Choosing the best mountain bike for under 500 dollars can be very frustrating. So we have done the hard work for you. Below we have gathered the top mountain bikes for women, men, full suspension, hardtail, and 29er bikes. All with the common theme that they are less than five hundred dollars.
1. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1W
The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1W is a mountain bike specifically designed for women at less than 500 dollars.
The design has been engineered to fit the body of females. This means the top tube and stem is shorter. The handlebars are narrower for better control and the seat is a women’s saddle.
Women who own this bike think the bike is lots of fun to ride. If you are a beginner through intermediate levels the Co-op is great value for the cost.
It rides well on local bike trails and dirt trails. Many women explained that the shifting is intuitive and the braking system is smooth. Women over 40 thought the suspension was very helpful when going over bumps. It supports the lower back very well.
Other female riders explained that this bike fits them comfortably because you can choose from three frame sizes. The bike is balanced and stable. Owners rode on sandy single track, arroyo crossings and handed packed hilly trails. While on these trails the brakes were good and the gears shifted smoothly.
The frame of the Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 is a 6061 aluminum frame. Aluminum is a lightweight yet sturdy metal. It is light enough to help you go fast and sturdy enough to handle bumps and drop offs on the trail.
It has front suspension for the front wheel. The fork is a SR Suntour XCT 27.5. The travel is 100mm. This amount of travel for the suspension will absorb any impact from bumps, rocks, and roots.
The wheels are 27.5 inches which gives good leverage for going over small obstacles. The tires are Kenda Kadre and they are 2.1 inches wide. This width provides good traction and grip on the trails as well as speed.
The number of gears this bike has is 24 speeds. This enables women riders to go up and down various types of inclines and declines. You can choose from 24 speeds to find the most accurate gear for the trail you are on.
The shifters are Shimano Altus and the front derailleur is a Shimano Altus and the rear derailleur is a Shimano Acera.
Shimano derailleurs will make certain your chain shifts smoothly and accurately. No need to worry about the chain getting stuck or breaking.
For maximum stopping power this bike is equipped with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes allow you to modulate your braking power very precisely compared to other types of brakes.
2. Cannondale Tango 6
The Cannondale Tango 6 is a new mountain bike for women in 2020.
The frame is designed beautifully and the geometry is progressive. Each component is manufactured to be durable and dirt-ready for off-road riding.
The frame is made from an all new alloy called SmartForm C3 alloy. This alloy is made of aluminum. Aluminum is light and responsive to the trails. Plus it is durable and flexible.
The Cannondale Tango 6 is a hardtail so it has front suspension. The fork is a SR Suntour M3030. The travel of the front suspension is 75mm so it can absorb any bumps. This is 25% less travel than the previous women’s bike which had 100mm of travel.
You can choose from two different wheel sizes, 27.5 inches and 29 inches. 27.5 inch wheels has become the new standard during the past decade. 29 inch wheels are for taller riders or for those looking for more leverage when riding over small obstacles.
The tires are WTB Ranger tires and they are 2.25 inches wide. These 2.25 inch width tires will give you slightly more traction than the Co-op Cycles 1.1 which has 2.1 width tires.
The wider the tires the more traction and grip you will have on the trails. But wider tires may slow you down so the right balance is needed. But in this case the difference between 2.1 and 2.25 is not much and won’t be much better or worse.
This mountain bike has 7 speeds and 21 gears. Twenty-one gears is more than enough to choose from whether you are ascending or descending.
The front derailleur is a Shimano TY300 and the rear derailleur is a Shimano TX800. Shimano is a reliable brand which ensures accurate and smooth shifting.
The shifter on the handlebars is a Shimano Easy Fire EF41. It is easy to use while riding at any speed. You will know through feeling when you have hit the right gear for the trail you are on. Because acceleration will feel easier.
After increasing your speed you will eventually need to slow down. This bike uses Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Disc brakes are better than rim brakes because they have more accurate and reliable stopping power. They are easy to maintain, you don’t have to bleed the brakes like you do with hydraulic brakes.
The handlebars on this bike use a riser bar. It is made of 6061 alloy. The rise is 25mm, the sweep is 8 degrees, and the rise is 6 degrees. This shape will improve your grip and bike handling control. For more options see our guide on the 9 best mountain bikes for women under 500 dollars.
1. Gravity FSX 1.0
The Gravity FSX 1.0 gets its name because it seems to defy gravity. This is because of its superior full suspension design. The front and the rear suspension are both adjustable. This allows you to really dial in on the right support and cushion that you need for your butt and lower back.
Owners of this bike like how quiet and smooth the bike rides. This of course is due to the full suspension that it has. Riders thought the dual disc brakes are effective at stopping when you need to. After riding on rough terrain riders gave excellent ratings for performance.
Beginner riders and intermediate riders enjoy this bike. Even though the Gravity FSX 1.0 is a little heavy riders were happy with the disc brakes, 24 speeds, and full suspension.
When taking this mountain bike out on trails riders explained that it flowed around corners, accelerated during uphill climbs, and speeded through downhills easily while absorbing any and all bumps on the trails.
This bike is made with an aluminum frame. It is lightweight and provides higher performance because of hydroformed tubing. It is stable yet flexible as it adapts to the various types of terrain.
The front fork suspension is a Suntour fork and has long travel with adjustable preload. This will reduce the impact you feel when going over rocks, roots, and bumps on your wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
The FSX 1.0 has 26 inch tires which are 2.1 inches wide. 26 inch tires are the easiest to control overall, but they don’t give you as much leverage for going over small obstacles as a larger tire does.
2.1 inch width tires gives you good traction and grip for going over rocks, roots, and grass. It is a good width because you will get good traction and speed when going around corners, switchbacks, and accelerating on dirt trails.
When going on various inclines and declines you have 24 speeds to choose from. The front and rear derailleur are both Shimano which ensures accurate shifting and reliable chain movement.
Don’t be afraid to really ride this bike roughly. You can be tough on the wheels because the rims are strong and light double wall rims. Plus if you ever need to get new tires both the front and the back have quick release wheels.
To slow down and or stop this bike is equipped with Tektro Novela disc brakes. Disc brakes are reliable and you can easily modulate how fast or slow you stop. No need to worry about flying over the handlebars.
The Eurobike is a good full suspension bike for riders looking for comfort and support. The cost of this bike is very affordable at under 500 dollars.
Owners of this bike expressed that the suspension is great. The ride is easy smooth and quiet. They found the bike easy to set up and maintain. Riding on various trails was no problem.
The frame of the Eurobike is made of steel. Steel is the strongest material used for mountain bikes. It is sturdy and very stable. This type of frame will be able to withstand the most severe impacts on the trails.
The frame is also foldable which makes it very simple to store and carry in your vehicle. Its compact size when folded makes it easy to carry by hand if needed. But you do need to be able to carry at least 40 pounds.
Both tires are 26 inches in size. This size is perfect for all riders who are 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 9 inches. Anyone else should take a seat on the bike and see how it fits them.
The tires are all black and 1.95 inches wide. The tire is designed for speed which is why it is thinner than other tires. Be aware that the thiner the tire the less traction you will have on the trails. The weight of the bike at 40lbs will help to ensure traction.
You can choose from 21 different gears. This enables you to have the most powerful and efficient pedaling, depending on the incline or decline you are on. The front derailleur is a Shimano TZ30 and the rear derailleur is a Shimano TZ50. They ensure a smooth changing of the gears as you go up and down the chainring.
The shifter is a Shimano EF-500 and is located at a comfortable position. This allows you to go uphill or downhill and have easy access to shifting gears.
The brakes are dual disc brakes which provide maximum stopping power for braking under any circumstances. Because they are dual disc brakes this makes the brakes more sensitive. This helps you to modulate your braking more accurately and effectively.
The maximum weight capacity for this bike is 300 pounds. It probably can handle heavier riders because the frame is made of steel and the rims are aluminum alloy rims.
This Eurobike will come to your door 85% put together. You only need to install the pedals, front wheel, and handlebars. Then just pump up the tires. See more of the best full suspension mountain bikes for under 500 here.
1. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1
The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 is our best pick for a men’s mountain bike which is less than 500.
Men who have rode this bike say the quality and versatility of the bike is great for the price you pay. It rides very smoothly and is easy to handle.
One guy rode his Co-op very hard for 3 months straight. He did not have to replace any parts during that period of time. He could not be more impressed with its durability and reliability.
A larger man who weighs 260 pounds and is 6 feet tall thought the bike handles well. He is able to go over rocks and roots with no problem. Plus he found that he could do a bunny hop easily. His ride is smooth and he can shift quickly.
The frame is made of 6061 aluminum which is a strong sturdy material. It can handle rough impacts without cracking as well as absorb bumps. The Co-op weighs in at 32 pounds because aluminum is rather lightweight.
The suspension is a SR Suntour XCT 27.5 suspension fork. It provides you with 100mm of travel. This allows you to go over various kinds of bumps and absorb the impact of it. Your ride will be smooth and your control will be improved. This is all possible because it uses a coil-spring in the suspension.
Both wheels are 27.5 inches which is a good fit for most men. The tires are Kenda Kadre tires which are durable and easy to pump up. Each of the tires tread is 2.1 inches wide. This width gives you both good traction and speed.
This is a good mountain bike for climbing and going fast because there are 24 speeds. With such a wide range of gears you can really dial on to the right gear depending on what incline you are on.
The front derailleur is a Shimano Altus and the rear derailleur is a Shimano Acera. Shimano ensures smooth accurate shifting. Your chain will not get stuck or skip any gears. Using these gears will enable you to go fast until you need to slow down.
Slowing down is easy and effortless because you will be using Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes give you maximum stopping power without any jerking or jarring movements.
Plus hydraulic brakes allow you to modulate how fast or slow you stop very accurately because the oil fluid is what pushes the brakes closed so the disc comes to a stop.
2. Cannondale Trail 8
The Cannondale Trail 8 is a new mountain bike for men which is very affordable at less than 500.
It is great for men because it geometry is designed especially for dirt riders. This ensures quickness on the trails and stability.
The chainstay is short so that you get better agility and traction. The head angle is slack which increases stability. Plus the wide handlebar and short stem will give you better control.
The frame is made of aluminum which is lightweight making the entire weight only 32 pounds. Aluminum is sturdy and responsive when going over rocks, roots, and small obstacles.
The Cannondale Trail 8 is a hardtail so it has front suspension. The front fork is an SR Suntour M3030. There is 75mm of travel in order to cushion your wrists, elbows, and shoulders from the impacts of the trail.
This bike comes in two different wheel sizes, 27.5 inches and 29 inches. A 29er wheel will give you more leverage when you are going over small obstacles. This is because the obstacle will make contact with the wheel lower down on the wheel when compared with a smaller wheel.
The front tire is a WTB Ranger and is 2.25 inches wide. A 2.25 inch tire will give riders good traction on the trails as well as the ability to go fast.
For the rear tire you can choose to have a WTB Ranger or a Nineline tire. The main difference is the width of the tire. The Nineline is thinner at 2.0 inches wide. The difference is small but if you want more speed go with the thinner tire. For more traction a thicker tire is better.
The number of gears is 16, which is less than the more common amount of 21 and 24 speeds. 16 speeds is good for more hard-core mountain bikers who ride on rough trails. You don’t need so many speeds when riding on rough trails that is more for cross country riders.
The front derailleur is a Shimano TY300 with a 34.9 clamp. The rear derailleur is a Shimano TX800. Shimano ensures quick shifting and reliable chain movement. The shifters are Shimano Easy Fire EF41 shifters.
The brakes are Tektro mechanical disc brakes. They have 160mm rotors. Mechanical disc brakes are reliable and durable. They are easy to maintain because all you need to do is replace the cables.
The handlebars are comfortable and put your body in a more aerodynamic position. Cannondale riser handlebars have a 25mm rise, an 8 degree sweep, and another 6 degree rise. They are 720mm wide which improves control and stability.
1. Diamondback Overdrive
The Diamondback Overdrive is our top pick for the best hardtail which is under 500 dollars.
Many riders of this mountain bike feel the same way after riding it for themselves. They rode on logging roads, single track and downhill.
The riders thought that the 27.5 inch tires made it much easier to go fast with less effort. It also makes going across rough terrain easier.
They found that the gears were very responsive, and gear shifting was quick. They like that for climbing hills. When they needed to brake the Overdrive did its job well.
The only thing the riders did not like was the seat which came with the bike. The seat was very hard. This was solved by switching to the Diamondback pillow top seat, which is available for men and women.
The frame is made of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. The frame is hand-built which improves the quality of the work. The frame is custom formed making it lightweight and aerodynamic. Plus the tubing is butted making it stiff and durable. Aluminum gives you strength and flexibility so it can handle severe impacts and at the same time absorb bumps.
Hardtails have no suspension in the rear which helps to focus your pedaling power forward. Instead of wasting it by going up and down with rear suspension.
The front suspension for this bike is the SR Suntour XCT fork. It provides 80mm of suspension travel. You can go over rocks, roots, and bumps without being concerned about flying over the handlebars.
Both tires of the Diamondback Overdrive are 27.5 inches. Each tire has a tread which has big knobs on it. These large knobs increase the grip and traction of the tires so you can ride more effectively on different types of trails. You will feel safer and in more control because of the enhanced traction.
For speed and uphill climbing you can choose from 24 gears. The drivetrain is a Shimano 3×8 speed drivetrain with Suntour XCT cranks. Ascending hills and then descending them is no problem.
When you need to brake, Overdrive is equipped with Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes which have 160mm rotors. They will give you reliable stopping power so you can go fast without fear of not being able to slow down and stop safely.
When this bike is delivered to you it will arrive in ready-ride condition. This is to prevent the trouble of frustrating at-home assembly.
All you need to do yourself is install the front wheel, seat, and pedals. The brakes and gears have already been adjusted. Just inflate the tires and start having fun on the trails.
2. Mongoose TYAX Comp
The Mongoose TYAX Comp is out next pick for a hardtail at an affordable price.
When riders got this bike at their home they said it was nice and greased up. Out of the box all the components were adjusted properly.
Some mountain bikers thought this Mongoose was on the heavy side. But this seems a bit strange as the bike is 31.5 pounds. So maybe these riders who thought this are just not so strong.
Many riders thought the bike is durable and a good value for the price. Their rides were smooth and fast. The only thing they did not like as with many bikes is the seat.
The frame of the TYAX Comp is XC aluminum. This type of aluminum is standard and keeps the bike lightweight and sturdy. It is strong enough to handle bumps and drop-offs and light enough to cushion and support your lower back and butt.
This hardtail is equipped with a SR Suntour XCM V3 fork. It uses a coil in its front suspension for enhanced compression and rebound control. The travel is 100mm and has a lockout lever for rigid riding.
The front and rear tires are 26 inches in diameter. 26 inches is good for smaller size riders and offers excellent bike handling control. Plus it is easier to do wheelies and jumps with 26 inch wheels.
The tires are 2.1 inches wide which gives you less traction than a wider tire, but more speed and maneuverability.
The wheels are made of alloy and the rims are Alex Ace 24 double wall 32 hole rims. Alloy is strong and won’t bend or crack easily. The rim is supported with stainless steel spokes.
The number of gears you have to choose from is a whopping 27 speeds. Through experimentation on various inclines you will be able to determine the best gear to give you the most power and efficiency while going uphill.
In order to slow down and stop the Mongoose TYAX Comp is equipped with Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes. The rotors on the front and rear are 160mm. This gives you accurate and reliable stopping power.
1. Schwinn Traxion
The mountain bike we think is the best 29er at less than 500 is the Schwinn Traxion.
Riders of this bike explained that it rides great on rough dirt and rocky mountain trails. Its full suspension and large 29 inch tires easily absorb the bumps and the ride is very smooth.
They were very happy with the overall performance of the bike. It shifts fast both up and down the chainring. The disc brakes are strong and there are no jerking movements when stopping.
A few other riders said the bicycle is easy to put together. It was easy to set up the rear derailleur. Rocks and tree branches were simple to go over because of the 29 inch wheels.
The frame is made of aluminum and is a size 18 inch medium. Aluminum is not a very heavy metal like steel. It will handle the rocks and roots with ease. Absorbing them and adjusting to the impacts.
The Schwinn Traxion has suspension on the front and rear of the bike. Its dual suspension frame and strong Schwinn suspension fork will soak up bumps and drop offs for a smooth fast ride.
The wheels of this bike are both 29 inches. These larger size wheels will make it much easier to ride over rocks, roots, tree branches, and even small logs.
The rims of the wheels are extra wide double wall alloy wheels. Alloy rims are light and strong, and durable. All of this is enhanced because of the extra wide double wall.
The tires are 2.25 inches wide which provides very good traction and grip. You will feel glued to the trails as you go over single-tracks, around corners, and over grass and leaves. This is all enhanced because not only are the tires decently wide they also have knobs on the treads. This helps to dig into the trail for traction.
Driving you through the trails is its 24 speed gear system. On the front and the back are Shimano derailleurs. You will shift gears quickly, easily, and accurately.
The Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifters are located in the cockpit of the bike for easy accessibility.
Powering the gear system is you. This bike has Schwinn alloy cranks which are strong and durable. They provide reliable pedaling and a reduced amount of frustrating maintenance.
When it is time to reduce speed and stop you can rely on Shimano mechanical disc brakes. You can stop smoothly even when it is under sudden circumstances.