Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune to acquire a high-performing mountain bike. Even a person on a strict budget can get their hands on a decent bike.
According to reliable research, most higher-end bike models cost a bomb because of the heavy investment made on their look, marketing, and packaging.
These pricey bikes are miles ahead of cheap mountain bikes in terms of style and color, but when it comes to features that matter for improved performance, they don’t really leave budget bikes in the dust as they should. They don’t come with extra, additional facilities that might not be seen on budget bikes.
Thankfully, mountain biking, as a sport, has been made highly accessible even to those without a heavy wallet. Plus, the fact that most decent budget bikes come packed with features usually reserved for higher-end models encourages the normal rider to take up the sport.
Today, we’ll tackle some of the best mountain bikes for the budget-conscious. This list of under $200 best mountain bikes should give even the expensive bike models a run for their money.
However, before we get there, you need to know about the three types of mountain bikes: hardtail, rigid, and full suspension.
Rigid bikes are usually cheaper than the other two options and are easy to maintain.
Meanwhile, a hardtail mountain bike comes equipped with a suspension fork in the front; however, it doesn’t have a suspension system in the back. Hardtail mountain bikes are best suited for those interested in cross country riding.
Lastly, we have full suspension mountain bikes. As you may have deduced already, this bike is equipped with a suspension system both in the front and the rear end of the bike.
These bikes are renowned for absorbing shocks and vibrations felt on rough terrains. Unfortunately, a bike with a suspension in the front isn’t the best at climbing hills.
So, assess your requirements, know your riding style, and weigh your options carefully before you take your pick of the best $200 mountain bike.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Mountain Bikes Under $200
- Top 9 Best Mountain Bikes Under $200 2020 – Our Reviews:
- 1. Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
- 2. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike
- 3. Roadmaster Granite Peak Men´s Mountain Bike
- 4. Stowabike 26” MTB V2 Folding Bike
- 5. Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike
- 6. Schwinn Men’s High Timber Mountain Bike
- 7. Akonza Cobra 26-inch Mountain Bike
- 8. Granite Peak Girls’ Mountain Bike
- 9. Mongoose Status 2.2 Women’s Mountain Bike
- What to Consider to Buy the Best Mountain Bike Under $200?
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Mountain Bikes Under $200
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the mountain bikes under $200 that most people buy).
- Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike Top Pick
- Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike Runner-up
- Roadmaster Granite Peak Men´s Mountain Bike Runner-up
Top 9 Best Mountain Bikes Under $200 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Kent Thruster KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
Kent is a household cycling brand renowned for producing a quality line of affordable mountain bikes.
Thankfully, the brand doesn’t disappoint with its KZ2600 Mountain Bike. Not only has the bike been constructed of high-quality parts, but it is also quite the looker.
Sporting an aluminum hand-welded frame, the under $200 KZ2600 can handle plenty of abuse that usually comes with riding on tough terrains and climate. Additionally, the bike is pretty lightweight too, weighing a mere 40 pounds.
With proper cushioning both at the front and rear end, this bike can excel both on harsh terrain and even ground.
Fitted with 21-speed Shimano Shifters and a rear tourney derailleur, you can expect the KZ2600 Mountain Bike to provide outstanding handling during pivots and cornering.
As for the braking system, the Kent KZ2600 Dual Suspension Mountain Bike comes equipped with a disc brake on the front wheel and a linear-pull brake on the back wheel. Since this bike supports two different brakes, you’ll need time getting used to them.
I’d also like to speak glowingly about the alloy rims and 26-inch tires on this bad boy. They, along with the widened base design, work hand-in-hand to provide smooth grip and traction during rides on rough terrain.
All in all, the KZ2600 is well worth the investment.
- Lightweight aluminum body
- This MTB has a suspension fork with 65 mm travel
- This mountain bike features 21-speed Shimano shifters with exemplary rear tourney derailleur
- Durable metal wheel outline to facilitate safe riding
- This cheap mountain bike is easy to assemble
- No space for storing a water bottle
- Not the best mountain bike for female riders
2. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike
Constructed of durable aluminum construction, you can fully expect the Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike to outlast a person´s interest in mountain bike riding.
The braking system on this men´s bike is also worth talking about. Equipped with dual disc brakes, you won’t suffer from a shortage of brake stopping power during rides on dangerous trails.
Additionally, I’m also a huge admirer of the slight-rise handlebar design on this bike that encourages you to ride the bike while maintaining a proper posture. Plaudits must also be given to the front-suspension of the Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike as it absorbs shocks and vibrations when you travel downhill or take massive bike jumps.
Other impressive features of the under $200 Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike include extensive tires to provide outstanding traction, durable and aero-dynamically constructed rims, ergonomic krypton grips to facilitate easy and comfortable maneuvering, and adjustable padded seats.
Also, I must mention that this men´s bike is available for purchase in a wide range of speed, colors, and size. In short, this bike comes in a model suitable for every rider.
As you can tell by now, for under $200, you truly get your money’s worth with the Huffy Hardtail Bike.
- Constructed of durable aluminum frame
- Well-performing suspension in the front
- Available in a wide variety of speed, colors, and size
- This mountain bicycle features ergonomic krypton grips to provide excellent handling
- Brake adjustments required in the beginning
3. Roadmaster Granite Peak Men´s Mountain Bike
If you’re looking for a mountain bike with a vintage design, look no further than the Roadmaster Granite Peak Men´s Mountain Bike. Featuring an unbeatable blue and black glossy blend, this bike offers all the best features of a high-performing, exorbitantly priced MTB at a steal.
First of all, let’s talk about the shifting on the under $200 Roadmaster 26″ Granite. Boasting 18-speed twist shifters and a Shimano rear derailleur, you can fully rely on your gears to get you through tough climbs with minimum effort.
You also don’t need to worry about comfortable riding on this bike as the adjustable padded saddle will take care of your comfort and safety needs. With this bike, you can also be assured of a good grip as the bike comes with sturdy, durable tires.
Also, make no mistake—the flimsy-looking suspension fork on the bike is more than capable of taking a large majority of the rider’s weight while also absorbing the jarring impact produced on rough terrains.
What about the brakes on the under $200 Roadmaster 26″ MTB you ask? Well, with the presence of front and rear linear-pull brakes, you can expect smooth, swift, and firm stopping wherever you go on your travels.
However, I must admit that the bike weighs a bit heavy on account of its carbon steel bike frame.
- Smooth suspension fork developed with latest “Ground Assault” tech
- This mountain bicycle features a durable carbon steel frame construction
- For mountain bikes under $200, this bike has a sturdy mountain crank
- The seat post is height adjustable
- Comes mostly pre-assembled as its thus, easy to assemble
- One of the best mountain bikes for male riders
- Heavy weight
- The gears can feel a bit clunky at times
4. Stowabike 26” MTB V2 Folding Bike
What lures me towards the Stowabike 26” MTB V2 Folding Bike the most is its folding feature and light bodyweight of 39 pounds, making this bike one of the most portable mountain bikes around.
It took me only around 20 seconds to fold this bike! Talk about efficiency, eh?
Other aspects of the bike that I’m fond of include the balanced handlebar, well-designed black rubber grip, reliable steel brakes, and smooth pedals. All these components blend in well to provide you with the easiest ride, giving challenge to the claim that you “need to pedal more to improve bike performance.”
Suitable for both the male and female rider, this under $200 unisex mountain bike also excels in the durability department. You can fully expect the Stowabike 26” MTB V2 Folding Bike to stand the test of time.
Plus, since this entry-level mountain bike comes with full suspension and quality tires, it’s able to ride past rough terrain with minimum fuss.
If you’re worried about a lack of storage space in your home or garage, the entry-level, versatile Stowabike 26” MTB V2 Folding Bike will slot in just fine. Trust me—you can go for this bike with your eyes closed.
- Features well-performing dual suspension for easy and smooth riding on rough terrains
- Folding feature makes it easy to store when not in use
- Affordable pricing
- Arguably, the best men´s mountain bike under $200 in terms of portability and convenience
- For a men´s mountain bike, I found this bike a little too heavy for my liking
- Assembling the bike can be complicated for the uninitiated
5. Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Unlike other entry-level mountain bikes that use cost-effective steel frame construction, the Merax Falcon Mountain Bike benefits best from its heat-treated aluminum frame alloy. This material keeps the weight of the bike as lightweight as can be.
At the same time, the aluminum frame is also durable enough to support riders weighing up to a whopping 330 pounds!
With a dual-suspension design, you can expect a fairly comfortable ride on the bike, irrespective of the road conditions as the suspensions can handle the bumps pretty well. However, bear in mind that the rigs can give you a tough time during uphill climbs.
I also like the fact that the full-suspension bike hasn’t gone over-the-top with its shifters. The Merax Falcon Mountain Bike’s Shimano 21-speed derailleur gears more than perform their task ably.
Ask any serious mountain biker about the importance of good brakes on mountain bikes and they’ll probably bore you to death, speaking in great lengths about its importance. Thankfully, the Merax Falcon Dual Suspension Bike is equipped with a great set of linear-pull brakes, otherwise known as V-brakes.
- Well-performing suspensions for absorbing bumps, shock, vibrations and increasing control
- Constructed of durable and lightweight heat-treated aluminum alloy
- Best mountain bike for female riders but versatile enough for men too
- Can support weight of up to 330 lb
- Available in a wide range of colors
- One of the best economical mountain bikes around
- Features 21-speed derailleur gears
- The saddle on this bike isn’t the most comfortable around
- The pedals are not the best around as they are prone to falling off
6. Schwinn Men’s High Timber Mountain Bike
The sports company brand, Schwinn, has done well to establish itself as one of the best in the fitness industry. Think treadmills, ellipticals, and home gyms—chances are Schwinn has fitness products in every category. The brand has done well with the Schwinn Men’s High Timber Mountain Bike too.
Crafted of a durable steel mountain frame that’s resistant to rust, the Schwinn Men’s High Timber Mountain has been constructed to last long.
I also like the seats on the bike as they’re adjustable enough to accommodate any rider’s height. Plus, the spacious pedals are wide enough for even those with larger feet.
Since this bike is a hardtail type bike, it has an SR Suntour suspension system placed below the handlebars on the front wheel. You can also bet your bottom dollar that the flexible suspension system does an exceptional job of easing jerks felt on rough terrain.
It should also delight you to know that the suspensions on the Schwinn Men´s High Timber Mountain Bike features a waterproof and anti-corrosive coating.
The shifters on this bike are nothing too impressive. This mountain bike has the standard 21-speed gear mechanism and a Shimano derailleur which supports twist shifters.
For brakes, this bike uses powerful linear-pull brakes on both the front and the rear end.
- This mountain bike features brakes with excellent stopping power
- SR Suntour front suspension system facilitates smooth riding even on rough terrains
- For mountain bikes under $200, this bike is visually appealing
- Best mountain bike for amateur mountain bikers
- This bike is a bit too heavy for my liking
- Not the best option for smaller riders
7. Akonza Cobra 26-inch Mountain Bike
Are you on the hunt for a bike that best absorbs all degrees of impact with terrible ease? Well, you can stop your search with the Akonza Cobra 26-inch Mountain Bike.
Featuring a suspension frame and Element front suspension, you can expect the Akonza Cobra Mountain Bike to provide you with a smooth, hassle-free comfortable ride at all times, regardless of the road conditions.
I also like the fact that the makers of this 26-inch bike have paid special attention to the bike seat. They have taken inspiration from the natural contours of the human anatomy to mold the perfect seat for rides.
Plus, no expense has been spared on the handlebars too as the makers have incorporated high-grade rubber to increase grip.
Additionally, the anti-skid tires and durable nylon pedals also contribute to ensuring your ride is as safe as possible.
For safety, you can rely on this 25″ bike’s front disc brake and alloy linear-pull rear brake. Trust me—they have more than enough stopping power for your requirements.
Boasting 7-quick fire derailleurs and shifters, no longer will you have trouble getting up and down the hills. Even rides on flat areas will be a breeze on the Akonza Cobra 26 inch Mountain Bike.
- Easy to assemble
- I’m a big fan of the bike’s shock absorbers
- For mountain bikes under $200, this bike has an appealing design
- Full value for money as the bike provides substantial features
- The little springs on the front fork QR parts can be difficult to handle
- Not the best mountain bike for those above 6” tall as it comes with a small seat post.
8. Granite Peak Girls’ Mountain Bike
It would be an injustice if I compiled a list of the best mountain bikes and not included a mountain bike specifically manufactured for young female riders. Female mountain bikers are growing by the numbers each day and their needs mustn’t be overlooked.
Bearing that in mind, allow me to introduce the Granite Peak Girls´ Mountain Bike. This mountain bike excels as an off-road bike with its 24-inch compound edge wheels, 18-speed twist shifters and Shimano rear derailleur, and durable steel frame.
To keep the effects of bumps to a minimum, a front fork has also been strategically placed. Also, you’ll find that the knobby tire treads on this bike provide maximum security and stability during rides on both smooth pavement and dirt roads.
The integration of alloy rims onto the bike also contributes to providing extra stability and durability.
I must also talk favorably about the bike’s front and rear linear-pull brakes. They offer quick, crisp stopping—just what you need during rides on dangerous trails.
Particularly ideal for girl riders aged 8 and up or those measuring 4’8″ to 5’6″ in height, the Granite Peak Girls’ Mountain Bike can be the perfect introduction to the world of mountain biking for your little one.
- The bike excels at providing a smooth ride with its great suspension system
- Best suited for young girls interested in mountain biking
- For mountain bikes under $200, this bike features well-performing front and rear linear-pull brakes
- Adjustable seat post to facilitate easy and simple height adjustment
- Alloy rims integrated for extra stability and durability
- The seat can be uncomfortable during longer rides
- Prone to scratches
9. Mongoose Status 2.2 Women’s Mountain Bike
Now that we have the requirements of girl riders covered, let’s focus on a mountain bike for grown women. The Mongoose Status 2.2 Women’s Mountain Bike has done well to fulfill the requirements of female riders.
This bike comes in a 16″ frame, which is widely considered the ideal size for women. Plus, the fact that the frame is constructed of lightweight aluminum only adds to its charm.
Also, I love that the bike has suspension both on the front and rear aspects of the bike, giving women riders full control of their bike at all times.
What of the shifters, you ask? Well, the bike doesn’t disappoint with its 21-speed gear, rear derailleur, and SRAM twist shifter.
This tells us that the rider has more than enough gear options to play around with. Plus, it also helps that the shifting is quite seamless and smooth.
Also, with the presence of a powerful and reliable direct pull rear brake, you can speed through downhills with full confidence.
Finally, I must also shed light on the knobby tires on this bike. The knobby tires excel in terrains filled with dirt and mud, allowing you to roll over anything on your path.
- Knobby tires make this bike excellent for rides on mud and dirt
- For mountain bikes under $200, this bike features a powerful and reliable direct pull rear brake system
- Features a 21-speed gear, Shimano rear derailleur, and SRAM twist shifter
- Lightweight aluminum frame and alloy wheels
- Ideal wheel size for female riders
- Not suitable for hardcore off-road adventures
What to Consider to Buy the Best Mountain Bike Under $200?
The frame material directly contributes to a bike’s strength and comfort level. Often, it’s a choice between steel and aluminum.
Most bikes under $200 come with a steel frame. There are bikes that offer aluminum frames too, if you’re looking for a lightweight bike.
The best mountain bikes are usually full suspension mountain bikes.
A full-suspension mountain bike is equipped with a suspension system both in the front and the rear end of the bike. Therefore, they’re great at absorbing shocks and vibrations felt on rough terrains.
To get a better idea of the number of gears you need, you need to assess your riding style. However, know that more gears mean more weight.
Now, would you be open to struggling on uphill climbs just for the extra gear? Weigh the consequences of having fewer gears vs more gears and decide on a number that improves your performance and riding experience.
Brakes on a mountain bike must be of high-quality. So, whether you go for bikes with V-brakes or disc brakes, make sure that they have excellent stopping power.
To put yourself in the best position to make an informed choice, consider the riding trails you intend to travel when you get your hands on your bike.
Tires and Wheel Size
The general rule of thumb implies that you should get a mountain bike with a wheel size of 26-inches or smaller. Opting for 26-inch tires can be advantageous for those looking to ride fast.
Also, pay attention to the construction quality of the wheel rims.
We’ve finally reached the end of the article. I hope you are, by now, well-versed in the field of mountain bikes under 200 dollars.
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to spend a pretty penny on heavily-advertised, exorbitantly priced mountain bikes. Most of the higher-end models rely on false advertising for increased sales.
Although they’re marginally better than budget bikes, they don’t offer full value for your money. It’s completely possible for you to get well-functioning mountain bikes under 200 dollars.
If the substantial number of choices on the list has made you even more confused than before, consider my recommendation.
I would suggest you go for the Stowabike 26″ MTB V2. This is a folding mountain bike so it can be folded for easy storage when not in use.
Not only is this bike convenient, lightweight, and portable, but it also offers excellent off-road performance. This mountain bike under $200 comes with a balanced handlebar, well-designed black rubber grip, reliable steel V-brakes, and smooth pedals.
Plus, since the bike is equipped with full suspension and quality tires, it’s able to ride past rough terrain with minimum fuss. To top it off, the 26-inch full-suspension Stowabike MTB V2 is suitable for both male and female rider.