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Best Beginner Mountain Bikes Reviewed
Whether you’re just getting into mountain biking or looking to upgrade your current battered bike, you already know how tricky it can be to choose the right mountain bike for you.
There are so many options packed full of interesting features that you’re sure will enhance your experience. But you can never be sure you’ve made the right choice until you first climb on it and hit the dirt track for an adventure.
For new comers, the search for the best beginner mountain bike can be so frustrating and overwhelming that, in the end, you go for something convenient and cheap.
You just want to get out onto the trail and tear it up. However, while this doesn’t make too much of a dent in your bank balance, it can have a severe effect on your safety, performance, and overall enjoyment.
Experienced mountain bikers are well aware of this, but for beginners, it’s a lesson they need to learn now, before they learn it the hard way.
There’s a reason cheap mountain bikes are so cheap. They don’t come with the quality materials or designs you will find from a more expensive mountain bike.
The result is poor handling, questionable longevity (and that’s being more than generous), and also a lackluster performance that will only end in tears.
The last thing you want to happen is have your brakes fail or frame bend just as you’re taking hitting the tricky terrain. If you want to avoid injury and plenty of buyer’s remorse, a quality beginner mountain bike is the only way forward.
The best mountain bikes for beginners come with everything you need to guarantee safety and improve your performance without doing it all for you. You’ve got to learn the ropes yourself, after all.
With the often high-octane style of mountain biking, you need reliable brakes, excellent suspension, and secure handling. You cannot get any of this without the best beginner mountain bike. So strap on your helmet, breathe in the fresh air, and check out the best mountain bike brands for beginners.
Check out our favorite Beginner Mountain Bike
Top Beginner Mountain Bikes Comparison Chart
Best Beginner Mountain Bike
1. Mongoose Impasse Men’s Mountain Bike
If you’re looking for the best mountain bikes for beginners and want a no nonsense answer, there is nothing better than the Mongoose Impasse Men’s Mountain Bike.
This is a triumph of a mountain bike designed with care and attention to make your introduction to mountain biking easy and comfortable.
It boasts an aluminum suspension frame that will deliver both comfort and performance, and you’ll notice this anytime you find yourself dropping off a curbside, making your way to the trail, or even when you tackle your first ever big jump along the path.
This same suspension also smooths bumps, which increases your control, making the bike safer overall and preventing any accidents before you’ve even got going. From this, you (and your partner) have the peace of mind you need every time you head out on yet another adventure.
You can shift gears easily to overcome different inclines with the 21-speed rear derailleur. Unlike other bike types, the twist-shift means you can still grip the handlebars securely as you adjust the gears, keeping your balance, which you’ll soon realize is essential for riding a mountain bike.
The 29 inch wheels can overcome obstacles with ease, and these are also ideal for taller riders who need the optimal balance when they climb onto their mountain bike. For travel and maintenance, you can also remove the front wheel, minimizing the risk of damage before you get the chance to tackle your latest mountain biking Everest, wherever that might be.
2. Xspec Speed Folding Mountain Bike
The Xspec Speed Folding Mountain Bike boasts a compact style suitable for smaller riders while also offering enough handling control and stopping power to ensure you are confident wherever you go.
The steel frame is both durable and high-quality, ensuring the longevity and strength needed to be your trusted partner wherever you choose to explore. From this, you can enjoy tough mountain trails just as easily as you can a leisurely ride around the park.
What’s more, it folds down flat in seconds, making it easy to transport and easy to store. This may make you worried about the structural integrity, but rest assured you won’t be able to tell the difference, and you can unfold and climb onto your bike whenever you like with no issues.
The front and rear shock absorbers also make it a superb choice for rough terrain. Rather than shake your bones to the core and rattle the teeth inside your skull, the impact dampening means you’ll hardly notice any harsh landing. Not only does this ensure comfort, it also keeps your momentum high, so you don’t lose speed along the way.
As for gear shifting, this is relatively straightforward, especially if you’re used to the punch gear style. You get 21 gears, with three on one side and seven on the other, which should more than cover whatever trail and incline you have in front of you.
3. Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike
One of the most appealing elements of the Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike is that it’s so versatile.
For a mountain bike that can do everything you need, from regular road travels to the trickiest trails you’ve ever encountered in your life, this is the first and only answer you need.
Designed for kids and teens, the smaller wheels make it easy to handle without being too high that their balance is affected, and it also makes it suitable for riding to school as much as it is going on an adventure.
The seven-speed Shimano twist gears provide simple adjustment when on the move and saves any loss of speed. In an instant, they can change the gears from seven to one to help them surmount hills and get back into control once they land.
It also boasts alloy wheels that enhance the strength while still keeping the bike lightweight enough to ride with no problems. Its all-terrain tires also deliver a comfortable and effective riding experience across everything from concrete to grass to mud, and everything else in between.
The assembly is straightforward, so you can jump on it pretty much as soon as it arrives. There is also a wide range of color options to choose from that will really make the kids stand out as they fly over obstacles while having the time of their lives.
4. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike
The Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike is a mens mountain bike that comes with a few customization options to help you pick the perfect design to suit your needs. You can choose from either seven or 21 speed gear options, as well as different frames, while the color choices are sure to make you stand out.
Of course, you want to know more about the performance, and whether this is a decent consideration for mountain bikes for beginners.
The good news is, Yes, absolutely. Its hardtail design reduces the amount of weight, which can increase speed potential, even if you’re still getting comfortable confronting uneven terrain. However, don’t go over anything too high or too quickly, as the lack of suspension could be a rude awakening.
Assembly is super simple so you can avoid any frustrations, and the seat is easy to adjust so you can find a seat height that you’re comfortable with. The pedaling is straightforward, which is often the least you expect from a quality mountain bike, and any issues you might encounter, such as a tight wheel, are easily fixed with the provided tools.
The steel frame is durable and covered by a Lifetime warranty, which certainly provides confidence but doesn’t mean you can treat this bike like a toy. Instead, you must care for it, and the bike in turn will care for you, so you can look forward to watching your ability and confidence improve after every ride.
5. Outroad Fat Tire Mountain Bike
The Outroad Fat Tire Mountain Bike is a certified beast of a mountain bike.
Immediately, you spot the fat tires that will make all other tires quiver in their wake. If you’re wondering why the tires are like this, we can clear this up quickly.
They offer high-wear resistance and are also suitable for a variety of terrains and situations, making it easy to ride in the sun, rain, mud, and even snow while ensuring safety all the time.
For beginner mountain bikers who are already planning their victory laps, this is sure to appeal to you. The strong tire grip provides peace of mind whatever the weather and also gives you the confidence to try jumps and trails that you’d previously avoided.
The high carbon steel frame and thickened front fork are exceptional, while the shock absorption minimizes the harsh and jolting sensation after landing following a slightly misjudged jump. Because of this, you can keep on riding without interruption, although you may need to take a break to catch your breath further down the trail.
It’s easy to assemble and the high tensile strength eliminates the risk of deformation, keeping you perfectly balanced and ensuring remarkable handling wherever you ride.
Simply put, the Outroad Fat Tire mountain bike is certainly something to consider if you live anywhere the weather is so temperamental, you never know what kind of environment you might encounter. But at least with this mountain bike, you’ll be prepared.
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Top Beginner Mountain Bikes Features To Consider
You will find two suspension styles with your mountain bike. These are a hardtail mountain bike or a full suspension mountain bike. While neither is necessarily better than the other, they both offer something to get excited about.
Hardtails are lighter and cheaper, but the full-suspension model offers more comfort. For beginners on a budget who still want a quality mountain bike, hardtail may be best, especially as you’re not tackling any extreme terrain.
Once you build your confidence and ability, though, consider how much the full-suspension styles can improve your experience on uneven tracks.
Your frame choice will comprise aluminum alloy, carbon, and steel. For beginners looking for an affordable but high-quality mountain bike, you can expect an aluminum alloy frame.
This is because carbon can be expensive to produce, whereas steel is more popular with high-end or custom mountain bikes. This will, however, give you something to aim for as you improve.
The wheels you pick will depend on what you prefer, and how tall you are. The two standard sizes are 27.5 inches and 29 inches. Bigger wheels have an easier time getting past or over obstacles, such as branches, roots, and rocks.
However, the acceleration is not as quick as the smaller wheel. Still, you won’t be going too quickly as a beginner, so consider the 29-inch wheel more suitable for you right now.
The same goes for tall riders, who typically feel more comfortable riding mountain bikes with 29 inch wheels.
A beginner mountain bike will typically come with dual chainring positioned at the front of the bike and will also have a speed cassette with 9, 10, or 11, depending on the brand. However, there are other options that only have a single chainring and speed cassette up to 10 or 11.
A 1×11 set up is preferable, but not necessarily essential, and as you’re a newbie, you won’t be able to tell the difference, although it can improve your skills early on. The single chainring gives you a wide gear range and lessens the weight, making it easier to ride at first.
Hydraulic disc brakes are the only brakes you need to make your mountain biking experience as enjoyable as possible. The difference between other brake styles, such as cable pull or rim, is worlds apart.
They make the bike safer, put you in more control, and can make up for the lesser quality an affordable mountain bike offers compared to premium expert models.
Your original tires will be nothing to write home about. Usually, they are cheap and constructed from hard compounds in order to keep the overall cost of the bike as low as possible.
Again, this is ideal if you’re on a budget, but there’s a severe risk of cheap tires negatively affecting your handling. If you’re serious about boosting your mountain bike experience, consider upgrading to quality tires once you’re ready to tackle more demanding environments.