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Best Beginner Mountain Bike: Top 5 Revealed

outdoor enthusiast riding one of the best beginner mountain bike models

Getting your first mountain bike is an exciting moment, you'll want to get something that will serve your needs but not be too costly. Getting out on the trails is exhilarating and you need to have a bike that makes you feel comfortable so that you can enjoy every moment. Before you go into a store to find the best beginner mountain bike, you'll need to know what your options are. Do you want a rigid type, full suspension, or a hardtail? And what does that all mean?

We've come up with a list of the best beginner mountain bikes on the market for your consideration. Our list should help you get a start on what to look for and what the features are of each one.

Mountain Bikes Frequently Asked Questions


1. What Is the Best Beginner Mountain Bike? 

2. What Types of Best Beginner Mountain Bikes Are There?

3. What Is a Good Price Range and Brand for a Best Beginner Mountain Bike?

4. What Type of Frame Material, Wheels, and Tires Are on a Best Beginner Mountain Bike?

How We Reviewed


The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: features, pros & cons, price, where to buy, and warranty. We came up this list that after investing time and effort into researching different models of this type of product. The result is an unbiased "best of" list.

Overall Price Range of the Best Beginner Mountain Bike Models


The price range of this product is between the average to expensive. Some higher priced models might get you different materials, features, and quality of parts that a lower priced model may not.

What We Reviewed


  • Diamondback Sync 'r Pro Hardtail Mountain Bike
  • Motobecane 2018 350 DS Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike
  • Gravity Basecamp Mountain Bike
  • Raleigh Talus 2 Recreational Mountain Bike
  • Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
Diamondback Bicycles Sync'r 24 Kid's Mountain Bike, 24" Wheels, Black
  • Aluminum frame for lightweight durability designed to fit ages 8 to 12 or 53 to 62 inches tall
  • SR Suntour XCR suspension fork with 80mm of travel enhances control over rough trails
  • SRAM NX 1x11 speed drivetrain for smooth shifting and wide gear range

Features

This best beginner mountain bike offers modern frame geometry at an affordable price. It's a hardtail design that allows you to ride through rough terrain. It comes with SR Suntour XCR forks common on entry level mountain bikes because they are reliable and affordable. They offer 32mm wide stanchions, or legs, that boost stiffness. You can lock out the forks for climbs or set the preload as you like.

You'll get a good range of gears with the SRAM 1 x 8 drivetrain. If you are tackling steep hills, you may want smaller chaining. Consider an upgrade to a 1 x 10 if this is the case. The wheels are 27.5 inches and 2.35 inches in width. These Schwalbe Tough Tom tires will get you through tough terrain and muddy situations. Tekro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes will come in handy. These entry-level brakes will stop you when you need to stop and are better than mechanical brakes.

This bike offers a non-tapered headtube, and it is a wider design with matching forks that make it stiff. This will limit your upgrade options in the future for forks. If you feel that you are limited in the future you will need to buy a new bike with better suspension. But for an entry level bike, this is a best beginner mountain bike for its price and features. It will give you good performance and a great introduction to mountain biking.

Pros

  • 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame
  • Tekro Auriga hydraulic disc brake with 180 front/160 rear rotors
  • 31 pounds

Cons

  • Non-tapered headtube
  • Entry level brakes
Motobecane 2018 350 DS Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike Shimano 24...
  • Strong and Durable
  • Easy to Use Shifters
  • Adjustable Suspension - Front and Rear!

Features

If you are looking for the best beginner mountain bike for the money, the Motobecane 2018 350 DS is a good choice. It's been around for 25 years and was popular with slalom racers, cross country racers, and riders who like to take their bikes through the roughest terrain. One of the reasons is the strong frame. It is available in 27.5 and 29-inch versions with a tapered head tube and wider axles. This is the perfect bike for the occasional race and day adventures.

The shocks are SR Suntour XCM fork with 100mm travel. They are not intended for jumps or big hits—this bike does better on the ground. The Shimano SLX 3 x 9 drivetrain has an Acera cassette and KMC chain. Acera will offer the same performance as higher groupsets at a lower cost. You can expect accurate shifting.

It comes with Terra Cypher tires which are great on dry hardpack. If you are riding on terrain that is wet, muddy, has gravel, loam, or is dusty you might want to swap these out. These tires are good for a dry race course. It comes with Alex D19 double wall rims on centerlock hubs and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.

Pros

  • Hydroform and butted speed metal aluminum with a triple triangle design
  • Shimano Deore rear derailleur

Cons

  • Pedal broke off after less than 50 miles on the bike
  • Not good for rough terrain
Gravity Basecamp 27.5 Disc Brake Shimano 24 Speed Front Suspension...
  • Durable Hard Tail Aluminum Frame
  • Lightweight Aluminum Alloy Wheels
  • Full Shimano 24 Speed Drivetrain

Features

The Gravity Basecamp comes with oversized tires and 27.5-inch wheels. The large tires will increase your traction and give you great pedaling and cornering control. The lightweight aluminum frame gives you quick acceleration and the SR Suntour XCR with 120mm travel will absorb bumps easily. Shimano Altus drivetrain keeps shifting accurate and quick. It has Terra DB-X40 double wall rims and hubs with grippy and durable WTB Trail Blazer tires and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. This adds up to incredible speed control even in less than perfect conditions.

Pros

  • 6061 T6 aluminum frame with triple triangle, replaceable derailleur hanger, disc brake mounts, and zero stack tapered tube
  • WTB silverado sport saddle
  • Comes in black or Corsa blue
  • X-small to X-large size

Cons

  • Thin tire sidewall

Features

This Talus 2 Recreational Mountain Bike is marketed as a hardcore hardtail for the trails. It offers comfort and traction with its large tires. Smaller bumps and loose rocks are handled well. The low gear options offer good climbing. Alloy V-brake brakes perform well with Shimano Acera shifting. The bigger tires perform well in rough terrain, offering a comfortable ride and speed.

Pros

  • Available from small to x-large sizes
  • 27.5 or 29-inch wheels
  • Slack, aggressive geometry with trail focus
  • Hydroformed alloy frame 
  • Digit dropper seat post
  • Boost 148 rear axle spacing
  • There are three models, H10, H30, and H-ltd

Cons

  • 90mm stem causes unpredictable handling
  • Lack of traction in muddy conditions
  • Rear tire clearance is tight

Features

The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is an efficient trail bike with 26-inch wheels and Down Hill aluminum dual-suspension with 120 mm of travel. The frame is light, durable, and tough and will last for thousands of rides. The bearing cups are pressed into the frame allowing for easy removal. The stem and bars are adjustable giving the rider a more custom and comfortable ride. The tires are more nimble and maneuverable at 26 inches. They track better and roll over obstacles with ease.

Pros

  • Light and strong alloy rims
  • Schwinn aluminum full suspension
  • Schwinn alloy crank
  • Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifters
  • Front disc brake and rear alloy V-brake

Cons

  • Price is on the high side for an entry level bike

Comparison Table

The Verdict

Finding the right mountain bike to fit you is important so that you will stay safe and have fun. The models we selected are our top choices of what is available on the market. However, there are other models that you might find will fit you better. We wanted to give you something to start with on your search so you will know what to look for when you go shopping.

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