Downhill mountain bikes or simply downhill bikes are a type of mountain bikes that are fast-paced. They are full suspension bicycles designed for downhill, high-speed descent on particularly steep and rocky trails.
The most important benefits a downhill bike should offer are speed, stability and safety.
There’s almost no difference between a downhill bike and a mountain bike. That distinction is only made because downhill mountain bikes should offer more speed and absorb more shock than the usual mountain bike.
This article reviews 3 best downhill mountain bikes under $500. Be assured that their prices do not compromise on the quality they offer. You’ll also learn more on the factors you need to consider before you invest in a downhill mountain bike.
3 Best Downhill Mountain Bikes Under 500
Downhill bikes are not always classified thus. Because they are a type of mountain bike, they are often simply referred to as mountain bikes without the ‘downhill’.
Below are 3 of the best downhill mountain bikes under 500.
Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike
If you’re looking for a downhill bike that rides you through rough terrains like you’re on plain ground, then this is it.
The Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike features front and rear Suntour shock absorbers which make riding smooth. As shock absorbers, they reduce the impact you would have felt riding without them.
The frame and seat post of the bike is made of hydroformed aluminum. This guarantees a strong frame and seat post that sways less under pressure, another way of ensuring the rider’s stability while riding downhill.
The gear system is comprised of ultra-light and responsive Shimano EFT shifters which deliver a fast and efficient shift system.
It may be a crime to not mention the disc brakes. The disc brakes work effortlessly and deliver the smoothest halt.
- Quick release wheels
- Easy to use Shimano shifters
- Front and rear adjustable suspensions
- Strong and light double wall rims
- Front and rear disc brakes
Diamond Bicycle Overdrive 27.5 Mountain Bike
Only the tires of this bike should convince you that you’re sure to get the downhill ride of your life with this bike. The big knobby tires of the bike keep you fully in control of the bike and rough terrains. This is supported by the SR Suntour suspension fork which absorbs the pressure of the rough trails to grant you a smoother ride.
Being in control of your movement is essential, especially while riding downhill. The Shimano drivetrain offers a wide range of gears to make taking charge of your ride easy.
You cannot undermine the need for an efficient brake system. Even your legs cannot bring your bike to a steady halt as the Tekto Aries mechanical disc brakes would.
- SR Suntour XCT 27 suspension fork
- Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes
- Shimano 3×8 speed drivetrain
- Suntour XCT cranks
Schwinn Traxion Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
A simple way to summarize the experience this bike offers will be using their advert, “Zoom downhills and rip through gnarly trails on the 29-inch Schwinn Traxion.”
The bike features an aluminum dual suspension frame and suspension forks which combine with the wheels to absorb and overcome bumps on the rough terrain. For rapid and smooth gear changes, the bike’s EZ-fire trigger shifters, front and rear Shimano derailleurs work together.
Let’s not forget the front and rear mechanical disc-brakes which provide extreme smooth braking in all conditions.
- High-profile double wall alloy rim
- 18-inch medium aluminium frame
- 29-inch thick, knobby wheels
- 24-speed Shimano drivetrain
- Mechanical disc brakes
Factors to Consider before Investing in a Downhill Mountain Bike
Recall that downhill mountain bikes should offer more speed and resistance than the usual mountain bikes. They should also offer the benefits of being safe and stable. Therefore, the factors to consider before investing in one are those features that make this possible.
The make of the bike’s frame determines its’ carrying capacity and resilience amongst other things. You need a frame that will not give in to the trials of the trails- a strong and supportive frame system.
This can be guaranteed by the make of the frame. Aluminum has been a common choice of bike frame for understandable reasons, especially when it’s hydroformed. This is because it is sturdy, sways less under pressure- pressure both for the weight of the rider and the road.
Riding downhill is a different ball game all together as it’s a sloppy and rough terrain. This makes the brake an essential feature of the bike as you may need to control your speed of descent to navigate through certain obstacles.
Therefore, what you need with a downhill bike are brakes that are easy to apply and resilient.
Most downhill bikes employ mechanical disc brakes because they are resilient- matching the nature of the mountain’s terrain.
If you have every other thing right, but the wheels you can as well drop your bicycle at home. Wheels bear most of the pressure of cycling. They’re the only part of the bike that have direct contact with the ground’s surface while cycling. You see why it’s vital you chose the right wheel size?
Wheels come in different sizes, but for the purpose to which downhill mountain bikes are committed to serving it’s advisable you chose one with either 27.5-inch wheel size or 29-inch wheel size. They manoeuvre better than alternative wheel sizes.
Understand the drivetrain is a group of components that cause the bike to cycle, as there’s more to making a bike move forward than pedaling. It consists of shifters, derailleurs, crank set, chain, front and rear cogs.
This is partly how the drive train works.
The chain connects the front chain rings with the cogs on the rear cassette. This causes the wheels to turn when you pedal. The bicycle shifter, also known as gear control, lets you move the chain between your front chainrings (crank set) and the cogs of your bike’s rear cassette (cog). This works in connection with the derailleurs and causes a change in gear.
You’ll find out that each part of the drivetrain has a specific role to play which affects the function of the other part. In other words, the parts are all inter-related. Even after you have purchased the bicycle, be sure to always maintain and inspect each component of the drivetrain from time to time.