they move the chain between the three front sprockets and require you to ease off the pedals to shift.

4. Should I buy a carbon or aluminium frame mountain bike?

When considering the material of the frame for your mountain bike, we suggest you think about your budget since a carbon frame is far more expensive compared to aluminium one. The two materials are both good but at different things.

  • Weight - It is known that carbon is generally lighter than aluminium, however, the difference is not significant. Carbon frames perform well for cross-country or enduro rides since you would want to minimise the weight when climbing up.
  • Torsional stiffness – This means how easy it is to stomp your pedals - the greater the torsional stiffness, the greater the power transfer. Bikes with carbon frames may be stiffer than the aluminium ones, hence, snappier. Frames made from carbon are a better choice if you are interested in speed but if you prefer rough terrain and aggressive riding, aluminium would do the work. 
  • Comfort – Carbon frames usually absorb more harnesses on rough trails compared to aluminium ones. This effect combined with the light weight provides many riders with the comfort they need on long rides. 
  • Strength – On the latest models of mountain bikes, there is not much of a difference between the two materials but we should mention the bad reputation of carbon for its quality in the past. Improvements have been made to boost the quality of carbon frames so they may even outlast aluminium ones. But keep in mind that nothing is perfect and under some extreme situations, both can potentially break. 

5. What is better - coil or air shocks?

Shocks are one of the opponents in the rear suspension system. Manufacturers imply that these shocks help absorb the impact as you ride over bumps and off trail features. If you decide to buy a full-suspension mountain bike, you may need to choose between the two types of shocks: coil or air. 

Air shocks are prevalent because they are lighter and easier to set up or adjust compared to coil shocks. Air shocks offer you the chance to adjust freely if your weight changes dramatically. However, they are vulnerable to many weather conditions like heat, humidity and altitude so we recommend you check them frequently.

Coil shocks are preferred for downhill mountain bikes since they are more consistent and grounded. Fans of coil shocks claim that they don’t need anything to maintain their condition - you can just fit them in and forget about them and they would still work just fine. Nevertheless, these shocks are heavy and less adjustable


Final Thoughts

It is difficult to choose the best bicycle for beginners on this list, as they all have different features, tailored to each individual's needs. So, if to choose from, we think the two best beginner mountain bikes are Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike and Diamondback Bicycles Atroz.

Hopefully after reading this guide, you would be able to have a better grasp in the field of starter mountain bikes and finally make the decision to buy the best bike for yourself!

David Tom
David Tom
David Tom - An adventurous and adventurous person. It is that passion that helps him connect and create AbikeZ. In an effort to find the perfect off-road bike for you, he bought the most desirable options and tried to drive them to their limits. After work, David enjoys reading, playing the guitar and blogging in his spare time.