Cheap Mountain Bikes

Cheap Mountain Bikes

Last Update: August 03, 2018

There is a distinct difference between a cheap mountain bike and cheaply made mountain bike. “Cheap” is often associated with “cheaply made,” but for our purposes, cheap means high in value rather than substandard in quality.

So, with that terminology clarification, let’s have a look at seven fabulously-cheap mountain bikes! With the variety of price points and bike types, you’ll certainly be able to find what the smart shopper in you is looking for.

Otherwise, check out the roster of great possibilities of SEVEN cheap mountain bikes below…


Diamondback Overdrive 29erThe bestseller in this test!

Here it is – our favorite cheap mountain bike since 2015! The Diamondback Overdrive 29 made it into our tests back in 2015, when we first made our lists available. We’ve seen many different bikes in this category come and go while the Overdrive 29 held its position consistently!

But as of now, Diamondback no longer manufactures this bike – unfortunate, but not an uncommon occurrence. (A new and more expensive Overdrive series has taken its place.) The good news is that the this non-current Overdrive 29 is available for an incredible price on Amazon.

  • 29” wheels
  • Readers’ favorite in our reviews
  • 100 mm of front suspension travel
  • “Expensive-looking” design

The frame is made of well-known and lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy. This tough frame, combined with Overdrive 29’s double-wall alloy rims, equals a stout build that will take lots of punishment from rough trails and long days.

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The frame’s 70-degree head tube angle is just the right geometry for stability and maneuverability while powering up climbs and darting down trails.

Components are well chosen – Shimano Acera derailleurs, Tektro mechanical disc brakes, 29” wheels with Schwalbe Rapid Rob tires and the SR Suntour XCT suspension fork with 100 mm of travel. We could go on about this bike’s fine components and design, but I’ll just say that this bike has no notable weak points – it’s an absolute front runner in its price category.

User reviews gave this Diamondback Overdrive 29 an impressive rating of 4.4 out of 5. Currently, there are 90+ customer reviews, so we are confident that the rating confirms our assessment of the bike.

There are four sizes available, and if you’re not sure what size to choose, here’s the low-down:

S: for riders 5’4” – 5’7” in height
M: 5’7” – 5’10”
L: 5’10” – 6’1”
XL: 6’1” – 6’4”

To summarize, this bike is my personal favorite. Bases on our statistics, over 100 people purchased this Diamondback Overdrive 29 after reading our reviews! Impressive as that number may be, it should be even higher because Overdrive 29 is such a superb cheap mountain bike!

Still unsure? Just look at this bike’s design – no one would believe it’s a cheap mountain bike. Keep it a secret and let them think it’s a bike that cost thousands!

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Breezer Squall Sport (27.5” or 29” tires) 

Breezer Squall Sport in review

Breezer isn’t widely known, but our research found it to be one of the top performers in this test. Breezer was bought by Advanced Sports in 2009, but the company’s history dates back to 1973 when its Excelsior model was produced.

The Breezer Squall Sport frame is constructed of Breezer’s D’Fusion 6061 aluminum alloy – a material similar to those used on all cheap mountain bikes in our test. The front suspension is courtesy of SR Suntour’s XCT fork with 100 mm travel. Both of these features are important, so keep an eye out for these as you shop. Anything less than 6061 aluminum alloy may not survive mountain bike punishment, and a poor suspension fork can be downright dangerous! It’s worth your time, money, enjoyment and safety to find the best value.

  • 27.5″ / 29″
  • Six sizes
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Available colors: orange or blue/green
  • Sizing table to ensure an excellent fit
  • 27 gears

Talking about the components, this bike has the greatest number of gears in this test – 27. Shifting is handled by Shimano entry-level components. We’re compelled to highlight Squall Sport’s Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. These brakes will require less finger power on the levers for sudden stops than do mechanical brakes.

Breezer has an interesting approach to frame sizes and wheel diameters. While there are not many online resources promoting taller riders on 29” wheels (and shorter riders on 27.5”), we always recommend this approach. Breezer’s “customized” sizing concept gives us 27.5” wheels on the XS, S and M frame sizes, and 29” wheels on the L and XL frames.

User reviews are quite positive, with many stating that the Squall Sport has seen them through lots of commuter and trail miles – even for riders weighing up to 300lbs!

Breezer is definitely one bike brand which we will keep eyes on. We believe the company is eager to distribute its bikes to masses, and we’re here to help because we’re convinced their bikes are fantastic values and solid performers!

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Raleigh Eva

Best For Women!

  • Best cheap mountain bike for women - Raleigh EvaWomen-specific design
  • 75 mm of front suspension travel
  • Weinmann 27.5” wheels
  • Available in three color themes and four frame sizes

Don’t get me wrong, women can use men’s or unisex mountain bikes without issue. The Raleigh Eva 2 is, however, built specifically for women, including frame geometry and component selection. Raleigh has discontinued its production of this great bike, and that’s why it’s available only on Amazon, and for such a rock-bottom price.

6061 aluminum alloy frame comes in three colors (blue, silver or black). The Eva 2 frameset is “double-butted,” meaning the frame tube material is thicker in the higher-stress junction areas. Double-butting also keeps frame weights down.

Eva 2’s 27.5” wheels are Weinmann XTB, an interesting choice because Weinmann rims are often found on much more expensive bikes. The XTBs definitely add value to the Eva 2.

Components are mainly entry-level Shimano. Cycling components tend to last much longer for female riders than for male, because, in most cases, women take better care of their bikes. Also, men tend to weigh more than women and, in general, put more strain on the entire bike. Eva 2 boasts 21 gears, which means the bike is suitable for all types of terrain.

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Front suspension comes via SR Suntour’s XCT fork with 75mm of travel. This is a critical component of the Eva 2, because it will smooth trail chatter and bumps, and promote rider control and confidence. This particular fork is often found on cheap mountain bikes  – it’s a solid pick from a well-known manufacturer that simply works great despite its low price.

User reviews are good, giving the bike a rating of 4.7 out of 5. This tells the story – users are, overall, very happy with the performance and value of the Eva 2.

Frame size availability may vary based on color, but the rider height guide for Eva 2 looks like this:

XS: 5’ – 5’3” in height
S: 5’3”– 5’6”
M: 5’6” – 5’9”
L: 5’9” – 6’

To wrap up, Eva 2 is definitely the best cheap mountain bike designed specifically for women. With its nice mix of components and thoughtful attention to design and details, the bike will certainly help stoke the motivation to take longer and more adventurous rides. Women-specific mountain bikes are somewhat uncommon, and less common still is one with such a nice balance between components and price – that’s the Eva 2.

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Raleigh Tokul 1

  • Raleigh Tokul 1 overview120mm of fork travel
  • Unique design
  • Disc brakes
  • Four sizes

The Raleigh brand belongs to the same company (Accell) as Diamondback, and it’s obvious that the two bike brands share similar vision and knowledge in manufacturing great mountain bikes. Raleigh’s Tokul 1 embraces that vision and direction. Note that Raleigh also produces Tokul 2 and Tokul 3, but these bikes are not nearly as good a value as the Tokul 1.

A lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy frame is standard in this price range, and Tokul 1’s is a solid one. Of course, it is double-butted to provide weight saving where useful and strength where needed. I’ve yet to find a review concerning a Raleigh frame failing. Their frame design is slightly different from most mountain bikes – a small frame member forms a small triangle between the seat tube and top tube. This extra brace contributes to the durability of the frame.

Components, including the fork, are entry-level like nearly all bikes in this price category. SR Suntour’s XCM fork with 120 mm of plush travel is the top fork we have in this test (also, it’s the top fork found in this price range). Despite the low cost and entry level, this build is ready to take on whatever new challenges you have in mind.

Disc brakes provide optimal stopping power – mandatory for rough and twisty trails where obstacles may suddenly appear, seemingly from nowhere.

See on Amazon

User reviews are positive; Tokul 1 scores a 4.2 out of 5 on Amazon. The only negative feedback I could find is a minor equipment glitch (one user’s shifter indicator didn’t work) and a preference issue (user thought the tires were “massive”). Yes, mountain bikes have bigger tires than road/hybrid bikes, but “massive” doesn’t really apply until you get into fat bikes!

Frame sizes are not provided by Amazon. An inquiry to Raleigh, however, answered all questions about Tokul 1 sizing recommendations:

S (15”): for riders 5’3” – 5’6” in height
M (17”): 5’6” – 5’9”
L (19”): 5’9” – 6’
XL (21”): 6’ – 6’4”

To sum it up… It doesn’t matter that Raleigh doesn’t manufacture this bike anymore; there is still a wide selection of sizes and colors available on Amazon. The reason this bike’s price is so cheap is, Raleigh is moving away from mountain bikes and more toward “lifestyle” (not serious mountain) bikes. Get in on the last mountain bikes produced by this long-standing industry giant – I can imagine they’ll hold their value like no other!

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Vilano Ridge 1.0

Vilano Ridge 1

Vilano is one of the cheapest mountain bikes in this review. However, it is reliable enough to provide riding enjoyment for several years.

I like to call bikes like the Ridge 1.0 basic mountain bikes because they don’t have anything additional or unneeded. Ridge 1.0 is built as an entry-level bike, but not at the expense of important parts like front suspension, a three-gear crankset and bottle cage mounts.

The bike rolls on 26” wheels – a platform best suited to shorter riders. If you’re not a short rider (you’re over about 5’5”) you’d do better to pick a cheap mountain bike with 27.5” (or even 29”) wheels.

  • Double-butted 6061 aluminum frame
  • 21 gears
  • Entry-level front suspension
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Available in black/green or silver/red

The Vilano Ridge 1.0 currently has two frame sizes – 17” and 20”. The 17” frame size is suitable for riders 5’6” to 5’9” and the 20” frame fits 5’11” to 6’0”

Regarding assembly, Ridge 1.0 comes partially assembled like most of the cheap mountain bikes. All you need to do is to attach the stem/handlebar, saddle, pedals, front wheel, and connect the brake caliper. If you are familiar with these basic tasks, it takes a maximum of 30 minutes. If you’re not familiar with working on bikes, it’s recommended that you have a bike shop true the wheels and adjust the brakes and derailleurs. (Amazon and YouTube may be good sources of information on these tasks.)

A cheap bike doesn’t have to be a crappy bike, and the Ridge 1.0 is a prime example of that. I’d recommend this bike if your budget is tight. GuiderTip: It’s beneficial to remember that, if you plan to use your new bike over several years, investing more money into a better bike may keep you from upgrading it so soon. Alternate, bikes in this buying guide which cost a little more will certainly represent a savings if you plan to use the bike for several years.

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Schwinn Rocket 4

Schwinn Rocket 4

Schwinn is one of the oldest bike manufacturers operating today, and they know how to design and build a proper mountain bike! This Rocket 4 looks more expensive than it actually costs. The rich color combination and racy graphics suggest a bike that’s well above the bike’s price category.

  • Reliable bike brand
  • Four sizes
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Front suspension with lockout
  • Reliable double-walled wheels

Components are great, including SR Suntour XCM-HLO fork with 100 mm travel. This fork can be adjusted to perform to rider preference with a simple turn of the lockout ring. 27.5” wheels are a great wheel platform for riders of every height.

There are four frame sizes to fit most all riders. If you plan to buy this bike, here are your fitting suggestions:

S: for riders 5’0” – 5’4” in height
M: 5’4” – 5’7”
L: 5’7” – 5’10”
XL: 5’10” – 6’2”

Overall, the component set for the Rocket 4 is appropriate for cheap mountain bikes. We have to point out the superior disc brakes which are hydraulic. This is the only bike in our cheap mountain bike review that includes hydraulic disc brakes. Others in our review, if they have disc brakes, have mechanical disc brakes. Hydraulic represents a big advantage, mainly because of its greater stopping power.

Schwinn claims this bike comes nearly assembled. However, as with all the cheap mountain bikes, you’ll still need to perform some assembly. If you’re not sure, you can order bike completely assembled from Amazon or from your local bike shop.

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Diamondback Overdrive ST

Our Favourite 27.5″!

Diamondback Overdrive ST Key features:

  • 27.5″ wheels
  • Solid, functional components despite the low price
  • Disc brakes
  • Lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame
  • Part of our previous reviews

The Diamondback Overdrive ST is a top contender in its price category, and I’ve flagged it as a strong pick for two years running. We’ve tested this bike thoroughly, and keep coming back to it as one of the best examples of a high-quality, cheap mountain bike.

The 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame includes double-butted tubing, and is lightweight yet solid. (For a cheap mountain bike, aluminum is the most practical and best-performing frame material.) Overdrive ST comes in a fun, bright green color. This sexy but cheap mountain bike is bred with Diamondback’s legendary frame-building know-how, and we have yet to find any negative user reviews about its reliability or long-term performance.

Double-walled 27.5” wheels aren’t especially lightweight, but are solidly in line with the bike’s quality build, and will provide excellent performance out of the box and over the long haul. Chaoyang Hornet 2.1 tires complement the wheelset and will help the rider float over trail features and rough terrain, but they are also quite competent on gravel roads and pavement sections, according to user reviews we found.

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Components on the Overdrive ST include Shimano’s Tourney, Avera and Altus lines for the 24-speed drivetrain. These are mid- to low-level components, which, with normal use and service, will perform well for many years. GuiderTip: When shifting gears, use the “soft-pedal” technique – back off the pedal pressure while shifting, let the drive quickly complete the shift, then push once again on the pedals as hard as you like. This technique saves unnecessary wear on the drive, and might even avert a broken chain or bent sprocket tooth.

Front suspension comes complements of SR Suntour’s XCT coil spring fork – which provides 80 mm of plush travel and pre-load adjustment. GuiderTip: Usually, we like cross-country bikes to have 100 mm of fork travel, but since the Overdrive ST is an entry-level bike, we think the XTC fork at 80 mm will work perfectly fine for its intended rider.

User reviews are surprisingly positive (given that it is a cheap mountain bike); it earned a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Amazon.

Assembly of the Overdrive ST is relatively simple. The bike comes ready to be built in a few simple steps; you’ll need only to attach the front wheel, saddle and pedals. Most people – even those with minimal mechanical skills – will be able to accomplish this without difficulty.

What size do I need? The 18” frame covers riders from 5’7” – 5’10” in height, 20” frame for 5’10” – 6’1” and 22” for 6’1” – 6’4”.

Why Overdrive ST?

Diamondback Overdrive ST is one of the best cheap mountain bikes on the market. It’s built to be a true off-road warrior at the lowest possible price.

GuiderTip: Be sure to keep on top of basic maintenance like cleaning and lubricating the chain/drive, and keeping correct air pressure in the tires. With this minimal care the bike will perform well and reliably for years of off-road riding.

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This is it – the best budget mountain bikes on the market. Hope we made your choice easier!

To Wrap It Up

I hope you enjoy shopping for a cheap mountain bike for yourself! While we update this selection regularly, it’s possible there may be some lingering outdated information. If you find any, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know! We thank you in advance.

I truly hope that Bicycle Guider makes shopping for a bike an enjoyable experience for you. Also, I’m hoping we’ll make your choice much easier and save you both time and money!

And now…

Pick your cheap mountain bike