7 Mountain Bike Brands to Avoid + Alternatives to Buy in 2024

For Mountain Bike selection, you don’t look for a lightweight gadget with skinny tires that can be the best for smooth roads, but certainly not for unpaved trails, like mountains. There are also many other features to consider before deciding on your next purchase.

A good selection of mountain bikes might be really confusing because there are many quality brands at a high price tag, but some are just overrated. The balance between the price and quality is beautiful, and we are here to help you with this.

We will start with some Worst mountain bike brands to avoid for serious reasons and end with our best recommendations.

Our research basically depends on the study of brands’ features and a long range of customer reviews available on the online stores.

So without further wait, let’s go through the lists to save your time and extra money.

Mountain Bike Brands to Avoid

How to identify the worst mountain Bike Brand?

It’s difficult to determine which mountain bike brand is the best for you. This is because every model has its own set of pros and cons.

However, if you want to buy a reliable mountain bike with high durability, we recommend buying one from a reputable brand. 

Most mountain bike brands make the same products with different names. The best way to know which brand has the best product is to read reviews, ask around, and consult with a reputable dealer.

As a general rule of thumb, the bigger and more well-known the brand is, the better the product.

List of Mountain Bike Brands to Avoid

As per our team’s research, KHS, Cannondale, Hiland, Trek, Giant, Next, and Huffy are the mountain bike brands to avoid.

Let’s find out the reasons why you should stay away from them.

1. KHS

KHS Bike - WorstBrands

It is the brand to come first on our worst mountain bike brands list. KHS has gained much reputation in the bike industry, but some of its models and main poor features have disappointed the customers.

This brand attracts people with affordable price tags along with beautiful geometries and shapes. But that is not all that a quality mountain bike should have. One of the major reasons to avoid KHS is its heavy weight.

Many users have complaints about this defect that offers difficulty in the initial push and going uphill. Extra weight can also make its riding control difficult to handle on rough surfaces.

Another reason to place KHS on this list is its suspension power. KHS doesn’t provide the quality suspense system to dampen the roughness and leads to more trouble with its added weight.

Many upgrading systems are available for this, but that doesn’t give you ideal results. And therefore, you are likely to find this brand expensive in the end. 

So it would be better to save your bucks and find any other brand in the market.

Main reasons to avoid

  • Quite heavy design
  • Poor suspension power

2. Cannondale 

Cannondale Bike - WorstBrands

You must have seen this brand in the best mountain bikes list but based on some specific drawbacks, and it comes second on our list. Cannondale’s material for its manufacturing is not of durable quality, and customers have complaints about bending the bikes.

Going to the next point, Cannondale offers a lifetime warranty but only for the bike frames and other parts of the body to get a warranty life of a maximum of 5 years.

Some models of this brand don’t have a harmonious brake system, being too sensitive to stop in a rush.

One of the models of Cannondale RZ120 is among the worst products of the brand. This is a heavy gadget with uncomfortable seat adjustment. The seat is just at a steep angle that certainly can’t give you the comfort to have a long ride.

Hence, Cannondale is not expected to give you all you need from a perfect mountain bike, and avoiding this brand would be beneficial.

Main reasons to avoid

  • Worthless manufacturing material
  • Defective brakes system
  • Uncomfortable seat adjustment.

3. Hiland

Hiland Bike- WorstBrands

Hiland is quite a famous brand for beginners, but it doesn’t prove its quality in the long term. First of all, many users of online stores have complained about the shipping process.

There is not enough care to place heavy bikes in the light packaging, and most of the products arrive with broken brakes and have dents as well.

Hiland is also not true to their claims of the advertisement, recorded by many customers. Another issue with this bike is the seat adjustment with respect to the handle.

The brand comes with different speed settings, but a rare body’s brake system design will not lead you to enjoy that feature properly. A limited warranty lifetime would also be another thing to keep in mind.

Repairing and replacing its low-quality material becomes difficult as customer service cannot respond to you fairly. The derailleur is also not of good quality.

Hiland comes with an affordable price tag, but the quality it serves describes its reason. There might be some perfect brand of this model, but we have tried to clear every doubt.

So based on the given defects, you should look for some other alternative in the market.

Main reasons to avoid

  • Shipping process
  • Poor built-in quality
  • Limited warranty life

Related: Motorcycle Helmet Brands To Avoid

4. Trek 

Trek Bike - WorstBrands

Trek is another well-known and reputed brand of mountain bikes, but we will mention the defects of some of its models. Trek Farley 7 is a quite expensive model of this brand, but two of the main drawbacks of this gadget are its heavyweight and high price.

A weight of 36 lbs can make it hard to ride for the long rides on mountain tracks, being not the best option eventually. The price tag is also a little high than many other brands or models available with the same feature in stores.

Another noticeable and good to avoid model is Trek Marlin 6. This model might be attracting consumers due to its low price, but quality describes its affordability.

It also has 16 gears, and Tektro Hydraulic brakes as its main features. But MARLIN 6 does not come with an innovative selection of material, being unable to deliver reasonable performance.

And you may have to look for upgrades often for the proper use. There are also wheel issues in many other models of this brand.

So if you are still interested in this name, don’t consider these models to purchase.

Main reasons to avoid

  • Expensive than others
  • Heavy body
  • Lacking innovation

5. Giant

Giant Bike - WorstBrands

Giant is also a competitive brand in the market but has some unforgivable drawbacks, and it is on the list of worst mountain bikes.

Giant Stance 29 2 is considered to be an excellent climber with perfect suspension. But having no dropper post will be its major defect, making its riding uncomfortable if you need to change the seat setting while moving.

Another thing to note about this model is the lack of forceful tires, losing their strength with the ground.

Trance 29 3 is the next trivial product of Giant. The suspension of this bike can move up and down after short movements. So this can be unable to protect from the roughness of the terrain.

The common defect of most of the Giant’s bikes is their geometry. A mountain bike with a poorly built design can never offer a peaceful ride in mountain riding.

So we would suggest having any other replacement for Giant.

Main reasons to avoid

  • Suspension issues
  • No dropper post in some of the models
  • Unpleasant designs

6. Next

Next Bike - WorstBrands

Another name for the worst mountains bikes option is Next. This brand is good to go with all of the basic needs for beginners in this area, being affordable as well. But the steel frames will add extra weight for the long rides.

The 18-speed settings will also not be enough to lift it off the uphill. The upgrades of the parts still leave you with a heavy load to carry for your ride.

Going ahead, as other mountain bike brands to avoid, Next also doesn’t have a favorable suspension system. The brake system is also highly sensitive, making the bikes unable to control and stop with a smooth flow.

Next has also been unable to give supportive customer service, and this demerit includes in the major complaints of the online users. There might be some acceptable models of this brand, but searching for those might be more confusing.

So you are recommended to shift your consideration from their old-fashioned model to find some other alternative.

Main reasons to avoid

  • Heavyweight bikes
  • Suspension and brake system issues
  • Poor customer service

7. Huffy

Huffy Bike - WorstBrands

Huffy is another mountain bike brand that has earned much reputation in the market, but the Stone Mountain 26 model is among the worst MTBs.

It provides a lifetime warranty with an option of extending the period as well. But terrible speed settings and slipping of the chain are the main reasons to stay away from this brand.

Huffy claims 15 speeds, but many of them just don’t work or stop working after a short time of use. The chain falls off after pushing the bike for little progression. Handle also get loose in a short time of its use which leaves a big question about the safety of the riders.

Besides their poor built-in material of body parts, the adjustments are also not enough to enjoy a fearless ride. Handbrakes are too far from the handle and may also hurt your hands.

The gear system also gets displaced from its position while changing the gears. There are also many negative reviews about poor customer service.

So we would like to recommend you to look at any other reasonable product of this brand if you still believe in this brand.

Main reasons to avoid

  • Miserable quality of material
  • Handle and brake adjustment
  • Poor customer service

Best Alternatives of Mountain Bike Brands

Many brands confirm the quality at every cost, being the best alternatives.

It is certainly incorrect to expect the same quality of all the brand models, but with our recommendations, the following list would help you.

1. Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Bike - WorstBrands

Founded in 1994, Santa Cruz has been able to progress impressively in the market of bikes. One of the major superior features of this brand is the perfect geometry and the designs of the body, which help a lot in the comfortable ride.

The smaller wheels and little rear design add the smooth running of the bike to rough and bumpy surfaces.

Another amazing feature is the lifetime warranty of frames and the same for the bearings as well, which most of the brands remain unable to offer.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC is the best recommendation for this model. The 27.5 inches product comes with a delicate design of seat settings and a suspension system.

The frame is built with carbon material with a lifetime warranty. It provides exceptional paddling and gear control.

But the main demerit of this brand is the high price tag than many of the other competitors in the stores.

Main reasons to pick

  • Durable material
  • Lifetime warranty of frames and the bearings
  • Perfectly designed

2. Specialized

Specialized Bike - WorstBrands

Working for more than fifty years, Specialized has introduced all kinds of bikes and held the consistency of perfection to stay in the competition.

The main difference from Santa Cruz is that Specialized doesn’t ask for a large amount to enjoy the beautiful rides.

This brand is also adapting the innovation by using the SWAT technology (Storage, Water, Air, and Tools).

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert is among the reliable options of this brand. This is also made up of carbon fibers, giving you a lightweight product.

Perfect design for smooth running and quality suspension system also includes in its main features.

Main reasons to pick

  • SWAT technology
  • Models at every price option
  • Lightweight body

3. Yeti 

Yeti Bike - WorstBrands

The next brand from which you can expect reliability is Yeti. Like other quality brands, it also confirms the lifetime warranty of the products.

But two of the unique features of the Yeti are its looks and rear suspension system. Yeti offers many colors for selection and attracts the bikers for its style.

Rear Suspension, known as “switch infinity, “uses a patented translating pivot that changes its direction while moving through.

SB series has made some of the impressive models of this brand. It delivers the perfect geometry with other unique features as well.

But Yeti is also among the costly brands and charges you more than many other brands. However, if you are not tight on your budget, Yeti might be the best.

 Main reasons to pick

  • Unique rear suspension
  • Desirable styles
  • Lifetime warranty

Things to consider before buying a mountain bike

Now we would like to shift to the best options you may find out there. But first, we describe some of the main features you should be looking for in a reliable brand.

Brand reputation: 

Any big name of a known brand in the market always tries to satisfy their customers without compromising on quality.

You can also research easily about that and check the users’ reviews. But many unknown brands may not be able to give you that satisfaction.

Price Tag: 

It is true that good quality comes with a good price but don’t go blindly for the brands with high costs. There are always the best options available in the stores at affordable prices.

But you should pay as much as you can for a better outcome if you are an advanced or professional mountain biker.

Customer service and warranty:

Perfect customer service keeps you calm with the use of the bike or after any issue you find in the bike. A long lifetime of warranty also assures you the quality and durability of your product.

So every leading brand offers great help to the customers’ feedback and a long time warranty.

Material Strength: 

Aluminum frames, steel without being heave, and carbon frames are mostly used to give enough durability to the body.

But don’t go for heavy materials to find the strength because that can leave you with serious uneasiness.

Other Brands to Avoid:


We have tried to cover all of the basic aspects regarding mountain bikes and hope for a positive response.

But don’t forget to put your goals, requirements, and ambition in front before making your purchase. There has also been a great revolution in the mountain bike to enjoy the taste of every ride.

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

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