Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 – Mongoose vs. Schwinn

Mountain bikes always come glowing through a bike industry. There are many individuals who selecting a mountain bike for their healthier way of life. You may be one of them and experience some problems in selecting cost-effective the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars, and then you have come to the right position.

There are a lot of mountain bikes to choose from, choosing the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars can not be hard. You will need to know what makes an outstanding mountain bike (MTB). That is being said, here are some outstanding MTBs for a serious starter. Some of the best manufacturers with mountain bikes less than $500 are Diamondback, GMC, Schwinn, Mongoose, Roadmaster, Merax.

Review: GMC Topkick Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

GMC produces the finest line of mountain bikes on the market. The GMC Topkick mountain bike is one of the most beautiful model, and it’s jam packed with features. It has 21-speed mountain bike features a full-suspension, strong aluminum frame. The seat and handlebars are micro adjustable. The floating beam suspension design is mated to a Zoom suspension fork with elastomer/spring technology. It is micro shift push shifters and Shimano TZ-30GS derailleur. GMC Topkick is strong aluminum wheelset featuring V-shape rim profile and high-flange alloy hubs mountain bikes. What separates GMC Topkick from all other manufacturer is used on front and rear Promax disk brakes work great, even in adverse conditions. GMC Topkick provides the most accuracy. Everything you need to evaluate how much progress is provided. We know that accuracy is not an issue with GMC Topkick, and that is a huge benefit to users.

The GMC Topkick mountain bike is incredibly solid, as it weighs. I don’t know what the maximum user weight is, but needless to say that most people can ride it very hard without any wobbling.

You can count on this bike requiring minimal maintenance in the long run because it’s made with such quality. This is normally only reserved for mountain bikes. This allows for a period of recovery when necessary.

The entire bike is designed to feel exactly like a road bike. You can insert your own saddle and pedals in if desired. The handlebar and seat micro-adjustments are top notch. I love the use of clamps instead of pins to secure the posts in place. It’s much more convenient and durable.

The GMC Topkick has just about everything you could ask for: excellent stability, wide range of adjustment, durability, and the best customer feedback on the market. It’s pricey; no bike is perfect, but this one is pretty close.

Review: Stowabike 26″ Folding Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

Stowabike MTB produces features a 26″ steel folding frame, adjustable handlebars and seat. Also included is 26″ suspension steel fork and brake steel v-brakes. The seat post and handlebar slider is stainless steel and is coated with a rust-resistant application.

Considering that the velocity costs under $500, this is pretty good value. The other high performance feature is a 18 Speed Gears and Wanda 26 x 1.95″ tires that allows for smooth, quiet operation. Plus, it’s more durable and ultimately requires less maintenance. The range of resistance more than enough to satisfy even the most fit individuals. It’s micro-adjustable, which gives users more flexibility while riding. The stainless steel handlebar and seat posts are naturally resistant to rust and corrosion, plus a rust-resistant coating was applied to add to the durability of the bike.

The pedals can be swapped out for clipless versions if desired. The leather break pad might not seem like a big deal, but this just makes that much more durable. This is a heavy-duty bike that provides excellent stability. You have to love the price considering the high-level performance features this bike has.

I would expect more than one year on parts. That is a significant difference having a similar price. I couldn’t find anything about that bike specifically that I didn’t like. If anyone has any insight, feel free to check here.

Review: Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike (26-Inch Wheels)

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is the “entry-level” model in the type of mountain bikes. Though, the price is anything but entry-level at just under $500. It fits the mold of a high end mountain bike. The aero-style handlebars allow for various positions, and the resistance control for high intensity workouts. Also, included is a holder that can accommodate not one. It has schwinn aluminum dual suspension frame w/Steel Rear. The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 aesthetically looks the part. It has a beautiful, smooth, streamlined appearance with a red/white color scheme. A customer noted that he wanted to place it in his living room.

The Shimano Altus 24-spd w. is simply as robust as you will find. This creates an incredibly smooth ride that rivals any other mountain bike you will find. A bike of this quality is built to the last. The frame is incredibly strong. While I couldn’t find the maximum user weight.

The resistance knob is very sensitive one little turn, and the intensity increases quite a bit. This bike will allow for quick changes and the ability to achieve as intense of a workout as you want. The knob is located very conveniently, just in front of the handlebars.

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is as stable as any bike that you will probably find. You can stand up and ride it as hard as you would like without wobbling.

The Shimano EF-50 Trigger Shifters allow for the pedals to keep going even when the cyclist stops, which simulates the feel of a true road bike. So when you feel the need to coast as you would outdoors, you can do that with the Schwinn Protocol 1.0.

Another unique feature is the pro max front disc brake and suntour suspension fork. This is the first mountain bike I have seen with this feature. It may not be a huge benefit, but having MTB handlebar w/ Schwinn 4 Bolt A-Head Stem on hand is a lot more convenient. It helps you stay hydrated so you can get the most out of your session.

It comes with alloy high profile rims w/ black bladed spokes. The seat and handlebars are micro-adjustable to achieve the right position for you. The seat is also comfortable and mimics a road bike. With that said, you can go out and purchase one separately to attach to the bike if desired.

The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is worth every penny. It has ideal performance features across the board. It’s very stable, operates smoothly and quietly, and the resistance is precise. If performance is what matters most to you, then you won’t be disappointed with the Protocol 1.0 from Schwinn.

Review: 26″ Wheel Roadmaster Granite Peak Men’s Mountain Bike

The Granite Peak is a mid level mountain bike. It features a 26″ wheels, a geometry steel frame, and alloy rims. The seat and handlebars are adjustable horizontally. The pedals and seat can be swapped out for others. Either way, this is a big positive as most bikes in general do not have this feature.

A heavy flywheel produces a smooth, quiet, consistent motion. The 3-piece mountain crank offers wide gear range and linear pull breaks provide great stopping power.

It’s a well-constructed bike especially for the price. Numerous customers made note that it didn’t wobble at all, even when standing up. The pedals do come with toe straps, which is pretty standard for mid-level bikes. A lot of cyclists prefer the SPD pedals, and they can be installed if desired. You can also buy your own seat as well.

A few customer reviews pointed out that Roadmaster’s customer service was a positive. One person in particular said that their response was quick, they correctly diagnosed the problem, sent out the new part, and had a repair shop in the area come in and do the replacement.

The price I believe gives this bike good value. Durability tends to be more of an issue with lower-to-mid level bikes. Either way, this is a big positive as most bikes in general do not have this feature.

As with most mountain bikes, the seat is not very comfortable according to customers. This is why manufacturers allow consumers to exchange it for a different one. Another complaint is that the handlebar height adjustment is rather limited, which can be a problem for those 5’10″ on up.

The Roadmaster Granite Peak is one of the better mid-level mountain bike available. By all accounts, the customer service is also helpful, which is important anytime you buy exercise equipment. The bike has some flaws, but none of them is really significant. Overall, it’s a quality bike that is worth the price.

Review: Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch)

The Mongoose Impasse is one of the lowest priced mountain bike on the market. Its main feature is the 21 speed Shimano rear derailleur with SRAM twist shifters and aluminum suspension frame, which is exclusive to Mongoose. It provides tons of feedback, including the user’s current and past performance. It also features an alloy wheels with quick release front. The Mongoose Impasse just might be the best mountain bike under 500 on the market. The alloy front & rear disc brakes are what separates it from any other.

In essence, the aluminum suspension frame provides feedback on your performance during a workout, and a report after your finished. It will record your workout history going back two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks, six months, and one year. This allows you to see what type of progress you are making. It will even save a workout out for you can do it again in the future. You can replicate the type of terrain that you will see at a certain race or ride.

It generates enough momentum that you can on the road. It also allows for the bike to operate very quietly and smoothly. The seat and handlebars have infinite adjustment, so users can find the optimal position. This is one of the few bikes out there with element suspension fork, but it really allows users to make quick and precise adjustments.

The Mongoose believes in the durability of their product. Considering how well-constructed their bikes are, this should come as no surprise. It’s fair to say that Mongoose produces the best line of mountain bikes out there.

All in all, the Mongoose Impasse performs just as good if not better than any other mountain bike out there. It’s incredibly stable, smooth, and quiet. For those who want the most comprehensive feedback possible, this by far is the best bike available.

Why You Should Buy Mountain Bikes Under 500 Dollars

  • If you buy a mountain bike that is under $500 you are not hurting your wallet.
  • In case you break something, it will not cost a lot to replace the broken part.
  • It will not easily get stolen.
  • As a beginner, you do not always have to spend more than $500 on a mountain bike and you will be able to upgrade right away if you want to because you did not overspend on your first one.
  • These bikes are already equipped with Shimano Shifters and a frame that is very durable.
  • Bikes that are under $500 are not as complicated as high-end ones and it is more ideal for every day riding.
  • They are able to provide great exercise without weighing too much.
  • These bikes are already loaded with front and back disc brakes.

Pros of mountain bikes under $500

  • Easy on the wallet.
  • Changing gears are very easy with mountain bikes under $500.
  • They can already be taken to trails and tough terrains.
  • Some of them are equipped with Shimano Derailleurs and SRAM twist shifters.
  • They are very easy to assemble.
  • You can upgrade them without too much hassle.
  • They have comfortable seats that are also adjustable.
  • You will have good exercise if you own and ride one.

Cons of mountain bikes under $500

  • There is no water bottle holder.
  • Not all materials of the bike are top quality.
  • The handle bars tend to move a little.
  • The chain has the tendency to come off if you are riding under tight conditions.
  • The riding experience can sometimes become inconsistent.

Questions That People Usually Ask About Mountain Bikes Under $500

Is it possible to adjust the suspension at the rear and front?

  • That is possible, but if you are not confident about doing it you need to take it to a bike store.

Do trigger shifters really make a difference even if the bike is under $500?

  • There are people who prefer trigger shifters over grip shifters, but that depends on your preference.

It says that the bike is upgradable, would it be better to upgrade or not?

  • Upgrading is not always the best idea because there might be parts that will not work well with the others. It is either you get a new bike or keep using this one without changing anything.

Does the full suspension frame really make a difference?

  • Yes it does. You will notice the riding comfort it provides when you have been on the bike for a long time.

The bike is under $500, will it last long?

  • As long as you give it proper care and maintenance, it will even last for years.

Do they come with a warranty even if they are under $500?

  • Yes they do and you can ask about the warranty policies from where you bought the bike


If you are on a budget, but want something that is mid-ranged, these are the best bikes you will be able to choose from because they already come with the features you need.

Even if they are not the most expensive bikes, they are still able to provide the best riding experience that you are expecting because they are also made by the most reputable bike companies. Even if a lot of people complained that the bikes do not come with a water bottle holder, the fact is, most of the mountain bikes being sold today really don’t have a place for a water bottle. These bikes are already loaded with speed triggers, Shimano Derailleurs, and reliable brakes that you can depend on while you are outdoors riding on tough terrains.

Whatever your choice is or the riding goals you have, you will easily find the best mountain bikes under 500 dollars because they are also made with  great quality. Do not think that you will never have a good mountain bike with this kind of budget because companies have found ways to equip bikes with good features while keeping the price not too exorbitant. They are aware that even people who do not want to spend much deserve a good mountain bike.

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