10 Best Mountain Bikes Under $2,000 in 2020 (Review)
Whether you are a casual rider or professional trail racer, you need a high-performing mountain bike. As you may know, high quality means high price, and this rings true for mountain bikes as well.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Many cycling enthusiasts can’t dish out $10,000 for high-end bikes. Fortunately, you don’t have to. There are many high-end bikes under $2,000 with professional components that meet the needs of competitive riders.
Today, we will be taking an in-depth look at the best mountain bikes under $2,000 in 2020. We will also discuss their features and specifications to help you make an informed buying decision. This article will also look at the different bike types and the value you can expect in this price bracket.
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The Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Under $2000
1. Diamondback Release 1 Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Release 1 is a viable option for endurance cyclists who are looking for a mid-level model in the trail category. The Release 1’s design features an SR Suntour Aion fork with 150mm travel.
Complementing the fork is an X-Fusion O2 Pro R rear shock with 130mm travel. Together, the fork and rear suspension deliver exceptional ride quality and are ideal if you like trails with drops. Diamondback selected these suspension components because they work well in congruency with their Level Link system.
The Level Link system isolates the chain from the trail inputs, so there is no pedal bob when you are riding uphill. The Release 1 has Shimano gearing, and the 1 x 10 style Deore groupset lets you select the appropriate gear for your accents.
Other Shimano components of the Release 1 include M395 disc brakes. These brakes are popular after-market options as they are affordable for their quality. This bike also features 27.5-inch Diamondback Blanchard wheels, which are tubeless compatible for enhanced traction.
2. RALEIGH Kodiak 2 Mountain Bike
The RALEIGH Bikes Kodiak 2 is a versatile trail bike with a wide range of high-end features that make it ideal for mountain biking. It has a durable and lightweight AL-6061 frame with trail geometry.
Front and rear suspension is a crucial consideration when selecting a bike in this category. At the front is an SR Suntour Raidon 32 air fork with 120mm travel. The rear suspension is a RockShox Monarch R with a single pivot design.
The Kodiak 2 features powerful Tektro Auriga disc brakes that bring the bike to a swift halt in all weather and road conditions. Tektro Auriga 2-finger brake levers provide additional braking control. These levels support the brake functioning so you can stop the bike effortlessly.
This model has a wheel size of 27.5, and the set consists of Weinmann tubeless rims and 2.8-inch Kenda Havoc tires. Together, the rims and tires provide you with optimal traction and control. They also make for smooth riding on rocky surfaces.
3. Marin Rift Zone 2 Mountain Bike
The Marin Rift Zone 2 is the fastest model Marin has made. It is the type of bike that is great for advanced mountain bikers and for those who love spending all day (or night) on the trail. It’s sturdy, attractive, and its frame offers 125mm of travel. This bike will conquer even the roughest of trails with its 29” wheels and 148mm boost. The wheels are tubeless ready wheels (Marin brand) which help to prevent flats and build great traction.
This model has a SRAM SX 1×12 drivetrain, giving its riders the ability to quickly switch gears for the steepest climbs and the shocking drops. It’s equipped with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, so when you do hit the drops, you can stop quickly and efficiently.
If you’re looking for a high-quality bike that will take you on any trail and last for a lifetime, this is a good fit and a good investment.
4. GHOST SLAMR 2.9
The GHOST SLAMR 2.9 offers 130mm of travel with its 1×12 drivetrain and aluminum frame. Its swift speed and rugged, top-of-the-line components make it the perfect suspension bike for any trail (including ones that are thick and heavy with mud).
This model comes with a RockShox Judy Silver fork and a RoxShox delux select + rear shock mounts. Its Shimano MT400 hydraulic disc brakes and 180mm rotors are great for when it comes to the control of your bike and the swift switching of (12) gears. It also features a JD dropper seatpost, which works very well when you need to quickly adjust mid-ride. (Keep in mind that this model does not come with pedals, so you’ll need to purchase those separately.)
The Maxxis tires included with this bike are more than adequate: they’re made for trailblazing. Every component of this bike was thoughtfully integrated to make an incredible design and a speedy, sturdy mountain bike. It’s far more advanced than its previous Ghost counterparts. If you’re looking for an exceptionally strong and state-of-the-art bike, this is a great choice.
5. GHOST Kato FS 2.7
The GHOST Kato FS 2.7 is a full suspension bike that is capable of dominating your smooth rides and your tough, hilly climbs. It is safe to say that this is an all-round bike that comes with an array of high-end features. The Kato is a dirt-shredder that is also low in maintenance. Thus, you will easily enjoy the bike without worrying about how to keep it going.
The bike’s aluminum frame promises years of long lasting use. Also, its Suntour fork will provide great responsiveness even when you are on the roughest paths. Needless to say, the bike will also cater to your need for speed by providing powerful pistol brakes that will let you come to a halt when you need to.
This may be an average climber but it is ready to blast any stone that comes your way. Everything from the XC wheels, Michelin tires, versatile 10-speeds, excellent drive train, and easy handling capabilities make the Kato a dream come true for adventurous riders,
The Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes Under $2,000
6. X-Caliber 9 Mountain Bike
The X-Caliber 9 Mountain Bike is the newest model in the X-Caliber family (2020). All of the components have been carefully crafted and chosen to make this bike indestructible and state-of-the-art.
This bike was made for racing. It is extremely fast and it’s essentially a hardtail with competition-level parts, so it’s perfect if you’re just getting into competitive racing, or if you’ve been trekking for a while and are looking for something new. Maybe you have a racing bike that you love but you’re looking for something with more speed and less sound. The clutch rear derailleur makes it so that your chain won’t slap against your bike, even when you’re on the roughest of trails.
This model has front and rear Boost hub spacing, so any time you’re up for upgrading your wheels, it will be a simple task. It also includes a 31.6mm seat tube that has an option to install a dropper post (in case you like the rougher rides).
7. Diamondback Sync’r Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Sync’r Mountain Bike is a hardtail model with a 6061-T6 butted frame and a 140mm RockShox Recon RL suspension fork. Because of the aluminum construction, the Sync’r is durable and lightweight. The frame has a progressive geometry that makes it comfortable for female riders as well.
Because the Sync’r is a hardtail, it has an active suspension mechanism that provides sufficient stability and absorbs the shocks from rough terrain. The suspension also alleviates fatigue. This bike has a wide gear range, which allows you to select the best gear for your riding conditions. You can also switch gears with minimal effort, thanks to the high-end Shimano SLX Speed shifter.
Every versatile mountain bike needs a high-performing brake system to prevent accidents on dangerous terrains. The Sync’r has a powerful Tektro hydraulic disc brake system that is reliable and suitable for all off-road conditions.
The KMC X11 chain provides optimal power from the pedals to the wheelset with Diamondback AL35 alloy rims and Vee Rubber Crown Gem 27.5 x 2.8 tires.
8. Diamondback Mason 2 Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Mason Mountain Bike features high-quality components and parts to ensure durability and compatibility with various terrains. It has a rugged weapon-grade 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame and tapered steerer tube forks.
A feature of the Mason 2 that many seasoned cyclists like is its SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes that offer abrupt stopping power in all slippery and wet conditions as well as on downward slopes.
One of the differences between the Mason 2 and its predecessor is the larger and broader 27.5×2.8 tires. The result is enhanced traction, grip, and control on uneven surfaces. Complementing the large wheels is a total of eleven gears, which makes it possible to take on steep inclines with minimal input.
The Mason 2 is suitable for men and women. This model has all the capabilities of a full-suspension mountain bike, and its durable frame and components support its strong, lightweight construction. If you are looking for a hardtail that performs well on all terrains, the Mason 2 is a viable option.
9. Salsa Timberjack NX Eagle
The Salsa Timberjack NX Eagle 27.5 is a versatile hardtail that is ideal for cyclists who want to take on bike packing missions or the roads. This bike has a clean-looking frame with internal cable routing and an all-black RockShox Sektor fork. The bike is fitted with 27.5-inch tires, but the framework can comfortably accommodate 29-inch wheels with tire widths of up to 2.6 inches.
With the bike’s adjustable dropouts or Alternator Dropouts, you can easily shorten the chainstays for a livelier feel. You can also lengthen the chainstays for added stability. By adjusting the dropouts, you can customize your drivetrain to a single-speed setup or internal hub.
The drivetrain is a 12-speed SRAM Eagle NX and is one of the Timberjack’s most notable features. The system includes a 50-tooth rear sprocket that allows for easy steep climbs. This model also features high-performing SRAM Level brakes with sufficient stopping power and levers that feel crisp and precise.
10. SAVADECK 700
The SAVADECK 700 Mountain Bike is a high-end model from the relatively new brand. The most notable feature of the 700 is its TORAY T800 frame that is not only lightweight but incredibly strong. The frame has shock-absorbing capabilities that contribute significantly to the bike’s performance.
Another notable feature of the 700 is its Shimano M8000 Deore 2x11S derailleur system that includes a Shimano RD-M8000 Deore XT back derailleur, a Shimano FD-M8025-H Deore XT front derailleur, and a Shimano RD-M8000 Deore XT shift lever. This derailleur system allows for fast acceleration on inclines and rugged terrain.
The 700 has a Manituo air suspension fork with a lockout deliver and damping system. These features allow you to adapt the suspension to your riding environment. The Shimano BD-785 braking system also provides you with sufficient stopping power to keep you safe in an emergency.
What Are the Different Types of Mountain Bikes Available for a $2,000 Budget?
When shopping for a top mountain bike under $2,000, there are several things that you should consider. The most crucial consideration is the model type that you want. Before settling on one type, consider your needs and cycling purpose carefully.
Trail bikes are one of the most common as they are the most versatile, and they are not limited to one specific kind of racing. You can use trail bikes for, among other things, climbs, descends, and drops.
This is another popular type of mountain bike you can consider. These models are ideal for long-distance riding over rugged terrain. If you regularly ride inclines, this category is also worth considering.
Downhill bikes are another category you can find in this price bracket. They are ideal if you like fast descents and high speeds in general.
Another common type of bike are the fat bikes that have oversized tires. These types of bikes provide excellent traction and handling on sand and snow.
The best mountain bikes under 2,000 are available in all these categories, so you can choose one that fits your needs perfectly. Your size is significant when choosing the most appropriate type of bike. You can find out what size bike you need by checking out our mountain bike size chart.
What Will You Get for Your Money When Spending $2,000 on a Bike?
The prices of off-road bikes range from $200 to $10,000 or even more. The models we list in this guide have all the features you need to maintain the essence of the sport. You can expect the best hardtail mountain bike under $2,000 to have a frame that is similar to models in higher-priced categories. As a result, they are generally similar in terms of performance.
Bikes in this price range are heavy in comparison with ones that cost, say, $10,000. If you are a professional cyclist and require lightweight components, you may have to consider bicycles in higher price categories. Keep in mind, however, that in terms of performance, there is a point of diminishing returns.
When shopping in this price bracket, don’t compromise in terms of suspension and frame geometry. If you pay attention to these aspects, you can even go lower in terms of price without forgoing performance and quality. If you have budget constraints, take a look at our article on mountain bikes under $1,500.
Is It Worth Increasing My Budget up to $3,000 Instead?
If you stick to models with high-quality, durable components, it may not be worth increasing your budget. If you find a bike under $2,000 that is relatively lightweight and that has a high-performing drivetrain, suspension, and a trail frame geometry, what more could you want for an additional $1,000?
However, if you are obsessed with the sport, and you find that your bike’s features are limiting your performance, look at our article on mountain bikes under $3,000. Before you increase your budget, consider your situation and riding requirements carefully.