Mountain bikes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. For uninitiated, it can be truly challenging to sift through the options and find the best ones on a tight budget.
Good news is, there are a bunch of great mountain bikes under 400. You just have to know where to look. To save you the time and effort of scouring the internet endlessly, we have put together a list of 6 best mountain bikes in the $400 price range.
These MTBs are great entry-level options for anyone who wants to scoot around the city, bike to work, learn off-roading or explore technical trails.
Let’s get to it then-
Detailed Reviews of 6 Best Mountain Bike under 400
After endless discussion and debates, we have finally managed to suss out 6 mountain bikes under 400 that offer the right combination of value and performance. Before we get into in-depth reviews, here’s a lowdown on what our top 5 picks have to offer:
1. Editor’s Choice: Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike
Easy to put together and fitted with quality brakes and tires, these bikes are well-suited for casual rides down the street as well as moderate off-roading.
2. Best for Tall and Overweight People: Hiland 26” Aluminum Mountain Bike
The pieces come together in less than an hour and the premium quality suspension forks provide extra stability on bumpy dirt roads.
3. Another Great Option for Tall People: OBK 27.5 Wheels Mountain Bike
Built like a tank and fitted with top-quality gears and brake system, this MTB is good enough to take out on gravel roads, white sand beaches, and hills
4. Best Build: Outroad Fat Tire Mountain Bike
These fat tire bikes can handle power sand, snow, and mud like a pro. If you are looking for a sturdy MTB for winter cycling, look no further.
5. Best Overall: Mongoose Dolomite Mens Fat Tire Mountain Bike
A good budget option for rocky mountain trails and rocky roads, this heavy-duty mountain bike can also double up as a fitness bike for obese people who are trying to get back in shape.
1. Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike
- Suspension type: front.
- Number of speeds: 21.
- Brake type: Linear pull or V-brake (front and rear).
- Height and weight capacity: 4’6”-5’5”, 85-125 lbs.
- Frame material: Steel.
Schwinn has been crafting some of the sturdiest budget mountain bikes since its inception. The High Timber Mountain Bike version I am reviewing here comes with 24” wheels. According to the manufacturer, 24” knobbly wheels are an ideal size for 4’6”-5’5” individuals.
Its max weight-bearing capacity is between 85-125 lbs. Although heavier people have ridden this bike with no issue, I’d advise against it for your safety. Overburdening the bike can affect its performance, especially on rough terrains.
Cycling uphill on both dirt gravel and paved road is easy with this mountain bike. Boasting a robust but lightweight steel frame, carrying it up a flight of stairs won’t twist your back muscles.
Since the 24” wheel version is meant for short people, it can be easily shared by two kids on their way to school.
The mountain bike has both front and rear V-brakes and a pre-set front suspension. Although dual-suspension would have been ideal on a mountain bike, we are talking about options under $400, meaning there will be limitations.
Front-only suspension is a trade-off you will have to live with. To help with quick gear changing, Schwinn has implemented 3 gears on the front and 7 on the back, allowing 21-speed options. The bike comes 75% assembled which includes a pre-assembled rear wheel.
The rest of the setup work is pretty simple and straightforward. However, adjusting the derailleurs and gears might require some extra time. If you have never installed a mountain bike before, I would suggest visiting a local bike shop and let the experts handle the assembly work.
To sum up, it’s a great bike for short people and belts out amazingly smooth and controlled rides if you ride it on the terrains it is meant for i.e paved road, dirt gravel roads, beach paths, etc. If you want a mountain bike solely for rough trails, this is not the one for you.
- Easy to ride uphills, on smooth single-tracks, paved bike paths, and dirt gravel roads.
- Quick-release front wheel.
- Lightweight, easy to carry upstairs.
- Powerful V-brakes and smooth gear changing.
- Ideal for short people (4’6”-5’5”), would make a great gift for kids.
- Quick adjusting seat.
- The gears and derailleurs might need some extra adjustment.
- Doesn’t offer rear suspension.
2. Hiland 26” Aluminum Mountain Bike
- Suspension type: front.
- Brake style: Disc (both front and rear).
- Frame material: Aluminum.
- Height and weight capacity: 6’ and above, 240-330 lbs.
- Wheel type: 3-spokes wheel.
This 26” mountain bike with a 19.5” frame would be a good option for riders above 6 feet. Its aluminum frame has a weight capacity of 240-330 lbs. It comes with high-quality disc brakes both at the front and back.
The 6” disc brake rotors dish out quick and stable braking on bumpy terrains, which is not something I can say for most budget mountain bikes. Hiland bikes offer a front-only suspension. It doesn’t have a suspension lockout either.
This shouldn’t pose a problem unless you are speeding up on rocky roads. If you want to ride it on difficult terrains, consider upgrading the 3-spoke tires, suspension forks, and seat with better ones.
On the bright side, hanging gears and navigation is smooth on single tracks and dirt roads, though. The version I am reviewing here comes with quick-release wheels and a 24-speed gearbox to give you a great control over your rides.
Overall, it would make a good entry-level bike for someone who is just learning to ride mountain bike trails. The components are of a decent quality. It’s not the best in class but you get what you pay for.
I would happily take it out on a spin on paved paths, dirt roads, and uphill. With some major upgrades, you can transform it into a decent hardtail for wild downhill rides.
- Easy to put together.
- Excellent for paved trails.
- Dual disc brakes work just about fine.
- Quick-release wheels.
- The 19.5” frame is good enough for 6 feet tall individuals.
- Can be easily upgraded with better components.
- Not meant for riding hard and fast downhill.
3. OBK 27.5 Wheels Mountain Bike
- Brake style: disc (front and back).
- Suspension: Front only.
- Wheel type: Magnesium wheels with aluminum rims.
- Height and weight capacity: 5’7”-6’1”, 300 lbs.
- Frame material: Steel
The next entry on this list of the best mountain bikes under 400 boasts 27.5” wheels, which translates to better stability on rough terrains.
The frame is tall enough for 5’7”-6’1” and has a max weight capacity of 300 lbs. The tires can handle dirt gravel roads and sand pretty well. The brakes and gears on this MTB are hard to beat for the price.
It will be a great purchase for someone who wants to enjoy occasional bike rides with their kids on up and down the street. Simply install an instep bike trailer at the back and you are good to go. Another huge plus of the MTB is that it comes almost 90% pre-assembled.
All you have to do is attach the front wheel, seat, handlebar, suspension forks and you are good to go. will take you roughly a few minutes to complete the setup and take it out on a test drive.
All the tools required for assembly are included in the box including a small tire air pump which helps you achieve a tire pressure between 40-65 PSI.
- The key components such as disc brakes and 21-speed gear shifters function smoothly.
- Ideal for tall people.
- Comes 90% pre-assembled.
- A tire air pump is included in the box.
- Attaching an instep bike trailer at the back is easy.
- The handlebar cannot be raised.
4. Outroad Fat Tire Mountain Bike 26 Inch
- Brake type: Disc.
- Suspension: Front only.
- Frame material: High carbon steel.
- Height and weight capacity: 6 feet and above, 440 lbs.
- Tire type: 4” wide all-terrain knobby tires.
The 26” MTB is one of the tallest MTBs on this list so far and will accommodate even 6’5” riders easily. I don’t recommend it for anyone shorter than 6 feet for the sake of comfort. Like all the standard fat tire bikes, this one too has a weight-bearing capacity of about 440 lbs.
It’s one of those very few mountain bikes under 400 that can safely handle a mountain bike trail, all thanks to its ultra-robust frame and extra-wide, fat tires. About the assembly, it’s easy to put together right out of the box for those with prior experience assembling mountain bikes.
If you are new to this, you should take it to the local bike shop for assembly. Owing to its sturdy high carbon steel frame and excellent riding capacity, you can use it as a fitness bike as well. The tires are perfect for difficult roads and weather conditions.
It can handle snow remarkably well, making it a great choice for winter road cycling. Another standout feature of the bike is the quality of the components. The Outroad is kitted out with large and solid sprocket gears, which eliminates the need for constant adjustment.
To top it off, it has dual metal disc brakes that make the bike highly responsive to road bumps and easier to control on challenging terrains.
- Robust carbon steel frame.
- Best suited for 6 feet+ tall individuals.
- Can handle mountain trails, snow, mud, and dirt really well.
- Great quality components.
- Extra-wide, fat tires offer smooth ride on difficult terrains.
- Assembly work might be difficult for an inexperienced person.
5. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike
- Brake style: Disc.
- Frame material: Steel.
- Height and weight capacity: 5’4”- 6’6”, 300lbs+.
- Tire Type: All-terrain knobby tires.
- Number of speeds: 7
If you have done some digging on the best mountain bikes under 400 before visiting this page, you must have come across the name of Mongoose Dolomite.
Going by the engineering and quality of the parts this brand has used in this bike, I can confirm that their MTBs live up to the hype.
Fat tire mountain bikes like this are the safest type of bikes for hauling up big hills and rocky terrains, thanks to their amazing gearing range. The 4 inch wide knobby tires provide extra smoothness and control both on and off-road.
Needless to say that these tires are designed to take heavy abuse. However, if you are planning to shred down on a soft sand beach like east coast beach, it’s not going to be easy. You need bigger tires to cycle on soft sand.
However, on powder sand, you can push this bike to its limit without having to worry about much. While admittedly it doesn’t have enough gears for hardcore off-roading, what it offers is adequate for a complete beginner.
A good gear system combined with a better front and rear disc brakes make it easy to cycle uphill. The MTB comes assembled for the most part. You can put together the seat, front-wheel, handlebar, and brakes in a snap. Fine tuning the brakes and gears could take a while, though. The quick-release seat post clamp is a nice addition to the unit.
If you are not satisfied with the width of the factory seat, you can easily swap it with a wider aftermarket seat. The factory seat post diameter is 28.6 mm.
This might be fine for an average build person but bigger guys will find it very uncomfortable. The seat height adjustment, however, is a breeze. You can easily adjust the seat height to fit 5’4”- 6’6” tall riders.
- Great speed and gear shifting on white sand beaches and steep climbs.
- Sturdy frame, seat height can be adjusted for 5’4”-6’6” tall people.
- High weight capacity, well-suited for overweight people.
- Easy to assemble.
- 4” wide all-terrain tires can withstand heavy abuse.
- The brakes and gears require fine-tuning quite often.
- The factory seat won’t be comfortable for chubby folks.
6. Huffy Store Stone Mountain Women’s Mountain Bike
- Frame material: Steel.
- Number of speeds: 21.
- Height and weight capacity: 5-6’, 180 lbs approx.
- Suspension: Front only.
- Tire type: Knobby tires.
Huffy Store mountain bikes are reliable to use on a wide variety of terrains. The 26″ women’s MTB with a 17″ frame is a good fit for 5-6 feet tall individuals. This is owing to the fact that the seat quickly and easily adjusts to different heights.
These bikes use stand linear-pull style or V-brake. While not as responsive as disc brakes, it works just fine on bike trails. Mind you that it’s not well-equipped to handle downhill riding.
It’s a basic off-road bike that’s good for cruising around dirt and gravel roads, mild off-road terrains, and pavement. It offers 21 speeds which is more than what one would expect from a mountain bike at its price point.
Both front suspension and gear shifting operate without any issue as you accelerate, making it a great option for a beginner. People who have a hard time climbing on a bike and pedal due to bad knees will get their money’s worth with this 26” model.
It’s easy to pedal and has no wobble to it. Even if you have never assembled a mountain bike before in your life, you can set the whole thing up in about half an hour.
Fine tuning the front brakes might require a little bit of expertise but you can always hit your nearest bike shop and let a professional handle it. Despite having a steel frame, the bike is lightweight enough to carry around.
The seat might not go easy on your butt. If you are a big, heavy person, upgrade the seat with a wider and softer one.
- Easy to pedal and climb onto.
- Good for basic off-roading.
- Quick and effortless seat height adjustment.
- The 26” version is good enough for 6 feet tall riders.
- High-quality paint job and finish.
- The handle bar raises slightly to reduce shoulder strain.
- Quite heavy.
- The brakes would be too short for someone with large hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a good bike for a 300-pound man?
Bikes that have wheels larger than 26 inches are well-suited for 300 lbs men. Depending on the build quality, even a 26” fat tire wheel can also safely handle 300 lbs of body weight.
2. Is cycling good for overweight people?
Cycling is a form of aerobic exercise which definitely helps to burn calories. Since it’s easier on the joints than other forms of fat-burning workouts, people with joint pain, bad knees, and arthritis can also cycle every day without much struggle.
3. Can you ride a fat bike on pavement?
Yes, definitely. Fat bike tires are suitable for all terrains, from the most challenging mountain trails to smooth paved roads.
So that was our take on the best mountain bikes under 400. As you can see, there are plenty of do-it-all bikes suitable for both kids and tall, muscular adults in this price range.
Due to the budget constraint, we were hard-pressed to find quality full suspension bikes under 400. The more technical the trail gets, the more rear suspension you will need to stay in control while accelerating.
Since all the 6 bikes reviewed here have front-only suspension, use them solely for moderate off-roading, casual rides on paved bike lanes, and smooth single-tracks.
Don’t expect it to perform like a $2000 full suspension mountain bike. Use it for what it’s meant for and rest assured that it won’t fall apart in the middle of the road.