mountain bikes for heavy riders

Best Mountain Bikes Under 500

Ultimate Mountain bike buying guide

mountain bikes for heavy riders

Choosing the right mountain bike is extremely difficult.

Due to the price of bike components coming down in price and becoming more available.   There’s always new brands you’ve never heard of releasing bikes.

Just within mountain bikes there are over four different types to choose from.  We’ll discuss each one carefully so you pick the right one.

A lot of people when starting out cycling will always go for the budget option.  Which is completely fine, as there are many budget bikes for heavy riders that are good quality and will do the job.

Personally even if you are on a budget.  I’d look at buying a known brand that don’t compromise on quality or customer service if anything was to go wrong.  Especially when looking at bikes for 300 lbs man, you want to the quality parts.

Brands such as Raleigh, Schwinn, Diamond Back and Giant are all huge well established brands I’d consider when looking at buying a bike no matter what the price is.  Because I know they’ll use high quality components.

Your budget does however, decide on some of the specification you should expect on your new bike.  It’s quite easy to just opt for the cheapest one.  And it’s also easy to look at mountain bikes and think that’s the one, only to see the stupendous price tag.

I’d be the first to admit that there’s some mountain bikes out there that look amazing and tick all the boxes but the price tag will also be extremely high.

With that being said it doesn’t mean you need to spend an extortionate amount to get the perfect bike.  There’s quite a few budget options that are extremely good value for money.

What kind of mountain bike should I buy

As we mentioned before there are over four common types of mountain bikes.  So let’s look at which one would suit you.

Trail Mountain Bike

trail mountain bike

A trail bike is known as the most popular type of mountain bike.  They are designed to take more of a bashing on the trails. 

A trail hardtail is a great bike for heavier riders as they will use stronger frames.  Most affordable bikes will use an aluminium frame keeping the bike lightweight.  However, if you’ve got the money to spend you’ll find manufactures will use carbon frames and forks at the higher price tags.

Full suspension trail bikes will use approximately between 130-150mm of travel to provide the user with a more comfortable ride on the more rugged terrain.  But you’ll be paying slightly more in price for a full suspension than a hardtail.

As for wheels both will use either 26, 27.5 or 29 inch wheels.  29 inch wheels are more stable when riding over roots and rocks.  Whilst the smaller wheels will seem more twitchy and get stuck easier.  For a heavy rider I’d suggest making sure each wheel has at least 32 spokes with 36 spokes being preferred.  The higher the spoke count the stronger the wheel will be to support heavier weights.

You may find that some bikes will use wider tyres closer to 2.8 inch.  This benefits users as it provides better grip due to the tyres being wider.

If you’re looking for the standard mountain bike and like hitting the trails then you may want to buy one.

  • Entry: $300-$600(Hardtail), $400 – $800(Full suspension)
  • Mid-Range: $600 – $1200(Hardtail), $800 – $1600(Full suspension)
  • High-Range: $1200+ (Hardtail), $1600+ (Full suspension)

Enduro Mountain Bike

enduro mountain bike for heavy riders

An Enduro bike probably isn’t something you’d look for.  It’s designed as a racing mountain bike.  There overall design is to provide greater performance on extremely difficult trails. 

They normally will use full suspension systems that have a higher travel than the trail bikes.

If you like technical terrain and love riding up and down steep inclines in mountainous areas.  Looking at Enduro bikes could be for you.  But you’ll also be looking at steep price ranges.

  • Entry: $1000
  • Mid-Range: $2000
  • High-Range: $3000

Cross-Country Mountain Bike

cross country mountain bike

Cross country mountain bikes as it suggests is a mountain bike designed to get across country at speed.  Sometimes Cross-Country can be shortened to XC. 

Like we’ve mentioned before 29 inch wheels are more stable.  So covering ground quickly most cross country mountain bikes will use the larger wheels.  As a heavy rider make sure the bike has at least 32 spokes. 

The tyres will usually not be as knobbly as trail bikes.  And will be a small tread to increase maximum speed.  Talking of speed, they’ll mostly use 21 plus gears to give the user a higher number of gears to choose from which also helps to increase speed.

Frame geometry’s on cross country bikes make it better to cover ground quicker however, if you live in a hilly area.  Sometimes the geometry will affect handling making it harder to control when cycling up hills.

Most cross country bikes at the lower price ranges will use aluminium frames keeping them light.  With most manufactures choosing to use carbon at the higher price tags to make the bike even lighter.

  • Entry: $300-$600(Hardtail), $400 – $800(Full suspension)
  • Mid-Range: $600 – $1200(Hardtail), $800 – $1600(Full suspension)
  • High-Range: $1200+ (Hardtail), $1600+ (Full suspension)

Downhill Mountain Bike

downhill mountain bike for heavy riders

As you’ve probably guessed.  The downhill mountain bike is designed to tackle steep downward inclines with ease.  The suspension travel is the highest of any of the mountain bikes.  Giving the user more control when travelling at speed downhill.

As a regular trail user, you probably don’t need a downhill mountain bike as there are far greater alternatives such as the standard trail and cross country bikes.

  • Entry: £1000
  • Mid-Range: $2500
  • High-Range: $4000

Single Speed Mountain Bike

single speed bike for heavy riders

Single speed mountain bikes are often not used as a daily driver.  As the name states they have one gear.

Meaning the lack of moving parts requires less maintenance.

Best Mountain Bikes by Price

Under 300

bikes for heavy riders under 300

If you’re looking to spend under 300 dollars, then there will be a lot of compromises in quality. 

First off you’re mostly going to be looking at steel frames.  The closer you get to 300 there may be the odd aluminium frame which are far better.  Even though you might not think the extra weight will be a problem.  When you’re having to lift it over obstacles and into storage having an aluminium frame will be a huge difference.

You’ll mainly be looking at the standard cable operated brakes.  Although they do their job.  When travelling at higher speeds you don’t get the added stopping power that disc brakes provide.

  • Disc Brakes vs Standard Cable Operated

As for the drive train I would expect to get a single 1 x 7 drive train.  Which comes with the benefits of less maintenance.  But on the tougher trails and steeper inclines you’ll find yourself having to work harder than bikes with more gears.  Once again closer to the $300 price range you may come across a 21 speed which would definitely be more beneficial if you are not used to putting a lot of work on your legs.

As with all mountain bikes the tyres should have a good amount of tread to provide grip on the more uneven surfaces that there built to endure.

You’ll come across a lot of bikes with just front suspension, but it may feel heavy.

Overall, unless you’re not planning on using the bike often or can’t afford closer to the $500 range then this would be your option.  However, for an extra couple hundred dollars the difference in specifications are huge.

Under 1000

bikes for heavy riders under 1000

As you start looking at mountain bikes closer to $1000.  Full suspension bikes start coming into play.  Full suspension bikes that are good value and aren’t hard as you’ll find at the lower price tags. 

At $1000 bikes should offer and do offer very good stability on all terrains.  Lightweight aluminium frames and adjustable shocks to adjust the bike to your needs.

I would definitely expect a clutch on the rear derailleur preferably made by shimano.  As well as a 9 or 10 speed rear drive train. 

I’d also be expecting higher quality components that come with higher specifications that are expected to last longer. 

As we start to climb the price tag the components tend to get more complicated and thus require more maintenance.  Maintenance should be done regularly to avoid damaging any components. 

Especially when you’re spending this much you don’t want to be having to spend money on replacement parts due to your own laziness.  

Under 2000

bikes for heavy riders under 2000

At this price you shouldn’t be compromising.

The bike should have everything you want.  This includes full suspension bikes including high quality suspension with no compromises.

All parts will be high quality top of the line parts from brands such as Shimano.

Towards the higher price points in this category you’ll start to see carbon frames in the hard tail variants.  As well as higher quality drive trains and suspension units. That provide a fun and a more comfortable ride. 

Although when traveling at speed over roots and loose terrain there can only be so much comfort.

They’ll be more adjustable features such as suspension with damping adjustment.  And some may even include a dropper post.

Bikes will be more lightweight, designed for long distance travel without putting too much strain on your legs.  

Under 3000

enduro mountain bike for heavy riders

As you start getting into the $2000 price range you normally have a couple of choices.

First off you can choose to have a very good quality carbon frame but compromise on the components side.

Or you can have a lightweight aluminium frame but top of the range components.

Most bikes will include dropper posts.  11 and 12 speed shimano drive trains, with all drive trains expected to have a clutch.

Obviously the choice is yours whether you go with the carbon or aluminium frame. 

As for tyres they’ll more than likely be very high quality rubber mainly a tubeless design.  And will be heavy duty but also light to reduce the strain on your arms when steering.

Steering components will be top flight and won’t be compromised for cost saving.  You’ll also find extremely good quality suspension kits included.  As it should be at this price.

Over 3000

downhill mountain bike for heavy riders

The higher the price you’re paying for less weight and increased performance.

More carbon parts make the bike lighter.

And top of the range parts from brands like Shimano increase the performance of the bike.

Some parts will even be specialist parts.

Tyres will be able to handle anything you throw at them.  You’ll have incredible grip and maximum speed.

Suspension will be of the highest quality performing suspension available.

And like computers you’ll find that the average user won’t be able to use the bike to its full potential.

What size of mountain bike do I need?

Getting the right size mountain bike is the key to getting the perfect bike.  Buying the wrong size frame will hinder your fun.  When purchasing your new bike online you can’t test the bike before.  But most places have very good return policies if you do buy the wrong size.  It’s always important to check the manufactures fitting.  This is usually available on the product page.

As a general guide we’ve put together a guide for choosing the right bike size.

Hopefully we’ve put you in the right direction in terms of the type of mountain bike and price range for your next mountain bike.