If you fancy yourself as a thrill-seeker, the chances are you’re no stranger to a mountain bike.
Whether you’re just starting out or perhaps an experienced rider looking for an upgrade but don’t have thousands of pounds to spend – we’ve got you covered.
We’ve sourced the best mountain bikes under £500 in 2021.
- 0.0.1 Typical price: £350
- 0.0.2 Key features
- 0.0.3 Rider review
- 0.0.4 Typical price: £400
- 0.0.5 Rider review
- 0.0.6 Typical price: £435
- 0.0.7 Key features
- 0.0.8 Rider review
- 0.0.9 Typical price: £400
- 0.0.10 Key features
- 0.0.11 Rider review
- 0.0.12 Typical price: £500
- 0.0.13 Key features
- 0.0.14 Rider review
- 0.0.15 Typical price: £450
- 0.0.16 Key features
- 0.0.17 Rider review
- 0.0.18 Typical price: £449
- 0.0.19 Key features
- 0.0.20 Rider review
- 0.0.21 Typical price: £499
- 0.0.22 Key features
- 0.0.23 Rider review
- 0.0.24 Typical price: £459.99
- 0.0.25 Key features
- 0.0.26 Rider review
- 0.0.27 Typical price: £474.99
- 0.0.28 Key features
- 0.0.29 Rider review
- 0.0.30 Typical price: £499
- 0.0.31 Key features
- 0.0.32 Rider review
- 0.0.33 Typical price: £439.99
- 0.0.34 Key features
- 0.0.35 Rider review
- 0.0.36 Typical price: £374.99
- 0.0.37 Key features
- 0.0.38 Rider review
- 1 Specialist mountain bike insurance from Cycleplan
Typical price: £350
- Lightweight, strong, and durable frame
- Mechanical disc brakes
- Memory foam saddle
- Puncture-resistant tyres
The Carrera Vengeance Mountain Bike has everything you could want for under £500.
As well as looking the part, it’s practical and reliable. Its 16-speed Shimano Altus gearing system makes hill climbing a breeze, while its soft and supportive memory foam saddle will give you added comfort when you’re riding on harsh terrain.
With tough protection added to the tyres, your chances of a puncture with the Carrera Vengeance are minimal. The durable frame also gives you greater control when steering.
The mechanical disc brakes mean stopping in adverse weather conditions is easy, while adjusting the forks to match your suspension with the terrain makes the whole riding experience a joy.
“I haven’t had any problems with this bike at all. The gears are smooth, the brakes are really keen, and the saddle is bearable.”
Typical price: £400
- 100mm travel suspension fork
- Progressive wheel sizing
- 21 gears
- 25in wide, grippy tyres
Whatever your reason for getting a mountain bike, the Talus 2 is sure to tick all your boxes.
Renowned for its versatility, the Talus 2 is as at home on the morning commute as it is on gravelly mountain terrain.
It also boasts progressive wheel sizing – as the frames get bigger, so do the wheels and vice versa. This flexible feature makes the Talus suited to riders of all shapes and sizes.
You needn’t worry about pedalling, either. With an impressive 21 gears at your fingertips, you’re bound to find one to fit your groove.
“As this was my first mountain bike, I was a bit unsure, and I didn’t want to spend too much. I usually get road bikes, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good this bike is. It’s fast and comfortable.”
Typical price: £435
- Shimano Acera 8-speed gearing
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Kenda Kadre tyres
- Suntour XCM suspension fork
If you’re new to mountain biking, the Kapur Pinnacle is a great first bike to buy.
This bike has it all – it’s fitted with Shimano Acera 8-speed gearing for clean shifting, hydraulic disc-brakes for all-weather stopping, and Kenda Kadre tyres for unbeatable grip.
With 760mm wide handlebars, too, you’re in complete control of steering, regardless of the conditions.
Whatever your reason for mountain biking – be it pleasure, fitness, or sheer adventure – the Kapur Pinnacle will suit your needs down to the ground (or terrain).
“I love this bike. The hydraulic brakes are so good – you usually get these on more expensive bikes, but they come as standard on this one.”
Typical price: £400
- Suntour XCM forks
- 18-speed Shimano Altus gearing
- 5-in double-walled wheels
- Hydraulic disc-brakes
While the Carrera Vengeance is more suited to beginners, the Carrera Vulcan is a good next step.
As you become more experienced and confident, the option to shift through a larger variety of gears means there’s plenty of life and potential in the Vulcan. Plus, thanks to the addition of hydraulic brakes, you’ll have everything you need to deal with the unknown.
Strength isn’t compromised with a lightweight frame, either, and the signature Carrera memory foam saddle means you’ll be comfortable no matter what lies ahead on the hills.
“This is one of the best bikes I’ve ever owned. The suspension has a lot of movement for springs, and the brakes are great and efficient.”
Typical price: £500
- Lightweight aluminium frame
- 18-speed Shimano Altus gears
- Large 27.5-in wheels with Kenda K-1150 tyres
- Suntour XCM DS HLO forks with 120mm of travel
If off-road terrain is your thing, then the Voodoo Bantu is for you.
The lightweight aluminium frame gives you complete control, and with this bike’s large wheels featuring Kenda K-1150 tyres, no ground is tricky ground.
Suitable for both newcomers and experienced mountain bikers, the Voodoo Bantu comes with a bent and dropped top tube. This tube allows for plenty of standover and is ideal for building your confidence on rougher terrain.
You’ll notice the splashes of light, reflective paint on this model, too – which helps improve your night-time visibility and safety.
“I haven’t been off it since I bought it. It’s a solid, well-made bike that handles anything you want it to.”
Typical price: £450
- Rack and mudguard mounts
- Internal wire routing
- 21 speeds and a range of gearing
This slick-looking mountain bike is made for any adventure, any time.
Its wide range of gearing means you’ll never struggle to find the right one to suit your ride. When you’re tackling the more testing mountain terrains, the added suspension fork and mechanical disc brakes will help minimise your exertion.
The rack and mudguard mounts also make the Trek Marlin easy to accessorise, meaning your mountain bike can double up for a more stylish looking commute.
Internal wire routing across the handlebar means you can focus on the stuff that really matters too, and for under £500 – what’s not to love?
“Top quality design and a solid bike – it looks amazing in person.”
Typical price: £449
- Made from Premium A1 aluminium
- Radius CX-7 disc brakes
- 16 Shimano gears
The Specialized Rockhopper offers great performance for great value.
A premium A1 aluminium frame with butted tubes means weight stays low while strength remains high, so you never have to compromise.
Each Rockhopper frame size is also paired with optimal wheel size, meaning it’s a suitable ride for all shapes, sizes, and terrains.
If you’re looking for a quality first mountain bike for under £500, look no further and become a ‘Rockhopper’ today.
“This is a really great bike. I bought one for my son, but after having a go myself, I’m now saving up for my own.”
Typical price: £499
- Aluminium triple triangle frame
- Floating seat stays
- Blended wheel size to accommodate a wide range of riders
The GT Avalanche Sport is ideal for either aspiring mountain bikers or those looking for a proper off-road upgrade.
Built around a 6061 aluminium triple triangle frame with floating seat stays providing optimum comfort, this stylish mountain bike will help you tackle the toughest of terrains.
Boasting a Suntour suspension fork, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and 9-speed Shimano gears, it has everything you need for the complete off-road experience.
“It isn’t the lightest bike in the world, that’s for sure, but it’s definitely a great one on the trails.”
Typical price: £459.99
- Off-road friendly geometry
- Lightweight alloy frame
- SR Suntour XCM Fork absorb shock and suspension
- Shimano Acera 24-speed drivetrain
Versatile and reliable are just two of the words you could use to describe the GT Aggressor Expert.
With off-road friendly geometry and an aluminium frame that’s light but snappy, it’s perfect for both the streets and the wilderness.
The added fork absorb shock and suspension system, coupled with the Shimano Acera 24-speed drivetrain, will make you as ready for the mountains as the local park.
For less than £500, you can cruise through a wide range of gear options and enjoy powerful, controlled stopping with minimal effort, courtesy of the Tektro M275 hydraulic disc brakes.
“I bought this bike for my 11-year-old. I didn’t want to pay loads, but I have to say, for the price, this is a great bike. It’s not super light, but neither is it like a lump of lead.”
Typical price: £474.99
- Light and durable SmartForm C3 alloy frame
- 7-speed drivetrain
- SAVE Micro-suspension
Built with stability front of mind, the Cannondale Trail 8 will raise your game and spark a new, deeper passion for mountain biking.
The light and durable C3 alloy frame will make your ride feel nimble, flexible and comfortable.
You’ll notice that the headtube has also been slackened, making the general handling much more stable and allowing for more confident descents.
The addition of mechanical disc brakes also means you can travel at the highest speeds possible, safe in the knowledge that your stopping power is second to none, no matter the conditions.
“I’ve clocked more than 250 miles so far, and it hasn’t missed a beat.”
Typical price: £499
- Quick-shifting Shimano Tourney 3×8-speed drivetrain
- Cube GE803 rims and Impac Smartpac tyres
- Aluminium Lite frame with enduro-inspired geometry
Engineered for control and composure, the Cube Aim Hardtail is designed for all seasons and terrains.
Suited to fast trail riding, steep climbs and intricate routes, this mountain bike is the ideal choice for an adventure.
Neat internal cable routing ensures gives this bike a slick appearance, while the Cube GE803 rims coupled with Cube Impac Smartpac tyres allow for a quick and reliable high traction rolling performance everywhere you go.
“The bike frame welding is clean, and the paint quality is spot on. My 9-year-old son can manage the bike, too, thanks to the very adjustable seat. Great bike.”
Typical price: £439.99
- Edge Suprême 5 alloy frame
- Available in 27.5in or 29in wheel size
- Shimano 24-speed drivetrain and MT200 hydraulic disc brakes
Lapierre was founded in 1946, and its core philosophy is that cycling and mountain biking is for everyone – not just the professional elite.
This ethos is epitomised by the Edge 2.7, a bike that’s ideal if you want to start out on the trails but not break the bank.
The bike is available in numerous wheel sizes, so it’s easily adaptable to any track or terrain, while internal cable routing allows for a nice, clean look, too.
For under £500, the Edge 2.7 will allow you to discover the sheer joy and excitement in the sport, give you the confidence to descend the hills at speed and tackle tough terrains with ease.
“This is a very capable bike which handles well both for climbing and descending.”
Typical price: £374.99
- Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- Shimano 21-speed gearing
- Front suspension
The Forme Stanage 2 Hardtail Mountain Bike offers the best of both worlds when it comes to mixing adventure with the everyday.
While the Shimano 21-speed gears mean you’re well-equipped for navigating tough hilly ground, the extra-grippy tyres also make this a solid choice for a stable daily run-around.
For added comfort, this bike comes fitted with SR Suntour suspension forks.
The light aluminium frame keeps you in complete command at all times, too – wherever you choose to ride.
“You’d be hard pushed to find better value than the Forme Stanage. It has a real ruggedness you’d expect from a mountain bike.”
Specialist mountain bike insurance from Cycleplan
We know there are lots of factors to consider here – but one factor that needn’t require any thought is getting your mountain bike insured.
So, whether you currently own a mountain bike or are in the market for one, you need to make sure you’re protected with specialist mountain bike insurance before you go out and test the terrain.
Our mountain bike insurance is designed to protect both you and your bike. Whether you require Personal Accident Cover to protect yourself from injury or Theft and Accidental Damage Cover for your bike, we’ve got you covered.
What’s more – we also offer Public Liability to cover your legal fees if you injure somebody else or damage property while out on the trails.
Get an instant online quote today and stay protected.
The Most Essential Bike Safety Gear for Your Next Ride
5 Ways To Get Better At Hill Climbing
The Most Extreme Bike Trails In The World