7 Best Beginner Mountain Bikes In 2021: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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In this article, I tested 7 products and found the Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike to be the best mountain bike for beginners.

I love zipping through sandy deserts and rocky trails as the sun peaks over mountainous hills. It fills me with an almost overwhelming sense of peace and solitude. But to fully embrace nature’s beauty and wilderness, you need a bike that can carry you through the harshest type of terrain imaginable. This is where mountain bikes come in.

If you’re a beginner rider who’s just started exploring beyond the boundaries of the city, read on. In this article, I’ve listed seven of the best beginner mountain bikes you can buy today. 

See Also: The Best Mountain Biking Backpacks Today In 2021

The Best Beginner Mountain Bikes Overview

7 Best Beginner Mountain Bikes For Off-Road Trails

The products below are cherry-picked for their climbing efficiency and top-tier suspension controls. Here are seven of the best mountain bikes for beginners! 

Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike – Best Overall

  • Frame: Hydroformed aluminum
  • Speed: 24
  • Suspension type: Dual
  • Tires: 26-inch wheels
  • Weight: 26 pounds

Redesigned for 2021, the Gravity FSX 1.0 impresses with its many upgrades. Compared to last year, it has durable aluminum frames and easy-to-use Shimano Shifters. Furthermore, it has adjustable front and rear suspension.

The FSX 1.0 is equipped with high-performance hydroformed tubing and a Suntour triple aluminum crankset for an even smoother ride.

The frame’s flawless welding points double the bike’s reinforcement. This is especially beneficial in locations that receive the greatest impact. It also offers improved front and back preload pedal efficiency.

You’d think that with all the added reinforcements that the FSX 1.0 is heavier than last year’s model. That’s not the case at all.  Despite the upgrades, the bike weighs only 26 pounds. 

The tires on the FSX 1.0 are suitable for most beginner to intermediate-level off-trail riders. But it’s important to note that they don’t offer the most ideal tread design for heavy trail riding.

That said, they still provide a decent amount of traction. Moreover, its durability withstands flats in most scenarios.

Pros

  • High-quality disc brakes
  • Above-average dual suspension
  • Incredibly lightweight frame

Cons

  • Unsuitable for heavy trail riding



Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike – Runner Up

  • Frame: Aluminum steel frame
  • Speed: 7
  • Suspension type: Rigid
  • Tires: 26-inch wheels
  • Weight: 56 pounds

Designed for the harshest off-trail conditions, the Mongoose Dolomite Mountain Bike is among the most reliable fat tire bikes on the market. This monster rides effortlessly on mud, sand, snow, and even ice. The fact that it’s supremely responsive is a mere plus.

With its lightweight alloy rims and seven-speed rear derailleurs, this steel-framed mountain bike excels in speed and performance. Although it can’t compete with mountain bikes above $500, it still offers a decent amount of durability and functionality.

Surprisingly, the Dolomite features dual disc brakes with decent stopping power. This is a function rarely seen at this price point. They’re brandless, though, so I recommend professional tuning once you get past the beginner stage.

The Dolomite comes in three frame colors; blue, black, and red. The black-framed bike is especially eye-catching, with its red-rimmed wheels and cushioned saddled.

Pros

  • Multiple speeds
  • Upgradable
  • High weight capacity
  • Smooth-riding tires

Cons

  • Fairly heavy at 48 pounds
  • Only one frame size (17 inches)



Krusher Dynacraft Fat Tire Bike – Budget-Friendly Pick

  • Frame: Aluminum steel frame
  • Speed: single speed 
  • Suspension type: Rear
  • Tires: 26-inch wheels
  • Weight: ‎45.19 pounds

Featuring 26-inch stomper tires, mountain bike style handlebars, and decorated aluminum rims, the Krusher Dynacraft Fat Tire Bike is designed to impress in both appearance and function.

Thanks to its heavy-duty deluxe steel frames, it conquers any off-road trail with ease. From sand to snowy paths, there’s little this bike can’t drive over. The largest option can carry up to 350 pounds of weight, making it suitable for even the heaviest of users.

Made to fit almost any adult-sized male, this mountain bike comes in multiple sizes and color options. The seat and handlebars are adjustable to help with posture and riding comfort. It also features a kickstand to hold your ride up until your next off-trail adventure.

Pros

  • Responsive breaks
  • Comfortable design with decent proportions
  • Easy assembly
  • Great for young children with adventurous streaks

Cons

  • Isn’t suitable for tall adults
  • Only one speed setting



Eurobike G7 Mountain Bike – Best Foldable Bike

  • Frame: Steel
  • Speed: 21
  • Suspension type: Dual
  • Tires: 27.5-inch wheels
  • Weight: ‎39.6 pounds

If you’re searching for a beginner-friendly folding bike, look no further than the Eurobike G7 Mountain Bike.

Available in six sleek colors, including army green and black orange, this folding bike is specifically designed for urban outdoor sports. It features 21 speeds, allowing you to climb hills and mountains with gentle slopes.

At 41 pounds, the G7 isn’t the most lightweight mountain bike you’ll find, but it’s sturdy and reliable. The frame is made with heavy-duty steel and the suspension front fork offers a decent degree of travel.

Compared to most mountain bikes, the Eurobike G7 features 27.5-inch wheels rather than 26.

Although this makes it drastically larger when folded, this upgrade allows riders to roll more smoothly over rocks, snow, and sand. Plus, the G7 offers supreme traction in wet and slippery conditions, increasing the rider’s overall speed and momentum.

Pros

  • Extra-large wheels
  • Quick-release folding mechanism
  • Impressive stopping power thanks to the large disc brakes
  • High weight capacity of 330 pound
  • Foldable function saves storage space

Cons

  • Seat is too small
  • Handlebars aren’t ergonomic



Huffy Stone Mountain Hardtail Mountain Bike – Best for Children

  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Speed: 21
  • Suspension type: Front
  • Tires: 20, 24, and 27.5-inch wheels
  • Weight: ‎41.1 pounds

The Huffy Stone Mountain Bike is a budget-friendly beginner bike designed for young riders.

Featuring 21 speeds, a Kolo 1200 suspension fork, and a Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur, this mountain bike handles bumps and dips like a pro.

Combined with its microshift twist shifter, the Huffy Stone delivers on-demand gear operation. With this, young users can ride uphill, downhill, or accelerate without issues.

Although it isn’t the best choice for heavy trail riding, its 24-inch knobby tires tear into most off-trail paths with ease. Moreover, the hand brakes deliver consistent and reliable stopping power that works brilliantly for downhill riding.

With its premium padded ATB saddle and responsive 3-piece Kolo crank, the Huffy Stone is a pleasure to use. The Kraton grips are comfortable and ergonomic, and the slight-rise handlebar minimizes shoulder and back strain. 

Pros

  • Six color options to choose from
  • Stitched padding for lasting comfort
  • Quick and easy assembly, comes with all tools needed
  • Quite sturdy

Cons

  • Not the best gear system 



Max4out Mountain Bike – Best Value

  • Frame: Carbon steel
  • Speed: 21
  • Suspension type: Front
  • Tires: 26-inch wheels
  • Weight: 62.8 pounds

The Max4out Fat Tire Mountain Bike is a thing of beauty. Seriously, just look at it. I’d give it points for style alone. But the Max4out isn’t just a pretty face.

Featuring a high-carbon steel frame, the Max4out Mountain Bike is as durable as it is stable. Its 26-inch fashion rims handle hilly terrains and snowy mountains without a hitch. The front and rear alloy pull brakes are responsive and precise, giving you the needed stopping power when riding down steep slopes.

Unfortunately, this bike isn’t suitable for riders over the height of 6′, as it’s mostly aimed towards adult riders 5′ 3″ to 5′ 6″ tall. If you’re under 5′ 6″, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the performance and design of this mountain bike.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Comfortable seats
  • Responsive shifters 

Cons

  • Very heavy at 62.8 pounds



Savadeck Carbon Mountain Bike – Spurge-Worthy Pick

  • Frame: Carbon fiber
  • Speed: 30
  • Suspension type: Front
  • Tires: 27.5 and 29-inch wheels
  • Weight: 27.6 pounds

If budget isn’t a concern, check out the Savadeck Carbon Mountain Bike. Although it’s priced a little above a beginner’s price range, the features it has more than compensate for the cost. If you spend a lot of time riding the bike, you’ll love the Savadeck.

Available in multiple frame and wheel sizes, the Savadeck Carbon Mountain Bike is praised for its easy operation, supreme build, and high-cost performance.

It features a Hydraulic air front fork that delivers up to 100 millimeters of suspension travel and double hydraulic disc brakes that offer impressive stopping power.

With wheels ranging from 27.5 x 17 inches to 29 x 15 inches, this mountain bike rides through every type of terrain under the sun. Its carbon fiber frame contributes to its lightweight design, greatly reducing wind resistance and thus increasing speed. At only 27.6 pounds, it’s among the lightest mountain bikes on the market.

Finally, its shock resistance comes with its own damping effect, so you won’t have to equip the bike with separate shock absorbers.

Pros

  • Quick-release design to instant wheel replacement
  • Anti-gill, hard-wearing tires
  • Sandle made of breathable memory foam
  • Smooth-shifting derailleur

Cons

  • Falls on the pricier side



Factors to Consider When Buying a Beginner Mountain Bike

To help you choose the right mountain bike best suited to your needs, consider the following:

Wheel Size

Mountain bikes are typically equipped with 26-inch tires. However, you’ll also find mountain bikes with 27.5-inch and 29-inch diameters.

Mountain bikes with bigger wheels roll more smoothly and efficiently than bikes with regular-sized wheels. They also carry speed and momentum through tough-to-maneuver terrain.

This isn’t to say that bigger is better, though. Generally, smaller riders feel more comfortable with smaller wheels because they’re easier to navigate. Larger riders feel more at home with larger wheels and frames.

So, if you’re over 6 feet tall, it’s worth getting a mountain bike with 27.5 or 29-inch wheels.

Frame

Mountain bikes generally come in two frame options: aluminum and carbon. Aluminum frames are cheaper than carbon frames, but they’re much heavier. It’s also somewhat weaker than carbon.

On the other hand, Carbon frames are lighter and stiffer than aluminum frames, but they’re almost double the cost.

For beginners, mountain bikes with aluminum frames are a good choice. But if you’re planning to upgrade or replace parts of your bike for better ones in the future, it’s worth investing in a carbon frame mountain bike.

Rim Width

The rim width of mountain bikes falls anywhere between 50 millimeters up to over 100 millimeters. The wider the rim, the fatter the tires.

For beginners, it’s best to opt for 50 to 80 millimeters until you’re ready to upgrade to 100-millimeter rims. However, if you’re planning to replace the wheels of your bike with thicker tires in the future, it’s worth getting a bike with 100-millimeter rims.

Suspension

As much as possible, search for a mountain bike with suspension.

The tires of mountain bikes naturally absorb the bumps and dips of uneven terrain, but they don’t do well with rocky trails and rough terrain.

Mountain bikes with suspension, especially those with dual suspension, insulate the vibrations caused by rough surfaces. They also reduce the stress on your shoulders and arms, contributing to a smoother and comfortable ride.

Weight

The lighter the bike, the easier and faster the ride.

Mountain bikes are generally heavier than regular 20-inch bikes, primarily because they have larger tires and thicker frames.

Average mountain bikes weigh between 24 and 28 pounds, while full-suspension bikes weigh between 30 and 34 pounds. Fat tire mountain bikes are the heaviest and can weigh between 40 to 50 pounds.

Ideally, search for a mountain bike that doesn’t weigh more than 30% of your weight. This way, you’ll be able to maneuver the bike without much strength and effort.

Mountain Bike Type

Depending on where you want to use them, mountain bikes fall into five categories: cross-country, trail hardtails, short-travel trails, mid-travel trails, and enduro.

Cross-country bikes are best suited for smooth trails with the occasional rocks and roots. These mountain bikes are brutally stiff and efficient; they ride fast uphill and downhill. They’re designed to cover cross-country roads as quickly as possible.

Trail hardtail bikes feature a more aggressive trail geometry than cross-country bikes. They’re lightweight and simple, making them a popular choice among beginners, XC racers, and weekend riders. Unlike full-suspension mountain bikes, hardtail bikes feature only one suspension on the front, making them much lighter than the former.

Short-travel trails and mid-travel trails feature about 110 to 130 millimeters and 130 to 150 millimeters of rear-wheel travel consecutively. They’re ideal for uphill and downhill cycling, with the latter performing better than the former. They’re both ideal for rocky mountains and rough trails.

Finally, enduro bikes are designed for super-fast downhill travel. Their geometry is built for speedy descents and pedaling back up the hill for the next race.

Frequently Asked Questions

Keen to know more about mountain bikes? Here are some of the web’s frequently asked questions!

Is mountain biking difficult?

For beginners, yes, mountain biking can be quite challenging. Mountain bike trails have rocky and steep paths that can be difficult to maneuver without the right technique (and bike). It can also be physically strenuous, especially if your muscles aren’t conditioned to ride in rough trials.

However, once you get over the initial obstacles, mounting biking isn’t really that hard to learn. It’s quite rewarding, as well. Plus, it comes with a ton of mental and physical health benefits, including improved heart, increased brain power, and reduced stress.

Traditional vs. foldable vs. electric: which mountain bike is the best?

Traditional mountain bikes are the cream of the crop, but if you’re searching for a bike with special features, it’s worth looking at foldable and electric mountain bikes.

Foldable mountain bikes, as the name suggests, collapse into a small foldable package. This is extremely convenient for apartment dwellers who are tight on space.

Since they’re foldable, you can easily tuck them away into a corner or a closet without them taking much space. You can also take them just about anywhere since they fit in the trunk of even the smallest cars. They perform just as well as traditional bikes but cost a little more.

Electric bikes are heavier and cost up to three times more than traditional bikes. However, they do come with several advantages. For one, they let you cover more ground with much lesser effort thanks to their electric motor. They can also take you to your desired destination much faster than traditional mountain bikes.

With that said, some people enjoy biking around without the help of electric motors, especially since motors die after a few hours of use.

For beginners, I definitely recommend going for traditional mountain bikes. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, definitely consider the other two.

Conclusion

There you have it, folks; my top 7 picks for the best beginner mountain bikes you find today!

The above-mentioned bikes are the best of the best. But if I had to choose, I’d say my favorite beginner mountain bike is the Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike. It’s affordable, durable, and excels in riding efficiency. Plus, it looks awesome!

See Also: The Best Budget Mountain Bikes In 2021 For Off-The-Road Adventures

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