Finest mountain bikes beneath £500 reviewed and rated by consultants

Discover the most effective mountain bikes beneath $/£500 for you. Be warned: all of those nice worth bikes will hook you into a brand new sport and a complete new lifestyle.

The easiest mountain bikes beneath £500 all the time remind us that there’s nothing that ought to cease you getting out on the paths on a finances. Certain you’ll be able to choose up one thing referred to as a ‘mountain bike’ in a grocery store for £/$50 however good luck paying the next dental payments. Within the final two years, there was an enormous improve in demand for reasonable mountain bikes fuellled by Covid, and alongside this there have been provide chain points, will increase in delivery prices, uncooked materials value rises and extra Brexit prices, which implies there are nowhere close to as many high quality sub £500 mountain bike choices as there was once. This information covers solely the bikes which were tried and examined by us and we’re comfortable to place our title towards, which is why just a few of them at the moment are simply above the £/$500 threshold.

vitus nucleus vr

vitus nucleus vr

Finest MTB beneath £500 if you wish to select your wheel measurement

Wheel measurement: 27.5in or 29in | Body sizes: S, M, L, XL | Weight: 14.38kg | Suspension journey: 120mm entrance | Ranking: 10/10

Causes to purchase: Experience high quality and construct package belie its price ticket

Causes to keep away from: Demand all the time outstrips provide, so be fast!

By bestowing the identical degree of element on the Nucleus VR that the majority different manufacturers reserve for his or her flagship fashions, Vitus has had wonderful success with its entry-level hardtail. Yearly with out fail, Vitus has tweaked the Nucleus VR to make sure that it stays forward of the competitors. And by a few steps, it’s usually superior to many of the bikes within the sub-£750 class of our Hardtail of the Yr check. Sadly, as is the case with so many bikes not too long ago, the worth has gone up and availability is scarce. Nevertheless, in the event you see the Nucleus come into inventory, don’t hesitate to snap it up, even on the present value, because it’s nonetheless a cut price and by far the most effective hardtail mountain bike at this value.

Learn our full check assessment of the Vitus Nucleus VR

Voodoo's Braag is a cracking entry level mountain bike

Voodoo’s Braag is a cracking entry degree mountain bike

Finest MTB for £500 with 29in wheels

Wheel measurement: 29in | Body sizes: S, M, L, XL | Weight: 14.6kg | Suspension journey: 120mm entrance | Ranking: N/A

Causes to purchase: Superb value, nice geometry and vary of sizes, spot-on cockpit and part selections, and an lively fork.

Causes to keep away from: The fork tops out with a clunk.

Utilizing the identical body because the multi award-winning Voodoo Bizango, the Braag saves cash in just a few areas to carry the worth level beneath £600. So that you get the identical assured, enjoyable dealing with and wonderful unfold of sizes, together with a wide-range but easy 9-speed drivetrain and a luxurious coil-sprung suspension fork. The one fly within the ointment is that the fork can get a bit clunky, however general it is a killer bike for the cash and one you’ll be able to improve as your abilities progress.

Learn our full assessment of the Voodoo Braag

Carrera Vulcan studio pic

Carrera Vulcan

Respectable entry-level MTB

Wheel measurement: 27.5in | Body sizes: S, M, L, XL | Weight: 15kg | Suspension journey: 120mm entrance | Ranking: 9/10

Causes to purchase: 120mm journey suspension fork from Suntour

Causes to keep away from: Handlebar is slender and quirky

Main the cost is a Suntour XCM fork with 120mm journey supplying you with extra confidence and management in tough terrain. Which may not sound like a lot nevertheless it makes an enormous distinction to the trip consolation of the Vulcan, it covers the bottom easily and with much less chatter and vibration.

Learn our full check assessment of the Carrera Vulcan

What’s a hardtail mountain bike?

A hardtail is a mountain bike that has suspension on the entrance (a suspension fork) however has a inflexible un-suspended most important body and rear wheel. The time period hardtail differentiates it from full suspension bikes – with suspension at each wheels – in addition to totally inflexible bikes – which have inflexible forks in addition to inflexible most important frames.

What measurement body ought to I purchase?

Bike producers use seat tube size to indicate body sizes. These might be in inches, or use descriptive phrases like Small, Medium and Massive. The issue is, there’s no standardised sizing software, so one model’s medium might be the identical as one other’s massive.

Mountain biking is a dynamic sport, and also you’ll be transferring across the bike so much whenever you’re driving. It follows, then, that you really want loads of clearance excessive tube whenever you’re standing astride the bike (referred to as ‘standover’ peak, and round three inches is an effective start line) however sufficient size between the seat and the handlebars that you simply don’t really feel too cramped when sitting down and climbing.

Most manufacturers will present a web-based measurement information, that provides you with a really useful measurement primarily based in your peak. However watch out with these on-line measurement calculators as they’re not all the time that correct. If unsure, we’d advocate you go for the most important measurement you may get away with that also supplies satisfactory standover clearance.

Learn our information: What mountain bike body measurement ought to I trip?

What’s the most effective wheel measurement for a hardtail?

There are two most important sizes of wheel in the marketplace. They’re 29in and 27.5in. So what are the professionals and cons of every?

27.5in – Doesn’t roll as quick as 29in, however simpler to show and speed up. Typically stronger and lighter than huge wheels too. Paired with huge quantity tyres (2.5in and upwards) you get a extra snug trip and improved grip.

29in – Rolls quick, extra secure at pace and fewer interrupted by bumps, which makes them nice on a hardtail, as long as the geometry is true. Wheels might be weaker and heavier although.

What are the most effective elements – like forks, brakes and tyres – for a hardtail?

On the cheaper finish of the market, try to select a motorbike with an air-sprung fork. It will allow you to set regulate it to fit your physique weight. Additionally try to get a fork with adjustable rebound damping on the minimal.

Disc brakes needs to be hydraulic, with replaceable brake pads. Some disc rotors solely work with natural pad compounds, which put on rapidly within the moist. A greater possibility is to get a system that accepts sintered steel pads, as these are extra sturdy.

Whereas most new bikes include inside tubes contained in the tyres, a easy improve is to go tubeless, utilizing liquid sealant contained in the tyre to seal the air and even repair minor punctures with out getting your palms soiled. So search for tubeless-ready tyres and wheels, to make the swap simpler.

Don’t fear an excessive amount of about issues like grips and saddles, as these might be modified comparatively cheaply at a later date to fit your private desire.

How do I get my new hardtail mountain bike set-up?

1. Inflate your tyres

Ignore the really useful tyre pressures printed on the sidewalls and goal for round 28psi entrance and 30psi rear – adjusting both method by just a few psi in the event you weigh kind of than 75kg. Extensive tyres might be run barely softer than narrower ones, too – as little as 15psi for a 2.8in mannequin.

Both method, too exhausting and so they’ll be harsh and provide little grip; too gentle and also you’ll be extra vulnerable to pinch flats and you might even roll the tyre clear off the rim.

2. Modify your handlebar controls

Disc brakes are so highly effective it is best to solely want to make use of one finger to decelerate. Loosen the clamps and slide the levers away from the grips till your index finger rests proper on the finish of the lever blade. This offers you probably the most leverage and probably the most safe grip on the bars. Now slide your shifters towards the brake clamps to make them accessible.

Your brake levers needs to be angled in step with your arms as they’re positions whenever you trip; don’t rotate them to level straight down.

3. Set your saddle place

Firstly, it’s crucial you get the saddle peak sorted for seated pedalling. As a rule of thumb, your leg needs to be straight, along with your heel on the pedal and the crankarm in step with your prolonged leg. This enables for a slight bend within the knee whenever you place the ball of your foot on the pedal at your most saddle peak.

For technical singletrack climbs, drop your saddle by 1-2cm to make balancing on the bike a lot simpler. Slam the saddle all the way in which down for descending, and for the subsequent step; setting your suspension…

4. Set-up your suspension fork

Don’t get distracted by handlebar lockouts as they aren’t a lot use off-road. As a substitute, deal with setting your sag appropriately.

With an air-sprung fork begin by utilizing the suggestions printed on the leg. RockShox and Manitou have them, however not Suntour. You’ll want a shock pump to do that. If it has a lock out, test it’s within the open place first.

Now hop on the bike, lean towards a wall and undertake the impartial driving place — out of the saddle with legs and arms bent. Bounce up and down on the fork and let it settle to the sagged place. The sag is how a lot the suspension compresses beneath your weight. Begin with 20 to 25 per cent of the fork’s journey, so in the event you fork has 100mm of journey, it ought to compress by 20-25mm. Use the rubber O-ring or a zipper tie on the leg to measure this. Be sure you set the sag in your full driving package, with backpack and water included.

5. Set your handlebar peak

Lastly, regulate your stem peak. Elevating your stem provides you with extra confidence on the descents, by making it a lot simpler to shift your weight rearward. Too excessive, nevertheless, and also you received’t have sufficient weight on the entrance tyre for grip on flat corners. It’s price noting that stem peak is carefully associated to fork set-up, as a mix of each will decide the peak of the handlebar.