The 5 Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $1,500 Reviewed
If you are looking for a new hardtail mountain bike, you’ve come to the right place. Hardtail mountain bikes are mountain bikes that feature a suspension fork, as opposed to a full-suspension mountain bike. Hardtail mountain bikes tend to be on the cheaper side, without forcing you to compromise between great performance and a great deal. A hardtail mountain bike is ideal for anyone looking to get into mountain biking, without wanting to jump right into taking on the harder trails, or who are looking for a solid mountain bike that can take on a decent range of trails without breaking their budget. Thankfully, there are plenty of hardtail mountain bikes available on the market today, making it easier than ever to find one that works for your unique needs.
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a hardtail mountain bike. The first is the overall frame construction. You want to make sure you’re investing in a mountain bike that can withstand the wear-and-tear of the trail, meaning it’s a good idea to check the kind of material your bike is made from before investing. While aluminum frames allow bikes to be lighter to carry, which can be ideal for transporting and make it easier to propel yourself, steel frames are made to take the bumps and bruises that come with the trail and offer a sturdier base for your bike.
Another thing to keep in mind is the gears available on your bike of choice. A good mountain bike will offer several speeds and gears to allow you to adjust to hills, changes in the trail, or just biking on a flat surface. A good mountain bike will be made to ensure you don’t slip a gear at the wrong moment, while still allowing you a smooth transition between gears for optimal energy transference throughout your ride. Most mountain bikes feature twist shifters of some sort on the handlebars to allow you to easily change gears at a moment’s notice.
On top of choosing an optimal gear setup, you’ll want to ensure your braking system is in tip-top shape before taking to the trail, as a set of reliable brakes can make a big difference when taking on a descent. Of course, it also helps to be aware of what to expect when taking on a new trail and to always perform a quick check on your bike before you take to the road.
Now that you have a general idea of what to consider when shopping for a hardtail mountain bike, let’s get to the bikes themselves. We’ve pulled together the top hardtail mountain bikes for under $1,500 from all over the market, taking into consideration user reviews, overall features, and of course, the best value for your investment. So long as you keep in mind your own unique biking needs when looking through this list, you’re sure to find a hardtail mountain bike that will last you for years to come.
Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $1,500
1. Mongoose Tyax Comp Hardtail Mountain Bike
If you’re looking for one of the best hardtail mountain bikes available on the market today, look no further than the Mongoose Tyax Comp Hardtail Mountain Bike. This bike features an aluminum frame to provide support while also keeping the overall bike weight down for easy transportation between trails. The disc braking system offers you complete control over your speed, without having to worry about locking up. This bike features a 12-speed drivetrain, and the enhanced shifters help you avoid the dreaded chain-slip. This bike is made with a performance at the forefront of the design, with a sturdy hardtail frame construction to help you withstand even the bumpiest of trails, without forcing you to invest in some of the more complex suspension systems available on the market today.
Not only does this bike marry the convenience of a lightweight design with the sturdiness of a hardtail frame, but it also offers customizable tire sizing to help you tune your bike for your specific needs. But don’t just take our word for it. As one satisfied reviewer noted, “WOW!! I’m shocked at the quality of this bike. I was a little skeptical at first but I went ahead and bought it. I’m so happy I did, the quality of the frame and components are top-notch, well worth the money!” If you’re looking for one of the best hardtail mountain bikes available on the market today, the Mongoose Tyax Comp Hardtail Mountain Bike is sure to please.
2. Roscoe 7
If you’re looking for a hardtail bike with plush tires to take the shock of the trail, with the durability of a solid frame, and the reliability of an SRAM 1×12 drivetrain, the Roscoe 7 is soon to be your favorite mountain bike. This bike offers a high-quality ride at an affordable price, with a hydraulic disc brake to help ensure you get the response time you need out of your brakes the moment you need it.
This bike features an adjustable drop seat to allow you to customize your riding experience to your own unique needs. As an additional bonus, this bike allows you to lock the hardtail suspension system, giving you the stability you need on longer stretches of road. On top of this, the RockShox fork’s Solo Air spring is customizable to the rider’s weight, allowing you to get the shock absorption you need for your unique riding requirements. This bike is made for anyone looking to get the most fun out of their bike ride, without worrying so much about speed. If you’re looking for a hardtail mountain bike that can take whatever you throw at it while still providing a smooth ride for an excellent price, the Roscoe 7 is a worthwhile investment that’s sure to last for years to come.
3. X-Caliber 8
This is a cross-country mountain bike made to take on the toughest trails with ease. X-Caliber 8 is made to give you more bang for your buck, packing absolute value into every square inch of this bike. With a combination of top-of-the-line features, along with easy-to-use mechanics, this bike spans the distance between experienced riders and beginners looking to take on their first descent. Hydraulic disc brakes set this bike in the top tier of mountain bikes, allowing you to trust in your brakes no matter how steep the incline, or how wet the day. The lightweight Gold Aluminum frame offers you the stability you crave without adding tons of extra weight, allowing you to transport your bike to the trails without worrying about bake strain or added bulk. The lockout air suspension system offers more customization than a standard coil suspension, while still helping to take the brunt of any impact.
This bike is poised to be one of the best hardtail mountain bikes of 2021, with a ride range of features made to help you improve your overall mountain biking experience without draining your bank account. Overall, the X-Caliber 8 is a fantastic hardtail mountain bike option for anyone looking to break into the world of mountain biking, or dedicated bikers looking for a great all-around mountain bike to take on a wide range of trails.
4. X-Caliber 7
The X-Caliber 7 offers a strong, lightweight alloy frame that’s made to take the wear-and-tear of the trail. This bike is made to attune to your personal biking experience and grow with you as you master the art of mountain biking, with adjustable air-based hardtail suppression, durable tires, and an overall design made to fit both beginners and experienced bikers alike. Like the previous X-Caliber model on our list, this bike is built for those looking to break into the world of mountain biking, with intuitive features and reliable add-ons made to make every ride the best one yet.
The Shimano 1×10 drivetrain offers a wide range of gears to help you take on even the toughest of hills, while the tubeless tires offer you more clearance for rough roads, while still providing the durability needed to survive the hard knocks of more advanced trails. With a dropper post to help you weather even the most intense descent, and a bike design made to stand out from the pack, this bike is one of the more sophisticated options on our list. The only reason this bike is beaten out slightly by the X-Caliber 7 is it does have a slightly lower-quality drivetrain than it’s 2021 counterpart. However, if you’re looking for an incredible bike that’s sure to become your new favorite hardtail, the X-Caliber 7 is an incredible investment for you.
5. Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike
If you’re looking for a great, basic hardtail mountain bike, you can’t go wrong with the Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike. This is a simple, durable bike that’s made to suit beginners or anyone looking for a decent bike that can easily transition between trails and the road, allowing you to get a feel for mountain biking before jumping into a higher-tier mountain bike. This bike is a little lower on our list mainly due to its small frame, which is ideal for maneuverability but does not fit as wide a range of riders as some of the other entries on our list. However, the lightweight aluminum frame offers stability, without adding unnecessary weight, and the disc braking system is made to minimize additional wires while offering reliable braking when you need it.
This bike is good for all-around trail use, and while it may not be ideal for some of the more intense trails, is still a worthwhile investment for the casual mountain biker looking for a bike that will stand the test of time. As one satisfied customer noted, “Absolutely love this bike! Was so easy to assemble, came with a step-by-step instruction packet, and was shipped super fast! Love it! Highly recommend it!” Overall, if you’re looking for a great entry-level hardtail bike that won’t break the bank and will serve you well for years to come, the Mongoose Switchback Adult Mountain Bike is a great investment for you.
Full Suspension vs. Hardtail Mountain Bikes
For beginners it may be difficult to choose between getting a full suspension or hardtail mountain bike. While they look similar, hardtail bikes are stiffer and ride better on smooth terrain. Full suspension bikes are best when used on extremely rough terrain. For more information about these two types of mountain bikes, watch this video:
No matter if you’re looking for a beginner bike or are looking to upgrade your mountain biking gear, a hardtail mountain bike is a great investment that will help you take on more intense trails, while still providing a smooth ride.