Bikes

Best mountain bike under £500

Category: Bikes


If you’re looking to get into mountain biking and are on a tight budget you’re in luck, because today’s offering of ‘cheap’ mountain bikes have never been better.

Benefiting from trickle-down technology from higher priced bikes, beginner mountain bikes are built around frames with well thought-out geometry for a comfortable, fun ride and use components that have been refined and are derived from higher up in the range.

The type of MTB you choose may depend on the type of riding you like to do, the terrain you will typically ride on, and the budget you have available. In this guide we’ll focus on the best mountain bikes under £500.


The best mountain bike under £500 in 2018


Vitus’ number one, best-selling hardtail, the Nucleus has won MBR’s under £500 hardtail of the year three years in a row and for good reason. The 2019 version, however, represents another step-up for this versatile and popular bike.

Available with either 27.5″ wheels or 29″ wheels, this is a massively capable bike with a beginner-bike pricetag.

Don’t be fooled by the pricing, as the Nucleus isn’t your standard entry-level mountain bike. It may be the starting point in the Vitus MTB range, but its performance-focused designed will get you hooked.


Vitus Nucleus 275 VR Mountain Bike key features at a glance

  • Forks: Suntour SF14-XCR32 Air 27.5”, 120mm
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-M290 disc brakes, 160/160 rotors
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Altus
  • Tyres: Front: WTB Vigilante Comp, 27.5×2.3” with High Grip Compound; Rear: WTB TrailBoss COMP, 27.5×2.25”
  • Bars: Nukeproof Neutron 31.8mm, 25mm rise
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes, with tubeless rim tape fitted and valves included

Read the complete guide to the 2019 Vitus range

Vitus Nucleus 275 VR Mountain Bike at Chain Reaction Cycles


Vitus Nucleus 29 VR Mountain Bike key features at a glance

  • Frame: Brand New 6061-T6 Alloy construction with longer, slacker and lower build and modern geometry
  • Forks: Suntour SF14 XCR32 Air, “Boost”, 29”, 100mm
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-M290, 160/160
  • Drivetrain: MicroShift/Shimano Altus
  • Tyres: Front: WTB Vigilante Comp, 29×2.3”; Rear: WTB TrailBoss Comp, 29×2.25”
  • Bars: Nukeproof Neutron 31.8mm, 25mm rise
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes, with tubeless rim tape fitted and valves included

Vitus Nucleus 29 VR Mountain Bike at Chain Reaction Cycles


Don’t just take our word for it, the Vitus Nucleus 275 VR was named MBR Magazine’s Hardtail of the Year 2018. Here’s what they said:

See all our mountain bikes under £500

Shop at
Chain Reaction Cycles

CRC Logo

Got a question?
Contact our editor