There's no need for a huge investment when buying an entry level mountain bike with these ten best entry level mountain bikes. Also, an inexpensive bike can provide as much performance as needed for getting into mountain biking.
- GT Outpost. A classic, the triple triangle frame design has proved good for many years. You can't go wrong with this one, and at a low cost, you get good quality, a decent front suspension and great looks. The only visible flaw is the lack of a disk break set, even though the V-Brake system gets the job done.
- Raleigh Talus 8.0. A very sturdy frame, seasoned with some of the best tires in the market, this Raleigh is sure to give you great grip and long lasting rubber; it carries a pair of Geax mounted over the double walled Weinmann rims, giving you 2.2 inches of total support. No need to avoid that rock.
- Giant Rincon. Slightly thinner tires than the rest of the lot, the Rincon features 2.1 inches Kenda tires, that provide good support and, quite impressively, a noticeable growth in maneuverability. Being the heaviest on the list at 33.88 pounds for the medium size frame, that fact is hard to tell on the trail, where it flies like a charm.
- Mongoose Tyax Super. Without being a head turner, the Tyax Super offers good performance, with a highlight on the brakes. The ProMax hydraulic disc brakes with 160 mm rotors provide enough breaking force to stop a train downhill.
- Jamis Dakar XC. If you're looking for an entry level full suspension, this is it. The Dakar provides 90 mm of suspension travel in the fork and 120 mm in the back, making for a smooth ride in any condition. Plus it's also quite smooth on the wallet.
- Cannondale Rush 5Z. A step further in all suspension frames, the Rush shows why Cannondale has been at the top for so long. Beating the competition by using a Fox F120 RL fork in combination with the light and sturdy single pivot cushioned with the ProPedal-equipped FOX RP2 shock in the back. Long story short, the Rush 5Z is a high end ride for an entry level price. Not cheap, but inexpensive.
- Niner E.M.D. 9. This Eat My Dust 9 bike was conceived to provide good performance at low cost. And, the people at Niner surely made it happen. Offering most of the common elements in the segment, combined with a couple of higher end pieces and a very careful assembly, they got to present this really cost efficient bike.
- Haro Extreme X6. The Extreme X6 is a full suspension bike that will take you everywhere, mostly down the hill, but thanks to Marzocchi's 150mm Z.1 Drop Off fork, the landings are not going to be that hard. This, added to the adjustable rear travel of the FOX Vanilla R coil shock, make it a good overall bike, with a tendency to go down.
- Fuji Tahoe 29 Comp. Well, this is progressive. Once an exclusive segment, 29 inch mountain bikes are here to stay. 29er lovers say that the added stability and the smoother ride at high speeds pay for the difference. But, with the Fuji Tahoe 29 Comp, there's no such a difference to pay for. It comes at the price of any 26, with standard equipment.
- Specialized Rockhopper Disc Comp. The Rockhopper is a classic. And classics are not born in cucumbers, they become such by proving good. And, this is not an exception. Available both in 26 and 29 inches, you'll be riding a frame that will remind you of the S-Works M5, chosen by many, many champions. If you're kind of a champion, get this kind of a M5.
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