If you’re looking for a workout and some fresh air, mountain biking is a great option. These bikes have come a long way since they were first introduced in the 1980s, with many different types to choose from.
So, you want to buy your first and best beginner mountain bike. Excellent! But where do you start? There are a lot of choices out there: full suspension or hardtail mountain bike. Trail or cross country? How much should you spend?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Mountain biking is a great way to get outdoors, but it can be tough to decide which bike is right for you, especially if you’re just starting. Beginner mountain bikers often opt for a hardtail mountain bike rather than a trail bike or a full-suspension mountain bike.
Whether you’re looking for an entry-level bike around $500 or something more intermediate above $1,000 for your first mountain bike we’ve selected one of the best beginner mountain bikes that is just right for the price without compromising the ride experience for beginner riders.
What features should you look for in a mountain bike?
Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Hydraulic disc brakes work by using hydraulic fluid to activate brake levers on the handlebars. This hydraulic fluid creates pressure which stops the bike’s wheels from rotating. This braking system is much more powerful than traditional rim brakes and is therefore ideal for mountain biking.
They are a hundred times better than the older model of brakes which are the mechanical disc brakes, and the rim brakes. These older models are still reliable in terms of braking but when it comes to wear and tear they can only endure so much. Unlike hydraulic disc brakes
Reliable Suspension Fork
A mountain bike suspension fork helps to absorb the impact of bumps and rocks on the trail, keeping you in control and protecting your bike’s frame. There are two main types of suspension forks: coil-sprung and air-sprung.
When shopping for your best beginner mountain bike, be sure to consider the quality of the suspension fork. A good fork will help keep you safe on the trails and make your ride more enjoyable.
Lightweight Aluminum Frame
A lightweight aluminum frame will allow you to easily maneuver your bike over difficult terrain and rocky trails. Look for a frame that is strong and durable, while still being lightweight enough to help improve your performance on the trail. Today, there are many cheap mountain bikes with aluminum frames.
What is the Best Beginner Mountain Bike?
While you don’t want to spend a fortune, Cannondale Trail 5 is an excellent bike that provides all-around performance on milder terrain and some singletrack trails. It is the best among all the beginner mountain bikes we’ve seen.
Whatever your wheel size preference may be, the Cannondale Trail 5 has you covered. This hardtail mountain bike offers different-sized wheels for each rider, including 27.5″ and 29″ options. For example, the S size comes with 27.5″ wheels while M, L, and XL sizes come with 29ers – ensuring that handling will remain consistently reliable regardless of which affordable trail bike option you choose for your first mountain bike.
With a slack headtube angle of 68 degrees, this SmartForm C3 alloy frame is specifically designed for riders who want a bike that can handle sharp turns and perform well in the corners. Even though it lacks rear suspension it lists itself as one of the mountain bikes for beginners.
The frame setup is rounded up by an SR Suntour XCM fork with 100 mm of travel. It has a coil spring inside and a hydraulic cable-actuated lockout. It is quite at par with full-suspension bikes on the market.
The Cannondale Trail 5’s most outstanding feature is its 1×10 drivetrain that has both high-performance and a wide range, made from ProWheel crank and a microSHIFT cassette.
Many high-end trail bikes have few gears because they’re easier to use and require less upkeep. Having only one ring also makes these bicycles lighter.
Cannondale chose the microSHIFT Advent X and Deore groupsets for this value model because according to many, the combo offers the best performance you can get at this price.
So if you’re looking for an affordable bike that can handle mild to moderate terrain with ease, the Cannondale Trail 5 is a clear winner. With its quality construction, versatile features, and reliable performance.
Every detail of a mountain bike matters for its success, but brakes are especially critical for trail bikes. Fortunately, Cannondale didn’t skimp on the brakes when they designed Trail 5. The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes work with 160/160 mm rotors to give you confident braking power.
Although we believe the 2022 Cannondale Trail 5 model uses Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes already which is an upgrade from its previous versions.
In combination with the upright geometry and the wide tires, these brakes will give you the confidence you need to stray away from the mild trails and explore a bit more, which makes it the best mountain bike for beginners.
Wheelset and Tires
The WTB Ranger Comp tires are 2.25″ wide, and the knob design is versatile for a range of terrain types. Most people underestimate how much wheels and tires affect their ride.
This bike has WTB SX19 tubeless-ready rims, which are not only light and stiff but also have 32 spokes for increased durability. Plus, being tubeless-ready means you can ditch the inner tube and avoid punctures on the trail or when encountering rough terrain.
For a great hardtail bike like this, it is perfect for both recreational mountain bikers and experienced riders. The Cannondale Trail 5 costs $950.
The Cannondale Trail 5 is a great beginner’s bike that can be customized to your preferences. If you’re looking for an upgrade from your current model, or if this is your first hardtail bike, the Cannondale Trail 5 will not disappoint. It’s perfect for taking on local trails and making a mountain biking basis in your legs!
However, as you become more proficient, there are some parts you might want to upgrade. For example, if you plan to ride more aggressively and need more responsive handling, think about upgrading the cockpit. Also, even though hydraulic brakes are great for recreational riders they can’t withstand too much abuse. It all depends on your style of riding.
Cannondale Trail 5 is a fantastic option for less experienced riders who are just taking their first steps.