The Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000

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Looking for a mountain bike on a budget? That's where we come in. In this article we've rounded up some of the best mountain bikes under $1000.


The thousand dollar mark is usually enough money to get you a great quality product regardless of your hobby or past time; this definitely holds true when it comes to mountain bikes. That said, the price of mountain bikes can easily surpass this threshold by four or even five times the amount.

If you’re struggling to find something suitable within your budget, before you consider increasing it make sure you’ve explored all of your options. In an attempt to help you do exactly that we’ve rounded up some of the best mountain bikes under $1000 for both men and women.

The Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000

At the $1000 mark, we recommend you stick to a hardtail. The logic behind this is that a good hardtail mountain bike is objectively better than a bad full-suspension mountain bike. In this price bracket, you get the most for your money when investing in a high-quality hardtail rather than a low-quality full-suspension bike.

Here’s a list of the 5 best mountain bikes under $1000 on the market to date.

Marin San Quentin 1 Bike 2020

If you’re looking for an excellent hardtail, that’s rounded enough for whatever you want to throw at it; you’ve found your match. This great mountain bike was mastered up close and personal with a freeride icon, Matt Jones. The bike picked it’s name up from the rough terrain in Marin County, San Quentin Prison.

In terms of specs you get an SR Suntour 120mm fork, keeping your ride smooth as can be. You get a Shimano 1×9 drivetrain and hydraulic discs from Tektro, which are super sensitive and allow you to stop in a flash. The Marin Tubless Ready wheels give you great a connection with the ground you’re riding on, and do well to battle against flats. This really is a bike that’s ready for anything, and one we definitely vouch for.

Orbea MX 10 29″ Bike 2019

If you want something that’s going to get you pumped to get out and ride, the Orbea MX10 is a great pick. It’s available in a couple of finishes, but our favorite is definitely the slick-looking orange and black. The cables are routed internally giving the bike a super streamlined look.

This bike has more than just looks, with a 100mm of travel through the RockShox fork, Shimano 2 x 10-speed drivetrain and Orbea wheels that are wrapped with Kenda rubber. When it comes to the breaks these are also Shimano, the hydralic disc brakes are excellent at bringing you to an abrupt stop. This is a bike that looks great and feels even better to ride.

Marin Pine Mountain Bike 2019

If you’re looking for a bike with rigid forks that’s great for climbing this bike would be perfect for you. It comes with plus-sized tires helping to give you added traction due to their larger surface area. These tires also help to compensate for the lack of suspension from the forks in terms of how smooth the ride feels.

Shimano provide both the gears and brakes, with a 1×10 drivetrain and set of hydraulic discs respectively. You also get the Marin Tubeless Ready wheels to help with traction and reduce the likelihood of flats. Overall this is a top-quality rigid mountain bike and if you want a bike that’s great at climbing, you won’t get much better in this price range.

Liv Tempt 2 Bike 2019

If you’re looking for a womens mountain bike under 1000 dollars, you’ll love the Liv Tempt 2. Thanks to the lightweight ALEXX frame made from aluminum, its easy to maneuver and control. Tubeless tires also work to improve the overall traction you get while riding.

The bike comes with 100mm suspension through the fork and hydraulic disc brakes. This means your ride will be super smooth and you’ll be able to stop at very short notice. This is a great quality bike we’d recommend for ladies looking for something light yet durable.

Giant Talon 27.5 3 Bike 2019

Are you working with a tight budget, but want a quality bike that can compete with bikes closer to the thousand dollar mark? Look no further than the Giant Talon 3. It features a lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame which is tailored to 27.5 wheels. This helps you to strike an excellent level of speed combined with stability.

You get a 100mm suspension, Shimano 3 x 8-speed drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disk brakes. With components matching bikes of almost twice it’s price tag, you can see the Talon 3 packs a real punch when it comes to value for money. If you’re looking for a budget bike with big specs this is just what you’re looking for.

Finding The Best Mountain Bike Under $1,000

picture of a mountain bike

Few experiences can equal the exhilaration of speeding through the wilderness on a well-built mountain bike. Yet, while standard cycling is easy to pick up, mountain-biking seems to be reserved only for those who are affluent in time and money. The cost of a decent mountain bike serves as the prime roadblock for curious cyclists. Nonetheless, mountain-biking can actually be both affordable and accessible.

Unfortunately, affordability and quality seem to share an inverse relationship. With affordable bikes, you typically get what you pay for in terms of component quality. Some opinionated cyclists might argue that the only mountain bikes worth owning cost thousands of dollars. Although expensive mountain bikes will generally offer better quality, there are cheaper options that can be as functional.

Pricing

Price will be a major concern for cyclists considering mountain biking. Even though there are many affordable options, you should shy away from buying the cheapest bike available simply to save money.

A wise buyer considers every aspect of the bike they intend to buy. You should check the company that designed the bike, and the parts and materials that make up the bike.

Mountain Bike Dimensions and Design

The easiest way to identify a quality mountain bike under $1000 is to check for some obvious design signals.

Mountain bike wheels are twenty-six to twenty-nine inches in diameter and are made of damage-resistant parts that can absorb the impact caused by repeated blows on rough terrain. Tire width varies between models, though to a beginner mountain biker the difference is likely to be negligible.

The frame can be made of aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. A good mountain bike will be made of materials that can resist constant blows.

Mountain bikes have suspension systems integrated into their frames. These systems can have either full or front suspension. For the thousand dollar mark, we’d recommend a high-quality hardtail over a low end full-suspension bike.

A bike with front or “hard-tail” suspension will only have the system integrated into the front tire. A full-suspension bike will have the system built into both tires. The system connects the tire to the frame in such a way that it absorbs many of the impact shocks caused by unstable terrain.

Further, a mountain bike’s handlebar placement will alter the posture of the cyclist. Unlike a road bike that guides its rider to lean forward, a mountain bike directs its rider to sit somewhat upright. These are just the very basic, major identifiers of a quality mountain bike.

Safety

Traversing rough terrain can be dangerous– a good mountain bike will negate as much of that danger as possible. A safe cyclist will review the model and brand of the bike he or she intends to buy. Does the bike have a good record of durability? Are there any major defects or infamous problems with the bike model? If so, consider another make of bike.

Next, you should consider the condition of the bike. Is it new? Is it used? If the bike is in used condition, do the tires look worn? Are the wheels bent or damaged from frequent use? Is the frame dented, or does it show any other signs of stress? You should take special care to inspect the condition of the chain and any other complex component.

Comfort

Comfort is a feature that is intrinsically linked to safety–a comfortable ride is a much safer ride. A quality mountain bike under 1000 dollars will be able to adapt to a variety of terrain conditions.

This gives the user as much control over their movement as possible. What sort of gear options does the mountain bike have? How does the chain tension affect the bike’s movement? Can the gears be quickly switched to meet varying terrain conditions?

Even the handlebars are an important factor in a cyclist’s comfort. The front-wheel should always accurately swivel towards a cyclist’s intended destination.

The best mountain bikes will take advantage of such features in order to keep the user in full control of their experience.

Final Considerations

Mountain biking can offer an exciting experience for cyclists who desire off-road adventure. The ideal mountain bike will be comfortable enough to allow traditional cyclists to transition to the new riding style.

Further, the technical features and comfort features must complement the total safety of the bike. Most importantly, the bike must deliver those features at a reasonable price. When a bike can meet those criteria, it is worth purchasing. If you’re looking a slightly cheaper bike, check out this list of mountain bikes under $500.