7 Best Mountain Bikes Under $1500 in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Splurging close to $1500 on a mountain bike is a hefty commitment for most people. Good news for you though, that price point is enough to get you access to fantastic options of both full-suspension and hardtail mountain bikes.

So, what type of MTB can a mountain biker like you expect to get under $1500?

Unlike the mountain bikes of yesteryears, a mountain bike under $1500 will not require upgrades to become fully operational.

As soon as you get your hands on the mountain bike, you can take it for a spin on your local trails. There are also some $1500 bikes that perform well even on bigger trails.

You can expect hydraulic disc brakes, adjustable air-sprung travel suspension fork, lightweight aluminum alloy frame construction, and drivetrain and gear from a mid-range groupset with a couple of fancier components mixed in—think FSA or Race Face crank-sets.

The best mountain bike manufacturers have also started to follow the trend of adopting a single front chain ring on mountain bikes. Without a second or third chain ring, the weight of the bikes decreases tremendously as there is no need for a cable, cable housing, or front derailleur.

This also gives way to a less complicated set-up and puts a lesser strain on the drivetrain. 

Rest assured that you won’t find yourself short on gears despite the single ring as there will be a wide range of sprocket cassettes to facilitate an easier ride. 

All in all, $1500 is enough to get you a more than a decent mountain bike. Although the bike components may not be of the highest quality, they will be sufficient enough to get the job done.

Without straying away from the topic any further, here are some of the best full-suspension and top hardtail mountain bikes under $1500.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Mountain Bikes Under $1500

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the mountain bikes under $1500 that most people buy).

  • Diamondback El Oso Grande Fat Hardtail Mountain Bike Top Pick
  • Kindsells Folding Electric Mountain Bicycle Runner-up
  • Raleigh Kodiak 2 Mountain Bike Runner-up

Top 7 Best Mountain Bikes Under $1500 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Diamondback El Oso Grande Fat Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback bicycles always figure in Top 10 lists, so don’t be surprised to see this one in our list of $1500 bikes.

Deceptively nimble and quick, the Diamondback El Oso Grande Fat Hardtail Mountain Bike has been specifically constructed to help you ride through rocky terrain with minimum fuss largely because of its hydro-formed hardtail aluminum frame and 95mm rims with 4.9-inch tires. In essence, the large tires take care of the suspension.

It is also worth noting that the Diamondback El Oso Grande Hardtail Mountain Bike comes equipped with cable-actuated hydraulic disc brakes. These disc brakes, though mechanically simple, are mighty good and particularly effective when you travel downhill at a frightening speed.

The drivetrain gear of the Diamondback El Oso Grande Hardtail Mountain Bike is also worth gushing over. The bike gear’s SRAM components ensure that you cruise through any type of terrain with minimum effort.

Steep hills will no longer have their stranglehold over you as you can easily switch gears and overcome the tougher climbs. The gearing, paired up with a Shimano HG 50 10-speed cassette, provides a total of 20-speed range.

Pros

  • Comes pre-assembled with the necessary tools to help with the setup
  • Effortless and smooth riding experience
  • Budget-friendly hardtail bike
  • Among the best hardtail mountain bikes around

Cons

  • Can be a bit heavy because of the tires
  • The chain on the hardtail bike can scratch against the tire when you’re in the lowest gear

2. Kindsells Folding Electric Mountain Bicycle

As you must have guessed already, the Kindsells Folding Electric Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike works as an assisted bike and an e-bike, allowing you to conserve energy during tough cycling sessions. No longer will your cycle be a huge burden during rides on steep terrain.

I am also a huge fan of the Kindsells Folding Electric Mountain Bike’s foldable design.

This feature makes the bike extremely easy and convenient to carry around. You can even take it with you on your vacation via flights.

The Kindsells Folding Electric Mountain Bike is also an extremely durable mountain bike on account of its heavy-duty metal and carbon fiber frame construction. Plus, let’s not forget its wear and slip-resistant tires. 

Let’s dwell a bit on the performance of this carbon fiber bike. Boasting a 21-speed transmission ability and with disc brakes on both the front and the rear end, you can speed through treacherous trails as safely as possible.

How about the bike’s performance as an electric bike? Well, the lithium battery of the bike is something worthy of mentioning as it can hold up to 36 V of charge and assist your cycling efforts for up to 50 km at 15 mph!

Pros

  • 21-speed transmission ability
  • Carbon fiber frame
  • LED night headlamp increases visibility at night
  • Foldable to fit small spaces, making the bike extremely portable
  • Allows you to conserve energy during difficult rides
  • Front and back disc brakes

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the feel of MTB suspension bikes

3. Raleigh Kodiak 2 Mountain Bike

It’ll be tough for you to switch bikes after you’ve experienced a ride on the Raleigh Kodiak 2 Mountain Bike.

Something that I find most pleasing about this best-selling bike is its phenomenal performance at corners. The front and rear through axles work together in perfect harmony, allowing you to drift through corners with full confidence, just as professional riders.

I must also speak glowingly of the unique 27.5-inch wheels and tires on the bike as the traction on them is of the highest grade. With these tires and the bike’s SR Suntour Raidon 32 air fork suspension, you can ride through rocky terrain as comfortable as possible.

Other essential components of this full-suspension mountain bike under $1500 include a lightweight SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain, CNC chain ring with outstanding gear ratio to help you ride up steep hills with minimum effort, and Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes to provide fantastic braking performance, irrespective of the road conditions.

All in all, I can say with full confidence that the Raleigh Kodiak 2 Mountain Bike is one of the best full suspension mountain bikes around considering its price tag.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Provides a comfortable and stable riding experience
  • Great full suspension bike for trail riding rocky, mountainous terrain owing to the bike’s awesome front suspension
  • Best choice for a beginner
  • Wheel sizes of 27.5″

Cons

  • A bit too heavy for my liking
  • Would’ve fared better with a shock lockout and gear position indicator

4. Vitus Mythique 29 VRS

The Vitus Mythique 29 VRS model has all the makings of a wonderful mountain bike. Featuring a SRAM 1×12 drivetrain and a flexible geometry, this MTB model is suitable for all types of riding because of the simple shifting and fantastic chain security.

Of all the features of the bike, the Shimano hydraulic brakes and X-Fusion fork stand out the most for me, largely in part because of their decent performance for the price point. However, as you push this bike to greater heights, you will need to upgrade the components to match your progress on the bike.

Let’s not forget the fact that the Vitus Mythique 29 VRS comes with tubeless-ready tires that further add to its charm. Riding on the bike is as effortless as can be because of the bike’s light weight and lack of pedal bob from the Horst link suspension.

The Vitus Mythique 29 VRS is particularly an excellent choice for those who want a reliable full suspension mountain bike without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Affordable price range
  • Shimano brakes
  • Can be upgraded to accommodate newer bike components
  • Good gear range to facilitate easier mountain biking
  • Features an aluminum frame construction
  • Outstanding 29-inch wheels
  • Excellent suspension design

Cons

  • The brakes could’ve been better
  • The suspension fork and shock don’t work as efficiently as marketed

5. Rose Count Solo 3 Hardtail Mountain Bike

If you are new to the sport of cross-country racing or gravel riding, I’d advise you to go for the Rose Count Solo 3 Hardtail Mountain Bike. The entry-level bike is not only good to look at, but it also comes with some decent specs.

Buoyed by the presence of a smooth Shimano SLX drivetrain, a 36/26 chainset, and the 11-42t cassette, the Rose Count Solo 3 Hardtail Mountain Bike will help you ride all the way to the top of the steepest terrain with minimum effort.

The Shimano brakes on this bad boy also work like a charm. The lever has been shaped to provide consistent power delivery, ensuring your braking requirements are properly met.

However, be advised that you can’t adjust the lever reach to your preferred setting without a tool.

Let’s talk a bit about the hardtail mountain bike’s construction.

Composed primarily of 6061 aluminum frame, you won’t find fussy external cable routing on the bike. With the tapered head tube, curved down tube, and low slung top tube, you can be assured of a decent standover clearance.

There even lies an opportunity for you to install a rear rack should you find the need to increase storage options for your extended long bike rides.

Pros

  • Best hardtail mountain bike for the budget-conscious
  • Shimano brakes
  • Visually appealing appearance
  • This hardtail mountain bike model features excellent drivetrain and brakes

Cons

  • Narrow handlebar
  • Lockout of the remote suspension
  • You may even find the stem a bit too long

6. Calibre Bikes Bossnut 3

An excellent choice for the budget-conscious, the Calibre Bossnut 3 provides excellent value for money.

Advertised as a full-suspension bike, the Bossnut 3 features the Rockshox Monarch R shock for suspension duties. Although not as refined as some of the higher-end tune-able models, it still does a pretty decent job for the type of riding this bike has been designed for.

For its price tag, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to state that the Bossnut 3 actually punches above its weight.

The bike also seems to enjoy the incorporation of a SRAM SX Eagle 12 speed drivetrain with an 11-50T cassette. Helping its massive range are the 50T granny ring and 32T chain ring, which allow riders to scale steep roads with ease.

The Bossnut’s SRAM Level T brakes must also be complimented as they have plenty of stopping power. 

With the geometry of the bike designed for efficiency and responsiveness, you will get the confidence to push this bike to the best of your abilities. The descents on this bike will have you rejoicing the sheer delight of mountain biking experience and for evoking such an emotion, the Calibre Bossnut 3 must come near the top of your bikes under $1500 list.

Pros

  • One of the best entry-level budget bikes around
  • Fantastic geometry and front suspension designed for efficiency and responsiveness
  • Spec offerings unheard of in its price range
  • Excellent ride quality

Cons

  • Can be too heavy for some
  • The suspension gear isn’t as refined as they should be

7. Mongoose Salvo Expert Mountain Bike

The Mongoose Salvo Expert Mountain Bike is arguably one of the top full suspension mountain bikes around.

It has a lot of things working in its favor. For instance, the bike´s X-Fusion O2 RL Pro rear shock provides your bike unmatched traction, thereby ensuring your back and knees stay uninjured during rides on tough terrain.

The presence of the air-sprung suspension fork, SR Suntour XCR, also does wonders for you and the bike. With this feature, you will find it extremely easy to handle your front wheel and balance both your front and rear suspension.

Additionally, it also facilitates a more comfortable ride. You can rest assured that you will no longer have sore arms at the end of your cycling sessions.

Shimano components such as the LX front derailleur and SLX shifters largely form the crux of the bike’s 3×10 drivetrain while the braking duties are expertly handled by Hayes Prime hydraulic disc brakes. The stopping power on the disc brake is worth applauding.

Since the Mongoose Salvo model is an aluminum-framed bike, it only weighs a mere 32.1 pounds. It’s definitely one of the lightest bikes on the market.

Pros

  • Affordable entry-level cross country bike model
  • Among the best full suspension bikes on the market
  • Air-sprung suspension fork
  • One of the best mountain bikes for climbing

Cons

  • Handling at higher speeds isn’t ideal

What to Consider When Buying Mountain Bikes Under $1500?

To make an informed purchase and get the best out of the numerous mountain bikes out there, you´ll need to pay attention to some factors. For instance, you’ll need to look at;

Riding Technique

First, it is imperative for you to discover your riding style.

Will you be riding downhill for the most part? Or, are you looking for an excellent climber?

Understand that bikes differ from one another. While some may be excellent climbers, they may not prefer being raced downhill.

Of course, some are much more maneuverable than others as well. So, make sure you know your riding style and get yourself a specialized road bike that fits how you cycle at least 90% of the time.

Maintenance

It is also equally important for you to know if you can afford the maintenance costs of the road bike. After all, what good is it if you get a bike equipped with Shimano XTR if you cannot afford to purchase the same components should they wear out?

Also, understand that the speed chains of a bike wear out differently. So, before splurging bikes estimate the upkeep and upgrade costs and check to see if it is financially viable for you.

Travel

The higher the travel of the bike, the more force will its suspension be able to absorb.

However, higher travel may not be best suited for you if you don’t ride downhill frequently. Not only will you be paying for a service that you don’t need, but you’d also actually make your riding sessions more uncomfortable.

With a longer wheelbase, you’d have to ride at a frightening pace just to have better maneuverability.

Features

The best mountain bikes come equipped with a hydraulic disc brake, great suspension forks, carbon fiber or aluminum alloy frame construction, tubeless-ready thick tires to withstand most terrains without wear, and excellent gears to help you ride at a good speed and make mountain climbing as easy as possible.

Make sure to look out for these features, only then will you be able to identify the best-selling mountain bikes under $1500.

Conclusion

There’s no such thing as a straightforward pick when it comes to mountain bikes. You’d have to take into account numerous factors before making a choice.

To make things easier for you, I’ve presented you with only the best-selling mountain bikes under $1 500 that can fulfill your needs and requirements. All these bikes are great in their own right.

I don’t know about you but personally speaking, I often find myself in a quandary when I’m spoilt for choice. If you feel the same way and would like me to direct you to a flexible mountain bike option under $1500, I’d be more than happy to oblige.

My pick for the best mountain bike under $1500 would be the Rose Count Solo 3 Hardtail Mountain Bike.

I think this trail bike offers the best value for money as it has outstanding geometry designed for efficiency and responsiveness and offers specs unheard of in its price range. It is undoubtedly one of the best hardtail mountain bikes around.

On the downside, you may find the handlebar too narrow and the stem a bit too long. Regardless, it is a safe choice.

If you have more budget though, consider taking a pick from the best mountain bikes under $3000.