Best Beginner Mountain Bikes of 2021 – A Guide for Entry Level

Mountain biking is a very adventurous sport, and over the years it has become more popular among peoples who love excitement. Mountain biking is different from regular biking. Mountain biking is off-road biking where bikers ride bikes in mountain, rough terrain using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are quite similar to regular bikes, but they are more durable and provide enhanced performance in rough terrain.

If you are new to this sport, then you may find it difficult to pick the best beginner mountain bike for you. Nowadays, there are various mountain bikes available in the market to choose from. These bikes vary in size; build quality, price, etc. For example hardtail, full Suspension, Rigid, tire size, etc. So there are a lot of things that you have to consider when it comes to purchasing a mountain bike

Make sure you read the full article thoroughly as we bring to you a few of the best beginner mountain bikes and buyer guide to help you pick the perfect one for your mountain biking activities.      

Top 6 Beginner Mountain Bikes In 2021 (Best Picks)

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6 Best Beginner Mountain Bikes of 2021

  1. Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike
  2. Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike
  3. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
  4. Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike
  5. Royce Union 21-Speed Mountain Bike
  6. Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike

My Top Picks of the Best Beginner Mountain Bikes of 2021

1.Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike

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Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 is the perfect bike for those who are looking for a full-suspension mountain bike. This bike is made of high-quality components and excellent craftsmanship that ensures durability. It has TIG welded 6061 aluminum frame and equipped with a 24-speed Shimano shifting. To add its features, the bike has a rear coil-over cartridge and an advanced Suntour fork with adjustable preload.

The Gravity FSX 1.0 has Tektro Novella front and rear disc brakes that ensure swift and precise stopping. This bike is perfect for both trail and all-mountain riding. The tires on the FSX 1.0 are great, but unfortunately they lack ideal traction or tread design for heavy trail riding. However, with Single Pivot technology and lightweight Hydroformed Aluminum frame, the Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 the perfect blend of speed, performance, and durability. This is an excellent mountain bike for beginner.

Main Features

  • Suspension fork is Suntour 
  • Rear suspension is KS Coil-Over
  • Pedals are Beartrap MTC
  • Front derailleur is Shimano FD-M190
  • Rear derailleur is Shimano Acera
  • Chain is narrow 8 speed
  • Headset is Cane Creek
  • Seat clamp is alloy Q.R.

2. Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike

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Diamondback Overdrive 29 is a hardtail mountain bike that is sure to please everyone from beginners to experts. The bike is made of a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame that ensures sturdiness and it worth the money. It has Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes, SR Suntour XCR shock absorbers, and many more features that made the quality of this bike undeniable. Diamondback Overdrive allows riders to conquer obstacles easily and achieve top speed in the process.

The bike’s drivetrain is made of Shimano components that give riders 24 separate speeds. Unfortunately, it is a bit less compared to other cross country or trail models. Though the ratio of the gearing and bike’s design helps the rider get the most out of each of the 24 speeds. It has 29-inch tires that ensure ideal traction for off-road biking. Moreover, the wheels are heavier and more durable than the smaller wheel sizes. If you think of the price, this is a better deal in regards to the 29-inch wheel world.

Main Features

  • 14g stainless steel spokes
  • 73-seat tube angle and 71-head tube angle
  • 390-mm chainstays
  • Lockout feature on the fork
  • Aluminum hard-tail plan
  • Tektro mechanical disc brakes 
  • Six-inch rotors

3. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

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At first glance, the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike may look pricey, but with all the amazing features it actually worth the money. It is a great mountain bike for all kinds of outdoor activities. It has duel suspension that ensures smooth rides with exceptional control. The frame of the bike is made of aluminum and supported by a steel rear triangle. It is rust protected and can support heavy riders up to 220 lbs.

The gearing of this bike is amazing because of the Shimano EF-50 trigger shifters. This type of gearing system allows rider fast, precise, and smooth gear changes. It has 24 separate speeds. Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is very popular because of their high profile tires and rims. They provide amazing control and great traction in all conditions and terrains, which is very important in mountain biking. So whether you are riding this bike in street, trails, downhill, or mountain, this bike will meet all your needs.

Main Features

  • Dual-suspension aluminum frame
  • SR Suntour front fork
  • Shimano Altus 24-speeds
  • Pro-max disc front brakes
  • Linear pull rear brakes
  • 26-inch alloy wheels
  • Double-walled alloy rims

4. Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike

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Mongoose is a very renowned mountain bike brand, and it was found in 1974 in Southern California. Over the years they have produced some of the best beginner mountain bikes, and the Mongoose Status 2.2 is one of them. Some of the highlights of this bike are aluminum frame, powerful suspensions, knobby mountain tires, etc. The bike comes with 5-year frame warranty, 1-year parts warranty, and 30 days wearable parts warranty. It is a full suspension type mountain bike, so it will absorb any vibrations that come from a rocky trail or any other harsh terrains.

This bike has linear or direct-pull brakes. Though linear brakes are not as powerful as disc brakes, it is still capable of stopping the bike easily during a high-speed ride. The bike is equipped with a freewheel hub and has knobby tires that are 2.125 inches in diameter. This type of tire offers better traction in different road conditions, especially in dirt and mud. The wheel rim is made of alloy, which ensures amazing performance on rough terrains without compromising the bike’s speed. So, if you want to buy a beginner mountain bike that you can count on for years to come, the Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike may just be the right answer.

Main Features

  • Lightweight aluminum body
  • Full suspension: front & rear
  • 21-speed levels
  • Shimano rear derailleurs
  • SRAM twist shifters
  • Stable knobby tires
  • Durable alloy wheel rim

5. Royce Union 21-Speed Mountain Bike

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If you are interested in buying a heavy-duty speed bike, then Royce Union 21 is the right choice for you. Over the years it has become a popular mountain bike model among riders. With all the amazing features this bike provides riders with real off-road ability. It has an aluminum frame that ensures high durability. It has a front suspension that absorbs bumps on rough trails. The bike comes with 21 speeds and a trigger shift. 

Royce Union 21-Speed Mountain Bike has linear pulls brakes and wheel rims that provide superior braking power. The bike equipped with SHIMANO EZ Fire plus Trigger and Tourney TY300 rear derailleur for precise gear-shifting through 21 speeds. The rear derailleur guard protects the gears from mud and damages. It has slight-rise handlebar so you can ride the bike upright, which is the most comfortable position while riding a bike. This mountain bike comes with a 10-year warranty on the frame.

Main Features

  • 21 unique speed combinations
  • Front suspension aluminum frame
  • Machined alloy wheel rims
  • Padded saddle with side stitching
  • Linear pull brake
  • Weight: 26 pounds

6. Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike

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Established in 1947, Northwoods is a very renowned mountain bike brand that produced some of the best full suspension mountain bikes over the years. The North Woods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike is an amazing mountain bike under $300. With this price range and all the features it is a bargain. The bike has a lightweight sturdy frame, wheel rims, dual suspension, and available in different colors.

The frame of this bike is made of aluminum, and it weighs approximately 42 lbs., which is quite light. It has a suspension system for both front and rare side of the bike. The bike has 21-speed levels. It includes Speed Twist shifters, which allow the rider to shift their gear and speed without experiencing the twitching of the gear shifter. So you will enjoy smooth transition of gears with this type of shifter. It also has Shimano rear derailleur that ensures amazing performance and durability. This bike has dual linear rim brakes. Though linear brakes are topped by disc brakes, it is still capable of stopping the bike easily during a high-speed ride.

Main Features

  • Durable, lightweight aluminum frame
  • Dual suspension system
  • 50 mm steel front suspension crown fork
  • 21-speed level
  • Shimano rear derailleur
  • Dual linear-pull brakes
  • 24-inch wheels

How to Choose a Beginner Mountain Bike

To have a safe and amazing mountain biking experience, the first thing you need is a good, durable mountain bicycle. You can easily buy a mountain bike, but if you want to have a positive mountain biking experience then you have to pick a bike that suits your body size and all the other requirements.

All the bikes on our list are worth the value, but you have to remember that there are considerable variations among mountain bikes, and they work differently in different circumstances. So not every bike will fulfill your requirements and worth the money. There are a few very important factors that you have to consider before buying the best beginner mountain bike.

Mountain Bike Size

It is very important to buy a mountain bike that matches your height. Look for the reach and stack measurements. If you find yourself between sizes, it’s wiser to get the smaller bike because small bikes are easy to throw around and get used to riding. But you have to make sure that you will get full pedaling height without overextending the seat post.

Wheel size 

Mountain bikes are available with different wheel sizes. So you have to pick a wheel size that meets all your requirements. Here are the options:

  • 20-inch tires: Suitable for children.
  • 24-inch tires: Suitable for children and to accommodate shorter legs.
  • 26-inch tires: Average mountain bike features this type of wheel.
  • 27.5-inch tires: It is the in-between of the 26-inch and 29-inch. This type of wheel size provides good acceleration, balance, and perfect for the roads and mountains.
  • 29-inch tires: This type of wheel size is perfect for rough terrain and mountain biking though they lack acceleration.   

Mountain Bike Type

Mountain bike is available in various types. They are:

  • Full Suspension Bike
  • Hardtail
  • Rigid Type

In general full suspension mountain bike will cost more compared to a hardtail and rigid type. You will get a better parts spec hardtail bike at the same price of full suspension bike. Though nowadays full suspension bikes are more advanced and their advance features can outweigh their price.

Strength over Weight

Bike’s weight is important, but for mountain bikes strength of the bike is more important than the weight. The delicate frame has no place in mountain biking and rocks, roots, and ruts can be a nightmare to your steering accuracy. So it is sensible to carry a few additional pounds and keep your bike out of the hedge.

Mountain Bike Gears

The number of gears indicates how fast the bike will go. Mountain bike is available from a single speed to 30 or more gears. You have to be very selective about the number of gear on your bike. If you love riding lots of steep hills then you should pick a bike with more gears. But if you only ride flat terrain then you don’t require many gears. 

Mountain Bike Brakes

There are two types of breaks available in mountain bikes; disc brakes and rim brakes. Disk brakes have replaced rim breaks, and they are far better. You will hardly found bikes that have rim brakes; some beginner mountain bike comes with rim brakes. Rim brakes have pads that grip onto the wheel rims. Rim brakes have less stopping powers, not effective in wet or muddy conditions. 

Disk brakes, on the other hand, have brake pads that grip onto a brake rotor mounted to the wheel hub. These types of brakes have great stopping power, effective in all condition and require less finger strain. Disk brakes have two versions:

  • Hydraulic disc brakes: offer more progressive and stronger braking
  • Cable-activated disc brakes: require manual adjusting as the pads wear

FAQs about Mountain Bikes

What kind of mountain bike should I get?

There are three types of mountain bikes; full suspension, rigid and hardtail. If you are a beginner mountain biker, then a full-suspension bike will be the right choice for you. This type of bike will absorb all the shocks and will keep you close to the ground.

What kind of brakes should I get?

Disc brakes are better than rim brakes and keep you safe in wet, muddy conditions. So you should definitely get disc brakes.

Are there bikes with more gears than the standard 21?

There are mountain bikes that have more gears than the usual. More gears in a mountain bike make steep climbs considerably easier.

Are Mongoose bikes good?

Mongoose bikes are great entry-level mountain bike, and they are perfect for both road use and light off-road use. Moreover it is lightweight and affordable.

Are Mongoose Bikes good for BMX?

Mongoose bike is easy to handle as a beginner, so if you are just getting into BMX then this is the right bike for you.

Why are mountain bikes so expensive?

Mountain bikes are different from regular bikes. Mountain bikes require more performance, durability, strength, and safety. With better parts and improved design, mountain bikes are expensive compared to regular bikes.

What mountain bike size should I get?

The answer depends on your body size and frame. Different bikes have different geometries, so it is hard to tell which size will suit you best. As long as you sit comfortably on the bike and don’t experience any pain after raiding few hours, you have a great bike on your hands.  

Tips for Beginner Mountain Bikers  

Final Thoughts

So if you are interested in mountain biking then it is very important you find a bike that suits you perfectly. Best suited mountain bike not only will save you from any injury but also makes the ride comfortable and enjoyable. Apart from the bikes that we have discussed here, there are other beginner bikes that may suit you also. However the beginner bikes we have mentioned here will help you attain a great mountain biking experience. Just make sure you consider all your necessities and circumstance so that you end up buying the best beginner mountain bike.

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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