Best Entry Level Mountain Bike 2018: Beginner’s Complete Guides A-Z

If you are reading what Sanitas Cycling write here, you are probably new to the sport of mountain biking. Don’t worry, Sanitas Cycling have everything for you.

This article is also given to you, keep following and find out what you need, best entry level mountain bike 2018 – beginner’s complete guide from A to Z.

A mountain bike is for running around the hills and mountains, right?

You can understand how to use it as simply as the name of this bicycle because the mountain road is difficult to go in reality.

However, when using mountain bikes, you usually ride “off-road” on rugged terrain such as hills or mountain roads, sandy places like deserts, rocky trails. Therefore, they have a dedicated design to keep you running smoothly and safely.

Interestingly, besides the same features as other bicycles, this bike has its designs for increased durability and performance in uneven terrain.

What is a mountain bike

What is a mountain bike?

Mountain Bike size chart is what you require to choose the right product

Question: What size of mountain bike do you need?

Believe it or not, each type of bike will have a different bike size chart for you to look at and choose the product that best suits you. With mountain bikes, read the following table of measurement:

mountain bike size chart

Mountain bike size chart

Calculate your size in an easy wayIn the size chart, you find a strange word “inseam length”. Move to the next part, and we can show you what it is.

It’s effortless to know how to measure mountain bike size. For inseam length, you stand with your bare feet apart 15-20 cm, then measure the height from the ground to your crotch. Now you use your computer and quickly find the right size: Your frame size = leg inseam (cm) x 0.66.

But remember this: Saddle height plays a significant role. If it’s too low, you will not have enough energy at your feet to ride the bike for long periods of time.

Do you know how many types of mountain bikes?

There are many types of mountain bikes for you to choose such as cross-country, trail riding, enduro, downhill, freeride and dirt jumping. The most popular models are the cross country and trail riding style.

Buying guideline of a best entry level mountain bike for beginners

Buying guideline of a best entry level mountain bike for beginners

Buying guideline of a best entry level mountain bike for beginners 2018

Let’s dig a little deeper on how to choose a mountain bike.

Mountain bike wheels

With mountain bikes, you’ll have large tires for excellent grip and traction on a variety of surfaces such as the road full of dirt, rocks or sand. Also, it’s tire’s pressure will be less than that on the road bike due to the larger size and stronger traction of the soft tire.

And of course, your mountain bike needs the great and durable rims and spokes on the wheel to handle difficult rough paths effectively.

The frame material

There are four main materials used to make the mountain bike frame. First, the steel frame which has durability, strength and low price, but is slightly heavy and can go rust over time.

The next one costing more is aluminium. Frame made of aluminium is light, durable, and rustproof. However, it is easily breakable when put under high pressure or stress hence it is not ideal for heavy people.

Another kind of frame is produced with carbon fibre which is lightweight, rust proof, but also fragile.

And the last one is titan material. It is the most expensive and worth owning because it is durable, well-balanced, and strong. It can withstand pressure and the large load.

As a result of that, for beginner and everyday use, our advice is not to buy a titanium frame which is more suitable for professional riders.

The handle of the mountain bike

Mountain bikes are equipped with flat and straight handle stem for wider grip, allowing you to sit upright in a better position. You will have the perfect vision and safely control of the bike to move up and down the terrain.

The position of your riding

When sitting on a mountain bike, you must sit upright to control the situation on the road. The design of the bike should give you a centre of gravity and quickly shift the weight forward or backward to ride on bumpy roads.

The pedal of the mountain bike

This bike is made with a pedal platform, which makes it easy to put one foot down on the ground.

Moreover, everybody feels different about the comfort of riding a bicycle, as well as the habit of cycling (often put a foot down on the ground or use toe clips or want to stick more to a pedal) and the difficulty of the terrain. Therefore, you should try riding to find the right pedal.

The gears of the mountain bike

A mountain bike has two or three chainrings in the front, which is a part of the crank assembly, along with eight or nine gears on the rear wheel. It also has large-sized gears called a granny gear for particular slopes. This design creates 16 to 27 possible combinations of the gears to help you conquer any terrain that you will encounter.

Other accessories you need to consider

They are a cycling-computer, pump of the frame, bag of tools, filled-water bottle, and a bike cage. You can learn from experienced riders when they always bring useful tools and replacement parts to fix the mountain bike if needed.

That’s all for our buying guide, now move on the next part of the best brand for mountains bikes.

Find out your best mountain bike brands 2019

For the best mountain bikes under 3000, we recommend you to buy the brand of Santa Cruz of Santa Cruz Bicycles (USA), a high-end mountain bike manufacturer.

Currently, the company designs and sells about a dozen fashionable mountain bike models and frames made of carbon fibre and aluminium.

The frames are produced in China or Taiwan, but all bikes are assembled in Santa Cruz. Each product is built according to customer specifications right before shipping.

When your need goes for the best mountain bikes under 2000, the ideal brand for you is Diamondback of Diamondback Bicycles, a significant bicycle brand in the USA.

Products are sold in many countries with different models and sizes. These medium bicycles are manufactured by Kinesis Industry in China. Diamondback developed Knuckle Box Suspension, new Release bicycle platform and Level Link patent-pending suspension.

And you should remember Trek brand when thinking of having the best mountain bikes under 1500. It is owned by Trek Bicycle Corporation (USA), which manufactures and distributes bicycles worldwide under some brands.

99% of Trek bikes are made in the Netherlands, Germany and China. Trek’s Standard is Bjorling saying “We hold all the products we make to an incredible standard—love.”

Get more information on our recommended list of top-rated mountain bikes in various price

Product nameWeight (kg)Size (Inch)FrameForkBrakeWheels

(Inch)

Tire
1. BEIOU Carbon Fiber 27.5 Mountain Bike 10.7/ 11.817″

/19″

Carbon FiberUDING DH32 27.5″ Air Suspension Fork / UDING 29″ Air Suspension ForkHidden Disc Brake27.5″

/29″

MAXXIS 27.5*2.10 65psi / CHAOYANG FALCON 29*2.10 60TPI
2. Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike13.6S=5’3″-5’6″, M=5’6″-5’9″, L=5’9″-6′, XL=6′-6’4″AluminumSR Suntour XCR 120mm travelTektro Auriga hydraulic disc27.5”Kenda Honey Badger 27.5 x 2.2
3. Diamondback Bicycles Lux Women’s Hardtail Mountain Bike14.119″AluminumSR Suntour XCT 80mm travel coil springMechanical disc brakes27.5”Big knobby tires
4. 2018 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike11.819″AluminumSuntour long travel with adjustable preloadDisc Brake26”Black 26 x 2.1
5. Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes18.116”SteelFront suspension forkFront and rear linear pull brakes26”26”

Explore our complete reviews of the top 5 mountain bikes.

1. BEIOU Carbon Fiber 27.5 Mountain Bike – Best mountain bikes under 1500

Via amazon

You are looking for a mountain bike with strength and versatility, we have a good suggestion for you: BEIOU Carbon Fiber 27.5 Mountain Bike.

This bike has many useful features to satisfy your need. It is built-in with the carbon fibre frame which is lightweight, highly-resistant to rust and damage for a long time of use.

Not only that, you can have a beautiful design in red, black and white colour that make a perfect finish. For your safety, the manufacturer provides 3*10 Speed, Hidden Disc Brake, Air Fork Suspension. Now you can ride this mountain bike comfortably without worrying about your brake system.

We believe you are interested in the speed system of this bike. It is equipped with a SHIMANO DEORE M610 speed control system to bring you a better performance on the road. After all, the Hardtail MTB can help you improve your cycling skill as well as your arm muscle development.

ProCons
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • High quality and durable frame
  • Faster and safer on the road
  • Lightweight and fashionable
  • Long-lasting mountain bike
  • The pedals and the seat may not be in good conditions

2. Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike – Best mountain bikes under 1000

Via amazon

Your need is the strong drivetrain to get high performance in uphill and downhill. Don’t have to find further! The Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2 Mountain Bike is ideal enough for you.

This bike is equipped by Shimano Alivio 1×9 drivetrain along with best gears and well-linked shifters, allows you to control and navigate on the rugged mountain roads fully.

Coming to the Raleigh Bikes Tokul 2, you will get the great tires and trims. It has alloy 27.5-inch Weinmann U28 rims and Kenda Honey Badger 27.2×2.2-inch tires which is perfect for wet and hardest conditions.

Moreover, this mountain bike also comes with hydraulic disc brakes and smooth fork, so it is beneficial to improve stopping and smooth riding in various conditions. After all, you have a lightweight, easy-to-use mountain bike with a comfortable seat.

ProCons
  • Easy to control and use
  • Light aluminum frame
  • High performance and strong stopping power
  • Well handle on all roads
  • Many sizes to choose
  • The gears may be low
  • Bike assemble may be difficult

3. Diamondback Bicycles Lux Women’s Hardtail Mountain Bike – Best mountain bikes under 500

Via amazon

A do-it-all bike built for all kind of trails is up-and-coming to ensure that you will get the most convenience. If desired to know, just take a look at the Diamondback Bicycles Lux Women’s Hardtail Mountain Bike. This bike is for women to conquer the hardest trail.

It fits the feminine style with many good features such as aluminium alloy frame, excellent traction and reliable wheels, SR Sun tour soft spring 80mm suspension fork, high-performance Shimano shifters and derailleurs and disc brakes for superior stopping power.

All things considered, the mountain bike from Diamondback is an ideal option to ride safely and conveniently on the road. You can also move fast thanks to Shimano 3×8 speed drivetrain paired with SR Suntour XCT crankset. Last but not least, you just put on the front wheel, seat, and pedals, pump up the tires and start.

ProCons
  • Easy to assemble and handle
  • Alloy aluminium frame
  • Women can use comfortable in all terrains
  • Faster and safer on road and when stopping
  • Stylish design
  • The bike has no rear suspension system

4. 2018 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike – Best mountain bikes under 300

Via amazon

If you are looking for an entry level mountain bike with a low budget and reliable quality, you can buy the 2018 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike. The Gravity products rarely make the consumers disappointed. Although it is a low-cost price, it provides outstanding characteristics.

This bike offers front and rear disc brakes, light and durable aluminium frames, strong double wall rims, and adjustable Suntour suspension fork.

The 2018 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike is a suitable selection for beginners who want to try rugged trails.

Foremost, there is an easy-to-use design. You can use the Shimano shifters easily and release the wheels quickly.

All promise to provide a fast and smooth ride, saddle comfort, better-stopping power, and stable gears when using.

ProCons
  • Quicky assemble
  • Light aluminium frame
  • Easy to control and use
  • Stop easily and ride smoothly
  • Low price but high quality
  • The paddle may not be good enough

5. Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes – Best mountain bikes under 200

Via amazon

You are interested in the quality and the budget. It’s okay! The Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes can meet your demand. You can have Schwinn mountain frame and suspension fork, Shimano twist shifters with a 21-speed rear derailleur, front and rear alloy linear, and alloy rims and cranks.

With many good features, you can ride this bike safely on hardest trails with a quick gear change and secure stopping.

Moreover, this bike is light and durable thanks to its alloy materials of significant parts.

And the last thing to appreciate this bike is its quality drivetrain and simple-to-use design. You can ride fast and smoothly in the right position and adjustable seat.

ProCons
  • Good control on the road
  • 21 quick shift gears and nimble 26-inch wheels
  • Easy to control and use
  • Simple design
  • Very cheap and light
  • It may be hard to assemble

How to ride a mountain bike

Your riding position

First of all, you have to focus on your position, neutral or ready. When you are on the easy trail, you use your neutral position. It means that you balance the pedals evenly, curve your knees and elbows slightly, keep your index finger stay on the brakes, and watch out the road in front of you to know where to go.

On the other hand, if you come to the hard trail, you should be in ready position. At this time, you keep put your feet on two pedals with same pressure, bend your knees and elbows deeply, move your back quite parallel the ground and lean your body forward, also put your fingers on the brakes all the times, and carefully look at the road to be alert to obstructions or rough terrain.

Your sitting position

To climb or downhill easily, you need to adjust your sitting position properly. You have to change your seat for maximum efficiency while cycling. If your feet are at the bottom of the pedal, stretch your leg to 80-90% of extension to use the power of your main muscles well.

In contrast, on the way down the slope, you change the seat height lowering about 2 or 3 inches compared with the height you set for climbing the hill. This action can help you to reduce your gravity centre to control better through sloping road.

Choose your way to go

The beginners often have a mistake when starting to ride a mountain bike. You are afraid of the harsh roads and just want to avoid them and not focus on where to go.

The hazards on the road will be varied, depending on the skill you will discover them such as stones, sand, water, roots, passers, animals, etc. You should scan the road by looking forward 500-600 cm, then move your eyes to your tires.

If you do that, you can adjust your position, control the bike and select a perfect line to ride.

How to brake the mountain bike

If you know how to ride a bike, braking is simple, just squeeze the levers and slow down the bike. However, you can do this better to ensure the safety of the long-distance ride.

You need to control your brakes by smoothly applying the brakes evenly over the front and rear and pressing quickly to help prevent slipping. You should also move your hips back, drop the feet down and keep the knees and elbows slightly bent to make sure the body does not go too far forward on the bike.

If your mountain bike has disc brakes, you need to control the braking force by holding the index fingers on the brake and other three fingers on the handle. With the rim brakes, you put two fingers on the brake bar because you need more power to use them.

You have to use the brake before approaching a turn; your momentum can help you pass it. When doing that, you can use your skill to go through the corner with proper speed. And remember to control the momentum effectively if you need to get over things on the road.

How to deal with the fall

Riding a mountain bike in a problematic terrain will cause you to fall several times. You should hold your arm when dropping off the bike, reaching out your hand can lead to wrist fractures or collarbone.

After a fall, you need to stand up right away, brush the dust, check if the body is injured or not. Then examine your bike, see if the seat or handle may be twisted and the chain may be off, brakes and gears may be damaged. Remember to bring a versatile tool and a small first aid kit to use when needed.

Some other important notes

When you encounter a difficult road or cannot ride the bike, get off your bicycle and walk through with it. You should only use the bike path, do not cross the street for hikers or animals. You always give priority to bicyclists go up the slope, especially in singletrack, you need to stop and lift your bike out of the trail.

In any case, you should slow down when approaching pedestrians or horses and give them a vast space. Lastly, you inform other trail users to know your presence by giving greetings.

Ideal mountain bike parts – you should know

Best mountain bike tires sizes

Beginners will benefit from wider tires. You can feel that you are really riding a bike when using a 3-inch width tire than the smaller tire. The bigger and the wider the tires are, the more comfortable you ride with the mountain bike. If you want to experience more agile, you can choose smaller tires. You can select a front tire with larger knobs and a back tire of semi-sleek for better speeds and a high-quality grip.

Best mountain bike helmet

When you drive long distances, a lightweight helmet is a great thing. You can choose from 13-ounce helmets that are favoured by many riders.

Helmets must be well-ventilated, allowing the air to move from front to back, with soft EPS foam padding inside, good sweeping padding. The helmets need to be appropriately sized, and the helmet back and string can be adjustable to match the head size.

You will find MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection Systems) listed on many helmets or POC helmets with SPIN that use an inner pad to reduce the rotation of the brain. Also, the helmet needs a big adjustable sun visor which is great to keep the sun out of your eyes and provide extra protection from rain and tree branches. If you want to add Goggle compatibility or action camera mounts, you can consider choosing suitable helmets.

Best mountain bike saddle

You need to choose a comfortable seat so you can sit on the mountain bike for a long time. You need to consider how often you ride, what your riding style, your position on the bike, weight, hip width and gender. The reason is that if you ride a lot, and tend to lean more towards, you’ll need a flat and narrow saddle.

Best mountain bike wheels

Most mountain bike wheels are still made from aluminium offering a light weight to ride. You also need to consider wheel size and rim type. There are three main wheel sizes: 26 “, 27.5” and 29 “.

The small wheels usually offer the lightest option and the highest rigidity. The 27.5-inch wheels provide a great compromise of weight, handling and speed.

The 29-inch wheels help enhance to the maximum speed, but you need more effort to pedal to spin the wheel.

Standard and tubeless are two options for the rim. The standard rim is used with an inner tube, the traditional way to set wheels for riding.

The tubeless rim allows the inner tube to be removed from the set-up providing a different feeling when riding with lower pressure.

Best mountain bike pedals

You need a pedal that can withstand frequent bending or wiping. You can consider their durability and remember even the most durable pedals need to be replaced with a five year of heavy rider.

Along with the strength is to go clean. Some pedals retain dirt better, and some are harsh about re-lubrication after cleaning, check them out carefully when buying.

Moreover, the pedal adjustment should be easy. You can click on the pedals, or your feet move spontaneously when you ride. And if you suffer from knee pain, freedom of movement on the pedals is especially important.

Best mountain bike lights

You must consider the type of trail you will go at night and the speed you expect to carry. A helmet-mounted light will keep track of wherever you are looking and shine more on the trail.

Bar mounted light shines farther along the path, but produce more shadows in uneven terrain. It is best to buy both kinds, but for beginners, the average helmet light is a good start.

LEDs are reliable and super efficient. At a minimum you need 400 lumens to go the trails at night, the hard paths and decent speed deceleration requires 750-1000 lumens.

You also need to consider the beam model, and the simplest is a round kind or the circular beam model with a central “hot spot” and an excellent external halo diffusion. Lights also have many modes of light such as high, medium, low, blinking, etc.

In short, you should pay attention to the quality and reliability of the battery, such as rechargeable Li-ion batteries or NiMH batteries. Look for high running times that are at least long enough for your typical trip. And don’t forget to stick a flashing red tail light on your mountain bike for any night trip.

Just get it done for the guide, here are some FAQ you may want to ask us

1. How to change mountain bike tires

It is a good question because when you take a mountain bike for wilderness trails, no one will help you change tires. You can see how the bike mechanics do when they want to remove old tires to use new tires. First, you turn the bike on the back, remove the broken tire and take the tube from the wheel rim. You check and clean the inner of the tire.

You determine the hole on the tire by dipping the tube into the water and see bubbles rise from the hole. Then, you patch the hole by using a bicycle tire patch, wait a bit for the patch to stick to the tube and check that patch well. Finally, put the tube back on the tire, attach the tire to the frame and pump the tire.

2. How to fit a mountain bike

A suitable bike will help you ride more easily and comfortably, as well as take control of everything on the road. You need to choose the bike to fit your riding style. When you upgrade your skills, you can adjust your bike later.

Your bike should have a proper frame size. It is an important thing because you can’t feel convenient if you have the wrong frame size even you adjust anything of it. At that time, you can fine-tune the fit by adjusting the bike components such as seat height and seat angle or swap some components.

Moreover, you always can ask for help at the bike shop, try the mountain bike at the shop and find the right one for you with the advice from experienced staff. If you shop online, check the return policy of the product carefully if it does not suit you well.

3. How to shift gears on a mountain bike

The first thing to do is to practice frequent shifts to memory the way you use them. So you can shift up and down quickly without thinking if you change to an easier or harder gear. Also, you also need to shift when going up the hill or down the slopes to keep your bike stable for maximum performance. This action also prevents the sudden shift under hard load on your gears and can make your chain to pop out.

If you find it difficult to choose the right gears for your current terrain, turn to the easy gears. And don’t forget to avoid cross-chaining to keep the long-lasting use of the chain and while shifting you should continue to pedal, if not you can break your bike chain.

So, what is your choice now?

Although Sanitas promised to write a complete guide from A to Z, only “to J” that you have quite a lot of information, so now it’s your time to decide which mountain bike is a right one for your need.

For beginners, Sanitas Cycling hope you’ll reread this article, note the points to remember, practice driving in the easy road before the official run on another complex terrain. Make sure you control every situation from repairing your vehicle to taking care of your own wounds with a GPS or terrain map, multi-purpose tools and first aid bag.