7 Best Mountain Bikes for Beginners

Is exploring new trails an adrenaline rush for you? Are you looking to hit the mountain bike trails but don’t know what the best mountain bikes for beginners are?

Don’t worry. We’ll guide you.

Mountain bikes are great to ride through the trails. And if you have discovered it for the first time, then you might have also realized that it’s a superb sport. Don’t get overexcited about those high-flying maneuvers and breakneck speeds. Not everything associated with MTBs is about extreme sports. It means that you can have all the fun as a beginner while staying on the easier trails.

First of all, you’ll need a decent quality mountain bike for beginners. It should be equipped with all the features that will get you going on the trail. But there are so many to choose from. Therefore, we have developed this brief guide to assist you in making the right decision when your on a budget.

So let’s dive right into the best mountain bikes for beginners!

Comparison Chart

ProductsFrame SizeWheel SizeFrame MaterialsGear System
Diamondback Overdrive20-inch (L)27.5-inch6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy24 speeds
Merax Mountain Bike19-inch (L)26.0-inchAluminum24 speeds
Savadeck Deck30019-inch (L)27.5-inchT800 Carbon Fiber30 speeds
Steppenwolf Tundra20-inch (L)29.0-inchCarbon Fiber30 speeds
Diamondback Release 321-inch (XL)27.5-inchHydroformed Aluminum11 speeds
Raleigh Tokul21-inch (XL)27.5-inchRugged Aluminum11 speeds
Sengei Mountain Bike19-inch26-inchCarbon Steel21 speeds

Beginner Mountain Bikes Reviewed

With this list we wanted to keep it simple and review some great bikes to test the water. Some are low end bikes like the Sengei to meet the budget for some while the Diamondback release 3 is a quality mountain bike. Once you get the bug you wont take anything less then a quality bike.

1. Best Overall Mountain Bike: Diamondback Overdrive

Diamondback Overdrive MTB

Key Specs

  • Frame size: 20-inch (L).
  • Wheel size: 27.5-inch.
  • Frame material: Aluminum alloy 6061-T6.
  • Gear system: 24 speeds.

Features

The 27.5 Overdrive MTB by Diamondback is one of the top choices for you to consider if you are a beginner. The reason why it is heading the list of best mountain bikes for beginners is that it is extremely lightweight. Therefore, it will be very easy for you to control and maneuver.

Moreover, the frame of this bike is made of aluminum alloy 6061-T6. This alloy is very lightweight in construction and is a great choice for mountain bikes. Some of the high-end MTBs also feature this alloy integrated with titanium.

Furthermore, the XCT fork of this bike comes from SR Sun, and it delivers suspension travel of 80 mm. The front end of this bike has 3 gears while the rear end has 8 gears. Therefore, with a 24-speed gearing system, this MTB is one of the top choices for you to learn some skills. It will grow with you in time as you develop your MTB expertise.

Pros

  • Two-wheel and frame sizes available.
  • 24-speed gearing system.
  • Lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame.
  • 80mm suspension. With XCT fork by SR Sun.
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brake system.

Cons

  • Better suited for tall people.

2. Best Shifting Mountain Bike: Merax Mountain Bike

Key Spec

  • Frame size: 19-inch.
  • Wheel size: 26-inch.
  • Frame material: Aluminum.
  • Gear system: 24-speed.

Features

The second one on our list on the best mountain bikes for beginners is the Merax Mountain Bike. The frame of this mountain bike is 19-inch in size, and it is made of lightweight aluminum. It is one of the top choices when it comes to materials because, as a starter, you will find it easier to maneuver a lightweight bike with out spending tons of money on carbon fiber.

Furthermore, the bike is equipped with a 24-speed gear system that allows you to learn a few tricks along the way. Maneuvering becomes extremely easy when you have different speeds at your disposal. Besides that, the bike also comes equipped with a high-quality disc brake system to keep you in control of your ride.

In addition to that, this bike features a pair of wheels that are 26-inch in size which help with maneuvering. The ride on this bike is going to be very comfortable for you as it boasts front and back derailleurs as well as a shifter by Shimano. You will get into the groove in no time with this trail-demon.

Pros

  • 19-inch aluminum frame.
  • High-quality 26-inch tires.
  • Front and rear pieces come from Shimano.
  • Features dual disc brakes. Max weight capacity of 330 lbs.

Cons

3. Best Light Weight Mountain Bike: Savadeck Deck300

Savadeck Deck300 MTB

Key Specs:

  • Frame size: 19-inch.
  • Wheel size: 27.5-inch.
  • Frame material: Carbon Fiber T800
  • Gear system: 30-speed.

Features

If you are interested in buying one of the best mountain bikes for beginners made of carbon fiber, then your search is over. The Deck300 is a 30-speed MTB that has a frame made of T800 carbon fiber. The T800 is the lightest of all carbon fiber types, and it is highly resilient as well. Again this bike is going to be very useful for you when it comes to easy handling and developing new skills.

But that is not it! This bike also has 6 more speed gears from the previous two MTB that we have mentioned in this list. If you are looking to work on your speed control as well, then there is no bike then the Deck300.

Also, it features the M6000 Deore derailleur by Shimano on the front and the back. Therefore, the entire mechanism built to take on different trials at speed.

Moreover, the bike features a high-quality disc braking system with Continental super grip tires. It is going to perform very well in various conditions. And you will be more confident while riding it on dirt.

Pros

  • 30-speed gearing system.
  • Carbon fiber frame for lightweight features.
  • Very easy to handle and maneuver.
  • The 19-inch frame is great for tall cyclists.
  • Dual disc braking system for better-stopping power.

Cons

  • More focus on speed than control.

4. Best Looking Mountain Bike: Steppenwolf Tundra

Steppenwolf Tundra MTB

Key Specs:

  • Frame size: 20-inch (L).
  • Wheel size: 29.0-inch.
  • Frame material: Carbon Fiber.
  • Gear system: 30-speed.

Features

Larger wheels are just better when it comes to rolling over objects. And if you are a tall biker, then these will pair well with a larger frame to put you in control of the trial. The Tundra by Steppenwolf comes with a 20-inch frame made of carbon fiber. Therefore, it is very lightweight and durable.

Moreover, the fork system of this bike is made of carbon. Therefore, if you are looking for a bike that you can carry on your shoulders to cross a small water stream in the wild, then this bike is the right option for you. In particular, this bike features a dual-disc braking system.

Even with a 30-speed gear system, this bike is not made for speed. But it will prove to be a great choice when it comes to riding comfort and control. Furthermore, the bike has a very comfortable construction, and you can ride it for long hours.

Pros

  • Available in different frame sizes.
  • 2 wheel sizes are there to choose from.
  • The drivetrain and derailleur come from Shimano.
  • 30-speed gearing system.
  • Dual disc braking system.

Cons

  • Brake calipers are subpar.

5. Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike: Diamondback Release 3

Diamondback Release 3 MTB

Key Specs:

  • Frame size: 21-inch (XL)
  • Wheel size: 27.5-inch
  • Frame materials: Hydroformed aluminum.
  • Gear system: 11-speed.

Features

Looking for a larger frame, then the Release 3 by Diamondback provides you with some options in this category. You can go for their 21-inch frame made of top-notch hydroformed aluminum. It is an extremely lightweight material and handles moisture well.

This bike not only comes with a wheel size of 27.5-inch, but its rear suspension also equals 130mm. The dropout design of the frame becomes even more rigid with the 143x12mm Maxle construction. With the southpaw remote, you will get better maneuverability and control over your ride through the ranging trails.

Additionally, confident shifting comes with the XT gear system by Shimano. The gear system only features 11-speed, but you will be in better control throughout your time on the bike. Moreover, the bike features a high-quality dual disc braking system.

Pros

  • Different wheel and frame sizes available.
  • 11-speed gearing system.
  • High-quality Shimano system and mechanics.
  • Hydroformed aluminum frame design to handle moisture pretty well.
  • Easy handling.

Cons

  • A bit expensive but a true value for money.

6. Best Hardtail Mountain Bike: Raleigh Tokul 3

Raleigh Tokul 3 Mountain Bike

Key Specs:

  • Frame size: 21-inch (XL).
  • Wheel size: 27.5-inch.
  • Frame material: Rugged aluminum.
  • Gear system: 11-speed.

Features

The Tokul 3 mountain bike is one of the best mountain bikes for beginners because it is made of rugged aluminum. If you think that you are going to crash a lot and are going to involve in high flying action and learn a few tricks in this category, then you need to choose this bike.

However, due to its rugged construction, the aluminum used in the frame is no alloy. And it is going to weigh slightly more than any carbon fiber as well. But the weight is still quite manageable. The high-quality Maxxis Minion tires are there to take care of different terrains.

Moreover, this bike comes with MT200 Shimano hydraulic brakes that don’t take much time to stop. Certainly, this bike is all about smooth modulation when you fly around with it.

Pros

  • Rugged aluminum frame.
  • Sturdy construction to take on the toll.
  • Maxxis Minion tires for better handling.
  • Very responsive Shimano hydraulic brakes.
  • Good for bumpy trials.

Cons

  • Takes longer to get used to. 

7. Best Budget Mountain Bike: Sengei Mountain Bike

Sengie Mountain Bike

Key Specs:

  • Frame size: 19-inch
  • Wheel size: 26.0-inch.
  • Frame material: Carbon steel.
  • Gear system: 21-speed.

Features

If you are short on budget and want a decent MTB, then there is no better choice than the Sengei MTB. The mountain bike features a very powerful hydraulic braking system for great stopping power.

Furthermore, the bike is extremely lightweight as it features carbon steel. This material is very lightweight and rigid. However, you will have to take care of your bike regarding its maintenance and cleaning. It is since the bike is prone to rust and corrosion up to some extent.

Also, the 21-speed mountain bike offers a good balance between speed and control. The fork system and the drivetrain of this bike come from Shimano. It can handle maneuvering, and you can learn a few tricks on it pretty well.

Pros

  • 21-speed gear speed.
  • Top-notch dual disc braking mechanism.
  • 26-inch wheel size offers tremendous handling.
  • Lightweight carbon steel frame.
  • Great for both men and women riders.
  • Excellent price.

Cons

  • Not great for high-flying maneuvers.

Buying Guide

There are some important points that you must keep in mind when choosing from among the best mountain bikes for beginners. In this buying guide, we’ll highlight these points.

Full Suspension or Hardtail

Hardtail MTBs come with a front suspension fork. The rear end of these bikes is rigid, and that is why they are known as hardtails. On the other hand, the full-suspension forks come with a shock at the rear end along with a suspension fork.

Furthermore, full suspension fork bikes are more enjoyable than hardtails. But make sure that the fork system used in the bike is of high quality. The mere presence of this system on the rear end of your bike doesn’t guarantee a comfortable ride.

Frame Material

Commonly, the bike manufacturers use three different materials for the construction of these bike frames. Aluminum alloy, carbon, and steel are the three top choices.

Carbon frames are expensive, whereas steel is more commonly found in the boutique or customized bikes. Therefore, aluminum is the right way to go.

Braking System

For an excellent experience at mountain biking, your bike needs to come with a good quality braking system. The hydraulic braking system should at least be there on an MTB.

There is a huge difference between a rim brake and a cable brake. Hence, if you are looking for an affordable MTB, then it might not feature a good quality braking system. If your bike doesn’t come with a disc brake, then you need to check whether it is compatible with one and then install it on your own.

Tires

Not all manufacturers use high-quality tires. To keep the price of bikes in control, manufacturers use low-quality tires. Therefore, you will need to invest in a good quality pair of tires for your bike because they will have a profound effect on the overall handling of your bike.

Conclusion

The winner of this roundup of best mountain bikes for beginners is the Diamondback Overdrive. The frame size of this bike is 20-inch, and there are two wheel sizes available. The 24-speed gear system of this bike allows you to take control of your speed and have better control at the same time. Additionally, the bike features the XCT fork system by SR Sun, and it also comes with a hydraulic braking system by Shimano.

Being a novice, you need to look for some minute details in your MTB. It’s not just about speed and high flying maneuvers. You have to be a lot more in control to avoid any accidents. As you develop your skills, you can add more in the speed department. But make sure that you go for a lightweight frame to keep the maneuvering and handling easy.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo… so you can pin it to your Mountain Bike Board!