Welcome to my first mountain bike buyer’s guide of 2022. In this video, we go over my top 5 best value budget hardtails under $1000 US, along with some great honorable mentions. All this info is intended for a beginner mountain biker or someone wanting a great budget MTB as a second bike to ride tamer trails. These are my recommendations and hopefully after watching this, you can make an educated purchase decision and get the most bike for your money. #mtb #mtblife #budgethardtail

My criteria for the bikes:
-Wheel size – 27.5 or 29
-100mm to 140mm of suspension travel
-1X Drivetrain with good gear ratio
-Hydraulic Brakes
-Modern Geometry
-Slack Headtube Angle
-Steep Seat tube Angle
-Short Chain Stays

Links to check out the bikes!

Diamondback Line
Kona Lava Dome
Vitus Nucleus VR ( (Chain Reaction)
Polygon Xtrada 7
Marin San Quentin 1 💥ON SALE NOW💥 (Jenson USA)
Voodoo Bizango


Marin Bobcat Trail 4 (Jenson USA)
Giant Talon
Specialized Rockhopper comp 29
Trek Marlin
Trek Roscoe 8

(Some are affiliate links earning the channel a small commission without costing you any extra.)
Thanks for your support!

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Inspired by channels like Berm Peak, IFHT Films and Global Mountain Bike Network, GMBN Tech and YouTube personalities such as Seth’s Bike Hacks, The Loam Ranger, Paul the Punter, Skills with Phil and Mahalo my Dude. Love you guys!


  1. Boggart Hole Beast on January 5, 2023 at 1:48 am

    What’s the best wheel size for MTB?

  2. NikolayY on January 5, 2023 at 1:49 am

    i bought my vitus nucleus vr with clerk m2 brakes in the uk

  3. Paradoxking9 on January 5, 2023 at 1:52 am

    hey man ive been looking at the bobcat trail 4 2021 and the san quentin and the quentin looks amazing but where can u find the bike with the beige tyres?

  4. Jeff Albert Dominguez on January 5, 2023 at 1:52 am

    New Subs Here! 🙂

  5. Tom Jones on January 5, 2023 at 1:53 am

    But without riding them it’s pointless

  6. Santiago Saltos on January 5, 2023 at 1:53 am


  7. Juan Valera on January 5, 2023 at 1:55 am

    Thanks for existing bro!!! Great video!!!

  8. 99 ddmirror on January 5, 2023 at 1:58 am

    3 years ago and before covid pricing became a thing, you could get a $1000 bike without the poor and pathetic performing Suntour XCM/XCR forks. The incessant squeaking of their budget coil fork will have you sending it off a cliff.

  9. Gamix on January 5, 2023 at 2:00 am

    Everyone, just buy a polygon d5 or d6, they cost 1000 bucks but are full suspension and way better than these crappy hardtails

  10. gedresto on January 5, 2023 at 2:00 am


  11. Matthew Hodgetts on January 5, 2023 at 2:03 am

    giant talon at the end there… you said deore mech, but the picture showed an older acera.

  12. japp rivera on January 5, 2023 at 2:04 am

    Keywords for a scam; "upgrade in the future". If you need to upgrade something in the future you are buying crap in the 1st place!!
    Unfortunately it is getting harder to escape that reality, especially with people promoting scams like this.

  13. Puput Ayu on January 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Which one u choose dartmoor hornet or sanquentin based on geometry. Dartmoor isn’t on the list

  14. Ben Porter on January 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    So I’m what circumstance would you choose the Xtrada over the San Quentin? I’m looking to get into riding and live in Tennessee so we have a lot of hills. I’m about 6’1” and I’m not light lol. Just curious which might be best for me

  15. Ivan Borodavka on January 5, 2023 at 2:06 am

    Hi! Great video! I m considerying buying specialized rockhopper elite 29? Will it suffice my needs as an entry level biker or I shoud rather lean to one of your suggested bikes?

  16. Adam Putu on January 5, 2023 at 2:07 am

    👍 Don’t Have Bike Yet No Money 👍 Good For All Of You Can Buy Bike

  17. Barry Foster on January 5, 2023 at 2:08 am

    I’m a old f??cker, 78 to be exact, I’ve been riding since the eighties, in the nineties I bought a Moots YBb, a hell of a bike, but age and cancer is catching up on me and I thought I would give a more modern bike a chance, I bought a Xtrada 7 and rode it a little but there were a few things I did not like and decided to do some upgrades right away, the first thing was the rubbish plastic pedals that came with the bike, a trip to Amazon took care of that with some great cnc pedals for $30. The next was the Shimano brakes, they just don’t have the stopping power of my Moots V brakes, yes really, so on goes a set of Shimano Deore four pot calipers with metal pads. The levers as it came do not have servo wave action. I couldn’t find Shimano levers for love of money, but I snagged a set of used levers, M510’s I think for $50. The Xtrada comes with a 160mm front rotor so that’s swapped for a 180. Finally because of my age and bone cancer I’ve fitted a dropper seat post( why did I not put one on my Moots? ).
    I’m not sure of my total spend but since I got the Xtrada for $750 I think I’m around a $1000. If you see me riding in the Redding area make sure you say hi and give me a beer if you have one to spare.

  18. ish474 on January 5, 2023 at 2:10 am

    I really wanted The San Quentin 3 but they just weren’t available when I was buying, ended up with a Commencal Meta that I love so I didn’t lose either way

  19. Pablo Lopez on January 5, 2023 at 2:11 am

    All this bikes are amazing but i got a question i came across a BMC Blast 27. I thought it had great components for 700 but i need to upgrade the forks asap. Anyone has any opinion on that one? Im from Puerto Rico so every other bike its inflated 3 to 400 bucks.

  20. Nursultan Saljakbaj on January 5, 2023 at 2:12 am

    Shimano Acera. Very good!

  21. skg901 on January 5, 2023 at 2:13 am

    Would have got this Marin, if this were a 29er.

  22. Syclone on January 5, 2023 at 2:17 am

    16:45 I have a 2021 Giant Talon 2 29er that I bought a while ago and it has 100mm travel. (I did upgrade the fork to a recon, but the stock fork had 100mm travel).

  23. OMB Muzik on January 5, 2023 at 2:18 am

    How did Canyon not make the list?

  24. El Davy on January 5, 2023 at 2:18 am

    Any comments on Haro flight line 2

  25. fcoalvaradov on January 5, 2023 at 2:19 am

    Amazing video, love the geometry analysis as it´s the only thing that you can´t change and it´s better to upgrade the whole bike.
    Sadly in mexico the vitus and kona are nonexistent, I´ll probably go with the marin as I am upgrading an old 26" mtb, and don´t love the steep headtube angle of specialized and trek.
    Also analyzed the geometry on the Trek Roscoe and felt something was off, maybe you can check it out (the seat tube marks 69.7°)

  26. Michael Martin on January 5, 2023 at 2:22 am

    no Talon 1?

  27. tony haltmar on January 5, 2023 at 2:23 am

    Hey bud,

    A little late to the show, I know. Great info! Without taking up too much of your time, I appreciate the input. Is the Rocky Mountain fusion 30 a decent bike for a beginner? I just bought one for $1069. I plan on getting something nicer, upgrading, down the road… THANK YOU!

  28. Marko Puljak on January 5, 2023 at 2:26 am

    If I were to get the Marin San Quentin 1, which air fork would you suggest I upgrade to?

  29. Matt Quinn on January 5, 2023 at 2:26 am

    I’ve just got the vitus nucleus frame for £30 never used 🤣 ps they retail for £500 over here damn that shipping cost lol

  30. Wesley Davies on January 5, 2023 at 2:27 am

    I’ve just picked up a new cube aim 29r, switching from a full fox suspension 26” specialized xc pro,…bike is mint but no more full sus, I’ve already done the 1×10, 11-50, upgraded to deore derailier, plus shifter, just gotta dial in the gears, changed the front out to rockshox judy, better bars and stem, upgrade the head stock, upgraded the BB, crank and narrow wide, brakes brand new mt200 but changed the callipers to 400’s, smart Sam tyres with tan walls, looking to make it just a canal or gravel track stroller for family days kind of riding ….. 👍🏼🚵🏽

  31. Spedicey on January 5, 2023 at 2:28 am

    As a Roscoe 6 owner I said “represent” right after you said just by a roscoe without even noticing it Great video man you’re gonna blow up soon

  32. Andrew Adrian Tan on January 5, 2023 at 2:29 am

    Marin also uses Samox cranksets

  33. Aaron Moroney on January 5, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Cough * chain reaction cycles, Northern Ireland * cough

  34. Matthew Hodgetts on January 5, 2023 at 2:30 am

    first one… shimano acera doesnt have a clutch.

  35. Kevin N on January 5, 2023 at 2:31 am

    I went with the Giant Talon 29”. New to mountain biking and love the bike thus far. I think before tax and delivery I paid $970.

  36. Max Oliver-Lees on January 5, 2023 at 2:32 am

    I went with the specialised rockhopper elite. I haven’t gotten it yet. But I’m very excited

  37. Ilovesupras on January 5, 2023 at 2:34 am

    Well, I’m not really that into the mtb bike market world, but for me I think 1000 dollars isn’t really "budget" 😂

  38. Keith Ferguson on January 5, 2023 at 2:36 am

    Not that it matters (because I already bought it), but your info for the Giant Talon 1 is incorrect. Only the small and extra smalls have 80mm fork travel. All other sizes are 100mm, and either the 80mm or 100mm are really nice air shocks. The drivetrain you have pictured is a 2x drivetrain, while the Talon comes with a 1×10 drivetrain. The Giant Talon 1 should be more than an honorable mention.

  39. Top To Bottom MTB on January 5, 2023 at 2:36 am

    💥Black Friday SALE NOW💥

  40. C D on January 5, 2023 at 2:40 am


  41. Jason Rouse on January 5, 2023 at 2:40 am

    Voodoo Bizango pro 2022 is an excellent bang for your buck bike. And as a first bike it’s well worth it. You can’t really go wrong. Better then the Trek for the same price.

  42. Juan Rodriguez on January 5, 2023 at 2:43 am

    The Polygon should have been #1. Con on the Polygon for me; no 29 inch wheels for the small frame. Also CON for many manufactures.

  43. KILLER on January 5, 2023 at 2:43 am

    Great vid , but the only thing you did not mention is the total weight on thees bad boys !

  44. Juan Rodriguez on January 5, 2023 at 2:44 am

    Geometry could be debatable as not every rider is going for steep down hill or missive jumps.

  45. jotaesejota8 on January 5, 2023 at 2:44 am

    What about the GT avalanche elite?

  46. Ridvan Caglar on January 5, 2023 at 2:44 am

    I see a good deal for diamondback syncr, is it better than san quentin 1?

  47. Stefan B. on January 5, 2023 at 2:45 am

    Check Rockrider XC 100, good equipment for decent price as well.

  48. GeorgeG on January 5, 2023 at 2:46 am

    I got a San Quentin 1 (2022 edition) this Christmas for a discounted price of 890 eur witch I consider a decent price for the parts involved but barely so.. beside the shifter and its lever (witch has a clutch and works very well for the price) everything else can and should be upgraded at some point including tyres (very thin sidewalls – no way you can go tubeless with these), bottom bracket and crankset (it’s a tapered square witch has a limited life span), brakes (i’m still bedding them in and might get better in time but for now braking power is pretty limited), fork (i was pretty happy with a spring coil Rockshox Judy but this one sags a lot and has limited spring pretension range). So there are lot of things you can improve but the funny fact is that you don’t really have to.. everything works decent and you only need a dropping post in order to have a proper offroad rig. So yes it’s a nice bike but I wouldn’t pay more than I did for it.

  49. WILLIAM JOHNSON on January 5, 2023 at 2:47 am

    The giant talon 1 has 100mm of travel

  50. Kevin C on January 5, 2023 at 2:48 am

    Very informative. Thank you!