In our opinion it would still be better to buy a well maintained second-hand bargain or look for something that’s been reduced down to £500 from let’s say: £700+. But If you’re still not convinced and for some reason you insist on buying a brand new MTB under £500, here are top 5 cheap hardtail mountain bikes that will fit your wallet. Don’t even think of a bike with a full suspension in this price range. But before we head down to the list, you need to be aware that what you’ll be getting might not be suitable for all types of off-road riding. Here’s why :


The good

The good news is that frames on MTB under £500 are usually of a decent quality for the money. Most manufacturers will offer strong, lightweight aluminium (for the price), which is way better than what they had on the offer a decade ago. The gears and brakes usually work efficiently too, although you can’t expect them to keep up with more expensive tiers. In the disc breaks, look for hydraulic models rather than the more maintenance requiring cable-pull systems.

The bad

An unavoidable drawback to cheap mountain bikes will be weight, durability, and quality of components. An MTB under £500 will need to carry excess weight in almost all of its component parts to make it resistant to abuse, and even then it won’t do the job good enough to satisfy a full-time mountain biker. It won’t only be heavier to carry your bike up and over those obstacles, but it will be slower to accelerate, harder to work on those climbs, and will never change those gears as smooth as “Deore XT”.

The ugly

The ugliest price you’ll be paying buying a cheap mountain bike is a suspension. Many suspension forks on sub-£500 mountain bikes are so bad that they can make trail riding harder rather than easier. They’re much heavier than rigid forks and most of them suffer from poor rebound damping, which is the way fork recoils to full extension after it’s compressed on a bump or pothole. These forks can’t be really taken seriously when full-time mountain biking is considered and in many cases, a good quality rigid MTB will do a better job than a cheap MTB with the fork. But popularity and demand dictate that forks on sub-£500 bikes slowly improve.


Carrera Kraken (£449.99)

carrera kraken - TOP 5 CHEAP MOUNTAIN BIKES

With most bikes at this price rarely going over 100mm (3.9in) of fork travel, comfort and shock absorption are well above average for the price of Carrera Kraken. You also get 27 gears and hydraulic braking and reasonable weight of 13.7kg (30.1lb).

Carrera Kraken Full Review


Voodoo Hoodoo 2014 (£339.99)


With a new model going just over 500 pounds, this superb bike will start you with serious mountain biking just at £399. Great handling, outstanding 120mm suspension for the money, top quality tyres and reliable stop/go gear. The whole bike weighs just over 30lb. Not exactly featherweight, but hey…

Voodoo Hoodoo Full Review



Trek Marlin 6 29er – (£425)


We all know that Trek knows its frames. Neatly welded chassis won’t make you see any dodgy tube profiles here. Extended size range will ensure you’ll find something for yourself. 24-speed drivetrain, Tektro M290 hydraulic disc brakes, and 100 mm of suspension travel make it another good XC offering from Trek. It manages to ride well, on and off-road.
Trek 4500 Full Review.



Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er 2014 (£425)

Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er

With only 80mm travel, this bike is not the one to take on the serious downhill. Its hydraulic disc brakes are highly responsive boosting your confidence at higher speeds. Despite its wheel size, tyres are a little bit of let-down in the muddy conditions, nothing you could not upgrade. For the recreational rider in mind, Hardrock is a perfect MTB for tackling some of the easier single tracks.

Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er Full Review.



Cube Aim Disc 26 (£399)

TOP 5 CHEAP MOUNTAIN BIKES – MTB UNDER £500 - cube-aim disc

At over 14 kg weight it’s the heaviest of all 5. But component-wise Cube always has something to offer. Good frame, great wheels and tyres, decent Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, and well working 24-speed Shimano drivetrain. Plus quality finishing kit. Don’t expect too much from the fork.
Cube Aim Disc Full Review.



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Showing 2 comments
  • Jimbob

    The Voodoo Hoodoo is a great bike. I have one and I use it for everything. From MTB to general cycling to the gym and to university. However there are a few downsides. For example I’m over 6,1 and I weigh about 15 stone. I’m fit and healthy and not fat and I treat the bike very well. I have snapped the crankshaft 3 times and has cost me £60 to replace each time. I have now fitted a stronger crank and I haven’t had any problems so far. The break cables have also rubbed the paint down on the frame so I have put protective stickers there to stop further damage. The gear and break cables have also come away from the frame however a quick fix by cable tie will fix this. Overall a good bike but it you’re over 6,1 or 14 stone, go for a better spec bike as this bike will wear and tear quicker the bigger you are.

  • Lynnette johnston

    My son has a cube 2015 gear box just broke wondering how much to fix it? In euro’s

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