[Review] Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000 – Top Rated Bikes for 2016

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When it comes to cutting edge extreme sports and activities, mountain biking has proven itself to be one of the best things that even beginners to the sport can enjoy. While it can be a fairly dangerous sport, when practiced carefully and with the proper safety equipment it can be an exhilarating experience capable of sharpening both body and mind. Whenever someone is introduced to mountain biking and they end up loving the thrill of it, their first thought after riding is usually along the lines of where to get themselves a great Mountain Bikes at a fair price.

Mountain Bikes

For those beginning, intermediate, or advanced riders who are looking for a nice trail bike for a low price, it helps to know which are the best deals available on websites like Amazon.com or other retail companies. Since every mountain bike brand and model have variations and subtle differences in their features and construction, it is important to learn about these brands so you can make an informed purchase. To help out anyone in the market for a quality mountain bike on a budget.

Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000 Discussed Briefly-

Merax Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike

This high-quality entry level mountain bike by Merax is a great starter option for any riders who are still relatively new to the sport. This is a model which can also suit intermediate level riders as it is equipped with responsive and powerful disc brakes for optimum stopping power. Among the two type of disc brakes available on mountain bikes, mechanical discs and hydraulic discs, the brakes equipped on the Merax Finiss are the mechanical disc variation. This type of disc brake is perfect for beginner and intermediate mountain bike riders since it has the responsiveness and stopping power to slow the rider down quickly, but not enough stopping power to abruptly throw a novice rider off the bike if they grip the brakes too strongly. Some relatively inexperienced riders can end up in situations where they are flying off of their bike because they bought hydraulic disc brakes before progressing to a high enough skill level.

Riders tend to fly off sometimes due to the fact that hydraulic brakes can lock the wheels up very tightly, to the point where it can throw off even a heavy and well-balanced rider. At only about $290.00 USD, the Merax Finiss mountain bike is constructed with a heat treated 6061 aluminum frame giving it exceptional strength and reliability. This mountain bike is also equipped with Shimano derailleur components in the front and rear, in addition to Shimano brake components on the bike as well. At 33 pounds, this is not a bike that is on the lighter side by any means but given that it is a rugged trail bike meant to withstand harsh conditions the extra weight is actually a positive aspect.

Key Specification:

One of the key specifications relating to the Merax Finiss mountain bike is its double wall aluminum rims. Using aluminum in the rim structure on the complete Finiss 26″ model makes for extra durable construction that mountain bikers can actually count on in the field. On any given mountain bike track there are sure to be roots, rocks, and other obstacles so lightweight and durable wheels can count for a lot in terms of handling rough impacts well.

Pros:

The primary positive aspects of the Merax Finiss are mainly found in its sleek and attractive frame design and overall color scheme; this is truly an eye-catching mountain bike with the components and solid construction to back it up. Having mechanical disc brakes on a mountain bike under $300 is also a major selling point associated with this particular model.

Cons:

The hubs and the quick releases are a kind of weird bright yellow color, so for some people, this may not be a desired feature. Another con associated with this bike is that the stock pedals and seat are probably going to need upgrading at some point down the line, but other than that it is actually a great bike for the money.

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er Hard Tail Mountain Bike

For a 29″ complete mountain bike, this model by Diamondback Bicycles is an outstanding bargain for the money. At only $500.00, this mountain bike is equipped with large 29″ wheels making it ideal for intense trail riding conditions with a lot of up and down on the track. In other words, a 29″ mountain bike like this one is perfect for mountain biking trails which have a lot of climbs in the track, but also a lot of downhill sections as well. Some novice mountain bikers may not yet realize the amazing difference a 29″ wheel can make compared to a more typical 26″ mountain bike wheel, but the 29er can allow for much easier clearing of roots, rocks, and any other significant bumps which may get in the way while a rider is enjoying a trail.

Having the larger wheels also makes climbing steep inclines a breeze compared to a 26″ wheel, and this is important to keep in mind since being able to climb effectively can be just as important as taking downhill sections with skill. With the classic efficiency expected of a hard tail frame, this Diamondback mountain bike is equipped with a Shimano drivetrain and Tektro disc brakes. This allows it to have a smooth ride and dependable stopping power when it is needed most. Also featuring an SR Suntour suspension fork, this model can absorb front end shocks with ease.

Key Specification:

A primary specification on the Diamondback Overdrive 29er is found in its extra large tires. Many people do not know this, but it is actually much easier to ride a mountain bike over obstacles and uphill climbs when the tires are bigger. Having a 29er versus a 26″ bike is like night and day in some aspects; riders who are used to a 26″ are definitely going to feel a big difference when they ride the Diamondback Overdrive 29er.

Pros:

One of the main pros of the Overdrive 29er is the long frame structure which allows the rider to gain optimal traction on the trail and keep control of one’s tracking with relative ease. Another great aspect about this well built and highly reviewed 29″ mountain bike is its fire engine red paint job, which helps immensely with this bike’s overall aesthetic appeal.

Cons:

Among the cons of the Overdrive 29er by Diamondback Bicycles, it does have a fairly weak stock front fork. Now this is going to be expected when the price of this bike is already so low, therefore, it makes sense that buyers would be expected to upgrade to another front fork of their choosing later on. This con actually turns out to be a strong point of the bike when one considers that it makes for a great 29er for modding and customizing to a rider’s liking. This is a mountain bike which is highly customizable, yet functional right out of the box at the same time.

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

For any mountain bike rider who is interested in obtaining a quality full suspension mountain bike without paying multiple thousands of dollars, the Schwinn Protocol is a great introductory full suspension model. This is the kind of bike where a rider can get a feel for what it is like to ride on full suspension and how different this type of ride can be from a hard tail model. This Schwinn model is equipped with 26″ wheels and the front frame section is made using aluminum metal. Aluminum in the construction allows for this bike to be lightweight on the front end, making bunny hops and quick, snappy jumps a breeze on this mountain bike.

The rear section of the frame on this full suspension Schwinn is made from steel, allowing for the back of the frame to sustain large impacts and come out unscathed. Featuring Shimano brand trigger shifting paddles and Shimano Altus 24 speed components, this bike is built to be trail ready. MTB handlebars and a Schwinn four bolt A-Head stem allow for this mountain bike to have a favorable geometric setup and handle excellently for riders of any skill level. Retailing out of the box at around $320.00, this full suspension Schwinn mountain bike is a true bargain considering the quality of build and the components used. Getting an introduction to full suspension mountain bike riding with this Schwinn model is a perfect way to learn the ropes when a rider is transitioning from hardtail riding.

Key Specification:

The key specification of the Scwinn Protocol 1.0 is clearly its well designed rear suspension system; comparable systems can make other similar bikes cost well over $1000. For less than $350 to have a brand new mountain bike with a rear and front suspension system is genuinely a bargain, which is further confirmed by all of the hundreds of positive reviews of this mountain bike.

Pros:

Some of the pros associated with the Schwinn Protocol are larger, extra knobby tires which are aggressive at digging into the dirt and providing the rider with excellent grip while riding trail. Obviously having the rear suspension also allows for better overall shock absorption on this mountain bike which is especially nice for downhill riders.

Cons:

One of the cons that have to be mentioned when considering the merits of the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is in its overall sprocket and crank setup. The components which comprise the crank and sprocket assembly on this mountain bike are made of cheaper materials and should probably be upgraded by riders who want to do intense trail riding on this bike.

2016 Gravity FSX 1.0 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Another affordable full suspension mountain bike available on the Amazon.com marketplace is the Gravity FSX full suspension mountain bike. While many other competitive full suspension mountain bike models can retail in the thousands of dollars budget range, this model from Gravity retails around $350.00 making it an affordable mountain bike for virtually any realistic mountain bike budget. This is a beginner to intermediate level full suspension bike which has received outstanding reviews on Amazon and other retail websites, leading many consumers to justifiably believe that this model truly is a great value for the price. This Gravity FSX mountain bike is designed to be strong and durable enough for most kinds of trail riding, though high impact downhill jumping may require a more sophisticated bike than this one.

Featuring Shimano Acera components, this is a mountain bike which is equipped to be reliable when riding on the mountain or the trail. It is not exactly top of the line by any means, but it is designed to hold up under pressure and provide novice riders with the opportunity to develop their skills as a mountain biker. Designed with a Suntour long travel fork and a hydroformed aluminum construction frame, this is an affordable mountain bike with a desirable geometry for most mountain and trail applications. Tektro Novela Disc brakes give this Gravity model the ability to stop effectively which is a must when riding out on the trail at high speeds. Traveling at high rates of speed makes potential accidents quite risky especially on trails enclosed by trees, so having quality disc brakes like the ones on the 2016 Gravity FSX can help put a mountain biker’s mind at ease since they will be safe in case of a sudden obstruction.

Key Specification:

The key specification relative to the 2016 Gravity FSX is its high quality rear suspension shock system. While for thousands of dollars extra consumers can purchase hydraulic rear suspension systems, this spring designed rear suspension on the Gravity FSX actually works almost as good as its hydraulic counterpart. Some purists might argue that only hydraulic suspension systems are good enough for rear shocks, but this Gravity designed rear spring shock proves that claim wrong.

Pros:

The major pros of the Gravity FSX are that from the fork to the crank and the sprockets, to the seat and frame geometry, everything on this bike is solid. That is the main selling point of this bike is that even straight out of the box, it is going to look and perform quite nicely which is a huge plus for riders who are on a budget. Its white on black color scheme makes for a sleek and sharp looking ride which is recognizable even at a distance.

Cons:

The main drawbacks or cons attributed to the Gravity FSX are found in its saddle seat. The seat on this bike is rather poorly designed, and is too narrow even for a mountain biking saddle. It tends to give the rider an irritating and uncomfortable ride especially when traversing rougher terrain and trails. This really isn’t too big of a deal, though, since it is quite simple for a mountain bike enthusiast to simply replace their saddle and dramatically improve the comfort level on this bike.

Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail Mountain Bike

Another high-quality Diamondback Bicycles brand mountain bike available on Amazon.com and additional retailers is the Diamondback Sorrento. This is a hardtail mountain bike which is going to be perfect for any rider who prefers to not have suspension in the rear of the bicycle. While a full suspension mountain bike is going to be awesome for downhill applications, it is not as desirable on up and down style single track riding where a rider has to go up and down hills rapidly. When climbing hills, a full suspension bike loses some of its power when the rear of the frame dips during the down press of a pedaling cycle, so for this kind of riding a hard tail bike feels much better.

The hard tail design allows for the rider to gain maximum power on climbs, so mountain bikers who engage in a lot of climbing will typically enjoy this design quite a bit. For only $300.00 USD it is clear why this bike is so highly rated; it offers consumers so much mountain bike for the money. Even though this bike does require a bit of assembly, it is generally worth it given that it is a solid bike for a very low price. The Sorrento Hard Tail by Diamondback Bicycles is available in multiple frame sizes, which is great news for riders who need either extreme in frame sizing. Even for much taller riders, there are XL frame sizes available making this Diamondback hardtail a fantastic buy for any type of rider.

Key Specification:

One of the primary specifications relative to the Diamondback Sorrento Hard Tail is in its frame geometry. This is a mountain bike with a tighter frame geometry, meaning there is a shorter distance between the seat and the handlebars than many other bikes. Having this kind of tighter geometry can ultimately allow for better pop on jumps and bunny hops since it is easy to pull the bars up on a shorter frame.

Pros:

Some of the major pros of the Diamondback Sorrento is that it climbs hills like an absolute champion for a 26″ mountain bike. This is partially due to the hard tail on this model, which allows for every pedal stroke to use energy as efficiently as possible; much more efficiently than a full suspension bike would on an incline. This kind of hardtail design is perfect for any rider who plans on climbing hills a lot while riding their mountain bike.

Cons:

One of the only cons associated with the Sorrento really has nothing to do with performance and more to do with its appearance and aesthetic value. Given that this bike is almost all plain black with only a small blue logo, it does have sort of a boring design and color scheme to it. For riders who don’t mind having an all black mountain bike, this one by Diamondback Bicycles is a good choice.

Schwinn High Timber Men’s 18 Mountain Bike

The Schwinn High Timber mountain bike truly is the epitome of an affordable, entry level mountain bike. This model is certainly among the best mountain bikes under $1000, given that it is a versatile and capable bike for a very fair price. At one of the lowest price points of any entry level mountain bike, the men’s Schwinn High Timber in white retails at only $200.00 USD brand new. To get a trail bike brand new at only $200 is incredible no matter where it is purchased from, and this Schwinn happens to be available at a great price from Amazon.com and other competing retailers. While this bike is not going to be capable of taking on the more extreme types of mountain bike riding, it is definitely going to be able to handle basic beginner trail riding. Featuring a new Schwinn mountain bike frame and a Schwinn suspension fork for optimal handling, this bike is capable of providing a rider with the level of handling and precision necessary for effective navigation of complex trail networks.

With Shimano twist shift design built in, mountain bikers can quickly and efficiently change gears when they need to simply by shifting their handlebar grips. Some people prefer a paddle or trigger shifter, but classic twist grip shifters like the ones on this Schwinn mountain bike are equally as effective and provide a classic mountain biking feel. Alloy wheels and alloy V brakes create the ability for this model to stop quite effectively, though admittedly not as well as disc brakes would work. Alloy wheels are important to have since they allow for the necessary level of durability to have when riding in a mountain or trail context, and they resist bending making for lower maintenance costs for the owner. A three piece alloy crank allows for a broad range of gear settings, so riders can enjoy a versatile and flexible ride when using this Schwinn mountain bike.

Key Specification:

The Schwinn High Timber’s key specification is its three-piece alloy crank. For only a $200 mountain bike this Schwinn model definitely has a high-quality crank design, and its alloy construction will ensure that riders who purchase this bike will not have to replace or excessively maintain their bike’s crank assembly for quite a long time.

Pros:

As far as the pros of this Schwinn mountain bike, it is capable of quick and sharp shifting for such an affordable model. Some mountain bike models of comparable pricing would not have near the quality that this Schwinn mountain bike’s Shimano derailleur can offer riders. When on the trail having reliable shifting matters a lot, so this is definitely a significant strong point of the Schwinn High Timber mountain bike.

Cons:

The cons of the Schwinn High Timber tend to revolve around the cheap quality seat and tires on this mountain bike. It is clear by studying the features of this bike that the seat is not at all an effective mountain biking seat and should be replaced by the rider, and the same goes for the tires which are entirely too skinny for trail riding.

Huffy Bicycle Company Warhawk 3.0 Bike

For another mountain bike model which is both affordable and adequate for beginner to intermediate trail use, the Huffy Warhawk 3.0 is a nice model to consider. Whether buying a mountain bike for a relative, immediate family member, friend, or for yourself, the Huffy Warhawk is a good choice to make because its retail price of only $200.00 makes it a low enough investment as to be easily justified by a beginner who isn’t quite sure yet if they are going to stick with the sport. Designed with a sleek and modern frame featuring blue and black color designs, this Huffy mountain bike is a true step forward for the Huffy company.

In the past Huffy was known for putting out cheap bikes, but they have definitely stepped up their game with the Warhawk 3.0 mountain bike. Any $200 mountain bike featuring dual disc brakes which actually functions at an acceptable level is an impressive feat for any company to accomplish. Huffy has definitely raised the bar concerning what is possible with a beginner level mountain bike with the Warhawk model, and this is clearly represented by the outstanding customer ratings and feedback this product has generated.

Key Specification:

The key specification on this Huffy Warhawk mountain bike is found in its 29″ wheels and tires, and in its dual mechanical disc brakes. These two features alone make this Huffy mountain bike an amazing bargain for consumers, and the customer reviews on this particular model are an average of 5/5 stars. It is clear from the feedback generated by this mountain bike that Huffy has done a great job designing an affordable and high-quality 29er mountain bike with disc brakes.

Pros:

Some of the pros associated with this bike are that it has a brilliant neon blue, neon yellow, and black paint job that helps to add a lot of character and vibrant color to the design. Besides being a bike which is easy on the eyes, it also performs incredibly well for a $200 29er. Many comparable 29″ mountain bikes are much more expensive than this one, which is a huge plus for any mountain biker on a budget.

Cons:

The cons on this bike are very limited, given that the Huffy Warhawk 3.0 is such a well built and highly reviewed mountain bike. The only real cons to speak of on this bike is a really weak kickstand. While a mountain bike doesn’t necessarily need a kickstand, this Huffy includes one and it is of very low quality. It is advised to simply remove the kickstand on this bike if you are going to take it out on the trail. Other than the kickstand, the Warhawk 3.0 is an exceptional mountain bike by Huffy.

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