Biking offroad and on mountainous terrain is fun but tiring without a high-quality mountain bike. Fortunately, there are so many on the market.
Unfortunately, many of these bikes have high price tags between $4000 and $6000. Can you get something as great as these on a tighter budget?
The answer is yes, you can! You can get affordable bikes with a $2000 or lower budget. The good news is some of the innovative technology that has made the sport a hit is now available in this price range.
We’ve created this guide, so you don’t have to go through the stress of looking for the best mountain bikes under $2000 by yourself.
So, let’s get started!
Our favorite overall bike is the Mongoose Salvo Comp.Here’s why:
- This mountain bike comes in multiple configurations so it’s very versatile
- Is available with 29 inch wheels and full suspension
- Includes a lot of features that you’d find on high-end bikes like internal cable routing and hydraulic disc brakes
- See more below
Continue reading to learn more about our other picks.
Best Mountain Bikes Under $2000 Comparison Table
|Wheel Size||Brakes||Best For|
|Check||Mongoose||Salvo Comp||Full Suspension||Aluminum||27.5”, 29”||Hydraulic Disc||Trails|
|Check||SAVA||DECK6.0||Hardtail||Carbon Fiber||26”, 27.5”, 29”||Hydraulic Disc||Trails|
|Check||Royce Union||RCF||Hardtail||Carbon Fiber||29”||Hydraulic Disc||Trails|
|Check||Mongoose (Fat Tire)||Argus Sport||Rigid||Aluminum||26”||Hydraulic Disc||Trails, Snow|
Mongoose Salvo Comp – Best Overall
- The longer top tube and shorter stem for refined geometry
- Free-floating technology suspension to decrease brake jack
- Wheels optimized for 27.5″ and 29″ platforms
- Internal cable routing for enhanced aesthetics and shift cable protection
- Lighter frame with the Tectonic T2 aluminum frame
|Is easy to maintain||Can be difficult to assemble|
|Comes with internally routed cables||The seat can be uncomfortable|
|Three-wheel choices to cover all terrains|
When it comes to inexpensive and reliable mountain bikes, the Mongoose Salvo Comp is as affordable as it gets. We love this bike because it comes with full suspension and 110mm of travel at the front and rear suspension.
The lightweight aluminum frame makes the bike durable and hard to wear down. Some of the fine features of this bike that impressed us are the threaded bottom bracket, hydraulic disc brakes, and internally routed cables.
For wheels, you can either go with the 29 in. or the 27.5+ in. Whichever one you pick is a great choice. The bike comes with a Horst-Link suspension capable of supporting 110mm of travel, and the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are very responsive. It may even come as a surprise that you can easily adjust the shocks on the bike.
One thing that captured our attention when we reviewed this bike was shifting smoothly during rides. In addition, since the bike comes in three sizes, it’s perfect for many people.
SAVA DECK6.0 – Best Hardtail
- Hydraulic air fork delivers added comfort on trails
- Shimano DEORE derailleur system
- Bike arrives 90% assembled
|Carbon fiber frame||More expensive than the Sava Deck2.0|
|Alloy pedals||If you’re on the shorter side, you may need to modify the seat post|
|Shimano Deore derailleurs||Comes with platform pedals|
|Quick release hub on front and back wheels|
The next bike in our review set is another hardtail mountain bike that has a high end front suspension fork, disc brakes, and a lightweight carbon fiber frame.
This particular model features Michelin tires on the 27.5” model and Continental Race King tires on the 29 inch model.
The hydraulic brakes on this model provide responsive, stable brakes that are safe and better suited for long term use.
The frame geometry on this model is designed to reduce resistance and provide a comfortable ride. Couple that with the 29 inch wheels and you have a mountain bike with a low rolling resistance that can cover some of the roughest terrain.
This is a very good hardtail mountain bike built for technical trails but we didn’t see the benefit of the extra cost or it would have been our first overall pick for best mountain bike under $1500.
Royce Union RCF – Best Quality
- WTB Volt Saddle and WTB Trail II grips for comfort and easy ride
- Shimano SLX drivetrain for higher speed and smooth gearing
- Brakes for precise and accurate stopping
- Suntour XCT suspension fork for absorbing shock
|The brand is popular||Not very lightweight|
|Sturdy frame||Requires a bit of tuning once assembled|
|The components are of good quality|
|Modern geometry gives more control to the rider|
Premium quality, aesthetics, and great frame are some perks that made us choose this bike. It’s also one of the best mountain bikes under $2000 with comfortable seating, hardtail suspension, and a sporty feel.
In addition, its Shimano SLX drivetrain can produce 22 speeds with smooth gearing and easy shifting. It has also been designed with materials that last for a very long time.
The bike is equipped with a Suntour XCT suspension fork for maximum control on all-mountain trails from smooth to rough when it comes to suspension.
The NECO alloy 3-piece crank has been included for precise handling, and the dual hydraulic disc brakes are responsible for initiating an assertive stop and giving you complete control. Even the balance of your drive is guaranteed.
As if all the features we’ve already mentioned are not enough, the bike comes with WTB Trail II grips and WTB Volt saddle to provide optimum comfort.
Mongoose Argus Sport (Fat Tire) – Best Value
- Tectonic T2 aluminum frame for increased strength and reduced weight
- Internal cable routing
- Low-pressure tires for traction in sandy and snowy conditions
|Can support heavier weight riders||Doesn’t work as well on all-mountain trails|
|Bike is affordable||Similar to other fat tire bikes, not as responsive as trail bikes|
|Has a great warranty|
This bike is designed for riders who like to prepare for riding on all trails, in any weather. We love this bike because it’s affordable, easily adapts to all terrains, and can maintain its quality all year round.
The fat tires mean it’s perfect for snowy days, and the aluminum frame reduces the weight and increases the strength for a more responsive and rigid ride.
In addition, the frame has internal cable routing for increased protection and clean lines. The width of the bottom bracket is 100mm, and the bike’s weight is around 36.6 lbs. So, it’s not too heavy.
How To Choose The Best Mountain Bike Under $2000
If you’re trying to pick a mountain bike that’s perfect for you, there are some features you need to consider.
Biking style: If you have a particular riding style you favor, it’s crucial to pick a bike that will support it. Where and how you plan to ride your bike should rank high on your list of considerations when you’re about to buy one.
Key features: The features you should pay the most attention to are wheel size, suspension, gearing, brakes, and frame materials.
Size: Make sure the bike you’re buying fits you properly. Bicycles come in different sizes. Pick one that suits you, or riding it can be a little awkward.
Bikes For Your Riding Style
Many bikes are designed to support one riding style or the other. So, it’s essential to make sure that the bike you’re getting will support the style you use most of the time.
There are four main types of biking, and they are:
- trail riding
- cross-country riding
In addition, fat biking has been rapidly gaining popularity. If you don’t know much about biking, ask your friends what type of trails are in your area and what bikes work best for them.
You should consider a trail bike if you enjoy carving down as much as climbing up. A trail bike is the perfect example of a multi-purpose ride. It goes smoothly on rough trails and flies on smooth sections. They’re the perfect companions for quick trips after work or weekend rides that leave you tired, sweaty and muddy.
This category is very versatile. When it comes to suspension, you’ll find a mixture of full suspension bike designs and hardtail bike designs.
We think trail bikes are the most suitable for many mountain bikers. As a result, many of our recommended bikes fall within this category.
Cross country riding
A cross country bike (CX) is typically meant to be ridden on terrains with mainly flat surfaces and very few bumps, descents, and jumps. It’s designed to be light, efficient, and capable of uphill travel.
You can also use it when riding on fire roads and buff singletrack. Most times, XC bikes don’t come with rear suspension. They usually have skinny fast-rolling tires and steep head tube angles for improving efficiency and saving weight.
Downhill mountain biking
For this type of mountain biking, you need a downhill bike. It’s also called a park bike and is great for descending. It’s heavier than other mountain bikes and prioritizes control and traction over efficient pedaling because of its specialty.
The downhill bike usually comes with heavy tires and has a lot of grip. The travel of the suspension forks usually fall between 180-200+ millimeters and is the slackest of all bikes. But, as great as it is, the heavier weight and geometry of this bike will make it tough to use on trails with steep inclines.
So, unless there’s an elevator to take you up before you start the ride, it’s not a very versatile purchase like the trail bike.
Enduro mountain riding
An enduro bike has more travel than most trail bikes and is usually a full suspension bike. It’s paired to a tough wheel and usually uses around 160-170mm of travel. This means an Enduro bike is designed to perform well in steep terrains and is light enough to pedal back up.
Enduro bikes use suspension units that are often heavier duty and have a wide range of adjustments to fine-tune their performance, especially when they’re going downhill.
Coil shocks are a type of suspension, and they’re gaining more popularity and favor among mountain bikers because of their reliability and ability to withstand prolonged hard-riding. Some of these bikes even come with remotes to change the bike’s travel between downhill and uphill modes.
Biking is great most months of the year, but what happens during winter when the trail is covered in snow? You get a fat bike!
A fat bike is a rig that can be used on sand and snow. It has special tires that are capable of floating on these terrains where other standard tires would have been unable to proceed.
Most fat bikes have firmer tires because they’re wide and require low tire pressure for moving on soft surfaces and absorbing bumps on the road.
A typical fat bike tire is usually around 3.5 to 5 inches in width. Combine this with their ability to run pressures from 5 to 15 psi, and you get yourself something that can float on soft terrains.
An affordable bike like the Mongoose Argus Sport is great for fat bike riding.
What Are The Key Features To Look For When Buying A Mountain Bike?
The two most important features you need to consider when buying mountain bikes are wheel diameter and suspension type. There are also other things you might want to check, but they’re only for narrowing down a perfect choice and are not as important as these two. But in this article, we’re going to discuss them all.
Mountain Bike Suspension Types
For most mountain bikes, the suspension you choose will determine how much comfort and control you’ll have with your new toy. Whether you choose a full suspension mountain bike, a trail hardtail bike or a rigid bike brand, suspension will dictate the types of rough terrain you ride and thus, how much fun you’ll have.
The rigid mountain bike is not very common. It also doesn’t have suspension but is easy to maintain. Even though it’s affordable, many riders would rather buy suspension mountain bikes to increase comfort.
Hardtail mountain bikes are not as expensive as full-suspension mountain bikes, even though they have fewer moving parts and are easier to maintain.
These bikes are characterized by suspension forks in front and none at the back. The front suspension absorbs impact on the front wheel. Since there’s no suspension in the back, absorption does not exist, and that’s where it gets its name – hardtail.
One great feature most hardtail bikes have is that you can lock the front fork if you need a fully rigid bike.
XC riders use hardtail bikes more because they give them the ability to transfer power between the pedal stroke and the rear tire. Hardtail bikes perform well on all-mountain trails but will have some difficulties on steep downhill trails.
Full suspension mountain bikes
Although full suspension bikes have different variations, the general idea is that the rear shock and front fork impact the trail. This drastically increases traction, reduces the impact on the rider, and creates a more enjoyable and forgiving ride.
Even though full suspension mountain bikes can absorb many bumps on the trail, they can lose energy transfer when you’re going uphill and ‘bob’ a bit. That’s why most full-suspension energy rigs can lock out the rear suspension for efficient climbing.
Wheel Size For Mountain Bikes Under 2,000
Choosing the right wheel for your bike is just like having the right tool for the job. Tires and wheels are the difference between a reliable bike and a playful bike. They can also be helpful if you’re riding technical trails, steep descents or twisty trails and need additional grip.
24 in. wheels
Wheels of this size are commonly found on children’s bikes and the recommended ages are 8, 9, and 10. Children have shorter legs, so their mountain bikes usually have 24 in. wheels to accommodate their size. The main difference is that their bikes are less expensive and have simpler components.
26 in. wheels
Although this option for wheels still exists, it used to be the only adult wheel size in the past. Now, it’s just one of the many options. Commonly found on bargain bikes or bikes built for speed.
27.5 in. (650b) wheels
These wheels are halfway between the standard 26 in. wheels for adults and the 29ers. As a result, they have the best of both options. They’re smooth on most terrains like the 26 in. and are also very easy to maneuver like the 29ers. You can find this wheel on both hardtail and full-suspension rigs.
27.5+ in. tires
The plus symbol means that the wheels and tires are extra-wide. These types of wheels are usually 2.8 in. or more in width.
Wider tires have less rolling resistance and are more comfortable. As a result, they’re gaining more popularity among riders.
These bikes have 29 inch wheels that don’t accelerate as fast as the 26 inch wheels but can conquer more terrain than bikes with 26 inch wheels. They have a higher attack angle and can keep their momentum up. As a result, they’re more suitable for longer rides.
Mountain Bike Frame Materials
The frame influences how long a bike will last, its weight, price, and ride quality. Aluminum alloy frame is the most common material for mountain bike frames.
Lighter aluminum frames are also common in more expensive models where the manufacturer can afford to spend more on materials for a higher retail price.
Other frame materials you’ll see in mountain bikes are titanium, steel, and carbon fiber. All of them offer smooth rides, but you’ll mostly see the titanium frame in high-end bikes. While steel is tough and cheap, titanium is hard, strong, and expensive.
On the other hand, carbon fiber frames are common in all-mountain bikes, fat bikes, and cross country bikes because they have great strength, low weight, and their cost depends on the manufacturing process.
Mountain Bike Brakes
On most entry-level mountain bikes, disc brakes have replaced rim brakes.
They have brake pads that hold on to the brake rotor, mounted on the wheel hub. There are two versions of disc brakes;
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Cable activated or mechanical brakes
While hydraulic disc brakes provide stronger braking with very little finger effort and built-in self-adjustment for brake pad wear, cable-activated brakes need manual adjusting as wear occurs.
You can find rim brakes on some entry-level mountain bikes. Rim brakes are characterized by pads that squeeze the wheel rims to stop the bike. These brakes are less expensive when compared to disc brakes, but they gradually start wearing out the brake pad with constant use.
Finding the best mountain bikes under $2000 should be easy with the tips and products listed above. While we love all the bikes on this list, the Mongoose Salvo Sport is our favorite.
Not only does it work great on most trails, but it’s also versatile enough to be used for enduro mountain riding, and its aluminum frame means that you can use it for a long time. Even though it’s a little more expensive than other bikes on this list, you’re not going to regret buying it.
Is a $2000 bike worth it?
Yes. You’ll end up saving money in the long run and still get some of the qualities you’ll find in high-end bikes. They’re also cheaper to maintain, and their parts are not expensive to buy if you ever need to repair. If you follow the guide above, you can get lightweight bikes, have reliable components, and have great suspension. These kinds of bikes are worthwhile additions to mountain biking.
Do I need an expensive mountain bike?
No, you don’t need an expensive mountain bike. You only need what you can afford when starting out. Of course, if you can afford an expensive mountain bike, that’s also a great option, but it’s not necessary if your budget is lower. All you need is a quality bike.
How long does a carbon MTB frame last?
Unless they get damaged by accident or were poorly built from the factory, carbon MTB frames should last a very long time. Nevertheless, the recommended time for changing them is 6-7 years.