Mountain bikes are a great opportunity to get outdoors and follow your heartfelt desire to cycle on mountainous tracks. A mountain bike’s ability to go ‘just about anywhere’ lets you do just that. As a bonus, you get to develop some ‘rad skills’ and fitness along the way. As the matter of fact, there are more than 10 new bike models launched every month and all of them have their unique and advanced features.

You simply cannot test all of these bikes (for the obvious reason of resources) but we, as Fitnesstep1 have done extensive research on every other mountain bike out there and most of them sucked, to be honest. But, on the flipside of that, we deciphered a diadem of best mountain bikes under 1000.

There are a lot of reasons to buy a bike online. Primary amongst them is the fact that you often get a better deal by bypassing the logistics and branding costs that have to be borne by physical stores which are passed down to the customer.

Best Mountain Bikes Under 1000 – The Winners!

We have done an extensive research on 28+ different mountain bike models. Our research gave us the idea of what a perfect mountain bike should be. We rated the bike on its durability, frame-size, purpose, wheel-size, aerodynamics and a dozen other factors. As expected, we were amazed with the results and here are the best mountain bikes which cost under 1000 bucks.

We think it’s a great idea to support your local bike shop, but it can be done via spares, parts, and service. Whatever you do, do not try a bike out in a store and then buy it online. That’s just plain wrong!parts and service. Whatever you do though, don’t try a bike out in a store and then buy it online. That’s just plain wrong!

We will have some bikes that have a unique value proposition to the end of the article. We try to make it as easy as possible. It’s so nice to have an added layer of protection for your purchase. That being said, in the event that we want to do something.

Best Mountain Bikes Under 1000 – Recommended Models!

Here are the best mountain bikes under 1000 reviewed by Fitnesstep1’s expert’s team. Let’s take a look at the individual bike model.

1. The Schwinn High Timber – An easy entry into mountain biking

The High Timber is a great starter bike for anyone looking to get into mountain biking and having their first trail experiences. It also makes a great choice for someone who wants a simple, no-nonsense mountain bike that just works. The Steel frame is sturdy and absorbs small bumps and vibrations with ease, making this a relatively comfortable hardtail. The front suspension does its job and takes the edge off larger bumps.

Despite the bike’s having an under-$200 price tag, the rear derailleur is a Shimano, as are the grip shifters. This is a lot of bike for the money. There’s even a women’s specific 26-inch wheel version and for a few extra dollars, you have the option of getting a 29-inch version of the bike.

This truly is a bike that anyone can get up and start riding and Schwinn’s lifetime warranty sweetens the deal even further.

2. The Diamondback Overdrive – Perfect blend of price & performance

The 2017 Diamondback Overdrive is a bike that punches way above its price class. It would not be an overstatement to say that it is one of the best value hardtail bikes out there. At the core of the bike is a hand-built 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame. The frame lets you power through stones, gravel, and mud by making the most of aluminum’s natural stiffness.

This stiffness is offset by the plush, 4 inch SR Suntour XCT fork. The 24-speed gears tackle all sorts of grades with ease and the big tires provide grip for days, keeping you rooted to the ground even when the surface is loose. Tektro’s mechanical disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power. The red color really catches the eye.

This is a capable and fun bike that’s worth much more than the sum of its parts. There’s also the choice of a 29-inch version.

3. The BEIOU CB005/CB020 Carbon Fiber – Ultra-light race machine

Discovering this bike was like finding a diamond in the rough. Conventional wisdom might have you staying away from a virtually unknown East-Asian brand but take our word for it, this Is a serious bike with serious performance. The carbon used here is the same grade as you would find on much more expensive carbon bikes from Trek/Giant. The handlebars and seat post are made from the same high-grade carbon fiber.

The bike is kitted with Shimano gears and brakes The excellent 30-speed Deore system will let you spin up walls and the M355 Hydraulic disk brakes will let you stop as if you’ve hit one. The bike is nimble and changes direction superbly.

There’s also a 27.5-inch version with internal cabling for you to choose from. Both sizes of wheels come with carbon fiber hubs and It even has a lock-out option for the suspension fork. Incredible value for an all-carbon bike.

4. The Diamondback Mission 2 – Uncompromising performance

It’s probably no secret that we’re fans of Diamondback. Their bikes represent a price to performance ratio that’s really hard to match and this remains true even at the higher end of the scale. The 2017 Diamondback Mission 2 is a dual suspension bike that was designed to ride as many trail miles as you possibly can and then some more. From top to bottom, no compromises have been made while designing this bike.

The frame is made out of weapons-grade hydro-formed aluminum. The suspension components are some of the best you can buy and the bike actually feels like a hardtail until the rear shock is needed. It comes standard with a KS Lev Integra dropper seatpost that lets you lower the saddle instantly at the push of a button.

This helps you quickly switch between an aggressive standing position and an efficient seated position. SRAM’s 1×11 drivetrain and DB5 hydraulic brakes work flawlessly. The Easton ARC27 wheels are compatible with tubeless tires, should you require the option. From the magnesium lowers in the forks, to the chromoly steel used for the saddle rails, every part of the bike screams quality.

Mountain Bike Buying Advice

1. Frame Size

Mountain bikes are not as sensitive to sizing as road bikes. However, it is still important to get into the correct ballpark if you want to get the most out of it. The following chart will help you get:

Best Mountain Bikes Under 1000

There really shouldn’t be any difference in the women-specific frame except that those are usually easier to step through. If the size is right, gender should not matter. As it tends to be, the sizes will vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you find yourself between sizes, choose the slightly smaller frame and you should be good.

2. Types Of Mountain Bikes

While there are specific bikes for different mountain biking disciplines such as Enduro, Cross-country, Freeride, Downhill etc., were primarily going to cover the two classes of bikes, namely Hardtail and Dual-suspension.


Hardtails are bikes that have only have front-suspension and therefore a hard-tail or rear. In other words, only the front wheel is suspended via shock absorbers in the fork. These bikes tend to be faster and more efficient over moderately uneven terrain as opposed to full-on off-roading, where they might be less so. They may also end up being lighter than dual-suspension bikes of the same price. When buying an entry to mid-level bike, it’s a good idea to stick to hardtails as they offer better value. We’re big fans of how they feel and that will be reflected in our recommendations.

Full Suspension

Full or dual suspension bikes, as the name suggests have both wheels suspended. While this adds complexity weight and cost, it can have a number of performance benefits. Consider these when buying a high-end bike or if you plan on racing.

3. Wheel Size

If you’re unfamiliar with Mountain bikes, you may be surprised to know that they come with different wheel sizes. We’ll list the 3 most common options available with a brief description so that you can make an informed choice: –

29 inch

29-ers are the most popular wheels currently on the market despite the fact that they are a fairly new wheel size for MTBs. The bigger wheels mean that they can carry more momentum and are therefore more efficient. They can also be a good choice if you are going to want to roll over big obstacles while off-roading. They are compatible with many hybrid tires giving you a bit of flexibility if you want to convert the bike to more on-road use. Choose these if you want speed or out-and-out performance.

26 inch

26-ers are the traditional Mountain bike wheel size. This relatively small sized wheel has been the industry standard for a long time. These wheels are stronger than the similar wheels of a larger size due to a shorter spoke length. The smaller size also lets you change directions quickly and as such, they are suited for more technical off-roading with lots of turns and twists. For obvious reasons, they are also lighter.

27.5 inch

27.5 inch or 650b is the latest wheel size and one that tries to offer the best of both worlds, combining the benefits of 26 & 29-ers without going too far in either direction.

We will specify the type of bike and wheel size in our recommendations and also provide options wherever possible to help you choose.

4. Materials

Carbon fiber and aluminum are the most popular choices for Mountain bike frames and parts alike. Carbon parts are lighter, stronger (in areas designed to bear load/impact) and more expensive. Aluminum provides better value & a satisfactory balance between lightness, durability, and stiffness. A word to the wise, buy parts that you could easily replace if needed. What we’re trying to say is that while carbon parts may have bling value and performance, replacing a broken handlebar or stem should not become a strain on your wallet. This is particularly true for a sport like a mountain biking where falls and impact are part of the game. All of the cyclings is more about the rider and less about the machine. That being said, go with carbon if you desire the very best but keep in mind that aluminum won’t hold you back either.

Steel is an interesting choice for an MTB frame because while it is by far the heaviest, it is a very absorbent material. Steel bikes offer superior comfort and are extremely cost-effective. A steel frame makes for a great entry-level/recreation bike and so if you aren’t too concerned with weight and want a strong, reliable bike, it is a material worth considering.

5. Groupset/Drivetrain

The mechanical parts of the bike are collectively known as the groupset. These include the brakes, crankset, front and rear mech., chain, brakes and gear shifters. These parts may need to be replaced over time as there are wear and tear involved. They can also be upgraded, either partially or as a set, for better parts as needed. Shimano and SRAM are by far the most popular manufacturers. The following is a handy chart that will help you understand their hierarchy: –


As with road groupsets, improvements in performance are insignificant once you go past the mid-range to enthusiast tiers. What does keep going down is the overall weight, something that might be worthwhile if you plan on entering competitions.

1x or ‘one-by’ groupsets do away with the front derailleur/chainrings, eliminating chain slap/slack, reducing weight and improving shifting performance.

Because Mountain bikes are exposed to conditions harsher than most other bicycles, it is important to keep the drive parts of your bike clean. A well-maintained drivetrain not only works better, it also feels better. Take care of your equipment and your bike will thank you for it. This should also help you considerably lengthen the lifespan of the parts.

6. Forks

The fork is the part of the bicycle that holds the front wheel. It also houses the most important suspension springs on a Mountain bike, the front shocks. Forks come with varying levels of ‘travel’. Travel simply refers to the distance that the fork can move up or down to stabilize the bike and absorb shock. A fork with a lot of travel will have great ability to soak up the bumps but will also make the steering less direct and generally make the bike trickier to handle. A longer fork also means more material and therefore more weight.

While the ideal amount of travel in the fork would depend on the kind of riding you wish to do, most people would benefit from being somewhere in the middle. That’s what we are going to aim for with our recommendations. If you intend to ride your Mountain bike on paved roads, it might be a good idea to get a fork that has a ‘lock-out’, which lets you make the fork rigid and improve efficiency when the road is smooth.

If you’d like to know more about fork, here’s a detailed article to help you out: – http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/mountain-bike-suspension-forks-a-buyers-guide-55/

7. Tires

Because mountain bikes are often ridden over loose and uneven surfaces, the tires are wider, more puncture resistant and ‘knobby’. This type of tread improves the bike’s traction over such surfaces. Tubeless tires can nearly eliminate punctures and are available as an option depending on the type of wheel.

I’ve Decided; Now What?

Once you have decided on which bike is perfect for your body type and height, we recommend that you test ride them in the mild terrains first. Take time to learn your skills, learn how to move your body. When you feel that you are bursting through the bubble of being ‘mediocre’, you can test your skills at a higher level. Grab the bulls by its horns and get ready to pump adrenaline through your veins- The mountains are calling and you must go. But, always remember that the rider matters more than the bike.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is the Best Affordable Mountain Bike?

There is a fine line between affordability and being cheap. You can compromise your will for having the best mountain bike if you are afraid to shed some extra money. For those extra dollars, you can have a better suspension, wheel size and features. The choice of the mountain bike is the sole decision of the rider and what suits them the best. But, if you ask us, as experts we’d recommend the hardtail mountain bike as the best option for both beginners and professionals. Understanding that you don’t want to drop a boatload of cash and are looking for a sub-1000 mountain bike, let us recommend- The Diamondback Overdrive, the eclectic mix of optimum wheel size, durability, weight-body ratio, aerodynamic shape, suspensions and drivetrain.

How do we test these Mountain Bike?

Every mountain bike above has been thoroughly critiqued and analyzed by the team of experts at Firststep1. Our test editors have then vetted each bike individually as being among the best in their respective category, thereby justifying why they are in that category. We’ve rode hell for leather by searching the market, speaking with Product Managers & Design Engineers, and surveying both expert & professional riders. We spent countless hours riding the best sub-1000 mountain bikes to deem them among the best. So, in our experience the bike with a good overall riding experience, quality of parts, value and the ability to meet the buyer’s need wins the battle-royale.

What is the Best Mountain Bike for Beginners?

Not everyone wants to perform stunts and jumps at a breakneck speed and we understand that! In the sub-1000 price range, the best mountain bike for beginners has to undoubtedly be- Orbea MX 30 29” Mountain Bike. Why?! Due to its exceptional suspension, frame size, frame material and hardtail that gives it the maximum traction when riding in rough terrains. It is simply the best mountain bike under 1000.


Mountain biking is about nailing your technique and smoothly transitioning from one skill to another. Mountain biking pertains to the spirit of adrenaline junkies and sports enthusiasts at the same time. Not only is it a healthy exercise that keeps you fit and lets the blood gush through your nerve streams but also gives you a rush of blood to your head which is accredited to its nature of romancing with thrills.

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Matt Williamson
My name is Matt - fitness freak by choice. I intensively study and write about nutrition and health related topics. After reading and researching intensively on human health, I aspire to proliferate the wisdom that I acquired in a simple way.

This post has 20 Comments

  1. Technically, you would want a bike that can withstand long hard rides, a few rocks, and scary downhills. There are two types of bikes that can cope with the cross country riding without easily getting damaged which are the hard tail and the full suspension bike.
    The full suspension bike is the best because it has improved control and higher downhill speed, it is undeniably more fun, it is safe on the bailout line and when you use it especially for long hard rides, you experience less fatigue. The setbacks are; it has more weight, it needs more maintenance and due to the increased weight you will go slower when climbing.

    On the other hand, we have the hard trail that is perfect for you if you are on a low budget and do not need the extra expense of regular maintenance. This bike is lighter and can almost do everything a full suspension bike does but if you want to win your races every time you go mountain climbing then the full suspension bike should be your obvious choice as it is more effective.

  2. If you are using your bike for general use, extra gears are useless. The whole point of gears is to give you an easy time going uphill and to enable you to move at high speed on level ground. Your bike should have the important gears as opposed to many useless gears. For going up tough hills, you need low gears while when you are going down gentle inclines, high gears will do the trick.

    As a matter of fact, if the area you are cycling on is relatively flat then gears may be unnecessary. So, the bottom line is, if you live in a place full of terrains, then consider having more than two gears. For places that are relatively flat, one or two gears will do.

  3. Mountain bikes, especially the newer bikes have a more aggressive geometry that is specifically designed to handle more technical riding styles. They can last up to 5 years if they are well maintained. You can try easy maintenance tips such as constantly keeping the chain clean and lubricating it, checking the tire pressure occasionally, replacing brake pads, tires and cogs when necessary and keeping the bike indoors away from dust as many times as you can.

  4. Steel bikes are normally an alloy of chromium, steel, and molybdenum. They are generally tough and are heavier than aluminum bikes. These bikes normally absorb vibrations of riding on rough trails.

    Aluminum bikes are more common and are relatively light. They bend more easily than the steel bikes and when they crack, they need special equipment to weld them. When buying an aluminum bike, make sure that it comes with a warranty, preferably a lifetime warranty to get your bike covered.

    Titanium bikes, on the other hand, are incredible as they combine the lightness of the aluminum and the durability and plushness of the steel bike. They are difficult to bond and have become cheaper over time.

  5. If you try looking across all local bike shop you will notice that most of them have very reputable brands. The components are all the same but the difference comes in when it comes to the type of frame. Since mountain bikes is a low-margin business, it is important that you find a brand that has a lifetime warranty on the frame and buy from a manufacturer who is less likely to close the business and make it hard for you to replace your frame when need be.

    Also, consider reading other users comments online before committing. This will give you an idea of what you are getting into.

  6. For a first-time mountain bike buyer, you want to make a solid investment that will serve you for a relatively long time. The more costly bikes are generally lighter and this makes climbing hilly places or mountains more feasible. Buying a cheap bike means you spend a considerably large amount of money on repairs.

    Spending between $300 and $1000 on a mountain bike is good enough to give you a few years of service. A cheap bike is bound to perform poorly and can be very limiting in terms of where you can ride and this can be very frustrating and honestly a little dangerous.

  7. For safety reasons, you will definitely need a helmet. If you live in a place that’s very hot, go for a helmet with venting. Just do ride (especially in rocky areas) without a helmet. You need gloves to protect your hands in case you fall and to also save you from numbness and pain since they absorb shock and vibration from the road. In addition to these, you will need tools for fixing a flat in case you get one and some water for hydration.

  8. Comfort should be your number one goal when choosing a perfect outfit for cycling. T-shirts can be worn but the only downside is that they will get soaked in your sweat. You should also get some modern baggy bike shorts that have padding inside to soak up your sweat and save you the trouble of constantly sticking on the seat. If you’ve had problems finding outfits, check at your local bike shop, they will definitely have something for you.

  9. When you are out riding in some unknown place it is safe to have a GPS. It will come in handy when mapping does not seem to help you figure out where you are or where you are headed. Basically, all you need to do is to mark the start point. The GPS will always track the way back provided you marked your starting point. Just be ready to part with some extra coins for GPS technology.

  10. This is majorly about personal preferences and taste really. Bikes vary and can have different geometrics. It is very crucial that you find one that is comfortable and feels good. Some bikes normally sit more upright than others and are less stretched out. This is ideal for you if you have shoulder or neck problems. If you don’t have any physical issues, a long top tube will be perfect because it results to a more stretched out position that may be faster and better for handling. Get a motorbike that is easily adjustable in that you can raise the seat post, move the seat an inch or so and one that will enable to get you to get a longer/shorter stem. Pay keen attention to the fit since poor fit can lead to neck and back pains and ultimately a waste of money.

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