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The 10 Best Mountain Bikes Under $3000 of 2023

By: Colin Edwards: Bike Buyer | June 14, 2023

Historically, mountain bikes have been split into two categories: Absurdly expensive wonder bikes that cost more than many cars, but have all the latest and greatest tech and geometry, and more affordable, entry level bikes that are too unreliable, with too flimsy of components to really be ridden seriously. However, in recent years, manufacturers have been making a push to design and sell affordable mountain bikes with the same geometry as their more expensive siblings, paired with careful component choices that help riders save money while still getting great performance. All of the bikes on this list fall into that category, they’re all designed to get you 99% of the fun and performance of top-end bikes at a fraction of the cost.

So how do they hit such an affordable price point? Well, if you study this list of the best mountain bikes for under $3000, you’ll find that most of the frames are made out of aluminum which is a tiny bit heavier than carbon fiber, but a whole lot more affordable. And they use lower-tier suspension and drivetrain components that deliver the majority of the performance benefits of the top-end units, without the flashy graphics and inflated prices. But what you won’t find on this list is dated geometry. Every bike here has modern geometry that will feel at home on any trail, and compete with any top-end bike’s numbers. So save some money for a riding trip, and grab a new bike for less.  For more information on choosing the right bike for you, please see our helpful mountain bike sizing and geometry guide.


Santa Cruz Tallboy A D Complete

Santa Cruz Tallboy A D

A budget bike that blows away many bikes that have another digit on their price tags, the Santa Cruz Bicycles Tallboy A D Complete Mountain Bike takes a proven trail killer and makes it as accessible as possible. There's no electronic shifting or marginally better carbon parts here, Santa Cruz left the more expensive stuff in the corner and made a bike that'll go all in - right dang now. Hemming and hawing over high-end parts and supercomposite construction can be exhausting. Grab one of these and use your energy on the trails!

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
120 mmSRAM NX Eagle 1 x 12$3,599.00

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Devinci Marshall A 29 SX 12s Complete

Devinci Marshall A 29 SX 12s

The Devinci Marshall A 29 SX 12s Complete Mountain Bike combines versatile geometry, smart design, and dependable parts to make for one of the best value bikes on the planet. Its 130mm of Split Pivot suspension is plusher in chunky zones than any platform that pedals this well has a right to be, and when combined with 140mm up front? Simply trail-perfect. A mid-travel bike with extremely durable components, made from lightweight and tough aluminum: this is a smart buy.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
130 mmSRAM SX Eagle 1 x 12$2,649.00

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Marin Wildcat Trail 3 WFG Complete - Women's

Marin Wildcat Trail 3 WFG - Women's

When you're ready to take the next step in your mountain biking career, look to the Marin Wildcat Trail 3 WFG Complete Mountain Bike to get you there. This capable hardtail provides some notable upgrades over the Wildcat 1 to get the job done on challenging trails without breaking the bank - things like Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and the smooth riding SR Suntour XCM HLO fork. Engineered with Marin's tough Series 2 Aluminum frame and Women's Fit Geometry, the Wildcat Trail 3 delivers boatloads of confidence on every ride.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
HardtailShimano Altus 2 x 8$699.00

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Norco Storm 5 Complete

Norco Storm 5

The Norco Storm 5 Complete Mountain Bike is pure summer vacation bike. Made for light trail action, dusty country roads, and those fun bike paths that lead to the ice cream shop, this is a comfortable and versatile ride that'll happily do the business on the daily commute, too. Mountain biking isn't all about bananas maneuvers and aggro workouts, sometimes it's just needing a bit more off-road capability than a road or hybrid bike offers. The Storm 5 is a welcome addition to anyone's garage.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
HardtailShimano Tourney 3 x 7$719.00

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Norco Fluid FS 3 Complete

Norco Fluid FS 3

The Norco Fluid FS 3 Complete Mountain Bike is the set and forget trail bike that punches way above its price tag. Way way way above. A quick ripper that has enough travel to absorb some large hits, this is an aluminum workhorse that just doesn't quit: a couple years down the road you'll marvel at the thought of ever spending five digits on a pedal bike! Whether you're heading out on a quick lunchtime rip, a backcountry epic, or something in between, 130/140mm is the sweet spot that can handle most everything you'll encounter. The Fluid is definitely leading the way when it comes to reasonably priced (and capable) trail bikes.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
130 mmSRAM SX Eagle 1 x 12$2,499.00

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Marin Wildcat Trail 1 WFG Complete - Women's

Marin Wildcat Trail 1 WFG - Women's

If you can get your cardio fix while taking in luscious outdoor scenery, why wouldn't you? The Marin Wildcat Trail 1 WFG Complete Mountain Bike is great for recreational riders looking for a workout on dirt, commuters, and people in search of a great bike at a smart price. With a huge range of gears, powerful disc brakes, and all the comfort of flat bars and an upright position, this bike is hard to beat.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
HardtailShimano 3x7 Tourney$599.00

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Marin Wildcat Trail 2 Complete Complete - Women's

Marin Wildcat Trail 2 - Women's

When you're ready to hit the trails, look to the Marin Wildcat Trail 2 Complete Mountain Bike to get you there in style. This capable hardtail provides delivers boatloads of confidence on chunky trails, with a plush 100mm Suntour fork to smooth things out and Marin's Women’s Fit Geometry for maximum comfort on every ride.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
HardtailShimano Altus 3 x 8$599.00

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Norco Fluid FS 4 Complete

Norco Fluid FS 4

The Marin Fluid FS 4 Complete Mountain Bike is, in our opinion, the single best bang for buck mountain bike available on the planet. It shares all the years of R&D and manufacturing prowess that Norco's built up over the years, with proven designs and components that truly shine. A mid-travel trail bike that has blown the minds of all who've ridden it, the Fluid was chosen by both Vital and Pinkbike as value bikes of the year. If you're into every aspect of mountain biking, or are just starting to find out, the Fluid is a choice with no downsides.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
130 mmShimano Deore 1 x 11$1,999.00

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Scott Scale 970 Complete

Scott Scale 970

Good luck finding more bike for the money! The Scott Scale 970 Complete Mountain Bike isn't overly dramatic or fancy, unless you count the remote fork lockout lever mounted on the handlebar or the SRAM 1x12speed drivetrain. Actually, this is kind of fancy for a bike that costs less than your neighbor's fork.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
HardtailSRAM SX Eagle 1 x 12$1,499.99

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Scott Aspect 940 Complete

Scott Aspect 940

The Scott Aspect 940 Complete Mountain Bike is an excellent choice for riders dipping their toes into mountain biking for the first time. A lightweight Aluminum frame and XC friendly geometry is complemented by quality Shimano components and hydraulic disc brakes for top shelf stopping power. A very capable bike for riders on a budget.

Rear TravelDrive TrainOriginal Price
HardtailShimano 2 x 9$1,029.99

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Learn About our Favorite Bike Gear:

Our bike buyer has an endless amount of knowledge on all things bike stemming from years of experience in the bike industry in tandem with their countless hours out on the dirt, gravel, and tarmac. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Colin Edwards

Meet Colin Edwards, evo's in-house Bike Buyer and mountain biking aficionado. With 15+ years of e-commerce buying experience under his belt, Colin is the go-to guy for all things related to "Riding Dirt." He's worked across various categories, including bike, snowboard, travel, climbing, and surfing, giving him the know-how to recognize and select top-notch mountain biking products for evo's customers.

Colin's been shredding trails since he was a kid, starting on his trusty hardtail Trek 800 Sport. Born and raised in Utah, he recently made the move to Bellingham, WA with his partner, Kenz. Colin's real-world biking experience, combined with his background in product trends, relationship building, and sales analysis, makes him an invaluable asset to the evo team.

When he's not busy handpicking the raddest gear, you'll find Colin ripping through PNW trails or hunting for the world's best dirt. And when the snow falls, he's all about snowboarding. Colin also loves trail running and exploring the PNW's stunning landscape with his two dogs and Kenz.

With Colin's expertise and passion fueling evo's mountain biking selection, you can trust that his recommendations are spot-on and tailored to the evo community's adventurous spirit.