The Best Mountain Bikes Under $1200 – Buyer’s Guide [Reviewed]

best mountain bikes under 1200You’ve got the itch to hit the trails and want to make sure you have a sick whip underneath you. There are plenty of quality mountain bike options out there on the market that don’t have to completely break the bank.

You can find cross-country machines that are more focused on going fast up hills and zooming around less technical trails. Also, all-mountain rigs with 27+ wheels and tires that boast plenty of traction for climbing performance, which really come to life when the single track points down.

We will take a look at some of the best bikes for under $1200. Mountain bikes in this price range have made giant leaps in capability and reliability in the past couple years. You definitely won’t have a lack of options to choose from.

We took a look at some of the industry’s best mountain bikes under $1200 and here are our Top Picks.

Our 5 Best Mountain Bikes Under $1200

1. BEIOU Toray T700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike – Lightest Weight

The BEIOU Toray T700 is a carbon frame mountain bike that offers great quality for its price range. In addition to the frame itself, the bike has some well-intentioned features and components that further compliment it.

Carbon frames aren’t for every style of mountain biking, but if you’re an avid cross country rider, and you want to make the step up to a carbon frame without spending too much, the BEIOU Toray T700 is a great choice.

The BEIOU is made of quality materials. It has a bit of added flex in the rear to up the shock absorption factor, while reinforcing strength in other high-stress areas away from the rear.

In addition to the frame being carbon fiber, the handlebar and seat post are as well. This helps to keep the bike’s weight down to a minimal level, while also creating a more cohesive and seamless feel from front to back.

Additional features for the BEIOU Toray T700 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

The suspension has the perfect fork to back up the flex and light weight of the frame. The included GTMRK 330 hydraulic fork provides the ideal amount of travel for both cross country and moderate single track trails.It’s both responsive and rigid when needed, helping you retain pedal efficiency and your steering during technical portions.

All of the components of the gear system are Shimano Altus, giving a cohesive look and feel. The T700 comes with 27 gears, which is perfect for its intended use. You get a wide range to choose from for all the standard riding scenarios you’ll encounter, with plenty of leeway in between for fine tuning to certain conditions and inclines.

If you’re worried about an inferior wheel set being used to keep the price low, don’t be. The included Ruituo M200’s are 26 inches, and very light and durable. Chaoyang tires provide the right amount of grip and traction for cross country and single track with an added toughness for any sharp hazards hiding on the trail.

The braking system is made by BEIOU, and provides the same power and control you find with some of the more popular brands found on other bikes. Overall, the T700 is solid through and through, giving the rider a noticeably light and smooth ride that is equipped to offer higher speeds more consistently.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • High efficiency
  • Super flex
Cons
  • No 19” option for bigger riders

2. Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike – Great Value

The Gravity FSX 1.0 shows that you can have a high-quality mountain bike that is more than capable of handling real trail riding for a great price. Each aspect and component results in a level of performance that is mainly found with higher end bikes, from the frame to the tires.

It is a full-suspension bike with a hydro-formed aluminum alloy frame. The frame has flawless welding points, and ensures extra reinforcement and strength in all the areas that receive the most stress and impact during a ride.

Even with the dual suspension and added frame reinforcement, the bike stays around the 26 lb. mark. While this may not be considered light weight when compared to some other bikes, the 26 lbs is still very impressive for a full suspension bike, regardless of how much it is.

The FSX 1.0’s suspension consists of Suntour shocks for both the fork and the rear. The travel amounts are extended enough to be suitable for both trail and all-mountain riding, and both are also adjustable in case you want to make them more rigid for faster speeds on flatter trail types. The seat post is also made from the same aluminum alloy as the frame, and holds a very comfortable saddle.

More on the Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike

As for the gear system, it is entirely comprised of Shimano parts, which notably includes the ultra-light and responsive Shimano EFT shifters. Suntour components make up the crank and cassette. All of these combine to deliver a fast and efficient shift system that gives you complete control over the bike’s 24 total gears.

The tires on the FSX 1.0 aren’t bad, but it should be noted that they don’t offer the most ideal traction or tread design for heavy trail riding. However, they still have adequate ground coverage and offer a good amount of amount of durability to help withstand flats in many scenarios.

Tektro Novela disc brakes give you all the stopping power needed, along with a good measure of controlled braking that requires just the slightest pull of the brake levers. The frame is incredibly lightweight for being a full suspension bike. This gives you an idea of just how good the aluminum alloy material really is.

And then there’s the suspension aspect. The Suntour shocks give a great amount of travel, and also the ability to adjust the preloads for not just the front, but the back as well. This gives you a way to stiffen up the front and back for improved pedal efficiency when needed.

The disc brakes are the other thing that really stands out here. Bikes in this price range almost always have to go with dual-pivot caliper brakes on the rims, but not with the FSX 1.0. The Tektro brakes are just as good as what you’ll see with intermediate-level mountain bikes.

The rear suspension could be a little better as well. You can still adjust it, but don’t expect too much in regards to travel amount.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable saddle
  • Price
Cons
  • Tire tread
  • Rear suspension could be improved

3. OMAAI 26″ Hardtail Mountain Bike – Lowest Price

The OMAAI 26”  is a great hardtail mountain bike option, especially for bigger riders. It is a full-terrain mountain bike, so you can hit the trails in a variety of places. This bike is equipped with a front disc brake and a rear linear pull brake.

It also has a full suspension system as well with a suspension fork of 85mm travel. The high-quality aluminum alloy frame is a Fram hardtail. It comes mostly assembled with minimum installation need for  completion.

The wheel rims are also made of alloy. The saddle is padded for a super comfortable ride. The handlebar grips are also smooth and soft. You will have breeze shifting gears and challenging yourself with this ride.

The price point is super low, making this a great option for entry-level riders. It is still made of quality material and will definitely give you a good ride. Wide knobby tires offer added stability and keep it light.

Custom formed and butted tubing combines its lightweight and stiffness for robustness and durability. You have 26 gears for maximum speed shifting. They are controlled by two premium and flexible derailleurs.

Pros
  • Price
  • Full-terrain bike
  • Minimum installation
Cons
  • Not the best option for smaller riders
  • Quality isn’t as good as more high end bikes

4. Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike – Easy Assembly

The Diamondback Overdrive is a hand built 6061-T6 aluminum alloy hardtail frame and perfect for classic mountain biking. It is custom formed and has butted tubing that combines stiffness with its lightweight nature.

It comes equipped with 27.5 inch wheels that roll well over obstacles and offer quick handling, so you can experience great control out on the trail. A SR Sun tour XCT for delivers 80mm of suspension travel.

Also, three gears in the front and eight gears in the back give you a combination of 24 different speeds to choose from. The Shimano drivetrain gears give you immediate transfer of power for incredible speed.

It comes with Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors, and has reliable stopping power for confident handling in any terrain. The assembly is super easy, all you have to do is put on the front wheel, seat and pedals. The brakes are already dialed in and the gears are adjusted.

The bike can quickly accelerate for when you want to grind out long trails, which works great in combination with the large, knobby tires. The specs make for a classic hardtail that is hard to resist, easy to operate, and well worth the purchase price. The bike offers plenty of durability thanks to the quality of its construction.

Pros
  • Smooth shifting
  • Lightweight
  • Speed
  • Price
Cons
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Lockout unavailable
  • Teeth on plastic pedals might have cold weather issues

5. SAVADECK 300 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike – Highest Speed

The SAVADECK is plenty strong and lightweight, structured with a TORAY T800 Carbon Fiber Frame. SR Suntour fork delivers 100mm of suspension travel and provides added control and comfort on the trail.

You can easily operate and ride effectively with the Shimano M6000 DEORE 3*10S Derailleur System: Including Shimano RD-M6000 Front derailleur, Shimano RD-M6000 rear derailleur.

It is designed with the super technology and its superior brake system ensures a super control while you ride it on any type of terrain.

Shimano M315 Disc Break System and MICHELIN Tire: Double Mechanical Disc Brakes offer great stopping power in case of an emergency. MICHELIN mountain bike tire provides excellent multi-condition performance. It has a great dampin system and offers a smooth ride.

This is a great bike for cycling enthusiasts and professional entry-level riders. It comes almost done with pre-assembled packing. The total weight of the bike is 13 Kgs.

Pros
  • Strong
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble
  • Multi-condition performance
Cons
  • More pricey
  • Occasional gear clicking
  • Bulky for smaller riders

Choosing The Right Mountain Bike For Under $1200

Mountain bikes ensure a lot of fun on any types of terrain. They are specially designed for the use off-road.

You want to make sure that all the components are able to withstand use out on the trails. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors you should consider.

Frame

Because a bike needs to be ultra-durable, you want toe make sure that the frame is very stable. A wide frame will also add extra stability.

Tires

You don’t want to be slipping all over the trail, so ensure that your tires are coarse and have plenty of tread. You’ll be able to handle high speeds with increased safety. Great traction is key for a fun, worry free ride.

Also, be sure your front wheel is guided by a suspension fork.  If only the front fork has a suspension, then the mountain bike is a so-called hard tail. The rear wheel is also sprung; it is called a full suspension. Due to the stiffness of a hard tail frame, direct power transmission to the drive is possible.

Brakes

Stopping is just as important as going, if not more so. Many mountain bikes are equipped with disc brakes.

Saddle

You want to make sure you are comfortable when you right. Look for a well padded saddle that offers plenty of adjustability for a custom ride.

Handlebars

You also want your handlebars to be super comfortable with efficient grip. You don’t want to slip when quickly trying to change gears.

Our Final Review For Best

If all these conditions are met, safety and comprehensive equipment must also be guaranteed. Safety is the most important factor during your ride. You don’t want to encounter any worries out there on the trail.

You will be getting a lot of off-road use and want to have a sturdy whip underneath you. A lightweight and compact design will further add to the ease of your ride. The type of shit system and brake quality are really important factors to consider.

Don’t let price keep you from hitting the road. You can find plenty of great options at a lower price point that don’t take away from quality.

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