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What Are The Best Mountain Bikes 2016?

It’s hard to comprehend just how far mountain bikes have come along in the past few years. Every year there seems to be a better bike that rolls into the marketplace offering stiffer, lighter frames and wheels as well as ever-improving accessories and components that always seems to outshine the previous year’s best mountain bikes. To be honest it’s hard not to fall in love with the newest and latest mountain bikes for sale if you are fan of MTB’s.

For those of you just venturing into biking, mountain bikes, or sometimes referred to as MTB, are one of the best beginner mountain bike. They are super versatile and can be used as an everyday road bike to haul groceries home, daily exercise on your favorite cycling track or if you’re feeling adventurous you can hurl yourself down the side of a rugged mountain terrain! (mountains are optional).

best mountain bikes

Choosing The Best Mountain Bike For You?

When choosing a best mountain bike for your needs you need to narrow down the type of bike you want, if you are not sure which bike to get just look for a general “trail bike”, this type of bike is the best option to be used as a general ride. Before you run out the door with your cash burning a hole in your pocket, decide on your budget. It’s very easy to get carried away once you are in the cycling shop and fall prey to “shiny object syndrome” leaving you walking out with empty pockets and a bike you wish you hadn’t bought.

Also decide how much you want to spend (and stick to it), basic good mountain bike brands start at around $500 but you can find cheap mountain bikes for a lot less. However the faster and lighter models with suspension and higher-end components can easily exceed $3,000. Below we have picked out some of the best mountain bikes for different budgets to help you get a head start on your research.

I’ve evaluated and tested dozens of the most promising bikes of this year; everything from remarkable trail models with beefy 27.5-inch wheels to fat bikes, to lightweight enduro models that descend better than anything we have ever ridden. So if you are buying a mountain bike on a smaller budget on or at below $500 or if you have a bit more to spend at over $1000, I am are sure that there is a mountain bike for sale below to fit your needs.

Best Mountain Bikes Under $2000

✓ Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Hard Tail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Hard Tail Mountain BikeRating: ★★★★★

The 2016 Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Hard Tail Mountain Bike is built for maximum speed, stiffness and fun. The overdrive carbon frame looks as fast as it rides, manufactured using the latest Monocoque molding process. This unique specialized frame construction provides up comfort for time in the saddle, but it is also stiff, so all the power you put into the pedals goes into forward motion.

It comes equipped with SRAM components and the Diamondback Avid db1 hydraulic disc brakes will stop on a dime. The SRAM 10spd drivetrain delivers accurate shifting pair that with the fast rolling 29″ wheels and you are set to conquer any and all off-road obstacles. The 2016 Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Mountain Bike is sure to elevate your heart rate before you even hit the saddle.

✓ BEIOU Carbon Fiber 27.5-Inch (650B) Mountain Bike T800 Ultralight Frame

BEIOU Carbon Fiber 27.5-Inch (650B) Mountain Bike T800 Ultralight Frame Rating: ★★★★

The BEIOU Carbon Fiber 27.5-Inch (650B) Mountain Bike is a high performance mountain bike that comes in at just over $1000. BEIOU mountain bikes are just gaining popularity in the American marketplace, once unknown they are gaining traction and becoming a popular choice as a cheap mountain bike with a quality build.

This bike boasts superior components, the frame for example is made from T800 carbon fiber which is lightweight and strong enough to take on the hardest of trails. The braking components are SHIMANO M355 hydraulic disc brakes and the speed control system is also supplied by SHIMANO. To be honest this bike is a steal as the current price, the carbon fiber T800 frame and branded supplied components make this mountain bike a no brainer as far as we are concerned.

Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000

✓ Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men's Dual-Suspension Mountain BikeRating: ★★★★★

The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike is an entry level mountain bike that is a great choice for beginners. This budget mountain bike boasts a full aluminum frame with a steel rear triangle that offers controlled and smooth rides over the roughest of biking trails.

Pro riders will shrug this off and criticize this as a “department store” bike but trust me, if you are a casual rider on a tight budget who wants the best beginner mountain bike to ride on the road along with some light off-road, this bike is a great choice. The quality of the bike build is great, it’s comfortable, and the brakes are amazing. The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Men’s Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike with 26 -inch wheels is a superb cheap mountain bike for under $1000 that won’t break the bank.

✓ Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension 29er Bicycle

Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension 29er BicycleRating: ★★★★

The Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension 29er Bicycle is designed for light to moderate off-road riding or if you prefer a road bike this is perfect for the urban commute. The aluminum frame is lightweight and you can see that special care has been taken when choosing the additional parts and components to help keep the bike as lightweight as possible.

Like the above Schwinn the Mongoose features a sturdy frame with rear suspension to help smooth out those rough rides on bumpy terrain. For the price the Mongoose Impasse features some solid components such as the 21 speed Shimano rear derailleur combined with SRAM twist shifters that changes gears easily as well as the alloy front and rear disc brakes that can stop the Impasse even in wet, muddy conditions.

Best Mountain Bike Under $500

✓ Mongoose Impasse HD Men’s 18-inch Mountain Bike

Mongoose Impasse HD Men's 18-inch Mountain BikeRating: ★★★★★

If you are not looking for cheap mountain bikes without rear suspension this offering from Mongoose is a great alternative. It comes with all of the bells and whistle that you would expect to find in one of the high-end best mountain bikes but at a fraction of the price.

The wheels are the preferred 29inch radius (29er) and the aluminum 18-inch frame is the perfect size for a tall male. The components on the Mongoose Impasse are an entry level Shimano group set which includes 21 speed SRAM twist shifters with Shimano rear derailleur and front and rear disc brakes. For a cheap men’s mountain bike The Impasse HD is a great option choice be-it for rugged trails or playing cools on the sidewalk.

Best Mountain Bike Brands

We often get asked, what are the best mountain bike brands? With new MTB’s appearing in the marketplace every other week it’s hard to keep up with the current trends. However, there are some bicycle brands that have stood the test of time and come out on top time and time again. With mountain bike brands such as Trek, Giant, Mongoose, and Specialized manufacturing some of the best mountain bikes.

That being said these mountain bike brands can cost a small fortune, but as the old saying goes “You get what you pay for” and bikes are no exception. Mountain bikes today are amazingly well engineered and when you get a good mountain bike your ride works for you instead of against you.

What to Look For When Buying The Best Mountain Bikes 2016

Mountain bikes come in many shapes and sizes so knowing exactly what type of mountain bike you need is a must. For example, if you are looking for cheap mountain bikes to cycle to the local shop to pick up some groceries a 29er “fat bike” is going to be overkill. Whereas if you intend on doing some serious off-roading this would be perfect. Let’s take a closer look at the types of mountain bikes to help you choose the best mountain bike for the money.

  • Trail Mountain Bikes

These are general purpose mountain bikes that can be used on normal road conditions to muddy and dirty tracks (as well as picking up groceries). Typically the average mountain biker is a “trail rider” riding a hardtail or full suspension (more on that further down).

  • All Mountain

All mountain bikes are built more for technical trails with steeper descents, increased obstacles and small jumps and come with stronger frames and longer suspension travel (most are full-suspension bikes).

There are also some hybrid and specialty mountain bikes

  • Freeride and Downhill

These types of mountain bikes have been designed for hurling yourself of a mountain side (not literally) and have been built to go fast whilst soaking shock of the roots, rocks, bumps and jumps along the way. Generally these types of bikes are taken to the top of a mountain by vehicles and are not meant for riding uphill.

  • Cross Country

Cross country mountain bikes are light and nimble and are the best choice for competitive events with tight turns and steep ascents. Unlike the downhill bikes the cross country bikes are designed for speed, ascending and cornering and are not suited for the high impact of jumps and landings.

  • Dirt Jump

Dirt jump mountain bikes are the best mountain bike for those of you who like to spend more time with their wheel off the ground. They are a great choice for performing aerial stunts and you tend to find these bikes in the hands of the young (or young at heart).

cheap mountain bike

What Is The Best Mountain Bike Wheel Size?

When it comes to mountain biking 26 inches is considered the “standard” wheel size in the mountain bike industry. However, the latest bikes are now being shipped with 27.5 (or sometimes referred to as the 650B) and even 29-inch offerings. It’s not surprising that with so many different mountain bike wheel sizes you may be left scratching your head as which one is best for you. Don’t worry you are not alone, keep on reading about each option and why it may or may not suit your biking needs.

What Is The Best Mountain Bike Wheel Size?26-Inch Wheel

This size of wheel has long considered the standard wheel size in the mountain bike industry, 26 inches is most likely the size of the wheels you have on your mountain bike, unless of course you have actively sought out something different.

27.5-Inch Wheels (650B)

Sometimes referred to as 650B’s, this wheel size fits nicely between the traditional 26″ wheels and 29″ wheels combining the best attributes of these alternative wheel sizes. The 27.5-inch mountain bike wheels are lighter than the 29ers allowing for faster acceleration and easy maneuverability whilst still rolling over roots and rocks easier than 26″ wheels.

29-Inch (“29ers”)

Bigger wheels have become more popular in recent years. However, a 29-inch wheel is heavier and is also slight slower to accelerate compared to the smaller rims but it offers better momentum once rolling. Because of their size these big 29ers have a larger contact area and a high attack angle which basically means your wheels will roll over obstacles easier.

Do You Want Hardtail or Full Suspension?

Suspension on bikes is only really a new addition to mountain bikes and up until the 1980’s all bikes were fully rigid. Today’s best mountain bikes come with a choice of suspension, you have the option of none, hardtail or full suspension mountain bikes. Let’s take a closer look.

Do You Want Hardtail Or Full Suspension?Hardtail Mountain Bikes

Hardtail mountain bikes have a front suspension fork, this design helps to reduce arm and hand fatigue and also improves control and steering on rough ground. There are typically two types of suspension forks; basic forks (often cheaper) that comprise of a wound coil steel spring and then you have air-sprung forks that are more adjustable and lighter (often found on high-end bikes).

Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

Full suspension mountain bikes have both of their wheels suspended. The front wheel is setup the same as the hardtail mountain bike but the rear utilizes a pivoting frame which acts like a rear shock absorber. This type of setup is often found on high-end mountain bikes and although it increases comfort and helps reduce fatigue be prepared to spend a lot of money for one of these best mountain bikes.

Mountain Bike Frame Materials

The frame of any bicycle plays a role in the bikes strength, weight, longevity, as well as overall quality and more importantly price.

When it comes to choosing the best mountain bike for the money aluminum is the frame material of choice on most of the typical mountain bikes you will see with prices to suit almost any budget. However, not all aluminum frames are the same, some of the more expensive mountain bikes will have frames that are lighter due to the design and other material used in the manufacturing process.

Higher-end mountain bikes tend to have frames manufactured from other materials such as carbon fiber, and titanium but as you can imagine these bikes also come with a high price tag attached. You will also find Steel bike frames, steel is strong, inexpensive and offers a great smooth ride but for a mountain bike this frame material tends to be too heavy.

Mountain Bike Frame Materials

Of course we could keep on going with all of the components that make up the best mountain bikes 2016 but we will leave that for more in-depth articles that can be found in our articles and how-to’s section, why not head on over there to continue reading?