Here Are The Best Mountain Bikes For Under $1000

The Best Mountain Bikes For Under $1000

Best Mountain Bikes for Under $1000

Hunting down a great mountain bike is a tricky business. If you’re on a budget and want to find one for under a $1000 then it’s even harder.

But to make your job easier, I decided to do the work for you and track down the best mountain bikes for under a 1000 dollars. All you have to do is read my review and decide which one you like best!

Even though our budget sounds relatively healthy, you might be surprised to find out that in MTB terms, you could go an awful lot higher. MTB is a short term used for mountain bike by the way. Get used to talking in shortened terms, acronyms and abbreviations, the MTB world is full of them!

I’ll try not to use too many of them here, though, just to avoid confusion.

I’ve narrowed down my recommendations to just three models to keep things simple. The three I’ve chosen vary in price from around $400 up to just under $1000 so that there is a bike to suit everyone’s pocket.

Of course, there are many factors that you will need to think about when choosing a mountain bike as well as your budget. Things like whether to go hard tail or full suspension, what wheel size to go for, how good the brakes are etc.

Much of this will come down to what your typical usage is going to be, so have a think about that before deciding which bike to go with.

I’ll cover those types of questions later, but for now, let’s take a quick rundown of the MTBs I’ve chosen.

 


Diamondback Bicycle Sorrento Hard Tail

The Sorrento from Diamondback actually appears in my Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 review.

No surprise then that it’s the cheapest model out of our three. Don’t let the lower price fool you, though; this bike is a great all round package.

Out of the box, you will find it comes mostly pre-assembled and requires around 20 minutes to an hour to finish setting up.

This is pretty basic stuff, and most people will find this straightforward if you follow the clear instructions included.

You will not find a lot wrong with the DB 6061-TB heat-treated aluminum frame the bike is built on. It’s both lightweight and strong, and at around 30lbs total the bike is not heavy. It sits nicely between the heavier steel framed bikes and the ultra light carbon fiber ones.

One brilliant feature is that the bike comes in 4 sizes to suit most people. Small/16″ for people under 5’7 right up to X-Large/22″ for the those over 6′.

Being a hardtail, the Sorrento has a 3″ Suntour M3030 XC suspension fork for when things get bumpy.

The versatile knobbly tires provided with the bike are pretty good on most surfaces and sit on 27.5″ wheels. That’s a great mid-range size providing easy rolling over most terrain while still nippy enough to get round those tight bends.

The wheel rims are the double wall as well for some extra strength.

Shimano components have been used for the gears and drive train. The rear derailleur is a seven-speed Altus to give you 21 reliable gears. They’re pretty smooth changing too.

A step up from the basic components you will find on many bikes around this price point, they will prove durable for most except hardcore riders.

Stopping power is provided by Tektro Alloy Linear pull brakes for simple, but reliable use and maintenance.

Click here: for the best prices on Sorrento Hardtail mountain bikes under $1000.


Diamondback Recoil 29er Mountain Bike

My mid-range selection is another Diamondback model, this time the full suspension Recoil 29, more commonly known as a 29er.

The 29 refers to the wheel size as this model sports large 29″ wheels with double walled alloy rims.

If you’ve not ridden on a bike with larger wheels, you will be in for a treat. They make it much easier to conquer all sorts of terrain although are a little harder to get going in the first place!

Quick and easy to set up as it comes partially pre-assembled, you should be out the door trying out your new bike in under an hour.

The frame on the Recoil is made from the standard 6061 aluminum as we saw on the Sorrento. This model though has formed top and down tubes for improved strength to weight ratio.

At around 36lbs, the extra equipment on the 29er have added a bit to the overall weight, but it’s still not excessive by today’s standards.

This model comes in just three sizes. Small/16″ if you’re 5’4 to 5’7, Medium for 5’7 to 5’10 and Large everyone over 5’10.

A Kindshock coil provides the rear suspension with 4″ of oil damping. The front fork uses an SR Suntour XCT with 4″ of travel and preload adjust. If you’re wondering what that is, I’ll talk a bit more about it in the section on suspension further on.

Brakes on this model come with highly regarded Tektro Aires mechanical disc brakes. Great feel with immense stopping power.

Shimano components provide gearing, but these are a step up on the Sorrento. An Acero M360 provides you with an 8-speed selection at the back for 24 smooth changing gears. More than enough to get over most types of terrain.

Click here: for the best prices on Diamondback Recoil 29er mountain bikes under $1000.


BEIOU Toray T700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike Complete

My final selection is from the Chinese manufacturer Beiou.

Despite what you may think of Chinese producers, Beiou is producing some fantastic bikes at amazing prices.

The T700 is the only model in my line up with a carbon fiber frame.

How they managed to produce a carbon bike for under a $1000 is beyond me, but here it is. Carbon fiber has one of the best strength to weight ratios going, and is something you usually only see on high-end bikes.

It’s not just the frame that’s made of carbon fiber, the seat post, and handlebars are as well, so they’ve really packed in the value.

Like the other bikes here, it’s dead easy to unpack and put together as it comes mostly assembled already.

Naturally its ultra-light, weighing in at around just 26lbs it’s around 10lbs lighter than the Recoil 29er!

Sizing wise it comes in 3 sizes. Small/15″ will suit people from 5’3 up to 5’7 , Medium/17″ from 5’7 to 5’11 and Large/19″ for those over 5’11.

This model is a hardtail design, so the suspension is limited to the front fork, which is a GTMRK 330 hydraulic with 3-4″ of travel.

The forks also come with pre-load adjustment.

The T700 comes with 26″ wheels, which are the smallest size seen on MTBs these days.

They were once the most common size of wheel on an adult bike, but not anymore with the advent of 27.5″ and 29ers.

Check out my section on wheel sizes lower down to find out what the different sizes mean for you.

The gearing and drive train features Shimano Altus components, solid and dependable.

If you ever get stuck, the 27 speeds on offer are more than enough gears to get you out of trouble wherever you might find yourself.

Finally, on this bike, the braking is provided by mechanical wire disc brakes.

Click here: to view the BEIOU Toray T700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike Complete for under $1000.


Hardtail Versus Full Suspension

Two of our models, the Sorrento and the T700, are both known as hardtail bikes. Whereas, the Recoil 29er is a full suspension bike.

But what difference does it make?

Like most things it comes down to personal preference, but here are a few pointers to help.

Full suspension tends to be preferred by those tackling tricky, bumpy trails as it soaks up all those bumps and knocks.

If you like doing some serious downhill, you will definitely want to go full suss.

But it does come with some drawbacks. For a start, it usually makes the bike more expensive and heavier.

Hardtail bikes also allow for a more direct transfer of the power from you pedaling to the back tire.

This means you may find a hardtail more fun if you do a lot of riding on flat terrain or roads.

Some people also prefer the more classic lines of a hardtail compared to the more aggressive look of a full suspension bike.

Out of the three review bikes, the Recoil and the T700 both have great suspension. You may recall I mentioned ‘preload adjust’ as well.

This allows you to adjust the stiffness of the suspension  for both the rider weight and the type of ride you want. I recommend you check your manual to set it up for your preference.

It may be something you want to consider if you are on the heavy side as it allows you to set up your bike for a more comfortable ride.

The Sorrento front suspension has less travel, and it’s not really suitable for tackling the most demanding trails. It’s perfectly fine for anything up to medium difficulty ones though or for general flat and road biking.


Appearance and Style

The Sorrento is available in just one color, a stylish black with eye-catching light blue lettering. It looks well-made and should appeal to anyone who likes a more understated style.

The Recoil 29er, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. The 29er comes in just one color, a sporty cherry red that will turn heads everywhere you go.

As for the Beiou T700, this has the biggest choice of colors. Eight different color combinations to be exact, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something you like. Couple that with the very cool looking carbon frame and you have a seriously stylish bike.


Comparing Brakes on the Best Mountain Bikes

As I talked about in the review sections above, the Diamondback Sorrento comes with Tektro Alloy Linear pull brakes. These offer simple and reliable operation of course and are easy to maintain.

One of the main downsides to this type of brake is that they don’t operate so well in wet and muddy conditions.

The Recoil 29er comes with Tektro brakes also, but this time the Tektro Aires mechanical disc brakes. Mechanical means they still operate via a cable, but many people prefer this as it provides better feedback. The Aires are great disc brakes, whatever the weather, no doubt about it.

On the Beiou Carbon Fiber T700, you will also find a great set of mechanical wire operated G3 discs. They provide great stopping power in all situations and will not let you down.


Comparing Wheel Sizes

Choosing which wheel size to have used to be so simple, you could only get 26″ wheels, and that was it!

With our three recommended bikes, we have the complete range of standard wheel sizes available in MTBs today, so let’s check what each one is best at.

The 26″ wheel on the Beiou T700 is the smallest size. Still probably the most common, they are stronger and lighter than the other wheels. Great for quick acceleration and a more agile feel on those tight twists and turns.

It’s also worth noting its far easier to get spare forks, tubes, tires, etc. currently for the 26″ wheel. That could be a consideration if you ride trails far from home.

The downside though is that they hit potholes and roots at a steeper angle so make for a tougher ride than the larger wheels.

The 27.5″ wheel found on the Diamondback Sorrento is the best of both worlds. Large enough to provide a smoother ride over rough terrain. Small enough to still have some degree of an agile feel about them.

They are the latest wheel size to be introduced, so spares for them may be more difficult to get hold of than the other sizes. They are becoming very popular, though, so it’s a situation that will not last long.

Finally, we come to the 29er. This is the one that broke the hold the 26″ wheel had on the market. Great for a smooth ride over rough terrain, they also provide more grip and control.

Once you’re moving, they are much easier to keep going and hold your speed as well.

There are some problems, though. For one they do look a bit awkward.

Probably not so much as fat tire bikes do, but you may notice it if you are used to a 26″ wheel for instance.

They also are not so nimble when it comes to doing quick turns on a tight run. Some riders, especially if you’re on the short side, may find this size difficult to get used to.


Comparison of Durability on these Mountain Bikes

The aluminum frames on the Diamondback Sorrento and Recoil 29er are both solid, durable frames. They are likely to give you years of trouble free riding.

They compare very favorably with traditional steel frames in terms of strength versus weight.

The carbon fiber frame used on the Beiou T700 is going to take the prize here, though. Durability goes up a notch with a carbon which is why they are becoming so popular.

With all the frames, be sure to check them regularly for scratches, chips, and cracks. Any problems spotted earlier on should be easier to rectify.

All the components used on these bikes are a step up from the basic stuff you find on a bike from your local supermarket. That means they will prove far more durable as a result as well.


Conclusion and Buyers Guide

As I mentioned way back up there at the beginning, besides your budget, you need to think about where you’re going to ride your bike as well.

All these bikes are a great value and very capable, so if you are purely limited by how much you can spend then just go for the one at the right price point.

Otherwise, I recommend following my guidelines below to help you choose.

If you are looking for something to get you to work or college and back, plus a bit of occasional weekend trail riding then the Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail would be ideal.

If you wanted to pull a few admiring glances and had the budget for it, then the Beiou would be a good choice as well.

For more adventurous trail riding and as a general all-rounder then the Diamondback Recoil 29er Mountain Bike is probably the best fit.

As the Recoil is full suspension, it will deliver a very smooth ride and is especially suitable for downhillers as well.

If a lightweight bike, capable of getting you around those tricky technical trails is what you need, then go for the BEIOU Toray T700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike Complete.

The Beiou will cater for most needs, so if you like the look of that one, you will not be disappointed. Just make sure you are happy with the smaller wheel size on that model.

The next model up in the Beiou range, the Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike 27.5-Inch is worth a look as well. Although just over our $1000 budget it packs in a lot of great features and even higher quality components.

I hope you have found this guide useful and are now ready to jump in and buy that MTB you’ve been waiting for.

Click here: for the best prices on Amazon mountain bikes under $1000.


If you are looking for the best mountain bike under $500, then check out our other review here.

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Bec - December 6, 2016 Reply

It’s great you have included information for tall people – I am 6′ tall, and also wheel size. It’s sometimes hard to find enough information about those 2 aspects that greatly affect tall riders. Thank you!

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