Many people are now hooked on mountain biking. It doesn’t just bring you from one place to another. But it also keeps you healthy and happy!
You also need not spend a lot when buying a mountain bike. Some might say that these bikes are just around $300 to $500 at most. Well, you can buy these cheap bikes. But you’re compromising quality and safety!
Go for the pricier ones instead, but not the very expensive bikes. To give you a hint, the average price of a decent mountain bike is around $1,500.
So, which one to get?
Here, we’ll tell you the best mountain bike under 1500. We’ll also show you their components, design, and their pros and cons.
Diamondback is one of the best bike brands with quality, style, and value. One good example of this is the Overdrive.
The Overdrive is a cross-country bike that’s designed for leisure. There’s nothing fancy about this because of its affordable price.
In fact, this is the cheapest choice in this review. But don’t take that lightly because this comes with no-nonsense parts that make sure you have fun on your ride.
This comes with a Suntour XCT fork up front that has a short 80 mm of travel. It’s a coil fork so don’t expect it to be light! It runs on a Shimano Acera and Tourney hybrid 3×8 drivetrain.
That’s a lot of gear ratio, but it’s not very reliable, though. Kenda’s Honey Badger 27.5 x 2.2 tires makes up for that. This makes it roll fast on tarmac or off roads.
- Efficient climber
- Outdated geometry
- Heavy fork
- Lacks grip
There is no denying that Trek is a big bike brand. And that is because of its reputation for making premium and stylish-looking bikes! Take, for example, the Trek Superfly.
This modern cross-country bike is one of the best-looking choices on this list. It’s pretty sleek, comes in bright orange color, and has value components. This is a great choice if you’re looking to cover lots of miles on your bike.
It has a Shimano Deore XT 2×10 drivetrain. This gives you enough gear ratio to do uphills and shred descents reliably.
It also has KMC’s X10 chain for smooth and sturdy pedaling. Add in RockShox’s XC32 fork and you have one efficient climber! It also has Trek’s stock Bontrager cockpit and wheelset.
- Accurate shifting
- Effective fork
- Durable frame
- Tires lack grip
Trek Roscoe 7
Here’s another candidate from Trek. The Roscoe 7 is the best choice on this list if you’d want a highly capable bike.
They categorize this as a trail bike because of its aggressive geometry and trail-specific tires. In fact, it’s got wider tires compared to enduro bikes because of its plus-sized variant! It’s what you need if you enjoy the trails.
You can easily do uphills with this one. And then shred the downhill trails afterward! It’s very stable, efficient, and can take a lot of beating from the great outdoors.
This runs on a 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain which has reliable shifting. It also helps you climb steep uphills even if you only have one chainring. This is because of its 12 cogs at the back.
Upfront is a RockShox Judy S with 100 mm of travel. Meanwhile, the brakes are from Shimano’s MT200. This has 180 mm and 160 mm rotors at the front and back. And last but not least is its TranzX dropper post with 130 mm of travel.
- Accurate and reliable drivetrain
- Downhill and trail-oriented
- Dropper post
Diamondback Atroz 2
Diamondback makes different kinds of world-class mountain bikes. And the one on their budget full-sus department is the Atroz 2.
This is a full-suspension bike ideal for women or smaller riders. This has a versatile geometry that lets it efficiently climb and remain stable on descents and high speeds sections.
It’s also a splendid choice if you’re looking to start mountain biking with style. It even provides you with additional comfort that you won’t find on hardtail bikes!
This runs on a 9-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain. It isn’t the most reliable. But it’s better than the 2x versions because it only has one stable chainring.
The fork is an SR Suntour XCM with 120 mm of travel. This also has an SR Suntour Raidon air shock at the back. Its brakes are Shimano MT200 with massive 180 mm disc rotors.
- Comfortable on trails
- Capable on the downhills
- Limited gear range
Trek X-Caliber 8
This list won’t be complete with the Trek X-Caliber 8. This is Trek’s affordable but premium cross-country bike. It’s ideal for racers and enthusiasts who want to go the extra mile. This is made possible thanks to its modern geometry, enduro-specced components, and lightweight frame.
This race bike comes with a RockShox Judy SL fork upfront with 80 mm travel. SRAM SX Eagle with 12 speeds backs this up and gives it accurate shifting. It’s also durable because it’s made for rough trails. You don’t have to worry if you crash or hit something. It won’t break! This also has Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm and 160 mm rotors.
- Excellent for climbing
- Stable on high-speed sections
- Accurate shifting
- Slightly unstable on downhill trails
Diamondback Lux 3
Then there’s the Diamondback Lux 3. This is an all-out trail bike that can do cross-country rides and shred downhill trails. It’s very nimble thanks to its aggressive and slack geometry. The seat tube angle is also steep which makes climbing easy. Add in the 27.5 wheels and you’ve got a maneuverable bike! This one’s a splendid choice if you like rough trails. But you also want to cover long distances on the road.
A RockShox Judy Silver TK with 120 mm of air travel graces its front wing. It is then powered by a 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle matched with Shimano M200 hydraulic brakes. The rotors are 180 mm and 160 mm at the back and rear, respectively. Meanwhile, the tires are from Vee Rubber Crown and measure 27.5 x 2.35.
- Versatile geometry
- Effective fork on trails and climbs
- Durable and reliable shifting
- Thin tires
The Raleigh Talus is what you need if you’re looking for a value-for-money bike. But don’t take this lightly as this one’s packed with solid components! This hardtail bike has a standard geometry ideal for flat trails and slight downhills.
It also has a progressive wheel sizing as the small and extra-small sizes are on 27.5 wheels. Meanwhile, sizes medium to extra large are on 29ers. This ensures that you ride on a bike that’s your right size.
This comes with an SR Suntour fork that has 100 mm of coil travel. Its drivetrain is a Shimano 3×7 Acera groupset. It’s a bit clunky but it does the job as long as you tune it correctly. This is also has a Tetra M275 hydraulic disc brakes.
- Aggressive geometry
- Trail and downhill oriented frame
- Sleek design
- Flimsy shifting
- Hard suspension
Choosing a bike isn’t as simple as it sounds. But we can make the process easier if you know what you’re looking for.
This article aims to do just that because we’ve shown you what the best mountain bike under 1500 should be like.
The bike should be made by a reputable brand. The components should also be reliable and durable. And the geometry and quality of the frame should also be on par with your discipline.
Choose any of the bikes above, and you’ll surely enjoy the trails even more! Ride hard and keep safe.
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends.
After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings.
Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.