In this article, we take a look at the best mountain bikes for under $1000. Mountain bikes that cost less than $1000 just keep getting better and better. There are now models in this price range that offer excellent all-round performance and solid components, although you’ll have to make a few compromises to keep the cost low. If you’re just getting started with the sport, or want to upgrade from your first mountain bike, there are some great deals to be found.
Once you start looking at some above the $600 mark, the quality of components noticeably increases. Models in this range come with with full or partial drivetrains from brands such as Shimano or SRAM, and provide a more comfortable ride than cheaper bikes. You can expect a mountain bike in this price range to be durable and able to withstand the toughest trails.
Mountain bikes under $1000 are usually made with butted aluminum frames. Mechanical disc brakes and a front suspension fork are also common. There are full suspension bicycles available in this price range too, although the quality of suspension forks and weight are often an issue.
The key to buying a bike for less than $1000 is to know which components are essential for your riding style – and which are less important. By making smart buying decisions and choosing one that matches your riding requirements, you can often find models that perform just as well as more expensive ones.
We’ve listed our top three for under $1000 below. Each of these provides the performance of models costing $1000 or more, but for a price of around $750. If you’re unsure which to buy, you can’t go wrong with these models.
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Top Three Mountain Bikes Under $1000
1. Diamondback Axis Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Axis is a popular bike that’s built to survive almost any trail you can throw at it. It’s built with a butted aluminum frame, SRAM crankset and SR Suntour front suspension fork, and is durable enough for many miles of demanding riding. A bonus is that the front fork has a lockout option, which isn’t common on bikes under $1000.
The Axis comes with 27.5” wheels. These provide many of the benefits of larger 29” wheels but are also easier to accelerate. The wheels, combined with the hydraulic disc brakes and lightweight frame, make the Axis perform far better than you’d expect at this price.
There are few weaknesses to the Axis – it’s a good all-round model for entry-level riding. It doesn’t come with many advanced features or components though, and the lack of rear suspension may be a problem depending on the type of riding you want to do. Overall, most people would agree that the Axis provides outstanding performance for the price.
If you are new to mountain biking, or want to upgrade from a beginner’s bicycle, then the Diamondback Axis is one of the best options available at the moment. It comes with excellent quality components for something in this price range and is enjoyable to ride.
2. Diamondback Hook Mountain Bike
The Hook is a sturdy and nimble model that offers excellent performance on trails. It’s built with an aluminum frame and front suspension fork for smooth riding, and an SRAM drivetrain for easy shifting. An interesting feature of the frame is its lower geometry, which has been specifically designed for trail riding. The Hook also comes with 27.5” wheels.
Like the Axis, the Hook is a hardtail. This might put some people off, but the front fork is designed to soak up bumps or tree roots, and provides a comfortable ride. Unfortunately, the fork doesn’t come with a lockout option, although this isn’t a surprise considering the low price.
If you need an all-round performer that can eat up trails with ease, then the Diamondback Hook might be the perfect option. It provides excellent performance for a low price, and also looks fantastic. Additional features such as the “slack” front wheel – which means that the wheel is slightly further forward compared to the handlebars – also make it a lot of fun to ride.
3. Dawes Roundhouse 2750 Full Suspension Mountain Bike
If you have your heart set on a full suspension bike for less than $1000, the Dawes Roundhouse 2750 could be an excellent choice. It’s built with high-quality components, including an aluminum frame and Shimano front and rear derailleur.
Like the Axis and Hook, the Roundhouse comes with 27.5” wheels. These are great for riding over rocks and other debris, but aren’t as sluggish as 29” wheels. We think Dawes made the right decision with the wheel size, as larger 29” wheels probably would have made it too unresponsive.
Any full suspension mountain bike for less than $1000 is going to be relatively heavy. Fortunately, this is less of an issue on the Dawes Roundhouse 2750 than on other models. Reviewers online have even called it lightweight considering the components included. If the extra weight is a problem, you may want to consider a hardtail instead of full suspension.
If you need something that can tackle some serious trails, then the Dawes Roundhouse 2750 is a great option. Many of the components are of the highest quality for this price range, making it a perfect entry-level model. It’s also a versatile model, due to the 27” wheels.
Buying a mountain bike that provides great performance and a comfortable ride, all for less than $1000 (even under $500), is much easier than it used to be. Companies such as Diamondback, amongst others, have really stepped up in recent years, and now build models that can handle even the toughest trails for relatively low prices.
It’s still important to be selective when choosing in this price range though. While there are some truly stunning options available, such as the three in this article, there are others that underperform or are overpriced. At a minimum, you should look for one that is built with high-quality components, an acceptable front suspension fork and lightweight aluminum frame.