Are you on the search for the best hardtail mountain bike under $1000? You’re in the right place. This type of suspension system pushes you to your limits so you can experience a more adventurous ride than a full-suspension mountain bike.
At a glance, we’ve rated the Trek Roscoe 6 model as the best option on our list. This trail bike is prepared for a variety of technical trails and cross-country terrain while keeping you feeling in control and stable during your rides. The Roscoe 6 bike also comes equipped with sturdy, knobby tires to further enhance your performance on tough terrain.
|Best Overall||Trek Roscoe 6||
|Best Runner Up||Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike||
|Schwinn Bonafide Mens Mountain Bike||
|Best for a Budget||Specialized Rockhopper Comp 1X||
|Giant Talon 29 2||
|Tommaso Gran Sasso 29er Mountain Bike||
|Schwinn Mesa Adult Mountain Bike||
Discover the Best Hardtail Mountain Bike Under $1000 in 2021
There are many features to consider when choosing a hardtail MTB bike, but we’ve vigorously researched the current market to reveal a list of the top seven models available in 2020. These findings are based on materials, brake type, speed, and suspension system so you remain comfortable and in control during your cycling sessions.
Trek Roscoe 6—Best Overall
This is one of the best hardtail mountain bikes under $1,000 you can buy right now. First, Trek is a huge bike brand and their Roscoe 6 model comes with 10 speeds, which provides plenty of variety if you intend on using this hardtail bike for riding up and down hills and through a variety of terrains. Roscoe 6 can also be used as an entry-level bike as it remains in control and is suitable for intermediate cyclists, too.
Most importantly, the Roscoe 6 isn’t afraid of riding over big bumps and roots. In fact, the high-quality suspension fork soaks up such environments, leaving you feeling in more control and safer on your rides. Plus, the playful frame geometry makes it easier to control your bike on cross-country trails and winding routes.
We love that this mountain bike is incredibly versatile and forgiving. The rack mounts allow you to use it for bikepacking or even running errands, so you can use this model for a variety of environments and occasions. Also, the dropper post lets you lower the saddle on the fly, so it’s not in the bike paths during your steep descents or steep hills.
Another great feature of the Roscoe 6 is its aluminum frame that’s lightweight and durable, allowing you to enjoy your routes—no matter how difficult and challenging the terrain might be. It also comes equipped with 27.5+ tires that provide you with all the confidence you need, all the while allowing you to ride in muddy and snowy conditions.
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike—Best Runner UpDiamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike
Next up is the Overdrive 29er mountain bike by Diamondback Bicycles. This particular model is ideal for beginners as it comes with many top features and isn’t intimidating to smooth ride. It’s also geared towards enthusiastic cyclists who love mountain biking but wish to develop their skillset and build confidence without spending a lot on a new bike.
The bike’s SR Suntour suspension fork protects you from injury or discomfort when you’re riding across rough terrain, gravel, or over bumps. In fact, this fork enables the bike to remain long-lasting and durable throughout these conditions.
The bike’s Tektro mechanical disc brakes facilitate excellent stopping power while improving your confidence and comfort when cycling. Simply apply the brakes, and they’ll respond accordingly and act reliably every time. This Diamondback mountain bike also comes equipped with a Shimano drivetrain for a staple of reliability.
Its aluminum frame makes it ideal for long and challenging routes. This material allows you to pick-up speed quickly, too, without feeling the impact from bumps and vibrations during challenging courses. Finally, the bike’s eight-speed rear derailleur (rear suspension) offers a wide range of gears, so you can get up and down the hills without any issues of reliability.
Schwinn Bonafide Men’s Mountain Bike—Best for SpeedSchwinn Bonafide Men's Mountain Bike
Love cycling fast? Well, the Schwinn Bonafide model is one of the best hardtail MTB bikes for riding fast. Its 24-speed Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifters and front and rear Shimano derailleurs make gear changes smooth and user-friendly.
Also, the bike’s front and rear mechanical disc brakes enable a crisp all-condition stopping on all types of trails, helping this mountain bike to be versatile. It also features durable Schwinn alloy cranks to provide steady gearing and reduce any pesky maintenance.
Furthermore, this men’s mountain bike features high-profile, double-wall alloy rims that are light and strong for improved durability and performance. To further enhance durability, the bike features 2.25-inch knobby mountain tires that are also ready for bumpy terrain. These tires will also make the bike easier to control while offering more versatility to ride in muddy and snowy conditions.
The Bonafide comes with a front fork that improves your comfort and safety when cycling. In particular, this feature has a low weight that means you can build up some real speed on the bike as well as receive ample cushioning.
Specialized Rockhopper Comp 1X—Best for a Budget
The Rockhopper Comp 1X is another of the best hardtail mountain bikes under $1,000 (affordable bike) and ideal if you’re on a budget or a beginner. Its 29-inch wheels provide fast-rolling resistance on all types of terrain, including rough and smooth conditions. This ensures that the mountain bike is highly versatile and can make quick adjustments to all types of terrain.
Also, the bike’s wheels allow you to use it on tight technical singletrack, which you’ll be able to ride on just as fast as gravel roads. The nimble geometry also allows you to take on tight corners, so you won’t fear a tight corner ahead.
The Rockhopper features a durable and lightweight aluminum frame, which comes with an array of benefits. This frame is built with fully-butted tube sets for the optimum strength to weight ratio, as well as featuring a tapered head tube for increased steering precision. Therefore, you can tackle almost any route that comes your way.
Most importantly, this budget mountain bike comes equipped with XCT, SCM, and SCR suspension forks that provide plenty of dampening, allowing you to travel on tough terrain with minimal issues. In fact, these features enhance the suspension performance by offering a premium ride that eliminates the pogo effect, keeping you smooth and stable on the ground. So, if you are looking for cheap mountain bikes to ride on a palisades trail or the toughest trails, consider choosing the Rockhopper Comp 1X.
Giant Talon 29 2—Best for Adventurists
This bike is aimed at adventurists who love to feel the impact and energy of cycling. In particular, it’ll allow you to put in more work when cycling to determine your route and experience, rather than the bike controlling your experience, which can take away the fun for some riders. Therefore, it’s a great fitness bike but can also be used for regular commutes.
The RockShox XC30 fork is a coil spring fork that doesn’t buffer bumps in the same way an air spring fork does. Although it might be heavier, it does a great job on rocky, rough trails, preventing you from feeling you’re on a pogo stick, like coil spring forks can. This feature also doesn’t weigh down the front end of the best mountain bikes under 1,000, so you’ll have no trouble with clearing high obstacles.
The Talon 29 2 has a 73.5-degree seat angle that helps you to keep power on the pedals and maintain traction on steep climbs or descending steep terrain. Also, the 69-degree head angle can handle bashing over rocks, allowing you to have more fun when off-road riding and feel more relaxed.
Finally, the Talon 29 2 is quick on the road, too. The tires are light and fast, making this mountain bike great for cinder paths, dry trails, and cross-country trails, without slowing you down much on pavements. You can even add rear rack mounts to turn this into a mixed-terrain commuter model.
Tommaso Gran Sasso 29er Mountain Bike—Best for SpeedTommaso Gran Sasso 29er Mountain Bike
The Tommaso Gran Sasso 29er Mountain Bike is for riders who love speed. Featuring a 24-speed full Shimano drivetrain, it’s built to climb and for a range of surfaces. In fact, it’s powerful and comfortable to ride. The 680mm handlebar further improves cornering and control, putting you in an optimized position for a controlled and fun ride.
The bike can handle a variety of terrain. This is primarily thanks to its rugged wheels and grippy tires that propel riders on rocks, roots, and pretty much everything else in your path. In fact, these wheels make climbing uphill easier and more effective.
This hardtail MTB bike comes equipped with Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes for precision braking in all terrain and weather conditions. These brakes also double the stopping power compared to mechanical disc brakes, helping to enhance a safer and smoother ride, with minimal effort.
Finally, the Tommaso Gran Sasso mountain bike comes equipped with an aluminum frame that’s built to handle the stresses of the roughest mountain trails, while also remaining durable and lightweight, so this bike will last a long time.
Schwinn Mesa Adult Mountain Bike—Best for Small RidersSchwinn Mesa Adult Mountain Bike
Finally, another hardtail mountain bike with mechanical disc brakes. The Schwinn Mesa Adult Mountain Bike has many of the features that you could want from this bike category. It’s designed for recreational mountain bikers who want to crackle mountain biking and has a small frame that suits mountain bikers between 5’2″ and 5’6″ in height.
The mountain bike’s aluminum frame provides plenty of durabilities and keeps the bike’s overall weight down, allowing you to pick-up high speeds with minimal issues. Also, this material for a frame helps to eliminate any shocks and vibrations on the rider—especially as you travel over technical terrain or gravel.
Its 21-speed drivetrain with Shimano EZ-FIRE shifters offer quick, precise shifts and encourage you to remain safe and stable on your bike, no matter the riding conditions. Plus, with 21 speeds to choose from, you’ll be able to adapt this bike to your riding preferences.
To further help you discover the best hardtail mountain bike, we’ve provided a detailed buying guide below to follow throughout the buying process. Take these features into consideration when narrowing down your selection.
Bicycles have a variety of wheel sizes to choose from, which can make your decision fairly daunting. Most mountain bikes use sizes 26, 27.5, or 29 inches. They also tend to have a width ranging from 19 to 40mm. Rims with a width ranging from 44 to 100mm are considered fat bikes.
Fat bikes are ideal if you’ll spend plenty of time riding your bike downhill, since the wider measurements enable you to have more control on descents. Fat tires also give you more control when you’re riding on slippery or mushy conditions, such as over mud or in the rain.
29-inch wheels have the largest diameter of the three options, which allows you to increase your overall speed, as well as enhancing the bike’s stability over tough terrain. Plus, by having more traction, the wheel can handle tight corners well.
27.5-inch wheels were once the most popular wheel size but are becoming rarer. These provide a middle ground for riders who want to cycle fast without massively impacting your braking distance, riding position, and corner speed.
Finally, 26-inch wheels are popular amongst dirt jump riders and individuals who enjoy adventures, as you experience more from the ride. This wheel size is also appropriate for short adult riders who might struggle with larger tires.
More: Diamondback Atroz 3 Review: is It Good Entry-Level Mountain bike
You should also carefully consider the number of gears a good mountain bike is equipped with. Generally, the best mountain bikes have between 7 and 27 speeds. But, how do you decide on the best number for you? First, consider your budget. If you don’t plan on spending a fortune on your trail bike, you should consider one with lower gears to reduce the overall price.
Most importantly, bear in mind the surfaces you’ll mostly be exposed to. The grounds have a big part to play in the number of gears you’ll need on your hardtail MTB bike. For example, if the trail is smooth with minimal bumps, between 1 and 11 gears is fine. In fact, if you’ll only ever ride on smooth surfaces, a one-gear mountain bike will do its job.
Alternatively, for bumpy routes with rocky surfaces, you should consider a bike with 11+ gears. The wider the range, the more options you have to tailor the trail bike according to your surfaces. Also, a higher-range bike is ideal for riding up and downhills. The higher gears on a trail bike allow for better and safer movement when going downhill.
More: Trek Marlin 5 review: Is It a Good Bike to Have?
We’ve opted to focus this article on hardtail bikes only. There are many benefits to choosing this type of fun bike compared to a full-suspension model. With fewer components and features, a hardtail option is much cheaper, making it ideal for those on a budget or beginners.
In fact, the reduction of components reduces the bike’s overall weight, enabling you to travel farther and faster with less effort. Also, a hardtail bike is aimed at adventurists and adrenaline junkies. Since you won’t receive the same amount of cushioning and support as you will with a full-suspension bike, you’ll be more active on your bike.
This means that you’ll be using your legs more to absorb any bumps on the trail. Although this can be more hard work, you’re using more energy and burning more calories, all the while allowing yourself to become fitter on your routes.
Finally, hardtail bikes are designed simpler, which means less maintenance and fuss on your behalf. The chances of you receiving better-quality wheels are higher, too, since these will have a role to play in minimizing vibrations and impacts since the bike will have half the suspension of a full-suspension model.
More: Schwinn Sidewinder Review: Is It A Good Entry Level Bike?
There are two brake types on mountain bikes: hydraulic and mechanical. There are many benefits and disadvantages to both of these brake systems, although hydraulic disc brakes are seen as the most preferred and better-performing type. This brake type provides more stopping, bringing you to a stop with less effort compared to mechanical discs.
They’re also smoother to use, so there’s no clunky braking, but instead, a reliable, smooth stop. Another great benefit of hydraulic disc brakes is that you don’t have to put in as much effort, which allows you to reserve your energy for cycling as well as allowing people with hand discomforts to apply the brakes, too.
Alternatively, mechanical disc brakes tend to require less maintenance and make the overall price of a good mountain bike less expensive. They’re also easier and less hassle to adjust compared to Shimano and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, which is an ideal feature for beginners. The parts are also readily available and reasonably-priced as it’s just using a cable.
When determining which brake type to choose, consider how much maintenance you’re happy with. Changing out an internal cable routing is a much easier task than bleeding brakes, with a lot less experience required, too. Mechanical disc brakes are a great choice if you’ll mostly use the mountain bike for smooth pavements. Although, if you plan on cycling in tough terrain and bumpy surfaces, the more powerful hydraulic disc brakes would be beneficial.
More: Trek X Caliber 7 Review: Is It A Good Bike To Buy?
Bike Frame Materials
Finally, you’ll notice that aluminum is a favoritized material on the above mountain bikes’ frame. This material is lightweight, helping to prevent any unnecessary weight on the bike, so you can ride farther and faster without the bike’s frame holding you back. This material is also affordable, making it great for beginners.
Another benefit of this material is that it’s rust-resistant. This advantage makes it low maintenance and ideal for touring cyclists where you’re regularly exposed to wet conditions. Due to aluminum’s lower strength compared to steel, aluminum bike frames often have thicker walls. This feature makes the overall bike durable and long-lasting.
This material is beneficial for stiffness, too. Nobody wants an unstable, weak bike. Compared to other popular materials, an aluminum frame is much stiffer, which can provide an advantage to racing and touring cyclists. You should bear in mind that this level of stiffness won’t provide as much cushioning as, say, a carbon fiber bike. However, the material allows you to pick-up speed when sprinting.
More: Kona Honzo Mountain Bike Review
We hope you enjoyed reading this hardtail bike under $1000 review. If you’re still unsure of which of the above models should make your buying list, we recommend the
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike as the best runner-up.
This model features an SR Suntour XCM fork that protects you and the bike as you’re exposed to difficult terrain and rough surfaces. Its aluminum frame reduces any impact from vibrations and bumps during challenging journeys while making it a lightweight bike.
Alternatively, the Schwinn Bonafide Men’s Mountain Bike has plenty to offer. This 24-speed bike features high-profile, double-wall alloy rims that are fit for riding through snow, mud, gravel, and even over tree stumps without leaving you feeling the impact.