Here’s our review of the 12 best mountain bikes under 1000 dollars.

Mountain bikes can be extremely expensive. Luckily, not everyone needs a bike that is as expensive as a car. You can find a range of entry-level, good-quality bikes for under $1000.

I’ve tested 12 new mountain bikes that come in for under $1000 and found many bikes that can satisfy novice cyclists and semi-pros. 

Our pick for best overall is the Trail 5 by Cannondale. 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 riding on roads. Don’t worry, I’ll cover many bikes that can cater to your exact use.

12 Best Mountain Bikes under 1000 dollars

Keep reading below to learn more about the 12 best mountain bikes under $1000.

Best Mountain Bike under 1000 Dollars Overall : Cannondale Trail 5

Best Overall Mountain Bike

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 I 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 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 Trail 4 on Descents. 

The microSHIFT Advent X drivetrain only offers 10 speeds. This could mean you will have to put in 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

  • $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 2021 ATX – Best Mountain Bike on a Budget

If you are looking to ride trails on a budget, you’ll still want the best mountain bike that matches your budget. The Giant 2021 ATX is one of the most affordable bikes on our list, costing only $480.

The 2021 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 for the bike. 

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. 

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

GT Avalanche Expert – Best Mountain bike for Easy Upgrades

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

The GTA Avalanche Expert comes in XS-XL sizes and features either 27.5” and 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 tubeless-ready as well, making upgrading to tubeless wheels a breeze. Upgrading these features 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. 

The Avalanche will make quick work of beginner to intermediate singletrack trails and effective on steep climbs or descents. 

  • $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 2021 Marlin 7 – Best MTB for Advanced Mountain Biking

Best MTB
Best Mountain Bike under $1000 for Advanced Mountain Biking

Are you an advanced rider? You don’t have to go broke buying a mountain bike to meet your needs. The Trek 2021 Marlin 7 is one of the best bikes for advanced mountain bikers on a budget.

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 2021 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. 

  • 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 – Best for Singletrack

If you love the rush from zooming down singletrack, The Marin Bobcat Trail 4 is our choice for the best singletrack bike for under $1000. Whether you are a novice or intermediate 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 to fit small and tall riders. 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 braking is provided by Tektro M275 hydraulic brakes. The components of this bike are durable and will withstand any tough singletrack rides.

  • $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

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. You’ll also have no problem with steep technical climbs due to the Mountain Growler’s lightweight frame and modern Shimano drivetrain.

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 which is 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. If you are shorter, you should look at our options that include 27.5” tires instead.

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

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

Liv Tempt 1 – Best Mountain bike for Women Mountain Bikers

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. While the Tempt 1 doesn’t supply front suspension, it is still more than capable of handling most singletracks and off-road riding.

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

Trek Marlin 6 – Best Lower Budget Women’s Mountain Bike

Best lower budget mountain bike for women

If $1000 is too much for you, 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 design of the frame also makes it easy to reach brakes. Smaller riders can brake and change gears with confidence 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.

  • $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

Best Mountain Bike under 1000 for kids

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 bike that is safe and durable for your aspiring racer. 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 a 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 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.

  • $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 Mountain bike

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.

While the 9-speed drivetrain is limited, you should still be able to handle mid-level ascents with ease on the Rockhopper Comp 29. 

The Comp 29 comes with 29” wheels. Specialized offers the Comp 27.5 for smaller riders. 

  • 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

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 it easier to bike in snow, sand, and mud. 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.

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

  • $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 Mountain Bike

The heavier your bike is the harder it is to pedal and go fast, Heavy bikes are also harder to steer and have a tougher time braking. Heavier bikes are also difficult for smaller riders to use. 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 effortlessly. You’ll have no problems on tough inclines or dangerous descents on the Blast 27. 

  • $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

Mountain bikes can be extremely expensive for top-of-the-line bikes. 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.

Mountain Bike Frames

Most bikes coming in at under $1000 will have an aluminum frame. Aluminum frames are lightweight, affordable, and durable. 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.

Mountain Bike Suspension

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.

Mountain Bike Wheel Size

Every bike in our review comes with an option between 27.5” and 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 would 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.

Which Mountain Bike is the best?

I’ve supplied you with 12 amazing mountain bikes for under $1000. Each will give you countless hours of fun and excitement on the trail. I consider the Cannondale Trail 5 to be the best of the bunch. It has everything you need to have a great and safe time on any type of trail.

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