2017 Cannondale Catalyst 1
There is a first time for everything, including falling in love with mountain biking. Cannondale has crafted a bike you can trust in the Catalyst 1. A strong, lightweight butted aluminum frame creates precise handling and a nimble ride that eats up singletrack and in-town commutes equally well. The Shimano drivetrain provides 27 smooth-shifting speeds to conquer flats and hills, 27.5-inch Alex wheels zoom over all surfaces, and Promax hydraulic disc brakes bring things to a stop right when you need them. Sturdy-yet-lightweight handlebars, stem, and saddle from Cannondale give this bike the perfect learning curve for fun times and and falling in love.
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A commendable and reliable entry level mountain bike. Best suited for those with little to no experience on trails. Rides very well with it's half-XC half-Trail geometry. The frame is great (smartformed alloy) so as you progress you can upgrade components around it (starting with a new air fork because Suntour XCM coil forks are very low end). That being said I would be hard pressed to find many entry level bikes better than this for the price.