Best Beginner Mountain Bikes in 2017 – Top 5 Selection by Experts

Best Beginner Mountain Bikes

Many people enjoy mountain biking, and spending a whole day outside.  If you have never been, it might be something you should consider trying.  One thing you should know before getting a mountain bike is the difference between them and other bikes.

Mountain bikes are more durable, flexible, and can handle environments other bikes can’t.  No matter if you’ve been mountain biking for a few years, or just looking to get into it, you need to find the right mountain bike for you.  This review will look at different mountain bikes, and will recommend the best beginner mountain for you.

Things to Consider for Best Beginner Mountain Bikes

Trails

Not every trail is created the same, so you should consider where you’re going to ride.  Some trails have pavement, while others have wooden planks.  Most trails are going to be just made of dirt, so you want to make sure you have a bike that can handle the trail you’re riding on.

If you’re not sure what the trail looks like, you can try hiking it, or mapping it out on Google.  After all, the last thing you want to do is buy a bike that is not suited for the trail.  You can decide which bike will work better for the type of trail you’re going to ride on. Check the 7 best fall mountain bike trails selected by The University of Utah

Frame Materials

Mountain bikes are going to be made from different types of materials, and knowing what material it’s made of will allow you to ride on different trails.  You can choose a bike made from aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber.  You should make sure the bike can handle the demands of mountain biking.

Carbon fiber is going to be light, but it will also break easily.  Steel is going to be extremely durable, but it is heavier.  Aluminum combines durability with a light weight, so that is something that can appeal to you.

Features

The features of the bike are important to finding the best mountain bike for beginners.  If you haven’t ridden a mountain bike before, you shouldn’t get a mountain bike that has too many features you don’t understand.  You can find a mountain bike that has gears to help you go faster.

Other features, such as safety features, are an excellent option for anyone wanting to bike.  You can determine which features you should include with your bike to ensure you’re going to get the best one for you.  If you need to sacrifice a few features, make sure it doesn’t make the bike unsafe.

Brakes

The brakes are the most important parts of the bike, because while you can start going, you will need a way to stop.  Brakes are going to be padded or disc brakes, and they both work well.  Pads are easier to replace, because you can determine when the pad needs to be replaced, but you might have to hit the brakes harder to stop.

Disc brakes respond quickly, but they are going to be more expensive to replace.  You should consider your budget and how fast you want to travel.  Stopping safely is a priority, and you should find the right brakes for you.

Wheels

The wheels are another factor you should consider, because the wrong wheels can turn a pleasant ride into a disaster.  The size of the wheels should fit your body comfortably, as well as the bike.  The tread of the wheels should be considered to ensure you can get a good grip on the surface you’re riding on.

The rims are something you should consider, as well, because rims can bend or break if they aren’t properly cared for.  While it may seem like wheels are a no brainer, a lot of people don’t take them into consideration. We have a dedicated article on best mountain bike wheels.

Gears

When you’re riding a mountain bike, having a gearshift allows you to get up the mountain easily.  You can shift the gears when you’re going up a tough incline to help you get the bike up the mountain.  Not only that, but they come in handy when you’re trying to pick up speed.

You can have more control over the bike when you’re going down the mountain, which is good if you’re just starting out.  While some people may not know how to work the brakes, there are plenty of resources available.  If that still doesn’t help, getting out and trying out the bike can help you find the perfect balance.

Fit

The mountain bike should fit you comfortably while you’re riding.  The pedals shouldn’t be too far from the bottom of your feet, and you should be able to straddle the bike.  If the bike is too small, it can make it difficult to pedal, especially if you’re going uphill.

If the bike is too big, you can lose your balance easily, and injure yourself.  If you’re not sure which size to get, measure your height, and find a bike that will compliment your height.  This will help you choose the right mountain bike for you.

5 Best Beginner Mountain Bikes in 2017

1. Diamondback Overdrive Sport 29er Mountain Bike

Diamondback-Overdrive-Sport-29er-MountainFor an entry level mountain bike, this is an excellent option.  You can maneuver it to where you want it to go, it has a Shimano gear shifter, and will go through any terrain.  If you’re looking for a durable mountain bike, this is a wonderful option.

Versatile

The mountain bike is versatile enough to handle the harshest environments you go through.  It responds quickly to your movements, allowing you to have ultimate control over the bike.  No matter where you ride it, you’ll love having the bike with you.

Aluminum Alloy

The aluminum alloy frame makes the bike lightweight, yet durable, which is great for beginners.  If you have trouble pedaling up a mountain, you can pick it up for the rest of the way.  It’s a practical bike for those that need to make sure the bike goes with them.

Power Transfer

The bike has a fork suspension that makes it easy to transfer the power when you’re riding.  When you’re climbing up a mountain, the pressure of the bike can lean forwards, preventing you from getting up a hill.  The power transfer puts momentum on the back tire to help you get up the mountains.

Shimano Shifter

For those unfamiliar with shifters on bikes, Shimano is the leader in gear shifts for bikes.  You can rely on the shifter to help you achieve the speed you want, whether you’re going up or down a mountain.

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Easy to assemble
  • It is durable

Cons

  • The seat is awful

Highlighted Features

  • Versatile
  • Aluminum alloy frame
  • SR Suntour XCR-LO suspension
  • Shimano gears
Diamondback-Overdrive-Sport-29er-Mountain

Diamondback Overdrive Sport 29er

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Final Verdict

This mountain bike is practical for beginners, and considering how durable it is, you can ride it wherever you want.  Even if you want to try different jumps and tricks, the bike will allow you to enjoy your activities.  When you can find a bike that can handle the toughest environments, you won’t want to buy a different bike.

Considering it was made for beginners, you’ll appreciate having a bike that can do everything for you.  It’s the best way to enjoy mountain biking, and having a fun time.

2. Mongoose Men’s Switchback Sport Mountain Bike

The mountain bike has an aluminum alloy frame, providing the perfect balance between weight and durability.  It has a Shimano shifter, alloy brakes, and alloy wheels.  For those looking for a tough bike that can help them on a mountain trail, this is the perfect bike for you.  Mongoose is also known for their bikes, and are considered to be some of the best bike available.

Aluminum Alloy Frame

The aluminum alloy frame makes the bike lightweight and durable, providing an excellent balance for anyone riding the bike.  No matter where you plan on riding the bike, you can rely on it to get you any place you want to go.  It’s perfect for beginners and experience riders alike.  Anyone will enjoy taking this bike out on a trail for a long bike ride.

21 Speeds

The Shimano shifter allows riders to have 21 different speeds, making it practical for those going on a long bike ride.  You can shift to lower speeds when you’re going up the mountain, and shift into higher gears for a faster speed when you’re going down.  It’s a good way to enjoy your bike ride.

Pull Brakes

The linear V-pull brakes allow you to have a quick response when you’re going fast.  You can stop quickly, which is good if something jumps in your path when you’re riding.  You want a bike that has reliable brakes, and this bike provides it for them.  You won’t need to pump them, but it will help you slow down.

Alloy Wheels

The alloy wheels are durable enough to handle the bumps and bruises you’ll encounter on a bike ride.  The stainless steel spokes give the bike a sharp look that will make other people jealous.  The wheels are double walled, which means they won’t pop or leak if you run over a stray branch.  It’s practical for those that don’t want to spend too much money replacing the wheels.

Pros

  • Pedals are durable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Price is reasonable

Cons

  • It won’t support a rear rack

Highlighted Features

  • Aluminum alloy frame
  • Shimano gear shifter with 21 speeds
  • Linear pull V brakes
  • Alloy wheels

Mongoose Men’s Switchback Sport

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Final Verdict

For those with a love for mountain biking, this is an excellent choice.  You can trust the Mongoose brand, since they specialize in making mountain bikes.  The aluminum alloy parts make the bike perfect for riding uphill.  You won’t expel too much energy when you’re trying to get up the mountain, making it perfect for anyone riding the bike.  No matter how you plan on using the bike, you will find the perfect trail to test it out on.

3. Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike

Merax-Finiss-Aluminum-Mountain-BrakesThis mountain bike is more durable than others in its class because the aluminum frame has been heat treated.  This makes it practical for those tend to ride their bikes tough.  The rims are durable and double walled, making them more durable than other wheels.  The disc brakes provide an efficient braking system you’ll love using.

Aluminum

The heat-treated aluminum provides more durability than your standard aluminum frame bike.  This is perfect for those that want to try out different stunts with the bike.

Aluminum Rims

The aluminum rims provide excellent durability against the toughest trails, and they won’t’ bend or break easily.  You could ride the bike over a rocky trail, and not even notice how bad the trail is.

21 Speeds

The Shimano shifter on the bike allows you to try out 21 different speeds, allowing you to make your best time.  The reliable shifter is practical for those that need a bike they can use easily, and this bike will help you out.

Disc Brakes

The disc brakes provide extra stopping power, even when you’re going as fast as you can.  The disc brakes respond to your touch quickly, and you don’t need to apply extra pressure to the brakes.  This comes in handy when you’re going as fast as possible.

Suspension Fork

The suspension fork allows you to ride over rough trails, and you won’t feel the bumps.  The fork also allows you to maneuver the bike easily, giving you ultimate control over the bike.  No matter how you want to ride, you can rely on the bike to respond to your movements.

Pros

  • It is lightweight
  • Reasonable price
  • Easy to assemble
  • Looks good

Cons

  • May have minor brake problems

Highlighted Features

  • Heat treated aluminum alloy frame
  • Aluminum rims
  • Shimano 21 speed shifter
  • Disc brakes
  • Suspension fork
Merax-Finiss-Aluminum-Mountain-Brakes

Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed

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Final Verdict

For those looking for a lighter bike to take out on a trail, this is a wonderful option.  It is lightweight, making it practical for any bike rider.  No matter where you plan on riding, you can rely on the bike to give you a comfortable ride.  It’s practical for beginners and experienced riders that want to ride the toughest trails.  You can rely on the bike to go over any mountain.

4. Vilano 26-Inch Frame Mountain Bike

Vilano 26-Inch Frame Mountain BikeHaving a durable mountain bike is never questioned, and this mountain bike is one tough bike.  The design of the wheels provides a smooth and durable ride, no matter what type of trail you’re riding down.  You’ll love having this mountain bike in your garage, especially when you want to show it off.

Aluminum

For a nice combo of weight and durability, this bike provides it.  The aluminum frame makes the bike light and sturdy, which is good for anyone looking for a bike they can take anywhere.

Suspension Fork

Since the bike features a suspension fork, you can rely on it to give you a smooth ride, especially over rocks and bumpy trails.  You won’t notice how bumpy a trail can be when you’re riding this bike, especially when you’re going fast.

Disc Brakes

The disc brakes respond quickly, and work like a charm, even when you’re going your top speed.  Since animals and other things can pop out of nowhere, you can rely on the brakes to stop you quickly.  It’s ideal for those that love to have some adventure.

Durable Wheels

The alloy mag wheels are more durable than other wheels on traditional mountain bikes.  The wheels don’t have any spokes, which can come in handy when you’re going through some thick brush.  You’ll pass through quickly and easily thanks to the design of the wheels.

21 Speeds

The bike features a Shimano 21 speed shifter, allowing you to hit your top speed easily.  It also comes in handy when you’re trying to get up a steep mountain.  No matter how you want to use the bike, you can rely on it to enjoy your day out on the trails.

Pros

  • It looks good
  • The ride is smooth
  • The weight is light

Cons

  • The wheels can feel odd

Highlighted Features

  • Aluminum frame
  • Suspension fork
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Alloy mag wheels
  • Shimano 21 speed shifter
Vilano 26-Inch Frame Mountain Bike

Vilano 26-Inch Frame Mountain Bike

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Final Verdict

While most mountain bikes are built for durability, this one is also built for looks.  You will catch a lot of attention, but you won’t have to sacrifice durability.  The bike is smooth to ride, and it is easy to assemble.  If you’re looking for a simple bike, this is an excellent choice.

5. Schwinn S29 Men’s 29″ Wheel Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Schwinn-Wheel-Suspension-Mountain-MediumThis mountain bike contains a full suspension, making it one of the smoothest bikes available.  The speed shifters allow you to hit your top speed, and get up the steepest hills.  Since Schwinn is known for their bikes, you know you’re getting a quality bike that should last you for years.  It also includes disc brakes to help you stop on a dime.

Aluminum Frame

The aluminum suspension frame makes the bike comfortable to ride, and provides durability you won’t find with other bikes.  No matter how you plan to ride, you can rely on the bike to hold up, even when you take it out in the toughest environments.

21 Speeds

For those that love to live fast, the bike is equipped with a SRAM 21 speed shifter, making it easy to hit your top speed.  Even if you’re having trouble going uphill, you can shift to a lower gear to get more momentum to help you get up the hill.

Disc Brakes

While padded brakes can be cheap to replace, they don’t stand up to disc brakes.  If you’re planning on riding fast, you want brakes that are quick and easy to use.  This bike has the disc brakes you need to help you stop on a dime.

Alloy Cranks

Even though every bike has cranks, this one includes three alloy cranks, which makes it easier to pedal.  Even when the bike is in lower gear, you won’t strain or struggle as much to hit your top speed.  It’s ideal for any rider.

Alloy Wheels

The alloy wheels provide durability to the most vulnerable part of the bike.  Since you can ride over tough terrain that can wear down your tires, the alloy rims won’t bend or break when you’re riding.

Pros

  • The price is reasonable
  • Smooth ride
  • Quick brakes
  • Large wheels

Cons

  • Tubes need to be replaced

Highlighted Features

  • Aluminum suspension frame
  • SRAM 21 speed shifter
  • Disc brakes
  • 3-piece alloy cranks
  • Alloy wheels
Schwinn-Wheel-Suspension-Mountain-Medium

Schwinn S29 Men’s 29″ Wheel Full Suspension

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Final Verdict

For those familiar with the Schwinn brand, you know what to expect.  The quality of their bikes is what makes them one of the leaders of bike makers, and this bike qualifies.  You will have a smooth ride, which is what you want from a bike.  You can take it just about anywhere, is what mountain bikes were made for.  It’s the best way to have some fun.

Overall Final Verdict

If you’re thinking about getting into mountain biking, you may have had some doubts and a lot of thoughts regarding mountain bikes.  Hopefully this review helped you decide on what you need, and how they work.  For the best mountain bike in this review, the Schwinn S29 Men’s 29″ Wheel Full Suspension Mountain Bike.
Since Schwinn is well known for building bikes, you know you’re getting a quality bike.  It handles easily, it is smooth to ride, and has everything you need to enjoy a day out on the trails.  No matter where you want to go, this mountain bike is the perfect choice for beginners.

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About the Author Matthew R. Duncan

I am proud to be the go-to guy among my circle for bike advice. I take it personally when someone I know buys a new bike without consulting me first!

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