7 Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners: A Buying Guide For 2024

By Scotty Newkirk

Have you been searching for the best mountain bikes for beginners?

If you’re a new cyclist looking to get into mountain biking but aren’t sure what bike to start with, this post was written especially for you.

I’ve always been passionate about exploring the outdoors and being in nature at every chance I get.

Therefore, being an avid mountain biker, I’ve taken some time to review the top mountain bikes for 2024.

I’ll be diving deep into the vast world of mountain biking once again and revealing my top winners.

With all the various types of mountain bikes out there, which one would be a good fit for you?

If you’re a beginner cyclist just getting started and wondering what the best mountain bikes for beginners are, stick around and continue reading.

Without further ado, let’s get right into things today.

Are you guys ready?

Best Mountain Biking Facts

Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners

Whether you’re going on a mountain bike tour or just checking out the terrain, mountain biking offers 1 of the most exgilerating experiences by far.

Mountain biking offers an exhilarating blend of adventure, exercise, and connection to nature, establishing itself as a beloved outdoor activity for many.

For beginners, the excitement starts with choosing the right bike that fits their budget and inspires confidence on various terrains.

The market offers a broad range of mountain bikes designed with the novice rider in mind.

Here are a few nifty features that I particularly like with mountain bikes

They are as follows

  • Stable handling
  • Durable frames
  • Gears are tailored towards the depth of the challenge of the trail.

Potential buyers should prioritize several key factors when evaluating the best mountain bikes for beginners.

They are as follows:

  • Bike Suspension
  • Fit
  • Wheel Size

A good entry-level mountain bike typically has either a hardtail suspension or

It has a suspension fork at the front or a full-suspension setup for more comfort and control on rough trails.

The bike’s fit is crucial;

an improperly sized bike can lead to discomfort and control issues on the trail.

Wheel sizes vary, with 29-inch wheels offering a smoother ride over obstacles and 27.5-inch wheels providing quicker handling.

Moreover, considering the frame material is essential—aluminum is common for its balance between strength, weight, and cost.

The braking system should not be overlooked either.

Hydraulic disc brakes generally offer more consistent performance, especially in wet conditions.

However, we understand that selecting the best entry-level mountain bike is a personal decision.

This depends on many factors, such as the individual’s riding style and the terrain they plan to explore.

We’ve dedicated hours to researching and evaluating different mountain bikes.

Therefore, you can rest assured that the information provided here is accurate and up to date for 2024.

Best Mountain Bikes for Beginners


We’ve researched extensively to bring you a selection of the top mountain bikes suitable for those just starting.

Considering various factors such as stability, ease of use, and comfort, we’ve narrowed down the options that stand out for their quality and value.

After extensive research and testing for ourselves, I’ve narrowed this down to the seven best mountain bikes for beginners.

We aim to provide reliable choices that offer an enjoyable and safe introduction to mountain biking.

Whether tackling gentle trails or taking on rougher terrain, the bikes listed here are designed to help you confidently build your skills.

Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners

Our trail adventures have shown us the Mongoose Impasse is a solid choice for beginners seeking a reliable mountain bike without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Effective dual suspension smooths out trails
  • Responsive and intuitive SRAM twist shifters
  • Dependable stopping power from alloy disc brakes

Cons

  • The front gear’s plastic guard may be prone to damage.
  • It might require initial adjustments or part replacements.
  • Some components are basic and might merit future upgrades

Venturing out on rugged terrain, we immediately appreciated the cushy ride the dual suspension setup afforded.

Handling bumpy paths became smoother, making our rides less jarring and more enjoyable.

The 29-inch wheels confidently tackled various obstacles, contributing to a sense of security during our outings.

Shifting gears on this Mongoose was a breeze.

The twist shifters functioned seamlessly, allowing us to manage our speed and exertion effortlessly.

Whether climbing steep inclines or enjoying a brisk descent, the bike’s 21-speed rear derailleur responded well to our shifting demands.

Stopping was equally impressive.

The alloy front and rear disc brakes delivered strong and consistent braking.

This naturally heightened our confidence, especially on steep or slippery descents where control is paramount.

However, we did encounter a minor hiccup with the plastic guard on the front gear.

It seemed less durable than we’d hoped and required removal after rough rides.

For those expecting a flawless setup, be prepared to tweak and tune some components to optimize the bike’s performance.

Although the Mongoose Impasse performed admirably for what it is.

This is a budget-friendly beginner mountain bike for cyclists just getting started.

Cyclists with a keen eye might find some fitted parts on the basic side.

However, as skills progress, there might be an urge to further invest in upgrades to enhance the bike’s capabilities.

Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners: Schwinn

The Schwinn Traxion is an excellent starter bike for aspiring mountain bikers due to its solid build and smooth shifting.

Pros

  • Absorbs rough terrain well with dual suspension
  • Gear changes are smooth with the 24-speed shifters
  • Reliable stopping power thanks to the mechanical disc brakes

Cons

  • The overall weight might be challenging for some
  • Seat comfort may require upgrading for long rides
  • Some assembly and adjustment are needed upon delivery.

We’ve been hitting the trails with the Schwinn Traxion, and it’s proven to be a capable companion.

The full suspension keeps the ride smooth even when the terrain gets rough, giving us great control over dips and bumps.

A bike that responds well to the unpredictable nature of mountain trails is a boon for beginners.

Switching gears is a breeze, making uphill climbs more manageable.

We appreciate the bike’s ability to easily transition from one gear to another, which is a testament to its well-designed shifters and derailleur.

The mechanical disc brakes are a standout feature.

Even on muddy paths or during sudden downpours, we’ve been able to count on the brakes to bring us to a safe and controlled stop.

However, we noticed the bike’s weight can be demanding when portaging or loading onto a rack.

If planning long rides, consider upgrading the seat, as comfort wasn’t the strongest point over time.

Lastly, while some assembly is required, nothing should deter a beginner from choosing this bike.

With basic tools and patience, we had it trail-ready in no time.

Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners: Schwinn Bonafide

We recommend this bike for beginners looking for a reliable mountain bike that balances performance and price.

Pros

  • Absorbs rough terrain well with its high-performance suspension
  • Gear changes are smooth with the 24-speed trigger shifters
  • It offers solid stopping power in various conditions with its mechanical disc brakes.

Cons

  • Initial setup can be slightly challenging due to minimal assembly instructions.
  • The quality of components may not meet the expectations of more advanced riders.
  • Taller riders might find the fit imperfect despite the bike’s size range.

Our recent rides on the Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike have shown us it’s a solid starter for those looking to get into mountain biking.

The 17-inch aluminum frame and suspension fork made a notable difference, easily smoothing out the bumps and thumps on the trails.

We’ve found that the larger 29-inch wheels gave us the height we needed to tackle various terrains.

This naturally makes the ride feel more stable and comfortable.

Also,

Switching gears on this bike couldn’t be more intuitive.

Why?

Thanks to the 24-speed trigger shifters, which we’ve especially appreciated when transitioning from steep climbs to rapid descents.

The front and rear derailleurs work to provide a seamless gear change every time, a feature critical for beginner riders gaining confidence.

The mechanical disc brakes stood out immediately, allowing precise and responsive stopping.

We tested these in both dry and wet conditions.

They flawlessly passed every test in both dry and wet road conditions.

However, we realized the importance of personalizing the bike setup during our rides.

One slight hiccup we experienced was seat comfort.

It’s not the best for long rides, but that’s an easy fix with a cushioned seat cover or replacement.

As beginners grow into more seasoned riders, they might look to upgrade certain components.

However, as it stands out from the box, the Schwinn Bonafide is a trustworthy companion for those early, exhilarating forays into mountain biking.

We found this bike an exceptional choice for beginners looking for an affordable entry into mountain biking.

Pros

  • Effortless off-road navigation with large, knobby tires
  • Customizable riding experience with adjustable headset
  • Safe and reliable stopping power from mechanical disc brakes

Cons

  • Heavy steel frame might challenge some riders
  • Assembly may require additional tools and expertise
  • Limited speed range with the 7-speed drivetrain

After recently taking the Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Bike for a spin, we appreciated how the oversized tires effortlessly tackled the rocky terrain.

The bike feels sturdy; its steel frame inspires confidence when maneuvering through challenging trails.

Despite its weight, the bike’s solid construction contributed to a stable ride.

Adjusting the bike to our preference was straightforward, thanks to the adaptable threadless headset.

This made it easier for us to find a comfortable posture, which is especially valuable for riders new to the sport.

The riding position was nice and upright, improving control and visibility.

The mechanical disc brakes performed admirably, ensuring our safety during sudden stops and steep descents.

We didn’t experience any trouble with braking power, even on wet and muddy surfaces.

The level of control they provide is crucial for any mountain bike, especially for those still building their confidence on unpredictable trails.

The Schwinn S29 is a solid choice for beginners who want a reliable bike to start mountain biking confidently and comfortably.

Pros

  • Balances durability and shock absorption on rugged terrains
  • Delivers strong stopping power in varied conditions
  • Supports a wide range of rider heights

Cons

  • It might require initial adjustment for optimum gear shifting.
  • As with many shipped products, packaging may be susceptible to damage
  • Supports may not match the same quality of high-end mountain bikes

Upon hitting the trails with the S29, we immediately noticed how the dual-suspension system made short work of bumps and dips.

Sturdy yet lightweight aluminum frame easily withstood the rigors of rocky paths.

Shifting gears across different slopes felt intuitive once we dialed in the right adjustments—a task any local bike shop can handle swiftly.

The mechanical disc brakes stood out for their responsiveness.

Whether we faced a sudden need to stop or needed to moderate speed on a descent, the brakes were always up to the task without fail.

Knowing your bike can handle such critical situations is comforting, especially for those just starting.

When it comes to rider fit, the S29 does not disappoint.

The frame and wheel size caters to a broad range of body types, which means most beginners can hop on without the fuss of extensive customizations.

Taking this bike on a long ride was an enjoyable experience, bolstered by the confidence that we had a machine built to handle a variety of terrains.

Riding the S29, it’s clear Schwinn has crafted a bike that offers an excellent start for novice riders without overwhelming them with complexity.

We think the Hiland Mountain Bike is a solid choice for newcomers to the sport, blending user-friendliness with the versatility to tackle a variety of terrains.

Pros

  • The lightweight frame and components make for a leisurely ride.
  • 21-speed Shimano drivetrain provides ample gearing options
  • Responsive dual disc brakes offer reliable stopping power

Cons

  • Stock tire tubes may require upgrading for durability
  • Some assembly and adjustments can be challenging for beginners.
  • Components may not withstand heavy off-road use without future upgrades

Upon first setting out on the Hiland Mountain Bike, the lightweight aluminum frame and 26-inch wheels made for an uncomplicated start.

Navigating through moderately rugged trails felt intuitive, the bike responding well to gravel and dirt patches encountered along the way.

The Shimano 21-speed drivetrain was a highlight, offering a range of gears that proved to be comprehensive.

We appreciated the ease of shifting gears when facing a steep incline or picking up speed on a flat terrain.

Although the bike arrives mostly pre-assembled, fine-tuning and additional adjustments could present a hurdle for someone new to assembling bikes.

Moreover, while the stock tire tubes are serviceable, you might consider upgrading them for more extensive off-road riding as they don’t seem as durable.

In terms of longevity, the Hiland Mountain Bike may require future investments in upgraded components, especially if it regularly tackles challenging terrains.

Our time with the Hiland was largely enjoyable—its design caters well to those discovering the joys of mountain biking.

Despite minor drawbacks, it’s a commendable starter option for men and women alike.

If you’re starting your mountain biking journey, the Mongoose Colton is a solid choice that will easily handle trails.

Pros

  • Nimble and responsive on tricky trails
  • Gear shifts are smooth and seamless
  • Disc brakes provide reliable stopping power in various weather conditions

Cons

  • The stock pedals and seat may feel basic for some riders
  • Some components might need upgrading for heavy use
  • Factory setup might require fine-tuning by a pro for optimal performance

Riding this Mongoose Colton through rough trails gave us a real feel for its capabilities.

Right out of the gate, the bike’s handling is impressively agile.

We deftly maneuvered through tight turns and over obstacles, appreciating the bike’s responsiveness.

Its progressive trail geometry seems to hit the sweet spot between stability and playfulness, especially for newer riders.

The 7-speed trigger shifter on the Colton is a boon, allowing us to flow through gear changes without breaking our cadence.

Climbing hills felt less daunting with the smooth transition between gears. Furthermore, the mechanical disc brakes didn’t disappoint.

Whether we were descending during a drizzle or coming to a halt on a dusty path, Colton’s stopping power remained steadfast.

Yet, when we took the Colton on more demanding excursions, it became evident that some of the default components weren’t cut out for the rigors of intense trail riding.

We contemplated upgrades, particularly the pedals and seat, to enhance comfort and function.

Our experience suggests that a professional’s touch could unlock Colton’s full potential if the out-of-the-box setup isn’t quite dialed in.

Best Mountain Bikes Buying Guide


If you’re a new cyclist just starting, you must do your due diligence when searching for the best mountain bike.

Therefore, I’ve devised a buying guide to make purchasing your first mountain bike less stressful and daunting.

Sound good?

Let’s break down the critical components of a mountain bike and cover all the bases.

Frame Material


The frame is the backbone of your mountain bike.

We recommend aluminum for beginners due to its cost, durability, and weight balance.

Steel is heavier but offers a smoother ride, while carbon fiber is lighter and stiffer but more expensive.

Wheel Size


There are primarily three sizes: 26-inch, 27.5-inch, and 29-inch.

For starters, 27.5-inch wheels strike a good balance between control and rollover ability.

However, the choice should reflect your riding style and terrain.

Suspension Type


Hardtail: Suspension in the front only.

Good for cross-country and light trails.

Full Suspension: Front and rear suspension.

Offers comfort and control on rougher terrain.

Consider a hardtail if you are starting, as they are often less expensive and require less maintenance.

Gearing


Mountain bikes come with a range of gears.

A higher number of gears doesn’t automatically mean better performance.

Assess the terrain you’ll ride on:

Terrain TypeSuggested Gears
Flat or rollingFewer gears, focus on a wide range
Hilly or mountainousMore gears for varied inclines

Brake Type


We suggest hydraulic disc brakes for their strong stopping power and reliability in different weather conditions.

Mechanical disc brakes are also acceptable and can be easier to maintain.

Fit


Ensure the bike fits your body to prevent discomfort.

Check the size chart and test the bike for a good reach to the handlebars and comfortable pedaling.

With these factors in mind, make an informed decision based on your specific needs and the type of mountain biking you’ll be doing.

Choose a bike that feels right for you, and you’ll enjoy your rides much more.

Frequently Asked Questions


When selecting a beginner mountain bike, it’s crucial to focus on essential features, budget-friendly options, and suitable models for all ages.

We understand the importance of clear information for new riders.

What are the top features of a beginner’s mountain bike?


We recommend looking for durable frames, reliable brakes, and the right wheel size.

A comfortable saddle and adjustable suspension are also crucial for a beginner’s comfort and control on trails.

How much should a beginner expect to spend on a decent mountain bike?


Expect to spend between $500 and $1,500.

This range balances quality components and affordability for those new to the sport.

Can adults new to mountain biking find suitable entry-level bikes?


Yes, adults can find entry-level bikes designed for their skill level.

We advise choosing models with comfortable geometry and adjustable components for the best riding experience.

What are some recommended brands for entry-level mountain bikes?


We suggest exploring brands like Trek, Specialized, Giant, and Cannondale.

These manufacturers are known for producing reliable, beginner-friendly bikes.


Full-suspension bikes are not necessary for beginners.

We recommend starting with a hardtail, which is generally less expensive and easier to maintain while still providing a comfortable ride.

At what age can someone start mountain biking, and is there an age considered too old?

There is no set age to start or stop mountain biking.

We encourage riders of any age to begin, provided they are in good health and take appropriate safety measures.

Always consult with your healthcare professional before starting any exercise regimen.

Best Mountain Bikes For Beginners Closing Thoughts


As we wrap up our exploration of the best mountain bikes for beginners, it’s essential to emphasize that the right bike meets the following:

  • Needs
  • Skill Level
  • Personal Budget

Remember that the journey into mountain biking is as much about personal growth and enjoyment as the bike itself.

Get comfortable with your new ride, practice basic skills, and gradually challenge yourself on more difficult trails.

Safety should always be your top priority, so invest in a good helmet and appropriate protective gear.

As you gain experience and confidence, you may find yourself pushing your beginner bike’s limits.

Mountain biking is a rewarding sport that can lead to a lifetime of adventures.

I really hope this comprehensive guide on mountain bikes has provided you with the information you were looking for.

Furthermore, I hope this has given you some insights on the best mountain bikes for beginners.

Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned cyclist, there is a mountain bike crafted especially for you.

Comments, questions, or feedback you’d like to share with other cyclists?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

I’ll get back to you with a detailed reply ASAP.

Until next time happy cycling and stay safe out there.

Cheers, Your Friend, Scott!!

AKA, thebikr!!

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