Last Updated on April 29, 2023
If you’re new to mountain biking, you might be looking for a model with all the bells and whistles. The truth is that starting on a cheaper model will help you to get up to speed (literally) without breaking the bank. Even better, with the popularity of the sport rising, companies are producing affordable mountain bikes with top-notch function, design and comfort.
Here are the best mountain bikes for under £500 on the market today:
#5 Trek 3500 Disc Hardtail
Price – £350
For the budget range, the Trek 3500 boasts a lightweight Aluminum frame. A cross country mountain bike by design, the Trek 3500 is perfect for smooth trails and can hold its own against tricky turns. Again coming in under £400, riders have also been known to complain that the bikes light weight comes at the price of sturdy craftsmanship, making it useless on rough downhills.
Recommendation: If you’re ready to give lots of tender loving care to this potentially finicky bike in exchange for its lightweight frame, then the Trek 3500 is for you!
#4 Diamondback Response
Price – £415
At the higher end of the budget range, the Diamondback’s solid frame promises stability. With thick 29 inch wheels and a sturdy fork, this mountain bike is going to be a great ride even on the roughest of trails. What this bike guarantees in performance, it unfortunately lacks in comfort. With a reportedly uncomfortable seat, this bike reminds you that you’re out for serious riding!
Recommendation: If you’re looking for function over comfort, and you’re willing to shed a few more pounds, look no further than the Diamondback Response!
#3 Specialized Hardrock Disc
Going for £400, the Hardrock Disc sports a robust frame and tires noteworthy for their grip and speed. This bike doesn’t make sacrifices for comfort either, with a seat fit for a King (or Queen). However, this bike is not a great performer when the trails get rough, thanks to a mediocre suspension system.
Recommendation: If you’re a beginner looking for a reliable mountain bike for smoother trails, this bike should not be overlooked!
#2 Cube Aim SL 27.5
Coming in as the most expensive at £450, the Cube Aim is set-up for the serious beginner. With a lightweight frame and attention to comfort, this bike can take you almost anywhere a beginner would want to go, but ultimately falls short on the most adventurous trails. An unfortunately common issue amongst budget mountain bikes, the Cube Aim’s suspension is not what would be expected for £450.
Recommendation: If you’re a novice looking to explode into the mountain biking scene and hit the trails hard, this bike is the one for you!
#1 Saracen Tuff Trax
For under £400, cheap even for entry-level standards, this mountain bike still packs a punch. New riders will be especially thankful for the thought put into this bike by Saracen, including a forward-facing seat clamp slot, which is unique on such a budget bike that already boasts an impressive frame. Of course, riders should be warned that the heavier frame weight will be felt on the slopes.
Recommendation: This budget bike is perfect for the beginner eager to get a feel for the trails!