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Best Mountain Bikes Under $2,000 in 2022: Our Top Picks

By Rebecca Bland   /  Last updated - July 20, 2022   /  Best-Of-Reviews, Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes, Hardtail, Mountain Bikes
best mountain bikes under 2000

Image: REI.com

In the modern age, you don’t need to spend an absolute fortune in order to buy a decent mountain bike. 

Sure, these bikes won’t have all the frills of a high-end bike that costs tens of thousands of dollars, but they will provide enjoyment and allow you to get out on the trail.

We’re a big believer in any bike is the right bike, and snobbery about how much your bike is worth is a pointless exercise. Instead, we’re all about enjoying our time on the bike—whichever bike that may be.

So in this article, we’ve listed a few of the best mountain bikes under $2,000 US dollars so you can get out on the trail without having to remortgage your house. 

Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $2,000


Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2

co-op cycles drt 2.2

MSRP: $1,899

Reasons to buy:

  • Includes dropper post
  • Sleek 1×12 SRAM drivetrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tubeless ready tires

Reasons to avoid:

  • Only one color option

At $1899 this Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 hardtail is great value for money. 

A hardwearing alloy frame paired with 140mm of front suspension (120mm in the XS and S sizes), this bike is destined for the bike park or nature trails.

It also comes with 27.5+ wheels and 2.8″ tires, taking advantage of the PLUS technology for extra wide tire clearance, perfect for muddy or snowy conditions. 

Co-op Cycles has chosen the SRAM NX 12-speed 1X drivetrain system, with 11-50T on the back and a 30 cog at the front—perfect for most mountain biking terrain. NX is a reliable groupset albeit at the lower end of the SRAM hierarchy.

Interestingly, they’ve gone for a Shimano/SRAM mix overall, with Shimano MT500 hydraulic disc brakes and levers on the bike. 

Overall, it’s a great starter bike and one that will be able to tackle the trails all year round thanks to the plus-size tires!

Buy on REI


Niner Air 2-Star

Niner Air 2-Star hardtail bike

MSRP: $1,999

Reasons to buy:

  • Compatible with both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels
  • 12-speed drivetrain
  • Lightweight alloy frame
  • Trail bike inspired geometry

Reasons to avoid:

  • Press fit bottom bracket

At just under $2,000 this bike from Niner is a steal, and easily makes the list as the best hardtail mountain bike under $2,000!

This Niner Air comes with a 12-speed 1x SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain and SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes.

It also comes equipped with 29er wheels but it is compatible with 27.5″ wheels if you wanted to change them. 

It’s a bike designed for the trails, with trail-inspired geometry but the agility and handling of a hardtail.

Tubeless-ready tires and rims make setting it up tubeless easy to do, and the Marzocchi Bomber Z2 Rail suspension offers 120mm of smooth suspension in the forks.

Overall, it’s a great bike for the price and contains a lot of value for a hardtail. 

Buy on Jenson USA


Salsa Rangefinder Deore 12-Speed

Salsa rangefinder hardtail mountain bike

MSRP: $1,699

Reasons to buy:

  • Includes dropper post
  • Fits both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Shimano 12-speed 1x drivetrain

Reasons to avoid:

  • Limited colour options

The Salsa Rangefinder Deore 12-speed is certainly a head turner, whether it’s on the streets or on the trail. 

And with a solid Shimano Deore 12-speed groupset and a great price of $1,699 it’s no wonder it’s made this list of best mountain bikes under $2,000.

It comes with 27.5″ wheels out of the box but it is compatible with 29ers if you prefer to run a larger diameter.

You also have a choice in forks between RST Aerial 110-15 and SR Suntour XCR34 Boost, both air forks offering 120mm of travel for the trails.

The 6061 alloy keeps the frame reasonably light, and the hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano offer superb stopping power even in the rain. 

For trips to the bike park and riding about for leisure, this bike from Salsa Cycles is a great bargain and offers great value for money with the componentry. 

Buy on REI


Marin Pine Mountain 1

Marin Pine Mountain 1

MSRP: $1,579

Reasons to buy:

  • 1 x drivetrain
  • RockShox Recon forks
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tubeless ready wheels

Reasons to avoid:

  • Lower spec components

Marin is renowned for the use of steel in its mountain bikes, and the Pine Mountain 1 is no different. 

Steel is great for comfort and shock absorption, although it often comes with a weight penalty.

This bike is certainly aimed at more of the budget end of the spectrum with an MSRP of $1,579, but could easily be one of if not the best budget mountain bike under $2,000 on this list.

Complete with hydraulic disc brakes and a 1x Shimano mix drivetrain, there’s plenty of value here, the only drawback is the lower specced shifters and cassette. 

For people looking for a comfortable and reliable ride with cost-effective parts, this Pine Mountain 1 from Marin is a great place to start. 

Buy on Jenson USA


Ghost Kato Universal 27.5

ghost kato universal mountain bike under $2,000

MSRP: $1,150

Reasons to buy:

  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Comes with a dropper post
  • 1 x drivetrain

Reasons to avoid:

  • Minimal color choices

Now, this may not be the outright best mountain bike under $2,000, but the Ghost Kato Universal 27.5 comes with plenty of positives. 

Firstly, it comes with a 1x drivetrain, which is great for reducing maintenance requirements and removing the need to adjust front derailleurs.

It also means there’s a wide cassette on the rear; in this case, it comes with an 11-42T Sunrace CSMS2 10-speed cassette, while on the front you have an FSA Single 28T chainring with 170 mm cranks. 

In terms of wheel choice, the smaller sizes come with 27.5″ wheels and the larger sizes come with 29″ wheels.

All sizes are equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, which can be rare at this price point, and even rarer is the addition of a dropper seat post. A dropper post is perfect for getting yourself in the right position so you can be in full control on the descents. 

Overall, there are some cheaper components, and it’s only a 10-speed drivetrain, but for beginners and entry-level riders, this is a great option. Plus, it costs much less than $2,000.

Buy on REI


Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5

Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5

MSRP: $1,799

Reasons to buy:

  • 12-speed drivetrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Progressive trail inspired geometry

Reasons to avoid:

  • Minimal color choices

Labeled as the ideal companion for “rowdy trail rides, bikepacking trips, and everything in between”, the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5 has plenty to offer to both entry-level and more experienced mountain bikers. 

Its 27.5″ wheels offer agility and the 2.8″ tires offer control on even the muddiest of ground. These are complemented by the Shimano 12-speed SLX/Deore drivetrain, with hydraulic disc brakes for good measure.

The cassette is very wide ranging from 10-51T, a great choice for steep routes and trails. 

The longer wheelbase and slacker headtube angle mean it’s perfect for the trails, offering great control on technical descents while not impacting the bike’s climbing ability.

Therefore, this bike has a lot of adventure potential, making it one of the best mountain bikes under $2,000 for bikepacking!

Buy on Aventuron


Marin Team Marin 1

Marin Team Marin 1

MSRP: $1,590

Reasons to buy:

  • Internal dropper post routing
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • 12-speed 1x Shimano Deore drivetrain
  • Design features from more expensive bikes

Reasons to avoid:

  • No dropper post included even though there is routing (it’s an upgrade)

Built with cross-country racers in mind, Marin has brought racing technology to a more entry-level price. 

It features an aluminum frame but with design features trickled down from high-end frames, including full internal cable routing for a sleek look, 3D forged dropouts, and advanced tube forming to keep weight to a minimum.

This model comes with a 12-speed 1x Shimano Deore drivetrain, and 29″ wheels for the ultimate speed combination. 

Up front, you have a RockShox Judy Silver TK fork with 120mm of travel, ideal for the demands of cross-country racing. 

Overall it’s a well-priced bike for those looking to get into the cross country scene whether it’s for racing or just enjoying yourself on the bike!

Buy on GovVelo.com


Co-op Cycles DRT 4.1

Co-op Cycles DRT 4.1

MSRP: $1,499

Reasons to buy:

  • Fat tires perfect for winter 
  • 1 x 12 drivetrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Aluminum frame

Reasons to avoid:

  • A bit too heavy

For those of us who aren’t afraid of the winter weather riding and want to make the most of it, there’s the Co-op Cycles DRT 4.1

As a fat bike, it comes with 26″ wheels to give you the most clearance for wide tires. In this case, the DRT 4.1 comes equipped with Innova 4.8″ tires, perfect for snowy or muddy conditions.

Like many fat bikes, it doesn’t come with front suspension but the width of the tires will make up for any comfort lost without suspension forks. 

This bike is made for the trails with the 12-speed 1x SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, with an 11-50T cassette, and the Shimano Acera MT-400 hydraulic disc brakes provide great stopping power in all seasons. 

At $1,499 it’s one of the best mountain bikes under $2,000 with an entry-level price and some decent tech for the trails. 

Buy on REI

Best Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes Under $2,000


Marin Rift Zone 1 27.5

Marin Rift Zone 1 27.5

MSRP: $1,899

Reasons to buy:

  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 11-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain
  • Tubeless ready rims and tires
  • Internal cable routing

Reasons to avoid:

  • No dropper post

A decent full-suspension mountain bike for under $2,000 may sound like a pipe dream, but Marin has brought a great offering to the table with the Rift Zone 1 27.5. 

As its name suggests, it comes equipped with 27.5″ wheels, which are great for those who want an agile ride.

The wheels and tires are tubeless ready so you can easily set up your bike to seal its own punctures rather than worry about changing inner tubes at the side of the trail. 

This model comes with 120mm of rear travel and 130mm of front travel, ideal for cross-country and trail riding.

The aluminum frame means it’s hard-wearing and reasonably lightweight, while the internal cable routing gives it a sleek appearance with no messy cables hanging out of the frame. 

For those looking for an entry-level full-suspension bike, this model from Marin is a great start that won’t break the bank at $1,899.

Buy on Jenson USA


Diamondback Atroz 2

Diamondback Atroz 2

MSRP: $1,375

Reasons to buy:

  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Sealed cartridge bearings
  • Value for money
  • Includes free tool kit

Reasons to avoid:

  • Low spec components

Diamondback may be better known for their love of manufacturing rad hardtails,  but they’ve designed a bike here that is at home on our best dual suspension mountain bike under $2,000 list—mainly for the value for money it brings.

At $1,375, it’s cheaper than even a lot of hardtails, but it includes the comfort and control a full-suspension bike is known for.

On the Diamondback Atroz 2 you’ll find 27.5″ wheels for agility and control, and SR Suntour suspension—100mm on the rear and 120mm at the front, putting it firmly in the cross country/trail riding category.

The drivetrain lets the bike down a little bit, as a 9-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain, but there is some compromise on quality to be expected at this low price point.

If you’re an entry-level rider looking for a full-suspension bike to get started on it’s worth a look.

Buy on GovVelo.com


Mongoose Salvo

Mongoose Salvo

MSRP: Check on Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • 18  gears
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 29er wheels
  • Internal cable routing

Reasons to avoid:

  • Cheap components

While this probably isn’t the absolute best full suspension mountain bike under $2,000, it’s a decent start for someone getting their first mountain bike.

It doesn’t have a flashy groupset or high-end suspension, but it has the basics right and that’s what you should look for in a mountain bike for under $2,000—the rest can be upgraded at a later date.

The Mongoose Salvo comes with 29″ wheels for fast-rolling and speed, and hydraulic disc brakes for ultimate stopping power whatever the weather or terrain. 

It also uses a Shimano Altus mix drivetrain, with 18 gears (2 x 9). In terms of suspension, the Salvo has Xposure 100mm front forks and an X-Fusion E1 shock on the rear, making it suitable for cross-country and trail riding. 

While it’s not going to be winning any world cups, it also isn’t going to break the bank so it could be seen as a sound investment for a biker starting out. 

Buy on Amazon


Transition RipCord Kids’

Transition - Ripcord Complete Mountain Bike - Kids' 2022

MSRP: $1,899

Reasons to buy:

  • 1 x 11 SRAM NX drivetrain
  • Modern geometry
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • RockShox suspension

Reasons to avoid:

  • One size only

Of course, we couldn’t leave the kids out of this list!

The Transition Ripcord Kids’ bike is one of the best mountain bikes under $2,000 for little shredders who want to take their riding to the next level.

It features a full-suspension RockShox setup, with 100mm of front travel and 120mm on the rear.

A SRAM 11-speed 1 x drivetrain keeps things neat up front and offers a wide selection of gears on the rear. 

It’s fitted with 24″ wheels, and Transition says it will suit riders aged three years and over, or those between 3’6″ and 5’6″. 

Small kids no longer have to have a beaten-up bike to learn on, with this awesome bit of kit from Transition. 

Buy on evo.com

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