Are you looking for a budget friendly hardtail mountain bike for your next bikepacking adventure? Maybe you are new to the world of bikepacking and looking for that beginner bikepacking rig?

Below is an ultimate list of bikes that would make great bikepacking bikes for some just getting starting. All of the bikes listed are under $2,000!

We compared these bikes to matchup to some of the best bikepacking bikes on the market when it comes to geometry and other specs, to make sure they cover the similar criteria for your bikepacking adventures. Also here are some recommended steel hardtail bikepacking bike options.

Some of the bikes are not specifically marketed as “bikepacking bikes” but some bikepackers have used them just for that. While others would make decent bikepacking bikes and others are actually bikepacking dedicated rigs.

But one thing is for sure if you want a bike that is cheap but still can take you far and wide of bike adventures then look no further then these bikes below.

BikePriceCategoryFrameTravelWeightSeatpostWheel SizeTire ClearanceChainstayST AngleHead tube angleWheelbaseTrail
Liv Tempt 1$891CrosscountryAluminum80mm13 kgRigid27.5″ / 29″2.4″440mm74°68°112899
Giant Talon 1$891CrosscountryAluminum80mm13.15 kgRigid27.5″ / 29″2.25″455mm74°68.5°115094
Sonder Frontier SX Eagle$1,099CrosscountryAluminum100mm12.65 kgRigid29″3.0″445mm73°68°1127101
Marin Bobcat Trail 5$1,129TrailAluminum120mm13.5 kgRigid27.5″2.35″?440mm74.5°67°117795
Canyon Grand Canyon 7$1,299TrailAluminum120mm14 kgDropper27.5″ / 29″2.35″ (front) 2.25″ (rear)428mm74°67.5°115096
Specialized Rockhopper Expert$1,400CrosscountryAluminum100mm13.8 kgRigid29″2.35″440mm73.5°68.5°112897
Orbea ALMA H30$1,492CrosscountryAluminum100mmRigid29″2.2″435mm74.5°68°1127104
Marin Pine Mountain 1$1,579TrailSteel120mm14.5 kgRigid29″2.8″430mm74.5°66.5°1160107
Salsa Rangefinder Deore 12 27.5+$1,599TrailAluminum120mm14.8 kgDropper27.5″3.0″439mm74°68°114894
Giant XTC SLR 29 1$1,735CrosscountryAluminum100mm12 kgRigid29″2.25″440mm74°69.5°113695
Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+$1,799TrailAluminum130mm15.4 kgDropper27.5″3.0″420mm75.1°66.4°1165101
Specialized Chisel$1,817CrosscountryAluminum100mm15 kgRigid29″2.5″432mm74°68°1124103
Trek X-Caliber 9$1,899CrosscountryAluminum100mm12.5 kgDropper27.5″ / 29″2.8″438mm73°69.5°112594
Kona Big Honzo DL$1,999TrailAluminum130mm14.7 kgDropper27.5″2.8″430mm75°67.5°117392
Sonder Broken Road SX Eagle$1,999CrosscountryTitanium100mm12.4 kgRigid27.5″2.8″440mm73°68°115479
Esker Japhy J1$2,000TrailSteel120mm14 kgDropper29″2.8″425mm75°66°1171105
Esker Hayduke H1$2,000TrailSteel140mmDropper27.5″3.0″425mm74°67.6°115586

Liv Tempt 1

The most budget friendly hardtail bikepacking bike goes to both the Liv Tempt 1 and the Giant Talon 1.

The Liv Tempt 1 makes a perfect first mountain bike allowing you to ride the dirt and your first singletrack. If you also see yourself getting into bikepacking it is a capable bike that can carry gear.

A crosscountry, aluminum framed hardtail with 80mm of travel in the fork. weighing around 13 kg you get the capacity for up to 2.4″ tires and the options to either run 27.5″ / 29″ wheels.

The Liv Tempt features women’s-specific geometry to ensure you are balanced over the bike for optimal efficiency, comfort and control.

Giant Talon 1

Essentially the mens version of the Tempt 1 with some slight geometry differences. Like a longer chainstay and wheelbase for the equivalent medium sized frame.

The Talon boast a smaller tire clearance for up to 2.25″ tire and the option for both 27.5″ / 29″ wheels. Around the same weight at just over 13 kg and 80 mm travel in the fork.

Both bikes are priced at $891.00 USD

Sonder Frontier SX Eagle

This has to be a personal favourite in this list. It still has good value priced at £999 or $1,099 USD. It is a bike that is specially made with geometry for long day comfort. With tire clearance for up to 3.0″ tires and it weighs 12.65 kg.

Sonder categorise this bike as their multi-activity hardtail mountain bike. “Ride hard at the trail centre, load it up for a midweek bikepacking trip, pocket your passport and continue around the world. With full rack mounts at the back, Frontier is an adaptable off-road explorer.”

It comes with 29″ wheels you get the Rockshox Recon Silver RL fork with 100mm travel. Talk about value, its powered by a 1×12 SRAM SX Eagle Groupset with 11-50t cassette. SRAM level hydraulic brakes, rear mudguard and pannier rack mounts. This has to be the best value hardtail bikepacking on the market!

Marin Bobcat Trail 5

Looking to bikepack singletracks? The Marin Bobcat Trail 5 is an aggressive singletrack mtb. Made with modern trail geometry build for exploring singletrack trail systems.

Perfect option for that beginner mountain biker looking for something with modern geometry or a more experienced rider looking for an update that doesn’t break the bank, priced at $1,129.00 USD

You get the SunTour XCR fork with 120 mm travel (which is not the best rated fork compared to other bikes in this list.) 1 x 11 Deore setup with 32T crank and 11-51T cassette. With you choice of 27.5″ or 29″ x 2.25” tires and the potential for approximately 2.35″ tires if you want to push the clearance. The bike weighs around 13.5 kg.

Canyon Grand Canyon 7

If you are either looking to gear up for your next epic adventure or want to hit your local trails, the Canyon Grand Canyon 7 is a bike worth checking out.

For $1,299 USD you get a great value bike with dropper post, mid range components with 1 x 12 SX Eagle, Truvativ Stylo groupset and a RockShox Judy fork with 120 mm travel. A slightly heavier bike than the first few we have taken a look at so far coming in at 14 kg. Tire clearance for 2.35″ in the front and 2.25″ at the rear.

They also sell a women’s option with a shorter reach, wheelbase, standover height making for a more comfortable fit for smaller riders.

Specialized Rockhopper Expert

The Specialized Rockhopper Expert is a popular budget friendly bikepacking hardtail bike amongst fellow bikepackers. Considered a crosscountry mtb with 100 mm travel and weighing around 13.8 kg.

It is a bike that has been around for 30 years resulting in constant redefining of the relationship between value and performance. You get a similar groupset to the Sonder for a little more expensive price tag. Also the Sonder Frontier is more than 1 kg lighter and you get larger tire clearance.

However the Rockhopper has somewhat of a cult following. If you are after an affordable cross-country mountain bike this might be the one. They have even cheaper options, however the Expert is preferred if you are looking to go on bike adventures.

Orbea ALMA H30

Orbea Alma H30 is an Aluminium hardtail Mountain Bike that’s built to push your limits and allow you to hit the trail without breaking the bank.

A crosscountry mountain bike with 100mm travel with the RockShox 30 Silver TK fork. Priced at £1,059 or about $1,492 USD with the 1 x 12 Deore groupset. And Maxxis Ikon 2.20″ tires.

Marin Pine Mountain 1

A dedicated bikepacking bike. The Marin Pine Mountain 1 is the more affordable sibling to the Pine Mountain 2. Which has upgrated components. The Pine Mountain 1 is a 1 x 11 compared to the 1 x 12 for the Pine Mountain 2.

No dropper post on the Pine Mountain 1, you get 120 mm fork travel with the RockShox Recon Silver RL fork. Steel frame bike, made to take on the abuse of a bikepacking trip. Weighing 14.5 kg and clearance for up to 2.8″ tires.

A classic steel hardtail with modern trail capabilities for hardtail purists pushing the limits and seeking adventure. Did I mention you get unlimited amount of mounting points for gear!

Salsa Rangefinder Deore 12 27.5+

The Salsa Rangefinder Deore 12 27.5+ is made for singletrack, off road adventures and exploration! With a stable trail geometry it puts you in a comfortable, confident position to take on new terrain and experiences.

Priced at $1,599 USD, you get a dropper post, 120mm RST fork which is said to be not the best value forks for the price. But you cant go wrong with any Salsa bike.

You also get nimble 27.5” wheels to accelerate quickly, while the 2.8”-wide tires deliver awesome grip. Shimano’s Deore 12-speed build kit gives you plenty of range for taking on steep climbs, speedy flats, or anything in between. With tire clearance for up to 3.0″ tires.

Giant XTC SLR 29 1

How nice does this bike look? The a Giant XTC has a 29er-specific frame geometry that offers an ideal balance of stability and manoeuvrability on all types of XC terrain.

It is the lightest weight bike in this list. If weight is important this might be the one. Weighing in at 12 kg. The frameset is engineered using ALUXX SLR, Giants highest-grade aluminum, resulting in a superlight and agile 29er which delivers speed and efficiency for XC riders and racers.

This bike is a popular choice for events like the Tour Divide! You get the Giant Crest 34 fork with 100mm travel and the highest quality (in the list) 1 x 12 XT, SLX groupset. Priced at $1,735 USD.

Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+

If you are after a trail bike with one of the most fork travel in the list with 130 mm. (Same as the Kona Big Honzo). Weighing around 15.4 kg, dropper post and 3.0″ tire clearance. A bike made for singletrack, bikepacking and off-road exploration! Priced at $1,799 USD

Specialized Chisel

Built for crosscountry racing the Specialized Chisel is the bike for crushing climbs, rockets out of corners, and rips through rock gardens with the speed and efficiency of the highest-performing, it is Specialised’s most-capable aluminum XC bike available.

A rather heavier bike at 15 kg, with 100 mm travel, tire clearance for 2.5″ tires. Priced from $1,817 USD.

Trek X-Caliber 9

Comparable to the Giant XTC the Trek X-Caliber 9 is a little more expensive and 0.5 kg heavier. But you do get larger tire clearance for up to 2.8″ tires. This bike is a fully race-ready cross-country mountain bike built with parts designed to compete.

A RockShox Judy Silver fork with remote lockout and 100 mm travel, a 1×12 Shimano XT/SLX drive train, and a wide-range cassette make it a great choice for fast singletrack riders. Priced at $1,899 USD.

Kona Big Honzo DL

Another bikepacking dedicated hardtail. A trail bike with 130 mm fork travel. A comfortable and capable bikepacking bike. This makes a great options for those looking to get into multi-day mountain biking adventures.

Weighing in at 14.7 kg, dropper post, 27.5″ wheels with clearance for up to 2.8″ tires. Priced at $1,999 USD.

Sonder Broken Road SX Eagle

Looking for a budget friendly titanium hardtail bikepacking rig? Look no further. This has to be the cheapest Ti hardtail on the market that is also ready for your next bike adventure.

The Sonder Broken Road Titanium Wilderness Bike is suited for just that the wilderness and remote places. Made for adventure it is also a capable trail hardtail. Using it for whatever adventure you can muster up; Race the Great Divide, ride across New Zealand or summit high passes in Nepal.

The ability to run multiple tire sizes, either big 27.5+ tires to 29in rubber to 700c wheels. Weighing 12.4 kg, and tire clearance for up to 2.8″ rubber.

Find out more here, priced at $1,999 USD

Esker Japhy J1

The “Japhy was born out of the desire to ride everything from the backyard to the backcountry. It is designed and built to satisfy your adventurous side, and is equally at home on your favorite flow trail or an overnight epic. Japhy is the hardtail you reach for no matter what the ride ahead promises.”

The bike has been designed around modern frame geometry and custom steel tubing for a playful and responsive character out on the trail. Japhy uses a custom drawn, externally tapered, seamless, quadruple butted, heat treated 4130 cromoly tubeset that is specific to each frame size.

Built with a 120mm fork and clearance for up to 29×2.8 tires. Which is rather tight and might fall short of a true 29+ trail bike. The bike also lacks rear rack mounts, rather heavy at approximately 31 pounds or 14kg. Also if you get a smaller frame it might be difficult to get a frame bag to fit.

It does however include some good bikepacking traits. With frame bag mounts, adjustable dropouts and external cables. The versatile Portage dropout system was designed for riders to easily switch drivetrain types, hub widths, chainstay lengths, and accept racks.

Esker Hayduke H1

The Easker Hayduke was designed around modern frame geometry, a versatile dropout system, and custom drawn tubing. Making it a capable mountain bike built to be used as a single-speed, a singletrack machine, or a bikepacking rig.

Priced at $2,000 you get a steel built, with the largest fork travel out of all the bikes here with 140 mm. Dropper post and clearance for up to 3.0″ tires.

Find out more here.

About The Author



Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.