Are you looking for a quality mountain bike that won’t bust your budget? Then this guide for the best mountain bikes under 200 is what you’re looking for. Here we’ve compiled a list of the top mountain bikes that you can buy for less than two hundred bucks. If you want to spend a little more on an indoor exercise bike then check out this spins bike review we did for another great list of high-quality cycling bikes.
There is no shortage of mountain bikes available today, so the question is, which one should you buy? What factors should you look into? That is another reason why we created this buyer’s guide here as well. Although this a mountain bike review, we have other popular choices such as the recumbent exercise bike review for your indoor exercising.
Mountain bikes are fun and provide a lot of health benefits, so now’s a good time to buy one as any. Do you know what else is fun while taking your new mountain bike for a ride? The wireless workout headphone to help you get the best experience of your ride while boosting your performance in exercising. With this guide, you can be sure of getting your money’s worth.
Table of Contents
- 1 Buying Guide
- 2 How to Ride a Mountain Bike
- 3 Best Mountain Bikes Under 200 Reviews
- 4 Best Mountain Bikes Under 300 Reviews
Types of Mountain Bikes
- Trail Bikes: these are the most popular among bikers, and it is ideal if you want to try decent, climbs and the local trails. These bikes usually have a suspension travel of 120–140 mm.
- Cross-Country Bikes: the emphasis here is on speed climbing, low weight, and maximum efficiency. Cross country bikes are ideal if you want to be competitive and serious about biking.
- Fat Bikes: this is a general term used for mountain bikes with wide tires (3.5 to 5+ inches). These bikes provide excellent traction and are suitable for beginners as the tires leave a lot of room for error.
- All-Mountain Bikes: these are souped-up versions of the trail bike. These are suited for advanced bikers who perform deep descents, long climbs and bike on rugged terrain.
The best bike under 200 comes with several useful features. Here are the important ones listed below.
- Full suspension: the rear shock and the front fork soak up the trail impacts, reducing the effect on you. The full suspension also improves traction so the ride is more comfortable.
- Hardtail: hardtail mountain bikes have a front suspension fork that absorbs the front wheel impact. However, it doesn’t have suspension on the back. A hardtail gives you greater power between the rear tire and the pedal stroke, and they’re cheaper than full suspension bikes.
- Rigid: these bikes don’t have any suspension, so they’re the least expensive. Most fat bikes are rigid as the tires serve the same purpose, but most mountain bikes have some sort of suspension.
One of the things you’ll read in mountain bike reviews is the wheel size, as it plays a crucial role in determining the bike’s flexibility.
- 26 in.: this is the most common mountain bike wheel size, and it used to be the only size available.
- 29 in.: mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels are a bit slow on the acceleration, but it’s easier to navigate a mountain bike with these compared to a 26 in. These wheels are also suitable for extended bike rides.
- 27.5 in.: 27.5 in wheels are the compromise between the 26 in and the 29 in wheels. The 27.5 in wheels are more maneuverable than 29 in wheels, and they also roll more easily compared to the 26 in the bike.
- 24 in.: these wheels are for kids’ bikes usually 10 to 13 years old.
- Aluminum alloy: this is the most frequently used material, though the lightness and durability vary per brand.
- Steel, carbon fiber and titanium are also used on some bicycle frames.
- Steel is cheap and provides a smooth biking experience, but it is heavy.
- Titanium is strong and light, but it is expensive and found only on high-end mountain bikes
- Carbon fiber is becoming more common on fat bikes, cross country and all mountain bikes, but they’re still more expensive than aluminum.
The gear number is the sum of the front chain rings x the cassette sprockets. Mountain bikes can have a single speed or 30+ gears. There are lots of combinations for cogs and chain rings, but to avoid complications:
- Get a bike with more gears if you’ll do a lot of challenging climbs and steep hill riding.
- If you’re physically fit or bike mostly on flat terrain, a low gear bike will do.
- The more gears your bike is carrying, the heavier it will be to ride with so keep that in mind. The good thing about mountain bikes is you can modify the chainrings to suit your needs.
How to Ride a Mountain Bike
So you’ve got a mountain bike, but how do you go about riding it? This video shows you how.
Best Mountain Bikes Under 200 Reviews
The Genesis V2100 is one of the best men’s mountain bikes under 200 as it provides comfort even when riding on rugged terrain on hills.
The V2100 has a full suspension aluminum frame giving it extra durability. Since it is made of aluminum, it isn’t too heavy. And it is this combination that makes the V2100 comfortable to ride downhill, off-road or climbs.
The 80 mm suspension fork has been built with rider comfort in mind, and it is complemented by the rear shocks. It’s travel coil is adjustable to suit your weight so it’s easier to use.
Superior Stopping Power
The best bicycles under 200 have solid brakes, so it’s no surprise the V2100 has them. It has a front disc brake and rear V-brake for quick braking without compromising your safety.
The same high-quality aluminum is present in the Shimano brake levers. A close look reveals that the disc brake has Promax components which improve the bike’s stopping power.
The V2100 Shimano gear is comprised of a 21-speed drivetrain, ensuring precise and easy shifting regardless of the trail. The front and rear derailleur have also been designed for convenient riding.
With these you can shift gears smoothly, leading to a smoother ride. Even for a beginner, it’s easy to get accustomed to the system.
These 26” tires are wide and ideal for rugged trails and paths. With these, you also get superior traction so the tires don’t slip. If you’re riding on rough terrain, safety is paramount, and that’s what you get here.
The V2100 gives you a smooth ride even on trails thanks to its dual suspension. The V2100 was built for riding on hills, and it doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
- Durable and lightweight frame
- Smooth riding on rough terrain
- Easy to shift gears
- Some assembly needed
Editor’s Rating: 4/5
The Genesis V2100 has the features you’d want from a quality mountain bike. With its safety features, easy adjustability and smooth gear shifts, the V2100 is suitable for beginners and advanced riders alike.
The Granite Peak is as good on smooth roads as it is on rough terrain. Roadmaster Granite Peak has manufactured some of the best women’s bikes under 200, and the Granite Peak is one of the better ones they have.
The Granite Peak rides easy thanks to its well-balanced frame. The 3-piece mountain crank simplifies gear changing and coupled with the suspension fork, you get full control.
The suspension does a good job of keeping the bumps at bay, and the SRAM drive twist shifters lead to better handling on rough terrain. The Shimano rear derailleur works well with the SRAM shifters so you can change the speed options without difficulty.
High-Quality Frame and Construction
The frame forms the backbone of any good bike, and that’s the case here. The Granite Peak has a solid steel frame that holds up even when you frequent trails. In spite of its durability, the frame still manages to be light.
The Granite Peak has a linear pull brake so you can put on the brakes quickly. However, it is not just the brakes, as the suspension fork also adds to the smooth riding experience.
We have already mentioned how durable the frame is, but the good parts don’t end there. The bike also has quality alloy rims that enhance its durability. It is this feature that gives the Granite Peak the edge necessary for off-road biking.
The bike has an adjustable seat so you’re comfortable, and it’s also padded so there’s no strain while you bike. Because the bike is comfortable it is suitable for novices who want to get a taste of what mountain biking is like.
At the same time, the Granite Peak rides smoothly when you’re cruising. This is also one of the strongest women’s mountain bikes as it has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
- Lightweight frame
- Suspension fork is smooth
- Alloy rims improve durability
- Pedals might come loose if not properly assembled
Editor’s Rating: 4/5
The Granite Peak is an exceptional mountain bike, with safety features so you’re always in control. With its frame, brakes, and shifters, expect a comfortable ride.
The Northwoods Aluminum has many features that you’d expect to find only inexpensive models. Made for multi-terrain use, the bike also comes with tough wheels and 21 speed Shimano derailleur, and a slew of other features.
Full Suspension and Aluminum Frame
One of the best mountain bikes under 200, the Northwoods has full suspension so each ride is a comfortable one. The suspension handles impacts and shocks, and this makes handling the bike easier.
With its full suspension and frame, the bike handles well and won’t warp even on rough trails.
The bike handles different terrains without difficulty. You can bike on trails, uneven terrain, paths, sidewalks, and streets and you won’t notice the difference. This is, of course, possible because of it’s 50 mm travel superior built.
Its tires hold up well, but they may need more frequent replacements if you spend a lot of time on trails. However, this doesn’t change the fact the Northwoods performs very well on different terrains.
Lightweight Steel Crown Fork
Its crown fork is made of steel, but it is light enough so you can handle it on trails and uneven terrain. The 50 mm travel also makes it easy to maneuver on rough roads without compromising safety.
Rough or smooth roads, you’re not going to feel any sudden shocks or vibrations. This not only makes your ride more comfortable, but it also means you won’t tire as quickly. With the sturdy fork and travel working together, you can be confident the bike won’t break or warp.
Shimano Derailleur 21 Speed
The Northwoods Speed Twist shifters give you 21-speed options, and it’s easy to shift. Unlike on other bikes, there is no fidgeting or skipping as the transition is very smooth.
- Easy to assemble
- Suitable for trails
- Gears and wheels may need adjusting out of the box
Editor’s Rating: 4/5
The Northwoods is a good mountain bike, with quick stopping brakes, smooth ride, and a comfortable seat. If you are looking for the best bicycle under 200, this is as good a choice as any.
With the Kent Thruster T-29, you have a mountain bike that is suitable for intermediate and novice riders. Outfitted with Shimano derailleurs and shifters, the T-29 lets you ride around town or trails with equal comfort.
The best mountain bike under 200 shouldn’t be difficult to build, and that’s exactly what you get here. The T-29 is 85% assembled, so all you have to do is install the handlebar, front wheels and pedals. Once the tires are inflated the bike is ready to go.
The T-29 has a simple but effective design, which is suitable for new riders and experienced ones. Because of the light frame, the bike is easier to handle than others.
The bike has 29-inch wheels, so you get better traction while on rough terrain. The wheels also provide you with more momentum so you ride faster without straining yourself.
The larger than average wheels also lift the bike’s profile, essential when you’re crossing rugged mountains.
The T-29 comes with a heat treated aluminum frame, which keeps the frame light. The reduced weight is important because it makes cycling easier uphill and downhill. However, the aluminum frame is durable and provides stability throughout the ride.
The frame’s simple design is another advantage because it’s easier to maintain. Add the stability and it’s easy to see why this is considered a quality frame.
The T-29 rim brakes are easy to use and respond quickly. The pads are also well placed on the rear and front wheels, allowing you to go from a dead stop under any condition. The rims are thicker than those on other mountain bikes so there’s greater stability.
- Handlebars are stable and provide good steering
- Aluminum frame is trong
- 29-inch wheels have greater grip
- Rear wheels don’t come with suspension
Editor’s Rating: 3.5/5
The T-29 is as good as advertised, with the wheels providing extra grip and traction. If the standard 26 in. wheels don’t meet your needs, then the T-29 is what you’re looking for.
Best Mountain Bikes Under 300 Reviews
If you search for the best bikes under 200, you’re going to find the name Mongoose Cache mentioned often. The company has made several quality mountain bikes, and the Mongoose Cache is one of the best offers yet.
Full Suspension Frame
Mongoose Mountain bike reviews have a lot of positive things to say about the Cache suspension frame, and with good reasons. The frame is light but durable, making it easy to carry the bike around.
The frames simple design means the bike is easier to maintain, and the durable construction lets you use it on rough terrain.
Reliable Front Suspension Fork
The Mongoose Cache has a front suspension fork built-in that handles the shock, impact, and bumps. Those bumps are to be expected if you spend a lot of time on rugged terrain, but with the Cache, you won’t feel those as the suspension fork goes to work.
SRAM Twist Shifters
With its SRAM twist shifters and 21 speed Shimano rear derailleur, you can maneuver the bike and shift speed as suits the trail. Even on hard surfaces, the Cache lets you shift speed and change gears without exerting a lot of effort.
Brakes and Stopping
One of the trademarks of a quality mountain bike is allowing you to break in any situation. The linear pull rear brake and the front disc brake work together and allow you to go to a dead stop at any time.
The Mongoose Cache has light alloy wheels, so it’s able to move around quickly. With its ergonomic and comfortable seat, you can spend hours on the trail without feeling any discomfort.
- Lightweight alloy wheels
- Easy to ride and use
- Front suspension fork eliminates shocks and bumps
- Assembly may take some time
Editor’s Rating: 3.5/5
The Mongoose is a versatile mountain bike, as suited for trails as it is on the road. If you’re looking for a mountain bike that a beginner can be comfortable with, the Mongoose Cache is one to consider.