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Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000 USD

If you think that you need to bring a bag full of cash when you head out to buy your next mountain bike, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Cycling can be an expensive hobby, but it certainly does not have to be.

There are many quality mountain bikes out there that are fun, reliable, durable, capable — and cost less than $1,000

In this review, we’ll be showing you the 10 best mountain bikes under $1,000 that you can shred trails with for miles and years to come. They can easily be upgraded or ridden as is.


 

Co-op Cycles – DRT 1.2

Best XC Race Model

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 is one of the best choices from the numerous DRT family of trail bikes. Its affordability is just one of the reasons why we opted to include it in our top 10 rosters.

MSRP: $949 REI

Thanks to its longer travel and wide-range gearing, this bike will enable you to ramp up the speed on the flats and climb efficiently as well. It does not have a dropper post, but it can be easily fitted with one.

Lots of Travel and Even More Grip

One of the highlights on the DRT 1.2 is its capable WTB Trail Boss tires. They are 2.4″ wide which gives you plenty of grip when tackling tight bends and loose surfaces. The wheels are 27.5″ on sizes XS through M and 29″ on larger frames. Next is the dual-piston SR Suntour XCR front suspension with 120 mm of travel. That’s the best option from this Suntour’s line. All cables are internally routed so DRT 1.2 has pretty clean lines.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 2×9 Shimano drivetrain
  • 27.5″/29″ wheels
  • 120 mm fork travel
  • 69° head tube angle

Shifting is relegated to Shimano Altus and Alivio groupsets and braking is enforced by Tektro hydraulic discs. There are 18 gears on disposal, which is an excellent range for all terrains. DRT 1.2 is a remarkable choice for performance-oriented riders who are getting back into the trail racing game or are just taking their first steps.

DRT 1.2 offers possibly the most bang for the buck in several areas, such as components, tires, and the overall design.

Check Availability – REI


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Tommaso – Gran Sasso

Equipped with all the essential components

MSRP $775 GiantNerd

How much to pay for a mountain bike in 2020? Well, you are looking at a bike that’s for sale by GiantNerd who offers the best value Tommaso bikes online! Plus, they ship their bikes ready to ride, there’s basically no installation needed. The Gran Sasso is an ideal mountain bike for beginner/intermediate cyclists who are looking for a bike that’s not among the cheapest bikes.

Is it Mountain-ready?

Besides the bad-ass looks, the Gran Sasso is equipped with everything to get you from A to B through the rough terrains! It’s got the essential mountain bike components these days such as the 29″ wheels, 100mm travel SR Suntour front fork, and Shimano Acera/Altus derailleurs! If you haven’t ridden a ’29er’ before, you’ll be amazed by how easily It can tackle the trail!

Wheels & Brakes

Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes are not among the entry-level set of brakes, so be careful of its persistence and agility! The aluminum frame is coupled with a set of alloy Mingda DP20 wheelset for a lightweight rolling quality!

The aspect of comfort for everyday riding

Whether you are looking for an all-rounder bicycle or simply a ‘tool’ to get you through the rougher surface, Tommasso Gran Sasso is well equipped for a great multi-purpose use! Mountain bikes are among the most comfortable rides when you have a tendency to prefer trails over roads! 24-speeds and a comfortable yet mountain-ready geometry speak well for the overall quality of the ride!

Conclusions: Tommaso Gran Sasso features a set of components that are above the entry-level range while having a low ‘off-the-shelf’ price. Another great news is that you don’t have to do pretty much any assembly to get you going!

Availability – Giantnerd


 

Rocky Mountain – Fusion 30 ‘2021

Newest model!

rocky mounts mtb

Here we have the newest addition to the selection – the Fusion 30 for 2021. The bike is perfectly suited for recreational cyclists who are looking for a reliable mountain bike with the latest of technologies.

MSRP $899 JensonUSA

  • Shimano Deore 1x10speed
  • Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes
  • 100mm Suntour XCR32 Lor, Air-sprung forks
  • 6061 Aluminum frame
  • 29″ x 2.4″ tubeless-ready tires

Well suited for those who want something a bike that’s capable of tackling light trails with comfort, while having the capacity for demanding trails – the Fusion 30 is specced for anything. Although we’d say that a trail-ready hardtail race bikes start from around $1,500, the Fusion is equipped with everything you need.

2021 Rocky Mountain hardtail mountain bikes start as low as $749

For $899, it sure is a steal – especially at times right now where most bikes have been sold out! Tubeless-ready wheels and tires, 1×10 drivetrain by Deore, and 100mm air-suspension is something to rely on this deal to be among the top competitors.

Availability – JensonUSA


 

Ghost Bikes – Lanao 4.7

Best Women’s all-mountain hardtail

Ghost Lanao 4.7

If you have money for only one bike and you want to put your foot in different disciplines and see where you fit the best, then Ghost Lanao 4.7 is the right tool for the job. This is a women’s all-mountain bike with nimble geometry and upgradeable design.

MSRP: $850 REI

  • Aluminum frame
  • 2×9 Shimano drivetrain
  • 27.5″ wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 69° head tube angle

Nimble Geometry and Plenty of Clearance

Ghost Lanao 4.7 is a seriously capable bicycle with a seriously low price. The frame has a 69° head tube angle which will give you excellent control in tight corners. In combination with the 100 mm SR Suntour XCM fork, you can attack obstacles from a much better angle. This bike comes with Continental X-King SL tires that are 2.2″ wide and 27.5″ in diameter. That guarantees traction and responsive handling. The frame has enough clearance for even wider tires, so you can go crazy on the trails. Lanao 4.7 has a 2×9 drivetrain with Shimano’s crankset and cassette. The derailleurs are Shimano Acera and Deore, which is a pretty good mid-range choice.

This bike brakes with Shimano’s hydraulic discs, which get decent reviews on MTB forums and sites. So if you need just one cheap women’s MTB to rule them all, Ghost Lanao 4.7 will give you the most versatility and immeasurable fun.

Ghost Lanao 4.7 is the perfect blend of a dirt jump and a trail hardtail bike. It’s ideal for beginner women riders.

Check Availability – REI


 

Cannondale – Trail 4

Cannondale Trail 4 as the best mountain bike under $1000

Cannondale Trail 4 is the epitome of a straightforward trail bike perfect for beginners and casual off-road riders. It’s a bike that does well on aggressive XC rides, moderate downhills, and also climbs well. All that thanks to its versatile geometry and clever design solutions.

MSRP $999 REI

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 1 x 10 Shimano drivetrain
  • 27.5″/29″ wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 68.0°/ 68.5° head tube angle

Cannondale Trail 4 is on the top of our list not because it is much better than all the other bikes shown here, but because it is a tried and true choice. Cannondale’s Trail line has been around for a while and has been pretty much perfected to smash XC routes and trails.

Hydraulic Braking & Shimano Components

First of all, Trail 4 bounces on a 100 mm RockShox XC30 TK fork with a coil and hydraulic lockout.

The head tube angle is 68.0° on the S frame and 68.5° on larger frames, which is slack enough to let you approach obstacles more aggressively.

However, a longer stem will still center you over the bike and give you a good overview of the trail ahead. Trail 4 brakes with Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes and 180/160 mm rotors and shifts its 10 gears with a Shimano Deore derailleur. Deore is considered to be the best mid-range groupset in Shimano’s hierarchy. The wheels are 27.5″ on the S frame and 29″ on larger frames, which guarantees a good fit and a confident ride no matter how you’re built. Tires are 2.25″ wide on all versions. If you’re in the market for your first XC or Trail bike and you want an affordable option, Cannondale Trail 4 is a safe choice.

Check Availability – REI


 

Diamondback – Overdrive 29 2

Best Classic 29er Hardtail

Diamondback Overdrive 29 2

Overdrive 29 2 is a member of Diamondback’s stable with a long tradition and an equally long list of quality components. It will pleasantly surprise you in terms of suspension, braking, geometry, and rubber.

MSRP: $1,000 Diamondback

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 2×9 Shimano drivetrain
  • 29″ wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 71° head tube angle

Overdrive 29 2 is built around Diamondback’s butted 6061-T6 aluminum frame that has a tapered head tube and forged dropouts with a replaceable hanger.

It has everything you need to become confident enough to tackle the steepest of climbs and attack the rowdiest of trails. All excuse stop here.

Adjustable RockShox Suspension for More Fun

Diamondback Overdrive 29 2 would not be such a good affordable mountain bike if it weren’t for the RockShox Judy Silver fork. This is an air fork with 100 mm of travel, a lockout, and rebound adjust. Therefore, it offers the most adjustability of all models so far. It induces confidence and increases your margin for error. The 29″ wheels are clad in WTB Nine line 2.25″ tires which offer a good balance between speed and brute force.

The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are precise, powerful, and a very common sight in this price range. These are coupled with 160 mm rotors, so you can definitely stop on a dime. Another thing we appreciate is the Shimano Alivio/Acera components with 18 gears and a 36T x 36T granny gear for challenging hills. If you want a foolproof 29er with responsive handling and capable components, Diamondback Overdrive 29 2 is the best choice.

Check Availability – Diamondback.com


 

Rocky Mountain – Growler

Best Affordable 1x Bike

Rocky Mountain Growler 20

Check this out: 29″ wheels, super-wide tires, long-travel, 1x drivetrain… What more could you ask for? Rocky Mountains Growler packs all of these features and a lot more. It’s a fantastic trail bike that will dominate technical climbs and wreak havoc on uneven ground.

Rocky Mountain Growler is a perfectly fitting name for this bike as the Canadian Rocky Mountains have little to offer against it.

It has a seriously slack geometry and the highest amount of front travel that you can get in this price range.

Confidence-Inducing Extra Wide Tires

The Growler is built on a rock-solid 6061 aluminum frame with a threaded bottom bracket and a tapered head tube. Therefore, it can be easily upgraded in the future. It is also dropper post compatible if you want to take your downhill skills to another level.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 1×9 Shimano drivetrain
  • 29″ wheels
  • 130 mm fork travel
  • 64° head tube angle

WTB Trail Boss tires are 2.6″ wide, so you can approach berms with speed and cruise over rocks. We think the star of the show is the Suntour XCM34 DS fork with 130 mm of travel which is excellent for rough descending and fast times on bumpy flats. Shimano Altus rear derailleur operates a 1×9 drivetrain and supplies you with enough gears for slow stubborn hills and fast accelerations when the terrain evens out. Shimano’s dual-piston MT201 hydraulic disc brakes do not need much introduction. They get the job done without nagging or bragging. Rocky Mountain Growler is a fast downhill crusher and an excellent choice for under $1,000.

Get From Bikes.com


 

Giant Talon 3

The Cheapest on the List

Giant Talon 3

Giant Talon 3 is among the cheapest choices you can get on our list. That’s why it is an excellent option for beginner riders who are just learning the ropes about mountain biking. Don’t let the price fool you. Cheapest does not automatically mean the worst — all bikes on this list are reliable and will ride well for years.

Giant Talon is a line of three versatile and capable trail bikes. Talon 3 is the most affordable of the three with a price of just $550. For that money, you get a nice combination of a quality ALUXX-grade aluminum frame, Shimano and Tektro components, and a nice paint job.

Beginner’s Best Friend

Apart from the features we mentioned above, Giant Talon 3 packs several other nice surprises. The first one is the SR Suntour XCT30 fork with 100 mm of travel. It provides you with a lockout and preload adjuster functions, so you can dial it to your liking.

The highlight is the high-quality, 2.2″ wide Maxxis Ikon tires that perform excellently on loose gravel paths, fire roads, and hard-packed singletracks.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 2×8 Shimano drivetrain
  • 27.5″ wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 68° head tube angle

You’ll also appreciate the 2×8 drivetrain with a total of 16 gears operated with a Shimano Acera rear derailleur. The cassette has a 12-32T range which is not ideal for very steep hills, but it will be enough on most. When you finish the climb, feel free to attack the descent thanks to hydraulic disc brakes.  We can only recommend the Giant Talon 3 to anyone who wants a versatile and affordable trail bike to have fun on and learn the basics of mountain biking.

Check Availability – JensonUSA


 

Trek Marlin 7

Best Entry-Level Value for Money

Trek Marlin 7

Trek Marlin 7 is definitely a bike that deserves to make it on our list due to the plethora of decent features it packs at a very low price. You most certainly won’t win the DH Championship with it, but you might win all of the challenges against your trail friends.

MSRP: $800

The Alpha Silver Aluminum frame that Trek Marlin 7 is built upon can be seen on much more expensive bikes because it offers the perfect balance between strength and low weight.

A good frame is the prerequisite of a good trail bike as it allows you to upgrade the bike in the future. That way, you can extend its life span significantly.

A Bike with a Place in Everyone’s Garage

One of the reasons why Trek Marlin 7 would find a place in everyone’s garage is because it is simple, affordable, and very fun. It has a RockShox XC 30 fork with 100 mm of travel, so you can ride it on trails, XC tours, and singletracks. The Bontrager XR2 Comp tires are 27.5″ or 29″ in diameter, depending on the frame size, and 2.2″ in width. These are dimensions that offer nimble and responsive steering, as well as fast and grippy cornering. Hydraulic disc brakes will help in this area as well.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 2×9 Shimano drivetrain
  • 27.5/29 wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 69.5° head tube angle

The 2×9 drivetrain with Shimano Altus/Acera groupsets gives you 18 wide-range gears to ride like a granny or stomp the pedals. If you have just $800 to spare and your requirements are fantastic looks, high-quality frames, and reliable components, you’ll be happy with Trek Marlin 7 no matter if you are a beginner or an enthusiast.

Check Availability – Trekbikes.com


 

Felt – Dispatch 9/80

Best for XC Touring

Felt Dispatch 9/80

Dispatch 9/80 is Felt’s most affordable 29er bike you can get. It’s a fast-rolling bicycle on hard-packed trails and tracks, which makes it excellent for cross-country riding. However, it’s still more than capable of some serious mountain biking in the woods and on mountains.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 1×8 drivetrain
  • 29″ wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 69° head tube angle

We decided to include Felt Dispatch 9/80 on our list because it is such a versatile bike. It’s made with Felt’s lightweight F-Lite aluminum frame that has a replaceable derailleur hanger and IS disc mounts. But there’s more that you’ll get if you choose to buy it.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 2×9 Shimano drivetrain
  • 27.5/29 wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 69.5° head tube angle

Fast and Rowdy on Demand

Dispatch 9/80 has a strange name, but it has a common suspended fork — the SR Suntour XCT-HLO. You see it often because it is an excellent choice for the money. It provides 100 mm of travel, preload, and hydraulic lockout.

This is a surprisingly lightweight bike due to the 1×8 drivetrain that sheds weight and leaves enough range for arduous climbs, fast singletracks and rail-trails.

Felt Dispatch rolls on Kenda Kadre tires that are 2.1″ in width. That’s another feature that adds to this bike’s speed and sharpness. Other features worthy of notice are the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, which are simply unnegotiable on 29er trail crushers. They have mad stopping power and are much easier to maintain than all other types. The main takeaway is that Felt Dispatch 9/80 is one of the best 29ers money can buy on this list. It’s a high-performing and high-quality bike that’s easy to upgrade in the future.


 

Trek – X-Caliber 7

Best Components on the List

Trek X-Caliber 7

Trek is one of the most popular bike companies in the world. They supply all price points with high-quality bikes chosen by professionals and amateurs alike. 

Trek X-Caliber 7 has a comfortable geometry and a list of reliable components that make it ideal for long days on the trail.

X-Caliber 7 is Trek’s successful attempt at meeting the demands of cross-country and trail enthusiasts whose main goal is to have fun, do fast laps, and spend the entire day in the woods.

Quality Shimano Components Make a Difference

Trek X-Caliber 7 is right at the top of the $1,000 price point, so it offers some pretty sweet features and components. First of all, there’s the RockShox 30 Silver air fork with 100 mm of travel and plenty of options for adjustability.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 2×9 Shimano drivetrain
  • 27.5″ or 29″ wheels
  • 100 mm fork travel
  • 69.5° head tube angle

The thing that put a smile on our face was the Shimano Alivio 2×9 drivetrain which leaves nothing to be desired. It’s lightweight, efficient, reliable, and durable. The same thing can be said for Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes which are ideal for wet and muddy conditions — mountain bikers’ favorite. The Bontrager XR2, 29 x 2.20˝ are wrapped around Bontrager Connection rims, which are double-walled, have 32 spokes, and Presta valves. All in all, Trek X-Caliber 7 is the most expensive but the most advanced bike on this list as well.

It’s the perfect choice for enthusiasts who have already fallen in love with trails and want to get better at looping them!

Check Availability – Trekbikes.com


 

To Sum Ip

Sum UpWe’ve shown you what we think are the 10 best mountain bikes under $1,000 that you can get out there. We did the research and wrote the reviews, so we finished the most difficult part of the job for you. Now you just need to choose.

The main takeaway is that you won’t go wrong whichever bike you end up choosing. All of them are made with quality in mind, have similar components, and will be a source of fun times for years to come.

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