best cheap mountain bike under 200

Best Cheap Mountain Bike Under 200

by Joseph Wells - Last Updated: November 3, 2020

What makes a good mountain bike? What is the best cheap mountain bike under 200? We will explore the world of inexpensive mountain bikes here in this article.

There are actually some cool bike choices below $200.  If you don’t expect to race the bike, and it is just reasonable transportation check out the Murtisol Mountain Bike.

The Murtisol features some cast metal wheels that are different but also has disc brakes. This will help the bike last longer since the wheels can take abuse and not be dependent on the rims for braking.  Bent wheels on low priced bikes are always an issue, and this bike alleviates the problem by using disc brakes front and rear.

Many people get fooled into believing that having more gears is better.  In some ways, it doesn’t actually help. You don’t get any easier or harder gear when adding, just more steps in between.  On the Murtisol, you get 21 speeds, 3 up front, and 7 in the rear.  More than enough for just about any proper riding on this bike.

Oh, don’t forget the suspension fork! It may be basic, but with bumpy roads, it will take some of the vibration and shock away from hitting bumps. Overall, the Murtisol is a great bike for less than $200.

Best Cheap Mountain Bike Under 200: Murtisol MTB

In the infancy of mountain biking, the defacto wheel size was always 26″. It is still a great wheel size and has both advantages and disadvantages.  Larger wheels roll over obstacles easier, cover more ground, and are easier for riding. However, they also accelerate poorly, take more effort to steer, and almost always require disc brakes.

Small wheels accelerate easier but don’t roll over rocks or bumps with ease. A great alternative to an inexpensive MTB is the Murtisol Mountain Bike 27.5. While Murtisol isn’t exactly a worldwide brand name, they are selling bikes with great features at excellent prices.

This particular Murtisol model features a modern frame design made from steel. Part of which is hydroformed. Hydroforming reshapes metal tubing into non-round shapes which can make structures stronger.

It features an average 21-speed drive train and mechanical type disc brakes on the front and the rear. Amazingly at this price point, it uses a threadless fork system which is usually seen on better bikes. Oh yes, this bike does have a suspension fork.

Lowest Priced Pick: Roadmaster Granite Peak

For right around $100 you can get a Roadmaster Granite Peak.  This particular bike is popular on college campuses due to its low cost. For basic commuting around in a neighborhood, to school, or something like that, this is a great choice.

Be careful when buying a bike at this price level.  Quality assembly is important, and secondly, to check all the nuts and bolts after riding it a few days.  I have seen the cranks fall off these bikes pretty easily, as well as pedals fail.  Unfortunately, with a low priced bike, you don’t get high-quality parts everywhere.

Everything about the bike is basic.  The drivetrain is ample, it shifts with the clicks, and goes into all the gears so they can be used without it making a ton of noise.  The brakes are ok, but if you bend a wheel, you will have rubbing rims in no time.

The frame size is pretty small overall. If you are taller, you might look for another bike that is bigger and can be more comfortable.  Riders that are shorter can easily ride this bike.

Best Women’s Cheap Mountain Bike Under 200: DynaCraft Speed Alpine

The only difference between a Men’s bike and a Ladies bike should be the frame design.  If you are comparing bikes at the same price point, but the Ladies bike has inferior parts, look elsewhere as it doesn’t cost anything different to manufacture a Ladies frame.

A Ladies bike can either have a smaller overall frame size, or a step-through type frame.  Step through means the top tube of the bike is slanted down significantly to give more clearance.

Take a look at the DynaCraft Speed Alpine.  It compares quite favorably to other bikes that are just over $100 in cost.

Again, this a basic bike. A 21-speed drivetrain is standard. It also uses rim brakes, so if a wheel gets damaged, it will end up rubbing and being annoying.

The frame is designed well and gets the handlebars up at a reasonably comfortable level.  The saddle is basic, it might be comfortable for a few riders.

This bike also has a suspension fork.  It will work a little but isn’t really meant for true off-road riding.

Best Full Suspension MTB Under 200: Kent KZ2600

The Kent KZ2600 full suspension is a reasonable choice at this price point.  It is a very inexpensive model, and the suspension won’t do much for true mountain biking, but it could be cool transportation.

To offer full suspension, they cut a few corners on the bike.  The first one is that it has a rim brake on the rear and disc on the front.  Normally, you bend the rear wheel hitting things like curbs or bike rocks, so having a rim brake there is not great in the long run.

The frame is made from Aluminum, so it will ride a bit nicer than the steel bikes in comparison.  It also runs a threadless headset style which will work better over time and have fewer issues.

The Shimano 21 speed drivetrain is pretty standard at this pricing.  Nothing crazy, or extra durable, just stuff that is basic and works ok.

One of the big problems on suspension bikes is shocks that are under-designed.  Just having a spring can be an improvement over no suspension for a few, but in general, the suspension only adds weight and doesn’t really ride any better.  Better shocks will have adjustability for rider weight, and dampening built-in.  Imagine only having springs in your car and no shocks to control them. Boing! like a pogo stick.

Best Cheap Mountain Bike Under 200 For Commuting: Schwinn High Timber

The Schwinn High Timber is being for years one of the best sellers from this infamous brand. Its reputation precedes. Schwinn produces some of the most cost-efficient and versatile MTBs in the market, without compromising the quality.

Usually, for 200 bucks you can get a bike that will be perfect for commuting but hardly will stand the hard trails of mountain biking. However, the Schwinn High Timber is an extraordinary exception offering the required durability to satisfy both uses.

The High Timber comes in two different options of frame material, steel and aluminum, being the later the preferred option for mountain biking. However, bear in mind that this will increase the price tag.

This bike is ideal for large riders when used in its 29-inch wheel size version. In addition, the mechanical disc brakes offer an outstanding stopping power. Also, the suspension fork is ideal for urban commuting as well as trail riding.

One of the most outstanding features of this bike is the Shimano 21-speed EZ-Fire shifters with Shimano rear derailleurs, offering smooth and easy gears changing. The Shimano parts with way more than what anyone could desire in a cheap commuter bike.

In terms of the warranty, Schwinn has a lifetime warranty policy, making it an extremely attractive purchase decision making parameter.

The High Timber is a good choice for both Men and Women. The frame design has a low standover height, so Women will be able to use the bike with few adjustments.

Conclusion – Best Cheap Mountain Bike Under 200

Surprisingly, there are many reasonable choices for the best cheap mountain bike under 200.  Part of the equation is understanding how to best use them.

While a $200 bike isn’t going to be super rugged or race-worthy, they are great transportation to school, or for someone looking at a low-cost way to get around.  It would be nice if we could ride expensive bikes without the worry of having them stolen.

While the bikes from Murtisol were not named brand, there is quite a bit of value there for the buyer.  Whether you are looking for bigger wheels or tough cast metal wheels, Murtisol has several wise choices.

Finally, if you need something easier to secure, or to carry up to your apartment, look at the Ferty folding bike.  It is a great alternative, and easier to manage for locking it up and making it look less inviting to steal.

As you can see, there are quite a few great choices available.  With current colors, modern frame design, and even disc brakes, you can find great features at reasonable pricing.

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