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Best Mountain Bikes Under $2,000 in 2023: Our Top Picks

By Rebecca Bland   /  Last updated - February 20, 2023   /  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 2.1

co-op cycles drt 2.1 mountain bike

MSRP: $1,599

Reasons to buy:

  • Includes dropper post
  • SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tubeless-ready rims

Reasons to avoid:

  • Only one color option
  • Heavy

At $1,599, this Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1 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 SX 12-speed drivetrain, with 11-50T on the back and a 30 cog at the front—perfect for most mountain biking terrain. Unfortunately, SX isn’t a durable drivetrain. The groupset is rounded out by Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes. 

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

Orbea Alma H10

orbea alma h10 cheap mountain bike

MSRP: $1,999

Reasons to buy:

  • 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tubeless-ready wheelset

Reasons to avoid:

  • Cheap fork

Orbea is renowned for creating some of the best bikes in all disciplines and price categories, and the Alma H10 is no different. 

This bike is certainly aimed at beginners and intermediate riders, with an MSRP of $1,999, but could easily be one of if not the best budget mountain bikes under $2,000 on this list.

Complete with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, there’s plenty of value here. The only drawback is the low-quality fork. 

For people looking for a stylish and reliable ride with cost-effective parts, this Orbea Alma H30 is a great place to start. 

Buy on Jenson USA

Diamondback Sync’R

diamondback sync'r mountain bike

MSRP: $1,500

Reasons to buy:

  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Comes with a dropper post
  • RockShox 140mm air fork

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not tubeless-ready

Now, this may not be the outright best mountain bike under $2,000, but the Diamondback Sync’R comes with plenty of positives. 

Firstly, it comes with a 1×12-speed SRAM 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 11-50t cassette, while on the front, you have an SRAM SX Eagle 32t chainring. In terms of wheel choice, you get nimble 27.5″ wheels wrapped in plus-sized Vee Crown Gem 2.8″ tires.

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 descents. 

Overall, there are some cheaper components, like SRAM’s SX drivetrain, but for beginners and entry-level riders, this is a great option for trail/all-mountain riding. Plus, it costs much less than $2,000.

Buy on Backcountry

Salsa Krampus

surly krampus mountain bike

MSRP: $1,999

Reasons to buy:

  • 12-speed drivetrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tons of mounts

Reasons to avoid:

  • No suspension

The Krampus is the ideal companion for bikepacking trips, flowy singletrack, and everything in between. This Salsa bike has plenty to offer to both entry-level and more experienced mountain bikers. 

Its 29″ wheels offer speed, and the 3.0″ tires offer control on even the muddiest of ground. These are complemented by the Shimano 12-speed Deore drivetrain, with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes for good measure.

The cassette is very wide ranging from 11-51T, a great choice for steep routes and trails. The lack of suspension isn’t perfect for the trails, but the frame is suspension corrected for a 100mm fork if you want more capability.

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

Buy on Jenson USA

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

Orbea Laufey H30

Orbea Laufey H30 Mountain Bike 2023

MSRP: $1,999

Reasons to buy:

  • RockShox Recon RL fork
  • 1 x 11 Deore drivetrain
  • Maxxis tires

Reasons to avoid:

  • EXO tire protection is weak

The Orbea Laufey is a high-travel hardtail with modern trail geometry and plenty of capability. 

As a trail bike, it comes with a 140mm RockShox Recon RL air fork. In addition, the Laufey comes equipped with Maxxis Forekaster 2.6″ and Rekon 2.4″ tires, perfect for tackling versatile trail conditions.

This bike is made for the trails with the 11-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, with an 11-51t cassette, and the Shimano MT-201 hydraulic disc brakes provide great stopping power in all seasons. 

At $1,999, it’s one of the best mountain bikes in this range, with an entry-level price and some decent tech for the trails. 

Buy on Evo.com

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

Norco Fluid FS 4

norco fluid fs 4 mountain bike

MSRP: $1,999

Reasons to buy:

  • Four-piston hydraulic disc brakes
  • SDG Tellis Dropper
  • Value for money
  • Tubeless-ready

Reasons to avoid:

  • Heavy

Norco 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 $1,999, it squeezes in under the limit and includes the comfort and control a full-suspension bike is known for. On the Fluid FS 4 2023, you’ll find 29″ wheels for agility and control and Rockshox Recon Silver RL suspension 1400mm on front and 130mm X-Fusion in the rear, putting it firmly in the trail riding category.

The drivetrain is an 11-speed Shimano Deore setup, 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 Jenson USA

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, this Mongoose MTB 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

Norco Fluid 4.2 FS 24″


MSRP: $2,099

Reasons to buy:

  • Youth-specific components
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Suspension tuned for kids

Reasons to avoid:

  • Tires don’t provide much grip 

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

The Norco Fluid 4.2 FS 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 Manitou J-Unit and X-Fusion 02 Pro R setup, with 145mm of front travel and 120mm on the rear. A Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain keeps things neat up front and offers a wide selection of gears on the rear. 

It’s fitted with 24″ wheels, and Norco says it will suit riders aged nine to twelve.  Small kids no longer have to have a beaten-up bike to learn on with this awesome bit of kit from Norco. 

Buy on Jenson USA

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