Top 5 Mountain Bike Brands for Beginners

Mountain bikes are great for getting exercise and having fun in the beautiful nature around you. But which mountain bike brands are best for beginners?

Also, what brands are the ones most durable and safest for me to start using when I get into riding more? Read on to learn more about the different types brands best suited for a beginner.

What Mountain Bike Brands are best for beginners?

It can be tough trying to figure out what bike and brand is your best choice when you enter the world of mountain biking. You have tons of options and opinions that can drag you one way or another. The first question is to answer what type of mountain biker you think you will be?

If you’re just looking for a bike to ride on a bike path or neighborhood streets, this is not the post for you and I would say a mountain bike might not be your best option. Maybe see our post on Hybrid bikes.

Next, if you’re just looking to spend as little as possible and buy a Walmart or cheap brand on Amazon. I wouldn’t recommend it as these bikes are not equipped with the proper geometry or components for you to have a good mountain bike experience. This can just lead you away from this awesome hobby. If you are looking for cheap mountain bike you can see our post on the cheapest mountain bikes. Again, we would stay clear of these for someone really looking to hit the trails.

In this post we are focusing on good quality mountain bike brands that will last a long time and still be a good bike while you become more experienced.

5 Best Mountain Bike Brands for beginners

When putting this post together we focused on brands that are serious mountain bike brands. Brands that can get you started and know what these bikes need for you to grow as a mountain biker. In no particular order, here are the top 5 mountain bike brands for beginners.

Keep in mind that we will refer to all the alloy styles for each brand which is perfect for a beginner. We will also look at the lower cost hardtails and lowest cost full suspension models for these brands.

1) Specialized

When you start looking for a beginner mountain bike you’re going to hear and see this name come up often. Specialized is a leader in quality mountain bikes with a wide range of styles for all that love to ride.

Specialized started in 1974 with a long history of great bikes. They believe that cycling can change lives and refer to there bikes being made for riders by riders.

Within this brand, the best beginner bikes to consider would be the Fuse or the Stumpjumper.

The Fuse is the lower cost out of these with a hardtail design. This would be where you start if budget is holding you back. The price of these will be around $1,600.

The Stumpjumper is one of the most popular starter bikes out there. This is the full suspension bike most like to ride trails with. The prices on the alloy version of the bike will be around $2,600.

2) Trek

Trek is known for making high quality bikes at affordable prices. They also make some of the best mountain bikes available today. Their bikes are made with lightweight aluminum frames or carbon fiber that can range from low to high prices. This combination allows them to build bikes that are both durable and light weight with good prices.

Trek is also known for having a massive line of accessories. You can buy everything from helmets, water bottles, clothing and more. Trek is a good choice for beginners because they offer a wide range of products and services.

For Trek the 2 models to look at are the Roscoe and the Fuel.

The Roscoe is the hardtail trail bike they make that hits a price point of $1,200. If the hardtail is what you want, the Roscoe is a great choice.

The Fuel is the full suspension trail bike Trek offers that has good quality for a decent price. Trek’s Fuel model starts around $2,500.

3) Cannondale

Cannondale makes excellent mountain bikes and a brand most have heard of with cycling. Starting in 1971, Cannondale has been a company that has always bent the rules (In a good way) when making bikes. Based in Wilton, CT, Cannondale was one of the first to move away from steel bikes and use aluminum and carbon fiber.

Cannondale has a reputation for going against the grain. For example they have a one sided fork no other bike company has considered. One thing is for sure, Cannondale is a must brand to look at when you get started.

The 2 types of bikes to look at for Cannondale are the Trail series for a hardtail and the Habit for a full suspension.

The Trail series you can find a few different models that range in price from around $700 to $2,000 depending on the components you might want.

The Habit is their full suspension bike that you will be sure to enjoy. Priced in the same range as the other brands. The Habit will run around $$2,500.

4) Giant

If you’re looking for a beginner mountain bike, then you should consider getting a Giant mountain bike. It’s one of the most popular brands of mountain bikes and is a monster when it comes to manufacturing. Giant makes the frames for multiple other brands.

They also have a reputation for being very durable with good quality while still offering a great price. Giant offers a lot and might be one of the first places to look for your first bike.

The 2 models to consider for Giant are the Talon for a hardtail and the Trance for a full suspension.

The Talon is a pretty basic hardtail that will get your started while lasting but you will eventually want to upgrade. These will run around $700 and up.

The Trance is a great started trail bike that is in the same arena as the other full suspension bikes discussed here coming in around $2,500.

5) Marin

Last on our list, Marin bikes are made for fun as they say and to enrich the lives of its riders. This brand has been around since 1986 and has developed in to a great bike brand.

Weather you’re looking for rugged trails, racing, bikepacking or just commuting, Marin has a bike for you to enjoy. The prices for Marin can be lower then some of the above brands but they don’t skimp on quality. Defiantly a brand to consider.

The San Quinten and the Rift Zone are the 2 models to look at for trail riding.

The San Quinten is the hardtail to get you started on some trails and will cost round $1,100.

The Rift Zone is the full suspension bike that starts around $1,900.

Hardtail or Full Suspension?

The big question to narrow down now is what your budget is and if you can get a full suspension bike over the hardtail. You can learn more about this on our article hardtail vs full suspension.

If you can make the payment, we defiantly recommend a full suspension bike. Hardtails are great and give you better pedal power but the fun you have on a full suspension bike we think outweigh it. Either way you can’t go wrong as long as you get started.

Other Brands to consider as a beginner

We recommend the top 5 brands we mentioned above. But as you learn what you like and don’t like we have some other brands you can consider and compare.

Remember to look at the components on these bikes. What types of brakes are they? What’s the derailleur? What type of suspension is on that bike? SRAM & Shimano are the 2 big ones you will see and each have different levels of performance. Learn more about these in this article here on SRAM Vs. Shimano.

  • Polygon
  • Diamondback
  • Salsa
  • Orbea
  • Vitus


Hopefully this article has helped you narrow down the first type of mountain bike you want to get. We understand trying to sift through all the brands can be confusing and make it harder to find what you want.

The price we know is also the main factor in your decision. Most people start off on a hardtail and once your get hooked you know it’s worth the investments.

Best of luck!

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