Buying a hardtail mountain bike on a budget is a right of passage into the sport of mountain biking. Whether you’re just getting started in the sport, or even if you’re a more accomplished rider who simply wants an affordable mountain bike, everyone wants to get the best value for their money.
This hardtail mountain bike buyer’s guide is designed to help you do just that.
The Commencal Meta AM HT is one of the most affordable all mountain hardtails on the market, and the base model comes spec’ed with an alloy frame, a RockShox Sektor Silver RL Air fork with 140mm of travel, a SRAM X5 2×9 drivetrain, Tektro HD-M 285 hydraulic disc brakes, and wide 27.5×2.4″ Maxxis Ardent EXO tires.
Technically, the $650 Diamondback Hook above may be considered an all-mountain hardtail by some, but the 140mm fork on the Meta AM beats out the 120mm fork on the Hook handily.
Salsa Timberjack $999-$1,400
Salsa has rolled out several affordable and well-spec’ed bikes within the last year, with the base model of the Timberjack being especially notable. This rig features an aluminum frame, 29″ wheels, a Manitou M30 120mm fork, Tektro Auriga Hydraulic disc brakes, and most notably–a SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain, the only 11-speed drivetrain on this list.
As I mentioned above, this list is far from comprehensive. But with these key models, you can easily compare the hardtail mountain bike you’re considering buying to the bikes on this list to see how it stacks up and compares.
And remember, be sure to shop around! While some of these bikes might be the best at MSRP in their category, that’s not to say that you can’t find a killer deal in a hole-in-the-wall bike shop downtown.
More Hardtails Information
Check out the hardtails archive for even more info and the latest news about these bikes.
Your turn: Know of a great budget hardtail mountain bike that we didn’t include? Talk it up in the comments below!
Last Updated on May 29, 2017, at 7:55am MDT by Greg Heil.