Quality is king when it comes to buying a mountain bike. Sadly, not all MTB brands offer quality bikes. Considering how expensive mountain bikes are, you should know the kind of mountain bike brands to avoid.
Generally, avoid mountain bike brands that are unknown or less known, especially those from superstores. Additionally, avoid outrageously expensive MTB brands, non-operation ones, and those with poor customer ratings.
It’s also in your best interest to skip brands with no physical outlets or demonstration centers and the few that don’t offer lifetime warranties on the bike frame.
I’ll explain more about the mountain bikes to avoid in a few seconds. Even better, I’ll share the tips for finding a good MTB brand, and I’ll also highlight the best MTB brands on the market.
7 Mountain Bike Brands To Avoid At All Cost!
You want an MTB that offers you value for money. So, it’s best if you do your due diligence well, and it starts with shunning these kinds of brands.
1. Unknown (or Less Known) Mountain Bike Brands
While every big brand was once unknown, it’s always a risk trying out an unknown or little-known brand.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not 100% advising against unknown or little-known brands. But since they are new to the consumer market, very few people can vouch for them.
What’s more, most of them employ cheaper components to lower their cost to attract the consumer.
The problem with cheaper components is that they break easily, resulting in costly repairs and replacements.
That’s not all! Since the parts are unreliable, the bike is a safety risk.
Just imagine riding a bike with low-quality brakes! They could fail you anytime when riding on a challenging trail.
The same goes for a low-quality frame and wheels, as they could easily bend or break, risking your safety.
Unknown brands often lack a physical location, which means it may be hard to test or return the bike.
Additionally, you may find it hard to get spare parts for unknown bike brands.
2. Avoid Mountain Bike Brands On Non-Specialized Bicycle Stores (Superstores)
The other MTB brands to avoid are those that sell through superstores. Superstores like Dicks, Walmart, Best Buy, and K-Mart don’t sell specialized bicycles.
The stores also don’t have dedicated bike experts to advise you on the right bike size, spares, maintenance, etc.
So, there is always the chance of buying an inferior MTB, thinking that you are saving.
Most customers who buy from superstores complain of failing parts a few months after buying. So, even though they saved initially, the replacements cost much more in the long run.
Go to a specialized bike store to buy your MTB instead. Note that I’ve assembled a list of these stores under the ‘what are the best mountain bike brands’ section.
With a specialized bicycle store, you are guaranteed a high-quality MTB, one with high-end components.
3. Avoid Outrageously Expensive Mountain Bike Brands
Yes, indeed, cheaper MTBs are often low quality. But still, it doesn’t mean that you should spend a ridiculous amount on a mountain bike.
Some MTBs cost over $10,000, which is outrageously expensive, especially when it’s a casual bike.
While a budget MTB coast about $300-$600, you can get a decent choice for $800-$2,000 if you are looking for a high-quality casual MTB.
But if you are an advanced mountain biker, you can spend as much as you can afford, provided the quote is realistic.
Other Bike Brands To Avoid
4. Avoid Non-Operation Mountain Bike Brands
Nothing is riskier than buying an MTB from a brand that is no longer operational. Ask yourself, ‘where will I get the spare parts?’
So, to avoid getting yourself in such a situation, go for an operational MTB brand.
Do your due diligence beforehand. If the brand no longer makes mountain bikes, skip it and move to the next.
5. Avoid Mountain Bike Brands With No Demo Centers or Physical Outlets
Most of the best mountain bike brands sell online, but they always have a physical outlet for demonstrations and testing.
In that case, they offer you the opportunity to see and try some of their specialist bikes before you can order online.
Sadly, some bike brands don’t offer that. So, you buy something that you’ve no idea about how it works. If I were you, I would skip them.
6. Avoid Mountain Bikes with Poor Customer Rating
Don’t go for mountain bike brands with poor online reviews. Yes, even the best bike brands have a few complaints, but the negatives shouldn’t outweigh the positives.
So, read the customer reviews to understand what customers think about the brand and its bikes. If there is so much negative energy, consider an alternative brand.
Overall, you can rate the best to worst mountain bike brands according to their online customer ratings.
7. Avoid Mountain Bike Brands Without Lifetime Frame Warranties
Remember, the mountain and the trails are not the gentlest terrains. You need an MTB that can take the ruggedness and still be in good shape.
For that to happen, the frame has to be high quality, and that’s where the lifetime warranty comes in.
The best mountain bike brands always offer a lifetime frame warranty. If that’s not the case, consider the next option.
What Are Good Mountain Bike Brands?
Here are the tips to finding a good mountain bike brand
- Look for a brand with a reputation for quality products and better service delivery
- Go for a bike brand with a good customer rating
- Consider those that are still operational and whose spare parts are readily available
- Choose those that offer lifetime warranties on the frame, among other warranties
- Consider bike brands that price their MTBs reasonably (not ridiculously expensive or suspiciously cheap)
- Go for brands that sell through specialized bicycle stores
What Are The Best Mountain Bike Brands?
After looking at how you can identify a good bike brand, here are mountain bike brands that meet the specifications:
1. Giant Bicycles
Giant is a Taiwan-based bike manufacturer that’s deeply rooted in the United States bike manufacturing sector. It’s known to make a wide range of high-quality MTBs with dated geometries.
Giant Bicycles make MTBs with women and men geometries, and they primarily target pro riders. The prices for the bikes are competitive but worth every penny if you consider their high-end components.
Recommendation: Giant Trance 29 3
2. Diamondback Bicycles
Diamondback Bicycles might have started as a BMX brand in 1977, but it’s one of today’s highest-rated MTB brands.
Its MTBs are among the most expensive MTBs on the market, owing to their high-end components and unmatched comfort.
Overall, Diamondback Bicycles mainly target advanced riders, but there are a few casual options.
Recommendation: Diamondback Bicycles Release Full Suspension Mountain Bike (View on Amazon)
Relevant Post: Why Are Diamondback So Expensive?
3. Trek Bikes
Trek is a Wisconsin-based bike brand known to produce high-end bikes across a wide range of price points. While they are popularly known for their high-end road bikes, their MTBs are equally impressive.
Over the years, Trek has consistently received outstanding reviews from the buyer’s community.
Recommendation: Trek Marlin 8
4. Cannondale Bikes
Cannondale is a Connecticut-based bike manufacturer known for the most lightweight frames, which are mostly aluminum.
Their bikes are quirky and have a rustic, rugged look. Overall, if you want to go fast on trails with a bike that can take all harsh surfaces, a Cannondale will do.
Recommendation: Cannondale Trail 6 Mountain Bike
5. Mongoose Bicycles
Like Diamondback Bicycles, Mongoose Bicycles also started as a BMX brand but now bosses the MTB sector. Mongoose MTB bikes are cheaper than most MTB brands on this list, but they are never short of quality.
If you desire a budget fat MTB without compromising on quality, go for Mongoose.
Recommendation: Mongoose Dolomite Men’s Mountain Bike (View on Amazon)
Relevant Post: Are Mongoose Bikes Good?
6. Schwinn Bicycles
Schwinn, originally World Bicycles, is known for an array of bikes across varying price points. They make bikes for all ages and experience levels.
Their MTBs employ high-end components but are considerably cheaper than most brands. So, if you want an entry-level or pro-level MTB on a budget, go for Schwinn bicycles.
Recommendation: Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike (View on Amazon)
Relevant Post: Are Schwinn Bikes Good?
7. Specialized Bicycle Components
Specialized Bicycle Components is a leading manufacturer of specialized bikes, including MTBs.
Established in 1974, Specialized Bicycle Components is credited for the frenzy explosion of MTB biking in the U.S. The California-based brand produces the most high-quality MTBs at almost all price points.
Visit specialized.com to check out the best mountain bikes.
Running by the slogan ‘forever forward,’ Hiland is another decently-priced MTB brand. Their mountain bikes can do everything, whether it’s racing, trail riding, or casual biking.
Hiland offers MTBs across various price points, and you don’t have to compromise on the quality of the components.
Recommendation: Hiland 26-Inch 21-Speed Mountain Bike (View on Amazon)
Other Best Mountain Bike Brands (What Mountain Bike Brands Are The Best?)
Here are some other fantastic MTB brands worth considering:
- Santa Cruz
- Salsa Cycles
- Co-op Cycles
- GT Bicycles
- Scott Sports
- De Vinci
Now you know the mountain bike brands to avoid and those to go for. So, I hope that my guide will help you invest in an MTB that gives you value for money.