7 Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $1000

Written by:

Liam E.

Last updated:

January 3, 2022

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So, you want to start mountain biking? That's great, more and more people are developing an interest in off-road cycling. But, be prepared to face the biggest challenge in front of you, choosing the best mountain bike! 

First, you'll have to decide whether you want a full suspension or hardtail mountain bike. Full suspension mountain bikes have front and rear shocks while hardtails only come with front shocks.

If you choose to buy a hardtail finding a good hardtail mountain bike for less than $1000 isn't easy because it is tough to build a reliable bicycle with high-quality components and keep it affordable. 

But don't worry. We are here to help you find the best hardtail mountain bike under $1000. We tested several bikes and came up with a list of best hardtail mountain bikes under $1000, which you can read below.

We put every hardtail mountain bike through the same process: 5000+ foot climbs, laps around a bike park, rough downhill terrain, crash test, and light road riding. We also compared price, comfort, reliability, and of course, entertainment. 

The tests are conducted by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable riders and cycling experts. All reviews are independent and in no way influenced by advertisers or bike companies. 

Here are the Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $1000:

  1. Cannondale Catalyst 2
  2. Schwinn Ascension
  3. Schwinn Moab 1
  4. Diamondback Axis XE
  5. Raleigh Tokul 3
  6. Motobecane 529HT
  7. Motobecane 400HT

Cannondale Catalyst 2

Cannondale Catalyst 2

Powerful hydraulic disc brakes.

Shimano 27-speed drivetrain.

Great suspension.

Not comfortable seat.

Small color choice.

This is one very good-looking hardtail mountain bicycle with great characteristics. Built from aluminum (6061) frame that reduces the weight and increases the durability, which creates precise handling and a nimble ride. The Cannondale Catalyst 2 lets you ride any trail with confidence.

For defeating every obstacle on your way, you are equipped with SR SunTour XCT suspension fork with 100 mm travel and Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes for immediate stopping power when needed. 27.5-inch wheels with quality Innova tires will roll easily on different kinds of terrains. And last but not least, for perfect shifting experience, you are equipped with Shimano Altus derailleurs with 27 gears available for adjusting your pace.

View Cannondale listings on REI –  here.

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Schwinn Ascension 29

Schwinn Ascension 29

Good for every terrain.

Affordable price.

Hydraulic disc brakes.

Not the fastest bike.

The Schwinn Ascension is light-weight and sturdy. This bicycle is great for sidewalks, dirt roads and gentle bike trails. It features 21 gear speeds, SRAM Grip Shift shifters and Shimano TX-31 rear derailleur. This is an excellent bike.

This bike can be difficult to find, but we recommend you check out Schwinn's listings on Amazon, here.

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Schwinn Moab 1

Schwinn Moab 1


Very strong.

Great design.

The seat is not comfortable.

Schwinn Moab 1 is an excellent bike with awesome design. Equipped with great high end components, nice brakes and brake levers and race frame geometry. This is a very thoughtfully made bike. 

This bike can be difficult to find, but we recommend you check out Schwinn's listings on Amazon, here.


Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Diamondback Axis XE

Diamondback Axis XE

Multiple body sizes.

Quality components.

Hydraulic brakes.

Lacks geometry for bigger jumps/drops.

With fast 27.5 inch wheels and butted Aluminum frame (6061-T6), the Diamondback Axis XE is very light-weight and agile mountain bicycle, packed with high-end components. 

Equipped with Shimano Altus front derailleur and SRAM X4 rear derailleur, you will have enjoyable shifting experience through 24 gear combinations. The Axis XE can handle a lot of stuff that you throw at it, but be careful on bigger jumps or drops (especially if you are a beginner). 

See Diamondback listings on Amazon –  here.  

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Raleigh Tokul 3

Raleigh Tokul 3

The bicycle has Tektro hydraulic disc brakes for efficient braking.

The aluminum frame makes the bike light and durable.

Plus-size tires and an SR Suntour XCR-32 Coil fork absorb shock well.

The bike doesn't have a water bottle mount.

Some buyers say the Raleigh Tokul 3 pedals look and feel cheap. You can easily replace the pedals if you don't like them.

Raleigh, a reputable bicycle company, advertises the Tokul 3 as a comfortable and durable bike. Some of the specs which make this possible are an aluminum frame, which is very light and durable.

The 27.5 inches fork with 120mm travel (which is the space the fork can move), gives the bike better shock absorption, so you're assured of an enjoyable ride on rocky trails.

When buying a bicycle, your height should determine what size of bike you purchase. If you get the wrong bike size for your height, you'll not be comfortable reaching the pedals, and this may make your bike ride awful.

That's why the Raleigh Tokul 3 is available in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes to cater for people of different heights. 

Riders whose height is between 160-170cm should get the small Raleigh Tokul 3. If your height is between 170-175cm, the medium bike will be perfect for you, while large is for those between 175-183cm. Extra-large is for anyone between 183-193cm.

See Raleigh listings on Amazon – here.

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Motobecane 529HT

Motobecane 529HT

Hydraulic disc brakes.


Comfortable saddle.

Narrow handlebars.

Can be heavy for some people.

Have you been looking for 29-inch mountain bikes with high-quality components that are affordable for your budget? Well, in that category, one of the best bikes for sure is the Motobecane 529HT. 

This bike will offer you high-end performance and a smooth riding experience. Equipped with long travel SunTour fork and one of the best frames in this class of bikes, the Motobecane 529HT is the bike you have been waiting for. This bike also features 24-speed SRAM derailleurs and powerful Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. 

See Motobecane listings on Amazon, here.

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Motobecane 400HT

Motobecane 400HT

Light-weight and durable.

Very quality Shimano components.

Disc brakes with an incredible stopping power.

If you are a beginner, you might have a problem with assembling.

The Motobecane 400 HT is one of the best mountain bikes you can get under $1000. This monster of a bike is packed with premium components and one of the best aluminum (7005) trail-tuned POWER STAY frames you can get.

For facing every challenge on the trail, you are equipped with long-travel SunTour fork and powerful Tektro Aquila mechanical disc brakes for incredible stopping power. The derailleurs are Shimano quality and you can adjust your pace with 24-speeds available.

See Motobecane listings on Amazon –

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review


Mountain biking is a fun sport, and if you really want to immerse yourself in it, you need to get a good bike. The best hardtail mountain bikes under $1000 we reviewed give you high-performance mountain bike options priced reasonably.

Whether you choose the Cannondale Catalyst 2, Schwinn Ascension, Diamondback Axis XE, Raleigh Tokul 3, or any other bike on our best hardtail bikes list, we hope you have fun when you're out there riding the dirt trails.