Mountain bikes can be extremely expensive. Luckily, not everyone needs a bike as expensive as a car. You can easily find a range of entry-level, good-quality mountain bikes for under $1000, offering an attractive price point without compromising on important features such as the derailleur, brand, and weight.

We’ve tested 12 new mountain bikes that come in under $1000 and found many bikes that can satisfy novice cyclists and semi-pros, covering various brand preferences and specific requirements. There’s truly something for everyone in this selection.

Our pick for best overall is the Cannondale Trail 5. It offers excellent features and upgradability for a bike in this price range. You’ll get a bike with a tough frame, excellent braking and acceleration, and great looks if you purchase this bike.

Of course, the best mountain bike for you may be different. You may need a bike that can handle downhill or prefer a bike that offers smoother road riding with a lighter weight. Don’t worry; our review covers many bikes catering to different riding styles and levels.

Cannondale Trail 5 – Well-Rounded Bike

Cannondale Trail 5 - one of the best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars

Coming in as our best overall pick, the Cannondale Trail 5 is a great bike for beginners or seasoned pros. The Trail 5 costs $950 and provides everything you’ll need to ride trails and light downhill safely.

The Cannondale Trail 5 is one of the best bikes we tested and has incredible handling and durability. Available in Rally Red and Granite finishes, the bike also has a sleek and modern style that anyone will love. The high-quality derailleur ensures smooth gear transitions as you tackle various terrains.

The bike is available with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels and comes with upper mid-range components. The long reach and chainstay measurements also stabilize the bike on descents.

The microSHIFT Advent X drivetrain only offers 10 speeds. This means you may have to put in some extra effort while ascending steep inclines or riding tough terrain. The 100mm SunTour XCM suspension fork and Shimano Hydraulic brakes will keep you safe and in control while on the trails.

Reasons to consider:

  • $950 trail XC bike.
  • SmartForm C3 Alloy frame is light but outperforms other frames in this tier.
  • Ideal for low-impact trail and casual riding

Giant 2022 ATX – If You’re on a Budget

Giant ATX

If you want to ride trails on a budget, you’ll still need a durable mountain bike. The Giant 2022 ATX is one of the most affordable bikes on our list, costing only $480.

The 2022 ATX comes in sizes ranging from XXS to XL, making it great for teens and adults. You can choose from 26″ or 27.5″ wheels.

This bike is ideal for gravel paths, light off-road trails, commuting, and some rough terrain riding. The lockout suspension fork makes commuting and road riding easier as well.

The flat handlebar design, suspension forks, and state-of-the-art brakes make this a safe and effective trail-riding bike.

Reasons to consider:

  • $480 bike ideal for trails, commuting, and light off-road biking.
  • The aluminum frame and components keep this bike light and durable.
  • Shimona TZ500, a 7-speed cassette, makes shifting a breeze.

GT Avalanche Expert – Best MTB for Easy Upgrades

GT Avalanche Expert

If you’re like many bikers, you’ll want to upgrade your gear and components once you start riding. The GT Avalanche Expert makes upgrading many of its components quick and easy.

The GTA Avalanche Expert comes in XS-XL sizes and features either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels.

The frame is dropper post compatible and offers on-the-fly seat adjustments without getting off the bike. The rims on the Avalanche are also tubeless-ready, making upgrading to tubeless wheels a breeze. Upgrading features like mountains-ready components, on-road performance, responsive pedals, and smooth shifters can take your biking to the next level.

Other expert-level features include the SRAM-12-speed drivetrain and 120mm travel RockShox suspension fork. The fork also features lockout, making commuting or road rides smoother and more efficient. Along with the effective shifter mechanism, handling both on-road and off-road terrains is a breeze.

The Avalanche will make quick work of beginner to intermediate singletrack trails and is effective on steep climbs or descents, thanks to its well-designed pedals and easy-to-use shifters.

Reasons to consider:

  • $980 XC bike ideal for singletrack and trail riding.
  • 120mm RockShox Recon Silver RL suspension fork for trails and downhill riding.
  • 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain.

Trek 2022 Marlin 7 – Best for Advanced Mountain Biking

Trek Marlin 7

Are you an advanced rider? You don’t have to go broke buying a mountain bike to meet your needs. The Trek 2022 Marlin 7 is one of the best bikes for advanced mountain bikers on a budget who want to tackle mountains and challenging trails.

At only $950, this bike can handle the toughest singletracks and most downhill racing scenarios. If you are looking for a fast hardtail that will compete against high-end bikes, consider investing in the Trek 2022 Marlin 7.

The 29″ wheelbase adds to the speed and maneuverability of this bike. Smaller racers can opt for a 27.5″ version.

This bike is filled with advanced tech to make it safer and easier to ride. RockShox Judy fork and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes will keep you on the trail. The 1x drivetrain provides all the gears you need to navigate steep inclines and descents.

Reasons to consider:

  • This $950 bike is capable of tough singletrack and downhill courses. 
  • The 100mm RockShox Judy fork provides ample suspension for tough riding.
  • 10-speed Shimano Deore M4100 drivetrain cassette.

Marin Bobcat Trail 4 – Good for Singletrack Trail Riding

Marin Bobcat Trail 4

If you love the rush of zooming down a singletrack trail, The Marin Bobcat Trail 4 is our choice for the best singletrack trail bike for under $1000. Whether you are a novice or an intermediate rider looking to upgrade, this bike offers plenty of features that will improve your riding and fun.

Featuring Marin trail geometry, the Trail 4 has a long reach, low standover, and steep seat tube that will give your confidence while traversing any downhill or singletrack.

The frame accommodates 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. All Bobcat Trail bikes come with a Marin Series 2 aluminum frame that is incredibly light and durable.

Suspension is provided by an SR Suntour XCM 120mm fork, while Tektro M275 hydraulic brakes provide braking. The components of this bike are durable and will withstand any tough singletrack rides in the mountains.

Reasons to consider:

  • $919 bike designed for aggressive singletrack riding and light downhill riding.
  • SR Suntour XCM 120mm front suspension with lockout.
  • The 9-speed SunRace drivetrain provides ample options for inclines.

Rocky Mountain Growler – Best for Trail Speed

Rocky Mountain Growler

Do you like to go fast and hard on the trails? This bike is for you. With an MSRP of $999, this bike will compete with mountain bikes two or three times its price.

The 29″ wheels and wide tires give this bike speed and control while traversing the most difficult singletracks or downhills. Due to the Mountain Growler’s lightweight frame and modern Shimano drivetrain, you’ll also have no problem with steep technical climbs.

I found the components on this bike to be much better than many of the other sub-$1000 competitors. The Suntour XCM34 DS fork offers 130mm of travel, more than any other bike on this list. The Trail Boss tires are wide and offer plenty of grip and control. The Shimano MT201 hydraulic brakes are amazing and will keep you safe on any steep incline.

The 29″ tires do result in a larger bike, perfect for handling rough mountain terrain.If you are a shorter cyclist, you should consider our options that include 27.5″ tires instead, as they may provide better balance and maneuverability while cycling.

For under $1000, you won’t find a better hardtail mountain bike for downhill or singletrack speedster than the Rocky Mountain Growler.

Reasons to consider:

  • $999 bike built for downhill and challenging singletrack courses.
  • Modern components will help you dominate tough terrain.
  • The 130mm travel Suntour XCM34 fork offers excellent suspension and comfort.

Liv Tempt 1 – Great for Women Mountain Bikers

Liv Tempt 1

For under $1000, the Liv Tempt 1 is a masterpiece of design. You’ll have no problem keeping up with the boys on the trails while riding this bike.

Liv makes some of the best women’s bikes in the world. Their design philosophy revolves around women’s-specific geometry. This ensures your ride will be comfortable and in control.

This hardtail is available in XS – L sizes and offers 27.5″ and 29″ wheels. The aluminum frame and components are durable and incredibly light. Other features include a 10-speed Shimano Deore cassette and Tektro TKD149 hydraulic brakes that provide excellent stopping power. While the Tempt 1 doesn’t supply front suspension, it can still handle most singletracks and off-road riding.

Reasons to consider:

  • $920 bike designed for women and provides optimal efficiency, comfort, and control
  • Ideal bike for trail riding or commuting

Trek Marlin 6 – Best Budget Women’s MTB

Trek Marlin 6 - one of the best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars

If you are a female rider, check out the Marlin 6 Women’s from Trek. This bike is only $699 but offers plenty of features of more expensive bikes for women.

The lockout suspension fork makes the Trek Marlin 6 a great bike for off-road and commuting rides. You’ll feel right at home on steep singletrack or riding around town with your friends and family on the Marlin 6.

Sizes range from XS – ML and feature both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels. The smaller frame design also makes it easy to reach brakes for cyclists with shorter hands. Smaller riders can brake and change gears confidently even on the toughest terrain.

The cabling on this bike is routed through the lightweight aluminum frame. This adds to the already impressive and stylish appearance of the Marlin 6. It will also protect your cabling and let them last longer. Don’t miss out on this amazing sub $700 women’s mountain bike.

Reasons to consider:

  • $699 women’s mountain bike ideal for trail riding and commuting
  • SR Suntour XCT30 suspension fork with lockout
  • Shimano HG31, 8-speed cassette

Prevelo Zulu Four – Best for Kids

Prevo Zulu Four

Do you have a child that loves trail riding and singletrack? You’ll see kids as young as 7 on the trails. While $1000 may sound like a lot for a child’s bike, you’ll want a safe and durable bike for your aspiring MTB rider. The Prevelo Zulu Four offers amazing durability and components for the price.

The 24″ tires of the Zulu Four are ideal for children ages 8-11. Prevelo specializes in designing low and narrow geometry for their frame. This keeps the rider low, balanced, and in control of the bike during tough terrain and high speeds.

Other kid-type features include a specially engineered crank, wide-span gearing for more power, and a saddle designed for kids. The bike features 12 speeds, Spinner 300 suspension, and Tektor hydraulic brakes for reliable stopping power.

Reasons to consider:

  • $969 mountain bike specifically designed for kids
  • The Spinner 300 suspension fork provides an 80mm travel and lockout option
  • The 12-speed transmission is provided by SRAM 11-50T cassette

Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29 – Best Build Quality

Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29

No list of best mountain bikes under $1000 would be complete without the Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29. This bike is packed with features that can handle tough terrain and singletracks.

Specialized bikes are known for their build quality, and this bike is no exception. You will feel comfortable and confident on winding singletracks or steep descents on the Rockhopper Comp 29. The lightweight frame, components, and lockout suspension make commuting or daily rides swift and efficient as well. With various frame sizes and expert recommendations, you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

While the 9-speed drivetrain is limited, you should still easily handle mid-level ascents on the Rockhopper Comp 29. The Comp 29 comes with 29″ wheels, catering to riders who prefer larger frame sizes. Specialized offers the Comp 27.5 for smaller riders, ensuring a more comfortable and agile ride.

Reasons to consider:

  • An MSRP of $1000 gives you one of the best build bikes in this price range. 
  • Suspension is provided by an SR Suntour XCM29, providing 90 or 100 mm of travel.
  • microShift Advent 9-speed cassette provides quick and efficient gear shifting.

FRAMED Minnesota Fat Bike 26″ – Best Fat Tire Mountain Bike Under $1000

FRAMED Minnesota Fat Bike

Fat bikes have become increasingly popular with many riders. They are fun to ride and look awesome. Unfortunately, it can be tough to find a decent fat bike under $1000. FRAMED is one of the best fat bike manufacturers, and their Minnesota Fat Bike is a great buy for $899.

Fat bikes use oversized tires that run at low pressure. These act as suspensions while riding on rough terrain. Fat tires also make biking in snow, sand, and mud easier. Unfortunately, most fat tires are heavy. You’ll need to pedal harder to get the bike moving while riding your new fat bike.

The FRAMEDMinnesota boasts a lightweight, oversized aluminum frame, mechanical disc brakes, and FRAMED 26″ X 4″ all-weather tires. With multiple frame sizes and professional recommendations, it’s easy to find the right fit for you.

Fat bike riding is a different experience than traditional mountain biking. You may want to test or rent a fat bike before buying one to see if fat biking is right for you.

Reasons to consider:

  • $899 fat bike ideal for singletrack and downhill riding
  • The 26″ x 4″ all-weather fat tires provide ample suspension.
  • Modern styling and fat bike aesthetic is an eye-catcher on the trail. 

BMC Blast 27 – Best Lightweight Bike

BMC Blast

The heavier your bike is, the harder it is to pedal and accelerate. Heavy bikes are harder to steer and have a tougher time braking. Heavier bikes are also difficult for smaller riders to use, so it’s essential to consider frame sizes. If you’re looking for the best lightweight mountain bike under $1000, consider the BMC Blast 27.

The BMC Blast 27 offers trail-ready performance at a great price. With an MSRP of $800, you get a great bike filled with light and modern components. The aluminum frame is one of the best available for under $1000 and provides lightweight performance and extended durability.

The entry-level Suntour XCM-LO-DS fork gives you ample suspension for traversing singletracks or trails. The smooth gears, chain wheel, and Shimano Deore 10-46T cassette make pedaling and shifting gears smooth and easy. You’ll have no problems on tough inclines or dangerous descents on the Blast 27, making it a top recommendation for all levels of riders.

Reasons to consider:

  • $800 lightweight mountain bike for use on singletrack or daily commutes.
  • The 100mm travel suspension and disc brakes provide safe and comfortable rides.
  • Maxxis Ardent Race Tires help you keep speed and control of your bike on tough terrain.

Mountain Bike Buying Guide

Top-of-the-line mountain bikes can be extremely expensive. Most mountain bikes that are under $1000 are entry-level to mid-level bikes. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for a poorly designed or built bike.

Modern sub-$1000 mountain bikes will normally include plenty of features that weren’t available five years ago. Here are some of the features you should look for when purchasing a bike under $1000:

  • Durable and lightweight aluminum frame.
  • 27.5″ or 29″ wheels depending on frame size.
  • Front suspension fork with lockout for road riding.
  • 1x or 2x front cog chainring.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Modern frame design.


Most bikes coming in at under $1000 will have an aluminum frame. Aluminum frames are lightweight, affordable, and durable, suitable for various frame sizes and riders’ preferences. They can easily withstand rough riding and can handle crashes.

Aluminum frames are stiff. You will lose comfort, and there will be less bump absorption when riding a bike with an aluminum frame. Aluminum frames may crack and normally won’t last as long as steel or carbon fiber frames.

All the bikes mentioned above offer well-manufactured aluminum frames that will give you years of enjoyment. They also have modern designs and look great on the trails.


Almost all sub-$1000 mountain bikes will come with a front fork suspension. Look for a fork that has between 75 and 120 mm of travel. This will give you a smoother ride while on singletracks or off-road riding. Choose a larger travel fork if you plan on riding tougher or rockier terrain.

Most suspensions in this category will also provide a lockout feature. Lockout keeps your suspension fully extended. This makes road riding, commuting, or flat road use much easier. You’ll save energy and be able to ride longer if your mountain bike suspension has a lockout feature.

Wheel Size

Every adult bike in our review has either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. Both sizes offer excellent performance in downhill, uphill, singletrack, and cruising.

29″ wheels provide better performance but can be extremely difficult for smaller riders to handle. A bike with 29″ wheels will also be a better option if you plan on commuting.

Drivetrain and Gears

Mountain bikes will traditionally have fewer gears than road bikes. While trail riding, you need your gear shifts to be quick, reliable, and efficient. The fewer moving parts, the less chance that your gears will break.

This is why we choose many bikes with 1 x 10 or 1 x 9 gearing options. While these gearing options are great for short, flat terrain, you may find it difficult to get up extremely steep terrain with the limited gearing options on a mountain biker under $1000.

Our Top Pick: The Cannondale Trail 5

We’ve given you our overview of 12 amazing mountain bikes for under $1000. Each can give you countless hours of fun and excitement on the trail. Ultimately, our pick came down to value, durability, and feature sets. Our pick: The Cannondale Trail 5. It has everything you need to have a great and safe time on any trail.

Whichever bike you choose, we hope it gives you hours of thrills and fun on the trails. Happy riding!

Scott Meldrum

Scott founded FunOutdoors to connect his professional life with his passions. When Scott isn’t working, you’ll find him on the bike trail, riding a wave, or skiing down a mountain.

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